Sunday, July 30, 2006

** Note: My life isn't all about MMOs. With that said ...**

Now that I've tried the trial of the Saga of Ryzom, I can see quite a few things that I don't like about the game. One of the major ones, that I thought I'd be okay with when I started playing, is the lack of quests.

I played Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) for about 8 months, from release till the point Jedi were becoming popular (don't go there). SWG had no quests, albeit a few they kind of "test trialed" with the players, linked to events. The quests were somewhat interesting, but ultimately, they were over quickly, and it took a long time before the next set came out. It wasn't a big deal, as there was lots to explore, and a myriad of possible profession combos to try. There were mission terminals, but they just gave you a target and upon completion, some credits (money). For the most part, I'd just do them to get some XP and more importantly, make money, as I was almost perpetually broke.

Now in the Saga of Ryzom (SoR), there are quests on the mainland and the newbie area. The newbie quests are in chains, they give XP and some loot, as well as dappers (money). But when you go to the mainland, I've heard all they do is give you some faction rating (a wee bit) and dappers (money). Plus, most of them are mindless "Kill X" or Fed-Ex quests. they don't reveal any ongoing story, but some do reveal the backstory of the world of Atys. That sounds cool and all, but from what players have said, they don't even bother with the quests at all. Most people just group up and go kill stuff. And it seems like they do it for XP, but most importantly, for the crafting materials the mobs drop.

There's nothing wrong with grinding for the crafting mats, but for the most part, I'm not interested in crafting. With a game like SoR, unless you really focus on crafting, and finding the best mats, you'll be sub-par at it. Thus, your crafted items will be crappy, and only really good for a few dappers at the NPC vendor. I've always felt crafting was something left to people who want to do it full-time, or at least as a major focus. I've always thought of crafting as something to do /if/ I happen to be bored. Never something I want to do full-time.

So, with Crafting essentially out of the picture as something I want to do in SoR, that leaves the Harvesting, Fighting and Magic trees. Fighting and Magic are a given, so let's go onto Harvesting.

For the most part, harvesting is like SWG harvesting, minus the automated extractors. You roam around, prospecting, looking for materials in the ground. Once you find a spot, you extract it, and begin harvesting. The fact that speed, quality, possible hazardous conditions, and Kami outrage are factors is totally cool. But for the most part it's just you watching your toon dig away endlessly. And finding that exact spot is a major pain in the ass. SWG had a much better system of waypoints and a resource scanner to pinpoint the highest concentration.

Overall, the Harvesting tree is cool, but very boring, and only really good if you need the mats to Craft, or to sell for dappers. You can collect all the mats you need for dappers off of mobs you kill, so Harvesting isn't all that interesting either.

Well, that's /half the game/ I'm not interested in. Let's see how the other half fares.

The Fighting tree is cool, and the animations are top-notch. I really liked the style of the sword/dagger fighting animations. But up to skill level 30 (as high as I got), the abilities are boring as hell. Here's a list:

- Increase Damage
- Accurate Attack
- Bleeding
- Ignore Armour
- Slow

For the most part, you only use Increase Damage and Accurate Attack. Or more precisely, their Stanzas. So your attacks either: 1) do more damage, 2) have a higher chance to hit, or 3) do both. The animations are cool, but the overall effect is boring. Bleeding adds a Damage over Time (DoT), Ignore Armour allows you to ignore the resistance of a foe's armour (I think this is a PvP focused ability, as creatures don't have armour, that I know of), and Slow slows down the enemies attacks. Each one can only be used with types of weapons. Bleed -> slashing, Ignore Armour -> piercing, and Slow -> blunt. I found Bleed did no appreciable damage. Perhaps if you stacked 5 or so on a Boss it would help, but most things are dead in 3-4 hits, a DoT doesn't do much. I never tried the other two, but apparently Slow is the best by far, as it reduces the incoming damage per second (DPS).

Another thing about the Fighting tree that is crappy is the sound effects. My swords hitting stuff sounds like someone getting hit with a wet noodle. More of a slap than a mighty slice or whack. And other times I don't even hear anything. I can hear other people's characters making grunts and stuff while fighting, but my character is oddly silent the whole time. I don't know if my settings were off or something, but it made Fighting not all too interesting.

As for Magic, the spell effects are nicely done, and the sounds are cool, but could be a bit better. You have far more options as a Magic user than a Fighter. A fighter just stands there, using Taunt, and attacking. (Increase Damage .. sooo boring). The Mage can have Acid, Ice and Rot spells (at low levels), or use Fear, Root, Slow Movement, Slow Attacks, Blind, Heal, and a couple others I think I missed. The mage is far more versatile than the fighter, but is more likely to get hit and take damage, as they can only wear Light Armour and they are easier to hit while casting.

I've seen mages kill stuff with one spell, where it would take me 3-4+ hits to kill it with 2 weapons. A 2-handed weapon would most likely be better, but it reduces your chance to dodge. Mages seem a bit overpowered compared to fighters, and I had a far easier time levelling the Magic tree than the Fighting tree. Usually it's the other way around.


Now that I've covered the 4 skill trees, I can go on to the other aspects of the game that fall somewhat short.

First, the UI is not very good. It's functional, minus the ability to resize the Ability tray, but it's not very pretty to look at, nor can you do a whole lot with it. Other than resize it and move stuff around/make it faded. The built it mp3 player is very nice, but it has no random, no looping, and has to pop out to Windows to bring up the dialog to select files. It's much easier to use Winamp or something similar.

The avatars are not bad, but they do look a bit odd, and the armours/clothing can look rather weird at times. It's more of an exotic look, than realistic, so I guess it's a matter of taste.

The chat UI is crappy at best, far above the shit that is Lineage II, but still not great at all. You can't create any of your own chat tabs, you can't filter the tabs other than the one User one (which is where regular chat is), and tells pop up in the very middle of your screen, taking focus away from whatever had it before. If you were typing in the chat window and a /tell window popped up, you'd wind up typing in that instead. If it's a recurring window, it will pop up back where you moved it, so continuing /tells is okay. There are the chat bubbles above people's heads, so it's not too bad, and works nicely for RP or grouping.

The con (consider) system is very generic at best. Mobs are only rated by colour and stars. The background colour is by gradients of 50, the stars by 10. Bosses are 2 black stars. So a green, 2 star mob is about skill level 20, max. The stars are written like so: 2x* It a very silly system, TBH. Especially when you move your cursor over it
and the tooltip says, "Skill level between 10 and 20". Why don't they just put "10-20" as the con? I don't get it at all.

Aggro creatures are not marked as such either, so unless you know beforehand, get ready to die. Plus, aggro mobs (ie. carnivores) tend to roam in packs, so soloers are easy pickings for them. Some passive mobs (ie. herbivores) are in packs too, and will defend each other. Soloers get ganked again. It is cool to see the carnivore mobs attacking the herbivores, but that's not something that makes the crappy con system all better.

My one big gripe: Soloing. Or the shitty ability to do so. I tried with Magic and Fighting, and all it tends to be is: Kill 3 mobs in less than 30 secs, wait 3 mins for HPs/Sap (mana) to regen. There are no potions, no food/drink, or otherwise no items that could help you regen these points faster. You can't heal yourself at all. You can only use a Self Heal Sap/HP/Stamina/Focus ability once every 2 mins. They are all linked to the same timer, so it takes a while. And most times you need to keep it in case combat goes sour. If you're on a team this is not an issue at all, but I like to have the ability to solo at any point. Some people suggested one could harvest or craft if they couldn't get a team. But those are both boring to me, so there's no point. Someone else said you can just chat in the Region or Universe channels. I was like So you're paying your monthly fee to use a 3D mIRC? RP is a better alternative, but who knows if that's a viable choice, as traveling times may be too long to reach someone. Overall, teaming is a cool aspect, and a good thing for any MMO, as it builds a community of players, and allows people to learn how to effectively group. But when it's almost a requirement to play a game, I say no thanks. There's too many idiots out there, or too few good people to group with. I don't want to spend my time in-game looking for the few good people I can find.

The community of SoR is a very nice, mature bunch though, so there is less likely a chance to be teaming with idiots. Though, like EVE Online, it does seem to have that air of arrogance, which turns me off right away. I hate arrogant people in RL, and can't tolerate them for a second. I've come across a few in my time, and they are the only ones to aggravate me enough that I was /this close/ to beating the fucking shit outta them. I might seem like the unstable type, but for the most part it's just me venting. In RL I'm one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. Anyway, back to the SoR community. They are a generally very helpful bunch, probably because there are sooo few of them, and they seem older than the average WoW player. But there are a few that have that, "If you think this game sucks, you're an idiot. Fuck off, and go play WoW" attitude that pervades the EVE Online forums. It's not something that brings people into the game, and generally puts off those who might be on the fence about subscribing.


Okay ... this has got too long already, and it's late. I'll finish this tomorrow, if I can.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Recently I tried the trial of World of Warcraft (WoW). This would seem normal for most people, but I played WoW for 6 months last year. I tried the trial cause I wanted to compare WoW's graphics to Saga of Ryzom's, when both were set at maximum. (my computer is a beast, so it can handle it )

And /somehow/ I found myself playing WoW again, and actually enjoying it.

I said I was going to post a WoW rant, and add it to my list of MMOs I hate, but I don't know if I can do it. It's not a bad game actually. After trying out so many other MMOs and seeing the differences, WoW is actually a well-polished game.

Here's some of the things WoW does well:

1. User Interface

The user interface in WoW is very well done, and easy to navigate. The additional use of 3rd party UI mods allows the player to customize it even further, and add helpful information.

2. Quests

Most of the quests in WoW are mindless "Kill X number of " or "Collect X number of from ". But they are laid out so well, that they flow from one place to the next, and are quite easy to follow. The quest window is very well done as well. There are some quests that I actually enjoyed completing, like "The Curse of Stalvan" or the Van Cleef arc in Westfall/Stormwind.

3. Character Information

The character window displays all the stats and numbers of the character, including DPS, etc. The display of the numbers gives the player a better sense of how powerful they are. It also doesn't allow the developer to put in "Stealth Nerfs", like CoX and it's "Minor/Medium/High damage" descriptions of powers.

4. Artistic Style

Some people might not like the cartoony look of WoW, nor the fact it's not "raising the bar" on graphical quality. But you can't deny that the artistic style of WoW isn't consistent and interesting. Everything looks like it fits together, and as well, it doesn't appear fake by being "too perfect". The ridiculous armour sets in the later game are rather stupid though. Mostly it's the mismatched colours of things that I dislike.

5. Music

The music is very well done, but it does tend to get repetitive after a while. Places like the Tirisfal Glades (the Undead area) have nicely fitting music. Dark and creepy FTW.

6. Sound Effects

The sound effects are well done as well, and I really never noticed this until after I had been playing the Saga of Ryzom for a while. In Ryzom, half the time my character makes no sound attacking, or his attacks all sound weak. The spell effects are okay, but still lacking. In WoW, all the added sound effects, like the ever-so-simple "Hello there." when you click on an NPC add to the richness of the environment.

7. Graphical Effects

The spells and other abilities in WoW all have nice graphical effects, and fit with the artistic style of the rest of the game. They aren't mind-blowing, but they don't seem weak either. Just right.

8. Animations

The animations are nice, and look semi-realistic at the same time. Again, they aren't mind blowing, but they look good. Far from some of CoX's animations that just look stupid or weak.

9. Soloability

Now many hardcore, old-school MMOers would say soloing isn't something that's supposed to be in an MMO. I think they just haven't evolved with the times, and are still stuck in their old EQ days. People want to be able to play when they want, and not have to worry about taking an hour to find a group, only to wind up with a bunch of idiots that get you killed in less than 60 seconds.

I loved the soloability of my Scrapper in CoX, it was one of the main reasons I played the game for so long. Now some say you should just play a SP game instead. But not wanting to team with other people, doesn't mean you don't want to interact with them. My RL friend hates playing /any online game/ with people he doesn't know. Cause they never work as well together as him and his RL buddies.


Now all of WoW isn't great, but the negatives are more subjective than anything.

1. Community

This is my #1 gripe with WoW, by far, and many other people's as well. WoW is soo popular, and become so mainstream, that it's attracted every /idiot imaginable/. The vast numbers of immature "B.Net kiddies" is also a huge turnoff. But if you could get into a good guild of mature people, you can simply ignore/avoid the majority of the idiots.

2. Mindless grinding

There's no way around it, it's basically the way all MMOs are designed. But with many of the oh-so-boring quests, it becomes even more apparent.

3. Heavily Gear Based

I'm not one who likes a gear dependent game, but that's probably because I enjoy FPSes so much, where player skill is the defining factor. I can beat less-skilled players with pistols while they hold a rocket launcher. I can't see why it couldn't be different for an MMO. But I can see where gear is required for game balance. Try playing a tabletop game of DnD 3.5 and only give the players regular (non-magical) gear. Watch how fast they die later on. I'm in a tabletop game like this. We keep getting massacred.

4. Horrible Honour/PvP system

The honour system in WoW is a total joke, TBH. It basically rewards those who spend the most time PvPing in the Battlegrounds. It doesn't matter if they are skilled or not, you still get points for losing. Hence why people were playing their friend's accounts to get more time in to hit the higher ranks.

But all PvP does is give the top people better gear, and so if you don't PvP, it makes absolutely no difference.

5. Ugly Armour styles/colours

The artistic style in WoW is good, but the colour schemes of most items is horrible. I swear that the art director is colour-blind. The styles of some of the armour is also retarded, and completely unrealistic. But then again, the entrie game is meant to be cartoony.

6. End game Raiding

I have never made it to lvl 60 in WoW and participated in a raid, but from talking to my friends who have, it's not something a lot of people enjoy. I personally can't allot 5-6 hours to raid some instance in the vain hope I get epic item. The girl I work with raided multiple times a week with her guild and took over 4 months to get 1 piece of armour she wanted.

7. Lack of Dev communication \ Major updates

This is a combo deal in my mind. The WoW dev team doesn't listen/talk to their players, probably for the main reason that the players are mostly idiots, and there is such a huge number of them. WoW also hasn't added anything substantial since release because the game had so many problems at release, and Blizzard has been hemorrhaging talent ever since then. Now I don't think this is an excuse, but I can understand why it's happened.

But for example, EVE Online is not much different. Though they do communicate with their vastly smaller playerbase. But there have been numerous things they have stated were "Coming Soon.™", and years later still haven't delivered. I'm not sure, but this seems to almost be the case with all MMOs.


I can't think of any other major flaws/good points to WoW at the moment. I mostly had to some here and vent about the Community of WoW, as I've seen these players in my time in Ryzom. Since the newbie area is free forever, there are a large number of idiots running about, trying the game out. They've annoyed me to no end, especially the ones I've had to team with to accomplish tasks. I had to just run off and quit my team at one point because they were annoying me so much.

*** WARNING: ***

If you use "u", "k", "kthxbai", you type like some 4 yr old, and/or you can't listen to instructions or just run off while in a group to kill something, stay away from me in RL. If I find out I will curb-stomp your ass. If you don't know what "curb-stomp" means, go watch American History X. Maybe then you'll use your fucking head for a change.

Monday, July 10, 2006

One very handy thing for anyone who's read my bit about The Saga of Ryzom and is thinking about trying it out:

Download the Ruins of Silan Starter Guide

It's a very informative almost comic-style manual of sorts, designed to help people through the starter island and teach them the basics of the game. I read it after I had played for quite a while, and now it's made me think of starting over again. I've made some half-assed decisions on new spells for my Mage, and I think I've probably gimped him a little. I've tried to get most of the powers, instead of specializing. Now he's weaker than he should be, but he can do more stuff. Some of which I almost /never use/.

Plus, I don't really like the way he looks, and since you can't alter your character's face or body (only hair and tattoos) after you make them, I might re-roll him. That, and I want to try out the Fighting skills more. Plus, Crafting and Harvesting are looking to be more interesting. Especially since you can make different stuff, based on the stats of the items, unlike the way it is in WoW.


Speaking of WoW, I talked with my one co-worker today about it (as she's constantly inundating me with her raiding exploits almost everytime I see her, as if I'm actually interested in it at all ). Anyway, she told me her boyfriend, who also plays WoW (shocker, I'm sure ), got an invite to Beta-test Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. But he said he doesn't want to, cause it's just like original EQ, so they punish you when you die (loss of XP, de-lvling, corpse runs). I told her how Ryzom had XP debt, similar to CoX, except you have to pay it off before you get any XP. She was like, "But that's punishing you!". I was kind of like . This coming from a girl who played EQ1 for /years/. Now she wants no penalties for death? And one other time she was bitching how there's "heal-aggro" in WoW (she plays a healer full-time).

I just can't get over her change in attitude. It really throws a wrench into Brad McQuaid's idea that core gamers (read: old school EQ gamers) want to bring back the days of death penalties and long travel times. I also know a current EQ gamer who said her and all her friends, ie. EQ friends, won't be playing Vanguard cause some of them played the Beta and [quote:] "it sucks". More and more it seems like Vanguard is headed for rough waters. And it's not even near release yet. Yikes ....

[For those who don't know, Brad McQuaid is the lead designer of Sigil, the developer of Vanguard. He's also one of the original EQ designers, and was the chief reason it was so popular (at least with EQ-junkies).]

This also reminds me that I should write up a WoW rant. Hmm ... maybe I'll post one tomorrow.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Just as it's been before, I've started to become bored with EVE.

But this time it's different. There's no hatred, no anger in it this time. It's simply sadness. I'm sad that the game isn't all it could be. And sad that the one thing it is praised for doing quite well doesn't really interest me at all.

EVE's PvP has been touted the best in any MMO. Yet, when I've looked at it in depth, it still seems pale compared to what I like. I'm used to the thrill and adrenaline in an FPS. EVE has the adrenaline rush, I've felt it a couple times, but overall it doesn't have the fun I'm looking for. I'm much too casual a player to be driven to grind the utterly monotonous PvE aspects of the game, just to afford any ship/module losses in the PvP aspect. I my PvP to be somewhat challenging, and usually balanced team wise. But EVE PvP is normally one-sided, and often completely impossible for the smaller side (often single ships). This just reminds me of level 60s in WoW camping newbie players. There's little point to it, other than being able to ruin someone else's day.

Now, I'm not bitching because someone's day got ruined, or because this happened to me. I'm simply not one who enjoys one sided fights. In F.E.A.R. I hate it when my team is schooling the other team. I either end up bored and quit playing, or I switch to the other team and fight to try and make up the point difference. Being the underdog is a thrill all it's own. It's also tons of fun when I get to play very good players in FEAR, like one guy named Andras. He's by far, the most skilled player in FEAR I've ever seen or faced. But it gives me a thrill every time I manage to take him down (the few times I do, that is). Facing challenging opponents, but not impossible odds is always fun, and is the true spirit of PvP. There's always a lot of "gg"s ("Good Game" in fps talk) after a particularly heated round of FEAR. And most times, the score has come down to within a kill or two.

Ultimately though, EVE's PvP just doesn't fulfill what I'm looking for. And since the PvE is so boring, as it's simply a means to raise money to PvP, I can't see myself playing the game much longer. Perhaps this time, I'll be gone from the game for good, like some of the MMOs in the past.

My friend from work is back to day shifts next week, so he'll probably stop playing EVE as well. And after talking to my other co-worker about EVE, we both are of the opinion that the PvP parts aren't for us, so I'm not sure what he'll do.


For something else to do, as I'm often bored out of my fucking skull once I get home from work, I've decided to try out The Saga of Ryzom. It's an MMO made by Nevrax, a French company, and it's quite small. It's virtually unheard of here in North America, but so far it's not a bad game at all. There's an unlimited trial for the newbie island (which is quite large), so it's not a big deal.

From what I've seen so far, I'm quite impressed with the game. It doesn't have any real quests aside from "Kill X of " and apparently that's only in the newbie island area. On the mainland there's almost /no quests at all/. It's simply a grind for experience. But, being an old Star Wars: Galaxies (SWG) player, this is really not anything new to me. SWG had mission terminals for quests, which spawned camps/lairs for you to take out and get a small amount of money. Apparently, this was the original design for CoH, but was eventually scrapped and replaced with the Contact missions. Luckily, Cryptic did this, as I couldn't see many people sticking around if they hadn't.

Anyway, back to Ryzom ... Not having quests isn't really a big deal for me, as they usually just mask the fact that you're "killing X of " anyways. And Ryzom's skill system totally makes up for this.

There are 4 skills in Ryzom: Fighting, Magic, Harvesting, and Crafting. Using one will give you experience for that particular field. Killing a mob with only spells leads to Magic XP. Using a weapon and spells will lead to some Fighting XP and some Magic XP. Depending on how much each one was used. And there are different categories within each skill, so Magic has Defensive and Offensive categories, as well as Healing Magic (which apparently gives no XP). I'm assuming XP is split equally in the team so the healer gets some even if they do no damage. I'm not sure on that though. There are different abilities for each skill, and you're not obligated to get all of them, unlike most class-based MMOs.

Abilities are customizable and /createable/. You can use Stanzas, the "parts" of abilities, to modify or create new abilities. They go something like this:

Acid Spell
- ranged spell stanza (+)
- acid damage stanza (+)
- costs sap (mana) stanza (-)
- reduced range stanza (-)
- increased casting time stanza (-)

As long as the negatives (-) equal or outweigh the positives (+), you can create the ability. You can do stuff like change a spell to cost no Sap (mana), but be very short range. Or have a super long range, insta spell, but make it very costly on Sap. Customizability FTW.

The crafting and harvesting system reminds me of SWG too. You have resource nodes to tap, and depending on the materials you use, it affects the qualities of the item. Many items have different qualities or bonuses, so not every item is the same. Not like WoW's grossly simplistic crafting. Plus, you can just put your items on the NPC vendor, and he sells them for you. No Auction House, nor housing vendors required. I was a little confused why the players were able to craft items /crappier/ than my starter ones, but perhaps I was just confused by the stats.

Another plus for Ryzom, the world. It's a very nice world, and Nevrax put a lot of interesting touches on the environment. For example, in the map window it tells you the season, as well as the weather. I've seen it raining, snowing and also seen lightning and thunder. All very cool. There are shooting stars in the night sky, and a plethora of ambient sounds to make the environment seem more "alive". The backstory isn't the "standard fantasy" of orcs, elves and dwarves. The 4 Homid races are mostly human in appearance, except for the one blue-skinned race that /always/ wears their tribal mask. Thinking outside the box FTW again.

One nice feature with creature mobs is the "predator vs. prey" cycles. Some mobs are "prey", others are "predators". They will attack and feed off each other. They also roam in herds, and generally don't just "stand around waiting to get killed". It is quite difficult to figure out which ones are aggro or not, so I've found myself rezzing at the outpost quite a few times. The con system ("con" = consider) is also quite general, so the mobs have a "1x" or somesuch beside their info. This means they have a level between "10 and 19". But for the most part it's not too difficult to figure out what's hard or not.

The graphics are very nice as well. The spell effects are well done, as are the player animations. Emotes are very nice, and there are a large number of them (not as many as SWG, the most I've ever seen).

The community is very nice so far. I've yet to run into a jerkhole, unlike most people's first few minutes in WoW. I've seen a "Senior Guide" in the newbie area, helping people as well as moderating the one chat channel to keep the "WoW bashing" down. Heh.

Apparently, Ryzom is a great game for RP, and the live team hosts events that players can take part in, actually shaping the story of Ryzom. Coupled with the interesting backstory for Ryzom and the nice character animations/emotes, I could see Ryzom being a good place for RP.

A big plus is the integrated mp3 player. It can read any mp3 from your harddrive, so you don't even have to rename stuff, or move it around. A random feature would be a plus though. The interface is completely movable, resizable, and the opacity of each window can be set individually, or the same. The abilities tray is a little on the small side, running at 1280x1024, but it's not too bad.

There are a lot of good points for Ryzom, as I see it right now. But just wait, cause I've been one to switch gears in a heartbeat. But with the trial being "unlimited" and "free", it's hard not to at least give it a shot.

Besides, remember what I said about being the underdog?

Monday, July 3, 2006

*looks at the post below*

Jesus ... I sound like Dex, my former character from CoH. Could I use the word "fuck" more?

My friend from work came over last night and we played some X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. Okay ... not "some". More like /fucking hours of/.

But we were stupid, and ended up playing the first and second Rebel missions in Balance of Power over and over. They were sooooooooo fucking hard, it was ridiculous.

Then, I realize I had the difficulty setting on Medium, not Easy. We try again, and it's a fucking breeze. Hours wasted failing the same missions over and over.

Now, you must realize that Medium difficulty in XvT has absolutely nothing to do with any sane person's idea of "Medium". Easy is a fucking cake walk. Medium is pure and utter hell. Hard ... well, you're better off gouging your eyes out. You'd probably end up having more fun.

We also tried the first few missions for the Empire. For some stupid reason, in the Imperial missions, your squadmates are insanely good. There were numerous times where we never got any kills. Only a few assists. During the Rebel missions, we'd average 11 kills or more. Like WTF?

Basically, we played a huge number of the Imperial missions, some a few times as we overzealously destroyed ships we were supposed to inspect /first/, and wound up not advancing in rank at all. After repeating the Rebel missions forever, we'd would up almost Veterans. Yet the Imperial missions never increased our ranks once. Weird. The difficulty setting is totally bizarre when it comes to promotions.

It was a ton of fun, as we were both being so utterly stupid, and mocking our co-workers while playing. I even did a fairly good British accent while reading our mission debriefing, mocking the voices from the game. At least it was good enough to make two sleep-deprived guys almost piss themselves.


I also showed my friend some of multiplayer FEAR, Freelancer, and some other games that I don't really remember. He really liked FEAR though. Hopefully, he picks it up, and we can team up online. It's a blast in MP.