CoH Meet ‘n’ Greet in AZ

Posted June 7th, 2009 (8:49 pm) || Comments Off

DeAnna and I had the opportunity to get together with a few dozen City of Heros players at Howie’s Game Shack yesterday for an official Arizona Meet ‘n’ Greet. The day was a blast! I had never been to a place like Howie’s before and actually didn’t even realize they existed. Apparently having public places where you can get and play console or PC video games is big business. There were some complications as not all the PCs were updated with the current version of the Test Servers, which is where we all wanted to play (to make it easier to play together rather than spread across several servers on the live game). This took some time to sort out but Howie’s gave those affected (maybe everybody) a free pass to return and free Monster drinks, and we took some time to get to know each other face to face before diving into the game.

The game intself had its own complications… which should have come as no surprose as we were on the test server, beta testing Issue 15. Many of us attempted the new Dr. Kahn Task Force but found we couldn’t get past the first mission. Some of us later found we could if we didn’t have a full team but I never had the chance to find out personally. I did set a new keybind for many of my characters using the “curseyou” emote (character shakes his fist in the air in frustration/anger) and the speach “KAAAAAAHHHNNN!!!” It got several laughs so I’m keeping it, especially for when Issue 15 goes live.

For the remainder of the afternoon I ended up running the Lady Gray Task Force for the first time, though also on the test servers. I had heard so much about it but never actually taken the time to get in on one. We broke for food, most of us not returning but DeAnna and I decided that since we were just going to get on the game upon returning home anyway we might as well stay and take advantage of the better graphics on Howie’s computers. We switched to the live servers and ran around with a few of our alts until we ran into some friends from the meet ‘n’ greet and ran Mission Architect arcs until we got to tired to continue.

I hope we get to do this again sometime. I don’t know if it’ll be an anual thing like HeroCon might be but I’m looking forward to it.

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Raven-Sue?

Posted May 19th, 2009 (5:36 pm) || Comments Off

I found the following website: http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm

It’s a “litmus test” for determining if your character (in a story you’ve written or are playing in an RPG) is a Mary Sue. I’m not personally into writing such characters into my own stories or similar but I do have one character in particular which might actually qualify for the title: Dust Raven (no surprise I’d imagine). So WTF? I took the test to see just how Mary Sue Dust Raven is, at least from the point of how I play him in the City of Heroes MMO. Turns out I should kill him instantly to avoid all the hassle of being accused of playing a Mary Sue…

Okay, so maybe that test is a bit off, or maybe it just doesn’t take into account that I’m playing an MMO (or maybe it does… after all, how often does Dust Raven get to show off his lovely singing voice in game, even though I know he has one?). I could also assume that by coincidence he simply shares many Mary Sue like traits but I’m a good enough role-player/author it doesn’t matter/show. I really have no idea. In some aspects I can definitely see a Mary Sueishness like aura surrounding a character who’s name I’ve adopted as my online persona and have made the effort to recreate in more than one RPG so I’ll accept the arbitrary ruling with a grain of salt.

It’s a fun test for any fan fiction author or role-player though… I just wouldn’t take it personally or seriously.

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Wings

Posted February 5th, 2009 (3:45 pm) || Comments Off

So I play City of Heroes. I have a character there named Dust Raven. He’s the guy pictured at the top of my blog. In the picture, he has wings. In the game he does not. He doesn’t even fly.

I’d always thought he’d have wings. Hell, in the game he can’t even fly! He teleports everywhere. Currently this has started to bug me. Not necessarily because he can’t fly, but because in the game, teleport kinda sucks. Granted it’s the only power that allows you to skip past any obstacle and even move through walls, but it completely relies on the target destination being within line of sight. Also, you have no gauge on the range of the power. If you teleport towards the horizon you always go your max range. You can’t teleport 20 feet up for example. Instead you have to teleport some 300+ feet then fall. Makes it hard to get around corners unless there’s an opposing wall nearby, but this alone can be coped with.

However, there are other issues which bother me. Occasionally the teleport power wigs out and shoots me off at a 90 degree angle from where I actually wanted to go. This actually turns my facing, meaning I have to take time to reorient myself to start teleporting in the correct direction. This time is also spent falling. I hate falling. Then there are the times it won’t let me teleport somewhere because it doesn’t like the target location. Maybe it’s too close to a door or the object really isn’t there and I can’t even click. This usually happens in transit and I’m falling out of the sky again wondering why the ‘port didn’t go off.

Then there’s the issues of being sidekicked or exemplared. It’s not easy staying close to a mentor when we can instantly be “too far away” instantly and without warning. I’ve actually been killed because I teleported toward a target just outside of my mentor’s range (and also been killed because my mentor teleported just a little too far away).

I think I might be trading the ability to teleport for a set of wings and some flight. Flight is nice. It’s the slowest movement power in the game, but it’s gotta be the coolest.

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E-Tools

Posted November 18th, 2008 (8:00 am) || Comments Off

A long time ago in a game system far, far away…

When WotC bought the rights to D&D and started rewriting the system, they promised to create character creation program which included a number of campaign management tools. While they went through a few developers in getting this done, they eventually ended up with a program called E-Tools. While not perfect, E-Tool did what was promised and was extremely useful for both players and GMs. What is great about it was that it allowed players to add in their own material, such as new monsters, spells, magic items, etc. Its one great flaw was there was no way to create or even significantly modify an existing class.

Years have gone by, and the developer of E-Tools no longer supports the program, and WotC has a new edition of D&D with a whole new program. I, however, still play D&D 3.5 and use E-Tools. I started a new campaign a few months back and one of my players wanted to play a sohei. The sohei class was originally released for Oriental Adventures for 3.0 and was never released as an expansion for E-Tools. When the transition to 3.5 occurred, WotC had already dropped all its plans for L5R which it used for the setting for Oriental Adventures, and so never re-released the book. While they did release many of the classes in a number of their Complete series, the sohei was not one of them.

I went over other classes which might allow the player to achieve his character’s concept but nothing really worked. Ultimately we just went with the original sohei class, modified based on an update article I found which brought the class current and balanced for 3.5. We just couldn’t use E-Tools to build and manage his character.

Until now.

All of the information in E-Tools is managed in an Access database and is user accessible. Granted, unless you know how to use Access this doesn’t really help. Fortunately I’ve had a little training in its use. This didn’t make the job of trying to edit the database easy though. Fortunately most of what needed to be changed was logically named and easy to find. I did have to go back and keep changing things, and adding things in different places but I got it done. Now I have a fully functioning sohei class I can use with E-Tools.

This thrills me. While this would have been no great task for a real programmer, I am extremely pleased I have learned how to do this. What it means to me is that I can continue to customize my campaign universe by adding in other classes I feel should be there (should I find or think of any), as well as make major modifications to existing classes, particularly prestige classes.

For example there are several prestige classes presented in Complete Divine which require the worship of a specific deity of the official D&D universe. I’m using my one unique pantheon of deities, however, so all of these classes are barred to me even if a few of my deities are extremely close in nature and outlook as the official ones. Well, now I can go in and adjust those requirements, even renaming the class to reflect the name of the deity or faith of my own universe it’s attached to.

The same goes for all of those organization prestige classes as well. I may not have those organizations in my campaign world, but I could have similar ones or ones with a different name. It’s an easy matter to simply rename them as appropriate.

So now it’s off to see what all I can customize!

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Alien Elven Babies

Posted September 15th, 2008 (10:57 pm) || Comments Off

At this point, just one baby. As I sluggishly continue along with my legacy family in the Sims 2, Kemian as recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl. She is green. She has large, black almond shaped eyes. She does not, unfortunately, have pointed ears. Or maybe she does and that just doesn’t show on infants. I should at least know by the time she’s a toddler, I recall from memory it shows up then. Just in case though, Kemian should probably have another alien baby. He’s gonna need some help taking care of the kids though. It’s a lot of work being a baby factory and there’s only so much money you can make off a money tree. It shouldn’t be too hard to move in his college sweetheart. I don’t see her as being the mothering type (romance aspiration, rather than family), so maybe Kemian can convince her to work while he stays home with the kids.

They he can kick her out after they are all teenagers!

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