Seperating the wheat from the chaff

What a hullabaloo! Allods Online. Whoo, what fun. The breaking news is that not only the early 15 levels are very slow COMPARED TO WOW, but that the cash shop is hugely overpriced.

Two days into Open Beta.

But I'm actually really happy that all this is happening. First of all, the slow leveling/combat in the initial levels has turned off so many noobs who simply can't get it through their heads that this isn't WoW, and you can't level 1-10 in an hour. For me personally, I decided to stuff leveling as fast as possible, and just wander around and explore the starting area. I heard one guy asking about a quest which he couldn't figure out and I told him that it was bugged, and he pretty much responded that he was going to quit.

One day into the Open Beta.

In terms of the cash shop, the players are making a massive deal over something that will clearly be fixed very quickly, but there is hope, there are a few people on the forums saying 'enough is enough' and that they aren't going to play the game anymore. Fingers crossed this will get rid of those people who plan on spending a ton of money on the game to become better then everyone else. Fingers crossed.

If everyone took a deep breath and threw away the concept of 'this is WoW' and considered the fact that the game is still in beta, and the fact that they aren't paying any money for the privelege of playing the game then they would realise the stupidity that is going on.

Still, if that were reality then I wouldn't be having so much fun watching the ranting and raving of the loonies.

Elitist Noobs (The brilliant new MMO)

Let's be honest, MMOs are a bit of an elitist spawning genre of gaming, second only to the wonderful world of FPS. Except a lot of what commands respect and admiration (And a lot of misfounded self-importance) in MMOs is items which take a very low level of skill. This especially is prevalent in the F2P market, where complete noobs can buy insane gear without thinking. In the end, what constitutes an elite player in MMOs in many cases is the time they have put into the game to aquire the gear that everyone else salivates over and lusts hopelessly after. However, it doesn't just have to be in free MMOs, I've seen a bunch of people on youtube in the top raids of WoW and they still have no idea what key-binding is and s-key all over the place. In the same vein you also get very geared players in WoW instances who are horrible at healing/holding agro/controlling agro/doing any amount of damage.

Following this train of thought I have come up with an MMO which will celebrate the time-spam elitists who appear in every MMO. I was inspired in a way by a free MMO I heard of in which it takes month of hardcore leveling to get a single level, and if you died it would set you back a week or more of progress. Anyway, my game is called Exponential (Creative eh?) This is its story...

In Exponential, everything know. Every time you level your stats get twice as good, the time it takes to reach the level is twice as long, and there is absolutely no limit on anything. A death in the game will set you back one whole level, which has varying ramifications depending on how far in the game you are. The game is completely free-to-play but the cash shop nothing that will in any way speed up your leveling. Instead it offers such items that inhibit loss when you die.

(All figures in AUD)
$300.00 ....Will prevent you from losing any experience if/when you are killed.
$140.00 ....Will prevent you from losing 50% of a level if/when you are killed.
$50.00 ....Will prevent you from losing 25% of a level if/when you are killed.
You can also buy a wonderful array of fancy shmancy clothing and non-combat pets for low prices.

Now of course no one would even think of buying the $300 pot for a long long time, because its hard to justify spending such a huge amount of money unless you have been working (Oops I mean, playing) long enough for the risk to warrant such a cost. Say if a gamer is at the point where it takes them 80 days of play time to level once, then they may think the $300 would be well spent.

The beautiful thing about this game is it appeals to the most hardcore elitist noobs imaginable, people would go crazy over hitting the next level before anyone else because it would make them twice as powerful. (World PvP kills only reduce experience by 10% of a level) Of course there are just one or two little elements which I haven't really considered, but those are the main points.

Ah the joys of taking fun out of gaming, and making you work so that at the end of it all you feel slightly rewarded at the end, but ultimately realise that you had to WORK. But that's another post for another time.

Photshop, at long last

Its been quite a while since I have posted up anything that I've done creatively. This is something I have to knock up very quickly for my uni interview + portfolio the next day. I started off following a standard tutroial, but quickly went off track and started mucking around.

Gearing up a warrior tank

The good thing about rolling a warrior is that you only have to generally wait a couple of seconds for a random dungeon to pop. This is good in a way because I have been able to gear very quickly now that my warrior is 80. This post doesn't really have any direction, its just going to me talking about tanking.

The first issue that I had to confront was gear. When I just hit 80 I didn't q as tank because at the time I only had around 19k health. So I would Q as dps for instances such as ToC which gives massive upgrades to what I had. For a couple of runs I was pretty much carried as everyone else had gearscroes of around 5k. Most groups didn't complain too much about the fact that I was going dps in tanking gear simply because they were just creaming through the content. It was only when I started Qing as tank that issues began to come up.

Once the entire group fell apart after the healer complained that my health was too low before we killed one mob. Its strange because gearing as a tank is quite easy in terms of getting a lot of randoms popping but a lot of people don't want to run an instance unless the tank has pretty much got all the gear he needs. My best tanking experience was in a random heroic where everyone else in my group was above a 5k gearscore. I was sitting on around 3.4k but it ended up being a very fast smooth run. With all of them saying I was the best warrior tank they had seen, even including tanks with 40k health. As a tank you pretty much live for those moments because there are plenty of other bad experiences.

Just today I was tanking normal ToC and we wiped on the last boss (I'm sitting on 24k health unbuffed) when another Warrior in the group assumes the role of tank because he has better gear. When he changes to his gear he is witting at 38k health...but we still wipe on the boss. It frustrates me no end when people just look at the gear each player has.

My worst experience was in a random instance, when on the last boss our group wipes. I don't say anything about and just run back when the druid healer complains about the wipe blaming it on my terrible 25k health. Another member points out he himself has bad gear, but the healer makes the excuse that she only hit 80 two days ago. (Which I has as well) She then asked hi mto go easy on her for that reason. I piped up saying that if she was making excuses for her gear then she shouldn't complain about mine. (As it happened she had a 3.4k gearscore while mine was sitting at 3.8k...even though I hate GS with a passion) On our next attempt she barely healed me and I died but the rest of the group managed to kill the boss. After the gear had been rolled for the healer left the group, leaving me to run back in.

This was never a problem during the levelling game, and already I feel tired of the GS spam. Its frustrating going from one group of 5k+ GS who say I'm an excellent tank, to a group with lower gearscores who complain about my gear. For the most part the gear grind for a tank isn't a whole lot of fun. Is this considered to be the content that all other MMOs strive to copy in its amount of content and quality of entertainment? I can only hope that once I join a good guild, and no longer need to do so many random instances that the experience will pick up.
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