I Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft was the very first game I ever bought with my own money. I sunk hours and hours into it, playing the campaign over and over, skirmishing against computer opponents, getting my ass kicked from Aiur to Tarsonis and back on battle.net. I knew that the Protoss were epic, ancient, and advanced beyond my comprehension; that Terrans were grimy, slapdash, and ultimately one of the most resilient species in the sector; that Zerg were implacable, unstoppable, and just a bit peckish for my innards. Despite being an RTS, StarCraft also showed me the for the first time how video games functioned as a viable storytelling medium. Somewhere inside, I knew that each of those Confederate Marines had buddies and memories.

So that’s why some part of me will go completely fanboy every time Blizzard does something new. Because it all goes back to the first time I was boots on the ground with Jim Raynor or flying the Gantrithor alongside my Executor into the maw of the Overmind. I eventually started in on the WarCraft series and have clocked more than my share of time trudging around Azeroth/Kalimdor/Outland/Northrend, but StarCraft is where it all began.

En Taro Adun.

Firefall Weekend &c.

I was able to spend a good chunk of time in Firefall for the open beta weekend – lots of Thumper missions and bounty hunting and upgrading of the Assault and Recon battleframes. I like the easy mechanic of class switching, but I did not get to do as much squad activity as I would have hoped. Like most betas, it mostly consisted of masses of people rampaging around solo, blasting at whatever moves. As a support role, Recon is a hard leveling class to use, especially as most enemies run in herd or squads, but it’s very gratifying to wander across another group getting swarmed and take the pressure off them with a few well-placed cranium-venting rounds.

Overall, I’d say Firefall is a setting that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a great deal of untapped potential. Some of the mission assignments were glitchy, with stages not proceeding or processing once completed, and the grouping options are left entirely up to the players without much instruction at all. Also, whatever the hell I did to piss off the Terrorfang/Terrorclaw/Terror-Roly-Poly-Deathbugs in the southern reaches of the zone has apparently resulted in a generational genocide pact against my survival for longer than 30 seconds. It reminded me of Stephen Lang’s debriefing speech from Avatar about the dangers of Pandora.

Also, never shoot a Brontodon. EVER.

For those on the WildStar bandwagon, we’ve now met the Draken. They’re mostly a cross between a hyena, a sociopathic goat, and a Klingon, with a bit of Sontaran sprinkled over it for good measure. What a barrel of laughs.

These Dataz Speak…

With the PS4 announcement leading the headlines, a few of these bits may have slipped under your radar. Besides, I’m not a huge hardware nerd, so while everyone else freaks out about the verification of the controller layout and the compatibility of the old PS3 games and streaming and online play and all the other details – I’m still poking around at these upcoming analyses of community feedback from Carbine and Bungie.

Obviously it’s way too early for Bungie to be tipping a hand about much of Destiny’s features and elements and whatnot, but they were kind enough to open the inbox and answer a number of basic questions – and a few completely nonsensical ones. Plus, there are awkward photos to laugh at. Yay.

The gang over at Carbine also distilled the data from this past #WSuplink to get a feel for what the community is chattering about regarding WildStar, which appears to be everything, more or less. Seriously. MMO gamers tend to have their favorite little niches of game that speak to them, whether it’s housing, crafting, PvP, raiding… and the WildStar junkies want to know it ALL. Despite the immense variety of choices, though, Carbine seems to be sticking to their basic mantra of “make it fun,” which is really what it’s all about as far as I can tell.

And if you haven’t seen the Second Son trailer for the inFAMOUS series, observe:

Interview with a Cassian, Season Pass for BioShock Infinite, and more

Team WildStar can’t stop the funny (or just won’t), so they’ve opted to sit down with the Dominion’s flagship race and let us all bask in the ambient radiation glinting off the hems of their stylish garments.

Better than the best.

Also, the upcoming BioShock Infinite already has DLC in production and if you want to preorder, you can totally get in line for it.

Plus, we have more brutal mayhem from the lads and lasses at EA for those who have missed Army of Two’s latest update.

The Arkship Has Landed.

You know the jealous feeling you get when you see a photo montage from some Facebook acquaintance who has wantonly splattered images of their latest trip to the Bahamas? I have no idea what that’s like.

Regardless, it sounds like Team WildStar rolled out an NDA-laced red carpet for their attendees. In their public rundown, there are hints of upcoming videos for later this month, rumors of funny costumes, and a place called Deradune. Of course, beta signups are still open, so get out there and ENLIST, gorramit.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be the one giving you the rundown from an Arkship event.

One can only hope.

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WSC

ZAM

WSR

KTR

MMORPG.com

Trailer Tuesday – 2/19

Wuxtry! Wuxtry!

Yeah, never doing that again. Let’s just bypass the intro.

BioShock Infinite has a new trailer showcasing Booker and Elizabeth amid all the craziness one expects from the BioShock ‘verse. I’ll always get a kick out of using telekinesis to grab a gun from across the room and then unloading on the guy in front of you. Just never gets old.

Plenty of jetpack and rocket boot love for Firefall recently as well. Cartoony is the new black, but to be honest, I am perfectly fine with that. BOOM! ZAP!

What The Heck Am I Doing Anyway

So yes, I can have a fundamental existential crisis with the best of them, and this is only my third post on this blog. I’ll be updating the About page as a result of this weird internal conundrum of a monologue I’ve had over the past 24 hours, and while I could wax ever more lyrical about the reasons why I’m writing Alt+F4, I’m tempted to just have you read the words of a better writer than I and say ‘ditto’. Seriously, go read the link. It’s like a video game blog version of an Aaron Sorkin pilot episode.

At which point I’ll have to write an open letter to some of my heroes and apologize to the Internet as a whole.

But the real point of this post is to say thanks both to everyone who has supported me in getting this off the ground and to the future legions (I hope for future legions) of individuals who find something helpful and/or meaningful in what this blog will become.

Thank you. All of you.