Rip off that Bandaid

Having played a DoK at launch of WAR, it’s a career that I think about often. Even more so, the concept of lifetapping healers is something I think about a lot. I know I’m not alone, but when I heard about Warrior Priests and Disciple’s of Khaine, I was excited for the concept of a melee healer. It was an exciting and heady concept – being able to stay in a fight and heal your group. The best of both worlds, the thrill of combat and the fulfillment of playing a vital role. At launch, the careers were not so hot. It’s hard to remember since the two have been so powerful for so long (regen on off-hand item was the straw), but there was a time, when even healing spec for the two classes was less than optimal. In today’s game, melee healing isn’t a real viable path, but playing DPS and being a back-line healer is. Most I’ve talked with will admit they are TOO good at both, and have never really hit the vision we were presented with.

This stray from the original concept wasn’t intended obviously, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Instead, I think it was more a result of trying to do a really tough job from the start and please too many bases at once. When people started to realize that what was presented earlier wasn’t reality, players started to revert to traditional patterns of the healer role-fullfillment; sitting in the back, playing the green-bar version whak-a-mole. Beyond that, we saw the people who wanted to be in the combat and to stick with the careers, take that aspect as far as they can with that, and in some cases (DoKs moreso than WP), have become frightening killers in their own right. So, instead of hitting the middle ground of a melee healer, the result was a pair of extremes, neither of which was originally intended.

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State of MY gaming

This weekend was an interesting one for me, as it relates to gaming. I’ve talked about it before, and I don’t want to harp on it so close to previous, but I’m realizing more and more just how casual my gaming is becoming. This wasn’t even a weekend I wanted to do a lot of gaming in. What I really wanted was to paint my Tau army. I didn’t even really want to play video games that much, and not any MMOs. Instead, the wife and I had some friends over and did some pumpkin carving, and we spent some face time with some of our friends the following day. Additionally, my weeks are becoming consumed with baby-care and homework as mid-terms are chomping at my heals.

What’s weird, is that the video game itch I HAVE been having is for some of the older games in my arsenal. For instance, I never finished a lot of my semi-recent single player titles, like the original Fable, Dead Space, and Assassin’s Creed. And maybe it was that the NES just had its 25th birthday, but I’ve got a desire to play through the original Metroid and Kid Icarus, which I can do with heavy thanks to my Wii and the Nintendo Store. Maybe I’m just a bit burned out on playing Order on WAR, I don’t know what all the reason is, but either way I let the account with my Order characters expire, and will be playing my Destro account instead. I’m keeping things VERY loose right now, and don’t have any strong desire to play MMOs.

By the same token, my curiosity about other MMOs is perking up too. Not out of any serious desire to play one, but more out of a desire to see how the game are doing, particularly ones that have been around for a while, or done a major overhaul recently. For instance, Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings, and Aion (yes, that korean grind-fest). Then there’s the child in me, squeeling with joy that Lego-universe is coming out, and he wants to play it, NOW. Cap it all off with Perpetuum just releasing their open BETA, and I have a whole lot of MMOs that I don’t want to play for any considerable amount of time, but that I want to take a peak, and tinker under the hood.

Still, my hands are twitching to paint, and that’s what I want to do more than anything else right now. So, if my topics start to veer into miniatures, single-player games, and other MMOs: don’t be surprised.

THQ in Montreal

THQ is opening a huge studio in Montreal. That link is the news story that tried to distill the information in this interview with Danny Bilson. The reasoning for a new studio in Montreal is pretty straight-forward: lots of talent locally, and (more importantly) a huge tax incentive for the studio. Game companies are having to spend enormous wads of cash on games now to get gamers to play them, and a 37.5% tax break is a HUGE incentive. Business go where they can do the work they do the cheapest, and Bilson encourages States here south of Canada to do more to entice companies to make bases in their cities. I’ll leave the eco-political remainder of that idea alone.

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Maintenance time

Well, it was that time again, to do my semi-annual purging and addition to my blog-roll. I waved goodbye to some blogs, mostly because I finally accepted that they just weren’t coming back. I usually use my “post a month” rule, but these last ones, I had given a grace period, in large part because I liked them so much.

On the bright side, I did put two new, and one returned blogger back up there.

Hadrune’s Ammo Dump is a relatively new blogger to the scene, and has been all over the field so far in terms of topics. From renown analysis to dissection of the new armor sets.

Jestor’s Playhouse is a player from my home server who has decided to take his thoughts to the public at large.

Hypothetical WAR is a blog that had been on my roll at one point, but came off for some reason. I’m glad to have them back though, as their site is full of amazing pictures and art accompanied by gobs of information about the lore of Warhammer.

Why, hello there

Look. At. You. P.S - Click me!

Furthering the hate

I want to continue the topic started yesterday by Werit, the enemies you love to hate. I have many, in fact, I hate every enemy I face as I send arrows at their face. However, some stand above the rest, holding a special place of simmering anger deep in cockles of my heart. These are the fiends that strike a place within me that can only be quenched with bloody satisfaction. So continue on dear reader, and see what moves this Shadow Warrior into muttering frustration and grumbled explicatives.

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What to wear?

Last night before bed, I was able to eek out a little bit of play time with my Shadow Warrior and hit RR76. For those who have been there, they may know that this is the magical rank where you can wear four pieces of Sovereign gear, and get two bonuses from the set (Ballistic Skill and wounds). What these means, is that, if you want, you can do a mix of Warlord and Sovereign gear to have the BS/Wounds bonuses from each, and say goodbye to your Invader for all eternity.

You don’t have a lot of choice in what you’ll be wearing, being gated by renown rank, so you’re stuck with the Sovereign boots, gloves, amulet, and shoulder pieces (much thanks to Rancid and his WARdrobe for picking up Curse’s slack here, and doing it better as far as I’m concerned). The rest of your gear will be the warlord stuff (including the amulet). The highlights of the loss from previous invader/warlord setup is -1% ranged crit, +2% to be crit, and loss of the 60 hp/4, however, in return you should gain about 15 wounds, 10 BS, 80 toughness, a bit over 80 weapon skill, and about 100 extra armor.  Yeah, 80 toughness and weapon skill, that’s pretty big. I was sitting at about 530 weapon skill in skirmish stance. I’m going to be (very) slightly more squishy, but my killing power should increase significantly against heavier armored targets.

It’s a great tradeoff as far as I’m concerned, particularly in light of all the high rank players that are around now, and the gear creep that comes along with it. My survivability stays relatively unchanged, and target diversity increases, and Gorfang has a lot of Destruction tanks, DoKs, and players who have an IV drip of their favorite armor pot. The more armor they stack, the more valuable my weaponskill becomes.

Quick Thought

I don’t really have a lot of vested stock in the outcome of SW:TOR. I’m sure I’ll play it. I loved the KotOR games, but I’m meh so far on Dragon Age, and finding it near impossible to continue with it after a certain point. I’m a SciFi nerd and Star Wars fan, so all that combined means I’m going to give it a whirl as well. What it ends up being or how well it ends up doing, is not going to be a huge impactor on me, except as a person who is interested in gaming and MMOs as a whole.

Still, there’s a part of me that wants it to just do absolutely brilliant monetarily. A part of me wants it to blow the doors off of everyone’s home and kick the snot out of doubters. Not because I have a desire for it to be great for my own enjoyment, but just because I’m sick of hearing everyone jump on the bandwagon of gloom.

So, while Ardwulf calculates failure, Tobold predict’s it, Syncaine prays for it, and Keen’s probably off in a corner somewhere twitching with anticipatory glee for it’s release, that will only turn into full-on contempt two month’s later when he realizes it’s not WoW, all the while continuing to refuse to accept reality; that he’s not a PvPer.

Being negative about upcoming games is the new, cool, hip thing to do. Honestly, I don’t think the market has room for all of these big games, but I hope it does, and I hope SWTOR blows everyone’s expectations to the Jupiter, and slaps said expectations in the face for being negative Nancys.

Video: RR74 Shadow Warrior

Well, this probably won’t be as entertaining as your typical random internet person making wild accusations and raging at corporate entitties, but hey, it’s easier than reading!

Razer competition

A while back I made a post about computer peripherals and how it relates to gaming. Well, sure enough, one of the biggest gaming hardware developers is having a promotion. They’re giving away a whole slew of their stuff to one person, as well as a concurrent running competition that awards different levels of items. The prices on their stuff is ridiculous, I don’t know if I could ever justifying a Razer-brand anything at this point in my life, but the chance to get something for free is pretty aces. So, if you feel like it, go here, and enter.

Yes, that link takes you to my page, which gets me points for the competition part, but hey, I pointed it out to you didn’t I? No, I don’t expect I’ll win anything. But, a free gmail account and you really have nothing to lose except paying attention to your temporary address.