An Experiment Of Sorts

One of the largest problems I have had to deal with when playing MMORPGs is that I do not have a lot of free time to play. This causes the people I know and prefer to group with to out-level me pretty soon and then it becomes game over soon after. Truth be told, if I can’t group with them, I’d rather go solo.

When we start a new game it is fun, we play together, everything is great. Two weeks later my brother is double or triple my level and my friends are usually twice my level. Hello solo city.

I have tried, with not much success, to encourage them to make a 2nd character that they would play only when I am online. A static group of sorts. Sounds good at first but before I know it everyone is doing a quest that takes 3 hours and they are 30 minutes into it. Sorry bro, maybe we can hook up tomorrow night.

Well, last night I tried this once again, this time in City of Heroes. Inhibit is cool about it as he solos most of the time anyway so it is easy to leave a mission. He rolled up a second character to participate in this project.

My brother is attempting to toss a wrench into the works by professing a need to only play one character. He figures that he will just get exemplared down to one of us so we can still do this. I figure he will be 30 minutes into a 3 hour task force mission soon enough. If not that, the exemplar process may not work as we think it will.

So, I am expecting this to be just a duo team most of the time with just me and Inhibit. If so, I will be quite happy as we have been doing this over the last week and it was going well. If my brother is available, we will add him in somehow. If nobody else is on, I will play my solo character.

I hope it lasts for a while as last night’s session was a lot of fun.

Our group consists of an empathy/dark defender (Inhibit’s character), a dark/dark scrapper (my brother’s character) and an illusion/kenetics controller (mine). We’ll see how it goes.

EQ2 Continues To Impress Me

I picked up this news item from CorpNews.

Everquest 2 has released yet another producer’s roundtable. This one has an announcement that I think is very cool. They are adding mentoring to the game. Like City of Heroes, you can have a high level player work with a low level player.

The basic of it are as follows. A high level player selects a low level player, right-clicks and chooses to mentor them. The effect of this is that it drops the high level player down to the apprentice’s level. The mentor can use any spells/skills that would be appropriate for the apprentice’s level. They do not need to change armor or weapons, so I assume they are going to temporarily downgrade their power.

Both the mentor and the apprentice will gain XP. The mentor at a slightly lower rate than they would normally and the apprentice at a slightly higher level. The apprentice can have up to 5 mentors at one time and each gives the apprentice a small boost in XP.

Meanwhile World of Warcraft put up the latest “under development” page here. Unless the line that says “Please note: The New Features list is a sneak peek. It does not contain every addition, change, or bug fix going in the next patch.” is covering for a lot of stuff, I am quite disappointed in Blizzard’s effort to add new content and bug fixes. They have been well below the curve of most other MMORPG devs when it comes to speedy updates and this does not make me think it will change any time soon. But hey, chat bubbles man. That’s important stuff.

Two MMORPG Themes I’d Like To Play

These are just off the top of my head, just the basic themes.

Pirates – Puzzle Pirates doesn’t count. I want to be a swashbuckler on a ship with my crewmembers. I want to sail on the sea, find a merchant ship and attack it. First with canons and later by swinging onboard for some combat. I want to be able to bury treasure and I want to be able to search for treasure. I want sailing to work like real sailing.

Robots – I think robots would be fun because they would be so flexible. You could justify replacing body parts, even the whole design. Upgrade your robot. Changing your skills would make total sense. Go into a shop and download new software. Combat should destroy parts of the robot and you’d have to go buy a new arm or whatever.

More WoW Woes

Last night I logged into City of Heroes but my friend was not playing. So, I decided to check in World of Warcraft for a bit. It gets stuck on the authentication screen. So I give it 15 minutes and try again – same problem. I go back to CoH and play solo for a while. An hour later I try WoW. This time I get past the authentication screen, however it gets stuck at the loading characters screen. Back to CoH. An hour later, I try WoW one last time. Finally, I got in. Three minutes later the screen locks up and I get disconnected from the server.

I log back in only to see that the world is down. Five minutes later I get in and the general chat was filled with people saying “another disconnect? wtf?”. Five minutes later another disconnect and I’m done for the night.

Blizzard rep comments on the forum: “Players on certain realms may get disconnected from their realm briefly in a continent dump.” Oh I see, thanks. Er, what?

I should mention that I had no crashing issues with CoH this time.

Long-time Turbine Customers Rejoice!

Turbine Kicks Off Member Loyalty, Beta Rewards Program

WESTWOOD, MA – February 23, 2005 – Turbine, Inc., a premier provider of online subscription entertainment, today announced that it has launched a member rewards program as a way to say “thank you” to its dedicated and passionate online games service members. The new member rewards program, which went live on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005, offers anyone with an active subscription to a Turbine service the opportunity to become eligible for future Turbine beta testing programs before the general public.

In other words, if you currently have an active AC or AC2 account going back over the past 6 months you have a good chance at beta testing one of their upcoming games. Considering they have two pretty hot titles in the works (MEO and DDO), I’m looking forward to having a chance to test them.

It’s A Rave!

The last time I played City of Heroes, I remembered doing a mission where I had to rescue some people taken hostage at a “Rave”. In reality, it was just a warehouse with people running around inside it.

The first mission I got the other day was this exact one. The loading screen when I entered the warehouse showed a picture of booze bottles and party lights. I laughed, remembering the former reality.

Upon entering, I knew they had changed it. I could hear music thumping away in the background and the lighting was quite different. Eventually I got to the party area. Laser light show, loud music, and even the booze bottles. The changed it so it actually looked like a rave! I was tempted to hang out and dance after arresting all the bad guys.

One other thing, what is up with all the badges? I don’t recall this so it must be new. I was awarded a badge shortly after the tutorial. Also, several people in the tutorial were looking for people to team up for “the badge”. Anyone want to fill me in on why I should care about them?


I double click on the World of Warcraft icon on my desktop. A note pops up telling me a few servers are offline. None of them are mine. Log in and get “Authenticating” and that is it. No game, no fun, no community – nothing.

Sometimes a game just picks the wrong time to act like a piece of garbage. I’m not in a very forgiving mood tonight.

UPDATE: City of Heroes just got another month out of me… I’ll give it 30 days. WoW will be my backup for the next month.

The Drudge Report

It looks like there is a new race you can play in the upcoming Asheron’s Call 2: Legions expansion pack. No, it’s not the already announced Empyreans, but it appears to be a Drudge – complete with board and nail.

Seems it is only for people that pre-order the expansion pack.

UPDATE: At a later date, a quest to unlock the Drudge race will be available for those that do not pre-order, but this quest will have a pretty high level-requirement (60-ish).