Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jesus ... I haven't written in here in /ages/. I laughed when I read what I wrote back in Sept. So much has changed since then. Games wise, of course.

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MMOs:

WAR:
The funny thing is I broke down and bought WAR just after that last post, and I'm still playing it. I haven't been playing it like I used to play MMOs. It's usually an hour or two, here or there. Since I started, the game has improved quite a bit, though I seem to have this annoying lag since the last patch, and random desynch issues. Aside from the network issues, the game has been a lot more stable since I started.

They've added a lot of features that I was highly impressed by, but that could be cause the game was pretty buggy before and there was a lot of polish needed. Things added that really should have been there from the beginning, as any AAA title would have.

For the most part, I've stuck around cause the PvE isn't that bad (along the same lines as WoW), the animations are pretty good (aside from a few horrendous ones), and I like PvP in WAR (for the most part).

The PvP is actually fun, and the best part is it's accessible from any level. And the instanced battles ("scenarios"), are available from anywhere in your current zone, provided you haven't outlevelled the zone range. There are the Realm vs. Realm (RvR) lakes where you can PvP over battlefield objectives (BOs) and Keeps. They are meant to be the focus of the game, as they affect the tiers above them, leading to tier 4 which can allow one side to sack the opponent's home city.

It all sounds ridiculously cool in theory, but after actually participating in a Keep siege in Tier 2, I can say I don't see why people do the open RvR stuff at all. It's basically who can bring the bigger zerg, and the Keep fights become a meat grinder as the only way to the 2nd level is up a narrow ramp. The defenders can rain down on the attackers and since there is collision of players, their tanks can stand at the top of the ramp and keep people from getting through. All while running at like < 5 fps. Oh .. did I mention there is the Keep Lord NPC on the 2nd floor too, who's a Lord class NPC. Thus he dishes out stupid DPS and has insane HPs. Yeah ... not all that well designed at all.

The RvR in Tier 1 is the best there is, cause it's only over BOs, and they are simply guarded by a Champion class NPC and some regular mobs. Also, it's all open field, so there is actual room to maneuver and flank the opponents. So much more fun.

At least the scenarios are entertaining, and an easy way to get some XP and PvP in. Basically, I'm using WAR to be a PvE game sometimes, but a mostly to get my PvP fix. I don't play FEAR anymore (cause no one else does), and I don't have any other good games for PvP.

What it comes down to ultimately is that I'll probably play WAR casually (like I am right now) until I hit the level cap (or close to) and then quit. Unless they can give me more incentive to do RvR, or at least make Keep fights interesting and fun, I don't see any reason to do it.

EVE:

Again, like I called it, I stopped playing EVE since the last post, and have recently got an itch to play it. I re-subbed a while back and kept my skills training, mostly cause they changed how the system works so you can't set a skill to keep training while your account is inactive. I lost a couple months, but that's not a big deal. I've got about 28 million skillpoints, so I'm far ahead of the curve.

I don't know if I'll really get back into EVE at all. It will probably be a side game I play from time to time to do something different. Since the PvE is boring as hell, and the PvP has stupid death penalties I don't see this ever becoming my main MMO.

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TV:

Smallville has been not bad this season, surprising since Michael Rosenbaum (aka. Lex Luther) left the show. He was one of my favourite characters, and a Superman staple, so seeing how they were going to adjust the show was interesting. Best part though has to be the writing off of Lana Lang. I never liked the actress (she looks like she's still 15, WTF?!) and I always found Lois to be more interesting. Finally, they are developing the Clark-Lois-Superman love triangle.

Hereos has been meh, for the most part. Not sure why I keep watching it. Maybe cause I hope it will get good for a change.

Terminator was good this season as well. Not too much that was new, but I like where they are going. And I have to say, Brian Austin Green plays his role very well. Never thought I'd say that about a former 90210 cast member.

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Inferno and I finally beat Act 1 of Neverwinter Nights 2 the other night. I've swapped my character once already cause Rangers suck in NWN2. Now I'm playing a sorcerer and it's far cooler. Mega damage spells FTW! Though I've got to be continuously aware of friendly fire with the difficulty setting we're playing on.

I haven't played anything co-op with Kofi in forever. The only thing we got some co-op with was Left4Dead, and that was a single session. He's played it /a lot/ with his other buddies and really enjoyed it. I played through solo and found it cool, but ultimately, too short. Even co-op play all the way through really doesn't make up for the price of the game. It should have been cheaper, or had more than 4 chapters. I beat all the chapters in about an hour each. 4 hrs of playtime is not work 50 bucks, no matter how you slice it.

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Tabletop:

GAMING DRAMA!!!!

It's silly, but our group has devolved into infighting about gaming as of late. Me, Inferno, Blake and our buddy who moved back to town are all for GURPS, and the other 3 guys are really only wanting to play DnD. It's like War of the Gaming Systems.

It's pretty stupid, really. We've played DnD for like 3 years, they should be at least okay with playing some GURPS for a little bit. Basically, I have to run my Horror/Fantasy game for GURPS next cause it's the only game that we can share common ground on. The DnD guys don't really like anything other than fantasy, and the GURPS guys like all kinds of gaming.

Like in my stupid long phone conversation with Blake not too long ago, I said that the DnD guys are so adamant over playing only DnD cause I think it's all they've ever experienced. They've probably only played hack 'n slash DnD in it's varying incarnations over the years so they don't understand where me and the GURPS guys are coming from. We're all more Narrativist gamers, so plot is the primary part of the game. To the DnD guys, it's a game first and foremost, plot is cool, but can be secondary a lot of the time.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out after this. Cause Blake surprised both me and Inferno when he said if they won't play GURPS, we'll play without them. We didn't think he would ever be like that, but I think he's got as fed up as we have with DnD. It's just taken a bit longer to show.

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That's it. I'm done. Blake's phonecall in the middle of this post drained me of a lot of my effort to type. Guess I got a lot of my frustrations out while talking to him, so I didn't need to type as much. Plus, it totally threw me off track so I can't remember half of what I was going to post. :P

Later all,
The Rev.

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