De-facto

I DID play GW2 this weekend.

Just. Like. Everyone. Else.

Overall, a pretty fun game. Launch had a few hiccups, but I’ve seen far, FAR worse. There was a bit of downtime (which I noticed when I took a break from Dust514), and the server I wanted on was full at first (which was not a problem the next day with instant server transfer). Otherwise, smooth sailing. I didn’t have any lag that other’s complained over, or performance issues in the slightest.

Overall, very solid gameplay so far, and the progression is the completionists wet-dream: listed counts of events and tasks to complete in each zone, and when done you get get a big reward! It’s a nice change to the quest-hub paradigm that has pervaded and perverted the MMO genre. For that alone, I give it my thanks. Also, beautiful map and world/UI interfacing. This is a game that could probably get away with charging a sub fee and noone would bat an eyelash at ArenaNet doing so, but I think it’s better in the long run for them if they don’t. Because even though the game diverts from the traditional MMO play structure, it still is a primarily themepark experience thus far, and the subscription model is not a good match to that type of game.

As for specifics…

I mentioned to Mr. Meh in one of my replies that GW2 felt more like WAR to me in the headstart than it did in the beta events. Which for me is a good thing, because it sucked me into the game. I started off the weekend playing an Asura Engineer. Loved the race, hated the class. I really didn’t care for having different “kits” to swap weapon types around in lieu of a more integral class mechanic or robust skill system. It felt very shallow to me. It didn’t hurt that the whole reason I wanted to play the Engineer was so I could dual-wield pistols, when the defining class system is something that overrides the main reason I was playing it, conflicts arise. So, after getting to level 12 on my Asura, I swapped over to a Norn Guardian. Far more my style, and I got him to around level 15 if memory serves me correctly.

Overall, I’m much happier with the game than I expected to be, but what’s even better is I found I can run both GW2 and EVE on my computer at the same time. One for each monitor. Of course, I’m not doing anything heavily attention-required in EVE, but low-risk alliance ops are doable. So, my gaming time got expanded by multi-tasking. Yay efficiency!

Last quick aside before I got: I got a headset for my PS3 to use in tandem with Dust514. The game is continuing to improve and so are my skills. Positive KDR is a nice change of pace for me, and I’m really looking forward to when the game goes live and I can keep my progress. Next build, I’m going to try a sniper in lieu of my love affair with assault.

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Something there that wasn’t there before

I'm a dad, I play disney for my daughter in the car. She loves it. Get over it.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, last night was the opening of the open Beta for Rift. You may also recall my relatively luke-warm reception of the game. I’ve said it elsewhere, but I can’t recall if I explicitly stated it here, I had zero intention of playing the game at launch, or after launch. It was a good, clean, crisp, well polished rehashing of everything I’ve done in the past in every other themepark fantasy game. My excito-meter wasn’t exactly breaking the glass. In fact, I hadn’t even played any of the close beta’s beyond the third when I made my UI video, my disinterest was that low.

Last night, saw me in the game. A strange confluence of events left me with no other outlet of MMO-dom. Both EVE and CoH had patches to download that required a whole 10s of minutes, and I’m damned if I’m going to wait around that long to play a game. My wife was happily dominating time on our PS3, playing the copy of Katamari Forever I got for her birthday. WAR, I found out, my subscription had ended, and I didn’t feel a particular urge to re-up, as I hadn’t even played in a number of weeks, and couldn’t recall when my sub had actually expired (I’ll revisit this later).  So, I looked at my Rift icon, thought, what the heck, I’ll start the patcher and see which game wins in the patch-race.

Rift finished first.

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Tales of Hate, Entry 5

Today is May 6, I will be posting this on July 9, 2010.

I made almost the entirety of renown rank 38 last night, I’m a smidge away from 39. I logged on, and did scenarios for the entire time. The only delay from hitting the queue button and getting a “please-accept” button was at the very beginning, when I had to synch up with whatever groups were out there. I used that time to run south of Martyr’s Square in Praag. Once I got my first scenario, I literally never moved a step from that spot for the rest of the night. It was awesome.

I played 10 scenarios, and they ran the gamut of available instances. I had ones that started off even and fresh from the start, to imbalanced to one of the sides, or already in progress. Still, I walked away with 7 wins and 3 losses, totally pugging it up. I noticed that the loses really started coming closer together as I approached 10:00 PM EST. I had a  good time though. Even as a total pug, I had a blasty-blast. People died, I died, enemy healers were hopefully cursing my name or spitting frustration at the site of me. If I was able to walk out of a scenario having made a healer or two’s experience worse because of it, I felt accomplished.

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Accomidating game play

If you’re familiar with my writing you know that I like to set up a common premise and then explain later on why it is I disagree with it, and play a Devil’s Advocate of sorts. Well, faithful reader, fret not, for this post will not be all that different! But I’ll try to keep the twists and turns of my thought process interesting enough to not bore you entirely. So, venture forth and think about the nature of our interaction with our hobby du jour.

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The Garden of EvE

Gorgeous.

I really, really, really want to play EvE. Like, for real-real. I gave it a go a while back, and it was fun, but the getting-to-know you part was massively involved. I was also completely besoten with WAR at the time, so giving any other game serious attention was outside of the picture for me. I want to play a SciFi game. I want a sandbox. I want PvP. All of these things are possible in EvE, and I never stuck it out because I was afraid of always being behind the curve, as well as fear of being a complete and utter noob all over again. Still, it’s a space based game…

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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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*Slapping forearm*

InjectionGoing back to EQ2 might have been a foolish decision for me, and not because the game is bad. Everquest 2 is probably the MMO that I played the longest for one stretch of time over any other game. It’s the MMO that I connect the most with in terms of gaming history. I spent a lot (and I mean a LOT) of time in that game, and loved 99% of it. The problem I’m seeing is that diving back into the game, I’m remembering how deep the game is, and how entrenched I can get into it, and I really do like to touch the bottom of the pond.

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You feel better now?

Free retcon.

I have to hand it to Cryptic, every time the bungle something, and they really bungle crap up, they have been very fast to correct the problem. Props to them.

Quick Video

I wanted to show a quick video of some gameplay of Champions Online. The first minute or so shows me fighting some grondlings in the desert. I just wanted to show how smooth the gameplay is for the most part. It’s a bit laggy in there, but that’s only because I was frapsing it at the same time. Otherwise, you can see how fights move quickly and the animations smoothly flow from one to the other. The last two and a half minutes are just me flying around the city, I wanted to give you an idea of how big some of the zones are. It’s pretty impressive.

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Initial Review

reviewI recently made a response on one of Keen’sposts, that made me realize that I think I can speak with enough specifics and authority on the subject matter, that a “first impressions” review of Champions Online would be merited, and not just me gushing with new shiny, fanboi love. I think I’ve experienced enough different aspects of the game, and been exposed to a good amount of systems for me to be able to see how the game is going to preform as I make my way through it. For those that want just the bare-bones opinion, or a TLDR version if you will: I like the game, there is a whole lot going for it, but I still don’t think it will be a giant success. 

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