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July 14, 2008



Sounds good, Saylah. I wish I could join you in EQ2, but a friend and I started up WoW again this past week. Going well, since we both love the feel of that game's PvE content.

AoC is the game I want to play, but don't want to... as in, the leveling content stops in the early 50s and I'm 48 so I'm avoiding it like the plague until content gets added in.

RE: WAR, I already talked to you about this, and I truly believe you'll find a lot to like about it. Reading your thoughts here, I think you may enjoy it more than you ever liked WoW. 2 months and counting, milady.


EQ2 is a great choice. AoC I think still needs some settling down, but it has lots of potential and I'm sure I'll give it another shot someday.

Meanwhile, hope to run into you on AB!


@ JoBildo - My BS is high 20s now so I'm going to move into the 30s and revisit how I feel about it. I'm also going to get the harvesting skills trained so I can do a bit of that too. I desperately want my mount to alleviate the long distances. Funny that running back and forth is still time consuming in this very instanced game. :-)

Regarding WAR, I'm hoping for more based on things we've discussed. However, I'm going to stick with my original expectations and be pleasantly surprised if I get more.


Great! Glad you've been enjoying your time in both.

I tried EQ2 again with the Living Legends thing and... ugh... I just can't do it. It really bothers me, too. I know there must be great content in there, but it seems like no matter what I try, EQ2 presents every single aspect of itself in such a manner that pushes me away.

Here's a thought to explore: why do we say EQ2 is "zoned" but AoC is "instanced?" Honestly, the only difference between the two is that AoC is population-controlled. An EQ2 "zone" is still a public instance since it's physically separated from every other zone. So are AoC's zones with the exception that, due to its graphics, AoC will only tolerate a limited number of people in its zones, and much like Guild Wars or DDO, players can freely switch districts within the same instance/zone.

Also if you're still searching for inspiration, apply for the beta of Wizard101. I thought it was going to be another F2P but turns out it's far from it, and despite being targeted at tween demographics, there is so much innovation in areas both big and small packed into this little game that I will seriously be shocked if it isn't a huge success. I haven't had this much fun in awhile, especially in a beta.


Hehe, that was quite the gaming rollercoaster ride. :) Glad you seem to have settled into something enjoyable there.

Have you taken a look at that Wizard101 game that Tipa (amongst others) are in beta? Looked like an interesting game gameplay-wise (though the target audience is young). (I wrote this before reading what Scott wrote above - decided to leave it though: it does look like a neat game.)

EQ2 seems like a pretty solid game. I was in their LL campaign which I found enjoyable for a bit. I liked EQ2's put-stuff-wherever-you-please furniture system. (LotRO uses set hooks to put things in.) I also like the books you can collect in EQ2 (which was also one of my favorite things to do in Oblivion when not shooting random people with my bow or dodging city guards). Other than those features though, I had a tough time getting into EQ2.

Anyway, glad you found a home (or at least a comfy motel to stay in for a bit). :)


@Scott. Interesting question. I consider zones as regions that require a transition to a different gaming sector or shard but that area is shared by all players. WOW's transition from Eastern Kingdom to Outlands is a zone. Whereas all of the raid content from 5-man to 25-man is all instanced.

For EQ2 there is zoning when you go from Commandlands to Qeynos is zoning - everyone transitions into the same copy of the area. Similarly, the only group content I've experienced is also zoned because the instance is shared. I have heard that there can be multiple copies of an area like Commandlands but I've never encountered that and am not sure if that still exists.

AOC on the other hand is clearly instanced. Many of the shared zones have multiple copies and you have to know which one people are in if you want to play together. I've had this happen to me every time I've tried to group with people. I have to figure out which instance they're in and go into that copy of the zone before I could be summoned.

The instancing isn't toooooo bad in AOC. The content and graphics are diverse enough that I can forgive most of it. Whereas in a game like Pirates of the Burning Sea, it got on my nerves that every piece of questing content was instanced as well as all PVP encounters. That was a bit much for my tastes.


@Kahn - I looked at the Wizard101 website and the graphics made me think tweens. The graphics themselves didn't put me off but I did get the impression the content would be focused on a younger audience.

I have read Tipa's thoughts as well as Darren's and considered trying to get into the BETA for a peak. As a Harry Potter fan the whole wizard thing appeals to me. Then I thought do I really want to play a throw away character right now (beta toon)? I decided not so much. I'll just wait and see how it shapes up. It's good to hear more good news coming out of the BETA. I'm going to be travel quite a bit more the latter part of this year and into 2009. Finding a "real" MMO for that can be played on my laptop would be sweet. The graphics in Wizard101 appear less intensive so that might work. Surprisingly, EVE Online runs pretty damn flawless on the Tablet PC.

PS. If it is targeted toward teens I might be able to get my daughter to play. She's not a tween - 2nd year college but I miss playing online with her since we gave up on The Sims Online. She still plays the PC version. If fact, we just pre-ordered Sims Apartment Life. I've tried MMOs but she's a real girlie girl and scares easily. Monsters and other players jumping out from behind things to kill her wasn't her cup of tea. Same deal with my best friend. We did TSO together but she's not into the whole kill things and other people to advance in a game.

She tells this funny story about when I had talked her into WOW on a PVP server because that's where my family was playing. I'd given her a high teens toon after she'd done some prep work in Goldshire. She was minding her own business in Lakeshire when she saw something stabbing her in the back. At first she was confused then she turned to see a rogue slicing away at her. She said she thought, "Oh my gawd, this person is trying to kill me! What have I done to him? I don't even know him why would he want to kill me??" Next thing she knew she was dead.

i laugh my ass off every time she tells it. You have to hear her voice get all high pitched and truly indignant that some stranger wanted her dead. LOL Finding an MMO to play with her now that we're 900+ miles away from each other would be priceless.


I'd say tweens is certainly the target for Wizard101 but from the beta forums alone, we've got mostly adults and plenty of seniors even playing and loving it. Yeah, the cartoony graphics and bright colors should attract the younger crowd, which is fine. Parental controls are already in effect and everything is "safe" as-is, from character names even to the chat interface. In fact, you actually have to go into your account settings to enable "dictionary chat" which actually lets you type rather than use the click-chat system. However, unsafe (even a lot of safe) words are filtered in dictionary chat, *AND* safe words must be spelled correctly which is awesome! No more zomg i pwnd u n00b! I love it.

I wish I could go into more detail but... NDA and all. Let's just say it's a far cry from a normal MMO experience I was expecting. It takes a lot of familiar aspects from the MMORPG genre, but also the turn-based console RPG's (Final Fantasy) and CCG's such as Magic: the Gathering and mixes them together into one delightfully fun game that has so many little things I scream "why hasn't this been done before? Why isn't this feature in my real MMO's?"


I will definitely keep a closer eye on W101 now. Thanks for the extra information.


Darn you W101 people... I signed up for beta. Tweens or not, if it's as good as some are saying I MUST SEE IT!


I just hit 60 with my Conqueror in AoC and I'm trying out crafting. Certain tradeskills are definitely more useful then others from what I've seen. Alchemy was finally fixed so that humanoid casters now drop ingredients. A lot of people trying to level it up so they can make food and potions.

I also had a friend level up armorsmithing and he can actually make some armor that sells at the trader. There are still itemization holes in Age of Conan so player crafted items like gloves and helms sell fast. Unfortunately, armorsmithing and weaponsmithing items have no stats and instead are filled with gem slots. This practically requires you to go into jewelcrafting if you want to flesh out the items.

Also it seems like certain stats are still not working in Age of Conan. Strength doesn't seem to be having much an effect on my character but I maxed out a set of player made armor with nothing but 2h-blunt damage increasing gems and its insane. The entire game is not very well thought out but it's the perfect place to have fun and surprise your friends when you white hit them for 800.


This is a little iffy regarding the NDA, though it doesn't *specifically* mention images or video of the beta, so I put up a video of a combat encounter with Tristan Moonstrider, my level 5 Theurgist (School of Life Magic). Was walking through Unicorn Way and another wizard was in combat with 2 dark fairies so I jumped in to help. I'm the one standing in the 'eyeball' circle.



@JoBildo - I know! They are tempting me to try for the BETA. But right now I'm enjoying EQ2 so I'm going to hold tight before the feeling passes.

#Relm - Thanks for stopping by with the crafting info. I haven't been on the forum in a couple of weeks. Too much bitchin' I was thinking of Alchemy myself as a trade. But armorsmithing is also a consideration in case I don't group much and miss out on dungeon sets. Hmm, I'll have to think on that a bit. Congrats on hitting 60!


@Scott - Oh, so you just want to flaunt your BETA-ness in our faces, is that it?? *smile*


Well, they say "if you've got it, flaunt it," right?

On second thought, that phrase just doesn't work for guys...


I must say I'm surprised to be hearing good things about Wizard 101 from so many sources. It would be funny if a game like that surprised everyone and ended up making more money then Wrath of the Lich King and Warhammer.


I doubt Wizard101 will be *that* big. (I wouldn't complain if it was, though) That said, I intend to try it out. It looks like fun, and it might even be happy on my less-than-Alienware computer.


Funny you mention the map in AoC..
I just did a post on the maps of MMO's and how they work.

I consider AoC's map the best in the genre at this point. The ease to get where you need to be, the capability to resize, zoom in real close. It feels just Googly in it's mapping ways.

Of course, my wife who is directionally challenged just could not stop saying how much she loves Guild Wars map also. Easy to get around.

Cheers, and good luck back in EQ2 (I am still there also...but, if AoC gets those patches rolling, I will be back in a flash. It is an awesome casual game)


@Open - I'm also directionally challenged. Always have been and always will be. Other than overlapping icons which you can't see the tooltip for on occasion, AOC has the best MMO map ever.


@Open - I hate Bloggers secure commenting. That OpenID crap never works for Typepad. I couldn't comment on Jobildo's blog and I've tried 5x just now on yours. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Here's what I would have posted.

"I've used all the maps you listed with the exception of WAR since I'm not in BETA.

WOW had a decent map. Nothing specially originally and the fact that it took up the whole dang screen was very annoying. You had to get a mod to improve that alone. However, since the original version, they've added nice features of their own. WOW's default map plus QuestHelper is all you ever need to know exactly where to go in WOW.

EQ's map is epic fail and even more so because quest directions are retarded. The only mod I know of EQ2 Updater is only slightly better. Seriously, this game's overall usability would increase 10-fold if they copy WOW's current map or better yet, mimic AOC.

GW's map was decent but I haven't played since Prophecies. It did the job nicely but doesn't stand out in my mind as being great.

AOC has the best map hands-down. No questions asked, AOC's map is what ever other game should aspire to implement - minus the few bugs and sometimes overlapping icons."


O no...I wish you could have posted that comment.
Thanks for trying..
Ah well...stupid blogger, and the fact that spammers are finding ways around it now, just sucks.

Yes, I think the only reason maps worked in GW is the directions were straight forward. It was not anything special, but all the little additions is what made it work. You got directions to your quest, you could see where you had been, and minor items have been added now, like the location of Collectors on the U map (Adventure map). Was always a pain finding those in Prophecies.

Now, as to AoC, if all games follow that criteria in the future, they could be quite good.

Recently an old guild mate of mine has started a simple blog about Aion, and he posted about the maps there for me (as well as crafting, which he has a video of and it looks awesome)
But, look at the map, nice looking, slightly detailed, but not overbearing. Now, as long as I can resize it, it will be a winner.

Makes me wish AoC did not suck so bad...or rather Funcom was not so sucky, as AoC is good, Funcom is bad.
Take today's patch. What a disaster. AGAIN
(bows head in shame)


I am looking at trying out LOTRO again. Can anyone recommend a class/race/professions, etc., and the best server to play on? I was part of the BETA before it released, but at the time had friends playing WoW and went back to it, dropping LOTRO. I vaguely remember playing a captain and a hunter, but at this point I have no idea what classes would be the best to play. I tend to solo a lot, is this game decent now for soloing the content?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


@Open - Be damned with that map, I want an avatar that looks like that! Holy Cow! Talk about a high fantasy characterization! I don't know crap about Aion. The name reminded me of that craptastic movie with oh, what's her name??? Grrr... Too tired to look it up. Long and horrible day at work. Anyway, I have to check your friend's blog more closely over the weekend.

Eww, bad patch day? I was going to play AOC this weekend if I don't get stuck doing work.

@Roma - Hopefully JoBildo will see your comment. He was following it pretty closely for a while and if you go back to my original Missing MMO Home post, some commenters provided some nice updates on LOTRO and which classes have had talent reviews. Good luck!


I sure cannot help. I am an ANTI-LOTRO player. I felt everything was wrong with that game, except for the many browns used on the landscapes.

O yes. Can we say FF-X or FFXI done to the 'nth degree...
The models are gorgeous. And if you watch the crafting video there, I so want my girlie character to stomp her feet when she fails a recipe like that, it was the cutest thing EVER (ps: Yes, I am a male who has no issues with his masculinity, as my wife says)
And don't start me on the flying thing. I have played an Asian MMO called Perfect World, and I never quested after a while, and instead just flew around...lol
Anyways, good luck in your quest for THE GAME!


Without knowing more about you, I'd say whatever makes you happy. Generally speaking: hunters = ranged dps, champion = melee dps, captain is a melee hybrid, lore master is a castor hybrid with a pet and burglar is a debuffer hybrid with stealth. Burglar is my personal fav: stealth to go where I want and excellent solo survivability. Also lots of skills for groups too. Each class, except Captain, I think, has received a skill review and may be a little different from what you remember. Lore Master survivability has greatly improved, for example, and they have a lot more stun-type abilities to keep mobs off them.

If you're new on a server, and it sounds like you will be, the explorer profession can net you a lot of cash and you'll be able to make yourself armor. If you have a heavy-armor wearing class, armorer is the way to go.

Hobbits rule!! It's hard to come home after a bad day and still have a bad day running around on my hobbit. (But whatever makes you happy.) If you do create a Man, I'd recommend getting out of Breeland. Or try it out but know you don't have to stay there if you don't like it. The Shire and Ered Luin are more diverse zones and I like them better.

Turbine has added a lot of solo content. I haven't had a problem soloing though I haven't soloed exclusively (I'm in a large kin and we do a lot of the book quests together most of which are group-based).

I play on Landroval and I love the community there. I'm not familiar with other servers and I'm sure many others would make a good home too.

Hope this helps!


@Openedge1 - I completely understand where you are coming from. I was not impressed with LOTRO during the BETA much at all, but I am now ready to give it one more go around. My time in WoW is pretty much up after leveling my warlock to 65, rogue to 57, and having a 70 hunter already. The same old content over and over again equals time for a change.

@Khan - thanks for the info, I am going to try it out in the coming week or so. I will take a look at your server as well. I have no idea what my password or server name was or anything from when I was in BETA. As I mentioned above, my time in WoW is over. I need something new that I can play a little more casually. Not sure if LOTRO is that game, but I am going to try it again, and maybe GW again too, who knows....Is your character name the same as your blog name?

Also, I am preparing to try out a closed BETA for a game called Atlantica. Anyone familiar with it?


@Roma: LotRO isn't for everyone but giving it a shot can't hurt. There have been a lot of changes in past months. I suspect you'll find the beginning experience will be similar to what you remember though after twenty it changes a fair amount (most of the new abilities start kicking in around twenty and so does the cosmetic stuff).


To the comment that EQ2 sometimes feels like math class... While I was out leveling last night I received a new character attribute (not sure that's what it's really called). It flashed by the screen before I could see it and by current hotbar was full so I had to go looking for it. In doing so, I noticed two new tabs on the AA window with at least 10 character choices I'd never knew to make. I'm not sure but these might have been added to the game while I was unsubscribed.

Bad thing was not knowing these choices existed out of which I got 4 new spells that are valuable. In addition to, I got two spells upgraded to Master II!!!!!! I've never EVER had a master anything spell before so this is a big deal. I was able to upgrade my main Mez and Direct Damage spells to MII. Sweet deal but it speaks to the information overload that can exist with this game.

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