Friday, November 23, 2007

That time of the month again, so here goes:

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In MMO-Land, I still haven't played anything. Or to be more precise, I haven't payed for anything I've played in the last two months.

I never did get Tabula Rasa, and I'm glad about it. It still is MMO-Lite™, even after a few patches. And the biggest problem I have with it (the lack of interesting/diverse skills) is still there. They really need to flesh out the Logos powers and/or diversify the weapons more. Everything is still too homogenous, that you really don't feel any different than anyone else, and it leads to a real lack of a role to play, solo or in groups. When everyone plays the same, and looks the same, there's really no diversity or individuality.

Once they seriously beef up the later stages of the game, and tweak the content they have, it /might/ be worth a subscription. But not until then. And even at that point, I don't know if it'd be worth more than a couple months of enjoyment.

As for old MMOs, I haven't played EVE nor CoX since September or whenever it was when I quit last. Not much of an urge to play either of them. EVE draws me a little more, but once I remember the boring grinds and the realtime skill training, it falls back even with CoX.

In Beta news, I got into the Stress test of Pirates of the Burning Sea, and I was rather impressed with what they have accomplished. Especially since the avatar content is only months old, as they added it in after hearing people weren't all too interested in being "just ships", a la EVE Online. The avatar content does make the game all the more immersive compared to EVE. And the fact that you can zoom down to see your avatar on the ship while in combat, gives it that special edge over EVE.

/But/, the grind is apparent, at least to me, and I'm not all too interested in running completely instanced content, like DDO. The towns are shared, but each mission is instanced, and even conflicts in the open sea are instanced. I don't really like that, as it ruins the immersion for me. CoX was better for it as you had the shared zones to see other people, and bump into others while street sweeping. But PotBS is nothing more than Guild Wars, technically. And I've never been a big fan of GW either.

The character customization is top notch though, as is the fact you can customize your ship. Almost on par with CoX, but not quite. Didn't see too many people who looked exactly the same, except for the tools who all made Johnny Depp/Capt. Jack Sparrow ripoff characters. Fucking lame.

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MMOs really haven't been all to appealing to me for a while now, and with /absolutely nothing/ on the horizon to intrigue me (Age of Conan and Warhammer both look like utter bores), I think my MMO hat will be hung up for a good long while.

It's okay though, as my one roomie has tons of PC games for me. He's the pirate king when it comes to DLing movies/TV/games off the Net, so he's got a whack of games for me to play. He got Crysis, Call of Duty 4, Timeshift, FEAR: Perseus Mandate and Gears of War all within a couple weeks. I've only got a copy of FEAR so far, but that's okay, as I haven't even finished Freedom Force vs The Third Reich. I got 3/4 of the way through, but now it's lost it's charm, and it's really become rather easy, as I already know how to min/max characters to make them nigh-unkillable.

My recreation of Live-Wire, even though he's less points than the old one, is just as tough, just less able to dish the pain. And a lot slower. I really should have waited a while and recruited him when I had the points to up his Speed. He runs like a turtle.

I also know I can defeat all the villains one handed with him as I made it through 20 waves of enemies in the Danger Room with him. Including all the boss enemies.

I might go back and wrap it up, just to see the story, or I might just simply make a new version of Live-Wire worth 3 times the points (as I have them to recruit heroes), and use him to one handedly destroy the enemies.

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Also, I've been using my PC very little as of late, as I just bought a XBox 360 earlier this week, just so I could play Assassin's Creed, and later on, Mass Effect. I've actually really enjoyed AC so far, though it's repetitiveness is starting to show. But that's okay as it's stylish as hell, superbly animated, beautiful visuals, and most importantly, a sandboxy world I can explore.

I wish more games would go the route of Assassin's Creed, Oblivion/Morrowind, and Grand Theft Auto. Sandbox worlds are so much more immersive, so much more fun, and entirely more engaging. When I play linear level based games, I start to see the "game" much more than the world I am playing in. I start to view the game as an outsider. I feel less like I'm playing the game, and more like I'm cataloging its flaws and shortsightedness. It's like when I played Bioshock, and immediately saw how it is a copy of System Shock 2. It stopped being fun, and became simply some game that I was playing. I started to look at it in 3rd person, like I wasn't even playing it. More like I was watching someone else playing it, and I was critiquing how bad it was. Kinda fucked up, ain't it?

But AC has been fun, and I've tried to keep from burning myself out with it, so I only allow myself a few hours a day to play it. Two to three at most. That way it's always refreshing, and I can prolong my enjoyment, so it's not done and over with too fast, like Episodes 1 and 2 of Half-Life. Portal was the same as well. All three were so damn good, but so damn short. It hurts.

Can't wait to play Mass Effect, and later on, I think I'll get the Darkness too. I loved the comic books (I have #1-16 or so of the originals), so it looks like a fun game. And I know it's a 360 only title. So I can't just wait for the PC version to come out.

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In tabletop news, I actually ran the first part of an official Werewolf module from White Wolf for a few of my friends. We used the pre-made characters and everything. But I have to say, it was one of my worst GMing sessions ever. I really didn't know the rules, the combat, the setting, nor the module. It was done more on a whim, so I had little time to prepare. Needless to say, I don't think I'll really go back to GMing it.

Cause I much rather GM my Aliens game, as I've actually been able to run it a couple times, and advance the plot a little more. The first few sessions haven't really done much as it all happened in the span of one game day, but the last two have let me make things /much more interesting/. Giant spider whale sounding things that are virtually unkillable, crazy bio suit army dudes who try to kill everything (including the PCs), invisible mutant people, and an unknown alien creature that can eat people's brains and mimic their voices/memories. All nicely fucked up things to keep the PCs and the players guessing/second guessing and on their toes. Just the way I like it.

As for the DnD game, the one guy has started the Keep fight adventure (one he's been planning for ages). We've all referred to it jokingly as the TPK, as in Total Party Kill, but the simple fact is that it's most likely going to end up that way. The guy doesn't know how to properly scale things with the encounter level, and has us facing 20-30 shadows. Each one is a Challenge Rating of 3, which by are average party level of 8-9 is really weak. But the fact that there are so many makes it something like a CR of 12-13. Which by the DnD system means you either run away, or die. Simple as that.

And the stupidest part is that the guy is running this adventure so we could get more XP to be better prepared for the Super-Long-Campaign™. But we have to fucking /survive/ to play the SLC you idiot! Gah!

Hence I'm hoping he kills us off completely, so we can either stick with my Aliens game, jump back to Inferno's Vikings game, hop to our other buddy's one of many campaigns in the works, or start a regular fantasy GURPS game. I've thought of some ideas for one, but nothing concrete yet. I'd much rather just convert my old world into 4th Edition instead and use something there. I like my not so Tolkien-esque orcs, elves, etc. compared to the standard ones. Dark elves that are like the Elder Scrolls ones? Fucking A!

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But anyway, I've ranted to too long already. Thanks for listening. And remember to tune your dial to 104.5, the Rev's all jibberish, all non-stop rants, all day!

Thanks for calling, and see you next time.
The Rev.

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