Aren’t You A Little Short To Be A Stormtrooper?

DARTH VADER: You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations.
BOBA FETT: (in a disappointed tone) As you wish.

Against my better judgement, I picked up Star Wars Battlefront today. I’ll fire it up tonight (maybe) and share my first impressions. It is my wife’s birthday, so there is a good chance I won’t have any time to play. If so, you’ll just have to wait.

I’m The King Of The Beta World!

I just got another beta acceptance email. This one has an NDA so I can’t say which one it is. I’ve been curious about this one as I’ve enjoyed games with settings such as this. I can’t say which game it is, but I will say this: Of the MMORPGs I have played, this game’s setting is the closest to Anarchy Online. You can do the rest.

Are Mac Users This Stupid?

This just in from the “I’m a complete idiot!” department:

How to pick up and carry your iMac G5
Don’t know how to pick up and carry your iMac G5? It’s easy. Before moving your computer, make sure all cables and cords are disconnected. Pick up the iMac G5 by grasping both sides of the computer. Carry it to wherever you wish.

Gee, thanks Apple! I wanted to move my iMac from the basement to my office but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. What a relief.

There’s No Place Like Home

On 09/17/04, the AT&T Internet Data Center (IDC) in Ashburn, VA was damaged by a tornado at approximately 6:19pm ET. Although the facility was damaged by the tornado, all AT&T Web Hosting services remained operational with no loss of connectivity to the facility. AT&T monitoring systems are in place and the center is operating at its full functionality. AT&T Engineers are closely monitoring the services within the center. To ensure the safety of our clients we are asking that all clients refrain from entering the facility. Local Law Enforcement and Safety officials are working with AT&T to assess the building and provide for a safe environment. If you are currently experiencing trouble with your Web Hosting Service please report the trouble to your Client Support Center.

Possible connection to the WoW announcement?

Star Wars! Nothing But Star Wars!

I preordered Star Wars Battlefront today. Have not really been following it, but when I finally did see a preview of it, I knew this one would be right up my alley. It looks to be everything I had hoped Star Wars Galaxies would be, but this one is not an MMORPG. Which is fine. It does, however, have a multiplayer option for up to 32 people and that should be a blast. Can’t wait.

This does bring up the fact that I have several good games just sitting there waiting for me; Thief 3, Call of Duty, Battlefield: 1942, Unreal Tournament 2004, Doom 3, and several more.

CoH > WoW

I kicked my brother off my World of Warcraft beta account so I could play for a while. I put in about 15 minutes and I logged off. I can’t believe that I’m so burned out. I didn’t even play that much. I guess it all comes down to the fact that it is just another treadmill in a pretty new package. After you get past the visuals, you just have the same old game.

However, I do still plan on playing WoW when it goes gold. I think the fact I’m playing a beta is getting in the way. I feel like I’m wasting my time playing a character that will be wiped. I certainly want to see the higher end of the game, as I’ve been told it is quite amazing. I just won’t bother until they are done with the game. Fact is, when you play a class and it is powerful, it often gets nerfed. Then you feel like the class sucks. However, if you start the class after the nerf, you approach things differently since you did not know about the class before. I’ve been through this so much in Asheron’s Call 2. It really is a game killing move. I think I’ll give Blizzard more time to flush out the game, so to speak.

City of Heroes seems to keep getting better. I got burned out with the low level game by rolling up so many different characters (which really is fun) and doing the same 4 or 5 levels. This weekend I picked one character (fire/energy blaster) and locked in on him. After getting up a few more levels, some real interesting things started happening. Mob AI started to improve, maps got more interesting, I traveled to other cities, and I started to kick some serious ass.

Special thanks goes out to my good bud who has been helping me out in CoH. You know who you are.

So for now, CoH > WoW. That is all.

Video Game Addiction

Below is a snip from an article I read today about television addiction. While reading it, I instantly recognized that I have had some of these same feelings related to playing video games. Anyway, I thought I’d put this here so I don’t forget about it. Hopefully it will help guide people towards a more healthy relationship with TV shows and video games.

What Really Happens When You Watch

Television exerts an almost hypnotic pull. If the box is on, your body is drawn to watch, researchers say. The quickly shifting images and loud noises prompt a reaction known as the orienting reflex, which evolved to protect us from potential predators. When you sense movement, your body freezes and “blood rushes to your brain so you can scope out what’s going on,” Kubey explains.

These images may attract your eyes the same way a flickering fire or light reflecting off the surface of a body of water does, adds Percy Tennenbaum, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of public policy and psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. Even the best-intentioned people find they can’t look away when the television is on. Alexis Bloom, a New York City-based filmmaker, discovered this firsthand when she made a documentary about Bhutan, the Himalayan nation that in 1999 was the last place in the world to get television. While filming, she learned that Bhutanese monks performing religious ceremonies in people’s homes often found their eyes straying to the television in the corner.

Once it catches your attention, television sedates you like a drug. Scientists say television viewing increases your brain’s alpha waves and slows your beta waves, making you feel mellow and relaxed.

But once you turn off the television set, the good feelings evaporate. Any negative feelings you weren’t paying attention to while the set was on will surface. And you might experience symptoms of withdrawal, including boredom, dissatisfaction, irritability, a low energy level, and an inability to concentrate, Kubey says. In a weeklong study of people’s habits, Kubey and a colleague discovered that people were less likely to feel good after watching television than after exercising, reading a good book, or having an interesting conversation.

Given television’s hypnotic effects, it’s no wonder that it’s hard to turn off. Still, not everyone has a problem. Some people can watch a little television each week and switch it off easily, while others sense that they can’t control how much they watch and feel drawn to the television day after day. Researchers say they haven’t studied television habits enough to understand why.

Have You Seen My Classes Around Here?

My favorite kind of class to play in an MMORPG is a thief type. Stealthy with high damage potential. Problem is, these classes tend to be hard to play solo. So usually I end up being a fighter so I can actually finish quests and such. It’s not the class I really want, therefore I eventually get bored and quit the game altogether.

In Anarchy Online, I was immediately drawn to the Fixer. The idea of being able to hack into stuff was cool. Unfortunately, the class really did not have any use for such skills and I ended up being a weak, slow levelling fighter. But at least, I could run real fast. Run away that is.

In Star Wars: Galaxies, I picked a Smuggler. This sounded great too, but I just ended up helping people make their gun do more damage. I also could not stand the visuals in this game. And where were all the players? Freaking world is abandoned all the time.

Asheron’s Call 2 did not have any thief classes, so I chose something which seemed a little different: Feral Intendant. This class has a pet and is a melee tank god. With health drains and the ability to dish out (and take) a lot of damage, this class was clearly overpowered. Also very very fun. I hit the level cap for the first time in my life. Soon after, Turbine redesigned all the classes and I’ve never felt the magic return. Also, this game has no clue how to implement pets. They would straggle way behind and get stuck on everything. Half the time I had troubles summoning one. I don’t normally like playing pet classes, and luckily this class could play just fine without one.

In WoW, they have a Rogue. This class is just about perfect for me, other than the fact that I have been having problems soloing. That and the fact that they have several cool classes I wanted to try. I will likely play a Rogue when it goes retail. But for now, I’ve been trying out the other classes. The Druid is fun because you can transform into other beasts and thus play different roles. The Warrior is possibly the most fun melee class I’ve ever played. Lately, I’ve been playing a Hunter. You can tame a beast to fight by your side. You get a ranged weapon and a good melee weapon. This seems targeted at being the ultimate solo class. Blizzard still has plenty to implement in this class so we shall see, but so far so good.

I can hear people saying, why play an MMORPG when you prefer to solo? Well, I don’t prefer to solo, but I end up doing it most of the time because of my schedule and short moments of time available to play. I rarely have time to put a group together and quest/hunt for 4 hours. But I still try to when I can and therefore I play MMORPGs. I prefer to be with a group, it’s just not that easy to do all the time.

WoW Has Less Wow Now

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft beta for few months now and have been enjoying it for the most part. However, there is a distinct level of “meh” rising. I am not feeling that tug you get when you want to get something accomplished in game. Part of it is the rest bonus. The longer I stay out of the game, the higher my XP bonus is. It is almost as if I am gaining interest on top of interest and it’s good enough to keep me logged out.

But then I log in and I can’t think of anything fun to do. The quests are getting a little dull for me. And I can’t seem to get someone above level 16 before I want to try a new class so that makes the game seem more repetitive than it really is since I am *actually* repeating quests over and over. I should probably stop that.

The way the game works, it sort of leads you from one area to the next. Sometimes I get into an area and I can’t wait to get out of it. I feel like I need to finish the quests before I can leave. Of course that is not true, but it is how I feel.

So I have been playing Asheron’s Call 2 on occasion. It is still pretty fun, but it is sort of like going back to your old home town that you swore you’d never go back to visit.

I picked up Battlefield: 1942 recently and have been practicing my flying skills in the single player mode before I dare try the multiplayer. That is a fun game, the variety of things you can do is very cool. Fly a plane, shoot big cannons from a battleship, pilot a landing craft, parachute out of a plane into enemy territory, even drive a tank. Pretty sweet game for $20. Highly recommended if you have not already been there.

I’m also looking forward to the release of that new Pirates! game. It looks cool and I’m sort of a Pirate freak anyway. Pirates and Monkeys you know.