Thursday, April 26, 2012

Superheroes away

How clever things new owners sometimes do.

I mean, I liked Champions Online when it turned F2P. But I ran out of steam as it is really, really boring to go through the quests which are a repetition of the same over and over.

Now the new owner, Perfect Worlds, introduced some nice revamping and features to suck me back. It was exactly 160 days since I had last logged in (how nice of them to state that in the login room... :P ) as I punched my Mystic, Mystico to the world again.

The first thing was that the skills were reset. And the whole crafting had been revamped. And there were new specializations.

And a new bar beside the minimap.


You can say whatever you like about random group finder WoW introduced way back when, but you cannot deny the fact that it created waves. Alerts are Champion's ripple of that wave: you volunteer to help in an alert posted by the Defender himself and you are pitted with four other superheroes against a supervillain and her/his henchmen.

Now here starts the fun. And not so fun.

The alerts are quite straightforward fights against various powers and groups of henchmen. Full on, blast away. The fun part is the fact that the low level superheroes (like my level 13, 14 and now 17) are elevated to fight at level 30. Just like in the PvP scenarios.

The not so fun part is the fact that you usually end up in a group where the utility type characters either do not know how to heal or do not possess any healing at all. So as a low level superhero you are out of luck if you get the beaten: you are really on your own. Remember to bring your own brews and heals is the only solution.

However, there is a twist which I like a lot. Some of the scenarios are timed, so that if the team doesn't perform properly, you get out without the final reward. So you really have to do your best or you do not get the reward in the end.

Of course this leads to a situation in which people start to choose 'easier' alerts, avoiding the Train Wreck alert completely. I have not been in a group which would have conquered that particular scenario, yet, but I can only hope that the reward from it is spectacular enough to warrant the time limit. Then again, I have already found my 'most hated one' which I avoid most of the time...

There are several tweaks and changes to this great game, and if you haven't logged in for a while you may be in for a treat or two.

Champions Online is far from dying out. So check it out.

PS. My handle is @copra (quite surprisingly) in case you're wondering...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Brothers united

As mentioned in earlier post, all the original Stooges are now under the same guild as the second team. In short, Three Stooges are now all in the same guild, which in turn is owned by... Three Stooges!

Due to the fact that we got a bit carried away and accustomed to the guild perks over our time in high level raiding guild, we came to the conclusion that the more the merrier. In short, The Order of the Fist opened it's doors and was added into the guild recruitment system.

We do not promise anything apart from our own Thursday threesomes. The guild is there to provide social playground and some peer support, nothing less, nothing more. And maybe a few laughs on our attempts to cheat fate in various forms.

Let it be heard once and for all: the way the Northrend has been treated since Cataclysm struck is preposterous. I have been deliberately trying to do grey quests in there not to level up too fast, but it's impossible. I think I'm getting full exp out of grey quests, which leads to the fact that Pölökky, my shaman healer, is almost lv80 already and I haven't even touched the Wrathgate quest chain! I have dabbled a bit in Borean Tundra, did the Kaluak quests to get the experience and have done the instances up to Gundrak, once each. And I'm at 79 (98%)!

That is just pure stupid in it's worst. But then again, I said the same about Outlands right after WotLK launched.

Now I wonder how much Outlands has gotten faster to pass through...

Cheap thrills.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Three still rule

Three dunces took yet again a new feather into their bright, shiny and feather filleg high hat by tackling a new set of Northrend dungeons at about the right level range. Ok, Team Dos - or Two as we cleverly put it - has evolved a bit over the level range of the dungeons just now, but we're catching up with the glass roof soon enough.

The night's menu was Violet Hold, Zul'Drak and Gundrak, and despite the fact that we were undermanned, we were astonished how easy they felt. And how darn challenging they have always been for full random groups in the past. Granted, though, that our level range at the beginning of the show was 77-79 and the instances are only above 75, we were a bit over, but it's fair to say that we gave some by having only three dunces of us to meddle with them.

Whereas I was totally of the opinion that the game mechanics have been changed and the instances have been made much easier than they were when WotLK was in its prime, the rest of our threesome were of the opinion that we have just gotten so much better in the game. While the latter may be true, I still believe that our fumbling with our secondary group cannot be that much better than our performance with our prime team way back when we really tried to learn the classes and their quirks as well as possible.

Be it one or the other, these instances were simply not too challenging and as we earlier - in WotLK prime - spent one evening downing one instance, we now ran through three in same time. Without breaking sweat. Without complaining that it's impossible.

Not without wipes, though. That would have been unheard of, and by the instance rules of the Order of the Fist, unacceptable negligence of proper day's work.

This being said, both teams are now within the motherly confines of our own guild. As we had been neglecting our 'main' characters after running our of Cataclysm challenges (we three manned all five mans, you cannot arse us to try them on heroic, really), we weren't contributing to the other guild anymore. So it was only fair to find our mains without a guild tag after a long while. Thank you for having us among you, Highland Warriors, it was fun as long as it was. I sincerely hope that you down the big bad bosses in the Mists of Pandaria the way you have (mis)treated the bosses of the earlier expansions!

Now this blog is linked to Google+ and that part should be taken care of, too.

The only thing I kind of feel bad about is the fact that World of Tanks doesn't create great stories. Or the stories are mainly the same: joined a random battle, our team was a bunch of monkies, the other team was a finely tuned machine - we lost. Of course there are situations when random battles are something quite different any you find yourself as the last man standing, but they are so far and wide.

When there is no big story to tell about, then there is nothing to tell.

This blog will stick to the games with stories.