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1761  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 23, 2008, 06:45:08 PM
You get it early, like Level 10 or so. Since it's passive you don't really get any notification.
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: RIP George Carlin on: June 23, 2008, 03:19:30 PM
I always loved his bit about driving: Everyone who drives faster than you do is a maniac, and everyone who drives slower than you do is an idiot.

Truer words have never been spoken!

I used to listen to his comedy tapes over and over in high school, and caught his HBO specials whenever I could. Definitely a comedic legend.
1763  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch Notes June 23 on: June 23, 2008, 02:57:38 PM
ToS needed to be nerfed. Sorry, ToSers, but it's the truth.

Can't wait to check the fixes out, sounds like a really meaty patch.
1764  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 23, 2008, 11:28:11 AM
Whether WoW has good group content is completely besides the point. The fact is they were the first MMO to make soloing more viable (that is as easy, if not easier) than grouping in order to level. This had the effect of spurring every other MMO developer to do the same. I don't care if they have the best group content on the fucking planet - they did what they did, and it had an impact.

Look at AoC. I'd say at least 75-80% of the quests are solo quests, maybe higher. Look at EQ2, which went back and totally revamped ENTIRE ZONES to make them solo zones, and isolated grouping to dungeons and instances. That's WoW's impact right there. Again, who cares if WoW has group content - I'm not arguing that the don't. I'm arguing that because of them other developers changed the entire design philosophies of their games.

I'm married with a career too. I have maybe an hour or two to play each night. You guys act like I'm some moron who has 8 hours a day to spend on MMOs. I don't. I'm not arguing that everybody has time to play group content. But I am stating the FACT that WoW has forced a solo-centric design philosophy on modern MMOs and the FACT that this design philosophy in most cases has drastically reduced the incentive and population that is grouping, and the FACT that this goes against the very nature of the MMO and the party/teamwork concept of RPGs in general dating all the way back to D&D.
1765  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 22, 2008, 11:18:20 PM
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if they're not grouping anyways, how will their going away improve anything?  it just means less revenue to support the game.

They would group if there wasn't a viable alternative. That's the whole problem. Unless there is a definitive incentive to group *above and beyond* the incentive to solo, then people aren't going to do it. The problem with Conan, and practically every MMO since WoW, is that they've taken the group incentive way, or diminished it to a point that people don't care about it a great deal.

I don't know if there is a way to put the genie back in the bottle that Blizzard set free. If you created a group-centric MMO today, people are going to whine and bitch that they can't solo, and the developers will cave. We've seen it happen with both EQ2 and Vanguard - both games launched as group experiences, both games had to rush to put in solo content post-release.

I agree that the way to bring back grouping as a viable alternative is to do some of the things WoW (ironically) has also done - summon stones, shared quests, better group rewards, etc. Unfortunately too many MMOs these days are so worried about pleasing the soloers, that they neglect the group aspect. And this approach of making the game solo friendly up to a point, then turning it into a group fest (ala Conan) simply doesn't work. People solo all the way to 50 or so, hit the wall where they have to group, then say fuck it and either quit the game or roll up an alt. Grouping should be actively encourage from the start, not tacked on as some sort of end game, hardcore niche element.

It's probably going to take years for devs to realize this and finally put the multiplayer back in the MMO. I give Blizzard credit for attempting to swing the pendulum back the other way with WoW's group stuff, but since they themselves are responsible for the solo problem in the first place, it's hard for me to look upon them too kindly.
1766  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 22, 2008, 02:57:30 PM
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I don't pay a monthly fee to wait on other people and that's what it tends to boil down to.

I don't pay a monthly fee to sit around, unable to advance, because the solo content has drawn everyone away from grouping. So I sit around looking for groups that simply don't exist.

I mean, if people want to play a single player game, go play a damn single player game. Don't ruin the multiplayer experience for everyone else.
1767  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 21, 2008, 12:53:09 PM
Oh, I definitely value the good things WoW brought to the table. Like I said above, the quest system was revolutionary. I think they also introduced the concept of a "polished" MMO - while it certainly wasn't bug-free/performance issue free at launch, it was a damn sight better than most MMOs that had come before it. Unfortunately that came at the expense of a bunch of other things I liked about MMOs that WoW simplified to the extreme (death penalty, crafting system, class/character selection, etc).
1768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Take a tour of Newegg on: June 21, 2008, 04:51:57 AM
Awesome!

Just a couple of weeks ago my buddy and I were talking about how fast Newegg's shipping was, and he jokingly said they must use Oompah-Loompahs. Inspired, I sent them a feedback asking them if they employed Oompah-Loompahs, and if indeed they were *psychic* Oompah-Loompahs since they seemed to have my order ready before I had even placed it. I then begged them to send out 5 golden tickets so I may be lucky enough to tour their factory.  icon_lol
1769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 21, 2008, 04:47:34 AM
But the gaming population is not static. I understand that I don't have as much time to play games as I did when I was high school. That's fact, and I don't argue it in the slightest. However, there are now *new* high school kids that have plenty of time to play. So the idea that the entire gaming population of the world grew up and now has less time to play is false. For every guy growing up, settling down, and scraping for time to play, there's a new kid just getting into it with all the time in the world.

1770  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 20, 2008, 10:10:41 PM
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I bet I CAN solo most group quests - and I'll get back to you on that.

No, you can't. Trust me.  icon_biggrin

I'm a Conqueror, which is a tank class, so I should be able to take a beating. But even green group quests are often impossible to solo, not to mention ones that are appropriate for your level. I'm not saying *all* group quests are impossible to solo, but the vast majority do indeed require a group simply because they usually involve group-level mobs.

I won't get into discussing all the points involved, because you guys going back and forth is entertaining enough on its own.  icon_biggrin

However, let me boil it down to an analogy that pretty much sums up my thoughts.

It's sort of like if some FPS developer came along and added a way to play the game without shooting people, because they wanted to capture the "non-violent familiy" market that didn't like first-person shooters. And it was wildly successful, because they sold tons of copies to people who didn't buy shooters. And then every other FPS developer said, "Hey, we want some of that money, we're making all of our shooters non-violent too!" Pretty soon, everyone is shooting Nazis in Call of Duty 6 with Nerf guns and water pistols. The people new to shooters are thrilled - wow, look at this new experience, this is cool! But the poor guy over here who grew up on original violent FPS is shit outta luck. His genre has been hijacked by people who never liked his genre in the first place. That's the frustration I feel (and StriderGG as well, if I'm reading him right).

1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tiger Woods is amazing. on: June 20, 2008, 07:01:37 PM
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**Just editing to apologize if the tone of this was overly harsh to yellowking -- I enjoy his posts and this is just BS about golf, I'm not quite as insane as the tone of the post made me look.

No worries, I tend to come off sounding a *lot* more angry and cynical in my posts than I actually am. I didn't watch the entire tournament, just most of the last day. A lot of the stuff about his wincing and stuff I heard from my father-in-law, but perhaps he was biased.
1772  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 20, 2008, 06:59:05 PM
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As much as I like grouping, I want it to be challenging, so grouping in a soloer's world is not solving anything.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of the realm vs realm/siege type PvP where your group is actively engaging in battle with other groups. I agree, however, that this doesn't solve the desire for group-based PvE stuff - going to fight a dragon or whatever.
1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's with all the Coldplay hate? on: June 20, 2008, 06:19:41 PM
It's not just still pics. Dunst looks bad in her own movies, when I presume she has been through makeup and wardrobe for hours.

That "Kiss me" close-up scene of her in Spiderman 2 right before Doc Oc throws a car through their window was one of the most horrifying things ever. I can't blame poor Peter for being hesitant to tap that. As the car was flying over his head, amid the shattering glass, Peter was probably thinking, "Thanks Doc, I owe you one!"
1774  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 20, 2008, 05:59:18 PM
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Grouping doesn't allow for faster (or at least as fast) leveling as soloing.

That's the crux of the issue right there. Because pre-WoW, grouping was *always* faster than soloing. Nobody in their right mind would try to solo one of those games, because it would take ages.

It all ultimately comes down to the quest system. WoW's quest system was utterly revolutionary. I remember reading previews of WoW and the devs were saying you could level solely on quests alone. I remember thinking WTF are they smoking? Little did I realize that would change the entire focus of MMOs. It's no longer about killing mobs, it's about finishing quests. And that just opened the floodgates to solo/casual play.

Don't get me wrong. There are times when I like to solo too. There are times I want to pop on for 20 minutes and feel like I made some progress. It just saddens me that my ability to do that came at a cost, and that cost was a shift of MMOs away from the social mentality that they were born with.

Oh, I think WoW tried to balance things out. Obviously they made sure group/raid instances gave the best loot. But what happens there I think is that people say, "Well, I'll just rush to end-game, and *then* I'll mess around with groups." So yeah, that grouping mentality comes back eventually, but not until you've maxed out and basically have nothing else to do.

Maybe the push to PvP ala Warhammer is the next evolution. I've never been a big fan of PvP in the past, but if that's the only way to get my group fix maybe it's the way to go.
1775  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan - All Your Questions Are Belong to Us! on: June 20, 2008, 05:40:51 PM
Nope, you've pretty much figured it out. There are a couple of combos that generate hate (I know of 2 in my hotbar right now), but there is no generic taunt like there was in EQ2. Tanking is all about spamming those particular combos. I can verify that those do indeed work though. If you really wanted to go nuts, you could probably throw in some of the lower level versions of those as well - that way you could spam through 3 or 4 different combos all generating hate instead of just the two highest ones.
1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's with all the Coldplay hate? on: June 20, 2008, 05:35:28 PM
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My god, you're right. What a dog!

I noticed you picked a picture of Kirsten Dunst with her mouth closed. I too, find her much more attractive when I'm not looking at those snaggly goblin-esque chompers.
1777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Ego Post] The Dirty 30 on: June 20, 2008, 02:58:42 PM
Congrats!

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Supposedly the 30s are the best years of life, so they say. We'll have to see.

I tend to agree with this so far (I'm 33). I can't say my 20s were bad, but there was a lot of stress too - trying to get out of school, finding a job, getting married, settling down, etc. When I hit my 30s all that stuff was behind me and I could just focus on my career, friends, and family.

I'm having a lot more fun now. I seem to have more friends, I actually get out and do more stuff. I think from older folks' perspective 30 is sort of the magic number where they start taking you a bit more seriously as a real adult, and that respect kind of cascades through everything. You're no longer the "young kid" at work, you're considered part of the after hours Friday night beer crowd. Stuff like that.
1778  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: [4th Edition D&D] H1 - Keep on the Shadowfell on: June 20, 2008, 02:42:42 PM
I used troll's templates from the link earlier in this thread along with the Magic Set Editor, and created full color power cards for all my players. I also ordered some card sleeves. Eventually I'm going to print these out on photo paper, stick them in the card sleeves, and create a backing card. They look awesome! Too bad Wizards can't come up with a set like that (maybe sell them in decks by class). I think they would sell like hotcakes.
1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 100 Pushups - 6 week program. Who's in? on: June 20, 2008, 12:54:02 PM
Well my initial test results are in. A whopping 7! I'm going to start the routine on Tuesday in lieu of my planned dumbbell workouts. Thinking I need to ease into the weight stuff, and building up some core strength beforehand will probably help.
1780  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tiger Woods is amazing. on: June 20, 2008, 12:47:46 PM
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a lot of talented golfers end up having to play in his shadow due to the way the media hypes him

What I mean by that is that the golf coverage will cut to Tiger's shots even if he's in the back of the pack, at the expense of showcasing shots from other talented golfers who are ahead of him. Since you admit you never watch golf, then you wouldn't realize that. My observations have to do with television coverage, not newspaper clippings.
1781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's with all the Coldplay hate? on: June 20, 2008, 01:13:44 AM
What's funny is that everybody loved them back when Parachutes was the only CD they had out. Oh the fickle winds of public opinion! I've liked them from the start, and am not ashamed to admit it. I'm a sucker for Brit-pop though.

As for Radiohead, I went to see them in March and it was the best damn concert I've ever been to in my life, bar none.
1782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tiger Woods is amazing. on: June 20, 2008, 01:09:19 AM
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These are all hard data.  The media has nothing to do with theses facts.  A score is a score.  I'm sorry for whatever issues YK has with Tiger, but to say he's a media creation is unbelievably stupid.  Barring some sort of freak accident, he will pass up Nickalus and Sneed for majors and PGA victories inside of five years.  I hate the hyping of young phenoms as much as anyone, but it ceases to be hype when the player backs it up.

YK, if you're so determined to ignore reality and pretend Tiger isn't all that great as a golfer, might i suggest you start believing he's using some kind of performance enhancing substance, like HGH?  It will make it even more amusing for the rest of us.

You're completely misrepresenting what I said. I never said he wasn't a great golfer, and I never said he was a media creation. I was expressing my displeasure with the way the media coddles him.
I'm fully aware of his stat sheet, and went so far as to say I respect him as an extremely talented athlete. I think a little reading comprehension is in order before you jump all over me.
1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Our favorite, once-in-a-while guilty pleasures... on: June 19, 2008, 09:00:55 PM
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No milk for 25 years?

Nope. I don't do straight milk, not even chocolate. I think it's absolutely disgusting. I get calcium from other sources though - I'll drink milkshakes, eat ice cream, cheese, etc.
1784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 100 Pushups - 6 week program. Who's in? on: June 19, 2008, 08:10:59 PM
Ooh, this will fit in perfectly with my new workout program. I'm in!

I SUCK at push ups. Seriously, I'm guessing I'll be lucky to get 10 for the initial test.
1785  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 19, 2008, 08:06:45 PM
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Because many of us only have a few hours at a time.

I don't totally buy that excuse, just from my observation.

The reason I say that is that I don't think the massive inclination to solo existed in the state it does today before World of Warcraft came along. I played many, many MMOs before WoW - EQ1, AC, AC2, DAoC, Horizons, etc. and grouping was a significant part of all of them.

The world didn't suddenly change, and everybody who gamed suddenly had no free time left. What changed is that WoW came along and made solo play viable - I would argue *more* viable - than group play. Then what happens? EQ2, which launched as a very group-oriented game, suddenly makes an 180 degree turn and pushes more and more solo content. LOTRO follows the same model, with solo content far outweighing group content. Age of Conan, ditto.

What's frustrating to me as an old school MMOer is that it's painfully obvious that MMOs have basically shifted away from their entire reason for existence, entirely on the basis of one successful game. That sucks. It's likely that we will never get back to the "multiplayer" portion of MMOs because WoW let the genie out of the bottle. Now people expect to not only be able to solo their way through the content, they expect to level fast with no grinding, and get comparable gear. I feel that the soul of MMOs has been robbed.  I genuinely miss the days when part of playing an MMO was meeting new people, or when being in a guild meant feeling like part of a real family. Things were unexpected and surprising then. You didn't log on thinking, "I'm just gonna go turn in quest A, B, and C which will get me to Level 20." You logged on not knowing what the heck you were going to get into - you'd just go exploring, run into some people, and see what happened from there.

A buddy and fellow old-school gamer friend of mine has the right idea I think. He's decided to play only on PvP servers from now on in his MMOs. Why? Because that's the only real way to feel challenged, and because it forces a group mentality for survival like the old games did. I think I may be giving that a shot as well, since it's obvious the old ways aren't coming back and the casual crowd has completely taken over the genre.
1786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tiger Woods is amazing. on: June 19, 2008, 06:48:21 PM
Shrug. Sorry, I respect that he's an extremely talented athlete, I just don't get all goo-goo over him like most. I enjoyed golf before Tiger came along, and I'll enjoy it after he retires. I think it's unfortunate that a lot of talented golfers end up having to play in his shadow due to the way the media hypes him.

He pitches fits on the course, throws his clubs, yet nobody says a word. And the announcers always have an excuse. For that putt he missed on the back 9, they were talking about how the ball "hit something" which is why he missed the put. Bullshit, he fucking MISSED it. Hit a bad shot? "Oh, that knee must really be bothering him."

I will admit it's probably much more the announcers/media fault than Tiger's, as he seems like a really nice guy. But the whole "event" that surrounds him I don't care for.
1787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Our favorite, once-in-a-while guilty pleasures... on: June 19, 2008, 06:04:27 PM
I have never eaten a cooked Pop Tart. I have eaten hundreds of raw Pop Tarts. I know that is strange, because the whole POINT of Pop Tarts is that they're supposed to be toasted.

But then again, I haven't eaten cereal with milk in 25 years either, even though we go through a box of cereal a week.
1788  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 19, 2008, 05:48:24 PM
It truly boggles my mind how if a single player shooter doesn't have multiplayer, people bitch and moan. Yet plop them down in the middle of a massively multiplayer world with thousands of other people, and all they want to do is solo quests.

And I say that because I know exactly why the first 20 levels appeal so much to people. It's structured like a single player game, and people nowadays don't want to be bothered with the "massively multiplayer" aspect of their MMOs.

Personally I can't f*****ing STAND Tortage (granted, I've been through it a dozen times). The game really doesn't get fun for me until you hit late 20s, early 30s and can really bounce around the different zones. People bitching about content just aren't bothering to seek out anything besides green solo quests.
1789  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Could the US collapse like the Soviet Empire? on: June 19, 2008, 03:25:12 PM
I think the worst possible scenario would be we lose our "leading superpower" status and become a runner-up superpower to China.

Other than that, we're not going anywhere. Other countries have survived thousands of years with only a fraction of the natural resources, freedoms, etc. that we enjoy.

Talk of the US collapsing within our lifetimes is just silly.
1790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tiger Woods is amazing. on: June 19, 2008, 02:37:12 PM
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Asked if he felt Woods could have been faking it, Goosen said: "I think so. When he made the putts and he went down on his knees and shouting 'yeah', his knee wasn't sore.

Every time he hit a bad shot his knee seemed to be bothering him. Every time he hit a good shot his knee was magically fine.

Obviously I don't think he was faking the injury. Was he exaggerating the pain at times to excuse his bad shots? I wouldn't doubt it.
1791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy IV: thoughts, reviews, spoilers galore!! on: June 19, 2008, 11:17:08 AM
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I am not sure how you can feel betrayed about a movie that followed the exact same formula as the previous installments.

It didn't follow the formula, that's my whole complaint. The formula has always been Indy seeking out a religious artifact (Temple of Doom veered from this slightly, but religion was still involved). Along the way he gets himself out of some crazy predicaments.

It was never about science fiction, psychic powers, being magically immortal against nuclear bombs, etc. I can see where people could argue that it follows the formula in terms of action, etc. but I think the tone was entirely wrong. I think they took the old Indy, which was grounded in a slightly exaggerated reality where gods existed, and put him in an over-exaggerated reality where gods are replaced by space aliens, and all semblance of religion is thrown out the window.
1792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy IV: thoughts, reviews, spoilers galore!! on: June 19, 2008, 02:30:34 AM
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And you guys don't buy that it's just a movie, huh?  I guess I don't get why stuff like that bothers you.  To each his own, though.  I like my attitude better because it means I enjoy most things.

I just don't like my intelligence insulted. The attitude that it's "just a movie" is what keeps Hollywood churning out garbage week after week, with movie lovers having to sort through the trash to find the occasional gem. It bothers me because I love movies, and I want them to get better and better, not dumber and dumber just because the studios can get away with it.

This film struck a particular nerve because it was part of a beloved franchise. If it had been a one-shot deal with a character I really didn't care about, then I would have dismissed it as harmless fluff and went on about my business. Instead I felt literally betrayed. I felt like Lucas & Spielberg, two movie giants who I greatly respect and admire, took a steaming hot dump on my lap and then laughed hysterically as they took my money.


1793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Indy IV: thoughts, reviews, spoilers galore!! on: June 18, 2008, 07:55:12 PM
Go read about what happens to ground zero when an atomic bomb is dropped on it. Temperatures of tens of MILLIONS of degrees, for starters. I don't know of any refrigerator that can insulate you from ten million degrees of heat. Fatal doses of radiation. Unimaginable shockwave forces, enough to completely destroy concrete buildings. Even if you assume this magic fridge could withstand the heat, and radiation, and even the force of the blast, the sheer distance he would have been thrown would have killed him instantly on impact.

I mean, you can't even *begin* to explain that away on any level. There's no god or magic power that can help with that one. You can't even bend the laws of physics to get away with it. The possibility of him surviving three waterfalls, OK, in reality not good, but I can at least wrap my brain around the idea that he got extremely lucky, as I can with many of Indy's past physical stunts. Luck cannot explain the nuke blast.
1794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Real Script for Indiana Jones IV on: June 18, 2008, 07:40:27 PM
Wow. This is REQUIRED reading for everyone who has expressed outrage over those of us who hated it. It basically sums up my thought processes while watching the film.
1795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Firefox 3 is released! on: June 18, 2008, 03:09:49 PM
IT'S A TRAP!

1796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Firefox 3 is released! on: June 18, 2008, 12:00:27 AM
Don't forget the biggest improvement - it is WICKED fast.
1797  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: [D&D 4th Ed.] Official GT Campaign Thread on: June 17, 2008, 11:59:42 PM
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Keep in mind, every class has healing surges, and then even my warlord can help with healing a bit.  So there's a lot less need to go dedicated healer, especially if you want to fight while being a cleric.

This is true, but also keep in mind healing surges can only be used once per encounter, and force you to sacrifice a standard action. In the sessions I've played, we've really only used them in extreme emergencies. They're a nice supplement to a healer, but they're certainly not a replacement.
1798  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers Updates (DERKETO Server) on: June 17, 2008, 09:00:29 PM
I'm not going to get bent out of shape until I see what happens with the slew of promises they've announced for June/July. They've made some pretty bold statements in regards to upcoming content, both PvP and PvE. The reason I'm not terribly upset about the missing launch content is that it's obvious they had to release it with some major bugs/technical issues, and it's understandable that they want to focus on getting those ironed out before dumping new features in. It's not excusable, but it's not unusual either.

That said, I understand the frustration, and if June/July comes and goes with the features they've promised either MIA or seriously broken, then I'll have to definitely start questioning if they have their act together.
1799  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 17, 2008, 08:45:09 PM
I loved my DT in beta (PvE) because like you said they had such high survivability. With the right points in life leeches, you could survive some amazing fights.

Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom is that they're not great for PvP.
1800  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (PVP related) on: June 17, 2008, 08:02:05 PM
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I just don't see myself having fun in these situations. IMO there is absolutely no point in playing on PvP server if you are planning to solo a considerable amount of time. Duoing should be more fun though.

Yeah, I wouldn't even consider it without knowing I had friends to back me up. My buddy's guild has a neat philosophy - they've basically taken the stance that they will never kill anyone unprovoked. So they go about their business doing quests, etc. like a normal PvE group. However, any person or guild that ganks them or in general acts like jerks gets put on a master "Killed On Sight" list. Those people are fair game any time, anywhere. The thing I really like about them is that there is a sense of camaraderie - if someone is getting ganked or harassed, the guild members that are on will pretty much drop everything to lend assistance.

I think with a close-knit group like that, PvP could be seriously fun.

Also, I want to throw something out there on why I think PvP is so popular in AoC: player skill actually makes a difference. I know that player skill (in terms of knowing your character) has always made some difference in previous MMOs, but Conan's combat system makes reflexes and combat strategy important as well. In past MMOs, I can't think of many cases where someone could take out somebody 20 levels higher than them. In AoC it's entirely possible.
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