Monday, October 19, 2009

Hey, just felt like posting something about Aion again. Especially since my server went down and I really wanted to hit level 30. Also, I had some interesting experiences this weekend and felt like sharing them.


Fortress Fights

I've been able to get in on a few fort fights so far, and even though they are pretty laggy, they have been lots of fun. The best was when our fort was under attack, and the Elyos (our enemies) had managed to break down the door and start attacking the fort lord NPC. Our guild leader, who was leading our alliance (raid group), got us to take one of the artifacts around the fort and activated it. It gave all the Asmodians (our side) a buff that absorbed 5000 damage for 15 mins. We were able to rush back into the fort and drive out the Elyos easily.

Then it seemed to be small skirmishes for the artifacts for about 30-40 mins. And of course, when we got all cocky and figured they'd given up, a Balaur Dreadgion came in. The Balaur are the NPC faction in the PvPvE of Aion. They attack who's in the lead, so we became the targets. The Dreadgion is a spaceship of sorts that looks like a Dragon and teleports mass amounts of lvl 40 Elite Balaur footsoldiers down to the fort to attack it. They aren't the usual AI either, and expertly took out our healers, and anyone low on HP. They took the fort back from us.

It sucked, but was an interesting fight nonetheless, as no one on the server had to deal with the Dreadgion before.

Today, although I missed it, we lost our other fort to the zerg guild on the Elyos side. The Asmos put up a good fight, but ultimately, we didn't have the manpower.


Rifting PvP

There are rifts (portals) that pop up every so often in the Asmo and Elyos PvE areas. These lead one way (Asmo -> Elyos, or vice versa) and allow one side to raid the other's PvE zone. We had some Elyos come in through a rift today and harass us in my levelling area. My guildie Setz and I were trying to grind out some XP, and got caught in a Elyos attack. He went down, but with the help of a couple Clerics, I took out the 3 Elyos that killed him.

After recouping and tossing some group invites to random people in the area, we rolled out and took the fight to the Elyos. Setz and I found them again, and lead the charge. There were some deaths, as the Elyos were greater in number than us, but the call went out over the region chat, and suddenly we had lots of allies. It was about even on both sides, but we forced them back and ran them down and killed them all.

But they had a group kisk (rez stone) set up in the area, so we ran into them again. We took out the same ones again, on our way back. Finally we saw them coming out of one spot, and I saw the kisk. I ran in and beat the hell outta it, only stopping to heal myself a little. I managed to destroy the kisk, and we mopped up the Elyos left.

The best part was that since I killed the 3 initial Elyos, they seemed to /really hate me/. I found I was being pulled out of the pack of us almost all the time, and many times I had more than one of them beating on me. At one point in the beginning fights, I had 5 of them trying to kill me, but since I was healing and getting heals from a Cleric in our group, I was fine. They literally beat on me for like 2 mins straight. Until they realized they should kill my companions, and then it was a done deal.

Another great part was that they were all higher level than me, some also being higher Abyss rank than me. Yet we dropped them. Setz mentioned that the one Gladiator they had was bad, since he had 5-6 levels on Setz, yet Setz was still beating the hell outta him.

It was a great battle overall, and I really enjoyed the PvP. It was also great that our side was working as a team, even though we didn't know each other at all. Realm pride is always good to see.



Sky Temple:

I got to run a couple of them today, and they were fun.

First off, we had a higher level guildie, Dis, run us through an attunement quest so we could all go do the Fire Temple instance later on. Dis is a Chanter like me, yet he did pretty good at tanking the Elites in the instance.

We had to get 3 keys from 3 bosses in 3 different instances. All the instances were floating platforms, with tons of mobs on them. Luckily, our other high lvl guildies gave us the exact way to go, more or less. We had 1 wipe in total, and it was the really tricky part, so it wasn't that bad.

The uneven levels of the group made XP kinda off for everyone though. Dis got almost nothing. I was the next highest level, and I got a lot of good XP. Over 1/3rd a level. The other people got either low XP, or almost nothing. It was weird.

The instances were cool looking, and the elite mobs were hella tough. More than once we were all scared shitless. +4 level Elites and all. But we triumphed and got our keys for Fire Temple.

I was pretty much a healer for the whole thing, as Dis had to tank and heal himself. I healed the Glad in our group, and helped DPS if we had only 1 mob. It was cool, but it got pretty tiring after a while. I have 1 heal so it was a lot of the same button mashing.

Fire Temple:

I got invited to run this by our highest level guildies. They roll as a group all the time, so it was a little daunting to go with them, especially since they've run FT so many times, and I'm a total noob at it.

I knew that with their 6-7+ lvls on me I would get little to no XP, but I wanted to see the instance and finish up a quest there that would give me 630,000+ XP and a new chest piece.

OMFG! What a nightmare of a run it was. The guys said it was their worst run EVER.

We died so many times it was sick. We got adds and shit all the time. I got 1 shotted by 2 bosses cause the guys forgot about the AoEs when the boss' health is low. Shit like that. And it took us like 1hr and 40 mins. Normally these guys do it in less than 30. Yeah ... we sucked.

We basically chalked it up to mass fatigue on everyone's part, and bad luck. I really hope it wasn't me. I only kinda figured out how I should fight in FT about 2/3rd through. Since I was a healer in Sky Temple, I tended to fall back on that role. But with our Cleric there I should have been up front DPSing, especially since my attacks all debuff the mobs. It would have helped kill things faster. I changed to that approach later on, and it worked better, but still had to back up heal in bad situations. I talked with my one guildie War, who I think is one of the coolest people in the guild, after the instance and he told me my 2nd approach was better. He said most Chanters only heal in "shit hits the fan" situations. Next time I'll do that.

The worst part of the whole thing is all the deaths I had ended up costing me a TON of kinah to reverse. I lost a whack of XP straight up, but to recover the rest I had to pay over 70,000 kinah. I had already spent a whack today on expanding my warehouse space (bank space) and training up my Harvesting skill to Rank 3 (allows your skill to go above 199, to a max of 299). Hopefully, I can make a ton of kinah before I hit 31 so I can afford all my skillbooks. Otherwise I'm gonna be screwed.

Was still fun to do a run with the guys and get some guildie bonding in. I even learned to blame our problems on Septera, our one guildie. Apparently, he's blamed for everything. :P


All in all, it was a very eventful weekend of Aion. Makes me wish I could have more weekends off from work. Damnit!

Until next time,
The Rev.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Again, neglect. I'm sorry, yadda yadda. On with the show!


MMO Land


I stopped playing this entirely. Doing scenarios over and over with the idiots on Iron Rock was too much. It got boring and annoying all too quickly. My home server of Phoenix Throne is dead, pretty much. Tier 3 is a ghosttown, and the only people you do see are ones grinding like mad to hit T4. Bleh ...

Doubt I'll ever go back to WAR, but it was fun for a while. I'm betting there will be server merges in the near future anyways, as the game is dying.


Same as last time. Haven't reactivated and I don't really see a reason why. Perhaps when I'm out of games and bored out of my mind I might go back for a while.


This is my new MMO home. Yes, the problems from last post are still there, but I finally got to see the Abyss and it's great. PvEing with the threat of getting ganked is hella fun, especially since once you're hit by an enemy player, if you die, there's no death penalty (unlike PvE deaths). You will lose some Abyss Points (and possibly a Rank if you're just over), but it's easily regained by a few kills or even some mob grinding in the Abyss.

The Grind™ is definitely still there, and it's worse later on in levels. But since I played City of Heroes and Star Wars Galaxies, I'm kinda used to it. Not being able to level every day is perfectly fine with me (compared to many of the ex-WoWers). It just makes dinging that next level all the more sweeter.

I've found myself a home as well with some ex-WAR players from Phoenix Throne. I'm now a member of the War Seekers. I wasn't sure on this at first, as my experiences with most MMOs have been solo or in very small guilds. But it's been a nice change, and listening to some of the stupid comments in guild chat/Ventrilo is great. Sometimes I just sit in the Vent channel and listen to the chat while grinding solo. Helps me not feel so alone, like I did when I played WoW.

Also, I made a friend of one of my fellow ex-WAR players back in the Aion Closed Beta. She and I duoed a bit over a beta weekend, and kept in contact a little since then. I suggested I might join the Seekers, as running solo in the Abyss is just asking to get ganked. All of a sudden she joined them before I even did, and said I should. She's referred to me as her "good friend" and "buddy", though I really don't know her that well. Seems kinda strange, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's nice to have people to chat with in an MMO again.

One funny thing about the Seekers is that there are a ton of super tall people in it. I'm the tallest at 6'7", but one guy is 6'6", another is 6'5", and there are like 5 other people who are over 6ft. It's crazy. Makes me think we need to have a RL guild meetup (would never happen but would be cool) and freak the hell out of people as a gang of crazy tall folk. It'd be awesome.


Other Games

Well, Kofi's PC died so we're stuck in our Dawn of War 2 campaign. It really sucks since we've only got 1 mission left. Not sure what we'll play when that's over though.

Inferno and I have played a little of NWN2 since last time, but we're still not done. We've hit level 16 (my Bard is 15 cause of a racial level), so we're getting close to the cap of 20. We had one awesome setback so far, which I totally knew was coming having played the game before. We ran into the Red Dragon in the mountains and tried to kill her. It went not so well at all. I think we got her down to 80% of her Hitpoints before we all died. Mostly from her Fire Breath. I told Inferno that we just need some Fire Immunity spells cast on us and we could probably kill her easily.

Inferno and I have also got our buddies into playing a game I got off of Xbox Live Arcade. It's called Castle Crashers and it's a cheap button masher/RPG sidescroller game. It's campy and silly as hell, but it's loads of fun. It's been a nice way to spend tabletop nights when the whole group can't be there, so we can still hang out. Left4Dead has been fun too, but it's only 2 player on the same screen.

I bought and finished Batman: Arkham Asylum a while back too. That was a fun game, but it got a bit over the top a few times in fights, and the Detective mode is definitely something that should have been tweaked. You end up playing the entire game in it, so it's like you're constantly walking around with X-Ray Vision. Seemed a little silly, and it also makes everything shaded blue so you don't see the cool lighting and textures. They should have made it a non-combat mode or tweaked it somehow to be less effective.

Unfortunately, I also picked up the DLC for Fallout 3 a while back too. It lets you level up past 20, and continue the story, but so far I've barely fiddled with it. Sadly, I think it's going to be something I just wasted money on. Maybe when I'm bored I can come back to it, but with the fall/winter lineup of games coming out, plus Aion, I doubt I'll be back to this in a while.

I pretty much gave up on the Witcher. It's not my style, even though it's an RPG. It's too unfocused as an RPG, and not that interesting, really. The darker tones is cool, but Geralt isn't an interesting character and compared to something like NWN2, the characters are really dull.

I have gone back to the Sims 3 now, mostly cause of Inferno playing it again. Seeing what he's done and wanting to try some new stuff out made me boot it back up. I really dig some of the new stuff you can do, and I think I'm having more fun with the new character I made, than the version of me I started with. Still, it gets pretty boring after a while and once you fulfill their lifetime wishes it seems like there's not much point. Maybe playing the next generation of the family would be interesting, I dunno.

And lastly, I've been playing more Call of Duty 4 lately. Mostly to give me that adrenaline PvP fix since WAR is gone, and also cause it's something I can boot up whenever and play for a half hour. I like that. Works as a stress reliever as well.


Aside note:

I mentioned Zon last time and DOTA, and how I don't play with them. Well now apparently, Kofi doesn't either. Zon and the guys have moved from DOTA to Heroes of Newearth (HON), which is basically an actual developed version of DOTA, rather than a Warcraft 3 mod. Kofi said he doesn't like it very much at all, and the graphics give him eyestrain. Zon is annoyed, of course, but with Kofi's PC out of commission for the time being, he really can't complain.

I've thought about mentioning Aion to Kofi, but I'm not sure about him as he has this silly "no playing online games with peeps I don't know" policy. I don't know how well he'd fit in with the Seekers, as we're mostly older folks, and he's still in his early 20s. I dunno, might tell him about it, probably won't though.



Season 2 of True Blood is over, and it was pretty cool. Kinda ended a bit weak, but overall was entertaining. Watched the 3rd season premiere of Big Bang Theory and wasn't all too impressed, actually. There's a few more episodes I need to watch, but so far I'm not feeling it this season. And apparently there's 3 episodes of Smallville I need to watch too. But it's getting hard to watch Smallville now. Lex Luthor was a much better villain than Doomsday was, and the show seems to be in a bit of a rut. We'll see how it pans out though.



Well, summer hiatus is over and we're back. Though we've only been able to have one session so far as it's near the end of the campaign and we've decided to only continue if everyone can make it. The one session was cool, and the guys really seemed to like their new magical items they all found. I tailored each one to the players, so that they could get the most use out of them. Random items is cool sometimes, but since my game is low magic, random just doesn't work.

I've been pushing to start Inferno's Cyberpunk game, as I really want to play again, and I had an better idea for a character than the one I mentioned last time. I took my initial character and tweaked him to be a bit more gritty, and suit the game better.

My new character is from another culture (we've dubbed them the War culture until we come up with a name) and was a security officer for a wealthy clan on the War homeworld. I haven't nailed down the details yet, but the story I'm thinking of going with is that there was an assassination attempt on his clan leaders and he was caught in the firefight that ensued. Many of the clan leaders were killed and he witnessed horrific things in the firefight. He also lost his eyes in the fight and had to have them replaced with cybernetic eyes. But they are the low grade ones so his eyes look like a Terminators (the endoskeleton's eyes).

He also developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the the ordeal and had to have therapy to deal with it. He's been unable to properly cope and began retreating into Virtual Reality (VR) to escape. It's developed into an addiction. He eventually became so addicted he stole money from his clan to pay for it. He was found out and he fled to the Cyber planet to hide. Now he works odd jobs to make money to get the next VR program to get his fix. He has to watch out for his old employers though, as they are trying to track him down (he has the Enemy disadvantage).

It's been cool developing his PTSD in GURPS. I gave him Post Combat Shakes, so he has to make a Fright Check after combat, with a penalty if it was really extreme. Flashbacks, so he get distracted in stressful situations, but still knows what he is seeing isn't real. And Nightmares are self explanatory. He should be a cool character to play, as I get to futz around being the crazy one in the group for once.


That's about it for now. Until next time.

The Rev.