Category Archives: Vanguard
A Random Night of MMO Gaming
This past week I had a rather odd night of gaming. I sent an email to a friend the next morning detailing it, and in re-reading the email I thought it showed exactly what kind of “Nomadic Gamer” that I am, so you get to read it now too:
Watched tv with the wife until 10. Mucked about on the internet until about 11. Finally decided to actually log in to a game and settled on. . . . . EQ2 for the 1st time in over a year. Looked at my coercer and while the thing said “your AA was all reset” my AA’s were all still in place. It also said I was awarded 25 bonus AA, and then to top it off sometime between the last time I logged in and last night they re-balanced the AA curve so I had another 71 AA’s I could assign to boot.
Once I got the additional 96 AA’s done, I looked at my gear since I was getting a lovely message saying “some of your gear is locked” and well….. let’s just say if I took all of my gear off it wouldn’t have made any difference to my stats – every last piece of gear I have is legendary or fabled on the coercer. I actually ran a lot of instances on that toon back in the day, though apparently since I really haven’t played for 3 expansions, the level 90 mastercrafted gear is better than my legendary drops from the hardest instances in Paineel. Gotta love gear creep, no?
Options to unlock gear are: buy an unlock token for 40 station cash, or a pack of 5 for 150. Since I have 21 gear slots locked, I’d need 640 SC just to unlock the current gear and. . . meh. Other option is to sub. Also meh. Camped to desktop and found that somehow I’ve lost 2 character slots, so while the toons are still in the selection screen, they show locked since they’re over my limit. Apparently re-subbing would open them back up. Said “meh” to myself and exited the game. No point in playing if you have “no gear,” ya know?
Logged in to Vanguard next. 12 character slots for free, and I’m even using 8 of them, but 7 of those toons are still in various stages of the Isle of Refuge. Didn’t initially see my druid toon, so opened up the character creator and. . . all race/class restrictions are gone. Nice! But then I didn’t feel like bothering to make a character and didn’t remember what all was in my list anyway and didn’t want to make a dupe, so…. back out. Realized that I needed to scroll the list and oh look there’s the druid. Logged it in. Level 9 and I have 2 buffs, a self-heal, and 3 attack spells. Wow, that’s refreshing after logging in to EQ2 and having 96 hotbar slots open and about 90 of them actually filled. . . . . .
Ran to a mob area and killed a few, but then was tired so I exited out and went to bed. This was about midnight. Woke up at 3:24 with a headache. Tried to simply go back to sleep but just couldn’t get comfortable, so got up, went to the bathroom, took some Tylenol, and mucked about on the internet until about 6 when I decided to see if I could get into SWTOR. But ran into the same issue as the last time I tried to log in – they don’t log in with email address anymore, but account name, and I don’t have the 1st clue as to what my account name is. Clicked the “forgot my account name” button and it said “okay, sending you an email” but it never showed.
Decided to log in to Rift, but while the launcher opened fine and updated, when I clicked “Play” it crashed. Repeatedly. Went to the Rift forums and apparently for Win7 x64 people, a security update that M$ pushed out on Tuesday is the culprit. Uninstalled that and then Rift launched. Played my level 14 rogue in order to get it to 15 so I can transfer it off of Faeblight. I don’t recall why I wanted to free up a slot, but do recall that since I’d made the 28 slot bags for the toon that were now character-bound I wanted to transfer it, not delete it. So it’s now level 15, but haven’t transferred it or anything yet, becuz as I was getting ready to do that. . . [My 3-yr old daughter] woke up and it was 7:20-ish anyway, so time for me to get up too.
3:15 of sleep last night, and I don’t know why. I never get headaches, so to wake up with one. . . . too weird.
SWTOR Update, Plus a Bit of This and That
Still playing on the Juyo server. . . would say “with friends” but it’s mostly solo. My friends aren’t on as much as I am and tend to be on earlier than I am too, so there’s not all that much crossover. I’m half tempted to head back to Sanctum of the Exalted and the RMC/IMC guilds there.
Even so, my Vanguard’s level 48 now and working through Voss. At the rate I’m going, I think I may just make level 50 before leaving Voss. Considering I’ve done no flashpoints, no warzones, only a couple of space missions right after I got my ship, and have skipped 2 full planets, half of another, 3 bonus series, and was actually “at level” when I got to Hoth at 38, the fact that I’m now 2-3 levels “high” and might hit 50 before even getting to the last world should tell you that there’s a metric ton of XP out there in this game (as evidenced also by other characters who I haven’t skipped anything with being 4-5 levels “high” while in their 20’s and 30’s), and yet one of the more common threads in the New Player Help section goes like this: “I’m too low for this planet I’m on, but I’ve done every side quest on every planet. how can I get more XP?” When I bother to respond to threads like that I tell them to actually go back and do every side quest, since they’ve obviously missed quite a few. . . . .
I decided to work a bit more on my “Tankassin.” Sent her some cash from my vanguard to afford the obscenely priced Imperial Trooper armor off the CE vendor. You can see the results above. I am using a mod-able level 19 player-crafted helm, though, since I like being able to see the toons’ face during the cutscenes.
Still enjoying the game, though I’m a tad burnt out too, which is why I didn’t do the push to 50 on the Vanguard yet and went for the different playstyle and story of the Assassin for now.
My only comment about the 1.2 patch is: I like that I can send mail between all my alts regardless of faction now. Other than that, I’ve not noticed much difference in the toons I play.
I’ve re-subbed to Vanguard for a bit for a change of pace also. I’m only really playing it on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours, so don’t have much to report other than it’s kinda nice to have the slower leveling pace of that game to relax with. I’m trying out several classes I never did before — blood mage, necromancer, shaman, dread knight — to see if something appeals to me more than I thought it sounded like it might. I love my disciple and paladin, the druid’s interesting, but hasn’t truly grabbed me, etc. Overall it’s fun to try the new things out and see how they work together. After SWTOR it does feel a little odd not to have a companion. Kinda weird how expectations need to change from game to game, no?
I did the Tera Online beta this past weekend in place of my normal Vanguard play session. I made a sorcerer for my 1st character to figure out the controls and such. For all that it says “you gotta always move” any time you cast anything, even your instant-cast spells you still stop cold, yet the sorcerer is listed as tied with the Archer class for “easiest to play.” Go figure. I made that character a high elf female, and while I thought the breasts on it were grotesquely over-sized and the standing pose of the character was quite overdone, the sexuality of that race didn’t bug me. The world chat was full of people saying that the Elin race was for pedophiles only and that the Castanic races was actually “the best one” looks-wise, though.
In the afternoon, I decided to try out the Mystic class, as that sounded like it had a bit in common with the EQ2 coercer, which I love to death. I made this one a Castanic female, and on the character creation page it looked nice and the breasts were probably “only” a D-cup, which is actually fairly small in the MMO world. Then I got into the world and the way it ran. . . .geez, it was horrid. Bent double, flashing its ass in the air while flailing its arms in a caricature of the “runs like a girl” stereotype. And tbh, I actually didn’t much like the Mystic gameplay after all. Ah well.
At that point, I kinda wanted to check out some of the warrior-type classes, but I felt like I was “done.” Other than the movement style forced on you by the controls it was a very standard MMO, so it didn’t have anything to draw me away from any other game I’m already playing and enjoy. For all that it calls itself an “action game” the only thing that made it such was that I couldn’t lock a target and had to aim my reticle at it in mouselook mode. Other than that. . . been there and done that. I’ve uninstalled that game client from my pc and won’t be looking back.
On the other hand, while I know I don’t particularly care for the horror/goth genre of anything, I’ve pre-ordered The Secret World. It sounds like it’s got just enough elements of similarity to Shadowrun, which game world I love, that I think I’d still enjoy it, and the skill-point-based advancement with synergies between trees sounds enough like SWG (which I loved pre-CU and pre-NGE) that I’m willing to plunk down in advance for it. I’m not sure what direction I’d like to take the character in the beginning, but that sounds like the beauty of the skill wheel is that you can dabble easily and find out what you like, then specialize from there, and then over time add more and more specializations. Concepts sound cool to me, anyway. I hope they’re implemented well. Beta weekends start on May 11th, so I’ll know more after that, I suppose.
Speaking of Shadowrun, there’s a Kickstarter project out there for a small-time 2D turn-based Shadowrun game out there. I’ve kicked in a bit and hope it won’t turn out to be vaporware.
What does an MMO mean to you?
What does an MMO mean to you?
If you’re reading this, you know what an MMO is. You’re a current, ex, or prospective gamer of some sort. Everyone knows what an MMO is. The question I pose to you, dear reader, is: what does an MMO mean to you?
There are dozens upon dozens of MMO’s of various genres which have had varying successes and failures on the market. The market is extremely competitive and undeniably ruthless. One mistake and the company can be unfairly branded a failure with a terrible product, and regardless whether they fix it or not, the damage is done. Launch is probably the biggest test of any product for a company. Vanguard being the prime example in this case: An amazing game that had a terrible launch and was branded a buggy, unfinished piece of trash.
Vanguard never managed to recover from the damage reviewers and gamers did to its reputation. I remember I was playing EQ1 rather heavily at the time of Vanguards release, and having not really cared to keep up with other MMO news I didn’t know much about it. My friends and guild mates had an ongoing joke, however, whenever one of our raids or groups wiped and we were trying to recover or make a second attempt. ‘This could turn it around for Vanguard!’ we’d say, in mock enthusiasm. MMO humor is always dumb, but it was just in fun. Only later on, when I actually played Vanguard and learned a lot more about it myself did I fully understand what the sarcasm was all about. I personally fell in love with the game the first time I tried it and thought it was a huge tragedy that Vanguard got shit on so harshly at launch as to never recover.
It may seem like I got sidetracked from my original question, but I assure you in my jumbled mess of a mind it all makes sense – I’m trying to make sense of what an MMO means to me. Yes, if you want to be clinical and sterile an MMO is nothing more than a game. Yes, it’s a fact that it’s a game, and games shouldn’t be taken seriously as they’re just a means to enjoy oneself and/or the company of others. However, MMO’s aren’t just a game. They are a means of communication and expression for millions of people, and since the birth of the internet they have drastically changed the way the online world and business model works and have had a profound effect on the younger generation they cater to.
For some people an MMO is a means to escape reality and live out their fantasies of role-playing whatever they want in whatever genre and setting they find attractive. For others MMO’s have become an unhealthy addiction that has ruined lives, arguably caused murders and suicides and countless relationship woes and divorces. Some do in fact just play them casually and they are nothing more than a means to have fun and relax after a stressful day. Others still find solace in the anonymous, yet meaningful bonding that can take place online when put in situations forcing strangers to work together cooperatively or competitively. People have made lifelong friends they otherwise would have never known existed thanks to MMO’s. Marriages and relationships have blossomed and flourished, families brought together and people connect on a deeply personal level.
Now when I talk about MMO’s I’m not specifically talking about the RPG variety, as the type doesn’t really matter. There are hundreds of MMO’s of different types and styles (RTS, FPS, RPG, etc.) and they all strive to do the same thing. Massive Multi-player means exactly that. Put dozens, hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people from all over the planet, all in the same environment with a set of rules (strict or loose) and boundaries to obey, and people seem to thrive. Even given little guidance or no obvious goal, people still manage to thrive. Eve is a good example of this, as is Second Life.
My entire point being that I believe MMO’s have had a dramatic affect on the world since their creation, and they mean something different and possibly very meaningful to everyone. Some people may very truly be able to state the best times of their life have been in an MMO playing with their friends, and I think that’s perfectly fine. If you’re one so inclined to believe gaming is a waste of time and a waste of life, I’d ask you to consider professional sports, or recreational fishing, or virtually any hobby anyone can possibly think of. By definition a hobby is just something you do in your spare time and generally isn’t for profit.
Many people say the best times of their life were their youth, hunting or fishing or working on projects with their friends, in bands, doing drugs and partying. I’m not going to judge what people do for enjoyment, but that’s also my point; what makes it better to do any of those things than to stay at home gaming with your friends, when you honestly get just as much satisfaction out of it?
You have no life!
You have no real friends!
I disagree. I think people can have the best, most trusted friends they’ve ever known without ever meeting them in person. And I believe everyone is entitled to live their life as they see fit as long as it does no harm to others. So who’s to tell me that I have no life? I believe that people can have the best experiences of their life while gaming. And I don’t think that’s pathetic, as others might be so inclined to think. I believe that’s just the way the world works now, and having grown up in it, I for one am used to the idea.
So tell me, dear reader, after all that: what does an MMO mean to you?