Saturday, October 31, 2009

How About You Ask The Pirates?

Ars Technica is running a piece about Borderlands and the fact some players were able to snag a boxed copy of the PC version days before launch only to be greeted by failed authentication attempts preventing them from playing the game.
Borderlands was a highly anticipated release on the PC, but a one-week delay of the PC launch meant that console gamers were able to enjoy the gun-collecting goodness ahead of their PC gaming brethren. A few gamers were lucky enough to find stores that were willing to sell the boxed PC copy of the game before the street date, however, but when they installed the game and tried to play, they found that without the title being authenticated online, the disc and key were worthless.

The problem? They forgot that buying a PC game doesn't involve a product, but a license.
Gearbox big wig, Randy Pitchford, responded:
"I don't know if something can be done to unlock copies for people that somehow get a copy before the street date... I certainly can't do anything about it, but I understand and am sympathetic to the frustration,"
He doesn't know. The man responsible for the game doesn't know if it can be unlocked before its street date. Maybe he should have asked the pirates that were playing Borderlands DAYS before the official street date.

It constantly amazes me the things that Publishers and Developers push off on piracy. Pirates don't buy games. Stopping them does not generate any revenue. There is not a single developer that has proven that piracy hurts their game sales. In some cases it has proven to help sales just as a free copy of a ebook often spurs sales of the hard copy!

Yes, piracy does hurt the bottom line when pirated versions are allowed to negatively affect the community and service built around a game. However, rarely, if ever, does a pirated copy equal a lost sale. That is NOT my opinion, its proven fact. Unfortunately, few companies are willing to admit this.

One time, just one time, I would like to see these companies learn a lesson from piracy. Make the game easily accessible, with no restrictions, and allow players to play as soon as they have their hands on a copy. This makes for happy and repeat customers (an educated person may have noticed that pirates tend to come back again and again to the same hacking communities that put out the best product).

NOTE: I do not pirate games or endorse piracy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Holonet Entry Reveals Jedi Knight Class for The Old Republic

BioWare has announced the next class in Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Jedi Knight, on the Holonet page of the SW:ToR official site:
Valiant, Determined, Guardian of Peace

A symbol of hope in dark times, the Jedi Knight stands for the legacy of the Jedi Order—more than twenty-thousand years of protecting the Republic and keeping the peace across the galaxy. Though Jedi Knights have served as generals, guerilla fighters, and warriors for generations, their legendary combat prowess faces its greatest test during this age.

Through years of disciplined training and meditation, the Jedi Knight hones body and mind into perfect harmony. Combining the foresight of the Force with unrivaled reflexes and practiced physical precision, the Knight turns combat into an art form, gracefully executing acrobatic feats in tandem with elegant lightsaber tactics.

A source of inspiration to allies and intimidation to adversaries, the Jedi Knight’s presence is welcome in any confrontation. The Order’s long history of fighting for justice has earned the trust of countless friends and the hate of innumerable enemies. Few, though, are foolish enough to challenge a seasoned Jedi Knight unless they have the skills and technology to even the odds.

Facing the Dark Side

The Jedi’s dark counterparts scored many victories during the war, expanding their Empire, and putting the Republic on the defensive. Since the Treaty of Coruscant, the Sith have consolidated their military might, even while the Jedi have withdrawn to Tython, a move that’s been looked at with suspicion by many of the Republic’s politicians. Nonetheless, the war is far from over, and the Jedi Knight’s resolve remains firm. With unwavering allegiance to the Republic and the light side of the Force, the Jedi Knight fights with valiant determination, wading into the thick of any battle to protect freedom and democracy and hold fast against those who oppose it.

No matter how dire circumstances may become, the Jedi Knight trusts the Force and keeps a cool head. Knowledge and self-control are the critical components of wise decisions, and emotional and mental clarity are an absolute necessity. Maintaining focus allows the Knight to rely on intuition; a right mind leads to right action.

For many, the Jedi Knight is the guardian of a precious dream; a dream of peace, a dream of justice, a dream of a brighter future. The fate of the galaxy depends upon the Knight’s ability to keep this dream alive.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World of Warcraft Cross-Realm Dungeons

World of Warcrafthas decided that cross-realm PvP battlegrounds were not enough and have gone ahead and added cross-realm PvE dungeon groups.
In the upcoming content patch, a new dungeon system will be added that will take the place of the current Looking For Group system. This will offer great new benefits to both premade and randomly created groups, including:

* Cross-Realm Instances/Grouping
* Instance Teleporting
* Daily Random Dungeons
* Group Disenchanting
Personally, this is something I wanted in WoW a long time ago. The player group that will benefit the most from this change will be those behind the curve, who are still doing the dungeons the majority long ago left behind. As I joined late in the party on The Burning Crusade, I did very few dungeons in Outlands as there was never a group doing the ones I had quests in.

This is another sign that Blizzard knows what they are doing with WoW as a whole. They may have fallen down from time to time with class changes (they are fairly overzealous in that area), but overall Blizzard has managed the WoW juggernaut well.

Every announcement out of WoW entices me to go back. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time (maybe that is fortunate :P ).

Update: 31 Oct 2009 - Edited title (world was spelled wrong).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gathering Shipping

Greetings from Amazon.com.

We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your items, and that this completes your order. Your order is being shipped and cannot be changed by you or by our customer service department.

The following items have been shipped to you by Amazon.com:
------------------------------------------------------------
Qty Item Price Shipped Subtotal

------------------------------------------------------------

Amazon.com items (Sold by Amazon.com, LLC):

1 The Gathering Storm (Wheel... $14.00 1 $14.00

Shipped via USPS
FINALLY, the Wheel of Time series is concluding (this is book 1 of 3 of the last 3 that will be released). Yay, go fantasy!
Update: 30 Oct 2009 - It has arrived (now I need to catch up on books 4-11)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Olivia Munn Hates Flying

I once hated Twitter. I now love it. I get to find out cute little things like Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) having a fear of flying:

United Death Flight 6876 out of State College, Pennsylvania is now departing. Dear mother of God... Hail Mary full of Grace... Fuck me.

Soleil Moon Frye aka Punky Brewster. RT@fedbizop Who do you want to play U in the story of your life?

If I dont make it, tell my mama not to cry. tell her i was happy, made fun of fat people, told lots of racist jokes and LIVED!

My last tweet will read "Is it cool if there arent wings?" RT @Mikey_Vega peggy sue, peggy sue. A pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty peggy sue..
Don't know who Olvia Munn is? Only the hottest geek gaming chick of them all and star of Attach of the Show on G4 TV.

The only thing that concerns me is that it is not a verified person on Twitter so could just be a twitter hoax :P Oh well, hot chick pic FTW!


UPDATE:
She lived.
oliviamunn In NY safe! Yeah bitches!!! Liv Munny in the hiz-ouse!... Fuck I just said "hiz-ouse" as a replacement for "house". Gotta kill myself. Damn.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hulu to Start Charging in 2010 - A Sunday Morning Post

Sad news for fans of all things legally free on the Internet, Hulu officially to start charging for content in 2010:
Bad news if you like free stuff: In 2010, the popular ad-supported streaming video site Hulu will officially begin charging for content.
Let me preface this with: as a fan of Hulu, I would pay for some premium content. However, the vast majority of what is on Hulu is something I am already paying for on cable or can get for FREE over the open air waves. The ONLY edge Hulu has is the fact that it is free and on-demand (meaning I can watch what I want, when I want). Is that worth paying for? As I said, maybe, for some stuff, especially if I dump my overpriced monthly cable bill. I gladly pay for Netflix, which a similar argument can be made for.

A lot of people are stating they are just going back to their torrents. Seriously? People are going back to torrents? I highly doubt any torrenters (aka pirates) dumped their torrents for Hulu. Torrents are simple to get, often better quality, and don't come with advertisements. Hulu was there for those of us that didn't pirate, but still wanted quality free content while supporting the content developers in some way.

Come 2010, my wife and I have decided to dump our cable TV and go Internet only. Regardless of whether Hulu is free or not, quality FREE and LEGAL content is available in droves on the Internet. Its just a question of setting expectations that we may miss a few things here and there (at the same time we may discover a few things we've been missing).

Anyways, we have Netflix and I think that is where the problem is. Can Hulu convince anyone to pony up for yet another online-centric service? I think the answer is yes, especially if it works out to be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than my monthly cable bill.

Back to Hulu and the pirates, and lets get this post back towards game-related

I just don't buy either side here. Hulu claims to be losing millions, but all the evidence shows how successful their model is for advertisers. Not to mention Hulu giving rebirth to almost dead TV programs such as Its Always Sunny in Philadeplphia. Hulu just needs to leverage itself better and get paid for the power that it now yields.

Pirates claim they were using Hulu, which is just laughable.

We've seen this in the game sector as well. Pirates ALWAYS claim they just want a free preview or that games are too expensive. As this post from an iPhone game developer shows, its a lie.
Well, from this data we can conclude that 0% of pirates think the game is worth buying (which, by the way, is contrary to most of the forum posts we read from legit buyers).
To summarize: iPhone games are cheap and NONE of the pirates came back to buy the game after playing it hardcore.

My view on piracy and what content creators should do:
a) minimize its impact to their service (don't let pirated copies tag along on your online services, make support requests, etc.)

b) ignore it
And that's that for a Sunday morning post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reaction: How NOT to do Microtransactions

Cuppy posted a "how NOT to do Microtransactions" post and I felt my response was worth re-posting here:
I agree with a lot of what you said. However, I think you are taking micro too literally. A $20 (or even $50) transaction is MICRO in comparison of the whole revenue stream for a single game. That is where the term originated (not because the transactions were ever small couple'o'buckers).

Yes, there needs to be enough $1-$2 purchases, but if that is ALL you ever stick with, you are losing out on a TON of people willing to spend more. Raph made this point not too long ago and I agree 100% with what he said then (I just can't find the link).

My number one complaint with microtransaction games is that some are just god damn confusing. RoM, outside of a mount, was tiring to figure out and prevented me from ever spending money (I was always holding off thinking I would get X for free and pay for Z later). Also Free Realms didn't get any money from me because I was lost between figuring out if I just needed to pay a sub or just float for free and pay for tit and tat here and there. DDO is OK, but still confusing, especially considering a lot of what can be bought can be gotten for free and it isn't very clear.

Right now, I prefer Battlefield Heroes model, which is actually a dual currency system. Pay for the good stuff, like UNIQUE character customizations and non-game-balance-affecting boosts. While they have an in game currency (VP) that is earned via playing and allows you to purchase the BASICS like weapons and healing widgets.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recruitment Video For People AGAINST the Ethical Treatment of Zombies

As a proud member of PATETOZ (People AGAINST the Ethical Treatment of Zombies), I endorse the following for all viewers:



Left 4 Dead 2 is almost here and after viewing this leaked trailer, I've officially ended my boycott. I recant my previous post.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tycho Likes Borderlands, Compares to Hellgate

The Borderlands praise continues over at Penny Arcade:
We were sent a review copy of Borderlands to check out for the VGAs, and after an hour or so of play I went over to my computer and ordered that Borderlands four-pack. I decided then and there that I wasn't going to deal with any "should I buy it" or "I don't know man" bullshit from potential comrades. I'm just going to drop a Steam code in their laps, and then gesture in the direction of the wasteland. I didn't really understand that the PC version was coming out later than the console iterations, even though it said as much on the screen, so now I've got several days to itch and sweat while console players learn what I already know.

I know they're real busy over at Gearbox, but a demo would go a long way. I suspect that most people won't understand what they've accomplished here, which is to make good on Hellgate's promise in a kind of Weird West milieu. Thief: The Dark Project was sometimes called a "First-Person Looter," though it is even more apt here - God help you when the shakes start, and your awareness narrows to a dark funnel that only slight variations in statistics may penetrate.
And yet another Hellgate: London reference. I am starting to trip into hype mode, but Borderlands looks to be an absolute blast.

For $33.75 (as part of a four pack on Steam) its a steal of a deal in my book. Value gaming at its best.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hellgate in a desert, but not shit

Kieron said it, not me:
Jim: Who wants to try to define the game (#Borderlands) in a single sentence then, eh?

Kieron: Hellgate in a desert, but not shit.
Alec: There’s some sort definition involving the words “Diablo” and “guns”, but I can’t work out how to stick them together.
Jim: Diablo with first-person perspectives, with guns, with vehicles. And bloody. And co-opy. Actually I think WoW is a more appropriate point of reference.
The reviews are rolling in for Borderlands and its pretty unanimous that the game is a hit. From GameInformer:
Co-op is a blast, the variety of weaponry lends an addictive quality to the game that's rarely seen, and it maintains a distinct sense of humor and personality. It's a long-lasting experience that manages to stay fresh throughout, and the ability to easily jump into a friend's game at any time only lengthens the appeal of an already stellar title.
Can't wait for the 26th, when the PC version releases, and I can add my own thoughts on the game.

Borderlands Mainstream'd

I just can't help but falling in love with a game that is so blatantly straight forward with its argument for being great. Kill things, blow shit up, and collect the phat loot. Here's a great Borderlands parody video from IGN:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome to www.heartlessgamer.com

As you may have noticed, my URL has changed from http://hgamer.blogspot.com to http://heartlessgamer.com. I now own my own domain name and have redirected traffic from blogspot to the new domain. This probably causes all kinds of weird issues that I am too lazy to fix, so just got to heartlessgamer.com already and be happy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Borderlands to have DLC

#Borderlands and it's developer, Gearbox, are stirring the pot today by announcing paid downloadable content (DLC):
Gearbox's loot-driven wasteland romp Borderlands ain't even on store shelves till next week--with a PC release following on Steam the week after that--but the developer is already spilling the beans about its post-release plans for downloadable content.

Described as "the first in a series" of add-ons, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned will run you $10 on all three platforms.
This should make players mad, but I think Kill Ten Rats has a better view on it:
After looking at the neat DLC pictures of a zombie isle, I had another idea. Gearbox devs were the good guys here. They were letting me, the customer know, the specifics of their business plan before people shelled out for the game. Players that were interested in Borderlands as a service would now have a more concrete understanding of things to come.
I would type more, but the above quote sums it up perfectly. The only problem that could arise is if the game feels incomplete at launch.

Watch this blog for more information on my plans for Borderlands.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Missing WAR Card Game

In yet another "wouldn't that have been cool" moment for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the most recent grab bag has revealed that an in-game card game was supposed to be in at launch, but had been dropped:
Q. What are the 'Cards' unlocks? You know where you have the items, titles, and Tactics unlocked in the Tome there is also a tab that says 'Cards'. What are these cards!?!

A. ‘Cards’ is a system that we wanted to do at launch, so we put in a spot for them, but did not have time to complete the design and implementation of. It was a reward system that would tie into an in-game card game. At this point, it is on our back burner of things we’d like to do, but other items have our priority at the moment.
This is just more evidence that WAR wasn't ready to go at launch and that bugs the shit out of me because the beta flowed very smoothly and gave all the appearances that Mythic had a great game waiting for us at launch. Unfortunately, as any MMOG demonstrates, its the grand total of a game, not its individual pieces that matter. In WAR's case, all that was beta tested were those individual parts, not the combined contraption that ultimately collapsed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

http://twitter.com/heartless_gamer

I finally signed up for Twitter and was shocked to find that heartlessgamer was already taken.

The REAL heartlessgamer can be found at http://twitter.com/heartless_gamer

As always, REMEMBER THE UNDERSCORE_

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Be a Better Hero: Sharing is Caring! Gunnner, Soldier, and Commando Tips

Battlefield Heroes is a solo friendly game. At the same time, it is a team-based game. There is no free-for-all or deathmatch game modes. Each round focuses on team vs team capture-the-points gameplay. So, while a good solo player can do well, a few team players can dominate. The key to this domination is making sure to share all of the Heroes different group abilities.

Soldier

Soldiers are the pen-ultimate team player in BF:H. They provide the healing! A Soldiers healing ability is great by itself, but when it hits multiple injured team mates, the healing is increased and the points gained for healing are increased. This is a great incentive for EVERY soldier to be a team player. Soldiers are the cornerstone of BF:H grouping.

Gunner

If Soldiers are the cornerstone, Gunners are the brick walls, roof, and bell tower. With the recent Heroes of the Fall update, Gunners received a couple boosts to their team play. First, their shield ability is now shareable for those around the Gunner. Never charge into an enemy hornet nest without a shield up and running.

Secondly, a Gunners explosive keg now has a slow-down attached to any enemy it hits. Since commandos and enemy Gunners are always trying to sprint away, slowing them with a keg is invaluable when trying to lock down an area.

Also of importance is the Gunner's Leg It ability. Once used, the gunner and everyone around him will gain a boost of speed. Since vehicles are first come, first serve, a team will always need a speed boost to get where they are going. Once in combat, speed kills and makes for frustratingly hard targets to hit.

Lastly, Gunners are the best tank killers. I recommend that any Gunner spends a few dollars and buy a permanent rocket launcher in the BF:H store. Yes, spend money on a free game! Save those VP for band aids!

Commando

Out of all the classes, the Commando is by far the weakest team player. They are stealthy assassins, not hard charging knuckle-draggers! However, there are some abilities they can use to assist the team.

First off, mark target is invaluable for outing hard to find enemy commandos. Once lite up, the team can easily take care of the rest. At the minimum, it will make most enemy Commandos retreat while the mark wears off. A marked and dead Commando is better, but a retreating one isn't too bad either.

Secondly, with improvements to troop trap recently, Commandos can be very useful while staying completely stealthed. A good commando can skirt the outside of a battle and drop troop traps behind enemy players. Then team mates can try and force the enemy towards the troop trap. All of this, without the commando having to unstealth.

Don't forget, commandos are great at sneaking up on tanks and planting TNT! Combine this with a Gunners rockets and tanks are nothing more than easy kills.

Remember, sharing is caring!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Heartless_' Favre Bowl Recap

So, the Vikings won, but they deserved to win. The Packers made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities, and got greedy when they didn't need to.

The Packers have lost two games this season. Both times, the blame can be squarely placed on one aspect of the team: the Offensive Line. This is the WORST offensive line I've ever seen play and the stats prove it. Aaron Rodgers is on pace to become the most sacked quarterback in a single season by a wide margin. With another injured lineman today, the Packers are in deep shit. Not even the best receiving corp in the NFL can save an offense from a banged up and underpowered offensive line.

Whats sad about this, its not the players fault. The Packers offensive line was put together to be agile and responsive in a zone blocking scheme. This scheme is focused on building the run game and pounding the football. It requires a different type of lineman: quick, small, and flexible. That is exactly what the Packers have.

Unfortunately, this scheme has fallen apart along with the Packers running game. Without that running game, the passing game has to be relied on, but since zone blocking isn't about pass protection, the Packers are finding themselves fucked in the ass. We're not talking a break down a couple times a game. Aaron Rodgers is being hurried, hit, or sacked on the MAJORITY of pass plays. Its not even close.

If the Packers had an offensive line built for pass protection, I feel confident they would be sitting at 4-0. They have an explosive offense and a capable defense. They can turn games around in a matter of minutes and in both losses have nearly pulled out miracle finishes. That's the problem though, they are fighting to finish the game and only succeeding when the defense drops everyone into coverage. Aaron Rodgers can destroy defenses late in games, but doesn't get the time to do so earlier in the game.

Personally, I think Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have to answer for the offensive line. If mid-season hits and the Packers are a .500 ball club, someone needs to be fired. McCarthy can go for pushing the zone block so strongly. Ted Thompson can go for failing to strengthen a part of the team that has been languishing for years (all the way back to when Favre still wore green and gold). Hopefully we don't get to that point.

The last question that the Favre Bowl needed to answer was whether the Packers made the right decision to push Favre away two years ago. Personally, I still feel the Packers should of stuck with Favre. Rodgers hadn't proven himself at that point and was injured in every game he came into in relief of Favre. He was a liability, where as we knew Favre had another year or two in him.

However, this game tonight doesn't prove either side right. Favre would be doing WORSE than Rodgers if he was on the Packers roster right now. He is far less mobile and would be in a lot worse shape if he was being sacked 7+ times a game. Where the Packers are now, with Rodgers, is fine with me. Rodgers is good, but still needs to prove he can win games. Rodgers is going to be a premier quarterback in this league at some point. The question is whether he can put up with the Packers approach to drafting talent instead of going to free agency for proven veterans.

Still a good game to watch and fuck the NFL and the lack of change to the pass interference rules. Too many games are being decided on one or two insanely questionable pass interference calls. The penalty doesn't fit the crime and the rule needs to be changed.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Favre Bowl: Tonight @ 8:30PM!

I'm as giddy as a school girl today. Tonight is the Favre Bowl. Brett Favre will be taking on the Green Bay Packers for the first time since being ushered out of Green Bay after his first retirement attempt. Its shaping up to be a great game:
It’s supposed to be Brett Favre versus the Green Bay Packers, an intense one-game referendum on whether Favre’s former team made the right choice when it sent the three-time MVP packing last season.

And if Aaron Rodgers steals the show with a big performance against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome on Monday night, he could take a huge step toward proving the Packers right.
So, who am I rooting for as both a self-proclaimed Cheeshead and diehard Favre fan? Lets just say this is what Favre can look forward to tonight (just insert a Packers and Vikings uniform):

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Folly of Changing Things

UPDATE: 12:19 PM - DISQUS comment import is complete. DISQUS integration is complete.
UPDATE: 10:29 PM - Template is back to an agreeable state
I moved my blog over to the DISQUS commenting system today. However, that was not the plan. I had intended to TEST DISQUS on my test blog heartless-gamer.blogspot.com. Unfortunately, doing so in the middle of a 12-hour work shift on a Sunday I failed to notice I was updating my live blog at hgamer.blogspot.com.

So, every last comment ever left on this blog is missing at the moment. A rescue import is on the way into DISQUS and should solve the problem.

Secondly, I fucked up my template and as I have no recent backup for some under-the-hood changes I made it will be a bit before normalcy is restored. That's life though and I'll work at restoring what I can.

Be A Better Hero: Heroes of the Fall Update, List of Ranks and More

First off, another congrats is in order as two million Heroes have marched out upon the Field of Battle:
EA has announced that free-to-play online shooter Battlefield Heroes has two million users, sauntering past the milestone in three months.
This is a great sign for a game still technically in beta (one of the better betas I have been in). Secondly, a new game update was released as well:
To celebrate, the publisher has a meaty update planned for next week, Heroes of the Fall, which we partly told you about earlier this month when we discussed a Gunner revamp and a new ranking system.
With the recent update, a new map was introduced: Riverside Rush. It is an infantry-focused map and offers a closed quarter action balanced by open transitional areas. While the initial rush of the map is not hell-bent on a single target ala Victory Village’s Road Block or Church Square, some importance does need to be placed on where a Hero ventures after their initial capture point.

The middle of the map is fairly wide open and ripe for camping commandos to collect a few kills. Fortunately, trenches are available to duck into. I strongly recommend the use of these trenches for Gunners and Soldiers when attempting to move across the middle portion of the map. Caution needs to be used, as a Hero can be trapped by enemies from above the trenches. However, the risk is worth the reward when needing to avoid pesky sniper bullets or the times an enemy can be caught unaware.

Also included in the update are Ranks. However, the exact way in which Ranks work is unknown. What we do know is that doing damage and gaining points contribute to gaining rank and that ranks start after reaching level 10 with a Hero. They give no bonuses other than a fancy title in game that other players can see.

The only way to see your Hero’s current rank is to go to the main website, log in, and check your Hero’s profile. It will be listed to the right. Below, for example, on my Gunner, Column, I have reached the rank of Specialist:


Rumor has it that these are the Ranks available in the game:
Player_Prestige_Level_1 [Private]
Player_Prestige_Level_2 [Specialist]
Player_Prestige_Level_3 [Corporal]
Player_Prestige_Level_4 [Sergeant]
Player_Prestige_Level_5 [Lieutenant]
Player_Prestige_Level_6 [Captain]
Player_Prestige_Level_7 [Major]
Player_Prestige_Level_8 [LT.Colonel]
Player_Prestige_Level_9 [Colonel ]
Player_Prestige_Level_10 [Brigadier General]
Player_Prestige_Level_11 [Major General]
Player_Prestige_Level_12 [LT.General]
Player_Prestige_Level_13 [General]
Player_Prestige_Level_14 Lazy Lackey
Player_Prestige_Level_15 Merry Mercenary
Player_Prestige_Level_16 Narcoleptic Nemesis
Player_Prestige_Level_17 Inadequate Opponent
Player_Prestige_Level_18 Heroic Protagonist
Player_Prestige_Level_19 Querulist Contender
Player_Prestige_Level_20 Rabble Rouser
Player_Prestige_Level_21 Salted Seargant
Player_Prestige_Level_22 Tactical Error
Player_Prestige_Level_23 Ursine Aggressor
Player_Prestige_Level_24 Vitriolic Victor
Player_Prestige_Level_25 Wayside Wanderer
Player_Prestige_Level_26 Wartime Wonder
Player_Prestige_Level_27 Eager Beaver
Player_Prestige_Level_28 Spring Chicken
Player_Prestige_Level_29 Fully Functional
Player_Prestige_Level_30 Pesky Private
Player_Prestige_Level_31 Strapping Specialist
Player_Prestige_Level_32 Cool Corporal
Player_Prestige_Level_33 Loony Lieutenant
Player_Prestige_Level_34 Crazed Captain
Player_Prestige_Level_35 Misunderstood Major
Player_Prestige_Level_36 Loopy Lieutenant Colonel
Player_Prestige_Level_37 Crafty Colonel
Player_Prestige_Level_38 Big Bad Brigadier General
Player_Prestige_Level_39 Mighty Major General
Player_Prestige_Level_40 Lucky Lieutenant General
Player_Prestige_Level_41 Generous General
Player_Prestige_Level_42 Zany Xenophobe
Player_Prestige_Level_43 Infamous Infiltrator
Player_Prestige_Level_44 Artful Dodger
Player_Prestige_Level_45 Combat Artist
Player_Prestige_Level_46 Gastral Gladiator
Player_Prestige_Level_47 Armchair Admiral
Player_Prestige_Level_48 Naughty Novice
Player_Prestige_Level_49 Wayward Warrior
Player_Prestige_Level_50 Not So Mr. Nice Guy
I have no confirmation that these are correct, but this list has been continually quoted on the fan sites.

Gunners also received a sweeping update. Explosive Keg now slows down enemies that are caught in the blast range. Frenzy Fire now returns health points to the Hero if a target is hit (even vehicle hits return health, so shoot those easy to hit planes and jeeps). Lastly, the Gunner’s shield ability can now be shared with teammates. Remember, sharing is caring!

Overall, the update has been a smashing success. Riverside Rush is a great map. I feel well rounded and team-focused on my Gunner now. So much so, that the Gunner has now overtaken my Soldier in both level and playtime.
As always, check it out for yourself. Battlefield Heroes is 100% free-to-play.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Digital Distribution Domination

The weekly numbers are in and MMOGs are dominating the digital distribution channels such as Steam and Direct2Drive.
Steam Top Ten (9/20 - 9/26):

1. Aion Collector's Edition
2. Aion
3. Fallen Earth
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
5. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
6. Left 4 Dead
7. Resident Evil 5
8. Counter-Strike
9. Star Wars Jedi Knight Collection
10. Red Faction: Guerrilla

Direct2Drive Top Ten (9/20 - 9/26):

1. Aion Collector's Edition
2. Aion
3. Fallen Earth
4. Neverwinter Nights 2
5. Assassin's Creed Director's Cut
6. Titan Quest Bundle
7. Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
8. Champions Online
9. BioShock
10. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
The important MMOGs to note are Aion and Fallen Earth. Both have strong showings. Hiding in the charts is Champions Online, which launched a few weeks ago. Also related to a certain happening within the MMOG space, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic had a recent surge in popularity due to a reduced price from Bioware as they promoted their upcoming MMOG; Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Digital distribution is no longer the future, it is the NOW.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sept 2009: What I'm Playing/What I'm Paying

As a born again Value Gamer, I've decided to put together a monthly post detailing what I'm playing and what monetary investment I am putting into them. With the raw data dumped, I can check to see if it has been worth it.

Check out the "What I'm Playing/What I'm Paying" Google Spreadsheet.



Commentary:

Now the first number that should jump out at anyone is $150 for Batman: Arkham Asylum. In an attempt to be honest with myself, I included the cost of a new video card which came with a free copy of Batman:AA. So, I paid $150 for the video card and received a kick-ass game for free. That's value.

Secondly, I am including $10 that was spent on the still-in-open-beta Battlefield Heroes. That $10 resulted in this fine looking fella:


Lastly, I am still spending my MMO time in both Dungeons and Dragons Online and The Chronicles of Spellborn. With my very limited time lately (due to the baby), I am finding it hard to justify having even FREE MMOGs on my hard drive. I feel guilty not playing them enough. So, one of these two MMOs may need to be cut off at some point, but as they are both free-to-play, it should be an easy decision to make (or not make!).

For the month of September, my gaming has cost me $160, but a new video card is ALWAYS a great investment in my book. Especially when a great game like Batman:AA is included! Oh, and maybe its easier to chew on since it will ease my ability to edit high definition video of Heartless_ Jr.
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