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Unpro
12:16 PM on 09.26.2008

Alright, so i managed to get myself a digital pre-order literally 2 hours before it was up, but was unable to play the game until the official release on the part that it took me 18 hours to download it. Pushing that aside and not letting it get in the way of my actual gameplay i started it up (after the 3 hour patch). After my review I'll give an overview of my actual opinion of the entire game in a quick nutshell.



Short Overview

This is going to be my first impression, even though it is shared by the friends i have that play the game. I am going to look at game play, class system, questing, pvp, and leveling. I'll also be adding in a little about customer support.

GAME PLAY

This game plays in third-person overhead view so that you can see your entire character and the world around him/her. From first glance it looks very similar to WoW. It is your staple fantasy land MMO, you have your orcs and goblins (AKA Greenskins), the dark elves, and the chaos (who are pretty much twisted humans), those are the baddies. The good guys are Humans, regular elves, and dwarvess. You start off with a few skills that cater towards your certain class, when i first saw them i thought that they were only way to attack with my melee weapon until i saw the "auto-attack" which happened every 5 or 6 seconds.



CLASS SYSTEM

Unlike most other MMO's I've seen there isnt a base set of classes that certain races of the game can train to be, instead there are roles that are filled by the classes from each race. For instance, the healers for each race are all different. The dark elves have a dual wield debuff healer, greenskins have a buffing healer, chaos have a damaging healer, humans have a tank healer, regular elves have a damaging healer, and the dwarves have a AOE/DOT/healer. So even though the role is filled, each one as a little bit extra to add on the side. This i believe is where WAR shines, its class system is dependant on filling roles but allows player to be flexible with what other attributes they want their character to have. So hoo-rah for having a well thought out original idea in a world full of copies.



QUESTING

Questing in this game is just like every other questing game; do this, kill that, bring me these. However, they introduce a new idea Public Quests. PQs are 3 stage events that someone can just join in. They aren't instances or queued areas, it just in the middle of the game there will be this quest that you can do over and over, best yet is you can join in and leave whenever. The looting is a bit different too, there is base loot that you can get from monsters (however infrequent) but at the end of the PQ if you helped out enough you get into a loot bag roll. Whoever gets the highest gets the best loot bag and so on and so forth until there arent any left. If you participate a lot and then you get a bigger bonus to your roll then someone who sat there AFK the entire time, and if you miss out on loot, you get a bonus for the next roll for that too! All in all public questing is what makes this game unique and a lot of fun.



PVP

Or should i say RVR? This game has its divided good/bad sides where good fights evil. There are servers where you can go anywhere and kill a player from the opposite side then there are servers where you can only do so in contested areas. That is pretty standard, however they have these RVR fights called scenarios. Scenarios are pretty similar to battlegrounds in WoW (for those that have tried them), and are pretty much objective team 1 vs team 2 games. Depending on where you are is what type of objective it is, however most i played were territory (which i ever so hate). With these scenarios however you are shunted if you are a low level character because automatically you will have your stats boosted to where they would be at if you were a higher level, however if your gear is bad then you are just a bigger chicken. Even with good intention, it is still a very skill/gear based PVP system, however it gives players a chance when fighting against someone a few levels higher then they are.



LEVELING/SKILLS

Leveling in this game is similar to most, gain enough xp you gain a level. First few its just a stat increase but later on you get specialization points. The levels in this game seem like there is alot of time inbetween them where, however just about every level is awarded with new skills for you to learn. Which is nice, but gets a little hectic on what skills you want to use most of the time(which is manageable if you look at your core masteries and choose your route early).

Customer Service(from personal experience only)

Its EA, its absolute crap. I was only able to play this game for 3 days because my password kept not working. Which would have been fine I'm human i forget, but after doing the password recovery 4 times (seperate occasions) and typing my password EXTRA slow so that i got it right, or even using a simple word so that i wouldn't accidentally mess up, i was still unable to play the game. So i attempt to contact customer support, where im confronted by a log in screen requesting my EA account. I try and fail, so i try to get my password recovered, wrong username, try to get my username recovered and they never send me an email. So i had to get a friend to look up their email for me so i could try to get this resolved.

7/10 FOR GAME ORIGINALITY, I RECOMMEND GIVING IT A WHIRL WHENEVER THEY COME OUT WITH A FREE TRIAL, HOWEVER THEY LOSE 5 FOR DISGUSTING CUSTOMER SUPPORT, SO ALL IN ALL 2/10 personally i'd recommend if you have yet to get it wait until they fix shit and put out a free trial.



Personal note:

I thought this game was impressive even with the bugs it has (it just came out so i expected bugs). However with EA being the backbone of customer service I will not be recommending this game to anyone who hasn't already gotten it.








As most should know EVE is going on steam

This means its getting a lot more popular and a lot more people are going to be interested to know exactly what EVE truly is. So i, a super hero by night a student by day, will take on this daunting task and provide the nice dtoiders with a review of my very own!

EVE ONLINE... BITCHES




General Intro

EVE Online is a Massively Multi player Online game (MMO) and is set in a time incredibly far in the future, or just in some other place. Something bad happen, shit hit the fan, now you are in a world full of crazy bastards. The basis of the game is that you are encased in your pod (an egg shaped entity) and control your ship/cargo/everything from it.

Pretty much you fly around in a ship and interact with the npcs/people/inanimate objects around you via the modules attached to your ship

Class System, or lack thereof

Shocking, there is no class based system. However, there is a super imposed system (as in there are paths that you are recommended to take to end up being what you want to be). Thes e imposed paths are not concrete though. You can do, and be anything you want. You can be everything if you really want, you just need to invest the time into it.

I'll separate the main groups just for clarification

Miner

Excels at extracting and reprocessing minerals found in asteroids. Boring to most, but is a very vital part in the economy of EVE. Without miners there would be no material in which the builders can build shit with.

Builders

These guys are usually either friends of miners, or miners as well. Using the minerals extracting from mining they use blueprints to make ships and modules to sell on the market

PVPer

Player vs Player, self-explanatory. These guys live to fight, however PVPers in EVE fight only the worth ones, they look for people that will give them a challenge. They buy the ships made by the builders, and some even protect the miners as they mine in dangerous areas.

Pirate/Griefer

These guys are the same as the seaworthy ones. They will attack and kill anything. These guys hunt miners and weak ships mostly. The difference between a pirate and a griefer is a Pirate will attempt to ransom your ship (give me 15 million or I'll blow you up) whereas a griefer asks no questions and just blows you up. Seemingly the scum of the universe, these guys play an incredibly important role, they create DEMAND. Without pirates blowing up your mining barges, whats the point of making more? Without pirates attacking miners, whats the point of protecting them?

Politicians

Yup, I know what you are thinking (i have mind powers too). Surprisingly enough EVE is INCREDIBLY (with caps) political. There are treaties, there are wars, there are Non-aggression agreements, there are protection rites, there's even mercenary contracts. All of this has no ingame application, there is no "mercenary contract" button. These guys are the heads of corporations, and the people who lead the alliances. EVE is by far the most social MMO i have ever seen.

Mission whores

These guys are the questers. In EVE there are NPCs called agents, these agents provide you with waypoints, warp gates, and other means of transportation to places where there are alot of NPC baddies. You are given an objective and when you complete it you are rewarded. Not all missions are attack and destroy, there are some agents that give building missions, some give mining missions, others give transport mission. Mission whores just like to whore the agent system, and are usually stinking rich.

Final words

Even though EVE may seem to have several distinct paths, you can always go down another one, or have them cross. There are no limits on what you can train, there are only prerequisites. As long as you fill those you can train anything you want and be anything you want. Some people may be a PVPer on weekends, and a miner during the week. If you want to do it, you can.





Leveling/Skilling

Theres no 'leveling' per se in EVE, but there are levels of skills. IE: if you have the skill 'Gunnery' you can level it up (max of level 5) by investing time into it.

TO GET BETTER, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GRIND.. AT ALL!!

That's right. Instead of experience bars and levels, EVE uses a skill point system. You set a skill up for training, lets use 'Gunnery' again, and you can do whatever you want while its training. From level 0 to 1 it may take 5 minutes, but from 1 to 2 itll take 15 minutes. Eventually from 4 to max level of 5 itll take somewhere around 4 to 5 days. First reaction is, that sucks, but it doesn't. This part is exceptionally good for casual players, you may have to pay close attention for a little bit, but if you plan on going out later that night just set an 8 hour skill and have fun as your character GETS BETTER.

Pros/Cons of Time based skilling
Pros
-casual players are not left behind
-whether you play well or not, you will be just as skilled up as someone who started at the same time as you
-its a huge change from grindwhoring games like WOW

Cons
-putting in more time does not make you skill faster
-getting something really shiny can take weeks

My opinion on it

AWESOME IDEA. Ever wanted to take a break from an MMO and decided not to because you'll fall behind. I just took a month off EVE while waiting for an important skill to train. This also filters out the noob effect. If you see someone with a good ship, they will no doubt be at least decent at using it. This means the biggest ship in the game (if broken down and sold on those gold sites, it would literally bring in around $10 000 USD) won't go to someone who can't play the game. This also makes me value the time i put into this game alot more.

My Final thoughts

EVE is definitely worth a try. However I will ask you to heed this warning; EVE can be exciting for the first month, but you will not be able to do as much as you want in that first month. I was lucky and was pirating my 2nd week of EVE (in a bad ship), you may not be the same.

My Verdict is:

9.5/10 Do the trial, and play a month afterwards (its $5 off too).

If this review was good, theres alot more i can say about EVE. I've been playing for a year and know a shitload about this game, i do not know all however. If you guys want it, I'll put up a part two explaining the security system, the pvp system, and the ship system. I will also answer questions too.

One intriguing thing i found out was, out of all of the people i know who play this game, whether it be ingame or in RL, i am the youngest at 17. Most of the youngsters get scared off by the complexity.

* the pictures provided are both from character i no longer use, and are before the pretty patch








I just randomly joined destructiod.com's server (i knew it exsisted, but i never saw it around) without realizing and screamed Battle Medic for about 10 minutes, and surprisingly i did a rather nice job of it. So with this just happening im going to make a tutorial to becoming a better battle medic.

Battle Medics are a rare breed, and are pretty awesome when used correctly. However not anyone can be a Battle Medic, and one can not always be in "Battle Medic Mode". It is best unleashed when either you are playing with a bunch of people who are relatively relaxed, or when one guy thinks you suck hard, then you bone-saw his face off.

My screen name is Unpro btw, big surprise eh?

Anyways

BATTLE MEDIC; THE TUTORIAL!!

I'm going to start off with a few rules:

1) Do not be a battle medic in a highly populated game, as much as you'd love it to work it doesn't.
2) You are more then welcome to heal, but remember if they got hurt in the first place they are probably better off dying
3) Your Bonesaw is your friend, your only friend. Hump it like a dog on a leg.
4) If you aren't having fun, then you aren't doing it right.

Strategies:

Run and gun

Running around with your needle gun shooting. Works if you are pro with needle gun, but not as much fun

Run and saw

My favourite type, running around with bone-saw ready. Most people does expect such a brutal attack, and seeing how the bone-saw does the most melee damage (ive heard heavy does more, but i still think bone-saw is number one) it is quite an effective strategy. Best done when using ambushing techniques, or attacking when others are reloading. Seeing how the medic is pretty quick, most classes will have trouble getting away.

Uber Goober

Getting uber, then being the "useless" medic and use it without another player. Being invincible is nice, but also makes you look stupid and harmless so the baddies don't waste ammo on you. This is when you get really far behind and take them out either as they spawn, or from behind. Surprisingly effective, and super fun.

Lastly, have a battle cry. Seeing how the destructoid server has enabled both teams to hear voice communication, make it something snappy and out of the ordinary. Don't use 'PWNed' or 'Your mother' as that is not the true spirit of Battle Medic. I personally like to say Battle Medic in a loud, but grungy voice and always after i do something that gains me points (not including assists).

An in conclusion, BATTLE MEDIC!!!

Looks like i completely forgot to mention the game.








I'm new to blogging, but have been hounding this site for a while.

HAR HAR lets laugh at the new guy!!

To get intro out of the way...

I have an Xbox 360 and a Wii, and play most of the well known hits (halo 3, Bioshock, UR MR GAY). I have no problem with Sony consoles, however I do hate the company for other reasons which i may or may not elaborate on. I actually believe that the PS2 is an amazing console with a sick ass library, and if the PS3 was cheaper I'd probably pick one up too.

Although i play alot of console games, i fancy myself a PC gamer mainly because most of the games i enjoy i play on my PC. Games such as Orange Box (as in all the games on it) EVE Online (which im slowly getting bored of), Tabula Rasa (which i think is a lot of fun), every fallout game (what can i say?).

My name is Unpro, short for Unprogrammable, which is a name i came up with back when i read too many philosophy books about the same damn topic.

I have Xbox Live, however I'm not going to post my gamer tag at the moment, because i hate getting flooded with unknown friend invites.. its just weird.

NOW ONTO MY REVIEW, would be my first written one, so don't be harsh.

Tabula Rasa; Third person Action shooter MMO (although it says you can go into first person-mode which is more of an over the shoulder look)

Gameplay

I find this game to be similar to WOW, but fun. Instead of sitting still pressing; 1,3,5,3 REPEAT. You have to run around, aim (to an extent) and shoot while trying to keep distance from enemies, or put them in a more suitable place for you to do maximum damage. It is very engaging and keeps your attention on the game rather then on cool graphics, or general chatter to keep yourself amused.

Grinding

There is grinding in every MMO, you can't avoid it. It is the only thing that keeps people suscribed. However, some MMOs can give the player choice (like EVE, you really don't have to) while others force you into it for you to get anywhere (like WOW). Tabula falls close to WOW, but isnt as intensive. Most (almost all) of your experience is gained through completing missions.

A common monster may give you 200 XP, whereas a missions will give you 8000 XP. This creates a few issues, while solving some at the same time:
-makes grinding seemly pointless, when not required for a quest
-creates a very mission required world, where if theres no mission theres no game (so what happens when you are out of missions?)
HOWEVER
-doesn't force you to grind the same monsters to get somewhere
-creates the feel for the game, and helps deliver the story

Leveling

The level, attribute, and skill systems i find are very well thought out. Each level gives you just enough Attribute points and skill points to advance a little and get a bit better, but doesn't give you so much that one level makes a huge difference. This makes gaining levels not as important as finishing missions, or getting new gear. Which in my opinion makes the game a lot better.

The tier system in the game is the real divider, as of now there are 4 tiers. The first is the basic newbie, well roundedly crappy in all respects. Then when the play advances to the second tier a choice is given, which is very important. Two routes are offered, Specialist and Soldier, which pretty much decides what you will be doing. Soldiers and onward focus more on gear and weaponry, whereas Specialists and onward focus more on Powers and abilities.

A new feature, which i thought was cool, is you can clone your character and pretty much try out a different route. This solves that shitty first 5-10 levels problem that creating a second character can have, also allows for mistakes in your choices. IE: at level 5 you advance to tier two, when going to a trainer (the NPCs who upgrade your class) you are given the choice to clone yourself onto another character slot (i think theres 10). Your character can be changed to a female, and pretty much every other aspect as well. Cloning also resets your skill points, so that anything you may have thought was necessary for one class you arent stuck with when you feel like switching.

I'm going to have to cut this short, need to depart for work...

All in all i give this a 8.5/10, and strongly recommend trying it out for the 3 day trial period (which is surprisingly long)

Hope this helps anyone, for now i shall leave.

PS This is the first NCsoft game I've played, so if i mentioned new features that are just borrowed from other NCsoft games, forgive me.