Dragon*Con 2010: Day Two

Day Two is often less painful that Day One… except when you need to get up and dawn thirty.  Gooooooood Morning, Dragon*Connnnnn! This is not a test! This is MMO!!!  Time to rock it from Azeroth to the realms that are free!  Today I’ve got lined up another long day of working panels.  Starting with the Live Snarkcast in the Savannah room then I’m off to the World of Warcraft Q&A in the Capitol Ballroom.  Next, a Q&A with Sandeep Parikh and his work on The Legend of Neil.  After that it’s back to Savannah for WoW Addon Kung Fu, back again to the Capitol Ballroom for the WoW Meet & Greet and Trivia, and finally once more to Savannah for a Machinima panel.  Tonight is also the big MMO Gathering of Heroes party which is sponsored by SOE, AQ Worlds and Comcast Xfinity.  I’m not working it, but I’ll probably be there.

So how did Day One go? Every panel went great and we had attendance in numbers from 50 to 141.  The only small turnout that I worked was the Funcom panel, which we expected because Funcom wasn’t able to attend, but we love them so we ran the panel anyway.  I didn’t stick around for the Guild Q&A with Vork and Zaboo because I needed food and sleep, and I decided to spend the rest of my night wandering the con.

One of those days

There are days that define a person’s life. Joyous highs, abysmal lows. There are days that are a test of faith, days that push you to your limits. Days were you succeed against all odd, and days when you succumb to the slighted of failures and crumble beneath the weight of the things you thought you’d set aside.

Today was definately not one of those days. Somewhere between great and horrible lay the days of nothing better to do.

Changes, they are a-comin`…

The first round of melee changes went in a little while ago. Disciplines for pure melees (WAR, ROG, MNK) were split into 4 separate timers, partially unlinking them. Hybrids got theirs split into 2 timers, but then they only get 2 high level disciplines.

Some of the less useful disciplines got revamped, like Thunderkick now enhances all kicks for 60 seconds instead of just a single kick.

SOE also introduced the Endurance bar to replace the mostly defunct Stamina bar.

And Warriors got their new taunt skill-spells put in.

At first glance, I was happy I got my disciplines unlinked, but I was worried about the Endurance. However, after playing with them a while, I’m able to juggle 3 of my current discipline – Innerflame, Whirlwind, and Ashenhand – without to much trouble. I don’t sit, and I’m regularly full endurance when its time to use one (except the rare cases when the differing timers line up and I have 2 ready to go at once). Each discipline uses from 50% to 80% of my endurance, but so far that’s no trouble.

On the test server they are still playing around with the rest of the new combat system. The original on test was pure twitch gaming. During a fight, an “opening” would appear, in EQ that was a time bar on a window that said “Offensive Opening” or something like that. Lasted approximately 6 seconds. Or rather, 1 tic. In EQ a tic is 6 seconds, or rather, it is at most 6 seconds. Some of the openings flashed by in under a second. While the opening is counting down, you are supposed to push a button for the skill you want to use, expending endurance for the effect. Some of the skills were quite nice. Rogues got a form of snare, monks got a form of root, extra damage, stuns, attack and armor class debuffs… it was looking quite cool, except for the Whack-a-mole! style gaming they introduced. You had to sit and stare at the screen, and when the opening came, pray you caught the beginning of a tic so that your brain had time to fire off a message to your finger to push the button.

There is still hope though… SOE withheld releasing the new skills in order to make them less twitchy.

In addition to those combat skills, monks will be getting a form of limited use Lull. Should make pulling interesting. But the best of all is, after being successfully feigned for 2 minutes, a message will indicate that the player has been removed from all hate lists. No more /q’ing out of the game! Woot!

So, the end result is.. it looks like they are listening. Pure melees, who were too simple to be balanced, are being made more complex, and several long standing annoyances in the game are finally being handled.

18 June 1998

I keep going to these job interviews where they give me a logic test. On average they are about 25 questions long. Most are aaround 20-25 but then there was that one company that had a 78 question test. In any event, I go to these places and they hand me the test and say, “I hope you have plenty of time, this’ll take about 2 1/2 hours… maybe 3.” 30 minutes later I turn the test back in and miss maybe 2 or 3, but more often none (I missed 10 on the 78 question test). They laud praise on me like I’m the best thing since sliced bread, and then DON’T offer me a job.
Am I missing something?
Today’s Song: Radiation Vibe by Fountains of Wayne… it’s been a while since I loaded this album in the CD player (happens when you have 400 CDs), but after another disappointing job interview hearing this tune just made me smile… a feel good song.
Today’s Movie: Westworld. After watching Outland I’ve been getting into this “older” sci-fi mode. If you have never seen Westworld, do so… Yul Brenner as a gunfighting rogue android is worth it alone.