Category: Games


Dark souls Vrs Demons Souls

I miss the nexus. There, I said it.

I dislike the clear lack of direction of what you’re supposed to be doing in Darksouls. (DKS) Yes, yes, Ring the bells of awakening. The one is in a tower the other is somewhere else. However, finding the direction to said location isn’t exactly easy. There isn’t a lot of direction. I finally went and found a guide in the wiki to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing or what to do next or just what’s available to me. This was after I wandered into Darkroot right after killing the gargoyles and getting annihilated. The coined term is “prepare to die” it’s very much apropos.

I have a few thoughts, things that I’d like to point out.

I like the adjusted endurance burden for rolling. 25% vrs 50% roll speed.

I like the more finely tuned PVP. Demons souls (DS) PVP did seem like more of an afterthought. Although the people who are PVP’ing in DKS I’m mixed on.

There was a code of Honor in DS. As an invader if you jumped into another world who’s already been invaded, you generally await the outcome. You wait for them to heal, you bow. They bow back and you duel fairly.  While most of the invaders I’ve dealt with in DKS I think are the new  players. (I like to claim that they are Xbox players as to discriminate or stereo type them, terrible of me.) They will come at you 2-3 at a time which is a rough fight. But this is not always the case. I had one instance where I got invaded 3 times in about 30 seconds while farming in the darkroot forest. One of the three invaders literally bowed at me while I was fighting and stood in the corner and waited. So I was only fighting two of the 3 that invaded me. When I killed one of the two remaining and the second took a fireball to the face which took him down to about 10% health; he Left – he seemed unwilling to go for a fair fight.

I had a clean fair fight with the one who waited. He followed the “code of honor” that I came to expect from Veteran DS players.  (and I still lost.)

But the point is the one that bailed. He Jumped ship the moment he realized that it was 1 on 1. He wasn’t looking for a fair fight. That irritates me.

I *LOVE* Anor Londo, and the Painted world. Absolutely gorgeous graphically very well done. My wife refuses to watch me play unless I’m in one of those two areas. The rest creep her out.

Upgrading armor and weapons is MUCH easier in DKS, no more hoping that the damn crystal lizard in 4-1 drops my pure darkmoon stone. I’ve killed it 30 times and nothing. Once you’ve run out of spawns of gecko’s they’re just gone and you get to start over.

I dislike the magic charge system, it makes sense in my head for limitations, but it feels wrong.  If you want to be able to survive everything character  ends up being a melee .

I’m mixed on the estus flasks.

I can sell stuff for souls! no more carrying around or discarding useless crap.

Encumbered limit; for how much you can carry has changed in a good way.

I don’t know if Parry ever existed in Demons souls, I never needed it. But I’m sure glad for it in DKS. I find the timing on it difficult to do, but when you can one shot a knight that would normally take you 3-4 backstabs to kill, it’s gratifying. It makes me want to stand up and scream “WHO ELSE WANTS SOME!”

Boss Diffaculty. DS Vrs DkS

Tower knight > Iron Giant

FlameLurker /Armor Spider> Quelaag

Man Eaters = Gargoyles

(and I’m told ) King Allant > 4 Kings

 

Many of the Significant bosses in DS were insanely more difficult, you could cheese kill many of them if you knew how, but the point is many of us didn’t for a long time.  Many didn’t until their second or third playthrough DS.

The Downward thrust when jumping off of a ledge is awesome.

In DS Black Phantoms were to be Feared at ANY level. Their power was insane.

Specific classes in Dark Souls is much more difficult than demon souls. A pure Wanderer/thief Dex Build is rough as hell. it’s a punishing act to level that way.

Pyromancer = Royal. Most things are weak to either fire or lighting; with exception of Quelaag, and the Ceaseless Discharge.

The catacombs are a bitch, Unless you are welding an upgraded Divine weapon. Which I spent the time to grind out the souls to upgrade one to take in with me. Watching the skeletons I just killed, re-assemble themselves, made my heart drop, and I had one of those “oh… @%*&” moments. This was a conscience decision I made at that point.

Snippet of conversation from DS vet Kahalachan As posted from the Atlus forums:

It’s also hard to say for sure if Dark Souls is harder. We know Demon’s Souls and developed a set of Demon’s Souls logic. So Dark Souls is probably easier for us than it would be the average person.

So while we may not have died as often on Dark Souls, we can recognize that had we never touched Demon’s Souls in our lives and jumped onto Dark Souls it would have given us more problems than Demon’s Souls ever did.

 

I am going to agree with Kahalachan on his thoughts. I think Dark souls is easier for DS vets than most new players because we started with Demons Souls. We developed logic for it and tactical thoughts around how to deal with bosses that most new dark souls players don’t develop until nearly the end.

When I asked a friend of mine who never played DS, but picked up DKS how he liked it. his only response was “&$* that game.” He’s not even made it to the gargoyles yet, he’s still trying to get past the gate. When I explained the simple way to do it he got really annoyed.

A veteran DS player I will say that I believe that  we do think and approach this game differently than most. Which creates some frustration when we struggle with something. But I think that our frustration is likely considerable less than what a new player would experience.

Overall I love this game, but there are certain aspects of Demons Souls, that I miss.

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Cataclysm Nerf? *Rant* move along…

Blizzard hotfixed Warlock damage last night and gave a 12% nerf to a vast number of skills and people are massively up in arms and claiming losing THOUSANDS in DPS. however, this just isn’t true. They aren’t stopping to think about how this works anymore, and they emotions are overriding the actual value.

Skills scale to level now, so let’s assume that you have a skill that at level 1, does 100 damage, and level 2 it does 200 damage, and it increments at that point all of the way up to level 85. AT which point it’d be 8,500 damage. So they say it’s too powerful at level 85. So they do a 12% nerf on the skill from the top down because what they are worried about is the future of end game and not needing to rebalanced *again* at 85.

So that means they take the percentage amount from the total skill at level 85, and run it backwards. Which means each level takes approximately 0.14% of a nerf. Which means over 5 levels you’ve lost 0.705% Damage. And over 85 levels you lose 12% over its values at level 85. So people who are at 80, screaming that they’ve lost thousands of DPS since the patch are full of it and want to just scream.

I grew up in an era where console games where still a new and novelty item that most parents shunned. I had a old classic Nintendo, that I worked and saved for all summer long. It came packaged with Super Mario Bros, and Duck Hunt. I remember playing the SMB console stand up in arcades thinking it was way to hard. I got my Nintendo and again, I still found it way too hard. It took me weeks before I hit the point of mastery. It became this Vulcan mind meld where the controller seemed to disappear from your hand, and you stopped thinking about the fact that you were controlling Mario and you became one with Mario and the reaction was instinctive more than needing to plan it out.

That’s a beautiful thing.

Also in the same Era Games were hard. Really, Really Hard. Anyone who played gauntlet through TopGun, Bart Vrs, The Space Mutant, or Battletoads can contest to what I say. A lot of people complained about the original TMNT, which I Admit was intensive and difficult, but I managed to actually finish that one. I will admit that I spent 3 months on Bart vs, the space mutants and never got through the second level. I think I got TO The second level twice.. maybe? it was brutal. I recently downloaded it again for an emulator thinking that I just sucked. No it’s not me.. it’s really not. The Rom Site that I found game on had a comments section, There were 50+ pages of people complaining that it was way to hard. So knowing what my previous track record was I found the action replay codes and determined that unless I wasn’t making sufficient progress in an hour of play I would not use them. After about 25 minutes I turned it off. Hour be damned, I am not going to bother.

I play through current Console games now and I unbelievable disappointed. Games are so easy compared to what they used to be. Not only that, they are short. Very short. To go through a game in under 10 hours isn’t unexpected in fact it’s welcomed by most of the current gaming community. I am finding more and more that I am a platform gamer, that is what I like. I like MMO’s for the epicness of storyline and consoles for fun. Consoles are much less frustrating then dealing with the Chuck Norris mentality of most games trade/general chat. But I don’t play Console games because they are easier. I play them because of their wide range of originality and just fun. Admittedly after years of denial and rejection I am a Mario fan. I’ve played through most of the Sunshine, and I’m currently (slowly) working my way through Galaxy with every intention of finishing it. More so than that, I am a Nintendo/Sony fan. I do not care for the X-box or its games. I’m not a First person shooter type of guy, I’m a RTS RPG side-scroller action type of guy. Would I prefer it if some games were harder? Eh, They’ve taken care of that by Putting multiple difficulty modes on most games now. I play Metroid 3 on Medium difficulty because it’s just the right amount of Fun, frustration and satisfaction rolled into a near perfect action game. I play Galaxy because it’s simply fun, it challenges my coordination and it has the right amount of difficulty to keep me on my toes. The storyline is a rehashed repeat that has been the same outline for most Mario games; but this is one of those rare cases where less is more. I don’t need top notch graphics, nor do I need to spend $500 every 6 months to upgrade my PC to keep on top of current rising standards to maintain playability for my games either it works on the platform or it doesn’t. The goal in the end is if it’s fun then it’s worth doing.

Save us Turbine Man!

There has been an awful lot of press release info on the Warner Brother Purchase of Turbine inc. The most interesting speculation, has been what new MMO’s Turbine is working on. There has also been a lot of speculation that this MMO is a Harry Potter MMO. There is a lot of Credence to this thought process and it the HP franchise lends itself heavily towards this as a theory. It’s already got a built in story, Houses, classes, factional, plus an element of PVP, and fluff content, plus a great set of villains and plot lines. Truly, after seeing the world that Turbine has done with Lord of the Rings, if anyone could pull off an HP MMO. Turbine could, and they could do it well.

But The more I Thought about this, there were a few things that came to mind.

First. The HP Franchise for WB has been a cash cow. they’ve made money Hand over fist, and it would in a lot of ways Behoove them to keep the cash cow going. But I think this is also a target audience that also likes HP, may not be so Interested in an MMO. The Demographics really just don’t fit well enough to Risk that kind of Venture.

The proper answer didn’t occur to me until just recently when a my brother in law, a fellow geek showed me a new MMO he’s playing and how much he likes it. After some discussion about it’s highlights and what he loves about it. The answer struck me. While yes, This seem cliche and over used it makes a lot of sense.

Lets take a look of what other franchises and or companies that WB owns. Castle Rock, New Line, Fine Line, Tolkein, DC comics. Granted this is a fraction, but these are the ones that I would declare had some significance. The one that has been over looked is DC comics. DC was purchased by Warner Brothers in 1969 and they’ve put out a handful of mediocre Superman and Batman Films, and they’ve put out a few REALLY good ones. But it’s mostly been an under used IP Franchise That still has a lot of popularity. As Marvel was being purchased by Disney, and the Comic Book fan were in an uproar, WB was giving Feeding Turbine Money to the tune of 80 Million+. And Quietly putting together a new MMO. The WB Purchase went off without a hitch, and people cited that WB had controlling interest in the Tolkien Franchise, and Seeing that it was WB giving money to Turbine the automatic assumption was an HP MMO. Not really thinking, or knowing that DC is owned by WB. It happened long enough ago that most Comic book fans didn’t have the public outlet that we have now. The purchase wasn’t a world wide announcement. I’m willing to wager that Most DC Comic Fans realized that DC is owned (subsidiary) by WB

City Of heros, City Of Villians, Champions online, All have hit a demographic that is kind of exclusive to the hard core comic fan. Champions online Character creation is so extensive that if you were willing to put the time in you can custom create a character that is so accurate to the original it’s almost plagiarism. I first played Champions on my Brother in laws Account, and built a Character that looked so much Samus Aran that you’d mistakenly think that it was. Plus it was fun to play. My In law has this fantasy book in his head that he’s writing. He’s used Champions online to build his characters, he’s tweaked out every detail of how they should look. All of these MMO’s have done very well for both the fan and the non fan.

So when you sit back and look at the larger picture. Turbine has made a very successful MMO based off of a movie and series of books that New Line Cinemas did a fantastic job with. (also part of the WB)

Warner Brothers is seeing Marvel Rake in the cash from their IP’s and are starting to realize that their own DC IP is very under utilized in todays media. WB has announced a series of new Movies leading to a Justice league movie, Marvel is doing an avengers movie. There is some creditably to suggest that WB is after a demographic that is mostly of untouched by most mainstream MMO’s. It’s not far fetched to assume that WB is after a DC MMO to run in Sync with their own Movie franchises.

Video Game Characters doing what they do best.

Click for full image.

Symantec posted on it’s blog that it uncovered a server that had 44 Million stolen gaming accounts. The numbers and values of said accounts ranging in price from $5  to $28,000 .

World of Warcraft for example had 220,000 stolen accounts in this database. two of the biggest “losers” in this DB was A company called Wayi Entertainment. Which is a Website in Taiwan, which I’m not sure if it’s peddling Hentai, mail order brides or if it’s a dating website.

And PlayNC which is a division of NCsoft. (Guild wars, City of Heros, Linage 2)

For  more information click the attached link

http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/44-million-stolen-gaming-credentials-uncovered

30 years of pac-man

Last friday, in commemoration of pac-man being 30 years old google changes their logo to a playable version.

Google Celebrating 30 years of Pac-man

This to me, was ingenious.

This morning I was pointed to another article.

http://www.crn.com/it-channel/225200162;jsessionid=UXFSVLVOSKLAZQE1GHPSKH4ATMY32JVN

This one citing that “Online denizens spent over 4.8 million hours playing Pac-Man on Friday”

Now, Pac-man was easily one of my first video games.  Most anyone over the age of 21 has seen or played pac-man, and at least knows what it is.  The insert coin button gave you two simultaneous players.  sharing the same lives, so you had to be careful. When I got to level 9 I realized that I had been playing too long and I had to force myself to stop for the day. 4.8 Million hours played in a 24 hour period. I’d believe it I know I contributed to a fair amount of time on it. I’ve had to keep myself from playing it again today now that I’ve found it again.

Addicting…  yet so nostalgic.

Props to Google, this was simply genius.

And incase you lived in a cave on friday. the pacman logo is still available to play

http://www.google.com/pacman

So as someone pointed out. We have a ton of books that are several hundred years old that give in details world of another nature, Languages and ideas that simply do not exist in our lives at the present moment. But Seriously what if it was just a Guidebook to a game of tabletop?

Meaning, If in 700 years someone came across a D&D 3rd edition rulebook, they’d probably think it was some kind of biblical guide to how we lived our lives– Or we had some kind of alien visitation that advanced our technology, then mysteriously left.

“Hark! Thine holy city is destroyed! You take 2d6 Damage!”

How much do we REALLY know about our history, and what’s to assume that we aren’t reading too much into some of the “historical artifacts” that we’ve found. For example the dead sea scrolls. What if table top was outlawed so they played it out in a cave in the middle of no where so as to avoid being caught and executed for heresy!? The scrolls themselves are nothing more than a guidebook to the most epic game of tabletop ever!? This really isn’t out of the list of possibilities, seeing that I grew up in an era where D&D was outlawed entirely by my parents – as a lot of people cited it as being demonic, or satanic. Simply because they did not understand it. People didn’t understand it 20 years ago, and they were quick to reject and classify something has bad because it gave people ideas. There was nothing wrong with it, and if nothing else it’s encouragement to enable people (and kids) to use their imagination, and *GASP* Think for themselves! For me it would have been an escape of what I would easily classify growing up in the center of hell! There is no reason to suggestion that the same reaction would not have occurred 500 or 700, or even 1,000 years ago.

I’ve gone off on this rant before about how Comics are not bad for kids, it instills and brings about critical thinking. It’s exposure to science and history, a lot of things were based off of historical fact and ideology that would only exist because someone else though it up. I don’t see how Tabletop is any different. People freak out and panic over, and quickly reject or label something as bad before they understand what it is. It’s sad too, life for me growing up would have been very different if I had access to a tabletop Group, or someone to play Magic with.

On that train of thought these are the very reasons why I’ve been teaching my boys how to play Magic the Gather and the WoW TCG. I Started with WoW TCG because it’s a name, pictures, cards and spells they are familiar with. But it will instill Critical thinking in them, give them reason to think ahead of what they are doing. Give them a place to escape to that isn’t in a prefabricated world of someone else creations. Let them create their own and push the limits of their own imagination.
~M

D&D0 Just made my cool list.

Fallout MMO.

It was announced today that Interplay and Masthead Studios confirmed the rumors of a Fallout MMO to be true. Not only that they slated a Beta time frame, sometime in 2012.

A game about post apocalyptic America, set in a year that’s supposed to bring on the apocalypse, the irony is to too great to pass up. I will laugh with joy if they decide to do the beta in January, and the release on Dec 21th 2012.  Not to mention there will be much giggling of me and several of the men of my office… I like that it would be much to the sounds of which will be similar to that of small school aged children of the female persuasion.

Read about it here