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Showing posts from November, 2009

Circumventing the Steam Regional lockin for Europeans

Thiefsie at rps.com found a nice way to get the steam games in pounds.

I tested it and it works!

1) Put ?cc=uk after a title. You'll now see the prices in pound.
2) Change your country to United Kingdom.

That's it, you can now buy the game in pounds.

Possible to save quite some money this way. Left 4 dead 2 costs €37.49 compared to the us £22.5(~€24.5). And the THQ complete pack costs €49.99 as compared to £26.49 (~€29.2).

As always with these things: use at your own risk.
It's probably not going to last very long.

LF1M: healer

A new RPG comes out. Before you can start playing you'll have to decide what class you'll play. For Dragon Age my first choice was to create a DPS warrior. But I refrained from doing so as I had the perfect team in my mind: me tanking, a hot mage to AOE, a sexy nurse to heal and an even sexier rogue to DPS and open chests. Sounds like a good plan, no?

Of course things didn't go as planned. The first character I met was of course a tank which I couldn't replace fast enough. Then I meet misses DPS mage and misses rogue, both of which I'm still happy to have in my main team. I'm now forty hours in the game and my group of NPCs to choose from has tons of warriors. Me, Alistair, a giant with gray hair, the stone golem and a dwarf. Plus two rogues and even a dog who can DPS. And I only have one mage which is best suited for DPS. So I had to let my mage learn the healing skills a few hours into the game to continue playing comfortably. It's possible to play withou…

Something for everyone

Expansion packs for mmorpgs often seem to focus on giving a lot of stuff to the end game players. Those players who have one or two maximum level characters can look forward to playing in new zones or new raiding instances. Players who have played the game for a few months and quit the game before they got to the maximum level won't have anything new to do. The World of Warcraft expansions have been a mixed bag for lowbies. Let's take a look at what those expansions offer for low level players.
The Burning Crusade. There is very little new content for lowbies. Two new starting zones were added (1-20) and one old zone was revamped (35-40). Blizzard tried to trick people into thinking that there was more content by adding two new races. Don't be fooled, once you got your Draenei warrior out of the starting zones you have to do exactly the same content as someone who leveled a human warrior before the expansion. It really does feel like a cheap option to me. You just have to c…

Hiding from the storm

It's hard not to have noticed. Even the Belgian national news had a five minutes article on it. Infinity Ward has finished Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 right before Christmas, the perfect time to launch a game. Sales always spike during the Christmas period so launching your game then is guaranteed to give you big profits. Even crappy games will sell well during this period. In the past, the rush to Christmas has of course lead to unfinished, buggy games that are launched to hit the shelves in time for the big money. It doesn't always pay to launch before Christmas, your buggy game might bankrupt you.

Quite a few games have been moved to 2010. Only the publishers know if it's to avoid the Call of Duty rush which is currently responsible for 57% of all Xbox 360 game sales. So it's not a big leap to think that Call of Duty has something to do with all the delays. In the first half of 2010 we can expect Aliens vs Predator, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bioshock 2, Mafia 2…

Key Bindings

Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to set the controls of your newly bought game to your liking. I tried out Dead Space two weeks ago. The first thing I always do in a 3D game is rebinding all my actions to the numpad. I've played like that for over ten years. So it annoyed me greatly that I can not rebind any key to the numpad. Bloody hell!

No problem I thought I'll plug in my gamepad and play with that. Only to see that my character keeps on turning. The same problem occurred with the new Batman game. Looks like these games only work with an Xbox 360 controller. No, I'm not gonna spend €30 on a controller for a game I spent €5 on. At least Batman: Arkham Asylum worked flawlessly with the mouse & keyboard. But too often console games are ported in a hurry. Sometimes the port is done so lazily that even the on screen commands aren't changed. If you're playing with a keyboard you'll see "Press x on your controller".

I could use an exter…

Hello Goodbye

These days half the gaming world is playing Call of Duty 5 and the other half is playing Dragon Age. Eighty hours of entertainment for my €35 seems like a much better deal than €45 (€60 in a Belgian retail store...) for the four hours CoD promises so my choice is obvious. So far I've put about fifteen hours in the game and I'm greatly enjoying the experience. There are of course always some complaints...

After a few hours of playing I am finding it strange how Bioware manages to disconnect me from the worlds characters. After a few minutes of playing I got my first companion. One hour later the poor guy is being thrown in the towns deepest dungeon. No problem I thought, I'll just go ahead and slaughter the entire prison guard staff to rescue him! Nobody messes with me. Alas no such options pops up. Hopefully I can go back and save him later on in the game.

Instead of saving my buddy I went off to become a Grey Warden! And hey, I get three new companions so we can together …

Seeing the trees through the forest

Tropico 3 offers a ton of information. You can click on every citizen of your city and see their thoughts. You can see who they're married to and if they have any children. There's information on what political party they belong to or even on how much money they make. A lot of the statistics are presented in fancy graphs. How did the average wages or age of your citizens change since you started? It's all available in a fancy graphs. And it's all useless information which is just there for their fun factor.

It's ironic that in so much information you can not find the information that you really need. I want to know if my citizens are being well fed and how many farms I should build. The only way you can see if you should build more farms or clinics is if you start seeing "3 people have starved/died of poor health care this year". I'd rather see the big starvation coming so I can save my people. There's also no way of knowing in which buildings you…