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10801  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTR Online for a 10 year old on: January 10, 2008, 04:18:51 PM
I played LOTORO from late beta up to about a month or so ago. While you can certainly do crafting, and focus on "pick a bunch of berries" quests, sooner or later you're going to have to stab, slash, gouge, bash, and blast things -- or team up with someone who can do that for you.  ninja2 There isn't really any way of entirely avoiding that if you actually want to progress in the game.

If you want to minimize that, I'd probably go with the minstrel. "Attacking" with the lutes and such is actually quite fun and refreshingly different than trying to decapitate everything in sight, and it sort of minimizes the gore in combat. smile You can focus on healing (though minstrels can do a fair amount of damage) and doing good deeds and what not.

If you're really concerned about it, I would instead consider some of the kids-oriented MMOs that are out there, or wait and see how the Lego MMO that Netdevil is working on turns out (though I'm skeptical that can make a 2008 release date).

Honestly though I would be more concerned about the type of garbage your child might encounter in the chat channels than some pixeldy fantasy violence. That's why all these games (MMO or not) have disclaimers that "your online experience may change," regardless of what the game's rating is. Some military shooter may be rated T, but the online experience probably has players cussing creatively and using rascist terms and epithets in a way that makes sailors blush and outwits obscenity filters.  saywhat

To be fair to LOTORO, I found the chat channel level of nastiness relatively low. It only got ugly for me on certain teams when people would get angry at someone for not playing perfectly. I think one of the reasons I enjoy Tabula Rasa (which I wouldn't recommend for a 10 year old, fwiw) is I don't have to listen (read chat text of) to people cussing each other out for not tanking, healing, pulling properly.

I have a 10 year old nephew, and I guess I would worry more about some nasty teammate insulting or bullying him in a game (which should be fun, afterall) than the effects of stabbing an orc with a halberd. Certainly there are ways around this (you can turn off chat, you can monitor him and not let him team up with people etc.), but they sort of squash some of the points of an MMO game.

10802  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 09:28:25 PM
If you're playing on the west coast server, most of us here play on the east coast sever (Pegasus), so that's probably part of it, beyond not being able to add folks to your friends list unless they're also online (an annoying thing they supposedly will remedy at some point). I'll probably try the west coast server (maybe the EU server too, just for fun) some time.
10803  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 07:53:40 PM
I'm never on at the same time as people here (aside from Sulastani on occasion), but I have a couple single digit characters available to work on. I'm really keeping focus on my 31 just to have some at 40 for when the PAU stuff is out. The instances in the first area are fairly fun and I'd be glad to work on those.

I hate the word, "proactive," but if we're ever getting a GT group together (or if Sulastani and I are even going to get more GTers invited into the informal clan), I think we'll need to set a day and time where we meet up in game and at least can get everyone on the clan member list, and try to do an instance or something. Ya know, be "proactive" about it.  Roll Eyes
10804  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 05:51:15 PM is the other helpful one I've ballyhooed (when stuck on Logos -- If you use it all the time, I do think it sports of spoils the sense of exploration/discovery in the game to some extent).

It's funny though, that other site I mentioned, I don't think it really has the corpses marked in Pools for that mission I'm on.  icon_confused The only spot I've sort of memorized is just east of The Hermit's waypoint. For missions like that, there's a brief timer of sorts to sort of discourage you from just "camping" the same objective spot repeatedly. But I just am visiting the spot each time I log in, and about 4-5 more times should finally complete that mission albeit in a very lame way.  Tongue

10805  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: EGM gets blacklisted for 'poor reviews' on: January 09, 2008, 05:46:24 PM
Why don't the publishers stop advertising altogether and just put out their own magazines with reviews about how wonderful all their products are? It's called the "Nintendo Power" technique.  Roll Eyes I think that would last about 2 months, by which time most gamers with a brain would realize how worthless advertorial copy is in determining whether something's worth buying or not.

Some day the game publishers will realize gamers aren't idiots, that good word of mouth by fans about a genuinely fun, good game is probably more powerful than any positive game reviews gained through advertiser intimidation or advertorial copy.
10806  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 09, 2008, 02:37:48 PM
I'm still mystified how Eurogamer reviews things well before release, but they've already reviews Patapon (8/10):
The way it works is that you issue commands to your army of tribesmen by tapping out simple, predefined rhythms using the PSP's face buttons.

Different rhythms make them perform different tasks as they advance across a horizontal, side-scrolling battlefield.

The game is broken up across some 30 different missions, with the early stages introducing each new rhythm gradually. Starting off with just one type of drum, within a short while you and your tribesmen will discover new drums for each face button, allowing you to tap out new rhythms that correspond to new commands, such as advance, attack, defend and so on.

Stringing together combinations of these commands triggers Fever mode, which, for as long as you can maintain it, spurs your little chaps on to ever greater feats of valour.
It's apparently a complicated, challenging game with lots of micro-management. If that doesn't send you screaming in terror, then you may find it charming, it seems.  ninja2
10807  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 09, 2008, 02:17:17 PM
A guy on my friends list who has been pretty helpful pointed me to this fan mapping site:

Tabula Rasa Codex

This is particularly useful for things like the "corpse hunt" in Pools, if you don't want to resort to sort of "camping" the same couple locations. Also good for finding more isolated quest NPCs you might not run into easily.
10808  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 11:37:48 PM
I enjoy the heck out of it, there are tons of quests (for the most part, you never run out of things to do -- in fact, some times the mission/quest tracker will leave you begging for mercy).

While I don't consider it quite as innovative as the self-inflating Richard Garriott says, it really doesn't play like the various mmorpgs where you can just sort of tap an auto attack button and eat your HotpocketTM as you lazily watch the screen. smile I have enjoyed some of that (LOTORO in particular), but I prefer something a little more invigorating in combat like this or City of Heroes.

I'm not big on PVP (there is PVP in this but not really on a big scale until higher levels and it's something they acknowledge needs work), and as that's Warhammer's main focus, it doesn't interest me. Conan I was hyped up about it, but I'm taking a wait and see now. It wouldn't surprise me if both games get pushed further and further back. Besides, Conan doesn't even let you play online until Level 20 (ostensibly to train you to understand the game's differences and how to play it).

As far as living, breathing world goes, yes to a point. I think just the fact Control Points can (and often are) be lost to massive AI Bane invasions on a regular basis (rendering the NPC contacts in said CP bases unusable) is a nice sign of a living, changing world. Some missions calling in Bane attacks inside a base (I think newer players are shocked when they first encounter this  Tongue) are refreshing.

The fact that various non-Bane creatures will attack each other (or the Bane) gives an interesting world feel.

The occasional "morale choice" missions (I wish there were more, I love the feeling that my decision will affect what further missions or rewards I get for a bit) are nice and give some feeling that you're impacting on the world.

I think it has a good future, but I don't think it's by any means a WoW killer (even though I run regularly into WoW refugees in the game). I don't think it's an Auto Assault style flop though. I think it has excellent word of mouth and if they can just follow through on PAUs (L40), command control (L50) and sprinkle in enough interesting 35-50 content for power players to stay happy, then it should have a nice future. I'd like to think the fact Garriott's involved means there's no way NCSoft would prematurely yank its plug, but you never know when a breeze will blow Garriott's interest in another direction.  paranoid
10809  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 01:55:55 PM
See me post in the other thread about the PAU details from a November article:,20737.msg354084.html#msg354084
The PAUs will apparently be smaller (but larger than players alone, you'll get inside one to drive/pilot it). They indicate in interviews some will be mech-like, some more vehicular like, and others more of a biological/organic looking type thing.

The Grendel variant sounds like it will be most like the AI-controlled AFS ones in terms of firepower. Although the AI mechs are impressive, they don't really have an anti-EMP weapon afik (they have machine guns, and some missile launchers on their shoulders, and a little jet burst from their back that sometimes helps them traverse some distances).

In the game, the AI mechs generally guard control point bases, regular bases and sometimes isolated waypoints. They also often get air dropped in if the game detects a Control Point base defense is going poorly, or sometimes to reinforce one after an assault was repeled. Of course, that didn't happen last night when this CP in Pools had about 5 Bane dropships roll in and drop squads right on top of me. I think I know how they felt at The Alamo.  paranoid
10810  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SpaceForce Captains rpg/rts/tacbat on: January 08, 2008, 01:46:33 PM

Quote from: Calvin on January 08, 2008, 01:04:48 PM

Quote from: ROTC1983 on January 08, 2008, 02:10:48 AM

Yeah, I just read that on the official forums.  That makes me sad to see a game with so much promise drug into the dirt frown

Why am I not at all surprised. Eastern Euro developer=buggy mess.
I used to feel that way but these days I think you can generalize it to "Any developer Anywhere=buggy mess."  stirthepot
10811  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 08, 2008, 02:21:26 AM
Here's a couple to file under "Control Point Base Defense Can Get Messy."  drillsergeant This particular one is in the Pools zone and it's under siege almost constantly. I had some fun yesterday where they kept driving us into the base and back to a cave in the back of the base, and a few of us huddled in there and waited until we could form our rebellion.  icon_twisted I'm the jolly green guy at center, see if you can pick me out.
10812  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 07, 2008, 04:58:22 PM
My system's 3 years old (AMD64 3200+, 2GB RAM, ATI1650 card) and I can't run much that's new these days. I don't know how to judge my settings, because I've got some things adjusted in my video drivers. As far as my in game settings, I leave off the various lighting effects and turn down shadows to keep my frame rate OK. Textures on high though, and I leave the visibillity distance slider pretty high up.

Generally it's quite playable (1024X768 rez), esp. compared to stuff like Bioshock, MOH: Airborne and Gears of War PC all of which pretty much left my system begging for mercy. But an all-out control point defense with hundreds of bane on screen generally brings things to a near standstill (though I don't know if that's a form of lag or my system -- everyone seems to have some problems in those situations from what I see in chat).

**Oh I was going to add -- if you're asking from the standpoint of "meh, I thought the game would look better than that," then by all means I do have my video driver settings tuned down for frame rate's sake. I have no doubt it would look better on a current, hot rod system. smile

If you're asking from the standpoint of "wow, it looks great, but I doubt I have the horsepower to run it like that," then I would say the system requirements are far more modest compared to most new PC shooter releases or stuff like Company of Heroes. Still, if you have an older system like me, you'd likely want to adjust things in the game and also in your video drivers (most video drivers have a lot more precise options for antialiasing, anistropic filtering etc. whereas a lot of games just let you turn those kinds of things "on" and "off"). I don't have to turn everything off, but I do have to keep certain settings down to something mild.
10813  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 07, 2008, 04:31:48 AM
They are rebooting the servers tonight. Everyone has been complaining about lag in Plateau the couple days, and I guess they believe a server reboot should fix it.  I think the reboot's done by now.

TenTonHammer had a bit on it:
10814  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 06, 2008, 07:10:44 PM
Here's a couple scenic shots. There are some neat vistas in Plateau and Pools:
10815  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 06, 2008, 04:25:13 PM
I'm finally working on a specialist, this time from scratch (Injector Blackjach), I'll add it to our list in the first post.

I was, uh, informed it was silly to use your first clone credit at L4.9 (which is when you earn your first one -- but just going through the modest length tutorial sequence will get you to L4), so this time I'm saving it up for later. I mistakenly thought you needed to use it immediately when you're prompted about its availability. But the clone button will just stay available at the server characters screen if you don't use it (you'll just keep your one clone credit).

Although you can earn a clone credit by completing the "so and so targets of opportunity," I've yet to be able to complete any of those. I'm always missing one or two things (usually storyline quests, or some cave I can't find etc.).
10816  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Vanguard free month on: January 06, 2008, 04:19:18 PM
Blue's pointed out some frothing at the mouth rant by supposedly one of Vanguard's former designers:
Gah, sounds like a mess, and the game has probably left more bad feelings among its former developers than anything I can think of - if you've got former designers running around accusing their producer of being too busy doing drugs to work on the game.  saywhat

I guess it was sort of in response to its Biggest Disappointment of 2007 Award from Game Spy (it seemed to sweep that award at places that give it out though I think mine would've gone to the launch version of Hellgate: London  disgust).

I remember when it released, I had a few buds at another board very enthusiastic about what it was trying to do, but they felt like they needed machetes to cut through the sheer volume of bugs and missing features and what not. It almost seemed at the time they would be better off starting from scratch. Somewhere at its core underneath the mess was something hardcore MMO players really wanted.
10817  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 06, 2008, 02:34:25 AM
I always wondered "What's the point of the red skulls"?  icon_confused Thanks. I didn't see any mention of that in the manual. Guess I didn't get the TPS report on this one. smile
10818  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 05, 2008, 05:01:18 PM
Some big news about a version 1.4 coming soon to test server, including a fix for the awful lag in the Mires zone:
Update 1.4
We are kicking off 2008 with the new 1.4 patch which includes several new features. Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the 1.4 patch notes before it goes to the Public Test Server.

New Features:
Hybrids – Mix a dash of human with a sprinkle of alien, and see what comes out of the oven. (More details to come soon…)
Hide Helmet Option – Now you can show off that lovely helmet hair, and/or your new hybrid’s Alien face. [This is nice, kind of like the ability in LOTORO to hide equipment/costume items but retain their armor and enhancements]
Attribute Changes – Your Body, Mind, and Spirit were overhauled over the Holiday break. With these changes comes an Ability and Attribute respec. See Paul’s post for details [link to Paul's Post:]

Important Bug Fixes:
Your mission log should no longer reset when you log out. [hallelujah]
Mires Improvements (see below).
The staff animation was changed (see this post for reference) [link:].

Mires Performance Issues
The Mires performance issues should be resolved with the next update (1.4). In the last few updates we included a number of large technology improvements for Mires; however, its performance is still not in line with our desired numbers.

For example, the creature count on Mires is only slightly higher than desired, but due to the large scale, warzone-like design of the map, there were four times as many creatures in combat as any other map. Mires also contains many locations where both friendly and enemy drop ships were appearing literally within meters of each other.

To guarantee that the performance of Mires is on par with other maps for the next update, we’ve made some changes to the design of Mires that greatly improves the performance without making the map significantly different.
10819  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 05, 2008, 04:52:02 PM
Thanks. smile A little propellant flamethrower video footage...

Click here to watch Tabula-Rasa-propellant-footage
Kettle likes to flame them, and then do a melee (kick, I think he has a few pump levels in it) that sometimes obliterates them in a poof of ashes.  icon_twisted
10820  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 05, 2008, 09:08:12 AM

Finally got a propellant gun I could use, had to get from Military Surplus (even there, most of even the generic models are for Level 32 and up, not 30). Can't really catch a good screenshot of it (the moment you fire it the camera automatically rotates "behind the back").

It's fun, but it really does devour the canisters quickly. And in some cases all the flamethrower stuff (there are EMP and other variations, but flamethrower probably has the coolest effects) seems to run up the lag a bit.

I had some really fun times with a couple players I teamed with the other night. For a change folks on my friends list actually remembered me. smile So that was neat and we teamed up in 3- and 2-person teams on a couple instances.

Pic from our team:

Lady on right is an Exobiologist and her clone (far right). At her level (32), the Injector Guns are quite devastating and I felt almost jealous of how quickly she was taking things down (compared to my wearing out my fingers keeping my various chain guns firing).

A couple of us worked out getting the necessary Vortex logos to get our "signature" ability (Concussive Wave). Concussive is just plain spectacular (great to save for emergency use), but it uses up 100% of your adrenalin and you may need 1 or 2 adrenaline hypos just to get sufficient adrenaline to use it. Also, the Signature ability is available right away once you have the necessary logos -- it's not something you put points into, it just becomes available period.
10821  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia 9800 GX2 on: January 04, 2008, 10:03:53 PM
Hmm, if I do some fancy relabeling of my ATI 9800 Pro, can I sucker someone on Ebay into thinking it's a new card?  icon_twisted That was my first thought upon seeing NVIDIA dig up a number better known as an ATI model.

I'm just afraid that the more the GPU companies push $600, $700 video cards, the more marginalized the PC gamer base is going to get than it already is and more "Hell with PCs I'm getting an XBox360" threads you'll see here. People like to say "it was always like that," but it wasn't. There was a stone age day where $199 or $249 got me the top of the line, current video card. I miss them days.  crybaby
10822  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: If my comp can handle CoH, will it run CoH OF? on: January 04, 2008, 09:28:26 PM
I think the steep system requirements (I can tell you X number of people who wouldn't even try the original game because they were so convinced their systems couldn't run it properly) scared off a lot of potential buyers. That and the fact it doesn't have World of Warcraft in the title.

All they had to do was call it:
"Company of World of Warcraft of Heroes" and there's 2-3 million more copies sold right there.  drool

It's weird with me though. I speak of the game glowingly but basically I played it to death for about 6 weeks in fall of 2006 and that's been about it (I briefly returned long enough to finish the Nerbelwerfers campaign mission a few months ago). I enjoyed online co-op vs. AI games and sometimes pvp games (though most of the latter deteriorated into tank rushes as if you were just playing C&C all over again), and I liked their style proprietary online gaming service.

Sometimes I fall for something hard, but not long. Other times I fall for something soft, but long.

"That's what she said!"  Tongue
10823  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 04, 2008, 02:12:17 PM
PAUs (personal armored units, something between a regular soldier and the AI-controlled AFS Mechs) are one of the upcoming goodies, and I stumbled on an old November piece at TenTonHammer about it (they weren't allowing any screenshots/video at that point, just descriptions):

These'll be a reward for reaching L40, with training in five different types available (see NCSoft's blog:, about the Grendel variant, which has two machine turrets on each arm and a rocket launcher).

Personal Armor Unit Q&A with Starr Long
The Shiva was the most vehicle-like of all the PAUs. Oriented more like some sort of deep sea exploration device, the Shiva definitely had a unique appearance. With a “cockpit” type area towards the front of the machine, it seems to be apparent that this PAU will function in a different capacity to the Spectre or the Ghoul.

When I saw the Ghoul for the first time, I commented that it looked like a flesh golem; a creature made of mashed together flesh. Large power cylinders extended from one shoulder of the Ghoul, and the entire creature seemed to seethe with power.
Command Opportunity's going to be a level 50 final tier ability that lets you summon and outfit your own NPC squad of soldiers. They probably still have a lot of work to do to have content at L35-40, much less 50 though.

Anyway, that's all sort of old news on upcoming stuff, just hadn't read much about it. smile
I hit L30 last night. For a propellant gun, I'll apparently have to either move on to the Marshes (where stores sell them) or sift through the offerings at the Military Surplus auction house.

I thought there would be an abundance of Grenadiers in the higher level game, but I'm not sure I've run into one. Most of the L30+ players appear to be Guardians, Spies, Engineers or Biotechnicians (just based on what I'm running into on Pegasus).
10824  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 04, 2008, 06:09:26 AM

GAH! I had to resort to an hour of base defense grinding to make it the final way to 30. And then, I find out propellant guns aren't sold in Plateau and the only one I had as a drop was a level 37 EMP  disgust Yeah yeah military surplus, I was too dang tired to look.

Anyway, scatterbombs sort of looks like you're skipping rocks with a few hand grenades, a modest distance and can knock targets down. Should be a good bowling ball attack for me. smile Haven't tried Tectonic Strike but put put points in it. The signature ability requires Vortex logos that I'll work on this weekend.

While I was working on it, saw an Engineer going nuts with a couple different types of turrets. Here's a couple of the more common ones:

My impression is with higher pump levels you get different turret types perhaps. They put out quite a stream of fire.

Also saw engies with various bots floating around them -- the only problem is you'll probably mistake them for enemy bots quite often.  icon_confused

If you don't want to have to wear out your right wrist/fingers clicking like a maniac, then Engineer seems the way to go.  icon_cool
10825  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 03, 2008, 08:55:08 PM
I reached the Plateau area last night. It's more rural, with some bases located at the tops of very steep cliffs.

There's a quest to get the Vortex logo (necessary to be able to use the Grenadier's signature ability, "Concussive Wave.") there.

There's a pretty neat, multi-contact quest that involves no fighting. I'm finding it a fun change of pace even if it's probably just an excuse to introduce you to different areas within the Plateau.

Back in Incline I got another one of those "branching tree" type quests. This time I decided to be a nice guy instead of nasty.  biggrin
10826  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Games You've Taken Time Off Of Work/School To Play? on: January 03, 2008, 04:19:35 PM
Dunno about taking time off of work formally, but the games that have ruined me the most in terms of making me stay up late and be late to work often include:

-Duke Nukem 3D (esp. dial-up modem co-op games  icon_lol)
-Diablo (not Diablo II so much)
-City of Heroes (one day I played on a Sunday evening Task Force until about 5 a.m., I was a wreck at my newspaper job after maybe 3-4 hours of sleep)
10827  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone try Shadowgrounds Survivor yet? on: January 03, 2008, 02:10:21 PM
Here's the official site:

Shadowgrounds Survivor

I loved the original game, and I used to hang out at Frozenbyte's (dev) official forum for the game. However, this followup game they already had to do a patch for (and their forums have several complaints about bugs and crashing problems) and it sounds to be like yet another premature release.
10828  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 03, 2008, 02:05:59 PM
Read the Pocket Gamer link. It explains it about as thoroughly as anything (the game won't make any sense from watching the trailer).
The game exalts you as the almighty god of the Patapon tribe - adorable one-eyed creatures who have been driven from their ancestral land by the evil Zigotons. Marching to the beat of their god's drum, the little warriors embark on a war to retake their old home. Skirmishes between the cutesy Patapons and their Zigoton nemeses come to life in gorgeous 2D side-scrolling scenes brimming with colour and style.

You control your army of Patapon warriors via beats tapped out on the PSP's face buttons. Each of the buttons correspond to a musical sound: square sounds off 'pata,' circle 'pon,' triangle equals 'chaka,' and X is 'don.' Issuing a command requires hitting a specific four-beat combination. Moving, for example, is done by tapping square-square-square-circle ('pata-pata-pata-pon'). Ordering an attack takes circle-circle-square-circle ('pon-pon-pata-pon').

Just pressing buttons hurriedly won't have any effect though since these tribal warriors need rhythm to act. A thin white border encompassing the screen pulses to the beat, giving you a visual indication of when to press buttons. Of course, the percussive music in the background helps too. Hit the buttons in sync with this in-game metronome and your warriors will respond.

Before giving the next command, however, you'll need to pause. Skillfully timing your button presses and waiting through the pauses will accumulate a combo. But if you miss a beat or play through a measure of rest, the combo resets. You'll need to build up a combo to 10 to get your Patapons into fever mode. This sees them moving faster and attacking with more power. Naturally, this make it easier when confronting hordes of enemies or some of the massive bosses.

Before heading into battle, you need to outfit your warriors and form them up into three squads. Each squad consists of different units with specific abilities. Yaripon spear-throwers make up your initial fighting force, while the up-close-and-personal Tatepon melee attackers join you after a couple stages. Later on, Yumipon archers made up a third squad.
Since I found Elite Beat Agents exasperating (the game was unforgiving, and I couldn't replicate the proper rhthyms no matter how hard I tried), I can't guarantee this'll be my cup of tea even if I'm intrigued.  icon_neutral
10829  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Patapon for the PSP looks insane....LY FUN on: January 03, 2008, 05:56:00 AM
UK Pocket Gamer has some extensive hands-on impressions of this:
There are some additional elements that we haven't touched upon - unit creation, mini-games, collecting rare items - that should further broaden Patapon's appeal.

What matters though, is that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has once again created a remarkably unique game. The core gameplay seems brilliant - it ought to prove easy enough for anyone to play - and yet also seems to possess plenty of depth with its tactical twists.
10830  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 03, 2008, 05:44:40 AM
Ta da! I tried so hard to hit 30 but I gotta hit the hay (about 29.5).

10831  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 02, 2008, 09:39:22 PM
A brief episode of the new Soap Opera: As The Tabula Rasa Turns

Oh no!

His heart is broken!

He can't go on! But there's a problem...
10832  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa on: January 02, 2008, 09:04:48 PM
TenTonHammer (I think I mentioned, but some of their quest guides are true sanity-savers -- and the game seems relatively "alt-tab" friendly so I wish I'd remember that. I spent hours trying to finish Comm Tower instance, but the maze is just baffling. After reading TTH's guide, I realized there was a console I needed to hit that activates a teleporter to the level I couldn't reach. But since most of the keyboards on the instance do nothing, how I was supposed to know?  crybaby)... what was I saying? Oh, they have new interview with April Burba (aka the former CuppaJo at CoX forums):

Tabula Rasa in 2008 - An Interview with April Burba
You're definitely going to see us introducing new missions for content that we've already rolled out, especially in the higher level areas. Along with that, you're going to see some new areas coming online as well. You're just going to be seeing more content as we progress in our game development.

In fact, we're gradually moving towards a regular content release schedule that might be a bit more ambitious than what you've seen in other NCsoft titles. We'll have the big releases similar to what players have seen with the Issues in CoH/CoV, but we also want to get regular content to those people that have been in the game a long time and give them the sort of continuous experience that they want to enjoy.
Up to Level 30 or so I don't think anyone can argue there's not enough content (if anything, the amount of quests/instances/Logos searches almost becomes overwhelming), but you can level so quickly in the game they're probably going to have a logjam in the 30s/40s eventually.
10833  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 02, 2008, 04:05:54 PM
I like knowing teammate's names and health/armor status at a glance right on top of their character model (I find that more useful in combat than having to constantly shift my eyes' attention to the squad meters in the lower left), but yeah in combat that can be cluttered.

Under Gameplay options, you can set just about every type name imaginable (for teammates, NPCs, other players, enemies etc.) to make it as neat as you want via simple checkboxes (including, you can choose not to list anyone's title, just the clan name, just the awarded Title name etc.). NPCs typically don't have info pop up on them unless you hover your mouse cursor on top of them. I've got most of my squadmate options set to keep people's names/meters on them all the time.

Also I have to play at 1024X768, so the HUD looks more cramped than it is for most players who play at higher resolutions than me. And yeah I crop a lot of my screenshots rather than post huge files here if I can help it.

I turn off the UI when I can but you can't really play the game effectively in that mode.  icon_smile
10834  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 02, 2008, 07:24:18 AM
Got on a pretty fun team doing the Fluxite Mines instance in the Mires area; first time I played with a couple of 4th tier (Level 30+) characters. I got to see Reanimation (which reanimates one dead Bane as a slightly nerfed Ally) at work. The first time you see it, I guarantee you'll start firing at the reanimated corpse.  ;D The only visually distinguishing feature is this sort of video-grid will sort of animate up the length of the former Bane troop's body periodically, I guess to remind you it's friendly.  icon_mrgreen

Couple screenshots:

Paper Planes is a level 30 Spy, and he's using its Blade skill. Reanimated corpse at upper left.

10835  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 02, 2008, 12:11:43 AM
Jude Blackjach in his current Purple Haze configuration...

I just wish he didn't have to wear what appears to be orange pajamas with Lego patterns on them under his armor pieces.  Roll Eyes
10836  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 01, 2008, 10:29:17 PM
I was battling bots this afternoon - unbelievably exasperating.  mad However, the "Duplicator Bots" do give you the opportunity to battle... yourself.  saywhat The enemy clone of you even goes so far as to keep switching weapons the same way you do.  icon_cool

"Sorry, clone, you might have the same everything, but you don't fight like me."  nod
10837  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 01, 2008, 05:25:34 PM
I was on a fun, diverse (Commando, Ranger, Sapper) three-person team yesterday afternoon doing a couple instances in The Plains. Some glimpses of  Ranger stuff...

Carpet Bombing (note the colorful bombs dropping in from upper right -- though it's so fast in action you hardly see it).

Reinforcements (the weird "sheet" of Logos symbols he's forming actually calls in the Reinforcement, an temporary AI friendly troop of different types - medic, grenadier etc.).
10838  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: If my comp can handle CoH, will it run CoH OF? on: December 31, 2007, 06:30:16 PM
I could run Company of Heroes (I specifically went up to 2GB of RAM to make sure I could, in fall 2006) OK on my sloth system (AMD 64 3200+), but Opposing Fronts initial mission brought it to its knees.  crybaby I still am on the first mission in Opposing Fronts. I guess my problem is I really preferred CoH's first few smaller-scale missions that gradually introduce you to units and aren't totally fixated on base building and rushing. I got bogged down when the initial campaign went larger scale and started to feel too much like RTSs in general.

Opposing Fronts' campaign, from what I could see, starts big and massive, and it sort of disappointed me it didn't have something more like the more intimate scale early missions from the original game's campaign.

Still, when I get a new PC (definitely on my New Year's Resolution list, It's been 4 years now), this will be one of my first tests on it.
10839  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: December 31, 2007, 05:08:53 PM

Quote from: Jarrodhk on December 31, 2007, 07:22:34 AM

Wanted to say thanks for posting these little vids.  Helps me get a feel for how the game plays in combat.
You're welcome. smile I enjoy sharing them -- I mean, it's no fun without at least a little bit of an audience.

Any of us can send you a link for the 3-day trial if you just want to dip a toe into the water -- it will also help balance out all the spambots playing as trial players.  mad icon_lol

And keep in mind I'm just a big dumb "shoot first ask questions" commando. Other classes will probably look more interesting in combat (injector guns, leech guns, polarity guns etc. are all things I can't use), and I've yet to get to see Rangers calling in reinforcements, Engineers building turrets and robot drones (I forgot the name exactly) etc., Guardians doing all their shield stuff etc. So I don't know that my videos give the full picture from the player perspective. smile

Last night I ended up really only having about 20 minutes play (had to work most of today). I just took up all the Logos quests I had in the Incline zone and had fun just trying to reach those areas. It was just right for the time I had, and I made about 1/4 a level. smile
10840  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: December 30, 2007, 03:04:14 PM
I expect to be on around maybe (East Coast time) 1-4 p.m., and maybe 9-midnight tonight so look for me then and I'll add ya. smile (on Pegasus, East Coast server).

I added Sulastani who popped in briefly last night, to the clan.

I think they're looking at letting you add offline friends to your list eventually, but that and making the clan stuff more useful (right now, you can't really do anything beyond editing the 4-5 pre-set ranking names).
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