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Provocative idea's for the mind

Taking seriousness to a whole new level, analyzing current MMORPG's, and idea's for MMORPG's in the most logical ways possible.

Author: TenchiMuyo

New laptop, plus some Mortal Online Beta opinions

Posted by TenchiMuyo Tuesday October 6 2009 at 4:05PM
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Well, as I've talked about before, I've had my eyes on a new laptop. I finally made my decision, and was able to buy it this Saturday. It's a beautiful G71GX-RX05 from Asus, specially equipped by BestBuy.

Some quick specs on the laptop...

2.53 Ghz duo core processor, Overclocked to 2889 Mhz.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M with 1Gig of VRAM

6 Gigs of DDR2RAM

500GB HDD, 5200RPM, with a second expansive bay for another SATA drive (Thinking about an SSD)

17" screen

It's my baby. My lover. I'm enjoying it immensely, and it's a huge step up from my old toshiba.

Now, naturally, with a new powered up laptop, comes new powered up games that I've been forced to play on Xbox 360 only up until now. I've been able to play EVE Online on high settings, with no difference in heat. I've been able to run Fallout 3, full graphics, beautifully run. And then, there was Mortal Online.

I've been watching this game for a long time now. I've been watching it, and bought the game in anticipation for the beta. Sadly, my laptop was unable to run it when my beta came in. I heard I didn't miss much.

However, now I am able to play it, beautifully by the way. With no graphical lag. And this is no peaceful game either, this has some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen in a game in a long time. And they're not done yet.

Naturally, I'm not allowed to say much/anything about the game specifically, due to signing the TOS/NDA in order to play, but I can say a few things. I've already spotted several things promised by the Devs when they were first started on their project, and know that a lot of the other things, are on their way in just a few updates.

As you can find out from the mortalonline.com website, they recently added MassiveLOD to the game engine. This means, soon, they'll be able to take what, at first seems like a small area, and add the rest of the continent, as a seamless map. This means, exploration will soon be a major part of the game. Currently, it only takes about an episode of Family Guy, to get from one end to the other. And I'm currently not the fastest player in the game. But soon, we'll have a whole world opened to us. and it will be a glorious day in MMORPG history in my opinion.

I'm not saying this is "THE" game. But I'm saying it's pretty expansive. And customizable. And the devs have told us everything we have wanted to hear so far. The concept, is "THE" Concept. I just hope they'll be able to bring the whole thing to light.

I ask you don't send comments/questions about specific things in the game, or ask for pictures and so on, I can't give any custom ones. If you want to take a look at the game, http://www.mortalonline.com/screenshots has official screenshots. And I can vouch, those graphics are from in-game. And they're even better in some ways now.

New step towards my personal MMORPG experience.

Posted by TenchiMuyo Sunday August 16 2009 at 1:19AM
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I haven't posted my blogs much; because of certain issues with college; and not much time for MMO's, due to a poor laptop.

However; I am now receiving federal student loans (thank you tax-payers of America, I'll pay it back in full), and thusly, can finally buy a proper laptop. I've found a great one, for a great price; however due to it constantly going on backorder, and not having the funds for it quite yet, I'm not going to link it...instead, I'll just talk about the specs a little bit.

It's a 17" laptop, just like the one I have now; but for $300 more than I paid for this one; it's going to have much better specs...Here's my current specs

1.6 Ghz duo core Intel Pentium Processor

2 Gigs of RAM

An X3100 Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (IGMA)

and a 250 GB HDD

The rest isn't too much important; it's got the webcam, full keyboard with numPAD, wireless, so on

The computer I'm looking at has...

2.53 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

6 Gigs of RAM (Damn!)

A NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M with 1GB VRAM dedicated, with an HDMI output

And a 500GB HDD

Not to mention; it looks pretty damn good. I'm very happy with the find; and hope to get it soon. I'll definitely be making another blog as soon as I get it, with some updates on compatibility with certain MMORPG's, and how well the graphics run. First stop, will be my favorite, EVE Online. Followed by Mortal Online, when my Beta Block comes out. However; I probably won't be able to talk about it at that point :p All I can say, it's my Top Pick for 2009 MMORPG's.

Getting there : FFXI Update and Review

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday March 5 2009 at 7:22PM
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Well, it's been a few days now since my last blog, because I've been quite busy, spending all day playing FFXI. It's a very fun game to be honest, and I'm enjoying myself a lot. It has some interesting game mechanics that I haven't seen in an MMORPG before; which is quite refreshing, and being able to play it on my Xbox 360, with full graphics, is a nice change from the overheating and low-graphic settings my laptop often gets.

Well, the last blog I had, I talked about how long the registration was, and that it took me a long time to do it without the chatpad...well, ladies and Gentleman, I now am the proud owner of an Xbox 360 Chatpad, which allows me to chat much easier with my fellow Vana'diel citizens. I've so far made 13 new friends, and have joined a linkshell.

A linkshell in of itself is an interesting concept of the game. There is no actual guild, or grouping of the players, rather think of it as a pass-word protected IRC. Instead of a password however; there are linkpearls...the in-game explanation, is that a linkpearl is imbued with magic that allows you to contact your friends and peers no matter where they are in Vana'diel. It creates a chatroom (The name of the linkshell I am in; is called PigLatin), just like any other MMORPG chatroom; but only people who own these certain Linkpearls, are able to chat in it. It's a rather interesting concept, both with taking thought into storyline, and that being a social game, large groups of friends are bound to eventually build.

My linkshell has been very kind, and very helpful to me in my newby days; which I expect are to last for quite some time still. They have helped me with my questions, and even helped me gather certain items needed for a very special, very essential quest (Thank you Opticon!).

The game is very social, and in a way I have not really seen much in an MMORPG. Everyone is helpful, and everyone is willing to just strike up a conversation, on pretty much anything. It's a very laid back community (Possibly due to the wonderful flutes, guitars, and piano music playing throughout your travels), and everyone is always willing to lend a hand.

Speaking of Lending a Hand, one of the other major parts of the game, is partying. The game is pretty much a grindfest (But never a boring one, fights always seem to be different!), and so grouping with people, and taking on very strong monsters is the best way to do things. Whereas a 2-4 minute solo battle for 100 XP is pretty good; in a full group, you can get a 3 minute battle, and receive 200+XP for one kill. When you're going for 4,000+ XP to level, it can be a big time saver.

So far; I've leveled quite a bit in my opinion. I've grown stronger, and I've learned quite a bit so far. I still make stupid mistakes, but that's always to be expected. But this brings me to another interesting mechanic to the game. You pretty much only need one character. You can take your character, over the course of a few years; to every single class available, and through every type of crafting. Your character can essentially become all powerful in every situation...but not at the same time. You see; Final Fantasy XI runs off a 'main job / sub job' system. Your character can have two jobs it's using at one time, once it has one job at lvl 18. But; the subjob is restricted to exactly half of your main job. So, for example if you had...

Level 18 Warrior, and level 18 monk, you could either go 18 warrior/ 9 monk, or 18 monk, and 9 warrior.  If you had 18 warrior, and 8 monk however, you could go 18 warrior/ 8 monk, or 8 monk / 4 warrior.  It's a very interesting mechanism, and it's fun to test different builds. I started out as a warrior, and reached level 18 not too long ago. My new friend Opticon helped me out with what I needed for a quest, so that I could start using a subjob, and I started my adventure anew. This time; as a level 1 monk/ level 1 warrior.

Knowing your way around places really helps in this game. It's a very large place, with lots to do and see. Starting out this new adventure, I've been leveling quite fast. In a matter of one day's play, I've leveled up my monk job quite fast, currently playing as a 8 monk/4 warrior. One of the best things about being sub-jobbed is that you get to use the job abilities of your sub-job. When I get to be a level 10 monk, I'll be able to use the skills of a level 5 warrior; mainly 'Provoke' which causes my target mob to begin attacking me. A monk/warrior makes a good tank class, mixing high defense, with high evasion...not to mention a good deal of damage added in.

I already have my first 'end game' character plotted out, though it's likely to change as I keep going.

So far; I've gotten pretty far, and I'm enjoying myself quite a bit. I'd definitely recommend some people to pick this game up; if they can find it, and take a crack at it. You'll be surprised at the general generosity and kindness of the players; which is a good opposite of what you can normally see in MMORPG's.

If you already play, and have a character on the 'Seraph' server, give me a /t, my character name is RyokoHakubi (Again, that's the name of the character in the icon I have). I'm the Elvaan Monk/Warrior with a coinpurse full of flies.

Tell me what you think; have you played FFXI? Did this review change your mind about your next purchase? Do you think you'd enjoy the game, from what I've said? Don't be shy, voice your opinion!

A FF newb's perspective on FFXI

Posted by TenchiMuyo Sunday March 1 2009 at 6:07PM
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I admit it. I'm quite a newb to the Final Fantasy series. I never played too many of them; I played a little FFX on my Ps2 before it broke; and a little FFIII on my DS; but nothing too extreme, or in depth. I never even finished those two.

But I've been tired of having to play my MMO's on 'low setting' on my laptop, which if you all haven't gathered by now; isn't that powerful of a rig. I'll be getting a new Desktop within the year; one that will be able to play anything I want it to. But for now; I'm stuck with consoles and non-OpenGL 2.0 games for my laptop.

So I began looking into console-MMORPG's, which I spoke a little of in a blog not too long ago. I read a little about Final Fantasy XI Online; and checked into the prices. It's not that bad of a price, if you buy the collection deal. $20 for a MMORPG, with all four expansion sets, and I can play it at highest graphics? Sounded like a bargain to me. I placed a special order at my local PlayNTrade, the store owner had no problem ordering it (From where, who knows!), and got me a new copy.

About 4 days later, I got 'The Call', that my order was in. I went down the next night, and picked up my copy, along with a can of Monster Energy drink (Mean Bean ftw), as I planned on staying up for quite a while that night. I rushed home, after a short stop for Milk, OJ, and ketchup, and popped the CD in.

For those that don't know; Final Fantasy XI plays through a program called 'PlayOnline'. It is the client that allows the Playstation 2, PC, and Xbox 360 versions to interact with each other (Or so I assume). I personally was on the Xbox 360 version. In order to play through PlayOnline, you need to pay a certain fee. The monthly fee for PlayOnline is $12.95, but that's not all you need to play Final Fantasy Online. You also need what's called a 'Content ID'. These run for $1.00 a month. So all in all, you pay $13.95 a month for Final Fantasy XI.

So when I popped it in, the CD began installing the PlayOnline software. It was no real big deal; it installed it fast. I decided to copy the CD's information to my harddrive, so it would play faster; and play more silently. That took a little while, but no longer than 30 minutes.

Registration took a little while however. I didn't have the Chatpad for my Xbox yet; so it took quite a while to enter all my information. They require your name, residence, e-mail, password choice, and your debit/credit card information (Which includes entering your name and residence again, along with the actual card's information). For some reason, it wouldn't accept my credit card's information, and it reset the entire form, so I actually had to do this twice; using my debit card. Total registration time took a good hour or so; due to having to type using the on-screen keyboard. But as far as starting up the game; that wasn't the worst part.

After registering for the PlayOnline; it had to install the actual FFXI game as well. That took about 30 minutes, same as copying the CD to the harddrive. I wonder now; thinking back on it, if it just did the same thing or not. Finally after finishing the installation, I began to start it up. And I hit a wall of patches. This took the longest of the start-up time. Over 10,000 files to download, it took 2 and a half hours to finish, plus another hour to install the files. I was patient though. I read the instruction manuals; read forums, played some other games in the meantime.

And finally it finished. It was late at night, almost 1 AM. I planned on staying up atleast another two hours to enjoy the game. I started the game up, and was instantly taken into the world of Final Fantasy. I began creating my first character. From what I found on forums, melee classes, like most MMORPG's, were easiest to play for your first time. So I created an Elvaan Warrior, playing in the city of Windurst.

Elvaan's, like the sound of their name, are Elf type creatures, tall, with pointed ears. I played a female, as I always enjoy a MMORPG more when there's a better view. Though that doesn't always make a game better ( See "Now for a game, that's not so great" dated February 21st 2009 in my blog). As soon as I finished setting up how my Warrioress looked, I was carried through a cut-scene, introducing me to the world I was about to adventure in. The cut-scene actually was pretty good. I didn't find myself struggling to find a way to cancel it; like I do in World of Warcraft; or Warhammer Online. I read through the storyline; and enjoyed the scenery of the game; watching the lives of the Tantaru that lived there in Windurst.

Spoilers ahead about the beginning of the game. Nothing too big; but it gives away the beginning of the Windurst city choice. Skip to 'Spoiler End' if you don't want to spoil the beginning.

As soon as the first cut-scene ends, I'm started in a new cut-scene, one involving a little Tantaru. I can't quite tell the difference between children Tantaru, and Adult Tantaru, so I can't honestly label them as either. One tantaru however; a male, begins talking to you, as you stare out onto the waters near the city. He speaks to you about why you're staring out, and about what you're doing in Windurst. More of a curious thing; than confrontational. His sister comes along however, and shoo's him off for being so rude; and they speak of their general greeting customs; which is to offer help to any new comers in their city. So they offer their help to you; and allow you to ask them questions, about where you are; and so on.

After a while, they tell you that you should visit Jack of Hearts, which I later learned was a creature of some sort; called a Cardian. I'm not quite sure of the Cardian history; but it seems like they're similar to 'golems'. Created as puppets by the magics of the world, and treated as slaves almost; used to guard area's to the best of their ability.

Spoiler End

As I learned from the forums and other things I read; Final Fantasy XI Online is a team-based game. It's almost impossible to go through the game without being in a party often for grinding. But in the early levels; it's not so bad. My first quest required me to go talk to a guard...a guard I had no idea where they were; so I decided to skip that quest, and go off on my own, and explore. I soon found the world was a rather dangerous place. When I exited into the fields of West and East Sarutabaruta, I found the world populated by bumblebee's, and small Mandragora. They were easy for me at the time, I was able to victoriously slay many of these small, weak creatures, and was quickly leveling my job and my combat skills.

Here was where I learned to fight. There was no actual tutorial to my knowledge, that I was able to find, or go through; so everything was new to me. It wasn't that hard to figure out though, thankfully. In no time I was in the heat of battle with the screaming mandragora, and the stinging bee's. I soon hit level 3, and found myself itching for more. But I decided I shouldn't get too far ahead of my quests, so I decided to try to find this guard. I went on my way; and began learning more about the workings of the game, such as that 'War Warlocks' can cast a signet of my nation's homeland, that allows me to gather crystals from my fallen foes, and how to create food.

These quests set me up for more adventuring, and I began following through the storyline. Running missions and small quests, from finding a rock, to recharging magical orbs. It hasn't taken me long to get to level 12 (And a half!) but the game is getting tougher. I'm meeting stronger and stronger foes, and still dealing out good damage. I've got all new armor, and new weaponry...which brings me to my next part.

My weapon. It was hard to find a new sword; as the Tantaru's don't seem to carry and single-handed sword weaponry. I looked through the entire weaponry shop, which had wands, staves, poles, rods, axes, archery equipment, and daggers...but no swords for my Elvaan. I had to resort to the Auction House. I'm still unsure on how it works; as I seem to be unable to bid low amounts on anything; but if I bid high enough, I seem to automatically win the item. It seems more like a 'guess the amount' store, rather than an actual auction. I so far haven't been able to spot a way to see the minimum, or current bid on an item. But I was able to get my new sword for 1,000 GiL. Which was quite expensive (I currently have 2,000 GiL now). And it was the only weapon I could really afford. But it's given significant improvement to my swinging arm. I can't wait till I get enough GiL however for a better sword. Or till I can make something...which, to keep the pattern going, brings me to my next part.

So far, I haven't seen much in the form of crafting. I was able to build a 'Honey Egg' drink made from seemingly raw egg, and a bit of honey. But I was given all the items as part of a quest, which the point was to actually make this drink. Other than that; I haven't found any metal, or other items to craft with. It will likely improve later on; but I really want to be able to build some of my own stuff right now. It does seem however, by looking at the 'Crafting Skill List', that there will be a lot of crafting to explore.

All in all, I'm enjoying my time in this game. There's some things I could see that could use some improvement. The economy seems to be rather poorly made, A level 8 sword costing 1,000 GiL (I got it really cheap, the price history noted some being 1,500, to 3,000 GiL), when the mobs I can kill regularly, only drop 17-20 GiL. I was lucky enough to find some magic scrolls that were worth a lot, that I was able to sell for good money to some NPC's. But it definately needs some way of improvement. Maybe I'll try, once I get a higher level, crafting a bunch of swords, and selling them out on the Auction House for really cheap, to try to help the economy. But for now, I must suffer through. Otherwise, I have no real complaints about the game. It's rather solid, and enjoyable, and I'm really getting into it. There's minor bugs, such as 'Unable to see _insert NPC here_' when first attacking. But a simple light push on the joystick in any direction, moving your character, seems to fix it with ease. 

It's pretty good; and I'm definately going to be playing it a while (Until I can get a confirmation on if my laptop can handle Darkfall :p), and would reccomend it to anyone wanting to get away from the normal.

If you decide to join the FFXI community, I'm on the Seraph server; under the name Ryokohakubi (Which, is actually the name of the woman that is in my avatar, my favorite anime character, from my favorite anime show).

Rohan Review

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday February 26 2009 at 9:16PM
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I've stumbled onto a little game, called Rohan. http://www.playrohan.com/

It seems like a pretty good game so far. My FPS is a bit choppy, but if I'm not running anything else at the time, it runs pretty decently, on my IGMA X3100. It's still a game in Open Beta, but it's rather playable at the moment. It's a little challenging, and offers a lot of character-customization, as you level. I currently have two characters, a lvl 16 Dark elf (Which is a Mage class), and a lvl 4 Dhan (Which is a rogue class). So yes; this will be a review from my first 16 levels in the game.

Your exp is viewed as a percentage, 0.00% to 100.00%, much like any other MMORPG we play. It has some interesting additives to the leveling system however, including a feature dubbed 'M. Kill' or 'Multiple Kill'. With M. Kill, each kill you perform, regardless of exp gain, increases your M. Kill counter. Which runs from 0 to 100. Every 20th kill, that kill gains a multiplicity bonus. For example, your 20th kill on your M. Kill counter, gives you a 700% increase in exp from that kill. So if you get a monster that gives you 100 exp...you get 700 that one time. It increases, all the way to 100, each 20th kill giving you a higher and higher multiple. If I remember right, your 100th kill gives you a 2,500% increase. It can make grinding a lot more interesting, and fun, if you're focusing on your M. Kill guide.

As far as Character Creation goes, your character has several stats. So far, each level gives you 4 attribute bonus points that you can align to a certain stat. The stats are, Strength, Intelligence, Psyche, Dexterity, Agility, and Vitality. Most of these are rather self-explanatory, but I'll go over them anyways, as there are some minor differences. Strength increases your melee attack score, and the amount of Weight you can carry. Intelligence increases your Magic Attack score, Magic Defense and your elemental resistance scores. Dexterity increases your Ranged attack score, and your accuracy with melee and Ranged weapons. Vitality increases your health, and physical defense score, Psyche increases your mana and Magic Resistance, and Agility increases your evasion rate.

It has a lot of sub-stats though, some mentioned above. Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, Magic Attack, Physical Defense, Magic Defense, Health, Mana, Resistance, Accuracy, Evasion, Mobility (I think that's your walking speed, though I'm not sure!), Attack Speed, Hp recovery, and mana recovery. They're all very self-explanatory, so I won't go into them in detail! Just suffice to say, Melee need Melee attack high, Archers need Ranged attack high, and Mages, need Magic Attack high.

As a Mage, I found very quickly that the game doesn't utilize skills the same way we use them in other MMORPG's. It uses a skill tree, and each level, you get a skill point, which you can use to raise your skills/spells. I was able to figure out right away what spells were best for me to use! I dumped all my points into a spell called 'Energy Sphere'. It seemed to be the Mage Classes main offensive spell. It basically channels mana into your wand, or staff, and increases your damage with it. At the 'Mastered' level, which was 5, it increases your damage by 170%. I've hit upwards of 500 damage now with it, and can take out a good half of my enemies hp in one strike.

I noticed a few buffs that would come in handy too. One such buff, increased my health and mana points by ten times my level. So, right now, at level 16, it increases my hp/mana by 160 points. To give you a good balance view, that Mastered Energy Sphere spell, needs 69 mana. My other two main spells, need 144 (It's lvl 3/5), and 176 (5/5). So it's a pretty useful buff, and it lasts for 21minutes (Why 21, I don't know.) Another good buff I noticed, only has 1 level to it, before it's mastered. It's the 'Dark Eyes' buff. I can use it to automatically detect rogues within 30 meters of my character, and it gives a +15% bonus to my magic attack score. Pretty useful...but it automatically puts my mana regeneration at -3. I don't know if it's a bug or not, but my natural mana regeneration is at 48.

I found some other good spells, ones I wouldn't probably be able to survive without. Health Coil, and Mana coil. These deal large amounts of damage, and turns a good portion of that into health, or mana for my character. Currently, my Health Coil adds 90% to my magical attack score, and gives me 60% of the damage as a heal. It's very useful, and I'm trying to level it up as fast as possible. It's currently at level 3 of 5. The Mana Coil, is devestating however. It gives a 150% bonus to my attack, and gives 90% of that as mana back to me. When I hit upwards of 500 damage with it, I can fill up more than half my mana bar in one attack.

There are a few bugs still, that need some heavy fixing (And they seem to have been there for quite a few months now). One major bug, is located in the Dark Elf's main city, Mortt. There's a large castle in the back of the city, vital for some quests you run. If you try to enter the castle however, it places you underneath the map for some reason; and the only way to get out is to use a town scroll/rune, to teleport you back to the city. So sadly, there's some quests you just can't finish.

And that brings us to a second problem with the game...it's lacking in quests! Currently, I'm simply in a grind fest, as the only quest available to me is a lvl 13 quest, that doesn't quite give a fair enough reward for the work in my opinion. I'm not sure when I'll get a new quest available, but all I know, is I can't PvP till I'm lvl 30, and there's very strong monster's blocking my path out of the first zone. Thankfully, due to the M. Kill system, leveling can be fun, and fast if done right (For example, fighting 19 monsters that are = to your level, then fighting a monster that's a few levels higher, to get a nice bonus).

 

All in all, I definately think Rohan is a game to test the beta for, it's playable right now, and it seems if you play a character other than a Dark elf, you won't have much problem with quest linear-ism. Just pretend that's a word, and we'll do just fine.

Let me know what you guy's think about it, and how your adventures were.

What can we do?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Monday February 23 2009 at 3:03PM
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I spent the last two blogs talking about a game I liked, and a game...well, I hated. Well this blog entry is actually a 2 parter, The first section is an announcement about a small experiment I'm going to try. The other is about a MMORPG that is related to the experiment.

Do our comments, our idea's, and our desires, fall to the wayside when it comes to game companies? A lot of popular games have established idea's, established goals, in their games. Games like The Sims, are popular, but pretty much, it's all the same thing, each time, no? Just new clothes, new animals, new housing items. GTA, pretty much the same thing, different storylines, some new weapons, and new quests, and area's. But same goal.

What's the main goal in a MMORPG though? What main focus can every player aim towards? Well, there's crafting, adventuring, PVP, dungeons, arena's, weapons, armors...the list can go on and on. Each person has their own goals, their own idea's, of what makes a MMORPG great.

Is this part of the reason, most people's idea's don't get heard, or read by MMORPG developers?

I'm going to test this theory, over the next few days. I'm going to write up a proposal for a MMORPG, Specifically one that got talked about a little bit around here, and send it to three major MMORPG companies, and three minor MMORPG companies, and see what they happen to say about it. And we'll see where it goes from there.

What about you, MMORPG.com viewers, have any of you ever sent an idea in to an MMORPG company, and had it integrated into a game you play(Or don't play, I suppose)?

PART DEUCE

This section, is about a little in-browser MMORPG, called Lands of Hope. It's website address is www.forlornonline.com/ It starts out with your character as a slave at a mansion, where you perform some small quests, to learn about the game. Eventually, you earn your freedom, and move on to the main map. The reason I mention this MMORPG, in relation to my experiment, is because in this MMORPG, all suggestions are taken seriously, and voted on by the community.

You can submit an idea, as descript as you please. Other users can go in and vote for, or against it, And the devs decide within 24 hours or so, whether it can or will be implemented. It's a very fun game, though can be quite tedious at times. There's lots of character customization. It's based on a level/skill/exp system. Your gain experience by killing mobs, or using skills. You raise skills by using them. Your levels raise your skill caps (Your skill cap is measured by lvl*5, so at level 5, the max skill you can have in any skill is 5).

The game can be quite long as well, as the maximum level is 1,000. There are several skills you can learn, including crafting, and gathering skills, which all cap at 5,000. There are many items, and spells to utilize as well, and is sure to keep any person busy. And due to being in a browser, you can play it anywhere.

Have any of you played this game before? If you have, what do you think of it, and did you ever submit an idea? Was it accepted?

 

Now for a game, that's not so great

Posted by TenchiMuyo Saturday February 21 2009 at 11:12AM
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Well, my last post here didn't seem to go too well, so I'm going to post a blog early. This time, I'm going to talk about a game that's not so great. I couldn't bare to play it for long, but I did so long enough to 'get the jist' of things.

This game, is made by Akklaim/Acclaim. It's called 2Moons. And it is one of the most horrible things I've seen before. The game is rated M for Mature apparently, and I can see why. So I'll start with the beginning.

Character Creation. I knew from looking through the website before playing, that the game was likely to be terrible. So I decided to do the only sensible thing. Play the skimpiest looking girl I could find. Which in this game, is the 'Segita Hunters'. They're basically the ranged + melee hybrid of 2Moons. They wield bows, and they can switch to a dagger-like sword. Their three sets of skills, are based into Archery, Combat, and 'Hunter'. Archery of course focuses on long-distance fighting. Which you can choose to wield a crossbow, which is slower, but more damage, and focuses on strength to wield them, or Archery bows, which are faster, less damage, and focus on Dexterity. Combat is melee, and Hunter are Buffs you get over a Looooong time.

So, I get this Segita Hunter (No male option, only female), and begin to play her. It seems confusing and clumsy at first, to move around. The camera control isn't that great, and there's no way to change how it works. I manage though, and start my first quest, which is to find my classes trainer. I go to her (She's rather skimpily dressed as well, at this point, I don't mind). I go to her, she gives me enough exp to get to half way to level 2, then tells me to go hunt some lvl 1 creatures outside the city. So I go do that. By this time, I'm already bored, and about to turn the game off. The clumsy walking, the camera, and the fact the rendering is only 5 feet distance, and, like the camera, can't be changed, has started to wear on my nerves...

So...I do the only sane thing. Try to see what the death sequence looks like. I see this giant deer like creature, glowing all around it's legs, horns, wings, all that good crazy stuff. It's name is in red, meaning it's a lot stronger than me. I decide, hey, no problem, this will kill me, and I'll be able to see what the death is like. So I start firing my bow, and use my one skill I have. My barely dressed character begins firing the bow she pulls out of thin air, and begins firing upon this strange sin against nature. It of course aggroes, and begins trying to come near me. But it can't. For some reason, my arrows keep knocking it back. I'm not using any special abilities, or special arrows, or anything. Each arrow hit knocks it back  a few feet. And I'm firing so blindly fast, that I'm actually pushing it further away. It takes a few hits, 15 at most, to bring it down. But I'm completely unscathed.

DING! Level 4. I jump from lvl 1, to 4, just from this single creature I shouldn't of really been able to beat. Out of sheer amazement, I decide it must of been a fluke, and decide to keep playing a little, till I find another. These aren't everywhere, but they are certainly not as hard to find as some bosses in some other games I know. I level up my character, as is the fashion in MMORPG's, I dump everything I can into dexterity. I upgrade my one skill a little, and go on with the quest, killing little bugs, which now die in one or two hits. I finally stumble across another sin of nature (Which by the way, drops over 100 'DiL', while the normal bugs I'm fighting, drop 4 DiL, and also drop many potions, and armor/weapons), and begin firing. The same thing happens. Same with the bugs, same with every other mob I meet. My arrows simply knock them back a few feet, they stall a moment, then start coming back at me...and pow, another arrow knocks them back. Now, this game may be rated Mature...but it's CERTAINLY not at the difficulty level for 17 year olds.

But not even to the best part yet. My character has been nude the entire time. No armor at all. Her avatar shows her wearing a skimpy thong, boots, and what can basically be termed as a bikini top. There's some metal on it. But mostly, it looks like cloth. So I decide, on the offchance I actually do get hit by something, I might want some protection. I go to my classes armor maker, and buy a full set of armor, that I can wear at the level I was at. So I put it on...and I notice something strange...

 

WARNING. THE FOLLOWING PICTURES ARE RATED M FOR MATURE, AND ARE MEANT FOR PEOPLE ONLY 17 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. THOSE WHO DO NOT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS MAY EXPERIENCE TESTICULAR DROPPING.

 

Now, like any sensible, heterosexual male, I like something good to look at...And that's why I chose her, atleast have some nice jiggly rump when I'm running. But when your character looks more naked, when they're clothed, than they were 'naked', there's something wrong there. By the way. The pictures may not be in exactly identical poses, though they are close...but her breasts defy gravity, and float up and down randomly, I wasn't able to control that.

 

No real question at the end of this blog, just my...thoughts, on this game. If any of you have played 2Moons, feel free to comment. As well, still wanting feedback on my icon :p

Edit: And can someone explain how I can get the pictures to resize themselves, to show correctly? For now, just right click, and select view image.

A little game, that is heavily under-rated. An announcement of a little game called Planeshift

Posted by TenchiMuyo Thursday February 19 2009 at 6:15PM
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Edit: Also, let me know what you think of my icon. I built it several years ago.

Thinking on my last blog, and it's subject of Roleplaying, I began thinking of some games I've played in the past. One that really stands out in my mind, is Planeshift. The game is beautiful. It's still in development, but it has open-play for those who want to try it out. The game has no wiki, and it has no Player's guide. No spoilers guaranteed. But I will tell you a little bit about this game, in hopes, you all will take a look.

 

Planeshift is a world completely different than most any other MMORPG I've experienced. It has in depth storyline like nobody's business. The entire game is built around mystery, fear, and even a touch of xenophobia. The storyline is so indepth, and complex, that trying to copy and paste it from their webpage, would create the longest blog in MMORPG.com history. I will however, supply a convenient little link at the bottom of this blog.

A little synopsis however, is in order. The world your character knows, the only world it knows, named Yliakum, exists in a Stalagmite. Larger than anything your creature can imagine. It in essence, is as large as a planet to them...Whether or not they are tiny, or this stalagmite is gigantic, is not known...It holds it's own atmosphere, it has it's own sun, which is actually a crystal emitting light. The stalagmite's interior, where the life of Yliakum exists, consists of several cliffs, one atop another, creating shelves of land. Each land holds it's own mysteries, it's own ecosystems, and it's own purpose. One entire shelf, is devoted to farmlands alone, drawing energy from the crystal, that draws it's energy from the surface sun.

Yliakum, is a city. Inhabitants are diverse, and many; from monsters, raiders, citizens, all have their own place in the world. It is populated by certain intelligent beings however. The only two native to Yliakum however, are the Kran, and the Lemurs. They were created by the gods of Yliakum themselves, and lead to the city. Among the Kran and Lemurs, are types of Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. There are even stranger races, such as the Diaboli, which sport dark red and black skin, with two large horns apon their heads. The Enkidukai, cat-like creatures, that stand upon two legs. The Klyros, which seem to be highly evolved dragons, taking a humanoid stance in the world. And the Ynnwyn, a cross between diaboli, and elves.

In this city of many, there are also many problems. From a thief stealing from the stores of the local armor shop, or the threat of The Lift, being compromised. Almost every NPC you meet in this realm, will have a problem for you to solve...but it's not always easy...from answering riddles, to gathering books, there are no pre-set answers, no pre-set dialogue. If you want to ask for a quest...you best ask for it.

For you see, you don't click the NPC, or even right click the NPC, to get a quest. You literally must ask the NPC for it...For example, if I were an NPC in the game, you would have to say "do you have a job for me TenchiMuyo?". I'd tell you about my problems, needing some special herbs for a pie. I'd ask if you wanted to do it for me. You would have to say "Yes". You could ask me about the herbs, you could ask about the pie...by saying "Tell me about herbs" or "Tell me about pie". And then you'd go get the herbs, and come back, and tell me "I have the Herbs TenchiMuyo." and I'd reward you.

It's a tough system to go through some times. It's not all perfected...but it definately keeps the roleplay going. As I mentioned up there, I was thinking about games involving Roleplay. See, in this game...it is a relative rule, when talking to people...you have to do it in Character. Some just do it lightly. But some, can get pretty heavy into it. There's even languages, for some of the different races. I myself learned some of the Enkudikai language, as that was the character I played.

It's a very friendly community, everyone is willing to help...but like I said, no spoilers! They won't tell you directly how to do a quest, or what you need...but they'll always point you in the right direction. You'll always be able to get what you need, and you'll always be able to find some people to hang out with.

The project isn't run by an actual business so to speak, but moreso started as a school project, and evolved from there. The work that's done on the game, is done by volunteers, most of which are teachers, from what I learned while volunteering there myself. There's a lot to learn about the game, but it's something every MMORPG'er should check out.

The crafting there isn't too bad either; currently, there's no real visuals that tell you where ore is, but there are maps out there that will let you know where to go. As I said, it's still in actual development. But you can build pretty much any armor or any weapon that's in the game. It's a vast crafting system, and anyone playing it should definately spend some time to try to build their stuff.

All in all, the game is free, and definately should be looked into. Donations are accepted with them too, if you like it enough. They need to make a living too! I hope you all check it out, it's an underrated game, that definately needs some more lovin'.

Edit2: Wow, I did forget the link, sorry about that guys! http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/30

Roleplaying in an MMORPG; can it enhance your gameplay?

Posted by TenchiMuyo Tuesday February 17 2009 at 12:42PM
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Sorry for not making a post recently, had a lot of hectic things going on this weekend. This post is focused on whether or not roleplaying in a game, can make the game more entertaining.

I don't really roleplay with pen and paper, and I've never played a Dungeons and Dragons game (Outside Neverwinter Nights). But I do roleplay from time to time. And I have, for quite a while now. For those whom don't actually know what roleplaying -is-, it's the act of creating a character, whether virtual, or imaginary, and pretending to be that character, in the realm/area you use it. Such as people who play Dunegeons and Dragons, who dress up like their character, or people in World of Warcraft, who follow the lore and act what's called 'In Character'.

In MMORPG's, we're immersed in a world different than our own. It's a completely different universe than our own, and follows whatever rules the developers decide it should follow. The distance of a mile can be differed greatly, and the properties of water can be altered drastically. Video games give us the ability of simulation, or, the ability to explore different realities. Some games, let us play the life of a European spy, whom romances women, cheats at poker, and speaks in a humorous accent. Some let us travel through time with the power of a sword, to rescue a princess and defeat a Pig.

What do MMORPG's give us? They give us the chance to evolve past the developer's preset character. They allow us to create a character, all our own, focusing on what we want that character to focus on. There's different skillsets, different weapons, different abilities, different spells, different races, different classes, even different servers, to allow us to choose whether we want our character to live in a densely populated area, or a vast, empty realm. They also give us boundaries, to work with. There's a set storyline, a set timeline, quests, events, places, people...We get more freedom, yet boundaries, to keep things sane.

Now, what does roleplaying in an MMORPG mean? It means taking your character, deciding a backstory, and pretty much going from there. Your character can interact more indepth, you might pay attention to what NPC's say about quests more, instead of just clicking rapidly through the speech, and checking your quest book/log later. The game becomes more indepth. It allows you to see past 'A Game' and look more into that it's 'A new world'. These worlds can be similar to our own, in the sense of varying ecosystems, from water-parched deserts, to snow-capped mountains, to bountiful forests, to the dank dark undergrounds filled with illuminiscent mushrooms the likes of which you've never seen.

What's required for becoming a Roleplayer in an MMORPG? Well, first, you need to know whether or not the game your playing is strict on it's storyline. Games like World of Warcraft, have many predecessors to it, that set the storyline for hundreds of years before. Do you have to learn every detail? Of course not. But if you don't know that the area you're in is called Azeroth, you're going to have some trouble. Research a little. Learn some of the bigger events that happened in the MMORPG's storyline. Don't incorporate your character into it too much, but get involved. Your character may not have been the big hero to save the day. But they could have helped in a smaller battle, or even stared in awe as a child as the big hero walked through town on his way to battle. Get involved, and you'll be involved.

The benefits? Typically Roleplayers are more among the mature crowd. If you learn to roleplay, and play on a roleplay server, you'll be around mature people, who don't scream on Ventrilo, or do other stupid annoying things you'll meet on run-of-the-mill servers. You'll be able to appreciate the storyline of the game more, and will be able to be more entertained by the quests. It can help get out of the boring rutt of 'Go get this, go kill this, bring it back to me', if you know why you're doing it. What it's going to, why it's going to help. You can even get a heads-up sometimes, on what you might need for the next chain of the quest, to help save some time.

What do you think about Roleplaying in MMORPG's? Do you think it helps enhance the game? Do you think Developers could do more, to encourage actual roleplay? If so, what would it be? Do you think all MMORPG's should feature 'roleplay servers'? Tell me what you think MMORPG.com

MMORPG'ers consoled about their gaming.

Posted by TenchiMuyo Saturday February 14 2009 at 4:03PM
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Couldn't figure out a clever title using word play between 'console' the electronic, and 'console' the verb. That's as good as it's going to get for you all!

Well, as promised, the topic of this entry is Console MMORPG's. What's wrong with them, what can be improved, and what should be utilized in the future. I've only played a small handful of console MMORPG's...due to that there's only a handful of console MMORPG's. I've been demo testing that Star Ocean game on my Xbox 360 lately, and while, yeah, it's kind of cool to run around, use the voice chat and so on, it got dull quickly. There wasn't much depth to the game, no real 'You just got this level, what are you going to do with it?' to it. That was one of the major problems with it as I saw. Yes, the options of using skill sets are limited, but games have done it before.

Mass Effect, an RPG on the Xbox 360, utilizes many types of abilities based by what type of weapon you're wielding, and what skills you have. They're accessed with a radial dial style pop-up. The game does pause itself, while you select a special ability, and you can queue up all your party members to use different abilities at the same time. The game doesn't have to stall to allow you to use special abilities in this way, though of course, in a real-time game, it's not always the best choice. I got to thinking the other day, and both the PS3, and the Xbox 360, have attatchments to allow you to use a mini-keyboard...

 

Why not make it bigger? Make the keyboard slightly bigger, or create an entirely new 'MMORPG' attachment. Gives you ways to access hotkeys, so you can use special abilities faster on the spot. As for leveling up issues, I don't see why a menu screen can't be utilized. It could be an almost exact replica of any MMORPG's character screen. It could allow players to view their character more indepth than current Console MMORPG's (CMMORPG's for the ease of writing this blog further).

CMMORPG's also have the bonus of developers knowing their limit on the game. They don't have to worry about 'Okay, does 10% of the MMORPG population have a computer powerful enough to run this?'. I know personally, my major frustration with MMORPG's, are the system requirements. I'm sadly stuck with a laptop due to University reasons. I need the portability. Sadly, my laptop is plagued with rather crappy specs. I can run most things, but my laptop gets rather burning hot. I've had past Laptops actually melt from trying to play some games. Literally melt, the little plastic hinge separating from being too hot. LCD burning out on one side, from the sheer heat. But it's sadly what I'm stuck with; And I know my laptop won't be able to play much of anything new.

My xbox 360 however...has the same hardware as the next guy's. I don't have to worry about it being strong enough to play a game. It is. Moving on to consoles as well, would give developers a larger audience, a new way to bring people who don't normally play MMORPG's, to play them. In all honesty, no matter what genre's you play...it's pretty hard to hate MMORPG's. They're addictive, and constantly keep you hooked. With CMMORPG's, developers would have less marketting worries, players would be able to play no matter how powerful their computer is, as long as they own the console (And, from what we've heard and seen so far, servers CAN be set up between different consoles, alongside computer's, meaning even if your friend has a PS3, and you have a 360, you could still grind together).

 

Basically, in closing: The Next-gen systems are damn powerful. It's about time we see something that truely shows that power, that vigor that we see in current next-gen titles. What do you, MMORPG.com, think should happen in terms of these CMMORPG's, and what features do you want added, changed, or taken away?