Category Archives: PC Gaming

My First Overwatch Video

Well, I managed to get some video footage that I was able to cut a video from. My personal account still isn’t flagged yet… cough… hint… Blizzard… cough.. so this is probably the only video I’ll be able to do until such time.

It’s mostly an introduction to the game, some thoughts and opinions on a few controversial subjects in the community.  No real new information for those who’ve been following the game.

I also tried to convert my script to closed captions for the first time…

The Museum Director’s Day – An Overwatch Fan Fiction

What follows is a bit of fan fic I wrote for Overwatch. It’s nothing overly great and was done way too quick (less than 1 1/2 hours counting editing)… but it is a stepping stone to something I have in mind for later. As of original posting the ending is far too rushed a bit to deus ex machina… And yeah, I inserted myself, but all other characters outside the official Overwatch universe ones are not based on anyone else (no inflated or busted egos out there).

I should perhaps note that I normally don’t write fan fic (heck, I haven’t really written much fiction on perhaps 30 years)… as may become obvious. Lol. Also there are a few lore errors here and there, which would likely not be in the main story.

The Museum Director’s Day

An Overwatch fan fic
By Brian A Thomas

“It’s been nearly a year since the events that initiated the museum renovation.” Brian paused, the audience at home was now watching clips of Reaper and Widowmaker’s attempt to steal the gauntlet. He was standing not far off from the gauntlet itself, he found himself wondering once again what would have happened had they succeeded. What if Winston hadn’t caught wind of the plan and asked Tracer to come and help? The battle outside the museum caused more damage than that inside, though it was the footage inside that everyone remembered. Continue reading The Museum Director’s Day – An Overwatch Fan Fiction

The Overwatch Salt

A very vocal portion of the Overwatch fan base is all upset how the only people Blizzard let in is a few Twitch streamers and YouTubers, and left everyone else out. They are salty about it. But when one takes a moment to really think it through, there is no reason for all the salt. The salt drives more crazy than the lack of access.

This happens with every Blizzard beta

In a few months when it is no longer super high on Twitch’s rankings, people will start crying how the sky is falling on the Overwatch hype train, and amazingly enough nobody they know is in… I’ve covered before how this happened with The Sky is Falling on the Heroes of the Storm Hype Train, and I can already tell that in a few months we’ll be in the same spot with Overwatch. It had the same hype, and the same salt and accusations that were unfairly leveled at Blizzard that we see happening all over again.

The content creator’s are the only ones in fallacy

This is the most often cited problem. The one that causes the most salt.

Yes. Blizzard did flag some Streamers and YouTubers. Perhaps or even likely a few hundred. That doesn’t mean they are the only ones let in. I’d wager that the number of content creators let in is probably a 10% of the total people let in. Even if it’s as much as 20%, it’s a small percentage overall. There is no NDA, so yes, they are going to push for Streamers and the like first to help get free advertising for the game.  Continue reading The Overwatch Salt

In Defense of the Overwatch Museum Security Guard

There is a point in the Overwatch Cinematic Trailer (trailer below, screenshot moment as the featured image here) where amidst the battle going on in the museum, it cuts to a scene where we see the security guard playing a game of Hearthstone rather than doing his duty. It is an additional funny moment in the trailer, playing not only off the old joke of security guards not paying attention to that which they are supposed to secure, but also an inside joke at Blizzard‘s other game (for those not in the know, both Overwatch and Hearthstone are Blizzard games).

I am here today to defend the honor of that security guard. Continue reading In Defense of the Overwatch Museum Security Guard

Overwatch Update 18 October 2015

Okay people who follow my Twitter know I’ve been obsessed with Overwatch from the moment it was announced at Blizzcon. Heck I signed up on their site while the site still called it “Unannounced Blizzard Game” before they updated it to say “Overwatch” later that day. I was all over it. Sadly speed of entry doesn’t help with access… Anyhow, I made a post last year, Blizzard Reveals Their New Franchise — A New Game I Want In ASAP, soon after the reveal and it’s been a featured content on the site since then, but haven’t covered it much here aside from a brief mention in The Search for New Content. So it’s time to remedy that to a small degree.

Both my Twitch and my YouTube have distinct Overwatch themes… though I did dial the Twitch one back a bit (I used to have a picture of Tracer behind the header images)… I still feature Overwatch images prominently on my YouTube main picture and on the Stream Starting Soon, Stream Will Return and Thanks for Watching type images on my Twitch (an example of those is shown in this highlight which shows off the overlay when the whole profile page and the overlay were more Overwatch oriented, since then I’ve re-themed the profile a bit and changed to a less intrusive overlay, but the bumpers as noted still are Overwatch themed). Beyond Overwatch themed bumpers on my Twitch, I’ve also used Overwatch themes for when somebody Follows me (I made a Tracer GIF of her asking Widowmaker “Whatcha looking at?” along with pulling the audio from the clip too, if somebody hosts me it shows a an animated GIF I made from the trailer of Tracer going “Don’t worry loves, cavalry is here” again with an audio clip)… so yeah, still Overwatch themed if it has been toned down a bit… (Also I may have butchered those quotes a bit as it’s been a while since I’ve listened to the audio or watched the trailer). I’ve been posting about it off and on on Twitter though, even if not here.

There really hasn’t been much news since the announcement… I mean hero details, some changes from the early days to some of the heroes… but nothing really big until recently. That news is obvious in the header of this article, and that the beta starts 27 October 2015. Continue reading Overwatch Update 18 October 2015

What I’ve Been Playing of Late 8 October 2015

I haven’t posted for ages. Figured I’d give people a run down on some of what I’ve been playing of late, in terms of video games anyhow. These are in no particular order.

First off apologies for the auto playing Twitch video below… it’s marked to not autoplay, but seems Twitch has a 2 year old bug that won’t be fixed until the HTML 5 player is more readily available.

I’ve been playing the Star Wars: Battlefront Beta (buy Star Wars Battlefrontvia Amazon). On my upper mid(ish) range system (i7 4770k, 8GB RAM, GTX 770) I’m getting 60-70+ FPS with all the settings on high. So while the system specs may scare some people, it actually is pretty solid even without the high end systems. Anyhow, it’s a fun game and delivers on all my expectations. The beta is very limited so hard to tell how the overall game will be, as many game modes and maps aren’t in the beta. It certainly looks like it’ll be a must have title for fans of either Star Wars or Dice’s Battlefield series. It is a bit more than Battlefield with a Star Wars theme though and I’d think it’ll appeal more to the Star Wars fans. It is probably a safe game to pre-order. There is no single player campaign, it’s all multiplayer and co-op.
Here is a Twitch highlight of me playing it.
Embed removed as it autoplays no matter how it is setup, click this to be taken to the video.
Watch live video from JonathanStrangeBT on Twitch

Devilian. This is an MMO with ARPG elements. I was using the Thai version, but now I’m in the Trion NA Alpha. The game isn’t in beta yet, just closed Alpha. Closed beta should be coming soon, with open beta soon after that. If you don’t win access via a contest on some Twitch stream, you can buy your way in. Alpha access is a bit expensive and probably not worth the price IMHO, but to each their own. The game will be free to play after launch, and launch should be 2015… I haven’t recorded anything new for the NA Alpha as of this initial writing, but here’s my video of me playing the Thai version awhile ago.

Continue reading What I’ve Been Playing of Late 8 October 2015

My Dream ARPG and Upcoming ARPGs

One of my favorite genres of computer games are ARPGs, especially of the loot and grab/hack and slash style. Typically people think of Blizzard’s Diablo series. There are a couple strong other entries out right now. Path of Exile, an excellent free to play ARPG which would really take a full article to detail how amazing and in depth it is. Marvel Heroes 2015, an ARPG set in the Marvel universe. Torchlight 2 and it’s older sibling Torchlight are both nice light hearted takes on the genre, and good entry points for more casual gamers while still offering a good deal of depth for more serious players. As an added bonus the guys who made Torchlight are making a new game called Rebel Galaxy which I got an early look at, and it was full of win. Gauntlet is somewhat in the same vein, though it’s a bit more arcadey…

Anyhow, it’s among my favorite genres. There are a number of games coming out soon(ish) that I’m particuraly interested in. This is a very quick run down of some of my favorites that I’m looking forward to.

Devilian is an open world MMO with ARPG combat that is already out in Korea and Thailand, among some surrounding areas. The game is being brought to the west by Trion, who brought us ArcheAge (which I’ve covered extensively before overdosing on it). Now plenty of people out there feel upset at Trion for the way ArcheAge was handled at launch, but I for one am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and more than a fair chance to prove themselves with Devilian.

I’ve already covered Devilian to some degree:

Continue reading My Dream ARPG and Upcoming ARPGs

2015 in Games so Far – Mid May

It’s only May, so far to early to do a games of the year report like I did for 2014, but the year is shaping up pretty good so far. I’m just going to hit a few highlights here and there.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,  so far is a strong contender for game of the year. Beyond the amazing graphics, the game has a nice depth to it, great story, acting and more. I think it’ll be hard to push it off the game of the year list.

Rebel Galaxy is also shaping up great. I’ve already done an early look at Rebel Galaxy. Should the game ship this year, then it’ll be on the short list for sure. It was just a great deal of fun to play… It might not have the depth of Witcher 3 or some of the others, but it has fun in droves.  Continue reading 2015 in Games so Far – Mid May

Getting an Early Look at Rebel Galaxy

Imagine if you took the greatness that is Firefly1, and combined that with space trading of Elite: Dangerous (while removing the complexity of having to worry about pitch), while tossing in a lighthearted RPG and you’ll have a basic idea of what fun to expect from Double Damage Game’s first game, Rebel Galaxy.  They call it a “swashbuckling space adventure” and that is very apt. Continue reading Getting an Early Look at Rebel Galaxy

Killing Floor 2 – Thoughts and Video from the Stress Test Beta

So I manged to get into the Killing Floor 2 Stress Test Beta (I don’t think my Dear Tripwire, Why I Want In the Killing Floor 2 Beta post helped, but it might have), and I had a blast. Seriously some of the most fun I’ve had in awhile playing a game. Tripwire Interactive has a solid hit to be on their hands.

Let’s step back a moment for those who don’t follow the latest and greatest in gaming. What is Killing Floor 2? Continue reading Killing Floor 2 – Thoughts and Video from the Stress Test Beta

The Search for New Content

So I’m trying to figure out what sort of content I want to push via my @YouTube channel, as well as my @Twitch channel… and to an extent here until Overwatch comes out (see below with my open letter to Blizzard hoping to get in the first wave) and that content push starts.

Let’s back up. My loose New Years plan was to start pushing more content this year (2015).

The idea is to push at least 30 videos to my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/brianathomas during the year, and to try and not go over 2 weeks between videos.  So far I’ve been more or less on target (EDIT: By mid year that was no longer true, I fell way off, especially coverage of Heroes of the Storm). Sometimes a few days more, sometimes pushing a couple videos in a week. This year has seen 6 videos (2 more that were published late December that I sort of count to the 30 goal, but I’ll skip counting those for the moment since while being 27 and 28 December, they are technically from 2014, though they are under the newer format). So far so good, for the most part. Continue reading The Search for New Content

2014 PC Games of the Year

So I didn’t play a ton of new games this year, so this list is based off what I’ve actually played myself. This list is mostly PC, I don’t include any board games… that may be another list… or not… There is one XBox 360/PS4/XBox One game listed that isn’t on PC yet…

The Winners

Let’s get right out and say that the lead favorite, though I’m not very far into the game is Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s a truly massive game, and amazing in nearly every respect. My only issue with the game so far is that it is often times hard to connect to the Dragon Age Servers. I connected before I played the game, so it imported all the choices from the Keep into the game, but would be nice to be able to sync the files still.
Continue reading 2014 PC Games of the Year

Blizzard Reveals Their New Franchise – A New Game I Want In ASAP

At this years BlizzCon, Blizzard, dropped their big news of the year. A new game that I’ll be begging to get into. They revealed a new franchise, Overwatch, a team based multiplayer first person shooter along the lines of Valve’s Team Fortress 2 (TF2).

It enters a sub-genre of the FPS world that’s seen a bit of growth of late. Continue reading Blizzard Reveals Their New Franchise – A New Game I Want In ASAP

A Bunch of New YouTube Vids Are Up

I haven’t been good at updating the blog here of late, but there are a bunch of YouTube videos since I last posted here. Check out my YouTube channel. All these videos, as with most of my recent videos are made from highlights from my Twitch Channel so quality isn’t as good as it would be if I recorded locally, edited and uploaded directly myself rather than have Twitch send it over. Remember, comment, like and subscribe! It helps. Continue reading A Bunch of New YouTube Vids Are Up

I Give Zombies Monsters Robots a Try

En Masse Entertainment (of Terra fame) have a new game out in beta called Zombies Monsters and Robots.

ZMR is a fun, 3rd person shooter where you fight, well zombies, monsters, robots, armies of bad buys and a host of everything else. Over the top and immense fun.

Here’s my first try at it:

I might make more videos later… and share more about my thoughts about it at a later date.

Nosgoth Gameplay and Mini Review

Nosgoth is a free-to-play multiplayer action game that is presently in Closed Beta. I got in late February and I’m finally getting around to talking about it. At the end of this article I’ll have a gameplay video so you can see it in action. You can apply for beta at the Nosgoth link, or buy a Nosgoth Founders Pack which will get you into the game instantly (part of why I’m bringing it up now, as I think it’s worth looking at). Like most Founders Packs on games that will eventually be free-to-play, they include plenty of in game currency to buy skins, faster access to classes, and your typical free-to-play, but not buy to win, game… and that’s an important note. Based on my time in Nosgoth, I never felt the need to buy things, or that those buying stuff had an unfair advantage. That said, there are some really cool skins and stuff that would be sweet to have.

A small disclaimer, I’ve never played any of the Legacy of Kain games, the universe that Nosgoth takes place in, so I won’t be discussing any of that aspect. All I know about the world is there are vampires and humans, and from the dialog I’m guessing the humans are the rebels… Nosgoth refers to the world, the planet we are on in this story. Kain has died and the vampire race is in disarray and the humans seem to think it is a good time to rebel… or something along those lines. Like Titanfall (as I noted in my review of Titanfall), there is a story told here via dialog. Perhaps not as heavily well as Titanfall’s story, but in this case it has a rich history behind it already so it just needs to be there enough to connect it to the universe that it inhabits.

Anyhow, let’s talk about the gameplay itself, as that is what’s important. Nosgoth pits Humans vs Vampires. Each match features two rounds. One round you will play as a human, the other round as a vampire, keeping the same team. Whichever team has the best combined score, wins the match. Continue reading Nosgoth Gameplay and Mini Review

ArcheAge – Screenshot Feature

ArcheAge has a really sweet screenshot feature that allows you to compose some really sweet screen shots. If you have a good eye for composition and the like, then you can take some very nice screenshots. You can adjust Depth of Field and add Bokah Effects.

Before I get to the video, here’s the super quick basics. Take screenshots with the F9 key. This will save the screenshot to the documents/archeage/screenshots folder. You can turn the UI on and off using the F12 key. CTRL-F12 brings up the screenshot mode menu and from there you can move the camera around, adjust the Depth of Field and the like.

ArcheAge Gardening and My First Trade Route

I just posted a video (made of four Twitch highlights, as who really wants to watch a long video of somebody walking?) of me doing some gardening and doing my first trade route in ArcheAge NA Alpha. Not much really to say but enjoy the video.

A small side note. I didn’t have headphones on and forgot that the mic might pick up the game audio (in the end it actually didn’t do too bad all things considered, it mostly just got me, and picked up a few of the louder moments of the game). So I killed the stream after realizing my goof. Still, the video offers a good idea of the first gardening/trade route mission for Nurian.

ArcheAge NA Alpha – Shader Corruption and Fix

There is a known issue in the ArcheAge NA Alpha where some textures will appear black until their shaders are loaded properly.

This video shows an example of it when the character enters the home and appears all black with no textures.

The fix is to exit the ArcheAge client, then delete the shader texture cache in \Documents\ArcheAge\USER\shaders, delete the cache folder and its contents and restart the game client. When you relaunch the game, you may see the issue for the first few minutes as it loads the cache, but after that it should be set.

ArcheAge North American Alpha – You Can Buy Your Way In

If you simply can’t wait for ArcheAge to release, or can’t wait for access via applying at the homepage and being active in the forums then waiting on luck, you can buy your way in. The game is still in closed Alpha, but it will be in Beta come sometime in June (not officially yet, but I believe that is the rumored date). There are three tiers of Founders Packs that can get you into the game before the official release (still not announced). All Founders Packs include a 4 day head start before the game releases. They also said there will be no wipes until the 4 day headstart. Beta has been termed “events” which might mean it is limited periods.

  • Silver: $49.99. Includes access to the Beta when it comes out. One month of the premium membership ($15 value), while the game is free to play, premium members get better labor point regeneration, xp bonus, ability to own house or farm and loyalty rewards, you can also pay for premium access with in game money. $20 worth of credits. A Founder title… and a special glider.
  • Gold: $99.99. Beta access. Two months of premium membership ($60 value). $50 worth of credits. A Traveler title, a fancier glider… 10 Everstones for breaking down for magical crafting ingredients. 10 Hereafter Stones that can teleport you to any visited location in the world (well… specific locations of those locations). Special platemail.
  • Archeum: $149.99. Includes instant Alpha access as well as the beta access. $75 worth of credits and 90 days of premium membership ($45 value)… basically you you get $120 worth of goods, so the extra $30 grants you Alpha access plus all the following. 6 Daru chests that have special items in them and include a potential special mount. A Trailblazer title, 10 Everstones and 10 Hereafter Stones. The same glider and platemail from the Gold pack. Regents to put your own crest in the game. 10 healing potions for your pets. Your own customizable cloak.

If you want in, or more details, check out the ArcheAge Founders Packs page. I’m already in the Alpha of course, so I’ll see you in game.