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10561  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Batman Begins...ya Im late on: February 04, 2008, 05:11:38 AM
Back in 2005, my newspaper job allowed me some schedule flexibility. So I caught a Tuesday midnight show (technically, 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, after endless trailers) of Batman Begins at a nice theater. I actually saw "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" first because I got to the theater about 9 p.m. and couldn't think what to do to waste 3 hours (was too far from home to go there first).

I got out of the theater about 3:30 a.m. I remember we all gave it a big round of applause at the end and there was a lot of "Wow that was a great movie!" chatter as I walked out into the Gotham City-like darkness to my car.  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.

I'm sick about Heath Ledger, but hopefully his by all accounts unique Joker portrayal will be a fitting (if tragic, I'd rather have him seen keep growing as an actor) epitaph for him. There are a lot of marketing concerns, but July's a long way off and I think it would be a tougher (e.g., more uncomfortable) marketing situation if it was due out shortly.

One thing to watch in The Dark Knight -- the costume designer said in an interview they were finally able to make the costume's neck in such a way that Bale or his stuntmen can twist their neck around. They seemed to indicate it was "fixed" hard rubber in BB, so he would have to sort of shift his body to look in another direction. Just a little thing, but it should let whomever's playing Batman look a little more natural in terms of physical movement.

I liked the '89 Batman, but I never sensed that Tim Burton had any affinity for Batman. His interest was strictly in villains and their warped henchmen. I wanted to like Batman Returns, but something about watching Danny Devito vomiting black blood as the Penguin seemed completely too far from the comic book Penguin.

I knew once I read about Chris Nolan and writer David Goyer digging through DC Comics' Batman archives for research before writing Batman Begins, that it'd be something special and not another Big Studio Hack Job comic book film. smile Goyer, who a while back was canned as director of "The Flash", I think has some storyline credit still on TDK. Nolan's brother wrote the TDK script so hopefully it'll be as interesting.
10562  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: February 03, 2008, 03:51:30 PM
Gamespy had a pretty enthusiastic review:
They retain some concerns they had early on about the lack of better tutorials to introduce new players (it seems to throw you into the deep end of the pool quickly, I gather), and the avatar stuff doesn't seem to match the ship stuff in quality (even people I know who lack the game say it needs some work). Other than that, they're pretty crazy about the ship stuff, the "meta game" (where PVE, PVP and combatants and merchants all contribute to something bigger), the quality of the single player quests, and just about everything else. smile
Even better, regardless of level or preferred play style everyone in the game can make a meaningful contribution to their nation. Freetraders who like playing the economic game are needed to produce and deliver the goods that generate unrest. Generating unrest opens up PvP zones outside the port that attracts Pirate-players looking for valuable booty. This in turn pulls in Navy players to protect player-merchants and Privateers hunting Pirate scalps. One of the most extraordinary experiences in the few weeks since the game launched has been watching the discussion in the chat channels move from people just out for themselves to a genuine "patriotism" for their in-game national identities.
I spent some time at least reading the manual, and the ship guide in the game box last night. The manual is OK but sort of screams "buy the official strategy guide if you really need guidance."  icon_neutral It's cool that fans designed the ship models displayed in the ship guide (I think they did so using the ship editor long before the game even hit beta, if I recall).

And from some interviews I've read they do plan to work on avatar animations, and some new camera views for ships so that you can focus in on your ship captain/avatar more readily.

I haven't set sail yet, but the game box is opened, so I'm committed.  icon_smile I'm big on protecting people, so I thinK Navy might be my style.   The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you. Er, assuming I get competent at the ship combat that is. Otherwise, you might see me steering a yacht.  icon_mrgreen
10563  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: February 03, 2008, 02:56:39 PM
I just wish there was a "disperse your army" button. I don't think there is, and when you have a horde of zombies with you, combat can get a little confusing.  icon_confused

Here's current Injector Blackjach pics (login, and in game). Dark blue w/ gold/yellow gloves is that clan's official color. I usually get bright stuff, but the darker "home brew" paints are actually kinda cool looking I thinks.

I usually disable the helmet view in-game, but it's always on in login.
10564  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: February 03, 2008, 06:54:37 AM
Last reanimation for the day:

Went back to an earlier instance full of Atta spiders. So I reanimated a few dead hordes for fun. It's a visual hoot, and when they all throw their boulders in unison at an enemy, it's fun to watch. smile
10565  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: February 03, 2008, 03:55:30 AM
I'm not sure what This Is.  saywhat I assume maybe this was some beta tester perk or something? (Unicorn's Head). It's certainly not Polymorph (which lets you adopt a Bane disguise), afik. NOTE: I'm told this was just a fun "3-month reward" for veteran players. smile

I had fun reanimating almost everything in sight. You can even reanimate bosses, though early levels give you a pet several levels below what the corpse was.

And why reanimate one Miasma when you can use the signature skill Reanimation Wave, and reanimate an army of them? (though it's not as effective as you might wish  icon_biggrin).

This actually did help my teammate and me a bit but that particular area in Plateau is now (due to the respawn rates and how rabid the various miasma are in the graveyard) probably one of the nastiest hunting grounds in the game.
10566  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: February 02, 2008, 10:01:37 PM
Yeah supposedly crouching improves acc and damage a little, and firing from behind cover improves your defense, but honestly, it's so fast paced, most of the time people just mow through things and don't worry about it. I obsess about that stuff, but the general populace ignores it and you can probably be happy either way. smile

As much as I like the game, I am not really a fan of the knockback that Atta spiders and some other enemies pull on you. Mainly it's cause the animation engine is extremely sluggish at handling things like that (this isn't an FPS engine, there's no ragdoll physics as in City of Heroes etc.), so you'll find yourself struggling mightily to recover from knockbacks and stuns (and the animation of it looks a little cheesy because it's so sluggishly portrayed). Not so much because the enemies are nasty, but the game engine just doesn't seem able to visually animate that sort of thing quickly.

I'd have a hard time illustrating this unless I could find a way to show some footage from COH of a hero getting knocked back (smoothly), side by side with this (where it's almost stuttering).
10567  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: February 02, 2008, 05:09:14 PM
Got Injector to Exobiologist today:

Clone's fun. You just need to buy some medical micro mech (quite affordable, easy to stock up on) to use stuff like clone, reanimation and reanimation wave.

It uses some occasional animated rippling of the clone to remind you it's your clone. The clone doesn't have the "helmet not visible" option so in my case that helps differentiate. It's a "dumb pet" so it's prone to blast everything in sight, and uses the same weapon that you have equipped.
10568  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: February 02, 2008, 05:45:12 AM
I got onto a pretty friendly and large clan called Misfit Mercenaries:

They're supposedly a group of older players and they've been having various guilds in various games for about 10 years. I've only met a few of them online and it's not crazy active, but they have quite a few members. The guy who invited me (Motovar, or something like that) is a lotta fun and gabby. So even if there aren't many people on, you can count on him keeping the clan chat channel busy. smile

If anyone's interested in it, message me in game and I'll see if I can get  you in. There's no initiation. smile But I don't think my character's got clan invites yet.

10569  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: LF AGP video card on: February 01, 2008, 11:21:21 PM
fwiw I'm using an ATI 1650 Pro card these days (overpriced for its so-so performance but my fairly nice X800 Pro card's slot connector went sour, and I had to do something as an AGP stopgap).

I tried an ATI 2400HD and it was horrific (crashes, freezes, constant instability regardless of what revision drivers I used), although it actually had noticeably better frame rates than what I use now. But what's the point, if your PC locks up or shuts down randomly every other minute?  disgust

I've been blindly loyal to ATI for years for no particular reason but my new system most decidedly won't use one. I've had way too many driver issues with far too many games, and I'm just tired of it. mad

I think I have a 9800 Pro 256MB lying around as well fwiw ( is the one).

I'd be careful though if you play newer games. Many have extremely picky system requirements that specify a video card must be a certain model or higher; when I dug out my old 9800 Pro as an emergency card I found several new games and demos wouldn't run at all (including the Bioshock and Lost Planet demos, and Gears of War PC).
10570  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Chipotle: free burrito on Feb 13/14 on: February 01, 2008, 09:19:46 PM
The first Chipotle opened in Denver, if I recall. For a while, a lot of people were in a panic that McDonald's bought stock in the company -- that's apparently what helped the chain grow so fast for a while, but my understanding is McDonald's divested itself from the company in 2006. Which is good -- I don't think their meat quality (Chipotle is excellent, McD's not so much) was in line with McDonald's thinking.  icon_lol

I remember once having to wait in a second line because they were a little backed up on keeping up with demand for chicken. I liked that I actually heard and saw the manager reminding the cook to grill the chicken meat all the way through and not rush it just cause the line was backed up a little (I don't think the cook was going to rush it, but when I was a kid I got really ill one night after an undercooked cheeseburger at a fast food joint - so it was just comforting to me, and we all waited patiently, nobody made a fuss).

The first few times I ate at Chipotle I usually got the crispy tacos. The mistake I kept making is I'd ask for the mild *and* the medium salsa -- I guess I thought the chopped tomatoes were just tomatoes. And then my mouth would always be burning off (I'm not big on the mega spicy stuff - for me it tends to blot out the flavor).

I've started having barbacoa now and then because of recommendations here. smile I like it, but they seem to be a little less generous in portions with it than with the other meats -- maybe it's more precious...

We have a growing chain here in N. Va. (it's in a few other eastern states too) called California Tortilla ( It's good, and has some very interesting concoctions, but I haven't so far found one with an easy drive of me.
10571  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Good photo management software? on: February 01, 2008, 06:16:17 PM
I actually liked Picasa more before Google gots its grubby meat hooks on it.  Tongue

I use Irfanview for viewing/cropping (any screenshots I've shared here, I used Irfanview for) though it isn't really photo management per se.

I would give some thought to whether you want to arrange photos chronologically, by subject matter, by event (trip, vacation, etc.). Some of the photo management software is better at arranging that stuff than others. Some of them save an original copy when you crop, so that your original photos remain intact.

These days I've given up on the whole managing idea. I just lump em under certain date folders in the MyDocuments/MyPictures folder, and backup them up to an external hard drive from time to time. Managing my photos just started to feel too much like a second job.  puke
10572  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 31, 2008, 08:24:17 PM
I would say TR delivers on points 1 (though many instances require or benefit from teammates, the vast majority of content is quite soloable, or you can sort of fight alongside the many AI AFS) and 3 (just imho).

Then again, we've had some philosphical discussions here (deep, man! smile) about whether attempting to be purposely "not addictive" (in theory meaning you can hop onto TR or say, Flagship's Mythos, for half an hour and feel you progressed and had fun) means that a game is more friendly to casual gamers, or is the fact that you don't feel the need to play until 3 a.m. every night mean that the game itself just isn't fun (i.e., additivve) enough? I'm OK with it, but if one is scraping the couch cushions for change every night, can one justify $15 a month for something that's not as maddeningly addictive as some other MMOs? confused

If by community (point 2) you mean fan sites, and message boards, then yes. If you mean some sense of community within the game itself, I don't really know. I am trying to get onto a larger guild (have to wait 7 days after leaving one). Most folks use the surplus store (auction house) so the Trading Channel is largely deserted. The NewPlayer channel is largely helpful and is maybe the lone chat channel where I feel an in-game sense of community. If/when crafting gets revamped into something more useful (making buffs that have a 40% or whatever chance of destroying the item I'm trying to modify isn't really my idea of fun crafting  disgust) I think that'll boost the in-game feeling of community if there's more useful stuff to share.

Hope that helps. I like the game, but if they're going to make it one where you can level so fast, they really have got to keep delivering L30-L50 content or impatient gamers will get tired of upper level grinding-groups (I find it ironic a game that's supposed to eliminate the need for grinding has so many people forming said grinding groups) and move on to other stuff.
10573  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 31, 2008, 06:19:54 PM
Injector's approaching 30. Now that the Mires lag is fixed (basically they seem to have reduced the number of lag-inducting protector robot drones, and masses of Bane in general there), I've discovered a whole, whole lot of missions there that my Grenadier missed out on.

I'm probably going to go with Biotechnician [think Diablo II's Necromancer in some ways] at 30 (which includes clone [a clone of yourself fighting alongside], corpse reanimation, corpse explosion, reanimation wave etc.

One of the stranger ones involved tagging along with a trained  (usually enemy but friendly) hound creature to "sniff out" a traitor.

In chat, people seemed to suggest that Biotech armor was now way more better than Hazmat (because of its armor regen rate adjustments and it always gave a modest squad health regen boost), though I still tend to wear a mix of things (Motor Assist, Hazmat and Biotech).

There was some grumbling that Mind (attribute) isn't worth much because it doesn't boost Logos attack powers unless they do direct-damage. If they're more of a debuff type damage (disease/contagion etc.), then the theory goes that Mind doesn't boost it. Something like lightning (which I do use quite a bit -- the upper pump version adds sonic damage, and arcs to multiple targets) would get a boost though. That was chat though, I don't have "empirical" data.  Tongue
10574  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: WoW makes 1 billion dollars last year on: January 31, 2008, 06:12:44 PM
I'd be curious what the operating costs are (servers, 24/7 employees etc.) to run WoW in all the various locations it's in now. I'm sure the actual operating profit is still quite substantial.  icon_biggrin

While the monthly fees vary according to regions, if you (just for sake of a vaguely ballpark number) multiply 10 million subscribers by $15 a month, that's about $150 million a month, so that's about $1.8 billion a year. So maybe the rest of Vivendi Games is losing $800 million a year.  icon_lol  Again, it's not really that simple because of the varying fees and the not exactly strong U.S. dollar right now. The dollar fluctuates wildly these days, so I doubt that Blizzard constantly adjusts overseas WoW-fee rates to always be a $15 equivalent.

What's interesting in MMO land these days is it seems like half the industry is at least marketing itself as widely different from WoW in an attempt to be fresher, and probably the other half is desperately trying to emulate it in hopes of achieving even 10% (any MMO publisher would sell its soul for just 1 million subscribers, much less 10M) of its success. I never warmed up to WoW (I did buy it just after launch), but I still find it odd to market a game with a "Hey, that game that 10 million people are playing is unimaginative and old school! Come play us instead!" mentality.  icon_confused

I can't help thinking that Funcom (Age of Conan) and EA-Mythic (Warhammer Online) are so intimidated by WoW (though they'll never say it) that they'll just keep delaying all the way to 2010 or later in hopes the WoW juggernaut will slow down enough for something else to get a large share of the market. But there'll be another WoW expansion by then, so it's probably a moot point.

That's the end of my deep thoughts with Jack Handey for the day... stirthepot
10575  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 31, 2008, 01:53:08 PM
Gamespy took a look at Stonehenge and the update in general:

They still don't have a shared stash for subscribers yet, and why they can't at least implement a simple "auto arrange inventory hotkey" solution as Iron Lore did with Immortal Throne for Titan Quest is beyond me. If they're going to flood you with loot (most of it junk), they could at least make it easier to work with.  disgust

I'm still keeping away for now. Wasn't able to get the update to complete installing properly and just didn't want to deal with the headache.
10576  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Any remedies for a cat who can't keep food down? on: January 30, 2008, 09:53:54 PM
I had this same problem. A couple weeks back I had tried some "all natural" cat treats, and my cat Molly reacted by turning into Linda Blair from the exercise that night (almost literally, her head spun around and vomit flew everywhere). I mean, she did that in probably 7 or 8 different places, and I was running around screaming, and running out of cat-puke cleaner. Lord knows what my neighbors thought. I guess I should've just put her in the bathtub (a friend of mine recommends that in emergency throw-up situations).

I threw out said treats, she stopped with the throwing up right away. Alas, last Thursday night (or possibly Friday morning) she was sick again in 3 or 4 spots. I took her into the vet on Friday.

They did a physical exam, took her temperature, didn't find anything. Did a blood test, I'm finding results of on Thursday. They had suggested not feeding her regular cat food for 24 hours after a throwing-up-fest, so I actually fed her Gerbers brand chicken baby food (you have to be careful, cause some baby foods contain peas, beans, pear juice etc. - Gerbers is just ground chicken, water and some corn starch) a few times for a day, while her stomach hopefully settled. She liked it, and there were no nasty side effects (I guess you could say she used her litter box a bit more often but nothing nasty).

The doctor did give her a hydration-shot (she was apparently quite dehyrdated, though whether that's from her being sick or whether that caused her to be sick, I don't know  icon_confused) and a temporary "anti-vomiting" shot, I have no idea what that is.  icon_confused

Molly's got an overactive thyroid, and I have to give her two pills a day (morning and evening) of a prescription medication called (I think) Tapizol. It hasn't had any adverse effects to this point, and we're hoping it's not causing her throw-up problems.

Anyway, a recent photo:

Dunno if it's worthy anything, but the vet was saying cats with sensitive stomachs sometimes have problems digesting seafood. Doesn't really help me (the Purina food I give her is supposedly mostly lamb and chicken), though I know Molly had some troubles with salmon flavor treats and wet food I gave her in the past.
10577  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 30, 2008, 07:01:04 PM
I can only preach patience. People start to differentiate quite a bit in 20s and 30s.  You'll notice more variety within the armor types at that point, plus the patch supposedly changed rewards for 800 some odd missions, which presumably means a lot of different armor.

This isn't really the kind of game where you use the same armor for 5-10 levels, I'm constantly changing. It can be frustrating when you get a look/set you like, and then suddenly you look like a backup catcher for a baseball team or something.  disgust Tongue

If costume uniqueness is your thing, you should try City of Heroes/Villains as it still  has the best character/costume creator in the biz (imho). Since it isn't a loot/equipment-focused game you can find a unique costume that suits you and not worry about changing it every other level to use new equipment/loot, but just changing it at the costume shop if you want a new look. And virtually no character ever looks exactly the same as someone else's in that.
10578  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 30, 2008, 05:56:02 AM
I think the verdict's in that people appreciate the "helmet viewable" option, and nobody wants to have their helmets visible.  icon_biggrin
I don't know if the folks that designed the helmet artwork are too happy right now though.  tear I spent a few moments hovering around other players trying to get closeups...

It's nice though. Not much point in the character creator if you have to run around the game with a bucket on your head all the time.
10579  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 30, 2008, 04:36:09 AM
You whiz through the lower levels so quickly, there's not much reason to team up other than the instances. I tend to describe it as the flipside of LOTORO, which is so team-focused that people who prefer to solo generally get turned off after a while. I'm still looking for a game that's somewhere between those types of extremes.

One teeny tiny change in 1.4 lets you disable helmet visuals so you can show off your character's face. It sounds like nothing, but it makes all the difference in terms of visual differences between player characters, like so...

While I like some of the helmets, many look like silly baseball caps, and I'd agree that too many people are wearing too many of the same helms (probably because all the quests give the same ones).

The new hybrid classes everyone seems to agree have truly hideous faces, so you may want to keep the helmet on if you decided to start one of those (there are now quests that unlock hybrid classes, though they've done little to inform players of that).

My main tips post-patch:
* Make sure to re-distribute *both* your skills *and* attribute points. You might want to sort of gradually redistribute stuff as you test the skills (many of which are revamped/redone) to see how effective they are.

* Again, don't forget to redistribute attribute points. I had 75 (!) undistributed, and played that way without realizing it, complaining about how the patch messed everything up so much. I think a lot of people were doing that because they didn't have the sen to prompt the players in-game that "HEY! Redistribute your points." There's no warning or tutorial in game prompting you about it, and if you didn't read the patch notes, you'd have no idea that had happened.

* Armor does seem to peel away faster now, and health holds up longer. I'm still inclined to panic when my armor drops, but there's a bit more reason to heal and use healing skills now.
10580  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: January 29, 2008, 10:17:39 PM

Quote from: Scraper on January 26, 2008, 06:14:26 PM

I saw the collector's addition of this game for $20 yesterday and I almost bought it. I tend to play MMORPGs for about 3 months before I get bored with them. The one thing that will keep me playing longer is solo-ability. So is this game solo friendly or after say lvl 15 do I need to constantly be grouped to have fun?
Although I canceled a while back (I had the pre-order Founder's Fee $9.99 monthly price but after not playing for 3 months, there didn't seem much point), I quite enjoyed a couple run throughs into the level 40s.

I guess I'm inclined to say that while there is a good bit of solo content in the game, many of the instances (varies depending on what type character you play) require groups (sometimes carefully configured, competent groups -- this is not a "rush-in and zap everything in sight" kind of game) and much of the game requires some sort of teamwork to survive. I don't really recommend it to anyone who wants to solo most or all of the time. But I dunno -- you should still try it. If you get wrapped up in the stories and environment, you might find yourself enjoying teaming up in spite of your own preferences. smile

Socially I enjoyed the heck out of the game, and I found the chat system and LFG system well designed. And I loved the "group maneuvers" (I forgot what they're called already). I did find that most groups were "one night stand" things. People teamed, the moment it was done, poof. Over in CoX I generally found people more interested in teaming up again later if the group went well. In LOTORO it was more "slam bam thank you maa'm" though perhaps that's because so much of the content is team-focused (i.e., they just wanted help cracking the walnut, and then it was off to the races).

While I'm currently more happy with the "whack a mole" nature of Tabula Rasa, there are times I miss the more strategic, deliberately paced combat in LOTORO.
10581  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tiberium on: January 29, 2008, 08:10:14 PM
Gamespy got a peek (but no hands-on time) with the XBox360 version. They said it has frame rate problems in its current state. The fact they won't let anyone play it yet suggests that it ... SUCKS!  icon_surprised Nah, I mean they are presumably still a looooong ways from a solid, playable form.

I'll be skeptical about the PC version unless they do like Infinity Ward did with COD4 in terms of having separate development teams on each version. Otherwise my "console game poorly ported to PC" Spider Sense will start beeping... disgust

I'll see if I can dig up the issue (Game Informer) when I get home and I'll share some bits from that. I like the concept.
10582  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Question about my system's bottleneck on: January 29, 2008, 08:05:32 PM
Based on my own miserable experience (you can still see my tears on the walls of the Gears of War PC thread here) I would stay far away from Gears of War PC with that card/system. It's the worst kind of system hawg. Perhaps something like an 8500 or 8600 could run it.

You at least won't have my problem of requiring some strange AMD "CPU driver" to run the game. I believe it also requires a video driver so updated that it's actually from the future (2009 I think). I'm kidding on that last part. I think...  saywhat
10583  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 29, 2008, 06:21:39 PM
Although it's not a huge content update, it mentions several new missions, including 16 in the Marshes (I haven't played there yet, I think it's for mid to upper 30s?):
855 missions have had their rewards re-evaluated and replaced with new items. Items previously obtained through these missions will not be changed, but will no longer be available to future players.

38 Instances now have a Portable Waypoint at the beginning of them, making it easier for players with Portable Waypoints to go back to the beginning of the instance.

Added 16 new missions to Marshes.

New mission: The Infesus Garrison Directive

New mission: Infiltrate Infesus Garrison

New mission: Rock and Rumble

New mission: Supply Pass

New mission: Tough Translating

New mission: Scientific Salvage

New mission: Taking the Pills

New mission: Arming the Brann

New mission: Incursion Investigation

10584  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 29, 2008, 06:06:14 PM
Aye, they do do regular daily maintenance each morning, thanks for the heads up about the patch going live.
Maintenance is being extended on this morning as we apply the 1.4 Patch to the servers. We apologize for the extended downtime.
Exciting news though I do think this is where the lack of one official forum to see if other players are having problems becomes a drawback.

***Note: They are resetting *ALL* attribute AND skill points on all characters, because the patch changes so many things. You might want to read the patch notes thoroughly before re-divvying the points out. Health/HP should be a lot more important now.

The final patch notes/known issues for 1.4 be here:
The notes would probably take multiple posts to paste here. Creature changes should really impact basic gameplay, so here be those (I underlined a few things that seem to make enemies tougher or do more damage):

Boss creatures are now immune to fear effects.

All boss and large bane creatures are no longer susceptible to confusion-type abilities such as Hack and Traitor.

Add fear Immunity to all boss variants that recently received confusion immunity.

Overseer Skeev will now have a unique appearance.

Flaregashers will now do significantly more damage in close combat, but their melee attack will no longer be completely armor piercing.

Flaregashers can now spit fireballs while pursuing their target.

Infected foreans will now do significantly more damage with their lightning attacks.

Infected foreans will now heal more effectively.

Hunters are no longer immune to electric damage, but are now immune to sonic damage.

The Hunter net ability is now considered electric damage.

Hunters will now use their net ability more often.

Hunter names now vary based on level range.

The hunter net ability is now considered electric damage. {previously physical}
Hunters will now use their net ability more often.

Hunters have learned how to use their energy shields to absorb a portion of incoming damage, instantly convert it into electricity and reflect it back to the attacker. They are unable to do so with virulent based attacks however.

Nitroglazers are now immune to ice based attacks.

Juggernaughts founds in mission instances will be more difficult than their battlefield map counterparts.

Juggernaughts have learned how to use their cannons to generate a massive shockwave.

Xanx will now fully regain their health from feasting on their fallen brethren.

Xanx names in instances will now scale with level.

Linkers and Howlers can no longer be killed purely by EMP damage. There was an issue causing them not to be flagged as biological creatures, which has now been corrected.

There are now less Striders terrorizing the plains of Howling Maw.

Reduced Miasma cold debuff.

Reduced Miasma hitpoints.

Reduced Miasma phase-in AoE dps.

There are now more Warnet Spawns on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

There are now more Filchers on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

There are now more Infected Miasma on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

Increased the overall spawn amounts in the southern portion of Howling Maw.

Increased the overall spawn scale in Magma Caverns.

Thrax Grenadiers now share the same resistances and vulnerabilities as all of their Thrax brethren.

The Brann of the Phanin Research Center have received appropriate resistances and vulnerabilities.

The Warden Bot Bosses of the Ruins of Tampeii will now hit like bosses.

The Brann of the Ruins of Tampeii have received appropriate resistances and vulnerabilities.

Strider Overseer Gorko on Torden Plains is no longer bright red.

Destroyed objects in Devilís Den should no longer respawn.

Penumbra operatives in Magma Caverns will now display correctly as instanced enemies in the target window.
Despite all that, the patch claims to have rebalanced the game to be a little easier at all levels.  icon_confused So we'll see.
10585  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Chipotle: free burrito on Feb 13/14 on: January 29, 2008, 05:55:12 PM
I was so happy when two more Chipotles opened in Virginia, one near where I work; and one to the west of where I live. Now I'm in the Chipotle Triangle. biggrin

I'm partial to the chicken, but I did try the barbacoa the other day, ending a streak of about 193 straight chicken orders there...

I had this amusing moment when I went by a Moe's Mexican Grill on Friday (I like them but I think Chipotle's ingredients and meats are better quality). One of the women working behind the counter kept looking up at me like she recognized me. It was only when I left that I realized, "Hey, she used to work at Chipotle!"  saywhat My dining world here is truly too small...
10586  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tiberium on: January 29, 2008, 04:36:06 PM
Game Informer had a big cover story on it. I still have a copy of C&C: Renegade rotting on my shelves (I wave it around whenever someone claims a Starcraft FPS would be "awesome!" disgust), and I don't plan to be a C&C Lemming again. There are a lot of shabby shooters bragging about using the Unreal engine so they'll have to "show me."   paranoid
10587  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 29, 2008, 04:00:19 AM
Teamed up with a couple 30ish engineers for a Mires instance. Some peeks:

The mighty, if not terribly durable, MultiBot engineer construct:

10588  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 28, 2008, 08:53:34 PM
Driver Heaven has an interesting "describe a unique monster for Tabula Rasa contest." Grand prize is an ATI 3870 X2 video card:

10589  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 28, 2008, 07:42:41 PM
Gah, look what my throw-away comment started.  icon_biggrin

As far as patch 1.0 goes, I'm still afraid of it. I'm afraid it'll morph my OS into Windows Vista... paranoid
10590  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 28, 2008, 06:14:54 PM
Just keep in mind they are temporary and don't last an exceptionally long time (they can be destroyed before the timer runs out too). I think by the time the guy got the 5th type turret down, the 1st one was fading away.   icon_biggrin I guess the limit is that you can only have one of the five different pump level type turrets up at a given time. So you can have 5 different ones, but you can't drop 5 laser turrets, 3 EMP turrets etc.

It's fun to watch how people use these when they're soloing in the L30ish zones. I'd say it's a little busier to use than other classes, esp. since you probably have to set up the turrets on another secondary hotkey tray and do some switching back and forth in combat.

My Biotechnician's at 26 now. I'll have to work my clone to the Engineer stuff at some point.
10591  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 28, 2008, 06:12:50 PM
I bought this over the weekend (had a Best Buy discount coupon). Not sure when I will set sail. smile
10592  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 27, 2008, 07:30:15 PM
Was defending a CP alongside an engineer last night and at one point he had all 5 turret types up. Couple glimpses...
10593  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 26, 2008, 09:16:33 PM
Oh I think I'm going to disband the fledgling GT clan due to lack of members and interest, and also because I've gotten a couple of invites to active clans (and after you leave a clan you have to wait 7 days before joining another). So I'd rather set my characters free to join something active.

I still got most people here on the friends list and feel free to add me, keep in touch, team up with me, etc. Au revoir. smile
10594  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 26, 2008, 02:51:09 PM
Here's another Creature Closeup, the Bane Technician (he repairs Bane via a funky group radiation-looking skill, and can drop turrets, I think):
10595  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 26, 2008, 02:48:27 PM
The 1.4 patch on test was updated, with various bug fixes and stability improvement:

Right now the splash page takes you to a news item (can't find the link right now) where they talk about doing smaller updates rather than one quarterly big roll-up update. Hopefully, once 1.4 goes live and has the kinks worked out, they can start doing that.
10596  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 25, 2008, 10:16:58 PM
This reminds me, the other week there was this "blog flame war" between Romero and former Gathering of Developers CEO Mike Wilson. Nothing more amusing than two irrelevant people hollering at each other.  icon_razz
10597  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 24, 2008, 08:23:09 PM
I'm told:
Is a good place to find info for new players and the "things you wish you knew when you started playing" sort of stuff, at the official forums.

10598  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Perpetual Entertainment cancels Star Trek: Online (sorta) on: January 24, 2008, 05:48:01 PM
Kohnke settled its lawsuit with Perpetual

Although, given that Perpetual seems to be like the Titanic and Hindenburg rolled together, perhaps they realized there was no money to be gotten from a sinking company.  Roll Eyes

As far as Cryptic, the jump in speculation logic was that Marvel Universe appears to be dead (Microsoft won't even comment about the game much less hype it, or so news sites say). I think it was telling that when a bunch of news sites speculated MU was kaput, I didn't see a bunch of PR flaks from MS coming down off the mountain to say "no no no! We're still working on it!" Maybe I missed something but it seemed like the only response was crickets chirping.  Tongue

Although Cryptic had other unannounced projects, the speculation was maybe they might be interested in another established IP, though I don't think Jack Emmert is a trekkie per se.

I would more think they'd look for another comics company whose characters they could work on (Dark Horse? Image?). I think DC had a separate MMO project with someone else lined up though I haven't heard anything more on that in ages either.

If in fact MU is dead, then Cryptic selling off the CoX franchise (and letting virtually the entire CoX team move over to NCSoft) doesn't really look so smart. icon_confused I would be happy if Statesman, er, the artist formerly known as Statesman, showed up here and said, "You are WRONG, garbanzo beans breath! Marvel Universe is going to ROCK YOUR WORLD!" I don't see that happening...
10599  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 24, 2008, 02:08:14 PM
IGN has a dev diary about the new Fault Lever (for level 50 players) instance, which I think is part of patch 1.4 that's on the test server:

Also, if you're dying for charcoal black plaint dye, they have a limited test server thing where if you put in a total of 2 hours on the test server, you'll get some free black paint dyes automatically (which you can use on the live servers).
10600  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Rambo on: January 24, 2008, 04:38:27 AM
People who only remember the II and III relatively lunk-headed Rambo movies should watch the original, more ambigous First Blood (1982), which really is a terrific action film with a dark view of how America treated Vietnam vets upon their return, and has Brian Dennehy as a great counterpart to Stallone. Or dig up David Morrell's original First Blood book, a far, far nastier story where the character basically goes on a rampaging killing spree at the end (toned down considerably for the movie, understandably so, which went more for pyrotechnics at the end instead of body count).

In retrospect, Stallone mumbling, "We just want... our country... to love us... as much as we... love it" was like Oscar material compared to some of his dialogue in later movies in the '80s. Just didn't appreciate it at the time. smile

I still remember in my American Studies class in college in about 1986, we watched Rambo: First Blood Part II (I think on Betamax videotape  icon_lol) and analyzed the politics and also did a body count. The body count was ridiculous. I think by the time we were done counting, everyone was laughing sort of with a mixture of horror and amusement.
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