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Monday, July 4, 2011

Team Fortress 2 - review

As many of you might have noticed, Valve recently updated TF2 and made it free to play. So i decided to give it a try.

The game itself is quite big, having over 10 GB, but download speed through Steam was amazing, spiking to over 2 MB/s.

Now to the game itself. I was really surprised how much more this game is than an average first person shooter. Its like a FPS slash Diablo. You can play various classes, find items (which you can either use directly or recreate in crafting system into something you want), get achievements and much more.

The game has 8 game modes - Arena, CTF, Control Point, King of the Hill, Payload, Territorial Control, and the Training mode. Details HERE.

There are 9 classes to play:

Scout is the fastest class. He has very low health (125), but good luck hitting him (Killing a Scout in the air is actually an achievement for Sniper). His 'special' ability is double-jump - possibility to jump again in mid-air. Jump within a jump, if you will.
His main weapon is a scattergun, deadly at close range. Secondary weapon is a pistol and as a melee weapon, scouts are using a bat.
Scouts role is to get in - kill something - get out. I find scout really fun to play because of his mobility and crazy damage in close range.

video - Meet the Scout

As the name and picture suggests, this guy specializes in fire damage. Pyro is not very dangerous if you keep reasonable distance, but if you get close, you die. The flamethrower at point blank kills anything within a second, and sets the target on fire, causing damage over time (very effective against spies and scouts). Pyro is extremely fun and easy to play on servers with a lot of people. His secondary weapon is shotgun, and as a melee he uses an axe. He himself is immune to fire dot from enemy pyros.

video - Meet the Pyro

I really love this class. Requires a lot of precise aiming, patience and awareness of your surroundings, as spies eat scoped snipers for breakfast.
If you scope your rifle, it starts charging. More charge = more damage. Headshot does critical damage. A scoped, fully charged headshot does 450 damage, which is maximum you can have in this game (Heavy buffed by medic). Sniper uses SMG as secondary weapon and big machete called Kukuri as a melee.

video - Meet the Sniper

As a soldier, you have a big rocket launcher and you shoot rockets. Rockets have big blast radius, can knock enemies into the air (or you, which is called rocket jumping) and if you actually hit someone directly, its pretty much dead. Hitting people directly is very hard, so its better to hit the floor under them and rely on the blast damage (still huge). Soldier's secondary weapon is a shotgun and a shovel as a melee.

video - Meet the Soldier

A grenadier of TF2. His main weapon launches grenades that explode on contact with enemy player or shortly after landing. Either way is very deadly. His secondary weapon is also interesting. It shoots sticky bombs - explosives that stay where you put them, and can be detonated at any time pressing right mouse button. This is useful for area denial. His can also be played with the melee weapon as he can somehow 'charge' over quite large distances but i have yet to figure out how to do this (probably some item).

video - Meet the Demoman

Do you enjoy camping? This is the class for you. As an Engineer, you build constructions that kill or help you and your team. A sentry - auto aiming mechanical beast, a dispenser - provides metal, ammo and health, and a teleporter - helps your teammates to get in the battle faster. Spies can sap your buildings, which can be fixed by smacking them with your wrench.
To build or upgrade your buldings, you need metal - a resource you get from picking up ammo or fallen weapons, or from your dispensor. Hitting a building with your wrench speeds up the proccess.

video - Meet the Engineer

Fun to play if you know how to do it. I noticed a huge difference between good spies and bad spies. As a spy, your main weapon is a butterfly knife, that instantly kills anything, as long as you're behind your target. Spy can disguise as a member of any member of enemy team. Enemy team can track down spies by colliding with them (you can walk through teammates), burning them, or just noticing suspicious behaviour. Spy can also use cloak, making himself invisible (unless damaged or collided with, which makes his silhouette appear for a moment). Spy can easily infiltrate the enemy base, take out enemy snipers, sap enemy buildings, or backstab important targets.

video - Meet the Spy

Most health (300), biggest figure, great damage with great range. Very slow while shooting. Synergizes well with a medic. The 'tank' of TF2. If you enjoy doing a lot of damage while soaking the damage for your team, you will like this. His minigun has a spin-up time, which makes it hard to react to ambushes from fast classes. His melee weapon are actually his fists, for which you can find various boxing gloves. He also carries a shotgun as a secondary weapon.

video - Meet the Heavy

The healing class. Your secondary gun heals people. It also buffs them with +50% of their maximum health (so a Heavy can have 450 health).  As you heal, you charge your UberCharge. Ubercharge makes you and your target invincible for 10 seconds. Besides healing, you can also effectively kill people with your main weapon - syringe gun, which actually does a lot of damage, and your chainsaw. Your best friend is a good Heavy player.
Medic can not heal himself, but he has very fast health regen (i think 3 health/sec). Medic is the second fastest class.

video - Meet the Medic

Thats it. 9 classes. What really amazes me is how greatly balanced it all is. Just the Spy class alone is so well made against engineers and snipers. Everything has a counter, and skill of an individual player is really important.

Now, another thing to talk about is item finding and crafting. As you play, you will find items. Randomly, for any class, or as a reward for achievement. Some of the items only change your ingame appearance (various hats, badges, accessories) and some actually have some effects that can change your playstyle.

Important note here - every item that has some bonus attribute has also some negative attributes, so you're not simply gaining, you're always trading something for something to make it fit your playstyle. For example, you can find a butterfly knife item that makes you instantly disguise as a person you just backstabbed. However, this item makes it impossible for you to use regular disguise.

Or a shovel that has +20% to damage makes you 15% slower. And so on. Some items make sets, gaining more bonuses as you collect the set.

Items you find will be stored in your Backpack, that has 300 slots, so eventually you will have to craft or delete items in order to make space.
Crafting is basically smelting weapons you find into various types of metals, and creating other items you need instead.

Players can also trade with each other, as long as they make any purchase in the Mann.Co shop, which makes their account premium. The TF2 business model is based on microtransactions, especially since its a free to play game, and i have to say its really well made. Even I purchased something - a key to a box you can find (yes, they make you find a box but you have to buy a key to open it ><, but hey at least i have a full Steam account and full TF2).

Your ingame achievements and stats are saved in your Steam profile as well as in the game. You can also see how much time did you spend playing on each class, your best score and so on.

Thats it! I hope you liked my review and see you ingame.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mindthings - Life's Things + Minecraft

amazing creation in minecraft with definitely well chosen music to go with it. i strongly suggest watching it in 1080p and in full screen. its incredible. cant believe it only got 30k views.

going to play minecraft right now ..

Mindthings -
Minecraft -

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Movie: Clerks (1994)

pure genius. i dont remember watching something this funny in a long time. its clearly a low budget movie, as the whole thing is black and white and situated in just a couple of areas, but that script! whoever wrote the script to this is a genius.

the movie is about a grocery shop clerk Dante, his friends, girlfriends and all kinds of encounters they make during one day. its built on dialogues and someone is always talking - usually Randal, main hero's best friend who is operating the video store next door and who is making Dante's job significantly harder (and funnier). And he wasn't even supposed to be there today!

IMDb here.

League of Legends - EU platform splitting in two

Riot Games have announced that they're going to split the european platform to two - West and East + Nordic.
Full post here ->
The borderline is looking like this ->

So far its looking like most of the players will use the free platform switch and move to West, and I'll do the same. Most of my friendlist is from the West anyway.

Not really perfect solution, but at least we will get to play again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Solar Fields - Leaving Home

if you're impatient, forward to 4:30. back chills garanteed.

Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City

really old song from the year 1966. really awesome. and those sideburns are too cool.