Still Alive…

No, I haven’t disappeared, I’ve just been busy as fuck these last several weeks. Between the holidays, job hunting, and plenty of other distractions, I just really haven’t had a lot of time for FE. Also, there’s one other thing that’s both slowing me down in the game and really pissing me off.

A mission I got in Chemtown took me to the Toxic Pool to kill a Mutated Monster. The problem is that the damn thing never shows up. Literally, it’s never there. I’ve tried logging in at all times of the day and night, but all I get is a red X on my map but nothing at the location to kill. GM’s were unfortunately pretty unhelpful in this, telling me that it could take as long as an hour for the monster to show up. An HOUR? A fucking hour? Are you shitting me? Who’s got the time or the patience to sit there for an hour waiting for an NPC to show up just so they can kill it and move on? I’m about at the point where I’m ready to dump the mission and move on to something else, but why should I have to? Ridiculous! Clearly this is something that needs to be fixed.

I’ve pretty much played out Batman: Arkham City, at least for the moment. In between FE logins to check and see if the stupid monster has shown up I’ve gotten involved with yet another game, one I never expected to: Aion.

Generally speaking, I don’t go in much for the sword and sorcery genre. I’ve tried a few games like that, including my very first MMO, Everquest. I left that game in part because I got bored with it, but also because I got sick of the childish attacks and the homo/transphobic, racist, and misogynist bullshit thrown around constantly in the chats in that game. Regardless of what I think of the game itself, that kind of thing makes any MMO an unpleasant experience for me, particularly as a lesbian-identified transsexual woman. I play MMO’s to have fun and with that kind of crap being constantly thrown around toward myself and other players, it’s just not fun. I lasted eight months in Everquest before deciding that if I wanted to be verbally abused by school children, I certainly didn’t have to pay fifteen bucks a month for it.

I tried Lord of the Rings Online when it went free-to-play but the restrictions on free accounts are so severe in that game that I only lasted three days before giving up in disgust and annoyance. I never really got a chance to decide of I liked the game itself or not because the free-to-play model was so limited that it quickly became a crushingly boring grind. That’s not what I play MMO’s for either, free or not.

Aion, on the other hand, is different. Graphically, it’s unquestionably the most beautiful game I’ve ever played, and I say that as a former player of Eve-Online, definitely no slouch in the graphics department. I find myself stopping play when I enter a new area just to move the camera around and admire the graphics. Another thing I really like is the detailed storyline and well-drawn characters. I like FE’s graphics too, as well as the storyline, but Aion is graphically just awe-inspiring as well as one of the best and deepest storylines I’ve ever experienced. It feels a lot like playing through a high fantasy movie or novel. I like that in an MMO.

There is one thing about Aion that I really dislike though. Apparently, when you join a legion (Aion’s version of a guild or clan) and accept a leadership role you’re stuck with it permanently unless you can find another legion member who’s in-game at the time to pawn the title off on. I got suckered like this earlier today and now I find myself in charge of a legion with just seven members in it, all of whom apparently speak Korean, with no way to leave. So, what I’ll eventually end up doing if I continue with this game is simply to dump the toon I’ve been using during my 10-day free trial period and start a new one, leaving this “legion” leaderless. It goes against my grain to do that, but I see no other way to get out.  For any MMO to have such a ridiculous rule and insist that leaders continue to lead a group they don’t want to be part of anymore is just stupid.

Frankly, I’ve only got a few days invested in this toon so it’s really not all that big a deal…I was considering starting a new toon if and when I decide I’m into this game enough to actually pay money for it anyway. Now it’s a certainty, and the only ones who really lose out on that deal are those in that legion who won’t have a leader because very soon because I won’t be using that toon or account anymore, no matter if I decide to stick with the game or not. How that helps to make for a better player experience is a mystery to me.

It’s funny…thematically, Aion is almost a polar opposite of FE in a lot of ways, stunning beauty versus detailed decay, wings versus wheels, high fantasy set in the distant past of a shattered planet versus post-apocalyptic disaster set in Earth’s semi-near future. And yet, I really enjoy both games and find myself drawn to both.

As far as FE goes, I’m not leaving for Aion. I still have plenty to do in FE, I’m still enjoying the game (except for this stupid non-existent monster I’m supposed to kill) and I’m paid up until June. By the time that rolls around, I’ll know better what my plans are for the future. Interestingly, Aion just went free-to-play in Europe and the community scuttlebutt indicates a popular expectation among the Aion player base that the game’s North American server won’t be very far behind. If and when that happens, I’ll have to consider which game is the best investment of my time and money for the entertainment value. I haven’t played Aion anywhere near enough yet to be able to make that kind of value judgement, though. All I know is that right now I’m still having a really good time with both games and I’m very glad I won’t be forced to make that decision for at least a few months.

Catching Up…

In gaming, when you think about it, there’s usually no need for catching up. That is, game time moves forward only when and as the players and the game masters agree that it does. When a player is done playing, their avatar disappears and their progress in the game is basically suspended until they next time that player plays. Other than timed crafting projects and skill trainings, there’s generally nothing that happens specifically to a player’s character (as opposed to their clan) when the player isn’t logged in and playing to see it.

In blogging about gaming, however, there’s very frequently a need to catch up because anyone who’s any good at it spends a lot more time gaming than blogging. So, that said, let’s do that, shall we?

I’ve chosen right now, this moment, to post because I’m at the cusp of a new and hopefully really interesting part of this game. The path to get here though, was not an easy one. I finally cracked level 35 just a few minutes ago. I’d done all the level 30-35 content long ago and toward the end it got to the point where all I was doing was grinding for chips and experience in The Dump and Windfarm in Sector 2 and later just farming Kaibab boar and coyotes for XP near Banker’s Hole in Sector 3.

I know I’ve got plenty of content available now. I returned to Banker’s Hole after dinging level 35 and the whole town is now lit up so green you’d think it was still Xmas. I also know that there’s new level 30-35 content coming in coming updates. That’s a great thing for the future so no one has to grind their way through levels 32-35 anymore. Still, I kinda wish they’d have been a little faster with that one.

I’ve also been riding my newly-crafted Electric Motorcycle. I love it. No more lugging around bulky gasoline, much slower rate of power consumption, faster, more cargo space, handles rough terrain better, far more resistant to damage…when they say “Improved Motorcycle” they actually mean it. Eventually I think I’d like to build an Interceptor, but I need to keep raising my science skill for a while yet before I’m going to be able to do that.

So, that’s where I am. It’s a new year, and I’m about to start a new phase in the game. Very cool. I guess I’ll have to do those 30-35 missions when they come out too. Better late than never.

 

Holidaze Continued…

As the holiday season continues, I’m finding myself with less time for FE. Two main reasons, but the first is just  the shortage of play time just in  general because I’m so busy in RL. The second reason can be summed up in three words: “Batman: Arkham City”.

This game is fucking great. Period. Dead stop. The graphics are downright awe-inspiring, the gameplay is fun, engaging, and oftentimes very, very satisfying. There’s just something about beating the crap out of seven bad guys at once that can’t help but make you feel like a major badass. Best of all, since the game also features Catwoman with her own set of unique fighting moves you can feel like a major badass regardless of your mood or gender identity.

I’ve barely started the game…last time I checked my stats they said I’d completed all of 3%, but this game just keeps getting better and better. I can’t help but think that this game would make an incredible MMO in terms of playability, but of course the problem with any game like this is that it’s a Batman game so naturally everyone would want to be Batman in it. On the other hand, perhaps they could take the DC Universe route of making the actual comic book superheroes like Batman and Superman unplayable and have the player create their own superhero who will interact with the comic book heroes.

I’m getting off track, but that’s ok. It’s Sunday. I have errands to run, recorded television to watch, dinner to deal with, and video games to play in whatever time might be left over from all that. I need to find about an hour or so of free time so I can take a break from doing the Dieseltown holiday mission chain and set up the next phase of crafting the knowledges I need to build myself an electric motorcycle. Trouble is, finding that hour has been a bit of a challenge lately, and even on the rare occasions I have, that Batman is a very seductive guy.

I dunno, we’ll see…maybe I’ll have something to write about (and time to write about it) later in the week.

Holidaze…

Yeah, I know, it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted. All I can do is plead holiday busyness which has kept me from playing FE a lot over the last couple of weeks. I have managed to pop on often enough to keep up my crafting though. I’m almost ready to start building an electric motorcycle. I finished my dune buggy last week, but to be honest I wasn’t all that happy with it. It looks cool, but it’s kinda slow and I don’t see how it offers me any real advantages over my motorcycle, which is much faster and doesn’t have much less storage. The electric bike I’m going to build has almost as much storage as a cargo bike and has the added advantage of not needing  gas but instead uses batteries which are cheaper to make and I already have a stack of them I got as a reward on some mission.

I checked out the faction territory control area earlier today when the servers came back up for a little while but I had to bail out after only a short time to deal with RL. I’ll be heading back in shortly for a little while, but I suspect I’m gonna get killed pretty quickly since the keep I was in when I logged out had switched from Traveler to Enforcer control when I popped back in a couple of hours ago to check on my crafting. Oh well, I do have a few other things to do elsewhere anyway.

I just got an email from Amazon that my copy of Batman: Arkham City shipped today so I expect that I’ll be spending a lot of time with that when it arrives. I’ll still be in FE of course, but maybe not so much over the next couple of weeks. Between Batman and the holidays, I doubt I’ll have a whole lot of time for FE until after Xmas. The good news is that once those lovely holiday checks clear at the bank I’ve decided that I’m going to treat myself to a 180-day Wastelander premium code. The other good news is that G1 has finally put out invisible armor for the rest of the slots and I picked up the invisible glasses one today, so I’m looking pretty much like I want to in-game right now, though who knows, that could change.

Also, I’m now on the upper end of level 33, soon to hit 34. Anyway, that’s it for right now, but as always, more to come soon.

Happy freakin’ holidays, everyone!

Self-Solving Problems

Sometimes, things just manage to work themselves out even if you hadn’t expected them to.

While searching around Sector 3 for something to do, I ran across Docur’s Court, a little town northeast of Dieseltown with not much in the way of merchants but plenty of missions for a player at my level, including a lengthy chain that ends with a drop of a riot helmet and shoulder pads better than the ones I had. As luck would have it, the riot helmet attaches in the head and mouth slots and provides better stats than the mask/construction helmet combo I was wearing previously, and because I already have the invisible hat, it’s bye-bye mask issue, no more having to wait for G1 to finally get around to offering invisible armor for the mouth slot. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

I’m currently crafting the second-to-last component of my dune buggy, so I hope to have that done over the next couple of days. Thing is, I’m about halfway to level 32, but I have feeling that I’m going to probably run out of missions in Docur’s Court long before I get to level 35. Papermill and Warhall both offer level 35 stuff as well, so I know that once I hit that level I’ll have plenty to do, but I suspect that my trip back to Sector 2 has merely been delayed, not cancelled, as a result of finding this town. Then again, who knows? This game has a habit of surprising me in certain ways so I suppose I’ll have to do some more mission hunting in Sector 3 before I head back to Sector 2. I did discover a small camp of mercenaries outside Brekshire with a few missions to do there, so maybe I’ll stumble across more stuff like that.

Ah well, it’s a lazy Sunday with nothing on the agenda other than writing this post and playing some Fallen Earth, so I’m going back in-game. See ya out there!

The Invisible Gap

I’m level 31 now, pretty much done with Dieseltown, and I’m discovering that with the exception of a couple of repeatable missions there and some in Sector 2, as well as the stuff in the Sector 2 conflict towns I never got around to, I’ve pretty much run out of stuff to do, at least for the moment.

Earlier today, I rode up to Banker’s Hole, the Sector 3 Traveler faction town and the next logical place for me to look for stuff to do, and discovered that there’s really nothing for me there until I hit level 35. On the same run, I also hit Chem Town and found the same thing. Right now, I’m in a Banker’s Hole crafting facility waiting for the engine of my dune buggy to finish, but I plan to make trips to Papermill and Warhall, the two places suggested to me by NPC’s I did stuff for in Dieseltown, before I head back west. I’m hoping I find some stuff to do in those places at my current level, but if not then I think it’s back to Sector 2 for a while to retry some conflict towns I didn’t do too well in a few levels ago, as well as much better and more profitable scavenging.

At this point, my main focus is getting my dune buggy finished. It took a while to get all the knowledges done and I’ve learned through experience that it’s always better to get all of those done first, before I start crafting the actual item, so I don’t have to waste pack space and weight or vault slots lugging around parts that I can’t use until I get all the knowledges done anyway.

It’s kind of weird actually. I really never had this problem in Sector 2, and Sector 1 had so much stuff to do that I doubt I got even two thirds of it done. You’d think there’d be more for a player at my level to do in Sector 3. Well, hopefully it’s there and I just haven’t found it yet. I suppose we’ll see.

*****

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, posting has been a bit light this week, and that’s for the obvious reason, Thanksgiving. Hopefully I’ll have more time to post here over the next few weeks, but no promises. RL’s getting busier and busier with no end in sight for the immediate future. As I’ve said before, light posting doesn’t mean I’ve bailed on FEB, it just means that other things are taking up my time for a while.

This too, shall pass.

Drifting

I’m officially a member of the Drifters now, which is a very cool thing. Seems like a pretty great bunch of folks and I’m excited about being in a clan for the first time since I returned to to the game. We’re going to have our first new contributor any time now (when he publishes his first post) and I’m certainly looking forward to that. Don’t forget that if you want to become a contributor here, just drop me an email at bekkajai@gmail.com and I’ll get you set up. Anything and everything relevant to FE is welcome.

*****

Today was a very post-apocalyptic day. I did some missions and scavenging in and around The Dump and Windfarm and afterward a couple of missions in Blaine I’d missed the first time around to get myself up to level 30. During all that though, I decided to log out a couple of times and watch The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome while I was waiting for some crafting to finish. I swear, FE should have some kind of Thunderdome-style PvP event. After all, it’s not like there aren’t a lot of things in this game very reminiscent of or even directly taken from the Mad Max movies so that should certainly not be a issue. I can hear the chants now, “Two clones enter, one clone leaves! Two clones enter, one clone leaves!”. I think they could probably leave out the gyrocopters though.

Along the same lines, I would like to see some deeper, more complex storylines explored in this game, though. There’s so much to work with, after all.

I finally hit level 30 about an hour ago as I write this, so tomorrow’s mission will be a trip into Sector 3 to do some missions in Dieseltown. I’ve also started the process of preparing to build a dune buggy. Of course first I have to get the relevant level 2 knowledges done so that’s what I’m working on right now. At the rate I’m going, I think I’ll be ready to actually build the thing in a few days, assuming real life doesn’t intrude and slow me down, which is a very good possibility in a holiday week.

Alright, that’s enough for now, it’s time for bed. Tomorrow, I start Sector 3. Cool beans.