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All about news and updates of the (MMO)RPG games I play and general news that I deem important enough

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Humble Bundle (and alternatives)
27 March 2014
Posted in Computer games
I don't know what's up with the guys at Humble Bundle lately, but I haven't bought any for quite some time already. Where in the past Humble Bundle was about helping indie game developers with their (newly released) games, lately it's becoming more and more about sales for charity only.

As said, in the past it was a $1 (minimum - all prices I write here will be minimum prices, you can always pay more for donation purposes) for an bundle and a BTA (beat the average) for some extra games, they changed that dramatically. These days, the BTA only goes for the 2-week running bundles, with an extra option of $10+ to get a 'big title'. Looking at the current 2-week running bundle (an e-book one ), you get 4 e-books for $1, the BTA gives an other 6 e-books and for $15 you get 'Homeland' written by Cory Doctorow. Because of this high 'extra', the BTA is now $12,56

Then the weekly bundles. $1 for the lower tier and $6 for the full bundle. But where in the past the $1 tier had quite some interesting games, these days, they drop 2 or 3 real crappy games there and save the good ones for the $6 tier. Once again, I know they want to boost sales for charity, but why these drastic changes?

Then there's the problem that I've noticed that Humble is starting to reuse the games in their bundles. If you've bought a lot of old bundles (like me), a number of those games start to appear in newer bundles now as well. This is an other reason why I'm skipping Hunble's bundles lately.

Instead I'm turning more and more to the Indie Gala, Groupees and Bundle Stars. Though these are not about charity, the first 2 are to support starting developers (Groupees also supports starting musicians and cartoon artists!) and give Steam keys for the games that make it to Steam later on. The latter one is just a good site with good (discounted) bundles, and most of the time by theme/game (with a lot of DLC), which makes it easy to decide if you want to buy a bundle or not...

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Game of Thrones
25 March 2014
Posted in Computer games
This must seem odd... Two posts in a row with the same topic Where I spoke about the series 2 days ago, today I'll talk about the RPG game of Game of Thrones...

While waiting for the new episode of the 4th season of Game of Thones (April 6th on air), I decided to start playing the Game of Thrones RPG, which I already have for some time in my library. I just didn't find time or reason to be playing it but now I finally have

Let me start with the general impression... Remember Star Wars: The Old Republic's game play? Game of Thrones is somewhat the same. You have lots of very long dialogue cutscenes and you participate in it by choosing your answer. Because I only got started, I don't know in what way your choices will influence the game (if any!). But it's clear that the NPCs do respond on your choice of answer, so I guess that in the end your choices will somewhat influence the outcome of the game.

Graphics do look nice. Not overly well, but just nice. Animations on the other hand to seem a bit clunky at times though when I tried the tutorial combat, I thought the animations were good though (and it has to, since Game of Thrones is also a lot about battle), but the battle system itself is one to get used to though...

An other thing I noticed about the game is the choice of character class. I don't really feel 'free' to pick any class I want, instead there are only 3 for the mid-level game. But the freedom in your class comes with skills and perks as well as allocating your stat-points to your character. Sadly though, the skill-tree for my character is a bit limited, and I expect that at one time I'll have all skills (or the most useful ones).

So far I won't judge the game (yet), but I think I will have mixed feelings while playing it like a lot of players gave. I've read some of the reviews on Steam and taken a peek at the metacritic score. The game isn't doing overly well in general, but I won't let my judgement be influenced by that. I will judge on the game myself and will post about it from time to time...

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Morrowind graphic MODs
21 March 2014
Posted in Computer games
I've been reading a couple of reviews for Morrowind on Steam, and there I learned that there are a couple of graphic MODs out there for Morrowind. MODs that will make the graphics of Morrowind rival those of Oblivion and even Skyrim. Searching the net for these MODs, I found 2 of them, both over 1Gb in size. And that size is only logical, given that most of the textures are rewritten to more modern ones.

But it's the rewriting of the textures that somewhat bothers me. As I've said yesterday, I have the mega expansion MOD Wizard's Island installed on my system, and that one is using a lot of custom textures. Because of those custom textures used in Wizard's Islands I'm not sure if those graphical MODs will work. Well, they might work as long as I don't enter the Wizard's Islands content, but the moment I enter it, the game might crash and I'll be pooped then.

I also found an other very interesting graphical MOD on SourceForge. This one updates only the engine a bit and allows widescreen resolutions and updates shaders and shadows as well as some other new options available for modern GPUs. 
 photo 2014-03-21_00004_zps3709b5f5.jpg

While this MOD didn't update the textures, I don't think it's really necessary. After all, Morrowind is already 12 years old, and it's allowed to show it's age, and show it with pride! But I am really glad with the widescreen view now. I noticed that with the old 4:3 view on 1600x1200 I was staring at the screen and had a hard time focusing on what I was seeings. Now with the 1920x1080 resolution, the game comes more 'fluent' to me and I get less tired when playing it...

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Krater - a different strategy game
12 March 2014
Posted in Computer games
Sometimes you see a game somewhere that tickles your interest, but not just enough to buy it. Krater did that to me over half a year ago. The game looked interesting, but not interesting enough to buy. And it was not for the price (13.99), but just because I wasn't sure if I would like it. But each time it came up on SteamGifts, I signed up for it, but so far I didn't have any luck.

That was until last week when it was added to a bundle at Groupees. The bundle was a $1 bundle with only 3 games and a lot of music for $1 (0.76), and I initially bought it for the music because, I thought 4 of the 8 albums were pretty neat (Scandinavian music is mostly metal for those who don't know ). And indeed, those 4 albums were GREAT with one being very high on my favorite list.

And yes, Krater was in the bundle as well. With the game coming 'for free' (I really bought the bundle mainly for the music!) I decided to keep the key and play it a bit, hoping I might like it. Well, I do not like it - I LOVE IT!

Krater is a strategy game as you have played a lot of them. It's a lot like Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II and StarCraft II, where you are in command of a squad and have to go through missions. The only difference here is that Krater is more RPG oriented than the other two titles.


Your first impression of Krater is much like the one you had with DoW2 or SC2. You really start out with your squad and it feels like a regular strategy game. But the moment you enter that first village (and once again, I suck at remembering names ) the RPG part kicks in.

Krater uses a questing system that's much like many of the RPGs I've played. Pick up quests, run them and collect your reward when you get back at the questgiver. Add to that the exploring on the 'world' map (what's left of it, more like only the krater you're in ), where only main locations are shown at start, and you have an exploring RPG. because only locations you're sent to and the questgiver knows will be marked on your map. But there's so much more to explore!

Last but not least, the humor is really worth to mention. One of the trailer movies on Steam really gives a huge wink to the StarCraft II main intro movie. Then a lot of the nonsense in the game it self - I actually did a 'Kill 10 rats' quest there

Krater is one of those hidden gems. If you like RPGs and strategy games, this is one you really should play. The setting is post-apocalyptic, and that's one of my least favorite, but in Krater it's brought to you with humor!

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Removing games 1 by 1
24 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
I've said it quite a number of time, but I really have way too many games in my Steam library. By now I have lowered the number of bundles I've been buying already a lot, but that still leaves me with over 400 games in the Steam library.

The last couple of days, I've been going through a lot of the games I haven't played yet, and I now see why I haven't played them yet. I expected these games to suck, and well, they kinda do suck indeed, or they just won't run at all in the first place  :(

By now I have gone through almost all of the multi-player shooters that are not MMORPGs, and aside from Awesomenauts I have removed them all. These removed games include Dota 2, Interstellar Marines (quite a new title), Magicka Wizard Wars and all the Sword of the Stars games. I mainly have removed them because of the community, cheats an the e-peen problem most players have. Not to mention, I'm not that competitive anymore to take part in this e-peen thing...

Then the single-player games... There are a lot of titles out there with kick-ass trailers and promotional videos. But when you look at the game-play itself, they're just BOOOORING. The best example of this are a lot of indie RPG games. They seem to promise a lot, but they just do not deliver to me as hard-core RPGer.

An other kind of single-player game that I've been removing lately are the so-called 'adventures'. Damn, I don't know what these days the definition of an 'adventure' is, but when I look at some, I think Mario (1 on the SNES) is an 'adventure' as well. Not to mention, a lot of those semi-hidden object games are labeled as 'adventure' as well, and that certainly is not what I'm looking for as game

There is also something positive on checking all the games 1 by 1. I find games I though would be fun and indeed are fun. Going through my Steam library like this also gives me a chance to find those 'hidden gems' in my library and actually play them

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Torchlight II
16 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
I've heard it quite a lot - Torchlight II is a lot better than Diablo III. Diablo III I have bought half a year after release now, and after 3 months of no-so-intensive playing I had it removed off my harddrive never to be installed again. It's because of the failure of Diable III that I've become a bit reluctant to buy other action-RPGs. Good thing that I've won Torchlight II over a month ago. At least now I can try this one without any costs...

Since I got Torchlight II I haven't really played it. Mostly because of the Diablo III thing. But today I decided to give it a serious go. I still had that character I created back then. I have no clue of the class she is, but I like that big sword and cannon she carries around

As said, this evening I started to play. And unlike Diablo III, I kept playing. The game didn't feel 'odd' or 'out of place' and the mechanics felt right. Before I knew it I was already 3 hours further and still enjoying it. Then I 'stumbled' upon General Grell...

That was a nice fight. Not too hard, but not too easy either. I think it's been a good start for my 1st boss defeated. Gotta say though that when I entered the temple (where he was pestering the Guardian that I had to protect), I was still 3 levels below the recommended level for it. And because of it, the mobs were quite hard at times.

An other good thing I like about Torchlight II is that puzzle that I found in this same temple. Not too hard, but I had to keep my focus on what was changing when I was messing around with the levers.
Also worth to mention as a PLUS for Torchlight II is that weapons are NOT class bound (unlike Diablo III). This means I can equip every weapon I want, but it doesn't mean that I'll be fully effective with it. At least, if I get my hands on a kick-ass bow that I can use, I can do some ranged damage.

Expect more Torchlight II boss-movies in the coming weeks. I think this game will be in my favorite list the coming time

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Steam, you got capable Customer Service?
15 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
Once again, Steam is showing how well they have trained their Customer Service representatives in actually helping their customers *NOT* Remember that game which got removed from my account earlier this week? Well, I made a ticket asking WHICH game was removed, and here's their answer.

 photo Steamkeyremoved2014-02-15_zpsfe548776.jpg

I clearly state that I have no clue on what game was removed and asking Steam CS to tell me the name of the game which has been removed. Now, that couldn't be too hard to figure out I guess...

But for the CS employee, reading is a skill that he really didn't inherit from school (or any other place for that matter). And he's using the 3 favorite actions every Steam CS does: SELECT a standard answer, COPY it and PASTE it as reply.

This makes me wonder what kind of education level you need to have to be a CS at Steam. I thought that companies like Steam (and other on-line resellers) wanted employees that have some degree of intelligence, certainly when it comes to fraudulent payments (from where I had my key). But instead they only seek employees who have experience in CS, and thus can only SELECT, COPY and PASTE.

Okay, I know already what game it was that got removed, but I'm now in a pestering mood and have made a real sarcastic comment to this 'support' ticket. Let them work for their money instead of not doing a freaking thing for their customers!

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Steam key removed by Steam
12 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
When participating in giveaways on SteamGifts, there's a chance that sometime a winning game will be removed by Steam because of payment issues. This could be due to several reasons, but most of the times it's because the payment was done by a fraudulent credit card or the payment just simply never went through at all.

Well, this time it happened to me as well. I won the game Sword of the Stars: The Pit - Gold Edition which was posted on SteamGifts by acar328. I redeemed the code I was given and all seemed well. That was until last night when I had the following pop-up from Steam.

 photo Steamkeyremoved2014-02-12_zpse40d3c66.jpg

Don't you just love it how Steam pulls a key you have entered without a description which game it was? Well, I don't, and it took me an hour to figure even out how I could find it. I had to restart Steam and the game that it concerns popped up in my library under the 'Other Games' section.

And what about the dude that gave me this fraudulent key..? Well, I've made a support ticket on SteamGifts already, and I guess I'll get my lousy 10 points for this game back because the game will be removed as won. But I do hope the dude that gave me this key will be banned permanently from SteamGifts so that no one else will be made happy with nothing...

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Crowd funding for TetraGems
07 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
I thought I would be able to make TetraGems without any external funding, but I think I was wrong about that.Thing is that I know how to make a game and fix the bugs. But when it comes to art and music, I'm kinda lost Now with TetraGems being fully ready in it's conceptual stage and the need for both art and music, I figured I'd take a look at crowd funding.

Sadly though, Kickstarter is no option (yet) for The Netherlands. I've said (yet), because they did announce that they will come to The Netherlands, but there's no date set so far (at least for the public). I've been looking for alternatives, and there are a lot of crowd funding sites out there, and I had no clue which one to pick. That was till I saw a fellow indie game developer's crowd funding ad through Indiegogo.

Last week I've been busy setting up my crowd funding page. There's a lot I want to tell about the game, but if I tell too much, potential funders might quit halfway. But telling too little might not be good enough to get the funder to actually donate for the project. Well, I think (and hope) I have made a good middle way for too much or too little.

Then there's the issue of visuals. TetraGems is not visually not much to look at. So I decided to make a movie with commentary. And that was harder than I thought. At first I thought to use the webcam and tell about TetraGems, but I just couldn't get that done. Heck, I didn't even to say the first word. Is that a form of (virtual) stage freight? So I opted to just show the game and use the mic to add commentary.

Damn, that's 10 minutes to be talking there and showing the game. Well, not really much shown though, since I actually played only for about a minute But at least I think this shows more about TetraGems, it's features, the plans I have with it, and the need of art and music than just the text I have written on Indiegogo.

With that all said, please hop over to TetraGem's crowd funding page on Indiegogo and help me! I don't need much to make Tetragems look a lot better and in return I'll give you the game.

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GFWL: How low a developer goes
02 February 2014
Posted in Computer games
Alright, an other update on the upcoming death of GFWL... As we all know, GFWL will die July this year and there's still a library that uses it. Joystick has by now made a list of games that still need attention when it comes to GFWL and there are a couple on interesting ones on the list.

Lets start with Microsoft. They made the GFWL platform to start with, and guess what? All their games WILL NOT get GFWL patched out Really? I mean, you 'invented' something, drop even a couple of those games on sale during the last Holiday Sales on Steam (Fable III is one I saw) and then you just will not do a thing about your dieing 'service'? Extremely low guys. I hope for your sake that all new titles will be pirated 100% instead of being sold. I for one will NEVER buy a MicroSoft game anymore!

Then there is CodeMasters. A once great developer and host of a couple of MMORPGs, but I think they are close to bankruptcy at the moment. All signs point out to it - no more MMO hosting, long and expensive lawsuits about NetDevil's Jumpgate Evolution 2, forums being put offline and more such. Well, CM pulled an other prank when it comes to their GFWL library: they only update 3 games of it (DIRT 3, F1 2010 and F1 2011) and did not comment on all others. But yet, their latest Humble Bundle they also put those they did not comment on on-sale
 photo CMHumble2014-02-02_zpsf9495faf.jpg
Nicely done guys! That means that for $1 you only get 3 games instead of 5

Last but not least SEGA. As you might know, they have bought the Warhammer 40K licenses from the bankrupted THQ and thus they also get the whole Dawn of War collection in their library. With DoW2 using GFWL, they have an obligation to their playerbase to even state if they will patch GFWL out of it or not, but SEGA keeps extremely quiet about it (I have asked SEGA about it too but I also never heard anything from them). This is odd since SEGA did patch THQ's Company of Heroes almost immediately when they acquired that game.
Anyway, GreenManGaming has a SEGA deal this week, giving ROME: Total War for free with selected SEGA titles. And guess what? This weekend you also get this free game with the Warhammer 40K games.
 photo DoWGMG2014-02-02_zps0f0f8ef7.jpg
Really guys? Give a great sell a great game like DoW in discount THIS close before GFWL's death only to give a free ROME: Total War?

An other thing worth to mention about DoW2 is that I heard a lot of gamers being interested in it since it's release but just didn't buy it because of GFWL. I think that when SEGA patches GFWL out of DoW2 those games might pick it up after all and SEGA will get a huge increase of sales for it (and surely will make a break-even on the costs for removing GFWL)

How low can you get? Obviously a couple of companies really have no problem with selling games that they know their customers can only play for 6 months tops. Not to mention, a lot of these games DO need to be activated through GFWL in the first place, and guess what? That's already no longer possible for about half a year already. Basically, you're buying NOTHING if you decided to get one of those games right now...

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