The Gathering Storm

I don’t know how many of you are readers, avid or otherwise, but I am. Ever since I was a child, I’ve devoured books I come across, intrigued and amazed at the worlds created and the stories of people in settings beyond my reality. From Science-Fiction and Fantasy, to Military and Spy, I enjoy all sorts. Of course, like many of you probably, my main focus has always been the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. Novels of my youth like Lord of the Rings, Deathgate Cycle, the Wrinkle in Time and the Ender series drew me in completely, and had me bugging my parents for frequent trips to the library and the local book store.

One particular trip to Books-a-Million with my parents through the check-out line sticks out in my memory. I was in fourth grade, and my eye was drawn to what looked like a normal-sized paper-back book. The book was blue, had some interesting art on the cover, and on the bottom right corner was a large orange circle, spiked around the rim, that said “FREE” in bold black letters. I picked it up, and asked the female cashier, “Is this really free?”. I was a polite child, and even then, I didn’t like to presume things (or I knew most free things have a catch), she nodded at me an affirmative, and I walked out with what I thought was a full book. That book was called The Eye of the World and it was actually only the first half of the first novel of the series.

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Today, I’m a slacker

And not generating any real content. But hopefully I can at least point you to some cool stuff.

Like this!

Drool

Someone at Darth Hater linked this. Pretty good. Jedi are win, and we knew they were going to be in game. Still, it’s nice to have visual eye-candy confirmation.

 

Meh.

Actually, Mr. Meh. I just found this blog not 10 minutes ago, while doing some bored link referer surfing. I’m glad to see that new blogs are still jumping up and around out there. This guy’s writing is entertaining of what I’ve read so far, and the post I linked to specifically mentions a good idea for an implementation that increases the importance of BOs in WAR, something I desperately want to happen as well. So give him some love!

Happy Birthday to Me

This is what you get with a google image search for "Werewolf Birthday"

I turned 28 yesterday, and while my real world kind of sucked (5 hours of driving for a 2 hour meeting, then class last night), my virtual world was great. Mythic and Cryptic decided that in celebration of my birth, they were going to bring the awesome as presents. Champions Online saw the release of Blood Moon Rising and Warhammer saw the fix to flipping a city to stage 2 brought about. I did get to play both for a short amount of time last night before my head hit the pillow, and the results were interesting.

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Ugh

Woke up this morning at 6:30 EST for some inexplicable reason. Quietly stumbled to the computer room, booted up WAR, and saw that we were about to get into the city. Two hours later, some guildies were around, and Order pushed it to stage 2. Two and a half hours after that, 3 people got to roll on loot from the warlord PQ instance “The Sacellum” because of the buggy-ass game mechanics. A large portion of my soul just died. Thank Mythic, you absolutely failed at PvE…again. I won’t go into the nitty gritty, but if you’ve ever done this PQ before, you know it was long, painful, and hard with 48 people. Now we get to do it with 24, and then get nothing to show for it, not even a crest.

Bah!

Of Global Conquest

Interesting…

I found an email in my box today from Global Agenda. Of particular note was the following letter.

ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 2009 – Global Agenda players will be able to experience the major features of the game after a one time purchase via digital download or box sale, with no monthly subscription required. An optional subscription package called  Global Agenda: Conquest will be available for those players who wish to participate in the persistent Alliance vs. Alliance territory control game-play and access ongoing content updates.

“Throughout our Beta process, our fans, players and reviewers have consistently told us that Global Agenda’s combat system is exceptionally fun and that they would love to play it as a multiplayer shooter” said Todd Harris, Executive Producer. “This single-purchase, non-subscription model will enable players to fully experience Global Agenda’s award-winning persistent shooter gameplay.”

“At the same time, many players are seeking a deeper experience, and want to engage in large-scale campaigns between player-created groups over limited territory and resources.  These players can opt for the Conquest subscription plan which includes our persistent AvA world domination gameplay, and other features typically associated with MMOs.”

The specific features associated with each pricing option are as follows:

Global Agenda (one time purchase – $49.99 MSRP) includes:

  • Creation of up to eight different agent characters
  • Character visual customization
  • Access to all combat weapons and devices
  • Cooperative Player vs. Environment missions against the Commonwealth NPC faction, AI-controlled enemies, and Boss Fights
  • Matchmade Player vs. Player missions with five different game types and over 20 unique maps
  • Character progression through 30 levels
  • Achievement and unlocks system for individual characters
  • Player Inventory for suits, flair, dyes, upgrades, and loot
  • Virtual Reality practice fighting area
  • Vendors and accumulation of in-game currency
  • Text chat with multiple channels
  • Built in voice chat during missions
  • Ability to join an established player-created agency
  • All play is on our single-shard, hosted server environment to ensure convenient and consistent gaming experience.
  • Ability to sign up for one free month of subscription at registration (credit card required, can be cancelled at any time)

Global Agenda:  Conquest ($12.99 per month, $11.49/mo for 3 month, $9.99/mo for 6 month) includes:    

  • Access to Alliance vs. Alliance (AvA) World Domination gameplay
  • A massive scale campaign between player created agencies and alliances over scarce territory and resources on a persistent world map.
  • Attack and Defend Territories in zones that match your agency’s schedule
  • Agency and Alliance Management – Create and maintain persistent player groups and officer ranks
  • Creation and Upgrading of Facilities – Control production and output
  • Base Raids – involving up to 60 players per side; coordinated between 6 different strike teams within linked territory instances
  • Agency Achievement System, Leveling, and Recognition
  • Auction House with bidding and buyouts
  • Mail System
  • Upgrade Text and Voice chat to support multiple channels and strike teams
  • Player Crafting with blueprints
  • Additional character customization options including elite character suits, dye colors, and seasonal flair
  • Ongoing Co-Op content at max character level
  • Ongoing AvA content, multiplayer PvP content, and new social areas

Global Agenda is currently in closed beta testing and scheduled to be development complete by the end of this year toward a Q1 2010 release.

So it seems that the game is going to be a fully realized single player game, with coop gameplay. I’m thinking of Diablo style (or dare I utter the word, Hellgate?). I hate to do it, but the pricing plan and release type of the game seems VERY similar to the disastrous Hellgate: London. Hopefully, their “Conquest” plan, is more MMO-ish than not, or else I think people’s expectations will be let down. Two dollars a month less than standard MMO charges aren’t enough to drastically change perception. Though, if the $10/month sticks around after launch (unlike Champions – you bastards!) it might be enough to alter the view.

What a difference a tweak makes

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been playing champions as much as I used to. If I’m not talking about it as much, it means I’m  not paying attention to it as much. However, last night, while waiting for my wife to get home from work, I sat down to Champions. The main detractor for me of late had been a two-pronged issue. Firstly, my performance took a nose dive on the patch that happened after the one on launch day. Secondly, my main has run out of quests to do. I had kept reading continually that quests were being added, especially for the 30s bracket, and I was in the mood to do some options fiddling. I’ll also admit, that the video I linked to yesterday had sparked some rekindled interest in my homage to Advent Rising in the form of a hero named Gideon.

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Respect the Schwartz

Well, the force actually. As in Champions Online force powers.

I know terrible title.

Anyway, watch this video. Followed all this from Gaming on Earth’s post. Which led me to the forum post, which had the video in a further comment. Internet mass-linkage ftw. It was interesting to me for a couple of reasons.

  1. I love Blue Man Group, instant internets for band usage in a YouTube video.
  2. I had recently made a Force/Munitions character named Gideon (I love you Advent Rising).
  3. The guy was absolutely DESTROYING things from a support role, ridiculous.

It really is very cool. I’m going to imbed the video after the jump if you don’t want to go hunting all this stuff down elsewhere.

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A Request

Not from me.

No, the founder of Curse network, had some things to say about Aion. It’s not often you see open letters like this come from someone in a position like his. Curse as a site has grown tremendously since it’s humble beginnings with WoW.  It’s not long, so if you’re interested in the game, it’s definitely worth the read to see what he has to suggest to keep the game from being relegated to a “…300k subscriber game within 6 months, not the one-million+ subscriber game it should be.”