Posted tagged ‘Role Playing Game’

Rift Beta–Stuff I Didn’t Like Edition

January 2, 2011

RiftCharacterCreate1

The best looking humans in any MMO I’ve played.

So here we are, my second rundown of the Rift beta 3, and this time it’s all about things I didn’t like, or things that worry me because I don’t know anything about them. Here we go.

The Bad:

Kill stealing. Rift takes mob tagging back to the basics. The person or group with the most damage on a monster when it dies gets to loot it/get xp. I’ve never liked this type of loot system because it can lead to some serious griefing. Imagine going around questing, and instead of someone corpse camping you they just follow you and anything you attack they one shot, preventing you from getting XP or loot. There are a few reasons I can think of to have a system like this, such as rare boss spawns like in Final Fantasy XI, where guilds would camp these open world spots for hours or days hoping to get some rare loot. Can you imagine having one asshole tag it before you can? Oh I’d be pissed off. Is Rift going to be a open world, non-instance dungeon game? I hope not, but I’d be able to deal with it.

1, 2, 3 combat. I’m generally OK with this style of combat, so it’s not exactly a massive negative. On the other hand would I have liked to see something new? Perhaps, but it might have gotten old after a while, and it might be a blessing in disguise that Rift went with something familiar. Then again this will drive off a lot of people who seem to be in a rage over this system, so there’s that.

You’ll need a high end computer if you want to run it on max. Trust me, it looks unbelievable on maximum settings, but you’re probably going to need to upgrade your “WoW Killing Machine” if you want to see all the pretty pretty lights. Is this a negative? For some. In fact, until I upgrade my graphics card it’s a pretty sad negative for me. Hopefully I’ll upgrade when I buy the game, and really get to enjoy the amazing graphics this game is capable of.

The soul system for classes could get REALLY confusing. How so? Well first of all you have the ability to pick three classes, and then you must split your talent points between these three trees. Is it best to pump them into one tree like in WoW? That kinda kills the customization of choosing your second and third soul. So what’s going to make a good spec? More importantly, what is going to gimp the shit out of your character? How many people will quit halfway to endgame because every fight is SO DAMNED HARD, when it’s only because they’ve severely gimped their character. Add to this the fact that PVP is going to be insane. Imagine only seeing one of four classes when you attack someone. Now imagine that this means they are any one of hundreds or thousands of combinations/specs that could completely change the way you need to go about attacking them. This could be fun at first, but if it means you’re never going to be able to have high level strategy against enemies because you never know what the hell you’ll be facing, well that could seriously hurt the game.

This part isn’t really the developers fault, but I eventually had to leave general chat because it was almost as bad as WoW’s Trade chat. People spent hours slinging racial slurs, making foul ass comments or just bashing the game for being an MMORPG (How DARE they include 1,2,3 combat! And leveling! who wants leveling? Or stats? It’s all recycled!).

The Nervous:

What is the focus of Rift’s end game? Is it itemization ala WoW? Dungeons and raids? PVP? At this point I really don’t know, and if it is PvP then will the massive amount of classes and spells cause more frustration that fun, ala end game Warhammer or Aion?

What about late game? All I’ve seen so far is level 20 and below. Will the great quests crap out halfway through like Age of Conan? Will there even be ANY end game content? Will we be forced to grind for weeks to get the last few levels?

There are only two starting areas. This is seriously going to be a problem for alt-aholics like myself. Sure, it may be great the first or second time, but I’d be willing to bet that by the 20th time I’ve gone through the level 1-10 quests I’ll be giving up any idea of rolling a new character. At least games like WoW, Warhammer and Everquest II give us plenty of starting areas to explore. Sadly, no matter what race you pick, you’ve only got the one starting area per faction. I’m sure they did it this way so that they could make it as fun and polished as possible, sacrificing options for polish, which is acceptable for now. Let’s hope the first expansion adds some new starting areas for us level loving alt-aholics.

RiftSquirrelTear

The game does have a sense of humor. I got this squirrel tear for slaughtering an innocent level 1 critter, as I am want to do. This made me smile.

Well that’s my list of things that either worry me about Rift, or are downright crap. Let’s be clear here though, nothing on this list even makes me think about NOT buying Rift. I went from not even kind of excited or interested in Rift to blown away and eager to experience more in just a very short week. Stay tuned for more information on the game as I (hopefully) get accepted into further betas, and after the game comes out. Did I touch on the things you disliked about the beta? Did I miss something or flatout get something wrong? Let me know in the comments.

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Massively Multiplayer Roleplaying Essays

May 19, 2010

wowdanddad-lg

Gordon from We Fly Spitfires wrote, both on his blog and on this one, about the seeming transition of Roleplaying from inside games to outside them, such as on blogs or websites. It’s interesting to have watched it change over the years, and while hope may be dying for Gordon, mine has just been sparked by a simple memory.

I remember playing Ultima Online many years ago, back when it was new and revolutionary. Roleplayers were everywhere and no matter what you did you were exposed to it. In many ways it was the opposite of what we have now. But you know what I remember most? Out of my entire time playing Ultima Online, the one thing I look back on with the most fondness were the guides.

The only guides I could find, and the guides I really wish I could find now, were in character. I remember specifically reading an alchemy guide and it was entirely in character. Just try to imagine the creativity it would take to not only figure out all of the information needed to create a guide, but to then make a story out of it that was compelling.

The fishing guide was another favorite of mine. It was told from the perspective of a young whipper snapper (you) as you met with an aged, salty fisherman. He told you about some of the misconceptions the people of Brittania had when it came to fishing and the ocean. He warned you of the dangers and explained, in vague terms that were specific enough to easily figure out where to go and what to do, but it was all a story.

Jump forward a few years and most people were roleplaying in game. Guides had become information textbooks with no flare and no heart. Let’s face it, the majority of people in the world are not roleplayers. That fact by itself shouldn’t effect the roleplaying community as much as it does. If it were just for the fact that more and more people are getting into MMO’s then it should just mean that there are more and more non-RPers and non-RP servers. So why is it so hard to find Roleplaying ON a Roleplaying server?

The problem is that it’s not just non-roleplayers that are flooding into MMOs and video games in general, it’s that douches are flooding in with them. Sure it’s partly the anonymous nature of the internet, but that’s like blaming guns for murders. Sure, without the gun the murder might not have happened, but some idiot pulled the trigger.

It used to be that video game nerds were just that. We were the quiet kids who liked DnD and reading. Flash forward to now and the vast majority of gamers are people who would have tried to beat us up for our lunch money back in the day, and they haven’t changed much. They’ve invaded the hobby and changed not only the pay models, but the target audience and the treatment of people inside the game.

Sure, you’ve always had jackasses in MMOs, going all the way back to MUDs. Ultima Online had it’s fair share, but, and this may be nostalgia talking, I seem to remember it being a current beneath the broader roleplaying/adventuring vibe. Now Halo Jocks (Disclaimer: Halo is a good game, but would have been better on PC. Facts are facts, keyboard and mouse will always be superior for FPS) with popped collars are running around “roleplaying” P3nisP3n3traterXx the Orc Fighter! His battlecry is “L2P!” and his favorite taunt is teabagging.

So why do I have ANY hope left? Because I blog hop and see dozens of stories being written from the perspective of the bloggers characters. Even people who don’t usually write RP stories throw out little one shots that give me not only an insight into their character but into the blogger themselves. I see people in game trying to roleplay (some do better than others) for the first time, though it’s rare. I also see drawings of characters, in character podcasts, in character “newspapers” that publish real and made up in game events. Perhaps one day soon we will see in character guides make a resurgence! If that happens you might see the amount of in game RPing make a comeback simply because, if you can get brought in character and into the world deeper and deeper by the supplimental material outside the game, then you are more likely to be interesting in staying in character while in game.

I have never been one who believed that the lack of MMOs feeling like living breathing worlds was the developers fault. I think more and more the worlds are vibrant and interesting with some great stories playing out that even the developers didn’t foresee. I blame the community for changing and making roleplaying in a roleplaying game, or treating people nicely even, a taboo.

Then again I have no faith in humanity. I haven’t since I was a boy. That is probably tainting the way I’m seeing the whole picture but it’s just who I am. I hope that roleplaying will make a comeback, especially since it is so difficult to get six or so people together for several hours once a week every week in real life. If it doesn’t I’ll just enjoy some great roleplaying on the outside.

Below is a list of recent RP posts that really got me interested:

Yams – The Breckenridge Legacy 2.3. A Sims 2 story that isn’t so much in character as a great story and some great writing.

Star Trek: Tarpitz. This blog follows the adventures of Captain Judon Ruz of the U.S.S. Tarpitz.

MMO Gamer Chick – Fight Like A Khitan. Told from the perspective of her new Khitan Guardian. Am I the only one who can’t help but picture Kung Fu Panda whenever I read Sifu?

Tooting my own Horn. My Star Trek Online Captains Log. It’s the first one I did on Star Trek Online, and I really think it was entertaining.

Blue Kae’s Meet the Silver Hunter. It’s not in character, but more a character biography, and a well though out one I might add. I really enjoyed it.

Have your own blog or website and like to post storied of your MMO characters? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check it out!

Guest Post – We Fly Spitfires

May 18, 2010

Gordon of We Fly Spitfires has done me the honor of writing a guest post about a subject I am pretty close to. On a side note my American spellchecker nearly had a heart attack when I loaded this baby into it. Not because anything was spelled wrong, but just because of the difference in spelling between European English and American English. Gotta love that :)Without further rambling on my part, enjoy this wonderful post:

Taking Roleplaying Out Of The Game

Roleplaying is a funny old thing. Traditionally it was a group of geeks crammed round a table at night, acting and embodying the roles of their fantasy genre based characters, abiding by a pen and paper rulebook and battling against the wits of their human Games Master. It was part acting, part socialising and part gaming all rolled into one. And then along came the computer and the Internet and ruined everything.

RGP video games were designed to satisfy the itch of roleplay by creating more immersive universes that players could access at any time of the day without needing an entourage of fellow roleplayers. We marvelled at the technology and adored games like Baulder’s Gate II as they gave us a whole new RPG experience. After a few years, the next logical step in the evolutionary chain came in the form of the MMORPG and it seemed like the ultimate opportunity for roleplay. It combined all of the convenience of gaming at home with all the immersion that a computer game can provide plus the ability to socialise with thousands of other players online all bundled up neatly into one package.

It’s now been over a decade since the first MMORPG and the sad news is that all meaning behind it is starting to fade. Yes, they are amazing fun and a fantastic joy to play but they aren’t roleplaying games in the sense that first inspired their inception. They have become ruleplaying games. Players don’t play roles, they are instead just focused on being the best and min/maxing their statistics. You no long play "Utgard The Mighty Warrior who has a phobia of cats", you play "Bill, level 80 Warrior with a cookie-cutter Fury spec and a Gearscore of 4,000".

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. As players roleplay less inside the games, we’re starting to see a rise of roleplaying outside it. More and more gamers are writing fan lore about their favourite MMO or stories about their characters. They broadcast their fan fiction from blogs and forums and ignite the imagination inside us all with brilliant stories and tales of adventure. Even Everquest 2, which still severely lacks roleplaying in game, recognises this fact and provides the facility for players to write their own in-game books.

Yes, the days of "Hail, noble knight" and "Oogbah da biggest and cleverest Ogre" are long gone and maybe that’s the result of the rise of voice chat or the mainstream popularity that MMOs are gaining but, whatever the case, at least we’re seeing a new outlet for roleplaying and that’s a wonderful thing. Roleplaying isn’t dead, it’s just moved to other formats to deal with the evolution of the RPG genre. Take comfort in that, good sir, for at least the flames of roleplay are still fanning somewhere.

-Gordon

EverQuest III?

May 12, 2010

My EverQuest II character is a level 29 Coercer. I got him up to level 20 just doing the Neriak starting area quests and it flew by. There were some new things to get used to, and the Coercer was pretty hectic what with the charmed mobs turning on me, Mezes being resisted and my clothie but having nothing resembling a heal. There were some confusing things during the first twenty levels, and some really cool things that I learned.

Sadly it seems to have gone downhill from there. I am worried that perhaps it might just be better for me to wait for EverQuest III. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of things about EQII still and I would love to figure it all out. Sadly it seems like I might have come in too late. It was easier to figure out EVE and Fallen Earth, for me at least, than it is to figure out all the facets of EverQuest II.

It doesn’t help that I got two dungeon runs from guildies. They came down, mentored me so we were the same level, got a group together, took me to the dungeon and we ran through two separate dungeons multiple times each. I have no idea what the mobs looked like, or if it was cool or not. It was all just a jumble of movement and non-stop action. Imagine if your first experience with WoW dungeons was 4 level 80s, and you at level 60, and then running you through Blackrock Depths. Mobs are AOE’d quicker than I can see them, and the bosses are dropped so quickly I hardly understand WHAT TYPE of mob I am fighting.

So maybe judging the early dungeons isn’t a good idea. The problem is that those two runs, on the same day, got me nine levels. Now I’m stuck at level 29. I know I need to go to Enchanted Lands at level 30, but I am scared of that place. Why? Because I am currently in The Forest of…Nukerot? (Apparently it is Nektulos Forest) The Forest is filled with level 20-26ish mobs. I generally die once every four or five pulls to the level 20 mobs, and once every other pull to the 26-ish mobs. I’m 29! It’s not the class either, it’s my nubness. I have no idea what I’m doing. Are there attacks that don’t break CC? I don’t know. Do I need more AA? No idea. How do I go about getting AA? Got me, should I set my AA bar to 90% and grind mobs? The problem with that is that I’m dying left and right.

Did I do myself a disservice by going to those dungeons? My guess is yes, but how much of a disservice? Everytime I use an ability it says my skill in the corresponding skill has increased. I’m 60-something out of 100-something on most of my abilities. Does that effect my spells? Do I need to get the next rank/tier of my abilities? I have no idea! My charmed mobs can’t tank and die if they try, meanwhile my charms, mezes, roots etc break or are resisted all the time.

Today has been a terrible gaming day for me, so that’s not helping. Am I giving up on EverQuest II? Not just yet. I think I might try a class that isn’t quite so involved. A Berserker maybe? Or I might just go back to a Necromancer. I think I need to learn a lot more about the game before I can start having fun again, which is sad, especially since everyone else playing already knows this stuff and they don’t think so mention it when I ask for help.

Doesn’t help that my guild doesn’t talk much, or respond much, either. Ah well, I’ll keep trying. Just in a really foul mood today and it’s not being helped by my sucking it up.

Game Updates!

April 29, 2010

I’ve been playing many a game lately. These are a few updates from some of them.

BurningTires1 

I’ve been playing mostly Fallen Earth lately and I’ve finally made my ATV Key. The way mounts work is you craft a key, but when you use that key it spawns the mount in the world. It can NEVER again be mailed, or put back into your bags or the bank. You can only stable/garage it, and you can only have one active and in the world at a time.

I have not used my ATV Key, as it was a requirement to research Motorcycle building. I’ve since researched and learned that, and I’m on my way to making my first Motorcycle key. I’ll keep that one around until I can make a Cargo Motorcycle, since that’ll be the first thing that has more storage than my horse. Not to mention I got a free regular Motorcycle from the Clan I joined, which is really nice.

My character, Connor Toth, is a melee crafter with healing capabilities. I haven’t grouped yet, but at level 14 I’m about the right level to get a group together for Kingman Prison. It’s not an instance in the classical World of Warcraft style from what I understand, but I’m looking forward to getting it done and getting some AP for it.

Darkfall1

Darkfall is having a welcome back special, a free 14 day’s for anyone who had an account. I read about it on Hardcore Casual and just as I thought “Maybe I should give it another try” I got an email from them. Now when I played (See not very long) it was back when the game only had an EU server, my internet sucked, and my PC couldn’t really handle it. I switched my EU account for an NA account free of charge and created a character. I’m still not sure what the race is called, but if any game allows me to be a Werewolf, the only thing I would ever choose over that would be a rat person. So naturally I am the games Werewolf-ish race.

Sadly, because of the age of my account, I do not have the newbie protection. Luckily, after eight hours in the game, I haven’t died to a player yet. I HAVE died to several goblins, especially those damn Goblin Shaman. I’ve followed the tutorial video’s that are linked to on Hardcore Casual and it’s been a blessing. I’ve since abandoned following it, and I’m getting most of the low level quests, but I doubt I would have been able to get my bearings without those videos.

I’ve made a lot of progress, having gotten an OK set of armor, a two handed sword from the vendor, a really nice quest bow that has allowed me to start three shotting Goblin Scouts, and a magic staff. Well, many of the staffs, which I keep in the bank.

I’ll make another full post about Darkfall at a later date, but I’m having a blast so far. I’ve run and escaped from several decked out players so far, and the adrenaline rush of just fighting a newbie area goblin is such a strange feeling that I can’t help but log in and keep going. I’m also a simple steedleaf (I think that’s the name) away from getting my first mount, which will be kept in the bank until I can get a few more mounts.

LOTRO1

I haven’t mentioned LOTRO much since me and the wife resubbed to WoW, but we’ll be back in Middle Earth this weekend! We’re going to hopefully turn in our tokens to get our Spring Horses and maybe get a couple of levels and enjoy the festivities. The wife is really looking forward to it. She hasn’t had much time to play games lately, so she’s itching for an MMO fix.

That’s it for now, expect more on Darkfall tomorrow. And Fallen Earth.

Slow Down and Smell the Roses. Damn Roses.

April 29, 2010

WAR1

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mythic Entertainment lately. This is partly due to the fact that I recently starting playing the trial for Dark Age of Camelot. I got a guild in Fallen Earth, and when I logged into their vent I noticed that they had people in a DAoC channel. I like the guild (Clan in Fallen Earth) so far so I’m messing around in DAoC and chatting with them.

It’s weird going from Warhammer Online to Dark Age of Camelot, a game I never really played back in the day. The first thing I noticed was that the UI was TERRIBLE. Of course it’s because of how old the game is, and I actually like some of the differences, but having to /whisper npc’s with key words to get quest dialog…I haven’t had to do that in an online RPG since I was playing GemStone (a MUD) on America Online.

On the other hand I was immediately sad that I had never picked it up back in the day. The setting is very interesting and I like the little bit of lore that I have been exposed to so far. I am, above and before anything else, a fan of settings, and DAoC’s is great.

DAoC

I started wondering what the subscription numbers were like and it doesn’t appear there are many. There are reasons that a game like this might not be very successful in today’s world of modern MMO’s, such as it’s archaic UI with no mini map (I love the action bar being on the top left), or the quest log being almost no help at all, or even the fact that it’s mostly a grind to levels.

What I found however was that it had one of “Those” expansions. Trials of Atlantis is considered by many to have killed Dark Age of Camelot. To sum it up quickly it appears that it added a lot of PVE grinding in order to be competitive in RVR. It’s one of the big problems that WAR had when it launched, forcing people to PVE in order to improve in PVE. That is possibly the worst thing you could possibly do to a PVP/RVR game.

What amazed me though is that, amongst all the ranting about the changes Trials of Atlantis brought to the game and how bad they were, people took the time to talk about how pretty the new zones were, about how interesting it was to explore and find new areas that were really well done.

Then I thought back on Warhammer Online and some of it’s amazing areas and zones, and about how beautiful they really were. I also thought about how it was never mentioned amongst all the hate threads and posts. In fact, exploration is never really mentioned in any MMO’s anymore. Most people talk about it based on what quest/grind spot they found, but not what a pretty area it was.

Have MMO’s lost that sense of exploration, are they not worrying about making beautiful areas? Or have we gamers with our ADD lost the ability to slow down and smell the roses. Or at least notice that they are there.

Questing in Fallen Earth

April 26, 2010

FEOdenville

I was doing a bit of light questing and crafting in Fallen Earth and I was again reminded of one of the reasons I enjoy the game. The quests are of course things like kill x of this, go loot this, go ferry this, craft this ect. but I’ve NEVER had a problem with those types of quests. That’s the genre. It’s like getting mad at First Person Shooters because they are first person view. Maybe it’s just not the genre for you in that case.

Anyway, I met a member of the banking faction in Fallen Earth and he has a little quest for me. Some of their special paper, paper they had made by a skilled craftsman that is very hard to forge apparently, hasn’t shown up. It was guarded by several men but none of them showed up either. I ride out into the desert and discover several boxes filled with the paper. That’s weird, I figured if they were robbed the paper would have been stolen. That’s when the smell hits me and I follow my nose to a pile of dead bodies hidden by the tall grass. Sure enough, these are the men that were sent to protect the paper shipment. In the clinched fist of one man there is a small chain, like a necklace, which I take back with me, along with the paper, and show it to the banker. Does the man bow his head and mourn the death, secretly happy that he didn’t lose any money? Nope, instead he demands blood. Why? Nothing got stolen I say, and he tells me that nobody F*&*s with the BANK!

I’m sent out to track this man down. The tracking quests in this game involve you heading out to an area marked on your map, then it tells you a new area, and you go to that and so on until you find the person you are hunting. Sure, it’s just filler but I like it, makes it feel like I hunted the guy down. I of course kill the man, who apparently didn’t care about the paper, he’s just crazy and wants the bank to suffer.

Anyway, I’m off to find some wood to make a tent pole for a CHOTA officer, then I’ve got to gather some materials to make some poison resistance medicine for my future romp through the scorpion filled desert. Wish me luck.