Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Tale of Two Worlds

Weekends are precious, especially so when one is working and doesn't have the luxury or privilege of cutting classes during the week to do as one pleases. No more sleep-ins, no more leisurely sojourns in town with friends, no more gaming till the wee hours of the morning (for weekdays at least).

This weekend was really packed but ultimately very satisfying. Yesterday was Granny's 89th birthday and as I've mentioned before that is one woman I love to bits. They rented a chalet at east coast and we decided to skip the hassle of organising (and clearing up)a BBQ and decided to cater instead. And of course going to East Coast Park naturally means one has to cycle. Besides, they have such good plans these days, 6 bucks to rent a decent bike for two hours.

Went off with the Sister and my younger cousin and decided to give the new Coastal Park connector which connects the different coastal parks (duh) a try. I must confess that coastal network is certainly a good idea, you see more scenery and cycle to places you'd never usually cycle to. The distance from the rental station to Changi beach via the network was 17km and the bicycle kiosk even had an innovative, hire your bike here, return it over there system. We would probably have cycled all the way if not for the fact that dinner was at the chalet.

Cycling for two whole hours straight was a tad tiring but we got to see lots of things you'd usually never see in the often overcrowded east coast park. Like rows of lush casuarina trees lining the canal swollen with malachite green salt cum fresh water. The trees swaying slowly in the bracing wind. And of course like any other hard exercise, you feel shag but good.

The real world, nature and fresh air is all very good. It awakens the senses and revitalises the mind, body and soul (God i sound like some bad pick up line for an organic product). But the attraction and allure of the cyber world of fantasy is a heady drug. And this weekend's highlight was Warhammer Online's open beta.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the servers were already up after a short patch and was all fired up to venture into the World of Warhammer (lol) especially after reading about all the extensive changes and balances they had made since the closed beta. Even if it was already 1.00am when I logged on. I decided to go for a female Magus from the Chaos faction instead of the nubile Dark Elf sorceress .

For one, the Chaos faction was still the most attractive to me and second, the Magus had been balanced (ie more damage) and it's an interesting class. If I had to compare it to classes in World of Warcraft, I would have to say the Magus in Warhammer is a combination of WoW's Warlock and Mage. The Magus gets 3 different Demons ( all stationary though) and gets to blast things while riding on a nifty looking disc. Some abilities even sound suspiciously familiar (Seed of Corruption?). So after customising my Magus to look like a butch vamp who decided to go goth, Ivara ventured forth, eager for death and destruction.

The game did not disappoint at all. True to form, unlike WoW, where it is a level grind to hit the level cap and then run all the end game content, in Warhammer, you get to experience the full aspect of the game from the very beginning. One of my first few quests sent me on a RvR scenario which pitted fellow Destruction players against Order players from various realms (servers) in a Arathi Basin kind of control the base, rape your opponent gang bang. But better.

Then came the quests which were intuitive and easy to follow and finish. I found the mobs spawned way too fast though. On the bright side, unlike in WoW, one can get XP for simple things like talking to a NPC or just looting a dead body.

And soon a nifty new robe and Ivara's very first pet. A Pink Horror. Yes it's Pink and it looks Horrible. But it's her little demonic turret.

Then out of town to embark on new quests and lo and behold, Ivara's very first Public Quest awaits her. Basically, it consists of a 3 stage encounter (for the lower levels) where the objectives get progressively harder. Everyone in the area can group up and all damage done is contributed to the final loot roll at the end. And if you get the necessary points you can collect some nifty stuff from the Rally Master in town.

And based on your contributions to the Quest (ie: either by damage or healing), you get assigned a certain bonus to your base roll chance and the rest is up to luck. Thankfully, Ivara had first for both the contributions and the roll. Which meaant decent loot.^^

Then it was off to the next town and round of quests. And just out of town, guess what. Another Public Quest (PQ). This second PQ unfortunately was a lot tougher than the first one even with a team and a couple of healers. Ivara was squished many times and earned titles like Ow my Eye and Victimized. But she did her fair share of damage which of course was reflected in the loot rolls. hur hur.

By then Ivara reached level 6 or Rank 6 rather and she got her second pet, a Blue Horror. Which is blue and horrible and spews blue vomit at nearby enemies or lobs medium range fireballs.

By then it was about 6.50am and I had to go for the weekly sunday ritual *grumble Grumble*. So it was off to bed but not before parking Ivara, new loot in hand, in town.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has lived up to its hype thus far. Perhaps one of the few things that may need to be improved is the crafting system. But really, I'm surprised at how well it's pulled it off thus far. And if it can keep up with the anticipated server strain when the game actually launches, I won't be surprised if people jump ship from WoW to Warhammer Online. I'm sad to say but WoW is pretty boring compared to Warhammer.


wildgoose said...

Now you made me want to visit East Coast again. I've avoided it for months cos I can't stand having to dodge all the kids and reckless cyclists/bladers. It's as bad as driving on PIE... :p

Suzie Wong said...

welcome to the east. anyway u didn't sound like u were advertising for organic product. you sounded like you selling a

happy birthday to your granny, incredible 89!

Aelgtoer said...

WG: Yep it's still jam packed if you cycle at East Coast proper. But if you take the coastal park connector, it's really a lot more peaceful and you get to enjoy sights you'd never would at the overcrwded ECP. :)

Suzie: haha thanks. Yep you easties have it good, good food, nice beach. Lol condo!!! What kind of condo is supposed to revitalise the mind body and soul? haha. But yep i guess they try to market it that way these days. ^^

Suzie Wong said...

Oh...u should read the condo prospectus....they have stuff like "blah blah...somthing about the greenery and the landscape & water-fearures awakening your senses...", gosh I can't even remember some of those dramatic descriptions. I kept some of them in case i need to plagiarise for my event concept writing! :P