Weekly Roundup 01/15/2012

Obviously, soccer is to blame.

Big news of the week: my Xbox Live account got hacked. Someone got in and used all my Microsoft Points to buy silly FIFA 12 items. Microsoft has, of course, locked down my account, and who knows how long it will take for me to get it back. I don’t want to harp on it too much, because enough has been said about these kinds of things already; I don’t have to tell you how much it sucks (or how bad Microsoft’s security is). What I will say, however, is that EA could do something about it on their end. Namely, they have the ability to shut down their in-game store for FIFA 12, which would remove the primary incentive for these hacks. I don’t blame EA for trying a different business model, but it’s clearly having adverse side effects, and at some point I’d hope they would be willing to cut their losses to try and protect those of us who are suffering for it.

Oh Sif, you so crazy.

I doubt they will though, nor will Microsoft do much about it either. Neither party seems to be acknowledging that they’re doing anything less than perfect, which means I get to go on without my Xbox Live account. Fortunately I can still play games offline, and I’ve decided to keep going with my Dark Souls playthrough where I’ve made considerable progress. Most of the work was done before my account got hacked, but I did beat Ornstein and Smough earlier today. That’s one of the toughest fights in the entire game, and I was pretty pleased to beat it on my first try with this character. It ended up being a pretty long fight, because, as I’ve often been doing with this character, I made it an endurance test. I’m learning to be patient and wait for my opportunities pretty well, which works much better than I thought it would. The most hilarious fight thus far has been against Sif. Neither of us could hurt each other at all; the fight was over 10 minutes of poking and prodding, until I finally wore him down.

It’s an interesting way to play compared to my first character, who was a pyromancer. That character was pretty much a glass cannon; most battles ended quickly one way or the other. My current character is the tankiest tank you could possibly make, which is about as far removed from my pyromancer as you can get (which was the goal). I’ve put almost every single point into vitality and endurance, am wearing the heaviest armor I can find (I just got Havel’s set), and am backing it up with a sturdy shield and a lightning spear. In other words, always be blocking. It’s a fun way to play, because I can attack safely behind my shield, still deal a fine amount of damage, and take the biggest hits with ease. It’s so awesome when these larger than life foes smash right into my shield, send me sliding across the room, and yet I’m able to shake it off like it’s nothing. It’s a testament to how nuanced the character building options in Dark Souls really are that I can play two drastically different but equally successful (and fun) characters. I’m looking forward to seeing how the back half of the game goes.

In all honesty, nothing in the game has given me much trouble thus far. I know it’s my second playthrough, so a lot of the learning has already been done, but I’m still kind of surprised at just how, dare I say, easy the game feels right now. I’ve certainly died a handful of times, but past those crazy Anor Londo archers (assholes) it’s nothing more than the occasional mishap or careless mistake. It has me thinking about the nature of Dark Souls’ difficulty, and how a lot of it really is in your mental and emotional approach. I’ve been pretty calm and focused this playthrough, which makes the game seem much simpler and less daunting that it originally did. I wrote a longer, more dedicated piece about it, and you can find it here if interested.

Sejong!

Dark Souls has compromised the vast majority of my gaming time over the past week, but there were a few other miscellaneous happenings. The Old Republic continues on, with my Jedi Sage now at level 19. Some friends and I also started Imperial characters to play together, so I now have a level 11 Sith Juggernaut as well. Nothing really noteworthy to say about TOR that I haven’t said already though. Otherwise I’ve also played about half a game in Civilization V over the weekend. This came about as a combination of my Xbox Live account being locked, and me wanting to try the new leader that I picked up during the recent Steam sale, Sejong of Korea. He gets some really cool and powerful science bonuses, which is the way I like to play Civilization V. All told I like him almost as much as Gandhi (my previous fav), which is something I never thought would be possible. That’s all for now though, until next time!

Currently playing: Dark Souls, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Civilization V

Start the Conversation
3 Comments
Posted by MajorMitch
Obviously, soccer is to blame.

Big news of the week: my Xbox Live account got hacked. Someone got in and used all my Microsoft Points to buy silly FIFA 12 items. Microsoft has, of course, locked down my account, and who knows how long it will take for me to get it back. I don’t want to harp on it too much, because enough has been said about these kinds of things already; I don’t have to tell you how much it sucks (or how bad Microsoft’s security is). What I will say, however, is that EA could do something about it on their end. Namely, they have the ability to shut down their in-game store for FIFA 12, which would remove the primary incentive for these hacks. I don’t blame EA for trying a different business model, but it’s clearly having adverse side effects, and at some point I’d hope they would be willing to cut their losses to try and protect those of us who are suffering for it.

Oh Sif, you so crazy.

I doubt they will though, nor will Microsoft do much about it either. Neither party seems to be acknowledging that they’re doing anything less than perfect, which means I get to go on without my Xbox Live account. Fortunately I can still play games offline, and I’ve decided to keep going with my Dark Souls playthrough where I’ve made considerable progress. Most of the work was done before my account got hacked, but I did beat Ornstein and Smough earlier today. That’s one of the toughest fights in the entire game, and I was pretty pleased to beat it on my first try with this character. It ended up being a pretty long fight, because, as I’ve often been doing with this character, I made it an endurance test. I’m learning to be patient and wait for my opportunities pretty well, which works much better than I thought it would. The most hilarious fight thus far has been against Sif. Neither of us could hurt each other at all; the fight was over 10 minutes of poking and prodding, until I finally wore him down.

It’s an interesting way to play compared to my first character, who was a pyromancer. That character was pretty much a glass cannon; most battles ended quickly one way or the other. My current character is the tankiest tank you could possibly make, which is about as far removed from my pyromancer as you can get (which was the goal). I’ve put almost every single point into vitality and endurance, am wearing the heaviest armor I can find (I just got Havel’s set), and am backing it up with a sturdy shield and a lightning spear. In other words, always be blocking. It’s a fun way to play, because I can attack safely behind my shield, still deal a fine amount of damage, and take the biggest hits with ease. It’s so awesome when these larger than life foes smash right into my shield, send me sliding across the room, and yet I’m able to shake it off like it’s nothing. It’s a testament to how nuanced the character building options in Dark Souls really are that I can play two drastically different but equally successful (and fun) characters. I’m looking forward to seeing how the back half of the game goes.

In all honesty, nothing in the game has given me much trouble thus far. I know it’s my second playthrough, so a lot of the learning has already been done, but I’m still kind of surprised at just how, dare I say, easy the game feels right now. I’ve certainly died a handful of times, but past those crazy Anor Londo archers (assholes) it’s nothing more than the occasional mishap or careless mistake. It has me thinking about the nature of Dark Souls’ difficulty, and how a lot of it really is in your mental and emotional approach. I’ve been pretty calm and focused this playthrough, which makes the game seem much simpler and less daunting that it originally did. I wrote a longer, more dedicated piece about it, and you can find it here if interested.

Sejong!

Dark Souls has compromised the vast majority of my gaming time over the past week, but there were a few other miscellaneous happenings. The Old Republic continues on, with my Jedi Sage now at level 19. Some friends and I also started Imperial characters to play together, so I now have a level 11 Sith Juggernaut as well. Nothing really noteworthy to say about TOR that I haven’t said already though. Otherwise I’ve also played about half a game in Civilization V over the weekend. This came about as a combination of my Xbox Live account being locked, and me wanting to try the new leader that I picked up during the recent Steam sale, Sejong of Korea. He gets some really cool and powerful science bonuses, which is the way I like to play Civilization V. All told I like him almost as much as Gandhi (my previous fav), which is something I never thought would be possible. That’s all for now though, until next time!

Currently playing: Dark Souls, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Civilization V

Posted by dankempster

Sorry to hear about your experience with the FIFA 12 hackers, duder. I hope Microsoft don't keep you waiting too long before your gamertag is back in your hands. Like you, I really hope that in future games, EA decide to drop the 'real money for in-game transactions' stuff in Ultimate Team. It's pretty clear that's the incentive for these hacks, and their decision not to do anything about it illustrates both a lack of care for the welfare of their customers, and a remarkable level of greed. Once again, I hope things get sorted out for you soon.

Posted by MajorMitch

@dankempster: Thanks for the concern duder. The whole thing is a pretty big mess. In a surprising twist, I got access to my account back yesterday evening, so props to Microsoft for the fast turnaround. I'm still missing my lost MS Points though, hopefully they'll come through on those too. Still, good to have my account back from both hackers and Microsoft.