Friday, March 27, 2009

Age of Conan - DX10 Not so official

Well, as of Wednesday, DX10 test client was launched to the live servers. I think you can guess how this has been so far.
Luckily the game is stable and running.
The DX10 client is a separate piece installed in the main folder, and must be forced in the simpleconfig tool to even work...also a good sign.
But, so far, for myself, I am not able to run it due to two reasons,

My right mouse button loses control and the character looks at the sky if trying to say rotate or look around. After this, I cannot look forward anymore.
Certain resolutions are not selectable. I play on a 42" LCD, thus from the couch I need a certain resolution ..1360x768 (720p for LCD), or I could even get by with 1440x900. Nothing below 1600 is playable.

Right now, the tech forums is of course full of issues, and other reports of framerates being halved or even cut to a 3rd of normal.

This was suppose to have launched a year ago?

Now I wish it had never been mentioned.

I am, at this point, leery of DX10 working for ANY MMO due to the horsepower involved. The only two other games using DX10 ..LOTRO and EvE do not use 100% compliant DX10, thus cheating the system to run (for example, LOTRO works thanks to NO DX10 features on the models, which makes perfect sense...and yes, don't yell at me because I paid a minor compliment to LOTRO.)

It was a good move to bring DX10 to live for testing purposes, but at the same point it is just another bullet in the hate-war against Funcom, as I still read "They can't even get that right" (not taking into account NO ONE HAS gotten it right).

I think if anything this will be a true test for some upcoming hardware, and who knows...maybe even a selling point. Both ATI and Nvidia have some new monster chips coming...as well as Intel (who I never count in graphics battles, but supposedly has a secret weapon this time...), which all could run this new client like a dream.

For now, I will still stick with the best looking DX9 MMO around.

Cheers

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Age of Conan - The journey of Ethalos

Hope you enjoy this little slideshow which I will update on a regular basis.

This show has various screens of the adventures of Ethalos, my Tempest of Set, including shots from the dungeons of Black Castle and Sanctum of Burning Souls.

Cheers


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Age of Conan - DX10 is Official

Do not expect prerformance wonders, but some visual quality to blow away any other MMO on the market.
AoC becomes the first 100% DX10 client for an MMO.

Cool.
More information and actions to take to activate it...good luck

Monday, March 23, 2009

Age of Conan - And DX10 Enters Live

Albeit in a test form...

As reported on the forums...

"Ok folks, let me head off the 'Is it ready?' debate, before it begins. There will be a version of DX10 more publicly available with the update tomorrow, but not quite in the way you think (testing permitting, I am in San Francisco for GDC so a little remote from the progress today, but I'll assume we are pressing on with the update tomorrow)

The update will make a test version of DX10 available to the live servers. This version is not final, but we wanted to release it to more players outside of the public test servers so that we can get data from a wider range of software and hardware configurations. This release will run smoothly on most, if not all, top-end video cards and we will be continuing to tune it through this last testing phase to allow more DX10 capable cards to experience the new effects and settings.

So it is coming to live, but will be clearly labeled as a test version, there is some additional work required but we wanted to get some more test data before considering it done. While a little unorthodox I know, we felt it was the best way forward to get better testing but at the same time start to let people enjoy it."

Good news and the first step toward 1.05 and re-itemization.

Woot.

EDIT: Well, the update was delayed due to a last minute snag...BUGGER!

Age of Conan - Retaining players a good sign

Hey all...
Has been a while, but I have a few posts I want to put in this week, so be prepared for a small flurry of AoC activity.

First up just a quick update, as I was posting over on the MMORPG forums, I went back into my archives to track how AoC has been doing on Xfire.
I will not go into too much detail, but lets put it this way.
October seemed to be the last peak time (in 2008) for AoC before the 6 month backlash started (those who signed up, played Tortage and then were stuck with 6 months even though they did not want to play anymore).
Gaute had finally left the development of the game to Funcom and in Craig's able hands.

But, the damage had already been done.

October of 2008 had seen about 1500 players online at it's busiest.
In November this number dropped to the low 1000+s. Never getting higher than 1100.

December continued this trend.

In January a rebound took place. But, lets get to the goods.
How does March look for AoC now, and how far has the game rebounded?


Consistently the game seems to be peaking at 1700 on Sundays. Not too bad.
They still have a ways to go. But, the critical issues of the game are being handled quite well, and the game is more fun than it has ever been.

I have some great new screens of the two most played characters for me...Amatheon my Dark Templar who is level 66 now and Ethalos my Tempest of Set who hit 38 this weekend.
I did some awesome dungeon runs with Ethalos, and hope to post those pics soon.

Anyways, a little side note...Resident Evil 5 is the schiz...I love it. And AoC really has become my number one MMO. Exciting stuff.

Hope everyone is having fun...and will talk more soon!

Cheers

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Chronicles of Spellborn - CB Impressions

First off, no NDA has popped up anywhere, and my account just appeared with an "active" by it at Acclaim, so I feel I can touch on some things.

First off, there is no doubt that the game looks cool, and has a unique visual quality. The wife had a blast making our first character. I always let her make the decisions when trying a new game for the Character Creator to get a feel for how she likes a game.
She enjoyed that, but after 15 minutes of play, walked away, so that was not a good sign. She likes to stick around and watch Conan for as long as I play if she is in the mood...hmmm.

The intro tutorial is neat, but hopefully skippable after doing it once. Need someone else to tell me as I only tried the game once.

Issues were:
*Not all my resolutions were selectable. Due to playing on a 1080p TV, and the fonts being so small, I usually will put the game in 1360x768 (720p for LCD TV). This was NOT available. Luckily it is an Unreal game, so I found the ini file and change my res, and it worked.
*No joystick support. Even though Unreal games do have Pad access, it would not enable. And thanks to Gameguard software for anti-hacking, Xpadder, my 360 software controller configuration tool was also blocked. No joystick control on the couch is a big strike against the game for me.
*Lag randomly happening. Now, I run Age of Conan 100+FPS with no issues, yet here I would freeze randomly while around people, or mobs, etc. Just so...random.

The combat is cool. But, the "kill 10x" or "Get me 5 of this" type quests got old. And the text was just blah when reading these quests. I got major Deja Vu.

I have not loaded up since. So, not a good sign.

But, Resident Evil 5 is wicked awesome, and getting my high level in Conan has been such an exhilarating experience, that I will not miss TCoS.

Guess I have finally found my niche, and will be sticking it out...

Cheers

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quick tidbits

First off...Never ask a waitress to repeat an order if they are not writing it down...no matter how much food there is.
Now, I am unaware of proper etiquette in this situation, but really, it was a simple request, asked with a smile.

Went down like this.

Ordered a LOT of items on the menu at our favorite Indian Restaurant. What we usually do is have leftovers for lunch, plus we get to try a variety of flavors.
As I said the last item for our order, I looked up, smiled, and half jokingly said "Want to say that back?".
She looked at me as she was taking the menus and seemed to smirk and said "No. I think I got it."
The No had the slight pause as the sentence was ended. And then she said the rest. It made me embarrased and forced me to look away at that point as I could feel my face flush.
After that, we were pretty much ignored unless we forced her to come to our table.
She served me unsweet tea when I asked for sweet. I received my dish, a Goat Curry, full of bones and even bones in the actual sauce which I bit on and almost broke a tooth.
This was probably the worst service I have ever received at this restaurant...and we go there regularly.
She even had the gall to ask me if the plate full of bones and fat from my dish was "Ready to be packed up".
I pretty much let the wife do the rest of the talking that evening, and then let the wife decide the tip.

I believe it was 3%.

I wanted to gank her ass!

Now honestly. Did I deserve such treatment? Should I have really not "hurt her feelings" by asking her to repeat my order?

Moving on, we also picked up Resident Evil 5. Talk about a winner. They have taken the genre to a new level with the action gameplay. The stress is terrifying as you cannot pause to deal with inventory, and the tight spaces of the village you are in, make you always aware of what is behind you.
Another bonus item is the game runs in 1080P if you have the Xbox set that way (I do...hehe). Talk about detail and gorgeous visuals.
More on this as I progress.

I need to say this. You get what you pay for.
I also decided to invest in a new keyboard and mouse yesterday, as the set I was using seemed flaky (and the keyboard has an issue with dark letters on the black keys that when the lights are low in the living room, it is hard to type with).
I paid $100 bucks for the Microsoft Wireless 6000 V3.
The feel of the keys is nice. The tactile response is incredible. The placement of keys thanks to the slight ergonomic layout (not the horrendous split keyboard which just feels wrong) makes for less mistakes. And the mouse has a great comfort, with the thumbrest, and hand placement.
NO doubt, if you want good quality for a keyboard and mouse, pay the money.

Ok, I am off for more Conan. I forked that cash over and now have another two months of gameplay. I figure this is the first time I have ever come so close to hitting max in a game, and I am not bored and having a blast, so it is time to rock on.
I do have to state that I was accepted into the Chronicles of Spellborn beta, and as you can see from my above statement, it is not exactly what I envisioned.
I will post more on that soon.

Cheers folks.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tough Weekend for Gaming

Ok...not only am I having a blast in Conan right now, Saturday the 14 is my pickup day for Resident Evil 5.
But...that is not all. Another game looms on the horizon...but, I better keep that on the straight and narrow for the time being.

Lets just say...this weekend, not only am I going to get to eat some of the best Indian food I have ever had (it is actually a "fusion" Indian, as they use certain ingredients not normally found in Indian cuisine...), but I shall reach gaming nirvana...

Oh MY!

BTW, on this Indian food thing...why can't I ever fix it to taste like the restaurants...that makes no sense to me. I follow every direction I have found, and it always is YUCK...must be some secret they do NOT tell..

Anyways. have a good weekend folks.

Age of Conan - Week ending report

Well, so far, I have enjoyed my hiatus. I am using several tools to track my thoughts during the week, and that is working for me.

I guess I have been twitterized!

But, tody deserved more than a 140 character post.

I have hit level 65 with Amatheon this week. I also have been playing a bit with my Tempest of Set, who is now level 32...

Whats this you say? That is right.

I dropped one character, the Necro. This class proved to be quite annoying to me.
First, each time I logged in, I was forced to summon all of my pets, no matter if they were summoned when I was logged off. Annoyance.
Second, due to my power being...uh...over-powered, I would ALWAYS pull aggro, and death was imminent.

So, now, we have Ethalos.


Level 32 Tempest, which is also a "heal" class. I felt this rounded out my group of classings a little better by having a melee, a heal and a ranged class.
Each still is from a specific region also.

Right now Ethalos is in the Conalls Valley quest line. This is one of the unique areas for level 30, as the quests are all "forced" grouping vs Ymirrish hordes. This gives me a chance to test the grouping with heal mechanics.
The whole region within the mountains of Conalls is infested with elite Giantish mobs, so death can be swift (3 hits and I am dead solo...uh, not that I tried that...eh...ok, I DID...!! wahh)

Anyways, hopefully I will report more on this at a later time.

I plan to resub now that my time card is up. I found a place with some decent deals on the cards, and will do that again. This also gets rid of an issue in the US where the price is elevated due to some foreign currency fee if using a Credit Card.
The time cards are good for 2 months. This should allow me time to see how patch 1.05 progresses. A major patch with Gear and stat changes and a new level 70+ zone for Amatheon.

This weekend is also Resident Evil 5 Weekend!! Woot.

Take care everyone and have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Website rearranged

And I guess I can update my life this way...what I read, play, listen to and Twit (sorry...Tweet) about.
May play around some more, and see how I can work this...

This may work for me through my blogging malaise...

Cheers

Monday, March 9, 2009

Break time

Well, I guess it is time to say goodbye for a while.

I just have not "felt it" lately. I will leave the site up for now, and may come back and post. For the time being, I just feel lethargic.
Thanks to the economy, and having to redirect some of my resources for a while, this puts a damper on my time as well as the "meh" I feel.
I think peoples feelings about the games I play also may have to do with the "quiet" I see on this blog, thus I feel no need to put too much effort into writing those posts anymore.
I think I may throw up a slideshow later that will have some of my screenies and their captions for Age of Conan, so that should cover my discussion of such a good game.

It definitely deserves more attention in my opinion..

When I look at my traffic, I see the most interest generated was by my posts about Darkfall, and I am assured...not in a good way. And this really is the crux.
With the future of MMO's being a bland prospect (and this is what started me on blogging), I guess I do not feel like discussing such upcoming crap.
Resident Evil 5 hits this week, and that will take up some time, and I do not think I need to discuss that here either.

So, time to let this sit.

I guess this will always be the Dichotomy of the Gamer.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Age of No Concern

An interesting thing today.

I was playing with one of my alts, who is not in a guild yet in AoC. I saw an advertisement for the "Old South Adventurers" guild.
Living in North Carolina, I of course thought this was interesting.

Sure enough it was a player from Louisiana.

Anyways, we started talking, and he discussed how he had a mature guild, and that his older games were EQ, EQ2, EvE, etc.
I was fascinated by such an eclectic list of MMO's. So, I asked how old he was..

He said he was retired, and is 70 years old.

Age really does not matter in this genre anymore...does it?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Age of Conan - My Destiny

Having completed the next step in the main quest lines, I was destined to meet with the king known as Conan.

My journey was arduous, as first I needed to track my way deep into a set of caves...a maze if you will, to track down the final piece of the Phoenix Medallion.
The Medallion has been to key to a tattoo I wear upon my chest, which is also a piece of a God. If I can gather the pieces of the Medallion, I will be released from the prison the God holds over me.



A Lich controls the final shard, and my battle is intense. First I must take out his minions. They prove to be of no consequence.
Once I am able to attack the main leader directly, he fights with those who have died here before..he uses the blood of his undead army to coat him, to keep him alive, even if he is dead!
I learn the way in which he uses their souls, and thus, I garner a plan to release their bodies of the hellish fiends power, and then I am able to tackle the Lich directly.



Upon his defeat, the spell over the final piece of the medallion is released. I must now take it to the Rock of Crom and place the medallion to be free.







This is where my fate is decided. It seems it has come to Thoth Amon's attention that I was looking to release something that is considered a dire enemy of his.



He takes my life as easy as candy from a child.



The God I have unleashed does not leave me to this fate. Using his last breath, he reanimates my dead shell. Making me immortal it seems in the process.





My Destiny was not to die this day.

Having committed to this path, I must do everything in my power to hunt down Thoth Amon and his minions, with all the strength I can muster. His death is paramount to the safety of Hyboria!
It is at this time that the King has taken note of me, as Kalanthes (the man who rescued me from my fate at the beginning of this journey) has spoken of my future.







The King has watched me for sometime, and has duties for me to perform as he gathers his armies to strike at the head of such a vile serpent as Thoth Amon.





My work is not yet complete, and I must weigh the consequences of what has happened. I only hope that my future will be one of victory and honor.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Herofied!


(Not that this is a statement or anything)

Tuesday was a bad day

And Wednesday is not much better. But, it looks like I can at least get out of the house to go to work.
My cold knocked me down yesterday. I was able to do some work from home, and even gamed a little (but not very much).
I did at least finish off my level 60 questline of Destiny, and met up with Conan.
It seems I have been given immortality, but I will assume a clean swipe ay my head should finish me.

Age of Highlander!

Anyways, some awesome shots, including my death at the hands of Thoth- Amon coming soon.

Now, I am off...cheers folks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday morning cold

Luckily we also were dumped on with snow lasy night. For where I live (Mountains of NC), it is a major hazard to drive in this. Since I have lived here (going on 8 or 9 years now), this is the most snow I have even seen here. Our driveway looks like my old place in Michigan

Yea...it was that much...

I think I will plan to dope up and go back to bed today. Head feels like it is going to explode and my nose is sore from blowing it so much...but, first some AoC this morning, and see if I revive a little.

Amatheon completed the first part of his level 60 Destiny Quest this weekend, and that was fun. I got some great screenies of the boss fight at the end, which required some finagling to complete.

Luckily I never died!!

Anyways, looks like AoC is continuing to surge thanks to patch 1.04 with some record numbers on Xfire, and packed servers. I actually could not kill some mobs in the lower zones, due to conflict with other players there...good thing we teamed up to take out the quests together.

Pretty excitied about patch 1.05 also...lots of buzz on that.

And the final bit of news...noticed that MMORPG.com's forums for AoC is dropping off the haters radar, and less "I hate Funcom" posts are being done there. Now, whether this is due to the fact they cannot complain about anything anymore...or due to Darkfall becoming the new hater poster child...is unknown.

Ok...that is all for now...cheers and have an Awesome Monday (ps: round two of snow is starting...woot)