Archive for February, 2010

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Now THIS is Massively!

February 28, 2010

My view at the biggest party in Toronto tonight, at the Yonge and Dundas intersection where GMs have given up holding the crowds back and traffic has long since lagged out.

Massive raid forming now in Dundas Square, LFM hockey fan DPS! GO TEAM CANADA!

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/Gawk – Shades of Hyboria

February 27, 2010

One of the first things I noticed since getting back into the Age of Conan was how breathtakingly beautiful Hyboria is. I’ve gotten a new computer since I last played this game too, so the vistas are even more stunning than I remember.

The jewel of Aquilonia, dazzling to behold in the late morning sun.

There also seems to be something wrong with my character’s eyes. She always looks like she’s ready to devour the person she’s talking to.

"Hey, baby. Dost thou know that fur cape of yours would look great on my sleeping chamber floor?"

And the Wheel of Pain should be a familiar sight to any fan of Conan.

Doing this for years turned a small boy into Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Instead of a box of text, players in AoC get to interact with NPCs in dramatic camera angles and dialogue options when picking up their quests.

You, sir, win the award for Most Vomit-Inducing NPC of the Year.

Getting around Hyboria is much easier when you have a mount.

A girl and her pinto horse.

Taking some time off from killing cannibals to sunbathe on the banks of a mighty river that traverses Cimmeria.

This picture is full of stalkery.

A couple other pretty sights:

A lone player rides through a settlement in the twilit wilderness.

Now to find a way down this mountain...

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U.S.S. Aggro Hog

February 26, 2010

Finally got to play some more Star Trek Online tonight, on the condition that I group up with my hubby and help him level. Space combat with me in my Escort and him in his Cruiser was interesting to say the least. Because the Cruiser sounded like the “Tank” archetype of ships, all this time I was under the impression that they had a +threat modifier or an aggro grabbing ability. Oops, guess not! My broken and battered ship learned that lesson the hard way.

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Taris: It’s Not Just a Bunch of Ruins

February 26, 2010

Today’s Friday Update over at the Star Wars: The Old Republic site is a new Developer Dispatch! I remember calling Taris a pretty “big” planet reveal a couple weeks ago, and that might be more literal than I thought. In this video, the devs talk about bringing back Taris, calling it “symbolic” and one of the “major” planets in the game, which to me sounds like plenty of areas to explore and many adventures to be had. Players will have a chance to make a real difference, determine what will happen to this world. The Republic wants to rebuild it, the Sith don’t want them to. A sign of some PvP perhaps?

Before

After

Even if you’re not interested in SW:TOR, if you were a fan of Knights of the Old Republic this video is still worth watching for a healthy shot of nostalgia. There’s as much footage from KOTOR as there is from the MMO, guaranteed to fill you with wonderful memories of swoop racing and crawling around in stinking, rakghoul-infested sewers. I know there were more than a few folks who couldn’t wait to get off Taris when they played KOTOR, but I honestly loved every moment on that planet. I did everything I possibly could, including talking to all NPCs and completing every single quest. Admittedly, it was a tad depressing when Taris was destroyed by Malak after all that, knowing that the people you had just helped were annihilated along with it.

A few hundred years have passed since the planet’s destruction, but I still love the idea of revisiting it. From watching the video, it looks like devs are putting a lot of effort into creating Taris. It also looks as if our sewer-crawling and rakghoul-fighting days are far from over. And personally, I’m still holding out on the chance we’ll find descendants of the Undercity folks living in their “Promised Land” colony beneath the Tarisian surface. Swampy and overgrown as it is, there’s still beauty in it. I couldn’t help but notice the swaying trees in the breeze or the rays of light shining through the ruins and canopy. And if this brief trailer is any indication, the soundtrack in this game is also going to be absolutely epic.

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Back to the Hyborian Age!

February 25, 2010

Hard to believe, but a couple days ago, I found myself at a loss of what MMO to play. Allods Online? Too much drama and negative vibes abound. Star Trek Online? Still prevented from leveling against my will (never underestimate the power of a spousal-leveling agreement).

So, I did something I always promised myself I would do when the time was right again: re-subscribe to Age of Conan. Ah, where else can one see their character annihilated and beheaded by a rampaging, half-naked cannibal?

My character is such a hottie.

I’ve heard so much about how this game has improved, and I just wanted to see for myself. I only made a one month commitment for now, just to check things out. Upon my return, I found my level 47 Priest of Mitra waiting for me right where I left her, whereas my Bear Shaman seems to have disappeared, victim of the deadly lowbie purge of 2010. I jumped back into the game with both feet…only to be mauled to death by a pack of wild wolves not two minutes later.

Okay, so I clearly needed some time to adjust. That whole evening I was a walking noob moment. For instance, I played my first three hours not knowing my skill points had reset, so there I was, blasting away at enemies with the two hostile spells I had at my disposal all the while wondering why I was so damn gimped. Not to mention I was hopelessly lost. All these quests still in my journal and I had no idea where to go to complete them. Aarrgh, what is a girl to do?

Thankfully, right before I turned in for the night, I grouped up with somebody who not only helped me with a quest, he even invited me to the guild he runs. Upon finding out I was a re-subscriber, he proceeded to help me with all the things I had forgotten how to do, the main one being to find my way back to my city hub of Old Tarantia. He ran me across two whole zones on foot because I never got the chance to get my mount before canceling my subscription, and led me to the stables so I can get one as well as to the OT Wayfarer so I could bind to the city. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. Since then, I have been gradually able to get back into AoC. It’s more stable, I’m not running out of quests, and is it my imagination or does leveling feel faster? So far, I’m glad to see the game has been as welcoming as its community.

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As Time Goes By…

February 25, 2010

Most opinions on Star Trek Online I’ve ever read have been extremely polarized, and it’s been this way ever since beta. Very rarely is there an in-between — it’s either the most awesome game ever, or it’s the infamous dog turd so many gamers like to compare their MMOs to. I hear about people quitting the game all the time, but I never give them much thought; too many forum-dwellers are often nerdraging at Cryptic or trolling to take all the negative comments seriously.

But when I read the latest post at Fire Phasers! just now, it made me feel differently. I’ve followed his STO experiences on his blog for a month now so when I saw that he was canceling his subscription, I knew there had to be good reasons behind it because I know for a fact that IIntrude isn’t on some personal mission to destroy Cryptic, nor does he seem like the /ragequitting kinda guy. And I was right; if I were him I wouldn’t continue to subscribe to a game where I there was not enough to do either.

But anyway, here’s how reading his post made me feel different: I don’t believe you can accurately predict a MMO’s place in the market or its reputation until at least a certain point after launch, and well, what I suddenly realized is that we may have reached that point for STO. It’s going to go down in the annals of MMO history as yet another polished-but-incomplete product, and most people are going to remember its launch as a disappointment. Others might be reading this and thinking, “Gee, I came to that conclusion weeks ago!” or “I told you so” and fair enough, but you have to realize something about me. As a pretty laid-back person, I’m always willing to give new games the benefit of the doubt, so I’ll let the issues go by or shrug off the minor faults. As a result, it’s often hard for me to pass judgment on them, especially when a game is barely out of its first few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong though; I’m sure there will be individuals out there who will still thoroughly enjoy the game (like me, as I’m still working my way up towards the rank of Admiral) but in general, I think any and all opinions contributing to STO’s overall reputation have been solidified at this point. To Cryptic’s credit, I can see they’re really trying to make their game work, what with the surveys, GM blogs, interviews and other constant updates. Can they still turn it around? Anything’s possible, but it’s going to be a lot harder from here on out.

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Another STO Crew Addition

February 24, 2010

Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be playing that much Star Trek Online while waiting for my better half to catch up, but fiddling with my Bridge Officer skills doesn’t count as breaking our leveling pact, so I’m still allowed to do that.

The last time I got to really play the game, I had made some changes to my weapons loadout. As a result, I welcomed another newly-commissioned BO to my crew to serve as backup Tactical Officer, hence this short bio. Ugh, someone really needs to come in and school me on the Ferengi ways, because Mr. MMO Gamer Chick believes they were the lamest Star Trek villains and I got little more out of him than that they’re “evil, scheming capitalists.” I still don’t know much about his race, but I’ll try my best. Nothing crazy here!

Erpax

Erpax hails from a long line of successful merchants and traders, and grew up in a fairly affluent environment. Like all good Ferengi children, he familiarized himself with the Rules of Acquisition at a young age,  but deep down in his heart he always knew there was something different about him. Despite his father’s teachings and his hopes for his son to follow in his footsteps, Erpax had no desire to lead a life constantly in pursuit of material wealth. Instead, his interests laid in space exploration. Tired of feeling like there was something wrong with him, Erpax ran away from home one day and decided to follow his dream, even if it meant being shunned by his family. He finally achieved happiness by joining Starfleet, and found his calling as a valuable Tactical Officer on T’Adroma’s crew aboard the U.S.S. Savannah. Erpax walks around with a perpetual scowl on his face, but those close to the young Ferengi know it’s not a sign of disdain, but is instead evidence of his fierce determinism to make it on his own.

The rest of my crew can be seen here and here.

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