Monday, November 15, 2010


It's here! The mightly (long, epic, self-congratulating, fill in your own description here) 300th post has arrived. First and foremost, THANK YOU to all my readers. Thank you for the comments and feedback you've provided my since I began. The vast majority of my posts have at least one comment. It's great to know I have a readership and that you all are willing to share your opinions with me. I hope you've found some small bit of information, entertainment, or enlightenment from my rambles on gamerscore, gaming, and nerd life in general.

Reflections on the Blog

This blog is nearing its 2nd birthday, and that's quite the achievement. Constant readers know my track record for starting goals and quickly discarding them for something else, or just not even trying. But through it all, this blog has still survived.

Here's some interesting stats:

Since Blogger started stat tracking (May 2010) the most viewed post on my blog has been The Seven Deadly Sins of Achievement Fanatics. In fact, it's been viewed 40 times in the last 30 days.

ThrawnOmega's Blog on the Gaming Life has been viewed in the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland,Netherlands, Canada,Germany, Finland, South Korea, Denmark, and Belgium. I'm actually surprised Japan isn't on the list.

This blog has been read on such "non-traditional" internet viewing devices as the iPhone, iPad, ipod, and Nintendo Wii. What the heck does this blog look like from a Wii?

Despite the talk I hear from time to time that my focus should remain on talking about the games I'm playing and my thoughts on them, the stats show a different story (don't worry though, that will remain a core part of this blog.) The stats show, beyond any doubt, that my special topics get more page views, and have a lot more staying power. Eight of the top ten posts viewed since May were special topics, rants, or opinion pieces that had nothing to do with what I was currently playing.

I think that NaNoWriMo will have a positive overall effect on this blog, as I'm realizing that, despite my work schedule, I can still crank out a pretty good amount of words in a month when I want to. The trouble is going to be thinking up interesting concepts for special topics, not the physical writing of those articles themselves.

On Grinding Gamerscore

As jackanape so well explained it, 100k is attainable to those who actually want it, and are willing to put the time in. As he explained in what I hope remains one of his more famous blog posts, you can have a 6-digit gamerscore and still have job, girlfriend, life, whatever.

I've always liked the achievements system because it let you permanently keep a piece of the game with you, even after you were done with it. The system is like a resume of your gaming career for all to see. Instant nerd cred. I won't be retiring from gamerscore, because it's never been my be-all-end-all for playing games, though I will admit that I rarely return to a 360 game I already have all the points for. I mostly play the games I want to play and try to get all the points from them, rather than play a game just for its points (though, of course, I HAVE done that from time to time).

The one gamerscore goal I have is to reach 200k by the "end of the world" on 12/21/12. Right now, I'm behind pace, so I may end up eventually busting out a few easy games to get pack on track.

On My Annual Completion Challenge

As I said in my last post, this year wasn't supremely impressive for completion points. I have come up with an answer for RPGs, which may get me to focus on them more. All retail RPGs will, beginning January 1, 2011, be worth 2 bonus completion points simply for being RPGs. This means no retail RPG could be worth less than 3 completion points. I really want to raise my standing in RPGs, and this would greatly help toward achieving ranks better than Bronze. We'll see how it goes. And yes, I'm holding off popping the last achievement in New Vegas until 2011 to take advantage of this.

New Vegas is Better than Fallout 3.

New Vegas is much, much better than Bethesda's own Fallout 3. While it was buggy at first, since the update, I haven't had any issues. Fallout 3 was a stellar game, with great post-launch support, but New Vegas has taken that foundation and greatly expanded on it.

FO3 had a huge world to go explore however you wanted, but the game's major flaw was that for those looking for structure, or an objective to lead them from point A to B, there wasn't much to do. Besides the main quest, there's an achievement for every one of that game's side quests. New Vegas easily has 5, maybe 6 times as many quests to complete, giving quest-aholics like myself plenty of missions to complete, lots of side-story content, and above all more of a purpose for exploring every nood and cranny in the wasteland. I have over 20 quests logged in my PIP-BOY right now. While some are mutually exclusive (like Kill Mr. House or work for him), there's still a whole lot I can do.

In New Vegas, skills matter a lot more. Disciplines like Science matter a lot more now, as they do more than 1 thing. Besides hacking computers, Science skill opens some special dialogue options, and is needed for creating items. Medicine allows you to heal yourself and others. Bartering effects more than just prices at vendors. Each skill now has more than a single use, making point allocation matter more.

The faction system in New Vegas trumps anything seen in FO3. Rather than good or evil, the game has you working with various factions, and there's a lot of them... NCR, Caesar's Legion, Mr. House, The Crimson Caravan, The Boomers, and more. The faction system does a fantastic job of making the world of New Vegas feel like a living, breathing place, and makes decisions matter more than a situation where someone must simply ask, "Should I be nice, or be a douche?"

And, as I've said before, Hardcore mode is a great addition to the game, adding a layer of 'realism' to the action, which forces player to think more critically about how they plan to survive in the wasteland.

I have fond memories of you, FO3. I may even purchase your GOTY edition for the PC and play you again for another 1550 achievement points. That said, your newer brother New Vegas has captured my attention and enjoyment in ways you never did.

My personal Game of The Year award is going to New Vegas. No other game I've played this year has been nearly so captivating. My runner up would be Starcraft 2 on PC, even though I have yet to get very good at the multiplayer.

Random Pro Tip for New Vegas players - When approaching Nellis Air Force base, you must evade artillery fire. First, if you have a follower, make them wait outside the range of fire, or THEY WILL DIE. Now, use a stealth boy, and the guns won't even fire on you as you approach, making a tough and/or annoying section of the game really easy. After you get through once, you and your followers will be fine after that.

Has anyone else played New Vegas? How far are you? What are your thoughts on the game>

Final Shoutout

Congrats Ducky x360a on finally hitting 100k. Sorry I didn't notice sooner.

Bishop and Silva - Slow the hell down on the gamerscore whoring of yours. I need to catch up and make that a 3-person race.

Xylo- Catch me if you can. My score > Your score. Oh, and I will 1k Your Shape. Just you watch.

Thanks yet again to all my readers. You make writing content for this blog such a fun experience.

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