Thursday, May 31, 2012

Feeling for a pulse

They say if you want to blog, you have to write, even if you have nothing to say. Makes me think politicians would make excellent bloggers. Well, I haven't much to write about because I'm completely wrapped up with the impending baby number two and the visiting family, plus I'm only playing diablo, and doubt that the ramblings of a guy that gets a toon to hell mode then rerolls would make for interesting reading. So fear not, I'm not dead, just waiting for a resurgence of mmo gaming to have writing material.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Diablows my mind

So, I'm about a week into my diablo life. I'm something of an altoholic, usually struggling to stick to one toon because I lust after awesomeness that is other classes abilities. I started as a barbarian, mostly playing with friends. Heroic leap and whirlwind are the greatest combination of abilities I've ever encountered. I spend my time on the barb giggling like a little girl, whirlwinding around dealing the damages. When I was playing in a group with my buddy's monk, everything was copacetic, and we easily cleared normal and nightmare modes with minimum fuss.

After finishing nightmare, I had to stop playing with my friends due to the arrival of my mother-in-law. I don't game when company is in town, cause that is fairly rude, so gaming happens in small bursts late at night.

Hell mode was an awakening for me. I was having to pot for trash packs. I encountered my first yellow named mob, and he politely informed me that I needed better gear if I wanted to solo in hell mode. I wouldn't even get him to 90% health before he would smash my face in. It was ridiculous. Now, I understand that diablo type games are all about grinding for loot. I don't have a problem with that. My problem is that if I only have a little bit if game time, I don't want it to be frustrating. Sans guests at my house, I would happily grind my barb so I could advance. Alas, minor gaming means I want more kills and less wipes. Bring out your monks!!!!!

Monk has amazing heals, and some pretty cool abilities, but not like the barb. I'm almost done with nightmare mode with him, then I can finally start hooking my barb up with some pimptastic gear. The monk has been fun, almost no deaths, just slow and steady progress throughout the game. I'm thinking that he'll be fine in hell mode, and soon we shall find out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Catching up

I haven't posted in a bit, not because I've stopped blogging, but I just haven't had much game time of note recently. Between the mother-in-law being in town and Diablo III launching, I've been busy. I've definatly retired the Shaman for a bit, the damage was just not there, so the fights lasting too long was getting to me. I've been bouncing around between different toons, trying to find one that felt right to me. While I've had alot of fun, it is reminding me of how Vanguard seems to be made for at least a duo. The power of two is WAY stronger then one person alone. Unfortunatly, I'm unable to really devote a solid block of time into trying to find a static group, so the going is slow. I'll start narrowing down what to do soon(by soon I mean after the diablo frenzy has faded). I've joined a guild, they seem like a pretty solid group of people, there is activity online at all times of the day, people are very helpful with advice/low level quest help. If you ask a question, it's usually answered right away, unless they are raiding. While they have a guild hall, it seems more like it's being used as a chest holding recall spot then the center of activity for events. I walked around it once, and it was fairly baren. Well, one of the guildies decided it was time to fix that, and was looking for help crafting some of the high end stuff to make it look more lively. When I first started playing Vanguard, I had some crafters. Playing on the FFA PVP server meant that once you got over LVL 7 adventuring you were open game for player delivered death. My first toon was an armorsmith warrior, and I leveled both as I went, striving to keep my crafting level even with my adventuring level. It soon became apparent that crafting was fairly impossible, people would swing by the crafting stations to see if there was someone to gank. So I started making my crafting alts. Level a toon to 6, then never level again, and use them for crafting. While it was less then awesome knowing that my adventuring toons couldn't craft, it was amazing not having to worry about getting killed while making a crazy expensive piece of gear. Soon I got into the habit of crafting whenever I had game time but none of my friends were online, and that was a large chunk of time. I ended up with almost four max level crafters. So, when the call for help went out to improve the look of the guild hall, I figured I'd help these people that have helped me so much. Boy was I in for a shock. The crafting system of Vanguard is one of the greatest I've ever seen in a game. It is it's own minigame. Unlike most recent games where the "crafting" was really all about harvesting then hitting the "make all" button, Vanguard makes it rewarding in it's own right. Granted, it's about as mind stimulating as Farmville, but it makes a relaxing mini game to handle erratic game time hours, or just to blow a couple of minutes/hours doing something different. I don't really have the desire or time to get into a hardcore end game guild anymore, I have done it in the past and it was amazing. However, now that I have a kid(soon two) I really can't justify spending that much time in a mandatory "must play" atmostphere. Plus, my job dictates that I spend months at a time with no internet, so I would always be a bit behind the power/gear curve, and that's not fine with me. All that aside, I would still enjoy the chance to raid occasionally. Join a raiding guild as a social, help out with lower level problem, crafting stuff to help other out, and maybe occasionally they need another for a run they're doing and I can hop in and kill internet dragons. This seems like a fairly likely game to make that possible. Anyways, off to work for me, I might make a Diablo post or two, or I might just pause this till my time there fades. Either way, have a good one and remember, games are for fun, so refuse to get angry or frustrated at your pixels!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Perspective is everything

Delat is now close to level 20. He's a badass caster melee hybrid with some of the cooler abilities I've seen in the game. He has a wolf pet that deals enough damage to pull aggro for a bit. He gets a wolf form that is faster than horses at that level. In wolf form with his pet out, he looks awesome, like D'ivers from Malazan Book of the Fallen.

When I'm out leveling with Delat, I pull one mob with a nuke, hit my instant cast 4 second root, and start nuke spamming. Between pet hate and the root, I can usually get 3-4 casts off before its in melee range. Once in range, I throw a melee dot up, blow my endurance on my better hits, then hit my instant cast root to back out for more nukes. Pretty awesome gameplay. If I pull too much, I can run way at speed because I'm in wolf form.

I played like this for a couple of days, doing the URT quest line. Everything was going pretty good with little to no problems till one of the quests sent me into a cave filled with spiders. Every other pull was a multi pull, which I couldn't handle. I died three or four times clearing the cave to get to the back, one pull from the last group. Once again I pulled and got three mobs. Burned two down before I dropped. When I went back to the cave to grab my tombstone and finish up the quest, ALL of the spiders had respawned. Not feeling another 30 minutes of pulling and death, I was about to leave to go summon my corpse when a sorcerer showed up on the same quest I was on, so we grouped up.

What I saw happen next blew my mind.

This sorc would let me pull, then would one or two shot the spider. Literally took us 3 minutes to get to where my tombstone was. We finished the quest in the time it took me to kill one mob solo. On our way to turn in, we aggroed a group of at level 2-dots, and the sorc aoe'd them down, with THREE hits. After he left the group, I killed maybe 3-4 more mobs before I gave up. My amazing gameplay was ruined.

I know shaman is a healer, but I had thought that a geared, skilled shaman could put out damage close to what a dps class could. Well, now I know better. I figured I could join a group as dps if I wanted, so I could learn the raid mechanics as a class of less responsibility, but no, that isn't possible.

So, after learning all of this, I now have to roll a new class. I was having fun in the shaman, but after seeing how the mobs COULD be killed, combat suddenly feels crazy slow. Once I figure out what I want to play, we'll start this back up.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The road to 15

So brought a disciple and blood Mage to ten for the rewards, started a sorcerer, but abandoned him and now am back on Delat working my way towards the cornerstone of awesomeness for the shaman.
Level 15 for a shaman is where you pick what type of play style you want, and makes you incredibly more effective at dealing delicious death to all you see. There are three choices: a caster focus, tankie focus, and a mix.
When you're picking, you are choosing your patron. Whichever you pick will give you a new buff, some abilities, a pet and the ability to shape-shift into the form of your patron. Caster is a bird, tank is a bear, mix is a wolf. Delat will go wolf. You get a melee buff, wolf form buffs damage and regen, makes you run faster the a horse at that level, and some melee abilities. Once a shaman hits 15, life improves significantly.

Got 14 tonight, so I should have delicious awesomeness tomorrow. I cannot wait.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Benefits of starting early

So I got my shaman to level ten, and found out there is a promotion going on where lvl 10 or higher toon can talk to a "Herald of Telon" and be given a diplomacy wrist piece that increases your adventuring and crafting stats. It levels with you, and is the only thing that I know of that is as awesome as this. It's basically a passive buff to all spheres that levels up with you. This is an amazing thing, but they are going to stop giving them out come F2P. Because of this, I am now leveling all classes that I might on day want to play.

First up is my disciple. He'll be level ten and get his loots in an hour or so, then I'll probably start up a blood Mage. I can't tell you how awesome this is, so make sure you take advantage while you can!

Edit: there is an event going on atm, called M.E.S.T or something. If you talk to the herald while it's happening he'll give you a bag that replaces your harvesting belt that will hold certain items. More room = more awesome.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Delat, the legend continues

So my new shaman is level 10. Going to have to take a break from leveling to power up my harvesting a bit. I see T2 resources but am unable to capitalize on them due to not finding the trainer till late. Most of my previous toons I leveled in the dark elf area, so it's been interesting to try to find npcs and harvesting nodes and other things that plague your first play through in a new area. I am still loving the epic scope the original quest have, even with the lackluster gear rewards. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to craft on this character, but we'll see as we go. I love vanguards crafting system, so it will probably happen at some point.

I still have yet to see anyone else in the world on this toon, but I'm guessing that it's mostly because everyone goes to IoD to start, so they should start showing up in the next couple of levels. Looking forward to possibly grouping up to inflict my horrible utilization of the defensive target system to heal the wrong person in a group setting. I love the idea of offensive and defensive targets, but I have died a bunch due to having some random person targeted instead of myself. No better way to improve its usage then healing a group!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is a character with no story a character??

So I've been back in vanguard for a few days now. Basically everyday I decide that a new toon is the one I should play. Every toon I get on requires a browse through the abilities in an attempt to try to figure out its workings. Every toon is in the middle of the journey in its life, but I have no clue what the start of the journey was. I'm finding it difficult to play any of my characters because they have no soul to me. The game is still amazing, the problem is my perception of my toons. So, I've decided to start fresh.
I'm not a role-player, at least not one that will go to the in game bar in costume to interact with others. However, each of my toons change the way I play the game. Decisions you make early in a game affect how I play that character later in the game. They develop a life of their own as they grow and learn the world. Without that self developed back story, all of my characters feel like they have the depth of an on rails single player game, so cannot hold my attention for longer then a few hours.
In order to be less of a tourist, I've rolled a brand new goblin shaman. I'm probably going to go wolf spec with him, but we'll see as he grows. I'm not going to use my fleet of crafters to gear him as he goes, and I'm damn sure not going to the isle of dawn. That place is a soulless pit of bad adventuring for good equipment. Not nearly as amazing as the starter quests. Well, fuck gear. I loved this game because of how amazing THE GAME was, not because of how amazing my gear was. You will see me in kojan, leveling in underpowered old school starting gear.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Re-learning yourself

Ever notice that you usually set up all your buttons for all your characters in the same basic fashion? Survivability tools here, buffs here, heals here, etc. I guess I picked up that habit after I quit Vanguard. My highest level toon is a 48 pally, that I haven't touched in years. I log in, action bars are everywhere. I spent about ten minutes dicking around before I mostly threw in the towel. Could I relearn? Definatly. Would I be fail sauce for awhile while I figured it out? You betcha. So now I'm bouncing around my toons looking for something to stick with. Atm DK is looking pretty fun, and is only lvl 20, so it's a possibility. I guess we'll see in the upcoming days what catches my fancy.

In the begining....

I've been a reader of blogs for awhile now. I've followed countless blogs that have enhanced my life, I've had actual sadness from some of my favorite blogs closing shop. I've thought about starting one up myself, but it's hard to write about a game that has a bunch of people already blogging about it. What could I possibly add to this genre? Well, with Vanguard SoH going F2P this year, I've re-subbed to play the game I have missed since I stopped playing. And as VG doesn't have the size of community of most other games, now is a great time to try this out.

I will start this out as a fresh face that hasn't seen the game since right after launch, so you will get a pretty noob experience here.