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1  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Path of Exile on: October 31, 2013, 04:00:22 AM
It appears only the guild leader can spend in game currency for guild perks, on the positive side guild members can gift currency to the guild leader back on the negative side Guild stash is reportedly very very buggy so on the positive side guilds can save some cash for the moment. Tongue
2  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Path of Exile on: October 28, 2013, 04:08:00 AM
My mind was blown when I saw the passive skill tree for the first time.  At first glance it seemed to have some good depth, and then I zoomed out.  That is the mother of all skill trees.  It was actually too much for me to look at for more than a few seconds, like I was trying to stare at the sun.
Unfortunately most of it is rather useless. I would say 70% of the nodes are simply there as filler or even minor barriers on the way to the one or two keystone nodes (big golden circle) or on your way to grabbing as many health or Energy Shield nodes as you can squeeze out of your skill points.

General consensus is Normal Difficulty you can pretty much face roll with any build i.e. you won't realize how screwed your character is, midway through 2nd tier, cruel, you will start to have that uneasy feeling that your going to need a lot of respec points and after act I merciless if you haven't followed the prescribed "rules" of character building it's time to start a new character. If you play HC it's locked down even tighter.

There are all these awesome DPS nodes for magic, ranged weapons, all the variations on melee, both 1 and 2 handed, tons of extra Crit chance or Crit damage, increased stun, increased knock back, higher proc rates so on and so on but essentially you want 95% survivability (health, Energy Shield, Resists, Chaos Inoculation) and defensive utility (lower stun chance, lower freeze chance, life leech etc.) and 5% of some of the other cool stuff.

As I mentioned earlier bosses in this game are reportedly ridiculously hard, the dev's recently made them harder and are planning a global nerf that will, by all accounts, strip away the one tried and true method to deal with the end game bosses.

This was one of my gripes with the game during the months that I played in beta, although to be fair the game does serve a niche, I'm just not sure I'm in that niche any longer. icon_razz If you played enough Diablo II you probably remember the encounters where you stepped on the screen and immediately died from the boss/pack of mobs you can't even see yet with the insane elemental pulsing aura, or the Act III Hell difficulty encounters that made you want to scream in frustration. Path of Exile, while not quite as bad as that, is an homage to those "good o'l days".  icon_twisted
3  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Path of Exile on: October 24, 2013, 03:34:29 PM

Quote from: skystride on October 24, 2013, 03:09:09 PM

Is there re-spec if you screw up and design a crap character?
You can earn 2 respec points per act per difficulty so basically 18 points if you play through all 3 acts 3 times. There are also items that drop in the game that give a respec point but they are fairly rare and tend to only drop in the higher difficulties. So yes you can respec but not even close to a full one. I think most folks experiment with "throw away" characters rolling and re-rolling until they settle on a build.
4  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Path of Exile on: October 23, 2013, 02:52:32 AM
I played this quite a bit, probably 70 or 80 hours, up until the patch that added the frost shield, forget which one that was. The game isn't for the faint of heart as the learning curve is pretty steep. The passive skill tree is HUGE with umpteen options and absolutely allows the player to design completely crap characters. The meta game is extremely deep with reforging equipment slots and various gems and abilities and the combat can be rough right out the gate. Most bosses and even some mini-bosses can kill your character in a single round, you basically have to be on your game if not 110% then 104% pretty much all the time (unless you don't mind the occasional death). That being said the game is a decent Diablo 2 clone and fun ARPG.
5  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: October 04, 2013, 06:58:17 AM
Soulchilde, you now have the ability to purchase and set FC bonuses. Been a bit busy lately and keep forgetting to do it when I do have an opportunity to log in. You can purchase the bonuses from the GC guys in New Gridania with GC funds.
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone know anything about the school admission process? on: October 02, 2013, 02:28:13 AM
Yes this is Tao from OO.

I am a huge proponent of Community College and was going to suggest it as an option but I don't know your full situation so didn't know if it was applicable or something you were considering. Community colleges are WAY cheaper than 4 year Universities and a great way to complete your core classes and 100 series requirements, English Comp is English comp whether you pay 100 bucks a credit or 400 bucks a credit. Same for Algebra, Calculus, and any of the 101 courses. Colorado Community Colleges actually have GT courses (Guaranteed Transfer) which have been approved and will be accepted by any public college up to 31 credits. Several of the Universities here have special considerations with the local Community Colleges such as 2x4 (do two years at a CC and start as a junior in a 4 year school). Obviously if your not planning to go to school in Colorado this wont apply to you but I'd be surprised if this is the only state with this type of structure. Definitely worth looking in to where ever you plan to attend.

While every University is different (repeatable axiom for this entire conversation) GPA from my experience and talking with other students can play a pretty big role in acceptance and definitely in receiving funding and scholarships. Community College is a great way to boost your GPA.

Most Community Colleges have transfer agreements in place with various 4 year schools which tend to persist from year to year and new schools are often added. These agreements are not geographically based as a Community College in one state can have a transfer agreement with Universities all over the country. Again something you might want to gather more info about from whichever schools your looking at.

The one caveat I will mention about getting another Associate is be careful of the A.A.S. degrees (which I am guessing is what your AF Associates is) as these are considered technical "career" degrees and don't always transfer well. They are designed (or morphed into) a degree for folks looking to jump into the work place rather than continue their education. Even though you take most of the same classes as an A.S. or A.A. they tend not to carry as much weight with 4 year schools.

I am currently a full time student at a Community College and have been for about the past 2 years. Received my A.A.S. in Information Technology in May and I am just finishing up a few classes to get a second Associates in Computer Information Systems which has a guaranteed transfer to one of the local 4 year schools (the 2x4 program I mentioned). I am in my 40's and a lot closer to 50 then 40 and I found my age to be a huge benefit not a detriment. Truth be told Community Colleges are extremely diverse and I'd say in at least 50% of my classes I am NOT the oldest student. Yeah working with young 20 somethings can be a pain in the ass at times but like most things in life  there are plenty of smart, focused and eager younger students just as there are lazy, ignorant older students. With your experience, maturity and military background I think you will be surprised how much of an asset it can be.
7  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone know anything about the school admission process? on: October 01, 2013, 03:35:19 AM
You should absolutely contact the school or schools you are looking to attend. No need to do it anonymously either, not really sure why you would as I am fairly certain simply asking admissions personnel a question won't be held against you. I would also advise physically going to the school if at all possible.

Different schools have different rules particularly about transferring credits as this basically amounts to how much money the school can get from you.

Unless you have earned a degree prior credits have an expiration date, generally 8 to 10 years for classes like English or Math etc. and less time for sciences. This can also depend on the program your looking to pursue.

My understanding is transcripts are not normally just exposed from school to school and you would need to request an official copy be sent from an old school to a new school, based on how old those credits/classes are I would simply leave them off. The main reason most people try to dig up as many credits as possible is to avoid having to pay the cost for retaking classes.

Most schools will also have a VA department and you may be able to count military schools toward credits earned as well as your MOS or Specialty, schools sometimes refer to this as "life skills". The VA department can also be a good source of secondary information.

You may have already come across these but just in case;

8  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC] The Secret World MMORPG : No Longer Pumped, Just Playing it. on: September 30, 2013, 09:18:12 AM
I agree that Blizzard has taken a tact in the development of their games that leans toward simplification, one which personally I don't agree with. I liked the old WoW talent system and while the new pared down system is acceptable it's not what I would prefer. Diablo 3 IMHO was developed with this same paradigm and I took personal affront when the dev's intimated that this was good for the player base as it prevents them from having to think too much or make mistakes.

That being said I believe either you may be missing a significant part of TSW, which may just be that you have not delved deep enough into the game just yet, or I am still not quite understanding your point. I am not trying to be argumentative I am genuinely curious as to why you feel the game is too simplistic. Personally when I was playing the game regularly a few months back I spent more hours on character creation and builds then I did actually in game.

It seems to me you are looking for a level of complexity akin to old school PnP RPG where you had a stat/skill/roll for nearly every action or even the old Sir-Tech Realms of Arkania games where your party could die from catching colds smile. These mechanics, particularly in PnP RPG's, work well within the context of their respective genre's but I don't think would translate too well to modern CRPG's and definitely not to MMO's. First off it would be, I think, extremely hard to code for every skill nuance and second I think it would bog down the progression of the game. I am familiar with the Shin Megami title but never played the game but both AO and DDO I have played. AO, which by the way I actually re-installed and played again for awhile last year, is in my opinion on the opposite end of the spectrum from Blizzard in that it has an incredibly deep character development system to the point I found it cumbersome. DDO I feel does a better job of moderating both extremes but only if you play a rogue (sneaking, lock-picking, trap detection etc.) type character. Fighters (except Monks) and mages tend to be less elaborate. Yes there are a lot of ancillary skills but most classes focus on one or two, of course it's been awhile since I played so my memory may be fuzzy.
TSW definitely has it's flaws and can be an extremely frustrating game at times but I think it likewise does an excellent job of bridging the divide between "dumbed down" and needing an engineering background to play the game. The game definitely throws a lot of skills at you but I feel it goes much further beyond that with the ability choices, skill synergies (one of my favorite aspects), multiple builds and swapping the right configuration for the particular situation, interactive combat and the whole gear/equipment planning is incredibly involved. Do you want more DPS or more protection? Are you going to go for Crit chance, Crit bonus or penetration to increase DPS? Too much DPS and not enough Hit isn't good either. On the defensive side there's more pure HP or you can go for evade or damage mitigation. Tanking, healing, DPS'ing, questing builds, survival builds, dungeon builds, there's quite a bit going on under the hood.

These websites may not change your opinion of the game but I feel definitely provide more insights into some of the complexities;  (has both build and gear calculators)
9  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/360] The Secret World MMOG Announced: No Longer Pumpe, Just Playing it. on: September 30, 2013, 02:51:29 AM

Quote from: kronovan on September 29, 2013, 06:20:20 PM

I do share my son's criticism of character builds, as the relatively limited Skill and Ability matrix seems too minimalistic.

You get 7 active and 7 passive skills you can load out based on two different equipped weapons from 9 different choices with 8 skill trees per equipped weapon for a total of 16 skill trees. There are 3 alternate non-weapon related skills trees you can chose skills from as well and a grand total of 560 skills you can potentially unlock. On top of that each weapon has two more trees you can unlock using ability points. While the active skills must come from one of the two equipped weapons you can chose your passives from any skill you have unlocked. I am a bit curious why you feel the character development is minimalistic?  icon_biggrin
10  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: September 28, 2013, 05:04:24 AM

Quote from: Soulchilde on September 27, 2013, 02:04:05 AM

Forge Odinson on Coeurl
Sent you a tell and a guild invite earlier today, If you change your mind just drop me a note in game (Tao Xia) or leave a post here.
11  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: September 22, 2013, 01:35:42 AM
Did not see anything posted but it appears Videmon has abdicated as leader of the Couerl guild. I am assuming he left for a bigger more active guild which is understandable. Yellowking is the defacto guild leader now. If you can pop in when you have some time YK and set the guild Activities for the boosts/bonuses.
12  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: September 17, 2013, 03:11:22 AM

Quote from: Gratch on September 15, 2013, 07:26:28 AM

Is there a consensus on the best crafting class?  I'm leaning towards armor smith (since it makes what I need), but maybe there's a better option...

I spent the weekend mostly messing with gathering and crafting and IMHO there aren't a lot of options for crafting, if your going to craft you need pretty much EVERYTHING. Goldsmith, leatherworker, weaver, blacksmith and carpenter are all interdependent and you need all the gathering skills as well. For instance Weaving requires, cloth from Botany, various leathers from Leather working, metals from Goldsmith and Blacksmith which requires ores from Mining and occasionally lumber from Carpentry (Botany) oh and from time to time you need oils from alchemy some of which are made with fish (Fishing class). Now of course you can try and stick with a single crafting class and purchase the various parts from the supply vendors but those cut off around tier 3 or 4 so then you can go to other crafters for stuff  like Iron ingots which currently sell for 150 gil per unit on the AH or Elm lumber at 150 some resources as high as 300. I went through about 200 pieces of Brass this weekend and none of my crafting is over level 18 so the AH route is going to take an investment of 100's of thousands of gil to get a class to 50.

Honestly the crafting in FF reminds me of EQ2's initial crafting mechanics which were a nightmare in 2004 and still are today. I understand Squares idea of various crafting classes being dependent on one another but unfortunately at the moment it's all about making as much money as everyone can. If the economy flattens out it might work better.

Harvesting again IMHO needs a real rework too. Having to keep switching between adventuring class and harvesting class is a serious pain in the butt. I like crafting, I do it in most MMO's I play and I know it can be time consuming and requires effort and resource gathering but I like being able to harvest as I move from mob to mob or simply run around for an hour or two and collect everything ala EQ2. Running in a small box between 4 nodes for 3 or 4 hours feels just a tad too grindy for me. You can't even see the nodes if your not in your gathering class or dedicate a cross-class skill. Higher level nodes also tend to be smack in the middle of mob spawns and you cannot fight in gathering mode. They give you a stealth ability which definitely works but you move super super slow.

Both crafting and gathering also work off a dice roll. Success for certain actions depend on percentages based on level. Ignore these numbers they are just for show.  Tongue I have sat and ticked off hundreds of crafting/gathering actions and while given a large enough (huge) sample statistically the numbers may be good but in real terms they suck. Anything below 50% is more like 25%, below 90% is closer to 50-60%, 95% and above feel right.

So my take on crafting is either monumental allocation of time raising 4 or 5 crafting classes leaving little time for adventuring classes or a humongous in game money sink (more than I can currently afford) until the market equalizes. I have heard around level 35 crafting becomes profitable enough to somewhat support itself but that is still a significant climb.

On the positive side you can use levemetes to level both gathering and crafting and if done right can net a significant xp gain.

I am still going to plug away at crafting for at least another weekend or two (Im a masochist at times) to see if it coalesces a little better past the initial levels.
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Riddick on: September 08, 2013, 08:46:39 AM
My understanding is Vin Diesel conceptualized Riddick as a three part series with Chronicles as the original First story/film. However this was rejected by the Hollywood execs so Vin came up with Pitch Black which they liked and made a 2 picture deal for Pitch Black and Chronicles. The 2nd part of the original concept was to move on to an Underverse story line. I haven't seen the new picture yet but from the trailers I am rather disappointed as this seems like a rehash of Pitch Black, which was good movie but I wanted more of Vin's original vision. 
14  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: September 02, 2013, 09:10:38 AM
Have been trying to play with a buddy of mine but we started in different cities (big mistake), now we can't participate in quests together since many of the lower level quests are the Main story quest. So question is at what level does the main story quest complete or do the stories from different cities converge at some point?
15  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: August 31, 2013, 01:00:03 PM
So after much trial and tribulation I was able to secure a spot on the Coeurl server. Salus Addo (Conj) and Tao Xia (Pug) at the moment.
16  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: August 31, 2013, 07:30:27 AM

Quote from: rittchard on August 31, 2013, 05:12:52 AM

Hope I can login this weekend.  I was so paranoid after taking so many times to login this morning that I never logged out.  It seems like there's a really long afk time allowed, probably one of their main issues.
Really long as in forever, eternally, in perpetuum. This is one of the big issues with login problems. There is no timeout.
17  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: August 30, 2013, 09:53:21 PM
Just to clarify...if you really, really like scratch offs, have infinite patience or are somewhat OCD it is possible to create a character. retard
I spent about an hour and a half logging in and out of the game after my previous post and was able to catch an open server to create a character on, of course it then took me another hour+ to get past the error 1017.  That being said I was able to get in the game.
(Using the  Update button to refresh caused false positives and gave me issues when trying to create...if your determined to attempt it I recommend hitting cancel-->Start-->cancel-->start etc.)
18  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [PC/PS3] Final Fantasy XIV (Characters/Servers in first post) on: August 30, 2013, 07:20:08 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on August 30, 2013, 05:56:46 PM

You bastards had me out looking for this game today. two stores didn't have it, might bring myself to check two more on my way home. The fact that people can't get in to play is making me want to play. I am so broken.
Might want to save your time and money. I likewise ran all around town this morning to get a copy and finally managed to get one, unfortunately EVERY server is locked and you cannot create a character so big waste of my time.
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: August 30, 2013, 06:55:21 PM
Is that why all the lady foxes are always smiling?
20  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Neverwinter on: May 03, 2013, 01:19:55 AM
Did the servers all just crash or is it just me? Got into game for about 5 minutes then received a Disconnected from Server message now the launcher wont even open up, keeps saying can't find the patch server. Tried checking the forums but they seem down as well??
21  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Neverwinter on: April 30, 2013, 10:45:45 PM
Ah login queues! My old nemesis, how I've missed thee! #13,626 I've now been sitting in a queue for 30+ minutes. I realize its day one of a new title but sorry after 15 years of historical data to work from queues of this magnitude are unacceptable. Mybe I'll give the game another go in a week or so but too many other games to play to sit and wait for hours to login.
22  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orcs Must Die! 2 on: July 31, 2012, 08:54:49 PM

Quote from: Caine on July 31, 2012, 06:44:20 AM

so, this is out now and the big question, is MP worth the shortened dev cycle?  kotaku basically called this a OMD 1.5 but was all right with it. 
The multi-play adds alot to the game especially if you are co-oping with friends (which you sort of have to do since there seems to be no lobby). The addition of the Sorceress is very complimentary (new skills and abilities) rather than just having a second character on the map. The difficulty seems to have been ramped up quite a bit IMHO. I played the first Orcs and had no problem whatsoever 4 and even 5 skulling my way through the first 10 or so maps while I am already stalled on map 6 of Orcs 2 (I can complete the map but so far not without loosing Rift points) and co-op ups the difficulty even another notch. The dev's went above and beyond in adding more depth to the game with tons of new traps, weapons, trinkets and loads of upgrades for each.

I did encounter some bugs with the game, constant crashing on one particular map, Orcs getting stuck and being unhittable so you cannot complete a map and targeting seems off somehow, I've missed an Orc firing from point blank range right in its face.

My only real issue with the game is I have been playing alot of Dungeon Defenders lately and it's hard not to bias my opinion and I personally think Orcs and Orcs 2 falls short. Particuarly in the "walls" aspect. Proper wall type usage and wall placement to funnel creatures is a huge part of the strategy in Dungeon Defenders and mostly non-existant in Orcs 2. You have access to barricades but they are extremely cost prohibitive and a single hit from a couple of Kobold Sappers will wipe out all your walls and the game likes sending Sappers out 6 to 8 at a time.

The OMD games definitely have a more player involved and visceral playstyle but  if you enjoyed the first game I'd say you will  like the second and co-op can be alot of fun.
23  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: New WoW Promo - Free Cata and Free level 80 on: June 30, 2012, 07:56:22 PM
Thanks for the Scroll ericb!

Unfortunately it appears my account was hacked/compromised while I was away and then the person used a stolen credit card to run up a bunch of charges i.e. server moves etc. Obviously the owner of the credit card disupted the charges and so my account went in to default. I managed to get that straightened out with a very helpful Blizz support person but it also made my account ineligble for the Scroll deal since it had been active recently. Again I managed to get THAT straightened out as well but while the hacker had control of the account they obviously sold off pretty much everything that wasn't nailed down and stripped all my characters of cash etc. Blizz did their best but they said due to the circumstances they could not fully restore everything.

So I am going to attempt to try and regroup over the next few days but it may be a bit beyond redeeming. The Blizz rep did say if I sub for the month you are still eligible for the rewards you will just need to contact them via a ticket with some info which I will gladly provide you.
24  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: New WoW Promo - Free Cata and Free level 80 on: June 29, 2012, 12:04:23 AM
Anyone want a shot at a free mount? Looking for a Scroll of resurrection  icon_biggrin Odds are pretty good I will sub for at least the necessary month.
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: May 23, 2012, 08:54:28 PM
I currently have one character in Nightmare, althought I have 2 more quickly reaching the same point, a level 35 Monk. I played this character through Normal exclusively as a duo with a buddy of mine from start to finish, now as I solo through Nightmare I am sorely dissapointed by the items that are dropping. Yes Yes I know "Use the AH!" but quite honestly I do not want to use items that other players have found I want to use the cool loot that I find, isnt that the point of a loot based game like Diablo, Torchlight, Titans Quest etc. I am not looking for the "Uber Sword of Instant Death" with every monster killed but I have yet to swap a single piece of equipment in nearly 5 levels. Diablo 2 Normal to Nightmare progression had a very marked demarcation between items Im just not seeing here. I found at least a dozen blue drops last night with stats less than +8 on them. The Skeleton King dropped two really common type blues and NO yellows for me when I killed him, I know the yellows are only guaranteed on first kill but I thought that was first kill EACH difficulty tier.

Now I am wondering if playing in a group increased the level of loot or simply increased the number of mobs/champion packs we encountered to the point that law of averages dictate we had a better oppurtunity to find better gear drops or possibly I am just having some bad luck in NM at the moment.

Once again I know I can use the AH to upgrade but Im not having an overly difficult time so far, (still only one death on this character to a certain ice based sub-boss in Act IV normal) and quite honestly If everyone is simply going to use the AH then really the "chasing that next great gear drop" aspect of the game has devolved into simply amassing huge amounts of in game gold to buy what you want. Has Blizzard outright stated that the addition of the auction house has altered how they designed the game in terms of loot tables and drop percentages?
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: May 23, 2012, 05:32:16 AM
Blizzard obviously can design their game any way they wish, however saying that it's necessary to remove the ability for players to assign attribute points for their own good (i.e. broken character builds) is pretty lame and border-line insulting. Essentially this person is saying as a gamer I am too stupid or inept to figure out the "correct" way to build my character.

There is an insane amount of information available about every minute detail of Diablo 2 in regards to character builds and game mechanics, is there some reason Blizzard feels the same level of OCD-like attention to detail will not be forth-coming for Diablo 3 or that prospective D3 players are all unfamiliar with Google/Wiki?

How about a simple respec mechanic, even a severly limited one, that allows a player to adjust their characters attribute points at one or two points along their characters progression to fix any game breaking mistakes the dev's are so certain we are all going to make.
27  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: May 22, 2012, 04:53:52 AM
Witch Doctor "Haunt" skill is essentially a DoT (damage over time) that will jump to an additional target if the original dies within a given amount of time AND there is another target within close proximity. Base damage is fairly big, around 575% of weapon IIRC, however it's spread over about 12 seconds. You can modify it with runes to return life or mana as it ticks or reduce the time it ticks for a much quicker kill etc. etc.

My biggest complaint so far with the overall game, which was also touched upon by Ritt, is the lack of specialization. In Diablo 2 I like playing a Sorcerer heavily specced in Ice. While the Diablo 3 Wizard does have cold based attacks you cannot really "specialize". Diablo 2 had like 9 active Ice type skills and 1 passive where as D3 has a total of 3 plus one rune mod for another non-cold skill that adds some cold effects. I enjoyed dumping tons of points in to one or two skills like traps or pets to see the effect and definitely miss that level of customization in D3. I know there are tons of ways to loadout your characters skills to make them "unique" but the reality of this type of design is there will most likely be one or two acceptable/succesfull builds for Hell/Inferno (if you dont want to die over and over).
28  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So do people do stuff other than games, movies or TV? on: May 19, 2012, 01:06:02 PM
I probably watch about 4-5 hours over the course of the entire week and I rarely go to or watch a movie. I am a full time student (giving College another go) and that consumes the vast majority of my time, in school 5-6 hours 4 hours per week and average another 5 hours or so of study, reading, homework time each evening. When I can squeeze it in I enjoy reading (non-school related), I recently requalified for my A+ and I am studying for my Net+ now (shooting for September), I study 2 different Martial Arts and prior to going back to school I trained 5 to 6 days a week for 3+ hours per day (not quite so much atm) AND I try and squeeze in some gaming time as well....SO happy Diablo 3 released just as I was starting a 3 week inter-semester break  icon_lol
29  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need advice/thoughts about IT career on: February 10, 2012, 10:25:55 PM
Would getting an associate's degree be the right course for someone who already has a B.S. in an unrelated field?

This would depend on your overall goals. Do you want to be hands on technical, write programs/code/applications and are you looking to move in to management?

As mentioned in previous post Associates in IT typically come in two flavors, one for the highly technical minded that are a)looking to be in the trenches and b) seeking quicker employment. The second flavor is for those looking to move in to Information Systems Managment, looking to specialize in programming or looking to offset the cost of a four year degree by taking their pre-reqs in a two year school first.

I have found most colleges will accept/transfer credits for courses going back about 10 years for your math/english/humanities etc. classes and about 5 years for advanced science classes. College algebra is college algebra, English composition is still English composition. I would speak with a local college counselor and see how much of your current B.S. you can apply to a  4 year CIS/CS(tend to be B.S.) or MIS (tends to be B.A.)degree. Why repeat classes you have already taken and payed for in the past?
30  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need advice/thoughts about IT career on: February 10, 2012, 06:31:57 AM
Skip the Certificates and focus on the degree. Going for your A.A.S, Associate in Applied Science, will require taking many of the same courses as those offered for the certificates, why not apply them to an actual degree and your brother can always still take the Cert exams.
Most C.C. offer two degree paths for an A.A.S. either CIS, Computer Information Systems or IT. The CIS degree is typically easier to transfer to a 4 year program for your Bachelors in Computer Science, the IT degree is more hands-on techie stuff and structured for people looking to get out in the world and start earning a living. In either case having a degree is not going to be a hinderance.
10 years ago I would have said it's not that big a deal in the IT world because it really wasnt. IT used to be one of those career fields where experience and know how were what really counted. Today it's a different story. The current economy and the abundance of IT savy folks have made it an employers market and companies are setting the bar fairly high now a days. Peruse your local want ads, craigslist, etc. and SOME sort of formal education is requirement for most jobs followed by a lengthening list of certifications. Employers no longer advertise for JUST an MCITP or JUST a Net+ now they want a whole alphabet soup.
CCNA is an awesome certification to have but it's still one bitch of an exam and even if someone passes I would not recommend trying to step into a job as a Cisco Admin/Engineer without at least 2 years of real experience or that person may quickly find themselves in over their heads.
MSCE has pretty much been repaced by MCITP, plent of info on MCITP on the web. If the school your looking at is offering the "MCSE" rather than one of the newer certs I'd do some more checking.

So to recap, Community College is an awesome starting point to gain some credentials to break in to the IT field....Skip the quick certification track and go for the 2 year degree....your brother should examine his long term goals, does he see himself happy getting his hands dirty and doing the actual tech work or does he aspire to Information Systems Managment....Pick the appropriate degree path.

Finally Cisco UC/UCS isn't really something you just take a couple of classes to pick-up. You need a fairly significant background in network infrastructure and architecture.
31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning announced on: January 20, 2012, 07:25:57 AM
Attempted to download the demo from Steam but I keep receiving an error message that the Steam servers arent configured to download it, tryed using Origin website but they insist you download an entire clien just to download the game. Not a very productive way to offer a demo.
32  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: January 16, 2012, 11:00:50 PM
Timothy Omundson (Aric Jorgan) is a Movie and TV actor most notably for Detective Carlton Lassiter on Psych

Stacey Haiduk (Akaavi Spar) also hottie TV actress, I remember her from that futuristic submarine show with Roy Schieder.

Azura Skye (Ashara Zavros) another movie and TV actress, she did bunch of movies, I remember her from an episode of House and she was in a sitcom years ago with Selma Blair and Michael Rosenbaum

Tara Strong (Risha) has been around for years and is one of the industry top voice actors, if you've watched a cartoon or played a video game in the last 15 years you've heard her voice.

Tom Kane (M1-4X) same as Tara Strong, long time voice actor and recognizable to most animation/anime and video game fans.

No clue on alot of the others.
33  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Rango on: January 10, 2012, 05:09:08 AM
Caught this on DVD not too long ago and really enjoyed it althought I agree the movie started to loose something toward the end. I will say though that I became heavily biased toward liking the movie when about 5 minutes in;

Spoiler for Hiden:
Rango (Johnny Depp) is struck by a cherry red convertible being driven by an animated Hunter S Thomson (previously portrayed by Johnny Depp) with Gonzo riding in the back seat smile
34  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Guild Wars - Still Worth Playing? on: January 10, 2012, 05:01:37 AM
If your looking for an MMO but want to avoid monthly fees excluding WoW, Rift and the just released Star Wars The old republic EVERY MMO out there has a free version; City of Heroes/Villians, Champions Online, Everquest 2, Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings online, Dungeon and Dragons Online, DC universe online, Anarchy Online. There are also the 2nd tier market MMO's like Rune of Magic and Forgotten worlds, also free.
35  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic (GT forum member characters) on: January 05, 2012, 05:06:40 AM
Considering a server move to Dreshdae to join the guild before getting to deep in to the game. Is everyone 30+ now or are there a few lower level folks still around, we can probably hit low 20's by the weekend with a little work but if the majority of the guild is already level 30-40 might wait for the first wave of alts? Is there a decent turn out of guild members in the evenings? Would like to be able to run flashpoints more reliably and with just my buddy and I it's getting harder as they FP's ramp up in difficulty.
36  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic (GT forum member characters) on: January 02, 2012, 11:39:09 AM
Myself and a couple of friends are playing on Elysium if anyone else is on that server.

As to character classes I have run several different classes up to level 20 and IMHO the Sorcerer/Sage are the best class in the game. Better than average DPS, better than average heals EVEN unspecced, excellent crowd control and great buffs. I would give a slight edge to the Sorcerer A) because there attacks fire quicker due to shorter animations B)Empire story lines have more flavor IMHO.

Running a close second is the Commando/Mercenary for basically the same reasons as listed above. They can heal, do great DPS and by the early 20's they have a good selection of crowd control as well.

Smuggler/IA started out as a fun class to play ( I tryed both) but by level 20 the "cover" mechanic was becoming cumbersome. Also did not help that it's still rather buggy and does not always work correctly. Smuggler/IA is also very niche in PvP as PvP is generally about momentum and having to stop and take cover repeatedly breaks that momentum.

I also ran a Sith Assassin and found stealth, at least in the 10-20 levels to be useless. The Assassin gets one ability that requires stealth at level 20, Mind Trap, which is a 60 sec sleep which does NOT work on droids and does NOT work on targets in combat. Force Lift and Concussion Round work on any target any time. Slice droid is restricted to droids but at least works anytime. Needless to say I was not impressed with the Force stealth class.

I did not try out the Tech stealthers so cannot say how they compare with the force stealth classes.

I also leveled a Jedi Sentinel to 21 but shelved him as A)There are already a ton of DPS'er running around B)I did not like the flow of skills. At first glance it appeared the Sentinel skills had alot of synergy which I found appealing but in actual play alot of the synergy is very conditional and those conditions are not always easily met. I also found the Sentinel to be a little too button mashing for my taste. It is also very possible Im just not very good at playng the class.

I plan to level up a Tank to at least 20 next, I've grouped with both Guardians and Vanguards and was very impressed by how much damage they can absorb, especially when paired with a good Sage. I was also surprised at how much damage a Guardian can dish out for a tank class.

If you like the Paladin type classes I'd say try the Commando/Mercenary. Heavy armor with a mix of good healing and DPS. If you like the druid I'd say try the Sage/Sorcerer, no shape-shifting or stealth but a good mix of healing,buffing and ranged DPS and appears to be the most soloable class in the game.
37  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: EQ2 now going totally F2P on: December 10, 2011, 06:56:30 PM
Having some issues with getting in to the game. I already have everything up to Sentinels Fate installed on my computer, when I launched the station launcher it did a 3GB update but when I tryed entering EQ2 after the update completed I kept getting the message "Login Rejected" Clients Version does not mach the servers." so I uninstalled JUST the sation launcher, re-downloaded and re-installed. Now when I attempt to login Station Launcher is insisting I install the EQ2 Trial. I do not need the trial I already have the game installed eek Anyone know if I need to completely uninstall Eq2 then do a full re-install just to use the F2P??
38  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeon Defenders on: November 28, 2011, 10:46:35 AM
Downloaded the Demo and played through the first and only demo mission "Foundries and Forges" with the Mage. Interesting twist on the tower defense genre.

I tryed the same mission as the squire and the first 99% was easier than the Mage but I could not kill the Ogre and actually failed as the Squire. The blockades do little to no damage and the Ogres club attack keeps it outside the range of the bouncer traps. The best weapon I found was about 18 or 20 damage with an upgrade and the Ogre has 5,000 hp. Whats the strategy for defeating the Ogre as a Squire?

The other classes are not available in the demo so have not had a chance to try them yet.
39  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Impressions, tweaks and more! on: November 24, 2011, 09:41:40 PM
Question for anyone playing a mage type post level 20, which element are you finding the most viable?
I typically prefer doing cold/ice when playing a mage type but it seems the logical choice in Skyrim is Fire. A significant number of creatures and NPC's (Nords, Ice Troll, ALL UNDEAD, etc.) are highly resistant to ice and from experimenting Fire just seems to outright do more damage. I was hoping the sub-par damage of ice would be offset by it's reported slowing effects but so far, currently level 14, it does not seem to impact creatures very much. I have definitely noticed the slow effect on my character when struck with Ice but enemies still close distance very easily even when struck with double ice spikes. Anyone else attempted an Ice focus?

Second question to anyone using companions or henchmen, how do you deal with the annoying game mechanic of friendly fire? As a ranged mage type I have been seriously debating dumping my companion as it's more a hinderance than a help now. He has a penchant for stepping right in front of my spells and in narrow corridors makes targeting an enemy more difficult than it should be. Had one battle against a Bandit Chieftan I should have easily won but could not launch any attacks in fear of hitting my companion.
40  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes to go F2P in the near future on: November 19, 2011, 06:58:29 PM
Forgot to mention in previous post you can contact me in game via tell or email at @neuromancer. Mouse over either of the Police officers standing at the entrance and you should get the little blue "clicky" hand to enter. Same for any hazard zone.
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