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10761  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 18, 2008, 12:44:31 PM
I got my first costume piece recipe last night. It dropped while I was on a team completing a fairly mundane Peregrine Island mish:

The recipe's fairly inexpensive, and adds the jet boot option to the Tailor shop once made.

You don't *have* to be a flier to wear the boots, but you won't get to enjoy the "jet boot" animation except when you're flying. Very cool, continously animated effect.  icon_cool
10762  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 17, 2008, 07:25:22 PM
The dev going as "Back Alley Brawler" had a funny post the other day when a fan was speculating the devs must all be "driving Hummers now" they're so rich. He mentioned he drives a '93 Toyota Corolla with 210,000 miles with one hubcap missing (I drive a '96 Corolla with 235,000 miles on it and horribly peeling hubcaps myself  icon_lol), . The message being that the playerbase fees of all kinds keeps them duly employed (which is no little thing, giving how often MMO teams get pared down or laid off), doing something they love, but hardly makes them wealthy.

So I guess every bit, such as yours (or my reactivating my account), helps.  icon_smile

10763  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 17, 2008, 05:35:29 PM
They claim the microtransaction fees from Server Transfer and Character Rename helped fund some upcoming improvements/features that would have otherwise been delayed. So I guess to some extent we should only hope that that many people want to pay for extra character slots, if it means they can add some more goodies that would've otherwise gotten delayed.  icon_smile

I had read an interview in EDGE a while back with Bethesda, that even though there was much grumbling when they began charging for XBox360 version updates, bonus features (just new equipment in some cases), lots and lots of people were willing to pay the pocket change for them and it helped fund other things Bethesda wanted to do for it whereas they might have just stopped adding things to Oblivion otherwise.

It's a little different in this case since you're already paying about $15 a month, but I think like the iTunes model, you can find people willing to pay 99 cents or $1.99 or $2.99 for something that would make them blanche if they had to pay $10 or $15 more for it.

Dr. Barium hit 40 yesterday.
10764  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: March 17, 2008, 02:55:56 AM
fwiw, I'm probably keeping my account active til maybe April 10 or so. I had been overconfident enough about the game to do 3-month billing and April 16 is the next bill date so I think I'll give myself til then. I think I mentioned that before, perhaps not so specifically.

I think in the end (and just imho as I always say), it's just strange to fixate on trying to make leveling faster in a game where people already seem to largely level Too Fast and lose interest in the game. They should be trying to give you more and more variety to do, more reasons to stay, not just trying to make you hyperactively uber level and make enemy AI "tweaks" and create a mostly meaningless cosmetic change (hybrids) that doesn't seem remotely close to what people think of when they think of having multiple races with distinct differences to play.

I don't understand why a game that was hyped as averting the "grindfest" has so many players looking for "grind teams" and complaining about "grinding and more grinding." That would seem right there to illustrate my point there isn't enough to do. What's there, when it isn't mindless hunts, is really cool stuff I enjoy doing. I just wanted more, and I don't really see much in the pipeline. icon_confused

Assuming I cancel around April 10, I will definitely type things along those lines into the "tell us why you're leaving" and "what would it take to make you play Tabula Rasa again" boxes, for all the good it will do.

While there are things about TR that I truly do miss in City of Heroes (esp. TR's missions that are more interesting than clicking glowies and escorting NPCs), returning to COH reminded me of just how kludgy the whole TR interface and chat system feels, and just how much generally more sociable the COH playerbase is. The former is something Garriott and company should've had in place before launch. The latter is just not something you can "program" into a game. smile

I didn't get any characters past 33, so I'm not sure I'd return when PAUs launch (40 minimum). And basically I had done the content available to me and would have to grind, grind grind to reach the point of having new missions to do.

In a way though, the game led me to Dungeon Runners when I felt like I'd reached a brick wall in TR. And that led me back to COH. So I can't really be mad about it. It's like getting a divorce, dating a couple other gals, and then realizing the one you broke up with is whom you belonged with all along.  icon_biggrin Plus, I guess NCSoft doesn't care cause all 3 of those games are under their umbrella.  smirk
10765  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan melee dev video on: March 15, 2008, 03:46:42 PM
-The engine is supposedly "scalable" but we'll see. I mean, at full settings Tabula Rasa looks amazing on my old system, but the frame rate is about ... 1 fps.  crybaby

-My understanding is some of the videos at GDC and the like show decapitations happening far more often, and in more quantity than typically happens in the game (basically, the devs were showing off). It isn't quite Die by the Sword (a famously decapitory PC fighting game I loved). But I assume the marketers think kill moves and decapitations are a cooler thing to hype than more routine bashing and slashing.

-I found the video really enlightening, but I still don't quite understand sort of what types of keyboard keys we'll be bashing and the like. Do we have to bash shield keys *and* attack keys *and* spell keys? Will I need 3 hands to play the game? Maybe my cat can help.  icon_confused

-I remain unconvinced MMOs will ever take off on consoles or that folks already paying for XBox Live want to get into $15 a month games. A lot of companies want to succeed there so they don't have to keep throwing themselves against the WoW meat grinder to no avail on PC.

-"Skill-based" is something Pirates of the Burning Sea (which I still haven't opened!) touts in terms of its ship-to-ship combat. I'm keen on it, but there are plenty of people (in fact probably most of the 8 million playing WoW) who like auto-combat, and like being able to play with one hand while stuffing Cheetos in their face with another. Whether most people really want something different that requires a lot of on-the-fly adjustments, 'tis something interesting to see.

10766  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 14, 2008, 09:41:31 PM
Cryptic posted its answers to the first round of fan questions...

Ask Cryptic, March 14, 2008
The Blackjack Sniffer attempts to highlight a couple things (there were only about 4-5 questions in this round of answers)...
What will the "death penalty" be? (Hythian)

Arkayne: The "death penalty" is fairly simple, Hythian. After a player is defeated, he or she can choose to wait until another nearby player with healilng powers puts them back in the fight. Failing that, the player can choose to go to a nearby recovery point. Those points are spread throughout zones and instance maps. [I guess there are no resurrection inspirations per se in this?-bj]

Regardless of what the player chooses to do, they have to pay a small price for defeat: equipment damage. Equipment has a certain degree of durability associated with it. Whenever a player is defeated the equipment they are wearing suffers a durability loss. If the durability of an item is reduced to 0, it stops functioning until it is repaired. Equipment can be repaired for a resource cost at most hero safe areas throughout the game. [I'm not really a big fan of keeping an eye on equipment durability, not even in Diablo clones, so color me skeptical-bj  disgust]

About combat (the question is a loooooooooong one so I'm taking a shortcut here  icon_smile - bj]
Heretic: You will auto-target your opponent, but there are a couple of changes to how we are approaching player powers that should minimize the "fireball following them around corners" issue.

First, we have shortened activation times as much as possible. This makes the game feel faster and more responsive, but it also significantly reduces the frequency of projectiles following around corners.

Second, we are relying more heavily on charge-up and maintained attacks. The advantage of these type of attacks is that they give the player the opportunity to block or move to put walls and other objects in the way and close off line of sight from their attacker.
On the last point, the question was related to CoX basically treating cover as non-existent (and other heroes actually), so basically projectiles fly through/around cover, other players etc. for the most part. I think it's also a function of the relative slowness of CoX's engine though many MMOs share this type of limitation afik. Meaning the engine animates wonderfully and all, but if a bad guy fires at you, and you run around the corner, the projectile still follows through/around said corner and hits you.
10767  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 14, 2008, 08:54:08 PM
That's Dr. Barium though I have since added some "circuitry" green to his face to spice things up a bit.  icon_cool Since we're suddenly CoX-crazy here, maybe we can start a toon screenshots thread and start seeing what each other's creations look like.  icon_cool

Hey, City of Micro Transactions is growing by one soon:
Our intent is add purchasable character slots to round out our existing services of Character Transfer and Character Rename. We hope to have this implemented and available shortly after Issue 12 Launch.
With all the Issue 12 lower level new/revamped stuff, a lot of folks expressed interest in more character slots though I'm sure there'll be much screaming of bloody murder over being charged for them.  icon_neutral

I dunno, I guess I'm not into alt-itis overload, and other than Pinnacle and Protector, I have way too many spare character slots on the other servers.
10768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: March 14, 2008, 05:12:48 PM
I can't find the link right now, but I saw an NPD item this morning that Sins is battling Call of Duty 4 (PC) for the top PC game sales slot (admittedly among the limited retailers that NPD covers, but still). Technically COD4's on top, Sins second, and then mostly a mix of WoW and The Sims stuff.

Gamedaily has a little interview with the CEO/Prez:
According to the NPD, Sins of a Solar Empire has been in the NPD top 10 every week since its release on February 4. It trailed only Call of Duty 4 in PC sales for its first three weeks of availability, bumped down to the third slot only this past week. As a result of this, Stardock announced that Sins of a Solar Empire passed 100,000 in sales in just over three weeks.
Yay for the little guy and for "games without copy protection," even if this remains for me a "game I want to love but just can't get into."  icon_redface But hey, one of those 100,000+ purchases was mine at least so I feel good supporting their efforts regardless.  icon_smile
10769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 14, 2008, 04:59:13 PM
If there are several of us playing, I'd be glad to start a "CoX server player names" thread where we could limit it to just to posts about our toon names/servers/playtimes etc. Just out of paranoia paranoid, I usually only give my global chat ID out via PM. I mostly play on Pinnacle, though I have several mothballed Villains over on Protector.

Hey, War Witch at forums clarified that the Hollows improvements are strictly in terms of spawn mixes and sizes, and they have not done any structural changes to the Hollows zone as part of the makeover:
War Witch, Level Designer who's doing the Hollows Gameplay Makeover, wanted me to point out that the changes are to address spawns and that there are no significant art changes (like moving buildings, etc.) being done with the changes.

We'll have more information and details about all the features of Issue 12: Midnight Hour in forthcoming web articles.
fwiw, when Dr. Barium (L39 empathy/rad blast defender on Pinnacle) is bored, he likes to go into the Hollows and give out fly-by heals, buffes and rezzes to the Little People. They always are appreciative, esp. given how large most of the mobs are there in the current configuration.  icon_smile Alas, the zone really is unpopular these days and Dr. B rarely finds any little ones to help out. *Blackjack exits "talking about himself in third person mode"*  smirk
10770  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: March 14, 2008, 04:50:30 PM
As a former LOTORO player I only keep a loose eye on things, but they dropped some pretty big news about a major, paid ($29.99) expansion they're releasing in fall 2008. You can read about it anywhere probably, here's a couple of links:


There's an official site, but if you ask me, it's way too gimmicky for its own good:

Among the goodies (Due in Fall 2008):
-lifting level cap by 10 levels
-2 new classes (Warden and Rune-Keeper)
-3 new regions (Eregion, Moria and Lorien), supposedly including lots of new content
-New, unique Legendary Weapons (which earn their own deeds and traits)

Enough to bring me back? Well, lets see what the MMO world looks like in the fall, and see whether Age of Conan lives up to its promise or trips on its own shoelaces.  icon_confused
10771  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 14, 2008, 06:24:18 AM
So I somehow fell asleep at 9:30 p.m. and woke up at 1:30 a.m. Now I can't get back to sleep. Time to "search for Eee PC photo galleries" and reviews online. Some are old, but most have some very helpful-to-see images (including how it looks sitting on top of a "normal" laptop, in size):

ASUS Eee PC First Thoughts (from a Canadian site called Random Process)
-This has pics of the packaging, and of it sitting on top of a regular size laptop's keyboard (helpful for visualizing as I've not been able to see this at any stores to check it out)
-The box is apparently almost exactly same size as an NVIDIA 8800GT video card box

Oh heck here's the image... (this is the current model and not the larger, upcoming ones with 8.5/9" screen)


Uh oh, I'm getting sleepy again. Zzzzz....

10772  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 14, 2008, 05:34:54 AM
This news brief that Blue's News picked up is only worth reading for the sporadically amusing comments thread appended to it:

BetaNews: Asus' Eee Linux PC to become Windows machine
My favorite illuminatory comments (mostly an "OS wars disagreement") ...
"You're an idiot."

"Ever consider you are an idiot for mindlessly believing this?"

"OS theorists? Pray tell, whom might these be who are extolling the virtues of Microsoft's mighty spaghetti code? Lots of absolutes in your claims. Give us some links that don't start with"


Did their key get stuck?"  icon_lol

"With the price hike due to the 9 inches screen and Windows, what we end up is just another cheap laptop." [ehhh, not really true as the price is supposedly to be maybe $100 more than the current top model-bj]
Debate, drama, comedy and cynicism. Where did we turn to for such discourse before the Internet?  smirk
10773  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 13, 2008, 08:04:30 PM
*In feeble attempt to steer the thread back into Issue 12 discussions   drillsergeant  icon_lol

Hero 1, one of CoX's mission "writers," posted to reassure COV fans that *both* COH and COV players get new "Midnight Hour" story arcs to do and hopefully enjoy:
The Midnight Squad missions, of which there are multiple arcs, are equal in content for both Heroes and Villains.

Heroes get a single longer StoryArc regarding the Midnight Squad and Villains get two shorter StoryArcs.

All of these arcs tie in to the Midnighter Club and the Cimerora, as well as two other arcs (one hero and one villain) that we didn’t mention in the release.

As far as the line from the release, “The Midnighters hold a secret that could bring the alien assault to an end, but without the help of the Heroes of Paragon City™ it will remain Lost forever.” That line refers to the Midnight Squads hero Story Arc.
If you prefer to solo and are impatient, I recommend a scrapper. Just about any type, but dark armor toggles are pretty exasperating in the endurance department.

If you're patient and prefer to solo, I think a Tank will make you even happier at the higher end of things.

If you're really patient and prefer to solo, then a controller with damagey pets (esp. fire controllers and illusionists with their Phantom Army) would be fun once you get into the pet stuff.

At their core, defenders are awesome support characters, so if you intend to never team up or help other players period, I just wouldn't waste time on them (even if it's quite possible to solo effectively with them, esp. with certain sets).

Can you solo with a blaster? Well sure. I venture there are probably more level 50 blasters in the game than any other AT. In fact until you start facing things that can mezz you, you'll be a whirl beater. But I've only managed to get one blaster past 38 (to 47), and so many things mezz you and knock you down and other nasty things in the higher levels, that it's really tough to solo on the high end (just my experience) unless you stock on the anti-mezz inspirations.

You can auto-complete missions (I want to say "abandon" but this actually completes a mission) once every X days now, so if you run into an AV or Elite Boss you can't handle solo, you can always use that feature to move on to the next one.

I think that's all the solo advice I have to give. Feel free to ignore it all or disagree - it's only based on my experience and how I feebly play the game.  Tongue
10774  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 13, 2008, 06:39:53 PM
PC World (IDG news service) has a news item. The US $ prices are based on the Taiwan prices though so don't see those numbers as the U.S. prices (just an approximation). Although it's mainly ASUS touting that the Windows XP version will outsell its predecessor, it has a bit more detail on the new models:

Windows Eee PC Will Outsell Linux Version, Says Asus,143402-page,1/article.html
The company is selling two different versions of the Windows Eee PC laptop. [Note: in Taiwan-bj]

The cheapest one, the Eee PC Surf XP, costs NT$12,499 (US$408), has a 7-inch LCD screen, 4G-bytes of NAND flash memory for storage, and 512M-bytes of DDR2 DRAM (double data rate, second generation, dynamic RAM).

The more expensive version, the Eee PC 4G XP, costs NT$14,490 ($473) and includes an additional 4G-byte SD (secure digital) card for storage as well as slightly better battery able to last up to 3.5 hours, versus 2.8 hours for the cheaper model, and a built on 3-megapixel digital camera.

The laptops both run on Intel Pentium M 650MHz to 900MHz chips and weigh less than a kilogram.

The lowest cost Eee PC available runs on a Linux OS from Xandros, carries just 2G-bytes of NAND flash for storage and sells for around NT$7,999 ($261).
I think the 4G XP version has the new larger screen, but the article doesn't mention it.

These may be different models than what they're marketing in the U.S. I'm a little confused at this point.  icon_confused

They also have a brief video of the XP models introduced at the Cbit show in Germany:,734-page,1-bid,0/video.html

Ewww, video of laptops on display! Ewwwww!  smirk Really though it *is* useful to see some adults attempting to type and touchpad on the thing (towards the end of the video - blink and you might miss it).
10775  Gaming / Analog Gaming / EA Attempting Hostile Takeover of Take-Two on: March 13, 2008, 03:59:17 PM
From Blue's today:

I guess I'm charge of business-geek news here.  smirk Basically, they're trying to bypass the Take-Two company officials/board of directors and take their offer directly to stock holders.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc (NasdaqGS:ERTS - News) plans to make a tender offer to acquire all of rival video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc's (NasdaqGS:TTWO - News) outstanding shares for $26 each, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. A spokesman for Electronics Arts was not immediately available.

On February 24 EA made an unsolicited bid of $26 a share, or $1.9 billion, for Take-Two, publisher of the Grand Theft Auto game. Take-Two rejected the bid as inadequate.

Take-Two shares closed up on Wednesday at $24.91 on Nasdaq.
I covered one of these in my newspaper days when Mesa Air Group tried to acquire the now since defunct Independence Air. I feel bad in retrospect that I didn't cover the story from all angles well - Independence Air really would've been better off accepting that offer in the long run and would probably still be in business in at least a reduced capacity now (instead, it liquidated - Chapter 7 - completely in early 2006, putting thousands of employees out of work). I didn't really look at how insane jet fuel and oil costs were getting, and how impossible it would be to run a really cheap airline in today's world without the fuel hedges that Southwest Airlines was able to do.

These things generally are really hard to pull off unless the "hostile" company makes an obscenely generous offer, or unless Take-Two's individual investors really think the company is borked up and that this is their last chance to turn a profit on the shares they own. Typically the company attempting a takeover mails each shareholder (of the company they're trying to acquire) an explanatory letter, including a form they'd sign (yay or nay).

Most big companies have a "poison pill" provision in place to thwart or at least discourage hostile takeovers. This usually means something would kick in (maybe new stock, or tons of bonuses for employees etc.) that would make the costs of the hostile takeover acquisition prohibitive. Of course, given what a money pig EA is, that might not discourage them at all.  icon_lol
10776  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 13, 2008, 01:13:33 PM
Getting back to Issue 12, Positron mentioned you'll be able to position hotkey trays vertically if you prefer. Also, if you push the hotkey bar towards the edge of your screen, you can turn it into an L-shape. Masterminds (who have a ton of pet oriented keys to keep track of sometimes) might esp. find that useful.
10777  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 13, 2008, 01:07:51 PM
You *can* solo a defender or controller, but it requires some patience on the low end (on the higher end, most Controllers are like one man armies). If you've got the veterans rewards temp power goodies (staff/wand choices, and axe/Sands of Mu dark melee cone power choices), then you can make up for the lack of attack powers in the Defender/Controller sets.

Scrappers were my favorites overall and favorites to solo. Although I have a regen and a super reflexes scrapper, my lone 50 was a broadsword/invulnerability scrapper and my lone tank (38) is an invulnerabilty/stone melee tank - so I'm partial to invulnerability even if regen gets you over the hump in terms of endurance problems before stamina's available. The bummer in invuln is that the penultimate Unstoppable power crashes spectacularly (health *and* endurance drop near zero when it wears off). Some of the others are more forgiving at the end.

If you just have the patience to get a tank to the point of having stamina, then a tank becomes such you can solo almost anything in the game aside from certain "debuffing" types of elite bosses. My 38 tank couldn't, as it turns out, solo the Ourboros TF because there's an elite boss vampire (Nosferatu) who dark-debuffs you to the point you're essentially helpless (can't hit anything, can hardly heal etc.).

Part of the difficulty of soloing for me is having the patience to largely avoid toggle powers until I can get stamina (20), or being willing to shove a  lot of endurance reducers to make them bearable. If you strictly solo, you miss out on the various buffs controllers and defenders can give you to help you deal with endurance situations, among other things.
10778  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: March 12, 2008, 10:35:39 PM
Patch notes for 1.6 are out. Well, with no official forums, I'll post the item on it:

I was hoping for more content (missions, maybe a new area etc.), but they seem fixated on increasing exp multiplier modifiers and other tricks to get you leveling faster. Which, for a game where you sometimes already level too fast for your own good, seems (just imho) to be a strange tact to take.

There was a Starr Long post a while back about the "state of the game":

While it's supposed to assuage people that Everything's OK, and they're just paring down a basically bloated launch team to the lean'n'mean team you want for regular updates, I'm not really convinced. They've been yakking about PAUs and Control Points, and new missions where those things face a challenge, for a long time, and it just doesn't sound like they are anywhere near getting into the game.

Since I've returned to COH and feel pretty happy there, I can share my thoughts on the two games even if they're very different (and heck, they're both by the same publisher, I don't think NCSoft cares which one I play thumbsup)...

-I prefer the animations there compared to often clumsy ones in TR.
-If you have an older system (mine dates to 2004 although the video card is recent), COH seem far, far more foriving and you don't have to turn every detail down to get a playable game.
-Even the April 2004 launch COH to me had a far more polished interface, chat system, hotkey system etc. with less obsession with DOS command line stuff (though there's plenty of command line stuff you can do if you preer that) than TR has.
-Much more interesting variety in its powersets than TR's simplified skills sets.
-There's enough quantity and variety of zones, that two characters of the same level (say, 45) may have gotten there without laboriously doing the exact same missions and combing through the same zones (as TR basically requires). I wouldn't call COH non-linear per se, just you can have at least a little different experiences from one character to the next, which I like.
-I hate to generalize, but it just seems easier (at least on weekends) to form big pickup teams in COH and have a good time. You do run into the occasional nasty person, but after a couple weeks back it already feels almost like home again. smile

-I enjoy the base defense stuff, but I just can't be happy doing that all day.
-Many missions/quests in TR to me are quite interesting, imaginative and thoughtful. More so than in COH which has an obsession with clicky glowies, and escort missions.
-The zones to me are far, far more lively than in COH, for the most part, with lots of stuff going on, enemies moving all over the place, dropping in etc. My return trip to COH has taught me that static mobs that sit and wait like a bump on a log can be boring at times (some of the post-launch zones like Striga Isle were a tad more lively).

But in TR this is all watered down with way too many "kill 25-45-60 blotzkies" missions, imho, and way too many non-instance missions that require you to basically either wait in line (which is ridiculous) to shoot something you need, or to basically be willing to out-fight other players to reach something. I'm just not a big fan of that, esp. how often it comes up in TR.

Those are just my babbledy thoughts since the thread's dead and it appears we've all pretty much moved on.

I'll probably deactivate my account shortly before my next billing period. Then if they deliver on the PAUs, command control points and put a little more content in (instead of obsessing over exp modifiers, and "monster tweaks"), then perhaps I'll float back. I think if I get a new PC down the road, I'll also have a much better experience in it.

I still have fondness for the game, I just can't help thinking that stripping their launch dev team to a lean team can't really result in some magical ability to add more content or get updates out the door faster.
10779  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 12, 2008, 08:48:10 PM
Cryptic claims to have fixed that link (wasn't working with IE 7 in particular):
Ok I fixed the link, IE7 wasn't downloading it correctly. Probably an issue with gzip transfers.
10780  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 12, 2008, 08:39:01 PM
Main problem with Hollows (imho) is the mobs are too large for soloers or small groups to handle. If you have a big group, then it's like an Exp candy factory, but if I'm stuck soloing (like many weekdays), then it's a tough place to progress in.

They seem to indicate mob setups have been redesigned drastically to make soloing and getting around the zones easier.

Castle seemed to clarify the additional powers (nothing new, but it seems like you get 1-3 additional power choices from roughly your character equivalent in the other game -- CoV or CoH).
Every AT gains at least 1 powerset -- Masterminds only get a Secondary, no new Primary. Brutes get 2 new Primaries [revealed to be the axe and mace powers from COH's tank power sets], and 1 secondary. Everyone else gets 1 Primary and 1 Secondary.
I'm not really sure what it means as far as my Defender goes. I guess he'd get a couple choices from the Corruptor sets? I think Dr. Barium (hit 38 last night btw) could probably use another attack with secondary effects (stun, knockback etc.).

I know my L29 Controller (gravity/force field bubbles) could desperately use some sort of cone or AoE attack option. Of course he isn't meant to be a solo whirlwind, but when you can hold a big squad with grav holds and have no area attack weapon (other than maybe the shotgun temp power from Striga Isle), it's a bummer.
10781  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 12, 2008, 06:25:43 PM
Er, oops, I should've included link to Positron (Matt Miller)'s "letter to the communitY" about the update and the CoX series' future hopes and plans:
As Lead Designer on the project, I have had a lot of control over what happens in the City of Heroes game, but in the past I still had hurdles to get some great ideas actualized. With the new studio, a lot of ideas that couldn’t take hold under the old management are being implemented into the game with outstanding results.
Ouch.  stirthepot To be fair, I think Cryptic was basically hamstrung by the amount of funding NCSoft would provide. So I can't even tell if he's taking a dig at Cryptic, or at NCsoft.  icon_confused

There still seems a lot of fan speculation about maybe a paid expansion or even a followup game eventually. They hint about something Really Big down the road. The updates are great, but it *is* a 3-4 year old game now (COH in 2004; COX in 2005) that you can't even find on store shelves much anymore so it might take something new that they can push back onto shelves (or perhaps making it available on Steam or something) to grow the user base if that's still something they hope to do.
10782  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 12, 2008, 06:17:42 PM
There's much grumbling at official boards that the Hollows doesn't need as much work as various other deserted zones such as Boomtown, Firebase Zulu/The Chantry (just connecting via all the floating asteroids via simple teleportion portals instead of unpredictable "propulsion chutes" would make it a more playable area), or even Crashed Rikti Mothership Site (which I think got a re-do a while back but still is largely ignored afik).

I loved the Faultline revamp way back although its single story arc didn't give much reason to stay there. The Hollows re-work seems a lot less major though.

I still think something's wonky in their data-mining because they're always claiming there are more 10-20 or 15-25 etc. level characters in the game so if you ask why there isn't more 35-40 or 40-50 content getting added or revamped, that's often been their reasoning. A lot of players (esp. now with the font smoothing) blow through 10-20 etc. so fast it seems kind of a lost cause to focus on content at those levels. I think more often people get a wee burned out around 40-45ish doing all the Peregrine Island stuff, and they could just more to do -- the Roman stuff in this update should help a little (35-50 they say).
10783  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: March 12, 2008, 05:43:20 PM
Details announced so thought it was worth a new thread.  icon_smile

Forum page with lotta links

Details page
New Stuff
The clandestine organization of mystics, scholars and mages, known only as the Midnight Squad, seeks to rebuild its numbers since the devastating assault of the Rikti Invasion. The Midnighters hold a secret that could bring the alien assault to an end, but without the help of the Heroes of Paragon City™ it will remain Lost forever.

The Midnighters hold many secrets within their walls, including a highly coveted Ouroboros crystal, enabling them to travel to the far reaches of time. There is a familiar threat in an ancient land and the Midnighters need the help of both Heroes and Villains to stop it. Players step foot upon the ancient land of the Roman Cimeroran Peninsula, where they battle deadly creatures, defend an ancient city and ultimately come face to face with the enemy of time itself. Throughout this journey players uncover the mysteries of power and the origins that guide them today.

Through their accomplishments, players unlock the new Roman themed armor costume set.

Villain Epic Archetypes
Infiltrate the Arachnos organization from within! Upon reaching level 50, Villains unlock two new Epic Archetypes; Wolf Spiders and Blood Widows. They have their own unique storyline and missions, power combinations and costume sets. Branching powersets allow the Wolf Spider to specialize as either a Bane Spider or Crab Spider and the Blood Widow chooses from the Fortunata and Night Widow branches. Each brings with it unique costumes for your Arachnos duties, as well as your newfound role as a Destined One.

Powerset Proliferation

Using his newly built Resonance Manipulator, the Villain scientist known as Dr. Brainstorm™ has discovered a way to alter the energy strands which connect every Hero and Villain to their powers. This discovery has not only opened the door to new powers for his fellow Villains in the Rogue Isles™, but has also done the same for the Heroes of Paragon City ™! Specifically, new characters of almost every Hero and Villain archetype gain access to an additional primary and secondary powerset that they didn’t have access to previously. Details to come!

Hollows Zone "Gameplay Makeover"
Significant changes have been made to the Hollows zone to make it more fun! NPC encounters have been rebalanced, including new spawns, new villain groups, mission door improvements, and a mobile hospital has been added to the entrance of the zone [Hollows has no hospital, and it's really annoying for the lower level, travel-skill-less characters to trudge back there from Atlas-bj].  Additionally, Meg Mason, a new contact, has been added to give out repeatable missions.

Major Gameplay Improvements
-Eight configurable new power trays let players customize their User Interface by placing them anywhere on the screen.
-Contact display redesign: Contacts are now listed separately as Active and Inactive, and players can sort contacts by a range of criteria including Name, Zone, and Level Range.
-Inspiration Conversion: Right click an inspiration to convert three of that kind into any one inspiration of another kind.
-Level Up Boost: Upon reaching enough XP to level up (at all levels), one of each type of large inspiration is immediately cast upon your character, and health and endurance bars are immediately filled.
-Chat improvements: Right click on character names in chat window to ignore, add to friends list, invite to team, etc. Drag any item (enhancement, inspiration, salvage, etc.) into the chat window so that you and others can click a hotlink to view the complete info box. [as in WoW and its ilk, should be very helpful when trading inventions in particular]

-More Real Numbers: Players can now display stats on powers before they choose them enabling more informed power selection and new temporary powers allow players to display enemy stats.
Lots of cool stuff. I picked a good time to come back.  icon_cool While much of it falls under "quality of life" improvements, the interface is one of my favorites in MMO land and I welcome further improvements.
10784  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 12, 2008, 03:24:28 PM
Given how tiny the keyboard is, I'd be careful of running a hotkey-heavy game on it. I mean, you can attach a full keyboard and mouse to the USB ports I guess, but it sort of defeats the point.  icon_confused

Oh, hey, Brighthand had a pretty thorough review of a 4GB model back October:

Asus Eee PC 701 4G Review

Battery life is maybe 3-4 hours if you're doing anything heavy duty with it, it seems. He answered some of my questions about heat and noise (or lack thereof):
Even with the low voltage processor and SSD drive, the Asus Eee PC produced as much heat as any other notebook in the same price range. The keyboard and bottom of the notebook got quite hot even under normal use, and the fan was always running in an attempt to keep the system cool.

Fan noise was among the quietest we’ve heard. The only way to tell the fan is blowing is to put your hand next to the air vent to feel the warm air blow past.

In my testing, the keyboard side of the Eee PC warmed up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit during normal extended use, while the bottom was at 112 degrees. I'm only listing one temperature for each side because the Eee PC is so small that they're basically only one temperature for the top and one temperature for the bottom.
If you're a child or have very tiny hands, you might be able to touch-type on it. Otherwise, it sounds like strictly index finger hunt-n-peckin'.

I'm curious how much hotter/noisier the hard-drive versions will be.

I just saw it as useful on my occasional business trips, and maybe (since my PC and TV aren't in the same room) something to have handy when something on TV tosses an URL at you. My PSP is pretty much lame as far as Web browsing goes. Even hunt'n'peckin' beats trying to use PSP buttons and a thumbstick to Web surf.  disgust
10785  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 11, 2008, 11:14:14 PM
I think 800 quests should keep even the most frantic power gamer entertained for at least.... oh... a week?  icon_lol

I really think one of the hardest things to do in an MMO is to make people care even a smidgen about the storyline as opposed to just frantically clicking on NPCs and quests and racing through everything as if every quest were no more interesting than going to the bathroom (don't visualize that!).  icon_neutral

So I really do have my fingers crossed the quests are as interesting and great in number as promised. I had some fun in Dungeon Runners, and while I know it's not trying to be a full fledge MMO per se, it is drowning in "kill 25 rats," "kill 45 schmucks" and kill "60 toads," etc. A few Korean MMOs I've tried over the years (like R.O.S.E. Online) are glutted with the same thing.

I don't need Shakespeare, I don't need multi-layered plotting but I do need something more interesting than "kill 75 so and so's."  Roll Eyes "Something more interesting" is a great carrot to me. And I love when characters (NPCs or what have you) change. I love in movies when you think you know a character, but he/she gradually develops into something else (good or bad). I love when gentle characters are pushed to violence, or violent characters show a tender side. Heroes that have to do something villainous, villains who do something heroic.

Blah blah blah. Sorry. I just hope AoC has even a smidgen of that kind of stuff. It wouldn't make it Better Than WoW or ensure 5 million subscribers, but I really think it would freshen up the MMO environment.
10786  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Harmony Remotes: Yay or Nay? on: March 11, 2008, 10:59:16 PM
As someone who has scoped out some of those insane $300-$800 remotest at Best Buy I say...

* Get a remote you can afford to spill beer and smear Cheetos and Fritos residue on, and taco grease on, and not fret about it.

* Get a remote that when you get really mad about your favorite team choking in the playoffs, you can afford to toss the remote into a wall and break it and not take out a loan to replace it.

* You have enough monitors and screens and touchpads in your house already. Get something where there are actual buttons you can feel. Every Channel Surfer Dude I knew is happier with that than a $300 touchscreen remote that they can't tell what buttons are by "feel."

* Don't get a remote with a fancy pants battery pack that probably runs out of juice every two weeks and requires a mad search for the rare store that carries a replacement.

* Don't buy a remote that cost more than your launch day PlayStation 3 did, for crying out loud! icon_lol

These are my cardinal Rules of Remotes. Violate them at your own risk.  Tongue

Uh, oh I'm off topic. Well, I did in fact look at the Harmony and other fancy pants model remotes. I think what scared me off is how many on the rack had been returned (i.e. packaging had been opened). Always a warning sign for me. smile Your mileage may vary and I wish you happiness if you do get one.

I've been happy with my $15 Philips replacement remote, and I'm giving my brother a slightly ritzier (maybe $25) model that can learn commands from off brand and unsupported-by-codes remotes.
10787  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: How do I share files from XP to Vista? on: March 11, 2008, 09:09:23 PM
I bought this informercial product (I really did buy it, I'm not spamming for it I swear), The Tornado, which in theory should be ideal for your situation. However, if $60 seems obscene or you're adept with networking cables, then don't bother.  icon_biggrin

Basically it's just module with some integrated file transfer software and retractable USB 2.0 cords built into it. You only need to have one of the PC/laptop screens available, plug it into both and walah.

I got it in anticipation of getting a Vista PC at some point but I've put it on the backburner for now. It's probably more worthwhile in a situation where you need to do this or transfer huge files a lot.
10788  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York tied to prostitution ring on: March 11, 2008, 06:21:10 PM
Some are missing the irony this guy made his rep as a hard-nosed DA who prosecuted, among other things, prostitution rings. Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?  disgust icon_lol At best, he's just a complete idiot and hypocrite. Unfortunately, he's not in showbiz, in which case he could go on Leno and Letterman, plead "mea culpa" and it would all gently blow over in about 2 weeks.  Roll Eyes

As a reporter for most of the last 20 years, I'm always trying to write in active voice. Somehow politicians, and baseball players accused of steroid use always find a way to speak in passive voice as if they had somehow stepped outside their body and some other humanoid had done something foolish. Something along the lines of...

"I was befallen by poor judgement and terrible decision making for which forgiveness is something I beg of you, the public."

Or maybe...

"I was injected in the buttocks by Joe Schmoe and was told by him to believe that the hypodermic was filled with Vitamin B-666."


"That may have been what was heard by my teammate. However, what was said by me was not intended to be given that type of meaning."

 Roll Eyes Ohmigod. Just beware of "passive voice" in press conferences and interviews. The more "passive," the more they're trying to avoid responsibility for their actions, at all costs.
10789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: March 11, 2008, 05:42:29 PM
Ironclad Games' exec posted some food for thought thoughts on piracy and its impact (or not?) on PC games:
Some of his thoughts can be boiled down to "stop making Upper high-end games for PC when there aren't nearly enough hardcore gamers and gaming PC owners for you to turn a profit on the sales" [cough cough Crysis]  icon_wink

So you've got Epic's Mark Rein complaining the PC makers are pushing lame, integrated-video systems too much, resulting in too small a base of systems that can tackle newer games (therefore every succeeding Unreal Tournament PC incarnation is selling less and less due to the dwindling number of high end PCs out there, is how I read it). And Iron Clad's guy pushing for games to cater to more modest systems (and stop pushing DirectX10 and Shader 3.0 requirements etc.) where the largest possible PC gamer base can be found. An interesting tug-o-war.  icon_neutral

I'm wondering if it was inspired by that THQ Titan Quest producer who was blaming piracy at least partially for TQ's somewhat underperforming sales and Iron Lore's subsequent demise. Or maybe it's just because both developers have "Iron" in their title?  icon_smile

Beyond that, he has some good news on Sin's impressive (esp. for an "under the radar screen" game sales) sales so far.
10790  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 11, 2008, 12:27:41 PM
CVG (UK site) has a sort of vaguely updated preview:
Quest depth is what I remain most hopeful about, though every MMO that brags about their number of quests seems to get accusations of "not enough content" shortly after launch anyway (which is me pointing at Tabula Rasa at the moment  smirk
Along with two dedicated full-time writers, there's a team of eight people solely writing quests, and another responsible for managing the lore. There'll be 800 quests ready at launch, and surprisingly few of them appear to be timesink "kill 30 rabbits" nonsense.

In fact, some genuinely inspired ideas are being touted, including solving murder mysteries, and stealth quests requiring you to sneak over rooftops and eavesdrop on NPC conversations. The large team is there to ensure quests have meaning in the game, linking them to the story, giving you the motivation to complete tasks.

I've had trouble grasping the combat system (which has been simplified a bit in the early part of the game, supposedly, and then ramps up in intricacy as you progress), but their throw-away description makes it a bit easier to understand:
Every enemy in the Robert E Howard-inspired game has three points where they can be attacked: left, right and above.

These are shown by semi-circles floating about them when targeted. If you hit them on the left, they'll defend that side, maybe leaving the right exposed. Exploit this, and take advantage of your ever-increasing set of skills and the combo system, and you'll be employing a degree of tactics not seen before in MMO battling.
10791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: God of War: Chains of Olympus Impressions on: March 11, 2008, 04:10:19 AM
And PSP Fanboy has an item about "The Spud of War." What's that you ask???  icon_lol

Playing as the Spud of War
10792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: God of War: Chains of Olympus Impressions on: March 11, 2008, 03:56:31 AM
I did finally play this a bit. I would say it looks and animates like nothing you've ever seen on PSP.  icon_cool That said, again - if you don't like this kind of game in the first place, this won't change you mind. I find the "hot spot" and "cinematic button pressing sequences" annoying myself even if they've suddenly become the "hip" thing to include. I didn't enjoy it in the demo of Clive Barker's Undying, and I didn't find it any more fun here I'm afraid.

Aaaand, if you haven't heard, developer Ready at Dawn plans to *not* do any more PSP games after this.  crybaby They're moving onto the full size consoles from here apparently. Penny Arcade mentioned this link:
Moving forward, we can confirm that Chains of Olympus will be our last PSP game as we’re moving on to other projects and other ideas on other consoles. We can also confirm that this will be our first and last God of War game as, just like Daxter before it, there will NOT be a PS2 port of the game. We like our games PSP exclusives
I guess one of the sad things about PSP is companies do great, memorable stuff like this, Guerrilla's Killzone: Liberation, and Slant Six's SOCOM: Tactical Strike and then *poof* that's it. Some of it's apparently just seeing PSP as a "proving ground" before moving onto full size consoles. I also get the impression an A-list PSP title is just hard to turn a profit on. It's selling better in the U.S., but it just doesn't have a massive enough user base to sell a zillion copies of a PSP game. I've also read various dev blogs that suggest piracy on PSP with retail games is becoming more widespread. So I can see where developing for consoles where that's -- knock on wood -- so far less of a problem might be more appealing for a smaller dev.
10793  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 11, 2008, 12:24:51 AM
And still, I never could get a job in public relations.  icon_lol

Just a heads up -- they've locked the "suggested Q&A questions" thread and say they'll pick a lot of fan questions from that thread, and have some answers to share soon, so that'll be something to chew on.
10794  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Eee Pc? on: March 10, 2008, 05:31:41 PM
K, but what about my thrilling questions?  icon_confused icon_smile

Laptop Blog reports the new 8GB details for U.S. market just announced:
Any information on the pricing on the new 8.9-inch model?
In the beginning and in April, around the release date, it will initially be higher and be around $499 in the United States. From the user feedback, I think if we provide a bigger screen and bigger storage it may be more popular than the 7-inch version. The second generation is very important for us.

Beyond the screen, how will the new machines be different?
The screen size will be 8.9 inches. And the storage, which was originally 4GB, will be upgraded to versions with an 8GB solid state drive and a 12 to 20GB solid state drives. We aren’t sure yet if the second machine will be 12 or 20GB because of guidelines we have to follow. The 8GB machine will run Windows XP and the 12 or the 20GB will be Linux based. The Windows XP machine will have 1GB of RAM. The screen resolution on each of these will be 1024 x 600.
It mentions they moved the speakers from the sides to the bottom of the Eee PC to make more room for a larger monitor screen.

Apparently it's selling like crazy, esp. in Japan and Europe, but they are running into some battery supply issues. It sold about 350,000 in the fourth quarter of '07.
In our hour-long interview, Shen shared that the Eee PC will get:

A 8.9-inch display and Windows XP: Confirming that the machine shown at CeBIT will come to market in April, the new Eee PC will have a 8.9-inch screen and a higher 1024 x 600-pixel resolution An 8GB SSD will be available running Windows XP. A 12GB or 20GB SSD model will be available with Xandros.

Hard Drives: Asus is considering giving customers a choice between their current offering of solid state drives and regular hard drives in the future.

Intel’s Diamondville: Shen revealed that the low-cost notebook platform will adopt Intel’s Diamondville processor
in Q2 rather than VIA’s mobile computing platform.

More Colors and Stylish Looks: In May or June, Asus will release “very stylish” versions of the Eee PC. Shen says they will have a New York City sleekness.
Lot of interesting stuff, more than I can cut and paste here. Check it out if you're interested where they're going with it.

The ASUS CEO seems to indicate they don't want to lose what's appealing about it (low cost, light weight, simple to use etc.) so they're not likely to take it bigger than 8.9-10" or bloat it into a $1,000 product. He seems to realize there is some concern notebook makers are dropping down into Eee PC's territory (price wise), and that it might hurt both markets to some extent.
10795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starcraft 2 - Zerg Revealed on: March 10, 2008, 05:11:58 PM
And why doesn't Blizzard trademark the term "zerg" so they get a royalty check every time someone uses it as a generic term for rushing or overwhelming an opponent in a strategy game.  icon_smile I got a little tired of it in my Company of Heroes multiplayer days. "I'm going to zerg the German base camp!" Get a dictionary, punk!  disgust icon_lol

I'm part Korean and while I'm sure all my brethren there will wear Starcraft 2 pajamas, sleep in Starcraft 2 sheets, brush their teeth with Starcraft 2 toothpaste using their Starcraft 2 toothbrushes, and then start the next day with a nice Starcraft 2 themed bowl of Starcraft 2 Frosty Sugar Ghost Bombs cereal as they watch the animated adventures of Starcraft 2 on their Starcraft 2-skinned flatscreen TV, it remains to be seen if the U.S. market will love an RTS so openly fixated on the needs of the South Korean Starcraft 2 Competition market. What about idiots like me who just want a fun RTS with an interesting storyline?  icon_neutral

10796  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: CoX Issue 11 - Dual Blades and Weapon Customization on: March 10, 2008, 04:09:46 PM
I got my Dr. Barium empathy defender to 37 last night. On weekends at least, there's no shortage of teams if you're an empathy defender.  icon_smile Still tricky to solo with, but I can handle most stuff on heroic at least.

I'm still lacking absorb pain and I'm not so uber a healer that I can keep a team going when it's overmatched, as I found out on a big team tackling a Circle of Thorns temple mish last night. But I'm really starting to enjoy it anyway. I don't complain if people get cocky or sloppy (I think I did with this character earlier), I just try to enjoy the challenge of keeping the team upright no matter how they play. You do need "line of sight" to heal though and it gets tricky in really cramped conditions (caves, temples etc). Sometimes they'll be close, you know they're in trouble, but if you can't see to them, can't heal 'em.
10797  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: March 10, 2008, 03:11:05 PM
I'll keep digging (and thanks for the kind comment  icon_smile). I just mean ya'll don't need me to find every dev post anymore.  icon_smile I'll still "cherry pick" the ones that seem most likely to interest people.

I ran a few tiny fan sites (Geo's Incubation Site, The Shadow's Darkstone Tomb, Ring of Red Central and 12 Angry Soldiers [devoted to a bargain game dev's military shooters]), and I sometimes miss posting news items, but I don't think my current job would let me do that regularly anymore. I just sneak in here when I should be working sometimes.  icon_wink Oddly enough, it was my dialup host that offered pretty awesome free-included Web hosting including cgi-bin access and a generous hit/bandwidth allowance. My cable provider (Cox) sux in that regard. So my fan site enthusiasm since withered away.

Well, here's an interesting tidbit. Community Guy Sporkfire said they have a Powerpoint presentation at their corporate site explaining why they believe Champion's engine database will be "improved and optimized to mitigate latency:

Lag mitigation discussion thread (with a link to the Powerpoint presentation)

And dev Arkayne mentioned they'll have a Web feature up shortly explaining what the consequences of death will be in the game (I doubt they'll just parrot COH's debt system, or the "just run back from the graveyard" aspect as in WoW).

What Should the Consequences of Death Be?
I'll bet this might be subject to change depending on how feedback is in the beta down the road.

I'd like to see something creatively done with it though. I'm not sure yet.But think about all the times a comic book character dies and gets resurrected.

10798  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 09, 2008, 07:26:58 PM
Oh if you want to catch up on the videos, Gametrailers has a lengthy page:

The Character demonstration gives an idea of how things start:
Apparently, right away, you pull a sword out of your...  saywhat icon_lol
10799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Titan Quest on Vista on: March 09, 2008, 04:45:10 PM
You might check around the fan-run forums (Iron Lore's dead but the fans running those forums plan to keep going):

Plug "Vista" into the search box and you'll see quite a few threads on diff situations.

Saw a post where a guy had trouble installing TQ in the 64-bit version of Vista, but not in the 32-bit. There was also a mention of needing a particular version of DirectX9 for Vista. Also, NVIDIA has various hotfixes for its videocards for Vista-related issues.

Although some of the Vista threads there deteriorate into "Vista sucks" and "No, everything runs great in Vista for me, you're a moron!" type discussions.  Roll Eyes
10800  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (one more time y'all!) on: March 09, 2008, 05:45:25 AM
Something called The MMO Gamer has another take from GDC, you might find it of interest though the impressions are strictly from watching a brief demo of already seen footage (no hands-on):

GDC Interview: Age of Conan Game Director Gaute Godager
From the actual brief interview:
*Asked about the delays.
Gaute Godager: First of all, I understand that people get concerned, because being on the outside, not really knowing what’s going on, I’d just see one delay after another—or two delays, basically. You wonder what’s going on.

It’s basically us loving the game. It’s just us giving it enough time to mature, fix all the bugs. It’s much more important for an MMO to have a rock-solid launch than it is for us to keep a specific date. Though, I must say the 20th of May is definitely going to be the date when this game is coming out.

There is a big difference, though, on the internet between the people playing the game, our beta testers, and the people not playing our game. The beta testers whole-heartedly support us and say this is the right move for the game [That's great, although I've known plenty of folks who just play MMO betas and never sign up once they actually have to pay for it. I'm sure going back to Meredian 59, no beta tester in the history of MMOs ever thought the game was "ready to launch." Am I right? Who would ever want their "free" beta MMO to end?  stirthepot - blackjack]. And there wasn’t really one spot that had any big issues or big problems, it was more a general lifting the game in many areas and removing bugs, and polishing it, basically.
*About PVP and PVE, how much time players will spend on each..
Gaute Godager: I’m not going to speculate on that, because we are going to open PvP servers and PvE servers, and it’s really up to the player. We have a deep system that allows players to get PvP progression through PvP levels.

We have several types of PvP minigames, like capture the skull, a four-man capture the flag. We have annihilation, free-for-all PvP areas, and of course the massive siege PvP system.

So, it’s really up to the player—what I can say is that people who do enjoy PvP will have a lot of different varieties of PvP to dabble in, or taste, or engulf themselves with inside Age of Conan.

*What do players expect from Conan?  nod
Everyone instantly realizes what it is, and what they want to see. They want to see blood and gore and beheadings and buxom women [I thought Conan was a sensitive guy!  icon_lol ], and something new and fresh and more realistic.
He has some interesting thoughts on the M-rating concerns too, but I think I've already gone cut 'n' paste overboard here. icon_biggrin

I think they should use his sentence there in the advertisements. In big colorful letters...
Age of Conan!
Blood and gore and beheadings and buxom women!
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