Tag: Everquest 2

A Poor Girl’s Guide to Free MMOs: Dragon’s Prophet

Dragons-Prophet-1Attention gamers! Allow me to introduce you to the newest FTP game to hit the internet: Dragon’s Prophet, a game in which you are able to capture dragons and train them to fight alongside you as your trusted companions while you journey through the world of Auratia and defeat evil, one quest at a time.

Brought to you by Sony Online Entertainment, the same company that brought you the worlds of Everquest, Everquest 2 and DC Universe OnlineDragon’s Prophet manages to make itself stand apart from other MMOs. While on the surface, this game walks like a duck and talks like a duck, this game is in fact a goose.

Firstly, you’re allowed to create and have six playable avatars on the same server. This makes Dragon’s Prophet different right off the bat, because a lot of free MMOs only allow you to have two avatars at your disposal per sever (or sometimes even per account).

Secondly, is the character creation. As with other games, you’re able to decide the gender as well as fully customize the appearance of your avatar, but Dragon’s Prophet takes it to a whole new level by allowing you to customize the bicep size of male avatars…as well as allowing you to customize the breast size, breast height, as well as the amount of cleavage shown for the female avatars.

How many games can claim that attribute?

None that I’ve seen, and I’ve played quite a few.

The third difference is the fact that while you’re able to choose from four classes, Oracle (healer class), Ranger, Guardian (warrior class), and Sorcerer, you are not able to choose any race other than human.

Another difference relates to actual game-play. To someone who’s played her fair share of online role-playing games, the controls take quite a lot of getting used to. While the basic keyboard commands remain the same (W = move forward, S = move backwards, the spacebar = jump, and A/D = moving to the left or right, respectively), the mouse commands and controls are not the same. It’s with the mouse that Dragon’s Prophet breaks formation from other games. What I mean by this is that the camera angle is no longer changed by left-clicking and moving the mouse in the desired direction. All you have to do is move the mouse and the camera moves with you. Now, since this feature doesn’t allow you to either click on an object (for looting or collecting) or target an enemy for attack or an NPC (non-player character) in order to strike up a conversation, the programmers designed the game so that you automatically target an enemy or NPC once they’re in your line of sight. In order to attack, you simply perform one of your default attacks by either left or right-clicking, or pressing a key that corresponds to another attack. In order to strike up a conversation with an NPC, you simply move your avatar until he or she is close enough to the character at which point, you are prompted to press the F key–thereby initiating a conversation that often leads into a quest.

Like I said, it takes some getting used to, but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience of the game.

As with any free-to-play game, there are special extras and bonus packages that need to be purchased if you so desire to have them, but they’re not required in order for gamers to enjoy the game itself.

While the the game’s graphics are a little herky-jerky at times (no doubt because the game is still in Beta), they are nevertheless good and pleasing to the eye. Being as Dragon’s Prophet is and SEO vehicle, the graphics are reminiscent of those found in the Everquest games, but they also have a slight World of Warcraft feel to them. They’re nowhere near as cartoony, but there is a slight resemblance.

Overall, I find the game to be very enjoyable. In fact, my only actual, real complaint is that while you’re on the character-select screen to pick whichever one of your avatars you wish to play as, there is no option that allows you to close out of the game.

Why is this a problem?

Let me explain…

Say for example that you’re logged into the game and playing as your Sorcerer, and you decided that you wanted to spend some time leveling up your Guardian, or whatever other avatar you created. However, when you log out of the active game and go to the selection screen so you can select your other avatar, you happen to check the time and suddenly remember that you have an appointment to get to. With any other game, you would be able to choose the option to quit the game and thereby be logged out completely until you were able to log back in and play again. But with Dragon’s Prophet, you are forced to log into the game as one of your avatars so you can then select the option of quitting the game from your in-game menu. Not even pressing the Escape key repetitively will get you out of the selection screen.

Now, since this game is still in the Beta stage, I don’t know if this issue is a bug that needs to be fixed or if it was simply a detail that was unfortunately overlooked. What I do know is that it’s highly annoying as well as incredibly inconvenient. The sooner the programmers fix that problem, the happier gamers will be.

Dragon’s Prophet officially launches on the 18th of September, but if you can’t wait until then, by all means download the game and start playing today! It’s fun and most importantly, FREE!!!!

A Poor Girl’s Guide to Free MMOs: Rift

You might recall from earlier posts found here, here, and here, that I am always on the lookout for a free gaming option that can effectively replace EQ2 (Everquest 2) for me. I’ve been on this seemingly endless quest for quite  few years now, and while I’ve found quite a few games, none of them ever seemed to quite be that perfect fit for me, and I always found myself not wanting to play anymore.

That was until I found Rift.

I had heard about Rift not long after I had been forced to stop playing EQ2 a few years ago because it had become an unnecessary expense in therift-2010-12-18-21-51-08-64 world of rent, utility bills and groceries (that and I had fallen hard and fast into the inevitable pit of addiction that many players of MMOs fall into), but when I learned that like EQ2, WoW (World of Warcraft), and pretty much every other MMO on the market at the time there was a monthly fee in order to play, I didn’t give the game a second thought because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play it. After all, what was the point of getting excited (and in spite of my best efforts, I did get excited every time I saw an advertisement for the game in GameInformer) about a game that I knew I wouldn’t be able to play?

So, I simply bounced from game to game as they became FTP (free-to-play), but like I mentioned above, none of them ever truly seemed to stick. For a full chronicling of my saga, please feel free to read the blog entries listed above (please keep in mind that they were written a couple years ago, so things may have changed with the games mentioned within). Finally, it seemed that SWOTR (Star Wars the Old Republic) would be the game that I could happily play, and for a good while it was, until restrictions started being placed upon gamers with free accounts (they can now only have 2 active avatars on a server, only certain races are now available, and certain customizations are no longer allowed to be activated and used without a paid account…even though these customizations are often given to the player as quest rewards regardless of account type (seriously…figure that logic out if you can)).

However, all of this changed very recently when last month I read on a Raptr forum that none other than Rift was to join the ranks of FTP games within the course of a few weeks. Naturally, I couldn’t believe it, and while I was extremely excited…I was nevertheless guarded. After all, I had been burned before. Rift was the first thing I downloaded since getting a new laptop, and I’ve been playing it whenever the time is allowed to me…and I think I can say without any doubt that I’ve finally found my replacement for EQ2.

Simply put, this game is AWESOME!

As with EQ2, SWOTR and WoW, you have two rival factions to choose from (either Guardian or Defiant), and each faction has its own specific, playable races that are fully customizable. However, unlike the three aforementioned games, ALL races are available to players regardless of their account type. You are also able to join a guild. As with the EQ2 I used to love, you’re able to search through guild listings until you find one that you feel would be the perfect fit you, and you’re also able to message the guild leaders and ask to join. You’re also given a free house for your avatar by way of a quest (though in this game, the houses are called Dimensions) that you’re able to decorate and upgrade (for a price, but you’re able to use the coins you earn in-game). You can also purchase various mounts (and trust me, there are a LOT) for your avatars so long as you’ve saved up enough coins from your exploits.

Your character is able to develop various skills like fishing and different types of harvesting in order to gather crafting supplies for whatever crafting profession you choose to focus on when you’re not running around questing or raiding. Every quest that you complete, and every rift that you seal (the primary focus of the game is to seal rifts (portals) in which various demons and monsters try to enter your world and gain a foothold) gains you notoriety with the various groups, clans and organizations found in whatever land you happen to be questing at the time. Also (and this I think is really awesome), every rift is a raid opportunity. If you see a rift open and you have the notion to do so, you can run up to it and join the public raid group that’s already doing battle and thereby join in the battle and partake of all the loot and XP.

And this is just my weird sense of humor showing, but every time you kill a humanoid NPC (non-player character), they always fall to the ground in such a dramatic way. It’s not bloody and gory by any means…it’s more along the lines of an over-exaggerated swoon. Oh, and on top of all that, you can even have your avatar marry someone else’s avatar if you so desire…there’s an actual NPC marriage coordinator.

Oh! And before I forget, if you happen to have a Raptr account and run the desktop app, it keeps track of all the hours you spend playing the game and gives you rewards that you can use in-game from pets, armor, and even special mounts!

Basically, this game has everything!

Don’t get me wrong, I still play SWOTR (usually only when my hubby’s in the mood to play), and occasionally DCUO (DC Universe Online…though admittedly, I prefer playing it on the PS3), but Rift has quickly become my go-to PC game, and quite frankly, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

 

Have you hugged your nerd today?

 

 

 

Kingdoms Of Amalur…The Awesomeness!

Hello fellow gamers!

I come to you today to talk about the awesomeness that is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Brought to you by the creative minds of  Ken Rolston, the game’s executive designer, and R. A. Salvatore, not only the creator of the game universe and lore, but a power-house author of the fantasy genre, along with Todd McFarlane (the creator of the artwork), and Grant Kirkhope creating the musical score, Kingdoms of Amalur is an amazing new addition to the world of electronic RPGs.

Available for PC, XBOX 360, and PS3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was released this past February, and was developed by 38 Studios and Big Huge Games.

Now, this game really appeals to my love of RPGs not only because of the wide range of quests that you have to choose from (quests that are completely outside the realm of the main plot), but also because of the way that you really get to customize your in-game character. While you’re only allowed to choose from 4 races (2 human, and 2 elven), you’re nevertheless able to customize everything from skin, facial features, piercings, hair and tattoos. But the customization doesn’t end there. Unlike with other RPGs, you’re not limited to only one path (ranger, wizard, warrior, etc). Rather, you’re allowed to mix and match. While you can choose to pursue just one path, what’s the point of having the ability to combine paths if you don’t take advantage of it?

Right?

I for one was thrilled to be able to combine my two favorite classes of mage and ranger/rogue.

This freedom of character development ties in with the general plot of the game that revolves around your in-game character. After being killed in a bloody battle against the Tuatha (evil Fae warriors of the new, despotic Fae king), you find yourself brought back to life amidst a pile of corpses (tell me that’s not a bad day, lol). Now, if you haven’t played the game yet, I won’t go into details as to how that happened, but because you have defied the laws of nature, you become ‘fateless’. As such, your destiny is truly your own and isn’t controlled by any higher power.

Overall gameplay is smooth, though the controls are a little loose–meaning it’s very easy to run past your intended target if you’re not paying attention. However, that’s only a small complaint. The freedom of movement within battles more than makes up for it, as does the relative smoothness in switching between your fighting styles.

Here’s a little tip, be sure to level up your lock-picking skills, your detect-hidden skills, as well as your persuasion skills because they seriously come in handy.

Now, onto the subject of graphics.

If you’re looking for a game with graphics akin to those of Mass Effect 3) or Call of Duty 3, then you’ll be disappointed, but that is no reason to not give this game a chance and even enjoy it. The game is set against a backdrop that for me was very reminiscent of The Secret of Nimh with the overall lighting as well as all of the glowing plants and flowers. Simply put, it’s beautiful. Not only that, but time actually progresses (sunrises, sunsets, etc). Regarding the graphics of the characters and monsters, it’s as though World of Warcraft had a baby with Evequest 2.

What do I mean by that?

The characters are more cartoonish than the ones in Everquest 2, but less cartoonish than the ones in World of Warcraft. As someone who’s played both games, I can say that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a perfect balance between the two styles. Now, while I LOVE a game with amazing graphics, I find myself very happy with the way the graphics are done in this game because it makes the spiders less scary. Unlike with the Dragon Age games in which case I find myself running away from the spiders and letting my party deal with them (ESPECIALLY during a few key moments in Dragon Age 2).

The weapons are awesome and have a great deal of variety (I particularly love the chakrams and fayblades). Also, because of the very wide array of quests (many of which reward you with certain in-game perks that you wouldn’t get if you had turned the quests down) that are available in the 5 regions in which you explore throughout the course of the game, the game has a very open-world feel to it. Now, being the type of gamer who loves to take my time and explore the in-game world (the detect-hidden skill really comes in handy here because it allows you to detect hidden treasure caches as well as to detect and disarm hidden traps), this could not get any better for me.

Overall, I give this game 2 thumbs up, and I encourage all of you to give it a try.

Nerd up! ;)

Now I Sit Me Down To Game…Almost…

As geeks, have you ever noticed how much of our lives revolve around gaming? How much thought and energy we put into it?

The last time I really noticed that was back when I was quite literally addicted to Everquest 2. A geek and a gamer though I am, even I’m a little ashamed to admit just how addicted I became. I’m not kidding when I say that if something kept me from playing on one of my designated days that I became something akin to a drug addict who had gone without a fix.

Since then, I’ve become much more well-adjusted in my gaming habits, and can now go for days at a time without needing to turn on my trusty Xbox. My husband is the same way, but then again he’s quite proud of his strength of will.

However,  over the course of these past few days…this has not been the case!

As I’ve stated before in previous posts, my husband and I have recently moved to a new state. Even more recently, have our belongings been shipped and delivered to us. Up until that point, yes…we had missed our Xbox, but it wasn’t something we were obsessively pining over. Quite honestly, we were more preoccupied with finding a permanent place to live, lol. But, as the delivery date for our belongings drew closer, we found ourselves dreaming of being able to turn on our trusty Xbox and play our games. As the delivery date drew ever closer, I could literally feel my controller in my hands, and my heart raced with excitement at being able to play Mass Effect and Dragon Age 2.

However, it was not to be.

As we unpacked boxes (keep in mind that we were not the ones who packed them), we found our Xbox in one box, the cables in another box, and our controllers in yet another box. Suffice to say, my husband and I were very happy once we found all the pieces and put them all in one place. I only wish the same could be said for our games.

It’s been nearly a week of going through a seemingly endless plethora of boxes, and we have yet to find them!

You can only imagine the agitation of being so close to getting back into the swing of our gaming routine only to have the rug pulled out from under us–especially me, since I had never played any of the Mass Effect games before, and I had yet to finish my first play through of the first game. While we’ve gone ahead and pre-ordered Mass Effect 3, I can hardly play it without having first played the first two, now can I? It’s gotten to the point, where the both of us have stopped trying to find places for all the things in the boxes in favor of literally digging through the boxes in order to find the video games we’ve been missing and craving.

Who needs pots and pans when there are video games missing?

Why not simply buy new copies of the games, you might be asking? Because I just know that the minute we get home with the replacements that the original missing games will miraculously appear.

However, that doesn’t mean that we’re doing completely without. We did go into Gamestop today and pick up a couple new games we might not have picked up right away if we had in fact found the games that we already own. Hubby got Batman: Arkham City and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and I got Lord of the Rings: War in the North.

While hubby is happy as a clam at his new acquisitions (because he was planning on getting them in any case), and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying my new game, I still can’t help my pang of longing for my two missing games…one a tried and true favorite, and the other a new experience that would open me up to an entirely new franchise. I can’t help but feel that my gaming collection is incomplete without them, and my mind is forever wandering to where in our new home that they possibly could be. All I can do is continue to hope that they will soon resurface and thereby put an end to my anxieties.

But until then…Middle Earth awaits!

Have you hugged your nerd today?

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