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10481  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 12, 2008, 09:26:54 PM
There's some word at official site of a modest patch for *test* server next week (it gives some live server release dates for some new things):
Patch Update
On Thursday we made a new build for version 1.4 (1.4.2) for the Public Test Server. Currently, it’s going through final testing before it hits the PTS. Many of the concerns we had for 1.4 have been corrected in this new version and our goal for 1.4.2 is to have it out sometime next week. When 1.4 goes to PTS, the Orion player database will be copied to the Test Server. Stay tuned to the website for updates!

Patch Note Preview
Added new Operation: Sanctus Grotto (Level 50) Will open 1/25/08.

This Forean spiritual retreat is rumored to contain a hidden subterranean temple containing an ancient and valuable Eloh relic. Join in a desperate race to locate the temple, solve the riddle that will open its seal, and retrieve the relic for the AFS. But hurry, the Bane have also heard about the relic, and they’re racing to get there first!

Chinese New Year
Players will get special treats on February 7th for Chinese New Year. Black Cat, Blue, Orange, Red, and Yellow fireworks will be in your backpack when you log in. Remember – Safety First: Do not light these fireworks with your fire propellant gun!

3 month Veteran Reward
Several players have been wondering what we have in store for our 3 month veterans. Well, if you are familiar with some of the earlier concepts of Tabula Rasa, you may just recognize our first reward, an old school Tabula Rasa “Kirin” mask. Players will also be able to show their dance skills with a /robot emote.
I did, as it turns out, run into a bevy of quests back in Plateau today.
10482  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 11, 2008, 06:40:31 PM
fwiw, I was skimming PC Gamer and their TR review was one of those things where the text was generally positive while the score seemed OK-if-unenthusiastic (72/100). I found it odd the reviewer complained there "wasn't enough to do." I never felt that way until maybe level 31 (my current level), where I've gotten stuck on a couple quests that would probably lead to additional stuff. I assume the guy was reviewing the launch version, but I see so many print mags reviewing betas (in all genres, desperate to get something in print early), that I remain skeptical.

Otherwise, I could empathize with most of his observations and you can't as a reviewer just say "oh the updates will fix/improve/change that."  icon_neutral
10483  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 11, 2008, 04:29:08 PM
*Blackjack wrestles with thread's flight yoke, attempting to steer back on course*
So I thought I could finally finish this unending corpse hunt in Pools by just logging in and grabbing the gun clips off the one near the Hermit waypoint. Alas, when I logged in yesterday, it would no longer let me loot it. So I guess there is some finite # of times you can get them from the same spot, after which, *poof*, no more. I think I still need 4-5 more clips. Although I've checked a couple fan sites, they don't yet appear to have these corpse spots marked (contrary to what I thought). icon_confused
10484  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 11, 2008, 01:52:36 PM
Well, if you're red-green color blind, you'll mistakenly think your monitor's off.  saywhat
10485  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 4 mythos invite-pm if you want it on: January 11, 2008, 01:51:29 PM
I'm not playing beta anymore, but I was notified I had two to give away the other day.
10486  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 10, 2008, 10:17:26 PM
Nah, man, you're going to have to turn all the settings way down. It'll be a miracle if it even runs on that...

... wait for it...

...*other shoe drops*...

Kidding. Yeah I think that'll do. I hate you btw. Jealousy is an evil thing!  mad icon_lol

Does "BW" mean "black and white"? Seriously, it's a colorful game and I think you need a color monitor. Monochrome went out decades ago. OK, maybe not so seriously... unibrow
10487  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 10, 2008, 04:27:37 PM
Thanks, that's good to know. I am scoping out some new systems (probably store bought that will have Vista). TR's the only PC game I'm playing right now, so if I can at least feel confident it'll work on it, that will give me some comfort. smile
10488  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 10, 2008, 04:26:16 PM
I had a long day at work Tuesday, and was just wiped out yesterday (that's first time I haven't played TR in weeks). I expect to be on tonight though, after say, 8 p.m. EST. Fwiw. smile
10489  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTR Online for a 10 year old on: January 10, 2008, 04:18:51 PM
I played LOTORO from late beta up to about a month or so ago. While you can certainly do crafting, and focus on "pick a bunch of berries" quests, sooner or later you're going to have to stab, slash, gouge, bash, and blast things -- or team up with someone who can do that for you.  ninja2 There isn't really any way of entirely avoiding that if you actually want to progress in the game.

If you want to minimize that, I'd probably go with the minstrel. "Attacking" with the lutes and such is actually quite fun and refreshingly different than trying to decapitate everything in sight, and it sort of minimizes the gore in combat. smile You can focus on healing (though minstrels can do a fair amount of damage) and doing good deeds and what not.

If you're really concerned about it, I would instead consider some of the kids-oriented MMOs that are out there, or wait and see how the Lego MMO that Netdevil is working on turns out (though I'm skeptical that can make a 2008 release date).

Honestly though I would be more concerned about the type of garbage your child might encounter in the chat channels than some pixeldy fantasy violence. That's why all these games (MMO or not) have disclaimers that "your online experience may change," regardless of what the game's rating is. Some military shooter may be rated T, but the online experience probably has players cussing creatively and using rascist terms and epithets in a way that makes sailors blush and outwits obscenity filters.  saywhat

To be fair to LOTORO, I found the chat channel level of nastiness relatively low. It only got ugly for me on certain teams when people would get angry at someone for not playing perfectly. I think one of the reasons I enjoy Tabula Rasa (which I wouldn't recommend for a 10 year old, fwiw) is I don't have to listen (read chat text of) to people cussing each other out for not tanking, healing, pulling properly.

I have a 10 year old nephew, and I guess I would worry more about some nasty teammate insulting or bullying him in a game (which should be fun, afterall) than the effects of stabbing an orc with a halberd. Certainly there are ways around this (you can turn off chat, you can monitor him and not let him team up with people etc.), but they sort of squash some of the points of an MMO game.

10490  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 09:28:25 PM
If you're playing on the west coast server, most of us here play on the east coast sever (Pegasus), so that's probably part of it, beyond not being able to add folks to your friends list unless they're also online (an annoying thing they supposedly will remedy at some point). I'll probably try the west coast server (maybe the EU server too, just for fun) some time.
10491  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 07:53:40 PM
I'm never on at the same time as people here (aside from Sulastani on occasion), but I have a couple single digit characters available to work on. I'm really keeping focus on my 31 just to have some at 40 for when the PAU stuff is out. The instances in the first area are fairly fun and I'd be glad to work on those.

I hate the word, "proactive," but if we're ever getting a GT group together (or if Sulastani and I are even going to get more GTers invited into the informal clan), I think we'll need to set a day and time where we meet up in game and at least can get everyone on the clan member list, and try to do an instance or something. Ya know, be "proactive" about it.  Roll Eyes
10492  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 05:51:15 PM is the other helpful one I've ballyhooed (when stuck on Logos -- If you use it all the time, I do think it sports of spoils the sense of exploration/discovery in the game to some extent).

It's funny though, that other site I mentioned, I don't think it really has the corpses marked in Pools for that mission I'm on.  icon_confused The only spot I've sort of memorized is just east of The Hermit's waypoint. For missions like that, there's a brief timer of sorts to sort of discourage you from just "camping" the same objective spot repeatedly. But I just am visiting the spot each time I log in, and about 4-5 more times should finally complete that mission albeit in a very lame way.  Tongue

10493  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: EGM gets blacklisted for 'poor reviews' on: January 09, 2008, 05:46:24 PM
Why don't the publishers stop advertising altogether and just put out their own magazines with reviews about how wonderful all their products are? It's called the "Nintendo Power" technique.  Roll Eyes I think that would last about 2 months, by which time most gamers with a brain would realize how worthless advertorial copy is in determining whether something's worth buying or not.

Some day the game publishers will realize gamers aren't idiots, that good word of mouth by fans about a genuinely fun, good game is probably more powerful than any positive game reviews gained through advertiser intimidation or advertorial copy.
10494  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 09, 2008, 02:37:48 PM
I'm still mystified how Eurogamer reviews things well before release, but they've already reviews Patapon (8/10):
The way it works is that you issue commands to your army of tribesmen by tapping out simple, predefined rhythms using the PSP's face buttons.

Different rhythms make them perform different tasks as they advance across a horizontal, side-scrolling battlefield.

The game is broken up across some 30 different missions, with the early stages introducing each new rhythm gradually. Starting off with just one type of drum, within a short while you and your tribesmen will discover new drums for each face button, allowing you to tap out new rhythms that correspond to new commands, such as advance, attack, defend and so on.

Stringing together combinations of these commands triggers Fever mode, which, for as long as you can maintain it, spurs your little chaps on to ever greater feats of valour.
It's apparently a complicated, challenging game with lots of micro-management. If that doesn't send you screaming in terror, then you may find it charming, it seems.  ninja2
10495  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 02:17:17 PM
A guy on my friends list who has been pretty helpful pointed me to this fan mapping site:

Tabula Rasa Codex

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.
10496  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 11:37:48 PM
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. smile 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  Tongue) 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.  paranoid
10497  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 01:55:55 PM
See me post in the other thread about the PAU details from a November article:,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.  paranoid
10498  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SpaceForce Captains rpg/rts/tacbat on: January 08, 2008, 01:46:33 PM

Quote from: Calvin on January 08, 2008, 01:04:48 PM

Quote from: ROTC1983 on January 08, 2008, 02:10:48 AM

Yeah, I just read that on the official forums.  That makes me sad to see a game with so much promise drug into the dirt frown

Why am I not at all surprised. Eastern Euro developer=buggy mess.
I used to feel that way but these days I think you can generalize it to "Any developer Anywhere=buggy mess."  stirthepot
10499  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 02:21:26 AM
Here's a couple to file under "Control Point Base Defense Can Get Messy."  drillsergeant 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.  icon_twisted I'm the jolly green guy at center, see if you can pick me out.
10500  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 07, 2008, 04:58:22 PM
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. smile

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.
10501  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 07, 2008, 04:31:48 AM
They are rebooting the servers tonight. Everyone has been complaining about lag in Plateau the couple days, and I guess they believe a server reboot should fix it.  I think the reboot's done by now.

TenTonHammer had a bit on it:
10502  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 06, 2008, 07:10:44 PM
Here's a couple scenic shots. There are some neat vistas in Plateau and Pools:
10503  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 06, 2008, 04:25:13 PM
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.).
10504  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Vanguard free month on: January 06, 2008, 04:19:18 PM
Blue's pointed out some frothing at the mouth rant by supposedly one of Vanguard's former designers:
Gah, sounds like a mess, and the game has probably left more bad feelings among its former developers than anything I can think of - if you've got former designers running around accusing their producer of being too busy doing drugs to work on the game.  saywhat

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  disgust).

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.
10505  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 06, 2008, 02:34:25 AM
I always wondered "What's the point of the red skulls"?  icon_confused Thanks. I didn't see any mention of that in the manual. Guess I didn't get the TPS report on this one. smile
10506  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 05, 2008, 05:01:18 PM
Some big news about a version 1.4 coming soon to test server, including a fix for the awful lag in the Mires zone:
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:]

Important Bug Fixes:
Your mission log should no longer reset when you log out. [hallelujah]
Mires Improvements (see below).
The staff animation was changed (see this post for reference) [link:].

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.
10507  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 05, 2008, 04:52:02 PM
Thanks. smile A little propellant flamethrower video footage...

Click here to watch Tabula-Rasa-propellant-footage
Kettle likes to flame them, and then do a melee (kick, I think he has a few pump levels in it) that sometimes obliterates them in a poof of ashes.  icon_twisted
10508  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 05, 2008, 09:08:12 AM

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. smile 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.
10509  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia 9800 GX2 on: January 04, 2008, 10:03:53 PM
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?  icon_twisted 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.  crybaby
10510  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: If my comp can handle CoH, will it run CoH OF? on: January 04, 2008, 09:28:26 PM
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.  drool

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 style proprietary online gaming service.

Sometimes I fall for something hard, but not long. Other times I fall for something soft, but long.

"That's what she said!"  Tongue
10511  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 04, 2008, 02:12:17 PM
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):

These'll be a reward for reaching L40, with training in five different types available (see NCSoft's blog:, about the Grendel variant, which has two machine turrets on each arm and a rocket launcher).

Personal Armor Unit Q&A with Starr Long
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. smile
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).
10512  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 04, 2008, 06:09:26 AM

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  disgust 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. smile 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.  icon_confused

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.  icon_cool
10513  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 03, 2008, 08:55:08 PM
I reached the Plateau area last night. It's more rural, with some bases located at the tops of very steep cliffs.

There's a quest to get the Vortex logo (necessary to be able to use the Grenadier's signature ability, "Concussive Wave.") there.

There's a pretty neat, multi-contact quest that involves no fighting. I'm finding it a fun change of pace even if it's probably just an excuse to introduce you to different areas within the Plateau.

Back in Incline I got another one of those "branching tree" type quests. This time I decided to be a nice guy instead of nasty.  biggrin
10514  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Games You've Taken Time Off Of Work/School To Play? on: January 03, 2008, 04:19:35 PM
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  icon_lol)
-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)
10515  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone try Shadowgrounds Survivor yet? on: January 03, 2008, 02:10:21 PM
Here's the official site:

Shadowgrounds Survivor

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.
10516  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 03, 2008, 02:05:59 PM
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.  icon_neutral
10517  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 03, 2008, 05:56:00 AM
UK Pocket Gamer has some extensive hands-on impressions of this:
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.
10518  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 03, 2008, 05:44:40 AM
Ta da! I tried so hard to hit 30 but I gotta hit the hay (about 29.5).

10519  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 02, 2008, 09:39:22 PM
A brief episode of the new Soap Opera: As The Tabula Rasa Turns

Oh no!

His heart is broken!

He can't go on! But there's a problem...
10520  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa on: January 02, 2008, 09:04:48 PM
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?  crybaby)... what was I saying? Oh, they have new interview with April Burba (aka the former CuppaJo at CoX forums):

Tabula Rasa in 2008 - An Interview with April Burba
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.
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