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10201  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 11, 2008, 12:24:51 AM
And still, I never could get a job in public relations.  icon_lol

Just a heads up -- they've locked the "suggested Q&A questions" thread and say they'll pick a lot of fan questions from that thread, and have some answers to share soon, so that'll be something to chew on.
10202  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 10, 2008, 05:31:41 PM
K, but what about my thrilling questions?  icon_confused icon_smile

Laptop Blog reports the new 8GB details for U.S. market just announced:
http://blog.laptopmag.com/eee-pc-to-get-intels-diamondville-hard-drives-and-fashion-forward-style
Quote
Any information on the pricing on the new 8.9-inch model?
In the beginning and in April, around the release date, it will initially be higher and be around $499 in the United States. From the user feedback, I think if we provide a bigger screen and bigger storage it may be more popular than the 7-inch version. The second generation is very important for us.

Beyond the screen, how will the new machines be different?
The screen size will be 8.9 inches. And the storage, which was originally 4GB, will be upgraded to versions with an 8GB solid state drive and a 12 to 20GB solid state drives. We aren’t sure yet if the second machine will be 12 or 20GB because of guidelines we have to follow. The 8GB machine will run Windows XP and the 12 or the 20GB will be Linux based. The Windows XP machine will have 1GB of RAM. The screen resolution on each of these will be 1024 x 600.
It mentions they moved the speakers from the sides to the bottom of the Eee PC to make more room for a larger monitor screen.

Apparently it's selling like crazy, esp. in Japan and Europe, but they are running into some battery supply issues. It sold about 350,000 in the fourth quarter of '07.
Quote
In our hour-long interview, Shen shared that the Eee PC will get:

A 8.9-inch display and Windows XP: Confirming that the machine shown at CeBIT will come to market in April, the new Eee PC will have a 8.9-inch screen and a higher 1024 x 600-pixel resolution An 8GB SSD will be available running Windows XP. A 12GB or 20GB SSD model will be available with Xandros.

Hard Drives: Asus is considering giving customers a choice between their current offering of solid state drives and regular hard drives in the future.

Intel’s Diamondville: Shen revealed that the low-cost notebook platform will adopt Intel’s Diamondville processor
in Q2 rather than VIA’s mobile computing platform.

More Colors and Stylish Looks: In May or June, Asus will release “very stylish” versions of the Eee PC. Shen says they will have a New York City sleekness.
Lot of interesting stuff, more than I can cut and paste here. Check it out if you're interested where they're going with it.

The ASUS CEO seems to indicate they don't want to lose what's appealing about it (low cost, light weight, simple to use etc.) so they're not likely to take it bigger than 8.9-10" or bloat it into a $1,000 product. He seems to realize there is some concern notebook makers are dropping down into Eee PC's territory (price wise), and that it might hurt both markets to some extent.
10203  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starcraft 2 - Zerg Revealed on: March 10, 2008, 05:11:58 PM
And why doesn't Blizzard trademark the term "zerg" so they get a royalty check every time someone uses it as a generic term for rushing or overwhelming an opponent in a strategy game.  icon_smile I got a little tired of it in my Company of Heroes multiplayer days. "I'm going to zerg the German base camp!" Get a dictionary, punk!  disgust icon_lol

I'm part Korean and while I'm sure all my brethren there will wear Starcraft 2 pajamas, sleep in Starcraft 2 sheets, brush their teeth with Starcraft 2 toothpaste using their Starcraft 2 toothbrushes, and then start the next day with a nice Starcraft 2 themed bowl of Starcraft 2 Frosty Sugar Ghost Bombs cereal as they watch the animated adventures of Starcraft 2 on their Starcraft 2-skinned flatscreen TV, it remains to be seen if the U.S. market will love an RTS so openly fixated on the needs of the South Korean Starcraft 2 Competition market. What about idiots like me who just want a fun RTS with an interesting storyline?  icon_neutral

10204  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 10, 2008, 04:09:46 PM
I got my Dr. Barium empathy defender to 37 last night. On weekends at least, there's no shortage of teams if you're an empathy defender.  icon_smile Still tricky to solo with, but I can handle most stuff on heroic at least.

I'm still lacking absorb pain and I'm not so uber a healer that I can keep a team going when it's overmatched, as I found out on a big team tackling a Circle of Thorns temple mish last night. But I'm really starting to enjoy it anyway. I don't complain if people get cocky or sloppy (I think I did with this character earlier), I just try to enjoy the challenge of keeping the team upright no matter how they play. You do need "line of sight" to heal though and it gets tricky in really cramped conditions (caves, temples etc). Sometimes they'll be close, you know they're in trouble, but if you can't see to them, can't heal 'em.
10205  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 10, 2008, 03:11:05 PM
I'll keep digging (and thanks for the kind comment  icon_smile). I just mean ya'll don't need me to find every dev post anymore.  icon_smile I'll still "cherry pick" the ones that seem most likely to interest people.

I ran a few tiny fan sites (Geo's Incubation Site, The Shadow's Darkstone Tomb, Ring of Red Central and 12 Angry Soldiers [devoted to a bargain game dev's military shooters]), and I sometimes miss posting news items, but I don't think my current job would let me do that regularly anymore. I just sneak in here when I should be working sometimes.  icon_wink Oddly enough, it was my dialup host that offered pretty awesome free-included Web hosting including cgi-bin access and a generous hit/bandwidth allowance. My cable provider (Cox) sux in that regard. So my fan site enthusiasm since withered away.

Well, here's an interesting tidbit. Community Guy Sporkfire said they have a Powerpoint presentation at their corporate site explaining why they believe Champion's engine database will be "improved and optimized to mitigate latency:

Lag mitigation discussion thread (with a link to the Powerpoint presentation)
http://forums.champions-online.com/showthread.php?p=74531#post74531

And dev Arkayne mentioned they'll have a Web feature up shortly explaining what the consequences of death will be in the game (I doubt they'll just parrot COH's debt system, or the "just run back from the graveyard" aspect as in WoW).

What Should the Consequences of Death Be?
http://forums.champions-online.com/showthread.php?p=75163#post75163
I'll bet this might be subject to change depending on how feedback is in the beta down the road.

I'd like to see something creatively done with it though. I'm not sure yet.But think about all the times a comic book character dies and gets resurrected.


10206  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 09, 2008, 07:26:58 PM
Oh if you want to catch up on the videos, Gametrailers has a lengthy page:
http://www.gametrailers.com/game/1905.html

The Character demonstration gives an idea of how things start:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/31241.html
Apparently, right away, you pull a sword out of your...  saywhat icon_lol
10207  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Titan Quest on Vista on: March 09, 2008, 04:45:10 PM
You might check around the fan-run Titanquest.net forums (Iron Lore's dead but the fans running those forums plan to keep going):
http://www.titanquest.net/

Plug "Vista" into the search box and you'll see quite a few threads on diff situations.

Saw a post where a guy had trouble installing TQ in the 64-bit version of Vista, but not in the 32-bit. There was also a mention of needing a particular version of DirectX9 for Vista. Also, NVIDIA has various hotfixes for its videocards for Vista-related issues.

Although some of the Vista threads there deteriorate into "Vista sucks" and "No, everything runs great in Vista for me, you're a moron!" type discussions.  Roll Eyes
10208  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 09, 2008, 05:45:25 AM
Something called The MMO Gamer has another take from GDC, you might find it of interest though the impressions are strictly from watching a brief demo of already seen footage (no hands-on):

GDC Interview: Age of Conan Game Director Gaute Godager
http://www.mmo-gamer.com/?p=350
From the actual brief interview:
Quote
*Asked about the delays.
Gaute Godager: First of all, I understand that people get concerned, because being on the outside, not really knowing what’s going on, I’d just see one delay after another—or two delays, basically. You wonder what’s going on.

It’s basically us loving the game. It’s just us giving it enough time to mature, fix all the bugs. It’s much more important for an MMO to have a rock-solid launch than it is for us to keep a specific date. Though, I must say the 20th of May is definitely going to be the date when this game is coming out.

There is a big difference, though, on the internet between the people playing the game, our beta testers, and the people not playing our game. The beta testers whole-heartedly support us and say this is the right move for the game [That's great, although I've known plenty of folks who just play MMO betas and never sign up once they actually have to pay for it. I'm sure going back to Meredian 59, no beta tester in the history of MMOs ever thought the game was "ready to launch." Am I right? Who would ever want their "free" beta MMO to end?  stirthepot - blackjack]. And there wasn’t really one spot that had any big issues or big problems, it was more a general lifting the game in many areas and removing bugs, and polishing it, basically.
=============
*About PVP and PVE, how much time players will spend on each..
Gaute Godager: I’m not going to speculate on that, because we are going to open PvP servers and PvE servers, and it’s really up to the player. We have a deep system that allows players to get PvP progression through PvP levels.

We have several types of PvP minigames, like capture the skull, a four-man capture the flag. We have annihilation, free-for-all PvP areas, and of course the massive siege PvP system.

So, it’s really up to the player—what I can say is that people who do enjoy PvP will have a lot of different varieties of PvP to dabble in, or taste, or engulf themselves with inside Age of Conan.

*What do players expect from Conan?  nod
Everyone instantly realizes what it is, and what they want to see. They want to see blood and gore and beheadings and buxom women [I thought Conan was a sensitive guy!  icon_lol ], and something new and fresh and more realistic.
He has some interesting thoughts on the M-rating concerns too, but I think I've already gone cut 'n' paste overboard here. icon_biggrin

I think they should use his sentence there in the advertisements. In big colorful letters...
Age of Conan!
Blood and gore and beheadings and buxom women!
10209  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rikti Invasion battle screenshots on: March 08, 2008, 08:11:24 PM
Couple more from Atlas. If nothing else, these events bring people together and the servers don't feel so empty all of a sudden.  icon_smile




After a respec trial and Manticore TF, got Dr. Barium to 36 and finally got to try out Neutron Bomb power, which is fun but not as powerful as it is visually.  icon_cool

10210  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rikti Invasion battle screenshots on: March 08, 2008, 01:50:18 PM
Here's some pics from Rikti Invasion battles last night:

The Rikti ships are really something to see, as they drop explosives and A-bombs (I think the A-bombs spawn Rikti troops if you don't take them out within a certain amount of time, if I'm understanding it right -- or else maybe they just indicate where the troops will spawn in regardless  icon_confused) Unfortunately, you can't damage these ships at all -- if you get too close (as I did here), some sort of laser turret gun fries your arse in 1-2 shots.  icon_surprised


If several A-bombs drop in one place, then you're in for some serious chaos...


Like so. It's not exactly cerebral combat, but everyone in the zone seems to gather around these things, and it's a nice crazy change of piece. OK exp but it's not some Winter Lords thing.  drool


Similar scene over in Founder's Falls near the main fountain.



10211  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: COH Comic Book Creator stuff on: March 07, 2008, 10:44:16 PM
And for a few brief shining moments, my comic book creations were stars again.  icon_cool


And yeah I do think at this point 4 years after COH's release (April 2004) and 3 after COV (October 2005), they should be bargain basement pricing the games. I don't expect the monthly fees will ever go down, but it was wise when they went to the COH/COV covered under the one price (it wasn't that way at COV's launch).
10212  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 07, 2008, 10:30:31 PM
I fished around and while you can buy it online from Best Buy (Circuit City doesn't carry it), they don't carry it in stores:

'tis the 4GB SSD drive, 512MB RAM, Linux OS version for $399.99:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8643426&st=Eee+PC&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1195597748307

fwiw, the customer reviews are pretty uniformly enthusiastic there (for many products, they're not). Though it doesn't sound like my larger hands would do well on the teeny keyboard.

Best prices from online stores I've had any experience with are Amazon ($349.99) and Buy.com ($357.61), according to Pricegrabber.

Here's Amazon's:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ZLSXJO/ref=nosim/?tag=pricegrabber2-comp-20&creative=380333&creativeASIN=B000ZLSXJO&linkCode=asn

Just supplying links in case anyone else was interested in the customer review stuff.
10213  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Ziff-Davis bankruptcy reorganization (1Up, EGM etc.) on: March 07, 2008, 09:10:17 PM
Maybe you're confusing them with Gamespot and the mass-exodus after the Kane & Lynch Fiasco? Or maybe all the 1Up guys are running over to Gamespot to fill the openings there? icon_biggrin
10214  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Ziff-Davis bankruptcy reorganization (1Up, EGM etc.) on: March 07, 2008, 09:04:05 PM
1Up's editor has a blog post explaining some boring business minutae. But basically, they see it as a good thing and they'll technically have new owners once they emerge from bankruptcy, little or no more debt to deal with, and more money to spend on their sites and magazines (in theory):

That Chapter 11 thing...
http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8657645&publicUserId=1002446
10215  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes fan comics on: March 07, 2008, 06:05:46 PM
I finally got all four of my Metal Mandroid screenshot comics (done using Comic Book Creator software a couple years back -- there's now a much better 2.0 version of the software, which I've not tried yet) uploaded to Hypercomics (Planetwide's free hosting site for fan comics of all sorts).

My Metal Mandroid stuff is over here (each is about 21-22 pages long, I was trying to emulate print comics in length):
http://www.hypercomics.com/user/2220/comicbooks

You can see a pretty vast collection of City of Heroes/Villains themed fan comics at a group there (I went ahead and joined it, and added my four to it):
http://www.hypercomics.com/groups/11
(You'll see Blackjack and my Metal Mandroid avatar at the bottom of the member list there smile).

I didn't think this was worth a separate thread at this point (I searched archives here and there was never a thread or interest in Comic Book Creator), so I though I'd mention it here.
10216  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 07, 2008, 04:50:26 PM
Even if I'm not a WoW fan, two things to keep in mind:
-Families love playing stuff like WoW and COH (among others) together, and I'm not sure flying heads and limbs, and blood spray on your HUD (even if you can turn violence settings down) will have as wide an appeal. My favorite Turbografix-16 game was "Splatterhouse," and my favorite fighting game was probably "Die By The Sword," so you probably can tell my feelings. icon_twisted Though I'm not quite the Gore fan I once was...

-Not that retailers are very good about policing it (I saw a guy sell a Grand Theft Auto game to what appeared to be a 12 year old once, no parents in sight), but the M-rating may reduce the buying audience and perhaps prevent certain squeamish retailers (Wal-Mart etc.) from carrying it.

Well my tiny carp was that it seems like sword animations seem strictly horizontal, without a lot of variety (beyond the Kill Moves). Hopefully, it's just the footage they showed.

Eurogamer (imho) is notoriously hard on games in previews, but I like that -- do we really need another preview about how awesomolicious something is? So I was kinda impressed that they did a 360 on Age of Conan after expressing much disappointment in what they had tried a few months back.
10217  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 07, 2008, 03:02:23 AM
Eurogamer, which I swear is now reviewing some games so early that they're reviewing them when they're only concept art  Roll Eyes, posted an updated preview the other day (mark my words, they'll review Age of Conan a month before it goes live):

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=94028
They seem to think the extra months of work, and the delays, have really improved the shape of the game tremendously.
Quote
The Age of Conan we saw on those presentation PCs was looking ripped and oiled: the game visuals and interface have been buffed and what was already quite beautiful now seemed polished and presentable against the other MMOs on the market. The visuals for what we saw in San Francisco were incredibly tight - superb animation, full day-night cycle lighting, incredible view distance, and so on.

The hands-on play and high-level dungeon demo was the kind of pitch-perfect fantasy MMO that the likes of Vanguard have been grasping at without success in the last couple of years. There's very little new or surprising about this aspect of Age of Conan - aside from the way the talent systems open up or the way the level structures are delivered - and the core game is still a mix of tanks, healers and damage-dealers.

Nevertheless we now get the sense that this is simply the backbone of the game, and that Age of Conan has much more going on in the background.
They're impresed with the PVP stuff, siege warfare, fortresses etc., but they and the devs know it really won't be known how well it works on a massive scale until the game launches.
10218  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 07, 2008, 02:41:58 AM
Thar's a new "Epic Moments Trailer" at gametrailers:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/31581.html

HD version over here:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/31580.html

No doubt the game's going to be gorgeous. Whether it's any fun, and whether you can play it on a less than $3,000 gaming PC at an appreciable framerate? Who knows.  icon_confused I venture this won't be the kind of game most parents will play with their kids. Well maybe some...

"Now Bobby, just remember not to take an axe to school and do this."
"OK pop."
"Because in real life it's a whole lot messier and it makes so much more work for the janitor!"
"Oh all right." *sigh*

Lots of decapitations and fatality moves. Keep this game away from Jack Thompson.  drool icon_lol

I much prefer this kind of video (and the last couple), which let the game speak for itself, rather than some of the EA Mythic Warhammer videos where Abbott and Costello the Devs attempt to be funny without hardly letting you see any footage of the game in action.

I attended a business conference in Philly last May. On my way back to the hotel from the Liberty Bell area, there was this presumably insane guy outside the subway station with a huge python (I think, it was a huge snake that belonged in Age of Conan saywhat) waving its head and tail at us pedestrians as we walked by, shirking in horror. That's now my permanent Philly Trademark Vision.  icon_cool
10219  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 06, 2008, 08:56:10 PM
I understand, but I don't enjoy playing that way thus why I never put much time into COV.  icon_neutral My dream was to be a dual-pistols Thug MM cowboy but I just found the experience frustrating. I did at least on test server get to try some fully tricked out MMs (for some special tests, they just let your character auto-level and get to try everything).

Hey, they announced some upcoming in-game Rikti invasion events:
Quote
The Rikti Return! Thursday, March 6, 2008
The looming threat of the Rikti Invasion Force still hangs like a dark pall over Earth. Despite the best efforts of humanity, aggressive Rikti incursions still plague the planet. Advance warning systems indicate the Rikti are massing for attacks on the following dates throughout the year:

• March 7th through the 13th
• April 25th through May 1st
• June 13th through June 19th
• August 1st through August 7th
• Sept 26th through Oct 2nd
• November 14th through November 20th

Prepare for a desperate battle to save Earth from the Rikti Invasion Force! Aggressive Rikti forces will attack Paragon City and Rogue Isle with increased frequency at any time during the above dates! Some important items to remember about Rikti Invasions:

• When Zones within the cities are under attack, a world-wide alert will be issued by Vanguard. This alert will show up in your Chat window on the System channel, warning you in which zone attack is imminent.

• While the invasion is occurring, players do not receive debt while outdoors in an invaded zone.

• Those in that zone that do not wish to be at risk of Rikti attack are asked to take shelter immediately. They can do so by leaving the zone, or moving inside buildings or under cover (overpasses, parking garages, etc.).

• The combative inhabitants in a zone will move off the streets and to safer locations when a Rikti Invasion takes place.

• Rikti bombs appear to be unstable and not 100% reliable. Some do not explode on impact and only embed themselves in the ground. These bombs have been noted to detonate after a time, so take caution when you see these. They can be disarmed or delayed by inflicting damage upon them.
10220  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 06, 2008, 07:44:14 PM
Oh, speak of the devil, they just yesterday announced a model that has Windows XP pre-installed:

ASUS Officially Launches Eee PC with Microsoft Windows Operating System
http://eeepc.asus.com/global/news03052008.htm
Quote
Amidst great expectations, ASUS today launched the ASUS Eee PC pre-installed with Microsoft Windows XP. This new offering of the ever-popular Eee PC promises to let users enjoy an efficient online and work management experience with the incorporated Windows Live and Microsoft Works features.
Also maybe of interest, I saw an item at Brighthand about Intel's new "Atom" CPUs intended mainly for ultra-small laptops focused on Internet access. They aren't promising the Eee PC will eventually use one, but they seem to suggest it's an ideal example of what Atom's designed for.

Intel Atom Processor Designed for New Handheld Mobile Devices
http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=13850
Quote
Intel has taken the wraps off the Atom, an upcoming family of low-power processors designed specifically for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and other Internet-centric computers arriving later this year.

This processor will be based on an entirely new microarchitecture designed specifically for small devices and low power, while maintaining the Intel Core 2 Duo instruction set compatibility consumers are accustomed to when using a standard PC and the Internet.

... Intel also hopes this processor will be included in low-cost laptops that emphasize Internet access. An example of this class -- which Intel calls Netbooks -- is the Asus Eee PC.

Questions. Well, I'm a reporter (trade industry, basically writing about segments of the oil and chemical industries, you wouldn't invite me to a tree hugger conference  icon_lol). I don't travel a lot, but I do cover maybe two big conferences a year, and take maybe 2-3 site visit trips a year to write feature stories from.

While I wouldn't write the Great American Novel, or a massive morose book called, "The Death of the PC Gaming Platform in the 21st Century"  crybaby icon_lol, I thought it would be a handy thing to check e-mail with (the conferences are usually in hotels with Wi-Fi everywhere), and perhaps to transcribe some notes from speeches I cover.

Maybe Best Buy has this but I've yet to see one in my local stores. So my basic question is whether you can type on it for any period of time without your fingers cramping.  icon_confused

Beyond that:
-What's the "build quality" like? Does it feel like the hinge would give out after opening and closing it a few dozen times? Does the finish peel off like the hubcaps on my otherwise wonderful 1996 Toyota Corolla.  icon_razz

-Does it feel responsive or sluggish? (I am curious whether it'll be more sluggish on Windows XP than on the customized Linux the original versions have used)

-Does it overheat if you use it past a certain amount of time? Warm, hot to the touch etc.

-Does it make a racket in operation? I'm notoriously noise-sensitive (I once ate a $150 return fee on a Micro Center PC because it made a racket like a 747 jet engine in use).

-I read dimensions and such but is it easy to carry? Does it feel too "slippery" to carry safely?

-On the current Linux models, is there any difficulty converting text documents to MS Word and back? I'm not an MS Word fan per se, but it's what we use at my office.

Thanks for any insights. smile
10221  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 06, 2008, 02:30:33 PM
I forgot I did some COH stuff with Comic Book Creator (Planetwide released a Comic Book Creator 2 that adds a lot of audio features, among other things - http://www.mycomicbookcreator.com/products/detail/description.html?id=41). Planetwide is probably majorly bummed about Marvel Universe's demise. They've been doing well selling customized version of CBC (for games, or for specific comic brands).

I'm going to see about posting my old 2006 work at Hypercomics. Here's Metal Mandroid issue #1:
http://www.hypercomics.com/comicbooks/blackjack/metal_mandroid_1_0?
I did about three issues before burning out on the whole idea. I belatedly figured out there was a hotkey to remove interface stuff quickly, which would've made this earlier stuff look less "game-like." But really I was trying to help promote the game, and I poured in some maudlinness from my own life at the time. smile

Doesn't display quite as crisply as I'd like, but oh well. I was using a CRT monitor at 1024X768 at the time.

MM is basically a riff on Iron Man and The Six Million Dollar Man. Although there was in fact a little bit character in the Marvel universe called Mandroid (a S.H.I.E.L.D. creation), that was quite a bit different and I've never (knock on wood) been bothered by NCSoft to change the name. smile

There are soooo many new emotes (cell phones, cameras, the radio mission gadget, etc.) that would've helped with those book ideas.  tear icon_lol
10222  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 06, 2008, 01:42:35 PM
The Corruptor is COV's equivalent to a blaster, but is not exactly the same thing (has some different strengths).

A dev (Back Alley Brawler) pointed out a COH Wiki entry that has pics of all the different weapon customizations in both COH and COV (note that that COH/COV tend to share the same customization options for an equivalent class):
http://cityofheroes.wikia.com/wiki/Custom_Weapons

You can usually customize the colors at the costume shop too unless the item is too skinny to support the option (certain swords for example).

I checked on my villains a bit. I had a military themed Mastermind at 21, and a Thugs Mastermind that uses dual pistols at 14. Other than that, just a bunch in single digits, and maybe a stalker at 10. I really thought I'd love Masterminding but I found them (at the levels I could use them) horrific endurance-burners and the various low-medium level pets were not terribly effective. If I'd gotten any MM into the upper 20s and 30s I'm sure I would've had a better feeling but I lacked the patience.
10223  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Steve Jobs interview at Fortune on: March 05, 2008, 10:35:10 PM
ba-dump-bump  Flog that man! icon_lol

Oh man that profile article has so many great passages. One chestnut:
Quote
Jobs himself judges the world in binary terms. Products, in his view, are "insanely great" or "shi*." One is facing death from cancer or "cured." Subordinates are geniuses or "bozos," indispensable or no longer relevant. People in his orbit regularly flip, at a second's notice, from one category to another, in what early Apple colleagues came to call his "hero-shi*head roller coaster."
[I self censored smile-bj]
10224  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Steve Jobs interview at Fortune on: March 05, 2008, 10:20:55 PM
I tried to find a general Apple thread here but couldn't track one down (point me to it if there is one).

Fortune has this pretty interesting extensive interview with Steve Jobs, who they seem to have caught while he was on vacation with his family in Hawaii:
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0803/gallery.jobsqna.fortune/4.html

Now if you think he's a pompous, self-absorbed windbag then you'll get no pleasure out of reading and please don't visit the link.  icon_smile I found some of his thoughts interesting, especially in the context of other companies making screw ups that Apple has avoided. Also found his comment about not hiring consultants or doing market research interesting.

fwiw, I don't own any Apple hardware, and I use a Rhapsody subscription service instead of iTunes (although I use the latter to download the occasional TV show episode).

Here's a few thoughts I found interesting (you may find them completely boring  icon_lol):
Quote
"So you can't go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing.] There's a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, 'If I'd have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me 'A faster horse.'"
I think this explains why so many new Apple products have people complaining on various blogs and boards that the new product doesn't do A, B, C; and lacks A, B, C; and yet millions of people line up for the new product anyway.

Quote
"We do no market research. We don't hire consultants. The only consultants I've ever hired in my 10 years is one firm to analyze Gateway's retail strategy so I would not make some of the same mistakes they made [when launching Apple's retail stores]. But we never hire consultants, per se. We just want to make great products.
If you think about all the game publishers, book publishers, music companies, film studios who obsess over market studies and consultant findings and focus groups, it makes you wonder.  icon_smile
Quote
The engineering is long gone in most PC companies. In the consumer electronics companies, they don't understand the software parts of it. And so you really can't make the products that you can make at Apple anywhere else right now. Apple's the only company that has everything under one roof.
I'm reminded of Palm's ill-fated decision to spinoff its Palm OS software division. It was really a disaster. I mean, who else was Palm OS going to make OS software for?  icon_confused
Quote
"I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done. The clearest example was when we were pressured for years to do a PDA, and I realized one day that 90% of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don't put information into it. Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market's going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won't really be sustainable. So we decided not to get into it.

If we had gotten into it, we wouldn't have had the resources to do the iPod. We probably wouldn't have seen it coming."
I still plug along with my Palm Zire 71 (and by God I do put information into it Tongue), but I can't argue with his logic. A lot of us remaining PDA fans still beg for Apple to re-enter the market or for the iPod Touches to become more PDA-like but he seems to be clear on not wanting to enter that market.

Quote
"We've had one of these before [current economic downturn], when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren't going to lay off people, that we'd taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place -- the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.
Amen. smile Though, I imagine a lot of tech companies aren't in that enviable position to think that way now.

Blah blah blah. Anyway, just thought it might interest some folks. I'm sure I'll buy an Apple product some day but... not yet.

The flipside is a Fortune piece (that he refused to provide any quotes for) profiling Jobs himself, and his many, um, difficult sides.  icon_razz

The trouble with Steve Jobs
http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortune/index.htm
10225  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Ziff-Davis bankruptcy reorganization (1Up, EGM etc.) on: March 05, 2008, 09:27:24 PM
Thought I'd put this here since they have publications and news sites in both PC (Games for Windows) and consoles (EGM etc.) and both (1up).

Ziff Davis Files For Bankruptcy, Continues Normal Operations
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17737
Quote
The company says that an ad hoc group of shareholders have set aside $24.5 million to continue normal operations as it undergoes the Chapter 11 case, as well as for operations after it re-emerges.

It also notes that as part of the proceeding, Ziff Davis has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York "for permission to continue paying employee wages and salaries and to provide employee benefits without interruption."

[CEO comments]....We matched audience growth with impressive digital revenue expansion. And while the print market continued to be challenging, we continue to be print category leaders in the markets we serve.”
Not a DOOOOMMM!!!! situation by any means. It's good they have some shareholders setting aside that much money to get through a tough situation. Still, I'd be a nervous employee.

When I got laid off by a small newspaper in 1991, I remember us having an employees meeting with the publisher to "clear the air" about paycheck concerns a few weeks before the floor was yanked out (being told to "not cash a check" til a certain date so they can be sure the have enough funds is a clear warning sign that we all ignored there  icon_frown).

Anyway, it's really, really tough for print publications (magazines, newspapers everything) right now. The newspaper chain I used to work for is laying off people and cutting back left and right.

In the trade media that I work in (not gaming alas tear), we make great revenue from color print ads in our monthly magazines. The e-mail newsletter I work on has button ads and banners, and while it's good for us (and keeps me employed!  icon_smile), it's peanuts compared to what the print ads bring in.

It's great the world's Going Digital. It's just I just keep seeing newspapers who are doing well with their Web sites but awful with print circulation having to cut, and cut, and buy out editorial staffers. Some day, mark my words, a lot of publishers will have to hire volunteers or just have no content at all. DOOMMM!!!! I would love to be wrong however. smile
10226  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: God of War: Chains of Olympus Impressions on: March 05, 2008, 09:12:57 PM
fwiw, a fan mod video (from about a year ago) showed how to add a second nub to a PSP (though I get the impression it may just be passing the right side button inputs onto the nub?):
http://pspupdates.qj.net/Dual-nubs-PSP-modding-in-time-lapse-video/pg/49/aid/83183

I haven't used a soldering iron since 1984, so I don't think it' something I'll try. I have MOH: Heroes, the Syphon Filter PSP games, and tried Call of Duty: Roads to Victory, Wild Arms etc. I can't move or aim with anything approaching precision in any of those unless resorting to shoulder-trigger auto-targeting. Even then I often find/found myself pointing in the wrong direction. And God help me in multiplayer (which I did for a while with MOH: Heroes).

I've often heard it would "cost too much," but I'm pretty sure Sony has never said that or really even commented on the concept (I don't guarantee that, but hey, I googled the topic icon_razz). I mean, it's a circuit board when you get down to it. A new circuit board, a new case, you make a new model (as Nintendo has through Gameboy, GBA/GBA-SP, DS etc.). Bingo, suddenly all these games that feel klutzy on PSP don't. But whatever, I guess Sony doesn't care about it or that most gamers would like it, so why should I? Clearly I'm just ... deadhorse

Chains of Olympus isn't aiming to change peoples' minds about the franchise. I doubt if someone disliked it on PS2 that the PSP incarnation would change anything.

I spent a lot of time here touting SOCOM: Tactical Strike and that was an example of doing something truly different on PSP within its control scheme limitations, and being different enough that even if you hated the SOCOM games on PS2, you might find something to like in Tactical Strike. I'm not saying God of War: Tactical Olympus Strike would've been a good idea.  icon_lol

Only that Chains of Olympus doesn't seem to bring anything fresh to the series in its PSP incarnation so it's going to appeal to the PS2 games' fanbase period, pretty much.
10227  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Call of Duty MMO (just Activision exec speculation) on: March 05, 2008, 06:21:56 PM
ZOHMIGOD!

Activision's Kotick Talks Guitar Hero Expansion, Possible Call Of Duty MMO
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17725
Quote
In his response, Kotick suggested that Activision would be able to learn from Blizzard’s expertise in the MMO market and help to suggest how a Call of Duty MMO might work. However, it is unclear whether his comments were merely a hypothetical example of possible synergy between the two companies or a real hint at future plans.
Frankly, an Activision exec speculating about "what Activision can learn from Blizzard about turning Call of Duty into an MMO" just scares me.  Roll Eyes I just have this vision of Activision execs thinking Blizzard is a genie and if they rub it enough, out will pop another 8-million selling MMO.

WoW didn't fall off a turnip truck. It had a very successful and recognizable franchise (Warcraft) with several popular games and expansions, and history behind it that lent itself well to an MMO world.

Call of Duty? MMO doesn't seem to roll off the lips, though some of the stuff in COD4's multiplayer you could argue might work in an MMO style world, if meshed with a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. type environment with NPCs and missions and such. I still don't think most FPS players will come close to a monthly fee game for that kind of game. And I doubt any of Blizzard's experience with WoW would be at all applicable in that type of a situation.

Infinity Ward does amazing shooters well. I worry Activision's going to try to turn COD into a Swiss Army Knife franchise (MMOs! RTSs! COD Sports! COD Clothing Designer Software!).

My advice to Activision? Leave Blizzard alone (they've done fine to this point without wasting time conceptualizing other developers' franchises) and enjoy their revenue. smile

OK that's all my random Larry King like thoughts. smile I thought I'd post an "ZOHMIGOD!" thread before someone else here did.  slywink
10228  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: God of War: Chains of Olympus Impressions on: March 05, 2008, 06:05:01 PM
I picked this up at Best Buy at lunch (the shelves were drowning with copies). I'll hopefully have some impressions to post tonight or tomorrow. smile

Honestly, I'm really disappointed with the 2008 PSP games lineup. Patapon ain't my cup of tea (other than this, it's about the only PSP title gathering any sort of buzz or momentum), and the influx of interesting turn-based strategy games seems to have dried up mostly.

I've played some PSP games (SOCOM: Tactical Strike) where the devs really seem to have put some care into living with the absence of a second thumbstick. I think far too many of the action games don't do that, thus way too many end up with negative reviews carping about controls (it really is too difficult to do a competent-playing FPS on it though it doesn't stop devs from trying). Sony hasn't shown any inclination to create a two-thumbstick version so it's up to developers to work with the the limitations properly (imho).
10229  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: McCain = Bush on: March 05, 2008, 04:24:59 PM
I had more respect for the McCain of 2000. But politicians of all parties do certain things to get elected, and then we generally hold our breathes to see whether they're still going to "kiss up" once they're in office, or if they have a different mindset once the election's over (i.e., they get a backbone). So you could argue some voters hope the McCain of 2008 who treats Bush like a king now (but couldn't practically utter Bush's name in 2000 without disgust) will suddenly revert to the 2000 version if he becomes president.

I haven't made up my mind if it's best to have a president with military/battle experience. You could argue such a person would be less likely to send troops to battle (and possible death) without fully considering the consequences, and could better communicate with the military. You could also argue such a person might be more likely to think he/she could crack an overseas situation with military force better than with diplomacy. History's full of both (generals who were horrible presidents; presidents with no military background who were terrific military commanders-in-chief).

So when McCain thinks he's obviously the only "patriotic" choice because he was in the military, and the only one who can keep the nation secure, I don't buy it. It's not that simple. He should read a few military history books. smile

I was really rather sad to read in my area paper (Wash. Post) today that Obama's advisers are saying he should start doing "sharper political attacks" on Clinton and McCain. Which really only means that eventually the race will become just as negative and focused on "my opponent is an unpatriotic bastige who doesn't care about you at all" with the idea that you should vote for someone because you "fear" the other choice. This is the tact almost all the local politicians in my area take now (northern Va.). You get constant mailers accusing a candidate of 25 things, and you can't even tell it's from his/her opponent unless you read the fine print at the end.  disgust

And people wonder why so many people don't bother to vote anymore? (I always do even if all the candidates make me hold my nose at the voting machines  Tongue). Who wants to vote for people who think that way? (regardless of party platform).
10230  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 05, 2008, 04:03:17 PM
I PM'd you.  icon_smile I have a smattering of villains on various servers.

I just never got into COV as much as COH. And I was one of those monkeys in the choir tossing poop at COV and complaining that no T-rated game is going to let you do anything remotely, truly villain-like. So why even bother?  icon_confused I understand the reasoning. You're not going to have some mass murderer villain, some split personality psycho, or some dastardly villain who travels back in time and zaps heroes as teens so they never get to be super heroes. Sick, aren't I?  icon_twisted But that's the kinda twisted stuff I was interesting in seeing how they'd do, not basically changing clickable glowies over to sticks of dynamite and exchanging escort/rescues for kidnappings. disgust I know though that much of COH's charm is kids playing and families playing together. Nothing truly villain-like is going to be acceptable in that regards, and I can dig that.

I would've rather seen the time and resources have gone into expanding COH further, adding more classes, content etc. Jack Emmert seems to agree in interviews that COV just wasn't different enough to appeal to people who didn't already like COH to begin with (so it didn't really expand their market the way Cryptic hoped).

Still, I am glad many of COV's improvements and neat ideas (esp. the radio missions) translated over into COH eventually.

I think I got one character into the 20s (a military-oriented master mind).

Anyway, my past COV feelings aside, I would enjoy teaming up with ya'll and we'll try to make it happen.  icon_smile
10231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Notification of Enforcement Action on: March 05, 2008, 03:56:31 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 05, 2008, 03:03:18 PM

Quote
I hate xbox live.

QFT

Xbox Live is the largest collection of racist assholes I've ever encountered.  It blows my mind.
I have to say I've run into people like that in most PC shooters I've tried to play online. People ask me why I don't use headsets more often, and I tend to say it's just easier to ignore people like that in text chat than it is in audio. Though I certainly can enjoy using them with in a small-medium team of people who didn't learn to cuss yesterday  disgust.

I agree a suspension seems excessive for something like that, given what else goes on in the online gaming world (regardless of platform).
10232  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Companies EA bought then closed on: March 05, 2008, 01:45:19 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on February 27, 2008, 06:43:39 PM

I still want a full blown sequel to Terra Nova..FMV and all.
Wow, I was a big Terra Nova fan too.  icon_cool Still got the game/box. I even bought about 10 copies of the strategy guide at Micro Center back in the mid '90s because they were selling them for 99 cents (!) to get rid of overstock. Unfortunately, I didn't know 9 fans to give my extra copies to.  icon_lol

I pick on EA, but most publishers understandably simply want profit. Your games sells, they give you another one to work on.

Your game flops. Say hello, pink slip.

They invest millions in your Hot Game, and the sales are OK don't live up to expectations? Then, hold your breath.  icon_neutral I think that's where it's getting tougher for any of them to accept the idea of a big budget PC-only game. Too many of those aren't reaching anywhere near their spreadsheet expectations without some multiplatform sales boosting.

Although I haven't covered the games industry, I've been a business reporter about 15 years now. Once they get beyond the small business stage, most corporations just don't care about creativity, or people, or tradition, or history. It's spreadsheets, and earnings, and pleasing the shareholders. In a way, it's sad the whole gaming industry is so wrapped up in that now (aside from independents and smaller players in the market). It means you end up with a lot of big players owning most of the industry who don't really care about the people in the smaller devs they acquire, or their history, or accomplishments.

Which is why I still think Bioware (EA) and Blizzard (Activision) should "watch their back," no matter how much they are rolling in the gravy right now and no matter how much those publisher/owners claim they won't interfere.  paranoid
10233  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 05, 2008, 04:53:43 AM
*Looks at Destructor funny* Hey, nothing happened!  saywhat

Got my dual blades up to about 10 tonight, much of it after latching onto a large mission pickup team on Freedom server. smile

Couple pics from of late:



Lot of fun on a big team. Solo wise I'm still at the 'gasping for endurance' stage, but I'm getting there.

I'm just always a sucker for cool animations if they don't take too long, and I love the dual blades sounds as well.  icon_cool
10234  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: COH 48 Month Veteran Reward Unveiled on: March 04, 2008, 10:59:00 PM
48 Month Veteran Reward Unveiled
http://www.coh.com/news/archives/2008/03/48_month_vetera.html
Quote
* Battle Hardened Badge
* Summon Pet Power: CHOICE: Light Fairy, Dark Fairy, Blue Wisp, Red Wisp, Shield Oscillator, Power Oscillator, Shield Drone, or Power Drone.

For the 4 year veteran reward, players receive the Battle Hardened badge and the choice of a Summon Pet Power.

There are 8 different pets the player can choose from: The Light Fairy, the Dark Fairy, the Blue Wisp, the Red Wisp, the Shield Oscillatory, the Power Oscillator, the Shield Drone, and the Power Drone. Each gives a specific bonus to you and your team.
The underlined part is big news, because the previous rewards pets were useless (strictly cosmetics). These actually give some sort of boost though I'd imagine it's a modest bonus.

* I fished around forums. I guess there was much chatter about all this on test server in some form but there was some skepticism about it. Apparently each type offers a different kind of bonus. It's apparently mostly maybe in the 1.75-2% range, such as 1.75% boosts to defense, endurance, resistance, stamina etc. There's much chatter over whether the effects stack on a full team (8 players).

I just hope the drones don't make obnoxious looping noises. Few MMOs have had sound good as COH, nor looping sounds as obnoxious and painful in COH.  disgust Though, to be fair, some of the worst ones were eventually reduced or adjusted to a lower obnoxious quotient...

In fact, it's something they're still working on reducing:
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=archetypes&Number=10326956&bodyprev=#Post10326956

Dang! If I hadn't canceled for several months, I'd qualify.  crybaby As is, I'd probably need to stick around another 6 months to qualify. If Conan's a bust and TR doesn't start living up to its potential, it could happen.  nod
10235  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [RTS] Dawn of War: Soulstorm Impressions... on: March 04, 2008, 08:16:45 PM
This was Iron Lore's swawsong as developer.  tear Is Iron Lore even listed on the box now that they're kaput?

I guess Brian Sullivan was trying to get back to his routes. And I guess Relic themselves will have to handle the inevitable updates and balancing batches for it.
10236  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 04, 2008, 01:42:51 PM
Its selling point has always been that it's Cheap, not that it's the most awesome thing in the cosmos.  icon_neutral I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a touchscreen variation, because that wouldn't be cheap (I'm guessing, at least), and would be beyond what Eee PC (rhymes with cheap PC icon_lol) is trying to do.

That said, there's a newer version with a 9" screen on the way (no launch date for US yet):
http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=13844
Quote
Like the current models, the Eee PC 900 series will have a clamshell design and run a version of the Linux operating system. In addition, Asus says it will be ready to have Microsoft Windows installed on them if the user wants to.

The most obvious change in the upcoming version will be the 8.9-inch display, up from 7 inches.

In addition, versions of the Eee PC 900 will have up to 1 GB of RAM and storage capacity of up to 12 GB, much more than in the current versions.
Since upgrading the RAM voids the warranty, the new version with more RAM seems a better safe bet.

I've been interested in one, but I've heard the undersize keyboard is really a pain to use. It's probably not something you'd want to do much more than Web surfing and jotting short e-mails with. I'm a reporter and I occasionally attend conferences and go on site tours for articles, so I thought it would be useful in those situations (I've never owned a laptop).

While I don't have one, a Windows XP newsletter I receive had some impressions of using one and installing Windows XP on it (it comes with a customized Linux that's OK by all accounts):

XP on the Eee PC: Home at last
http://www.wxpnews.com/archives/wxpnews-304-20071120.htm
Quote
If you were tempted by the small size and price of the Eee PC but you haven't taken the plunge because you're a techie type and thought it was just for computer novices, think again. It's really a great little hobbyist system that you can configure and reconfigure to your heart's content. And if you ever do want to go back to the original interface, Asus provides the recovery disk that will let you easily do so.
10237  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 04, 2008, 05:02:10 AM
No longer must thee suffer the Blackjack Champions Digest, because they finally added a Dev Tracker to their forums:
http://forums.champions-online.com/search.php?searchid=56948

Still, they're posting like mad now. Mostly vague and trivial. One bit today...
Quote from: dev Heretic
Champions Online is planning to launch with PvP as an optional, parallel gameplay track.
10238  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 04, 2008, 02:18:09 AM

Quote from: Lockdown on February 29, 2008, 06:33:11 PM

Do you plan on playing it, Blackjack?

OK, scratch that question.  You seem to be an MMO authority of sorts, so I'm going to assume you will.  The real question is, what have you heard about it?  Is it going to rock, or be another pile of cowdung? 

Spill the beans.
I am *not* an MMO authority. I didn't even like WoW or Everquest or Dark Age of Camelot (all of which I bought, played a month, and never played again). I am so a total MMO loser!  icon_lol

Generally, aside from LOTORO, I'm the kind of guy who plays all the "outside the norm" MMOs, including Planetside, Auto Assault (rest in peace  :crybaby), Tabula Rasa and City of Heroes/Villains.

I can tell you I'm *not* in the AoC beta, so I don't have any inside information or insights (I guess I couldn't tell you even if I was, but trust me -- I did apply for beta but never got in  crybaby).

From everything I've read and sifted through:
-I really am fascinating by some of the quests I've read about for this in terms of ambition. They really are putting some imagination into them, and they're using the Conan lore to promising effect. The question's always though, "Is there ENOUGH of it?" I'm sure most of us don't need another mmorpg that gets lazy and has us killing 25 boars or 40 bats. If nothing else in the game is impressive, but the quests are imaginative and interesting, they'll have won me over anyway. smile

-I'm still not convinced the ballyhooed combat system is going to work out. stirthepot I'm still cynical enough to think they are either going to water it down so as not to alienate mmmorpg players set in their ways; or they're going to lather up combat with so many explanatory icons and pictograms, you won't hardly be able to see what you're whacking.

-Just to talk out both sides of my mouth though, I think it's cool they're at least *trying* something different combat-wise.  icon_cool If it fails, then it fails, but it's brave to try something other than the zillion mmorpgs doing the same thing in combat (generally either constant skill key mashing, or a Diablo-style clicking everything in sight).

-I'm kind of curious if the M-rating for the game will have any impact on its popularity. I'm still not convinced the M-rating will be for maturity as much as immaturity ("BREASTS!!!! AHAHAHA!!!!"), and I'm wondering just how much players are going to enjoy having blood spray (I assume it can be turned off) splat on your virtual hud as you decapitate evildoers left and right. I'm all for it in certain kinds of games, but do I really want to grind through endless decapitations and de-limbing and blood spray? I'm just not sure.  icon_neutral

-I am convinced that every extra month they can get to work on the game before launch is great. Every bit of additional content, quests, features, PVP polish, sieging, every bit of extra time they can get to polish up those things and have them in at least decent shape at launch is good for the game. Every chance they can have to put enough content and content variety in that you don't "burn through" the content at X level and have "nothing to do," or that you can play alternate characters and have at least a little bit of a fresh experience each time - that's all gotta be good.  icon_cool

If I had a dime for every time someone in an MMO I was playing in the last year said, "I can't wait for Age of Conan," I'd be rich. The game has a heckuva lot of high expectations to live up to. So whomever's pouring money into Funcom's coffers -- keep doing it.  thumbsup

I don't know if people saw the news item the other day about one of Activision's top executives basically saying even if you spent "half a billion dollars" (!) developing a new MMORPG, you still had no chance of "dethroning" WoW (thus Activision's decided "if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em"). Judging by how long it's been in development, how good it looks, and how many delays (and presumably continued funding to continue development) it has had, AoC's probably the most expensive mmorpg in development right now. It'll be interesting to see if it pays off or not. smile

P.S. Yes, in May, IF I have bought a new PC by then (I keep talking myself out of it), by golly I'll buy this and play this. smile
10239  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Iron Lore (Titan Quest) Ceasing game development :-( on: March 03, 2008, 11:10:43 PM
Of course TQ and TQ: IT aren't going anywhere (they're not MMOs afterall and it has a level editor and all). So here's some pics from my "pre TQ tendinitis" heyday showcasing Immortal Throne's improvements.  icon_cool


Co-op was always a hoot, and Immortal Throne added a badly needed game servers listing with a variety of search options.


You could also see exactly what other characters were in a group before you joined up.


Enhanced map legend made navigating a lot easier, and finding what NPCs you needed to talk to.


Some simple mouse clicks re-arranged inventory quickly in different ways (towards the top or bottom, scrunched to one side etc.) making it a lot easier to sort.


The caravans eliminated the need for "muling."
10240  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Iron Lore (Titan Quest) Ceasing game development :-( on: March 03, 2008, 10:43:07 PM
Gamasutra has a followup:
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17702

Well, actually it's citing a Quarter to Three post (which is as uncensored as Usenet - I'm kind of a refugee from there  ninja) by a THQ creative director who worked with Iron Lore on the game. Here's his post there:
http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?t=42663

BTW, he claims that while Titan Quest's sales were modest, THQ "didn't lose money on the game."  icon_confused

Mostly it's sour grapes about piracy of Titan Quest being rampant, and basically how much more difficult it's getting to create new game engines that can work on a wide variety of machines. Basically along the lines of my little observation elsewhere that nobody will ever give up on the ability to customzie their PCs even if it reaches the point nobody wants to develop for such a wildly varying and inconsistent platform. If we ever reach that PC gaming Doomsday point, then the ability to customize really won't be worth anything except running a Web browser faster.  icon_neutral


Anyway, I do think esp. the original release of TQ was awfully buggy and didn't appear to have been QA'd on a variety of platforms. Obviously you can't allow for everything (and every year, more and more cards, chipsets, CPUs come out, and there's no way to simulate every possibility) but if you're going to be brave enough to do a PC-only game, you (I'm talking THQ here, I assume they handled the QA) better bring your A-game.

OTOH, how much longer do we think game publishers want to hire hordes of QA testers to try to figure out how a PC game will run on 56,351 possible different system PC variations vs. how it runs on 1-3 relatively fixed (aside from console hard drive capacity options) console platforms? If I'm a corporate bean counter looking to trim my budget, that's looking like something to use my blade on. Something to ponder even if am PC gamer who only dabbles on the handheld side of consoles paranoid.

I only bring the point up again cause I don't think saying "**** you if you don't love PC as a platform!" to everyone who brings up the situation is constructive. I don't have a magic answer, but it'd be nice to get even just a little consistency into PC hardware as a gaming platform, somehow.

I think Immortal Throne had some much more interesting quests (well, w/i the Diablo format anyway), and implemented all sorts of nice "quality of life" improvements to the engine. It's just, in an MMO, you would probably get that in a free update a few months after release rather than waiting for a paid expansion. Inventory management esp. was spiffed up with various auto-arrange options and extra storage bags. Thus my "Hellgate's devs should've played TQ: IT and gotten a clue" comment.  Tongue
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