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401  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Guild Wars any good as single player game? on: January 21, 2006, 06:03:04 PM
The biggest problem I have with it is that there is not a good way to get groups together to do quests.  People just shout around randomly and it's hard to even find them initially after you join a group.  What this game really needs is some way to put it out there that you are LOOKING for a group and then have an additional spot whereby you can check off what quests you are looking to do.  There needs to be a better mechanism for getting people together in the game.  I find it's harder to find groups in GW than it is in EQ2!
402  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HDTV and Xbox 360 question on: November 17, 2005, 06:06:50 PM
I'm trying to understand a bit more about HDTV.  Specifically, I'm trying to figure out whether my TV, a Sony KV-36XBR450 WEGA XBR Hi-Scan TV, is capable of receiving the HDTV signals from the XBox without purchasing some sort of interface between the TV and the XBox.  In otherwords, I'd like to know how to best connect the XBox to the TV.  I know that the TV specifications say it is HDTV-ready, but I know that for HDTV based programming it requires an interface.   I've reprinted the basic specs for my TV below.  Any advice?  Thanks!

Quote
The Sony KV-36XBR450 WEGA XBR Hi-Scan TV is an HDTV-ready TV with 2 HD-compatible component video inputs.

The XBR450 accepts 1080i, 720p, 480p through its two HD-compatible inputs, so you can connect the optional HDTV decoder  and enjoy HDTV programming.

The TV also can upconvert 480i signal to progressive-scan 480p and has 2:3 pulldown conversion for the 24 fps film-based DVDs.

The picture is sharp and clear, even in the corners of the screen, where TVs usually have difficulties focusing. You can also control the velocity scan modulation (Off/Low/High) and adjust the color temperature.

The TV has high-tech looks with its silver cabinet, flat screen and side-mounted speakers. Looking at it directly, it seems that the TV is flat (like plasma TVs).

The TV has 2 HD component video inputs (accept 1080i, 480p and 480i resolution), 2 S-Video inputs on the rear panel and another one in front, 3 composite video inputs in back and one in front, 2 RF inputs, fixed and variable audio stereo outs, monitor output and S-Link interface out.

This TV features vertical aperture compensation, to improve viewing of the widescreen 16:9 sources, so no scan lines are wasted. You can manually (or automatically) switch to 16:9 Enhanced viewing when watching anamorphic DVDs and HDTV.

You get two-tuner picture-in-picture. The Video Label feature shows you the device name instead of the input number, saving you from mistakes. The TV has a MID (Multi-Image Driver) feature, which internally converts TV signal to VGA resolution and allows features like Free Layout PIP, Flexible Twin Picture and Freeze mode. The TV also has auto white balance, vertical aperture compensation and tilt correction.

Audio features include simulated surround sound, stereo speakers (four drivers, 7.5 W each) with bass and treble control, stereo reception, MTS decoder with DBX noise reduction and SAP, close captioning and 181-channel tuner with auto tuning, universal remote control.
403  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suggestions on Portable Gaming on: July 28, 2005, 10:55:40 AM
Thanks.  The Alienware Area 51m 7700 (didn't see an Area 55) seems like a good deal and you can get 3.0 GHz machines and up from them.  Is 2 GB of DDR2 RAM a requirement to play EQ2 with quality graphics?  I also noticed that they have 2 display choices - a 1680 x 1050 screen and a cheaper 1440 x 900 display.  Not sure if that makes a big difference.  Any suggestions?  As for the other specs, I'd probably stick with the 3.4 GHz model (and the 6800 card) as it seems to be the best deal.
404  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suggestions on Portable Gaming on: July 27, 2005, 03:53:01 PM
Thanks for the responses so far.  For the most part, I play RPGs and strategy games (which is why I haven't considered one of the handhelds before), but I do play sports games as well, generally only on consoles.  I generally don't play games during my daily life of running to and from locations, but as I'll be away for a relatively significant amount of time over the next few months, I'll have long airline flights to play games and hotel room internet access at my disposal.  I was thinking EQ2 would be a game I could play when stuck at the hotel.
405  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suggestions on Portable Gaming on: July 25, 2005, 09:02:35 PM
Yeah, I play a bit of EQ2 which is why I'm thinking it might have to be pretty top-end.  But the 9600 can with over 1 GB RAM should handle it.
406  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Suggestions on Portable Gaming on: July 25, 2005, 08:21:24 PM
Well, I have to do quite a bit of traveling over the next few months, so I am looking into getting either a top-flight laptop or some other portable gaming system.  The bonus with the top-flight laptop would be that I could hook up to my MMORPG's while I am staying at all these hotels, but a small portable less expensive system like the PSP might be an option.  What does everyone think?
407  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Top 5 games you'd like to see re-made? on: June 03, 2005, 02:31:09 PM
"Master of Magic" here!

Although, I also have soft spots for "The Wizard's Crown" and "Autoduel".
408  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / I think COH blows (maybe) on: May 19, 2005, 03:02:12 AM
Quote from: "Raven"
All noobs use wasd, but in most mmorpgs you can use the mouse to move forward and change camera views, with just one hand, which means you can use the other hand to use hotbuttons. This comes in extremely handy for pvp.

Press the right mouse button, and then the left, and your character will move forward. While you are doing that, move the mouse forward or backwards to look up or down. This allows you to run through zig zagging tunnels, just as smoothly as running on flat ground, all the while keeping your view perfectly level. If you were using wasd, the twisting corridor would require you to constantly alter your camera view. This is especially beneficial to anyone in first person.

Trick number two. While auto running, press on your ctrl key, and then use your mouse to look around, while your character continues to move forward. This allows your character to move one direction, while your camera view is pointing another direction.

EQ allows this, and so does WOW, and I'm pretty sure you can do it in SWG.

If memory serves, AC and AO both allow mouse movement, as well.


Well, I'm happy to be a noob then, because I hate holding both mouse buttons down at the same time to run.  I'd turn on autorun first.  But, I think you're right, I don't remember being able to set that up in CoH.  But, you shouldn't be a noob yourself and learn to adapt!   :wink:
409  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / I think COH blows (maybe) on: May 18, 2005, 03:23:55 PM
This has nothing to do with what I think of CoH, but I'm wondering out of curiousity - what games have you played recently that did not principally use "wasd" as controls for movement.  I can't even think of one.  Certainly every recent online game I've played whether WoW, EQ II, Guild Wars and some non-online games like KOTOR 1 and 2, Vampire: Bloodlines all use it for movement.  I know some of non-3d games might be able to rely on the mouse exclusively (like the older Bioware games), but I can't think of too many recent ones.
410  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Matrix, Friends and Family Event. on: May 09, 2005, 06:56:14 PM
Many thanks as well!
411  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Matrix, Friends and Family Event. on: May 08, 2005, 10:43:27 PM
I would like one as well, if anyone has a spare one.  I just can't let a MMORPG go by without at least trying it.  Much thanks in advance if anyone has one.
412  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Hottest MMO Females on: April 28, 2005, 09:25:06 PM
That's really a shame.  With such nice graphics you'd hope they'd have a game to play.  I guess it hasn't improved at all the year its been out?  That's presumably the reason why they still don't have a demo for it after all this time.  They can't figure out a way to make the experience fun for people.  All you need is a situation like that and you'll be turned off really quickly.
413  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Hottest MMO Females on: April 28, 2005, 04:49:58 PM
Yeah, apparently everyone in Lineage 2 is going to run around looking like a supermodel no matter what race they pick.  I guess they already knew, unlike Blizzard, that apparently people don't like playing "ugly" races generally.

By the way, what makes Lineage 2 so bad besides the grind and dying.  I mean, to some extent that's in all of these types of games.  (I've never played Lineage 2, so I'm asking from that vantage point).
414  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Quitting WoW - what's the best MMORPG for me? on: April 26, 2005, 05:01:04 PM
Quote from: "Interloper"
Holy crap Fez!  By using alternating blue and white text your whole post looks 3D to me.  Trippy! :o


 Cool It was my plan to mesmerize the lot of you.  Anyway, I think CoH was a ton of fun the first month or two and then it became incredible repetitive at higher levels (and not particularly deep).  I think that it is well worth the purchase for the month or two of fun you'll get out of it.  Absolutely no crafting system however.  It's basically a superhero combat simulator.
415  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / My new guilty pleasure MMORPG (I cant believe it is one) on: April 26, 2005, 04:56:50 PM
Looks like it might be fun, but I read the service agreement and they maintain the right to download certain files and cookies to your compute to gather system information and other information about your system.  Anyone running the beta client notice anything?
416  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Quitting WoW - what's the best MMORPG for me? on: April 24, 2005, 05:45:53 PM
It seems like EQ2 wouldn't be a bad one to try.  I've played both and have high level characters in both.  At the moment I've switched back to EQ2 because it seems more challenging to me.  The extra challenge to some extent gets rid of the grinding feeling I felt in WoW in the 40's and 50's. I do like WoW as well, and even switched full-time to WoW for a few months after a month of playing EQ2.  However, now I'm back full-time into EQ2.  My answers are below:

To Jumangi:  No, they don't - not at level 60.  Let's take them one by one.

1. A game that takes longer to level. I don't mind it taking a while. As long as there's not a ton of "grinding" to do it. Mission-based exp is fine.

I've leveled 2 characters to 60 inside of 5 months and averaged about 2.5 hours per day doing it.  It's too easy to level in WoW.  I like the missions and exp.  I don't like how I can level up from level 34 to 35 in under 2.5 hours.  They should probably double the exp necessary per level in the game.

A good choice for slower leveling would be EQ2 if your equipment can handle it.  The environments aren't quite as fantastic as WoW, but the graphics have a more pseudo-realistic quality to them.  


2. A game where there's easy-to-find groups all the time and short (but rewarding) missions.

During the endgame, the instances are horribly long and it takes literally hours to get a group assembled.  Even with guild raids, it takes a long time.  And many of these raids are scheduled to start at 8-9 EST - meaning they're not over until midnight.  I can't stay up that late.  I like grouping - I just hate the waiting for groups at level 60.  And since I've been a part of no less than 4 guilds across my 3 characters, this is the same everywhere no matter which guild you join.

Again I've played EQ2 and one thing I liked about it was that you could find groups a lot faster than in WoW.  I find that in WoW I always had to rely on guildmates to group.  However, EQ2 is becoming more solo friendly over time, so this might change a bit.  Some quests are very long, but most ALL of them can be done in steps, so you can focus on one step at a time.  


3. A player base (as much as possible) that's not comprised of screaming 12 year olds.

WoW has more of their fair share of screaming 12 year olds.  Perhaps a game that's not the "MMORPG flavor of the month" may be in order.

EQ2 has a pretty good player population that seems much more mature than the WoW player base generally.

4. A game with a rewarding crafting system.

WoW's crafting system isn't very rewarding.  You're far better off financially gathering raw materials and NOT crafting.  Crafted goods aren't very necessary and don't sell very well.  Crafting in UO was awesome.  Crafting here is a waste of time.  The major issue is that high-level goods don't take even some low-level items.  The crafting system would be MUCH more rewarding if high-level goods actually had a use and took some lower level components to make - like a sword taking iron, mithril AND arcanite.

EQ2's crafting system is still being tinkered with, but it does provide much more of a challenge than the WoW game system.  One thing that I have to add generally about EQ2 is that it seems like there is more room for the game to grow than in WoW.  WoW in some ways was more polished than EQ2 initially, but with that I have more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get feeling.  Unlike WoW, EQ2 always has updates with additional content.  Not always the best thing, but developers are dedicated at least.

5. A game in which you can solo if you want with little trouble.

This describes WoW and it is my favorite part of the game.  The ability to log on, grab a solo mission and go hunting is wonderful.  Unfortunately, at level 60, this part of the game completely vanishes.  There are no soloable quests at level 60.  It it took longer to get to 60, that would make up for it.

This is the area EQ2 has made quite a bit of progress in.  Most of the creatures out in Antonica have now been designated as soloable.  Dungeons are typically the one area where most of the creatures are group oriented.  I think this will only improve further over time.

Lastly, I should add that I don't know any MMORPG that will not have some sort of grind quality to it.  And I find that each game does get tiring after a while.  The trick is to enjoy them for a few months or so and see if you form a good group of guildmates.
417  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Sony opens MMO Twink-o-Matic on: April 21, 2005, 06:13:46 PM
Well, back to the mechanics of what's being instituted.  My biggest concern is relating to how it will affect the online trading market if people start taking more of their items to the offline auction houses.  This also goes for those "campers" who used to sell the items they got online for gold.  Now they may leave those servers where they used to have a big impact on the online market in order to have an opportunity to earn real world money for their items.  We'll have to see how it shakes down, but I'm guessing those new servers will be an interesting place.
418  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Guild Wars Beta Impressions? on: April 20, 2005, 04:50:11 PM
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I'll say it again:  this game is NOT like Diablo 2.  At all.


I have to disagree.  Advancement is slightly different (there aren't really any skill trees that I am aware of), but the general feel of the game is a bit like Diablo 2.  Even to the point of forming groups and adventuring in the instances.

However, I think a better comparison is to Dungeon Siege.  It's a bit like a multiplayer version of that, with PvP aspects and some crafting.
419  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Which Game to Get? on: April 06, 2005, 02:24:20 AM
Finally, COH is a fun game for a month or 2, but the higher end content wasn't all that appealing in the long run.  For some reason, it just seemed like a lot more of the same, even more so than other MMORPGs.  The graphics were really neat at the beginning however, and if you like the superhero plotlines, it might be the right choice for you.
420  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Which Game to Get? on: April 06, 2005, 02:21:17 AM
It's really a matter of figuring out the flavors you have to choose from and then selecting one.

Guild Wars:  As far as I know it's the only one that does not require a monthly fee to play.  It is not as deep or complex as the others because the zones are instanced.  The good:  As the zones are instanced you are the only PC "heroes" in the instance.  Also, they have designed it so that each NPC will react appropriately depending on what all party members have done.  Therefore, if someone in the party has met important NPC X and killed him, then NPC X will not be in the instance.  During character creation you can make a character starting at level 1 or at the top level so far, level 20 for PK arena battles ("Guild Wars").

WoW:  Easy to get into, and more rapid leveling than Everquest 2.  Graphics are fun and whimsical, a bit cartoony in a way.  Crafting is extremely simplified, but fun.  You have to specifically choose the crafting professions you want and are limited.  Runs pretty smoothly on current machines.  Also, you have the option to play on PK servers which means you can be attacked indiscriminately by other players, or on regular servers, where someone has to be flagged first before you can attack them.  However, after leveling a character or 2 to upper levels I did get a little bored.  It didn't seem to be quite as deep as Everquest 2 and it wasn't quite as challenging.  Among other things, this leads to a lot of people soloing in the game, and sometimes it's a challenge to find groups except for those times you venture into "dungeon" areas or quest encounters that pretty much require a group.  So, in some ways it isn't as social as EQ2.  Also, WoW does not nearly update the game as much as Everquest 2, which is constantly, for better or worse, trying to improve aspects of the game.  One bonus is no zones, although there can be significant lag in the city areas or areas of congestion.

EQ2:  Requires high-end machine.  Graphics are probably the best out of all the games out right now, although some people might prefer the more fantasy graphics in WoW or other games, or the pretty hot female models in other games like Lineage 2 or Guild Wars.  It does require more grouping, and thus there is much more social contact going on.  Guilds are really great to help out with quests, and you feel a greater sense of accomplishment when you complete quests than in any other games.  However, this is also a drawback because it takes more time, and is more hard-core.  The developers are currently adding patch content very frequently, and are working hard at adding in more soloability to the game in the future.  It should be interesting to see how that progresses.  There are zones in EQ2, but lag is very minimal at this time on a decent machine.
421  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Hottest MMO Females on: March 25, 2005, 05:15:39 PM
Yep, the Lineage II dark elves are definitely tough to beat.  How do the other races look?  I don't know much about Lineage II.  All of the classes in Guild Wars have subtle differences, but all look good.  But there really aren't different races in the game.
422  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Hottest MMO Females on: March 24, 2005, 05:42:39 AM
Heh, that's just what elementalist females look like.  I believe some of the other classes have different dimensions.
423  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / EQ2 Veterans I need your input! on: March 09, 2005, 08:16:34 PM
I agree with Arkon's post.  I still switch back and forth between WOW and EQ2, although I'm not overly dedicated to either.  EQ2 is adding quite a bit more solo content, especially at the higher levels where it was always harder to solo.  I think EQ2 is on the right track, although it still takes a pretty good machine to run the game smoothly, especially on busy servers.  

As for solo classes, I'd say that scouts definitely seem to be the most tricky solo.  Although they do a lot of damage, they also take a lot, which means more down time as you heal between certain fights.  Also, some of their combat maneuvers are just more naturally geared towards groups, such as the backstabbing and stealth attacks during the battle.  I might give the nod to certain healers and summoners as the best solo classes.  Fighters are certainly good as well, but depending on the class, you might face more downtime healing between fights.
424  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Diablo vs. Nox on: March 08, 2005, 11:52:57 PM
Quote from: "skystride"
Diablo easily for single player.  Nox started to get boring near the end.  Nox multiplayer was a lot of fun though for a quick arcady action fix.  Love the control scheme in nox, proves that you don't need a joystick to play fast paced action games of that type on a PC.


I agree.  Diablo was more fun single player.  In fact, I hardly played Nox single player.  But multiplayer Nox was fun as heck.  It was fast action, quick, and the maps kept cycling around.  And I liked the fact that it saved stats for you and such.  I miss that game.
425  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Vampire worth getting? on: February 14, 2005, 10:13:45 PM
Well, I got Vampire and I'm now in the Downtown area.  So far my experience is definitely mixed.  The story, while not the most engrossing vampire tale ever, is strong enough to keep me interested.  The big problem lies in the control of your character.  I find it particularly frustrating when I get stuck under floors (such as in the crawlspace in the hospital downtown) and when I spend several minutes trying to crawl/hop into a sewer access pipe.  The controls are just not particularly fluid except when running around in open spaces, which, at its best, feels a bit like KOTOR I in terms of control (and I can't say that was my favorite in that regard either).

Other than the frustrating control issues, the graphics haven't been causing me too many problems, although the cutscenes and conversations do have their share of glitches, including stutters, poor lip synching, occasional volume drops, etc.  The world also could stand to be a bit more vibrant, as there are times you enter areas to find that there is nothing to interact with.  It would be nice if there were more items and puzzles to deal with.

Lastly, combat truly is pretty weak imo.  I never really know what I'm doing, and strategy seems to be almost completely useless or unnecessary.  Again, it's a bit like KOTOR I but only because it keeps that combat system's worst qualities.  From what I've found, there is no way to pause combat in Vampire, so it can be a bit hairy to use a variety of disciplines during a single combat.  It seems to mostly become a press the mouse-button as much as you can to attack (with the boss encounters at least) and use maybe one or two disciplines if you can.

All that being said, I am still playing it, so that's one good thing.  Although there are times it gets very frustrating.  Definitely, as a suggestion, you really need to make sure you adequately boost your attack AND defense skills as the game progresses.  I had a fairly well trained melee character who could not get past one boss until I had spent some more training in defense, and there were really no queues to suggest beforehand that I would aboslutely need to put training into that area.
426  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Loot Rules on: February 06, 2005, 07:56:58 PM
Well, as you're a member of the Horde, what do you expect?  Such selfishness runs rampant through the evil Horde.  You're lucky that's all he wanted! ;-)
427  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Would like some Guild Wars info on: January 28, 2005, 03:36:12 AM
Hmm, well I played in the first beta events and thought the game was better than I expected.  There isn't at this point a large number of races or classes, but you can make some interesting character combinations that are different - such as Elementalist/Monk, etc.    The non PvP part of the game is based more on a mission format, so the idea is that you complete certain missions to advance to different parts of the world.  A little like Dungeon Siege in that respect.  Once you open up an area of the world you can travel back and forth between towns (sort of like safe havens) automatically if you like, or fight you're way back.  Also, completion of a mission will affect how everyone else in the world treats you.  If someone in your party has killed an NPC before, then that NPC will be gone when you reach that location, regardless of whether you ever killed it before.  There are also areas that are designed for exploration, where you may find new trainers to teach you additional skills.

Character customization is pretty interesting.  Besides the typical acquisition of better items, there is also the slection of skills/spells in the game.  There are hundreds of skills and spells in the game, and they each seem to have some use.  When you venture out into the world, you can select 8 skils from all your skills to use on a particular mission, which can make each mission seem a bit different when you go through them.

I don't see the game necessarily being a long-term game necessarily, but I see it being as entertaining as other MMORPG's.   Those usually hold my interest for a few months before growing stale.  However, this game is constantly getting updated with new content at the moment, so its hard to tell what the end result will be like.   But as Guild Wars has no monthly fee, who's complaining about even a few weeks of fun.
428  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Release date for KOTORII for PC? on: January 27, 2005, 06:41:48 PM
Zarkon, thanks very much!  You know, I never looked at the release dates section because I assumed they were only for console games.  Thanks for all the hard work!
429  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Release date for KOTORII for PC? on: January 24, 2005, 11:53:37 PM
I guess the topic says it all.  Anyone know when KOTORII is planned to be released for the PC?  Thanks!
430  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Vampire worth getting? on: January 24, 2005, 03:38:14 AM
Hi, I've been considering getting Bloodlines, but I wasn't sure if it was worth it.  Have the bugs been fixed by the latest patch?  I don't want to open the Bloodlines thread above because it contains spoilers, so I'm not sure whether the game has been improved by the patch(es)?  Thanks!
431  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LotR: Battle for Middle Earth - First Impressions on: January 01, 2005, 09:08:44 PM
Off-topic, with no opinion on the matter:  Actually, it was the US who made Hasselhoff a TV star.  Germany made him a music star.  Regarding Freedom Fries, that was an unfortunate joke in the US that followed on the heels of the disagreement between the two countries on the war in Iraq (no comment either way on that in this post).  But, to some extent, there has always been a slight strain between the two cultures, as allied as we are.  Here in New York City, you won't ever see any mention of "Freedom Fries" except as a joke.  And, in traveling throughout the US on business I have never seen French Fries renamed on any menus as "Freedom Fries".
432  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - Should I bother? on: December 30, 2004, 12:49:29 AM
Yeah, I have to say that WoW has grabbed me more than any other MMORPG has to this date, including Ultima Online, which up to this point was my favorite of them (perhaps because it was the first really immersive one).  In any case, I've played UO, EQ, EQ2, DAOC, AC, AC2, AO, and SWG.   I'm probably forgetting a few.  Generally I've fizzled out on those fairly quickly.  I've gotten to the highest level I've ever gotten in any of these kinds of games, and I still want to play.  The one great thing about it is that there is always something to do.  Loads of quests, that seem to stay just as plentiful as you level up, and there are always places to solo at just about every level.  And having the different cities and realms does make for a satisifying experience.  In an earlier post I compared both EQ2 and WoW, but I have to say that over the last several weeks, I have played WoW exclusively.  It's just a much smoother experience overall and it's easier to get into during any one gaming session (If you can't find a party, just take on some of the quests you can do solo).

That being said, it does have many elements found in those games.  For whatever reason it just got them about as right as possible.
433  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - The Hunter Class on: December 10, 2004, 08:54:44 PM
The other thing I can add regarding the training points for pets, is that in order to teach your pet skills like "Bite 3" (Rank 3) or "Cower 1" you'll have to learn them from beasts you have tamed!  I found this out through a lot of trial and error.  The only beast skill I've seen taught by trainers is the growl skill (let me know if you've found any others).  Claw 3 I learned after I tamed a Black Bear Patriarch in Loch Modan.  After you've fought with the bear for a little while (it will have the skill initially) you will "learn" the skill from the bear as long as you are a high enough level.  I'm not sure but claw 3 might require you to be level 15, for example, to learn it.  I think certain cats have cower, but I haven't found that yet in my wanderings.  Bite 3 you can find off of certain spiders of a high enough level.  This is the main reason why we have a stable, so you can experiment with other pets to try and find new skills.
434  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Looking for comparison - EQ2 and WOW on: December 05, 2004, 03:17:31 AM
Thanks for the feedback!  You are correct that I haven't yet found a way to open up multiple chat windows for Warcraft that allow me to designate what is displayed in each multiple window.  In EQ2 I had separate windows for guild chat and tells, regular chat and other stuff, and combat activities.  If anyone has some time, I'd definitely be interested to find out how this can be done in WoW, or if it's possible.

I should have also mentioned that I was comparing the graphics at the highest level in WoW to graphics set at balanced or the next level better graphics in EQ2.  I have a failry beefy machine that I'm running these games on.  EQ2 definitely has more "realistic" graphics.  But, like I said, WoW has a cartoon-nature (almost like being in a Disney film) that may appeal more than EQ2's graphics to some people.

In any case, they are both good games.  I find that there is a lot of running in both games in pre-20 levels at least, and that's still somewhat tedious!  But you have to work to get mounts!  In any case, I'll probably switch back and forth as I get bored with one or the other for a while, unless I find that I can't keep up with them.
435  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Looking for comparison - EQ2 and WOW on: December 02, 2004, 08:41:56 PM
Well, I finally did it.  I broke down and bought WoW as well so that I could try them both.  I spent all of last night playing WoW and I feel at this point I have a pretty good idea of how the two games compare to one another in a general way.  I can't compare higher level adeventures between the two, as my EQ2 character is much higher than my current WoW character.  Anyway, I agree with the above post that both games are good, and it really depends on which feel you like better.  But as for a comparison, here goes:

Graphics:  The first thing I noticed upon logging into WoW was that the graphics really do fall far short of EQ2.  However, that doesn't mean they're bad, just that they will take some getting used to if you've played EQ2.  The good thing is that WoW runs very smoothly in the highest graphic setting on my machine, although even at that setting you're not going to get close to the crisp details in the EQ2 world.  There is a certain crispness missing in the WoW world that makes me feel like I'm playing an older game, notwithstanding the "cartoon-like" feel of the game, which I like overall.  But having played EQ2 first, it really takes some getting used to.  I could certainly see the graphics of one or the other being a drawing point.  However, the nice thing about WoW is that there are no zones, and thus little to no loading unless you are going to an instanced environment.  Nice bonus, although if you are running a top-end machine for EQ2 with a recently defragged hard-drive, the loading times in EQ2 are very acceptable.

World:  Having no zones, WoW feels a lot bigger than EQ2 and less cookie cutter.  However, this also could be negative in that in EQ2 we all know certain zones have certain things for a certain level character.  So, at least initially, WoW feels a bit more daunting, and a bit harder to get around.  I may be slightly biased because I've already had a few weeks with EQ2 and know the ropes over there.  In any case, both worlds are a lot of fun to explore, and I don't see either getting the nod here.

Sound:  I was happy to see that WoW also has a good deal of vocalizations in the game.  Not to the extent that you find in EQ2, where entire quests are given with vocals to accompany the test.  But I found in EQ2 that more than half the time I just clicked ahead after reading the quest rather than wait to hear the entire speech finish.  Also, WoW has some neat vocal commands (initiated with /v ___) which are really fun to use in game.  You can even tell random jokes or be silly with other players and hear your character talk.  As for music and sound effects, I'll give a slight nod to EQ2 here, because I think the quality of the effects and background music are slightly better.  But WoW's are pretty nice too.  I don't think sound would be something to sway you to one or the other.

Lag:  Having started playing WoW last night, a week after launch, I noticed absolutely no lag during the time I played.  This was really impressive following on the heels of my experience in EQ2 where I have to reboot every once in a while because combat starts to lag so much.  WoW definitely wins on this one, but, at the same time, the graphics are not as "realistic", so Id have to say EQ2 will look more current for far longer than WoW, if that's important to you.  But, if you want to run smoothly at all costs pick WoW at this point.

Interface: EQ2 wins on this at least initially, as I especially like the additional hotbars you can open up and the customizability of them and the different chat frames.  Now, I'm basing this only on the iterface that originally shipped with the game as I haven't tried any of the available interface mods available for WoW that are out there.  Im guessing that in the long run, this will probably equal out.  Chatting and other communication tools are fairly similar in both games, although the extra windows in  EQ2 are nice.

Character types/development: It's somewhat nice in WoW to feel like you start out in the class you chose, so you can immediately get a feel for the type of character you've chosen and whether you like it.  It also makes trying out other characters much easier.  In EQ2 you have to level up to 10 before you get to select your first subclass (as a scout you would select rogue, bard, or predator in Qeynos), and then at 20 you select your final class (such as Ranger if your a predator).  With WoW I had the chance to quickly try out a few different characters at the beginning which was nice.  Now, there aren't as many character types to choose from as in EQ2, but that might lead to better balancing overall.  This is still an open question as I haven't played long enough.  It seemed like the characters in EQ2 were a little more set in their roles.

Gameplay:  Ok, I've set this up with a few different subheadings to try and give some opinions on what I experienced.

Grouping/social:  Playing WoW last night, I have to admit that I never ran across anybody looking for groups in chat or elsewhere.  I just was soloing all the time.  This may change later on, but it definitely was a weird experience.  To me, it seems like EQ2 is a bit more of a social game as it essentially wants you to group later on to tackle some of the more difficult obstacles.  In WoW, it seemed like every class could solo, and every class could run around and do their own thing.  So if you like grouping, especially early on in the game, I'll give the nod to EQ2 at this point.  I also give the nod to EQ2 on guilds and such.  It's a lot of fun, for me at least, to see the guild pages and see all the stats for the guild online, as well as accumulating status points for your guild which can be used to purchase items, etc.  WoW does not have this at this time, based on what I'm aware of.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Combat:  At the early levels, I'd have to say combat functions very much the same.  However, WoW does not have the mobs set-up as in EQ2 where certain mobs are "group-specific".  In some ways this is good, and in other ways it's bad.  The group mobs in EQ2 basically force people to socialize to at least get into groups to tackle the mobs.  Therefore, you are forced to interact with other players and "play with them" so to speak.  In WoW, there are no group mobs, but there are times when you may need to group to tackle some mobs that are close enough together such that, if pulled, they will attack together.  I see bonuses to EQ2's system, as I am not against grouping, but if you like soloing more the nod would go to WoW.  If you like grouping and more interaction from the start, go with EQ2.  Again, this is not representative of higher levels where grouping is probably more of a necessityin WoW.

Mechanics:  First, death is handled differently.  In EQ2, you die, or a member of your group dies, and you suffer experience debt.  This means for a certain amount of experience gained, half of your exp will go to debt.  This debt is also wiped out slowly in real time, so if you log out for a day, usually in the next day or two the debt will be gone.  Also, when you die and are not revived by a priest, you will have to return to your body to collect your shard.  This effectively reduces the amount of debt your faced with.  In addition to debt, your items are also slightly damaged.  I don't find it overall to be much of an inconvenience, as if I have a lot of debt, I just logout for the night or switch to a different character.

In WoW, when you die and are not ressed by a healer, you spawn as a ghost in the nearest cemetary.  You then can run back to your body and collect it to minimize item damage or you can choose to be revived right in the graveyard, suffering some nasty damage to your items.  In WoW, unlike EQ2, item durabilitiy always goes down through combat, so you typically have to get things mended anyway.  Item durability also varies, much like in Diablo 2, so you could have a sword with 34/35 durability.  In EQ2 the durability is limited to percentages, and when something drops to 0, it must be repaired before it can be used again.  There is no exp debt in WoW.  I don't find either system to be too annoying.  

The experience debt in EQ2 actually ends up being somewhat similar in practice to the WoW "rest" state.  It's all numbers after all.  In WoW, when you first login for the day, your exp bar will be a light blue color.  This essentially means you are earning 200% experience for a certain number of kills.  Now, if you logged off in an inn the night before, that "rested" state may last significantly longer than if you didn't.  In fact, just visiting an inn while playing may sufficiently rest you so that you're back to earning 200% exp for a few kills.

If you are a casual player, I think this is a benefit.  But I also think WoW gets the nod in general if you are a casual player.  The social interaction does not feel quite as bonding as in EQ2 (the realism of the graphics in EQ2 perhaps enhasnces this feel, as does the guild structure and grouping mechanics) so it does not require as much attention from players.

Quest system:  Both games have lots of quests, but the nod has to go to WoW on this one.  The one really great thing that WoW does, is whenever you complete a part of the task, such as killing a bear, it immediately flashes on the screen "5/8 bears killed" or something like it, so you know how many more you need without having to find the quest in the quest log.  EQ2's quest log is a bit more cluttered, in that you need to have the quest open in the quest helper window to see updates on how you are progressing with a quest.  And, finding the quest in your journal can take a little time sometimes.  Otherwise, I find the quests to be fairly similar overall, although EQ2 seems to have more of the early quests of take x to person y - more of the messenger quest variety.  But, it also seems to me that there are many more quests available in EQ2 at the early levels, for better or worse, so it's easy to get cluttered up with quests.

There are some other odds and ends that I could mention, but my fingers are getting tired.  Tonight will be some more WoW for me, as I try to figure out which game I like better for the long haul.  I don't think you can go wrong with both.  I'll update this a bit more as I explore WoW further.
436  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Playing a Priest (WoW) on: November 30, 2004, 09:06:51 PM
Butter, "Inc" typically is short for "Incoming" as in incoming mob that the group has pulled.
437  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Looking for comparison - EQ2 and WOW on: November 30, 2004, 07:25:15 PM
Hi.  Now that they're both out, I'm lhoping someone who's played both games can chime in with a comparison of both.  I've been playing EQ2 since it went live, and I'm wondering if it's worth it to try out WoW, as I've been seeing a lot of buzz about it recently.  Gamespot even gave it a 9.5 and Editor's Pick (not that this means all that much, but it was an impressive score).  So what are the reasons why I should switch over to WoW.  And I'm really just looking for people who have played both to chime in.  Thanks!
438  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / EQ2 Servers and Characters on: November 15, 2004, 06:46:42 PM
Is there any way to tell which of the servers are on the east coast?  I know someone put up an early list of server locations a few weeks ago, but with all the new servers coming up, I was wondering if anybody knew where they were located.
439  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Everquest 2 - first impressions on: November 12, 2004, 09:08:00 PM
I'm a scout and I haven't had too much trouble soloing.  There are a number of good spots at that level, but as Ebon said above, make sure you know that the encounter is for solo before you get started.  The group ones are VERY HARD, and impossible alone unless it is much weaker than you.  My friend is a priest and he also has been fine soloing.  Good spots at the beginning in Qeynos at least is the Forest Ruin, which also has some decent drops.  The quests are also very useful because you can get decent starter items from doing them.
440  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Everquest 2 - first impressions on: November 12, 2004, 05:04:19 AM
How has everyone's lag been?  I find that in many of the city residential zones, the lag is pretty horrible most of the time, but when I get out into Antonica or even the Forest Ruin areas it's fine.  I'm not sure if upgrading my computer would even help with the lag issues as it's still there even with all graphics turned down.  Oh well.
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