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10321  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Rambo on: January 24, 2008, 04:38:27 AM
People who only remember the II and III relatively lunk-headed Rambo movies should watch the original, more ambigous First Blood (1982), which really is a terrific action film with a dark view of how America treated Vietnam vets upon their return, and has Brian Dennehy as a great counterpart to Stallone. Or dig up David Morrell's original First Blood book, a far, far nastier story where the character basically goes on a rampaging killing spree at the end (toned down considerably for the movie, understandably so, which went more for pyrotechnics at the end instead of body count).

In retrospect, Stallone mumbling, "We just want... our country... to love us... as much as we... love it" was like Oscar material compared to some of his dialogue in later movies in the '80s. Just didn't appreciate it at the time. smile

I still remember in my American Studies class in college in about 1986, we watched Rambo: First Blood Part II (I think on Betamax videotape  icon_lol) and analyzed the politics and also did a body count. The body count was ridiculous. I think by the time we were done counting, everyone was laughing sort of with a mixture of horror and amusement.
10322  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2008 Oscar Nominations are in on: January 23, 2008, 11:17:54 PM
I just feel sad that I literally haven't seen anything that was nominated for *anything* this year. Not even for technical awards afik. Partly I'm too busy gaming, but I've found fewer and fewer movies that interest me at all. The few that do aren't awards-like stuff.

Last year I went to a pretty cool AMC Best Picture Showcase all-day movie marathon on Saturday, Feb. 24. It was pretty fun. For a reasonable one time fee, you got this special Best Picture Showcase ID pass (so you could come in and out of the theater between showings), and starting at 11 a.m., you could watch the 5 Best Picture nominees in succession. Most locations it was in the biggest, best theater in the multiplex. Last year it was:
-Babel
-The Queen
-The Departed
-Letters From Iwo Jima
-Little Miss Sunshine

I gave up during Sunshine only because I'd seen it on DVD, and I was trying to beat an incoming snowstorm home.

Each person also got free coupons for soda and popcorn, and you could get free refills all day long (they even let us go to the food court and bring sandwiches in for lunch and dinner). I had a lot of fun (I took my retired mom and she was a real trooper for such a long event:)), and it was a great way to catch up on the best picture nominees in a good size theater, and play catchup. I hope they do it again this year - everyone who attended seemed to love the idea. smile

Oh, I forgot, I took photos of my pass from the Showcase event:



fwiw, I found Letters From Iwo Jima the most affecting of the movies even if it was a hopeless movie to try to market, and it was perhaps too long for its own good. I couldn't really compare it to anything except maybe Peckinpah's 1977 film "Cross of Iron."

While I could appreciate The Departed's style, I'm just way past the point of being impressed by people using the C, F, MF, CS etc. other words every 3 words. I was impressed with 48 Hours when it had that kind of dialogue in 1982 when I was 17. Now that I'm an old fart, it just strikes me as unimaginative screenwriting. ***K!!!!!!!  disgust Tongue
10323  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tips, Tricks, and Automobiles..Tabula Rasa.... on: January 23, 2008, 10:11:20 PM
Belatedly, I noticed mmodb.com has added a Tabula Rasa sub-site, at:
http://tr.mmodb.com/

I like the idea but it's very much a work in progress, and I'm not sure it's as helpful as it wants to be - yet, anyway.
10324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 23, 2008, 05:02:55 PM
I've read that if you try to install the 1.0 patch, your hair falls out; you become impotent (or infertile if you're a woman); Flagship snares all of the money out of your savings, checkings and 401K accounts so that Bill Roper can go on his monthly Tahiti vacations, and then they give the remainder to WoW gold farmers in China so that they can get better mattresses for their bunkbeds; and publishers greenlight massive new PC game projects for John Romero and Derek Smart.

In other words, if you install the patch, it's the end of the world as we know it. I read this on an Internet blog, so I know it's true!  paranoid
10325  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 23, 2008, 04:44:50 PM
Thanks much. smile A bud at another message board suggested I do a blog about TR, but every blog I've tried has no audience (marketing is not my strong point, at least not since my late 1990s fan site days). What's the point of stringing some screenies and videos about the game together if there's no audience?  icon_confused Here at least I know we have a decent size, mostly receptive audience and it makes it more fun to share those things.

I hope others will still share stuff now and then. I didn't mean to monopolize this thread -- I just try to post some fresh stuff now and then. I kinda wish we could embed videos here, but I'm sure there's a security or bandwidth reason not to enable that, so that's cool. I'm OK with using Putfile, but their Flash conversion process blurs my videos more than I would like.

I know the patch is bringing the ability to disable your helmet visuals (so you can share one's flying golden locks  icon_lol) so you can run around bare-headed. I almost wish they'd let you "lock in" an armor look that you like. You upgrade armor so often in the game, it's next to impossible to keep the same fixed look (as you would in City of Heroes).
10326  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: My coffin arrives tomorrow on: January 23, 2008, 04:40:20 PM
Aw, man, I thought you really had a coffin on the way. I'm disappointed.  icon_frown icon_smile

About 3 years ago my often gloomy retired 70ish mom tried to convince me to buy a cemetary plot next to hers (which is next to where my late father is buried). It was like, "MOM! I'm just not READY for this conversation!"  saywhat
10327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield Heroes...its a free Battlefield game on: January 23, 2008, 02:28:18 PM
Oh, as someone tired of FPS motion sickness problems, apparently this is a 3rd-person only game (presumably to show off the cartoonish character models more) with no FPS option:
http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=84387
10328  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 23, 2008, 05:55:56 AM
Another Creature Closeup (I believe this is a Lightbender Sniper):


Around level 22 finally got some armor that looked like something I'd keep if I could, style wise smile


I also belatedly figured out the collector's edition yellow can be adjusted to look sort of gold. Better injector guns started falling like confetti around that level (including Incendiary, Ice and higher damage models all around).
10329  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 23, 2008, 01:34:36 AM
Ok the boards are awash with complaints. What's new.  Roll Eyes Anyway, everyone is pretty much prompted after much updating to go to Hellgate site and download the 1.0 Stone Henge patch (you seem to need it to play online even if you're not a subscriber). Hellgate site is getting pounded so the files are downloading like molasses. Read some recommendations to look for it at File Front, and here's that link:

1.0 Hellgate patch at Filefront:
http://files.filefront.com/Hellgate+London+v10+Patch/;9487425;/fileinfo.html

It's about a 390MB patch. It isn't blinding at Filefront speed wise, but it's saying about half hour for me on Cable vs. 2 hours plus at Hellgate site.  disgust

Fileplanet sometimes has HG patches but so far not this one.

Reading a lot of reports like this one that said mega patch is not installing properly (forum links only work if you've got a Hellgate account):
http://forums.hellgatelondon.com/showthread.php?t=70010

In fact, reading the various threads today is making me not want to even try this right now... (see below)
===================
Problems downloading patch

"Uploading error report to server" at startup

Game doesn't load after patch

Patch 1.0 Error: Cannot find Hellgate: London

Cannot find Hellgate:london after install

unable to play after new patch

stonehenge patch messed up my characters
==================================
OK I think it's back to TR for me. I'll let someone else be the brave guinea pig. To be fair, not *everybody* is reporting these problems, some claim to be playing but finding today's lag awful.
10330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 23, 2008, 01:00:00 AM
Well it's supposedly Live now so I'm gonna jump in and let ya know what I think (and I'll take a break from TR for a bit).

Everyone who was freaking out bout the chat window size and text should be pleased with the scalable UI stuff, I'm eager to see if it works.

*Doh, I forgot I'm still running version .5. I have some catching up to do.  icon_neutral They've spiffed up the launcher I guess (if you've been away as long as I have), and now there are separate Details buttons and checkboxes for Launcher, Single Player and Multiplayer updates.

In commemoration I dig up the only photographic evidence I have of a Gaming Trend team in Hellgate:
10331  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Installing XP on a Vista machine? on: January 22, 2008, 08:06:04 PM
fwiw, TigerDirect sells XP in OEM or upgrade form too:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2552182&Sku=M17-7501

Think it's $89.99 for the OEM disc.
10332  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 22, 2008, 06:23:20 PM
I'm not comforted that they caught two major (they say) bugs at the last minute, briefly delaying 1.0 update release, or that today's announcement is confused about the dates (Blues News points out that the announcement today [Jan. 22] it says the update is going up "tomorrow" on Jan. 22  icon_confused). I like all sorts of stuff that is promised in the notes, I'm just not really confidence-inspired by some of this other stuff going on.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm glad they found the showstopping bugs, it's just not confidence-inspiring that it cropped up probably hours before they were going to put the update on live servers.

btw, what does "QFT" mean? I assume it doesn't mean "Quantum Field Theory"?  icon_biggrin
10333  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield Heroes...its a free Battlefield game on: January 22, 2008, 06:11:10 PM
Well, it's ad supported -- maybe you have to wear EA Sports T-shirts in the game.  Tongue And micro-transactions, maybe you have to buy all your bullets. I wouldn't put it past EA.  icon_lol

Blues News posted about a German site's 3-part interview about the game (intros are in German but actual interviews are in English):
http://www.pcgames.de/aid,629100/Interview/Ego-Shooter/Exklusives_Video-Interview_mit_den_Battlefield_Heroes-Entwicklern/
10334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 22, 2008, 02:06:22 PM
They're also ending Founder's Pricing (lifetime subscription) as of Jan. 31:
Quote
While this was mentioned in our recent press release about the launch of Stonehenge, we wanted to also mention that the Founder's Offer will be coming to an end on January 31st.

This is to allow those who couldn't use our original payment options a window of time to select it. The Founder's Offer is a one-time payment which grants a lifetime subscription to Hellgate: London and is made available to those players who pre-ordered the game.
So what was the Founder's pricing anyway, $ amount wise? It's still only available to pre-order folks btw (Turbine eventually made LOTORO's Lifetime Fee available to everyone as an option, albeit for a limited time).

If someone's desperate for it, I've still seen many Hellgate pre-order boxes at Best Buy and Gamestop (guys are just really pathetic about removing out of date pre-order boxes, or even pre-order boxes for canceled games like Auto Assault and Gods & Heroes)  Roll Eyes. I don't know for sure if it would work, but I checked and there is a place on one's Hellgate account page to enter a pre-order code. Presumably you can still apply that before Jan. 31 to qualify for the founder's pricing option.
10335  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: January 22, 2008, 04:19:20 AM
I don't have a problem with delays as long as the beta testing continues (it is, and obviously they're learning a lot from the process). This isn't some Gods & Heroes situation where the delays just kept reflecting the game was in bad shape (I was in that beta, and I thought it was a mess) and nowhere near release-ready.

With all the hullabaloo over the combat system, I'm actually more interested in how the quests and storyline shape up. I really do enjoy having lots of variety of things to do (which is what kept me in LOTORO even when the combat system didn't promise to be my cup of tea). And I never even read Tolkien, I just liked the variety and the storylines there. smile

Anyway, sorry I keep pimping TenTonHammer, but they did a neat interview with one of the game's quest designers:
http://www.hellgatelondon.com/patches/100
Some things that sound fun to me...
Quote from: Joel Bylos, quest designer
Joel: During one part of the game you actually get a quest to go to the Speaker's Corner in Old Tarantia, which is actually mentioned in The Hour of the Dragon,  and a priest of Set is actually preaching to a bunch of people. He talks about how great Set is and how Mitra and Conan are terrible for the world. As a player, you basically can get up and debate this guy. There's actually a priest of Mitra in the crowd that asks you to get up and debate this guy. This is one of the places in our game where the quests are unique, because you can roleplay these quests however you'd like.

If you're a Priest of Mitra, you're obviously going to defend Mitra and Conan, and if you're neutral, you can just choose the middle ground between the two. If you're a worshipper of Set, you're more than welcome to join the guy and start saying bad things about Mitra. Based on the three options, you get a different reward.
I like that.  Cool One of my belated disappointments in TR (despite all my rave-iness) is that choosing different responses in the "morality" missions doesn't (I mistakenly thought it did) make your quest rewards or really anything differ.

Quote
Joel: It's not in the beta yet, but in the Black Dragon Barracks there are three people that have been sentenced to death. Essentially the barracks commander is very busy and he basically sentenced those three individuals to death because they were captured sneaking into the safe area at night. You argue with him a bit about whether he truly considers that justice, and he basically tells you to go talk to the prisoners and determine whether they should be put to death or not....

Once you've decided how many of the characters you're going to kill, your quest reward will be different based on how many you've executed.
Thinking before you kill. Who expected that of Conan?  ;D

Quote
TTH: Will there be different dialogue options for your class, race, and gender?

Joel: Definitely! For example, there are certainly some quests where being a female will allow you to open up different avenues of completing a quest that may not be available to male characters in the game. At least one that I know of features the female character getting rid of a male NPC by soliciting him.
Hmmm, part of the M-rating I reckon.  biggrin

Anyway, enough cut and pasting. I just found all the talk of branching quests and different consequences to sound really promising. Of course the beta testers can't tell me if that's all coming off well or not, but at least on paper (on pixel?) it sounds fun.
10336  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 22, 2008, 03:28:34 AM
Hadn't shared any movies in a while. Here's a glimpse from an Instance...
Click here to watch Tabula-Rasta-Torcastra-footage
10337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield Heroes...its a free Battlefield game on: January 21, 2008, 06:54:23 PM
Games for Windows has a feature on the cartoonish game, next issue:
http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3165532

Expect to hear much howling of "rip off" from Team Fortress 2 fans, though I thought TF2 was a visual rip off of Pixar's The Incredibles myself.  icon_twisted

Free is nice, but I think I'm not crazy about micro transactions (I'm not what works on XBLA will appeal in PC gaming land) and in-game advertising.
10338  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 21, 2008, 06:44:07 PM
I see myself developing a lot of level 30ish characters. In my case I enjoy the combat enough (kind of like my CoX experience in that regard) not to mind terribly running through the same quest lines, whether from scratch or back up from one of my clones.

The real carrot for me to reach 40 is to be ready for the PAUs (Personal Armored Units) when they're announced. I am somewhat skeptical whether they can create enough 35-50 content to keep things interesting at that level.

The game's only been out a couple months. I hope a year from now we can look back on it and remember when PAUs (40) and Command Control (50) were introduced and say "ew all that new 40-50 content was awesome." I hope they'll find the time and money to sprinkle a few new quests and instances among existing zones some day so you can have some more feelings of fresh questing there. I know City of Heroes had a ton more content by the time its first year was over, so I'm just hoping NCSoft will be that aggressive introducing new content in TR too.

What I found perplexing about the 1.4 patch notes is they're talking about making the game "easier." Huh? Most veterans (I'm not quite there yet) carve up the game like a pumpkin and complain about boredom in the 30s and 40s. I don't think making the game easier is necessarily a good thing at this juncture. But there's only so much you can do with AI in these things. I'm not into PVP at all so that's not a solution for me in the upper levels of MMOs.

I try hard not to be a Defensive Fan Boy. I think if someone says what they Want or Need in an MMO, I or most TR fans could tell them realistically whether TR would do anything for them or not. I'm a fan, but not blindly so. icon_neutral
10339  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: looking for a list of co-op games on: January 21, 2008, 04:56:31 PM
Wasn't sure if you meant PC-only (I hear Halo 3 is awesome in 4-player co-op).

PC/RTS-wise, I had a lot of fun playing Company of Heroes online in co-op against AI bots but it can be a little exasperating at times. The AI can be relentless. The original game is usually bargain priced now, fwiw. Relic's online service is nice, with lobby chat rooms, buddy lists etc. so it's pretty easy to set up a co-op game.

PC/FPS wise, it's old in the teeth now, but the original, not-a-console-port Ghost Recon and its expansions were great fun in co-op (my brief time at the GG forums was spent trying to get co-op games of GR together or join ones announced there). I tried the PC GRAW demo and didn't feel the same affection alas.
10340  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 21, 2008, 02:17:46 PM
I enjoyed chainguns til 30-31 (on post-launch game -- in beta ammo seemed too scarce and expensive for everything), and then the ammo costs became a problem (or maybe I just didn't have a good enough chaingun). They're still the best gun-weapon against Striders, Predators, Turrets and all sorts of mechanical nastiness. My Torcastra Prison trio over the weekend seemingly had no EMP chainguns and turret cannons gave us heck until one guy realized he had an EMP pulse/chaingun.

My Biotech has had to be more creative with those things so far if soloing. He can't just sit in one place and bop away with his pistol/rifle EMP stuff. I can use EMP detonators and the like, but so far I'm having to do quite a bit of running and micromanaging to get those things down -- that's when I miss chainguns. smile
10341  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 21, 2008, 01:58:23 PM
Sorry, def send me a tell/whisper.  icon_redface  I only have Clan chat enabled on a couple of tabs, but whispers on everything.
10342  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 21, 2008, 04:02:31 AM
I finish the day with Colorful Costumes Corner. smile



From me Devil's Den team earlier today.

I know I'm playing too much cause I can tell what class folks are by their helmet smile (although you can certainly tell easily enough by if they use chainguns/launchers etc.).

I really do love the Injector guns btw. They're very modest in ammo consumption (I never have the credit problems I did with my Commando/Grenadier) and eventually do tremendous damage per hit. I have to be creative in dealing with large groups (I didn't pour 5 pts. into shotgun like the masses smile), but I can make short work of most nasties as long as I adjust to the various immunities on the fly.
10343  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 20, 2008, 07:15:54 PM
Amoeba slime. Ugh. I hate them (they look cool - they just can overwhelm you). I hate fighting them no matter what class I'm playing. Sometimes I just ignore them and go after targets, but you end up with this...


And I got one to smile for the camera up close once.  eek


Unrelated, but another neat Creature Closeup (due to a lag burp i think):
10344  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 20, 2008, 07:12:03 PM
I have a hard time getting action shots that aren't of my posterior or my teammates, but I'm trying. smile Also, I made some adjustments so I could play in 1280X1024 mode. Here's a couple...

From a fun Torcastra Prison instance trio team today. A rare chance to catch the electrical chaingun arc before it goes off.  icon_cool


Attempting to sort of circle strafe a predator to complete a hunt in Divide.
10345  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tips, Tricks, and Automobiles..Tabula Rasa.... on: January 20, 2008, 03:56:53 PM
A couple things that popped into my head for newer players:
-Since Control Point bases/outposts often go back and forth (and their waypoints aren't accessible while Bane-controlled), keep an eye out for  when Control Points are in ASF hands -- then try to at least get in there long enough to walk on the Waypoint once. Examples would be the Purgas CP in Divide (on my first go around, i never saw it in ASF hands -- players just didn't seem to have much interest in trying to take it back), and a couple of the CPs in Palisades.

-Sometimes - I don't know if its' always - if an objective icon (walkie talkie) is inside a cave, if you look at your local minimap, you'll see a vague outline marketing the cave tunnel's path (it's not reflected on the main map until you're actually inside the cave/tunnels afik). Usually you can get an idea of where the mouth/entrance to the cave is, if you look closely a bit.

-Grenades seem terribly underused (I almost never see other players tossing them). If you don't otherwise have something capable of damaging several targets at a time, stock up, they're pretty cheap. Incendiary is good on those nasty Miasmas if they gang up on you. They're helpful on the annoying Warnets too if they start swarming. Be careful using them in base defense, because you don't necessarily want 20 Bane ganging up on you at the same time -- but if they already are anyway, it's often useful.  icon_biggrin
10346  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Interview] Bill Roper on Hellgate: London on: January 20, 2008, 03:58:07 AM
Since we have something like 193 old Hellgate threads (give or take a few dozen), I thought I'd post any Hellgate interviews I stumble on here for the sake of not contributing to any more Hellgate thread litter. smile I know this was originally a thread about a cool exclusive GT interview (little did anyone know what condition the game would launch in then) so I hope that's OK.

Q&A: Bill Roper opens up on Hellgate (as well as the Stonehenge content update)
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6184912.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=newstop&tag=newstop;title;1
Quote
BR: Honestly, we tried to do too much with the game. We created our own engine, tools, and online destination from scratch in just a few years [is that supposed to sound impressive? Does it usually take decades?  saywhat -BJ]. We are really proud of the work we did, however we were perhaps a bit too ambitious. [As far as quests go, how about a little *more* ambition, Bill!-BJ]

If we could have waited another three months to ship, we would have, but the challenges of an independent game studio are much, much different than what we had during our days at Blizzard or the guys at Arena.net face (since we often see comparisons with them and Guild Wars) as they were owned by NCsoft before they had to ship. [This is where Keavin Nealon's "Mr. Subliminal" on SNL would say "We released our half-baked game 3 months early and we knew it all along!"]
Sorry, even as a modest fan of the game, I couldn't resist throwing some brickabats at his comments.  Tongue

I think the problem is, if Flagship's dream is to get absorbed by another publisher, how is releasing a 3-month premature game awash in bugs, with virtually nothing rewarding to subscribers (until now with Stonehenge, fingers crossed), that's getting royally pounded in review (if I read them first, I wouldn't even have tried HG at all) after review after review... how is that in any way going to help Flagship achieve that? It's lucky I didn't interview Bill, because my questions would probably have ticked them off. Gamespot is of course more polite.  disgust icon_lol

I mean, you get one chance to impress gamers and publishers in this industry. I like HG, but I just don't see EA or Midway saying "Hey, gotta love Hellgate! We gotta keep Flagship in the stables!" The fact they didn't say "Hey, this is promising, but it needs 3 more months work, we believe in you, so do it" says volumes, imho.
10347  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed on: January 19, 2008, 05:55:06 PM
Funcom has announced March 25 as the official release date:
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=179735&site=cvg

TenTonHammer had some "breaking news" about Funcom whittling the number of classes from 14 down to 12, and distributing the two deleted classes' skills amongst the remaining ones:
http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/21015
Quote
The Scion of Set and the Lich are no longer going to be included in the class list, but their abilities are going to be integrated throughout the existing classes already in the game.

They launched a new Web site for the game too apparently, uh oh - someone went amuck with Flash again...  biggrin
http://www.ageofconan.com/

I was excited about this a while back, then it dropped off my radar screen entirely. They made some fairly major gameplay adjustments, and latest previews seem to think they've improved things markedly. I think what I've read is they slowly introduce the differences in how it handles combat (rather than dumping it all on you at the start). It's still hard to tell from videos whether it's different "enough" from the MMO next door. icon_neutral I mean, it still just looks like you're whacking number keys on a keyboard -- if the quests esp. the storyline quests, are as interesting as they say, I'll still be interested.
10348  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 19, 2008, 05:49:52 PM
I had another "duh" realization. Some Logos are behind transparent locked entrance doors. Step back from the entrance, and consider jotting the symbols on the entrance border or just comparing them with your Logos tab, to help you check if you have them all (or of course atlaslogos.com can guide ya smile):
10349  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 19, 2008, 05:26:42 PM
I'm sure I'd enjoy the ship combat (Hey, I bought Age of Sail smile and Enigma Rising Tide for crying out loud), but how is the avatar/melee type combat and boardings? That's the part I've been unclear on as to whether I'd enjoy it or not. icon_neutral

I noticed at the official site they announced a bunch of bans for gold selling already. Yeesh.  mad
10350  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 19, 2008, 05:18:54 PM
That's kind of the point -- they meant for it to be a game you could play a half hour, an hour and have fun with it (most of the Collector's Edition "behind the scenes" stuff is devoted to saying that). A few us are really addicted in spite of it being designed that way, but for me that probably didn't kick in until I moved to Palisades and there was greater variety to do, and more massive enemies to battle. Now I'm not saying they intentionally are trying to make it "non addictive," saywhat, just maybe it doesn't force me to grind away for hours and hours to make any progress. smile

If you're looking for another WoW, or massive raids that take hours and hours and hours, then this really probably won't grab you (which is OK). I've gone out of my way to not describe this as some sort of WoW killer, and I don't think it's going to appeal to most fantasy mmorpg fans very long. I liked City of Heroes but it generally took me months and months of work to get my characters into 30s and 40s (here it's probably weeks even if you don't play all night).

Areas do get more interesting, and the Instances often provide a more interesting experience than regular quests, and once you hit 15, then 30, and you have skillsets to try out, I think it's a more interesting experience.

If you're seeking a more traditional but fresh from a storyline standpoint type MMO, I'd give LOTORO a try. I didn't stick with WoW past the free 1st month but I was in LOTORO for several months and enjoyed it (and I never read any of Tolkien's books). I just found it too much work to keep going through the content with new characters. I still recommend it to folks. smile
10351  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 19, 2008, 07:08:33 AM
Finally made the leap to Biotechnician tonight and my first Injector Gun (15):

I'm sticking with Motor Assist armor for the most part but one quest rewarded really thick Bio Body Armor (which will be a lot more useful once the 1.4 patch ups everyone's Health amounts and adjusts attributes), and it looks pretty cool.

Injector's cool to use, even if it's not all that showy aside from a "pump" sound effect. Some Bane seem immune to it though (at least the initial Virulent versions of Injectors). It's just cool to be able to damage (have a chance to) their health directly and not worry about stripping off the armor power meter first. Combined with the decay skill you can drop some Bane pleasantly fast.


This was a big meeting of some clan in the main base in Divide. In the long run, I guess I do hope to join some big active clan at some point. It's just, sometimes when I've joined really large ones, nobody actually plays together. It's just a bunch of people yakking in the clan chat channel. This group seemed to do a regular weekly meeting and such, and seemed to have a good mix of different level characters. smile
10352  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 19, 2008, 12:48:04 AM
The official site highlights some fan forum info on the new player Hybrid classes (and accompanying new quest lines), which are available on the Test Server now. Planet TR probably has the most useful info, and some screenshots.
http://www.planettr.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3001

Much confusion at this point about all this. The Hybrids have various stats differences than humans. There are three different ones (Forean, Brann and Thrax). The Brann one starts in the Mires (where the lag is supposedly fixed now, at least on test server). So it's not something you're probably going to do at Level 1. Maybe somewhere in the 20s.

And yer still humanoid in any of these hybrid forms (you won't get mistaken for a bad guy). It's more a matter of your facial characteristics looking quite a bit different, more than anything else (judging from screenshots).
10353  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Elite or Pleb? on: January 18, 2008, 10:35:20 PM
I don't see anything remotely in common between the two games other than having too many "go fetch me 12 pig intestines" type quests. I hope nobody directed you to Hellgate and claimed it was a "WoW-killer." If someone did, he should be pummeled about the head and shoulders with Hellgate DVD boxes.  deadhorse

It's not even a Diablo II-wannabe really. It's... wait a minute. I like the game for the most part aside from its mind-benumbing environmental repetition and.... Why am I dumping on it? Never mind. Hellgate. Love it! The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.
10354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Elite or Pleb? on: January 18, 2008, 08:46:11 PM
So many dead Hellgate threads. Which one to wake up for this announcement? We'll try this one. Stonehenge, the first major actualy *content* update for subscribers just announced  bowdown:
Quote
Stonehenge is a huge outdoor hub accessed through a special portal in Templar Base, connecting players to several new and exciting quests.

Heroes will find themselves in completely new open, outdoor wilderness areas unlike anything seen within the city limits of London, battling terrifying new demons and bosses and finding new items very distinct in their appearance.

This action-packed update includes:
        • The Caste Caves – Unlock four unique dungeons, one for each caste of enemy – Beast, Necro, Spectral and Demon – to seek and destroy a powerful overlord that resides in each cave. Defeating them and collecting their heads will allow you to continue the adventure…

        • Moloch’s Lair – Only after collecting the heads from the Caste Caves will heroes be allowed entry into the lair, with a chance to defeat the legendary Moloch, one of hell’s most imposing minions who carries very unique items that can only be obtained by defeating him in combat. And because Moloch’s soul is eternal, this quest and it’s rewards can be a never-ending challenge

        • The Wild – These three mini-raid areas present players with difficult obstacles but also huge rewards with three levels that get increasingly more difficult even with the recommended full party size – you will need a small army to get through these challenges

In addition to the above, The Stonehenge Chronicles also includes many of the other updates the Hellgate: London community has been asking for, including improvements to game UI, a large number of skill balance changes, a PvP dueling arena and more.

Hellgate: London subscribers can also now pay for their subscriptions via PayPal and PayByCash.
Now if you ask me (or even if you didn't ask me Tongue), it's too little, too late, unless they're willing to re-launch the version 1.0 game (if they ever reach that point, they're only at .7) at retail sometime in a shape more conductive to a good launch and to a game that wants you to pay a monthly fee.
10355  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 18, 2008, 06:46:07 PM
Here's the Jan. 17 updated Test Server patch notes (not sure when all this hits live, but it will seriously change a lot of things):
http://www.rgtr.com/news/patch_notes_public_test/patch_notes_117_test_server.html

Way too long to paste in, but thought I'd paste in a few things that made me raise a Spock-like eyebrow: paranoid
Quote
-All players and creatures now have much more Health than before. Health and Armor are now more closely equal portions of avatar and creature total hit points.

-Damage ratings throughout the game have been adjusted to account for new armor values and new health values

-Game balance has been adjusted to be slightly easier at all levels (higher character survivability) and significantly easier at higher levels.
==================
-Two-way squad portable waypoints are now accessible by all squadmates from any permanent or portable waypoint – now you can build your own personal waypoint network on operations maps!

-38 Instances now have a Portable Waypoint at the beginning of them, making it easier for players with Portable Waypoints to go back to the beginning of the instance.

[This is an awesome change imho, it will let them work more like a Diablo-style town portal. Meaning squadmates can join (or rejoin you) within the operation zone that you've placed the wormhole in. Right now, it doesn't work that way -- right now it's only useful to your team if they're all with you at the location you placed the wormhole to start with. But if they're not there with you to start, it's not accessible to them from the waypoint network. I've explained this to many squadmates and they've always been perplexed that portable squad waypoints don't already work this way, so this change is great. smile

By Operations I think they mean that in the Instances, you can use portable waypoints to zip back and forth across the map even if the map has no permanent waypoints on it. Really invaluable on some of the larger instances, esp. if someone croaks and needs to start back from the medic vendor at the start (or sometimes middle). Within an operation, a waypoint/wormhole that you drop is permament, but that hasn't really been all that useful to now.]

-855 missions have had their rewards re-evaluated and replaced with new items. Items previously obtained through these missions will not be changed, but will no longer be available to future players.
[I think this was in response to feedback that a lot of reward stuff was basically junk at the level you would likely complete it at]

========================
-Machine Guns, Leech Guns, Polarity Guns, and Propellant Guns now take lower quality ammunition at higher levels
[Should make those horribly expensive-to-upkeep weapons more useful]

======================
-New Engineer ability “Feedback” replaced Temporary Wormhole. Feedback causes targets to take damage from performing various types of actions.
[Sounds weird. They removed temp wormhole in favor of letting everyone purchase different types at vendors]
=======================
-Signature Abilities now have 5-minute cooldown timers.
[Jude never gets to use Concussion Wave, which requires full power. But it's getting a power requirement reduction so perhaps now even with the timer I'll get to use it more than once a day.  Roll Eyes

==================
-Hunters will now use their net ability more often.
[Cripes! I was hoping they would nerf these bastiges, instead they are getting seriously buffed up...]

===================
Game performance may degrade over time. If this happens, please restart the game.
[Ugh, I smell a memory leak...]

It seems like several under-used powers have received lower power requirements, or faster usage improvements to try to make them usable more often. The only thing worrying me about this mega-patch is it reminds me of far too many City of Heroes/Villains mega-updates that inevitably botched something else up unintentionally while trying to change 793 aspects of the game at the same time. paranoid
10356  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Perpetual Entertainment cancels Star Trek: Online (sorta) on: January 18, 2008, 06:24:31 PM
I could see away team missions being quite fun as long as there's variety, there's some mining of Trek lore and inter-space politics, and the game took advantage of all that back story and history available in the series. All you have to do is go back through all the classic and TNG and Deep Space Nine episodes to see there can be so much more than just "blast 10 groks with my phaser to complete the Grok Hunt Quest." It would just take a developer with a little imagination. But who knows? Maybe you'd have to start with something basic and work from there. I still think that beats letting the license rot.

I love Trek, but somehow the idea of sitting behing a console on the bridge tapping blinking buttons and watching things happen in detached form on a big monitor doesn't excite me (it excited me when watching on TV cause they edit the scenes to make them look exciting). And while I bought ST: Bridge Commander (pity poor Larry Holland these days), I didn't find micro-managing a starship as much fun as I hoped it would be.  icon_neutral
10357  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 18, 2008, 05:05:06 PM
A few buds at the forum I used to hang out are into this and have already pre-ordered (a couple even declared they're quitting LOTORO to move to this).

I pointed out a Gamespy preview:
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/pirates-of-the-burning-sea/846350p1.html
It's pretty rave about the game's concepts, esp. the "meta game" that encourages PVP and PVE players to work together to some extent.

The folks at that other forum say they're not seeing the bugs the Gamespy impressions complain about. They agree the game seems for more advanced players and isn't as "pick up and play" as other MMOs on the market (but they like that about it). I'm trying to point out that they're just saying if you want a mass audience you need to try to cater to both advanced and the players that might prefer a little more hand holding and tutorials. I think they're going to argue with me about it. Now I remember why I don't hang out there so much anymore. slywink

The funny thing is I started the PotBS thread over there.  icon_neutral I got into the beta test even (late). But I had/have too much fun with Tabula Rasa to pay attention yet. smile
10358  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: What's the Next Big MP Game? on: January 18, 2008, 02:37:17 PM
If you mean shooters, probably keep an eye out for the 5-class, 60+ vehicle Frontline: Fuels of War by Kaos Studios (founded by members of the Desert Combat Mod for BF1942, who were absorbed by DICE/EA like the Borg and then later bought out).

Oficiale site (features page):
http://www.frontlineswar.com/?page=features

Gametrailers has lots of stuff:
http://www.gametrailers.com/game/2833.html

Course if yer burned out on military shooters (which I decidedly am at this point), this will not even bump your heart rate up, no matter what it promises.  deadhorse
10359  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 18, 2008, 02:31:13 PM
Thanks. smile I forgot this one, Reactor Core...


I was looking down the road at the Medic tree. While the manual sort of dismisses it as "least soloable," they seem to have revamped the skills quite a bit (names/effects seem different than in the collector's manual):


Recuscitate, once a Level 30 Medic skill, was moved back (I think) to about Pump Level 3 of a skill in the Biotechnician set (so you can probably learn to rez one player at around level 18 or so). Pump Level 5 of that lets you rez your entire squad (with reduced rez trauma sickness effects) in a limited area simultaneously. I can see that making Biotechnicians very popular on certain instances and hard-to-reach areas.  icon_cool
10360  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Assasins Creed system spec requirements? on: January 18, 2008, 02:22:55 PM
They might be assuming we're running Windows Vista (a notorious RAM hog apparently); lot of the Vista systems I'm shopping come with 3GB RAM standard, and some with 4GB. Cripes, there was a time I could install a bunch of games directly into that much RAM.  tear
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