Archive for August, 2011

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Rift’s Half-Birthday Party

August 26, 2011

A candle for each month.

The awesome thing about MMOs is that when they have a birthday — or in Rift’s case, a half-birthday — we’re the ones who get presents:

  • 50% favor bonus
  • 50% prestige from PvP kills bonus
  • 100% experience from kills bonus
  • 50% plaques/marks bonus chance
  • 100% planarite bonus
  • 100% guild xp bonus
  • A special “thanks for attending” gift at the end of all the festivities
  • Oh, and cake…

Last night my husband and I took our alts for a spin and gained two levels, taking them from 39 to 41 in just a little more than an hour and a half. There’s something for everyone during the celebrations, but I am most pleased about the XP boost, hoping to ride this wave as close as I can get to level 50 before next Wednesday. I say if you have an alt, take advantage of this.

Happy half-birthday, Rift. I never thought I’d still be subbed after 6 months, but here I am and I’m by no means alone judging from the healthy player population, at least on my server. After half a year, I’ve still yet to run out of things to do thanks in part to the devs adding content faster than I can get through it, and never once has the game broken on me. It’s a milestone, all right. Good show, Trion, your success is well-deserved.

Now I have to wonder, what sort of goodies will we getting on their FULL birthday? And would anyone actually buy it if I said I’m going to celebrate my half-birthday this October? Worth a shot.

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5 “Quality Of Life” Rift Features That Have Spoiled Me Silly

August 24, 2011

1. Sell all junk

Straight up time saver that spares me the chore of sifting through all my bags picking out the grey items to sell to vendor. Lord of the Rings Online has a similar function that allows players to “lock” items they want to keep and to sell the rest, but this is just way simpler. All my vendor trash is gone with one click, and I am left with my gold and a morbid curiosity — what the hell would my drink seller need with severed Aelfwar fingers and old roc beaks?

2. Mounts straight out of tutorial

If you have the tartagon from the digital collector’s edition, nothing beats being able to mount up and ride everywhere even as a lowbie level 6. Even if you don’t, in the world of Telara, you can ride a mount as soon as you can afford one. In many ways, that makes a lot more sense. It’s not like MMO worlds are like the real one where your character has to wait until becoming a pimply-faced adolescent to get a license.

3. AoE looting

I’m just sooooo damn lazy. There, I admit it. So if you were thinking of leaving a smart-alecky comment saying “Come on, MMOGC, it only takes a few seconds to loot a few bodies”…try again. Another cool thing — being able to loot mounted. So nice being able to backtrack, see a sparkly body you missed, loot and continue on your merry way without missing a beat.

4. Quest item bag

To be fair, I believe Rift only added this feature quite recently during one of their updates. Every friggin’ MMO needs this. I can think of very little else that infuriates me more than getting an “Inventory is full” message, and seeing that two-thirds of my bags are filled with crap only used, made, or obtained during quests.

5. Customizable UI

From day one, I was impressed with the modularity, flexibility, and customization of the Rift user interface. It’s rare to get something so polished right out of the box, without having to download any addons or mods. And when I started another character and wanted to use the exact same set up? IMPORT! Ah, heaven.

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SWTOR: Huttball And Lore?

August 22, 2011

Note: Star Wars nerd talk ahead. Content may not be suitable for all readers, proceed with caution.

Okay, so when BioWare released their Star Wars: The Old Republic video for the PvP Warzone Huttball, I got really excited. I’m not even a fan of PvP, but that trailer had me itching to get right in there and crack some skulls. It’s the first time in a long while that anything to with PvP has gotten me this intrigued, so I guess that was why I was a little…surprised at some of the backlash this particular Warzone has gotten from SWTOR fans.

Not that forumites ever needed a good reason to gripe about a weekly update, but what caught my interest this time was that much of the complaints stemmed from a lore aspect. The video again:

Is the idea and execution a little silly or ridiculous for the Star Wars universe? Well. If you ask me, probably no more than that two-headed announcer during the podrace scene or how about, I don’t know, maybe that entire freakin’ movie in general? But I guess the better question, and what most critics are asking, is: What conceivable reason would my <insert class here> have to want to participate in Huttball?

As a Star Wars geek and an occasional roleplayer, this discussion made me muse. I agree the argument’s a lot easier to make for the non-force using classes, especially Smugglers or Bounty Hunters who answer to no one and like to live on the edge. But on the other hand, would the Jedi or Sith be above killing for sport on a public stage purely for the entertainment of others?

The Sith, perhaps not. You have to admit, someone like, say, Darth Bane is kind of an ass. And don’t even get me started on Sith Inquisitors. Last I checked, Emperor Palpatine was cackling away while zapping Luke Skywalker to a pulp, and Darth Maul tormented Obi-Wan as he was hanging on for dear life by toying with him instead of just finishing him off like, you know, any normal sane person would (I have deep-seated issues with The Phantom Menace, can you tell?) Those that value power and strength would probably have no qualms about cutting down the Republic and enjoy killing those they deem weak in a booby-trapped arena of death and suffering.

But how to explain for the light-sided Jedi? I was mystified by the complaints at first, but now I’m starting to see why hardcore lore hounds and roleplayers would be up in arms, seeing as how Huttball pretty much goes against everything the Jedi Order stands for. It’s a shame when negativity surrounds a great feature like this, but I do admit lore is kinda important especially in a Star Wars game. Are there actually any conceivable reasons why a light-sided Jedi would participate in this bloodsport?

Personally, if I was playing a Jedi, I could come up with a few — to help a dear friend, perhaps. Or more likely, I just wouldn’t care; Huttball looks fun, just get me in so I can play the crap out of it. In all seriousness though, if a player does feel very strongly about it, I suppose there are other Warzones. Other roleplayers, Star Wars lore geeks and Jedi players, I welcome your thoughts.

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Video Day: SWTOR, Wildstar, TSW, GW2

August 19, 2011

Here’s a very cool Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer of “Huttball”, a PvP warzone that has been making waves for the last couple of days. But it’s also today’s Friday update if you haven’t been following GamesCom.

Several things to highlight that may pique the interest of even non-PvPers — being able to prove your worth in a warzone against members of your own faction which should make for some interesting dynamic, and playing in an arena that’s essentially one giant death trap where “name-calling and cheating are all encouraged”. You’re on Nar Shaddaa, after all.

I totally want to be called a Rotworm. Those Hutts have a strange sense of humor.

Also making its debut at GamesCom, the debut trailer for Wildstar which looks like a…wild ride. Still, maybe it’s the style of the graphics, the quirky humor, or the funky music — all of which I really liked from the video, don’t get me wrong…the thing is, it makes me not want this to be an MMO.

I can see myself enjoying the crap out of this even if it was a single-player RPG…or the next animated  film by Dreamworks. Hey, it’s not like this trailer would be out of place shown before a feature presentation at the cinema. Doing some poking around made me think Carbine can bring a lot of potential to this title, though. Enough to sign up for beta.

This trailer from a few days ago also took my breath away, albeit in a completely different way.

The Secret World now has a release window, which hopefully means more information in the coming months and more to talk about, because there’s a void in my life that can only be filled by a good horror-themed MMO. As always, packed with creepy and a healthy dose of tentacles, their CGI trailers give me the shivers.

Commence countdown to April 2012.

Wrapping up with this awesome Guild Wars 2 trailer, which Huntersinsight has already thoroughly commented on, so I encourage you to visit his site. All I have to add to the discourse is simply “GIMME MOAR ASURA!!!”

I’m normally prone to choose the more “feminine” and “elfish” races to play, but there’s something about being a cute little Asura hacking away at something fifty times her size that greatly appeals to me.

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3DS Adventures: PUPPY SHENANIGANS!!!

August 17, 2011

No surprise here, but I purchased myself a Nintendo 3DS last weekend when the $80 price drop went into effect and also picked up a few games, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. So far, I’m loving my new little gadget. So much of it is gimmicky, but screw it, I’m enjoying it all while it lasts.

And speaking of enjoying something while it lasts, I also picked up Nintendogs + Cats.

Let me just make something clear: I already have two dogs — that is, two real dogs, a couple of adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniels that I just love to death so you can say I’m already quite well acquainted with all the joys of dog ownership. I don’t really need a pet simulator any more than I need an instruction manual on how to put on my socks, so then why am I so in love with this freakin’ idiotic game!?!?

Well, it definitely has its charm in the short-term and in time may feel like a glorified 3DS tech demo, but for now I’m completely taken with my Nintendog (a Cav, of course; as if there was any other choice for me). The game’s certainly good at igniting my inner 10-year-old, and of course, there’s that word again — gimmicky. Maybe I’ve had my head in the sand, but one thing I had absolutely no idea about and was delighted to learn was the 3DS’ use of Augmented Reality cards, so I wasted no time whipping out the AR camera and putting my Nintendog in all sorts of precarious situations.

Watching my puppy chase his tail around in circles on my desk in eye-popping 3D is not only super trippy but also evidently a great way to waste half the morning.

I am a sad panda because the cool 3D effect doesn’t show up in pictures.

Waiter, this is unacceptable! There’s a Kirby in my cup! And he just crapped out a puppy!

In a Luigi hat, d’awwwwwwwwwww…

My other (real) dog Mara is the prissy one who would have chewed up the AR card before putting up with any of my crap, whereas Strider (the real dog in the above photo) is the smart one who knows as long as he shuts up and stays still, the faster he’ll get things over with and the sooner his crazy lady owner will leave him the hell alone. Which is probably exactly what he was thinking when I took that picture.

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SWTOR Guild Formed: The Republic Mercy Corps Needs YOU!

August 15, 2011

Guilds. Whether they be called fleets, clans, supergroups or any other name, they’re obviously very important to me, as evidenced by the many times I’ve promoted or referenced my guilds on this blog. I’ve been lucky; in the past I’ve been in some great guilds where I’ve  been made to feel like family, where logging on is like coming home.

Which brings us to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Seeing how it’s a game I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, seeking out a group of like-minded people who were going to be in it for the long haul like me became my priority. I’m not a fan of guild-hopping, and my preference is to find a good group of people right off the bat — where relationships and guild unity can be built upon from day one, where members are goal-oriented and dedicated, where our characters can “grow up” together from level one to endgame.

My plan was to wait until closer to launch before I started looking, but of course, that was before a fellow blogger offered me an opportunity to be involved with The Republic Mercy Corps.

From day one, I was embraced as an integral part of RMC, was able to work with the leadership, and was even invited to take part as an officer in the major decisions of the guild. The RMC philosophy is first and foremost to have FUN! Don’t believe me? The working guild title was originally “PARTY HARD!” — seriously, don’t ask.

The RMC is a semi-casual, family-friendly and no-pressure guild — but at the same time dedicated, goal-oriented and driven. Whether you’re into raiding, PvP, roleplaying, or what have you, there will be something for everyone. Current plans are for rolling on a PvE server, but many of our members enjoy PvP. Along with heroics and raiding, we will be striving for — and achieving — excellence in PvP activities, but never at the expense of our members’ or other players’ enjoyment. Feel free to read more about about RMC’s mission statement.

Lore hounds hopefully will also recognize the significance behind the Republic Mercy Corps, named for the organization that served as volunteers in the Galactic Republic’s military. We encourage but do not require RP, but if you’re a fan (or even if you’re not!) check out our guild lore, the RP backstory that will drive our mission and let us know what you think. The Star Wars universe is one steeped with lore and history; for many, SWTOR will be the perfect opportunity to start their RP career — though this just in from leadership: sorry, no RPing a Jawa-killing sociopath allowed! Dammit.

Strong relationships, dedication to the guild and inclusion are the foundation of the RMC. Guildies can depend on support no matter what their level, and find teams to complete quests, heroics, or flashpoints. Involvement and a good standing in the SWTOR community is also important to us, as evidenced by the above image created by none other than our Guild Leader DavidRHall, which won second prize in a community-organized guild poster contest. We are new but we are growing, and so far I’ve been impressed by the maturity and positive attitude of our members, and well as their passion for the game.

Our website and guild portal are now up and running. If you’re interested in joining us, we’re always seeking similarly dedicated individuals! We place no demands on time or schedule, but rather on character and merit. I value guild unity and am the type of gamer who prefers to “grow” with my guild, and I feel very fortunate to have found this great community of SWTOR players who love the game. Check us out. Apply through our site if you feel the RMC will be a good fit for you, we’d love to welcome you on board!

(Oh, and Sith, Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents, do not fret! We are also currently in the process of setting up an Empire sister guild.)

“We are all in this together, and we will win this together. Be the hope. Join the Republic Mercy Corps.”

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All’s Fine In Telara

August 12, 2011

Control your pet, Mage, or I'll do it for you.

I thought perhaps it’s time for an update on what I’m playing, because I wouldn’t be a very good “MMOGamerChick” if I didn’t play MMOs, would I? At this time, there are a few titles on my plate, but this summer has been all about Rift. Mostly because the devs at Trion are on the ball when it comes to frequent updates and constantly adding content.

Also, my husband’s interest in the game seems to have been renewed ever since I got him a new gaming rig for his birthday early last month. I can’t blame the guy for really getting into it again, now that he’s no longer playing on the old laptop and dealing with lagtastic combat and turned-down graphics that look like ass. It’s a whole different game once you go from “low” to “ultra”.

And as anyone who is one half of a gaming couple knows, wherever your spouse goes, you go. Still, I draw the line at being his pocket healer whenever he feels like going on one of his all-night chain Expert-T1-T2 grinding binges, so I instead settled for transferring my Rogue alt from Estrael back to Faeblight, in order to level with his new Mage.

What’s amazing to me is this new partnership is more formidable than I could have ever imagined, perhaps offering even more survivability than our past combo of Healer Cleric/Tank Warrior. With me going Marksman with some Bard elements, and him going Elementalist/Chloromancer, we essentially have two tanks and enough incidental healing to keep us all up until the end of all time. Not surprisingly, the levels have been racing by at an absurd pace.

If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to, it’s heading into Moonshade Highlands. It’s a beautiful zone, but for some reason we traded all its lushness and green for the Droughtlands on our first time through Telara. Silly us. In any case, it’s always a treat to be able to quest in a zone I’ve never done.

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