Dude’s Chronicles 4-26-2015: Getting Back To It

wp-2yearsThis was just going to be another post but when I logged into Word Press there was an unexpected notification…Apparently I’ve been doing this for two years. It doesn’t feel like it and at times I’ve slacked off but I’ve always come back. This also means I’ve been contributing at What’s Your Tag? for about a year. Whether you’ve been following my work the entire time or this is the first post of mine you have read, thank you.

Small-soldiers-1-1024With bowling over, there is a hole in my schedule. Golfing might help with that but I hold no enthusiasm for that sport anymore. Perhaps with the extra time I can finally finish watching Daredevil on Netflix. I watched the second episode of that show and it is keeping my interest and. Time didn’t get set aside for that series but I did have time to watch an old movie that I haven’t seen in years, Small Soldiers. If you are not familiar with this movie don’t be surprised. It was supposed to be a lot bigger than it was and did not have the success that was anticipated. Watching it years later, I amazed at the talent that was in this movie. They didn’t all have large rolls and some were voice only rolls. Here is the short list:

  • Kirsten Dunst
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • David Cross
  • Jay Mohr
  • Dennis Leary
  • Phil Hartman
  • Ernest Borgnine
  • Jim Brown
  • Michael McKean
  • Harry Shearer
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Christina Ricci
  • Cheri Oteri

There are few others that you may not know there names but you know you’ve seen them before. I won’t lie and tell you this is a great movie or should have been the blockbuster that it was intended to be. It is still watchable all these years later. Give it a watch if you have access to it.

Neverwinter-1-620x350Neverwinter has put me at my wits end. The framerate problems and jittery screens are the least of my woes. I thought I could avoid most of the issues by not playing on the weekends but it seems that I’m having issues even during the week. Battlefield fans are familiar with “rubber-banding”, the problem were you will stop momentarily and then instantly be at another point of the map, this is happening all to often to me in Neverwinter. There was also the issue of joining a dungeon, being put into, getting kicked, being offered the same dungeon group, being put in, getting kicked, etc. This process repeated and the only remedy was to decline then re-queue myself all over again. If this had only happened once, I would write it off but it seems to happen time and again on dungeons and skirmishes.

Beyond the technical issues, I think I am not enjoying the game anymore. The combat is not interesting to me and I feel like even lower leveled enemies are getting the better of my. Since I am not an expert at these types of games, I am wiling to admit that my play style is probably part of the issue. Even with that, I just don’t feel like I’m enjoying it or want to continue.

The other thing that got to me is the in-game purchases available. Yes, you can play nearly all of the game without ever investing any money into the game. If you do pay some, you can unlock some nice items and make life easier on yourself. What got to me was when I went to upgrade my companion only to find out the charge was outrageous. The companion I have currently stops leveling at fifteen but can be upgraded to level up further. However, the charge to do so is 300,000 Astral Diamonds, which are one of the currencies in the game. The problem is that the ways to earn Astral Diamonds are very limited and you are limited to how many you can earn in a day. I understand the need to throttle these in order to keep balances in the game but it is clearly more of a posture to get people to spend money because the same Astral Diamonds can be purchased without limit. The only limit to your purchases is your wallet. You have to use real money to buy Zen which can be used in the game to make many purchases, including Astral Diamonds.

I’m a big fan of free games but I’m not a fan at all of some of the in-game purchase methods. I question what would have been included in Neverwinter if it had been sold as a boxed game for $60. We’ll never know for sure but perhaps it is just one example of how games are being offered nowadays with publishes and develops constantly trying to find new revenue streams without outright raising prices.

Featured Image -- 3034So what’s my solution? Destiny. As much as I hate the game I also love it. It has great graphics and the shooter mechanics are incredible. Granted that the loot system is still a tragic mess and I completely admit that. The House of Wolves was given a release date and some details were laid out. This was something that made me interested in the game again. Bungie is trying to correct some of the things they did wrong with The Dark Below and it is to early to tell if it will be enough. I am now multi-platform with they game as well. After we talked about it on last week’s What’s Your Tag? podcast, I went and purchased it for the Xbox One. In less than a week I already have a level 27 warlock. Not only that, I have started playing on my PS4 again as well. So if I have anybody to blame for this it is Brad.

If I could find a few regulars to play Destiny, I think I would like it even better. Having people you enjoy playing with makes any game more enjoyable. See you out there guardians!

 

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

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Words of Wisdumb…086

That second pot of coffee seems like a great idea until you are staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night.

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found over at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

Podcast: While Miles Is Away…

What's Your Tag?

This week Brad steps in for Miles to try to bring order back to the podcast but he is quickly consumed by the madness that is Kayla and Paul. What’s Your Tag? may never be the same.

As always, the podcast is available to download via SoundCloud if you want to hear us yap during your lunch break instead of sitting at your PC for an hour.

The list of topics include:

  • Brad’s love of Destiny
  • Paul’s ongoing confusion in Neverwinter
  • Kayla’s fantastic hair
  • Impersonations of Miles

If there’s anything you’d like us to address in a future weekly podcast, drop us a comment down below!

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Dude’s Chronicles 4-20-2015: A Day Late But Just As Delightful

Christmas birthday cake pictureOk, so I’m a day late. Yesterday was my birthday so I would appreciate a pass for that.

Daredevil-Netflix-LogoIf you ever wait for things to slow down so that you can catch up, you may as well be prepared to get run over. The week provided little opportunity for entertainment pursuits. In fact I didn’t get to watch anything until Sunday night when I watched one episode of the Daredevil series on Netflix. I will say that it peeked my interest and I look forward to watching more of it.

Neverwinter-1-620x350As for gaming, Neverwinter was the only game I played and it came very close to unnerving me. Through the process of diligent grinding, my only character is level thirty-eight. It seems that the deeper into the game I go, the more cumbersome the grinding becomes. The saving grace it that the game continues to open up with more areas and enemies thus reducing the harshness of the grind by providing some freshness.

The down turn of Neverwinter seems to be the weekends. The game itself has some technical issues and they become more exaggerated on the weekends, due likely to the increased player counts. On Saturday night, however, it was unbearable. After several failed attempts to even log into the game, I queued up for a dungeon and while I waited for the next hour to get in I continued to grind. The grind was horrible with the game frequently locking. This was especially bad when it happened in the midst of a battle and gained control back just in time to save my life. This was not always the case and it was what made me leave the game for the night. During one of the boss fights in the dungeon, the game froze again but upon my return I was prompted with the death screen. This was the last straw and instead of getting angry, I turned the Xbox One off and went to bed.

Truly, I hate quiting in the middle of a game and leaving the group a player short but I also could ‘t bear the frustration any longer. I’ve resigned myself to playing Neverwinter only on week days when it is seemingly more reliable and stable.

After this week, I hope to have some more time for entertainment. This is the final week for my bowling league and we didn’t even come close to making the roll-offs. Maybe next year but for now I’ll have one more night free until next season.

 

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

Words of Wisdumb…085

Deception is reality.

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found over at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

Falling Out of Love With the Vita

What's Your Tag?

psvitaDear Vita,

This is so hard to write but I have to tell you that it is over. It’s nothing you did, please don’t blame yourself. Really, it’s not you…it’s me. I just want more than you are capable of giving me. That sounds so selfish and terrible. I hope that you don’t hate me.

We had been growing apart for quite some time. After all, I hadn’t really touched you in a long time and that is no way for a relationship to be. Don’t pretend like you haven’t seen me with my hands on some other console’s sticks during the last few weeks. I don’t want you to try to fool yourself into thinking it wasn’t happening.

I really thought we could give it one last try. We took that trip out of town to see friends and I had such high hopes that we could rekindle what…

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Podcast: One Girl, One Robot

What's Your Tag?

Miles decided sleep was more important than conversation, while Brad was busy hunting bigfoot for the CIA, leaving Kayla and Paul to speak what is left of their minds. What’s Your Tag? followers better strap in for the ride.

As always, the podcast is available to download via SoundCloud if you want to hear us yap during your lunch break instead of sitting at your PC for an hour.

The list of topics include:

  • Neverwinter
  • Diablo III
  • Star Trek
  • Sasquatch

If there’s anything you’d like us to address in a future weekly podcast, drop us a comment down below!

(Image credit)

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