• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

War Story

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Farewell then Balmorra.

My opinion of Balmorra changed a lot during my time on the planet. Initially I was a little disappointed in the scenery and plot. It seemed like another generic warzone between the Empire and the Republic. That may have been down to the relatively small and enclosed starting area; the Republic foothold of Bugtown (it's appropriately named). However, as I travelled across Balmorra, getting more involved in the struggle of the native Balmorrans as they were caught between the might of the Empire and Republic, it went from being an average world to possibly my favourite of the planets so far.


The world story started out slow, but really expanded into an epic fight over a unique planetary defence system that could change the whole course of the war, with the native Balmorrans struggling for existence as the two invading fleets vied for control of their state-of-the-art weapons factories. By the end of the world-arc I genuinely felt like Merec was a reluctant war hero, having saved the planet from a fate even worse than Imperial occupation.
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Geeky birthday gifts

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It's my birthday today, and in amongst the usual geeky birthday gifts (a great Game of Thrones T-Shirt from my son!) was a lovely card that my brother Adurj and his family sent me. Thanks Bro! I thought I should share it here...

Thanks bruv! Click for the large version.

On another note, Bioware gave me a nice birthday present too! This new live action ad for Mass Effect 3. Just over a week to go!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Why I'm still on the fence

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Until recently I haven't been paying that much attention to Guild Wars 2. I played the original a few years ago, but didn't care much for it's focus on small-team based PvP, and mega instancing of the PvE areas. I also wasn't a fan of the art style. Consequently, and with the launch of The Old Republic I haven't paid much attention to it.

Recently members of the media were allowed to participate in the closed beta test  for a weekend, and almost all of the feedback has been very positive. That, coupled with the fact that my TOR guild, Convergence, will be playing the game (alongside TOR, which will remain the primary focus of the guild I should add) has meant that I've taken a second look at the game. And I'm still on the fence about it...

There's no doubt it's a good looking game.

Here's my overview of some of the main game features as I understand them, along with my thoughts on why the game could be a new dawn for MMOs, but also why the hype and my own experience is making me very wary.
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Friday, February 24, 2012

RIP EQ2

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Well it seems that I will never be returning to EQ2 now, no matter what happens in the future. The game may as well be dead to me now, and it makes me sad.


First of all there was the move to a free-to-play service for all servers. At first this seems like a good thing, but in my experience the move to a free-to-play service (for example in both DDO and LoTRO), whilst increasing population levels, always leads to a breakdown of server communities and artificial limitations being imposed (for example, I wouldn't be able to use half of the gear I have on my toon unless I resubscribe fully, so what's the point?).
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Earth is screwed...

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Back in the good old (and very cold) UK now, so a couple of days late with this, but it's worth posting anyway. Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Greetings from Cape Town

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I'm sat here on my hotel balcony with a beer, looking up at Table Mountain and writing this on my Asus Transformer prior to heading down to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town for a few drinks with friends. It's a hard life sometimes!


I thought I would take the opportunity this morning to catch up on the news from the galaxy of The Old Republic, and despite only being out of touch for a week there has been plenty happening.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

"Tell your friends... we're coming for them."

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With just four weeks to go until release Bioware have released a new trailer for Mass Effect 3, called Reinstated. It's the first trailer to ever to feature the female incarnation of Shepard (nicknamed FemShep by the community), and it's another great teaser for the game. check out the embed below.


As a added bonus Bioware have also released five new videos about the game on the subjects of Interactive Storytelling, Building a Customizable Arsenal, Adrenaline Pumping Gameplay, Integrated Co-op Multiplayer, and Ruthless and Intelligent Enemies. They are definitely worth checking out for some great new gameplay footage.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Alderaan is peaceful! We have no weapons, you can't possibly...

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Yeah, right...

If Alderaan is peaceful then I'm a nerf's backside. A lot must have changed between the time of the Old Republic and A New Hope!

So Merec has finished his adventures on the "peaceful" planet of Alderaan. I have to say this is by far the most beautiful looking planet I've travelled through so far, with some very lush vistas as you journey away from the spaceport. My screenshot hotkey needs replacing after my time on Alderaan!

If only I had a bungee cord...
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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Smuggler Chapter 1 Review

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I got my freedom, my ship and my gun. What more do I need?

I finally finished Chapter 1 of the smuggler class story this weekend and I have to say that it was a blast from start to finish. Full of slightly ridiculous situations I felt as though Merec was constantly out of his depth and chasing events from slightly behind the curve, which I'm sure was the intent.

So you're desperate and have a lot of money... I like where this is going!
 
After an initial Prologue which involved Merec trying to recover his stolen starship, Chapter 1 soon  settled into a treasure hunt plot. At times I felt like an intergalactic Indiana Jones as I chased down clues and items required to find the lost treasure of Nok Drayen, always one step behind my nemesis, the smuggler Skavak.

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Nightfire Legacy

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Merec the Smuggler has finally completed Chapter 1 of his class story and I've finally unlocked my Legacy. Yep, I know, I'm a slow leveller - most of my guild are now level 50 and I am only just starting Chapter 2 at level 32. I am still absolutely loving the game however and I do not feel any urge to rush to the level 50 whatsoever. Now that my Legacy is unlocked I'm going to start work on a few alts as well- the Nightfire family will soon be invading the Galaxy.

Legacy Unlocked!
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Thursday, February 02, 2012

SWTOR - Two Firsts!

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Yesterday Bioware announced the first ever Guild Summit for The Old Republic. Invited representatives from guilds all over the world will meet in Texas at the beginning of March to discuss the game with the developers themselves. It's great that Bioware are trying to nurture the community at this early stage, and it will be interesting to watch the feedback from the summit.

Yesterday also saw the release of the first ever subscriber figures for the game, made during Electronic Arts' Q3 FY12 Earnings Call to investors. The two key figures are that as of yesterday they have sold over 2 million copies of the game and have 1.7 million active subscribers. Make no mistake, these are impressive numbers (an 85% retention rate after the first month is very impressive for a new MMO), and EA state the game has exceeded their best estimates.

I'm not particularly bothered about how many people are subscribing to the game, as long as it is enough to drive further investment and development by Bioware, and these figures confirm that is the case (as well as being a nice reward for the developers after 6 years of work!).

For more information gleaned from the Earnings Call check out Darth Hater's write up, which includes more figures and the prepared comments from the suits at EA.