Competitive Multiplayer games.

For along time I played Counterstrike, a first person shooter, it was a team based multiplayer game. Then I got into World of Warcraft, just a few weeks before Warsong Gulch was released, and then was playing WoW pretty consistently for 7 years. Confirmed from account history start date 05/28/2005 and end date 12/06/2012. There were periods of inactivity but I always came back. WoW satisfied a couple of things for me, I gained a lot friends  and memories, but most of all, there was the competitive aspect of it. Either in PVE or PVP, both basically scratched an itch for a competitive multiplayer game. I was able to break from WoW with a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA for short) game called SMITE, it had the feel of WoW’s rated battlegrounds and arena. I had friends to play with to even further that feel of WoW. Smite was/is a pretty good MOBA game but it failed to hold my interest for long. There were other contributing factors but in essence it didn’t have enough to take a solid interest in.

My preferred genre is First Person Shooters, a catch all term really the games classified as FPS can easily be called Role Playing Games and the like, and the yearning for playing a game like Counterstrike was still present after 8 long years. There was Counterstrike Source and Counterstrike Global Operations but these also failed to hold my interest for long. I enjoyed the coop game play of Payday the heist and Left for Dead 2 but without the competitive aspect of being player vs player, these also failed to hold my interest for long.

From my last post, I gave a pretty ringing endorsement of Battlefield 4, and that is the game I’ve been wanting for a long time now. It has everything I’ve been looking for, its competitive and has elements that I enjoy. Even in a losing game, I am satisfied with how I played or tried.

I played SMITE pretty hardcore and enjoyed it but I didn’t like some of the choices made by its developer, Hi Rez, it basically abandoned 2 of its games to keep smite going. Not a good way to make an impression, even if you liked SMITE, it just brought up scenarios where smite itself could be abandoned for another game in development. The constant nerfing and releasing over powered new Gods also left a bad impression. Having people on your team harassing you or your teammates and the overall bad player environment that are present in all MOBA games was another factor in the drift away from playing. Your favorite god being picked or your preferred role being taken or forced into a lane situation you are not comfortable with are some other reasons.

Its not fair to compare it to BF4, so I won’t, I just prefer the gameplay of Battlefield. I also have high hopes for EA and Dice’s Star Wars Battlefront because of how much I like Battlefield.

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From Battlefield to Mass Effect: How one engine is shaping the future of EA Games

I was going to post about my experience with Battlefield 4 and its Frostbite 3 engine, and then I came across this article from engadget. Now, instead of a single focus, I can talk about more then just one game. Mass Effect 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition will also being using the Frostbite 3 engine, and after the extensive amount of playing Battlefield 4, I am more willing to give Bioware another chance. Imagine that eh? A completely different game from a completely different developer swaying my opinion on two other franchises from a different developer.

The Frostbite 3 engine in Battlefield 4 is pretty amazing visually, combined with good game play, and being able to have 64 people playing 1 map at the same time makes it pretty compelling. I had always thought that Battlefield 4 was little more then hype, another general militaristic first person shooter with decent multiplayer. I was wrong, this is game layered with complexities, there are four classes that use four class specific weapons and can unlock four other weapons that can be used by any class. Tanks, two types of jets, two types of helicopters, light armored attack vehicles, and general transport vehicles all affect the over all game, speaking about conquest mode here specifically. (conquest being an objective holding large map, where there are 2 to 5 and some times more objectives, where holding objectives drains enemy tickets quicker then killing the enemy which also drains tickets. Its kind of like Arathi Basin with a reinforcement count like Alterac Valley from World of Warcraft) Anyways back on topic, the way all of the classes and vehicles are used are used greatly affect the conquest game and how it plays out.

Seeing it first hand and being absorbed into so much, I have a renewed optimism for Mass Effect 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition. I can imagine a decent role playing game with a decent combat system and the well developed Characters/Conversation that Bioware is best known for.

My distaste for Bioware over the years is well known, Dragon Age 2 being a money grab and fail of an ending for Mass Effect 3 as well as day one dlc for both franchises, really put me off. There were things done well in Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, excellent characters and dialogue, certain choices and their impacts on the story. However, the good is brought down by the bad. In Dragon Age 2, its environments are reused to a fault, its story was sold on the choices you made but the story itself is a fixed outcome and your choice hardly matters. In Mass Effect 3 (spoilers obviously incoming) the ending was horribly done, it was sold on the promise it was not going to be a A/B/C ending and it was clearly an A/B/C ending, the game ending on note to urge you to by more DLC, and endings themselves not making sense. The Red ending arbitrarily causing the geth and edi to die. The ham handedness of shooting the console to destroy the reapers being a pretentious was to embody the destruction of the reapers. The completely non nonsensical Green ending of synthesis and its complete disregard of why you were fighting the reapers in the first place. Mordin’s warning of not using technology to replace natural evolution being completely ignored. In the very first game you fight Saren who is obviously fighting for synthesis and subservience to the reapers which is basically the synthesis ending. Also, the off the wall blue ending of controlling the reapers, which was what the illusive man and cerberus wanted. The very same people and ideals you are fighting against for 2 games.

God, I still get angry just thinking about those two games, obviously the Mass Effect 3 one is the one that annoys me the most.

Back on topic, EA and its developers, using this engine and trying to better themselves by not doing the things that made them despised by its fans are the reason for the weakening of my stance of not supporting these developers, and EA,  by buying their games.

If I can work to change myself for the better, the least I can do is give Bioware and EA the same chance.

From Battlefield to Mass Effect: How one engine is shaping the future of EA Games