The Vanguard: Guardian Utility Skills – Heals & Consecrations

The Vanguard: Guardian Utility Skills – Heals & Consecrations

My weekly column is up on Guild Wars Insider!

This week I go in depth with each of the Guardian healing and consecration skills, including videos showing off their animations and effects! Come by and check it out!

The Secret World: Gameplay & Overview

A followup video to my first impressions video, this one shows actual gameplay footage.

While I’m not a fan of the game, or it’s dated graphics, boring combat, terrible dialog, general lack of maturity, poor quest design, and so on – there are some things the game does right.

The freedom of having no actual classes is a pretty fun. You can customize your character’s combat abilities far more than you can his/her actual looks.

The Deck system provides you with character class archetypes that can act as guidelines for building out your character, providing a little order to the chaos.

The ground effects used to telegraph enemy abilities are well done, showing not only the area of effect of abilities, but also showing a countdown timer at the same time.

Other than that, I didn’t find a lot to like. Maybe after it goes free-to-play (which is a certainty), and after they work out the kinks… MAYBE I’d be tempted to play it. As it stands, there is no way I’d pay $15 a month for this game.

It’s pretty bad.

The Secret World: Intro & First Impressions

My initial impressions on The Secret World, the modern day, secret society MMO from Funcom that should have stayed a secret.

I really wanted to like this game, but I don’t. At least not from what little I’ve seen.

The premise made me hopeful for a game that would echo all those X-Files episodes I loved so much. I wanted intrigue and betrayal. I wanted a mature MMO with intelligent dialog.

This is not that game.

I’ll NEVER pay a monthly subscription fee again.

Mechwarrior online is almost out!

As I said before, I love the Mechwarrior games! I’ve waited over a decade for a game like this!

As of today, the Founders Program for Mechwarrior Online is live and ready for players like me to spend money on.

And I WILL spend money on this.

I don’t have to, but I didn’t have to with Tribes Ascend either, and I’ve easily spent $60 on that game.  The reason is simple: they provided me with a game worth my time and money. They didn’t extort it from me up front with a monthly subscription regardless of how much time I devoted to the game or how much I enjoyed the content. Quite the opposite. BECAUSE I enjoy the game so much, and because I spend time playing it, I felt the developers earned a bit of my cash – especially since Tribes is completely free to download.

I look ahead to Mechwarrior Online, and I know that I’m willing to spend money on it as well, so long as the game delivers upon its promises at release. The same thing applies to Guild Wars 2. These are three AAA quality titles that offer amazing gameplay without any strings attached. I can spend as much or as little as I want, and anything I can earn with cash I can earn with time spent in game. None of these titles are Pay To Win. None of them force me to pay a subscription in an attempt to monopolize my time. I already know I’ll bounce between them at will with no sense of obligation to anything other than my own enjoyment. Isn’t that what gaming should be all about?

More and more developers are doing it right.

The subscription model may not be dead yet, but the casket and flowers have already been picked out.

Guild Wars 2 – Piano Theme

I needed to pair up this beautiful music with a peaceful scene I captured during the recent beta weekend. GW2 has moments that make me just stop and appreciate the scenery.

It was nice to take a break from the carnage my warrior creates and appreciate the homeland he fights for. The character models are equally impressive, and the game hasn’t even been optimized yet.