DC U O Sub Cancelled

It was a good game, had some fun elements to it but I decided against continuing the subscription for a number of reasons:

  1. Kids didn’t ask to play it.
  2. I don’t have time to play it.
  3. It’s on my system that is still in the shop.

None of these reasons really have any bearing on the game quality aside from #2. It comes down to either playing WoW or DCUO (given my limited play times at the moment) and WoW wins.

April Fools?

This is pretty cool. So cool I had to double check the date.

UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

Emphasis is mine… is that sweet or what?

It Gets Better Project

It’s a good message for all kids regardless of sexual preference. This easily applies to kids with low self-esteem, awkward teenagers who are over weight or under weight, have acne issues, are short/tall or whatever differences you might have that target you for bullying or make you feel outcast.

I’m not a touchy-feely type, but sometimes these sorts of messages are important to have spread out there.

School and high school are just a small portion of your life. People who taunt, harass or bully you are not going to impact your life outside of school unless you let them by ending your life before you get there.

It really does get better.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get there.

Sum of All Issues

Most officers, guild leaders or people who have been in a lot of guilds will be aware of this, some might not be. It also applies to things outside of guilds – any leader of some organization that doesn’t actively reward their members for not bringing their issues with them (i.e. employers). But even there, you sometimes have things crop up despite paying people to suppress it.

Here you go:

Your guild is the sum off all member issues: obvious, subtle, personal or in game.
Therefore, the more members you have, the more potential issues your guild could have.
Finding a good group of reliable, low maintenance people is a rarity – cling to it as tightly as you can.

I’m so spoiled in this regard, it’s good to remember that sometimes.

That is all.

Ugh.

Updates, because you care. Actually, because I like to occasionally dump what’s on my mind (at least what I’m allowed to dump) out into a list to make things seem less stressful than they feel. Usually a list seems small or I can look at the positives on there.

Reading

Done reading Towers of Midnight, good stuff. I still don’t really see how it can end in one book unless it’s really abrupt.

I haven’t started the other book I bought yet but managed to steal some time to read up on the changes Pathfinder made to classes.

Computer “Crisis

Computer is at the shop (Future Shop) awaiting on the manufacturer (Gateway) to send them (FutureShop) a new part (video card). Dude said it could take about a week or so as I was eyeballing the video cards on the shelf. I contained myself, letting the warrant I purchased do its thing even if it would have only taken about ten minutes to replace the card myself.

The old computer is working well enough though I hate the set up on the kid’s table and the lack of a second monitor. Keyboard on top of the table slides while I’m playing which may have made me miss an interrupt of Arcane Storm… or two. *cringe* Cataclysm is playing fine on it, when I get a chance to log on.

WoW

Tank gear is getting there though it pains me that I’m not getting a chance to earn some cash, level some alts, farming some mats, doing the TB dailies, running dungeons with guildies trying to gear up for heroics/raids and running the daily heroic dungeon. Missing the daily heroic makes me feel a little like I’m letting the guildies down because I’m one of a few tanks in the 10-man guild so that means most of them are stuck in sucky long queues and facing bad tanks.

The guild seems happy with raiding and want MOAR. I want to help deliver that but at the moment, it’s going to be too costly for me. I’m definitely having fun.

We just got Maloriak down on Tuesday after two-shotting Magmaw and Omintron (those will be one-shots soon). Maloriak still needs some work. We would have had it sooner but we kept losing a DPS which meant hitting the enrage timer not once, not twice but thrice! Last time we were down to a Mage (Sjae rocks!) and a Holy Priest in Angel of Shame mode (I’m so happy he ditched Discipline and went back to Holy!). Sjae managed to finish off the last 100k or so (for a good time click here).

DC Universe Online

I haven’t touched it for almost two weeks. Kids haven’t asked about it. I think I’m going to cancel when I get my main computer back. I suppose I could cancel sooner if I figure out which email I created the account with.

Minecraft

Stop it Tim!

Pathfinder

The shift to Pathfinder is complete. Everyone was assimilated and we had our first session last night. It was fun, nice changes.

I flipped over from a Half-Orc Fighter to a full Elf Rogue. It was an interesting switch and I have to admit the rogue changes look good so far. The hit rolls are a little low, but they’ve compensated by adding in more bonus abilities which allow you to, optionally, pick up more combat related feats. Short of it, Rogues are a lot more flexible, not just in skill points as was the case in 3.5e.

First session was interesting. We tripped over a few of the mechanics but otherwise it went well enough. I don’t know if it was just a matter of me being tired but it seemed louder than usual – lots of people talking over each other. It was more of an enthusiastic loudness though, with people going on about some new ability they got.

Things should be interesting.

Hockey

This year my hockey viewing time has plummeted significantly. I simply haven’t made the time to watch any of it at all. That’s probably a good thing because Ottawa isn’t doing so hot this year.

I’ll leave work and family out of this post. Happy Birthday to TheWife… that’s all I’m going to say.

High Jumping

Just a thought.

Most MMOs now have a lot of requirements that people expect to see before they’re released. The genre has matured so these features that crept slowly into our beloved MMO of choice are now expected to be there to start. That makes it hard to build something from the ground up.

The early bird MMOs had a nice set of stairs to climb to release where the feature set they have now where as the new shops trying to put out MMOs have to make a high jump.

Is it any wonder why some of the forefathers of MMO are jumping into social networking games?

Other than just chasing the money, that is…

Sad Face

The fan on my video appears to have died all together now.

“But Smaken, how are you posting to the interwebs?”

I’m not, I’m posting directly to the brains of those attempting to view this page.

Okay, would you believe I have a cyber-implant that lets me plug right into the internet?

How about I’m typing this with the monitors off?

Fine.

I have a second computer.

 

I bought the extended warranty so I can just return it. The main issue I have now is that the system I had was a bit of a beast and they don’t appear to have anything close anymore.

Rift Backpedal

I’m pretty sure my first look at Rift was curious interest. My next few looks became somewhat skeptical and doubtful. When some of my P&P group went ahead and ordered it (despite another one suggesting it was, “meh”, I didn’t order it and held off instead. When the folks at my work mentioned it, I hastily declined.

And that point of view hasn’t changed.

My buds are wishing they could cancel their pre-order but they can’t because they ordered directly from Trion. They’ve decided to just suck it up, play for the month and not renew (I think one signed up for three months?). That and hope it becomes more enjoyable for them over the next few betas.

Why do they dislike it?

Well, they say it’s basically WoW with better graphics. One of them has never played WoW and the other only played up to near max level in TBC (though he admitted it was ‘good’ overall, he just wanted more … depth?).

Apparently there are a lot of people trying to cancel pre-orders. Good sign?

I can’t be too proud, I picked up DCUO and prolly will cancel it in a month or so. It’s fun, I just don’t have the time for it now and the kids don’t seem all that interested in it.

Pathfinder Observations

When I first looked over Pathfinder (RPG based on the d20 system and often called D&D 3.75 edition) I was pleased to see the addition of a Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD). I thought this was an awesome way to sort out all the different, yet often very similar, combat mechanics. You want to Disarm someone? Okay, roll a d20, add your CMB and if it’s higher than the targets CMD you Disarm them. Same sort of deal for things like Grapple and Bull Rush.

Not so much for Feint.

Feint still requires a Bluff check, which makes sense. It is an opposed check against two different options; one being the raw talent and cunning of the target and the other being their skill as a bullshit detector.

Interesting that they deviated and it does make sense. Still a good change.

Skill changes are definitely much better. I absolutely love the changes they made, it’s incredibly simple. no silly cross cross penalty, instead they just give you a bonus if it’s a class skill. Oddly enough, 4e had this sort of mechanic as well.

The classes I read seem more powerful, which isn’t a bad thing because they’re all more powerful, not just one or two of them. With this additional power comes extra choice and customization.

The Druid, for example, can forgo his animal love slave and pick up nature-like domains; plant (extra tree hugging powers), animal (gives him a weaker ‘companion’ and some domain spells and some abilities – good catch on that), air, water, earth (screams, “Dwarfs be here” at me) and fire. Pretty cool, especially the Fire Druid. That just begs to be played next to a plant or animal druid. “You treat ‘em, I cook ‘em”

The Rogue, which was a combat class more fragile than any other, has had a HD upgrade and a bunch of other features tacked on. These Rogue abilities tend to focus on Rogue things, but you can switch them out for a Combat feat if you so choose. Finally, someone who actually played a Rogue got their hands on the design Wizards created and fixed it. At one point I almost posted a blog entry about how I’d fix the Rogue and they’ve done a hell of a job, addressing all the issues I could think of.

I took a look at a lot of the Rogue Special Ability options and they’re all really good. Lots of options for customization or specialization and even mechanics to help prevent them from getting squished right after they land that vicious sneak attack! Even some of the abilities that set the rogue apart are improved. For example, Trapfinding lets them find and disable magical traps, but it also grants them a skill bonus to finding traps and to disabling devices. Kind of cool – sets you up with an extra boost above the average person that might have Disable Devices.

The Wizard gets a bit more of a benefit for the cost they pay in order to specialize and even the non-specialist gets something. You have the option of going with an object that is bonded to you or a familiar. Familiars look to be about the same, I wasn’t too interested in those so I took a look at the bonded object. It’s considered a magic item and it lets you cast any one spell you have (prepared, I think?) without expending a slot, once per day. The downside of it is if you lose it or it is no longer in your possession, you have to make Concentration checks (a skill that no longer exists, instead it’s like making caster level check).

Needless to say, I can imagine players suggesting their bonded item is a butt-plug. No pick pocket is going to get their hands on that and most captors wouldn’t look there… well, some might. So that makes it almost impossible to note. Of course, as DM I’d require they RP it or they don’t get the benefit.

I mean walk oddly or ensure they collect it after a bowel movement… jeez people, what did you think I meant?

Almost makes me want to play a Wizard.

Because of the changes…

Fighters get some benefits allowing them to get general bonuses with weapon groupings, there are a good number of new and interesting combat feats, they get armor bonuses that reduce the impact of heavy armor on their movement (Armor Check Penalties, Max DEX and even movement speed). They also get a Bravery class feature that scales up as you level and gives you a bonus to saves against fear effects. When you sit back and think about it, Fighters (especially the ones that stand up at the front and take a beating for the group) have to be incredibly brave, nearly fearless or incredibly dumb to take the sort of beatings they do.

I’m a little iffy about the races. It really does seem like the Humans got the butt plug inserted sideways. They should have the feature that the Half-Elves get, the whole picking two favored classes thing. I’d suggest they upgrade it to consider every class level they take as a favored class. I guess in a way they do get that because they get a bonus skill point per level and still can pick a skill point or HP. Still, it doesn’t seem to weigh right against the abilities of other races.

I mentioned they tweak several feats, well a lot of the tweaks involve allowing an ability to scale. Now if you take some of the skill feats, the bonuses will scale up as you hit a certain level of ranks. Other feats have been added for some of the newer combat maneuvers and to impact your combat maneuver bonus or defensive bonus.They’ve even added in some teamwork feats that grant you bonuses in certain situations while another member has the same bonus.

Very cool stuff.

Admittedly, I didn’t look into the spell casting much as of yet. The character I currently have converted (Smaken) is a level 7 Half-Orc Fighter. I also created an Elf Rogue (or Rouge for some that have no idea what a Rogue is) who was focused on combat (survival) a little. He still has loads of skills but I tried to pick ones that would help him.

Anyway, there is still a lot to read and figure out, but so far, pretty good. My biggest complaint is that the core book is too big. Damn thing is huge! Gone are the days of just bring one regular sized rulebook to the session, now I’m stuck bringing that big beast of a Core Rule Book.

Ah well, I’ve got to get some exercise some how.