Author's Posts

Nercromancers can be a powerful class for soloing in Everquest, although necromancers may not be the first class picked for raids or groups, although this has changed since the games release in the late 1990s.

Although the Everquest video game designers have done a good job of making the class more group and raid friendly, necromancers are still largely a solo class that rely on their powerful dots, their pet, and most importantly their brains to reach the highest levels of the game. Their powerful solo abilities lend themselves well to two techniques, fear and agro kiting.

First Necromancer Solo Tactic — Fear Kiting

Fear kiting for necromancers works roughly the same way it does for the bard, although the tactic is far more effective for this class than it is for the minstrel. There is one key difference though, because necromancers, like all classes except the bard cannot move and cast in Everquest, a character must snare a creature before casting the fear spell. The trick to using fear kiting is timing the spell correctly, then casting fear, sending in a skeleton and using the dots to kill the monster that he is fighting

Fear kiting works well for necromancers throughout most the levels, but it does not work for all mobs. Sony’s video game designers made some Everquest creatures immune to fear so another tactic must be used instead. The next solo tactic, agro kiting is even simpler than fear kiting.

Second Necromancer Solo Tactic – Agro Kiting

Agro kiting requires a little more preparation, although the snare spell can be discarded. The important thing to remember when agro kiting for any class that can do it, including necromancers is not to use this tactic on a creature that summons. Before the spell starts, the necromancer should have a spell item or alternate advancement ability, such as run 3, that boosts a character’s speed

This necromancer solo tactic requires the necromancer to keep the mob more angry at him than his pet. The taunt ability for the skeleton, specter, or other suitable necromancer pet should be turned off and when the necromancer has found a safe distance, he can cast a snare and a dot if he has time. The necromancer than runs a safe distance and then casts a new spell. Soloing in any Everquest environment often involves running the monster the player is attacking around in circles.

Third Necromancer Solo Tactic – Root Dot

This tactic is simple, although risky because many necromancer spells do a small amount of initial damager. The idea is to prevent the mob that the necromancer is trying to kill from moving. The tactic starts with using root spells, which appropriately enough, keep a mob from moving. A character using this method than applies dots, possibly sends his pet in, and hopes that the root does not break. When it does break, the root should be recast. Dot spells should have low or preferably no large initial damage amount to use the root dot solo tactic effectively.

Courtesy for Others when Soloing

When the solo tactics fail or are improperly applied, a necromancer can feign death if there are no damaging spells on the mob, but the best thing to do is to run away. Trains can be hazardous to the health of other players so it is best not to train mobs that are chasing a character to other Everquest programmers. Sony’s video game designers have decided that mobs will attack the nearest character that is unfriendly to it.

Read more

When Star Wars Galaxies came out, the game designers intended the Jedi to be a class obtained through a series of long qauests. Unfortunately, the designers did not understand the appeal of the Star Wars universe, nor did they understand the spiritual concepts behind the Jedi, as both good and bad Jedi characters were forced into PvP with other players with their character.

The forced pvp option for Jedi has been removed from Star Wars Galaxies, but the Jedi continue to be a good combat class. The spiritual concepts are still missing from the class, but this is the fault of poor roleplaying rather than game deisgn. Getting to combat level 80 as a Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies is not difficult if a player is prepared to invest the time and effort into his character.

Starting Out as a Star Wars Galaxies Jedi

To get to combat level 35, a Jedi character should complete a number of quests and not worry about raising his Jedi skills yet. Young padawans should complete their light saber training after finishing their beginning quests, the legacy quests, and the Acklay quests. After they complete these trials, they can decide whether to use the civilized weapon of the Jedi or the more common blasters and rifles that pervade the Star Wars Galaxies universe.

What to Hunt Past Level 35

Getting from Level 35 to 80 is simply a matter of gaining enough experience. If a characters wishes to raise his light saber combat skills after, he can hunt grauls or similar creature for maximum level. If a Star Wars Galaxy Jedi character has no problem with using a rifle, the safest way to hunt the characters at lower levels is to shoot them at maximum range. This can easily take a character to combat level 75 and allow him to get materials for craft skills which can either be sold through the games shops and markets to other players.

Getting a Star Wars Galaxies Jedi to CL 80

The process is roughly the same, as it was in the previous levels, but by this time the lighsaber skills of a Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies should be high enough that it becomes easier to hunt the selected monsters in the game with a lightsaber rather than continue with ranged combat. The key to successful Jedi grinding in Star Wars Galaxies is making sure the levels of the monsters hunted are as close as possible and completing quests can speed the process up a little, but the game is set up so that leveling is much slower at these levels.

Sticking With It

The grinding process for the Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies is repetitive and dull. This is not different from leveling any other class or in many ohter level based mmorpgs. A player may go off and do crafting with his Jedi character or level up a different alt to relieve the tedium associated with the grinding experience that has become so much a part of many mmorpgs. A player who sticks with a Jedi character long enough will earn the rewards of a high level Jedi character. It is best if the player remembers that the Jedi were also a religious and spiritual order and not just really cool combat fiends. (It might be acceptable for Sith characters, but light side Jedi should not go out of their way to be jerks just because they can.)

Read more

 

The Introduction

 

Nintendo has held a tight shroud of secrecy around Dolphin from day one, refusing to release any information except to say that fans would not be disappointed when the system was finally unveiled. Well, that unveiling took place on the 24th of August, and I must say that while I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t thrilled either.

The Name

The system is officially called the Nintendo GameCube.

Thrill-o-meter says: Not Very Thrilling.

This name was chosen in order to position the system as a mature product in the eyes of the consumer. Unfortunately, the fact is that the name “Dolphin” has been around for so long, I’ve gotten kinda used to it. In conversations with my friends, I notice that we start off calling the system “GameCube” but quickly and unconciously switch over to using “Dolphin” again. I suspect the same thing has happened to most people out there.

The Look

Like the name implies, the GameCube is shaped like a cube. It features a top-loading drive that accepts special 8-cm discs, and has four controller ports and two memory card slots on the front. Continuing the trend it started with the Gameboy, Nintendo will offer the system in a variety of colours, including purple, pink, black, copper, and silver. The underside of the system has several expansion ports. Rounding out the package is a handle on the back.

Thrill-o-meter says: A Little Thrilling.

This sort of choice is always welcome, because it lets you choose a look based upon your personality. However, while the black, copper, and silver variations of the system are cool, the pink and purple ones are just plain awful. To make matters worse, Nintendo has chosen to use the purple as the colour for all it’s promotional pics. This makes the system look like a toy, more suited to a child’s playroom instead of a living room.

The Games

Nintendo showed off demos of several games in action. These included Luigi’s Mansion, Zelda, Wave Race, and Star Wars.

Thrill-o-meter: Thrill Level Too High to Report Accurately.

If you haven’t seen the movies of these games running, go to either www.DailyRadar.com, or Cube.IGN.com right now and check it out. That is all.

The Controller

The controller has to be seen to be believed (to see it, go to www.nintendo.com and click on the SpaceWorld 2000 lonk). It looks like a variation of the Playstation Dual Shock pad in terms of shape, and a Dreamcast controller in terms of functionality. The main control method is an analog stick, which is positioned on the far left of the controller. just below that and to the right lies a digital D-pad. The right side of the controller is dominated by a large ‘A’ button. Surrounding this button are smaller ‘B’, ‘X’, and ‘Y’ buttons, and the four make up the system’s action buttons. Down and to the left of these buttons is another analog stick. Finally, the top has two analog triggers, and a single ‘Z’ button.

Read more

The American Psychiatric Association has not yet determined whether or not video games are addictive, although video game addiction clinics have been established in European countries. The scientific evidence about video games being addictive is still being reviewed, there is one prominent group offering help for people wishing to recover from their mmorpg addiction.

Olganon, a group founded by a mother who was found dead at computer playing Evequest, offers a twelve-step program to help the people they describe as mmorpg addicts recover. Many mmorpgs now include timers to help players control the amount of time they spend in game to help combat this problem, and a helpful hint contained in the World of Warcraft start-up tips is to take everything in moderation.

Do People Become Addicted to MMORPGs?

There are players who display the classical signs of addiction or dependency when playing mmorpgs, but mmorpg addiction is not a currently recognized mental illness. Players do sometimes develop an unhealthy obsession with these games.

Many of these individuals ignore other activities to play an mmorpg, but video game addiction is not listed in the DSM-IV. It might be included in future additions once the evidence is weighed or the obsession might be highlight other psychological problems that make an mmorpg player more likely to act as if they were addicted to virtual worlds.

Time Investment as an Element of MMORPG Addiction

A major element in addition to being goal oriented is the amount of time people put into these games. In some cases, people have put years into developing their stats, characters, equipments, and friendships, which can only be maintained by continuing to play the game. Olganon, Nick Yee’s websites and many mmorpg message boards provide anecdotal evidence for the time played being a major factor keeping people from mmorpgs and making it hard to quit these games.

MMORPG Addiction Not Recognized as a Mental Ilnees Yet

MMORPG addiction has not been recognized as a real phenomenon, as the scientific evidence is still being reviewed. Online Gamers Anonymous, a group which patterns itself after Alcohlics Anonymous has treated as real since Online Gamer’s Anonymous’s creation. Many mmorpg players treat the games with skepticism, while the video game designers that create mmorpgs have erred on the side of caution and have included parental controls and timers to monitor an person’s time in their online worlds.

Read more

 

The Internet provides a plethora of educational, entertaining and fun activities for young and old alike. Free Rice combines learning, entertainment and good will, all rolled up in a fun and free online game.

Launched in October 2007, Free Rice is the brainchild of John Breen, a self-employed computer programmer from Indiana. Obviously concerned with global issues, Breen is no stranger to charitable causes. He created The Poverty Site, The Rainforest Site and The Hunger Site, the first “click-to-donate” website. Launched in 1999, more than 200,000 people visit The Hunger Site daily.

Unfortunately for many, the issue of hunger continues to plague our world. According to the United Nations, more than 25,000 people die every day due to hunger, malnutrition and related issues. Sadly, most of those deaths are children under five years of age.

The premise of the Free Rice game is surprisingly simple and incredibly addictive. To play, users are shown a vocabulary word. Players then select the correct definition for that word from four possibilities. If the correct vocabulary definition is chosen, 20 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Program, WFP. If five correct words are selected, 100 grains of rice will be donated to the WFP. Although 20 grains of rice may not seem like much, it adds up quickly.

How it Works:

  • Thousands of words are included in the Free Rice vocabulary database, with new words being added
  • If three words in a row are correct, the user proceeds to the next level
  • If a wrong answer is selected, the level is reduced
  • Vocabulary words automatically adjust to the correct difficulty level for each user
  • More than 50 different levels are included
  • Most words can be read aloud by clicking on the speaker symbol next to the word
  • Various game options are available
  • Each time the game is played, advertisements appear on the website

Free banners are available for bloggers and webmasters to help spread the word and direct people to the Free Rice website.

More than 500,000 people visit Free Rice every day. Visitors to the website do not donate money. The rice is paid for by numerous sponsors listed on the Free Rice site. 100% of the Free Rice revenue is donated to the The United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the largest world food agency. WFP then distributes the donated rice.

The first day the online game was launched in 2007, 830 grains of rice were donated. To date, over 26,000,000,000 grains of rice have been donated. Free Rice; fighing hunger, one grain at a time.

By simply taking an online vocabulary quiz, users young and old alike will help malnourished and impoverished people all over the world, and have fun at the same time.

Read more

 

The video game industry is full of choices. The biggest choice games will make is what console to buy. Asking a gamer to give an informed, objective opinion about the merits of each gaming console is, more often than not, an exercise in futility. The majority of gamers are fanatical devotees of one console and are disdainful of the others. To save new gamers from parsing through biased opinions to find the facts, this series of articles will present the merits and drawbacks of each machine. There are three main choices: the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii.

None of the three consoles can truly be called better than the others. Each machine has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of price, graphics, game selection, and online capability. Different individuals will enjoy certain consoles for different reasons. Ultimately, gamers should choose which one to purchase based on what type of gamer he or she is.

What Type of Gamer Are You?

There’s no official agreed upon definition of hardcore gamers, but according to an interview conducted by Li C. Kuo for Gamespy and an article by blogger Jmanalang writing for G4, hardcore gamers are people who: devote a lot of free time to gaming; purchase related merchandise; take the game seriously; enjoy the competition aspect; collect games rather than sell them after finishing them; and play games that take a lot of time to master or complete. Hardcore games are designed to be challenging, immersive, and require a large time commitment. Most hardcore games will feature heavy action, adventure elements, and complex plots that take upwards of thirty hours to complete. Hardcore gamers will be the most interested in the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 (PS3).

 

Casual gamers, as defined by blogger Jake writing for Binaryjoy, are people who are looking for simple, easy distractions to pass an hour or two at a time. They do not necessarily devote less total time to gaming but don’t take it seriously and are simply looking for fun. Thus, casual games are designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, with simple rules and a “pick up and play” mentality. The majority of casual titles will not include action-focused titles, shooters, or intensive role-playing and strategy games. Casual gamers will be the most interested in the Nintendo Wii.

What’s Important to You?

Before getting into console specifics, it will be helpful if the new gamer decides on a few key factors. If specific criteria – such as price or graphics – matter above all else, certain consoles may be eliminated from consideration.

Gamers on a budget should look at the Wii and 360. The lowest priced 360 is the same price as a Wii at $199.99 USD. The PS3 remains the most expensive console of the three with the cheapest unit coming in at $299.99 USD. These prices are quoted from each system’s respective official websites.

New gamers should be under no illusions about the cost of individual games – they’re expensive! New games typically retail for $59.99 USD on the 360 and PS3. Will games are only ten dollars cheaper at $49.99 USD, not a significant enough difference to sway most consumers.

Gamers who are looking for great high-definition, realistic graphics should look no further than the 360 or the PS3. They are graphically superior to the Nintendo Wii. People who purchase a Wii with the expectation of being impressed by the graphics will be utterly disappointed.

Buying a Video Game Console

Making a purchase with this limited information would be premature. However, gamers should now have a better idea of which video game console is the most appropriate for them, based on the type of games they want to play and any specific limitations or expectations.

People unfamiliar with gaming, who are interested in party games and casual games, should take the hardest look at the Nintendo Wii. People who are serious about their games, are interested in online competitive play, expect stunning graphics, and want deep action-based games should look at the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.

Read more