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What with draconnoctem's and my gaming attention so unscrupulously and utterly snatched away by a super hero themed MMORPG of all things, I thought it'd be fair to give my own two cents - or two and a half cents - about this game to give people an impression of it.

With my powers I can save the world...Collapse )

Champions Online

*gets out a duster and wipes away some of the dust that settled on the community*

Well, it has been quite a while since anyone of us has posted anything in here, so I thought I might as well write a little something about Champions Online (CO for short), since I've (ok, the other two as well) been playing it for a month, maybe two.

First of all: If you are used to other MMORPGs like DDO for example where you execute your attacks and interactions with a (single) click, you need to get used to CO's controls. Because like in Star Trek Online, you use the number-keys on the keyboard for your attacks/powers.
But once you got used to that, it goes rather well. Another thing: your weapons are usually set by the powers you have. No searching for the "Holy Greatsword of Instant Killing +40" here.
The first thing you will encounter after setting up an account and logging in with it is - as in any other RPG - the Character Creator.
And oh my god, this game has in my opinnion the mother of character creators! Usually I am done with creating a character after 30 minutes MAX! In CO it can happen that I take more than an hour for creating my character.
But in return, you get the chance to create a completely unique character. Your character's look can range from a skinny man/woman in just their underwear to demons in heavy plate or IronMan-like Powerarmors (as seen in the following two pics).

Evidence #1: Even Demons are a welcomed help in the CO-Universe!

What is better than a Powerarmor equipped with a retractable Minigun? A Powerarmor accompanied by two mini-robots equipped with a Minigun each...

What kind of powers you got at your disposal depends though on your account type:
Silver Accounts (free accounts) can only pick a few "Archetypes" unless they spend money in the shop to unlock other Archetypes and Freeform Characters (Freeform = completely customizable in their powers) while Gold Accounts (monthly fee) get access to ALL Archetypes and Freeform Characters right from the beginning.
While the Archetypes aren't bad, they do have some disadvantages compared to Freeform characters in my opinnion.
While they do take away the figuring out of "which power should I take next" for you by having them all already defined in the Archetype itself (and I can't complain about the powers my "Inferno"-Archetype has in general), on the other hand, ranged Archetypes remain ranged and quickly have problems when Melee-Henchmen and -Villains close in on you while as a Freeform you can say "OK, my character is going to be mainly ranged, but lets put in one or two melee-powers for just in case!".
Also: Superstats (the only stats that rise with levelling up) are pre-set in an Archetype and if none of your two Superstats is called "Constitution" you run low on health damn fast depending on your Archetype (to compare: my "inferno" does not have Constitution as a Superstat and died more than 50 times on his way to lv26, while my freeform powersuit with Superstat Constitution has a total of 14 deaths so far... while also being lv26 by now)

Then there is something called "Role". Every character has a role. Like with Superstats and Powers it is pre-set for Archetypes.
The role influences melee & ranged damage, hitpoints, energy generation and some other factors which I didn't grasp yet since I didn't play a Crowd Controller or (fulltime) Healer yet.
E.g.: The role "Avenger" excels at ranged damage, but suffers a 10% (since last update, before it were 20%) penalty on hitpoints, while the "Protector" excels at hitpoints and defenses while suffering a damage penalty on his attacks. Once again the Freeform characters have an advantage to the Archetypes, since they can switch their role whenever they want to, to whatever they want to (it's as if a DnD Fighter decides in the middle of the battle to turn into a mage 'cause it fits the situation better). Personally I think that it would be a bit better if Freeform characters had to decide on their role in the character creation process and then stick to it, but I can live with the solution CO chose.

Once you're done with creating your Hero, you get into the Tutorial (which you can skip, once you completed it with at least one character) in which you get thrown right in the middle of an ongoing alien attack on Millenium City, the main "Hub" of the game with a little cutscene including voice acting for MCPD Chief Surhoff in it talking about how the chances to defend the city against the Qullar are very slim without a hero, and at that point the camera that flew over the city moves to you: the hero of the hour!
The cutscenes may not be worthy an Oscar, but they are nice and entertaining and make you part of the story.
The missions are depending on their objectives short to medium in length and most of them result in a small story arc (at least) of which you have a feeling that it again is a piece of a bigger story arc spanning through the whole game.

Like every online RPG i encountered so far, CO also has Player vs Player (PvP) elements, namely Duels (which can be declined by the challenged player since - and let's be honest about it - it can be quite annoying when a lv30+ character challenges a lv6 character fresh out of the tutorial) and the so called "Hero Games" which are to be honest quite a lot of fun, especially the "Zombie Apocalypse" mode.
In the Hero Games, every character gets temporarily to lv20 - no matter what level that character normally is! - to even out the chances a bit.
And in the Zombie Apocalypse scenario, the players first face only NPC zombies... until a player dies. Any player that dies in this scenario returns into the fight as an undead hero, fighting along with the NPC zombies against the remaining living heroes until no hero is left alive.

Another thing -which I regard as a nice touch - in CO is the travel power system. Every character has a travel power - which could be called CO's equivalent of a mount - and can choose up to 2 travel powers, the first at lv6 and the second at lv35. The list includes familiar things like flying in different versions as well as grappling hooks which make you travel around like SpiderMan or Batman to rather exotic things like short-range teleport, tunneling or rocket jumps. Travel powers are mostly a matter of concept you chose for your character (a character that looks like the Hulk's big brother would simply look a bit strange travelling via Acrobatics, right? ;) )

The last thing about CO I regard as completely unique is the Nemesis. Every character that reaches lv 25 gets his own arch-enemy, and the player once again gets confronted with this huge character creator, this time only slightly limited (you can "only" define a type of powerset, and you can't adjust the look of the Nemesis's weapons - if he/she has any). Once done creating the Nemesis and assigning a type of Minion to it you get your first mission involving your Nemesis. Afterwards you stumble over the Minions from time to time and those encounters can give you a hint that starts a Nemesis mission. Which is a VERY nice thing, since it really does make you want to think in stories for your character (like mermaidbia repeatedly pointed out to me X) ). What event made the Nemesis your character's Nemesis? Why this kind of minions?

All in all, I tend to say that CO is a very nice game with a nice world that takes itself serious... and at the same time makes fun of itself.
The graphics I admit are a matter of taste. Not everyone likes the comic-like look in a PC-game, but I like it since it perfectly fits the scenario. After all, it IS a game about comicbook-like Superheros.

Give it a try if you want. I'd say it's definetely worth playing if you enjoy stories like Batman, Spiderman or X-Men.

Have fun, whatever you play. Cya next time :3

Rift Pictures

  managed to forget the pictures of the game. here they are:

take a look into riftCollapse )

i hope there will be another beta and i will be able to play it again. it was really fun!


Well, hello there. Before I get to the main part of this entry, I wanna do a quick introduction.
My (nick)name is obviously DraconNoctem, 27 years of age and I play PC and video games for roughly 20 years XD
And I am also the first moderator since ashlaran  created this community (hopefully not the last).
Regarding the games I play, you will propably mostly get entries about RPG and Racing, but from time to time there might sneak in some Action and Strategy.

So, I hope that is enough about myself as a person, let's get to the main topic, as stated in the title:
Dungeons and Dragons: Eberron Unlimited (or DDO for short)

DDO is based (what a surprise) on the Pen and Paper DnD system (rule version 3.5 to be precise), therefore it is different to play than any other MMORPG i encountered so far.
First difference is that this is one of the few MMORPGs where you can have two to four classes with one character (but you have to know the classes to do an effective combination) and you have to take care of your own stats like strength, dexterity etc. since the class you choose does NOT define the stats and their increase for you.
Something I admit either takes experience from PnP or patience and determination to deal with.
Skills are following the same procedure: it's up to the player himself what skills he wants to raise and which not.
(If you are a rogue but do not raise your Disable Device skill you don't have to be surprised if you can't deal with the most simple traps, though). Character creation can be quite discouraging for players who never before played DnD in any way.

Second difference towards other MMORPGs I encountered so far is the fact that DDO requires players to cooperate.
Sure, you can do the first quests on your own (especially if you are a Fighter, Paladin or Cleric) but at a certain points the traps and monsters get so deadly, that it is wiser to get a Cleric to heal you, and a Rogue to take care of the traps. And then maybe a caster, too, and some extra muscle can't hurt, either.
Like in Pen and Paper, it's all up to get a well balanced group together to have higher chances to succeed at quests.
[For some reasons - and that has to be adressed now - I was able to meet players between lv5-10 who downright hated DDO for requiring group play and thought that WoW is a thousand times better but couldn't give me an answer when asked why they played DDO anyway if they hate it.]
A fighter on his own is very likely about to die by traps, a rogue on his own stands no chance against an angry mob.

Third difference is the complexity of things one has to know and be prepared for. On the first few levels it's quite simple to defeat your opposing NPCs. Approach them, and hack 'em until they're dead. Done. On later levels, it isn't that easy anymore. You'll meet incorporal undead (Wraiths, Spectres, Shadows) who stand 50 % chance that a normal blade passes through them without doing damage, so you either have to be a caster... or you have to carry a Ghost Touch weapon with you to negate this 50 % chance. Other monsters (like Trolls) regenerate unless you hit them with certain weapons or have a damage reduction. And there are even monsters that heal up if you hit them with the wrong kind of weapon or spell (try fighting a Clay Golem with an Acid weapon... Go on, try it!). So it isn't that uncommon that Wizards and Clerics ask what mosnters are to be expected in a quest so they can prepare the proper spells.

A nice thing about DDO is that it is basically Free to Play. But an Online Game can't survive if it has no way of getting money, so like all the other MMORPGs out there it has a store where you can buy stuff. Ranging from weapons to special items (like rest shrines you can summon in a dungeon) and adventure packs and VIP-races and classes.
With some patience you can earn store points, since every quest earns you "Favor", and each time you reach a certain amount of total Favor you get Store Points for free, and it works for each character you got seperately. Some premium features can even be unlocked for a server via the Favor System (for example: once one character reaches 400 total favor you are allowed to create Drow characters on that server).
Downside is that from lv15 on, it is very hard to level up, because there are close to no free to play quests for that level :/
But I admit that the price for the smallest Store Point pack is rather cheap, and since you get 2 additional Character Slots once you buy your first pack of Store Points, you got the means to collect free Store Points quite easily.

So, for now I leave it with that, next time I might write something about the races and classes. :) until then

Edit: uhm, ashlaran: I DID give the entry tags, but somehow it won't show them in the tag-list of the community nor the entry itself O.o

2. rift ... 2nd beta day

 alright, my husband woke me up this morning with those words "i think there is an open rift waiting for you". sure enough, after waiting endlessly last night, i gave up at around 5am and went to sleep since the servers were still down. so i made my coffee, started my machine and when i came back, entered the world of rift.
i entered with my mage and i tried to take screenshots, since i really dig the graphics. it turns out i cannot take screenshots, because it is a beta. i was so smart and grabbed my cam, so i will post some monitor shots of the game at the end of my report.

i decided to start crafting today and i went for runecrafting, outfitting and butchering:
runecrafting covers enchanting items as well as breaking down items into rune components for enchanting. 
outfitting covers working with cloth and leather, and you are also able to break down unwanted items thorugh a skill called salvaging.
butchering let's you skin dead animals and also work on the leather for further progress. 

crafting overall seems somewhat complex until you figure it out, which is not hard to do if you played mmos before and love crafting as i do. 

so i looked in my inventory and i gathered gold up fast into platinum heights (i think it is platinum, it won't say it lol), so i thought it's easy to make money, but then.. a mount costs like 20 platinum, so i forgot about that thought. also, economy in betas is probably something you shouldn't take serious at all.

the class system is nuts.
you start as one of the classical types: warrior, rogue, cleric, mage.
the first quest let's you choose your first soul, which was a chloromancer. as i moved on i was able to choose to further souls, which were warlock and archon, suggested for chloromancer. you can take different paths but i thought you might need some experience. each soul-class has a unique soul-tree (skill tree), so you can really craft your character how you like to. 

so yeah i am playing more now, more tomorrow or on monday :)



we all know there are a plenty, thousands and millions of games out there. some are good, some are bad, some are average and very few are beyond good. so purpose of this community, which i will run alone for now (which might change if others wanna jump in to write), is to give an insight into games, reflect personal thoughts and feelings on it and just rant on gaming related stuff which won't fit in my personal journal. 
ok so my first thought is the rift beta, which i am invited to play this very weekend (until monday). that means, i won't sleep much, since it's limited time on a beta. i started a few characters to figure out which faction/races/classes i desire to play. after a few tries i went with an high elf of the guardians. she is a mage which is divided in 2 souls (specs) atm: chi.. master something (there is no description on the website!), which is more a natural kind of mage, and the other being a warlock, soul-eating enemy-destroyance. so as i went lvl 5 and figured out i can completely customize my layout, size- and appearance-wise, the server went down. i hope it's back soon.

p.s. my eyes hurt lol.