Archive for March, 2010

Champions life-timers go VIP

March 16, 2010 1 comment

Cryptic sent out an email to lifetime subscribers announcing that they are working on introducing a few perks as a thank you:

  • A chat channel exclusive for life-time subcribers
  • Get in the front of the queues – if there would be a queue to get into the server, life-timers get placed in the front
  • A specific in-game title
  • A VIP lounge
  • A unique costume piece

I am not so much for showing off, so neither the title not the costume piece are instrering to me, unless the costume piece fits with any of the character themes.

The chat channel and VIP lounge will be interesting to get some idea of who and how many may be life-timers – is there a critical mass to be a better global chat option to the zone chat? Critical mass for a social area?

I would love to see that Cryptic occasionally get a problem with queues to the server, in the sense that number of players continue to increase. But if they get them, I do hope that they will be resolved fairly quickly.

I did not expect anything extra, so a few perks is a nice gesture at least; although nothing I am too excited about.

Categories: Champions Online

STO is CoX 2

March 14, 2010 3 comments

I have been playing mainly City of Villains and some Star Trek Online lately. It strikes me that in spirit, STO feels more like CoV/CoH 2 than Champions does.

Both game have

  • Heavy instancing with similarly looking environments
  • Instances scale based on team size
  • A few archetypes with a fair amount of flexibility in skills to pick
  • Not forcing or requiring teams, but proving a bit nicer experience if you do
  • Task forces
  • Newspaper/safeguard/patrol missions

While Champions certainly epanded upong superhero extravaganza and the ka-boom/freem/ba-rumble part, I think a fair amount of the thoughts that went into City of Heroes has found a new setting in Star Trek Online.

Note that I do not think this is bad – after all I have played CoV/CoH longer than any other MMO by far, despite some shortcomings. But I cannot help noticing that for me they feel more similar in spirit than either of them with Champions.

Double XP and preorder time

March 8, 2010 2 comments

This weekend sgaming ended up being pretty much only City of Villains, with a little bit of City of Heroes.

It was double XP/reward+ reactivation weekend, so there was a bit more activity than usual on the servers. My main server has a fairly low activity count on the villain side normally, but this weekend it was more busy – no surprise there.

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap...

Most of the time I spent with two characters. First was Dirtmonger, my newest dominator (earth/earth) who I have been playing a little bit every now and then the past months. He was not so far to get to “pet level”, i.e. the level when a dominator can obtain their combat pet. ¬†Other superhero games like Champions Online may have great fastpaced combat, but there is still something with City of Villains/Heroes archetypes – they typically excel in whatever area they focus on.

Dominators kick butt in terms of crowd control, plus that they can smack around somewhat decently. As someone who really likes crowd control aspects of combat, dominators provide some real fun in that area.

With the double weekend running it was also quite easy to get a team and a few levels were gained in quite short time and Dirtmonger got his pet. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were a few in the team who had not played some of the missions before and they were relatively new. Mixed experience makes up for better conversation in the teams – if everyone knew exactly what everything would be about, teams would probably be more silent.

Unfortunately the double XP did not extend into the Mission Architect system this time. This is a bit unfortunate, XP is already worse than in the “normal” game if you play it as intended; I hope they will fix it so that it will become more attractive to play again. I have not had any new ratings on my arcs in a long time now. I do play architect missions regularly, but there is seldom I see any other characters in the AE buildings.

Sentenwolf, dual pistol/traps corruptor

My other character that I put some time into was a new character, Sentenwolf. He is a dual pistols/trap corruptor which I created during the weekend to try the new powerset dual pistols. I had tried it briefly in beta, but wanted to give it a spin for real now.

This new power set will come with the Going Rogue expansion, but people that pre-order the expansion will get access to the new power sets before the release. So this weekend was premier for Dual Pistols and later in April the other new power set, Demon Summoning, will become available.

The Going Rogue expansion costs 20 Euro, which is an ok price – less than 2 monthly fees. There is no game time included as far as I could see though, so if someone reactivates the gsme it will be at least 33 Euro in practice anyway.

So far it has been fairly fun with dual pistols. One unique characteristic of the powerset is that you can select the type of ammunition used and thus get different secondary effects – ice bullets slow enemies, fire adds extra DoT, toxic bullets reduces damage restistance and damage output.

Some animations are a bit over the top, but it does look a bit cool. Overall good fun, although perhaps not the strongest power set in the lower levels. Time will tell how it works out.

Overall, it was a fun weekend in the Rogue Isles.

Shooting a few curved incendiary bullets

Categories: City of Heroes

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time

March 4, 2010 2 comments

The title is a book that my sister recommended and which I finished reading now. By British author Mark Haddon, the book is sort of a murder mystery novel, but the dead character is not a person, but a poodle. And the main character and story teller in the book is a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. And this is what makes the story fascinating, enjoyable and a bit sad.

The characters and environment are described and treated in a way quite different from a regular mystery novel – when human emotions and expressions are something that are foreign concepts and certain logic and pattern need to apply, the world becomes quite different. While I do not know how close Mark Haddon hits to describing the world for one with Asperger’s syndrome, he certainly manages to make a definite impact on me as a reader.

Worth to take alook at I think.

Categories: Other