Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fresh Perspectives: James-n-Yumi

As a break from so much of the forum whining and spamming of unfit-to-print threads, we've decided to take MAG back to the "Age of Innocence", so to speak and get some of the opinions of newer players. The only criteria  we had was that the player had to have been playing MAG for a month or less. Our first victim was new forum poster James-n-Yumi. a veteran FPS'er. Here's MAG through his eyes:

We've got our Column Writers!

We're happy to announce that after long last, we've finally got our faction-specific column writers on board. We've procured the services of the no-introduction necessary, ContraBanJoe (SVER), the ubiquitous, that_id (Valor) and the stats-friendly, AimFix (Raven) their columns will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week.

Be sure to check back to read some of the contributions and opinions by these MAG Luminaries. Feedback is NECESSARY. GIVE EM' HELL (or even Kudos) Please don't forget that we're always open for Opinion Pieces, Suggestions and Editorials that seek to improve MAG.


MAG Worldwide

Monday, August 30, 2010

Balancing Act: The Knife

Every so often we see posts on the MAG Forums that make so much sense that we turn them into features here. Its sad that among much of the whining and complaining that many logical, well-written, thought out posts get lost in the sea of foolishness. This one was contributed by Matakage. here's what he wrote on the forums:

MAG Interviews: Plymco Pilgrim

So this is the reason you read our blog isn't it? To get all the MAG info you can't get anywhere else. This is the stuf fyou can't get from Mike Wallace, Oprah or from a sit-down with Katie Couric. When the enigmatic SVER exile Plymco Pilgrim decided to sit down and break down all things MAG after his forum "banishment" ,we jumped at the chance to interview MAG's Fidel Castro. So, without further ado: The Plymco Exclusive...
The cause of your Banning has been hotly debated, some say you posted a pic of a head exploding, i’ve heard a wolf eating a baby, some say it was lag-switching, i’ve even heard you were rude to Mizz Smarty Pants over Proximity, care to set the record straight?

Balancing Act: The Sniper

Recently we've seen plenty of chatter about making sniper rifles one-shot kills, removing tracers and making snipers show up less on the mini-map. Some of these things would making sniping more easy, but would wreak havoc on game balance when invisible, impossible-to-find snipers litter the battlefield. The tracers are a great game mechanic for balance and quite simply have to stay.

Best MAG Strategies

Our first reader article was submitted to us by Kushmir of Valor's V-C. He touches on a few issues of MAG tactics and strategy. He goes from the overload method, to shooting down choppers to bypassing the burn-off towers in domination. The following are the best MAG strategies he's witnessed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

MAG Interviews: Yamomoto

Our next for Forum Interview is with Yamomoto, another popular forum contributor and Elite MAG player. In this interview he breaks down his opinions on brainstorming the infamous TTT Weekend, OP maps, 6D9 and how he feels about giving gamers one player slot for each faction.

What’s your opinion on the new system that gives us three player slots?
 honestly, i think its a bad decision. people wont have any need to be faction loyal if the character slots were for free. and i think zipper could have spent their time working on something that their customers/the community actually asked for. (ie. flash bangs, DLC sniper rifle and LMG, and the super heavy armor)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Movement Speed and Armor

Playing in the beta has shown us the movement speed that is coming to the retail version of MAG. We like it just fine. We've always thought that players should be better separated by the points that they spend on movement. Even as important, however, is the fact that Armor Type tangibly affect movement as well. This would mean slowing down the movement noticeably when we upgrade our armor type.

Some Beta Impressions

Here are some of the Impressions from some of the forum posters from our BETA BOARDS:
Servo Skull didn't like the Level Caps, he wrote: Who came up with the level requirements? To get most items requires you to be a high level character, wohoo like the cheap Claymore or any of the new guns; Makes respeccing btw pretty senseless.What attachment is for what, huh? Unless I wouldn´t know better from the old MAG and am a new player I would be quite annoyed to find out my shiny new silencer/bipod/whatever doesn´t fit on my desired gun...WE NEED EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS! e.g. only for AR, Pistols or whatever (this is important, much like the lack of a training mode this is another area where the total lack of an explanation can frustrate new players) Weapons stats please? They would be very helpful, the plain description is worth nothing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

MAG Interviews: Dr. Spankit

Our next interview is with the comedian of MAG, and the author famous for his "psychology of a forum poster" excerpts. While i've never hard the pleasure of playing with him, we've heard he's a pretty funny guy. We didn't DARE ask him about the origin of his name (this is a child-friendly blog) He's also an avid knifer, but don't take our word for it. Coming Up: Dr. Spankit Unfiltered. Oh and the pink? HIS IDEA.

When did you first notice MAG?
I was busy standing on top of a corpse in Socom confrontation, trying to explain to him the difference between tea bagging, and ear fornication, when my friends were talking about "So, you going to ditch socom for mag when it comes out?"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MAG Interviews: Stylie77

No introduction necessary here, Stylie77 is easily one of the most even-keeled, reasonably thinking, respected posters on the forum. Here's our interview with him, even if he is a SVER-is-OP-thinker, and Valor Scum:)

Valor takes a lot of grief on the MAG boards, what's your take on it?

Most of it is deserved. Valor is the PMC of choice for new players according to the Beta 5.0 blog http://blog.mag.com/blog/2010/01/mag-beta-5-0-statistics/ .  "The breakdown of PMC preference ended up like this: Valor38.7%, Raven37.2%, SVER24.1%"

Still Broken: R1/L1 Healing


While we're not developers and have never "coded" or anything close to it, we simply don't understand the reason that L1 to heal a teammate and R1 to heal yourself still hasn't been properly implemented yet. It is intensely frustrating to wade into an intense firefight to resuscitate an teammate...

AND HEAL OURSELVES. Its also unfair, this is something we were TOLD would work and while we can certainly understand it being hard to implement, when we hear its finally been implemented, we just expect expect it to work the way we were TOLD it would.

we can't help but wish this is quickly and efficiently resolved once and for all.

Suggestion: Deserter Ribbons

We weren't prepared to print this article until we saw a favorable number of responses on the "Deserter" poll, but with a pretty large number of the MAG players (over 70%) who voted on our poll being in favor of Deserter Ribbons for people who abandon games? We officially okay'ed it. The issue? Server Kicks. No one wants to be given a coward's medal for an instance where they were disconnected through no fault of their own. Who can blame them? We've all had killer games where we're owning beyond belief and BANG! 3:4 error.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Pow-Wow with JLongshot

While talking to popular and notable forum guys is cool, more important is talking to the less talkative people who make up our community. You see, some of the things they have to say are more important than we can ever believe. These guys shun the spotlight, do more reading on the forums than anything else, and while they'll never post a "Farewell, MAG" thread on the forum to announce they'll never be back, when they leave, the game is hurt by it more than you know. They are quite simply, The Salt of MAG. The guys whose opinions should perhaps matter the most.

I started off this sit-down LISTENING and letting JLongshot (The leader of BHz and beta member of the original VE alliance) have the floor. Here are a few things that were on his mind:

First Video of Gameplay and Beta Skill Tree

Below is the first video given to us from the MAG Beta courtesy of Raptor2525. It shows the new Skill Tree breakdowns and weapon costs in the Supply depot from the Raven perspective. We really have to go on record again and say that while we love this new Skill Tree, its not new-player friendly. It has some serious DEPTH. Most of those new guys just want to pop a disc in, charge up their controller and shoot something. Should we dumb-it-down? Negative, but we think a mandatory, detailed, interactive Training Mode just became a must. The video is below.

EDIT: we also added in some of the first gameplay videos courtesy of Geirbiscohn.

Its called a BETA for a reason, people.

While many of us were frustrated by the Beta teasing us with a 99% download, moving slower than molassses or by disconnecting us about every thirty seconds or so when we actually WERE able to connect, lets keep in mind that Launch Day Issues are as old as gaming. This is the kind of thing that happens, consistently. Who can forget the first-day issues with the SOCOM: Confrontation Installer? Halo 2? Remember those?

These issues will be ironed out and we'll all have beta access soon enough. Everyone just hold your horses a bit until then. These things take time. What we SHOULD be concentrating on is giving Zipper the feedback they need so that the game mode is Balanced, Glitch-Free and Enjoyable.

P.S. Isn't the new Skill Tree sweet, though?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yup, start your engines. The BETA went live at about 7PM eastern. Go to the PS Store, search for MAG Beta and Voila! there is is. While the first download and install is pretty fast...the 2nd Tier download is approximately 907.62 MB. So get comfortable unless you're one of our UK/Japanese/South Korean brethren with lightning fast downloads.


Valor Roadblocks still not fixed?

Ok so last night we're attacking Valor 4th platoon on Domination, right? We proceed to the road on the left towards the single roadblock between the two bunkers. With all of the things that went into Patch 1.07 some of the big fixes were a roof on the Raven Dom and the "Ninja Door" and roadblocks fixed on Valor's map.

Opinions Necessary: Cotten Balls

In the same vein as our interviews, we've decided to switch gears and get some opinions from some of our MAG Forum contributors on various issues in MAG. Here's a little taste of what Cotten-Balls is burning on:

How clan wars SHOULD be:While I like the idea of how they are implementing clan deploy, I would like to be able to specifically challenge another clan, I would say keep it to suppression and maybe sabo though.  For smaller clans, I think a clan alliance system should be implemented as well.
LMGs being able to take down APCs:
Ugh, the LMG lol I don't think the LMG should be able to take down an APC, now a MMG on the other hand should be able to do damage, as well as the shotgun, aside from those 2 guns, nothing else should be able to damage an APC other than grenades, the GL and RL of course.

Suggestion: Incentive for Leaving the Spawn

You know, an idea came to us the other day while we were "red-lining" Raven on our Acquisition Map and they refused to to cross the water line. As they layed down and started firing from their spawn area it struck me: They didn't have any reason to leave that area did they? They were tired of advancing, dying and so now they'd sit back and pick off those of us who were aggressively attacking them.

Sooooo. What if they got  +0?  I'm serious. What if they shot me from behind the red line and I yes, I died, but they didn't get any points for it or a kill credited on their stats? KDR Whores and Stats Freaks often use this tactic to prevent from having their "numbers" do down, and too often MAG turns into a 20-30 minute meeting at the red line. Perhaps this would provide some incentive to leave that area. Just something to think about.

Suggestion: Separate Weapons by Turn Speed/Movement

One of the things we like about Zipper is that they've shown the ability to resolve some of the game imbalances in their titles. Who can forget that in Socom 2 people able to jet around with the RPG like it was a handgun? There was nothing worse than being unable to track an RPGer because their movement was unaffected by the equipped weapon. MAG has no such issues as the RPG is beautifully balanced and has zero issues as a mobile weapon.

MAG Interviews: DocEroc

In the next of our Interview Series, we sit down with DocEroc one of MAG's real "community guys", to find out his views on MAG's future, EZ Mode and "touring" with English Snake.

So you get launched into MAG for the first time, what were your impressions?
The BETA? I hated it!  I came from Socom 1.  Got into FPS via COD WAW and liked it, then into MW2.  MAG was overwhelming at first, to say the least.

What is it about MAG that keeps you coming back?
Good friends.  Good game. Good developers.  Regardless of opinions of Zipper, they listen to us all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

MAG Interviews: Phoenix Archer

We're proud to introduce the first of our interviews with some of the more prominent MAG players and contributors on our forums. First Up? Phoenix Archer.

So, what's the silliest thing associated with being female in a male-dominated shooter?

- I guess the fact that I don't always get taken seriously by my squadmates (and platoon/company if I'm PL/OIC); most of the time my squad will figure out I'm at the very least as good as them, if not much better, pretty quickly; then the hate usually lessens, but not always.

Suggestion: Knife from the back, Gun-Butt from the front

After hearing countless complaints about bullets having ZERO stopping power and guys putting rounds into someone only to have them continue to advance and whip out the old knife for the quick kill, we've decided it's time for change. As much as we love knife kills...we agree. Being that adding stopping power will probably be adding physics that would be hard to implement, we're ready for Zipper to take the easy way out.

There was a suggestion posted to the forums months ago that recommended an animation hitting someone with your gun-butt when you attacked from the front, and only doing the knife animation when you were behind them. We can't fault the logic...the natural advantage goes to the firearm user--except in MAG where "bringing a knife to a gunfight" actually gives you an advantage, LOL!

The gun-butt damage should probably be around 15-20 points or so, and even though i'll miss my close quarters knifing sprees, wouldn't the gun-butt kill be the Absolute Ownage? I can see it now "yeeeah, i pistol-whipped that fool!"

Use the BETA to expand MAG

Who knows what would have happened if this [ http://tinyurl.com/2apz2xd ] had been the official MAG commercial that ran with the frequency of a Madden or GTA ad, like the MAG Gods intended, what MAG would have been? While many of us are positive that making more people AWARE of the game would have probably given us a much larger player base,what's done is done. At this point the player base is small and dwindling due to lack of content, queue times and the lack of variety of essentially three game modes.

Why not provide the Beta to PS3 owners all over again via the PS Store, to give potential "new" players a chance to experience the 256 player mayhem we all know and love so much? Exposing a "refreshed" game to people who may have heard of it (or not) could be just the thing to drive player numbers through the stratosphere and give MAG the new recruits she needs so much.

Suggestion: Access to CNI in Respawn

Its simple, really. We'd like access to the CNI while we're respawning. You've got to admit, its downtime that we could be making much more productive use of our time in. Coordinating attacks, locating allies and seeing what assets need repairing is vital.

If there's some reason it can't be done we've yet to hear of it. Sounds like a quick patch fix to us.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

MAG Police Case #1: "Floating"

Recently it has come to our attention that unscrupulous players are able to use the physics behind "rezzing" teammates to float (yes--that's float, people..as in "flying") to previously inaccessible places on the MAG environments. We can't stress enough how this is a totally game-imbalancing glitch far exceeding the level of things like Lag-Switching and Console-Glitching. We can only hope that this (and the people involved) will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

Can you say BANNED? Because we sure as heck can.

In Game Economy? Niiiice...

One of my favorite quotes says: "Sometimes its darkest right before the Dawn." Things just keep getting better and better. MAG's demise was greatly exaggerated wouldn't you say? While many thought that MAG was being phased out of Zipper's plans to make way for SOCOM 4, it seems the minds at Zipper were actually making serious changes to the way we play and enjoy MAG. The game is evolving, and this is a GOOD thing. a GREAT thing in fact.

We're getting new skills, a better separation of Skills and Equipment, better Skill Classes and to top it all off? New Weapons (long overdue) can you tell i'm a little excited?

read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/25y8yvm


As true MAGGOTS we simply can't help but be excited about the long-awaited three faction game-type being released in BETA forum on 8/24. What true MAG fan hasn't been longing for this?

Some of the details include 32 members per faction, multi-phase objectives and the large-scale maps MAG is famous for. Could it GET any better? Let's keep in mind that Escalation is still in BETA--unbalances are expected and need to be pointed out! We simply aren't responsible for some of you Valor whiners getting another Elk Bay to defend. The time for feedback is NOW people!

Suggestion: Spotting

This is a little gem that Bologna Skaters from the official MAG Forums contributed. We've hears similar suggestions in the form of Personal Waypoints and the like but we have to say his seemed to be the most thorough and well thought-out idea. Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/32lw9hz

Just the thing for those pesky little snipers, eh? And who can forget the drivers who've turned hiding vehicles into an art form.

Clan Wars you say?

Color me disappointed. I have a few friends that feel the same way. When we heard Clan Wars were coming after a long time we thought we'd see a few of my buddies from OSG duking it out with IMP, GUN going head to head with the Euro Forum Ravens or The Dark Flock and 6D9 having at it. But now the truth comes out and we've essentially been given the ability to form large supergroups? (an ability we had before that some genius took away) An organized Clan Deploy against randoms?


Some of us almost feel like we were downright "Bait and Switched". It seems as if elements at Zipper have been trying to keep clans from having a solid foothold in MAG since the game started. Aren't we the ones keeping the game alive? Many of us kept playing because of the promise of clan wars, and we fear that many long-time players may now quit because they were TOLD Clan Wars would finally be coming, and now the rug has been pulled our from under them at the 11th hour.

Our recommendation? Make an announcement regarding the implementation of the Clan Features that were promised initially as quickly as reasonably possible. While we can certainly understand setbacks/this mode being difficult to implement, clans are an integral part of this game--don't freeze us out.