Blowing Off the Dust

RL’s been a bit hectic, and in the shuffle, I haven’t had the time to do as much as I’d like in MMO-land.  Which would be one of the reasons why there hasn’t been a lot of posting in the blog here recently.

So:  I ain’t dead yet.

Let’s see, where to begin.  Since the last post, my free time in Star Wars Galaxies ended, officially, so that’ll likely be the last time I log into that game-particularly since the game itself is heading out the door.  At some point, I’ll probably try to consolidate some of those screenshots and put them up somewhere for general viewing.  Given the volume of shots, though, from this latest period going all the way back to pre-Combat Upgrade days in early/mid ’05, it’s probably not very high on the list of priorities.

I spent a little bit of time in Vanguard-that other SOE game I got free time for.  I could certainly see the similarities in things to the pre-CU days in SWG; you’ve got a bit of triple advancement going on, with your class, your diplomatic skills, and your “craft related” skills (whether for making or for gathering).  My original character there was long dust-a victim of server merges.  The name was also in use by someone else (multiple someones, apparently, judging from the Vanguard website), so I went and created a Dark Elf Dread Knight named Zhaven.  Playing him was kind of rough; of course, I can’t rule out the possibility that he wasn’t awesomely geared, nor the possibility that I just didn’t get aspects of the playstyle of the class.  Only got him to level 10 via the Isle of Dawn, and it was only through the assistance of Pizmo-who had characters in Vanguard-that I even got that far.  Long enough to peek around the wider world-then RL intervened.  Life happens when you aren’t paying attention.  I’ll give kudos to the game’s designers on the diplomacy system; it plays like a trading card game, but it does give a certain rush of its own.  “I’ll destroy you with DIPLOMACY!!  HAHAHHAH!” came from my lips once or twice.  “I got my ass kicked” was another phrase that passed through my lips….

I’ve perceived for a while now that I’m in a bit of a rut in CoH.  My involvement with various supergroups claims a chunk of that precious free time, but the bigger issue is that I’ve paid a lot of attention on characters who-honestly-aren’t advancing anymore.  My stable of maxed level characters is substantial, and several are in SGs.  When I play with those characters, it’s a recognition that I’m playing for the enjoyment of socialization more than any thought I’m going to improve the character in any way.  This attention on high level guys tends to cripple the advancement of lower level characters-even ones who are at level 40+.  With this realization, I’m looking to concentrate more of my non-SG time to the characters who aren’t in a group to give them a boost.  Ordinarily, I’d use a villain for the upcoming double xp weekend in a couple weeks, but unfortunately, I’ll be out of town.  Ah well-there’s that RL again.

I continue to keep up with the details released by the CoH devs on where things are going when it goes free to play.  Some info is “eh” (hoverboard power?), some info is “awesome!” (“I can purchase to a maximum of 48 character slots on a server now?  Where’s my wallet..?”), and some info is “What the HELL are they thinking?” (Circle of Thorns costume redesign).  Some new powersets incoming that could be sweet (Titanic Weapons?  Time Manipulation? Beam Rifles?), and one I am a bit iffy on (Street Fighting) and one that may or may not be real since the info came from a “leak” (but if it’s true, it’ll be sweet).  Some of these are purchase powers, regardless whether or not you’re a VIP; I anticipate some screaming when the time comes.  Pricing will matter a lot, and we still don’t have anywhere near what we’d call a complete list.  However, due to some stuff released by the devs, it’s now pretty certain that sales will happen-which I never doubted for a moment.

My other MMO, STO, officially became free to play-for me, anyway.  So the first thing I did was dump ten bucks into C-Store points and went on a spending spree.  I can consider any and all C-store purchases to be part of my monthly sub (that no longer exists since I am a lifetime subscriber).  And conveniently, there was a sale on costume parts….  I have a feeling that my purchases there are gonna be on sales only, to take ruthless advantage of the spending power.  At the same time, of course, I also expect to stay in budget; microtransactions only have the power you let them have.  I admit I’ve made sure to drain all the points of a purchase down as low as possible, because I have no idea what’ll happen when the Atari sale finally goes through.  I do NOT want to discover that the “Atari Tokens” won’t be honored because Atari owns them, and wouldn’t I like to use them on the latest Atari game?  Content-wise, we’re in a drought; no Feature episodes rolling until September, although it seems that the Borg will be doing something near the end of the month.  Still, that’s a long time to wait.  Fortunately, I DO have characters to level in STO still, primarily KDF side, but one over in Fed-land.  So that should hopefully make the content gap easier (especially since free time should open up again-well, until the middle of the month again…).

Nothing else is coming to mind that jumped out at me since the last post; even the EVE Online controversy has died down in the MMO-sphere.  Well, okay, technically there was also the unleashing of the pre-orders for the Old Republic MMO, but as I won’t purchase without knowing what I’m getting into, there’s prety much no prayer that I’ll be doing that.  It’s free trial (even if it’s a 3 day trial) or a buddy key for me.  Or, yes, technically an open-beta slot, but I’m reasonably sure that given my luck at being selected for any betas, the odds are roughly the same as me hitting the big jackpot in Vegas.  That said, I do know exactly what characters I’ll mess with as far as concept goes, one Republic and one Sith….

That pretty much covers it this time.  Here’s to hoping it’s not another month before I post again!

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