Posts Tagged ‘Gear’

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WoW: We Are Legendary

October 10, 2014

legendary cloak

The legendary cloak wasn’t something I expected ever to get, but at the beginning of September when I resubbed to World of Warcraft I saw that things for the quest chain were in full swing. With a game-wide buff Gaze of the Black Prince increasing rep gain and drop rate for the raid items you need, I figured there’s no harm in trying for it – and there’s no time like the present. I’m also grateful for Tententacles for also going for the legendary cloak chain, because without him doing it too, I honestly don’t think I would have been as motivated!

So, seven weeks or so later (I did get lucky these last couple of weeks with Titan Runestones), I finally got my cloak on my Monk. And just in time too, with the prepatch for the next expansion said to drop next Tuesday, and apparently the quest chain will go away. If you’re still thinking of going for the cloak, this may be your last chance to start, because starting Tuesday next week it might not be possible to get the first quest anymore.

But if you’re in the middle of the chain, it’s not too late. I’m in that boat too, as I’ve actually begun work on the legendary cloak on another character, my Druid. She’s been my main forever, and even though I’ve been playing my Monk a lot more recently, my emotional attachment to the Druid is just too strong to not try for the legendary cloak with her too. When the patch drops, they’re removing the valor grind requirement section of the quest, which was by far the most aggravating and longest part anyway, and there’s a good chance to finish before or around the time Warlords of Draenor is released. Sure, a few weeks into the expansion and the cloak will probably be obsolete, but for completionists, it’s still an impressive achievement and a nice memento to have.

 

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The Secret World Monday: Mixed Bag

November 5, 2013

golem

I’ll be honest; with the flurry of running around in The Secret World, scouring Solomon Islands for stories, Cat God farming, Super Jack hunting, and just in general trying to pick up the last of the new clothing drops I still need from the Halloween update, I’ve completely forgotten that The Whispering Tide was still going on, and that people still need to run the filth portals to unlock the next stage in the event.

Thus, Secret Monday last night didn’t really have a theme. It was a night of ticking off things on our to-do lists. First, getting in some Nightmare runs of Cat God, because some people still need weapon upgrades and his QL 10.1 drops are too good to pass up. Not to mention there’s always a chance at the Amethyst Mouser, which I don’t know if I’m lucky or not, but I’ve seen drop more than half a dozen times. Of course, now that TenTentacles has finally gotten his purple kitty, it won’t be as fun to taunt him with it anymore.

Next up was running Elite Ankh for guildies who still need to finish the achievement in order to hit up the Gatekeeper. It’s definitely good to get as many people as possible Nightmare-mode ready, even though I wept at the prospect of heading into that dungeon. I’ve made it no secret that it’s not my favorite, though I have to admit after having gone through the hell that is The Slaughterhouse and The Facility, it’s hard to hate the Ankh all that much anymore.

In any case, last night’s run was the best and least painless one I’ve ever experienced. Oh all right, I’ll admit it, it was a blast! A lot of that credit goes to Rowanblaze, who was on healing duty and did an amazing job taking care of me.

And finally, into the filth portal five brave adventurers went…which was not me, because I sat out to get some extra words in for my NaNoWriMo. From the wails of pain I heard from Teamspeak though, it seems the dev’s increasing of the difficulty on NM mode can most definitely be felt. And for all that pain and suffering, you get to earn yourself ONE WHOLE EXTRA event token! Thanks, Funcom, as ever we grovel at your feet in thanks for your benevolence and boons!

All snark aside, we were all over the place last night…but ended up getting a lot done.

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Not My Style

July 11, 2012

Note: This post has actually been sitting in my drafts for a while, but then thanks to The Secret World I’ve been waylaid by fighting zombies and solving mysteries for the past couple weeks.

When it comes to MMO characters, I think we can all agree that your avatar’s appearance matters; pretty much every discussion anyone has ever had about games and character customization is a testament to that. But there are also important things that go beyond things like face type, hairdos, and make up — what my character wears. Like, I don’t even want to talk about how much in-game pax I’ve spent on new outfits in TSW.

In a completely different way, another game that really underscored that for me was TERA Online. By the way, this was a game I held off on getting for a long time, but finally caved when it went on sale for 50% off last month. You’d be amazed at how quickly my willpower crumbles when faced with a new game at half-price.

Well, I must say the game itself is very fun. I discovered my affinity for the combat mechanics and controls, which surprised me. Getting used to them was what I initially thought would be the biggest obstacle preventing me from getting into TERA. Alas, it was not.

What really distracted me at the beginning, and continues to do so even now, are the character and costume designs. Don’t get me wrong, I mean I think they’re gorgeous, and just about everything in the game is too. But every time I look at my character, I just think UGGHHHHWEJJSAGAG.

UGGHHHHWEJJSAGAG.

This discussion isn’t just about the hyper-sexualized clothing in the game (though it certainly doesn’t help) as plenty of people have already voiced their complaints about it (and they’d all be right). If only it were just that. No, when it comes down to it, this is about me not wanting to run around the world looking like a fashion crime and not having enough choices.

I’m talking about the general style of the models and gear, which obviously has a huge cultural component. Ironically, I spent most of my life growing up in Asia being bombarded with this highly caricatural art style often featuring a pastel palette, elaborate hairdos and ostentatious outfits on animated characters, but I must say it’s never really rubbed off on me.

Anyway, leaving aside the fact they’re completely impractical for adventuring and monster slaying, the clothes in TERA look ludicrous! I can’t even look at my character or some of the NPCs both male and female and think this is someone I can take seriously, rather than that they belong in some early 80’s glam rock band. By the time I got around to looking like a fool in my third pair of “half-pants”, I’d just about had it; I didn’t think I could look at one more person running in five-inch stiletto heels (a personal pet peeve of mine) or yet another exposed shiny male-elf navel while keeping a straight face.

This is the sort of stuff that falls into the same category as my dislike for the over-large and cumbersome shoulder pieces in World of Warcraft, or the fact I like to hide my helm on my SWTOR Jedi Consular so I don’t look like a BDSM enthusiast or a milkmaid. You might think, “Geez GeeCee, they’re just clothes in a game, as long as you’re wearing some, what’s the problem?”

Well, the problem isn’t as trivial to me as I thought. Maybe, there’s just too much of the old RP’er in me? I tend to like to do things like name my characters in accordance to the game world’s conventions, and likewise customize their appearance to fit the personalities I give them.

I’m sure you can argue that clothing items like half-pants and weird abs-revealing-armored-jackets are considered “normal” in the world of TERA, but still, is it too much to ask for the things I wear to look good but also make sense, i.e. like I actually dressed myself this morning without being under the influence of LSD? Not that other MMOs don’t have their fair share of incongruities like armored thongs or ridiculously over-sized weaponry, but out of all the games I’ve played recently, I think TERA takes the cake. I mean, freakin’ half-pants.

In the case of TERA, I understand the art style is culturally influenced and may come down to a simple matter of taste. And I’m just sorry to say it’s not for me. To a lesser extent, I think I also felt the same way when I played Aion, which could be another explanation as to why that game never stuck.

It’s a shame, because the dynamic, kinetic combat in TERA is the most fun I’ve had in an MMO in ages. I also find the creature designs unique and amazingly detailed, and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is not to be beating down on yet another wolf or common bandit in a fantasy game. Like I said, the graphics are incredible too, and I am awed each time I log in to survey my surroundings.

I never thought something as superficial as art style or the clothes my character is made to don would affect my enjoyment, and in a way that galls me about myself. But then again, people have left MMOs for much less.

I can’t deny that I’m torn. I like the gameplay of TERA very much, am glad I gave it a chance and want to keep playing, but at the same time the art style frequently becomes too distracting. At times, my brain also cannot handle the dissonance created when one moment I’m looking at my boobs practically popping out of my chestpiece and the next I’m staring at something so sickly sweet and cuddly like a Popori or Elin. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve never truly understood the appeal of kawaii.

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Screenshot Of The Day: I’m A Townie!

July 7, 2012

You complete the achievement “Town Council” in The Secret World when you finish all the missions from the survivors in Kingsmouth, and receive the Honorary Townie Cap as a reward. Out of all the clothing items I could get so far, this is one of my favorites.

Yes, those are fishing tackles attached to the side. I love it. It’s so hideous, yet so awesome at the same time.

Well, I guess that’s one way to keep my hair out of my face.

Also, /jazzhands.

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SWTOR: Troopers Bring The Big Guns

May 27, 2011

A new Trooper progression video from Star Wars: The Old Republic:

/Cry. I am so torn.

My plan: I’ll be playing Bounty Hunter for sure, but I think I’m also going to roll a Republic character to play with friends from the other faction, and this is also the character I plan on locking in to the dreaded “Spousal Leveling Contract”. My husband is old school and would prefer to play a Jedi on the “good” side anyway, so this works well. Either way, the Bounty Hunter will be the character I play on my own terms, but this also means I’ll be spending a good chunk of time on the Republic alt, and I want to make my class choice a good one.

Before this video, it was a three-way tie between the Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper. Now the Trooper, the class I thought I’d be least likely to play when I first heard about it, is actually edging out in front. It’s got a couple great things going for it, like if I ever get the urge to carry a huge ass gun…or knife some Sith in the face. Not to mention the female version will be voiced by the very talented Jennifer Hale.

Funny story, but I also have a soft spot for the Trooper armor, especially the sets in the above video that include the “butt flap” (my apologies, but I don’t know the technical name for that nifty piece of cloth hanging over his backside).

In most games, I usually turn on the “Hide Cloak” option because more often than not, parts of my character’s model or the graphics of my weapon strapped to my back will cut through, and in my opinion it just looks terrible. During my time at PAX East, however, I was practically in a trance watching the Troopers run in the Taral V demos, fixated with the way the backs of their heels kicked up the butt flap with every stride instead of showing through. Cloth actually moves like cloth should! Sorry…but it was pretty mesmerizing.

I think other people thought I was weird, being riveted by something so little when there’s so much more happening on screen like the environment and combat to be oohing and aahing over, but sometimes it’s the developer’s attention to little details like that which affect me the most.

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Rift: Looking Snazzy

May 12, 2011

What started out as a curious peek into Rift’s new appearance slots system yesterday turned instead into a 3-hour trek across the whole of Telara on a quest to put together my first wardrobe set. Oh, the lengths we go to in order to look good.

When I first rolled my Cleric, I had in my mind a picture of an avenging angel, a heroic woman in shining chain mail and white cloth. I think I alluded to the image of a Roman warrior goddess. So I kinda took that and ran with it. The higher level chain gear has also always been a little too bulky for my tastes. You ever run around in a full length chain mail dress? I have (long story), and I can tell you that it was uncomfortable as all hell.

I actually really liked the look of the chest piece that newbie Clerics start off with, but I’d long since gotten rid of it (in fact, I’d vendored a lot of nice-looking items from quest rewards after I’d out-leveled them, and I am kicking myself for that right now). The good news is, the new Clothier NPC by the dye vendor sells all the newbie gear which any class can use, so at least I got my shirt back. The bad news is, I had to drop a pile of platinum for it.

But it was still nothing compared to what it cost to get the player-made dyes on the Auction House. Let’s just say I’m sure I made someone very happy yesterday. Note to self: buy White Dye recipe the next time I get an Apothecary plaque.

The result is nothing too fancy, but the look is somewhat closer to what I’d originally had in mind for my character when I first created her. The system’s still new; I foresee more available costume pieces in the future that I’ll be able to work with. Just a couple things of note:

Gear Proficiency: There was actually a very striking cloth robe I had my eye on, but since we can only equip armor in wardrobe slots of the appropriate type for our calling, I sadly had to tear myself away. I suppose I can understand the reasoning behind such a decision (preventing PvP distractions, Warriors rolling need on cloth for their wardrobe, etc.) but I’m still a little disappointed about the implications of this for roleplaying. It did, however, help me narrow down my choices as I scoured the auction house and hit up every armor and Rare Planar Goods vendor I could find.

Weapons: One day, I’d love to see weapons and offhand appearance slots as well, functioning the same way as the wardrobe system. The sword and shield in the above picture are just for aesthetic purposes, in actuality my character carries a dark purple death-looking hammer bedecked with skulls. A very nice weapon by itself, but also sort of kills the whole avenging angel look, obviously.

Overall, I’m liking the new appearance slots and the wardrobe feature, but then again in general I’m a fan of anything that lets my character go about her MMO duties without looking like a candidate for clown college. I have no doubt I’ll be making use of the other slots and making new outfits in good time.

I’ll just have to be able to afford them first…

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Star Trek Online: Breen Back!

May 9, 2011

May is Star Trek Online’s “Rerun Month”; just like network TV they are bringing back all the Feature Episodes this time of the year for another chance to nab exclusive rewards. The Breen arc that’s going on will run until the 12th, so until then players who weren’t subbed at the time or didn’t realize the Breen bridge officer was a time limited reward have another chance to grab him.

It appears that a new “Breen set” has also been added to the mission rewards. In the words of the great Daniel Stahl, “a sack of potatoes” (the Deferi Snow Tubers) just wasn’t cutting it.

Huh. Now that I think about it, I guess that was kind of a rip off. Though admittedly, the Cryo Tribble was really cool (oh hahaha I slay me).

So on Saturday, I joined up with my Federation News Service fleeties and we blitzed through the Breen arc again. It’s always a pleasure doing missions with my fleet, and for once I felt perfectly at ease — since I’ve done all the feature episodes already, I didn’t have to worry about stopping to read every single word of quest text or pause every five seconds to snap a screenshot and risk having my head caved in with a phaser blast by the annoyed people I’m playing with.

I ended up picking up three pieces of the new Breen set — Impulse Engine, Shields and Deflector Dish. Aesthetically, I didn’t think it was going to alter to my ship’s appearance, but I was surprised to see that the impulse engines, at least, seemed to have made my warp trails an icy blue. Not a very significant change, but it’s more than I expected and still better than nothing.

Icy blue trails.