Categories: "Games"

MMO Aspects of ESO - a brief guide for new players

  10:01:00 pm, by Alarra   , 1711 words  
Viewed 2397 times since 06/08/15
Categories: Elder Scrolls

I meant to write this a while ago, back before the change to Tamriel Unlimited. The other day I was replying to a comment in an Elder Scrolls Facebook group, where someone had asked about what's different in ESO since it's an MMO, and my reply got so long, I realized that it would be much more readable - and beneficial to more people - as the blog post I had intended to write.

Note that more detailed information - especially when it comes to character creation, classes, skills, and crafting - can be found on the wiki; a great place to start is our First Time Players page, which links to a lot of the key information.

Read after the break to read the whole thing:

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Football Manager has stolen my life

  05:33:00 pm, by Damon   , 791 words  
Viewed 1613 times since 06/08/15
Categories: Games

To commemorate the fact that I have my first ever trophy on Football Manager 2014 after 7 months of playing Football Manager 2014,  8 or 9 seasons playing the game and trying to learn the rules of football, and after 200 or more hours of playing the game, I decided it was time to make a post about Football Manager. And, I haven't written on the blog in some time, so that seemed like a good idea.

Anyway, I suppose the question to answer is "why do I play Football Manager"? I'm an American, Americans don't appreciate soccer, and why, of all the games I could play, did I pick up Football Manager?

Honestly, I got it on a punt. I had no idea what the rules of association football were, and I knew nothing about the sport, aside from the fact that there were two famous English teams I'd heard of over the years called Manchester United and Chelsea. But, I decided for the hell of it to give it a try after watching someone play it on YouTube.

The game is unlike any other game. It's not like Madden, the FIFA series, or any other typical sports game where you take the players and you directly play as them to influence the game. This game is played from the perspective of the manager. You handle the recruiting, training, transfers, scouting, and more of various players, handle press conferences, and you set up the formations, go to your match, and you watch the players play the game autonomously. How successful the team is depends on how good of a manager you are, and how well you can prepare and develop your team.

I know, this game sounds like it could be dull, and to most people it probably is. Honestly, 98% of the game interface is glorified spreadsheets like this, with a 2D or 3D game interface for the matches themselves, based on your own preferences (I personally use a 2D top-down view for normal gameplay, and I like to use a 3D view for goal replays. It's a game for a niche market who prefer management simulations and the micromanagement that comes with it.

The part I really love about the game, however, is the story the game tells by not having a story to tell. It's odd to hear, I reckon, but stay with me.

I started my Football Manager 2014 save as 25 year old American Damon McKnight, born on 20 September 1987 (You have to be at least 25 as a manager on the game, and I'm younger than that, and I can't use 1992). I started my football managing career at the start of the 2013-14 preseason for Sky Bet League 2 team Oxford United, and it's my first management position. Through the trials and tribulations of being a manager, and through watching my players age and develop, and through watching my team reach success or fail, I am creating the life stories of my own person and of each of these individual players.

It's my first year on the job, and after some hiccups, I've won a trophy that the real life OUFC has never succeeded at getting, I've been challenging for first the entire year, and when the 2014-15 season rolls around, odds are that I'll be in League 1 with Oxford United while holding a fresh contract extension to stay with the team. Or, I could decide to move on and start fresh at a new team and experience all the excitement, anxiety, anger, and ecstasy that watching these successes and failures bring me as a manager.

Unlike other games, which have a defined story at the end of the day, it's this game's complete lack of that makes it so appealing to me, because I control my own fate. I could remain with a lower league team in England forever, or as I lead my team to victories, promotions, and trophies, I could find better teams to take over and move to higher English leagues or move to one of the leagues for the dozens of countries I have loaded into the game right now and someday become a world-class manager of Jose Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson's fame. The choice is all mine as a story teller and role-player, and even though I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world, I relish the possibilities that await me.

I'm going to wrap up this post with something I read a few weeks ago that got me thinking about how I play the game. I'm not THIS far invested into the game as far as story telling goes, but this demonstrates the commitment and general insanity that comes with being a Football Manager addict and letting it steal your life away... Like it's slowly been doing to me.

Please Stand By

  11:07:00 am, by Damon   , 202 words  
Viewed 3137 times since 06/02/15
Categories: News, Fallout

Here it is, we've been waiting with anticipation for ages about whether or not Fallout or The Elder Scrolls would be announced at Bethesda's E3 convention, and minutes ago Bethesda updated their cover image on Facebook with an updated "Please Stand By" graphic that was used in older Fallout titles, and the Fallout Bethesda page on the website has the same old TV "Please Stand By" image with a counter that will expire in approximately 23 hours, as of the time of this writing.

I am so excited for this release that I can't squeeze out words for it, and in under a day we will know what's new in the world of Bethesda's Fallout IP.

I am not one for speculating on locations, quests, factions, etc, but without any knowledge about Fallout, I'd like Miami to be on my wishlist. It seems like it would be awesome to see a bunch of abandoned, destroyed resorts, the ocean, the Everglades, mutant anacondas, etc.

But, that's my own wish. In less than a day we will know more, and I'll definitely be making a big, excited blog post cramming my thoughts about everything Fallout 4 related in the next day or two.

Please Stand By.

Worldwide DOOM reveal at E3! (Damon's thoughts)

  11:47:00 pm, by Damon   , 410 words  
Viewed 9055 times since 05/18/15
Categories: Games, News, Analysis

Continuing my trend of blogging about game announcements that interest me, I'm going to showcase that the official DOOM Facebook page has posted this new banner image stating that there will be a worldwide gameplay reveal for a new Doom title on June 14th at Bethesda's E3 conference.

At last, we've received some kind of news about what things are going on at Bethesda Softworks with regards to them, the Zenimax subsidiaries, and the IPs owned by the company and its subsidiaries that BethSoft will act as publisher for. Honestly, this game as a hit in the dark to me, personally. I missed the prior teasers for Doom that were released over the last year or so, and since Doom hasn't had an update to the series since Doom 3 in 2004, I never gave much thought to the possibility of there being a new entry to the series, a rebbot simply titled "DOOM".

Anyway, there will be a new Doom entry to the game, and I'm definitely intrigued, though I wouldn't say I'm as excited as I would be if the game were for Fallout or Bethesda, or even Assassin's Creed, for that matter. Still, Doom is an iconic, and in some ways infamous game series from the nineties, and it was popular even up to the 2004 release of Doom 3, and it's one that I personally enjoyed, although like the baby I am I tended to jump out of my seat a few times trying to play Doom 3. So, while I am not going to hold my breathe in anticipation for this game, or go out to buy it on the release day, it's still exciting news, and it's news about Bethesda's first ever E3 conference that we've been waiting for information on. That's important to hear, at least.

With a new Doom title being announced, which is sure to bring in money for id Software, Bethesda will be busy as a publisher at their special conference.  There's still time to see if we can hear things about other games that could be worked on that Bethesda is associated with, and this is only one item at what I'm sure is going to be a good,  busy conference, and with the list of categories Bethesda registered under, for both current and last-generation consoles and numerous genres, it ought to be a good one.

I'm still crossing my fingers for a reveal for a Fallout title to be announced at E3, personally.

Assassin's Creed: SYNDICATE trailer/gameplay impressions

  01:54:00 am, by Damon   , 657 words  
Viewed 5727 times since 05/13/15
Categories: Games, Analysis

Ladies and gentlemen, the hype is up! As I mentioned the other day, Assassin's Creed was about to have a new entry to the series, and today (well, yesterday, since it's just past midnight as I write this) the game has been announced as Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.

The game will be set in 1868 in London, and we open up to see Big Ben and other English landmarks as our hero opens up his monologue with "It's a bloody marvelous time to be alive", and indeed it is, as the Industrial Revolution is in full-swing. This trailer reveals to us the first hints of modern technology that we've seen in an Assassin's Creed title. We see steamboats in the water, we see King's Cross station with trains running, as well as another scene of our Assassin hero fighting on the train, amongst other snippets of London.

The monologue tells about technology advancing and the rich man becoming richer, though none of the gold ever makes it back to the broken backs that built up the town, which implies to me that we will see a Robin Hood of sorts in our hero Jacob Frye, a gangster assassin fighting for justice on behalf of London’s enslaved working class.

The second half of the trailer is set to music and is a fighting and action montage to demonstrate some of the Assassin's actions and combat, which while flashy, is the same thing that Unity gave us before actual gameplay was experienced, so I'm holding my breath for a while longer until I see more gameplay than what was accompanying the trailer in this alpha build gameplay. From what I can see, though, assuming that the game gets a better polish than Unity did, it's going to be a great entry to the AC series. For me, at least, because I have a bias for English culture and that particular time period.

For gameplay, the most interesting thing that I see in this, aside from the trains, carriages, and steamboats, is the "rope launcher", as it was called in the gameplay. A  grappling hook and zipline that the Assassin can deply to quickly scale buildings or traverse the cityscape. This looks exciting, and it would certainly make scaling the large structures like Big Ben significantly easier, because in Unity, even with Arno's fairly fast climbing ability, it was a pain to climb 1:1 replicas like Notre Dame, which dominated the skyline as one of, if not the tallest buildings that could be accessed.

New to Syndicate will be the ability to use the environment against the enemy, and during the gameplay reveal, we see Frye use his phantom blade to shoot a pulley system and drop barrels on an unaware guard, something that will open up exciting opportunities for the player as they maneouvre to defeat their enemies, and there will be new weapons like hallucinogenic darts that can be used to turn enemies against their allies, as we see when Frye liberates a borough from the Templars in a fashion similar to the older titles where you perform deeds for the borough and then assault the Templar leader for that borough.

This game will come out on October 23, 2015 for the PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox 1, and while I am hopeful about the game's potential, I am cautious following the failure that was Assassin's Creed: Unity.

As I said before, I think that this game has to deliver on what Ubisoft is giving us, because with their horrible track record and with the failures of Unity, the fans are demanding something to make up for it, and I have made it quite clear over the years that with Ubi's PR and release failures with most major titles and Unity's horrible gameplay, I'm one title away from pulling out from the series and cutting my losses... Still, as it stands, there's a small bit of a fanboy squeal of excitement inside me right now.