Archive for January, 2010

For Freedom…from Boredom

January 28, 2010

I am patiently awaiting my copy of EQ2 to come in the mail in a little over two weeks, and I have been staring at the game shortcut icons on my desktop with a severe case of malaise. Nothing seemed appealing, thus I looked into my Steam game list and realized that one of the Christmas time impulse buys I had was a little game called Freedom Force. I had played a little bit of it back in 2002 when it came out, but got busy in my school work and never looked at it again…until now.

This game is not for the faint of heart as it is actually quite tactically challenging. The general premise is you control up to four superheroes each with a variety of upgradeable powers and you more or less need to “save the day.” The problem is, the game is not very forgiving in the health category and you really need to use sound tactics to get through the missions. Anyway, after getting the game to finally run on my vista computer, I am having a blast playing this unique, very campy game. Even if I don’t get very far in the game, chances are I will get frustrated with an impossible mission or something, I will not fret because the game and its expansion were about $7. Heck if I get even a week out of it I will consider it money well spent. In the words of Minuteman…”For Freedom!”

-Pid

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Dragon Age Expansion Price a Real Awakening

January 24, 2010

What would you play for an expansion to a single player game? $20? $25? $30? Many of the people who played Dragon Age: Origins will be a little taken aback that the new expansion for it will run you a cool $40! The original game cost $50 to start with. Check it out here on steam. According to the BioWare website it is not a standalone game but is indeed a true expansion pack. I know this is a bit of a cash cow for them, but how much is pushing it? Is this EA rearing it’s ugly head? I am a huge fan of BioWare and pretty much everything they put out the door, but please don’t take advantage of us just because you have a hit on your hands…sheesh!

-Pid

Picture courtesy of my G15 Keyboard

Quest Info on the Run

January 22, 2010

As much as I like a good story, I must admit that I am guilty of just clicking my way through quest texts in order to speed the process. I have to hand it to Syp, as he writes in his recent post Quexting, that he finds himself looking forward to reading the quest text in Fallen Earth. This made me start to think, is there a way to have our cake and eat it too?

I know there are plenty of people that don’t like voiced content in games because often when it is bad, it is really bad. Let’s just say that our MMO of choice actually hires a decent voice actor for this idea. Anyway here is my idea:

Quest Info on the Run

What does this mean? I imagine there a quite a few people out there similar to me who would like to know what the quest text says, but really just don’t want the break in the action that reading it requires. Enter our aforementioned voice actor. You go to the quest hub, get your quest as normal, and then head out to go kill your ten rats. The difference is that when you have the quest active in that game’s version of a quest helper, the game plays the voice acted recording of the quest text with a simple keystroke! As you are out killing your rats you can actually hear why it is that you are doing it. Call it the drive-through window of questing.

I imagine for some quests it may not be appropriate, but I think it could be a cool feature to add some value to an MMO game. Perhaps if I find out that the rats keep thieving aunt Millie’s braziers because they are trying to construct a Ratapault instead of just knowing that some old woman wants me to kill some rats, I will form more of an attachment to the game. I dunno, what do you think?

-Pid

EQ2 Starry Night

January 21, 2010

People have mentioned before about having one of those wow moments in a game, and I have had my fare share…but a little rarer are the comments about something in a game that doesn’t knock your socks off but rather just makes you appreciate all the hard work programmers do to try and build a world. I had one of those moments last night, but was too tired to think to take a screen shot. I whipped up a really quick character to try and recreate the shot and managed to get a reasonable facsimile of what I saw. Pictured above is the Freeport newbie zone Outpost of the Overlord. It was a better view last night, but I was trying to get this before work and ran out of time. In essence though you can get the idea.

Of the starter zones that I have tried, the Qeynos and Freeport ones are the most lackluster, but this image just made me realize how cool it is to be playing in a 3D world dreamed up by some other people. The astral phenomenon that is starting to show up here coupled with the water and the lighthouse just made me appreciate the folks behind the game just a little bit more. So next time you are in game – whatever game that may be – be sure to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

-Pid

Your Enemy’s Enemy is Your Friend

January 20, 2010

I had to laugh at this post on TG Daily about Apple and Microsoft seemingly jumping into bed together to combat the “evils” of Google. Should we anticipate the Google OS will topple Windows as the most prominent OS? Will Apple and Microsoft kill the Google dragon and restore peace and harmony to the universe? In any event, it should be interesting to watch…provided the Mayans weren’t right and the world doesn’t end in 2 years!

-Pid

Something Old, Something New…EQ2

January 20, 2010

After kicking myself repeatedly for not ponying up the whopping $5 required to purchase EQ2 over the holidays and after reading Syp’s post about it, I decided I would make a new SOE account and try it out for free for 14 days. I guess there is something in the air because Stillwater has been doing the same thing.

I have been trying to get the most out of my free trial so I have leveled up 4 characters to the early teen level. I have started in a couple of different locals and tried out a couple of different races. I have tried a tank, healer, Ranged DPS, and Melee DPS character so far and I am really liking what I have seen. As mentioned in this background post, the MMO I spent the most time playing out of all of them was EQ1. I really had a lot of fun in that game, but the fact that it is terribly painful to look at, is very grindy, and doesn’t have a lot of the modern features of today’s MMO’s I had to bid it goodbye. I still miss it from time to time, but I just can’t see paying a sub for it anymore.

I had heard that EQ2 is a great game now, but was plagued by a lot of issues at the start. Couple that with the fact that my time away from MMO’s has made me miss them a bit and the MMORPG that I am really holding out for recently announced it’s not coming around ’til 2011 I decided to fool around with an EQ2 trial account. After all it’s free right. What did I have to lose.  Apparently $36 plus shipping because I just preordered the new expansion! I have been impulsive in the past, but this time I figured I did my due diligence in investigating the title ahead of time so I am pleased with the purchase and am anxiously awaiting my package from Amazon.com.

Just a couple of thoughts on the game so far…

The graphics aren’t spectacular, but good enough compared to EQ1 to not make me want to rip my eyes out.

The quests are pretty typical, but give some pretty decent loot so as to make them desirable.

There are a ton of classes…I like lots of classes as I tend to be an alt-a-holic at times

The good/evil factions were annoying at first, but once you realize there is an equivalent good class for each evil class it is tolerable.

The UI is meh, but with a little tweaking is workable without any addons.

Group play seems decent, but I have only done a small amount of that.

Anyway, my trial ends next week, so I want to get a character up into the late teens or so to see how the game progresses after the newbie levels. I have already committed to play with my old EQ1 group, but I think it will be a good time.

-Pid

Some Things are Best Said in a Comic

January 12, 2010

I came across this article today regarding the latest Star Wars movies (Episodes 1-3).

One word…

PRICELESS

-Pid

A Long Time From Now…

January 12, 2010

It’s no news flash that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been lost in hyperspace until 2011 sometime. I’ll avoid the cliche Obi Wan quote and just simply add that I am a bit disappointed, albeit not surprised. I’m pretty sure Blizzard timed the release of the WotLK expansion right around the touted WoW killer WAR release. It would only be suicide to launch your new MMO in the vicinity of the highly anticipated Cataclysm expansion. Go BioWare!

I have read a lot of TOR bashing in the last few months and I am trying not to let it get to me. I am also trying not to get too psyched for this game, but it is difficult. This announcement might help though simply because now I know there is at least a year plus before this game will launch. I was planning on not really getting involved in any new MMO’s before TOR launched, but now knowing that it is pushed back quite a bit, I don’t think I can just single player game it until then. I’ll be needing some MMO action here and there to fill in the gaps.

So what is a guy to do? I have played a little Allods Online and it seems interesting, but I really haven’t played too long. It seems a little like FreeWoW to me, but then again I never played WoW past the free trial period so how am I to know if that is accurate. I’ll continue with the beta a little bit, but not if the game doesn’t pick up a little. I am currently only level 5 or 6 (can’t remember) so I’m sure there is a lot more to see that I have yet to get to.

I have been toying with the idea of subbing to WoW for a little bit, just so I can see what all the hubbub is about. It seems to be occupying a lot of the game worlds attention as of late (well, even more than normal). I am finding it difficult to find a lot of time to play games these days so WoW might just be easy enough for me to feel like I have accomplished something if I can only log in for an hour here or there.

I have sort of lost interest in DDO. I think the game would be great if you had a dedicated gaming group, but the few PUGs I have been in leave a lot to be desired.

I played one evening of STO beta and I was less than captivated by it. I set my computer to download the open beta client while I am at work, so maybe I’ll give it another shot…but I don’t have high hopes.

So what do people think out there? Should I pick up a new MMO, or just stick my head in the sand and continue to wait for TOR to launch?

-Pid

Quote to Note

January 11, 2010

I really had a chuckle at Ysharros over at Stylish Corpse in talking about crafting in MMO’s

“In SWG I had this argument more times than I can count: “It’s not real stuff, why should I pay for it?” Well, for starters, it’s not real money either, so pony up you little shit.”

Too Funny

-Pid

Say Yes Boba

January 4, 2010

In addition to the Wii, santa brought the newest dust collector for my home office. The Boba Fett bobble head doll! This is quite possibly the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. Boba spent most of Christmas defending the crystal manger scene of my wife’s from interstellar threats, and now resides comfortably next to Darth Tater and Lego Y-wing fighter on my desk! Sweet!

-Pid