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Showing posts from December, 2006

Taking a pass from the All Station Pass

Christmas has come and gone and, apparently, with it my priorities to have anything to do with Sony Online Entertainment games. I haven't breached the login screen in any of those games since my last Blog entry. That's why I've no screenshots of holiday game related modifications to show you. (Funny enough, the Alien Shooter 2 Vengeance demo has a holiday screen that pops up, showing a killer alien dressed up as Santa. It just goes to show you that small name developers have more fun.) It's just as well I've apparently lost my SOE MMOG jive, as today I have been inducted in yet another beta test, this time in a much more epic online RPG.

I've also been playing a couple of great console games. The first being a somewhat mediocre-rated "Dirge of the Cerberus", which has proven a bargain at the price of a rental, the second being a Christmas gift... The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess.


Sometimes, you just have to thank Square-enix for putting som…

Vengeance with corporate holiday trimmings

Things have been going pretty slow over the past few days, as I've once again been digitally staving off my boredom with playing message boards more than games. I'm thinking I'll get my groove back on... any... day... now...

In the meanwhile, I hit upon a few interesting occupations I thought I'd share.

--- Demo Impressions: Alien Shooter 2: Vengeance ---

Alien Shooter 2: Vengeance is a game that has a demo out, with the retail version being sold at the beginning of January. If I wanted to really overhype it, I'd call it a fast paced sci-fi Diablo. But really, it's more of a isometric top-down perspective hack and slasher that uses guns. It's pretty fun, if a little shallow. The best part about it would probably have to be the sheer number of enemies it throws at you, which become part of the scenery as you blow them away.

If leaving messes of big piles of hostile xenomorphs strikes you as a good time, then this is a game to try. What's more inter…

Nothing to F.E.A.R.

Monday was entirely consumed by more green quests for Kand. It was fun at first, but in the end I just felt like I had completed a bunch of monotonous tasks... is the entire game full of monotonous tasks? They'd probably seem a lot less so if I were actually challenged. At least this Monk now has quite a few more books in his room.

Tuesday (this) morning, I reinstalled F.E.A.R. in order to install for the first time the F.E.A.R. Extraction Point expansion. I'm not really a big fan of the Horror genre - I never really derived much pleasure out of scaring myself. However, F.E.A.R. doesn't entirely live up to its namesake for me. Deep psychological terror like that in System Shock 2 is pretty effective, but creepy special effects are just skin deep. There is a creepy story to F.E.A.R., but it's spoiled by my genuinely feeling sorry for the antagonists, Alma and Patton, as the nightmare they thrust on the protagonists had been forced upon them first. Thus, I was ab…

That old EQ2 vibe: Pumpkin King & 20th Antonica, Vermin's Snye

Most of Saturday was spent listlessly browsing boards between equally listless bouts of Neon Wars. Starting at Blue Rank, I can get up to about 800k-900k before my hand-eye coordination is proven utterly lacking. It's a fun game, so I'm glad that I found the right settings to make my computer stable enough to play it.

Sunday, however, I was ready for something a bit more substantial than Neon War's old school cool: I spent most of the day in EverQuest 2. It begun with my character indecision was in full swing, but after much staring at the login screen I eventually decided to play Kand, my Monk in the low 20s. I think I had rationalized that all characters are equally powerful in terms of what they can do, so I might as well play something near and dear to my heart rather than something I thought would be effectively. Besides, Monks like Kand are part of the holy duo of EverQuest 2: The Fighter that is kept alive by the other half of the Duo, a Priest. The Scouts and…

A Slow News Week

I did indeed go ahead with recreating that Monk with the Tailoring background, but it wasn't long before I determined that tailoring does not cover the creation of handwraps despite being made on the loom. Thus denied my aspirations of being able to craft my own imbued armor and weapons on the same character, I went back to my pre-exising characters: Lvl 20 Monk/Chemist, Level 30ish Illusionist/Sage and Level 30ish Swashbuckler/Armorer.

Of the three, I have to say that the Swashbuckler has my attention the most. Too bad that Armorcrafting doesn't create anything I can't consistantly find on the broker. No, I think that the dedicated adventurer is better off with whatever trade skill generates their skills. I think that in the Swashbuckler's case that works out to jewelcrafting... or do Scholars do that, too?

Aside from EQ2 and a beta test or two, I've been busy with other RL concerns. That, and I've been doing a lot of digitally staving off my boredom on m…

Reprieve for Varsoon

I was definitely feeling down in the dumps about EQ2 yesterday after it got my hopes up only to dash them quite expertly behind an ill planned spawn limitation. Fortunately, I cried on the right shoulder, and this resulted in SOE Senior Producer Scott "Gallenite" Hartsmen himself being nice enough to stop by and address my spawn-limitation concerns: "That sounds like some old content. By current standards, we treat it as a bug if you're being asked to kill more than can reasonably expected to be up at any given time."

Well, alright then! It looks like EQ2 has a team that cares, after all. With that kind of reassurance, I find myself back on the route to getting into EQ2 again.

Into the Ruins of Varsoon

I had three hours to play today, so I logged in Bruxx. Given that the issue I encountered yesterday was one with older content, I reasoned that it was time to head straight back to Faydwer (which is nothing but newer content). However, I decided that I'd …

Bruxxing around Norrath

I gave EQ2 another chance today, and things went pretty well... at least at first. I had found the inner strength in sticking with a single EQ2 character to be found in simple commitment. Suddenly, I was making progress, and without the veil of my alt-a-holicism to cloud my sight, EverQuest 2 was free to be EverQuest 2.

Unfortunately, it was in this uninsulated and unbiased perspective that I discovered a game killer living in the underbelly of EverQuest 2.

Bruxx, my level 28 Swashbuckler, was the lucky recipient of his creator's undivided attention today. I decided if I was going to play EverQuest 2, I should get into a Guild. After all, my complaint was lack of social interaction, and what better way to solve that then to join an large group of players? I eventually ended up joining Explorers of Norrath.

I played about 8 to 10 hours today, grouping on two occasions... but both groups were pretty short lived.

The first group was the rare situation in which somebody wan…

Massively Multisucky

School's out: it's time for vacation for me. I've just completed my Associates Degree, and thus freed of a full time college student's mental occupations for the time being. Next stop: University life. In the meanwhile, I'm free to focus my attention on all these games on my desktop and to see them for what they are at last:

I've determined with some level of certainty that they all suck.

I'm going to qualify that by saying that "suck" is subjective - one man's trash is another's treasure. Also, my observed levels of "suck" should not be as an absolute, but rather a measure somewhere between "not sucking" and "completely sucking". I can say with relative certainty that the games on my desktop feel considerably suck heavy today.

First up, City of Heroes:

I mulled around a bit with my 16th level Blaster, taking down an orange elite boss at the end of Faultline with surprisingly little difficulty. I thus di…

Almost in Faydwer

Well, it's was the beginning of the month and I wasn't entirely broke yet. This, of course, is in open defiance of the natural order of being a gamer, and was prone to change just as soon as boredom hit... and so it did today. For whatever reason, City of Heroes wasn't amusing me.

So began the twists and turns that lead to me to the nearest purveyor of fine computer games. Though I was initially planning on Battlefront 2, I decided to find something else after deciding Battlefront 2 is probably a bastion of exploits and l33t d00ds. I still had 16 days on my EverQuest 2 subscription, so I took the plunge on the Echoes of Faydwer EverQuest 2 expansion.

The $40 purchase included the core game, Desert of Flames, and Kingdom of Sky. There was no compensation for having already purchased Kingdom of Sky or the core EverQuest 2 client. Registering my key with SOE went well enough, but the client updating proved awkward as I needed both Desert of Flames and Echoes of Faydwe…

Shifter Prime: Positron's Ally, Unleasher

Though I waffled a bit today, I ended up playing my Blaster, Shifter Prime, and making such progress with him that it left my other recent alts in the dust.

There it is in CoHDemo format, the last mission of Positron's Task Force. It's not very distinguishable from any other mission, but then it's not a very distinguished task force. About the only differentiating factor it introduces is mixed enemies on the same map and a few named ones. Why it is that Cryptic decided to introduce the idea of task force to their players with a long, drawn out, unbalanced, and not particularly interesting task force is beyond me. Perhaps Issue 9 will fix it.

Not that doing the task force wasn't rewarding. That it started out with less than half the team at level 14 was fairly worrisome as the minimum foe level in the Positron Task force is 15 and most of them were even higher. However, we had a very good group, with a 24+ month veteran doing the tanking and enough healing to kee…

Solving Alt-A-Holicism

In the end, there's only two ways to be completely out of alt-a-holicism (the inability to commit to a single character in a MMOG):

1) Find a character that is perfect in every way that you could possibly desire.
2) Choose to be content with a character that isn't.

Naturally, option 2 is a whole lot easier to find than option 1. For that matter, for a person of complicated desires such as myself, option 1 likely just couldn't be met. All that's left to do is to choose and accept a role, which basically comes down to which shortcomings I'm willing to live with.

So, what role will I accept? What shortcomings can I tolerate? Under the perspective that I'm willing to accept shortcomings, it doesn't particularly matter. About the only real important preferences I have is that I'm able to solo and that I don't feel useless when I'm in a group. Just about all Archetypes can pull that off if played right. I might actually choose an hero that'…