Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Age of Conan - Latest on the "Alt" situation

This past weekend, I created my new level 50 alt. This alt is given to everyone that has a level 50 or when they reach level 50, will instantly get.
This is a cool premise, and allows you to get right into the meat of the game and get to end level sooner.

You only get one chance, so I really did my homework before doing this.

I have been wanting an extra character to swap out for raids, and if I have the patience (which I have not in the past), I could have a swappable raider in a month or so.
I went with a Herald of Xotli to make myself a DPS based class. I have a soldier (off tank) and have been slowly working on a healer as well.
This is Tabari.

So far, I am having a lot of fun with him, so much so, that I am playing him exclusively.
The healer has not been that fun to play, and overall spell casters seem to bore me in AoC. They remind me too much of the Diku MMO's of my past.

Really wish they would enable combos for casters.

Tabari's main attacks deal with fire. Damage is fast, and kills happen quickly. So much so, that being a Cloth wearer, damage does not seem to have time to take me down. Especially seeing I spend a lot of combat face to face. This is pretty impressive.

Talk about one fun class.

On to Amatheon. I have been gearing him up to start raids this week. I had worked hard on getting him his culture set, and this weekend bought the pants. This now makes for a pretty complete set. I have the helmet, pants and chest piece now.

Also wearing my new Tier 1 boots...Woohoo.

House of Heroes starts raids again tonight, and I hope to down Vistrix. Seems he has become considerably more difficult, so I hope it does not hurt too much.
I need him to unlock my Wing 1 raid, so I can run those on the weekends.

Here is hoping!

Anyways, I have not posted much because as you can see, I am super busy. The game really has taken off. The patch is awesome...but, eventually I need to do one of my rant posts to keep the playing field even.
Watch for that soon.

Thursday, I will be playing Aion. I got in on the Fileplanet beta. Also with it being 4th of July, I will be able to play for a while. Not sure when it ends either...but, it said we can level to 20.
Lets see if my jaded attitude toward Diku MMO's will be alleviated by Aions gorgeousness.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Age of Conan - "Oh what a night.."

Continuing my run of old songs and how they match to how my game time is going...(sorry it is disco this time)

Anyways, just wanted to touch base and let you guys know that the news on Patch 1.05 is pretty amazing.

Went on a raid for the first time with the new guild last night, and downed the toughest Tier 1 boss, Kyllikki, with no deaths. I also got to walk out with a shiny new pair of boots!

(UPDATED: Added original format (top) and new gear stats format (bottom), so you can note the difference of how the gear works. Talk about a more readable set of numbers eh?.)
Great stuff. Well run raid, and the fact that strats changed, the fights were tougher, this proved to be more fun and challenging.

Can't wait for the next raid!

The guild also is proving to be quite personable and good to talk to. I chatted on vent with two members for about an hour after the raid discussing gaming in general. We were duly impressed with the fact that as other MMO's get easier, AoC decided to get tougher, and in doing so has become more exciting to log into.
One member is a regular EQ2 player, and has been for years. But, says when it comes time to raid, for now he wants to play AoC...
Maybe it is the newness, but he said he feels the game offers something more, with the challenge of the raids, and the differences of the strats.
The other, an avid Robert E Howard enthusiast could not stop going on about how the game captures the world in his eyes, and when he steps into character, he sees the books everytime.

This is high praise.

And these guys have been playing AoC for about 10 months now..so there is a contingent of longevity within this guild.

Ok, enough excitement for this morning...time to log in for a while and figure out what I want for my level 50!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Age of Conan - Brief Update on Changes

First off...wow!

What a whirlwind of a few days. Making changes, playing with specs, and quitting a guild...oh my!

First off, the guild.

As I had discussed previously I joined a raids guild to try and see how I would feel about working that path. I had my first chance to work with these guys Tuesday night on a raid I have done 4 times...Vistrix.
To say it was a disaster is an under achievement. I was blown away at how bad the tank was, and how the "stick to one strategy and don't stray" attitude worked...badly.
I kept seeing the same people die 3 different times, and no adjustment to strategy. At that point I had to leave for the night due to work the next day.

But, this is only a piece of the issue.

When I joined, it seemed the guild was not into meeting the new guy...and I can understand how people react when someone new comes in..but, there was hardly any conversation.
The night of the raid (Tuesday), as I joined the vent channel, someone (who happened to be a guild leader) says "Who is this Amatheon?". I was taken aback, and while in game just typed "Uh...hello, I can hear you"
No "Hey welcome" or anything afterwards as well. When I asked about going on the raid, I could hear the frustration from that same person as he said "Well, I did want to take my DT, I guess he can wait".

I felt out of place...like the 3rd wheel.

Maybe this is why I have always stuck to large casual guilds, as this really just makes someone not feel like they should even be there.

But, it kept on after the fact. The next day after patch, I went into the new zone, and was shocked when I was attacked by a 6 man boss. He was just wandering in the vicinity of other mobs. Usually most 6 mans have a specific locale they hang out at. This guy was just all over the zone.
I noted this in guild chat, and was instantly assailed with "Dude, 6 man bosses are all over this game...get over it".


Luckily I took my time and went to my alt, who was not in a guild. That is when I saw a new advert, with their website...

House of Heroes

A great website, lots of information, and a laid out guild policy (missing from the other guild).
I chatted quite a bit with the leader...who is a woman from Tennessee. Family, etc.
This sounded good.
They discussed their raid situation and the times meshed with mine. As well, they wanted to TALK with me, and I logged into their vent and chatted for a bit.

It felt right.

Who knows, it may never be, but, I have not been a guild person very much, so lets see how this plays out...

Enough on that, lets look at changes.

Speccing characters feats is the number one thing to do once you get into the game since the patch, but it has been difficult as they have changed quite a bit.
I used a page called "Ask Kalanthes" to build my feat list before doing it in game. It is just one free respec, so I needed to make it count.

I had a blast. I gained a new skill that looks awesome when it goes off, and makes me a better "off tank" as well (will aggro up to 4 mobs...nice!). As well, several of my skills and fatalities have new animations, so that was a treat.
I also continued on my new character, a Herald of Xotli. Quite fun really, and his specs were easy at such a low level.

One nice feature added is when you level up, you can see how you gain adjustments now to your various attributes...basically when you level, you know what is happening!

Look at the left side, and you can see all of the messages of the attributes gaining points.

Otherwise, the patch just helps everything make more sense.
Little things also let you become more in tune with your character.
For example, like most MMO's, damage is flying through the air in a number dance..
AoC has went a step further and adjusted "Critical" visuals.
They pop up in large font, separate from the rest of the damage and stick in the air for a moment so you can give yourself a pat on the back for the deadly damage you have done.

Finally performance in DX10 has improved...but only for Nvidia cards.

I had to actually pull my ATI card due to massive slowdowns. I could not get it to even out for the life of me.
And it was drastic...going from 40-60 FPS down to 1 FPS.
I kid you not.
I put back in the GTX260 I purchased a couple of months back for the LCD tests, and it is smooth as butter.

Hope ATI or Funcom figure that out real fast.

Anyways, should be a fun weekend. I will try to get some new screenies of the different visual effects and new damage display systems.

I expect a LOT of fun is ahead!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Age of Conan - "This is how we do it.."

Refrerring back that old 80's hit...

This is basically how you keep old customers happy and start on the track to bring new customers in.

The patch yesterday went quite smoothly. A few niggles exists, but so far the forums is not full of the hate posts that we got "Funcommed" or the usual diatribes.

The servers went down for a noted 12 hours, but was up after 8 hours. The changes were in place and working. New things like turning your horse into an ability instead of an item was easy to figure out. Feats were all removed so you had a free respec. The new zone is working quite well with minimal to no issues.

Of course the usual complaints were heard "You nerfed my class" "The game will not start" "Weird animations" "Where is my skill"...

But, people are also excited. I read more posts of "Ooo, look at this new skill" or "I love the gear changes" were heard more often.

"That is how we do it.."

Now, back to the new zone...or I still have to make my new level 50...but, I really like my new HoX...seems the changes to my ToS do not suck, and actually make me want to play him...AGGHHH...............

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Age of Conan - Patch Notes Arrive

It is a pretty big list. What I will do is touch on some highlights. You can read the full list here.


NEW PLAYFIELD - Tarantia Commons
  • Tarantia Commons is now available! This area is recommended for levels 75-80 and it can be accessed in Old Tarantia, just left after crossing the Bridge of Vilerus I, near the gate to the Noble District. Speak to Vialli outside the gate to begin your exploration of this new area with a quest.
  • There are also two new dungeons located in Tarantia Commons. "Attilius' Mansion" for solo players and "Crows’ Nest" for groups of 6 players.
This fully fleshes out all levels, and quest progression exists for all who wish a complete adventure to the end.


Locals and tourists alike have flocked to guild cities, settling, traveling, selling, and generally making a life for themselves. As your city grows, its population becomes more dense and varied.

Guilds become worth something. More is being worked on also for patch 1.06 for Guilds.

  • The Base HP for all characters has been increased. The HP gain per Constitution point has also been greatly increased.
  • All combos have had their damage and stamina cost re-calculated and adjusted.
  • All spells and abilities have had their damage and mana cost re-calculated and adjusted.
  • The out of combat regeneration granted by food and drink (for health, mana and stamina) has been increased according to the changes done to those player stats.
These are just a few changes.. This all goes in line with the new atributes tab and gear progression system.

  • All items have been adjusted for the new systems!
  • All classes now have access to the cloth/silk armor type.
The biggest change. Stats now mean something. When you look at two pieces of armor, you will know how to tell the difference thanks to a legible numbers syste,
The second item makes it so anyone can wear the cool looking cloth based clothing which gives a more social feel. (They just need an apperance tab)


This update introduces a total overhaul of the gem system with a new, more flexible system for augmenting your equipment with gems.

I think this says it all, but follow link to read actual changes.

I could go on, but there is so much. Let me touch on a few others.

Pets - Social pets will be available for players.
Performance - The DX10 client has had an overhaul and overall fixes have gone in
Little things like new fonts and UI adjustments.
EVERY class has had an overhaul.

To say this is ambitious for ANY MMO is pretty much on target. Blizzard has had major patches, but nothing with content AND an overhaul of the internal game systems.

The overhaul is key to many players due to people getting equipment and feeling like they cannot understand how it works or what benefit the player would receive.
Gems is another bonus, as some of the gems were worthless and just did not feel like they added anything of import.

I guess I will not know how this will work...even today as the game is down for 12 some hours. And we will not know if this will be all, as we know how major patches go for Funcom (yet, they continue to do them...but, I have heard this is the last time they will attempt something this huge).

As the news hits, I will post. I am sure EU should be launching during the next few hours...so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Age of Conan - Attributes lists

As part of patch 1.05, a change in the layout of the Attributes for the player has been adopted.

This is basically a mathematicians dream, with so much data to track, especially with how gear works.

First off, lets look at the screens I have here for each tab of Attributes..

There is quite a bit of detail here. Originally most of this data was relegated to just one tab. So, the fact 4 tabs seperated with tons of info really is pretty nice.

So far this is just one piece to the puzzle. I will try to get the gear data out soon as well.

The next few days is going to be harsh, so stick around for all the changes.


Age of Conan - OFFICIAL!!

The servers will come down for an update (1.05) on the 24th of June at 9 am GMT / 5 am EDT. The downtime is scheduled to last about 12 hours.

This changes EVERYTHING in Age of Conan.

Keep an eye here for more on the upcoming new patch called Update 5: Gangs of Tarantia!

AoC, EQ2, Drakensang, Prototype

Heck...I wanted to write a post that dealt with what is coming for AoC...but, I wanted to touch on these other games that are in my list.

First up is EQ2. Well, it is more about "Not much" about EQ2.
I did have some nostalgic feelings as I played through my first 10 levels, but I am, at this point, not feeling it to log back in.
Do not get me wrong, I think it was fun what I was doing...just since I have done some changes in Conan, I actually am having more fun in AoC than EQ2...that I just do not feel the urge to log back into EQ2.

Another distraction is Drakensang. This has become a family past time game (along with 1vs100 on Xbox Live). Basically we just chat and play this together all on the couch. Each person actually contributes to that game time, thus making it a fun diversion in the evenings.

Finally , Prototype has become my "hop in" game and do stuff when I wish to blow a few minutes or less than an hour, which also then detracts from EQ2.

What I really think it has to do with is the fact that no matter how many times I have tried, going back to that old MMO style seems to not really keep my interest for long.
This worries me down the road when Aion launches, and if I will be able to handle the grindy style of questing that everyone keeps mentioning (tons of fetch quests and kill 10x).
As long as it looks gorgeous (which EQ2 really does not, as it is starting to look long in the tooth with the ugly textures and funny looking models) and combat is smooth...it will rock my socks.

But, here is the meat. Age of Conan. Dangit, I really am enjoying myself.

I started a new Herald of Xotli, and man oh man, what an awesome class to play. Fire, decapitations galore, more fire, more fatalities than I can shake a stick at.
Things just die faster overall with this character.
Also, it is Tuesday night, and this will be my first Raid night with these guys. I need to kill Vistrix again specifically as he holds the key to the Black Ring Citadel. Once I have that key, I can enter the wing one raids, and hopefully start to get some Tier 1 gear.

But, the big news this week? Patch 1.05 may launch Wednesday.

I have spent some time on Testlive with my level 80 Dark Templar, Amatheon.
What I noticed on his copy over today is all of my feats stayed intact. I had made changes about a month ago for raiding and it has been quite effective. So much so that when the update comes, I do not need to change one single thing.
So, this may go pretty smooth, except for the raids.
Seems many changes have taken place in that arena, and I have yet to try this thanks to being so new to it. Isn't that nice that it could all change from what I have been learning?
Other basic changes like fixes to the DX10 client, and a whole new zone to quest in, this could be a make or break patch for Funcom.
The changes look good for Amatheon at least (Dark Templars may actually be wanted for more stuff...lol) and visually some major updates.
I took some screenies and will hopefully post those soon of what some things look like.

And thats it. Quite a bit there. A lot going on, especially with gaming. Having a blast so far this summer.

Now...back to it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Age of Conan - Raid Diary

I wanted to take a moment and share some of the screenies I have captured of the various raids I have been on and successfully defeated (hooray).
So far I am still up in the air about raids. I enjoy the strats and learning to do these properly. But, I also hate the fact that I have been on about 8 so far and had ZERO drops for my class. It feels like drudgery with no rewards.

Luckily I recently found out a storyline exists for each of the raids (and some have multiple reasons to return). There are quite a few as well. I am on the Tier 1 schedule, so until I get some armor I will be stuck with 3 of them.
The good news is I will add a 4th raid this week as I just received a quest to be keyed (basically like a token to get into this 4th raid). Once I have downed one of these tier 1 raids again, I can get into the #4 raid.

Here are the ones I have been on so far.

A large Ice Worm who lives in a cave in a group of mountains inhabited by Mammoths and Snow Leopards along with a multitude of BEARS (man I hate bears).

As you enter, you are greeted by an ominous glow coming from deep into the cave.

As you delve deeper you see what the worm has eaten...A Mammoths bones it seems.

Once we enter, Yakhmar is awakened

As Yakhmar grows angry, his little children are awakened, and must be dealt with.

But, Yakhmar is no match for our might.


Vistrix is a powerful Dragon that has plagued Conan's kingdom for some time. It seems the warrior bandits of Atzels attempt to awaken this slumbering beast for their own devices. They hope to use it to take down Conan's shining Aquilonia.

A hidden entry being threatened by a powerful sorcerer.

Snow falls within the entry to Vistrix lair.

Powerful Ice Worms protect the path to Vistrix.

A sharp drop greets our entry to Vistrix. This must mean there is no return once we enter!

The mighty beast is summoned.

Holes scattered around the cave continue to spit out groups of Ice Worms to worry our battle.

At one point we are swarmed. Vistrix must have summoned these.

Vistrix breathes flames upon all the warriors.

But, he falls before our hands.

KYLLIKKI (all instances of the word KYLLIKKI fixed courtesy of our resident Fin, Copra!)
KYLLIKKI is a powerful Mage that summons minions to aid her in battle.

KYLLIKKI is guarded by many undead soldiers and champions that require specific methods to defeat. Each is tackled singlely (even with multiples of them attacking), as certain magicks used by these wizards can stun many of our more powerful members, and render them useless.

Here you can see how a wizard has been trapped by a Necromancers power.

Once we enter, we prepare for KYLLIKKI's arrival within her tomb. The strategy is harsh, as certain members of our party must be prepared as she summons ghostly wolf like creatures.

The battle commences as mighty warriors keep KYLLIKKI at bay. Other members of the group pull the ghostly wolves and take them out.

The same method is used for KYLLIKKI as her undead mages to make sure she does not escape using sorcerous powers.

KYLLIKKI is defeated!! We are victorious.

That is it for the tier 1 run. As I stated, raid #4, a dungeon I have found out becomes available upon being keyed, and I plan to run this key quest so I can start working on this new raid soon.

Conan is the first game where I feel dedicated enough to actually continue to try these runs. So much so that I took the plunge and joined a dedicated raid guild. We will see how this pans out, but I feel renewed in my efforts at least.

Thats it for now. Hopefully this week I will have the FINAL Destiny Quest story to reveal!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Fathers Day Weekend - What to do

Oh yea...that's ME!! I am totally the "Daddy!"

Well, I have totally planned this out also. I get to relax and totally take it easy while being waited on..

So, my plans?

I have the following schedule lined up..

Prototype missions - Maybe one or two. This game is awesome, and I am trying to make it last...seems most new Single Player games go too fast.

Age of Conan raid - I bought a new headset (I got the xbox 360 Bluetooth wireless earpiece. This thing is a gem...comfortable, small, and works with my wireless gaming receiver for my 360 controller...) and plan to try some raids this weekend. Not sure which yet. I know Vistrix the dragon, Yakhmar the Ice Worm and Kylikki (what the heck is Kylikki? All I know is I fought demon hounds...that was one well done raid also run by one of the major guilds..Ronin).


Thats right. I bought a 9.99 copy through Steam.
I do have a character I had played before...but, since this required a new account, I decided to start in Kunark with a new character.
I had never completed Kunark before, and decided now was the time to try and make it to the level required to leave that zone.
We will see how I do.

I do know I felt nostalgic, and rather enjoyed myself playing for an hour this morning. EQ2 is another MMO which actually works with my controller, and now with it's new multicore and shadows to GPU features, it actually runs like a game on my hoss machine should run.

So, it is good for 30 days I think.

Finally my weekend is topped off by some Indian food (my #1 favorite food in the world!), and relaxation mainly...and the wife has agreed to all these plans.

But, me being me...I have her and my son included, with first some 1vs 100 competition on Xbox live. I will also show the wife Magic: The Gathering TCG on Xbox Live (she loves these card games) and then Drakensang, a single player RPG, but we always gather around the TV...all of us... and will play together, taking turns at controls, working on puzzles etc.

Then we have from Netflix, Death Note...the live action version of this anime.
That movie looks like fun!!

Ok..I better hit it...CYA!

Age of Conan - I beat the game!!

Well, as much as you can beat an MMO.

I am truly satisfied with what I have accomplished.

I have been on 3 raids (and as well, multiple times ..ugh), and I have completed the final storyline adventure, the Destiny Quest line.
This was one of the reasons I enjoyed Age of Conan so much, as I had an underlying story to keep me motivated to reach the end. Guild Wars to this day still holds a high place on my list of games thanks to its longevity and storyline.

I will write up a post about this little part of the game soon. It was truly challenging. It took me about 45 minutes to complete this quest, and that was AFTER arriving at the location where I needed to be.

Sneaking through one of the most difficult dungeons was a sweat inducing endeavor, and then to find out the ending quest has a certain pattern (after dying 3 times to find out), I really needed to buckle down and get to it.

I will be posting a diary of this soon. I also have pics from two of my raids of Vistrix and Kylikki.

For now, just a gander at my new shield Conan gave me. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons Online..well

It is just not fun.

I have tried to enjoy my time in the game, but several issues prevent me from enjoying the free 30 days I received.

Let me list some Pro's first.
  • I like the dungeons and the quests once you enter.
  • The combat is fast and fun (though weak right now)
  • The models look 100 times better than LOTRO
  • DX10 looks good and is smooth (the launcher though is another problem all together
But, something does not feel right
  • No real atmosphere (Music is far and between not to mention boring as all get up, sound effects sound like tin cans hitting each other)
  • Grouping is not fun due to the veterans being all for "race through and finish quickly" attitudes. Hardly any newbs to play with.
  • Populations is quite small..I only saw one major group (3 others) and two other people playing from the amount of time I logged in
  • I see no real need so far to use a skill...just smack, smack, smack and with combat being so frenetic and running around, with models sliding along the floor as they fight...it is unimmersive.
That last word says it all. Immersion is non-existent in this game....period. I do not feel like I am in another world when I start playing. WoW is even more immersive thanks to it's stylized look. AoC makes me feel like I am in the desert or snow capped mountains. Even some zones in EQ2 worked (but, also was not immersive...luckily they made up for it with a fun game inside the trappings)..

Also a point that DDO fails on.

It just does not feel fun!

Uninstall for the last time I guess

On list of NEVER to load again...Vanguard, LOTRO, DDO.

Next up....I bought myself a 9.99 copy of EQ2 Shadow Odyssey, so I will go back to EQ2 as a newbie for 30 days. Also, purchased a wireless headset for Vent for raiding in AoC while I was on my trip.
And finally bought a copy of Drakensang (even though it forces me to downgrade my PC to Vista from Win7...thats another story...)

Let the games begin, so I may protect myself from the UV Cancer Rays of the Sun..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Returneth home

And lots of goodies await...

Just not right now...need to recoupe.

UGH,,,wore out. I thought I was on vacation? Felt more like work.

Cheers for now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation time again

Well, I will be out of town starting Sunday afternoon for several days. Gametime will be at a minimum, and posting any goodies, probably not happening.

But, who knows. I do have some good pics of my various raids and dungeons and may do a screenshot diary....those are fun and easy...and look good.

I am gaming like a monster though. I started a new character in AoC (and still enjoy Tortage, especially if you have done it, leveling goes fast) and it rocks. A Herald of Xotli, who has the capability to breath fire, and uses a two hand sword. The class may be weak armor wise, but death comes swiftly to those who fight me. As an added bonus, this class happens to be a massive fatality hog. I have maybe done 4 times as many fatalities as my other melee based classes I have tried.

As to Amatheon, he is on retainer waiting for another raid. But, after my last attempt Friday evening, I am not sure if I want to go that route for endgame. I know it may be the only way to get tiered armor, but fun is not how I would describe the raid. As long as I am not in tiered armor, I get to be the "Fight the adds" kinda of raider.
I stand back a lot and watch for extra mobs attacking. Hooray.
I need to investigate if any dungeons offer a tier to do, as I much prefer the smaller groups to the 24 mass zergs.

Finally, I fixed another DX10 issue for AoC in Windows 7 . I have been sharing my reports with Funcom, and they actually rewarded me with 2 weeks free game time. How awesome is that? I am thinking of changing my tagline (to make sure to honor the tech support...but, I am still out on the development team).
As to that development team hate, there are rumors that the next patch could take a while to release. This does not bode well for customer retention. But, Craig has Twittered that this may not be the case, but has no clear release schedule for Patch 1.05.
Discussion is that players would be happy if it releases by the beginning of July. I agree with that sentiment. If the patch hits by the first week of July, I think that would be great. Any later, and people are going to start saying goodbye, as they continue to max characters...very quickly.

Anyways, this week I also got my copy of Prototype. With similarities to Crackdown, and the open world Spider Man games, I am having a blast. This is a perfect single player "Hop in and play" sandbox style of game. It was available for the xbox 360, but I found the PC version for over 25 bucks less...wow.
Graphics are not awesome, but has some cool moments (standing on skyscrapers and looking over Central Park is pretty cool), and at first the story seems blah, but the underlying conspiracy is starting to get interesting. The upgrades system is awesome to play with to see what powers you can get, and the unlock missions as you accomplish things is a cool mechanic. Mini games galore also work in the games favor, that you can just jump in, get some upgrade points for doing quickies, and get out.

I like it a lot.

Finally, I am goofing off again with a demo for a game called Drakensang...a single player RPG, that may be fun for myself and the wife to play. It is stat heavy with a lot of babysitting, which we like to do in RPG's, and the place where I got Prototype has it on sale now.
If you are missing some Final Fantasy turn based gaming fun, maybe look at this. It is like Neverwinter Nights, but I think it has better graphics and controls...and more ways to upgrade.

Ok...well, I am chatted out here. This will be my last post until I return. But, Twitter may get some love still, and I need to get back to the games.

Have a good week folks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I play MMO's for 15 bucks a month

Just so I can login to their servers. Thats IT.

Really, what do they offer otherwise?
Development? Some..
Servers Upkeep? Some...

Technical Support?.......

This is the biggest issue for me.

Several issues have arisen for me in Age of Conan and now Dungeons and Dragons Online. Each of these issues I have entered tickets on. Each of these issues give me fun replies like...

"I'm afraid I do not have anything else solid I can suggest for you to try"

All of these issues I have ended up fixing myself. Thats the kicker.

For example, the LCD TV issue in Age of Conan DX10 was an ongoing problem, totally replicable on multiple LCD's here, different brands...yet, Funcom had no ideas...and even noted they could not replicate the issue.
I have even had people tell me they have the same issue, and several forum posts are out there for other games in DX10.
In Funcoms favor, it ended up being a Microsoft issue, as other games do this as well (DDO is an example), yet other games, like Devil May Cry 4 do not do this.


But, out of this, Turbine has proven to be the most irresponsible...complete with no email to let me know they received my ticket, my post sitting dead on the forum about the issue...and then I figure it out on my own after trying different variations of fixes..

I still have no email follow up.

So, really. I am paying a monthly fee to just login to these games.

Time for all these games to go RMT!

You don't know what you got...

Until it's gone.

Seems starting last night, I am having server issues in Age of Conan. I seem to be alone as well.
I have checked with my ISP, and done tracerts with no issues showing.
Basically every 30-60 secs I get a lag spike pulse. The game is then unplayable at that point. Red bar for the latency meter, and nothing happens...no movement, rubberbanding...you name it.

Is this Funcoms way of kicking me off the game now that I hit 80? Do they have personal issues with their endgame?...lol

Anyways, I have entered a ticket, so this left me time to go and sign up my 30 day account for Dungeons and Dragons Online. Still had that sitting around, and with the news of the freemium edition, figured I would see how far the game has come.

This game presents all sorts of new issues. From mouse and joystick control problems. Weird bugs in the game itself (inventory errors for example), and the DX10 LCD bug (which is not their fault...definitely a Microsoft issue).

Good thing the AoC LCD tricks works for it.

But, other issues abound with launcher errors (Vista/Windows 7?), launch problems, where the screen goes black and drops me back to dekstop.

Man...what a pain.

Well, today my copy of Prototype arrives, which my son notes as "Awesome", and we have been playing a new Xbox 360 live game called 1vs 100, a simple trivia game against other players using your avatar...comes off like a Deal or No Deal/Who wants to be a Millionaire game.

Should keep me occupied until AoC is fixed, as I am ready for a Raid this weekend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Age of Conan - Today is the day

And I dinged!

Level 80 is here, and this makes my first official MMO that did not bore me to death and I have reached max level.

I think if it was not for the combat system, and the way battles happen, I would not have stuck it out. The added bonus is really good quests, dungeons, unique classes...oh and that other thing...GRAPHICS!

I still have my final destiny quest, which should complete my own story of Hyboria, and I have a few raids left to get into, including a new multi-boss based scaling dungeon.

Anyways, here are the pics of the deed! More this week with Slaughterhouse, Vistrix raid and Onyx Chambers, a tunnel entry to Thoth Amons palace!

New Armor

Hitting 80 in the Onyx Chambers

Battling through the claustrophobic corridors of Onyx

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Age of Conan - Feats are planned..

As I stated yesterday, I had a pretty huge weekend, so let me start by discussing some of the things that happened.

The weekend started with a difficult decision. Changes to my Feats.

Feats in Age of Conan represent special capabilities for your class, to enable new skills, enchance other skills, and make your class more of the type of player you wish to be.
After my first raid last week, I felt I did not feel very effective with my chosen path.
Known as the "Desecration" line, I had taken a path that allowed me to be more of a "Drainer". I could "tap" health, stamina and mana very effectively. But, my damage felt weak. As well, I felt like I died too easily.
I studied for quite a while on each line, with the other path known as "Desecration".
Descration had a lot of mitigation and damage paths, in so many words...not so passive a path as I had chosen.

I decided to balance it out.

I used AOC Yellow Gremlins website to do my planning (a very cool tool there, Feat Planner, allows you to add or remove points to test where to go).
Back in the game, I went to the Re-Trainer, and took the dive. It cost me a measly 50 copper (that will go up if I do this again).

To get to the point, the new line created a whole new playstyle. The wife even noticed that combat was different.
I now work on two stances more widely and lost some extra skills that were just dead weight.
By "Stance" dancing I can take on more mobs, with minimal to no loss in health, and then when I switch it up, my damage can kill a single mob within 3 strikes.

This DID prove to be more effective as well, when I went back a second time to run that same raid I did last week,,,and did not die...

And we won!

More later on the "Slaughterhouse" and Vistrix!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Age of Conan - Updated armor, big screen

Ok...this is not exact yet, as I need to head back to my hometown and get my character updated.
This is my screenshot from the Yellow Gremlin database.
The new "Chest piece" for my DT looks like this. I have made changes recently to my Vambraces and my Helmet, so those are also not reflected yet.

Just wanted to post this to show progression of my gear!! SWEET!


Fellowship of Souls

I want to take a moment and give a shout out to my fellow guildies of one of the largest guilds on the SET server in Age of Conan.

The Fellowship of Souls.

A great bunch of people, with a collection of casual and hardcore players. Raiding, playing, solo, grouping.

The concerted effort by several high key members (Thotholyte, a sub leader who is a guild events mastermind and Chrystov, who I joined up with to help guildies run quests and gear in a lower level dungeon with my other character, Ethalos) helping other players have fun is truly incredible.

Today in my game mail, someone sent me a piece of killer armor for my Dark Templar, Amatheon, named Seshtanun. No real reason except he thought I could use it. Just like when I hit level 70, and a weapons crafter just up and sent me a weapon they crafted for hitting 70.

A good lot. So, this is my glass raised to you guys. I may not get to play much, and not get to see you often, but greets and many gratitudes for what you guys do!

Age of Conan - Amazing weekend

Ok, first off. No matter how many may feel about Age of Conan. Let me get this straight. These servers are NOT dead.

I was amazed at how many people were playing. The multitude of raids, dungeons, etc. It was mind numbing.

Anyways, so much this weekend, it is going to take all week to tell ya.

Just a little checklist
  • Leveled to 79
  • New Helmet bought
  • Advancement in my resource gathering
  • Two raids ran (and downed)
  • New dungeon found.
  • New story line started...
  • Reset my skill tree
Needless to say. A long and fruitful weekend.

Oh to top this all off? The LCD TV issue for AoC DX10...100% solved.
Yep, got that sucker figured out.

Seems both Vista and Windows 7 are guilty of this. I have discussed this previously, but, Age of Conan in DX10 wants to scale weirdly and just does not work well with mice...and only on an LCD TV (some clues lead to the HDCP issues, and good ole copy protection being the culprit).
But, I decided to look at the options available to the excutables when you right click directly on the files.
Under the settings for "Compatibility" is the standard "Run in "Windows xxx version" for compatibility (which would drop DX10 if I lowered it to XP...duh)..but, also are two other items. "Disable desktop composition" and "Disable Display Scaling in high DPI settings".
Both of these intrigued me, due to the fact that display scaling is actually one of the major issues I had (since switching to Windows 7, I had to run the game in 1920x1080p to get it to display 1280x720p in the game...weird).
But, as well, desktop composition attempts to use Windows built in capabilitites to display all items in the same manner as the desktop.
So if the user scales fonts and icons for example, other programs and games will play well with the desktop and try to do the same.
With both of these disabled, I can suceessfully run AoC in any resolution, with no mouse issues (the mouse is actually not even off center, which was a concern as well, as some scrollbars would not work unless the mouse point was off center).

Problem solved...wow.

(PS: Funcom says they still have not figured out the issue, and cannot replicate it...yet, cannot tell me which TV they are working on...go figure).

I also am not alone as more of these issues are popping up on the support forums, and I have had several people stop by complaining of the same thing...they all thought they had computer issues.
Like me.

Going to post this as a help on their forums for others who exhibit this problem. Hope to help someone!

Ok...better run...cya all soon, with juicy photos and stories up the wazoo.

Stay tuned. And most likely the special event...Level 80... should happen this week...!

Friday, June 5, 2009

How will I feel, when the end comes..

I am feeling melancholy today as I almost reach a pinnacle for only the second time in MMO gaming...reaching max level in any MMO.

The only other game to keep me long enough to feel any type of completion was Guild Wars. But, this game proved that level 20 was never the end, with the multitude of story and missions. PvP was plentiful, and to actually have a reason to go on, even when you reached max, to have your own Cutscene ending...was just a marvel in this genre.

Some argue Guild Wars is NOT an MMO, and I still beg to differ. And if it is not? Then more MMO's should be like Guild Wars.

So many of these games in this genre have proven to be tedious and mind numbingly boring once you reach a certain level. With constant grind, same ole, same ole quests, boring combat, and more.

Do not get me started on crafting for example.

GW took away all of this.

I thought after playing WoW, EQ2, Tabula Rasa, DDO, LOTRO, Lineage 2, Silkroad, etc, etc...that I could never find that magic again.

Then, Age of Conan appeared.

I felt it. I had a story. The combat was fast and furious. The massive mobs attacking you, and you always feeling victorious (or lost and dead, even though you took another crack at it, as you learned how to handle it). This game was it.

But, the bugs at launch, and a team of developers who seemed to not care. Little content at higher level. It was horrible.

I left after 3 months.

The game was taken over though, and changes were made, and I returned. It was good. And then I saw it. I could actually do this. A long term MMO like AoC could keep me til the bitter end. I was actually getting to max level!!

And it may be bitter. As I see some issues with how content for endgame is being handled, and there are concerns of course that thanks to the game not having a large population (even though I could be fooled into thinking this, as when I look around, it seems busy, but the numbers say it is failing...), and a massive patch that some are calling an NGE (Star Wars fans lament us and our games pitiful developers), it could be over.

But, thanks to Age of Conan, I can experience some things I have not done before (Raids, Engame PvP, SIEGES!!), I think I will be here until I know for sure if this is what I want or not.

I am now halfway through level 78 thanks to another DMC grind group (fun as hell!!) and this mornings raid. I may not even have to wait much longer until that 80 DINGS!

Let us just hope that this does not mean "Game Over, man!" (shout out to the Hudson!)

Age of Conan - Just one word..


First ever, and it was...well, interesting.

I joined up with an Aussie guild this morning, Rising Phoenix, who were raiding Yakhmar.

Basically, I was the only DT, and they wanted to make sure loot rot would get everyone a chance to get an item (seems not many DT's running these).

I got the funky job of kiting adds i.e: running around like an idiot when extra mobs appeared. Not a dream job for sure. And I just do not see how a DT, whose main attribute is "staying alive" can help enrage mobs.

Anyways, time was limited for everyone who either had to work or go to bed...lol. We got 2 runs at it, but wiped both times.
I will not complain, as it was my first true raid (besides fighting a land boss in EQ2, which did not require so much strategy).

Anyways, some pics to share...