Patching, how does it work?

October 9, 2014

A few small items as we wait all day for Trion to apply a 150 mini-patch:

Inquisition is off to a good start in AA in terms of membership. We are averaging just under 10 people online most nights, and we will soon have people high enough to really get into larger group content. Just a reminder: we are on the Ollo server, East side factions. Come join us!

SteamWorld Dig was a fun 4-5 hours of gaming. When it goes on sale, picking it up won’t be a bad use of your gaming funds.

My Steam wishlist is getting pretty long, which makes looking forward to the yearly Xmas sale all that more exciting, though the prospect of actually digging into a lot of the games is a bit daunting, as most of them are in the “you need a solid 30-60 hours here” category. Plus the new Civ which is an easy “whelp, there goes 200 hours”.

RL has caused a pause in playing FFXIV, but the two accounts are still subbed because :wallet vote:. We will be returning however, most likely after xmas when things have settled down a bit more and we retire the now 6 year old Alienware machine that was struggling to run the game.

Only 4 spots currently remain open in our Clash of Clans… clan, Supreme Cream! Jump in now before that window closes.


AA: Inquisition guild forum info

October 2, 2014

As ArcheAge has rather weak guild functionality in-game, guild forums will be more important than in most games for keeping us organized and letting people know what is going on.

Our forums can be found here.

Create an account and post an application in the correct forum. The forum mods are usually pretty quick on approval. Once that is done look up the Vent info and head on over to the ArcheAge sub-forum to get caught up. Also let anyone who you spot online know, because I believe we have a few non-readers in the guild (the scum).

Once people are signed up, I’ll be posting trade run nights, dungeon runs, and whatever else benefits from an organized group in AA. As we get more people to higher levels, we will be hitting the PvP zones as well, plus maybe some piracy!

Final note: Everyone currently in the guild has invite access, so if someone who wants to join is online, feel free to invite them into the guild, assuming they aren’t a mutant.

Edit: To see the ArcheAge sub-forum, you will need to post in the “Member Access” thread once you have your account created.


AA: More than 6 spots left

September 29, 2014

In other “groups run by SynCaine” news, I have officially started up a guild in ArcheAge. Inquisition is live on the Ollo server! You should join us, because despite Trion’s best efforts, the game is worth playing, especially in an active guild that does stuff together.

We are just cracking into stuff like trade runs, and I’m starting to look into world bosses and hidden group quests (yes, AA has those). Anyone is welcome to join, we are going to keep things pretty casual (AA is a bit like EVE here, in that the more you have, the better, but you don’t NEED X number of people to do stuff). As the guild is Inquisition, we will be using those forums and Vent, though neither is of course mandatory.


ArcheAge: The next big… something

July 30, 2014

Thoughts on ArcheAge as my “desperate for anything half-decent at this point” eyes glance over at it and its upcoming release:

I still don’t get what a ‘sandpark’ is, in terms of what you are trying to accomplish. I mean I get that best-case it’s the best of a sandbox in terms of open-ended content mixed with the ‘driven when you need it’ content of a themepark, but those ideas somewhat contradict each other. Plus let’s be honest, ‘best case’ isn’t exactly what the genre has been doing for the last decade.

Building on the above, one of the early criticism I’ve heard about AA is that the first X of the game is the ‘same old’ linear themepark questing, and that the ‘fun’ stuff doesn’t become an option until later. First, if your core gameplay (combat via questing) isn’t fun or engaging, am I really going to keep playing so I can fly around or sail a boat? I mean maybe I will, but I kinda doubt it. Second, why would a game not focused around, say, farming, keep me interested due to the farming? If I want farming, can’t I load up a game dedicated to that?

Realistically my hope is that AA is decent enough to fill a few months of time, both as a game to play as a duo with the wife and also (longshot) something that is good-enough to draw a solid representation from Inquisition so we can get into guild stuff. I’ve honestly stayed away from too much info about it because in large part I don’t care that much, but also to prolong the ‘newness’ phase with the game.

Get excited everyone…


EVE: Space Famous

April 21, 2014

The latest EVE Blog Banter topic is about “space famous” individuals and everyone’s thoughts about them. Jester has his entry here.

The topic reminded me that I had previously talked about the importance of such players, here in more general terms and this post about my personal experience. I still agree with my 2012 self on the topic; the more “MMOish” your game is, the more important and beneficial the ‘space famous’ players are, at least the ones ‘space famous’ because they impact a lot of people, either directly or indirectly.

Side note but not really: It was kind of depressing skimming blog entries from 2012, in that they just had a lot more passion and drive behind them. Sure, more than a few were ‘off the handle’ rants or seemed to focus on laughing at Massively and the comments section, but overall more was happening on the blog itself and clearly in my gaming at that time.

I’ll of course lay some of the blame on the MMO genre. I mean, I’m currently playing one game I fully expect to kill itself with its next major update (DF:UW), and the other is a really fun solo experience with bits of multiplayer that, while entertaining, don’t really ‘fit’ into the game for me just yet (ESO).

On the horizon the only title I’m legitimately excited for is Pathfinder, but having seen so many similar titles not even come close to delivering, I’m not going to be a fool again and jump in head-first here. It would also help if more of the Inquisition core group was looking forward to it, but I don’t believe they are (or it’s not on their radar just yet). Blah…

#EVE #DF:UW #ESO


Darkfall: Unholy Wars – End of beta and the plan going forward

April 15, 2013

Originally I was going to chronicle the DF:UW beta from day one to close, but a lot of what I had down no longer applies, and after re-reading it, it was honestly not that interesting. Instead, I’ll just type up a few quick hits, and then talk a bit about what I expect at release and beyond.

Day one of beta was a comical disaster of epic proportions. You had the normal issues of login queues, disconnects, and patching failures that most/all MMOs have on day one. But magically, on top of all that, you had some pretty unique stuff as well.

For instance, since all new characters now start in a tutorial area, on day one everyone was piled on top of each other, and since DF has hard collision detection, most people were stuck and unable to move.

To make things even more fun, on day one characters stayed in the world even when you would disconnect, which meant the meatpile in the starting area was an ever-increasing trap of fail. The cherry on top was the inability to delete a character, and with DF:UW only allowing one character per server, if you were stuck in the pile, you were done playing.

For those lucky enough not to get stuck, they encountered the wonder that was the persistence bug. Basically, whenever you crashed or logged off, every item on your character and in your bank would go poof. For the first month or so, the only way to safely store anything was to put it in your clan bank, and you needed 2000 gold to start a clan. Oh the joy of farming 1900 gold and crashing!

Fast forward a few months, and Aventurine fixed many of the major issues and game became more (or reasonably) playable. Once that happened a lot of feedback was given and many things changed, not the least of which was the prowess system. In the last few weeks of beta, AV did a lot of patching around combat balance, and the last few days felt more like DF1 than at any point in beta.

Finally, debug mode, a mythical unicorn of performance issues and other assorted items, will be turned off for the live game, and what that means will be something to watch.

The false-start of the November launch burned a lot of Inquisition members, among them leadership, and as a clan Inq won’t be playing DF:UW at release. I and a few others will be playing with The Old Timers guild, and I’m really looking forward to being part of that well-established, solid group.

One of the interesting things right now about DF:UW is how similar it is to DF1 at release. On the one hand the game is missing a lot of features (few dungeons, few boats, no hot-spots like Sea Towers, only 2/4 specs per role), the performance is less-than-perfect, and no one really knows how certain aspects will play out (like the reduced number of holdings, or how the prowess system will hold up long-term).

On the other hand, even in its debug beta state, playing DF:UW is still more fun than just about any MMO out, the combat system makes games with ‘active combat’ like GW2 look like a bad joke, and it’s one of the few true virtual world PvP games out (still).

DF:UW won’t live or die by the minor tweaks it made to an established MMO formula like GW2 or SW:TOR did, simply because if a game like DF is your idea of a good time in an MMO, your options are to play DF or spin on your thumb (or fly a spaceship of course). It will live and die by how quickly AV can fix the major issues (and there will be major issues), and how quickly they can deliver the missing content and then keep going with new stuff.

DF1 was able to remain a subscription MMO for three years because in the first two, AV did a good-enough job with the updates and fixes. At the same time, DF1 could have been FAR more successful if major design mistakes (bloodwalls for example) where not present. DF:UW is that chance, and hopefully they don’t blow it.

Should be a fun ride. Hopefully it’s a long one. More to come as the game goes live tomorrow (probably…)

 


Darkfall: Unholy Wars – Voicing the Manifested Vision in White Shades

December 20, 2012

Darkfall is under NDA right now, so while I’m writing about it, I can’t post details until the NDA is down. Whenever that happens (current date I have is Dec 27th) expect either a long post, or a bunch all in rapid fashion.

Without breaking NDA, I will say that DF:UW is indeed a sequel to DF1, rather than the suspected ‘large patch’. It’s also already provided a single high point above anything in my one month trip to 80-ending in GW2, and done more to encourage grouping than any ‘fix’ to the formula that Anet aimed at. Wish I could say more, but ‘soon’.

I’ll be deleting any comments that break NDA here, so save me the clicks and don’t if you are in the beta.


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