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I Love and Hate Diablo 3

I want to say I really love this game so far. I have player the hell out of it but at the same I time I hate it sooooooooo much. Of course all the reasons are technical in nature and is this is mostly for me to vent. So If you don't want to heard a lot of negativity in the form of my opinions than they is your chance to exit. I would not have stuck with this game this long had there been anything else out I want to play. Their choice of launch date was pretty damn good.

Blizzard has really handled themselves poorly from the launch of this game. First, not having enough severs ready when you have over 3 million pre-orders in inexcusable. You can afford a few more severs. It like they have never heard of having a margin of error. But, lets ignore this little oversight by them and move on.

Second is the mass widespread technical issues. For days after launch Blizzard tech support didn't even acknowledged the a large swaths of people including those with powerful gaming rigs where experiences poor performance for no apparent reason. I am one of these people that has this micro-stutter problem. Every time I play the game for the first time after booting my computer it run like crap for 30 minutes. Now of course they had to admit that they had fucked this, after four tech support threads had reached max posts, by very un-enthusiastically putting it on the blizzard support twitter. the one that has like 100 tweets a day. way to get noticed. People have since figured its a asset caching problem the game has. Ok, you game isn't going to be perfect on launch but at least admit you fucked up.

Along with this is the server issues. I get why Blizzard handles things server side, I really do get why they do it, but they couldn't handle it more poorly. You have to take down the servers for 8 hours to patch the game? So am I playing WoW? What other games become unplayable 8 hours before a patch happens? Hell even WoWs downtime isn't that long. (some people have tuesdays off of work! Shocking!) Why when I play by my self should I ever experiences lag? How much bandwidth does it take to ping the blizz servers for some loot dice rolls? Sometimes my internet might disconnect for a second. That not Blizz's fault my router sucks but can it give the internet a few seconds to reconnect before booting me? I'm playing by myself! I would rather disconnect while playing with friends because at least I wouldn't lose that hour of progress from such a thing. I firmly believe that Diablo is a single player game with co-op. It has never been a multiplayer focused game. I know those people are just waiting to pounce with they big "Nuh-uh, Diablo is a multiplayer game with singleplayer!" No, the early Battlefield games are mutiplayer games with single player. Diablo is single player with co-op.

Third is the hacking issues. The amount of horror stories of hacking I've seen almost wants me to get an authenticater. I would have thought this was going on purposefully (the amount of stories not the hacking itself) by blizzard to drive the sales of the said devices except for the fact people are getting hacked with those to. It just baffles me that the company with the biggest online game can't deal with this problem. And what does Blizzard do? Ignore these people. Bravo.

And of course the actual Diablo 3 forums doesn't recognize I own the game so I can't post there at all. There is no way I'm actually calling support to get it fixed.

Well, sorry for my venting. Like I said, I do really like the game when I can play it properly. Its hard for me not to just see Activision hanging over Blizzard telling them they don't need those extra server and to push the game out the door sooner than it should be. I get that a company's number one focus is profits. Thats the way the world works, but in the world of video games it doesn't matter it they put out a good product because people trust them and they will take that for every penny its worth until they are universally hated. Over 3 million people bought the game before it even launched. Of course they aren't going to care it its 100% playable.

Its a sad day when the two companies that disappointing me the most this year are Blizzard and Bioware.


Games I'm playing and won't finish.

Dark Souls: Picked this up sometime in January and got about half way. Really enjoyed this more that I thought I would but sadly I know I won't finish it. It isn't the difficulty of the game (which is hard but not soo hard) but more the fact they make the game a chore. Somewhere they mixed up convoluted and difficult and I just wish I could play a challenging game like this without having to have 3 tabs of guides open to know the general direction I'm going in. Not explaining what character stats do( and really poor UI all around) its a really cheap and lazy way to artificially add difficulty and not fun at all!

KoA: Reckoning: This game is enjoyable and had tons of promise but as a loot driven game with no way to show it off is pointless. And with shallow unbalanced combat, tedious uninteresting quests, and a far too open world (80% of playtime in this game consists of holding down the run button just to get to the next thing), I can't keep going. People say this game feels like a single player MMO and they are right (and not in any of the ways a MMO is good).

Syndicate- OK, I probably will finish this, because I'm already like 4 hours into to the supposed 7 hour campaign, but I'm not enjoying it. The controls, ugh. Feels sooooo.... bad, like I can never aim right where I want to. Maybe I'm so use to the CoD/Halo/BF controls, if it doesn't play like one of those I cant play it right? I was using a game pad on the PC and I had to mess with the sensitivity for an hour and turn of V-sync for it to even be playable so maybe I'm getting more problems from that, but I found the mouse and keyboard crappy to control with also. (I just played the Darkness 2 using the same set-up and it was perfectly fine) The story, well there isn't one and the DART (dude hacking) mechanics are fun, they seem far under realized. I can really see the potential in this game but I feel like It falls flat. After playing the Darkness 2 (the sequel to the game from the creators of this one), I'm would almost be excited for a Syndicate 2 made by a different studio using similar mechanics. Starbreeze seems like they have a lot of great ideas, but can never quite execute.


Champions Online: A glowing Endorsement

I'm not going to take about the downloading of the client or the hell I went through trying to patch this game with the worst patcher in history.
The actual game it self surpassed all my expectations. It is everything that you want from a superhero MMO, mainly, you can make whatever you want. For those of you who have used the deep character creator is City of Heroes, just times that by about a hundred and thats what you get. As soon as I saw the thousands upon thousands of options, hundreds of ideas popped into my head. Practically anything you want to make, you can make it. From humans in tights, to robots, to werewolves, the tools are there for you to get it done. Then we have to powers.
The powers are in simple archtypes, ranging from elemental powers, like fire and ice, to physical powers, like swords and fists, to mind powers, like telekinisis. The best part is you don't have to stick to one arch type and can pick moves from each section to make a charecter that you want. A ninja with two swords and fire powers, OK. A robot with gadgets and martial arts power, Anything you want, you got. 
The actual game play it self is great. Its not like WoW where you run up and stand there. As far as I have seen there is no turns, and no cooldown times on move. Basically you do moves that use energy, then you use moves that regain that energy, usually your basic attacks. Then your juggling the two to constantly use up and deplete your energy. The missions are what you expect from an MMO, collect, kill, explore. Nothing to see here. There is also some Warhammer-esque community quest, though I don't think they work the same way. 
(Note, this paragrah proabably contains false info as I really don't know how this works all that well).
Intead of exipment, you get expibable abilitys. They fit into offence, defence and suport (?). Three slots in each one, primary and secondary. They give you basic stat bonuses such at more strength or more damage resist. 
On thing that they did vastly better that City of Heroes is give you a movement power right away. Right after the first tutorial area you get it, and boy are there options. There is something like twelve of them from flight to super jump to tunneling and everything in between. Some of the options in there seem to be present just so you can fit it to the theme of you charecter (flight, jet boots, fire flight, ect. all make you fly with slight tweeks). 
Champions Onlines does it right. Giving you the opitons to make what you want and gives you fast paced action (for a MMO) to fight against diversed enemies. And makes you feel like a badass powerful super hero from the start. If Cryptic can fix some of the server and networking issues I can see a great game that if it can draw in a good player base, can survive more than just a couple of years even in the wake of WoW.


Summer of Anime

For me, this summer was defiantly a summer of amine. I have to do something with all these wonderful video games not coming out right? Social life you say? What's that? So Here's a brief rundown of what I watched! Mostly my opinoins so if you want a better synopsis, you can go to wikipeda.

Black Lagoon

A Japanese businessman is taken hostage by some modern day pirates, a transport company named Black Lagoon. He decides to join them, adventure ensues. 
I don't really know how to explain my feelings on this one. I liked it sure, but its hard for me to say why. The action as alright and I'm not a fan of series that have one-shot stories for each episode. I guess its the characters that really make it shine. The main crew is alright, but the enemies is where is stands out. From crazy maids and nuns, to vampire children and the Russian ex-military mod, a crazy cast of antagonists keeps your interest the whole way through. A good watch If you want to watch something with a little action but doesn't cram it down your throat like lots of anime tend to do.


A secret organization, The Hellsing Orginization, hunts down vampire, with the help of a very ancient and powerful one named Alucard (original, right...). However the story revolves more around a girl who he turn and join the orginization.
I enjoyed this one a lot. The action is solid and provides good charecters to set up fights with. And vampires! Remember when vampires use to be cool? This will remind you why. I like how they mention they expected powers of vampires only briefly, while Alucard dips into a pool of powers you wouldn't attribute to vampires at first, but fit in perfectly. This makes the fact that his aprintace vampire, Victoria, barley uses any vampire powers at all, very disapointing. It fits in with her reluctance to enbrace being undead, but its a little too late to go back, now isn't it! Definantly give it a watch if you haven't seen it. (I haven't seen Helling Ultimate yet, I'm waiting for the series to finish.) 


A ex-mafia hitman, Grave, is trying to enact revenge on the mob for killing him and for hostilly taking over the town with the use of mutated human mosters.
This one is hard to recommend. It's good, but it takes so long to get there. The first episode takes place in the present but then they spend seventeen episode in back story getting there to continue on. Sure the later half of the back story is interesting but it takes so long to build up! The worst part about this all is that Grave never talks. Even when he is alive, perfectly healthy and at the top of his game, he barley says anything. I've written more in this paragraph than he says the entire show. This does not make it interesting. If you can last long enough to make it to where the action and story picks up you will find a almost too similar mob story coated with some solid shooting. There is better anime out there, so only give this one a watch if you got nothing better to do,


The story of a whole cast of charecters, revolving around one train ride gone horrible wrong.
This one is great. There is something like fifteen charecters and all of then are interesting and unique. The do a good job of managing all the charecters so they get mostly equal face time, and you never mind spending time with one group or another. The story is a little wacky and in the end it almost feels like it didn't go anywhere. But at the same time, they jump back in forth between the past, present (being the train ride), and future, you get lost at times. This show isn't about the story, but the people in it and they rock. Isaac and Miria are two of the best, being ecentric robbers, who never rob anything all that valuble. They really bring home the show and make this one have a place as one of my favorite. A good show if your looking for a great cast of interesting and unique charecters. 

Welcome to the N.H.K.

Sato is a hikikomori (shut-in) with no education or job. One day a girl, Misaki, desides that she is going to cure him of his ways and put him back into society. 
This one put me off at first. It come at you in a very... japanese way, its hard to explain. I feel like it will turn off a lot of people because of how it presents it self. You can easily tell it was not made with out society and culture in mind. Once you get past that, you get into a absolute masterpiece and find that the things they are trying to convey still apply to us across the sea. The charecters come off as very real, almost in a harsh and depressing way. It's almost hard to think that there really are people like this out there, not only in Japan, but the whole world. Its all a tale about overcoming the hradships of life, with each charecter in the shows small cast personifing life harships and failures in diffrent ways. I have to say this shows ending is one of the best I've seen in a while. I usaully don't like drama or romance anime but I really enjoyed this. If you can get past It's japanese quirks you will find a great story with well relaized charecters and find it inspriring and dpressing at the same time.
If you read all of this, God bless you. I know I'm not good at writing nor articualting my thoughts. I still thought I has to write all this down to justify the time and this summer I wasted watching all this.


The Hurt Locker

I saw it and it was great. Go see it if you have a chance. It has a limited release so hopefully you can find it near you (I had to download it, sry I'll get the DVD). Goes to show you can make a good movie without huge obviously fake explosions all the time (looking at you Michael Bay) and that characterization is a good thing. It kept me entertained through out the whole thing and for a 'ripped from the headlines' taking place in Iraq, it wasn't dragged down by politcal bullshit. Just a good movie about a bomb squad removing bombs and trying not to die.

5/5 (for those of you who like numbers) You can beat 100%!


Quick MS Press conference thoughts

Best moment: Crackdown 2 (SO EXCITED!!!)
Worst Moment: Left 4 Dead 2 (too soon)
Biggest Surprise: Splinter Cell looks hella cool
Biggest "I knew it": Metal Gear on 360
Won't be as cool as it looks: Mo-cap controller Natal (Wii insults were a low blow, ouch!)
Will be as cool as it looks: MW2
WTF?!?!: Two halos within like 6 months of each other, Halos good, not that good.

Over all a good press conference. See you at Nintendo and Sony!


Battlefield Heros: Thoughts

So I just played the beta for the first time and I'm going to run it down in an easy pro/con list.

Its Free.
The style looks cool and wacky.
The customization looks deep enough.
Costs no money.
Shooting is alright.
Did I say free?

Third Person? Why?
Shooting is just alright.
Not being able to switch classes on the fly in a class based game.
Somethings aren't free.
Cartoony instillation in a realistic franchise.

So basically i think this game is fine, mainly because I don't have to pay for it. But on the other hand it makes no since to me. Mainly the fact it exists. Is this really going to satisfy Battlefield fans who enjoy the realism that was Battlefield's selling point. And how can you have a class based game where you cant change classes mid game to adjust to what may be lacking or overabundant? I just find the game painfully average and though its free I expected more out of a battlefield game. Also, Battlefield... third person?