Monthly Archives: November 2010

Well, folks… it looks like the Mount and Blade key saga has come to a close.

After sending in a ticket to be sure that my issue was addressed with regard to the CD Key issue, I fired up Steam an hour ago and noticed that it downloaded something for Mount and Blade Warband. As I thought, it was a fix to allow players full access to their game.

I played the game for an hour and everything seems fine now. No ads when exiting, and no demo version notice when starting up the game.

All well and good then. Just restart Steam, and you should be good to go. For more information on the game though, feel free to check out my impressions piece written a few hours ago. Cheers!


Category: PC Gaming

It’s funny. I bought Mount and Blade Warband on Steam yesterday, and today, some folks over at TK-Nation have a giveaway for the game available through their Facebook page. Horrible timing for me, but perfect timing for those folks who haven’t grabbed the game yet due to the Steam key thing I mentioned before.

This could very well be your last chance to grab the game for an absurdly low price (in this case, costing you absolutely nothing), so head on over to TK-Nation’s giveaway rules page for more information. Good luck!


Category: PC Gaming
Tags: ,

While the issue with Mount and Blade Warband keys has yet to be resolved, I can still play Warband up to a cap of level 7, which is a pretty nice chunk of gametime for the purpose of grabbing some idea of how the game plays.

For those who’ve purchased it but have yet to play it, Mount and Blade Warband is an open-ended sandbox RPG with multiplayer elements and a rather extensive modding community, allowing it to potentially become one of the most daunting, yet most rewarding, RPG experiences I”ve ever had the pleasure of purchasing.

Why can I say such a thing after five or so hours of play? Simple really. The game feels like Darkfall minus the consequences of dying, depending on how you set up your saving mechanism.

The game starts by having you pick your lineage through some simple word choices made through lore. For instance, coming from certain heritages affects your starting skills, and further choices down specific paths affect your starting item loadouts, as well as skill and attribute point placement. The game then allows you to allocate statistics to let you further specialize or spread out skills as you will, and moves on to a a rather excessive slider-based face creation system.

The game then basically asks you to choose one of six starting areas to begin your adventure, and offers some introductory quests to get you acclimated to using AI controlled soldiers along with your own fighting skills. The quests given in-game are essentially identical throughout the different lands, but all the initial people you meet, soldiers you recruit, and nobility you hobnob with differ depending on your starting choice, which can significantly help or hinder you in your quest.

As for what that quest is, exactly… that’s all up to you. What starts off as a general quest for survival can become the tale of a young adventurer seeking to wed into love or nobility by rising through a nation’s ranks. It could be the travails of a bumbling merchant, who never quite makes it in time to sell his goods at a profit. It could be the chronicle of a man who would be king of all the lands of Calradia, and all the deeds he has done to get there.  In a nutshell, it isn’t the destination to an endgame that matters in Mount and Blade Warband: it’s the journey and the subsequent after-action report you’ll write on your blog or in your mind that becomes important.

To get to that point where a tale can be told of your adventures, however, you’ll need to either shoot enemies well, or learn how to kill people with a sword rather efficiently. To that end, Mount and Blade and Darkfall have some awesome similarities. Fighting happens in real time, with mouse movement and clicks determining the way your blades travel to strike your opponent. Combat can be brutal and visceral, but never overly gory (and in fact, gore can be turned off entirely), and the AI isn’t dumb that it’ll pass an opportunity to ambush your lone butt as you race to the enemy with your horse, but without your army. Skirmishes can get quite daunting though, as I’ve not yet figured out if friendly fire is enabled, so I always pull back and let my army do my work while I flank enemies with my spear from behind.

Now, given everything I’ve said, it’s actually an action RPG that is pretty awesome in and of itself. If you add the mods available for the game to the mix, you might find that your time spent playing the game will exponentially increase to make up for the conversions people have made to the game. While the Steam sale for the game is over and done with for now, picking up Mount and Blade Warband still feels like a sound decision to make if you’re looking for action RPG fun. Just let Steam refresh their batch of keys for the game though. Cheers.


UPDATE: Over on Twitter, Arkenor reminded me that I’m the only person who can see the actual emails of people who comment on the blog, making most of this post utterly useless.

That said, feel free to ignore this post. *headdesk, followed by a facepalm*

Hi folks. It’s Victor Stillwater here with another bit of an update regarding commenting.

I just wanted to make an announcement regarding commenting again for those who haven’t read previous entries on the blog.

Now, all comments pass through me, and generally, I approve all the non-spam looking ones. There are, however, exceptions to this, and I do it more or less to make sure spam doesn’t come through or people don’t get fired.

What am I talking about? Basically, I look at the email addresses attached to the user names on comments, and if I find that a specific comment’s email address is remotely connected to a place of work or business, I don’t approve the comment.  This is to prevent potential spam from coming in from an email address I’ve never heard of, or to prevent people from getting reprimanded at work for using company resources to post on blogs.

To that end, please be careful what email address you’re logging in from. Better yet, make a Google, Yahoo, or Windows Live email account for personal use with a clearly non-spam looking email name.

These and other additional notes will be added to the blog rules and commenting guidelines page of the blog.

Thank you.


Category: General
Tags:

I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as it’s not a Philippine thing to be honest (though, the Christmas season can start as early as October here, LOL) , but then I had a thought:

People who do celebrate Thanksgiving probably find it overly commercialized now due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On the other hand, I am actually thankful for the great deals available as a result of the overt commercialization of  Thanksgiving because I have trouble affording awesome games at normal American prices.

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all those who had themselves some delicious food on the day.

Happy Cyber Monday for those of you who are celebrating the season by spending and investing your money into something you can be thankful for having.

Lastly, I love you Mom. :) You’re in a different part of the country right now, working hard as you always do. You’ll probably never read this, and I’ll probably never tell you the URL of this gaming blog, but if you ever stumble across this humble space of mine, know that I love you very much. :)

NOW… ALL OF YOU GO AND HUG SOMEONE YOU LOVE, BEFORE I KILL YOU! RAWR!


Category: opinion, Personal

Just wanted to let the folks who are enjoying the Steam sale a heads up on the one deal I decided to take part of. Personal experience, along with some confirmation from the Steam and TaleWorlds Forums, has arrived at the conclusion that Steam may have screwed up the delivery of game keys for Mount & Blade and Mount & Blade Warband.

When activated, Mount & Blade Warband requests that you activate the game using a serial key that Steam should have on hand for your copy of the game. The key I got, however, is a 5×5 input key (25 digits), whereas the actual key required by the game is a 4×4 input key (16 digits). Your purchase, therefore, relegates you to demo status for the game until such time as when the folks at Steam can resolve the issue for all the gamers who purchased the game (or the bundle packs!).


Category: PC Gaming

 

I’m a music lover at heart, and one of the things I did when I started a general blog for myself was to make a write-up on Japanese Enka music featuring Jero. Recently, a post on a Philippine anti-Cosplay blog (The trolling attempts are hilarious in their failure to get the authors to become angry, and some of the anti-Philippine cosplay posts have some justifiable basis) made me take notice of how some Philippine songs actually have a Japanese basis or are potentially ripped off.

I did a bit more digging, however, and found that some songs really do have foreign covers with different lyrics, so I suppose a little artistic license is alright. Let’s take a look at one song from Japan that has made its way into American and Philippine culture. It’s called Itoshi no Ellie in Japan, and is otherwise known as Ellie, My Love in America and Honey My Love (So Sweet) in the Philippines.

(more…)


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUoDaCH1MJM]

To the tune of “Time of My Life”

Human Hunter male: Now WoW’s had the change of its life
No it’s never felt like this before
Yes I swear. It’s the truth
Blizzard owes it all to you

Tauren Paladin Female: And I’ve had the time of my life
and I owe it all to you

Human Hunter Male: I’ve been Human for so long
Now I’ve finally found a boar
To stand by me.

Tauren Paladin Female: We saw Sunlight on the wall
As we felt this Light-filled fantasy

Both: Now with passion in our eyes
There’s no way we could disguise it secretly
We hold weapons in our hand
‘Cause we seem to understand the urgency

Human Hunter Male: Just Remember

Tauren Paladin Female: There’s just one thing

Human Hunter Male: I can’t get enough of

Tauren Paladin Female: More than PVP-ing,

Both: Shattering’s come! Because

(CHORUS)
Both: WoW’s had the change of its life
Oh it’s never felt this way before!
Yes I swear! It’s the truth!
Blizzard owes it all to you
Tauren Paladin Female: With my body and soul
Want aggro more than you’ll ever know

Human Hunter male: Pop Bestial Wrath on the Boar
Forget the shots, let’s lose control!

Tauren Paladin Female: Yes I know whats on your mind
When you say:
Let’s Bubble Hearth tonight.”

Human Hunter male: Just remember:
WoW’s the one thing

Tauren Paladin Female: I can’t get enough of

Human Hunter male: So I’ll tell you something

Both: This could be love, because

(CHORUS)
Both: WoW’s had the change of its life
No it’s never felt this way before
Yes I swear! It’s the truth
And Neltharion’s come for you!

Now WoW’s had a new lease on life
As every soul on Azeroth’s done for
‘Til I found the loot
And I owe that all to you…

*Instrumental*

Human Hunter male: Now I’ve had the time of my life
No I never felt this way before

(Tauren Paladin Female: Never Felt this way)

Human Hunter male: Yes I swear it’s the truth
and I owe it all to you

Both: WoW’s had the change of its life
And every soul on Azeroth’s done for!
Till I’ve found the loot
and I owe that all to you

And I’ve had the time of my life
No I’ve never felt this way before
Yes I swear! It’s the truth
And I owe Blizz money too!


Normally, when we try and describe something, we have a tendency to reference something else we think other people know and understand in order to make the point we’re trying to make easier to digest. With regard to a game like Perpetuum, which most people probably have made EVE Online comparisons to, I have opted not to make any EVE comparisons because I have not played that particular game. That said, feel free to keep on reading, and if my descriptions remind you of EVE, just know that such is no intention of mine.

I have difficulty explaining Perpetuum to myself in my head because there are so many things that come to mind when I remember the game. To that end, permit me a stream-of-consciousness approach for this one.

For one thing, Perpetuum is a mech-based MMORPG, and mechs aren’t something you’d normally think of when you think of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

The lore of the game basically says that you’re actually operating these mechs, which are on the planet Nia, from Earth with the help of a special chip implanted into you that connects you to nanobots on Nia. It is with this lore that you are allowed to keep “dying” and “resurrecting,” mostly because you’re never really there. That said, when you do lose a mech, the sense of loss can get personal, because boy, that damned mech cost you a lot of credits and time to buy or build, and that isn’t a cakewalk.

Why is it not a cakewalk? As someone who actively enjoys lore and questing, there is a distinct lack of an overarching storyline of quests to further your progression. There are a lot of repeatable quests, but you find yourself going to the same spots repeatedly to kill or harvest or scan or do other roboriffic things that the grind is very ingrained into the game. As such, playing this game solo or dual-boxed is essentially asking for boredom.

There is, however, a flipside to this. Because the game encourages people to team up and join in-game guilds to further their progression and derive a sense of fun, there is a resounding reverberation through the gentle cosmos of human-created entertainment. Chat is very active, Game Masters are there almost every minute to help people out, and amusing, entertaining forms of drama and weirdness can come from reading chat logs and listening to TeamSpeak/Ventrilo members secretly gripe about potential spies or annoying leeches.

Advancement in the game happens literally every minute. The skill acquisition system is made in such a way that you have a ton of potential skills you can bump up for varying amounts of skillpoints, and these points are given to all active accounts at the rate of 1 EP a minute, whether logged on or off. Essentially, if you’re patient, you can ramp up every skill just by waiting a couple of years.

This allows people to essentially sub for US$9.99 a month, forget to play for a while, and then come back with a ton of skillpoints good for maximizing skills. The only thing it doesn’t take into account is that if you’re not playing, you’re not making money, and if you’re not making money in an economy that is mostly player generated, then you’re going to have to grind missions to make cash or farm enemy mechs and strip them of their valuables and sell them for money.

What does this essentially mean for gamers? It’s like this: Perpetuum isn’t the most accessible game out there due to the complexity of the inherent systems of the game, but everyone, regardless of whether they play an hour a week or 12 hours a day, can contribute to the good of an established guild for the game. By finding friends who share your values, specializing in a particular role you wish to engage in (PVP/PVE battling, crafting and research, and gathering), and working together to make sure your group thrives in the world, you can be part of a rather fun, rewarding experience.

Also, the game has mechs. Just try it already, and tell your grandkids that you played a transplanetary colonizing campaign using nanobot-powered mech simulation scenarios long before their nano-enhanced brains could even conceive of interplanetary space travel across lightyears.


Category: MMOs, opinion, Perpetuum

Scopique of Levelcapped recetly had a bit of a promotional giveaway for folks who wanted to try out Perpetuum Online, and I was lucky enough to receive one of the Early Access Codes that he was given by Avatar Creations.

I’m currently downloading the client, which isn’t moving as quickly as I would like, but that might be because my connection is slow or there are a ton of people who have gotten early access and are trying to download the same data that I’m doing, so I can’t exactly blame Avatar Creations for their good fortune or my bad luck.

I’ll have more on Perpetuum when I’m able to get in, but one thing does scare me. It has Darkfall/EVE-like PVP, and we all know how much I liked Open World PVP in Darkfall, right? Strangely enough though, I was actually wishing I could play an open world PVP game recently despite my inclinations against it, so I’m hoping this scratches my hypothetical itch.


Category: MMOs, Perpetuum

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