Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fairy Wings: Rent To Own!

After getting my Trader to level 46 in Anarchy Online, I was starting to feel somewhat burned out, so I decided to take a break and play something else. I wasn't exactly sure, then I remembered R.O.S.E Online, which I'd heard about some time ago, although I can't remember where or how. I certainly hadn't expected my break to be in the form of another MMORPG, but there's something about open betas I can't resist.

It did actually end up being a refreshing change of pace, which I really wasn't expecting. R.O.S.E (which stands for Rush On Seven Episodes, it's anybody's guess as to what that means) is much simplified from your usual MMO formula, which results in the game feeling almost like an "arcade style" MMO, as strange as that may sound. Leveling is fairly quick and painless compared to other games, at least during the earlier levels - something I learned quickly as I started playing yesterday and now have a level 23 dealer.

Before moving on to the graphical side of things, a quick warning. This game could be considered by some (ok, most) to be "cute" (complete with buyable fairy wings), and it's something that really can't be denied. It's not really a kiddie type of cute, though - more of an anime cute or, even closer, a 3D take on the look of several classic SNES-era RPGs. In fact, that's exactly what the characters strike me as - grown up sprites. Still big-headed, still goofy-looking, just occupying space in a three dimensional manner. Honestly, I really like the look of the game, especially the different playfields, but it's certainly not suited for everyone.

There are quite a lot of people playing the game, and almost every area I've been too so far has been crowded, especially with player shops. In towns, combined with the graphics, it gives a carnival type of atmosphere more so than any MMO I've played to date. Of course, with the crowding come problems. Kill stealing, scamming, and even exploits are plentiful, even if they are avoidable. This is sort of par for the course with these types of betas, and it's actually a good thing provided it helps the developers fix the flaws.

Exactly how long R.O.S.E is going to be in the open beta phase is a mystery to me, but I'm sure that it's not going to end in the next few weeks. It's still got a very beta-ish feel to it, with some missing or garbled text in places, so I doubt it will be released in it's current state. Nicks in the varnish aside, I've found my (admittedly short) time with it fun, and I'll probably be talking about it again next week after I've had more time to poke around.

By the way, it sure didn't take long for an open source project to show up after the recent release of the Quake 3 source code.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

This Has Little To Do WIth Videogames...

I have certain tendencies that make it, how do you say, easy for me to become more than a little bit obsessed with things. Let's say that I come across an author I like, it's never long before I've consumed the vast majority of said author's works and start looking for something new.

This effect isn't limited to novels either - it's happened with quite a few things. I Love Bees stole much more of my time than I am proud to say. Webcomics galore. When I first found Penny Arcade I'd read nearly everything (news posts included) in their archive within a few days. This exact same thing has since happened with Scary Go Round, VG Cats, Spells and Whistles, and Megatokyo. It's just something I do.

The latest target of my mind beams has been Red vs Blue. Yeah, I know, it's been around for quite a while now, and everybody loves it. This is not news to me. Sometimes I'm just slow getting around to checking out things that I've always meant to check out. This is one case in particular that I really wish I'd looked into sooner.

I think it was Monday (yes, as in four days ago) I took a look at my first video - by now, I've watched the entire 3rd season around 5 times. I really had no idea what I was in for. I expected lame ass Halo-related in-jokes and probably nothing else. I'm sure there may be a few (you know, I don't play Halo) in-jokes, as there certainly are quite a few general gaming-related jokes, but I'm sure they won't be lame ass. I didn't really think it was possible for most people to do comic timing well anymore. I don't just mean internet videos either, just comedy in general.

With Season 4 starting at this end of the month, I guess I picked a pretty good time to get into this whole thing. If you haven't already, definitely check this out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Salesman

Sorry about the no-post situation last week. Let us just chalk it up to a sick day - fitting, as that's exactly what it was. I'll spare the details, but I was in neither the condition or the mood for an update. Now - fair warning - this post is about to get all Anarchy Online on you so, if you've got a problem with that, come back next week.

It's been a while since I've played AO, so my Trader spent quite a while stagnating at level 21. guess I've been on a roll this week, since I've just made level 36. It took a few runs in the Subway, and quite a few more missions, but the overall process was much quicker than I was expecting it to be. It's also been quite a lucrative week for our heroic salesman. Upon hitting level 25 access is granted to user special Trader-only terminals which pay quite a bit more than your standard shop terminals. Combine that with the tips that accompany the high demand for "Wrangles", as they're called - a line of nano-formulas that boost attack skills and allow better equipment - and cash is quite a bit easier to get than it was for my Adventurer at the same levels.

I've got mixed feelings about the inevitable trip to Temple Of The Three winds coming up soon. The experience isn't bad and some really nice items drop there, but if you don't have a good team the bosses there will send your ass packing back to the (soon to be obsolete) reclaim terminals faster than you can say "run!". The positive side is that when you do go in with a good team (like a take down the final boss with no doctors good team) the rewards are pretty damn sweet.

I'm still not exactly sure which character I'm going to focus on if my Trader gets up to the same level as my Adventurer before I play him again, as they've both got their benefits. Self-equipping weapons far above what others could self equip is awesome (that's the Trader), but so is being able to heal almost as well as a doc and turn into wolves (Adventurer). Ah, well - decisions, decisions.

That's all for this week, gentle reader, and I feel like you're being shorted. After the absence of a post last week a cheesy Anarchy Online cop-out feels a little lacking. Maybe, if you eat all your vegetables this week, next week's post will be really special. Probably not, though.