Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Living in the Office...

.....But addicted to Achievements!!

I'm working a LOT of overtime at the moment, which has limited my free time for playing, and also for writing in this blog - a great time to re-start it, eh!

Having said that, though - this past weekend I got a LOT of WoW time in - mostly going crazy working on the Hallow's End seasonal event. I was previously not really into doing the 'fluff' events in the game - to me it just wasn't rewarding, and I focused more on the 'core' activities of the game, such as raiding and pvp. This ALL changed when the Achievements system came in with patch 3.0.2. I found out it was a BLAST having a directed experience on these events, and whilst I missed out on the title this year (Damn Tooth pick achievement!), I'll get it next year - and I'll be much better prepared (and start earlier!) on the next seasonal event, Winter Veil - wish me luck!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blackberry FTW!

I love my Blackberry! I am experimenting with the blogger page through my Blackberry's built-in browser - and whilst its' not as usable as a PC browser - it will do in a pinch to write blog posts with!

I'm still going to get an iphone at some point, but thats definitely in the future :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blog reclaimed!

So at some point in the last 4 years I gave up blogging - whilst I like writing, it very much depends on whether or not I have something to say.

Where have I been the last 4 years? Flitting between MMOs the same way I always have! The juggernaut that is World of Warcraft has taken up the majority of my MMO time - I have played it on and off since late beta stages, all the way up to hardcore endgame raiding - which was fun for a while but takes up a LOT of time (Duh, obvious), and I chose to focus that time more on Real Life (TM).

Right now, I work a LOT so my MMO time is very minimal - I am looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King, so that will keep me busy.

We'll see how much I post in the future but an outlet is a good thing, i think :)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Dark Age of Camelot - Revisited!

Well - this is a long-promised post - I've been meaning to write up my thoughts on Camelot since I got back into in a few week ago but I never got around to it until now!

Where to start.... Well, how about a little back-history.

My history with Camelot
Well I started on Camelot in early 2002, on the European servers with some old friends. I had a good time for a month or two, but the time-zone difference really killed my interest in the end, as I was barely ever able to GROUP with my Euro friends - by the time I was logging on they were logging off! There was also the inevitable catch-up period - since they had started before me they were a few levels ahead of me - and I wasn't too quick at levelling in Camelot then - I've since learnt a few tricks!

Fast-forward to 6 months later - my interest in EQ was waning, so I decided on a whim, since I had an untouched Camelot US key (Bought to get the software so I could just get a key from my friends for the Euro servers), that I would give it a try. Since I had been on Albion previously, I decided to give Midgard a try, on one of the Roleplaying servers (Percival). This turned out to be a GREAT choice, as the community wasn't TOO old, though they were, on a whole, a lot more mature than the Euro servers (Everyone calls each other 'M8' on there - I'm a bit of a purist when on a Fantasy game and this was VERY off-putting!) - plus there was a much lower percentage of people with silly names. It added a LOT to the atmosphere of the game! I had a blast role-playing with people, and even formed a small guild, every so briefly, before deciding being a guild-leader was too much work! It all changed, however, when I grouped with a couple of people who I still know to this day. They invited me to join them in their guild on Guinevere, in Hibernia - which was also another Roleplaying server. Guinevere has been my home ever since, give or take a few forays back to Midgard and Albion.

It took me a while to get to 50 - in between of which I had a break or two from Camelot. I was VERY satisfied when I finally made it though!

But to get back to the present: I had been gone from Camelot for about 6 months - the RvR situation just really made me sick - too many Elite Gank Guilds running around, and running into a Zerg when you're in a single group isnt much fun either! I had always intended to come back when New Frontiers was released - so a few weeks ago, even though I'd been enjoying myself in PlanetSide, I re-upped to Camelot to give it a try!

End-Game RvR
Well - the experience in RvR certainly has taken on a different feel - the lay of the land is much more strategic, with choke points etc. It offers a lot of opportunity for tactics and strategy. However, generally the only people who get to do that are the leaders of the Zerg. Which is where the game has headed - if you're not in a Zerg, by and large, you're out of luck. The game has gone from 90% Gank Group vs Gank Group to about 10%, with the rest taken up by Zergs and Keep Taking. Holding keeps is much more worthy for your guild now - you get extra exp, extra money no matter WHERE you are hunting, and other bonuses too. Also - the more your REALM holds, the better the bonuses. But - I'm sorry to say - Keep taking is pretty dull for me at least - once you've taken a few towers and a keep with a decent-sized Zerg - bleh! Plus - this has made playing a melee character pretty tough in the game - if you're not a stealther/ranged caster you're out of luck. You spend a lot of time defending keeps and you get to twiddle your thumbs if you're a melee person. I've seen more than a few of my friends rolling up stealther/casters to play in RvR (Me included!) - though to their credit Mythic are trying to address this.

Also - more so than ever you need to have a 'Template' set out to be really effective in RvR. Its not good enough to just be level 50 and have your Epic Armor and a decent weapon. You NEED SpellCrafted armor, and a couple of Artifacts levelled to 10, as well as some decent other things. Higher level Master Levels are also highly encouraged for some of their more useful abilities. So much for Trials of Atlantis not affecting RvR! For me, currently, thats keeping me busy in PvE - I need to get enough money to BUY all that stuff!

Realm Abilities
The new realm abilities system - in my opinion at least - is very good! It seems to be a much more balanced system now - to get the very top-level abilities people have to commit a LOT more of their points to get them - but the good news is that lower level RR people like me can at least get a version of things like Purge for fairly cheap, instead of not being able to afford it at all! Overall - a great rewrite I think.

An interesting addition to the game was low-level battlegrounds, so even a brand new newbie at level 1 can get a glimpse into RvR - and they can even level up from 1 to 44 in the Battlegrounds as the XP awards for an RvR kill were increased by 8 times - making a good kill worth as much if not more than a similar PvE kill! As far as I have seen the low-level BGs are still slow in getting interest - though that seems to be changing. Time will tell on that score!

In conclusion, I think that New Frontiers was a good start for the basis of the future of the game - but it still needs tweaking. Its not enough to keep me in the game - but I also have my Guild on there which is doing a lot more events etc nowadays so I'm having a blast hanging out with them. Community and friends, in the end, is why I play Multiplayer games!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

City of Heroes - My Impressions

Well, I have been in the City of Heroes beta since last Friday, and now that the NDA has been lifted, I felt I had to express my opinions on it.

The game is FUN. It has the best newbie experience I've had in probably any MMOG. So far I've played 3 characters, got 2 of them to level 6 and had a BLAST doing it.

Rather than give an outline of the major gameplay features (Which you can find on most gaming websites) I decided to outline my favourite parts of the game that add that much extra to it:

  • The scale of the city. The buildings and statues are MASSIVE, and climbing up fire escapes/flying up to the top and then jumping from rooftop to rooftop is SO much like a superhero its great!
  • The variety of powers and their effects. There are so many choices you can make with your characters and each power effect stands on its own and looks GREAT - even the newbie powers aren't wimpy/crap effects - they look like real super-hero powers and they level up in power as you go.
  • The missions. The missions just seem right - you get a chain of missions from your first contact - each leads on from the other, and the mission plots are very well written. My first plotline was to investigate a street gang who had been acquiring Mystical artifacts and find out what the deal was with that. Each origin has a separate contact which has their own agendas for missions.
  • Jumping - this may seem trivial to some but just being able to JUMP is an awesome feature. Not even a wimpy jump like EQ/DAoC - a 'jump over cars/walls' kinda jump. Very nice - and you can buy powers to make you be able to leap much higher also!
  • Feeling like a hero - Even at level 1 on all of my heroes so far, I feel as if I can wade into a small gang of street thugs trying to mug people and take them ALL on - don't even need to pull them one by one, just wade in! Very much like a comic book hero would do!
  • The sidekick system - whilst I haven't tried it personally yet all that I have read about this makes it seem like a great advancement in MMOGs - the ability to 'level up' your friend to almost your level so they can participate in your adventures sorts out one of my biggest pet peeves with MMOGs - that of trying to grind to keep up with my friends who have more time than me.
  • The character customization - I have yet to see two similar/same costumes on characters - it beats everything that has came before, even SWG. And its only going to get better as they add more post-launch - including capes sooner or later!

I'm still going to be playing right up to Beta ends so if I come up with more thoughts I'll add them. My philosophy with this Beta is I'm going to try as many of the basic character types as possible to see which one I like best - I'm NOT planning on levelling any character too high as i know I'm going to have to do it all over again in 10 days time - and I want to have a bunch of new content to experience when I level up after launch :)

I'll definitely be buying this - going to reserve my copy soon :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

EverQuest 2 Preview

All I can say is - wow. Full-size the video-interview - a little grainy but looks VERY nice. We shall see how it turns out :)

'M' Rated MMOGs

Just posted a forum topic about this on Grimwell.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Decision time.....


Well - I went ahead on Friday and bought Lost Dungeons of Norrath as everyone in EQ was raving about it. I bought it at Best Buy and brought it home, opened it up and it had a neat looking free keychain as well as a nice in-game backpack to claim when I got in-game. A good start I thought!
So I went to ButcherBlock, which is where one of the 'Adventure Camps' to get an LDoN adventure is situated. After a good 45 minutes, I got into a group, and we ran a couple of adventures. They went pretty good - we completed them both within time - though they were easy ones. I ran a difficult one with a different group the next morning - we failed it by not much but took a longer time overall to get it all sorted out in the end...

OK - I basically logged out of my Bard then and havent logged him back in since - heres my quandary - I'm not sure if I want to spend my EQ leveling time in LDoN. I came to the same conclusion (I think) that I came to with SWG's zones - I HATE generic. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way EQ has gone with this - and I don't like it - it goes against most of the things I liked about EQ in the first place - thoughtful, creative zones that were neat to explore. The LDoN zones I tried so far seemed incredibly generic and pretty much sucked, as random mobs of around our level were thrown at us. It also seems that most of the zones I used to spend my time in back in the old days are ghost towns now - basically most of the population are running instanced content. AO was the same when I played it - instanced missions got OLD real quick.

Not sure what I'm going to do.