Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some new things are... part 3

Champions Online now lets you play the first zone for free! So if you want to try it out, it's a great opportunity. You can play it up to level 15. I haven't tried it yet, but it might even get you into the 2nd crisis zone.

We'll see if I can get my wife to do an account.

Also, CO is doing recruit a friend. It will net you a pet, teleporting to each other's location, additional costume slots, and a free month for extra friends you bring in. Go check it out.

Some new things are... part 2

Seeing as how Megaman 10 was announced, and I got some Wii points for x-mas, I went ahead and picked up Megaman 9.

I feel like I was transported back in time to my childhood. Even with all my gaming experience, this game is still very hard. It's an excellent challenge, and I'm already improving.

Easiest bosses: Galaxy Man and Splash Woman

Some new things are... part 1

I joined Facebook, for whatever reason is still unclear to me, so go ahead and friend me or fan me or whatever, I'm still learning about it.

I'm trying to learn more about networking, and expanding my reach. It's strange to me, since I could easily walk up to a stranger in the street and start a conversation, but I require weeks of lurking before I go to someone on a website.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

HP Lovecraft

Christmas is a time where I usually curl up with some HP Lovecraft, and catch up on my favorite stories.

The Rats in the Walls

Herbert West: Reanimator

The Music of Erich Zann

Cool Air

Pickman's Model

The Shadow over Innsmouth


Read them all here.

I first discovered HP Lovecraft during the winter of 2003. His superfluous language ignited a passion and haunting dark desire in me that I had only felt reading Poe, or Shakespeare. There's some sort of shadowy unknown thing lingering in some unknown depth of my psyche.

A vile evil vitriol, which courses through my veins, secretly guiding some perverse curiosity.

Friday, December 18, 2009

In the darkness of a December Night

Tinted Glass, reflects before me, like a stale impassive drummer, idly sitting there in eternal slumber, never beating, never breathing.

Winds outside howl and wail, in the darkness, I sit and wait. Never before has the anger of Winter made me feel so old.

Anger from the dark Abyss, the dark Abyss of Carionca. From the grave, where the Witch still haunts me, from the past, that mocks me still, I feel this dark embroiling slumber of the glass before me.

In the dark eyes of the glass before me, tinted glass, that makes me wonder, where I'm from and where I go.

Glancing down at my mobile, at the picture of beauty dear, I sit in darkness and I ponder, why am I even still sitting here?

Dark the path that lies before me, dark the path from whence I came. Shadows rip and torn asunder, by the glowing of the frame. Frame from which in holy light, shines, the image of pure delight.

Raising high above my head, the guiding light I take to bed, I take three steps around the glass, and walk outside into the night. No longer do I fear the future, no longer does my fear hold me, and with courage from within, I submit, my plans for her to see.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Tired Mind.

I'm always tired. I'm in a perpetual state of lacking sleep. Sometimes, it's worse than others. I do sleep. When I sleep it's a very heavy, deep sleep.

Right now, I've been up for way too long. I'm having trouble focusing on my "creative" writing. So I'm doing this blog post.

I'm getting close to 100 posts. That will be a big milestone for me. I'm not sure what I'll write about yet, which is why I've been procrastinating on blog posting.

Well, I'll see you around. And thanks for the hugs from the last post, really made my day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hug Me!

If you're here from Pink Pigtail Inn, give me a hug in the comments section. If you're not, go there, then come back and hug me.

If I don't get any hugs, I'll be emo for a few hours, then I'll be fine again, then I'll be emo for a bit more, then I'll be ok.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fan Fiction

I've always liked fan generated content. Which is what really drew me into things like Total Conversions for Warcraft 2, fan fiction, fan art, and games that let you create your own levels.

When you can share those things, it adds even more to the product that was so lovingly crafted for us. At the same time, the floodgates can open, and suddenly you're up at 2am high on Mentos the freshmaker, drinking soda, and reading Artemis's Lover, and you realize, that someone crafted this horrible disease for your eyes. (Don't follow that link, I just put it in there to make people who follow it suffer the same pain I have).

So what we have is a medium that anyone can join in (even people from other countries will write in bad english just so they can share their ideas with you), which leaves it so far open, that 90% of it has no other choice than to be bad.

The 10% that isn't bad, is mostly either "ok" or "passable". The juicy part is the 1%. That last bit is so good, that suffering through the rest can be worth it. I like it, because it allows me to practice the craft of writing, with little prep time (setting, world, and characters are already there I just need to type stuff up).

So while I'm outlining, planning, re-planning, and finalizing who my characters are, I'm practicing my craft. I've already had several false starts with my novel over the years, and as such, I want to really study what I'm going to be writing. Never have I been closer to actually having a solid start on this project.

I'm really excited, and each week I'm improving. So I added my fanfic authors page to the right, for anyone who wants to check it out. I already have a blog space reserved for my Novel, so once that's going I'll have somewhere specific for that. I want to allow previews of chapters, and other things online etc etc.

It's the things we do inbetween all this crazy stuff called life that makes it worth while right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Legend of Neil, Season 2, Ep. 7 -- A Date With Destiny

Legend of Neil, Season 2, Ep. 7 -- A Date With Destiny

I just really want to support a wonderful Internet show. Watch, comment, digg it up, especially if you like it. This is the season finale, but feel free to explore the rest of this really funny irreverent show.

A Casual Social Hardcore Perspective or Walking the Tightrope

On Thursday, Steam sold Batman Arkham Asylum at a 50% discount. Realizing the opportunity, (and with my wife's permission >_<) I bought the game for a mere $25.

I must say, this game is everything I heard it was. It's genuinely fun, never feels like you're slogging through it, there's enough variety of what you're doing that as it cycles through it, you always feel fresh, and it is full of details.

Exploring, gathering, fighting, stealth, puzzle solving, and tracking. You're always doing something new. You go into a new area, and you immediately need to sneak, neutralize the armed guards, brawl the punk push overs, find some Riddler clues, climb a building, find a secret entrance, and follow the tobacco/fingerprints.

Batman himself is a badass, and you don't need to have the detailed combo controls of a fighter to get him to do cool things. You have Attack, Counter, Stun, Quick Batarang, Quick Batclaw, beyond that you have unlocked moves, and some stealth take downs.

There's a part in the game, a Challenge Mode, that let's you try beating up a series of baddies, and at the end you get your grand total. To get higher scores, you need to get long uninterrupted chains of attacks, until you have an insanely high multiplier, and flawlessly do ground take downs on your foes (as it scores the highest point return). I've managed to near 20,000 points, putting me in the 45,000th place. I checked the top 100. Their scores are in the billions. I'm wondering if they had to of cheated to get that score, and why if the cheat is gone, they didn't reset the leaderboards.

I know I'll never get into the top 100, but I do know that I can beat 20,000, I just need to do better. This is where I'm very much into the challenge. Despite the fact that most of the game the baddies are pushovers, and I never worry about death (though I have died, mostly to Bane), and play it pretty casually. I've always been this way with games, doing the casual and the hardcore.

But there's more to it than that, and some games don't let you play both. In Tetris, you can start with a higher speed, you'll still need to clear as many lines as it would take you to get to this level, before you move on, but you'll start faster (and therefore harder).

I'm really happy with Batman, and I'm glad I bought it. It's a very good game.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


PVD got me thinking about how things have changed, in both MMOs and off-line games, and I have some things I'm thankful for that I think every game or MMO should do:

1. Free Preview

Recently I was on Steam and tried out a few demos, it only took time to download these demos, and once I had them I was able to get a taste of what the games were like.

Thanks to the free preview I learned that Gyromancer is not a game for me, that L4D2 is hella hard, and I need to practice more on L4D(1) before I decide I'm awesome enough for 2. But I also discovered a game that will be joining my collection soon: Zombie Shooter 2.

Free Previews allow the consumer to more appropriately find the game that they want, and in the case of Zombie Shooter 2, allows me to give a smaller indi game, a chance.

2. Expansions

There are plenty of games out there that we love, and we play through once. We might re-play it, to relive some moments in a story (in the case of RPGs or Adventure games). An expansion would allow us to have more of the same (which quite honestly, would cut back on the 5 million Megaman games out there).

Essentially, in the model of Megaman in particular, is that you would add more bosses, and more Wily Castles. When you finally come up with something different enough (sliding, rush, power armor), that you would make a sequel for it.

3. My Avatar is better than me

I first saw this in Kotor, and again in Wow. Let's take a game like God of War, and I can dodge on my own, but, Kratoes, in all his bad-assery, also avoids getting hit on his own. I press to block but on his own he deflects attacks. I want more of this in games.

4. Any Race, any Class

D&D 4e, finally allows this to happen, and though you can be any class/race combination, it's not always ideal. In the end, it's about player choice, and restricting that in a game that's not all voice over, just feels silly.

5. Voice choices

Dragon Age Character Creator, allowed me to select my character's voice, and EQ2 also let's you do that. From an "RP" stand point it allows added immersion for your character.

6. Downloadable games

As time goes on, my desire for cheap, good games that are just a download away increases. I recently downloaded the new Excitebike for Wii, and I'm looking forward to playing through Zomebie Shooter 2. I got my wife Mario 64 as well. Having the choice to download old favorites is great for me, and is honestly something I've wanted to have legally for a long time.

Now if only they'd get more of the backlog collection onto the DSi library so that I could play Super Mario Bros. 3 on it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Costumes Added to Champions Online, for FREE!

New costume pieces were added, check them out. Also on that page is a list of costumes that you can now add GLOW to. Glow can make or break some outfits, so going back to a tailor to add glow might be a must.

I counted about 23 costumes or so, most of it for the back of your hero. Things like weapons, mantles, guitars and some cool head pieces.

The other great thing is that this weekend, for Thanksgiving, they're giving another Free weekend. I can only hope it goes more smoothly than last time, but hey, nothing like playing a hero for a weekend a month it seems. I wonder if they'll do the same thing for X-mas.

Either way, check out the glows, and see you this weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Battle Station

Champions Online has a training room called the Battle Station (check out NET Custa's video). It's pretty much a Danger Room, that you can set up with Enemies that you'd be running into. As you level up the enemies change to fit the type of enemies you'd be fighting at that level.

You pick the type of enemy group you'd be fighting (The Purple Gang, Demons, Irridiates, etc etc), then you choose the difficulty. Easy are for enemies 1 level lower than you, normal is for enemies equal level to you, and hard are for enemies one level higher than you.

Then you choose your team size. This is great if you want to practice with a teammate, or a regular group of guys. It also let's you test your solo ability.

My highest level player has been in the Training room for weeks, as I've been trying different in-style combinations (I mean, powers that fit his character). The one thing I noticed most was that my two favorite defenses are Regeneration and Invulnerability. Further more, don't forget you can pick an offensive and a defensive passive ability.

The Battle Station is an amazing room, and it can really help you decide what's best for your hero.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When would be a good time to try Champions Online again?

Honestly, the game that Champions Online is NOW, almost 3 months after it's launch is much better.

They've been making very positive, constant progress in this game. They're adding more level 40 content (which I've stated is the majority of their player-base aside from those level 1-10). They've added more filler for the content between 20-34 which was reported as being "sparse".

They're newest addition to PVP is alot of fun, and got such a positive response, that more themed pvp will continue to be release in the future.

If you've already bought this game, then a reactivation in mid-February might be a good time to check back in on the game to see what progress they've made.

The biggest reason I knew I wanted a life-time subscription to this game is that progress I saw them make in the couple of weeks of open beta before launch. If they can make so many changes and fixes like that, then I can expect constant progress until they get the game where it needs to be. The best part about MMOs is that the more time that you spend away from it, the more content there is for you to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why is Tesla so popular?

There are 541 super heroes in Champions online with the name Tesla. I did the search after the 7th time I saw someone named Doctor Tesla.

How is it that this guy is popular enough to be a superhero?

Why do video games make me happy?

The other day I was feeling really depressed. I just wanted to stop feeling so annoyed and angry. So I sat down and played the new Excitebike game for the Wii. After trying to get an S-rank on one of the tracks for about 30 minutes, I finally suceeded. Afterwards I felt really good, and happy. Whatever it was that had made me feel as horrible as I had was gone.

That feeling that made me so happy, was a sense of accomplishment. Like I was able to do something amazing.

So I started to wonder, why was I so depressed, and why does artificial accomplishment (doing something that doesn't really matter), make me feel so good?

For the depression part, I think most everyone would understand. Everyday I do the same thing. I work, I pick up my son from school, I sleep, I eat, I do chores, I help my son with his homework, I play some games if I have time, I write or plan if I have time. When someone I haven't seen in three years asks me what's been happening, ... I really don't have an answer for them. I'm still at the same job, doing the same thing, still having money problems, still paying the same bills, the same credit cards. I haven't accomplished anything. I'm in the progress of doing something, but I haven't gotten there yet.

People want to feel like they've made progress. That's why games like MMOs can become so addictive. They make you feel better. Setting a goal for yourself and accomplishing it can also make you feel better, and in this case, you can do something for yourself. Your real self.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chris Glein

Found this review of Champions Online based on the free weekend.

It's interesting to see alot of the game features broken down as they are now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Champions Online, Database

Called Champedia, the CO database allows you to search for characters, supergroups, powers, or missions.

Missions can be looked up by name, and pretty much just gives a little description, same as when you pick up the mission. It tells you what map to get the mission and what level the mission is for. Good if you want to know what all the missions are on a given map. Though I didn't see post-crisis Desert, Canada, or Millennium City, but I saw the sub maps of alot of those places (caves and buildings etc).

For powers, you can search by tier, or by power source, and it's nice to have on the website.

Characters look up. This is great for a few different things. 1) You can look up by level, experience points, hit points, handle, or of course, character name. At this point you can look into each character's information, from gear, inventory, power choices, completed missions and achievements, and even Rate their Champion.

I looked up how many characters there were in different level brackets, and there's 5,229 level 40 characters, 93243 level 1 characters, 213,347 between 10-19, 57,245 between 20-29, and 18,007 between 30-39. These numbers are instantly off, since the database is live, and players leveling up can quickly leave from one bracket to the next. But that's over 293,000 characters over level 10.

Finally, for the supergroup search. You can look up by group, or by group size (two biggest guilds have 250 members, No More Heroes, and M.A.D). You can sort by level or name, and you can click on each members name to see their character page. If you look up your own supergroup, you can even quit them through the website (it's a "Leave Guild" button), and if you have the privileges, you can change the message of the day from the website as well.

Overall, a good database function, that we can only hope will continue to expand.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Pvp map coming to Champions

Zombie Apocalypse, a new hero map in Champions Online, has a group of players fighting off hordes of zombies as well as a fallen Champion who has crossed over.... and came back with an appetite for carnal knowledge (brains not sex).

As the living players fend off NPC zombies and a PC Champion Zombie, they try to survive long enough to earn their points. On the other side, the zombie player adds to his rank by killing the living, and making them join his zombie menagerie.

In the end, the question is, did the zombie player at start kill enough of the living, or did the living fight off the zombies long enough to earn their keep as true Champions?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New items in the C-store

Champions online Microtransactions proceed full steam ahead, and with Halloween around the corner, they released, the Halloween Costume Set. Each set sells for 240 points each (about $3), and you can buy all 3 halloween sets for 640 points ($8, saving you $1 for buying the whole pack). If you look at the Cryptic points store, the minimum you can buy is 500 points for $6.25 (5.44 eur, so they seem to be price matching, though I don't know what the conversion rates are). Buying more points will not lower the cost per point which is .0125 (or 1 and a quater penny). Cryptic points are for all cryptic games and don't expire, so your star trek game can use these too.

Also for sale is a Cyborg Beast costume set ($3) and an Epic Samurai Set ($3). In addition, costume sets for for all characters in the account you purchase it for.

3 emblem packs for $1 each, and for all characters.

Now for the big stuff, additional character slots, full retcons, character rename, and additional costume slots.

You can add 4 more character slots to your account for $15.

Full retcons ($12.50) and Character renames ($3.50) are for one character on the account at a time. Of course, now we'd have to see how much a full retcon in game costs to see what the value of ingame currency is versus RL money.

Finally you can get 2 additional costume slots for ALL characters ($5).

So is this the doom and gloom that everyone thought it would be?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's important to note (not really)

Hallow's end started today. Collecting the candy is a great way to level.

Secondly, each flag cap in WSG currently nets me 900-1000 exp. At appx., 25000+ exp to level, we're looking at over 7 WSG victories to level up.

Third, Champions Online, halloween activities begin on the 27th.

Fourth, All that "promise" that Champions had is still there, and progressing. They're adding more dailies, and progress in the game fast and often, much like young WoW. For those holding out, I'll give it another serious look over after the next batch of added content (whatever they deliver after the halloween adventure).

Fifth Element.... why did I never watch this movie until now?

Six a.m. Time for a nap.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I started wondering if what I like, as far as videogames, and movies, and books, might affect how others view my opinions and suggestions.

So I decided to write about 5 favorite games of all time. These are games that I can play and enjoy at anytime, and never get tired of them (or at least I never have).

Ranked from most favorite down:

Ms. Pac-man
Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past
Super Mario World
World of Warcraft

If we extend this list down 5 more we get:

Megaman 2
Final Fantasy VI
Rock and Roll Racing
Super Punch-out
Megaman X2

So, I started wondering what this means as far as what kind of gamer I am. If it were movies, I'd have an easier time identifying things, like the correlation of liking Happy Tree Friends, Rob Zombie movies and Crack Cocaine.

The other interesting thing is that all the games I love, are games I've beaten (World of Warcraft is an exception, but justly so, since you simply can't EVER beat it). There is a high degree of puzzle elements in most of my choices.

Also, a high degree of Super Nintendo games (6/10 are from SNES). Of course, reading over the list I keep wanting to add to it, since there are so many games that I feel "tie" for several spots on the list.

So then, I decided to ask myself, what games do I play now?

Ms. Pac-man (cellphone)
Tetris (cellphone)
Dr. Mario (DSi download)
Scribblenauts (DS)
World of Warcraft (PC)
Champions Online (PC)

Comparing to the first list, I find that my top 2 favorite games still get alot of play-time from me, but where is Zelda, and Mario and Megaman? Why don't I play them, or new games they've released?

Zelda: My favorite Zelda game is Link to the Past, followed by Link's Adventure, and the GBA link games (Time, Season, Four-sword, Minnish-Cap etc etc). I've seen things about the DS Zelda game, but I haven't brought myself to play it yet.

Mario: I wanted to get New Mario Bros, and honestly, I don't know why I haven't yet. I'm really excited for the Mario Wii game that's coming out (the non-Galaxy one).

Mega Man: I'd want to play a non-rpg mega man, maybe in Legends style, or an upgrade from the X series (X series started losing in the US, when they lost the formula of what made the X games so great).

In the end, I like games that I can hop on for 10 minutes and play, but that provide a deep enough experience, that even hours later I'm still having fun.

What is YOUR top 5 games of all time, and what are you playing currently?

PS:If this turns out to be a subject of interest I'll continue on to movies and books.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Improvements to economy

It finally feels like I'm making money in Champions, though not much at all. Enemies are dropping around 51 resources at the 16 level range, where before they dropped around 10.

The Marketplace still feels bare as far as searching for what you want. The items aren't selling anywhere near what they should be, the inflation in item price is insane (5000-500,000%). When an item vendors for 4c and is put on sale for 1g; I think the currencies are Local (c), National (s), and International (g).

The question is, ARE these items selling at the current mark-up? I have sold things, but I always try to be resonable with my pricing. I really hope they'll improve the market place.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Champions Online, the First 2 weeks

I've purposefully been making slow deliberate progress in Champions. I'm trying to absorb information, and I am testing some of the limits of low level game play.

With that in mind, there are frameworks I still haven't touched, and I've been mostly doing custom frameworks. On another interesting note, they are planning to add more frameworks down the line (for free), which is something rather nice to look forward to.

I haven't had much chance for grouping, and many of the bosses are scaled for a well played single player, and their little zones scale up with more players. This is true of grouping in general, and you may find yourself overwhelmed if you're grouped up, but running around solo. But this doesn't cover enemies higher than Super Villains, at which point you WILL need a good team to defeat. Most of your stats come from gear, and your superstats (which increase with your level). You get SOME stat bonuses from leveling, when you train in the powerhouse for it, but without good gear, you won't see much of an improvement in your guy.

After Crisis (essentially the first 10 levels of game play), you will have a choice of leveling in the Desert, Canada, or Millennium City. There really aren't low level quests in MC, so I suggest doing Desert and Canada first, and only heading to MC to do Super Group registration, Marketplace, or to check it out in general. Doing BOTH post-crisis zones of Desert and Canada, will only get you around level 17-18, at which point you'll really want to do the MC missions. (McMissions, they're really close by, and over with pretty quick ^_^ ).

That's my current highest level, finishing off, MC, trying to get to 20.

Auction House, or in this case the Marketplace, is still in it's infancy. I've sold all of one item so far. It doesn't show up on the map, and only displays the first 100 results. There is still much to be improved on it, so luckily we're in an MMO, and understand that it might be completely revamped.
Crafting is still developing, but as a suggestion, do NOT level up crafting to over 100 etc, until you have ALL the recipes of that level. If you don't grab the recipes you'll have to wait until you're retraining professions (which apparently is something they WANT you to do, since you don't forget recipes). Power Replacers can be sold to others, and some of them unlock costumes replacements for weapons.

Costumes are interesting, and as you level up you get extra costumes slots (currently the first time you do it will be free, but this wasn't always true), also when you join a Super Group. Costumes can be a complete remake of your character or a modification of your current one, and allows you to do things like role-play a Hulk type character, or a Secret Identity of your hero. The Tailor that you go to do your costume changes also lets you change the look of your weapon.

I touched on this in a previous post, but there's also sidekicking, which ups your level to the high level leader's point, and with the exception of gear, let's you join your high level friends in missions they're doing. Grouping in this game often times means tagging along for someone else's mission, and if feels it's easier to group if you're not going after only YOUR goals.

The dev team is very dedicated to this game, and fixes, and patches are coming fast and often. They're constantly doing little improvements, and come the Halloween event (Blood Moon), they'll have their first free "expansion".

Overall, the first 2 weeks have been fun, and the game is still in it's nascent stages of development after going live. The team's dedication I saw during Beta is what made my descision to get a lifetime account. I truly feel that this game has the potential to become great.

Of interesting note, I read in an interview that their UI will be universal for all their games, so expect Star Trek Online to play similarly to Champions, and any and all fixes applied to Champions to make it to STO and back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Full Free Respecs in Champions for any toon made before 09/10/09

Go to the Power Trainer, click on Respec, then type /character_usefreerespec

Redid my Main toons abilities, especially after being so disappointed with Personal Forcefield.

Also with this patch, I had to update my video drivers, and redo all my video settings.

A few bugs right now with dying resetting where your abilities are in the tool bar.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Costumes that I like

Meh, guy got in the way of the old man superhero (3rd pic). Also note, these were other people's hero's, I'll be posting mine later.

Champions Online AH

Arrgh, this is a frustrating thing.

Only 100 items listed, no sorting, hard to find items you want for a good price (it's an unsorted mess currently).

No cost to list items (I've only done ingredients so far). No time limit (that I've seen so far).
PS. No Bid/Buyout options.
PSS. Here for the forum Suggestion link I made, if you like what I want added, please add to the suggestion. The more visible it is the better.


You get into a group, you're a mere level 12. You got a level 18, and a 15, 16 and a 17.

Suddenly, they pass leadership to the 18, and they all become 18!

You ask, and they tell you, right click your portrait, and choose to sidekick!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Champions online microtransactions, part 1

Let me start off by saying, after having the servers down all day, by the time I could get the patcher running it had a 1124mb download. News on their site blame it on the new guy, but they are giving all subscribers a free day (I'm thinking of posting that lifers should get 80 free points).

This brings me to what happened after I plugged in my Champions online preorder key. I got 400 cryptic points (the offer from Gamestop was that I'd get 5 cryptic bucks, which I assume are worth $5). Right now, you can pick a bunch of "pets" to follow you each worth 80 points (12 total meaning 960 points). With 400 points I can pick 5 of them.

This also means each "toy" is worth $1.

Now to see what else they'll add, but this is hardly doom worthy, and simply means that unlike WoW, they want you paying for you vanity figures. Also, by defeating bosses you are able to get some in game.

PS 3 hours now and the patch is still going, even after I fell asleep in this horrible Autumnal heat.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Creating a Champion, tip #4

Keep in mind what kind of crafting you want to do. As you go through the tutorial, pick items that match the kind of crafting you want from one of the 3 main choices. This is because, once you get to the Crisis Zone (Desert or Canada) you'll start crafting and in this game you can take apart items to get components and skill up your crafting.

There are 3 main catergories, Science, Mysticism, and Arms. Further more, each one has 3 subcategories.

Arms Upgrades:

Fighting Techniques (Blueprint name: Kata)
Alien Biology (Blueprint name: Dossier)
Ordnance (Blueprint name: Diagram)

Mysticism Upgrades:

Arcana (Blueprint name: Grimoire)
Avatars (Blueprint name: Apotheosis)
Enchanted Gear (Blueprint name: Imbuement)

Science Upgrades:

Inventions (Blueprint name: Schematic)
Mutations (Blueprint name: Mutagen)
Exposures (Blueprint name: Catalyst)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Creating a Champion, tip #3

If you wanted to mostly follow a particular framework, there are two stats that each prefer. Not to say that you want to ignore the other stats, but these tend to hold more benefit.

When you pick a framework, you'll see on the bottom right, what it's energy builder, it's first main attack, and it's base stats will be.

If you want to still have the powers of a Power Armor type forexample, but want different stats, then go ahead and do custom framework, pick the energybuilder from Power Armor, and the first attack from it as well. Then you can pick a different set of starting stats.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Costume sharing works!

Thank you to Tobold for confirming with me. After emailing him the original image file from the Screenshots folder, he was able to load it up just fine (costumes made are male/female exclusive).

Creating a Champion, tip #2

You start off selecting your powers, and then you make your character. Don't forget, you can set your powers, come up with a look, and then go back and change your mind on your powers before finally finishing your hero.

The steps are, pick a framework, head, body, costume (costume is done in a series of tabs), and finally Name/Bio.

Within those steps you can go back and forward with it them without losing data, and if you want to avoid risk you can always save your look.

Also, you can do what I do, and go in, pick any power, and come up with a hero, save them, then just make them later when you've decided what end-builder + main attack to pick.

PS, on a note about sharing your costumes, you'd need to email the jpg, or zip it when you upload it somewhere, so that the meta-data is not erased (it won't work with many online services, since they convert jpg to their own web friendly version).

So if anyone can point me to an image sharing site that won't lose the meta data, I'd appreciate it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Creating a Champion, tip#1

Above, a typical Venusian

One thing that Champions (online) did right was allowing you to "save" your character ideas. You spend HOURS messing around in that character creator. Sometimes a costume piece you find will send you on a wild tangent. At any of these points you can hit a convenient save button.

Strangely, you used to be able to share these ideas, but maybe it's from where I'm uploading the images to, but I can't seem to get it to trigger on the load screen. It WAS working in beta though. I'll see if this is a bug, or if I'm doing something wrong.

PS Apparently Blogger and Picassa removes the "meta" data neccessary to make sharing work. Emailing the image to myself worked out, but I would like someone else to email me their character so I can see if this feature still works. Editing the name does not affect how it will show up in the in game load file.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Champions online, open beta

There's currently alot going on, and the forums at cryptic are abuzz with people who after playing Open Beta, decided this wasn't the game for them.

The biggest hang ups are, A) It's NOTHING like the Champions Pen and Paper game, B) It's going to have Microtransactions, and C) Zones are instanced.

So why isn't it like the Champions Pen and Paper? Well, quite simply because the reason that the Pen and Paper worked was because of your imagination. Instead in the MMO, you have to use powers and costumes they've designed, and either hope it matches you imagination, or tweak your imagination so that it matches what you get. This leads into the fact that it's also a level based MMO. So you start off as a weak hero and learn more of your abilities as you gain levels (which doesn't match a superhero pen&paper game at all). As for the look of your character, let's remember no MMO is ever truly "done" and they can always add more later. Which I'm guessing is their plan.

What they have now is pretty good, but after awhile you do start feeling limited (I'm saying around the 1000th hero you see you'll start seeing similar heroes). To be fair, I've seen look-a-likes of Jesus, Lincoln, Samus Aran, Superman, Batman, Hulk, Ironman, Goku, Vegita, Spawn, Obi-wan Kenobi, Warhammer Space Marines, a Draenei, various Succubi, and more.

As for powers, the energy builders (auto attack that increases you energy, aka endurance, which you use for bigger attacks) or end-builders, are pretty basic, and they did a good job making alot of them feel different, if even slightly. Each powerset (Electricity, Martial: Claws, Force, Telekinesis, Fire, Might, etc) has it's own flavor and provide some sort of direct damage and aoe attacks. Furthermore they have passive abilities (some are defensive and others are offensive), and you can build your character to act as a tank, dps or support.

The idea of tanking is to get the enemies attacking you, and you want to be able to take a hit. There are "advantages" you can get on some powers that make them generate more threat. Then you have your dps, whose goal is to kill things, and when in that role they do less threat (roles can be switched by bringing up your "builds" screen. Support can be done in two ways, either you're locking down enemies, or you're healing allies (support also has it's own role that can be switched to). These roles provide bonuses to health, damage output, end-building, buff/debuff strengths and more.

The game is more "action" than WoW, in that you can block incoming attacks by using a block button, and it's almost completely necessary to do so to prevent and early death (blocking will change a 200 hit attack to only hit for 80, for example). Aside from that, I didn't notice much of any real difference other than having more attacks that do knockback. The fights are also faster paced than WoW, in that ON level there are some specials that are strong enough to oneshot enemies (archers Sonic Arrow for example). And some attacks use a charge mechanic (in that you hold it down to make it stronger).

The environments have alot of destructability to them, and as your strength goes up, you're able to pick up larger things to throw or bash enemies with. Each stat gives bonuses that are clearly labeled. Strength for example, increases the size of objects you can pick up, improves your change to knock someone down, and helps you break out of tangible holds. There's constitution (health), endurance (energy), dexterity (crit chance and evade change), intellect (pet increase, and better intangible hold escaping), ego (crit damage increaase) and recovery (increased equilibrium and rate of energy building).

Now at times as you level you pick a "superstat" this stat is what your dps increase comes from. So for example you pick Intellect. At that point, Int increases your damage, but you'll still want dex and ego to do crits and bigger crits. You will end up with 2 superstats, so that's something to think about. If you want to tank, you'll likely choose Constitution as a superstat, since you'll be stacking it for survivability it will also increase your damage. This isn't very clear "ingame" and is one of my nitpicks about the game (that it doesn't explain it clearly).

That's how the game plays. You level up, increase your stats and group up to take down evil-doers. Very MMORPG like. There's PVP, but right now it feels like a joke, some players you can't kill even if they stand there and do nothing (since some defensive passives are too powerful right now).

The game plays kinda like Phantasy Star Online, several abilities can be used faster in a sequence, or charged for more effect or damage (sometimes it's better to do 2 shots real quick for 80 damage instead of charging a shot for 100). The world is instanced in that if you go to Canada you'll be in one of 30 Canadas with 100-200 people each. You can switch to another Canada if you want (let's say your friend is in Canada 9 and you're in Canada 18). Zone chatting is for that instance only, but you can whisper your friends on other instances. Grouping let's you guys go together into a zone. This can create some interesting situations. For example, going to city hall, I can go inside, which is it's own zone. I can come from zone 8, you from zone 6, and your friend from zone 18, and we'll all end up in the same City Hall Zone.

Each map has it's edge point, where you can no longer go any further (though at least you can "see" further. This combined with the instancing makes people feel like they're not in a single massive world, and was a reason I've heard repeatedly, as to why people were disappointed with the game.

Finally, there's the microtransactions. This is something we don't really have info on, but just the idea of it was enough to sully the game for some people. When I find out more about what's in the C store, I'll post it.

Bottom line, if you were expecting an emulation of the pen and paper, or want the world to be all together and not sharded across several instances of a map, or if you don't like microtransactions at all, this is not going to be the game for you.

This game is not like WoW, and it might not be what you're looking for. The combat is fun, and the travel powers are great, but the game currently doesn't have fishing.

PS: I STILL haven't found the AH, and I don't know who to ask for it.

PSS: If you don't like superheros, that might be a barrier to entry as well.

PSSS(is that even human?): Thanks for the comment on where the AH is, once I check it out I'll do a post about it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Little Pink Pigtailed People, and their silly memes

Wet-Tshirt Contest
Riptide Wins! On Vacation
Aloha Healing

Thank you, to the Pink-pigtailed inn, for this meme :P

I also decided to try a limerick, please join, with class and starting area, you can put it in the comment section.

There once was a Shaman from TB
Who'd walk around with a teepee
He had a bad stench
because he was French
and he'd always blame his, "oui, oui"