Grand Theft Auto 5 for PC – Thoughts

gta5A few weeks ago Grand Theft Auto 5 finally got released for PC. I had pre-ordered it months ago and have been playing it almost daily for the last 2 weeks. In itself it’s a great game. You get a somewhat large open world with a city, plains, desert and some forest stuff to do whatever you want in. Crime pays in the game and it’s generally quite fun.

But there are a lot of things wrong with the game also, and I think a whole bunch of them take a lot of the fun out of the game. So here is my critique and why I probably won’t play this title for very long.

Storyline

Yea about that, I tried to like it for a day or 2, did a bunch of missions and was constantly annoyed by the 3 protagonists you play. The game revolves around 3 characters (I guess to appeal to a broader audience) and they’re so obnoxiously stupid and boring that’s not even fun anymore. I have nothing to relate to those characters other than constantly wanting to skip the endless and plentiful cutscenes or to mute their remarks during gameplay. There is literally nothing there for me that I enjoy.

Did I mention endless cutscenes, the story is full of them. Which is sort of ok if I want to sit back and watch movies. But I want to play, rampage through the city. Do missions, get rich, steal cars. Punch people in the face. Not watch through 3 minutes of cutscene, drive to a location for a mission or task then have another 4 minute cutscene. Then go to yet another place and watch another lengthy cutscene. It’s boring. Not just because I just spend 15 minutes in game and only 3 minutes playing. But also because the story is utterly boring so far.

Online Play

So after not liking Storyline mode I switched to GTA Online. Which has less story and it’s a bit more on-demand. In game you have a cellphone and people message you with random stuff to do. For instance, this guy “Dom” (or whatever) tries to get me to go parachute jumping. So he calls me every few days. Also there are a bunch of NPC characters who offer you missions for money. The missions are fun but not very varied. Most of them are of the kind “Drive there, kill that dude, collect reward.” Some are a bit more elaborate where you have to kill a bunch of dudes or chase after someone before you can kill them. A lot of other missions involve stealing a car or blowing it up. Still, it’s fun to do. You go all over town with them, collect a pretty penny which you can then spend on new weapons and vanity items like clothes or car upgrades.

Where it gets annoying

You are free to do whatever you want, as long as you do what Rockstar (Game developers) wants.
This means, that if you do not go parachute jumping with earlier mentioned Dom he keeps calling you, reminding you how much of a loser you are if you don’t. It also means that this guy Lester keeps bothering you with random calls about doing heists (which is a recent addition to the game). But also that you should really really put a bounty on someones head. I want to do neither for now.

Another major annoyance in the game is the various events. Most of them are barely playable because the game is just not suited for it. It makes a nice attempt though.
For example: Races are about speed and precision driving. But that’s pretty much impossible if cars glitch and glide about pretty much everywhere except in the right direction. I’m not sure how other people get ahead with races, but I gave up on races all-together. The airplane controls are horrible too. I see tons of people screw up events like that. Rolling down hills because their vehicle doesn’t listen or is too broken to respond. So I guess it’s not just me failing miserably at events.

And then there is other people making an even bigger mess of things during these events.
Apparently it’s cool to ruin other peoples fun, preventing them from advancing in the game.

In the game you can get unlocks for (better) weapons, clothes, new cars, weapon upgrades and all kinds of stuff. A lot of it is unlocked through winning the near unplayable events. I probably won’t ever get most of it. “Win 18 more races in this vehicles class” “perform 50 more turbo starts in a race” “win 36 more air races” Yea right… Good luck with that.

Social and Matchmaking

The game constantly reminds you how cool it is to play with friends. I don’t have friends playing Grand Theft Auto 5. So I’m mostly solo. This excludes me from Heists, missions, tons of events and if the game is to be believed a lot of fun. I’ve tried teaming up with random people. But that rarely works. If people join your invites at all you either get shouted at for having the slower car, not shooting fast enough or otherwise not doing what they want. Very annoying and it totally ruins the game enjoyment overall.

In the past few days I finally got over myself and tried to do what others do, shoot random players, blow up their cars and whatnot. But also I tried to hook up with people and do missions together. This basically means, starting a mission, inviting 100s of random people and waiting for ages for someone to show up. Half of them leave just as the mission starts. Or worse, I get booted from the mission right before it ends. Leaving me to deal with the 2-6 player mission on my own. Which is near impossible.

For a game where it’s so important to play together it makes a very very poor attempt to keep players together. Just yesterday I was just messing around, zipping around town on a motorbike, engaging random players. It was fun. I got a few kills, got killed a bunch of times. Then suddenly I got disconnected from the game and put in a empty server. Of all servers available, why a empty one? And why disconnect me at all if things go well in the one I was on previously.
It took me 30 minutes to get to a populated server again, and my whole feeling of enjoyment was thoroughly ruined by it. More often than not trying to work with other people doesn’t really work.

Loadingscreen Simulator 2015

Since the game is quite massive there is a lot of loading to do I guess. I don’t have the newest computer, but it’s still a Intel i7 3.5Ghz with a GTX670 and 8GB ram. Quite a beefy computer.
Why does it take 5 minutes to even open the game, then another 4 to load online mode. And why does it take 2-4 minutes to load a mission and then another 2-4 minutes to close it when you finish the mission. Why does (re-)joining a server take 3-5 minutes.

If you sum that up, and you’re on a streak doing mission after mission that, for me at least, I’m staring at loading screens for 30-35 minutes for every hour I play. Missions often take maybe 5-10 minutes on average. Some are shorter, some take longer. But for 5-10 minutes of playing you have 2 loading “sessions” of 2-4 minutes also.

What’s there to like

The few moments where other players aren’t complete f*ckheads and actually play somewhat normal without trying to hunt you down for no reason other than to kill you over and over and over again. Where the matchmaking system actually works and the game doesn’t constantly disconnect you from whatever you are doing. When the game doesn’t keep bothering you with stupid storyline nonsense or other reminders that you don’t care for (Such as Lesters Heists or Doms Parachuting or car insurance I already have).

It’s a rant

A bit of a rant, for sure. And overall the game is fun. Few bugs, a good launch (Unlike some other games – Right EA?) The game in itself plays very well. But a bunch of the mechanics and the annoyingly pushy NPCs in the game ruin it and should really be fixed or changed in a way that makes it not annoying.

What was your first multiplayer game ever on PC?

Think about it, multiplayer games are so common these days. But what was your very very very very first one.

Mine was Tunneler. You know, from before the internet existed in any useful capacity and things were carried via floppy disks. CD-Roms barely existed.

Behold! The future of gaming!
16 colours, randomly generated worlds, advanced game mechanics and actual tactics had to be used to win. And it looked like this!

tunneler

A friend wandered in with a floppy disk, which he borrowed from someone and it had this cool game where you’d have to find each other in a tank and kill the other player.

Split screen, where each player started in a base. To dig through the dirt (brown stuff) you had to shoot which drained your energy. If the energy ran out you have to go back to your base and recharge. You had a shield too, which could take a few shots. It was epic!

Nostalgia

Anyone who doesn’t know what this is, is either too young or not a real gamer 🙂

colonization

Bought it on Good Old Games for a few euros – Patched up to work on modern computers and OS’s so cool 🙂

I’m making a house

For the past few weeks I’ve been on and off building this massive house…
It’s not nearly finished. The roofs need a bunch of work.
All elevated stuff takes a ton of time since I’m building it ‘legit’ and not using Creative mode or so. I cut entire forests, sheared hundreds of sheep.
I also replanted a ton of trees 🙂 And I fell down edges more than I can count 🙂

house

The best Minecraft server – Ever

minecraft-baseLast week I came to the conclusion I wanted to play Minecraft again.
I also figured that if things were slow at work I would want to play from work.
This meant a server was in order, but Minecraft servers have one inherent flaw; Other people.

Private server

I took one of my spare computers (a silly 1.8Ghz Atom with 2GB memory) and installed MineOS on it. Which is a lightweight Linux distribution optimised to run Minecraft servers. It works neatly for small servers it turns out.

Since it’s on my LAN it’s pretty much lagg free and not opening any ports for it in my Firewalls keeps people out. Because of the 24/7/356 VPN connection to work I can join from there too. Yay!

That’s a easy to manage server right there. No rules but mine. No shitty plugins I don’t want. Just a few things I *do* want.
After a few days I got a few basic plugins like lightning not starting any fires (Since I build mainly with wood) and fire spread disabled. I also got McMMO for some levelling and the occasional superpower and NoFloatingTrees for when I can’t be arsed to actually cut down the entire tree. And a few more of such plugins to make it just that bit more fun.

No monsters, but I do play survival mode for now. Building everything the ‘legit’ way. Which is quite a task it turns out. But good fun too – Actually gathering all materials and not being able to fly. So far I’ve died once. From a Lava spill while mining.

No other people

Because I’m not a full time server moderator. Or don’t want to be… I want to play the game too. And in the past every time I opened up the server to the public, people would either be too stupid and immature to behave or they simply tried to screw things up. Leaving me to police the herd, clean up stuff from grieving idiots and having to talk to everyone about anything.

I don’t care someone stole your armour or broke your door. I don’t want you building next to me, either. I don’t give a damn about what you think my server should be either. I don’t want you pouring lava or water on my builds. And, just because I’m older than the average Minecraft player doesn’t make me your role model or anything to look up at either. So shut up with your 1st world issues.

Just me, my world, my fun. It’s great 🙂

I’ll probably post some progress on here if I don’t forget…

Sim City 2013 – What’s that again?

Well it’s 2 weeks since my last post on Sim City. I have been able to play the game a bit more and learned a few things on how the game works and such.

But the last time I’ve played it is almost a week ago I think. I don’t really remember. It’s a boring game. Everything is spelled out. Missions are dumb and if you can fill the map in 2-3 hours and with that the region in a day make money in all of the cities. What else is there to do really? That’s right, tweaking the system to make even more money. Money you can’t spend because the maps are full.

BOOM! “We need water” What? You have the biggest water pump plant thing right there. “Yes but the water under it ran out!!”. What?

So now in this tiny plot of a city I need to break stuff to build a new water plant. Why not just drill deeper or build a pipe to where the water is. Or pump from the sea and filtrate that stuff.

“No, we want you to break your successful neighborhood, drive thousands of people from their homes. Make the remaining ones unhappy by building a bigass water pump in their backyard!”

WHAP! “We need (random resource we depend on!!!)” But it’s right there!

“Yea… well, you’ve spend half the build space and hundreds of thousands of monies on it but it ran out in an hour! We need more and we need it now or we’ll move to another city!”

But hey! The region is depleted… Sooooo. I’ve finished Sim City. As in, finished the game. Like finishing a storyline in a game. If there are no renewable resources like Oil, Coal, Water and stuff like that. What’s the point in playing any further, people will walk away, industry dies out etc.

Fine, new region, new everything. But, it’s just a repeat of the same. Same missions, same problems, same timing. The game has NO variation at all. Where most games are repetitive. This is a step beyond the “normal” standard of being boring. What a waste!

Sim City 2013 – First impressions

Very very poor launch

But it’s distributed through Origin from Electronic Arts so who am I kidding, thinking it would work… As with so many other players – I am unable to play the game. Not because the game is broken (Or maybe it is, but I don’t know yet) but because EA claims that “they didn’t know how many people would play the game”. Well that’s fair, in a way, but the 3 months of pre-orders and reseller pre-orders would be a good estimation I’d say.

Yesterday the game launched once and I was able to play for an hour or so. But not after I have queued up with servers for over an hour. Not a fun experience.

What I think they did wrong

Make the single player game online – Big big dumdum. I don’t care to share my cities in the community. I do not care for leader boards or scores and competition. Sure I will try out the online aspect and build a city with friends at some point and sure it will be fun. But I’m playing single player. Why force me to play that online on servers that do not work half of the time. Oh and stop trying to put me in servers that are in Oceania (which I assume is the pacific region?) I’m un Europe!

But the actual game is cool yea?

Yea, or no… I don’t know. It’s Sim City. City building. But suddenly there is this mission and task system that forces me into a certain direction. Because ignoring or cancelling a mission just means that you postpone it. 5 minutes later it just pops up again. Until you finally do it. I want to build a city. Not go after Dr Vu and build his criminal headquarters. Go away! Let me worry about sewage or traffic jams instead!

And why are maps so small 🙁 in the tiny amount I’ve played the game and explored some of the options I filled 3 maps with buildings. Maps that are small in comparison with earlier Sim City games. The maps are horrible. The terraforming isn’t very good either. Draw  a road up a mountain and it deforms so badly with glitchy graphics that the road goes up so steep it’s unreal. But if there is a mountain on your map the area to build is reduced so immensely that the tiny plot you got is pretty much halved if not worse.

Random events. They are random indeed. The news casts about it are somewhat funny. I had grannies stolen from one city by aliens and a meteor shower in another. But luckily they don’t do much damage. Oh, and an earthquake which shook up the birds in the trees apparently. But again, no real damage. So they’re more of a bother than that they have actual use. Which is fine. If they had left them out of the game that would be perfectly fine, too.

Social features

Sim City keeps telling that “Sim City is better with friends”. Great. But Electronic Arts has disabled all social features for the time being. Plus, when I click on the friends thingy it tells me I have no friends. So if they know that… Why suggest I should play with friends. Not very thoughtful.

I briefly browsed some online games to join. All were full, and the server browser was not working. So that was fun. Leader boards, online scores and achievements. All disabled because they can’t handle the server load. Great!

Not that I really care for that. But if it’s so flawed they took it out of the game until they fix the servers… It can’t be very good.

So anything cool then?

So far? Not really. Certainly nothing revolting and new that was worth the 10 year wait since Sim City 4.

The trade system works fairly well. But has no benefit really if a mining town is forced to have people living there. Since the locals need the resources you mine. And if you don’t let people live there you need a overly expensive bus terminal to get people from other towns to their jobs. Obviously you can’t afford that in the low income mining town. But the idea is cool, just needs some work.

The zoning system is flexible and works fairly well. But is not overly space efficient. But it’s easy to use and manipulate which makes for nice plots and neighborhoods. Traffic is easily managed with upgradable roads which is really cool. But it makes no sense to force a 4 lane high density road just so the one office block can be a high density building. So again, good idea, but needs work.

I love how police, fire stations and hospitals can be expanded so you need one for the entire city. Same with schools and such. But the interface is limited and clunky. If there are too many buildings around those service points you can’t expand. So, good idea, but needs work.

Really? So it’s a poor game?

Not poor, just flawed. Everything in terms of gameplay can be fixed with updates and tweaks I’m sure. The bigger problem is that EA forces us to play online for a single player game. And an even bigger problem because of that is that I have been waiting for 2 months for my Limited Edition pre-order only to find out that due to “unforeseen server load” pretty much nothing works and I can’t even start the game. Its sitting on my PC right now telling me that “EA Servers are unavailable” and then there are these friendly blog posts from EA telling me “We love our customers”, “we are working round the clock to let you play”, “we’ve tripled server capacity” and more of those marketing bullshit lines. Well, it’s not helping with my mood. I want to play. That’s all I want.

I don’t need Electronic Arts to tell me how much they like their players or how hard they’re working. They better like me and work hard for me. I paid €50 euros for their product. A product that doesn’t work. So whatever they’re doing. It’s not enough. It’s been 2 days and it works even worse than on launch day. On launch day at least I could enter the queue to try and join a server. Now even that is broken.

Not a good launch, not good at all! And I doubt when they finally fix the server thing the actual game will be much enjoyable. From what I’ve seen anyway. But as mentioned above. I was only able to play for an hour or so. So maybe I’m wrong there. I hope so.

*sigh*

Well this must be the dumbest idea ever

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 22.26.31

Yea, who ever thought of the brilliant plan that “single player” is now “online player” and you *MUST* play online even if you don’t play online, should be shot in the face.

And IF you want to force people to play online atleast put up *more* than 16 servers worldwide…. What are you thinking EA. I’ve been waiting for Sim City for months. Pre-ordered it and all. And now I can finally download it only to be told that there is no space for me on the servers, they’re all busy and and I’m queued? Screw you! It’s single player! That means OFFLINE – Stop forcing me to queue up for shit I don’t care about. Idiots.

Assassins Creed 3 – You know you want it…

Earlier today I received my fancy new Asus GTX670 CUII videocard. Along with it came a scratch card for a copy of Assassins Creed III.

I have no interest in this game. If you’re a fan and looking to score it legally for cheap – I’m your man. I’ve done a similar thing earlier this year with Guild Wars 2. Which worked out quite well.

As with last time – I only accept Paypal. Paid up front. Yes I’ll be good and not screw you over :).

I’m selling this full game for the low price of €30 (Thirty euros). Current Steam Price is €49.99. So you’ll save €20.
It’s a Digital Download via geforce.com.

If you’re in the EU close to the Netherlands I can send the scratch card via post for you to “unlock” the thing yourself. Or, if you want it fast, I can scratch it open and share the code via email, skype or yahoo messenger.

IMG_0777 IMG_0778

And so the Minecraft idiocy continues to spread

Peoples minds are going to mush over Diamond Armour and stabbing moms in arms and whatnot. Madness I say!

My friend Mathias, the only sane person I know who plays Minecraft. Post this chatlog on Skype earlier from him trying to help some idiot who allegedly lost his stuff. I think this guy, Tyler merely lost his tiny little mind.

[22:17:55] Mathias Jørgensen: Dude
[22:18:00] Mathias Jørgensen: I told you already
[22:18:07] Mathias Jørgensen: Don’t call unexpected
[22:18:31] Crew – Tyler: btw important messige im nolonger in your group
[22:18:43] Mathias Jørgensen: Why
[22:18:45] Crew – Tyler: my mate just stole my minecraft
[22:18:53] Crew – Tyler: change the pass and wont tell me
[22:19:05] Mathias Jørgensen: Ao
[22:19:07] Mathias Jørgensen: So
[22:19:10] Crew – Tyler: and i thought i was being a good friend
[22:19:14] Mathias Jørgensen: Haha
[22:19:16] Mathias Jørgensen: Idiot
[22:19:18] Crew – Tyler: letting hi m go on minecraft
[22:19:22] Mathias Jørgensen: Just get it back 😉
[22:19:25] Crew – Tyler: cant
[22:19:30] Mathias Jørgensen: Yes you cab
[22:19:32] Crew – Tyler: hes deleted it
[22:19:32] Mathias Jørgensen: Can
[22:19:41] Mathias Jørgensen: He can’t delete it
[22:19:48] Crew – Tyler: said user doesnt exist
[22:19:56] Mathias Jørgensen: It does
[22:20:03] Mathias Jørgensen: You can’t delete it
[22:20:18] Mathias Jørgensen: Just get it back
[22:20:20] Mathias Jørgensen: Go to
[22:20:23] Crew – Tyler: and he took me 64 sets of minecraft diamond armor IV which took me 3 years
[22:20:26] Crew – Tyler: so
[22:20:29] Mathias Jørgensen: Minecraft.net
[22:20:35] Mathias Jørgensen: Go to login
[22:20:37] Crew – Tyler: im coming of minecraft forever
[22:20:43] Mathias Jørgensen: Click “forgot password”
[22:20:51] Mathias Jørgensen: Reset it with your email
[22:20:54] Crew – Tyler: and deleting evry 1 related to minecraft
[22:20:58] Crew – Tyler: by
[22:21:05] Mathias Jørgensen: No wait
[22:21:07] Mathias Jørgensen: Dude
[22:21:12] Mathias Jørgensen: I am helping you
[22:21:21] Mathias Jørgensen: Fucking hell
[22:21:32] Mathias Jørgensen: You don’t want your minecraft account back or what
[22:21:56] Crew – Tyler: too late ive went rage mode
[22:22:08] Mathias Jørgensen: Dude
[22:22:12] Mathias Jørgensen: Fucking chill
[22:22:16] Mathias Jørgensen: You haven’t lost shit
[22:22:19] Crew – Tyler: once i went rage mode and nearly stabbed my mum in the arm with a knife so dont tell me what to fucking do
[22:22:51] Crew – Tyler: ive lost 64 sets of diamond armor iv mate
[22:22:54] Crew – Tyler: so
[22:22:59] Crew – Tyler: i wont chill
[22:23:05] Crew – Tyler: till my friend is dead
[22:23:09] Mathias Jørgensen: dude
[22:23:13] Mathias Jørgensen: First
[22:23:17] Mathias Jørgensen: He is not your friend
[22:23:20] Mathias Jørgensen: Second
[22:23:24] Mathias Jørgensen: You have not lost shit
[22:23:30] Mathias Jørgensen: Just reset your password
[22:23:32] Crew – Tyler: how do i get my shit back
[22:23:35] Crew – Tyler: on myy server
[22:23:37] Mathias Jørgensen: And don’t give it to him again
[22:24:04] Crew – Tyler: exactly
[22:24:38] *** Crew – Tyler sent TechnicLauncher (4).exe ***
[22:24:46] Mathias Jørgensen: Can’t see files
[22:24:48] Mathias Jørgensen: Dude
[22:24:55] Mathias Jørgensen: Fucking go to minecraft.bet
[22:24:58] Mathias Jørgensen: Net
[22:25:02] Mathias Jørgensen: Click you forgot pass
[22:25:03] Crew – Tyler: dude
[22:25:08] Mathias Jørgensen: Make it send to your mail
[22:25:13] Mathias Jørgensen: Enter it
[22:25:17] Crew – Tyler: im not coming on till i get my diamond stuff back [22:25:20] Crew – Tyler: listen
[22:25:24] Crew – Tyler: read the text
[22:25:25] Mathias Jørgensen: And change it to something your friend does not know
[22:25:32] Mathias Jørgensen: I can’t
[22:25:35] Mathias Jørgensen: What diamond
[22:25:42] Mathias Jørgensen: In a single player game?
[22:26:00] Crew – Tyler: i lost 64 sets of diamond armor on a server that took me 4 years protection IV
[22:26:07] Mathias Jørgensen: So?
[22:26:16] Mathias Jørgensen: It’s a game
[22:26:19] Crew – Tyler: im fucking angry and u are blocked
[22:26:23] Mathias Jørgensen: Why
[22:27:38] Mathias Jørgensen: Why did you give your pass away
[22:27:40] Mathias Jørgensen: Geez
[22:30:14] Mathias Jørgensen: You suck

For the uninitiated, you can’t delete a Minecraft account. You can’t change the email address on it either. So this means that even if some loser steals your password and changes it you can *always* reset it. As Mathias tried to explain. But the mind of that other kid was so screwed up about his virtual non-existant toys, that… well he became a waste of air and a useless person really. Someone should shoot him. It will strengthen the herd.

Obviously a lot of young kids play Minecraft. Some say the average age even lies between 10 and 12… Perhaps it’s true. Should they play Minecraft? If they loose track of life’s priorities this easy perhaps not. It gives us mature people a bad name :(.