Tag: Aion

Why so Much Emphasis?

After reading a number of early morning blog posts left over in my RSS reader from yesterday, I found myself wondering: Why do gamers put so much emphasis in what we and others are playing. Especially others. Why do we even care? Every day I read a post from one or more authors that includes some sort of semi derogatory remark condoning a group of players simply because of how they choose to spend their time. Or, to be more precise, where they choose to spend their time.

There are those who have made up their minds that everyone who plays a free to play game must be a certain ‘class’ of gamer. How dare they actually enjoy ‘the grind’ that comes with a lot of these games. Don’t they know that in the long run they’ll pay more for their “free” game then some people will pay for their monthly subscription?! Then there are the WoW gamers. Don’t even get me started on these people. I have heard everything from how close minded they are to how stupid they must be, simply because of where they choose to spend their time. It’s as though we as gamers have moved into certain categories and stereotypes not based on who we are, but because of where we play.You ask a fellow blogger their game of choice and suddenly your opinion of them shifts slightly.

So I ask again – why does this aspect of a person even matter. Why are we so keen to judge someone based on a persons decision to spend their free time where they wish. I have even heard people go so far as to say they do not like a particular person because they play certain games that they are not fond of. Really? Are we so shallow that we are now making character judgements based on video games?

I simply don’t understand it.

In my opinion it doesn’t matter where you play, so long as you have fun. In fact voicing my opinion about any other ‘type’ of gamer is a moot point because when it comes to how others are spending their time – my opinion doesn’t matter! It’s their time, their money, and what I think of the matter is completely irrelevant. I refuse to classify a person based on whether they’re playing EQ2, EQ, VG, LotRo, WoW, WAR, DDO, Darkfall, Wizard101, Runes of Magic, EVE, Alganon, Fallen Earth, Lineage II, Allods, Champions, STO, Free Realms, Aion, FFXIV, SWG, Guild Wars, AoC, or any other game.

Go play, and enjoy. Don’t like it? Move on and find something you DO enjoy. It’s a game. They’re supposed to be fun. There are SO many games out there and despite what others would say about them all cloning one another there are always unique factors to each and every game – you may be surprised at what you end up playing and enjoying. I implore gamers to make their own decisions about what they like and don’t like, and refuse to be classified into a category of gamer simply because of where they spend their time.

Nice Try

Above is a scam. If you get a tell like this in game, do the smart thing and do NOT go to the web site linked (which I have blocked out here). Block the person, and report them. It’s NOT NCsoft telling you that you’re about to be banned. I’d like to say that no one falls for these sort of things, but they do. Be smart about it, please.

All about the Grind

Yesterday while I was playing Aion I came to a realization about myself. Games involve a whole slew of different activities that you can do in them depending on your personal choices, and one of those personal choices happens to fall under the category of ‘grinding’. I’m sure at some point in time, in some random game, we’ve all come across this. It’s where you do the same thing, over and over again for whatever reason (quest reward, experience, etc). This isn’t simply leveling up, it’s leveling up in the same little area for a good length of time.

Now, my realization was that number one – I don’t mind grinding, at all. But it depends on where I am and what I am doing. For example, craft grinding? I enjoy a great deal. I could sit for hours and watch movies on my laptop while crafting on my PC and it doesn’t phase me in the least. I actually find it pleasantly relaxing. Quest grinding on the other hand I can not handle for any length of time – game dependent. I don’t mind quest grinding in LotRO – but absolutely refuse to do it in EQ2 (especially RoK quests). I don’t mind grinding solo, in my own little area undisturbed, but I do not enjoy grinding (mobs) in a group. I find it boring, I start to fall asleep. So why do I enjoy doing that particular activity solo rather then in a group? I tried to figure it out and the only reason I really have is that when I’m by myself I can stop and start under my own decisions, and there’s absolutely no pressure because it’s just me.

In Aion if you wish to level up (not everyone does) you’re pretty much forced at one point or another to go grind mobs. There’s simply not enough quests that you could complete to level up just by doing them, and this has been a sore spot for a lot of people. This weekend (and for the next three weekends) Aion has bonus experience going on – and just as an example, when I kill an elite mob (in a duo) I was getting 50,000 experience (I need over 1.5 million to level) which is more experience for one single mob, then all of my quests. They reward you for deciding to grind rather then doing your quests. The bonus experience is also in place for crafting, and harvesting (two more ‘grinds’). Now, I’m not about to say no to this sort of bonus, it’s a HUGE increase and last night I managed to climb up two more levels, but I really wish I was being rewarded for something else OTHER then grinding.

What about everyone else, are you against grinding in all its forms? Is there one particular type that you enjoy more then the others? Let me know!

A Little Aion Combat

I’ve been playing Aion for work writing leveling guides (I pay for my own account and don’t get anything press related associated with it, let me just state that here and now), and while it’s not exactly my game of choice, I’ve played worse. The stories are true, it is a grind. It’s a lot of grind. Thankfully, I’ve got a friend playing with me and let me tell you, that makes ALL the difference in the world. I’m actually enjoying myself and having a good time. I can appreciate the graphics because they are absolutely astounding, and I notice the little quirks a lot more because I’m not paying attention to the grind. That’s really key for me, NOT paying attention to the grind.

I love the combat, love the classes, the outfits are exceptionally detailed and you can customize them with dye. Crafting is another grind, harvesting is a grind, but I don’t mind those things. I don’t actually mind the basic grind, either. Maybe I’m used to it from my EQ camping days.

In any case, here’s a small video I took while working my way through level 20. The next guide for Asmodians will be out in Beckett MOG #23, and should be in stores mid-January. In the mean time I’m working on 20-30. If you happen to be playing feel free to drop Ellithia a tell!

A Mix of Games

Yesterday morning I was heading into Aion to get some work done, but alas the game was down for patches. So I decided to turn to Fallen Earth – which was also down for patches until 5pm EST. Dang it! With all of my regular choices down, I had a few options still. I could log into EQ2 which I haven’t really felt the pull of lately (sorry!) or play someone off line. Dragon Age has been taunting me and begging me to play – but something with an even stronger pull, was Sims 3.

I love the sims. I played Sims before I was into any other video games at all. Before I got into MUDS, MMOs, consoles, etc. Sims was the game for me. I even played the Sims Online and started doing online radio shows as my persona “April Love” in the wee hours of the morning. It was fun, though I burned out fast.

Since I recently reinstalled windows on my PC everything from my previous games was wiped. I decided to start over fresh, and I simply had a blast with it.

It’s fun to take control of a world that resembles real life. Why? I’m not exactly sure. It just is. Where in previous versions of the Sims my biggest pull was creating and designing houses and very little actual game play, this time around it’s different. The story pulls me in, the choices I can make and the direction I can set my little Sim off to.

It was a great way to spend the day, and one that I wasn’t expecting. I hadn’t played Sims 3 in quite some time, but EA also released a new expansion (the first) for Sims 3, so I was excited about that. I haven’t decided if I want to pick it up yet, but chances are I will. I don’t want to mess with tradition after all!

Hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday, no matter where you find yourself.

Simply Not Enough Time

Ellithia is sporting the Shard of Love headgear that dropped for us earlier this week – and that’s been the extent of my time in EQ2, which hasn’t happened in literally, months. I haven’t logged in. It’s not that I don’t have things to do in game, because I certainly do but I just don’t have enough time lately to do everything I want to do. Isn’t that always the case?

EQ2 is always my home base, and I’ll always return there. Especially after I glanced through this HUGE list of patch notes that are currently on test. Wow. Some pretty amazing stuff is finally getting fixed. This has been a very long time coming. Earlier this week I also transferred my 80 swashbuckler over to Antonia Bayle, so I can get back into boxing. I had closed my second account for a little while but decided that 12 alts was simply not enough, so I’ve got both accounts once more.

Vanguard is my home away from home. It’s the game I play for pleasure with a few friends when we all happen to have time, and I really love the game. The problem is it’s not one of those duck in real quick for a minute or two games, so it looks like it gets a lot of back burner time.

Aion is what I’m playing a lot of lately, mostly for work. I play during the day, when it’s quieter then normal and I can’t say I’m hating it. Leveling is slow, quests are grindy but it’s beautiful and still new, and I’ll be sticking with it.

Torchlight and Dragon Age are still on my play list as well, but I’ll probably be playing those more on the weekend when I’m not busy with other things. The weather is getting much colder and it’s almost time to hibernate for the winter. No doubt my adventures there will be fun as always.

NaNoWriMo is eating up a lot of time. I’m just over 12k words right now (although I completely slacked yesterday and didn’t do any writing – today I should be making up for it) and I’m excited about my story. It’s something that I’ve been meaning to write for a very long time, but simply never got around to. Now that the motivation is there I just need to stick with it for the month of November. I’ve also been very excited watching all my friends work on their stories, and the inspiration and motivation that bounces off of one another is fantastic.

There are five games that are on my “dang I wish I had more time” list currently. These are the Lord of the Rings Online, Fallen Earth, Wizard 101, EverQuest and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Thankfully DDO is free to play, so I don’t exactly feel like I’m missing out by NOT playing right now. The Lord of the Rings Online recently extended their special Mirkwood promotions until mid November, so I’ve been debating whether or not I want to get in on that and plurge on a life time just because. It’s one of those games I’ve really enjoyed playing but just can’t seem to find the time. Fallen Earth I managed to score a 15 day trial for, and never logged in – sighs. Wizard 101 is something I should be playing a lot more of next week, fingers crossed. EverQuest currently has their closed beta ongoing for Underfoot – and if I could convince a few of my friends to play with me, I’d probably be there a lot more. I really love EverQuest, always have, even 10 years later. It’s just not fun for me to play alone.

After the list of “I wish I had more time” games, there are a few games that I wish I could simply afford to take a peek into every so often, even if I don’t have the time. These include Warhammer (I loved the game, but lacked friends to play with), Free Realms, and Champions Online (which I played a few times but honestly never got into it, I was right about it simply not being the genre for me). Of course there’s those games I’ve tried but never stuck with (and I’ve tried them multiple times), EVE and World of Warcraft. I even bought the latest EVE game and never actually installed it (it went on sale for $5 if I recall) because I just don’t have the time right now to learn another game. I’ve played WoW off and on since release, and I just think it would have been neat to make it to the level cap at least once. My highest level is 50.

Don’t get me started on all the free to play games out there that tickle my fancy.

There really is just not enough time for everything.

Yes, I’m playing Aion

While most people have been spending their time in single player or co-op RPGs this month (how can you not, with big titles like Borderlands, Torchlight, and Dragon Age all releasing at once) I have managed to squeeze in time to play Aion on a fairly steady schedule. There’s one main reason for this considering it wasn’t that long ago that I said I wasn’t going to be giving the game a shot. Turns out I need to write about it for work, which is why I haven’t talked about it until now.

I’m leveling up a cleric as both  Asmodian and Elyos, and yesterday I reached level 15 with both characters. The game is exactly what I thought it would be, offering nothing ‘new’ to the table but then again it doesn’t really have to. There’s a pretty heavy population on both servers that I find myself on especially later in the day. I spend most of my play time between 9am-4pm EST so servers are a little quieter, but there’s still a lot going on in channels and on the PvP front.

The quests so far have been your usual ‘go kill x number of y creatures’ and ‘go to x location and bring back y object’. I haven’t had to do any grinding at all to gain levels, I’ve had more then enough quests to get me through. I am enjoying the story lines, and adding campaign quests along with ‘regular’ quests give a nice feeling and flow to the over all picture.

There are some bugs, of course. There are quests that don’t work (I’ve stumbled into a few) drop rates at times are exceptionally low, and there are bots galore. While NCSoft has taken some great initiative in blocking spammers from channels (I typically only have to block one person a day if that per server) that doesn’t stop the masses from swarming on mobs. Thankfully, you can also switch ‘channels’ in game, which basically allows you to switch zones to a less populated instance of that zone. There are five ‘channels’ open at any one time (once you’re out of the starter area, there are 10 channels to those areas) so if you find yourself unable to kill the mobs you need for whatever reason you can switch to one of five channels. It will port you there (3 minutes between ports) and you’ll be in the exact same location. This is also ideal for farming named that may be up, although I haven’t encountered any quite yet.

I don’t dislike the game, but I also am not in love with it either. If it were not for the articles I need to complete for work I’m fairly confident in saying that I wouldn’t be playing the game, and I’d find my spare time eaten up by LotRO or some other MMO as my 3rd choice (VG and EQ2 being my first two choices). I do have a friend playing with me which makes a HUGE difference, there’s no way I’d want to play this game alone it would just be.. well, not fun. Thankfully I don’t write reviews, not that this would get a bad one but it’s just another game, imo.

Why I’m Not Playing Aion

Yesterday was amusing to say the least. I watched a number of very angry gamers vent their frustrations about the queue lines of Aion, on twitter, their blogs, forums. It was everywhere. I can’t really blame them. I know the excitement of having a new game release and the eager feeling you get when you JUST WANT TO LOG IN, and WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LOG IN! New games are fun. They’re exciting. They’re something new.

I played the Aion beta through all of its stages and I really enjoyed the game. I wrote about it a few times and talked about it with friends. I didn’t really have anything negative to say about it – but I’ve decided that I won’t be playing it.

Why not?

I have a few reasons for this. Number one would have to be that I’m not unhappy with any of my current MMO choices. I have fun in all of the games I play, I’m not unsatisfied, there’s no lure for me to go play something else because I’m perfectly content. I have a good selection to choose from and in the off chance that I DO want something else to play – I want something ELSE, and Aion doesn’t give you something else, it gives you what is already out there and wraps it in a different package. Between EVE (yes, I’ve started up a 21 day trial of that again in the hopes I will actually get some where this time), DDO, Wizard 101,  EQ, EQ2, VG, Free Realms, the occasional WoW,  Champions, WAR, and a few other games that I play for work my MMO plate is already bursting with games that I really enjoy.

The other reason I’m not playing Aion is the cost. While I’m certainly interested in the game I know it’s not something that would hold my attention long term and I don’t want to spend $60 cnd. to try a game for a month. Especially for a digital version of the game.

It feels a little odd to watch everyone get excited and read their blogs and not really be a part of that but I’m happy for the opportunity to watch everyone and see how they react. Are you playing Aion? Enjoying it? Think you’ll stick with it long term?

If you’re not playing Aion, what are your reasons? Please feel free to comment below!

In the mean time, I’ll just keep playing the games I own and watch from afar. Happy gaming no matter where it finds you!

WTB Some Time

I love my job, I really do. Being able to write about something I enjoy as well as something I’m passionate about is a great gift that I try to make sure I’m aware of constantly. On my web site, I write for me and I love talking about my adventures, thoughts, friends and anything else that happens to cross my mind. The only time any of this is difficult is when it all seems to happen at once. These days there are so many games out there, that I simply don’t have enough time to play everything I want. It’s a shame, because I’d really love to.

EQ2 is my ‘steady’ game even though I’m barely playing it these days (it’s due to being crunch week and no other reason) it’s the comfort game that I know inside and out, and I like that comfort factor. However. It’s not the only game I want to play and certainly not the only game I am playing.

I’ve been having an incredible urge to continue playing EQ, which I have waded in and out of for quite some time now. Problem is I don’t enjoy playing EQ alone (where as in EQ2 I have no problem wandering around on my own) and it’s difficult for me to make friends (especially when I waver to and from games). I have my 81 necromancer that I’m considering leveling a little, she’s fairly close to level 82. I’ve always wanted to hit “end game” in everquest, and with the expansion NOT raising the level cap in November, it may very well be a possibility.

Vanguard is another one of those “if I only had more time” games. I seem to be in a rut with my blood mage, and I’m slowly running out of areas where I can just dip in for an hour or two before calling it quits and feel as though I have gotten anything acomplished.

Last month I won a free copy of Age of Conan, I think I found the time to play once during the month that came with the game, and then it sat neglected. For some reason it just does not appeal to me as much as I wish it had. It may be because I’m not really a melee person, and it felt uncomfortable. Either way, it’s one of those “I wish I had more time” games – along with many others.

Lord of the rings online – I really enjoy this game, a lot. It’s familiar, it’s beautiful. I want to continue playing but for now my account lays dormant because once again the greedy time monster has taken all of my time away, and I just don’t have any to spare or to warent spending a monthly subscription for it.

So what AM I playing? Well, my current play list includes EverQuest II, Vanguard (barely), Free Realms (barely), World of Warcraft (please don’t shoot me, it’s easy to dive into for an hour and feel like I actually acomplished something), Wizard 101, Aion Beta, and some DDO.  I want to be able to devote more time to EVE, but that learning curve is so far over my head I may as well actually be playing from another planet. I’ve been having fun in Aion, but again – not enough time to play everything I want to play, and to get work done as well as real life things (plus I can’t actually sit at my desk for too long before I start to get sore from health issues).

While I am excited that there are so many games out there (don’t even get me started on console games and finding time to play those too!) there are certainly moments where I wish the selection were smaller. Am I the only one?

Random Game News

Well, there’s lots of news going on out there – to start things off, the newest Wizard 101 world is going live today! What a great Canada Day gift to players. I’m excited about this world for a few reasons, number one you can level up through it just as you would level up a character, so for those who have completed it all – it’s time for alts, and time to run quests for house items. It will also impliment a crafting system, bazaar, and the new 18+ chat system, and a few other goodies. Speaking of goodies, be sure to check out Tipa’s site for some wallpaper goodies! I love how fast things come out of test for players.

Of course there is also the discussion about the Chronicles of Spellborn becomming free to play – I dipped into this game only VERY briefly, and didn’t enjoy it. I’m not sure why. I don’t even think I made it past the tutorial, but maybe I just know my comfort zones, and tend to stay within.

I am looking forward to the next Aion beta weekend, from July 2nd to the 4th. I have no idea if I’ll actually manage to drag myself to the PC to play, but we’ll see. It would be nice.

I spent some time on the new EQ server yesterday, Mayong. For those who have been living under a rock, this new server is a 50/51 server – you log in and create, and achieve level 50 instantly, as well as 51 aa to your name. You also start out with all of your spells (and I do mean all) as well as some gear and backpacks (there are more packpacks waiting for your in the bank if you’re looking for them). You don’t start with any money, so you’ll want to farm some especially if you plan on using a mercenary.

The server was absolutely packed last night, I had problems moving around. It was fantastic. There were four general channels, and people were advertising for groups and guilds all over the place. PoK was packed, it was easy to tell who had been a long time player and who had returned for the free 30 days and didn’t know about the guild lobby yet.

There were of course raids also going on, and I saw a few system messages about encounters that were being taken down. I didn’t stay for too long but I did create myself a beastlord, enchanter, cleric, and bard. Whether I will actually stick with one of those or head back to Drinal I am unsure.

In EQ2 (the brief time I played) I collected some more red shiny and decided to do a little crafting and put items for sale which was nice. Not going to be purchasing anything super expensive over the next little while, but hey it’s better then nothing.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day today, it’s the first of July and thus Canada Day! Get out there and enjoy it for me.

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