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10481  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo 3 to be announced this weekend? the magic 8-ball says... on: June 28, 2008, 02:00:24 PM
Happily EATS CROW!  nod I'm going to try to download the gameplay trailer to view on my Zen. icon_cool I'll bet the fan site team (which probably deserves a medal for continuing to run their site 8 years after DII's release) is just beside themselves with glee right now.  icon_biggrin

I'm OK with my 1280X1024 monitor but it seems like most of the world plays 3200X2500 or something now.  icon_razz If it has to be "stuck" at a rez, I hope they go with 1280X1024. icon_smile

The destructible environments look fun. I'm eager to see the archer-type character (which was generally my fave in the previous games).

I'm glad it's Diablo 3, but I would've been a lot more excited about 3-4 years ago. I really don't think my 43 year old wrists can handle that much clickfest crap anymore (re my wrist tendinitis from Titan Quest: Immortal Throne overplay, which required a brace and lots of Alleve).

I ran a fan site for the Diablo clone Darkstone (by the now defunct Delphine), called The Shadow's Darkstone Tomb around 1999-2001. I never had so much fun running a fan site. For a time I even became "endorsed" by Prima Publishing, who sent me a box load of official Darkstone strategy guides. Which I never did find a way to give away.  icon_razz

I liked Darkstone, but basically I was so starved for Diablo II, that I'd play pretty much any Diablo clone to get it off my mind. icon_biggrin

I had lots of affection for Titan Quest, but I think if the original game had been as terrific (and had the improvements in terms of features, inventory, UI tweaks etc.) as the Immortal Throne expansion, they might've sold quite a few more copies than they did. Though probably not enough to remain in business.  tear

I can't access the Blizz D3 site at all right now. I wonder why.  icon_lol

Hey, even the Age of Conan forums have a link about D3 Roll Eyes:

And yeah I agree, we'll be lucky to see Starcraft 2 *next* year much less Diablo 3 *this* year. But gawd, after Hellgate (which I did have some affection for in spite of its utter bugginess), I won't ever make fun of Blizzard for taking so long with their releases. icon_neutral
10482  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 28, 2008, 01:26:12 PM
Congratz! I'm glad your perserverance paid off.  icon_cool

In City of Heroes, I sort of had alt-itis and I only ever got one character (a broadsword/invulnerability scrapper) to the cap. In LOTORO, I tried to be a little different and stuck with two characters pretty far (into the mid 40s, a Ranger and a Guardian).

Here I'm riding Blackjackian to the bloody 80 end. I'm at 57 now.  icon_smile
10483  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 28, 2008, 02:55:11 AM
Some L60 pet footage. They are pretty much like piranha at that point. It's hard for Blackjackian to even contribute on a team with one, because they devour everything in sight so quickly.  ninja2
Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-pets-as-piranha
10484  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me like The Who on: June 27, 2008, 09:02:38 PM
I hate/don't respond to lots of bands that everyone else loves. There isn't much point in preaching to someone. You either respond to the music or you don't.  icon_neutral Just imho. Whenever my brother or friends have tried to "force" me to like a band or singer, I just don't respond to it.

I do find that a lot of music I responded to as a teen and in my 20s doesn't do anything for me now (in my 40s), but I do sometimes respond to "young music" today that's clearly not marketed towards me.

Anyway, I love the Who, and even with only Daltry and Townshend, even in their 50s and now 60s, they still sounded great when I caught them in Boston in fall 2006. I was just glad when a few years ago Townshend found some ways around his hearing problems to go back to his wild lead guitar ways (his brother Simon is competent, and plays 2nd guitar on tour now, but is not exactly theatrical). They're a completely different band in concert when Pete can be his leaping, scissor-kicking, windmilling self (which he still does today), than when he was limited to acoustic guitar playing for several years.

Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son) brings a lot to the band now, and the crying shame is that when they finally put a new studio album together a couple years back (if you blinked, you misssed it, as it was only up there on the Billboard sales charts for a week), Starkey was busy drumming for Oasis on the road and only played on one track on The Who's new album. Bah.

There are lots of Who fans who think anything after Keith Moon's death is junk. Lots who think Moonie did no memorable drumming after Quadrophenia in 1973. Lots who think The Who post-Moon were never the same band in concert (true, in a way). But I also know people (my sister in law for example) who responded to their most maligned last couple albums in the '80s (Face Dances, and It's Hard). Or who love Who Are You, but don't get into the earlier part of their catalog (from the '60s).

That said, if you want to give the "aged Who" a chance, a good place to start is the 2001 Concert for New York City. Preferably, actually, the video version (the CD version omits one of the Who's songs). The Ox was still alive, and they gave a stirring, rip roaring 5-song set that really got the audience of firefighters and police on their feet. The rest of the concert was pretty much anticlimactic from there.

If you want "the classic Who," there are lots of solid compilations and "best ofs" out there, and they'd all probably be a good intro to the band.

The sad thing was that was effectively Entwistle's epitaph (aside from a couple benefit shows in London). tear
10485  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo 3 to be announced this weekend? the magic 8-ball says... on: June 27, 2008, 07:03:44 PM
I think the general gamer populace is reading Blizzard's artwork as if it's a Beatles album cover. Paul is dead! Obviously! He's bare foot! And the others aren't!  saywhat

All the artwork *really* says is, "Here are Blizzard's 3 Franchises: Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft (Kerrigan). And we're meeting to celebrate them." Chronologically, the Warcraft franchise came first, the Diablo franchise came second, and SC third, thus the left-to-right order. That's my over rationalizing interpretation of the conference artwork. Though I will be happy to view conference footage that ends up showing I'm dead wrong.  Bring your own!

I still think smart money is on D3 cause A) the franchise could use a freshen-up, and B) since most of the populace thought Diablo III and guessed wrong on the WoW, SC: Ghost, WoW Expansion and SC II announcements (including me, I kept guessing everything but what really got announced each time  icon_redface).

As for "nobody left on the team that worked on it," there seems to be virtually nobody left from the Starcraft team working on Starcraft II. In fact the SCII project lead is a former Command and Conquer designer. My reaction when I read that was, "HUH?"  saywhat Reality today seems to be that you generally can't keep devs in your studio forever (not even Blizzard). They want to move on, go independent, make a name for themselves etc.

I think what will be interesting to see with SCII is whether a team that seems fixated on designing a game around what the Korean competitive RTS market wants (the SCII team) can create a game as special as one that was never developed with that market in mind because it didn't yet exist (The SC team). And I'm part-Korean fwiw. Heck, I helped my Korean uncle buy copies of Starcraft and Diablo 1 at Best Buy one summer, to take back to my cousin. smile

For me, Hellgate has really damaged the Diablo team (Brevik and co.) and Bill Roper's reputations in my mind now. They had 12 years in the gaming industry (maybe more) and shouldn't have let themselves get shoestringed into a "rush our unfinished game to market now" situation. But... but... if you dig through old articles in the '90s Roper did seem to play a huge role in the balancing of stuff like Diablo I, II and Starcraft. So I'll be curious to see how SCII and presumably DIII turn out with no involvement from him.
10486  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeon Lords 2 announced on: June 27, 2008, 05:20:54 PM
I think PC Gamer gave this something like a 45% rating, which under their "don't offend the advertisers" scoring scale, was something like, "merely tolerable."  icon_razz

I think it was then used in the advertising campaign along with other gems...

The Verdict is In!
Game critics are united in universal praise for the mighty Dungeon Lords!

"Dungeon Lords is... tolerable!"
-PC Gamer

"I couldn't.... keep it down!" [referring to the game causing an upset stomach]
-Games for Windows Magazine

"... entirely... redeeming features!" [Slight editing of, "This game is entirely without any redeeming features whatsoever!"]

"Never before....!" [... and never again!"]
-GameLan World

 smirk [This is a dramatization, and no actual game review quotes were used in this parody. Thank you. icon_razz]
10487  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo 3 to be announced this weekend? the magic 8-ball says... on: June 27, 2008, 05:16:43 PM
"Situation murky. Try back later."

Well, that's what *my* Magic 8-Ball always told me. Was it lying?  icon_evil icon_lol
10488  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: External HDD Failure on: June 27, 2008, 05:13:50 PM
I still use an older (maybe from year 2005), boxier WD external, something like this:

While it has been rock solid, I really don't use it or run it much. fwiw. I think allll sorts of PC components and electronics seem to be really declining in reliability and durability. It's like the whole world somehow didn't realize the cheaper you make everything and the less you pay all your workers and the worse you treat them, and the more you outsource everything, the crappier and more unreliable everything seems to get.
10489  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Creative Zen MP3/video player on: June 27, 2008, 05:10:35 PM
I might go for the skins (which includes some covers for the screen), though I've read the screen's pretty scratch proof unless you really abuse it (I just put it in my shirt pocket and don't put it in with keys or change). Odd thing with my Sansa MP3 player -- I bought a little rubber skin, and when I put it on it, the unit would just stop working after a fewminutes. Bizarre. I think it overheated or something though it didn't even feel warm.  icon_confused

Since the 3-inch USB "dongle" with the Zen is a joke really, I put a $10 Best Buy rewards card towards a Dynex retractable cord:

The Dynex cord's overpriced if you ask me ($25.99), so I used my card on it rather than Mass Effect. I'll wait on the latter.  icon_smile
10490  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Creative Zen MP3/video player on: June 27, 2008, 01:36:28 PM
The real question is whether you could watch Iron Man (at least some trailer or film clips) on a 2.5" screen and enjoy it. And, I think you can.  icon_cool

Widescreen is maybe a bit much as it reduces to about a thumb-heighth.

You can alternatively either set it to "stretch" to fill the screen while playing, or convert it in a "clipped" format (as they often do for full screen versions of movies, or for TV broadcast in full screen).
10491  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: External HDD Failure on: June 27, 2008, 01:22:29 PM
I saw a thread with maybe a similar problem, and the suggestion that worked for him was to switch from connecting via USB to using the FireWire port (I don't know why that would clear up a bad sectors problem, but it seemed to  icon_confused):

Just fwiw. I mean, there are various disk utility suites (Norton, etc.) you can get that have other third party sector repair tools, but it doesn't sound like they would work any miracles.
10492  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 27, 2008, 01:06:18 PM
So if your team has someone who can rez, for Conan's sake, don't let them stand in the middle of an area full of roving patrols and sometimes wandering baddies while they take a few seconds to rez someone.  Roll Eyes I guess this pic's a testament to Ventrilo and the like, cause by the time I could type, "Look out behind u!" the enemies in the background had already moved over and swamped us. 

The rez animation is quite a show though.
10493  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 27, 2008, 05:51:58 AM
Got on a solid group that got through the grueling Whitehand group quest (we could only get one of the 3 officers for the second quest in the area though). It was worth it to finally get a helm I felt like "enabling viewable helmet" for.  icon_cool Now if Blackjackian can just ditch his L30 quest reward armor for something fresh soon...

Frankly, I think they need to sprinkle a lot more unique-looking helms around, cause pretty much everyone in a given class ends up stuck with the same helm type unless they're sticking with something older for style reasons. If they need inspiration, I say steal from the movies!  ninja2

This game definitely teaches you to "Clump to Survive!"

Order of the Dark Tower is the Thog guild I'm in. We don't really team up all that much, but the founders have helped me on occasion and Max joined a pickup group when I asked.  icon_smile
10494  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Creative Zen MP3/video player on: June 27, 2008, 04:36:41 AM
I'm OK with that, it just means a little more clicking. I guess my Sansa MP3 player (which i've been fine with, but it's software for images/video crashes like mad and never could use it for those things) though was smarter with its MicroSD cards, incorporating whatever was on them transparently.

So far it's passed my tests tonight. A little video from a fishing trip with my brother looks great on it, and the AoC videos I've converted to it look pretty good too.  icon_cool Music-wise it sounds dandy though I guess I wish it had at least some basic treble/bass controls.

My other mild beefs:
-The "world's shortest USB cable," effectively a dongle, is silly though I guess they wanted to keep the packing small.  disgust I managed to fish an old extender cable out of the closet fortunately.
-It'd be nice if it came with any sort of case, even just a simple cloth one. I'll probably have to mail order one of their "skin" packages or something. I couldn't really find much in the way of accessories aside from a "joggers arm band case," and an AC adapter.

I found this cool movie trailers page that specializes in 320X240 format for Zen, and the MS Zune players. I looked at the 80GB hard-drive Zune and was plenty impressed with its 3.2" screen but I really wanted something a little cheaper (so I can afford to lose it icon_razz) and handier for my shirt pocket.

Anyway here's the page, within something called
10495  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 26 on: June 27, 2008, 01:28:01 AM
In case you missed it, or haven't logged in today, the splash screen has an apology for today's extended U.S. server downtime. They're going to give all active accounts one free day of game-time to try to make up for it.
10496  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Creative Zen MP3/video player on: June 27, 2008, 01:09:34 AM
Ya know, the top photo makes me think we should take partial-photos of some of our favorite and/or most famous PC game boxes and have a little message board contest to see if people can guess what the game(s) is/are. You could use the poll function for that. Just a thought. (the partial picture above under the Zen is Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts.  icon_smile
10497  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Creative Zen MP3/video player on: June 27, 2008, 01:06:35 AM
I got my stimulus check, and I was itching to buy some frivilous gadget I clearly wanted but didn't need (or is it that I wanted it but clearly didn't need it?). In spite of some horrifically mixed customer reviews of it everywhere I looked (most people either love it, or say that it crashes, white screens and made them run screaming back to the store to return it), I bought an 8GB Zen at Circuit City after work today.

I'm waiting for it to reach full charge (4 hours) before I start transferring stuff to it, and we'll see if it's as fun, or as atrocious as I've read.  icon_neutral

I already had to jump through a DOS command line hoop (of all things), to get past an installer error for the optional media transfer software. Thank God for this "affiliated" Creative fan site that helps Creative customers avoid their screwy tech support and instead find esoteric solutions for bizarro errors. Like most MMO devs, Creative apparently tests none of their products on real world PCs.  icon_razz

To be fair, they've updated the firmware on this sucker several times since its somewhat erratic launch last year, so I'm hopeful my version has the latest and will be something resembling stable.

I fell for it mainly just cause it's so tiny. And the small (2.5") but really crisp and bright video screen caught my eye when I toyed with it at CC the last couple of days. It has an SD card slot, so you can expand it pretty easy, or pop a card from a camera in it for quick photo viewing.

I also played with a very cool but rather bulky touch-screen player by Samsung. The problem with that one is only 4GB models are in stores it seems, and it has no expansion ability at all. Touchscreens have a Wow factor for sure, but I think if you're plugging a player into your car and want to advance tunes, go back etc., it's always good to have some hardware button or wheel to work with.

Still waiting for it to charge but here's a couple pics for no reason other than to use my camera's macro mode... (no, that's just a "dummy" cover on the screen, hope to give it a whirl later tonight).

It's just the right size for plastic army men, and while they like to call it "credit card sized," it's also "business card sized." I'm not sure if it's ideal if someone has zillions of songs cause you have to click-click-click the square shaped thumb pad to navigate and, well, we'll if my thumbs start hurting soon.  thumbsup

Of course what you really *want* to know is how does an Age of Conan decapitation sequence look on it? I hope to know later tonight.  icon_twisted icon_lol Hopefully it won't whitescreen and go beserk on me. If so though, you'll all get an inside look at my breakdown.  paranoid
10498  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 26 on: June 27, 2008, 12:43:48 AM
Servers you right for reaching that high a level!  icon_twisted icon_lol
10499  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect PC... Impressions? on: June 26, 2008, 09:33:07 PM
I'm going to get this as soon as I can find any sort of discount on it because it'll probably gather moss on my "to play" pile, and then by the time I can play it, the price will have dropped.  smirk

Anyone see anything sales wise yet?
10500  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 26 on: June 26, 2008, 09:28:56 PM
I hope you're doing a "WTF? I quit!" parody.  icon_wink

I re-read this part:
-Kidnapping and Torture: You can no longer interact with the palisades while the NPC is burning.
I'm sure my family would wonder what the heck I was playing if I mentioned that.   
10501  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / AoC Patch Notes June 26 on: June 26, 2008, 06:49:24 PM
Ta Da!
26th of June - Update Notes
Player Character

-The bonus magical damage granted from Mystical Attunement has been doubled for Mages.
-Spells that were incorrectly receiving bonuses from increased magical damage will no longer scale with increased magical damage. This adjustment will only affect such spells that were not meant to have scaling with the increased magical damage bonus. This resolves issues with enhancement spells like "Pact with Set" where the health loss was too high for the trade off for the bonus to damage.

An issue where Barbarians lose strength between the levels of 42 and 45 has been resolved. Please note that this is only between those specific levels.

Infernal Knowledge and Diabolic Insight will no longer appear as hostile spells and will still persist after death.

-The bonus gained from magical damage has been increased on all damage-over-time (DoT) spells.
-Despoil the Soul duration has been substantially increased and is no longer removed on death.
-Frost Blast's area-of-effect (AoE) has been changed to be a 90 degree cone in front of the caster.
-Shatter now additionally works on targets affected by Frost Blast and Ice Shackle.
-Dark Knowledge and Vile Insight will no longer appear as hostile spells and will still persist after death.
-Mark of the Devourer duration has been reduced to 60 seconds.

Raid-level bows and crossbows for Rangers have been corrected to add ranged DPS instead of melee DPS.

-Active blocking has been revamped to bring it back in line with the original design. Active blocking will now correctly display a buff in the debuff GUI to indicate the effect. You will now have an initial stamina cost upon activation and shielding bonus rather than evade chance. Attacks and heals performed while in “Active Blocking” will also have a reduced effect.
-Certain group buffs should no longer keep you in combat when your pets are also in the group.
-Melee pets will now do splash damage.

-Bags that were not able to be equipped can now be equipped again.
-The two-handed edged weapon Earthwrack has now received its visual appearance back.
-Exaltate's Girdle, Exaltate's Armbands, and Hellbreaker Hammer will now appear correctly.
-Javelins have been revamped based on player feedback. The length of all current javelins will now be of decent length. All javelins have also received some adjustments to the throwing and holding animations, as well adjusted so all characters correctly hold the javelin by the shaft.
-Polearms have been revamped based on player feedback. All polearms have been standardized to a new larger size.

-Solo monsters, minibosses and bosses have been adjusted to be more of a challenge than what they had been previously for level 70 and up. The adjustments will not affect grouped and raid monsters in any way as this will only affect solo monsters. The change will ensure that the game is both entertaining and challenging at higher levels.
-All players in a raid dungeon are now hated by the boss while the boss is under attack.
-There should no longer be multiple versions of Aquilus in the Armsmans Tavern.
-Champion of the Honorguard will now use his axe throw ability less frequently.
-The adds for Vistrix and Yakhmars have had their AI revamped.

Massive PvP
Battlekeep owners should now be able to apply to attack other battlekeeps without any problems.

You should now once again be able cast spells while mounted. There will be some limitations on which spells and which type of spells you're able to cast.

Raid playfields should now properly reset correctly.

The Black Castle
This Kopshef Province dungeon has been completely redone. We encourage you to pay it a visit. Overcome the challenging new encounters along side with your companions and reap the rewards. This group instance is aimed for characters in the 30 - 35 level range.

-Kidnapping and Torture: You can no longer interact with the palisades while the NPC is burning. This should help make it clearer when the quest can be completed.
-Ante Up - Giants Approaching: When the timer expires you should be able to interact with the Rock to restart the event.
-Master of Gargoyles: Cha will now thank you for completing the quest.
-Bowls of Set: The quest should now properly display the goal names.
-The Honoured Dead of Cimmeria: This quest has been removed and revamped into 4 smaller quests with new rewards. The new quests are "The Honoured Dead I," "The Honoured Dead II," "The Honoured Dead III," and "The Honoured Dead IV."

-Opening Alchemy Tradeskill book should no longer crash the client.
-All vendor-supplied tradeskill resources have had their max stack size set to 20, with the exception of city-building components from vendors which have the max stack size of 100
-Mages and Priest mobs will now drop an Alchemists Cache randomly, which contains random resources for the level-range where it was found. This will make it possible to obtain the resources that have not been dropping for alchemy. - Item was causing problems, deactivated until next update
-All crafted shields will now have gem slots.

-You may now limit particles to show on (All / Raid Members / Team Members / Self).
-Particle effects and banners for PvP building have been optimized.
-The client should now disconnect from the chat server after camping.
-Cimmerian and male Stygian dancers beware - dancing near the edges of tall cliffs may be fatal to your health.
-Characters will no longer slide when jumping and then moving as you're landing.
10502  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 26, 2008, 01:12:09 PM
The U.S. boards have a dev tracker, but they decided to make it a Tab, that's not really pointed out well on the main board page. It's up top, in the black navigation bar, far right. This is the actual thread...

AoC U.S. Boards dev tracker (have to be logged in to view)

If you like, well, tracking down posts more individually (can gain a lot of insights and "between the lines" information from some of their posts), here are the "view latest posts" links for a few of the dev or community rep types there:

Sharum (designer)

Jayde (system designer)
*Necromancers will want to read some of his recent posts on the adjustments to the class.
Quote from: Jayde, in June 25 post
There's no truth to this at all [a player rumor the # of pets will be reduced]. Necros will continue to be pet-point oriented. Even the Nightfall tree is based around manipulating pets and pet-points, and that is certainly not going to change.

In regard to the stealthing and pet issue. Yes, it will be getting fixed. I actually posted on this about a month ago in regard to it not being intended and to expect for it to be fixed by coders.

In regard to the questions about the Nightfall tree, I can only say that evaluating the state of it without having the changes coming tomorrow and Monday is not going to give an accurate picture of things. If the damage output is still below what is intended, we will continue to increase it as needed.
Quote from: Jayde, also June 25
... as I mentioned before, we are completely reviewing pet control and making an effort to improve the in-combat behavior quite a bit. I'll post updates on this as I get more specific information as to what the scripters feel they are able to do.
Jayde seems to feel a bit under siege about Necromancers at the moment.  smirk

Drauge (raid scripter - never thought I'd see *that* on a business card saywhat)

Tarib (senior community manager)

Famine (community manager)

Waldgeist (German community manager, quite active at the US forums)
Some fun stuff about player submissions for a Conan Metal Song:
10503  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 26, 2008, 01:05:24 PM
I was going to post June 26 notes, but there was some EU patch bug that went astray, so they delayed the U.S. patch a couple of hours, it seems:
(need to be logged in to the US board to view that)
Downtime has been postponed due to a problem that was discovered on the EU servers. We are currently investigating the issue on the EU server before bringing the US servers fully online.
10504  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Teaser? on: June 26, 2008, 05:26:16 AM
I'll gladly eat crow if it's Diablo III (although my painful experience with wrist tendinitis after over-playing Titan Quest's Immortal Throne expansion in Spring 2007 suggests my hack'n'slash clickfest days are now behind me  tear), but I remember all sorts of "sources say this" and "sources indicate that" that were way off the mark about the Starcraft II, WoW expansion, Star Craft: Ghost and WoW-itself announcements. I can't count how many times I read people were convinced of SC or Diablo MMOs, or Blizzard Enters the FPS Fray, etc.

I really don't think Blizzard has the walk-the-plank guts (or would it be stupidity?  icon_wink) to start a new franchise from scratch anymore (long after we're all pushing up daisies, there'll be more WoW expansions, Starcraft 12 and Diablo 9 icon_razz), and the Diablo franchise is wheezing and in need of rescuscitation. Plus, all the players kvetching that Titan Quest, Silverfall, Dungeon Siege, and "insert whatever clickfest hack'n'slash RPG you ever played in the last 7 years here" are "not Diablo II" need something from Blizzard itself that they can then complain "Hey this isn't Diablo II either! Damn you Blizzard!"  smirk

I actually have more affection, and had more addiction for the original Diablo (it *devoured* my life, it nearly ruined me), but so many younger players I encountered while playing D2 never played Diablo at all. When they said "Diablo," it just meant D2 to them. Punks.  mad icon_lol

So all my cynicism aside, D3 makes sense to me.  bowdown
10505  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 26, 2008, 04:58:42 AM
Tordeilbach's Tomb team attempt #2. I think there's 3 quests in there, and I've gotten to complete the medallion thing. The Guards quest I get about two per time before we repeatedly wipe out. If you hear a Giant Sucking Sound, it's that Tomb instance sucking the life and patience out of just about every team that tries it (even the ones with L60s who think it's going to be a breeze at that point).

This time had variety but no Guardian. And yet we had some points where we were pretty effective. Other times we just constantly got the whole caverns on our tails as we fled to our doom.
10506  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blizzard Teaser? on: June 25, 2008, 06:05:34 PM
I had to disappoint you all, but it's actually a Blackthorne game using the Starcraft Ghost engine and Warcraft Adventures "assets," and only running on the hard-to-find Sega Genesis CD unit. Damn Blizzard, going back to niche gaming markets...  saywhat icon_razz

Actually, Blackthorne for PC is the first Blizzard-developed game I ever bought. I find it bizzare you can still buy it on Amazon...
I return to my world, this dark and rotting place, to cleanse it of the evil which nests in the heart of the land and to restore my families rightful reign... As I travel underground caverns and rain-soaked forests my blood boils at the sights I have beheld. Renegade humans killing for food and shelter. Goblin hordes marching across the land and mutant beasts ensalving my people through torture and starvation. They shall know the vegence of Kyle Balckthorne. [nice typos in this description, eh?]
Isn't that just about the plot of nearly every MMO on the market now? smirk
10507  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 25, 2008, 05:59:08 PM
I much preferred the "not serious" patch notes you listed.  icon_lol
10508  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 25, 2008, 05:22:11 PM
Well the guy's gotta practice on SOMEthing!  icon_razz

So I get this e-mail from Funcom:
Are you ready to join the most savage, sexy and brutal MMO ever created?

We know that you have previously expressed an interest in Age of Conan, but we see you have yet to join ranks with the hundreds of thousands of gamers who are now having a great time in Hyboria. It’s time to remedy that, and we urge you to take the bold step into Conan’s world and experience Hyboria for yourself!
"Yet to join the ranks?" Dear Funcom, what the hell is wrong with you people? What do you think I've been playing every night for the last two weeks? Tiddly winks? Conan in a Box?  saywhat icon_lol

And I'm sorry to break it to you, Funcom, but there's more to making a game "sexy" than nipples and crocodile skin loin clothes.
10509  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 25, 2008, 03:16:23 PM
The latest patch notes indicate the single-target Goad should work now. I'm iffy on bothering with it on my conq cause I can't see it worth much solo wise (I doubt it's a strong enough "taunt" to yank a single target from a crowded camp for example). If I knew for sure it would help me pull an enemy off a squishier teammate, then I'd get it. Might even help in situations where you can clearly see another solo player is about to croak or is running for his life, and you just wanna help a bit.
10510  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM
Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
10511  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 25, 2008, 01:32:08 PM
I really love the music in this game. Amazing variety, spine tingling singing on occasion, and it always seem to fit the environments (imho). Really sets the mood. Sometimes when I'm about to complain I have to grind at a certain level, I get lost in the music instead.  icon_cool

If you missed it a while back, a dev post linked to an interview with composer Knut Haugen (sounds like an ice cream flavor, no?  icon_smile):

As a general rule, I think the most important aspect of a piece of Age of Conan music, is that it should not sound too sophisticated or complex. The harmonic progressions, melodies and rhythms should be well defined and easy to grasp. It should sound ancient, primeval and natural. The instruments, scales, harmonic progressions and rhythmic elements in the score have all been carefully selected with this in mind.

The world of Age of Conan is so varied. There are a lot of very different cultures, landscapes and moods in the game and the music has to reflect and underline all these differences. So typical Age of Conan music can be many different things: it can be dark and sinister, alarming and dangerous, sexy and seducing or lush and beautiful. The music varies in style and expression as well as in scope. You will find everything from simple folk music pieces to large orchestral works.

I'm kind of reminded that when the first, well-received trailer for Gladiator came out in 2000, they actually lifted music (with permission) from the "Conan The Barbarian" movie. A lot of people were disappointed when a later trailer came out without the Conan music (the "real" music was fine, even got Oscar nominated, but it was more subtle and not quite as "lets get excited!" as the Conan music). It actually seemed less exciting, which just goes to show how much difference music can make.
10512  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 25, 2008, 01:20:25 PM
I was telling a 52 Guardian about my woes facing L60 mammoths and he was all, "Oh i can solo all of those." icon_rolleyes He might as well scream, "NERF my AT! It's too good!"  icon_razz

After trying again, I think what I found is my now 55 Conq can handle L60 mammoths but he can't outlast a 61 (I tried a couple times). It's tricky sometimes knowing what the doable level spread is in this. My problem at 55 is I've dried up the quests near my level, and the 60ish ones I have left I really need help on (sometimes you can get help, other times not).

In most games you can simply tell by the mob name color, but here often things several levels below you still give decent exp., and things that seem like they would be too far above you, you can tackle, but the different classes vary a lot in that regard. Not really a complaint, just an observation.  icon_neutral

Although I think in retrospect I would've preferred a Guardian (I love the various shield designs), Conqs so far seem the least-rolled character so I guess I at least enjoy feeling a bit unique. The guild I'm in is pretty big now, and I think we only have maybe 3 Conqs in the group, and Blackjackian's by far the highest level (fwiw, which isn't much  smirk).
10513  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 25, 2008, 01:10:54 PM
Here's a basic, brief video of a horseback ride in the mountains. Sorry about the "Blair Witch Project" camera work, I just like to see how it looks from different angles.  icon_razz

Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-horse-riding-in-snow

I guess technically spacebar is a front-kick attack key for the horse if you have a target; a jump key if you're moving; and if your mount is stopped, and don't have a target, then it's more of a "high ho Silver!" key.  icon_cool
10514  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 25, 2008, 03:57:46 AM
So when I'm battling giant mammoths, how the devil do I see their health meter????  icon_confused  mad Actually I guess there's the "target" meter on the lower right of the HUD, guess I'm more used to using the one *on* the target.  smirk

10515  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 24, 2008, 05:10:04 PM
I'd let people summon their whole pet bunch with one click (maybe make it a feat if that seems like something you should sort of "pay for"), ala CoX's pet class ATs. Or at least if you want several of the same pet type. I'd think something like that is in the works if enough people find it needed.

I've always though pet class stuff in MMOs and hack'n'slashes were cool but a lot of the time they are either overpowered (Diablo II's Necromancer at launch), or underpowered (Diablo II's Necromancer after "balancing"). I can apply that to CoH's Controllers being overpowered (at launch) and to some people's minds underpowered (after balancing reduced the # of pets from, if I remember, 8 weaker pets to 3 stronger ones).

Pet classes seem terribly difficult to balance because everyone plays and uses them differently. I don't know how they judge the feedback. Maybe they say if half the players say it's overpowered, and the other half say it's underpowered, then they've reached their Median Goal.  icon_neutral
10516  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 24, 2008, 05:01:28 PM
I think architects will be able to attack enemies with pointy pencil compasses, protractors and slide rules.  Tongue
10517  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 24, 2008, 03:14:27 PM
* Yes, if you didn't get the pre-order perks, you do have to spend 1G for the basic riding skill, and then 2G for a horse. Once you get the mount, a little "horsie" icon appears in your inventory. You can drag that to any hotbar slot for quick access. You can have the mount sprint, and it uses stamina just as if you're running.

I'll try to post a couple gameplay movies tonight so you can see how relatively speedy the horses are now. Definitely made it a lot more pleasant to dash through large zones like Connal's Valley and Field of Dead, albeit I've outleveled almost anything I'd want to do there. They seem a reasonable speed to me now - fast enough to get you where you want to go, slow enough that you can enjoy the scenery and such.

It's not perfect though. The "knocked off horse" animations seem messed up and sometimes flickering to me, and sometimes the ground textures would just vanish and I'd get knocked onto what seemed to be a transparent platform.  icon_confused

Some of the instances take hours to play so I'd just as soon my group not have to waste a lot of time just gathering at the entrance, or having to walk a mile from rez platforms outside the instance (most instances have a rez stone inside, but some don't).
10518  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: June 24, 2008, 01:13:56 PM
Here's a new dev post yesterday about changes in the works for tradeskills:
Now I'll detail what we plan on doing with Tradeskills and Resource and Building. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you a timeframe for the fixes and changes below, but we hope to get them done very soon. "Very soon" in this case means expect a few of the changes below to come in as early as thursday. Most of these changes we aim to have ready within a few weeks.

    * We will soon have a system where you can unlearn tradeskills.

    * We have added an item called "Alchemists Cache" to Mage/priest mobs. This item, when right-clicked, spawns a few random tradeskill resources for alchemists. These resources will include the 'missing' resources (for example Hyena meat and Icy Crocodile tears) so that alchemists are able to progress further than Tier1.
    * As soon as possible we will patch out a new Resource and Building population consisting of spiders, hyenas, etc, that will drop the resource "proper". These mobs will be put into Lacheish Plains, Poitain and Purple Lotus Swamp. These mobs will have a typical droprate of between 10-50% droprate of these items.
    * At a later stage (still to be determined), we are patching in vendor-bought recipes - these vendor-bought recipes will increase your magic damage. We are also looking into creating various other potions, but thats more hush-hush.

    * Architects are undergoing a design-revamp - what exactly is included in this revamp I won't say, but it will allow architects to use their abilities for combat purposes as well as for building the cities.

    * Weaponsmiths will get a number of blue recipes in the future. These recipes can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will be spread throughout the tiers of weaponsmithing and will cover all different weapons (but not ammo).

    * As with Weaponsmiths, Armorsmiths will get a number of blue recipes that can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will provide a more diverse look than what the game currently offers and at level 80, it will be possible to craft an entire set of armor (provided of course that you find the recipes for them).

Resource and Building Regions
    * Traders and Trainers will spawn in the guild-cities. These traders and trainers will spawn depending on what building is built (for instance, a Trader will spawn at the Tradepost).
    * City-life will start appearing in cities. The more buildings you build, the more NPC's will immigrate to your city.
    * We are removing the randomly spawning mobs from the playfields. Instead, we are creating encampments that will dynamically spawn content on the attackers level.
    * Quests - we are adding quests to the Resource and Building regions (Lacheish Plains, Poitain, Purple Lotus Swamp). These quests will not be repeatable.

Various other fixes are also being looked at, amongst others the socketing-bugs and the droprate of leather.

Also, the new update introduced a nasty Alchemist crafting bug (the dangers of removing something the game expects to be there):
I am also writing this in order to explain what has happened to the alchemy crash since todays patch.

Let me start with the bad stuff first.

First off - if you are an Alchemist, opening the tradeskill book by any means will crash your client since last patch. This will be fixed with thursdays patch.

This happened when we were re-arranging some of the potions for tradeskills - If you are an alchemist I'm sure you remember some of the potions would not do anything when created. These potions have been removed from the inventory and will make it back into the game at a later stage. Removing these had an unexpected effect and was unfortunately overlooked by us when patching out the latest patch. We are sorry about this.

Let me assure you - if you are getting the crash, you are not bugged. The recipe book is simply trying to find objects that are no longer available and we have programmers looking into a safeguard for the future so that this type of thing does not happen again.
10519  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 24, 2008, 01:10:05 PM
I finally got a horse mount last night (a guildmate helped me reach the 2G point), see our "Art" screenshots thread.  icon_cool

The horse is very sprightly (-post that recent update that buffed mount speeds), and a lot of fun to ride. I found it easiest to steer with mouse look (hold RMB down and swivel a bit), and move with the run toggle key. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but I enjoyed just riding around earlier zones and taking in the scenery. I find it a bit clumsy to maneuver in close quarters, or make subtle movements, but it seems to be by design.

Spacebar gets the horse to rear up on its hind legs and give a hearty "neigh." As they'd said, mounted combat is pretty limited. The horse can do some fairly nasty front-kicking for damage, and you can use your basic directional attacks, though it's a little tricky staying in the right position to do so.

I really think that PC Gamer totem item that lets you port back to your home region (once you get out of Tortage and start playing from your Home area) should be a standard item for everyone at some point. Maybe hold it back to 30 or 40 or something as a "carrot," but I've found it enormously useful and a great timesaver even if it is limited to roughly once-every-24-hours use.

There's a "Summon to Instance" function that I'd agree should just be turned into some sort of "group gathering" skill (as is, it seems to just let you pull people to your "number" of an area if the game generated another instance due to excessive # of players). It would be a great timesaver when putting instance teams together.

10520  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 24, 2008, 12:50:48 PM
Some of the supposed nerfing falls under the "Nuke" section:
Nuke Balance Adjustments

    * All damage spells have been rebalanced to take into account your having all 8 pet points at level 20. This leads to better scaling of your damage spells, and reinforces that you are a pet class reliant on pets for a significant amount of damage.
    * Archmage pets incorrectly did not have the area-of-effect damage coefficient applied. Their damage has been corrected to take into account their nukes are AOE nukes.
    * Increased the damage of Necrotic Pustule, Gelid Bones, and Chill.
    * Significantly increased the explosion damage of Necrotic Bomb.
    * Chill has received splash damage (50% damage to 1 target), and splash damage from Ice Strike has received a increase in splash damage from 15% to 30%.
    * Lifestrike Rank 4 will correctly have the damage-over-time effect.
    * Parasitic Soul Swarm and Unholy Hands will now take pet damage contribution into account and should be in line with damage as it was originally intended.
From what I saw last night, the Necro pets are running around like the Road Runner now, and seem to be more smoothly animated (doesn't look like a lot of mannequins doing Charlie Chaplin-shuffles.  icon_razz And they still seem to be a holy terror.

Although the "reach the cave" part of the Cannibal Commotion quest has been fixed, you need to delete the quest if you already had it, and then get it again from the NPC at the Mountain top camp (in the little circular shack). And then it should complete when you reach that cave again.

I can give you a tip for what comes after that but it's a spoiler...
Spoiler for Hiden:
I think the next quest after the cave completion (or maybe the 2nd one after) triggers a nasty series [I think it's just two waves] of "wave attacks" on the cave, Cannibals per wave. If another player is triggering the quest too, you'll get quickly swamped. You *will* get quest credit even if other players squash the wave for you, so you may even want to ask for a hand if other players are in the cave.  icon_smile

I'm not sure I'm crazy about the new spawn/mob densities, speed out around there though. If there aren't other players around you farming, you can easily get overwhelmed now, or have to charge through an army on your way to somewhere else.

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