The Mesk Blog - October 22 2009

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IskatuMesk
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The Mesk Blog - October 22 2009

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:43 pm

I'm really cracked out right now.

Long story short, the mental health doesn't want to have anything to do with me. So, they tried to ship me off to some other place about 20 minutes away. Well, those dudes wouldn't touch me with an 80 foot stick, so I effectively got offed. I did however get an appointment with a physician to manage my drugs. The waiting period was around a year, but for some reason I got in after only a few months.

Well, yesterday I met my savior. A black man who has a shaky grasp of English, he was quick to totally dismiss everything the previous physician-wannabes said and took me off of the Olanzapine, putting me on a new anti-depressant... I can't recall the name, Wellbutrin or something. Apparently, the Olanzapine was doing the opposite of what was supposed to be happening. Something about dopamine levels (lol dope). He also wanted to put me in some group home thing but I would have none of that.

Another fact, apparently, is that the other dudes were supposed to be taking blood tests every 3 months of me being on that other drug, since it dramatically raises cholesterol and my health is already really shaky. Well, they didn't, so today I had to take one. Then I took the new drug. So, I'm cracked out on being off of the old pills and being on an entirely different pill. I feel really, really relaxed but at the same time super agitated and really jumpy. I guess it's better than being depressed, though.

HKS and I finished the DoW 2 campaign last night. A little anti-climactic, especially since we somehow died on the pants-easy final boss when he was at 5% life and we were horrendeously overpowered by practically double the units you usually get.

I guess this is as good a place as ever to give my review about the game.

Dawn of War 2 passes itself off as an RTS and fails miserably. There isn't anything strategic about this game at all; not in multiplayer, not in singleplayer. Much like sc2, the singleplayer diverges from the multiplayer mandate quite a bit and offers you a strange mix of TTS and WoW loot elements. 90% of the loot you find is terrible, but you can eat it just like in dungeon siege 2 for experience. All of your units are basically heroes with expendable squad mates, and you basically chain res your heroes through the campaign to move along. If you're playing on a higher difficulty like we were, expect to chain res quite a lot. Especially during boss fights, where bosses can sport hundreds of thousands of health in comparison to your low hundreds and typically 1-2shot your units in a nice big AoE.

Like all squad-based games, the unit AI leaves a lot to be desired. Clunky pathing, especially around cover, makes a lot of the units totally freak the fuck out. Vehicles handle really clunkily and get stuck quite a lot. When HKS gave his Devastator marines Terminator armor, the unit AI was so fucked out that they would very rarely ever fire their weapons at all, even when standing still.

Fans of the original dawn of war will feel a little naked in this game, as it has very few units in multiplayer and lacks many of the improvements made to the first game over the course of the expansions, like cinematic sync kills (There's only a handful in DoW2), upgrades, tech, and build orders. It's also ridiculously small scale, so small scale that you find yourself doing nothing for about half the game while you mill around. Resources trickle in very slowly, and there is very little micro to keep you occupied. Since there is no base construction or actual resource harvesting, DoW2 takes the whole ground control genre to a totally new, absurdly narrow level. I didn't go into this game expecting much, and I wasn't disappointed because I didn't receive much.

Again, calling this game an RTS is really not a good idea. It's definitely an RTT, but it really fails in that part as well. I know someone who swears by the game to be as micro intensive as Starcraft, but every high-level game I see is just guys moving back and forth randomly shooting at each other. The concept of "Retreating" allows you to save most of your units from destruction, giving them improved speed and making them more durable as they B-line it to your base or reinforcement point. Which is really stupid because you shouldn't be able to just up and run away like you can in most circumstances.

Cover remains a gimmick, as it's restricted exclusively to destructible components of the environment that all but vanish when vehicles appear and run them over as they flail around uselessly for five minutes trying to point themselves in the right direction. Once again, the maps lack any real usage of Z-axis and remain fairly boring and unintuitive.

All in all, exactly what I expect out of a company as terrible as Relic. It was nice to waste some time on, but it definitely doesn't give the RTS market anything to smile about.
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Warning: dialogue contains politically incorrect content. Viewer rearsore may occur.

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