Coded blue.

Thursday 19 October 2006

Screenshot CoH, beastman

Pic of the day: Hairy Harvester, my Spine/Regen scrapper on the Justice server. Because scrappers are the best for soloing, at least for most of their lives. The backstory of this one is that he is a werebeast. You have to give him points for the beastly look!

More CoH

Told you it was the current fad. I'm normally not quite so frenetic, but this is a limited opportunity to get extra costume slots, and I have dozens of characters spread across virtually all the servers. (Some of them are very rarely played.) Justice is one where I have lots, so I made a spine scrapper there too. You can begin to trick or treat from level 1 (although I went through the tutorial instead). Of course, a baby hero isn't quite as survivable as the more mature ones with more powers. But so far the scrapper is faring well enough, and I have not been forced to abandon my opponents for long.

A good number of other players are also drawn in by the limited time goodies, so there are generally more players on. This is both good and bad. For people who are plagued by lag, it is mostly bad. My system is good enough that I rarely experience lag. But when one of my characters was on Peregrine Island, a top-level zone, even I was lagged. The graphics worked fine, but the powers did not activate until a couple seconds or more after I pressed the key, and I could no longer reliably see when they were recharged or not. Obviously this must be some kind of problem with the server or with the network close to the server, because everyone around me experienced the same. Shame on you, NCSoft! With the monthly sum we pay, you should afford to have fast enough servers.

Alternatively, they could use instanced zones again, like when the game was new. Then, when the number of players in a zone became too high, there was spawned a new instance of the same zone. You'd think this would not help the servers, but it does. Because when there are many players in the same area, the computer needs to keep each of them updated on the exact position of all the others, and what powers and graphics effect each has active, in case they come within line of sight. So the stress increases exponentially. When player number 101 comes on, all the other 100 are informed, and he is informed about each of the 100 others in some detail. If there is no risk of them seeing each other, the server only needs to keep track on the zone instance number the other player is on, not exactly where he is and what he is doing. My guess is that Peregrine is calibrated wrong because all the players are high level and therefore have more powers and more energy auras.

Apart from that, though, it is still fun. But the next fad is already waiting in the wings. For another beast is let loose on the gaming world: Sims 2 Pets. Also with werewolves! What is a poor furry to do? Especially if we have a life, even if we don't always write about it.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Coincidence?
Two years ago: Political commentary
Three years ago: Lazy Sunday thoughts
Four years ago: My own pace
Five years ago: Idle hands
Six years ago: Ebola scare
Seven years ago: Rebooting Unreality

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

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