All posts for the month January, 2010

Red Alert!

Published January 27, 2010 by Hemlock

Open Beta ended last night at 6pm PST; and it was very anti-climatic. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Blizzard, but to me, it seemed that Cryptic just didn’t put in the effort they could have. When I logged in at 5pm for the End of Beta Event, I popped right into the Station in Sol System. To my dismay, the Station was teeming with seemingly invincible Borg. Yes, you could kill them, but you couldn’t get away. Everyone had congregated at the beam in point on the Station and since you can’t walk through anyone you were effectivly stuck. Getting tired of that, I managed to ‘die’ my way to a location that allowed me to beam up to my ship, and despite the uncountable numbers of Borg on the Station, and those continually beaming down – there were no Borg cubes or spheres in the space around the Station. Mind you, that could be due simply to when I popped in. *shrugs* I then popped into Sector Space figuring that’s where the Borg would be but, no, nothing there. I flew around for a bit and then decided to spend Armageddon on Risa. On my way some Borg probes finally appeared so I decided to go give that a go. I lost my ship, but alas, I took a probe with me.

Upon my arrival to Risa, I decided to get some pictures of my ‘vacation’:

Pineapple, Anyone?

Now, I don’t remember there being any giant Pineapples or Strawberries on Risa in the series, but you never know, I guess. Maybe they make a lot of fruit salad?

Despite my complaints, I am looking forward to what STO has to offer me on Friday. Since I pre-ordered, I have access to the head start which will be nice, and I’m curious to see how many people come back. It’s definitely not the best game to come around and I can’t wait for Diablo III to come out, but it is nice to finally have the ability to moderately immerse myself in a universe that I’ve wanted to be a part of since early childhood.


Bomb in Space?

Published January 24, 2010 by Hemlock

We’ve played STO for a few weeks now, and I can say that I’m not overly impressed. It’s playing very similar to City of Heroes/Villans. There’s not much draw, and I really did expect more. Open Beta has been pretty buggy, but at the same time Cryptic has done a pretty good job of fixing major bugs. This is the last weekend to play before the close Open Beta, apply fixes and patches, and then go live on February 2nd.

I really do understand that this is a Beta, but I still can’t help but feel a bit gipped. This game has so much potential, and has been in the works since 2004, but it really has fallen flat. I enjoy the space combat, but at the same time it is painfully repetitive. Mind you, all MMO’s are like this, but I just don’t feel the addiction that I did with the original EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, and World of Warcraft. Each of these games had some very viable redeeming qualities amid the monotony, and though not all of them are as popular as they once were (except for WoW) they were still worth playing when they were the game to have.

STO tries desperately to immerse the player in the Star Trek universe, but fails in a few areas. My biggest complaint is how long it takes a ship to respond. Anyone at all familiar with the series knows that despite the ships being large objects, they are still capable of maneuvering, and in the game they aren’t. Granted, you have an ability called Evasive Action, but it has a long refresh rate and I guess could be equated to a character’s ground sprint. When using that ability, your ship moves more like you expect, and you truly have the ability to maneuver out of the path of Photon and Quantum torpedos. Mind you, I’m not saying that all ships should have the ability for insane maneuverability, but seriously, it shouldn’t take me 30 seconds to turn around.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just being overly picky, and mayhap things will change once the game goes live. Then again, maybe I’ll be renewing my subscription to WoW?


Published January 24, 2010 by Hemlock

I don’t care what anyone says. Puppies are harder than human kids. End of story.

Gaius has found a new home with a quiet and patient couple. It’s best for him, and it’s best for us. I believe he will finally have the opportunity to really bloom and be the amazing dog that I know he is. Due to this, Sen is now on her own for the first time and so far seems to be doing well. We don’t have her crated in the bedroom like I’d like, but compromises must be made. The kitchen has become a play pen, sans bed, and her crate is now in the back room with the bird and the cat tree.

Training has begun in earnest. She’s a smart puppy, but has quite a bit of energy and it’s hard to get to her to calm down enough to focus even a little. She’s not like one of those puppies you see in the YouTube training videos. You know the ones I’m talking about; the ones that seem to have an attention span equal to the Dalai Lama’s. No… no, that’s not Sen. Not in the least. What’s funny, is that I know she can be freakishly calm, but it seems that when it comes to training she gets excited (gotta love crispy hot dog chunks) and just can’t focus!

She knows how to sit on command and she’s reliable as long as it’s me giving the command. We’re learning how to lie down, and to come more reliable when called. The only problem we’re really having, aside from the excitement, is that she doesn’t want to go into her crate. As soon as I head to the back room, she runs the other direction. I know she doesn’t want to be alone, but Hubby doesn’t want another crate in the bedroom. I don’t blame him, but at the same time, I really don’t want the crate to be a negative thing. I guess I’ll just have to work on that with her as well!

Games In Space

Published January 13, 2010 by Hemlock

Star Trek Online started open beta last night.  Well, as open as a purchased slot can get!  We decided to preorder the collectors edition since it is Star Trek.  They had some login issues, but other than that it was going pretty smoothly.  Around 8 o’clock last night they brought the main server(s) down to apply a patch to fix that and a few other thing, but they were up and running again around 9:45pm and the game was running much more smoothly. 

I started out with a Betazoid Science Officer, but it turnes out she was quite bugged, so I switched over to an Andorian Tactical Officer.  Now, she’s fun, and she’s hot!  Can’t really go wrong there.    As far as game play goes, the controls are a little awkward when it comes to space control, but it’s worth the learning curve since you, as the Captain, are actually piloting your ship; unlike Eve Online where you simply point and click in sections of space, or select an orbiting distance from a drop down menu. 

Knowing the rig setup on your ship is important, too.  In space combat, if you can align your side with your enemy, you have the ability to fire dual phasers, or if you’re getting pummled, you have the ability to force them to fire on the shields you want them to hit.  There’s a lot to keep track of, and because of that, the space interface can be a bit akward, but there are hot keys to most everything, and I think it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

Welcome To Unemployment

Published January 9, 2010 by Hemlock

Well, here I am.  I have been offically fired for the first time in my life.  I guess I should be upset, but I’m not.  Not in the least.  You want to know why?  I hated my job (BTW people, all you have to do is pay your bill and your services will stay on!), and my reasons for not being at work were justified.  I’m sorry, but 2 miscarriages, a broken wrist, the Flu (doctors orders not allowed to be at work for over a week)… those are all justifiable.  Don’t tell me something is excused if it really isn’t. 

Either way, the fight is on for my unemployment, but considering that everything was documented with docter’s notes I’m not too concerned.  Now, all that’s left is figure out what I want to do with my life.  Not hard, right?