Sunday, April 20, 2014

Elder Scrolls Online - ESO

ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) has been live a little over two weeks.  Yes it has some bugs, lag and unexpected server downtime, but overall, it's been a fairly good launch.  The Imperial (Digital Imperial Edition) gave five days headstart, which was still busy, but worthwhile to save names, characters set up, etc., but not necessarily a gamebreak either.

ESO has been a game that has grown on me over the past six months as the first beta I was in, I thought it was horrible and uninstalled it the first day.  I had it firmly crossed off my play list until a friend talked me into trying it back in early March.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't still 'horrible', so really kicked the tires by trying all the start zones, class/race combos, etc.  After that I decided to go ahead and buy the Imperial Edition, but still was at the, 'I'll play it for 30 days, but it's not worth a sub' thought.  Right now, I think I'll likely sub, but it's going to be month to month for now.  I'm not sure how much of a die-off we'll see once that first 30 days of free time is over, but as with most MMO's it's pretty repetative as you level, fun but not OMG this is innovative and oh so different.

Personally, I find it entertaining, not the best game ever, but definitely holding my interest and it's different enough from my main games (WoW, The Secret World and Planetside 2), to have a slot in the gaming lineup for awhile at least!

I will say, going into ESO, I had little to know information regarding the game mechanics, style of play, etc.,  as I was sure I wasn't going to play until less than a month ago.  Much of the lore I'm somewhat familiar with from their other titles (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim), but the combat, all the hidden caves, public dungeons, chests has been rather novel for an MMO.  I have since did more 'research', but have avoided as many spoilers as possible (other than skyshards, once I'm ready to leave a zone, well I want my skill points!), and have been happily leveling and likely distributing my points incorrectly to a min/max type, but I'm having fun!

While researching/absorbing info on ESO, there is a myriad of opinions from reviewers; some I do agree with and others totally disagreed. 

I've a mixed view on that.  I do like it, and the choices you have to make on which abilities to invest points in and which make it to our action bar, but I'd like to be able to store builds, (like The Secret World has) without using an addon. So if I want to switch from a bow/2hander to a dual wield/resto staff I can without, stopping on the side of the road and changing every ability/weapon.  The actual combat, I think is fine, but then again combat mechanics, animations don't bother me alot in games anyway.  I've mostly tried bow, staves, two-hander and dual wield. The sword and board toon is the last to get leveled.

I do like that there isn't an over-abundance of spell effects, some games you can't see what you're hitting because of them.  Keeping your reticule on target while fighting does take some getting use to for those use to tab target fighting, but I find it much easier in some ways switching targets for multiple mobs.

Trade and no AH
Many people complain about the lack of global auction house (AH).  I don't see that as a downside to the game.  You can be in up to five guilds (trading associations), and if you choose large active ones, listed goods sell within 24-48 hours.  Is that the same as having unlimited potential clients no, and as the game a matures I'm sure some of the Trade Guilds will be better known for their higher end goods.  There is also the more interaction in chat with people hawking their wares (would love a separate trade channel for that at times!)
What I do love is the listings last 30 days! No more babysitting the AH (insert happy dance) every 24-48 hours.  The downside, you can only have 30 listings per trade guild.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not Game related -

A non-gaming post, about a month ago, I heard about so had to check it out.

Here's what Scribd says about themselves:

Scribd is the world's largest digital library, where readers can discover books and written works of all kinds on the Web or any mobile device and publishers and authors can find a voracious audience for their work. Launched in March of 2007 and based in San Francisco California, more than 40 million books and documents have been contributed to Scribd by the community. Scribd content reaches an audience of 80 million people around the world every month.

It's kind of like Netflix for books and articles, in a way.  You can read unlimited books with their subscription or they also have an avenue to publish your own work.

The monthly sub is $8.99, which if you are downloading more than one book a month is well worth it.  I opted for annual sub which was available for a short time only, considering I just finished up a 10+ novel series downloaded to the iPad, the sub is reasonable to me.  Scribd does offer a one month trial as well.

Scribd has a limited number of publishing houses in their inventory at this point, but this still adds up to well over 100,000 books available.  I've definitely had no problem keeping a variety of books in my library.

Scribd works wonderfully via any web browser or Apple devices running OS7.  My first gen iPad doesn't work (my main e-reader device), but it does work on the iPhone, PC and laptop.

If you're a reader, might be worth a look-see.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Disc of the Flying Red Cloud

I'm sure most of you that are more informed all things have probably already done this, but for those that haven't here's an easy to get, Panderian mount the Disc of Flying Red Cloud. I just found out how to get it a couple days ago from a good friend (thanks for that!).

You've seen it, the disc you fly around on (belves look like they're going to die holding on but oh well!).

Anyway, it's the mount you get from becoming EXALTED with the Lorewalkers. You know Lorewalker Cho that's everywhere questing through Panderia. Well if you collect all the lore in the different zones you will be exalted. So an easy to get Rep (not weeks of grinding anything!!!). Added bonus, if you're going for one of the get so many Rep's achievements this is quick.

It's fairly simple to complete flying (a few hours with a flying mount max speed) or you can ground mount run through and collect all the lore, but will take longer as it will require killing mobs around some of the lore pieces.

I have been picking these up (you know shiny something must click on it!) and reading them over the past year, but didn't realize they added up to a mount!!! Nor did I know where they were stored! Well once you collect all of one series it goes into a lore book that Lorewalker Cho will give you - he tells the story and it's kept in the "Seat of Knowlege" with all the other Panderian info you collect. So you can go back and read them or talk to Cho and he'll tell you the story again. (I keep seeing hints of what's coming with the Garrison housing!)

So, did this last night - it's really quite easy, I did use the info below to finish, although had quite a few already done, as there were about five that were only missing one piece of lore.

If you have TomTom, you can make macros for each zone (see the ones below Mannheim4631 shared on WoWHead) as it makes finding these very painless.  It will put markers on your map too.

Mannheim4631 over on WoWHead: posted the TomTom waypoints.

By Mannheim4631 (1281) on 2013/08/11 (Patch 5.3.0) Out of Date | Report

Using tomtom

Valley of The Four Winds
Macro 1

/way valley of the four winds 55.06, 47.25
/way valley of the four winds 20.27, 55.84
/way valley of the four winds 34.64, 64.00

Macro 2

/way valley of the four winds 61.16, 34.62
/way valley of the four winds 83.16, 21.22
/way valley of the four winds 18.80, 31.79

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Macro 1

/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 40.11, 77.51
/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 68.79, 44.20
/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 52.87, 68.52
/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 26.65, 21.56

Kun-Lai Summit

Macro 1

/way Kun-Lai Summit 74.46, 83.53
/way Kun-Lai Summit 45.72, 61.87
/way Kun-Lai Summit 44.70, 52.40
/way Kun-Lai Summit 53.02, 46.49 Entrance, down stairs near table.

Macro 2

/way Kun-Lai Summit 43.80, 51.18
/way Kun-Lai Summit 67.78, 48.32
/way Kun-Lai Summit 41.00, 42.37
/way Kun-Lai Summit 71.70, 62.03
/way Kun-Lai Summit 50.35, 79.25
/way Kun-Lai Summit 63.03, 40.83

Jade Forest

Macro 1

/way Jade Forest 67.72, 29.38
/way Jade Forest 66.03, 87.54
/way Jade Forest 26.42, 28.34
/way Jade Forest 37.30, 30.10
/way Jade Forest 42.27, 17.43
/way Jade Forest 47.05, 45.12
/way Jade Forest 55.89, 56.77
/way Jade Forest 35.73, 30.50

The Veiled Stair
Macro 1

/way The Veiled Stair 57.73, 13.75 Enter Cave Here. Then Take First Right (Hole In Wall). Keep Right. Back of Cave

Note - This is in the cave between The Veiled Stair and Kun-Lai Summit ** Inside the river cave **

Townlong Steppes
Macro 1

/way Townlong Steppes 37.74, 62.87
/way Townlong Steppes 65.35, 50.05
/way Townlong Steppes 84.01, 72.80

Dread Wastes
Macro 1

/way Dread Wastes 67.44, 60.75
/way Dread Wastes 53.60, 15.46 Entrance, back of cave ** past the mantid, you'll have to fight a few if you can't stealth **
/way Dread Wastes 48.37, 32.97
/way Dread Wastes 59.92, 55.02
/way Dread Wastes 35.53, 32.60

Krasarang Wilds
Macro 1

/way Krasarang Wilds 72.19, 30.05
/way Krasarang Wilds 32.81, 29.45 Underneath Cliff
/way Krasarang Wilds 30.56, 38.55 in Building

Macro 2

/way Krasarang Wilds 52.41, 87.66 in Cave
/way Krasarang Wilds 81.41, 11.48
/way Krasarang Wilds 50.99, 31.64
/way Krasarang Wilds 40.46, 56.59 in Building Upstairs

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Secret World - Issue #8 - The Venetian Agenda

FunCom released a video regarding Issue #8 -The Venetian Agenda.  It continues the main storyline, as well as introducing Augments and Scenarios.  Scenarios will come in three flavors and look pretty darn interesting!

The Secret World.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rift expansion 3.0 - Plane of Water?

During the Twitch TV Livestream on June 21, Trion / Rift revealed or hinted at the next expansion being the Plane of Water.

Supposedly it will not be ALL underwater, just pertain to water in its various forms.

Upcoming changes will include four new souls (healing for warriors/rogues, tanking mage and support priest), companion pets (not class specific ones) will become more important (WoW Battle Pets but more useful?)

Should be interesting to see what TRION does with RIFT going forward, now that the free-to-play model is live and queues are back!

Source: Rift Scene

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Women's armor in MMO's

I read a post today on about women's armor trends in MMO's "13 Ridiculous Female Armors ...", something I've always found disturbing, annoying and fascinating. 

We know that the majority of Dev/Designers are men, so obviously all women warriors should be in bikinis as they definitely protect you in battle!  It really seems to be a common trend in MMO's these days, as I remember in EQ2, that all my characters had adequate armor that cover the vital parts, kind of like armor is suppose to!

Now though it seems to be almost ALL MMO's have hired lingerie artists to make the female armor.  It would be better if you could pin point one MMO at fault, but it is across the board in all MMOs sadly.

I know I've had a major bitch about this for years. Why my female characters are in chainmail bikinis and/or high heels, yet the male counterpart looks like something you actually might survive a battle in is beyond me.

The Secret World, I'm glad to say does give you a variety of clothing from the super slutty to completely covered head to toe to business attire to the truly strange.  But at least there are options!  Not well here it is!  I remember one year my Priest in WoW was in shadow form all the time as the hot pants she had to wear were so embarrassing short, but they were the best gear I had at that level.

It's definitely a sore subject for many women that I game with, as yes we want it to be pretty/cute, but functional!  There's a place and a time for sexy, but more specifically it should be a CHOICE to dress that way, not the only option. 

I love this video from College Humor - Female Armor Sucks
(the link isn't working properly)

Here's a few links I found on Repair Her Armor of interesting blogs about this topic.

Repair Her Armor

Escher Girls

Bikini Armor Battle Damage
** Bikini Armor has a long list of related blogs **

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rift will be Free to Play (F2P) June 12

Big announcement from Trion today that RIFT is going F2P (Free to Play) on June 12, 2013.

Personally, I'm not surprised by this announcement as so many MMO's have found a new breathe of life adopting a F2P model and many have increased revenue with a more ala carte approach. 

As long as a game doesn't degenerate into a "Buy to Win" philosophy, I'm all for the F2P/Cash Shop model.  A few of the games that I think have great F2P/Cash Shop models is SOE with Planetside 2 (you can buy or grind a specific item, but only by playing can you upgrade it/no game purchase is required though), Turbine with LoTRO and FunCom with The Secret World (both of these do require a game purchase, and added content is available for purchase in their cash shop).

Conversely I wasn't very keen on EA's F2P model for TOR.

What this holds for Veterans (Patrons for Rift) that have pre-paid subs or want premium membership will be fleshed out in the coming weeks.  Some of the items mentioned are nice, but will it be worth the price of admission??  And for those of us that have pre-paid annually... ?  One only hopes!

There is a good over-view of the upcoming changes over on the Rift site.  There is also a Dev Diary video on YouTube.

The big question, how long before Blizzard takes WoW F2P? When subs drop below 1 million.... maybe!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Planetside 2 New Player Tutorial - PTR!

AGN (Auraxis Global Network) Instant Action has a YouTube video out regarding the New Player Tutorial currently on the Public Test Realm.

It will be helpful for those coming from a strictly MMO background as well as those coming from FPS, as PS2 definitely has more complexity to it with the variety of classes, vehicles as well as strategies behind capturing bases, etc.

Glad SOE is finally putting one of these out, about six months late, but better late than ever!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Secret World Golden Weekend! May 3rd-May 5th

This coming weekend everyone can enjoy tons of bonuses in The Secret World. Make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to reap some very valuable rewards.

During this Golden Weekend event, from Friday the 3rd until Sunday the 5th of May, you can enjoy the following bonuses:

Double Ability Points! – Every time you earn an Ability Point during the event you also get an additional one as a bonus. This stacks with the bonus from Timed Ability Point boosts from the Item Store.

Free Membership Months for Recruiting! – For every new player you recruit this weekend you get a free month of Membership in addition to the Veteran Rewards you get normally (if you are a Grandmaster customer you receive $15 worth of Funcom Points instead). To get this bonus you must send your invite between now and the end of the Golden Weekend and the recruit must purchase The Secret World within 30 days.

Great Deal on Funcom Points! – During the Golden Weekend you get 30% extra Bonus Points every time you purchase Funcom Points! Bonus Points are valid for 6 months towards any in-game purchase.

New Player $15 Bonus! – Anyone purchasing The Secret World from Funcom during the Golden Weekend gets $15 worth of additional Bonus Points thrown into the bargain. Buy The Secret World here now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Planetside 2 - Harrasser

The Harrasser is a three-man vehicle currently on the Test Server in Planetside 2. 

It will make a great vehicle for getting around bases quickly (hopefully with excellent climbing upgrades!) and apparently some sort of thruster ability to get some air.

The current model has room for the driver, a gunner and a rumble seat that will accommodate a Max unit.  It will be available for all factions with (so far) no faction specific upgrades.