My personal room in Final Fantasy XIV

One of the few downsides of Final Fantasy XIV, and the major disappointment, is their housing system.  They said private houses would be much less expensive, that Free Companies and private houses would be separated (but instead players compete and fight against Free Companies over the very few houses and wards that are available) and a long list of other things that are wrong with it, like the very few wards that they made.  I’m lucky because my guild was in the closed beta and at launch so they bought a medium house, and now that they’ve added private rooms in Free Companies’s houses, I bought one as well not a long time ago.  It’s pretty much the sole housing available for individuals right now unfortunately.

Anyway, here are screenshots of my room.  The grandfather clock makes a sound at every second or so, it’s really nice.  I plan to update this post whenever I make changes and add things to my room.

myroom01

myroom02

myroom03

myroom04

myroom05

myroom06

myroom07

myroom08

myroom09

World of Darkness Online Cancelled

I’m really heartbroken to hear that CCP Games have decided to cancel World of Darkness Online.  I’ve always wanted to play such an MMO in such a vampires-supernatural creatures dark setting.  Vampire the Mascarade: Bloodlines is among my favorite games and I was so looking forward the MMO version of World of Darkness.  I was planning to make two vampires, one Gangrel and one Tremere.

What bugs me is that CCP Games put time, money and people all these years on mediocre and failed games like Dust 514 and Valkyrie, instead of making World of Darkness Online their focus, they have kept spreading themselves with worthless projects.  And considering they purchased White Wolf that means that they own the IP, and therefore no MMO or games most probably will ever be made based on World of Darkness because of them.  So I’m really disappointed with their incompetence.

Let me put here the trailer of the game and show what could have been an awesome game:

Diablo III

Personally I really like Diablo III, and after I started mode Nightmare with my 4 characters, I heard they were working on a new loot patch 2 which would make the loots better.  After you go through the game on normal mode, the main reason to play after is to get better gears, so I decided to stop completely playing my alts and wait for the patch, which took around 9 months.  It’s a good thing that I’m patient, and instead I played my hardcore monk that I had made.

The new loot patch occurred a bit before the launch of the expansion Reaper of Souls and Blizzard had for 3 weeks an extra 50% XP boost.  My characters were around level 33-34, and I was worried they would never reach maximum level, so I was really happy about this, and I used the boost in question to get all my 4 alts to level 60.  So I’m really proud to see that my characters are so high level.  With the expansion the maximum level has been raised to 70, but with them being at 60 already it will be easier to get them maximum level again.

I’ve played solely my monk and I’ve done the new act, which I find awesome.  Now my monk has reached maximum level of 70, and I’ve been doing bounties to raise my Paragon levels.  Right now my Paragon level is 29, and I’d like to get it up around 100-110.  I also prefer the new levels of difficulties that has come with the loot patch, the adventure mode, and the new Paragon system, because now all the alts share the same Paragon level, which means you just need to do it with one alt to level up Paragon, and all your alts have the same Paragon level too.

Here are signatures made with my characters, including my new born crusader, showing the classes, levels, etc.

 

Video games are good for us

Swimming Sessions in Guild Wars 2

I watched recently a french video about the useless activities that the players in Guild Wars 2 can do if they want.  One of them consists of jumping from a high place and do the same moves that the olympic swimmers do in competitions.  I had to go in Lion’s Arch anyway so I decided to give that one a try.

When you get in that area your character suddenly wears a swimsuit and a pair of glasses.  And when you jump, you get access to certain skills allowing your alt to do the same moves than the ones in competitions.

Here is my Asura guardian who looks all professional with his mini-pet golem that I got from my Hall of Monument in Guild Wars.

swimingplace

My biggest disappointments about Guild Wars 2

The dyes

We were told that the dyes we would unlock would be account based, so those who play many characters like me would be able to access all their dyes.  And there is a LOT of dyes to unlock, 400 in total.  Obviously something that would take a LOT of time.  Well, in all beta events the dyes were indeed account based, including the big media week-end beta event where journalists in gaming industry were invited, including smaller guys like TotalBiscuit, who confirmed to the world, in different medias, that dyes were indeed account based, that ArenaNet follows their promises.

It’s only in the very last beta events that suddenly dyes were not account based anymore.  Everyone thought it was a bug and reported it as a bug it to ArenaNet.  Up until someone showed up in their official forums to tell us that ArenaNet had suddenly changed their mind, that now dyes are character based and gave us the most ridiculous reason why : to give us a sense of progression.  Most people on the forums were angry and did not agree at all with that and wanted their account based dyes back.

I just want to mention that publically dyes are still account based because ArenaNet has not put on their website or blog that they’ve changed their mind, that they BROKE a promise, only other places have mentioned it, so that means that someone who check the beta events articles and videos, especially the journalists ones, and quickly check their website, will have a hard wake up call when they realize that sneakily dyes are not account based anymore.

On top of that, the dyes that drop are not identified so that means you don’t even know what color it is.  Well, I don’t plan to play that gambling game.  I plan to just NOT identify said dyes up until either the dyes become account based again or up until there is a way to identify the dyes before unlocking the dyes.  Also, l will NOT buy dyes in the ingame store either.  Again, it’s a gambling game.  None of these are fun is any way whatsoever.

Ironically, some short time after ArenaNet changed their account based dye system to character based system in closed beta, ArenaNet had the nerve to write a blog article called Is it Fun? Colin Johanson on How ArenaNet Measures Success.  The nerve!!!  In other word, while they were working on the game they made sure to put emphasize on fun and get rid of not fun stuff.

Well guess what ArenaNet, the current character based gambling dye system is NOT fun at all. NOT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And multiply that NOT FUN by how many alts we have.  NOT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Mesmer

In Guild Wars mesmer was the most awesome coolest fun original class.  It was too much fun to play.  And in PvP even better.  It was so much fun tossing Ineptitude on melee classes and Backfire on casters, and watching them kill themselves.  The most fun PvP I’ve had was playing a mesmer in alliance battles in Guild Wars.

In Guild War 2 most of the classes have gained new stuff, for the ranger more pets to have, for the warrior ranged weapons, necromancer death shroud, assassin a western look and guns.  Mesmer in the other hand is not a mesmer anymore, I don’t know what it is but it’s NOT a mesmer.  Someone wrote a better post about the sad situation about the mesmer in Guild Wars 2, here: Guild Wars 2: How ArenaNet ruined the Mesmer.

All I’m going to say is that I fully agree with the author.

Hard decision

It was an hard decision for me but I’ve decided to quit Lord of the Rings Online permanently. I know I leave behind some friends, I have their emails so I have at least that, but also my beloved deluxe house, my first ingame house ever. I leave behind as well my characters I had become attached to with which I had fun role-playing.

I think it is partly playing Warhammer Online in november 2008 that made me realise that. Warhammer Online is so similar to Guild Wars that it almost made me feel like playing it. Guild Wars has so many qualities with its anti-grind attitude, non-gear oriented game, reach level cap fast, casual gameplay, fun. Not once I felt compelled to play Guild Wars, or obsessed, I played a lot but always for fun.
It was not the case for Lord of the Rings Online. I was compelled to play all the time to try to advance a little my alts and I felt for years I was not getting ahead. How come I can play a dozen alts in Guild Wars, get them to max level really fast, get them nice armors, skills, etc. in a few months while almost two years later and my 5 alts are still low level? Ok, I managed to advance my main more then the others in Lord of the Rings Online but only after I fully abandoned the other alts. Leveling alts is no fun in Lord of the Rings Online.

Let’s not forget the lack of storage, the deeds, the crafting, the reputations, etc. all grind that was making me obsessed about the game quite late at night and the whole day about the whole organisation. I was trying to play as often as possible to satisfy to everything.

Then came the second reason, the expansion Mines of Moria that has turned Lord of the Rings Online into World or Warcraft. I’m quite aware of World of Warcraft, I’ve heard about it plenty and I’ve decided long ago to avoid the game for many good reasons, one of them being the raids that are a must, and a grind, to acquire items. Frankly, if I wanted to play World of Warcraft, I’d buy the game, but since I’m not interested I’ve played other MMOs instead. Before Mines of Moria raids were not needed, one could craft, get items through quests or buy them on the Auction Hall but not anymore. As strange as it might seem, it’s World of Warcraft that is becoming more casual while Lord of the Rings Online is becoming more hardcore and more raid oriented.

Another thing coming from Mines of Moria are the skills, the virtues and the deeds. While before one did not need to work too hard on his/her deeds, now having them at high level is almost required. Still, even on the old system, one of the main reasons not to level up other alts was indeed the deeds, now it’s worse. There are as well different trait paths for classes and some classes get punished for certain choices while others don’t which is not fair. Turbine also has changed the combat system with Mines of Moria and that is quite a bad move.
So yeah, these are pretty much the reasons why I’m leaving, Lord of the Rings Online is turning into something I don’t like, and I want to go back to an healthy gaming state of mind because Lord of the Rings Online is very very unhealthy for me.

I’m going back to City of Villains/Heroes, like Guild Wars it’s casual, non-gear oriented, no raid, a rich and fun PvE MMO, and I’ve never felt that unhealthy addiction towards it as well unlike Lord of the Rings Online. On top of that, my guild there is still fully present ingame and I’ve been taken back and they’re still as nice as before. So from now on you know where to find me, on Virtue the unofficial RP server.

This is a past blog entry from my gaming Multiply.

Me love cuteness – Free Realms

I admit it, I love cuteness. I love those games with cute graphics and I often check out asian MMOs because of their high level of cuteness factor. Alas for me, asian MMOs are 99% of the time hardcore grinders with not much to do than kill the same mobs again and again to level up, which brings back to me nightmares, the ones I had when I had to do it in Saga of Ryzom, and also when I had to do it for slayer deeds in The Lord of the Rings Online.

I’ve noticed Free Realms last year but it was hard to tell what to think of the game, all I could see were a very few small bad quality videos of a cute world. Since the year has started, more screenshots have come out and more videos, it looks really interesting. The game is focused on kids and teenagers but the adults can play it too if they want. The beta has recently started and the open beta should be there in a month or so, I definitively intend to try the game out and see by myself how it is. It seems the game is more focused on exploration and socialisation, we get to have a house and a pet and we also get access to many classes that we can switch anytime, one aspect I love very much, flexibility, which is something I deeply miss from Guild Wars.

Sony claims it will be free-to-play but actually there will be a small monthly fee of 5-6$USD for those who want to have access to the whole content and areas and there will be micro-transactions as well. It’s unfortunate because when I first saw the game, the game was supposed to be wholly free but with a small monthly fee for parents who wanted more security for their kids, understandably. Considering the game is marketing kids, I think that now with monthly fee for everyone and micro-transactions, that it might make kids somewhat addicted and make them litteraly beg their parents for virtual items. They are already begging their parents for real items, now it will be virtual stuff, I doubt it will be healthy

In the meantime, here are some links:

Free Realms Official Website

Free Realms on SOE website (screenshots and videos there)

Latest videos on Free Realms, really cool stuff

This is a past blog entry from my gaming blog on Multiply.

2009

As I write this, I have two songs in my head: 1990 by Jean Leloup and 2001 by Melissa Etheridge.

How fast time has passed by. 2009 is at the corner and I’ve done my best at not thinking about it, and especially not thinking about some upcoming projects. I tend to be insominiac and I avoid sources of insomnia for my well being and excitment is one of them.

The Secret World
A few words have come out recently about the game, at the beginning of 2009, there should be finally an official website and a PR. Some parts of the game are near completion, others still in development and right now they’re implementing RPG and combat system to the game.

I really hope this time Funcom will have learned their lessons and deliver a well polished finished game with The Secret World. The fact that the leads behind The Secret World are not the same as Age of Conan is promising but with their reputation pretty much ruined when Age of Conan came out, they should make their best to be forgiven with The Secret World.

Guild Wars 2

At first we were told we would get beta news end of 2008 but it was changed to 2009. The only informations about Guild Wars 2 are scarce and no information about the game has come up since. I fell in love with the game when it came out may 2005, a genuine fantasy world and lore, one of the rare few that is not heavily inspired by Tolkien. The story of Guild Wars 2 happens 250 years after what happens in the expansion Eyes of the North. Unlike the first Guild Wars, many races will be playable in Guild Wars 2 and my favorite race is among the short list: the Charr (Link 1 + Link 2). The Dwarves will become extinct and won’t be a part of Guild Wars 2, so their only Tolkien element in Guild Wars will be non-existant in Guild Wars 2. So far, the official list of playable races has five races: Humans, Charr, Norns, Asuras and Silvaris. Whether there will be more races is unknown. The game will have no monthly fee again and apparently it will be persistent with some instances left for missions and dungeons.

So while we will get the same areas, after 250 years things will be entirely different and we will have to rediscover again the beloved areas.
Considering ArenaNet has done a very good job with Guild Wars I have a lot of hope with Guild Wars 2, they delivered a top notch well polished game with constant support, listened to their community of players even without having an official forums (many suggestions done by the players on fan forums were implemened in Guild Wars), etc. And I hope as well the graphics and art style will be even more gorgeous then they aready are.

More links:

Link 1

Link 2

This is a past blog entry from my gaming blog on Multiply.

Guild Wars – Review

4/5

Guild Wars is a casual non-gear-oriented PvE MMO with some good PvP to do as well. Some devs from Blizzard wanted to try something new, left Blizzard and created ArenaNet, and they came up with Guild Wars. Considering Guild Wars has sold over 5 millions boxes, we can say with certainty that venture is a great success. Do not let yourself fool by the title that the game is fully PvP, the Guild Wars title actually refers to a certain period of time called Guild Wars in the history of the world of Tyria.

The devs wanted to try many new things and one of them is the settings of the game. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and creatures have been overused to death during the last decades in novels and games of all sort (D&D to videogames) so for those who want fantasy without having to deal with yet another Tolkien’s inspired world… again, then Guild Wars is your answer. The only remnant of Tolkien in Guild Wars is the Dwarves that we get to interact with, the only playable race in Guild Wars is Human. So the first Guild Wars, called Prophecies, is based on a fantasy medieval europe with its characters (white caucasians) to architecture to armors. The graphics are superb and the art style oh so beautiful, the devs have decided to go toward realism of graphics instead of cartoonish for World of Warcraft. Even though the game has awesome graphics, the game can be played on very low computers and be played as well on dial-up connection, the game was made to be playable for everyone and to look way better than World of Warcraft in term of graphics. The devs have worked very hard on the lore and history of Tyria, fleshing out their world and there is a great variety of different environments from jungles to desert to snowy areas to explore. Even better, the devs have come up with a good storyline in Guild Wars that makes us the heroes and they use well instances, missions and cinematics (voiced videos) to fulfill this. The day you see your own alt in those cinematics, you’re hooked.

Each campaign adds a new area and a new type of people with their own history, you do not need the first game to buy a campaign. In Factions, the game is inspired highly by Asia and the devs have created a fantasy asian game with Asians everywhere, you even get to create your own asian alt. In Nightfall, the devs have inspired themselves from Middle-Orient and Africa to make it, so there are indeed Black and Oriental NPCs everywhere and you get to create your own too. Each campaign has its own storyline similar to the first Guild Wars and each adds two new classes as well as two new slots to play them. In Factions comes the Assassin and the Ritualist and from Nightfall the Paragon and the Dervish. The other playable classes are Warrior, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer, Mesmer and Ranger. One fascinating aspect of the classes in Guild Wars is that each class has its own unique look and its own unique set of armors that the other classes cannot wear so it really sets them apart. If you want more slots you can now buy them on the online store. The beautiful music in Guild Wars was composed by Jeremy Soule who has previously won prizes for his music in other videogames, and in each campaign the music is different and suits well the different settings.
Guild Wars is a team-based game and you have to team up most of the time in order to do quests and missions. There are Henchmen that can be hired if you cannot find people to play with at that moment, but be aware that the Henchmen take their part of the drops like golds and items and that their AI is so so. In Nightfall, you get better, you get customizable heroes and you can choose which skills they will use and which weapons too, their AI is superior to the regular henchmen but just like them they take their part of the loot too.

The game is mostly instanced so you are alone with your team. It allows for scripted quests, you also don’t have to deal with bad players and you don’t have to wait in line for anything. Once the mobs are killed, they do not respawn. The maps are really good, the small one shows you exactly where you’ve been walking and exactly where you should go for the quest, and the top map at the right, you can also write on it with your mouse if you want to show the strategy you want to use to your teammates more clearly. The game makes it easy to do quests by showing you where to go, that doesn’t mean it will be a one minute trip though. You can only use eight skills at once on your bar so you have to make that decision before leaving town because once you are outside you cannot change your skills.

Talking about skills, it’s pretty much what Guild Wars is about. Each class gets tons of skills (I think each class has over 100 skills now, including elite skills) in different trees and in town you can switch around your points in the trees you want without having to pay a fee. In Guild Wars, each player gets to have as well a second class and everything you’ve unlocked on a class (skills and pet) is kept forever even if you switch around your second class many times (because you can switch too anytime your second class without having to pay a fee). So, the number of possible combinations with the first and second class and the amount of skills available, it makes you think a lot when it’s time to choose which eight skills you will bring with you this time. As I said, the game is pretty much about skills and the storyline, since the max level is 20 and easily reachable, you keep playing the game to follow the storyline but as well to acquire more skills including elite skills only obtainable by killing a certain elite boss.

Maybe it could be time I talk about PvP. The PvP in Guild Wars is fair and square since the game is non-gear-oriented which means anyone with so so armor and weapons can compete with the others in PvP. PvE and PvP are completely separated in Guild Wars which means that PvE players can happily do nothing but PvE and never touch to PvP, also your chance to get ganked is none in Guild Wars, and it’s true the other way around as well since you can create a full PvP alt at max level but you cannot do PvE with that PvP alt. There are many different forms of PvP available in Guild Wars: Guild versus Guild, Random Arena (2 teams of 4 put randomly), Team Arena (2 teams of 4), International PvP (Hall of Monument), some PvP with the Kurzicks and the Luxons and the last PvP Alliance Battle which is my favorite form of PvP. Most players in Guild Wars actually do not PvP or rarely. The devs behind Guild Wars, in order to satisfy the demands of the PvE players, have decided to put aside Guild Wars because the devs are limited with its engine and have decided to restart anew, build a new engine, and make Guild Wars 2 which happens around 250 years after the last expansion (Eyes of the North).

ArenaNet have recently put on sale a Guild Wars Trilogy that contains all three campaigns for a very good price, 50$ USD, which is very good for anyone who has wanted to try out the game but was overwhelmed at the thought of having to buy all three campaigns at 40-45$ USD each.

Nothing is perfect in this world, except for cats of course, so Guild Wars has to have flaws. I think the most important is the constant fights between the PvE players and the PvP players, and for a game where PvE and PvP was supposed to be separated, too many PvP elements was ruining PvE: balancing the skills in term of PvP and ignoring its impact in PvE was one, the Underworld (a dungeon) was only accessible if your country had won x times in the International PvP form, etc. On this matter, 3 years later, ArenaNet has finally fully separated these two but it’s too little too late. Some may find the instances and the absence of jumping a complete turnoff. Also, while at first there was sometimes a class discrimination when it was time to make a team, now it’s builds discrimination where players are not admitted in a team because they do have the "right" build (the set of eight skills on the skill bar). The community is so so and some places are filled with teenagers, or so it seems, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad, there are plenty of nice people but unlike the bad ones they are less vocal. Guild Wars at first was all about fun and no grind, now it’s more about grind and it’s very sad indeed to see. It’s hard to find people to do missions but that is partly because people are spread out through the three campaigns so it makes grouping harder, the other reason is that Guild Wars will not get more content like a new expansion or campaign so some people have burned the game a while ago and have stopped playing the game, awaiting patiently for Guild Wars 2 (or not).

The game is perfect for casual players who love flexibility and who want to play a genuine fantasy game that is in no way related to Tolkien, where they get to be involved in many storylines where they are the heroes and have fun exploring beautiful fantasy worlds, where they can as well play a fair PvP when they want to. They will have to accept though that no new addition will be made to Guild Wars since the devs are focusing solely on Guild Wars 2.

The official website: http://www.guildwars.com/

This is a past blog entry from my gaming blog on Multiply.

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