Wildstar One Month Review

Ok, so we’re more than a month in.  I was on vacation!

I am a firm believer that an MMO should be judged past the 1 month marker and your decision to be made after 2 months of play.  Outside of MMOs, I can’t think of another type of game I pay full price for anymore mind you.  The timing has less to do with the game and more about the nature of the game – multiplayer.  After 2 months, the zeitgeist passes and you get into the player plateau.  Still, onto my thoughts.

Starting Off

I have never been a big fan of character creators in MMOs, unless the game was mostly helmet-less.  I like having different character models for silhouettes but if everyone is the same (SWTOR and RIFT come to mind) then what’s the point?  Wildstar gives me enough variety in sizes and art to make me happy.  I have a tremendous dislike with race-restricted classes mind you and Wildstar applies that to Espers more than other classes for some reason.  So I created a grumpy ol’ human esper and a granok engineer.

The tutorial zone is decently done.  You can zip through it under 5 minutes if you want.  I feel bad that the zone is never visited again mind you – wasted assets.  The starter zone follows and you get 2 choices per faction and those choices link to the first “starter zone”.  There’s a gradual build up of skills for your character and there was clearly some thought behind it all.  By and large, the “power path” is similar between all classes.  They get a stun at the same time, a builder, a finisher, flavor, etc…

You get access to costumes early on, which is on-par with RIFT in terms of customization, very good.  Housing at 15, nearly fully featured, which is amazeballs.  Mounts too, which makes travel a whole lot easier (mounts are different enough too!)  I’d say from 1-20, the progress is really well thought out.

Mid game

This is the 20-49 game and by and large, we’re talking about PvE content.  PvP is there and certainly the most fun pre-50, but the game is built on something else.  So from 20 on, you get a zone per ~7 levels.  Whitevale – a frozen tundra which starts off cool and ends on a whiper.  Farside – probably the most fun I’ve had leveling in years, certainly with the moon sub-zone where gravity is weak.  It’s well designed.  Wilderrun – your typical jungle level, which we’ve seen a thousand times.  The story is kind of cool but anything after Farside feels meh.  Malgrave – a western themed zone which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  There are some neat parts but you’re happy to leave.  You finish with Grimvault – a plague filled area with few redeeming qualities.  Western Grimvault in particular is just horrible making the trek from 47-50 feel longer than 20-47.

Questing is decent enough, with traditional kill X, deliver X or press X quests.  There are varied questing interfaces mind you – a simon says  game, a mash the button game, a button timing game.  There are zone defense sub quests, public tagging (so you can share quest progress with non-group members), smart drops and quite a few quality of life PvE boons.  Group quests are present, with ~5 per zone and still at this point people are grouping up.  In fact, grouping with people rewards you with reknown, a currency for non-combat items.  There’s even guild credit too.  Everywhere you go, Wildstar rewards you for grouping.

Paths are less fun, as a “side” leveling exercise.  Each gives you 3 skills to use and bluntly, the only ones worth mentioning are scientist with a group summon and portal to the capital and settlers with mailboxes and vending machines to repair gear.  I expected more.  There was more in early beta.  A lot was cut back.  It’s more than any other game on the market mind you but once you unlock the skills, there’s no reason to keep going, other than being a completionist (which all scientists are I suppose).

Crafting makes sense and provides gear at or above your level, better than quest and drop rewards.  I think it’s the first time where crafting is a viable alternative rather than an end-game activity.  There are crafting daily quest (used to get credits for top level recipes), talents to customize your skill set and only 5 tiers to progress though, so you’re rarely stuck in some grey zone.  Customizing gear, including rune crafting, is rather well thought out in terms of mechanics.  What isn’t though out are actual stat numbers and I’ll get to that.

“Elder” game

Wildstar’s term for what to do at max level.  PvP, dungeons, veteran dungeons, crafting, daily quests, raiding, adventures and ship hand missions are all options.  Solo, you can do most of it.  Majority of groups will do everything but raiding.  Raiding requirements are simply too high for the average skill set and the logistics of getting 40 people together means every server is going to have 2-3 raiding squads, at most.  I expect this to change in a future patch.  Still, there’s a whole lot to do without raiding.  Housing has private/group instances (dungeons) which is something you could spend a week doing.


Limited action bars are the future, plain and simple.  WoW has always been a poster child for skill bloat and SWTOR exemplifies that further.  Wildstar gives you a limited slot to put in what you want.  You can customize those skills as well, for various buffs.  Sometimes you need more AE attacks, sometimes a super interrupt.  It’s smooth and forward, a step forward compared to TSW’s decks – at least to me.  AMPs (or talents) work ok as well, with a lot of simple passives and flexibility.  I think the fact that there are no existing cookie-cutter builds as a good thing, as each build is based on a set of circumstances.

What doesn’t work so well are stats.  DPS players value attack power above absolutely everything.  Healers need focus (mana) regeneration to a breakpoint, then support power above all else.  Tanks are slightly different with 2-3 rather even weights, after deflection.  Carbine has said this is a problem and they are going to make changes.  It’s not to say there are BAD stats, just less optimal ones.  We’re not talking about SWTOR’s haste issues (it actually made you worse) or those that scale wrong (armor penetration in WoW).  This further affects rune slots, as some are worthless and others worth gold.  It’s a fair amount of balance needed and that’s due in the fall as my guess.  Overall, the largest impact on stats is on raiders, most people won’t notice it that much.

Actual combat, what with the telegraphs and all, is very hectic.  It is very easy to die in this game.  As a healer, I’ve been conditioned to think it was my fault but in fact, 95% of the time, it’s the other player who stood in the bad stuff.  Solo play, it isn’t so apparent mind you, though some areas with tight enemy patterns are hard.  Group play though, wowza.  If it’s red, get out.  If there’s a cast bar, interrupt.  You need a mouse to move, not be a keyboard turner.  I think the group content is paced at such a rhythm that you don’t grow tired (sword maiden excepted).  It’s challenging and fair, therefore extremely rewarding to complete something.  I’ve been in random groups wiping on a boss for 30 minutes.  When you get through, it just feels great.  There’s still some need for skill balance mind you.  Like Medics are horribad at DPS, Engineers are way too strong on DPS and so on.  But again, these are tail end metrics as while you’re leveling, it is rarely apparent.


This one is its own section because it’s very polarizing.  Wildstar is very B-movie in approach.  Everything is an exaggeration of the industry, with rather wild (pardon the pun) flair.  Character models are distinct.  Enemy types are varied.  People look different from each other and are recognizable.  Music is pretty kick arse.  Dungeons have good art style and the bosses are more than just giant humanoids.  Heck, the first end boss in a dungeon is a dragon that hatches from the ceiling.

What also works incredibly well is the lore.  There is a very interesting story to be had here and it is subtle.  You can read books, you can read text, NPCs jabber on while you’re about (“oh the hero!)” and Drusera’s reveal is well written.  You knew Blighthaven was coming and the story told there is well done.  For a game without an established IP to work off, I have to say that there are years of work put into it and very little of it conflicts.  Incredibly well done.


Wildstar uses a standard auction house and a commodity one.  You can only list 25 items per AH, which drastically reduces the number of bots/market barons.  I remember in WoW I would have 300 postings at once, RIFT wasn’t far behind.  The commodity one has buy and sell orders, which makes for a more interesting market.  Sure, you can game the thing if you wanted to but overall, the system works fairly well, especially with the floor being high vendor prices.  In fact, you can afford pretty much anything in the game at level 50, as part of your core.  Money is used for customization by and large, which is smart.  There are very few taps as well, so inflation isn’t crazy.  There are no Caturdays here.


Now is Wildstar the next best thing since sliced bread?  No, not so much.  It is a fantasy themepark with all the pits therein.  It is a fine evolution on WoW, SWTOR, FF14 and RIFT.  There are things on those games I’d like to see here (FF14 and RIFT’s open zone content for one) but by and large, there’s little to complain about.  The pacing is well done; you’re not flying through levels hitting a cap in a day.  There’s plenty of side activities to do.  There’s challenging content without the need for facerolls or the “go go go” attitude.  Grouping is pushed early on and social interaction.  There are a few bugs but none that are gamebreaking.  I think I found 3 that I needed to re-log for in my run from 1-50.  It’s very well polished.

I do expect there to continue to be progress on content as the days go by.  There are some needed tweaks here and there, in particular around the raiding aspect.  If given the choice between FF14 (which is also difficult) and Wildstar, you’re in for a rather even fight as I consider those 2 MMOs to be the only ones worth any subscription.  The biggest benefit to Wildstar is the sheer variety of content on offer and things to do.  I personally am enjoying my time and my subscription is continuing for the foreseeable future.



Back on Land – Cruise Review

My wife was kind enough to book a cruise to the Caribbean for the both of us last week.  She’d been talking about that type of trip for some time but money was always a stop on that idea.  There are plenty of ways to spend a week for a lot less money than a cruise – and that opinion still stands.  Still, back after a week and here’s some thoughts of the whole affair.

Get a great agent

We were lucky to find a great agent and a great deal.  Direct flight, transport, accommodations, gratuities and a drink package were all included – for $2200, tax-in.  Most cruise prices only include the accommodations.  All the rest combined, per person, would have been around $1000. Our agent found the deal, did a ton of prep work and was highly organized.  It was a fire sale price really, quite comparable to a 5 star all-inclusive resort.

The best part is that they will take all your requirements in hand and budget it out for you.  Some people don’t need a drink package, others can’t live without it.  They’ll recommend excursions too, and give some great tips.

Great cruise line

Each line has their own target clients.  Carnival is the 20-something pary-goer.  Royal Caribbean is the family type.  Celebrity Cruises, our line, is aimed for the retiree/affluent market.  Now, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy at home but I’m practically in a suit at work, so no big swap for me.  Every dinner was a 5 course meal, required “smart casual” wear and you had more than 2 forks.  I am an avid food lover, I like that type of dining.  My wife isn’t so used to it, but she found the charm in it.  The activities on board also reflected that attitude, with an active pool deck but a more subdued ship interior.

It’s a damn big ship

Room service was included, so we had breakfast every day on our balcony.  Get a balcony.  Do not ever, ever go on a cruise without one.  And one that faces the sea.  It is spectacular and provides you some private sun.

Of all the target demographics, I found myself better aligned with this cruise than the others.  I would much rather wear a dinner jacket than sit next to someone in flip flops.

Important note is cleanliness.  At every port and every restaurant there was someone with hand sanitizer.  There were always people cleaning the ship.  Health and safety is extremely important in a closed space.  I’m not sure how it’s handled on other lines but this is not a resort.  Everything sparkles and is clean and there’s no smell.  It’s astounding what a difference that makes to the experience.

Finally, nearly everyone we met had gone on a cruise before.  Celebrity Cruises is not a discount line, so they had done the other ones before.  Every single one of them would recommend this line again.  This speaks highly to the target market being patrons and being served accordingly.

The food

Above everything else that I do on vacation, eating is the #1 thing I enjoy the most.  My wife doesn’t like quite a few things (seafood, fish, lamb quickly come to mind) so it’s not like I have that normally at home.  This line had a great set of food, 5 course a night, with a varying menu.  Our package included select dining, which meant we could select the hour of our meals.  We took a late seating, which meant we had our own table, rather than splitting it with 4-8 other people.  I had risotto, lamb shanks, eggplant caviar, apple gazpacho, baked alaska, blue cheese souffle and dozens more dishes.  All extremely good and the portions were not American – i.e. you could finish the plate.  Also of note, my wife’s lactose intolerance.  They made special work for her plates, always with a smile, and I could not have thanked them more.

Even the buffet open during the day was great, with a rotating selection every hour.  I stuck to Indian food mostly, but did try a few odd things.  The homemade salmon sandwiches were a good midnight snack.

What I didn’t try were the specialty restaurants.  They were $30-$50 a head and it is extremely hard to justify a $100 premium on a meal after having had a ballroom meal the night before.

Itinerary and excursions

We landed at San Juan, St Thomas and St Maarten.  The first port was great, a small metropolitan town that reminded me of downtown Quebec City.  Cobble streets, bars, military fort.  People actually lived there.  St Thomas and St Maarten were simply 2 towns meant to sell jewelry to tourists.  I despised both port towns and felt dirty just being around them.

We did take a trip to do some snorkeling in St Thomas, which was cool.  Saw some whales (very rare), sea turtles, rays, fish and corral.  Well worth every penny.  In hindsight, we should have tried to find a few beaches outside of town.

I’ve done excursions on resorts and they in no way shape or form compare to those organized by a cruise line. It’s like comparing McDonalds to Cordon Bleu.  Companies will fight over a cruise line recommendation, which drastically increases the quality.

The not so good

Our ship had 3,000 people.  You need to put those people somewhere and the upper deck was, in my opinion, too crowded.  I am a natural introvert and being elbow to elbow for 7 days with other people drove me batty.  The last day I spent mostly in my room, on the balcony.

Try 3x more people.

Ships move.  Get some pills or patches or whatnot and be ready for the possibility of rough seas.  One night was particularly difficult.  The advantage to this is that no one wants to get drunk and be sea sick, so there’s none of that crazy stuff you see on a resort.  My wife is still feeling it after 36 hours off ship.  One lady was sick the first 3 days.

The contrast in service between the ship, the excursions and everywhere else is drastic.  The first two treat you like you are a client and ensuring their employment.  I don’t mean pampering, I mean service with a smile.  Just saying “hi” is a great thing.  The service in the continental U.S. is abhorrent.  Our driver had 60 people on the bus.  He loaded it up alone, and emptied it alone.  Every time with 4-5 people just watching him.  Then these people wanted to get tips for being porters or for moving the bags 5 feet.  Airport service was just as bad.  I have had great service in the U.S. before but this level of apathy is incredible.  It made me give extra gratuity to the on-board staff, just because the contrast was so high.


The real question is would I do it again.  I would not do an eastern Caribbean cruise.  The ports are much too commercial and American influenced for my tastes.  I would try pretty much anywhere else in the world though, even a western Caribbean one.  I would do it again, for anything under $2500, assuming all the same was included as in this trip.  Anything above that, I could get a near-private beach at a Sandals resorts.   I would also plan things a bit better in terms of ship activities.  I’d spend the time to find the quiet spots at the quiet times.  I’d try to keep the same table for formal dinner, just to have a better rapport with the wait staff.

Cruises aren’t for everyone.  They aren’t wholely up my alley, as I prefer a bucket of beer on a beach and a good book, but they do provide a level of luxury at a great price point.

Tops for 2013

Sick + holidays = no posts.  Pretty sure the holidays are supposed to be a break but it seems like they are more hectic each year.  The saving grace is watching the kids have a blast, reminding me why we bother in the first place.

Making it just under the wire, I wanted to give a list of my favorite games of the year.  The vast majority of my games are PC.  Steam + big screen + controller = much better experience.  I look at the new consoles and while they look cool, other than exclusive games, my laptop is more powerful, has more space and thousands of more games.

On to the list!  Of note, these are only games I played.  Last of Us would likely be on it but I didn’t get a chance to play as EBGames ran out of copies.

Ni No Kuni

The only console game on my list but this is why consoles are sold.  A solid exclusive game, with amazing art (Studio Ghibli!), great RPG mechanics and a deep set story.  It seems more of a kid game, and perhaps for the first 45 minutes it is.  Then you hit the first Nightmare boss and realize, ok, this is for adults.  I put in nearly 50 hours and didn’t complete everything.  I’ve recently restarted a session, for when I’m sent to the basement.


This is the way western F2P MMOs need to play.  More of an action game really, in the vein of DCUO, but with a fair amount more customization.  Leveling is smooth, talent trees make sense, limited active skills ensures people think before moving out, offline crafting, decent F2P mechanics, decent social tools and a dungeon crafting tool (Foundry) are just a few of the reasons everyone should give this game a try.


I’ve gone on enough about this game already.  It is the first true MMO game since Rift 3 years ago.  It’s also the only successful subscription MMO in a long time.  Classes have roles, there’s little overlap (since one character can level every class), crafting is complex, the market is well thought out and combat is extremely engaging and challenging.  It makes social interactions much more important.  The success of the game is contrasted by where the game came from, what with FF14 originally being the worst launched game in memory.  The game was on the up and up, then patch 2.1 hit for player housing and developers taking an odd stance on pricing.  Still, it’s a very solid game.

Marvel Heroes

While it launched missing a fair amount of content, by the end of the summer the game was complete.  It’s a rather amazingly addictive game, with the spirit of what Diablo 3 should have given us.  Crafting is wonky (it is in every game of this type) but the combat is solid and the powers interesting.  Customization, visually, is lacking if you don’t pony up the cash but since this IP is so restricted, it makes sense.  A solid F2P endeavor and hopefully makes room for others.

Path of Exile

When you look at the image above, does it not scream Diablo 2?  Path of Exile is an extremely complex action RPG like Diablo.  The skill tree alone has over 1000 choices.  The really neat part is the crafting/trading experience.  Gold farmers can’t make a dime since the entire game is around a system of bartering.  It makes trades much more important.  The crafting game is also super complex and fun, with random affixes and bonuses.  You can make a level 1 item better than a level 50 item, with the right rolls.  A great game to try out.  The game is finally out of beta, hence it’s on the list.

Bioshock Infinite

Ok, this game just rocks.  The first play through is a pile of fun, with some neat twists, especially at the end.  The best part is playing a second time and realizing that the entire story is thought out and integrated.  What seems like a simple scene to just start off the game is actually a deep examination of causation.  My only critique here is the dependence on combat/weapons rather than the exploratory experience of the first two games.  This is offset to a large amount by the writing and acting, and the feeling that Elizabeth and Booker have something together.

Tomb Raider

This list wouldn’t be complete with the resurgence of a dying franchise.  Tomb Raider brought back Lara, in a prequel no less.  It made bows cool again.  The entire game is an exercise in patience, planning and then running away.  There’s a solid pace, a decent storyline and great art.  I played this one a few times through, getting 100% on the first shot and something like 80% on the second.  It’s a solid game.

Honorable Mentions

  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
  • Assassin’s Creed 4
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Brothers – A tale of two sons
  • Ducktales – Remastered


That’s my list for 2013.  Pretty bad for MMOs (except FF14) but really strong on the RPG/story front.  If you add some more games that I didn’t have the chance to play, exclude GTA5 (which is ok but not great), there’s a lot of hope for gaming in the future. Developers are realizing that solid mechanics are important but personal experience even more today.  Looking forward to 2014!

FF14 – Quasi-Review

Right off the bat, my subscription expired and due to the lack of free time for the next while I won’t be re-subscribing until the new year. This is the first game in a very long time that I have not level capped a character in the first 30 days, which is honestly a great feeling.

The idea of this post came up when I was talking to a friend about gaming and he wanted info on FF14. Like it or not, you have to compare to other games to get an understanding. Wow being the baseline in nearly all cases. So here we go, feature wise and in no particular order.

Character Diversity
there really isn’t much here unless you’re a tiny guy/gal or big hulk. Everyone looks the same in armor but only within a class line. There are 9 classes (not counting crafting) so 9 overall looks. Wow has race and class distinction, which is a plus. GW2 is the one that does this best I guess.

Class Diversity
This is odd. There are 9 base classes and combinations of these give advanced jobs totalling 9 as well. It seems complex but in reality somewhat straightforward. There is no skill bloat, so you have 5-7 skills you will use for the given class – great. Better implementation than GW2 and less confusing that WoW/RIFT. The downside is that there is only 1 healer class and they are super in demand. The good side is that any character can be any class – just swap weapons. No need for alts. In fact, alts are a hindrance.

Social tools
This is probably the best part. There are guild tools and levels (5) that provide minor benefits. There’s a guild board and ranks. Guilds work great! There’s and LFD/LFRish tool as well and that is super. No game should launch without. There are random FATE events similar to open world events in WAR/RIFT/GW2. They are the prime way to level. There are many and diverse enough. Crafting is dependent on other crafts as well. Everything seems integrated and there’s a lot of benefit for grouping. There is no solo work at max level.

Since I haven’t raided in large groups this’ll stick to Dungeons. They are well designed and challenging. CC is required in most fights and Leeroy’s are extremely bad news. Bosses can and will kill you in 2 hits but you have a warning and the ability to avoid most of it. The Esper battles are a super example and occur every 10 levels or so. You have a boss with abilities but 1 particular one that will wipe you if not addressed. One downside to this difficulty is that it has little forgiveness for bad play and the general MMO tourist won’t hit 40 because of it. Also, you have to do Dungeons to level up in the main quest. So social is baked in.

Character progression
This is fairly smooth but has some “hell levels” in the 40s. Rested experience is needed and FATE grinds are required. That’s not the end of the world. Gear upgrades are odd in that they are either crafted, come from a quest or drop from a boss. At level 43 my best item is +8, which is nice compared to games with +953 as a stat. Skills are well spread out and make sense. Character battle flow is good. You can level a 2nd (or 9th) class on the same character but at a faster pace. All great stuff.

There’s a 2.5 second global cooldown. This is more than twice what most games have. It is therefore not action oriented but strategic, like real FF games. You have time to think. This does mean attacks deal more damage when they connect but odds are you had time to avoid/mitigate before hand. Boss strategies have stages and complexity without gimmicks. Tank and spank just doesn’t work. It’s good, it’s smart and it’s fun.

End Game

This is where I am missing data.  There are dungeons, hard modes and some raids.  There’s a gear gear portion, similar to other themeparks.  That said, once you’re at max level you have two options.  Grind for gear (token based) or level an alternate class for he same character. Housing is coming soon.  If you want more than dungeons, then this game is likely to disappoint.

Complex and level based. You can be a level 50 crafter and never have to kill a thing. There’s a crafting mini-game or sorts that affects quality and experience from the act, even partial quality. Plenty of skills used so you can increase durability with one or hasten with another. Super smart. It is however daunting for the average player.

Which brings me to the point I’ve mentioned a few times now. FF14 has a learning curve and asks more from a player than just showing up. This is a rather large shift from the past 5 years where most groups were only 75% efficient. Here, if you’re not paying attention, everyone dies. This elevated skill level means that people with level 50 characters are good players because the difficulty has weeded out the bad ones.  Sort of like what WoW had in Vanilla/BC and the exact opposite of today.  Since you have to invest, the value is higher and the quality too.

It is worth the price of admission, no questions asked.  Whether you want to stick around at max level is a talk to have in a few months.

Now That’s a Game

I was able to finish Ni No Kuni yesterday.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the game is a more modern take on the traditional JRPG.  I can honestly say I haven’t had that much fun playing one since Final Fantasy X in 2001.  I played FFX from start to finish at least 20 times since I bought it and I think Ni No Kuni is going to be in that list for a long time too.

There are 2 items that defined a JRPG – the leveling aspect (or need to grind I guess) and the crazy stories.  If you follow all the side quests in NNK, you’re still going to be under-leveled for the rest of the content.  If you actively hunt to find more familiars (of which there are over 400) to fill out your party, then ya, you would have a better chance.  Having  1-3 more levels makes a world of difference, where the stats of a character have a major impact.  Or, you can hunt Tokos, who give piles of experience, are rare and run away as soon as you see them.  The hardest of them all gave my team 2 levels per kill, even at level 70.

The story part of JRPGs is the stuff of legend.  Final Fantasy usually sets the bar on linear for 75%, then the last 25% is over the top.  FFX made sense until you fought Sin, for example.  Well NNK isn’t a whole lot different.  The boss you thought was the end was only 80% of the game.  You get to fight the “god” of the world and that’s a heck of a fight.  The final boss was a real challenge and when it was all over, you really feel like the book is complete.

For the other items that make the game, balance is great, tons of side quests, lots of charm, amazing music and a fairly open world after the first 20%.  The art though, that’s the kicker.  Amazing.  This is a must play.

Great Art

Ni No Kuni

Failure Is an Option

I picked up Dishonored during the Steam sale this weekend and I’ve put a few hours into it.  Think a combination of Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed and Thief together.

Where in most stealth games there is but a single path, with perhaps a few options along with dozens of reloads, I find that Dishonored doesn’t follow that path.  You seem to always have ways to subdue enemies without killing them, even if they see you.  You have 2-5 different ways to get to your goal as well.  Heck, the goal isn’t even static as most quests give you a kill or don’t kill option depending on actions.

The difference is in the impact of the decisions.  Kill everyone and the world turns darker, with more rats and “zombie-like” enemies.  Play cleanly and the world gets brighter with less much around.  Combat isn’t easy by any means.  Some game have enemies queue up to kill you.  Dishonored sends 2 guys against you and odds are you’re going to die.  I like that mistakes aren’t instant death and that they are survivable but not so much so that I can simply walk around dancing and singing a tune.

From what I can tell, I’m about half-way through.  The mini-collection quests along the route (runes, charms, signs and paintings among others) make you hunt down odd passages and explore more than you would think otherwise.  If I were to ignore them and simply take the obvious route, I’d probably end up being a worse player with a more complicated experience.  It’s odd where a game is able to integrate this side-game without being a complete distraction (*cough*batman*cough*).

I’m having a lot of fun.  People should give this game a shot.  It hits all the right notes, has a good voice cast, interesting setting and smooth gameplay.  Happy hunting.

New Site

Clearly my previous site was having performance issues.  Last night it took over 15 seconds to load this site and that had been going on for over a month.  I wasn’t on any free service either, it was ~100$ a year.

My provider, iPower asked me to make a few changes.  After about 12 ticket exchanges, the answer I finally had was that I was on a shared infrastructure and if I wan’t good service, I had to pay 100$ per month to get on a dedicated VM. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of in my life.  I had been with them for about 5 years now and up until that message, I would have recommended them to others.  Today though, we’re in 2012 and everyone should be on a service managed VM.  It probably didn’t help their case that I work with that stuff on a daily basis.

So here I am, hosted by WordPress (it made sense since I used the program already) and we’ll see how this works out.