Category Archives: General Gaming

Lets talk about Forge

UntitledI have never been a huge video game streamer, but I do enjoy streaming from time to time. Unlike a lot of people I watch, I don’t enjoy voicing when I stream (usually, there are of course exceptions). I like to watch other people play games that I’m not currently playing, and it’s just a neat thing to have in the background. Especially if they’re doing something that I don’t typically ‘do’ like raiding, or FPS games. With that being said, I find most streamers who voice, annoying. I’m not interested in their colourful language, low cut tops, or anything specific about a random streamer. I do of course enjoy the commentary from people that I know, but when it comes to strangers I’m pretty specific. I know, that’s pretty harsh judgement, but that’s what I look for when I’m watching someone else play a game. I realize that my opinions are not the most popular out there and that’s alright.

Anyway. The issue I have with most streaming methods is that they require so much ‘stuff’ to be running, typically resource hungry, and always frustrating to set up. There’s twitch, where you need a 3rd party program such as xsplit in order to stream, then there’s hitbox, there’s the steam streaming application which is pretty simple but people on steam have to request to view your stream and it’s not easily accessible to the public, and there’s a handful of other video game streaming options out there.

A bunch of friends of mine started talking about Forge some time ago but to be honest I was getting tired of the work involved with streaming and I sort of tuned them out. Finally on a whim I decided to take a closer look at it – and instantly fell in love. It’s exactly what I was looking for in a video game streaming program – as well as exactly what I wanted to use while watching videos.

The entire program is sleek, simple, and clean. There’s sound from your game but most microphones won’t work – and honestly that suits me just fine. It doesn’t require a lot of PC resources to run, there’s no distracting UI or chat interface, and even though it’s still in early access at the moment and is invite only, they have a great selection of games already available for broadcasting.

I love that I don’t have to do anything in order to broadcast except start Forge. It collects snapshots and allows you to post short (30 second) clips about your game play session, and it’s mostly to watch ‘live’. It tweets out when your broadcast starts a few minutes in so that if there are issues with you disconnecting you’re not spamming your twitter followers. Have I mentioned how much I love the UI? Let me say that a few more times. It’s probably the number one feature that I adore. After two days any videos you have are purged, leaving behind the 30 second clips, screenshots, and montages. You can find my profile here, if you’re looking to follow – if you’re looking for an invite, let me know and I can send you one (need to know your email address).

I know I’m a bit biased as one of my friends is working on their community team, but honestly after so much frustration with trying to get other streaming processes to work, this one is just a real pleasure. Highly recommended.

Heartbreak Games (Formerly SOE)

everquest_landmark.0.0I’ve been trying to figure out what I was going to write in this post for a few hours now, and nothing seems good enough. I can’t find the appropriate words to convey just exactly what I’m feeling. I’m hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Stunned. Of course this has to do with Daybreak Games letting go pretty much everyone I ever liked from the company formerly known as SOE. Currently known as Heartbreak Games to many of us.

I owe the people of SOE a lot. Back in February 2009 they flew me out to San Diego (my first time there) to interview their EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Vanguard teams for Beckett Massive Online Gamer. It was hectic and exciting. I was barely there for 24 hours. I had lunch with Christie (Kiara), Alan (Brenlo), and Aimee (Ashlanne). None of them are with the company any longer, and neither are the other people I met. Tiffany (Amnerys), Lydia (Zatozia), heck most of the teams I interviewed are no longer there either. It would have been easier for me to have asked who was staying, instead of who was leaving.

Out of all the messages I saw from those who were being let go, none were angry. None were spewing hatred at their fate. They were all thankful. They were sad, of course, but they assured everyone they would move on to better things. That they had gained so much from their jobs. They had bonded with friends that were more like family. As I read comments from people who had been there for 6, 12, 14 years and no longer had a job, it made me think about how much these people had affected lives outside of their own. Outside of their workplace. It made me think about all of the good they have done over the years. How thankless their job could be some days.

I hope they realize just a fraction of the good they did. I wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

My Thoughts on Joystiq & Massively

With the recent news that Joystiq is merging into Engadget and Massively is on the way out, I’ve had a lot of thoughts cross my mind. Now, let me get some things straight first. I’ve never written for Massively before but I do know a good number of people who have worked for them. I also don’t follow Massively on twitter, I don’t subscribe to their RSS, and to be very blunt and honest it’s because I simply don’t like the articles. They didn’t appeal to me. A small handful did (I loved reading things on Wurm Online and Vanguard:SOH) but for the most part it just wasn’t a site that I had interest in.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for those types of articles. There are. Just because my personal preference doesn’t match up doesn’t mean I suddenly want to see those people without a job. If every single video game site was the same, it would be incredibly boring. There’s an audience for EVERYTHING out there (size of that audience  differs, of course) and I think that in these times especially it’s important to show compassion. These are people. Friends. They work hard. A lot of past employees from these video game sites move on to bigger and better things. I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for my humble beginnings writing for Beckett Massive Online Gamer, and MMORPG (many years ago). Did everyone like my stuff? No of course not, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not nor have I ever been a journalist of any sort. I’m a writer, yes, and sometimes what I say is interesting enough that I get paid for it, and sometimes it’s not.

Anyway. The whole point of this ramble is to say that it’s sad to see others celebrating when sites like these close down. I’m sure people rejoiced when Beckett MOG shut down too, but that was my paycheque, and it hurt. Show a little class.

Gaming in 2015

Screenshot000I’m taking some inspiration from Sypster over at BioBreak, and writing about what I’d like my goals to be for gaming in 2015. As he says, lists constantly change, so I don’t expect this to be set in stone in any way. Plus I hardly know what new games may be just over the horizon. These are some lists of mine, lets see how this year pans out.

MMOs I know I’ll be playing:

  • World of Warcraft (for how long, I’m not sure, but I currently have a subscription until February)
  • Wurm Online (currently have a subscription until February of 2016)
  • WildStar

MMOs I May Play: 

  • ArchAge (I dropped out of this after the mad rush for housing just became too much for me)
  • Rift (I keep going back to Rift and just can’t seem to get back into it, for whatever reason, but I keep trying)
  • Diablo 3 (The new season isn’t slated to start until at least February, probably more like March which is discouraging, but I still really enjoy the game)
  • Landmark (I’m waiting for some polish, mobs were JUST added, and it was hard to get back into)
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • EverQuest 2 (I always end up going back here and there)
  • Guild Wars 2 (Much like Rift, I return only to feel incredibly lost and end up leaving again)

Games On the Horizon: 

  • The Repopulation (I keep hearing about this game, and I’m very interested, but early access is expensive, and I’m just not sure)
  • Rising World (Loving this so far, but right now it’s very alpha)
  • Clockwork Empire (I’ve played this game a few hours worth so far, and it’s got a lot of promise. It’s in early access though, and we all know how long those can take to push forward. That being said, it’s probably one of the better early access games I played this year)

Disappointments: 

  • Castle Story – This game has been in development for quite some time now. It’s still early access, still full of bugs, and the dev team has slowly been removing features from it instead of adding to it. The length of time it takes to get a game out the door varies, I know, but it feels like this is more of an unfinished product now than when I started playing it over a year ago. I know it’s not exactly fair to place an unfinished game on a list of disappointments, but I really had big hopes.

I have a lot of non-mmo games I want to get to in 2015. These include my ‘regulars’

  • The Sims 4 (that game just makes me so happy)
  • Banished
  • Craft the World
  • Cook, Serve, Delicious!

Plus a handful of others. I have a LOT of games I haven’t even touched yet. I’m tempted to do a weekly spotlight on one of my ‘non regular’ games throughout the year, but I tend to be horrible at sticking with those sort of things. Still, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try. As being a ‘gamer’ becomes more mainstream, I’m awed by the number of games that are out there. The decision on what to play and how to spend those precious moments becomes harder and harder.

How does your 2015 look so far?

A Year in Review

Untitled

Of course Jetpack once again provided some neat-o information about my site for the year in review. It’s not that exciting, but I thought I’d share it with everyone none the less. You can find it located here, but for a brief run down it gave me the following stats:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was January 30th with 815 views. The most popular post that day was How: Level 1-62 in Two Hours #EQ2.

This report only shows data since you connected Jetpack.

In 2014, there were 171 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 2,653 posts.

The top referring sites in 2014 were:

  1. forum.wurmonline.com
  2. plus.google.com
  3. twitter.com
  4. gamingalts.wordpress.com
  5. bhagpuss.blogspot.com

A big thank you to everyone who stopped by. I certainly appreciate it! I just renewed the site for another year, so I’ll be sticking around for a while yet. Hard to believe that this will be the 9th year I’ve written here on MmoQuests.