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10761  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 24, 2007, 02:15:17 PM
Ha. I kept right clicking the tabs themselves (nothing happens), guess I was right clicking the wrong thing. Probably from my LOTORO experience. confused

DOH. Wait. You actually DO click the tabs themselves to configure things. If you right click on the chat window itself, nothing happens. They're actually so configurable, I'm intimidated by them. biggrin

I reached 19 this afternoon. I've done a few instances now. I guess the problem is most of the teams I've been on are way overqualified late teens, early 20s, and most of the Divide instance stuff seems made for people in perhaps the 15-17 range. If you have teammates beyond that it just becomes a "lather, rinse, repeat" situation (even if the instance objectives, storylines etc. seem pretty cool).
10762  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 23, 2007, 09:31:04 PM
How do you configure the chat window and such? I checked all over the options and didn't see anything  for adjusting visibility/opagueness or putting certain channels in certain tabs. I'd love to, I think I'm missing something.  icon_confused
10763  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 23, 2007, 09:29:17 PM
I might try to get a GamingTrend clan started (if only to have a clan chat channel, and you can then also trade the 4 collector's edition paints to other clan mates if there's interest). It costs 10,000, and I'm afraid I always buy a bunch of stuff and then realize "hey, i was thinking about opening a clan." Oops.  Tongue
10764  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 23, 2007, 09:26:56 PM
Here's some peeks at the auction house (called Military Surplus in TR):

It's a good feature to have. I'm awash in loot, and the quest rewards are consistently good, so I just don't bother with it. It's there if you're into that sort of thing (variety is good imho), and easy to ignore if you're not. smile

10765  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots/movies (dial-ups beware) on: December 23, 2007, 09:01:11 AM
I took a few FRAPS movies. Nothing all that great, but I kinda like this base defense short flick. It's a bit distorted (I recorded at 512X384 but the host site displays as 640X480), but at least it's full speed. smile

I don't think we can embed stuff here, so you'll need to visit my little link at a hosting site called (if yer interested that is):
Click here to watch Base-Defense-in-NCSofts-Tabula-Rasa-game

And a brief little firefight from the Bane base area in the Divide (we each used a different type of weapon, which was kind of neat):
Click here to watch Firefight-in-NCSofts-Tabula-Rasa-game

Aaaand, Sulastani from the GT forums here and I teamed up for a while this afternoon for some fun:

I agree the Launchers are sluggish (unless yer willing to invest a lot of training points into it -- eventually you can cut the loading time to about 40% of normal), but I don't think they're meant to be our bread and butter. It's more of a situational tool I'd call it (I find Rockets and the like esp. useful in the base defense/assault situations). We'll see though. I read they plan to give everybody a free, full respec at some point (so people can consider re-distributing to accommodate some changes/balancing upcoming). Right now I'm trying a bit of everything, but I hope to focus on some things at some point.

10766  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 06:51:05 PM
On the flipside, participated in a desperate effort to take back one of the control points (Valley thingie) in Wilderness. It's tough to take back, what with the laser cannon turrets now firing on you, and the entrance force field seems to take a tremendous amount of EMP to bring down (we had 4-5 of us firing and it took quite a while).

Some sequence pics...

This was kinda fun. I made a desperate push towards the entrance (I guess if I realized one person can't possibly get the forcefield down in a reasonable amount of time, I might've done something different), and, right on que, the AI-controlled ASF mech hits its "air jet" and rushed right in front of me. Like a guard pulling in front of a running back in football...

Then again, maybe not a good idea. I think the "hexagonal radiation" is either a buff or heal from a caretaker.

I was on a small team and we worked with some pick-up players on getting field down (the bane dropped reinforcements right on top of us as we finished)

Teammate worked on the "CP" mechanism while I guarded

And it all went back to heck anyway.  icon_razz

10767  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 22, 2007, 03:55:23 PM
I sent Llewis a couple whispers last night and even ran in front of him by the Crossroads waypoint (near Benefactor Valley) but got no acknowledgement. I guess CeeKay thought I was a clever spambot?  crybaby icon_lol I think we're each at the same level now (15) due to my marathoning obscenely late into the morning hours.
10768  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 03:47:40 PM
And since I hit 15, a couple from that...

I did make a clone, but for now I went Commando. I like to mix it up, waste a lot of ammo, fire big guns etc. smile

The Graviton armor, in addition to the improvements above, offered about 1,000 higher armor rating than the Reflective armor I had been using at 14. And, it basically makes Jude look like a ... Transformer.  icon_lol
10769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 22, 2007, 03:43:39 PM
Thought I'd start a screenshots thread (and try to keep the general TR thread fast loading smile).

What finally got me over the hump to 15 last night (Concordia Divide has an endless wealth of missions but several are ones I'm struggling with in terms of finding the designated targets) was informally participating in a desperate defense of the Hydro Plant (which the AI Bane kept assaulting in massive waves after losing it earlier). Really cool stuff. I love getting on the base walls, plopping next to one of the AI laser cannon turrets for cover, and raining down what I can (often on baddies several levels above me). If I have to resort to grinding a bit, that's my preferred form. smile

I really love the idea of a base being in danger of getting overrun (and its contacts and such becoming unusable in the process) as far as giving players a strong "carrot" to help protect it on occasion.

Some pics...

When they get this far inside the base, you've got problems.  icon_surprised

This Bane chased me into the building and I had fun using the various tables as shields.

Around this time is when I thought the Hydro base situation was hopeless. I tried to take cover, but I basically just devoured my machine gun ammo and helped as much as I could (in spite of dying faster than I could use Rez sickness kits).  icon_cool You could say it just ends up a giant "Bane Whack-A-Mole" game but I sometimes feel truly heroic in this situations. There are so many friendly AI troops trying to help out, it's a bit hard to pick out the real players (I probably just need to adjust what "name tags" I have showing).

10770  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 06:49:34 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 21, 2007, 04:12:26 PM

One thing I learned last night is that if you log off at a control point make sure to do so staning someplace where you can do a quick exit if it happens to fall before you log back in.  I logged in last night to find the Imperial Valley CP had actually fallen into Bane hands, and seeing as I had logged off after turning in some defense tokens I was all the way in the back of the base and got whacked by the forty or so Bane troops that were in the place.

I got payback though by immediately going back and helping liberate it (unfortunately I was second to the CP so I didn't get to be the one to change it over, even after trying to get the remain Bane to shoot the guy doing it  icon_twisted).
In a way that's fun -- not your character's demise, but the game world changing so drastically -- I love the idea of Control Point areas getting "lost" to the Bane while we're away with our real lives. smile

When I was in the Divide last night, I noticed a CP to the far SW of the map was Bane-occupied. I toyed with charging down there after it but it was a little too late to do my Charge of the Light Brigade. smile And I couldn't find a contact giving an "Assault tokens mission."
10771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: December 21, 2007, 05:41:38 PM
Awesome! smile I've taken a break in the middle of I think mission 5 or 6. I've got to get back to it some day. Also, my mom got me Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow as one of my Xmas gifts. smile
10772  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 02:24:41 PM
I should be putting in some serious time tonight (Level 15 or bust! drool), finally with no work worries the next day. Look me up. smile I'll gladly switch back to my specialist clone (5) if someone's new and wants to team up a bit.

One of the guys i teamed with last night was a specialist who had developed two L30 soldier characters before. He said it took him a while to get used to its skill set but he was enjoying it. The medical skill had pretty cool animations/graphics. I don't think he had Forcefields yet.

There was one underground cave where I couldn't seem to unlock a forcefield to pass into a Logos room (well, I thought I had it unlocked, but I still couldn't walk through the field). He was able to do something to unlock it and remove the forcefield (maybe there's a tool that does that?). It was a neat moment -- I wouldn't have been able to obtain that one Logos without his help. smile
10773  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 21, 2007, 02:16:21 PM
I think still has the trial going. And the free trials seem to have brought in all the Hellgate: London spambots to play. smile

The trial is helpful for knowing if you like the combat mechanics or if you want to see how much it's improved since the clumsy beta. Until I get to try the L15 and L30 class choice tiers, I can't really chime in on how the later game is. But I do enjoy it quite a bit, and there's always something to do (if you get bored, you can just enjoy the Planetside-style base defense stuff, go hunt for Logos etc.). When I thought I was finally about out of specific things to do, I just moved to the next zone (Divide) and became so awash in missions I had to logout (too much work to do today).

I wouldn't hype it as the most innovative MMO on the block (as Garriott does), but for me, it draws in lots of things I like (sci-fi stuff and yet still lots of attractive environments as a more conventional fantasy mmo might have; some Planetside-style base defense and assault stuff but in a PvE format; lots of variety in things to do; and lots of crazy guns  icon_cool though the tiers look like they diversify that into "more than just guns" in combat eventually) in a fun package. And you never have to kill a rat, a snake or a 2-inch cockroach.  Tongue
10774  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 21, 2007, 05:17:24 AM
I teamed up with one specialist to battle a boss spider for a mission, then we called in a fella that I played with last night to help though he opined, "Oh I solo'd this!" Which is what everyone says about everything but it made the spider easier to deal with.  Tongue

So far pleased with the friendliness of the few I've teamed with. I reached L12 and moved over into the Divide. I had one lingering hunt I couldn't figure out -- any idea where to find Lightbender Glands?  icon_confused

We ran into one situation (involving "Devil" bosses) that was pretty much a spawn camping nightmare. I'm tempted to say they should turn that one into a limited instance just to avoid the comedy of about 3-4 teams pretty much waiting in line for a dropship to show up.  Tongue

Haven't had any luck adding GTers. What times do you all play (east coast time). I can at least try to pop in around whenever for friends list sake.
10775  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Starcraft II Unit - Terran TF-620 Nomad on: December 20, 2007, 06:33:14 PM
imho, all over the top graphics and excessive system requirements do is make it harder for RTS games to sell (I have no doubt it hurt my fave Company of Heroes, a game many gamer buds of mine simply assumed they couldn't run; and probably did no good for C&C3 to have FPS-type system requirements).

Still, I do think they're hugging the original games' look and viewing angle almost too closely. I understand the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" mentality along with the obsession of not alienating the South Korean market that worships SC1, but it does almost look more like an expansion upgrade or some "corporate sponsored fan mod project," rather than a new game.

Certainly it's nothing like the visual jump from Warcraft II to Warcraft III. But hey, did you ever buy a Blizzard game because the graphics blew you away? I know I didn't. smile

Goliaths are my all time favorite SC unit, maybe all time RTS unit. Even if I'd send a bunch to their doom, just loved 'em and the "Goliath online!" voice line.  icon_cool
10776  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 06:20:44 PM
Pravus is fun with a team, but definitely there are enough friendly AI units running around it to not feel too lonely. smile

Do you know if there is some way in the Pravus instance to... [I guess this could be a spoiler so I'll put it in the spoiler format below]:

Spoiler for Hiden:
... free the prisoners within the actual research facility? There's a keyboard from the area overlooking the prisoners area. When you activate it it seems to spawn a hovering spotlight thing. But the spotlight doesn't do anything, nor does blowing it up do anything. Sometimes a prisoner says "RELEASE US!" and my group was wondering if that's just sort of window dressing, or if it's of any importance (perhaps it'll be a sub mission they put in later or something?)

If it's just window dressing, that's a shame. It would be cool if you could free them, and perhaps some would escape and maybe a few AI prisoners could offer to help you and your squad destroy the nearby reactor/fuel thingie or something.
10777  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 04:43:28 PM
If it interests you even a little I'd probably recommend taking advantage of that Amazon sale ($29.99 regular, $39.99 collector's). Even if it only keeps your interest a month, 'tis a good deal. smile

I definitely think I'll stick around, fwiw (not playing any other MMOs or games for that matter, at this point).
10778  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 02:25:05 PM
Oh yeah, I was dismayed with the beta. Even Garriott later admitted they drew too many people into the beta at a time when the fun factor wasn't really there, and a lot of things weren't working well. I still bet it launched in better shape than Hellgate.  icon_biggrin

CuppaJo did another interview, slightly more informative:

10779  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 20, 2007, 02:19:15 PM
There's a few of us GTers in TR now so thought I'd do a list of sorts (you only need someone's last name to add to friends list -- that's cool, I think it'll let you know when they're on regardless of which character):

This is probably an incomplete list, just from combing posts in the TR thread. smile

Pegasus (East Coast) Server
-Devian [andon at GT]

-Gillman [Arclight at GT]

-Faide [Faide at GT]

-Llewis [CeeKay at GT]

-Hakashi [USMC Kato at GT]

-Blackjach [Blackjack at GT]
--Jude Blackjach [L30], Commando
--Injector Blackjach [L5], Specialist
--Specializer Blackjach [L4], Specialist

-Sulastani (L24) [Arkon at GT]

-Rhall [Goldchamp at GT]
10780  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 06:45:46 AM
Finally got to team up with some friendly folks. Four of us on some Research Facility instance, and then 3 of us continued to Crater Lake. These thankfully aren't claustrophobic little instances -- they're sort of big sprawling battlefield instances instead, usually with gobs of both friendly and enemy AI zooming in and out.

It's late, I must crash, but a couple pics (I cropped to remove the tracker revealing "instance objectives"):

Our squad. I suppose this will get more interesting (it was fun as all get out, but we were all basically the same sorts of soldier classes using a mix of the same weapons) at L15 and above.

It was fun working through some close-quarters situations.
10781  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 20, 2007, 02:41:54 AM
Sure - what's the name? smile

As far as Pegasus goes, it seems we have (I would be game to start someone on the west coast server eventually):

L12-Llewis (CeeKay here at GT)
L9-Blackjach (Blackjack here at GT)
[NOTE: I belatedly realized you only need the last name for the friends list]

I'm sure CeeKay has probably progressed, but that's the last level I saw for ya.

If there's enough of us maybe we can set up a separate thread for names (hell if Hellgate gets one, this certainly should slywink). Maybe even a clan some day.

Anyway, I'm heading in finally now. Look me up. smile I'll see if I can find that Logos. I swear I've been all over said caves (egg layers) but maybe it goes further north than I thought.

I cloned at Level 5 so I'd be glad to switch back to that character if someone newer to the game wanted to team up.

10782  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 09:42:54 PM
Oh, if you'll be on tonight CeeKay, I'll at least try to add ya to friends list (seems like people have to be online at the same time to add to the list, at this point), Hans Llewis that is (Jude Blackjach is 9 actually). smile

In particular, I could use some help on that Crater Lake instance thing.

Yeah, I had no particular reason for picking "Jude" other than every first name in the universe, even joke ones, seemed taken. And I had to go with Blackjach in Hellgate cause someone seems to have stolen Blackjack everywhere. I used to be able to use that name in all sorts of games  crybaby (it was the name of a martial arts scrapper of mine in COH, and I started using it as a nickname many places).
10783  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 09:32:44 PM
I'll post a pic of that one Logos I can't seem to find later tonight (maybe someone here can clue me in).  icon_confused I would say it's roughly NW of the starter base in the Wilderness. On the map, the icon for it is basically in a clump of trees on top of a yellowish hill. There's no way I can see to enter into the tree'd area, and I don't think there's a tunnel somewhere else on the map that leads to it (though that seems the only way it could really be where it's marked.

I'll remember when I get home, but I think the Logos is called "Area", and it's needed (along with one other that I did find OK) for the "Shrapnel" Logos ability that a Soldier can learn.
10784  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 06:27:42 PM
I kind of wish I could drag my health/shields/power meters up higher on the screen (this is something I did in COH so that I would notice a quick drop in health more quickly). I think my armor is OK at the moment, but when the shield power drops out, *BOOM* my health drains out like helium from a stuck balloon. The death/trauma kit system makes it all quite bearable, I'm not mad about it, but think I just am not really clear on when I can take some punishment, and when I should run behind cover and recuperate (at least not yet, only been playing 3 days).

While I can carp about this and that, what I like mostly...
-I'm sure PVPers are complaining but I really prefer PvE in this kind of thing, and while the AI is nothing spectacular per se, there seems to be a pretty good variety in enemy attacks, behavior and movement patterns. I like that it doesn't feel predictable and you're challenged in a lot of ways to keep switching weapons to find one that works best.
-The base defense and assault (to take control points back for ASF) stuff reminds me of a PvE Planetside (which was 100% about this type of thing). I like though you can keep getting basic missions (modest exp and rewards for 25 "tokens" from dropped enemies), and have a more individual carrot rather than the "back and forth" faction stuff in Planetside.
-While I was able to get into the "exploration" aspect of LOTORO (where often you were given very vague directions on where to go for a quest, the idea being you would explore/navigate the environment to find it), I'm perfectly happy to be led by the nose and always have a nice gold icon on the map giving me a specific idea where to go. Here and there, tunnels and winding paths make it not as obvious as it looks, but aside from one Logos that I can't seem to figure out (I think it's called "Area," and I can't find it where it's marked on the map), I haven't had to keep whining in chat channels for help on where to find something.
-There seems no end of things to do. None of it's rocket science and maybe there's still a bit too many lazy "go kill X beasties and come back to me" type missions/quests, but overall I've been pleased with how clogged my mission tracker has been. smile

-I am not going crazy with crafting but so far it seems easy enough to figure out (Auto Assault I was so baffled by, it was like learning some alien language crafting wise), and I like that when you make grenades or something, you get a pretty large, usable clump (say, 12, or 15 of the item) from it (you don't have to slog through making one at a time).

What I don't like?
-I'm a bit tired of numbnuts firing into the ground or the air about 1,000 times in the bases. If you're that bored, go play something else. Yeah yeah you got a big gun, we're impressed.  disgust Tongue
-The chat channels are rapidly filling up with spambots (not quite as bad as Hellgate yet), and the chat channel's could desperately use some of COH's and LOTORO's chat tab resize-ability and configurability (maybe this is in the works? Or maybe it already has it and I don't realize it).
-My current "black sky textures" problem is a bit annoying. Probably the latest ATI drivers would fix it, but as mentioned elsewhere, that borks up my MP3 online store's software.  crybaby
-Animation seems a tad choppy in some situations (maybe just my sluggish PC)
10785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Duke Nukem Forever Tomorrow!!! on: December 19, 2007, 02:28:29 PM
I think it's safe to say the buzz of anticipation wore off about 9 years ago (to be generous).  Tongue

I do recall Duke Nukem 3D almost ruined my life completely in 1996. At one point I was dragging into my newspaper job about 1 p.m. (!) some weekdays and my co-workers were wondering what the heck was going on with me (I was playing DN3D til 4 a.m., often in modem co-op games with a former college chum). It's safe to say I pushed my flexible work schedule to the brink. saywhat

I was 30 then, 42 now, and I'm afraid my gaming tastes don't quite go down that same channel anymore.
10786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSP questions on: December 19, 2007, 02:22:08 PM
Technically (from what I've read), the PSP Slim's battery has about the same life as the old one in spite of being smaller. You can use the slightly larger capacity battery from the old one (you don't have to mod it, but companies are selling inexpensive custom battery covers so that the old style battery doesn't look like it's out of place).

The PSP has a lot of great games, so I would recommend trying a few of those before obsessing bout Home Brewing. smile Where there's a will there's always a way though, and the Web is still awash with "how to home brew" for PSP regardless of Firmware version (just some are much more of a challenge it seems). It's like Blizzard trying to block hackers from -- they can keep trying, but it's not a winnable fight.
10787  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 01:59:51 PM
I'm running acceptably (I still can't get sky textures to appear, I've just learned to live with a black sky  icon_razz) on a kludgy old AMD64 3200, 2 GB RAM, ATIX1650 card system. The min specs are nothing scary compared to the likes of Crysis, Gears of War PC, etc. etc., but you prob need something decent to turn up all the bells and whistles (I'm leaving a lot off to get a consistent, playable frame rate).

From the box:
Minimum System Specs:
2.5Ghz Intel P4 or equivalent (no AMD specs mentioned)
5GB Hard Drive space
ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 series video card with 128MB of VRAM
16-bit sound card
-Broadband connection (I imagine it would technically run on dialup, but with so much gunfire and what not, broadband is pretty well a must -- I do have buds who play COH and LOTORO on dial-up)
DirectX 9.0c

Recommended System Specs:
3.5ghz Intel P4 or equivalent
ATI Radeon X1800 or NVIDIA GeForce o7800 series video card
[Rest are pretty much the same as the Minimum]

A lot of what makes the game feel promising to me in the long run are the specialized classes (which I have a long ways before I can get to). There are lots of interesting skills, not all firearms-based down the road. Exobiologist [class specialty choice at L30] reminds me quite a bit of Diablo II's Necromancer (right down to detonating enemy corpses and reanimating masses of corpses in a wide area). Engineers can make turrets, traps and robots.

I'm maybe going to work towards Ranger [class specialty choice at L15], just cause the idea of AI-reinforcement call-ins (via waypoint network) and carpet bombing sounds fun to me. smile Though Commando is prob better if I'm going to continue to solo most of the time. I'm eager to see how that all pans out. smile

The "cloning" feature is really quite nice in terms of not having to start from square 1 to see how different class-branch choices work out.

Usually if I've stuck with an MMO a long time (I spent 3+ years in COH, a year or so in UO, about 6 months in Planetside and maybe 5 in LOTORO, everything else I've tried, I've not stayed past the free first month), it's because I enjoyed the gameplay mechanics, combat, animations etc. enough that even if I burn through all the content, I don't mind doing it again with another type of character. LOTORO it turned out was something where I enjoyed the experience more than the actual gameplay mechanics; and once I'd burned through the majority of the content on two characters, I didn't really feel like doing it again, alas.
10788  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 19, 2007, 05:49:06 AM
I'm happy with the machine gun stuff, but definitely I use a little bit of everything. smile

I'm at level 8 now. I think I might've finally finished the egg layer quest (or I might have one to go and removed it from the mission tracker). I played about 5 hours tonight. I think I like it.  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.

While I'm still hoping to do some teaming at some point (people kept LFMing for the Crater Lake instance but by the time I got to it they evaporated   icon_neutral), I think it's a great game for people that prefer to solo their missions mostly, but like the idea of being part of something bigger and battling informally alongside other players. It's so relatively easy to rack up enemy kills that there really doesn't seem much concern or hollering about "kill stealing." There is a little bit of camping on certain objectives but generally there's always something else you can work on in a pinch.

In terms of seeming to have a never-ending river of missions to do, it really is a far, far cry from the mid-late beta I played. I think I'm just going to stay away from betas unless they're the week before release -- I just too often get a sour impression that's sometimes not really fair.

A few pics...

Who needs Gears of War anyway?  icon_cool (middle mouse button actually gives a viewpoint similar to GoW)

This guy... gave me problems.  wasted I usually switched to an energy weapon. He seems to really beeline for you if you do any appreciable damage to him... or it.

I'm not really a crafting nut but I spend some time working up paint stuff including this Bright Purple look...

Gotta love them AI-controlled AFS mechs, especially the way the spent cartridges come flying out of their guns in a flood...
10789  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 18, 2007, 10:55:31 PM
Anyone else playing on Pegasus (East Coast) server? I'd certainly be game to team up on some stuff. Right now I don't know enough of the missions to have a clue in the LFG channel. It's all people shouting out mission titles like they'd mean anything to a noob.  icon_confused

I was mowing everything down last night until I got a quest to tackle some "egg layers" in a cave, and, well, it didn't go very well.  Tongue

So far I don't seem to have the "never enough ammo, always too broke to buy anymore" problems that I had in beta. I try to always buy a few at the vendors (trying to always stay above 1,000 - I know how fast the machine gun stuff can chew through the cartridges) and I'm so far resisting the fancier (more expensive) ammo types.
10790  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 18, 2007, 06:54:16 PM
The main problem with the CE pet is that it's so big, and hovers so close to your character, that I often found him floating into my line-of sight.  disgust

I finally realized (I didn't understand this in beta) that some of the skills you can learn are Logo-based (require you to have two specific Logos for it to be available), so I'm not using points on them (Soldier class) for now cause I don't have any of the necessary pairs completed. I couldn't quite grasp this during the beta, even when explained in chat channels, but the manual makes it a little clearer as just does sort of clicking around the skills points screen.
10791  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 18, 2007, 02:07:01 PM
A few pics:

The collector's edition pet is, basically, obnoxious. I don't think I'll use it too much, but you can't say that it's too small to be noticed.  Roll Eyes I was hoping for something cooler than a giant robotic ostrich.  saywhat

My attempts to dye all my armor red seem to make Jude Blackjach look more like "The Walking Orange Box"  icon_smile

Dude, it's a Dell! Talk about weird product placement...

I had a good time playing last night. Just soloing for now, though it seems like the LFG channel is quite busy, esp. at higher levels (20s or higher).
10792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Game of the Year stuff on: December 18, 2007, 01:55:48 PM
The various sites/magazines are doing game of the year stuff now.

Gamespy started with its PC Game of the Year:

Hint: It wasn't Bioshock, Crysis or Half Life: The Orange Box. So you can probably guess what it was, and it wasn't something that really needs a sale boost from a "GOTY!" moniker (not that that's a criteria, or that a GOTY moniker is even worth anything sales-wise).  icon_neutral

fwiw, 5 of their Top 10 are FPSs, 2 are strategy games, 2 are MMORPGs, one's an RPG and the other's an adventure game.

I tend to find it funner when sites or mags give GOTY to something under the radar screen or that's not an obvious choice (CGW giving theirs to Operation Flashpoint in 2001 brought howling like you wouldn't believe  icon_razz).
10793  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 18, 2007, 01:56:45 AM
Good ole' Cuppa Jo (former City of Heroes forum moderator) provided a couple interviews of interest...

With Sweet Flag blog about upcoming Social Features in TR (this is, to be honest, mostly "we're working on it," and "no release date yet" stuff; it might as well be a Hellgate dev interview!  icon_wink)

With Ten Ton Hammer on "Ask the Devs" forum questions
10794  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 17, 2007, 02:02:04 PM
I put some time in Sunday morning (Pegasus server, as "Jude Blackjach," fwiw). Server busy-ness varies quite a bit depending on the server. It feels more polished now for sure.

I have one technical problem though -- depending on my ATI video driver settings, the sky textures either frantically overlap and blink, or there are no sky textures at all (the sky is completely black). If I turn all the settings to maximum it seems to look OK, but then my frame rate is in the pits. So, I guess I have to keep experimenting a bit. One of the bad things bout having no official forum is not really having a reasonably reliable place to look for informal tech support stuff.

I couldn't quite screen capture the overlap/blinking problem, but here's the black sky (more like a stage play backdrop) I get otherwise:
10795  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 16, 2007, 02:44:58 PM
I'm kind of a patch notes freak, so here's their update on what's around the corner (from lead designer Paul Sage):
There are big changes coming up with the next update to Tabula Rasa that will help players diversify their characters even more. I briefly mentioned the attribute changes coming online in this next update, but now I can go into more detail about them.

    * Body points will now add a bonus to your armor rating.
    * Mind points will now add a bonus to your ability damage.
    * Spirit points will now add a bonus to your chance to deliver critical hits.
    * Health has now been upped for all characters.

These changes will necessitate a respec for your character, but we feel these are very good changes for a number of reasons. The health change means that healing will be more important and inline with what we had originally envisioned. It will give a better early warning system when your armor drops and give more of a reason to have higher health. It will also allow us to improve virulent damage a bit, without making it overpowered. The body changes give those who want to really last in a firefight a way to do so now, but at the cost of power. Mind points means the Logos abilities will now be able to peel away armor and kill quicker, but they themselves will become a much easier target to take down. Finally, the spirit changes will allow strings of critical hits and much faster adrenaline gains through overkills.

All the attribute changes will make abilities, armor and weapons that grant attribute bonuses, or perhaps debuff attributes much more important. As you can imagine, core changes like these are being tested heavily by the development team and our own QA team. I’d like to personally encourage people to play on our Test Server when version 1.4 comes out and give us feedback early.

Also, I would like to discuss the changes coming to the Engineer class. Specifically, we took away Temporary Wormhole and gave it to all players as a consumable item for purchase through vendors. We felt that the original goal of making travel non-tedious in TR wasn’t really being met in all circumstances, so we wanted to remove that barrier from all players.

The new engineer ability will be Malfunction. Malfunction is the Engineer’s way to wreak havoc on their enemies in a very sneaky fashion. Essentially this will give the Engineer the ability to jam weapons and prevent ability usage, while the top level will shutdown movement for a short time on armored opponents.

We will also be evaluating the Trap skill to make it more useful. New traps will be more like mines that blow up on being shot, taking on the damage type of the shot that triggers them, or magnetic mines that blow up in proximity or after being on the target a short time. These abilities may not make it in for Version 1.4, the next update, but should be in shortly after.
10796  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 16, 2007, 05:54:52 AM
I might login tomorrow morning. smile I am definitely thumbs up on the Collector's Edition. As mentioned, the glossy map cards seem very cool and useful too. And you get a nice, thick, wide (not DVD-box-mushed) lavishly illustrated color manual. A cynic would say it's the kind of manual you got with almost every game in the mid 1990s or that you can prob get a lot of this info online or in the official strategy guide, but I can't look a nostalgic gift horse in the mouth. smile

Some pics:

Said map cards.

Manual features a lot of pencil art and sketches. Maybe not Marvel/DC quality, but fun. smile

And very detailed summaries of all the skills, specialties, classes, weapons etc.
10797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Crysis and UT3 (PC version) bombing? on: December 16, 2007, 05:28:21 AM
It could be that once everyone has played 1,093 FPSs, that maybe it's time for the market to do something fresh.

It could be that making games that seem to require $600 videocards or $800 SLI-dual-card-setups to get a decent frame rate is folly in an increasingly console-soaked market (it made sense maybe in the PS2/XBox era as a way to drive people into upgrading their PCs, but all it probably does now is drive more people away from PC gaming altogether). I mean, I admire Crytek having the guts to release a sky high system requirements PC-only title, but it seems like marketing folly if not marketing suicide.

Honestly, I'm convinced I'm the last PC gamer in Virginia. I never, ever see anyone in the PC games sections of any of the stores I frequent (Best buy, Gamestop, Circuit City, increasingly Target cause it has a nice and surprisingly well stocked PC games section now). If you remove WoW and its expansion from the equation, and 27 Sims expansions, I'm not sure what PC games are really selling in numbers that would impress anybody.

I don't have any next-gen consoles, so don't take this as someone throwing stones at the PC games market because he loves consoles (I don't). I just feel increasingly like a dinosaur. That may explain why I'm having a "gaming depression" right now and am not playing anything at all. Maybe that and most of the pals I used to play PC games online with have given up on the platform (either moving to XBox360 or out of gaming altogether).
10798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Movies: Your Flix, Post here. on: December 15, 2007, 01:00:57 PM
Here's my quite derative, missing some exposition, attempt at film noir...

Dead Men Tell No Tales
Click here to watch Dead-Men-Tell-No-Tales---done-with-Lionheads-The-Movies

It's actually like a 320X200 movie but my file host makes it widescreen. If it doesn't load properly, you might have to change the drop down menu to "Default" size.

I believe this was post Stunts and Effects, so I had some interesting little action things in it, including a guy dangling from a window. I never got around to doing voices for it (my own deep, somewhat unexpressive voice worked OK for the detective but I had a hard time finding female voice help; some female co-workers volunteered to help, but I never got around to it all).

This was another case where the screwy editing tool really fouled up my ambitions. At one point I had a scene where the ex-cop detective's partner is killed during a traffic stop.  I think I did lots of work on it, only to have The Movies crash to the desktop and I lost all my work on it.  crybaby And anyway, I would've had to re-position about 100 "caption files" on the editing tool "strip," and it would've made me crazy.  Tongue

The ending is way too rushed too, but by that point I was a little sick of it, and I just wanted the pain to stop.  icon_razz

Anyway, I learned that I am not, in fact, Raymond Chandler...
10799  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: December 15, 2007, 12:34:36 PM
A few games sites are now offering 3-day trials for this (it might be useful in terms of seeing how far along it's come since beta, but I definitely miss the days of 7-10 day trials), including (though you need to do free registration as an member first):

Tomorrow... er, later today I should have the full game though I may just leave it til Xmas day.
10800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Field Ops on: December 14, 2007, 05:56:47 PM
I've always had a weakness for weird Europe/Eastern Europe devved games.  icon_biggrin (This is from Hungary, as the .hu in the domain gives away).

If you ever get a PSP, I'll have to steer you to SOCOM: Tactical Strike -- which is not like this per se, but does mix parts of different genres (shooters, strategy, small squad tactical etc.) in a fun way that's difficult to boilerplate in a press release.

Dave is good at highlighting lesser known games that fall between the cracks (i.e., they are not overhyped and shoved down your throat by aggressive PR people and frantically fawning corporate-size gaming news sites... oh I'm gettin cynical, I'll stop. smile), and we share a fondness for squad-tactical things in various genres, fwiw.
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