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10161  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 26, 2008, 01:05:24 PM
I was going to post June 26 notes, but there was some EU patch bug that went astray, so they delayed the U.S. patch a couple of hours, it seems:
(need to be logged in to the US board to view that)
Downtime has been postponed due to a problem that was discovered on the EU servers. We are currently investigating the issue on the EU server before bringing the US servers fully online.
10162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Teaser? on: June 26, 2008, 05:26:16 AM
I'll gladly eat crow if it's Diablo III (although my painful experience with wrist tendinitis after over-playing Titan Quest's Immortal Throne expansion in Spring 2007 suggests my hack'n'slash clickfest days are now behind me  tear), but I remember all sorts of "sources say this" and "sources indicate that" that were way off the mark about the Starcraft II, WoW expansion, Star Craft: Ghost and WoW-itself announcements. I can't count how many times I read people were convinced of SC or Diablo MMOs, or Blizzard Enters the FPS Fray, etc.

I really don't think Blizzard has the walk-the-plank guts (or would it be stupidity?  icon_wink) to start a new franchise from scratch anymore (long after we're all pushing up daisies, there'll be more WoW expansions, Starcraft 12 and Diablo 9 icon_razz), and the Diablo franchise is wheezing and in need of rescuscitation. Plus, all the players kvetching that Titan Quest, Silverfall, Dungeon Siege, and "insert whatever clickfest hack'n'slash RPG you ever played in the last 7 years here" are "not Diablo II" need something from Blizzard itself that they can then complain "Hey this isn't Diablo II either! Damn you Blizzard!"  smirk

I actually have more affection, and had more addiction for the original Diablo (it *devoured* my life, it nearly ruined me), but so many younger players I encountered while playing D2 never played Diablo at all. When they said "Diablo," it just meant D2 to them. Punks.  mad icon_lol

So all my cynicism aside, D3 makes sense to me.  bowdown
10163  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 26, 2008, 04:58:42 AM
Tordeilbach's Tomb team attempt #2. I think there's 3 quests in there, and I've gotten to complete the medallion thing. The Guards quest I get about two per time before we repeatedly wipe out. If you hear a Giant Sucking Sound, it's that Tomb instance sucking the life and patience out of just about every team that tries it (even the ones with L60s who think it's going to be a breeze at that point).

This time had variety but no Guardian. And yet we had some points where we were pretty effective. Other times we just constantly got the whole caverns on our tails as we fled to our doom.
10164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Teaser? on: June 25, 2008, 06:05:34 PM
I had to disappoint you all, but it's actually a Blackthorne game using the Starcraft Ghost engine and Warcraft Adventures "assets," and only running on the hard-to-find Sega Genesis CD unit. Damn Blizzard, going back to niche gaming markets...  saywhat icon_razz

Actually, Blackthorne for PC is the first Blizzard-developed game I ever bought. I find it bizzare you can still buy it on Amazon...
I return to my world, this dark and rotting place, to cleanse it of the evil which nests in the heart of the land and to restore my families rightful reign... As I travel underground caverns and rain-soaked forests my blood boils at the sights I have beheld. Renegade humans killing for food and shelter. Goblin hordes marching across the land and mutant beasts ensalving my people through torture and starvation. They shall know the vegence of Kyle Balckthorne. [nice typos in this description, eh?]
Isn't that just about the plot of nearly every MMO on the market now? smirk
10165  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 25, 2008, 05:59:08 PM
I much preferred the "not serious" patch notes you listed.  icon_lol
10166  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 25, 2008, 05:22:11 PM
Well the guy's gotta practice on SOMEthing!  icon_razz

So I get this e-mail from Funcom:
Are you ready to join the most savage, sexy and brutal MMO ever created?

We know that you have previously expressed an interest in Age of Conan, but we see you have yet to join ranks with the hundreds of thousands of gamers who are now having a great time in Hyboria. It’s time to remedy that, and we urge you to take the bold step into Conan’s world and experience Hyboria for yourself!
"Yet to join the ranks?" Dear Funcom, what the hell is wrong with you people? What do you think I've been playing every night for the last two weeks? Tiddly winks? Conan in a Box?  saywhat icon_lol

And I'm sorry to break it to you, Funcom, but there's more to making a game "sexy" than nipples and crocodile skin loin clothes.
10167  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 25, 2008, 03:16:23 PM
The latest patch notes indicate the single-target Goad should work now. I'm iffy on bothering with it on my conq cause I can't see it worth much solo wise (I doubt it's a strong enough "taunt" to yank a single target from a crowded camp for example). If I knew for sure it would help me pull an enemy off a squishier teammate, then I'd get it. Might even help in situations where you can clearly see another solo player is about to croak or is running for his life, and you just wanna help a bit.
10168  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM
Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
10169  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 25, 2008, 01:32:08 PM
I really love the music in this game. Amazing variety, spine tingling singing on occasion, and it always seem to fit the environments (imho). Really sets the mood. Sometimes when I'm about to complain I have to grind at a certain level, I get lost in the music instead.  icon_cool

If you missed it a while back, a dev post linked to an interview with composer Knut Haugen (sounds like an ice cream flavor, no?  icon_smile):

As a general rule, I think the most important aspect of a piece of Age of Conan music, is that it should not sound too sophisticated or complex. The harmonic progressions, melodies and rhythms should be well defined and easy to grasp. It should sound ancient, primeval and natural. The instruments, scales, harmonic progressions and rhythmic elements in the score have all been carefully selected with this in mind.

The world of Age of Conan is so varied. There are a lot of very different cultures, landscapes and moods in the game and the music has to reflect and underline all these differences. So typical Age of Conan music can be many different things: it can be dark and sinister, alarming and dangerous, sexy and seducing or lush and beautiful. The music varies in style and expression as well as in scope. You will find everything from simple folk music pieces to large orchestral works.

I'm kind of reminded that when the first, well-received trailer for Gladiator came out in 2000, they actually lifted music (with permission) from the "Conan The Barbarian" movie. A lot of people were disappointed when a later trailer came out without the Conan music (the "real" music was fine, even got Oscar nominated, but it was more subtle and not quite as "lets get excited!" as the Conan music). It actually seemed less exciting, which just goes to show how much difference music can make.
10170  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 25, 2008, 01:20:25 PM
I was telling a 52 Guardian about my woes facing L60 mammoths and he was all, "Oh i can solo all of those." icon_rolleyes He might as well scream, "NERF my AT! It's too good!"  icon_razz

After trying again, I think what I found is my now 55 Conq can handle L60 mammoths but he can't outlast a 61 (I tried a couple times). It's tricky sometimes knowing what the doable level spread is in this. My problem at 55 is I've dried up the quests near my level, and the 60ish ones I have left I really need help on (sometimes you can get help, other times not).

In most games you can simply tell by the mob name color, but here often things several levels below you still give decent exp., and things that seem like they would be too far above you, you can tackle, but the different classes vary a lot in that regard. Not really a complaint, just an observation.  icon_neutral

Although I think in retrospect I would've preferred a Guardian (I love the various shield designs), Conqs so far seem the least-rolled character so I guess I at least enjoy feeling a bit unique. The guild I'm in is pretty big now, and I think we only have maybe 3 Conqs in the group, and Blackjackian's by far the highest level (fwiw, which isn't much  smirk).
10171  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 25, 2008, 01:10:54 PM
Here's a basic, brief video of a horseback ride in the mountains. Sorry about the "Blair Witch Project" camera work, I just like to see how it looks from different angles.  icon_razz

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-horse-riding-in-snow

I guess technically spacebar is a front-kick attack key for the horse if you have a target; a jump key if you're moving; and if your mount is stopped, and don't have a target, then it's more of a "high ho Silver!" key.  icon_cool
10172  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 25, 2008, 03:57:46 AM
So when I'm battling giant mammoths, how the devil do I see their health meter????  icon_confused  mad Actually I guess there's the "target" meter on the lower right of the HUD, guess I'm more used to using the one *on* the target.  smirk

10173  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 24, 2008, 05:10:04 PM
I'd let people summon their whole pet bunch with one click (maybe make it a feat if that seems like something you should sort of "pay for"), ala CoX's pet class ATs. Or at least if you want several of the same pet type. I'd think something like that is in the works if enough people find it needed.

I've always though pet class stuff in MMOs and hack'n'slashes were cool but a lot of the time they are either overpowered (Diablo II's Necromancer at launch), or underpowered (Diablo II's Necromancer after "balancing"). I can apply that to CoH's Controllers being overpowered (at launch) and to some people's minds underpowered (after balancing reduced the # of pets from, if I remember, 8 weaker pets to 3 stronger ones).

Pet classes seem terribly difficult to balance because everyone plays and uses them differently. I don't know how they judge the feedback. Maybe they say if half the players say it's overpowered, and the other half say it's underpowered, then they've reached their Median Goal.  icon_neutral
10174  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 24, 2008, 05:01:28 PM
I think architects will be able to attack enemies with pointy pencil compasses, protractors and slide rules.  Tongue
10175  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 24, 2008, 03:14:27 PM
* Yes, if you didn't get the pre-order perks, you do have to spend 1G for the basic riding skill, and then 2G for a horse. Once you get the mount, a little "horsie" icon appears in your inventory. You can drag that to any hotbar slot for quick access. You can have the mount sprint, and it uses stamina just as if you're running.

I'll try to post a couple gameplay movies tonight so you can see how relatively speedy the horses are now. Definitely made it a lot more pleasant to dash through large zones like Connal's Valley and Field of Dead, albeit I've outleveled almost anything I'd want to do there. They seem a reasonable speed to me now - fast enough to get you where you want to go, slow enough that you can enjoy the scenery and such.

It's not perfect though. The "knocked off horse" animations seem messed up and sometimes flickering to me, and sometimes the ground textures would just vanish and I'd get knocked onto what seemed to be a transparent platform.  icon_confused

Some of the instances take hours to play so I'd just as soon my group not have to waste a lot of time just gathering at the entrance, or having to walk a mile from rez platforms outside the instance (most instances have a rez stone inside, but some don't).
10176  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 24, 2008, 01:13:56 PM
Here's a new dev post yesterday about changes in the works for tradeskills:
Now I'll detail what we plan on doing with Tradeskills and Resource and Building. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you a timeframe for the fixes and changes below, but we hope to get them done very soon. "Very soon" in this case means expect a few of the changes below to come in as early as thursday. Most of these changes we aim to have ready within a few weeks.

    * We will soon have a system where you can unlearn tradeskills.

    * We have added an item called "Alchemists Cache" to Mage/priest mobs. This item, when right-clicked, spawns a few random tradeskill resources for alchemists. These resources will include the 'missing' resources (for example Hyena meat and Icy Crocodile tears) so that alchemists are able to progress further than Tier1.
    * As soon as possible we will patch out a new Resource and Building population consisting of spiders, hyenas, etc, that will drop the resource "proper". These mobs will be put into Lacheish Plains, Poitain and Purple Lotus Swamp. These mobs will have a typical droprate of between 10-50% droprate of these items.
    * At a later stage (still to be determined), we are patching in vendor-bought recipes - these vendor-bought recipes will increase your magic damage. We are also looking into creating various other potions, but thats more hush-hush.

    * Architects are undergoing a design-revamp - what exactly is included in this revamp I won't say, but it will allow architects to use their abilities for combat purposes as well as for building the cities.

    * Weaponsmiths will get a number of blue recipes in the future. These recipes can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will be spread throughout the tiers of weaponsmithing and will cover all different weapons (but not ammo).

    * As with Weaponsmiths, Armorsmiths will get a number of blue recipes that can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will provide a more diverse look than what the game currently offers and at level 80, it will be possible to craft an entire set of armor (provided of course that you find the recipes for them).

Resource and Building Regions
    * Traders and Trainers will spawn in the guild-cities. These traders and trainers will spawn depending on what building is built (for instance, a Trader will spawn at the Tradepost).
    * City-life will start appearing in cities. The more buildings you build, the more NPC's will immigrate to your city.
    * We are removing the randomly spawning mobs from the playfields. Instead, we are creating encampments that will dynamically spawn content on the attackers level.
    * Quests - we are adding quests to the Resource and Building regions (Lacheish Plains, Poitain, Purple Lotus Swamp). These quests will not be repeatable.

Various other fixes are also being looked at, amongst others the socketing-bugs and the droprate of leather.

Also, the new update introduced a nasty Alchemist crafting bug (the dangers of removing something the game expects to be there):
I am also writing this in order to explain what has happened to the alchemy crash since todays patch.

Let me start with the bad stuff first.

First off - if you are an Alchemist, opening the tradeskill book by any means will crash your client since last patch. This will be fixed with thursdays patch.

This happened when we were re-arranging some of the potions for tradeskills - If you are an alchemist I'm sure you remember some of the potions would not do anything when created. These potions have been removed from the inventory and will make it back into the game at a later stage. Removing these had an unexpected effect and was unfortunately overlooked by us when patching out the latest patch. We are sorry about this.

Let me assure you - if you are getting the crash, you are not bugged. The recipe book is simply trying to find objects that are no longer available and we have programmers looking into a safeguard for the future so that this type of thing does not happen again.
10177  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 24, 2008, 01:10:05 PM
I finally got a horse mount last night (a guildmate helped me reach the 2G point), see our "Art" screenshots thread.  icon_cool

The horse is very sprightly (-post that recent update that buffed mount speeds), and a lot of fun to ride. I found it easiest to steer with mouse look (hold RMB down and swivel a bit), and move with the run toggle key. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but I enjoyed just riding around earlier zones and taking in the scenery. I find it a bit clumsy to maneuver in close quarters, or make subtle movements, but it seems to be by design.

Spacebar gets the horse to rear up on its hind legs and give a hearty "neigh." As they'd said, mounted combat is pretty limited. The horse can do some fairly nasty front-kicking for damage, and you can use your basic directional attacks, though it's a little tricky staying in the right position to do so.

I really think that PC Gamer totem item that lets you port back to your home region (once you get out of Tortage and start playing from your Home area) should be a standard item for everyone at some point. Maybe hold it back to 30 or 40 or something as a "carrot," but I've found it enormously useful and a great timesaver even if it is limited to roughly once-every-24-hours use.

There's a "Summon to Instance" function that I'd agree should just be turned into some sort of "group gathering" skill (as is, it seems to just let you pull people to your "number" of an area if the game generated another instance due to excessive # of players). It would be a great timesaver when putting instance teams together.

10178  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 24, 2008, 12:50:48 PM
Some of the supposed nerfing falls under the "Nuke" section:
Nuke Balance Adjustments

    * All damage spells have been rebalanced to take into account your having all 8 pet points at level 20. This leads to better scaling of your damage spells, and reinforces that you are a pet class reliant on pets for a significant amount of damage.
    * Archmage pets incorrectly did not have the area-of-effect damage coefficient applied. Their damage has been corrected to take into account their nukes are AOE nukes.
    * Increased the damage of Necrotic Pustule, Gelid Bones, and Chill.
    * Significantly increased the explosion damage of Necrotic Bomb.
    * Chill has received splash damage (50% damage to 1 target), and splash damage from Ice Strike has received a increase in splash damage from 15% to 30%.
    * Lifestrike Rank 4 will correctly have the damage-over-time effect.
    * Parasitic Soul Swarm and Unholy Hands will now take pet damage contribution into account and should be in line with damage as it was originally intended.
From what I saw last night, the Necro pets are running around like the Road Runner now, and seem to be more smoothly animated (doesn't look like a lot of mannequins doing Charlie Chaplin-shuffles.  icon_razz And they still seem to be a holy terror.

Although the "reach the cave" part of the Cannibal Commotion quest has been fixed, you need to delete the quest if you already had it, and then get it again from the NPC at the Mountain top camp (in the little circular shack). And then it should complete when you reach that cave again.

I can give you a tip for what comes after that but it's a spoiler...
Spoiler for Hiden:
I think the next quest after the cave completion (or maybe the 2nd one after) triggers a nasty series [I think it's just two waves] of "wave attacks" on the cave, Cannibals per wave. If another player is triggering the quest too, you'll get quickly swamped. You *will* get quest credit even if other players squash the wave for you, so you may even want to ask for a hand if other players are in the cave.  icon_smile

I'm not sure I'm crazy about the new spawn/mob densities, speed out around there though. If there aren't other players around you farming, you can easily get overwhelmed now, or have to charge through an army on your way to somewhere else.

10179  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc - mount! on: June 24, 2008, 12:44:41 PM
I was so worried the mounts wouldn't live up to my expectations. I finally got a horse mount tonight (a guild mate was kind enough to donate about 65s when I mentioned I was counting down until I could afford one). It turns out to be unbelievably fun to ride  icon_biggrin, and you can do basic combat from one (only basic attacks + the mount's innate attack -- a healthy front leg kick for the horses). Since the other's day update buffed up most mount's speeds, it's quite sprightly and a lot faster than walking. I actually rode from Tarantia out to Eiglophian, Just for Fun.  icon_smile

Here are some pics:

Steering takes just a bit of practice. You really only need to use your run-lock key and mouselook movement to steer - it's hard at first to resist trying to use keyboard keys for movement.

In combat.

Spacebar gooses the horse to pop a wheelie and "neeeeigh."   icon_cool
10180  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 23, 2008, 08:17:27 PM
The dev updates claim they're re-doing a lot of descriptions in the game to be, well, more descriptive. And brother does it need it.   icon_razz

Furious Inspiration is helpful but I really have a hard time telling when it's going off (other than the little icon, there isn't much to indicate it's "firing off").

My Conq's at 54. While he can handle some things above him now, I've found that a pair of 58s will hand him his lunch. A single one he can deal with. So I've got a quest where you have to take out a pair, and I just can't quite handle it solo. With any sort of help at all (just a partner of any AT), he's a worldbeater. I find I have to adjust my expectations on the days i'm switching a lot between solo and teams.  icon_razz
10181  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Teaser? on: June 23, 2008, 05:50:39 PM
Lets just ignore it and keep assuming it's Diablo III or a Starcraft MMO. That's a lot more interesting than assuming Blizzard's doomed (not that they're complaining icon_neutral) to an eternity of paid WoW expansions the rest of this century.  icon_razz

Until the "rune explanation," I too was assuming it was perhaps just a fresh tease for SC II.
10182  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 23, 2008, 03:50:15 PM
NPC cries for help should no longer trigger aggro through collision such as walls and other structures.
Pretty amusing...  icon_lol
10183  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 23, 2008, 03:05:41 PM
* The guild I'm in has some Tempests of Sets and I'll post if I see any feedback during the week.  icon_smile

Balancing in these things is tricky, esp. PvE vs. PvP needs (see what happened in CoX once PvP balancing became required). All Mass Nerfing tends to do is drive a lot of people either out of the game (if they were in love with a particular AT) or away from the AT. That said, a few of the classes right now are like one-person Armies and really don't need teammates (outside of Epic Instances) at all it seems.

* I really hope the "client code performance" remedies the memory leak/"decay in system performance over time" situation

* It took me weeks to get a clue, but the Trading Post NPCs first tab on the left is actually your personal stash (maybe I'm the last person to realize this). I thought it was just a "selling" tab but you right click items there to sell them, otherwise it's just your stash. Though to be fair, I've been too busy saving for a mount.

A guild bud donated his last 65S to me last night (I didn't beg, was just joking about being about 78 Silver shy of amount). He said once he had a decent mount he didn't feel like he really needed to save up for anything per se. So I'm about 12-13S shy now.  icon_cool
10184  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 23, 2008, 01:14:42 PM
Here's the EU Forum page link:

Necromancer/Demonoligists massive overhaul seems to have gone in today, among other things. Some promising performance improvements at the end. As to what this all broke in the process, stay tuned.  icon_wink

And worth a separate shoutout: All loot bags have doubled in size!  icon_cool [I assume they mean the add-ons you purchase, not sure]

I highlighted the Quests section too as a few annoying broken quests seem to have been fixed.

And pasted:
Massive PvP

    * Player city keeps now contain a vendor that sells siege weapons.
    * Players will now get teleported out of the zone before the battle starts.
    * Traders that would not spawn at the Battlekeep Tradeposts will now spawn. Traders will now be available at Battlekeeps.
    * Ballista NPCs will no longer spawn at an unbuilt tower.
    * The Boarder Kingdoms has had its environments adjusted. This should reduce draw-distance in those playfields and contribute to a performance-increase.

Player Character

    * Mages will now do less damage with ranged weapons to set them apart from specialized ranged weapon classes like the Ranger.

Core Revision Adjustments

    * Kidney Shots will now properly go on cooldown, is now stackable for 12 second from the original 6 seconds and it's stacking buff duration has been increased to 10 seconds.
    * Flesh Necrosis has been given a new and improved visual.
    * Atrophy has an added persistent effect on the target while the debuff is in effect.

Core Revision Adjustments

    * Rage of the Tempest now correctly grants your team increased electrical damage, not increased fire damage.

Dark Templar
Core Revision Adjustments

    * Rite of Blood will now display health loss, stamina gain and the affect of its enhancement.

New Spells

    * Forced Summoning will allow you to summon a pet of the opposite sex than what would normally be summoned  icon_lol if cast before the specific summoned pet. You will receive this spell at level 9 with your first pet summon spell. All characters above level 9 will get this spell automatically.

Core Revision Adjustments

    * Diabolic Insight and Infernal Knowledge now last 12 hours instead of 1 hour and will no longer be removed upon death.
    * Wicked Bolts received a name change to be consistent regardless of how many points you have invested in it.

Herald of Xotli
Core Revision Adjustments

    * Herald of Xotli fatalities now have effects to them.
    * Corrected spelling of the name of the feat "Spell - Undying Glory of Xotli"

New Spells

    * You will now gain a new single target snare - Ice Shackle - at level 5. If you are already higher than level 5, you will gain this spell automatically.

Core Revision Adjustments

    * Dark Knowledge and Vile Insight now last 12 hours instead of 1 hour and will no longer be removed upon death.
    * Plagued Heart Curse will now correctly increase in damage with more feats trained.
    * Decomposition now increases Flesh to Worms by 35% at max rank instead of 30%.
    * Unholy Power has been rebalanced to have a more consistent effect across all levels.
    * Brutal Death now increases the critical strike chance of Pestilential Blast, Life Strike, Ice Strike, and Chill by 2/4/6/8/10%
    * Ice Shards now increases the splash range and damage inflicted by Chill in addition to Ice Strike.
    * Flash Freeze now additionally increases the damage of Frost Blast by 75/150/250%.
    * Bones of Frost now additionally increases the damage of Gelid Bones by 5/10/15/20/30%.
    * Frozen Body now increases the damage of Ice Strike, Chill, and Deathly Blizzard by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    * Corrupted Soul now increases the damage of Pestilential Blast, Life Strike, and Blasphemous Ruin by 2/4/6/8/10%
    * Soul Absorption now restores a significantly higher amount of mana when consuming a pet.
    * Frost Reach now additionally increases the damage of Frost Blast by 75/150/250%.
    * Ritual of the Lich has had its spell damage multiplier increases from 10% to 25%.
    * Embrace Death now has an increased effect. The maximum effect of this ability has been increased from 4% to 10%.
    * Pets now move faster and follow NPCs better.
    * Void has had its stamina/mana drain increased. It will also have the chance to crit.
    * Archmage feat has been moved to up in the general feat tree.
    * Unholy Fortitude has been changed to reduce the recast time of Frenzy by 12 seconds per rank, up from 4 seconds per rank.
    * The levels at which you get your pet points has been significantly changed. You will now get them at the following levels: level 5 - 2 points, level 10 - 4 points, level 15 - 6 points, level 20 - 8 points. You will now have your maximum number of pet points available at level 20.
    * Despoiled the Soul has had its mana cost and recast time reduced. When you train Despoil the Soul you will get a secondary spell, Reap the Soul. This spell can be used to refresh your current Despoil the Soul, making it easier to keep your Despoil the Soul counter where you want it. In addition, Despoil the Soul will also increase a bonus to magical damage instead of being a damage multiplier.

Nuke Balance Adjustments

    * All damage spells have been rebalanced to take into account your having all 8 pet points at level 20. This leads to better scaling of your damage spells, and reinforces that you are a pet class reliant on pets for a significant amount of damage.
    * Archmage pets incorrectly did not have the area-of-effect damage coefficient applied. Their damage has been corrected to take into account their nukes are AOE nukes.
    * Increased the damage of Necrotic Pustule, Gelid Bones, and Chill.
    * Significantly increased the explosion damage of Necrotic Bomb.
    * Chill has received splash damage (50% damage to 1 target), and splash damage from Ice Strike has received a increase in splash damage from 15% to 30%.
    * Lifestrike Rank 4 will correctly have the damage-over-time effect.
    * Parasitic Soul Swarm and Unholy Hands will now take pet damage contribution into account and should be in line with damage as it was originally intended.

Pet Effect Adjustments

    * Blighted One has had its proc rate and amount of mana damage significantly increased.
    * Dead Blight stamina damage was also significantly increased if it is trained and will have a chance to crit.
    * Harvester has received an increase to the amount of mana healed and stamina healed by the pet. The Harvester will now heal more mana than stamina (although the stamina gain is now still significantly increased over the previous value). These can also have a chance to crit.
    * Life-Stealer has had it's amount of health increased significantly. We also reduced the variance of the heal and added a chance to crit.
    * Mutilator's Mutilation damage-over-time (DoT) effect has had an increase to the damage. This will also have a chance to crit.

Tempest of Set
Core Revision Adjustments

    * Storm Field is now limited to affection 3 targets at a time.
    * Titanic Storm now additionally increases the number of targets affected by Storm Field by 50%.
    * Lightning Strike no longer has a cooldown.
    * The primary damage range of Lightning Strike has adjusted to be more consistent, the average damage remains the same
    * Lightning Strike has been modified to deal 40% splash damage to 3 targets instead of pure AoE damage
    * Pillar Lightning rank 2 and 3 now additionally increase the number of targets affected by Lightning Strike splash damage.
    * Fury of the Storm has been decreased from 60% to 40% critical damage modifier at max rank


    * Blood effects on pet attacks should now trigger correctly.
    * The evade bonus on characters has been revised when fighting lower level monsters.

**** Quests *****

    * Quests in the 20 - 40 level range have been revised so that they are all categorized under the proper locations in the quest journal.
    * Supply Routes quest in Conalls Valley should now be sorted under the correct region in the quest journal.
    * The “Jack of Ale” you get at “Rum n' Rumble” for the Mage destiny quest can now be removed from your inventory.
    * Magic Orb: The orbs have been lowered for characters that could not reach them due to shortness in height.
    * Awakening III - Neutralize Strom's Guard: You should no longer become stuck after killing the Boozed Bullies.
    * The Phoenix of the North: You should no longer become stuck in the barrier that shields the Phoenix of the North if you log off.
    * The Cimmerian's Axe, What Creeps Beneath, The Dangers of Decadence and Desert Raiders have had their waypoints corrected.
    * New dialog has been added for Sharak and Scyra when you've finished all the Destiny Quests.
    * Cannibal Commotion: The quest will now correctly update when you reach the cave that Attadeus and Demeras are located in.
    * Ibis, Master of Hidden Secrets: The quest can no longer be deleted from your journal as it was intended.
    * Phoenix of the East: It should no longer be possible to enter the Blood Rite Subterrene with multiple players.
    * To Battle a God: You should no longer experience issues with this quest if your journal is full.


    * Tooltips will now properly display spell affects of the spell line and proc affects to the spell line. They will also now properly display the gem modifications on the item itself.
    * Despoil the Soul will now display a stack count when stacked four times.


    * All bags have had their size doubled!
    * Many level 80 items that increased Max Mana have been adjusted to provide Max Stamina as they were intended. Barbarians will greatly benefit from this change.
    * Oil of Acuity will now replenish mana when consumed.
    * Vanir NPCs in Conall's Valley, Field of the Dead and the Eiglophian Mountains will drop a greater variety of Vanir-based loot.
    * Gossamer Silk should now be referenced correctly in the Full Trade Response.
    * Rusty Courage: The Rusty Old Sword has had it's sized reduced to reflect that of a humans and not of a giant's.
    * The Bloodied Spear now has a blue glow, indicating that you can interact with it.


    * The Beggar in Khemi will no longer give the chat bubble icon.
    * NPC cries for help should no longer trigger aggro through collision such as walls and other structures.
    * NPCs should no longer reset in mid combat.
    * Koruno Elder's has received a new sword as his offhand weapon.
    * The White Hand Priest’s Emanation of Life spell will now have a longer cooldown and will also display the icon for the spell in the Priest’s debuff window.
    * Awi-Awan from the Purple Lotus Swamp is now flagged as an Armorsmith Trainer.
    * Barkripper Ursa is now a group encounter.


Armsman Arena

    * You will now need to interact with the Arena Gong after speaking with the Announcer to receive a challenge.

Eiglophian Mountains

    * Eiglophian Mountains has received a number of enhancements and adjustments based off player feedback.
    * More Hungry Ice Worms, Ice Worm Devoures, Snow Apes, Mountain Apes and Cliff Apes have been added.
    * The respawn timers of the NPCs in the area has also been adjusted.
    * Ymirish Rimebinder has been reverted from a group encounter to a solo encounter.

Khopshef Province

    * New quests and monsters have been added.
    * Black Castle is no longer Epic Mode enabled as it's turned into a group dungeon.

Kyllikki's Crypt

    * The light and environment in Kyllikki's Crypt should be a little better.

Sanctum of the Burning Souls

    * Treasures are now scattered throughout the sanctum.
    * NPCs will now never lose aggro.


    * Silver Necklet has had its level adjusted to 40 as it was originally intended.
    * Skymetal-Studded Wristbands (normal) and Bluesteel-studded Wristbands (rare) should now have different stats from each other.
    * Stone, Iron and Gold nodes have had new visual effect applied to them to make the nodes more visible to all.
    * All items that contain gems will no longer have the gems removed when undoing a sale in the shop.
    * Wolves in Lacheish Plains have had their Worled Leather drops adjusted as intended.
    * Gems will no longer visually overwrite the first one.
    * Crafted cloaks will now support the equipping of gems.


    * Performance: A number of code changes have been made to improve client performance.
    * New advance video options have been added for particles. Turning down the particle settings will increase performance.

10185  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 23, 2008, 04:03:07 AM
Gamespot has an AoC Hardware Guide that might be useful:
10186  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 23, 2008, 03:48:45 AM
Got some neat group screenshots from a moderately successful Tomb instance team (we at least got the Ancient Weapons quest done, and a couple of the guards). These give an idea of how 50-ish toons look.

The Fellowship of... I mean, the Hyborian Brotherhood of...

We had what seemed to be a pretty good mix, I think of 6 different classes.

The Polearm guy is a Guardian who sort of apologized for not being a Shield-tank Guardian.

I'm not really a big fan of the Fear Affect animation where your character basically becomes Michael Jackson on Roller Skates, doing this wacky, uncontrolled moonwalk in every direction in the near vicinity.  disgust icon_razz So that's me and the archer doing our required moonwalking... We needed a second try to beat this boss (not a quest boss, just an Annoying one).
10187  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 22, 2008, 08:40:20 PM
I'm a combat-heavy guy and so far that has what has hooked me and kept me in it. I appreciate that others want to build houses, boats, furniture etc., and I don't think AoC  has enough properly functioning crafting features to satisfy that need right now. I don't think those things (unless you consider the Guild keep stuff "houses") are a focus of the game, and I never would've recommended AoC to someone who wants to focus more on those kinds of things. I'd more likely recommend LOTORO myself (which I retain a lot of fondness for) even if you can't make your own boat. icon_neutral

And I really do think it was a mistake to make mounts so prohibitively expensive. I maybe understand it with the pre-order mounts (Mammoth, Rhino) cause you want to keep them something fairly rare. But mounts are a cool feature in the game (that I'm sure many players never even reach) and it just seems a shame to make even a starter horse such a bear to afford unless you're a resource-gathering maniac or spend all day at the auction house. LOTORO had a tricky little obstacle course, and some slightly annoying navigational horse-riding before you could use one, but at least you could get a horse without too much financial agony.

As for solo vs. grouping, I think fixing a lot of the malfunctioning quests would really enhance the solo experience (and while I'm addicted to the game, I *do* agree they should be scolded for allowing so many broken quests to [presumably] knowingly go into the release version of the game). The problems is a lot of these broken things are parts of quest chains so you end up having content that players can't even get to. Blackjackian's in the 50s, there's plenty to do, but he has about 3 quests that are bugged, or you don't get credit for killing a boss, or reaching a location etc.

I've piped up in the chat channels frequently that they need additional chat channels, such as:
-An LFG Channel (LOTORO has this, and generally it makes it much faster to find a group or recruit cause you're chatting in a channel devoted to the topic). Right now, most LFG type message are in OOC or the region channel (Cimmeria, Stygia etc.) The problem being, there might be a good instance in Stygia, but you're in Cimmeria and you won't even know. One central LFG channel would be really helpful in that regard, among other things.

-A "newbie" or "Q&A" or "FAQ" channel
Since so much of the game just isn't intuitive right now (supposedly they're working on improving descriptions and explanations, tutorials etc.) you end up with people hollering out questions all over the place in chat. Might as well give people a channel for that, it's worked fine in other games I've played. Hell, even Hellgate and Tabula Rasa had "new player" chat channels that were really useful.

I don't think it's so much you can't find teams, or people aren't recruiting, we're all just struggling with the chaotic disorganization of the chat channels, and the strangely designed search tools (you can search for someone by level, and area, but not by what particular quests or instances they want to do, for example). The tools just don't seem very useful and most of my teams are through squawking in a region or OOC channel, or just inviting someone I stumble into who's working on the same quest as me.

I can only change from my own limited MMO experience but I feel like COH/COV and LOTORO have much, much, more useful/flexible search tools for LFG, LFT, LFM, recruiting etc. and yet you can just use them pretty simply if you don't want to dig into their menu options. AoC's (to me) feels like a neanderthal axe by comparison. icon_razz

Anyway, I could go on, but according to the latest dev postings they are working on improving the LFG interface, and the chat UI, channels etc.   They really need to move on those things, it would really improve the experience a lot.
10188  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 22, 2008, 05:50:41 PM
It'll probably just make it slower.  icon_razz (which is the impact it has in stuff like Company of Heroes)

Couple battle videos. Lot of Conq attacks have different animations for the 40-59 variations, it turns out (like Batter Aside, and Dancing Steel).

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-Field-of-Dead-epic-surrounded [Not really Epic, somehow snuck into the file name]
I was running back through Field of Dead and ended up in the middle of a couple of "kited" groups. Even with a 6-7 lev difference it can still get a little challenging if you get carried away...

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-Cannibal-Battle
10189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Stan Winston RIP on: June 22, 2008, 01:06:43 AM
Blue's News pointed out a neat Rotten Tomatoes online feature highlighting the films Winston worked on, along with a few choice original trailers in streaming video form (when available online). It's pretty neat. I can still remember seeing The Terminator with my visiting brother while I was in college, in a so-so theater, but we were so completely drawn into the movie.  icon_cool Between that, Aliens and Terminator 2, I was a blithering James Cameron fanboy for quite a few years.  icon_biggrin I was also convinced Michael Biehn would be "the next Harrison Ford." Oops.  icon_redface

Total Recall: The Best of Stan Winston
We take a look back at the celebrated career of Hollywood's beloved creature artist.

It's really a great little way to celebrate his work.
10190  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 21, 2008, 05:57:27 PM
Oh gawd, another thread! Shoot me now!  icon_razz Well, I finally realized the US forums have no dev announcements section at all. The EU-English one does, at:
AoC dev announcements

Also, the Funcom Product Manager (nickname of LordOrion), doesn't currently seem to get his posts pulled up by their dev tracker there. You can view all his posts via this link there (much of it's frivilous but there's an occasional nugget of info):

I kinda had fun digging up dev posts to highlight for Champions Online earlier in the year, thought I'd try it a bit with AoC.

Some interesting stuff updated just yesterday (June 20):

* Mounts
Camels are "on the way
Ha! I was just joking about camel mounts last night, I had no idea.  icon_smile

Scroll down that thread and you can see a new dev post about plans to adjust some things complained about in mounts, including sluggish dismounting in combat.
Quote from: Svein Erik "Sharum" Jenset, Striketeam Lead: BCC Design, Funcom
One of the hottest topics on these boards recently has been how long it takes to dismount, and how easily it is to get killed if dismounting while in combat. While this is true to our design, where mounted combat has a lot to do with gaining extra mobility at the cost of certain other factors, we take the feedback we receive very seriously and have mapped out a solution that we hope players will feel go a long way towards remedying this issue. As it currently is every character that is a member of the Rogue archetype have access to a Quick Dismount ability.

Now, before you all de-rail right here by saying 'But that ability doesn't work' let me just jump in and say that 'We're on top of it, we're fixing it'. However, to get back on track, we're going to give said ability out to every character regardless of his or her archetype. You will still have to stand still in order to use it, it still won't be a instant "poof" off your mount and it will have a cooldown to it; but we're taking this step in the hopes of making players feel less "doomed" because they want to dismount while engaged in combat.

To keep with the original design where members of the Rogue archetype, due to their naturally higher dexterity (and I use the word as a adjective here, not as a reference to the in-game stat), would be more nimble and able to quickly dismount we're revamping their version of the Quick Dismount ability and allowing them to use it while moving. I'm not going to go into further details about this revamp for the time being as, during the process of testing and balancing, many of the finer details might change.
And, that's about all that's new enough you might not have read about it somewhere else already.

I think though this short post about the "breast situation" a while back has the funniest dev topic title ever...

Funcom statement on botched boob job icon_lol
10191  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 21, 2008, 05:26:59 PM
I'll check around the official forums and let you know. Thanks for reminding me. I haven't wasted any Feat points on 'em yet (Taunt/Goad).  icon_smile
10192  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 21, 2008, 02:43:46 PM
For my Conq, a light bulb sort of went off at 50. I picked up the Slash Throat feat/combo, a single key combo that stuns target(s) and has a really cool but quick spin animation (you spin around twice like a top). It's so useful, and I should've gotten it earlier. icon_redface

And after our discussion of tanking type stuff here, I realized my taunt combo (Brutal Enraging Strike I think, I bound it to the "v" key) was also my best damaging combo from what I can tell. So I'm using it a lot more, and it makes things a lot easier (if not easy).

And I did finally notice the specific taunt (single taunt) and Goad (multiple target taunt) amongst the Feats, but I'm still debating whether to bother with those at this point.

I also got Hoarfrost at 50, and what seems to work for me in terms of buffs is that and the Shield of Retribution. You can read 1,997 other opinions at the officials forums, but that combo's working for me really well in the 50s.  icon_cool

10193  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 21, 2008, 12:08:23 PM
Some M-rated gore (you've been warned icon_twisted). Not posting from my Photobucket space, not sure they would approve.  paranoid icon_lol The first one was a really annoying boss that seemed to be teleporting away from me (I know, maybe a bug  disgust) so it was enormously satisfying to finally finish it off. The second one I blacked out the quest description so as to not spoil anything. And the sword is an Bastard Sword (at 50), love the basic look...
10194  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 20, 2008, 07:29:34 PM
Thanks. Yeah I should look into that. Right now I have pretty much the highest level of each attack combo hotkeyed, but perhaps I should look closer at which ones are more effective, or set up a #2 hotkey tray (The Hate Tray icon_twisted) that I use just when teaming.
10195  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 20, 2008, 05:36:13 PM
I'll try actually asking a question here.  saywhat

So, my 49 Conqueror doesn't really have a "hotkey-able" taunt skill/ability, right? I've put some more points into the Taunt skill, but afik, it just seems to mean you have a slightly better chance of generating "hate" when you hit something. I think maybe this is what the Funcom guys have been talking about recently, the need to improve some of their skill descriptions so players have a better idea of what something is, or how to use it.

Other than one command ability that's supposed to decrease the possibility of a target focusing on my teammates (and I really don't have any idea if it's doing anything), I just don't seem to have much that lets me pseudo-tank well in groups. I know "that's the Guardian's job," but my groups often haven't had one and refer to me as the tank, and I'm often thinking, "Who? Me?"  paranoid

I guess I'm used to most games having a "taunt" key, and woops, you draw everyone to you. Am I missing something that should let me (a Conq) be able to do that? There are a couple of upper rung feats that modify Hate, and maybe that's what I need. I didn't bother with them much to this point.

To this point, what I've tried to do is simply whack enemies as much as I can (I'm good at that  icon_lol), knock them down if they're beating up on a "squishy," and just reposition myself between them and my softer teammates, when I can.
10196  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 20, 2008, 03:17:34 PM
Can't we all just get along?  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.

I've mostly found AoC grouping fun, but the sheer number of classes, different ways people play, and different ways the game plays from others I've played (I only played WoW about 3 weeks, but I was a big LOTORO fan for maybe 6-7 months) makes it challenging. Whether that's by design or because it's over ambitious and buggy, I can't really say yet myself.  icon_confused

If you read the latest official AoC newsletter, the Game Director admits to a different kind of "failure to anticipate," which is that they simply didn't have enough support people and people to take care of in-game petitions and the like (they're "staffing up," and relying on an influx of temps in the short-term). Now I can't really see how you can hype a game as much as they hyped AoC and not anticipate a massive amount of players in the opening weeks, but it did remind me of Blizzard somehow not anticipating how popular WoW would be when it launched and the whole server-que thing. I agree that wasn't a technical error, it was a marketing-forecasting goof, and a sort of "failure to anticipate how popular the Blizzard brand is."

So I'd really like if the Big Budget MMO-Makers would be realistic, but I guess they can't really justify hiring a bunch of people or having a huge number of servers at launch to their investors/CEOs unless they really have The Proof. You can end up with something like Auto Assault's situation (8 mostly empty servers at launch rapidly consolidated to one).

From my own more limited MMO experience, LOTORO was by far the smoothest launch I'd experienced (though I'm sure you could Google and find all sorts of complaints still). COH in 2004 went relatively smoothly too (imho) though there was much grumbling about No Capes, a Level 40 cap, there's no PVP, there's no "end game," etc. etc.

I'm really not into bashing other games to make a point. I think most MMOs have different strengths and weaknesses. Part of the challenge when I switch to another one is altering my combat style and expectations. What it comes down to for me is I have a lot of fun with AoC, enough to recommend it to people with solid systems and lots of RAM who like a heavy combat focus, but I'm well aware Funcom has a lot of work to do. I guess I sound like a politician. So be it.  icon_neutral

One thing I would like with the group-focused quests is maybe a little better indication in the description whether it's a quest that physically, absolutely requires a group (i.e., epic hit point level enemies), or if it's suggesting a group because of the heavy enemy population and patrols in the area (but regular hp-level enemies). The latter, when I figure out it's the situation, I can usually tackle solo with a little bit of caution and precision (it's even fun in a way that way). It's just, you can't really tell from the description (I either find out by asking, or by investigating the area a bit). I dunno - maybe they can have 3 of those "stick figure heads" to indicate you mathematically *must* have teammates to do it, and 2 heads to indicate "we recommend you have a team, but you might be able to find a way solo." icon_smile
10197  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 20, 2008, 01:12:36 PM
I really like this Vanir Armor (upper 40s drop), and it matched the belt bj's been using, but the stats were so-so:

I didn't have a "live" shot of Blackjackian with some snazzy boots that dropped in Frost Swamp, but here's a "dead" shot  icon_razz:

The pants are kind of strange-looking, but excellent stats and hey! - pants, not skirts.  icon_biggrin Frost Swamp can be a real bear, even if you numerically think your group is overqualified for it. But it seems to have some great loot drops, not even from anything special (the armor pants and boots weren't from Bosses).

10198  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 20, 2008, 12:59:18 PM
I was trying to get some information on Hoarfrost (I think it's a Conq ability at 50). Saw this interesting (perhaps more info that anyone wants really) comparison of Fireweave and Hoarfrost:

It's some general gaming-tanks fan site.

10199  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 20, 2008, 04:43:37 AM
Trying to get some portrait-type pics (something that would look good on an AoC Playing Card  icon_smile) of classes I've teamed with. Here's a couple...

Bear Shaman

10200  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 19, 2008, 09:08:02 PM
The latest update did buff up the speed of the heavier mounts a bit. Anyway, I'll live. icon_smile I'm glad I scraped up enough for my measly 4-slot bag-extender (every bit helps). I think maaaybe I can afford the starter-horse (2G) in perhaps a week or two. I've done enough venting about my mount-envy.  icon_razz

I'm hoping the ballyhooed reworking/improving of crafting will adjust the economy a bit. I've been too busy chopping things up to think about it much.

I'd still like some sort of individual loot stash (as most hack'n'slashes do now and in recent years), or at least maybe a small individual stash within the guild stash. My guilds leaders in their infinite wisdom (ahem) only gave the "leaders" access to items in the guild stash. I just have a handful of things I tend to drag along (I got a drop of the generic L50 2-hand sword for example and want to save it), and I wish there was an easy way to store them there so I wasn't wasting me precious slots.

Anyway, I'm just kvetching. I mentioned in the other thread I canceled CoX again, and I plan to just stick with this for a while. icon_cool

Oh btw, this is still atop of the U.S. PC game sales charts (Mass Effect nipping at its heels) for now. We'll see how long it lasts. I can remember LOTORO atop the charts for a bit last year, and then before you know it, the top 5 retail games were all WoW and Sims stuff again.  icon_neutral
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