Category Archives: Not EvE

MWO: Sweep the Leg

So I’ve been fiddling with MWO because I need instant pew pews and you can fight three matches in the time it takes a fleet to get started and put on fleet finder in EvE.  I’ve done what I do, which is fiddle with ‘mechs and I’ve noticed something.  Legs tend to be the first thing I strip of armor because, well, I never get legged.  Unlike every other MW game in the history of mankind, I never ever get legged.  Part of this is tactics.  People tend to keep at a distance at first, and legs are naturally the last piece of a ‘mech to drift into sight, but also because people aim for the head, or center torso, or barely aim at all.  I’m looking at you guy who panicked and failed to finish off a legged commando, losing us the last match I was in!

I have been fiddling with the twin gauss Jagermech, because: why the fuck not.  I’ve also noticed that every time I hit something over 50 tons in the legs the armor goes bright red.  Sometimes the structure starts to change color.  It’s pretty amazing to see it when an Atlas is showing internal damage from one shot.  I rarely think to actually go for the legs when I’m trying to fight off an Atlas but I’m trying to be more disciplined.  I’m trying to go for the easiest kill, and let me tell you I’m pretty sure the easiest kill is to “Sweep the Leg.”

For those unfamiliar with the line, in the old movie “Karate Kid” the bad guy tells his student to “Sweep the Leg” of the hero, who is already limping more than an under-engined Atlas missing a leg.  The intent is to cripple him and get the tourney over with so he can rejoice in his dojo’s domination, and his students can sneak off to smoke and drink and feel good about their victory.  Of course the good guy wins, the bad guy’s student is the one to hand him his trophy, and everyone is happy except bad guy Sensei.

It isn’t a perfect parallel.  Daniel-san didn’t exactly choose to get himself crippled for the tourney.  In fact I’m pretty sure it was somewhere up there with “running over Mister Miyagi in the parking lot” on his list of things to do.  Someone running an Atlas with 20 armor between the legs is begging to get legged.  In a ‘mech like my Jager, you have to keep calm and pick your shots, take the extra couple seconds and… SWEEP THE LEG

Warmahordes Wednesday: Not to Fifty!

So yesterday was to be Warmahordes day.  Didn’t happen as I got busy and distracted so I didn’t get to play my cookie-cutter pGaspy list.  Instead I settled in to paint gaspy.  Clear the desk, lay out the paints.  Find the mini.  Plan out the scheme.  Lay out the paints in a more organized manner.  Find the brushes.  No, find them.  You know you put them in a safe place before you cleaned everything out.  Just find them.  GRAAAAAAAAH go pick up D to get her rental car for snowmageddon.  Take a while driving all over.  Come back.  Find brushes and give up and go to sleep.

WHILE I was driving all over I was thinking about the current condition of games in my area.  Basically “Go Big or Go Home” drives the current meta.  With tournaments being a very frequent event, practically every game is played in the 50-point steamroller format, and I think that that is a shame.  The big reason is it’s hard for me to learn in games that big, and relatively slow-paced.  The second reason is I don’t feel like I’m missing something bringing 50 points to the table.  I don’t particularly like the Cryx Colossus, it seems to mostly be there, and while it is undoubtedly powerful, I just feel like I can get a lot more for the points.  Beyond that when I pick 50 points I get to the end and just think “Ok, 3 points left, now what?”  50 points feels bloated.  Even Count Rougan agrees.

NOT TO FIFTY!

To me, a skirmish game should be small, and Warmahordes is supposedly about jacks and beasts.  When you bring in tons of troops, as is inevitable in 50 points games, the game loses a lot of its distinctive flavor as no caster can run a 50 points army with a ton of jacks, the focus/fury management just isn’t there.  At 25 points I feel like I can run jack heavy in most scenarios with some casters, infantry heavy with others, and at 35 you can run some interesting mixes, but you will have to decide what your list will look like.  At 50 points I feel like I’m just putting in filler at the end.

Now to be fair my experience is 100% with Cryx at any scale above battle boxes.  Other armies may feel more restricted trying to get the perfect combination and then support it right.  Now I’m still a doormat on a GOOD day, hoping to hold out long enough for that crazy assassination run.  However, at the same time, I don’t feel my army selection is terribly flawed, I just don’t know all the tricks to the game yet.  Hopefully I can find some small to mid sized games before mid March when there’s a tourney scheduled to get me some skill at the game.  Or maybe I’ll just luck into an assassination.

So What Has Corelin Been Up To?

Warmachine.  That’s what.  Getting back into the tabletop thing and really having a blast.  I haven’t done well on the field yet, but I have had some very relaxing evenings painting, and gotten some decent results to date.  At first I thought I wanted to go with Khador, it suits my generally unsubtle nature that tends towards a rather unsubtle plan, that tends to surprise my opponent by not concealing any hidden traps, just being a boot to the head.

I came up with a variant of the normal Khador scheme emphasizing the bronze work of the steampunk theme.  This was the result I ended up with for the Destroyer Heavy Warjack:

Because Russians will always come up with Russian things. Even when they aren’t in “Russia” per se.

But that didn’t last too long.  I still like it but their infantry seems a bit meh and predictable.  So I looked at Cryx.  Wow.  Casters who do everything from cripple the enemy (For the EvE folks think an all recon gang with good coordination) to out and out smashing, lacking only staying power, unless they want to go heavy on that, then they can keep the crippling but generally hit like wadded up tissues.  I just finished basecoating some bonechickens:

And here they are

To give you an idea, the Bonejacks are about 40-60 percent done (only the one in the middle has any shading done, and all three heads need varying amounts of work) whereas the Destroyer is more or less good where he is.  Tomorrow I plan on painting one of my warcasters (Deneghra, or Denny) and the Slayer heavy jack.  Not particularly looking forward to the slayer, and I have a crabjack to assemble which promises to try my patience as well.  Priming with spray paint in winter in Iowa promises to be a challenge.  We shall see how it goes.  Tomorrow *MIGHT* be decent.  It also *MIGHT* drive me insane.

I’m using it every time I can

Ten Lousy Minutes

And no we aren’t talking about the sum of my sex life for the past 6 months.  We’re talking about how long I could stomache SW:TOR’s godawful F2P model.  Ten lousy minutes.

I was barraged with “opportunities” to buy things.  Either Cartel Coins, or things you buy WITH cartel coins.  Things like travel, experience boosts, character slots, most of the usual suspects, but there’s a few more.  The quest reward screen has not one but TWO things that you cannot get without plinking down your own heard earned coin.  Part of the quest reward is entangled, and so is part of the experience reward.  I wish I was kidding.

Field revives are limited as well, and so is some equipment.  Now this raised an eyebrow and I haven’t confirmed it but it SEEMS to me that certain gear requires you to A) Pay for the ability to Raid (Operations) and then B) to pay for the ability to equip items of that caliber.

Fuck you.

Seriously.

I get that you have to make money.  I get that content doesn’t spring full-grown from the brow of Lucas.  I do.  I understand that these games still are in the business of making money and that they have to cover operations costs to even get there.  Free to Play should be limited.  Fine.  But if my screen has more than 4 store logos on it you will piss me off.  If I’ve seen well into the double-digits offers within ten minutes?  Fuck You.

LotRO is bad enough.  There’s the icon that’s always up, there’s reminders when you are in an area with inaccessible content (all over the place in fact) but you can get away from that.  And if you buy content, you get everything in that content, you don’t miss out on the items because they are too uber, you don’t chase multiple money gates to get to do what you want to do.  Even routine actions will require you to spend money, and This spreadsheet shows everything wrong with the model.  SO many fundamental things are arbitrarily removed.  Seriously your F2P character managed to get a purple item?  Fuck you he can’t equip it.  You are getting owned by people in PvP and need to throw in some augments to balance things out?  Pay to win sucka!

SW:TOR has been a mismanaged nightmare since launch.  I was optimistic.  I was hopeful.  Now I’m just pissed.

I saw a great presentation a few weeks ago on F2P gaming.  They referred to games as “Money Pits”  the idea is to make the pit both wide and deep.  You want it wide to get as many people in it and as deep as possible to get as much out of those people as possible.  I get that.  It makes a lot of sense.  You get it by offering NEW things to those who pay, not by restricting basic content.  That is a mistake LotRO still hasn’t completely fixed from their own lauch (bags, trait slots) but at the same time they’ve offered new things to deepen the money pit (Tomes of stat upgrades, star-lit crystals to upgrade legendary items.)  By giving a satisfactory experience to people, something LotRO manages to do and SW:TOR has yet to do even when it was P2P, you make the pit wide.  You can sell a lot more $70 dollar monocles to people who are having fun than you will experience boosters to people who are immediately seeing “PAY TO WIN” all over every speck of Coruscant.

Ten minutes SW:TOR, after several hours redownloading the game.  It’s gone.  It won’t come back unless your successors convince me to trust them, because I’m done trusting you.

I’m using it every time I can

Death under the Downs

So the old Fancy Hats crew got together in LotRO to run the Great Barrow instances.  We had an interesting group, I’ve played off and on since release, one of us had played since Beta, but had lapsed a couple years ago, another was new to LotRO but not to Theme Parks, the last one has literally never played a theme park style MMO.

This has presented a challenge to me and to the others as his progress gets tripped up by things that most MMO players haven’t even really thought about in years.  Things like combat/non-combat states, inventory management, grouping mechanics, and party composition/the “Holy Trinity”

Which brings us to tonight.  I had my lowbie Guardian, along with a Sith Lord Runekeeper who was a bit ahead of us level-wise, Minstrel, and Hunter rounding out the Fancy Hats contingent, joining us literally as we set out was a higher level Burglaer, who happened to be a Role-Player.  We ran through “The Maze” with a couple issues.  First progress was rather slow, I had forgotten how to set up targeting assists, I was trying to explain some concepts to my erstwhile minions, and of course our Burglar buddy wasn’t on teamspeak so we had to type to him to let him know we hadn’t all gone AFK.

This confusion led to our one wipe of the evening.  I was trying to explain how we were going to pull one of the first big rooms when our RK inadvertently threw out some Force Lightning PERFECTLY EXPLAINABLE WITHIN THE THE LORE OF THE BOOKS NATURAL LIGHTNING THAT HAPPENED TO SPROUT FROM HIS FINGERS UNDERGROUND.  20 Silver if you can guess where I fall on the “Are Rune-Keepers Canon” debate.  With full-room aggro we were quickly very hard-pressed and at level 23 my guardian simply didn’t have the threat-management to keep the healers up, or even himself without burning through all my potions and cooldowns.  The wipe happened slowly but there was no chance at surviving that pull.  Especially with the mini-boss happily joining in the affray.

Recriminations were kept to a minimum, mainly an admonition to watch pulls. We steamrolled the rest of the room taking our time to make sure our pulls were done cautiously, and the room itself gave us a perfect example of how “Not to Stand in the Fire”  Hordes of worms showed up and promptly went into a writhing spasm of death, dropping copious puddles of green goo that melted our poor Sith Lo RUNEKEEPER into a vaguely elf-shaped puddle.  One quick song from our Minstrel later and he was rallied and ready to go.  We pressed on and simply steamrolled the final boss.  It was actually a bit embarrassing.  We went back to town for a quick re-set and delved straight into Thadúr.

Thadúr presented us with the most frustrating encounter we would hit.  We didn’t die in it.  We didn’t come close to dying during it.  However several members were ready to pull what little hair they had left out before it ended.  The encounter centers on these small, fairly tough lights that spawn in sequence.  The first one triggers the second “wave” of two, spawning at random locations, which must be defeated within seconds,  15 for the first and maybe another 5 for the second.  The next is a group of three with a similar pattern, and finally a group of four.  The problem is that some people didn’t understand the encounter, others simply lacked the muscle-memory to help much in pulls, and as frustration set in we quickly lost any semblance of unity.

Those who know me know that I tend to be rather terse in voice during fights.  I was very frustrated myself, no less than my minions certainly as I was more-or-less leading things and things were going poorly.  Finally we got the idea ready, and our Hunter, despite almost no experience in MMOs managed to get the pulls handled.  By shooting each of the mobs and dragging them in close it allowed our burglar and myself to hammer down and transfer DPS efficiently leading to us FINALLY staggering out of the room, leaving only our dignity behind in tattered shreds.  Thadúr himself was an afterthought, a simple single-mechanic boss requiring us to burn down adds between vulnerable periods.

Sambrog was simply a cakewalk.  While we spent lots of time with the tank AND healer stunned we simply didn’t find anything that could challenge our party enough to slow us down.  Murder and Mayhem followed and we ripped through the dungeon so fast we barely noticed it.  All in all it was a pretty satisfying afternoon.  Defeat barely rared its’ ugly head and all of us had a good time and even learned something, not always easy when you’ve played a game for five years.

Next week we plan on pressing through and evening up the level gaps hopefully, as well as some sight-seeing.  Hopefully I remember to take screenshots this time as well.

I’m using it every time I can

Walking For a Cause

One of the things I love about EvE is the strength of the community.  One of the things that can turn me on or off of a game is it’s own community.  The second best community in gaming has to belong to Lord of the Rings Online.  The website “A Casual Stroll to Mordor” is one of the best resources any game could ask for and in-game the community is beyond fantastic.

This month they are walking along the route of the ring, from Bag-End to Rivendell.  Why would someone want to use LotRO’s horribly slow walking animation over such a vast distance?  To support Child’s Play.  So far they are over halfway to their goal of $7000 with 17 days to go.  They still have several auctions going, and those should knock them over $4000, but they need help to get there.

Saturday, 6 October I lined up my Guardian Byrndof (after a late start) to catch the good folks of the Landroval server at the Forsaken Inn (the Fellowship wisely avoided it.  Place is a dump, 1/2 star) to join their second half of the walk to Weathertop.

Weathertop in the distance

The crowd was pretty impressive.  At least 40 in attendance.  I wasn’t able to get on any comms they were on, but clearly speechifying happened.

Inching Closer

The fine costuming available in LotRO was on display as well during the speechifying.

 

Hidden in this picture, a stein, a lantern and a pretzel

So if you have a few minutes and dollars, head over to their website and give a little for the baby Hobbits.  It’s a great cause and a great bunch of people.  Oh and my main on Landroval is now Corelin so don’t worry, all is well in the universe, whichever universe I’m in 😉

 

I’m using it every time I can