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The Angry Roleplayer

The extensive rantings of a man about his games and the companies who make them.

Author: Mystik86

The Secret World - The Undeserving #1

Posted by Mystik86 Saturday April 20 2013 at 10:31PM
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I posted this in a thread about TSW being the current number 1 MMO on the site and didn't want my opinion to fade into obscurity:

 

Going to throw my two cents in here.

First off I cannot even begin to understand why or how this game is #1 for released games right now. I'll give some examples of why it shouldn't even be part of the top 5. Before I begin I will say that I beta tested, preordered, and played this game putting in several months and reaching rank 10 gear/skills before I became absolutely bored as tits and left. I'm also a huge fan of the urban horror genre and it takes a lot to make me sick of a game in that genre. 

Going to list some reasons in numbered points with explanations:

1) Character creation is just bad. As a fan of character customization and uniqueness I was sorely disappointed with TSW's character creation system. It didn't even come close to Age of Conan's which featured enough customization to, for the most part, create a unique looking character. It boggles my brain why both games run on the same engine yet TSW, the newer game, has far inferior character creation going almost as far as making WoW's chargen look better by comparison. In a battle between presets and actual sliders the presets always lose, especially for a roleplayer.

2) Combat is plain and boring and worse than button mashing. Again, it's got a dramatically downgraded combat system compared to Funcom's Age of Conan which in my opinion has the best combat system out of any MMO that isn't twitch-based. There is no skill required and sitting there hitting 1-3 abilities over and over again doing dick all damage to the mobs is quite frankly more boring than LotRO's sorry excuse for combat. This is by far the biggest fail of TSW.

3) Small zones which purposely encourage developer laziness and a poor excuse for no mounts. The zones are so small that there is no way we will ever see mounts in the game. You'd think with a slick ubran horror game with all it's touted features it'd have larger zones, even adding 10-30% more landmass to each zone would make vehicles/riding animals viable. Nope, Funcom decided against one of the biggest staples of MMOs. Some may disagree but walking and running is boring and the lack of mounts takes away an important layer of gameplay.

4) A themepark MMO wrapped in a psuedo-sandbox skin. The game mechanics were designed, in my opinion, for a much larger world with some sandbox elements yet for whatever reason (likely laziness, lack of funds, creative drive) Funcom decided to turn it into a cleverly packaged themepark. Looking at the amazing investigation missions, the only part of the game requiring skill, you'd think they'd fit better in a sandbox.

5) Small population. Population always felt small. Never saw many players running around and getting groups for missions and dungeons was difficult at best. Even if you did manage to get a full group for something it seemed that almost ever tank I ever found was improperly decked or geared. The deck system favors certain builds and many of them were DPS. It was very difficult to find player-made builds that worked well to rank 10 and coupled with the lack of players it made group play a rare but disappointing feat.

6) Informed players spoke, nobody listened. As a result the game goes B2P with paid DLC. The players who would have otherwise kept TSW from going that route left because of some of the stuff I've stated above. People would have been willing to pay a monthly sub and continue playing if we didn't have to pay for DLC or waste time with a cash shop. I'm sure 80% of TSW's original supporters would have stayed if Funcom had made the game a little more vast, a little more open and a little more sandboxy as well.

My biggest gripes with TSW are points 1 to 4. 6 isn't so bad, but I will likely never play the game again or pay for DLC. A game with these flaws doesn't deserve to be #1 nor a top 5 candidate. Out of the total amount of MMOs on the market today I'd say TSW should fall between the #10-#20 range. Pretty graphics and a decent fully-voiced storyline do not compensate for the failures I've listed. Sorry fanboys. Sorry Funcom. You fail.

What Happened?

Posted by Mystik86 Tuesday April 9 2013 at 3:55AM
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Well friends... I haven't published a blog entry in several years. Funny that even though I'd practically all but forgotten about this site that I still occasionally stop by to check in. I haven't done a whole lot since 2009 (wow, a whopping 4 years or so since my last post!) but it is safe to say that I haven't strayed far from the genre.

The last time I posted a blog entry I had begun to lose hope that a good MMO would ever be released again. A few games came that I tried, enjoyed and inevitably quit. I recall returning to WoW a few times to check out expansions. After Mists of Pandaria I lost all hope in Blizzard's ability to do anything. For the past four years I've juggled games like Fallen Earth, WoW, FFXIV, APB, SWG, Tera, Rift, Age of Conan, Champions Online, Star Trek Onlne, GW2, TSW and SWTOR. TOR was my main game for several months, with two long breaks in between and a planned and likely brief return for the new "expansion" coming in a few days. I've currently been playing Fallen Earth again and enjoying it though I'm finding there isn't enough to do even with it being a sandbox.

My tastes haven't really changed in four years but I still yearn for a better game. The hope I once had for that ever happening was lost but has briefly at times been rekindled. Recently I'd hoped that Defiance would have been a great new title to play but after reading about it I'm back on the fence on whether to buy or not. My hope was very much rekindled when I learned of Elder Scrolls Online but I've since lost the feeling of it being the MMO saviour. I still actually have high hopes for World of Darkness Online if it ever sees the light of day (no pun intended).

Many new releases have come and gone. Nothing has really struck me as that great. Game companies have seemingly stooped to even new lows what with crapfests like The War Z and the endless supply of new WoW clones still being pumped out of the redundance machine and yet more companies seem to be pumping out terrible quality "Korean grindfest" type games both in mechanics and graphics. I'm even seeing a ton of indie developers trying to pawn off this side-scrolling/2D bullshit attempting to capitalize on people's nostalgia. Sickening really.

It would seem that game companies, especially those of MMO titles still haven't learned a good God damned thing. SWTOR is one of many living proofs of the current MMO trend. I'm really sick and tired of holding my breath for something worth playing. It really has been some deviant plan all these years as game companies treat their customers like idiots just waiting to suck up any and all cash they can muster up. Why the hell on earth are you people still giving them your money? Hell, why the fuck am I still giving them my money? We truly are the idiots they think we are and we are perpetuating our own misery.

When I stop to consider it all it really makes me sick how pathetic and desperate we MMO players truly are. We'll latch on to anything that looks remotely decent merely because it's all we have. I feel that as a gamer and hardcore MMO/RPer that something truly needs to be done. The problem is that I suspect the trend will continue. Companies will keep doing what they are doing which is ruining the entire gaming industry and actually helping to make the next generation of kids dumber than ever.

What happened people? What the fuck happened?

Behind the Avatar, Beyond the Monitor

Posted by Mystik86 Sunday November 1 2009 at 6:04PM
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Have you ever wondered about the people behind the avatars they play? Beyond those monitors sit some very colorful characters each with a wonderful array of skills, attributes, thoughts, feelings and desires. Behind the avatar you sit, but have you ever considered why you or other players act the way they do? Besides personality types, IQs and general demeanors could there be other reasons as to why Player "A" is a jerk and Player "B" is a kind, yet quiet individual? In this article I seek to find out what makes the man or woman behind the mask of their avatar, and perhaps shed some light on things I myself have wondered about but could never find answers to.

The Comfort Factor

First I'd like to take a look at what I consider to be one of the biggest factors in player demeanor and overall behaviour during gaming sessions. The comfort one feels while playing or working for extended periods of time on the computer I feel is an integral part to how they act. I know that if I amsitting in older model of chair designed at the dawn of the PC age I will have a sore back, sore legs and sore neck. Let's take for example your typical low-back, non-tilting, no-cushioning flat pad chair that can only move up or down for heights. The back rest is usually hard and flat, supposedly designed to contour to your lower/mid back regions but without any cushion support. Being a low-back support, I find it forces be to be hunched over while I play or work. The seat of the chair is usually rather uncomfortable as well and after about two hours I start feeling pain in my buttock region.

By the time I am through maybe 2-3 hours of gaming I am in physical pain and not the best of moods. I find that if I stick around longer and endure the pain I will be more inclined to act out towards other players and generally act like a complete dickhead to those around me. I use this example because I recently was using a chair like this which caused me to stay away from the computer and actually made me in a worse mood because of it. After upgrading to a much nicer, more modern manager's high-back chair (netting in at about $169.99 CAD plus tax) I have found that I can sit on it for 6 plus hours without pain and be in a much better mood. My back, arms and neck are supported nicely as well as my ass being good and cushioned. Nowadays I'd suggest spending a fair amount of coin on chairs especially if you're going to do a lot of extended gaming sessions. You will most likely be spending $100 all the way into the thousands of dollars for this accessory but as I said above I bought mine for under $200. For the less-advantaged gamer I'd suggest either keeping to a range of $100 to $300 or make your own (which I'll cover next).

If you don't have much coin to spare have no fear as there are some neat solutions out there. There is the homemade route and it can be just as nice as any expensive manager or exec chair. My personal favorite homemade gaming chair is the homemade BMW luxury model front seat. You can find one relatively cheap from most auto-wreckers or parts dealers. You don't have to go for BMW though as you can go any make or model. The top suggestions I'd say would be BMW, Buick or Cadillac. Keep in mind you will most likely have to design the chair from the seat down (neumatics, height adjustment, tilting, casters). Making your own chair can be fun and very cost efficient and will satisfy you all the same as a "real" computer chair.

I could suggest plenty of chairs to buy but you'd be better off sticking to your budget and if you are buying retail, stay OVER 150 bucks. Manager or executive chairs are the way to go as well as the stylish Sumo brand of gaming chairs. I don't mention desks because I have no real preference. The comfort is all in the chair for me.

The Fullness Factor

Food. Yes, food. Many people often forget to eat when they game. It often slips my mind from time to time and I ignore my instincts, but not only is it wrong to starve in lieu of gaming but it is very unhealthy to do so as well. If you suffer from diabetes or hypoglycemia and are an avid gamer who typically ignores the grumbling menace known as hunger, you may do and say some things you can really regret later. Even people without those afflictions can have mood swings from lack of nourishment. When I don't eat I often become angry, annoyed, tired and sad. I find that after eating I will generally have a ton of energy and be in a good mood. Even if you aren't a big eater, you may want to consider some snacks to munch on during the long sessions, as well as a thirst quencher of course. I don't mean energy drinks either. Water, juice, milk and teas can be great company to whatever munchies you're packing and will keep you from dying of dehydration of course.

I still say to each their own on this one as only you know what you like and don't like, and what your limits are. Common sense helps too as well.

The Body Wellness Factor

As gamers many of us are subject to a wide array of shut-in afflictions such as obesity, lack of sunshine (paleness), loss of muscle and of course laziness. There are many other health issues people may have as a result of sitting on the computer all the time but I think weight gain is the most dangerous of them all. I myself suffer from obesity and have been for a very long time. It's not fun and a lot of it is a result of late night gaming and junk food blitzes. This one relates to what and when you eat as well so keep that in mind. If you're like me then you probably tend to skip meals and have a big binge at some point during your day. This has been proven to be bad for your body for a number of reasons, one of those being that your body holds on to the fat and stores it abnormally. This causes weight gain and can lead to other related issues. Your metabolism slows down to a crawl and you find that no matter what you eat, you cannot lose the weight. The answer is simple, though. Three square meals a day with small snacks in between. This means a large breakfast, mid-sized lunch and a small dinner with snacks to fill the gaps. The snacks should be healthy things like fruit or veggies. You should also refrain from eating close to your bed time as your body doesn't break things down the same way when you sleep.

Exercise can make a difference too. It doesn't have to be a huge workout or anything, but it needs to get your heart beating. A brisk walk around the block, a few situps or a 20 minute aerobic session can do the trick. Combine that with eating at the proper times and the right amounts and you will keep the weight down even as a gamer (or a hermit).

Sleep is a big part of wellness of the body too. Getting the right amount of sleep for your age bracket is crucial to your success. Teens and young adults usually sleep for around 8 hours or so. Adults typically ranging from 19 to 50 will typically sleep around 10 hours while elderly people will sleep 6-8 hours or less. You might not fit into the norm though so find the amount right for you. At 23 currently I need about 10-12 hours of sleep to function at full capacity.

The Mental Wellness Factor

Tragically many gamers or computer addicts have mental issues either caused by chemical imbalance or some form of psychotic breakdown. A typical mental ailment is GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a result of depression. Personally I suffer from depression and anxiety and can sometimes let it take over and ruin my gaming sessions. I've had breakdowns during nightly raids, anxiety attacks while grinding experience and the constant feelings of derealization and depersonalization. It can take a toll on your life and especially your gaming.

When you feel down and out, you may push it on your friends who will sometimes not want to hear about it. People might think you're crazy and not want to be around you anymore. You may find you take out your aggression on others which can severely disrupt your gaming life. None of it is pretty and it's not a fun time for you or anyone else around you. Your best solution in this department is to seek psychiatric help and obtain either medication or another treatment plan to get things under control.

Sometimes meds won't do it either. Sometimes you need therapy, guidance from others like you or from registered professionals. Sometimes you may even need a drastic life change. This might mean putting a dying marriage to rest, moving to a new part of the country or seeking out a new profession. Often times dwelling on the past can really screw a person up and so in order to fix that you need to make a change and try something new. It's not always easy but can be well worth it and may eventually get you back to your regular gaming self.

A big thing to remember too is that your real life comes first. See to it that your RL affairs are in order before escaping to another realm.


Overall I'd like to note that I am not a professional in the fields of nutrition, body or mental wellness, but a gamer with some advice from my own experiences. Take it or leave it. Even if you are a well-rested, comfortable, healthy individual you may just be plain miserable for whatever reason and may just act like a dick all the time in which case my advice won't help you.

Tips For Efficient Roleplay (Part 3)

Posted by Mystik86 Saturday October 10 2009 at 6:38PM
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After many months of blogging hiatus I am back to bring you the third installment of TFERP (Tips For Efficient Roleplay). In part 3 I'd like to go over some tips that will help you roleplay efficiently while being a power gamer, a feat many aren't comfortable with...

Tip #13:

DO - Level as fast as you like while stopping here and there to roleplay with your guild/clan or random folks. Make the leveling process into a "journey" and try to keep your head in the place of your character's.

DON'T - Assume the fun of roleplay can only be had at max level. From the beginning to the end your character can roleplay and be a force to be reckoned with. While you may not possess the literal power that others of higher level have, you can still pretend you are just as powerful as they are.

 

Tip #14:

DO - Play through a game's given content at any speed you wish, but try to pick up on the general storyline as you go. If no set storyline exists, relate what's going on to the original lore and make it into your own legendary tale to tell later.

DON'T - Rush through the content and form your own story based on what you saw without taking any time to read up on what has actually occurred. You may end up making a fool of yourself later.

 

Tip #15:

DO - Join groups or raids and roleplay your character. Sometimes a gigantic adventure is just what people need to breathe new life into an otherwise menial task. Keep in mind that you will usually require a guild that does roleplay to make this work. (See TFERP pt2, tip #7).

DON'T - Join a group or raid expecting to roleplay if most or all of the other members are purely power gamers. You'll usually be removed or blacklisted just because you enjoy roleplay... (I know, believe me, I do).

 

Tip #16:

DO - Attempt to incorporate roleplay into PvP (for the PvP power-gamer RPer). It can make for one of the single best experiences one can have during playtime...

DON'T - Roleplay in PvP at the expense of being efficient in combat. Your friends will disown you. Note that roleplaying during PvP is no easy task and usually requires a great deal of effort to accomplish. A speech before the battle begins or during a rest sequence or when you are safe for a moment are usually the best times to do this...

 

Tip #17:

DO - Use what you have and what you know as props for good roleplay. If you have a pauldron made of bones and fur, use that as a prop for a story to tell your guild/clan mates.

DON'T - Use novelty items that have no real use or lore behind them in the game as props. For example: The developers host an event that showcases a RL event such as the Olympics in the form of an Olympic tabard or t-shirt. Your proud character shows up wearing these things and claims he won them by competing in these RL sports. Not really lore-friendly or acceptable in the eyes of other roleplayers. This is unless the game is based directly on RL events, set in a time when the Olympics would occur, then it would be alright.

 

Tip #18:

DO - Be a contender in both technical aspects of the game and fantasy aspects. Be the best raider, PvPer and roleplayer. The experiences you have as a player can be translated nicely into your character's experiences for great roleplay opportunities.

DON'T - Be a jackass about it. Nobody likes an elitist... Not even a roleplayer elitist.

My Top Prospects For 2010-2011

Posted by Mystik86 Sunday August 16 2009 at 1:52AM
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Hello there folks and welcome to yet another edition of my humble blog (moving soon to Blogger.com). Today I'd like to talk about a few games that I have now considered to be prospective heavy-hitters for the next year and years to come. I'll be writing this in a top 5 format to keep things neat and tidy.

5. Earthrise

This is a game that has been simmering for some time now and is starting to look like something very much worth playing. It has two major things going for it and those are it's post-apocalyptic theme and it's stunning graphics. Though I won't say those are the only major factors in considering this game as one of my prospects as there are a few other things that make Earthrise a breath of fresh air.

The story seems solid and I for one love a good story. It appears that the story won't always be your main focus though and that's a good thing. There will be opportunities for roleplayers to create new stories within the game through their actions and this makes it truly special to me.

Character development looks pretty solid on the whole too and should make for an interesting run through of the game's core content. I can't wait to try this tasty tidbit out when it launches (Q4 2009 possible, but I bet it'll be pushed back to Q1 2010).

4. Star Wars: The Old Republic

There was no doubt in my mind when I first heard about SW:TOR that it would make for a pleasant surprise. From what we've learned thus far I believe this game will definitely deliver, though I do not think it'll take a number one spot on the charts. We don't yet know enough about a lot of things to really say if it'll stay in the top 5 or sink below, but one thing is for sure and that is that SW:TOR will be a blast for diehard fans and newcomers to the franchise.

Graphics could be better, but nobody knows if what we've seen will be final. I know sometimes devs will not show the true polish on their game's graphics until it's launch is imminent. I'm not bothered by the current level of detail and know that Bioware can deliver even without Mass Effect caliber graphics.

One thing that sets this one apart from the rest too is the very fact that Bioware is developing it (with the help of LucasArts and Mythic) and that should prove to be a pretty lucrative deal. I don't expect to see any BS from them on this but time will tell...

3. Champions Online

What can I say about Champions that isn't already known by so many? It's definitely going to be a game for the masses and one that I, as a comic book reader and artist, have already become addicted to. It delivers on nearly every aspect of it's core design and is destined to be one of the big boys out there. I think CO scares a lot of CoX fans too because it threatens to take away a large chunk of loyal customers but that doesn't worry me as my time in CoX was filled with drama, boredom, lust and betrayal.

Now, I can't say anything else really since the NDA won't be lifted until Monday (maybe, we don't know yet), but rest assured this game is built on the foundations of greatness. The Champions IP is a solid one and caters to those of us looking for the roleplaying factor. The opportunities for roleplay are endless and this can be seen in some of the things that have been done in the game (more on that on Monday when I deliver my full featured review).

Champions, in my opinion, will most likely hold a spot in the top 5 for a good long time to come and while I can't say it'll kill Blizzard's numbers with WoW, it will certainly try (but who the fuck cares about killing WoW).

2. The Secret World

I don't care what anyone says or thinks about this game, Funcom or not, it will be something we've all been wanting and waiting for. It seems to have an interesting story to it and it definitely won't disappoint on the graphics so what can we say about the rest?

Not much is known about anything but the few screenshots and snippets of details floating around the internet. From what I understand no details about the core mechanics have been released yet and probably won't be for some time, but that doesn't stop me from putting this game as number 2 on the list.

TSW dips into a vastly neglected genre for MMOs and that's horror. We've only seen maybe one or two horror themed MMOs which haven't really delivered on the horror part and I think TSW actually will. I think you will be afraid to enter that old abandoned hospital or search that dark basement where the moans and groans are coming from. You will think twice about everything you do and that gets my juices flowing.

We need a game that makes us feel real emotion, even if only fear, instead of the mindless crap available these days.

1. World of Darkness (Online)

Now after reading the title of my number 1 choice you may be thinking, "How do you know it'll even be around next year or 2011?", I have to just say that by the time the hype starts for this game you will be drooling like hungry dogs. WoD is a strong IP with a long history, most notably with the Vampire and Werewolf IPs attached to this universe. People have been waiting for a game to come out using this IP and I for one had a braingasm when I first heard about the White Wolf/CCP merge a couple years back.

Building on the strengths of both the IP and the developer behind this game-to-be I think it's safe to say that we will not be disappointed. This will be one of the first MAJORLY successful RP/Action/Sandbox MMORPGs ever created, and will have devoted fanboys and haters raging like never seen before. I foresee a great war between the two "factions" of players and can't wait to cover it.

Overall, WoD is not a name you will soon forget and that brings much hope to the many of us searching for the one game to rule us all (LoTR reference, lol).

 

And that concludes the list. Please note that these are my personal prospects and in no way do I claim that any of what I've said will come true (except WoD, cause seriously guys). Hopefully my opinion can be respected as such, an opinion.

Reviving My Lust For MMOGs

Posted by Mystik86 Wednesday August 5 2009 at 5:09AM
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It's been a while since I posted a blog and that is due to my recent loss of interest in online gaming. It's not so much because online games aren't cutting it, but I've tried every game worth trying and am so very tired of the offerings on the table right now.

As a gamer I enjoy being delighted by games new and old and over time I have found my own personal gaming gems and stuck with them. One game that held me for 6 years was Diablo 2/LoD. I spent many summers enjoying that game until there was nothing left. I even made a brief comeback last year just to see how things were going in the world of Sanctuary. As with most good things though, my enjoyment of Diablo 2 came to an end when I realized I'd done everything I ever wanted to do in that game.

The same goes for many MMOGs I have played in my lifetime. I haven't achieved every goal or participated in every event I wanted to in most of these games but have found that I got what I put into it, no matter how big or small the contribution.

So what does one do when the well of seemingly infinite games dries up? We drift into what I like to call the "Gamer's Depression." Whether it's real or not I believe that when you run out of things to enjoy you can fall into a sort of depression that in turn can affect you in real-life. It may not be serious for some people but can definitely turn your average happy-go-lucky player into a pile of mush. Gaming is serious business for some people and it often occupies a lot of their time. I find that when I am not doing something productive I am playing a game but when that element of my life is no longer fun I have all this time to waste. One thing I hate more than a lack of games to fulfill my gaming life is wasting time doing nothing.

Lately this has become a major problem for me. I've found my spare time spent sitting staring at my monitor, hoping that there's something out there I've not touched, something I can discover to give me that feeling of having the time of my life again, but of course it never happens. Instead I search the same websites over and over only to find the same nonsense I've been seeing for months. No new games, no fun to be had.

This year, in my opinion, has been one of the worst for MMOs being released. There's been nothing particularly new and exciting and most games that have been released have left a bad taste in my mouth. Mainly this is because most of these games are Asian grindfests that have little to no meaning to anyone anymore. The summer thus far has been the worst one for me so far. All we've been getting are teasers for games that won't see the light of day until next year and even then nobody can be sure of when they'll arrive. Even some games that are being shown off to look practically finished don't have any release dates and this has been majorly frustrating for me.

There may be hope though. With Champions Online and Aion due out in September you can be sure that I will be right in there attempting to have a good time.

Aion CBT 4 On The Horizon

Posted by Mystik86 Friday July 17 2009 at 2:37AM
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The title says it all. In a few hours (It's about to hit 3AM EST) we will see the start of Aion's 4th closed beta test. This weekend's playtest features both Elyos and Asmodian sides as well as the Abyss and the ability to reach level 25. It should serve as a great weekend for anyone in the CBT or entering for the first time.

While we wait though I'd like to go over my thoughts on Aion thus far and how I believe it may be the next big thing to compete with the WoW market.

 

Character Creation/Customization

By far one of the most advanced character creation systems I have ever had the pleasure of using. By now it's no secret that Aion utilizes an Oblivion-styled chargen slider system for pretty much every facial feature available. They also allow you to scale your character's body and make it as tiny or as large as you can (within their limits). Though you're limited to only two races, the Elyos and Asmodians, you are able to make them as unique and different as you want and can easily distinguish yourself from others in the game.

It comes as no shock to me as I have forseen this level of character customization coming for some time now. It's something I have needed and wanted desperately for roleplaying and has only been seen in a select few games (AoC; you could use sliders but it wasn't as good as Aion's, VG and EQ2). It sure as hell beats your typical head and hair choices that most MMOs offer and is a fresh breath of air for the personalization aspect of games.

It's also possible to create your own face if you're skilled enough with the sliders, and if you prefer, a celebrity's face. The options are truly endless and time in the character creation section can be a game in itself.

 

Starting Out

As with all MMORPGs you will have to start out as a simple little person in a gigantic and wonderous world. You begin your life in a typical newbie area and work your way up to the "real" stuff over the course of an hour or two. It doesn't take long to get from 1 to 6 and by that time you're well on your way to the real deal. By level 9 you can choose your subclass and soon after at 10 you are officially through with the newbie zone.

Upon reaching level 10 (and if you're finished with everything in the starter zone) you will proceed to a ceremony that will allow you to ascend to the status of Daeva which seems to be a sign of divinity and something to respect. Not that it matters much to most people, the world around you looks up (and down) on the daeva and as such you become an integral part of things going on. There is another nice perk to hitting level 10 as well and that is your first pair of wings. These wings will serve as your primary travel method when in zones that allow it (teleporters and flight masters are available too).

When all is said and done, depending on your chosen race you will be told to hit up the next area, which for me was on the Asmodian side of the tracks the first time around.

 

Advancement/Progression

As with most other games you are faced with your general, run of the mill 1-to-cap level system. Not much to say about this besides that it's a tested and true system and it works for me. I haven't gone far enough in the game to truly know much about progression besides that I do quests, gain xp, money and move on.

 

Zones

Of the zones I have seen I have loved every bit of them. So far each zone seems to have multiple themes going on. Starting out on the Asmodian side, I saw a pleasant change in the zones and found my journey to level 10 quite refreshing and definitely easy on the eyes. It's nice to see some quality landscaping for a change. Everything looked natural and very organic. It all seemed to flow together brilliantly. Colorful, lush, dense, sparse, whatever it was it just looked great.

 

Graphics

Words cannot fully describe the beauty of Aion. It is as beautiful as it is bold and definitely delivers for anyone searching for that gem of all gems. It's no secret that NCSoft has a talented staff of developers but they have certainly pushed the envelope for Aion. It makes Lineage 2 look bland in comparison, and has a unique flare going for it.

Though Aion still seems to take a more Asian approach to design it appeals to every set of eyes that gazes upon it. Flashy outfits and weapons from the start make the higher level stuff much more appealing than any other game. Rewards look and feel like rewards. Everything in this game has been carefully crafted to sweeten you up, so much so that you may have to see a dentist after playing for long periods of time. Aion is, quite simply, the proverbial eyecandy for MMO gamers, and a beacon of light for other developers to learn from. For so long now MMO gamers have suffered through subpar graphics with few exceptions and have always been years behind other games. Aion seeks to change this and is doing a wonderful job.

All in all, there's no shortage of elegance in Aion and it's worth a look even if you're not planning on playing for long.

 

Community

The community seems decent enough, though I haven't gone too deep into it yet. In my next playtest I hope to find some fellow RPers and will be actively seeking a guild that suits this purpose.

Players seem friendly enough, though I did run into one person who stole my kills. He looked like your typical WoW player and had the demeanor of a 13 year old. Needless to say, every game has it's bad apples. I hope the entirety of the playerbase doesn't include others like this person.

 

Overall

In the end Aion is a true work of art. Though the gameplay mirrors that of games already released it has a certain amount of charm that will hopefully only grow over time. One can only hope they use a mix of previous and new examples to make Aion the big one because if that happens it will kill the beast we've all sought to slay.

Darkfall Online - NA-1 Fiasco

Posted by Mystik86 Tuesday July 14 2009 at 7:17PM
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First let me say that I have followed DFO, supported and played as a neutral party. I have been relatively unbiased and have kept to myself in regards to the "whose dick is bigger" type fighting. I have looked past all of AV's shortcomings and have suffered through an unintelligent and bitter community of e-thugs. I have chopped through flesh and bone to get to the very heart of the game and after all of that I think I am nearly through.

You see, recently the community has been dealing with the announcement and now launch of the NA-1 server, something a lot of people-myself included-had been looking forward to. I even looked past the part about having to buy the client a second time (though I hated the very thought of wasting even more cash on a game twice over), but everything has changed. Reports are surfacing in regards to AV being the sole publisher of DFO both in Europe and North America. There have been people showing solid proof that AV is still handling everything but the actual server hosting. Thus far it is looking horrible for Aventurine and I can tell you that I am not pleased by their performance one bit.

It takes a lot for me to really be bothered by a developer's actions, though it seems these days most devs act without really caring about their players and dump out a multitude of stupid, unwanted or just plain bad features for their game. Most of these things are just heat-of-the-moment decisions by anxious devs to try to make a change. Aventurine's blatant lies have no benefited themselves or their playerbase whatsoever. This goes far beyond butchering their own game and dives head first into completely shafting their core base of players. They have not only lied about the NA-1 publisher but are still asking that you pay them for it. They are doing this and yet are still asking you to wait 3+ months before you may transfer if you don't wish to pay them for a second client.

Where has this ever been acceptible? Where has it ever been ok to just suddenly change the story and act like it was the sole truth ever spoken? Other publishers will tell you straight up that yes you will have to pay for the game per region and yes you will most likely not be able to transfer, but AV has straight out covered up their own lies by stating that you are limited to 1 character per account per server. I mean, it sounds like complete bullshit. Why do we allow them to set the standard of good business dealings? This is a farce and should be treated as such.

I am betting some people are still wondering if it's just a big prank, well I can say that NO it is not. If you try to find out for sure, you are silenced, and maybe even banned. It makes absolutely no sense. How on earth can Aventurine and Tasos get away with it? Hell, when you buy the NA client through paypal you seem to be paying DIRECTLY to him. As in, he seems to be the only person getting anything out of it, and he is in charge of the EU development of the game. Is it me or is something terribly fishy here? Or are we all just a bunch of morons that we accept this kind of thing as normal and go on with our lives?

I say refuse to accept this kind of shit. Do not for a second think that what AV is doing is right and just. Fight it with every breath in you because I sure as hell will be. Hit those pricks hard and REFUSE to buy the NA-1 client. If they invested any money in starting up the server they will LOSE a lot more if you don't buy into it. Stop being a lemming and listen to logic. See the error of Aventurine's ways and learn how to fight against them.

This will make for a fine comic...

Tips For Efficient Roleplay (Part 2)

Posted by Mystik86 Monday July 13 2009 at 12:54AM
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Following the first part I present to you part 2 of my series of "Tips for Efficient Roleplay". Please note that these tips are based on my own personal opinions on how you should handle roleplaying in your chosen game.

Tip #7

DO - Roleplay publically even if you're in an instance group. Sometimes other roleplayers will join in if they are present and you will find the experience more enjoyable.

DON'T - Join a random pick-up group and start blathering on in character about being in an instance. It ruins the immersion not only for yourself but also makes you look weird. Either stay in character or stick to a more out of character approach.

 

Tip #8

DO - Make small-talk about the various things you see in the world. This can sometimes lead to bigger things including large-scale player-driven events specifically for whatever is going on.

DON'T - Insist on commenting on every single thing happening. Most likely your character will be more concerned with a couple things going on and not the entire world. Unless your character is a god you probably won't know every little bit of information out there.

 

Tip #9

DO - Love your character. Love that you've taken a bunch of pixels and personalized them to be that person you've imagined for your adventures.

DON'T - Be IN LOVE with your character. Last time I checked narcisism was out.

 

Tip #10

DO - Show off your character's gear in character. Go into great detail about how you slew the beast and skinned it, brought it's hide to the leatherworker and had him make you a beautiful chest piece. Show of that giant fiery sword and be proud, you've earned a bit of glory.

DON'T - Assume anyone will really care. Sometimes people just don't really care about the basic game mechanics even if cleverly written into a story. Getting gear is a very common practice for most people.

 

Tip #11

DO - Enjoy seclusion. Find the deepest, darkest cave and spend days there. If your character prefers to stay in one place, stay there!

DON'T - Claim you own the cave you're currently "living" in. Most likely there's something bigger than you still inside.

 

Tip #12

DO - Eat the purple mushrooms.

DON'T - Get angry if you die from them.

 

Beginner's tip:

Try not to play the commonly known role of a "god-moder". Your character isn't invincible and still must play by the rules of fate. Know that some guilds or groups expect a character to stay lost, kidnapped or dead. Final death is inevitable, so try to stay alive!

Yet Another MMO Gaming Comic - Number 1

Posted by Mystik86 Saturday July 11 2009 at 2:28AM
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And, without further hesitation I present a rushed but funny comic!