Magic 2015 – Don’t Believe the Negative Hype

I purchased Magic 2015 yesterday after wading through a bunch of negative reviews on the Steam community hub (most saying they were posted “Just Now”). The gist of them all pretty much ended up being that a lot of people had gripes with the UI, lack of 2 Headed Giant (a play mode), lack of sealed draft (play mode), and microtransactions being “necessary”. At first all of these things worried me, but then I read the Reddit thread today. Now it all has become clear to me.

First off I have to start at the beginning for myself. I started playing Magic in the 7th grade (I am 27 now) and the first thing I learned was that I needed more money. I only played for a year or two but it definitely left an impression on me, specifically that 1) Magic is awesome and 2) Magic is expensive. Now ever since then I have had (much like I had with MMOs) urges to play Magic from time to time. This has lead me to look up ways to play online over many years. Each time I have found something it always resulted in remembering the 2nd thing I learned when I first played Magic, it is expensive. Much like any MMO, if you really want to get into it, you have to invest a lot of your time (though, money in Magic) usually (i.e. EVE online, as the vastness of the world is probably the closest comparison to the vastness of Magic cards/sets/history). There are guides out there that lay out difficult paths to play MTG Online without spending that much money, the problem is you have to win mini tournaments held in the game to win enough prize value to continue to “play for free” essentially. Much like winning X amount of Arena games in Hearthstone allows you to do. The bottom line is that there is no cheap way to play Magic, because that is how they pay their bills and have paid their bills, since the beginning of Magic.

In the Reddit thread I linked earlier I soon came to realize what the problem the most vocal complainers are having. They want to play Magic for free. For $10, the campaign mode of Magic 2015 is well worth the money. I only played Magic 2014 for 24 hours but at a $10 cost, that is less than 50 cents per hour of enjoyment. I even saw someone claiming that it is his job (at least, partially) to write about these games saying that $10 for 20 hours of campaign is not good enough, because multiplayer is the main game mode. He says this because he has over 300 hours in the DotP (Duels of the Plainswalker) games most of which is playing multiplayer. It really irks me how entitled everyone has become online, it seems like people don’t want to pay for shit anymore. They think it is fair to spend $10 and get over a hundred hours of enjoyment from it, that is so fucking rare when it comes to video games that I can hardly form an argument against it because it is so fucking ludicrous. In another thread on Reddit there is an AMA with the lead designer for the game. In there he states that the premium booster packs are designed so that if you buy X amount you will get all of the cards, this amounts to $28. So you spend $10 on the game for 20 hours of campaign enjoyment, if you played the previous year you will probably know if you will enjoy it or not, if you are a first time player, $10 is a relatively cheap test purchase. Then if you want to play multiplayer, you can, without premium cards, for free. According to the lead designer there was extensive testing done on hybrid free card decks versus decks with premium cards and that they believe it to be balanced, so who do we believe, people who have done extensive testing for probably at least a month, or people who bought the game yesterday? Are these arguments starting to sound familiar by the way? Keep that in mind. So you paid $0.50 an hour for 20 hours of fun and now you’re upset that you lose to people online who have different cards than you that aren’t necessarily stronger. If you want to get those cards and feel like you’re on a level playing field, and by doing so you can extend your enjoyment to up to a hundred or more hours, you will need to spend $28, which would come to $0.28 per hour of fun. I don’t know how many other people do this with their games, but that is fucking cheap per hour of fun compared to some games that cost $50 upfront for a test purchase.

A lot of other complaints are based on the UI and some nuances related to it. Every new game you play has adjusting to do, this thing is different than you’re used to, this button doesn’t do this like it does in other games, and those kinds of things should be expected in any new game. In the first thread I linked (at the time of this post) the top comment is a guy complaining that you can’t choose which land is tapped when playing a multicolor deck. Of course buried deep in the comments beneath all of the vitriol you will find a comment that says that if you didn’t skip the tutorial you would have learned that pressing CTRL allows you to do this. It seems like a lot of the complainers mentioning these aspects were expecting something… different. But what?

Hearthstone! Ohhhhh, now it is all starting to make sense. Hearthstone is free and you can make microtransactions to expand your deck (and need to) in order to compete. The game is made by Blizzard so it is well polished and as we have all known since WoW came out, you can’t compete with Blizzard and when you try to, even more flaws are pointed out 500 times more often. So since this game (which you could arguably say, inspired Blizzard’s Hearthstone) came out after Hearthstone, it must be trying to compete with or “kill” Hearthstone, right? Because that is what we all fucking care about nowadays for some dumb fuckin reason, right? Because a company whose main focus is in offline production, sales, and tournaments makes a limited computer (and console) version to throw it’s online fans a bone, they HAVE to be attempting to be the “Hearthstone Killer”, right? This realization makes me want to hate Blizzard even though I know it is just the stupidity of others, but I guess this is what happens when you take computer gaming to a mass market. So thanks to Blizzard and a special thanks to the public education systems across the world, on behalf of rational, level-headed Magic players throughout the world, we salute you.

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Diablo 3 Real Money Auction House

I haven’t played D3 in a few days because, quite frankly, I don’t like it as much as I liked D2. I lay the blame on the auction house. Decreased drop rates for Set/Uniques because, hey, you can just pay gold for them (and now real money). Lets not forget that in D2, gold meant nothing, and all of your characters had a full stash of gold (that you never used). I could replay D3 over and over, just like it was D2, except I can’t do it for stacks of 500 gold. I enjoyed D2 because I got the set items and the uniques – even if they sucked and/or I couldn’t use them. That is why it was so replayable for me. You bartered for better stuff, many times people would give up something more valuable just so they could get the item they wanted. With the auction house you’ve got the r-tards listing shit at ridiculous amounts. Which brings me to the point of this post.

The best weapon on the real money auction house, 1 handed anyway, is selling with no buyout and a starting bid of $250.00 – yep, that is two hundred and fifty US dollars. Kinda weird how it is stuck at $250 for the bid, not $251 or $255, everyone must be waiting til the last hour, amirite? lol. Shit is retarded. People are retarded. If there is anyone who pays over 5 or 10 bucks for an item in Diablo 3, you’re retarded.

That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.

Go me, I’m number 1! YEAH! (Oh and more SWG stuff)

I am such a great person, wow. Man I am always so right, it’s great. Everyone should listen to me, because I like to predict the future on MMORPGs. I am god-like. Flurdy Flurdy Flurdy! Bork! Bork!

I don’t know how people do it. I just can’t find myself capable of babbling on about MMORPGs regarding aspects that don’t even involve gameplay or even mechanics of gameplay. I could see attempting to discuss (alone) something specific, maybe, how blocking/parrying/evading are calculated in a combat system as something to talk about. Even loot drop percents and loot tables, yeah, I can talk about shit like that (with someone, unless I go schizo and talk with myself). I can talk about these things because they matter to me when it comes to MMORPGs. You know what doesn’t matter to me when it comes to MMORPGs? Corporate bullshit half assed attempts at being drama. This includes, but is not limited to: subscription numbers, subscription predictions, beta applicant numbers, expansion sales predictions, RMT debates, and the like.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am interested when a company somehow does something that belittles their customers, or shows lack of respect. However, boasting or inflating numbers involving the number of people interested in your product is, to me, advertising 101. Of course they’re going to do that, why? Not to fool you, the player, who shouldn’t really give a shit. But to fool Mr. Money Bags Funder, who probably knows that more interest in a product means more money goes to that product to protect it. If anything, players should try and perpetuate these claims so that the game gets more funding, thus, possibly a greater chance at success. Even if you don’t support the game (well maybe not Second Life, lulz!). In my opinion if you enjoy MMOs, you should be sick of WoW by now. You should want that huge playerbase to start splitting and spreading out.

But, enough of that shit.

I’ve gone and done something most would consider completely fucking retarded. Which makes me a little ashamed to even tell you, but I’m sticking by my decision. Here’s the story:

My month ran up yesterday in SWG. I was at the point where I needed to buy the expansions in order to continue to progress at a steady, acceptable rate. I go to the station store and click digital downloads: Star Wars Galaxies. In here I see that I can buy the Complete Online Adventures (everything included with some bonus perks, such as 1 month of game time) for $29.99, The Rage of the Wookies expansion for 24.99, and The Trials of Obi-Wan for $24.99. My options at this point are as follows:

1) Buy the complete online adventures, get my free uber mount, my free month, and the two expansions for $30.

I’m thinking, alright, fuck yeah, this rules. Then right before it asks for your credit card, in parenthesis, it says that the free month only applies to new accounts. Hmm, great. If I want to continue with this option it will ultimately cost me $45. At this point I decided to take a look at my options again. I recently purchased some cruise tickets for myself and my woman, so cash is a little tight until I get a couple paychecks under my belt. My options as I look now are:

1) Buy the complete online adventures, get my free uber mount, and pay for a month of game time. Cost: $45

2) Buy Rage of the Wookies (lower level content) and a month of time, I would have to buy Trials of Obi-Wan at a later date. Cost: $40

3) Buy the complete online adventures, get my free uber mount, and free month of game time by creating a new account. Abandoning my previous account which has a 90 Trader and 50 Jedi. Cost: $30

By now you can probably guess which one I chose. Yep, number 3. I know, I know, I’m fucking stupid. But, y’know, sometimes everyone (or maybe just some people) needs a tabula rasa (teehee I’m so clever).

I’ve switched servers to a more RP oriented server, they do a lot of space too.

I’m leveling a melee smuggler and am almost level 16, with only a couple of hours invested. Smugglers are supposedly gimped (endgame PvP wise, this is supposed) according to the SWG forums. However, there aren’t that many active Smugglers from what I understand. Plus, I’m always up to the challenge of beating people with the “underpowered” class. I fucking love doing it. I see this as an opportunity to show people how PvP works at a higher level than simply button mashing (which don’t get me wrong does play a substantial part).

Will I make it to 90 though, that’s the question. As for the fun of the character, I’ve got a big speed bump to overcome, due to running through the legacy a few times at these low levels. Obviously I am a bit burned out on the content. Sure I could complain that SWG lacks it, but, of course it does. Well, let me clarify, they lack guided content, you know what I mean, they tell you where to go what to do and all that jazz (many disgruntled old people will tell you stories of the olden days when you didn’t have quest journals and waypoints or even directions to your destination, but they’re old and disgruntled). SWG has plenty of things to do in the Star Wars universe that requires motivation from you to seek out and discover, I’m not a motivated individual when it comes to having fun, especially when I’ve got levels to worry about.

This weekend will definitely be the time of overcoming that speed bump, and to be honest I can’t wait. I want to do this, I’m more motivated than ever for some reason. Works been great, I basically got my first client (I’m friggin 21 and feel like a kid still) who I do monthly bookkeeping for, and tax season is winding down.

On to the Smuggler profession. I mentioned in a previous post (or maybe just on PKer.org) that at low levels on the newb space station (tutorial land), a melee Smuggler at level 7 can friggin rape huge groups of mobs with AoE melee attacks. It really makes you feel great.

Let me outline the skills of the Smuggler and what I know of them so far.

Melee Attacks-
-You receive an increased damage melee attack with a quick cooldown.
-You receive an increased damage (more than above) melee attack with a snare and a medium cooldown.
-You receive an increased damage (almost double the middle and 4 times the first) melee attack that is AoE and also snares with a longer cooldown.

If you put points into the Melee Abilities expertise, you will receive “UPGRAYDES” for each of those attacks (i.e. Mini Melee Attack 2, Middle Melee Attack 5, etc).

There is also a ranged line of attacks that mirrors the melee attacks, except the AoE is a Cone instead of a circle. I personally like the circle better.

Other skills include:

Call a Favor: Spawns a “Smuggler Ally” who helps you fight in battle for maybe 20 seconds, if the target dies, he runs away and disappears. If you put points into the expertise Call a Medic (or something to that affect) you can call a medic instead. I did this on a Smuggler alt of mine on my old account and wasn’t too pleased. Though, it did heal me and save my life, it was still kind of weaksauce.

Find Illicit Goods: Allows you to search a corpse for contraband. Contraband is used in 5 sub set collection quests. Once you complete all 5 you get an uber pistol. This skill only works on certain corpses, and I don’t know which ones yet. I do know it works on just about every ship wreckage in space, though. I’ve yet to acquire any with this skill due to not finding a corpse that allows it. I have received a couple as loot though.

Fence: Allows you to sell your loots from anywhere in teh world. I love this skill because I don’t remember to fucking sell shit and I love just mowing through fields of humanoid npcs and collecting all the loots, it is a great source of income (lols).

There is also a self heal, most classes get one of these I believe.

Those are the only ones I’ve used so far, I know further down the road are Dirty Tricks, whatever the fuck those are.

I’m playing on Starsider, character’s name is E-Ni (randomly generated) Meen-E (not randomly generated). I like to use the random generator as a prompt-like tool.

That’s it, hope this helped you kill some time at work, I know it did for me. Lols!

Blast from the past!

I googled my name in quotes and wow, I found a post I made when I was 12 friggin years old. 9 years ago, I guess I didn’t know how to use the internet.

Plus, look at how awesome my email is! Back when trading/selling/collecting sports cards was the shiznit. CHEA

Here it is

For those too lazy to click:

16 Sep 1999 Redacted Beeeitch
I am 12 years old, I have a language arts report due today, I need to get the definition, and find it in context. The word was melancholy.

Wow, I wonder what I was thinking. I am 12 years old. Like that’s the most important friggin thing to say. But hey, I guess I was on to something. I know I always like the younger kids less when I think they’re 18 or so for a month and then they finally say, dude lol im only 12. For some reason I really don’t like when that happens.

I don’t even know what I was doing back then. Probably playing Chain of Command from 2am games. That game was perdy bad ass.