Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dream of Mirror Online

Ok, so lost to the void of Warhammer Online blogging I have very much neglected this blog. Seeing as how WAR is starting to run a bit dry and in my bordom I've returned to hopping around on silly free to play games I thought I'd mention which one has my attention currently.

I actually played Dream of Mirror Online before an English version was launched, on the Japanese servers. I remember hearing that Gametribe was going to be producing an English version and wanting to check it out I slogged through a poorly done translation patch and actually had a lot of fun running around trying to figure things out. It's the art style that got me, originally. Cell shaded animation, very expressive and fun emotes. The second thing was the storyline. Yes... storyline. Free to play game. I know those two do not go together.

The races are unique and fun, I especially love the Shura and Sylph. Both races are currently facing serious population issues for two very different reasons. Shura are very quick to anger and even quicker to fight and just can't seem to stop killing each other. (Sound familiar...). Sylph are are facing a disease of apathy. As they age most Sylph loose all touch with their emotions, leading to a sharp decrease in birthrate since it's hard to have and raise children when you don't even care to associate with others. There's also actually an over arcing storyline in the form of missions complete with cutscenes and boss fights. The sort of thing I really think that WAR is missing, actually.

There's two other major pulls for me as well. One is the crafting system and the other is that in a very FFXI sort of way you can level all classes on one character and even have "sub jobs", setting secondary skills from another job you've leveled to your main job. I really like this system and wish that more RPGs would use it. The question then goes from "Which character am I going to play today?" to "Which class am I going to level?". The former makes me feel as if I'm ignoring my alts, as if I should focus. The latter means that if I feel like playing Dancer tonight I don't have to worry that I'm neglecting my Doctor character because any work I do on Dancer can -help- my doctor latter if I choose to sub it. Perfect solution to my chronic alt-itis in RPGs.

Plus... well, it's freaking adorable. Darn Asian games always get me. My character is Iboshi on the Onyx server, if anyone wishes to say hello. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Warhammer Online Blog

In the interest of returning this blog back to it's intended nature as a general gaming and anime/manga blog, and to give me somewhere to continue my WAR rambles without feeling guilty about deviating from that intention I've decided to create a second blog. So my continued Warhammer Online posts will continue at  Obsessive Focus: A Warhammer Online Blog.

I will continue to include all my posts in the livejournal mirror of Soramimi Keki if you would like both topics in one place.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How WAR saved me from WoW

In August I was playing Lord of the Rings Online and pretty happy. I was excitingly looking forward to the expansion and gladly provided information, pictures and movies from PAX to my fellow LoTRO players.  In September I got into the Mines of Moria beta and also got my minstral to 45, five levels bellow cap.  I'm not sure what happened but I got bored. I think as much as I love Tolkien and his works, playing a character in his world is just a little ... bland. Perhaps it's my preference for a more sword and sorcery type of setting. Regardless I was playing way more Tales of Vesperia than I was LoTRO. 

Then that day came. The day I dread fairly often. My boyfriend, my gaming and roleplay partner, the love of my life said words that cut to my heart....

"I'm thinking about going back to WoW."

In a instant panic attack full of visions of duo farming SM for that dagger I never got my 40 rogue and countless hours of mind less gulch farming and a world full of men with shovels for hands and barrens chat my mind raced for a way out. The first thing I thought to say was "I won't love you anymore if you make me go back to WoW!" but I deemed the situation not quite at that level yet. Taking a sharp turn to the right my brain scrambled for something, anything to divert him from that terrible idea. "Sex!" There was a good idea. "I'll do you if you don't go back to WoW." I felt this was probably a short term solution and I was not ready for dedication it would take to make it a long term one. 

"We can play Warhammer Online!"

I said these words not a week after stating that Warhammer Online didn't interest me and that it seemed like a PvP centric gankfest. (Can you feel the carebear shining through there?) But faced with the threat of a return to the land of epic farming, faction farming and ... and ... Goldshire (!) I was desperate.  Blessedly, he said that would work.

I bought a copy of WAR the next day while my boyfriend was at work. Just one single copy. You see, I still wasn't sold. I'd read a review that stated very clearly "If you are not a fan of PvP this game is not for you." I am in fact, not a fan of PvP, so I was pretty sure the game was in fact not for me. 

By the time he got home a few hours later he had to nearly pry the mouse from my clutches and peel me away from the desk to get a chance to play. Even then I hovered over his shoulder, pointing out the Tome of Knowledge and how it was "a deed log on steroids" and shoving at him like an excited kid telling him to join a scenerio que and yammering about class combinations that would work well for us.  Needless to say, a second copy was in my hands the next day. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WAR Bug Fixes

I need to make a post with more substance, I know this. But I had a random thought:

Though Warhammer has some slight bugs, mostly of the graphical and animation sort, as any new MMO will have I really apprieciate the rate at which Mythic is releasing bug fix patches. Nearly every game I've played previously has seemed to follow the pattern of 'Only fix things that are major instantly. Everything else can wait to be applied in a giant bug fix patch a week or so from now" Even when whole quests lines were broken and unfinishable they'd remain so until the devs got around to their next weekly or bi-weekly patch.... if then (Hello, Vangaurd.) 

Neary every day I check the patch notes and find a small patch fixing a handful of bugs. And I wonder why more developers don't do that.  It seems a vastly superior way of doing things. Heck, last Thursday there was a scheduled maintence that applied a rather large patch including some crafting reworks. Shortly after the patch there were issues with the login servers and realms came down again for a few hours. When the servers came back up they'd taken the downtime as a chance to apply EVEN MORE bugs that they'd apparently finished off between 10am and 3pm that work day. I love that. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008



That's about all I really need to say. I never thought I'd be playing Warhammer Online, much less loving the hell out of it. I've never liked PvP ... but I'm having a ball with RvR. Not only that... I'm playing destruction! I'm beating up high elves and laughing maniacly. It's all the Dark Elf women's fault. Give me fantasy girls in skimpy clothing and I'm all over it. I was the same way with Dark Elves in Lineage 2. I'm a straight girl, I don't know what it is. But once I compaired Dark Elf outfits to High Elf outfits my side was chosen. 

The roleplay is a bit lacking, though I largely blame Mythic for that. How the hell do you release a modern MMO without basics like /sit, /walk and social gathering spots? Even more mind boggling given that they have flagged RP servers with a pop up explaining the rule set and letting you know it will be enforced. I joined an RP guild, and Brit and I are of course roleplaying with each other constantly as usual.

I'm also suprised by how well I do in PvP. I sucked so hard at it in WoW and avoided it like the plague in EVE and Lineage 2. I'm usually top ranked in scenarios I do, second only to Brit who's also a Sorcerer and of course better than me at it. 

Yeah. WAR. Rawr.

Sorry LoTRO. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

School blues

Today will be my third day of Japanese class. Honestly, I'm a bit jaded about the class. I find the teacher nice but a bit less than stellar in her teaching style. The first day was so terrible that I began to question perhaps dropping the class. It's taught in what I guess you'd say is a very "conversational" style. Which means that it's taught by spending five minutes showing you fifteen kana, ten minutes making you play an odd form of bingo with your classmates using these kana that you don't actually know and the rest of the time learning daily phrases rapid fire and "roleplaying" interactions using them with your classmates where you pretty much read lines from the board because the line you've just been taught has been mushed up with the last ten you just learned and you can hardly keep them straight. Suffice to say, if I'm learning anything from this class it's from self study. And I can self study without paying $400 for books plus tuition and four hour round trip bus rides thank you.

I think it's just a question of learning style. I expected Japanese class to go like my Spanish classes did. Give me run downs of sentence structure, teach me a handful of verbs, nouns, pronouns etc, teach me conjugation and allow me to ... you know, learn to form sentences. Instead I feel a bit like a parrot, spotting off lines who's use I know but who's meaning I do not. I know how to chat idly about the weather with someone but I have no idea what the individual words in the sentence mean. And without that knowledge, I'm not really learning Japanese am I? I think I was looking for something a bit more achedemic and a bit less hands on.  Frankly, I feel I'm wasting my time and that since most of what I'm learning I learn by teaching myself I'm also wasting my money. 

I'd say that it's worth it to have a native speaker to teach you pronounciation and such but I have two advantages on that. 1) Brit has taken years of Japanese classes and is quite good at it so I have an in home tutor. 2) I watch a CRAP LOAD of sub titled anime and don't have any problem understanding how sylabyls are pronounced.

I think I've learned more Japanese memorizing the lists of useful phrases most players in Final Fantasy XI learned. Knowing how to chat about the weather is going to be as useful to my goals of understanding Japanese media as knowing how to say "You can pull another. I have enough MP" would be. 

I feel lost in the class very often. But it's an odd sort of lost, I'm a good student and a natural achedemic. I'm not use to not knowing what's going on. But apparently giving me a stream of sentences who's meaning isn't solid in my mind other than "This is how you say "Thank you for last week. Here is the book you loaned me. Thank you." and then asking me to interact with a random stranger as if it were they who loaned me a book is a recipe for me feeling like I haven't learned a damned thing. Also, my level of learning seems directionally proportional to my interest in the subject matter. I am very interested in learning to understand Japanese. But with the teaching style and the direction of the class I end up throwing my hands in the air and feeling like "Who cares?". Which isn't condusive to learning. I'm going to come out of this only knowing hiragana, which I will have mostly taught myself because as said any time spent on them in class is rapid introduction and review of what you were apparently suppose to have taught yourself over the weekend. 

Maybe I'd feel a bit less bitter if going to a 4pm -6:30pm class didn't involve leaving home at 1:45 and getting home at 8:30 ; ; 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Death to the College textbook industry.

Honest to god.

$450 for books for ONE class. That's in addition to the tuition cost and an extra $50 in unexplained "fees" for said class. What kind of crack is this industry on?

Nearly $600 for books for three classes this quarter. And that's just for one of us, Brit and I are going to be forced to share whatever materials we can because FA isn't going to be in until long after classes start and that has to somehow come out of our pocket.

Is there a tree shortage somewhere? Do the teachers get some kind of commisions for forcing $170 a piece books at you? Would it really be concidered wrong if beat the snot out of the teacher who requires us to buy three $100+ books for one online class? Who would blame me.