Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Would dynamic classes ever work?

Certainly not in a WoW or Wildstar environment, but an idea that I've been kicking around for a few days. This is purely more of an RP / sandbox idea.

What do I mean by dynamic classes? I'll start simple, with ideas based on a game that includes real world day/night and season cycles.

Imagine a Moon Mage, who's power was tied to the moon cycle. Based on the stages of the moon, he would fluctuate between +10% and -10% damage. On actual full or new moons, he would gain another +10% or -10% respectively.

What about a druid or nature mage where the powers themselves changed over the seasons? Plant summoning in spring,  animal summoning in the summer, etc. Not just visual changes either, in the transition from spring to summer they would change most of their abilities for new ones.

While I personally love the ideas behind these, I'm aware a greater player base would never latch onto it. Forget who would even play the classes (I would), but how they would be reacted too. How many Moon Mages would be kicked from a group because 'it's not their time'? How many nature mages would be told to 'enjoy fall, because you won't find a single group that will take you in winter'?

Even if every class was dynamic in such a way. 'Ugh, I want to play my Moon Mage but it it's a new moon, guess I'll play my alt for two weeks until my main is strong again.'

Such classes will never happen, but if somehow, some way such things ever came to be.... I think it would be a huge step to placing back the RP in RPG, let alone MMORPG.

For now it'll just remain some pipe dream.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

What do people want out of leveling content?

I think this is a question that needs to be looked at a bit more closely in every game. Take Warcraft or Wildstar and their End/Elder game respectively. That's the main reason people play them. Most of the loud dedicated players want raids and dungeons. People constantly skip leveling content, they power level, buy guides, skip quest text, fly over mobs, avoid as much unnecessary work as they can and find the path of least resistance.

Yet every expansion needs more leveling content, with better questing, and larger areas...

To what end?

Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of players will love going through it....the first time. And then we're back at 'end game.'

Part of me thinks we should stop dividing our MMOs into two separate game, leveling and end, to create a more constant experiance.

But then I guess that's what sandboxes are for.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Wildstar the Harmony of Endless Space

My game time was a bit sporadic this week. I worked, spent my nights off with my girlfriend and suffered from food poisoning, but still managed to get in a few good bursts of play time.


I still don't know, I really don't. On the plus side, I still log into beta, but on the flip side, everytime I find myself having to power through something. In terms of class choice, I always prefer sustained damage over burst. But you're a rogue! Some of you may say, while true, that is because I enjoy stealth mechanics. In WoW, I play the combat spec, it has greater defenses and more sustained damage for the trade off of less burst. The stalker seemed all burst, all the time, so I tried Wildstar's warrior. I do like it better, and the unrestricted costume system + dyes means I have absolute faith I could create someone who looks awesome. There are however, still three major hurdles in this game for me.

1. Spam attack. 70% of what I do is spam my 1 button while I build Wildstar's equivalent of rage. I covered this in a previous post, but my dislike of it has gotten worse over time.

2. PVE wise, challenges. I can't seem to go anywhere or do anything without the big announcement of 'CHALLENGE BEGINS'. I didn't agree to any challenge! Nor do I want to hunt down 3 times the amount of enemies the quests call for, nor within a time limit, nor when I have enough trouble finding enemies for the quests when 14 other players are in the area also attempting the challenge. It's loud, obtrusive and everywhere. "Hey, these little blue dudes are innocent and we're intruding on their territory but kill 40 in 3 minutes and get a 6-slot bag!"

3. PVP wise, I can't tell what the hell is going on. In WoW, I know a fireball hit me, and I know where it hit me from. In Wildstar, all I know is I was standing in some sort of red overlapped with 5 other sources of red, 3 sources of green and my own blue template. I can use moves without having a target so half the time I don't even know if I'm hitting them. My kick/knockdown has an 8 second cooldown, but I don't know if they are in range. I don't know if they are immune to CC currently, or if I missed. All I know is that it's on cooldown and I don't remember them falling down. Even then, with the active tap to get out of CC, it could have worked, but they tapped out before I noticed. And when cc'd myself, these same buttons to tap to escape are the dodge buttons. Many times already I escaped CC just to dodge roll off a cliff. I've enjoyed every 1v1 fight I've had, but group fights are a mess.

These together, here is my overall feeling at the moment. Everything I can do in Wildstar, even when they do it better then WoW, has something about it that makes me want to log into WoW instead. Yes, as a rogue in WoW I still have a spam move, but I know what's going on. I can read the combat and know who is getting hit with what.

Endless Space: Disharmony

The second game I've been playing, since Wildstar got me in a sci-fi mood, is Endless Space. Think Civ 5, with solar systems as opposed to planets. I was predisposed to like this game from the get-go, as 80% of my time in Civ 4 was spent in the space mod. It's a lot of micromanaging, but most of it can be automated quite well unless you have a super specific strategy. I also enjoy how the different races play differently on a fundamental level. It's not just a few bonus with different art. I'll try to explain them in Civ terms.

The Cravers: Imagine all city locations are set in stone from the get go (solar systems). The Cravers are a hive mind that for one, cannot by any means declare peace with anyone. They are incompatible and by default are at war with everyone from the start. Your cities gain 'locust points', at a rate of one per turn. Below 20 locust points, your cities have 150% resources. As you consume the area and gain locust points, this drops to 100% at 20. After 60 points, your cities have 50% resources. You need to spread, you need to feed, the Cravers must invade and capture other systems to stay competitive. You cannot stand prolonged war, or risk starvation.

The Sowers: These are robots. Sowers only use 1/2 the food available on a planet. But, a % of all industry is provided as a bonus to their food as they work to replicate themselves. To the sowers, it's the arid, desert, tundra and arctic planets that are best to colonize. A jungle or temperate world is of little use as you require work, not food to populate.

The Harmony: Added in the expansion, they are the most divergent to the others. Imagine playing a game of Civ 5 where gold was BAD. Gold meant your people were sick, and you had to actively build things to ensure no gold entered your system. In Endless Space, 'Dust', a reality altering sand left by a precursor race, is the universal currency. The Harmony are allergic, it is a plague to them. While other races try to mine or dig up as much as they can, you are building things to remove it. Any dust in a solar system has a negative effect on food, industry and science. With no dust, you can not hire heroes, you can not pay to 'quick build', you can not trade dust to other players, you can not pay to repair ships, you can not retrofit ships. On the flip side, you have no approval/happiness worries for your population, you have no upkeep costs (so just keep building ships!), you do not worry about taxes, income, or bankruptcy. Obviously don't aim for the economic victory with this race.

I am still not very good at the game, and by far my biggest weakness is still trying to find the best way to design my ships. That's right, design your own ships! Choose a hull and load it with various weapon, defense, support and invasion modules up to your tonnage cap. While I've been enjoying kinetic weapons with the sniper perk, part of me would like to try beam weapons.

Did I mention you can also create your own race? First choose your 'affinity', who's fundamental game play are you using? Want to be anti-dust like the Harmony? Robots like the Sowers? Then choose what your race looks like, followed by compiling a list of positive and negative traits to tailor your play style. Traits add or subtract points, with the goal to end up at 65. Perhaps you take the sniper perk, with a 15% accuracy bonus on ships. At the same time, maybe your race also pays 'the price of beauty', which increases the industry cost of your ships by 30%. Go wild and experiment with these!

It's a game I've owned for a while, and one I love to revisit. I highly recommend looking it up on Steam.

Monday, 5 May 2014

I tried Wildstar and I don't know.

As my friends left ESO, they began talking about what to try next. Wildstar came up more in conversation, a game I've known about but haven't held much interest in. I got into this weekend's beta and finally gave it a go.

It's going to be somewhat difficult to talk about in that my mixed feelings are not love/hate. Rather a meh/eh relationship where nothing disappointed or impressed me. People spoke about ESO being 'painfully average' and perhaps this is what they meant by it.

Mind you, I only got to level 8. In open beta I may get farther but 8 is as far as I've got so far, and my opinions on the game are limited as such. I played an Exile Human Stalker and a Dominion Chua Esper.

Art: Love it.  That's really about it, some don't like it, I do.

Controls:....floaty. Animations have no weight to them. I appreciate them leaning your character while turning, but as someone who rebinds his keys to strafe and turns with his mouse, the camera freaks out.

Combat: Not bad, tab targeting with all moves based on templates. All about movement but no collision detection... My gripe however, is not just limited to this game, but many as of late. It seems the whole genre is at war against the idea of auto-attack. Every build in Wildstar depends on a 'spam' move outside of cool downs. Isn't that what auto-attack was originally supposed to address back in the day? I don't enjoy spamming my 1 key outside my other abilities. I'd rather just have an auto attack and use abilities as needed. Or do what ESO/Smite did and make basic attacks a manual operation from mouse clicks. Or create a system that does not rely on spam moves. City of Heroes had 2-3 second cooldowns on the most basic of powers and a long global cool down. With this and no DPS meters it was more important as to what powers you used as opposed to true rotations. I may be off topic now, long story short, I'm tired of spamming things, bring back auto-attack.

Writing: I've said the low levels is usually the worst for writing, that is true here. I almost already don't care if it improves later. This game knows not the word subtlety. Did you know it's a space western? Don't worry, if you didn't know, the Exile areas will let you know. And then remind you every single time a character opens their mouth in case you forgot. Because it's a space western, and that's the most important fact of the whole narrative, that it's a space western. The gist of what I'm saying, is that the game will tell you it's a space western. Three times I logged out for a break because I couldn't handle having it shoved any further down my throat, and I LIKE space westerns. Dominion side was better about tone, but at the same time had to shove down my throat the fact that 'we do morally questionable things' at all times. I like the feel of being part of an empire, but 'hey, mind scan citizens for impure thoughts, if they have any we'll donate them to science' is literally the first thing they ask you to do. Then the 'loving' emperor goes on about how he thinks they can be saved. Then your second task, is to commit lethal science to them. It doesn't help that every single character I ran into is a 2D character meant to fill a bit. Writing is NOT this games strength, on the whole it hurts me.

Paths: I think they miss the point of exploration. In old WoW, the zone Azshara was a favorite of mine. I found some cool stuff there, neat waterfalls and the like. It was special because I didn't have a beacon going 'THERE IS A COOL THING OVER HERE'. In these games I am an explorer, but the explorer path is obviously not for me.

Music: Love it, simple, music on both sides was nice.

I still need to try the pvp, if anything I would stay for that. But again the idea of the treadmill content system worries me. I don't see a future for myself in Wildstar, I see a month spent seeing the sights, while blocking my ears to avoid having the writing ruin those sights for me.

So Wildstar is not the next thing for me, I've started looking into ArcheAge a bit more. I still know incredibly little but apparently it turns into a sandbox. I like the class system on paper, the housing and crime systems on paper. $150 is a bit steep for me to get alpha access, perhaps I'll get a beta package later, I don't know.

That is perhaps the point of the post. What's the future of my MMO gaming? I don't know.


Friday, 2 May 2014

So ESO did another AMA...

Honestly? It left a better taste in my mouth than the last one. Here's what caught my attention.

-Chat bubbles working internally, big change from not planed!

-Justice system for player thieves and guards!

-They want level downscaling to keep challenge in lower content!

-Guild tabards!


In short, NOT-ENOUGH.

I know, I know, greedy entitled player wants more. Level downscaling is appreciated but there's still not a reason to go to previous zones. I suppose one could now go and help their lower level friends but they'll have to finish fixing the grouping issues for that to be of worth.

But honestly, what would get me to stay at this point? RP phasing. Chat bubbles are high on my want list but don't fix my issue at the moment. Which is what do I do when I can't find or don't pvp? I've lost interest in the pve, I made that pretty clear. But RP phasing/flagging, give me back that social hook to walk into in a corner club in Mournhold and find other players who are also there to RP.

And THAT would  be enough. Combined with the things I did like in the AMA, ESO could still have a bright future. But without that flagging and phasing, I just don't care enough.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Craglorn may be the nail in the coffin...

I've been faltering with ESO as of late. In my post The Dissapointment of the ESO AMA, I asked how long would I be able to keep playing. And it's been hitting me.

The individual zone exploration is great, but it finishes. I'm nearly done the Rift and have no reason to return to previous areas. No alternate leveling paths to go back too. At any time there is only ever the one zone appropriate to my level, and once I'm in veteran ranks it won't even be a zone for my faction. Morrowind, my favorite province of Tamriel, was finished at level 30.

Actually a small correction, there are two reasons to go back to previous zones. If you want to craft something with a specific set bonus, and because Shadowfen has the best laid out crafting area. Say what you will about WoW dailies, there continues to be reasons to visit every corner of Pandaria.

City of Heroes had missions that sent you back to various zones all the time. Level scaling and the ouroboros time travel missions could keep any local relevant at any time.

The upcoming Craglorn, a place meant for Veteran 10 players (Players who have already completed every zone in the game), raises the Veteran cap to 12. We now have precedent to treadmill content philosophy as opposed to horizontal content philosophy for the future of the game. Where now areas released will be the only relevant areas. Windhelm, capitol of the Ebonheart Pact may well never have a reason to return to other then a pick up quest for the next new patch added area.

The writing past the 2nd zone of a faction changes style to you're the only one who can do anything of worth to stop current issues. It's a writing style I don't enjoy, and so I have little interest in continuing the narrative in the game overall. That's a giant shame as until level 20 I had done nothing but praise the writing, and in most MMOs the introductory style of the early level writings are usually the worst.

I still enjoy the pvp when I find it, but is that enough? I'm not big on dungeons, I'm no longer a fan of this story, and RP is hard or impossible to find outside select groups. No world pvp in the pve areas to keep things interesting, no tension standing on roads or safe pockets where NPCs don't patrol.

This perhaps is a bit fragmented I suppose, the gist of it is the parts that impressed me no longer do. The first half of Deshaan is probably my favorite writing in any MMO at the moment but ESO seems dead set on no, only YOU can solve this. This not being the huge main story, but each individual zone story. I don't mind the hero of a thing, but when I'm the special hero of ALL THE THINGS, it's lazy. At the same time, the parts that kept disappointing me keep doing so. Combined now with the treadmill attitude to future content I just feel done.

The rp/server communities aren't there. I'm no longer interested in the pve world. Pve players will continue to level faster to dominate the pvp areas which hurts motivation. I just don't want to log in anymore...

City of Heroes would have been 10 this week....

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hard to believe... Also Titanfall!

I'm still new to the blogging thing, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.

What ever I did last week worked!

April 11th I posted that I had reached 500 views, April 19th I made the werewolf post and within the next week, that post alone reached +200 views. I am shocked, but would be lying if I said I didn't smile every time I checked my blog stats.

As I'm finally working again, game time was a bit low but I tried two new games.

The first is The Last Federation. An indie game on Steam that's difficult to explain. Total Biscuit can do that better then I. A fun game that breeds interesting stories, a watercooler game like Skyrim. I've achieved one victory so far, where only 2 of the 10ish alien races survived. My computer mocked me with 'You win... I think.... did you mean to kill everyone?'. I have much to learn, and probably still focus too much on trying to befriend one to two races at a time.

The other was Titanfall, I know, I know, I'm a month late to that party. All the blogs said their small peice on it and unless you actively avoided all the hype like I did, (I try to distance myself from advertising and videos that have nothing to do with the actual gameplay, but that's another post) you probably know all about it already.

I'll say I liked it better then expected, and at the same time, Origin is a bigger pain then I remember. All the generic statements are true. "it's fun" "I has a mech" "Enemies are weak to theses bullets I just so  happen to have" BUT, what really sets the game apart for me is the minions. Those little lovable minions! You run beside them and they're like "Oh man it's a PILOT! I mean I wish we had a better name for them but MAN, game on!" You find them pulling their injured friends to safety. You hear the captain shouting into the radio for back up when his team is wiped out. This is no generic cry of 'need backup', no, he's crying out 'My team is dead, my whole team is dead!'. HIS team. He has a history with them! THESE ARE PEOPLE. PEOPLE WITH LIVES! Not the enemy though, I take them out 6 at a time with a smart pistol because reasons and also it is a game.

Still, that is my favorite thing of the game. The narrative of the overall story sucks opposite to a hole in the airlock (because that technically and figuratively blows) but the narrative of each battle is strong. Each battle I feel committed, in the fray with those minions and the drop ship extraction is a genius idea. THE BATTLE IS OVER. THERE IS ALREADY A WINNER. IT MEANS NOTHING. And yet the drop ship extraction is suddenly EVERYTHING when it happens.

Progress in ESO has slowed due to Titanfall. I've had little interest in continuing the narrative of the Rift and the story missions requiring a tanky survival build has ticked me off after how much the game wanted to push the 'play as you want' mantra. As I've only been able to PVP in the off times it's been harder to find action. At which point, I play Titanfall!

Say what you want about battlegrounds and pvp without consequence, sometimes a guy just wants to fight. I care not what it 'means' or how much it 'matters'. I don't want arena rating. I just want the rush of the fight. But that's yet another post for yet another day.


PS: I need to take more screenshots.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Werewolf post.

There are a few things I wanted to talk about. How ho-hum Shadowfen was, the writing quality improving again in Eastmarch, despite how boring and one dimensional Nords are, and how I don't think an editor even glanced at the Rift. (Voice acting doesn't match text, missing words, breadcrumbs for quests I've already completed, never actually informing people the deed is done before a ghost sends me elsewhere in the same quest line. I could go on, and eventually will... likely)

Ok, a while ago I teased with this picture...
Combined with that and how I don't black out my text box and the amount for chatter from a guild called "Creatures of the Night", also combined with previous posts detailing my goal of being a werewolf, one could probably guess what I was up too.

It's exactly what you guessed! Creatures of the Night is a guild about providing Werewolf and Vampire bites to those who want them. There's a weird thing going on right now in the game, it stands out to a point where even IGN had an article about it. The "Underworld Economy".

Many people out there want to be one of these things, the NPCs that can turn you are super rare. As you can turn another player into one of these once a week, players have begun selling their weekly bites for upwards of 40,000 gold. These same players also camp the spawn points of werewolves and vampires to keep their prices up.

Not Creatures of the Night, weekly bites are raffled off when available and I happened to win one of these raffles. I have in turn, raffled off my bites thus far.

However, I have since stopped being a werewolf. No longer a Creature of the Night, I have since also left said guild, but recommend them to anyone who aspires to be either wolf or vamp.

Dropping werewolf was not a choice made lightly. I had worked towards it, pre-built my stats for it, leveled the skill line to the max of 10 and tried for days to find a way to use it effectively.

As of right now, it is my current opinion, that there is no use or point to the werewolf form beyond RP, novelty, and cool factor.

First is the cost of the ultimate ability, it starts at 1000 but degrades to 900 as you level it. This takes 15-20minutes to build up. As a dungeon is roughly 20minutes on a clean run, you can think of it as a 'once per storyline' or 'once per dungeon' ability. Must be a good one eh?

Not quite. Even with a focus on Stamina, which is what werewolf damage scales off of, I didn't actually deal any increased damage. To which I have to think of the effect of those who didn't focus on stamina as much as I did.The abilities given are a leap and an area of effect fear. The leap has a minimum range and deals less damage then my normal assassin Telestrike. The AoE fear has a slugish 1 second cast time that requires you stop attacking for it to register, lagging it longer as you mash the button after letting go of the mouse. I can get the same fear from the shadow line of my Nightblade abilities. Only it's instant. And it can be morphed to lower the enemy's attack power...

The trade off for these things that I could have anyway? 50% more poison damage taken at all times. Losing the ability to interrupt and dodge. Additional weakness to players who invested into the fighter's guild skills. Oh! I also lose all other abilities for the duration of the transformation.

Ah yes, the transformation. All that stuff I gained (but not really), available once every 20minutes or so, lasts about.... 30 seconds. Now to be fair, I can extend that by devouring corpses and a morphed version of the leap. The 3-4 second devour animation grants a few extra seconds. The description says it can be used on 'humanoids' but I need to get a Zenimax to English dictionary. 'Humanoid' does not include goblins but includes wolves, spiders and bats in their context.

I will bring up that devour is currently bugged. It provides the extra time at the beginning of the animation as opposed to the end, can be interrupted still providing the time, and, having not finished the animation, allows the devouring of the same corpse again.  While this can provide infinite transformation time, it does not weigh in my decision to drop the form as it is a bug that will surely be fixed. Or perhaps helps illustrate my decision as even with this bug, I dropped the form.

It feels like I don't actually gain anything. From groups of minions to bosses, it's easier to just use my class abilities, to which I can guess it would be even easier if I had an ultimate other then werewolf and didn't have a weakness to poison. For these reasons, I gave it up.

Perhaps later they will fix it, I did not repec my skill points so it's still fully leveled up if I ever regain the infection. I did however respec my attributes to be more Magika focused and now use mostly Nightblade class abilities. The transition period of leveling the skills was hard, but overall things have gotten easier then my stamina weapon build.

I have no current plans to become a Vampire, but I may give it a try later. Until then, I'm alright not being supernatural.


Friday, 11 April 2014

500 already!?

So I knew I was going to hit 500 hits sometime this week. But a random spike in hits has made me surpass it by quite a bit. 500 hits and more then 250 just in the past month. I'm going to thank Bhagpuss of Inventory Full for that, landing a spot on his blog roll has done wonders.

I started this in late January and I'm glad I did. It's been a great ride so far and I'm looking forward to more.

In more good news, I've found employment again. Back in the saddle next week. My game time may take a hit, but you know what? After 5 months on the job hunt, it'll be nice to turn on a game and not feel as if I should just be doing more job hunting.

Next post I'll touch on the Shadowfen, what's happening in pvp and a goal I hit. Here's a hint...


Monday, 7 April 2014

Some ESO fun, pvp and a spoiler post on the rest of Deshaan.

Servers were going down for maintenance so I had some fun in zone chat.

 Let it be known I never claim to not be a troll at times, that, and I greatly enjoyed the good mannered response.

I've spent quite a bit of time in Cyrodil PVP lately, Dawnbreaker NA campaign. At least I must have compared to most. I don't claim to know the mechanics of the leader boards but 2 sessions of defending the South Morrowind gate have placed me in the top 50. Aldmeri Dominion hold every single objective of the map, they outnumber us 4:1 at the best of times. You can't capture the gates but Aldmeri sometimes likes going through to collect the skyshards in our lands. A group of 4 of us defending that gate has, multiple times, earned a response of 20 or more AD.

Owning the entire map, how starved for action they must be to zerg people defending an objective that can't actually be captured. But I've loved it.

Some history, apparently the AD guild of a popular beta streamer chose the campaign. Being the pro-try hard types they power leveled and quickly dominated the entire map. Other AD players saw this and went 'yeah I want in on that!' while players on the other two factions went 'no way!' Since early access began they have held everything. Us Pact members and the Daggers have pushed for some keeps on occasion, even at the same time but AD has the numbers to outnumber the both of us at once. The Daggers made a great push one night and over 4 hours took 4 keeps. Within an hour AD retook all 4. As many Pact and Dagger players gave up, the Dominion has been pretty bored and so the guild of that streamer has since changed campaigns. What remains is a zerg of followers, ones we easily outplay.

Playing smart, we can kill A TON of Dominion players, the problem being is that playing smart only gets you so far against EXCESSIVE numbers. When 20 of us take a keep and 80-100 AD show up to stop us, hungry to see action, there just isn't much left to do. Hold them off as we may try, we get 50 assaulting the keep and 30 roaming to kill our reinforcements. Forget trying to hold a second keep or defending the small objectives around the keep.

I love defending the south gate, it's been a great source of fun, but when 25-40 show up to bust down us 6, even I can get a bit discouraged.

Our Guild will not leave though, we will not be part of the problem. The Dominion are bored, and they are getting lazy. They have EVERY keep bonus, EVERY elder scroll bonus and the Emperor bonus, and yet we're still winning general combat. Our players are getting better because we have to play harder. The leader boards are filling up with names of the Ebonheart Pact and when the tide finally turns it is going to be satisfying.

And now the section on the second half of Deshaan. There will be spoilers.



I made an entire post to how well your story was laid out and you throw it all away in the 2nd half! I caught up with one ally in Mournhold. Not a part of the assassin's guild as I thought. I continued to meet a member of the Tribunal, a fun enough segment, I enjoyed working with a major lore figure. To bad it went downhill from there...

Up to the point of receiving Almalexia's blessing, I still felt as though I was a part of a bigger picture. After that point? Nope, chosen one. From that point on for the rest of the zone it was just me doing work, things happened because I was there. I even got to the cliche town that was just wiped out. WHAT!? What's with the 180!? Instead of an ongoing story working with others it turned into WoW style quest hubs where a new person (usually a ghost only there because I was) handed me tasks at every location. The overall feel of the zone being one big connected puzzle faded into following the trail of  single villain apparently only I could beat. How utterly disappointing. If the writing had been that way from the start, I'd have been bored of questing by now. Even the final climax of Stonefalls had me be part of a team, a part of something. With me were the people I had know for the whole zone. For the finale of Deshaan, I simply was that something, alone.

I'm just starting my time in the Blackmarsh, I'm staying at an interesting town that's a Dunmer city built on top of an Argonian village that's built on top of an Alyied ruin. Hopefully the writing returns to it's previous style, because if I'm the chosen one to yet another unrelated problem I'll be about set to throw the writing of the game our the window as a lost cause.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A spoilery post on Deshaan and it's storytelling.

If the title didn't give it away for you, this will contain SPOILERS to Deshaan, the zone after Stonefalls for the Ebonheat Pact in ESO.

Writing story for video games is hard. Any interactive media holds challenges in telling a story but who ever wrote Deshaan has hit the nail on the head!

To put it simply, a group called the Malbournes is trying to help stop a plague moving through the area. The plague is scary, lethal and the rumors of it turning people into beasts has everyone scared. What's really going on is the Malbournes are engineering and spreading the plague themselves. The rumors of beasts are true, they are trying to create a zombie outbreak.

The entire zone makes me feel uneasy, but you know what the best part is?

It's entirely story based! It's not an 'undead' zone, there's NOT zombies everywhere. It's the people talking about the disappearances. The presence of the Malbourne group, the fact the assassin's guild is now present (or so I think). If you just walked around and talked to no one it would seem like a normal area but the PEOPLE make the area seem filled with dread and despair. There are Nords so depressed they sit in the gutter waiting to catch the plague. I've found myself in the middle of 4 different factions trying to find their own best course of action in the area and made some hard choices as to which ones I would help.

Again ESO shows it's strength, I'm deep in the MIDDLE of it but I'm not in the CENTRE of it. I'm working with other characters who are doing their own fair share of the work. In WoW, you'd do everything. Every single step of the investigation would be yours. In ESO, I truely feel these other characters are doing something. We compare notes, they get their own information. They have their own goals and we cooperate when our goals overlap. I was looking for a missing person when I found him tied up, an assassin was torturing him for information. I scared her off but she left behind evidence that the tied up man was actually the bad one in connection with the Malbournes and the other disappearances. I could have freed the man but instead I continued the interrogation myself. Later I ran into this assassin again, we confirmed being on the same side shared information from our interrogations. We started working together on a loose basis, she's not following me around. But we continue to meet up. Evidence points that she is from the assassin's guild, the fact they are in the area further unsettles me. I had to choose between whether or not to help a civilian revolt against the guards who had the town locked down. A civilian revolt would have made my job easier but I sabotaged their efforts to spare innocent lives.

I don't know if I'm making the right choices. There is no morality system. I don't know where else the story will lead, there's no person who will obviously betray me, I don't know what characters will follow me to the city of Mournhold. I know the how's of the plague right now, but not yet who or why. I think I know who the assassin's guild is after (if it is them), and frankly, given assassin's guild lore in the Elder Scrolls universe, they're the ones I trust MOST in all this.

I'm blown away. I'm drawn in, I want more! Let's hope the rest of the zone's writing keep up.


Friday, 4 April 2014

Just a quick ESO thought...

It just has to be said...

/lute is the best downtime emote ever.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

ESO Thoughts

Who would have thought the big topic this week across the blogosphere would be ESO?
Now that I'm not in the beta mind set, I'm really liking it. It's also the first time since City of Heroes so many of my real life friends have been in the same MMO. I spent more time on character creation this time around, still a dunmer of the Ebonheart pact though.

The first thing I want to bring up is related to a previous post of mine titled What Happened to Fitting In? Well I'm happy to say everything in ESO seems to fit!

It fits, it's stylish and in the low levels it's NOT RAGS! (Ok, you start in prison rags like EVERY Elder Scrolls Game, but your first real armour isn't rags.)

Second thing, what a smooth launch! Granted, Stonefalls is buggiest zone in the game right now. 4 quests I've had major trouble trying to complete but the important thing is that I'm IN GAME. I'm not waiting in server ques, I'm not lagging out, I'm not disconnecting. As much as I hated the 90 minutes and 6 tries to complete the Balreth quest I was IN GAME.  The notes for the patch currently being applied also list all 4 quests I have had issues with.

I'm actually really liking the crafting in this game. I've put every skill point I could in the clothing line so far. I've been able to use the 2nd tier of materials to craft level 15 armor since I was level 12. I'm focusing my research on leather chest armour and currently know of two areas to gain special crafting set bonuses. While I can still only craft in the Dark Elf style, that's fine, I love the dark elf style. The other motif's I'd like to learn are Breton and Nord.

They nailed the storytelling in my opinion. Voice acting in MMOs has been something I've largely been against. WoW has too much dry text for full acting to be of any use. GW2 took me out of the immersion with the stage set up, SWTOR drew me out of my character and constantly reminded me the NPC was talking to my character. ESO places you in first person for conversation where the NPC is looking at YOU and talking at YOU.  Your character has no voice and so no words feel placed in your mouth like how I felt in SWTOR. I can even read the text and just hit next those times I'm rushed or impatient.

Granted, this could still be infatuation. It's new, it's possible my mind on this could change.

I'm really enjoying the mix of reactions my character gets. In the tutorial, I'm just another prisoner until singled out by the prophet. On Bleakrock, I'm just some survivor helping out proving his worth. The people from Bleakrock remember you from there on out, and while you continue to prove yourself, I'm still not the chosen one or the elite general. In the fight against the Daggers, I'm just another solider. A cog in the war. Battles happen whether or not I'm there and I am a part of the story. The feel throughout the whole zone of Stonefalls is things are continuously happening. Sometimes it feels in WoW like nothing happens unless my character is there. They story itself hinges on the presence of my character while in ESO I just happen to be there. Perhaps a fine line in the sand, but I appreciate 'we're attacking the enemy and could use your help' over 'great, you're here, we can attack the enemey!'. The flip side of that is I AM the chosen one in the fight against Molag Bal. Or, one of. I'll try avoid spoilers but this story does hinge on you specifically a lot more when it comes to that. Even while that's the 'main story', it's not what you spend the most time in.  I'm the chosen one against Molag Bal but those missions tend to be every 5 levels or so, while being a cog in the war against the Daggers goes across the entire zone.

It feels like the best of both worlds, and it's not buckling under the weight of being 'the 4th pillar'. Zenimax advertised there would be a story, but didn't blow it out of proportion. I didn't expect much but have loved it. If you happen to be in the Ebonheart Pact, I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the story missions in Fort Virak.  To me the way the rest of the zone all came together there was great, and it wasn't even the climax of the zone.

There's much more to say, but this is already becoming a wall of text. My issues/worries with the game haven't changed since the AMA, but I think the rest may well make up for it until they're resolved.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

3HG ESO Impressions

ESO deserves a larger post, when I have more time, that will be a thing.

But for now, we've posted our 3 Headed Gamer first impressions.

Comments? Issues? Questions? Fisty-cuffs?



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Smite Release 3HG Review

If it wasn't for it taking 7 hours to upload on Youtube, this would have been actually posted on the 25th. But an hour off isn't that bad.

The Three Headed Gamer Smite Review, (mostly) on time for release day!

Our videos still have a way to go, but I'm pleased with our progress.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saturday Snapshot

Despite my disappointment in the Elder Scrolls Ask Me Anything, I am still rather excited to play it. A friend and I have been discussing it and decided that both of us would be seeking the path of the werewolf. It limits the build as the transformation takes your ultimate slot, you become weak to silver weapons and poison, and in form you are a melee glass cannon. As poison arrows are a standard bow move, turning form and gaining attention from a group in PVP can be suicide, but we're excited to try it hunting down stranglers and loners.

It made me realize I had never tried the werewolf in Skyrim, lately I've been correcting this.

Great fun to take out Bandit camps though I'm trying to avoid killing any innocents. I just recently acquired the Ring of Hircine, which allows me to turn more then once a day. I think I'll head into the Dawnguard expansion, as I'm not a fan of vampires, I've never done it.


Friday, 21 March 2014

The Dissapointment of the ESO AMA

The devs for ESO held an 'Ask Me Anything' on the reddit. I gave it a quick read and wish I hadn't. Here's what I got out of it.

They had originally intended that you would be able to flag yourself with certain tags such as 'Roleplayer', which would help place like people together within the Megaserver, to make up for the lack of individual servers. Not only is this not going in to launch, it is no longer on the table. Ouch. Like Guild Wars 2 it is going to be impossible to foster an RP environment, something that's a major draw to me. Roleplaying is how I like to spend my downtime, or just hang out in game when not focused on PVP or questing.

No plans for speech bubbles. Ouch... I'm not good at following chat boxes, that mess of text is hard to read when focused on where your running or the troll smashing your face. What RP I would be able to find is also hurt now as I try to read the lines of a specific person in the ocean of global and guild chat channels.

No plans for dueling, WHAT!? If you want to be a PVP game, this should be in. 'We want to keep the pvp between alliances' is fine, but duels are how my friends and I test builds and train each other. Even in Smite, we often play 1v1 joust challenges to try things out.

You can be in five guilds (cool!), they are tied to your account, not your character (not cool). In WoW, I have no one on my Real ID who isn't a personal friend, because sometimes I just want to relax after to work on an alt and not be bothered.  I like grouping with guild mates to rp, to do the occasional dungeon and almost always to pvp, but sometimes, I just want to quest, and not explain myself as to why alone.

These things are a big deal for me, The Elder Scrolls is a roleplaying series, but apparently they want little to do with the RP community. Things can always change, but overall today left a sour taste in my mouth about the game. I really liked Guild Wars 2 when it first came out. Played constantly until about level 40, but the lack of RP caused me to grow board because I had nothing to do unless I was working on the quests. Some of my favorite WoW memories involve sitting in the bar in Brill pre-cataclysm.

But perhaps I'm just not the demographic anymore. The MMORPG has forgotten what the RPG meant, too often it's all about progressing content or esport pvp over the actual experience of the game and world.

I'm still going to play you ESO, but now I have to wonder.... for how long?


Edit: I have already been corrected, seems RP flagging is still somewhat on the table. (phew!). So is mentoring which is another feature I think should be in all MMOs.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hearthstone Video Review

After 4 days of rendering errors, we finally got it all sorted out, I present to you Three Headed Gamer's third video review: Hearthstone!

A note on my ranking, the fun score isn't for how much fun I had. It's how much of the game I find fun, it leads to a small issue where smaller games have an easier time getting a higher score. Our next video will be for  a game I have had a TON of fun in, but from only about 20% of the content leading to a lower score.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Budgets and ESO

I was hoping to be able to link to our 3rd video review today, but something keeps failing in the rendering. I actually haven't had a lot of time to play games lately, part of that was due to teaching a march break science camp last week. The other part is that I'm entering my third month hunting for a full time job. Which leads me to my next point, gaming on a budget.

In the past few months, I have spent very little on gaming, I'd rather eat. So free to play games have been important. Banished and Space Engineers were gifts. Elder Scrolls Online was pre-orderd before this transitional period between full time jobs.

Loadout, Smite, Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Hearthstone, Path of Exile, these are all free games I'm dipping in and out of. None are the immersive experience I'm really looking for and so I do upkeep a subscription to WoW, which, ESO's first month pending, may swap over.

I'd love to talk more about ESO, across the 3 beta weekends I only got 6-8 hours of game play in. I chose to be a Dunmer or Dark Elf of the Ebonheart Pact. This isn't going to change, the Nords, Dunmer and Argonians have always been my favorite races, back in the days of Morrowind, they were what I played. I've always loved snowy landscapes, it actually pains me to see the snow melting outside. The dunmer had incredible lore, and the argonians, well they just look cool. I went Nightblade, this also won't be changing. I like the stealth theme and the teleports. What is changing is my choice of weaponry. I initially started dual wielding, but it was actually quite boring. I had a lot more fun when I changed to sword and shield. I get to start playing again on the 30th, while I hope I'll be working that day, I may just take a day off job hunting if I'm not.

While the graphic quality isn't best around, I do need to say the game looks damn good.

If you know the name Sheogorath, you'll know why I was both happy and terrified at this moment.

 The NDA for Wildstar has fallen, awesome. Basically what I'm reading is a confirmation on all my fears. While I actually like the art style, it's the rest that falls flat for me. Telegraphs have a place, they let you know when special or powerful attacks are going off. Not EVERYTHING. Have you watched any of the PVP videos? The entire floor is coated in area warnings, if you're tired of playing safety dance in WoW, this isn't your answer.

That's the end of this post, next I get the chance I'd like to rant about meta games for a while.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Remind me to never again to say 'tomorrow, this!'. I don't think it ever worked out, something in the laws of the universe prevents such a statement from ever being true if it exits my own mouth.

Ubisoft is listening to players in Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. Last week they stated a balancing patch was in the works. Notably, traps needed a slight nerf and monsters needed a buff. Huzzah! A 16 point slow attacking creature didn't do the same damage as a 3 point spring trap sending you into a 1 point fire mine, let a lone a field of fire mines. I look forward to this change.

Pay Day 2 has announced their stealth roadmap. I don't really like the direction they are taking it, but I'm willing to give it a chance. I don't really see why there is a limit to the number of body bags one can carry, when everything else is put in a bag when picked up. I seem to have 60 bags on me to grab the ammunition in the train heist alone. Respawning guards also confuse me, who sends more guards without calling the police? If they realize guards aren't checking in or have gone missing, that's time to call the cops. This doesn't change the shootout game, which is still fun in it's own right, but I worry stealth is going down a dark path.

ESO, it's coming. I liked beta but didn't get far, I've pre-ordered. I honestly don't know what to write on it. I mentioned in an earlier post that I wish the tutorial could be optional... and now it is! Huzzah! I did change from dual wield to sword and board and I'm loving it. I use assassination skills to teleport to the target, puncture it's armor (and somehow add the lost amount to my own), a bit of normal combat followed by an assassination skill that does extra damage when the enemy is low on health.

Space Engineers, it's space Minecraft, with flyable ships. Honestly? That's about it. Alpha Minecraft. In space. The realistic space physics are neat and cause thinking as to where place your gyroscopes and thrusters.

This was my first project, the Sparrow MKI.

My roommates seem to focus on space stations and large ships, so I started building small ones. The Sparrow is a general purpose get around ship.

After I did something for me.. something special... here's a hint.

That's right! I made an Arwing from Starfox!

I've made a few other ships, but I'll save those for another post, which will be at an unspecified future time to avoid jinxing myself.

Monday, 3 March 2014

On Payday 2

Just a quick evening post.

Last week, Payday 2 had a major update, and on the surface, it looked like it was going to be awesome. But deep in the patch notes where some changes to how stealth worked in that game, and I haven't enjoyed it a single bit. I could make a post about, but I found another that sums up my thoughts and feelings exactly.

EvadableMovie's Open Letter to Overkill

Tomorrow, Elder Scrolls Online thoughts!


Where did the time go? To Mighty Quests.

I don't know about you dear readers, but the past few days have just flown by in a blur for me. Lots of gaming related things have happened that as of this morning has me trying not to mash 7-9 different ideas into a massive wall of text. (At least no more massive then usual.) This is just a side note, but the hardest part of blogging is that you either feel you have nothing, or everything to talk about.  Right now I feel I have everything, today I'll keep it to one game.

This weekend, when I had time, I played three games:

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot
The Elder Scrolls Online Beta
Space Engineers

Today will be about the first. The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, a game that could also be known as 'The Elitist Quest for Elitism'.

It's a game about trying to prove you're better than other people. It's pure unadulterated elitism. Normally I hate elitism, but generally in games not designed around it. This game is.

Basically, you build a castle in the sky. This castle holds your loot, and you need to protect it. Build up your defenses to keep other players out, but there is thankfully one catch to that. To stop you from building an impossible to beat castle, you need to 'validate' by invading yourself and succeeding.

How do you get more loot?

Invade your neighbors! Show them how bad their defenses are! Avoid the traps, kill the monsters!

While building your defenses can feel like Evil Genius or Dungeon Keeper, invasion plays like Diablo or Torchlight. Get to the end and you actually steal resources from the owner. That being said, once a castle's defenses are beaten, a shield goes up. When the shields are up, a castle can be invaded, the invader can gain loot, but the owner can not loose further resources. How long the shields are up depend on the level of the invader vs your castle. Someone who's a higher level then you ravaging your castle place a shield of longer duration then if a lower level walks through. This prevents you from going to bed for the night and returning the next morning completely broke.

Crowns are the point of the game, they are the ranking system. If your defenses kill someone, or you successfully invade another castle (shielded or not), you gain crowns.  While the game is massively multiplayer, at no point do you actually play with others. Only against. No guilds, no teams, you vs everyone, for everything. When a game is built around elitism, elitism can work.


Now here's where I cause Gevlon's ears to perk. My 'fun' in the game has dwindled a bit in the later levels. There is one tactic I am seeing more and more in castles, and I just don't enjoy trying to get through. A narrow hallway of spring traps that launch you into fire mines. I'll avoid terms like 'cheap' or 'unfair', after all, it's a game of elitism and people don't want me to beat the castle. But, I will say it's a tiresome binary mechanic. Walk on spring trap, walk back before it activated, walk forward and trip next trap, walk back before it activates, again and again. When you get to the third trap, the first has reset giving a narrow space to maneuver, one false step and you land in the mines, and die. I get though I'd say 70% of the time. But I don't enjoy it, where everything else is a fight for survival, this is binary. I either do it perfect, or die. Now worse yet, I'm starting to encounter slime walls in front of these spring traps. They slow you down, so you can't walk on, trip and get off before it flings you into mines. My class has an ability to flip over some of these, but not far enough. I land on a springtrap, can't move for a moment after landing, and get flung into mines. It is currently impossible for the archer to get through. No combination of class abilities can get you through, and this falls of the game developers more then the players. After all, it is not a game of fair play, and they managed to validate so somehow they go through themselves.

There's a limit to how many monsters can attack at once. Fill the room with three hundred monsters and they will still only attack 6-8 at a time. I think something similar should be done with traps, perhaps increasing the power cost of traps would help, at any rate, I think something must be done.

That rant aside, I still very much enjoy the game, even if my personal defenses are falling behind those of others.

Ok, one other topic for today.

If you made it this far, let's be friends! But really, starting this blog has been great, one of those things I talked about for a long while but never started for a number of weak non-reasons.  Another thing I had talked about for a while with some friends was the idea of doing some youtube game reviews, well starting my blog got them to finally start.

Here's our second video on Banished.

Our first video was on Loadout, I;m hesitant to link that one because multiple issues combined with hitting the deadline equaled pretty poor quality. I'm much happier with the second video and look forward to improving again on the third as we get used to our pipeline.

What do you think? Leave a comment! Or don't, I'll continue posting and ranting regardless.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What happened to fitting in?

Bhagpuss over at Inventory Full made an interesting post that I loved. It's about armour and how betas looking better then release. In short, he says that beta is a time where everyone is wearing mid-level armour, they look like they fit the surroundings, and no one's a clown with forges on their shoulders. I agree fully.

What happened to fitting in? I don't mean fitting into a group of people, I mean the world. We'll look back at Vanilla WoW again (I know that may be getting tiresome, but bear with me.) Epic gear, the sets of raids and legends were rare. Most people were still wearing quest and dungeon gear because that's what you could wear without devoting yourself to a 40 man raid team.

Here's an image used to promote WoW when it was new. People looked like they fit.  Sure there was the problem of the 'clown suit', armour that didn't match, but at least each piece was believable.

But epic gear was something else, something that stood out. Sure it made you stand out from other players, but also the setting.

Don't get me wrong, some sets looked amazing, believable and in place. The tier 2 paladin comes to mind as one of the better looking sets to this day.

But then there was the tier 2 warrior set and.... ugh.... As a warrior at the time, I never envied anyone wearing this.

Fast forward to some of the sets we have today. With catch-up dungeons and LFR, these epic pieces are more common then ever. What rogue would find this practical? Is this the look of a man who defends Alliance boarders from the horde, or a raving lunatic?

Perhaps I'm different. I'm not in these games to be the big hero who killed Deathwing. I'm in these games to try and be a part of the world and for many games that's no longer the focus.

So I agree with Bhagpuss, I miss the days where players fit the world they played in. Thankfully Mark Jacob agrees, his recent dev blog on Massivley is a breath of fresh air after the ever growing trend of...well.... this....

That is apparently a hunter... You know, the in tune with nature, raises animals, uses a bow kind of thing... apparently....

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sickness, Landmark, ESO, Saturdauy Snapshot

It's been an off week for me, most of it has been spent in bed or doing menial thoughtless tasks as my head tried to decide whether or not it was going to explode from the pressure in my sinuses.

My time in Landmark has cut back a fair bit. Furnishing a house isn't as entertaining to me, and my claim is pretty much full aside from a well I plan to build in the corner. Once we get either a 2nd or extended claim I'll jump back in, but I don't want to remove my house. It's also a tad lonely living in the corner of a tier 1 island. Neighbors come and go, as they all rather quickly move to a higher tier island. I'm sure this will all resolve itself with updates, when tiers are removed, water is added, etc, etc.

I really want to jump back into Elder Scrolls, having only got some time in during the beta weekends. MMOs are at an odd time. Millions have played WoW and understand basic MMO mechanics, but as you have to design around new players, we always have to play through these hand holding opening areas. Most of the complaints I see revolve around this area in ESO, and I can understand that. Coldharber is a slog, a boring zone where everything dies in a hit or two, at a time where you don't have active abilities, during a beta where the zone is flooded with other players. It teaches things well enough to those who don't understand the game, but please, please please, allow alt characters to skip that zone.

I have not got into the pvp yet, though I'd really like too. Limited play time during the beta weekends have left my character around level 6 or 7, a duel wielding nightblade. The nightblade class is fun enough working on the assassination line, but duel wielding isn't working for me. I think what I'll do is change up to sword and shield, try to find a balance between offense and defense. Funny how that's basically a crime these days. MMOs expect you to go all DPS, all Tank or all Healing. It's all about DPS, Max DPS, look at the numbers. Sigh #MissingCityofHeroes. I'm off track, really want to try the pvp, lots of good videos surfacing.

It changed Angry Joe's mind about the game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I82pz60iGL0

Werit's having fun in small skirmishes. http://www.weritsblog.com/2014/02/outpost-scuffle-eso-pvp.html

There's even solo gank videos already coming out, such as this one from Kesil. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-97mrfaqdw

I look forward to the next beta weekend.

Last but not least it is Saturday! I don't usually post on Saturdays, reserving them for Snapshots but it had been a light posting week.

My WoW Gnome Rogue, the Codegnome!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


I've been thinking about buffs lately, not as in balancing patch notes, but beneficial spells placed on your character.

Are they still accomplishing the same goal they used to? Buffs used to be important, there used to be a time where whether or not you could complete certain challenges hinged on them. Let's look back to 'vanilla' World of Warcraft and a spell called Mark of the Wild. Mark of the Wild was pretty much the best player provided buff in the entire game. It would provided by druids to give extra armor, increase all primary attributes and increase all spell resistances for 10 minutes (If I remember that part right). There was no other buff like it in the game, and you could feel the difference when it was cast on you. Now this was also back in the day of linear gear scaling, where 'outgearing' content was a much harder thing to do.

Today, outgearing things is easy due to exponential scaling, and thus buffs mean very little. Mark of the Wild is no longer unique as it is identical to a paladin's Blessing of Kings, no longer provides armour, and no longer provides spell resistances (Spell resistances were removed from the game.) and lasts an hour. You won't notice if it's there or not, and nothing hinges on the power it provides.

Only one example, but most buffs feel that way now, you just don't notice or care all that much.

Next is how we apply buffs. Buffs were a reason to group with people, bring certain classes and and promote socialization. It used to be applied player by player, but now affects the entire group at once, I support this change. In large groups, having to apply it to everyone one by one was a giant pain, and I don't want to go back to the 5 minutes buffs of classic paladin blessings as sometimes their entire group roll was just to keep those buffs up.

But surely there is a way to make buffs matter a bit more then a fire and forget click once per hour. no, feeling a buff I think largely hangs on linear vs exponential progression, then sooner and easier you outgear things, the less buffs matter.

So assuming buffs feel powerful, here how I would have them applied. First, makes them a passive, BUT BEAR WITH ME. This is not a single binary are you close or not deal. We'll use the example of a druid with mark of the wild. To the druid, this is something that is always on, upon spawning in the world, the buff begins to build up to full power over 30 seconds. Should Mark of the Wild be dispelled off the druid, it once again must build up over 30 seconds to it's full power. This is two fold, the druid no longer has a pointless button to press, and dispelling it can't be countered by just clicking the button again. To teammates, the buff builds up by being in proximity to the druid. Over 30 seconds it raises up to full power and then begins to stack duration. Every second spent in proximity to the druid adds a second to the duration timer until it reaches a maximum. We can make this 5-10minutes. As soon as the player leaves the druid's proximity, the duration timer ticks down, until within the final 30seconds the buff itself powers down to nothing.

This promotes group play, you get buffs by being near the player that provides them, and wandering off means you're going to loose it. If a group spawns in pvp, and a lone wolf immediately runs off away from everyone else, he won't have these buffs. But those who stick together will. This also means social hubs like cities become even better places to gather, as you'll gain an assortment of buffs just by hanging around.

Perhaps it's just a pipe dream, but that's the kind of buff system I want to see. But how they're applied only means as much as the buff provided, and if it means nothing.... then what's the difference?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Saturday Snapshot

Today's snapshot is a flashback to City of Heroes. My time traveling street fighter Mr.McJigg hanging out in roman times. I still miss this game.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Our Work is Never Over

As I've been exploring and building in Landmark, it hit me that I knew NOTHING of this land. Norrath is dear to many but I had never even really glanced at it before. To rectify this, I've downloaded Everquest 2 and ran around a bit.

I have to say, I enjoy the collection of playable races the game has. I enjoy how some are really more bestial. At current I am having trouble deciding what race/class to continue with. Froglok Bruiser, Fae Swashbuckler, or Sarnak Paladin.

My roommates have also got back into a computer card game called Spectromancer. This is one I really enjoyed a few years back. Not many people would enjoy a card battle game with no deck building but... this is a card battle game with no deck building. In fact all 'classes' share 80% of their deck with everyone else, with only the remaining 20% being unique. I've reinstalled it but have not yet had a match, perhaps I'll write about it more when I do.

Those materials finally got added to Landmark today, so without further ado...
House Progress!

 There are walls now!
 I am not yet done adding windows.
 Again, some windows on this side would be nice.
The porch is starting to come along. I may be on the furnishing phase soon.