Posted tagged ‘RPG’

Rift Beta–Stuff I Didn’t Like Edition

January 2, 2011

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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.

Rift Beta

January 1, 2011

I managed to sneak into the 3rd Beta event for Rift. Sadly my wife, who I always duo with in games, didn’t get accepted. Still, below is my take on the Rift Beta.

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Between me and my wife we quickly filled up all six character slots.

What I Liked:

The first thing you’re going to notice is going to be the graphics. If you have a rig capable of running this bad boy with all the bells and whistles it’s a truly beautiful game. Far better than the now aging Age of Conan, and almost into the realm of single player RPG graphics ala Dragon Age on PC (I hear on consoles it wasn’t as nice looking). Screen shots don’t do it justice either. Until you see the plane of fire open up with tentacles of flame the sear into the ground, slowly spreading and charring everything in it’s path while it spews forth fire monsters, well you can’t really appreciate the beauty of it.

The classes are amazing. You have four archetypes to choose from, but this isn’t one of those shitty games where you start out as a generic mage and have to work your way to level 10 in order to finally not suck. No, once you’ve logged in as either a Warrior, Mage, Cleric or Rogue you’ll be given a quest to go collect your first soul. Souls are the classes, as you’re taking the souls of fallen warriors to fuel your own power. Anyway, you can then choose one of six classes from inside your archetype. That’s a total of 24 classes, but seeing as how you will be getting other souls, for a total of three at a time, you have a near limitless number of classes to choose from. Want to be a dual wielding melee warrior with a pet and the ability to creates spears of fire, stone or wind to hurl at your enemies as you close the gap, only to ignite your swords with fire as you tear through the enemy, perhaps using your pet for added dps or to keep another enemy busy? Well, you can do that. I haven’t been this excited about class selection since Vanguard, which had the classes right but not much else.

Looting. There’s not much you can do to make looting better, but Trion has managed to improve this very basic interaction. How so? Well imagine you’ve just gone to a lowbie area, or maybe you grabbed far to many mobs and just barely managed to take them all out. You loot your first body and you will get all of the loot from all of YOUR KILLS within a certain radius. This is called AOE looting and it is a simple change, but MUCH appreciated. This can also be turned off, for those who want an old school, slowly picking through the bodies of the fallen approach. +Rep for giving us choices!

Crafting is another thing I really enjoyed. Sure it may be very similar to games you’ve already played, but again Rift just does it a little better. Imagine you get to your first town and decide you want a profession. Perhaps you decide, being a mage, to go tailor. A couple of silver later and you’re a tailor. The first thing you’ll notice is that all of the things you can make are green, useful, and probably better than what you are wearing. This seemed to be true throughout my leveling experience in Rift, and it’s a welcome change. Add to that the fact that you can create shoulders VERY early on, and I am in love. Of course, Trion wouldn’t stop there, you see they also gave you the ability to break down armor you’ve made or gotten from quests. This isn’t like disenchanting either, that is a separate profession. Lets say you break down a low level robe. You might come away with some gray frayed twine and a couple of burlap cloth. In some cases I managed to get back all of the cloth I had used to create an item. Of course sometimes you don’t get any back. This ability to reuse items, to grind for skill ups, then tear those works down and use the pieces to get even more skill ups, has me revving my engine for more Rift.

The combat is one of the most important aspect of most games, and as long as you like the traditional 1,2,3 MMO style combat you’re going to love Rift’s system. It doesn’t stray far from tradition, and others have put it down for that. To them I say that this game is a lot like Super Meat Boy. The controls may be the same old tired run and jump we’ve seen in every platformer ever, but by perfecting them and taking it to that ‘sweet spot’ both Team Meat and Trion have managed to make it feel fresh and fun again. The spell effect are stunningly gorgeous, the attack animations are fluid and devestating, and the pacing is right on the money. It’s not as fast as WoW’s combat, and not quite as slow as Warhammers, but it manages to make me feel like a badass each and every fight. Will that wear off? Perhaps on my fifth alt, but that happens with every game.

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You start off looking cool. In many games you’ll start off looking either horrendous or somewhat ok, but you quickly progress to looking like a clown for the rest of your leveling experience. In Rift I found that no matter what piece of armor I got it may look different, but it still matched the overall scheme. This allowed my character to get even cooler looking, while never looking like a complete tool. It’s not as drastic as Warhammer’s ‘new look every 10 levels’, and it’s better off for it.

The quests, while not as cinematic as WoW’s new lowbie experience, are contained. You’ll get four or five quests for an area and you’ll clean that area out before heading back and moving on to the next. If you’re the type of person who reads through new quests the first time, you’ll also be treated to a very interesting, tightly woven story that gives a good reason to be doing what you’re doing, at least in the lower levels. If you fear that this means you won’t be exploring or seeing anything new, then you haven’t experienced the Rifts.

Rifts are basically Warhammer’s Public Quests, but done right. Instead of a long, slow fight in a static location that yields a set reward which, after receiving you never go back to, in Rift you’ll open your map to see where you’re going and see a rift off in the distance. As you close Rifts you get ‘currency’ to buy good equipment and buff items, so you’ll drop what you’re doing and haul ass right through whatever’s in your way to reach the rift in time. This means you’ll actually be exploring areas of the map that may or may not have quests associated with them. Rifts are pretty fast events, ranging from three to six stages from what I saw. You’ll quickly burn through them and it didn’t seem to take many people to utterly decimate the rifts when they appeared, giving me hope for early level rifts late in the games life cycle once most people have reached level cap.

That’s it for this post as it’s getting kind of long. There are plenty more things I loved about Rift, but next post will concentrate on the things I didn’t like, or am worried about.

ArcaniA: Gothic 4

September 26, 2010

I recently purchased Gothic 3 and it’s expansion pack and I’m about 24 hours into the main game. While I enjoy many aspects of Gothic 3, and I even like the world they’ve created better than The Elder Scrolls universe, there are some serious problems with the game. Even with all the official patches and the fan made community patches the game is buggy. It also runs poorly on my machine, stuttering often and just providing that sense of “not quite finished” throughout the entirety.

The two worst parts of the game are the animations, which are just terrible. The swing of your sword is a simple back and forth motion that is aweful the first time you see it, and it gets worse as the hours progress. The second and worst offender is the voice acting. While the voice actors themselves aren’t all bad the majority of them are, and the dialog is C-Movie quality. I’m sure this is because the developers are German and it was localized into English.

Arcania Gothic 4 - 2010-04-15 14

What does all of this have to do with ArcaniA? The first thing is that I wish I hadn’t played the demo. An hour later and now I’m not sure I can go back for the 30+ hours of Gothic 3 I have left. ArcaniA gets so many things right that I went from not caring, to possible game of the year (for me).

The action takes place in third person with a wonderfully fluid control. This is the one thing I have always been angry about in regards to the Elder Scrolls. They include a third person view but it’s clunky and a nightmare to try and play the game in. Third person really makes a game more enjoyable for me. At least in RPGs.

I can’t speak for the quest flow of the game as I’ve only played the tightly controlled demo area, which was really enjoyable but perhaps not a good example of the actual game. I enjoyed the fact that it’s a new unnamed hero and not a continuation of the Gothic 1-3 characters, especially since the dialog in Gothic 3 made me dislike each and every one of them.

The level up system is much more intelligent and easy to manage this time around. You don’t have to find trainers to upgrade the odd abilities like “hunting” anymore. You get a skill panel where you can update your abilities each time you level up, moving the game more in line with contemporary RPGs. The combat, even the ranged combat, is much more entertaining that Gothic 3 or even Oblivions combat. You must actively block, dodge, and parry. They even included an idea from The Witcher and at the end of your swing your weapon will glow a faint yellow. If you click attack again while it is glowing you will do a flurry of attacks.

The game is still buggy, but it’s simply a demo. A demo that came out before the release of the game and it may not represent the final quality. If it does I might wait for a patch or two as the textures of clothes, even in close up conversation, often defaulted to a VERY low res texture that looked hideous. Add to that the “seams” of the terrain would show and the dialog isn’t much better than in Gothic 3.

Even with these faults I can’t wait for ArcaniA. There is just one thing I think they REALLY screwed up on. Calling it ArcaniA. I know the final capital A is for effect and that is fine, but when you are referencing your world and IN PARAGRAPH you say something like “explore the vast lanscape of ArcaniA and find adventure and excitement. Really? Ugh.

http://raptr.com/amuntoth/raptrcard

Confessions of an EVE Noob

June 30, 2010

EVEOnline1

I haven’t put too much time into EVE yet. According to Raptr it’s only been 5 hours, so I’m not going to comment on my overall view of the game obviously. I am however going to mention a few things that I like, and a few things that I dislike.

First off the game is as beautiful as ever, though I’m not sure whether I like the graphics of EVE or Star Trek Online better. Obviously I love the SIZE of the EVE space compared to STO and it’s instanced bits, though I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune when I have a four hour flight sometime down the line.

I like that they have a tutorial now (the last time I played, shortly after it came out, it didn’t). I’d prefer it if the tutorial were scripted and instanced, just so I they could make sure everything happened as it should, and the tutorial could react to unexpected things, like losing your ship on the third military career mission. I was left sitting there wondering what to do. Do I fly back to the base? Can I come back for my stuff? I figured it out, but it would have been nice for the game to tell me.

The reason I died, and a major problem with my own way of thinking, was that I was too close to my enemies. I knew guns in EVE had optimal ranges, so I checked them out. ~15km for my guns. I figured that meant that 15km was good, and anything closer was better, like a handgun. That is not the case though. Apparently when they say 15km for optimal range, you better be at 15km or as close to that as you can get! Once I found this out and bought a ship upgrade I was nearly unstoppable for the rest of the military career tutorial.

The music is another thing I wanted to mention. I don’t normally notice music in games, and I don’t normally like anything techno-ish. That said, I LOVE the EVE Online combat music. As soon as I warped into an area I needed to clear of pirates the music kicked on and I was blasted with music that got my heart pumping, even if the actual action wasn’t all that fast paced or exciting.

I’ve applied to EVE University, but apparently the interview que is 7-10 days, so it’s going to be a while before I can comment on that. In the meantime I plan to finish the tutorials, figure out EVEMon, and figure out what I need to do to eventually fly something that shoots out drones or fighter jets or something like that. I want to look like an ant hill just exploded when I attack something.

For race I picked the Amarr, simply because they seemed the coolest. Their crazy strict society and willingness to make everyone their slaves appealed to me, even if in game I’ll probably just be avoiding fights and running for a long time.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.