I remember that day like it was yesterday.
Ten years ago. It was a beautiful day out. The sun was shining, a slight breeze was flowing drifting the cool summer morning air, no humidity, and the sound of birds echoed through the woods. Then there was me, sitting inside on my computer playing my game. It was so worth it.
I logged onto my character like any normal day.
'I feel like an adventure, exploring,' I thought to myself.
I went to the local bank located in Minoc, my hometown, and geared up with some of the usual stuff. Pickaxe, a sword, some chain mail armor, and some poison to apply to my sword. I had a pretty good friend that could make some of the deadliest poison in all of Britannia. He knew I was new to the world so he hooked me up with a few bottles of this stuff. He always told me
"What ever you do, do not drink this stuff."
So I didn't. Not like it was temping anyways, it was green and just looked dangerous. So I just kept it in my backpack.
I got all of my stuff ready and zipped up in my backpack. I was then ready to go. Today I felt like traveling by foot, you know to take in the view and everything. Going by horseback would take no time at all to just explore. I headed off, east towards the river that divided the city of Minoc and Mt. Kendell.
As I walked over the bridge I could hear the sound of miners picking away at the rocky bottom of Mt. Kendell. The miners were always hard at work in this location. Everyone knew it too, which wasn't always a good thing. Life as a miner was rather tough in these old times. Most of the murderers would love to come to this mine and just destroy every living being that was picking away. Hell, just walking into the mine could make the miners uneasy. I peaked inside just to see what was going on. The usual, some shirtless men with their pack Llama picking away at the ground. It was pretty dark in there, but the summer sun peaked in at this early morning, which is why it probably was so active that day. I could feel their eyes drift towards me. Probably a sign that I should just head on my way, or start picking at the earth just like they are. They were getting uneasy, you could sense it.
'It's probably wise to leave them alone,' I said to myself.
Outside of the mines were several tents set up with mining gear laying around. Ore in multiple piles laying all around the tents. I suppose these are the areas that have a rich vein, so they set up tents to mine during even the worst of all weather. It was always breezy on this side of the mountain, which was very close to the river front.
Speaking of which, as I looked to the sky I could tell in the far distant to the south a few darken clouds were gathering. These rain clouds were far from the shore though, nothing to worry about. It's not like I would melt anyways. So as I left the mining camp, you could hear the clinking of the pickaxes dim in the distant. I scaled the mountain side of Kendell as I headed north towards the great field north of Minoc. The river, to my left, was calm. It looked so peaceful, but I knew better than to jump in. The river was very close to the ocean, who knew what creatures dwell in these bodies of water. Plus it was a very far jump too. There would be no way for me to make it back out unless I drifted all the way to the city of Vesper.
I kept my pace as I headed around the mountain side. Breeze in my face, warm summer sun illuminating the water on my right. I was looking down at my feet as I was walking. Watching as each step brushed away the thick grass with each step. As I glanced up towards the forest ahead of me I had to blink my eyes a few time to believe what was ahead of me. Surely my eyes were deceiving me, so I looked back down, rubbed my eyes then looked back up at the forest. Of course this couldn't be accurate, it didn't make sense. I sped up my walking to reach the forest a bit faster.
When I reached a safe distance from the forest I stopped in my tracks. Slowly took by backpack off of my shoulders and I starred at the forest with my jaw wide open. I did not want to take my eyes off of this sight, for if I did I was afraid it would disappear.
"Unbelievable," I said out loud to myself.
I dropped my backpack and just stood and starred at what I saw.
A forest of trees all the shade of dried blood. Except this was not blood and it was not splattered on the trees. Each and every tree had a red tint to it, from truck to the tip of every branch. Not one spot of the trees showed its true colors.
I ventured into the forest a bit more and could not believe what I was seeing. What was I seeing? What exactly is this. I touched a few of the trees, rubbed my fingers on them. Nothing out of the ordinary, beside the colors.
I spent several minutes just looking around, trying to find any excuse to why this has happened.
'Did someone really come through and paint the trees,' I thought to myself. 'Surely not, but what?'
After gathering my stuff together and trying to stay calm, I left the forest and headed back into town. When I finally got to the local Minoc bank, I told quite a few people sitting around about what I just saw. Most people just went on their merry way without even taking notice. One chap on a horse back raced up there to check out exactly what I was talking about, but I never saw him again after that.
I went on with my day like any other normal day. Going around gathering resources for my house, preparing for the winter season to hit.
The next day everything was back to normal. The forest was just like anything other 'ol forest in this blasted land.
I never did figure out what happened that day. Was it something as simple as the gods' playing a joke on us? A decade later I never experienced such a thing in my life. Never will I forget that summer day.
One of many stories and experiences from Britannia, the world of Ultima Online.
Let me just state this before anything. I do not know much about Aion. All I know is that you can fly and it's a PvPvE game.
With that aside, to my blog.
In this day and age it's hard to get excited for a game mainly due to the fact that you know about the whole game before it even releases via Internet. Everything is spoiled for us. The only thing we tend to get anymore is just the play experience. What if I were to tell you I'm interested in Aion because not only does it look like a solid MMO, polished, and few bugs, but because I don't know much about the game. I don't know how it plays and I don't know the different races and the lore. Everything is new to me. Which is what I think is the best way to go into any gaming experience.
This is the new way I'm going to look at games. Not just MMO's, but all games. If I know it looks like a great title, I'll leave it at that. What's the point of hyping up and knowing most of the mechanics before you even dive into the world? If you find yourself disappointed by most of the MMO's out there, why don't you try this approach.
I'm going to keep this post short today, don't what to get into much of a rant. Step back a bit. Keep some things secret and be surprised when you log in the first time. I guarantee that you will feel a sense of being immersed in a world rather than "Ok, here we go again."
When I said I was getting away from the MMO scene I guess I really 'ment it. Of course I've done my fair share of 360 gaming and some Ultima.
But I think I'm ready to dabble back into MMO's. Right now I crave a game with a strong community and something different. Astronomy interests me to no end. When I create art, it's mainly consists of planets or something universal. So I'm going to play some EVE Online for a 3rd time now, trial of course. Watching District 9 probably helped a bit with that decision too.
It's good to be back.
I'm going to stray away from MMORPG's for a bit, because there are so many other games out there. If you constrain yourself to just MMO's, you simpily WILL go nuts.
Anyways. So I picked up Soul Calibur 4 the other week. The game is a blast; great story mode, a never-ending tower full of treasures, classic arcade, custom characters, unlockable art, and dare I say....Online fighting!
Ok, I have been playing fighters since I can remember, my first one? Hell I don't know. Something like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter rings a bell. I'm sure some of you might be able to upstage me, good for you. I never was a huge fighting fan, until I played the Dead or Alive demo on my PSX magazine disc summer of 1996. Holy crap! Talk about a great fighter. I remember staying up super late in the morning trying to learn combos and moves for all my characters. For some reason Kasumi stuck and I begun to master her.
Well time sped through, twelve years into the future and we get a game that is called Soul Calibur 4. Do take note that I've played pretty much every 'Soul' game out there, from Soul Blade to Soul Calibur 2. Skipped Soul Calibur 3, mainly because I lack a PS2.
I am a pretty decent fighter in this game. Not the best out there, but decent. If I had to rate myself, I'd probably give myself a B++.
Now, Online fighting can always be a problem because of lag. Always has been in Dead or Alive 4, but you both lag together. So no, it's not the core problem. The core problem going way beyond just lag. The main issue with any fighter out on the market is skill. Skill of the player. No, let me refraise that. Sportmanship of the player. Yeah. I have this reacurring problem in Soul Calibur 4 that players online will just do one combo over and over and over until your face is melted by anger and steam. To me, there is no way out of this. You either block or be pelted by the fastest character in the game. If you usually do manage to get away or counter their attack, you get a couple nice hits in before they go back into doing the same damn combo over and over.
You see, Dead or Alive 4 was a well balanced fighter, in my book. Sure you would come across your players that would do this, but you had the ability to counter and attack. And if someone was doing the same one over and over, human nature would kick in and time those counter moves. Most of these counter moves did pretty good damage and put the other player at a disadvantage.
My problem with Soul Calibur 4 is that there is countering, but it's only a matter of pushing the character back and dealing slight damage to them. Their down-time is not long .5 of a second? You have to get your fastest attack up and ready or else their back at it. Even if you do so, they usually block a few attack and once your open they are beating your ass with the same moves again.
I have a major problem with Soul Calibur 4. To me, this game is broken. The combos consist of a couple of buttons and there are not many of these combos. Sometime the combo buttons and the moves that are delt don't even make sense. You push a few buttons and they character flys around the screen like their superman destroying everything under them. Anyways back to what I was saying. In Dead or Alive 4 there were combos, plenty of combos. The best combos were not easy to pull off and took timing and skill to make sure you can trick the other player so they won't counter every attack you throw at them.
Basically I think I've had enough with fighting other people online in Soul Calibur 4. Just tonight I fought 4 people in a row that went back and forth between 2 different attacks. I'm sitting there for 5 minutes just blocking trying to time everything so I can pull an attack off.
Soul Calibur 4 is a single player game, or a game you play with friends. Don't think you can just randomly fight anyone, because 6/10 times they will pull some kind of crap like this.
Anyways, that's my rant for tonight. Feel free to comment, complain, or praise me. If you have Soul Calibur 4, I hope your enjoying it more than I am.
Let me just say that The Dark Knight will go down as one of the best Batman films of all time. Probably one of the best superhero films of all time. And probably one of the best action films of all time. The performance of the characters were just jaw dropping. Heath really did redefine what the Joker is really like, no performance could have done better.
I don't want to go deep into the movie, because most of you probably have not seen it yet. But let this be the reason you go see it, if you weren't. The Dark Knight is amazing. It was one of the best movies I've seen in quite some time. Creepy, Twisted, Funny, and Jaw dropping.
Back to gaming
I'm sure people are getting sick of hearing about people complain about Age of Conan; but honestly we were ripped. So yesterday my girlfriend and I finally decided to cancel our subscription to AoC before the next pay period.
We decided (I know I know) to go back to World of Warcraft. I mean, I just missed the art style that WoW had and the balance nature of the game. We have only played it a year before moving on and I think it was too early. Do understand though that WoW was not my first MMO, since I started in 1999.
So we are back in WoW now, getting ready to start anew and level some characters together. It's alot more fun when you have someone else to play WoW with really, especially a girl.
Anyways, AoC basically was full of unpromised 'features.' I'm sure one day i will return to AoC, when I know for a fact that everything has been implamented. Hell I might give it a try on my 360 when it comes out.
So here we are, going back to the future again. Too bad I can't get her into UO ;)
It had already been about 1 year since I moved on from the official OSI shards from Ultima Online. Mainly due to the fact that the game has changed so much.
I decieded to take my character and move him to another world. I found a RP shard that was free, but dedicated itself to only a pre UO:R system.
I was in my guild, Dwellers of Darkness (DoD}, we were strictly an rp only guild and man did I have a blast. We had many enemies against us. I remember many battles that would lay outside of our castle walls. People would horde outside and yell at us, intimidating us to come out and fight.
One day I decided to take some action. I told my guild master that I had a plan to go against one of our enemies. I recently found out that they held 10 of the rarest steeds in our shard. Each worth millions of gold. So with a quick nod, I released myself from DoD, my guild. I grabbed my steed and slowly worked my way to the enemy guilds castle, knocked on the door and told them I've quit DoD and have many secrets to tell them.
They accepted me in their ranks, which surprised me. Their castle was amazing, loot and rares stacked everywhere. But I had to keep my self focused. They took me upstairs to the highest point and gave me some outfits that they wore, Across the floor were the steeds. So I suited up and began to tell them some insides to our guild, all of which were lies. They all had a battle coming up with another guild, but I do not recall who. So then they left, as I told them I would meet them shortly.
So I made my way to the steeds, all unlocked and just sitting in the castle. I quickly swipped each one and placed them in my backpack. I then quickly ran out of the building and released myself from the enemy guild. Ran through the forest, nervous. Anyone, any killer, any murderer could easily kill me and take the loot. All the hard work. All the planning.
I finally made it to the Trinsic bank and placed all the steeds in my bank. Went to my old guild (DoD) and told them my mission was a success, they added me back to the ranks.
The next day when I logged on, I was in jail. Someone from the other guild reported that someone hacked somehow and stole all their rare steeds. No one mentioned my name though. The only way the GM's found them was because the steeds were in my bank. They said if they were in my backpack that they would have not been able to track them.
I was pissed. I failed to see how I hacked anything. Everything I did was through RPing and legit gameplay. After a month of being in jail, the administrator then said that I was banned from the server, even after pleading my rights and saying that I did not hack anything.
So I quit. I quit Freeshards, because favoritism is real. I found out that the guild I stole from was a GM's favorite and would do anything to help them out. Who knows, all the rare steeds could have been a gift from the GM to them.
But in the end, I felt good. I succefully went into an enemy guild and stole their rarest prizes by just sticking to my character. This is the freedom that UO had long ago. It will be missed. No other game will have this feature like UO did.
Thanks to this http://mmorpg.com/blogs/Lustmord/052008/1702_Six-Months-of-Lies-Deception-and-Betrayal-The-best-time-I-ever-had-in-a-game
It inspired me to write this blog. I'm sure many great stories like this exist. If your a UO player, do share you most valuable memories.
Man, it just seems like yesterday since I first started my journey in Britannia as a little nooblet. I had no idea what I was getting into and everything was so new. MMORPG's were totally new to me and I got hooked right away at the idea of being able to do anything you want.
Now it's a little over 9 years since I started my journey as a MMO player. Many games later and I'm still stuck on Ultima Online and how amazing it was. (Was it really amazing or was it just because it was my first MMO?)
I never was into roleplaying back in the day; hell I didn't even know what a RPG game was when I first started UO back in 1999. I've dabbled a few time into roleplaying when looking for new games, but nothing felt as good as RPing in Ultima Online.
I'll admit that I miss UO greatly. But I feel it's time to move on and move on I will. But I'm thinking I'm going to take my UO character somewhere I never would have taken him before.
You see, Age of Conan is realistic (in a sense of fantasy)...similar to UO. You didn't have Elves or Dwarves. You didn't have wierd mushroom planets like in most other MMO's. I feel like Age of Conan's Hyboria is in a way very similar to Ultima Online's Britannia. So I started thinking the other day. I want to take my character from britannia and send him over to hyboria. Of course there are some issues with story and all, but I feel I can connect my character somehow and actually feel like I'm playing a new "UO" so to speak.
I know, sounds weird. But it makes me feel better inside to think I can connect Britannia and Hyboria together in some way. How will my character get there? I don't know, haven't thought about it that much.
I guess basically what I'm saying is that Age of Conan is almost a true sequal to any die hard UO fans out there. Sure we don't have some of the annoying things that UO had like FFA pvp and item loot, but this is a new generation and I think AoC tips his hate to UO.
Psh, enough with this rambling. I hope to see many old UO faces in AoC in a couple of days.
As it looks, many people around here are getting pissed off at Funcom about their move with the Beta. People are going on how now they hate Funcom and Fileplanet and they think it was a bad move. Now people are starting to say Doom about Age of Conan just because they feel 'cheated' out of an open beta. Please, you got to be kidding me. Don't diss Funcom, because they made a wise move. Just think of all the great impressions they are getting right now; no one is having a problem downloading this client. It's a huge client too. Would you rather have a free open beta where the download server is horrid and no one can download the 14gb file? You've got to be kidding yourself if you say yes.
This is MMO buisness, people. If money can be made then money will be made. If you don't like that the beta has gone through fileplanets subscription, then go cry somewhere else. It's $5 (quit paying for that other MMO that you play) a month to do this, plus you get other great things from fileplanet like access to other betas, free games, and fast download rates.
If your going to diss Funcom on the way they handled beta, then you just need to either wait for release and not worry about it, or quit spending so much money that your worried about $5 a month. I'm getting sick of hear all the whinning coming from everyone that they should have a fair shot into beta. Well this is your chance. This way it shows that it is a fair chance. Instead of getting picked for you amazing/weak computer system...you actually get a chance of skill in getting in beta.
So my advice to everyone that wants to cry about Funcoms handle on the open beta, just wait until release. Would you rather have a clusterfuck with server loads and have people get irritated because they can't download the client? This is a wise move by Funcom to have Fileplanet do this because everything right now is going so smooth. This just shows that Funcom cares about their product and it shows the quality of the work they have put into this project.
And if you don't like what I'm saying in this and don't agree. Feel free to express your opinion, I'll listen. But it won't change anything.
For those of you that don't have a problem with Fileplanet, enjoy yourself. and have FUN!
Let the blood spill.
And thank you Funcom for making this painless, I appreciate what you've done.