Rift Beta, Civ5, and more. It’s a Conglomoblog!

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  Sorry about that guys!  I need to do a conglomoblog entry because there are just too many little things I want to say without needing to clutter the front page with a zillion short entries.

Rift: Planes of Telara Comic: “Telara Chronicles, Issue 1” comes with a beta Invite? Maybe.

Read very carefully guys.  This was posted on the official forums by the community manager.  I may just be reading into this, but let me bold the part that has me hesitant to start calling the book stores.

“If you pick up your copy of Issue 1 at a retailer, you will also receive your free copy of Issue 0 and a beta code for the chance to be in the upcoming beta (while supplies last)!”

Do you think it’s a guarantee or just a chance?  If we take it at face value, it’s just a chance.

Nvidia’s New Sleek Driver Installer
I just wrote about how Steam was giving ATI customers the ability to install drivers with ease.  I bemoaned the fact that Nvidia still left us needing to uninstall (in safe mode for the uber-elite) then reinstall new drivers in what is honestly not the easiest or most comfortable process.  Well no more.  Nvidia has a new sleek installer that will uninstall your old drivers if you choose.  Graev just went through the process and not only are the beta 260.63 drivers giving him boosted performance in games like Civ5 but they have also fixed several bugs.  Well done Nvidia.

It’s great fun!  I’ve played two games so far and haven’t finished either of them.  They go on FOREVER.  I think I’ve been choosing maps that are too big or I just suck terribly at Civ games, because I can’t seem to ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’ve also never been able to win any other way than a conquest — or get close anyway.

The game did lose a little bit of its charm from Civ4.  The advisers are not animated and it lost a lot of the cartoony look.  It’s taken on a more serious turn but at the same time the gameplay itself is more fun.  I like the streamlining.  I really, really like the added tactical gameplay with ranged units attacking and using terrain to help add to the advantage.  Definitely worth the purchase.

Michael Jackson the MMO (Link removed just to be on the safe side.  It’s linked on all the major game news sites but a commenter has reported it unsafe.)

Final Fantasy XIV’s Launch is imminent
Did any of you bite the bullet and decide to get the game?  If so, why?  I’m not being snarky here — I want to know what it is about the game that made you decide to buy it at launch.  Personally, I didn’t find anything appealing about the actual game.  The screenshots look nice, but every time I see one I also wrongly attribute the feelings I get toward them as if it were a more traditional MMO and not one coming out of the Asian market with terrible controls and painfully slow gameplay.   Is it your love for the franchise, Chocobos, or what?

Guild Wars 2 “Gaming Outside the Game
It may come across gimmicky to some.  Sounds gimmicky to me.  However, not all of the “outside the game” game stuff is hokey or useless (like you have to admit this stuff has been lately).  When DAOC was in its prime the use of the Herald was an awesome tool with practical application but also a neat thing to look at while at school, work, or simply not online.  It’s the part about it being on mobile devices that I sort of shrug at…  but putting it on the internet too is cool with me.  I’m not a fan of the Auction House crap though like WoW does.  Let’s leave that in the game.  I’m hoping for something that will wow me. (Pun intended)

  • I’m tempted to buy FFXIV, but I’m a non-supported country in their account management system, so I’d have to find an American Address to use on the account I make if I choose North America as a region.

    Then there’s the whole payment scheme thing that’s somewhat convoluted, but still understandable.

    Definitely needs to be researched before jumping in.

  • I’m tempted to get FFXIV because i actually loved FFXI despite a few of its niggles. I just loved the sense of community it made and I hope this new game does the same to be honest. I just don’t think i have the time for it and I think i may wait anyway because to be honest the launch looks a little fast to my tastes and i’m going to be seeing if theres any bugs.

  • No FFXIV for me. I was in since late alpha testing, and didn’t see anything at all that would tempt me to buy. Unenjoyable gameplay, no thanks.

    I do have a copy of Civ 5 in the post winging its way to me though 🙂

  • It is indeed only a chance at beta for Rift Keen: it’s the same keys as tehy handed out at GC and PAX to use as a pool for the beta.

  • I’m biting the bullet and picking up FFXIV. I don’t think the game is ready for release, but, call me crazy, that game just reminds me TONS of the old PSone Final Fantasy games. Running around Limsa Lominsa I totally felt like I could be running in the fields around Balamb Garden in FF8. I don’t really expect it to ever be like other MMOs out there control-wise but using a gamepad really does help (even though it makes chatting a royal pain).

    The game does have a long ways to come, but I’ve really been trying to compare it against other FF games and not MMOs. It has really helped changed my expectations.

    I’ll tell you what though, I’m still pretty nervous about the 80% of the game they didn’t include in the beta.

  • I tried FFXIV in open beta and I just couldn’t get into it. It was gorgeous mind you but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. It felt like there was no wildlife. Just kind of barren. Admittedly I didn’t get too far so maybe it gets better later on but it just didn’t hook me.

  • FFXIV certainly isnt for everyone.

    It’s mostly FFXI with some Monster Hunter influence, 2 games I love. Its also 2 games many people dislike.

  • Big FF fanboy… loved FFXI… won’t buy FFXIV. Been in the tests since Alpha and while there are things I like there are not enoguh for me to buy the game. I’ll look at it again in a couple of months.

    CIV5 is def. on my buy list though. I love the CIV series. So for now Starcraft and CIV5 will be my games of choice.

  • What do you mean pass on MJMMO? It might be the most bizzare and strangely entertaining experience in the MMO realm EVER!

  • Well, if it’s a conglomoblog, then I can make a random comment/blog idea:

    “Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. It’s all about the console.” says Kinect creator Kudo Tsunoda. (source: http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/09/18/-Talking-Kinect-With-Kudo.aspx)

    Is FPS gaming trending towards consoles, or is gaming in general heading to the living room? Agree/disagree?

  • @Beleg


    Video gaming is getting bigger and bigger as the years go by.

    With all of these new found gamers in the market, companies are pressed to find easy and accessible ways to jump into a game and start having fun. It needs to be flashy, colorful and quick.

    Consoles are all of these things, in spades, and that is why we’re seeing such large growth.

    Computers take some tinkering, patience and have a larger price tag. For someone who isn’t very computer savvy, doesn’t have the interest to learn how to operate or build a powerful computer or is just impatient, consoles are the answer.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying “No one plays FPS on the computer anymore,” but I do believe the console is the target market for companies that want to reach a large, mainstream audience and make money. FPS were created on the PC and they’ll always be extremely popular here.

    PC gaming is a niche. At this point, I would feel comfortable saying console gaming isn’t. It is very “mainstream.” That’s where all the money and the press is at.

  • Console gaming is simply bigger. That’s a fact. However, is it better? No, it’s not better in my opinion. I blame PC hardware and how it is constantly changing and staying at a high price point.

  • I don’t know if its true that “hardly anyone” is playing shooters on PC.

    It definitely seems like the industry is starting to cater more and more to the “living room gamers” i.e. console gamers.

  • Opinion: (General gaming, not FPS-specific)

    WoW (and especially Blizzard as a whole) has done a lot to bring more gamers to the PC. The impact is pretty big.

    While the bulk of the market is in consoles, companies like Blizzard and their ilk will play a large part in maintaining (even expanding) the PC market. I don’t see PC gaming ever dying off.

  • “I blame PC hardware and how it is constantly changing and staying at a high price point.”

    This raises a really interesting point. Given the current model of the PC market, PC software companies and PC hardware companies are placed in opposition to each other.

    If PC tech stabilizes at a cheap, easily accessible level, software companies benefit but hardware companies suffer. If hardware remains a treadmill for the dedicated PC hobbyist, software companies either suffer or risk being seen as backwards when they fail to offer high-end graphics.

    Luckily this doesn’t really effect the part of the PC market I like the most – “legacy” games and indy games. Indy devs will happily sell their games on steam or via direct download, generally offering greater value and freedom to the customer than any console can (see things like Mount and Blade: Warband as a great example). Similarly, I can play things like TF2, CS, Quake Live… all better games for my tastes than any I’ll find on a console – I don’t have to bitch about how a MW2 map pack is $15, or there are no dedis – and cheap to buy and run.

    The one thing I miss by being console agnostic are the occasional XBLA/PSN exclusive indy game, such as Limbo. I’m not completely out of luck, since I have a 360 that runs Netflix (actually better quality than the PC version, oddly), but I’m just not into sitting on my couch and gaming these days.

  • i recommend you remove the michael jackson mmo link as i encounter several virus problems and a frozen computer when i clicked on the link. i fixed it fast so no harm done but i’d like to be able to trust the links on blogs i read normally.

  • Do you have a link to the new Nvidia driver installer you mentioned? I’d like to give it a shot as my in-game framerate has been pretty crap lately.

  • @Keen

    I actually think now a days thats not to much of an issue anymore, since games have kind of stagnated in their graphics lately you’ll find that a lot of PCs that go for £300-£400 can play most games at a respectable medium some even at hig. Plus a decent graphics card will set you like £80 from some places and that will run lots of things at high!

    The perceived notion of the PC is still the same but if people actually took a look at it now a days they will find the prices and stuff you get has changed a lot in what you can do.

  • I love reading how people put consoles in such a positive light, especially the “Its simpler and Easier to get in to”

    lol, call me crazy but that simply translates into “Some people are simply too dumb to use a computer”

    Truth hurts, I know 😉

  • @Bart/others

    Personally, I don’t currently own a console gaming system and I never have. I don’t like sitting in my living room playing video games, I don’t really like “controllers”, and I like buying/tinkering with my computer. Additionally, I like MMOs and RPGs, mostly. So I’m pretty much the wrong market for the console. Just curious what the rest of you thought.

    My computer cost about $600 plus a monitor, and it is high end (i5-760 @ 3.15GHz, GTX 460 1GB). Although I consider that cheap, many console owners would probably consider that expensive for a system, no?

  • I don’t even know how people can play shooters with a console controller – if they ever stop doing PC versions I am doomed!

  • I am always REALLY bad at console shooters for the first few days, then I get used to them and it’s really no that bad. With Halo Reach I couldn’t hit anything the first day and now I can mow stuff down without a problem.

    PC is indeed better though for controlling.

  • We’re obviously a PC elite crowd. We all know about computers, gaming PC’s and hardware otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

    A majority of people do not. This is the massive console buying/playing market.

  • Thanks for removing it, i’m pretty dilligent with my system and that site sent it into hardcore lock up had to reboot 3 times and found a few programs when running my protections afterwards.
    May have been coincidence or something i had before i spose but seemed likely that site was to blame.

  • the way console pricing is trending they’re going to be worth the same amount if not more than medium-high end computers in their next iteration. The bigger problems besides price that computers have going for it is

    1) People’s TVs are becoming really sophisticated, but most still use a monitor for their computer instead of making use of the wider screen. This gives consoles a definite edge.

    2) Consoles are “all in one” packages, you know that when you plug CoD22 into your XBox that the game will run, not that you have to upgrade video drivers, or free up hard disk space, or maneuver through DRM, etc. etc.

  • Well, Halo Reach does look tempting enough for me to overcome by misgivings about Console Shooters.

    I’ve been watching BlueXephos’ playthrough of FF14 (from creation to hours of playing the “Epic Quest”) and every single aspect of it looks absolutely abysmal.
    12 clips so far and I think they are ready to have a collective nervous breakdown.

  • The chance to be in Rift Beta is indeed just a chance. There were stacks and stacks of beta-invitation cards with these codes left on the demo-tables at Gamescon on Sunday afternoon.

    Fill in that code and pray your name gets picked from the big big lotterybag.