Archive for the ‘Non-EVE’ Category

*tap* *tap*

Is this thing on?

Anybody there?

No?

Thought not.

Well, talking to oneself is a sign of madness. Casting one’s thoughts into an uncaring  internet is situation normal for bloggers.  So, an update.

It’s been 3 1/2 months since my last optimism filled post. Things didn’t work out quite as planned. Real life yet again intervened, and crippled my play time. Since then, the real-life concerns have slackened somewhat – but the desire to play Eve has not returned. I had three fun filled weeks settling in with Agony Unleashed before the break. I enjoyed them a lot. As ever with MMOs, it’s the people that make the game, and AU (like Eve-Uni) has some of the best. But, since my enforced break, I’ve not had the desire to log in, and I figure that when that’s the case, it’s probably time to move on, for now at least.

Luckily, for the undecided online gamer, this is a boom time. More and more games are offering free trials, and free-to-play. I’ve since tried Global Agenda, APB, LOTRO and DDO. None of them particularly grabbed me. They were all fun in their own way for a little, but there wasn’t that instant hook that kept me engaged and online for more time than I had, and made me want to keep coming back for more.

Then I read this article over at Massively. Like the author,  Anarchy Online was my first MMO. And I loved it. Really, only the gated content and the lack of easy assistance to progress in the Shadowlands caused me to quit in the first place. That was 6 years ago. So, why not, I thought. Why not give it another go?

You can now create a “froob” account. Free-to-play the basic game and its first booster pack, Notum Wars, but with still a massive amount of content to experience. So, I joined the ranks of the froobs.

The game was immediately familiar, and yet simultaneously confusing. It felt like returning to a city in which you used to live. The streets are in the same places, the buildings look the same – but the shops, bars, people and fashions are all entirely different. I remembered much of what I was seeing. But I had definitely forgotten quite how confusing the game can be. The help screens are minimal but annoyingly persistent (you seem able to turn them all off, but not tell one of them to never re-appear). The interface is cluttered and complicated. The game certainly isn’t inclined to hold your hand. It’s massively complicated, and makes no apology for this. Oh, and it’s looking pretty ugly. The graphics are those of a 2001 game, and boy does it show. Especially the character models.

But… it’s still as compelling as it once was. The community, though it must be smaller, is still vibrant and friendly. After you get the hang of it, the complexity is a boon not a badness. There’s always something to do, somewhere to see. And the world is gloriously well realised. Everyone always mentions the music, and with good reason. AO’s soundtrack is not just a superb piece of game music, it’s a superb piece of cinematic composition. I’d rate the soundtrack alongside anything that Williams, Elfman or Zimmer have produced. After a little while playing the game, you cease to notice the dated visuals, and become immersed in all that Rubi-ka has to offer.

One thing, though. The camera. Dear God, I hate that camera. It’s rubbish.

A few days into my return, and I was hankering to see some of the stuff that I couldn’t access. Not that I’d run out of things to do, far from it, but I hate missing out. So, an upgrade to the expansions that I was missing. And, well, if I was going to do that, well why not reactivate my old account. Once that was done, I couldn’t really go without re-joining the clan that I created – a clan that has prospered over the last 6 years.

So, I’m back in AO. The adventures of “Ailish”, “Psia” and “Chart” (amongst others) will continue. First Light is a truly wonderful home to have returned to, with a leadership team who have retained (and developed) the family feel that the clan was originally designed to engender. It feels good to be back.

And you never know… I might even get back to regular blogging!

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Well, well, those Funcom guys have been more than a little busy. Secret World info is positively streaming out in the wake of GDC. Ysharros has a great round up of the key points – and in addition, there’s the new trailer and an interview with Ragnar over at Gametrailers.com

I have to say… I’m still pretty excited about this game. I know that its Funcom, and that they don’t have the best track record for delivering bug free games at launch. But I also know from my time in Anarchy online that their community commitment is second to none, and I see nothing that makes me believe that TSW will be any different. I was hoping for some indication of a release date, or a beta date… but nothing yet. I’m guessing it’ll be aimed for the end of this year, will miss its date and arrive sometime Q1 next year.

However it pans out… I’m very much looking forwards to it.

2001: A Space Travesty

Posted: November 6, 2009 in fun, Non-EVE

Like Mr NOXx, I am a big fan of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddysey. And so it was with much hilarity that I watched the video embedded in his post about it. It was funny enough that I wanted to share, so head over there and check it out.

Shhhh… pt 2.

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Non-EVE, Secret World

I know… i know… there’s only so many times I can use Shhhh as a title for a post about The Secret World. But I’m not in a terribly creative place today, and in keeping with the theme of not being creatve, this post is a simple linky post to Ysharros’ guide to TSW info already out there. Read it, for TSW info is good. Even if it does come from a Dargon!!1oneone.

So, it’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it? Well, that’s because real life continues to be busy, our little daughter takes up not only a lot of time, but also a lot of my headspace – leaving less time for reflecting on all things Eve. Still, she’s well worth it, and my life is so much better than it was before her arrival.

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

Time constraints meant that I missed the opportunity to participate in the most recent blog banter; a shame as I had a few thoughts on the possibilities opened by the idea of extending the T3 range to more than just cruisers. In brief, I wanted to avoid the concept of “strategic BS” or “strategic frigs” and instead was looking at a set of ships to offer strategic options to those who would rather mine than fight, or industrialise over fight. Ships with R&D options, kinda solo mobile mini POS… but anyway – I missed the window of opportunity.

Enough with things that I have not done… how about what I have done? Well, Psia has spent her past few concentrating on becoming a leader.  I know, I know… leaders aren’t made, they are born. But, Eve offers the opportunity to train for leadership, and soon P will be able to x up with L5 3/3/3/3. This has the added bonus of allowing her to proudly display the “SC” title on her character sheet. And speaking of titles, she’s graduated! As a graduate of Eve University she gets a neato medal to show everyone what a clever girl she is, and can make her way in New Eden with the acknowledgement that she’s no longer a n00b.

She’s not going anywhere for the time being though. The university provides the ideal place to further develop her skills and my understanding. Frequent wars are giving her fleet, small gang and pvp experience; and the university’s support network is set up to offer all the expert opinion and knowledge base that she could wish for. There’s also an amount of recompense owed to the Uni for their help and generosity in offering her a home, and so she’ll stick around and try to give something back. At 6.5 mil SP, she’s starting to get to be a competant pilot – but some more experience is always welcome, and to be able to continue to learn whilst offering something back to the corp is win/win.

After she’s done with leadership skills, it’ll be time to move on to those elusive T2 medium guns, and from there cruiser V (ye gods that feels like a long haul) and thereafter Recons. Curse and Pilgrim, here she comes!

My alt taught me a valuable lesson the other evening. After a long night of trying to get my daughter to sleep, I figured that I’d log onto my alt and do a couple of quick missions. His L2 agent offered Recon to him, and I duly set out in my Moa. Being tired, and not having read the mission text, or paid any attention to the Eve-survival text, I proceeded to attack one of the three pirates – who spawned a ton of bad guys, who blew me to pieces. Boom went my Moa. Then boom went the speedy frig that I tried the mission with. And the shuttle. And the n00b frig. In the end, I quit. Abandoned the mission, and was several million isk out of pocket. Which is completely sucky, having wiped out a ton of profit. On the upside, this might be the impetus needed to buy and fit a Drake for missioning. He’s a few hours off the T2 shield skills, and so can probably offer decent dps and a good tank. It should enable him to blitz the L2s and get onto L3s as fast as possible.

Outside Eve, I have been toying with some other games. I played a bit of the Champions Online open beta, and whilst I enjoyed it, it didn’t get me excited enough to actually spend actual real money. I have downloaded and installed the Gatheryn beta test client, but have thus far been unable to make it further than a very buggy character creation screen, so I’m waiting for another patch or two before going back to it (having submitted my bug report). As evidenced by the previous post, I am pretty excited by the potential of The Secret World, an MMO by my favourite developers, Funcom (Anarchy online was my first MMO love, for all its faults). It looks, from the little I’ve seen of it, like a cross between Call of Cthulhu, Anton Wilson-ism, and White Wolf’s Hunter. Incidentally, Hunter is a game for which I have a deep and abiding love, driven by my days playtesting it for my good friend Leafshine, who was one of it’s key authors. That WW are now owned by CCP is a neat synchronicity. I know that Funcom do not have the best reputation for quality product at release, but I shall be following this like a frothing fanboi. Do not expect unbiased coverage.

I see that CCP have announced their next expansion, Dominion, whioch will focus on the sovereignty mechanics.  doubt that I’ll be hanging in 0.0 by then, but I look forward to seeing the changes nonetheless. I’m not so sure about their own social networking platform. Being Facebooked, Livejournaled, Tweeted and LinkedIn – I’m not sure that I can stomach yet another niche social network – but we’ll see.

That’s all for now – I hope to have something a bit more substantive to talk about soon.

Posted: September 4, 2009 in Non-EVE, Secret World

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No prizes for guessing the origin of the title of this post, but it seemed eminently appropriate for this, the week of win!

Why, I hear you ask, are you so excited? Well… firstly, and most importantly… I’m a dad! My lovely little daughter was born yesterday. She and her mum are both doing well, and I am so immensely proud of them both. Hurrah.

Aside from that, and honestly, at the moment, it doesn’t feel like there is anything aside from that; but aside from that, I won second prize in Crazy Kinux’s Blog banter challenge! I’m very flattered, there were some terrific entries in there, and to be highlighted for praise is great. Many congratulations to the other winners, and well done to everyone who contributed a piece – the standard was very high.

And lastly, it looks like there might be some good news on the Uni front. More if and when that arrives.