Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Back to Minecraft

After several years of neglect, I've decided to come back to Minecraft. Now is an amazing time to play the game because there are so many incredible modding projects going on. From MCMMO, Feed The Beast and all its modpacks, to Pixelmon and more. Personally, I've recently gotten hooked on Feed The Beast: Mage Quest and have gone so far as to create a server for my friends and I to play on. It's safe to say that I've got the Minecraft bug again.

Pixelmon has been one of my favorite Minecraft projects and is honestly the only reason I've even remembered Minecrafts existence the past few years. For the longest time, I would just check in every few months to see how Pixelmon has come along, not playing. There was a time when I played on a couple of servers almost religiously, putting in several hours a day. Playing on a good Pixelmon server is like playing the 3D Pokemon MMO fans of the franchise have always wanted.

Playing Pixelmon on single-player survival is a bit weird, though. The world feels a bit... pointless. Without people to play with, playing single player seems like a waste of time. The Pixelmon developers have been working to fix this, however, by implementing a new town system into the mod. This will replace the vanilla minecraft towns with something more fitting to the Pokemon theme, with NPCs, PokeCenters, trainers, and more. Though I'll probably stick to multiplayer even after that goes live.

Feed The Beast has proven to be something amazing. I've had friends tell me I should play in the past, but that only amounted to be thinking, "Feed the beast? That sounds dumb..." and then forgetting about it. I'm a bit glad that I waited, though, as there are a ton of Modpacks with some incredible mods included in them now. My personal favorite, so far, as been Mage Quest. This takes some of the biggest and most in-depth magic-based mods in Minecraft and puts them into one mystical world. These are Thaumcraft, Witchery (My personal favorite), Botania, and Blood Magic. A few "lesser" magic mods are thrown in as well, such as Necromancy and Archmagus.

After playing with FTB: Mage Quest in single player for a while, I couldn't help but think, "This would be so much more fun with other people" and went searching for a multiplayer server that used this modpack. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any. But I did find a fantastic server hosting service (CreeperHost, a partner of Feed The Beast). So I set up my own Mage Quest server and began inviting friends. As it stands, we're running FTB: Mage Quest, which is the only thing players need to download, with ForgeEssentials to enable plot claiming and an economy system.

For anyone interested in joining, head to ami-tab-ha.org to request access in the shotbox. Or you can hope on our TS3 server, ts3.ami-tab-ha.org, and ask there. We're set to whitelist (at least for now, that may change in the near future since we added land claiming).

That's about it for now. I'm thinking of setting up a second 'instance' on the server that runs Pixelmon but I'm not sure as of yet. Dragomon Hunter is the MMO I'm looking forward to in the near future. Aeria has a reputation (and not a good one), so I'm hesitant to put money into the game. But we'll see.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Age of Wushu Cash Shop Review

A thread popped up in the MMORPG Request section of the MMOHuts/OnRPG Forums, where people can request help with finding games for themselves to play, earlier today. In this thread, the user asked for a game that is pay-to-win (meaning they could pay money to get good at the game) as they didn't want to/couldn't spend a lot of time in the game to get good and would rather pay money to be a top player. So, after thinking a moment, I replied with a suggestion for Age of Wushu. It's one of my all-time favorite games but there's no denying that it has become incredibly pay-to-win. Heck, you can even purchase unbound Liang (the currency used to sell items between players) from Snail USA now, completely bypassing the need for gold sellers. Though the gold seller do still exist and are still spamming the game horribly... Seems I can't walk through Chengdu without having to block at least six gold spammers.

That's what got me started on this idea to review the Cash Shop of Age of Wushu. Back when I last reviewed the game, I didn't really mention the Cash Shop. And, even if I had, the cash shop wasn't nearly as broken as it is now. Back then, you would have to pay a tops of $15 per month to easily stay on par with the rest of the player base. To me, that is a fair price as you could still be on par with some hard work and dedication and not spend a dime of real money.

But now it's different. Now you have the subscription ($10 a month, but you can upgrade to a more advanced form of premium account for another $5), mounts, Windrider's Potion, powerful skill sets that can only be gained through the Cash Shop, special lore items that range in cost from $30 all the way up to $300, bag expansions... It all adds up quickly. If you wanted to stay on par now, you would need to spend a minimum of $25 per month, or at least make enough in-game effort to be able to purchase $15 worth of cash shop items from players each month (as, so far as I know, you cannot trade any items that give premium subscription or send gold to other players, so it's impossible for non-payers to get premium).

  • $10 Subscription - allows you to have access to VIP-only content and the much-needed ability to cultivate skills while offline. 
  • $10 Mount - Needed for travel
  • $15 Windrider -  Potion that gives you a big bonus to run speed, but is only useable out of combat. Very convenient and necessary to stay on top during the "Script Stealing" events.
  • $9 18-Slot Bags - As the name suggest. It used to be that you could only get good bags from crafting.
  • (Optional)$9 Gathering Manuals - Vastly increases your gains from gathering, required to stay on par with bots when selling raw materials or for crafting if that's your thing.

So you would need to pay roughly $53 a month just to stay on par with the rest of the playbase. If you are a high-end player, you might be able to reduce the cost by buying things like your mount and Windrider's from players using Unbound Liang. But when you're saving up your your Liang/Ding, it's usually to purchase skill sets instead. Then there's the catch-22 where you will need a combination of high-end Mount, Windrider's Potion, AND Subscription to be able to Script Steal just so you can make money, otherwise veterans will catch you and completely wreck you. So you have to spend real money to make unreal money, so you don't have to spend your real money.

But that's not all. There are hundreds of dollars worth of items on the cash shop that can give you an advantage. And if that wasn't enough, Snail implemented the ability for players to purchase unbound Liang directly from them. However, I recently tried to click the "Silver Purchase" button and it brought me to a 404 page so I have to wonder if they are removing that service or if it's just a temporary error. I remember the price came out to a few dollars per hundred Liang, with one-thousand Liang making one Ding. The most rare items and skills cost several Ding.

Keep in mind that, as Snail only sells gold in packages, I am giving these prices in the closest package worth. For example, 50 Cash Shop Gold cost $15. So, while Windrider only costs 45 Gold, I put down $15. This causes you to put more money into the game than you need, though it does eventually sort of "even out" as you can accumulate enough 'extra' gold to purchase premium for a month or get yourself a month or something.

There you have it, a small break-down of the Age of Wushu (Snail USA) Cash shop. It's really disappointing, too. Back in the day, when the game was just just coming out of beta and was still fairly new in the West, at most you would need to pay $15 - a price that most people can deal with and accept. Occasionally they would come out with something expensive like a ferret that cost a couple hundred dollars- which I suppose was the first indicator. In the end, the amount of time and money I would have to invest to just to have a chance in PVP against those who have put hundreds or thousands of dollars into the game makes it unplayable for me.

I still enjoy logging on from time to time, doing a bit here and there, but I can't justify spending money on it nor spending any decent amount of time. Especially when the Customer Support is universally regarded as non-existent and when it does show up, it's usually in the form of broken or impossible to understand English. Unfortunately, I'm sure I'm not alone in this and that has lead to Age of Wushu suffering a population problem. It makes me wonder how long Age of Wushu will last. Maybe SnailUSA will pull off a miracle and save the game from itself? I can hope.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Haunted Empires + some other stuff

These past few days I've been playing a mobile game called Haunted Empire - Ghosts of the Three Kingdoms. This your typical "MMO"RPG mobile set-up, where you can summon units, discard those you don't need to improve the ones you do need, fight in the "arena," and plenty of other junk to keep you occupied. It's not a bad game, but it does do some odd stuff. Such as the combat being completely automated. Most games of these types (Brave Frontier, Summoners War) allow for at least some input while the fighting is going on. That's not to say that you aren't given some control; there are plenty of pre-battle options to tweak, such as your formation.

The game is fun, though perhaps not the best game of this type I've ever played. Summoners War still (for now) holds that title. One neat thing is that you really don't need to spend cash on the game. Sure, if you want to be the whale-of-whales and be the absolute top of the server list, paying will probably benefit you. Especially if you start on the server late. However, the game literally hands you gold whenever it can. For example, it gave me 300 gold just now for logging on today and that reward grows each day I log in. The game also likes to hand out ten gold coins for every other thing you do. I'm currently reviewing the game, so I should have the review out in a week or so and I'll link it then.

Another game I'm playing for review is Running With Rifles. It's a fantastic top-down shooter that I've been having a blast with. It's actually one of the better shooters I've played in general. Unfortunately, this is a game I haven't gotten a chance to play with anyone, so my sessions are usually short. Just a match at a time, usually. I'll be finish this review up today or tomorrow.

In other news, I've been getting a Harvest Moon bug again. With Stardew Valley development coming closer to release, I've been itching for a farming game to play. I broke out my old GameCube to play Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and I've also stumbled upon an amazing Harvest Moon-like game called World's Dawn, which is completely free and already has a partial release. I've been having fun with World's Dawn the past few days, playing infrequently. I'm only about four hours into the game so far, but it's been great.

And that reminds me. I've downloaded a PSP Emulator to check out some of the homebrew games they offer. And that got me hankering to play a few other PSP games. So I dug that out. The games I want to play are (surprise!) Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley and Persona 3. Hero of Leaf Valley is actually a sort of remake of my least favorite Harvest Moon game, Save The Homeland for the PS2. The remake should be a lot better, as they add in the marriage system and tweak a few of the features to be more in-line with the Harvest Moon style.

I've never played a Persona game, but when I asked it was suggested I start with the third game before checking out the fourth. I don't know quite what to expect, just that it's sort of a life simulation game mixed with the fantasy elements that come from the Persona story. So hopefully it will be fun. In the past, I've thought of trying the game but I never end up going through with it. I'll also probably be checking out Rune Factory 3 within the next few weeks.

A last bit of news: I've started a Sandbox group on Steam. If you'd like to join, head over to here. Over the next few days I'll be updating the group with recommended sandbox games and whatnot. I'll also be writing a couple of other blog posts over the next few days. I'm currently working on an "Age of Wushu: Cash Shop Review" to help give people a more in-depth view of how the cash shop in AoW works, as well as a general descriptions of the stuff you can get with real money. I also want to compile a list of awesome Harvest Moon-inspired games like World's Dawn.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam Online: Battle Operation for the PS3

Earlier this morning I decided to look into a Gundam game I had read about a couple of years ago. That game, as the title of this post suggests, is Mobile Suit Gundam Online: Battle Operation. I was bummed to find that the game is restricted to Japan. Or that's what I thought, anyways. Further reading proved that it was quite possible to easily play the game from North America and that there was even a decent English-speaking community.

Flailthrough's videos were quite helpful when figuring out the game!

I'm not the biggest fan of Kotaku, but they did have a detailed guide (with pictures!) on how to set up your very own Japanese PSN account. No VPN is required, either, which is great. The gameplay of MSG:BO is essentially what I look for in a Mech game. First and foremost is what I call 'weight.' I absolutely hate it when a mech feels like there is no weight behind it. If I'm piloting a massive mechanical monstrosity, I want it to feel like it.And MSG:BO provides that feeling.

After that is "cockpit" view. This is where, at least as far as I can tell, MSG:BO falls short. It's a third-person shooter. There may be an option to play in a "first person cockpit" view, but I haven't been able to figure it out. If you read this and you know how, please tell. Anyways, MSG:BO doesn't meet expectations in this area, but this is about the only real disappointing thing in terms of game mechanics.

Next is customize-ability. You're able to customize various components of your mech and you can even paint it how you like. I've seen some videos of more advanced players that have some really odd looking mechs. There are also decals you can get, such as a "Sieg Zeon" sticker. I haven't messed with this part of the game yet, but the options are there.

One feature I always look forward to seeing in mech games is the ability actually get out of the mech and walk around as a person. This is the reason I loved MechWarrior: Living Legends (An extensive mod for Crysis Wars) so much. However, it's also a feature I rarely see. In MSG:BO, you CAN get out of your mobile suit and it is GLORIOUS! You can run around and make use of a jetpack. You will have several useful pieces of equipment at your disposal. Such as a rifle for taking out other pilots out of their suit, a bazooka for helping out against mobile suits and other armored units, flash grenades, and even a repair tool to repair your mobile suit. 

While you're out of your suit, you can also get in other vehicles. For example, there's a hover-bike type vehicle that comes with rocket launchers and a machine gun that is very maneuverable. I've also seen (and piloted) tanks. I'm not sure if there are more, as I've only played on a couple of maps. You can eject out of your mobile suit if it's taking heavy damage. The mobile suit is also on a different respawn timer than yourself. So you might eject out of your mobile suit, get stepped on immediately, and then respawn and find yourself without a suit for a little bit.

I know there are various game modes you can play, but so far I've only played a sort of Deathmatch-capture the point mix. Getting a fair fight can be difficult at the beginning as the basic suit you start out with is essentially trash. So your first few battles may not be very fun. Thankfully the "OH WOW!" factor should still be in play, so you can probably stick through it. It's last me about five games so far. And, as I watch videos and read guides, I'm learning more and more on how not to get completely destroyed by the pink laser-sword wielding Federation mobile suits.

I suppose I can say that I'm not a big fan of the games F2P Model. The biggest issue is the "Credit" system. Each match takes one credit. You can either buy credits for real money, sometimes get them from in-game means, or you can use the free credits. One free credit takes two hours to generate and you can have up to a maximum of three free credits at any one time. That means as a completely free-to-play play, you'll be able to play a maximum of three matches per six hour period. So, essentially, you'll play three matches, go to sleep, and then when you've come home from school/work/whatever, you'll play three more and that'll be it.

So far, though, the game seems like it may be worth investing in. It's kind of old (it originally came out in 2012), but the game play is very solid so far as I can tell. And between Dragonball Xenoverse, Mobile Suit Gundam Online, and SkyForge, I've gotten addicted to this sort of style of play. Speaking of Xenoverse, I may make a post about it soon. I haven't played much recently but I do have a character at about level 50. 

That's it for now. I'll more than likely make another post in a week or so that gives a better overview of the game. Also, the lack of pictures is because I currently do not have a way to take screenshots with my PS3. Other than my phone, anyways, and that wouldn't look that good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam Online - Account Creation and Game Installation Guide

Hello. In the past I made a MSGO Guide video that got something like 30,000 views over two years. It still gets a decent amount of daily views and a handful of questions/comments (mostly about it being outdated and expressing interest in a new guide)  daily. I've recently made an updated video guide and today I will also be making a written guide.

This is for the Japanese version and requires a VPN. 

If you would prefer the video guide, scroll to the bottom of this post!

Account Creation
1) First, you will need to make an account. You will do that by click HERE.
-It should be in English, however it will sometimes appear in Japanese. If it DOES appear in Japanese, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and there will be a small bit of English text that says "International Portal" click that and you'll be taken to the English page.

2) Creating your account is extremely easy. The only important thing is that you Select Asia/Japan as your Country/Region of Residence, as shown in the image below.

Game Downloading and Installation
3) Now you will need to download the Installer. Do that by clicking HERE.

4) Installing is incredibly easy. It'll be in Japanese (or in a strange random string of symbols if you do not have Japanese language packs installed). Simply look for the option with 'N' in it and left-click it.

5) Once you have the BNO_Launcher downloaded and installed, open it in Administrator mode by right-clicking its shortcut and selecting "Run as Administrator." 

6) Ensure that the correct game is selected in the Launcher. This image will help you determine which one is correct:

7) Click the large Orange Button to begin the initial file downloading. This will be short and will only take a moment.

8) Once the initial files are done downloading, press the large Orange Button button once again. This should download and install the bulk game files.

9) Once the bulk files are downloaded and installed, you should be ready to play.

10) If the following Orange Button is displayed (check the symbols) then you are ready to play.

-If that image above is not what you see, you have more files to download. However, before downloading further files, FIRST close and re-open the Launcher. It is possible that you do in fact have the game up-to-date but the Launcher may be experiencing a common bug where it attempts to re-download the same thing over and over.

VPN Set-up and Playing
11) I use Mudfish VPN and so this guide will use it too. So far it has proven to be the easiest, most userfriendly VPN I have experience. However, this comes at a price. You will need to put in a minimum of $1 USD credit to use the Japanese VPN servers. This $1 should, if you use the VPN sparingly and only while playing MSGO and not while downloading files, last you for several weeks or even months.

12) Create an account for Mudfish VPN (linked above) and download the installer. Install the VPN - click Yes to everything and install the optional stuff as it is required for the VPN to work.

13) Once you have downloaded Mudfish VPN, set up your account, and implemented your $1 of Credit (which actually comes out to $1.08 USD), head to the Mudfish VPN Dashboard.

14) In the Dashboard, navigate (using the Left-side Menu) to Setup > Program.

15) Once in the Program Setup, click on the "Full VPN" tab and select a "JP Asia" server from the drop-down list. Click 'Save.'

Remember, you can right click on these images and select 'View Image' to see a larger version of the image!

16) Close the current Mudfish VPN Webpage and then, on your desktop, Right-Click the Mudfish shortcut and choose "Run as Administrator." This will cause a new Mudfish Webpage to open and will automatically configure and start the VPN. 

17) Visit WhatIsMyIP.com and ensure that you are connecting from a Japanese server.
-If it says you aren't connecting from Japan, you need to do the following
--Temporarily disable your Virus/Malware protection as they may be blocking the VPN from working. I use AVG and SpyBot Search & Destroy and I have no issues, but other programs may cause conflict and disabling them may help.
--Make sure that the virtual adapter ("TAP-Win32 Adapter V9") is NOT disabled (it needs to be enabled!) in your Device Manager (Search for it by going to the start button and typing "Device Manager" in the search bar).
--If neither of those works, you need to contact Mudfish support. It is possible to run Mudfish using one of the free VPN servers to make sure the program will work for you! Download and try the VPN for FREE before making any purchase!

18) If it tells you that you are connecting from Japan, open the Launcher and then click the large Orange Button. This will launch the game. You can Left-Click to skip the intro cinematics.

19) At the log-in screen, enter your Bandai account info. You will then be presented with a pop-up giving you two options. Click the LEFT option as shown below.

20) On this new page, re-enter your Bandai account information and hit ENTER. This will load you to a User Agreement page. Click the RIGHT option.
--If for some reason this does not work for you, go back through step 18-19 and select the LEFT option on the User Agreement.

21) After that, you will be taken to a new page with a pop-up window. Click OK and close the browser page as you are ready to play.

22) Re-enter your account information in the game and you will be taken to the character creation process which is very straight forward! Watch the video if you need help with that.

Monday, March 23, 2015

An Average Day in Reign of Kings

Yesterday was an interesting day in Reign of Kings.

Amethys and I rolled characters on the Quadra Khan's (A guild from Mortal Online that we are both familiar with) server. Things started off slow, we tried out a new tactic of farming the Plague Town former residents for steel items. I believe we got lucky a few times, but between a few deaths and the amount of time it took, we decided it would be more beneficial to go back to the ole' "Start a base and farm" method.

So, we headed out and traveled far, far away from the main resource hubs. It was a long journey of twenty or so minutes to find a good spot. Along the way, though, we came across our allies in Ghost Division (Prince's guild, a guy that both Amethys and I know from MO as well). When I say "came across" I mean we were superbly lucky to find out that the location we picked for our own base (Wyvern's Tip on the map I linked earlier) was the same exact location they had already built on. They weren't on at the time, so we explored around a bit more before deciding that we should set up a base nearby. We chose the "tip" of Wyvern's Tip and set up shop there with the reasoning that it would be extremely difficult to siege something on top of a steep mountain.

After we got the initial platform finished, both of us decided to log out for the time being.

Some hours later, I decided to come back online and found that Amethys had done a decent amount of work. And, along with the Ghost Division guys, had done some raiding. I didn't know it at the time, but that would set the tone for the rest of the evening (morning for them). After getting me back up to speed and doing a bit more raiding, we built up our mountain fortress a decent amount. It was truly something to behold. Mostly made of log, it still managed to look frightening and provided us with everything we needed. Unfortunately, I failed to get a decent screenshot.

Anyways, the highlight of the night was successfully sieging what was the most impressive building on the server. It was a massive two-tower castle made of cobblestone. Surely not the most secure or strongest of materials, but the building still looked impressive. And the rewards it held were sweet.

We began by using a Ballista we had built back at our fortress in our newly created Siege workshop. With it, we created a small hole.

Initially, the hole was much too small. However, we figured out that we could make use of the rope to "Rag doll" ourselves through the hole. This hole lead into their smelting room, which was filled with resource - iron, steel, wood, and charcoal.

It should be noted that there were originally three other Smelters in the room before we got there. We had to destroy two as Amethys and I, as a result of the rope trick, were stuck behind them. We were able to destroy them successfully, though. From there, we almost made a fatal mistake in which we ALL managed to wiggle ourselves into the hole and found we could not break out. Thankfully, someone had been intelligent enough to grab the ballista. So, we cleared out another Smelter to make room for the Ballista and proceeded to blow a new hole to the second (Above) floor with it.

And what we found in that second floor was beautiful. Sleeping people, at least five I think. Plus chests. We also found that we had access to their roof, where they kept two other chests and their beds. Needless to say, we slaughtered them all in their sleep and proceeded to loot everything. We finished up with this portion of the castle by destroying their beds to cut off any chance of immediate retaliation. We were lucky that these people were offline, and remained offline, for the whole raid.

And from the roof. You can see their execution grounds.

From there, we continued our siege as the architecture of the building suggested other rewards on a basement floor. We blew into the basement from the outside with the Ballista, and then forced our way into the central stairwell from the inside. We found two more chests but we failed to find what we considered the ultimate prize: Their crest. Finding their crest would have meant we could completely dismantle their entire castle and then make use of the materials (again, mostly cobblestone) ourselves. However, after about an hour of trying and a couple of accidental deaths (apparently roping someone and forcing them through a door is fatal. For the person being pulled and for anyone who happens to be in the path of their high-speed limbs).

All-in-all, though, we made out like bandits. We were in and out completely undisturbed. We cleaned them out completely and tore up the place spectacularly.

The only bad thing is, due to the alpha nature of the game, there are frequent updates. Usually, this would be great. However, as they are still adding new items and features into the game, that means frequent wipes. We woke up the next morning to find all our work gone. It was fun, though. Surely a memory we wont be forgetting.

Quit Age of Wushu (again) + My recent games

So, once again, I have quit Age of Wushu. This was actually a few weeks ago but I haven't made a post recently. The reason I quit was that, after the initial wave of returnees left the game, things got a bit dead. I got bored trying to catch up and I wasn't really doing anything except for logging on for Script Stealing and a few other activities that I didn't particularly enjoy. I still have a friend, ThommyHubbub, who is playing and streams the game. If you want to check him out (and I suggest you do) here's the link to his stream.

Since quitting Age of Wushu, I've been jumping around from game to game. I've only been playing MMOs for the purpose of review on OnRPG/MMOhuts. February was a very busy month where I did a decent amount of work. I did a Sevencore re-review, a handful of Early/First Looks for games like the Russian SkyForge (I've also finished a First Look for the North American SkyForge), Life is Feudal, Druids Duel, and Cronix. I also did a couple of interviews for Galactic Inheritors and Duelyst (both very interesting games). I also did a Preview for the most recent Nosgoth class, the Vanguard.

Reign of Kings

This month has been a bit less busy, but I still got a decent amount done. Heroes of Rune, Reign of Kings (Incredibly fun game), Windward (Amazing for those of us that enjoy Age of Sail games), an Early Look for The Repopulation, and an Early Look at Prismata. Like I said in the above paragraph, I did I'll be updating my other blog pages with links to everything I've done the past two months, so if you're interested you can check there.

In my free time I've been playing mostly Reign of Kings and Crusader Kings 2. Crusader Kings 2 has been fun to delve into. I've been apprehensive about playing it, as I played Europa Universalis last year and I ended up putting in over fourty hours into EU4 within three days which wasn't healthy. They're fantastic games, what can I say. But with CK2, I've been able to play with moderation and have only put in about thirty five hours over the past couple of weeks.

In Reign of Kings, I've only just hit over twenty hours in the game. It's only been out for a week now, so I think that's impressive. It's a really fun game and despite the history of the developers (they created StarForge, which a lot of people are upset about), it's been mostly a pleasing experience. The only real issue is the frequent wipes due to frequent updates, plus the performance still needs a lot of tweaking. Immediately after this post, I'll be posting one of my most recent adventures (not the most in-depth, unfortunately).

That's about been my gaming since my last post. I'll hopefully be updating this more frequently. Not that I expect many (or any) people to actually read, but it's nice to keep a log of what I done so I can come back and look at it from time to time. Very nostalgic, if nothing else. Thanks for reading (if you have).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Age of Wushu update

So, as I said in the last update (I think) I was giving Age of Wushu another shot. So far, I've kept with the game, tho I'm not playing nearly as often as I once did. Part of that is because I'm way behind, part of that is I am working on a few personal projects plus stuff for OnRPG. I am having fun, though, and if they give out some information about up-coming expansions soon, I may even consider maintaining a subscription. We'll see, though.

Truth be told, probably the only reason I am currently playing is that I could afford VIP thanks to 80 gold I had left on my account before quitting. That allows me to get the VIP and a Windrider, which is essentially required for Script Stealing. The game is still a pay-to-win mess in a lot of cases - that is evident by the Mount Hua competition. Really, it should just be called "Cash Shop Mountain" as the only people that won, or even had a chance, were those that sank hundreds or thousands of dollars into the game.

It honestly makes me feel bad about my own character. It's already extremely far behind. My meridians are weak and clogged, my internals are of a low level, I barely make the time to get on for Script Stealing, let alone do the instances and such I need to start doing. My reputation was even reset (or degraded over time, I'm not sure) so I have to work to regain my blue star.

I'm making slow progress on both my 4th and 5th inner. My 4th inner requires an item that only drops in small quantities from what are known as "School Instances." So far, I've only done one school instance and it was a hassle.I've only unlocked to level 9 of the 4th inner. My 5th inner is about the same, except the slow progress is due to the limited nature of the activity that is required to gain the Martial Merits to buy more pages for the inner.

On top of the 4th and 5th inner, I'm also working towards raising my school skill sets level caps. So far I've only raised a few skills to level 6. It takes about 10-15 minutes to raise one to level 6. 7 will probably be a tad harder. They go up to level 11 now, though, so a lot of work ahead of me there, too. I almost feel like I would have a better time if I just bought an account from someone that was already at a decent level. It seems it's a fairly common practice nowadays.

Anyways, I also talked about Blade and Soul last time. Well, I quit that for now. It was fun, but like I said I have other stuff to do. That other stuff is, of course, work for OnRPG. Right now I am reviewing a game called Cronix from Game and Game, also Sevencore from Webzen. Cronix is alright, though I ran into some technical issues. Sevencore reminds me a lot of a lower-quality Black Gold, as both games have a strong mount aspect with a nature vs steampunk theme. But Sevencore is a lot older and the gameplay reflects that - it was born in the "F2P Golden Age."

The other thing that is taking my time is a personal writing project. I'm taking my love for sci-fi, fantasy, Wuxia, MMOs, and gaming and rolling into one big ball. Of course, as I have not had much experience with writing fiction, I don't feel that it will turn out great. I've released the first few chapters online, and it got alright responses. However, the place I released it is known for the kind of fiction I'm writing (VR MMO, Eastern themes). I'm still trying to decide if I want to do a web serial type deal (releasing one chapter at a time on blogs/websites) or if I want to do a traditional novel format. Maybe I'll end up doing both.

That's it for now. I will probably release another update here concerning the fiction. I have a writing blog, but it would probably be a hassle to do two separate blogs. So I'll probably just release all the chapters on my "Apoca's gaming Blog" (This one). Thanks for reading, see ya.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Giving Blade & Soul a Go + An Update

So my friend recently pointed out that you can play Blade N Soul on a Russian server and it's partially translated into English. The link, for those interested. I'm not really interested in the game, but I've been kinda lost since I quit ArcheAge, so I figure I'll give it a try. My knowledge about the game is extremely limited, but I remember it being pretty popular (at least for a bit) a year or two ago.

Who doesn't like big boobs and cool guys?

The two things that stand out to me are the great graphics and the awesome-looking combat. My friend (who I will link to in a moment) says a lot of nice things about how the combat 'feels,' too. Which is great because we've both been searching for a game that can provide combat that felt as good as Age of Wushu (where we met). Perhaps this will sate that want. 
One of my favorite streamers, ThommyHubbub.

And speaking of that, I have officially quit ArcheAge. I just can't bring myself to pay for the subscription as I'm simply not enjoying the game anymore. Partially because my server seems to be dying, partially because no new blood is appearing, partially because of the ways Trion has messed up. So, I've decided that in five days when my sub runs out, I wont be re-subbing. I've left Amitabha in the hands of my vice-leader and have turned my eyes to other games like Life is Feudal, The Repopulation, Black Desert, and even the future versions of Age of Wushu.

Anyone that has read the blog or knows me probably has figured out my love-hate affair with Age of Wushu again. However, I got an email today that convinced me to come play the game (with promises of awesome goodie bags and very easy re-entry into the game). That got me interested in checking up on the Chinese version of the game (both on the actual Chinese version website and my favorite foreign MMO website, MMOCulture).

I'm looking forward to the Player Housing the most.

Back in August the Chinese version of Age of Wushu got a major expansion. This expansion included things like Player Housing, a lot of new factions/schools, and survival features. I've not been able to find to much information on how the housing exactly works, just a video that previews it. Apparently the new survival features include a more detailed hunger system, a new thirst system, and even a temperature system that requires you to dress in thicker clothing in cold climates and lighter in hot climates. Pretty interesting stuff, honestly. 

Anyways, that's it for now. I'll probably write a new entry in a few days talking about my experiences in Blade N Soul. In concerns to my writing, I recently wrote a 2015 Predictions article and it should be up in a few days or so. I'm currently reviewing a mobile game called Combat Monsters, too. Thanks for reading and see ya next time.