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10361  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dawn of War 2 - First detailed info? on: July 16, 2008, 09:12:15 PM
As a brief Company of Heroes freak (late 2006, early 2007) who also bought Dawn of War (but not its expansions), I guess my only concern is that the system requirements will remain more like what you'd expect for Crysis and that might make it end up a relative sales disappointment like COH. Now that I can run COH like a dream, I'm just not as interested in playing it as I was around the time it launched. It would kill me if Relic's latest requires $700 in dual SLI Crossfired gobblydegook to be playable.

I still have a hard time envisioning Relic doing a completely "non base building" RTS. Base building is just embedded in their DNA as a dev. I've read some UK magazine articles on the game, and like the IGN piece they say there doesn't seem to be base-building, "based on what we saw." So I'll be curious if it really is a non-base building game like Ground Control and World in Conflict, or if it just doesn't emphasize base building much in its early missions.

My favorite Company of Heroes missions had little or no base building involved, which is why I lost interest as the campaign moved more deeply into "build a gigantic base and rush everything you have at the enemy" RTS stereotypes). Another decent military RTS, Act of War, had some really fun, no-base-building missions early on but once it slipped into base-building overdrive, it simply lost me.
10362  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 16, 2008, 09:02:37 PM
They have a sort of dev tracker thread (it lets you click on various dev/community advocate volunteer names to see their latest posts). It's worth combing through a bit if you're curious about their ongoing posts on the situation though a lot of it is just banter and saying good bye:

Flagship Studios Employees & Team Advocate Tracker

Taylor Balbi (community/PR), Scapes-Flagship (community manager) and Tiggs (Ping0) are probably the most active. They really don't seem to know when/if Hellgate's servers plugs will get pulled.
10363  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 16, 2008, 03:46:05 PM
I'll buy it! I just have to cash in my IRA and 401K, and maybe use the coin counting machine at my bank a little bit.  icon_razz

I'd forgotten that the Mythos team was actually up in Seattle (Flagship itself is in San Francisco), and was called Flagship Studios Seattle. I always assumed Flagship was trying to emulate Blizzard's acquisition of them (Condor) and what became Diablo. So presumably he's hoping to keep some of the Mythos team in touch (if not employed) and see how they can round up the wagons and get another project going.

btw, when I did some Googling on Travis's name, it seemed like he was alternately referred to in some comments as "a loving genius" and as "a **cking genius". I guess those are both meant as a compliment.  icon_razz I don't know if making a solid Diablo clone (Fate) on a low budget makes you a genius or just "competent."

I actually had more fun with the screwy Hellgate than I did in my brief time in Mythos. Buds of mine raved about Mythos though, so what do I know? Many thought Mythos was more the kind of game they expected from a group of former Diablo/Diablo II team members, and the one Flagship should've pinned its hopes on (Hellgate obviously came first), while that Hellgate was to them more of a screwed up experiment that should've been stifled in the test tube.  puke
10364  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 16, 2008, 01:35:40 PM
Travis Baldtree (who created the well regarded Diablo clone Fate, and then joined Flagship for Mythos) finally posted in their Mythos forums yesterday. Saw this noted at

A fond farewell- at Mythos beta forums
Quote from: Travis Baldtree
Well, it's an interesting few days here for all of us. It's just been killing me not to post until now, but I really needed to wait until some things were settled and announced. As you may or may not know Flagship Studios laid off almost all employees effective friday - you should be able to see the press release in the Announcements. Now, on the face of it, that really does sound like the end of Mythos as we know it - but we have a tight-knit team that feels like family and hopes to stick together. Unfortunately, I can't speak at any real length about our immediate plans just yet - but let's say that we hope to have you back up and Beta testing for us in one way or another sometime soon.

You've been an incredible community that we've all felt priveleged to be a part of, and we're not quite ready to let go of that little family just yet. No matter the outcome, this has been a fantastic experience, and I and the team would like to thank each and every one of you for the tireless hours of testing and discussion you've undergone, and the uniquely friendly community spirit that you all helped foster. It's been a treat every step of the way.

So, I'm not exactly sure how long Mythos in its current form will remain up, since it is effectively a testing server. I'll try to get you that information as soon as I can.
In the meantime, I know the rest of the team would love to post their farewells and thanks to all of you. We'll try to keep you as up to date as we can in one way or another.

Thanks again to all of you - and I hope to be seeing all of you online again very, very soon.
It's kind of a riddle, but perhaps he's trying to pull the Mythos property out of this mess (see underlined above).  icon_confused Or maybe he'll do another Fate.  icon_cool

I agree the payment scheme seemed like an unwise idea. I felt they either should've gone whole hog and tried their hands at an MMO with a full fee (which has the advantage of pulling in revenue consistently, and long after the initial launch sales rush is over); or not at all.
10365  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 16, 2008, 05:21:42 AM
It does read more like a farewell card than anything else. It doesn't really answer any questions, as the confused players at the forums attest:

I guess the real question is whether they have to eventually file for a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, and sell off everything to pay off their creditors (including the IP, technology, foosball tables and luxury reclining executive chairs); or if there's still any chance they can pare down to the bare bones (maybe similar to the tiny company they were as Condor Games), do a Chapter 11 reorganization, and somehow survive.

While Googling, I came upon this Gamespot historical feature on Blizzard:

Gamespot Presents: Eye of the Storm - Behind Closed Doors at Blizzard
While the team at Condor in San Francisco had programmed games for everything from the Atari Lynx to 3DO's never-released M2, the PC remained an elusive platform. "Back in 1995," explains Max Schaefer, "it wasn't clear what was going to happen screenshot. "We thought doing a PC game was more stable," says Max Schaefer. "It wasn't clear what was going to happen to the next generation of consoles. We were working payroll to payroll - on the ragged edge of economic viability - and we didn't want to risk another console game. We thought doing a PC game was more stable."
Ironic, eh? I think now some people would tell them they'd have a better chance of survival in consoles, perhaps an XBLA version of Mythos or something. icon_neutral

After a few months of initial design work, the three cofounders of Condor came up with an idea for an action-RPG inspired by the old UNIX ASCII game Moria, where an "@" attacked a "k." Updating this simple kill/reward concept to '90s standards proved to be a tough sell to publishers.

"Some companies wouldn't even talk to us," admits Dave Brevik. "We were three jokers with a radical idea for a game. People literally laughed at us because we had no PC experience and wanted to do an RPG." In total, ten major publishers turned down the pitch for this turn-based DOS RPG. Then it dawned on Brevik to call up his friend Adham and see if Blizzard would be interested in publishing the game.
There we go again. "Keep it simple, stupid." I'll always say Hellgate's failure to follow that motto did it in, right from the start.

Thought it worth digging up here because afterall they're the Flagship guys now. And probably they forgot how it was to just be 3-4 guys in a room trying to design a cool game based on a fairly simple premise. Maybe Hellgate became too much about too many cooks in the kitchen trying to overcomplicate the game and do too many things.
10366  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 16, 2008, 02:55:43 AM
So the theater in Virginia I want to see it at has already sold out of two midnight shows, and added a third. I'm still debating if I want to inflict a midnight show on myself or not. I probably need to decide pretty fast though. At the least, I won't have to worry too much about walking to the parking garage at 3 a.m. alone. There'll be a few hundred people doing the same.  icon_razz

Unlike some of the nutzo theaters, I don't think this one was willing to add 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.  saywhat shows to satiate demand.

Ah hell, I went ahead and bought a ticket. I took some time off just so I could do that, so I can't cop out now. Alas, my moviegoing friends can't do a midnight show on a Thursday, and most folks my age can't hardly stay awake until midnight much less watch a movie til 3 a.m.  icon_razz

I didn't realize the AMC Movie Watcher card I finally got lets you buy tickets online without the $1 service charge. Doh.  retard
10367  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 16, 2008, 01:33:39 AM
I think the fact that I've never seen anyone on a Swift or Armored Horse so far (whether Level 80, or level 1 character) says it all. The other day I was surrounded by L75-80 players, no signs of any mount upgrades at all. That's all I have to say on the matter. Except: "Dear Funcom, don't put *bleep* in the game that nobody can ever afford because what the heck is the point? You're just wasting your animators' and artwork team's work for nothing."  disgust Not to mention all the people who've quit this game who never even got within a sniff of seeing one of these mounts in action much less getting to try one.

Anyway, my point was that my vote's to lower costs some on the high end, non-preorder mounts. Even without my ex-guildmate's help I would've been able to afford the starter mount soon enough, even with my apparent stupidity when it comes to piling up money. Obviously I'm the Worse Case Scenario, a Drooling Imbecile Incapable of Profiteering, but I was still going to get a starter horse at a reasonable level.  drool

Update from the EU forums is tomorrow's update was pushed to Wednesday to deal with yet another unintended bug:
Quote from: Tarib
We postpone the update from tomorrow Wednesday to Thursday, 17th of July, 4 am GMT. One fix concerning equipment that are 'Bind on Equip' lead to an issue which would have made those items not equipable at all. This has of course to be resolved and then tested again before we can bring the update to the live servers.

So if no other issues are found and the one mentioned above is resolved, we will update on Thursday. We will of course keep you up to date about any news.
10368  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 15, 2008, 06:40:12 PM
Facts are kind of hard to come by right now, esp. with the gaming news sites frantically quoting *each other* to the point you can't tell if anyone actually has any factual information or not. To me it's the Achille's Heel of the world fixating on News on the Internet. It gets easier to just paste in what some other site did and refer to it as "news" rather than look into it oneself. Heck, I'm guilty of that myself in my flurries of postings at message boards about "news." Is there a hypocrite icon?  retard

There are actually more Gaming News Aggregator sites out there than there are News Gathering sites, and some day, all people will get on the Internet are Aggregates of Non News and Gossip.  icon_razz I would've felt better if some of the sites just said, "we called Flagship, and nobody's answering the phones there, but they never answered the phones to begin with."  icon_lol Or "we e-mailed the usually easy-to-reach Bill Roper and now we get an auto-responder."  paranoid

I'm going through that myself today at my newsletter job. I reached a company president about a merger (e-mail, was getting runaround by phone), and basically it was, "I can't comment until it's approved, and then we'll put out a press release" and "we're a private company so I can't tell you how many employees we have etc." Frustrating. But sometimes just confirming you can't get any more information from "official channels" is useful in itself.  icon_neutral

I understand if Flagship is in some sort of legal bind where it can't make an official announcement, but it's really not reflecting well on them to not put out *something.* Even if it's vague.

It does seem true that the Subscriptions option has been disabled for Hellgate, and for now you have to call that 1-800 number to cancel your subscription (or you can ask your credit card provider to stop payments).

Also, I noticed that Flagship apparently on July 9 updated its Privacy Policy at its site:
Purchase or Sale of Businesses
From time to time, we may purchase a business or sell one or more of our businesses and your personal information may be transferred as a part of the purchase or sale. If we purchase a business, the personal information received with that business would be treated in accordance with this Privacy Policy, if it is practicable and permissible to do so. If we sell a business or if we go through a business transition, such as a merger, are acquired by another company, or sell a portion of our assets, account holders' information will, in most instances, be part of the assets transferred. The provisions of this paragraph will also apply if we are sold as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
I dunno though. I have no idea what they updated there, it might have had nothing to do with that passage.

I just found it interesting that the section was updated July 9 given what we're all hearing about.
10369  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Major feature cuts from Warhammer Online on: July 15, 2008, 05:32:00 PM
Tentonhammer had a 2 part interview with Mythic's Mark Jacobs about all this:

Part 1

Part 2

Although he comes across as, uh, maybe a bit impatient at times (it's in a way impressive they don't filter his answers through a PR flack), I had a much better understanding of their reasons after reading. Also, I have a former newspaper copy editor friend who works at NRA, and Mythic is right across the street from them. Maybe I'll take a photo next time I'm in the area.  icon_razz

I think the thing with MMOs, is if you have features in that are broken and bugged and don't work as promised, the players are reminded of it every day they log in and try said features. If the features and characters aren't there at all, it might bother someone initially but they won't be visually reminded of them all the time.

That said, there have been cases like Tabula Rasa where long-promised stuff like Personal Armored Units sat and molted in the back of my brain, and *did* bother me even if I didn't see them malfunctioning in-game. The latest interviews suggest those are nowhere near going into that game, which still bothers me today.  icon_neutral So, I guess missing features can in fact bother you, in some cases.
10370  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 15, 2008, 05:27:25 PM
I wish they'd make the Swift Horses and/or Armored Horses something you could reasonably afford. I can maybe understand the pre-order mounts (Rhini, Mammoth) being priced outrageously, but it would be nice for the Swift/Armored to be something you might aspire to. I'm at 70 now and I can vouch that unless you're a trading house/crafting junkie, or a member of a crazy rich guild, or a gold farmer, the Swift/Armored horses aren't really something that you can reasonably ever hope to try. I don't think I've ever had more than 2 gold or so, and I was only able to afford a horse fairly early because of a member of my ex-guild donating to me out of pity.  icon_razz
10371  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 15, 2008, 01:12:20 PM
Saw a post by the German forum moderator about a recent change in the degree of slope players can traverse (45 degrees from an unintended 60 degrees):

Glass Walls: A bug or intentional?
Some changes to the movement code in the last update did indeed cause players to no longer be able to traverse terrain at the angles they were before. This was actually caused by fixing a bug with the game code as it was allowing players to travel over angles that by the original design parameters was too high. (to be specific the bug caused people to be able to travel over 60 degree angles when the code called for 45 degrees).

However it is obvious that in fact the 60 degree angle was probably more optimal for 'logical' movement and certainly what ended up in last weeks update does feel like you come across barriers where they just don't feel right. Obviously that isn't good, and we want to correct it! We will be looking to reverse this fix is an update as soon as we can, it won't be in the next update unfortunately as the bug itself had a few more implications that we need to iron out first. It is one of the things though that is a priority for the next available update.
Not sure this will remedy the various areas where it feels like you *should* be able to keep moving in an area, or use it as a shortocut, but the game seems to want to channel you back towards a main path or different route.  icon_confused

Usually, if you walk backwards, you can scale back down vertical ridges safely. This doesn't always work -- I've stumbled, twisted and fell to my doom numerous times -- but it is something a teammate taught me one day that can help in a jam.
10372  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 15, 2008, 04:01:28 AM
Hit 70 tonight. It really unlocks quite an avalanche of new quests in both Atzel's Approach and Khesatta.

The mighty Claymore...

I'm hoping my Guardian bud can make me one that has a Health tap + a couple of damage gems in it.

I helped a 75-ish team that was calling for help on an elite 75 boss in Atzel, though they eventually added upper 70s types for apprenticing purposes.

You can't swing a dead rat by the tail on Thog server without hitting a member of The Old Timer's guild. One was on our team, and a full Old Timer's group ended up helping us with said Elite (waiting until we tagged it before they chipped in). They seem like an all right bunch mostly.
10373  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 14, 2008, 09:52:53 PM
Funcom hired some moderation help (a German biz called Two Pi), which has made it a little tougher to comb through the Dev tracker (they are closing flame war type threads and the like, so a lot of Dev Tracker posts now are moderation-related).

However, a Two Pi guy posted a pretty helpful Official technical faq Post. You may want to bookmark this one.

Official technical FAQ - Crashes, Errors? Read this, first!

I'll go ahead and paste it in for GT posterity:
#1 Most actual informations (July 13th)

Bad performance in Villas?
For users of NVidia GPUs (excluding the 260/280 series) it may help to use the old driver 169.21, and / or to switch to Shader 2.0. It's a known problem and has been forwarded.

Authentication Failure Error FAQ - You can't log in? Follow this link:

No magic effects / bad performance (NVidia GPUs)?
Try to download RivaTuner 2.09 and use the option to revert all driver settings to it's default values.

Black screen while running the game on Windows Vista?
Put this into a .txt file, and save this text-file as conan.reg (all files)
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\GraphicsDrivers]

If you should encounter any problems, you can easily undo this changings by creating another .reg file with it's following content:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\GraphicsDrivers]

The patcher hangs / the game or the patcher won't even start?
The game should be properly uninstalled. Please do exactly as mentioned below:

- Deinstall AoC using the "Add or Remove Programs"-Software located in the Control Panel
- Delete the following (hidden) folder:
Vista: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Local\Funcom
XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[User]\Application Data\Funcom
- Open the registry by running regedit and delete all entries that refer to Funcom by searching for them (F3 key)

Please stop your antivirus program and, even more important, your firewall while reinstalling and patching the game. Just closing the GUI (usually a "Firewall"-Symbol in the system tray) sometimes won't suffice, so you'll have to manually shut down the services (Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Services). In some rare cases it might be necessary to temporarily uninstall the antivirus program if you can't stop it by other means.

#2a Workarounds for known errors:

1. Crashes, "Updating Content", Errors and so on
Quite often the "Verify"-tool works wonders. Open your AoC-folder, start "simpleconfig.exe" and click on "Verify/Repair". When the verification / repair is completed, start AoC as usual - the patcher will now automatically replace defective files.

2. Bad graphical / general performance
You can find a seperate guide here: (currently in translation, coming soon) [no link yet-BJ]

3. Assertion Failed - Out of Memory
If you've got more than 2GB RAM, the following might help.
Open the hidden boot.ini file found in the root system directory (C:\). The easiest way to do so is clicking on Start -> Run..., entering "notepad C:\boot.ini" without the quotation marks and hitting enter. Look for the [operation systems] part and add the following line to the end of it:

To open the Run... menu, use Win+R (Win = the windows key on your keyboard), type in "bcedit /set IncreaseUserVA 3072" without the quotation marks and hit the enter key.

IF there are stability issues after trying this, you can revert to the standard values by following the same steps and just changing the number to 2048 (so it's /USERVA=2048 or bcedit /set IncreaseUserVA 2048, respectively)

4. Patchloop
Caused by defective rdbdata files.
Simply delete all rdbdata-files that are smaller than 1GB. They're located on the AoC -> RDB folder.

5. Textures lose detail while playing and won't show as detailed again
Go into your AoC-folder (also works while the game is running) und delete the following files:

6. faultrep.dll can't be found
[liNK zu einem entsprechenden englischen Artikel]

7. The minimap is black
In this case, you'll need to delete the "GUI"-folder inside your AoC-folder. The patcher will load about 170MB of files after the next start.

8. I can hear the game sounds, but have a black screen.
Open simpleconfig.exe, disable the Fullscreen-option and start the game. You can switch back to Fullscreen again after that.

9. My chat window shows a chequered pattern
In the NVidia Panel Options, you'll find a slider that regulates Quality and Performance. If it's at Quality, switch to Performance. If it's at Performance, switch it to Quality.

If this won't help, make sure that the mip-mapping option inside the NVidia Panel is controlled by the application, or reinstall the drivers and reset them to standard values (should be in the function-part in the lower right).
Although the game looks demonstrably better for me in shader 3.0, certain special effects (like Necromancer pets that do magic attacks) drag my frame rate pretty much to zero unless I switch back to 2.0 or 2X shaders.

And I still have lousy performance in the Villas. I haven't encountered most of the other problems mentioned.
10374  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 14, 2008, 09:29:22 PM
I saw a useful post at the official forums on a 1-800 # to call to cancel your subscription (it seems legit, but certainly I can't personally vouch for it):

afik, the Flagship official community coordinator's trying to clean up the forums a bit, but his or her posts are so strange I can't really tell if she's confirming/not confirming what various places are reporting. The more I read the various news posts, the more it seems like three sites (Hellgate Guru, VE3D and Gamasutra) all breathlessly quoting and cutting and pasting from each other to the point you can't tell if anyone bothered to verify any of the information.  icon_confused Some of the stuff taken from Korean articles seems to be suffering poor translations.

AFIK the servers are still running (did see a couple posts about some server update problems, though given the game always had some problems, that might not be meaningful), and my wild guess is they would continue through at least this month, and maybe next.
10375  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 14, 2008, 05:17:49 PM
Nobody has. Well, one L4 guy did join a game of mine, realized I was 14, and started a different game. That was about it.

The game still felt fun, and as I blabbed, after maybe 5-10 minutes, the 800X600 (expansion) rez didn't bother me at all. Of course, if you then boot up the higher rezzed, higher detailed Titan Quest, your eyes will go upside down. But then again TQ had all sorts of technical and video driver problems for many players, who no doubt weren't expecting to grapple with the kind of tech troubles you might expect on a system-pushing shooter or mmorpg, on a hack-n-slash. D2 will pretty much run like a peach on anything.
10376  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forget Dragon Age, Diablo III at least exists on: July 14, 2008, 05:06:19 PM
Lets retitle the thread, "Forget Dragon Age, Diablo III at least has something to show."  disgust icon_mrgreen

Which doesn't mean Dragon Age won't be something special, but this really seems like a premature Public Relationculation...

Other than the isometric viewpoint, I never found much in common between Baldur's Gate (which I bought, but never much got into), and Diablo. They catered to pretty different audiences. I'm pretty sure it'll still be the case between these two now. I'm just not into bashign one in favor of the other, because I'd feel like I was saying apples taste better than oranges. Or, how about wine tastes better than beer. No, that's no good. Well, use whatever metaphor you prefer.  icon_razz
10377  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 14, 2008, 01:17:15 PM
Because it's cold, and that armor's drafty.  icon_razz

Did the Oasis group instance upper 60s, off of Purple Lotus Swamp, last night. Rewards are meager (exp/cash, but no items at all), and it's fairly grueling, but not unfairly so, imho. Got me from about 69.4 to 69.9, so I should hit 70 tonight.

A little refreshing because it's an outdoor private group instance, not a dungeon.

The finale boss had this propensity for dashing away when his health meter goes down, so far away that we lost him twice before we finally found him at a different camp then where he's supposed to be, and finished him off.

A few decent loot items came off of regular mobs inside, but nothing remotely interesting to a Conq. Tolten is a weaponsmith/armoror type and offered to try to make me some decent things to use at 70.

10378  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 14, 2008, 01:05:47 PM
Hellgate Guru has been updating here and there:

They mentioned various Flagship-Ping0 employees updated their online resumes to reflect a July 2008 termination.
Update: Diane “Tiggs” Migliaccio claims that Hellgate players won’t be charged even if they are unable to unsubscribe due to the feature’s removal from account pages and is locking discussions related to the very subject, subsequently directing them to a ‘main thread’, in which she allows spam and posts her own [posts her own spam?  icon_confused]; preventing any serious discussion from taking place.
Maybe in retrospect, as soon as they got Fate creator Travis Baldtree aboard, they shoulda thrown all their bets behind that horse instead.

The sad thing is, because everyone's already out the door (it seems), the Hellgate forums are devoid of any official remarks on this, and players are left referring back to that early June, "everything's fine" official post for hope that this is all a practical joke. icon_neutral

Comments are generally pretty ugly, but if in fact things shut down so quickly, that would probably be why nobody official is denying it or even telling current players what to do.  icon_frown
10379  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: July 13, 2008, 01:36:31 PM
The Guardian bud I mentioned suggested I move on to Khesatta (I might be spelling wrong), meant for roughly Level 70-80 (entrance is in the SW corner of the Purple Lotus Swamp). There are tons of quests there (though I imagine I'll burn through all of them quickly enough), including a couple delivery quests that send you all the way back to Atzel. So, if you're "binded" (Wayfarer) to Atzel, and travel to Khesatta, *don't* bind in Khesatta is my advice. That way you can quickly blink back to Atzel to complete the two delivery quests that take you back there. It was a real "doh" moment for me because I had chosen to bind to Khesatta.

It's a very rocky, cavern-type environment with lots of rocky hills. It seems heavier on animal enemies than humans. I was constantly seeing L75-80 characters popping out of the resurrection platform near the entrance so I don't imagine the zone gets very easy.

10380  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 13, 2008, 01:27:33 PM
Thanks, that'd be great.

I got my character to about 14 yesterday and start of Act II. Just like I remember, I was getting rare drops, most of which were completely useless for an Amazon. Titan Quest was sort of like that too. You'd get barrels full of loot, mostly useless for the character you had. I guess they design the games to promote trading.  icon_razz
10381  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 13, 2008, 06:04:31 AM
To commemorate its demise, here's a few of my screenshots. I still think the game had at its core some really fun and unique combat, and some of the coolest character models I ever saw in a game.  icon_cool

I never posted this before because I thought it was a "spoiler," but this is the "Final Boss"  ninja2
10382  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Flagship Disintegrating? on: July 13, 2008, 05:59:14 AM
My ex-business editor geek take....
1) Leaving the stable confines of Blizzard (Blizzard North was dissolved after the Flagship departures) because Blizz corporate wouldn't "include them in the conversations" about the possible sale of Blizzard/Vivendi Games seems, in retrospect, not a good reason. Maybe they were sick of Diablo sequels, maybe they didn't see eye-to-eye on the direction for Diablo III, but if they left because of said reason, and not because they thought they had a home run game concept, it just seems unwise albeit with the benefit of hindsight.

2) They decided to create a new 3D engine from scratch. Which took years, and tons of development money, and by most accounts their team wasn't exactly experienced in designing 3D engines from scratch. Licensing A-class engines (Unreal, Half Life, etc.) isn't cheap either, but it might've saved them a ton of time, and technical troubleshooting.

3) Running a secure, style server isn't cheap. That's part of the reason Iron Lore didn't feel it could afford to do it on Titan Quest (although Iron Lore's met the same fate and won't get the chance to try now). If your game doesn't require a monthly fee (the optional membership fee was couch-change compared to monthly MMO fees), how do you afford the money and manpower to run 24/7 secure servers esp. when you have no other games pulling in revenue? You can't.

4) Presumably as a new entity, they had no way to get "we don't ship our first game until we feel it's done" approval from their publisher, but why go with Namco, of all people -- not exactly a PC games powerhouse, I don't think Namco even had enough of a track record to judge them on). They had no experience publishing this sort of game, whether you look at Hellgate as a Diablo wannabe, or a Diablo-MMO hybrid. Why not look for a publisher with some track record so you know whether they have a history of forcing premature release of half-baked games (against the developers' wishes). The moment EA got involved (not exactly known for their patience with small developers), I remember shaking my head, I knew it wasn't going to be good news. I dug up this link where EA "set a release date timeframe" for Hellgate:  Roll Eyes

5) Keep it simple, stupid. I had a *great* time with the game at times with its core, screwy, sometimes insane but fun combat. Someone on the team (Roper, Schaefer, Brevik et al) needed to grab the bull by the horns and say, "Let's stop gumming it up with bizzarro turret sequences, and isometric "small scale RTS" sequences, and keep it focused on the consistently fun core combat game. I don't remember Diablo II having any of that kinda gimmicky crap. All it probalby did was gobble up precious programmer time that could've been spent fixing other things.

6) Environmental variety. Even for most of us that enjoyed the game, the repeating of environments over and over and over (randomizing or not) was part of what just didn't seem to work in the game. They tried to rearrange that with the opening day patch, and I remember thinking, "they've turned the game upside down on opening day in desperation; baaaad sign." It actually reminded me of Monolith's "F.E.A.R." which had some great combat, and dull, ever-repeating warehouse corridors and warehouses and more warehouse corridors and warehouses. Players like to see different environments on a regular basis. You just can't send us down the same drab streets, warehouses, tunnels and "hell levels" without something fresh now and then.
10383  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Major feature cuts from Warhammer Online on: July 13, 2008, 01:35:50 AM
I saw an item the other day on the MMO news sites that noted that Mythic was removing the "EA" from their company's name and their individual titles (going back to "Mythic" instead of "EA Mythic"). So I dunno if that means nothing (could just be semantics), or if it indicates EA is subtlely "distancing itself" from Warhammer Online if they've gotten cold feet about the Massive Costs of an A-list MMO. Depends on if you're paranoid or not.  paranoid icon_razz

As far as features go, if they've paid any attention to AoC's nightmares of not delivering on lots of things that were promised at launch (again, I'm enjoying it but I'm not blind as to how it launched and how much catching up they still have to do), and spending an awful lot of time in updates "fixing" its large number of classes, then pulling out a a few features and classes they know they can't deliver in WO at launch seems like a smart idea, imho. In fact, it would be amazing if more devs started being realistic about what they can deliver instead of letting their marketing departments and producers go beserk in over-hyping a game's features and qualities. icon_neutral
10384  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 12, 2008, 11:23:06 PM
Oops, I'll try to join, or start a "Wanderers" game, I forgot to check the earlier posts here.

So it'd be:
Name: Wanderers
Password: temp
10385  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 12, 2008, 07:37:12 PM
I spent 3 hours, nobody came, so don't say I didn't do my part.  icon_razz

After maybe 10 minutes at the 800X600 expansion resolution, the rez didn't really bother me. Got blackjane to 12 and the bows are about as much fun as I  remember, though I'm not really a fan of the balancing changes that tried to force you to put equal numbers of points into everything.

I wish to heck I had broadband back in 2000-2001 (didn't until late 2003).
10386  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 12, 2008, 04:42:22 PM
Starting right at the beginning.  icon_cool

Game name: Gaming Trend 2 [my first failed game appears to be stuck on the server still]
Password: blackjack

I can alt-tab out of the game pretty smoothly thankfully. tagline is "blackjackGT" if you want to send me a whisper on

NOTE: When I switched to 800X600 mode, the colors went beserk, exit the game and re-creating a game worked it out.
10387  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 12, 2008, 04:22:30 PM
Esp. if you're Vista 64-bit like me, remember you need the latest Lord of Darkness patch (unless you don't have the expansion installed), which removes the CD-check if you have all files on your hard drive.

Fileplanet link:

I got confused because there's a separate DII 1.12 patch for people who don't have the LoD expansion installed (poor people  tear)
10388  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 12, 2008, 02:45:33 PM
I was a dope not to figure this out sooner. You can detach and then position individual chat tab/windows anywhere you want, like so:

I moved the System stuff off to the right, and the chat stuff to the left. I pulled out a Group chat window separately above it, left.

I broke down and bought a nice L70 sword for later use, at the trading house. I am spoiled by Health % tap sword I use now though, we'll see if I can survive without it when I hit 70.
10389  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 12, 2008, 02:30:44 PM
He's right about the date, but I think seeing what they were claiming about the company's status a month ago is instructive. icon_neutral

Back in late 1991, the same newspaper here in Virginia laid me off twice -- in August our whole staff; and then rehired me because they forgot to keep someone who knew how to lay out the newspaper icon_lol), and then me and my "new" boss the week before Thanksgiving. The publisher and company president had staff meetings where they said with a straight face that everything was "OK" and all the rumors bout the company being in financial problems were "exaggerated." I learned right there to have no trust in what company officials say on the record, or tell their employees.

I'm sure Flagship had those same times of meetings in recent weeks. I don't blame them really. It's just not Business Habit to be candid and give your employees fair warning things are going sour, and "you should start sending resumes out." It's still ugly and sad.  icon_frown

If they are digging into their pockets to give employees a month's pay (severance if you will), then that is decent of them. Can't really speak to what Roper, Brevik and the Schaefer brothers are feeling right now. You leave a dream situation (Blizzard, awash in WoW revenue up the ying yang), pursue your dream, and now apparently end up with nothing.  puke Reminds me of the Dotcom Bust era...

If Roper wanted to, I'd think Blizz might welcome him back. If only because he did play a much larger role than just working on the Diablo games, and he was always (imho) a fine ambassador for Blizzard's games with fans and the press. And they used his booming voice for so many in-game voices.  icon_smile

It'll be interesting see whether Handbit, Comerica or whomever keeps Hellgate running multiplayer wise in North America (the VE3D article speculates Mythos would be more attractive as a North American property, in theory). I would almost hope Comerica would just dump the property into open source, and who knows? Maybe enterprising fans would do a better job of hosting, fixing and updating the game gratis than Flagship was doing.  icon_razz
10390  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 12, 2008, 05:37:37 AM
RPG Watch has sort of a compilation and then it mentions (supposedly) someone supposedly representing Hanbit trying to clarify, and demanding Hellgate Guru pull the quote it has been using (or I guess clarify it):
We are U.S. attorneys for HanbitSoft. Your story is a repeat of a quote that is not accurate and we request that you pull it down. At the request of Flagship's attorney, we must correct the record:

Please understand that the facts are:
(1) HanbitSoft is an exclusive licensee of both Hellgate and Mythos in Asia, with rights to sublicense the games;
(2) in addition, HanbitSoft is a secured creditor who has been pledged the Mythos (but not the Hellgate) intellectual property as collateral for a loan;
(3) Comerica, another secured lender, has been pledged the Hellgate intellectual property as its collateral for a loan;
(4) Flagship Studios does not currently own the intellectual properties to either game, which are held in separate companies subject to the security interests of lenders, and Flagship Studios' interest in those companies is also pledged to its lenders;
(5) it is unfortunate that Flagship turned down additional investments HanbitSoft offered to make that would have allowed it to keep its doors open, but HanbitSoft hopes to work with Comerica and some of the team at Flagship to see if there is a way to continue to generate content to keep Hellgate online in Asia and to finish the development of Mythos.
If that's all true, gawd. Flagship needed better lawyers and advisors.  disgust

So now it sounds like what HanbitSoft actually will own is Mythos because of Flagship presumably defaulting on a loan from them.

It also sounds like HanbitSoft perhaps wanted to invest in Flagship to the point it would have controlling interest in Flagship (this is ex-business editor geek in me talking, but that's perhaps the one reason Flagship would give for rejecting the offer).

Comerica, fwiw, appears to be a financial services company based in Dallas, Texas. Not sure what the heck they would do with the Hellgate property.
10391  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 12, 2008, 05:26:34 AM
If Hanbit had a hand in ownership of that too, it's possible they wanted to keep that running too. If Flagship is truly toast, they've got no way to develop it any further. If the guy behind Fate who was the key guy for that owned the Mythos rights, maybe he can still do something with it. I am only wild guessing.  icon_confused is also trying to get various former Diablo II devs to comment on Diablo III. While they're not having much luck, they pointed out some comments by Mike Huang (who left in 2003) on his blog:
One of the design choices which again shows Blizzard Irvine's hand in the changes made is the re-appearance of the Barbarian character class -- the original design documents for Diablo III included a set of all new character classes, with no reappearance of old character classes (our reasons for this was simple -- since we were enhancing and improving the skill system, we didn't want to try and adapt old skills into a new system -- we'd rather create all new skills for the new character classes. The return of the Barbarian class feels like a change that was made after development of the title was moved to Irvine 3 years ago.

It's apparent now that Blizzard Irvine and the now dissolved Blizzard North weren't seeing eye-to-eye on Diablo III much at all -- so it's pretty clear Blizz would have no interest in hiring the former Flagship guys, just as they probably had no interest in bringing back the unemployed Stieg Hedlund (DII lead designer) after Gods & Heroes went defunct. I'm pretty certain there's virtually nobody from the original Starcraft team working on Starcraft II either (I blanche that a former Command & Conquer dev is heading up the SCII team). I don't think Blizz shares gamers' nostalgia for dev teams, it's onward and upward.

fwiw, the Hellgate official forums are still up:

I don't see any announcements about going out of business, shutting down etc. Who knows? Maybe this is all the usual Internet gossip gone wild.  icon_razz
10392  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 12, 2008, 05:13:08 AM
Saw another post updating some of the trade/crafting fixes, and some info on guild keep type stuff in progress:
Rare resources seemingly not dropping
The rare resources that comes from harvesting (for instance Tin and
Feldspar) have a 1% droprate from the nodes. They also have a chance on dropping from the random encounters that interrupt harvesting. This won't change and it does work. I realize that the droprate seems low but datamining shows the droprate to be around what we expected it to be (not counting the random encounter drops)

Cannot hand in resource X [this was what made me give up on the mining quests, the NPCs simply wouldn't accept them when I tried to turn in the materials]
We have had a lot of these issues and we are working on fixing them continuously.

Skinning and Weaving being "useless"
There are plans to make these skills useful - timeconstraints forced us to get these out without the functionality implemented (otherwise it would have completely stopped other tradeskills from functioning).
Skinning and Weaving are intended to post-process the drops already existing. I can't give an exact time-estimate on this.

Blue Recipes progress (Weaponsmith/Armorsmith)
All the items have been created, as have the recipes. We are still working on getting the codesupport for correctly setting this up but hope to get it soon.

Unlearning tradeskills
I'm unable to give out any dates, but this is a crucial feature and we are pushing to get it done as soon as we can.

Traders and Trainers in Guildcities
Next patch going to testlive, traders and trainers will appear in guildcities.

City-life in cities
Guards will start patrolling your keeps next testlive-patch to keep intruders away - additional NPC's are soon to follow.

Alchemy drops
The alchemists cache that we patched in a while back was intended to contain resources so that alchemists could proceed with their craft. It has worked, but it was never intended to be the "end all" help for alchemists. New static camps in the resource and building regions are being worked on and hopefully we should have that on testlive next time we patch. Scorpion Oils, for instance, was always intended to actually drop from... well... scorpions.

Removing random spawns
What we are doing with the random spawns is that we will patch out the new resource and building populations (Lacheish, Poitain, Purple Lotus
Swamp) and at the same time remove these pesky things.

Architecture Revamp
I still can't give a time-estimate on this, but I can release a little more about what we are at least considering for it: Totems that produces team-buffs while in range, Waystones to teleport team-members and/or self, guild-city improvements such as statues, flags, etc.

Costs of tradeskills
The costs of tradeskills in general have been reduced further - alchemists are supposed to be able to make a small profit out of selling potions for instance. Also, the hand-in for tradeskillers have been altered - the tradeskill trainer will no longer keep your created items for themselves, but rather inspect them and hand them back to you.

Many posts about gemcutting and 'nerfs'. Adjustments for the some of the gems will be out when the system design has been followed up and implemented. It will not affect all gems but there will be some changes in order to properly balance gems.
10393  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 12, 2008, 04:42:07 AM is reporting an update that Flagship Studios is closing altogether already, and *everyone* has been laid off. Albeit this is from the ever famous "inside anonymous source."
Update: And it's done. We have received inside confirmation that everyone has been laid off and the studio is closing. I hate to resort to an emoticon in a news post, but...
Well, it's sad. Especially for Mythos, which was just around the corner from release.  crybaby I'm not clear on if Hanbit or anyone else had some ownership in that too. icon_confused

I'm sure we all can say we probably saw it coming.  disgust I feel bad for everyone involved. I'm sure between the Diablo III announcement and seeing Blizzard/Vivendi  merge without fuss with Activision (Roper kept saying they felt "left out of the discussion" on Blizzard's possible fate as part of a Vivendi sale or partial sale), the principals are just feeling terrible about where their dreams led them. Of course, maybe Blizz didn't like the direction they wanted to go with Diablo III, and perhaps staying there wouldn't have ended up a viable option.

To some extent I feel worse about Iron Lore's earlier demise, because I felt Immortal Throne was a terrific expansion that fixed a lot of Titan Quest's inadequacies and deserved far better sales than it did (whether that was because of piracy, or because Titan Quest didn't have "Blizzard" on the box, who can say? tear). And Iron Lore was excited about the possibility of doing a TQ2, with secure servers, and all sorts of other goodies.

Just imho, Hellgate at launch was like a tech demo. I don't really understand how guys who worked under the Blizzard umbrella and its "we don't ship until it's done, and our publisher doesn't rush us" would let themselves get into a fix where they'd be forced to release a half-baked game (which they've admitted in recent interviews) and basically sign their death knell on their first try out. But, I'm not privvy to their biz wrangling and maybe they had no leeway to negotiate better terms.

10394  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GOG to Sell Cheap Downloads of Classic PC Games on: July 11, 2008, 09:46:35 PM
There's a Gamebanshee interview (probably what Ceekay saw) that mentions a few games not currently displayed on the site:
Tom: I'll mention some of my favorites that aren't on the teaser site... Jagged Alliance 2, MDK 2, Redneck Rampage, Kingpin, Lionheart, Descent 1-3, Shogo... ah the list goes on and on.
I loved MDK (and to a lesser extent MDK2).
10395  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 11, 2008, 09:20:57 PM
Gaute delivered the promised letter to players today:

New Letter from the Game Director

The subheads are from me, an attempt to organize.  icon_smile
New PvE Content

As we mentioned in our June update, we are also working on making some great new dungeons and areas throughout the level ranges. This is not «just» quests (which we are making on a constant basis), but fully fledged areas with hours and hours of new content and entertainment. We have made a tentative live update content plan (when it comes to new locations) for the next year, and while I won’t even start discussing the overall plan, there are a few close enough on the horizon to be worth mentioning.

This includes Ymir’s Pass, which is coming as a new big Adventuring Region in the level range 55-60. We are now working hard to ensure it comes out as soon as possible (this summer if the quality is right).

Shortly after, we will add another level 80 dungeon in the Thunder River area. At the same time we will also add another dungeon to the same Outdoor Adventuring Region – being a level 80 group instance, with bosses and cool loot. This is a few examples of the many new areas to come, both for solo, groups and raids, and these will all come as part of the live updates.

Revamped PVP
I am however very glad to say that we have now deployed the PvP updates to our internal test live server (for an overview of these features, please go to )

As soon as QA gives the go on the internal quality they will be fully deployed to test live, and then to live. While I would have wished these features to be out already, I am happy to say that the update will be an awesome one, and include all of the things we spoke about, including the fugitive system, PvP levels, PvP rankings, the first wave of PvP item drops as well as other PvP consequences.

It also involves several general changes to the PvP part of the game (crowd control, damage against other players and dueling as examples). This is all done to make life as a PvP’er more meaningful, and more fun. These are massive changes to how our PvP will work in the future, and based upon your feedback from test live and live we will naturally continue to hone this important part of the game.

When these changes will eventually hit live is up to the quality and balance, but we expect some great feedback from the test live server in the next few weeks, enabling us to get them out during early August [knock on wood-bj].

Memory handling
While most players have a great time with the game, we also know that we have ways to go for those with the oldest machines. We have therefore continued to look at our memory handling and how to increase general performance, and updates on this are continously in the works. These will be brought to the live servers as we finish them, and while I won't go into specifics I know that those of you with older machines will notice improved performance in the weeks and months to come.

Buddy Keys Going Live Soon
I know many of you have also asked about your buddy keys, and we have now come to a level where we are able to activate them. During the next week you will therefore be able to use your buddy keys, inviting friends to the game with you.
They're unveiling the DX10 version at the Leipgeist show in Germany in August apparently, fwiw.

So I think the motto is, come back in August and things will be special.  icon_razz No, it's all good stuff, but gamers are impatient and we have a lot of choices, and I dont blame anybody who just doesn't want to wait for all these promises to come true.

And the updated PVP goodies should be on the test server (the one players can play on now), pretty soon.
10396  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 11, 2008, 09:02:08 PM
Blue's has an update with a little more detail (or maybe Gamasutra has added more detail):
Hellgate Guru has a report based on a translation of a Korean news story that say that Korean operator of Hellgate: London, HanbitSoft, claims co-ownership of the Intellectual Properly for the game, and is looking to take full control of the IP to "properly manage and develop Hellgate: London into a good game with proper content."
Ew! Talk about a kick in the crotch by your overseas publisher!  saywhatstirthepot
10397  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: New Server Performance on: July 11, 2008, 08:37:24 PM
 It's so fast, it's on fire.
10398  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: July 11, 2008, 08:00:06 PM
Layoffs Confirmed At Hellgate Developer Flagship
Gamasutra has received confirmation from a Flagship Studios representative that the Hellgate: London developer has seen significant staff cuts.

[UPDATE: Fan site Hellgate Guru has translated a Korean news report indicating that Hellgate: London's publisher in the region, HanbitSoft, " taking full control over the Hellgate: London intellectual property from Flagship Studios", and intends to continue the game using in-house staff.

However, Flagship's has officially responded: "This story is an outright lie. We have no idea where they are getting their information from and have asked legal counsel to pursue the issue... We are mystified by Hanbitsoft’s conclusions and any attempt to take over the IP will be met with a strong and swift response."]
Not that it should surprise anybody.  icon_neutral It's sort of backtracking from some earlier proclamations that a former Flagship employee's blog was exaggerating.

The Korea thing might well just be due to an inaccurate translation. Apparently HG is all the rage in Korea, so it wouldn't surprise me if HanbitSoft wanted to keep it going there even if it's going nowhere in North America. Who knows? Maybe copyright works differently in Korea than it does here.  icon_confused

I think the lesson (I'm a former business editor, so I'm supposed to pontificate like this  smirk) is that if you're leaving stable waters (Blizzard) to start your own company, you better make sure your first game is a polished home run (esp. if you don't have required monthly revenue fees to fall back on) if you want your new company to enjoy the same sort of stability. I'm sure some of the premature launch was out of their hands (but presumably when they signed with their publisher, they knew what they were getting into). Maybe if they'd licensed an engine, instead of designing one from scratch, they would've been better off.

HG's probably in far better shape now than it ever was, but I've no interest in infecting my PC with it again and hoping that it manages to patch itself to its current state without problems (my last attempt to auto-update put an unfinished patch file on my desktop that I never could remove saywhat). If they re-release it as a version 2.0 that was up-to-date out of the box, I might be interested, but it doesn't sound like that's happening.

I have a few fond memories of the game, mixed with feeling it was one of the strangest, most inconsistent games I ever played (great moments mixed in with bad, amazing environments that were repeated over and over to the point they no longer impressed, bizarre turret shooting sequences that belonged in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, etc.), just a general feeling the game had 7 lead designers, none of whom agreed on anything. About 3 of the 7 I really enjoyed the work of.  icon_confused
10399  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Any interest in Diablo II multi? on: July 11, 2008, 06:13:49 PM
In my Palm (yes I'm old), I still have my Diablo characters listed on a to-do list (I religiously backed up the characters for a while but probably they're on one of the many old PCs in my closets):

L60 Gatling (Amazon, bows)
L43 Conan (Barbarian, dual swords)
L42 Maximus (Paladin, sword/shield)
L40 Amazon (Amazon, javelins/spears)
L35 Treehugger (Druid, summoning/transforming)
L34 Elvira (Sorceress, cold/lightning specialist)
L17 Hotfoot [don't remember, might've been an Assassin with katana blades]

So it's safe to say I played a lot of DII and co-op in roughly 2000-early 2002.  icon_razz A lot of the later balancing changes were disheartening to me and others (bow skills went from having a few awesome ones [multi-shot, strafe etc.], and a lot of so-so ones, to sort of universallly lukewarm across the board imho; a lot of early Necromancers players were so dismayed by balancing nerfs they didn't use the characters anymore). The big problem was if you got 50 levels playing one style, and suddenly all the best skills you relied on got nerfed. That's largely what happened to my Amazons, and I got tired of having to totally revamp their skills and play styles.

I guess that would be a reason to come back and start from scratch but I didn't feel that way 5 years ago when i quit playing.

If you have nightmares about Duriel at the end of Act II, they did eventually reposition the SOB (via a patch) to the far end of that final room so you no longer got "auto killed" the moment you stepped into his lair. Made a world of difference. My wrist tendinitis troubles w/ Titan Quest Immortal Throne last year left me cautious about any further Diablo clone misadventures, although I played a few weeks of the strange French Diablo clone Silverfall without problems. And Hellgate, Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners all use the "Diablo click to kill" attack, if not the "click to move."

I do have the disc and expansion handy (the expansion quests are a lot more fun if you ask me), and I'll holler if I decide to re-visit soon.  icon_smile I love co-op and if anything would get me to return, it would be getting some teams going in it.
10400  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FALLOUT 3 on: July 11, 2008, 05:23:27 PM
Now that Australian players apparently will have to smuggle the game in like some sort of toxic contraband (, and a few thousand other news links) at the risk of getting fined or arrested if they play it, the game suddenly seems so much more appealing to me.  icon_twisted

This reminds me that here in the U.S., over-air music stations (i.e., not satellite) have to "bleep" the word "drugs" from the fun Nickelback song "Rockstar." I kept imagining they were censoring some body part name or something until heard the song unbeeped. I mean, the song's making fun of washed up rock stars who get strung out on cheap drugs. And they get censored for it. Bizarre.
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