Allen Donnelly

Artist, Author, Whimsy Merchant

This is the official website of the artist and science-fiction/fantasy novelist, Allen Donnelly.

Filtering by Category: Gaming

The name of the game...

Yeah, this is a blog post about gaming.  Look, I'm a nerd, okay?  I like spending my spare time peering wide-eyed at a computer screen watching a virtual, pixellated elf sets fire to gnomes.
This weekend is the first public beta test of Guild Wars 2, a game I've been looking forward to for a very long time.  These are my impressions for the first couple of hours I've spent in game.  
It must be remembered that this is a beta - the purpose of it is to sort out any bugs in the system.  If you go in expecting a perfectly polish game then you're going to be disappointed, and you're also an idiot who should read up what "beta testing" means. 

I'll be honest, I didn't do much beyond wandering around the human capital city of Divinity's Reach going "ooh" and "aah" - this is a very pretty game and that city looks amazing.

It's clearly still a beta and needs some optimisation to make it run smoothly but it wasn't too bad.  At the highest graphics settings, the frames per second (FPS) was very low but just setting Shaders and Shadows to medium made it run much faster.  Well, as long as there weren't too many things happening on screen - when a bunch of players all focussed on a spider-boss thing in an orchard, and there were spell effects firing off everywhere, I think it dropped to single figures FPS.  Still playable and still responded to commands but it was something of a slideshow.

My other main problem is with the combat.  I'm crap at it.  I've got 6 years' worth of World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online muscle memory that are telling me how to play but that doesn't work in this game.  I need to learn how to dodge, and move, and not just stand there spamming abilities like an idiot!  It's not clicked yet and my brain needs to rewire itself - I will get the hang of it though!

Overall, I'm enjoying it immensely and I will be playing more!

Of sneezing and gaming

I have a cold.  An absolute stinker.  My head is filled with cotton wool, my eyes are bleary and tired, my nose runs like a neverending waterfall and the phlegm, oh the phlegm.
In short, bleh.  It is not unexpected though.  Every year, at about this time, I can generally be relied upon to be slumped on a sofa, coughing and feeling sorry for myself.
There has been one positive side-effect though - my horribly ravaged throat does mean that I sound like Rytlock Brimstone from the trailers for Guild Wars 2!

Compared to me, this morning, before I'd had my first Lemsip of the day 

See, ArenaNet!  You don't need any fancy recording equipment or skilled voice actors, just a guy, lying in bed, with an iPhone and a knackered throat!

I'm still playing Star Wars: The Old Republic (known, somewhat clumsily, as SWTOR).  It remains a good, solid, if uninspiring and old-fashioned MMO.  I will enjoy my 30 free days with it but, when that expires, I can safely say that I will happily turn my back on it and not subscribe.
If you are thinking of getting it, it's worth a shot but don't expect to be blown away.  Play as a Bounty Hunter as well, by far the most engaging of the classes when it comes to the mechanics of actually playing - Death From Above is worth the price of admission alone! 

As for writing?  Well, between Christmas and this terrible malady, it has not been a productive few days.