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1  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: What was your top MMO in 2009? on: December 17, 2009, 01:54:49 AM
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.  Earlier stabs at it found it a tough nut to crack solo, but I started playing with a friend last spring and we haven't slowed down yet!  So far we've played through the starting quest lines for half a dozen of the major city/race groupings, and we're still looking forward to checking out the five or six remaining.
2  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Guild Wars 2 on: December 17, 2009, 01:50:09 AM
It's good news that they have a professional voice cast this time around.  The question now is, will they have dialogue to deliver that doesn't make my brain bleed with its banality?
3  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: I fired up Vanguard: Saga of Heroes a couple of weeks ago.... on: October 13, 2009, 01:47:12 AM
I was there at the launch, driven away after a couple weeks by the hitching; again when SOE offered a free month last year, but was really busy with other games.

Now I'm back again, with a friend, and we're having a great time.  Perhaps it takes a monster of a machine like I have now to run the game smoothly, and there are still minor quest bugs that will probably never get fixed, but the gigantic size of the world and the feeling that there's something new to discover around every corner more than makes up for that.

It's not a particularly solo-friendly game if you want to visit any dungeons past level 15, and even with my friend we've had to put off concluding some quest lines until all the mobs are gray to us.  Then again, we're currently running solo and small group quests that are six levels above us, so YMMV!  One particularly nice element I like in the game is the permanent "brotherhood"...form one with a friend, or a few, and all xp earned is divided evenly between you no matter who's online.  Great for grinding stuff when you're alone, as nobody gets out-levelled.

As an aside, while the Isle of Dawn is a great introductory zone and the gear you come out with is quite nice, don't cheat yourself by beginning all characters there.  The starting questlines for each of the game's (19!) races provide a great amount of lore and a unique experience apiece.
4  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin opens mouth, useless comes out. on: September 27, 2008, 09:01:33 PM
Pick your remix:

5  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Oh and by the way, Posse Comitatus ends Wednesday on: September 27, 2008, 04:19:48 PM
You would think that a federal law which has largely been observed for 130 years would be given a little bit more of a celebratory sendoff, but just try to find this mentioned anywhere:

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

...The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

Well, there goes a little piece of history.
6  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: MMOs for Life? on: September 17, 2008, 12:45:54 AM

Quote from: yossar on September 15, 2008, 05:43:25 AM

Quote from: SuperHiro on September 15, 2008, 04:12:43 AM

If I'm dropping.... say $200 for a lifetime sub... I want a six-month window in which I can cancel it.

Yeah, that might work. 

Doubtful they'd ever go for that (unless the refund subtracts the amount of time you've played), but I still like my idea of offering a lifetime subscription option to accounts that have existed for at least a year (whether they've been active all that time or not).  That way players who have stuck with a game for the full span and obviously have some interest in continuing to do so could pay up, as could grazers like me with a little extra cash and the desire to drop in on a game only infrequently.

Oh, the AO graphics upgrade hasn't happened yet; when announced early this year they were floating this month for release, but no sign of it yet.  Hopefully all the band-aids going to Age of Conan haven't sucked up those resources.

Anyway, I'm sick of MMOs right now.  Been playing some visual novels from Japan...
7  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: MMOs for Life? on: August 27, 2008, 03:28:58 AM
Yes, really, WOW shouldn't have been on that list...Blizzard's cash flow is obviously not a problem.  I just put it there to forestall the complaints of two dozen people that it was missing.  (Apologies also to the EQ1 players!)

But all the other games should look at the lifetime subscription option, I think, if they want to keep people logging in after the shine has worn off.  I've no complaints about AOC myself, just that it feels a bit circumscribed compared to much larger game worlds...but I started a new character today, and there was absolutely NOBODY in Tortage.

As it stands now, I suppose I'll do as others advise, and just shell out an occasional $15 when I feel like jumping into a game again for a few days.  But it's an annoying process to go through, and I would welcome the convenience of a one-time payment.
8  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / MMOs for Life? on: August 25, 2008, 01:30:51 PM
So, even though my Age of Conan subscription runs for three more months...having played through the quest lines for the three nationalities into the mid-40s, I find it's pretty much played out for me.  I've reactivated my City of Heroes account after three years on ice, and while playing my first mastermind has been fun, a couple of weeks has been enough for the game to lose its gloss again.  Similarly, my Anarchy Online subscription is alive once more, but I'm waiting for a look at the new graphics engine before I really learn it all over again.  I've jumped back into Vanguard and EQII during their free months to putter around a bit, but not being interested in resubscribing, I didn't feel like really putting any time into them.  My semiannual subscription to WOW keeps renewing itself, mainly because I haven't paid much attention...I haven't truly played there for a year.

Now, if all of those games had "lifetime subscription" offers akin to that of LOTRO, I would probably shell out a thousand bucks total quite happily, just for the chance to jump in and play them again whenever I felt like it.  The irony is that LOTRO itself didn't have sufficient staying power for me to pay the $200...though who knows, another expansion or two might do it.

So what do you think?  Would it be reasonable for the MMO market to offer a lifetime subscription option when a game has become "played out", and its servers turned to ghost towns?  Would it work after a static space of time (say after the game has been live for two years), or based on how long an individual has subscribed (after one has paid for 12 months, perhaps?).  Would it bring more income for people who aren't playing the game to pay the equivalent of 1.5 years' time just for occasional access, or are the companies earning more by keeping a much smaller player base of regular subscribers and a trickle of latecomers?

What games that you've quit would you buy into again if the option were offered?
9  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / McCain as a Dungeons & Dragons "character" (if you'll pardon the expression) on: August 20, 2008, 03:05:24 PM
John McCain Campaign Takes a +3 Vorpal Blade to Dungeons & Dragons Players

"It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement," said McCain aide Michael Goldfarb, in a posting to the campaign website. "But most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others."

He's no stranger to fantasy role-playing, anyway...
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Random MP3s on: June 26, 2008, 04:57:58 AM
This list gets stranger the closer I get to ripping all my LPs...

1. Megumi Hayashibara - You Might Say, It's Fine (from "Saber Marionette J")
2. Arnold Bax - A Mountain Mood
3. John Barry - Diamonds Are Forever (Bond and Tiffany)
4. World of Warcraft - Night Forest 01
5. Jerry Goldsmith - Dishonor (from "Mulan")


9751. John Barry - Closer and Closer (from "The Public Eye")
9752. Zhao Jiping - Deities Play a Joke on Monkey (from "A Chinese Odyssey")
9753. Kuniaki Hajima - F-USIO (from "Neo Ranga")
9754. Oshima Michiru - Surely, Surely (from "Mahou Tsukai Tai")
9755. Tuva Ensemble - Sygyt #1 (from "Echoes from the Spirit World")
11  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: "We (the government) should own the refineries" on: June 20, 2008, 01:16:32 AM

Quote from: Pyperkub on June 19, 2008, 10:56:40 PM

Trillions of dollars spent in Iraq to the contrary. 

Fixed that for ya.
12  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Those crazy, cooky Japanese! on: June 19, 2008, 12:17:46 AM
Knock it if you will, but "Popular Old People's Home" was my introduction to the awe-inspiring Riko Tachibana.

13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Kung Fu Hustle - Why all the praise on: June 18, 2008, 11:04:04 AM
Stephen Chiau's movies used to be comedy gold...see ROYAL TRAMP or FIGHT BACK TO SCHOOL or GOD OF GAMBLERS 2 or LOVE ON DELIVERY or FROM BEIJING WITH LOVE.  But then in the mid-'90s he took over the directorial reins for his own career, and revealed what he really wanted to be:  a maudlin comedic has-been after the fashion of late Steve Martin and Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.  Too sad really.
14  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Seriously? These guys should stay in charge of our government? on: June 12, 2008, 12:32:03 AM
The Entertainment Software Association should hire this guy as their new president.
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Age of Conan Original Books on: May 23, 2008, 10:53:45 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on May 23, 2008, 06:51:17 PM

On a side note, I miss the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series.

Funny, I was just thinking the other day how deserving Lankhmar is of its own PC game.

I enjoyed Howard's Conan stories as a teenager, but revisiting them recently left me unable to get through even the first collection...they're just so damned serious, especially when compared to the work of his peers Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft (even the latter could get a bit whimsical).
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The alternative to Indy this weekend on: May 23, 2008, 10:49:44 PM
Indy is virtually Nazi-free, while Boll gives us
17  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Best dungeon(s) in a PC game on: May 20, 2008, 01:59:58 AM
Morrowind's dungeons were SOOOOOOOO much better than Oblivion's, there's simply no comparing the two.  Particularly in those caverns which added height (often a whole lot of it) to the exploration.  I spent so much time clambering around the one north of Teldrassil that I can still picture it vividly.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Morrowind -Looking for a house mod on: October 17, 2005, 04:01:36 AM
On the other hand, it can be quite rewarding to achieve sufficient status in your guild that they'll build a house for you (more like a town really!).  Until I reached that point, I just squatted at a certain tavern which I'd been forced to clear out in Balmora...
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Spider-Man 3 Villians Revealed (Spoilers) on: September 27, 2005, 10:46:20 PM
Cool, Sandman was the one I was hoping for.  Well, he was the only one other than Gobby that I could remember offhand...
20  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Do you watch Anime? on: September 27, 2005, 10:44:32 PM
Quote from: "stiffler"
I used to.  I like the comedy stuff way more than a lot of the angst-ridden and overwrought stories that seems to pervade much of what I've seen.  Fact is, I don't know anybody that likes it, so I'm on my own with most of it.

I'm in it for the comedy too, with MAGIC USERS CLUB being my favorite.

Over half my DVD collection is anime, some 800 discs.  That being said...there's not really been anything made in the past couple of years that's truly grabbed me.
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / News of the Gross (Fish Tongue Eating Parasite) on: September 16, 2005, 05:19:50 PM
So what did David Cronenberg know that scientists didn't?

22  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Favorite Music on: September 15, 2005, 07:23:22 PM
Classical for me, but more in the Late Romantic / quasi-mystical idiom.  Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arnold Bax, Howard Hanson and Cyril Scott are probably at the top of my list.

I was ushered into classical by film scores, although my decade-long disinterest in Hollywood has dampened that enthusiasm a bit.  Miklos Rozsa for the '50s, John Barry in the '60s, Jerry Goldsmith in the '70s...

If we must wander into something that actually gets played on the radio somewhere, I still buy the albums of Chinese diva Faye Wong, although her release rate has fallen off dramatically the past few years.
23  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege II: Anyone care? on: September 15, 2005, 06:55:47 PM
Come to think of it, I virtually never use first person these days, unless a tight corner has the back of my head filling the camera view...but then, all I've played this year is WoW and CoH.  I played Morrowind entirely in first person, and I'm curious to see whether I do the same with Oblivion.
24  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege II: Anyone care? on: September 15, 2005, 06:19:32 PM
Sigh...I've become spoiled by MMOs.  Being able to rotate the camera down to where I can see the skybox, and even go first person when I have to, makes a gamespace feel so much less constricted to me.  I tried the DS2 demo, and even though it seems to do everything else right, I just can't seem to get into it simply because I'm expending so much effort trying to keep track of where my character is when I can't track their profile on the busy screen.

Maybe if I primed myself with some Diablo II, I could get into the isometric perspective again...
25  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / What happened in the year that equals your post count? on: September 10, 2005, 04:05:13 PM
Saint Peter became the first pope.

The Roman emperor Otho was born.
26  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / FEMA Chief Michael Brown Removed From Katrina Relief on: September 10, 2005, 03:58:57 PM
Unless Fox News chooses to report on the liberal media spin aspect of it...
27  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Upcoming Movies on: September 09, 2005, 04:49:19 AM
SEVEN SWORDS, the latest wuxia epic from Tsui Hark.  Of course, it may be a year or two before I can actually see it in a theater in the U.S. ...but at least the Hong Kong DVD is coming out next month.
28  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Crude Prices = Pre-Katrina Levels on: September 07, 2005, 12:38:50 AM
Considering that gasoline prices in Europe and Great Britain are around $6.50/gallon at the best of times, I'd guess we have nowhere to go but up.
29  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Favorite board game? on: August 31, 2005, 11:36:28 AM
Cosmic Encounter...but the original Eon Games version, not the cascade of revisions and simplifications that have been made to it by successive publishers.
30  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Top 5 games you'd like to see re-made? on: August 22, 2005, 02:29:38 PM
And Sundog.

31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / National Public Radio covers Daikatana! on: August 18, 2005, 03:52:56 AM
You can hear it at the link above.
32  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / National Public Radio covers Daikatana! on: August 17, 2005, 01:03:54 PM
LOL!  NPR's Morning Edition just had a story on Ion Storm and Daikatana, in their week-long series of failures!
33  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any tips for avoiding and enduring motion sickness in games? on: July 19, 2005, 10:41:15 PM
Well, I guess I'll mention it although I've never tried it...but back in the days of Half-Life, I saw somebody recommend Dramamine for this problem.
34  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movies You'd Walked Out On on: July 06, 2005, 09:17:45 PM
Star Wars Episode I.  I figured I could sleep better in my bed at home.
35  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Celebrity Rocket to the Sun on: July 06, 2005, 04:35:26 PM
Tom Hanks
36  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Kong is coming... on: June 24, 2005, 01:21:04 AM
I just can't measure my exultation at being alive in a week where THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, BATMAN BEGINS, BEWITCHED, HERBIE: FULLY LOADED, THE HONEYMOONERS, THE LONGEST YARD and WAR OF THE WORLDS are all out in cinemas at the same time.  If THE DUKES OF HAZZARD were here too, my balls would probably explode.
37  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / So how's the War on Terra going, George? on: June 21, 2005, 10:29:01 PM
Oh, our economic direction is clear enough...

38  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Superman vs. Superman II on: June 20, 2005, 09:34:10 PM
Long as we're bashing Richard Lester...let me say that while the Musketeers movies were fairly entertaining, I weep at the horrible hack job he performed in bringing Harry Flashman to the screen.  He even had Malcolm McDowell, for crying out loud!  But a lovely, solid story bursting with satire and sarcasm turned into a sad puddle of slapstick anachronisms in his evil hands.
39  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / SOE now has the license to develop a DC Comics mmorpg on: June 20, 2005, 12:44:13 PM
When does Marvel sue them?
40  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / A few more COH questions. on: June 07, 2005, 01:01:52 PM
That's a would have been fighting gangsters for another 10 levels anyway, and foregoing a travel power would have left you seriously hamstrung.
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