Archive for June, 2010

WoWee a Free MMO

June 30, 2010

Let’s come up with a hypothetical situation where you were developing a new AAA MMORPG. You have had success in the past with the genre, but you are getting bored with the old games and want to make a new one. You want to be successful at your new venture, but are worried that the most successful MMORPG to ever have been made will really prevent your new game from being as successful as you want it to be.

Sounds pretty standard really for any development company, right?

What if you are Blizzard though? What if you just so happen to hold the reigns of WoW, and are developing a game that will directly compete with it? Maybe you do something crazy and take that ridiculously popular subscription based game, and make it Free-to-Play with a cash shop and cash services and the whole nine yards. You figure they already have all that in place WITH a subscription model in place.

One of the bigger criticisms of WoW is all of the “jerks” that play the game. What if you opened the flood gates on the population and eliminated any barrier of entry for so called “jerks” to play the game. Possibly a mass exodus of the core players from the game? Where would you go? You like what Blizzard has done with WoW, perhaps you try out NuWoW.

I think it is a pretty neat scenario that Blizzard is setting up here. I wonder if it will turn out that way.

-Pid

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/Ding 53 in EQ2

June 29, 2010

It’s been quite a while since my last /Ding report, but I wasn’t playing for a while there and I have a severe case of altitis at times. In any event, I have crested the lip of Tier 6 with Pidd the necromancer. I spent a lot of time from level 42 to 53 jumping around to various zones. I have tried to follow the suggestions of the Roger Goldie quest lines, but they really don’t seem very accurate since…well the beginning really. They are always just a couple of levels off in my opinion. At level 42 they suggested that I go to Lavastorm, which seemed a little bit too difficult of a zone for that level. Solo encounters were fine, but the zone is so crowded you rarely fight just one mob at a time. I instead opted to go to Everfrost which was a much better area for me. I gained a few levels there and then went to Sinking Sands.

Sinking sands is a really cool zone and there are plenty of quests to go around. It also has the coolest mode of in zone travel via magic carpets. The zone is visually appealing at first and then as you progress into it further it is pretty much just sand everywhere. I completed most of the quests in that area and then went back to Lavastorm and mopped up what I had missed there. It was much easier as most mobs were blue to me then, but the quests were pretty cool. I toured Solusek’s Eye to get to the other side of the zone and it looks to be a cool dungeon. I hope to get back there once my group character Piddleglum is high enough level.

Anyway, once I had enough experience to level up to 52 and advance the Roger Goldie quest in Lavastorm, the quest sends me to Sinking Sands!!!! What?!?! I already completed most of the quests there! I don’t get it. Anyway, now I have to level up to 57 to advance that quest further and then he is going to send me off to Tenebrous Tangle. I don’t know anything about that zone, but I’m sure I will. So what to do for the next 4 levels?

I am currently in Lesser Faydark either kicking the cans of the tree spirits pictured above, or getting absolutely pwned by some fairy dryad things. Lesser Faydark appears to suffer from the same problems that Greater Faydark does (at least to me anyway) in that everything is spread out all over the zone. Fortunately the travel system in the zone is pretty good, so at least I can go get a drink while Mr. Ed trots off to the next area I have to kill stuff. Hopefully I don’t have to stay here long. I think the trees hate me.

-Pid

The Many Faces of Pid

June 29, 2010

Stillwater posted some pics of all of his alts a little while back and it inspired me to do the same. Not to mention I wanted to write another post that made reference to all my alts, but not include pics of them all in that actual post. Anyway, welcome to the Altiverse of Pid, or for EQ2 purposes Pidd (minimum name length is four characters).

I have what I consider two mains in this game. The first of which is my highest level character which I do all my soloing with. His name is Pidd and he is a level 53 necromancer. You’ve seen him before in pictures, but here he is in his home in lich form. As soloing goes, he is awesome. I pony up for the expert tank pet when I am eligible for a new one and then use the research assistant to get a master one. The things are near unstoppable the way I have my AA’s specced. I can take on Heroic mobs that are my level or even 1-2 higher.

My other main, or my group character, is Piddleglum. He is a a level 43 Gnome Fury. Piddleglum has a dear place in my heart because he bears the namesake of my main from Everquest 1 who was a halfling druid. He has a tendency to get into trouble because when his group mate Sanlain and he are in dungeons, Piddleglum tends to run ahead and draw the aggro from the other mobs…he tends to forget that he is a healer first and a DPS guy second at times too which gets the duo into trouble!

Next up we have my two strictly crafting toons. They are Pidds the level 28 human tailor and Piddskrin the level 32 sarnak carpenter. I haven’t been keeping up on them enough, but I really have to be in a mood to craft.

This next guy I made just to test out the Halas starting area. His name is Piddrip and he is a level 21 froglok ranger. He was pretty fun to play through Halas, but is becoming more and more ranged DPS focused as he levels up, so I probably won’t do much with him. He may turn into a mule character.

The last alt that I have made is a relatively new one. Less than one week old. Here is Piddogre the level 10 ogre berserker. I have to admit out of all my characters I like this one just for the looks. He is the epitome of what a berserker should look like IMHO. I want to play this guy just for that reason alone! I’m going to have to find some time to work with this one.

So maybe I need an intervention from Altaholics Anonymous, but here they all are. My virtual alter egos.

-Pid

Double XP for You and Me

June 28, 2010

Word on the street is that EQ2 will be offering Double XP this weekend. Luckily I will be out of town camping and have no access to a computer for most of it. (Note the last statement is dripping in sarcasm.) Anyway, for the rest of you that are either not in the US or are terrified of fireworks, Good luck and happy gaming this weekend. I’ll probably be in game for a little bit, but most of that juicy double xp will go unused for any of the Pid clones.

-Pid

Something that Sparkles and Doesn’t Cost 25 Bucks

June 24, 2010

So I logged into EQ2 last night and noticed that Stillwater was playing his berzerker alt. I said hi and we exchanged pleasantries. I was getting ready to zone out of New Halas and head to Butcherblock Mts. When I noticed that the travel globe in the Halas docks now was shimmering and sparkled like crazy. I mentioned it to Stillwater and this is the conversation that spawned (I’m paraphrasing so pardon me if I misquote)

Pid: Hey didja notice that the travel globes are all sparkly now?

Stillwater: Yeah, they were really hard to notice before.

Pid: I know what you mean, I always have a difficult time finding the one in Timorous Deep.

Stillwater: There is one in TD?

Pid: Yeah down on the docks.

Stillwater: I never new there was one down there.

Pid: Exactly, see what I mean! :o)

Sorry, it made me chuckle. Anyway I never really have commented about the new travel system. I think it is a good thing overall for the game, but I almost feel a pang of loss with being able to travel all over now without having to unlock Griffon’s and riding boats. The first time you take the boat ride from Butcherblock Mts. to go to Nektulos Forrest or Thundering Steppes it is really quite neat. I admit, after the first time it is a pain waiting for the boat, but that first time zoning into Nektulos with all the fog and everything…really neat.

Given the choice of having the new travel system or not having it, I will 100% choose having the system. I do however appreciate having to jump through some hoops the first time around to unlock some travel options. I think they should keep the quests for Griffin access, but somehow link it to the account rather than to the character. This way, your first time through the game you have to tramp around looking for the Griffin eggs, but forever after and on every alt, the deed is done and you have free access to those amenities. I don’t think it is too hard core to want the immersion the first run through. Just a thought!

-Pid

Brrrr…Halas

June 23, 2010

So I have been playing a bit more lately due to having a little more free time and a little more energy. Work was pretty brutal there for a bit. Anyway, I was bored one night and figured I would give this Halas thing a try. I made a froglok ranger and away I went. I must say that much like Timorous Deep, New Halas is a great place for leveling up fast.

If you are the type of player that likes to do quests that take you all over the place, you need not apply here. This zone has tightly bound quest hubs and quests that don’t require a huge trek to get to. Of the two remaining good-aligned starting zones, this one is far superior in my opinion. Feydark is very spread out and somewhat difficult to navigate where the Frostfang Sea glacier is very easy to navigate and is relatively compact.

The quests are, well…quests. Nothing new, nothing terribly interesting, but what is these days. In the beginning you will outlevel the quests but somewhere near level 15 or so you will be right on track to maybe a tad behind at level 18 or so. One of the quests (Sometimes you feel like a Knut) was rather funny as you equip this skin cap (named Griz) that actually talks to you as you are running around the zone. A thought bubble pops out of your head with instructions. Too funny. The head gear actually looks pretty cool.

Before

After

Pretty cool. Bottom line though, if you are gonna pick a good aligned character, do yourself a favor and pick New Halas as your starting city.

-Pid

Quote to Note

June 23, 2010

Battlegrounds is a really good feature and we will continue to support it, we like it a lot; it’s just under performing for the amount of effort we put into it.

Dave Georgeson, EQ2 Producer

Courtesy Call

June 22, 2010

…or more appropriately a call to courtesy.

I have never played WoW beyond the free trial, and thus never experienced some of the jerks that play the game. (I know, there are plenty of nice people who play WoW, but with a population that large, there have to be plenty of jerks too.) So never having played in a game where there was a huge population, I really didn’t bump into too many jerks.

The other night playing EQ2 however was a new experience in people not having any courtesy in games. Sanlain and Piddleglum were tromping through the Runnyeye dungeon Sunday evening and we were slowly moving our way through the zone. Apparently this is a fairly popular dungeon because people were flying by us pretty regularly. Obviously with that many people in a confined space it is hard not to run out of mobs to kill.

I get that. I really do.

What I don’t get is why people think it is okay to run into a small room and kill the three mobs that were in the room while Sanlain and I stood 3 feet away letting our mana regen. I mean they seriously had to run through our characters to get to the mobs the room was so small. They were in a group of 4 so they made very quick work of the mobs, and then ran through us again to leave the room as Sanlain and Piddleglum stood there agape. This may be common practice, but where I come from it is called rude.

When Sanlain sent a tell to one of the players they played dumb (not a whole lot of acting involved I bet) and replied “uh, I was just following my tank.”

Really? That is the best you have?

Anyway, please do the world a favor and help an aging man to keep from having an aneurysm and please have some common courtesy people.

-Pid

image source 234fly.com

Courtesy Call definition

EQ2 the Pictorial

June 21, 2010

Just some neat pics from around the EQ2 neighborhood…

Excuse me sir, we are looking for the scenic grain mill with water wheel that is here on this brochure.

Really, we are just here for the bake festival. If you could just show us the way we would greatly appreciate it.

You wouldn’t hit a gnome with glasses would you? The elf called your momma a name…I heard him, honest!

You’d think with all the money we are paying for new mounts they could afford a nicer boat.

So should I continue with the story, or are you through listening?

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you

-Pid

Hiatus

June 10, 2010

Okay, I’m not dead…just have been away from MMO’s and my blog. I got sucked in the other week by a Steam sale on Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II. It has been quite addictive and I needed a brief interlude from the MMO scene. I played through the original campaign and have now shelved the game for a while. I figure I will hit the expansion campaign when I need another reprieve. I am going on a short trip this weekend and then work is going to tap me to my limits next week, but after that…it will be all EQ2 for a while again. What’s cool is that the duo of Piddleglum (Fury) and Sanlain (Shadow Knight) should be getting some DPS in the form of a wizzy via Sanlain’s brother. Good times my friends…good times!

-Pid