Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Answer: "yeah we started out that way, but it ended up being more confusing as it a lot of noisier to combat and made us have to find very different profiles for each creature, when we changed them to being "Duelist, and Mages" we could easily give them weapons and skills that would make what they are doing more clear when it was creatures we where a lot more limited on what each thing could do.""
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I started off on a trial server, which I found to be a big mistake, it was the MMO equivalent of wandering around a ghost ship. I got to about level 14 before heading to Meridian, only to find it strangely devoid of life, NPCs don't count. I couldn't find any larger bags or any item at all on the auction house. Some vague recollection of having casted a glance over Rift news brought to mind that the trial servers are defunct and players can't transfer to them. Despite the undeniable logic that trial players should be on trial servers. The situation was very easy to resolve, just transfer my character to another server, which turned out to be such a quick and straightforward process, I ended up on a bustling RP server in minutes. As far as I could tell, only one high population server was unavailable but all the others were available. All sub games should have this functionality for free, no ifs or buts or please wait.
It's been about one week of my sub, and so far I'm still enjoying it. Questing is only tolerable, I can't take any more of this style of MMO gameplay, finding drops or quest items out in the world is alright but working through a zone quest hub by quest hub is not. The story is interesting enough, there is some quests that are marked with gold backgrounds which I root out and skip the rest, some places I take an interest in the story, other hubs I just skip. On the other hand I love collecting artifacts, attempting to find the cairn and the zone puzzle without cheating. I like the landscapes presented so far, not bland at all despite what I've heard, exploring them and attempting the achievements (especially the ones to find certain places, or jump off heights) is more to my liking than questing.
Rifts are still fun to me, the rest of the population might be ambivalent on occasion, but if I start working on one, then more than likely someone else will pitch in, major rifts are usually avoided. Invasions on the other hand are a different matter, in Silverwood they fire off all the time, and there is usually a few groups working together on them. I've taken part in a few in Stonefield, while there is plenty people who pitch in, there is a higher failure rate so the source stones are harder to acquire, in comparison I managed to kit out a guardian alt in the rare planar gear in Silverwood. There seems to be some new water rifts involving dwarves that are harder than normal rifts, unless I'm mistaken and they are not tied at all to the latest raid, hopefully Trion continues to add new rifts to fill out this aspect. I'd also love invasions to persist for longer when they fail, or for the boss to not despawn after a time, or to spill from one zone to another.
One of the things that annoys me is the lack of instant travel, recall abilities on an hour cooldown just don't cut it anymore. With GW2 out next year with instant travel to multiple places all over a zone and with no cooldown, Trion would be really remiss to not address it. For instance, last night I was working on an invasion in Stonefield, I was in a group of three and we closed three rifts and took down several invasion units. All of the wardstones save one were destroyed, and this last one was at the opposite end of the zone from us, there was never the chance to rally there for a last stand despite flicking the map and seeing about ten invasion forces on their way. Then when we pulled through the boss spawned down at that end too, it was probably designed that way. Even riding straight there, I got there with the boss almost down, merged with the raid, managed a few hits but never received an achievement for my efforts. It was certainly disgruntling, I suppose I must be content with the experience.
The soul system is a case of love/hate, even in beta I was of the opinion that they should really have cut down the talent trees. Is it really engaging to most players to decide the value of + 5% crit chance or +15% dexterity, when you are just starting off and don't have much dexterity it might seem obvious but when does it change, maybe the additional crit is always effective, oh you know what who cares. Or trying to determine the cumulative value of a bunch of talents is better or worse than another. I've always been of the opinion that talents should only be qualitative effects, I've seen the future and it's Diablo 3 and GW2. The ideal for me, is a limited set of abilities and then to add runes or traits that alter these abilities in a distinct manner, even giving an ability a new name. In addition, it would have been more interesting if while you pick three souls, only one could be active at a time, but you can swap freely at any time and adapt to changing combat.
Will I be subscribing for another month, I'll just keep that under consideration for another three weeks, I'm hoping to see what expert rifts, crafting rifts, the hopefully soon to be released chronicles are about and the escalation of the current world event first to make my decision.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
It can be hard to define a profession that was previously built around 'punishment', but have it fit in a game where each profession has more versatility in the roles they can perform, oh and hexes are no more. Mesmers, more than any other class were annoying in the wide array of hexes they had, they might even have used some obscure, useless ones just to mess with my head because I could never remember what most of them did. So the basic mechanic of most mesmer skills is no more, what could they have in their place?
I'm going with the mechanic of 'if the enemy is doing X, then Y condition is applied and/or takes damage', and twinned with the more supportive mechanic 'if your ally is doing X, then Y buff is applied and/or gains health'. I like the symmetry, and it definitely makes for a much more complicated class, but fits with the goal of having the player actively looking at their surroundings and what the enemy and other players are doing than focusing on the UI. There could be some controversy with 'if the enemy is casting a spell, then they are dazed', which is in effect an interrupt, they said they were going to play down interrupts or rather the mechanic of an 'interrupt' is no more, but instead you need to daze, stun, knockback/down/up, so it is a distinct possibility.
What appearance would I give this profession, because I think more than 'mesmer' could fit that mechanic. Arenanet has talked about creating a wide range of archetypes in the game, so there is something pleasing to everyone. There is at least two commonly occurring classes in MMOs that prove quite popular, a martial-artist/monk and a bard/minstrel. It would be odd to see a monk return with limited ally healing, but I'll leave that right there. I'm more drawn to the bard archetype, for the reason that in GW1 most mesmers tend towards the theatrical! Although, bard is likely not the right word more a travelling performer, a player or a trouper. I doubt they would go the musical instrument route which I find a bit silly in most games, but rely on the power of voice, either beguiling enemies or empowering allies. I like the concept of paragon chants and the various names indicating what effect they will have, arias, choruses, ballads and lyrics.
The profession mechanic I'm leaning towards is 'Echo/Refrain', i.e. the player can choose to extend any of their skills for a longer duration. Did I mention I'm a big fan of paragons and looking forward to a potential revamp, so I may be a little biased. Illusions, seem to come up a lot as a suggestion but I don't think it is very likely seeing as it could prove very hard to create a workable mechanic around it. Conjure phantasm/nightmare are something that I'd rather see on a necromancer, like the shadow fiends they already have, and hopefully they'll get other more ghost like minions too. Illusionary weapons if implemented is going to be too like elementalists conjures, who can call a flaming greatsword down from the sky, which would be a hard act to follow.
I can understand why they are delaying the reveal of the mesmer class, the primary mechanics may still be up in the air, after they pigeonholed themselves by deciding against the use of hexes. Whether they are called curses, debuffs, etc in other MMOs, they are so widespread in their use that it's hard to imagine a class that probably should be using them but doesn't, well I gave it my best shot.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Dwayna Vs Dwayna
Another criticism that tempered my enthusiasm for the class is that it's a bit mindless to play, sure the spamming and tearing down of enchants is a bit frenetic but it's fun where before it was clunky. Even as a less hardcore player these still concern me, and how it all work out in the end. A dervish was my first character, but I've played more of the game as a warrior, but looking to make a change. I was playing both a ranger and paragon recently, I enjoyed the ranger and the paragon too though the latter is in a similar position to pre-update dervish, but the dervish is appealing now, so that's where I'll be focused with one eye on a paragon update and the other on more dervish nerfs to determine the profession I'll be spending time with in the future. Even though my playstyle is casual, playing a class that might be conceived as easy mode or overpowered or even the reverse in high-end areas is enough to dampen my affections for a class, even to the point that I'd be anxious going into casual PvP because of the stick I'd get. Nevermind I can try to put all that aside and enjoy the class for what it is at the height of it's power, in a game where I find it hard to settle on one class.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Why was it so notable, well getting a fair warning from my less brave counterpart, this place is the best kind of place to explore. It consists of two floors that are connected via multiple doors, with some tricksy parts where some doors can lead to single rooms up above or down below and disconnected from the rest of that floor, rooms with multiple doors, that sort of thing. It's not too hard to figure out, what is hard is making sure you find all 23 places for the deed i.e. being 'thorough'. The simple strategy I used was to pick one floor and work my way around trying every door, then swap to the other floor and connect the dots and try to spot areas where a door hadn't been used, still the last 2 or 3 took a bit of retracing my footsteps to fully complete the deed.
That side-quest with its nifty title for a reward kept my attention for a lot longer than the actual quest, it perfectly suits my personality to explore every nook and cranny for something interesting but on balance the deed is catering more for an achiever than a true explorer who might find delight in spotting some attractive area but often there is little additional content or treasure for taking the time to explore everything that looks interesting, sometimes you might encounter a 'rare' mob because you are going off the beaten track where they are less likely to be killed.
I must admit if I wasn't playing my burglar I probably wouldn't have been so enthused for the actually deed, which is why I leaning towards making him my main for the expansion. My captain has been parked at the dwarven town in Forochel for weeks waiting patiently to enter the mines but I've been there before and know it to be crawling with dourhands, the combination of no stealth, slow killing, confusing passageways and multitudes of mobs is so unappealing I think he may be there for a few more weeks.
The exploration deeds in the game aren't particularly engaging, sometimes like in the Trollshaws where ruins are spread around canyons it can get tricky to work out how to get where you want to go. Secret deeds like climbing the two towers in Mirkwood or the fishing hole in Enedwaith (which I've still not found) are a little more interesting, but not quite up there with eating a piece of old cheese I found in the barrows. The seven swords deed in Angmar was good because there wasn't a quest for guidance, but finding some guys sitting on their own in random places about the landscape wasn't really fun, and then the rewards, a title that wasn't 'of the seven swords' and a 6-man instance that there isn't the slight possibility of getting a group for seeing as it was in East Angmar.The solution is in the game already, walking through the epic book instance you see ghostly scences but they don't give much info, unlike say the flashbacks featuring Gandalf beneath Dol Guldor, but what if they had a bit more drama to them to piece together into a narrative and give clues to where a secret cache might be hidden or how to find some concealed passageways. Something that could be missed if you are not paying enough attention and that need a bit of thought. There does seem to be some light on the horizon with plenty of accounts for GW2 of players going off the beaten track and finding all kinds of events, objects to interact with and not being led there by the nose. Likewise, The Secret World is looking like it will incorporate plenty of puzzling, the need to pay attention to surroundings and spotting clues, with some of the story being played out before the players eyes if they are actively observing. I tempted to give Rift another go, because I never got very far in beta and they seem at least to have things hidden off the beaten track.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Having just dashed through a few levels towards 60 during the bonus XP weekend, I ended up with bags full to bursting, and one type of item in particular stuck out: legendary items. Over 30 of the damn things I have to flog. There is a few problems with that, I'm premium and only have limited AH slots (5 to begin), but did make a purchase of 5 additional ones to see could I move some of this excess stock faster. When I levelled my warden through Moria a year ago, LIs seemed to sell a lot better, but now it's hard to even get 80s for them. Sure there was a surge in prices with update 2, while LIs above 60 still sell for reasonable amounts, before 60 I couldn't give them away quickly enough. My captain alt is running out of vault space with the damn things. I don’t think I'd have it in me to deconstruct them for a measly 1 relic, if it was 4 or 5 tier 1s, I wouldn’t be complaining at all about it.
I wrote previously on the inventory minigame in Lotro and some improvements have been made, plenty of stuff stacks higher (including hope tokens in the next update, finally!), racial armour recipes have become multi-output. Legendary trash remains the biggest annoyance. I would replace all LI drops, dwarf-tools and khuzdul tablets with a single item, say legendary shards/fragments (stack to a 100 of course), and then all the player has to do is bring the right amount to the forge-master and get a level appropriate LI. Crafters could still make LIs but the recipes would have cheaper shard requirements, as they are adding their skills and materials to the pot.
One other point of contention needs to be rectified, just the whole notion that to make the perfect LI, dozens of other need destroying. No really, vendor 20 SMs for dwarf-tools, get lvl 55 LIs, kill one or two lvl 65 mobs, deconstruct, repeat dozens of times and see how many extraordinary relics you end up with, 1 if you are lucky. Sure there is probably better ways to get relics (tier 4 fused relics, as long as you deconstruct and get 2). Then think of the new addition of levelling a LI to 30 then destroying it for a legacy scroll. It's a wonder that any LI remain in Moria at all, by this stage players have stripped it halls clean of anything valuable like a plague of locusts that they typically mimic.
I'll just wait patiently for the LI update that works like the skirmish soldier setup, i.e. you pick the item type, then it's appearance, damage type, damage bonus, legacies, relics, hit construct and out pops a perfect weapon, no need to be levelled (no ranks/tiers). I would have it so the player only needs to acquire the legacy/damage/bonus scroll once, click on the scroll to permanently learn it (not needing to fill storage with a bunch of scrolls). Bye bye scrolls of empowerment. Not holding out hope because the biggest concern the devs seem to have lately is how to occupy players’ time more than any other. I recently thought about putting together a javelin that had mainly minor legacies, thought a moment longer, then shrugged and went to do something more fun.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I started at the new quest hub at the colossus, which had the highlight of a quest arc that allowed the player to access the top of the colossus for probably one of the best vantage points in the game. Most of the quests were formulaic but there was a greater use of mini-instances, including a single named mob which has an obvious advantage of avoiding players queuing for the kill.
Moving on to Tinnudir, the player is introduced to Orchalwe, the main protagonist so to speak for the rangers’ storyline. He sends the player first to the 'twilight estates', then Ost Forod, across to the Eavespires, the Way of Kings and finally he joins the player for a trek through Annuminas.
The 'twilight estates' were unused points of interest before, now they form part of a quest chain that gives a bit of insight about each one. The mechanic that leads the player around through each one is a book that automatically bestows and completes the quests as the player works through them. Also there is optional quests to find along the way, which can all be turned in at the end of the journey and don't have follow-ups. It's a nice mechanic and hope to see it more often, it is a nice feeling to be given an item and go out on a quest rather than running out and back with errands.
Ost Forod has a new storyline about a pact between the people of that town and the rangers. Except the story is not that well written. Plenty of sour notes, such as being sent out to kill brigands who used to be described as people down on their luck resorting to plundering tombs. The quest describes the task as chasing them off to protect the 'good' people’s livelihood, except in reality it is kill 10 of them. The main story is no better, it first has the player make good on the rangers promise to supply the townsfolk, and then the second half has the player help the townsfolk fulfil their responsibilities of securing the northern areas. And the player is left to think no wonder the relationship broke down if neither side can be arsed to honour their side of the bargain. In the end this arc reaches a climax on the island of Rantost with the Thief-takers Bane instance, which is now soloable.
There is a short detour to the Eavespires, which I mostly skipped, and the tomb robbers’ story is continued at the Way of Kings, having escaped the carnage the player and rangers inflicted at Rantost they row south and land at the most bountiful tombs in the land and make pacts with the Angmarims. There is a design trend that is evident in at all the quest hubs so far, that of the quest wrapper i.e. one NPC gives an overarching quest that involves the completion of several other quests. It's a nice way of organising quest content for players but it's a little boring to have quests at every hub being doled out that way. On the plus side there is some nice tidbits of lore here and the mini-instances are well used again.
On to what is probably the highlight of the new content for me at least, Orchalwe's Mission. Instead of a whole bunch of NPCs clamouring for attention, there is one quest giver of interest (we'll leave aside those other two old quests that don't lead to much and still have their outdated rewards), who gives the player the ability to call Orchalwe. Orchalwe is a essentially a mobile quest-giver than travels with the player, doling out quests at specific locations and is also a dab hand at killing mobs too, in essence he is the best quest-giver ever.
Besides two quests he gives the player when first summoned, one of which leads the player to six targets spread around Annuminas, there are also 13 optional quests that are triggered in certain areas most of which coincide with the main quest but a few are out of the way. It is a real nice way to encourage the player to explore, I found all the entrances to the 3 instances which I wouldn't have known otherwise especially now with 'instance join' and completed two exploration deeds too.
There is a few negatives, Turbine didn't pay enough attention to the difficulty, most players should be able to take on 3 signatures mobs with Orchalwe and his imba heals, with maybe a few close calls and cooldown use, but there is a few sticking points with patrolling mobs, 4 or more signatures and fast respawns that are impossible. The best solution at present for what is supposed to be soloable quest arc, is let Orchalwe and/or your pet aggro the mobs, run to the quest item, activate it and run away again. Having died a few times trying to get past one point in particular with a named signature, it was particularly galling to find the waypoint is outside the city and ensures a long run back to the action. And finding all 13 optional quests is just crying out for a hidden deed or something, a real missed opportunity.Hope there is more quest-givers like Orchalwe in the future, it does make for a refreshing change, than suffering the useless lumps at say for example Ost Forod.