Mobs you respect

Dusty over at Of Course I’ll Play It posted a great top ten of MMOs mobs that have earnt his respect.
There are some simple rules: no bosses, elites or named mobs, so without further ado here is my list.

10. All of the Birds (Lord of the Rings Online)
I really disliked all of the birds enemies in LotRO, I would always miss them when scouting ahead and end up with 3 or 4 attacking me, a pain when you were just starting out and could be overwhelming for less hardy characters.
Easy to under-estimate as you’d often end up aggroing another group in the process.

9. Sappers (City of Heroes/Villains)
I have to agree with Dusty on sappers, when they teamed up with Malta Gun Slingers you were usually in for a rough time.
As all powers in the game required endurance to activate, having an enemy that could drain it could lead to devastating results for a group when the healer was targeted. The gunslingers would follow up while an attack that slowed your regen and attack speed. Nasty duo.

Caretaker8. Caretaker (Tabula Rasa)
The healer is usually the first to die, but the caretakers often blended into the background and were only noticed when the Thrax you were trying to kill didn’t seem to be loosing health. For this 8th slot it was a choice between the Caretaker and the Thrax technician.

7. Blade Dancers (Fallen Earth)
The enemy group had so many different suffixes (Butcher, Scalpel, Dagger, ripper) it maybe wrong to add a whole group but they really were annoyingly tricky. It maybe more down to the lack of player Vs mobs balance that made them tough to take down but of all of my deaths in Fallen Earth I’d say more than half had to be at the hands of this group. With there high respawn rate and odd placement, I’d be very unlucky and end up aggroing 2 mobs.

Illusionist6 .Carnival Illusionists (City of Heroes/Villains)
I much as the fun colours and theme of the carnies made them look a push over they really weren’t. The trickiest of these was the illusionists, with a arsenal of psychic abilities the presence of these in a group meant it was going to be a fight to remember. The tricky part was when the phase shifted and couldn’t be hit for some time, you’d have to refocus your attacks then once more when they returned.

5. Iron Fortress Defender (Rift)
There are probably more mobs of this type in Rift but this one stood out the most for me in my original play-through. Questing around the Iron Fortress was generally tough at the right level but these were hard little beasts and if you pulled more than one could easily end badly for you.

Centurion14. Centurion (City of Heroes/Villains)
The Cimeroran mobs required a rethink of our whole attack strategy, the shield defence was no laughing matter when used by multiple enemies in a group. However the toughest of all was the Centurion whose alpha strike could take huge chunks of a players health in one go, a tough job for the tank and more so for the healer.

3. Ak’ab (The Secret World)
Despite their telegraphed charge Ak’abs are a nasty pain the ass, they are the personification of mobstacle. I used to believe it was just that I was soloing and if I was part of a team things would be better, but they weren’t and encountering Ak’abs still causes a commotion.

209px-Mursaat_caster2. Mursaat (Guild Wars)
Ah the Mursaat’s ability “Spectral Agony” was an utterly horrid debuff that effected skill speed and applied a DoT along with a health regeneration debuff.
Of course there was a defense against it, namely Infusion, but it was a pain if one member of the team didn’t have it.

1. PPD SWAT Equalizer (City of Heroes/Villains)
Playing as a villain mean you got to experience fights against the Paragon Police Department, who between level 1 and 50 continued to gain in strength and abilities.
The PPD Equalizer was one of the most irritating mob members, with a powerset that focused on debuffing and crowd control you ignored these at your own risk.

#Blaugust #CityOfVillains

I have the power

I have often alluded to the fact that power choice is my favourite game mechanic, stemming from days in Planetside through to City of Villains. Of course a great system isn’t they only component that draws my attention it must be employed in a way that works well with the game mechanics.

Planetside employed the Cert system that allowed you to drop or acquire new abilities at a regular scheduled pace.
Guild Wars made all the powers available but gave the primary one a buff and limited the tray to 8 powers.
City of Heroes pinned you down to 2 selections at the start (excluding epic archetypes) but allowed complete freedom of how you configured the powers for your own use, down to how they were slotted.

The Secret World takes all of the above a mixes into a newer combination.
Unlock any power you want, slot any power you have bought, choose 7 active and 7 passive abilities whenever you are out of combat.


This allows you to pick and choose powers from other Ability sets that enhance your current build, for example, there is a great power in one of the melee classes that increases your Crit Power by 15%, which when I’m being a healer means the amount of healing when I get a Crit is increased.

This level of flexibility is means that as you progress through the game more options and combinations become available, you can pick-up abilities that complement your existing powers, without being block due to not being a tank or having not selected a certain race.

I am currently focused on pistols and blood magic, but I have allocated points into other areas for powers that I use in solo and group builds.

What powers are you using or heading towards?

The world is just illusion

During our recent outing to London I was having a conversation with Mr Van Hemlock about element of games I find interesting. During this conversation it became very apparent that I favour games that offer me the chance to throw a little individuality to my gameplay. Shocking as it may seem I have never really […]

492545_multiple_choiceDuring our recent outing to London I was having a conversation with Mr Van Hemlock about element of games I find interesting. During this conversation it became very apparent that I favour games that offer me the chance to throw a little individuality to my gameplay. Shocking as it may seem I have never really been able to identify the forces that drive me in my gaming choices, especially those that drive my MMO habits.

In the three MMOs that I consider my favourite the ability to choose or customise skills in ways to suit my gameplay or mood is highly flexible and configurable.

  • Planetside – The power to pick up and drop skills in any order brings unique benefits to your team play. Specializing in  heavy assault or proving much needed support at the correct time.
  • City of Heroes/Villains – The power selection may appear limited but you can choice
  • Guild Wars – Limited to 8 skills at one time but with a bank of hundreds to choose from. GW certainly makes you question how you approach each challenge the game offers.

On the other hand, although I found it wonderfully detailed and immersive playing Lord of the Rings online, yet the skills offered to my character (providing you have the currency) made them the same as any other player of that class in the game.

Yes there are unique features that set you apart from the crowd, such as weapons, armour and traits, but these always seemed more like small modifiers to the wider picture. I admit that I’ve never made it to level 30 in the game and maybe it all changes in the end game I guess I’ll never know.

I feel rather silly that it’s taking so long to discover this rather simple fact is the one element I appear to yearn in MMOs, but now I can hopefully bring those elements to the forefront of my gaming experiences.

* Image source :

Games and all things past

Well I hope you all had a great weekend and an enjoyable Halloween. Sadly we got no “trick or treaters” so the tub of sweets will likely sit in our kitchen until next year.

Due to my annoyingly awkward bus journey that is required for my trips to and from work my days shrink in hours to a point that full blogging takes a back seat to getting all my living done in the time allotted. I try and post on Twitter at least once a day so you can follow me on there if needed.

So first a quick round up of my activities since my last entry.

In other general “me” news I’ve taken on a interweb piece of work for a friend that I’ll clue you in on in the near future, but It’s quite exciting and different to my other projects.

I was luckly enough to have a wonderful 4 day weekend, yay for booking holidays. My reasons for this were to get some quality Halloween MMO celebrating done and I had another goal that I sadly didn’t manage to achieve in the time which was to read Mr Gaimans’ recently published Graveyard Book.

Thursday : We out in the morning and some lengthy gaming sessions in various titles, in fact i think i swapped about every few hours lol.

Friday Halloween : Rach and I spent some brief periods of the day in GW, entertaining the Mad Thorn King in Kamadam and Lions Arch in exchange for goodie bags and a hat costume piece. I must admit that I really enjoy the that each game has for different events during the year.

Saturday : It was a bright sunny day, but the wind was bitterly cold, a fact that we found out on a trip into Abergavenny. Taking a lot of wilpower I visited and departed from Waterstone with only 2 new graphic novels hehe. A new Game store has opened there, which is highly dangerous.

Sunday : A lazy day to start with as my long weekend was finally winding down. Taking a leaf from Van Hemlocks book, I’ve convinved Dok to re-enter Guild Wars joining myself and Rach on her first run through the Nightfall Campaign. Last night we focused on some of the first missions in Korma. Although this was old ground for Dok, but he was happy to use it as a refresher course before we continue on to the high missions.

In other gamey news:

I was immensely jealous of the folks that attented the EuroGamer Expo and got to try out Jumpgate:Evolution (a nice video over at the LimitedEdition blog and nice write up over at Van Hemlocks blog. This is the only new mmo that I’m even remotely interested in at the present time and i have to admit it look rather wonderful. I’ve So far resisted the urge to purchase Warhammer Online despite the fact that my clanmates from KhaosClan appear to be doing rather nicely and with high attendance each night.

I’ve finally completed Warhammer 40k – Dawn of War:Soul Storm, this weekend. I must admit it was highly enjoyable and there was some pretty tough challenges. I’d recently read a a comment about the graphics in the lastest expansion being very dated and old looking.

Admittedly the GFX are a little dated but in all honestly the game play really does make up for a slightly older graphics engine in the background.

Again and again, it comes down the old fact that I prefer a decent storyline with older graphics over highly detailed graphics with a short game.

Much Ado

Rach got a Guild Wars account so after setting that up we teamed up and played through the start of NightFall to get some levels under our belts, I rolled a new character for the occasion a rather nice Elementalist/Paragon.

Dok was off work last weekend so we got down to some film watching on Saturday evening, with the feature films being Wanted, Hulk and since we were on a comic themed roll X-men.

Wanted was rather better than I had expected, I haven’t read any related material before so I can’t comment on how true to original story line it is. The film was nicely captivating and it didn’t leave much time for clock watching. I quite like the fact that Jolie was rarely the centre of camera attention, a rather nice change I thought.

The Hulk was quite enjoyable with Ed Norton delivering so great acting, the film is quite fast moving and housed a vast selection of battle scenes. All that aside the storyline/plot was still clear and didn’t get too lost. Very enjoyable and sets up nicely for future films to.

Monday seen the release of Ironman on DVD, Dok and myself went to the cinema to watch this, even tho I had seen the film recently it was a pleasure to watch again, definately one to see if you get the chance.

Remember to watch to the end of the credits of both the Marvel films 😉

So as for the rest of things, everything ticks over rather nicely. I’m still adjusting to having daylight in the mornings, even if it is for the next couple of weeks only.