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10121  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 19, 2008, 01:31:14 PM
This experience last night (at 48) taught me not to Freak Out when I get swarmed by minions because, afterall,
They're Just Minions.  icon_razz I've really got to register FRAPS sometimes so my movies don't get cut short
before the happy ending...
Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-Field-of-Dead-solo-swarm

I tend to panic when I get swarmed, it's something I'm working on.  icon_smile
10122  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 19, 2008, 01:19:59 PM
TenTonHammer, which likes to give MMOs a few weeks to breathe and to play long enough to some characters into higher levels (I'm suspicious of MMO reviews that seem to have reviewed it the day it launched - just in terms of, how does a reviewer see any substantial portion of what a game has to offer in that little time, unless he's basing his review off his beta experience? icon_confused), posted its AoC Review:

For my part, I enjoy the game's combat and quest variety enough that I (again) canceled my City of Heroes/Villains account yesterday. It's the only fantasy MMO I've played where the combat felt (in a different way) as fun and lively as COH/COV (just imho), and I think the the fact the character models have real heft to them (not clipping though each other, except at resurrection platforms) is something I enjoy and that it does have in common with CoX. Along with at least some ability to tackle larger mobs, and send them flying.  icon_cool

I just haven't found myself up to playing more than one of these at a time, and I like my AoC experience enough to feel I can enjoy it for quite some time. Whether that's 3+ years (like COH) or only 2-3 months (Tabula Rasa most recently), it's too early to say.  icon_neutral

I certainly have all sorts of complaints:
-50 gold for a good mount? (I'm gonna have to settle for the 2G "starter horse." Do they want me to just live at the auction house? disgust
-Too many instances have broken bosses, quests, etc. though some of these are gradually getting fixed.
-Too many of us have wildly erratic frame rate problems as if certain areas and quests introduce a gigantic memory leak or something.
-Crafting, which I enjoyed in LOTORO (maybe the first time I ever did) feels baffling to me, and poorly explained here. The latest Game Director notes indicate some bugs were "covering some crafting features up" so maybe there's some hope there.

-There's a Cimmeria chat channel and a Stygia chat channel etc., yet no specific chat channel for say, Old Tarantia, Field of the Dead, etc. You end up hawking the quest you want to do there (me at level 48) and the channel could be well full of level 20s. Why not have specific chat channels for specific areas? [If there is, clue me in - I don't see one on the chat channel listings options]
-There's no Trading chat channel, there's no Looking for Group or Team Recruiting channel, you end up with a lot of people throwing out LFMs and LFGs in OOC and "Regional" chat channels, getting nowhere.

I could go on and on, but at the core, I manage to have a good time with it (and i'm strictly PvE fwiw). That's really what it comes down to.  icon_smile I can beat them over the head about the launch state of the game but it's out of Pandora's Box, you can't stuff it back in. If they get lazy about fixing some of this stuff, I'll be the first to throw salmonella-ridden tomatoes at them.  icon_twisted

If they do a paid expansion well down the road, I do hope they'll learn some things from the original launch.
10123  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Developers update on: June 19, 2008, 01:03:16 PM
The Game Director answered a few more fan questions Monday:
Q: When will the guild buildings bonuses be activated?

The building bonuses "work" already, per se. Their major problem is that the tooltip from the feats don’t show. This has been worked on and will come in a patch very soon. In addition we felt the bonuses were a bit "stingy" and have decided to increase their effect.

Both of these changes will go out at the same time.
My guild has 2-3 buildings, but I haven't checked them out yet.
Q. Can you tell us more about how character skills affect the gameplay?

Several of the Tooltips on skills and stats have been of too low quality, and this has in certain cases made it a bigger challenge than intended to understand how this works. These are now being improved and will come shortly. They are the ones that will tell you about what the stats are doing. It is simply too much detail to write down here.
This is meaningful to me, some of my Conq's skills, I just couldn't hardly tell you what they were doing for me (perhaps it's just a Finnish-to-English lost in translation problem).
10124  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 19, 2008, 04:58:00 AM
Had a pretty fun time teaming with a Guardian tonight. I share this pic only because, by golly, he seemed to have a cape color/design I've not seen before (he was lower level than me, 47):

And fwiw (and it's worth nothing!  icon_razz), I'm far and away the highest level Conqueror in my guild. *blows a kazoo*
10125  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: June 18, 2008, 09:35:34 PM
Laptop Mag (they should send me a check! icon_razz ) has a mini-review of the larger Eee PC 1000H that is due out around July 1.
(a video's near the end of it)

The keyboard apparently has a few weird quirks. They highlight some weird "bubble" effect of the keyset not being placed firmly enough (perhaps this was just a pre-production review model flaw?) that they fixed by removing the keyset and putting it back in more firmly.

The $649 still seems the stumbling block as there's quite a few "full" laptops in that price range already (notwithstanding the $479-$499 MSI Wind, and various other Eee PC wannabes due out soon at lower prices).
10126  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: June 18, 2008, 09:23:15 PM
The 6-cell I believe adds some visual bulk (it sticks out of the back past the hinges a bit), and noticeable weight, so I guess it just depends on how portable one really needs it to be.

I was having lunch outside at a Panera today, and practically every table around me had someone surfing on a laptop (they have truly free Wi-Fi). I made do with my dead-tree newspaper. But someday, I'll be mindlessly surfing just like everyone else, on a Wind. I'm sure I'll do something productive, like posting jabbering like this here. Which I already do too much of at the office.  icon_razz
10127  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Firefox 3.0...What's your take so far? on: June 18, 2008, 06:11:29 PM
Somebody toss a link...
If you use a lot of Firefox extensions I'd preach caution only because most of them probably haven't been updated for this yet and won't function until then (I ran into a lot of that when switching to the 2.0).

I've never been satisfied with the bookmarks in IE or Firefox. I generally just end up flooding my toolbar links bookmarks area and having to wade through an unruly mess of them to find what I want.
10128  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help us help you- Come take our survey!!!!! on: June 18, 2008, 05:36:23 PM
Done. Good Lord. In 2 more years I'll have moved into the Next Age Bracket in the survey. *shudders*  paranoid
10129  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Warren Spector: games are too long! on: June 18, 2008, 05:26:47 PM
Saw this Gamasutra item at Blue's News today:
As he has often done in the past, Spector commented on his frustration with some of the dominant tropes of video games. "I love working with Disney because I'm so tired of making games about guys in black leather carrying guns. I don’t want to make those any more," he said.

"Game costs are going to be $35-40 million, even $100 million, and the expectations are huge. You have to differentiate yourselves. One-hundred hour games are on the way out… How many of you have finished GTA? Two percent, probably. If we're spending $100 million on a game, we want you to see the last level!"
This seems like a bizarre way of looking at things. Most gamers I know love something with replay value and/or tons of gameplay time, because it feels like they're getting their $40-$60 worth. If it's something short and sweet, they'll presumably more likely rent it (consoles) or wait for it to hit the bargain bins (PC), neither of which seems like a fate someone wants for their $35-$100 million game.  icon_confused

Anyway, I thought it would probably draw some interesting feedback here.  stirthepot

I've loved some action games that drew some criticism for their relativley short play time (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and the original Call of Duty come to mind), but I think I've usually been more drawn to games with long campaigns, or to things that seemed to supply a lot of replayability.
10130  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 18, 2008, 05:16:49 PM
While I'm sure there are better ways to spend $24.99, I spent that to pick up the official Age of Conan strategy guide. Like most MMO guides, it's no doubt going to be out of date in terms of sheer numbers, but I think some of the instances maps, and NPC location listings will be useful at least (I constantly forget where the Wayfarers and Trainers are in zones, and these are marked in this).

I certainly am visiting the various fan sites, database sites and Wikis cropping up for Aoc but I haven't so far found something that's well rounded in terms of info (for example, there's a database site I like, but some of its entries are maddeningly vague).

fwiw, the guide is far cheaper online at Target ($16.80) and Amazon ($16.49). But hey, it was an impulse buy (only copy I could find at Best Buy), and I'm trying to stimulate the economy afterall.  icon_razz
10131  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: June 18, 2008, 04:44:47 PM
Hey all I am actually posting this on an Eee PC (original version) at a Best Buy in Virginia. I'm pretty sure I couldnt live with this keyboard size, but I am impressed with how tiny it is in person. If I type anymore on this my hands will cramp.

[Addendum: It's funny. They tucked this well away from the "real" laptops, and it didn't even have a label/price sheet near it.]
10132  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 18, 2008, 02:14:18 PM
I finally purchased the riding skill yesterday (it seems to be an innate skill you learn by just clicking a book you buy). I still have a pretty long road to buying a mount (I didn't pre-order), but I do seem to be racking up money noticeably faster in the late 40s and I'm trying to make runs to vendors to sell, more often.

I've toyed with trying to see if there are any AoC pre-order boxes still laying around somewhere (Best Buy around here is pretty bad about clearing out old inventory -- I think they stilll have Gods & Heroes, and Auto Assault pre-order boxes on the shelves  Roll Eyes). Even if the Mammoth and Rhino mounts aren't really all that and a bag of chips, I'd like to try them.

I finally saw someone actually battling from their mount the other day (a mammoth). You can't use combos, I'd read, and the mount attacks looked so-so, but it was still fun to watch. Seeing people actually climb on/off the mounts (in most games, you just magically appear on the mount, or it vanishes) seems like nothing, but it really adds a nice little touch imho, esp. when you see riderless mounts waiting for their owners.  icon_smile
10133  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 18, 2008, 01:58:43 PM
Thanks for the Furious Inspiration description earlier (I think the game sometimes is a bit too vague about what a feat/skill is, whether it's innate or hotkey-triggered, whether it just randomly pops off now and then etc.).

At 48 I've stuck with 2-hand Conq, just like the look. Although I can handle certain size mobs well, there's a certain tipping point where I'm screwed, esp. in some of those Noble Villa instances (I died like 7 consecutive times on one last night), and I think I'm a bit lacking in magical resistances. Some of the dark magic I'm encountering now really slurps away the HP quickly.
10134  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Vanguard unoffical trailer on: June 18, 2008, 01:32:20 PM
Nice video.  icon_smile It's a sad statement on corporate marketing that players themselves seem to do videos that do a much better job of getting across a game's appeal and strong points than the companies themselves (I've seen that with various other games, not just MMOs).
10135  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: June 18, 2008, 03:57:14 AM
Because we can never read enough crap about the Wind, a site called CrunchGear claims to have confirmed with MSI there'll be a $499.99 XP 6-cell version and a $479 3-cell. The 3-cell is noticeably lighter, so presumably they see sufficient interest in both types to justfy offering both even with such a measly price difference (and you can upgrade to the 6-cell later).
UPDATE: Just got this from MSI’s PR rep. The previously-equipped six-cell version will apparently be available in July for $499.99 – so if you can’t wait, you can pick up a three-cell version on June 27th for $479.99 or get the six-cell version next month.
Apparently they didn't feel like they could wait any longer, and wanted to have some form of XP version out by the end of this month (3-cell).

Actually we lost power at my office for hours yesterday late afternoon/evening, and then my area of our office lost power due to a construction accident nearby this morning. I was going crazy, and in the back of mind, I thought, "If only I had a Wind!"  crybaby Not that I would've been smart enough to bring it in both days.
10136  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 18, 2008, 03:42:23 AM
Sometimes you have to stop and smell the corpses... I mean the roses, and enjoy the Big Picture. If nothing else, the game renders mountains and sunsets like about nothing I've played, although you can only enjoy it for a few moments before you get restless.  icon_cool
10137  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Dungeon Runners (NCSoft's free MMO/$4.99 premium option) on: June 17, 2008, 11:33:44 PM
As a quest-fanatic, my fundamental problem with the game was eventually:

A) Grind through a "Kill 50 blobs" quest
B) Turn in quest
C) Get rewarded by an ensuing "Kill 75 blobs" quest
D) Repeat ad nauseam

However, I give it credit cause I was out of MMOs altogether at the time I was trying it. It sort of got me re-interested, but when I started to see "Kill 100 blobs" quests and got horrible flashbacks to Korean grindfest MMOs that I tried over the years, I just couldn't stay anymore.  icon_razz
10138  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch notes 16th of June (Stats working!) on: June 17, 2008, 01:14:20 PM
Conq-wise, they seem to have revamped the Batter Aside animation (at least for Batter Aside III). Not sure if that's good or bad (the "old" animation was quicker), but now you seem to do this exaggerated 2 or 3-step maneuver with your weapon and then you tuck it up under the target and knock them back. The old one was just grabbing your sword blade (or other weapon edge) in your hands and making a sweeping motion.
10139  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 17, 2008, 05:09:17 AM
Not sure if this is a new update "feature" or a resurrection bug.  saywhat I just call it "Statue Face." I'll grant that it looks cooler than Blackjackian's Regular Face.  icon_razz

Second one is called, "Why you shouldn't try to solo bosses in areas designated as Group Quests."  disgust I think it eventually spawned about 10 minions. And of course BJ died with the boss at about 1 hp.  crybaby
10140  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Stan Winston RIP on: June 17, 2008, 01:20:18 AM
AP's article explains that he had worked with some senior effects supervisors to turn his studio into a full special effects studio. Hopefully that'll continue.

They interviewed Iron Man director Jon Favreau and apparently people recognized Winston was ailing but had no idea of the severity.

It was "multiple myeloma," which sound truly awful (an incurable cancer of the cells in your immune system)

Although I tend to associate him with robots and the like, he worked on Jurassic Park and some of its sequels, Batman Returns (I totally forgot), Edward Scissorhands, and got his earliest notices working on Emmy winning makeup for Roots, and the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (if I recall, Cicely Tyson aged from a teen to about 100). So he was nothing if not versatile.
10141  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: June 17, 2008, 01:09:34 AM
Bad news -- the problem's actually that big fire at a battery factory (which has made it rare for any early reviewers to get a 6-cell battery Wind). According to some updated news bits, only a 3-cell Linux version will be available in late June, and the Windows XP version (and any 6-cell option) has been shoved back into July:
Citing battery shortages due to the fire at LG Chem's Ochang plant this past March, MSI says the Linux version of its mininotebook will now ship on June 27. It'll cost $399 and include a 3-cell battery. The Windows version, which was originally slated to ship before the Linux model, won't ship until sometime in July. It will be priced at $479 (down from the previously stated $499) and include a 6-cell battery.
10142  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Developers update on: June 16, 2008, 07:27:08 PM
The newsletter had some promising dev update info about new quests:
Soon we will be bringing in tons of new quests to Hyboria, spread out all across the three realms of Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia. We will be putting in over a dozen new quests for Eiglophian Mountains, and we are also introducing several dozen new quests for levels thirty and up.
And about voice over additions:

*NOTE: If you consider quest titles themselves to be spoilers, ya might wanna skip this.*

More quests with voice over!

Finally playing with an alt again reminded me again how much I miss the voiceovers post-Tortage (aside from the Destiny quests, and a handful of other NPCs that retain the voices), so I'm glad they're at least sprinkling in voiceovers throughout the various level ranges.

10143  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Stan Winston RIP on: June 16, 2008, 07:13:50 PM
Argh. The updated news items said he died of cancer (he certainly never let onto that in his interviews for Iron Man).   tear

Weird thing. I did a Google News search, and apparently he had just sold his Malibu Beach House for $11.95 million  icon_eek

This was the Web site for his house:

My 1980s-1990s memories are really wrapped up in memories of his (and his effects studio's) work on Terminator, Aliens, and Terminator 2.

And really his work on the actual, non-CGI part of Iron Man made the movie for me. He was always about teamwork (he was the "face" of Stan Winston Studios but it has lots of artists/designers etc.), and if he saw his own mortality coming, I'm sure he made arrangements for his studio to continue on with hopefully someone he approves of continuing to lead the company. He always came across as a sweet guy in interviews - I wondered sometimes how he came to work for someone like James Cameron (anything but sweet, for the most part) so much, but the two obviously had a lot of respect and affection for each other.
10144  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: June 16, 2008, 06:55:44 PM
Oh well, Endgadget mentions another delay, at least at MSI's main site, back to June 27:
The problem, besides the dancing girls distracting all the shipment employees  icon_razz, is that Intel's new Atom processor - which was already in a shortage situation - is going into pretty much all the new mini-notebooks (including Wind, and the Eee PC new models) so it's pretty much a Perfect Storm as far having something everyone wants that's not available yet in nearly enough numbers to meet demand. They might as well all be Wii's for that matter.  disgust

I talked myself out of an iPod Touch over the weekend (read too many mixed reviews on Wi-Fi reliability, and overall reliability), and a Sony Mylo a while back. The gadget freak in me feels old and left out.  crybaby
10145  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: New nVidia cards are out...GTX 260 & 280 on: June 16, 2008, 05:47:35 PM,147112-c,graphicschips/article.html
While our testing continues, we can tell you that EA's Crysis ran twice as fast at 1920 by 1200-pixel resolution with 4x Anti-Aliasing compared to Asus' EN8800GT Top (on average, 8800GT cards cost about $200. For those doing the math at home: you're getting 2x the performance for roughly 3x the price).
Well that's nice, if you have room for dual slot cards and a power supply that can handle cards requiring two power connectors. I think I'll wait for a $300 variant gives maybe 1.5x 8800 performance in a single slot. I can dream... icon_razz

Incorporating the AEIGA tech into the card is interesting, though I can't really see $400-$650 cards creating a huge market for that any time soon.
10146  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers Updates (DERKETO Server) on: June 16, 2008, 05:15:14 PM
I'm working on a guardian on Derketo (named Gorgonian). I guess it might be tough for me to get a sponsor for the Wanderers cause I've basically only played on Thog and nobody here seems to play there.  icon_confused I guess I'll worry about that stuff once I get him out of Tortage.

I guess if sponsorship is based on playing competently or not trying too hard to be funny in chat channels, then I don't have a prayer anyway.  icon_wink
10147  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Half-Life] Anyone think the game kinda sorta sucks? on: June 15, 2008, 04:58:47 PM
This thread title screams out, "Please pummel me about the heads and shoulders repeatedly!"  saywhat icon_lol

Future titles I'd recommend for that type of response would be:
* Doom was boring!
* X-COM is pixelicious tripe!
* Starcraft was derivative bunk!
* Sid Meier's Civilization is more boring than a high school history book!
Create those threads, and then watch out for people tossing salmonella-ridden tomatoes at you.  icon_razz

On Half-Life, this piece might be instructive:
The game was the first first-person shooter with a story told entirely in-game in real time, without the use of cutscenes. On its release, critics hailed its overall presentation and numerous scripted sequences, and it won over 50 Game of the Year awards in 1998-99. Its gameplay influenced first-person shooters for years to come, and has since been regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.
That said, I didn't like Half-Life 2. I found it frustrating, and confusing, and somewhere during the Railroad Car sequence I decided I wasn't having any fun, and didn't want to spend any more time on it (I should revisit it some time) even though I spent $60 plus on it and a Steam package for various stuff that I ended up never playing.

So, really, there's no crime in finding that a classic game doesn't impress you. Happens to all of us.  icon_smile
10148  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: OFP 2 on the cover of "PC Gamer" on: June 15, 2008, 04:34:14 PM
The "renders produced using 'in-game character models'" screen images last year were pretty cool.  icon_cool;title;2

Hopefully they got close to what the early "target images" suggested without excessively high system requirements.

I have a soft spot for the original Operation Flashpoint (which I actually ordered a UK import version of, I couldn't wait  icon_smile), even though I never really had a strong enough PC to run it properly. Mainly because it's the only shooter-ish game where I ever got a handle on using its mission creator, level editor and even basic scripting tools. I never did anything "good," but that I managed to create stuff that worked at all was a credit to the user-friendliness of the tools and their tutorials.

When I managed to script a real Blackhack helicopter zooming in, with cutscenes, and having troops rappel out of it via ropes, it was a great feeling.  icon_smile

When I was able to get friends to join me in levels I created, they never quite worked the way I wanted them to, but I still got such a kick out of it.

Although I like scripted military shooters, I really liked how huge the OFP maps were, and how much flexibility you had in tackling things from different directions and such.
10149  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 15, 2008, 04:18:24 PM
Here be some videos from my experiences in the mid 40s (Blackjackian's just about 48). Nothing I would consider terribly spoiler-ish, fwiw.

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-duo-combat-gameplay

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-instances-gameplay-video
This is some close-combat in a "mini instance" in the Nobles area north of Old Tarantia. If you go up there, don't forget to go visit Conan's castle. Some interesting political discourse in there, even if they won't let you see old Conan himself.  icon_cool

On this one you have a little AI help (the guy with the shield).

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-Field-of-Dead-epic-quest
Had a blast this morning on a big team tackling a tough Epic quest in Field of the Dead. The respawn rates are a bit nasty but it does give you more flexibility in how to tackle it even if other groups are doing the same.

I was worried all the combo and combat would get tiresome or overly repetitive, but so far I've never really gotten tired of it.  icon_smile I'm not much of a tank though, need to work on the taunt/hate stuff, but I'll get there eventually. Got a couple different knockback attacks now (one group, one single), and a feat that reduces the cooldown timers on several combos. Some interesting optional goodies coming up including a "damage flag" buffing the whole team, a stun attack (throat slash) and others.

One of my teammates claimed I now have a "random resurrection skill" that triggers sometimes, but I don't see anything like that on the feats/abilities lists, at least not one I've put points in.  icon_confused
10150  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 15, 2008, 01:36:59 PM
Funcom hasn't said anything, but I assume they have some "game economy" reason for being so stingy with inventory space, charging an arm and a leg for most of the bags, and making most of the mounts cost outrageous amounts. I'd like to believe that rather than just think they're Stingy Misers.

Heck, maybe they just wanted to make sure pre-order players would feel special.  icon_razz It certainly beats the horrific "robotic ostrich pet" in the Tabula Rasa collector's edition.  saywhat Which has my vote as the worst perk for a pre-order or collector's edition in the history of mmorpgs.  disgust At least AoC offered truly useful things.

I wouldn't have a problem with it if there were a Diablo/Titan Quest style "zip to town, and zip back to where you were" ability (town portal, etc.). But since you can only portal one way to somewhere, there's not really an easy way to go somewhere, clear your inventory at a merchant, and get back to where you were playing. It's a little frustrating that I and others have to regularly resort to leaping to our demise and "death teleporting" (to jump to a far resurrection platform) on purpose to remove some of the travel tedium in the game. I'm glad they at least upped the speed of most of the mounts in the other day's update, but I won't be able to afford one any time soon.
10151  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 15, 2008, 05:41:40 AM
I got nowhere in-game asking how to get the expanded loot bag thingies ("General vendors! Somewhere!"). Googling pulled up this EU AoC forums post with the coordinates for the vendor and some explanation of it:

Bag price/vendor details + major whine slywink

The 4-slot is reasonable price, the 8 slot is pricey, the rest are "you obviously have money to burn."  icon_razz

There's a little icon in the lower right to drag'n'drap your bag to. Then you get a 2nd page with the X # of slots. You can drag a page 1 item onto the little strip at the bottom to move it to the 2nd page.

Some pics below to spare other's my confusion (I think pre-orders got the 8-slot bag free, so this is probably moot info them).  icon_smile Grumbling and some exasperating Nobles town instances aside, had a lotta fun today.
10152  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 15, 2008, 03:39:51 AM
Not that I can ever afford one (I do finally have just about enough to afford the riding skill but the fancy mounts will be outta my league unless my guild floats me a mega-loan), but here's a close-up of the armored horse.

I have finally found myself piling up money much faster in the mid 40s, so I am hopeful maybe around 50 or so that I can have the riding skill and the cheapest, lowliest horse.  icon_razz
10153  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dual booting XP/Vista questions on: June 14, 2008, 09:51:18 PM
If we can't talk you out of it  paranoid, I've seen a couple of tutorial Web site features that might be useful to you:

How do I... Install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows XP?
In order to install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows XP, you need to have either a second partition on your existing hard disk or a second hard disk in your system. To give yourself enough room to experiment, you should have at least 20 GB and preferably 40 GB of space available on either the second partition or on the second hard disk.

How to dual-boot Vista with XP (with XP installed first) - step-by-step guide with screenshots [this one doesn't speak to drive space suggestions though]

I've toyed with the dual booting idea due to some Vista 64-bit incompatibilities with Palm PDA desktop synch software and Rhapsody's music store software.

Honestly, if you're happy with XP, I don't really see any reason to risk messing up your PC to "play around with it." Vista doesn't do anything for games aside from the very spotty DX10 support, and it's certainly not going to make any games run faster (it'll just increase your RAM requirements, if anything). I have no doubt my fairly new system (Quad Core 6700, 4GB RAM) would run games faster in XP, but I just have been hesitant to mess with dual boot OSs or partitioning.

Other than spiffier menus, a Start Menu where it seems actually harder to find programs, and a little gaming folder that all your games' get tossed into, there really isn't much to see in Vista. I've been using it a couple of months, if you have any questions about it, I'm happy to answer.

You might run by a Best Buy or Circuit City and play with Vista a bit there (that's what I did here and there).  icon_smile That's my 2 cents anyway.

XP-wise, it seems kinda neat that it's finding a second life on all these endless Eee PC wannabes (mini-notebook computers), nearly all of which are coming with XP SP3 pre-installed now. So I dunno, maybe at some point Microsoft will market XP as a "mobile OS" due to its relatively modest system requirements.
10154  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: June 14, 2008, 05:00:04 PM
Occurred to me to just search around YouTube for some MSI Wind videos and video reviews. Here are some either fun or useful, I don't think these are ones we mentioned here before:

The Official MSI Wind TV Commercial (30 seconds)
Oh boy, now my niece and nephew can go outside and play... with a laptop!  saywhat

Italian video review (3:48)
If you want to get a really close up view of the innards, and the motherboard, you'll like this one even if you don't have a clue what he's saying.  icon_smile But for the love of God, why is he using a screwdriver as a pointer?  saywhat

Phillipines' (it's in English) video impressions (3:29)
Although the guy talks about "writing with the Wind," he never actually types anything on it, I'd still like to see someone with normal size hands typing on it.  icon_razz

CNET Taiwan video from a trade show (1:50)
This is the Linux version, with a simplified opening menu (a la the original Eee PCs).

MSI Wind, Eee PC 901, HP-Mini-Note visual comparisons (1:16)
From the Computex show in Taiwan, this is a painfully blurry comparison of the three systems. You at least get an idea of the noticeable size differences. It's a red Wind, and right now that's not planned for the U.S. market.

If you got this far then, I have to reward you with...

The MSI Girls *perform* at the Computex Show in Taiwan! (No "Wind" footage though...)

10155  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 14, 2008, 06:55:15 AM
Got a slightly different looking 44 sword. My goal was to get one that's taller than my character, even if that might make walking challenging.  icon_razz
10156  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 14, 2008, 02:39:28 AM
Thanks to some tips here I finally found the trainer (for respecing feats) in Tarantia, and it was (the first time anyway) a pretty reasonable number of coppers. Since I like playing in Defense stance, I maxxed that out and the basic physical defense against various melee things (see pic). Wow, my Conq's difference was like night and day. I'm not a worldbeater, but I'm definitely churning through situations that smacked me before. I also got a useful little buff that adds knockback to your next attack (whether swing or combo), and it's pretty useful.   icon_smile

I must say, connection reliability's not so good tonight. I've disconnected twice now, and just logged because everything stopped moving and I sensed probably another disconnect coming. Some folks in my guild kept popping in and out, and it seemed like they were getting dropped too. disgust
10157  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: June 13, 2008, 07:48:23 PM
Yeah yeah, soon we'll have more "Anybody got..." threads than Age of Conan threads, but I couldn't resist.  icon_razz

Saw a lot of initial reviews popping out on this variation on the category Eee PC is credited with starting. The Aspire One will probably be battling more with the updated Eee PC 901 (both have 8.9" screens and roughly similar features). What the Aspire might really have going for it is price -- supposedly $379 for a Linux Lite version (8GB flash drive) or $399 for a Windows XP version (80GB traditional hard drive). Although this is with a 3-cell battery and they'll probably be hawking more expensive 6-cell versions of each.

The keyboard is described as "89% size," and is apparently a lot easier to touch type on than the Eee PCs though the Aspire is still pretty tiny and light (about 1.6 lbs.).

The flashy official site is not too terribly informative:

Sorry I'm such a Laptop Magazine hawker of late, but here's their in-depth look at it, just yesterday:

And this UK blog got some impressions in just today:

The MSI Wind still seems "the one to beat" in this category, though it still seems unclear if its $499 MSRP really includes the 6-cell battery or not (a lot of Winds seem to be going to reviewers with 3-cell batteries, though it might be that China factory fire I mentioned in another thread).

If price, size, weight and cosmetics are one's top concerns, this might shine pretty brightly for some, and it uses the same Atom processor all these new minis are using (including the Wind). If ASUS shifts its focus to $500-$600 machines, then it might really open the sub $400 slot to this or Dell's upcoming entry. Just my amateur analysis...  icon_razz

10158  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 13, 2008, 05:49:31 PM
Thanks. I just wish they'd be more obvious about the Wayfarers on the map (kinda like how they changed teammate icons from these imperceptible little grey peas, to big, obnoxious purple arrows). There have been times I've walked right by one repeatedly without knowing it.

Maybe they could wear a tin foil hat and a big picket sign that says "WAYFARER HERE!" nod
10159  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Mythos on: June 13, 2008, 05:45:37 PM
Ya know, at one point we had almost as many Mythos threads as we do now Age of Conan threads.  saywhat

Blue's mentioned this new interview with Max Schaefer on Mytho's current status. Apparently it's moving into a truly open beta probably in a month or so. The plan is still for something of a Dungeon Runners model (free to download and play, microtransactions for better stuff and other benefits, etc.), and so there technically is no publisher in N. America (so there's no pressure to rush the release as with Hellgate, fwiw).
Last, but not least, here’s a question that’s on EVERYONE’s mind: can you clue us in on when Open Beta will begin?

Not for at least a month. We’re doing some extra work on billing security and customer support tools and things like that, and we really want to get it right for our eventual launch, so we’ve pushed our OBT date out just a bit. This only means the game will be better when we start, however.
The beta didn't tickle my ElmoTM, so I didn't play it much, but I'm still keeping an eye out and might re-visit it when it goes into open beta mode.
10160  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 13, 2008, 05:34:12 PM
I don't know. The only respec'r NPC I had seen to this point was charging something like 25 silver I thought. Maybe I misread it.  icon_confused I have maybe 50 Silver at this point (mainly due to that efficient duo I was in last night, it really racked up the coins better than when I solo).

So I have actual questions now!:

* Is there a Respec NPC in Tarantia (or whatever it's called)? I can "totem" back there if so.

* Does anyone know of a Wayfarer in Field of the Dead somewhere? It's such a pain to reach that zone, I'd like to bind to it somewhere.
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