Rift – Don’t worry…gamers have short memories

Sometimes I hate being around North Americans and our culture in general. We’re a spoiled lot who expect everything yesterday and it damn well be better than what we got last week. Jeepers, it’s no wonder we’re all on anti-depressants and souped up on Red Bull….we’re all running around with our pants on fire trying to satisfy demanding asshats who live in their basements. There is a silver lining to that behavior though: short memory. Don’t worry guys…in two weeks time you’ll be saying “what server queue?”. I really had no big issue with server queues over the weekend. When I did encounter them, it was about a 10 minute wait to get in which I really don’t have an issue with as I do have other things to occupy my time with. Seriously folks…it’s called “waiting”. I know…shocking concept when you’re high on stimulants.

Yeah…so if you have low tolerance for asshats like I do, stay away from the Rift forums. Nothing but usless bitching from the usual, spoiled rotten suspects who’ve lost total perspective.

…mooooooving on.

Over the weekend, I probably had some of the best memories burned into my head by playing Rift. I lost count the amount of invasions I helped with and the number of Rifts closed, but I tell ya…it was just awesome to see the balance between MMO gamer selfishness and community goals finally reached. Just yesterday, on the Bryeil server (…gawd I hope that’s how you spell it..) a zone wide event kicked off in Gloomwood. This zone event happened right after a major fire rift event. All of a sudden a message went up saying that the main town was being invaded by warewolves and other nasty things. One of the goals was to take out 5 bosses that spawned in various places in the zone. It was really something to see that many people co-operating in an MMO event. There were at least 50-60 people traveling in a nice group towards these areas as one big raid group. On the RnH vent server, I remarked that it was just wonderful to see that many people just getting together for this quest..to which a guildie said that he has never seen anything like it before. I agree…I have not seen this much in the way community building events in any MMO before. It’s just…refreshing.

Time will tell though. The players have been given every tool that they can ever possibly want to group and make this a true massively multiplayer game…but in time, will we use these tools or start sidestepping them? You’ve got to remember, that WoW has taught us all one thing: let’s play our games alone together. How deep has that thought been buried in our minds? I have seen some examples of players falling into old, selfish questing habits during my adventures, like, spawn camping and tagging when it takes half a second to invite others to group wanting the same name. Like giving up the first two seconds of a PvP event, or going AFK instead of helping out the group. All of these things are lessons from WoW. The lesson of being a selfish MMO player whose ONLY goal is to improve his standing with…well…himself. Rift has everything there. Trion has made it sooooo easy for you to interact with other players so that you can help build a community instead of building up your gear score. You can do both, and not be a douche. If Rift fails, then I think MMO gamers are truly broken.

We’re still only a week in. Remember that Rift has really hasn’t officially launched yet, so we still have a long way to go before we really find out if this game has got legs. Right now, I feel that Rift has a lot of momentum behind it. Technically speaking, it’s made no mistakes…server queues don’t count because those are expected glitches, not technical mistakes. Game wise, it’s all there. Right now, I’m not seeing any downside to how Trion is managing Rift. I don’t see a “WAR thing” happening, because their community is not tiered like WAR was. The population looks pretty even and healthy across the zones…for now. A year from now, how will a level 1-20 character experience Rift? Will it be as fun as my adventure has been? No one really knows, but here’s hoping Trion figures out that little problem.

So. Despite the usual negative, predictable MMO culture that we live in, I think Rift is off to one of the best starts I’ve seen to date….including LOTRO. The team over at Trion seems to have the luxury of having time to design their game instead of putting out tech fires that should have been solved months ago, which is a huge advantage. I’m extremely optimistic about this title and even if it does go BOOM in a year, I’ll still have those memories burned in my mind.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 10 Comments

Rift Head Start today

I’m soooo excited. Rift Head Start begins today and I really am looking forward to tonight and my day off tomorrow to play the game. Like I said last time, I broke my embargo to try out the twitter and other features in beta 7 and I still had and absolute blast with all aspects of the game: warfronts, questing, invasions, footholds, rifts, souls. All of those put together just click for me.

For those who are curious, I will be rolling with RnH on the Byriel server…so if you want to hang out, come and find me. Usually my toon’s name is Belmirus or Bel-something. In a shocking twist, I’ll be making a female Rogue character who will probably be my main and she will be named Belmida…or something along those lines. My Belmirus character will probably be a Cleric.

I wish the Trion team the best of luck today. You guys have been quite impressive thus far.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 2 Comments

Social Bubble incoming

…good. I’m not the only one in the room seeing this coming:

This time social media is the New Thing. Its most earnest acolytes claim that the likes of Twitter and Facebook are a revolution in human communications unseen since Gutenberg started printing the Bible. They aren’t making money, but they are worth a fortune. Two smart cookies – Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and Michael Arrington, creator of the influential technology blog TechCrunch – have sold their publications to AOL, a company not noted for the astuteness of its recent decisions. Tick off stage 1

…and:

The last dotcom boom really took off after the flotation of the internet software company Netscape in 1995. Patrick says this time it’s likely to be Facebook that lights the fuse. So far, private investors have been locked out of the New Thing. But JP Morgan is setting up a fund, and Goldman Sachs recently tried to get its clients’ money into Facebook. That would take us all the way to stage 8, in which case we’re just waiting for stages 9 and 10 – where cabbies get in on the act and the game goes into reverse.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. No Comments

More DCUO angst

Jeepers. They must be trying to make me hate interfacing with this game.

In DCUO, you get your choice of weapons to use. My choice right now is the staff. It’s really cool, but there is a problem when you try to use it on the PC. In order to use the “special moves” with the staff, you are given some archaic sequence of mouse presses and holds in order to fire off the special move. For example, to perform the Launching Roundhouse Combo, I have to “tap, hold, hold, tap, tap ,tap, tap, tap”. Ridiculous!! Seriously, out of all the ways you can get the player to fire off special weapon moves on the PC, the best you guys can come up with is a series of arbitrary mouse taps and holds? I can come up with five that are better. My 10 year old can probably come up with three. Here’s one for free: Have some kind of “point” system for special weapon triggers. Think like the point system for WoW’s rogue. They are already counting number of hits in a row, so this should be easy. Hit with the left mouse button, and as points accumulate, they can fire it off with a right mouse hit or hold. More hits gives more powerful weapon triggers. Give the player visual feedback regarding which triggers are activating.

The way that the player interfaces with DCUO is not broken, it just is terrible design. It constantly steals away from the fun that this game should be. I really don’t know what went wrong over at SOE, but the whole concept of the DCUO/player interface relationship needs to be completely overhauled.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 4 Comments

This and that

Couple things I want to talk about.

First, in a very surprising move, DCS A-10 has been released:

“DCS: A-10C WARTHOG” Released

DUXFORD, UK, February 21, 2011 – The Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics now offer “DCS: A-10C Warthog” as a digital download for $59.99.

Purchase “DCS: A-10C Warthog” at:

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/index.php?end_pos=1322&scr=shop&lang=en

“DCS: A-10C Warthog” is a PC simulation of the U.S. premier Close Air Support attack aircraft. This is the second aircraft in the DCS series, following DCS: Black Shark, and raises the bar even higher in the DCS series. Warthog brings the most realistic PC simulation of a modern fixed wing combat aircraft in regards to flight dynamics, avionics, sensors, and weapon systems. You also have the option to play Warthog in “Game” mode for a casual game experience. Fly missions in the Caucuses region of the Black Sea against and with a wide array of air, land and sea forces with new and improved intelligence. Create your own missions and campaigns with the included Mission and Campaign Editors, and fly with and against friends online using the included online game browser.

Key Features:
• Fly the A-10C “Warthog” in either realistic or game modes.
• Fly missions in Georgia and Russia.
• Interactive training missions shallow the learning curve dramatically.
• Rich campaigns and single missions included.
• Multiplayer cooperative and head-to-head.
• Mission and Campaign editors allow user created content.
• The most realistic flight dynamics ever done for a PC simulation.
• Huge array of land, air and sea units to flight along and against.
• Ability to command ground forces during missions with radio commands.
• Fully interactive Forward Air Controller (FAC) that helps you find targets.

Website:

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/series/warthog

System recommendation
Operating system: 64-bit Windows XP, Vista, and 7
Processor: CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom X3 8750 or better
Memory: 4GB
Hard disk space: 7 GB
Video: Shader 3.0 or better; 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT DirectX 9.0c or better
Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible
DirectX®: 9.0C

If you’re even slightly interested in flight sims, or even the A-10 (…sexiest aircraft evarrrrr…) then I HIGHLY recommend you get this. Now.

Second. Rift beta is over and now we all wait patiently for the head start, which starts Feb. 24th. I am taking Friday off in celebration of this event. Note: I have never taken a day off work for an MMO launch. Yes, I’m that excited for Rift to start. I did break my boycott of the game last night because I just had to try the twitter functionality….and…yeah, try one more build as well. Despite my initial impression of the Cleric, I think I will be rolling a Rogue.

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 2 Comments