Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Branding, the failure of the many


Branding and building a following online. The idea is to get the most viewers across all social media (especially where money is involved) and get participation. For Mmo Slayers it's about getting people interested in games to play together, for UPM Gaming its about d&d and for Pixel Slayers its about Minecraft.

Its great to see people create and creation is fun! It can be profitable and it can be a way of life for some. For me, I have always been trying to build a business, ever since high school I wanted to run something, but was too late to the online party. I have tried real business, thought of stores, built websites and all of it never panned out.

Then I watched Game Grumps . . .

Its not about what they do (play games), but about the small secrets they let slip here and there. I have recreated some of what they do on YouTube and found some money in it yes, but the main draw is to get EVERYONE to work together.

That is one hard f**king statement. I have pushed friends from school, work, gaming friends, and so on. Man, no one wants to work together, they just don't. If there is no upfront payoff, if it's not easy, if it's not their idea, they want no part of it. However look at the idea behind Game Grumps, he got a band to work with him, he got comedians to work with him, he got people who did their own thing to work with him, how the hell do I get everyone to work with me?

My thought, based off what I've learned is to have a mass YouTube channel (JUST ONE) where everyone works together. I put up D&D, a friend steams dark souls, another guy streams our Minecraft servers and does interviews, another reviews mmo's. WE WORK TOGETHER!

Why? Because, it's work, its so much work to do it alone. Think of it this way, if you did your small show two days a week (or released videos), and another did their one video another day and another did his/her stuff a different day. Now your channel has stuff coming out almost every day, every week.


But no one wants to do this. They want their own channels, their own group names, their own brand. So each in turn fails or puts out little to no money or fame. There is no way to force anyone to work together I have tried and I have tried. The key is to find someone who wants to join you, but that is also like finding gold in Odin's beard.

I was sparked by Andrews idea of a podcast since I listen to postcasts and was thinking of a podcast for me and Jeff to do after D&D. Jeff is just not a creative type and would try his best, but his heart would not be in it. However Andrews idea sparked this, because he is trying, always trying to get something, anything moving and so am I. I want to do this podcast because I think it can gather a following, but again who's brand are we using?

In my mind I have the perfect layout for the podcast and how to deliver it and where we should host it and how we can tie it to YouTube etc. In his mind he has a way he wants it done and how he will present it and we both will never agree past a point, because he wants to build one brand and me another. There is no boss cause there is no money, so no one person can go ahead and take over or have everyone follow their lead. This is the hard part of down fall of the idea in the end. While I want to participate and make it rock, I think "Man this would be much better one UPM Gaming's YouTube channel and blogs to build the brand!"

Now that is my thinking ahead, nothing has been done yet. It was just reading Andrew's blog (which is always good and never abandoned) that got me thinking about all this besides after each Sunday night D&D game. Hmm is there potential here to take his passion for Minecraft servers and match it with my streams of his servers in videos on YouTube or will we just end up at a creative roadblock again?

Just quick thoughts off my head which I felt I needed to put into a blog post both on Slayers Inquest and on UPM Gaming's blog.

More on branding and creative co-operation to come I am sure!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

End of Summer Edition 2015

Another summer in MMO Slayers and not so great for the old MMO in general. Echo of Soul was another let down as you only had access to one class with a pre-set toon and it was created by a company making Facebook games.

Wildstar goes F2P in the fall and with that comes the ever bailing list of dev’s who helped build the game. The latest is one jumping to Blizzard Entertainment for a safer and more secure future with a big name company. Remember they have Overwatch coming out soon, and a host of successful games and content.

I am staying subbed to Wildstar until F2P I hopes of cashing in on special incentives, however this is not a big deal as I did the same with ESO to not play one day after it went F2P. I just have no interest in the F2P world all together. I expect to pay for quality and feel safe behind a paid game. To date the main paid games are World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy Online, both not expected to ever go F2P.

Speaking of Final Fantasy I have as well re-subbed after the expansion to see what is new. The overall is that nothing is new unless you have BOTH reached level 50 and completed the LONG story line. The story line is a go here, go there, hand in quest that never ends until late into 50th level. The quest also has you all over the map from country to country, which features non-discovered locations behind high level zones you have to navigate through and expensive gold cost warp points.
I am currently level 42/50 and going for the 50th just to say I got there. Oh and if you wanted to try the new dragon class, you start at level one. Not to say this game isn’t the best looking MMO on the market, because it is, however like Wildstar, you get sold on the screen shots, log in and then remember why you didn’t have FUN playing the game. 

GW2 has reached a new high of greatness. Not only has this game stood the test of MMO time with hundreds of players ALWAYS in game, but its constant new content after new content over the two years it’s been out has it as a favourite. Now the expansion pulls us further in with new classes, zones, things to do and endless outfits, colors, weapon skins and more. An MMO labeled as pure FUN, it never gets old. I myself have two level 80’s and am working on my third who is currently level 43/80. 

TERA as featured above has a new class of over the top insanity called the Gunner. This class uses an oversized gun the size of a bathtub to lug about and shoot down enemies with, expelling shells the size of small dogs on the ground. TERA also had a cataclysm of their own, eliminating old zones and making new zones, now with a game we have little info on, wants us to learn how the new zone navigate together.

World of Warcraft itself sent out a message that they will NOT be allowing flying in their new expansion as the game was designed for exploring on foot and all the puzzles expect this type of game play. However after another in a long line of recent community backlashes the games creators caved in and allowed flying to be present in the game after a simple quest. The game like previous has outdone it’s earlier works and have gear drops equivalent of end game available now to anyone who runs a simple dungeon. Expecting to continue for the year Warlords of Draenor is doing great. 

Our minecraft world was on the brink of vanishing and never coming back, but now with renewed vigor the world is returning to its old map with some of our recent creations added to it. A video series has launched showing off events of the final days of this 3-4 year running server. Many of us eagerly await the new world, moving in and recreating famous structures from the past.

Shroud of the Avatar was available for 50% off which circumvents the pledge of 45$ needed for early access and access to some special in game features which are only available to pledgers. Lots of criticism has plagued this game through its alpha development which with either end up surprisingly amazing like Starbound did or completely flop and rush to retail status with nothing done, but player towns and crafting of homes worked on. This game is in a weird limbo between amazing and flawed beyond fixing. While I have the overwhelming desire to play and play, there is only one character to have, which gets wiped every patch. I do get the opportunity to start over with 5000 gold and just go explore, fight and play, which is pretty neat on its own. The big downside for me is the big upside for the others, every town in this game isn’t a town, but a player housing zone. While you may think that these zones are neat, they only have housing features that are usable by the players who own them. There is nothing here but a collection of homes which you need never visit unless you owned one in there, BUT if you do, you have 7 days to log in or your house is GONE. Yes like before the downside of old UO, only seven days before you house is wiped from the game, with all your possessions. This to me is an ancient way to do things and mighty bad in my opinion as housing is the foundation of this game, it’s your base of operations for playing.

For us, Kaldain is finally back on the MC servers, and doing an excellent job running the page, myself I try to keep up with news, screenshots, and the like, and we have Ryan back and actively posting again which is great. We have lost a member but also balanced the group drama as he can post on his blog in happiness and we don’t have rants in the group anymore. All seems to be going well here, we even have people finding us now on google and asking to join as outsiders who are looking for a nice gaming group to join, sadly they haven’t posted besides the admissions form, but maybe soon they will see what we play and will join up with us. 

As the last year has shown there is nothing new on the horizon like there used to be in the glory years and we are making our way into the world of single play which has stepped up its game lately.  However the better these single play are the more we are separated from online MMO group gaming. I still am calling the death of the MMO and it being a thing of the past. The next big thing is ready to come through and it will finally not be a WOW clone.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Slayers Inquest - ERA 2 Begins

As both MMO's released last year failed to attract sufficient players, neither was named game of the year and all MMO's F2P, B2P or holding on to a sub for a dwindling community, the golden age of the MMO ends.

As with our original site, a site founded by three people to now which one has left to pursue new options. The remaining two need not wallow in the left overs of failed MMO's, but rather celebrate the rise of top quality Single Player, Multi-Player games. Example's would be Dragon Age Inquisition, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls 6 and so forth into the future.

Myself I do not see leaving, for I find this a selfish and needless act. Ah our good friend Gary Gygax who gamed until he died around the age of 77 years old. He had times of fame and times where he left his company and didn't do much with but put off some not so great competing games, the good times came back later in life as new breath was given to an old product.

I see it quite the same, no need to dwell on Minecraft worlds, to not post on a forum, to live in isolation because MMO's are dead. Let's enjoy new great games and celebrate them and what we can do in them. There is still Dolby to enjoy them together, there are many still multi-play games with seasons like Diablo III.  I for one think things have changed but are not gone in this group, if anything we've grown in posts, news and information.

As for the remainder of this inquest I shall turn to a video. I am making a video version of this which I will upload, along with video, photos and more.

Now that chapter 2 of this site has come, let's continue the information and the gaming.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Slayers Inquest "I R Bored to Teirs" Edition

.....ZZZ   .....ZZZ

The MMO is dead. Were a MMO slaying site and I think we slew them all. The golden days of the MMO are gone, we don't group in one, we barely play one alone and if so totally alone (no other in game players). Communities are starved as too many are spread to far across too many games.

The last few months have been single player games for the most part the people in our group have been playing and not even group non-mmo's but straight single player games. We have exhausted all the MMO's and are left with nothing to look forward to but Crowfall and other tiny company MMO's.

On the one hand there are epic single player games out and coming out like:

  • Witcher 3
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Fallout 4 to be announced soon
  • Elder Scrolls 6 to be announced soon

Even my last entry was mainly single player games like, Skyrim, Saints Row 4, and Shadow over Mordor. The only two MMO's I hit on were Wildstar and GW2, and with the rising cost of Wildstar at $20.00/month that is a non-possibility. 

So what are we playing? Hell I even bought us a Vent server to play games more as a gaming group and no one's been on it but Andrew for MC with two of us. Hmmm I am sure the glory days are over, no more WOW at it's peak, no more RIFT being new and interesting, no foreign games like AION and TERA to explore. Nope, just play what we have, stale as the day . . . 

As you can see from the top image I even tried ArcheAge to find the rumors are all true about hackers, bots and afk players ruining this game. Atop it's a kill 5 of this and 10 of that game to start with made it such a bore. Tried to replay RIFT, but over two days of playing I got one level and well, that is not good enough in today's gaming world.

I have deleted for the first time ever, SWTOR, TERA, AION,  EVE Online, UO, and more. They are just done, they need no more updates or place taking up room on the computer. The only ones left, are WOW, GW2, FF-Online, ESO and Wildstar, and even they are not being played. 

Is this the era of the single player computer game? I started computer gaming to play online and moved away from console, but if this is the future a PS4 might be worth my time. I am more excited to play Dragon Age Inquisition or BloodBorne at the moment or hell even Destiny over PC games. 

The world has changed and MMO's are a sad sad play to win world with angry gamer's who've left and little kids and broke ass losers who join to kill time. We shall see what this year brings, but so far the shifting has begun away from the MMO towards the single player game. 

So board . . .  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Slayers Inquest "Winter Games Edition"

It's been an alright winter and some good games have been played, picked up and re-discovered. We are finally on a track to getting people playing together in those games as well. I believe at this time our number one MMO is GW2.

The guild is doing great and everyone seems to be having fun playing it and contributing to the guild we made in game. This only get's us better and more access to things in the game. Feel free to jump in, join up with us and start building "Influence".

As for other MMO's Wildstar is the one I am subbing to this year. I have been doing great at end game after hitting 50th. I have fun alts, housing, dungeons, keys to attune, new content to explore and more. Most likely no one will be joining me in this one, which is ok as I will build my empire in the game until such time as others do join up.

This is a WOW clone that is up todate for 2015 and much more fun than the original WOW. The space angle is great and there is so far no news of this game going F2P. Hopefully it can avoid the ESO deal and keep as it is with NC Soft, maybe picking up in the future. Regardless it is my main game that has a sub un-less it goes free.

Getting back to steam I can't still put down Skyrim, with more mods now than ever. I am currently attempting to add and EMB to redo the graphics on my world, which is a bit more complex than the standard mods I have been putting into the game. I have some kick ass mods that make the game insanely fun and immersive to play. With mods still coming out daily, fully voiced, with hours and hours of content, quests, new meshes, followers, houses and more. Nothing will ever beat Skyrim unless it is a new elder scrolls game.

The absolute hours anyone can play this game is crazy and never see the same thing twice. I know we have some Skyrim fans here and some good mod discussion would be worth bringing up. I watch a few youtube shows about mods which get better every week.

Starbound on steam has updated and comes with major content! New quest lines, things to do, races, more to explore, wear and wield. If you like Terraria or Minecraft you should pick up Starbound. While this is no game of the year, it is a fun little thing to play when you need to kill time, just like Minecraft as you build and have a good time.

Some more steam games that I looked into this winter were "Shadow of Mordor" which is amazing to play, like assassins creed in middle earth. "Saint's Row 4" which is very dirty adult humor, mixed with pop culture jokes, grand theft auto movement, and the matrix all in one.

Just thought I would put some winter gaming info up for anyone who also got into these great games or is looking to try them. I think our gaming group is doing very well for it's self, we just need to get more people talking.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Slayers Inquest: End of year edition

The Slayers Inquest: End of year edition

MMO's:  There are many systems for reviews, I have chosen a 4 category rating system with each category scoring out of 10. This will end up with a % out of 100.

·         Overall Rating: */100
·         Graphics: */10
·         Controls: */10
·         Fun or Tedious: */10
·         Maintains Interest: */10

Examples of other rating systems
·         Pros and Cons (putting in the description as good and bad)
·         Overall Rating (out of 100)
·         Thumbs up OR down (final opinion)

Wildstar 2014 (THUMBS UP)

THE RANT: Fantastic game graphically and fun to play, however the fact that is was built for a crowd that don't exist made it fail and the dev's have to rethink and rebuild the game. This game was made for 40 man raids like back in the days of Lich King and the like, but that crowd just does not exist anymore. With many mmo's and not huge numbers like back in the glory days of WOW the only ones doing 40 man raids each week are pre-made gaming groups that exists outside of one game. They are groups that have had the same members for a long time, do not accept new players and go from game to game doing raids which once defeated and no new content is ready, leave the game and find the next MMO to jump into, beat their end game, add it to their list of defeated and move on.

With the gaming groups having defeated the content easily in Wildstar and now all left, due to no new content to do, the game is sitting empty of all but a few solo players slowly leveling to get to the end with nothing to do and no way to get 40 people together for a raid. Players reaching end game are un-subbing as they have nothing to accomplish or do. The achievements are small and not worth achieving as they don't reflect what you would think. For instance there is no achievement for getting all the lore books in a zone as you think there would be. Collecting goods for your house is pointless as again you can only have 4 of the over 80 listed at your house, they cost gold which is hard to get and must be "fixed" (Which costs gold) constantly. As well there is NO POINT to your housing as it is in a private instance which further distances you from the community as the major cities are ghost towns reflecting not many players and players hidden away in their private housing.

The good:  The dev's have, realized this and are correcting their mistakes. A recent release was a brand new 40 man raid, however with not enough players to do the content the dev’s immediately dropped the difficulty (Something they claimed they would never do) making the new raid a 20 man raid. They have also added a brand new “Story mode” feature similar to GW2’s personal story so the soloing crowd has something more to look forward to. They upped gold in the lower levels so players can actually afford a mount and not have to pay real money for CREDD and are not giving in to F2P just yet. The company behind them NC Soft believes there is a market for this game and so far has as well not given into F2P.

The Bad: If sales decline and no one plays this game it is surely coming. The company is in big trouble however with having to discount their game 50% to attract new players. A gamer found a copy of Wildstar in the clearance bin at WalMart for $10.00 and the company still has ZERO advertising with IGN releasing articles headlined as “What is Wildstar?” meaning no one has heard of this game and continues to know nothing about it. There are no ad’s, it is not on T.V. or even featured in gaming articles, there is hardly any news when contetnt is released besides on their own site. With no ad dollars into telling gamers about this game, there is no way to get customers. Even the 50% off ads are only promoted via a Facebook group about wildstar (aimed at people who own it)

·         Overall Rating: 73/100
·         Graphics: 9/10 – Would be 10, however some graphics on floors and planes are bitmapped
·         Controls: 10/10 – Perfect controls, movement, camera and key bindings. Double jump is a huge plus and seeing area of attack is helpful
·         Fun or Tedious: 5/10 – While considered fun, it quickly wears off after your 100th death due to many close grouped mobs and low armor drops
·         Maintains Interest: 5/10 – Hard to score, considering the level aspect of the game keeps our interest as the zones have unique stories. However once at end game there is nothing to do, nor a reason to ever log in again. Alt’s are un-necessary and tedious to re-run the same story while leveling.


Elder Scrolls Online 2014 (THUMBS UP)

                THE RANT: Just what we expected from the makers of The Elder Scrolls. A top notch game with thousands of interactions that gets better and better. The character models have been superbly cleaned up from other Elder Scrolls games where modding was used to achieve the best looking players. Being true to Elder Scrolls there is not over the top armor and weapons, however they are not as bland and boring as RIFT for example. They are more like skyrim with flair!

                The new dye system makes the game hugely more customizable with a very fair system for unlocking colors via achievements that require no gold or lottery to get the rare colors but just your time and effort if you wish to look a certain way. Crafting is very easy and straight forward with an interesting twist in which you can craft different looks to armor and weapons when you find rare crafting books allowing you to make the other races and styles of armor for looks!

                The Good: Finally a game that is not a WOW clone but follows in the footsteps of previous Elder Scroll Games with a bit of GW2 mixed in. In this game you simply DO NOT push 1 to attack, but rather swing your sword aiming at the enemy or heal aiming at your allies. Enemies attack likewise aiming to hit you or doing attacks in various directions allowing you to circle around. The amazing part of this game is the endless, endless builds and ways to attack. Some people may use for example a two handed sword and put all skill points into attacks with two handed swords using stamina as a primary stat, while your twin may but ZERO point into his blade but all his points into his class skills using magic as the primary stat. while the two characters are identical in weapon use, they are completely different in their attacks and damage as well as abilities.  

                Questing is the best over ALL mmo’s. Finally someone got it right, however they had it right all along since it’s the same as the other Elder Scrolls games. When you talk to an NPC you “talk” to that NPC, hearing their voice, seeing their face and interacting with them on an engaging level. You see what they are going through, how they feel and get to ask questions from a list to get more answers if you wish to get further information which actually comes up marked on your map. This method is the absolute best! WOW and clones like RIFT and Wildstar simply are click to accept a written quest no one reads and then follow the arrows on the mini map to see what to do, do it and return to the NPC for a reward while ESO’s quests once complete lead you into deeper quests that further that story until the final quest results in a reward and XP at the end of the quest line without having to return to the NPCs at the start.

                Many of the quests are interesting as well, there are no kill 10 boars hear, but rather social quests where you solve problems with the world around you. Are put through trials, make decisions, close portals to the plane of oblivion, rebuild cities that were destroyed and try to end the villain’s schemes. Some choices you make at the end of a quest line might be “wrong” as your are unsure of who is telling the truth and asked to side with one person over another and once you do you get the truth that you either helped the evil doer or the right person. There is no wrong answer nor does it change your reward, you just get a story to match the ending you picked.

                The Bad: The bad is the leveling. If you were hoping to get to the end of this game quickly you are out of luck unless you wish to fall asleep grinding to the truest meaning of grinding. The only way to get XP in this game in a timely manner is to spend hours grinding mobs in zones as defined by guides. You will level in a normal manner while if you were to quest for 8 hours straight you would only gain maybe one level by doing quests. While the quests are amazingly fun and interesting you don’t level from them. You only level from mob grinding, not even dungeon runs, just mob grinding.

                Not too much else is seen as negative except along with other games this year the lack of space in inventory. Game we PAY for should never have limited inventory space especially when the game is built around having to have mass mats and gear and the like and nowhere to store it. Also Guilds, there are no guilds, nor is there an AH, however the game labels guilds as buying groups in which you can have up to five in which you can buy and sell items like an AH. The major downside is there is hardly any player communication, having been in 5 differing guilds for four months not one person talked or partied for anything. This is a solo game unless you have RL friends or a gaming group to come into this with.

·         Overall Rating: 80/100
·         Graphics: 10/10 – Top of the line graphics with suns reflections off armor. Water, trees and grass as good as skyrim the best in the industry!
·         Controls: 8/10 – Amazing controls for attacking and switching weapon styles quick, however the “E”, “F” and “X” for interacting, picking up and deleting items is tedious.
·         Fun or Tedious: 6/10 – Again hard to score because if you are doing the quests while leveling you are having an amazing time, but if you choose to grind it’s the worst experience ever.
·         Maintains Interest: 8/10 – Logging in you always have something to do or work towards, there is currently no housing or places to sit and hang out, you’re always on the go. However once again when you get to end game you switch zones to keep you questing but there is only one major raid to do and there are no guilds in the game to find players to meet.

Other MMO’s

Final Fantasy – (THUMBS UP) Got an expansion, new jobs, and lots of very amazing up grades. This game is on the rise this year as something very much worth getting into again.

RIFT – (THUMBS DOWN) Got an expansion (Nightmare Tide) which no one played and I am deeming a fail since the last thing that WoW clone needs is more levels to grind after going F2P.

WOW – (THUMBS UP) Got an expansion (Warlords) and continues to do its thing. I am calling the new character art a fail as it’s as bad as Ultima Online 3rd Dawn’s attempt at putting new art over existing art. The fact that their new garrisons are versions of the farm which is held on to by a breath’s width of code put into an old game where at times you can see other players in your instance and spell effects is scary that the entire thing will blow up soon in a code avalanche.

TERA – (THUMBS DOWN) Was working on and or had an expansion, the first in years and no one really cared.

AION – (THUMBS DOWN) Continues to be a very old garbage game with constant reskins.

GW2 – (THUMBS UP) Has busted out this year as well releasing Season 2 of their living story, changing dailies and continuing to add amazing new game play each month to keep the players interested. Diving into this game you can see the thousands of players gather at world bosses for the kills each hour.
Everquest Next (THUMBS DOWN) Released lots of stuff this year none of us played or even looked at.

Archage (THUMBS DOWN) Was a huge flop as none of us even tried this game or looked at it. According to community forums this game is nothing anyone was looking forward to. This will go down another TRIO flop!

SWTOR (THUMBS UP) Got housing, and much more attention which we can only suspect that closer to the new movies release will get much more added and players will sub up in droves!

Minecraft  (THUBMS UP) While not an MMO this game went from a thumbs down with it’s failed plug in's and drastic changes no one wanted to amazing with the upgrade to 1.8 and the new worlds added more stable than before. Just rescued in time, however the community that was driven off now needs to see if it can come back.  

Final Notes

Well it was a good year, ended WOW in spring, got into both new MMO's that dropped and put a good 4 months into both. Played the WOW expansion at the end of the year and dropped all subs for some time in GW2. What will 2015 bring? Hopefully new MMO's to try and to play and to bicker about!

Now enjoy these 2014 images and meme's:

Nice room! I think I will do something like this, if I have the time. Have to say it's pretty slick

Oh good times, my how TRION tried . . . sigh

Was also a great year for ANIME as RWBY got season 2 out in time for X-Mas and Sailor Moon Crystal was relaunched!