Tag Archives: Beta

Dauntless – The Daunting Task of Making a Game in the Monster Hunter Genre

You always remember your first. In terms of Monster Hunter type games, that first for me was Dauntless, back when I was in the Technical Alpha, playing it under NDA. Now that it’s been out for awhile, I thought it time to speak a bit about it.

Since playing Dauntless, I’ve tried Monster Hunter Online, Monster Hunter Generations on my 2DS, and trying Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on my iOS devices (I’m probably going to give up on that until I get a good MFi controller for it, as the touchscreen control sort of hampers the experience), and I’d have to move Monster Hunter style games near second on my list of genres that get me near excited. First would be looter shooters, but Monster Hunter style games come in a close second, if not nearly tied for first.

Dauntless, has become a staple of my Twitch streams.

Here’s a collection of highlights Continue reading Dauntless – The Daunting Task of Making a Game in the Monster Hunter Genre

Why I’m Not Upset At GGG for Selling Beta Keys

I’m not personally upset at Grinding Gear Games for selling beta keys for $10 over at Chrono.gg for the new Path of Exile… note by the time this post is actually read, odds are the sale will be over as it was for 24 hours only, and I didn’t buy one, and I’m not in the beta myself, though I wish I were.

I’m first going to say that I’m in no way judging anyone for being angry, just noting I personally not upset in this particular case at GGG.

I fully get the anger at the way there are too many developers selling beta access. I get that betas are for testing, and many people feel GGG, or any other developer, shouldn’t charge for beta testing their game for them. The problem with that though is 90% of the people who get in betas on any modern game, don’t test, just play… now I don’t have any figures to back that up, but I doubt I’m that far off. I wager that very few people who get chosen for a beta provide the quality feedback that the developer is looking for. Most test forums, at least on the NDA games I’ve done, are generally the same group of players providing feedback, and I know the playerbase is much larger. Now there’s no NDA in place here, but I still doubt that many of the people in the beta are providing the kind of feedback that helps GGG test, balance, and otherwise make the expansion as good as it can be. Continue reading Why I’m Not Upset At GGG for Selling Beta Keys

Playing and Streaming Elder Scrolls: Legends – Bethesda’s Digital CCG Based on the Elder Scrolls Universe

After the huge success that Blizzard had with Hearthstone, a digital CCG based on the Warcraft universe, we’ve got a couple games that came out based on others. Chronicle, based on the Runescape universe, but with a lot of unique and cool twists that sets it apart from any of the others, that makes it well worth your time to check out. Meanwhile, perhaps one of the biggest RPGs (plus an MMO) out there, Elder Scrolls, has gotten it’s own digital CCG, Elder Scrolls: Legends. This game has a great deal more depth than Hearthstone (which remains a great game), and seems to straddle the line between Magic and Hearthstone near perfectly.

The game has a single player story mode, a solo versus mode, an arena versus mode, and others… I’ve been playing the single player story mode of late on my Twitch channel. Here are the highlights:

Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 1 Chapters 1 to 8 1:18:55 The whole first act, from here on out I cut highlights by Chapter.
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 9 15:45
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 10 21:05
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 11 25:49
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 12 10:44
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 13 26:10
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 14 16:01

Unfortunately I don’t have any keys to give out.

A Few Gigantic Highlights

I recently got to stream Gigantic, while it was still under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) for most players/streamers. I also created a video, but the stutter in that video is even worse than the Division one so I decided not to use it. So I’ll link the 4 highlights I made that weekend instead. A huge thanks to Motiga for allowing me to stream it a weekend early. Needless to say, the fact I got to do that, even if it was only one weekend early, got put into my  My Noted Past In Gaming post.

I can’t embed these as a bug in either the Twitch player and/or WordPress makes them autoplay:

First Game of Gigantic in 5 or so Months

Gigantic Fun With Gigantic

By Far Not the Best Gigantic Player Out There

Finally a Gigantic Victory

My Division Video is Up

So there’s a new game coming out March 8th called, Tom Clancy’s The Division (pre-order/order Tom Clancy’s The Division via Amazon) for which I’ve been in mixed excitement and trepidation on. After playing a bit of it when it was in closed beta… got to say I’m more excited for it now.

I won’t go on and on about it in this post, and rather leave it to the video here for details (the video had far more stutter than usual, sorry, I must have goofed my OBS settings):

I’ve also got a Twitch highlight that follows it up (I can’t embed it, as it autostarts… even with autostart turned off, a bug Twitch hasn’t fixed yet, though it seems to be more a WordPress ignoring the setting thing, hard to tell): http://www.twitch.tv/jonathanstrangebt/v/39732910

TLDR: The Division rocks, get it. Follow the link above to buy it… and watch the video. 🙂

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 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

Overwatch Update 18 October 2015

Okay people who follow @BrianAThomas" href="https://twitter.com/brianathomas">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

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

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 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.

My First ArcheAge Character Creation Video

Here it is friends, family… strangers… my first ArcheAge video, the upcoming free to play MMORPG being released in North America (and a few other regions) by Trion Worlds.

I recorded this via Twitch, added my in progress YouTube into and this is the result. The video focuses on a quick intro to the character creator, and then moves onto a little game play.


Continue reading My First ArcheAge Character Creation Video

ArcheAge Content Coming Soon

I’m in the NA Alpha of ArcheAge, by what I’ll guess is pure luck, either way, a huge thanks to Trion. Anyhow expect impressions and other stuff coming soon. I know based on my experience with the Russian client, that it is every bit as good as it looks. As I type this I have 4 hours left on a download, but it’s way past my bedtime anyhow and I work extra early Tuesday, so I’ll need to get into the game and try to make content later this week. I might… might attempt a short stream on my Twitch channel as I create my first character to show off the customization, then I’ll upload that to my YouTube channel, or I’ll just record it, edit and upload to YouTube… we’ll see… Hopefully I don’t let the excitement get me too far ahead.

EDIT: I’ll upload it to YouTube soon with a test of something there, but here’s the first video:

Watch live video from JonathanStrangeBT on TwitchTV

My Idea for Insurance in ArcheAge

First off, yes, I’m reusing the same featured image as my last ArcheAge article I’m using a screenshot from courtesy of ArcheAge Hellas, a Greek ArcheAge fansite. Check out their other screenshots. I don’t have access to make my own screenshots… Trion and XL Games, Please Let Me Into ArcheAge as of 21 April 2014 about 11 pm I have access, content coming soon.

This is going to be a quick and dirty article as I discuss it enough on the official forums.

Okay now let’s discuss things here. There is a thread over on the official forums on if Should Stolen Trade Goods Be Split 60/40%? It seems that if you are making a trade run and another player who’s playing a pirate plunders you, the game splits the goods 60% to 40%, the pirate getting 60% of the goods, while the person robbed keeps a magical 40%. I voted no, they shouldn’t keep the split. IT isn’t fair to the pirate, and isn’t realistic to the person robbed.

That said, I don’t think it is fair to leave the trader with nothing, unless they forgo insurance as I’ll talk about now. To that end I proposed the idea of insurance (here, here, here and here, and endorsed at least in part here and here).

This would work one of two way (or both). Continue reading My Idea for Insurance in ArcheAge

I Suck at MOBAs – Video Proof

I managed to get a beta key for the upcoming MOBA game, Smite. I typically suck at MOBA games. I played League of Legends (LoL), and I have DOTA 2. I gave up on LoL because I felt bad. I knew I was doing bad and being of no use to the team. DOTA 2 I do occasional bot matches until the training/teacher area opens up where I might do more… I was, still sort of do, hoping that since Smite is 3rd person rather than isometric, and a bit easier controls overall, that I wold be better at Smite. So far not so much. Then again I only did one match so far without any training. I then did one training match did somewhat okay and the did the one I recorded, please excuse the breathing into the mic. This will be in three parts:

Part 1:

Continue reading I Suck at MOBAs – Video Proof

Dear Blizzard, Why I Should Have a Cataclysm Beta Key

My Dearest Blizzard, I hope this letter finds you well. This is a busy time for you. Tonight at midnight you release Starcraft II to the world (my son is a huge fan of Starcraft I)… and then starting this week hopefully, some of the fan sites will be giving out Beta keys for the World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm of which I of course want to be a part of. My favorite WoW podcast, The Instance, is giving one a day away for 25 days, WoWJuJu is giving some away, Ace3 is giving WoW addon authors a chance to get a key (I am alpha testing an addon that uses Ace3, but not an active developer myself). So I know you have lots going on. But I gotta ask for a favor if I may. I would like to have a key or two myself please.
Continue reading Dear Blizzard, Why I Should Have a Cataclysm Beta Key

I So Need to Roll a Goblin in Cataclysm

When Blizzard releases the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcarft (or I get in the Beta…puppy dog eyes at Blizzard) I need to roll a Goblin. Yes, a Worgen Druid as well, but the Goblin zone looks to be a ton of fun. TotalHalibut, who did the vids I posted before has followed up his Goblin one with the second Goblin area. It looks to be a blast. I think I’ll roll a Fire Mage for that alt. Continue reading I So Need to Roll a Goblin in Cataclysm

Next Round of Cataclysm Beta Invites Going Out Soon

WwW.com is reporting that next round of Cataclysm beta invites are going out soon with the usual warning not to click any links in any email you get, to log into your Battle.net account and check for your self. Most of the emails that are phishing, install keyloggers, trojans, and the like look like official invites.
Here is Blizzard’s official take:

We hope to distribute additional invites to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta sometime this week, possibly as soon as late Tuesday or Wednesday. This is only an estimate, though, so the schedule may change and, as a result, invites could be distributed earlier or later than anticipated. Either way, we’ll work to keep you as updated as possible. 🙂


For those who might be behind on the news… Blizzard is getting ready to release their next expansion for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Right now they are doing what is known as Beta testing, where they invite a select group of people to test their software. In this case the goal is to test the new client with a vast number of different computer systems so that they can work out any issues with it before they release the game, and to test the new races, class/race combos, talent systems, dungeons, quests, etc. While in beta, lots of things can be flaky or just not work. For example, last I heard the Worgen female wasn’t available for people to roll yet as they are still working out issues there.
Blizzard, if you are there. Please… pretty please… with sugar on top. Of course the email to this account isn’t what the email is for the account, so I guess that makes it a bit harder to say, oh sure, lets toss one to that blogger… 🙂
Continue reading Next Round of Cataclysm Beta Invites Going Out Soon