The Game Plan

July 21, 2010

My whole life, I’ve never had a desktop computer to call my own. I got my first PC at 17, a Sony laptop that was to go away with me across the ocean when I went to college. Then with the switching of residences, going to grad school, moving around the city in general, I figured buying laptops just made sense for someone like me with my nomadic life. But now that I’ve finally settled down, I thought maybe investing in a  good desktop may be in order, so I can finally enjoy the luxuries of having a nice big screen, and more importantly, be able to do my graphics work on a computer without worrying about it scorching the skin off my legs.

It’s not going to be all about work, obviously; I also made sure the new machine will be a decent gaming rig. The parts won’t be here for a while yet, but I’m already looking forward to setting it up and have been thinking about what MMOs I’ll be putting on it and also my gaming plans for the rest of 2010. World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online, the two games on my “Currently Playing” list, will definitely get installed, but then so might these:

1. Star Trek Online

I  chose to sign up for my Twitter account right around the time the Season 2 Update started on the test server Tribble, so everyday I’ve been inundated with tweets from my fellow bloggers about how great it is. New additions to the game include diplomacy, mini-games, a level cap increase, and much more — it’s enough to bring me back to the game and I think I’m going to reactivate my subscription as soon as the update goes live on Holodeck…or maybe even sooner. It’ll make more sense to give myself some time to re-familiarize with the game controls, lest I get blown to bits by the Undine the first time I venture into their native fluidic space.

Seeing as STO is my perfect casual game, unless there will be a whole slew of new content available, I’ll probably only maintain an active account for a month or two and take a break from it again come fall.

By the way, is the Federation News Service fleet still there? Please say it is so.

2. Age of Conan

I haven’t been playing  this game lately, mostly because of the number of technical problems I’ve encountered with the new Rise of the Godslayer expansion. Most of the issues are Funcom’s, but admittedly, some are mine. I had no problems playing my lower level characters, but memory leaks caused the client to crash to desktop as soon as my level 80 Priest of Mitra entered the new Khitai lands. Much of the expansion’s new features are tied up in the post-level cap content, so everything I had wanted to do, like explore the Alternate Advancement system or grind reputation with the new factions to get my Tiger or Wolf mount/pet, had to be put on hold.

Raids were also out of the question. My poor gaming laptop, which is a few years old, can run this game smoothly when I’m playing solo or in a six-man team, but big groups made my frame rates plummet. And when you’re the healer, that’s always bad news. I’m hoping the new computer will alleviate a lot of these problems, and that I’ll finally get to do all that I’d ever wanted in AoC. Now that I think about it, I might even have racked up enough offline levels by now to give to my Bear Shaman to make her my second level 80.

3. Final Fantasy XIV

Another game with beautiful graphics that I’m hoping the new computer will run more smoothly. To be honest, I was quite shocked to hear that FFXIV will be coming out this year, at the end of September, no less. I’ll probably end up giving this a try this fall, even though I haven’t really been buying into the hype. I’ve never been a rabid FF fan, never played FFXI, but I’m still quite interested in this, at least enough to keep a distant eye on the news coming out. This can either be a hit or miss for me, I really can’t tell yet.

4. DC Universe Online

If and only if FFXIV doesn’t work out, I’ll most likely be giving DCUO a look come winter. I like the DC universe okay, nowhere near as much as I love Marvel, but some of my all-time favorite comic book characters belong to DC (like Harley Quinn) and I know the heroes, the villains and the stories well enough to make me ooh and ahh over what I’ve seen so far. Looks like it’s been slated for a November release, but I might give it a month or so to see what others are saying about it before I take the plunge for myself (if it comes to that). By then, LOTRO should also have gone F2P, so I won’t have to juggle more than 2-3 subscriptions.


  1. I bought a fairly expensive desktop 3 years ago. $2200. I don’t think it can run FFXIV. have you checked the specs? its kind of insane.

    honestly i don’t know what i’m going to be playing. i should pick up something immediately to fill my time between now and gw2/tor but nothings jumping out at me. closest i’ve come is alpha protocol but i’m gonna wait for a price drop on that.

    • Yeah, I saw the specs, they were indeed insane. Glad the new computer will be a higher end PC, which would have cost a lot more if it wasn’t for some discounts. Should be all right for FFXIV.

      And yeah, 2010 has been pretty disappointing for MMOs, but that’s all right, because 2011 is going to be awesome 😀

  2. You could play with @Ysharros some Guild Wars! 🙂 The FNS is still around, we now work for the Russian FSB. We had a Fleet Action yesterday, I just did not invite you as I knew you have not yet resubscribed.

    • Okay good to hear! And yeah, I wouldn’t expect to be invited to an event in a game I’m not even subbed to 😛 I will let you know when I do, might be even as early as this weekend.

    • Woops! Sorry I missed it, Longasc. RL intervened.

      I’ve been playing a little AoC lately, too. I’m reading an anthology of the original Conan stories, that has improved my interest in the game. I’ll probably re-sub LOTRO when it goes F2P.

      • The original Conan stories are great, I’m working my way through those anthologies as well, loving them. It does make the game that much more interesting, especially when I meet characters I recognize from the stories 🙂

  3. I’ve been planning on resubbing to STO at the end of the month as well. Granted lost of the changes are for end game folks but many are not. I’m excited to see what they do and I’ve been missing the game play oddly enough. I Especially was longing for STO when i saw these awesome posters this morning: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/07/21/trouble-with-tribble.html

    • I find myself missing the game as well. People can say what they want about Cryptic and STO, but I feel that the space combat is really well done, and I’m itching for some of that action now.

      Those are some awesome posters, I really want the spock one!!!

      • Man, this is good news! I’ve been seeing all the Twittering about the upcoming Season Two patch, and I’m really excited myself. I even logged in last night and bought the Constitution class and the Mirror Universe uniforms. Here I am, thinking I might want to role a new Engineering alt! (They’re just soo good in space!)

      • I’m so going to buy those mirror universe uniforms…they will go so well with Sleer and his mustache 😀

      • I may buy a joined trill and make her my engineer as well. They are both good on the ground and space… watch they will get nurfed as soon as I really invest in one 😛

      • Joined Trills are the bomb.com, man!

  4. Once you get a nice desktop machine you may never want to game on a laptop again. You need to post the specs so we can all geek out.

    • I’ll see about posting the specs once the computer comes and I put it all together. I’m still thinking about peripherals, what speakers to get etc. Might as well wait until the whole thing is set up 😀

      • Take pics while you’re building it too.

      • Okay, that might be a bit too nerdy for me 😛

      • But completely in-character, honestly.

      • You’re building it from scratch yourself?!

      • I was before, but I changed my mind.

  5. Heyo. Hope we end up on the same server when FFXIV comes out. CHeers! 😀

    • Yeah, I’ll be sure to make note of what server you’re on, I’ll probably wait a few weeks after the rush to try it out. At least I know my new computer will be able to handle the specs!

      • Same here, i have an interest in the game but with the specs they are talking about i want to see how other people do with the game. I’m very apprehensive about this one.

      • Interesting how they just put out official minimum specs, since apparently the numbers they had before were based on the benchmark that focuses on performance if servers are congested. That’s another reason I’m going to wait a little as well.

        I’m apprehensive about how I’ll like the overall gameplay in general, but I guess that answer’s going to have to wait until the game comes out or until I actually get to try it for myself.

  6. Gratz on the new machine! I was so happy when I finally got a new one and had to try out some flashy games with it!

    • Yeah, that’s another reason I want to try FF on it, hard to get flashier than that 😛

  7. What did you get? What did you get!? I’m SO curious! (I love computers)

    I actually bought my desktop off Craigslist a few months ago. Before that, I was using a Dell Inspiron 9300 – 17″ “gaming” laptop that I bought in 2005 for just under $2k with warranty. Melly and I went everywhere together… But now she’s relegated to lying around in my room, pretty much unused.

    I ended up getting a used desktop with top notch case and power supply for $380 (Core 2 Duo, but one of the best of that generation; ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB – about as fast as a Radeon HD 5770). Then I bought a Solid State Drive off Craigslist as well (128GB Kingston V Gen 2) for $200… it makes normal usage SO slick, it’s beautiful. Except as I’m typing this I’m sorting out some issues that I think it’s causing, but anyways… then I got a 23″ Samsung LCD (2048×1152) off Craigslist for $150. It’s amazing what you can get off Craigslist! But it’s definitely not as smooth or packaged as buying new, like, from Dell.

    Anyways… I’m really curious as to what CPU, RAM, and Video Card you got. If I had to guess, I would guess… Core i7 920, 8GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870? Or maybe a more down to earth config would be a dual or quad Core i5, 6GB RAM, Radeon HD 5850 😀 Please no NVIDIA GTX 400 series… (ok, they’re not bad. I just don’t like them)

    • You can skip that middle paragraph of geek-speak, btw, lol. I’m more curious as to what you got.

      • Heh heh, nice, I like your name for your computer 😀

        Anyway, I was going to get into the specs at a later date, but ah, hell you pretty much nailed it. Everything except it’s 12GB RAM(!) and I thought I got the Radeon 5870 but it says 5770 on the list. I’ll have to double check that, I’ll be a little irked if there’s a mix up, but on second thought the price difference might have made me reconsider, since the 5770 isn’t bad either.

  8. Man, what is happening in that STO pic?!

    • Heh heh, I wondered if someone was going to ask about that…it’s one of my favorite STO screenshots. Basically, the borg has got T’Andy in some kind of hold. I paused it right at that moment, panned up and took the shot. I love it, it just looks so bizarre.

      • Good timing, yo.

  9. Definitely interested in trying FFXIV and DCU myself although I’m not holding out too much hope for them. I wasn’t a big fan of FFXI and I’m very cynical about how good DCU will be apart from a short-term fun romp. For me, my next big hope has to be SW:TOR 😀

    • Haha, yeah, 2010 for me is pretty much done. The one game I really looked forward to this year (after hearing that SWTOR was slated for a spring 2011 release) was STO…that turned out to be pretty decent for a casual game, but I’m still in general pretty disappointed with what we got this year. My big hope now is SWTOR now too, and GW2.

  10. I want to see DCUO’s reviews first. I’ve been watching this game for awhile and it seems ok but nothing worth a collectors edition. I do think SOE shot themselves in the foot by having separate PS3 and PC servers.

    • Same here, I’m apprehensive of preordering any games these days, and I’m not going to buy collector’s editions anymore, unless I’m confident I’m going to like it. Aion taught me that lesson 😛

      • I’ve learned that lesson like, a bazillion times. It doesn’t take, though. I can’t believe I got the Digital Collector’s Edition of DA and ME2.

        (Of course, those are awesome games, and came with goodies. But they’re single player! I can’t even show off my goodies!)

      • See, DA:O is actually one of those games I wish I had gotten the CE. Yeah, it’s single player, but I just adore that game.

  11. I just have absolutly no faith in super hero games anymore.. All those I played ended up being deceptions for me. As for STO it looks super awesome but I don’t think I’ll be retrying a third time. It just won’t stick with me I guess.

    Might try out FF14 tough. We’ll see.

    • The only super hero MMO I’ve played is Champions Online. That didn’t really work out, but it was because of technical issues more than anything. I’ve always wanted to try CoH/CoV because I’d heard a lot of good stuff about them, but I never got the chance.

      If DCUO gets good reviews and turns out to be decent, it might actually be the first super hero game I can stick with.

  12. Was wondering about the pic screenshot myself. Good to hear FNS is still going. Not sure when I’ll get to pop in. However nice to hear your finally getting a good gaming machine for the entertainment habit. Not sure what else I’ll try rest of year, will just see what happens maybe.

    • It’d be awesome if you popped in, but I know you’re having a lot of fun with EVE right now so I understand 😉

      • Whoa, Galo plays EVE? I used to play that. I’m going to start again, for at least 5 days free (summer resubscription promo) 😛 And probably resub for another month at the promo price. What’s your ingame char name? (mine’s Jacmert Corra’Halcyon)

      • Yeah, and he writes up some pretty good, detailed articles. Great reads, even if I’m not into EVE.

      • Opppp- never mind. Found your char name on your blog!

  13. don’t forget to be a GL when you get DCUO 😉

  14. Hehe awesome post, yeah gonna upgrade my comp too soon i hope (if the wife lets me LOL), but atm im still on WOW (mostly only raids since i got tired of the same dungeons over and over and over…), and im giving APB a shot but thats not really an mmo also testing out Runes of Magic (F2P) but would like to try STO, maybe try Age of Conan again since last time my comp couldnt just handle it, FF XIV prolly gonna try it also and DCU cause i love super hero games thing is can never stick to one cause at higher levels cant find ppl to play with lol 😦
    Anyways good luck with the new comp and maybe we see each other ingame hehe, hope i can convice my wife to play some of this with me lol

    • Haha, I love trying out new stuff too…sometimes I stop playing, but I almost always go back at some point or another. 🙂

  15. […] really pumped about starting a new character with my new (old?) Constitution-class starship, and like GeeCee, I’m really looking forward to STO’s Season Two. I’ve yet to actually finalize […]

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