Smooth Sailing

This past weekend, AT&T came out to my house on both Friday and Sunday. Friday, they were able to actually do something (changed physical ports), but problems seemed to persist, and Sunday the tech did nothing other than check the signal, but problems have ceased. I’m not declaring the problem solved, but the last two days I have had zero interruptions of service, and that makes me a very happy man. So, yesterday I gleefully played a bit of EVE – with voice comms, and then a fair chunk of LoL.

My hour or so in EVE actually was rather dull, I got a few people together to try to do some hunting in Oblayu, but only two souls passed through the system in the hour we sat there, and the rest of the group was, reticent to go explore more potentially fruitful systems. I’m seriously considering dropping the corp completely, dropping to low/null sec to live the life of a PvP’er/Pirate and pick up a second account to fund my illicit activities. I think I could convince my wife that $30/month is not too expensive compared to some of her monthly recurring fees.

LoL on the other hand, was crazy fun. I’ve been tinkering around with one of the first champions I bought – Kayle, and had a really good time with her. She’s an  interesting mix of support and physical/magical DPS, intertwined with a strange hybrid of ranged/melee. She’s a complicated hero, with intricacies I’ve only seen matched in my other staple – Nidalee. Kayle has a “bubble” reminiscent of a paladin’s in WoW, a heal/speed boost, and a snare/damage boost, to be capped off with a spell that makes her melee attacks ranged AND splash. Her passive increases her ability damage as you up your physical damage, and vice versa. Early on, she’s good for helping play a bit of support and some CC/nuking, mid-game she tends to be a bit week, as she’s VERY gear dependent and hasn’t caught up to the power creep, and late game she can be a powerhouse.

I played two games with her last night, and both went longer than most (over an hour), with one being the longest I’ve ever partaken of. I did pretty well in the later, and absolutely dominated in the former. In the shorter game, I was getting wedding proposals from players whose asses I saved with my intervention, and in the second comments along the lines of, “I thought Kayle was supposed to suck.”. It was pretty uplifting for me as a player, and I know I don’t have the most optimum of builds for her since all my runs are +crit chance and +crit damage.

Follow the jump for screens of the two games.

Edit: Actually, now that I’m looking at the images, the games must have been on two different days.

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Jump Ahead

This song will now be in your head all day.

EQ2 is contemplating a big idea.

I have Syp and Ardwulf to thank for pointing this out to me, and my thoughts are substantial enough to warrant its own blog-post. I want to start off the meat of my opinion with this: this is not a new idea, or one without precedent. WoW did this, basically, with the Death Knight class. You had a max level character and you got a high-level one to play as an alt. You didn’t get one at the CAP, but you got to skip all the old stuff you’d done before. This isn’t a new concept, or an untested idea. We’ve seen it, and as a whole, it didn’t really have a big effect on the game.

In regards to EQ2 specifically, it’s not a complete shift in outlook. This is a game that has an in-place bonus for alts once you have a character at max adventure or crafting level, and that bonus increases for each maxed level. For SOE, this isn’t changing the shift of the game, or completely altering the paradigm – it’s taking an in-place concept, and carrying it to a logical conclusion. Leveling after the first time kinda blows.

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Thinking about it…

The recent changes to the armor sets and level stuff has my curiosity piqued to jump back into WAR. It’s a feeling that’s been nagging at my ears since whispers of the changes started. Every time I hear it though, I remember the linearity of its design, the bugs that frustrated me, and hop into LoL, which >mostly< satisfies that PvP urge. I say mostly, because it lacks the progression of MMOs, as well as the world to play in. So, the whisper’s been getting stronger the last week, and I’m on the fence still of what to do.

I won’t discount that my recent internet problems are causing it to spring up as well, since, between Anonymous’ shitty actions with the Playstation Network and AT&T just generally sucking, I’ve been cut off from almost any internet gaming or leisure activities. Stir-crazy blogger is stir-crazy. Probably also why I haven’t written much this week.

Have a happy Easter everyone! Eat tons of candy, and find lots of eggs in remembrance of the Germanic traditions that spawned that particular rabbit.

Not so rock steady

If you’ll think back to way back when (or just follow this link), you’ll recall that I recently had some technical work done on my DSL like to improve stability. Shortly after, I got a new video card to reduce the awful noise coming from my tower. With the two big issues resolved, I settled into a happy routine – for about a week. After that blissful time period, performance degradation started to be apparent. Not of my video card, but in my internet connection.

Typically, I’m a very easy-going guy, and the type of customer that most companies probably want. I try to fix things as much as possible by myself, and if I am unable to do so, I’ll usually put off calling for a while. I’m sure this procrastination is a result of any companies carefully crafted plan of making customer service/tech support as bothersome, repetitive, and completely unhelpful as possible. Every call is a painful rehashing of the previous conversation, often with someone who speaks a different native tongue from you. The experience is worse in technical support, because each step/layer you get accelerated to, they try to walk you through the exact same “solution” procedures as the previous representative.

So, after going through every step that my understanding could handle, I dithered for a few weeks, dreading the eventual vocal battle of congeniality I was soon to have with AT&T. Yesterday though, I did it, I grit my teeth, and picked up the phone, and dialed the number. It was almost every bit as hellish of an experience as I thought, with one silver lining: the representative sounded like a native speaker. I still had to repeat everything to him, and go over the entire situation as I had to before, I was able to stop him from trying to convince me that I should power-cycle my modem  – further interrupting my service to fix interruptions isn’t a solution if it’s not a permanent fix. The good news after the whole ordeal, is that he was able to see that there were faults, or errors further up the line that are causing my disconnects, and that they would send out ANOTHER tech to try to fix it. Yes, Saturday works.

Shit, Saturday doesn’t work, and then I had to call them back for a reschedule and go through the whole process again…

Shocker!

You mad bro?

A lot of people read Keen’s blog. Hell, I read it from time to time. I am not playing Rift, and had no real intention of playing it past the first month. I gave it the opportunity to rejuvenate the treadmill themepark MMO style too me, and it unsurprisingly failed. I’m reading a genuinely mixed post-release take on Rift throughout various blogs. Some are caressing its cheek in deep adoration, others are growing bored with it already.

In spite of whatever the current opinion of Rift by the masses, I found it humorous that Keen went to the trouble of picking apart an interview about the game. Some of the things he said, I found to be completely unmatched to my experiences – like the lag issue. In other areas, I think he has a base difference of opinion behind the message – like what the short-comings are in the themepark MMO genre. Furthermore, I think he doesn’t realize how fully static WoW is. Rift is static as well, but having continual events that can change the landscape of the world for everyone (read: not lol-phasing), even for a short amount of time, means the world is more mutable.

The game is in direct competition with WoW. It’s a fantasy-themed, quest-grind, PvE-centric MMO. Saying otherwise is disingenuous, or spin by marketing. However, all video-games are in some extent in competition to WoW, it’s a matter of degrees. Hell, the HexDefender app on my phone is in direct competition to my Words With Friends app, despite being completely different genres, and those apps are in competition to me finishing BioShock, despite also being different platforms.

So, while I may not be a fan of Rift, it’s not because they did now what WoW did in 2004. I give credit to Trion where credit is due. They did a bang-up job on creating a ridiculous stable, smooth game. They put in place tech that supported what it is they wanted to do. They took the parts they didn’t like from all the other MMOs, and made them better. Stamping my foot because the new shoes I wore for the neighborhood game of kick-the-can isn’t wow’ing (see what I did there?) my playmates like I had hoped won’t make the game of kickball they’re playing instead any less fun.

Probably Spam – but funny

nintendo roommates
Via: Online Schools – from a random emailer that was probably spam, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Forums go BOOM

Yeah, EVE’s new shiny went tits-up.

The problem was actually pretty severe, and provided a pretty big hole for people to use. At the core of the issue, the forums were essentially letting users inject HTML, Java, CSS, and maybe even more browser-read code into their signature blocks. Doing this, with a combination of some cookie editing, was able to let savvy internet-users post as anyone they wanted, including moderators, and to actual alter the way any thread on the forum looked.

I’m pretty sure that somewhere, it’s an important rule to not let the user screw with your product. Especially in live, shared environment.

Seems like it was a bad-weekend all around for the games I play this weekend, as LoL was facing bad lag and temperamental up-times itself. Oh well, it gave me time to do that yard-work.

Still Alive

EVE Incurssion 1.4 patch notes in their full glory, or a condensed version. EVE dev-team Best Friends Forever (BFF), have really taken to heart the concept of polishing things up, and this patch can see a lot of those little things being rubbed to a shine, especially the UI portions which got lots of column space.

Still watching videos, up to about 5 pages of notes, on about four different videos, that are about an hour a piece. Yeesh, I took a bigger bite than I expected.

Research

Over this weekend, and during a good chunk of today, I have been/will be (re)watching the SLEW of videos released by CCP from FanFest. Tons of panels, tons of questions and information. My legal pad is in front of me to take notes about anything that strikes my fancy on the re-watches as either informative, interesting, or just worthy of wasting time and print space.

Obstaining from the tradition

That’s a fucked up Aprtil Fool’s post.

That’s actually plausible.

And this was just kinda week.