Monday, October 2, 2006

Some interesting stuff to report. So I'll get right down to business.

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I got to see the season premiere of Smallville last night. Gotta say, it was a good episode. There were a couple things I didn't think they were going to be able to resolve, but they managed to pull it off. Aside from the few obvious "comic book geek moments", like when they introduced Jimmy Olsen and had him call Clark, "C.K.", it was a good episode.

At first I thought the actor playing Jimmy Olsen was Shawn Ashmore, from Iceman in X-Men fame. But it's actually his twin brother, Aaron. I'm betting they're working that to their advantage. Plus, it doesn't hurt Aaron's career any either.

Seems like they're going to introduce the Green Arrow this season as well. Hopefully he's not too campy, and his outfit isn't retarded. It's some young heart-throb guy, so he's obviously there to reel in the teen girl audience.

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The new episode of Heroes is on tonight, and it looks to be interesting. I've gotta say, aside from Smallville, it's the only other show on TV I don't want to miss. Perhaps the new show "Dexter" on Showtime, but I don't get that channel or the other two it's appearing on. Might be kind of interesting to see a show about a CSI guy who is actually a serial killer, but his victims are all serial killers themselves. Sounds warped and confusing, doesn't it? Plus it's got that one guy from Six Feet Under in it, and I really liked that show.

Hopefully it get's picked up, and maybe ends up on some Canadian channels I actually get.

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My friend who was interested in running a Space colony insurgency campaign for our tabletop group has expressed interest in getting together with myself and my other friend to work on the gameworld we were using in our other game. We're hoping to use one unified gameworld as the setting for at least 3 different campaigns. The possibilities for crossover and such are endless. Plus we've thought of enough stuff that we could easily run other campaigns in the same setting. Stuff like a Cyberpunk-ish campaign, bounty hunters, pirates, rebels (a la Star Wars), etc.

Hopefully we can get something concrete hammered out so that we can all start working on our respective campaigns. Though I'd really like to get the 4th edition of Gurps Space before I write anything too detailed. I'm betting a lot has changed, and I'll need to re-think some stuff. The 4th edition rules do seem to have eliminated some of the flaws, and streamlined the game (it's fucking rules HEAVY), but I'll still have to take a look.

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And in final news, I've been keeping up on The Saga of Ryzom, as I've got that trial account, and I was fiddling with their Ring editor the other day. The editor is very intuitive, but it does seem quite hard to make things link together like I did with Neverwinter Nights. I'm so used to being able to just write a script in C++ to make a complex scene, or simply quickly hammer out some short scripts to make complex dialog options, and have events trigger because of them.

In R2 (the Ring editor), you have to link events, dialogs, timers, area triggers, etc. to get things to work. And I still couldn't get a simple quest to work properly. Perhaps I just need more time to learn the nuances of the editor. Plus it hasn't helped that most times I've tried fiddling with it I'm either: 1) slightly drunk, 2) tired, or 3) both. The fact that the Ring scenarios will give XP crystals (or whatever they are called) or player made items as rewards is cool too. No XP, so there's no way to abuse the system to make lvling effortless. The XP crystals give players an XP rate boost for a short time or something to that effect. So you will gain more XP for a short while, but you still have to go lvl normally. They probably won't stack, and people will be most likely only be able to get 1 crystal from an scenario once. So people won't be able to "farm" them.

But the actual news is that the Ring goes live tomorrow, and that Nevrax is starting a new International server that's in English. Hopefully it's a North American server so the NA players get a boost. Better connections, events hosted at their times, not at Euro times. I can think of a large number of benefits to people playing on the new server, vs. the established English speaking server.
  1. Everyone is about the same level. Grouping should be much easier.
  2. No one is max lvl in crafting (a huge point in Ryzom), so low-lvl crafters can actually sell their wares, and don't have to compete.
  3. People won't already know where all the crafting resources are, so people will have to look for them. They can't just ask the higher ups.
  4. No power-levelling.
  5. No getting given supreme equipment, XP catalyzers (boosts XP rate), or being taken around by established players, thus taking all the fun out of exploring/doing things yourself.
  6. As I said before, better connections and better timed events.
  7. The ability for NA players to shape their server they way they want.
  8. Less of a language barrier, as most players will speak English as a first language (not so, even on the current English speaking server)
  9. Outposts are open for the taking (PvP spots that give high grade crafting materials.
There are some drawbacks, but I don't see them as being anything major. Newbies won't be able to get help from established players if they need it. But then, it'll just make them learn to fend for themselves, as they should anyway. People won't be able to get better equipment as easily, as the new crafters will have to skill up to make stuff. This is more a benefit though, as it'll make crafting even more appealing to people, as everyone will be screaming for items.

The only big drawback is that it'll split the English speaking players up, like they had when the game launched. Back then, they were losing money, so they merged the two english servers. They could be risking it launching a new server, or they could be in okay financial shape so a new server is a good option. I'm sure any future NA players won't dislike having a better connection to the server, etc.

[Add-on:] Okay ... I just checked, and apparently there is the ability to swap items cross-server via the Ring scenarios. This is a very bad thing, IMO. Several people on the forums have said that it can (and probably will) extremely unbalance the economy on the new server. People can make alts on the new server, grind up to get the Outposts, farm them for cats and mats, and ship the stuff back to their own server. It could potentially be from any of the 3 current servers too. So if Ring scenarios continue to allow trading, the new server might just end up a "farming area" for guilds to get easy mats/cats.

Fuck ... and I was getting kinda hyped about it. Hopefully the devs respond to it, otherwise I can see the new server being nothing more than "GOLD RUSH!" at it's launch.

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That's all. I'm kinda peeved now. Maybe I should go shoot some people in FEAR to wind down.
"BOOM! Headshot!"

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