I missed the last day of the AC beta. Somehow I wasn’t overly concerned about this, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that “end of beta” usually means “everyone goes red and attacks everyone else, which is fun but means you miss out on whatever the game designers have been putting into the plot”. And, unlike many other end-of-betas, the AC team did change the plot for this one, involving a world-destroying comet, neat critters, Wands of Black Fire for everyone (like this won’t be the case eventually anyway), etc.

I did get attacked once though, just sitting in a remote tower and talking with Jin Lee. I noticed this little red dot coming in at the edge of radar, assessing me, running away, coming in again, assessing me, running away, maybe getting some components, etc. Eventually something happened.

Jin Lee says, “hmmm”
You say, “he left :P”
Jin Lee says, “who did?”
Boa says, (portal recall)
You say, “him :P”
Jin Lee says, “well we’re still not quite alone ;-)”
Jin Lee laughs.
You say, “which means there will soon be about 10 pks here, in all likelihood”
Jin Lee says, “hrmm… i doubt it.”
Jin Lee says, “maybe though.”
You say, “gangbanging at the end of beta is a tried and true tradition of the finest roleplayers”
Jin Lee says, “unfortunately i just changed my ties… so i’m tied here.”
Jin Lee says, “really?”
You say, “oh sure”
Boa says, (force bolt, which careens harmlessly into the tower wall, which was plainly between us)
You say, “ho hum”
Boa says, (some creature spell I don’t know)
You resist the spell cast by Boa
Boa says, (weakness other III)
You say, (drain health I)
Boa cast Weakness Other III on you
The magic surges through you.
You gain 24 points of health due to casting Drain Health Other I on Boa
You say, (drain health I)
The magic surges through you.
You gain 18 points of health due to casting Drain Health Other I on Boa
You say, (drain health I)
The magic surges through you.
You gain 13 points of health due to casting Drain Health Other I on Boa
Boa says, (lifestone recall)
You say, (drain health I)
The magic surges through you.
You gain 10 points of health due to casting Drain Health Other I on Boa
You say, (harm other IV)
The magic rushes mightily through you.
Target is out of range
You say, “bye bye”

I should have mana drained him to nothing to be insulting first.In case any newcomers to AC who have not been in the beta test are confused about recall, let me just say this: item magic is now required training for all types of characters. At least it seems that way. Item has gone from the most useless of magics, practiced only by a few maniacs (*coughKynncough*) to sharpen their weapons to being a commonplace skill, if only for the convenience of recall. With the Forced PK server’s demonstration of the power of mages to Force Bolt I people into nothingness, we may well see a surge of slowass mages with Item magic, using recall to get out of a bad situation instead of jogging or logging out. The few adventurers who can’t recall will be the only ones who die eventually, until they get fed up with it and start over, training Item or learning it at level 9, just so they can join the club.

There are a few things about the AC release which depress me. The greatest depression is the knowledge that, in all likelihood, there will be no global change to the magic system, so that webites will be the norm, and everyone will be a mage. The old axiom about mages being hard to level up will not apply now that website mages know the ability of 3 newbies to force bolt banderling ravers to death instantaneously. Another problem is the static item problem, enumerated previously. But the biggest problem for me with the release is that despite the fact that the best parts of the game have been destroyed and will probably not be recovered, AC is still the best MMORPG available in almost every regard. I may delay purchase of it for a little while to see how the first few weeks pan out, and spend my time as I have been for the last couple of weeks… playing Age of Kings incessantly. :P

I was going to post some pics of myself here, with my final stats and crap that numbercrunchers are interested in, but naturally I left them at home. More rants to come when AC goes public and I can bring myself to overcome my mage snootiness and log in.

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