sareini: default (Default)
So as I said yesterday, due to a bizarre bug, I'm still able to log into my Champions Online account and play, even though my account ran out on the 5th. This is a bug that's affected quite a few people who cancelled their CO accounts after the first month, and so far there's no sign of it being fixed - or even of what's causing it, although the most likely suspect is a coding error that's mistakenly identified us all as lifetime subscribers somehow. (And if that's the case, then likely the only solution is for some poor codemonkey to go through every single subscription manually and check to see if they're a lifetime or not, a thankless task if ever there was one.)

Now, until this weekend I'd not touched CO since my account expired, but out of a combination of boredom and curiosity I thought I'd pop back into the game while I could and see what had changed in the couple of weeks since I'd last played. There had been a good few major patches, after all, and they might have addressed some of the issues and problems I'd had. So I stepped back in...

Bullet points here )
sareini: quintesson icon (transformers)
Due to a bug of utter epicness, I still have access to Champions Online even though my account expired on the 5th of this month. I'll be devoting a seperate post as to what I've been up to regarding that tomorrow or thereabouts, but in the meantime here's something I saw in Millenium City this morning while running around on my 13 Ego(Flame)Blades/Martial Arts character...

Picture behind the cut )

2XP

Oct. 13th, 2009 04:43 pm
sareini: default (Default)
This weekend just gone, City of Heroes had itself a weekend of double XP (and influence/infamy and prestige) for all, along with an account reactivation weekend as well. (Whether or not the timing of this weekend had anything to do with it being about the same time that a lot of Champions Online players would find their first month's subscription up for renewal is neither here nor there.)

Because I'm still currently sharing a computer with Nick (who knew that they made half-sized graphics cards for office desk units, or that they were so damn impossible to get hold of?) my play time was reduced to the times he wasn't playing, but I still managed to get a fair amount of playing and levelling in, mostly thanks to my friends who I teamed with, particularly Ardy and his lovely other half Shannon. And we did have a lot of fun, from levelling a duo of Dominators up to 21 or thereabouts, getting my Storm/Energy defender and Discworld homage to very nearly 40, getting my all-Psychic Blaster to 33 and my Empath to 33 as well, just to name the ones that come to me right now.

And it was a lot of fun. Of particular note was the team where my Empath hit 32 and gained access to the Empathy Tier 9, Adrenaline Boost, and then discovering that the Tank on the team had never played on a team with a high-level Empath before and so had never had AB cast on them. Adrenaline Boost, you see, is a bit like in-game crack (or perhaps amphetamines would be a better comparison); for 90 seconds, you supercharge their health regen and endurance recovery. That was certainly fun to watch. It was also fun to be a Blaster on a team full of Controllers and Defenders, get shielded and bubbled till ther was almost no room for icons, and being able to be right in the middle of a pile of mobs and fire away without being touched.

CoX's new "SuperSidekicking" mechanic was a great asset during the weekend as well. In the past, if you wanted to team with people you either had to make sure that there were enough high-level people to sidekick the low-level people, or everyone had to be in the same level range. Now, everyone is automatically sidekicked to the level of the team leader, and regardless of whether that level is higher or lower than your current level, you still get XP from it. It eliminates a lot of the team-juggling that went on in the past, and makes things a lot more streamlined in teaming. CO has a similar system, of course, and it's one of the things that's actually done well teaming-wise in that game (annoying message that pops up every ten seconds if you're out of range of your "mentor" aside). I would suspect that more and more games are going to start implementing a similar system to make it easier for people to team with their friends regardless of the level differences.
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
Over the past few weeks, while I've been hanging out on the Champions Online boards (and by "hanging out" I mean lurking and looking for threads that cause the most amusement or headdesking and forwarding them on to my friends) I've seen one particular topic come up repeatedly. During an argument over whether CO is any good or not (and this isn't that argument), City of Heroes will inevitably be brought up and someone will announce, with all the self-importance that someone posting anonymously on the internet can muster, that the Mission Architect system killed that game and they've never been able to find a team to play since.

To which I practically have to sit on my hands to stop myself from replying, "You poor thing. Don't you have any friends?"

Seriously, I'm at a loss on what else to think on this one. Certainly I've never had a problem with teaming up in CoX since AE hit, or before it, and when Nick plays he quite often has to beat off the blind invites and tells asking him to team with a stick, just to prove that it's not just my circle of friends who are teaming and no others. What I guess these people are complaining about is the fact that, as with anything in MMOs, there was a group of people using the AE system to farm xp/gold/fluffy bunnies (note: if there actually had been fluffy bunnies, I would have been there like a shot), and for a while that seemed like the only teams that were going on. If you didn't bother to look any closer than Broadcast chat in Atlas Park, that is. Everywhere else, there was still plenty of non-farming teaming going on, and still is. Either that, or I hallucinated the team I was on yesterday afternoon in the RWZ where I hit 38 with my Storm/Energy Defender.

Where am I going with this? Well, I'm not too sure right now, but I think I'm trying to make a point about teaming in MMOs. MMOs are an inherently social set of games, after all - even my socially-phobic self recognises that - and and so teaming up with people, be they friends or just random people you see trying to do the same mission as you as you fly/run/teleport about the place, is always going to be an important part of an MMO. But the fact of the matter is, it goes both ways. It's one thing if an MMO doesn't have a system in place to team or their teaming system is flawed (although to be fair to CO, they're working to fix that, even if it should have been in there at launch), but it's entirely another if a player just doesn't bother to look beyond their own virtual nose for a team and then complains that there's no teaming to be found. In their own way, those people are just as lazy as the people in Atlas Park endlessly farming Freakshow boss missions - possibly even more so, because at least the farmers are teaming!

So, in conclusion: teaming - it won't bite you, and you might even like it.

(This Monday morning snark post brought to you by chocolate and Amitriptyline. Amitriptyline, it's supposed to be making me sleep but it's just making me manic and bitchy.)
sareini: default (Default)
I just spent the last two or three days searching for a very specific piece of information. I needed it for my Champions Online character, so that I could write his background better and not make some big mistake in connecting the background I was writing with the background of the CO universe.

...yes, this is even though my CO subscription runs out in about a week and a half. (Nick's response upon finding out why I'd been obsessively searching for two days and eventually clogged up the downloader for ten hours last night: "But you're not even going to be playing Champions!")

This, I think, is a side-effect of being both a roleplayer and a writer - and also in my case, of having mild OCD. I have to make sure that everything in my character makes sense, regardless of how important that detail might be or how much I'm actually going to be playing the character. (this character, incidentally, is my 'main' in CO, an alternate version of my 'main' in City of Heroes, so he'd be played a lot in theory) It also makes me curious, though - am I just a slightly-obsessive abberation, even among roleplayers, or is this something that others do as well? Is this also connected to the fact that I consider myself a 'writer' (although I should probably be properly published for that), or not - my bookcases contain books on a writer's "Book of Poisons", a writer's guide to body trauma and a guide to the forensics of a zombie uprising, just to pick three at random. If I'm going to write something, I like to get it right, rather than put in what I hope is a rough approximation or guess and hope it sticks (Dan Brown and the writers of the movie Stigmata, I'm looking at you).

Or maybe it's because, when I find a character I really like and want to play and/or explore, I want to get as much detail as possible into them as possible, right down to birthday, scars or distinguishing features and favourite books. I want to make them both original and stand out - sometimes by not standing out, if the character's supposed to be an introvert as several of mine sometimes turn out to be. And if that involves geeking out and researching information that I'm likely to use only once, then so be it.
sareini: default (Default)
I cancelled my subscription to Champions Online earlier today. I'd been meaning to do so for a while, since we can't currently afford to run two MMOs at the same time (this might change in a couple of weeks, but that's neither here nor there right now), but I finally got round to it today.

They asked me why I was cancelling my subscription, and if I had any suggestions for them to make the game better after I picked "Game Play >> Bugs/General Content".

Well...

Very long list of reasons here... )

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