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Showing posts from February, 2012

Has EVE's learning cliff crumbled?

The first time I played Eve (2006ish) I remember being flummoxed by the so called tutorial.  Back then EVE's new player experience left much to be desired and a fledgling capsuleer was thrown in to the harsh universe of New Eden with little more than a noob ship, a few meagre isk and a handful of barely adequate skills. I didn't get very far on that first attempt and I recall my career ending in a blaze of glory as I flew my newbie frigate into 0.0 and was promptly podded. My second foray into the game in 2008 was more successful and I ended up sticking around. I still remember having a relatively slow start however. Money was tight and a lot of early training time was spent on the learning skills. The changes made since 2008 have revolutionised the new player experience. The tutorial missions are comprehensive and helpful. The career tutorials in particular shower newbies with isk, ships and skill books. Getting rid of the learning skills has been a great success

My EVE re-Trial continues

My cunning plan to use a free trial to test my desire to return to EVE before wasting a subscription may be backfiring. I spent over five hours in the game yesterday playing with my fledgling Gallente pilot "Jax Custard" and I am getting fond of the guy despite his silly, designed to be thrown in the bin name. It certainly proves my assertion from yesterday that everything I love about EVE is immediately accessible to a brand new character . The  new career tutorials are a great addition and I enjoyed working through them. I even tried mining for the first time in my EVE life and enjoyed it (for about five minutes). There is something gratifying about listening to the sound of your mining beams cutting into solid asteroid rock and automagically filling your hold with treasure (for about five minutes). The career tutorials were fun and got me to try out stuff I would otherwise have ignored but eventually I felt a hankering to do some level 1 combat missions which is a rout

Return to New Eden and a Secret Confession

I feel a growing temptation to return to EVE but having been away from mmos for quite a while I am not quite ready to resubscribe.  Instead I started a disposable character on a free trial to test my resolve.  Knowing that this character will be thrown in the bin in a couple of weeks is actually quite liberating. Freed from the fear of gimping my character I feet no necessity to min max anything. I picked a Gallente because I think they have cool looking spaceships and went from there. First obvious change since I last played is being able to walk around my Captain's quarters. Its a nice idea but hardly a game changer. Can you decorate your quarters I wonder and if so do these home improvements move around with you wherever you go? The second obvious change is the much improved tutorial. I managed to make it through the first steps introduction without having to resort to on-line help or the  chat channel which is a first for me in EVE. Even better once you have finis

Arkham overcome x 2

I managed to complete the campaign of Batman Arkham City without too much difficulty despite fears about my lack of controller prowess. By the way I loved the Catwoman sequences. Catwoman is every bit as good as Batman in a fight but feels far stealthier to play. I cannot claim to have mastered combo fighting but I do seem to have developed an adequate grasp of the basics. Switching from keyboard to game pad helped a lot but perhaps the biggest lesson learned was to just slow everything down. The bad guys telegraph their moves well in advance and the game gives you a surprising amount of time to make the appropriate response. My previous button making was doing more harm than good. Embarrassing admission: It wasn't until the final chapters of the game that I realised "Press B+Y" means press the two buttons at the same time rather than sequentially. No wonder I had difficulty pulling off special combos up to that point. After completing the campaign I finished off a

Arkham City, Great Game, Crappy Player

I bought Batman Arkham City before Christmas but I waited until last week to give it the attention it deserves. I really loved its predecessor Arkham Asylum and being about half way through 'City I have to agree with the majority of critics who say that this is even better. All of the batman goodness with a much bigger more open world to explore. I cannot forget however that I left Arkham Asylum on a bit of a downer because my lack of proficiency with combo fighting prevented me from finishing the game. I managed to get almost to the very end using a combination of stealth and mindless button mashing but my lack of proficiency at the game's combat system eventually caught up with me. This time I am better prepared. I have acquired an Xbox 360 controller which is better suited to this type of game than mouse and keyboard and I am determined to practice fighting techniques as much as I can while progressing through the game. It is still quite a struggle for me though as my mid

The golden age of gaming is .... Now.

I have been thinking   this this for a while but Rampant Coyote sums it up beautifully in a recent blog post : "Seriously.  It’s the new frickin’ golden age as far as I am concerned. I am overwhelmed with games to play – both indie and mainstream – and time is a far more limiting factor than money. We’re still getting plenty of high-end AAA games with incredible graphics and streamlined gameplay; retro-gaming has made a pretty nice resurgence; and the indies are on fire. Life is good."

I wish Skyrim had Hunger and Tiredness

Title says it all really. I loved exploring Skyrim's open world and I loved the colour provided by all the assorted junk you stumble across. It did annoy me though that the game is full of tasty food and drink and there is no real reason to take any of it. Similarly with beds. You do get an temporary XP bonus for using a bed but by the time you get from your comfy bed to the nearest dungeon the bonus timer has probably run out. I would like to have seen a hunger mechanic that afflicts your character with an increasing debuff if you don't eat something every few hours. Arx Fatalis had this and it gave a reason for scavenging food and even cooking it. Likewise I would like to see a tiredness debuff if your character doesn't get enough regular sleep.