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So, we made a post already about the really cool new site by Drunken F00l, the TF2 Backpack Examiner.

I’ve gotten 1 hat since the idler hats were taken away (yes, I was a dirty idler). I also have the solider medal and all the weapons.

Check out my backpack.

Post yours in reply to this thread and let us see what you have!

We were given the chance to beta test NCSoft’s AION this weekend. The live event went from July 31st – August 3rd and focused on Elyos and Asmodian Levels 1-30. While we didn’t make it all the way to 30 we did get the chance to check out the game up to level 10. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of this game just because of NCSoft’s history of repeating content in games. I also was not a big fan of Guild Wars once it got into full swing but was very interested when it was in its early development. I hope that won’t be the case with AION.

From first impressions I can tell you that AION is a mix between Guild Wars and Lineage II. Even if you have a less than adequate PC you can still run AION with all low settings and it’s still gorgeous. On full settings the graphics are even more amazing and most top end machines don’t even hiccup when playing. So the beauty of the game definitely caught my attention but I was more interested in the questing and crafting systems. I doubted I’d even get to see any type of crafting since the focus of the event was simply leveling so I hunkered down and went in search of those who needed help.

Like most any other MMO you’ll find that locating quests is pretty easy. NPC’s have a blue triangle above their head and require that you perform certain tasks in order to gain experience. While the system isn’t much different the story line certainly is. Much of the translation needs to be fixed because certain words, I think, need to be changed. Without giving away too much of the story I can tell you that your first 10 levels are rich with story about how you got to be where you are. You’re also not stuck in the “noobie” zone for that long. You will move very quickly from the starter area to the more advanced area quite quickly.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this game are, obviously, the wings you get once you ascend. I like that there are no bags and you get a default “cube” that can be expanded by purchasing new cube slots. Another interesting thing that I think holds a lot of potential is death penalties. Of all the systems I’ve seen for death penalties I think I like AION’s the best. You can buy back any lost experience from a Spirit Healer. The more you lose and the higher your level will increase the cost greatly. Lastly, I love the fact that priests get to wear chain mail armor with a mace and shield. There’s nothing better than a battle cleric who can take a beating, no more of this cloth crap.

Now let’s look at some of the downsides to the game, which so far there aren’t many. The UI needs quite a bit of work because customization is pretty much nonexistent. Certain game functions could also do with customization like not being able to zoom in and out on your character without a mouse wheel. If you don’t have a mouse wheel than you’re pretty much stuck with whatever view they give you, which makes it hard to see. Spells and skill get “chain” effects which means upon using one another may appear. The only problem with this is you can’t queue up spells and abilities that don’t have chains. Lastly I think the flight system could also use a bit of work because there is a glide feature that frankly doesn’t glide all that well. I found myself dive bombing towards the ground more than I was gliding gracefully.

So far this game has done extremely well in closed beta. I’ve beta tested many popular MMORPG’s and this is by far one of the best weekend events I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Things ran pretty smooth and as for the player base you could tell there were quite a lot of experienced people on. This made it much more enjoyable and worth putting time into. I see this game being able to rival many of the top MMO’s out at the moment and I’m hoping it does.

We’d like to share some of our experience in closed beta with you the fans. Here are a handful of screenshots we took for your viewing pleasure:

WoW-Dead

I can’t believe I’m about to open this can of worms but here we go. I read an article today called WoW Is Not Killing Itself which was a response to the article MMO Weekly 14/07/09. If you’re not in the mood to read both articles I can sum them both up for you quickly.

The MMO Weekly 14/07/09 article talks about how WoW developers are making the same mistakes that all other MMO devs make. They’re only putting out content for “hardcore” people who put in countless hours to see end game content. He goes on to state that only 5% of WoW players ever see the hardest end game content. Max level characters only have raiding and “gear grinding” to look forward to.

WoW Is Not Killing Itself responds by picking apart almost every argument he puts up and says, “You’re wrong”. The author goes on to explain that all of the content in WoW is meant for all types of players. That being 80 isn’t just a gear grind and even “casual” players have something to do. Wasn’t that much easier than reading massive amounts of text?

I hate to be the one to tell both of these authors this, but this topic has been debated for years now. The cold hard facts are that WoW has the biggest player base subscription. Sporting over 11 million players worldwide, World of Warcraft is appealing to players for whatever personal reason they have.

End game content can only go so far. If you bundle everything up into one big package you’ll have to label all of the content “grinding”. You grind your levels, you grind for gear, you grind for items, and you grind for money. This isn’t just WoW either; this is every single MMORPG that’s out there. There isn’t anything else to do at the end of a massively huge questing game.

Most players, I said most, don’t care about the story line of a MMORPG. They just want to have their “shiny” new gear and hang out with a few friends. There’s nothing wrong with that and Blizzard is a master at creating content to accommodate just that. Until some game developer comes up with something completely new and revolutionary that will change the way MMORPG’s are played and put together, we will continue to see the same kind of end game content from all MMO’s.

Don’t get all down in the dumps about it; there is plenty of hope in the future. The next few years look to bring out new MMORPG’s that just might be something fresh enough to catch the attention of people who are looking for a new game. History always repeats itself, and WoW redefined MMORPG’s. Another game will come along that will do the same, we just have to wait.

ValvEA

After posting the video yesterday we realized that everything they’ve showed at E3 is nothing more than what the original has. A lot of people bought the first game and got bored of it after about a week. With the inability to choose what server to play on, the redundancy of maps, and not having any more competition than a computer people were bored.

Eventually Valve did fix a lot of this but by then it was too late. While there were, and are, dedicated fans of L4D it was a big decline in the community. The dedicated fans now want Valve to keep their promise of updating L4D once L4D 2 comes out.

With EA backing the project for L4D 2, the L4D team doesn’t have much say in what’s going to happen with the sequel. Typical of publishing companies like EA, they come in and take something good and want to make it into more of a money making machine. Do these publishers even care about video games? Time will only tell.

Youtube was showing some gaming footage for L4D 2 at E3. We haven’t seen anything that makes us think this game needs to be a sequel. Maybe there’s more to it than just retouched models and weapons but we’re not seeing it. You all can decide for yourself. Even though it does look good, it looks the same as the first one.

Video gamers as a whole are some of the most unforgiving people. We hold ourselves to such a high standard when playing games that it’s no surprise we would hold the makers of those games to an even higher standard. I can’t say I’m surprised by the fact that there is now a L4D 2 boycott group of around 16,000 members. These are gamers who feel that Valve is doing a great injustice by releasing a sequel to a game that wasn’t brought up to its full potential.

They recognize that L4D is a good game and that Valve needs to make more games to make money. They just don’t believe that they should make a sequel to a game that wasn’t given Valves full attention. Valve does state that they will continue to update L4D but that L4D 2 was too big to simply make it an update to the original. L4D 2 has five new campaigns, new melee weapons, new infected, four new survivors, a new environment, new AI director and an unannounced game mode.

It sounds like a whole lot of stuff will be coming with this new game but how much will Valve be able to deliver? As the old saying goes “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Basically Valve spent millions on advertising for L4D only to have it not deliver what it promised. You can find a very interesting article on Valve’s False Promises.

Valve has a lot of people in an uproar on the Steam forums about the new L4D 2 game release. Time will only tell if the game will fly or flop. Nothing can be truly said until the game is officially released and more details can be put together on how the game functions. What can be said is that if Valve screws up L4D 2 and promises things they can’t deliver, they just might find themselves without fans. The sad part is that no matter what happens to L4D 2, the original is going to suffer with or without new updates for it.

L4D2

Valve made an official release today that they will be releasing a sequel to the popular L4D co-op zombie shooter. As of now they’re simply calling it L4D2 and who would have imagined anything else? The game developers state that many of the games features will be better than the original game. They also intend on marketing it more than they did the first one which took a 10+ million dollar campaign to do.

Gabe Newell of Valve states that the AI director is what set the stage for the games success. While I agree a little bit with that I’m going to have to say no. I believe a large part of the games success was the large number of zombie fans across the world. Half-Life 2 was amazing with its undead and half dismembered monsters. This game gave lots of people a real sense of what it would be like to take on zombies. When introduced to the idea of a co-op zombie frag fest, blood bath game people were willing to jump on the idea.

L4D2 Nov 17

Here’s what Gabe has to say about the upcoming L4D2:

“A large part of how Left 4 Dead became 2008’s top-selling new IP on Xbox 360 and the PC was the custom-tailored gameplay made possible by the AI Director,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “With the knowledge gained from creating the original, new technology, and a passionate team, L4D2 will set a new benchmark for cooperative action games.”

We’ve all sat around and wondered, “What would I do if millions of zombies invaded the earth?” The idea sounds great and what they promised really looked good but it fell quite short of its full potential when it actually released. It took a few months before Valve got around to adding enough content to keep people wanting to come back for more. You can only play the same map with a group of people so many times. Hopefully L4D2 won’t fall into the same trap that its predecessor did.

Valve goes on to explain that L4D2 will have more content than the original. I really hope that’s true since the amount released with the first one wasn’t all that great. They even screwed up adding versus mode and tried to fix it a few weeks later only to mess that up as well. They do promise that all of the same stuff they’ve done to the first game will be in the second game. So we’ll pay another $60 to play a game with a few extra skins and maps, but here’s the way Valve puts it:

“Featuring new Survivors, boss zombies, weapons, and items, Left 4 Dead 2 offers a much larger game than the original with more co-operative campaigns, more Versus campaigns, and maps for Survival mode available at launch.”

Don’t get me wrong, I loved L4D. The game was simply amazing and no one wanted to get it more than me. I think they promised a lot of things they didn’t deliver and I think the things they did deliver on were less than adequate. Maybe L4D2 will be the game we’re all looking for in a co-op zombie smash and brawl.

Here’s the trailer of L4D 2, you’ll get to see a little bit of what they’re going to be releasing as well as you’ll see the new survivors.

WoWlogo

One of the things that new players have a hard time with is how to make money in World of Warcraft. Many of these newer players don’t have enough gold to even train their skills when they level up. Not knowing how to make money in WoW shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the game to its fullest.

The easiest and fastest way to make gold in WoW is to sell all of the stuff you don’t need. You might be wondering what exactly you can and can’t use. Figuring this out is as simple as understanding what item colors mean. There are seven different types of item colors in World of Warcraft:

  1. Poor – Grey
  2. Common – White
  3. Uncommon – Green
  4. Rare – Blue
  5. Epic – Purple
  6. Legendary – Orange
  7. Heirloom – Tan

Most players when they first start out will only deal with the first four item colors. Poor quality items can be sold to any vendor for a little bit of money. Common items, such as cloth, can be used by other players. These items should be sold on the Auction House to other players. Uncommon and rare items should also be sold on the Auction House and generally bring in more money than the common items.

What to Sell and What to Keep

Now that you know what types of items there are you’ll want to determine what items you want to keep and what items you want to sell. Almost all poor quality items need to be sold to the vendor since they have no use. The only reason to keep them is for novelty reasons.

Common items are the hardest to determine if you should keep them or not. Cloth items like wool, silk, and mageweave can not only be used by Tailors but by anyone that has First Aid. If you have First Aid it might be a good idea to hold on to your cloth. If you don’t have a use for it though just sell it.

Uncommon and rare items are easier to determine if you need to keep them or not. These items will either be something you can use or something you can’t. If you’re a Mage and you find a rare two-handed sword you’re not able to use it and should sell it someone who can. This will become easier as you level more in World of Warcraft.

Knowing how to make money in World of Warcraft will really help you to get the most out of your gaming experience. Take time to learn the basics and how items can work for you to make gold. There are also plenty of mods for World of Warcraft that can give you additional information on items. Some of these mods will give you sales prices for the Auction House and how much it will sell to the vendor. Remember that not making enough gold in WoW shouldn’t keep you from having fun.

sniper_vs_spy_poster

Now that Valve has reintroduced milestones as a way of unlocking weapons we’ve updated our guide so that you can get your Sniper and Spy weapons in about 30 minutes. We know people want their weapons and they want them now.

If you haven’t got all of your weapons yet we can help you do that. We’ll show you how you and a friend can get all the acheivement weapons without being on an achievement farming server. It’s much easier to get your friend to help you than some random stranger.

Here’s a sample of our guide and what you’ll get:

Sniper Sample page

You can find the full guide for all six of the class releases so far on our website. LiTi-4’s TF2 Achievement Guide will help you and your friends get all your achievement weapons fast and easy. Thanks for your continued support and we’ll be fragin’ you soon!

the huntsman bow

A lot of players seem to be having a hard time figuring out how The Huntsman works. The last patch fixed it so that your flaming arrows will show up as just that when you get a kill with them. Before players would see a flamethrower icon and it was throwing them off.

Make sure to have a Pyro light your arrow or you can shoot someone that’s already on fire and kill them. Either one of these ways will give you the flaming arrow kill. Another tip to using The Huntsman is to make sure you don’t keep the arrow strung for too long.

You have about three seconds after you reach maximum power to let loose your arrow or you will lose the accuracy of the shot. This is why a lot of players are having trouble aiming or having arrows that seem to fly off into the distance. If you’ve had it strung too long and want to pull the arrow back in you can right click to release the tension.