Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Minor addictions update

Four quick minor addictions.

I'm closing the book on Fallen Earth without having written anything about it. I played it for a while and it's just utterly failed to hook me. And that's kind of surprising because I'm kind of a sucker for the setting. Post-apocalyptia? Yes please! When you get going in it, it's basically Fallout: New Vegas, the MMO. That alone should have been enough to hold my attention. But the whole game has a liberal patina of "good enough" that makes me feel like it's in a maintenance mode of scraping in a few more bucks before the funding is pulled. Created in 2009, the game is really showing its age at this point. The concept is nifty and there's definitely a good MMO that could be made in this kind of post-apocalyptic setting, but this one isn't it.

As you guys know, I follow Mat Westhrope's writing over at gameskinny.com and today he had an interesting piece about another space dog-fighter simulation coming out, Elite: Dangerous. Go take a look but my thinking is that this is going to be one of the games crushed by Valkyrie and Star Citizen. Gotta say that strafing run against the much bigger target brought back some nice memories of Wing Commander and Freespace, though... For now, it doesn't yet earn a place on the Upcoming MMO list.

My feelings about Elder Scrolls Online have been running hot and cold as we've been learning more about the game. I have no more interest in getting involved in a 100% theme park game than I ever have. However, I gotta say that this video really has me a little bit excited. Sometimes I ask people "Is it the spaceships you love about EVE, or is it the fights? If you had to pick one, which one?" Zoomed out, as many of us play EVE Online, the spaceships sometimes get a little hard to remember. I myself have a hard time answering this question sometimes and if ESO can pull off what this video shows...

...then Jester's Trek might be taking me back to Cyrodil for a while. ;-)

Finally, my current minor addiction is a beta game called Warframe. The hook is "Space! Ninjas!" In reality, it's just another basically OK PvE shooter. The "ninjas" almost immediately break out assault rifles. On the positive end, it's got really good level design and a lot of the back-end stuff is cleverly done. The AI is... OK. Global Agenda still holds the gold standard so far as I'm concerned for really well-done AI. Warframe's AIs will use cover and will occasionally use cooperative attacks in an intelligent manner. But most of the time, they continue the long tradition of "stand-still-shoot-in-player-direction" school of PvE AI.

Not so good? The early game is really homogenous and repetitive. The great level design livens things up a little, but it's still capture/escort/defend. Only this time, most of the early game space ninjas are using the exact same sword, pistol, assault rifle, and tactics. There's not even a nod in the direction of rogue-tank-healer. Everyone pretty much uses the same stuff the same way with only minor variations. The UI is wonky where it isn't terrible and the reticle is a pale brown that is often lost in the background. Finally, it's got a real problem in terms of early game player scaling and growth. It doesn't take very many hours playing the game to far outstrip players who can't keep up with your play time.

I may or may not stick with it. Space ninjas is a great hook but so far it's utterly failing to live up to the high concept. Short version, I'm still looking for a good long-term minor addiction. ESO is looking like it may win by default...


  1. Global Agenda... steped playing it when they stoped developing it.... im no like waiting for Global Agenda 2 :/

  2. What sets elite dangerous apart at least If it's like the original is the physics are actually realistic. Its not a submarine simulator like those games that will crush it

  3. So TESO will still portray Cyrodiil as a temperate forest region? I'm done with this game before it even launched.

  4. I hadn't been following ESO but that video got my attention. If it's WAR done right then I'm up for it! For all its (many) failings, when WAR was fun it really was fun.

  5. ESO may indeed be theme park, but I think I'll give it a try simply because it seems like MUCH more effort was put into its creation as opposed to say, SWOTR or Neverwinter. I was a huge fan of the ES, games, especially the older ones like Morrowind and I think it would be impossible for me not to try. The portion I got to beta test was PVE and so the real question for me is to see what the polished PVP battles are like. That, I think, will be the money maker.

    1. PvP isn't the money maker for any game on the market, including EvE.

  6. I expect TESO to be exact quality replica of SWTOR. The trailer actually put me off.

  7. Just saw a link to Wasteland 2 on TMC. Yet another post-apocalypse game. Still in beta so you can only try it if you are an early access supporter. What is it with publishers and fanboys these days? I am not sure if paying EXTRA to be a beta tester is that good a deal.

    TESO could be great, or with the legacy it has to live up to could be a major disappointment. Here's hoping it is the former.

  8. Jester, regarding the ELITE Dangerous game: have you read the devblogs? Watched the videos?
    The whole game is about getting close to the real world physics, and build ships that could be used as real space ships.

    EVE Valkyrie and Star Citizen will be only twitch games next to ELITE. At least if anything from what the developers are promising will come true. The only sad part about ELITE is that it won't ship with planetary flight, which was present in all the earlier games. I urge you to read into it more, and if you haven't yet, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X88vvPDpVc

  9. Talkign about ESO war trailer: It's me the only one that felt like watching Guild Wars 2's WvW PvP? Different assets and characters, but the few ingame footage displayed, felt the same.

  10. I know you tried Guild Wars 2, so I need to ask: what part of this siege warfare video looked so appealing to you compared to what's already in GW2?

  11. I, for one, had a lot of fun playing the ES mod for CK2. I'm not sure if it's still being maintained, though.

  12. For any and all old space sim nerds, I just got Strike Suit Zero on sale on steam the other day for 5 bucks, normally 20. That game is totally fun and exactly like that, you're a fighter pilot in huge battles along a progressing story. Easily the best 5 bucks I've spent in months, and I'd never even heard of it, indy title.

    Totally recommend it.


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