Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Mail will go through

With the new character slots that came with Siege of Mirkwood I was finally able to roll more characters. My collection lacked a hobbit (previous ones were played to 35 and 42, and then deleted for various reasons), so I thought I'd make a new one and take it easier this time. I decided I would level up in the Shire for as long as possible, since I'd never done all the quests there on-level.

I reached level nine doing just the mail delivery quests, and not killing a single animal or evil goblin. I'll have to see how far I can push this extreme pacifism.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Mirkwood Snapshots

Quickie postcards taken from the gorgeous landscapes of Mirkwood - there's a certain abundance of horse behinds because I snapped all of these while questing (and mostly, when running for my life).


I really love Mirkwood.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Log your fantasy mmo, and mentally replace every "dark" you see with "nerd".

My mmo has Nerd Delvings, Nerdrage Wolves and Nerdlings.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Well, damn

I installed Win7 last weekend, completely replacing my old Vista. I backuped all my important program files, documents and pr0n, and in a couple hours I had a nice fresh Win7 running with all my tabs in Firefox, Vent server configs and whatnot intact.

Except I'd lost a month's worth of Aion screenshots, because they were apparently located in the program installation folder and not my Documents folder like every other mmo does. As I wrote earlier, had charged and shipped me a copy of Aion although I had cancelled my preorder, and because I never got any kind of reply from their customer service I decided that what the heck, I'll try this.

So I played it for a month, taking a ton of screenies for a multi-part report about the game, community and stuff. But now all the screenies are gone and I'm not technically savvy enough to dig up anything from a formated hard drive, so I'll just give a summary:

The graphics are bad. Characters look cool, but the average player can only create characters that look like horrendous clowns or crackwhores. Environments are bland, empty and lack any kind of close detail if you wander just a bit further away. Give it dynamic lighting, like in the video a couple posts down, and it'll start looking good.
I don't mind if people like the Twilight books but I do get annoyed when they say it's "good literature" - same with Aion, who markets itself as "the most graphically advanced mmo" which some people even seem to believe when it looks only a few steps better than some Korean free-to-play games. This is mostly why I collected such a vast amount of screens to illustrate my point, but as they're gone now I'll be happy to challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

Around level 20 you are basically forced to group to advance in the game. My server was full of spanitards, who LFF'd in English but only spoke Spanish in groups, even though me and some others said we don't understand. Some PUGs I left intentionally when I realised we couldn't get anything done when four people are chatting to themselves in a foreign language, only to end up in another moonlanguage-speaking PUG after answering another LFF that was clearly written in English. Besides the community seems a bit too young and weeaboo for my tastes, although I did run into the fabled Aion RP community a couple times and would have loved to look into it more.

At level 25 you're able to enter the Abyss, which is the main pvp area in Aion and spanning levels 25 to 50, meaning there's always some highlevel asshat camping the spot where newbies land the first time to do pve quests. I really really don't see the point in clumping half the players, and with such a large level difference, in one area and expect them to play nice. Then again, the whole pacing of Aion is very strange to me, since first you need to endure 25 levels of very dull pve to get to a pvp area, where you have to do pve again to gain levels while being farmed for pvp points by highlevels.

Saraste, Spiritmaster level 25, of Gorgos server, taken from the Aion database. I liked that you could log into the site to check your auctions and mail, or look up a recent ganker's level and gear :D.

My class of choice, the cc-and-pets class Spiritmaster, is also apparently very broken at the moment. While it has some very powerful pvp crowd-control abilities, some of it's basic functions are just so laughable that it was actually the first thing that made me decide not to continue playing (since now way I'd be willing to endure the first 20 levels again on another toon). Firstly, it's a pet class whose pets don't fly in a game where pvp revolves around flying. Secondly, all Spiritmaster damage is damage-over-time, but mobs can only have a limited amount of buffs/debuffs on them (7-9, can't remember correctly), so once you've fired off your damage spells the opponent could just rebuff themselves with their own abilities to completely remove the SM dots. Thirdly, SM pets and related abilities don't scale with gear, so if I'd ever hit the level cap I could still walk around naked while everyone else could make their characters even more powerful with epix gear.

I did have occasional fun times in the game too, especially at level 20 when I eventually found a good, English-speaking pick-up-group for the mandatory group quests. The monster design is funny and combat is fairly engaging. It's just that so many things in Aion are complete opposites of what I'd consider a good mmo, and while I can aknowledge that not everything should suit my personal and often quirky tastes, I just never had enough fun in the game to continue subscribing.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Eve of Mirkwood


Tomorrow, I won't get one-shotted by a row of smelly orc blackarrows. From tomorrow on, that forest is mine.