The Turtle always wins... except in RTS

Two strategy games, two similar approaches.

In Homm5

I play a turtle-y game and once strong enough, I go all out and expand expand expand.
First turn, I'll buy an additional hero that has good skills and add the entire army to my initial army to be able to take on the guards to the primary resource mines which normally are only rank 1/2 at the most. Beyond that, ill attack any weak mobs where there is a high chance of winning with minimal loses and avoiding any fights where the bulk of my force would be defeated. I'd play a building game, every day/round i'd make a creature dwelling and ignore any general city improvements (forts[for creature growth], marketplaces, mage guilds [for spells]). Only once I have about two weeks worth of creatures of atleast the second highest rank, will I normally stack them into my original hero and stomp on the rest of the mines for the secondary resources and in particular the kind of secondary resource needed by my faction.

My second hero is pitiful, as I normally task him/her to simple resource collection, ferrying troops to my main hero or getting weekly resources, never getting any chance to level up, other than from free sources. At this point in the game, i've started saving up for the highest ranked creature's dwelling and if resources permit, i've started building forts to increase the growth of all the other creatures.

Once the army is strong enough, ill empty the creature dwellings (and my gold coffers), once again stacking them only into my main hero and leaving my alt hero with only one slave rank 1 creature, and charge towards enemy castles. Normally this large zerg is capable of taking out the first opposition with relative ease. I don't mix creatures from different factions as it hurts morale and the castle is usually empty anyways as my enemy wanted to deprive me of any creatures. Normally, unless i've lost a big portion of my army, I hurtle forward towards my next opponent until I finally get to a point that everyone is defeated, or I don't have enough monsters for the next battle.

By that time, i've either saved enough creatures from my home castle, or a turtle until there are enough to refill my army.

In Civ5

I tend to play the same way; I tend to leave my neighbors to their own devices. Normally decline open border agreement as from experience sneaky civilizations will settle in my own lands. I'll develop a small army to fend off any local barbarians, but normally only enough troops to eliminate one camp at a time.

Unlike Homm5 where 99% of the time, the objective is the elimination of your enemy and 1% its to find the secret artifact (which takes way too long), in Civ5 there are many ways to win other than the total annihilation. I've found that when in a pacifist mindset, ill go for the cultural victory. But normally any other form of winning is difficult as it just takes too long. Possibly, when the map sizes are humongous and armies too powerful would a technological or diplomatic victory be more viable. I don't have the patience to play such long games, and try to keep a session at about 3 hours and usually play on duel or small maps. Hence total annihilation tends to be the path I take; if any civilization is getting too powerful, ill normally take them out first, unless they're incredibly powerful, ill join up with city-states and conquer weaker nations to amass my own civilization.

Its much easier to amass an army in Civ5 than Homm5; in Homm5, even if you have the money and the creature dwellings, you're stuck waiting for the beginning of each week for new creatures to spawn in those dwellings. In Civ5 if you want to amass an army, you forgo making buildings and non-military units and just make troops instead. Because of this fact, it makes it easier to employ either a defensive OR offensive strategy.

How do you play your games? All-out aggressive style, balanced or defensive-minded?
Does it change if you play an RTS?



All my games (X-Com, Fallout New Vegas, Left for Dead 2) that i've been playing recently (barring Civ5) crashes to desktop constantly. I see my pc resources used up nearly 100% which is probably why its crashing.

What are my options to preventing this?
My pc is overclocked, so i'm wondering how much a difference it will make to unclock it.
Maybe it is Steam that is the cause of the crash?
Maybe it is just pc games in general are more buggey?
Maybe I need to upgrade my pc, ram (2 gigs), video card GEForce 8800), processor 3.GHz?
I have the most up to date video drivers and have uninstalled and reinstalled the games.
Maybe I need to reformat my pc...?

Any suggestions?


Bargains Galore

I'm on the fence on whether Steam is the cause to my woes with the crashing of my games especially Fallout New Vegas.. but ill admit, its a well designed platform to deliver games online and connect with your friends similar to if not better than Xbox Live. Not only that, they are finding better ways of knowing the games you like and getting you deals.

Take now for instance, they have a Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend, where there are massive sales on many major titles. If you create a wishlist of atleast 10 games and are in good standing, there is a chance that you might win the chance to have your top 5 games on your wishlist be free. Most sales are pretty big, I got Left for Dead 2 for only 5$ yesterday.. only problem is if your connection sucks, you'll be downloading the game for ages.. **cough 12 hours**



For those that don't want to read up on New Vegas (that may be my last entry on that; can't play it till the crashing stops), here is some video convention pictures from South Korea, called GStar.

Pew pew pew! Indeed.

The game is Tera i believe....yessss...

oh yeah, its about games...

War of Dragons.... Age of Dragons.... horrible name of a game..

Sterile game environment.. looks cool tho.

For more photos on actual games they displayed there (lol); go here:

New Vegas Spoiler

To my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! Beautiful holiday that I get as well.. and it was relatively nice and relaxing :)

Per the title a bit of a spoiler for Fallout New Vegas; don't read if you don't want to know the general storyline..


The Story of New Vegas

You, the a courier from places unknown are assasinated by a man in a checkered coat with some thugs in leather vests, thing is you survive.

Its a story of revenge, pure and simple. You start in the sleepy town of Goodsprings which is south west of New Vegas and your main objective is to get back the package you were trying to deliver and find that person that tried to make your home a shallow grave.

After getting back on your feet you find out there is a dispute between the locals and a group of criminals that have overrun their prison guards and now name themselves the Powder Gangers. The dispute revolves around a person from a faction called the Crimson Caravan that the Powder Gangers are seeking (his death that is), and the locals who are hiding him but are unsure on what they can do against criminals. As the driving force, you decide the fate of the caravaneer or by talking to a curious robot that saved you, you make your way to the small town of Primm.

New California Republic Correctional Facility (in case you're wondering)

Primm, being a small town with a small casino, courier office, hotel and a small NCR camp has been overrun by said Powder Gangers as well and have all the townsfolk hiding in the casino. One of those patron is the courier postmaster who originally assigned the packages to the appropriate courier. You find out that it was suspicious that a previous person gave up an easy assignment so that you would get it, as if he knew what would happen to you. To find more information of the man with the checkered suit, you need to rescue the town's deputy sherrif from the Powder Gangers who have made a base of the hotel. By saving (or not) the deputy, you find out the the checkered suit man has made his way to the town of Novac, across the Mojave to the east.

Along the way, you fight all sorts of mutated creatures, bandits, which slow down your progress. High mountains and cliffs block your way from directly heading east to Novac, except one path guarded by an incredibly deadly creature which makes even the most battleharded soil their pants. You eventually come across a group of vicious raiders who call themselves the Legion who thinks examples ought to be made of profligates. Crucifixion is their go to method of example.

After a long and dangerous trip through areas infested with Jackal and Viper raiders, you come to Novac. It has been observed that the man in the checkered suit has passed by an has talked to one of the snipers that protects the town from Legion advances that normally roost in the mouth of a giant statue of a T-Rex. You probably take advantage of their motel services, the proprietor giving you a rather sweet deal of a flat rate 100 caps where you are able to get a good night's sleep and put away some of the gear you have aquired from the wasteland. Through various methods, you find out where the man in the checkered suit has gone to: Boulder City.. a city where massive battles have been fought north east of Novac.

Making your way to Boulder City was much quicker and safer this time as there was a main road which you could stick on to avoid some rather nasty Fire Ants. The people that accompanied the man in the checkered suit was a faction of tough raiders called Great Khans. Apparently the NCR had them cornered in a group of buildings but they had taken some troops hostage and the situation is tense. You have the option of either trying to save them covertly, find a way to negotiate their freedom, or go in guns blazing and getting your revenge. Either way, you found out once again the man in the checkered suit is one step ahead of you and is heading for his casino in The Strip, a modern oasis that has walled itself away from the Mojave desert.

Though relatively safe, the route to The Strip is a long one, though there are many rest stops and merchants along the way. You will eventually find yourself in Freeside which surround and has the only entrance to the eastern side of The Strip. There is a credit check at a heavily fortified gate of more of the same robots, similar in make to the one that you talked to back in Goodsprings. You either had the money, found the money, or found various ways to get into The Strip.

When you get inside, the same robot that saved you has followed you back and delivers a message that the man who runs The Strip in New Vegas would like to talk to you before you go to The Tops Casino which holds the man with the checkered suit.

Whatever you do, you'll find yourself inside The Tops Casino and confronting this man and having your revenge. What will you do now?


No Room to Breathe

Is instancing overall good or bad?

These people that go into their own instances are removed from the actual game world. I like my game world to be busy and crowded. At the same time, I like having my own instance so there isnt' kill stealing, leeching, ninja looting and having that protection from being ganked.

But if everyone has their own instance, the world becomes empty.
Well, not necessarily; there will always be people who like to solo, or don't like/need to do things that require an instance. At the same time, its the responsibility of the developers to ensure the servers are populated to a degree so its not over-crowded or empty.
Its possibly the reason why Mythic recently introducted the Skaven to WAR; to get people out of scenarios and back into o-rvr. Nothing was worse/boring in that game than attacking empty keeps in zergs.. and even worst protecting a keep with an empty battlefield.. hence the beauty of cultivation and the mods for them... GOOOOO DYES!!

Once again, reminisce of a simpler time when there were no chat channels, where possibly the most populated place was the bank (it still is in a way) and b/c of that everyone hawked their wares there. The screen would be flooded with text. People had their favorite vendors and hangouts, there was guild housing.. and places that was normally deserted b/c it was out of the way, but still visited for the rare services they provided. I loved the city of Magincia in UO where the graveyard was always busy with people and undead, or the quiet of Yew's monastery and how exciting it was when people were actually there. Or letting out a sigh of relief when bogged down with loot from a dungeon and finding out the new comers to the dungeon were friendly and not gankers. The world was busy b/c alot of people were online and in the same area. The world could be empty but have alot of people online not because they were in their own private instance, but b/c they were somewhere else in the same world, making it busy in that area.


The Four New Vegas Playthroughs

First - Energy Specialist
Main tags: energy, speech, repair
Companions: Boone and ED-E
Required perk: Meltdown Perk
Hard at the beginning b/c energy cells weren't very plentiful
Speech made things very easy though didn't side with Brotherhood of Steel and didn't get the Gatling gun
Very fun at the end having found the gauss rifle as it was very powerful
Sided with: Mr. House

Second - Melee Monster
Main tags: melee, unarmed, sneak
Companions: Raul and Rex
Best perk: Raul's companion perk (decreased deterioration of gear)
Easy in most of the game except going melee against Deathclaws with weak weapons
Annoying when trying to close the difference between ranged enemies
Mistake trait: kamikaze (decreases damage threshold and I didn't use VATS too often)
Sided with: Yes Man

Third - The Crazy Build (maxed INT, high Luck and Perception, gimped Strength and Endurance)
Main tags: barter, survival, guns
Essentially a sniper and depends on companions for close range dps
Companions: Boone & ED-E but will replace Boone with Lily for tanking purposes
Taken perks: 3 perks into greater experience gain (30% extra), educated, luck-related perks
Made oodles of easy money gambling thanks to high luck and poker (free money)
Sided with: NCR

Last - The Psycho of the Wasteland
Main tags: explosives, sneak, repair
Required perk: Mr Sandman
Companions: ED-E b/c it doesn't complain about my immoral actions
Boone's body can be found by some shrubs by the dino's feet.. he fell, honest.
Anything that sleeps will not be waking up the next day and everyone else will find a stick of dynamite in their pockets
Loophole: using Mr. Sandman on children, you can't hurt them and you still get xp
Sided with Legion
Journey ended prematurely due to consistent crashing every time the game starts up.


Happy Friday

Its finally Friday..

3 new webcomics added:
Pvp Online
Sluggy Freelance

Removed blog:
Tree of Life - her blog is closed now


I was reading the article by Shadow who makes an argument that the meaning of "mmo" has evolved over the years through it's popularity and that WAR in his opinion is not an mmo but still a great game. Whereas I may not have the same opinion as he does, this entry is not to argue it. This entry is on reminiscing.

Remember the days when if you and your friends/guild wanted to do a dungeon raid, you'd actually have to make a trek there by hoofing it there? No electronic queues, no teleport scrolls, no other forms of fast travel other than mounts. You'd have to carefully pack all the resources you needed, no recall stones to the town which you last visited, making logging out in town very important versus just logging out in the wilderness. It would be good to travel together and close as there were wild monsters and aggressive players out there ready to gank you.

Talking about mounts; can you remember a time in which having a mount was rather impressive and rather rare?

Also to do some pvp you'd actually have to go to an arena (UO), or actual pvp was non-consensual and you could attack anyone you wanted (even though there were reprocussions?)

The virtual worlds in which we inhabit tend to get bigger in size but become quite small with such conveniences. I personally dont' mind making a long trip in mmos as the reward was usually justified and that it was fair. It made grouping more important and soloing more challenging but more rewarding.


Glutton for Punishment

If you want to find a good reason to carry a shovel in Fallout New Vegas (yes, I still play despite it crashing), go to Bitter Springs.

Per that screen, there are alot of graves behind the town.

Daniel Craig will be the next Fallout guy

He has his own Pipboy! :D


Shake your head in shame

I've uninstalled and re-installed the game.
Updated my video drivers.
Decreased my video settings to low..
And Fallout New Vegas still consistently crashes.

If it wasn't for perks like Mr. Sandman..
I would never bother playing it again.

They were all 'sleeping' when I got there. The gun runner guard apparently doesn't get paid enough to make sure they wake up from their sleep.


To buy or not

Anyone know if the new Call of Duty game requires constant connection to Steam to play it, even if you have a physical copy?

Contemplating on whether I should pick it up for the PC or 360; my brother has the 360 version and it looks very good; slightly better graphics and online mode looks pretty cool. Really intrigued by the single player storyline. I want to play with my best friends on 360, but more friends would actually play on PC, not to mention, my brother monopolizes the tv that the 360 is connected to currently... I do like achievements on the 360 though..

Are we there yet?

How do you want to see the next big mmo's fast travel system to work?

In regards to long distance fast travel:
Wow's nearly every city, non instantaneous, flight paths which used to require mutliple stops, though now I believe it's automatic. The farther it is, the more expensive it becomes. Travel to opposite continents did require travel via free zepplins or boats which would come every 5 or so minutes.

Warhammer Online, fast travel via flight masters at each warcamp; initially just need to get to a flightmaster and then can instantly teleport/fly to a warcamp in any tier with increasing costs depending on the tier. Cost of travel to the capital city though was greatly reduced.

Fallout Type fast travel, once you find the area, you can instantly fast travel back to that place with no cost. I like in Warhammer how it is a flat fee depending on the tier, which makes sense b/c as you lvl up and are able to go to the higher lvl areas, you can afford the flights BUT it doesn't work the greatest imho for the game which has alot of travelling to different tiers to strike at different keeps/lock zones/prevent zone locks, as it ends up costing alot over time. I also like how fast travel is instantaneous.

I like in WoW how to get the priviledge of using fast travel, you need to discover the place too. It doesn't seem to cost too much to travel, but it is a bit mind numbing waiting to get there. I believe implementing the mini games (was it bejeweled?) was a nice touch, especially if it gave some sort of minor reward (the cost of travel, or achievement/title), it should NOT give a major reward that would cause people to constantly travel.

Fallout system is good, though it can be abused; as long as you discover the area, you can return as frequent as you like, doesn't waste any time, and doesn't cost anything.


Staying similar to the same topic, I was thinking, one of the major issues my friends and I had with playing was trying to all get in one place to quest/raid/pvp etc. With dungeon finders and queues it has become easier to raid and do pvp, but its still difficult to do normal quests. You may say that you have a stone of recall to get back to the town where all your quests are, right? Whereas that may be true, your friend may have been questing somewhere else and doesn't have that town set as the waypoint.

In a future mmo, i'd like to see some sort of item that allows you to teleport to your friend; with a cooldown of once per day. This would probably work better as a cash shop item (yeah yeah "boo!"), so you can buy it, give it to your friend and it binds of pickup and buy additional ones for your other friends/guildies. The item shouldn't take any space but invisibly bind and be found in your friend\link list.


Competitive Matchmaking

I read some news on Bootae's blog on Mythic's plan to implement scenario matchmaking based on one's skill and performance and I am eager to see how that works out for them. I love to win; as anyone else does. I'll go onto a losing side to have a challenge, ill play a class that no one wants to play to be more unique. Winning rarely gets old, unless it is plain too easy.

FYI: if you have 10 Luck in Fallout New Vegas and play blackjack, up that ante and prepare to quickly get thrown out; you'll win nearly EVERY single hand. You always will get that card that gets you atleast 20 or 21. All I had to do was deal and hit until i hit 20/21 and i never busted. Out of ... 40 games, I won probably 35, tied 4 times and lost only once and walked away 8k$ richer. Be warned, luck doesn't seem to affect slots nor roulette as much though.

Back to winning.
I think its important to have game matchmaking so the weaker players are not constantly steamrolled by the more experienced players, and the experienced players can have a challenge. Case in point, I was watching my brother play the new Call of Duty: Black Ops game yesterday, he was already lvl 12ish playing against players of the same lvl and the odd lvl 30+ (obsessed much?). Him and his friend DOMINATED every single game; whereas the best person on any team had a 1:1 kill ratio, my brother was always 4:1 or even 5:1. It was obviously fun for him, and utterly miserable for his opponent. I can imagine his teammates squeal for glee b/c he ended up on their side. I'll post some pics as proof of their dominance.

Matchmaking would be more fair in this instance, maybe less fun for my brother as he'd die more, but an easy fix for this would be to increase his rewards for winning and being a skilled player; whether (for CoD in particular) it be special weapons, attachments, camos etc. For mmos such as Warhammer Online, possible better renown gain, or higher drops would be a suitable reward.


Epic Fail Fallout Patch

Today's patch for Fallout New Vegas makes all the enemies go unconscious instead of killing them. And you can't kill them while they're unconscious. Horrible.

//update: its crashing even more, sucking up more system resources; enemies continue to become unconscious instead of dying.. one time when turning on VATS, all the textures disappeared, and then the floor fell away from me, crashed, lost my video drivers temporarily (serious), and then found 3 viruses somehow... ...errr...

Quest Implementation

Its been less than 24 hours and I see my brother playing against lvl 35+ people in the new Call of Duty game... o.O;;


How should quests be implemented?

I think it's convenient, and in a way makes sense the way it was implemented in Borderlands; you'd pick up a huge list (8+) of quests, and they'd all be in the general area, if not each major area had an associated quest attached to it. It makes sense that they don't send you to tim-buk-tu (why would they need something from so far away?), and its convenient is you can start in one area and just adventure on to the next without long time periods of inactivity.

At the same time, I think its wrong; should there be THAT many things in the world that needs to be done? Can't anyone do anything? Are npc's so useless that they are literally rooted to the ground (and normally they are sadly), that even when you're not looking, they can't move? Or that there isn't any other adventurers that are up to the task; that no one is capable of shooting a gun or swinging a sword that there are so many things that is wrong/needs to be addressed?

Its a mixed bag on chain quests; sometimes it makes sense that there should be a quest immediately after the completion of one quest, but it makes the quest seem inconsequential if you complete a major milestone in an hour or two? So you, the npc, has been waiting for days, months, maybe years for someone to complete a quest that takes only a few minutes? Weak.

Also with Kill Collector quests, I want to see item rewards in relation to the item you're collecting. In Guild Wars these collectors give you (atleast) a wide variety of item rewards, but wouldn't it be great that if you collected bear pelts, that you'll get a bear pelt backpack.. or cape? Collect skeleton bones, get bone armor (sighhh Ultima Online) or a bone weapon a la Monster Hunter.

I like how public quests are built in that depending on the situation, there may be a quest available, and not always the same one (b/c it might be in a different stage). I also like how it progresses in that its either different, more complex, harder or a combination.

I guess the question is, what other ways are there to implement quests?


Fable 3 Disaster

Its a bit late, but I didn't play Fable 3 til this weekend so I could start fresh with the gf. And Fable 3.. you disappoint me.

No split screen gaming, and unlike Live gameplay where your party member could be on the other side of the map, you're binded to be 3 meters away from each other.

The graphics, though pretty, seemed to blur frequently; say when you shot your pistol, it would blur.. which just feels weird.

You told me that this game was going to be fantastic, now just look it it!

No health bar... couldn't tell what kind of potions we were using (summon/slow time/heal)

We both got naseous from playing from the way in which the camera worked (and probably the blurring)

Interacting with others require a separate 'instance' with them. So instead of Fable 2 where you could interact with a huge group of people, you can only interact with one person at a time. And the interactions all look the same; its either the basic interaction or more elaborate (but stupid looking).

Questions I put out there:
If I can use a pistol, or a one handed sword, i should be able to either wield a shield with it, another pistol, or another sword. What am I doing with my other hand?

Pleassseeee play our gameeeeee!!! We'll pay you!

Why does a King/Queen of the realm need to make Pies (yeah) to make money? It doesn't make sense. Also why do they have to do small errands for their subjects?

With all this being said.. I would NOT recommend this game.
Did you try it? Do you like it?


Fallout Tips

Looking for Microfusion cells?
- go to the Robco HQ; there is a locked room with TONS of them on a table
- Hidden Valley Brotherhood of Steel sleeping quarters; each footlocker has about 50+ cells, just need good sneaking

ok, maybe a post-apocalyptic wasteland wouldn't look like this..

One of the hardest things in the game (imho) is finding a reliable vendor that has money to sell your excess loot
- north of Novac is Old Lady Gibson that can repair your items and that money you spend is put into her pool of money which you can use to sell
- Novac also seems to have 2 wandering merchants plus a healer

You never know when you'll find a grave and when you'll need that shovel
- i've only seen one shovel, and thats at one of the water pumps when killing geckos at Goodsprings

Speech is critical in this game; if you want to do quests, raise that speech. Otherwise if I just hunted mobs for exp, I would try to increase it as soon as possible.

It would probably look like this though..

Barter is quite important in conversations as well. Not only does it give you more money, but there seems to be more dialogues you can pass with a high Barter.

Repairing is expensive. The ghoul companion Raul found at Black Mountain is fantastic; his perk decreases the deterioration rate so you don't need to repair as often.

The companion Rex the mechanical dog.. the speed upgrade doesn't seem that great; it was chasing a baddie but it needed the baddie to stop to be able to attack it, making the speed boost worthless.

Encountered a bug where Raul stopped following me; pushing him didn't help, nor telling him to wait, teleporting to other areas, nothing. Try dismissing him, which will result in him going back to his shack (south east of Boomers area). Talk to him again and he'll follow you again. Weird bugs.

Another one; sometimes on the pc atleast, you'll find that the game freezes while in transition. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del and pull up task manager; DON"T dismiss the game, just wait till you get to the desktop and can see the icon/window at the bottom. By time you can see that, you should be able to close task manager and click on the window to re-maximize it and the game will be paused.

Sick Day

Its so true. People are very self conscious of photos of themselves.


Lord of New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas has been completed:
- 56 hours per Steam (yikes indeed)- Energy weapon specialist
- Sided with: Mr. House
- Maxed Speech, Science, Repair
- Favorite perks: Meltdown (aoe blast when killing an enemy with a plasma weapon), Jury Rigging (repair a weapon with a SIMILAR (vs same) kind of weapon)
- Favorite Weapon: Gauss Rifle (with energy weapons maxed = insta kills)
- Companions: ED-E and Boone (until I betrayed the NCR at the end)
- Companion perished: Cass (didn't realize the Van Griffs wanted her dead.. oops)
- Cap (money) high: over $25k

I loved the game. In a quick rundown again; its exactly like Fallout 3 which is a good thing in most cases. It feels a bit bigger in size due to alot of instanced areas. Lots of companions that come with perks and can be upgraded. Crafting is nice, but lacks schematics like the previous version. Speech is HUGE. It seems like the VATS system takes longer to startup. Deathclaws are scary...

I'm on my way with my second playthrough as a evil, melee/unarmed monster with huge strength, endurance, agility and no charisma (it affects the amount of damage and armor your companions have; so it is important in most cases).. probably will side with the Legion or takeover the Mojave Wasteland by himself.

FYI in character creation, you don't need to select a trait (or 2) if you don't want. Traits are good in some cases, but they weaken you in other aspects as well. Being normal is sometimes better.