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10521  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 31, 2008, 05:51:56 PM
Here's a glimpse of a horse mount.  icon_cool Excellent horse sounds, fwiw, with a very distinct cloppity-clop.  icon_smile
10522  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 31, 2008, 07:55:27 AM
I finally (just haven't had the time/energy to play last couple of days much) reached 30 in the wee hours. So I switched to mostly ring armor, and upgraded various swords (there's a nasty 2-hand Falcata available at that point).

But as cool as the ring armor is, it's just hard to look macho in a skirt (although Russel Crowe pulled it off in Gladiator, and Mel Gibson in Braveheart, technically speaking). I just hope Blackjackian's wearing underwear.  eek icon_razz

10523  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 30, 2008, 10:28:07 PM
I'm still focusing on my Thog character (I'd like to see how the 30-40 Destiny stuff is, I'm just about 28), but I'm definitely doing subsequent ones on Derketo and I'll see about joining up if I pass mustard.  icon_cool
10524  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - technical threat on: May 29, 2008, 12:16:23 PM
What's worked for me is tweaking the Advanced settings and fiddling with a few different settings and sliders (I do turn off shadows altogether).\

My frame rate's consistent if not spectacular (20s-30s mostly).
10525  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 29, 2008, 12:12:12 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on May 28, 2008, 10:19:15 PM

Looks like my webserver host is down.

Anyone know of a place I can store a few files about 10mb each?

Got some vids to share.
I know you mean hosting the actual file. I had used a video sharing site called, but like practically every other streaming video hosting site they switched to a convert-to-Flash format that tends to blur videos no matter what size you make them.
10526  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: May 28, 2008, 08:44:04 PM
While I'm obviously in AoC's corner for now, they're testing a new "squad merge" feature for TR that sounds so "duh, why didn't someone think of that?", it's a wonder why every MMO doesn't have it:
...we decided that the first step in creating a looking for squad system was to introduce the concept of merging squads. What we’ve done in D9 is add new functionality to merge squads. To do this we’ve modified /invite and added a new concept of /join. The difference between the two is best summarized with an example.

Let’s say that Bob and Susie want to play together. They can either be by themselves or in a squad. As long as the size of Bob’s squad + Susie’s squad is less than 7, the following will happen:

Bob does a /invite to Susie
-Bob is inviting Susie and her squad to join his squad.
-Susie will be presented with an invite to join Bob’s squad.
-If Susie accepts, Susie’s squad will be disbanded, and she (and her squad) will automatically join Bob’s squad.
Bob will be the leader of the new squad which is made up of his squad mates in addition to Susie and her squad mates.

Bob does a /join to Susie
-Bob is asking Susie if he can join her squad.
-Susie will be presented with a request for Bob to join her squad.
-If Susie accepts, Bob’s squad will be disbanded, and he (and his squad) will automatically join Susie’s squad.
Susie will be the leader of the new squad which is made up of her squad mates in addition to Bob and his squad mates.
I've run into this situation in AoC a couple of times, but I've run into it in every MMO I can think of as well. Could be a real timesaver once people get used to the idea.
10527  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Age of Conan Name and Server List on: May 28, 2008, 06:07:39 PM
There seem to be a zillion of us playing, but hadn't seen any name/server list per se.
For now I just have:

Blackjackian (Conquerer), Level 59 (as of June 30)
Server: Thog (standard PvE)

Georgeous (Herald of Xotli), Level 5 (as of June 2)
Server: Derketo

Gorgonian (Guardian), Level 6 (as of June 15)
Server: Derketo
10528  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 28, 2008, 01:00:50 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on May 28, 2008, 12:27:41 PM

I'm keeping up with this thread with keen interest.  I'm forming my impressions on your posts.  Here's what I've surmised from this thread...please corect me if I'm wrong.

From an outsiders' perspective, it sounds like AoC is pretty buggy on release - some of the issues described go beyond the general server downtime that I experienced as WoW went live.  LOTRO went off without a hitch, setting the standard for a smooth launch.  However, it sounds far more stable than some others like Vanguard, AO and The Matrix.

From a gameplay perspective, it sounds like the combat system is the thing.  If you love the system and think it brings more skill into play, you like the game.  If you think combat is "just ok", then AoC doesn't have much else to offer. 
Good, but sort of oversimplification. Honestly, I've encountered no bugs that have really impacted my gameplay experience (I was warned about a hitch in the Destiny "finale," but it worked fine). No disconnects, crashes (except when exiting, since fixed), or game-breakers - that's just me, but most in the guild I'm in don't have major problems either.

You'll find plenty who had a different experience, but I saw plenty of complaints on forums during the LOTORO and CoH launches (I played both from launch day one, and I think they were about the smoothest MMO launches you could ask for, but I don't think either had the number of players WoW had at launch, or AoC). At the least, they are doing regular updates and not waiting for a "compilation" of fixes. I think most would say every MMO ever released should've stayed in beta longer. It's a moot point now - I just want to see them keep rolling out these updates regularly.

My pros:
-sure the combat system, including fatalities and the occasional flying heads
-the ability to climb (it adds more to the game than it sounds like it would on paper)
-the Destiny quests remind me a bit of the storyline/character quests in LOTORO
-the sheer volume of PVE quests (maybe it's diff in the 30s but in the 20s I never come close to running out of things to do).

Without spoiling anything, the areas beyond Tortage are massive and sprawling. Visually, that's cool, but I do sometimes miss the feeling Tortage had of everything being in pretty reasonable walking distance, and the feeling that all sorts of things were going on below and around you.

Also, the NPC voices disappear beyond Tortage (I don't know if it was running out of time, money or space on the 2 DVDs), and I really think it sort of hurts the immersiveness not to have those quest-givers talking to you. I hope they find some way to add voices to the post 20-areas, even if it's downloadable add-ons.
10529  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AOC loot question on: May 28, 2008, 12:39:02 PM
For me, the Destiny quests (1-20) gave some solid reward items that remained better than what I could find or buy for some time. My level 26 char is still using some Level 5 and 10 rare type reward items (Destiny quest rewards) because the modifiers are better than what's available later.

I think the danger of giving some mega items for a particular mob or boss in the regular (non-instanced) MMO portion of the game is that people inevitably will just camp the boss forever in hopes of getting something (or more copies of something). I really think it hurts MMO immersion when you have so many people (or multiple teams) just sitting bored in the grass waiting for something to show up. I'm mostly fond of the game but I wish it had just a little more mini-instancing to avoid this. I'm pretty well sick of camping and farming in MMOs (though I don't see it as the players' fault -- to me farming usually just indicates someone's so bored with the game, that trawling through the same instance/mission/quest over and over is more interesting than continuing to move forward in the game/storyline).

I'm hoping after the game's been out for a while, there'll be more diversity in player levels and we won't be bunching up like bananas on certain quest locations.
10530  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 28, 2008, 03:49:56 AM
I have a hard time catching fatality screenshots (the animation's so fast), but here's a couple:
10531  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: May 28, 2008, 12:28:14 AM
fwiw, I get a reasonable but unspectacular frame rate (about 25-30 fps according to the in-game FPS indicator thingie on the lower left hotkey tray) with a so-so 8600GT card. I do skip the shadows (other than a Thief: The Dark Project game, I just don't find shadows add much of anything to any game I've played) and use only modest antialiasing (2-4AA). I think the game looks great. I really don't fixate on FPS numbers as much as FPS consistency and it's been pretty consistent for me (knock on wood).

I agree it's silly for shadows to still be such performance-knocker. If the GPU companies want to get hot and bothered about multiple processor cards, why not just create a separate chip that handles nothing but shadows?
10532  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 27, 2008, 06:35:05 PM
I guess it's cause I got a modest new PC a while back but the game (aside from that crashing on exit that seems to have been fixed today) has run like a charm all weekend on a fairly busy server. I've not had a lockup, disconnect, drop or even any real lag problems to think of. That's of no help to people who are having problems, I know (maybe I'm just lucky); I just don't want the world to think the game is some sort of mess for everybody, as that seems to be far from the case. I'm speaking from the PvE side of things, fwiw.

I have run into glitches, and a couple places where I had to use the /stuck command, but I've had to do that in MMOs that were out for months and years too. I've played Hellgate and TR, and know people who played Vanguard, and I just wouldn't come close to lumping AoC into that heap at this point. Yeah yeah I'm a fanboy. But nothing I've encountered matches the game stopping crappiness and buginess of Hellgate at launch. Or even after launch.  icon_razz
10533  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch - May 27th Edition on: May 27, 2008, 04:46:04 PM
Yeah guild chat (a certain blinding shade of purple) was making my eyes go ga-ga.

I'd like some way to disable the "default chat tab" feature. I tend to bop between different tabs, but this "default" feature means your chat window abruptly shifts to the one you set as default (it's just a hassle to keep setting a tab to default to keep your cusor there) -- I'd rather just be able to bop between variouis tabs and keep my chatting cursor active in the one that I've switched to (if someone knows a way to disable that feature please let me know).
10534  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 27, 2008, 01:02:08 PM
I'm at 25 and still crazy about the game, and I'm glad the areas past Tortage are vast, with no shortage of things to do (if anything, the quest list gets so glutted, it can almost be too intimidating to work through it). Just be sure to ask around where the rez stones/platforms are or else you might end up with some insane amounts of backtracking to do.  icon_razz

The Mirage UI's dandy, but I definitely hope Funcom adds some more onscreen hotkey tray options.

The best quote I've seen in game was someone from my guild complaining, "Why does this game have to be so damn awesome?"  icon_lol
10535  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 26, 2008, 01:22:24 PM
So far the only techie problem I'm having (my blabbed about HP quad core 6700, 8600GT card, Vista Ultimate 64-bit, 4GB RAM) is the game crashing every time I exit/log out. The guild I'm in says about 90% of players have that problem (which is really more of a post-game annoyance than anything game-affecting). Maybe the update going in this morning will do something about it. Of course the horrors of PC flexibility is someone with the exact same system might be having problems.  icon_confused

I did have a situation where textures wouldn't "load" fully until I was on top of something. I found that moving the slider that affects "quality view distance" in-game seemed to mostly remedy that, fwiw.

Couple more screenies, since servers are down 4 hours for an update this morning. I think still a couple more hours to go.  crybaby

Teamed with another melee type who knocked someone into next week.

Yetis are a pretty fun beastie to battle. I rarely can catch the "Batter" skill in action (you sort of grab your blade with your left hand and then sweep it across targets, knocking 'em back -- it can be a real lifesaver).
10536  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: May 26, 2008, 12:48:03 PM

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on May 25, 2008, 11:40:10 PM

Any tips on how to best work the keyboard/mouse in combat?

I've tried moving with my left hand on the keyboard and clicking on the hotkey bars with my right hand on the trackball, but something doesn't feel right. I've also tried both hands on the keyboard for combat, but then I can't swivel and look around.
If you're like me, when you try to use your left hand for both the 1-3 keys and your various skills, you're probably having trouble hitting the 1-3 keys in the right order.

Late yesterday I just started taking my right hand off the mouse long enough to hit my 6-zero combo hotkeys, and that way my left hand doesn't stray too far from the 1-3 keys (I assign 4 and 5 to non-combo skills) and I started hitting combos and multi-key combos more accurately. Far from ideal though still. Dammit, we all need a third hand for this game basically.  icon_razz

Also, don't forget you can assign skills to the left set of on-screen hotkeys too (where you put potions etc.). I only realized that by accident.

In CoX I like to assign hotkeys to various keys near the movement keys. Some of these are already taken by important keys in this, but for my Conquerer, I assigned his Charge skill to "z" and a combo key to "v," which helps me a bit.

I was checking the AoC manual just now (they took servers down 4 hours to get an update up, wah), and it doesn't look like the F1 (for "select self") and F2-F6 (select team members) are all that critical (well, healers who team a lot might use it a lot) so I might look into using those keys for skills, abilities or combos.

You may want to try the Mirage UI mod (mentioned in the screenshots thread here in passing):

That lets you have three full rows of hotkeys on screen (which is the format I used in LOTORO, but you didn't need a mod/tweak there to have that there), and also revamps (without altering original files) the "party panel" to be more useful, among other things. I already love AoC but they really should've made the hotkey trays more flexible. You can't flood people with this many abilities/skills/stuff and think one visible hotkey tray and one 6-slot quick tray is going to suffice for most people. icon_confused
10537  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: May 26, 2008, 12:31:22 PM
I've only played Conquerer, to level 24 (in two days). Lot of fun. It can use a crossbow, which I plum forgot about (helpful for pulling I imagine, but I tend to just pull my inching towards things).

I want to liken it maybe to LOTORO's champion, but that's probably oversimplifying.

Here's my admittedly non-expert take on strengths, weaknesses:

-Serious butt-kicking melee damage, including some fun knockback types.
-Lots of specialized skills and feats to make either 2-hand weapons or dual single hand weapons more effective.
-Auras, buffs that can rev up damage and accuracy; and later on very short-lived group buffs (only last about 20 secs tho)

-Can't use shields at all
-Can wear heavy armor, but only Guardians can wear "full plate"
-I may just have relatively wimpy armor, but I can't stay in a huge fracas as long as a Guardian can. Blackjackian dies a lot, but I'm gradually learning when to run, and what groups I can handle.
10538  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 26, 2008, 02:42:04 AM
I gotta take a break, this has really consumed me today. I really have had a helluva lot more fun with this than my beta experience suggested I would. That's almost becoming par for the course for me.  icon_razz

Last clump of screenies.

If you get some AI buddies beside you, it's a lot of fun (melee) to wade right into the thick of things...

I don't think I was able to "win" this but I had a lot of fun.  icon_biggrin

And a couple of scenery shots. I mean, every MMO has great scenery these days but I guess it's a tradition to share shots like this.  icon_smile

10539  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 26, 2008, 02:28:19 AM
I finally saw a couple players (level 40s) racing by on their mounts. I had a hard time getting screenshots (they may be slower than horses, but they're fast). Here's a couple of glimpses...



You don't take damage from just accidentally running into 'em or anything (least not in pve). It's still a bit jarring to see them for the first time.  icon_cool
10540  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 25, 2008, 06:13:21 PM
Dealing with clumps is something I'm still sort of struggling a bit with in the upper teens. I mean, I'll think I can handle a clump of say, 14-15s, but it's not always that easy (I remain clumsy with the multi-directional-key combos). Conquerer has some cool upper teen skills though (one knocks back everyone near you doing good damage, and another lets you charge at a distance and deliver a good whollop at the end). I would've thought the combat stuff would get repetitive, but at least in melee there's so much variety and so far it's like a good hack-n-slash in that I don't get tired of doing the combat.  icon_smile
10541  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Server Poll on: May 25, 2008, 01:25:59 PM
Thought maybe we could use this thread now to list our characters/servers, if that doesn't seem too lame an idea.  icon_razz

For now I just have:

Blackjackian (Conquerer), Level 18
Server: Thog (standard PvE)

Latched onto a guild (the "Looking for a Guild" function is really nice, you can put a little note about what sort of guild you'd like to join, and I got a couple of invites during the day), called "Dark Tower of Hyborina." Click the little "stick figure heads" icon in the upper right to access the various social things.

10542  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 25, 2008, 01:15:08 PM
I should've added, it doesn't even have to be a ladder, per se.  icon_smile

I love that the Conqueror has a lot of "two hand weapon-specific" combos and skills. Most MMOs and Hack'n'Slashes just steer you away from them but I love using them in this.  icon_cool Learned a defensive stance at 18 that makes it less painful to use (and you can use buffs to make up for its damage-loss).

Some pics I likey...

I have to admit, it took me almost all day to realize that I should've been hitting attack-direction keys matching that tiny pop-up bar shown here (to get the combo to trigger). I guess it's impressive (ridiculous?) I got 17 levels before realizing that.  icon_redface smirk

Thank you, EngineNo9, for mentioning combos resulting in more decaps in this thread cause that's what made me finally realize I wasn't taking advantage of combos properly.  icon_smile Doh...
10543  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: May 25, 2008, 01:03:58 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on May 22, 2008, 06:19:26 AM

The cape was a gift for being a newsletter subscriber
I applied the code OK, but "/claim" command doesn't add anything to my character's inventory in the game. So I'm stumped on that one, unless maybe it's not available until you hit 20 and leave Tortugar.  icon_confused
10544  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 25, 2008, 02:57:25 AM
I've mostly gotten to 16 today just banging keys almost at random, so figuring out combos is next on my agenda.  icon_mrgreen

I didn't think climbing would amount to much, but I really enjoy it when it comes into play on quests, or gives you different ways to get through areas. And it just feels sort of refreshing for an MMO. And they've put in all kinds of different ladders (rock cliff ladders, slat ladders, rung ladders etc.). I wonder if ladders have their own design staff.  icon_razz

10545  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 24, 2008, 05:55:25 PM
I spent about 4-5 hours on one character this morning and had a pretty good time. I never disconnected, and had no lag problems, seems like a pretty polished launch (albeit your mileage may vary).

-I liked the combat system in beta; in retail it feels (could be my imagination) like they tweaked it a bit and it just feels a little more solid and tighter than it did in beta. The blood spray may feel excessive, but I find it really does help me confirm if my hits are landing (or their hits are landing on me).
-Plenty of quests. Granted I'm only L9, but there's no shortage of things to do even if there isn't much so far in the way of anything imaginative quest-wise. The hunt/fetch type quests I've encountered to this point never veer into Dungeon Runners numbers-grinding (the largest I've seen so far was getting 15 of something but it wasn't too much of a grind).

-There's a fairly powerful "searching for groups" feature but I think many don't even know it's there (it's one of the icons up in the upper left). There's no LFT/LFG channel, and while I have a couple of Ruins quests I'd love to team with someone on, there seems little interest to this point. Hopefully that'll sort out over time.
-You do inevitably find yourself stumbling into other people who are working on the same hunt or quest. I have to hope things spread out more after Level 20, but we'll see.

Well I gotta hop back in and rush towards 20. icon_cool
10546  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 24, 2008, 05:44:29 PM
Well, maybe a few closeups are in order still.  icon_smile

Blackjackian early:

Blackjackian a bit later (about Level 8-9):

A memorably meanie enemy...

Just a guard, character models look really good

And a lot more geysers of blood than I recall in beta (though decapitations for me are still quite rare, seen maybe 2 today)
10547  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: May 24, 2008, 05:17:16 PM
I've started to use Picasa's collage feature as a quicker way to share a few screenies. I put in about 4-5 hours this morning, and had a fairly good time with the game...
10548  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Glad I didn't buy AoC on: May 24, 2008, 12:06:37 PM
Did buy. Am such a hypocrite.  icon_razz
10549  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 24, 2008, 12:02:19 PM
For the curious, but not convinced, the game box does include one 7-day guest pass. I don't know if that will get you far enough into the game to convince ye (and the client download size is brutal -- pretty scary to require *2* DVDs).

Anyway, I lied about not playing, and am installing as I post here.  icon_smile I still have this dream that games will someday come on USB key drives (maybe when a USB 3.0 comes out) that you can just plug in and start playing from. My DVD drive is installing OK but it's taking forever.

I haven't read any Conan stuff so I'm not really one to judge. But my beta experience included battling crocodiles (alligators?) and apes, which certainly didn't feel like "average RPG fare" to me.  icon_smile I think we'll all have a better feel for that as we progress.

I never read Tolkien (I loved the movies), but I did during my LOTORO stint love how steeped that game was in the lore and story.
10550  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 24, 2008, 02:20:38 AM
10551  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy IV: Who's in for Midnight??? on: May 23, 2008, 09:42:59 PM
I caught a 7:45 p.m. Thursday show after work ($12!!!), and had a good time. Theater was packed but not quite sold out.

Just about every Indy movie has an "Oh give me a break" scene (re the mining cart jump across the train track gap in Temple of Doom), and I'd say a couple scenes like that, and the occasional disjointedness of the storyline were the only things that bothered me. And it's a shame they didn't invite Sallah (John Rhys-Davies, aka Gimli) back at least for a cameo.

Ford was once my favorite actor, but afik he hasn't been anything that would qualify as a hit since What Lies Beneath (2000), and hasn't really done an action movie that was a big hit since Air Force One (1997). He's in great fighting form, and he looks like he's genuinely having fun (so many of his movies the last 10 years or so have made it look like he found acting to have become a laborious job). He's in great shape for 65, and Karen Allen for 53 (and as someone who disdained the Hollywood plastic surgery habit no less).

I still found Iron Man a bit more uniformly entertaining and satisfying summer movie (even if you hate Robert Downey, don't read comics, don't like Iron Man etc., I've not seen a movie where more skeptics came out loving it), but I certainly loved seeing Indy, Marion and company, and I hope to see it a couple more times on the big screen.  icon_smile And Paramount? They don't care, they released *both* those movies so they're going to be laughing all the way to the bank for quite some time.  icon_cool

I think "ranking" it against the other Indy movies is a bit pointless, but I would say it compares well aside the other sequels. I loved Temple of Doom at the time I saw it in 1984 (age 19) but it hasn't really aged well in my memory. Raiders had the advantage of feeling 100% fresh at the time (even if it was inspired by 1930s serials) and having a great, non-action screenwriter's screenplay (Lawrence Kasdan), and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director even (losing out to Chariots of Fire).

What I really miss about 1981 sometimes (my older brother and I caught Raiders at a theater in Hawaii during a stopover, and we knew nothing about the movie going in) is that the entertainment news media was a lot less suffocating then. I think there was more room to get surprised by a movie, or to feel like you discovered a movie - even a big budget Lucas-Spielberg special. It's tough to do that now unless you're a total Luddite, or you are able to avoid TV and the Web altogether.  icon_neutral
10552  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 23, 2008, 09:20:52 PM

Quote from: Debris on May 23, 2008, 06:07:21 PM

Quests are the typical fare.  Get this, kill that, talk to that person, etc.  People always complain about these types of quests, but really, what's the alternative?
I don't have a problem with "the same old quests" if the game devs don't continually promise that they're doing more interesting and creative quests and have hired professional writers to ensure that (as Funcom seemed to say repeatedly).

As far as the alternative, as much as I've bashed Tabula Rasa in some ways, I think TR had -- in places -- some of the most refreshing quests I've seen in MMOs. There just weren't enough of them for my tastes, or enough variety in zones (so that you could maybe have a little different questing/missions experience while going from Level 10-20 with one character, vs. your last character). And some things that could've been thought provoking (kill this hostage, or save him) were rendered pointless because there was no reputation system to speak of.

But you really (imho) *can* give players more interesting things to do than kill 25-100 things, fetch this and bring it back, go kill the Foozle, bring me the potion components, bring me X this Y that and Z that so I can make you some underwear, Escort Idiot NPC from Point A to Point B, etc. It takes time, work and manpower (not to mention imagination) though, and in the end I can understand why most companies would rather just fling the same old quest crap at us, tell us "the PVP and massive raids that take a half day are where the game's more interesting," wave off any questions about making single player questing more interesting, and leave it at that.
10553  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 23, 2008, 05:24:00 PM
I've never found one that I thought I'd use consistently but it is something to consider.

I guess in MMOs I just don't feel comfy using number keys beyond about 5 or 6 (just don't like reaching over for the 7-0 keys in combat). In CoX I tend to cluster my hotkeys around the A,W,S,D keys (I'll use keys like X, V, F, for often-used attacks I can't fit on keys elewhere; and sometimes even T and G for stuff like trip mines and grenades and turrets). I know everyone has their own preferences and some folks love using the numeric keypad but I don't use it for much.
10554  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 23, 2008, 04:58:46 PM
Thanks guys. Well, I'll see if I can snare a copy, 3 day weekend and all.  icon_smile

I had enjoyed the combat, I just kinda didn't like losing my 1-3 hotkeys to the directional attacks; and the various letter keys I liked to bind in COH/COV seemed to already be assigned to necessary functions in AoC. Hopefully I can figure some way around that.
10555  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: May 23, 2008, 01:15:24 PM
There's a reactivation weekend this weekend:
Just in time to try out all the new features included in Issue 12: Midnight Hour, it’s a free Reactivation Weekend! From Thursday, May 22nd starting at 11 AM Pacific (1 PM Eastern) and continuing through Sunday, May 25th at 8:59 PM Pacific (11:59 PM Eastern) all inactive accounts in good standing have free access to City of Heroes and/or City of Villains!

Tell your friends and bring them back to Paragon City or the Rogue Isles!

Have a great "City of" weekend!
10556  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 23, 2008, 01:10:24 PM
For an impressions thread, this thread sure is short on actual impressions.  icon_razz Could somebody throw in something enlightening along the lines of "I'm enjoying it because blah blah," "the single player quests are/aren't living up to the hype," (I couldn't really gather from my brief Fileplanet beta experience) or "It's as much fun as peeling off wallpaper in my bathroom." Thanks - it would help those of us on the fence.  icon_smile

I have a little 10% off Best Buy coupon so I might pick it up and throw it in the moss-gathering pile with Pirates of the Burning Sea.

I remain on the bubble, but I'm not really seeing any big sales on it so I might use my coupon while I have the chance.
10557  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Boeing Firing High-Energy Tactical Laser... on: May 22, 2008, 03:54:24 PM
Boeing Begins Firing High-Energy Laser Aboard Advanced Tactical Laser Aircraft
After conducting a series of additional laser tests on the ground and in the air, the program will fire the chemical laser in-flight at mission-representative ground targets. The test team will fire the laser through a rotating turret that extends through the aircraft’s belly.

"Later this year, we will fire the laser in-flight at ground targets, demonstrating the military utility of this transformational directed energy weapon" Fancher said.

ATL, which Boeing is developing for the U.S. Department of Defense, will destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage, supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations.
This reminds me of a Wash. Post column I read a while back that was noting that the most sea-changing new developments or technologies tend to get buried in otherwise forgettable press releases that nobody pays attention to (including the Internet, World Wide Web, e-mail, Wi-Fi, etc. etc.).

Of course, the scary thing about inventing stuff like this is that usually the wrong people want the same technology. While it would be nice to make collateral damage a thing of the pass, I don't know how you defend against this thing (mirrors?) if it becomes more common and becomes a technology other countries possess.

P.S. I searched for Boeing, Lasers, and "holy crap!" with the forum search function, so if there's already a thread on this, tough.  icon_razz
10558  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: May 22, 2008, 02:33:40 AM
I would advise people not to worry about all the threads at official forums complaining about update 12 being a premature release, because most of the threads were created by people complaining they were taking too long to release it.  icon_razz And, it's a hollowed MMO tradition...

"We want the update!"
"We're testing it!"
"Wah! I wanna play!"
"We're still testing it!"
"Wah! I hate you! I'm gonna play the MMO Du Jour instead!"
"We're releasing it!"
"Yay! Uh. Why is it so buggy? What have you done to my game?"
"Uh. We'll fix it next update!"
"This sucks! You should've tested it more! I quit!"

I'm sure this is how Ultima Online, Meredian 59 and The Realm did it, and it still works that way today.  crybaby
10559  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Glad I didn't buy AoC on: May 22, 2008, 02:27:09 AM
Don't have neither.
Wasn't blown away enough by the Fileplanet AoC beta to get all lathered up about it yet. Waiting to see if people here keep playing once the Nipple Novelty Effect has worn off... icon_razz

Found the Warhammer devs incredibly obnoxious in most of their videos for the game to this point (which doesn't mean it isn't good, just they come off poorly -- they should at least get a new promotional video director who focuses on the game instead of devs trying and failing to be funny!)

Just got back from 4 grueling days at a business conference in Cleveland -- which from what we could tell, is like a zombie city in a George Romero or 28 Days Later sequel -- there's nobody in the city in the morning, at rush hour, at night, never. icon_razz Plus, cars not only won't stop for you if you're in a cross walk with blinking pedestrian lights all over it -- they SPEED UP! Cleveland - the Grand Theft Auto city! However, it does have the cleanest streets we ever saw in any city we can think of.
10560  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Speed Racer on: May 18, 2008, 01:50:26 PM
Speed's going down in flames at the box office. Even with international B.O. and DVD sales, don't know how it's going to even break even.

That doesn't mean it's bad (plenty of lousy movies and movie sequels make $200-$300M at the box office these days), but one of the great things about The Matrix (the original) was that it felt fresh, and had its own mythology. What's the point of the Wachowskis hamstringing themselves (Speed was their idea, no one else to blame) with a weirdo cartoon TV show whose audience is mostly 40 somethings like me? Speed Racer means nothing to the kiddie audience they tried to appeal to, which may be why no one is paying to see it.

I still get the impression all these needless remakes of TV shows from the '60s and '70s (Starsky and Hutch? Dukes of Hazzard? Bewitched? Sgt. Bilko? What the heck was the point of any of those?) that stiff at the box office just demonstrate a bankruptcy in fresh ideas, and maybe at some point the spigot of remaking 30-40 year old TV shows into movies nobody wants to see will end.

If it isn't, then at least bring on the Marine Boy movie. Maybe they can show the mermaid's breasts and get a PG-13 out of it.  disgust icon_lol While you're at it, throw in Ultra-Man, Johnny Socko and his Flying Robot (a show I remember as "an ode to handguns"), and Captain Scarlet movies so I can relive my childhood even if I'll be the only person in the theater.  icon_razz
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