Archive for February, 2009

Big Guns and Big Cats

Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by koljarn

We’ll start today’s blather with a game review.  Dawn of War II was waiting for me when I got home last night, and I eagerly began the installation process in anticipation of the bloodletting that would follow.

This brings me to the first thing that irritated me about DoW2.  As a copy protection measure, half of the game is included on the DVD.  If you want the other half (for which you have already paid), then you have to open a Steam account with Valve.  Only then will you be permitted to download the rest of the product which you have already bought.

So, you finish the installation and run the program – only to be told that you need a Windows Live account in order to run the game.  And in order to use Windows Live, you have to patch and reboot your XP-based computer, then load the web page, and create and account.

So, you’ve created two accounts and downloaded half of a game and a patch for your operating system, and you try to run the game again.  Only to be told that in order to really run the game, you have to set up a gamer profile in your Windows Live account.  And if you want to use all the features (like trophies), it must be a public gamer handle.  Screw it, screw the features, I created a private handle.  When I want to play an online game, I play WAR or another MMO.  When I play another game, I want to play offline.  I don’t want to deal with anyone else, I don’t want to receive email from anyone else, and I sure as hell don’t want anyone else checking up on me.

The actual game play of DoW2 is pretty good, but this unwieldy front end process makes me want to uninstall the game and ship it back to Amazon.  A game should be a joy to play, not a chore.  Irritation, even in small doses, is bad.  Cackling in insane glee as a devastator quad takes apart a unit of lightly armored Eldar is good.  So, if you can get someone else to set DoW2 up for you, it’s worth playing.  If not, drink a couple of beers first to deaden the pain.

On the WAR front, I didn’t have much time to play, but I did crank out a quick 6 renown ranks on my White Lion on the Vortex server.  Most of it was from RvE – at the late hour when I got involved, Destro had gone to bed for the night.  Luckily, there were a few BOs open for taking.  Being that I’m sitting at level 10 already, I really don’t want to touch scenarios.  I snagged a few items from the renown vendor to fill out my gear, and things are looking better.

I hope to get my White Lion well into tier 2 and get my Archmage to level 20 this weekend.  Hopefully, I can scrape the time together.

A Little Experiment

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 26, 2009 by koljarn

I tried a little something last night.  As my interest in the White Lion has been piqued once again, I started a new White Lion on Vortex.  With my schedule, however, I miss out on prime time RvR, which I rely on to supplement grinding PQs and doing a quest here and there to level up my usual way.  So, I decided to complete every PvE quest in the Blighted Isle and Chrace, just to see how far it could take me.

Truth be told, it got me pretty far.  I finished at level 10, which isn’t too shabby.  The gear that you get from individual quests, however, is less than stellar.  I definitely miss the renown and PQ influence gear.  Although the experience comes in at a good clip, I wouldn’t recommend this route to anyone.  On the upshot, you do get to read all of the little sub-plots in the game.

The White Lion class is, of course, fun to play as ever.  There’s not much of an art to playing one; barrel into a target from behind and use positional attacks until the target dies.  You can use the abilities for a frontal assault with a little more skill, but I’m not big on finesse.  Chalk it up to a lack of patience.

Um… Nice Kitty?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 25, 2009 by koljarn

It would appear that White Lions are not going to be emasculated as much as the initial 1.2 patch notes implied.  Being that I am a DPS maniac, I may have found my true MDPS calling.  Between charge, pounce, and fetch (as long as the non-tauntable pet and one-the-move summons go live), I could fall in love with this class.  I already have a White Lion on Ostermark, but he’s not terribly high level.  Thus, I feel much less guilty about starting a new White Lion on another server.

Koljarn, on the other hand, is doomed to stay on Ostermark unless character transfers are enabled.  I love the simplicity of playing a DOT class, but I can’t grind my way to R40/RR50+ again — it would feel too much like work the second time around.

Ludio Nocturnum

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 25, 2009 by koljarn

I had all of two hours over the last two days to log into the game.  Night shift and errands are killing off what little time I get to myself.

I’ve played a little LOTRO as a human guardian.  One of the people I play WAR with says that this class is quite fun and powerful later in the game.  Like all tank classes, it does relatively poor damage, but the class also features potent defenses which make it very hard to kill.  Besides, like any other game, people load up on the DPs classes and are always short on healing and tanking.  While I prefer doing DPS, I’ll settle for tanking.

I did get to play an hour of WAR last night and a little bit this morning.  There was some oRvR action in Praag last night which was fun, if a bit lopsided (Order had an extreme numerical advantage).  I went solo for the first 30 minutes, and was not let down as I got to be a spectator as some people who should have known better chased Destro players back into their warcamp and pulled the guards.  I’ll confess that I got a chuckle out of it.  I briefly logged in and played as my Archmage on Vortex, getting close to level 19.  I’m not doing as much RvR on the Archmage as I would like, but I’m tired of walking after less than two weeks.  Give me the damn horse, already.

Computer Gamers Rejoice

Posted in Background Noise with tags on February 24, 2009 by koljarn

Playing games on a computer seems to be less painful than playing games on a PS3.   Apparently, consoles cause skin sores in some people.  I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

So, while you chomp down on a mouth full of Chinese take-out or pizza delivered from a local shop while sitting in front of your monitor for the 11th hour without moving except to use the head when absolutely necessary (though the really hard core gamers probably use Depends), take comfort in the fact that at least you won’t get skin sores.  You’ll get carpal tunnel and die of a coronary, instead.  Isn’t gaming fun?

Beer Barrel Polka DOTs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 23, 2009 by koljarn

It’s funny, because dwarfs like beer.  And Grenadiers do DOT damage.  Oh, never mind.

Anyway, a lot of classes that use DOT (damage over time) effects seem to have lost the ability to crit with them on the test server.  Some are complaining about it, some are not.  As a primarily DOT using class, I’ll give you my point of view on the matter (whether you want it or not).

DOTs shouldn’t crit.  There, I said it.  I mean DOTs in general.  Not just the DOTs of one class.  The only exception to this is Dissolving Mist/Napalm Grenade, because of the way that the pulses of damage get assigned; each pulse is a separate attack on those toons in the area of effect, rather than a DOT effect that sticks with a character.  You can argue that the mechanics of these two attacks needs to be changed, but that’s something for another post.

Do I have any reasoning behind this conclusion of mine?  Of course, dear reader.  Relax while I elucidate.  DOTs are all about constant damage.  Not burst damage.  DOTs are predictable attacks that weaken a target at a constant rate.  Burst attacks are what delivers the death blow to the target.   It’s the very nature of the two different kinds of attacks.

So, take my crits.  Please.  I won’t miss them much – and they don’t make sense.

Contingency Planning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 23, 2009 by koljarn

Ostermark continues to slowly degrade for the handful of players with whom I play, and for myself.  There just doesn’t seem to ever be enough people around when we are online.  One time is bad luck, two times is a coincidence, but for this prolonged of a stretch, it is a trend.

As previously posted, a few people and myself have been testing the waters on Vortex and Skull Throne, both of which are much more active when we are logged in.  Unfortunately, this would probably mean an end to playing Koljarn – there are already an abundance of DPS classes on these established servers.  Tanks and healers are always in short supply, so I would end up playing an Archmage or Ironbreaker as my main character.  If I can ever transfer Koljarn off of Ostermark to a more populated server, rest assured that I will do so in a heartbeat.  However, there is a distinct possibility that I will create an Engineer alt on Vortex.

Honestly, I’d rather have created the new characters on Phoenix Throne, which usually has a high population.  However, most of the Destruction players on Ostermark play Order on Phoenix Throne (either as alts or as their main characters).  That would put me in the potential position of being accused of cross-realm spying.  I don’t have time to sort through that kind of baloney, so I’m just going to skirt the whole issue by going to a medium population server instead. If, by some wild chance, these new servers also fizzle in the population department, I suppose that’d be the end of WAR for me.  I don’t have the energy to keep creating and levelling up new characters – it’s too much like work.