Skip to main content

Liberal arts fairs and less officious forms of procrastination

Today, I've been stressing out over an upcoming school project and consequently paralyzed into procrastination in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and City of Heroes. That probably won't interest many people, but it's what's going on.

Well, I've successfully mixed business with pleasure: I'll be doing a exhibition, "Progress of Massively Multiplayer Space" down at the university on Friday. I'll be presenting using HTML and a collage of various MMOGs and how they brought new features to the table. I don't think it'll impress anyone that knows anything about MMOGs, as it is geared for those who do not consider them a credible textual medium. Considering this project counts for 40% of my grade, I'm crossing my fingers it meets and exceeds the instructors' expectations.

First, however, I have to generate the motivation to finish my presentation. That's been proving a bit difficult for me lately because I'm depressed. Why? Because I haven't finished my presentation. That's mental cycles for you. This ends up on my Blog entry for the day because the resulting procrastination is driving me to whine about it. I'm only about two or three weeks from vacation, and thank God for that - confidentially, I seem to have mentally checked out before spring break, some four weeks ago. This has not been without regret nor efforts to correct.

A few interesting topics to Blog about did cross my mind lately, but I seem to have forgotten them and didn't write them down. Sorry about that: a moment of my negligence and the progress of the gaming world has been temporarily halted. So instead, I'll just Blog about some stuff I did recently in games. For old time's sake.

I decided to reroll an unmodified Spellsword in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Heavy armor isn't that much more interfering with spells than Light Armor, and Blade is more elegant than Blunt. Also, I decided to let go of my asinine belief I need to fully use up my training allocation before I level. I can raise skills just by doing them in Oblivion, so there's technically no need to train, ever. Training in Oblivion is a shortcut and a gold sink, nothing more.

The experience left me with a good idea to add to my Oblivion plugin: Classify all two-handed weaponry as "Blunt" and all one-handed weaponry as "Blade". Then, if possible, rename those skills to "Two Handed Weapon" and "One Handed Weapon" respectively. I think that, in terms of game balance, that's a great improvement over the existing system which basically had you choose between two flavors of identically performing skills. However, I may not actually add this to my plugin as I'm keeping a theme of minor optimizations that do not noticeably change the play of the game at this stage. Besides, it might break a lot of vital NPCs.

On to the City of Heroes front. Max Overkill, my Assault/Electricity Blaster, has pulled level 20. This completed the requirements to pick the Stamina power, giving him a lot more endurance to throw into his attacks. He was already pretty fun to play before, but now he's ludicrously so. I look forward to when I have Build Up and Stamina three-slotted with single origin enhancements. He'll be a real "Force of Nature"... that also being the name of an ancillary power I'm looking forward to.

I tried briefly going back to my newbie Martial Arts/Regen Scrapper, but discovered that there really isn't a point to play a Scrapper if you're good enough to play a Blaster. (Bad news for my level 33 Spines/Dark Armor Scrapper.) Scrappers are basically Blasters with half the attacks but better defenses. If I'm so good that I can use the extra attacks a Blaster possesses to make having better defenses unnecessary, then there really isn't a point in playing a Scrapper. The only thing Max Overkill lacks over a Scrapper at this point is a resistance to control powers, but that's only really a problem if the enemy possesses such powers and can survive to use them on him. Such a combination is rare.

Just like that, the face of City of Heroes archetype balance has changed for me. It now seems to me that there are two power choices, Controllers and Blasters, and which one you choose depends on your preference for defense or offense respectively. Each gives you maximum potency in either fascet, with the trade-off being their lack of hitpoints which basically translates to a margin of error. This leaves Defenders, Tanks, and Scrappers as choices for those who have not placed power as their first priority. Defenders and Tanks are primarily team players, focused on protecting others while lacking the damage to really solo, and Scrappers self-sufficient heroes for those who don't want to sacrifice anything. Kheldians, as before, are more of a novelty than anything else.

Well, clearly I don't have a fear about writing, so I should really get to work on my project. Whatever happens, in less than 48 hours it will no longer by my concern. Then, I'll move on to another big class project: A City of Heroes update manual I'm creating for my Technical Writing class. Ah, mixing business with pleasure is the way to go for the liberal arts major.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…