Archive for June 2nd, 2010

h1

/Gawk – The Hills Of Khitai Ring With The Sounds Of My Lamentation

June 2, 2010

With every Age of Conan patch since the launch of Rise of the Godslayer, Khitai Proper seems more playable for my Priest of Mitra. However, last night I was still hit twice by the dreaded “Out of memory” message after the game so unceremoniously crashed me to desktop. Ironically, I don’t get the memory leak problem when running AoC on DX10. Instead, I get a whole host of other problems, ranging from atrocious FPS values to crumbling environments and other graphical glitches.

Thus far, still no problems in AoC’s “old world” nor in the Gateway to Khitai. Good news for my new Khitan toon as well as my Bear Shaman alt, but as for my level-capped PoM  she’s SOL (save me, Funcom!) I’m able to do some light questing and exploring on her for the time being, but forget rep grinding or anything else that requires exuberant fighting. That means a little while longer to wait for my tiger mount, but I was still able to take some nice screenshots from beyond the Long Wall.

The Northern Grasslands Province

The mood changes as soon as you cross through the Gateway from Hyrkania and step foot in Khitai. Everything feels more imperial. Towering pagodas and crimson banners are everywhere, troops practice maneuvers in the courtyard as cavalrymen patrol back and forth. From this side, you can also see the wall stretch onwards towards the distant mountains.

Ride a little further and you’ll see the reason for the region’s name — the plains roll on as far as the eye can see. Right near the gate is also a shallow, slow-running river. I captured a screenshot of a player in the distance, running into the water chasing the herds of wild horses. The idyllic scene is deceptive, however. I left my character for about five minutes and came back to see her lying dead in the middle of the road. I think a bear was what got me.

I took a break in the village near the eastern border of the Grasslands before pressing on, to turn in some quests as well as allow the client some time to stabilize. I liked how a late afternoon sunbeam was spilling over the roof in this picture. The graphics in this game really are quite gorgeous, when they’re not acting up, that is.

The Province of Chosain

A giant statue sits at the entrance of Chosain province. It can only be Yag-Kosha, the cosmic being with an elephant-like head that Conan mercy-killed in the story The Tower of the Elephant, whom the people in the jungles of Khitai venerated as a god.

I’m not sure if I like the way Chosain Province looks. Its forests seem to be in a perpetual state of autumn, and while I admit the intense fiery colors of the foliage make for a striking first impression, after a while it just comes off as a little bit artificial and tacky.

Paikang

Ten thousand miles from Tortage is the region of Paikang. Here, I finally see a little bit of the much acclaimed “jungles of Khitai.”

Beyond the old forests are the misty terraced rice fields. No one appears to be farming though. Venturing onto the paddies proved to be a bad idea — they’re crawling with crazed mobs that attack you on sight, with the guards standing nearby doing nothing about it.

The beauty of this region is the most distracting of all (for example, in the following screenshot I was so busy ogling the rocky range and waterfall in front of me, that I was running straight into a group of giant spiders without realizing it), and I haven’t even been to the coast yet.

Alas, I didn’t have time (or the patience with the game client) to explore the final zone of Kara Korum. In due course, I suppose.

h1

Never Too Late For Some Spring Cleaning

June 2, 2010

Nope, never too late, not even when we’re on the verge of summer (I can’t believe it’s June already), especially when it comes to organizing my game list and computer hard drive.

Sadly, last night I canceled my Star Trek Online sub before it can charge me again for the next billing cycle. Here’s where Raptr came in handy in helping me make my decision. The tracker shows I’ve only been on STO for a total of five hours in the last month. I just can’t justify the subscription cost anymore.

It’s not that I don’t have time to play STO, it’s just at this point I have to surrender to the fact that the game content has not been motivating me enough to log in. After finishing up my dailies grinding to replace my weapon slots with high quality “purple” gear, I was hoping to rely on the changes to Memory Alpha to keep me going. Well, my plans didn’t really pan out there, even though the changes were a good start for Cryptic.

What I’ll miss  most is playing with the people and my fleet that I’ve met over the last few months. Never let it be said that STO fails at providing players with avenues to foster community and be social. When doing fleet actions or other group activities, I must say the amount of teamwork and cooperation required is astounding. Those battles were the most fun I’ve ever had in this game.

I wish I didn’t have to cancel completely, because I think STO is an awesome “weekend MMO”, a game you can log in to on a Friday night to engage in some light combat or teamwork with friends. Here’s where more pricing options would have come in handy, since maintaining a sub is no longer viable and I’m not very partial to the idea of shelling out $200+ for a lifetime subscription.

Space combat is also way too awesome to give up completely though, so I’m probably just going to let my account lie dormant until the next big content patch (at the end of the summer/beginning of fall, maybe?) Hopefully, there will still be opportunities to do Special Task Forces in the future.

Live long and prosper, T'Andy.

Out with the old…

Cleaning up also involved going through my hard drive and uninstalling games that I probably won’t be playing for the next little while. These included some trials and F2P titles, as well as Aion.

I’m all about going back to MMOs even after I’ve canceled — sometimes it’s because drastic improvements have been made, other times simply because the timing’s right. I’ve never really stopped following Aion news, but so far, nothing I’ve read has really enticed me to go back. That isn’t to say I’ll never go back (never say never, I say, heh) but I don’t see myself flying over Atreia again anytime soon. Might as well uninstall it and make room for something else.

No thanks, for now.

In with the new?

Speaking of making room for something else, I may have uninstalled Aion but I didn’t get rid of the NCsoft launcher.

The reason is, I’ve been tempted to give Guild Wars a try. How can anyone not, with the torrential downpour of Guild Wars 2 news coming to us as of late? GW2 went from an upcoming game I’ve only barely acknowledged to something I’m actually quite excited for. I blame the bloggers I read who have been hyping it up too, you know who you are.

Anyway, I think my interest in its predecessor is only natural. It doesn’t require a monthly fee to play either, just purchase of the game and the subsequent campaigns if I so choose. Hmm, what do you think? I’m going to have to mull this over a little more and maybe do some more research.

She beckons.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,296 other followers