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Living a Virtual Life With Guildmates...

Posted by vajuras Tuesday April 29 2008 at 1:05PM
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One thing I want to make clear right fast- I am a bonified EVE Online fanboi. No mmorpg has won my heart like this one. I hate it intensely sometimes when disaster strikes but I love it for what they have created. Make no mistake they created this mmorpg for me.

I vote EVE Online the Ultimate Team MMO. Perhaps, its the only real mmorpg out there (I mean this literally we all exist on one server for English speakers)

When you join a player run corporation out there in 0.0 they become family. You live together, rat together (kill NPCs), mine together, fight together, cry together when tragedy strikes (like losing a POS), and you lick your wounds and work hard to rebuild your empire. You do everything together. You build equipment for each other and you work hard to achieve goals for your Corporation. Can you guys that dont play EVE Online even imagine? We can build the best equipment for each other given we have the blueprints. Can you imagine not even having access to a local trade hub unless you defend it?

I have never felt a bond like this before. I recall in other games you would occasionally see a guildmate out in a town or maybe do a scheduled event together (like raid). But in EVE Online everything you do you do with your brothers and sisters in your guild. Even the defense of your space - you depend on each other. It's that hardcore. You might not even be able to acquire an item or make a trip to a local trade hub without assistance

So I am sorry if I come across biased but EVE Online is the only real MMO out there for me for the time being. I have some hope for Age of Conan because they focusing on Guilds as well if I understand but they understand what "living out a virtual life together with a Clan means"? Do they?

In eVE Online the very defense of your space relies on your fellow man. Everyone posts Intel in local fleet channels so you know when a hostile is nearing your space. This is serious stuff and I adore it

Sometimes hostiles can totally screw you over and disable operations for that day. You have to work hard together as a team to overcome all challenges.

Anyway I know players that have never made it into 0.0 (EVE's endgame) can no doubt never comprehend what I'm blogging on but I just want to give fair warning to all when you see me post in forums or blog on different topics rest assure this sandbox gamer has found true love....


Why the Warrior-Mage-Healer Trinity Sucks....

Posted by vajuras Monday April 28 2008 at 5:16PM
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Was reading a blog by heero today:

While reading this piece it hit me. This is why I cant stand traditional PVE anymore it all boils down to the same crap rerolled: Tank, Mage, and Healer. Nevermind in real life everyone wears armor in a war and if you dont you're really gonna get it when shot.... So there is no such thing as a clothie period- beyond a dead one.

Seriously, every MMORPG pretty much to date reuses this formula over and over for PVE and it makes no sense period. Why the hell would you just sit there and keep attacking a Tank while he is being healed by a caster? Wouldnt you go kill that caster NO MATTER WHAT? After all, this is how PVP works, players target the healers/rezzers first. Next we kill the mages. Next and very last, the Warriors. Under no circumstance ever in ANY PVP in *any MMO* have we ever targeted the Tankers first. Why cant Group PVE be half this intelligent?

This is one of the reasons it all falls down for me. It's the same old retarded stuff being reused without any change. The only MMO/MMO-lite (or whatever you call it) I've seen differ was Guild Wars where we saw the mobs go after Healers til no tomorrow. The rangers and such actually had to trap the mobs to prevent the clothies from being slaughtered. I know I played a monk in prophecies campaign and I remember packing snares to slowdown the mobs in emergencies...

Still, I find it moronic I cant wear armor to a war. Seriously, can someone please explain to my why on earth would a medic wear robes unto a battlefield ever? If he's such an awesome wizard that he can wear robes to a war then surely- his magic is much more protective to lethal damage then armor? That is the only thing that would make sense- my magic is so strong then I dont need armor. At least in D&D they tried to make it logical- armor inteferes with magic. But in mmorpgs of today they discarded all explanation and reason....


Simple, at least make these mobs go straight for the healer as soon as he tries to heal someone. There is no way ever in PVP players let healers live. If players want to prevent this from happening then they will need their snares and mezzes. If they cant prevent the mobs from taking out the healer then its a wipe, that simple.

Next, Warriors. Taunt. Very stupid. What would be better is have actual server side collision. If players want to protect their healers they can form a wall around the healer. Now the mobs cant get to them. you can turn off collision between players if you must but at very least we need collision for PVE. It cant be hard the older gen MMORPGs had it.... WOW! Now Warriors can really be warriors and *protect* vital assets.

There, simple, only took me 1 minute to conceive. I'm sure with another few minutes you could solve other issues as well.


Posted by vajuras Tuesday April 15 2008 at 12:47AM
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I've been meaning to cover this one for quite awhile in more detail. Awhile back, I came across a 2d MMO that I really got hooked on for a bit and that was Starport:

First off, let me explain there are many different server types like Hardcore, Casual, and Mid way. I spent my time on Begininer's Galaxy however- the PVP server for begininers. Now here is the twist on this server: its a limited time span server. You have a fixed length of time to explore the universe and conquer it then the world is reset. I spoke to one of the devs about which server I should tryout and he strongly suggested this server.

It seemed odd too me at first- to toss newbies on a cutthroat server with full open pvp and limtied time span. But immediately I realized the benefits. Whether veteran or newbie- we are all the same! It's like playing an mmorpg at launch which is some of the most fun times for almost any mmorpg (besides the bugs). Normally in games like EVE Online, World of Warcraft, or what have you Guilds have requirements and criteria you must met before joining. Almost always it boils down to "Time". Well all of this is removed. It's all player skill and how much you want to win. 

It's a persistant world though. You explore the universe, visit stations, run Quests (like taxi cab), and colonize worlds. You colonize worlds by finding a suitable planet to sustain a colony then dropping a bioglobe there. Then you go to space stations and find people that want to find a home. You grab these colonists and drop them off at a Colony that you own. The more colonists, the more money they make you even while you're offline sleeping!



It's not all roses. Begininers Galaxy is 100% open PVP. But here is the good news. Starport is all 100% player skill. You fire your own turrets and dodge fireballs yourself. So even if confronted by a veteran because your player skill is a factor, you can survive.



Did I mention there is no grinding for skills or levels? You can earn money to buy more weapons, more bioglobes, and better ships but its player skill that will determine victory first and foremost- the way PVP should be if you ask me.



All ships/items are viable here from what I've noticed. Newbie ships- the very first ship you get is the fastest ship in the game but has light damage. As you progress, you can purchase other ships.



Starport is a 100% persistant game on Begininer's Galaxy. Mind you I played on the hardcore server- so please no knee jerking here. Anyway, when you logout everything is still online. I mean everything. Your ship is still online, your colonies, your possessions, everything. It costs money to logout in the safe zone haha. The taxes are crazy. So most people I think park out in open PVP zones. You can build turrets and such to protect your planet and colonies.

This is where 'sleeper ganking' comes into play. If some clever theif makes it in, he can end your life. Doesnt matter if you were offline or playing with your kids or at work.... Doesnt matter. You better setup great defenses.

When you die, you lose your ship and you receive insurance. But your cargo and such is lootable. Your colonies can be stolen too. You can lose it all on the hardcore server fast. This is the strategy of the game- finding distant planets and setting up defenses to protect everything.



The community seemed really nice and mature. Since there are many different flavors (hardcore open PK and the other light server options I didnt even read about haha)- we all share common interests. IT's all wolves hunting wolves and very few tears. I vastly preferred this community over most bigger titles that had a huge range of people with totally different agendas. At least in this one- its all Lions fighting for control of the Jungle.



Sandbox like PVE. Sure, you can do "Quests" like escourting NPCs and such. But really I term this sort of PVE as "Sandbox PVE". Nothing is forced on you. If you feel like questing you can. If you want to explore, you can cash in big on discovering wormholes, rare resources, and awesome planets to setup a financial venture. You can also disocver enemy planets of course. And this is how PVE comes into play. PVE/PVP is blended together here cohesively. An enemy player can setup a Colony on a planet and logout. This is your time to strike. Thieves might try to sneak in and get the colony without destroying anything. But you can also use brute force and raze it all.

This is the beauty. When you takeover a planet its all yours. Now you can proceed to kill all the NPCs on that planet and they STAY DEAD. They wont come back once you take the planet and make it yours....


Anyway I know this sort of gameplay is not for everyone but it was a totally awesome MMO when I last played it. It's worth a try f you are burned out on the treadmill and need a break. Also recall I covered one server type here- the hardcore server which is highly populated. There are also persistant servers as well but I can only imagine Time plays a huge factor on those. Begininer's Galaxy is a great way to get your feet wet. The Limited timespan for the server really helps keep the playing field balanced.

ETC, Levels, etc in EVE Online

Posted by vajuras Tuesday April 8 2008 at 5:26PM
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As many of you know I have been playing EVE Online hardcore again. I have some points I want to cover about this title so I'll merge them into one blog:

1) Even when you have no Levels, there are still Levels.....

EVE Online is very sandboxy. Technically there is no end to character development (maybe after 40+ years someone computed?). Anyway, a funny thing happened to my avatar. I originally registered to play the game a long time ago but I quit for a bit to play other games being the explorer I am. Anyway now that I have returned players think I have years of experience and tons of skill points. The interesting thing, all players see in your bio is when you started so they try to guess from there. Everyone thinks I'm this uber vet that can fly any ship....

EVE Online is a very vertical game actually. Sure, newbies in frigates can gang up on a vet but there is still a vertical progression factor

2) ETC. For the first time I've been engaged into RMT (correction its not really RMT per se). Most gamers dont know this- but in EVE Online you can buy a timecode. After you purchase this timecode you can then go to the forums and 'trade' it for ingame money legally. I was kinda low on ingame funds and really wanted to buy some implants for my character so with my new found wealth I was now able to..... The person that pays you ingame money for your timecode gets subscription time for free... Nice. One could almost say EVE Online has no grind at all if your pockets are deep.

3) But with ETC.... Since EVE Online has pretty harsh death penalty I dread the thought of taking my new implants into 0.0 (pvp zones). Now I make liberal use of jump clones so that I can protect my investment. Think about it- if a PKer takes me out I've just lost some RL money.....

4) Time based training. I really really really dont like Time Based Training. I like the benefits that I can do whatever I want and still progress but waiting on skills to train requires a lot of patience... This is one area where other MMOs sort of shine. You have the freedom to grind up to cap. Not so here. Sometimes I get itch to play a level grinder to get that nice feeling of "instant gratification" which can feel so gooooodd sometimes.....

5) Defining EVE Online is Tricky. It's tricky to call it a grind when you see Vets jump into their fancy recon ships, explore new areas, and find priceless blueprints that sell for almost a billion. It's tricky to call it a grind when you see a newbie hop into a Destroyer, get lucky and showup at the conclusion of a fleet battle, and come back with a huge haul worth a fortune.

6) Risk versus Reward can be stressful. I thought I was a hardcore PVPer but the thought of losing my ship in EVE Online makes me sweat. Maybe I feel more alive then ever, searching my local chat for reports of hostiles. It can be stressful. I might be too old for this.

7) Taxes. I hate paying Guild taxes. My corp taxes us over 10% which means 10% is gone everytime I kill a rat and collect a bounty or decide to run an agent mission. Its not fun at all paying taxes in RL so I hate it when games have this. However I must admit my corp puts my funds to really great use. But what if I had the misfortune to join a crooked Chinese run farmer corp I would be screwed outta 10%. Anyway, I'm just selfish and stingy with my ingame money. For a guy that promotes selfless game goals I can be really stingy :(

8) Pvpers seem really broke. It might be possible to make a living from all PVP but that seems tricky. Never seen so many pvpers so happy to engage in PVE. I guess this is what it all boils down too. We're not 100% killers here. PVE'ers are needed for any Corp.

9) Players can build anything... This is what I love about this game players can build Stations, ships, weapons, etc just anything... Other night I flew to our player owned structure and was amazed by the majesty of it all! The devs didnt make this- WE DID. It's great to see my taxes getting put to good use yo

10) PVP here is not Casual. Other night we had a MANDATORY Fleet OP. As soon as I logged in I was told I would get disciplined if I didnt participate in the fleet op to defend our space. What made it worse I just got home from work and felt sort of sick. It was days like this I could appreciate Battlegrounds and the fun Casual Random Arenas from Guild Wars. I really think this sort of avenue that EVE Online provides is needed though. But I also think games like World of Warcraft can be GOOD too for those that have no time to put up with the demands of a Guild that threatens to shoot ya down if they catch ya killing NPCs during a fleet op :(

Why They Say MMO X Looks Like WoW.....

Posted by vajuras Tuesday April 8 2008 at 3:59PM
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Just read a good blog here at

I thought this author had great points and I'm glad he hit the point on haters that see almost every MMO as looking too similar to World of Warcraft. I'm kind of one of those haters but instead of voicing my opinions on games I don't care for I pretty much remain silent in respect of the gamers that really look forward to that title. Why discourage these players hell I wish I could become a noob again and be excited about every MMO under the Sun too.

But unfortunately that time has passed for many of us and we are recognizing bad "genes" being passed from MMO to MMO with minor deviation.

Anyway, from the perspective of a hardcore gamer that has hit Max Level in many MMOs they all share this in common:

1) Levels. Levels are useful to communicate how "veteran" a gamer is we all know. But what makes it all fall down for those of us that's been around the block too much is that its the EXACT SAME for every Linear MMO. You kill mobs, Level up, kill mobs, level up, and hit max cap. From Rappelz to City of Heroes to World of Warcraft to Tabula Rasa to Lord of The Rings Online its the same exact process. If I want to just craft- too bad I gotta kill some rats til I hit Level 50. Now I can make some really great equipment....

2) Classes. Warrior, Mage, Healer with little deviation. Even in City of Heroes our healers were Defenders, our Nukers were Blasters, and Warriors were Tankers. We even got rogues in City of Villains. Someone should sue. Almost every MMO relies on this tried-and-true sports gaming formula and rest assure the new upcoming linear MMOs will all have these uninspired roles as well.....

3) Items. I think really the only MMO that strayed from heavy itemization was Guild Wars. But wait- most fans claim Guild Wars is -NOT- an MMO. So there goes that. In these grinders most items cannot be produced by players. Instead I have the honor of grouping with others and repeating content over and over to acquire rare items.

4) Static Worlds. Everything is so static about these MMORPGs you really cant change anything. I can help an NPC named Dave rescue his son and moments later I see Dave has lost his son again....

5) Pointless World PVP. Lack of victory conditions in the world itself really blows. There is no point in having PVP if you have no consequence, no reward.... Even in FPS we have *gasp* Time Limits, travel times, respawn penalties, and victory conditions.

6) Centralized Economy. When you have "localized economies" spread out over the world interesting new professions will emerge. Haulers, Traders, etc will all popup and this becomes a business in itself. But because these titles are so focused on sports gaming we lose that

7) Sports gaming. Not only are we all bound by developer-created roles because all of our challenges in PVE is known we optimize our team distributions to face them. That means certain Classes becoming bad choices for certain encounters because we've min/max'ed ourselves into a hole...

8) Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds wouldnt be so bad if players could switch to their alts easily. This way they can dynamically optimize their teams for PVP. But because the Developers suck so bad when it comes to PVP they disallow the ability for us to switch to our alts thus PUBs (pubbies) get steamrolled by any organized team that opimized their team composition (in WoW they are called Premades ironically). Now thanks to Blizz we will also see crap like Capture the Flag popping up in other MMOs too rather then see Developers challenge themselves to bring us *exciting* World PVP with Victory conditions. But instead, we will most likely pushed off into an Instance....

9) Aiming for the Low Denominator. And I dont mean just optimizing the game to run on low end machines either.... Newbies will be happy to see things like Classes but for veterans this is nothing new. We've seen the Warrior/Mage/Healer thing for many decades now. It is time to see more interesting new concepts to be played around with here. You would think it is logical many players would like to experiement with creating their own unique character in a virtual world....

10) Thousands of Quests. I wonder how can gamers expect quality quests when they demand thousands and thousands of them? Sooner or Later time constraints will probably demand many kill X type of quests to be generated. The nice thing about Quests it allows gamers to use other areas of their brains other then just combat. The bad- in their current form they tend to not encourage heavy grouping.


Anyway this is why many players gripe and moan on the forums that MMO X looks like World of Warcraft. Of course, some might argue this was established by Everquest 1 but I would argue EQ1 never ever got close to WoW's critical mass success. So that's why gamers say it looks like WoW instead of EQ1 or Diku-MUDs

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