Blogging about mmos again

DAoC zerker

leveling up a zerker in DAoC alone is no fun. Good thing I found help

I’m back. It’s been a long hiatus, but I started grad school this all and that has consumed most of my free time. I have mostly been casually dabbling with Diablo 3, but longing to get back into some serious mmo gaming.

So now that I am on break I plan to play and blog a bit more about my favorite gaming hobbies. I start off (of course) with some musings about Dark Age of Camelot.

I rolled a new toon on a new server, and what did I choose? It had to be Midgard Berzerker, because I knew I wanted to deal out some pain and damage while wielding my axes. It was tedious grinds for the first five levels until I made a friend and we leveled together till level 10. From then on it was to the b.g.s where the most fun was had, ended up combining two groups (one which started with two tanks and a healer) and taking the CK from hibs. They never knew what hit them haha!!

Ah good times! This makes me wonder how long a great game like DAoC will exist. The lure of this game is its beautiful RvR but for me, the old graphics, the mechanics that are unique, the music, the atmosphere of the three feuding realms, it has it all!

Rumor has it that Mythic EA does not give out population numbers on all the combined servers, but it seems to me that there are always a healthy amount of players while I log on, especially at peak hours. Some bitch at the $14 sub price in a day and age where you pay as much for newer shinier and more developed games, wow comes to mind, but wow is not a fair comparison as it is entirely different in game mechanics and other features.

There is so much variety out there in terms of gaming, that sometimes I really worry that DAoC being a 12 year old game by now could go the way of City of Heroes and SW Galaxies, although the shutdown for those games was due to other circumstances. For the time being, I am gonna enjoy the heck out of this great mmo, while we still have it with us and I hope that RvR lasts forever and ever. What do the rest of you think is the fate of this classic gem of a game???

Good to be back!

Wayback Wednesdays featuring good ole DAoC

Mmorpg.com has been having their Wayback Wednesday segments featuring Mythic Entertainment devs. playing along with host Grakulen.

This last segment they went mid because facebook readers requested it or something.

“Another great night was had in Thidranki.  The Albion realm was well represented and they managed to smash our faces for a few hours.  We were able to eventually whittle them away and take the central keep. If you are in the mood for a little comic relief make sure to watch the video at 14:16 for some mass sleepy time fun.”

Basically I have enjoyed watching these segments because they show how much fun RvR can be in the game during the battlegrounds. While this particular segment takes place in Thid, the level 20-24 b.g. in DAoC, I have been busy myself leveling up my hib toon in preparation for entering the b.gs. myself.

The b.g.s were as much fun as I remembered them, and I dinged 20 yesterday, going up five levels just doing b.g. questing with PUGs. in the b.g.s and doing some PvE questing in Tir Na Nog.

I had rolled an elf hib toon, but quickly re-rolled to Celt instead because I was told they were more proficient with their blades. Boy are they ever! My Blademaster uses taunting blade quite often and delivers a good wallop, despite the fact he is not even max level yet.

While experiencing the pvp pre-Frontiers content has been a good diversion, I think that I may bid DAoC adieu soon and start playing the original GW in anticipation of the sequel coming out this month. I own GW1 but never really gave the game much of a chance, primarily because I was playing wow back when I purchased it, and secondarily because it seemed way too instanced and not easy to form groups with, but I need a DAoC break and since Grakulen and the wayback Wednesday crew will be playing it this week, I may do the same just for kicks.

Cheers!

My hib toon

My hib toon

He is destined to die in the hands of Midgard.

You read that right, I rolled Hib. Now before you accuse me of being a traitor, I am actually doing what has been suggested to me on more than one occasion, trying out a class in a different realm in order to learn more about it. Call it a bit of reconnaissance,  know thy enemy type of a thing. Well that and I wanted to explore the other realms.

I figured I would try a Blademaster because they are close to melee types I have played before, and thus far I am off to a good start, level 10 in about an hour, with the help of a friendly fellow hib who was learning a new class himself. I have no idea how to properly specc a BM, but at least I finally learned how the hell templates work once you get to max level in this game. In fact, I stumbled upon a fine series on DAoC on youtube the other day, one of the few which exist nowadays in the days of more modern mmos like wow and RIFT, which I found quite helpful.  I would still like to go back to wow and level up my  mage to 90 in anticipation of MoP dropping in September, but not sure the revamped talent trees and the asian motif and new zones will be enough for me to dive back into that game.

One of the things I really like and enjoy about DAoC, besides its atmospheric aesthetics for a game that is over a decade old, is the fact that there are no such things as gear cycles in this game. Gear score is not an issue since once you hit level cap, the stats are fixed. This means one is free to concentrate on preparation for RvR by buying, obtaining or creating a template and mix and matching the best aspects for each individual template from various items.  So tomorrow I start the fun process of grinding through the b.g.s hopefully, xp quests there are as fun as I remember them to be.

Tweets from gamers

twitter follow me
image courtesy Shiva Manjunath

Still playing DAoC y’all. I was trying to level up a skald to 20 so I could get into the Thid b.g. in time for a livestream with the devs for “Wayback Wednesdays” on mmorpg.com, but alas I was not fast enough, I got to level 8. Last night I decided to just transport to random spots on the frontier, and it was interesting, a lot of weird and interesting pve creeps, but realized that I was not gonna get anywhere until I got myself a template, so I went online and downloaded gearbunny, gonna mess around with it until I have more time.

However, speaking of time, sometimes there is not enough time to dig around the blogosphere for gaming news, I am surprised when this blog even gets a good number of hits, not that I don’t try to provide good content, but there are so many options online. So what do you do when you don’t have much time to dig deep? You go on Tweetdeck of course! Twitter is actually not just for celebrity rants and for the paparazzi to stalk them, it’s also a vast fountain of info for the gaming nerd in all of us. Don’t believe me? Check out this storify I created with some up to date tweets just to prove my point:

[View the story “tweeting with gamers” on Storify]

So if you have no Twitter feed, or if your gaming news appetite has previously been whet by going on google and searching for blogs, you may want to give Twitter another look. Lots of up to the minute posts from the gaming world hit that social media site first.

Dark Age of Camelot PvP in the Labyrinth of the Minotaur

PvE group

Running with a DAoC PvE PUG

This past weekend I was once again messing around with DAoC, but I have crossed over into the ToA zones. I spent the bulk of Friday night pwning PvE mobs and I was having fun until I realized that I had not been attacked once by an enemy realm. I thought, “what gives?” Then I was informed by my PUG that ToA was strictly PvE, until you get into specific zones like the Frontiers.

I have become increasingly frustrated with ToA, in the sense that I need progression in order to enjoy these types of mmos, I need to see that xp bar filling up and in the case of DAoC, those little bubbles at the corner of my UI, in order to feel like I am making some progress in my journey. Upon reaching max level (50) one can achieve Master levels and collect powerful artifacts to get better gear and have a better showing in RvR. I find this system unappealing, having to collect scrolls, books, artifacts, and putting them together. Maybe because I have not stuck with it long, but I don’t find it as fun as running around in the b.g.s and doing quests for xp.

Then, I joined the Blackoxy guild on my server. Last night I ventured into the frontiers and ran around the labyrinth of the minotaur for some dueling. It never seizes to amaze me how these games have varying cultures and etiquette which are unique to each game. For example, I entered a zone and immediately tried to slay all the albs in the region. My guild leader shouted “Stop hitting.” I was confused. I thought it was expected of me to kill any albs or hibs on sight, but apparently it was a one on one zone where I had to get approval from the enemy before getting in a duel.

I also somehow managed to climb up to RR2. I still don’t know how realm ranks actually work. I am not sure if it was due to the fact I was with my guild that as they were racking up points by slaying enemies, I was also included in the group xp, or maybe I had to kill a number of enemies or mobs in order to achieve the rank, if any of you can explain this system to me, I would appreciate it.

I will try to get a fixed schedule with the guild, and get more familiar with the intricacies of RvR before I jump into the fray once more.

SWTOR throws in the lightsaber? Going f2p

Two major developments happened recently in the mmo world which I want to comment on. The first is the announcement by BioWare that Star Wars the Old Republic is going free to play this fall. The interwebs are abuzz with this announcement, and that of Blizzard recently losing another chunk of subscribers this quarter. Or maybe it just seems that way, as Tobold hasn’t even weighted in on the announcement.

Blizzard has reported that world of warcraft is down to 9.1 million subscribers. 9 million subscriptions plus would be cause for joy for any mmo game, but this isn’t any game, this is wow, the big behemoth. But should Blizzard be concerned or is this the normal course of events given the upcoming MoP expansion?

Personally, I think that the loss of subs has as much to do with the sheer volume of gaming options, both on PC and on consoles available to gamers these days. That doesn’t even include games for the ipad, iphones, facebook games and games on other devices. It’s really like a new golden age, with mmo companies competing with each other to see which game will garner them the most players. The only problem is that there’s a lot of cacophony and very few symphonies like Dark Age of Camelot in the musical landscape of mmo gaming.

star wars the old republic

SWTOR is going f2p this fall.

I was not really surprised that SWTOR had announced a f2p model so soon after its launch, while a lot of players and pundits see the move as some sort of admission that the long anticipated BioWare game had gone “to hell,” I see it more as a move towards economic viability given the financial climate in gaming, and especially in the mmorpg industry.

I am even going to go as far as to say that GW2 will not make that much of an impact on wow subs. Those who said that there would never be a “wow killer” seem to have been dead on the nose: wow is finally coming down to Earth, not so much because the quality of Blizzard’s game has eroded, or because a bigger game has come along to take it down, but simply it has come to share some of the gaming landscape with many more titles, both f2p and subscription based. Personally, I welcome the news that SWTOR is going f2p, it joins a multitude of recent titles (Age of Conan, Aion, Star Trek Online, Fallen Earth) to have adopted the f2p model and both developers and players would seem to be the beneficiaries.

Personally, to me, while I enjoy sampling f2p games, especially those which you once had to pay for, I also know the old saying is true: You do get what you pay for and the p2p games have always been more expansive, more fleshed out and better than a lot of their f2p counterparts, but that does not mean that you can’t find some good f2p games that are worth your time like DDO, LOTRO and a few others.

However, that being said, it seems that the Flesh Eating Zipper has made some valid points about the SWTOR f2p conversion, many things which were promised to players will probably never see the light of day, as the dev. team scatters to other projects or other titles. Personally, I will never forget how high the anticipation was for Star Wars prior to release.  This was the game everyone seemingly left the game they were playing to go play. This was going to be the legendary wow killer. How the mighty have fallen!

welcome to the blog players

Hello and welcome to the blog players. Why a new blog? Well, I wasn’t really happy with the theme of my last blog, it had become too restrictive. I realized that at this time, what I enjoy most about mmos is the interactivity with other people. That’s really what has brought me into diverse communities in these types of games, well that and the fact I like the fantasy setting on most, and bashing virtual monsters. I am sure that you do too or you would not be reading this at this time. I hope to have more free time in the coming months to be able to update this blog with more regularity, than I did my previous attempts at blogging. Time will tell. For the time being, I am playing through a 14-day trial on Dark Age of Camelot. It is an oldie but a goodie. But be warned: I switch games fairly regularly, when I am bored of playing one too long, or when I want to try something new. Also I don’t plan to restrict myself to mmos, I also try RPGs from time to time, single player games, but the main thrust will be  mmorpgs and mmo gaming, news and commentaries.  I hope to bring you game commentary, community news, beta discussions and much more in the days to come. Keep on reading and play on players!!