This is particularly useful for things like the "corpse hunt" in Pools, if you don't want to resort to sort of "camping" the same couple locations. Also good for finding more isolated quest NPCs you might not run into easily.
I enjoy the heck out of it, there are tons of quests (for the most part, you never run out of things to do -- in fact, some times the mission/quest tracker will leave you begging for mercy).
While I don't consider it quite as innovative as the self-inflating Richard Garriott says, it really doesn't play like the various mmorpgs where you can just sort of tap an auto attack button and eat your HotpocketTM as you lazily watch the screen. I have enjoyed some of that (LOTORO in particular), but I prefer something a little more invigorating in combat like this or City of Heroes.
I'm not big on PVP (there is PVP in this but not really on a big scale until higher levels and it's something they acknowledge needs work), and as that's Warhammer's main focus, it doesn't interest me. Conan I was hyped up about it, but I'm taking a wait and see now. It wouldn't surprise me if both games get pushed further and further back. Besides, Conan doesn't even let you play online until Level 20 (ostensibly to train you to understand the game's differences and how to play it).
As far as living, breathing world goes, yes to a point. I think just the fact Control Points can (and often are) be lost to massive AI Bane invasions on a regular basis (rendering the NPC contacts in said CP bases unusable) is a nice sign of a living, changing world. Some missions calling in Bane attacks inside a base (I think newer players are shocked when they first encounter this ) are refreshing.
The fact that various non-Bane creatures will attack each other (or the Bane) gives an interesting world feel.
The occasional "morale choice" missions (I wish there were more, I love the feeling that my decision will affect what further missions or rewards I get for a bit) are nice and give some feeling that you're impacting on the world.
I think it has a good future, but I don't think it's by any means a WoW killer (even though I run regularly into WoW refugees in the game). I don't think it's an Auto Assault style flop though. I think it has excellent word of mouth and if they can just follow through on PAUs (L40), command control (L50) and sprinkle in enough interesting 35-50 content for power players to stay happy, then it should have a nice future. I'd like to think the fact Garriott's involved means there's no way NCSoft would prematurely yank its plug, but you never know when a breeze will blow Garriott's interest in another direction.
See me post in the other thread about the PAU details from a November article: http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,20737.msg354084.html#msg354084 The PAUs will apparently be smaller (but larger than players alone, you'll get inside one to drive/pilot it). They indicate in interviews some will be mech-like, some more vehicular like, and others more of a biological/organic looking type thing.
The Grendel variant sounds like it will be most like the AI-controlled AFS ones in terms of firepower. Although the AI mechs are impressive, they don't really have an anti-EMP weapon afik (they have machine guns, and some missile launchers on their shoulders, and a little jet burst from their back that sometimes helps them traverse some distances).
In the game, the AI mechs generally guard control point bases, regular bases and sometimes isolated waypoints. They also often get air dropped in if the game detects a Control Point base defense is going poorly, or sometimes to reinforce one after an assault was repeled. Of course, that didn't happen last night when this CP in Pools had about 5 Bane dropships roll in and drop squads right on top of me. I think I know how they felt at The Alamo.
Here's a couple to file under "Control Point Base Defense Can Get Messy." This particular one is in the Pools zone and it's under siege almost constantly. I had some fun yesterday where they kept driving us into the base and back to a cave in the back of the base, and a few of us huddled in there and waited until we could form our rebellion. I'm the jolly green guy at center, see if you can pick me out.
My system's 3 years old (AMD64 3200+, 2GB RAM, ATI1650 card) and I can't run much that's new these days. I don't know how to judge my settings, because I've got some things adjusted in my video drivers. As far as my in game settings, I leave off the various lighting effects and turn down shadows to keep my frame rate OK. Textures on high though, and I leave the visibillity distance slider pretty high up.
Generally it's quite playable (1024X768 rez), esp. compared to stuff like Bioshock, MOH: Airborne and Gears of War PC all of which pretty much left my system begging for mercy. But an all-out control point defense with hundreds of bane on screen generally brings things to a near standstill (though I don't know if that's a form of lag or my system -- everyone seems to have some problems in those situations from what I see in chat).
**Oh I was going to add -- if you're asking from the standpoint of "meh, I thought the game would look better than that," then by all means I do have my video driver settings tuned down for frame rate's sake. I have no doubt it would look better on a current, hot rod system.
If you're asking from the standpoint of "wow, it looks great, but I doubt I have the horsepower to run it like that," then I would say the system requirements are far more modest compared to most new PC shooter releases or stuff like Company of Heroes. Still, if you have an older system like me, you'd likely want to adjust things in the game and also in your video drivers (most video drivers have a lot more precise options for antialiasing, anistropic filtering etc. whereas a lot of games just let you turn those kinds of things "on" and "off"). I don't have to turn everything off, but I do have to keep certain settings down to something mild.
I'm finally working on a specialist, this time from scratch (Injector Blackjach), I'll add it to our list in the first post.
I was, uh, informed it was silly to use your first clone credit at L4.9 (which is when you earn your first one -- but just going through the modest length tutorial sequence will get you to L4), so this time I'm saving it up for later. I mistakenly thought you needed to use it immediately when you're prompted about its availability. But the clone button will just stay available at the server characters screen if you don't use it (you'll just keep your one clone credit).
Although you can earn a clone credit by completing the "so and so targets of opportunity," I've yet to be able to complete any of those. I'm always missing one or two things (usually storyline quests, or some cave I can't find etc.).
I guess it was sort of in response to its Biggest Disappointment of 2007 Award from Game Spy (it seemed to sweep that award at places that give it out though I think mine would've gone to the launch version of Hellgate: London ).
I remember when it released, I had a few buds at another board very enthusiastic about what it was trying to do, but they felt like they needed machetes to cut through the sheer volume of bugs and missing features and what not. It almost seemed at the time they would be better off starting from scratch. Somewhere at its core underneath the mess was something hardcore MMO players really wanted.
Update 1.4 We are kicking off 2008 with the new 1.4 patch which includes several new features. Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the 1.4 patch notes before it goes to the Public Test Server.
New Features: Hybrids – Mix a dash of human with a sprinkle of alien, and see what comes out of the oven. (More details to come soon…) Hide Helmet Option – Now you can show off that lovely helmet hair, and/or your new hybrid’s Alien face. [This is nice, kind of like the ability in LOTORO to hide equipment/costume items but retain their armor and enhancements] Attribute Changes – Your Body, Mind, and Spirit were overhauled over the Holiday break. With these changes comes an Ability and Attribute respec. See Paul’s post for details [link to Paul's Post: http://www.playtr.com/community/community_news/feedback_friday_12142007.html]
Mires Performance Issues The Mires performance issues should be resolved with the next update (1.4). In the last few updates we included a number of large technology improvements for Mires; however, its performance is still not in line with our desired numbers.
For example, the creature count on Mires is only slightly higher than desired, but due to the large scale, warzone-like design of the map, there were four times as many creatures in combat as any other map. Mires also contains many locations where both friendly and enemy drop ships were appearing literally within meters of each other.
To guarantee that the performance of Mires is on par with other maps for the next update, we’ve made some changes to the design of Mires that greatly improves the performance without making the map significantly different.
Finally got a propellant gun I could use, had to get from Military Surplus (even there, most of even the generic models are for Level 32 and up, not 30). Can't really catch a good screenshot of it (the moment you fire it the camera automatically rotates "behind the back").
It's fun, but it really does devour the canisters quickly. And in some cases all the flamethrower stuff (there are EMP and other variations, but flamethrower probably has the coolest effects) seems to run up the lag a bit.
I had some really fun times with a couple players I teamed with the other night. For a change folks on my friends list actually remembered me. So that was neat and we teamed up in 3- and 2-person teams on a couple instances.
Pic from our team:
Lady on right is an Exobiologist and her clone (far right). At her level (32), the Injector Guns are quite devastating and I felt almost jealous of how quickly she was taking things down (compared to my wearing out my fingers keeping my various chain guns firing).
A couple of us worked out getting the necessary Vortex logos to get our "signature" ability (Concussive Wave). Concussive is just plain spectacular (great to save for emergency use), but it uses up 100% of your adrenalin and you may need 1 or 2 adrenaline hypos just to get sufficient adrenaline to use it. Also, the Signature ability is available right away once you have the necessary logos -- it's not something you put points into, it just becomes available period.
Hmm, if I do some fancy relabeling of my ATI 9800 Pro, can I sucker someone on Ebay into thinking it's a new card? That was my first thought upon seeing NVIDIA dig up a number better known as an ATI model.
I'm just afraid that the more the GPU companies push $600, $700 video cards, the more marginalized the PC gamer base is going to get than it already is and more "Hell with PCs I'm getting an XBox360" threads you'll see here. People like to say "it was always like that," but it wasn't. There was a stone age day where $199 or $249 got me the top of the line, current video card. I miss them days.
I think the steep system requirements (I can tell you X number of people who wouldn't even try the original game because they were so convinced their systems couldn't run it properly) scared off a lot of potential buyers. That and the fact it doesn't have World of Warcraft in the title.
All they had to do was call it: "Company of World of Warcraft of Heroes" and there's 2-3 million more copies sold right there.
It's weird with me though. I speak of the game glowingly but basically I played it to death for about 6 weeks in fall of 2006 and that's been about it (I briefly returned long enough to finish the Nerbelwerfers campaign mission a few months ago). I enjoyed online co-op vs. AI games and sometimes pvp games (though most of the latter deteriorated into tank rushes as if you were just playing C&C all over again), and I liked their faux-battle.net style proprietary online gaming service.
Sometimes I fall for something hard, but not long. Other times I fall for something soft, but long.
PAUs (personal armored units, something between a regular soldier and the AI-controlled AFS Mechs) are one of the upcoming goodies, and I stumbled on an old November piece at TenTonHammer about it (they weren't allowing any screenshots/video at that point, just descriptions):
The Shiva was the most vehicle-like of all the PAUs. Oriented more like some sort of deep sea exploration device, the Shiva definitely had a unique appearance. With a “cockpit” type area towards the front of the machine, it seems to be apparent that this PAU will function in a different capacity to the Spectre or the Ghoul.
When I saw the Ghoul for the first time, I commented that it looked like a flesh golem; a creature made of mashed together flesh. Large power cylinders extended from one shoulder of the Ghoul, and the entire creature seemed to seethe with power.
Command Opportunity's going to be a level 50 final tier ability that lets you summon and outfit your own NPC squad of soldiers. They probably still have a lot of work to do to have content at L35-40, much less 50 though.
Anyway, that's all sort of old news on upcoming stuff, just hadn't read much about it. ================ I hit L30 last night. For a propellant gun, I'll apparently have to either move on to the Marshes (where stores sell them) or sift through the offerings at the Military Surplus auction house.
I thought there would be an abundance of Grenadiers in the higher level game, but I'm not sure I've run into one. Most of the L30+ players appear to be Guardians, Spies, Engineers or Biotechnicians (just based on what I'm running into on Pegasus).
GAH! I had to resort to an hour of base defense grinding to make it the final way to 30. And then, I find out propellant guns aren't sold in Plateau and the only one I had as a drop was a level 37 EMP Yeah yeah military surplus, I was too dang tired to look.
Anyway, scatterbombs sort of looks like you're skipping rocks with a few hand grenades, a modest distance and can knock targets down. Should be a good bowling ball attack for me. Haven't tried Tectonic Strike but put put points in it. The signature ability requires Vortex logos that I'll work on this weekend.
While I was working on it, saw an Engineer going nuts with a couple different types of turrets. Here's a couple of the more common ones:
My impression is with higher pump levels you get different turret types perhaps. They put out quite a stream of fire.
Also saw engies with various bots floating around them -- the only problem is you'll probably mistake them for enemy bots quite often.
If you don't want to have to wear out your right wrist/fingers clicking like a maniac, then Engineer seems the way to go.
Dunno about taking time off of work formally, but the games that have ruined me the most in terms of making me stay up late and be late to work often include:
-Duke Nukem 3D (esp. dial-up modem co-op games ) -Diablo (not Diablo II so much) -City of Heroes (one day I played on a Sunday evening Task Force until about 5 a.m., I was a wreck at my newspaper job after maybe 3-4 hours of sleep)
I loved the original game, and I used to hang out at Frozenbyte's (dev) official forum for the game. However, this followup game they already had to do a patch for (and their forums have several complaints about bugs and crashing problems) and it sounds to be like yet another premature release.
Read the Pocket Gamer link. It explains it about as thoroughly as anything (the game won't make any sense from watching the trailer).
The game exalts you as the almighty god of the Patapon tribe - adorable one-eyed creatures who have been driven from their ancestral land by the evil Zigotons. Marching to the beat of their god's drum, the little warriors embark on a war to retake their old home. Skirmishes between the cutesy Patapons and their Zigoton nemeses come to life in gorgeous 2D side-scrolling scenes brimming with colour and style.
You control your army of Patapon warriors via beats tapped out on the PSP's face buttons. Each of the buttons correspond to a musical sound: square sounds off 'pata,' circle 'pon,' triangle equals 'chaka,' and X is 'don.' Issuing a command requires hitting a specific four-beat combination. Moving, for example, is done by tapping square-square-square-circle ('pata-pata-pata-pon'). Ordering an attack takes circle-circle-square-circle ('pon-pon-pata-pon').
Just pressing buttons hurriedly won't have any effect though since these tribal warriors need rhythm to act. A thin white border encompassing the screen pulses to the beat, giving you a visual indication of when to press buttons. Of course, the percussive music in the background helps too. Hit the buttons in sync with this in-game metronome and your warriors will respond.
Before giving the next command, however, you'll need to pause. Skillfully timing your button presses and waiting through the pauses will accumulate a combo. But if you miss a beat or play through a measure of rest, the combo resets. You'll need to build up a combo to 10 to get your Patapons into fever mode. This sees them moving faster and attacking with more power. Naturally, this make it easier when confronting hordes of enemies or some of the massive bosses.
Before heading into battle, you need to outfit your warriors and form them up into three squads. Each squad consists of different units with specific abilities. Yaripon spear-throwers make up your initial fighting force, while the up-close-and-personal Tatepon melee attackers join you after a couple stages. Later on, Yumipon archers made up a third squad.
Since I found Elite Beat Agents exasperating (the game was unforgiving, and I couldn't replicate the proper rhthyms no matter how hard I tried), I can't guarantee this'll be my cup of tea even if I'm intrigued.
There are some additional elements that we haven't touched upon - unit creation, mini-games, collecting rare items - that should further broaden Patapon's appeal.
What matters though, is that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has once again created a remarkably unique game. The core gameplay seems brilliant - it ought to prove easy enough for anyone to play - and yet also seems to possess plenty of depth with its tactical twists.
TenTonHammer (I think I mentioned, but some of their quest guides are true sanity-savers -- and the game seems relatively "alt-tab" friendly so I wish I'd remember that. I spent hours trying to finish Comm Tower instance, but the maze is just baffling. After reading TTH's guide, I realized there was a console I needed to hit that activates a teleporter to the level I couldn't reach. But since most of the keyboards on the instance do nothing, how I was supposed to know? )... what was I saying? Oh, they have new interview with April Burba (aka the former CuppaJo at CoX forums):
You're definitely going to see us introducing new missions for content that we've already rolled out, especially in the higher level areas. Along with that, you're going to see some new areas coming online as well. You're just going to be seeing more content as we progress in our game development.
In fact, we're gradually moving towards a regular content release schedule that might be a bit more ambitious than what you've seen in other NCsoft titles. We'll have the big releases similar to what players have seen with the Issues in CoH/CoV, but we also want to get regular content to those people that have been in the game a long time and give them the sort of continuous experience that they want to enjoy.
Up to Level 30 or so I don't think anyone can argue there's not enough content (if anything, the amount of quests/instances/Logos searches almost becomes overwhelming), but you can level so quickly in the game they're probably going to have a logjam in the 30s/40s eventually.
I like knowing teammate's names and health/armor status at a glance right on top of their character model (I find that more useful in combat than having to constantly shift my eyes' attention to the squad meters in the lower left), but yeah in combat that can be cluttered.
Under Gameplay options, you can set just about every type name imaginable (for teammates, NPCs, other players, enemies etc.) to make it as neat as you want via simple checkboxes (including, you can choose not to list anyone's title, just the clan name, just the awarded Title name etc.). NPCs typically don't have info pop up on them unless you hover your mouse cursor on top of them. I've got most of my squadmate options set to keep people's names/meters on them all the time.
Also I have to play at 1024X768, so the HUD looks more cramped than it is for most players who play at higher resolutions than me. And yeah I crop a lot of my screenshots rather than post huge files here if I can help it.
I turn off the UI when I can but you can't really play the game effectively in that mode.
Got on a pretty fun team doing the Fluxite Mines instance in the Mires area; first time I played with a couple of 4th tier (Level 30+) characters. I got to see Reanimation (which reanimates one dead Bane as a slightly nerfed Ally) at work. The first time you see it, I guarantee you'll start firing at the reanimated corpse. ;D The only visually distinguishing feature is this sort of video-grid will sort of animate up the length of the former Bane troop's body periodically, I guess to remind you it's friendly.
Paper Planes is a level 30 Spy, and he's using its Blade skill. Reanimated corpse at upper left.
I was battling bots this afternoon - unbelievably exasperating. However, the "Duplicator Bots" do give you the opportunity to battle... yourself. The enemy clone of you even goes so far as to keep switching weapons the same way you do.
"Sorry, clone, you might have the same everything, but you don't fight like me."
I could run Company of Heroes (I specifically went up to 2GB of RAM to make sure I could, in fall 2006) OK on my sloth system (AMD 64 3200+), but Opposing Fronts initial mission brought it to its knees. I still am on the first mission in Opposing Fronts. I guess my problem is I really preferred CoH's first few smaller-scale missions that gradually introduce you to units and aren't totally fixated on base building and rushing. I got bogged down when the initial campaign went larger scale and started to feel too much like RTSs in general.
Opposing Fronts' campaign, from what I could see, starts big and massive, and it sort of disappointed me it didn't have something more like the more intimate scale early missions from the original game's campaign.
Still, when I get a new PC (definitely on my New Year's Resolution list, It's been 4 years now), this will be one of my first tests on it.
Quote from: Jarrodhk on December 31, 2007, 07:22:34 AM
Wanted to say thanks for posting these little vids. Helps me get a feel for how the game plays in combat.
You're welcome. I enjoy sharing them -- I mean, it's no fun without at least a little bit of an audience.
Any of us can send you a link for the 3-day trial if you just want to dip a toe into the water -- it will also help balance out all the spambots playing as trial players.
And keep in mind I'm just a big dumb "shoot first ask questions" commando. Other classes will probably look more interesting in combat (injector guns, leech guns, polarity guns etc. are all things I can't use), and I've yet to get to see Rangers calling in reinforcements, Engineers building turrets and robot drones (I forgot the name exactly) etc., Guardians doing all their shield stuff etc. So I don't know that my videos give the full picture from the player perspective.
Last night I ended up really only having about 20 minutes play (had to work most of today). I just took up all the Logos quests I had in the Incline zone and had fun just trying to reach those areas. It was just right for the time I had, and I made about 1/4 a level.
I expect to be on around maybe (East Coast time) 1-4 p.m., and maybe 9-midnight tonight so look for me then and I'll add ya. (on Pegasus, East Coast server).
I added Sulastani who popped in briefly last night, to the clan.
I think they're looking at letting you add offline friends to your list eventually, but that and making the clan stuff more useful (right now, you can't really do anything beyond editing the 4-5 pre-set ranking names).
Not that I really expect anyone here to join up (except maybe Sulastani who I've had some fun team-ups with), but I went ahead and created a clan with a familiar name.
I tried to get a screenshot of the lonely clan member list but it didn't work for some reason. I don't see much on the clan panel beyond editing the few preset titles.
I think you can share the normally non-tradeable Collector's Edition paint schematics (which never run out, per se) with clan mates. Beyond that and a clan channel there isn't much benefit to it now (though supposedly various things are in the cards).
fwiw, it's pretty crowded today and someone mentioned seeing a brief "waiting que" at login for the first time (though for sure that's probably more due to college kids on holiday more than anything else). Still, enthusiasm just seems very infectious in the game. If it gets its hooks in you at all, your free time will be in trouble.
I'm really enjoying The Plains, and starting to see a few 4th tier Level 30+ characters now and then. Most seem to be having fun, but I sense there just aren't enough people up there yet for them to have much like finding squadmates.
If you're around 20ish and have done the Eloh Temple stuff in Palisades, maybe you can help. I'm going to put my questions in the "spoiler button format" in case it's spoiler-ish to people who haven't gotten that far...
Spoiler for Hiden:
My understanding is that once you complete all four Eloh Temple instances (Rage, Bowed, Proud, I forget what the fourth one is), then you've "appeased" the four wardens, and can continue on into the main Eloh instance. And that you also receive some Eloh key stone that completes another quest in Palisades.
I've completed Bowed solo, and Rage with some much appreciated help from a L24 player last night. But I don't have missions/quests for the other two temples. I've checked all the contacts in Palisades. I've also completed the Warnet caves instance that someonoe suggested might be key to unlocking the other two temple instances.
And no, I can't enter those two other temples without getting a quest to go in there first (I've tried). Any ideas? I've asked in chat channels but seem to generally get only disdain or misinformation.
I do have a couple more straggler missions I can do that aren't instances, but I don't think they sound like they would lead me to the other two temple missions. I'll have to try those though and see.
And "I didn't have any problems" is ... no... help... whatsoever. That's a common chat channel answer to pleas for advice...
As a former business editor, I must contribute the geeky explanation that Sigil burned through so much money developing the game that they (apparently) had no choice but to release it terribly prematurely to get some revenue back. They've said as much in interviews. Otherwise, the game probably would've gotten canceled altogether (like Gods & Heroes).
It's easy for me to say that all prematurely released games (see Hellgate: London) due is give the developer a bad name, build bad buzz and make selling the game harder. In fact, I say that all the time. But I assume there are sometimes financial realities where you have to choose either between releasing it that way or canceling the game because you can't find the funds to work on it anymore.
This was before SOE entered the picture as publisher/marketer (for Vanguard). It's easy to dump on SOE, but they've probably saved some marginal-subscriber base games like this and The Matrix Online from extinction. And as distributor/marketer, they're probably the only reason Pirates of the Burning Sea will have actual retail distribution (though that doesn't mean it will sell to a fickle buying public that doesn't seem interested in anything but WoW right now). I'm not sure why SOE has decided to keep adopting either games with botched launches or games with marginal size subscriber-bases, but maybe that's their new niche to fill.
Tabula Rasa of course. At another forum I visit, several are in the late open beta test of Pirates of the Burning Sea (I got in, twice, but now too busy with TR to care). One has described the ship-to-ship battle portions as being almost a wargame, so if you're into that and want something different than bopping an Orc on his head every other minute, your ship has come in... so to speak. That's scheduled for Jan. 22 release.
Me, I've had enough of mid-to-late beta play of games because most of the time it just sours me on the game (fairly or not) before its release. I'm only in TR now (after feeling disappointed by the beta experience) because enthusiasm here sparked my interest in asking for it as an Xmas present. If I try the Pirates of the Burning Sea beta at all, it'll probably be the last week (Jan. 15) before release.