Sunday, September 30, 2007

RPG Posters

In case anyone might not have seen this website yet, have a look at RPG Motivational Posters. Here's some of my favorites:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Quit Luring me Back!

So Friday I open my email, and what do I see? A message from SOE that they have reactivated my EQ2 account until November. Grrrr. So naturally I immediately find my discs and begin the long install. Now if I had been a bit more savvy and knew certain things back then, I would have had a more updated disc to work from. But no matter, after 5 hours, both computers were ready to go. I assumed hubby got the same email, and since he always loved EQ2, knew he'd be a happy camper.

Both EQ1 and EQ2 are the only games I've gone back to more than a second time. As soon as the music starts playing as I'm loading and I see the splash screens, I start thinking of Daughtry's "I'm going home", because that's kind of what it feels like. And then I hear "these places and these faces are getting old, so I'm going home." And I picture all the past games which did get quite old. SWG and the beta I'm in leave me feeling anxious and frustrated quite often, so this came as a bit of relief.

Yeah I may be a bit overly nostalgic. Although there are still things I don't like about EQ2, whenever I play something else, I realize it still is one of the best MMO's on the market. It's nice to come back to your apartment and have all your things still there. Some nice person must have been feeding my dog, cat, and bird while I was gone, cause there they were fat and healthy.

So after a few hours walking around our local Applefest, and stuffing our faces with pulled pork sandwiches and apple donuts (oh man were they good), we settled into Norrath for awhile. Don't know if I'll stay past the freebie time, but it feels like home for now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reviving Horizons

For anyone who has followed this game as I have, you know that it has changed ownership several times now. While Horizons never had large player base, it did have some committed players and a very decent established community. But one of the more recent owners even managed to botch that up. Double billings, removal of the European and test servers, and doing absolutely nothing with the game as far as development, are just a few of their blunders.

Rumor had it that they defaulted on their payments to Tulga. Tulga briefly resumed ownership before it was more recently purchased by Virtrium. Virtrium is comprised of several former, well-respected Tulga employees, which has both existing and previous players very hopeful.

Looks like they've been quite busy implementing a lot of updates, including bringing back the test server. They are also working on bringing back the European server and the characters that resided there. They've also increased the monthly subscription. Not sure this was the right time to do this. However, they are also offering a lower price model, but with fewer bells and whistles such as owning a plot. So this may be a good way for someone to continue with the game if there still was some interest beyond the trial period.

I had played Horizons for about two months over two years ago. I saw it as a game that had so much going for it but just didn't quite get there. The crafting was great and where else can you play a dragon, and pretty neat looking dragons at that. You could pick up several classes all on one character. But the leveling left much to be desired. I remember hitting about level 8 and not being able to find mobs within my range to kill. And then there were the performance issues. My husband had a better system than I and could not play the game. He would crash every few minutes. So I was playing by myself and that was the main reason I didn't continue with it.

Even with all the new games on the horizon (pun intended), I will still be keeping my eye out on their progress. If they can get the performance stabilized and some content added, I will most definitely be giving it another go in the future.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Grand Duchess Marianne the Sanguine of Melbury Bumpton
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Hehe. Thanks to Heather for posting about this one. :)

Credit Spammers - The Sweet Sound of Silence

A couple weeks back there was an announcement at the SWG site that they were looking for volunteers to be part of their new Warden program. They were looking for about 30 responsible people for each server who would be given the ability to silence anyone spamming credit sales or power-leveling services.

It went into effect a couple days ago and Mos Eisley is once again a happy place to visit. The first couple days you still saw the spammers sitting there, but the Wardens were doing their job and no chat was coming across the chat box or in chat bubbles over their heads. Today they just weren't there at all.

I've seen complaints about greedy SOE being too cheap to hire people to do this, blah blah blah. I think it's a great idea. A lot of players love helping to making their server a better place to be. And I think it's great for a company to have enough confidence in players to make them part of the process.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

SWG Update

We're still chugging along in SWG. I bought the two latest expansions a couple weeks ago. I haven't been to Mustafar yet as I am still too low level. I did pay Kashyyyk a visit though (yes there's three "y's" in there!). I was able to complete only a few quests. The majority of others were too difficult and apparently require a group to complete. Unfortunately my quest log is now filled with quests that can't be deleted.

One particular zone on the planet I still have yet to visit due to the required access quest. Gah, I hate access quests. I paid for the darn expansion, just let me in. This one involved a particular space mission. I broke down and took up piloting just to get this done. However, even though I've acquired a few levels of piloting, I still get destroyed fairly quickly during this quest, even when duoing. So I give up. All the group-required content in this expansion is causing LOTRO flashbacks. For my style of play, the original SWG content suits me fine. However, the expansion was a waste of money.

I thought I would take up the new beast mastery expertise with my alt. But unless you have been playing for a long while and have millions of credits to spare, it's just impossible to do. Not sure why they made this so inaccessible for new players, but there you go. Yeah we're still fairly broke by today's SWG standards and have yet to be able to afford a piece of armor. But I'm still getting by fairly well in my pre-NGE stat-less armor so not too worried about it.

I finally set down a home in Aquillian on Wanderhome. The mayor there is great and very helpful and found myself a lakefront spot. So stop by and say hello! I had a lot of veteran rewards awaiting me, so I got to fill my home with some nice items. I love the veteran rewards in SOE games. I love collecting nice things to decorate with. And for anyone that had taken up creature handling pre-NGE, you'll find your pets still in your datapad. I only had four pets and noticed a "stuff" command. Seemed a bit gruesome to kill my pet off and stuff it. But when I stuffed them and placed them in my house, they are actually moving their head around. So maybe Fluffy is still alive after all. I understand you can make a bit of money from selling pre-NGE pets. But I'd rather have my little collections than the money. I'm broke but happy!

So I'm still enjoying myself for the time being. The community here is still great and that's always a big part of what keeps me playing. And in spite of its flaws, given my gaming interests, it's still better than a good portion of other MMO's currently available.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I finally got one!

And that's all i can tell you......muahahahaha


Friday, September 7, 2007

One Hit Wonders

Oh boy. Here we go again. I guess by now most have read the unflattering reviews of Tabula Rasa with the recent lifting of the NDA. Richard Garriott's statement from last week "I think we´ve created something that´s really groundbreaking" doesn't seem to gel with the reports coming in. Many beta testers did indicate that the game did seem to try to break MMO design molds, but that it felt half-hearted and didn't quite deliver.

Two of the issues that stood out to me were poor character creation and steep computer requirements. Another issue is lack of end game options. Players are expected to clone and replay the content with a new class. I'm sure though they will still have a market for Tabula Rasa. There are plenty of players tired of the fantasy mmo's and just looking for something different.

So what is it with the hype involved when someone has already put out a successful game? It's starting to feel like all games are just recycled versions of previous mmo's. Gaming companies want game designers who've already brought a game to market. So designers shuffle from company to company and we get the same stuff. Yeah I know they need people with experience but do they ever hire just creative idea guys?

Once upon a time, I worked for a surgical device company. More specifically, I worked for the department responsible for creating new devices. The guys there had been with the department for 10-25 years. They were great people but they just ran out of ideas. They would approach surgeons and ask what kind of instruments they might want. If the surgeon had an idea, usually the engineers would think on it and say "no, that can't be done." They would acquire patents of devices that other people created and then spent a year or two trying to make them actually work.

Then one summer our department hired a guy just out of school It was just a temporary job mainly to do some drafting type work. He had observed several surgeries, and rather than asking the surgeon for ideas on instruments, he had several of his own on how to make the surgery more efficient. He pitched the idea to the engineer he reported to and he didn't think it could be done. But he made it work. And the department developed their very own surgical device from scratch for the first time. The surgeons themselves hadn't even thought of that type of device and it was a huge success. Of course he was hired on full time.

I know there are people out there like this who would do the same for the MMO industry. I worked with this guy for four years. If he were involved in making games, he'd be the guy pulling 18-hour shifts creating a new gaming engine because the same one that everyone else uses won't accomplish what he wants to do. He'd be observing existing games and coming up with completely new ideas, rather than asking players what they want in a game. Because frankly we don't know what we want, especially if it hasn't been done yet.

Looking back on how that department worked, it has me wondering if some gaming companies might work the same way. We had Team Leaders who pretty much got the credit for the entire project, even though the people under them contributed just as much and sometimes more.

So attaching a name to a game certainly is no guarantee for any second success. Odds are they've already used up their good ideas and spent too many years listening to what players think they want.