Monday, 22 October 2007

5/5, will play again

Thus endeth the review.

Well, kinda. I guess I should elaborate a bit.

Portal is excellent. Its a fantastic concept, well executed, and at a beautiful dificulty curve. Then its over, with a wonderful feeling of satisfaction.

Although I've not played the bonus challenge maps, I have played through the commentary, which took about an hour, because the second time through you know all the puzzle solutions, but it was an interesting listen.

And all this after deciding to buy the game about midday, downloading it over my (not particularly nippy) connection, and solving it before midnight. Now for user created maps!

Delicious Cake

Finished Portal. Finished Portal with commentary. Now 2:45 am. Need sleep.

Review tomorrow!

Sunday, 21 October 2007


Blizzard seems to have done a lot of right things with its games (startling revelation, I know!). The fact that they've got me wanting to play it again after just not having played it for a while, and some reasonable looking patch notes is kinda a testament to that. Unfortunately, they have their own set of failings.

Yes, I know I said I wouldn't precisely one post ago, but I set up the client downloading, and, lo, a day later, vanilla WoW was installed on my machine.

Problem being, my account is activated for The Burning Crusade. This means (apparently) I can't play unless I have all the TBC data downloaded. 'Not a problem!' thought I, naively, 'I got the vanilla client from the "Download The Burning Crusade" page, I'll just head over there again'

Only then I hit a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable error, and have done since then.

Blizzard, I'm not wanting to, but am compelled to give you more money to play your damn game! And here you are not letting me sell my soul to you. Noble, sure, but not great marketting. I'm reminded of every time there's a PTR when the character copy page goes down, or every patch day when the entire website goes the way of the dodo.

Seriously, new infrastructure pls.

Also, interestingly, you can view other clients on the torrenting patcher thingy. I got maybe 3% of my data from other clients. Perhaps there is something slightly wrong with this distribution method.

Anyway, In the absence of Blizzard to the throw money at, I decided to purchase Portal instead. Its now downloading smoothly, and once its down, I'll be able to play it straight away. Differences indeed.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Breaking the silence

Long time no see! (well, type, whatever. You know what I mean)

Hopefully this will be the start of more bloggage, but I thought I should update the (apparently) 4 or so people a day who read what I throw out here, even when I'm not posting!

To update everyone on whats been happening in my absence:

I completed Guild Wars: Factions, with the Tuesday n00b Club (check out the picture of me dancing!), the ending of which was both deliciously spoilery, and utterly predictable. Also, the final boss fight was ridiculous. Future game designers: if you want to know how not to design a boss, check out Shiro at the end of Factions. Your players will love you! Also, hopefully, I'll be getting Nightfall at some point, to play through that with a friend, although I don't really know when that'll happen. Looking forward to (probably) making corpses spring from the ground like daisies. Of course, last time I was going to pewpew people with my bow, but then got distracted by great big axes. So we'll have to see.

I'm also now subscribed to City of Heroes/Villains, primarily playing Villains side at the moment. More to come on the differences in a future post, once I've actually dabbled in all of the Hero archetypes. But at the moment, I'm a particularly purple Corrupter, harnessing the powers of darkness to summon all kinds of tentacled nastiness. Eww. And a giant zombie with super strength. And a ninja master. And a amnesiac dominator. And and and....

I also have frankly annoying cravings for WoW. Now the main reason for my disappearance from the tubes is my settling in at University (zomg, revealing stuff about myself!), and I didn't bring my disks with me, and downloading the client would take forever, and I don't have any of my mods here so I'd have to set them all up again.... but I really want to collect some of the new small pets (yay!), and the engineering flying mount, and the 2.3 patch looks like it'll just make the game a lot more fun again. Plus I want to beat up the bosses in Karazhan again (randomly), and so on and so forth. Perhaps a break has done me good to relieve me of the feeling of 'must grind primals raaargh', but I can't really justify the cost of two MMOs (Guild Wars wins bonus points here), and the time spent downloading the client, and the TBC stuff, and the rest of it.

Also, I'm about to start DMing a D&D game, which I'll probably post about to here. Its all gaming, and although this started as an MMO blog, I'm sure there's enough overlap that people will either not mind, or just skip the posts they don't like. The worrying thing is that I've never even played D&D before, let alone DMed. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end.

So my gaming life looks to be as busy as my social and work life has become, so I'll see if I can get a posting rhythm going again to keep you up to date on my gaming comings and goings, and hopefully be insightful about stuff.

nB: degree of insightfulness may vary.