Monday, June 15, 2009

Wow ... sorry about forgetting to post here in a few months. Always seem to get distracted when I want to type something up.

That said, we've got a lot to talk about, so on with it.


MMO Land


Okay, I've played a lot since last post, and it's been lots of fun. I ended up rolling Destruction on the Phoenix Throne RP server (PT), and transferring my Order characters to the core server they set as the other option. I have never touched my Order guys since though, as I have no patience for Core server asshattery. Realistically, I should have just transferred my Order guys to PT so I could play with my friend. But I really wanted to be the underdog side on PT, so I went Destro. And lo and behold, Destro all of a sudden became the big side and started wiping the floor with Order. I think cause a few of my old server's guilds re-rolled, and that the Destro players on PT already were better players overall for having been the underdogs for so long.

Anyways, I tried the other classes and really fell in love with the Greenskins (orcs and goblins), mostly cause of the ridiculous quests and such. Plus, they have good classes overall, something that the High Elves don't. My main Order chars were both High Elf classes and were really gimpy. After a lot of alting around to figure out what I wanted to play, I started really going with my Goblin Shaman (healer/DPS). I like the class, but unfortunately, if I wasn't soloing, I was expected to be healing all the time, and I find that /utterly boring/. And being focused on by the enemies isn't something I enjoy.

So eventually, I end up playing a Chosen (Chaos tank). Strangely enough, it's been the class I've totally fell in love with, but was one I had absolutely no interest in playing before. After looking into the class mechanics and abilities, I found it was almost the mirror of my Elven Swordmaster, but with a different class mechanic. Both are good as anti-magic tanks. But the Chosen's auras are a hell of a lot better, and way easier to use, than the Swordmaster's Balance mechanic.

After playing a lot of T1 RvR with my Chosen, I was sold. I'm almost into T3 with him, and it's been a blast. I definitely love being hard to kill, and fucking with the Order backlines. The auras are great cause they help my teammates but also fuck up the enemy. My aura that drops resistances is great, cause it makes any of my teammates attacks that do elemental/spiritual/corporeal damage to be almost unresistable. I've found that the Order players don't pick up on it right away, but after a while they realize that I'm a major threat and start to focus on trying to kill me. It also helps that I'm better than average at playing my class, so when we play Order noobs, we take them to the cleaners. I've had more than a few scenarios where I don't die /at all/. And get in the top 3 for kills and damage, as a /tank class/ with a /sword and shield/. I don't even use a 2hander. It's fucked up.

All in all, my Chosen is a blast to play. And he looks pretty badass too. Really enjoy it.

There seems to be one problem though. All my alt-ing and casual play with my characters means I level pretty slow, and I'm still a hell of a ways away from max level and end game. I'm sure if I added up all the time I've played, across all my characters, I'd be at max level already.

But there's another problem: The end game SUCKS.

I've watched videos of WAR's endgame city seiges, and they are fucking retarded. Especially for a game designed around MASSIVE PvP battles. The city seiges work this way: Once one side has taken the Tier 4 zones required, they can assault the enemy's fortresses. Forts are like the regular RvR Keeps, only bigger. Major problem is the lag that is inevitable when there's all the people required to take a fort.

Okay, say the forts go down. Now the players can attack the enemy's city. Which ends up being an instanced Public Quest (PQ) that has both sides fighting in it. WTF? :S

Yes, you heard me right. The end game in a PvP game is contested PvE with the opposing side. Of course you can kill the enemy players, but if they complete the PQ you lose the instance. If enough of the instances are won by the attackers, the city is considered "sacked" and the defenders lose access to some of the PvE instances in it. Wait ... WTF???

Again, makes no sense.

And the stupidest part of the city instances is that they are only 48 vs. 48, and yet they still lag to shit, and quite frequently crash, so the attackers get kicked back out of the city. Plus, the attackers only have 2 hrs to sack the city before it resets and they have to take the forts again. Totally retarded.

So basically, with the end game being completely borked at this point, I've been in no real rush to get there. For the most part, I only play my characters a little, usually trying to get into as many scenarios as possible to level. It's much more interesting than PvE or RvR at this point. PQs are cool for the lewts, as they are quite often better than the RvR gear I could get at the same point. But if I get max influence in the RvR lakes, I can get really nice gear. Problem is it requires me to be almost max level for the tier, with a renown rank (PvP level) of almost the same. I managed to get all the Tier 1 rewards for my Chosen, but that was because Tier 1 (T1) RvR is the best. Limited crowd control, all open field combat, and no Keeps to lag things out.

Another problem with the higher tier RvR is that people tend to roll in MASS zergs, so it's laggy as hell, and not much of a fight at all. You're either steamrolling the enemy, or being steamrolled yourself. And the steamrollees tend to stop fighting and go elsewhere to PvE or capture Battlefield Objectives (BOs) to get renown points and avoid the zergs.

It's silly. I'm much more inclined to play small scale battles or scenarios (instanced 12 vs. 12), cause it's more interesting, and my contribution to the fight is appreciable. In a zerg, if you take me out there's no way of noticing I'm not there. And steamrolling people is no fun. I'd much rather be the underdog.

So what does all this mean?

It means I'll probably keep playing WAR casually on my Chosen, doing scenarios and whatnot until I hit max rank, and then maybe re-roll or quit. It's seems to be the same with every MMO I've played. I can never hit max level cause I usually get bored of the game by then.

We'll see how WAR pans out though. If the new Land of the Dead expansion is good it might actually make me keep playing. But there's another MMO that has caught my attention as of late that could change that.

And with that I'll segway into talking about ...


Aion is a PvP focused MMO from NCSoft, the makers of Lineage 2 and others. They are a Korean company, so obviously, Aion has the total anime feel to it.

Since this post looks like it's going to get lengthy /already/, I'm going to pre-empt myself and start making things brief.

About Aion:
  1. Already had been out in Korea for almost a year, so it's got a lot of the bugs out. (WAR by comparison is buggy as hell sometimes)
  2. No PvP off the bat like WAR. Must be level 25 to enter the Abyss, a massive PvP zone.
  3. Runs /perfectly/ with 100+ people on screen at once. Minimal lag.
  4. You can go through portals to the enemy's PvE zones and gank them. Portals are on a timer, and retaliation is very likely. This is an iffy for me, as trying to level while getting ganked is ghey to the max. Depending on the death penalty for this, I'm not sure if it's good or bad.
  5. Uses the Crytek engine (as in the engine used in Crysis), so the graphics are VERY impressive
  6. Has the anime style to it, so I'm not as impressed as I would normally be (anime is not really my thing)
  7. BUT ... the character customization is far beyond any other MMO (except maybe CoX), and one can actually make characters that aren't as metrosexual as they usually are in Asian games
  8. There's flying in the game. But it's on a timer (which you can buff) and only in certain zones. The Abyss allows flying everywhere.
  9. There are fortresses like Keeps in WAR that players can take to give buffs to their side/debuffs to the enemy
  10. There is a 3rd PvE faction that will attack either side, and are there to mess with things. Overall a better idea so one sided servers don't happen, ie. WoW and WAR
  11. Combat is slower and a bit more tactical. There are attack chains, and combos, so it's not button mashing.
  12. But needing to rest between fights is there, so some grindiness might be there.
  13. Normally all Asian MMOs are grindy as hell, but NCSoft North America is changing the game to be more Western friendly (WoW-esque) and make quests available to level to max level.
  14. There are a couple instanced dungeons they are going to implement. One is PvE only, the other is like a contested PvE instance. You race to beat the end boss and fight off the other players at the same time.
  15. There are duels so players can practice their PvP skills in downtime.
  16. There are 4 starting class types (mage, rogue, cleric, tank) which branch at lvl 10 to 2 each. 8 classes overall.
  17. Game is in closed beta in NA and will be open beta in Aug, prob released in Sept.
  18. Might be a bit behind the curve for updates, as the Korean's will get the new patches, and NA will have to wait to get them localized.
Overall, it looks like an Asian game I might actually like for once. Lineage 2 was so ghey it hurt. And the macro/bots/farmers were rampant, even in the open beta.

Basically, after discussing it with my fellow WAR players on PT via our forums, I'm going to have a looksee at Aion when it does the open beta. I'm sure at that point I'll know whether or not I'll be into it. Right now it sounds good, but in practice it could not be appealing at all. If WAR doesn't pan out, Aion might be my next MMO. Especially since /a lot/ of my server mates are thinking about dropping WAR for Aion when it comes out. PT might end up like my last server after that.

  1. Haven't played too much since last post. Been training a lot of skills.
  2. Moved to a new mission hub, and even though it's a lot busier, it's a much better location to sell all the lewts I get from missioning.
  3. Training for a capital ship, the Orca. I've surprisingly earned almost all the money I need before the training is done. Something I've never done before. And I need 600+ million to get the Orca and all the mods I need.
  4. Orca might end up being my "mobile base" so I can use it to go exploring Wormholes and other exploration content without having to worry about going back to get a different ship.
  5. Kofi wants to go fight some people in 0.0 space cause I showed him a really cool video of 2 players doing it with new alts. Only thing is we can lose our implants if we get podded, or end up pissing off some /very powerful/ people. Could be exceedingly problematic if we want to join a player corp later, or form our own (war declarations on us).
Mostly, EVE has been a side thing if I get the mood for some sci-fi or casual play. It's great cause I can do missions and chat via MSN and stuff at the same time.


Other games

I've been playing some of the Sims 3 lately too, as well as Dawn of War 2 (mostly vs. the AI in MP). Both are great, but it seems like I have too many games to play at this point and it's impossible to get anywhere with them. Usually most nights consist of me playing one game only, so most games I have only get one night a week at most. Hard to progress, for sure.

I also picked up Warcraft 3 and the Frozen Throne expansion off the Blizzard site just so I could play the DOTA mod with Kofi and his buddies. I've played a little with them and some on my own (vs. the AI), but I'm terrible at it. Mostly cause it's twitchy, like an RTS in a way, and I hate that. Also, you have to memorize the item builds (like build trees in a regular RTS) and I hate that too. Rote memorization and fast reflexes don't equate to strategy to me, at all. World in Conflict was a much better RTS game, IMO. Hence why I've bugged Kofi to get DOW2 so we can co-op the SP part, or even team up vs. the AI on a MP map.

Still haven't played the Witcher since last time. Really need to get back to it. CoD4 has fallen to the wayside, mostly cause it's kind of repetitive after a while. And I've hit rank 55 so there's no more character growth. Inferno has been bugging me to play NWN2 again, mostly cause neither of us play CoD4 anymore and we don't have any other co-op options. He's been playing co-op games with his girlfriend all the time when he's at her place, so I guess he's used to it now.



Fuck. They didn't pick up Terminator for next season, and it ended on a total WTF moment. So it's all up in the air. Sucks. Hopefully they do a mini-movie thing to tie loose ends up or something. Such a shame.

Smallville was really good, and a lot better with the Superman/Doomsday plot lines. Gonna be interesting to see what comes up next season.



Shockingly, especially to me, is that we are /still playing my game/. It's been like months, though probably only 10-11 sessions or so cause of cancellations, but it's been cool. The DnD guy is actually seeming to enjoy the story and RPing. Since his character isn't the best in combat (he's pretty much a "johnny one spell"), he's been really enjoying the out of combat stuff. So are the other guys. And what's awesome is that they haven't even finished the first module of this 3 module series. So if I eventually wanted to run all of it, I could. Pretty sweet.

Though after the first module is done, I would really like to get a chance to play again. Especially something with guns and explosions. Inferno's space marine campaign would really hit the spot. I've been reading a whack of Warhammer 40k novels and now I'm hankering for some space marine combat. Would be extra awesome if we could have chainswords. That would rock. Nothing better than eviscerating your enemies with a chainsword and spraying blood everywhere. *evil grin*


But that's it. Thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll update this sooner, especially since typing this much is a real strain and takes so damn long.

Cheers folks!

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