Teamwork, Morale, and Trash Talk

I’m not sure how else to start this post, so I’m just going to come straight out and say it- League of Legends has one of the most toxic, hostile, and hateful communities I’ve ever seen- it’s nearly as bad as DotA’s. On some days, I can’t even go one game without being cursed at, or hearing somebody cuss out somebody else. Even The Tribunal isn’t fully addressing the issue. Even though they’re faced with the possibility of losing their accounts, these adult-sized children will throw a temper tantrum if someone so much as moves in what they feel to be the wrong direction.

Of course, this problem isn’t unique to League of Legends- or even the MOBA community. As Extra Credits pointed out in one of their earlier installments, harassment in online games is an ever-present cancer, and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who’s not encountered at least one individual that made them re-evaluate their faith in humanity.

We’re not going to talk about the gaming community at large- Extra Credits already did an excellent job addressing that issue. Instead, we’re going to zero in on games where teamwork is necessary- games such as HoN and LoL.

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Diablo III, or “Why an Enjoyable Plot isn’t always a Good One”

This post probably contains spoilers. I think.

Here’s yet another post that differs from my ‘usual’ fare- if I can even be said to have a usual fare. It feels rather strange to write this- almost as though I’m airing dirty laundry- but it’s something that I think I need to say. To be honest, I’m not even certain I know what I’m trying to convey at this point- I only hope that when I’m done typing this up, it’ll form a coherent, cohesive narrative that adequately expresses my thoughts.

And that, reading it, I’ll be able to discern what, exactly, those thoughts are.

Today, I’m going to discuss Diablo III. More specifically, I’m going to look at the plot of the game. You see, I said in my review that I loved the presentation of Blizzard’s latest entry into the franchise. And it’s true- I did. I loved the characters and their interaction, I loved the soundtrack, I even loved the set design- pure eye candy. The plot, on the other hand…

Well, on closer examination…it’s…actually pretty terrible.

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More Old School Games to Reignite The Spark

Hey there, ladies and gents! Sorry today’s post is a touch late. I had a few things I needed to attend to the other day; it’s been kind of a busy week. Before I get into writing, I’ve a few updates to share with all of you. First and foremost, my site now features a Twitter feed, so you can…see what I’m babbling about on a more regular basis. Or something. It seemed like a good idea at the time, you know?

Anyway, we didn’t quite get to finishing the list of awesome old school games last time- I’ll be topping that list off today. We’ll be back to our regular fare this Thursday. Let’s get this show on the road.

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Gears of War 3

This is his happy face.

After much deliberation, I finally caved, walked ten minutes over to the midnight release of Gears 3 at Future Shop, and left with my very own shiny new copy of the game. I figure I’ll give the series its due- in hindsight, maybe the second game wasn’t as terrible as I remember it. I mean, the narrative of the single player campaign was reasonably well done (for a shooter), and Horde Mode was a blast…so much so that it was the inspiration for a similar gametype in Halo ODST and Halo Reach. In hindsight, I don’t entirely recall what it was that turned me off of Gears of War 2.

Maybe it was something to do with the mechanics, and how they related to multiplayer. Somehow, being able to win simply by holding down the B button doesn’t really sit well with me. Plus, there’s the matter of the shotgun- you might as well have been firing giant balls of cotton candy at your opponent, for all the good it did.Weapon balance was the name of the game, and that was an area where Gears 2 fell woefully short in multiplayer- at least, for me.

Yeah, that was probably it. The fact that I’d have just about as much luck winning a match by bashing my face into the controller as I would actually playing the game was something of an issue for me.

Of course, it’s equally possible that I simply got tired of the game and moved on to better things. I guess gritty, grimdark shooters simply don’t hold as much appeal to me as they used to.

Unless they involve zombies. or orks. Or demons. What? Cannon fodder’s damn fun to gun down.

...I'd still rather fight Marcus.

All I can say is that it’ll be tough; going back to the gruff, angry Marcus Fenix after experiencing the stoic, noble Captain Titus. Somehow, the latter speaks to me a touch more than the former.

Maybe I’m just too devoted to the Imperium of Man. At the end of the day, they’re really just two sides of the same coin, aren’t they? Gruff, angry, testosterone fueled super soldier versus reserved, intelligent, slightly-less-angry super soldier. Like the difference between a big mac and a quarter pounder. Or something like that.

Whatever. They’re all the bastard offspring of The Emperor and Doom Guy, at the end of the day.

Image Credits: Ikogamer

Minecraft Adventure Update “Leaked”, Approved by Notch

This’ll probably be pretty old news to most of you, but Minecraft 1.8 went live on Friday….well, sort of. An incomplete build of the 1.8 “Adventure” update was leaked onto one of the 4chan boards a couple days ago (word is it was /v/). It’s definitely a legit update- I’ve fiddled around with it a bit myself, but haven’t yet gotten the chance to play it at length.

Turns out, this build was originally intended for trusted playtesters only. It kind of shows.

Don’t get me wrong, the update’s pretty awesome- I’m loving creative mode, and the new experience system in survival mode is downright intriguing. But I’ve already found several glitches- the sound sometimes cuts out, and ‘ghost’ items are dropped on the ground if you drop items from your inventory) and I’m sure there are quite a few more.

Either way, Notch has pretty much given the okay for this one, and is reportedly in the process of testing the pre-release himself.

Those of you looking for a few juicy details, swing by Pendit67’s thread on Reddit. Those of you who just want to get in on the Adventure Update early, you can find the file here. Copy the .jar file into C:/Users/AppData/Roaming/.minecraft/bin and replace the old .jar.



A second prerelease of the 1.8 client can be found here, and a server client for 1.8 can be downloaded here.

Image Credits: Gamerant

Item Trading In Steam Is Now Live

Steam’s trade system is finally live, and every Steam community profile now has an inventory page, showing what items someone has collected in each of the games they play with a persistent inventory system. What’s more, it’s not just items you can trade, either- you can trade games, as well.

Unfortunately, for those of you who have an old game you don’t want to play any more, you can’t just trade any game in your library. Only items that have been gifted to you and duplicate games are up for trade. (I myself have had an extra copy of Half Life 2 sitting in my Steam library for as long as I remember, it’s the only game I see in the trade menu).

Currently, the only games that support trading are Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, and Spiral Knights- though Valve has said they’re working with several developers at the moment to incorporate the feature into other titles in their library. I’ve a feeling the trade feature’s going to be restricted to multiplayer games that have an inventory system- City of Heroes, Monday Night Combat, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II….you get the idea.

Another feature apparently added by today’s update- though I’m not sure it’s actually new- is something known as ‘friend tagging.’  No, you can’t tag people on your friends list in your screenshots quite yet-the feature is designed to help your organize your friends list.  The feature basically lets you organize your friends list into groups. Right click on a friend, and click ‘tag as…’ to tag them.

Valve’s posted a trading FAQ with more information, and a trading policy with your basic precautionary stuff that anyone who hasn’t killed all their brain cells with hard liquor should probably know already- don’t trade items for money, pay attention to your trade so you don’t get scammed…basically, don’t be stupid.

Me, I’m just happy I don’t have to launch TF2 to trade stuff with my friends anymore.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, Warhammer 40K: Space marine launched yesterday, and it is awesome and you should all buy it.