Archive for EVE Online

Review: Perpetuum

Posted in Perpetuum, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on 01/13/2011 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Over the past couple of months,  I have been spending a bit of time in the game Perpetuum, by Avatar Creations. For me, the game popped up out of obscurity. For a person who reads plenty of gaming blogs and new sites, it surprised me that I had never heard of it before. A few days before release, all of a sudden it was popping up everywhere on Twitter, and people were raving. I was fortunate enough at this time to be given an early access pass, and I’m glad I was.

It is apparent right from the start, and very important that I include this, that the biggest influence on Perpetuum is EVE Online. The game is essentially EVE on the ground, with Robots instead of Space Ships. You do not ever see your physical body and instead, you are one with your Mech. This is a great concept not seen very often in the MMO genre. The game feels almost like a spiritual successor to EVE.

Game Play

Like EVE,  the first aspect of the game that stuck out to me was that there wasn’t going to be much hand holding, which is something I actually like in my MMOs. In the age of “Easy-Mode” gaming it is a nice change of pace to have a challenge placed in front of me, especially one that makes me think and figure out a few concepts on my own. For anyone new to MMO gaming, this could be a major turn off, and is really the game’s only major flaw. If you’re a quick learner though, this won’t be much of a problem.

When creating your character, you have to decide what play style you want to go with. You have a choice of Combat (blowing things up), Diplomacy (Corporation (guild) leading and bargaining), and Industry (Farming materials and Crafting). You can even mix and match if you so choose, or you can focus all energy into one area and be weaker in others.

Progression

There is  no leveling system in Perpetuum. Let me repeat that: There is NO leveling system in Perpetuum. Instead, the game offers a unique skill system, very similar to EVE. The really neat part of how this works in Perpettum is that you gain skill points as long as you have an active subscription at one per minute. So no matter what, your character is always progressing, and there’s no need to set a skill queue or to make sure you log in to set your next skill to train. You can progress your skills at your leisure and your choosing. This system really opens up the game to completely original character builds, with no real “cookie-cutter” setups.

Combat

I’ll be honest. I’m not much of a crafter, so while I did do a bit of mining, I don’t have much to add to that discussion. Where I can chip in is the game’s combat.

Combat in Perpetuum is slow. Very slow. It can actually be a bit of a downer at first, but it is a part of the game I came to love over time. If you’ve played EVE at all, you know what I mean when I say you have to manage your power in order to be the most efficient in combat. Basically, your Mech has a limited power supply that drains with each use of a weapon or shield. This power regains over time, but it’s quite possible to become at a disadvantage if you overdue it too early on. This is too much of a problem early on, but I can assume that as the game progresses into the later stages, and the battles get bigger and longer, that this part of the game may get a bit tougher to manage and stay alive.

The combat is pretty fun once you get used to it. It is definitely not your button masher like most MMOs. The fights involve strategy and weapon management to complete, and this is something that really helps set Perpetuum apart from the rest. The only downside is that people who are used to fast paced action may want to look the other way.

PvP

PvP is the main driving force of Perpetuum. In fact, it’s one of the biggest parts of the gameplay. Again, this is just like EVE. If you’re in a high security sector, you’re pretty much safe. Once you start moving out to the lower security sectors you had better have the firepower to protect yourself, or some friends to come along and protect you. This is the one part of the game that you have to learn to live with. The world of Nia is an everchanging world and is completely player driven. There are people who love to PvP and they’re not going to let up just because you don’t like to. Also, there’s only one server so there’s no way to avoid this.

The Final Verdict

Overall, I had quite a bit of fun with my time in Perpetuum. The best part of the game being new is that if you like an open sandbox world — a la EVE Online –, this is a great game to get into right now. You would be starting at pretty much the beginning and other players wouldn’t have much of an advantage over you. The gameplay and systems that are in place are vastly different than almost all other MMOs on the market, giving Perpetuum a leg up on the competition, and really feeding the needs of those wanting something that doesn’t play like World of Warcraft. And if you’re a fan of EVE, Perpetuum is a game you’ll definitely want to check out! The world of Nia and the lore surrounding it is top knotch, and you can tell the developers really love their game. I look forward to seeing where this game goes in the future and how it continues to add innovation to the MMO genre.

I give Perpetuum a 4 out of 5.

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The Skill Cap Issue

Posted in Gaming News, MMORPG, PC, Star Trek Online with tags , , , , on 01/26/2010 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Cryptic has done it now. They have churned the cesspit and the trolls have risen! Enter the 500+ page post of whining (at your own risk of course).

Long story short, people are mad (read PISSED OFF) that Cryptic has a Cap on the Skill Points you can earn in Star Trek Online. Now, unless you’ve ONLY played EVE Online, this shouldn’t be anything new. But by the responses on the forums and on many blogs, you would think that Star Trek Online is the ONLY game to have a skill cap. it won’t be the last. In fact, there are some very livid bloggers who keep making the comparison over and over again. A lot of these people are personal friends of mine, but I still disagree with the comparison. STO is not EVE.

Now, before I get into that, one of the big arguments people are trying to make is that Cryptic is doing this solely to be money mongers, and to sell Respecs through the Cryptic Store. A Dev posted already (sorry, can’t find the link now) about how it’s not to sell Respecs at all. Respecs will be available in-game for in-game currency. So, that argument is shot down.

As for it being like EVE-Online, it’s nothing like EVE. I really think that since Star Trek is space, everyone is trying to compare it with EVE, and that should not be the case. This is not the first time I’ve heard the EVE argument come up, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In EVE, there are literally thousands of skills that take 250k+ skill points to completely master, where the final tier can take anywhere from a week to several months to actually complete training on. STO isn’t like this. You earn skill points while you level/do missions/kill things, and you spend these to learn your skills. No person is meant to be a master of every category. In EVE you can, but in almost all other MMOs on the market, you cannot.

Players are meant to specialize in one area, while having secondary and tertiary skills that they are “OK” at. There would be no need for strategies and finding certain players if everyone could do everything. In fact, I think the best example with the way the STO skill system works would be Fallen Earth. You get AP while you level and do quests, and you spend that AP to specialize your character in a certain way. There is an AP cap and you cannot master everything. Everyone is meant to have their own niche.

And just when it thought there was a chance I might be wrong (hell, 500+ pages of people telling me I am was sure to get to me, especially since I take official forums so personal! /sarcasm off) StormShade, the Cryptic Community Rep, posted a response backing up my theories.

My other argument for this cap is one of game balance. Unlike EVE, all other games try to maintain some sort of class balance, especially in PvP. While STO doesn’t have “Classes” per se, they have character and ship types. There would be no point to having this, or having one main area of focus, if there was no cap on Skill Points. If everyone could master everything, why would you have to choose a Tank, DPS, or Healer? I for one have always spoken out against the “Holy Trinity” of classes, and wish there was a better way around it (see Fallen Earth), Cryptic isn’t going in a “New” direction with STO. It’s the same old gameplay, and that’s how they, and the majority of people enjoying the game see it.

Let me be straight forward in saying that my only qualm with this decision on the cap is that it comes towards the end of Open Beta, and not sooner. Should it have been done months ago? Probably. But with everything else Cryptic was focusing on, I’m sure it only recently became and issue, after they opened up End Game for testing and saw the effect it was already having on the game.

And for the love of God, do NOT even begin to categorize this as an NGE type event. NO (read Notta, Zilch, Zippo) major gameplay was changed by this at all. All it did was put everyone on equal ground. The game still plays exactly as it did before the cap was put on, it just means people have to think when they spend their points, with repsecs easily available if any mistakes are made, which is exactly how it should be (you hear me Icarus?).

With all that said, this kind of goes back to Cindy’s post on MMOVoices last week. Who’s fault is it? It’s the players (or non-players as it is), who are trying to find something to blame on Cryptic for them not enjoying the game. Listen up folks, if you don’t like the game, you don’t like the game. There were no gameplay changes at all, and harping on the Devs for putting something as simple as a Skill Cap in the game is only causing them undue stress where it is not needed. Take a look in the mirror, and take a cold shower to cool off. It’s not the Devs fault you don’t like the game, it’s your own for buying into the hype and not getting what you expected.

(Sorry for the lack of writing lately, I will try to remember to share all of my writing from MMOVoices.ning.com to here as well. Bad Jmo! /slaps hand.)

How in the Hell….

Posted in EVE Online, Gaming News, MMORPG with tags , , , , on 12/30/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

I’ve always been a sucker for news articles that bring out the overall stupidity of parts of humanity. Out of everything I’ve read recently, this one takes the cake!

There are a whole lot of people out there who have been bent over and …you get the point… on a RMT (Real Money Trading) scam, me being one of them. Mine was a problem with IGE and they eventually gave me my money back. That was also the last time I’ve ever tried to dig into the Gold Selling world. Luckily for me, I got my money back through PayPal. Our Danish friend in the massively article was not so lucky.

If you don’t feel like reading about this ignoramous, I will sum it up here for you:

Dumbass (Danish douch…err…dude…) decides he wants to buy ISK (Inter Stellar Kredits) in EVE with real life money.

Dumbass sees channel spam for an ISK seller.

Dumbass proceeds to the listed website.

Website owners smell blood and say “Give us $19,000 and we’ll give you ISK” (Did I mention ISK is IN GAME MONEY ONLY?! IT HAS NO VALUE IN THE REAL WORLD!!!!!)

Dumbass avoids all possible warning signs and, yes, the #@*$&#&#* hands over $19,000 in Danish currency through PayPal. (…)(words and symbols just aren’t enough)

Dumbass waits a bit and never receives currency.

Dumbass tries to sue said company, and loses. Case closed.

The stupidity of people amazes me. This man throws down half of my annual salary for fake money, and loses it! Would the amount of $19,000 set of some kind of warning bells somewhere? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? What the hell was he thinking?! OF COURSE IT WAS A SCAM! That’s just as bad, IF NOT WORSE, than falling for one of the godforsaken “You’ve Won the UK Lottery, but please give me your bank account so I can “wire” you the money from Africa” e-mails.

I’ve got an idea! If you’ve got $19,000 just burning a hole in your pocket, send it to me. That’s right, me. I can’t promise you any in game money or any kind of real life return of any sort. But if you’re willing to just take a risk on buying “Monopoly Money” of sorts, I can promise I’ll use the money to pay off my student loans, at least you would know that it wasn’t going to line some random scammers pocket!

All joking aside, What The F…!

And yes, I’m making a resolution to keep this blog as clean as possible from now on, and it was really @#$&@&# hard after reading that article!

DUMBASS!!!!!!

*grumbles and smacks forehead*

The Death Penalty

Posted in EVE Online, Everquest, Gaming, MMORPG, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , on 12/08/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Massively put out an interesting Article about the Death Penalty in EVE this past weekend.

As a recent EVE player, who has actually died in game now, I must say that death in EVE is expensive to say the least, but not harsh. When your ship gets blown up, it’s gone. Kapoot. Ships are not cheap, but you can get right back into a starter ship if needed for a fairly low price. As long as your clone is up to date, all you lose is your ship (and you can even loot the reckage for your stuff). Now, if you have a lot of skill points and a not-up-to-date clone, you could lose a few skills as well.

But I do feel that even with all of this, the original Death Penalty in Everquest was worse. I remember grinding out for days while working on a level (this is before bonus XP and any of the new perks of today). You could easily lose a level or two of progression if you died in the wrong place, or got yourself in to a loop of death at your bind point. And there was also the chance  of dieing in a very dangerous, and hard to reach area (befallen anyone?) and not be able to actually get back to loot your corpse. All of your items were gone. This Death Penalty was the catalyst for the boy who committed suicide, whom I talked about in an earlier entry. Granted he had major issues in real life, but his final straw was losing his body in game.

The games of today (WoW, WAR, etc.) can be considered “MMO’s on Easy Mode.” These games have little to no Death Penalty. There’s no true work put in when you die. Everything is just handed to you. Death means nothing and is just a minor setback of time. I truly feel that games SHOULD have a stiffer Death Penalty and not baby the players.

I believe that a stiffer Death Penalty also creates a closer knit community within the game worlds. People are more inclined to work together and make friends if they know they could lose everything (or even just a little). We can see this fairly clearly in the new MMOs. There are more soloers than groupers, and even in guilds, no one seems to help each other anymore because it doesn’t benefit them. There’s no true reason to work together except on raids. While I don’t attribute the growing lack of community fully to no Death Penalties, it does make you think about how making these games easier and easier is destroying the sense of kinship that games such as Everquest, and EVE, seem to foster.