Aion Tips, Planetside 2, And The Old Republic Beta?

And a good day to you fine folks! It’s early morning and I’m trying to fight the urge to dive into a tube of Fruit Pastilles by making do with a piping hot of chocolate, a slice of wheat bread and some blackcurrant jelly. It’s not the best, but it’ll have to do, I’m trying to scoff down a quick breakfast so I can get back to Fallout 3, you see I just stumbled upon the Republic of Dave and I must say I’m pretty eager to see if I can wreak some political havoc by being just a little mischievous.

I expect the big news in the gaming world this week is the impending release of the PSPgo, Sony’s most recent, and most intensive “re-jiggering” of the venerable PlayStation Portable hardware. It’s set to launch this Thursday, Oct. 1st, and Sony’s promising to upload a whopping 16,000 pieces of digital content to the PlayStation Network to keep you busy and buying. I came across this Kotaku review from Brian Crecente which I think mirrors my own feelings on the device, that is, if you already have a PSP 2,000 or 3,000 with a bunch of UMD’s, it’s probably not the best buy, but if you don’t have a PSP, or have just a few UMD’s, it’s worth a look.

Graphics or gameplay? The age old argument almost always ends with gameplay winning out (as it should) that said, who says you can’t have both? AMD has announced the fastest single GPU in the world, the Radeon 5870, and promised that the 5870, in addition to it’s “lower end” compatriots, the 5850 and the 5800, will be available shortly in large quantities. What does this mean? Well you’ll be able to run Age of Conan and Aion smooth as butter, I shudder to think what insane resolutions you’ll be able to squeeze out of WoW.

On the subject of Aion, it would seem players continue to be victims of NCsoft’s success as server queues and long waits continue to be a problem for a lot of folks, all this despite NCsoft’s best efforts. Apparently a new server called West Fregion is now online and servicing players on the West Coast of the US. NCsoft have announced that more servers are on the way, specifically, one more US server located on the East Coast to erm, serve that region, and one more European server. Let’s hope this helps to alleviate some of the issues players are currently experiencing.

Before I wrap up on Aion, I’ll link to this helpful piece the guys at Massively have put together called Five more quick tips for Aion (which in itself contains a link to an additional five tips published last week). The tips cover cheap craft leveling, maximising your profits (more Aion Kinah!), linking, gathering and grinding. If nothing else it’ll make for an interesting read while you wait patiently to get in game :)

Speaking of getting into the game, I think folks reading the news of a possible Star Wars: The Old Republic beta test coming some time soon need to calm down a bit. Some eagle-eyed visitors to the TOR website spotted a news article that very briefly seemed to be a call for beta testers. Now while a beta test for a game of TOR’s size is unavoidable, the initial testing size is likely to be extremely limited. I’m afraid these are not the droids you’re looking for.

Mythic Entertainment have released a new batch of screenshots highlighting the impressive improvements made to their new armor sets (Part Two of Three). I’ve always thought Warhammer Online looked a bit too close to WoW visually (please, no hate mail, I know which inspired which, okay) and this latest series of redesigns seem to do a good job of distancing Warhammer from Samwise’s distinctive Warcraft style… they’re awfully brown though.  Have a look at the new sets here.

If you’re still playing Age of Conan (and you really should be), you’ll be interested to know that the latest “Letter From the Game Director” is now available for your perusal.  It goes into detail discussing the mechanics of AoC’s veteran reward system, which will be available in the next game update. This system aims to reward long time subscribers with unique items from so-called “veteran vendors”. It’s a nice little gesture from Funcom to AoC loyalists I think.

That’s not all coming in the latest update though, The Iron Tower, a new level 80 instance in Tarantia Commons is also covered fairly extensively, and there’s a great developer interview with IGN covering the Tower.

I know it’s fashionable to bash AoC, but long time (ie. those who’ve read the EpicToon blog for just over a month) readers will know that I have a soft spot for the game. It’s good to see Funcom have taken a lot of the initial criticisms of AoC to heart and are now doing their best to make things right.

I don’t know how many folks are still playing SOE’s Planetside these days, but for those of us who remember the “good old days” of the Planetside beta and early launch, news from SOE that they’re considering a second entry in the series will come as heartening news.

The news came in the form of a survey sent out to former Planetside subscribers, asking which features, changes and updates they’d like to see in the proposed sequel. Here’s hoping for the best.

Anywhoo, I’mma get off here, see if I can go upset an election in The Capital Wasteland, but I’ll leave you with this little bit of welcome news from the WoW forums, about the new lowered cost of riding skills in patch 3.2.2. Republic of Dave, here I come!


Radeon 5870 graphical showcase, you will say wow.

– Making a Super Mario Bros. Piranha Plant.