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Old 05-19-2008, 10:15 AM   #1
Ederaachamh
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 263
Default Game update

Ok, having played my eyes out for the last couple days, lemme give you guys a little update on the game.

The pre-access launch was slightly delayed as reported, but overall once it came up it's been pretty stable and lag free. It's not sure how many were allowed into pre-access but Funcom have stated that 700k total units were sold, 110k of which were the limited edition, which sold out. I *suspect* that the preaccess was about 50-100k.

The game itself is running quite well on an 8800gt with 2 gb ram on vista with full detail and high res (1600x1200). It says it's directx10, but there are reports it's not actually directx10. In any case it looks very good. There are some memory leaks and crashes, but overall not as bad as I expected. They seem to have improved performance a bit, so it may actually run reasonably on older hardware on lower settings.

As far as our server choice is concerned, we rolled on the only RP-PvP server, Cimmeria. Unfortunately at launch, the server was not actually tagged RP in the server list, so there are a few people who rolled on it accidentally who are not roleplay friendly. On the other hand, it would seem quite a number of a$$es came on board anyway, some of them explicitly targeting the fact that it is an RP server.

Some dungeons and areas are PvP even in the "beginner" first 20 levels. And already there are many instances of gankers using every trick in the book to kill people. Advantage in numbers, levels, attacks from stealth and surprise, especially at the inconvenient time when you've just engaged a monster, you name it. Some have corpse ganked at the rez point because there is no immunity timer. There also seem to be no level restrictions for PvP for now so I would not be surprised to find bored high levels going around creating havoc. It may change, but who knows what Funcom are thinking.

Just to drive home the point that these a-holes derive pleasure from other's annoyance, I was actually "griefed" even in the sole non-pvp questing zone for the low levels. How? Well I needed to kill this Boss for the quest, and was standing there waiting for it to spawn when this guy came up and started swinging at an empty space. Turns out thats exactly where it spawned. So he "tagged" it, and I could not get credit. FIne, I was there first, but maybe he just wanted to barge his way through. I waited for the next spawn. Lo and behold, about 10 seconds before it spawned, he came around again and snatched it away right in front of me. There is no doubt that was his intention, I saw him do the same to some others later on.

As it turns out, a lot of these zones are "instanced" if there are too many people trying to use it, and you are able to select a new instance at any time (yet another "cheat" to get away from people that will be exploited no doubt). Anyway I just yelled an expletive at him, put him on ignore and switched instances and got my quest done. The "beauty", if you can call it that, of this being a PvP server is that if i next see him, I will know to return the favor. My ignore list will be my Kill-On-Sight list

So why did I bring all this up? To give you a warning as to why to expect from a PvP server. If you are easily upset by these kinds of things, then I would recommend you roll on a PvE server, which is more like DAoC rules. ( Ironically though, what that prick did to me can still be done on a PvE server, except with no recourse for satisfaction But at least you can read all the quests in peace. ) At the very least, if you plan to play solo a lot, roll a rogue archetype so you can stealth! BTW there seems to have been a change, only the rogue archetype can stealth now, the other classes don't seem capable anymore, at least so far we've seen.

I actually tried a short stint in the "unofficial" RP-PvE server, Wiccana, and the global chat was full of helpful and friendly people.

Having said all this, the presence of all these miscreants gives a more "dangerous" edge to the game, and has resulted in guilds declaring that they will try to protect the innocent. And it is satisfying to get revenge or to kill a killer. There is already a guild specializing in mercenary tasks, for a small fee you can submit a name to them and they will get you a picture of the execution. There's already a guild who is unabashedly "evil", and any members have been tagged Kill-On-Sight (Murder Herd, probably a cows with guns joke.).

Ok, with that out of the way, there is much to explore in the game. The quests are unexpectedly well done. Quite involved and well written. Something that you would have expected from NWN or Baldurs Gate, actually. It really plays a lot like NWN 2, especially with the closeups and dialog selection. Some quests (not many) even allow you to choose to handle things in different ways.

Leveling wise, it does take a bit of time. Quests seem to reward better than just sitting and killing the same thing over and over. But I don't know how, some people have already reached level 40+ in the 2 days it's been released. (80 is max). I've just passed 20 myself, but i have been trying a few things.

Anyway, the other thing to keep in mind is that a few of us are pretty much on the other side of the world, so playtimes are going to be hard to coordinate, probably only possible on weekends, and not very often. May have to make new friends or drag some other friends along. There are also sure to be a lot of new servers at launch (probably 5 times as many?) and maybe even some RP-PvE ones.

I've only just got off the "newbie isle", so take this for what it is. So far I'm enjoying the new game mechanics and the quests and eye candy. I like my stealthing barbarian, hehe. I wouldn't play a non stealther solo on this server, just too much anxiety. I've got myself a Bear Shaman alt to play when others are around. A lot of things I wish Funcom could have done better, but I think it's futile trying to wait for a perfect game, just have to enjoy what comes out. The newness factor is still there, I just wish I could keep sinking so much time in this without feeling guilty about neglecting real life stuff!
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