Sunday, February 22, 2009

Continent of the Ninth

Although not really news for some, I only just recently heard about Continent of the Ninth. Again, this is another site written entirely in Korean so I've only been able to gather bits of information from other sources.

Word is that it will have some similarities to Guild Wars, in that you can enter instances solo or with a group. Monsters supposedly are smarter than in typical MMO's. They adapt to your actions and if you perform actions that create noise, such as jumping into an area, they can hear you and will attack. There are 20-30 minute dungeon runs that can be set by difficulty. Also, most are speculating that system requirements will be high.

Here are a couple screenshots and a video. The combat in the video might seem a bit over the top but they make taking out groups of mobs at a time sure look like fun:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tera, The Exiled Realm of Arborea

I came across a couple Korean MMO's in the works. While I typically am not a fan of MMO's produced in this region of the world because of PvP and item shops, I heard these referred to as PvE-oriented games, so thought I'd at least take a look.

I'll discuss the other later, but the first is Tera. It looks stunning, particularly the city shots. I understand it will be pay to play, there will be no targeting of mobs, and the world is seamless with no zoning. This is being developed by Bluehole Studio, founded by former NCsoft employees. There will be six races and eight classes. It will be marketed globally, not just in Korea.

Per MMORiot, "PvE and PvP are two patterns included in the whole battle system. However, these aren't implemented as a separate system. Gamers can see that this is a system working as one. For example, in Warhammer Online, PvE and PvP have different levels. This makes sense conceptually, but from a gamer's point of view it does not work very well. This game will try to make a seamless difference between these systems to make the game more enjoyable." I'm not really sure what that means, so whether it will in fact be open PvP I have yet to determine.

I'll be keeping my eye on this one. Here's a couple screenshots as well as a video:

Monday, February 16, 2009

MyAlganon Beta Launches Today

MyAlganon Beta went live today. For anyone that might be interested in participating in open beta, registered members of MyAlganon will receive priority access. Closed beta is scheduled to begin in March (*crosses fingers*), while open beta is tentatively scheduled for May/June.

Some more specifics on the game, as well as recent screenshots, can be found in today's interview at RPG Vault. Some highlights from the interview:

- "We are working to create a stronger community base - more solid than our predecessors' - by giving people a centralized place enabling members to interact with each other, even outside the game (e.g. MyAlganon). We also want players to be able to actively contribute to the exploration of the world by allowing them to scry things like creatures, items and places within a grand library that serves as an information repository. Why ask them to go to an outside source to get information on an item or creature? We will provide it in-game, and recognize those who participate in gathering it."

- "We've developed the Alganon Study System that will reward players not just for playing, but for subscribing, giving them the ability to grow their characters in the "background" even while they are not in the game. This will let them "compete" with power users by actively managing their subscription studies; a year down the line, even if they didn't put in eight hours a day, they will have studies that no one could have achieved without the same year of diligence. Additionally, we improved interaction with the world and other players via the creation of the Family and Domain Objective / Deities / Crusades systems."

- "We are the only home-grown privately financed MMOG company that I know of in the US that has built the client, server, tools and core technology from scratch. We didn't sub-license anything. We spent the years necessary to build the "right" foundation for a true MMOG, and that choice was one of the best we could have made."

- "We're in a great position right now. Being privately financed, we aren't under the gun of a VC or publisher. This allows us to design the game we set out to create, and gives us flexibility in our release schedule and in choosing a distribution partner. 2009 is going to be a very exciting year!"

This was just a small portion of the interview. Please check out RPG Vault for the complete interview. Also, there is some new gameplay footage that you can view when you go to the MyAlganon signup page.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

EQ2 TSO - Mission Complete

A couple weeks ago I realized I had accomplished everything I set out to do with The Shadow Odyssey expansion. Just two months after the expansion's release, there was no reason for me to return to these zones. In contrast, I still visit zones from RoK, the previous expansion. It might just be for harvesting or working on writs for the guild. But I am still getting good use out of Kunark zones.

The Moors of Ykesha was the overland zone and the first part of the expansion we tackled. We finished the quests here after two weeks. There is really no reason to harvest or complete writs here. The zone is just too tightly packed with mobs and this can be done much more conveniently in Kunark.

Next we moved on to the mission dungeons to outfit ourselves in shard armor. Some were kind of neat the first time; others were frustrating. But after we got the routine down and figured them out, it was a repetitive chore. After two months, I had acquired all the pieces I wanted that were upgrades.

In between the missions, I also worked on the new crafting missions. I acquired all the crafting and harvesting gear I wanted. So there is no reason for me to continue working on the missions. Besides which, I honestly can't tell any difference in my skills with the gear equipped.

For me, this has been the shortest lasting expansion EQ2 has ever released. I'm sure many would disagree and are continuing to enjoy the dungeons. But I guess it all boils down to play style. For how I play, it felt more like a couple mini adventure packs, rather than an expansion.

They do have a free Lavastorm revamp coming up in which they are adding some level 80 solo and raid content, as well as a new crafting zone. So even though the expansion doesn't have anything left to offer us, looks like new content is still on the way for this year. And I'm still hopeful about this year's expansion!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moria Preparations

At the suggestion of Yeebo, we headed over to the Moria entrance earlier than we originally planned. And what sound advice that was. I hadn't really understood this whole legendary item thing and all that was involved. I also hadn't realized the prerequisites that were involved before gaining entry to Moria. I had wrongly assumed that since I purchased the expansion, I could just waltz in. But that's not the case.

I am not usually a fan of access quests. I was glad when EQ2 removed them as I just won't do them. So when I saw that I had to complete a series of epic quests just to gain access to Moria, I thought I might not see the place after all. But it turned out the whole series was soloable and enjoyable even. At level 48 though, I might have had some difficulty with certain parts. But as a duo, we had no problems.

The dwarves are intending to retake Moria and you are asked to assist them in clearing the rubble outside the door, along with several other tasks. At one point you travel back to the past to see Moria in its former glory and also witness the beginning of its destruction. I really did enjoy taking part in that. But even after completing the epic, you are still not quite ready for entry. You are given your first legendary weapon and must raise it up to level 10 first. You kill mobs to level it. Each time it levels, you receive a certain amount of points which can be spent to add class specific skill bonuses to your weapon. We finished off some quests in the area and the weapon leveled fairly quickly. We did zone inside to at least have a look around and obtained a second legendary item to level.

We were still a bit low level to be in there so we decided to finish up or clear out our quests in Angmar, Misty Mountains, and Forochel. Angmar quests were entirely deleted. The zone is bleak, as it should be. But with other options available to us, I'd rather quest in a place less oppressive. We had several quests involving Goblin Town in Misty Mountains, so we started running out there from Rivendell....and running.....and running. We had to fight through quite a bit of mobs to get to our quest objectives, so our small bags filled quickly and unlooted corpses had to be left behind. After completing the first round of quests, rather than run all the way back, we bid farewell to The Misty Mountains. My husband complained about how this game runs you to death. I understand that quicker travel would make the world seem smaller, but we are getting annoyed often at the slow travel.

I hit level 50 and now we've moved on to Forochel. I like the zone and we've got tons of quests here left to do. Once we finish this off, then it will be time to head back to Moria.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quest Overload

I didn't have too much time to play LotRO this week, but I did ding 48 over the weekend. I remember the early 20's being a bit rough to get through as there didn't seem to be enough quests within my level range to do. So I worked on traits and just killed mobs over and over.

But now in the 40's I have so many quests in so many areas that my journal is full. I honestly don't know at this point where I should really be going. I have a full set of quests in Angmar, Forochel, and Misty Mountains. And now the new zone Eregion has opened up with more quests.

They seem to penalize you for not doing quests when they con an even color and the experience granted dwindles away the longer you wait to do them. For example, say I complete a level 48 quest at 48 and get 4,000 experience. If I do that same quest instead at 49, I might get only 2,000 experience for it. So it seems we should just move on to Eregion and put off or forget the others. I've only seen half of Angmar yet and haven't even been to all the quest hubs. There is supposedly some faction quests to the north somewhere. Although why I want the faction, I'm not sure. Forochel we only touched briefly on at the entrance and have tons more quests further and yet another faction. Misty Mountains I may still want to work on, as that is Rivendell faction. Rivendell is where I go for my scholarly pursuits and they have a pretty spiffy dress on their merchant, so I would like to work this one up. The options at this level are tremendous and overwhelming and we likely will just delete the majority of them.

All these factional items we're looting, given the skimpy bag space we're alotted, get to be annoying. We actually are disappointed when we loot armor, since it takes up an inventory slot that won't stack and doesn't sell on the broker anyway. So trips out in the field tend to be pretty short since we need to head back to town to sell frequently.

So where we head to next login I just don't know. So many quests!