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3881  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC update 9th of june (updated with mount info+stealth patch notes) on: June 10, 2008, 08:43:21 PM

Quote from: DArtagnan on June 10, 2008, 08:22:51 PM

We could go back and forth for ages about what issues we've heard about, and what issues we've personally experienced.

All I can say is that I CLEARLY remember WoW giving me the VERY STRONG impression that it was - basically - complete upon launch. On top of that, yes, it had the usual array of launch pains and promised missing features.

But we will never agree that it was as bad as AoC is - and not even close.

I think memory tends to cloud our overall judgment capability.  This is not a criticism of you, per se, but just a general thought.  It's nearly impossible to remember exactly what you experienced 3 years ago and compare it with what you are experiencing today "in the moment."  Right before reading Striders recount, I also recall WoW giving me the general impression that the launch was fairly sound and complete aside from the missing promised battlegrounds.  But after reading the post, I remember sitting in queues for 15-30 minutes at a time during prime time, sometimes even longer.  I remember a lot of quest and other bugs that I had personally /bugged as a member of alpha and beta that were ignored.  I remember the crazy loot lag and servers being down, instances crashing, etc etc.  And I remember now being very disappointed in the lack of BGs that were promised throughout a year of testing.  Yet all of these negatives were absorbed in the overall experience of my memory, and from just a general sense I've always felt the launch was successful and acceptable, in spite of the problems.

AoC has a lot of issues and missing features I'd like to see, I'll grant that.  But I also can say I've had very few crashes, very little lag issues, plenty of long play sessions without a single problem, many hours of solo play and group action in instances, lots of fun and exciting combat experiences, and not once (aside from the head start) could I not login when I wanted to.  Three years from now, if by some odd fate this game were as successful as WoW or at least has evolved with all features in place, I wouldn't be surprised if I remembered the general launch experience being a very good one.
3882  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 10, 2008, 08:25:08 PM

Quote from: Austin on June 07, 2008, 01:06:50 AM

Is PoM the CC character?

Austin, something we're (collectively) learning is that this game, while very similar to many traditional MMORPGs, is also different in fairly significant ways.  No class is "the" CC class, or "the" healing class.  While PoM can provide both functions to some extent, neither can they support the function well enough on their own the way, say a DAOC Healer or WoW Priest can.  A lot of critical skills are on timers that are too long to be spammable. 

Every class has some hybrid functionality, and the primary functions we're used to in other games: tank, heal, CC, DPS are all spread throughout all the classes, with the strongest groups being able to spread the functions out amongst the group.  So you might have a Shaman and PoM alternating heals, while the PoM and an HoX alternate stuns, and the Shaman alternating DPS with the HoX, etc etc.
3883  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC update 9th of june (updated with mount info+stealth patch notes) on: June 10, 2008, 08:19:05 PM

Quote from: StriderGG on June 10, 2008, 08:09:10 PM

I guess my point is - all MMOs release incomplete and buggy and WoW is not an exception.

Excellent recap, I had forgotten a lot of those!!!
3884  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: iPhone 3G announced - only $199 for 8GB on: June 10, 2008, 08:15:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 10, 2008, 12:53:08 AM


wait, they're going to have rate plans for basic phone cheaper than 60 bucks now for the iPhone?


The cheapest iphone rate right now is $40/month + $20 for unlimited data and 200 text messages, hasn't changed since release.  I don't remember how many minutes I get for that.
3885  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: iPhone 3G announced - only $199 for 8GB on: June 10, 2008, 12:31:33 AM
As much of an Apple fanboy as I am, I have to warn folks about the "lower" pricing:

At&T is jacking up the data plan by $10/month, so in effect it's $240 more over the course of your 2-year contract.  Nothin comes for free!

So keep in mind the cheapest plan will now be $40 basic phone +$30 data = $70/month

- - -

Brilliant marketing though:  Twice the speed at half the cost!  It just rolls off the tongue.

Anyway, as much as I am impressed by the 3G, GPS and most of all better battery life, I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of improvement to the camera, no added storage, and still no word on MMS. 
3886  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: iPhone vs. Blackberry? on: June 06, 2008, 07:11:27 PM

Quote from: Mr. Fed on June 06, 2008, 06:55:21 PM

Quote from: GuidoTKP on June 06, 2008, 06:43:50 PM

AT&T's reception is awful in LA,

Well that sucks.

I'm not sure where you are in LA but I get great reception in most of the areas I've been around (mostly south bay and orange county).  Also in an odd turn of events I get good reception down in the basement of the building I work at (Verizon I had nothing).  The only time I have problems is when I'm right down at the beach, where I can still text but sometimes get dropouts.  But again, compared to my old Verizon phone where I got zero reception at the beach, it's still a major improvement.

For email, it's been kind of spotty.  For quick internet like the weather and stocks, about 90% effective.  For more intensive email, also more spotty (similar to email).
3887  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers Updates (DERKETO Server) on: June 06, 2008, 07:07:40 PM
I think you're pretty safe playing anything.

For instances, you generally want a tank and at least one healer for traditional play, but it's not 100% essential depending on the rest of the group make up, particularly the true levels of everyone involved.  All 3 tanks seem viable when they are at the main level (not apprenticed).  Apprenticing works well up to an extent - we've seen if your gear is too low a level, it can be difficult to tank or even off-tank. 

A mix of at least 2 different types of healers seems to be a very good combo to have, but we've gotten by with 1 healer or 2 of the same type.  For whatever off reason we seem to have the least ToS in terms of healers so I might recommend that...  Otherwise different forms of DPS are always great.  I'm actually curious what a 6-man DPS group would be like.
3888  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: There just aren't enough AoC topics here these days. on: June 06, 2008, 07:02:05 PM
That's one of the reasons I alwasy recommend moving to a guild website once a MMORPG starts, so these main boards don't get overly cluttered, and/or you don't lose stuff buried 8 pages into a single thread.  Just for reference, the Wanderers AoC board already has 117 topics  icon_lol
3889  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: iPhone vs. Blackberry? on: June 05, 2008, 09:34:04 PM
I don't know enough about all the business stuff, but this is what they announced for the 2.0 software update (supposedly coming out this month):

http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/

Upcoming iPhone support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and industry-standard corporate security standards will allow IT professionals to seamlessly integrate iPhone into their enterprise environments. New features include:

Push email
Push contacts
Push calendar
Global Address List
Certificates and identities
WPA2/802.1X
Enforced security policies
More VPN protocols
Device configuration
Remote wipe

- - -

Having owned an older Blackberry and now the iPhone, the only thing I wouldn't agree with gellar on necessarily is that emails take 2-3x longer to type.  Maybe 1.5x longer, but of course this is all very user dependent.  Ever since I started "trusting the keyboard" with the iPhone, I can type pretty damn fast (about as fast as I could with any touch keyboard with my fat thumbs) with the software correcting about 90% of my errors.  Of course, you can't do what I see some people do and type on the iPhone without looking at the keyboard smile
3890  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers Updates (DERKETO Server) on: June 05, 2008, 08:39:03 PM
Don't forget you can always get apprenticed (you'll see us refer to it as SK or sidekicked, City of Heroes reference) to join up with a group, aside from the specific lvl 40-80 instances.  You do have to be a little careful because your armor/gear won't be levelled up, but as we've now seen/tested in numerous instances, you can be quite effective even when 10, 20 levels below the true mob levels.  Awesome feature IMHO!  There's a little more risk involved but it can be a lot of fun for everyone.
3891  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: June 05, 2008, 08:29:08 PM
In full groups in the 50s now, I'm starting to see more of the CC aspect of the PoM.  Keep in mind I did not spec (purposely) to improve CC and I believe there is a big CC Feat at the end of the Divine (?) tree.

Basically you have 4 CC spells to choose from.  Everyone's familiar with Repulse, but this has to be used much more sparingly and carefully in a full group.  You don't want to bounce mobs away too often or your melee folks will get pissed they can't do their combos.  You also don't want to bounce them into aggro range of the invisible sliding mobs around the corner  icon_wink  So I reserve it for more of a "near emergency" situation when I see my tank is losing health too fast, the heal counter is a ways away and the HoTs aren't cutting it.  It's still a great spell to buy some desperately needed respite for the tank(s).  I'm not a big fan of the Fear spell, but still use it occasionally, again more in emergency situations.  I'm starting to use the Blind more on a regular basis.  I have no concrete evidence but it seems like it is effective particularly against mean casters and archers; this could be just wishful thinking on my part though.  And finally the stun, while not lasting long enough and too long to cast, is a decent way to again buy some precious seconds, particularly in cases when you are facing 2 elite casters, or perhaps a 3rd mob adds to the group, the stun is very situational and can buy you just a couple seconds to yell for everyone to move back and get off an extra HoT.
3892  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost finale is tonight! on: June 04, 2008, 09:17:44 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on June 04, 2008, 08:49:26 PM

Quote
Lastly, a "things got real bad on the island" vague insinuation would not be enough to get me interested in going back, sorry.   That's the old style Lost approach.  For me to buy Jack being desperate to go back it needed to be INCREDIBLE.    Something like "Your dad is on the island, he told me to say XYZ to prove it",  XYZ being a message that would confirm his dad(alive or dead) had in fact talked to Locke, because it was something only Jack and his dad knew about.  That's just an example, but you know what I mean.

Jack knows he made the wrong decision about leaving the island - he doesn't need Ben's confirmation. He had been trying to get back to the island via plane crash even before he talked to Ben. There's something else at work here - perhaps more of the Island's  "magic" that wouldn't allow Michael to die and seemed to shape Locke's destiny.

Well I think having creepy ghosts of dead people driving you insane would also be a motivator to go back smile

The interesting thing to me was just how long they (particularly Jack) fought/resisted the idea of going back (approx. 3 years).  I guess the idea is they are protecting whoever survived on the island by protecting the location and the knowledge of its existence.  Of course at this point we know they don't actually know how to get back, so possibly the other part of not trying to get back is having no idea how to go about it (aside from Jack's suicide attempts).  And why did it take Ben so long to make his move?  Was he teleported further forward in time?  I wasn't sure when his arrival was in terms of the overall timeline.
3893  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 03, 2008, 08:41:19 PM
Hey don't get me wrong, I love alts!  I was the originator (I think) of Alt Night (TM) way back when...  I just wish I had more time to do everything  headbang3
3894  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost finale is tonight! on: June 02, 2008, 06:24:49 PM

Quote from: disarm on June 02, 2008, 01:34:27 AM

Quote from: EddieA on June 02, 2008, 01:06:34 AM

Juliet identified Jin as the father based on the time of conception, not DNA, so she only knew the baby was conceived on the island.  With Jin and Michael both gone, though, I don't see any reason to start a paternity storyline.  As for Sun's pause, I think she was just uncertain of how to talk to someone who was once a friend, but is now a traitor and a murderer.

i really can't think of a single time that they even came close to suggesting that something happened between Sun and Michael.  the only other person they ever suggested as the father was that guy teaching her english that she had an affair with back in korea, but proving that she conceived on the island settled that matter in a way that seemed to convince Sun that Jin was the father.

It's funny because from season 1 (I think) I kept jokingly telling my friends that Michael was Sun's baby's father.  The "suggestion" came very early in the show when Michael sees Sun bathing and they share "a look" and the scene ends.  My friends hate it when I mention "a look" in the show because often enough they think it's just my imagination finding things where nothing exists.  Jin's excessive anger toward Michael in (I think the same episode) also goes to the thought that maybe more had transpired in the Michael/Sun "friendship" than was shown.  And in spite of all the shows dedicated to her saying the baby is Jin's, Sun ends each of her scenes with Jin with a wisftul "look" that implies she is still hiding/lying about something.  Her out of the blue comment to Michael in the finale just continues this bizarre thread, and frankly at this point, my theory is that it's just the actress herself playing it "soap opera style" to give people like me something to talk about.

- - -

Regarding the "alternate endings" - it wasn't much, just 2 different people in the coffin pan scene - Sawyer and Desmond. 
3895  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: June 02, 2008, 06:14:50 PM
That was awesome, priceless!!

I can't beat that Potionhead dude, but while I've got photobucket open, thought I'd share one of my (recent) favorite screenies from the Frost Swamp.  I love the water ripple effect, as well as the disgusting impale-age:

3896  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC update notes 2nd of june + extra (Updated with unoffical notes) on: June 02, 2008, 06:06:24 PM

Quote from: Razgon on June 02, 2008, 10:33:19 AM

*Old Secrets: Golden Golem should now always spawn.

I've got your Golden Golem right here!!!  So what exactly is that thing... you know, in that place down there?

3897  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers Updates (DERKETO Server) on: June 02, 2008, 06:01:04 PM
...and also of note, our first city building (Guild Keep) went up last night.  Hopefully it didn't get destroyed in the patch, and yes that is a mammoth up top on the left if you look closely  icon_razz



3898  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: June 02, 2008, 05:58:46 PM
Guild Photo shot:



and in Tortage:

3899  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: June 01, 2008, 08:02:29 PM

Quote from: msduncan on May 31, 2008, 11:28:00 PM

STOP IT.    I don't want to be tempted into buying this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm trying to hold out for Warhammer which I suspect everyone will flock to from here after release.

4-6 months is a long, long wait, what are you going to do the rest of the summer? icon_razz
3900  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC -- System requirements on: June 01, 2008, 08:00:04 PM
I'm positive it will be playable, just you may or may not be happy with the settings you'd have to use.

As I mentioned in another thread, I got it running on my iMac which has less RAM, about the same processor, and on-board ATI graphics which are nowhere near as good as a Geforce 7800. 

I wouldn't be surprised if you could run fairly well using the recent "trick" settings of High detail but shadows off and Shader=2.0 (or something like that).
3901  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii Fit - I am so weak on: May 30, 2008, 09:43:26 PM
I just started using this the other day.  Day one test, I was rated as obese and age 50something to my real age of 39 crybaby  I stunk pretty badly at a lot of the balance stuff (particularly the soccer one where all I did was get hit by shoes), and was kind of random at the others.  I missed 1 day and was berated when I came back, and then even more demoralized when it turned out I had gained 2.5 pounds and the Wii demanded to know why.  I love how they keep making you feel bad about yourself; they should call it Wii Self Esteem Destroyer.  Granted they do say nice things to you too even when you suck it up during an exercise, but if you have low self esteem, you will only remember the negative things  icon_lol

All that said, it's a pretty interesting program/package.  Sometimes I'm confused at how they do the actual scoring and what exactly is being measured in terms of your balance and center of gravity and such.  Very intriguing.  I'm not sure the overall package is fun enough to motivate my lazy ass, though. 

I really hope I will continue to use it on a regular basis.  I can definitely see some good coming from it, if only at the very least learning some good yoga stretches/poses.  I may never come close to meeting my goal of losing 20 pounds from this alone, but as many have mentioned, the key is to make sure I am doing something at least semi-active more often than not.
3902  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost finale is tonight! on: May 30, 2008, 09:29:27 PM

Quote from: EddieA on May 30, 2008, 04:59:20 AM

While I didn't think this finale was quite as good as last year's, there were still plenty of great moments - Sawyer's sacrifice, Ben's "So?", the freighter exploding and Sun's gut-wrenching screams, Desmond and Penny's reunion, and the disappearance of the island were all amazing.  Even in a TV show, seeing an entire island disappear is quite a sight.  The only disappointing thing was that it was all pretty predictable.  It was a bit of a letdown when they built to showing off who was in the coffin, even though it was really obvious who it was, especially for anyone who read about the text of the newspaper clipping from last year's finale.  It did bring up some very intriguing questions, though - Why did the island let Locke die?  What are the really bad things that happen on the island?  If they take him back, will the island resurrect him?

Have to agree with most everything here, particularly the list of great moments.  I loved how the episode starts off fresh from the finale of last season and you see Kate's car stop, she comes back and slaps Jack.  After an entire year of hearing myself (and Jack) whine "we have to go back!" it was a cool little moment.  Also liked the "rule" that moving the island means you can't go back, and how that impacted Ben (great performance again all around); some friends are surmising that Widmore, like Ben, had moved the island previously and also can't go back. 

I think I actually enjoyed this finale more than last year's.  While I could nitpick little things (like why didn't any of the redshirt extras try to get onto the helicopter and how did that super RF transmitter work so well miles away, deep underground and through a steel ship), and perhaps it didn't have that jaw-dropping type of finale moment, the individual scenes felt more momentous during the actual episode.  Throughout the evening I just kept commenting to myself "damn that's some good TV" -as engrossing (if not more so) than most of the movies I've seen in a long while. 

I actually didn't know it was Locke in the coffin, I kept thinking it would be Ben.  So that was a nice little surprise for me, and I liked the final Ben and Jack discussion, and the implication that Locke had already convinced Kate(maybe?) and Sayid to go back.  That would only leave Sun as the loose cannon, but maybe they coluld draw her back if they say Jin might still be alive.  Speaking of which, anyone have thoughts on that?  This was pretty much what I'd expected, that it would appear he most likely dies, but you don't actually see it so there's always the chance he jumped off the boat and gets rescued by the guys on the raft, or was teleported off with the island.

Great show, it's gonna be a long wait for it to come back!
The island vanishing, wow.  I just didn't think they'd go quite that far, but there you go.  Even in full sci-fi shows like Stargate Atlantis you don't just see an island go poof without an explanation.   Will be very interesting to see where they take this.  Clearly they are introducing some truly ancient powers and/or technology (the hieroglyphics in the teleport station).  Almost seems like they are going the alien technology route, but who knows...
3903  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost finale is tonight! on: May 30, 2008, 06:38:07 PM

Quote from: Davidbld on May 30, 2008, 04:33:36 PM

I remember jack does tell the media who the two who make it out of the plane but dont survive. I think one of them is Charlie but I cant remember who the other one was, it might have been Boone but not sure.

Dave

They added this in as extra footage last night in the 8pm re-show.  It was Boone, Charlie and Libby and they had different stories for how each of them died.  (They need 3 to make the total 8 because the baby would not have been born yet.)  Why they chose these 3 or even went to the trouble with this was not explained, but presumably to make the overall story more plausible.

More thoughts on the finale coming later, I'm still digesting it a bit smile
3904  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Classes thread on: May 29, 2008, 10:15:54 PM

Quote from: Silky on May 29, 2008, 06:17:37 PM

I don't have the game but out of curiosity what class is that?  Seems a little balancing is in order.

Not 100% sure but I think it's the Tempest of Set (healer/nuker) class.

- - -

Back to the OT, I haven't seen anyone talk about Priest of Mitra yet, so I'll throw in my thoughts (up to lvl 49 and expecting some interesting/significant additions at 50).  I'm specced in Vengeance primarily and the Standard secondary.

Solo: I have never played a healer class in any game that could solo so well.  Generally the advantage to playing a healer class solo is at the very least you have less down time healing up, which is very true in this case.  But the PoM takes it a bit further and adds significant DPS to the mix, with a lot of it being AoE.  With the Vengeance spec, you can further do damage while healing yourself, and even further, there is a feat in the standard line that allows you to regen mana off one of your heals as well.  This allows you to play similar to what was shown in that video, gather aggro from a few mobs and wail on them with AoE damage while simultaneously healing.  You'll be taking a lot of damage as well, but as long as you aren't knocked down, you can mitigate dmg with heals over time (HoTs) fairly well. 

The class comes with 2 HoTs that can be stacked; one of them is very quick to cast, does an initial heal and then a tick every second.  At lvl 63 (I was sidekicked) it was healing for 250 and ticking for 130, which is not too bad.  For reference, solo-wise that initial heal is about 10% your total health.  This one is the bread and butter, as it is the one mentioned previously that can also regen some mana, AND with the vengeance spec do decent AoE DoT at the price of extra mana cost (originally it was doing huge AoE DD, which was clearly not intended and was soon nerfed in the second or third patch).  So if you're an efficiency nut like I am, you can't beat a spell that has AoE and does damage, heals AND gets you some mana back all at once.  The second HoT is slower to cast and less useful, but because it stacks is still nice to have.  Finally there is a "big heal" which as discussed elsewhere grants a nice AoE targetted heal - but at the price of a lingering ONE minute timer before it can be used again on anyone who was affected.  Solo, this is not a big deal.  Most battles you only need to heal once before it's over.  With vengeance spec, the same heal does a nice big burst AoE damage as well. 

For emergencies, Hand of Mitra (HoM) is supposed to mitigate all damage for a short period of time (doesn't always work I think).  There's also a fear and a blind that don't work that great. 

For buffs, which I think extend to the group, you get a health buff, a defense buff and a +damage buff (I think) standard.  From feats I get the buff that makes my HoT do damage.  And you get the traditional healer rez spell which actually has a decent range.

The primary offense is from a Smite nuke, which is slow to cast and does decent damage.  Its biggest redeeming quality is you can spam it (no recast time).  You get a smaller fast cast nuke (Rebuke) on top of that with a longer recast (can be shortened through Feats).  The best offensive spell I have is from Feats - Cleansing Fire (CF).  It does a cone area damage.  Not very good range, but good damage and with points it can DoT after the initial hit.  You also get a big super slow nuke that's really only good against undead.  Finally there is a slow casting PBAoE knockdown which also does good damage.  This can get you out of a lot of trouble and buy you time to heal/regen.  So generally I will pull with either nuke, or try to round up multiple mobs, then knock them down, maybe cast the heal/nuke or both HoTs, then position them in front of me so I can cast CF.  The mini nuke will usually finish them off, or else the DoT plus a few melee whacks.

While this class doesn't have the one-on-one DPS of many others I've grouped with (Barb, Conq, Demon to name a few), it can certainly hold its own and excels at bringing down multiple enemies (lower level preferred but I've done it with equal and higher levelled mobs).  Back in the DAOC days I used to always be jealous of all the AoE action going on, and man, now it's like I'm my own personal AoE group  icon_smile  With the added bonus of virtually never needing to rest (only every so often for mana), there's very little down time so your overall solo playing efficiency is very high.

Grouping: as the supposed primary healing class, the PoM is not your traditional healer.  As noted above, the one big heal you are given is essentially on a one minute timer, meaning you cannot simply choose to stand back and heal when necessary.  Your best bet is to keep it as a semi-emergency type of heal.  Since most battles won't last much more than a minute, particularly in well balanced groups, chances are you are only going to get to cast your big heal once, and only on 1 guy.  One thing I noticed last night was after someone died, if he gets battle rezzed, you can cast the heal on him again which is kind of cool.  So in terms of group healing, if you are the primary or only healer, your safest/strongest move is to shift carefully into the heat of battle and AoE heal with your main HoT.  If it's safe (no aggro), cast the second HoT and back off.  Then watch group health bars and nuke as you like, rinse and repeat.  I noticed also for the first time last night the HoTs can generate significant aggro, so you have to be careful at the higher levels. 

In emergencies, this is where you shine.  If you start taking damage too quickly, hit your HoM (note that with vengeance spec you can get this to insta-cast) and while you are regenerating you can either move away as a tank draws aggro, do your big heal, fear a mob away, or use your AoE repulse to knock everyone down.  The knockdown can be great as long as you don't knock the mobs away from whoever is killing them, or knock them into more mobs to aggro on you.  Because what that does is buy you and the group yet another couple of precious seconds to regen, heal, etc.  I've successfully used these 2 skills in emergency situations in a group a few times now, and it's helped to get the group out of seemingly impossible dilemmas.  Very fun.

So there you have it.  Most fun healing class I've played in any MMORPG, topping even the Guild Wars monk.  The balanced mix between healing and damage, general support and emergency support, makes it almost the perfect class for my personal tastes in these games.  While I'd still prefer some sort of more spammable heal, the tradeoff to give me more of a mix of things to do in group combat is well appreciated.
3905  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chronicles of Narnia: Caspian on: May 27, 2008, 08:20:23 PM
Saw it with the nieces and nephew yesterday.  It felt about a half hour or more too long, and there seemed to be extraneous plot elements or something just dragging the pace down.  I did enjoy most of the ending sequences, and some of the rest of it, but for the most part it felt like a retread and just kind of over-indulgent.  I also like the 4 main child actors and thought they did a decent job with the material they were given.  Some of the animals seemed extraneous and the bad guy plotlines felt excessive.

The kid in back of me midway through the movie asked "is that the end?" and OMG it was barely halfway through.  Later throughout the rest of the movie, he kept saying "I want to go home"  "I really want to go home" and honestly I kind of felt the same smile  It wasn't that bad, just needed a good trimming down.
3906  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 27, 2008, 06:33:38 PM
Just another brief update after the long weekend:

I've lost count of how many people we have now, especially with more and more alts creeping in  icon_wink  However, I'm fairly certain the actual number of discrete members is at least 50, possibly close to 60.  At any given time when I was on, there were always between 20-30 people on, even late late into the night.  Best numbers we've had in years, and it's been so nice to see a mix of old friends as well as make a lot of new ones.  For me personally, it's been a treat getting to interact with guildies from virtually every MMO I've played the past 7 years, from DAOC/Gaheris, EQ2, SWG, WoW, SB, LOTRO, CoX, GW, etc etc.  Thanks again to everyone for making it a great guild launch experience!

As far as progress, we've got a couple of overachievers past lvl 60, a strong majority of players in the 30-50 range, and still quite a few newcomers in the Tortage/early game, so there's a great spread of people and levels.  We claimed our guild plot of land in Lacheish Plains and are in the study/discussion/wait-for-game-stability phase, and rapidly getting ready to place our guild keep.

I'm hoping to get our first big guild "activity" going this weekend, the Traditional Guild Photo extravaganza!  As always, head to the guild forums for details.
3907  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Patch - May 27th Edition on: May 27, 2008, 06:22:16 PM
Wow this thread has so many people getting f-ed, I'm not sure if I should be distrubed or excited.   eek
3908  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 22, 2008, 08:33:14 PM

Quote from: morlac on May 22, 2008, 12:51:06 PM

I take it there are no race restrictions in guilds?  Any race preference for Wanderers or does it matter at all? I made a Snake worshiping Xolti.  Barely got to play yesterday as the father in law came over soon after the servers went back up.  I plan on having a marathon session today when I get back form my job interview and trying out some different race/class combos.  I imagine it will be a bit before I decide on a main.  This is the fist MMORPG I haven't betad since DAOC and I have to say that I might not ever beta again.  It tends to sour me on the early game and take away all the anticipation / excitement of launch.

No race or class preferences or restrictions, just come join the fun, glad to have you back!!!
3909  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: American Idol 2008 on: May 22, 2008, 06:19:34 PM
I think everyone pretty much knew in advance (possibly also based on the previous week's results?), and the dialidol results were dead on again, as they have been every year since they started.  I think it's much easier for them to predict the final (and not just because they have a 50/50 shot).  Their technique of busy percentages is particularly effective the last night, where there are a lot of busy hits.  Archie's lines were busy all the way past 10pm, FYI.

I'm not sure when the tide actually turned against lil David.  I know you guys all didn't like him but this is a fairly isolated semographic (geeky straight guys - no offense cuz I love you all!).  I know Cook gained a ton of momentum in the middle weeks where Archie was floundering or coasting.  What threw me off was the week of ffinal 4, when they claimed the voting was within a million votes for the top 3 contestants.  So does that mean the following week (of 3) was the key?  Did all of Jason's voters migrate to David?  If that was the pivotal week, I'd blame the producers for the unbalanced song choices.  Archie would have built up huge momentum going into the final with a combo of Paula's ballad choice, One Republic's Apologize (ironic he got to sing this last night, I was wanting him to sing this all season), and Groban's You Raise Me Up.  But whatever, too late now, and it's also possible the decision was made weeks ago when Cook was leading the votes week to week.

Anyway, my favorite part of the show was Archie's Guitar Hero commercial (I missed the Cook version I guess?).  Damn he looked so cute and energetic and like an actual real human kid for once!  If he had shown that kind of joy and personality in a couple of performances, who knows...
3910  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 21, 2008, 08:42:36 PM
Quick Guild Update:

Last night, the last time I counted we were up to 40+ members (a couple of alts already so I don't want to inflate the number).  At one point in time we had over 30 people online, a very nice sight to see.  I believe our "release week" membership will end up very close to the 50 we had predicted, which is just about the perfect number IMHO.

Thanks again to all our members, new and old, for making this the biggest guild launch we've had since WoW, and possibly the smoothest (major) game launch in Wanderers history (i.e. virtually drama free)!!!

Look forward to seeing you all in Hyboria!
3911  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Reaper (spoilers) on: May 21, 2008, 08:24:47 PM
Since the title already has (Spoilers) in it, I think we can just discuss at will?

But yeah, loved the finale and so happy they made it back for another (half) season.

So any theories on the dad?  Is he a demon?  Is HE the son of Satan making Sam the grandson?  Or was part of his deal with the devil to sell Sam's soul to grant him immortality?  Lots of fun ways they can take the storyline.

Making Sam the devil's son feels like it might be a little too obvious a plotline, but then again it could make for some awesome dynamics down the line.  The interaction between the 2 of them works so perfectly in the show, I just love their scenes together.  The playing catch scene was part touching, part creepy, part funny - just perfect.  I could see having his son turn out to be a goody 2-shoes driving the devil nuts, and he may constantly be trying to find ways to corrupt him.  There was a little bit of this throughout the show, but it wasn't really specific to them being related.  They also really didn't do much with Sam's powers throughout the season, I definitely hope they revisit that and show us what he is capable of.

Can't wait til next season!!
3912  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: American Idol 2008 on: May 21, 2008, 06:26:40 PM
Oh yeah, I don't expect any straight guys to fall for the Archuleta charm.  The fact of the matter is in terms of music style, I actually prefer David Cook.  But what I can't deny is there is something in David's voice that whenever he sings, it literally sends shivers down my spine.  It's an actual physical reaction, maybe some weird frequency thing.  For both his first and third performances, I could see and feel the goosebumps on my arms as he sang.  This is nothing I can fake or force, it just happens Fabulous 
3913  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: American Idol 2008 on: May 21, 2008, 06:22:48 PM
Interesting to note Dialidol has/had Cook far far ahead for the win tonight, so I'm anxious to see how it plays out.  They claim they have never been wrong since they started their predictions.  I had thought the Syesha vote would go mostly to David A and thus he would win readily, but I may have been totally wrong about that.

Strategically, though, you could sense a shift, even starting last week.  But last night, Archie was playing (or coached) to win (at least win the judges over) and Cook was just playing to play.  I don't think he ever took the whole thing as serious as most of the others, which is kind of annoying in some sense, and possibly why he came across as arrogant at times.

Of course maybe I'm just making excuses for him and he kind of just got caught up in himself and choked a bit.  I was so happy he got to do a U2 song but he didn't really take it anywhere special.  The song he chose (?) from the competition was definitely NOT one of the ones I would have picked for him (there were at least 2 "rocker" type songs with less egregious lyrics).  And the last one, I completely agree with Simon; as part of the competition, he should have gone with what really took him over the top.  (In truth the week I was most impressed with him was Mariah week where he completely flipped her bouncy pop song and made it an awesome rock ballad.)  Instead he did a Blake and decided to do something on his own.  Did a very nice job, but it wasn't nearly as memorable as some of his precious performances.  Then again, if you believe dialidol, none of this was enough to stop him from winning.  He may have garnered enough fan support over the past few weeks while Archie was just kind of coasting along.  Never underestimate the Cougars for Cook.

Now speaking of my boy, whether you like him or not, you have to admit he stepped up his game for the finale.  First song was an awesome rendition, I'm sure Elton John and George Michael were... well, doing something  slywink  Songwriter pick was sappy, I think it was one of the ones I hated, but he made the most of it, oddly it sounded like a Celine Dion ballad.  Final was predictable, but smart: going back to what shot him ahead in the competition to begin with.  He did everything he should have to won, the question is whether it was too late and he'd lost his early voter block lead.  
3914  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 21, 2008, 06:05:21 PM
Some additional comments:

- I was part of my first "real" group last night, it was awesome fun.  Four of us decided to do a little adventuring, and boy did we get our asses kicked early on. So rusty! But being the Wanderers we are, we learned from our mistakes, made adjustments, and soon enough had conquered pretty much everything thrown at us. At one point we had a ton of mobs on us and I had pretty much given up, so I just started mashing every possible button I had in my skillbar, and somehow we made it through lol. Like I said, rusty! As much as soloing has been great for questing, grouping was absolutely excellent fun.

It's interesting how you can get lulled into complacency by your own awesomeness doing all this soloing, then venture into some group content and BAM, you get smacked down in your place (hilariously this one chick much higher level was soloing, helped us out of a bind, then got killed in about 3 hits as she continued on).  But still, there's nothing like an old school/new school Wanderers group, with some added strategy and a bit of luck to get you back into the thick of it.

- Level/quest progression. Continues to move at a very very nice pace. I thought it would change drastically at 20 but up to 30 it hasn't. Probably at 40? In any case, this bodes very well for those who like making lots of alts. You can get a pretty strong feel for a decent class build in a matter of a week or 2, which is very nice, and unlike pretty much any of the other MMORPGs out there. Pacing is almost on the order of Diablo 2, and someone was likening it to a 3D Titan Quest.

- Little things continue to impress me. Like an un-talked about side-kicking feature. What's up with that? One of the coolest features for grouping and I don't recall it ever being advertised. But it's in there. Just right click on your group member and there's an option to bump him up to your level-1. Sweet! The mini-map and main map are possibly the best I've seen in any RPG. Sure there are some quirks, but for the most part you are constantly able to see approx. where your quest goals are and keep things in order. You can zoom in and out of BOTH of the maps for more detail, and even though sometimes it's off, I love the zoomed detail of roads to figure out where I am.

- Loot, which some were concerned about, continues to get better. I'm still not sold on the way they did stats with such tiny increments, but in terms of interesting drops, I've seen a lot more just yesterday. A lot of green drops with varying stats on them.

The best thing I can say is, I just constantly wish I could be playing more, and I haven't had that feeling in a very long time.
3915  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: May 20, 2008, 09:29:51 PM
Didn't realize there was a thread for this so I posted this in my other thread...  I guess this makes it "official"  icon_biggrin

Actual Game Impressions (from about 20 hours in Early Access):

The worst thing I can say about the game and pre-launch experience is the extended down-times STUNK!  A large portion of prime playing time was negated by servers being down for various forms of maintenance, patching, whatnot, and each estimate was followed by an extra hour, etc etc.  That had the majority of us waiting to play chomping at the bit.  That said, the good news is/was that I (and apparently many others) found themselves completely addicted and anticipating our next game session. 

Technical Stuff

As many others have also noted, I didn't have a single crash while playing during this period.  And I was crashing big time during beta, pretty much every zone in/out.  Aside from an error window popping up every time I quit the game, I had no technical issues to speak of.  So from that standpoint, I was very impressed.

Graphics

This game is gorgeous.  I keep hearing people repeat that in guild chat when they come across a new area, and have repeated it myself on many occasions.  It takes the LOTRO look and takes it a bit further in terms of depth and detail.  And this is with the DX9 client only so there's more/better to come.  I love the attention to detail in each of the city/town areas I've explored, and each has seemed very unique.  The city graphics are just full of atmosphere, very nicely done.  And then the outdoor areas, gorgeous.  Best looking MMORPG to date, IMHO, possibly one of (if not) the best looking RPGs in general.  Character graphics are also some of the best I've seen, the bodies are all nice to look at

Gameplay

The core game plays very well at the outset.  The introduction portion (approx. levels 1-20) in Tortage is possibly the best beginner section in an MMORPG to date.  Taking a beat from many single game RPGs, the game sets you up and gets you invested in a single player story similar to something like Oblivion.  However, you are also given the option to branch out and group with friends, etc. and complete a variety of conventional side quests, also similar to a single player RPG (except for the grouping part of course).  This turns out to be a great way to get into the game, you can choose to experience it solo or in a group, and in fact you are even given the option at a certain level to just bypass the storyline and move to the mainland.  If it's the first time you're playing, and you are a fan of single player RPGs, though, I recommend you play through it at least once.  The finale is a little underwhelming and unsurprising, but the journey through the storyline is well done.  What's also nice is that each of the 4 main class branches (mage, thief, priest, warrior) experience slightly different branching storylines which all lead (presumably) to the same conclusion.

Once at the mainland, the game becomes very much like a conventional MMORPG (LOTRO or WoW), where you can choose to branch off and explore, or complete series of quests, etc.  Main focus is on lots of little quests.  The general feel is most reminiscent of LOTRO, but the pacing feels better to me.  Each of the 3 races' town areas is filled with quests and side stories to explore, providing a relatively pain-free way to advance your character.

The X Factor

Something I've commented on a couple times now in guild chat.  There's a weird factor influencing me while playing this game and I can't put my finger on it.  In essence the core gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as all the other MMORPGs I've played, mixing in a bit of this with a dash of that.  All the things that typically irritate me and I've criticized (fedex quests, running around all over the place, focus on levelling, limited improvements on levelling, same spells/skills on level, load screens, static NPCs) are in this game, yet none of them have really bothered me.  Maybe it's just new game euphoria, but somehow I'm just content to play the game, and I constantly feel like there's a ton of stuff I want to do and I just don't have the physical time to do it.  I want to complete the quests in the town I'm in, I want to explore the other towns and crafting areas, I want to learn some resource gathering skills and do craft quests, I want to visit all the major cities, I want to explore and look for instances, I want to kick more Vanir ass, etc etc etc.  And all the while as I play I seem to be levelling at a very nice pace and rarely staring at my xp bar.  Obviously I expect this is going to slow down at some point, but for the opening experience, I am very pleased to make significant progress with my character just by sheer nature of playing the game. 

I've seen multiple people express concerns about loot, and again it's one of those things that just hasn't concerned me in this game.  When I get a nice quest reward of course I'm happy and always looking to upgrade, but when I don't, I'm not thinking about it at all.  I just want to keep playing and it feels like everything will come along naturally.

In terms of things to look forward to longer term, there's the horse and mounted combat at level 40, plus crafting and city building, and late game hopefully city sieging and PvP.

- - -

So we'll see if/how my opinion changes as the days and weeks go by.  Thus far I'm having a blast, best time I've had in a new release in years.  What's nice is that others seem to be having the same experience, as indicated by the 10+ of us playing hooky yesterday morning, and that's always a great feeling.

Can't wait to get back to it!!!   
3916  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Collector's Edition Impressions on: May 20, 2008, 09:08:53 PM
Actual Game Impressions (from about 20 hours in Early Access):

The worst thing I can say about the game and pre-launch experience is the extended down-times STUNK!  A large portion of prime playing time was negated by servers being down for various forms of maintenance, patching, whatnot, and each estimate was followed by an extra hour, etc etc.  That had the majority of us waiting to play chomping at the bit.  That said, the good news is/was that I (and apparently many others) found themselves completely addicted and anticipating our next game session. 

Technical Stuff

As many others have also noted, I didn't have a single crash while playing during this period.  And I was crashing big time during beta, pretty much every zone in/out.  Aside from an error window popping up every time I quit the game, I had no technical issues to speak of.  So from that standpoint, I was very impressed.

Graphics

This game is gorgeous.  I keep hearing people repeat that in guild chat when they come across a new area, and have repeated it myself on many occasions.  It takes the LOTRO look and takes it a bit further in terms of depth and detail.  And this is with the DX9 client only so there's more/better to come.  I love the attention to detail in each of the city/town areas I've explored, and each has seemed very unique.  The city graphics are just full of atmosphere, very nicely done.  And then the outdoor areas, gorgeous.  Best looking MMORPG to date, IMHO, possibly one of (if not) the best looking RPGs in general.  Character graphics are also some of the best I've seen, the bodies are all nice to look at slywink

Gameplay

The core game plays very well at the outset.  The introduction portion (approx. levels 1-20) in Tortage is possibly the best beginner section in an MMORPG to date.  Taking a beat from many single game RPGs, the game sets you up and gets you invested in a single player story similar to something like Oblivion.  However, you are also given the option to branch out and group with friends, etc. and complete a variety of conventional side quests, also similar to a single player RPG (except for the grouping part of course).  This turns out to be a great way to get into the game, you can choose to experience it solo or in a group, and in fact you are even given the option at a certain level to just bypass the storyline and move to the mainland.  If it's the first time you're playing, and you are a fan of single player RPGs, though, I recommend you play through it at least once.  The finale is a little underwhelming and unsurprising, but the journey through the storyline is well done.  What's also nice is that each of the 4 main class branches (mage, thief, priest, warrior) experience slightly different branching storylines which all lead (presumably) to the same conclusion.

Once at the mainland, the game becomes very much like a conventional MMORPG (LOTRO or WoW), where you can choose to branch off and explore, or complete series of quests, etc.  Main focus is on lots of little quests.  The general feel is most reminiscent of LOTRO, but the pacing feels better to me.  Each of the 3 races' town areas is filled with quests and side stories to explore, providing a relatively pain-free way to advance your character.

The X Factor

Something I've commented on a couple times now in guild chat.  There's a weird factor influencing me while playing this game and I can't put my finger on it.  In essence the core gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as all the other MMORPGs I've played, mixing in a bit of this with a dash of that.  All the things that typically irritate me and I've criticized (fedex quests, running around all over the place, focus on levelling, limited improvements on levelling, same spells/skills on level, load screens, static NPCs) are in this game, yet none of them have really bothered me.  Maybe it's just new game euphoria, but somehow I'm just content to play the game, and I constantly feel like there's a ton of stuff I want to do and I just don't have the physical time to do it.  I want to complete the quests in the town I'm in, I want to explore the other towns and crafting areas, I want to learn some resource gathering skills and do craft quests, I want to visit all the major cities, I want to explore and look for instances, I want to kick more Vanir ass, etc etc etc.  And all the while as I play I seem to be levelling at a very nice pace and rarely staring at my xp bar.  Obviously I expect this is going to slow down at some point, but for the opening experience, I am very pleased to make significant progress with my character just by sheer nature of playing the game. 

I've seen multiple people express concerns about loot, and again it's one of those things that just hasn't concerned me in this game.  When I get a nice quest reward of course I'm happy and always looking to upgrade, but when I don't, I'm not thinking about it at all.  I just want to keep playing and it feels like everything will come along naturally.

In terms of things to look forward to longer term, there's the horse and mounted combat at level 40, plus crafting and city building, and late game hopefully city sieging and PvP.

- - -

So we'll see if/how my opinion changes as the days and weeks go by.  Thus far I'm having a blast, best time I've had in a new release in years.  What's nice is that others seem to be having the same experience, as indicated by the 10+ of us playing hooky yesterday morning, and that's always a great feeling.

Can't wait to get back to it!!!   thumbsup
3917  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 20, 2008, 05:37:23 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on May 20, 2008, 04:57:40 PM

Can anybody tell me how long the patch process was after the retail install. Just wondering if I should look forward to actually playing tonight or not.  icon_biggrin

No idea, YK.  It's so whacked out.  You were in closed beta so you remember... you get one big patch, then one small, then another big one, etc etc.  I don't know if the newer ones were in addition, or in place of, the older ones.  The 2 computers I installed on (one from EA one from disks) received completely different sized patches.

All that said, I think as long as the patch server isn't horribly slammed, you should be OK.  There was only one point exactly when EA was beginning that the patch servers were completely bogged down, but it cleared in about 10 minutes.  Patch process maybe took a half hour or so, possibly less.
3918  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 20, 2008, 12:45:16 AM

Quote from: Arclight on May 19, 2008, 11:34:40 PM

I kept waiting for an in game tell inviting me but it never happened. Left Tortage just before the servers went down.

lv 19 Guardian, Arclight.

Arc (and anyone else not in yet), if you haven't got an invite, please add myself and any of the in-game officers' character names to your friends list (/cc addbuddy [NAME]) and then send me/them a tell in game.  With the amount of people we have, plus the chat interface not being the best, it's easy to miss people.

We'll try to get everyone in asap!
3919  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC - Wanderers now Recruiting!! (Playing on DERKETO Server) on: May 19, 2008, 10:05:57 PM
A quick update: the guild is doing very well so far.  Last time I counted we had at least 24 members, not too bad keeping in mind this is early access only.  Population was fairly steady as long as servers were up with generally a minimum of 10 people on every time I checked.  Even this morning (Monday!) we had over 10.  General consensus has been the game is running smooth and everyone seems to be having a lot of fun. 

Only complaints have been due to the lousy down time.  Heck I wouldn't even be here at work if the servers hadn't come down  mad

Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of you join tomorrow!  Get ready for some exciting Erotic Role Play!!  Errrr, I mean exciting head chopping, blood splattering action!!!!
3920  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AOC loot question on: May 19, 2008, 04:58:12 AM
I haven't been particularly impressed with the loot system thus far, but it does seem slightly better than LOTRO's early loot.  Certain named bosses have definitely dropped better/interesting items.  The manual lists rarity with 6 tiers, from poor to legendary.  Thus far the best I've seen is blue (superior) and that was a big quest reward.  Quite a few green drops and some of them not half bad.  I'd say the loot is so far close to on par with WoW's system in the early levels.  How it deviates in the late/end game will be interesting to see.
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