Friday, February 28, 2020

Playing Lost and Found in Rift

I did it!  I found my old level 42 cleric in Rift! He was buried away in a "trial" server with about 10 other characters. I just needed to shift my "Shard" at the selection screen and track him down.  Once I did that and renamed him, it was as simple as shifting him over to a playable shard.

I loaded him up, logged in and found myself in the beautiful wintry world of Iron Pine Peak. Looking at the map also told me I was over-leveled to be in this location, so all was well . . . I could mostly wander around and not have to worry too much about getting into a scrap I couldn't handle. I even killed a cat while not knowing my skill points were all reset.

Iron Pine Peak . . . that's a pretty decent sized chunk of land to explore!

Then pressing B for bags revealed something terrifying . . . a 9 year old stash of goods where I had no idea what was what.  If you're an old time gamer that loves to revisit MMOs, I'm sure you've felt the same panic and fear.  What in the world is going on here? Oh no . . . Buff Scrolls?!?! Crafting Supplies?!?! HELP!

What in the world are these full bags and mishmash-ed skill bars? I'm terrified!

My ability bars were a tragic mess and come to find out I needed to completely respec my character.  It was an absolutely terrifying 10 minutes that resulted in me finding a lot of lost and forgotten items. I imagine it's like someone renting a storage shed, leaving the country, and coming back nine years to find a pile of strange microwaves and coffee pots they had completely forgotten about.

My favorite "lost coffee pot" that I found was a cosmetic pet I had named "Lil' Wally" since I bought a card that came with him at Walmart. I think it's a frog?

Yes, you're alone, but you've got a frog and a pixie, so things can't really be that bad can they?

I ended up choosing an "easy" build with a healer pet and we spent some quality time killing mobs and completing quests in my immediate vicinity . . . things like winter wolves, mountain cats, evil cultists, fire elementals, and six-legged basilisks.

It was a good couple hours of fun last night re-experiencing this old world.

It seems an unlikely place to find a fire elemental, but what the hey.

And I must say . . . my dude could totally be in a fantasy K-pop band with his purple faux-hawk and perfectly pixie-like features. LOOK AT THIS HOTNESS!

go ahead . . . swipe right.

I also spent some time just "looking around" at things, like this swirling Air Rift (at least I think it's an Air Rift?) in the cold mountain tops. giant swirling chunks of rock with uber looking Griffons prowling around. Wow!  Just super visually stunning . . . especially since I bumped my graphics up from Low to Ultra. I could have never experienced this game in all its splendor on my old rig, that's for sure.

Really this should be video footage to show how amazing this swirling meteor field looked.

I'd say I still need to experiment with all my skills a bit before I can say this character is fully ready to rock in a level appropriate zone, but I had fun wandering around here and rediscovering things like my mechanical horse mount and Lil' Wally.

I think I at least have another couple play sessions in me for Rift. No pressure, just a big world to explore and more lost things to find. Sounds like fun, right?

Happy dueling

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Was there a Rift between us?

The other day I decided to download and check out a "now" older MMO, good ol' Rift.  You remember Rift, right?

Look, a Rift that's undulating like a giant octopus in the sky!

Sure you do! So did I! I was there during "Beta 5" for Rift and it was full of people, and Twitter was annoyingly barking out screenshots for every achievement you made. It was crazy, and it seemed like anyone who was anyone was out there playing Rift.  I even made a special blog I was going to devote to Rift that . . . never really took off. Oh well. Let's just forget I mentioned that.

2011 was a crazy time when MMOs were still all the hotness and the term "WoW-killer" was a thing.  Every new MMO that came out was going to be the next WoW-Killer and promised to be full of fun and interesting people . . . and they were! They just didn't kill WoW. That time really felt like the peak of MMO production to me. What did we get out of that time frame? SWTOR! GW2! AoC! LOTRO! ESO! and so many more cool acronyms!

I'm not sure what happened to my old (level 40? level 50?) character, but it's probably hiding on either a different account or a different shard. Either way, kicking up a new character and running through the old intro zone was almost exactly as I remembered it, but with a few differences.

Gotta love this first Rift boss battle in the Rift Tutorial  

The first big difference of course was that the game didn't have as many new players like me running around in the tutorial area.  That's to be expected. Rift is a nine-year-old game at this point and from the looks of their community landing page, all that's being talked about are the new mounts and things in the shop. I'm just happy to see the game servers are still running and I can log on and play for free.

The second thing I noticed was that it all seemed a bit easier than it was when I was playing back in 2011.  Agro radius was smaller, and things didn't feel like they presented as big of a challenge as they did back at the day.  That's also to be expected.  When something is too punishing too quickly, people just tend to check out of the game and say #sorrynotsorry #ImAudiHere.

The third thing that had changed was ME . . . great, I feel old now. Thanks a lot, Rift! But, seriously, I've changed a lot as a person and as a game-consumer, but that said . . . the actors were all standing in the right spots and I was there playing the hero of the game, Mr. Ascended himself.

I remember chain whip guy and in my memories, he's a lot scarier than this with more adds.

It was good to log in and at least look at the starting area of Rift again. I'm not sure if I'll keep poking around or not, but it's good to see this is still alive and kicking.

Here's to you, Rift!  Here's to you.

Happy Dueling

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Project Gorgon: So Long and Thanks for all the Grapefish?

I've played Project Gorgon to the point where now I feel like ranting about stuff, so . . . you know what? I might just be done writing about my beloved indie MMO darling for a bit and instead leave it happily on the shelf as a good memory. It's probably time to just write about something else.

Yes, a ghost town in a harsh environment can be a happy memory!

Looking back, I wish I would have done that with DCUO, but I played it to the point where logging on made me feel ill, which is a shame . . . it's a wonderful MMO with tons of great memories for me. What a great game that is, but I'll probably never log on again. I *can't* log on to DCUO now without getting a pit in my stomach.

Sure it gives me a stomach ache, but it's still a great game!

To sum up my Project Gorgon rant . . .since I know you're curious:

1) Cooking isn't a fun skill. As much fun as cooking evil bacon that talks to you sounds like it is . . . overall the skill is tedious with a lot of running from zone to zone without much joy mixed into the ingredients.
  • Free counter-argument: Lots of skills in Project Gorgon are joyless and you picked this one to be the bad guy?
  • Free counter to counter-argument: Yup. Stuff that and your 100 different ingredients into a limited inventory space!
2) The fairies are coming, and they'll be getting two free max level bee/wasp pets that I payed many 1,000's of councils to obtain and many 100's of hours to level. To make matters worse, they also get free ice knives . . . so . . . it's like my exact build I've been playing, only cheaper and better. So much for uniqueness?
  • Free counter-argument: No one is actually going to be playing AH / Knives build, and the pet will just help with power-leveling what people really want to play. 
  • Free counter to counter-argument: Sigh. Is that supposed to make me feel good that people won't be playing my build?
3) I don't know if I have the stamina to level 2-4 more combat skills, even though there's a hat for the deer class that turns them into a unicorn (but still you're a brown deer-looking unicorn . . . you don't turn white and have a rainbow trail shining behind you . . . I may have unreal expectations here tbh).
  • Free counter-argument: Look yo, you gotta branch out and find some new combat skills . . . THERE'S SO MANY!!  Also, unicorns with rainbow trails are for losers.
  • Free counter to counter-argument: If loving unicorns is wrong, then I'm the King of the wrong, baby!
King of the Wrong, riding proudly into the sunset!

So now what? I don't know, but what I do know is that I'm The Friendly Necromancer, and that definitely means you'll hear from me again.

I wouldn't say I'm completely giving up on Project Gorgon . . . just . . . slowing down a bit and switching gears. I've learned a lot by playing it and made some truly quality friends. The people in my guild are top notch and my in-game buddies awesome. If there's anything that will keep me logging in, it's those guys. Community is definitely a strong suit in Project Gorgon.

Hang in there my friends and thanks for reading along.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Project Gorgon: Enduring the Axiom of Semi-Real Hassium

Project Gorgon continues to be the quirkiest MMO I've ever played, even at current end game. Likewise, it continues to be frustrating, difficult, and yet rewarding all at the same time.

Lemme break down a few things that are happening in my game as of late.

1- The constant grind of daily quests. 

This is absolutely necessary for me at this point in my game.  If it wasn't for my guild running the Daily Dungeons and Daily Fae Realm hunts, I don't think I could continue on because they are worth anywhere from 10k councils ~ 20k councils (including loot) each. You need that money to fuel skill advancement and at the high end of the game, it gets EXTREMELY costly.

Though I call them a "grind," it is a fun chance to be social in game. They are fun for that for sure . . . especially when we're running a guild group where everyone seems to know each other and feel a bit more relaxed.

I don't know if I've ever broken down the daily quests in a blog post before, but basically . . .

A- You take a daily quest from an intelligent mantis in the Casino named Qatik

Remember kids, hats = friendly mantis.

Qatik offers you new excursions everyday to the far off locations of The Winter Nexus (full of trolls and ogres), The Wolf Caves (full of, you guessed it, wolves), The Dark Chapel (full of occultists and dragon roaches aka droaches), and The Yeti Cave (full of bad graphics . . . and yetis).

Daily Excursions are basically group encounters for 3-4 players around level 40-50: Wolf Caves and Yeti Cave being the easiest, Winter Nexus is a step above those, and The Dark Chapel is the most challenging of the bunch.

B- You also get the daily quests offered to you by Agrashab in the Fae Realm

He's a friendly giant! Rich too!

Agrashab is a Troll God, who has an avatar of himself  hanging out in the Fae Realm.  Every day he sends you out to complete a new bounty of "kill 10" elite mobs.  These are typically enemies you wouldn't want to face alone in the Fae Realm. the payout again is between 10k and 20k councils (including loot) each . . . it also pays in the form of Royal Jelly, which is a needed component in leveling your skills to 80.

Do a dallop of dailies! Now don't be shy!

~~

2- Surveying, Mining, and Geology ftw.

The Developers of Project Gorgon once again turned on the double Surveying bonus event this weekend and once again we were all running around clicking on maps and hunting down gems and precious metals.

I took this opportunity to really work hard on my mining skill because I have a strong need for Superb Metal for Superb Thowing Knives, which is the current cream of the crop best metal (and throwing knife) in the game.

Because of this I was able to see exactly how the game switches things up at high level. Last time I talked about Surveying, I was kinda mid-skill level range.

BY THE WAY . . . huge props to the people who invented the Survey Helper app. As long as you have two monitors, this method of tracking your surveys is an absolute time saver. I talked a lot in that last blog post about taking time to arrange surveys in a path. Survey Helper kind of made that an unnecessary step for me and I cut my surveying time in half.

At low level you're clicking on maps and running to clearly defined locations on said maps to gather a few goods.

At high level you're clicking on similar maps but instead getting a "guess-timate" of where you'll find a "motherlode" of metal. The crafting components needed for the motherlode maps also creates a barrier. For the Ilmari Desert maps, you need magic sand, which is a pain in the kiester to obtain. You basically have to farm evil Raksashas out in the desert and hope for a rare drop. For the Gazluk motherlode maps, you're going to need something known as Semi-Real Hassium.

"A warm crystal that seems to constantly grow and shrink" eh?

So, in the real world "Hassium" is a metal that only exists in microscopic quantities and only lasts a few seconds. There's no commercial use and it's only made in scientific studies by bombarding isotopes of lead and iron. I had to look it up.

In Project Gorgon, Semi-Real Hassium (whatever that is) is only available from a still-to-be written NPC fox named Fluffikins.

 . . . building favor with an NPC I don't know much about . . . yup . . .

. . . can I just end my blog post there? "only available from a still-to-be written NPC fox named Fluffikins"? 


Well bless that little fox's heart . . .  and all the cute little tombstones around him . . .

But to make this quirkier . . . Fluffikins will barter for Semi-Realm Hassium in exchange for yellow glowing gems that will give you "a mysterious illness" that causes you to die if you stay in contact with it long enough.

Don't mind the radioactive gems right near the water well . . . nothing to see here.

. . . seriously, can you sense the frustration of this yet?

But you first have to make Fluffikins like you by giving him large amounts of this radioactive gem . . . or egg-based foods . . . or small metal figurines.

. . . sigh. I'm not kidding.

All the while, you're in the high-level zone of Gazluk, which has a cold atmosphere that eats away at your body temperature and is full of mobs (I'm looking at you cold-magic using skeletons) that shoot beams of energy that also steal your body temperature. Dropping to zero usually means a slow death.

. . . foot starts tapping anxiously

This is the only place you can mine these radioactive crystals, and you can only mine a spawn of them once every 24 hours.

 . . . THROWS KEYBOARD! DUMPS DESK! LEAVES ROOM VIOLENTLY!

Layers . . . upon layers . . . upon layers of complexity and barriers. Do you see that?!

That said, I managed to get my first two semi-real Hassium just this morning.  I may end up actually mining after 3 days of favoring up Fluffikins and dying repeatedly to radiation sickness and cold exposure.

~~

 3- Leveled up and Unlocked!

A- Endurance . . .Figuratively and Literally. 

In the midst of all these dailies endeavors. I managed to open up my player stall again and sell a bunch of stuff the past few days. This money coupled with the money I earned from daily quests I was able to purchase my Endurance level up just last night for 260k councils, which left me at a grand total of 700 councils to my name late last night.

B- Knife Fighting 88!

Here's what's left of the checklist of Knife Fighting Synergy levels:
  1. Cooking level 10
  2. Cooking level 60
  3. Fishing level 35
  4. Fishing level 65
  5. Orcish language level 25
  6. Sword level 25
  7. Sword level 55
  8. Unarmed combat level 33
  9. Unarmed combat level 55
Notes since the last time I talked about Knife Fighting synergy levels:
  • The new Sun Vale fishing made getting to level 65 in fishing a breeze.
  • Sword 55 and Unarmed 55 were definitely grinds, but the combat exp buffs from a couple of Saturday Poetry Jams really helped.  I basically wandered about aimlessly in the Fae Realm while letting my pets do the majority of the heavy lifting until the deed was done.
  • The guild has been hitting Gazluk Keep lately after our dailies were done, and this allowed me to finally grind up enough experience to hit that 25 Orc Language.  It's not easy to do. Period.

So all that's left is Cooking level 60.  I'd love some tips if you got any!  It seems to be a scary impossible slog to get to that level.  Please leave any suggestions you might have in the comments.

whew.

Happy Dueling!