Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sick :(

I have been sick the past few days so no posts, ok?

Monday, February 25, 2008

C'est le Amie

Had a great date on Friday night, my wonderful female friend made me dinner and then we watched a movie and told scary stories to her landlord's kids. My goodness they are never satisfied, they wanted one story after another. Umm Saturday it rained like nobody's business so I didn't get to go to the Chinese new year parade in San Francisco and the Chinese street market. Twas a pity since I loved going to the night markets when I visited Taiwan and I wanted to see how China town's festivities compare. I can't wait for my next date this week, especially since it involves an oakland temple trip and ice cream (hopefully Loard's Ice Cream.)

Umm oh yeah since it rained all day Saturday I helped out some Guildies (Eieloran and Lynshae) with their book quests. We've had a couple who I'm friends with (Ahrendor and Shellanor(I call her Shells)) also join but they are going on their honeymoon soon so we wont see them for a while. I love this crazy way of interacting with people and getting to know them that is an MMO.

My friends from wow are mostly looking forward to Warhammer and not playing lotro because its too similar to wow which they are burnt out on. So I told them I'd try it with them of course, why not? I mean its not like I'm gonna get that addicted.. I didn't even get that addicted to wow as a game.. I got addicted to my friends in wow is the problem. Just like I'm addicted to my friends in Lotro now :) Anyways this is more of an FYI post than a thought provoking one but what keeps you guys interested in an MMO? How big of a factor do social things play? For me they are 50% at least.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Icing on da Cake

Heres a couple small things that you may not have known in Lotro: I found the following post in the Dev tracker from Hakaii:
The only (girl) face I have found that is really nice, cute, friendly looking and pleasant to see is that of the Hobbit girl, her lips curl up into a pleasant smile.
All the others look like they have pissed at the world (human) or prima donna's (elves) looking down on the world.
Only the Hobbit girls have a nice friendly, cute and pleasant smile.
Please let the other girls (elf and human) also have pleasant smiles too.
You can always change your mood using the various mood emotes to change the character's general demeanor.

so apparently you can just type /mood_sad or /mood_angry and it will change how your char looks until you decide to alter it. Very cool. Mood rings will be next if I know them.

Second thingy:
found this link on conjunction maneuvers in lotro that shows all the unique length six conjunctions which are the best ones to do, I particularly like hew the stone because it is AOE, and if people screw up it still does damage, I also like the length six straights which are easy enough to figure out.
Third: an article comparing and contrasting sandboxing versus theme parking

Anyways I'm too twitterpated from my date last night to think straight so I'll let you get back to whatever it is that you guys do. (What do you do anyways?)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big LOTRO news coming down the pike

Big news to be unveiled regarding LOTRO.. hmm, expansion anyone? Read about it here

The Fall of Morodirith

Sometimes doing something is more about the experience than the loot. Keen from "Keen and Graev" recently wrote a fun warhammer article about how Mythic's focus with rvr(realm versus realm) has been to make city sacking more about the experience and less about the "phat lewts". Well, my experience two nights ago (Presidents Day) of killing the boss of Carn Dum, Morodirith was just that.. all about the experience and not about the 'phat lewts' which is why my brothers will never do it again, they are VERY loot oriented while I myself couldn't give a rip as long as I enjoyed doing something, I will do it again.

However I have to agree with my brother, we'll call him Torkek(guardian) after his char, since I don't use real names on the web, made the astute observation: "If this dungeon was the final dungeon when they rolled out the game no wonder they were bleeding people so fast". Because basically you have to have big permanent epic rewards for grinding through a huge dungeon like that to fight a boss 5 times just to learn his very complicated fight where everyone needs to be performing near top level to down him and you still have to just get lucky that he doesn't use his most nasty moves on your minstrel or tank and have lots of tokens to burn... Well he dropped a purple (blue in wow land) leather helm and a purple barter item, his mirror which you cna turn into a unique housing decoration which is reward enough for me, my brother Badmorta(loremaster) won it but needless to say the team we were with was disgruntled. I bet they would have quit the game right there if that was the end of the end game, lol.

Its amazing what effect one boss happens to drop can have on you. It surprises me that through all the Zul Gurub runs I have done and the bosses never dropped a single epic that people didn't totally flip out but they were always disappointed because I guess they had got their hopes up an hadn't bothered to research online and find out out that this happened rather frequently. Not to mention the stats were pretty ok on some of the blue drops there but it didn't matter because it wasn't painted purple. Well the same thing happens in Lotro.. if a dungeon has no light blue (purple in wow land) loots then it isn't worth running and nobody runs it no matter how fun or cool the experience is. There are a few oddballs like me who play games to play then not to max /min but I can sympathize/empathize with my brothers and the majority who are like them and want to have constant progress.

What do you people's think? Should it be expected by players that a dungeon will have amazing drops? Is it a deal breaker if it doesn't? What if it is so fun and different each time that you are happy to just have a chance of phat lewt? Where does the balance lie I wonder...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ocremix Rocketh

I dunno if y'all have discovered this little gem yet but theres a site I love to get music from called ocremix. It has a huge variety of music styles and everything goes through judges though theres always a few I wonder how in the heck they made it. It has rock, R&B, country, tons of techno disco stuff, all made from video game tunes. I especially like Mega Man ones and DarkeSworde's (Shariq Ansari) work on Squaresoft titles but thats just me. Yes there is even a World of Warcraft one :) You can reach the site here: guy who runs it goes by djpretzel I believe. Also if you want to support their site I recommend which sells video games for good prices and good shipping and hasn't failed me yet. They donate regularly to ocremix, so you can buy games and support something cool at the same time.

The Delving of Fror

So last night I charged into monster play to see what I could see (in regards to the newly added content of course). For a while I ran around tagging along near a group as they took over TR and stealing kills with my blackarrow. Then I ran around solo doing quests to get more destiny points. The tide turned at least three times last night, the monsters were in control of the majority of things when I started, then the freeps took the lumber camp, and easily flippable place, and Isendeep and finally TR. Instantly after they took TR the freeps vanished from the Moors. It was almost eerie. Of course they had charged into the Delving and were killing creeps like crazy down there. So we were gradually gettgin reinforcements from creeps who had been shunted out, and we took the lumber camp and the moment we took it I got into a group and we charged into the Delving.

This was my first time there so I was excited. We took down the first boss with no healer but it was a lot of kiting so I logged my warleader and quickly bought him all the upgrades my 8000 destiny points could buy and charged into the delving to save my hapless fellows. We then encountered a named shadow boss who hit like a truck, but some other goober warg had tagged him and was trying to ditch him on us so we would foolishly kill the boss for him. Needless to say we let him and his two warg buddies die, then we started the boss and I had to frantically heal with my newbie warleader and avoid his aura damage as well. We took down the Eggeater boss twice and the undead guy who sprays in a cone attack also, although I had to do some panic res work on the guys (mostly the wargs who thought they could tank).

If that had been the end of it I might have just declared the delving a good place for loot and dungeoneering, but freeps did show up and steamroll people, then we ran out of the dungeon to go fight freeps who we found were rabidly defending the lumber mill and we couldn't be happier about it, since the lumber mill is poorly defended by NPC's compared to the three other lowland keeps. (I hear Isendeep is a joke to take).

I was having so much fun hiding behind tree stumps and healing and then jumping out to mass res and harass minstrels that I went 30 minutes overboard when I should have gone to bed to get ready for work the next day. If you own lotro or have access to it I recommend rolling a creep right now and checking things out or if you have a lvl 50 freep you can do it that way too. Any of you have any stories from the Moors you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Buon Giorno di San Valentino, il giorno di ogni cretino! (Happy valentines day, every cretin's heyday) As they say in Italy. I for one am glad some girl likes me this year, its a first (for valentines day). I played the new patch (book 12) last night for a half hour after my date and it was fun to see some changes. I particularly enjoy the costume system that lets me store three times the crap in my inventory (not counting my bags) as before. The new rep system kickback for all the quests I had done was really nice and I am now friendly with the men of Bree and an acquaintance with several other factions I didn't do much with before. Everyone should get to acquaintance with Thorin's Hall though just to use the master workbench there instead of Esteldin. Umm lastly I haven't gotten into the new Delving of Thror yet because on my server the creeps are IN CHARGE (Windfola) So I better fire up my Blackarrow or Spider and go and see it, but it'll have to be tonight. I love burrowing in the ground with my spider and then popping up behind enemies its fun, kinda zergling like... also kinda suicidal.. Have any of you seen the Delving yet and what are your thoughts? I think the Moors have been slowly heating up lately :D

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good article on episodic content

I read a good article that thoughtful readers might enjoy here at gamasutra
If you are unaware of what Gamasutra is, it is a news and opinion site designed for game programmers, artists and designers. (A fairly reputable one at that)
Anyways I also got an invite to the Metaplace stress test but no alpha invite yet (oh well)
Maybe I will get into the beta and get to make something nifty. I imagine just about anyone can attend the stress test but I am unsure. If you are wondering what metaplace is go here :)

Tobold's chastisment

So Tobold wrote me and told me some things to fix. I think hes right.. I do need paragraphs :) I have just been spewing out content. And I need to proofread more. At least I spell checked the last post. So I will endeavor to improve things. I am not a English major though, I am a programmer, hence my perspective on writing and expressing myself is a little skewed. :P Still, there's lots of room for improvement. I wonder if it possible to put images on these blogger sites and how do I go about uploading images to an accessible place on the web? Anyone know?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Under Destruction (did that come out right?)

I am currently messing with the styles and crap of my blog so that people can see posts better and maybe I need to add some fun images anyways, I have already expanded the text content so that it is more reading without constant scrolling... If anyone has any suggestions or snide remarks my secretary will see you now :P

Background Check

Okay so I guess I haven't properly stated why I wanted to write a blog in the first place. I think its mostly to add another view point and I have come to realize that my viewpoint is unique because I am unique and my life's experiences are unique. However that doesn't mean I don't have a lot in common with the rest of y'all.

I have played video games since before graphics were invented and have played castle and mine dodger on an old IBM clone in DOS. Since then I have always been of fan of Mario, Zelda, Sonic, and all the faves. In regards to more recent games I have been trying out Endless Ocean which is kind of a neat experience once you get past the boring tutorials but of course I just like that exploring feeling. I have also played Mario Galaxy which is fun but not as addictive as the previous ones. And I got my dad fire emblem which he enjoys as occasion permits (when mom isn't looking).

As far as MMO's go I have played City of Heroes which is very fun for about 2 months. Final Fantasy Online has great music and kewt characters but it lacks in the soloing department big time. I have also tried out Vanguard of course, that was interesting.... Its not that it is worthless its just that it wasn't very easy to solo and my computer couldn't handle it. My friend who tried to get me into it also couldnt play with me much so I had to fly solo a lot. The card/diplomacy thing was interesting but it was really about figuring out which cards you needed to have in your hand to beat the other person's cards and since there was no penalty for losing it became a simple time sink of trying it over and over.

Wow was a lot of fun for 1.5 or so years though after one year it was fading for me in fun level. I started up a guild named "Tram Defenders" (I have some funny stories about defending the Tram) and recruited a bajillion people and that was more fun than the game until we hit max level and the coveted level cap where supposedly the "fun begins" I personally enjoy smaller groups like in UBRS and Scholomance due to my focus being on playing the game and not fussing with logistics. ZG was fun for the first few times but the logistics of getting 20 people to get online regularly are a pain. MC was a bigger pain. Lucifron was broken... grumble grumble (old news I know) I hated having to get people to install an extra app (CTRaid assist and decursive) just to be abel too beat the first raid boss... Drama got old so I handed the guild off to a overzealous couple of chaps and decided I didn't want to raid much anymore tho I would go when invited and I was since I played a druid. Then I got tired eventually and decided I would quit before Blizzard tried to sink their hooks into me with more bgs (which I love) and raids (which I don't) and ten more levels (which if it involves a new area to explore I adore. So I quit. I don't think the game is crap. Its a very good game. theres lots to be commended about it and I always recommend people play it first for a year before they upgrade to something else... :D

Anyways a co-worker recommended lotro to me which I tried out and almost stopped playing cuz it WAS grindy for the levels after 20 or so. At least at beta release. I had some faith it would improve since turbine at least pretended to care about player feedback tho so I kept dawdling in it (plus there was nothing better out). I think it didn't really start to get very interesting for me (aside from a few highlights like the old forest and some boss fights like with the Nazgul, who we four manned at lvl 54.) until I explored Evendim and saw where they were going with the new zones and then tried out monster play which si very fun, and then book 11 came out with housing which is very important to the "feel" of MMO's tho Blizzard and many others don't quite get it yet.

Now book 12 will be out Wednesday and sort of provides a new type of BG area which I have always wanted developers to experiment with: the dungeon that is also a BG. I mean honestly why do all dungeons need to be instanced? yes it would be annoying but also exciting, and more "realistic" if a few were not. I have always thought that anyways. Umm lastly I think sometimes I think from the point of view of the designer since I have and do make video games (single player) and sometimes I lean towards the player side of the fence so I am a little bit goofy but anyways its nice to meet you and they got the server working here at work so I better pretend to work, ttyl :)

Book 12 will go live on the 13th

Turbine is bringing their servers down for Lotro's book 12 patch on the 13th of February so that everyone can enjoy dressing up and then killing each other in the 'Moors and the Delving of Fror for valentines day. How sweet. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hot Date

Now heres a subject you dont see much on MMO blogs for a number of humorous reasons. I had a really hot date last night. With an awesome, beautiful, funny girl who's low maintenance and makes my heart go bippity boppity. This is my first hot date in a few years, though not my first date at all (been on one at least every month). The thing is I think she really likes me too so thats exciting. I hope something works out. Good luck to all you budding valentines in the blogosphere also :D -Thallian

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Live from Carn Dum

Soooo last night I splurged and even though I needed to go to bed early cuz I have a hot date today, I stayed up an extra hour wiht my bros to explore the depths of Carn Dum. Interestingly it has some pretty original boss fights coupled with several been there done that ones.

The Helchgam fight is a fabulous one that I never want to do again (jk) I know I will though once book 12 comes out cuz then you get boss trophies and his tentacles are one of them. Its against a big tentacled monster in a pool of green stuff that kills you instantly if you touch the water. He has pillars around his lair that he has to pull down while you cut his tentacles off (very zelda esque) and I was healing behind or pillar to avoid line of sight with him but even if you hide from him behind the pillars he can get you with his sneaky tentacles unless the tank is keeping them busy. I give the boss design an A+ for creativity and a C- for desire to repeat it. Long boss fight plus you have to kill three master elite morrovail (harpy wenches) who will heal him during the fight, before you even start the encounter. However during the fight as he pulls down the pillar if you have really good dps you cna run down the length of the pillar before he tears it to pieces and end the fight and his life early before he ends your by sinking your battleship so that is interesting.

Some of the other bosses followed the typical lotro thing of summoning a gajillion adds and making everyones off-tanking responsabilities increase. I like the chaos and the challenge of boss fights in this game a lot more than wow but they do need to vary their formula for this a bit more. Carn Dum saves your progress for a while (2.5 days tops) cuz its freaking enormous. It used to be the final dungeon so when it was usurped in that role by Helegrod and then later the rift and the annuminasa instances, they had to take out half the bosses but its still huge.
We spent about 2.5 hours and got to the beginning of the fortress part and I got all my special parts to complete my minstrel epic crafting quests from CD.

I still need to hit Uru again, and pull some teeth from a few more worms in the Misties. Oooo anyways, I hit 50 for the first time ever and I have been playing (I am not very hard core, but I am determined) since, umm, a long time, beta actually. However I made this char sometime in the summer, so he hasnt been around that entire time. By the way my character is named Rumples Frumpet and he lives on Windfola if anyone cares :) My lvl 60 druid was Thallian and my lvl 60 gnommish warlock was Cauldron in wow on Wildhammer ages ago if anyone wants to connect me with bygone days. I tried out one of the Annuminas instances (the easiest one) a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it even though the drops are pathetic compared to Angmar ones, the ambience is great and I like have to conquer the door area just to get into the instance. Kinda makes it more like a D&D dungeon and less like they are inviting you in to a disneyland ride.

I also like conquering stuff and killing pixelated crap for kicks and getting rep so that all contributes to it too. I'm very excited not only for book 12 but also the new area in book 13 and the expansion that will probably be following that if not book 14. Although, what I'm more interested in is where do they intend to take the game? What quality they are going to infuse it with to ward off the challenge from competitors and get beyond that and grow the population? We shall see (says in ominous voice) What do you think?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Good positive Lotro press

Good review of book 12 with lots of enthusiasm from gamespy, thats what I like to see. Head here to check it out or search gamespy yourself.

Good party over the weekend

Had a good party over the weekend, fed people Italian food, watched "What about Bob?" and played BANG! a very fun spaghetti western card game that plays a bit like Mafia and a bit like ... something else? anyways its fun. You must buy! You must buy! (oops chinese coming out in me even though I am of european descent (j/k I am not racist honest, just silly)) Also played Sarnur some and did the lower levels with my bros and random people and found a master elite abominable snowman. Tons of fun, ne ways will write again soon, leave a passing snide remark if you wish.