Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter's holydays.

I only write to announce a hiatus in this blog of mine. I'm not really keen on Christmas so every year I try to run away when this time of year comes. I guess I'll be back around 8th of January or so. In the meantime, enjoy playing Darkfall and start gathering money for the forthcoming Help Erruk Meditate Foundation. ¡Have fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Activity rising!

I think nobody saw that one coming. In the latest Activity Report by Tasos, many awaited changes have been already announced and some of it may come today in a new patch. Unfortunately, there's no Patch Notes yet but looking into the Report, it's easy to get some clues, so let's carry on with it.
The AR starts with massive area redesings and it seems Human lands are already done. It's nice to know that worldbuilders are still working to improve the beautiful Agon but in my opinion, it's already a great world. The bit that caught my attention is this: "clan city layouts are being scrutinized at the moment". Does this mean clan city changes, possibly somethin more dynamic or player chosen? That would be nice...
Tasos also explains some incoming additions to Meditation like more skills and, wait for it, attributes. Obviously, Tasos is not feeling the love with Meditation but hopefully, with time and few tweaks, people will start to see what do they have under their noses.
As far as the newbie experience goes, we’re going to help that along quite a bit with a total approach to character progression, an example of some of the actions we’ll be taking is increasing drop rate and frequency of attribute consumables and spell books.
I can just hope I'm lucky enough. But I know I'm not.
We got to see a demonstration of the new political map. We’ve talked about this before but we didn’t mention that the map will also mark locations of player vendors with details on what they sell.
That is a very nice addition and it will make player vendors something really meaningful. I bet Vendor Booth prices are rising as we spe... as you read and I write. Tasos can't say nothing really interesting about the new GUI yet and by now, I'm so used to the current one that I don't need many changes.
The designers are undertaking the massive task of  redesigning the newbie experience and working on a total monster classification, redistribution and localization based on the lore. This is part of an overall strategy of localizing resources.
Well, well, this is a big one. It seems like Darkfall is going the way of the regionalization but maybe they just want the resources to be localized so people need to travel more and trade more. Mob redistribution is very likely a first step and I'm eager to see where is this going.
There are alignment system changes coming as we’ve mentioned before. These are a complete approach on improving the alignment system and solving certain inherent issues surrounding it like for example a  new approach to improving alignment,  making it more meaningful with changes such as locking reds out of alliance, racial, and trade channels, adding a chaos chat open to everyone.
I certainly hope those alignment fixer are not reduced to simply being locked out of several chat tabs. Any player getting zapped by player city towers should become grey for every player in that clan so they can defend their cities without losing alignment. Or something.
There are also upcoming changes to sieging and PvP,  like addressing one man clans declaring war on everyone, the one siege limit against one clan, self sieging etc. Some of these fixes are coming in the next patches. There are more changes to improve PvP and massive battles like for example changes to spells like confusion, pungent mist and eye-rot going in tomorrow’s patch.
I believe those changes are the crown's jewels right now. "The one sige limit against one clan" and other sieging system tweaks are a very demanded feature that can change the political status of Agon. A little nerf to all those blinding spells are also great news, not only because they were a bit OP but because I don't have them yet! Jajajajajaja! Well, I was going to buy Confusion in a couple of days.
After a few ship-related changes (protection from swimmers, hell yes) and the announcement of today's patch, the last activity report of 2010 ends. Now, he can only wait for the patch notes and the servers to go online. And tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Toad's Tongue: War, war never changes...

In case somebody wonders, yes, I'm playing Fallout: New Vegas...
Today's Toad's Tongue is about the war the alliance The Chicken's Club is waging on Zagenda. Right now, Urme is not a very secure source of information since many people has been trolling it. The number of threads about it is just ridiculous so I'm not gonna name them all, you just go here and most of the threads are or end up being about it.
It's also hard to tell who's in the attacking alliance and who's not since many accusations are surging in Forumfall but I believe the main clans, the ones who started it are I Know My Chickens and Get Good. Members of this two clans and some others seem to dislike Zagenda for the siege roaming they've been doing in the past, general attitude of the clan and some personal issues with Foggen (aka Xzyzz zyXz), Supreme General of zZzZz and his way to deal with stuff. TCC is much bigger than Zagenda but less powerful character and gear-wise.
The state of the war changes depending on who you're asking but I believe Zagenda has lost a couple of holdings or so. Right now, both sides are just selfsieging; preparing for the next phase I guess. In any case, it seems this stuff is gonna last quite a bit and might bring some consecuences to both sides so, I'll try to keep an eye on it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slaying the Demon

Yesterday, we Luxers gathered in Andruk with a single idea in mind: Killing the Demon. It has been said that the Demon is a very strong monster so 2 full groups rode to The Pall, the central dark area in Agon where the worst monsters wait for their prey. The Demon is located in a big "arena" on top of long spiral in the very center of Agon. We waited there for a while, fearing it had already been killed but finally it spawned.
The fight was a lot of fun and I even died once before I understood the mechanics behind the Demon. The best move the Demon has is the AOE it unleashes, it's amazing! Very big and powerful AOE. Apart from the that and its huge HP, the Demon is quite easy to kill once you know how to do it. After some time shooting lighting arrows at him, we finally took him down and received the Demon Key.
After getting lost a couple of times in the Central Dungeon, we finally found the Demon Chest and were able to open it but unfortunately, the gold gained was nothing special. Aventurine has created some very nice Mob encounters with the Ice Dragon and the Demon but now, the reward needs to be upped a bit. All in all, interesting and funny stuff. Also, the way Hooded Ones die is awesome!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Meditation thoughts

Well, after reading stuff like this I can say without a doubt that the new Meditation skill is a ver interesting addition to the game. It could surely be a little bit faster, cheaper and include the intensifies in one way or another (I'm pretty sure those fixes are coming while we speak) but the system works as intended. The Meditation skill is a very nice way to avoid the boring and useless grind. You will still need to level the spells but at least you won't be spending a lot of time skilling useless and unwanted spells to get those you want. Also, it's aimed at noobs and that's why vets or forumwarriors are complaining so much.
Despite that, the real issue with Meditation is not the system itself but the imposibility to compete with macroing in terms of gain and efficency. The problem is that macroing is ingame gameplay and offline skilling can never be as good as ingame skilling. Macroing is the true pain in the ass.
Despite an idea I have (diminishing experience returns over time when doing the same stuff), I realize that eliminating macroing is a very hard task to accomplish and so, reducing the Gap between vets and noobs might be the only way to make it something not really needed, and even though that, I'm sure some people would still macro.
Meditation works good and I only hope the tweak it a bit and add the intensifies and some other skills. It's actually a nice step to reduce the gap but it's still too big if you ask me. I red somewhere that 20 NEW members couldn't take a vet down in NA and that's just stupid.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'd like to be a Tibetan Monk to meditate for free!

First of all, sorry for the last few days of inactvity. There has been a big change in my RL, a good one, and I've been readjusting my shit. I hope I'm back for real now despite having Fallout New Vegas screaming for some of my game time.
Anyway, today is a patch day and a very awaited one because it includes the new and shiny Meditation skill to skill your magic schools while online. First, at forums an awful lot of people is already QQing because they believe it's too expensive and because it doesn't skill the intensifies, stats and such. The problem is right now people only knows about the whole price for maxing out any school but they don't know how many points are spent every hour or how many points you need to skill from 49 to 50 for example. That's the information that really matters.
I believe this system has been created thinking about all those lengthy grinds using slow level and useless spells to get other spells. Now, after patch, you don't need to grind Beacon to get Telekinesis if you know what I mean. Of course, you'll have to use your newly acquired and useful spell to increase your stats and intensifies but you won't be using Beacon for that long. Instead of that you'll be able grind using the spells you want to use.
I've also started to use the Meditation skill and a fairly quick overview showed that 5000 points seem to last for 24 hours aprox and you need a month to skill an elemental school from 50 to 100 so right now it seems like gold farming is more important than ever but if you play regularly enoguh you should be able to gain more gold than points are spended.
Well, all in all, this post title still aplies and we'll have to wait until someone makes proper testing to know exactly how this Meditation skill truly works. Anyway, I expect Av to lower a bit the gold cost of Meditation pretty soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Event comentary: Dead be comin...

Yesterday evening, there was a server event involving GM controlled mobs attacking three racial capitals. The result of it was somewhat dissapointing yet fun, let me explain. My problem, I think shared with my clanmates, is that I wanted the event to be what it could be in a typical fantasy story; every ork and mahirim putting aside their grudges or problems to combat the undead hordes. But, this is Darkfall and player freedom is one of its best features and so, any player can play the event as they see fit. Another problem in this kind of events is the alignment system combined with zap towers. If you put all these together its pretty obvious that the event was not going to unfold as I pictured it.
We players didn't have an ETA on the event so a group of Luxers waited in Flaming for a long time. In that time, players were slowly coming and although some of the were orange to us, clans at war, there were no fighting. It seemed it was going down as I imagined at that time (I'm pretty sure that's what tricked me). There was even a Samurai Pizza Cat there, a clan we've been fighting a lot these days, Deltus. But someone talked to him and some kind of truce was agreed. Aero Greenduda, a known griefer appeared there and tried to create havok but he was very soon taken care of.
Then some more members of SPC came to Flaming Skull and they did attacked us. Later I talked with one of them Invictus and they didn't know nothing about the truce with Deltus. Because of that, we really didn't react upon it, we were there for the event not to fight SPC and some of our members died in the chaos. Then each and evey player there jumped over the graves and completely looted them despite being from supposed friends for the event if you know what I mean. That should have shattered my illusions but they didn't.
Finally, we regrouped in a spot far from the growing amount of players gathering around the bank and waited for the mobs. When they did come, true chaos ensued. Players unwillingly hitting other players and getting zapped, GM controlled and strong mobs hitting everything, unclanned blues ganking downed players and wardecced players rezzing other wardecced players ( ;-) at Kaputtmacha ), Lux and SPC fighting each other around the Sun Exarch... it was very funny but not what I wanted nor expected. I finally died to Invictus the more active player in Luxers killing before and during the event, lost a PvE bag but later on, managed to ninja loot a Blue Tail Runner and a Mysterious Essence, a special object dropping from that particular mobs. I still got no clue what to do with that but I hope it's cool.
When the event was over, on my way back to Andruk, I sent a tell to Invictus out of curiosity and I'm glad I did. Invictus attacked us because he could do so without getting zapped, we're at war after all, and without Luxers around, his chances to get loot increased; a perfectly valid reason! Also, Invitcus said he thought that Aventurine was looking for exactly that kind of PvE-PvP chaos but I'm not completely sure about it. As I have previously said, Agon is a too agressive world and that's gonna make it hard for Devs to tell a coherent story. Obviously, the "Dead be coming" can now be translated into a nice story with great enemies fighting together undead hordes among strangers, backstabbing and nobility included but... I don't know, I guess I'll have to wrap my head around this kind of dark and mercyless world we play in and, from now on, acknowledge that in Agon nothing happens like in fairy tails o happy fantasy stories. I guess Agon is more like Westeros than Middle-Earth and Darkfall has more in common with A Song of Ice and Fire than it has with The Lord of the Rings.
All in all, it was fun and, most importantly, something very different to what we're used to in Darkfall so I hope Aventurine keeps it up and announce another event where Mysterious Essence holders become giant dragons to kill and destroy everything in their path :-P.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Darkfall blog is active

Like hell it is! These last few days there has been a lot of posts in Darkfall Blog. There has been a Ship post spotlighting the uniqueness of ships in Darkfall, a new comic from TinyTyke and a post about trading and how to get anything you need. Also, we got to see the new Arthain models for the whole family and I gotta say it's quite impressive, those Arthain human-dogs are really scary and another community feedback post with some nice information about coming changes like: one hander and shield being more useful, ship protection against swimmers and smaller treasure maps plus some long-awaited changes like die from fall damage being discussed. All in all, very interesting reading for Darkfall players.
Also, in the Darkfall Blog has appeared some vague information of a new server event that could be part of something bigger. Dead be comin... is the "title" for the event that is supposed to happen today. I'll try to be there and report whatever happens. It might be very good fun!