Football Manager

So yes, I’m still around

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There have been a few reasons why I haven’t been very active here, but the biggest one being that there just hasn’t been much that I’ve been interested in writing about lately.  Couple that with the fact that I really didn’t have the time to troubleshoot why my site was broken (super stupid and easy fix btw) I just didn’t have the bandwidth or desire to do much writing.

Over the past few months, I haven’t done much gaming at all.  I’ve pretty much given up on LOTRO, and I’ll probably do a bit of writing on that here in the near term but the game has just gone in a direction I don’t enjoy.  I am playing some TSW and still greatly enjoy that game, although Tokyo is VERY hard and quite the adjustment, again more on that soon.  Probably the only real consistent gaming I’ve been doing has been with Football Manager 14 (FM14) as I dropped my “cheating” game and have restarted with an attempt to play a more legitimate game.  My progress has been much slower, as to be expected, but I am enjoying it quite a bit more

But lately, fueled by the BSC days, I can barely contain my excitement for the upcoming game Camelot Unchained.  I will admit I am a backer, but this game has grown so much that my expectations are continually growing.  I’m sure there will be decisions that I won’t agree with, but so far everything they’ve put out is very intriguing to me and I can’t wait to learn more.

So that’s it for now, more to come soon as now that things are back working I will be writing more!

 

What’s Keeping Me Busy

6

I haven’t been writing all that much, and that’s mainly due to not playing much of anything lately.  But things are coming around and I’m getting settled at my new job and getting into a better routine with our newborn, so I should be getting back into more of a schedule.  But it shouldn’t be a surprise what main games are occupying my time and plans for the future.

I’ve been in and out of LOTRO lately, but more trying to keep things somewhat organized and not doing a whole lot out purely due to time constraints, that are loosening up.  I’ve toyed with the idea of dusting off my Captain but I think there’s still more then enough work to do on my Warden to keep me busy.  She’s not in that bad of a position, but I need to go grab a few virtues to adjust to the whole Agility switch.  I also think I’m going to start playing in the new instances to see what all I can do in there to challenge myself – I’ve heard rumors of Warden’s soloing the new 6-man, so that’s something I’m going to toy with.

Sadly I really haven’t been able to get in much of The Secret World and I’m really looking forward to the new content with Issue 6.  I always enjoy that world once I’m in it, but the concentration requirements have been a bit of an issue for me.  I’m still feeling pretty good about my Blades/Blood build but I think I’m going to probably check out the Assault Rifle and see if I can make a Warden-like build in TSW.  I’m really excited to get further into Translyvania as everyone talks about how much harder that area is and I’m curious to see how that all plays out.

My main play time though has been with Football Manager 2013, mainly because I can run it almost as a background game.  I ended up having a bit of a philosophy shift and started over a new game as my previous one I had cheated just way too much and it really wasn’t much fun due to the lack of a challenge.  And by cheating, I mean re-loading if I don’t get a result I like.  I started again with Everton and have reduced my “cheating” to long-term injuries (over a month) and transfers.  I know the purists will say that I’m not truly playing the game but I really enjoy the player development side of it, and the other option of “starting over” is quite daunting.  I just started my second season on this save and am enjoying it MUCH more then previous games as I pay much more attention to each game.  My first season saw quite a bit of turnover as I really prefer younger players and Everton has a bunch of older (yet still valuable) players.  I ended up selling Jelavic,, Gibson and Heitinga along with a couple others and a ton of loans for a infusion of over 51 million pounds.  I ended up spending that on 3 players initially – striker Ademilson from Brazil, fullback Mattia De Sciglio, and center back Ryan Shawcross as some of my other targets weren’t available or were too expensive in this new patch.  I then went out in January and was able to bring in Clint Dempsey on the last day of the window and Moi Gomez to strengthen my midfield.  My moves and my youngsters really preformed quite well as I was able to reach the finals of the FA Cup (losing to Manchester United) and 3rd in the Premier League.  The biggest disappointment was getting knocked out in the 3rd round of the League cup, but the fans got over that after a bit.

Coming into season 2, I have an amazing wave of youth from our development system so I really don’t have too many holes to fill.  The RNG was very generous with me as I brought in 5 players rated 4 stars (maximum is 5) or higher that should be fun to see how they develop.  I parted with Mirallas, Naismith and Gueye which brought in quite a nice sum of money.  I brought in a couple of youngsters and then on the last day of the window I saw that Michael Bradley was available so I grabbed him to see how he would work paired up with Jack Rodwell (yes, I modded the initial DB to keep him on Everton instead of the crappy move to Manchester City) to control the middle of the field.  My start has been a little rocky with an opening day loss followed by a dull draw, but I did win my 3rd game and am now getting into the teeth of Champions League group play, so it will start to get VERY interesting.

I still enjoy FM13 but I’m really starting to get the itch to get back to my characters stuck in MMO-land and as such I’m sure they’ll get some more attention, which will bring more writing from me as well.

 

What’s Keeping Me Busy

6

I haven’t been writing all that much, and that’s mainly due to not playing much of anything lately.  But things are coming around and I’m getting settled at my new job and getting into a better routine with our newborn, so I should be getting back into more of a schedule.  But it shouldn’t be a surprise what main games are occupying my time and plans for the future.

I’ve been in and out of LOTRO lately, but more trying to keep things somewhat organized and not doing a whole lot out purely due to time constraints, that are loosening up.  I’ve toyed with the idea of dusting off my Captain but I think there’s still more then enough work to do on my Warden to keep me busy.  She’s not in that bad of a position, but I need to go grab a few virtues to adjust to the whole Agility switch.  I also think I’m going to start playing in the new instances to see what all I can do in there to challenge myself – I’ve heard rumors of Warden’s soloing the new 6-man, so that’s something I’m going to toy with.

Sadly I really haven’t been able to get in much of The Secret World and I’m really looking forward to the new content with Issue 6.  I always enjoy that world once I’m in it, but the concentration requirements have been a bit of an issue for me.  I’m still feeling pretty good about my Blades/Blood build but I think I’m going to probably check out the Assault Rifle and see if I can make a Warden-like build in TSW.  I’m really excited to get further into Translyvania as everyone talks about how much harder that area is and I’m curious to see how that all plays out.

My main play time though has been with Football Manager 2013, mainly because I can run it almost as a background game.  I ended up having a bit of a philosophy shift and started over a new game as my previous one I had cheated just way too much and it really wasn’t much fun due to the lack of a challenge.  And by cheating, I mean re-loading if I don’t get a result I like.  I started again with Everton and have reduced my “cheating” to long-term injuries (over a month) and transfers.  I know the purists will say that I’m not truly playing the game but I really enjoy the player development side of it, and the other option of “starting over” is quite daunting.  I just started my second season on this save and am enjoying it MUCH more then previous games as I pay much more attention to each game.  My first season saw quite a bit of turnover as I really prefer younger players and Everton has a bunch of older (yet still valuable) players.  I ended up selling Jelavic,, Gibson and Heitinga along with a couple others and a ton of loans for a infusion of over 51 million pounds.  I ended up spending that on 3 players initially – striker Ademilson from Brazil, fullback Mattia De Sciglio, and center back Ryan Shawcross as some of my other targets weren’t available or were too expensive in this new patch.  I then went out in January and was able to bring in Clint Dempsey on the last day of the window and Moi Gomez to strengthen my midfield.  My moves and my youngsters really preformed quite well as I was able to reach the finals of the FA Cup (losing to Manchester United) and 3rd in the Premier League.  The biggest disappointment was getting knocked out in the 3rd round of the League cup, but the fans got over that after a bit.

Coming into season 2, I have an amazing wave of youth from our development system so I really don’t have too many holes to fill.  The RNG was very generous with me as I brought in 5 players rated 4 stars (maximum is 5) or higher that should be fun to see how they develop.  I parted with Mirallas, Naismith and Gueye which brought in quite a nice sum of money.  I brought in a couple of youngsters and then on the last day of the window I saw that Michael Bradley was available so I grabbed him to see how he would work paired up with Jack Rodwell (yes, I modded the initial DB to keep him on Everton instead of the crappy move to Manchester City) to control the middle of the field.  My start has been a little rocky with an opening day loss followed by a dull draw, but I did win my 3rd game and am now getting into the teeth of Champions League group play, so it will start to get VERY interesting.

I still enjoy FM13 but I’m really starting to get the itch to get back to my characters stuck in MMO-land and as such I’m sure they’ll get some more attention, which will bring more writing from me as well.

 

Ringing in 2013 With All Sorts of Changes

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This has been a pretty eventful holiday break for me with both a newborn and lots of family in town.  I won’t bore folks with the details, but needless to say I haven’t had too much time for normal gaming, but I did want to catch up on a few things and let folks know that I’m still around and what I plan to do this year.

My gaming time has pretty much revolved around three titles, so I’ll start with the highlights from them as they’ll all be top items going forward.

In LOTRO, I pretty much have been logging in to do my Hytbold dailies and very little else.  I’m almost done rebuilding as I’m down to the regional horses and after that I’ll probably do some instances if I can work them into my schedule somehow.  I didn’t do the festival this year partly do to timing and scheduling but also I really wasn’t happy with the changes and the way the war-steed cosmetics were handled.  Yes, I’ve heard it really wasn’t that bad but with all the other grinds out there it just really didn’t seem worth it to me.  I’m really hoping Rowan’s second comment about Mounted Combat is more correct then his first as it is much easier to find data to support a money grab then a serious long term system, and I want to be proven wrong here.  I won’t dwell on it, but that’s certainly in the back of my mind as this game goes forward and will become more evident when (if) we get an expansion this year.

I’ve also been doing a fair amount of work in The Secret World.  Certainly the End of Days ARG event really sparked my interest and I’m really excited for this game going forward.  I’m still pretty early in the game and am just working my way through the Scorched Desert, but every time I log on I keep thinking I need to make more time for this game!  There seems to be lots of positives coming from the community and twitter about checking this game out with the subscription changes and I really think Funcom has done this change very well.  Would it have been better to go this route from the start, possibly, but I don’t think anyone expected their CEO to be accused of insider trading when the game launched.  The game was profitable while they had the subscription model, and I think making this transition will push them even further into the black.  Remember, they had already scaled back their staff prior to putting out 3 months of content updates in a row.  I’m expecting big things from Funcom and this game and while I don’t expect huge numbers I do think it will be quite a successful game.

For me the big distinction between LOTRO and TSW really comes down to how they’ve handled communications with their player base.  I won’t hammer LOTRO too much, but even the mounted combat issue we’ve heard two completely different answers from Rowan about it.  As for TSW, sure they’ve made mistakes, but they’ve also been VERY upfront about what’s going on and how they’re trying to fix things.  Some might argue that they dropped the sub change on us without notice, but what would you have done with that notice?  I mean they didn’t change the game it self one bit, they just changed how future DLC will be monetized in the game.  The store and what’s in it were always there and they’ve had a good track record for providing new content.  The other aspect I really commend them on is how they’ve handled the Lifetime members.  Personally I never had an issue as I looked at it as getting the content included (like I should) and some extra points to buy cosmetics with.  However, many people were not happy about it and voiced their opinions and actually provided some good ideas and suggestions.  Based on requests, they’ve added the following (link for the source):

  • Veteran reward system
  • DLC Price guarantee for Subscribers and Lifetime members.  The monthly DLC will never cost more then your monthly allotment of points, period.  If they do release something that’s more, they will knock down the price for people.
  • There will be a DLC auto-buy feature for those who want to use it.

All in all, great changes and an incredibly active and constructive thread from both the players and the Funcom team.  I just don’t see that kind of interaction and transparency coming from Turbine, and while I’m sure there are other companies out there doing it, I haven’t been personally involved or impacted by them.

As for my third vice, it is Football Manager 2013 and those following me on Raptr have probably noticed that’s quite a constant game I’m playing.  Not only do I really enjoy that game, but since it has a pause button I can easily let it run and not worrying about where my character was standing or anything like that.  I’m currently in my third season with Everton and finding things going pretty smoothly so far.  I did cheat a bit with the editor and moved Jack Rodwell back to Everton as I’d like to see what he can do as opposed to rotting on the Man City bench.  I have very much over-achieved my first two years, more do to other teams failing then me doing well as United crumbled down the stretch to gift me the Premiere title my first year, and somehow all the strong teams lost to someone else in my run to the Champions League title in my second year.  This third year has had its ups and downs, but I’m halfway through and looking pretty strong.

As we move into 2013 I will most likely be playing these 3 quite a bit as well as Mechwarrior Online.  The only reason I’m not playing Mechwarrior is due to it still being in beta and just not wanting to burn out or waste too much time building up in there only to see it wiped.  However, it is quite a fun game that I know I’ll be playing when it launches.  Outside of that, I don’t see too many upcoming titles that are “must plays” for me, but hopefully that will change.

As for my plans for the year, I will still be writing and looking to keep things moving here as well as possibly doing more videos and/or a podcast.  Both of those will heavily depend on what I end up doing, but certainly potentially in the cards.  My coverage will probably mimic my playing time and start to shift more towards TSW and away from LOTRO, but that too may change based on how things all play out.

As I wrap up this post, I’ll toss two questions out to folks:

  1. Any game titles I should be looking out for and following?
  2. Any suggestions, complaints, requests, etc. for me going forward?
 

The Secret World and Football Manager 2013 Sales

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I just wanted to share a couple of sales for folks are these are two games I’m really enjoying.

The Secret World is 50% off this weekend at only $24.99 from this link off the main Funcom page.  A pretty decent deal for a game that’s really hitting its stride with its third update since launch releasing earlier this week.

Also, for those of you (like me) anxiously awaiting the release of Football Manager 2013 we now have not only the release date (November 2nd) but also a couple of deals you can take advantage of.  If you head over to one of the main story sites there’s a link to their distributer which they do get a bit of a kick-back for, and since I enjoy the site I’m more then happy to support them.  They also are offering a coupon code that gives you 10% off an already reduced price.  And finally, if you pre-order you can play the beta version of FM2013 2 weeks before launch!  All saved games will carry over from the beta to the release client so you won’t lose any progress, but you will not be able to play network games.  The math and discount codes seem a bit off for US customers (I believe the store is UK based) but it still is a pretty good deal at $37.99.  Check out the link above for all the details and goodies, and they’ve updated the post a few times as questions have come in.

 
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