Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Well, it's been a while since I posted anything here, so I figured another diatribe .... err, I mean "post" was due.

To those who think I'm going to go ADD and say how Vanguard is the best thing in the world, you're wrong. After the last post I don't think I even played the game for the last day or so of my 10 day trial. The nerfing of the only character class I found really engaging was the last straw. Plus, after I stepped back and /really/ looked at the game, I could easily see how shallow, and fucking boring it all was. About the only thing that was keeping me there was the fact that I hadn't seen any of the world, and I could go explore it all. And after I did a little exploring and found a lot of boring, same looking wilderness, I gave up. The one cool place I found was covered in 10+ level higher mobs that were social, and group only.

Needless to say, I had to fucking run for my life.

I've completely shelved any thoughts about Vanguard. My co-worker Satan hasn't even played it more than a few hours I think. And he was the one person I know who was actually excited about it. Maybe that's why. He got too hyped about it. And the incompleteness of it all, coupled with the fact it's really not all that different or "3rd Gen" let him down.

Besides, he's thoroughly engrossed with EVE Online again.

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And that brings me to my next point, EVE.

Like I said before, I reactivated my account just after New Years, and for some reason got bored within a few hours. I never did anything other than login to set skill training for most of the month of January. This last month, I spent some time trying Exploration, and found it very time consuming and inevitably fruitless. My associated skills were far too low to be all that effective, and I didn't know how to properly set up my scan probes.

I still don't really know how to do all that properly, but my skills are much better now. I even have the other Exploration-related skills at a decent level. But I haven't really taken the time to try the whole system out since then. I've been fiddling around with doing some missions, including a fucking /epic/ of a 10 part storyline one. It was my storyline mission (a mission given to you after every 16 regular ones, and it greatly affects factional standings), so I was required to do it, or take the factional penalty. After taking a few days to do the first 9 parts, since doing the missions, and adding looting and salvaging the wrecks to the time made most missions a 2-3 hour affair. A couple were quick courier missions that took no more than 10 mins, but later on they disappeared. The final ones were all combat missions with multiple parts.

Anyway, the last mission had one brutal area or "room" at the end. Large swarms of ships in 3 groups, probably totalling at least 30 ships. And 3-4 of them were Battleships. (FYI: I fly a Battlecruiser, or tougher Cruiser. Battleships are the next step up, and fucking tough.) It was a "running the gauntlet" type of mission. Kill an enemy base, and escape with the girl imprisoned there (somehow she is supposed to survive ). Anyway, the destroying the base part was fine, but as soon as I opened fire, /all/ of the NPC ships targeted me and returned fire. Including the Battleships.

Needless to say, I died before I could grab the "girl" and escape. When I looted the "can" that the girl should have been in, while being pummeled to shit, I found no girl at all. Just two cybernetic implants. In that moment I panicked. That was my downfall. My wonderful Ferox battlecruiser went "poof", a mere second before I could flee.

It took a while for me to calm down (I wasn't mad, more depressed), and let the monetary loss sink in. So I took a break for the day and came back to the game the next day, determined to figure out a way to finish the mission. Besides I had to. It would affect my factional standings. I also wanted to figure out why I hadn't found the girl in the can, only the implants. While perusing the mission briefing, searching for a clue to what I needed to do, or what I had done wrong, I noticed it.

"Mission complete".

Huh?
I stared at it for a while, lost. At first I thought it was a bug, or perhaps the daily server downtime had affected it. Then I talked to a corp mate and learned the /real reason/. The girl was never there. It was all a trap. And I never needed to loot the can at all. The implants were only there as a bonus, to those willing to risk their ship's destruction.

I was relieved. At least in all this mess my factional standings wouldn't be adversely affected. But I was still out the Ferox, or more precisely, out the insurance money and all the modules and cargo on it. The insurance contract had paid out slightly more than the cost of a new one, so I could go get a new one right away. But then I'd have to buy more insurance, and of course new modules and weapons to equip it with.

Luckily, all the modules I had looted from the previous mission had sold on the market in the mean time, so I was able to cover the cost of insurance plus some. The cost of new modules wasn't all the expensive, considering that I always use the cheap ones. Besides, the expensive ones are usually only better by a small percentage (2-5%), and lower for system requirements. I've never had a problem with running out of ship powergrid or CPU, so I don't really need them.

So I bought a new Ferox, kitted it out with the same mods as I had before, insured it, and was ready to fight again. How much did my wallet balance suffer? Nothing, in the end. I actually hadn't been effected at all, mainly since those mods sold on the market for an insane price. Not too bad for my first ship loss.

/But/, I found out that one of those two implants I looted before dying was worth more than my ship, all it's fittings, /and/ the insurance. Damn .... if I had only warped out a second earlier, I would be laughing.

Oh well ... live and learn I guess.

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That's the beauty of EVE I guess. It doesn't hold your hand. It doesn't keep you out of harms way. And it doesn't restrict you like every other game out there.

Wow .... you'd think it must be the best game in the world, eh? No, it's not. It has a lot going for it, but like almost every other game out there, it has it's drawbacks. But I'm still enjoying my time with it.

My other co-worker, Kofi, is also playing it (I think I mentioned that before). He's completely disillusioned with WoW and he didn't even play the Burning Crusade. In fact, he's drawn the ire of many of his RL/online gaming pals because of it. They play WoW /all the time/, and almost nothing else. Whenever we use the Teamspeak server, we have to switch to another channel, otherwise we'll hear them yammering on about WoW or whatnot.

Anyway, Kofi really wants to get our co-worker Satan to team with us and make our own corp. Get something going, as he puts it. Satan already has all his characters (from 2 accounts) in his own corp. I'm not sure how to tell Kofi that I think it's not going to work. I've worked with Satan for quite a while now, and talked about gaming with him a lot on our coffee breaks. He seems like the kind of guy who /prefers/ to play MMOs all on his own. He said he was once in a guild in EQ 1, but something happened and he quit. I'm not sure if that was when he quit the game, or before that. Regardless, he seems quite content to just fiddle around all on his own, doing what he can (hence the two EVE accounts).

But Kofi is an entirely different type of online gamer. He will only play an online game if he can play with people he knows in RL. He doesn't make friends with people in MMOs, shooters, etc. He only teams with his friends, makes guilds with them that are RL friends only, etc. I'm not sure why, but I do remember him saying something like, "Why would I want to team up with some people I don't know in a game?" It's very confusing.

I'm somewhat like Satan, in that I like to be able to do stuff in game at my own pace, but I like to make friends in MMOs/whatnot, as otherwise I'll be all alone when playing them. Unlike Kofi, I don't know /anyone/ in RL who I can play games with. My best friend Inferno has a P.O.S. computer that can't run much of anything. And the other day my extra computer crapped out on him for some bizarre reason. So he can't even come over to game. My other friends either don't play video games much, or only play console games, use a Mac, only play singleplayer games, etc. I have a plethora of cousins (14 in fact), most of which are younger than me, and I'm quite good friends with. You think any of them play online video games? Nope.

Fucking weirdos ....

Anyway, Kofi and I are looking to try out something new in EVE. We've got a couple options, but I don't know if we can get very far with them. All of the major empire building stuff pretty much /requires/ a corporation of at least 20-40 people, so his "RL friends only" rule pretty much fucks us over on that regard.

I'm going to have to get him to change that, somehow. It's obvious, even to him, that he's not going to be able to play online games with his old RL gaming buds anymore. They are too addicted to WoW, and he's not. Besides, they don't even have some of the games we play online. I guess I need to figure out where this idea stems from, in order to get him to change his opinion. I'm betting it's cause his RL friends are all the same age as him, they went to school together, etc., that he's resistant to change, and can't see how that's not going to stay the same forever.

Whatever happens, I hope it's for the best. He's a good guy, and I'd hate him to miss opportunities to enjoy his online gaming, just because he's holding on to some old memories and won't adjust his views.

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Let's see ...

In other news, both Smallville and Heroes were great this week. I think for the first time in a while, I was more entertained by Smallville than Heroes. Probably because this last episode was very unlike the "villain of the week" types in the past, and some /major/ plot points came up. It gets me all excited for next week.

As I said before, the extra computer is fucked right now. I'm waiting to see if Kofi can dredge up an old socket 754 AMD motherboard so I can test things out to find the problem. It's either the motherboard, or the CPU. Either way, it's not looking good.

Other than that and some rare fuck up in Battlefield 2142 that unlocked every item in the game for me (effectively giving me all the abilities of a 4 star General type), it's been pretty tame. I think I might go get a new singleplayer game or something. I've got a list of ones I want to try. Need for Speed is getting old (I mean, how many times can you race a car? even if it's on different "tracks"), San Andreas isn't all that appealing anymore (it's gotten old), I'm done with NWN 2 (not playing that again for sure. Too time consuming), and that's it for my SP games.

I thought about reactivating my old CoX account, and I know some people would be thrilled if I did, but I /know/ it'd just bore me in a week or a month, so I'm not going to bother. It's best to stay away, and avoid frustrating myself.

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Well, /again/ it's been a long entry, and I think I've been typing for far too long. At least this one was very low on the expletives and didn't involve any real ranting. Hey! Maybe I'm doing better. Guess I should reward myself with a Rye and Coke.

Oh wait ... it's right here.
Cheers!

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