The Prophet of Permadeath

Bio Break

1562308-1-gravestone-in-highgate-cemeteryI’ve wanted to write an article on that old hoary chestnut of MMO discussions, permadeath, for quite some time, but I didn’t want to bog down in same-old, same-old coverage.  I don’t really care about the heated arguments that people get in over this subject — face it: some like it, some hate it (Richard Bartle oddly put it at IMGDC in 2007, “Do you want permadeath or pedophilia? Both seem equally attractive to most players.”), and nobody’s going to budge from either position.

But it’s a fascinating topic to me, because I’ve always viewed permadeath as the antithesis of how I play MMOs.  Even though I know the game itself or my interest in it will end at some point, I operate under the illusion that it will continue on indefinitely, and that my characters will never die.  Permadeath takes the opposing view as it says, “Your characters are…

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Preparing for Youtube


…creativity don’t fail me now!


Today marks the 2 week and one day window towards a little indie game from Hello Games called ‘No Man’s Sky’, not too sure if you guys have heard of it – you probably have. This game to me has my head doing swirls with ideas I could finally get my teeth into and start creating youtube videos that actually have substance.

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Getting Some Use Out of My Festivault Cakes and Cookies

Erdrique's Blog

Like so many other DDO players, I tend to be a pack rat and I tend to have a ton of consumables and clickies that I keep that I “think” will be useful, and probably would be, if only I used them.  For me these include the various cakes, jellies, and cookies from the Festivault Jester.  Last year, I had tried to make a concerted effort to use all of my cookies, cakes, and jellies and had actually started to make a decent dent in them and then the Festivault Jester returned and I just gathered more .

Well, I have decided to make this concerted effort again.  On the weekend, I took Erdrique into the quest Under the Big Top on elite and decided to use his Xoriat Jellies (Otto’s sphere of Dancing).  I used them during the last two fights in the Big Top itself and was…

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DDO: stealth-sniper gameplay


In a recent foray back into DDO, I’ve played a solo character I created on a whim at some point in the past – a character that was conceived as an experiment with a ranged/sniper type character. As a very sporadic player of the game I do not claim to have that much in-depth knowledge of character builds, especially with the new enhancement trees that revamped the character customisation system back in August 2013.

This character is a Bard/Rogue (currently level 3 Bard/ level 2 Rogue). In any case, my main yardstick of whether a character works is the practical relative effectiveness of that character. Running dungeons that I’m familiar with, I can gauge a sense of whether the character feels weak or strong to play compared with the Paladin main that I played for my longest stint in-game.

ScreenShot00088 Stealth used to avoid surprises, not enemies

At level 5…

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Is It Possible To Balance Melee and Ranged Classes?

Occasional Hero

It’s a perennial problem for MMOs: either melee classes have the advantage or ranged ones do. In WildStar, the constant moving and dodging out of red means ranged classes have an advantage simply because they can keep attacking while they move. In older MMOs like Lord of the Rings Online, where most of the ranged classes are rooted casters and most of the melee classes have a lot of instant casts, melee classes have the edge. From what I’ve heard about SWTOR, it seems that they’ve recently swung the pendulum; melee classes have always had more DPS/tanking potential, but many of the recent dungeon and raid bosses have included mechanics that require melee classes to move back to avoid massive damage, thus limiting their output. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that I do better with melee classes in games with action combat like Elder Scrolls Online because I’m…

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Free to Play and the DDO Store

Bio Break

happy_birthday_newBy all accounts, Turbine’s been doing well with the new free to play DDO Unlimited — enthusiasm for the game is up, new players are streaming in, Turbine’s raking in loads of moolah with their store, and they’ve gotten a huge chunk of free media out of it all.

I highly recommend checking out this helpful thread over on the DDO forums, where the author compiled a list of all of the free adventures (79 total), sorted by level.  The highest density of quests (dungeon adventures) are levels 1-8, with only 10 quests from levels 9-12 and an unknown, if any, amount past that point.

He also tallied up the TP cost for all the adventure packs in the game: 10,675.  So how much would it cost to just straight out buy all the adventure packs and basically unlock the entire questing content of the game (for now)?  Let’s crunch…

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The Five Most Notorious MMO Pirates

Bio Break

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!  To celebrate this spectacular holiday, I wanted to pay homage to the greatest pirates in MMOs (and if you’re yearning for more piratey goodness, then head over to Mutant Reviewers From Hell, where we’re posting a number of pirate movie reviews — not pirated, you understand).

mr_smite1. Mr. Smite (WoW)

Oh, sure, World of Warcraft has a LOT of pirates, but Mr. Smite, the stun-locking Tauren buccaneer, stands above them all.  “We’re under attack! A vast, ye swabs! Repel the invaders!”  Plus, how awesome is that name?  “Mr. Smite”.  I’m naming my next kid that.

yaaryar2. Yaaryar (DDO)

Yaaryar the hobgoblin pirate just can’t win — you kill his mates, blow up his ship, and cut him down in his prime.  And yet, his endearingly positive attitude steals our heart every time.

(DDO is also celebrating Talk Like A…

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Item Naming and Crafting

Erdrique's Blog

One thing that I think that would be really cool would be the ability to create our own unique item names during the crafting process, whether it be greensteel crafting, Cannith crafting, dragontouched, Thunderforged, or whatever.  I think that would be a really cool concept to add to the game if it were possible.  It would allow us to personalize our equipment, making it feel all that more earned.  I think it would also give the players an idea on how hard it is to develop unique names for equipment.

I know there are a number of famous weapons I wouldn’t mind creating on my own.  I mean what paladin wouldn’t mind having their version of Excaliber?  Of what drow ranger wouldn’t mind having a pair of scimitars named Twinkle and Icingdeath. 

 photo Renamingakhopesh_zps31d492ac.jpg
I think it would be cool to be able to rename this khopesh other than +1 Acid Burst…

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Samsara: Syncletica in the Cycle

The Order of Syncletica


noun /səmˈsärə/ 

The cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound

Syncletica, my main girl, a Light Monk, entered through that circle through True Reincarnation and returned, again, as a Monk, with greater potential from lessons learned in her first, turbulent life. I had planned to TR her on Easter, but with a quieter household this week and trying to fight some personal blues, Palm Sunday was the day of Syncletica’s resurrection.

It’s my first time to use True Reincarnation, so I’m still learning the robes. I see that your character gains a free automatic feat for Past Life of your last class. For me, that’s Past Life: Monk, with +1 to damage rolls. It wasn’t what I was expecting when, after I leveled to 3 and chose my Philosophy (a Light Monk again), I saw a new feat: Past Life: Disciple of…

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