shirenomad: (CoH)
I've had a chance to try out not one but two trials for World of Warcraft, by the nudgings of several friends who want me to buy the game and join them on raids and all that. The problem being that my MMO heart belongs to another: City of Heroes. They've been trying their best to woo me away, but it's not happening.

It took me a while to figure out why, though -- World of Warcraft is indeed a quality game, with great graphics, history, and personality, and most of all plenty to do. But what it comes down to is the fun factor. How fast can I go from 0 to fun? I'm paying for my time; I should not be delayed in my effort to play. And WoW throws too many obstacles in my path that CoH bypasses neatly:

- A level 1 CoH hero can cross most zones in less than eight minutes with Sprint on. Once he gets his travel power at level 14, cut that to two minutes, and add the ability to get to most zones in less than ten minutes. And cell phones mean frequently you don't even have to return to your contact. So basically you can get wherever you want in 5 to 15 minutes, usually closer to 5. But a WoW character doesn't get a mount until level 40; until then, crossing a single zone can easily take 15 minutes or more, and a griffin ride from one zone to another can take so long I have literally made myself dinner while waiting to get to my destination.

- A WoW character must gather weapons, helmets, chest armor, boots, wristbands, gloves, cloaks, and ammo to be effective. He must gather ore from mining or leather scraps from beasts and combine them with purchased goods to create useful equipment (but only if you've learned how to make that particular item!), or he can hope that a quest gives something he needs as a reward. A CoH hero gets enhancements as regular drops or direct purchases, pops them to a power of choice, and is set; anything else comes automatically with leveling.

- A CoH hero manages enhancements in one inventory and inspirations in another. Mission-related items and single-shot bonus powers take no space whatsoever, and due to the aforementioned speed of travel, selling after each mission is a breeze, so inventory management is minimal. Meanwhile, a WoW character is constantly juggling quest items, equipment, equipment components, ammunition and single-shot items, and several flavors of boosters, such that buying inventory expansions becomes mandatory in a hurry.

Most important (to me) is combat. Put one character in WoW up against two critters his own level and he's got a definite challenge ahead of him; add a third and he'd better be a fast runner. Now toss a CoH hero into three-on-one odds... for most hero archetypes at most levels, those three are all toast. Why? He's a hero; heroes should be able to wade through small armies and come out smiling. Whereas in all the Warcraft games, one orc grunt and one human footman have always been about an even match, and WoW reflects that. This is just a different style of play -- it's also notable that taking on just one target in CoH is impossible in most cases due to the way they group, so you wind up with about the same level of challenge. But it's a style of play I prefer. I like the frenetic combat that results from being surrounded, loads more than the slow grind of pull one guy, kill him, pull another, kill him, rest, pull another... And if I ever find CoH just too easy, and decide I should only be able to take one-on-one odds, then I can crank up my difficulty and all my mission opponents adjust accordingly. But for now, I'm happy to be able to say, "Hmm, six of them, one of me. This will be a bit of a challenge..."
shirenomad: (otherworldly)
Dreamt I was on a hostage rescue mission as my primary hero character. Some abandoned tram station that looked like it had been built during the 19th century; wood construction and everything. Single room, two trollkin, but no signs of the hostages, which is probably why I didn't just fry the trolls like I'd do in game: I needed to get the location of the hostages out of them. (Well, that and tossing flames in a beat-up wooden train station is a bad idea.) So I walk in, and we stare at each other, and I play negotiator for a bit. I think I had some great plan about trading myself for one of the hostages -- then I'd be stashed with the other hostage and I could break us both out pretty easily -- but I hadn't convinced them to make the trade before I woke up. I do remember having second thoughts about my plan toward the end, though; I was concerned they were going to find some way to lock me up that I (in spite of my ability to punch/melt through the Council's reinforced cell doors given enough free time) couldn't escape. Maybe whatever they use in the Zig to contain supervillains. But then, if the Council sticks to the reinforced steel after all the hero breakouts, I doubt two trolls would be able to come up with a better idea.

Anyway, I don't know why I bothered to share that, but for the fact that I normally never remember my dreams that clearly.
shirenomad: (angry)
I got handed a 10-day trial for World of Warcraft. Yeah, like I need another MMORPG to get addicted to, but I thought I'd see how it stacked up against City of Heroes just for kicks.

*watches the sixth patch install* Well, I'm going to bed for now. Hopefully, I should be finished downloading all the updates by the time the trial ends. :P

(City of Heroes, incidently, allows you to download updates even if your account is inactive at the moment. Thus you can bring your game up to the current version and THEN buy a month of time, not wasting good game time on lots and lots of downloading. CoH: 1, WoW: 0, and I haven't even started playing the latter yet; this does not bode well.)
shirenomad: (kodak moment)
The last week of October, I shelled out for a month of City of Heroes. Unfortunately, what was then one of my two reasons for doing so, the expected Halloween event, never happened. Rats. But the other reason was that Lady Dream was doing the same, and by golly, the Angels need to stick together! So here we are, out of early retirement, bringing justice to Paragon City... and getting much less rest for our efforts. If you've been wondering why I haven't been very visible the past couple weeks, now you know.

I hit level 20 early on, ran my costume mission, and then spent twenty minutes fiddling with my new threads only to get disconnected. (The server wasn't being entirely polite that day.) Decided I was wasting enough of Lady D's time, gave up, and killed off some Tsoo for the last mission of the night. Then I came back yesterday and gave Flamemaiden some proper street clothes to run around in. )

And of course, finally I had to set up a keybind for Flamemaiden to say something appropriately righteous and change into her superhero tights whenever villainy strikes!

Speaking of which, I went a little nuts with the keybinds this time around... I dug up some online guides on the subject and cranked out basic situational responses (in character) for things like "need help", "incoming monsters", and so forth, as well as a cycling list of six taunt phrases and climbing.

Anyway, for some reason, we're attracting the attention of giant robots. )

Oh yeah, there IS a third reason to play: Brian got his hands on a trial, and Thomas has been getting back into things by pre-ordering City of Villains. Only problem is that they both decided to play on Infinity and Flame's on Pinnacle. So I figured I was overdue for a second toon, and created Winchester. )

On a related but sadder note, Lady Dream has a cat in real life, who at the moment is seriously ill. I'm sure she'd appreciate some prayer.
shirenomad: (nerdy)
Yup, picked up the demo of City of Heroes last week and have been pretty busy. Time to meet our hero! (Warning: Image intensive.)

Meet Flamemaiden. )

Proper Hero Tactics 101 )

Minor complaints )

Anyway, the game's so addictive I probably shouldn't buy it, because it's been such a friggin' time-sink for me. I've barely been able to get anything useful done since I picked it up. So maybe I'll just finish the two weeks, hopefully make level 20 (already 13 after a week, so no problems expected there), and then retire from the public eye. Of course, without the big 14-day deadline hanging over my head, I can probably cut back to once or twice a week, but I'm not sure that's worth $30 (purchase price) for the first month plus $15 each additional month. Besides, it's not like I don't have plenty of other (already paid in full) games piled up and ready to distract me.

Still, I'll miss a few of my fellow heroes. Must remember to collect AIM addresses.
shirenomad: (abused)
- Taunt attracts the attention of everyone in the vicinity, not just the guy you target.
- Once you have their attention via Taunt, you will not lose it until they're dead or fleeing for their life.
- You cannot handle the constant attention of more than three guys above your level at once.
- No, I don't care if you are a tanker.
- Fine, be that way, but I'm not cleaning you off the floor again.
shirenomad: (Default)
Oh yeah, is anyone here on City of Heroes, and if so, which server?
shirenomad: (memorable)
Played a late-evening game of Settlers of Catan last night, which is always good for entertainment.

Though you may find the tale less interesting if you've never played the game. )
shirenomad: (frustrated)
More than snipers, more than campers, more than people who blow your head off and then make like they're doing obscene things with your corpse... the players that irritate me the most are the ones who get creamed every time and then blame you for cheating or the game for lagging or some such nonsense. Do not try to blame me for your poor aim. That's annoying. Instead, only try to realize the truth.

Whiner: What truth?

You have no aim. Then you will see it is not the game that sucks, it is only yourself.
shirenomad: (frustrated)
Than getting almost all the way through a game and then discovering you missed something back at the beginning that you can't go back for.

Me, I neglected to scan the War Wasp dispenser boss in Metroid Prime. Other than that, I've got a complete log book. *debates the merits of seeing how fast he can rip through the game a second time* (No, I don't want to bother trying to get everything during my Hard game run-through. I'll have enough on my hands, thank you.)
shirenomad: (celebration)
I'd like to claim my superior strategy and excellent trading skills won me that game of Catan, but the truth is that the four straight rolls of 10 (which netted me two sheep, two ore, two cloth, and a coin every time) probably had something to do with it. ^^;
shirenomad: (memorable)
The twenty-something church members (better known as the "Impact" group) usually meet Sunday nights for some sort of get-together, be it a movie, a pool party, food, or a crazy game of some sort. This week it was a game.

The game was Dogcatcher. Everyone grouped at Jerry's house, about one and a half miles from the church, just after sundown. Half the group were the dogs, half were the dogcatchers. (We had sixteen players, so it chopped up really nicely.) The dogs leave the house for the church, taking whatever route they want (most of us studied maps in advance) so long as they don't cut across private property, enter buildings, or use any transportation besides their feet. Four minutes later, the dogcatchers leave the house in cars, two to a vehicle, and start hunting the dogs.

If a pair of dogcatchers spot a dog, the driver pulls the car over and lets out his assistant, who has to chase down the dog and tag him/her. Tagged dogs are returned to the car, which delivers them the rest of the way to the church in defeat. Each car can only carry one captured dog at a time; if they spot a second after tagging a first but before dropping him/her off, the second dog lucks out. The dogcatchers are not allowed to stop the vehicle save to obey traffic laws or load/unload people and/or dogs, and they must remain in the vehicle if there are no dogs in sight. They are also not allowed to drive offroad, before you ask, though there's nothing stopping the assistant from chasing a dog into parks, etc. And neither dog nor dogcatcher is allowed outside the boundaries of the course (marked by four streets).

First round I was a catcher, riding shotgun. We lucked out early and successfully cornered a group of three who hadn't made it that far. I bagged Diana, while another team coming up the road from the other direction caught Jasmine, leaving Amy to get away for now. After dropping off Diana and circling sideroads for a bit, we stumbled across an exhausted Tim just past the midpoint who gave up without a fight. (He had just successfully employed the "I don't need to be faster than the dogcatcher, I just need to be faster than you" rule on Joe, but ran out of energy in the process.) Only two out of eight dogs made it to the church of their own power.

Anyway, that only took about thirty minutes, so we felt up for another round heading back the opposite way. This time I volunteered to "dog it." The problem going this way was that there were only three ways off the starting street within the boundaries, and getting to the far east one would take up most if not all four minutes. Whereupon Diana (who wanted a second chance at being a dog) and I stumbled across a great idea: hide! (Well, actually, we were trying to cut through the high school, but the back was one solid and very tall fence. So if anyone asks, we meant to hide in the schoolyard for ten minutes until the heat was off.) Then we actually made it about three-fourths of the way before Matt comes out of nowhere and busts Diana, whereupon I give silent thanks to her for taking point and duck down a side street. Unfortunately, I was noticed by Jerry shortly thereafter: "Oh crap, is that Jerry's car? Stay calm, maybe he doesn't notice me. Just act like an average pedestrian..." "Hey, is that--?" "Crap! *runs*" Danijela employed the same concept much more successfully; she hid in plain sight more than a couple times and was the only dog to make it during Round 2.

Seriously fun, if tense. Unfortunately, my right leg is still sore from all the running. -_-
shirenomad: (excited)
...than to drop napalm on Charlie.

Most of the 20-something males at my church get together for computer gaming on holiday Mondays. Today was no exception. Even got Dad to show up this time, and he got to impress the younger crowd with his Battlefield: Vietnam MAD SKILLZ.

They're playing Starcraft right now, which I've never been good at, so I'm taking a break. *lets the eyestrain recede* ^^;
shirenomad: (excited)
The Gamecube my brothers got me back for Christmas was missing one Zelda bonus disc. I discovered after heavy questioning of the store clerks on the matter that, in fact, only Gamecubes that specifically stated they came with Zelda came with Zelda, which no one ever explained to me. I debated the matter with said clerks, asking if they would be ordering more discs ("maybe" eventually evolved into "no"), and finally they passed the buck off to Nintendo itself.

So I figured it couldn't hurt and called the support number. The service rep listened to my tale, then asked for my purchase location and time, bar code, all that stuff. That was about a week ago.

Today my Zelda Collection arrived via UPS.

shirenomad: (together)
Late as it was, thanks for the card, Fritz. Very nice.

Ear finally cleared up this morning (after an extra-heavy dose of peroxide the night before). That is SO MUCH BETTER...

It's become a bit of a Christmas break tradition, with my brothers and parents and I all home, to break out the old Avalon Hill "Civilization" board and spend an entire day trying to conquer each other's butts. For those who have never played (note: this is NOT the Sid Meier computer game), you've got multiple nations expanding through the Mediterranean region over the course of the pre-Roman era. Build cities, trade commodities, gain technology, then tally up the score at the end. I drew Crete again this year, which I dislike because it means building and mantaining a navy is a requirement from the start. Despite a civil war that handed me all of Thrace's (Andrew's) southern territories, most of which I held of the rest of the game, I wound up fourth place out of five. He still came out first (no matter how much he griped about the civil war "ruining him"). :P Egypt (Jonathan) stretched itself from Carthage to Damascus, only to realize it had spread too thin... when Assyria (Dad) and Italy (Mom) objected to the east and west borders, respectively, the Egyptians found themselves pushed back quickly... not enough to knock him out of second, though. Dad was third... Mom, dead last. Don't think it was because of inability, though; she crushed us all like bugs a couple years back.
shirenomad: (geeky)
I've forgotten just how addictive Zelda games can get. My parents were gone all day, and after I spent a few hours accomplishing some things of actual merit, I decided to reward myself by picking up Ocarina of Time for the first time in a while. That was around 3pm.

Twelve hours later...

Okay, I DID break for dinner. But still, there's so many little things to do that you can start convincing yourself "I'll just blow up one more boulder, sell one more mask..." and you're still saying stuff like that when you're just about ready to pass out. I'm just glad I get back an hour tonight.
shirenomad: (celebration)
Aec'Letec is a NIGHTMARE. 140 HP, resistance to just about everything, and has this nasty Death Sentence-like spell that it loves using (in a game where you can't just drop a Phoenix Down on them). Oh, and if you don't slay all the cult toadies first it respawns through them a la Matrix Agents. I had to reload 30+ times, easily, before I slew it without having half my team demolished.

Hope the final boss isn't that tough.
shirenomad: (amused)
The campus arcade picked up Soul Calibur 2 while I was in Japan. No sign of my favorite character in this one, sadly, but I've been getting some good training in with Nightmare.

For those who don't know the new features. )

My handle, which I use a lot for multiplayer games, is Dzurlord. If you don't get the reference, read the works of Steven Brust sometime. If you DO get it, you'll find this as amusing as I did: My character has been challenged four times, won twice, lost twice. Both wins were against the same guy, who has probably been picking me deliberately. His handle's Taltos.

I recently noticed there was someone on my team's roster going by the handle "Aeris". How sweet, I thought. Then I noticed the player was using Ivy. *twitch*
shirenomad: (geeky)
My brother Will's got this thing with getting involved in empire building. He's a PolySci major; he can't help it. Or rather, he's a PolySci major because he can't help it.

Long but amusing backstory within )

Anyway, I bring this up because Will's taking a a class in Foreign Policy and Decision Making this semester, which has a simulation with several countries interacting. Last year they were allowed to name their countries, given professorial approval; the professor let a United Republic Made Of Many slip past, and under wise leadership URMOM dominated the simulation (until everyone else got sick of it and allied against it in "Operation: Screw URMOM"). This year the professor is naming the countries himself, go fig. But there are a few good ones, and Will hopes to get assigned to the Empire of Nod, just for the "Soon comes the Empire" letterhead.

[edit: Sorry, I meant to cut that.]
shirenomad: (Default)
Spent the weekend at a LARP, as I've mentioned earlier. I don't think my team did all that well... guess it depends on how forgiving the others are? (Yeah, I made a few enemies. Didn't help that half my allies weren't cast; oh well.)

Still, it was a blast seeing all the old crew for one last bash. All the stuff I love: tons of subplots I never see coming, alternating between stress and silly insanity... Oh, and puns galore...

- The Emirs of the Elements: The Emir of Fire, Kynd Layn; the Emir of Water, Hafta Ghosun; the Emir of Air, Huriah Khan; and the Emir of Earth, Ylada Mudd. Also Banan Sheik, the Emir of Peanut Butter. (Don't ask.)
- The Archmage of the Great City, Ahrif Khay. He took over after his brother, Jayf Khay, was killed.
- The four heads of the Church: Cardinal Rhed, Cardinal Ordinal, Cardinal Rool, and Cardinal Synn.
- Other interesting fellows include Whadeen Fehgidoh, Bari Kudda (a sailor, naturally), Parsli the Sage, Mahatma Shus Magoat, Oddas Eben, Uwagi Inari, Ahl Yankowik, and Arush Limbah. Me, I was Adar Baksheesh... "baksheesh" means "bribe".

And yeah, I said one last bash. The head GMs are moving to Massachusetts this summer, and all the SILWest games are their property. They'll try to squeeze in a short, one-day event in May, but I just can't justify a flight home for that. (Maybe a drive, depending on whether it takes place in the middle of the weekend or not.) Anyway, any of you near Massachusetts, when SILEast forms, I'd recommend it to anyone.


shirenomad: (Default)

April 2012

22 232425262728


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:38 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios