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Messages - jov

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PC Games / Re: Windows 7
« on: February 07, 2009, 07:41:19 pm »
Not sure if this is relevant, but some Aussies try to see if people like KDE4 by calling it Windows7.  Most people don't seem to notice it's not Windows (despite Amarok running, which is a sweet music player and you can install it on Windows if you'd like), and many seem to have frustrations with Vista.

Personally, I prefer Ubuntu.  I was wary of Linux for a long time.  But I'm totally a fan now, and the GNU license is a fantastic concept.  Sure, sometimes you have to put things together, but they have an active community that can solve any issue you come across.  I can't even dream about going back to Windows, and I have to deal with it enough at work...  Ugh.

I like Macs, and happily use them.  But I don't have one of my own, nor do I really care to boost Apple's pockets any further.  They have enough support.

PC Games / Re: Back in WoW
« on: November 14, 2008, 08:18:46 am »
I played WoW the day it came out.  It held my attention with many diverse characters for a solid year, then I took a break, then I went back, then I took a longer break, then I went back.  This trend continued well after the Burning Crusade came out.  The last time I played was for three months, and that was over a year ago.

I have little desire to return, even considering I "met" many great people in the guilds I was in.  I'll agree, a game like that needs real world friends playing it too.
For me, the real world is far more entertaining.

PC Games / Re: Is Warhammer Dead Already?
« on: November 05, 2008, 07:04:53 pm »
I hope not (dead already, that is).  I got the game and I'm waiting on a new machine to play.

To pass that time I've been watching the populations of the RP servers as I expect to be joining one of those.  I've been tracking the populations I see on, the curse gaming site, and have found all the servers are growing.  However, some more than others.  If you want to join a game like this, you always should check first.  
I think EA/Mythic thought this would capture the hearts of many WoW players, and it possibly did.  I used to play WoW, and quit because frankly, it was getting old.  But this game seems intriguing.  Though I fear they cut too much out of what they planned to do, and that hurt them.

In any case, as stated I've been watching the RP servers.  Phoenix Throne's and Ostermark's populations have nearly doubled since the 16th of October, when I started taking this info.  Avelorn's population has doubled since that date (less than a month ago).  And Chaos Wastes, the OpenRVR/RP server has nearly doubled as well.

Then there are four small RP servers; Lustria (Oceanic), Skavenblight, Tor Elyr, and White Tower.  All of these have gained about one hundred players since I started tracking them, but only a few have broken 500.  While P. Throne is the largest RP server with 6.7k players.
Note, as of Monday Mythic has announced XP gains by 20% on Avelorn (pop 2.7k) and Ostermark (pop. 4.6k).  Both of these servers are decent sized, but they are encouraging this offer with the word transfer.  Perhaps they are trying to lure players from the four smaller servers over? If that happens (without a forced move, though I'd like to see that) they can close the extra servers and consolidate.

It seems they are looking this over too, and making judgments on how to keep people playing.  The transfers aren't the best way to go about this, but they also aren't the worst.  I'd rather they went to Skavenblight, Tor Elyr, and White Tower and said: "Hey, pick Avelorn or Ostermark, because in a week that's where you are going."

PC Games / Re: Warhammer Online
« on: October 30, 2008, 10:03:53 pm »
No, I know that's the real reason.  Hah hah, we are a minority.  Because free software often isn't advertised, and therefore people don't know about it.  Luckily, Ubuntu spreads through word of mouth.  I've met many a frustrated windows user.  ~_^

And it turns out the character rendering issue has been fixed, today, while I posted that I have to wait.  Checked WINE on it just now and saw it's no longer an issue.

PC Games / Re: Warhammer Online
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:39:44 pm »
I have my collector's edition and it's waiting to be installed.  You may ask, why haven't you installed it?
Good point.
Well, I have two reasons;
1) I've been out of the loop on upgrading my machine, and it still doesn't have a DVD optical disc.  I'll be ordering one when I get my next paycheck, a 20X is only $20.  Hah hah!  Take that people who need brand new technology when it initially comes out!
2) I use Ubuntu, because I think basic software (i.e. OS, music player, text interfacing, graphic interfacing and so on) should be free and made by users; that, and I'm sick of Windows.  Due to this, I need to use WINE to play or use any Windows programs.  I'll happily buy games made for Linux, but it seems most producers see little to no reason to invest in the minor population I belong to.  Probably because they think we're all pirates...
Long reason short; WINE currently won't render the PCs and NPCs in game.  Until this bug/issue has been resolved by the WINE development team, I'm content to wait.  Why play something that's broken?

I've not spoiled any of the story (aside from the comic that came in the package), so the Tome of Knowledge should be a treat.  And I've been watching the RP servers, which I enjoy playing on, through  I'm not totally sure how accurate those numbers are, but it gives me a good sense which realm I'd want to join when I can.  At first it was Phoenix Throne, but that server is looking far too busy.  So I'll join Ostermark or Avelorn (as they have robust, but not full, populations) depending on which faction I play as.  I prefer being the slight underdog.  I know P. Throne could use more Order, but I think Ostermark needs more Destruction.  Forgot where Avelorn lies, probably in favor of Order.

How are you all enjoying the game?  I'm still thinking of playing a Witch Hunter.  But more and more classes seem intruiging.  Who knows where I'll end up?

PC Games / Re: Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates!
« on: August 07, 2008, 03:10:58 pm »
Hmm, to necrobump, or start a new thread?  There's a warning that suggests I consider starting a new topic, but the community here is rather vile if you start a new thread when one already exists.  So, with that in mind:

I recently decided to play this one again.  That's probably because it's one of the few games I can readily play on Ubuntu (without WINE). 
I've created a swabbie named Mchumba.  That means "sweetheart" in Swahili.  Nothing like all your top choices for names being taken.  And probably by me ages ago... But hey, the gaming world could use more Africa.
She's on Sage, decided at random, but works out with this community. 
And is greenie.
Of course, she's greenie in that she's new, and still green named.  I've played this before, but always gave up before owning a vessel.  Probably because I never knew anyone playing, even though I tried to get involved in the community.
In one day I got Broad in Alchemy (it was free to play that day) and I got Incredibles now in bilging and sailing.  I can't wait to get my silver crab, though I'm a far better sailer.  I have yet to figure out the way Bilging scores, I worry that I waste time trying to get good moves, while sailing pays off when you Bingo! and doesn't take time into account.  Clearly, I don't like carpentry, and only play it when the ship really needs the help.

If any of you still play, I'd love to join a crew.  I saved up and got one doubloon so far!  Hah hah.  I might give three rings some real money for once though, and get some more doubloons just to make it a little easier on me.  This game is pretty phenomenal, so I might as well show them some support.

PC Games / Re: Warhammer Online
« on: July 14, 2008, 12:33:09 pm »
Hmm, a bit disappointing.  But overall, not so much.  Right? 
I apologize in advance for the "wall of text" and took time to hit my shift-key to get capitalization in there.  If you are lazy, I italicized and colored what I consider the "quick and dirty" phrases to sum up my argument.  So just look for those parts to glean the crux of my argument, and then you can be done.  If not, feel free to read the whole deal to get a greater, though perhaps long-winded, explanation of why I feel that's the argument.

I mean, I played WoW the day it came out.  I wasn't sure what class I wanted to play, started with a mage and a rogue.  I ended up loving the rogue, and deleting the mage.  But I also tried out other classes.  I remember playing a paladin and not liking it when the game was young, but when I came to the end of my time playing WoW, I tried the paladin again and found I enjoyed it.  I also remember everyone complaining about the warlock being weak and broken.  And after one patch, the warlocks were buffed, and outrageously "overpowered."  MMOs, are in a constant state of flux.  And yes, it does seem like you are paying to play beta...  Which then begs the question, why pay at all?

However, that is the beauty of the MMO.  You start with a pretty good experience, or base game.  And overtime, you get more and more experiences that make the game better and better.  I do wonder what removing the -at least what appears to be- tanks from the game will do to the start.  And yes, the orc population will be hurting, since there will be one orc class and two goblin classes.  But why stop here?  This game could easily develop yet another career archtype over time, and add six more classes into the game in a few months time.  But I guess the team has their hand's full as is...

So as a customer, as a player, as someone who is interested in this game:
Does this really affect my desire to play?  Not really.  I still will play this game as I'm most intruiged by the Witch Hunter, a class not affected by these impositions.  I still will be able to visit the capital of Altdorf, and not worry about it.  On the other hand, we can presume that the latter cities will be "better" cities.  I take WoW as an example again, if only because it's the MMO I played the longest; The two new cities that came in the expansion are more beautiful -though not necessarily better designed- than the initial cities. 
However, one thing I never enjoyed about WoW -and I can presume the same for most MMOs- was that the old zones never got visual upgrades.  You could easily see that Westfall and Elwynn were some of the first landscapes designed, while Ashenvale was one of the later.  And now the way the Outlands look, though a bit over the top, you begin to wonder why the dev team doesn't go back and re-imagine the older zones.  It's not like they aren't making a profit, it's not like they can't hire more talent to fill in those blemishes.  I guess it comes down to how much time is spent in those zones for players.

But it is those little things that make or break a game, right?  If the icon for your boot looks nothing like your boot -because the dev team took a shortcut-, and then a later, more unique, and powerful boot comes along, and it's icon matches the look of the boot; then you have to wonder why your regular boot didn't get the same amount of attention.  And you have to wonder how much time and energy does it really take to go back to your old code and style and flash it up a bit to match your newer additions.
So if WAR needs a bit more dev time to really get their capital cities perfect, then let them have it.  I would rather they ensure the experience will be great for the players at all times.  But at the same time, the cost for the product should go down to reflect this.  It's disingenuous to ask a customer to pay full price for an unfinished product.  That's like going to a deli, ordering a sandwich from the menu, and then getting it.  But it's missing the cheese, even though the pickle's on the plate.  So yeah, it looks complete, but it's not a full deal.  So why pay full price for it?

I think that we, as future consumers of this product, should at least ask that of the company making it.  Why charge us $15 a month for an unfinished product?  A product that was so audacious that some of the brilliant things you wanted to work into it have to be omitted for release -to be put in at a later time.  I feel a charge of $7-$10 per month would counter act that.  It would make people feel they are getting a balance.  Unfinished game, lesser price per month.  It will draw more customers in, because they can play a quality game for less than the competition.  And it will overcome the burden of a game that appears to be incomplete on release.  Lowering the price will counter balance the release-the-game-over-time philosophy.  A philosophy that is paradoxically at the core of MMO design, and at the same time is considered unacceptable for a finalized and buyable product.

Conversely they could ensure their customer base that the game will always be quality.  If you are paying $15 a month, then you should be getting that back.  First the costs to cover the initial development need to be re-couped.  Then they can use the profit to continue making a great game.  They can even hire a team that looks at the game they already have, and finds small things to ensure the whole game is tied together.  It's not that hard to re-devote time to an old zone, or to old gear sets, and re-work them.  Just like they feel they need to rework the classes you are playing.  Is the environment some how not key to the experience?  Is the leveling system to get from lvl1 - lvl20 someone not key to the experience?  Is the base crafting, gear building, auction system, mailing system the best it can be on outset, never needing to be reworked?  I would disagree on that.  How many times have you started up a new character to try out a new class?  I'm certain you could easily play a completely different route to end game, this game seems diverse enough to offer that.  But what happens in two years when those old zones are neglected for newer zones designed for the end game player?  It makes the old stuff seem trite and meaningless.  Yesterday's trash, right?

I watch the developments with WoW.  The game didn't start with an Armory, but that was added in.  Nor did it start out with the dressing room, or some of the current skill and talent builds.  These were added or changed over time with the game.  All I ask is that the development process include not only adding new and better things, but reworking old things to imagine and cultivate them to better things.  Why not have a beautiful and complete game instead of one where you would rather skip half of the content to get to the end where the bulk of the content begins to appear?

And I feel like the team at Mythic is currently making that choice.  They would rather not let you play with something they feel is incomplete or half-assed.  But they also feel that you need to have something to satiate your desire.  Considering how many have signed up to play their beta before release, I think they can expect a fine return on their investment.  I also feel that we as players can ask for a more serious development process if they feel they can skip out, and initially give us incomplete things to work and play with.

PC Games / Re: Diablo III
« on: July 06, 2008, 12:32:01 pm »
none taken.  i hope my posts weren't construed as pedantic.  it would be nice if we could all post equally.  but meh, whatever.  read it if you want, it probably doesn't make sense anyway, as it's more than likely stream of consciousness.

PC Games / Re: Diablo III
« on: July 06, 2008, 12:04:25 pm »
wall of text?  really?  wall of text would be no breaks between information.

see how i employ paragraph breaks between disparate themes?  but see how they also segway into each other.  it's called college.  writing paper after paper has permitted me (made up of, but not limited to, my brain and fingers) to type lengthy responses to ensure all of my thoughts come out in one post.

but it seems modern day forum readers don't have time for that.  they like succinct posts, maybe one line of text letting them know a mere bit of information.

well here goes:

i like crafting.

i like classes.

i like colors.

i can't wait for this game.

that's my above post rendered for the quick and dirty easy read. happy?

PC Games / Re: Diablo III
« on: July 06, 2008, 10:39:57 am »
i'm excited to play in the diablo universe again.  my friends and i still waste time playing diablo2, and that came out when i was in high school.  and to think i still play it four years out of college...  shows that it's a solid game, or a game everyone owns.  however, i find it harder and harder to commit that much time to a game as an adult, and that sort of worries me.

one of the frustrating elements of diablo is that people who have all the time in the world to play have better access to drops.  now i doubt i'll be playing on the ladder systems they set up, as playing with friend trumps bnet kiddies. 
the saving grace for diablo2 was in the cube and socketing.  i had a blast making my own unique items through cube crafting or runewords.  and i'd love to see blizzard really focus on a massive list of both of these for diablo3.  i prefer WoW's gem socketing to d2s, but i must admit, i stopped playing WoW a bit after that expansion was released.
what i'd really like to see, in regards to this, would be an in game "recipe book."  it was frustrating having to either scribble down notes from the website, or tab over to the website just to make sure you got that cube list right, or the right runes to put in a weapon.  and a scroll with runewords, or a list of ingredients for the horadric cube would be fantastic quest rewards, or items found from bookshelves in dungeons.  hell, a crafting system like we see in MMOs would be nice too.  because specializing in armorsmithing or alchemy would have useful benefits and make partying even more required.

which leads me to another thought; one thing that irked me was farming with my assassin.  consistently i'd find great drops for druids, paladins, sorceresses, and amazons.  these items i'd save and pass on to my friends in an intricate log in-log out swap goods event.  this took time and effort, but it was worth it, as they usually got gear my assassin could use.  wouldn't it be nice to actually get drops useful to your class?  i mean, you don't need to get them all the time, but at least every now and again you'd get something your class could not only use, but use well.
i'd love to see more class specific gear also.  it was always exciting seeing one of those barbarian helms drop, but i never saw barbarian axes, or belts, or whatever else.  i guess it is nice that you can wear the set gear to another class (but for that one piece).  but it would also be nice to see some really epic for-this-class-only sets.

also; when the game was announced they said there would be five playable classes.  people began discussing, much like we see in this thread, how that would be possible.  but if you look now, blizzard claims there will be "many" as opposed to "five" classes.  apparently the reacted to people dismayed that there would be only five choices, especially when one of the two revealed ones is a completely new class.  five is still a great many to select from, but it would appear that blizzard suffers from their past success.  the d2xp gave a more complete selection of classes, and most people forget that there wasn't originally seven to choose from.  add WoW's class selection, and suddenly five seems like a small number. it's nice to see that blizzard seems to be rethinking the "five" class strategy.
however, i do (unlike a vocal population of gamers) appreciate the color palette of d3.  sure, a dark, grim, colorless world would give a macabre and gloomy sense to diablo.  but i don't think the world was ever all that black and white.  and i appreciate a vibrant palette, modern games do seem to bland.  the scenes we've seen so far aren't garish, and give a mood to the game that i can appreciate.

i eagerly await more updates over the ensuing years as this game fleshes out.  and then look forward to playing it.  it was warcraft that got me interested in blizzard, and it was starcraft that showed they knew what they were doing, but the diablo series has the best replay-ability in my book.  i can't wait to smash demons and undead with friends again.  and if steve's old rumors are still in play (that we can go evil or good) then i can't wait to fight angels as well.  the design of the game's title shows the III as half white/half red.  does this suggest you can go good or evil?  and why is tyrael so prominent on their home page, if he's not up to something as well...  they really have been focusing on him as of late, what with the WoW pet of him now.

I have to abstain as well.

Ubuntu WINE geeks need to catch up for Spore's September release.
Though it is fun trying to guess where the UI is in a vain attempt to build the creature.  I managed to get a simple ponopono design (see my creature creator thread), though you wouldn't know because WINE can't render this game correctly.  ^_^

So I'll hold off on the $10 for more parts.  Especially as there's a file online to unlock not all 100%, but 75% of the parts.  And it's free!  Oh my, did I just say that?  I won't tell you where to get it.  ~_^  Not that I've downloaded it, there would be little point in doing that as I can't even utilize the basic game as is.

Spore: General / Re: Creature Creator Parts List - WIP
« on: June 15, 2008, 05:44:38 pm »
So... the creature creator is out.  Any updates?

Or are you guys having too much fun making creatures to update this pet project?

PC Games / Re: Warhammer Online
« on: May 04, 2008, 11:17:18 am »
my interest in WAR has recently resurged, and i'm thinking of pre-ordering that CE.  i just wish i could try the game before i set down $80 on it.

there are aspects of this game that i'm very interested in.

i like that the cities will evolve and change.  sure, i liked that you can take over capital cities, but having cities that level up based off their faction's work, brilliant.  they start off slummy and i a bad state, only to clean up, open areas and events, get better guards, and all around become greater as you fight for that faction.  and then when they get sacked they are set aflame.  you can pillage and loot shops and homes, take out the symbols of the city, and capture the king... fantastic!  they've mentioned that if you level up Altdorf enough you have access to the Skaven tunnels beneath the city, but while you are leveling it up you hear townsfolk discuss seeing "ratmen."  it's nice to see that the world we inhabit can change.

i like the idea of the tome of knowledge.  it seems like the woman in charge of it has gotten a bit zealous about it, but whatever.  i like that it contains the story of your quests, information on mobs, unlockable challenges, and the titles and trophies that i adore so much are given as rewards here.  so kill some stunties and you get a stuntie head to put on your orcish spaulders.  nothing like giving a little flavor to your character, rather than everyone having the same set gear.  i also like that if you read those stories and pay attention to them, you can get a little payoff.  one video i watched showed a character pick up a "bat wing" off a bat.  the item's description said that bat wings are used by alchemists.  now, you can sell this item as junk, or you can turn it over to an alchemist NPC mentioned in your lorebook for a reward, far better than selling a trash item.

i like the guild concept for this game.  guilds level up just like your character or city.  at higher levels you get more standards to take into battle.  i like that guilds can take over keeps and hang their banners from the eaves to show how awesome they are.  i like that battle standards will have an effect on the guild in battle, and can even be stolen by the opposition!

i haven't gotten to play the game yet, but it seems the casters have an interesting need to balance their spells out.  some will just get drained of energy, and won't be able to cast strong spells. others balance precariously on dangerous magics, and can easily take the damage they would be dishing out on opponents.  i like how their take on "talent trees" shape characters.  apparently the chaos marauder will actually mutate their arm into a blade, claw, or club depending on the path you chose. the classes themselves are beautiful, and i can't even pick where to start.  i think i'll try a witch-hunter on style alone.  but each race has at least one (if not two) classes that i'm itching to try out.

i never got too into PvP, mainly because it never seemed engaging enough.  this game seems to have set up PvP (or how they call it; RvR) in a fashion that you don't even notice it happening, it's so intertwined.  i look forward to taking part in sieging a keep only to take it over, and i can't wait to assist the destruction of a capital city.

and lastly, i like that they have put in "adventure quests."  nothing like walking along, seeing something interesting, interacting with it and, voila! new item for you.  no work, and a little flavor.  how can you complain?  i've heard of the dark elf who comes across the dying dark elf with a sword in his side.  he pulls out the sword, getting a nice new sword for himself, and the other elf dies.  i've watched an empire character follow an NPC that appears every other day at a certain time, and learn of his plot to work for a magician and help the chaos army.  if you kill him you get a key to the wizard's tower that can't otherwise be entered.  you climb up the steps, slaughter the wizard at the top and get an item.  this quest isn't mentioned, and is only avaliable to those who look out for the interesting things.

i've heard people say this is a WoW clone.  this is only due to WoW's current popularity.  personally, i'm done with WoW, i love the warcraft franchise but i've seen them just smash that storyline into the ground so they could have their factions.  i'm not too familiar with warhammer's universe, so i can't quite have the same reaction.  but i like how this game is looking, and october couldn't come sooner.  good thing spore will tide me over until then.  ~_^

Spore: General / Re: Plant Sizes
« on: April 02, 2008, 09:52:17 am »
it's been a while since i posted myself.  typically i lurk about if only because this community is very specific about creating new posts.

ok, on topic:

in the real world plants are dependent upon energy much like animals are.  the size of a plant is directly related to the environment the plant is found in.  you don't see massive trees in arid climates.  redwoods are found in rainforests.  saguaros are found in deserts.  though yes, saguaros are large, they don't get as large rainforest plants do.

these limits are due to the availability of resources.  there are far more nutrients in the decaying matter and hummus found on a forest floor than in the sandy or rocky terrain of a desert.  plants grow best in soil that is usually composed (man, that word is perfect there) of their decayed ancestors.  i live in colorado, we are known for having rather large and very rocky mountains.  in fact, they are named the rocky mountains.  where granite is dominant, you don't see trees.  however, there are grasses that break up the rocks, and then gymnosperms (pines) will grab a hold.  as this plant matter dies and decays it enriches the soil with organic matter.  soon other plants and trees can take a hold, using the nutrients of the previous plants, and the mountain is somewhat eroded.

there are other limits too.  trees don't grow past "tree line." just as humans find it hard to breath above 13,000 feet (~4,000 meters), trees find it hard to grow.  but smaller plants can process the air and survive.  lichen, which is actually a fungus that has incorporated the chloroplasts of plants to photosynthesize, is one such organism.  trees also don't grow in high latitude, much like they don't grow in high altitude. but that's due to a lack of sun year-round instead of a lack of oxygen.  remember, sun is a vital nutrient for all plants on this planet.

there has also been discussion of carnivorous plants.  carnivorous plants have limits too.  in fact, the reason they are carnivorous is due to their habitat.  all carnivorous plants on this planet are bog plants.  the soil they grow in is very moist and lacking in nutrients.  so they have evolved to consume bugs, which are plentiful in bogs, to make up for that lack.  yes, some of these plants can grow quite tall.  and there are even large variations of nepanthes that grow in south east asia where skeletons of frogs and small monkeys have been found in their pitchers.  but carnivorous plants tend to be small (as in not tree sized) due to these limitations, and therefore not a threat to creatures our size.

what beings like us should be worried about is the toxicity or strength of poisons found in some plants.  a few years ago i was walking about in north queensland, in the daintree rainforest, and the guide who was with us carefully showed us the underside of a rather unremarkable plant.  on the bottom side of the leaf were what appeared to be crystal shards, growing strait on the plant.  a transparent and clear liquid was readily visible within these "crystals."  apparently, this liquid is a neuro-toxin that can drop a human within seconds.  your entire system locks up and you fall.  but you don't die, you are just paralyzed. this paralysis lasts until death, which comes about a day later, and you decompose to enrich the soil for this plant.  all you have to do is accidentally step on it, and have the crystal vials pierce your flesh.  and a small, green-leafed plant in the middle of a mesmerizing jungle isn't exactly easy to spot.

i know that this is a game though, and things like energy dynamics won't be taken into consideration.  i mean, they have a rotary part on an animal; an impossibility in the real world, but there it is in the game because it "looks cool."  so we just might see trees on the tops of mountains, and gigantic carnivorous plants.
i am rather dismayed that a plant editor isn't shipping with the game, and that i'll probably have to shell out more money to buy an expansion.  poo-poo on ea for that.  but if that expansion lets us do all the amazing things with plants that we see on this planet alone, then i think it will be money well spent.

Spore: General / Re: Will Wright on Emergent Game Design (Part 1)
« on: December 09, 2007, 07:39:00 pm »
E.O. Wilson is the king of myrmecology, so I imagine one of his books will fill you with info on ants.

Don't know which one would be the best though, and they might be written with heavy jargon.

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