Through the Eyes of Keaven [insert wit here]

8Jun/110

Character Profile: Engineer

Game Champions Online
Name Engineer
Archetype Freeform - Gadgeteering
Travel Teleportation
Energy Gen
Sonic Blaster
Passive Medical Nanites

I created this character during the Beta, and recreated him when the game went live. Engineer is my homage to The Engineer in TF2 - a fact made even more evident by this character's biography:

Kenneth has always been a team player, and there was a time when he was content to stick to a supporting role. That all changed when the Invasion struck, and his bat-wielding best friend died in his arms.

Picking up what he could, Kenneth pulled the light down on his hardhat, and exchange his trusty wrench for his newly constructed Sonic Blaster, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Everyone still calls him 'Engineer,' just like in his old team days. And that's just fine by him.

I have a lot of fun with this character. I use two of the pets from Gadgeteering, the Munitions Bots and the Support Drones. I threw a few powers from the Power Armor set, only where it made sense, to add a little flavor. I can stay alive for a long time with this set up, so long as I'm not taking too much heavy focus fire, heh.

==[ UPDATE ]====

Massive changes to the game a while back caused all my old characters to have all their stats and powers reset. I basically had to rebuild Engineer from the ground up 🙁  Here are screenshots of his stats, specs, and powers as of right now (9/26/2012):

24May/111

Gaming Influences

I have always loved playing video games. I can't remember a time when I wasn't playing some kind of video game or another. Since PCs are my "thing" I thought it might be fun for you to get a glimpse at what PC games helped shape the gamer I eventually grew up to be. This list is about graphically-based games - there's a whole world of text-based games and MUDs that I was involved in. Those experiences are for a different post.

TradeWars 2002

TW2002 Welcome Screen

Without a doubt, the number 1 multiplayer game of my youth would have to be none other than TradeWars 2002 [BIC]. I can't even begin to count the number of hours I spent playing this game. Shoot, I even ran my own TW2002 server for a while, I loved it so much!  This game is a classic example of the old adage, A Minute To Learn, A Lifetime To Master. The basics were simple: By low, sell high; avoid the strong, destroy the weak; Do good and play fair, or go the way of the pirate and pillage away.

You could form corporations, construct your own StarPorts (which would become valid trading posts for other players as well), claim and colonize planets, create your own planets with Genesis Devices, amass small  armies and sprinkle them throughout the universe to collect tolls from passing traders, upgrade your planet to the point where you could even MOVE YOUR PLANET ACROSS SECTORS!! Holy Crap I'm getting all excited just thinking about it!!

This game, though primitive in it's "MMO"ness and PvP, taught me a great deal about how players interact with each other inside the gaming environment. It is also a game that has stood the test of time... in a way. I'm not sure if someone with no previous TW2002 experience would be able to find excitement and joy in playing it, but I can honestly say there is solid gaming satisfaction (not just a quickly passing nostalgic satisfaction) in returning to this game today.

Legend of the Red Dragon

Intro ASCII

Legend of the Red dragon [BIC] (LoRD) was probably my first (graphical) fantasy multiplayer game. I use "multiplayer" loosely, as it was more a multi-user single-player game. True, you could fight other players, but you could only fight players in an AI mode - you weren't actually fighting against the other player, merely their character which would be controlled by the AI inside your fight. As you can guess, the PvP kind of sucked - but you didn't play LoRD for the direct-fight PvP. No, no... you played LoRD for the epeen PvP of Dragon Kills.

When you killed the dragon, you started over again at level 1 and were expected to work your way back up to kill the dragon again, and again, and again. There were different names for the various levels depending on how many times you killed the dragon before, and different potential classes and races (depending on the BBS you played on)  would also become available depending on the number of DKs you had racked up. Sometimes it translated into actual power, but most of the time it was simply bragging rites.

Player interactions were also interesting in that players could flirt with one another, get married, have sex, and even get pregnant (or contract VD)! If I remember correctly, this was pretty unique amongst the available Door Games [BIC] at the time - other than those written exclusively for the Adult section.

This game saw many spinoffs, including a recent web-based version called Legend of the Green Dragon, which is functionally identical in just about every way (that I can tell).

Solar (and Barren) Realms Elite

Solar Realms Elite

Solar Realms Elite [BIC] (SRE, 1990) and its sucsessor, Barren Realms Elite [BIC] (BRE, 1992) were functionally identical. They were, for all intense and purposes, the same game - just themed differently, which is why I'm lumping them together here.

I played both of these games, but found myself more drawn into BRE. A fact I've always found currious since I tend to be a huge fan of the sci-fi genre (see TW2002 above). In both of these games you control an empire, and attempt to expand that empire by acquiring specific types areas - areas of expansion were single-purposes areas, so if you needed to increase revenue you would try to acquire areas of tourism, for example.

You had to manage your empire in classic ways, by keeping the people happy, while making sure they were well fed, entertained, and secure. You would have to manage diplomacy with both computer, as well as player controlled neighboring empires. You could even raise an army and go to war with other players, which could quickly grow very costly, both in money and in lives.

One of the ways this game was unique, in my experiences, was its ability to connect with other BBSes! Your area could have a huge game of BRE going, with cross-BBS alliances and wars. It was mad fun.

[EDIT: Thanks to Josh, of the BBS Wiki, Break Into Chat, for the release-date corrections]

Rogue

A Random Rogue Dungeon

While not a BBS Door Game, Rogue is one of those games that sticks out in my mind as a classic example of fun gameplay. One of the fantastic things this game gave you was random dungeons - every time you played it, it was something new, and you never knew if your next step was going to be your last.

This was a very, very hard game. Each level you descended got progressively more difficult, and you ended up praying you didn't see a letter nearby (monsters were represented by letters - 'Z' was for Zombie, as an example).

What made this game so much fun was the thrill of discovery mixed with the danger of knowing you could die at any moment. Finding treasure was an exhilarating experience in Rogue ... in fact, I don't think I've ever had as deep of a satisfaction in finding loot in any modern game, as I did in Rogue.

Over all, it was a very simple ASCII game, that managed to hit all the right buttons, at all the right times. Total win for me.

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9Mar/110

Let’s Play

l2play n00b

In case anyone happens to be at all interested, I've started a page called "Flash Games," where I'll be collecting games I like. A link to the page is up in the menu bar for your convenience. If you want to write it down (for some God forsaken reason) here it is: http://keaven.com/flashgames/

Have fun.

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16Feb/114

Magicka

Casting a Fire PAoE

I really, really, *really* wish this game had a different control scheme.

Magicka, a game from Aarowhead Game Studios, is a fantasy game, chock full of pop culture and industry jokes, where you wield magic to save the day, guided by your honorable instructor Vlad, who is most definitely not a vampire.

Two things make this game super fun for me. First, the game environment is just awesome. With so many games trying very hard to not break immersion, it's refreshing to play a game that throws that all out the window and just litters itself with pop culture references. Don't get me wrong, immersion is an important staple to good game design for some very solid reasons. Every now and then, though, it's nice to just have some silly fun. If all games were like that, this wouldn't be anywhere near as impactful.

Second, I get a big kick out of mixing my own magic. In Magicka, you have access to a set of basic eight elements, (fire, water, frost, earth, lightning, arcane, healing, and shield .. there are other combo elements you can learn, like steam and ice, but you have to figure those out and they don't add to your hotkey list). You then queue up these elements in various combinations to create your spells. These can then be cast in one of 4 ways: on yourself, as a projectile/beam/cone, as a PBAoE, or on your melee weapon.

7Feb/111

Character Profile: Scopes

Resistance Fighter, Scopes

Game City of Heroes
Name Scopes
Archetype Corruptor
Origin Technology
Primary Duel Pistol
Secondary Pain Domination

Scopes is my Duel Wielding Corruptor (sic). Yes, I said Corruptor. Though Scopes fights for the Resistance in Pretoria, I chose to use the Villain archetype, Corruptor. That's one of the fantastic things about the Going Rogue expansion: You're able to play along the lines of Morality, creating deeper, more complex, character development than before. A traditionally "evil" archetype, seeing the corruption (heh) of  Emperor Cole, can come to the aid of the populous - Having a deeper concern for the general well-being of the population than for his own petty criminal activities, is one of the things you were not able to do in the old Black and White, Good and Evil system of City of Heroes/Villains. With Going Rogue, however, you can... and are encouraged to.

3Feb/110

My GDC11 Wishlist

Game Developers Conference

Oh, that my heart could have it's desire, without giving pause to the limitations of money, schedules, or logistics.

This year's Game Developers Conference (02/28/11 - 3/4/11) has quite a few tutorials, lectures, and workshops I would love to be able to attend. Since I can't, I thought I would be fun (and slightly tortuous) to slap together a schedule of what I would be doing if I was there. Come and shed a tear with me as we take this journey together, into the lands of Wouldn't It Be Cool If?

2Feb/111

Revisiting the Return to CoH

Going Rogue's Maelstrom

In my last post I mentioned how I was trying out the new Demon Summoning Mastermind power set. It was double xp weekend, and I ran around with a buddy of mine (who also picked up Demon Summoning), getting ourselves close to level 20 before the weekend was up.

Unfortunately, Sunday night I was just sitting there in Praetoria and suddenly became aware of something: I hated my character. I liked the demons I was summoning, but I didn't like the rest of that power set; I found the whip attacks to be slow, clumsy, boring, and lacking in variety. Here I was, nearly lvl 20, and in every fight I was relying on my veteran reward powers to get me through. Don't get me wrong, the veteran reward powers are great, and I've never minded using them, but they've always been supplemental powers to me before. This was the first time that these powers had become my main attacking force, and the actual power set powers fell back into supporting roles. I didn't like that feeling at all.

Sunday night, around 10PM, the last night of double xp weekend, I created a new character.

I decided to try out duel pistols. I haven't had so much fun playing in a very long time 🙂 Granted, progression is much slower for me now (well.. progression is normal for me now, since we're back to slandered xp gains), but the only veteran reward power I have on my hotbar is Sands of Mu.

I'm feeling much, much better about this character and his progression. I'm really looking forward to leveling this guy up 😀

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29Jan/110

Return to Paragon City

City of Heroes Going Rogue

Well... I did it. I resubbed for City of Heroes. I was playing EQII for a while, with some folks from the office, but it recently had a F2P account option added, so there was no real harm in my switching account types. Since I can only realistically subscribe to a single MMO at a time, I was torn between going back to CoH, or going back to EVE Online.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love, love, love EVE Online! But I decided to go with CoH for two reasons: 1) CoH is actually a little cheaper than EVE. But more importantly, 2) I have more friends who play CoH. One of these days I'll get my spacefaring butt back into EVE ... either once I find more disposable income, or if I manage to get my hands on a comped account, heh ;P

Oh, I also picked up the Going Rogue expansion for CoX, so I've created a new character to run through all the new areas. For those interested, I've picked up Mastermind - Demon Summoning, which they didn't have the last time I played, so I'm pretty excited 😀

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