Archive for October, 2008

Atlantica Online Crafting

Edit: Update! My “final” word on Atlantica Online is here:

Atlantica Online: Review and Summary


Article four of my Atlantica Online coverage. I wrote earlier that crafting is kind of bizarre, in that you actually have to win combat to generate crafting work. It turns out that if you’re at least level 30, you can learn an action called “Autocraft” which allows you to plop down in place and hammer out whatever it is you’re crafting. This is more like the WoW crafting, except that in true Atlantica fashion, you can do it anywhere. It’s like slipping on an old comfortable set of slippers if you’re used to WoW’s crafting.

I’m a bit baffled as to why they wait until that late in the game to give players this ability, but I’m happy that the option is there. I didn’t even reach the quest NPC that teaches this until I was level 42, but I’ve spent time completing all quests and exploring a little, so I may be a bit behind the typical pacing. I still might go out and kill stuff to complete my crafting, since I like the combat, but it’s nice to be able to just sit in a corner of town and craft away.

At the same time, I kind of liked the design decision to make combat the key to crafting. It was a nice change of pace, and while it didn’t make sense, it did get people out in the world killing stuff instead of puttering around in towns. Ultimately, I like that there is the option to do either, since I love giving players options. Now, if only crafting in Atlantica Online incorporated a Puzzle Pirates type of puzzle minigame to create the high end stuff (making skill more important than grind), I’d be very happy. Considering the huge number of different types of items to make, I’m not sure that’s possible (unless a minigame applied to several different crafting classes), but it would make the game more interesting, certainly. Perhaps the whole “crafting and alternate progression” concept is another post, though…

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Making Faces

Happy Halloween!

…I’ve never actually been all that fond of this particular holiday, but it sure can bring out some… creative costumes. The artist in me appreciates that. Most of the time.

At any rate, since everyone loves a good bit of schadenfreude, I present to you this great little collection of people making faces, just in time for the scary face holiday!

Sad Guys on Trading Floors

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I Choose You, Pikachu!

It’s election time in the U.S., so pay attention to what’s going on. Go research the candidates, figure out which one you think is best for the position, and then go vote for them. If you can, ignore the rhetoric, mudslinging, lies, stupidity, misinformation, populism, and the cults of personality. Then go vote. Find someone in whom you can place your full confidence. Then go vote.

I don’t much care who you vote for, just please, please remember…

  • Vote for, not against, whenever possible.
  • Choosing the lesser of evils is still choosing evil.
  • Gaming the system and trying to “pick the winner” is letting someone else dictate your vote.
  • Vote for someone you can support, and who you think is best for the job you’re looking at.
  • It’s possible to vote third (or fourth, whatever) party, and if you’re lucky, to write someone else in. Even if you don’t want to exercise that right, fear the day when literally the only possible choices are those the government gives you.
  • Voting is a deeply personal right. Make it personal. Do your own homework, make your own choice.
  • We the People have the power to vote as a check and balance against abuse in the government. Use that power.

Lastly, take some pictures. The trees are beautiful this time of year.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Disclosure: I will not be voting for Pikachu… even though he looks pretty darn Presidential.

Edited to add:
If you can’t find someone to vote for after doing homework on it, certainly, choosing not to vote is an option. I’ve exercised it myself. Thing is, how can we get our point across that we’re choosing not to vote, rather than forgetting to or not caring about it at all? Would a “none of the above” checkbox help? *shrug* Then again, Senator Palpatine was able to take control partially because of a “no confidence” vote… Hmm…

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I figured out what it is that I don’t like about MMOs.  There are just too many people in them.

This article sums it up nicely, and it reminds me of Saylah on occasion.  (That’s a good thing; she pegs the solo MMO player mentality extremely well.)

The Trouble With Other People


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SWTOR cost?

I’ve written about SWTOR before, illustrating my trepidation regarding the unholy marriage of Bioware’s storytelling and the relatively mindless MMO genre. Perhaps it’s just delusional, but I think I found a happy place to hope for in regards to the whole project.

Bioware loves story. I love story. MMOs as a genre aren’t amenable to strong stories, since they are ostensibly meant for players to tell their own stories, and they benefit from a static world that people can call home. Bioware has stated that their work on the SWTOR MMO will be the rough equivalent of several single player Bioware RPGs, with each class having a storyline.

What if they sold the game that way?


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SWTOR Addendum

There’s a bit of commentary over here on Gamasutra regarding Bioware’s upcoming MMO.  I spoke of my concerns here, and now it appears that I have a new one.  If the game is truly the equivalent of several traditional single player Bioware games, I’m going to be very, very annoyed that they didn’t just develop and release them that way.  I’ll be especially annoyed if the game uses the extraordinarily dumb subscription model.

Bleh, Bioware.

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Hunting for Choice

According to WoW Census, there are more Hunters than any other class.  There are a full 25% more Hunters than any of the next most populated classes.  (Rogue, Mage and Warrior.)



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