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MMO's & The Modern Man (err...Woman)

An honest, irreverant look at various MMO's from a typical player's point of view. OK, maybe not a typical player. Maybe a hardcore emo PVE but PVP lovin' chataholic with alt tendencies. What's that? A new beta!? BRB...

Author: Oridi

Tunneling & Pit Traps! or Crowfall Goes Underground

Posted by Oridi Saturday April 4 2015 at 1:55PM
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As you may know, Crowfall is using voxel tech in their spiffy new intheworksohgawdwehavetowait2yearsforlaunch! game.  Voxel tech is a bit like Minecraft, where game items and landscapes are built using blocks, except with voxels the blocks are much smaller.

Before you start rioting about player created insanely amazing voxel landscapes and buildings, ya don't get to free form build with voxels in Crowfall.  The buildings are in chunks and you can place different chunks or entire buildings but you don't get to freeform build.

You do, however, get to destroy.  There's some physics going on in Crowfall.  You get to whackaloon strongholds and use weapons and spells to blast holes in walls.  Bring down towers by undermining their foundations, that sort of stuff, because in Crowfall there's gravity, your character has mass, and yes, you can tunnel.

You can dig.  Underground tunnels that come up into the midst of your enemy's castle courtyard if they've been foolish enough to leave it as dirt.   Long supply tunnels that go from a mine where you're grabbing all the ore you can all the way over to your stronghold where the resources can be protected.  Spy tunnels that can honeycomb high visibility areas into a network of easy, unseen transport. 

You'll have to be smart about the tunneling though (gravity!) - and no one really knows if Crowfall is plopping down areas that are safe from burrowing players.  Given that each planet in the game is finite and will be destroyed in a matter of months or at maximum (it's guessed) a year, there's not a lot of tunneling time there and we're not sure how long it will take to create a tunnel. Still.  Tunnels!

And traps.  I can see creating a huge underground hole and leaving just enough dirt up top to cover it.  Next step, lure the enemy onto the shaky surface and kapow!  Down they go into a pit too deep to climb out of where they can run around like goofballs while your archers get busy.  I can't help but dream of spikes at the pit bottom and pit traps laid like unseen sharks along an enemy's usual harvesting trail.

Now some of you may be wondering about this rather bloodthirsty side of me.  I know that you don't get to see it often and I'm sorry in advance for how much it may show up between now and the launch of Crowfall. But being a snowflake squishycore snackcake does not mean I don't like a good fight.  It means that I don't like rudeness and arrogance and puffed up speeches about how rez camping is just part of PvP.   I like a good fight, with challenging opponents and folks that fight with their brains rather than their trash talk.

So, pit traps.  With spikes.  And tunneling under someone's storeroom, blasting a hole in their floor and stealing all their resources while they're out sieging someone else's castle.  Then tumbling down the walls so no one sees the tunnel in the floor amongst the rubble.

I might have to work on an evil laugh soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing Crowfall or Why The Journey Matters

Posted by Oridi Wednesday April 1 2015 at 12:23AM
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So the kickstarter for Crowfall is over.  They wound up raising double what they asked for.

I backed it (no longer an innocent to the Realm of Risk!) and I'm still hanging out on the boards and harassing everyone with my charming but relentless squishycoreness.

And yes, I'm still practicing my PvP in Tera and SWTOR.  My fight to win ratio is at 34 to 6.  My main handicap is my tendency to wince when I get in a good shot and want to fire off a heal to help my opponent.  Some habits die hard.  I'm halfway hoping some ex-Shadowbaner from the Crowfall boards gets so tired of my "why CAN'T we have hot tubs for our castles?" posts and steals my name ingame.  At least that will give me some great PvP rep as they slaughter everyone wearing the Oridi moniker.

Some of you more dedicated readers may notice a change in my user name and image on this blog.  I'm attempting to roll out the same name and image for all my various gaming worlds.  I'll clue you in as they get updated but for now you can find me here, on Twitter @OridiOhe and I'll be popping in to frolic on the Crush the Throne Crowfall fan site.

And for now my focus is still Crowfall.  Did I mention that it's going to be a good 2 years before the game launches?  Sure I beta'd LOTRO and even did a bit of Alpha testing on Age of Conan but I've never stuck my toe in the water so early with a game.  Perhaps it's the Koster crafting or my 20 posts in the fiction section about Oridi's backstory in Crowfall (I'm serious - I've posted 18 of them so far and the last 2 are written but not posted yet cause I don't want to overwhelm the boards with my endlessly angsty tale.)

Whatever the reason I'm stuck on Crowfall and wading through the boards there with  a whip in one hand and blueprints for a castle in the other. The forums are like nothing I've experienced out of game before, with hardcore mixed with snowflakes and factions forming and dissolving like rolling stormclouds. There are some similarities with the old Age of Conan boards in that there are endless ruminations about what the game will wind up being like but Crowfall has a lot less discussions about what "mature audience" in a game actually means. 

There is a solid community of RP'ers and a seriously good bunch of artists drawing all sorts of things Crowfall.  However, one of the things different about the Crowfall community is the high level of fanboi-ism, with folks creating all sorts of not so subtle threads designed to push players towards one game approach over another.  These are balanced out by the steady stream of new players asking about game balance and concerned about how a PvP centric game could actually be fun.  The Crowfall boards are like a minefield except you don't know if the explosion will be shrapnel or confetti.

I'm hooked.  The game is a while away so I promise not every post on this blog will be about Crowfall for the next few years, but I should warn you that some will be.  Give a holler if you've got a game for me to play in the meantime that can lure me away.

 

 

 

 

 

Crowfall Updates or Winning Through Information

Posted by Oridi Tuesday March 17 2015 at 11:17AM
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It's happened.  Somehow between the beginning of today's Crowfall update and the end of said update I tipped over into the realm of supporting the game.

I had already joined the kickstarter ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crowfall/crowfall-throne-war-pc-mmo ) and have been active on the boards (much to the dismay of many). 

But today's update talked about a new stretch goal.  It added in the possibility of another PvP type at launch rather than just the FFA PvP ruleset I had been bracing for. The new ruleset is 3 Faction PvP - for those of us that think FFA PvP and flash into gankfests with pimply faced basement dwellers screaming into their TS channels, the new ruleset is a beam of light from the godsfilled Crowfall heavens.

I know that FFA PvP is not horrific.  I know that there's great fun to be had and it's probably one of the more high level skill requirements kinda playstyles out there.  But when I found out that we can get a faction based PvP ruleset as well, everything just fell into place. 

I'm supporting Crowfall.  You need to go to crowfall.com, sign up for the beta & forums and then head to the kickstarter and toss in what you can afford.   Yes, it's PvP centric, but it's also turning out to be quite rich in random and amazing things - for example:

Mounts & Caravans is a stretch goal the KS is about to hit.

There is a centaur archetype.

There's a game mechanic called the Hunger that slowly destroys every world you campaign on.

Voxel tech is being used so you can destroy buildings ingame.

You can tunnel.

There's a falconry skill.

It's a true sandbox.  No quest lines, no endgame raids, content created by the players as we move through the world.

Koster (of SWG crafting fame) is creating the crafting system, which is resource driven.

Pack pigs! Another new stretch goal is Pack Pigs!

There is player housing and the Eternal Kingdoms, your home between campaigns. Your EK can be whatever you want as far as status - want PvP in your EK?  Turn it on.  Want to make a merchant hub in your EK? Go ahead.

It's PvP centric so you can battle other players but you can also band together with other players and create safe areas that you hold and defend. You can build a stronghold near a resource spawn point and harvest away with supply lines defended and then you can go attack some other group's stronghold and take all their resources.  Your group, your guild, will be your survival and your triumph.

Did I mention that you can tunnel?

One of the archetypes has wings. Yes, it's the same archetype that kills all their newborn males but wings!

Character progression is designed around raising skills.  No levels. No grinding mobs to get to the next level.

Crafters will be busy on the campaign worlds making gear and weaponry for their group or guild.  The game is built with a need for crafting embedded into it without making every player have to be a crafter.

The players themselves create the economy. And it can change from world to world.

You can create NPC vendors from Thralls (souls from the campaign worlds) and put them in stores to sell your goods- both on the EK and on the campaign worlds.

The folks that helped make UO, Shadowbane, SWG, SWTOR and a buncha other games are behind this.

Go check it out.  Read the dev announcements in the forums, check out the FAQ's and come play in Crowfall.  Alpha will start end of this summer.

I'll see you there.

 

 

 

Crowfall Quanderies or Do I Kick the Kickstarter?

Posted by Oridi Saturday March 7 2015 at 2:32PM
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Crowfall.  Amazing possibilities in this game - could be staggeringly brilliant crafting, has worlds that get destroyed and renewed after each campaign, has solid lore so far (though it's pretty spotty but it's early), is using Voxel tech so we can break buildings ingame, has an Eternal Kingdom area that is persistent (not 100% sure yet how those fit in) and they dropped their Kickstarter  last month.  The goal was 800K - they're over 1,000,000 now.

And a tiny bit of that money is mine.  Yep - my first participation in a game's Kickstarter.  I feel like I should have a special hat or at minimum some balloons.

The way Kickstarter works is that you pledge your money and then 30 days later the project actually funds and they pull the funds out of your wicked stash of disposable income.   During that 30 days you can make sure that the project is actually going to meet the $ goal needed (which Crowfall has, plus), you can get more info on the game, and you can work your way through buyer's remorse if need be.

Crowfall announced the game in January and then started a countdown that ended on February 24th with a bit more info about the game and the launch of the Kickstarter.  Information about some of the key aspects of the game was slim before the countdown and not much was released afterwards.  So as we're rolling through the 30 days of the KS, folks are starting to rumble a bit on  the forums about some of the more key elements of the game not being as clear as they'd like.  It's sort of like an enormous  gummy bear sleeping in the corner that suddenly starts awake and looks around with concern.

As info is being released, some folks are finding the game swinging so far outside what they would consider a fun experience that they're wondering if they still should back it.  OK - some folks = me.  Here's the rundown to my current Quandary of Commitment:

It started with Crowfall is PvP centric.   That's ok - I can go start PvP'ing in the Moors in Lotro and learn to be better.

Crowfall has no dedicated healing class.  That's ok - I can play a support class and be a solid part of a team that way.

Crowfall has a painfully toxic at times community on the boards and that can mean a toxic community ingame.  That's ok - I can hold my own on boards and if it's toxic ingame I'll just find my tribe and stick with them.

Crowfall has campaigns on the "inner planets" and these campaigns have different rulesets.  All rulesets involve PvP (PvP centric game).  Some rulesets are PvP Free For All (anyone can attack anyone at anytime) with full loot (if you die others can take all your inventory) and some are much tamer with Guild vs Guild PvP and less harsh looting rules if you die.  That's ok - I can just play on the inner planets with the G vs G and less harsh rulesets.

Crowfall's rulesets also include export percentages based on whether you win, lose, or "kneel" to another guild or group.  Every planet has a campaign and every campaign has a "win" set up.  If a group wins in the FFA PvP group they get to export 100% of their inventory back to the Eternal Kingdoms, their own guild's permanent base or in some cases their own personal base.  If a group loses the campaign however the export rate is 0%.  So if you want to build anything on the Eternal Kingdoms (which have no resources on them) you need to bring back resources from the campaigns - which you HAVE to win or at least ally with the winners in order to have a change to bring anything back to the EK.   That's OK - I'll play the rulesets with better export percentages and I'll make alliances.  And the devs can always adjust those rulesets down the road if they see a need to.

As you can see - whatever the curveball I'm dealing with it.  I'm finding a way to say That's OK! and moving forward.  But then I hit a wall.  The gummy bear gets to its feet and starts glaring at all and sundry. 

Crowfall announced with the Kickstarter that the only ruleset they're starting with is FFA PvP.   The harshest ruleset possible. The other rulesets are coming down the line and will be KS Stretch Goals or implemented after launch.  (It's worth noting that 2 stretch goals have been announced and neither were rulesets.  The devs have said that the next stretch goals will be rulesets but it's unsure as to whether we'll make the next stretch goal as the numbers have slowed way, way down.)

It came out in an interview that the exported inventory would be subject to a random number generator to determine what resources are actually chosen to come back to the EK if the export percentage is less than 100%.  So if you're at an export rate of 40% and you have 10 items in inventory, the 4 that are coming back will be chosen at random. 

Crowfall was first presented as a game that balanced crafting and economic systems against pvp and strategy and while we've seen a lot about the PvP part of things there's still very little info about the crafting and economic systems.  There's next to no info on the Eternal Kingdoms, which seem to be a key part of the economy as the reward for the campaigns is to export resources to them.

So here I am, excited about the possibilities of the game but unsure if I'll actually have any fun playing in a FFA PvP campaign with folks that can be seriously toxic in a race to win so I can export resources to an EK that I don't really know much about to craft in a system that is currently clear as mud.

I'm aware that there are, what, 18 days left on the Kickstarter and I don't have to do anything drastic at this point.  There's no reason to direct the gummy bear to start stomping around, kicking things over. But I wish that the balancing points, the economy and crafting parts, and the Eternal Kingdoms would be made clearer by the powers that be at Crowfall. 

Trying to talk about this on the boards just results in a slathering of "going to drink your tears" and "stop questioning the devs -it's their game and they can make it how they want no matter how they promoted it at the start of things".  I should make a post about forum posters.  Snerk.

I'd love to support the game.  I'd love to play the game.  Except that I don't know if I'll actually have any fun based on what the game actually is so far.

 

 

Crowfall! Or Can I Handle The Heat?

Posted by Oridi Saturday January 24 2015 at 10:47PM
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Oh sweet gods of dreams fulfilled - Crowfall is coming.

Before you double check whether it's me or an imposter, yes, I know Crowfall is PvP centric.  I know it's possibly free for all full loot non consensual PvP centric.  I know it's "I'm going to get ganked and griefed and not be able to move around unless I've got a squadron of bodyguards around me" centric.

I don't care.  It's Koster.  Raph Koster on the dev team and he's doing the crafting. Raph "I did the SWG crafting system" Koster.  Raph "I did the best crafting system lil Astri has ever encountered and the one she keeps looking for year after year, game after game but never finds" Koster. 

The old execproducer from SWG is one of the founders - George Walton.  The already existing boards are full of ex Shadowbane players since the other founder is J. Todd Coleman who was the creative director of  SB.  It's going to be a PvP game because their backgrounds include UI and SB and they've already specified it's a niche game for PvP nuts.

So this somewhat squishycore SWG nostalgia freak is going to get used to PvP because if that's what it takes to frolic in the Land of Koster Crafting then that's what I'll do. 

I'm not saying it's going to be easy.  I've already annoyed off a number of PvP pros on the forums with my "but what if I want to just... like....craft?" questions and managed to piss off a moderator (not my fault that the term carebear had been part of a major forum war the week before I got there - I use the term all the time - really!).  I am wading around in posts like "I live to dominate other players and their suffering is my sustenance! rawwwwrrrrr!" from user names like Killureyesded. 

I have managed to find a safe spot on the guild boards with an unnamed guild of people like myself that are there for the innovative, insanely fun aspects of the game that may or may not include PvP.   I sneak around the entire forum ninja posting on anything that catches my attention and boldy hurl my not wanted opinions into threads like "Full loot or we'll die of bots!" and "Will I be able to torch people's houses?".  I'm barely tolerated but so far have avoided being a major target of ill will by virtue of my harmless but enough edge to not be easy prey style.

I may not have mentioned that this is the beginning of a very long journey.  Crowfall is years away from launching and there's very little that we'll actually know for sure for quite some time.  In the meanwhile I'll stick with SWTOR and - yes - Istaria.  Don't judge me.  But I'm going to start accepting duel requests and I may even start visiting the Moors in LOTRO.  It's time to toughen up and get ready for the crafting ride of a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

New Game Stress or Can I Keep Up With The Betas?

Posted by Oridi Friday February 14 2014 at 5:26PM
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So Vanguard is shutting down, SWG is long dead (RIP Tempest), SWTOR was not the droid I was looking for, LOTRO is an endless series of gear grinds for an always resetting endgame.  Time for beta testing.  There are 3 of them right now that I'm committed to not discussing and I'm swimming in bug reports, forum debates, and endless notes on legal pads.

The great thing about a beta test is that it's raw and there's a great chance of getting stuck somewhere random and/or breaking the game.  Few things are as satisfying as submitting a bug report with the words "completely nonfunctional" in the title.  I do consider it my end goal to leave a beta confident that I have gotten as close to destroying the game as possible. 

However, there have been changes in the beta experience over the last few years and I'm not having the same focused, higher path experiences that I used to savor.  Here's what's happening.  Why it’s happening is another matter and perhaps you can clue me in after reading this post.  

1.  The chat has changed dramatically.  Gone are the days of endless reams of global chat about skill build differences that had a 2% impact on dps vs a 3% impact on crowd control.  Now we have barrens chat in beta, with the whole range of pointless, attention seeking drivel that comes along with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a great fan of attention seeking chat posts.  I still remember fondly long lists of suggested ingame item changes from one fellow that all involved an amorous cowbell.  But when chat becomes filled with posts that expound on detailed violence for shock value and/or the all caps declarations of sexual prowess and/or the attack another player endlessly for no apparent reason and/or public chat snogging and/or etc, etc, there's that sad feeling of knowing it's time to shut off the general chat channel as if I'm actually playing a released game.  Betas used to be the last bastion of the amazing players - a haven for insane, smart, witty players that could kick my butt irl just by looking at me ingame.  I have always been the token squishycore in beta that makes sure to take a look at the fluff of the game but now even attempting to discuss the merits of various mounts in chat turns into a low imagination level frenzy of sexual reference.  Yes, I can see how that might happen even in a highbrow crowd but I miss worthwhile, challenging general beta chat.

2.  The percentage of "players there to actually beta test" vs. "players there to play the game for free before anyone else" has shifted.   There seem to be more folks in the betas that expect the game to be flawless and consistent as opposed to the beta tester types that understand that the game’s an unfinished product.  There's a lot of flailing & dismay now in forums and in chat.  One beta reset some skill  points and you would have thought the sky had fallen.  People flailed about in endless forum posts of "woe is me I haz no pointz!" and it took a number of repeated "it's a beta, it's part of beta to have your character wiped, your skills reset, the quests change, the xp change, your levels change." posts before people backed away muttering to sulk in corners.  Perhaps the Free 2 Play universe that mmo’s are existing in now has made a whole strata of folks that think it’s their birthright to play a game and they are owed something by deigning to play.  Even when it’s a beta and they’re actually there to test the game.

3.  The games themselves seem somehow out of balance in a new and different way.  This first showed up for me back when I was beta testing Aion.  I was enamored with the option of flight, yes, but there was also this odd feeling that the parts did not add up to a whole when it came to relationships between the classes and fighting as a group.  The xp/effort ratios seemed off – the focus of the game seemed to be on easy, rapid, solo leveling then a grind endgame for gear.  Things felt odd and there was a wave of players that insisted that solo play to level then a grind for endgame group play abilities/gear was the normal way things are done in game.  Gone were the joyful wipes as low level groups trying to work out between class balances in a beta.  The hours spent in voice chat switching around armor and trading items until everyone had what they needed to bravely face a completely bugged boss faded away, replaced with me looking at my inventory and choosing the looted items with the one stat assigned to the class I was testing. The nuanced skills of different classes have merged into static builds that are endlessly repeated and lest you missed it above, leveling got so fast!  People leveling in days, ripping through entire game content in weeks.  The games that are in beta now have a range of issues related to class and leveling balance and it’s my hope that my constant harping will shift them into a more durable, interactive game.

I love being a beta tester and I’m great at destroying unfinished game mechanics.  But I want better balance in the games I’m testing – I want them to last 5 years, not 5 months. And I want better testers with me in a beta.  Solid, focused players that know it’s all about the big picture and while beta is a privilege it’s also a huge amount of work that they’re willing to do well.

I’m getting dangerously close to just building a game myself so that I can experience the joy of beta testing it with like minded people until it’s broken.

My Kingdom for Housing or Checking Out Vanguard

Posted by Oridi Wednesday October 30 2013 at 9:41PM
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So here I am, with capped toons in several games, tons of gold and glory in myriad imaginary lands, great friends to quest with in established worlds, and yet once more I grit my teeth and hit the download button on another game.  This time it's Vanguard, a truly old graphics, clunky movement, archaic combat game that I can't even begin to explain without going into Thee Amazing Aspects of Great Games discussion.  In the interests of not boring you to death I'll just tell you a bit about the game.

I like Vanguard.  I checked it out mainly because it has player housing and after the rumors of LOTRO's housing revamp settling into "they're doing some small changes here and there and kicking out squatters" I'm jonesing for housing.  I hopped into EQII (where for some reason I STILL don't have a capped toon) and puttered around but (insert your sigh and weary eye roll here to indicate you're sick and tired of me saying this) there's nothing like SWG housing and I miss my home sweet home on Corellia. 

So off I went to the wide spaces of the interwebs and soon I ran into mentions of Vanguard.  "Old, clunky, archaic!"  And yet there seemed to be a rabid fanbase established firmly and after a bit of poking around I found out a few amazing and a few distressing bits of info.  First of all, there's player housing that you can decorate internally.  Second of all, the reason there is player housing is that like SWG, like EQII, this is an SOE - Sony Online Entertainment - game.  Yep.  It seems that SOE is one of the few larger gaming corps that includes housing in the game and for that *shudders* I thank them.  For the rest of the mutated logic that fills their game development decisions I whap them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.

So I download and head into game and it's very oldschool as far as the look and feel.  However, I quickly learn that there is atmospheric flight.  Yep - pegasus like horses are available for rent and fly players around like myth laden rickshaws.   After a few weeks I sprung for a flying mount of my own and got a ladybug (Yes, a ladybug.  I know, I could have picked from lizards and spiders and huge ice demons but I got a ladybug mount.  Stop judging. ) and now I flit around like a demented halfling, dive bombing npc's and seeing how many confused players I can get to ask me "um... a bug?".

The second Woot! moment came with the crafting.  Which is intricate and difficult to learn at first since the logic is defined nowhere and the instructions are minimal ingame at best.  The whole process reeks of nerdy devs developing a system that makes them giggle with joy but really is just a labyrinth of convoluted rules, requirements, tools, and resources.  I love it.  Crafting is reliant upon your choices to determine success so you can be amazingly, incredibly horrible at it until you get the hang of the crafting logic.  Ingame community is helpful and I asked a lot of questions while people did their best not to put me on mute after the 78th "but I wound up with a requirement for water/a chisel/solvent/basalt/an old boot/ a goat ear/ mid crafting and I lost it all!" whine of mine in general chat.

There is also an ingame card based system of diplomacy in Vanguard, which like the crafting is tough to work out initially and then gets to be fairly fun.  No way to play against other players that I can see but the NPC's are pretty lively and the conversations are lore illuminating without being pedantic. (<--spiffy word use alert).

And apparently I'm a long way from housing which is expensive and difficult as it gets built by your character from the ground up.  But at least it's there and while it's nothing like the "here's 10 housing slots go buy a house and start dropping stuff in it in your first week!" world of SWG I can appreciate that there is indeed a spot for me to call home down the road.

BORING LOGISTICS FOLLOW

Vanguard is free to play  with a monthly sub available (14.99) if you want extra bells and whistles.  There's a lot of stuff to fill your bags and and ingame store for those who want the fluff.   If you're into EQII as well as Vanguard it might be worth doing an SOE station pass for 19.99 a month as you get most of the SOE game memberships that way.  Download is easy, game runs smoothly.

BORING LOGISTICS END

It's old, it's clunky, it's archaic but Vanguard also has a stellar community and one of the most intricate ingame crafting systems I've seen.  So far I've only made one toon - a healer (I know that shocks my regular readers) - and I've killed a great deal of humanoids but so far not one pig/piglet/boar/wild boar.  Could it be that I've finally found a game with no pig mobs!  For that fact alone it might be worth a looksee. Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

Finding Tera, or The Endless Lure of Gaming Store Back Bins

Posted by Oridi Sunday April 21 2013 at 1:14PM
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This is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls and dangers of even visiting a gaming store. 

Yesterday I was escorting a buddy to Gamestop (he has impulse buying issues and is not allowed in any gaming store without adult supervision).  I made endlessly snide comments about corporate gaming greed and buy local and support independent games and then I saw a vision.  

There, glowing slightly on an out of the way wire rack, was a box copy of Tera.  The box was scuffed, clearly the result of being used by staff as an off-hours football, but it seemed legit and in spite of being the brunt of my friends aha-I-told-you-so scorn for the next few hours I bought it.

I can hear my regular readers hollering now.  What about SWTOR/LOTRO?  How can I get a NEW game when I've not level capped all alts in every game I currently subscribe to?  Why not revisit Rift or even Aion *coughbotfestcough* and save that money?  Didn't I just download STO?  And why even BUY Tera when it's free to play these days?

I'm going to confess fully and place the blame clearly where it belongs.

Reddit.

That's right, Reddit.  The self professed front page of the internet, the land of orangered and periwinkle, where you can find so cute! cats, intense political debate, lots of trolls and kewl stuff to learn.  Picture a huge time sink where you spiral down surrounded by funny, smart, stupid, annoying, inspirational people.  There I was on the gaming subreddit when someone *coughkuldebarcough* posted about Tera Rising.  "Hey try it it's fun" and "Lots of content and lore and super combat" and other clearly subliminal messages.   So I posted that I'd try it.  I wandered over to the Tera site, downloaded the game, made a character, loaded in, ran forward and stopped right there.

The esthetic of the game is lovely.  Beautiful buildings, charming natural surroundings, insane armor in some of the screenshots.  But when my lil character (complete with cute horns and green hair) ran forward, the back of her skirt lifted up showing her perky lil undies. 

Meh.  Another game built for teen age boys and intheirmom'sbasement guys that need to look at bootie while they grind.  It's apparently part of the look and feel of the game overall- and truthfully as a woman I still don't get it.  I'm not turned on in the least by the look of the guys in the game.  I have not rolled a male alt so I can watch his powerful thighs stride boldly forward as he kills a piglet  (yes, there are pigs in this game).  I was, however, taken back by the peekaboo nature of my female character's lingerie and rolled another to see if all female characters had the same purposeful wardrobe malfunction.

Fortunately they do not.  I created a female Aman and made her as alluring as possible, given the hefty nature of the race.  Green hair, gorgeous horns, piercing eyes, and an ever so discrete scar.  (Stop judging me about my green hair fetish.  I'm living vicariously through my toons.) When I loaded her in not only was she wearing a charming capri pant/tunic combo but it turns out that this race is HUGE.  I tower over all the other players like Goliath, and yet I'm still incredibly cute.  Really.  In a knock you down with a backslap kinda way.

Community on the RP server I chose is insanely nice.  Think LOTRO Landroval Server a few years ago nice, area chat is full of helpful answers and fun impromptu player driven games nice, veteran players rolling alts to help in the newbie areas nice.  And in all of the murmers and convo's on area chat I picked up the fact that the box set of Tera gives you more character slots and a nifty mount.  I didn't have any real plans to buy Tera Rising but when I saw that box, dusty, forlorn, in the back of that Gamestop I knew in my heart that I needed it with a yearning that rivaled trying to get into SWTOR on launch day.

So here I am with another game.  I still have not gotten all my spiffy loot from the Anniversary Festival in LOTRO, have not managed to take the 30+ minute balloon ride on Tatooine to get that flippin hologram in SWTOR, and am nowhere near fully geared in either game.  I blame Reddit and the gaming community on there, as well as the Tera Rising character creator for its effortless creation of green haired vixens.

My final thoughts?  Don't go in Gamestop.  Stay off Reddit.  Game addiction portals, both of them.

 

In Search of Wide Range Random or How To Play 6 Games At Once

Posted by Oridi Thursday February 21 2013 at 7:02PM
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It's a brand new year!  And I've been terrible about keeping this blog up to date.  Mea Culpa and whatnot.

So my current mmo game list that I'm actually playing is as follows:  LOTRO, SWTOR, Everquest II, WarHammer, Istaria, Fallen Earth and a few beta's cause hey - I've not found my game of games even at this late date.

You may be judging me right now. Fine, but what is a gal to do?  I am still looking for the experience I had my first year of SWG and I'll be fershnabbled if I give up looking just cause my requests are apparently unreasonable.  And what, you may ask, am I looking for?  Well, since you asked...

Here's my List of Things a Great Game Should Have If You Want to Keep My Heart & Sub.  It's not complete as I'm never satisfied (perogative due to my gender) and it may be slightly slanted towards the squshycore.  But it's my dream list and when I find the game that will cover all of this I'll stick with it for life and ne're stray!

Great Lore:  Something that I can sink my virtual teeth into.  LOTRO has this, as does SWTOR and Fallen Earth.  Some history, some storytelling, some amazing twists and turns that allow me to not only immerse myself in the world but stick with me when I'm not playing.  Along the lines of "Hmm... that fellow looks just like the Captain on SWTOR that was skimming profits from his platoon and decorating his tent" - and yes, yes I did glare at the guy IRL and mutter about his taste in wall hangings.

 
 
 
 
Solid Game Functionality:  Everything from cut scene transition time to how to get mail.  The nuts and bolts of the game as well as how easy it is to get help and info when stuck or confuzzled.  This is more about the level of respect given to the player and less about the actual specific solutions to logistical issues.  LOTRO falls down here as they lean heavily on a diabolical random number generator that makes sure you're getting suckky drops rather than what you're actually after.  Add in the huge delays in help, quests that stay bugged for years (yep - years) and LOTRO goes kersplat.  So far SWTOR wins here as does Istaria as both of them have some clunky options for how to get things done but they're clear and help comes quickly either through the community or via the help function.   Nothing like getting a quick response when you've become stuck in a compromising position with a rakgul.
 
Sane yet Nuts Community:  I've ranted about this before.  I love mmo's because of the people that I get to play with.  Anything with more than 20% barrens chat and I'm turning of general chat.  Anything with a global/server chat with active, awake people and I'm thrilled.  Tons of boss/loot/mob/bot ninjas and I'm meh.  Tons of players looking for groups, offering help, discussing builds, arguing lore and I'm a happy li'l carebear.  LOTRO has a great community, as does Istaria.  SWTOR is halfway there and Fallen Earth is the worst.  EQII is a bit clique-ish and what can I say about the Warhammer community.  I use Warhammer when I'm seriously pissed off/full of road rage. It's a fantastic way to vent steam AND level a character at the same time. 
 
 
 
 
Housing:  Hah! Yes! Housing!  I want frikken housing!  Not that cheap ol here's your limited number of hooks in odd places LOTRO junk - I want old fashioned SWG (RIP Tempest) type housing that lets me mess around and spend way too much time jostling things into just the right spot.  EQII shines here as it's got 75% of the housing capabilities of SWG and I can collect way too much stuff and plop it all over the place.  SWTOR has a ship that I get but I can't decorate it and their taste is feeble at best.  Housing and player based cities are amazing ways to involve and fascinate players.  Why more new games don't have them (or at least plan for them down the pipeline) is a mystery to me.  Perhaps they've received word that if they do add housing then a crazy blogger lady will come and fill their server space with 1400 versions of the same flower in her front yard, crashing the entire system and rendering both pvp and ingame store transactions invalid until she manages to either weed the flowerbeds or add in some shrubbery...
 
Notice I did not specify that my Dream Game has to be free to play, or a particular style, or allow me to fly/own a jetpack/swim underwater/have a flamethrower.  I don't care if I have a super uber armor set or even if it's easy/hard/fast/ to level.  I just want a game with great lore, solid tech and structure, decent community and housing.  
 
I'll give you fair warning - if I don't find it in the next few years then I'mma gonna make it.  Holler if you want to be on the dev team.
 

Settling into Coruscant or Oh Gawd Another Alt??

Posted by Oridi Thursday January 26 2012 at 7:16PM
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Oh it's a bitter day, a bitter day indeed. 

I'm back on Coruscant.  Again. 

For those of you not Playing SWTOR Cause You're A Not A Sheep I salute you.  I, my friend, I am a sheep. I am hooked and immersed and heedlessly spending my gaming time leveling alt after alt to the magical point where they get a starship and then abandoning them to the whims of fate.

I'd like to point out that the first alt was not my fault.  I joined a guild (I nao rite!) and the guild leader turned out to be the smarmiest, slickest thing since petroleum jelly and within a week I was trading snerky tells with him and rebuffing invites up to see his ship.    But then the guild got juvenile guy heavy and a bit meh.  Hey, I'm all for some flirt now and again but when guild chat turned a corner into locker room territory (did you see the **** on that toon? Dude!? Gotta get me sommadat! etc), I realized that alas, snerkfest or not, the guild was a little too bros before hos for me and gracefully bowed out by inventing a sudden need for an RP guild that would fulfill all my gaming dreams.

But - and you know there's a but - guild leader extraordinnaire did not drop off.   Tells galore, and escalating and oh dear.  Time to log out for a bit before he feels the need to explain what exactly he means by lowering his shields and hey.. still want to play so woot! Make an alt! Yeah!

I blame him.  I made an alt, she wandered all over a new and special planet and woot! Leveled her up to go to ... Coruscant.  Well now I'd already run Coruscant on my first toon but this was a bit different.  Different main quest line, ship was just as hard to get, and I got to wondering hmmmmm what else do different classes experience on Coruscant. 

And thus the Great Alt Coruscant Experience was born.  Stop judging me.  OK so I've made more alts in the last 2 weeks than I have in my whole gaming career (snerk.. career...) and none of them have gotten over level 20.  OK so most requests for additional group members are for healers and I have every healer class in every variation but I can't join groups cause I don't want to play them cause hey... they're not the unleveled alt.

It's a sickness.  It's a curse.  It's never going to end because I've only been doing lightside toons and I've not even dealt with darkside and what on earth do they go through? 

On top of it all, apparently I have a rather telling conversational style in general planet chat as this morning I got a ... "darling! Is that you!? I'd know that turn of phrase anywhere.. let me fire up my ship engines and let's explore unseen space!" tell from out of the blue.

Gah.  Time to make another alt.