Posted in MMORPGs

Having Fun in Project: Gorgon

 

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The title above is not one I ever expected to write. I’d heard passingly of Project: Gorgon, but never gave it a second look. But after reading Syp’s two different posts on Project: Gorgon, followed up by another good impression by the Nerdy Bookahs, I was convinced to give it a try.

Actually, you had me at “skill based” and “Charm Rat.” Yes, you did.

backed the Kickstarter before playing the game – I like what I heard. Now that I’m playing the game (pre-alpha state and all), I’m really rooting for these guys to bring out something amazing.

This comes at a perfect time because I’ve been itching for something more open-world to mess around with. Don’t get me wrong, I still love FFXIV and it’s still my main MMO right now. But gearing up in FFXIV at this point has become a series of hitting very closed-instanced and intense dungeon runs over and over. While I enjoy who I’m playing with and I still have lots of room to practice my end game rotation, I start to get stifled and stressed if I don’t have something more open-world, calming, casual, and questy to balance it out.

Project: Gorgon has been a breath of fresh air in this regard.

About Project: Gorgon

Just a quickie overview. Project: Gorgon is currently free to play, but will eventually become B2P on Steam (already Greenlit) with an optional $9.99 monthly sub if you want to support the game’s development. They have a Kickstarter which they’re hoping to use to improve the art assets and add all kinds of neat elements to an already neat game.

From what I understand, they will not be completely wiping the servers when they roll into launch. There will be wipes of items and rollback of some skills, but for the most part, much of what you earn during testing you can keep.

First Impressions

Gorgon-2015-08-03-22-59-32ZI feel like I’m taking a step back in time to one of the first MMOs I played – UO – but with more sense of humor and many more quirks. It’s a good thing. I’ve been hoping for a skill-based game that didn’t take three hours to gain .09 of a skill just so I could mine some copper or gather logs.

I will say up front that graphics need an upgrade. While the style doesn’t really bother me all that much (I’m enjoying the gameplay), there does need to be better animations, character customization options, and models at the least. I’ve certainly played games with older looking graphics in the past, but I can see that there’s potential here, which can hopefully be improved by funding.

So far, I don’t see that the game caps you on the number of skills you can develop, either. It seems like you can level everything! So, just because I want to level swordsmanship, I don’t have to drop animal taming and fishing and fletching and gathering, etc.

The hard skill cap was one thing that bugged me about UO… you always had to sacrifice something if you wanted to level something else. I hope this open-leveling element of Project: Gorgon will remain. Make it harder for me to skill up, but please let me be all the things I want to be!

My Playthrough

Like everyone else, I started in the tutorial cave. I’ve heard some people grumble about the cave tutorial, but the game does provide a way to skip it if you don’t want to play it. I don’t see a reason for skipping because the cave gives you access to a lot of first skills, including “Charm Rat.”

Really, that’s all I ever needed in a game. My life is complete with my rattie pal.

Gorgon-2015-08-04-23-07-47ZThe cave teaches you about combat, and allows you to mess around with various combat skills. I leveled the standard sword/shield, unarmed, and bow. But I also unlocked skills like Psychology, which has me disabling enemies with mind magery by discussing their childhood parenting issues with me.

I also ran across my first boss, which was a skeleton mage with a giant head. The game warned me three different times against trying to take him on, and I mostly paid mind to it. Curious, I kept returning to that cave, especially after I got some new armor upgrades, and saw someone else who was also eyeing the boss with curiosity.

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I got a big head!

He asked me if I wanted to give it a go, and I said yes. So we grouped, took on the boss, and died. When I rezzed, my character was cursed with a huge head, and couldn’t wear a helmet! The only way to break the curse was to defeat the boss.

So we gathered a few other newbies and took the boss on again. Again, the boss beat us silly. But instead of respawning, we lay there and watched our pet rats continue the battle and slowly whittle down the boss’ life to win the battle. Woot! Cured!

I also had my butt handed to me by a giant spider boss (though a higher level character came along and beat them, which still gave me a kill credit for some reason). I am amassing plenty of points in the Death skill. Yes. There is a Death skill that keeps track of all the ways you’ve died. Hilarious. XD

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I also got a piece of armor that required one point in the Cow skill. That’s when you know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

I did eventually leave the cave (though you can go back any time), and ventured out into the world and town. The town has some… interesting… characters living within. Especially considering the libido-driven version of elves in this game.

The game doesn’t hold your hand outside of the cave in any way, and I made it a goal not to run to the wiki before I tried to find things on my own. I learned about Favors, which are similar to quests, that provide you with goals to earn favor with local NPCs. I also saw that you can gift NPCs things as well as Hang Out with them before you go to log out. As you gain favor with NPCs, it opens up different potential skills that NPC will train you in, and possibly provides you with more storage space (?)

Again, the game doesn’t provide markers over NPC heads or circled areas on maps to find Favor objectives. It encourages you to explore and find things on your own. When a NPC asks you to go and slay tigers (!) in a certain area of the map, you seriously need to go out and hunt for them. And they don’t just mean outside the front door of the town.

But when you do stumble across things, it’s all very rewarding.

Like finally discovering how to level my fishing skill by pouncing on the non-moving crabs.

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Or running across the shrine that allows me to make charmed rats a full pet and a part of the stable system.

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Or discovering the wonder of the in-game library where players and write and share works of literature.

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Or seeing people running around as cows, which enforces a form of beast speak on them, randomly replacing some words with moos.

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You can also turn into a werewolf… which is something of interest to me.

There seems to be a good number of players running around the starting area and talking in world chat. I’m not sure how friend lists, guilds or other social options work yet. But you can find me in game, with my pet rat, as Aywren. 🙂

Interested? Check out the Project: Gorgon website and the Kickstarter!

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Posted in Geek Stuff

Shire Life: A Moment of Shared Geekery

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I was stopped at a red light this morning on my way to work. A car pulled up behind me, and I briefly glanced at the passengers in my review mirror. There was what seemed to be a mother and her young adult daughter, who both were chatting in good spirits.

Suddenly, the mother pointed with a smile of surprised delight at my Shire Life car decal, and her daughter responded to it similarly.

It was a moment of shared geekery, though they didn’t know it. It made my morning.

Posted in Blaugust, Gaming

#Blaugust Day 5 — TGTCML: Writing Fanfic Before it Existed

This is part of the Blaugust series!

nintendopowerIn yesterday’s post, I wrote about my teenage discovery of JRPGs through the SNES version of Final Fantasy II/IV. So, what’s a creative kid-turned-FFIV-fan to do back at a time when there were no smartphones, no tablets, not a single computer in the house, before Windows 95 existed, and the Internet wasn’t even something I could have imagined?

Well, write fan fiction before I ever knew that something called “fanfic” existed!

I was caught up on the ending of FFIV, really torn at the thought that these two brothers who had fought against each other, and found each other, were now going to be separated for good.

No! I thought, like so many future fanfiction writers of any fandom. This was not the way the story should end! 

So, I sat down and put my pencil to many loose-leaf pieces of wide rule notebook paper and started writing a sequel! Yes. I wrote my first fan fiction long-hand, and I actually still have that draft in a folder in a box under my bed.

There was no Internet to look up game information, fan art, other stories… or blogs to share this creation in. I was just a silly kid who collected what little I could get my hands on about my favorite game, the pictured Nintendo Power Magazine issue included.

There was also no outside influence on the story and the characters I began to develop, some who I began to expand upon from what little I saw of them in the game. While FFIV was awesome for its time, it has nothing on newer JRPGs in the way of deep character development. However, it was this very thing that provided a canvas for young fans like myself to come in and make our own explorations of:  What happened next? Who exactly is this character when they take off their armor? How do they fit into the world of the Blue Planet? And what happened to those Lunars and their flying whales anyhow?

It wasn’t until many years later, when I went to college and discovered the Internet for the first time (1997?) that I realized there was something called “fanfic” and I wasn’t the only one who wrote such things. However, during that time, there was no Fanfiction.net or Archive of Our Own. But there was a thing called Geocities

-To Be Continued-