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.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations thoughts

I’m still working on my next Pixelated Zen Plays, it’ll be the continuation of our DCUO plays. Following that will be some Asura Guild Wars 2 gameplay, and then either the Sylvari or more DCUO gameplay. If you have a preference, let me know. Anyway, I just finished Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on that game, on the series so far, and show you a little kill I made in the game. First of all, the kill video.

I love that video, and I’m so happy that I was recording when it happened. As for my feelings on the game overall, I enjoyed it. I’d place it under Assassin’s Creed 2. For me, the series goes Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood >> Assassin’s Creed 2 >> Assassin’s Creed Revelations >> Assassin’s Creed. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the original Assassin’s Creed and I think I was one of the very few people to ever finish the game. The story in Revelations I felt was the best in the series, but the new gameplay things they added aren’t all that fun. I almost never used the bombs, and the Tower Defense was alright but nothing special. The hookblade was awesome though, and sliding down ziplines is something I imagine I will miss in Assassin’s Creed 3.

Assassin’s Creed (the series) is my favorite series in gaming right now. Did the formula feel a bit stale by Revelations? Yes, to a degree, but everything about it appeals to me. I do wish they would go back to the middle-east setting of the first game, as I know how to speak Arabic and it made the game more enjoyable to hear those little snippets of information in Arabic and know what they were saying. Still, it’s the only series I have ever bought every iteration of (aside from the portables, which I don’t have the systems for), and enjoyed each and every one of them. I think the series is getting better every game, and this next one looks to do a large revamp and get rid of some of that sterile feeling. I will be interested to see how much assassinating you do as the first and second games were assassination heavy, while Brotherhood and Revelations felt more like you were the leader of an Assassin’s Guild. You didn’t need to stealth and get a single kill before escaping, you could just walk in sending out assassins to kill anything that stood in your way. Don’t mistake me, I really like both styles of gameplay, and Brotherhood and Revelations have the 100% Sync bonus objectives that can make it feel more like AC1&2, but they didn’t allow restarting a mission from a checkpoint, only from the beginning, so it felt more like a chore to get that than a pleasure.

Stay tuned for more Pixelated Zen Plays!

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.

Welcome to Pixel Zen!

Welcome to my blog. The idea behind this blog is to help me chronicle my attempts to avoid the blinding rage I’ve felt for years when playing some types of games. Specifically anything online and competitive, or even just games where I lose a lot. I’ve spent most of my life, now 28 years old, getting far too angry for no apparent reason, and only when it comes to video games. I’m honestly starting to worry that it’s going to kill me. As such, I’ve made a conscious decision to not get as angry with video games anymore, and to try to enjoy my time with them more. This blog will follow me as I try to explain why I get so angry, and also what I’m trying to do to help alleviate that anger. This may come in the form of stories following my exploits in gaming, or something I’ve thought of to help me deal with my anger. Stick around and read some more if you’re interested.