Monday, January 11, 2010

Post Holiday

So I had about three weeks off this vacation. New Zealand does a bit of a total shutdown during the summer/new year's/christmas break. I dig it. It was a good vacation, but I did have to put a lot of energy in other things. But here is the gaming update. :-)

I'm up to about level 133 in Castle Age. Again, i'll appologize now to all my Facebook friends that have to endure multiple daily updates on Castle Age. The focus of this game at this level seems to be in slaying the epic monsters. I've complete all the quests at least once. One of the cool mechanics to CA is the concept of "Generals" which are heroes you buy to run your quests. Each quest is associated with a particular General. Running a quest with the right General gains you some influence on that quest and when you get to 100% influence you open up 2 sub-quests (that can be run with any General). Once you run the 2 sub-quests up to 100% the main quest resets to 0% at Level 2. This cycle can now be repeated to a maximum influence level of 4. Quests are grouped in to 6-7 "zones" and once you have gained 100% influence in 4 of the quests in a zone you open up a special boss fight. The boss fights have a chance to drop Orbs that allow you to summon the Epic monster fights that other players can assist with. CA has many other widgets to it though. You can give tribute to several Gods/Goddesses that will open up special quests and items. There is also a mysterious option to open up a zone called Atlantis, but to do so you have to run Epic Sea Serpent quests until you score 4 map piece drops. All in all, it is one of the most well developed FB games I've seen. Visually well done, good story, interesting mechanics, and the do keep adding new bits to it every couple of weeks or so.

The other game of my life is a return to Eve Online. I move both my pilots in to a corporation run by old friend (Eve friends, none that I've actually met). Our corp has now moved in to a 0.0 region called Providence. Providence is interesting because it is one of the great player driven experiments only possible in Eve. All 0.0 zones are full PvP and virtually all of them are run in a manner equivalent to the most brutal gang warfare. The only territory you can keep is that which you can defend. Corporations constantly form alliances and friendships that perpetually shift as everyone jockies for the ultimate in "free" resources. Eve is primarily a long epic of bitter betrayals and ruthless aggression. The game allows mechanics to tag players, corporations or whole alliances as targets to be killed or allies. Folks that are untag are considered neutrals. In 0.0, you typically only have friends or enemies and since neutrals can never be called friends they are considered enemies and they are ruthlessly attacked and killed. But this is not true in Providence. In this region the players that control the massive alliances which live in the region have decided that neutrals are not to be killed. They are welcomed and allowed to use the systems (mining or bounty hunting) as long as they also honor the don't shoot policy. If anyone violates this rule they are branded enemies and killed on sight.

Again, what I find endlessly fascinating about Eve is that all of these stories are totally player created. CCP did not specify that Providence be a neutral safe zone, people who play the game did. There have been massive holy wars over it. Providence has become part of the Eve story completely fabricated by the players.

Amy has been playing World of Warcraft on her xmas gift cards. I've poked at it a little. I leveled one toon from 70 to 71. But that's about it. The time to level in WoW is really long at 70+. After turning in some 200 quests, I'm tired of being the same level, but in WoW you still are. But it is still a pretty game.

That's what I'm playin'. Game On!

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