Archive for November, 2009

Runes of Magic: Tiering Guide

Posted in RoM guides with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Tiering your gear is an important aspect of Runes of Magic.  For each tier, you gain stat boosts.  I’ve been playing the game a year and have only tiered a couple items.  I planned on doing more later, but never got around to it…yet.

This is a small guide to help you understand and start tiering your equipment, be it boots, swords, etc…

  • For every tier you add to a piece of equipment, you raise that equipments base damage, or defense by 10%.  Taking a hammer, sword, bow, etc… from tier 1 to tier 4 will grant a 30% increase in damage, over base damage.
  • To actually change the tier of a piece of equipment, you’ll need to use the Arcane Transmuter that every player gains access to at level 10.  You find it by opening your bag, and selecting the corresponding button below your item slots(It’s near the button that looks like a gift).  You’ll also need to prepare mana stones and fusion stones to complete the process of tiering.  Fusion stones can be bought in-game or through the Item Mall.  In-game you will find vendors selling fusion stones, and the Item Mall sells Purified Fusion Stones.  The only way to gain a mana stone is by creating it yourself from fusion stones or buying one in the auction house.  No in-game vendors sell mana stones.
  • The difference between in-game fusion stones, and the Item Mall’s purified fusion stones:

Fusion Stones: All Fusion Stones come with at least one predetermined low level stat and two random stats determined after purchase (note: the two random stats may end up being blank, giving you a Fusion Stone with only one bad stat), so anytime you create a Mana Stone with a Fusion Stone, the best you can end up with is a Mana Stone that has one bad stat in addition to whatever unique stats were on the piece of equipment that you chose to transmute with your Fusion Stone.
Fusion Stones with only one bad stat, meaning your two randoms turned out to be blank, are fairly uncommon, and you will typically end up with a stone that has three bad stats attributed to it.You can imagine that after creating three Mana Stones via the more common Fusion Stones, you could be left with a pool of stats that has nine unique bad stats. This means that regardless of the good stats available in the pool, your equipment will end up with six of the nine bad stats.
The trick here is to make sure that the bad stats are all duplicates of each other, which means that all three Fusion Stones used in creating Mana Stones must have the exact same three bad stats.
Unfortunately, you can’t buy Fusion Stones from vendors that come with the same three specific bad stats; at best, one stat will always be random, and you won’t know what it will be until after you buy it. The best thing you can do is either buy three matching Fusion Stones from the Auction House, or buy a few from the vendor and then try to hunt down two more matching ones from the Auction House. Remember, the stats must be identical in type and tier for them to be considered duplicates of each other; a Stamina I, Stamina II, and Stamina III will not be considered duplicates, and can all be transmuted onto a single piece of equipment.

Purified Fusion Stones: Purified Fusion Stones solve this bad stat problem, by allowing you to create a Mana Stone with only the stats that you want it to have, i.e. those stats on the equipment that you transmute the Purified Fusion Stone with to make the Mana Stone. This way, you can create a pool of stats that only has six great unique stats to draw from, which ultimately gives you a piece of equipment with six great stats.

so you buy the stones one way or the other. You are now ready to create a mana stone. What was all that business about 3 mana stones?  Well When you want to increase the tier of a mana stone which in turn will increase the tier of your equipment, and continue to maintain the stats that you want, you’ll need to do things in 3’s.  Because in order to increase tiers of a manastone to say tier 4, you will need three teir 3 mana stones, and you want them to have all the same stats, so that’s why we talked about using three fusion stones with identical stats.

Let’s say you make your very first mana stone.  You’ll need a piece of equipment, which you will lose, and then you need a fusion stone.  put these two items into the Arcane Transmuter.  You will need to spend charges that you can buy using Phirius Tokens, or bought from the Item Mall.  Phirius Tokens are tokens, same with charges.  No difference in what a charge is whether you buy it in-game or from the Item Mall.  Phirius Tokens are, of course, an in-game currency you get from mainly doing daily quests.

You hit transmute and you get 1 mana stone with the tier that the equipment, you used, was.  You also get the stats from the fusion stone.

If I want to take my tier 3 sword to tier 4, I could use a combination of buying fusion stones from AH and from a vendor to get 3 identical fusion stones(to ensure My finished sword will have the stats I want and expect).  I then can buy any old piece of equipment regardless of what it is.  It could be cloth, plate, boot, belt, etc… The important thing is what tier it is.  I can buy tier 3 items so I will need 3 of them.  I buy them from a vendor, and put on piece of equipment in the AT with one fusion stone, and create a mana stone.  I do this two more times with the other fusion stones and pieces of equipment I don’t want(but have the tier I want), and then I end up with 3 identical mana stones all of tier 3.  That’s why I wanted tier 3 equipment.  The mana stones used that tier.  So now I have 3 tier three mana stone that I put into the AT and create 1(one) teir 4 mana stone.

To finish, NOW I can use the good sword that I don’t want destroyed, and likewise I want the new tier as well as the new stats.  I put the tier 4 mana stone and my good sword into the AT and create a new sword that has gone from tier 3 to tier 4 and has the stats I want.

This process is the same regardless of tiers.  If I want to go from tier 9 to tier 10, I go through this process.  Unfortunately what you will discover, is that you can’t simply by junk equipment that is tier 9, from any vendors in game.  I believe the highest tier is 3, sold by vendors, so anything above that requires creating equipment a tier higher(that will be your junk equipment you’ll lose).  This whole system can become increasingly expensive with all the fusion stones, equipment pieces, and charges you’ll need to make a higher tiered good piece of equipment you want to keep.

Here is a simple item cost for taking what you will need to take an item from tier 3 to tier 1o

To create one tier 10 item(from tier 3):
Requires 6561 fusion stones (~13,122,000 gold)
Requires 6561 pieces of tier 3 equipment (~10,386,063 gold)
Requires 9841 Arcane Transmutor charges (19,700 diamonds or 2,953 days of dailies)

Don’t let this table scare you too much.  Yes if you do the calculations of how much diamonds cost in real world dollars, it can be frightening.  However, I personally have had guild mates who’ve never spent a real world dime, and have achieved tier 10 equipment in around 1-2 months.  There are many finer subtleties to the game than just transmuting, and it’s hard to accurately place value and determine a static value-x-time chart for every player to do this.  Simply, there is just too wide a window of variables to accurately nail this down as to what it will cost you in time, fun, play time, and money(whether real or in-game gold).

As you probably are wondering now, yes, there is a lot of factors that come into play when you consider all the different types of stats in the game that are possible to add to fusion stones.  There are rules to what can and cannot be added.  You can’t have identical stats, for one thing.  I will save the details on stats for another time though.

The number of tiers is also expected to be unlimited.  I say expected because to date(a year after the game started), the first server has just made the first tier 11 piece of equipment.  I don’t even think anyone of my server has tier 11 yet.

I know I went through a lot of repetition and over explaining with this guide, but I feel it is important when trying to grasp the concept and rules for the first time.  Many people have woes about the process, and it can be confusing when trying to get help from multiple sources and reason it on your own.

Garfield Meets Runes of Magic

Posted in RoM Diary on November 25, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

This was posted by a creative player on the official RoM forums.

Runes of Magic Diary: To the Tune of “I’ve beeeen working on the RAILrooaaad…”

Posted in RoM Diary with tags , , , on November 24, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Mobly has had loads of fun the last couple of days, even though he’s died 3 times giving him 144K EXP debt, and spending the majority of his time mining ore and gathering herbs to sell in the auction house.

I had a small debacle, caused by nasty curiousity and a moment of weakness.  I tried buying diamonds on a legal third party site, found out they only worked for US(I’m on Eu), then tried buying them through the main RoM site via paypal.  I thought I was spending my current paypal balance and didn’t bother to check the fine print and see that they only took direct bank transfers.  I’m still a bit confused on this.  Did I inadvertantly tell paypal to do that?  Well, the transfer came back refused which rings up a 40 dollar surcharge on my bank account.   Lovely.  40 dollars down the drain, all for being careless and not taking my time.

This is my first time buying diamonds after playing RoM for a year.  I thought I’d go ahead and get at least 1 mount for 1 of my characters.  Then immediately after this debacle, RoM announces a Moa Charity Mount that is just so very uber looking.

In the end, I’ve used this time to readjust my plans.  The charity mount is available for 199 diamonds until Dec. 28th.  From now until then I am going to continue to work hard in game to earn the diamonds for a mount, but I am also going to buy diamonds or the charity mount.  I want to actually spend money as they’ve hooked me with donating 4.50US toward a childrens charity, and if I only earn the diamonds in-game, I feel I haven’t really donated.  Nice move RoM.

I have plenty of alts, so I will continue my laborias mining to get another mount, or maybe even two if I’m ambitious enough.  Both ways I think will make me feel good.  I like having that warm feeling of a reward in both circumstances.

Oh, I almost forgot, the moment of weakness part.  I had earned 71 diamonds in-game and when I decided to buy the mount, I also was in-game and saw the very cool contract for a mud house.  I thought “Oh Abernacky NEEDS that as he is sort of a dwarfish type fellow”, so I spent the 50 diamonds on it.

Now I have 21 diamonds, and a 40 dollar charge on my bank statement:P

I haven’t been leveling any of my alts either, but I’ve come to a better conclusion on how to Tweak Abernacky.  I want to get him to level 22 and have all his available skills maxed out.  This is hard as you earn TP along with EXP.  Well I don’t know why I haven’t been considering Talent Charms.  They let you store TP and then deliver it to your character.  The only problem is that they may be bound.  They are nice for earning TP on Your main class, then giving the TP to your secondary class.  If I find that I can earn the TP on one character to deliver to another character, I’m set.  But this sounds too good to be true.  I’ll find out.

Is Inaccessiblity Choking the MMO Market?

Posted in Editorial with tags , , on November 23, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I recently downloaded the Allods beta.  I still haven’t recieved an email with a beta key, but I wanted to get the game installed and patched so I’d be ready to jump in.  I installed to get a corrupt file warning that fixing didn’t correct.  I uninstalled and tried 2 more times before redownloading.  The new download was the same.  I checked the forums to find a large thread that had various techno-babble that “might” help solve this problem for some people.  It is now the next day and I’m redownloading so I can attempt one of these manual fixes.

This is a typical scenario for many free to play MMORPGs.

For me and some of my past game jounalism acquaintances, we always loved to discuss the business side of the gaming industry as much as the games themselves.  I came to a personal belief that one of  World of Warcraft’s biggest claims to fame is its accessibility.  The game is extremely approachable by many demographics.

I found that playing WoW was about as easy as playing a game on my Playstation 2.  I just pop the disc in and I’m practically up and running.  It had me thinking of all the people that aren’t playing other MMOs because they take more effort on the users part.  Many people aren’t some determined MMO lot that is accustomed to this, or even understand how MMOs work at all.  They just know that it’s a game that looks fun and would like to try it.

I consider myself to be averagely skilled with computers and am still reaching a frustration level cap with getting Allods to work.

Runes of Magic, my current favorite game, is not without this problem.  We see new posts from new players daily on the official forums with errors and other problems just getting the game started.

Two good friends of mine, who aren’t really MMO players as much as they are video game players, loved WoW but they’ve told me they want stuff to work period.  If they are buying a game, if it doesn’t work it’s total and utter useless junk to them.  These are guys who’ve owned every gaming system imaginable and have played PC games for over 10 years.

I played the Vanguard trial over a year ago.  I had extensive problems and confusion over Sony’s site with registration, getting ID codes, and the like.  Personally I went through it and loved the game, and plan on playing in the future, but I’m one of those determined type that will go the extra mile and know how to.

MMOs in general are not always as easy to play as console games.  Adding a flood of free to play MMOs with constant corrupted file problems can immediately make a persons decision of whether they will ever play that game or not.

Have you had mainly friendly experiences with MMOs? What games do you think do a great or poor job with handling accessibility?

Should companies start beefing up tech support and waiting longer to put out well tested downloads, and making user experience smoother and more easily understood.  Or is this too fine a line where people have it too easy and just need to put the work in, if they want to play?

Alganon First Impressions: Human Soldier to Level 8

Posted in Editorial, review with tags , , , , on November 19, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

The Alganon beta is very laggy at times. This is no doubt exacerbated by my bad wireless connection. Even though I was getting booted, and had to slow down my progression due to lag, It was a good experience. After 8 levels, I was able to get many quests under my belt, study a few skills, if that’s what they are calling it because there are other skills that you get through leveling, and delved into crafting a bit all while seeing a good sized chunk of the extremely large starting zone.

My first 4 levels were filled with acquainting myself with the game and world. Creating a character seems average to any other MMORPG. Not super in-depth, but not shallow either. You can pick hair, face, all that jazz. Unique is the family names you choose from. Each race has 5 families to choose from. These are an attempt to help group players to other like-minded players. Each family is related largely to one field of combat or study. There’s an adventuring family, a crafting family, and so on.

I took a human soldier which starts me in Asheran Forest. It’s a gigantic zone, and has the most pleasantly diverse terrain I’ve ever seen. The layout for all the terrain seems natural, full, varied, and never gives a feeling of repetition(Hey I saw that exact shape and size boulder 2 kilometers back).  There are some nice animations with swarms of bugs, tree tops gently swaying in the breeze, and other little incidental novelties that actually felt like it brought the world more to life.  This zone is also immense. I could only hazard a guess that it may be like taking the zone Stormwind, from WoW, and quadrupling it in size. It’s a colorful world. It has a cartoon-ish look, but high texture and water details make it look sharper, more focused, and a bit less cartoon-y than WoW.

Quests are standard, nothing new here. fetch, kill, find are the norm. Tutorial based quests will get you accustomed to the controls, and your surroundings. There’s a built in quest tracker, to find where you need to go. Some may think this takes away immersion or is too easy. For a first time player I found it very helpful, as the zone is huge and easy to get lost in.

I clicked my study icon to get started with what I could. It’s a time based skills system that lets you select from about 3 studies after character creation, and as you study, more will open up. I found it fine. I started with bladesmanship, then went to crafting related studies. I was only level 5 when I did the novice craftsmen which completed within one play session. It opened up specific craft related studies such as natural oils, alloy, etc… I chose alloy, and suddenly it’s taking 24 hours to get that study. I felt that it was a huge jump from the first level of studies I took. I am not at all familiar with EVE and its time-based skills, so I will have to have some more…uh, time with this part of Alganon.

My first 5 levels kept me pretty close to the starting area, and then the quests lowly moved me further down a road to the town of Greenvale. At level 6 I found out I could have already been crafting at level 1. So I jumped in, asked developer chat a few questions and got started. There’s honestly not much I can say beyond “If you’ve played WoW, you know everything you need to know about Alganon crafting”. It doesn’t just look the same, you’ll feel like you’re playing WoW at times, if not for the graphical differences, with all the similar movements you’ll be going through.

Crafting is the same system used in WoW. It looks like they ripped it out of WoW, put it in Alganon, and just renamed items, recipes, and ingredients. That’s not saying it’s bad, I think it speaks more volume to say “It’s familiar” and I’ll get to that more in a bit. I found a blacksmith, purchased mining, and blacksmithing. I then went out mining which was a pleasurable experience. This is a one-click gathering system. You get a tracker. In my case I could locate ore, but there was a small extra perceived sense of hunting on my part. Even when you near a node, it can take some looking for. It may be behind a tree or rock, or just hiding down in a depression in the ground. It also could be nicely placed amongst some mobs requiring some skill to reach if you are equal or even above the mobs level. Some clicks landed me copper, limestone, and sometimes a jewel along with the others. The most I ever received from one node was 2 copper, 1 limestone, and 1 jewel.

There’s a vendor in town selling some reagents that you’ll need to go along with the ore when crafting. I also found, with the beginning recipes, you’ll quite often also need to refine the ore and get some drops from mobs to create the item(s).

From level 7-8 I went on more quests which sent me further along the zone. I was done crafting for the time being, after feeling used to it, and I wanted to see more of the great graphics in the zone. There are plenty of hubs with lots of NPC’s. Many of them just stand there, but they all have voiced greetings for you. The houses are nice. I always love many buildings you can go into. Just like the terrain, the buildings are varied in size and shape. Asheran Forest lends itself to log cabins and small wooden houses. There’s a few 2-story houses that I explored. This is where the camera flaws really showed up.

I found myself constantly zooming in and out, whether in the forest or in town. The trees are so lush with wide tops, and the camera doesn’t snap below them, so any trees in your way will have to be avoided by zooming in. Same goes for inside a building. There seems to be an attempt at camera snapping, as you enter a buildings doorway then turn right or left it snaps to the characters back just fine, and you can easily rotate around to get the interiors layout. But many times, especially in the multi-storied buildings you have to zoom in to avoid staring at the floor above you.

The most unique and exciting feature in the game, to me, is the Library. It’s simply defined as an in-game repository of information on everything in the game. It’s not simple though, as it has everything. If WoW had this, it would be like taking Thottbot, and WoW Armory, smashing them together, and then letting you access that info all without alt+tab’ing out. There’s also a slew of Alganon world lore to look up. It’s a very nice interface.

Apart from crafting being identical to WoW, the difference for Alganon is how they plan to get items into players hands. They’ve said that they plan on balancing the really good weapons and armor between crafting and drops. You’ll be able to get that Uber Green Glowing Demon Sword+1 from a series of challenging crafting tasks, or from a challenging raid. It sounds like they are trying to create a dichotomy of equality. That is to say, it seems they’re trying to create equal feelings of work and time invested for both the crafter and raider after the same item. I’m very curious to see how this plays out. Unfortunately no instances are available in the beta. Any real world testing will have to wait until after the game’s launch.

To sum up, I felt the game was very polished visually.  The server snags and lags quite a bit right now, but that’s to be expected in beta this young.  It plays very much like WoW in many respects.  I felt torn whether I should dislike this or not.  You could almost disassociate yourself from the graphics and you could simply believe you found some brand new zones in WoW.  I never used the term WoW clone before so I do not use it lightly now.  The interfaces from crafting looked ripped directly from WoW, as does a few other interfaces, and also the way you interact within those interfaces.  Ultimately it doesn’t make me dislike the game in the least.  It’s not a bad thing to be a clone.  And it really has it’s own look graphically.  At the end of reaching level 8, I find that apart from the knowledge base called the Library, there isn’t much in the way of innovation.  I don’t need innovation when a game uses many approved standards of play that agree with me.  I find myself wanting to play more to see how beautiful the rest of the world is, if nothing else, and to see how the crafting implementation will affect the player base and my enjoyment level of crafting.

What I’m Playing, Looking To Play, Keeping An Eye On, and Top 3 Best Free-to-Play MMORPGs out right now

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Everyone loves lists. Here’s mine for top 3 best free-to-play MMORPGs currently out.

1. Duh! Runes of Magic: It’s more like a subscription based game than any other F2P out right now. It’s unique with some great features that I think all MMORPGs should have top being the aggregator which lets you make your armor look exactly how you wish, even detailing colors, but still retaining any stats from uber armor drops you’ve obtained. Housing, crafting, many mini-games, and a focus on more horizontal play while still offering traditional leveling and other vertical game play features make it my favorite.

2. Atlantica Online: I wrestled with putting this here as I think it’s better classified as a MMOSRPG(with less role playing). But great graphics and the difference in game play is what makes it stand out. It’s a lot of fun.

3. Shaiya: much like any of the other dozens of “Asian Grinders”, you progress the same. Kill kill, and kill a lot more. But Shaiya has great smooth running servers and terrific graphics. The massive PvP aspect is nice to pitting thousands of players simultaneously in faction wars across very large zone maps.

Right now I’m playing RoM(of course). I have 71 diamonds now. I’ve been perusing the auction house looking for alternative sources of fast money, but every thing’s closely balanced. I noticed essence crystals in Necropolis of Mirrors are making about 10K each, which is cool, but the drop rate is too low for me. My knight’s damage isn’t good, so it takes me a long time kill mobs. Other classes my level can kill the same mob in maybe 2-3 hits, when it literally takes me 30 seconds to a whole minute to down 1 mob(my sucky gear also plays a part). So I’m looking, but back to gathering in the meantime.

I’m also in the Alganon beta. My bad connection isn’t helping the already unstable server they have running, no doubt at peak population allowance. Don’t have too much to say about it yet. I’m level 6 now, and starting to study and buy into crafting. I am curious. I guess so far, the world looks nice. It’s stylized a bit more detailed than WoW but with a similar look in the larger textures.

Finally I am sort of trying out Dungeons and Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited(such a long title). Graphics and movement seem good, but I’ve only played a few hours total so far. I need more time on it before making any kind of decision or review.

I’m looking to play a lot longterm. I downloaded Battleforge but can’t play it until I have a dedicated connection. I don’t really hold any hopes for it. It’s a hybrid Trading Card Game/Realtime Strategy MMO. It uses advanced graphic technology and is different, so I want to try it.

I tried downloading Chronicles of Spellborn but proceeded to get a file error while installing. I’ll try DL’ing it again soon.

I’m downloading the Allods Beta client. I’m mostly interested in it for an immersion factor. It looks like it could offer a lot more immersion than any other F2P game I’ve tried. They mention crafting mini-games which has me cringing but still curious too. Why? mainly because all existing F2P games are all outside worlds. There’s always a lack of buildings, and even the buildings they do have are solid. You can’t go in them. That somehow breaks immersion for me on multiple levels. Allods looks like it could have quite a large world, and much larger cities with many districts and many buildings in each district that would really set it apart from any F2P out right now(if you really can go in them all or most of them-which it looks like you can). The graphics also look nice to me.

For pay MMORPGs?(the above so far have all been F2P games).

World of Warcraft has me a bit frustrated. I was offline 3 months, but always had a 2 month time card for WoW collecting dust. Now that I’m back online, almost full time, I wanted to get my account ready for a return. It was around this time that they were recently stating about the account mergers to, but it was before the deadline.

I totally forgot my username and pass(only having vague ideas of the dozen different combos it could be). I went to the forgot pass page, but no matter what I typed in I got “This account has been merged with, you need to handle it from there”. Ooookay so I went to, tried signing in(knowing I didn’t make an account there), and of course, they said I had to sign up. As a side note. I know what email I used to create my WoW account and used it for thinking it would give me the same old “This email is already associated with an account”, but nope it let me sign up. So then I tried figuring things out to find that I had to do a merge process. But wait WoW said my character or account was already merged, didn’t it? So I try it anyway which asks me for my WoW account info, which I don’t have. So I click on can’t remember which shoots me back to the WoW page where I started!!! I’m stuck in this aggravating loop. So, I’m going to set some time aside soon to call and try to speak with a real CS person.

I also definitely want to play Vanguard. I know I do. I read extensively on the game and played the trial. I just am waiting to buy a new graphics card and pay for maybe a year subscription.

I also would really like to try EverQuest 2 out.

I’m looking at some games right now and haven’t decided yet if I want to try them, or if I’ll have fun with them.

Fallen Earth seems interesting, but like with some other games, I’m mostly curious about its crafting system.

I’m kinda curious about that new space MMO(Jumpgate Evolution(??)) that is down the road.

There was one final MMORPG that I was following but it seemed to fall off the news radar. I can’t remember the name but its big claim to fame was server side patching. It was supposed to be entirely operated on the server end allowing for live on the fly patching which in turn allowed for ease and quickness of implementing many changes often and live events. If you remember the name, please let me know, thanks.

What’s everyone else playing and looking forward to?

Where Should the Best Loot Come From?

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I don’t state this to try to add validity to an argument, just to let you know that I respect where the opinions are coming from.  I’d very much like to hear what others have to say.

Some of my friends, I used to play WoW with, I’ve known for a long time and have come to really respect their opinions on all sorts of subjects.  They are all very well educated, very well-rounded, and are intuitive as all get out.  So when we discussed where the best loot should come from in a game, and they agreed with me, it not only fed my lovely ego(which I do love, no matter how small it is), but I really focused my thought on the subject for a long time.

I’m of the belief that the best armor and weapon loot should come solely from crafting.  You can still have good crafting that people will partake in, as I would point to any existing crafting system as flawed yet obviously working.  But to have anything less than the best armor or weapons come from anywhere else undermines crafting and takes a way the one purely viable reason to have crafting in the first place.  Otherwise you don’t really have crafting, you just have the aucton house where people play online “economists”.

In the strictest sense, I would call all current crafting systems economy systems.  They solely feed into the economy.  That’s their highest and most valid priority.  Sure you are crafting “stuff” but what is the number one reason you are crafting it?  In WoW, you may find some alternative uses for crafting early on, but once you pass level thirty, the crafting system takes a nose dive off a thousand foot sheer cliff, and turns more into a money maker where most people stop after refining and don’t actually get to the crafting part.  They refine material to sell in the auction house.

There’s a place for this, but there’s also no tangible use for the fully crafted goods.  We call these crafting systems?

Are we undermining raids and battlegrounds, if we take away their gear drops?  I don’t think so.  It’s shifting responsiblities back into their proper places, and improving the game dramatically.  Can’t there be other uber drops in raids and battlegrounds?  I don’t see why not.

If players and/or developers feel that one area of the game ends up having to take priority over the other as far as where the best loot comes from, then I still see the logical conclusion that it should be crafting.  I personally don’t see it undermining raids or “end-game” content because there is plenty to achieve in doing raids, and players will still have a source to obtain the best gear to run more raids and gear up for battlegrounds.

I’m still a bit skeptical about the inner working of Alganon, that is now in beta.  But they mention this very aspect which made me smile knowing that others agreed with me.  We all love that.  But that’s not the only reason for me to push a subject like this.  I think it stands on it’s own two feet when it comes to what role different parts of a MMORPG should play.

Runes of Magic: Hall of Survivors, Cleared[Video]

Posted in Media with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Check out this great video of Andriol.  Props to you guys! Hall of Survivors is very hard.  I actually didn’t know of anyone on any server who had cleared it, until now.

MMO Blog Alliance 2009 Charity Drive

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

While we wittle away the hours playing our favorite MMO, or ranting about nerfed DPS in various game forums.  There are kids and adults in our own country that spend those hours hoping to find food, or who are too sick to get out of bed and need daily treatments in hospitals across America.

Epic Slant has started a great charity drive.  It’s just the drive, you pick the charity.  We, I, encourage you to give a little something to those less fortunate due to economic or medical situations.

I have a small image in the top right of my blog for “Child’s Play”.  Clicking the image takes you to their website.  Child’s play offers toys, games, and other activities to children in hospitals.

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 5 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

There are many good charities out there.  I’m not pressuring you to choose a particular one, but to just choose to donate to one.

Other MMO bloggers have done the same, and support this very worthy cause.

These are all good causes, and there’s no better time than now to get involved.  MMO gamers are really rallying behind this, and this Christmas season can see an enormous amount of help for people in desparate times.

MMO Bloggers! If you’d like to participate.  Check out Epic Slant’s post to help link everyone together.

Thank you to all who have donated and helped save someone’s life.

*If I missed any of you bloggers out there, please send me an email or post in the comments and I will adjust this post

The Tricky Little Thing About EXP Debt In Runes of Magic

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I love RoM’s EXP debt system.  For me, it brought back the “fear” of death and simultaneously reduced many annoyances associated with dying in MMORPGs.

RoM’s EXP debt basically gives you a set amount of debt based on your characters level.  You lose 5%, or more appropriately, 5% goes into debt.  While in debt, 70% of EXP gained goes toward paying that debt off.  Debt really doesn’t get too much worse if you die at a higher level than a lower one.  As dailies and quests give you more EXP reward comparatively, you can get out of debt about the same regardless of what level your character is.

EXP isn’t the only thing you gain from killing and questing though.  You also gain TP(Talent Points) which are used to upgrade your skills.  Your TP gain is “tied” to your EXP.  Therefore, when you go into EXP debt, you are also going into TP debt.

This is where the tricky little thing about death in RoM comes in.  TP gain is rounded to the nearest 10th.  If you gain 100 EXP, you’ll also gain 10 TP.  Likewise, if you gain 153 EXP, you’ll also gain 15.3 TP.  But when you die fractions get lost.  What does this mean.  It mean when you normally get that .3 of TP, but you keep dying, those fraction gains get dropped.  The result is, that if you die more often than someone else, overall you’ll be gaining less TP.

So it pays to be careful, not just to keep from gaining EXP debt, but also to maximize TP gain.  You can help combat this by either NOT DYING(LOL) or buy a piece of furniture early on in your career.

Within the cash shop, you can buy furniture pieces that either add EXP or TP bonuses.  You buy a table or couch or whatever that adds to your overall bonus.  Whenever you are in your house, you gain the bonus.  The longer you stay at home, the higher the bonus builds up.  The more furniture with bonuses attached, the faster the bonus builds up.  The bonus is delivered to you over time by handing out a percentage of the bonus with each mob kill.  So if you have some bonus EXP, you could gain a few more points from mobs than you would normally get from them.  In this respect, it can pay to always log off in your house.

My suggestion would be to buy a small piece of furniture, with TP bonus, early in your career.  You can only get the bonuses on furniture you buy from the cash shop, but some pieces are rather cheap.  I bought a simple stool early on that added a TP bonus, for 15 diamonds.  It wouldn’t take much gathering to sell for gold, that you can turn around and buy 15 diamonds with in cash shop.  For example,  low level resources like Zinc, Ash, and Mt. Poplar can be gathered from level 1 and are in high demand as they are needed to get your level 15 elite skills.  I don’t know the current rates but they are probably fairly reasonable.  I have been gathering higher level 43 Sinner’s Palm and getting around 1,200 gold per unit.  Gold to diamond price, for me, is around 18K per diamond.  It’s really not too bad, as anyone can gather a stack of 100 in an hour or so.  And it isn’t as simple as saying the higher the level the higher the price.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you made just as much gold per unit from the level 1 resources as I make from the level 43.

Once you have your 15 diamonds, you’ll have also done good toward raising your gathering skills, and to kill two birds with one stone, you could also level your professions up to, depending on how you feel.  Now just open cash shop and pay close attention to which furniture items give EXP bonuses and which give TP bonuses.  Buy a nice small item like the stool I bought or see if anything newer and cheaper has been added then place it in your house.

One small stool gave me around 15 bonus points every 1-2 hours.  I’m sorry for lack of info on this point, but it wouldn’t be hard to figure it out.  Just pay attention to how much time has passed between the first time you log of in your house, and back on, then take your total TP and devide by the hours you were offline.  So if you log off for 8 hours and back on to find a total of 60 bonus TP, you’ve gained 15 TP every 2 hours.  That’s not bad and can help regain TP loss through frequent death.

One last note to keep in mind.  You will only have the bonus applied when killing mobs.  Daily quests and world quests will only give their set amount rewards.  They do not add on the bonus.  Seeing as how many quests have you killing X amount of mobs, it really isn’t a problem.

So, Runes of Magic’s EXP debt also gives you TP debt, and you’ll slowly lose more TP the more you die, due to lost fractions.  It actually pays to be mindfull of death and to “fear” it, but all is not lost.  Buying a piece of furniture, that gives TP bonus, early in the game can help alleviate this.