So long, Ads!

You may (or may not) have noticed something is a little different around here…

I removed all of the advertising from the blog last week. When I first introduced ads, I decided that they would only exist for as long as their value outweighed their inherent annoyances.

This blog was never about making money. I can make plenty on my other sites. A gaming blog is not an efficient place to do it. My goal with running ads here was always to simply pay server expenses. Since I can do that simply with affiliate links, I don’t need the ads. I use affiliate links to Amazon whenever it makes sense. You may notice sometimes my reviews contain an affiliate link. For example, I really liked Uncharted 4, so in my review at the bottom is a link to Amazon.

Don’t assume every link is an affiliate link, though. Many things are not available on Amazon. I’ve decided as of this moment the only affiliate links will be to Amazon. Sometimes I may put a little flag next to the link if I feel it’s justified. For example: “I’m pretty much exclusively spending my time playing Legion (aff link) these days.”

Refresher on how affiliate links work: When you click on them, we get a percentage of what you end up buying within a 24 hour window. It’s pretty much that simple. So if you click on our links and shop on Amazon (which I do for most things these days) then you support the blog and don’t have to spend anything extra to do so.

Thanks for continuing to support us by being a reader! Hard to believe in just a few months we’ll hit our 10 year anniversary.

What games come out this Fall?

This year continues to be a great year of games. I’ve put together a little list of my most anticipated games coming out Fall 2016 for you to get hyped about.

August

Overcooked (Already Out) (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

A fun little couch-coop cooking game where you work as a team to serve up orders before your customers leave. The settings are crazy and ridiculous which makes for lots of laughs.

No Man’s Sky (August ‘X’) (PS4, PC)

No Man's Sky Release Date

Who knows if this one will be delayed yet again. I think we’ve had two delays within the 2 weeks ’til launch window. Despite its shaky timing, I think NMS will be a fun game to hop in and explore a galaxy. This will be a great ‘sit back and chill’ game.

WoW Legion (8/30) (PC)

Not much else needs to be said here. Legion is shaping up already to be the best expansion since WotLK. I’m ready to jump in and have several months (at least) of a MMO to play with friends.

September

Dragon Quest VII (9/16) (3DS)

Dragon Quest VII

I’m anticipating this to be a great RPG. I’ve never played the Dragon Quest series, but I hope this is a fun place to start.

Yo-kai Watch 2 (9/30) (3DS)

Yo-kai Watch 2 release date

Graev speaks very highly of the 3DS version of the original, and I really liked the iPhone version. This is on my list of games to check out.

October

Dragon Quest Builders (10/11) (PS4)

My hype is high for this one. I just can’t help myself when it comes to builders.

Battlefield 1 (10/21) (Ps4, Xbox One, PC) 

Now that Battlefield is returning to its roots and getting away from the super-tech of modern warfare, I’m interested again.

Civilization VI (10/21) (PC)

This is on my list because it looks fun enough. I’m not sure if it’ll be an immediate buy, but probably one I make before Xmas.

November

Dishonored 2 (11/11) (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

I really enjoyed the first Dishonored, so this doesn’t take much selling for me. This falls within the window where I may put this on my Xmas list.

Pokemon Sun/Moon (11/18) (3DS)

Pokemon Sun and Moon Release Date

We get to ride Pokemon. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s Pokemon.

December

Dead Rising 4 (12/6 – yes, that’s still Fall) (Xbox One, PC)

Graev and I have had a lot of fun plowing through zombie bodies in shopping malls. Dead Rising 1 and 2 were great.  I skipped 3 but Graev enjoyed it enough. These have become so zany and out-of-control stupid, but jumping the shark (literally) is still enjoyable. I’d never play alone, so if Graev gets it with me we’ll play.


So those are my most anticipated games for Fall of 2016. Any I missed that are on YOUR list?

How to tame N.U.T.Z. the Mechanical Squirrel in WoW

Nutz the mechanical squirrel in WoW

Taming N.U.T.Z. the Mechanical Squirrel in WoW is really easy. I decided to create a quick guide to help my fellow hunters.

Step 1: Head to Azshara

Step 2: Enter the building in the NE and click on ‘An Intern’s Journal’

Step 3: Click on the Thorium Manifold Lever

Step 4: Click on Antimatter Storage Energizer

Step 5: Click on Flux Containment Release Lever

Step 6: Click Hydro-Sync Router

Step 7: Activate Aspect of the Turtle and Tame N.U.T.Z.

When taming N.U.T.Z. it’s important to remember that he will one-shot you. That’s why you should activate Aspect of the Turtle which acts like the old deterrence ability.

I hope my fellow hunters find this guide useful! If you’re looking to tame Friender or other Mechical pets, check out my other Mechanical Pet Taming Guide.

 

Join Us On Discord

Discord

I recently posted about the new Curse user interface and how it’s a pretty cool community interaction tool. A few of you messaged me about Discord and told me about how it has remarkable voice and chat integration. I gave it a shot, and I agree: It’s pretty cool.

Curse comes off as tailored more to the partnered streamers. Lots of flare and chrome rims, all that stuff. Discord is more about pure functionality and integration. The chat is better, the voice chat is better and way easier to set up and mimic Ventrilo (which we currently use). As a community organizer, I like the permissions better too. There’s also a pretty solid app for phones.

Neither option seems perfect for me, or the community here, but I think Discord is a little more our style. We’re still using Ventrilo. Anyone is free to join us there. Paying less than $4 a month for Ventrilo still feels acceptable to me. We also use forums for our Keen and Graev Community — yep, we’re old school. However, the chat functionality in Discord is really enticing as a “Guild Chat” of sorts since it allows a history of chat for all to see. You can feel connected even when you aren’t playing. Like right now, I’m at work but in Discord talking to some community members already online.

If you want to join our Keen and Graev Discord Server, I’m keeping our #general open to everyone. We’ll have member channels for voice and chat too, and different channels for games. We mostly play WoW, Overwatch, and other random games. Hope to see you online.

Discord App

Twitch’s Bits are Stupid

Twitch BitsI think “cheering” and “bits” are stupid. There, I said it. Twitch’s latest monetization technique tries too hard and comes across way too gimmicky — almost desperate. Have you not heard yet about “cheering” and how it works?

It’s a form of digital ‘currency’ that people can buy and practically ‘tip’ to the streamer. Twitch and its employees evangelists — no, screw it, they’re practically employees — don’t want you to think of it as tipping. I’m sure there’s a tax implication there somewhere. Twitch wants you to see it as “cheering” (hence the name) and wants you to get involved in the “experience” of “cheering”. It’s no different than throwing pennies at someone. Literally. Streamers get a penny for every bit. So for the minimum purchase of bits, Twitch takes $0.40 and the streamer takes $1.00. It’s tipping. Stop trying to call it anything else.

Buy Twitch BitsTwitch and the employees select partners who were included in the beta program are quick to point out there are gifs and memes and achievements and badges and all sorts of MORE GIMMICKS to distract from the fact that this is a tip. I’m still dismayed by people throwing money at streamers just to use their chat emotes, and now we literally have people throwing pennies by the thousands at these monkeys dancing for their supper. It makes the Apple community’s behavior appear tame.

It’s more gimmicks. Bits are another step in the direction away from focusing on the games. Excluding the statistical outliers, sponsored events, etc.,  streamers who focus on games receive less attention than streamers who focus on the gimmicks and entertaining their audience. There’s nothing wrong with entertaining people. I support that. What I don’t support are the entertainers becoming influencers. When they are perceived as influencers (and why wouldn’t they be when 30,000 people would watch them wipe their ass) then they receive preferential treatment. That preferential treatment further perpetuates the problem of them being influential, which perpetuates designing games to their nitch and the people who watch, which perpetuates the shallow nature of gaming, and before you know it you have a run on sentence more reason to continue developing games we see today.