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I don't know what is up with MMORPGs going through huge changes when or events while I am in a isolationist mood. At least that seems to be the case with the ones I keep tabs on anyway. This time it was Fallen Earth going free-to-play last Wednesday. This was something announced a few months ago shortly after Icarus, the company that develops Fallen Earth, being bought by Gamers First. Apparently the transition went pretty smoothly and the channels today seemed to be more busy than usual. There was some lag on this morning but I am not sure if this was because of my connection being wonky as it has been problematic lately or the influx of new players. It became normal later though when I logged in for the above screenshot. Unlike other titles I've seem going from a pure subscription model to a hybrid free-to-play/subscription model, Fallen Earth might be the first where I don't have any mixed feelings about the change. Probably because of how they setup the different subscription tiers. Before I get to the meat of it though let me do some bragging. Since I was subscribed before the game going Free To Play I got that bike in the screenshot, the Spiked Chopper (insert "Born to be Wild" music here) as a reward. Plus a few other benefits. Now the cool thing about the bike is it is insanely better in terms of fuel efficiency than the bike I crafted a while ago. It also has more storage which for a crafter like me is pretty important as I need every space I can get to store my materials. Specially when out in the wild scavenging said materials. So I think I might be using it for quite a while. :) Alright. Enough bragging, on with the show...

The Spiked Chopper

I don't know what is up with MMORPGs going through huge changes when or events while I am in a isolationist mood. At least that seems to be the case with the ones I keep tabs on anyway. This time it was Fallen Earth going free-to-play last Wednesday. This was something announced a few months ago shortly after Icarus, the company that develops Fallen Earth, being bought by Gamers First. Apparently the transition went pretty smoothly and the channels today seemed to be more busy than usual. There was some lag on this morning but I am not sure if this was because of my connection being wonky as it has been problematic lately or the influx of new players. It became normal later though when I logged in for the above screenshot.

Unlike other titles I've seem going from a pure subscription model to a hybrid free-to-play/subscription model, Fallen Earth might be the first where I don't have any mixed feelings about the change. Probably because of how they setup the different subscription tiers.

Before I get to the meat of it though let me do some bragging. Since I was subscribed before the game going Free To Play I got that bike in the screenshot, the Spiked Chopper (insert "Born to be Wild" music here) as a reward. Plus a few other benefits. Now the cool thing about the bike is it is insanely better in terms of fuel efficiency than the bike I crafted a while ago. It also has more storage which for a crafter like me is pretty important as I need every space I can get to store my materials. Specially when out in the wild scavenging said materials. So I think I might be using it for quite a while. 🙂

Alright. Enough bragging, on with the show...

...continue reading "Fallen Earth and the free post-apocalypse"

6

Casimir on a rented chocoboI have been in an isolationist mood recently which means not playing MMORPGs. Still last week there was a humongous patch for Final Fantasy XIV which, among other things, introduced chocobos as mounts. Because of that I decided to log in quickly last week just to check it out. I was holding on making a post until I took some screenshots and tested a few other things out. Given my mood though it seemed a better idea to write this post now before the patch becomes old(er) news.

Despite the title of this post I do not have a chocobo to call my own yet. It is just a reference to the system's nickname back when it was announced. That and it amuses the hell out of me. Anyway, right now there are two ways of getting a chocobo mount. The first one is by renting a temporary chocobo. The second one is by joining one of the Grand Companies, earning their marks and buying it from them. My only option right now is renting so that is  what I got to test.

Rented chocobos are.... pretty slow actually. That was probably my biggest disappointment. It might just have been my impression but it really didn't feel like it was run much faster than my own two feet. Probably just an impression from the animation since it looked like the poor chocobo was running in slow motion. Another thing that I found disappointed was the price. It seemed a little expensive for my perma-noobie pockets even more so considering that there is a 10 minutes limit or that the chocobo goes back to the stable the moment you unmount. Again, might be a question of wrong perception.

By contrast the permanent chocobos I could observe were pretty fast. They could easily make me eat dust while I was running around on the  rented chocobo. Also they don't have a time limit and you can summon and unsummon them at will according to the patch notes. No clue how easy or hard it is to acquire one yet. As I mentioned before you need to be in one of the Grand Companies for it and my level is too low for it right now.  In both cases you can't fight while mounted on a chocobo. Something about the animations being a complicated point if I recall correctly....

What I did like though was... well, it is a chocobo! As a mount! It even had the traditional chocobo theme music as you ride it. I will admit that is something that just someone who enjoyed a Final Fantasy game will understand. For someone who never did all I can say is to give it a try.

Another thing that this patch changed were the crafting recipes as well as some materials. I didn't give a try yet but I plan to do it next time I get in the mood to play Final Fantasy XIV. I am looking forward to it because it looks I can finally craft appropriate gear for my own levels. Also hopefully being able to move from my current potato sack outfit to something with some actual color on it.

I also found interesting that Yoshi-P considers the patch as a halfway mark to make the game into a true Final Fantasy game. I don't know what is Square-Enix's definition of a Final Fantasy game is these days but there are definitely a lot of things this patch brought that makes me think of a Final Fantasy game.

Besides that there is a ton of stuff this patch brought that honestly I can't comment on right now. I just lack the game knowledge to say how it changed things or if something new it brought is interesting. If anyone is looking for a more in-depth look at the patch (or anything Final Fantasy XI/XIV related) I will just point you to the Mog Log, a column by Eliot Lefebvre at Massively. Unlike me he actually plays the game in a constant basis and has actual knowledge about the game.

For now, my analysis of this patch is.... I am actually excited about Final Fantasy XIV! Well, not enough to break my isolationist mood. But enough to start seriously considering keeping my subscription whenever they start charging it. 🙂

EDIT: Added a screenshot of the rented chocobo.

Time pass so fast.... It seems Final Fantasy XIV's one year anniversary is close by. Yet it doesn't feel like that. Of course, it doesn't help either that I barely played the game during that time period. Anyway, giving the event it seems like a good time to finally write a bit about my experiences with the game as well as my thoughts about it. Unfortunately there isn't much of the first and too much of the second. So I will try to balance them as much as possible and try to aim at something coherent. Just in case though I am filling this under ramblings as well. Alright. With all that said, on with the show!

Casimir looking out at the stars from Limsa Lomnisa

Time pass so fast.... It seems Final Fantasy XIV's one year anniversary is close by. Yet it doesn't feel like that. Of course, it doesn't help either that I barely played the game during that time period.

Anyway, giving the event it seems like a good time to finally write a bit about my experiences with the game as well as my thoughts about it. Unfortunately there isn't much of the first and too much of the second. So I will try to balance them as much as possible and try to aim at something coherent. Just in case though I am filling this under ramblings as well.

Alright. With all that said, on with the show!

...continue reading "One year of Final Fantasy XIV"

3

Kahlef showing off his new shawl and crafting outfit
Kahlef showing off his new shawl and crafting outfit

Today Kahlef finally got both his Earring of Solstice and Blessed Coldain Prayer Shawl. I was going to wait until the next Game Update (which should be arriving tomorrow) to get the rares necessary for them but decided to give do it today instead.

Why I was waiting for the update? Well, there will be a new AA tab that, among other things, will have an AA to increase your chances of getting rares. Since I have very little patience for harvesting that seemed like it would be a good reason to try that new AA and see if it really makes a difference.

However, Gracee, my guild leader on Crushbone, offered to help me with a few rares so I decided to accept it and then pay her back later. She also helped me by crafting some of the stuff I needed for both quests and the rest was made by Jaylah and her awesome army of crafters. To both of them, my deepest thanks. 😀

Now only a few more factions to get then gotta raise his tinkering and he should be self-suficient in all things decoration. 🙂

2

The second rat!The Antonia Bayle server has always been my home in EQ2 since my start in the game. That is where almost all my characters are and where I do events and other stuff first. A while ago, however, I made a character in the Crushbone server to help a friend to create a guild over there. She offered to let me stay in the guild if I wanted to, without any pressure whatsoever to play in the Crushbone server. After thinking for a bit I decided to accept her invitation for those times when stuff in Antonia Bayle was just too much.

Unfortunately the character has been very neglected since his creation. Only during this double XP weekend he got some very needed love which resulted in him reaching level 90 as a carpenter. Even that was only because I've been putting my decoration projects on hold until the update with the new crafted tiles and signs comes to live. I guess my itchy to make a pirate ship for the little guy over in Crushbone helped too....

There is still a lot to do with him though. Factions to get, quests to do for furniture, advanced recipes to hunt down, etc, etc. At least the hardest part, getting to 90, was accomplished. He also happens to be my 5th crafter to reach the level cap, which means I finally have a 100% XP bonus to all my other crafters now. 🙂

2

Before getting into the usual rambling about LotRO proper, just a heads-up. This little project will be put on hold for a few days, at least. There are a few other games I want to catch up (and have I been sorely neglecting them) so my plan is to do it in the next couple days. I will see if there is something interesting to write about it then it there will be something here. Also, this weekend Tinkerfest, a once in a year event, will start in Everquest 2. That is another reason for putting the project on hold. Depending on how Tinkerfest goes, I might resume this project only when the event ends, on August 8th. Again, if I find anything interesting to say about it then it will be posted here. Alright, with that said back to the dusty roads of The Shire. WARNING! Spoilers ahead about Lord of the Rings Online quests and other stuff. If that bothers you, don't read further!

Before getting into the usual rambling about LotRO proper, just a heads-up. This little project will be put on hold for a few days, at least. There are a few other games I want to catch up (and have I been sorely neglecting them) so my plan is to do it in the next couple days. I will see if there is something interesting to write about it then it there will be something here.

Also, this weekend Tinkerfest, a once in a year event, will start in Everquest 2. That is another reason for putting the project on hold. Depending on how Tinkerfest goes, I might resume this project only when the event ends, on August 8th. Again, if I find anything interesting to say about it then it will be posted here.

Alright, with that said back to the dusty roads of The Shire.

WARNING! Spoilers ahead about Lord of the Rings Online quests and other stuff. If that bothers you, don't read further!

...continue reading "The LotRO Experiment Part 3: I’m rich! I’m rich! … Ok, I am not."

2

WARNING: Spoilers about the game's quests ahead! So don't read any further if it bothers you. When we last left our hero*, he had just returned to the Shire. That after a brief encounter with a Black Rider, being captured by bandits, trying to protect (and failing) a village from said bandits, resulting with the death of the guard captain and the whole village going down in flames. If that wasn't bad enough he also witnessed a ranger joining the forces of Mordor. Granted, said ranger was previously stabbed by a Black Rider while trying to rescue him and the other hobbits. But who is counting, right? Hopefully this time he will have some actual heroics to brag about. Or at least not have anything go down in flames around him or rangers turning to the enemy side after being stabbed. Of course, the search for ways to earn TPs continues as well. * Hero here is being used in the broadest sense of the word.

WARNING: Spoilers about the game's quests ahead! So don't read any further if it bothers you.

When we last left our hero*, he had just returned to the Shire. That after a brief encounter with a Black Rider, being captured by bandits, trying to protect (and failing) a village from said bandits, resulting with the death of the guard captain and the whole village going down in flames. If that wasn't bad enough he also witnessed a ranger joining the forces of Mordor. Granted, said ranger was previously stabbed by a Black Rider while trying to rescue him and the other hobbits. But who is counting, right?

Hopefully this time he will have some actual heroics to brag about. Or at least not have anything go down in flames around him or rangers turning to the enemy side after being stabbed.

Of course, the search for ways to earn TPs continues as well.

* Hero here is being used in the broadest sense of the word.

...continue reading "The LotRO Experiment Part 2: The Shire Odd Jobs"

2

It was a chilly night in the shire. Inside my office it wasn't much better but it didn't bother me. I had opened it six months ago to offer my services as a private eye. Since then my jobs have been all small ones, nothing too complicated. Bakeries who thought their clients were cheating with pies from rival bakeries, lore-keepers who lost their pets, taking care of 10 rats... All properly taken care of and archived in the quest log for future reference. While I smoked my pipe, reminiscing about the time past, a woman came into my office. She had the looks that would drive any other hobbit female in the Shire mad with jealous. Her face was elegantly framed with blonde hair, her blue eyes had an exquisite gaze about them. Then there was the woman's hair foot, carefully trimmed and brushed, like the owner was used to a life of nothing but luxury. She walked calmly to my desk, dropping a large beige envelope on it and- Ooops! Wrong introduction! Sorry! *clears throat* So, the character was created and some stuff happened. That stuff may or may not have involved work as a private investigator and hobbits femme fatales. Read on to find out the details! Oh, yeah. There might be spoilers about quests and stuff too! So, don't click on the "Read More" if that bothers you.

It was a chilly night in the shire. Inside my office it wasn't much better but it didn't bother me. I had opened it six months ago to offer my services as a private eye. Since then my jobs have been all small ones, nothing too complicated. Bakeries who thought their clients were cheating with pies from rival bakeries, lore-keepers who lost their pets, taking care of 10 rats... All properly taken care of and archived in the quest log for future reference.

While I smoked my pipe, reminiscing about the time past, a woman came into my office. She had the looks that would drive any other hobbit female in the Shire mad with jealous. Her face was elegantly framed with blonde hair, her blue eyes had an exquisite gaze about them. Then there was the woman's hair foot, carefully trimmed and brushed, like the owner was used to a life of nothing but luxury.

She walked calmly to my desk, dropping a large beige envelope on it and- Ooops! Wrong introduction! Sorry!

*clears throat*

So, the character was created and some stuff happened. That stuff may or may not have involved work as a private investigator and hobbits femme fatales. Read on to find out the details!

Oh, yeah. There might be spoilers about quests and stuff too! So, don't click on the "Read More" if that bothers you.

...continue reading "The LotRO Experiment – Part 1: One dagger to stab them all!"

2

Recently I decided, on a whim, to play a bit of Lord of the Rings Online. I had tried it before during beta and a trial later on with a friend. In both times it never really captured my heart enough to actually want to subscribe to the game. Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO from this point on) however has switched to a "free to play" model for some time now. So I decided to check it out again and if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be losing anything more than my time. If I liked it but found myself not playing it for long periods of time for a reason or another then there would be no worries about wasting money because I wasn't playing. As I delved into LotRo again I found that the game's "free to play" model wasn't  exactly what I expected... But I also find something interested, that might be unique to Turbine games that made me think about starting this little experiment.

Recently I decided, on a whim, to play a bit of Lord of the Rings Online. I had tried it before during beta and a trial later on with a friend. In both times it never really captured my heart enough to actually want to subscribe to the game. Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO from this point on) however has switched to a "free to play" model for some time now. So I decided to check it out again and if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be losing anything more than my time. If I liked it but found myself not playing it for long periods of time for a reason or another then there would be no worries about wasting money because I wasn't playing.

As I delved into LotRo again I found that the game's "free to play" model wasn't  exactly what I expected... But I also find something interested, that might be unique to Turbine games that made me think about starting this little experiment.

...continue reading "The Lord of the Rings Online Experiment – Introduction"