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War riding his steed, Ruin.

War riding his steed, Ruin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If anyone really does read this blog, I apologize for not having any updates in so long.  I’ve been busy with work and college, and about enough time to play games to get to level 2 in Guild Wars 2.  That’s over a month, not a day.

I say that; I actually had a bit of a spending spree over both Steam and Amazon’s winter deals.  Picked up many games, including the Darksiders franchise.  Been playing the first Darksiders the most, and so far I’m really liking it; Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has also been fun, although I have yet to put much into it.

It was really disheartening to hear about THQ‘s downfall, and especially Vigil shutting down.  I’m glad a lot of them have a newfound home, although I truly hope the IP is purchased at some point and kept going.  I love the setting and story, and hope more games are made in the future.

Anyway, thanks for all of your patience, and I will catch y’all after a few more months.  Or sooner.  More than likely later though.

I’m a tank at heart.

I started playing World of Warcraft oh so long ago as a rogue, but not even a year later I desired a change of scenery.  I became tired of what seemed like the same repeated procedure over and over to maximize DPS.  So, I made a new toon, one that I never thought I’d make: an orc warrior.  This was the time of the Burning Crusade, and I made a promise to myself to learn the ropes of tanking.  And that I did.

All these many years and expansions (and games…) later,  I still normally play from a tanking perspective.  I want to be the person that goes in first, headstrong against any dangers that might come about.

I’m also a very, very, very, very, VERY logical person.  As a for-instance, when I tank in WoW, I’m always mindful of every bit of my surroundings as I can be, and mindful of not what I’m doing, but what others are doing too.  Sometimes I pay attention so much to everything else that I forget to pay attention to myself (I’m looking at you, Kel’Thuzad with your jesus portals…). I pay attention to threat whenever possible; that used to be through mods like Omen and such, but lately it’s just been, “Is it hitting me?  Good.”

So with this in mind, as you can see from the video that I posted earlier of TERA

A boss fight.

A boss fight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

, I charged head-first into a new dungeon in a new game that I’d never tanked on before.  I honestly wasn’t sure if I would expect a threat-based system for mobs or not; I thought I would, given the types of skills that warriors gain that all have increased aggro.  My Lancer’s skills did not seem to have those additions.

In any case, tanking that instance for the trash seemed to be a hot mess.  Mobs running around everywhere, no real tried-and-true way to get them to stay on me, etc.  I think I’m going to have to adjust my skills a little bit to incorporate the area-wide aggro shout more into my routine.

The boss fights, though, seemed to go more smoothly.  Well, the first one did anyway.  The mob mainly stuck to me, even the big rock…thing.  And it was so much fun to watch him bring about a great big hit and actually block it.  I’m definitely going back into that instance to at least fight that boss again.

The second boss fight kinda started before I got there (someone had accidentally pulled), but it wasn’t too huge of an issue.  The only issue I could see is it was *extremely* hard to tell if the boss was trying to hit me or one of the other melee.  Then again, considering his attacks, it wouldn’t really matter; he’d hit us all if he could.

The only real issue I found with the dungeon is that the party is formed with a round robin looting system.  The problem arose when people from another server picked up weapons and gear not meant for their class, but didn’t have any way of trading the items.  Unlike WoW, there is not a way to trade things cross-realm at all.  So in future dungeon runs, it will be better to have the party leader switch to a loot roll system.

More attempts at tanking are definitely in order.  It’ll be interesting to really get to the meat of the tanking system.  It seems familiar, but with the combat system as it is, plus collision, it’s also different.

Adventures in TERA

Adventures in TERA (Photo credit: _Chag)

From my previous post, you can probably tell that my first impression of Tera was rather piss poor.  While I did play around for about an hour that night, I decided my frustration was putting such a damper on the experience that I would go ahead, call it a night, and take a fresh look at it again tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and I found I actually like the game.  Up to level 9, anyway.

I started off as a warrior, which said it required the most skill to play well (and I can see how; being able to know the best time to dodge an attack to keep from being splattered is often a good test of skill).  I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting.  The basic combo ability was a delight to watch and had fluid, dynamic animations.  All of the skills I gained were great to look at too.  Definitely made it more fun than to stare at action bars and cooldown timers like other MMOs.  Coming from a World of Warcraft Protection Warrior, though, it definitely took a little bit of getting used to.

Next character I created was a Lancer, so that I could play the only shield-wearing class and see how they stack up to my expectations.  Honestly, I was less than impressed.  Their basic combo move had only subtle differences between the first, second, and third press, so it just looked like I was stabbing someone with a lance most of the time.  Blocking, though, was a lot more fun than WoW and more dynamic; this is how I picture “active mitigation” whenever someone says that phrase, not “I’m going to build up resources to make me block better.”

I tried an archer as well, but I only got to level 4.  So far it seems to be spam click city, but was actually more enjoyable since you have to aim vs tab + right-click.  I did run into a slight bug, though: if you assign an ability that has a charge effect to a mouse button (let’s say, Mouse 4 that’s on the thumb side of my mouse), even if you hold the button down, the ability casts immediately instead of doing its charge effect.  For now I just use a keyboard button for those, but then again, I’m only level 4.

Overall, I’m impressed with the game.  Definitely moreso than I was with Rift, and probably on par with where I was with Star Wars: The Old Republic, but for different reasons.  The world is beautiful but slightly generic high-fantasy; the music is a step above average, but isn’t what I would consider breathtaking (it’s not bad at all, though); and the story is slightly better than I was expecting (but most people will snooze through it anyway and probably wouldn’t miss anything).  The core of the game lies in its combat system, and I’d like to think it will keep me engaged for a while.  Overall, I give the game a B, leaning towards B+ just in the little bit I’ve played.

Maybe this will apply to some of you: the one thing I kept thinking when I was playing this game was, “This is how Final Fantasy XIV should have been.”  It’s stylized in the same vein, and a Final Fantasy setting and story would have taken the game to a whole new level.  That’s about the only problem (and this doesn’t just apply to Korean MMOs, but to all MMOs that do not have an established setting): it’s hard to break it in the MMO sphere with a brand new franchise or IP unless you provide something really stunning.  I think Tera’s combat system does just that.

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