Tuesday, February 28, 2023

It's The Little Things That Matter in Battlefield 2042

Ah the little things...

 Battlefield 2042 Season 4 is here and the community is excited about the little things.  Mainly some improvements to minimap scaling.

  • Increasing the size of the minimap will no longer also increase the size of the icons.
  • Added an option to allow customization of the scale of the minimap icons.
  • Added an option for the scale of the minimap icons to scale with the view distance of the minimap (Enabled by Default).
minimap scale bf2042

 I don't really care but the community is excited: It's finally here!

Monday, February 27, 2023

And Nope

 And just like that the New World development team is back to what I like to call "alternative winning".

This was actually a really exciting change that the developers had not talked about as part of this PTR so we were pleasantly surprised to see the patch note.  This would have given an entirely new spin to purple gear that was 590+ gear score and opened more ways to get best in slot gear.

 It was closest, at least in my mind, to the mystic toilet from Guild Wars 2.  Take some junk, toss it in the toilet (upgrading to 600 GS in New World context), and random chance to get something good out of the deal.  

 I am hoping New World is considering this change and it just needs more time to bake before it is brought to PTR.  This would open another path than crafting to gain best in slot gear.  There is a ton of good 2-perk epic (purple) gear that a player ends up with so it'd be great to be able to upgrade it to 600 at a chance for landing that best-in-slot perfect 3-perk combo.  

 Since the gear binds to you when you upgrade it this would marginally impact the market and for the most part leave crafters unaffected as they'd still be the single path for best-in-slot gear that can be sold/traded.

 With the plan to "shake up" balance every season it can't continue to take a year+ to get best in slot gear.  I have close to 2,000 hours played and I have yet to fill out  an entire set and with Season 1 on the way many of my builds are no longer worth investing in so I am starting over.

 So here's hoping the developers are listening!  Get back to winning already!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

5D what now with what again?

I came across this image and I am now intrigued about 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel.  5D what now with what again?  You read that right: 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel.  Read through the image and I will see you over on the Steam page.

Friday, February 24, 2023

New World Gear Sets WTF!?

 Tons of patch notes this morning from New World, but it's this update posted to the forums that has the community up in arms.

 3 free gear sets?  A limit to how many extra you can purchase?  What game are the developers looking at?  Three is criminally low.  Let's count through how many gear sets an average player will have:

  1. Main role Lost ward/bane
  2. Main role Corrupted ward/bane
  3. Main role Ancient ward/bane
  4. Main role Angry Earth ward/bane
  5. PvP set (let's just assume players just have one...)
  6. Main crafting skill set
  7. Secondary crafting skill set (most players have cooking sets)
  8.  Refining set - Stonecutting
  9.  Refining set - Woodworking
  10. Refining set - Leatherworking
  11. Refining set - Weaving
  12. Refining set - Smelting
  13. Gathering set - Lumberjack 
  14. Gathering set - Mining
  15. Gathering set - Harvesting
  16. Gathering set - Skinning

 Let's just stop there... as you can see we are already at 16 and this is just if you do one role in the game such as just DPS.  If you, like me, dabble in tanking and like variety in PvP add eight more sets to this list.  And they are adding another ward/bane (human) as well this season!

 I am less worried about paying for extra slots and more worried that since there are only 3 free sets that the total limit will be much lower than what is actually needed.  The only way this small number would make sense is if they were getting rid of refining, gathering, crafting sets (doubt it) or if ward/bane were being changed so you didn't need different gear for different types (doubt it).

 Over the last two days I've defended the New World developers a bit, but this is another "shoot yourself in the foot" moment for them.  Just baffled here.  Hopefully AGS takes action on the community uproar and increases the free slots and places no limit on max. Seriously; I was just reading through a more hardcore player's list and they have 37 -- THIRTY SEVEN -- sets!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

New World Devs CAN Win

 Yesterday the New World developers couldn't win.  To which the developers said "hold my beer" and dropped an updated 2023 roadmap, a brand new developer update, and the long awaited PTR update.  Apparently the New World development team can win so shut up and sit down community.

 Watching the developer update here are some thoughts.

 Seasons aka battle passes were announced.  This will be bundled content with a theme.  We've known since the game launched that this was coming and it is finally here.  The seasons will have goals which will help returning players know what to do when they come back.  I like the approach and agree with the structure.

 There will be a free track on the season passes and a premium ($20) track.  Premium was noted as having "more stuff" than the free track but nothing will be unique the premium.  This is fine with me and prefer this approach.  Tracks will be advanced by "just playing the game" with some challenge activity cards that you can flex around to complete what you want.

 A new expedition is coming featuring the Varangian knights.  My only concern here is that the Varangians are a new enemy type and so I assume means current +ward / +bane gear will be ineffective.  Does this mean new ward and bane types?  If so that is irritating.  I don't necessarily mind having to balance multiple sets of gear for different content but I also wasn't wanting to go start up yet another one for one piece of content; especially without gear set management... which leads to!

 Gear set storage in March.  IN MARCH. YES!  This is honestly the biggest piece for me and I have high hopes for this as it was one of my main negativity drivers when playing.  I have too many gear sets and got tired of managing via a spreadsheet (and anyone that knows me knows I love my spreadsheets -- seriously I do -- so this is saying a lot!)

 The main story quest (MSQ) is being updated for Brightwood and Weaver's Fen.  Fine, but irrelevant to the majority of the playerbase. 

 Events were mentioned. The spring event is coming and looks to be on par with the winter/summer/fall events and fills in the fourth "seasonal" events (not to be confused with seasons aka battle passes).  Also sounds like we are getting more smaller events like the current Legacy of Crassus.  I love events and I don't care if you don't.  Combine events with the seasons and it should give players a set of changing content to always be working on while still have the regular non-seasonal content available.

 Balance changes were discussed and they want to "shake up PvP" and what was discussed is all coming in Season 1.  This was an absolutely stacked section; rapid firing through the changes so apologies on scattered thoughts here.

  • Musket changes:  it will take longer to set up and zero your shot.  It will be less accurate vs the pinpoint accuracy it is today.  This was compared to the skill needed to draw and release a bow to shoot an arrow.  I am not sure this enough; if it is still able to hit at max visual range it is still a problem.  There has to be drop off on the shot if a comparison to bow makes any sense.  This does very little for PvE to make musket viable.
  • Light armor changes: light armor will get less bonus from shirking fort and other defensive perks.  I am wait and see on this.  Light dodge roll + damage increase is the main reason light is so strong so not sure this does much.  It is also a change just to light with, as far as I can tell, no changes for Medium or Heavy.  Just changing light was NOT what I expected.  I expected actual changes to at least heavy to make it make more sense to use.
  • Hatchet: defy death gonna need defy death to survive this whacking.
  • Greatsword: they are reducing the "stickiness" of Greatsword so it doesn't hit as easily.  Meh.  I felt like Greatsword is how all melee weapons should work.  I had hoped maybe they'd say "hey we want to bring all weapons up to Greatsword" but I am not surprised the change is just to nerf greatsword.
  • Ranged PvE: more powerful +bane weapons.  Removing elemental affixes so mutations don't, for example, have Fire damage reduction.  Fine but I don't want ranged DPS to be the meta of expeditions.
  • Fire Staff: they feel it is under powered.  Tweaking to make it stronger.  I still struggle with this because I regularly face top tier Fire Staff players who dominate as it is... I dread thinking about them getting a buff. 
  • Crafting balance changes: 
    • 2x changed to 3x XP for first time crafts; love it.
    • Arcana - motes give more XP; love it.
    • Cooking - XP leveling structure reworked so you get rewarded for crafting a variety instead of a single meal type.  Not sure what the point of this was.  It will feel better, but players will just find the new most efficient
    • Low level gear crafting - will no longer overshoot the level
    • Quality of life improvements to crafting.  The biggest takeaway was that certain materials will say WHERE to get them so you don't need to use a website to find out where something drops or is purchased.  Love that change.
    • Changes to how materials are used and what they mean to a crafting attempt.  Better materials = more XP for leveling.  This is a good change but not sure if these changes mean anything to end game crafting.

 Also tucked into the balance section was a mention that world drops of ammunition types will scale up so you should no longer get just iron ammo; you can now get all the way up to orichalcum ammo in end game zones.  This was loooooong overdue and so glad to see the change being made.  I may even consider playing a ranged ammo weapon again!

 Cross-server OPR is still coming but also more OPR changes were announced.  Scoring changes to focus on objectives, ranged damage reduction on the forts, restrict sniping baroness, and updated siege.  All great changes.  Keep in mind that full details were light in the video. 

 A new arena map was announced.  Fine, but don't really care.

 The the territory influence game is getting updated under the title of "Influence System v2".  "Less grindy and more fun" was the quote that caught me.  I hope they can deliver on this and the plan mentioned with scheduling windows for the influence push should help concentrate action.  Open world PvP is the best PvP this game has to offer and this change should bring some of it to the forefront.  I still believe they have to change the quests that go along with it for it to be any good so we'll see what the "capture a tower" aspect looks like that they mentioned.

 The "super deep" (their words, not mine) roadmap was updated at the end of the video (embedded in the beginning of the post).

 Summer will be season 2.  Transmog is the king of this season and I can't wait.  I miss "Fashion Wars 2".  Season 2 will also include a PvE raid called a "seasonal trial" that is waves and then a boss.  This is separate from the "hardest PvE content" promised with the giant sandworm raid that is also coming in Season 2.  Cross-server OPR is in season 2.

 Fall will be season 3 and will have a full expansion!  Mounts!  New weapon!  "Influence System v 2".  Big deal. Big fucking deal.  Cannot wait!

 Winter is season 4 will feature mutators of the seasonal trial from season 2 and a new expedition.  A little far out for me to get too deep into the list here.

 Over all and in summary:


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

New World Devs Can't Win

 The New World team brought a new event to life yesterday.  Players can hunt down a pair of invading Roman-themed cyclops in Legacy of Crassus.  Of course community feedback seems mostly to be negative.  Feedback centers around rewards not being great and the content being too easy.  The developers can't win.

 If we take a step back earlier this year the New World team provided their road map for the first half of the year.  The community feedback was: "this isn't enough!".  Legacy of Crassus was NOT on that road map so one would have thought the community would have praised getting more content delivered.  Of course that is not the case as we are seeing with the event being live now; there is a high bar expectation.

 What is that high bar expectation?  The content needs to be challenging and have good rewards.  Those are two areas that seem to come up a lot with New World content; especially when it is open world content like this event where there is no control around how many players may show up or what they will show up with.

 Let's talk "challenging" first.  As mentioned this is an open world event.  It features a set of bosses and their friends spawning in a single spot. This inevitably leads to the same behavior as the seasonal events: a zerg of players shows up and beats it down.  With enough players there is little challenge; just stay out of the big hitters and you won't die and you'll get your reward.  However, if not enough players are there the content gets much more challenging.  

 I can agree with the community here: the event is too easy.  We had some promising events with Halloween and Winter in 2022 where the world bosses, while not super challenging, did come with some unique mechanics and required you to be awake at the keyboard.  Legacy of Crassus does not match those events.

 With that said if the content was too hard players won't do it.  Open world content that is concentrated in this manner is hard to get right.  The New World developers need top change these events to be less centralized and more spread out and they have to figure out a way that the content scales in difficulty with the player count involved (which may mean instancing some of it or blocking more and more players from piling on).

 Moving onto "good rewards".  This is tough.  If this event gave out "best in slot" rewards there would be an uproar.  If the event gives up rewards of junk (anything that isn't a legendary and even legendary if the perks suck) then the perception is it's not rewarding.  If the event gives up "good rewards" (anything legendary with good perks), while being too easy of an event, then players that got "good rewards" from harder processes such as crafting or mutations feel slighted.  

 My personal view is I think they got the rewards right with the event for it's difficulty level.  Players can get guaranteed legendary rewards each day and if they do it each day they will get each of the unique rewards.  It also rewards gypsum and umbral shards; always useful for any level 60 player.  Also the chance at the new craft mod (not sure what it is; didn't get it yet and haven't looked it up).  After that daily reward players get a crate which like most crates in New World rewards garbage players will just salvage (for example; I got a green Great Axe today). 

 The guaranteed daily rewards are great (see screenshot below of my first day's rewards).  Are they best in slot legendary?  No, because the community would complain if they were.  They look pretty good though and worst case you salvage them for the salvage materials.  Salvaging legendary items is nothing new in this game.

 So the New World developers can't win with adding new content outside of the roadmap because it has to be "challenging" with "good rewards"; two things that are hard to get right in this game.  Of coures I am finishing this post right as the developers dropped their next update and an updated road map.  Maybe they can win?  Watch below and you decide.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Ranting at the end of the world: The Last Of Us Episode 6 (Show + Podcast)

 And onto Episode 6. The show is over folks.  We found Tommy.  Everyone can go home now.

 Oh but wait; the entire driving force for Joel wasn't apparently enough so onwards we go.  Suspense intensifies.  Hopefully the two well fed survivalists in the cabin stay well fed and safe (they were pretty funny as a couple).  Apparently in this post apocalyptic world food isn't an issue for anyone except when we needed Henry and Sam to have a reason to come out of hiding.

 Maybe this sort of plot works in the game where players dismiss the fact they have to keep on chugging along, but damn does it fall short in a TV show.  I could maybe buy Joel giving up the safety and comfort of Bill's place because of the driving force to find Tommy.  Yet Tommy doesn't seem to have meant much to Joel once he was found; some possible promise of the impossible with Ellie is a bigger attraction and reason to leave another safe and stable community?  If Joel ever does get his sheep farm I don't know how I'll react.

 See y'all next week.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Assistant with an OV-P Recon Drone

When you just need to get that weekly challenge done in Battlefield 2042!

Flying the OV-P Recon Drone around is so much fun sometimes.  I can't do it every match but when the weekly challenge encourages me I love breaking it out; especially on maps like Discarcded.

And took home an outstanding performance for most assists!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday Blogging Thoughts

 Ever since I returned to daily blogging; especially when I changed the blog template and removed DISQUS for comments the traffic to this site has tanked.  On top of that Google Search Console is barfing all over the site's pages and no longer indexing them.  I don't run this site for the page views, the SEO, or to monetize (at most I do Amazon referral links so I can get more crap on Amazon I don't really need).

 That had me looking at what Blogger offers these days... and... that is nothing.  Seems like Google is just letting Blogger coast.  So off to Reddit's blogging subreddit to ask if I am crazy and to see what else is out there.

 That resulted in some suggestions I'll be evaluating

  • Substack
  • Publii (static site)
  • Wordpress
  • Ghost.org
  • and some more in the thread

If you have a thought toss it in the comments. 

Reddit thread embedded below:

Friday, February 17, 2023

ChatGPT writes a post about MMORPGs

 ChatGPT is neat.  There is a lot of interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and with ChatGPT giving an approachable interface to some remarkable AI ChatGPT has the world buzzing with the possibilities.  For most of us ChatGPT is either the next big thing or a neat toy.  I tend to fall more into "toy" category myself; reminded of the quote along the lines of "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."  That is to say I think ChatGPT is over-hyped currently but under-hyped in what it will mean in the history books of the future.

 With that said I wanted to see what ChatGPT would write on my behalf for the blog.  Here's the outcome:

Title: Exploring the World of MMORPGs: A Guide for Newcomers

Are you looking for a new online gaming experience? Perhaps you've heard about MMORPGs and want to know what all the fuss is about. MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, are games that allow players to interact with each other in a virtual world. In this post, we'll explore the world of MMORPGs and provide a guide for newcomers.

Choose Your Game Wisely

There are many MMORPGs available, so it's important to choose a game that fits your interests and playstyle. Some popular MMORPGs include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and Guild Wars 2. Each game has its own lore, world-building, and mechanics, so do your research before choosing.

Learn the Basics

MMORPGs can be overwhelming for newcomers, so take the time to learn the basics of the game. This may include learning how to create a character, navigate the world, complete quests, and interact with other players. Most MMORPGs have tutorials or starting zones that teach you the basics, so don't be afraid to take your time.

Join a Guild or Group

Playing an MMORPG is more fun when you're playing with others. Joining a guild or group can help you find other players to quest with, get advice on the game, and participate in group activities like raids. Many MMORPGs have tools for finding and joining guilds, so take advantage of these resources.

Understand the Time Commitment

MMORPGs are designed to be played over a long period of time, so be prepared to invest a lot of time in the game. This may mean logging in regularly to complete quests, participating in group activities, and keeping up with game updates. If you have limited time to play, consider choosing a game with more casual play options.

Watch Your Spending

Some MMORPGs are free-to-play, while others require a subscription or in-game purchases. Before you start playing, understand the game's payment model and set a budget for yourself. In-game purchases can be tempting, but it's important to balance your spending with your other financial priorities.

In Conclusion

MMORPGs can be a fun and immersive way to connect with other players and explore a virtual world. As a newcomer, it's important to choose a game that fits your interests, learn the basics, join a guild or group, understand the time commitment, and watch your spending. With these tips, you'll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned MMORPG player.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Dark and Darker Demo Thoughts

 I got a chance to give the Dark and Darker demo a go.  Here are some thoughts.

 Good: Premise of a PvPvE dungeon crawler where players join in a dungeon to kill monsters, get loot, and then either fight to the death or hide long enough to escape.

 Bad: Literally everything about this game.

 The combat is terrible.  I laugh thinking about how many players complain about New World combat currently (not balanced, desync, yadda, yadda).  They need to spend a minute in the combat of Dark and Darker and maybe they'll be thankful for New World's combat.  After an hour of playing Dark and Darker I cannot bring myself to play any more.  It is slow and lacks any meaningful feedback to the player.

 As it's just a demo I didn't expect any sort of "introduction to the game" mode, but this is definitely something the game needs to have if it is going to launch.  Nothing is explained and new players will find themselves dead quickly with no understanding of  what they are supposed to be doing.  Even "New Player Guides" on YouTube have a hard time explaining what you are supposed to do in this game.

 I think the only redeeming quality of the game is the promise of some PvP action but the combat is so horrible that I can't imagine anyone but the most hardcore of players sticking it out.  Though I may be wrong as I was flabbergasted when I checked out the demo player numbers on Steam Charts and saw the peak at 100,000+ concurrent players and averages hovering around 70,000 daily peak.  I feel like I'm missing something; how are that many people OK with this clunky combat?

More popular than I'd of expected!

 Give me New World grade action combat and this PvPvE concept and I'm all over it, but as it is Dark and Darker is going in the history bin for me.  I cannot get past the terrible combat to comment on any other part of the game.  There is no way I am dealing with a game that handles like a 1990s adventure game.  Can anyone explain to me how on earth they enjoy this combat?  Is the PvPvE aspect that much of an attraction?  Are we as a community this starved for this type of game?  TELL ME WHAT I AM MISSING HERE!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

What bringing the class system back to Battlefield 2042 has done

 Battlefield 2042's latest update brought back the class system of Battlefield history.  Players now select a class that limits gadgets, throwables, and specialists that can be chosen.  This is Battlefield and I am happy to see it back.

 Prior to this latest update players could select any combination of specialist, gadget, weapon, and throwable (grenades).  This meant I could play as Irish (a support specialist), carrying anti-vehicle rockets, and at the same time carry the proximity sensor (grenade).  On top of that I could use any gun (assault, SMG, LMG, or sniper).

 To be honest it was pretty sweet as I noted in my post here and here.  I was a mega super team support player with my Irish setup.  I could do everything except shocking non-squad members back to life.  But that is where the problem lied.  Everyone could do everything and thus the Battlefield developers had to make many things "balanced"; for example since everyone could carry anti-vehicle it was weaker than it would be if it was less limited. It was fun but then also not fun.

 With the class system back in place the developers have been able to make things like anti-vehicle stronger per shot (since there is less of them now).  Vehicles should in theory feel less threat over all because not everyone is rocking anti-vehicle tech.  There is far less proximity sensor spam as it is restricted by class (even if that does break my nonexistent heart).

 The development team also figured out an approach to continue to allow all classes to use any of the main guns.  If I want to use an SMG as an assault class I can continue to do so (in prior Battlefields the SMG was limited to Support).  There were proficiency added (as covered in this post) to certain classes to favor certain weapons, but they are not so dramatic as to penalize someone for opting out to another class of gun.

 After having played several rounds under the new system the game does feel better over all.  I actually got in a vehicle without immediately getting blown up!  There seems to be more medics and thus more revives.  I have a much better understanding of what my teammates are capable of because I can see what class they are.  The only thing I really miss is my proximity sensor as I am not a fan of the other grenades, but I understand sometimes less is more.

 Have you given the update a try?  If so, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Closing in on that sweet 1:1 K:D

 Maybe not an achievement for the chad gamers of the world but for us old fart gamers getting to a 1:1 K:D in games like Battlefield 2042 is an achievement.  I was at 1:1 for a period but I've had some terrible  rounds after coming back from a hiatus.

 Also I am finding myself pretty terrible at some of the original maps (they suck compared to Spearhead IMHO) and feel like I am either getting spawn killed or getting shot in the back because I don't know where to expect enemies from.

 Anyways here is my progress:

Monday, February 13, 2023

Ranting at the end of the world: The Last Of Us Episode 5 (Show + Podcast)

 I can't stop watching the The Last of Us show on HBO Max or listening to the companion podcast after each episode.  I also can't turn my brain off long enough to just enjoy the show.  I need to rant.  Need. To. Rant. 

 Episode 5 was a trainwreck in pacing and the writers missed a great opportunity to explain the world and how it collapsed so quickly after the fungi-demic.

 Reminder: I have never played the games. 

 Spoilers... duh.

 First I am going to rant about pacing.  The pacing of this episode was not great.  A slow roll into a chaotic ending.  The swap between the two paces failed to build any tension.  Instead of getting an impending sense of doom building through the episode we go from safe and cozy to end of the world.  End of the world through a complete happenstance event of a truck crashing into a house in the exact spot to open a hole into an underground tunnel system... the same tunnel system that somehow the main characters exited well before this point even though clearly the tunnel system went exactly to the point where they needed to go!?

 What could have been done differently?  First off why is there ZERO build up about the rampaging horde?  Where are the clickers watching the characters from the sewer grates?  Where is more rippling ground like we saw in the previous episode?  It is so dumb that the entire scene hinges on a truck happening to crash into the right spot on a building to then open the ground to a swarming mass of infected.

 Also the entire sniper scene is anti-climatic.  The sniper takes shots at Joel as he makes his way in his direction so knows he is coming for him; yet acts totally surprised when he gets there?  Why not build some tension here?  They could have shown Joel making his way to the sniper, brought in the radio traffic to the sniper earlier, showed the militia making progress more, and hinted at the infected lurking just below the surface.  Instead it all just burps itself onto screen and makes for a complete "what?" turn of events.

 Next let me rant about this show's problem with character plot armor.  In the chaotic end fight scene we see human after human get obliterated by the infected; all except the main characters even though positioning and decision-making wise are in terrible positions.  Let's not even talk about the scene before then where the militia has the main characters surrounded and could easily walk around the car to face them, but instead bumble their way through the scene until the infected blob explodes out of the ground.  

 Of course even being surrounded by militia and with infected about to rampage over the area the main characters never feel like they are in danger.  Henry, who Kathleen so wanted to kill without question, somehow inexplicably remains standing while Kathleen decides it is better not to pull the trigger and instead turn around to watch a truck slowly sink into the ground.  Then Joel's expert sniper skill dropping running headshots like the bad ass he is, Ellie randomly finding an escape route, and the convenient "hide under this car" trick for Henry and Sam.  

 Combined with the lack of risk building up through the episode at no point was I worried about any characters other than the throw away Kansas City militia and you damn well knew they were going to suffer some gruesome deaths.  Bloater got him some head!

 Oh but that plot armor was only there momentarily so we could get a cliche ending.  Oops the kid got bit and clearly Joel's survival instincts are gone as no one thinks to check the kids to see if they were injured in the rampage.  They may have discovered Sam's leg is bleeding profusely and ruined our unexpected ending.  

 Then shocker.  Bang. Oh, bang two! Wow! Edgy television here folks!  How about this instead; Joel sees Sam getting dragged away and has to off him with the sniper rifle as a mercy?  That would of made way more sense and fit PERFECTLY with Kathleen's quote “Well kids die, Henry. They die all the time."

 Most egregious to me though was the missed opportunity with the underground community that was found.   In the podcast it is explained that in the game players can take their time reading notes left around that explains what happened further but said that wouldn't work in the show.  Maybe not reading notes, but this set was so cool and offered so many intriguing chances to explain what happened after infection day zero.

 For a show that goes out of its way to ham in the backstory it really, really, really, really freaking missed a great chance to spend the better part of an episode exploring this mini lost society.  It was the perfect backdrop for some flashbacks; way better than the other options used thus far.

 I want to know so much more about what happened in this underground society but instead all I got was a poorly executed anti-climatic and chaotic scene followed by an edgy mega downer of an ending.  This show is so good its bad.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

How to add the "Inside Battlefield" podcast to Pocket Casts

 I have used Pockets Casts as my podcast manager as long as I've owned an Android phone.  One of the things that happens from time to time is a new podcast is launched and you just can't find it on the Discover tab of Pocket Casts.  The recently launched "Inside Battlefield" podcast from EA/Dice is one such example, but I got around the issue and was able to subscribe to it via Pocket Casts.  Here are the steps.

 In Pocket Casts go to the Discover tab.

 Searching by Inside Battlefield or EA or any search term will not work.  Instead enter the URL for the Apple iTunes page:


 Searching by that URL in Discover should bring up the podcast and allow you to subscribe.  Note: this does not work for all iTunes podcasts so I am sure there is more to why it works for this one and not others.

 Hope this finds someone in need and solves the same problem I had.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Fewer Chests For You!

 Some fun times in the community with the New World update.  

Removed a total of 28 Sarcophagi and Large Chests throughout Brimstone Sands to address global economy concerns.

 Community reaction is as expected and summed up as "WTF?".

 A developer responded in the forums with the classic "it was too good so we nerfed it"







I am sure this will calm everyone down.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Not Impressed with The Last of Us (TV)

last of us tv show hbo max

Not Impressed with The Last of Us (TV)

 I hate to admit it but I am not impressed with The Last of Us TV show.  I had high hopes after seeing the Rotten Tomatoes scores and acclaim the series was getting, but I was not impressed.  Here are some thoughts rants from someone that never played the games but did watch episodes 1-3 of the TV show.

Spoiler warning.

 First, I want to say that the show is well produced.  Visually it is stellar and there is a distinct sense of a post-apocalyptic world.  Actors, individually, are great.  I do enjoy watching the show.

 With that said my brain is really struggling to not scream out loud about this show.  

 The biggest issue I have is the lack of chemistry between characters.  Joel and Ellie really do not click and the story telling does not help.  The relationship is forced; almost to the point of being too forced.  Ellie dropping f bombs every two seconds just does not help and then having her read a letter and articulate mother f'rs when the character that wrote the letter at no point gives the vibe of dropping mother f'rs (but I get it; who doesn't love Nick Offerman dropping the "not today you new world mother f'rs" line).  Bill and Frank of episode 3 also... just... nothing clicking between those actors.

 Also there is so little exposition.  Characters just jump right to the key piece of whatever they need. Ellie walks into a room, grabs a 1,000 page book, and flips to the exact page where the note she needs is stashed.  Then a second later she figures out its a secret code instead of just random notes on a piece of paper. Every single scene is this way; characters just fall right into where and what they need.  Plot armor is on high alert!

 Honestly I would be lost on some things if I wasn't listening to the companion podcast.  The podcast does a much better job of explaining character motivations and key moments than the actual show.  One particular one is where Joel flinches at one point touching Ellie after knowing she is infected yet numerous times before that.  In the show I barely remembered it because Joel is grabbing her without flinching in every other scene before and after that moment.  It wasn't until the podcast that I reconciled why he flinched in that one scene.  In retrospect the flinch was contrived and forced.

 Then there is the mechanics of how the world and it's fungus infection works.  It has made me go "what?" so many times.  Maybe it works in the games better than it does here?  The infection can be gotten from spores?  Or by getting bitten?  But not by being scratched or having an open head wound like Joel did fighting the clickers?  It was in the food supply and went global in one day?  And if you can catch it from spores why do the characters literally not care about climbing around mushroomed dead bodies everywhere?  Why are they eating their lunch surrounded by the stuff? Why do they pick up dead infected bodies to burn without a care in the world?  You would think any single encounter with an infected, dead or alive, or any of the tendrils growing from one would send folks into a panic.  

 Let's not even get into how the fungus becomes octopus like and able to move it's tendrils about and therefore has zero resemblance to the concept of the fungus causing it's host to do something vs the fungus becoming sentient.  On top of that it only has these special powers in scenes where the visual effects budget allows for it.

 Also a single gun shot takes out an infected but being crushed in rubble doesn't?  Why do some die so fast and why are others found years later?  The one liners trying to cover this and the flashback at the start of episode two fall woefully short of making any sense to me.  It feels like the show tries way to hard to explain the situation and just comes up short.  

 I really, really struggle with the world building here.  I literally do not want to hear about it anymore.  Just make the world dangerous and don't bother trying to over explain it to me.  Bad shit happened and the world is what it is.  Now take off the plot armor on the characters and work on chemistry between characters.  Also stop giving them freaking chicken sandwiches.  No one is eating bread in this world if the worldwide outbreak was caused by flour being contaminated.

Monday, February 06, 2023

It was the best of Battlefield 2042 games until...

 I've been AFK for a bit but got a chance to jump into the most recent Battlefield 2042 update and I was having the best of games (like seriously; it is rare that I hit the top of the board) and all I'll have to show for it is these two screenshots as the round ended suddenly with "all players disconnected".  Oh well!

Five minutes in and crushing the revives and getting a few kills.
More kills and revives; still the top!

Personally I count it as a first place win.  Ignore the other team and their super K:Ds; my team was rubbish.

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Call of the Wild the Angler guide for Golden Ridge

 Not much content out there for CotW the Angler so when I saw this guide for Golden Ridge I had to share.  Very thorough and well done.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 03, 2023

Dark and Darker - looks interesting - free next week

 Dark and Darker is coming to Steam soon (next week?) and is a PvPvE hardcore FPS something fantasy dungeon game something.

An unforgiving hardcore fantasy FPS dungeon PvPvE adventure. Band together with your friends and use your courage, wits, and cunning to uncover mythical treasures, defeat gruesome monsters, while staying one step ahead of the other devious treasure-hunters. 

Honestly they had me at PvPvE.  Looks interesting.