Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh, the Hu-Meme-ity...

Bad title? I got nothing. Anyway, Pete from Dragonchasers meme-tagged me. It's like the whole MMO blogosphere has decided to emulate Facebook or something.

The idea of this particular meme is to post your sixth screenshot from your games. Unfortunately, I have never been very attached to my screenshots, so I've lost them over time when rebuilding my computer, or shuffling files around. My most recent purge occurred as I shuffled things around so the OS is on one drive, the swap file on a second, and the games on a third. Load times? What load times? Ah, but my historical record from the various games I've inhabited was sadly not one of my priorities.

That isn't to say I don't have screenshots, it's just they are all very recent. I never thought about it before, but I do kind of wish now that I had preserved some of them, especially from Final Fantasy XI, a game I have very fond memories of that I would love to reminisce over, but I would never, ever, ever go back to playing again.

Here's a screenshot from EverQuest II. It's not too exciting, it's basically just my Defiler posing with her faction window open. I had finally moved Synod Reet faction up to ally, and I was excited because I was moving closer to obtaining my epic weapon.

And here's an all-too-common scene from Warhammer Online, where my Bright Wizard was standing over his own corpse. Seconds before dying again.

I'm going to be anti-social and refuse to tag anyone, so, dear reader(s), you get a reprieve. Mostly because everyone I would have tagged have been tagged already.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Have Ruined Someone's Life And Want To Ruin More

I managed to convince my brother to try out an MMORPG. I wanted him to try EverQuest II, but he doesn't seem to be very fond of fantasy. So I got him to try City of Heroes. He managed to become super addicted to it in no time. I feel evil. I may have ruined his life.

However, he quickly realized that the world simply doesn't change. And many of the missions in City of Heroes are simply frustrating. Why is it when I am given a mission to steal some museum piece from the Snakes or whoever, AND I steal it, the mission continues until I manage to kill the 20 different spawns in every nook in cranny in the multi-level room the item was in? It doesn't become MORE stolen because they are dead. I suppose they do this to try to prevent people with invisibility powers from having an "unfair advantage," but it sort of makes those powers less meaningful. Some of the other missions require clearing a large, sprawling zone with nooks and crannies that mobs hide in that are hard to see. You end up spending more time looking around for that one last mob than you do fighting. That's not a challenge, that's just tedium.

I have only put in six months of play time in City of Heroes since launch, and no two months were consecutive. It's largely because of missions like that. It's a terrifically fun game with a great pick up group scene, but the missions and the random nature of the maps leave a lot to be desired.

So his fun starts to taper off and he starts complaining that he wants to play a game where he can truly change the world. I mention Eve Online. He is more of a sci-fi nerd anyway. Now my brother has moved on there and developed an OCD addiction. I haven't decided if I want to return to New Eden, but if he sticks around I just may have to do so. If only to monitor his addiction and make sure he's ok.

Now I'd like to ruin more people's lives.

If you would like to try EverQuest II, let me know at festivewombat-eq2invites [at] I'll reply with an invite. If you convert to a subscriber, you will get some exclusive goodies, such as a cloak that increases run speed, some potions to help you level up, and a starter deck and booster pack for Legends of Norrath. You won't even have to buy the game, since Rise of Kunark and all previous expansion packs would be given to you free!

Recruit a Friend FAQ

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Recruit an Original Thought Already

Sony just announced a recruit a friend program for EverQuest II, which they describe as a "unique" promotion that gives you free game time, an exclusive mount, bonus experience when grouping with your friend, and the ability to help your friend catch up in levels (in the case of EverQuest II, through mentoring experience.) I wonder where they got the idea?


EverQuest 2 is a much better game, but at the rate they are trying to copy World of Warcraft I can't help but wonder if it will be much longer. If I wanted to play WoW, I would be. Granted, this is just a promotion I can easily ignore (except for the implications it has: the Recruit a Friend was widely abused by dual boxers to help power level their alts...), so it's not as bad as the in-game copying such as the tiered raid progression and solo quest arcs we got in Kunark, which we most certainly could NOT ignore.

Not that I won't try to take advantage of this. Anyone want to help me get an exclusive mount???

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Not much has happened lately. As of a month ago, I am now a father, so I haven't had much time for gaming. But even when I have had time, I haven't been too interested in MMORPGs. It's not just that single player games are more convenient (after all, you can't pause an MMORPG, though I wish you could), it's mainly that I've been more interested in story driven games. So I've been playing Fable 2, STALKER, and the recently released Fallout 3 DLC.

I finished Fable 2, which was fun. One of the most interesting parts of the game for me was when I came back to Bowerstone after adventuring for quite some time and found out my wife left me. That was powerful for me because in most RPGs, nothing happens that the player does not themselves initiate. Granted, I could have kept my wife if I had visited more frequently, but typically RPGs react to action more than inaction.

I think MMORPGs could learn a thing or two from Fable 2. While MMORPGs are necessarily static affairs, because of the shared world, they could at least introduce NPCs into the affair and our relationship with THEM could change over time. We should be able to make friends, make enemies, even an arch-nemesis. The very static quest lines we all have to follow wouldn't seem so bad if there were little bits here and there that were CUSTOMIZED for each character. I wouldn't mind doing a quest line multiple times if each time I did it I was fighting a different arch nemesis, who lived to thwart only that one character.

The Fallout 3 DLC was a mixed bag. It was fun to revisit the post apocalyptic world, but there was nothing in the DLC that really felt like Fallout. It was a purely shooter driven experience, with no opportunity for roleplay or alternate progression, and the shooting aspect of Fallout isn't really one of its strengths. Still, I think what they are trying to do is offer up little slices emphasizing different forms of gameplay, and the story was quite enjoyable, so I am not disappointed that I purchased it.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a game I don't often have the urge to play. It's a first person shooter but its very clunky and bug ridden, with poor voice dialogue and scripting. The story is somewhat interesting: you are investigating an area outside Chernobyl that is infested with radiation and anomalies and right now I'm in an area where people have been turned into zombies because of some kind of radiowaves emitting from some place nearby. It's just the bugs and clunky game play are a huge turn off.

One of the things I like about the game is that you can fail missions. The problem is often these "protect the rebel camp" missions end up ending in failure before I even have a chance to run to the camp because the key NPC I'm supposed to protect dies immediately. Then I reload, get to the camp, and fight off the bandits but after the fight the bandits attacking keep respawning, perpetually, even though I've satisfied the victory condition. So then I reload again, and finally everything plays through correctly and the script executes fine. Talk about frustrating. I'm not sure why I even keep trying to play the game.

I did manage to get a few hours in EverQuest II. I worked it out so I could get one raid night a weekend. And I hate Venril Sathir so much now for making those nights a series of disappointments. Still, getting my mythical (even if it takes half a year of playing only one or two nights a week), before the next expansion pack comes out, is my goal now, at least for one character. If I don't burn out on the game first. With my time constraints, I haven't been able to grind for TSO shards, and I haven't had much interest in the solo quest arcs in Moors. So we'll see.