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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Gaming Updates

I’ve been gaming some more and since I’m mid-update on,, I’m going to be pouring my data here.

League of Legends 2011-01-26 07-08-35-77

  • LEAGUE OF LEGENDS -  I finally did it, I got into some online matches. I played five straight this morning, and they ranged from kind of lame to really odd. Here’s a rundown.
    • GAME 1: I came in as Ashe, my preferred champion. I just queued for a normal match and got thrown straight to the wolves. I died some 15 times and got only one kill. I had about four assists, though. One of our guys was kind of annoying, because he was talking in really broken English and constantly saying “Mom sad no mor play agen… mus get off.. sorr/,” but he never left. Odd.
    • GAME 2: Here I got invited to a match and got with some really nice folks. I opted to go with Nunu since Ashe was quickly snapped up. We proceeded to blitz the map, but I died about 11 times, killing only one other champion – but I had 10 assists. That’s an improvement, right? At one point I was having a touch and go battle with another champion (I can’t remember who right now) and we were both just about dead when an ally playing Caitlyn cut off my adversary. My foe then chimed in via chat that “Nunu got away. I was raping his ***!”  Not so, smartass. I had just as good a chance of killing you as you did me.
    • GAME 3: The dude who invited me to the last game friended me here and invited me to a second game. He was again Ashe and I Nunu. This time I finally felt somewhat comfortable since it was my second online battle with Nunu. I’d developed a comfort level with Nunu, but that didn’t save us. We ended up surrendering as soon as we could (25 minutes in).
    • GAME 4: This was by far the odd duck. I was invited by some random person who friended me when I joined the match. My teammate also friended me. The odd part was that it turned out to be an newbie battle. The highest level characters we mine and the person who invited me (level 6) and we had two level ones. The big problem was getting a fair fight. We ended up with a three-on-two affair. I was on the three (as Nunu, naturally) and I learned that playing against inexperienced human players is no harder then playing against bots. I killed one of the other team’s champions twice in the first couple minutes, at which point he quit. Now it was 3 on 1. Needless to say we swamped the damn place.  The poor lone enemy had no chance. I ended with 5 kills, two assists and no deaths. Unfortunately since it was an unbalanced match, I got nothing for it.

GameClient 2011-01-26 03-44-00-54

  • CHAMPIONS ONLINE: FREE FOR ALL – I was in the beta test for Champions Online way back when so I’ve watched the game grow and change. Now that it’s gone free to play, I  had to hop back in and give it a go to see the changes. I had some small issues, though. I tried the create a really cool new hero of the Survival archetype but was told that “character creation failed” over and over again. Frustrated, I tried to turn my ape-type hero into a Savagery archetype was told the same thing. I was getting very frustrated. Anyone who’s playing the free to play model can see the punch line coming: all of the archetypes are available to free players EXCEPT for Survival and Savagery. Great, the only two I tried were the only two I couldn’t use. Of course this was posted nowhere in the game. I had to go online and look up the issue to find out what was going on. I ultimately made my new hero you see above, an Archery archetype named Sharp. He’d designed to be something of a fallen angel type of thing. The tutorial hasn’t improved at all, but the experience once you’re out of that has. I felt much more like a true hero this time and not just someone running around in a silly costume. I’m only level 7 though so time will tell if it stays this good.

That’s all for now. Later, all. Evolution

I’m working on another evolution of that should – in theory – be the last one I will need for quite some time. The current design is nice but an absolute bear to work on. It’s way ahead of the previous design, but still far from serviceable.

I hope to have to new design rolled about by March, or if I’m lucky, Valentine's Day. It’s framework is mostly done and I’m working on porting over all off the content now. I’ll hopefully have a preview in the near future.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

End of January Wrap-Up

I’ve been busy lately, even though has been nigh silent. I’ve been playing allot of different things lately, so here’s a few words on what I’ve been in to.

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  • MINECRAFT – I’ve been playing the hell out of Minecraft, and even started a blog for it like I did with World of Warcraft and Alazar.  The new blog, Mine All Minecraft is up and running, and I’ve also started a Minecraft server. All for such a simple seeming game.

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  • LEAGUE OF LEGENDS – I tried this game a long time ago but simple could not wrap my head around it. I’ve picked it up about three different times since it came out but never even finished a match. I simply sucked. For what ever reason I opted to give it another go the other day. I played through the tutorial with ease, but my first match (against bots) went south in a hurry. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Finally, I sat back and thought over what had gone wrong and what I could do to fix it, and tried again. Now with a ranged champion and a better grasp of the concepts I’ve reached level five and come to love the game. I unlocked Ashe and Tristana for permanent use and am currently speccing around Ashe (even though I somewhat prefer Tristana). I’m yet to play a live match, but I’m getting better and will be ready to take on actual opponents soon enough.


  • CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS (360) – This game has me conflicted. On one hand, I really enjoy the multiplayer battles, and yet on the other I really suck at the multiplayer battles. I’ve not enjoyed a military-based shooter’s gameplay and mechanics since Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002, but so often I’m gunned down without ever seeing an enemy to shoot at. I apparently need to stick with Unreal Tournament-style games.


  • BLOODY GOOD TIME – This game seemed like a winner, but in the end it’s another game I can’t seem to succeed at. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to kill anyone. I hit and shoot and stab, but my quarry doesn’t die – and then I’m killed like it’s nothing. I’m convinced that it’s me and that I’m doing something wrong that I can correct, but each successive match is making that look more and more doubtful. Maybe the game’s just rigged.


  • MONDAY NIGHT COMBAT (PC) – Now this is my kind of shooter. I love playing this game and have been plowing through it since it’s pre-launch beta period began on Steam. My favorite avatar is the Assault dude and I get a buzz from the sheer over-the-top action. Setting up my turrets and holding off anyone who would touch my Money Ball, I love this game.

That’s about what I’ve been up to lately. Alphasim out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 Gets Kinect’d.

Over my extended holiday break, I acquired a Microsoft Kinect for my Xbox 360. I picked one up along with Kinectimals, arguing that the kitty-based title would be more relaxing then the activities in Kinect Adventures and allow more people to try the technology out. I was wrong.

First off, the Kinect tech is really fun – when it works. I’ve had quite a few play sessions botched by the Kinect losing track of me (even after rearranging the room to allow for a full eight-plus foot play space) and it occasionally refuses to recognize me despite repeated ID calibrations. I also swear that Microsoft is probably storing pictures of all the dumb poses we make during the calibration and Kinect Adventures for future blackmail.

The games themselves are hit-and-miss. The delay between your movement the Kinect’s response can be a killer. Rallyball, the most straight-forward game I’ve tried so far, requires you to start your swing prior to the ball reaching you, which can result in a complete whiff if the ball happens to ricochet along the way.

Kinectimals, however, should come with a freaking warning label, something about how it’s NOT a relaxing, Nintendogs-like experience. Seriously, I had to jump and “star jump” – meaning jumping and extending your arms and legs out in a star pattern – so many times while training my stupid cat that I took way too much pleasure in running my lion cub over with my RC car again and again. If only I could have trample Bumble, that fairy/cat freak job that acts as your constant nag – I mean, guide.

Last night I pulled out Wii Sports Resort for a change and I can tell you that the difference is marked. While I always felt like I was flailing randomly on the Kinect, I felt a close tie to my Mii while he bowled, played table tennis and shot baskets. For my money, Nintendo has Microsoft’s motion controls beat, hands-down. Since I lack a PlayStation 3, I cannot compare either of them to Sony’s Move at this time. Does Sony best Nintendo, or can Mario’s Makers keep their crown? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Multiplayer Minecraft Madness

Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated here. I’ve been really bad off the last month or so (sickness, family problems, and allot of other work) so’s entire range of content – game reviews, Alazar articles, The Jockeys comics, NBA 2K11 My Player posts, the whole shebang – have found  themselves more or less silenced. Today I hope to kick things back into gear, starting with a recollection of Betasim – my cohort, you know – and I taking to multiplayer Minecraft.

I’ve been a fan of Minecraft since last October, but only recently has Beta given it a shot. It took all of one session for her to get hooked, though. She plays constantly now, so since I’m hooked and she’s hooked, it only made sense to play together.

I wasn’t about to fork over $15 or so to some hosted server so I was going to figure out how to run one myself. Once I got it up and running (after a full 12-hour night trying to free up the port the server wanted) Beta got a copy of Minecraft and we tried to log in. However, running the server on the system I played on didn’t work. In fact, it actually screwed up my internet connection and forced my to restart my PC. So, that didn’t work.

We needed a third computer to function as the server, but Beta didn’t want to volunteer her work laptop for the job so we dug out an old, aging, creaky laptop to do the job. Once I got the server reconfigured there (including another protracted port-opening fight, mostly trying to get the main PC to relinquish control over the port) we tried to log in. I got in fine, but Beta couldn’t get in. It was always something!! I finally checked out her situation and she was just missing a number in her IP log in. Finally, with that sorted, we could at last play Minecraft together.

We spawned on a hilly, snowy world. We had a small cave on the shore of a bay for the first night that I stayed in and mined as she ran around with her new stone sword sword and fought zombies and spiders. By dawn she was ready to move on so we packed up our stuff and shuffled off. I lost track of her almost immediately but once we hooked back up I learned that she’d stumbled into a great cave. She’d made stairs into it and placed her workbench at the bottom so I helped hollow it out and dug an actual work room that I closed in with a door. We placed our forge, workbench and storage chest in there and I stayed  there and worked most of the time. Beta had come across iron and made herself a little hat to wear.

javaw 2011-01-04 20-31-10-27

I just adore this pic. Beta, named “Floata” in the game, was hilariously cross-eyed with that helmet on. In any case, you can see our cave system behind her. After a few nights of baddies literally dropping in we finally finally closed off the huge gaping hole above our cave with a roof. Beta complained about not being able to find our cave, so we built signal towers.

javaw 2011-01-04 20-38-00-64

Here’s Beta placing a torch on a tree, while I built a signal tower from stone. We really should have built them much taller, but we didn’t think about that at the time (more on this later). She could then find our cave, but not the entrance so built a large stone entranceway over our staircase. At one point I stood there working on it when I heard the tell-tale “sizzle…….BOOM!” of a Creeper. I was unharmed, but a few blocks behind me was a massive crater. He also did no damage to anything we’d built but somehow still managed to knock the torches off of my signal tower.

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I basically functioned as Suzie Homemaker as Beta played the hero most of the game. Here’s my glass skylight I built in our cave, with Beta standing upon it. Speaking of Beta the Hero…

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I assualted a spider but he knocked six hearts off of me (the laptop I was on lagged absurdly badly so I was working with a handicap the whole game) so I called Beta to kill another nearby spider so to get string for a bow. We got two total string so there was to be no bow for us.

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I like this pic of Beta surrounded by arrows from a skeleton. No big story here, just a funny pic.

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Eventually we set off for adventure (I followed her because she… well, she’s easily distracted by shiny objects so she couldn’t really follow me without getting sidetracked) and found a deep cave that was to be our great conquest.

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Here you can where I dug up a wall and found flowing water. That was to be the least exciting thing down here, though.

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Beta and I eventually found lava. We ended up building a workbench and forge down here, planning on completely emptying the place before we left. In hindsight this was a bad, bad idea because I had almost no health and she wasn’t much better off.

After crossing a few skeletons, zombies and creepers we decided to try and leave. The only problem was that we  couldn’t remember how we got in there! While trying to get out, Beta fell into a room with a skeleton. I was badly injured when I jumped down to help her but unfortunately died upon landing. Dammit. She died not long after that. We respawned back where we started in the dead of night. We attempted to find our signal towers but that went poorly. See, we should have built them taller! I suggested we stick together for survival but Beta insisted that we could cover twice as much ground apart vice together so we split up. Over the following day, night and the day after that, we searched. It then became apparent that we did not know where each other were. Finally as night fell we had to hole up for the night.

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Here I’m looking out of my new hole in the wall, cold and alone.  The next day I took off too find Beta but when I noticed that I had reached a sunny green area and had started to cross into a desert-esque biome I realized I was way the hell across the map. She was still in snow!! I was also on the west coast while she resided on the east coast. I truly don’t know how that happened. I finally figured that I had gone too far south and west and needed to go north-east to find her. I walked the whole day north before finally finding snow. The only thing I could possibly do was hope that she was in the frozen north and the arctic south. However, before I could possibly learn whether I was right or not, this happened.

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Uh… hmm. Ok. That’s not natural, that’s for sure. Maybe if I get close and take some more pictures…

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Wow, it s a huge hole! Sometimes it’s there, other times I fills up. Oh, it’s filled up again. I’m going to try and cross it while it’s still here.

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Crap, it disappeared again while I was on it. Ok, now what?

Take a break, that’s what. And so now, with over 1200 words in this post, I’m also going to give you guys a break. Hopefully Beta and I will play more in a day or so. I just hope I can get out of this hole!! Later, all.