The computer gaming industry gets bigger every other day and even though casual gamers have their needs taken care of by mobile devices, avid gamers are not going to give up on traditional desktop gaming experience any time soon. As technology advances, it has become possible for laptops to pack a lot of power and coupled with their portability most people prefer them to desktops as a better choice for their gaming needs. Besides, the power bequeathed to laptops to enable flawless gaming can also be substituted for resource demanding applications like those used for graphics design and video editing. The good thing about gaming laptops is that they can be adopted for use as conventional desktop computers when need arises.
An ASUS K501LX review
One of the first things you are bound to notice about the new Asus K501LX is its new shape which differs completely from the standard design Asus would be expected to conform to. The new design easily passes as sleek and attractive; the shape is complemented by a dark blue aluminum-brushed metallic cover which was probably chosen to make the K501LX stand out from the pool of models which make up Asus gaming line. Still dwelling on design specifications, the laptop is 0.9 inches wide which is fairly thin and weighs an incredibly light 4.4 pounds.
For gaming laptops, power is more important than a pretty design. The K501LX sports a 5th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, a discreet NVDIA GeForce GTX GPU, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 256 GB Solid State Drive. With GeForce GTX graphics, you can be assured that the laptop will support most of the tittles which were released recently as well as Direct X 11. You get a 15.6-inch Full HD display for an enhanced gaming experience although it also doubles up as a great feature for people who intend to spend as much time watching movies on their new laptop.
It is useless for a laptop to have a lot of power if its architecture does not allow for efficient cooling. Gaming applications impose heavy demand on a laptop’s resources which explains why manufacturers have perpetually been trying to improve their cooling technologies. The K501LX features Asus IceCool technology and the Smart Dual Fan Cooling System. You might want to note that the laptops CPU clocks at 2.4 GHz (Turbo 3.0 GHz).
With regards to connectivity, you get two USB 2.0 ports, the same number of USB 3.0 ports, wireless and Ethernet connectivity, a HDMI port and an SD card slot. The machine ships in with Windows 8.1 and a free Windows 10 update.
Other features worth noting
Said that the K501LX has a great design, you certainly expect nothing less of a Chiclet style and backlit keyboard. The touchpad is fairly big and highly responsive although you will want to purchase a gaming mouse for convenience.
ASUS K501LX Pros
Packs a lot of power for a machine in its price range
Takes a short period of time to attain a full charge
ASUS K501LX Cons
Does not come with an optical drive
Audio is not so great
Low storage capacity for people who do a lot of gaming
With so many high quality MMORPGs available, there’s no excuse to have no such game in your collection. The recent trend of genre blending in massive multiplayer games is perfectly exemplified by this list where survival, strategy, adventure, fantasy and action abound. If you are looking for the best MMORPG games for PC, look no further; you won’t find better value than this.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
World of Warcraft is without any doubt the most popular MMORPG in existence. Despite having more than 10 years of age, the online PC game continues to gain thousands of new fans everyday. The Warlords of Draenor expansion is the latest chapter in Warcraft’s fantasy world, where Blizzard renews the game for the loyal 7 million WoW subscribers and, at the same time, introduces it to a new generation. In this new adventure, Azeroth heroes face a conflict involving powerful orc clans and the mythical draenei. Players have to survive in this epic and harsh world while searching for allies to build a strong defense against the fearsome Horde enemies. Gromash Hellscream, Gul’dan and company are fearsome adversaries at the peak of their strength.
The Elder Scrolls Online
The premise behind The Elder’s Scroll Online is very simple: to combine the best elements of the dearest RPG of all times with the cooperative model of massively multiplayer games. Legions of players around the world have been asking for something like this since 2002. After all, how cool would it be to play something like World of Warcraft in the wonderful world of Tamriel? ZeniMax Online Studios heard our prayers and began developing The Elder’s Scroll Online in 2004. After seven years in development, the dream was turned into reality: the game was released in 2014. Just like the other games of the series, the narrative of the new MMORPG gives players yet another amazing adventure that is just as exciting and has as much to do as the open world action RPG versions. For all this, The Elder’s Scroll MMORPG spin-off also earns a place in this list.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Have you ever imagined what is it like to wake up naked and starving on a remote island far from civilization, and cohabited by prehistoric wildlife and other humans who have no intent of being nice to you? What could you do to survive in such hostile world? ARK: Survival Evolved will give you just that experience. Independently developed and published by Studio Wildcard, this interesting survival game throws players into the ultimate survival experience. Players have to explore the island’s environment in search of resources and food that grant the abilities to build shelters, weapons, and even to domesticate and explore the abilities of more than 60 types of dinosaurs. The multiplayer mode allows dozens of players to play simultaneously, and the interesting aspect is that whether players opt to cooperate or be hostile dictates the social dynamics during the game. Although the game is still in being developed, its brilliant premise already provides a good dose of fun and entertainment for MMORPG fans.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
As you can imagine, the development of an MMO game is a costly endeavor; and the launch of such games is most often a case of “hit or miss.” That is, it either makes a big splash on the market and earns enough fan base to remain profitable on the long-term, or it falls flat tremendously, forcing developers to readjust their business model or even to close doors (or servers). But with Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix has achieved the unthinkable: after launching a critical and commercial disaster, the studio was able to bring the MMORPG title back to life. Their merit came from the fact that they were humble enough to value players’ feedback, recognize their failure, turn back and started again. And in doing so, Square Enix has created an excellent MMORPG spin-off from one of the most successful and famous video game franchises of all times.
Another survival game for MMORPG fans. This time, the action occurs in a rural area of the United States during a zombie apocalypse. H1Z1 is, in fact, inspired on DayZ – an open world survival game that has been raved by critics. The difference is that H1Z1 emphasizes the cooperative element between players. This is very much like the video game version of The Walking Dead television series, except that players have no family. You have to scavenge the environment for food and weapons, craft shelters and tools, and engage in team-work in order to defeat crazy zombies and thousands of hostile human players in a major bloodfest. This game was released at the beginning of this year, but just like ARK: Survival Evolved it remains in development phase. The promising title is being developed by Daybreak Game Company.
Richard Bartle’s very well read Players who Suit Muds is an essay designed to give players and designers a way to talk about Player Types. It’s an incredibly useful tool, and was later made into a test designed to measure your Bartle Quotient. If you’ve ever seen someone’s signature and it said something like “34% Explorer, 42% Socializer”, they were referring to their results from the Bartle test. This is all well and good, but how do the concepts of Player Types actually help us as players? It’s nice to be able to brand yourself in such a way that people understand you, but what is the benefit? In the past, the different MMOGs have been examined for what kinds of players they mainly appeal to. I’m going to go into some specifics today as regards how the different player types will interact with some of the newer games that we’ve seen become available. Down at the bottom of this article I’ve included a list of most of the major MMOGs and the player types they cater to.
Final Fantasy XI
If the state of New Hampshire is for lovers, Vana D’iel is for Achievers. The textual backdrop of the major cities is interesting, and the quests you use to explore the world are entertaining…but the game is really all about the next level. The job system enforces the achiever viewpoint through the subjob system. Being able to switch jobs is a really great feature, but it requires a good deal of leveling just for the sake of leveling. The game rewards this level gain through changes in the types of creatures you face. While your initial newbie zones are very limited in what creatures you face, the amount of xp you recieve quickly diminishes as you gain in level, forcing you to move to greener pastures. The quirky quests and this tendency to implore you to travel ahead means that FFXI is also fairly appropriate for explorers. While they may not appreciate the game’s main thrust as much, it’s hard to argue with a series of quests in which you work for a gang of kids who really like onions.
World of Warcraft
Some people have tried to understand why, besides the Blizzard brand name, World of Warcraft has proven so popular. Given the predilections of most MMOG players, it’s actually easy to understand. Something like 60% of all Massively Multiplayer Players peg themselves as explorers. And World of Warcraft is an explorer’s dream. The game has a rich questing system that draws you into the game world, rewards your efforts to aid those around you, and encourages you to travel. In point of fact, you receive experience for exploring! Entering a new area reveals the details of the geography on your world map and deposits a hundred xp or more into your hot little hand. On more than one occasion I’ve gained a level just from entering a new area. Beyond that, World of Warcraft features enough shiny loot and bad guys to squish to make even the most jaded Achiever happy. The best part about WoW is that Achievers will not be inclined to leave the game after only a few weeks of playing, as the questing system will ensure they can do more than just grind away to reach the next level. It’s crazy, involving the players in the game world makes them want to stay? Who woulda thought?
A Tale in the Desert
This very different game shows one of the weaknesses of the traditional Bartle types. In reality there needs to be an axis governing how much a player wants to craft. If there was, ATITD would fall far to the crafty end of that axis. There, it would spike a ball and do a little dance. In traditional Player Types, ATITD is co-inhabited peacefully by the Explorers and Socializers amongst us. The ends of the earth are almost certainly how far you have to go to get to some of the rarest materials in the game. Wandering amongst the different areas of Egypt will improve your trade and your knowledge of the land. On a more talkative level, trade with other players is almost a necessity. Going it alone would be an enormous challenge, and most players do end up joining guilds at one point or another in the game. Guild leading, Guild Politics, Guilds drama….ahh socializers. There are also some really interesting mini-games you can use to pass the time, giving socializers an in-game reason to spend time chatting with people.
Star Wars Galaxies
Everything under the two suns of Tatooine would be the best way to describe the Player mix of SWG. According the Bartle test results, Star Wars features an almost dead heat between all four player types. Each of them is separated by only a few points. Explorers, as the most common type of Player, come out on top by a mere two or three percentage points. Explorers in SWG are in a hog’s heaven. Explorers in Galaxies have acres and acres of planetary body to explore, player cities to build, and ships and caves and ruins to delve. Right on their heels, the Socializers of MMOGdom have descended on Galaxies in droves. Not all of them are shaking their wookie-makers, but the Entertainer class has ensured that there will always be a role for the chatty Cathy’s of the galaxy far, far away. Politicians are another great expression of this traditional player type, allowing the natural leaders of a community to have a recognized role with some real influence over the play of the game. With expanding roles for both classes in upcoming patches, Socializers can look forward to a long future of conversation and relationships.
Finally, a look at the types of most of the major US games. As you’ll notice, overwhelmingly these games appeal to the Explorer type. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. First, it’s good marketing sense. The overwhelming majority of MMOGers are Explorers, right? So catering to the audience is the best approach. Additionally, statistically speaking most Developers are Explorers too. Building a game that you would like to play only makes sense to me. These statistics come directly from the Bartle Test page’s results information.
Everquest Achiever – Explorer – Socializer
Ultima Online Explorer – Socializer – Achiever
Dark Age of Camelot Explorer – Achiever – Socializer
Asheron’s Call Explorer – Achiever – Socializer
Star Wars Galaxies Explorer – Socializer – Achiever
Anarchy Online Explorer – Achiever – Socializer
Shadowbane Killer – Explorer – Achiever