Posted in December 2012

How To Murder Time 2.05

This week return with one of the microphones only slightly broken (please ignore that) to talk about the latest games we have been playing. How does a 6 player game of the obscure 4x board game Eclipse go? What’s all this about Asheron’s Call 2 and is Dust 514 actually any good?

I, Mesmer: Heal Slot

Moving along the Mesmer skill bar today, with a look at Slot #6, the Heal Slot.

In Guild Wars One, this wasn’t something I generally worried about, partly because although every class did get a self-heal of some description, Mesmers got just that; exactly one healing skill; Ether Feast. It wasn’t something we really concerned ourselves with, being very much a crowd control and DPS based profession. Mostly though, it was something that we left to the ever-present entourage to take care of; either the traditional Healing Prayers Dunkoro or a more quirky Restoration hybrid Ritualist/Necromancer or three.

In these modern times, where soloing means literally that, just you on your tod instead of meaning you +7 AI henchmen/heroes, things are much different. In a conscious design decision aimed at mixing things up and aggressively dismantling what little trinity even existed in GW1, the Monk, Ritualist and Paragon, the three classes which stood any chance of significantly healing a party, all no longer exist. The new Guardian class does share a few similarities to Monk, but doesn’t seem anything like a traditional group healer class either.

This all means that it’s every man for themselves, healwise, and not only are you given special heal skills for the job, but you are required to take one of them. So what options does the Mesmer get in the heal slot?

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How To Murder Time 2.04

This week return with some more talk about games! Guildwars, playing Star Trek Online the hard way, Planetside 2, yet more complaining about Need For Speed and some rambling about the recent Marvel movies and some talk about the Malifaux plastic models.

We’re not all computer games you know.

My Christmas Job

I’ve got a part time job over the Christmas period! It’s just a short term placement, you understand, running for the 35 days up to and around the festive day. It’s quite light weight; I only have to put in half an hour a day and I can work from home which is always convenient. I do have to turn up every day, but I get ten days off, so I can spend the big day itself with my family, which is very considerate! Each day, I have to turn up and run around a highly unsafe and slippery race course, chased by some kind of space monster or another. No one has explained to me why this is necessary, but they’re paying me an entire spaceship for my temping contract, so I thought it best not to ask.

Yes, I’m doing the ridiculous Star Trek Online Winter Event Thing, and I’m finding it hard to explain why. Continue reading

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I, Mesmer: Pistol & Torch

Cracking on with the hunt for quirky and exotic Mesmer skills, with the remaining two offhand slot items.

After 250 years, and a lot of technological progress which only the Asura and Charr seem capable of making, guns are a big thing in the modern-day boutiques of Tyria. It’s all a bit Fable II to be honest, and flintlocks abound. Most classes get to tool themselves up these days with pistols, rifles and spearguns. The Mesmer, in a typical fashion doesn’t really shoot people with their Pistol, instead opting to just wave it around and use it to cast spells with, which at least saves on ammo. It is quite a stylish option though; paired with a main hand Sword it all looks very highwayman buccaneer chic! But what does it actually do?

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Only a Hobby

I read stuff like this:

Biobreak: Turbine, Shark-jumping, and $50 horses

…and just sigh. Well, first I check it isn’t April 1st, and then I sigh. This, again?

For the click-averse, the basic deal is that Turbine would quite like some specifically NON-NEGATIVE feedback on a little cash shop proposal they’re mulling over for Lord of the Rings Online. In a highly meta act of knowing self-parody, it turns out to be a stick. With a wooden horse’s head on. Which you pretend to ride while going ‘Giddy-up!’, which increases travel-speed by +68% and which costs $50 worth of Turbine points. I have no idea how ‘Morale’ can even function in this context! So yes, not content to make your pretend elf ride a pretend real horse to an imaginary war in a made up landscape, that elf can now own and ride a pretend pretend horse! What next? Orcs who are actually Hobbits in disguise? Unhandled Exception: Fatal Brain Recursion Error!

I’m all for player engagement, and focus group feedback is probably a quite useful tool in any business endeavour. Turbine seems to agree as long as the feedback is OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE! DO NOT tell them it sucks, for that is not what they wish to hear! Otherwise, presumably, you’ll get deleted.

Barely concealed passive-aggressive contempt for the player-base aside, this elicits a particularly deep sigh from me, as I am one of the few remaining fans of F2P Cash Shop payment models, and this sort of nonsense isn’t helping my rapidly dwindling case, which I now feel compelled to restate below!

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I, Mesmer: Sceptre & Focus

Some more Mesmer 2.0 musings here!

The last main-hand weapon option for the Mesmer is also the first; you’ll start life holding a Sceptre. It is spelled “sceptre”, by the way. I should know because I come from a country which still has an active monarch, and she uses one every day in her day job. This does mean that HRH Elizabeth II is technically a Guardian, Elementalist, Mesmer, or Necromancer. I’d be more certain if I could remember what off-hand item she uses on state occasions. A handbag is probably a focus? I’m pretty sure she can only wear Light Armour though, so she’s probably not Guardian!

Anyway! The Mesmer Sceptre is quite a mixed bag, and is further mixed by the choice of accompanying off-hand. While the other weapons seem to have more clearly defined purposes, the Sceptre is somewhat more vague, making it quite multi-purpose.

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RIP City of Heroes: 2004-2012

Me and Brian Blessed, taking a well-earned coffee break

Never a great post to write in any event, but especially in this case. While I was never a really dedicated fan of City of Heroes, I certainly spend a decent amount of time there and can honestly say I enjoyed it a lot. Never much of a comic-book superhero person, I came to the game from the perspective of an MMO aficionado and in that capacity, found a great many things that made the title stand out above the crowd and innovate the genre.

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I, Mesmer: Staff

For the more relaxed and traditional kind of arcane spellcasting Mesmer of the old school, the Staff is a solid choice. Nothing bellows “WIZZZARD!” quite like a big long stick with a knob on the end and Staff is available as a two-handed weapon option for the Mesmer class. Initially unimpressive compared to the high-octane, hanging-on-for-dear-life of the Greatsword or the sheer Errol Flynn of dual wield rapiers, in the hands of the Mesmer, the Staff is a surprisingly subtle and effective set of weapon skills. Continue reading

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