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3081  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pay Per Hour/Time MMO? on: October 01, 2009, 12:32:58 AM

Quote from: MaxSteele on September 30, 2009, 08:55:03 PM

Quote from: rittchard on September 30, 2009, 01:27:31 AM

Quote from: MaxSteele on September 29, 2009, 11:15:34 PM

A big con I see is changing the attitude on the development side.

If MMOs started charging per hour, I would want dedicated GM support, a 24-hour help desk with any issues I had, and unique live events happening on the server I played on.

Why shouldn't we want these things even now with the standard $15/month?  There are plenty of free to play games that can offer similar gameplay these days, so shouldn't we be expecting more from games that we are paying for?  What exactly are we getting for our monthly fee?  

Yes, we should want these now, but we're not getting them.  And yet people are still paying $15 a month for what they're getting.

For the monthly fee you're getting an always-updating game and servers that are ran for you to play the game.  You're also getting the ability to play with thousands of other people at the same time.

And the free to play games are still making money off of the 10% of players who buy items in their store.  If they weren't making money, they wouldn't exist.

This is true, but from what I've seen the difference between overall "quality" between free to play and pay to play is decreasing dramatically.  Everything you mention above for the monthly fee I could say the same thing about Runes of Magic.  And from what I played of RoM, I definitely felt like I could get considerably more hours of fun without paying a single cent.
3082  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Aion] Official Gaming Trend Legion Thread on: October 01, 2009, 12:30:35 AM

Quote from: skystride on September 30, 2009, 05:12:03 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 30, 2009, 03:23:13 AM

there is character customization, you just haven't got there yet.  check out stigmas while you wait in a queue.  guess I'm just defending the game again by pointing out facts though. ;P

Well it remains to be seen how versatile the Stigma system is.  One of the biggest complaint in beta was lack of class customization.  They responded to it by increasing the slots from 3.  I haven't done in-depth research on it, but it still seems like customization is limited compared to what we are used to in other MMOs.

My other comment to this is why in the design put the customization so far down the line?  For an average player, I believe the level time to hit 20 will be in the 20-30 hour range (it's hard for me to gauge how much time I've actually been in game).  So why withhold a fun/critical element of an RPG for so long?  It's like not getting sex til the 6th date  Tongue  OK so you say it's built for the long term - but then I'd ask are the developers deliberately trying to dissuade casual players from playing?
3083  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Aion] Official Gaming Trend Legion Thread on: September 30, 2009, 05:18:32 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 30, 2009, 03:23:13 AM

there is character customization, you just haven't got there yet.  check out stigmas while you wait in a queue.  guess I'm just defending the game again by pointing out facts though. ;P

You know, at least some of the advanced information they could have explained in the MANUAL, or at least mentioned it.  I love the box but the manual was sooooooo skimpy.  Some of us old folks still like to read hard copy material you know.

And besides, these were just impressions from 1-20, so it wouldn't make sense to talk  about things I hadn't experienced yet.
3084  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Aion] Official Gaming Trend Legion Thread on: September 30, 2009, 02:51:29 AM
Aion Impressions while I wait:

So since I have an extra hour of time on my hands, I thought it might be a good time to put down some early impressions of Aion.

Here's the short version: this game has an intangible, addictive old-school feel and quality to it, leaving me inexplicably wanting to play it more. For the first time in a long while, I actually can't wait to get home to play an MMO. It's gorgeous to look at and has a lot of nice small touches that make for an overall fun and even at times relaxing gaming experience.

Now for some hard critique. If you are looking for a rosy review, stop here because it's going to get ugly fast.

Technical - I am not playing the game at the moment because for the umpteenth time I am sitting and waiting in a player queue. I don't recall this kind of fun since the early days of WoW's release, and that was very short lived. I've also never experienced such long queues. Very typically they are over an hour. Today it's TWO plus hours. On top of this there have been sporadic server crashes. So if I had to estimate the percentage time I've been playing compared to the time I intended to be playing, it's probably around 75%, and this only because I was able to sneak in a lot of time over the weekend and after prime time (we are on an east coast server). Fanboys will say this is part of the design and is important for the longterm survival of the game, or that I am being "naive" for having any other expectations. As a paying customer, I call BS on that - I need to be able to login during the spare hours that I am able to, or the $50 I spent (and the $15/month they want from me) is worthless. Every moment I can't is like a denial of service. I wouldn't tolerate this from my phone, ISP, or TV service, or during a movie or for pretty much any other paid service, so why should I be forced to endure it for this? Just because it's an MMORPG and I should have known better? I don't think so. Other paid services measure their reliability in the 90+ percentiles; I think MMO companies need to start being held to similar standards if they want their customers to pay a monthly fee.

On the bright side, the game looks and sounds great, and I have run into very few bugs or hardware related crashes. Also very little lag or issues of that nature (which I'm told is directly related to the queue system). When I am in the game, aside from a server crash or 2, it has felt remarkably stable, so I will give kudos to that.

Gameplay - at the outset, this is essentially yet another combo of many/most the MMOs we've played, blending elements from DAOC, WoW, WAR, FFXI, Lineage, other Asian MMOS, etc etc. There are 4 starter classes which you can branch into 2, leaving you 8 class choices, and 2 races to start on. The first 10 levels are in a fairly independent area, basically a primer for MMO players to get used to the interface. A campaign ties the gameplay neatly together with a storyline intent on having you remember your past to recover your true future. Side quests galore are doled out as per usual, with the generic find X, get X, fedex system fully in play. Still, some of the quests have a bit more personality than others, and the main campaign is different enough to keep you engaged. There's nothing new here, but it's well done. After the starter levels, you graduate to your "main" class and enter the next phase of gameplay. You also get your "wings" - but soon enough you'll find they are limited in use, as apparently certain areas do not allow you to fly.

The next phase (where I'm currently at) is from 10-20, and continues the PvE experience with more quests and levelling. Make no mistake, there is a "grind" factor to it, no matter how much fans of the game might want to argue differently or shield the game from the dreaded "g" word. Honestly, whether you want to take "grind" as a negative or not is up to you. The fact is if you play this game, you WILL spend time killing X of particular mobs, gathering X of certain resources, and then repeating to get enough xp or skill level to move on to the next area to find more quests. Or you won't progress, simple as that. Quest rewards and xp can be very generous, but it is also possible to level just "grinding" on mobs. Certain quests will require you to gather X of certain material, which means you have to have enough skill to do so, i.e. you may be forced to return to older areas to "grind" your gathering skill. To make matters worse, you have little to nothing to look forward to each level. After 10 you don't get any new skills or spells til every THIRD level. I used to hate it being every 2 in most games, so 3 just seems retarded. Worse, you get no stat boosts or points to play with whatsoever in the interim levels, the best you get is maybe access to a new piece of gear. The only way I've seen to differentiate myself thus far is through choice of gear and "manastones" - boosts which you can slot into most gear. There are varied boosts such as more HP, more mana, higher magical attack, +parry, +evasion, etc, so you can kind of tailor your gear a certain way. It's a nice system, but it's no substitute for a more robust class differentiation system.

There is little group-required content until the late teens, but obviously it's always more fun and easier to work together to complete quests or take on higher level mobs. I haven't done enough grouping to understand the group xp system (as in whether there are boosts to make it worth your while). So thus far I haven't seen any teamwork aspects. Hopefully these will be more prevalent in the later levels.

Now I do have to say that although normally all these things would drive me insane and make me want to shred my game DVDs, there's something oddly addictive in the gameplay that makes it all feel OK and forgivable. Even as I grind one mob after another, I get an odd sense of relief and relaxation that I can't quite explain. So in this case, I'm not construing the basic pve level grind as a negative.

I have yet to experience the PvP (or the advertised PvPvE) so we'll save that for another day.

Summary - this game has almost all of the "features" that I typcially criticize in new games (death penalties, time sinks, level grinds, lack of character differentiation, I could go on and on), but somehow it all feels forgivable for lack of a better word, with the exception of the inexcusable queue times rendering me unable to play - leaving me bitter and helpless to do nothing but post on forums  icon_twisted
3085  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: September 30, 2009, 01:58:52 AM
Not sure if this one was mentioned earlier, but another strong Diablo clone, Dungeon Hunter.  Reviews look good so far and the gameplay footage seems solid.  Why don't some developers make some more clones for the PC or other consoles?  This is like the 3rd (or more?) Diablo clone on the iPhone/Touch.
3086  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Aion] Official Gaming Trend Legion Thread on: September 30, 2009, 01:28:53 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on September 30, 2009, 12:32:26 AM

And WTF Aion - a TWO HOUR queue when I tried to log in at 8pm EST tonight. I thought things were getting better. Apparently it's the exact opposite.

LMAO.  2 hours 10 minutes for me.  Yeah just keep defending them Hark  icon_wink
3087  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pay Per Hour/Time MMO? on: September 30, 2009, 01:27:31 AM

Quote from: MaxSteele on September 29, 2009, 11:15:34 PM

A big con I see is changing the attitude on the development side.

If MMOs started charging per hour, I would want dedicated GM support, a 24-hour help desk with any issues I had, and unique live events happening on the server I played on.

Why shouldn't we want these things even now with the standard $15/month?  There are plenty of free to play games that can offer similar gameplay these days, so shouldn't we be expecting more from games that we are paying for?  What exactly are we getting for our monthly fee? 
3088  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Pay Per Hour/Time MMO? on: September 29, 2009, 09:02:21 PM
During our semi-heated debate on queue's and MMO developer's responsibilities, etc., Hark mentioned some Asian (?) MMOs use a pay by the hour system.  I've never heard of that but I'm wondering what people think about it.  I could see that it would be bad for hardcore players, but if priced fairly it would seem to be a win for most casual players.  It would certainly encourage developers to make sure their game was getting people online and playing as much as possible.  In terms of balance, it would make it so players would have to spend both time and money - possibly evening out some level disparities that arise from players who have no time constraints.  I think it would help to contain gold farmers and possibly bots as well.

As for pricing, I was thinking something along the lines of $0.25 per hour.  So for semi-casual players that play 2hrs/night, it ends up being very close to the conventional $15/month. 

What are some other pros and cons?  Would you encourage a developer to go this route in the US?
3089  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: September 29, 2009, 08:54:52 PM

Quote from: hepcat on September 29, 2009, 07:57:43 PM

that's hysterical...I honestly thought Bamber was American this whole time.  While I was watching his episode of Dollhouse, I remember thinking, "That accent isn't very convincing.".   icon_lol

A friend and I were having the same discussion yesterday and we both thought his accent faded in and out.  Also I'm not sure but I think Wesley was faking the British accent, i.e. that was his real accent in the episode?

Also on a side note, I don't think I'm going crazy as I've now rewound it like 5 times, when Faith enters Ballard's secret hideout, she takes off her shoes and refers to her "fucking stilletos" - does anyone still have it on DVR and can verify or not?  Maybe it's a different word?
3090  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 28, 2009, 05:43:28 PM

Quote from: raydude on September 28, 2009, 03:13:18 PM

I like this show. I have to wonder though, is this like High School Musical for adults?

No, more like High School Musical for actual high school age people (and above).  HSM is for pre-teens and below.   Tongue
3091  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Flash Forward on: September 27, 2009, 07:57:18 PM

Quote from: Jiffy on September 26, 2009, 02:03:56 AM

I liked it, and will keep watching it.

I also enjoyed the Oceanic airlines advertisement in the background in one scene.

Cute homage!  Also enjoyed the kangaroo (which I'm guessing will have a simple explanation like it came out of the LA Zoo).

As much as the show has been framed to be the successor to Lost, aside from the opening confusion sequence (Very reminiscent of Jack in the Lost premiere), the rest of the show really didn't feel too Lost-ish, which is fine even for a rabid Lost fan like myself.  I suppose the thematic issues of destiny/fate will be explored, but that's just a small part of Lost, where here it's likely to be the primary theme for the characters.  That said, I love Penny and I can't wait for Charlie to show up  Tongue
3092  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: September 27, 2009, 07:51:17 PM
I thought it was pretty enjoyable, some hints toward the Epitaph One futureline but nothing too overt.  It did seem a little disjointed and my concern is it might be completely inaccessible to new fans, unless they just want to see cheap hints at hot girl on girl action.  Speaking of which, even though I am gay, I still want to see a Summer Glau on Eliza Dushku on Amy Acker 3-way scene.  3 hot long dark haired ass kicking chicks all in one scene would make your TV explode.  Come on, you know you want it too!!!

As much as I love Faith, it's becoming clear that the other actresses (Amy Acker, Olivia Williams and the Brit/Asian chick) are all better actresses, which is making it difficult to spotlight her as the lead.  Hopefully they can find storylines that play to her strengths (ass kicking and bitchy reparte) because some of her Dollhouse roles are kind of painful to watch.

On an unrelated note, I rewound twice on the scene where she is taking off her high heels, and I can swear she says "fucking heels".  Since no one else noticed this, I'm guessing I just heard it wrong.
3093  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Aion] Official Gaming Trend Legion Thread on: September 26, 2009, 05:19:18 AM
Remember folks, if you like it then be sure to put an earring on it.

(If you look closely you will see that even the earrings are animated when you equip them!  And wtf is that fluffy pink shoulderpad they gave me to wear?  I was promised CHAIN armor!)
3094  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pandorum on: September 25, 2009, 09:13:29 PM
Anyone gonna see this?  I need a GT review, stat!
3095  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 25, 2009, 09:12:47 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on September 25, 2009, 04:53:57 PM

This week's Beyonce football dance number was one of the funniest things I've seen on TV in a long time.  I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.  Absolutely hysterical.  But I felt that this week's episode focused too much on the baby crap and I really wanted the show to focus more on music.  The underlying baby stories are awful and they're already wearing thin on my patience.  The rest of the show is really fun, but the baby stories are terrible and are really ruining the show for me.

I agree.  I could do without the baby storylines, and honestly I'm getting a little annoyed with the sabotage stuff as well.  I mean, they have enough going against them already without dealing with that craziness, and constantly having one of the "Big 3" (teacher and 2 leads) threatening to quit.  There is more than enough material to farm just from the characters themselves, and doing more singing.  Of course Jane Lynch and Stephen Toblowsky are pretty damn funny, so I guess they need something to do.

I still love the show, but I find myself loving certain elements and getting annoyed at others.  The coming out storyline on its own was excellent, funny and touching, particularly with the folding in of the Beyonce/football sequence.  The baby stuff and the sabotage is starting to wear on me - I just wanna see these guys perform.  Next week's preview looked promising.
3096  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 25, 2009, 09:05:09 PM

Quote from: skystride on September 24, 2009, 07:21:49 PM

Quote from: Hotfreak on September 24, 2009, 07:03:47 PM

Aion unearths some buried EQ feeling for me when I PvE.  Back then, the idea of rushing didn't really enter my mind.  I was just excited to play a rpg with a bunch of other humans online.  And in 3D!  Just running and gliding around the environments in Aion, feeling its danger and beauty makes it very pleasant even if I am only killing 90 Tempest Spirits and 48 Frost Wind Spirits and searching for resources to gather.

Yeah, I played EQ and I'm getting the same vibe too.  Being a jaded MMO gamer, I can't really think of one great thing to say about Aion.  However, I still can't wait to get back home and play it.  Weird.

This is the same thing with me.  This game has pretty much every thing in it about MMOs I typically criticize and hate (grind, repetitive gameplay, limited skills/customization, standard kill X/get X/fedex questing, questing with little to no consequence, etc etc).  And yet all day all I can think about is when I can get home to play it again.  Oh wait, I mean, sit in the queue for an hour and THEN play it.  Maybe the queue is the magic of the game - by denying me the ability to play, the more I want to play it. 

I dunno, somehow it ultimately has some bizarre calming, almost comforting appeal to me, even as I grind away mindlessly on silly crab mobs.
3097  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: What I'd like in an mmo on: September 25, 2009, 08:59:33 PM
I've spouted this out in much more detail on other forums, but this is what I'd like to see in an MMO:

I'd love to see an "emergent AI" or "evolutionary AI" that would allow AI NPCs to evolve completely on their own, to grow, change, build, develop cultures and lifestyles, even politics, live and die 100% without any interaction. Kind of like The Sims mixed with Oblivion, but taken to the next level, and with more significance in terms of time passage and independence of the AI. The growth and AI would continue on and evolve. Then as real players we could come and interact with the NPCs/towns and affect and change their world. I want to enter a virtual world that actually feels like a living breathing changing world without any reliance on human players.

The only MMORPGs which have truly created a version of an independent evolving world were Shadowbane (and I think Darkfall though I didn't play it).  But the depth of the worlds in these pure sandbox games was too reliant on the players, and eventually there's only so much you can do with building cities and tearing them down.  On some level I still want to interact with an interesting and crafted world that is not 100% player defined (though I would encourage the use of player built content a la CoH).  And allow that world to have a history, but continue to develop its own history through random events, AI, and eventually the player's interactions with it.  I want a world that evolves and changes and reacts to the players, and I want players' actions to have consequences.

I am really tired of the paradigm in current MMOs of doing long complex quests or killing super NPCs or mobs but having absolutely no consequence, as they pop right back up for the next guy to kill or re-enact.  I'm really looking to see what Bioware is going to do with their heavily story based concept and consequences for choices.  Will these consequences reflect the entire world, or will it still be individualized?
3098  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 24, 2009, 01:07:33 AM
In the mean time, just got home, rushed to login and....  1 hour queue.  By the time I get in it will be time to logoff for dinner again.  Lovely.
3099  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 23, 2009, 11:33:14 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on September 18, 2009, 02:32:01 PM

Here's Laptop's initial take on the HP Mini 311 Ion Netbook mentioned by rittchard:
Not much detail yet as they haven't received a test unit. It is nice that the price is netbook appropriate ($399), and that it'll ship (eventually, late October they say, after shipping with Windows XP initially) with Windows 7 Premium rather than "Starter Edition" though I wonder if the switch from XP to Windows 7 might bump up its price.

OK I bit the bullet and put one on order, I just couldn't help myself.  I upgraded to the N280 and Wireless N so it was another $50 plus taxes, eek.  Supposed to be built/shipped around 10/2, so I'll give some impressions after I get it.  Hopefully will be able to upgrade the RAM as easily as the Asus.
3100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Book] The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on: September 23, 2009, 11:27:30 PM

Quote from: Belhazamar on September 23, 2009, 04:31:20 AM

I've read it and the sequel Catching Fire.  Both were good, though the second started out a just a bit slow.  As for what age, I guess it would depend on the child, but 7-9th grade should be appropriate.  (I work in a Jr. High and a lot of kids there are reading it.)

There is already a movie in the works.

Thanks for the info and recommendation, I'll probably lend it to my niece at some point then.  It's surprisingly brutal if you stop to think about it, but the violence is more left to your imagination, very well done IMHO.
3101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season Four details leaking out on: September 23, 2009, 11:25:29 PM

Quote from: msteelers on September 23, 2009, 09:10:23 PM

As for your other points, they did all of those...poorly. There was the guy referenced at the end of season one, who I think ended up being Peter's father. Mohinder was a bad guy for awhile, along with Nathan, Tracy...hell, pretty much all of the main characters. Sylar even became "good" for awhile.

That's always been my biggest beef with the show, with the writing and absolutely incredible inconsistency of it.  It's hard for viewers to buy into characters and plotlines when they change personality on you at the drop of a dime, and in this case, change powers, change amount of powers, change the "rules" of powers.  It seemed like the writers/producers stopped having any responsibility to anything they put up on the screen.  When it's convenient they do it one way, when it's not, they just change it to the way they want, and no one holds them responsible.  I think at some point it just becomes insulting (not to mention confusing) for the audience, and even die hard superhero/scifi fans like myself are left shaking our head. 

Here's a great example: when Ando finally got his powers, they were very clear to show he had a "booster" power that made, for instance, the fast girl even faster.  Then without any explanation or acknowledgment, now he has "red lightning" as his power.  Huh?  Or Peter - does anyone have any idea what powers he has and how he gets them?  Is it proximity based?  Can he only have one at a time, as was implied at some point?  My guess is they will continue to change the rules however they see fit.  It's all a bit aggravating.
3102  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 23, 2009, 11:15:03 PM

Quote from: skystride on September 23, 2009, 10:53:05 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 23, 2009, 10:36:58 PM

Any number of Asian MMO's have the same or greater number of vendors, and it's not to avoid being logged out.

There are a few that you literally could not see the floor or npcs in any towns because of shops.

I don't think it has anything to do with Asians.  The game allows it so people will use it.  EQ1 allowed vendors in a zone and it was always packed.  If you mean more Asian MMOs have this feature than western MMOs then you may be correct, I'm not sure since I didn't play that many other Asian MMO.

I think he was implying that the large number of vendors was not a legitimate excuse (by itself) for the excessive q times, or at least that's what I thought he meant.
3103  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion - Official Server = Lumiel, Faction = Elyios on: September 23, 2009, 05:32:05 AM
Finally got in late!

Rittchard - Priest
3104  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Book] The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on: September 23, 2009, 02:44:52 AM
I don't normally recommend books but this one has really drawn me in.  It's listed as a Young Adult novel, but the premise is pretty hardcore.  Every year, 2 "tributes" (a boy and a girl) from 12 districts are randomly chosen in a lottery to participate in a Survivor-esque televised game.  The catch is it's truly last man standing, and they are meant to kill each other.  The other catch is the age you can get chosen starts at 12, so it's a little more disturbing than the Running Man or the Condemned movie.  The protaganist is a 16yo girl.

I'm not done with the book yet but so far it's been incredibly engrossing.  I'm finding myself enjoying the more simple writing styles of some of these young adult books (Harry Potter and Twilight in particular) lately.  While it's not always as satisfying or "rich" from a literary point of view, the books can be hard to put down and the plotting and flow can be much better. 

Anyway, curious if anyone else has read this.  Also curious if you have kids, would you allow them to read something like this and at what age.  I'm considering whether to recommend it to my niece who is 14.
3105  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 23, 2009, 02:18:39 AM

Quote from: jersoc on September 23, 2009, 02:14:21 AM

Kudos to NCsoft on the non-shitty case!

Yeah I really like the box this came in.  And also the code that allows you to give wings to your Guild Wars characters.  The waiting in q screen has nice graphics and music too.  Those things are about worth the $50, aren't they?
3106  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Fallen Earth launches today on: September 23, 2009, 01:54:10 AM
Kind of a poor choice of launch day against Halo ODST and Aion.  Maybe they should have held it another few weeks.
3107  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 23, 2009, 01:51:28 AM

Quote from: vizionblind on September 23, 2009, 12:19:16 AM

Cute song, cute boy!  Thanks for the link.

Should I bother installing if I'm just going to end up waiting in a q?
3108  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season Four details leaking out on: September 22, 2009, 09:36:44 PM
Not a word on the premiere?  Was it that bad?

I actually fell asleep somewhere in the middle of it so I will reserve judgment until I have fully watched the second part. 
3109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 21, 2009, 11:25:34 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on September 21, 2009, 09:35:03 PM

I picked this up used from Gamestop over the weekend and I'm deciding whether to keep it.

What's the difficulty like?  I started a game on normal and found it pretty easy.  But of course the beginning part's gonna be easy.  I started again on hard and the beginning, again, is pretty easy, but I don't want it to get too hard and frustrating later on.

Also, what's the deal with the special conditions you have to complete for each character to get their extra costumes, etc.?  Is it listed somewhere what you have to do, or how's that work?

I'm a pretty mediocre console game player, and I've found the game fairly challenging on Normal difficulty.  Well, really only the boss battles have been challenging.  Thus far I've been able to get through them, but some took a couple of trials, or swapping out of heroes to get it done.  Some of them I had a bit of trouble figuring out what the game wanted me to do, which was kind of frustrating but also kind of fun/challenging.  The announcer guy spouts off some clues at times, but I couldn't understand him so mostly I kept mashing buttons until I'd find some weakness.  Some of the bosses I thought were interesting in that if you didn't hear the announcer, and didn't know the character, you may be confused as to how to beat them.

Spoiler for Hiden:
For instance, Bishop.  He absorbs energy attacks, so you're best bet is to go all melee on him.  But I can imagine someone unfamiliar with the comic being confused at what to do against him.  I also had problems with Yellowjacket/Giant Man.  Took me a while to figure out I was supposed to attack his arms and use my fusion attacks.

I don't know what all the special conditions are, but some they tell you very clearly, like "Kill 50 bad guys with Storm" to unlock Storm's alternate costume...
3110  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 11:18:12 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on September 21, 2009, 08:33:12 PM

I firmly believe 95% of all "grind" complaints are self-inflicted.

I played EQ1 for years, with no quest XP whatsoever, and I hardly ever felt like I was "grinding." Why? Because I was socializing with my guild, having fun exploring, etc.

I'm so sick of the no-attention-span 12-year olds that think any amount of effort required to level in an MMO constitutes a "grind." MMOs, by their very nature, require time to level. That's what an RPG is - the journey of a character going from weakling to hero. You either get that or you don't. If you don't, stop playing MMOs and go play shooters or strategy titles where there is no level advancement.

It's not a *(&$(#*@(#$*& race. Chill out, explore the world, do some crafting, talk to your buddies, have fun living in a virtual world, and stop focusing on getting from A to Z in the shortest amount of time possible.

I think you're over-simplifying it YK.  Time is not necessarily the only issue, it's the quality of the time you spend.  If as you say, you can "chill out", explore, craft, do quests, and generally not concern yourself with levelling - but all the while still making progress in the world, that's great.  If the gameplay mandates you kill 100 of the same mob in the same 2 spots with little to no variation in how you do it (and no other choices in making "progress"), then it's pretty much a grind no matter how you slice it.  Maybe you're grinding with your friends so it's still fun (DAOC was my fun-grind game), but it's still grinding.  

BTW I'm not saying Aion was like this for me, as it had a decent quest structure and an interesting "epic" storyline to make it more than just quests for the sake of questing.  I just felt less anticipation than I'd like (not enough class or item variation) and I wasn't sure (still not sure) what I was supposed to be looking forward to down the road.  

I'm still on the fence - I have the game on pre-order sitting at Gamestop but I can't decide if I should pick it up or not.  Maybe I should wait a couple more days for the queue times to die down.
3111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse: Epitaph One on: September 21, 2009, 08:34:38 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on September 21, 2009, 02:36:07 AM

okay Disarm...where the heck were they going by climbing up at the end?

I thought they were just climbing to the top office where the main lady hangs out just to get out of the main complex and get the journey started...

Anyway, just watched it last night, along with the original premiere "Echo" and was blown away.  Some very nice sci-fi elements and though the premiere wasn't great, I loved seeing the seeds sown for Epitaph One in that very first episode.  Makes you wonder just how good the series could have been had they allowed Joss to play it out as he had intended, and realize it as a more hardcore sci-fi show.  Hopefully they will give him more creative free reign in season 2, all the buzz I've read on it so far has been much more positive.  Now if they can just get some viewers  icon_biggrin
3112  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 08:30:24 PM
Has anyone in beta had significant experience playing the PvPvE content post 25?  I'm really curious as to just how good it is (or isn't), or at least at how it stands apart from WoW/WAR, etc.
3113  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion Open Beta starts September 6th on: September 21, 2009, 06:38:30 PM

Quote from: Ridah on September 21, 2009, 04:35:06 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 21, 2009, 02:24:22 PM

Oh that's just pathetic.  Who in their right mind thinks that review is accurate?!  I played for more than a week in beta as well, but you don't see me tossing a review before the game even launches.   Just stupid...

I read the review, I think he was on point about most of it but I don't understand his labeling of the leveling portion (basically up to the 30 level cap in the beta) as a grind. It's no more of a grid than WoW, or any other MMO for that matter. And he constantly blurts out his combination of button presses for combat, "2,2,5,3,4,5,2" calling it repetitive... I imagine he absolutely hated Batman: "A,A,B,A,A,A,B,A,A,A,B" or Halo 3: "RT........RB, RT.........RB, X, RT.......RB".

I consider it a grind in an MMO at the point in time I start to look at the xp bar regularly.  At that point to me the game portion has lost it's edge enough that I am (too) focused on just moving on and hitting the next level, and thus it starts to feel like a "grind."  If I am happily questing along (or PvPing or whatever) and not paying attention to the xp bar, that's great.  If I am calculating how much xp I get per kill and then how many more kills it will take to level, that's bad.  Unfortunately, from the limited time I played in beta, I'd have to agree that this game feels like a grind much sooner than some of the other more recent MMOs, including WoW.  In fact I started feeling it around level 8ish, which I felt did not bode well for the future.  In massive contrast, I've been playing Marvel UA2 for quite a few hours now, most my team is around level 18ish, and I still don't even know where the xp bar is - to me personally that's a great design.  

As for the review, generally I'd agree that MMOs should not be "reviewed" until at least a full month in release.  However in this case the guy does specifically say they will re-review after some time so even though he calls it a review, it's clearly more of a first impression, or impressions until level 30ish, and I thought it gave a decent (and realistic) idea of what to expect in the first 20 or so levels.
3114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 17, 2009, 08:43:47 PM
Ep 3 focused a bit too heavily on the teacher and not enough on the Glee kids IMHO, but still was a good one.  In only 3 episodes, our teacher has waffled on his group twice already?  I think this plot would have been better suited later in the series, but oh well.  Cute cameo by Josh Groban, and some winning lines by Jane Lynch and Stephen Toblowsky (sp?).  The Beyonce (?) window smash song was pretty slick, as was the Mercy number.  Still nothing that has grabbed me from the core cast as much as Don't Stop Believing did, but that might be unfair since it was such a surprise and now expectations are different.  As before I'll likely have to watch the episode a second time for a fairer assessment.
3115  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] More(bid) to Love on: September 17, 2009, 08:08:29 PM
Just a closure on this old topic.  The show ended this week with a 2 hour finale worthy of any dating show.  Meet the parents, heartbreak for one contestant, a marriage proposal and acceptance.  I loved it!  Well, mainly because he picked the only girl I liked from day one.  I don't know if it was the editing or just clever deception on the main guy's part, but it was tough to tell how he was going to go at the end.  They edited one of the gals (big blond and buxom) as a clear early favorite, but I found her kind of shallow and annoying.  The majority of his family (dad, brother and grandma) clearly favor this girl, mainly because the alternate is a Jewish gal who came to the US from Israel 4 years ago.  His mom, who we are told he is very close to, clearly prefers the more intellectually substantial choice (who also happens to be much prettier IMHO).  Again, it could be editing but 2 bad signs for the blond chick:  she incessantly talks about "elimination" and the show/game aspects, and worse, she kind of shoves his dog away in one scene.  In the end, he goes with mom (and me), proposes and they live happily ever after (I guess).  Very chessy but very romantic, I loved it.

Through all this description, you might (or might not) have noticed something; almost nowhere did I mention the size of the people involved.  To this I say the show was a great success, because by the last few episodes there was far less emphasis on size, and far more emphasis on personalities and personal interactions.  The hero seems genuinely conflicted as he breaks heart after heart.  They still mention size a few times, and the winning heroine says she wants to be a role model for bigger girls (they can indeed find true love!), but for the most part it becomes a non issue.  By series end, the main gimmick was really just a side portion and it felt like we were just watching another dating show with some interesting characters.  I was happy with the way it all turned out.  Unfortunately for Fox, this didn't really help them realize ratings, as they pretty much settled in at 4 million/week. 
3116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 17, 2009, 07:48:38 PM
Was that code thing a joke or real?   How do you get Jean Grey, and is she just Jean grey or is she Phoenix?
3117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: True Blood season 2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:45:25 PM
I was kind of disappointed with the finale, it felt kind of flat to me.  The resolution of Ensign Ro's plot felt telegraphed and a bit rushed to me.  She was so in control all along and then gets tricked by such an obvious facade?  Hard to swallow.  I did like her interaction with Rogue, I mean Sookie.  I'm not familiar with the novels but it will be interesting to see just how "non human" she is.  Why don't they just come out and admit she's Rogue?!?  icon_razz

The rest of the ep felt like wrapup and setup but all kind of discombobulated.  Kind of incongrous with an otherwise awesome season. 

P.S.  I really wish they hadn't killed off Godric.  I loved that guy, especially with Eric.  I would love a Godric and Eric spinoff.  Yum.
3118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Reviews on: September 16, 2009, 08:38:59 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 16, 2009, 06:41:47 PM

Took me about 10 hours to beat the game, but that includes several hours of redoing some missions in the simulator to find all the collectibles to unlock Thor, Hulk and Jean Grey.

It took you only 10 hours to complete it, yet "several" hours were spent in the simulator?  Are you saying the core game lasts about 7 hours (I guess this depends on the definition of several), or was the several hours on top of the 10?

I spent about 2 hours last night just getting through the introduction missions, FWIW from a more normal player's perspective.  I only died once fighting Electro and didn't stop most of the way so I don't think I was playing slowly.  Are you saying that the intro portion is like 20% of the whole storyline?!?

P.S.  Juggernaut is FUN smile

P.P.S.  How do you unlock Deadpool?
3119  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 15, 2009, 06:17:38 PM

Quote from: Destructor on September 15, 2009, 06:12:42 PM

Now that looks like a netbook. And it has the all important x768 resolution for playing those oldies just perfectly. biggrin

Yeah, this is going to be really tempting, even though I promised myself I would stop with my netbook buying madness!
3120  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 15, 2009, 06:10:03 PM
Did someone (BJ?) cover this one already?  Sounds like it could be a winner, depending on how good Ion really is:

First hands on reviews:
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