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Back On Track With The Gaming Groove

Last afternoon/evening from 3:30pm - 1:30am was a lot of fun modding/playing Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and even a bit of City of Heroes.

First, I spent 3 hours (I timed it) in the Elder Scrolls Construction Set, setting my plans into motion. About two of those hours were spent in creating an Open Office database sheet containing basic information for all the opponents in the game. Armed with this data, I spent the remaining hour tweaking spawn tables. Once my three hours were up, I played quite a bit of Oblivion with my mod in place. Even with only two major spawn types tweaked, my changes brightened the selection of the mobs considerably for me. It's nice to be able to customize a game to my liking.

I discovered, much to my surprise, that there were some interesting dungeons that I had not uncovered with my previous characters. I ran across a new kind of Ayleid ruin trap and found a cave outside of the Imperial City that was unusually constructed with some very good traps. This very much created an impression that there was a bit of Cyrodil I missed that was worth experiencing. I plan to move on to the Shivering Isles as soon as my character is call caught up in his training, and the expansion's content should contain many new surprises.

Rather than dump the entire time into Oblivion, I decided to spend the last waking hour or two in City of Heroes. First, I played a little bit of my Martial Arts/Regen Scrapper. Sadly, he really is a much more fun character than the Nanites - he has about as many usable "click" at level 10 that Nanites has a 32. However, the best was yet to come: I then played a bit of Max Overkill (formerly referred to as Max Power (I had incorrectly recalled his name)).

My experiences with a Scrapper fresh in my mind, I realized that Max Overkill really is more fun. Defiance, despite being impractical for many purposes, makes for a considerably more interesting game. The main comparison between the Martial Arts/Regen Scrapper and Max Overkill was that Max had greater range and damage but no means to heal himself.

An interesting consideration is that a six-slotted "Heal Self" power may actually give him some Regeneration Scrapper-like capability. The recharge on "Heal Self" is actually three times shorter than "Reconstruction". Then again, "Reconstruction" isn't the only hit point restorer a Regeneration Scrapper has. There's also the option of skipping "Aid Self" entirely and just relying on inspirations.

The only sticking point is that he'll likely encounter some foes that throw control affects. Knockback, Hold, and Immobilize can be countered with Combat Jumping and Acrobatics, but this leaves him wide open for sleep, disorient, fear, and confuse effects. I may be able to cope with that vulnerability just fine with inspirations and by eliminating those who would control me before they get the chance.

I look forward to Full Auto, an extremely high damage attack that recycles pretty quickly. However, given that it operates on a Damage Over Time model, the counterattack might defeat Max in mid-attack. That, too, is a gamble I'm taking by investing time in this character.

Anyway, my gaming groove is truly back on track, and that is excellent. I imagine that a lot of my enjoyment has to do with my knowledge that I'm meeting my non-gaming obligations well lately.


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