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Dreamer's log

Hey guess what? This is a gamers blog, I know shocking! I also take part in vlogging which is like blogging but with a webcam. :)

Author: Cynthe

Do it MY way

Posted by Cynthe Friday September 11 2009 at 2:10PM
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The world of online gaming is composed of many personalities colliding together in various ways, sometimes we band up and work together toward a certain goal, sometime we pit each other against one another for points and rewards and sometimes some of us want to take part in activities others simply do not understand.

Which really is to be expected, online worlds are no longer places where the same type of people gather to play and generally have the same point of view, with how popular these games have become we have grown in numbers, in range of ages and personal backgrounds. We've formed groups over the years in which we love to clump each other, like PvP players, PvE players, RP players and so on. Some of us belong to more then one group but generally these groups tend to clash and want certain things out of a game that the other group could get less about.

Which leads me to my point, whenever a new game is being developed or about to be patched even, you always have great suggestions of all kinds get seriously shot down by community members who don't value these suggestions. And I wonder why we have to be so competitive all the time for the dev's attentions. Ultimately it doesn't matter what we scream at them, they will do what they think fits their game the best. We tend to come off as hungry children hopping up and down in front of mommy and daddy flailing our arms around trying to get a cookie.

o(^_-)O

I'm not saying you shouldn't voice your opinion, but I would ask to actually consider what the suggestion is and even if you don't think you'd be into it try to see what it could bring to the game and whether generally if it would create a better gaming experience and if it fits with the goals of a virtual world. Another trend I've seen is for people to judge players based on their gaming backgrounds, for example if you are fresh out of Warhammer or WoW you suck at PvP so don't even bother playing against me. Say what? And who exactly are you to judge anyone's ability if you haven't given these people a fair chance. Even if someone does stink initially, aren't we all here to learn get better and have fun at the games that interest us? Isn't that the point of gaming in general?

Opinions and tastes change over time, and while we may have dislikes for some features now it could be that down the road these will be our favorite things, I sure never thought I'd take any liking to PvP but be damned if I don't get slightly competitive. :P All I'm trying to say is don't think because you enjoy a game a certain way that that's the way it's got to be played or that it's the best way. Fun comes in way too many colors and flavors to be tied down to one group's view of it.

Dream-Bytes.com

Eq2 gets a facelift

Posted by Cynthe Thursday August 13 2009 at 12:21PM
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One thing we can say about Everquest 2 is that it has known many changes and updates over the years and continually tries to stay on top of what gamers want. There's many out there eager to sell you on the evils of SOE and sometimes I'm one of them, but one thing that does very much strike me and has done so for years is the attention given to player feedback in their community forum.

Sure sometimes in game surveys that are given are really just courtesy and it doesn't matter what the populace votes when they already have firm plans of doing something. Which may or may not suck to you according to your point of view. But one thing we should always try to remember is that it doesn't matter how passionate you are about the game, it's not YOUR game it's SOE's (or insert company) and ultimately they have the first and last word. However if you pay close attention to the updates over the years there's a substantial amount of them that come directly from suggestion threads on the forums. I can't really think of another MMO that has done this at this level so far, maybe FFXI but Square Enix is just toooooooo darned slow to compete with SOE on that level.

A major gripe with a lot of people have always been the graphics. Someone or a group while developing the game misjudged which direction computer power would evolve and so the game just could not scale well with newer computers and no matter how strong your machine is EQ2 just ran about the same. With multi core support over updates in the last year has really helped in that department, but there are not stopping there! Incoming are new 3.0 shaders which will replace the 1.0 ones. Dramatically transforming shadows, contrast, lighting, reflections and so on. The really good news is that these shaders are small and lightweight and most of them are stored on the GPU instead of the CPU which means the game will not only look tons better it will run better as well. How exciting is that? Personally I feel like I'm an extreme sugar high. :D

Other things mentioned that are a priority for beautification are hair models for characters should we start prayers for the affectionately named play dough styles right now? Perhaps grass will have more toggles to control height so your halfling or fae doesn't keep getting lost and running into trees. But most importantly and totally trumps these things are SLI/Crossfire support, HDR support and general optimization.

See this on  there's pics!!

How To Glide in Aion

Posted by Cynthe Tuesday August 4 2009 at 8:35PM
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Once in a while when I look on gaming news sites I find comments where people who've played the currently on going Aion English beta complain on how you are not allowed to fly in most PvE (player vs. environment) areas for a game that keeps championing the ability to fly and aerial combat.

And I understand this somewhat it would be nice if it was a bit more like Perfect World where you can fly everywhere, especially since aerial combat in Aion is far more balanced... BUT!! There is still reason to be excited about your shiny wings, instead of flying everywhere you can glide!! At first this feature may seem lame and lackluster and a poor replacement for the real flying but once you get a hang of the controls it's actually pretty darned fun.

Here's the lowdown on gliding in Aion is you've yet to experience this fully yourself along with the assigned buttons you need to be using:

SPACE bar: This will start the gliding action or END it, yes it is the same button as jump. I like to press spacebar and jump and press again to start gliding. Best results are attained from a hill or low cliff.

R : Vertical ascent, pressing this will allow to catch a drift in the game's thermodynamics and glide upwards. I like to press this as soon as I can after I press space to glide and catch as much 'air' as possible.

F : Vertical descent, obviously allows you to go down. I use this when I want to land and/or when my flight timer runs out and just before pressing on spacebar to cancel glide.

W & S : Normally forward and backward while walking this controls your speed, the higher you are the longer you will glide and the faster using W. S will allow you to bounce up and catch some air. (Thanks Ephimero!)

Well okay that's about it, this should get you started to learn how to glide. It is not an automatic skill like flying which is rather straightforward and not all that different from walking, except you can go in more directions, but something you will have to practice to get really proficient at. What I really like about Aion's thermodynamics is that you really do feel like you are catching a pocket of air and it's not always predictable if you get a good one or one at all.
Best way to start practicing is to pick a nice little cliff side or hill and launch yourself from it, do try to move around as you are gliding, going left to right often as to catch these pockets of air.

Enjoy and have fun gliding around and spending less time running!! ^.^

See this on dream-bytes.com

Changes made to older MMOs, a good thing?

Posted by Cynthe Friday July 10 2009 at 12:16PM
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Final Fantasy has been on my mind pretty much non stop since Square Enix's unveiling of their next MMO project Rapture now known as Final Fantasy XIV. Or well more precisely Sony's giddy announcement of FFXIV being exclusive to the Ps3 console, which earns them a big 'yeah right' from most gamers. Square is done with playing favorites they will release the title to those who will pay them, I can't blame them.

But that's not what I wanted to blog about, lately I've handed in all my mmo subscriptions and just been playing FFXI along with the Aion beta events. And I'M HAPPY. O.O For those who don't know I'm a long time FF fan from 1999 when FF8 released. I've been crazy aboutpurple flower the whole series since then. From great story telling to amazing art and the latest graphics they've captured my imagination and fascination for probably ever. I figured one day I'd get sick of emo effeminate boys on a breakdown always saving the day, while the cute unassuming and ever tender girl wins his heart along with their string of varied companions, the cold hearted figure with the mysterious and often tragic past, the energetic in your face fighter with the soft side, the ultra cute little slightly annoying sister side kick ect..
But no, as the formula keeps delivering I keep buying into it and the series has evolved at least in tone over the last few years if a little dissatisfying on some points.

The online version is also to me a lot more compelling then the console role playing games where everything is scripted and you are basically going through a 3D book. Do they make Final Fantasy novels? Someone should. You get to play as your own character of your own making and participate in a rich fantasy world where danger lurking is not a nifty line on the retail box but a reality. FFXI is a very challenging game but very rewarding for those willing to learn the steep learning curve.

Now I'm done learning and I'm finally enjoying the world of Vana'diel. But only because changes were brought to the game earlier this year and last year. The one thing I have long lamented is the insane time commitment per session it takes to achieve anything, even going to your mog house (your apartment) can take a long time if you are new and don't have the travel options unlocked.chocorun The one thing I'd highly suggest to a new player is to ASK for help, do look for a linkshell (guild), do use the search function and try to ask people for help. I was just asked yesterday to help someone get a coffer key drop, basically had to go in a dungeon and kill mobs until they dropped the key. Not everyone will want to help you, and some won't do it for free, but there are many who'll be happy to help. You cannot play this game and expect to do most things yourself, this becomes more feasible later on. ^_^

Anyway, my point is leveling for me was very painful as I cannot stay online for hours at a time, I play for 1-2 hours a session and that's all I can afford. In the early days playing the game it would often take 40 mins just getting somewhere and getting organized and ready to go. Now that there's teleports, and I have chocobo riding as well as my own chocobo and an airship pass this is very easy to do. But the leveling part is still too much for me. At level 37 I was easily spending 3 hours or so for a meager level or two. These days are gone, with fields of valor, and level sync one can form a party with their own friends of different levels and form leveling parties not usually optimal and with any job (class). Personally I solo level because I don't have the time to look for a party and the population does seem to have decreased a bit, I don't actually see that many people looking. Or maybe it's just that I'm hanging in older zones too... Thanks to fields of valor though I can kill a few mobs get some really nice experience for it, log out do some chores, make lunch, then log back in later and do it again. I freaking love it!

Not everyone loves it and I do feel badly for those who've had their experience of the game changed due to this, but for people like me who have never been happy with other mmmos this is a most welcomed feature in FFXI. I was thinking though what this will mean when FFXIV comes out. Now that FFXI has been made easier and FFXIV won't be as cruel when it comes to time commitment per session will most people still bother with XI? Because if the difference in everyday challenge is negligible will you rather play the newer prettier version, play both or stick with XI?

Also were these changes too late? How many people came back to XI due to them? From what I can see it really isn't that much more but my perception is probably skewed due to not knowing anyone in game anymore. And how many more people left because they didn't like the changes, if anjungley?

Whatever the answer may be and I'll probably figure it out as I re-acquaint myself with the community, I am having a really good time and I only think of other mmos a tiny bit and not have the longing of greener mmmo pastures, maybe it's also due that I know I'll be playing Aion in a few months and that game is very fun as well as gorgeous. Maybe it's because I have my mmo lineup done until 2011, rediscovering my love of my most beloved game is just awesome and finally I understand why some people go back to Everquest I once in a while, or whatever your first mmo love was. :)

Asmodae Beta Begins tomorrow!

Posted by Cynthe Thursday June 18 2009 at 12:34PM
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Aion second closed beta starts on the 19th of June this Friday, I am excited to see the darker lands of Atreia and get more in depth testing with the quests and how they are written. The level cap this time around is only to 10 and not 20 because Ncsoft wants more focused feedback on the early content, we'll be allowed to 20 in the third closed beta. Here's the schedule:

Second Closed Beta Event starts Friday, June 19th (12:00 PM PT, 9:00 PM CEST, 8:00 PM BST) and ends Monday, June 22nd (12:00 PM PT, 9:00 PM CEST, 8:00 PM BST).


Upcoming Closed Beta Events

Closed Beta Event #3 - July 2-July 6
Focus: Asmodian levels 1-20

Closed Beta Event #4 - July 17-July 20
Focus: Elyos and Asmodian levels 1-25

Closed Beta Event #5 - July 31-August 3
Focus: TBD

Closed Beta Event #6 - August 14-August 17
Focus: TBD

The NDA has also officially been lifted (did we actually need one?) and so we can share our joys our pain and our screenshots from now on with the online world. The first test was a success and here's the things that were fixed and the things that will be focused on in the upcoming events:

- Updated with culturalized content for Asmodian levels 1-10
- Updated UI at login screen
- Localization fixes for various in game maps
- Fixed various NPC messages
- Initial zone channels increased from 4 to 10
- Server queue added

Coming Soon!

- Localized voice overs for cut scenes
- Localized tutorial videos
- In game pre-rendered movies
- More culturalized content for Asmodae
- Culturalized content for Elyos
- Community Events

From Aiononline.com

Vidcast 7: Aion beta weekend

Posted by Cynthe Wednesday June 10 2009 at 2:07PM
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Finally back from a month of no vlogs!! I had a few technical issues where my mic wouldn't work and then my webcam's software stopped detecting the camera... But all is well and I gained XP points in vidcasting. Also to note don't download the new Windows Live Movie Maker beta, while a bit more intuitive and petty the features are very limited and frustrating. Stick with Movie Maker!

This video is about my general thought on NCsoft's new MMO called Aion. Nothing that is said can't be found on any website where people played Aion, in fact there's less info just opinions. :P

Click Me For Video!!

 

FF14 anounced at E3 and Square fans everywhere lose their minds.

Posted by Cynthe Thursday June 4 2009 at 12:19PM
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YESSSSSSSSSSS! As a long time Square fan, previously Squaresoft and now Square Enix, I am just as madly excited about this announcement as everyone in the SE sphere is. Maybe more so then the average because it has been a long 3 years for me in the MMO universe. Not one title has held my interest for as long and as well as the first final fantasy online, FF 11. The mmos that may have come close are Everquest 2 and Lord of the Rings Online but in the end both of those simply lack the magic that the Final Fantasy titles have for me .

I'm not sure what it is, from the character and armor design, robust party gameplay to great story telling there is just something about these games that I cannot replace with anything else. So while it may mystify gamers looking from the outside in that we're all losing our heads at a simple trailer, a title and a few scraps of information it is in our experience with Square that whatever it is that have in store for this new title will be made with quality in mind and will even introduce new mechanics and systems to the mmo world that has either not been seen yet or has not been done so well.

I've seen the comment that sequels are often not as great as the previous, however for one this isn't really a sequel more like a reinvention, it's true any Final Fantasy sequel is not as good as the first title. For example take FF10 and 10-2, the sequel was basically fan service (mostly girls) and lack the depth of the first.
Kingdom Hearts, enjoyed the first one but I still have never finished the second one, to me it just wasn't as compelling or maybe I'm just too old for that title now, not really sure. In contrast FF games in themselves while being similar to previous titles are never the same and always introduce something a little different or polish what was done before. This is the promise of FF14 Online to many, not so much that's yet another Final Fantasy but it that but much better then it was previously.

There is still so much more to find out about this brand new MMO and I look forwards to this new year with hope renewed for my online enjoyment. With Aion on the brink of release and FF14 coming after I no longer fear the wasteland of endless MMO hoping and wandering.

Peace at last! ^_^

Go to FFXIV's official site for the trailer and basic info: Final Fantasy XIV

Here's the transcript of yesterday's E3 Square Enix conference: Gamespot's Live Blog

The Zam network has some exclusiveQ&A: Zam! FF14 Q&A

IGN also has an exclusion interview: IGN Q&A

 

 

 

 

Vidcast 6: West vs Eastern Art in MMOs

Posted by Cynthe Wednesday April 29 2009 at 5:52PM
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While the internet was down this morning I felt like making a video about why I prefer eastern or Asian over western or American graphics, specifically character models.

If you are wondering why I keep switching over video hosts it's because both Vloggerheads and Wegame have a 10 minute limit of video length allowed and my vlogs are usually 23 minutes long or so. Viddler was far better but it often gives me errors when I try to upload so I got fed up and just went with Vimeo which is what I should have gone with the first place... *cough*
:P

**Also to note the volume should be better in this cast, let me know otherwise**

 

Click me to view video

Dream Bytes: Vidcast 5

Posted by Cynthe Monday April 27 2009 at 6:03PM
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Dream Bytes numero 5 is a follow up of the last vidcast, still talking about Fallout 3 and it's ending, "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, and some WoW bunnies. :D This video is dark because I covered my computer screen with a cloth to kill the reflection of the screen in my glasses, unfortunately I didn't realize the monitor was such a source of lighting. :(

Click me to view vlog

I played WoW....... And I liked it o.o

Posted by Cynthe Monday April 20 2009 at 11:54AM
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And for some reason I felt like taking a shower. Like actually liking World of Warcraft is some kind of crime against mmos you should most certainly be ashamed of.
And why is that? I guess it might be because I played MMOs before WoW and have heard for 5 years how bloody awful the community is, how it is so easy your grandma and 3 year olds everywhere can play it to max level no problem. And the worst complaints of all have been in the last 2 years when new MMORPGs came out and seem to be using the same easy button concepts, what we know as WoW copies. So now it has ruined the entire genre, has crapped all over your level time sinks and sense of exploration and it even dares to use lightweight cartoon like graphics and not even try to be somewhat realistic. And worst yet! The game doesn't actually takes itself seriously, the devs constantly poke fun at fantasy and themselves. Oh noes! How dare they?

I have to say I have spent too many years actually buying into this, playing every other mmo out there except this one actually made me feel like I was a superior entity, I am worth more then WoW, I am intelligent and don't mind to spend a little time to get things done! WoW is for chumps and chimps! I will not play it! Honestly how utterly ridiculous is that. It's a game made for enjoyment, it has changed the basic mechanics of what an MMO is yes but really I keep wondering if people who really love old style grinders and open worlds why are they not playing more F2P asian mmos? That's exactly what they are, are the graphics that bad of a detriment? What about Ryzom, you'd think with all the old school people crying they'll never play another MMO because they are not what they used to be you'd think The Saga of Ryzom would be more popular right now...I'm thinking that's proof people only know part of what they want and miss from the good old days, and it's not always what they think it is. But anyway back to WoW.

Now this wasn't the first time I had downloaded the WoW 10 day free trial, I did just that last year but unfortunately the race I really wanted to try the blood elf is not available for the original trial. To be able to test anything in the Burning Crusade you have to already own the base and original game. Blizzard is making so much dough with WoW they really don't need to do anything special to sell it to anyone. However after 5 years you would think it would make sense to bundle the original game with the Burning Crusade considering the two races added to the first expansion, the draenei and blood elves are crazy cool and it seems a shame to not let brand new people try them.

I remember my first time in this mmo I had rolled a night elf and I had found immediately that the world and environment while highly colored and comic book like blended so very well with every other element. The first time I died and realized there was a corpse run I was disappointed, I mean how archaic who does corpse runs anymore? For an MMO that supposedly pushed the genre to new bounds that was a surprise. But fortunately the run is speedy and kinda neat as you are in spirit form in a black and white other reality. Then there was my first group in WoW and yes it was just as annoying and dysfunctional as you would expect. In fact I do believe that's when I decided not to get the game after all. Though what could have swayed my decision would have been;

a) as I said the ability to create a blood elf without buying anything
b) housing

Why in the name of all that is RPG doesn't WoW have any type of housing yet? Browsing the official forums I can take a guess, the large majority of Warcraft players are new to massively multiplayer online role playing games. Why would you care about some seemingly silly feature if you have never been exposed to it? It's kinda like my initial reaction to fishing video games or bowling online: LOL Whut?
But that's supposing Blizzard actually takes into account what is being said on the forums, I tend to think they do their own thing according to what they want, and I wouldn't want it any other way personally, and they just happen to think that housing isn't of immediate importance.
Which is sad as it seems to me Blizzard is more concerned about the game play in itself and how accessible it is. It would be about time they consider other aspects of the MMORPG realm or I do foresee a decline in interest. Especially as other games come out and the WoW player starts to wander other pastures their tastes will change and evolve, it would be in the best interest of Blizzard to start pumping out new features to flesh out their world. As far as I know their last expansion was only moderately satisfying for a large number of players.

Now to the things about the game I really do like, the animation, it's been said many times to seemingly unbelieving readers but one thing Blizzard does exceedingly well is animate their models. The motions are just fluid and last an appropriate amount of time. I found myself sucked into the city atmosphere in Silvermoon as I watched a few scenes actually take place in front of me. Unlike many mmos and recent ones at that, NPCs move and some walk about and talk to each other. Even the ones who just stand around look like they should be just standing around. The world is constructed very intelligently, no they are no doors on buildings, but there are no loading screens either or frame rate hiccups. The areas are large enough that I was a little lost after coming out of the newbie zone, while it's supposed to be linear you can freely walk about anywhere and if you stick to the roads you actually miss out on quest NPCs. So exploration is not something that I feel is missing at all. I am playing a hunter and I'm only level 10 so there not a whole lot I know firsthand about the game just yet, this is basically initial impression and thoughts on why I've cheated myself out of this game for so long. So at level 10 my hunter gets to learn how to tame pets, very useful actually makes the hunter class very powerful for solo. What tickled me though was when I realized I had to keep my pet happy by feeding it so it's attack percentage would not decrease. I mean they could have called it anything, but they chose to say you're pet is content, unhappy ect.. How is this shallow and unimmersive? It seems every time I find do something new I always find some small neat detail that Blizzard chose to put there, that just makes you go: "That's pretty cool!"

And maybe that's why it's hard to play other games after WoW, it's not so much that you've been spoiled with how easy it is to gain levels or other things one would work for, but that WoW does a few key things so very well it's tough to change to a new game and find that those things are not done so well. I think once you are used to something being a certain way it is very difficult to adjust to what is different and special in a new spin of things. That comment goes for both old school UO, EQ ect playes and newer WoW players. Before I go I have one other observation, I have heard recently that Blizzard keeps making things easier all the time, leveling, arenas, getting epic gear in one tier, getting epic mounts, and my thoughts though they may be wrong is that they do so with what they consider old content, basically whatever the newest expansion offers is what should be the challenge and the older content is made easier so new people and alts can access the newest content earlier. Is that bad? Is that good? I'm not really sure it's either, it's a decision only the player can decide for themselves and one that Blizzard may believe in.

And now to enjoy some pastel colored questing. :D