RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2009

More “I’m waiting” jabber.

I’ve been resisting throwing money at C-Aion after discovering Manga Studio EX 4. The previous version, EX 3, could produce some amazing results, but its learning curve was extremely steep. Since I’m not a professional artist by any stretch, I couldn’t find the time to work at it. EX 4 flattens the curve, leaving me to puzzle out how to make something very two-dimensional appear three-dimensional with flat tones. Hell, I’m not used to sketching. Still, I’m enjoying the experience. I guess I’ll post my progress and stuff, although my workflow is very much amateur.

Honestly, I forgot what this was about.

Honestly, I forgot what this was about.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 29, 2009 in Aion

 

Beta Dates Confirmed.

From Aion’s official site,

Within the next four weeks, we will treat European and North American gamers to two opportunities to jump into the world of Aion and explore Atreia as Asmodian or Elyos characters ahead of its release in Europe on 25nd September and North America 22th September. Aion’s Open Beta Test featuring version 1.5 will take place 6-13th September and will include numerous Western enhancements, including improvements to Aion’s innovative character customization with a host of Western styles, as well as new zones, instances, skills, quests and continued game balancing and improvements. Open Beta will retain a level cap for both Elyos and Asmodians characters at 30 allowing players to focus on getting to the same level so they can explore the lands of Atreia together, as well as the Abyss.

There you go, arguing over.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 27, 2009 in Aion

 

Mini-games.

I don’t know how long this’ll last, but Droplitz is 2 dollars.

Two dollars for a puzzle game that is well worth five times that is an amazing deal. How does an individual endure the long wait for Aion? With games completely unrelated and cheap, obviously.

Droplitz is good because there’s a lot of right and wrong approaches. Like Tetris, it is a survival puzzle game, but unlike it, there’s that peggle explosiveness to it that first appears random, but can ultimately be understood and harnessed for your own advantage.

Granted, practically every puzzle game combines a rather basic form of pressure with a solution that varies in effectiveness, but first exposes its exceptional potential at random intervals.

If you do get this game, here’s a few basic tricks to developing more chances of explosive discovery.

  • ^ and v are useless – These shapes produce nothing favorable. Switch them around.
  • Reduce your variables – When your create a path, make sure the falling spheres are oriented with a pathway towards the endpoint. Conversely, ensure that your entry nodes have open passageways. You can reduce the number of initial decisions you have to face by orienting things correctly.
  • Rotations make a difference – Once paths are established, they cannot be altered. Given that, get used to using both rotations since there is a high possibility that combos may be stifled by the direction you rotate.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

WTF.

http://www.guildwars.com/aion/

I don’t really know what to think about this promotion. Actually, I do know. You wonder why that guy quit NCsoft? You know, the guy that worked on Guild Wars? They probably threw this up at a team meeting and, like myself, skewed his face into a swirl of confusion and disgust. It makes zero freaking sense. You’re throwing a nod to a game with more Z-axis than any other MMO out there into the ONE game that has NO Z-axis. (Go lay a trap underneath a bridge and watch it trigger ON the bridge.)

Really, who in their right mind would go flashing their Aion wings in a game that is, one, totally unrelated, two, so vastly different than Aion that nobody would make a positive connection, three, is from a purchase from an entirely different game. Really, Guild Wars is the last place you’ll successfully plug a subscription MMO, even if those wings gave you stats or something ungodly. Okay, so they look cool. We get that, but how many people are going to buy Aion on the basis of adding to Guild Wars? It just boggles the mind.

Seriously. I thought Cataclysm had some stupid crap going for it (New Races =/= new content in WoW), but this takes the cake on the most ridiculous promotion ever. Even worse, I actually won’t be able to get it.

That being said, I might be the only person on this entire continent that can actually make lemonade out of this. The Twinkiemonk comic and Aion are officially married through some twist of unusual PR fate. That’s kinda’ cool. I like Twinkie on the basis that she’s easy to draw, extremely emotive and instantly recognizable. Still, that’s a stretch, and I doubt anybody else has any desire to connect a Guild Wars comic to an Aion one previous to this fiasco.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2009 in Aion, Guild Wars

 

Aion – Trying to Build a Webcomic.

Sketching random ideas.

Sketching random ideas.

I’ll risk destroying my layout for a moment.

Back in the day, I had a short-lived Guild Wars webcomic that had a few moments of hilarity. It was a good time, but a stressful and often difficult endeavor. I’m not an art major and often spiral into long sprawls of lazy creativity. That being said, I really enjoy Aion and the small bits of humor I’ve stumbled upon throughout C-Aion and CBT. A few clever ideas are bouncing in my head, but there’s one problem: I don’t have an easy out in making a recognizable Aion comic character before the game actually comes out.

That being said, I’ve been trying to pin down a character style that I can manipulate easily. The above consists of a bunch of rough and random sketches of some basic possibilities. Personally, I like the cylinders, but they don’t quite make sense. Having a Shugo is good gimmick, but probably not main character worthy. Overall, the only real strong point I can use as a visual focus are wings, and lots of them, given that Aion digs wings.

Ultimately, I’d like to convert my blog into a visual experience rather than a literary one. There’s no shortage of decent writers out there, but webcomics tend to carry a certain amount of celebrity. Granted, I’m not awe inspiring on the artistic front, but like everything, grinding through tends to win out in the long run.

I suppose I’ll be rocking shugo studies in the meantime.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Aion

 

Aion – Waiting, because of the dragons.

I should be making a review about Aion. I know this, but like most people, I get caught up in the storm of positive feelings and wild hope. Impressions are fleeting. When it comes down to it, I want to play Aion because its new, not because I honestly believe it is the best game ever.

Also, the game will live and die based on who I maintain friendships with. No exceptions to that rule in a MMO. To some degree, it seems as if I maintain an external locus of control, relying on others to support my own existence. There’s too many variables clouded by simple hype and excitement to make a solid judgment.

That being said, Aion has passed the first test of being solid and worthy of exploration. The engine runs well on modest hardware while maintaining gorgeous appeal, the writing is worth watching and the game builds itself upon a legacy formula, forged from both success and failure in the massive multiplayer genre. If a game can give players a chance, then I’ll dip a month or so into it.

Guild Wars 2 is competing VERY harshly with Aion for me. The trailer they released has captured something I haven’t experienced in a long while. Everything seems nostalgic, meaningful and potent. If I didn’t already pre-order Aion, I would not have given it a chance given how many good emotions are associated with Guild Wars, the game whose updates often redefine the experience, where being a spectator is an exciting endeavor, where deep inside, I wish I had the tenacity and the time to get into a good guild, but fall short because I’m burnt out on the world.

I’m a big fan of emotion, and shit, when a movie makes me cry, it’s obviously a good movie. The GW2 trailer completely kicked my ass.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Aion, Uncategorized

 

Aion – I really, really want aliens.

In Aion lore, the Draken, who would later become the Balaur, were created to protect the Tower of Eternity, the central nexus that provided pretty much everything. Then the B-

Okay, hold on. What did Aion create the Draken for? Short of small uprisings from the populace or rogue Daevas, there’s really not much to fight, honestly. Unless there were aliens, which would be amazing flavor. I could make them as advanced as I want as long as I can maintain the assumption that the race is out of resources and needs stuff, bad. Aion, to them, is the perfect place to invade.

Let’s face it, a tower that provides everything you need would be a nice acquisition for a planet that’s dying out. Regardless if it does fit the bill, the mere idea that a single object, acquired through a large but linear expenditure in war craft, could solve mind-bendingly difficult problems, would be worth swooping down. Maybe they don’t know what the tower is, but the presence of Aether entices the race to extend its military effort out towards Atreia. Whatever the case, these aliens are bad news for the current inhabitants, Consequently, Aion, who I will assume as a local god of Atreia as opposed to omnipotent, probably had to take drastic measures and create a race that could effectively counter the conquering force, one that could advance and adapt hastily.

Needless to say, the Draken win in this struggle, and probably do it in space, rendering the happenings completely unknown to humans. However, the Draken become paranoid of another attack from the invaders and begin invest heavily into preparing for another battle. Think child-soldier syndrome to some degree. They swoop down and begin to take resources, forcefully, from the planet they were designed to defend. Let’s assume that the Draken are very short sighted and their assumptions about collected resources and the importance of humanity as a component to the sustenance of Atreia. They have good intentions in aggressively advancing, but they simply don’t get that they’ll strip-mine the planet and render it near-useless.

In short, there should be some point in lore that explains why the Draken were made and why they went awry. Power’s nice, but the pursuit of power needs more reason from a race that was dedicated to the protection of Aion. I want the Balaur faction to be a real group with real problems, like aliens.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Aion