STOP RUNNING AWAY FROM ME!

STOP RUNNING AWAY FROM ME!

I’ve been playing The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing on Steam lately and for the most part it’s an enjoyable game, though that might depend on what you like from your action RPGs. If you’re like me and you beat Diablo, cracked your knuckles and said “Job well done Mr. Fancy Pants, I’ll probably play through that game again sometime down the road” then you’ll probably get some great fun out of Van Helsing. If you’re one of those people who feel that beating the story is a minor point, and grinding for thousands of hours to get the best gear and highest paragon level, well the game has gotten better in that regard but it still lags behind the competition.

But none of that is really what I want to talk about today because today I have a complaint. In these types of games I like to feel like a badass that can leap into combat and slaughter dozens of creatures in seconds! That happens a lot of the time in Van Helsing, true, but sometimes the game just throws dozens of enemies at you, many with elemental ranged attacks, that completely overwhelm you. I’ve died just a second after an encounter has started many times while playing and while that could just be me sucking at the game, it doesn’t really bother me too much. What DOES bother me though are cowardly ranged enemies!

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My Day of Dota 2 ends early in death and destruction

I decided to spend all day today playing Dota 2. The idea is that, having 48 hours in game under my belt, I would get to 60 hours today. That would theoretically greatly improve my skill at the game, or at least let me learn a LITTLE more of Lich. Sadly, it didn’t really work out. I’ve played four games already today, it is noon, and I have lost all of them horribly. The only game that was close is the game from the image above. At that point in the match I had been doing great, we all had except for Huskar, but two of our players dropped above five minutes before that picture was taken. We were quickly pushed back into our base, but the three of us were holding them off, and even pushing top lane back with the possibility of doing some damage. Then we got roped into a team fight and, being 2 down, we got squashed. That’s when they entered the base and finished us off.

I honestly don’t know how much longer I’ll be playing Dota 2. The gameplay is fun, but I have dozens of PVP games I own and can play. Most of them have MUCH better communities as well, as there isn’t a game that goes by where someone doesn’t call me a dipshit or worse in Dota 2. I understand that competitive play brings out the worst types of people, that’s fine. Dota 2 and Valve clearly aren’t interested in trying to change that, and why should they? Their target market loves it and that is fine. Just not fine FOR ME. As such, I think I may try to hit 60 hours and then quit. By the 60 hour mark I feel I can tell myself I’ve gotten my times worth out of the game, I have experienced much of what the game has to offer, and things aren’t going to change much from that point on. If I’m not enjoying it by then, and at this point I doubt I will be, then I’ll probably uninstall and focus on a different MOBA, or take a small break from the genre and PVP in some other game.

P.S. Of course this is a skill thing, partly. Some will accuse me of quitting because it’s hard, and that is honestly partly true. If I won more games than I lost because I was better at the game, I would get more enjoyment out of the game. At the same time, my win/loss record leans heavily toward the wins and my skill, while not great by any means, is slightly above average. I am just not finding much JOY in the game, and that makes me ask myself “why am I even still playing?” Still, gotta get to 60 hours played, I’m at 52 now. Let’s see if 8 hours over a couple days can change my mind.


The nights PVP started out fine. I played a game of Dota 2 and I picked Lich for the first time. It was the mode where you are presented with three champions and you have to pick one, so I went with the support. I always go with the support in MOBA games, partly because I suck at them. I got better at LoL, and now I’m back to square one with Dota 2. I really miss the combat of LoL, but I hate the runes/summoner spells that mean that no one is on an even footing necessarily.

The second game I was invited to a group by my best friend, who happens to be a massive curse for me. Everytime I group with him in any game it turns into an exercise in frustration and anger. That’s weird too, since we are both pretty good at the games we play, him usually better than me. But whenever we combine our powers, we get stomped. Tonight was no exception either, I played Lich again, trying to get better with him, and he played Drow. We took bottom, and we were holding our own. Sadly, our middle wasn’t doing anything and our top was getting destroyed. That’s when my own “skill” left and I started feeding the other team no matter how hard I tried not to. We ended up with only the towers in our base and we held them off for a good long while, and this is where I started getting back into my groove. We pushed back for a bit and it looked like we might have a small shot when we had a bad group battle and we all died. That was the end of the match, and we decided to take a break from Dota 2.

We moved over to Team Fortress 2 and this time my wife joined us. She is the best Medic I have ever seen in TF2, and that is ALL she does. Have I EVER seen her be anything else? Nope. Does she ALWAYS make a massive difference on the team she’s on? Yep. We started the night with me and my wife on one team, and my friend on the opposite. It became pretty apparent that the game was pretty one sided. Me and my wife can generally turn a match around together, me the Heavy and her the Medic, but we were stopped at every turn. Often they would cap a point and within 5 seconds have the next point capped as we had no rear guard. We lose several matches in a row, badly, until my friend was able to come over to our team. We managed to do pretty well that time and actually held the attackers off for most of the match, only losing in the last few minutes. This is when the server decided to scramble, since it was obviously not fair that we didn’t get squashed right away. I ended up on a team alone, and had to endure my wife and friend wiping the floor with my dignity for two matches before we all agreed that it was time to grab some dinner and take a break.

Meanwhile I’m sweating, angry to the point of shaking, and frustrated beyond belief. That is not good, I’m trying to stop myself from getting like that. Luckily my wife is awesome, we grabbed some dinner and we have some ice-cream in the fridge. As long as I take it easy the rest of the night I should be ok, but I can already feel that PVP adrenaline/frustration headache starting. Gonna grab some asprin and relax. See you all tomorrow with a new Let’s Play video.

Guild Wars 2 PVP is bringing out the RAGE


I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 this weekend, and for the most part I’ve been having a blast. This is only the second beta weekend event that I have been a part of, and it’s the first weekend that I’ve tried PVP. I only touched on the World vs. World stuff for about an hour, and the rest of my PVP time was spent in the Scenario style matches. There are some things I love, and there are definitely some things I hate, so let’s get right into it:

Things I love:
There are no factions in the game. You pick a server you want to fight on (think Team Fortress 2, where you see the map and the number of people on it) and then join. It’ll place you on either the red or blue team, keeping the teams as balanced as possible. You’ll be dressed entirely in red or blue, making it very easy to tell friend from foe, but you will be able to customize your gear in PVP, just not the color.

If someone drops out, or one team ends up with 4 people while the other team has six, the game with auto-balance the teams, giving everyone the opportunity to volunteer to be moved to the other team, and if no one volunteers someone gets voluntold. That means you should never have the problem of one side winning due to having twice as many players as the other side.

When you go to the scenario PVP grounds everyone is put on an equal footing. You are given level 80 pvp gear, all of your abilities and access to any weapons/weapon abilities that your class can use. This means the PVP is always fair, and has nothing to do with one person having less skill but far superior gear. That is amazing, and I hope that they keep it. My worry is that, as there are PVP “levels” independent of the PVE level of your character, you might be able to unlock/buy better gear. If that is the case, well that sucks, but I don’t think it is.

Things I hate:
The complexity. This is only a complaint for now, because we all know the more time you put into the game, the more the complexity is going to be a boon. The problem is that when you have spent a total of one hour on your character and you jump into PVP with a level 80 character, you ARE going to be overwhelmed. Not only by all the options your class has, but by the options the other classes have as well. It’s very much a trial by fire, and I was furious with my lack of understanding/ability pretty much the entire time.

No team skill-balancing. If you get on a server, you can stay there. That means when one match/map ends, it’ll proceed to the next one. Just like Team Fortress 2. This is great when the teams are balanced skill-wise, but when you just got stomped 100-500 and they destroyed your base and killed your leader (an optional thing in these matches, very hard to do and it doesn’t happen often), the game does nothing to balance the teams. This means that you could theoretically have 10 matches in a row where you get stomped 100-500, making for a VERY aggravating time. Now, you can and SHOULD drop the match after two or three games, in order to give it time and see if they just got lucky that first game. Still, going three games where you are getting farmed with nothing to say about it can drive you insane, and I had to take breaks when I felt the rage welling up.

Lack of variety. There are at least four maps I’ve played in, but each of them was a capture and hold style game. You capture one of three to five points, then hold it to increase your teams score. There was no capture the flag, no attack/defend maps, just the capture and hold. That’s not terrible, as the maps are really pretty and seem balanced as far as each sides starting areas, but after hundreds of hours of PVP it could get pretty stale.

That’s it for now, I’ll be posting my Sylvari character creation video sometime today, and a PVP video sometime after that where yo will get to see me get destroyed pretty badly as my Ranger. For now, I’m going to take a nice bath and play some carebear PVE to keep my heart from exploding and sending bile-rage through my veins. Thanks for reading.