Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Pt. 2)

September 19, 2012

If you haven’t read part one of my ode to my MMORPG friends, please start over here.

My first experience raiding in an MMO was a mix of pure thrill and abject horror. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but not by too much. My first scare of the night was when the raid leader asked “Is there anyone who has never raided before in an MMO?” There was absolute silence except for one lone voice. Mr. Pid. I immediately thought the world was going to end. I had run some dungeons in WoW and a bunch of flashpoints in SWTOR, but no raids here. Ruh-roh, Reorge.

We jumped into the Instance. @RyanHVND was there, and I think @Tarante11a was there too. We had some trouble with the first boss, but by and large we managed to get through that and all the way to Soa, the final boss of the operation. This is where things started to go bad. The person who was in charge of leading the raid was extremely knowledgeable, but was a little condescending. By about the 10th try to kill the boss the raid leader was downright mean at times. I don’t think we ended up beating him that night, and I was pretty sure I would never raid again.

Silly me being a glutton for punishment, when they scheduled the follow-up, I said sure. I was certain the raid would end in tears and I would end up getting kicked out of the guild for losing my temper, but in their infinite wisdom the guild leaders asked Raeban to lead the second foray instead of the former raid leader. This is the part where I say thank you to Raeban for showing me just how fun raiding in MMO’s could be. We don’t play much together anymore as we are in different games these days, but through the subsequent operations I ran with the Imperial Mercenary Corps, Raeban made them fun.

Rae did a number of things right that I would encourage every raid leader to do. 1) He never yelled at anyone. He encouraged everyone to do better and pointed out areas that needed improvement. He also was quick to give out credit to people that deserved it. 2) He had fun. It wasn’t all business with him. He didn’t encourage all out silliness, but he would interject little jokes and whatnot from time to time. 3) He was fair. He tried to make sure everyone got a fair shake at loot whether you were a noob or a veteran raider. 4) He was really good at playing his characters. Remember the two people that capped their characters right at launch day? Yeah, Raeban was one of them. He is good…scary good.

For better or for worse, the way that guilds go, the IMC had a bit of a shake up that led to Raeban heading off with some other folks to a hard-core raiding guild. The drama of that event left some lasting wounds for a lot of people (me included), but at the end of the day I had an experience that I will always think fondly of and cherish.

Thank you Raeban for showing me what fun raiding can be.

To be concluded

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I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Pt. 1)

September 18, 2012

I apologize for anyone who found this post by accident when they were looking for song lyrics. This is not the site you are looking for.
This post IS about a MMORPG game and the people who have reshaped the way that I approach them. I noticed it was getting very long so I decided I had better break it up. So without further ado, here is Part 1.

A long time ago, in blog not too far away I read a post by MMOGC that was calling for gamers to join a guild she was helping to form for what was one of the most anticipated games in a very long time. I didn’t know Ms. MMOGC from Eve back then but I ultimately have to thank her for putting out that advertisement because it was that post that got me involved with what is now the Mercy Gaming community.

We were all waiting for SWTOR to drop and the people who started the sister guilds Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps were beginning to organize. They got forums up and running and organized a ventrilo server. Maric and @RyanHVND were the people who ran the show back then. Ms. MMOGC was taking a sabbatical for some odd reason! I started getting to know them via the forums and some random games of Team Fortress 2. They were just names on a page back then, but I know they were doing a tremendous amount of work trying to get not one but two guilds off the ground for SWTOR’s imminent launch.

For reasons I still cannot understand to this day, @RyanHVND asked me if I would be a Lieutenant in the IMC at guild launch. They were very organized and were prepared for the influx of people who would need guild invites in the early days of launch. I said sure expecting to be a Lt. for about as long as it took for them to realize their mistake. I still remember the excitement/disappointment of waiting for the email that said I was eligible to log into the game for the first time.

Finally, the game launched and I think I invited all of 3 people into the guild those first few weeks. I played the snot out of the game early on. I remember there were two people in our guild that capped their characters right on launch day. One managed to get it even before they took the servers down before launch day. I was pretty green in the game while any number of people were beta vets, but I managed to clip along at a good pace even though I made the mistake of making a tank my first character.

I had been in guilds in other games before, but I never did too much as far as group content was concerned. In the beginning I was doing more or less the same in SWTOR. I logged into vent here and there but not very often. When I did I often found myself chatting with @RyanHVND who was online at many of the same times I was. He is a very charismatic person and he was always trying to help people out in the guild, to the point that he was always very far behind in leveling. Eventually, enough of us made it to level 50 and got some gear so we could attempt our first Operation (aka raid).

Thank you MMOGC for inviting me to the guild and thank you Maric and @RyanHVND for all the hard work you did getting the guild together.

To be continued

 

 

 

[SWTOR] Day 2 (Officially)

December 21, 2011

Ever wonder what a womp rat looks like? Wonder no longer.

Though I have been playing SW:ToR for over a week now, today begins day 2 since the official launch. It seems odd that the game has only been live to the masses for less than 48 hours and I am level 29 and should be finishing up Chapter 1 content in the next couple of days.

I am a little worried at the pace I have set. Now it was not too crazy, but pretty quick for me. (There are two people in our guild that were level capped just before launch or shortly thereafter.) I finished Tatooine in a little over a day’s worth of play and it was a pretty huge world. I didn’t bother to do any of the bonus quests, but it just seemed overly short. Maybe it is because I wanted to spend more time on the planet due to its significance in the Star Wars big picture.

Leveling has seemed to slow down quite a bit, but I am still capable of putting out a level and a half to two levels per day of play. It seems about right, but considering there are only 21 levels left to go, I hope that part takes a little longer. I really want to play some alts, but at the same time, I am really liking this character. I think they grow on you more when you have actively participated in their dialog and shaping their decisions throughout the leveling process.

Things should get better after the holiday season because I won’t have such gobs of time to play. If taken in smaller doses, I think the available content will be much more sustainable than at the pace I have set thus far. The big X-factor on this game will be what happens when you run out of the scripted content. What happens when the train hits the end of the line? How many alts can you make? Everyone is asking this question, but only time will answer it.

-Pid

[SWTOR] You Asked for It…

December 15, 2011

To all the people that were complaining about the staggered start because they were too important to be left out…here is your reward:

5 Days until retail launch!

-Pid

[SWTOR] Some Things That Bug Me

December 14, 2011

What would happen if Boba Fett and Wolverine had a love child?

I ended up taking a half day yesterday from work and between last night and today I have managed to reach level 15 with Moruth the Powertech Bounty Hunter. Let me tell you, it has been a lot of fun. Ask my wife, I’m pretty sure she thought I moved out for how much she has seen me the past two days. I assured her this will pass in time, and she assured me that “It had better.”

I have to confess, since I had played the starter world a number of times during the beta weekends, I enabled subtitles on the dialogs and actually read them instead of listening to them in their entirety. It did really speed up the process at the time, but now that I am in completely virgin territory I am stopping to actually listen to them. Very cool!

So what is up with the title? Well I would love to tell you all the things that BioWare has  done right with this game, but I am soaking all that in. At present, even if there were no fixes to the game I would not let these few things I am going to talk about below keep me from having fun. That being said, here are the things that are currently sticking in my craw.

The first can best be summed up with this picture.

Hulk Moruth Smash

The game has some minor bugs that really don’t ruin the game, but if they were to go unfixed, they would be very annoying. Mind you, all the bugs I have encountered thus far are VERY MINOR. Please do not think for a second that this game is unpolished. It is polished like grandma’s silver on Christmas. The bug depicted above happens from time to time when your companion heals you with their neon green healing ray. It just doesn’t come out in the wash apparently. A quick logout/login will reset the textures back to their normal color.

There are a couple others I have noticed. Some of the harvesting nodes don’t work. They show up on the ground and on your map, but you can’t target or use them. The guild window for some reason is very buggy. I find that it randomly doesn’t show everyone that is in the guild. It is easily fixed by pressing CTL+U twice, but it is very weird.

It is nice to see that a number of the bugs that I reported to BioWare during the beta weekends were fixed. Additionally I submitted a couple of the ones mentioned above and got replies about them very quickly saying they were known and were going to be addressed in a future patch. I’m sure the team is more worried about getting everyone in and avoiding a server crash apocalypse than fixing a couple of broken resource nodes.

There are a few more things that are bugging me about the game that aren’t “bugs” per se. One is the gobs of trash loot that you get in the game. We were discussing this in guild chat and some people chided me by saying if we didn’t have trash loot, the good loot wouldn’t look so good. At least you can send your companion out, a la Torchlight pets, to sell the junk to vendors. My opinion is that if all we are going to do is turn around and sell it anyway, why not just give us credits instead. Save me the pain of having to be the equivalent of the scrap metal guy that swipes the old bed frame from your font lawn on trash day.

The last thing I’ll mention is something that will be remedied soon. Due to the fact that they staggered access, there were next to no people at the location of the game’s first flashpoint last night when I got there. Everyone from my guild had gone off to bed and the couple of other people in the zone (seriously there was a population of 3 at the time) didn’t want to do the flashpoint. I decided to trudge on to the second planet and now I am probably a little too high of a level to have the flashpoint be worth anything but a few social points.

I know everyone who isn’t in yet are thinking that I am a jerk for complaining. Sorry about that. I think of it not so much as complaining as commenting negatively. 😛

Even though this is probably TL/DR, there are really only a few minor things about this game that bother me enough to complain about. I think people are really going to enjoy playing SW:ToR. Is there enough to keep people here? Only time can tell.

-Pid

[SWTOR] This Droid Has a Bad Motivator

December 13, 2011

Today was the unofficial launch day for Star Wars: The Old Republic!

Yay!!!!

I started today in deep thought. When does one day equal 4 hours? It just so happens that with the rolling waves of early access invites, if you happened to submit your preorder code a day after the preorders were announced, you had to wait 4 hours before being allowed into the game from the 7 AM EDT start. I seriously felt like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I kept refreshing my email. Looked at Twitter. I was trying to log into the game every so many minutes on the off chance that they forgot to email me when they activated my account. In retrospect it was pretty funny.

I did manage to get into the game and play long enough to get Moruth the bounty hunter to level 6. I also reserved a name for my friend and made a couple of alts to keep some names handy. I really wanted to call into work today considering there is not a lot to do, but I just can’t justify it. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until I get home so I can stay up way too late and regret it tomorrow! Anyway, for all that got in today, have fun. For all those that are waiting, hang in there. It’ll be worth the wait!

-Pid

[SW:ToR] When Will Then Be Now…Soon

November 29, 2011

Okay, extra credit for guessing the movie the title is from.

I just finished playing my third stab at Star Wars: The Old Republic during this Stress Test Beta Weekend. I am pretty excited about the game as well as the fact that the folks over at the Republic Mercy Corps and sister guild Imperial Mercenary Corps seem like such a good group of folks to game with. I have played a little team fortress with some of them as well as chatted with a few of them when they set up the ventrilo server. Good bunch of folks.

I suppose I am babbling, but I don’t have a real coherent thought to post up here. The game is a blast, at least what I was able to play of it during short weekends, and I am thoroughly surprised how much fun I was having in a group as opposed to playing it solo. Don’t get me wrong, the game is fun solo, but when grouped up with another person or more, the folks at BioWare have really created a fun environment to game in.

I am trying to consider which class to play, but I am having some difficulty. I really wanted to play a Bounty Hunter before I ever touched the game. I do enjoy the class, but I am not sure if I am a good tank. I am a much better healer, but I don’t know if I want to do that either. The Sith Inquisitor has a pretty good healing specialization, and I was enjoying playing that a lot. Then again the Imperial Agent seems to have a great story arc. Ugh! What’s a gamer to do?!

In any event, I am trying to stay calm over the next 2-3 weeks before launch. I truly have not been this excited for a game since I went to the midnight release of Final Fantasy 7. I’m pretty sure this game will be much more rewarding though! Rest up people, and I’ll see you in game.

-Pid

[SW:ToR] Thoughts About Gameplay

June 13, 2011

The folks at EA:Bioware still won’t give us a release date, but they did manage to display a lot of in-game footage at E3. If you didn’t see any of it (yeah right), here is a link to the developer walkthrough video. Notably the game looks very MMORPG-y, but the actual gameplay kind of bothered me for the questing aspect of the game. I don’t know if it is something I overlooked during the flashpoint demo at PAX or whether it is my overall lack of interest in MMORPG’s at the moment, but the way that combat was working in the walkthrough video and especially the live game feed with Daniel Erickson. It was so static for being Star Wars. The parts where the ranged PC and mobs just stood there pew-pewing at each other with blasters and not moving really irked me. It felt so…wrong.

The devs have some time to work on this for sure, but they really need to get this part right. Story or no, if I get stuck standing and trading blaster bolts with a mob that is 6-inches in front of me too often it will really ruin the gameplay for me. I really haven’t heard anyone else mention this, so it may just be me. Then again, I couldn’t get into RIFT because of the art style and lack of races. Mebbe I’m just weird!

-Pid

Quote to Note – RPG Edition

March 28, 2011

Who put the RP

In the em em oh are pee gee?

Who put the ram

in the rama lama ding dong?

Who was that man?

I’d like to shake his hand

He made my baby

Fall in love with me (Yeah!)

Sorry, couldn’t help but butcher a song that came out before I was born.

Anyway, I was reading the newest copy of PC Gamer and I came across this quote from an article about relationships in RPG’s.

I prefer to think of roleplaying games as “people simulators.” They allow you to create an alter-ego of your own design, and to live a simulated life in a virtual world…

-Desslock, PC Gamer May 2011

He goes on to talk about how relationships and sex in the Dragon Age games are important, blah blah blah, but that opening line really struck a chord with me.

I am really looking forward to SW:TOR for this very reason. I am tired of MMORPG’s that consider RPG to only mean that the characters have a progression and “level up” in some way as they go. To me, RPG means just what Desslock thinks of it and I really wish there was more of that in the MMO’s today.

I really hope that BioWare is true to itself in this game and makes the journey to level cap a meaningful, memorable experience. I want some RP in my MMORPG and not necessarily a group of players typing “Well met traveler, wouldst thou like to travel with me and smite yon dragon?”

I know any raider or hard core pvp’er that might stumble across my site just puked, but I want to spend some time losing myself in this world. I want to stop and smell the flowers like I often say. I realize that this game is an MMO and BioWare made a point to showcasing that at PAX, but I hope that their idea of a story based MMO is all it’s touted to be because it is what I really need in an MMORPG right now.

-Pid

[DA2] The Reveries of Gore

March 8, 2011

I managed to get in a little bit of Dragon Age 2 before work today. Boy DA:O was a great game…I sure hope this one does not disappoint! From what I have seen so far it plays a lot like DA:O, but they have tweaked things a bit. For one, you can no longer choose your race and history. You are a human. That’s it.

Luckily you do get to choose from the three base classes of the game. Those are Warrior, Mage, and Rogue. It appears they have tweaked the classes a bit so that if you are cool like me and want to play a Meat Shield Warrior, you can play one and not gimp your whole experience like you did with DA:O.

You can customize your appearance a bit and give yourself a Rico Suave stache like this one! You can change your first name, but the last name will always be Hawke. Your family plays into the story apparently. I named my character al’Lan in honor of Robert Jordan. I have barely gotten into the story, but the game feels good. I can see myself settling into quite a bit of play with this game.

The visuals are good and the cut scenes are pretty bad a** looking! Here are a couple more shots just because they are cool:

Whoa Flemeth, who is your hairstylist?

This shot looks so much cooler than it really was, but I’ll take it!

Anyway, I have a night to play it before I have to worry about PAX, so this will be my last post about it for a while. I’ll keep you all up to date as I progress though.

-Pid