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10521  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: There just aren't enough AoC topics here these days. on: June 06, 2008, 01:21:27 PM
I'm sure this happened here with every big MMO/pseudo MMO launch (including LOTORO, WoW, EQ2, yes even Tabula Rasa, Hellgate: London and Vanguard  icon_razz). It'll pass eventually though I don't think the rabid interest will abruptly die as it did for TR and Hellgate.

And you can't really even judge by it in the long term. It's apparent tons of people here happily still play WoW even if there aren't 25 active threads on it.
10522  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Grouping.. can someone explain. on: June 05, 2008, 05:38:39 PM

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on June 04, 2008, 10:05:14 PM

This is a very solo friendly game though, to that degree that I wonder how many people pay attention to their chat boxes at all. Seems like most times people don't respond.

There's been a half dozen times or more where I'm waiting for a boss to spawn, and someone else will walk up, see me, and stand there. I'll ask them if they need the boss as well, and offer to group. They usually just run away. I think only a couple of times have people responded.
I've had that, but I've also had a decent number of "sure lets team up." It rarely lasts past the quest/instance that we work together on, but it's something. I'm on Thog, so I can only speak for that server.

Right now I'm stuck on something in the Overflow Tunnel (a 35 instance), and while I keep asking people approaching or leaving the tunnel if they want to team up (I use "say" so you get the visible caption bubble) they inevitably ignore me -- this is even when you can see barely alive players obviously crawling out of the tunnel unsuccessfully.

What can be a little confusing with the instances is that while a quest item will have multiple copies (so each member of the party can get one), I've had some quest target things (like a corpse you have to click on perhaps, or X number of certain bosses in an area) where *only* the person getting the kill credit gets quest credit. So if 4 people have a quest to kill 8 certain enemies in an area, you might need to kill 32 for everyone to complete the quest. I find that pretty annoying (I seem to recall lin LOTORO if a group of 4 all had the same quest to kill 8 in an area, then each kill would register for every party member as long as you were grouped and in reasonable distance of each other) and makes grouping less productive than it could be.

While the game's solo friendly, up in the 30s you start running into some tough things if you're doing quests at about your level (I end up spending a lot of time doing slightly lower/older quests so that my Conquerer can handle 2-4 at a time without getting overwhelmed) that really benefit from at least a little help. I've had quests I couldn't get anywhere on solo become almost too easy with just 1 or 2 folks helping. But again, I'm just speaking as a Conqueror. I'm sure some other classes clobber everything in sight without a sweat.  icon_razz
10523  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Yet another reason to avoid Vista on: June 05, 2008, 01:30:31 PM
While I'm relatively pleased with Vista 64-bit so far, I'm not sold on DX10. The barely perceptible visual enhancements it offers don't ever seem worth the frame rate hits (and I've read numerous testing articles showing massive frame rate hits in the DX10 version vs. the DX9 version of various games, regardless of the test PC's graphics-pushing power).

I don't know when Microsoft gave up on trying to make their OSs (or DirectX incarnations) perform faster (duh!). If you do that, buyers will line up. As long as they keep pushing system bloat and frivilous visual tweaks, you'll have forums full of people arguing about Vista's merits, and having Windows XP pried from their cold, dead fingers.  icon_razz

My Vista 64-bit stumbling blocks so far remain:
-I had to give up my Best Buy-Rhapsody MP3 music store subscription because they aren't updating to support 64-bit. I'll live, but it's kind of a bummer.

-I'm so far stymied in efforts to get my old Palm Zire 71 synching to my computer because I can't find a serial-USB adapter with  proper 64-bit drivers (well, I did, but Iogear's 64-bit driver Zip file is screwed up) -- but no gaming problems so far). Palm in its infinite wisdom as a decaying company decided to make no effort to support 64-bit Vista so you can't synch via USB (you can via Wi-Fi, which my Palm doesn't have, or a serial port, which in my infinite Murphy's Law luck, my new PC doesn't have  disgust). I've settled for backing up to an SD card utility, but I missing being able to synch adjusted-size photos to my Palm to share.

Hopefully at some point 64-bit game versions will make me feel a little better. The only program I can use that I can vouch truly flies in 64-bit Vista is the 64-bit version of Windows Media Encoder, which truly flies when I'm converting massive .AVI gameplay videos into small streaming movies. It would take forever on XP. It isn't much (and maybe it's just the Quad Core earning its pay), but it's something.  icon_smile

I'm considering an iPod Touch, and apparently fairly recently Apple introduced proper 64-bit Vista support in both iTunes and the iPod Touch's synching software (Windows versions, natch). Bully for them. In a way it's sad that a presumable Microsoft competitor is better at supporting 64-bit Vista than vendors who are ostensibly Windows focused.  icon_confused
10524  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: June 04, 2008, 05:31:31 PM
Engadget had an update on specs for the XP version (which uses an 80GB traditional hard drive) and the Linux version (which uses a 40GB SSD)  of the new 1000 models, from their China branch at the Comdex show there:

(Comparison amongst the models and the original 701)

Foreign prices don't always translate into specific US prices (I doubt they would market a PC at weird numbers like $658), but fwiw, it's roughly $625 for the Linux model (denoted with an "H") and $658 for the Windows XP model. The new 901 model has both XP (12GB SSD) and Linux (20GB SSD) options and the smaller 8.9" screen.

They mentioned Asus also officially announced the, 900, 1000 and 1000(H) [linux, SSD version] models:

It really is crazy what a sub-market the Eee PC's success has created. Just look up "laptop" keyword at Engadget (or any site covering notebooks and such - sorry I'm becoming an Engadget parrot  icon_smile), and there seems to be a new competitor entering the market from every front (Acer, AMD and ECS are among others trying to squeeze into the niche market).

I really would like something, anything, to let me look up Wikis, forums, FAQ-sites etc. without having to exit the game. It's just a minor annoyance, but I think I would enjoy being able to get around that. I've toyed with getting an iPod Touch. Circuit City has a Father's Day sale on all iPods and so it's a rare chance to see sales prices on the Touches (the $399 16GB model for $374, etc.). And then I toy with these sub-notebook things. And then in the end I just talk myself out of everything.  icon_razz
10525  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: After retrying various MMOs, I find Vanguard is now REALLY actually playable on: June 04, 2008, 01:26:24 PM
Your SOE check's in the mail!  icon_wink j/k

I give SOE credit for not giving up on the game that Sigil borked so badly at launch. SOE seems to have a whole stable of small-to-modest playerbase games, which one can either knock them for (if you know your game's never going to have a truly massive player base, SOE's the publisher to go for!) or respect them for keeping stuff like this and The Matrix Online updated and not pulling the plug on them (a la what NCSoft did with Auto Assault).

I had a gamer bud who worked for Blizz in tech support, and I recall around 2004 he was complaining about how unfriendly SOE guys were at trade shows. It was sort of, "We're Everquest. We're the 900 lb. gorilla, and we're not talking to your newbs." Obviously things are different now.  icon_neutral So I guess now I have a vision of a more humble SOE trying to shepherd a flock of mostly modest playerbase games, and it's impressive if they have resuscitated Vanguard so well.  icon_smile

I would say the same though for Turbine, who still updates Asheron's Call (!) and just released a big DDO update (introducing a new Monk character) despite the fact there can't be any terribly sizeable player bases for those games at this point and the chances of growing them (even via download versions of the game client) seems faint.

If you live for combat and characters, you should try a trial of COH/COV some day. As much as I'm enjoying AoC and enjoyed a few months of LOTORO last year, I seem to keep floating back to COV for the very different and more lively forms of combat there. Of course if your world begins and ends with Fantasy MMOs, or you must have new gauntlets every day, then you can take a pass.  icon_smile
10526  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Developers update on: June 04, 2008, 01:07:14 AM
It's in that link Razgon mentioned, thought it's worth pasting in for the lazy like me  icon_biggrin I highlighted one that's of interest to us disappointed a bit by the disappearance of voice overs (aside from Destiny stuff) beyond L20.  icon_cool

1. Filling “thin areas” in our content

We have seen that there are certain level ranges of these Hyborian Adventures that do not have the amount of quality we wish them to have. Most specifically these are the end of the Thirties and the end of the Fifties level ranges. We are addressing this in several ways.

    * Several mid-late thirties dungeons are getting a complete overhaul (Black Castle, Pyramid of the Ancients and Treasury of the Ancients)
    * Several quests are being made fuller and more entertaining. If people wish to revisit these quests, we will add a system to let them try them out again.
    * we are adding first a batch of quests in Eiglophian Mountains (lvls 55+)
    * We are also adding in a bunch of quests that didn’t quite make it for launch in the 30+ areas.
    * Around 60 quests through the game have been flagged as “Lore Quests”. They will now be patched out with full Voice-Over. (Roughly 1 quest per level after level 20)

All this will come in June! In July the first level 80 additional Dungeon will be patched out.
10527  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 03, 2008, 09:26:28 PM

Quote from: Silky on June 03, 2008, 04:07:53 PM

My biggest gripe so far is the lack of voice acting after leaving Tortage.  I know that would have been a huge challenge and expense to fully flesh out but I got used to it in the beginning and it sucks that it is now gone.
I agree. I hope it was just a 2-DVD limitation and that they find some way to gradually add voices back to the NPC contacts later on.

fwiw, the Destiny Quests *do* still have audio voices for the NPCs you work with, which is nice though as I mentioned in another post, the L30 destiny quest is *poof* and it's over, relatively speaking.  icon_razz
10528  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 03, 2008, 01:07:38 PM
I haven't had as much time to play as I'd like, so still focusing on my conqueror (nearing 36). I think I'd be happier with a Guardian, but we'll see.

One thing I like so far in terms of the game world is the variety of zones. If I get tired of an area, there are always others to visit and other quests to work on. And even when quests fade to "green" on your tracker, the exp is still pretty solid and worth pursuing.

If I miss Tortage, it's because that central hub design there (where north seems to far away) is something you come to appreciate later on when the zones get monstrous and spread out. In later areas, if you aren't bound to where you want to go (or the PC Gamer totem won't get you near it), the travel distances can be a bit tedious at times, esp. if you don't have much time to play. Of course I'm hoping a mount at 40 will remedy that.  icon_smile

And about the L30 destiny quest stuff (marked spoiler, though I don't think my thoughts really are):
Spoiler for Hiden:
I was a wee bit disappointed that the L30+ Destiny quest set is so short (and the next one isn't until L50). I don't think I'm spoiling anything to mention that. I was hoping it would be as lengthy as the 1-20 Destiny stuff (night time), but instead it's "slam, bam, thank you m'aam" icon_razz
10529  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 03, 2008, 12:54:38 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on June 02, 2008, 06:00:34 PM

No, but there are "empty" levels where you don't get new abilities. You'll still get them, they'll just be spaced out more. My conqueror is especially bad, as I occasionally go 3-4 levels without getting a single new ability. The extra skill points and additional feat point slightly make up for it though.
I got a new Conqueror skill at 34 that makes you invulnerable to all damage until your stamina runs out. I'm not sure how helpful that is (you can't use stamina/health potions while it's on), but hopefully at some point it'll be a lifesaver.  icon_smile

I don't know if this is common knowledge, but there's a checkbox in the interface options to "always use the highest version of a skill" in the assigned tray hotkey. So if you have Batter I, II and II, that'll ensure Batter III is always the version in the tray. Though if you have stamina issues, you may want to consider disabling the checkbox and using earlier variations with smaller stamina-sucking values.

To this point (and probably I should re-do my feat points and stuff eventually) my Conqueror reminds me a lot of LOTORO's Champions. Sort of a whirling dervish with a glass jaw (even with heavy armor and buffs). I've done more duoing and teaming of late, and the game feels so much easier even with just one partner.
10530  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 03, 2008, 12:47:44 PM

Quote from: Booner on June 03, 2008, 02:44:06 AM

Action shot from the Sanctum this evening.....

** Hey, are those right side vertical toolbars from a UI mod? Or am I missing something in the UI options?  icon_confused icon_smile

I'm dying for more toolbars, but the Mirage install intimidates me a bit (when I have to Winzip to specific folders, I tend to screw up and litter my C drive).
10531  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: June 03, 2008, 03:47:28 AM
Well, my Eee PC affliction faded off like most fads once I realized only children and squirrels can touch type on the thing.

Hope springs eternal. Re, some buzz about the new Eee PC 1000, which introduces a larger 10" screen, a substantially wider keyboard with larger, deeper keys (not full size though), and a fair amount of doubt as to whether the new model is really still an Ee PC or not price and size-wise. It also uses an Atom CPU, supposedly with better battery life, and a different cooling system (translation is probably off, but talks about a "dissipation plate").

The article links to a Google translation (comical at times) of a French blog's early takes on the new model:

It's thought to be preparing to do battle with the ballyhooed MSI Wind [marketed as an "Eee PC Killer" basically], which sports the Atom CPU, 80GB regular HD, 12" wide keyboard, and other goodies):
10532  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 03, 2008, 12:48:10 AM
Our Conqueror skirt lets "our boys" (as Seinfeld would say) breathe!   nod
10533  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC update notes 2nd of june + extra (Updated with unoffical notes) on: June 02, 2008, 05:26:17 PM
Conquerors suck! If they don't make me awesome, I quit!  smoke

Anyone who thinks they can have this many classes and please everyone all of the time is smoking something funny and not sharing with the rest of us.  stirthepot icon_lol My Conqueror drops like a load of bricks and I'm just not yet at the point of knowing whether the AT type is borked, my points are all poorly distributed, I just suck, or some combination thereof.  icon_razz

I don't begrudge people on the official forums screaming bloody murder about their respective ATs, but when has any mmorpg launch not brought about the same complaints? For that matter, MMOs that have been out 5 years still have people complaining about class-balancing. If they had Diablo's original 3 classes (a melee character, a bow character and a mage), then balancing would be easy. I'm just convinced the price devs and players play for flexibility and a wide range of types is a balancing situation that's pretty much impossible to ever resolve to everyone's satisfaction, esp. trying to accommodate PvE and PvP styles at the same time.

Anyway. Conquerors suck! I quit!  icon_lol
10534  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 01, 2008, 04:23:47 PM
Yeah I'm envious icon_cool, Conqueror is limited to half-plate later on I hear. I think a little more variety in armor color (not garish, but some subtle differences), cape designs etc. would be nice in terms of differentiating players a bit more down the line.

Tryin' a little group gameplay streaming video...
Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-group-combat-gameplay

And a solo "splurch" video. Well, I got splurched. I hope they make the interface elements/toolbars detachable at some point. I would like to move the health meter up a little further into my main line of sight (which is something I did in CoX and LOTORO). Otherwise I tend to lose sight of how my health meter's doing which is sort of what happened here. And the Beserker was chasing someone else, and then decided to pick on me.  icon_razz
Click here to watch Age-of-Conan-solo-combat-gameplay

I love Batter (the skill that knocks 3 down in this), but I forget sometimes that it's a great way to escape an ugly situation. I guess my inclination is too much to say "Yeah! Gonna kick 'em while they're down!" rather than "This would be a great time to leave."  icon_razz

These are all blurrier than I'd like, but I haven't found a streaming video site yet that doesn't Flash convert my crispest videos into something that makes you think you forgot your glasses/contact lenses.  disgust
10535  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 01, 2008, 02:32:20 PM
I really wish they would make the Wayfarers (in most zones -- I can't seem to find one in the Connall Valley -- there's a Wayfarer character you click on to bind your innate recall ability) more visible/distinct on the map. They're a teeny, tiny grey BB-size marker that's very easy to miss unless you zoom the map closely.

So perhaps my character just sucks but I've gradually found I've had a lot more fun when tackling mobs 2-4 levels below me. That way I can really tackle large mobs, have more fatalities, and get away from the typical MMO feeling of "ah! More than one bad guy! Run away!" And the combat exp is OK, while the quest exp is still fine in those situations. Just my Conqueror experience to this point, and probably I haven't been distributing points in a very smart fashion. I still think I probably should've gone with a Guardian, though I really do enjoy having 2-hand sword specific abilities/skills. I'm trying to build up some feats that improve defensive stance and resistances, and perhaps I'll be able to tackle even strength stuff better soon (approaching L35).
10536  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC -- System requirements on: June 01, 2008, 02:21:49 PM
If you're willing to download the insanely massive client (26GB installed saywhat) later on, we'll all have 7-day "guest passes" to share (they're in every box of the game). You may want to wait for that rather than plunk $50 down for something you're not sure will run acceptably.

They haven't activated the buddy key program yet, it sounds like they want to make sure they have enough server capacity for an influx of trial players. I hope it doesn't bring an influx of spammers/gold farmers/spambots (I only monitor OOC, trading and my guild channels, and so far it's been free of that junk).
10537  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 01, 2008, 05:20:17 AM
A couple better horsie shots, a fellow player slowed down for a bit.  icon_cool I'm approaching 35 so hopefully I'll get to try one soon (didn't pre-order). I'm eager to see how the mounted combat works. I've not to this point seen any (mostly just 40+ers going through older areas, but not actually doing mounted combat).
10538  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: June 01, 2008, 12:23:22 AM
Ouch!  eek This was the nastiest fatality I've been able to trigger so far (granted, I was beating up on lower level mobs  icon_razz).

It was a pretty wild animation, with the Conquerer slicing the head off, and then *both* arms. A bit of overkill, but a Roman Gladiator crowd would've loved it.  ninja2
10539  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect PC... Impressions? on: May 31, 2008, 05:55:56 PM
I had it in my hands at Target, but I've gotta let Age of Conan runs it course with me before I jump into something so deep. But I definitely will down the road.  icon_smile The PC version reviews have been really enthusiastic.
10540  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
10541  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

10542  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
10543  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).
10544  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.
10545  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.
10546  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
10547  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.
10548  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.
10549  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:
10550  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?
10551  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
10552  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).
10553  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
10554  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).
10555  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
10556  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.
10557  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

10558  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
10559  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
10560  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.

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