Monthly Archives: February 2009

Okay, 6 Makes Sense

I have commented several times that, if you want to fill your deed log, The Lord of the Rings Online™ expects you to run each instance six times. You can tell this by comparing the deed amounts to the number of enemies in the instance.

This is reasonable given that you have a team of six, with one drop at the end. If your team runs one of the hard mode instances six times, everyone has the radiance piece. Surprise, you also get the associated slayer deed. It is a reason to stick around and help others, although it does mean you are committing a solid day of your life to some instances.

This is less reasonable for the three-person instances, but old habits die hard, and they are pretty quick anyway.

: Zubon

DDO Turns 3

Then:

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach will launch in North America on Tuesday, February 28th, 2006.

Developed by Turbine and published by Atari, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach is the first and only massively multiplayer online roleplaying game based on the Dungeons & Dragons brand franchise from Wizards of the Coast.

Now:

DDO is celebrating its 3rd Birthday! As part of the celebration, we’re giving out bonus XP and Loot!

Starting this Friday, February 27th, and running through March 1st, DDO Players will gain a 50% XP bonus and +1 tier bonus to loot quality! But the fun doesn’t stop there! Once 50% XP and +1 loot are over with on Sunday March 1st, starting Monday March 2nd, enjoy 10% bonus XP for 2 weeks!

Happy Birthday!

– Ethic

Kindle as Portable Web Browser

He has a good point here. It’s a text-based web browser with free wireless; the ability to use electronic documents is a bonus. Because I have a librarian spouse and attend library conferences, I buy perhaps 1% of the books that I read, but I could still get a lot of use from a Kindle.

: Zubon

It’s True!

I am not hardcore enough for Darkfall Online.

Then again, I wasn’t hardcore enough for Everquest the second (or, as those of us in the know liked to call it, EQ’s sequel) because I thought that sitting around for 3 hours for a quest spawn was just a little bit of a waste of my time. Not that it didn’t stop me doing that in Star Wars: Galaxies I hasten to add. That damned Corellian Corvette on the Master Pilot mission was mine several times.

But Darkfall Online? No – definitely not hardcore enough.

I’d QQ more but, honestly, first I’m just gonna have to go right ahead and start caring.
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On the Cusp

For the first time in an MMO, I feel I am on the cusp for forthcoming content. I am no longer catching up to the masses. I have always been a more casual gamer in MMOs. The aged Bartle Test would classify me as an EAKS. In Lord of the Rings Online, I am finally max level, nearing the end of the current epic quest line, and finishing up the current zones. Being on the cusp does not mean I have nothing to do; rather, the anticipation to forthcoming content is a bigger deal. It’s a bittersweet place to be.

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Photon Phasing

Marc Nottke at Massively writes his last column on “phasing” for MMOgology, a column that had a very good run.  Phasing is a mechanic in a persistent MMO world where prior to some event horizon players are all in phase alpha of a zone.  After the world-changing event, players belong to the phase beta club.  A town that players once loved is burnt to the ground, there may be new mobs, new quest-givers, etc. in the beta phase.

The problem with the big MMOs current use of phasing (namely World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online to a much lesser extent) is that the community is partitioned.  The door goes one way, folks.  When you raised the ire of the enemy and your city was burned, well you can’t go back in time to see the city unburned.  That would be silly.  Now it’s time to eke the new world order out of the ashes.

Guild Wars phased the world between the starting area and the rest of the game with the first offering, Prophecies.  Players refused to leave.  They stayed in phase alpha, and to some degree – as much as is possible in Guild Wars – built a community there.  This is an extreme, but it does highlight the dangers of phasing.  People are not happy when people in the beta phase club cannot come back and group up with the slower alpha phase club.  Developers therefore have to be careful to limit the scope of the alpha phase in width and depth.  Areas unaffected by the event should not be partitioned, and players should not have to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to pass through to beta phase.  More thoughts after the break.

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6

I’ve been tagged by Ysharros over at Stylish Corpse to post my sixth screen shot so I looked into my storage drive to see what was there. Asheron’s Call 2? Dungeons & Dragons Online? EVE Online? Nah.

I decided to go with my World of Warcraft folder because the 6th image in there comes right out of the end of beta event and includes three Magmadars in a place where they just don’t belong. Without any further rambling, here it is.

This is a tag-free post so relax. You may pretend I tagged you if you want to play along.

– Ethic

Moria Hard Mode Review

I have been starting the end game for Lord of the Rings Online Mines of Moria expansion.  There are six dungeons in Moria.  I have not been in every dungeon, but each dungeon seems to be a full dungeon having hours of content.  The ones I have experienced so far each have had an excellent story vignette, and they are beautifully crafted.

However, I don’t know if I will ever get to play the full experience of each dungeon.. or just one.  Each dungeon has a hard mode.  The best way to describe it is hard mode requires a trick, which usually requires two things.  The first thing is players must usually ignore a lot of the dungeon’s content in order to accomplish hardmode.  The second thing is players must employ some sort tactic that is not usually required.

When hard mode is beat players get a one-in-six chance to get the absolute best armor in the game –  radiance armor.  This armor is required to fight the (current) ultimate boss of Moria: the Watcher in the Water.  The loot gained from doing the dungeon as normal pales by comparison, as does any crafted items.  So, Turbine created an atmosphere where players only want to do hard mode.  Yesterday, I saw a group on a global chat trying to form for well over an hour to go through to play one of the dungeons normally.

I like the challenges that hard mode presents, when they are not bugged to hell (which many are).  I do not like that Turbine funneled players to this extreme degree.  I hope that upcoming Book 7 update looks at hard mode with a hard eye. 

–Ravious
hip about time

Irony

Epic quest 2.3.9, “We Cannot Get Out,” is one of the most fun session play instances: you play a dwarf champion with ridiculous stats, and you slaughter many orcs. The quest also has a recurring bug: the NPCs you click to advance/leave the instance break. You cannot get out.

: Zubon