Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Diablo 3 with Monster Power selection

I returned to Diablo 3 last night to check out patch 1.0.5 and the new Monster Power Selection system that was greatly missing when the game launched. Basically this recreates the ability you had in Diablo 2 to raise the power of the creatures higher than normal so that you get more XP per kill and thusly level faster.

I entered the game striving to kill Azmodan and only level 29 and decided to be timid and use Monster Power 2. The XP gain was greater and after I killed Azmodan I had hit level 31 and was well on my way toward the final act. My Barbarian uses a build where REND gives him health back as he fights. So far it is quite interesting but many times I was close to death. One day I will get the nerve to make a HARDCORE character but what class I am not sure.

I racked up 5 more achievements as well and now I want to play more than I used to. I felt the game on Normal was a tad too easy but now I want to jack the Monster Power up to about 5 or so with my wizard and see how fast I can level him.

It does bring some fun back into a game I was seriously disappointed in. Despite how good some claim Torchlight 2 to be I just don't have the gusto to play it at the moment. With RIFT taking a lot of time Diablo 3 is one thing I want to finish on Normal then move on. I am really not in the mood to grind gear in that game.

"Monster Power gives Diablo III players the option to increase the health and damage of monsters according to different "power levels" -- and in return, they'll receive scaling bonuses to their adventure stats (including experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find) as well as more drops.
The option to adjust Monster Power will be available to all players starting at level 1 through the Quest Selection window, and can be adjusted separately for Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno difficulties." 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Minecraft 1.4.2 Update

The hits keep coming for Mojang in this patch. I have only found carrots so far but I started a whole new world (called Prometheus) to see all the spoooky Halloween changes. Listed below is the new patch for the game that never quits giving:

Minecraft 1.4.2

The Pretty Scary Update!
+ Added a beacon
+ Added flower pots
+ Added item frames
+ Added anvils
+ Added cobblestone walls
+ Added pumpkin pies
+ Added carrots and potatoes
+ Carrots can be put on a stick to control pigs while riding
+ Added a boss mob
+ Added a new skeleton type
+ Added witches
+ Added bats
+ Added mob heads that can be placed
+ Zombies now infect villagers, but can also be cured
+ Added wooden button
+ Items can be cloned with the “pick block” action in Creative Mode
+ Items can be quickly moved to the hotbar by pressing 1 through 9 while hovering an item
+ Added /difficulty, /spawnpoint, /weather, /gamerule and /clear commands
+ Added “target selectors” for commands
+ Added option to hide capes
+ Added option to toggle vertical synch
+ Added customization to superflat worlds
+ Minor additions to the world generator
+ New potion recipes
+ Leather armor can be dyed
* Maps now start more zoomed in, and can be extended
* Redstone repeaters can now be set into a “locked” position
* New sound effects
* Portals to the Nether can now transport items and mobs
* Adventure mode now allows placing and removing blocks, but only when using the correct tools
* Changed method of placing sideways wood logs
* Improved server list
* Improved debug (F3) options
* Spawn protection is now automatically disabled if there are no defined admins
- Removed Herobrine

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RIFT: server consolidations, raiding and more

Not in a bad way, in a good way. Trion made our current home a new trial server and offered everyone a chance to move to a new server this week. A trial server is reserved for new players and people taking advantage of the free trial. This is in preparation for the upcoming Storm Legion expansion rush when a flood of new people may be coming back to Rift.

We picked up our guild and did a transfer to Threesprings which is a brand new server Trion just opened. Combine this with Defiant and Guardians now loving each other as well as cross server LFG Q's and you have the makings of a good robust community.

Now that I have reached 50 I have attended a couple of raids in Hammerknell and run all sorts of Expert Dungeons (aka Heroics as you WoW pleebs might know them). I have since switched from a two dagger assassination spec to a Saboteur spec and am doing quite a bit of damage. I use the dagger stealth spec when questing for the most part but I also want to look into Rogue tanking.

I also took advantage of the new wardrobe/costume slots to not look like a peasant. I used a combo of plate, chain and cloth to make myself look more evil and suitable to the level 50 crowd:

The server announcement was as follows:

Hail Ascended, 
The servers of Storm Legion have arrived early! Since the beginning of the year we’ve been making constant advancements in our server technology as we worked to bring all of the shards closer together. Starting with European servers in July, we began our plans to have everyone in each region play on a single wargroup. Now we’re able to start the next leap forward – further focusing on removing the barriers between shards.  
The advancements we’ve made this year have effectively doubled the capacity of the individual servers allowing more of you to play together than ever before while reducing the total number of shards we need to support RIFT’s active population. 
What this means for you – we can now support all of our North American players on a single wargroup, further reducing queue times for dungeons and PvP while bringing the community even closer together.
This change is currently scheduled to occur this Wednesday, October 24. Here’s what the new mega-wargroup for North America will look like:
Faeblight (RP)
Laethys (Oceanic)
Seastone (PvP)
Briarcliff, Byriel, Deepstrike, Gnarlwood, Greenscale, Keenblade, Millrush, and Silkweb will be converted to trial-only shards – everyone currently on these shards will be able to take advantage of the Free Character Transfers to find yourself a new home or meet up with guild mates.  
With this massive increase in server capacity it will be easier than ever to enjoy RIFT to the fullest. We’ll be ready for anything as you and your friends storm our shores with the release of our first expansion – we can’t wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RIFT's incredibly huge 1.11 patch notes

The calm before the Storm Legion so to speak. A major huge update is going live right now and the notes are so GINORMOUS that they had to split them up as separate posts in the forums.

So here we go:

General Notes: http://forums.riftgame.com/official-rift-news/patch-notes/335450-1-11-general-8-00am-pdt-10-17-12-na-1-00am-gmt-2-00am-bst-18-10-12-eu.html

All other 1.11 patch notes:


One interesting tidbit about Planar Attunement Points now:

* Planar Attunement is now shared between all characters on your account! Planar Attunement experience earned is applied to all of your characters.

* You'll need to log in to each existing character to add their PA experience to your account-wide total. There's no advantage in logging in characters in a certain order or leaving some characters to be logged in later.

* The account-wide Planar Attunement change is going hand-in-hand with a change to how Planar Attunement experience applies to PA levels. The combined total of PA from your characters is converted before adding to the account-wide amount.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Secret Worlds odd "no level" scheme may hurt the game

This from another blog I shall not mention:

"I was one of the players that gave it a 9/10 on Metacritic. It is a very good MMO. It is awfully niche though and extremely carebear unfriendly. It has an endgame grind that locks out most casual players and reduces the content available behind dungeon unlocks and gear grinds. The 500+ skills are mostly obtuse and do not always work as expected. Many of our guild members could not develop viable skill builds and the preset builds are mostly useless. Last but not least the community was reduced to mostly a bunch of elitists with QL 10.2 gear standing in Agartha and spamming for groups yet refusing to take less experienced players. Yelling “LFM No Idiots” won’t endear you to other players. The game and community became its own worst enemy"

"Pretty soon the fun runs out and players are slapped with grinds. When you ship with only a handful of playable zones (and, really, only three or four thematically different zones when you consider it), when you design the game to be a constant switching of skills and gears and then the community has to step in to mod it because your gear and skills manager has serious issues for weeks and weeks, when your chat is broken for weeks and weeks, when your cash shop is arguably the most expensive… and on top of all this you have the temerity to charge an AAA-like sub for what’s arguably F2P-territory content, well… no wonder people are being “divisive”"

I gave up on The Secret World a while back. I saw where it was going and bailed early on. Much the same way sadly I will bail on Guild Wars 2. Breaking from the norm is not always the best thing to do. If The Secret World had featured many of the same features and components of a decent modern MMO but kept the same mystique and setting it may have been a hit.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This is some scary stuff: Free to play lovers...this is your future


Hat tip to Syncaine at Hardcore Casual. Just watch the Pay to Win is Acceptable section. Tell me that some of these methods are not being moved into Western MMO's. I see it in Guild Wars 2 everyday. Also click the events section and notice how they keep us distracted despite no end game content being installed yet.

All of you people clamoring for Free to Play games...this is your future...enjoy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fixing SWTOR


^^ This guy is looking for advice about his Star Wars the Old Republic raiding issues.

Here is a simple solution:

1) Identify that you are STILL playing SWTOR
2) Quit playing SWTOR...at least until it is free to play. Even then QUIT playing SWTOR.

Don't say I never helped anyone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cracks in the armor of Guild Wars 2

During my time with Guild Wars 2 I have noticed some cracks in the armor of what otherwise is a good game...but still these issues keep it from being GREAT.

These cracks are, for a dungeon running 5 man aficionado such as myself, enough to make me take a step back and wonder what, if anything, the game has for me at level cap.

Sure, level capping is not hard. I could tradeskill my way to 80 if I wanted or even use XP potion boosters. It is what is at the end game that had me worried all along.

Guild Wars 2 is by nature not a "raiders" game. It is a PVP game and I knew that going in. I knew that it would possibly turn me off the end game no matter how solid the leveling experience may be. However even the leveling experience is starting to grow on me a bit.

While I do commend the game on its features that old evil MMO tyrant World of Warcraft has reared its head again and still proven that it has the best end game content. I am a dungeon runner by heart. My experience in the first Guild Wars 2 dungeon was so horrendous that I may never go back. It was, as Keen and Graev have stated here...a total clusterfuck.

I miss the ‘holy trinity’ of class archetypes in dungeons.  I don’t miss them in big awesome events like the dragons, when questing/eventing, or in PvP, but I hate the lack of structure in the dungeons.  To some of you that’s heresy, but I find dungeons entirely too spammy and the whole experience feels like everyone is playing a DPS class and just zerging the fight until it’s done.

To me that is not a dungeon. That is a tacked on experience that is neither balanced nor fun. You can read their summary of the dungeons I do not need to go into here. Needless to say what is the point of action/evade combat if you are going to design a dungeon that takes place in narrow hallways, rooms with furniture that block rolls, and small confined spaces teeming with terrible dungeon AI.

If a game does not have some decent core things to precipate cooperation and dungeon running I am usually out within 4-6 weeks. Sadly I find that happening with Guild Wars 2.

The devs have stated that there will be no LFG Finder. Why not? This is a common component that every MMO should, in this day and age come with. What makes the great older games fun? I will tell you. The ability to spawn your own content. The ability to work as a team to run dungeons. Whether it be LOTRO's skirmishes, RIFT's two man content runs, or even World of Warcrafts new 3 man scenarios you need to have something there. I am sorry but logging in night to night to go from heart to heart on a map is just not doing it for me right now. Not when other games have so much more depth and other things to do. Housing, small group content, larger dungeons, organized well structured 5 mans where people know their roles...these are things I look for.

As time goes on I find myself drifting from just logging in night after night to run around and fill heart quests on a map to wanting something more. I also do not like total solo play. Never have, never will.

The dungeon experience in Guild Wars 2 was so bad, so unpolished and so bland that I doubt I will try another one for a long period of time. I was not the only one either. Most members of our party were really disappointed at the thing and toward the end it got downright funny. On the flip side I had more fun in RIFT for the short time I went back Saturday then trying that GW2 dungeon dreck. This needs to be looked at by the Arena Net crew or many many players will simply go back to you know where. There needs to be that hook and this game just does not have at from what I can tell.

I am still not convinced that there is an MMO that can be created without using the Holy Trinity.

Other sources to take a look at:

The Dungeons are Bad:


Reward system fubar'd