Conglomoblog: Ask Keen and Graev, Orcs Must Die! 2, GW2 Stress Test

Every once in a while we have a quiet few days filled with lots of little things.  Those little things then become worth talking about, but not individually worth a blog entry.  That’s when we know it’s time for another Conglomoblog entry!

Ask Keen and Graev

We regularly receive questions from our readers about games.  Sometimes the questions are simple, like if we’ve tried a particular game.  Sometimes it’s the girlfriend of someone who reads our blog regularly wanting to know if we think her boyfriend would like an Xbox 360 or a Wii based on a set of gaming habits.  We love answering those questions — really, we do.  We love it so much that we think those questions should be put out there for everyone to see (with your anonymity intact) because someone might have the same question or be interested in what we have to say.

If you would like to ask us a question, feel free to get in contact with us or tweet us (@Keenandgraev).  Ask anything and everything you want.  We’ll be answering these questions on Saturdays.

Orcs Must Die! 2

If you like tower defense games, Orcs Must Die! is a great one.  The sequel came out this week, and I’ve been enjoying the co-op play with a friend.  There are a lot of new traps, and the levels are much harder.  I find myself having to really think of strategies for each level instead of relying on the same tried and true methods I used in the original.  I’ve also beaten levels using much more unconventional strats.

The gameplay itself is much more difficult, in my opinion.  I think the developers created the levels knowing players were going to be veterans, or at least playing with a friend.  Orcs come from multiple areas, often without any way to choke point them easily.

Guild Wars 2 Stress test 8/2

I played a couple hours of the stress test this afternoon, and I was really disappointed that the performance in WvW diminished greatly compared to the improvements I experienced in the past.  My fingers are crossed and my hopes are high for ArenaNet to get the performance tightened up.  I know some of you have shared that you run the game flawlessly on max settings.  I believe you, but that’s not what’s happening on my end.  One week will be awesome, the next not so much.  Today I had an average of 15 FPS when the number of players near me was high — not good enough.

If you’re looking for a guild to run with in GW2, our community is bursting at the seams with anticipation.  We’re always happen to meet new people, make new friends, and grow the number of people who like to play all sorts of games together.  Get yourself over to our forums and check it out.


  • As far as thw GW2 stress test goes, they stated that they would be doing a lot behind the scenes in this one and so things probably would not run smoothly.

  • @Tumorseal: I understand that, and being a stress test obviosuly one expects latency, downtime, or overall instability. This felt like typical slow-down. I had the same problem in WAR and SWTOR due to their inability to support large numbers.

  • I had a hell of a time getting into the game. I crashed 4 times to a blue screen. After an hour I finally was able to play. I went directly to WvW. I wanted to play around a large number of people because I had my dsl upgraded to 25mg. In game I was getting between 20-25 mg with a moderate number of players around me. It dropped to 18-25 mg during a big fight over a bridge. I would estimate that there were 60-70 people involved in the fight. I was also playing on a EU server with me being in the states.

  • @Thomas: By “mg” do you mean frames? You had your DSL upgraded to 25megabits (I assume that’s what you mean by mg there) but then you say you had in-game “mg”. I’m confused!

  • Every game that has tried large scale rvr has had serious tech issues. Does arenanet have a new solution? I will be waiting until after launch to see how well this key gameplay feature works…here’s hoping the GW2 team has found the magic solution to hundreds of players.

  • Playing orcs must die 2 and I have not played part 1.
    I am halfway tru the game (only 15 lvls)
    Maybe it gets harder soon, right now its still to easy.

    Oh and.. that sorceress is easier to play then the warmage.
    Traps on cooldown or big enemy coming.. just use the charm on your staff.

    Actually when I see the kind of traps… I long for a Dungeon keeper 3.

  • Ok… later on it gets pretty hard hehe.
    Game is great though.

    If you liked dungeon defenders, then this is more fun.

  • I couldn’t even log into GW2 last night. I made an Asura but the game hung on entering the world and locked up my PC so that I had to reboot to get back to desktop. I gave up at that point.

  • My frame rate started out in the 30’s when I first logged in but fell to 10fps after one of their first builds. Also their graphics were all contrasty and saturated until you messed with the gama a bit.
    So basing ‘any’ worries on performance based on what felt like a ‘typical slow down’ because of the number of people in the area makes it hard to judge if this will happen at release.

    “Unlike previous stress tests, we will be actively working on the game during the event, so you might experience connectivity pr
    oblems or discover features that are not working as designed. Any issues you experience are a result of the rigorous conditions of the stress test, and are in no way representative of the state of the game at launch.” -ANET

  • In the previous BWEs maxing out the graphics settings didn’t do anything much to texture quality, but in the stress test there was a big improvement to texture quality at the expense of frame rate. My guess is that they’ve started implementing some of the advanced graphics features, but obviously these will only work well on high end hardware and those with older machines will need to tune the settings down a bit.

  • You fools need to get into podcasting. I miss the old Warhammer cast with Keen. 🙂

  • We’re going to begin extensive live streaming when GW2 launches. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a podcast or videocast on a weekly basis from our and youtube channels. If there’s enough interest, I’ll consider it further.

  • I’d only be interested in new content on twitch. (or a youtube video.. good thing is that I can watch it whenever I want)
    You seem to play a lot of new games.

    What I meant with new content:
    Would be nice if you streamed a first impression stream.
    Then a review later on.

    But just watching someone play a game people already know is well.. there are thousands if not more that do that already.

  • @Zyler: Good idea. I think streaming a first impressions ‘look’ at the game then putting that on Youtube as well is a good idea.

  • @bhagpuss – future heads up just in case we ever have another stress test for launch and they do the same thing:

    The first 30 minutes or so was like they didn’t have all the zones up. My norn was the only character I could log in with and even then it was slow. I had to close GW2 (without restarting) and then restart it probably 5 times. Although I think an hour into it, it was definitely smoother.