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10481  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: What MMO's are everyone doing these days? on: December 28, 2007, 01:43:41 PM
Tabula Rasa of course. smile 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.  icon_cool 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. smile If I try the Pirates of the Burning Sea beta at all, it'll probably be the last week (Jan. 15) before release.
10482  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 28, 2007, 05:48:28 AM
Trick I learned in New Player channel was (maybe it's buried in manual somewhere) Cntrl-U will remove the HUD interface for cleaner screenshots, like so...

"What? Go out with my mech buddy? Are you nuts!!??"

They aren't giving much hints as to what the upcoming PAUs (personal armored units) are like. I doubt they are just like the mechs. Perhaps there'll be something configurable so you can put all those weapons that drop like flies to use for something other than your stash.  drool

The Strider in "The Plains" zone is sort of a sequel to the Stalkers.
10483  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 28, 2007, 05:44:36 AM
I've rarely had the opportunity to see any fourth-tier folks in action. Saw what I assumed was a Spy "polymorphing" into a disguise, like so...

But what was funnier was when he tried to switch back to "normal," something was missing...  saywhat
10484  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 27, 2007, 04:13:36 PM
If you paid attention to whispers from people who wanted to team with you, you could probably take the Prison no problem.  Roll Eyes icon_wink I'm not planning to send any more whispers your way (I'm not Don Quixote, and I appreciate that some players prefer to keep to themselves), but if you need help, you know where to find me. smile (Blackjach's 21, and happy to just EMP structures to help out).
10485  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 27, 2007, 02:16:33 PM
>>> How similar are the capture/defend battles to Planetside?

I played Planetside about 6 months back in 2003. The base assault/defend has a somewhat similar feel, but at least so far are strictly PvE (there is a PVP "late game," but it's apparently a work in progress and I've got a long way to get there, and I don't particularly enjoy PVP anyway). And there aren't any vehicles to speak of (beyond dropships dropping in Bane and ASF (friendly) reinforcements, and sometimes Predator Bane attack aircraft get involved, but I rarely see them working on Control Points). It perhaps feels most like Planetside when an AI-controlled AS Mech is participating and going beserk (usually more in the Defense mode, although they can be air-dropped in by ASF dropships).

The turrets mounted along base walls will participate either way (either helping in defense, or pounding you when you assault the Control Point to take it back). Certain CP bases are actually made by the Bane, so those have different structures, and turrets are labeled as "Bane cannon" or something (but they'll still work for the ASF if under control).

Anything called a "Control Point" in a given region can be taken by either players or the AI Bane. Even if no other players participate, there are usually at least a handful of AI-controlled ASF battling one way or the other.

I have to go back to work (sigh) but I can post some more base-defense/assault focused gameplay movies tonight maybe.

It's very intense and fun, but it isn't really the meat of the game. I think of it as "value added," and if you just need a break from missions and Instances, it's an exciting change of pace.  icon_cool

And really, it's often critical to completing some missions. There's at least one mission in Divide (In the Trenches, I think it's called something like that), where you have to meet an NPC inside a Control Point base. If the bane have it, the NPC isn't available there so you can't complete the mission. Over in Palisades, another control point has an NPC giving a mission (and not a defend/assault Tokens mission) once you reach a certain point -- and again, he's not available if the Bane control the Control Point base. Beyond that, all players appreciate having the extra Waypoint teleporter that a Control Point provides when it's in ASF/players hands.
10486  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 26, 2007, 04:12:40 PM
I forgot TR has this Referral program so all us subscribers can send out the 3-day trials (if you don't want to go through If interested, just need an e-mail address (free Web mail types OK) to send to. I think there's a limit to the # you can refer, but I haven't seen the actual numero.

I really like the missions (or quests if you prefer) in TR, and when leafing through the news on fan sites, there was a nice interview with TR mission designer Wynne McLaughlin:
Most of all, I’m proud of how incredibly fun TR is to play!  After two years of testing (and re-testing) missions, and playing the same content over and over, I still have a blast playing the game.  I think that’s an amazing accomplishment.

On a personal level, I’m proud of my “ethical dilemma” missions, and especially the “Penumbra” black ops mission arc, which started out as a simple idea and ended up becoming a major part of the game’s meta-story.
Yeah I know, he's not objective. smile But as a City of Heroes fan, I often read in interviews with their devs how much they enjoyed playing the game themselves, even after years of working on it. I think it's generally a good sign, even if it seems "self back slapping" in interviews. smile

While I beware of people using exclamation points in describing their games, I think he also has a pretty good summary for when you're explaining the game to a buddy. smile
Tabula Rasa is a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute massively-multiplayer online game that takes away the “level grind” we’ve seen in so many MMO over the years.  The situations that spontaneously emerge from the game’s AI has to be experienced to be believed.  Monsters don’t just spawn in and wait for a player to wander by, they constantly act, and react, to the world around them.   Dropships swoop in, mortars explode, friendly units rush into battle by your side.  It’s an amazing, visceral experience.  Add to that a deep backstory full of mysteries and revelations, and you’ve got one compelling universe to play in!
Again, beware of exclamation points.  icon_wink Although I wouldn't call it a "grindy" game, you'll still see plenty of people in chat saying "who wants to grind so and so with me." Usually they're just working on the "of Opportunity" general area mission that involves completing a few things, including hunts.
10487  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 26, 2007, 04:07:31 PM
You're right about the respec. Guess those points I put in Motor Assist will mock me for eternity. puke- I guess had it confused with City of Heroes style respecs.  crybaby (there you can't change your power "set" selections but you can re-do your choices within them and the # of enhancement slots).

One simple video setting adjustment (I think viewing distance - I turned it down just a little bit to see if it would improve performance) let me see the sky. Hallelujah!

10488  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 26, 2007, 06:21:54 AM
A little character update.  Cool

This is all Graviton armor, which makes the points I put early into Motor Assist  :-[ seem like such a waste now (but a free respec is coming along any day now I hear).

And Happiness is a warm Teleract Laser Chaingun...

My black sky texture problem actually comes in handy for portrait pictures. biggrin

I'm quite happy with chainguns (was able to put a 4th point into them, which ups damage greatly and reduces how quickly they wear out in use), even with the more expensive 2nd level of ammo types. I have 3 types hotkeyed usually (EMP, Laser, Regular), and sometimes an electric. I keep a regular shotgun at ready, and I've experimented with the various launchers (in some cases the massive "splatter" damage is useful for obliterating many shields in a large group but I don't find myself using them too regularly).
10489  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What is Your Game of the Year? on: December 26, 2007, 05:58:35 AM
fwiw, Gamespy in its infinite wisdom (not?) gave its XBox360 and PS3 Game of the Year awards to Call of Duty 4.

I think more telling though is that the Gamer's Choice voting went for Mass Effect (Xbox360) and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3), and COD4 got nothing at all in the gamers' voting. Sometimes game reviewer sites are out of touch with The People perhaps? smile

But wait, this is  what is my game of the year. I'm mostly a PC gamer so I can only chip on PSP.

I think 10 nominees as Gamespy is rather excessive. I'd go with 5, like the Oscars smile
-Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
-Jeanne D'Arc
-SOCOM: Tactical Strike
-Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
-Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command (seriously flawed, but I'd love to see a deeper followup)

And my winner is... *opens envelope*...
SOCOM: Tactical Strike

Why? Well, FFT: WoL is a jazzed up version of a 10 year old Playstation game. Jeanne D'Arc is fun, and yet everyone's quick to point out its relative lack of depth compared to FFT (you can find boards of threads based on arguing this point  ninja). Logan's Shadow is a followup to a good game. Warhammer 40K: Squad Command has a great idea with its destructible environments and brisk turn-based play but turns out too shallow for its own good with strangely obstructed camera views (how about some transparent environment pieces?) and not enough unit configurability or growth, presumably in an effort to be a pick up and play handheld game. I throw it on there cause I enjoyed the demo, and it feels like a game that deserves a more ambitious sequel.

SOCOM: Tactical Strike takes big chances on breaking the mold of a successful series (including what I'd argue are two mostly so-so PSP titles that survived on their multiplayer in spite of disappointing single player experiences). It's deep, it's tactical, it's got a very snazzy interface and excellent graphics, great sound and voice work, and it isn't really like any other game out there (I don't really buy the comparisons to Full Spectrum Warrior which is a far larger-scale game). I could tell just from interviews that the dev team was genuinely passionate about the game and the PSP, and was not "phoning in a port" as several games on my "most disappointing" list seemed to be.

I'm hoping the playable demo (now #1 downloaded demo at the Playstation store) will help the game get some retail sales going. smile Anyway, there's my out of left field choice, cause every gaming news site is going to give the PSP award to one of the two turn-based JRPGs. I might as well think outside the box instead. smile There are numerous other games that got fine reviews that I didn't play, so take that into consideration. Few of the gaming news sites agree with me (review scores for SOCOM: Tactical Strike have been modest most places). I swim upstream.  icon_wink

I do think all 5 of the titles (even the warts and all Warhammer game) are pretty good games to show a new PSP owner in terms of what's fun on the system, and for the most part unique to it. It doesn't have to be a system you only play Home Brew titles on, or tired PS2 ports. You can enjoy some fresh titles that make good use of the hardware.

And I like to add...

Most Disappointing PSP Games disgust):
-Alien Syndrome (Larry Holland deserves a better fate than making something so repetitive as this; I got some fun out of it in spite of it all)
-Dungeon & Dragon Tactics (too sluggish, too much inventory micromanagement and tedium, too little fun - a heartbreaking disappointment when so many people were excited about it pre-release)
-SWAT: Target Liberty (oh the horrors... don't get me started)
-Star Wars Battlefront Renegade Squadron (some fun in multiplayer but mediocre graphics and not much point in single player)
-Rainbow Six Vegas/Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 & 2 (remove all the squad sensibilities and depth from the superior PC/console versions of these games, and these "quick to the used game shelves at EB" routine shooter titles are what you get; Ubisoft should be embarrassed, imho -- if this is the best they can do on PSP, they shouldn't bother, as these kinds of titles don't help the case for wanting a PSP).

Most Promising Year 2008 PSP Titles
-God of War: Chains of Olympus (a lot of people say they'd buy a PSP just to play this)
-Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice (this vehicular, leaping from cars, combat followup is already out in the UK to modest reviews, but is apparently getting multiplayer and some massaging for the U.S. release next year)
-Patapon (bizarre mix of Elite Beat Agents, The Lemmings and LocoRoco that's gradually snowballing quite a bit of buzz because it's just so confounding to describe or understand smile)

Most Badly Needed Sequel
-Killzone: Liberation 2 (not in the cards due to Guerilla's total focus on Killzone 2 for PS3  crybaby)

To be honest, I'm a little concerned about the PSP picture in 2008, after such a terrific 2007. Maybe it's just early, but I don't see a lot of high profile PSP titles on the 2008 release date calendars I've looked at.
10490  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 26, 2007, 12:00:54 AM
Sure. In real life I am at a loss for words, esp. at parties, I think that's why I'm still single.  crybaby icon_biggrin

On message boards however, I am conversational diarrhea. I never stop running...  saywhat
10491  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 25, 2007, 02:50:10 PM
Outside of WoW, most MMOs do massive sales at launch and then just do a slow subscriber descent no matter how many good updates come out. I only played WoW a month (around the time it launched) and I don't really feel like TR plays or feels anything like WoW (except perhaps in the sheer variety of its quests). You'll find plenty of people in the General chat channel who disagree with me (my impression is if you play WoW for 3 years you can help but compare everything to it -- likewise I played City of Heroes 3 1/2 years, and I tend to compare a lot of MMOs to it).

I love TR so far, but people who don't like an obsession with guns and more guns (only around L30 or so does it diversify enough in professions to provide some non-gun opportunities as your main weapon), who have to have a new skill/power every other level, etc. might not find it their cup of tea. I think for most folks it is a pleasant surprise once they put a little time into it. smile

The future? Just too early to tell. Gotta wait and see what future updates bring, and see how players feel after they've burned through all the content (will they just say "there's nothing more to do" and quit, or will they go back to their "cloned" characters and work through things again). When I was in LOTORO, a lot of people in chat channels would complain about reaching 40, 45 etc. and "there's nothing to do." Even though they worked on the latter level game a lot, it just seemed like many players didn't want to start over and go through the same things again (the cloning, and clone "credit" rewards in TR are meant to combat that a bit it seems).

I enjoy the combat mechanics so much, I don't think it'll be a problem for me to re-run through content with a new or cloned character in TR, but so far I haven't been able to stop playing my main. smile
10492  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 25, 2007, 06:14:20 AM
In the bigger they are, the harder they fall department (Stalkers):
Click here to watch Tabula-Rasa-game-stalker-combat-footage
10493  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 24, 2007, 02:50:33 PM
Click here to watch Tabula-Rasa-spider-combat-footage

If this looks Too Easy, it's cause I backtracked to a spider cave (and logos) that I missed in Divide.
10494  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/24) on: December 24, 2007, 02:31:58 PM
Nothing, but Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow (PSP) was an early Xmas present I left shrinkwrapped to open tomorrow. smile
10495  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 24, 2007, 02:15:17 PM
Ha. I kept right clicking the tabs themselves (nothing happens), guess I was right clicking the wrong thing. Probably from my LOTORO experience. confused

DOH. Wait. You actually DO click the tabs themselves to configure things. If you right click on the chat window itself, nothing happens. They're actually so configurable, I'm intimidated by them. biggrin

I reached 19 this afternoon. I've done a few instances now. I guess the problem is most of the teams I've been on are way overqualified late teens, early 20s, and most of the Divide instance stuff seems made for people in perhaps the 15-17 range. If you have teammates beyond that it just becomes a "lather, rinse, repeat" situation (even if the instance objectives, storylines etc. seem pretty cool).
10496  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 23, 2007, 09:31:04 PM
How do you configure the chat window and such? I checked all over the options and didn't see anything  for adjusting visibility/opagueness or putting certain channels in certain tabs. I'd love to, I think I'm missing something.  icon_confused
10497  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 23, 2007, 09:29:17 PM
I might try to get a GamingTrend clan started (if only to have a clan chat channel, and you can then also trade the 4 collector's edition paints to other clan mates if there's interest). It costs 10,000, and I'm afraid I always buy a bunch of stuff and then realize "hey, i was thinking about opening a clan." Oops.  Tongue
10498  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 23, 2007, 09:26:56 PM
Here's some peeks at the auction house (called Military Surplus in TR):

It's a good feature to have. I'm awash in loot, and the quest rewards are consistently good, so I just don't bother with it. It's there if you're into that sort of thing (variety is good imho), and easy to ignore if you're not. smile

10499  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots/movies (dial-ups beware) on: December 23, 2007, 09:01:11 AM
I took a few FRAPS movies. Nothing all that great, but I kinda like this base defense short flick. It's a bit distorted (I recorded at 512X384 but the host site displays as 640X480), but at least it's full speed. smile

I don't think we can embed stuff here, so you'll need to visit my little link at a hosting site called (if yer interested that is):
Click here to watch Base-Defense-in-NCSofts-Tabula-Rasa-game

And a brief little firefight from the Bane base area in the Divide (we each used a different type of weapon, which was kind of neat):
Click here to watch Firefight-in-NCSofts-Tabula-Rasa-game

Aaaand, Sulastani from the GT forums here and I teamed up for a while this afternoon for some fun:

I agree the Launchers are sluggish (unless yer willing to invest a lot of training points into it -- eventually you can cut the loading time to about 40% of normal), but I don't think they're meant to be our bread and butter. It's more of a situational tool I'd call it (I find Rockets and the like esp. useful in the base defense/assault situations). We'll see though. I read they plan to give everybody a free, full respec at some point (so people can consider re-distributing to accommodate some changes/balancing upcoming). Right now I'm trying a bit of everything, but I hope to focus on some things at some point.

10500  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 06:51:05 PM
On the flipside, participated in a desperate effort to take back one of the control points (Valley thingie) in Wilderness. It's tough to take back, what with the laser cannon turrets now firing on you, and the entrance force field seems to take a tremendous amount of EMP to bring down (we had 4-5 of us firing and it took quite a while).

Some sequence pics...

This was kinda fun. I made a desperate push towards the entrance (I guess if I realized one person can't possibly get the forcefield down in a reasonable amount of time, I might've done something different), and, right on que, the AI-controlled ASF mech hits its "air jet" and rushed right in front of me. Like a guard pulling in front of a running back in football...

Then again, maybe not a good idea. I think the "hexagonal radiation" is either a buff or heal from a caretaker.

I was on a small team and we worked with some pick-up players on getting field down (the bane dropped reinforcements right on top of us as we finished)

Teammate worked on the "CP" mechanism while I guarded

And it all went back to heck anyway.  icon_razz

10501  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 22, 2007, 03:55:23 PM
I sent Llewis a couple whispers last night and even ran in front of him by the Crossroads waypoint (near Benefactor Valley) but got no acknowledgement. I guess CeeKay thought I was a clever spambot?  crybaby icon_lol I think we're each at the same level now (15) due to my marathoning obscenely late into the morning hours.
10502  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 03:47:40 PM
And since I hit 15, a couple from that...

I did make a clone, but for now I went Commando. I like to mix it up, waste a lot of ammo, fire big guns etc. smile

The Graviton armor, in addition to the improvements above, offered about 1,000 higher armor rating than the Reflective armor I had been using at 14. And, it basically makes Jude look like a ... Transformer.  icon_lol
10503  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 03:43:39 PM
Thought I'd start a screenshots thread (and try to keep the general TR thread fast loading smile).

What finally got me over the hump to 15 last night (Concordia Divide has an endless wealth of missions but several are ones I'm struggling with in terms of finding the designated targets) was informally participating in a desperate defense of the Hydro Plant (which the AI Bane kept assaulting in massive waves after losing it earlier). Really cool stuff. I love getting on the base walls, plopping next to one of the AI laser cannon turrets for cover, and raining down what I can (often on baddies several levels above me). If I have to resort to grinding a bit, that's my preferred form. smile

I really love the idea of a base being in danger of getting overrun (and its contacts and such becoming unusable in the process) as far as giving players a strong "carrot" to help protect it on occasion.

Some pics...

When they get this far inside the base, you've got problems.  icon_surprised

This Bane chased me into the building and I had fun using the various tables as shields.

Around this time is when I thought the Hydro base situation was hopeless. I tried to take cover, but I basically just devoured my machine gun ammo and helped as much as I could (in spite of dying faster than I could use Rez sickness kits).  icon_cool You could say it just ends up a giant "Bane Whack-A-Mole" game but I sometimes feel truly heroic in this situations. There are so many friendly AI troops trying to help out, it's a bit hard to pick out the real players (I probably just need to adjust what "name tags" I have showing).

10504  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 06:49:34 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 21, 2007, 04:12:26 PM

One thing I learned last night is that if you log off at a control point make sure to do so staning someplace where you can do a quick exit if it happens to fall before you log back in.  I logged in last night to find the Imperial Valley CP had actually fallen into Bane hands, and seeing as I had logged off after turning in some defense tokens I was all the way in the back of the base and got whacked by the forty or so Bane troops that were in the place.

I got payback though by immediately going back and helping liberate it (unfortunately I was second to the CP so I didn't get to be the one to change it over, even after trying to get the remain Bane to shoot the guy doing it  icon_twisted).
In a way that's fun -- not your character's demise, but the game world changing so drastically -- I love the idea of Control Point areas getting "lost" to the Bane while we're away with our real lives. smile

When I was in the Divide last night, I noticed a CP to the far SW of the map was Bane-occupied. I toyed with charging down there after it but it was a little too late to do my Charge of the Light Brigade. smile And I couldn't find a contact giving an "Assault tokens mission."
10505  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: December 21, 2007, 05:41:38 PM
Awesome! smile I've taken a break in the middle of I think mission 5 or 6. I've got to get back to it some day. Also, my mom got me Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow as one of my Xmas gifts. smile
10506  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 02:24:41 PM
I should be putting in some serious time tonight (Level 15 or bust! drool), finally with no work worries the next day. Look me up. smile I'll gladly switch back to my specialist clone (5) if someone's new and wants to team up a bit.

One of the guys i teamed with last night was a specialist who had developed two L30 soldier characters before. He said it took him a while to get used to its skill set but he was enjoying it. The medical skill had pretty cool animations/graphics. I don't think he had Forcefields yet.

There was one underground cave where I couldn't seem to unlock a forcefield to pass into a Logos room (well, I thought I had it unlocked, but I still couldn't walk through the field). He was able to do something to unlock it and remove the forcefield (maybe there's a tool that does that?). It was a neat moment -- I wouldn't have been able to obtain that one Logos without his help. smile
10507  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 21, 2007, 02:16:21 PM
I think still has the trial going. And the free trials seem to have brought in all the Hellgate: London spambots to play. smile

The trial is helpful for knowing if you like the combat mechanics or if you want to see how much it's improved since the clumsy beta. Until I get to try the L15 and L30 class choice tiers, I can't really chime in on how the later game is. But I do enjoy it quite a bit, and there's always something to do (if you get bored, you can just enjoy the Planetside-style base defense stuff, go hunt for Logos etc.). When I thought I was finally about out of specific things to do, I just moved to the next zone (Divide) and became so awash in missions I had to logout (too much work to do today).

I wouldn't hype it as the most innovative MMO on the block (as Garriott does), but for me, it draws in lots of things I like (sci-fi stuff and yet still lots of attractive environments as a more conventional fantasy mmo might have; some Planetside-style base defense and assault stuff but in a PvE format; lots of variety in things to do; and lots of crazy guns  icon_cool though the tiers look like they diversify that into "more than just guns" in combat eventually) in a fun package. And you never have to kill a rat, a snake or a 2-inch cockroach.  Tongue
10508  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 05:17:24 AM
I teamed up with one specialist to battle a boss spider for a mission, then we called in a fella that I played with last night to help though he opined, "Oh I solo'd this!" Which is what everyone says about everything but it made the spider easier to deal with.  Tongue

So far pleased with the friendliness of the few I've teamed with. I reached L12 and moved over into the Divide. I had one lingering hunt I couldn't figure out -- any idea where to find Lightbender Glands?  icon_confused

We ran into one situation (involving "Devil" bosses) that was pretty much a spawn camping nightmare. I'm tempted to say they should turn that one into a limited instance just to avoid the comedy of about 3-4 teams pretty much waiting in line for a dropship to show up.  Tongue

Haven't had any luck adding GTers. What times do you all play (east coast time). I can at least try to pop in around whenever for friends list sake.
10509  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Starcraft II Unit - Terran TF-620 Nomad on: December 20, 2007, 06:33:14 PM
imho, all over the top graphics and excessive system requirements do is make it harder for RTS games to sell (I have no doubt it hurt my fave Company of Heroes, a game many gamer buds of mine simply assumed they couldn't run; and probably did no good for C&C3 to have FPS-type system requirements).

Still, I do think they're hugging the original games' look and viewing angle almost too closely. I understand the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" mentality along with the obsession of not alienating the South Korean market that worships SC1, but it does almost look more like an expansion upgrade or some "corporate sponsored fan mod project," rather than a new game.

Certainly it's nothing like the visual jump from Warcraft II to Warcraft III. But hey, did you ever buy a Blizzard game because the graphics blew you away? I know I didn't. smile

Goliaths are my all time favorite SC unit, maybe all time RTS unit. Even if I'd send a bunch to their doom, just loved 'em and the "Goliath online!" voice line.  icon_cool
10510  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 06:20:44 PM
Pravus is fun with a team, but definitely there are enough friendly AI units running around it to not feel too lonely. smile

Do you know if there is some way in the Pravus instance to... [I guess this could be a spoiler so I'll put it in the spoiler format below]:

Spoiler for Hiden:
... free the prisoners within the actual research facility? There's a keyboard from the area overlooking the prisoners area. When you activate it it seems to spawn a hovering spotlight thing. But the spotlight doesn't do anything, nor does blowing it up do anything. Sometimes a prisoner says "RELEASE US!" and my group was wondering if that's just sort of window dressing, or if it's of any importance (perhaps it'll be a sub mission they put in later or something?)

If it's just window dressing, that's a shame. It would be cool if you could free them, and perhaps some would escape and maybe a few AI prisoners could offer to help you and your squad destroy the nearby reactor/fuel thingie or something.
10511  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 04:43:28 PM
If it interests you even a little I'd probably recommend taking advantage of that Amazon sale ($29.99 regular, $39.99 collector's). Even if it only keeps your interest a month, 'tis a good deal. smile

I definitely think I'll stick around, fwiw (not playing any other MMOs or games for that matter, at this point).
10512  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 02:25:05 PM
Oh yeah, I was dismayed with the beta. Even Garriott later admitted they drew too many people into the beta at a time when the fun factor wasn't really there, and a lot of things weren't working well. I still bet it launched in better shape than Hellgate.  icon_biggrin

CuppaJo did another interview, slightly more informative:

10513  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 20, 2007, 02:19:15 PM
There's a few of us GTers in TR now so thought I'd do a list of sorts (you only need someone's last name to add to friends list -- that's cool, I think it'll let you know when they're on regardless of which character):

This is probably an incomplete list, just from combing posts in the TR thread. smile

Pegasus (East Coast) Server
-Devian [andon at GT]

-Gillman [Arclight at GT]

-Faide [Faide at GT]

-Llewis [CeeKay at GT]

-Hakashi [USMC Kato at GT]

-Blackjach [Blackjack at GT]
--Jude Blackjach [L30], Commando
--Injector Blackjach [L5], Specialist
--Specializer Blackjach [L4], Specialist

-Sulastani (L24) [Arkon at GT]

-Rhall [Goldchamp at GT]
10514  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 06:45:46 AM
Finally got to team up with some friendly folks. Four of us on some Research Facility instance, and then 3 of us continued to Crater Lake. These thankfully aren't claustrophobic little instances -- they're sort of big sprawling battlefield instances instead, usually with gobs of both friendly and enemy AI zooming in and out.

It's late, I must crash, but a couple pics (I cropped to remove the tracker revealing "instance objectives"):

Our squad. I suppose this will get more interesting (it was fun as all get out, but we were all basically the same sorts of soldier classes using a mix of the same weapons) at L15 and above.

It was fun working through some close-quarters situations.
10515  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 02:41:54 AM
Sure - what's the name? smile

As far as Pegasus goes, it seems we have (I would be game to start someone on the west coast server eventually):

L12-Llewis (CeeKay here at GT)
L9-Blackjach (Blackjack here at GT)
[NOTE: I belatedly realized you only need the last name for the friends list]

I'm sure CeeKay has probably progressed, but that's the last level I saw for ya.

If there's enough of us maybe we can set up a separate thread for names (hell if Hellgate gets one, this certainly should slywink). Maybe even a clan some day.

Anyway, I'm heading in finally now. Look me up. smile I'll see if I can find that Logos. I swear I've been all over said caves (egg layers) but maybe it goes further north than I thought.

I cloned at Level 5 so I'd be glad to switch back to that character if someone newer to the game wanted to team up.

10516  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 09:42:54 PM
Oh, if you'll be on tonight CeeKay, I'll at least try to add ya to friends list (seems like people have to be online at the same time to add to the list, at this point), Hans Llewis that is (Jude Blackjach is 9 actually). smile

In particular, I could use some help on that Crater Lake instance thing.

Yeah, I had no particular reason for picking "Jude" other than every first name in the universe, even joke ones, seemed taken. And I had to go with Blackjach in Hellgate cause someone seems to have stolen Blackjack everywhere. I used to be able to use that name in all sorts of games  crybaby (it was the name of a martial arts scrapper of mine in COH, and I started using it as a nickname many places).
10517  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 09:32:44 PM
I'll post a pic of that one Logos I can't seem to find later tonight (maybe someone here can clue me in).  icon_confused I would say it's roughly NW of the starter base in the Wilderness. On the map, the icon for it is basically in a clump of trees on top of a yellowish hill. There's no way I can see to enter into the tree'd area, and I don't think there's a tunnel somewhere else on the map that leads to it (though that seems the only way it could really be where it's marked.

I'll remember when I get home, but I think the Logos is called "Area", and it's needed (along with one other that I did find OK) for the "Shrapnel" Logos ability that a Soldier can learn.
10518  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 06:27:42 PM
I kind of wish I could drag my health/shields/power meters up higher on the screen (this is something I did in COH so that I would notice a quick drop in health more quickly). I think my armor is OK at the moment, but when the shield power drops out, *BOOM* my health drains out like helium from a stuck balloon. The death/trauma kit system makes it all quite bearable, I'm not mad about it, but think I just am not really clear on when I can take some punishment, and when I should run behind cover and recuperate (at least not yet, only been playing 3 days).

While I can carp about this and that, what I like mostly...
-I'm sure PVPers are complaining but I really prefer PvE in this kind of thing, and while the AI is nothing spectacular per se, there seems to be a pretty good variety in enemy attacks, behavior and movement patterns. I like that it doesn't feel predictable and you're challenged in a lot of ways to keep switching weapons to find one that works best.
-The base defense and assault (to take control points back for ASF) stuff reminds me of a PvE Planetside (which was 100% about this type of thing). I like though you can keep getting basic missions (modest exp and rewards for 25 "tokens" from dropped enemies), and have a more individual carrot rather than the "back and forth" faction stuff in Planetside.
-While I was able to get into the "exploration" aspect of LOTORO (where often you were given very vague directions on where to go for a quest, the idea being you would explore/navigate the environment to find it), I'm perfectly happy to be led by the nose and always have a nice gold icon on the map giving me a specific idea where to go. Here and there, tunnels and winding paths make it not as obvious as it looks, but aside from one Logos that I can't seem to figure out (I think it's called "Area," and I can't find it where it's marked on the map), I haven't had to keep whining in chat channels for help on where to find something.
-There seems no end of things to do. None of it's rocket science and maybe there's still a bit too many lazy "go kill X beasties and come back to me" type missions/quests, but overall I've been pleased with how clogged my mission tracker has been. smile

-I am not going crazy with crafting but so far it seems easy enough to figure out (Auto Assault I was so baffled by, it was like learning some alien language crafting wise), and I like that when you make grenades or something, you get a pretty large, usable clump (say, 12, or 15 of the item) from it (you don't have to slog through making one at a time).

What I don't like?
-I'm a bit tired of numbnuts firing into the ground or the air about 1,000 times in the bases. If you're that bored, go play something else. Yeah yeah you got a big gun, we're impressed.  disgust Tongue
-The chat channels are rapidly filling up with spambots (not quite as bad as Hellgate yet), and the chat channel's could desperately use some of COH's and LOTORO's chat tab resize-ability and configurability (maybe this is in the works? Or maybe it already has it and I don't realize it).
-My current "black sky textures" problem is a bit annoying. Probably the latest ATI drivers would fix it, but as mentioned elsewhere, that borks up my MP3 online store's software.  crybaby
-Animation seems a tad choppy in some situations (maybe just my sluggish PC)
10519  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Duke Nukem Forever Tomorrow!!! on: December 19, 2007, 02:28:29 PM
I think it's safe to say the buzz of anticipation wore off about 9 years ago (to be generous).  Tongue

I do recall Duke Nukem 3D almost ruined my life completely in 1996. At one point I was dragging into my newspaper job about 1 p.m. (!) some weekdays and my co-workers were wondering what the heck was going on with me (I was playing DN3D til 4 a.m., often in modem co-op games with a former college chum). It's safe to say I pushed my flexible work schedule to the brink. saywhat

I was 30 then, 42 now, and I'm afraid my gaming tastes don't quite go down that same channel anymore.
10520  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSP questions on: December 19, 2007, 02:22:08 PM
Technically (from what I've read), the PSP Slim's battery has about the same life as the old one in spite of being smaller. You can use the slightly larger capacity battery from the old one (you don't have to mod it, but companies are selling inexpensive custom battery covers so that the old style battery doesn't look like it's out of place).

The PSP has a lot of great games, so I would recommend trying a few of those before obsessing bout Home Brewing. smile Where there's a will there's always a way though, and the Web is still awash with "how to home brew" for PSP regardless of Firmware version (just some are much more of a challenge it seems). It's like Blizzard trying to block hackers from -- they can keep trying, but it's not a winnable fight.
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