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Showing posts from May, 2007

A Creative Curse?

I'm once again dispossessed: Between characters in City of Heroes. The problem, like many life's problems, can partly be found within. I know the fastest way to do get level 50 would be to simply play a /Regen Scrapper - zero downtime and extremely solo-able. However, that just wouldn't be satisfying, and it's this lack of satisfaction that bears further investigation. In this Blog entry, I examine that my own creativity may be at fault.

One of the fundamental curses of being a creative person comes down to difficulty to finish one's work. No matter how excellent the product is that you have created, there's a desire for improvement. I'm afraid this applies to me when I consider the following:
I often will edit a single piece of my writing, even after it has already been published to the net. I stop only when I feel it is a solid reflection of what I had to say, and this can take hours.Denied the ability to edit back on the F13 forums, I initially acc…

The City of Heroes Archetype Balance

My most recent City of Heroes discovery that I'm adding to this Blog is in regard to class balance. I used to think that Tankers, Defenders, and Controllers did poor damage while Scrappers and Blasters did good damage. The actual balance is more like this...

ArchetypeOffensive PowerDefensive PowerBlasterHighest, thanks in part to ease of applicationWeakest, but varies: Some sets have more mitigation and control than others.ScrapperBlaster + 5-15% chance for double damage. Would be highest, but difficult to apply.Self-Sufficient, about 25-75% of Tanker depending on situation and powers used.DefenderApprox 66% of Blaster and equally easy to apply, further enhanced by debuffs/buffs that can also benefit others.Powerful damage mitigation, but often focused on only benefiting others.TankApprox 66% of Blaster, but as difficult to apply as a Scrapper's.Deliberately focused to bring aggro to them and live, but not immortal.ControllerVery weak, even with pets and "containment&qu…

Remembering How Games are Played

Another epiphany in my battle against City of Heroes alt-a-holicism (an inability to stick with a single character). Today, I basically realized I've been playing the game the wrong way all along.

Recently, I thought that alt-a-holicism may be caused by a desire for both fun and functionality. Fun is largely subjective, but the functionality referring to a character's capacity to meaningfully influence the game world in the ways I desired.

Now, I'm beginning to think the functionality aspect of it was only an excuse: it was always about the fun. What is the fun of playing games? Overcoming challenges; Learning; Basically playing the game to play the game and not out of some kind of artificial achievement bent.

The funny thing is, I think it's the traditional MMORPGs that have taught me to play games the wrong way.

In your average Diku-Mud clone, the gameplay mechanic is easily mastered, and the difference between success and failure in gaining levels comes dow…

Playing with my Wii

Seeing a mere $250 price tag on a Nintendo Wii that included Wii Sports and the Nunchuck controller, I decided to splurge and bring it into my home. Apparently it's still rare up in Seattle, as my sister and her hubby asked that we purchase them one and ship it up there. At least it's finally reached the point where you're unlikely to get robbed at gunpoint over it - aren't the holidays grand?

The actual unit is tiny, not much bigger than a DVD-ROM drive, and that's hardly surprising considering they didn't focus on graphical firepower. No, Nintendo was wise enough to realize that gaming consoles look good enough already, it's time to focus on what they can do. This tiny little box was easily configured to connect to my home's wireless network (secure with WEP key) and is now able browse the net, view some news, see a weather report, and download old games for a mere $5-$10 (500-1000 Wii points) each. It's the ultimate little home entertainment…

Alt-A-Holics Anonymous: City of Heroes

My alt-a-holicism (a state of starting several alternate characters) continues as surely as the sun rises the next day. Given that I'm on vacation with another 4 weeks off, I've little reason to care. After all, if I'm enjoying myself, what does it matter that I keep starting new characters? I would, one of these days, like to get to level 50 in City of Heroes just to prove I can, and also to unlock that Kheldian archetype. However, I reach a certain point where the leveling slows down and the resulting new toys that leveling brings become increasingly rare. Alting becomes inevitable, leaving me to glare at the developers and curse the grind.


For City of Heroes, there may be a solution: I just need to choose a hero that I find exciting enough that, once the new powers slow way down in delivery, I enjoy playing him him enough to keep going. I determined through trial and error a number of interesting aspects about what I like in a character. My latest trial with an …

Can Rationality Be Enforced?

I live under some unusual circumstances:
I'm a 30-year-old who has been playing computer games for 24 years. Consequently, I've spent a lot of time in isolation, away from being swayed into certain logic by peers.I've been engaging in an occasional mindfulness meditation, granting me insights into my own flaws that I otherwise could never have found on my own.I'm a college graduate seeking a bachelors and possibly a doctorate, so a little more educated than average.So it is that I come to this: the pinnacle of forum evolution. I tear the world a new one in terms of pointing out that here is a simple thing that would do nothing but make the world a better place. Immediately pops up a number of people who simply want to argue.

I realized that, in the grand scheme of thing, there's a problem. It is basically this:
Rationality is hard, Irrationality is easy.People will always prefer the path of least resistance.Once again, Al Gore is concerned. Too many people are co…

Aftermath of Greed

Well, Issue 9 was released even more "very soon" than I thought it would be.  After a busy day of constant playing, I can say with some satisfaction that there hasn't been any blood (as earlier predicted).  However, three has been quite a bit of utter cluelessness.

At the time of this writing my newbie character, who hasn't even reached level 20 yet, has earned over 30 million influence points. I'm already set for life with less than 20 hours played on this character. If I were into real money trade, IGE would sell me that much influence points for over $100.00. (Although they're not buying any influence for any game but WoW and EQ right now, so I can't claim that I earned $100 in a day. I hate RMT anyway - it ruins games.)

It's ludicrous, really. Many players of City of Heroes have lost perspective on the value of an influence point. The reason is because, for three years now, getting to level 50 would continue to award influence points but …