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Random thoughts from the pit.

Just some random thoughts from a pod pilot wandering the systems of New Eden, the streets of Paragon City, and the islands in the Rogue Isles and now featuring - Darkfall. Nothing overly exciting, just day-to-day living and loving.

Author: damian7

Making suggestions - Darkfall.

Posted by damian7 Saturday May 16 2009 at 12:20PM
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The Darkfall suggestion forum description reads as follows:

This forum area should be used to discuss suggestions for how we can improve the gameplay and experience of Darkfall. Please do not post exploits or bugs here with the intention of having them fixed.

Now, there is a sticky which reads "Moderator Approval"

Community Manager

Join Date: Aug 2001 Moderator approval


As of April 10th when a new thread is created in this section it must be approved by a moderator before it will be visible.

Approval is in no way endorsement by Aventurine of a suggestion.



In order to MAKE a suggestion, it has to be approved.  I, and others, have submitted various suggestions for fixing problems with sieges (as a single example).  I have yet to see any of those suggestions posted.


Why would you need moderator approval, in order to post a suggestion?  The role of the moderator here, I would assume is to do away with endless spam.  i.e. suggestions to shove things into random orifices, suggestions to go to porn sites, et cetera.  I would also assume that any actual suggestion to improve the game, would simply be posted.

These assumptions, seem to be ...  wrong.

I will loot your body - Darkfall

Posted by damian7 Saturday May 16 2009 at 11:49AM
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Check out ze Darkfall's latest installment - short but sweet - follows...


When you die, be it to player or npc, you leave a gravestone.  Anyone can go up to this gravestone and loot it - without being flagged criminal.

If you die to a goblin shaman, close to a city; then, you run back to find someone looting your gravestone.  What do you do?

If you attack the person - you go rogue.  If this looter runs to the city - you will be the one shot by the laser towers, and the looter will be able to attack you without fear of consequence.

What sense does that make?

You loot another player's corpse, who is not in your party / clan / alliance, or perhaps that is not friended to you (take your pick on the specifics) - you get flagged criminal - to that person, or just in general; I leave the specifics to the reader.

But, to have no consequence to the thief, yet there are consequences to the victim -- that simply makes no sense.


Darkfall - hardcore? or turning carebear?

Posted by damian7 Friday May 15 2009 at 3:08PM
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In this issue of "Check out Darkfall", we look at destroying items from your backpack -- 2 minute timer = hardcore, or not...


Let's do a quick loot-check on a well-established, ffa pvp, "full loot" game that we call Eve Online.

When you are 'defeated' in eve - your ship explodes.  Some of your modules and cargo are also destroyed.  You are left in a pod.  Your pod can be destroyed and along with it, your implants.  Whatever is left over (never anything from a pod), can be looted and the wrecked ship can be salvaged (for a handful of salvage items).

That is what I consider the standard in "hardcore pvp looting".  You whoop someone's butt, and you get whatever is left over after the big BOOM...


Now, let's see what Darkfall has, and ask the question, "Why?"

We will use "ganking a harvester" as our example.  Joe is harvesting and gets attacked.

If he's actively harvesting, hit the number you want for your hotkeyed weapon (assuming you're on the correct keybind column; if not, switch to it first- shift+#) and he's fighting.  If he's resting, then right-click to get out of rest, switch to weapon and unsheathe, and then get to fighting.

Let's say that our harvester has very light (if any) armor, and only a starter weapon, and is alone.  Our harvester starts fleeing and decides to destroy his goods.  To do this, he must open his interface view; then, drag and drop items into the flaming trash can, one at a time.  While in interface view, if auto-move was active while in action view - our harvester will continue moving in that direction.  While in interface view, our harvester can neither turn, nor sprint.  Our harvester can also not move backwards, only forward. 

So, our harvester is taking extra damage from back shots, unarmored unable to turn, unable to sprint - running in that straight line until he hits something and stops moving...  Yet, wannabe-pvpers, EVEN WITH all these advantages, and obviously attacking the unarmored harvesters - were unable to incapacitate these harvesters faster than the harvesters could destroy 3-12 different types of mats/regs + tools. 

End result - LOTS of QQ from pvpers that just aren't good at pvping, and now, when you destroy an item, it will be on your corpse if you are slain within the next two minutes.

Using Eve as our standard for hardcore pvp action (which I am doing) - this change is nothing other than carebear and weaksauce.  If you have all of these advantages (backshots, hitting an unarmored opponent, opponent can't sprint or turn - just run in a straight line) and you can't kill your target in a timely fashion, and you NEED a two minute loot destruction timer -- you are about as carebear as the harvester you're unable to quickly kill.


But, darkfall is all about the good fights, and the pvp action, and the city conquering.  Maybe you're denying resources to a city?

The cities that have mines/groves/farms within their city walls.  These drop rares.  The cities also have the normal nodes (stone, ore, iron, lumber, weeds) within their city walls.  So, no, you're not really hindering a city, even if said city is currently under siege...


Help me to understand, in the light of a TRUE hardcore pvp MMO - how this two minute loot destruction timer is anything other than a carebear change, QQed into existence by wanna-pvpers that simply... aren't any good at pvp.

Darkfall - realism.

Posted by damian7 Friday May 15 2009 at 12:48PM
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All during these Darkfall discussions, I shall refer to the default keybinds and/or mention what these keybinds do for you.


We're going to discuss looting and banks in this issue of "check Darkfall out".

Looting and Realism...


Looting involves moving one item (or stack) at a time, from your target (corpse) into your backpack.  There is no auto loot.  There are no organizational *slots* for your items - your bag is as jumbled/organized as you make it, based upon your placing of items into your pack and/or bags.

You've just slain a mob or player, and you want to loot.

1 - sheathe weapon (R)

(2 - change from action view to interface view (right click), or it switches you there when you open the gravestone)

3 - open corpse's gravestone (F)

4 - open your backpack (B)

5 - move one item/stack at a time from the gravestone into your backpack.

So, let us say that you are looting a corpse (player or mob) in Darkfall, and you are attacked and want to hit back. Let's examine this process.

Firstly, you're being hit for additional damage; because unless your attacker is stupid - he's attacking you from behind for the extra damage.  No big, right?  Just hit him back.  Wrong!

You're in interface mode, you have to switch back to action mode (right click). 

Now, you're going to have to arm a weapon.  On the offchance you have the wrong weapon equipped (i.e. board/blade, staff, two-hander, harvesting tool) ; then, you'll have to change weapons (whatever key your weapon of choice is bound to, if you're on the correct keybind selection.  Otherwise you have to switch to the correct keybind column (default is shift+#)

Why would I have the wrong weapon sheathed? Let's say you're being attacked by a nakie person running figure 8s around you - you'll want a sword/board.  Let's say you had been harvesting and have a tool equipped still.  Let's say you had a bow/staff equipped and you need to melee.  If you were PVE'ing, you might've been sniping mobs from a wall/roof (so they couldn't attack you back), and now you need a melee.  There's a variety of reasons that you COULD have the incorrect weapon sheathed.

So, now, you've gotten into action mode, equipped and unsheathed your weapon.  Until you've r-clicked into action mode, you can't even move.  So, your attacker has gotten at least one back-shot on you.


1 - right click

(2 - shift+# if on the wrong column)

(3 - # to equip correct weapon)

4 - r to unsheathe weapon

(5 - B to close your backpack at some point, unless you like, yet another, big assed window in your way)


This sounds simple.  But keep in mind, in most games if you're hit, you pretty much just hit back, or move.  You can't just move, or swing back in this game.  That definitely takes getting accustomed to...


This is done, in the name of realism.


Banks & realism. 


So, why aren't banks realistic?

I can access everything in my bank, from any bank in the world.  Gold is a physical item in this game, not an amount displayed on a tab someplace.

I could go with accessing gold at any friendly/neutral bank as being realistic - some type of voucher sent from one bank to another.

But, you can access all your items in any bank?  i.e. you invade a hostile city, and at the bank, you pull out weapons to destroy said city?

That's two separate areas of unrealism which I'm asked to accept; while looting is convoluted and I can't just hit my attacker - in the name of realism.


Why am I capable of accessing ANYTHING at a hostile bank?

Why am I capable of pulling out all items in my bank, from any bank worldwide?


In eve, whatever station your ships/equipment/whatever is located at -- that is the only spot in which your physical items reside.  You (or someone) must physically travel to that location in order to access your "stuff".  That is realistic.



So, why am I being realistic when it comes to looting; but, unrealistic when it comes to banking?


PITA cuz I can't just turn and swing on an attacker when I'm in loot mode; but, easy-peasy banking access worldwide.


Which is the broken game mechanic which needs fixing?  I mean, we're going for "realism" I've been told repeatedly.


easy-peasy logging onto test server for COH.

Posted by damian7 Thursday January 22 2009 at 9:16AM
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making a blog for easy finding later on... someone was saying that getting on the test server is hard and junk, and it really isn't, it just takes a little reading, and honestly, a lot of the reading below is explanation so that it's even harder to mess this up.



The Test Server is your chance to preview upcoming changes and updates and provide feedback to the developers.

The test server is set up specifically for the testing of updates *before* they are incorporated into the game itself. Players can login, preview/test the planned new features, fixes, changes, tweaks and offer up bug reports or suggestions.

How does a test server differ from a “live” server?

* Due to the nature and purpose of a test server, the operative word to keep in mind is “temporary.”
* Content and characters could be wiped at anytime as game specific updates and changes are published, tested and removed.
* Players can expect lower levels of support, since the bulk of this service is centered around our live servers.
* Normal bug reporting and petitions will be handled a bit differently, as all issues need to be given more time for in-depth study, review and reproduction.

(steps 1-5, a little long because it goes into an indepth explanation so as make is useable for even the completely computer illiterate.)


In order to access the test server, you will need to download and install a second copy of the game. This second copy will patch up the test files to your PC. The steps for this process are outlined below.

1. Locate the file 'CohUpdater.exe'. If the game was installed to the default folder then look for: 'C:\Program Files\City of Heroes'. Do not create a shortcut for the desktop shortcut. To do this, you will have to locate the City of Heroes folder.
2. After you locate the City of Heroes folder, you will need to create a new shortcut to the cohupdater.exe file in the City of Heroes folder. To create a shortcut, right click on the file you wish to create a shortcut for. You can then select an option Create Shortcut which will then create the shortcut.
3. Right click on the new shortcut and open the Properties option.
4. In the Target window, add the following flag to the end of the line:
o [space]-test
o Do NOT add the word [space] to the Target. The example shown is intended to visually represent a single keystroke of the space bar, and should not be interpreted literally. An example of the correct use of the Flag is listed below.
o The finished selection should look like this after you add the flag:
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater.exe" -test
o Below are possible incorrect additions of the flag to add the test client. The selection should NOT look like this:
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater.exe"-test
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater-test.exe"
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater.exe-test"
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater.exe"[SPACE]-test
o Also, this line in the shortcut can take multiple arguments. That is to say, if you have multiple things you want to tell the game when it launches like -test and -compatiblecursors 1 you just tag them all on the end, like:
+ "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\CohUpdater.exe" -test -compatiblecursors 1
5. Run the shortcut.

The first time you run the shortcut, you will be asked whether you want to install the test client to the default directory. Choose Yes if you want to install it there, or choose No if you want to choose a different directory. We strongly recommended that you install the test client to a different location than your normal game client.


(two steps to copy a character for test)

After the client installs, you will need to copy a character over to the test server. To do this, go to this URL:

1. Use your City of Heroes login name and password to login.

2. After you login, you will be able to select the server and character you wish to copy to the test server. It will take several moments, but the character will copy. At this point you will be able to play the test server.

NOTE - Those who have just restarted their accounts may experience a delay or wait of up to 24 hours to be able to copy a character to the test server.

After you copy your character to the test server, you should be able to play the test client. Before you can play however, you will have to run the new shortcut you created to the cohupdater. You can copy the shortcut you created to the desktop by dragging and dropping it from the City of Heroes folder to the desktop. You will have to run this shortcut each time you wish to use the test server. Enjoy playing!


and there you go, pretty much 7 steps and you've got the test server running and copied your character(s) over to it.


At what point are you "complete", in New Eden?

Posted by damian7 Monday January 19 2009 at 7:23AM
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There is a never-ending list of skills to train in Eve Online.  At what point do you consider YOUR character to be trained?

Have you gone thru and maxed out your battleship skills?  Did you max your cruiser and frigate (bc and dessie) as you worked up to battleship?  Or, did you just train up what you needed to train, in order to effectively fly that next ship?

Have you neglected navigation skills, because they simply weren't required to fly "your" ships?  If so, do you consider your character complete without them?

What about science, industry, social, etc?  Are you specialized in combat ships, and therefore, these other categories are unnecessary?

Do you rate your completeness in phases?  For example, you've hit level 5 on your chosen race(s) frigates, small turrets, standard missiles/rockets, and have specialties and support skills to lvl 4 -- and at this point you consider yourself complete with frigs.


Does it even matter to you?  After all, skill points only get you so far; the majority of your success in Eve will be from whom you associate, your FC's skill and your personal skill.  Character skill points will only take you so far.


To take it one step farther -- does it bother you that you will never be able to "fully" train all skills to lvl 5?  especially if CCP continues to release new skills with every expansion (sometimes dozens of new skills)?


Moving forward to ambulation... when skills are released for your human avatar, and assuming they evolve along the lines of what SWG had (pre CU) -- how do you feel you would train at that point?  Would you split your training between human- and ship- avatar- based skills?  Would you concentrate on one over the other?  why?



Sitting here, planning out my next few weeks of skill training and figured i'd share my ponderings and questions and see what others think and feel... and why.


City of Heroes: Pre-Game, Guide Part I

Posted by damian7 Monday January 19 2009 at 4:41AM
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Terms defined:

AH: hero-side auction house. Wentworth's ($ icon on your map)

AT / Archetype: in a broad sense, this would be your 'character class'.

Blue / Blue-side: Refers to Heroes.

BM: villain-side black market. villain version of auction house.

DO: dual origin enhancement

Exemp / Exemplar:  artificially lower your level to that of a lower level character.

INF: influence (hero), infamy (villain) - COH's "money"

IO: invention origin enhancement

LK / Lackey:  artificially raise your level to one level less than that of a higher level character.

Mal / Malefactor:  artificially lower your level to that of a lower level character.

Red / Red-side: Refers to Villains.

SO: single origin enhancement

SK / sidekick:  artificially raise your level to one level less than that of a higher level character.

TO: training origin enhancement




What makes City of Heroes different than the other MMOs I've played? What are these differences, and how do they affect me?

--There is no grind-treadmill at the "end game" where you go thru a dungeon 50+ times so everyone can get that dungeon's armors, only to rinse and repeat for the next dozen+ dungeons. There is, however, lots of "end game" content.

So, if you're looking for a game that will force you to team with 10-30 other people in order to grind the exact same instance dungeon 50+ times in order to get that next tier of gear; and then repeat that times another dozen+ dungeons -- this isn't the game for you.

--All content is playable / replayable no matter your level. This means you will obtain loot no matter your level or the content's level.  This is thru the in-game mechanics of lackey/sidekick, malefactor/examplar and Ouroboros.

--The versatility available to you in all the ATs, means that you never have to search for that perfect team to do any missions. There is no holy trinity of tank/dps/heal in this game. Honestly, the power of team buffs combined with enemy debuffs, precludes the need for a "healer" at all, assuming even semi-intelligent game play.

--Heals, for a team that plays intelligently, are easily the weakest powers in the game, especially compared to holds, confuses, debuffs, buffs, etc.

--Super/Villain groups are able to build bases which allow you to teleport to all of the zones, store inspirations/enhancements/salvage, have places for group relaxation and even your own quarters.




Good to know information available to you before ever signing into the game:

--the official COH forums: There is a wealth of information available to you on everything in this game, especially tips/tricks for the various ATs. << get an ingame map overlay from here. This will show you the level of the mobs in any zone you're at currently, plus location of various badges, giant monsters, and other points of interest.

--download mid's hero planner, or use suckerpunch's online version ... they're found @





For a lot of this series, I'm going on the assumption that you've done a little more than install the game software on your hard-drive. I'm going on the assumption that you'll have gone to the above sights and done a little reading and have at least familiarized yourself with badges and how to read your map.

I may also be returning to this post (and others) in order to expound upon information presented, correct erroneous information, etc.


Mac pack for COH

Posted by damian7 Monday January 19 2009 at 2:38AM
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For $20, you can purchase the mac pack for COH, and no matter your computer type (pc or mac), you get the same goodies.  However, you do get a little something extra if creating a new account vs adding the mac pack to an existing account.

if a new account is created, you have 2 extra character slots included (don't know if this is standard fare when you create new accounts or not; but this is in addition to the 12 character slots per server).

If adding to an existing account:

--30 days of game time (which count toward your veteran badges)

--valkyrie costume set:  including a new sword type (for the Broadsword powerset only), 2 sets of wings and 4 (possibly it's 5) capes, all useable at 1st level.

--mission transporter power: useable once per 2 hours, will transport you to any door mission to/from most any zone.  Appears to not function in Pocket D.




There has been confusion as to game time counting towards vet rewards and whether you received 12 bonus character slots (with a new account), or if it just referred to the normal 12 slots per server... So we asked Ex Libris and received the below reply:




Does starting a new account on a Mac Pack grant 12 character slots?

This can be a confusing question because of the history behind character slots. With the original product 'City of Heroes' users received with their subscription 8 character slots. When 'City of Villains' launched that number was increased to 12 character slots for any users that purchased that product. Last November when NCsoft Acquired the City of Heroes Franchise all editions of the game were back coded to be inclusive of both City of Heroes & City of Villains thereby making all accounts reflect the 12 character slots. With the launch of Issue 12: Midnight Hour, Positron made this Announcement which effectively outlined our Character Slot Purchase Feature along with corresponding Veteran Rewards for long term subscription holders. Players can now have a maximum of 36 characters per server.

Which is where the confusion is creeping into this situation. Some current users reading the 12 Character Slots bullet of the Mac Edition are interpreting that to mean 12 additional character slots which would be in addition to the 12 you start with on a new account. The marketing of this product is for new users and the product for new accounts grants 12 character slots only. Users that are upgrading their current account so they can get the game time, mission teleporter, and costume items will be receiving no additional character slots. This question has already been asked previously in this thread but I gave a more comprehensive answer here as there is still some residual confusion.

Does my purchased game time count towards Veteran Rewards?

Yes, your purchase counts towards Veteran Rewards, when you apply the "upgrade" to your current account you should see some changes in your billing statement. For example if your subscription was currently set to bill you on Feb. 10, 2008, after applying the code it should state next bill due Mar. 10, 2008. This billed time counts towards your Veteran Rewards. If you do not experience the above scenario when upgrading your account, or if you have created a new account instead of upgrading your current account then please contact our billing support through PlayNC Support and select Account Support on the drop down options where applicable.

MMORPG.COM Correspondents

Posted by damian7 Monday January 19 2009 at 2:23AM
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There is a wealth of knowledge spread out amongst the forum-goers here at  Having said that, there is no reason that correspondent (volunteeer) articles should not be of a fairly high caliber.  If nothing else, articles should filled with factual and helpful information.

The two forums I regularly frequent (COH and EVE), seem to have problems in this area. 

--You have COH correspondents spouting off healer this and healer that.

--You have eve correspondents stating that you should determine if you're going to shield/armor tank based upon the skills you currently possess.

Those are just examples off the top of my head.  If you play either game, you already know that both these concepts are incredibly bad advice and exhibit a non-expert opinion of game mechanics/play.


Don't know how, or why, these type of articles get published; but, I do know bad information like this is hurtful for new players and makes experienced players wonder what exactly is going on at this site.

I don't claim to be the end-all, be-all expert on any game; but, I'm certainly not afraid to investigate and ask questions.  The length of time I, or anyone, has played a game, is immaterial on a site like -- the information you post and/or comment upon -- those are what you should be judged on.  These items are what will show other players whether you indeed are a subject matter expert, have decent knowledge, or are low-in-knowldege about a particular game.


I have nothing to do with running this site.  Having quality articles (i.e. factual and good-to-know information) on the site is definitely something to be sought after, vs articles filled with a lack of knowledge on basic game mechanics.

Since some people may be determined to defend erroneous information and indeed make false claims, I decided to drop a short blog entry about why I believe that factual information is GOOD, and erroneous information is BAD.


To farm, or not to farm? That IS the question...

Posted by damian7 Tuesday October 14 2008 at 3:25PM
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I'm a member of the Repeat Offenders network in COx.  One of the "cardinal rules" is that there is no farming, nor talk of farming.  But, what IS farming?


But, it's ok to advertise to do X task/strike force repeatedly, in order to get a "good" recipe.  It's ok that all you do is one TF over and over and over again. If you log on 4 or 5 times a week (on one of your level 50s), and you do the Imperious Task Force each time you log on, maybe 2 or 3 times, and you go to the Auction House/Black Market afterwards, and that's all you do when you log on - that's not farming.

But, if I have a level 25 toon that is leveling by killing Banished Pantheon mobs in Dark Astoria - THAT is farming.  Even though I'm simply choosing to level in a way that is beneficial (magic salvage); but, I'm actually leveling vs running a task force repeatedly on a level 50 toon in order to get good recipe drops. 

One is considered farming by RO; but, the other is not...


So, what is farming?


I can steal from the grocery store in order to feed starving people, living on the street.  I can do that every day and justify it because I'm helping people to survive.  That does not make me any less a thief.  Even IF, in my mind, I'm not a thief.