Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sorry, I've been neglecting this again. For some reason I can't keep up with my updates. But I guess this way I at least always have something new to talk about.

On with the show then!

---

MMO Land


WAR:

Well, since last time WAR has been kind of a back and forth thing for me. Since I've been really casual playing it, and mostly sticking to scenarios, it's been hard to play on my server. Now that I hit T3, scenarios will sometimes not pop at all for over and hour. And since the PvE is mind numbingly dull to me now, I just sit around. Well, needless to say, after I stand around doing nothing for a while, I just end up logging out instead.

It sucks, cause PT is actually a great server, especially since almost everyone has decent names and the "l33t sp33k" is almost nonexistent. But the activity, especially on Destruction side, has diminished quite a bit. Mostly because of Aion and general frustration, but I will mention that later.

So, after hearing about the populations of other servers, I rolled a Choppa on Iron Rock instead to get my bit of MMO PvP. The scenarios are almost non-stop on IR, but the community is horried. I'm not too concerned though, as WAR has become a side thing now. I play it like I would an FPS, an hour here or there, and that's it. Really should un-sub though, as the little I play isn't worth the $15 USD I have to pay. But then again, it's a drop in the bucket compared to other things I spend money on, like eating out at work.

Mythic seems to be getting better about balancing, and bug fixing, but the recent patch apparently created a whack of bugs where it was supposed to improve performance. Lawl. Hopefully they get it fixed, cause they tweaked the end game and forts so they aren't as bad anymore. Not that I have seen either, but they at least sound more appealing now.

EVE:

I cancelled my sub since last time. I finally got my Orca and almost completely fitted her (aside from rigs), but I didn't use her for anything. I just completely lost all desire to play after I got her. I figured I needed another goal to strive for, so I thought a Tech 2 Battleship, or Marauder, would be a good choice. Since the Paladin (Amarr version) is one of the best I thought of getting one, until I looked at how much it cost. Just the ship is over 1 BILLION credits! It would take me over 50 hrs of mission running to afford to just buy the ship, let alone the fittings. That doesn't seem too bad, until you look at the gametime card values.

In EVE, it's legal to trade a gametime card (GTC) to another player (in game) for credits. There are actually in-game items that represent the GTCs, so normal trade can occur. You can put them on the market and everything. A GTC only costs about $35 USD and I can get 600 million credits for one, or more. So less than 2 hrs of work nets me what would take me probably 30+ hrs of missioning in game (I can make about 20 million credits/hr). Seems like the balance is way off. I could pick up an hour or two of overtime at work and pay for the ship instead of grinding it out in-game over what would probably be more than a couple weeks of playing? Where's the incentive to play then?

Seeing that and realizing that all the time I spend in-game could be more efficiently used by working a little bit of overtime instead, made me un-sub. If my time is better spent not playing the game, then there's no reason to pay the sub.

Also, I just recently read about some console FPS that CCP is making that will be the ground combat part of EVE. Taking over some enemy's planet will have to be done via people in the console game. Sounds stupid, IMO. Obviously CCP has no idea what the FPS console crowd is like. They are almost the polar opposite of EVE players. EVE players tend to be 25-28, intelligent, and make good money, where console players are usually immature, vulgar, teenagers and frat boys. There's not going to be much to unite the two groups to work together.

They really need to make it a PC game as well, to at least get the regular EVE players to play it as well. I mean, they already have a PC that can play EVE, so they should be able to play the FPS, right?

AION:

I have been able to play 5 weekend Closed Beta events for Aion, since I got the pre-order just after the last entry. All I gotta say is, I'm still not 100% sure.

Pros:
  • Runs perfectly, unlike WAR.
  • Anime style is not that bad, and the graphics are amazing.
  • Combat is visceral, and abilities have awesome effects.
  • There is an actual death penalty, though small. Makes people play smarter which I like.
  • Character customization is good.
  • There is a PvP focus, moreso than PvE.
  • Flying is cool, especially learning to glide to evade/catch enemies.

Cons:
  • GRIND. I can feel the grind already and I don't like it. At least WAR has all kinds of advancement so I can do different things to forget the grind. Aion's PvE is grindy, even at low levels.
  • Portals. I originally saw this as a plus, but after seeing how even a few lvls difference works in PvP, I hate this. Someone 3+ lvls above you will almost always kill you, no matter what. It's not even close. At least WAR's bolster buffs in RvR areas make it more balanced, and there disparate levels aren't as problematic.
  • Character customization is good, but you can't /really/ make a completely different character. They are all still mildly close to anime style. I like the brutality of the Orcs and Goblins in WAR. There's no way to make an Aion character look anything near like them.
  • After 5 weekends, I still didn't get to see the Abyss or the PvP in it, so I'm going in blind. Don't like that at all, especially since it will take me a month of playing at least to get to 25, I'm guessing.
  • Very low amount of gear variation, it seems. There seems to be a pattern to the gear progression that is exceedingly boring. NPC gear -> white dropped gear -> green gear = 2 lvl higher NPC gear -> repeat. So you would basically go from named white gear to green and back from each level. And the minor variations on the stats in the stuff sucks. +5 to parry or +5 to block? When your Block and Parry are like 600+, 5 more pts is stupid low.
  • Quests are exceedingly BORING. Moreso than WoW's cause at least in WoW there were so many you didn't see the same thing over and over.
So I dunno about Aion. I think it's going to be a game where I see how the first month of release goes, maybe the 2nd month. But if it gets to be like the Beta where the high lvl enemy players just camp our levelling zones cause they're bored from hitting the cap in 2 weeks, I won't play.

And I never really got to interact with the PT people from WAR either, aside from one weekend, so I don't know if that will really affect my sticking with Aion at all.

I guess the "new MMO smell" part has worn off now, and I see it for what it is.

---

Other Games

Dawn of War 2 co-op with Kofi has been a blast. He finally picked it up cause they had a sale on Steam. Inferno also got it. Kofi and I played a whack of missions over the span of 3-4 nights, and are a ways through the game. It's been tons of fun to play, and the loot you get is really cool. I'm loving the RPG aspects of the game. The story is really cool so far too.

Overall the game is just very well done. I can't believe how good it is. Inferno has been playing it a lot on his nights off (graveyard shifts ATM), and he's been getting different stuff than us. Plus he uses the sniper guy and Kofi and I never use him. Also, Kofi and I have done so well that we have got more deployments per day so we've done more in fewer of the game's storyline days than Inferno.

It's been a great co-op game to play. Inferno and I are continuing our NWN2 co-op game, and after seeing my Evocation Sorcerer play out, I've switched him out for a Bard instead. I have a character levelling/equipping module, so making a new character of equal level and gear is easy. The Sorcerer wasn't very good at doing anything but tossing some damage spells around, which at higher level isn't all that great. Plus, with the aggro mechanics of NWN2, he invariably gets attacked by like 3-4 enemies and dies cause of his minimal AC and HPs.

The Bard, on the other hand, is super useful in our party, especially with his Inspirational buffs. He can boost the party's AC, damage and to hit rolls, healing, skills, or disrupt enemy spellcasters. He also has debuffs for enemies, invisibility, haste, confusion and a whack of cool spells. And the best is his super high Use Magic Device, so he can use magical items meant for specific races/alignments, etc. Or cast spells from scrolls, wands, etc. He's awesome.

Plus, I love the swashbucking voice I gave him. When Inferno is dicking around talking to NPCs or something, trying to figure out what we should do, I use the quick voice commands to say things like "Yes", "No", "That's a bad idea", or whatnot. I know Inferno gets a kick out of it sometimes.

My friend lent me her PS2 after watching me play some Aion, mainly cause I think she wanted to see if I would like some of her Japanese RPG games. I played the one game a little when she was over a couple times, but I really couldn't get into it. The other ones weren't for me either. I find the dialogue just plain bad, and the whole plot leaves me wanting. For the most part her PS2 just sat there untouched. I gave it back to her a week ago or so.

Comparing her JRPG games to Western RPGs just shows how terrible they are. Maybe it's the translations, I dunno. But listening to Khelgar and Grobnar in NWN2 is a hell of a lot more entertaining than any of the dialogue in her JRPGs. She's played Mass Effect too, so I don't know why she likes the JRPGs. Must be the art style, since she's an anime fan and she draws anime style art.

Haven't really touched Sims 3 at all since last time. I dunno what it is about it, but it hasn't quite drawn me in like Sims 2. Even though there's a lot more you can do with Sims 3.

I watched Reign of Fire last night, so I wanted to boot up Fallout 3 and play it again with an evil, melee focused character. But after getting through the intro Vault part, I had little desire to play. The melee part of Fallout seems off, as most of the attacks don't feel like they are actually doing anything. The sounds don't sync up well, the other character doesn't react properly and it generally feels fake, moreso than the gun fights. The only time the melee part works is in VATS when you hit someone and they die, cause then their corpse has ragdoll physics applied and they move accordingly.

We'll see though, I might still dick around with Fallout 3 a little, or I might boot up my old savegame and go see what other stuff I can find in the Wastes.

As for the Witcher, I played some more of it, but it's still not pulling me in. The quests are very poorly laid out, they have minimal information so sometimes you have no idea how to complete them (ie. you have to beat someone in a drinking game to get them to talk, or show them a specific item, but neither are easy dialogue choices), and the items in the game are completely disinteresting. I have no care about what I loot from bodies cause it's invariably crap, and for some reason I can't carry more than a couple weapons at a time, even to sell them.

I dunno, I started looking at a walkthrough to play the Witcher and was almost following it verbatim. That's never a good sign that I'll keep playing a game. Usually I just learn the cheats and skip through to see the story so I can never play the game again. Except the Witcher won't work that way.

---

Aside note about Games

I mentioned last entry how I got Warcraft 3 and the expansion to play the Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) mod with Kofi and his friends. I also mentioned how I didn't like it. Well, the one day Kofi and I were using the Ventrilo server his friends and him use, so we could talk while playing Dawn of War 2 co-op. Kofi's buddy, who I shall now refer to as Zon, came on and hopped into the channel we were in (seperate so we wouldn't disturb the others) to chat with us. He asked what we were doing, and then proceeded to give me shit about only playing DOTA with them a couple times. I pretty much ignored him, also cause we were in the middle of a game, and I couldn't hear him properly.

I think he is pissed, as I won't play DOTA with them. But what he doesn't realize is he's a huge asshole sometimes, and is super conceited as well, and I just don't want to deal with people like that. The one game we played of DOTA, at the end you can see how many "clicks per second" everyone has. He tried, albeit sarcastically, to not say I suck cause my CPS was really low. He said the better players have higher CPS, of course cause his is the highest. What a fucker. He only one tried to help me out, but for the most part gave me shit for being a poor player. Wow ... I've played the game twice and you expect me to be good already? Fuck off.

Also, I don't really like playing DOTA as Real Time Strategy games are pretty low on my list of favourite genres. I actually figured out a list of genres and rated them from my most to least favourites:
  1. FPS
  2. RPG
  3. MMO
  4. Arcade (Mario, GTA, Assassin's Creed)
  5. Racing
  6. Turn Based Strategy (X-COM, Master of Orion 2)
  7. Real Time Tactical (Dawn of War 2, World In Conflict)
  8. Simulation
  9. Real Time Strategy
  10. Adventure
  11. Casual / Indie
  12. Family
  13. Sports
Hell, I dunno what category something like Tetris falls under, but I'd play that over an RTS anytime. RTSes are simply who can click faster and who's memorized the build trees. It's not strategy at all. Chess is strategy. Chess where you have like 2 secs to move your piece is closer to what RTS games are.

And this brings me to Starcraft 2. After seeing the gameplay vids and stuff, I have zero interest in actually playing the game. It looks like the same thing that came out in 1998(!), just with improved graphics. I'd just like to see the cutscences and CGI bits. The actual gameplay doesn't excite me at all. Rehashing gameplay from 11 years ago is pretty weaksauce, especially for a studio like Blizzard with their insane profits. Even FPSes have got a lot better in 11 years, with cover mechanics, slow-mo, better storytelling, shooting through walls, destructible terrain, etc. RTS games are the same shit that's been out since Red Alert 1!

---

TV

I've been watching a lot of TV since last time. I watched all of Better off Ted, a sitcom about a manager in a big corporation. It's actually pretty decent, not laugh out loud good, but entertaining.

I watched all of Legend of the Seeker season 1 as well. It's based off the Terry Goodkind novels, and is a fucking good show, amazingly. I figured it would end up being kinda meh, but they did an awesome job on costumes, sets, etc. And it's filmed in New Zealand so the outdoor shots are wicked. Sam Raimi, director of Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Spider Man 1-3, is directing this as well, as he did Xena back in the day. He's doing an awesome job. Can't recommend the show enough. Even women will like it as the love interest part is very well done. And guys love drooling over Brigit Regan, who plays the female lead Kahlen Amnell (sp?). She's HAWT. *drool*

I've also got to watch True Blood season 2 now that it's started back up. So fucking good, and I'm loving Eric Northman. Big Viking vampire? Hells yeah. Plus he's a Swedish actor so props for the motherland.

---

Gaming

We've taking a summer hiatus for a while, as Blake is gone for work and his character is pretty integral to the party. Also, cause I think we could finish the module if he wasn't here and that's unfair to him.

Inferno was thinking about running a Cyberpunk game, using GURPS 4th Edition, in our shared Space gameworld. I've made a character already, after watching TRON the other night. I tried to make a character no one has played before, but it's hard to come up with differing character concepts for Cyberpunk. There really only are a few different types. Our buddy was thinking of an idea as well, but his sounds cooler than mine. His was a guy who is an actual alien species, living on the Tech homeworld. There are a couple alien species in the shared gamespace but we haven't written any specifics for them. I think he could easily be a genetic bioroid instead, just with a weird appearance. Like an aquatic looking humanoid for a mostly water covered planet. Something weird like that.

My guy in comparison is normal. Just a teenager who's brilliant, but gets himself into trouble cause of his habits. He can hack computers, write software, build gadgets, etc. but is a chickenshit when it comes to combat. He's more of the support character, with a little side of innocence so the whole group doesn't feel like a collection of down and out cynical lone wolfs like it usually ends up.

We'll see how gaming goes later on when Blake is back. Cause once my campaign module is done, I'm not GMing for a while. It's been far too long since I got to play a /good game/. I've only got to play f-ing DnD for the last 3 years, gimme a chance to play some GURPS, and not be the GM.

---

That seems to be all of it. Take care folks, and see you in a month or so I guess.

o7
The Rev.

No comments:

Post a Comment