Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wargaming Stand By It's YouTubers

It's nice to see they are sticking by us. It's obviously in their best interests to do so (free advertising and all) but a kudos to you is still in order.

Cheers to FTR blog for posting this:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why No British Tanks?

This was a question I had on one of my recent You Tube videos. It’s a fair question and one that deserves a bit more attention than is possible in You Tube’s comment section. The question could have also been ‘Why no Chinese tanks…..French tanks…..or soon to come…Japanese tanks? The answer is the same for all of them.
 Some time ago I commented on a World of Tanks video by Sidestrafe. He was reviewing some new patch (the coming of the British I believe) and said something about the ‘new content’. I replied that adding new tanks was not, in fact, adding new content to the game. He replied I was wrong and rather than getting into some school yard ‘no you’ type of thing, I shut up and went away. Oh, I still watch his videos, but he’s wrong and here’s why.
 Adding new tanks does indeed give some people more to do in that they will ‘grind’ a new line. For many people this is fun. Not for me. I always hated grinding in MMO’s and this game is not different. If you were to add new weapons, say, to World of Warcraft would anyone think that it’s new content? What about a new SMG line in Call of Duty? Why is adding tanks then, ‘new content’? New content, for me, is something new to do. A new tank only gives me something different to do all the same shit over again. Same pubs, same maps (mostly), same tactics, same end result: another Tier 10 tank I won’t play very much because the end game (and I use that term loosely) is broken. Its awfully stupid to exclude a large portion of your player base by scheduling when they HAVE to participate in said endgame. Other games have gotten around this just fine (Guild Wars I, Heroes and Generals, among others).
 Look. If you’re new here, and especially if you’re still really pumped about World of Tanks, you may be thinking I’m full of shit, or that I'm a do-nothing whinger. The thing is I’ve been saying this for years now, and along the way I’ve offered many suggestions on what kind of content I’d like- the things that would get me, a paying customer (to the tune of $1500 now) excited once again. All those posts are here on my blog. Overlord even read one and said some of the ideas were good. Just use the index on the side to find them. The one thing I’ve said over and over and over is that new tanks bore me. Seriously bore me. All the ‘new’ tanks are simply new skins. Nothing they put out will give me an experience I can’t get in a tank I already have, or have played. Cromwell? Easy 8. IS2? IS. Etc, etc. I’m not saying there aren’t nuances to tanks but the general playstyle doesn't vary very much does it? Flank and spank, shoot and scoot, hide in the bush, corner camp, face hug, hull down, snipe..... Tactics stay the same across many different tanks no matter what nation they are from. is a successful company and many of their moves are designed to make them money. Once again, as someone who hase spent $1500 on WoT I can say, fair enough- I support you (or used to). New Chinese tanks (simply a copy of the Russian line- and you know that's true) were for the new Chinese market. New Japanese tanks- ditto. 
Now I will admit that Wargaming has added some new things to do…almost content…such as team battles and daily missions (one of the things I always wanted and asked for) but new tanks? Yawn. My time in WoT is fading and when I log in the last thing I want to do is grind up some stupid new line so I can get to Tier 8 and then get frustrated with bad teams ruining my night until I get to Tier 10 and then can’t play often because it’s too expensive and rather pointless. 
It was a travesty that British tanks weren't in the game from the start. A. Bloody. Travesty. My personal opinion is that the introduction of the French tanks set in stone the Wargaming policy (throw tanks at them comrades, they'll love us for it) and simultaneiousy ruined the game. Each successive line has had to have a tank that is just that much better than the ones before and this, in effect, ruins those previous tanks (called PowerCreep). I like the Easy 8 but there isn 't any point in playing it when the Cromwell, and the VK3001D do the same job but a bit better. But Gank, you cry, what about the love of paying a particular historic tank?
Yes, granted, that can be kind of cool for a while but 380 battles later in my E8 I can't help but think, when a Cromwell is doing a better job on the enemy team, why the fuck am I playing this tank? I'm a min/maxer. That's the kind of gamer I am so I won't play a broken tank because  I thought it was cool in comic books when I was 9 (I'm looking at you Tiger I).
 So that’s why there’s no British Tanks in my garage. The long version.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

World of Tanks Gold Giveway Musings.

I've done what everyone says you should never, ever do- a You Tube giveaway! Let's put aside all the hype and advertising for a minute- I've tweeted, you-tubed, and googleplused this to death already. Let's just talk- that is what this blog is still for really. The hard, cold facts are that promoting your channel with a giveaway will usually provide you with a temporary boost of people who will then bugger off when the prizes are gone.

And that's fine. I know this, but still I'm curious to see the stats- I'm a bit of a stat nerd that way. Three giveways at $15 will net me what, exactly? It's a good question, and I think that it might be fun to try a $45 Google ad words campaign afterward to see if that makes a bigger difference. It will depend on the New Year's finances really. My first year in You Tube has come and gone. I did take 5 months off so the year thing is kinda subjective. I received my first 'paycheck' from my partner (Viso Gaming) to the tune of.....wait for it......$1.80. Yikes, I'm rich! Yea, not really.

But this isn't about the money, now is it? I'm not doing this as a job, and I know I'll never be 'big' on You Tube. I'm not a major personality and I like my privacy too much to be huge.I also worry that if I continue to do only World of Tanks I'll never manage to do any other game- just finding the time to do other stuff, and finding a way to promote it is much harder.

And so we're back to the gold giveway. It's been a bit of a tough week IRL so I really can't remember why I decided to do this now, of all times. I'm sure I had a good reason but it eludes me! Ah well, we'll see how it goes and I'll do a post-analysis of it in the new year with some number for those who are interested.

Now for the shameless plug that I said wasn't coming- ha, fooled you!

Any You Tube subscriber who requests a tank on my weekly world of tanks show Two Battle Tuesday is entered to win some gold- free world of tanks gold-. Details in the video below and yes, I know you may leave after winning, but if you're not subbed, you're not eligible.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's My First You Tube Birthday!

Gosh. I was recording an episode today and realized it's been a year since I embarked on my You Tube project. On November 23, 2012 I posted my first video, an 8.2 Test Server review. How time flies and all that. I did take a 5-month break in between so technically it's not been a whole year, but what the heck! Thanks to Thade who got me interested in all this and everyone who's encouraged me along the way!

Let's celebrate with a song:

And with that I AM going to do what I want, and that's go play State of Decay which I just picked up on the Steam Sale for 50% off- Get in!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

World of Tanks: Mission Accomplished (No Video- actual words! Well, mostly pictures).

Well, well, well.... every-time I try to get out...... Ahem, yes, you know the rest I'm sure. Look what happened to me last night:

I actually played WoT...for fun! My desire to play has been waning but I have to say the added incentive of 250k spurred me on to my first proper all night session in a long time. I had to survive 7 battles and kill 24 chumps. Done, and done (in 20 or so battles)! I just love looking at the credit total. Sigh.... still addicted to the credits even though I don't play all that often. I'm just a junkie I guess;)

In other news, War Thunder is to bring in land vehicles soon-ish so I loaded it up and had a go. Yup, still don't like planes all that much, so here I sit waiting for tanks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

World of Tanks: FCM 50-T Gameplay With Commentary (Two Battle Tuesday 24).

Back in the FCM- 50-T French Premium Heavy tank for Two Battle Tuesday! This is an interesting boat tank to play and one which I've yet to master. I keep trying to play it like a fast medium and it just isn't working! Maybe we should try sniping....

This video features game-play with the French Premium Heavy tank, the FCM-50-T.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's Play Rome 2 Total War Blood and Gore: Rule Brittania!

After some re-design, my Lets Play of Rome II Total War as the Iceni has returned! More edited and post-narrated I hope to keep things flowing along nicely with the added bonus of close-up montages showcasing the Blood and Gore DLC (in a separate montage video featuring a decapitation).

Montage Here!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

World of Tanks Gameplay: Two Battle Tuesday Hetzes it up!

Ahh the Hetzer. I did 400 or so battles in this little baby during the beta. It fits like a glove!

This video features World of Tanks Gameplay featuring the Hetzer. After 500+ battles in it, I actually do know what I'm doing! As always, with commentary featuring the laid back soothing sounds of..... Gank :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rome II Total War Blood and Gore - DLC Review & Kill Montage

This is a short, montage based look at the newly released Blood and Gore DLC for Rome II Total War. It's currently priced at $3 and I think it's worth a look. Despite releasing an awful, buggy mess, Creative Assembly is working hard to win back our loyalty with (currently) FIVE patches to the game and communicating with their player base. As far as I'm concerned, it's working.

Warning: Contains Blood and Gore! Subscribe for more Total War!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

You Can Still Write, Right? Fortuitous Friday, On Sunday.

Yes, I can still write. Oh my beloved blog. Once home to the many wanderings of my mind, read by few, now spammed with videos from my You Tube channel, watched by just about as many. Rest assured all you old fashioned fellows, living in the dark ages, reading stuff (probably by candle light) while all us young hipsters V-log by halogen flood lights suspended from spaceships in the night sky I am still alive. Alive, I tell you. ALIVE.

So yea, there hasn't been a Fortuitous Friday in a while. For all those of you that might be new, or should I say for the couple of you who may be new, this is a blog series where I talk about the ultimate in reality gaming.....Real Life. I'm definitely winning this fucker as well- things are going well even though I've had to put a few quarters in from time to time to keep the game going. I've even added a second, and then a third player. Ah yes, the old arcade-related euphemisms old buggers like me will appreciate.

Real life then. Not content to sit still for more than three years at a time, it seems, me, She Who Will Be Named Later, New Mouth to Feed, The Sultan of Smart, The Duchess of Dumb, Missy the Horse, and assorted fish (Elvis the Pleco, Marbs the Loach, and Bubba the Angelfish), plants, and things are on the move...yet again. For those counting that makes 20+ moves across three countries, two islands, and one continent in 8 years for us. Of course we used to be two, and even before that, it was just me, hopping from Canada to Central America, to the South (that's right ya'll), and then Ireland (also in the 'south' but that's a bit politically dangerous to say).

Rambling man!

^^ That will make sense at the end of my post.

We are once again on the move with an internal move in my organization which will see us relocated 403km to the north of where we are now (measured to the centimeter by the bean counters). It will bring us closer to family and friends which is something we realize we need now, more than ever. Raising a kid isn't easy, and with thoughts turning to <gasp> a second baby, we realize we'll need help. The exact day is still up in the air, but likely at the beginning of January which means a horrid move in the next-to-worst month of the year for snow and cold. On the plus side we will be finally purchasing our first home! I do things a taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad later than most. I married (for the first and only time) at 35, and had my first baby at 42 which makes me want to yell, 'yea, come get some ladies, I'm still virile!', but in reality it's more like 'oh thank god it all still works'.... and I meant to say 'bitches' not 'ladies'. Yes, that's right, I'm young and hip because I thoughtlessly disregard women as people.

And now, at 44-ish I'll be buying my first home.....which would make you think I'm finally ready to settle down, but no. We only plan on staying for around 3 years or so but as we always say 'we'll settle this time' and then move, now that we are saying 'we'll move for sure' we'll likely stay. Murphy's law and all that. So yea. Full time job, baby, house. It seems I'm all growed up. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play some computer games.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Faeria: A Strategic Digital Colectible Card Game. (Gameplay)

I've gone Kickstarter crazy! A digital trading card game called Faeria is currently in Kickstarter and with only a few days to go, it's going to get funded with no problem. It's a slow, thoughtful game that reminds me of chess due to the strategic positioning on the board. It's not for those of you wanting a 'quick' game. Some of the mechanics are frustrating but it is currently in Beta- that's' why this is not a review. Just a look. More videos will be coming in the next few days as I put this one through it's paces.

Kickstarter/developer info below the video:



Developer write up:

"What if you were to reinvent Magic: the Gathering but had a board in the gameplay's foundations? In Faƫria, your lands not only serve as a resource: your lands are the battlefield.

You no longer question yourself with binary choices like "Do I attack or not?" - Instead you have to deal with land placement, resource gathering, creature and structure positioning, and how to invest your action points every turn. The layout of your lands is essential to victory because each of your land is where you're allowed to play your cards from your hand.

Creatures and structures interact with the lands given their types: certain creatures have more power on forests, others combat immunity on deserts, etc. Event cards let you destroy the terrain or reshape it, others let you teleport creatures. The terrain offers a layer of depth that opens up a stunning strategic dimension, something never seen before in the Tradable Card Game genre."

Build up new strategies, collect cards, play the solo mode, observe PvP matches or compete in tournaments. Take the best from board games, tactical games and multiply the possibilities with cards and you get impressive diversity: every game you play becomes a unique story.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Undead Overlord Gameplay: A Zombie Strategy Game in Kickstarter.

There are a lot of game I try and never talk about here on my blog, and even more I never bother to post to my You Tube channel. My new series, Casual Fridays aims to remedy that as I'll use it for bits and bobs- reviews, previews, old games cluttering up my hard drive, and today's video, a remote-demo of Undead Overlord.

It's a Real Time Strategy game where you get to control the zombie horde. The developers, Jumpcore Productions, currently have it on Kickstarter. They have worked on a lot of games, and you may know the owner/operator from a 'little' company called Cryptic Studios- among their claims to fame was City Of Heroes, a game my mate played for years and years. I don't think he's gotten over the loss even yet....

The demo shows the very basic ALPHA version of the game. At this stage it's the idea I support as many, many zombie games have come and gone, but not many where you get to be the baddie....mmmmmmmmm....brains......

Their Kickstarter is here:

Friday, October 18, 2013

World of Tanks Epic Battles: The Object 704. 4800 damage! (WoT #15)

Well, when you're hot, you're hot, even when you have no idea where the hell you're going! This is the second to last battle I'll likely play in this tank as the Tier 10 looms on the horizon.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World of Tanks Game Play/Review: Two Battle Tuesday: The KV-1.

I certainly like playing the KV-1, and I really don't like the T1. Those two facts combine to (almost) make me eat my words as I run into a spot of trouble!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rome 2 Total War Gameplay: Rule Brittania! (Let's Play 01)

Just when I try to get out....they pull me back in. That may not be an original quote from me, but it fits the situation. I decided a while ago to never buy another AAA game for full price. I also decided to give Total War 2 Rome a miss because it was reviewing so poorly. Yea, so much for that. With Creative Assembly's permission letter burning a hole in my virtual pocket I decided to go ahead and buy it, and do a series on it. I loved Rome Total War so expectations are running high.

I am playing post patch 3 which supposedly sets a lot of things to right. I'm also playing blind so if you have any tips, check out the video and let me know! I'm playing as the Brittanic Tribe because they are just so cool! They were also the the first culture I played in Rome 1 after winning as the Romans and unlocking them. Ahhh, the good old days when you had to work for something cool. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

World of Tanks Gameplay: The VK 30.01 D. Two Battle Tuesday! (18)

It's Tuesday again and that means more World of Tanks gameplay and a mini-review of the VK3001 D German medium tank. Find out why this little devil has taken the place of my favorite Tier VI medium over my beloved Easy 8!

World of Tanks is a free-to-play online tank game which I highly recommend, but since I have logged nearly 2000 hours I have to say that or my life has been wasted ;)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Am Not A Faceless Video-Spamming Automan. Yet.

So despite the fact that the blog looks more like a dump-site for You Tube vidoes as opposed to a real blog, I am still very much alive. Playing, recording, and promoting You Tube videos is taking up an enormous amount of my free time and in that other thing...what's it called now...oh yea, real life, I'm b.u.s.y. The period after each letter is to let you know that I'm very, very serious about being busy in case just saying I was busy didn't deliever that message. I often wonder if anyone at all gets my humor because if they don't I must just look like a d.i.c.k.

So yea, You Tube. I did, in the end, sign the partnership deal with Viso Gaming. After a good bit of research it turns out they are an actual company and they make most of their money doing this. They are Canadian-based, and there seems to be a lot of money flowing into their coffers. So far I have not taken advantage of any of their partner-benefits, but that is in the works (analytical tools, promotions, etc).

You Tube can be an extremely draining, ego-smashing endeavor, which I have talked about before. When you see that 80% of your 'audience' drops off after the first 1:50 of your video, it's hard not to take that personally. The nature of You Tube means that even people who like what you're doing often go unnoticed. Thumbs up, and comments are rare, and subs seem to (for me) have dried up. How are you supposed to interpret the fact that 5k people watched one of your videos and no one subbed? It's also a lot like a snowball. My newest videos are getting very little attention, but the ones with a lot of views are starting to pick up steam and get more views daily. A lot of it is simply mechanics- more views means you score higher on search engines and thus...get more views. Getting that ball rolling- ie getting noticed- is hard as there are a lot of guys n' gals doing the same thing. I watch some of them and think 'wow, that guy is good' and I watch others and go 'how the fuck does he have 50k subs?' Others I think are no better (or worse) than me, and those are almost worse because it makes me very jealous!

My Crusader Kings series, for instance, is getting less than 20 views per video and I am pretty far from 100% retention (meaning not many people watch the whole thing). I promoted it on both Reddit, and the Paradox Forums, but still get very few views. My World of Tanks videos, once my 'go-to' (and the game that brings in most of my views) is also lagging behind. I find it frustrating- mostly because I am getting pretty fed up with WoT as a whole. I note that a lot of the 'big boys' in WoT videos have done subscriber replays and gold give-aways to build their audience. Jingles, for instance, started small and now has something like 80k subscribers, and he seemed to take off after his replay contest. He also posts only replays with post-commentary which makes me a bit pissy.

Mostly it's down to jealousy, but if I could just sit around playing a ton of games, and picking out the very, very best to show maybe I'd be more successful. It's always a pain when someone comments about lousy play, or poor aim, and you think: man, I'm watching my team, the enemy, trying to aim and stay alive all the while attempting to be interesting for strangers to watch! I'm trying to branch out into different games but free time is at a premium at the moment. I'm mostly just trying to find my 'voice', and find what works for me. IRL I'm a bit of a cynical, sarcastic ass and being nice doesn't come easy for long. Maybe I should try and work that in somehow.... It works for You Tubers like Angry Joe, but he's a bit much even for me. By the time you find a game, get permission to put it up, play the game, record it and upload, and then promote it- all in the evenings after work- there isn't a lot of time to just chill with games which is something I already knew, so stop bitching already, right? Yea, I agree.

The video dump here at the blog will continue mostly because Google own You Tube. Google owns Blogger. Blogs from blogger get indexed pretty quickly so you'll tend to come out near the top of Google searches. It's also the reason I've stopped using catchy titles. They are cool for blogs, and for expressing your personality, but Google search indexes don't give a shit how clever you are. They only look for matches so that is why most of my titles are boring. Don't belive me? Okay, check this. My '90 minutes with' series is going to be an extended look at games I like the look of. I thought it was a reasonably cool name, and a way to get a 'brand' of videos going- like Total Biscuits WTF Is... or Northern Lion's 'Lets Look At'. Not as cool, of course, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

The problem is that no one is searching for '90 Minutes with Door Kickers'. Instead they are searching for 'Door Kickers Review'. Don't believe me? Check this Google Search. That's right, baby, I come in 5th after Rock Paper Shotgun, Metacritic, Steam, and War Gamer. Bring on the traffic. All 50 of them who've watched that video :) I also come in 4th, and 5th in 'Gnomoria Strategy' which is why I've gotten 7,000 page hits and 1800 video views in the last year. That game is more popular than one would think. So yea, indexing is boring, but it's the way to get attention. Now if only one of those 1800 viewers would have bothered to sub to my channel I'd be a lot happier- not that ad sense cares who subs and who doesn't. Subs, from what I've been reading, is a bit of 'yesterday's news' when it comes to videos. It's all about views and ad impressions now it seems. That said, I'd rather have 500 subs and 300 views per video (my current goal) than 10,000 ad impressions per month and 178 subs with 20-ish views per video (my current status). One can dream I guess. Any tips, suggestions, or comments you have on the subject would be most welcome!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rome II Total War: Can I Play This Yet?

Yikes. In an effort to keep myself from weeping uncontrolably at all times of the day and night I have avoided Rome II Total War. Yesterday I recieved official permission to do a You Tube let's play of this game but I just can't bear the thought of the sequel to my favorite game (almost of all time) being so bad. I know that patches are underway, and the game is improving but do I dare, for $60, jump in and play it? I do want to give it a go, but the price may be too high, both in dollars, and lost tears, if it's not properly playable yet. Anyone playing it post-patch? Is it getting better?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Game in development- Banished

This game looks pretty promising. Check out the short trailer is you're a fan of city/kingdom management/sims. After kind of burning out on the Gnomoria alpha (great game, but after nearly 100 hours of alpha play.......) I'm looking for my next fix!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rome II Total Failure?

I've never been so dissapointed by a game I don't even own yet. I was just getting ready to leave work having made the decision to buy Rome II Total War tonight. And then I bothered to check the reviews. I'm not sure why, because I loved Rome the first so much I figured the next would be bigger, and better..... not bigger and crappier. Don't believe me? Check out this review. Metacritic is also hammering it with 198 negative reviews at the time of writing. Yikes. I was hoping to do a Let's Play of the game on my channel, but given that it, ahhh, sucks, and that Sega are being bastards about using the game on You Tube I may not bother.

You can use the footage, sure, but only if you aren't monetized. Otherwise you need permission. I asked, but I doubt I'll hear back. In the meantime I guess I finally, finally saved myself some heartache with my new policy of not per-ordering games, especially AAA titles priced at $60. I've been burned a few times recently. It took a lot of willpower, let me tell you. I spent 18 months straight playing the shiiiiiiiit out of Rome I and really wanted Rome II. I'm even happier I bothered to read the reviews lol!

Back to Crusader Kings II, or maybe even Rome I. I hear there are some good mods for it out there. Can anyone recommend some? Speaking of Crusader Kings II here's the latest in the series. Thanks for watching.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Crusader Kings II: Lets Play All Female Rulers. Brittany.

I've finally gotten around to starting a new series on my You Tube Channel and it's quite fitting that it's a strategy game. I'm a huge strategy fan and have been playing these types of games for many, many years. Decades even. Yea, I'm that old!

For my Let's Play Strategy debut I'm playing Crusader Kings II, starting as the petty kingdom of Brittany, and just to make it a bit different, I'm going to play all female rulers. The game is geared towards males, rightfully so considering the times, but I always have fun with Queens.... hmmm, that may have come out wrong. In any case, enjoy, and remember you can hit that like button anytime! Thanks, and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Steam Fizzles and You Tube Musings.

The Steam Sale came and then went out with a bit of a fizzle if you ask me. I picked up some games early on, but the later days were a bit dull. A lot of recycled sales with ‘flash sale’ items appearing in ‘daily deals’ (which lasted 2 days by the way) and none of the games I had flagged past my initial purchases made it to the deep discounts. After per-ordering and then never really playing a few games I made a vow to never buy another game that wasn’t on sale. I have enough games to keep me busy for ages so I can wait for hot new titles to get discounted- or at least I hope I can because I’m really tempted by Rome II Total War.
I have been spending my time mostly with Crusader Kings II, and just this week it (and all it’s DLC) went on a 75% off sale once again. I picked up the Old Gods DLC which now means I have everything minus a few music DLC’s. I often listen to baseball or You Tube stuff in the background so the music isn’t all that important to me. I went back to the ‘islands’ and started off as Wales with the ambition of taking over the entire place. So far that’s proved quite hard and I’ve had to resort to cheating by using console codes to get extra cash to stave off the pesky King of England with mercenaries. My next play through will be either the Sword of Islam or the Old Gods.
I’ve also delved into Magic The Gathering 2014, Duels of the Planeswalkers (DotP 2014 forevermore here on the blog) in a big way (time wise) and I have to say I love the game, but I hate the multi-player mechanic. I’ll have more on that in a separate post later this week…or next.
My last bit of news is that I’ve been approached by a You Tube network to become a partner. I’ve only done one video in the last 5 months and recently decided to give up trying to get a lot of viewers so this came as a bit of a surprise. I’m not really sure if I’ll bother because, as I’ve said before, my time is pretty limited and at the end of the day I’d rather play than record games. I also find the You Tube format troublesome in that I often don’t care what people have to say- which is a bit counter-productive for a You Tube channel. With World of Tanks on the shelf (for now) I’m not sure there’s anything I’d like to record and have viewed by the world. I do enjoy other people’s videos and watch a couple Let’s Plays per day, but I’m not sure that’s a good enough reason to do my own.
The idea of winding down the blog has again reared it’s head. My posting is infrequent and I don’t feel connected to my readers at the moment (if there are any left that is). Chris over at A High Latency Life posted a good question: Is the Blogosphere Dead?
Checking back and noting there were only 4 replies is very telling I think. I’ll likely continue to plug away here as I always have something to say about games, even if it’s infrequent. What about you? Have you been reading any good, new blogs lately?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fortuitous Friday: Steam(ing) Ahead

The Summer Steam Sale has arrived and I've been a good boy. And by 'good' I mean that I've bought a metric but-ton of games that I may, or may not ever play, and I'm okay with that. Without World of Tanks dominating my nights I have time to check out other games. Not a lot of time since New Mouth To Feed takes priority, but I can report that it's true, these 'other games' do exist and some of them are damn good.

I keep getting drawn back to Magic The Gathering 2014 Duels of the Planeswalkers. It is good game but the multi-player sucks big time. I suppose they want you to head to Magic Online for that (where I am told you will spend a lot of money getting a winning deck together) but still, it could be improved. All in all I've bought some pretty good games at great prices (Might and Magic 6, Crusader Kings II) and some that literally made She Who Will Be Named Later laugh out loud (Euro Truck Simulator 2).

In fact, when she came in to the den last night and I was playing it, she burst into laughter and asked: "What the fuck are you playing?" I have played a lot of games over the years, and this is the first time I've been mocked. It does sound ridiculous, and truth be told I could give a shit about a truck simulator, but it is very relaxing. It also has a decent management aspect to it (you can start your own company) and it's nice to drive in the UK/Europe again. Reminds me of home, kind of.... if you ignore the fact I'm from Canada. Never mind, it makes sense if you've been reading me for a while. I'm only using the keyboard so the 'realism' is at a minimum though I am eyeing the new Nascar PC game out soon so maybe a controller or perhaps a steering wheel is in order. I'm not sure I could withstand the torrent of mockery that would follow should She come in again and this time find me playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 with a steering wheel. I'd be better off being caught watching midget porn. Wait until she finds out I've edited it so I can listen to BBC4 while I drive. Heck, she might make a few runs for me herself.

I will have some posts about the new games I'm playing, and the final damage from the Steam Sale. I'm sticking to my decision to only buy games that are 75% off. Or games that are under $6 if I think they may be fun. Or games that are 66% off if I really, really want them. Hmmmm, perhaps I need a new plan as this one doesn't seem to be working all that well. And speaking of working, I've got a load of bannanas to deliver from Dover to Southampton and that's not a euphemism for what the missus and I get up to after our Friday night bottle of wine.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

And Then, Suddenly, The Tank Ran Out of Gas

I was excited for the World of Tanks July 4th weekend special. In fact, all day that Sunday I was planning how to use my precious one or two-hour gaming session later that evening. It started out pretty good and I got my 5X with my Object 704 right off the bat. I turned my attention to my favorite Tier 6 tanks to take advantage of the 100% income. I was 10 games in, and 300k up when it hit me. I was tired of playing World of Tanks. There was no excitement in my play. I was playing out of habit rather than desire.

It's too be expected, I guess. I've had burnout before- the last time at around 8k battles. That was 2100 games ago so I think I'm in need of a break. I can't think of a single thing I want to do in WoT. I have favorite tanks, Tier X's, lots of gold, 6+ months of premium....and still I don't feel like logging in. I knew several weeks ago this was coming. It always happens shortly after I start to look at the Clan Recruiting section of the forum. It comes from boredom, partially (looking at the clan recruitment that is) and frustration with random PUGS. When I start to think I'd be better off in a clan, it's time to take a break ;)

Ah well, the Steam Summer sale is here, hot on the heels of the Good Ole Games Summer sale so there's an endless amount of games to keep me amused. Lately I've been playing a lot of Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers which suits my mood perfectly. Turn-based, challenging, endless variation, and multi-player which I'm off to check out now for the very first time.....

All is not lost. I'm not giving up on WoT, just taking a hiatus, or should I call it a Tankatus?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Still Loving Those Missions

I'm still loving those missions. When you only have time for a few games, it's always nice when they turn out like this:

Like I said, kill farmer.

The Object 704....gonna finish this grind- finally!

The extra experience really does help.

I've turned my attention back to the Ojbet 704- Russian TD's were one of the first lines I grinded fully....untill they added tier 10 TD's and then a whole new line, of course. The new line doesn't interest me in the least, but the next one in this line certainly does. It looks pretty badass. I just wish I had known they were going to expand the line before I ticked 'convert free experience' on the Object oh those many months ago. I be a bit closer now, that's for sure. So far I'm finding the TD buff to be really, really nice. My damage is a lot higher with the improved aim, my experience is better (of course with the 30% 'extra' it is noticeable), and I seem to live longer/more (seen less with my camo net, camo skill, and perma camo). At the risk of jinxing it, I'm currently on a 7-game win streak with it (I know, I know, not much but I only have time for a game or two per night atm). Let's hope that continues as I really would like to pull my 46% win rate up to 50% by the time I finish (170k more to go means quite a few games left). Here's hoping!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

World of Tanks Offers 'Daily Doubles'

Yesterday saw the introduction of Missions on the NA World of Tanks server. Or is it the United States of America server now? I get confused when they disregard other North American nations’ major holidays (July 1st is Canada Day, akin to the US 4th of July holiday for those not in the know and they did absolutely nothing...not even a mention of it like last year). My bitterness aside,  WoT has indeed added missions/tasks with completion rewards that can see you get extra credits and experience. Never mind the physics. Never mind the arty ‘nerf’. Never mind, well, anything. This is the single greatest thing they have ever done. No really, it is.
If you are a solo pubber like myself you may have often played games where your team has let you down (I like to use the term ‘shit the bed’). Two, three, four+ kills, 3500 damage, 5000 spotting damage, last man left alive…. I’ve had losing games like this too many times to count in my 10k+ battles and I am so very sick of seeing the lamest, do-nothing-ist ass-hat on the ‘winning’ team get more experience and credits than me. I realize it’s a ‘team’ game, but we all know a couple good players can, and do, carry a whole pile of sub-par players. I have long been a proponent of rewards based on performance, instead of punishment based on team stupidity when it comes to credits and experience.
To illustrate my point, I want you to take a look at the picture below.

I thought long and hard about using this particular picture but I think it illustrates my example quite nicely. Some time ago I had a message here on my blog (which I didn’t publish) that led to a discussion with a player who uses a bot program. He sent me some screen shots, and a few replays, and was wondering if he could guest-post a few articles about botting in the game. I’m still debating that one, but for now I will use this picture (heavily vetted) to make my point. The Type 59 was the bot. Note that he got 0 damage, and still managed to best most of the other team in experience. I mean, come on, look at those two top players. They played their guts out and a bot beats them in experience? That’s dreadful. I watched the replay of that one, and the experience is so high because the bot ended up with 2000+ in spotting damage (and 40k in credits as it drove to the middle of the field and then stopped and fired until it was dead). That, quite fankly, is bullshit. What a slap in the face for the other team but it does highlight the problem with punishing the 'losers' for not having good teammates.
This is why I say adding performance based rewards is the greatest thing they could have ever done. If rewards players, like myself, who often play well but end up losing. I am absolutely thrilled. There might be those who argue it will cause players to ‘act for themselves’ or ‘kill steal’ but you know what? I don’t care. I’m sick of trying to get people to help me cover the flanks while they lemming off to their early deaths. I’m sick of teams all rushing to one side to camp while the other side gets face-rolled, etc, etc. There may be a few cases where someone costs the team a game or two chasing a reward, but I’d rather have that than the other.
Last night I was excited to try it out, and below are the results. Booya! That’s what I have to say. I’m particularly happy with the Type 59 game (my first of the day) because we were getting decimated in town while myself and a couple others wisely flanked in the field. We were on the cap and seconds away from winning when the enemy team arrived to re-set. At this point I had done all I could do. I played a great game and knew that we were going to lose (only three of us left, sitting on a re-set cap with enemies shooting at us AND capping our base) so I left the cap with 150hp left to chase my third kill. I’m sure glad I did.

That's one defeat I can easily live with.

I also did well in my B2, but I expected that. It’s a good tank for farming this type of mission because you usually get a good number of kills and the extra 20k in winnings is nice. I was also one kill away from getting this in both my Object 704, and my Hellcat. I only played nine games last night and while I did manage to win seven of them, I also got two of the three-kill missions completed.
The B2...kill-mission farmer.

All in all the new mission-rewards system gets a huge thumbs up for me. My desire to play, of late, is really waning. The missions give me something to focus on, especially in the face of loss after loss. I would like to see the permanent introduction of rewards for top damage in every game but for now, this will do nicely.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fortuitous Friday: Bureaucracy Gone Mad

I don't much like bureaucracies and not just because I always manage to spell it wrong when I first write it. I'm a big believer in common sense, and the lack there-of seems built in to every bureaucratic charter. I remember studying them at university- how they become bloated, self-serving entities that only exist to perpetuate their own existence while forgetting what they were meant to be doing in the first place. I've worked for a few and I would agree.

So just a quick quote today from a work memo circulated which shows the bureaucracy never fails to not know what the hell it's doing:

All new eemployees are required to take this mandatory training..........Please keep in mind that approval is required to attend the course.
So much for it being mandatory I guess.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tiger II Project Complete and Other Tank Musings

I've been on a bit of a tank hiatus of late. Shortly after reaching 10,000 battles I finished my Tiger II project and hit a bit of a wall. I enjoyed the Tiger II game-play well enough but a bit of burnout set in and I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to do- despite having a ton of projects/tanks I do want to get around to. I even tried 'scheduling' my game-play but it was to no avail (during 'Hellcat' Week I only played 11 matches).  8.6 hits today for us slow-pokes in NA, but I have checked it out in test, and on the EU server so I know what's coming. I am looking forward to trying out my arty to really see how they are (SU-14 and up seemed fine to me) especially at the lower tiers. I've read mixed reviews of the patch overall, so we'll see. I wonder how my little SU-26 will play after it's ginormous (and deserved) nerf. I may have to hunt down another lol-machine for crushing noobs (I have a few in mind already) when I need to blow off steam.

So, back to the Tiger II. It was a tank I really messed up with do to being very new at the game. I sucked hard with it, and eventually rage-sold it. Coming back to it as a WoT vet was nice. It's a nice tank, alright, and capable of pushing when it has to, or devastating opponents from afar. I managed to raise my win percentage by 6%, and more importantly, up that efficiency to 'green' status by pulling my damage per game, kills, etc out of the red. I did complete the 'grind' for the E75 in time for the On Track Event and picked that one up. I'm looking forward to the E75 as I haven't played a Tier IX heavy seriously in quite some time (the IS-4 grind pre-Russian Heavy patch was the last one).

I'm a bit frozen in place atm, however, as I have only two German heavy crews. One is pretty new (bought for the Tiger II project), and the other is my crack team working on finishing their third skill. That crew is currently in the VK4502A which I'm trying to decide if I want to keep. I have all the top modules now, but absolutely no interest in unlocking the next tank. I just want to know if I like it enough to keep it before moving that crew out. The other problem is that I want a crew back in my Tiger P which I've decided to keep after noting I finished it with a 1300+ efficiency rating. I like tanks that I do well in statistically. It shows they suit my play-style. That's important for a guy like me because I'll often get stubborn and play tanks I'm not good with which gets frustrating. The stats let me know which ones I'm not so great with and should likely avoid to keep my blood pressure down. Yea, I know, pretty nerdy but I have a hard time letting 'fun' lead the way.

The top crew will obviously go into the E75, and that leaves me with one crew and two tanks. The VK4502A is alright- it plays like a medium which I like- but with so many tank in the garage, do I really need another one that I'll likely not play that much? Tier 8 is getting a bit crap, to be honest, and I spend a lot of time there with my Tier 8 premiums. Having yet another tier 8 doesn't appeal at all at them moment so we'll see. Realistically I'll likely not get around to the VK4502A 'project' for some time. With 8.6 about to hit here in NA (yes, we are always last) I am going to dust off my Object 704 and do some tank-destroying. The new camo and experience changes have me excited. I'm also going to focus on my Tier 9 arty- partially because I'm curious, and partially because they want less people to play arty and that makes me want to play it more!

Right, so. So long Tiger II. I had some truly epic games in that tank and hope to get the replays up...someday.

In the beginning, there was a noob.....

...who became a man.

6,000 XP is from X2, plus extra for an event- but still, it looks good!

This is one game I must get recorded and uploaded to You Tube.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fortuitous Friday: Reflections on Father's Day (Nothing to see here, move along)

So it appears from the various calendars that I encounter that Father's Day is around the corner. I keep getting asked what I want and the answer remains the same: nothing. It's supposed to be a 'special day' where dad gets thanked for all the things that he does: a recognition, if you will, for his hard work. I think it's ridiculous, personally, because all those things that a father does, he's supposed to do- especially for his kids.

I take the Chris Rock approach to Fatherhood. If you haven't seen his 'Bigger and Blacker' comedy show (available on DVD and various internet sites) I highly recommend you check it out. In it he makes fun of fathers who make a big deal about 'taking care of their kids'. I've always liked his response: "N***er, you're supposed to take care of your kids."

Don't get me wrong- I'm not opposed to those of you who will take the day to escape and get some me time in. If you get a few extra hugs, a funky tie, and some macaroni-pictures for your fridge, I won't begrudge you those. I get it, I just don't want to participate. Being a father, for me, was a long time in coming (42 y.o. when she was born) and it's something I wanted. I don't need to be thanked for doing what is both natural (being a parent) and enjoyable. I suppose there are a lot of Dad's who stumbled into all this, but not me. I can't think of anything I want because I don't feel that my life has been altered, or hindered in any meaningful way.

Before becomming a father my life was dominated by games, chllin' with the missus, and heading out for pints and food once in awhile. I still play games daily, I still chill with the missus, and though it doesn't happen as much, I still get out for the odd pint when I want to. I like being a father and I see it as my job to do everything I can to be the best that I can be. Thanking me for doing my job is silly. It's like winning the lottery and then getting thanked every year for buying a ticket!

But holy shit it's tough sometimes, isn't it lads? Ha! Enjoy your Father's Day in whatever form you choose and Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Man Can Not Live On Tanks Alone

No, it's true. I've been primarily playing WoT for a long time now, but I'm always on the look out for cool games to play. I've made a decision to never pre-order, or pay full price for any game so I often wait a long time to try out new ones. I will, however, try really interesting looking indie games that are reasonably priced (less than $15).

I am currently trying Sang Froid, A Tale of Werewolves (half price Steam Sale purchase) which is a unique tower defence game from a Canadian company. I couldn't resist the call of Canada, the 19th century setting, and the supernatural as the baddies, and the price ($8 in said sale). I have next to no experience in tower defence games but I do like this one. The story is hokey (twee) but  I did say it was Canadian and if you have any experience with Canadian T.V. you'll know what I mean (Beachcombers anyone). That said, who plays a tower defence for the story? It's not that bad, however, and it does server to get you from night to night where the real game is.

The real game sees you defending an increasing amount of buildings against wolves, werewolves, sprites, and other nasties. In addition to traps, you can melee, or shoot (with 19th century rifles) the baddies and level up your character (there are two in the game). A lot of good reviews are out there on You Tube, so check them out. It's awfully refreshing to play a game where you're loot is .60 cent for completing the night (19th century prices) instead of purple gear and thousands of gold. I've been too tired lately to play much of this one but so far (6 nights in) I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fortuitous Friday: At Least You've Got Your Health

An old phrase and a dumb one I always thought.....untill recently. Eight weeks, four doctors, one lung specialist, three antibiotic prescriptions, two inhalers, thirteen vials of blood, one jar of urine, two lung x-rays, and fifteen sick days later, I'm still not better. It's ridiculous. I was initially diagnosed with pneumonia but now they aren't sure, and they can't rule anything out- including cancer due to my previous smoking history (quit years ago, but still). The chance it is cancer is slim, but there does seem to be a nasty infection 'somewhere' in my body (X-Rays keep coming back clean) with the concern being it may move into an organ, or my bones or something and THAT would be baaaaaad news indeed. I remember working on human remains (bones) that had evidence of nasty infections in the bones and thinking, 'ouch, that's what likely killed this guy'. Hmmmmm...

There is a sligh chance I'll be hospitalized (yikes) this weekend, but more than-likely I'll stay free (and sick) until I get an 'emergency' CT-Scan. I say 'emergency' with the parenthesis because as an outpatient that still means at least a two-week wait. Yes, free universal healthcare is wonderful but you do sometimes pay for it with time (waiting). The plus side to being hospitalized is that I'd get all my tests done very quickly but the downside is.... well, I'd be in a freaking hospital. On days like today where I feel so bad (I was up from 2-3am with chills/sweats, and cough) I think it would be best, but I really hate hospitals (don't we all). Never fear, I've got some coverage above and beyond the basics so I wouldn't be thrown in with the sick and dying plebs on the 'free ward' but still. How would I play any decent games? With everything being on Steam, or online these days, I've lost the art of playing games without an internet connection.

Yes, even sick I worry about my gaming. And speaking of, I've only just realized I played my 10,000th World of Tanks battle last night. I was checking my stats today and saw that magic number. I can't even remember which match it was lol, but I do remember it was a win simply because I always quit on a win.

I've also gone over to the dark side as She Who Will Be Named Later and I have got I-phones (so long Android). So far, I'm not impressed. It's not very intuitive and getting stuff set up is a pain in the ass. The wi-fi range is a joke and needs tweaking so we can use it throughout our own house. I've always said that if soooo many people like something, it must be shit (farmville anyone) and I may be right. Time will tell, and since we have a two-year contract I have to lump it. Maybe I'll grow to love it as much as the other brainwashed idiots apple users. Who knows.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

8.6 Arty Matchmaking. Premiums, Prepare to Get Crushed

Premium tanks enjoy (usually) special matchmaking. Tier VIII premium vehicles, for instance (my main bread winnners) never see Tier X tanks. Since many of them have really bad guns, this is good news. With the new arty tiers, however, they will now be seeing arties they normally wouldn't. What the heck am I talking about? Here is is:

Premium Tier 8 tanks like the Jag 8.8 and the Type 59 are in battle tier 8-9.

Current Tier 7 arty is in battle tier 10-11.

This Tier 7 arty is becomming Tier 9 arty in 8.6.

Tier 9 arty in 8.6 is battle tier 9-11.

Result: Get ready to meet tougher arties.

In addition I note the Tier VIII, IX, and X arties almost ALWAYS share the same top gun. The ROF and aim time changes but not the damage so guess what? That's right, you're gonna get crushed. The new Tier VIII German arty has the same gun as the GW Tiger. That's 2000 potential damage for battle tiers 8-10 which, by the way, includes Tier 6 medium tanks. ROFL. I'm not sure my Easy 8 can take that kind of damage ;)

Despite this being the 'big arty nerf' I'm looking forward to playing MOAR arty. Get ready to shed them tears gentlement. Oh, and the new French Tier 9 (with fully rotating turret) plays like the SU26 of the upper tiers. I may use free experience to get it because so far it's lots of fun and it looks bad ass.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Secret of My Success

Well it's not so much a secret if I'm about to explain it, and as to how successful it is, I really don't know. I was asked recently how I managed to bring some degree of success to my Tiger II play so I thought I would attempt to answer. First let me say that being successful in a tank in which you previously sucked really, really bad in, is quite easy. Merely being average in the Tiger II means I am twice as good as I was!

I have played around 7k or so games since I first tried my hand at the Tiger II so to say I've learned a lot would be an understatement. That experience is critical to my better play. I know the maps better, I know enemy tanks better, etc, but there are a few patterns I tend to follow based on:

  1. Map.
  2. Position
  3. Enemy Composition

Where I am in terms of the line-up (top tank, middle, bottom) affects how I approach each map. If I am top tier, and there is a city-component to the map, I head for city. In my experience the top heavies usually battle in the city portion of any map. This is partly to avoid arty, and also to take advantage of cover and tactics such as side-scraping. I know the Tiger II is lethal at long range, but if you are the top tank and you sit back, or head for the open portion of the map, you are leaving your team imbalanced in town. The Tiger II is more than capable of handling itself in town, especially if you side-scrape. It really, really works and though it's something I am just learning (see, still a noob after 10k battles). I can't stress how effective this technique is- with any tank. Learn how to do it.

If I am middle tier I tend to look at the enemy teams composition. If there are a lot of mediums or fast heavies I would tend to go toward the open area of the map to assist our own mediums with long-range firepower. I don't obviously want to get too close to a pack of mediums as they will do the 'ole flank and spank on me but I wouldn't 'camp'. I'd move to where I could support the mediums/lights who engage the others. If there aren't a lot of mediums I'd likely go town to support our top tanks. Conversely if our top tanks aren't brawlers I may go city to beef up the armor (ie French Tanks on the top) with the hopes they go toward the open area (because they are fast).

If I am bottom of the pile (in a Tier X battle) I focus on long range support. The Tiger II really is lethal from a distance, especially if you are angled, or side-scraping (you can do this with terrain as well as buildings). I've wracked up nearly 3k in damage as a 'support' tank in these types of matches. I've also been face-rolled with only 300 damage inflicted.....

In general terms I think it's important to know your tanks capabilities. The Tiger II relies on armor- be it from a distance or by angling- for instance. The VK4502A relies on flanking and maneuvering, the IS4 relies on angling (I think, I suck with this tank atm) and getting the enemy to shoot your sides. You need to have a good idea where the enemy tanks are likely to go, and the best way to do that is to play all tank classes. I have over 3500 battles in medium tanks (obviously my favorite) but I also play Heavies (1700 or so), Tank Destroyers (1700ish), Arty (boo, hiss, 1500ish) and lights (1200). Know thy enemy!

Side scraping and angling are very important to your defence as well as knowing where you are weak (I didn't know enough to hide my lower plate when I first used the Tiger II). You Tube will provide help on this. As for your offence, you need to know those weakspots. I use the hit-zone skins from time to time to refresh my memory. I also carry at least 5 premium shells and use them whenever I need them. I have plenty of premium tanks for credit grinding so I have no problem losing money in a match, especially if it helps me win. Make sure your tank has all the bells and whistles (rammer, vents, first aid, repair, etc) and having all the top modules unlocked will certainly help so sticking with one nation for a while at least will help. Thanks to my horrific Tiger II grind way back when, I have enjoyed top engine/gun/radio modules in my Tiger P, E50, and others.

The last thing which I find is helping me immensely is my attitude. I am a stat whore and often get quite upset when I can't get wins in tanks I have a good efficiency with, or when I can't get my efficiency up in tanks I like, etc. I'll actually get pissed off if I start to lose a lot of matches and stubbornly keep playing, and wracking up the losses instead of stopping. In the Tiger II, because my stats are so bad, even if I go 50-50 (or a bit worse) on the night, I've still upped my stats! I know that I'm going to play the Tiger II until I have the E75 unlocked so I don't worry about how I do in any given evening. I need to play a certain amount to get it done before the On Track Event is over so I play them without worrying about wins/losses. I play around 5 battles with it a night and hope for 3k in experience to go along with it.

It's always nice to see an improvement and with stats as bad as mine on the Tiger II, it's not hard. With tanks I struggle with it's harder to keep a positive attitude when thing aren't going well. I've sold off a few tanks because they frustrated me and that's probably good. With my time as limited as it is I'd rather just play tanks I'm good with, but the desire to try something new always pushes me forward. I'll have 'projects' I'll work on (unlocking this and that), and then take some time to go back to older tanks, or better yet, muck about on the test server (when it's up) just to try everything consequence free!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Taming the Tiger II

I'm continuing to play the Tiger II with much greater success than my first time around. I have broke through the 40% win rate and upped my average damage while 'grinding' out the E75. The next 'On Track Event' is imminent but the SEA server has already announced that the E100 will be the star of the show and since it's a global event..... BOOYA. I chose wisely this time. I've got 90k on the Tiger II so the next couple weeks will be nice. I can finish off the experience needed for the E75 with some increased income on my Tiger II. Overall I'm liking the playstyle, and once again I'm gobsmacked that I couldn't make this bad boy work previously. Damn I was a noob. My name should have been Noobius_Maximus.

A few more like this please.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Get Ready To Test (WOT 8.6 Inc)

The 8.6 public test server will be starting in a few days (thank you FTR). I am looking forward to testing out the new, and 'balanced' arty. I've been holding off buying the Tier VII Object 212 while simultaneously grinding the Tier VI GW Panther in anticipation of the changes. I'll likey buy the Object as I anticipate it will be a bit cheaper now, as opposed to when it is moved to Tier IX, but we will soon see. If arty is completely gimped now, of course, I may re-think that.

I'm trying to get the GW Tiger unlocked because it's like a two-for-one tech tree special. For the first time Wargaming will be unlocking tanks replaced by new tanks......sounds confusing, but it's not. If you have an arty unlocked, and it is moved and replaced, you will get both unlocked. The GW Panther is being moved to tier VIII so I would have the new tier VI unlocked as well as the Tier VIII GW Panther. Same for the GW Tiger so it may make sense to get it now (I'm 80k away though so doubtful if I'll get it completely done without the use of free xp).

Arty, however, will no longer be punished with the experience penalty of -50% removed so it may not be worth it to grind the full 160k on the GW Panther... if you see what I mean. It will all depend on what the new arties cost to unlock and their credit cost to buy as well as their performance. I'm not a huge arty fan but I do like the change of game-play, I seem to be good with them, and the more people cry about too many arty, the more I want to play them!

The other things I am looking forward to include:

Tank Destroyers will also stop being punished. The -30% experience co-efficient will be removed. I will likely start grinding my Object 704 once again especially with the additional changes to the camo values (nets, and premium camo now add a set, cumulative value rather than an unknown multiplier based on the vehicle). Tank destroyers, I am predicting (and you heard it here first) will the the new target of whiners everywhere IF arty is indeed balanced (nerfed). 'OMG nerf tank destroyers I'm sick of being killed by invisible tanks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' will the the post of the day. Seriously, mark my words. First it was the Type 59 whine threads, then the focus really turned to arty, and next will be TD's. I guarantee it (no money back however as this is free after all). I really believe that some people would just rather have 15 heavies line up opposite each other and shoot till only one person remained.

I'm also looking forward to the nerf of premium ammo (depsite having some fun with the M4 Derp) and the penetration changes which should make heavy armor, well, heavy again. Lets face it, the premium ammo for credits debacle has really ruined parts of the game. I took my M4 Derp out and had 16 kills in two games. I also tried HEAT on the Hetzer and it really is an instant win button. I could almost 1-shot any tank I faced and make money at it as well. In the higher tiers armor is irrelevant as fast tanks with high pen rule the field. Hopefully this will make a difference and I say this as a medium tank player. Lets get back to balanced I say.

I will also start to play my beloved VK3002DB (don't care what it's called now I will also refer to it as the DB) which will get an MM reduction (in value, not tier). I'm already rocking this little tank (1400 efficiency) so I can't wait. The Indien Panzer will also get weighted less so I will likely dust it off as well (60% win rate atm). The new(ish) Tier IX and X meds will also be weighted lower but I'm not there yet so, meh.

There will be some economy changes as well and I've read a lot of conflicting (and translated) accounts of what is going to happen. I do know that Tier X will get a 10% boost or so to income and some of the lower tiers may or may not get a boost as well. There is some discrepancy as to whether lower tier Premium tanks will be affected but Tier VIII premiums will not get a boost. It's nice to see some positive changes to the economy because it is difficult to run upper tier tanks (especially now since some of them depend on premium ammo). In addition with all the new tanks in the game there is potentially a lot to buy. There are a few tanks I would love to buy but money is holding me back (and the fact I don't have time to play them all). They include:

  1. Tier IX E50- sold this but now I want it back. I'm fickle that way.
  2. Tier IX Patton- curious as to how it plays even though I was a bit average with the Pershing.
  3. Tier VIII T69- a pershing with an autoloader eh....... see above.
  4. IS7- yes I know it's one of the worst Tier X's atm but I've had it unlocked for over a year and feel I should buy it.
  5. Tier VII KV-13- I miss this and would rate it as one of my top 3 tanks in the game. Sold it a few months ago.
  6. Tier VII T25/2- I've been holding off on this because I want to play the Hellcat a bit more. Never enough time.....
  7. Tier VIII T-44...sigh, I keep thinking I should unlock the T-54 even though I sold this tank a couple months ago because I was sucking with it.
  8. E75- not yet unlocked but I'm over half way there so it's on the list.
Wow, looking at that list I realize I should start playing all my premiums more. Thanks to my compulsive nature, and the fact I have more money than sense, I have ALL the tier VIII premium tanks except the Lowe, and the T-34. Ahem, yes, that is a lot. Add in equipment for all those tanks and holy jeebus, that's a lot of cash I'd need to get them all. Realistically I' should sell off some of the tanks I currently have to house the new ones but will that ever happen?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fortuitous Friday: WTS Pneumonia and Sexual Stereotypes

WTS: Bacterial Pneumonia, persistent strain impervious to two different antibiotics. Tired of sleeping? This strain is gguaranteed to let you stay up late coughing. Provides constant wheezing. Free inhaler if you act now!

Bloody hell this is a pesky little infection I have here. I never really understood how serious pneumonia was until I go it. It knocks the crap out of you and I can see why it does actually kill people. I first got sick on the 8th of April and was coughing by the 12th. I am now on my 3rd round of antibiotics which must be pretty potent because they are working. I should hope so for $80. I've been coughing and sick for 6-weeks now and I must say I'm sick of it (see what I did there). On the plus side I am starting to get better but damn it's been a while. I'm looking forward to being able to play with New Mouth To Feed for longer than 5 minutes at a time before needing to puff on my (temporary) inhaler.

And speaking of New Mouth To Feed, she is turning the ripe 'ole age of one this weekend. We are just now beginning to feel like we can get our 'regular' lives back as she is starting to sleep well in the evenings. This is a fun age, I must admit, and the 12-work-days (two and a half real weeks) I was forced to stay home with my illness was actually kind of nice. I am in danger of becoming forgotten at work, however, as my pat leave was followed by a two-week holiday and then over two full weeks off for the pneumonia. It's a damn good thing I'm very good at my job.

So family and friends will be in attendance which will be fun. I hope. I generally hate gatherings of people and when you toss into the mix my mother (with some very special issues of her own), my untill recently estranged father AND his new wife things are bound to get interesting.... and by interesting I mean horribly stressful. If it was up to me I'd just celebrate the occasion with the three of us but when it comes to social responsibilities and engagements I defer to She Who Will Be Named Later. I generally have a hard time initiating these things and most times, in fact, I don't even realize that they should be done. Social relations aren't my particular forte so She Who Will Be Named Later who excels in sociability is in charge of these matters. Just tell me where to go, when to be there, and how much I'm allowed to drink and I'll be happy.....or at least I can manage my anxieties appropriately. I'm always fine once the event gets going but the lead up to it is always anxiety-inducing.

So what do you get a 1-year old who has more stuff than she can possibly use? That's right, MOAR STUFF. I really have to restrain myself when it comes to buying things. I'll see something cool (everyone loves toys) and get it without thinking 'oh yea, she has lots of cool things already' and that doesn't include the basement room full of hideous pink shit that people insist on giving us because she's a girl. I've had to buy her clothes from 'the boys section' not because I wish she was a boy, but because I can't bear putting her in a pink top that says 'too cute'. The difference between boys and girls clothes is remarkable. I'm waiting for the pink new-born mini-skirt and half-tee combo that says 'Future Whore' on it. The boys section, of course, is filled with shirts that say 'little devil', and 'heres trouble' and the like. I really can't relate to what appears to be the norm.

Sigh, as I said, I'm not great with social-relations and such but I sure find people interesting to study. If only I could put everyone in a zoo where, when I felt like it, I could pop in to watch them. I'd take my daughter and she'd be wearing a shirt that says: "I'm a person first, and a girl second and I'm allowed to wear something that doesn't objectify me based on stupid sexual stereotypes. You bastards." Hmmm..that may be a lot to fit on a shirt. I may have to put the 'You bastards' on the back.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Taming the Tiger

Being both a sucker for punishment, and a stat-obsessed fool I decided to buy back the Tiger II and give it another go. Several thousand battles (and two years) ago I was quite the noob. I rage sold the Tiger II because I just couldn't win with it. Every time I encountered that 39% win rate in my service record I cringed. My efficiency was anything but, and my average damage and kills per game was horrendous. I've looked at the tank several times over and don't understand why I couldn't make it work with its decent armor (when angled) and Tier IX gun. I do remember that I sold it after a 20-game losing streak (successively in one session).

My Secret Shame

I've hated those crappy stats, and more to the point that I couldn't make the tank work for ages. The German line was my first heavy line (mistake the first) and though I knew the Tiger I wasn't the epic legend of real-life, in-game, I had heard good things about the Tiger II. The problem was that I was new to the game (2k battles or less) and somewhere along the way someone told the me the Tiger II could brawl. Sure, it could brawl, but the problem was that's all I tried to do and 'brawling' for me involved a lot of facehugging and (embarrassingly enough) circle strafing. Yes, I know. For shame. I basically played it like one should play the IS3 (sans circling of course) and got my ass handed to me time and time again. I didn't even know enough to try to hide my lower plate and to be honest I'm just learning about side-scraping now (works very nicely in the Tiger II).

The recent 30% off special saw me re-buy the Tiger II and put it into my regular rotation of tanks. My objective is two-fold: get ready for the (probable) on track event for Germany (discounted E75, yes please), and improve those god-awful stats of mine.

So far, so good. In fact I want to travel back in time and slap my fool self for using the Tiger II so badly. It's a beast- a hell of a nice tank IF you know how to play it or, at the very least, don't play it like an idiot. I have a game I'm going to (eventually) do a video for which could be the absolute best game I have ever played, in any tank. Ever. And that's saying something when my total battles is nearing 10,000. I'll be happy to sell it and move on to the E75 but for now it is performing well which just highligths the fact that there are no bad tanks- it's only the people using them.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


So many disgusted noises I could make this morning, or alternatively bad words I could use. They are all floating around my head, never fear, but I'll spare you having to see them in print. It's not, after all, your fault... or is it? Not unless you were one of the skill-less asshats valiant teammates I got facerolled fought with last night. Over, and over, and over. In one of my most frustrating sessions in a very long time I ended the night with 7 wins and 23 losses.

Not bad enough, having to suffer the losses, I was (on several occasions) subjected to a wide variety of abuse and/or strategic advice from team mates who had died. With XVM running I noted that in 99% of these cases said team mate had a sub 950 efficiency and a below 50% win rate. Post game stats showed the vast majority of them would have done more damage by flinging wet noodles at the enemy. There were no breaks last night. I loaded into battles twice with platoons of top-ranked players from top-ranked clans (win rates in the 60-70% range and efficiencies topping 2500) on my own team, and we still lost.

The Gods of Tanking were against me last night and the writing was on the wall early as I sat down at the computer. I had a post on one of my You Tube videos where the commenter stated: "You shouldn't turn off in-game chat because you won't be able to read what intelligent players are saying'. Yea, right. Hardy-fucking-har.

So as not to brood all day (yes, I'm like that) I'm trying to put a positive spin on it so I did manage to have my best game ever in my T71 (a tank I struggle with) and, in fact, one of my best scouting games ever. I know the T71 isn't necessarily a dedicated scout but I currently have a bush-scout set up (camo, binocs, camo-crew, and premium camo) so when I loaded into Malinovka there was only one thing to do: sit in a bush. Well, many bushes to be exact and the enemy deciding to leave their western flank open (I loaded from the buildings side) was rather nice. Once we secured hill I relocated to hunt down those pesky arty. Having 4 arty per side was a boon in this case (especially the T92 who was one-shotting tanks I was spotting) and I managed to get 5400 in spotting damage and earned pile of credits. (I'll edit this post later with the screen shot) along with the scout and patrol duty medals.

I also managed to earn 600, 000 credits as once I could sense the losing streak was going to be bad I switched to premium tanks. As an added lol, out of sheer frustration I suicide-scouted with my Type 59, and even though we lost I still earned 41k (for 30 seconds of work) in profits and killed an arty. Maybe I should do a suicide scout experiment in the Type 59 to see if that makes a difference to my win-rate or earnings. In any case, all was not lost I must grudgingly suppose.

But wait, I'm not done. This morning I read about the upcoming changes to penetration and HEAT ammo on For the Record and was struck by just how much the game is biased toward (no, not Russians though I bet you were waiting for that) fast tanks. The new 'nerfs' which see the penetration of HEAT (also known as 'gold' or 'premium') ammo go down while the cost goes up. Way up in some cases. While reading through all the details (yes, I read them all) I was struck by two thoughts.

First the increasing cost of premium ammo begins to negate the so-called 'removal' of the pay to win aspect of World of Tanks. By increasing the costs you may deter some players from using it so often, or you may shift the balance to those of us (yes that includes me) who have either money to spend on actual gold rounds (not me) or who have a lot of premium tanks, and premium accounts (yes, me). Remember my earlier statement? I made 600k in 30 games (23 of them losses) with my premium tanks/account. For the rest of the week I could easily spam HEAT in my Hetzer or M4, (or IS4 for that matter), and not go broke. The point of making 'gold' rounds available for credits was that it was accessible to everyone. That accessibility is now removed to a certain degree.

The idea is to make armor meaningful again but, and this is the second bit, it is clear that the game favors fast-moving tanks. Maybe the devs (or player base) feel this is best as it means games are fast and exciting, I don't know. What I do know is that a Tier IX medium tank having 330 penetration (with HEAT) while a Tier X heavy tank has 340 pen (with HEAT) seems a little unbalanced to me. I play with some medium tanks that have dreadful penetration (VK3002DB with 130 in tier IX games is a bit challenging I will say) and do very well (1400 efficiency). It makes me wonder what I could be doing with the T-54 and its 330 penetration. Officially the T-54's HEAT goes from 350 to 330 pen while the IS4's (and IS8) HEAT goes from 400 to 340. Lol, what?

I'm deliberately not discussing the upcoming arty nerfs yet as I'm waiting for the full announcement. I know that accuracy, splash radius, damage, and rof are being nerfed (GW Panther goes to 7.1 accuracy lol) but they keep saying there is something 'good' for arty. I'll remain skeptical until I see it.

Online games are ever changing. I've played my share of MMO's so I know that. I do think Wargaming is doing a good job overall but I worry that their model of 'add more tanks' as content is beginning to take it's toll. Powercreep (where each new tank has to be just a bit better than the last to make people want to play it) is not just evident, but is becoming a way of life in WoT. I'm pretty old. I remember when the Object 704 and it's dreaded BL-10 was, well, dreaded. Now the 750 damage it can (when it hits) inflict isn't that scary at all especially when you can just flank the old dinosaur in your fast light and pen the shit out of it with your auto-loader which dishes out 900 damage in half the time it takes the Object to reload.

Balance is difficult and the more tanks you add the harder it becomes. The newest German additions getting match-maker re balancing (my precious VKDB and new Indien Panzer get lower weights) is just an example. I wish they would have sorted out the HEAT/Arty issue before adding more un-balanced tanks to the pot. Do people really want more tanks? Is this fun? I know that every once in a while I do want to try something different but surely having the different classes of tanks (medium, heavy, light, spg, destroyer) mixed with different tiers is good enough isn't it? I haven't even touched the Chinese line (and don't plan on it) and just dabbled in a couple British Tank Destroyers. I really do miss the old days where each end -game tank (and there were only a few) played very differently and took a different set of skills to use. The IS-7 was king of the fast heavies while the Maus was a force to be feared. The US tanks sucked (but now they are all that's required in the end-game to win), the few Object 704's you encountered shook your rivets in fright, and medium tanks had to wolf-pack to succeed.

Rose-colored glasses or fact? What do you think?