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Truecidation Blog

Hail To The Queen

It's been a while, yo. I figure since nobody reads this, I might as well put some crap up. In the old days we had diaries and stuff, nowadays we just add to the terrabytes of crap being generated daily.

Anyway, it looks like it's been quite some time since my older blog entries. Not that I really care, one way or another. I'd just like to note that I've gotten over that little MMORPG phase. Seriously, they're all stuck in a rut. I've seen more gameplay in a goddamned singleplayer offline card game than in these abominations.

The Koreans can't write a good story worth jack. What is up with them anyway? It's like they have this school for MMORPG programmers who all graduated at the same time, and now they're producing the exact same carbon copy crap games year in year out. Inevitably, all of them have largely forgettable stories, which have absolutely no bearing at all on the gameplay. Class, raise your hand if any of you actually read an MMO's background story, and if it actually made any difference during the period you played the game? Anyone?

Pfft.

Also, all these games have all the depth of a puddle. Compared to regular offline CRPGs, MMORPGs suck cock and I'm not talking about tentative licking here, I'm talking the full deep throat& swallow deal. The vast majority of them have pitifully few stats (the stereotypical strength, dexterity, intelligence, vitality) which naturally lends itself into simplistic cookie-cutter builds which keep changing because the devs keep introducing new bugs that screw with game balance with every update.

Let's not even go into equipment, almost all of them follow a goddamned linear wood - stone - steel - mithril progression. This was fine back in the 8-bit console days when memory was limited. We now live, however, in an age of terrabyte size harddrives. Hell, even memory is measured in gigabytes now. Stop this stupid bull! We should be having random-stat items like Diablo introduced. There's no reason why every single high level character should be wearing the exact same piece of equipment. But nooo, you see this samecrap happening in every single MMO. The developerscan't all be morons, so what gives here?

I don't believe none of them know english and haven't had the chance of playing games with random item mods like Titan Quest or the abovemention Diablo, either. Although, to be frank, reading the generally piss-poor translation jobs you see in these games, it makes one wonder if this isn't true.

I myself am no westerner. Yet I speak perfectly good english. Hell, I can even bandy idioms around like a native. I can pretend to be a white kid online and nobody can tell otherwise. I don't think I'm *that* good, so why the crap jobs done translating all these games? You'd think people going into business would know that they ought to put in a modicum of effort into polishing their "product".

Instead we keep getting shinier and shinier games, while their content remains the same dull unimaginative crap rehashed again and again and again. I challenge anyone to show me ANY recent (2008+) MMORPG, which any previous older MMORPG hasn't done, except look better. Hell, I've played MUDs, goddamned TEXT BASED GAMES, which have more variety and better class balance than many of these korean knockoffs. Christ on a crutch.

Support me, biatch.

Today's rant is about FS Assists, that is, Full Support Assist characters in Flyff.

FSs aren't hard; on the other hand, they aren't easy either, which is why so many noobs get it wrong. First off, the forums exist. Read them, you retards. I've lost count of how many supposed FSs have screwed up skill allocations. Buffs should be raised to even levels, they alternate between 3 minutes for odd level buffs and 4 minutes for even level buffs, plus whatever extra time you get from your Int stat. If you level up, you don't HAVE to increase your buffs, especially if it would mean making any of them odd level. Have some freaking patience.

Two, the actual act of "Full Supporting". Your job is to keep your buffs on your partner (and yourself) up. This means you don't freaking wait for them to start blinking near expiry before re-buffing. You won't have time to rebuff properly if you leave it to the last minute, let alone when emergencies happen, like a random agro spawn or you need to spam heal for a second because your partner got hit by multiple crits in a row. The blink timer is around 20 seconds; anything around 30+ seconds is decent.

Three, healing. That's the other main part of playing an FS. You keep your partner alive. Don't frigging wait until his hp is like half or something; if crit can take half his life, what's to say he doesn't get hit AGAIN while you just stand there holding your dick expecting him to only get hurt a bit? Don't take chances. People generally play riskier when they have an FS, because they freaking expect you to do your goddamned job. Keep the healing up, it's only mp for fock's sake. And running out of MP should be no excuse. As an FS, I bring mp potions around because I never know when I might be pressed for it especially if I just finished rebuffing and then suddenly I need to heal my friend a lot. FSs who only heal once in a while, waiting for their partner to lose a lot of hp to "justify" healing, are crap. Your partner is getting you exp, keep him alive.

Come across as anti-FS, do I? Well fock you, I have one myself, and I do a pretty good job. I know because (1) I don't have sucky buff levels, (2) I rebuff way on time, I don't wait for the buff timers to start panic countdown blinking or, worse, wait for my partner to remind me (it's your damn JOB), (3) I spam heal on my partner when he's engaging an enemy, I don't wait for him to start taking damage, and finally (4) I always have a stack of MP around just in case I run out of mp for whatever reason.

It's not hard to play a support character, you just need to use your goddamn brains. To all the lousy assists out there, learn something from this, you might find out just WHY people don't re-partner you later. Remember, even though other characters level slowly without your support, at least they CAN level. You, on the other hand, are totally at their mercy. If you want people to like you and appreciate you and keep coming back to help you level, then do a proper job at FS'ing.

Flyff Collector Event

How nice, another event. Unfortunately this time, not only do you have to collect 10 items per mob, you also have to match it with 10 items obtained via Collecting. Collecting isn't that bad but for one thing: like afk vending, it takes up game time many don't have. Not everyone can afford to piss away their gaming hours afk vending/collecting. Also, not everyone can just leave their computer running overnight/while they are out. Besides, the regular NPC collector batteries only last half an hour.

The mob drops ("seeds") are fairly easy to obtain, similar to the drops in the previous event. The collector items ("souls") aren't too hard either, but they're mixed in with the regular collector crud, so you end up wasting a lot of time just to get them. I guess they're trying to push collection as an activity, but it's merely annoying. As expected, prices for souls are pretty high, since many people can collect seeds in the normal course of playing, but not many have the time to waste on collecting.

Hell, I have 140+ seeds already from a couple of sessions, yet only 21 souls. That only makes 2 exchange items, whereas in the previous events I could simply exchange the mob drops for 14 exchanges (from the 140+). Not to mention that they haven't updated their goddamn website so you can't check what the boxes can potentially give you. I remember event sunstones and event moonstones, I'm not sure what the others were. There weren't too many, and I don't recall being too impressed. I guess I'll restart Flyff and check the loader message again (they should put this list on the damn website).

Alright, here's the list:

- Hip-Hop or Workout Set (wtf? CS clothes? ugh)

- Gaia Cloak (haha, wanna bet how rare?)

- Losha Trans box (huh? wtf is a Losha? There's an NPC by that name, but no mob)

- Lawful Trans box (another lousy trans item)

- Taeguk Cloak (yeah, the 7-day thing from before I think)

- Medicine Box (ugh, just sucks)

- Firework Box (more insta-use suckiness)

- Event Sunstone / Event Moonstone (standard)

Well, that was it. A bunch of CS clothes, a really short use cloak, some crap medicine/transys/fireworks. Bah. This event really sucks cock.

Word from our sponsors

We were recording Plastic Smile (the Canvas2 theme) when my sister-in-law (pseudometaphorically speaking) mentioned that she never really tied up some loose ends here on GS. So on the infinitesimal chance that someone actually reading this also knows Celine Aensland of the Tokyo-3 Middle Daughters Club, she said goodbye and thanks for all the fish. Well, not in so many words, but you get the idea. When pressed to be more exact she just told me it was a hassle and that I, being a guy, wouldn't understand. Right. So basically she's no longer blogging or posting on the forums, or whatever it is people do here on GS.

I did find her entries (user: Celine_Aensland), but I didn't bother going through all of that stuff. I guess she just got bored of GS? I don't really see her that often, outside of our bands' collaborations. She's doing more guitar work these days though, they're really into this speed metal phase thing. Damn. I'm only a keyboard guy, but watching her and her band going through the paces is humbling. I can play the keyboard, that's it. Good musicians can maybe play a couple. But the entire group, all five of them, they can individually play ANY position in the band. Even vocals, although I'll be honest, they're just good amateurs, no pro voice training. Still, damn. You could name an instrument, and odds are that any of them can play it, and play it well. From classical (as in real classical, with pianos and stuff) to speed metal, they're amazing. They're also pretty damn good copycats, aside from vocals I'm often struck by how closely they can get to the original sound. 'Course, we all play a lot of instrumental stuff (video game bgm), but they also do a lot of jpop and speed metal, and if you're a manufactured outfit you just can't pull that off that kind of variety. This is grade A musical talent right here, and I'm just a midget among giants.

You might catch them on Youtube someday; although they don't like being photo'd or filmed, they always record their jam sessions. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I've got work to do. Dunno when if I'll ever post on here again. Like I said, I don't like to blog. Even typing this up feels strange, I really doubt anyone will see it, it's just another tiny drop in the ocean of stuff users put up on GS, and it's not like I have a network here (heh, stats view shows I have zero friends -_-). So this thing will probably fade away until all that remains is a cached page in Google years later.

Sayonara, Zetsubou sensei.

Flyff version updates: much ado about nothing

Recently Flyff's version updating has picked up. We lived with v7 for most of '07 (late feb to end oct?), and then in pretty quick succesion we had v8 (disaster), v9 (half-assed regression), v10 (endgame stuff), v11 (awakenings). Let me outline to you, from a v7 player's perspective, what all these updates mean to us.

v8: Global PK. Haw! What numbskull thought up this idea, I'll never know. Do these assclowns even play on their own servers? You can easily see for yourself on ANY korean mmo that practises the Open Pk concept that it is a flaming failure. Newsflash, allow people to be bastards, and some WILL be bastards. This is why ganking is no longer an esoteric, dorky term: even casual players know what ganking means -- because they've most likely been on the receiving end of an assraping by a high level moron who gets his jollies from screwing with newbies. Flyff playerbase crumbles. I'm not speculating either; in v7, most servers showed [busy] status. Nowadays? Never. The load is always [Normal] (I bet they don't dare code a [Light] load indicator). Even the crowded cluster 1s where everybody goes to shop is pretty sparse compared to last time. Hell, I can actually read the chat log instead of having it fly by from a constant stream of global shouts. That there alone is proof enough there aren't as many players.

v9: Basically a reversal from v8, although they munged the server code horribly. Now we no longer have a pk-cluster for each server, for those "I'm stone bored outta my skull" moments (and there are plenty of these). Not to mention they didn't REALLY fix all the things a default PK installation changed, like being able to view others' levels, and the drop timer ownership which got gimped (because apparently on a PK server it's okay to killsteal and generally behave like an out-of-control violent nutsacks). They really should have just reverted to v7. Seriously. Not even the colourful buff icons (but idiotic timer display) change nor the introduction of stat-improving pets (which die if you even so much as look away for a second from babying them) really did much to fix the damage.

v10: Yay Master and Hero quests, hooray for endgame content that less than 0.0000001% of the entire playerbase will ever see in their Flyff lifetimes. Oh, and they added an actual new dungeon, so that's not so bad -- although arguably this is more of a design issue than a programming one (programmers write code, not design 3D areas - that's the graphics / world design peoples' job).

v11: What we're currently playing. The awakening system (pay to get from 1-3 random mods on certain item types) was one of the truly eventful changes. Finally, something that should have been in from the start. It still doesn't address the age-old linear wood-iron-steel-adamantium linear base item type progression problem but at least this is a step in the right direction (i.e. more variety). Oh, and they tossed in a new Arena, hooray for those who missed the good ol' pk channel days. It's not the same, of course, but oh well it gives the PvPers something to do (and don't talk to me about Guild Siege, which costs an ungodly amount of game money to participate in, effectively narrowing it to a small incestuous pool of 3-4 top guilds). Oh yes, and the collector system, where you can now be productive even if you idle. Basically just a chance to gather random stuff which you might be able to trade in for certain items. Unfortunately most of the items suck cock but that's par for the course, unfortunately.

Ok, now tell me what REAL PROGRAMMING WORK went into most of the changes? I see some in the pet system and awakenings, but that's about it. The rest is just make-work, shifting database information around. "Looky looky, I can make this NPC magically upgrade jewelry! X item plus Y catalyst = X++ item." ORLY? That's data manipulation 101, no real programming stuff there. Seriously.

I see Flash games on Kongregate with more innovation, FFS. Just because most mmo players are preteen weenies that you can hoodwink with some sleight of hand tweakery here and there doesn't mean you can fool the rest of us. Flyff is basically STILL the same old grindfest it was before. Really, devs. You need to get your act together. The MAIN reason I'm still playing, btw, is because your licensee Gala actually polices it's servers - something most all MMOs should do (why they don't, I have no clue - maybe they LIKE griefers, because those basement-dwelling 8-yr-olds spend more money on online games compared to working adults like Yours Truly? Naaah). That's a pretty sad indictment on the general state of affairs regarding MMOs, rather than a tribute to Flyff's excellence. The lesser of evils, so to speak. I'd rather just not play, but you know, once in a while I actually feel good using my priest-type characters ("assists", in Flyffspeak) to buff up newbies and help some of the more polite ones around.

Otherwise I'd've dumped Flyff as fast as I ditch most other MMOs... which is usually within 3-4 weeks (despite most games suffering from lamer infestations, I actually make an attempt to judge the game on it's own merits, instead of reacting to the godawful playerbase - since they're largely the same type of people you'll find in other MMOs anyway).

Salutations

Finally got around to posting on GameSpot. I used to frequent GameFAQs back in the day, and I didn't bother with GameSpot or the myriad other game review sites. However, past the early 2000s, games were coming out thick and fast, and I could no longer rely on just myself and my network of friends and informers. I liked GameSpot because it looked organised, not like many of the advert-cluttered sites out there, and the reviews were supplemented with user-written material, giving you multiple points of view to gauge a title.

Well, enough of that. I'm just here to talk about games. Let the fun begin.