Weekend Gaming

Sean E asked me why I wasn’t playing Dungeons and Dragons Online. I hear DDO and I think “hey, another fantasy MMO with wizards and stuff”. Why add a twenty-first to the twenty I already play or have played? And who has that kind of time? I guess it depends on who you play with; in an MMO, it’s more about the company you keep than the merits of the game.

Vexor cruising in lowsec

In EVE Online, my corp is factioning up to get the new Level 4 epic mission arcs. I haven’t started on that yet… just as I was heading to the station where an Impetus agent who might speak with me dwelt, I got a mail from a storyline agent who had a ten part mission for me. So I headed back to Aunia for that, and accidentally took some normal Level 3 missions as well — but all for the good. I understand turning in more than one mission at once really pumps your faction with the agents.

Tomorrow or the next day, we’re having a lowsec ops — going around low or null sec, looking for trouble. I have a cruiser, a Vexor, fitted out for PvP. I have had this same Vexor for over four months now, ever since Saylah gave it to me, and though I used it for most of my level 2 missions, I always brought it home.

Since I was getting really bored with mission running. I decided to give the Vexor a spin in lowsec — a solo ops. I’d just fit a micro warp drive in it, and the drone bay was full of ECM drones I’d never really tried out. ECM drones interfere with the target’s targeting — and if the enemy can’t target you, it’s much harder for them to hurt you. Smart bombs and friend-or-foe missiles will still work, but I haven’t seen many people or NPCs use those.

I headed to 0.3 space — nearly lawless — found a deadspace hideout and started directional scanning to find players hunting by themselves that I might be able to take. I did find a couple on the scanner, but I couldn’t zero in on them enough to find out how to reach them, so I just went from asteroid belt to asteroid belt, hunting. I didn’t find any players, but I did find some Serpentis pirates. A single went down easily enough, but the next group was two frigates guarding a Megathron battleship. I warped out, then decided to try out the ECM drones by having them jam the battleship while I took out the frigates. I got a little mixed up on the way back and ended up in a different belt, with two Serpentis cruisers guarded by two frigates — two same class ships, the cruisers, plus cruiser-killing frigates. I sent the ECM drones against the cruisers and took on the frigates, but the frigates got in too close, close enough that my guns were useless. I had to call in some of the ECM drones so I could bring out combat drones. One cruiser stayed numb, but the other shook off its drone and came at me. I traded one combat drone for a third ECM drone to quiet that cruiser, took down the frigates, then took down the cruisers, one by one.

ECM drones are not the sure-fire killer I was hoping they would be… it was worth checking them out before we go against another player. I believe our plan is to double up on ECM drones, warp scrambling and webbing. But we’ll see.

I recently finished Core Competency Standard certification and Gallente Soldier Elite, so my skills are coming along nicely. I’m working on battleship skills now.

Radium Red in Champions Online

I got my Champions Online character, a power armor hero named Radium Red after my most recent City of Heroes character, to level 14. This is the highest level I’ve gotten a CO character. She got through all the Canadian quests she could find, handling group missions solo without too much trouble. I’m liking the power armor builds, and I REALLY like being able to lift things like airships and toss them at enemies — one shot kill if it’s heavy enough. (If you’re in the Powerhouse, this would be Gigantic-level objects). I felt pretty unique until I found the Science Invention store, and it was full of people in power armor. Only one looked like Iron Man, thankfully.

The missions in Millennium City REALLY remind me of City of Heroes missions, except, so far, the mission environments have been very much smaller. I don’t like leveling MMOs so much these days, but I do want to level enough to meet my nemesis. In the City of Heroes world, R.R. was a villain, so here, I will make her nemesis upright and heroic as I can. Maybe Superman :)

Rich! Rich!

In Legends of Zork, changing my sidekick to the Accountant is finally starting to pay off. When I dinged 43, she dinged 3 and my rate of interest is now 6.4% compounded nightly. I have a spreadsheet tracking my profits and most recently made 116.2K interest overnight. I’m on track to have 3 million zorkmids by next weekend and in a month’s time should reach the interest cap, which is 635K per night. And then — I can finally start spending money again. My previous sidekick, the Gent, helped me solve traps and fight, and without him, combat and puzzle solving has taken a real hit. My skill points have been going toward TMP (trap, maze and puzzle) solving, but levels only happen once every couple of weeks, so it’s very slow going. Combat will have to wait until I can buy new weapons and armor. In two more levels, the Accountant will be giving me 9.6% interest compounded nightly, and after that, I should have no more money problems ever again.

I play Legends of Zork purely so I can enter the figures in my spreadsheet each morning. Way more fun than looking at my actual bank balance.

I played Gatheryn for awhile, and also Earth Eternal for a few hours. Tonight was our weekly Neverwinter Nights 2 group, and we’ve just uncovered a Githyanki plot. Many Githyanki died this night. I also dinged 7 and learned two new spells, Summon Monster III and Haste. Neither seems to be as useful as Fascination and Cloud of Bewilderment were, either of which serve to make everything in the area hate me. Everyone hated bards, why is that?

In Wizard101, my plan to move onward to Newgate Prison has hit a snag as Marissa is forced to go on a bunch of really trivial missions in Chelsea Court and Hyde Park. I may take a break and head back to Grizzleheim once I’m finished with those.

My house in W101 is shaping up nicely with all the quest rewards and random drops. I wonder how much space the new Life island will have? Or should I just let Marissa have an island all her own….?

Earth Eternal: Closed Beta stress test this afternoon!

Cool hat! Earth Eternal is having a little stress test for their servers before they leap from closed to open beta. If you’re lucky enough to be in the closed beta for this rats, cats and rabbits game, and are logged in at 2PM Pacific Time, 5PM Eastern Time, or whatever time that is where you live, you’re gonna get this samurai-esque helmet to wear into open beta. I don’t know if it will carry over to the live game or not.

Pretty snazzy hat. In Earth Eternal, you can (similarly to Runes of Magic and Chronicles of Spellborn) combine the appearance of one item with the stats of another to give you real flexibility in how you want to look.

If you’re NOT in the closed beta, Massively has a thousand beta keys to hand out, so whatcha waiting for?

Daily Blogroll 9/25 – Apocalypse edition

Adventuring after a mysterious apocalypse forever changed the landscape, with strange creatures everywhere and a refugee populace just trying to survive in a mutant world overrun with danger…. I didn’t even know I’d gotten into the Earth Eternal closed beta. Tails Tales of my chubby little rat rogue, the kind that Cinderella did NOT want helping make her dress, once I’ve seen more of the game.

Back in EverQuest, unexpected adds usually meant a group wipe (unless you were specifically doing an AE group). Crowd control or a puller who knew how to split was really important. Modern MMOs ramp down the difficulty quite a lot, and Spinks wonders if specialized crowd control has any sort of place in World of Warcraft, given the tendency to just gather up a room and kill everything at once? And this is why WoW can’t have nice things, like enchanters and bards :)

At Hudson’s Hideout, Rock Hound looks at the two kinds of people who roll up heroes in Champions Online — Conceptionists, who have a backstory and a theme for their hero, and Minmaxists, who just go for the most efficient powers and stats. We used to call these role-players and ROLL-players back in the day…. and this argument has been going on for thirty years.

Jaye from Journeys With is pushing back against the grind. Having to essentially solo for weeks or months upon joining an established game to catch up with max level guildmates has killed many friends’ interest in playing EQ2. With ten more levels coming in February, who could possibly be dedicated enough to go through 89 levels of mostly soloing? It’s an issue for any established game, and I wonder what SOE is planning to help new players bridge the largest level gap of any subscription game. I’m guessing nothing, because there’s one thing that SOE loves more than anything in all its games, and that’s the GRIND. It’s a holy mandate with them.

It's .... Superdude!

EQ2’s Game Update 53 that introduced the Shard of Lurrrrv and lots of other coolness to the game has gotten Gestalt Mind’s Rao back in the game. Being able now to pass appearance and quest armor among alts is a nice thing, and the new adventure zone that adjusts to the group level — sweet.

Ogrebears is not so much of a fan, averring that the new WoW-like achievement system is turning everyone into mindless, achievement-hungry zombies who care for nothing more than wracking up pointless accomplishments.

Having trouble getting Age of Conan to look as good for you as it does on their web site? Worry not, Openedge1 is on the case, looking at drivers and settings for two different video cards to see how to best boost AoC’s performance.

And lastly (and only because I have to run to catch a bus!), Andrew of Of Teeth and Claws has journeyed back into the world of Spellborn and pronounced it — AWESOME. Yeah, the game is definitely a feast for the eyes :)