Archive for August, 2010

On the Brink

Posted in City of Heroes, Online Gaming with tags on August 27, 2010 by koljarn

I’ve generated (and played) three different Praetorian characters so far.  I played two scrappers, which is unusual for me, and one blaster.  Guess which one finished their story arc?  That’s right, the blaster.  For some reason, I always lose interest in scrappers.

Anyway, I finished the “wardens” arc, which is part of the Resistance.  I also plan on eventually finishing the “responsibility” arc, which is a loyalist storyline.  That should pose no problem for me.  I’d like to finish the “crusader” arc also, but but the “crusader” and “power” arcs make me want to punch NPCs in the face.  Specifically, the NPCs who are asking me to do all sorts of horrific things – my contacts.  Like any sane being, I tend to avoid unpleasant things that I don’t need to do, so I may procrastinate on the crusader arc  indefinitely.

My Praetorian blaster, however, is pure joy to play (as are all blasters).  At level 19, he is at the top of the Praetoria level limit, so I think I’ll spend a few days flying around town and collecting all the badges.  It is definitely the nicer alternative – I suspect that the crusaders arc will have me burning down a day care center, or the responsbility arc will have me cleaning up the aftermath of a fire in a day care center.  Yeah, some of the missions are that bad.

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I Played a Praetorian and All I Got Was This Lousy Tee Shirt

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 22, 2010 by koljarn

I’ve been kicking “Going Rogue” around over the last week.  I have mixed feelings about some things – specifically, character archetype roles – and overall positive impressions of the setting.  Regarding the archetype conflicts – I’m not sure who is going to want a tanker when brutes are available to take the same role, or who wants to take a stalker when scrappers can take their place in a team.  I suppose you could take a corruptor over a blaster if you’re desperate for any healing you can get, but blaster DPS is consistently higher, especially when you have aim and build-up on a quick recharge.

On the other hand, the setting is awesome.  I’m only disappointed that there are only enough zones to take you to level 20.  Praetoria is a better venue for your character, regardless of whether you have aspirations to be a hero, a villain, or something in-between.  Elements of the government are corrupt to the core, and some of the vaunted resistance movement has turned to outright terrorism.  From a hero’s point of view, there are plenty of bad apples on both sides that need to be dealt with if the population is really going to be protected.  From a vigilante’s point of view, there are lots of people who need to be punished – lots and lots.  From a rogue’s point of view, there are many people who richly deserve to be manipulated and take advantage from them.  From a villain’s point of view, the place is ripe for a little divide-and-conquer.  Overall, it is a less sterile setting than either Paragon City or the Rogue Isles.  Hopefully, new zones will be added to Praetoria in the future.

On the 40K front, I’ve done a little more painting – I’m actually close to finishing the last few terminators, if I can buckle down for a few hours and set my mind to the task.  Yesterday was the annual Games Day event in Baltimore.  I don’t attend every year, but I do go occasionally.  There was lots of cool terrain to see, and this Games Day seemed a little more relaxed to me than in years past.  Maybe I’m just getting old.  Either way, I actually enjoyed this Games Day more than previous ones.

I’ve Got Me Some Words…

Posted in City of Heroes, LotRO, Online Gaming with tags , on August 17, 2010 by koljarn

It’s been a while since a real post was made, and I feel the urge to speak my mind today.  Not about 40K (yes, I still paint occasionally, and the Deathwing force is nearing completion).  No, today I believe I will pontificate about City of Heroes and speculate about Lord of the Rings Online.

Last night, I got early access to New Praetoria in CoH (me and the thousands of others who pre-ordered it).  I have to say that playing as a Praetorian looks fun, and I started a Brute there.  When in doubt, generate an angry old man and turn him loose (this one was “creatively” named Drunken Geriatric).  He has the new kinetic melee and energy defense powersets, and they seem fun enough at low levels.  I have no experience at higher levels, though.

However, the two specific character types that I love in CoH remain the energy/energy blaster and the radiation/radiation defender.  The blaster does great damage, has dramatic knockback effects, and can be an asset to the team if you know how to use knockback as a tool rather than as an annoyance.  The defender can turn a rampaging archvillain into a impotent old man.  A rad/rad defender is playable on his own, but he’s absolute hell on wheels with a group.  Anyway, back to Going Rogue and New Praetoria…

There is a fear among Tankers that Brutes will replace them, now that you can create a Brute and switch sides to become a hero rather than a villain.  Brutes have slightly lower defense caps, but their damage output is significantly higher.  I’m waiting to see what will happen, but I do think that the Tanker community’s fears are well-founded.  The only was to even the disparity would be to buff tankers (which would antagonize Scrappers) or to nerf Brutes (which would antagonize everyone who generated a Brute with plans to switch to the Hero side).  Of course, the devs could just do nothing and accept whatever happens… that’s always an option, but the devs in CoH have a reputation for meddling with the game mechanics.

LotrO has had a new zone in the works for a while.  Enedwaith – Dunland – will be interesting.  It is supposed to have varied terrain – which makes sense, since it is a large area bordered by major rivers on the north and south, the sea on the west, and the Misty Mountains to the East.  The men of the region – Dunlendings – have alternatively sworn allegiance to Gondor and Sauron in times past.  Not the most trustworthy bunch.  The unstable nature of the area would make it ripe for adventure.

It’s also interesting that Turbine seems to have us alternatively chasing after and guarding the flank of the Fellowship.  In any case, an expansion set in Rohan can’t be too far off – Dunland  is just to the west of Rohan, and the areas of Mirkwood that have been detailed are not too far to the north.  Perhaps in two or three more expansions, we will get Rohan and Helm’s Deep.  I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve Heard It All Before.

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 14, 2010 by koljarn

I’m still knocking about in City of Heroes.  Right now, I’m mostly playing on Virtue – my high level characters are all on Guardian.  It’s interesting – the two servers are alike and yet very different.  Both of them consider themselves “RP Servers,” and there’s plenty of snobbery to go around on both of them.  However, Virtue seems to consistently have more people online.  More people means more snobs and more jerks, but it also means more cool folks that you can meet.  The jerk to cool-person ratio is about the same on both server, but it is rare to get a group going on Guardian.  On virtue, people will group up at the drop of a hat.  Is one better than the other?  It depends on the type of character that you like to play, I suppose.  If you prefer a support character, stick to Virtue.  Solo-friendly character types will do very well on Guardian.

Anyway, to the main subject – server transfers and merges.  The Going Rogue expansion (AKA Issue 18) is going to offer free server transfers.  People from less populated servers are concerned that this will turn their server into a barren wasteland.  Okay, I’m overstating it a bit, but you get the idea.  People from more heavily populated servers are worried that this will mean that their home server will become over-congested and too busy for casual play.  Are both of these concerns justified?  Well, I think so, but I also think that in order for a MMO to be healthy, there needs to be a critical mass of players available to hang out together.  I’ve seen it in WAR, SWG, and even UO.  The single-player game is generally OK, but these games are written around the idea that you have a group of people working together.  Get a group going and all sorts of new challenges open up for you, expanding your in-game possibilities.  The server transfers will facilitate getting the players together, and that’s a good thing.

40K-wise, I’m slowly chipping away at the last few terminators.  I’ve forgotten how annoying the basic power fist can be to paint.  Consider me re-educated.

We Hunt the Fallen

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 4, 2010 by koljarn

Deathwing is always a pain to paint, but the results are stunning, even when the paint job is only table-top level.

The models in the front rank have just been completed.  All of the banners are new.

Six more metal terminators, and I’m done with Deathwing — until I decide to replace the old metal ones with plastics, of course.  I know it will happen, eventually.

Online gaming-wise, I’m playing City of Heroes, on Virtue.  My high level characters are on Guardian, but Virtue really seems to have the most active population.  Getting a rad/rad defender to 20 has been a breeze – there seems to be a critical shortage of defenders and tankers.

More online or offline updates as they occur.  Or if I feel like it.  You know the drill.