The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Month: June 2008

Gaming Time Limited? Options Still Out There

During the early summer months, my gaming time (and writing time as well as you can see) is usually severely limited because of a change in priorities.  Namely, my children are here for their annual summer visit.  While I can’t play AoC for hours like I was, I can still get in some gaming here and there.  Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Mario Kart Wii

It’s probably not quite as good as the GameCube edition of the game, but it’s dang close. In my book that still makes it one of the 10 best video games ever.  I can’t tell you how much enjoyment my family and I have derived from this franchise.  All ages seem to be able to enjoy it and there is actually a higher level of understanding that you can gain that gives it the depth that most adult gamers require for their enjoyment.  Been playing a lot of this.

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Why is Common Courtesy so Uncommon?

AntisocialThe title of this article is a question posed by a member of our AoC guild. The trigger for this question was that he and 3 others were waiting for a slow-spawning boss for a quest.  They were standing near the spawn waiting when the boss spawned and a solo player immediately got to it and tagged it.  So their group had to wait I don’t know how long for the boss to respawn, when the “offending” player could have just asked into the group and they all could have had it.  It seems like this sort of antisocial behavior has been growing more prevalent in recent years.  It’s not a new phenomenon though.  I remember being a dark elf enchanter in Everquest and there was a guy (not a dark elf) killing guards inside Neriak.  As I ran past him, I got a tell; “Give me Clarity.”  Excuse me?  “Effing give me Clarity!”  Umm, I don’t want to.  This resulted in a huge string of profanity directed at me.  If he had been even a little courteous I would have surely buffed him.  As it was, not so much.

Courtesy was much more common, and even expected, in Everquest than it is in today’s games though. I think one of the factors is where players come from today vs. what my circle of friends’ gaming background was when we started.

I have a theory (this should scare you.)

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Age of Conan Update

It’s been a little while since I wrote about AoC and what’s going on there. A lot has changed as I see it so let’s get started;

First of all, I understand that the game isn’t for everyone.  I don’t understand the hate that is going around about the game though.  There are some definite annoyances in the game.  It still crashes and hitches too much.  Not nearly as much as in the open beta but enough to make your blood boil at times.  There are harvesting bugs, quest bugs (some of them just plain don’t work) and other kinds of bugs all over the game.  That being said, it’s still very playable and Funcom is patching twice a week trying to get on top of it.  As long as there is progress then I think it’s worth playing, more so than anything else I can think of right now.

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One Meeeelion Units

Joystiq LogoAccording to a brief article over at Joystiq, Age of Conan has now shipped One Million Units.  This is based on a report from, a popular game industry news site.

Darren over at the Common Sense Gamer has a good little analysis of the situation on his blog as well.

For those of you not in the retail/distribution business, here is what this means;

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SOE Still Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way

I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but…(long)

You gotta love our heroes over at Sony Online Entertainment.  Even when they have a good idea, one of their other ideas comes along and screws it up for them.  The latest example is that of the Station Launcher.  One day long ago, SOE said to itself; “Self, wouldn’t it be cool if we had one launcher for all of our games?  That way not only could the customer launch any SOE game they owned from it, but we could use it to market all of the games that they DON’T have every time they launch a game.”  Solid thinking, that.  Hard to argue that the Station Launcher is a great idea.  Hell, it even got me to subscribe to Station Pass not too long ago.  But that is all changing now.

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Someone Must Like Age of Conan

According to a press release at FunCom Age of Conan is the number one PC release currently going. It’s been interesting to watch how it’s been received here in the “blogosphere” with some blogs panning it, some praising it, and blogs like mine liking it but expressing concerns.

With the negatives that have gone along with this title from the get-go you would think that it wouldn’t have had this kind of initial success.  Here is what the release has to say;

In Germany, Age of Conan is #1 on all-format and PC, while the console-orientated UK market has Conan as #2 on the all-format charts, only beaten by the GTA 4 juggernaut. The game is the biggest launch for a PC title this year in the UK with a firm # 1 placement on the PC charts, and the game had the biggest ever MMO launch – outside of the World of Warcraft franchise. In Sweden and Norway, Age of Conan storms in as #1 on both PC and all-formats, while contributing to making it the biggest week for PC games in 2008. In Spain and Italy, Age of Conan reigns the PC chart, while the Australians sends the game to #1 on PC and #2 on all-formats. That Age of Conan had a chance of conquering PC charts were known, that it competes in the all-format charts come as a pleasant surprise.

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Open Invitation – All My Readers

You guys know I started out as skeptical on Age of Conan.  Very skeptical.  I’m still concerned about some issues in the game. Like most (all) new MMO’s it’s far from perfect.  But I’ve got a small group of people that have guilded up and we’re enjoying the game.

So here’s what I want to do.  if you want to buuld a guild city in AoC, you need a few things.  You need a guild leader that is level 40.  I’m most of the way there, just a couple clicks from 34.  You need a ton of resources and some level 40’s that will take up the crafting professions.  And you need 24 members.  Now our little guild is made up of some pretty dedicated players.  Everyone in the guild at the moment lives near me and is either someone I’ve played with in other games or gamer friends of those people.  We’re going to build a guild city.

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Tarkheena’s Ramblings on AoC and Server Stability Part 1

Let me start by saying that I was not in the beta and have only my limited “live” game experience on which to base these ramblings.  I would hope that they are going to be working on the issues and will get them fixed.  The opinions expressed are solely the opinion of the writer.

So much for the disclaimer…

Genda and I spent most of the weekend playing AoC.  Game play seems to break down like this;

1.  Get up early and make a few harvesting runs.

2.  Once we start running into more and more people harvesting, go out in the world and experience play to lvl.

Notes on Harvesting:

I like the harvesting being in a separate, instanced zone.  We spent quite a bit of time roaming the Purple Lotus Swamp this weekend and I really enjoyed it.  By mixing random mob spawns in with the harvesting grind, it keeps you on your toes.  I would imagine it also keeps people from running harvesting bots (a serious consideration since the nodes are not randomly situated).  Both good things in my book.

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