Saturday, September 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Ah, the simple things in life. When I finally got the motor running on this thing a few weeks ago I was really hoping to get something up here more than once a week. Little and often, that was the plan.

What could be better, then, than an occasional series on the little things I often do when I'm playing MMOs? A series I could throw together in a few minutes instead of the usual two or three hours. Well, lots of things probably, but that's what I came up with in an idle moment, so here we go.

Simple Pleasure No 1.  -  Getting creatures to fall down in a pile.

Where d'you think you're going, bigfoot?

I never really got into quad-kiting in Everquest. It always took me longer to round up four rhinos up than it took to kill them one at a time. And four really doesn't make an impressive pile, anyway. Although, four rhinos....

As time went on and fights got easier, or we got tougher, other possibilities revealed themselves. Like running round and round a cave bouncing off every creature in it to rile them up and make them chase you, then stopping suddenly and hitting them with a big hammer. Or charging into a great camp full of monsters and spinning around and around until even the elderly goblin hiding in the tent at the back couldn't pretend nothing was happening.

I began to develop a soft spot for classes that could put out a lot of point-blank area-of-effect damage, preferably open aes that hit anything in range for added chaos. And all while taking a considerable pounding from extremely angry monsters who object to being slashed by whirling axes or singed by pocket volcanoes.

Plate-wearing berserkers or fire-throwing mages with powerful minions fit the bill nicely. The Vanguard Dread Knight, the EQ2 Berserker, the Elementalist/Pyromancer build in Rift all come to mind but most MMOs have someone who more or less gets the job done.

Hmmm. Pulling to the right a little...

Only after a while just killing the monsters isn't enough. It all starts to be about how they fall. If you're doing 360 degree damage you want to see a perfect circle. If it's it's front-facing you want the bodies in a line. And so a new art-form was born.

It's harder than you'd imagine, too. There's always that one orc that arrives late to the slaughter or the bandit that dies in midair on a knock-back. Even in death they're out to spoil your day.

As you can see, I have a long way to go before I perfect the art of Feng Shu-ae.

Where's my I Ching?

Luckily there's never a shortage of subjects for my art.

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