Saturday, 17 March 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bioware, the producers of SWTOR set up a free-to-play trial weekend running from Thursday 15th March through to Monday the 19th. This opened up the oppurtunity for anyone to create an account and start playing SWTOR for the weekend. Star Wars: The Old Republic is an MMORPG based on the Star Wars universe and characters. Set 500 years before the actual movies, the MMO is a great way for Star Wars fanatics or just for gamers to hop in to the world they know and love from the Star Wars franchise.

Despite not being set in the time of the movies, the world that the player is immersed within is one that is familiar and reminiscent even to the untrained eye. Planets such as Tatooine and Coruscant are examples of places you can visit. Even the same classic characters such as Jawa's can be seen trawling the barren wasteland.

The game offers a wide variety of Class and Race Options. Namely, a Jedi or Sith will be opted for as most popular, as players will want to don their dressing gowns and Lightsabres once more. However, classes such as the Smuggler, Trooper, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent are classes that do not revolve around the ways of the force. Obviously, Jedi's and Sith will be more popular, but it is definitely a great way to have a more immersive and wider community ingame.

Whereas the starting points for other MMO's was based on your Race, in SWTOR the starting area is based on your Class. Albeit skin colour or horns, every Sith Warrior and Inquisitor for example, will spawn on Karruban, the home planet of the Sith.

I myself downloaded the client (a whopping 25GB), and played a Sith Warrior on the PVP realm Senator Constispex. My friend George and I quested for about an hour before reaching the Sith Temple. Surprisingly the Sith characters do not start with Lightsabres, but 'training blades'. The weapons basically pummel and shock enemies, as opposed to slicing them in half. Another amazing aspect of the game to mention is the dialogue. Whereas MMO's such as World of Warcraft allowed you to receive a quest by reading a wall of text, all dialogue and quest involvement in SWTOR is acted and spoken. The player can even choose how to respond to questions and comments, and the voice acting is heard. This makes the game more story based than typical MMORPG's, but is definitely something new and creative that is nice to play with. To round off, the game has a very similar feel and HUD to other MMO's such as WoW, but the voice acting and other subtle aspects of the game bring the game more alive in the players eyes and such is the reason that I will definitely be making a future purchase of the game.

Well done Bioware, awesome game!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Fable III Storyline Review

Fable III - Hero and Walter
I have recently been playing a lot of Fable 3, the awesome game made by LionHead Studios about two years ago. The game follows on as a sequel from Fable 2 (similarly fantastic). *SPOILER ALERT!* So Fable 2 followed the story of your character (nameless, known as Hero), a small beggar boy in a city with only one friend. Fast forward hours of fun gameplay later you are an adult Hero, casting flames from your fingers, shooting bolts of enemy at your foes from deadly ranged weaponry. You master Blades and Hammers so fearsome that they are... very fearsome! So long story short, you spend the story developing the Hero, purchasing real estate and armour and weaponry along the way. You fight the bad guy. You win. You also become King somewhere along the way. Kachow! Then...

Fable 3 follows your character (again nameless, known as Hero) derived from the Hero in Fable 2. So basically, in Fable 3 your Fable 2's Hero's son. This time round you start as the brother of a current King, (another chap who's your son from Fable 2) and you have to fight your path to the throne again! *SPOILER ALERT!*: you become King, but find out you have one year to prepare for impending doom from an incoming evil. You have that time to amass 6,500,000 of gold to help save your Kingdom. Problem is, doing evil choices will give you alot of money, but everyone will hate you. Good choices means you lick the pavement to glean all the savings you can manage. The Kingdom running part of the game is a great chance to develop your characters personality towards harsh or fair. Either way its possible to save your people, (just takes ALOT longer if you want them to love you). All in all the third game in series was fantastic, the graphics were sharp and bright, alot of voiceover acting which helped the game to come alive. Fable 3 sorted out all the things in Fable 2 that ruined the game or was just generally a bit annoying. Fable 3 reimbursed multiplayer to an extent, enhancing your online gameplay via Xbox Live. Fable 3 in my opinion was the best so far and I can't (despite its age) recommend it enough.

Overall love:
Great RPG,
story didn't drag on,
alot of optional side questing available,
>> Graphics <<,
Voiceover was immensely enjoyable,
same console multiplayer great fun to play.

Overall hate:
One minor glitch I got stuck in during a Midfields Balverine quest,
you dance with a stranger about 3 times and you automatically get a quest to marry them (???).

Overall review:
Awesome, fun, great for any RPG lover or casual gamer. Don't expect too much online cooperation.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Xbox Avatars for Window's Desktop

If you run an operating system from Window's Vista and up, you should have on your desktop the 'Gadgets' bar.  You can put alot of cool things on the gadgets bar such as a clock, photo slideshow, currency exchange, puzzles, a piano, even a CPU meter! But something that I found fascinatingly awesome was the Xbox Avatar Gadget. Yes, that's right. You can place your Xbox Avatars on your desktop, as well as all your friends. Without further ado, I suggest you go makeover your desktop with this wonderful feature! (You don't have to type in any passwords or any details, just the Gamertag) Here is a screenshot of my lavishly detailed desktop:

Monday, 30 January 2012


On Saturday the 28th, my friends Owenie, Dannysafeman, Gungravez and MrDeanoo and I played through the Adventure map Kurast! The server was kindly hosted by Owenie, which meant we could enjoy questing through the fantasy world Kurast, which involved collecting three diamonds in an attempt to save the kingdom. The map was lavishly detailed, surprisingly huge and took a long time to complete all the puzzles and dungeons within it. Huge credits bestowed upon Krimnox, it's creator.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Minecraft Adventure Maps!

On the server I play on, we recently decided to start playing Adventure Maps for Minecraft. Adventure Maps are great ways to spend time with friends or solo, adventuring through pre-made maps and quests. The contents can vary, but they will generally involve a specific task that can be achieved by the players. From Christmas themed, to fantasy quest lines, even 'Grandmas Birthday', the opportunities are endless! What are you waiting for?

A great video about the adventure map "Kurast" by Krimnox, Video by the Deadworkersparty. Enjoy <3 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Minecraft 1.1 Release

The other day the 1.1 update was released for Minecraft, bringing with it new features, bug fixes and more blocks! There is now four new enchantments specific to bows: Power, Punch, Flame and Inifinity, smoother colour transition between biomes, and more importantly; a new map type. There is now, of course, default.. and Superflat! This new map types entails a completely flat map, useful for servers, or even just for saving the time of editing the world. As usual, you can still find Strongholds or Villages, so the games fun has not been entirely been removed. Albeit missing the nice landscape and cliffs, players will now be able to experience a new level of building. Realistic auto-correct out the way, i'm sure alot of players are glad about this new map type. Even if it is less prefferable, the choice is still open for either way! Passing over the other major features that have been introduced (sheep eat grass, turning it into a dirt block!), there is the less noticeable, and quite frankly, less (but still) awesome features introduced such as:

Slightly smoothed color transitions between biomes.
Swamp land and water colors now smoothly transition to other biomes.
Re-added beaches.
Taiga biomes now contain snow and ice.
Decreased randomness of enchantment levels at Enchantment Tables.
Biomes are slightly more varied, with differing elevations of land in previously flat biomes.
Reduced brewing time to 20 seconds from 30.
Added Spawn Eggs to creative mode.
Removed collision box from Ladders.
Sheep only drop 1-3 wool per shearing.
The collision box on Fence Gates now matches that of Fences instead of being square.
Fence Gates can now be opened and closed with Redstone.
Leaves now have a 1/200 chance of dropping Red Apples.
Blacksmith buildings in NPC Villages now hold chests with loot of the same type as Strongholds
Void fog removed in creative mode.
Melons and Pumpkins can now grow on Dirt, instead of only on Farmland.
New settings in
Magma Cubes can now drop Magma Cream on death.
In SMP servers, non-ops are kicked if they spam in chat too much (Ops are not notified of the kick, they must assume that the player was auto-kicked)
The distance that Wheat attracts friendly mobs has increased from 2-3 to 8-9.
All Music discs except for "11" can be dropped from creepers killed by skeletons

Aside from all of this, there was 56 new language translations added by Jeb, including Pirate (??). ARR! That be all me hearties!

Full patch notes:

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A new dawn...

Welcome! And this is where it all begins. I'm Adrian Haak, I live in the UK and I play piano. This blog is basically an area where i post things to do with gaming and things happening in the community, also anyone can discuss or chat about gaming and whatever else. Around the internet and such i'm known as Exonorate. I play on Xbox 360 and PC, as well as iOS. I love Halo, Fable 2 and 3, Minecraft, MMO's and RPG's. I'm also a Star Wars and Lord or the Rings fanatic. I have a YouTube channel I hope to properly kick off sometime. I'm on Twitter and Facebook so feel free to add me. I listen to alot of different podcasts, mainly by the Dead Workers Party. They make great shows about Minecraft, TF2, SWTOR and alot of other games. That's pretty much all there is to it, so i decided to kick off this momentous occasion with a small something I discovered yesterday. Some guys called the Coyote Kisses made this awesome remix of the Star Wars songs into one fantastic techno medley. Definitely check it out. Thank you all :)

Exonorate <3