Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The FPS genre has a come a long way.

Today is the start of the BattleField 3 open beta, for those who preordered at least.  Otherwise you need to wait another 2 days to download and play it.  Reading about it and watching the preview videos/trailers has been very impressive to say the least.  The Frostbite 2 engine is quite amazing with the new smoke effects and building damage.  Everything looks sharper and more "real" looking than ever before.

Seeing a game like this reminds me of the old days.  I remember playing Wolfenstein-3D, Rise of the Triad, Doom, or the very memorable Duke3d.  The graphics were all pixelated and a far cry from BF3.  However, these games were hours of fun even though the graphics, by today's standards, were a joke.  Fifteen years from now I bet we will look back at today's new games like BF3 in much the same way.  Saying things like, "Remember how fun that game was?  The graphics are terrible but we had a great time playing it!".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Decisions: Does your choice of RPG character/class say something about you?

I have always been intrigued by the way the human mind works.  Maybe I should have been a psychologist instead of majoring in Mathematics.  The choices we make in life are not only influenced by our past but define who we are in the present.  While picking a character to play in an RPG game should not be a life changing decision (if it is, please seek immediate psychological help), it is something you will be investing a decent chunk of time into, so you don't want to make a decision that you will regret later.

So what exactly goes into our decision-making process?  Is it a somewhat random occurrence where you pick a random class because you want to try something new?  Or is there something in our nature/nurture that guides us towards a particular class.  I for one, have always been attracted to the paladin style classes.  In Diablo II I played as a Paladin, in WoW I started out as an Alliance Paladin, in LoL I have been playing Taric and Soraka a lot (support classes), and now as Diablo III is set to release I am leaning towards playing as the Monk class.

After thinking about this for quite some time I have decided that there is a natural tendency within me to want to be this righteous and divine crusader.  One who protects, heals, and buffs his allies and can still deal some damage himself.  I suppose this parallels my real life experience as I never strive to really be center of attention.  However, many times this can work to my detriment unfortunately.

So now I propose the question to you, what type of class do you tend to be drawn into playing and why?

Why I left World of Warcraft

Living in Long Island, NY I find myself surrounded by Manhattanites, Hamptonites, and Jersey Shore wannabees. Most people's idea of a fun night at home consists of watching a 4 hour Yankee game or some trashy uninspiring show on MTV. I, on the other hand, would rather play a computer game for a few hours than sit on my couch and watch a bunch of high school/college dropouts make 100x more than I do just to throw a ball around or act like an idiot on television. And for quite some time, that game was World of Warcraft.

Blizzard Entertainment (now Activision/Blizzard) has undoubtedly done great things for the video game industry. The quality of their games is on a completely different level than anything else you play and World of Warcraft was no exception. The real problem with the game is that it stopped being a game to many people. It became their job, or even their life in some cases.

When I was in college I had time to waste on games like WoW. Today is an entirely different story. MMOs just don't work for me anymore. I can no longer be turning down social engagements because it's "raid night" or spend hours creating and learning strats for raids. I can no longer play a game where if something comes up IRL (In Real Life), I can't just easily walk away from the game. I need games that I can sit down, play with a few friends for a few hours and then get up and leave whenever I want or need to. No set "raid times" and no time slot commitments. I can toggle the fun on and off like the flick of a switch.

With that said, I am excited for new games like Diablo III and Battlefield 3 to release. These games will be more "pickup" style, while still requiring the teamwork, coordination, and social interaction that make playing games fun.