Crazy for Kickstarter

So many more good looking projects this week so why not share a few more I’m interested. I actually haven’t pledged to any yet though, A have a glut of games already and have quite a few kickstarters I’m still waiting on. I’m also rather broke until next pay sooooo…

Flame In the Flood

Looks to be an exploration based RPG within the American Wilderness and centred around some kind of post societal America. Apocalypse or just the lonely wild. Survive the wilderness by scavenging for food and items, crafting what you need. It’s a game about survival and it gives you two modes, the authentic survival or traveling down the rapids.

It will be a roguelike situation as well: Permadeath, procedurally generated but fleshes this out with an interesting narrative. in depth system of needs and an ai ecology.

Impact Winter

Another survival rpg but this time within an apocalyptic winter wasteland with all the stuff you’d expect. Scavenge, craft, build a base and fulfill a collection of needs. This time you will have a group of survivors to look out for but that can also be involved in the expeditions. It seems to be even more about exploration than the former as you have an open world to explore in a top-down view and the goal being to find what’s out there. Many mechanics of uncovering new areas to use, as well as grow too.

There will be a range of events that randomly, or due to certain actions become apparent and require you to make decisions in order to solve, finalise or make do with over time. Decisions will of course affect the group, an individual and your ongoing play.

That which sleeps

A strategy god game that deals with you being in charge of an ancient evil with the goal of… what else, world domination. As an ancient evil that as awoken you will need to gain followers and grow in power but also try to avoid the notice of the worlds heroes who will try to stop you. It looks to be a game about resource management but also a backing of infiltration. You use agents to seek out new followers, spread your influence or create chaos with which to take advantage of.

It looks to be a really interesting new take on the strategy genre whose primary gameplay isn’t micromanagement and Civilization building but mroe that of a disease. Festering away within and passing on as quickly as you can. Infecting minds and consuming bodies.

Elegy for the Dead

Engage in a narrative journey across strange lands but also about creating that journey as you go. It is a game focusing on the art of creative writing by giving the player a backdrop and actions to encounter and ponder and then prompts for writing about their experience with it. It is a game where you get to have a part in crafting the narrative and they aim to have the ability for people to share their stories. It’s a very intriguing idea that I have no idea how will actually work.

Everyday is Play

One of my first Kickstarters has actually paid off now and really, it was the one that set off my interest in funding these ideas. I love game art, concept art and anything related to the development like this and kickstarter projects nearly always have art as part of the pledges. It’s just interesting to be involved in the process and in recent times many game companies have been that much more willing to show off their art. I watch quite a few dev blogs for this kind of stuff and one of my favourite Site segments is Fine Art over at Kotaku.

I even enjoy the stuff that’s just related to gaming, artists that create things as a homage as it’s interesting to see how people interpret and inject their own style into these characters and games.

That Brings me to the Book I just recieved called Everyday is Play. It was a kickstarter that finished up September 2013 and has been in the works ever since. It was a project that aimed to have prominent artists and companies share their work within the industry. We have developers, publishers, artists, creators, media, and even a few dealing with peripherals and merchandise. It is this wide selection of those involved with gaming that made the project so intriguing.

There were a few setbacks with the project, isn’t there always, but I finally received it this week. And it’s amazing. It is far bigger than I expected and it contains a huge variety of styles within. I’m impressed with the construction, the collections and even the little interview parts with a few key contributors. There is so much here that I’ve been looking through for a while; first quickly to get a glimpse and now careful going through. Reading every piece and pouring over the artworks. I’ve even been checking on some of the sites linked to get more of an impression.

So, if you’re interested in game art and architecture I really i can recommend. Now that the project has completed it’s available on the Game Paused website. It costs a bit but it’s so worth it.

Everyday is play Everyday is Play Everyday is Play

Updates for ESO

So Elder Scrolls online is apparently still a thing yeh? I haven’t heard much talk around it for a while except for the rather dismal reports from null.. about the hours played on raptr. It’s another one of those times, like Wildstar where I think most people saw it coming but not many find delight in it happening. This is a genre I love and while I might rant rave and even troll occasionally (Hi gw2!) I still love it and want everything to kind of succeed, at least enough to see it continue on with a healthy population.

Even though you don’t hear about it very often ESO still is updating, not at the originally planned 1 month but still at a recent pace and it has introduced quite a few new pieces of content as well as new mechanics. This 1.5 update on the test server now seems to be a big and rather important one though. Maybe the game change it needed to turn this big ole ship of fail around.

The biggest change here has to be the removal of Veteran Points. There will still be Veteran Ranks but the way to earn them now is just with regular experience. Before it was just quest grind but now any activity is useful so this will make Leveling these far more flexible.

Veteran Ranks was the primary decision behind me quitting. I didn’t want to be stuck behind even more quest filler to optimise my character and the horror of levelling another character through all that again was just terrifying. It was a terrible restrictive and lonely experience too as it often further stopped you from playing with friends or a guild if you wanted to make progress.

Veteran Ranks are getting a bit reworked for this new system as well with quite a bit of the grind being taken away. There will be a flat experience amount per rank that seems` pretty reasonable and the character gains from each level are being reduced by 33%. While gear will still have gear huge difference at these Levels at least this will do well to lessen the issue in PvP.. probably not but at least people can get ranks easier now.

The other big change is for Dungeons to now have a scaling system that is set by the players. Normal Dungeons will scale only above their introduced level but scale up to Veteran Rank 12 and all existing Veteran Dungeons will be able to scale from VR rank 1 to 12. Many solo instances are getting the same treatment as well. This is massive. Beforehand there was only a couple of dungeons available at each rank, sometimes one or none and this really limited what you could play.

With its scaling as set by players it also makes it much easier to play with others once you reach level cap as you’re not having to be within specific ranges for content. It also creates a lot more options for cap and also ways of leveling and getting gear. Mobs will drop on level equipment and with the VR getting changed to experience they now have a worthwhile end game and not a continuous treadmill.

There also is quite a few big content additions across the game world. More crafting additions, quest chains and dailies for the Undaunted group, new max level dungeons and also low-level improvements to the delves.

Apart from this there is a truly massive amount of fixes and balance changes. absolutely stunned.

It does make a me a little sad as if I wasn’t into Archeage at the moment I would probably be going in to check it out once more and maybe make an actual effort of gaining some VR Ranks. It was an average game before and still is in parts due to leaning on the boring side but with all these big changes it gives far more options to avoid the stuff I didn’t like before. You know, the endless, soul-crushing quest grind.

It seems to me like they are trying to make those large fundamental changes that Diablo 3 made for its console launch in order to get a more favourable response from its players. A game crippled by bad decisions that annoy and frustrate enough to lose its players gets changes with enough interesting additions to draw back in its older players. And it could work. Now lets see this console release Zenimax or at least a press statement, it’s been a while.

A Home for Hacking

I have been paying close attention towards the issues ArcheAge has been having. It hasn’t seriously affected me just yet but still been this dark cloud hanging over the experience. I know there’s rain and lightning somewhere but it’s not in my part of the experience just yet.

I have noticed quite a few issues large enough with the level, predominance and widespread nature of hacking, botting and exploits that I have been, and am going to be rather cautious going forward. Just being a bit more reserved in the way I would invest money knowing it. I don’t want to put any more into a game knowing that there are some serious game breaking issues there and issues that will and probably already do affect my own, and definitely a lot of the people around me.

I remember what happened to my level of interest and excitement with GW2 until some of those wvw hacks got predominate. The ones of stealing an orb, siege range and other terrain or movements exploits. It just doesn’t make the experience that fun for me and ruins the appeal of PvP. Thankful the combat exploits still seem minimal but the ones that are being done break the game in a far more serious way

Housing

When the game launches I was a little dismissive with the complaints of people missing out as I thought, as time went on that there would be a far few people leaving as well as properties just lapsing on their rent. Sure enough these times have come and gone but those waiting are mostly still without any space bigger than the 8×8 of a small farm.

The issue here is a few programs that are widely available let you see all the available properties in a specific area, the exact time they come up and even automatically place a structure down. The timing on that is so quick too that many report a house being placed before the current one is even finished burning down leaving legitimate players without a chance.

The situation has gotten so bad that a few people own large swathes of land across the servers. These then get sold for premium gold prices, and yes they do sell because what other choice is there. A huge part of the game is owning land and while I supported the limited amount and didn’t mind how people missed out in the beginning, I’m staunchly against this sort of issue.

Unfortunately these programs are rather easy to attain and use so without an overhaul to the game engine I don’t see the issue going away any time soon. The only work around for legitimate players is to maybe message the owner before it gets destroyed to purchase it.

Auction House

I’ve actually been getting really into the auction house this game. I tend to avoid it but here a lot of the things are useful to you or your guild, and even if not there is a demand somewhere to market towards. I’ve also been rather consumed with making gold and buying and selling seemed like a good approach to this.

The bid option has been good for this. Some people place their bid prices reasonably low and so you can pick up items and materials for well under the market price. You then relist at the base average or maybe a little lower and you’ve made a profit. I actually did this a fair bit in the beginning, especially with construction materials but now that’s almost impossible.

There are a few hack programs now that make it a lot easier for people. The main one is a game edit that lists the exact auction time down to the second which lets people put in that last bid far easier. I’ve even heard of a few now that do this sort of thing automatically and have a programmed highest point to buy at. Another way to ruin gameplay for others and control a part of the economy.

The other program I believe is getting used more often is one that lists certain materials at a really low price, spoofing it so to say so that lazy people listing their things relist at this lower point. Now some of the people doing this are regular humans but some are just odd enough, quick enough and regular enough that it’s beyond coincidence. Low price single items that are up for exactly 2 seconds and a certain amount of times before stopping for a certain amount to come back again later. New bids that get taken almost immediately. Something odd for sure.

Teleporting packs

When a game has hacks you can be sure there are movement based ones with teleporting being high on that list. There are a lot in here doing this and you see it often enough. There are huge collections of bots in certain areas and quite a few of these bounce around.

The well known use at the moment is teleporting trade packs and these players or bots are doing it from the crafting spot straight to their destination, over and over. This has the issue of flooding the game with gold, gold to purchase whatever they need or even funnel towards gold selling bot also lowers the price given further for legitimate players.

Tree Farming

Now not exactly illegal or exploitative in it’s basic form, even when out in the world but the ability to farm any more has and is being abused by hackers. What’s being done is large tree farms in completely out of the reach of places. It’s not just putting it in hard spots but impossible spots. I’m quite good at navigating the peaks and valleys now and know most of the regular spots but some are completely inaccessible. While the wood would be nice these large tree farms are there solely for the chance at a thunderstruck adn making it so no one else can access keeps that supply.

With the ones you do find there are some weird little glitches that make you think it’s something a little more sinister. First many of these trees just don’t show the growth timer at all so you really have no idea when to harvest. Second is that often enoguh the trees will go completely invisible when they are, it still allows interaction and harvest but your cutting at air.

Random things

The Bots are very prevalent in game and seem to do their business with impunity. Some have that standard name of nothing but a jumble of words, others more recognisable but they still seemingly congregate in the same areas constantly killing mobs in the fast respawn spaces with the same actions. Continuously for hours on end. Sometimes stopping but always grinding. The worst spot I seem to always see is just over the bridge into Dewstone killing golems but they are all already these earlier spaces. The later you get in zones the less it gets but they’re still around, it’s just that they get PK’d. The reason for this is to get those coinpurses which is funny since they were designed to limit the amount of botting. In them you get experience gold (sometimes huge amounts, biggest being 120 gold for me) but also chances at archeum which do sell for decent amounts. exorbitant amounts for the later ones.

The other thing I kind feel there is an issue is with the occasional combat hacks but it’s nothing you can actually prove. Just inconsistencies in how the fight goes, skills used and such. There have been a few times, not experienced personally, where people will go immune without using any skills. It’s kind of like they are forcing the bug the mobs sometimes get into. The other is receiving huge, and undocumented damage. Things that just one shot you but don’t show up in the combat log. Others I kind of feel are skill cooldowns just too short then they should be, curing control skills and such they shouldn’t be and greater speeds than they could. It’s weird stuff and I’m  probably a little bit more paranoid due to other areas being so prominently hacked but when other areas are, there would undoubtedly be areas like this too.

 

The worst part of all this is that most of these hacks have been around for years with no change and seemingly no concerted effort from XL Games to stop them or plug the holes in their games architecture. I don’t really understand the inner workings of this sort of stuff but, from what I hear the game servers are just far too trusting of information coming in from the client. People are modifying game files and installing third party programs that can recode information on the fly, bypassing Hackshield as well.

Now I’m not at the point here to be able to tell, or even have an idea what Trion can do next as the western publishers of the game. It seems like an ingrained issue that has been around for a long time that XL simply can’t get rid of and Trion don’t have the permission to modify the client or code enough to stop it. Hackshield seems like it was there best plan to at least curb the amount but it simply hasn’t worked.

Of course lately they’ve been giving some wierd responses to the issues here and some other events that come off completely clueless but also a bit flippant. These are huge issues with the game that will have drastic effects on the long term economy as well as the enjoyment of current players and they really haven’t given the amount of effort towards fixing the issue that I believe would be appropriate. More GM’s in game would be a first step but there are so many other elements of outgoing information they’d be able to analyse, or analyse in a more critical manner..

Unfortunately I don’t see it getting major changes happening that quickly and it’s probably safe to say that some of them that have been around for years will still remain. Botting and teleporting a probable fixture with week long or less absences around big patches. It’s a sad thing, I am quite invested in the game at the moment, and I want to be for the future as well but this is one Dark Cloud that needs to be removed for that to continue.

Progress Report: Bragtober Buddies and Archeage

Wow do these weeks come around quickly and I always seem not to be prepared for this so hmmm. I did stuff… fun stuff. Not busy stuff or outside stuff…. just fun stuff.

bragtoberfest_spooky

To elaborate a bit further i played a tonne of games over the week and actually more than just Archeage which is really weird. Oh there still was a tonne of that but I squeezed in a bit of time for other gaming pursuits as well as the BRAGTOBERFEST events and such.

First if you want a full round-up of what everyone’s been writing and playing head to IZZY… he totes has my lazy ass covered for this. And yes, i said totes.

The Big Event Last weekend was heading into Path of Exile were a few of us joined in for some new character fun. It’s great that there is a free Diablo type alternative out there and not just a clone or a cheap knock off either but a complex and multifaceted Stand alone title. And the Ftp aspects are very well done too.

It was a great day and while we ran into a few troubles, ie., me making a character in the wrong league twice it all went well from there. We killed, looted and the the group scale up model of the game works great too. MObs were a little harder to take down and more numerous but still a lot of fun to do.

Smashing stuff... what i do best

Smashing stuff… what i do best

There were some issues with the quests though eventually. We had some DC’s as well as late comers and they all need to catch up the storyline or get left behind on that. It only rewards a few skill crystals, which you can find or just by but it’s still something you want to do as you go.

I was surprised with just how flexible the map and instancing system was though. With people in a groups needing a mob we had already killed. It would have been a problem but it was rather simple to just start a new map instance and have everyone enter that.

Everytime that I start playing Path of Exile I want to play more but it always seems to catch me when I’m more consumed with another title. Hopefully I’ll getting their again soon for some more Cooperative Play.

There was a great recap at Why I game and

The Flash Game for the Week was Axon and I had a good time trying to click my way to victory but it seems my efforts were in complete vein. I just can’t match some of the other bloggers out there. Murf Blitzed to the lead early on with a huge 98k but then Jeromai, of Why I game broke the 100k mark and that was it.

For this week I have a silly little one that gets rid of a bit of that twitch aspect to some more planning gameplay. You can take as long as you want with the placement but the further you go up the quicker the movement..

FEED THE KING

An insanely cute game where you stack up cakes, getting extra points for being precise and then launch your king to eat them all with getting score multipliers for how long you can keep him continuously eating.

And here you go, an easy score to beat for the Start… NOW GO and the cake is not a lie… it’s yummy. Oh… and Classic mode too

bandicam 2014-10-15 00-11-46-635

This weekends Event to meet up in, I believe will be Team Fortress 2. Load up, stock up on ammo and I’ll see you in there.

and that about wraps it up.

For Archeage I’ve been making slow but steady Progress. I completed all the end zone quests that give me gear so, I atleast have the basic stuff now which will help out a lot. Instead of getting the light armor bottoms this time I opted for the plate. The armor doesn’t give too much of a benefit to dps or healing, the stats are nice and all but the bulk comes from the weapon. I did this because archers seem to be hitting me really quite hard atm, and those battlerage stun/trip specs decimate my health so quickly and I’m hoping the extra armor helps. WEnt from 10% mitigation to 20% so … probably a little.

I have my Hasla Staff now too which I got last night after a long group grind with the Guild. Ended up getting 50 tokens that night which is actually quite tough. It’s a competitive zone for tagging stuff; not to bad when it’s in conflict and with the guild as you just kill or threaten any coming close but a lot of it was in peace time which means just being the fastest to click, not so easy on an aussie ping. I found, with my skills the conversion shiels and antithesis was a great tagging combo as it hits then almost instantly. Still hard tagging between all those archers but actually possible.

Showing off a little

Showing off a little

WE tried the Dungeon GHA and for the life of me I can’t remember the actual name… greater something something. Anyway it’s an extremely tough little dungeon. The packs of mobs aren’t too hard and we got through tose quickly but those bosses have quite a few mechanics that really test the group, especially the healer and Tank.

This was my first time actually healing in the game too as before that I’d been content leveling sorcery more but Vitality had been one of my specs all the way through so it was at 50 as well and I’d picked up the healing club while questing. Talk about trial by fire haha. These fights do a lot of damage to the group if your not careful, and even if you are. The second boss is constantly jumping around and putting bleeds on everyone and, as a healer it seemed the damage being put out was a little overtuned.

You see the mana cost of heal spells are quite exorbitant so you have to be rather tight with them. Some of the bigger ones can spend thousands of your pool of around 10k. You have to balance the cost and need of those i your party but also factor in a little self sufficiency, that is to say the ability to chug pots like an idiot which is what we were all doing. I was also having to chug mana pots at nearly every cooldown and, mana food when able too during these fights and there where times that I still wanted more.

For a first time through we got down the first two bosses but after an hour and a half of play… 30 minutes waiting for someone and the phone call 30 minutes probably running back and we called it quits at the third boss. She seems more manageable but I believe a Cloth tank is needed for it due to the magic resist.

It’s some interesting design here as I believe a lot of these fights are being designed with the flexible class system in mind and your ability to change up specs to suit the fight. You need certain skills to make some of them easier or just a focus in another aspect. For the second fight I believe have a cure per person would be really beneficial as well. I’m wondering what the other dungeons will be like now too with how they ask players to adapt.

I’ve been steadily making gold too. A fair bit and got up close to 400 before using a lot of it. The Farming cart really tends to help here. I wait till Hellswamp and Halycona both go into peace and then run as many packs as I can. I tend to dump them in a midway point at Dewstone just to get more out of that zone first and then continue the runs. This has made me a reasonable amount of gold. I believe 200 just from the weekend.

Maybe more if I could only remember where i parked

Maybe more if I could only remember where i parked

I think there are better methods of earning, Fishing seems a big one but this is a rather steady method for it and plus, I usually just watch a show or catch up on blog reading while watching my cart. I am finding out though that it might just be better to wait a few hours or even a day before handing them in after a full peace time farm run like that. A lot of others have the same idea as me and this takes down the price a lot. It goes down to nearly 100% on the weekend and then back up past 120% on the weekdays and that’s a couple gold extra.

I also finally got my thatched down now. The Farm space I had was great but owning 4 properties bumped up my rent a lot  and it was getting hard to afford with labour. I decided to rearrange my land a little, as well as that of some guildies and Put down a thatched in the same place. It was a very nerve wracking affair as I had to leave a huge space open all at once which anyone running by could have stolen. Luckily no one did and the plots went down well. The gold I had been earning lately also helped to set this up incredibly quickly as I just purchased all the materials and had the thatched up in a night. Quick and easy.

Home sweet thatched home

Home sweet thatched home

My next step is to buy one of the small plots next to me and then, I can put down my large farm again. The thatched gives a tonne of space but with that and a large farm I’ll be able to funnel a lot of goods straight to the marketplace while only owning 2 properties. It’s times like these I’m actually glad to have some plots in Hellswamp as the competition for spots isn’t as fierce and it’s not as costly.

Next week in Archeage, Apart from earning more and more gold I think I’m going to have to get more stuck into the PvP. I’ve been doing a lot of Open pvp but just none of the actual arenas and my honour earnings are rather pitiful. There are some great things to earn there so I’m going to have to try. I’m especially interested in the cloak/scarf that gives a stun/trip break and immunity. That knocks out a huge issue for my class in pvp atm. I’m also in a bit of a ganking mood and itching to test out my Hasla weapon a little. I’ll probably suck at it since the class I have atm isn’t that imba for ganking, although i could put in shadowplay…hmmmmm. Daggerspell be a little op hehe.

Tales of Trolling in Archeage

I have a confession to make…I, and the people I play with are terrible people. Heinous people who have committed unspeakable virtual horrors just to entertain and amuse each other. And Archeage gives us a world to do that in.

We are a group that while, maybe consumed by certain carebear aspects, ie., me spending hours farming and trading it is still the PvP elements that draw us in and keep us entertained. Many nights so far we have been entirely engaged in PvP, a whole range of activities but still things that involve killing and annoying other people… and within Archeage it’s been amazing. It gives us a lot of space to enjoy killing within, mechanics to abuse and places to control but also a lot of reasons too as well.

Hasla

Hasla, a zone on the East continent has been the primary PvP hot spot.  A little corner in the south East has mobs that drop a Special Token that, when you’ve gathered enough you can trade in for your first major level 50 weapon. NOw there is only so many mobs and the respawn only so quick. There are also a LOT of people at the moment vying for the real estate here so it is in a constant sate of war (except when in peace). Both factions fight it out here constantly and I’ve had a great time here tussling for space here against the other faction.

You continuously keep a look out and control your space, killing any who come near and pushing back the groups getting close. All the while tagging as many mobs as you can. Farming is rather boring at the best of times but this, this keeps me entertained. Of course for us farming is but a secondary activity here and killing reds the primary. We run across the entire zone for hours, continuously killing any we can and by the end the reds are pushed back into their tiny little corner.. job done and a job we should probably be getting paid for.

Of course, it doesn’t stop here as we have certain Kill on Sight guilds. Those that have killed us before, stollen packs or just talked shit to our members. This die as well with a little flagging here and there until the leave the area. Getting rage back in these cases is the aim so trash talk is encouraged hehe. I kind of feel bad for them but it’s funny seeing a group of 20 plus flag up to kill one person and leave everyone around them alone. Would make them a little paranoid haha.

Of course there are also times where a giant 50 man SYnapse blob just rolls over the top and spawn camps you soooo.. it’s give and take.

Ocean Antics

The area of the outlaw and it’s kind of fitting to have the Guild name “Kelly Gang” in this place as it is a story about robbing people to help yourself. Of course some of us take it a bit to far by wearing that bucket head piece but it’s still funny.

This is a huge swath of land for people to travel across and it seems it is a very busy stretch as well, nearly at all times of day. There are still people making that trade run to the other continent in order to get their quest finished and the large farm reward but not that many. Luckily there is still heaps to do out here and the type of activities has gotten even more diverse, bringing many into the thieves playground.

Trading cross continent is still a big activity. The Resource to be gained are still extremely useful and needed for a lot of the high end crafting. They reward decently too although, for the gold their are safer runs to complete out there. There is a lot of trade happening for the guilda stars. You get two if done properly from this run which can add up ridiculously quickly and a lot of people are after getting more of these. There are huge trading ships filled with packs traveling to the other continents and we’ve had fun hunting a few down.

These often have a few people on board, maybe even some scouts around them but the bounty within is often worth it. I’ve been on board for one attempt now and there is a special kind of thrill to be had with killing someone and then stealing there boat. A big boat. Not all of them have packs some often it’s just fun to go for a joy ride for them and better… blowing them up which is more time within a ship on the seas.

The other people to find out here are the sports fishing crew after those big catches. These become trade packs as well and the decent ones worth dozens of gold so well worth keeping an eye out for and even flagging up so as to attain. Then there are those out there treasure hunting, deep sea diving for gold or lost trade packs at the bottom of the ocean. With the fights going on here many ships have been destroyed and people killed with their packs, which then float to the bottom and remain for a given time. All these people are out there to find and steal from.

I don’t know about you but naval battles are just fun too.

Freedich Island fun

A couple of days and nights here now and wow are there some serious battles to be had. People and groups are often camped here around the clock all waiting for action… and tasty trade packs. Dropping them off here rewards 4 gilda, which is truly massive. A few regular runs with a trade ship here and you’ll be purchasing anything in the game you want. There are a heap of things on Mirage island to purchase and use with it or you can sell these plans and earn huge gold.

It’s often very quite here. A few rare packs coming in to contend over. A keen eye watching for those in stealth trying to hand them in. Stealing these is great. All the cost and risk for them is put on the person trying to trade them in and you just get to benefit from that. Of course they get 1 gilda out of it, so it can still be worth it for the crafter but you get 3. Totally worth it. Of course it it’s mostly sitting around between this and keeping an eye out but yeh… mostly silence if you have a big enough group.

Mostly those coming here know exactly what they’re doing and accept the risks and are prepared for PvP with a guild and ceratin specs. They know what they are doing so the fights can be tough and tense. There is no peace here either… everyone attacks everyone and it often doesn’t matter if its green or not because the pack is the goal and anyone else that can take it is the enemy.

Of course there are busy times. A trade ship coming in protected by a group of people… these are fun and you get a large ship afterwards for about 10 minutes. Then there are the large armadas. Some of those huge guilds get together for a run all at once and they pour onto the island and you see ship after ship unload.. one after the other. There is no hope attacking these but it’s fun to try haha.

Ganking Games

Of course the other thing to do is just run rampage through enemy territory. Our guild rolled up on the WEst Faction of Kyrios and it seems we are dramatically the underdog. Questing there has also been gankers running around the zone, through the housing places and crafting spots and just killing people at will… Here… it is finally our turn and it feels soooooo good to get a little payback.

It’s actually kind of amusing just how different the east side is with their daily habits. It’s an area that has had no where near the amount of troubles compared to our own; ganks are the rarity and so you see a lot more doing their regular activities without that constant fear and preparation. The zones in war are still very active with people crafting, farming and just AFK.  A few times we’ve even found people doing a trade run, and with carts IMAGINE THAT… a trade run in a warzone. Of course we killed them, destroyed carts and stole packs. Being no where near a trade in point we just dumped them in a river too. It’s sick and twisted but by god we kind of hate them at this point and it seems it is our job to put the fear back in them which I think we’ve been semi successful so far but we can only do one zone at a time.

The best time is when a zone is in the war state as that rewards honour. Small amounts per kill but all of it goes towards buying some much needed upgrades. We run around during these times and kill as many as you can… it’s fun and feels oddly satisfying. You can see the tells and yells in chat about us too and even though you can’t read it it gets you fired up for more. To bring some of that hate. It’s what faction fighting is all about.

Of course the end position with that for us isn’t just aimless killing, it’s nice and all but not the only thing. I don’t even neccessarily do it for the honour, there are far better ways of earning that than random ganking. Through this you often get some of the better fights. Getting the call out in a zone often draws certain PvP people out. Those that enjoy it and are skilled who want to try and stop us. With the funny numbers, differences in specs and the changes in environment and terrain these make for some amazing fights. Far more fun then arenas.

It’s a great thing that there is a part of the game where trolling, ganking and generally being an ass is actually a big part of the game, and rewarded. It creates a far more interesting dynamic to the world that helps it break from the same static, linear themepark grind. It’s also good how the constant dynamic of wolves and sheep was actually approached in a more thoughtful where it’s allowed, encouraged and integrated into core systems without requiring that people always be involved.

Fun times ahead and we’ll see if they can improve on this foundation going forward.

LInk Dead Radio: Community Critiques

The Links

First a shout out for the Gaming and Entertainment network, a great new site where some wonderful Podcasters are collating there episodes for you.

I meant to have this last week but Polygon
had a good talk with Chris Metzen, one of the senior vice presidents about the growth and direction of Blizzard. It explores a few elements like the massive growth, titan and new direction being taken

  • Aggronaut gets a little pensive when looking at the death of a genre. How as a community we seem very critical of mmo’s, the fall of titan, sadness in watching Wildstar and the lack of big titles on the horizon pushing the genre forward in the mainstream
  • Gaming SF looks at the level of Hyperbole within gaming culture
  • In an Age looks at the data of gamer demographics over time
  • Weekly Wizardry makes a statement that paying not to grind is pay to win, based on what mmo’s provide and the usual goals
  • I’ve had a laugh at a few of the post over at Hardcore Casual this week and his coverage of Archeage, especially the Trion being Trion posts

The Vids

Costume Quest 2

Styx Master of Shadows

Evolve Big Alpha Trailer

Lara CRoft and the Tempole of Osiris: coop gameplay

Children of Morta

Little Big Planet Voice Actors

Video Game Locations

life is fuedal

Big Hero 6 movie

 

Archeage and Areas of Balance

There is a huge amount of content within Archeage to do and like I’ve said before a lot of it is, and can be entirely PvE centric. There is a wealth out there to do to, Activities that if you are careful can be completely free from unfriendly intentions. A quick list of stuff goes something like:

  • Questing – can all be done in peace modes
  • Dungeons
  • Farming
  • Housing
  • Crafting – far deeper than most mmo’s
  • Economy
  • Trading
  • Exploration – for tree farms and pretty sights
  • Fishing
  • Treasure hunting
  • World Bosses

All available to play with if, but not exactly when you please without recourse. Waiting for Peace times is a good idea of course and half their are many spaces that are entirely safe. It’s a huge feature list really.

It’s kind of funny how its often decreed that it has lost the balance in favour of PvP when looking at all this. Most of these mechanics aren’t even seen in the regular mmo’s we’ve been getting and the mechanics, like crafting are far more deep too. There is a lot of PvP available as well such as:

  • Open World PvP
  • Pirating
  • Arenas
  • Territory War in Halycona
  • North Continent Sieging
  • Areas to fight over that actually are valuable like Hasla and the rifts in Cindermoor.

When seeing this it still seems like the balance is in favour of PvE when it comes to the amount of mechanics and parts of the game but, the PvP side involves far more space and also interacts with these other systems. It’s funny but it’s really not a game dominated entirely by one side which is usually the case. We have PvP sandboxes and PvE Themeparks and never the twain shall meet.Each getting a throwaway to the other side that neither placates or draws them in.

Archeage is a bit different here as it is the one release lately that you can actually has a decent balance between the two. There is enough there for the PvE player to enjoy and enough for the PvP person to enjoy. You can swap between these interests, be apart of both or just be involved with one part entirely and you will have enough content there to enjoy. There is enough there for both the Wolves and Sheep and enough of a reason for both to interact, it’s no Eve but it’s a step towards the fantasy version of that I’ve been looking for.

Now the mechanics seem rather simple for some but they have a depth there to keep people interested as well as engaged for a longer time. You can gain land and build a house. Spend the entirety of your time farming, both gathering and husbandry having their own skill lines and being good money makers. Crafting is a huge undertaking in itself whose products have inherent wealth due to the time and labour you put in. Trading consumed me for a good two hours this afternoon too. I’ve also spent nights farming tokens and grinding out gear, as well as just pirating for fun.

It’s just well planned how there are both long and short term goals in all these parts of the game to continue this interest as well. Some you can do for fun but it is that feeling of progression towards something you want that keeps driving you and each part has this. Goals that are better than a mere power boost as well and paths of progression towards this that aren’t so rigid. Because of this I can see me being involved for at least a couple months just to attain my own personal goals.

It’s funny how in some of my older posts I thought that balance wasn’t necessarily a good thing. That it would water down each component of the game too much to be enjoyable and create long term interest and that going forward it would be too hard to appease each demographic. it seems that’s only true when you create a rather shallow experience in the beginning. Now that isn’t easy and the long troubled history of Archeage can Speak to that but, it seems worth it in the end if your goal is a virtual worl that is going to last people more than the month most have gotten recently.

Couch PODtatoe 17: Horror Show

Welcome back couch Podtatoes to another episode where we mostly ramble about games… hmm, always ramble about games. This week we were delighted to have Mr Luvva Luvva for an episode about Horror games. It seems fitting since he’s had some excellent posts looking at them lately so we thought, why not chat a little further about our favourite horror games and experiences.It seems we’ve all had some great shared experiences over the years for which to talk over but also many gaming difference that started some great discussion about what we like, and what we don’t.

Stay Tuned..

Download / Libsyn / Itunes / Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 17: Horror Show: Game Updates (runtime: 1:24:19)

TGEN Announcement/Bragtoberfest recap (starts at 2:15)
Discussion: Horror Games (starts at 15:18)
Idiots on the Internet: ASUS Hardcore/Casual Graphic (starts at 1:00:43)
Community Talk: Levelcapped (starts at 1:14:13)
Idiots on the Internet article:

How could we not pick this rather hilariously idiotic marketing piece from Asus

gamerasus

Community Spotlight:

For Community we talked about the post over at Levelcapped looking at where’s the fun; how to find it, the differentiation and other elements.

Contact Details:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Mr. Luvva Luvva
Blog: Mr. Luvva Luvva
Twitter: @Mr_Luvva_Luvva

Bragging Bits in MMO’s

bragtoberfest_spooky

One thing I’ve always liked about mmo’s is that there is always something to brag about. I’m a boaster at heart and I kind of get a deep feeling of satisfaction from being able to show off my virtual assets but it’s more than that at times too.

Mmo’s often encourage you to spend a lot of time in them and many of the items and interesting pieces require huge time investments to attain. Most of the time I see this as a good thing as it often means to me that these items have more personal worth. Some things are awesome based on the design alone but other things, even the complete useless are just held dear based on how hard it was to get.

I admit to enjoying others being jealous of some of my things. Having a farm cart in ArcheAge now you can see a little of that in the way people look at you while on their donkeys as you drive past. It just makes you, and what you have feel that much more amazing. On the other hand feeling jealous as well can be a good thing too as it has often made me want to strive so as to achieve more. To be better or understand more.

There are lots of different ways to brag but each seems kind of important in it’s own way too. Some more important to me but all have been part of my enjoyment at times.

Content Brag

We all have a few of these that we have either enjoyed shoeing off or lusted after. A dungeon or raid to attain that amazing weapon with cool effects and that will give uber DPS. That rare rng drop to fill out a look or just give a new special abilitiy. Or the pretty Pet we just were dying to have. This can be either PvP or PvE at times but it is a time where we attain items we love to brag about, that people look on as status symbols of skill and time spent.

Grind Brag

An effort in perseverance at times but something I’m guessing we’ve all done as well. Its a brag item that we will often curse with every fiber of our being. We will weep after spending hours getting nothing, grit our teeth with perseverance and pray to whatever gods we think might help. And then that moment comes of pure bliss. We see it in our bags, a piece of gear, the amazing fluff item we’ve been searching for or just something else personally interesting and we are at peace.

Explore Brag

Our continuing mission. To find new shinies and places of interest. To travel above the mountains and around invisible walls. To boldly, go, see and find what nobody has seen before and then of course brag about it. Or at least add it to the wiki

I play way too much Brag

Every MMO seems to have a few elements of this kind of Brag. The type of thing that only the most hardened, dedicated and absolutely insane of players will ever achieve. So of these are the tasks to put every waking hour towards for weeks, months or even years at end. New ways of playing or just completing a task in a way no one has done before. It can just be the elusive end of an mmo. Where you have done everything in a certain area; every craft, character of profession. The Brag to beat all brags.

I’m so smart Brag

One of the harder Brags to pull off as it requires critical thinking and intimate knowledge of game Systems. It is the people that work out the algebraic equations for skills and the way stats interact but they’re a rare breed. It’s also the daily style of player who works out there our class combinations and rotations. The people who play the auction house or just those working out optimal paths for many parts of the game.
Equations of damage. These are the people with intimate knowledge about the game and they are not afraid to brag about it.

Skill Brag

The brag that comes down to more than just how fast you can click. It’s your ability to play that at times encompassess cognitive, social and physical abilities. A lot of content in mmo’s does get quite hard. Raiding and dungeons are about the knowledge and execution of fights which can be quite testing. It is playing and coordinating with other people. In times like PvP it is being able to apply adaptive strategies in an instance. They are a game that can and do test people’s abilities and of course there are always some that stand above the rest.

Achievement Brag

THe modern MMo creation that it seems we just can’t do without now. They offer a great guide for player activity and small term goals to work towards. They show places and things that you might not have seen otherwise, the developers breadcrumbs for the player to follow that can take up quite a bit of time to complete. Some can be quite cryptic and others a long term collective effort. They often come with titles too which make for good bragging material.

Creative Brag

An element that has seen a huge resurgence in recent time. Landmark has been bringing up the creative aspects of the genre with their fantastic but complex creation tools, and the player created things coming from there are just breathtaking. Other housing places that while limited still scratch that home decorator itch while being a bragging point between friends. Other creative outlets are the wonderful creation tools of games like Neverwinter and Star Trek Online that let you write creatively as well as develop a space for it. Other parts are of course the more basic elements of character appearance. Creating a character or an entire wardrobe is a huge bragging point for the genre as it can represent your personality, your involvement in the game and your knowledge of the many parts to attain the pieces.

 

There are of course many other elements to Brag over in MMO’s but these are my main ones. Over the month I’ll be telling a few of my own stories with some of these brags and would love if you shared your own. Of course mine will be better but whatever =p