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Better outfits for Males?

Posted by vajuras Monday August 11 2008 at 11:10PM
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Maybe its the little artist inside of me but I always find the armor pieces for females more appealing. Anyone with me? In most games I find myself making a female character. Not because I want to get free gifts when ever asked I always tell them I'm a guy.

Take City of Heroes. That was okay even though I still thought the female avatars got more costume options. So I made both sexes


In saga of ryzom I face a serious dilemma. I want to play the male but looking at most of the costume pieces the female options appear more cool too me. Grr, but I rather roleplay a guy


And look at WAR and/or World of Warcraft. This is the clincher. If you play a Shaman / Mage / Clothie they make you wear a dress. If I'm gonna have to wear a dress I'd rather make a female. I guess maybe World of Warcraft finally added on Mail armor for characters but grrrr why are you forcing Men to wear dresses?

EQ2 did this too to my L18 Wizard. So I rerolled as a Male Scout


I look at Spellborn and other titles where they let ya wear anything you want I think that's cool. I guess I prefer this vastly but I know Achiever types love to show off their armor so very few games will give us this freedom my guess. Sigh.....

Newbie Island: First Adventure (Ryzom)

Posted by vajuras Wednesday August 6 2008 at 1:21AM
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Today I found out that players that had a Trial account could get on Ryzom. The servers still have not officially opened but if you were a subscriber to the end you can come back right now or if you left your account hanging around on Newbie Island.

I never even got to play Ryzom at all before; not sure why guess I was busy with EVE at the time. Anyway I decided to create a new Zorai character instead of my original character. Zorai really appealed too me for the strange, Africa vibe they have going. Matis people also strongly appealed too me and it was a tough decision. They both look excellent. Really all the races do not sure why they didn't appeal too me back when the game first launched and I saw the Art. Guess I've matured a lot since then.




I picked Magic specialization (which isn't a rigid Class btw, just a set of beginning skills to help you out), designed a character I was happy with and jumped in.

Immediately I was floored by the beauty of it all. See, EVE is the only MMO I've been playing for months besides a closed beta test here and there. Still I think Ryzom looks better then all those new ones and it runs a lot better. I would say the only closed test I've been apart of that compared was Age of Conan which seemed top notch but yeah.... Anyway..

I grabbed a mission from my Magic Trainer and ran off to grind on some little furry creatures. It felt soooooo good to grind on creatures myself. As you may or may not know, in EVE Online your skills train in realtime which has its perks and downsides. Anyway, it felt so good to be able to kill a creature and earn XP for my efforts.

Right off the bat I noticed the game features a Logical Loot system of a sorts reminding me so much of Monster Hunter (sandboxy game for Playstation 2). Also like Monster Hunter you can use the materials you gather from creatures to craft materials. I've fallen in love with that too I think.

What I also adore I was never forced into a Class. I can just train skills that interest me. So I started off learning Magic and skilling that up as I use my abilities. Then I started skilling up my Melee skills when creatures got in close range.

I figured though I will try to roleplay as a Zorai (mystic) and focus mostly on Magic but I will mix it up with Melee. I can already tell like EVE Online, your equipment contrains your abilities (thought not as rigid as EVE). For example, in EVE you might have skill points to fly a HAC and a Stealth Bomber. Obviously, the skills you have trained won't perfectly blend into both.

It appears in Ryzom your abilities will always have some benefit. However, it appears you get bonuses for using the proper equipment if you want to maximize your abilities. I partied with an experienced Fighter and when we decided to train our Magic we both put on our magic boosting gloves. You could have the freedom to TankMage a bit if you want, using both magic and swords but you will most likely not do as much damage as someone wearing all Fighter gear or someone wearing all magic gear.

Keep in mind though I'm a pure newbie these are just so observations I've made in first 2-3 hours of addictive play.

Interesting enough I've already done a little pvp but was killed so fast after I cast my first bolt... Yeah. What is surprising is I would have gained xp debt if my friend didn't rez me. Luckily he was nice and did rez me after our little duel.

Anyway I've already went to visit 3 trainers and started up missions for all of them.


So far I've had a great time. I've heard the "mainland" is a lot different from newbie Island whereas they no longer hold our hands and give us guidance. Once again this is reminding me of Monster Hunter whereas the central focus of the game was to become stronger and acquire powerful gear via killing monsters. I'm imagining really tough creatures and a really fun time.

So glad this MMO is coming back. For awhile I was starting to get a little gloomy because all I had to play was EVE. I'm a rolling stone and can't just stick with one game nonstop. I like to mix in different titles and see what they have to offer too. Can't wait to subscribe to this game when that becomes available. EVE and Ryzom, sadly, are some of the last few remaining sandboxes available. This sort of freedom to pursue any career you choose on a character is  a rare freedom indeed that I desperately chase after :)


Player Housing

Posted by vajuras Wednesday June 18 2008 at 2:54AM
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Was reading a good blog here on this one:

Personally what I prefer is old school style housing whereas players can drop them down pretty much everywhere. There can be some order to it but for the most part I'm a big fan of the sandbox approach to this.

Here are somethings  really liked about old school approach to housing (UO style MMO) :

1) Houses can be put down almost anywhere. This way players can build a town. Contrary to what some skeptics might think- building a House is not really a hardcore activity. It's actually a very creative outlet akin to designing a costume (City of Heroes) or dying armor (Guild Wars, etc)

2) Player Run Quests Can Thrive Here. Would be interesting if players could somehow create quests around their house. Obviously, you would need a Sandbox MMO to provide a suitable atmosphere to fully exploit this.

3) Nice place to display trophies. Achievements are a big part of Games in general. You will be hard pressed to find any game that doesn't award you with titles, scoreboards, or what have you. Houses can be a nice place to display gear and belongings. In UO there was an overhead view that allowed you to see into other people's houses. This was cool

Reference: Ultima Online House Design


4) Very pleasant distraction. Would keep players busy maintaining their house populating it with furniture, etc

5) Very nice meeting place for Guilds to hold Events. In most games you see Guilds try to establish an area to hold an event. If Guilds could congregate at a house this gives them a meeting place. Also, they can sort of naturally expand to build an entire city and coexist there assuming the game is sandboxy enough to provide localized entertainment in that area.

6) Houses are persistent state. That is the one interesting thing about a House- it stays online even after I log off.

The powerful sandbox component that Player Housing introduces it actually gives players the ability to create their own towns naturally w/o developer assistance. The bad- obviously it can be a big pain dealing with the litter and congestion that housing brings. EVE Online assess taxes of a sort to maintain your House. I believe you have to purchase a Charter to establish a POS (player owned structure) in Empire and pay taxes for the extra security. In City of Heroes, the player run bases also were assessed a tax

City of Heroes did something interesting with the supergroup bases. You could also have base raids whereas two guilds agree to fight at the supergroup base. This was very interesting. First, we sent out our scouts to look around (stealth / stalkers). Once we learned the terrain, we would begin the attack in earnest. The supergroup bases were somewhat relevant to the game via the Teleport devices and group banks you could have. This was great stuff.

Back to EVE Online what they did was a full blown implementation. Alliances can takeover space and 'rent' out this space to their partners and allies. Everyone in this Alliance coexist locally in space and cooperate to protect it. In Regions like Providence, you will find that the Alliance there has a no-shoot-neutral policy. It is interesting how the players have taken over this part of 0.0 and created a player enforced order.

So this brings me to my final point- Player Housing will empower players to create virtual online communities. Like minded players will perhaps be attracted to these communities and settle down there.

A good example of this exists in the title Second Life. At Midgar (player run city), you see a very impressive recreation of Final Fantasy. The owners of the sim have rented out space to tenants to run shops and business that actually market apparel that sell for real world $$. Second Life is another form of a player run housing but its pretty impressive what they have done

Reference: New World Notes

I think LordAltay wrote a great blog on this already but felt I should try to cover some examples from games I've played. Anyway I really think any blog that discusses this topic should for sure portray examples of games that employed them already. There are some really cool MMOs worth checking out if you want to see this in action.

The Immersion Breakers

Posted by vajuras Tuesday June 17 2008 at 12:20PM
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Been playing a Theme Park MMORPG alongside EVE Online lately. I enjoy Quests these theme parks offer somewhat but there is still one thing that rubs me wrong. They are sooooo static. Undoubtably this makes things simple for devs. You can hire an army of Scripters and have them all write all these static Quests.

I guess there is a roleplayer inside of me that gets deeply offended when I complete a Quest only to discover the player beside me has turned it in as well. There is no impact, no change.

I realize I am probably a serious minority but this is really, really killing PVE for me. In single player RPGs, like Mass Effect / Elder Scrolls, SW: KOTR, etc- when I complete a Quest I feel like I've really made an impact. I see change in my environment. Gaining XP or that next level is so secondary. Sure, I do enjoy getting new items like the next guy perhaps but I really, really enjoy being immersed in my environment. Perhaps what I'd like to see is games offering a different sort of PVE whatever form that might take.

Maybe my opinion will change later- but I think I can deal with Level grinds, Classes, and so forth even though this all gets reused with little deviation. But it's the immersion factor that's missing for me in PVE.

Also another immersion killer is character custimization. Love it or Hate it- City of Heroes made us all feel unique- at least visibly. I never ever found another player that looked like me. I really don't feel too unique in the average MMORPG. I even appreciate the little character portraits we have in EVE Online. I feel that character custimization can help players feel more unique and bind with their virtual avatar. Again, perhaps it's the roleplayer inside of me. I want to be immersed.

Guild Wars actually did something with their instances whereas you do quests with your group (WoW did something similar in their dungeons). This was fun the first time through or what have you but it all falls down after you do it more then once. So the Immersion Breaker here is when you run through the instance more then once. City of Heroes tried to do something interesting here. They randomly generate the missions. CoH actually made good uses of their instances and they were indeed repeatable. Of course, we were split off from the world.

I do admit Instances ironically- does provide some level of immersion. Perhaps higher then Open worlds due to the way they handle Quests. Still, I do yearn for open world PVE/PVP.

Anyway I think I will summarize the Immersion Breakers in a List. This is just my own personal list:

1. [PvP] Instances sort of break Immersion because we get pushed into the same instance. So here we are staring at the same ground/terrain over and over. If only the terrain could 'change' then maybe it wouldn't be such an immersion breaker. In FPS games we can choose different maps. Granted, I suppose in GTA IV we do stare at the same city a lot but the area is SOOOOO VAST! That makes it more repeatable. I realize there are reasons you Devs don't do it but really what could it hurt to at least have a huge Instance with 100 x 100 *IF* your tech supports it

2. [PVE] Mobs spawn right ontop of us out of nowhere. Yeah, yeah, I am aware of the reasons why Devs do this. I am not sure but I think in EVE Online  the 'rats' warp into the area you are. That is one way to maintain immersion

3. [PVE] Quests break immersion in a bad way when I turn in a Quest and see another person also get the exact same 'animation' from the NPC. Most notably, I recall when I was a noob in WoW when I turned on a Quest where I retrieved some reageants for a Shaman. He did the exact same animation and sequence for everywhere. So when I first turned in the Quest I felt special. But then afterward I didnt

4. [PVE] Instances whereas the dungeon remains the exact same and we get exact same results everytime we go in. For instance, the first time we visited Wailing Caverns was cool [WoW]. But then after helping the 'sleeper' multiple times it got a bit dull.

5. [Social] Inability to dye our clothes and personalize our avatar. Now, I guess it makes sense if we are all 'soldiers' that's fine. But if possible dye would at least be greatly appreciated. Guild Wars had this and it was fun looking at all the interesting armor combos and dye. I suppose GW has the edge though since it's not a strongly stat driven game at least when I last played.

6. [PVP] Instances that use the same terrain. I can actually rationalize 'Arenas' but what breaks immersion is fighting over Alterac Valley over and over

7. [PVE/PVP] Contested terriority in WoW. When I was a noob, I actually believed the lands would change hands. Imagine my horror when we first took over a Contested land and nothing ever happened. No one could actually occupy the fort. I think WAR (Warhammer Online) will at least be a step in the right direction. Even though Instances will be heavily employed (guess) we will still make a difference. And I read on Mythic's features page when we turn in quests we help the area to grow.

8. [PVE] Tabula Rasa. You guys presented an infinite war against the Bane. I couldnt help but wonder why was I needed. It seemed like a never ending war that would go on whether I was there or not. WAR looks more appealing to most gamers because the war (RvR) appears to be player driven. Our personal efforts will eventually (we hope) lead to us taking a Capital city. That appeals to us Achiever/PvP types


Games that maintained Immersion to a Level:

1. [PVE] Everquest II. We LOVED that newbie Isle. We loved it. It felt like a real struggle / war. The only reason it fell down at somepoint was when us newbs realized this struggle would never end. Never change. That is when it became fake for me

2. [PVE] EQ2 the dungeons were pretty fun (at least the Level 20ish ones that we did). The dungeons were 'shared' so you saw other noobs and made groups that. I think they would spawn the final boss in an instance but being noobs I cant recall ever finding one

3. [PVE] EQ2 had actual academies where you could learn magic.

4. [PVE] EVE Online maintains Immersion to a high degree. I think they inherit this as a result of shunning Instancing. However, ironically, the actual PVE combat can get dull at somepoint (which is why I play single player RPGs for really good PVE anyway)

5. [PVE] City of Heroes, WoW, LOTRO, etc does have some level of immersion via the instancing. I am biased in this respect I warn you- I would rather see Dynamic PVE like I mention above but that appears to be many, many years away

6. [PVE] Champions Online promises a feature where you can 'create a villian nemesis to haunt you throughout your career'. That sounds kinda interesting. Not huge. Not earth shattering. But might be interesting

7. [PVE] Bios!!!! I love creating a bio. Thank you City of Heroes this really immersed me

8. [PVE] Class Based Quests! Thank you WoW, EQ2, Guild Wars, etc for giving us this!

9. [PVP] World PvP. Thank you Blizzard for a small time you were almost getting there. Right after you introduced honor system world pvp surged. It was fun. My friends still say its fun now and I believe them but back then World pvp was only way to get honor and you saw hundreds of people out there pking like no tomorrow!

10. [PVE] Cities where you can see the King, etc. Blizzard did this with their major cities. That was really cool

11. [PVE] Please CCP get that Ambulation Patch out! I would spend a lot of time designing my appearance.

12. [PVE] City of Heroes thank you for the awesome costume designing options that entertained me probably much, much more then combat. Too bad you didnt expand on this. should have let players create costumes for each other. We could have had 'tailoring' and it would have been a huge profession for you.

13. [PvP] EVE Online wins the medal here for now. The player driven politics out in 0.0 are a sight to see. The PVE Agent Missions maintain a certain level of immersion due to the way the stories are very generic. However, I actually felt stronger roleplay in theme park titles so I think CCP might have lost a bit there. Looking forward to trying out the Faction Warfare which might actually inject more roleplay and flavor

Crafting in EVE Online

Posted by vajuras Sunday June 1 2008 at 1:32PM
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One thing that shocked me about EVE Online is how expertly they have integrated young crafters into the metagame. In most MMO, items produced by a low level crafter is beyond worthless for high levels. These items are often of no value to veteran players. So, without an influx of new players this part of the economy fails utterly.

EVE Online/CCP created a system that thrives regardless. A few weeks ago I discovered Tech II items (items employed by vets) require their Tech I equivalents. So, let's say you are crafting a Tech II Helios covert ops ship. This tech 2 item requires the Hull of a Mavalas Tech I item. This means that the Tech II crafter will have to rely on products produced by low level crafters to create their item

Additionally, CCP seems to have applied this in all other areas of gameplay. For instance, even when you use your faction (loyalty points) to upgrade ammo to Faction quality you must buy the item from the market first. Then you hand this over to the NPC to upgrade for you.

I really thought this was a pretty interesting feature. I never realized this before but I guess I have always been a crafter. But because most MMO are so funneled I never really had the opportunity to fully explore my industrial side. I admit, it can be a bit boring if you have to hop in a hauler and jump a lot of gates to bring an item to a trade hub. But I enjoy the satisfaction of turning on my computer, log in to EVEMon, and seeing how much ISK I made through my efforts :)

I've been playing the game for awhile now but it pleased me greatly when I decided to drastically change my focus and start crafting that my items found a rich market to enjoy. I had to overcome some hurdles to get here though. I used to do a lot of my crafting in Empire and even though I now have a low quality Level 4 agent I found gathering all the resources somewhat tedious. It could take almost an hour to salvage all those little ships alone and I rarely came across Megacyte

So after growing frustrated with Empire I decided to pack my bags and move my operation to nullsec. So now I spend a little time killing Sansha rats and get consistent loot from those guys that reprocesses down to a wealth of ores. I've found it quite easy to stay alive in 0.0 through the careful use of my Local and Intel chat windows. So I make sure I watch out for pirates. And when they do come, I quickly POS up (safespot) and then grab my Recon ship and help provide Intel.

I usually accumulate over 5,000m3 of loot in bout a day or so. I then grab my Hauler and take this to a local station where I get great yield from reprocessing

My dilemma is that there are so many fun routes to explore: Trading, PVP, Hauling, Ratting. Right there we are looking at months of training time if I want to become the best. I've also started Exploration as well.

I only wish this time-based training could be sped up more but I guess they did what they had to do. I'm having a lot of fun though and everyday is a new experience where something new happens. Everyday is a struggle to survive out here- one wrong move and you can lose a lot of ISK. But that's what keeps my heart pumping and keeps everything dynamic and fun for me

AoC: Yet Another Pointless PVP Server?

Posted by vajuras Tuesday May 20 2008 at 1:17PM
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Godager: We have been playing with various versions of PvP penalties because we know, from a hardcore point of view, what they want to do is not to kill, but to punish their opponent.

First off when killing an opponent in PVP the punishment is really just a side benefit. The goal is to merely keep gankers out of space (EVE Online - Sovereignty PVP) and discourage them from coming back. The punishment is enforcement- not griefing. They came to our house and got dealt with. If you dont give players the power to protect their own lands, then there is no player enforced order.

Think about real life if you will. A burglar breaks into your house in the middle of the night. If there is no law enforcement, this thief can keep coming back. That is pointless and pure choas.... Why do you Devs think PVP Servers are way less numerous then PVE Servers? Because even us hardcore pvpers wonder why should we create an avatar on the server without any reward for the danger. In EVE Online, when you go to 0.0 (FFA space) there is huge benefits over safe space (high sec). There is a fortune in minerals in every belt. Rare ores everywhere. The rats (NPCs) have HUGE bounties. And so forth..... Reward me for my risks. Risk / Reward hello this is so basic.....

Age of Conan might be on the right track with their Siege/Border Kingdoms PVP (at least in theory) but I wonder what is the point of their PVP centric servers (world PVP outside of BK). It appears there will be no rewards at all for world pvp. Instead, they will be shoving pvpers into instances to play Capture The Flag. What the FRAK!!! Never mind us pvpers have been doing CTF since Quake/Unreal.Yeah, its brand new stuff for the RPGers that never played anything else but come on even those guys have seen this in World Of Warcraft... Funny, hard to imagine King Conan playing CTF for fun but whatever....

I dont get it why give us a huge PVP server but dont even put victory conditions anywhere in it? What is the point??????

Not to mention I hear this game is heavily sharded they say. If that's true thats another ding against world pvp.

So, I can understand you guys dont want to risk losing a single customer but seriously what is the point of yet another PVP Server where players will just keep respawning all night long and fighting pointlessly over nothing. Mind you, I am not talking bout Border Kingdoms. That actually looks decent according to the interviews. But what I am talking bout what is the allure of playing on the PVP Server? You can enjoy Border Kingdoms on Normal Servers right did I miss something

Well at least they did provide an FFA PVP Server. But alas, it is not a PVP centric server. I cant earn rewards from world pvp. I will simply level like 5x slower then PVE-Normal Servers. Well, waiting to see what the pvpers think of the Siege PVP and Player Run Cities. That sounds like good elements too me so let's see how that works out. And hopefully the Border Kingdoms PVP will be rocking hard yo.

And what's up with the AoC forums now its' not visible to the public anymore?

Anyway I planned on sticking with EVE Online for the time being in any case but would have been nice to have a fun little distraction on the side. Guess I'll wait for the game to mature more and add on more PVP elements

What Is A TankMage? From Pen and Paper to City of Heroes

Posted by vajuras Sunday May 4 2008 at 10:33AM
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I noticed a lot of confusion all around forums and my recent blog what a "TankMage" really is. What a darn shame man this concept has been around since Pen & Paper predating Ultima Online and Meridian 59.

So time for a history lesson... In MUDs, TankMages were a combination of different Classes. Here is what one MUD in particular allowed players to do:

You would have all the basic Primary Classes available like a traditional Diku-MUD:





Okay where things got interesting players could assign in which area they wanted to specialize like so:

Rogue 10%

Mage 60%

Warrior 20%

Priest 10%

So, you essentially took 100 points skill point cap and distributed this over the various disciplines. That was one way to arrive at a TankMage.

The other format was give players a pool of skill points and as they grind out the skill points you allow them to distribute their skill points into the desired areas. But the more you invested into a skill, the more diminishing returns resulted.

Before all that we had GURPS and HERO systems (Champions Online will use HERO system). They also used the Skill Point system, allowing players to distribute skill-points into their desired areas.

MMOs that were Tank-Magey were Ultima Online, Meridian 59, Asheron's Call, and City of Heroes. I will focus on City of heroes because that's a current MMO. What they did was interesting. Right before release at E3, Jack (CEO) decided to drastically simplify the game and changed it from a skill-based system into a Class based system. See, their fanbase they attracted were players from Everquest 1 (EQ). EQ players expect simple, clear Class based systems. So this is what Cryptic did. They got rid of their diverse skill-based system and went Class based route. However, unlike EQ2 and their ilk, City of Heroes was very freeform allowing players to combine powersets to create their own superhero. City of Heroes was very, very much like EQ we even had XP Debt penalty (for a small time in PVP there was XP debt penalty as well if another player blasted you off a building that was hella funny)

So you have Rogue (Stalker), Tank (Tanker), Mage (Blaster) in CoX games however you can pick a generic new archetype they introduced called Defender (Hero side / blue) or Corrupter (Villian / red). Also, they allowed players to grab powers from a generic pool. This allowed a Tanker for example to grab a long range eye beam skill so he can be like Superman. So common powers any hero should have like Teleport, Superspeed, Superjump, punches, kicks, etc were all available in the common pool. Lastly, they placed a 'power cap' in which forced players to limit their builds. The original intent though was that Defender was supposed to be a support type. Their buffs wouldn't benefit themselves but rather other players. They are not supposed to be big damage dealers either. Corrupters (Villian side) was supposed to be a Damage primary (Mage) and Priest/Buffer secondary (Priest).

How did players turn this into a TankMage- an all powerful entity? Read on.....

So here we have different types of TankMages. Everyone has their own specialties. There were some types of Defender that could heal really well (Empaths). There were other types that could Debuff really awesome. There were other Classes of Defenders that were excellent at both worlds (Debuff, Healing, etc). So within an Archetype, you see players could mix powersets to develop their favorite hero.

Somewhere along the line. Players discovered they could 'overlap' buffs. I dont know when this was introduced. Maybe this feature always existed. But via overlapping buffs these young supermen discovered they could push their fellow squishies into *GodHood*. See, CoX games have a cap for resistances and such. So take a Sonic/Bubble Defender. Some of his buffs was already making this squishy a mini-tank to begin with. Now add another Bubble Defender to the team and there- we got crazy overlap. Now add in a Kinetics defender in which can keep your mana regen (STamina its called in CoX). Now we got that whole covered. Add in an Empath Defender now we got crazy heals and even more mana. Add in a Radiation Defender now we got crazy debuffs and even more heals and more damage output. If you get a chance try to find an SG vs SG PVP film on youtube. You will literally see players sit there and overlap buffs on each for a few minutes before they start fighting lol. This is how PVE worked too.

TankMages were born. Defenders could cover each other's holes and buff each other through the roof!

Now, I covered blue side but I was a Villian primarily. So red side we had Corrupters. However, the Devs gave our Corrupters some powers from defender side. TankMage born. To make things even more tasty, we had great AOE. But there was a problem....

Corrupters were weaker then blues (Defenders). Corrupters were supposed to be Damage dealers however the Devs made Defenders so damn good us Corrupters were being *outdamaged* by them. You could take a Sonic/Rad Corrutper and do a Rad/Sonic Defender comparison. Defender side was doing more damage. Add to that- Defenders got better 'epic' level powers. Add to that, Defenders got crazy bonuses in PVP. Villains got decimated in PVP.

So, what drove me away from City of Heroes ultimately was the PVP balance between Hero and Villian. However, I still highly recommend that title was fun times man. For endgame encounter I kid you not we took only 1 Brute (Tank type) and 7 Corrupters. That was most optimal but we could bring 8-Corrupters if we had too. We had it all worked out as a Science and we had endgame content on farm status

Was this boring? Hell no we still had clearly defined roles you see and more tactical options opened up because everyone could essentially 'don armor'. We had Corrupters hovering to reduce aggro, snares (Snowstorms) to slowdown mobs, and everyone was long range so we could kite. Was great times and good fun. But as you see- this caused some serious envy amongst the other Classes because they got 'optional' slots in some groups. Not saying Masterminds or the other Class types are not good but just telling it how I experienced things for over a year when I played (pre-Invention). I was there pre-ED and long after post-ed.

Hopefully soon they will release Champions Online which will be even more Tank-Magey because its based on HERO system. Until then you can try City of Heroes



1. Wasn't it boring to have a Team of TankMages?

You obviously didnt play City of Heroes. Just because you were a Defender didnt mean we all had the same build. There are many types of Tankmages in that game. Solo, you might not be a true TankMage. What turned you into one was being 'buffed' by a fellow hero in which turned you into an effective TankMage.


2. In World of Warcraft they have Shaman is that a TankMage? It can heal, toss bolts, and even self rez like Jesus!

I played that Class in World of Warcraft for a long time. Fun times. But to be a really good TankMage you need to have the best buffs in the game I would say. This way you can buff another player and essentially "give him armor" so he can Tank. In World of Warcraft my Shaman couldnt take much punishment. But a Druid....... When you have a TankMage on your hands you will know because you can slice up any encounter with them. You are all the same 'Class'. So if you see a raid full of Druids takedown raid instances you know you have a TankMage on your hands.

That's the key- if a Class is so diverse they can overlap buffs and reduce the need for other Classes


3. Didn't this suck for the other Classes?

In City of Heroes players considered it a challenge to take a one Class 8-man through an instance. Part of the fun was optimizing our team distribution and figuring what mix of powersets could do it. I saw All 8-Dominator teams popup to do endgame instances. Not sure if they made it. Dont think they did but they tried! You also had All 8-Mastermind groups try.

The key to making a Class diverse enough to become a true TankMage is have powerful support. That is #1. Next, have decent damage potential. But if we can buff that like we did in CoX games then you might have a true TankMage.


4. Wasn't the TankMage imbalanced?

Not really. Solo, no one was a complete TankMage. But with a buff from a fellow Corrupter/Defender, you could become a true TankMage. Since all endgame content is done with teams- this is how TankMages popped up. However, I would admit some Solo builds were pretty TankMagey though like Ice/Rad build using an Epic power that gave them great shields

The Time of TankMages

Posted by vajuras Friday May 2 2008 at 1:51PM
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I Have a Dream. I dream of the day when we can all don armor and fight together side-by-side the way God intended wars to be fought. No longer will our groups fall apart because the only healer we had in our group has to go. There will be overlap, plenty of it. No more waiting 2 hours to find a healer. There will be plenty of overlap.

Everyone will have some tanking ability. If a mob wants to target one team member in our group then everyone else can start sending some heals his way in a pinch

We will all be TankMages and our roles will be dictated by the arrangements of the groups in the 'army'


Imagine, a unit of 50 TankMages go to kill a Dragon. So, there will be 'squads' within this unit. Each squad contains 5 members. Only 1 person in a squad is the BACKUP 'Healer'. He has a star by his name indicating he volunteers for this role. But this is a backup role. We only heal in a pinch.

Note, a TankMage game wont have grouping restrictions. We decided ourselves to form a group of 50 because thats all we need to storm the Castle or aggressive enemy NPC town.

When the mobs decide to focus fire on a target, the backup healer will help heal that target. The aggressed Tankmage will also try to heal himself or attack. Just whatever they decide is the best strategy to storm the enemy NPC city

Notice we are not raiding a dungeon here- we are raiding a populated NPC city complete with guards and really tough mobs that dybnamically seekout the weakest target and destroys them utterly.


Imagine PVP- and loot everywhere. It's no longer about our gear our player skill can come into play. Perhaps in this title the armor you wear provides you benefits in a specific area. Perhaps in this title armor is just armor- thats it. It merely provides more protection and takes durability loss over time. Perhaps in this title Guilds work together to takeover resource nodes and we can employ NPCs to do the boring resource gathering

Imagine character progression. Be anything you want to be- pure crafter or a form of TankMage. Every player can learn to Tank because that is basic common sense every soldier in an army wears Armor. Anything else has no place here. Then you can pick to specialize in magic branches. Whether you learn new skills through skill-based progression or XP makes no huge difference too me. Whatever is the most fun and works for that title. as long as we can explore the ultimate potential- become a TankMage

The time of TankMages needs to return. I think the one MMO that nails this formula right will be a huge success. Right now we see WELL Online, Earthrise, LinkRealms, and others  promising to come out soon. Let's hope TankMages time will return and it will be done right!

Living a Virtual Life With Guildmates...

Posted by vajuras Tuesday April 29 2008 at 2:05PM
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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 6:16PM
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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.