sareini: default (Default)
To counter my last post of rage about a stupid team member, I decided I should do a counter-post, listing a couple of the great teams I've been on in my MMO adventures.

1. The MM team of WIN! )

2. The LFD group that was a lawnmower )

tl;dr - sometimes, good teams happen.

Ragequit!

Sep. 1st, 2010 06:14 pm
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
I get remarkably grouchy sometimes when I'm playing games. Maybe it's just me being an anti-social bitch at the best of times (in my defence, I claim stress from being a full-time carer and therefore just wanting a quiet time when I relax by playing my computer games), or maybe it's that I'm sometimes unlucky enough to meet up with some truly, truly terrible people while playing.

A month or so ago, Mr Sare and I were invited along on an Imperious Task Force in City of Heroes (for those not in the know, it's the one in ancient Rome where you fight gladiators, Nazis, robots and aliens). Mr Sare rarely does TFs because he doesn't like to team with people he doesn't know, but we knew the majority of people in the group so it was all going to be fine. And for 3/4s of the TF, it was.

The story continues... )

tl;dr - I don't like playing with other people sometimes, and this is one reason why.

Altitis

Aug. 5th, 2010 11:18 am
sareini: watchmen icon (watchmen)
I was talking with one of my nieces last night about World of Warcraft. She recently had to quit playing because she had, in her own words, "become addicted" to the game and had been playing non-stop. We were joking about how its not nicknamed "World of Warcrack" for nothing, and she explained how she'd gotten a character to level 60 in under 4 weeks, and then levelled a death knight to 80. I jokingly said that my highest character was currently 19, and she asked me how I'd managed that. Now part of the answer is that I have a cat who likes to sit on my keyboard and/or mouse when I'm playing, thus limiting exactly what I can do in the game, but there is another reason - I find it difficult to focus on one character at a time.

In some games that isn't a problem. City of Heroes, for example, actively encourages this, with up to 36 character slots per server, more costume and power combinations than you can shake a stick at and more besides. Having several characters on the go all at once in CoX isn't a problem at all. With other games, however, it's more difficult. In WoW, for example, it feels to me as though you're expected to stick with one character all the way from 1 to 80, and then and only then can you make alts, and they're usually just for fun or because someone needs a different class to your main (this isn't a game policy or anything - considering the number of servers and slots on each server it's quite the opposite - but it appears to be an unspoken rule of the community). EVE Online is another one where alts aren't really considered part of the gaming experience - you can only have a maximum of (I think, it's been a while since I last played) three characters, and only one of them can be learning something at any time, which really cuts down the point of having alts at all there.

It's something that's gotten me thinking, how my taste in MMOs is partly dictated by whether or not I'm going to be tied to one character for a good chunk of the playtime. I have nothing against playing just one character, of course, it's just that I get... bored sometimes. And when I do I want to switch to another character, play in a different way for a while, till I'm feeling ready to play the first one again. To me, it stops me from getting burned out on a game, because if I ever get bored with, say, healing/controlling/support, I can just go play a ranged DPSer who DOTs things till they explode, or similar.

It's going to be interesting when future games come out (The Secret World, I'm looking at you), which may or may not have many options for those of us with altitis but I really, really want to play all the same. Will I be able to keep my attention fixed on just one or two characters, or will the rest of the game be so awesome that I won't care either way (hint: I'm hoping that it's the latter, and so far it's looking that way, but we'll see)?
sareini: quintesson icon (transformers)
Last night I found myself hating someone I was teaming with.

This was something of a new experience for me, as most of the time I consider myself to be pretty easy-going when it comes to other players in MMOs, mainly because I'm very much aware that, so to speak, "there but for the whims of Eris, go I." I'm practicially infamous among my circle of MMO friends for being able to grab aggro by just standing there, I have no sense of direction and get lost in missions all the time, and I all but have a keybind that says, "BRB - cat aggro". So if people can put up my my flaws, then I can certainly put up with theirs. But last night was... different.

Things had started off well enough. I'd been invited onto a Task Force in City of Heroes by a couple of friends, the rest of the team being filled with people they knew more than I knew them. I was playing on my Blaster, because there was the promise of being repeatedly shielded and buffed into omnipotence and I couldn't let an opportunity like that go by. As it turned out, one of the others on the team was a /Kinetics controller, but I didn't actually know this until someone requested a Speed Boost from them (for those not in the know, Speed Boost or SB is a buff which greatly increases speed and endurance recovery for a short time when cast on someone. If Adrenaline Boost is the amphetamines of the CoX world, then SB is indeed the crack). This made me stop, and blink. I actually had to check my icon bar to see that, yes, I did have an icon for another of the Kinetics powers on me, but no SB. And yet the player had SB.

I admit that this is somewhat personal for me, as one of my very first characters - and the first I got to 50 - is a Mind/Kinetics Controller. And I love this character, and happen to consider myself to be both not bad at playing him and pretty knowledgable about the powersets involved therein. So when I see someone else who has Kinetics and yet isn't bothering to use the buff that is, to be honest, one of the best in the game - I get a little upset. And by "upset" I mean I set my jaw and try very hard not to start grinding my teeth.

Throughout the whole TF, this player never SBed anyone unless they were asked. Not once. To me, it just seems strange to take a power and never use it, but hey, that's just me. And because I didn't want to make a fuss, I didn't say anything and just mentally willed Drain Psyche to recharge faster so I could dive into large groups of mobs and hyper-charge my recovery for a minute or so each time. And all in all, even without the boosts that SB would have given us, we were doing pretty damn well.

Then we came to the final mission. This particular mission was something of a pain - it was an escort mission, and there were two ways of doing so. One involved fighting your way through the map and them back again with the escort, and the other involved someone with fly going to find the escort and bringing them back while avoiding the mobs because the escort can fly too. Because one of the team was due to go to work soon, we opted for option B, and in the mission before the last it was explained and decided up on that I would pick up the escort as I was the only one with fly and, when buffed up, was unstoppable for two-three minutes. Just before we enter the mission, however, Kinetics player suddenly pipes up: "I have Group Invis and SB"

Well, bully for you, I think, but say nothing as we're zoning in and I need to get buffed up and ready. The rest of the team start to turn me into a firey psychic engine of destruction, a SB is asked for... and it's then that we realise that Kinetics player has gone off by themselves, not telling anyone else, to rescue the escort and aggroed half the map.

And it was there, dear readers, that I realised that it was indeed possible to hate someone playing a computer game. I swore so much I nearly scared the cat (and she's heard me swear before), had to turn off Team chat for the duration of the mission (especially after the Kinetics player, being told again what the plan had been, and that the escort needed to follow someone who could fly, responded with "lol I can't fly who's the flyer?"

We did complete the mission, albeit 25 minutes later than it should have been and with numerous deaths because no-one knew where to go and the escort kept trying to aggro the whole map (dear CoX devs: could you turn her lust for battle down, just a little?), and I informed my friends through clenched and grinding teeth that I really, really didn't want to team with that player again. Thankfully they agreed with me on that one.

Gah. I know it's not healthy to get so mad at someone in an online game, even if they are so incompetent and lost in their own little world that they wouldn't be able to find their own arse with both hands and a map. But really, some people are just asking for an internet Boot to the Head.

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: quintesson icon (transformers)
I like having a birthday in late October. Not only did I always avoid having to celebrate my birthday on a schoolday because it would always fall during the half-term holidays (no getting doused with water by sadistic teachers for me!), but because it's so close to Halloween there's always plenty of horror stuff coming out at that time to entertain me.

Last year, for example, Channel Four devoured the Big Brother house in a zombie apocalypse, which was just like seeing all my dreams not involving George Clooney and/or Eliza Dushku coming true at once. And then City of Heroes introduced the Zombie Apocalypse zone event as part of their Halloween celebrations. Really, give me zombies and I'll be your friend for life.

This year, I'm getting Left for Dead 2 (okay, not till November, it seems, but still...), and last night I got to see Zombieland, which was just all kinds of awesome. The best way I can come up with to describe it without spoiling it is to call it a buddy movie with zombies and more than a few sly nods to the genre-savvy among us. And Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is just... awesome. I thoroughly reccommend this film to anyone and everyone.

There's a couple more films I'm very much hoping to catch as part of my October-horror-birthday celebrations as well. One is Paranormal Activity, which is this little film apparently made for just $11,000 in about a week, and is currently terrifying audiences wherever it goes. I'm always on the look out for a movie that can instill in me the same level of terror that BBC1's Ghostwatch did all those years ago (and I still have problems watching that now...) It would help me immensely if it was actually given a release date in the UK, of course, but... The other is a movie called Triangle, which I admit I don't know that much about (although I'm guessing there's a Bermuda Triangle connection...), but it's made by the same people who did the movies Creep and Severance, which I did enjoy, so I certainly want to give that one a look.

In conclusion: October: it's a good month.
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... )
sareini: default (city of...)
Natural Scrapper (or maybe Tanker). Either Martial Arts or Katana for the primary; Super Reflexes, Regen or Invulnerability for the Secondary.

Background:

[X] was just a regular citizen in Paragon City, albeit an unemployed one. It seemed that she was just unable to keep hold of a job, because every time she got one, some villain group would invade the premises and go on a rampage. Getting tired of the same thing happening every time, and noticing that just about anybody seemed able to get a Hero licence in the city, she decided to try that out for a career...

Now all I need to do is come up with a name and a battlecry...
sareini: default (Sandman - Trouble)
I spent Friday and Saturday sick and mostly in bed. Nick made me warm Ribena, which I haven't had since I was in single figures.

Today I felt better... so it was Nick's turn to get sick. Thankfully he hasn't gotten it as bad as me, but now I get to repay him for all his fussing over me by making him lots of coffee and Quorn (although admittedly not at the same time).

Continued with my knitting. The scarf I'm knitting for Kerry (if you want an idea of what it looks like, it's similar to the scarf the girl is wearing on this page, except mine is pale purple and more pastel in colours) is now just over a meter long... it needs to be 180cm before it's done.

Passed my trial period with my RP supergroup on CoH (I didn't even know there'd been a trial period!) and got promoted. Which made me feel like I was actually doing well, and therefore made me happy.

Also watched a lot of one-hour documentaries on serial killers with Nick on the Crime and Investigation channel.

And that's about it.
sareini: default (Imagika)
Thanks to Christmas, a whole load of new players have joined the game, and some of them are... well, let's face it, some are newbies and some are n00bs. Over the past week or so I've seen quite a few interesting things while playing...

Cut for the disinterested, which means Nick and most of you, in fact... )

Hmm. I also need a more up-to-date CoH icon...

CoH

Jan. 4th, 2005 09:46 pm
sareini: default (coh)
So, the long awaited Update 3 went live today.

I picked a great time to hit level 20, it seems. Three new zones for me to explore - one of them arriving with I3 - loads of new villain groups, new events, and a lot more fun to be had in general stuff. People 'roleplay' more in Broadcast, for one, rather than just spamming for teams, powerleveling or teleports to the costume store.

I've been taking pictures, might post a couple later.

One of the best bits so far has been fighting one of the new villain groups (to me, anyway), the Freakshow. Now, the Freakshow are kind of techno-anarchists - not only have they rejected society and spend a lot of time fighting and smashing things up, but they've cyber-enhanced themselves. So you end up fighting great big spiky people with scythes instead of forearms, that sort of thing.

Then, in the mission, I came across the boss. His name was Teh Pnxorrz. Yup, taking l33t-speak to a whole new level.

The down sides:

Arrrgggh - the lag.

Arrrgggh - the mapserver crashes.

Arrrgggh - the repeated idiots on Broadcast asking about the respec (not live yet due to a bug), the Council (read the website), the giant squid (same answer, or listen to one of the earlier bloody explanations), the new zones (check your map) and the difficulty slider (ok, so that one's a bit difficult to find at first). Really, I know I can get unnecessarily cranky sometimes, but how difficult is it to look stuff up yourself or read someone else's answer to your question?

Grrr. The internet really brings out the worst in people, doesn't it? I mean, look at me...
sareini: default (coh)
So, on Sunday I got a mission from one of my contacts: go to this warehouse and investigate what the Tsoo are doing with the Outcasts. Pretty straightforward mission; I breeze through the minions, even the ones which con yellow to me, till I reach the boss. Except it's not a boss. It's bossess.

Ok, I think. One of them only cons green to me (two levels below; yellow is one yellow above) and the other is your regular orange boss. I can do this.

Hah.

Finally completed the mission today, with a total of 7,010 debt (it was higher than that, but I got award for defeating the damn Tsoo boss and completing the mission. Part of the problem was the bos himself - he was able to create a localised hurricane around himself, which interfered with my accuracy and kept knocking me off my feet. He also had a kick which did 126 damage each time. Ow. This meant that I couldn't repeatedly snipe him, because even if he couldn't hit me to interrupt me, the hurricane did.

The other problem was that, every time I seemed to start up the mission, my computer would start to rebel. Stalling, freezing, rubberbanding, crashing... the last was the worst, because if you crash out in the middle of a mission, when you log back in the mission has reset and you have to do it all again. To call it 'frustrating' would be an understatement.

In the end I came up with a workable strategy, though - with a full tray of inspirations I knew I could take him down to about half health (he had 605), and then I ran. As I ran, I shot offoccasional mental bolts and the like, and eventually he would give up chasing me and leave me alone. He was at about one-third health at this point. I then followed him back, and repeated the process (minus the inspirations part.

When he finally fell, I could have danced on his corpse (except for the fact that we don't kill, we 'arrest', and because my computer froze again for a few seconds when I landed the final blow, so that when I caught up with things he had already been teleported to prison).

Now, I hope I never have to do that mission again.
sareini: default (coh)
So, Update 2 for CoH just went live on the servers. I managed to log in for three minutes before being booted again (and for once, it's not the non-broadband, but the poor CoH servers being bombarded by everyone and their dog trying to get in to see what it's like).

The big thing for me, considering that I'm not interested in capes (they don't look good on my current character, who wears a battlesuit), is badges - and admittedly, I wasn't even that bothered about them. I liked the game just fine before. But anyway, logging in told me that I have gained two badges - the 'Negotiator' badge, for stopping a gang war between the Skulls and the Clockwork, and the 'Protector of Innocents' badge, for achieving level 10. Personally, I had half-expected to have gotten one of the badges they award you for dying a certain amount of time - they have names like 'Unflinching' and the like, so you don't feel like too much of a maroon - considering the way I've been playing for the past few days.

Ah well. Back to trying to log in.

Tuesday

Aug. 24th, 2004 07:37 am
sareini: default (shrodingers cat)
Better today. Sleep helped. And, strangely enough, a cheese omelette.

Currently sitting at the foot of a great big statue in Steel Canyon (CoH, of course), looking to see if anyone wants to do a TF. There was a group who formed earlier, but they seemed like a bunch of...well, how can I put it... idiots. Not to mention the fact that they wanted 'healers' rather than defenders.

There are a lot of asshats around this morning though. I've seen a 'Sargeant Undies', whose bio informs us all that he is "one bad ass n****r" who wants to do nothing but kick ass... strange, then, that he was a Controller... and a 'Dry.Ice', whose bio tells us that he is a 'machine below the belt' and not to hate because "he owns [us] and [our] women.bitches".

I'm not making any of this up.

Heh. Just got a tell from the leader of the TF that was forming earlier, wanting to know if I have time for a TF. I do, but I'm not doing one with people who expect me to heal them rather than buff/debuff, which is what I do, and will therefore have no concept of such things as tactics, not running off like a madman etc. etc. And most of his group were AR blasters anyway. Hate to say it, but they're the worst for getting people killed.

Anyway, back to the game.
sareini: default (coh)
Since for most of today the ping rates have made it impossible to play, the wee hours of the morning have really been the first time I've been able to do anything in the game.

So I'm playing with one of my alts, my level 9 Rad/Rad Defender, and I'm at the unfortunate stage where I have to kill things in Perez Park. I hate that. It's nearly impossible to do the missions by yourself if you're not a blaster or have stealth, but at the same time it's nearly impossible to get into a team full-stop, let alone one that's not going to get you killed five minutes in.

I'm standing around at one of the entrances, wondering at the amount of people that are training huge numbers of mobs there and throwing down debuffing fields and the like to help out, when I get a team invite. Finally! Normally I don't accept blind team invites, for they are of the Devil(!), but Perez Park usually ends up being the exception to that.

However, the first words I hear upon joining the team are, "Got one."

The woes of a non-healing Defender... )

So that's the story of my late-night CoH experience (pickup team remix). In defence of pickup teams, I've actually been lucky - about 75% of the blind invites I've had lead to good teams (such as last night, when I was in a team with another Defender [FF/Eng] and a Controller as well as several damage dealers, and at the end, after the four damage dealers had logged, the three of us were still managing to kick ass all over the park [I nicknamed us "The Amazing Support Team - We Might Take a While But we Get the Job Done!"]) It's just once in a while that I get lumbered with a bunch of assclowns.
sareini: default (coh)
...Actually, I died several times and ran a lot. And buffed a lot of people (heh. "They died with their buffs on.") But it's the principal of the thing.

The full story can be found here.

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