Review: Logitech G110 Keyboard


Three years is a record. Three years without spilling on, trashing or utterly destroying yet another keyboard; All to be ruined by one morning cup off coffee. But I digress, the Gods laugh and Keiya gets an excuse to purchase yet another toy.

The Logitech G110 is exactly the same as the Logitech G19 minus the color LCD. The keyboard that I ruined was the old school G15 (the older one with more buttons and adjustable screen). I used to use the LCD to monitor system stats while I gamed. But since switching over the Windows 7, I prefer to use the desktop widgets docked on my secondary monitor, which are a lot better anyways particularly since there are widgets specifically for Riva Tuner, NVIDIA, etc. The only real use that I have for the LCD nowadays is to see who is speaking on Ventrilo, which isn’t worth an extra $100.


This keyboard also feels almost exactly the same as my old G15 and presumably the same as the G19. It is a bit narrower though, by about an inch or so at the expensive of an extra column of G keys. For better or for worse, it is of the same construction quality too: Which is to say, very very nice but not quite as solid feeling as something Razer pops out (Logitech makes cheap ass wrists rests). The keys are tactile but soft; Soft and quiet enough to sneak in a late night of WoW without waking your spouse (I dislike noisy keyboards).

Oh here’s something new: The G10 has it’s own onboard USB soundcard with inputs for an analogue microphone and headphones. Above the inputs (which are located at the top) are two buttons: Mute microphone and mute headphones. I really like this feature because is eliminates the awkwardly long and hazardous wire running from my case to my head (it’s also easier to access and stash the cord to the side).

FYI: Plugging a mic into the keyboard input will automatically mute your speakers, even if you do not have headphones plugged in. Which is kind of annoying because I have both Vent and the game sounds routed through my speakers most of the time. This is easy enough to fix in the Windows control panel.


Instead of having an ipod-ish volume dial, the G110 has volume scroll wheel similar to a mouse wheel. The G110’s multimedia buttons feel a lot better than the old school G15’s in both quality and location in my opinion. My other keyboard’s volume dial and play buttons were half pressed in and slightly loose feeling. I also like having them located on the right side near my mouse. I don’t have to reach over as far. Also for what it is worth, the drivers for the multimedia keys work out of the box with the most recent version of iTunes (on Windows 7 at least).

You can customize the keyboard glow to your heart’s content. Any color of the rainbow is at your fingertips, literally! The macro programming also works exactly the same as the G15 which is to say, very well. The software is self explanatory: Pick a button on the configuration screen and macro it. There’s no hassle and I haven’t encountered any software problems.

Oh one other thing: The high speed USB port isn’t too useful. There are very few thumb drives and devices that will run on it without getting a power warning. It’s nice that the hub is finally USB 2.0 but still…If you are strapped for cash, you might want to look somewhere else. $75 is still pretty steep for well, a keyboard. But if you can mentally justify the cost and/or want a nice gaming keyboard, it’s a great peripheral.

Update: More Sims Crap, WoW, Twitter

image_4Sorry, totally not related to anything but, some dude is totally recreating a Sims 3 version of Vice City (as in the city from GTA) using the Create a World tool and that is just pure awesome in my books. Said world needs to include the strip joints somehow.

Speaking of the Create a World tool, I keep meaning to play with it a little more for the sake of creating a custom neighborhood so that my little people have somewhere fun and original to run around. Actually, I kind of want a custom neighborhood to start yet another legacy challenge. If you look hard enough, a couple of really bad half-assed legacy blogs are still buried in the bowels of this site.

The tool itself really isn’t all that difficult to use. I am fairly surprised at that given my experience with world editing tools. They are usually just so…obtuse when it comes to the interface and what not. But then again, I’ve never been willing to soak in enough time to properly learn how to use any of them. I can’t think of anything cool to model a neighborhood after. Maybe I will just create an island with a giant mountain in the center or something? Wait no: I will create “Pen Island” except that, it won’t be shaped like a pen at all and only a small portion, the tip of the peninsula, will be visible on the in game town map (so that it doesn’t get banned off of the exchange :P). The base of the island will contain a massive forrest.

Random WoW bits:

  • The paladin class changes were bumped up by two days. As in, they are tomorrow. I smell all around nerfs and a few shiny new spells.
  • Did this happen to anyone else? I updated Pitbull 4 recently, logged in and all of my settings had been reset to the default. I tried restoring the lua file from a UI backup, but that didn’t work? Do you know how long it takes to redo all of the UI bar settings? Pain in the ass.
  • I wonder if I should go *gasp* holy in Cataclysm? Actually, most of my main spec changes have revolved around guild need. I enjoy playing any of the three specs really, though facerolling has been pretty damned fun. I think I may have found my true calling as a paladin 😛
  • FINALLY WON Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter. It’s not that it doesn’t drop; Oh it’s dropped around 5 times. I’ve just consistently rolled shittely.
  • Also picked up the tier-10 pants and a few other things. Ugly skirt is ugly.

FYI: I have a Twitter feed, if anyone cares about that sort of thing. It pretty much mirrors anything posted on my Facebook wall +/- a few things. Okay well, it’s little more than a well of boredom as well as a dump for random iPhone pictures.

The Sims 3: Constant Game Crash Fix

If you are running a system with more than sufficient memory, are absolutely positive that it isn’t a hardware issue, yet your game is still crashing/save crashing out every 30 to 45 minutes, read this blog post and then download/run this tool. Just because it worked for me doesn’t mean that it will work for you, so make sure to backup the executables before patching them just in case. I Sims 3 binged for a good portion of Sunday and did not crash out once.

Neither The Sims 3 forums nor the crash logs within The Sims 3 directory were all that useful. By the way, the “DasmX86Dll.dll not found” error message isn’t all that relevant to the actual cause of the crashes (confirmed by SimGuru; It is a red herring). It’s a file that was used as a part of the debugging process and was removed when the game went live. So it is more of a catch all than anything else.

I was actually pretty fortunate and never had a game crash problem until I installed the High-End Stuff Pack (I know that was totally a waste of cash but I needed my Sims crack fix). Apparently, one of the suspect causes of the crashing is the 2GB virtual memory limitation. The patcher will let you modify The Sims 3 executables to use more than 2GB of memory. Or something like that.

So yay, I can play this game once again without it shitting on me.

Star Trek Online


Oh hey it’s been exactly one month since my last posting! Bah so much weekly postings. Oh well.

So a small part of me party always has an always will love Star Trek no matter how over-franchised and cheesy it may become. I have been cautiously intrigued in STO, but not intrigued/too cautious to actually buy the game or brave Del Taco to get a demo code (I’m sorry, I have standards for Mexican food).

Luckily, a friend sent me a 5-day demo code for Star Trek online the other week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much time to trial it (a couple of hours total probably) as it was kind of a bad week to start a new game. I think I got just enough of a taste of it though to sample a few flavors. It’s an interesting game that I probably should have given more time, but it just seems so half-assed in many ways.

I really nope that Cryptic chooses to improve upon it at some point in the future; I was kind of put off by how unpolished many of the areas and aspects of gameplay felt; Which is kind of a shame because I was really hoping to like it. The combination between ship-to-ship combat and the third person ground missions is interesting and fairly unique to Massively Multiplayer environments. Actually, space is still pretty novel unless you count Eve.

The ship combat is fun despite the fact that the controls are super kludgy. From what I understand, as you progress in level the turn radius and handling improves greatly. I’m probably just expecting everything to operate like a WoW flying mount anyways. The space locations are gorgeous but the ground areas? Not so much.

See, the thing is that both the starships and players are affected by collision. I can see why they would do that for space combat, but character collision really is never that great of an idea in any large multiplayer environment. As a consequence, every single area is disproportionally large in order to avoid a large clusterfuck of people blocking doorways and hallways. The space stations, rooms and everything feel so…sparse. Especially noticeable because the television show sets were not really designed like that, Well naturally I suppose. Large areas cost more and wasted space doesn’t make sense on a star ship.

Oh one more thing: One of the first missions is a hybrid space combat/ship boarding mission aboard the USS Azusa. As you are heading back to the rear cargo bay, “warning: meltdown imminent” will play over the ship’s speakers. That sound clip is straight from geoDefense (my favorite tower defense game for the iPhone OS). Just a fun little easter egg that no one seems to have noticed.

Tweaking Mass Effect 2 PC’s Graphics

Whoops, late post is late. Oh well, this is a fairly useless post given that everyone has long since beaten Mass Effect 2 by now. But if there is anyone else who is curious, here is how you force modify some of the PC graphical settings for ME2. BioWare’s default PC configuration options are way too inflexible borderlining unacceptable. Which is a damn shame because I love the game. There really isn’t any good way of enabling anti-aliasiang or taking screenshots without jumping through a few hoops. No worries, most of these are easy enough to hack into the game.

All of the settings are stored in the coalesced.ini file (BACK THIS UP BEFORE TAMPERING). If you are running Mass Effect 2 through Steam, Coalesced.ini isn’t going to be in your My Documents folder. It will be in: Steam > steamapps > common > mass effect 2 > BioGame > Config > PC > Cooked.

The only hitch to editing this file is that, it needs to be edited in UNIX format and it needs to be rebuild after each modification otherwise your game will loadcrash. It’s easy enough to make manual changes by loading coalesced.ini in notepadd++ in UNIX format, saving, then running one of the tools from the Steam/BioWare forums that will rebuild the file. Otherwise, just use this tool: Coalesced Editor. Very easy to use.

  • Add a screenshot button: Under [Engine.PlayerInput] add the following line to bind F11 to the screenshot key: (Name=”F11″,Command=”shot”)

Super Dark Shadows
The depth of field effect is supposed to give Mass Effect 2 a cinematic appearance (along with that stupid film grain effect, in which I also disabled), but for me it just made most of the shadows extremely dark and hard to see. Unfortunately though, there doesn’t seem to be an in-game option to disable it. In order to do so, just do this:

  1. Go to: USER > My Documents > BioWare > Mass Effect 2 > BIOGame > Config
  2. Open GamerSettings in Notepad.
  3. Add the following line to the bottom of the file: DepthOfField=False

Forcing AA
Edit: By the way, nVidia added in forced AA suppport in driver version 197.13. 

Oh, AA was also kind of a pain in the ass to enable. There’s no GUI option within the game, so you have to force it using the nVidia control panel. The problem is that, as of 196.21 drivers, the wrong executable is listed in the nvApps.xml file for ME2.

  1. Update your video card drivers. As far as I know, this fix doesn’t work for the older drivers (tried).
  2. Find your nvApps.xml file. On my computer it was under C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA (ProgramData is a hidden folder so you will either need to type in the location manually or enable show hidden files/folders in your windows config).
  3. Edit the file in Notepad.
  4. Do a search for “Mass Effect II” and change the following:
    <APPLICATION Label=”biogame.exe”/>
    <APPLICATION Label=”masseffect2.exe”/>
  5. Paste this into the Mass Effect II section:
    <PROPERTY Label=”aa_feature_bits” Value=”0×080100C5″ Default=”0×080100C5″ Itemtype=”predefined”/>

Doing all of this will allow you to set AA in your nVidia control panel normally. Mind you though, it’s partial AA but a vast improvement over the default settings. I forgot to bookmark the forum thread that I plucked the instructions, so credit goes to whoever posted it 😛

Bad screenshots below the cut. Yeah sorry, these aren’t the best screenshots. For whatever reason, I wen through the bother of adding the functionality into the game but just did not use it all that often. Larger, clearer versions of each image are stored somewhere on the server.

I was trying to find a good screenshot comparing the depthoffield fix; preferably two similar screenshots in the same area but I couldn’t find one/didn’t feel like taking one. But this is good enough. The point was that, almost EVERYTHING was way too dark and now it is not. Stupid site module bug is preventing me from linking them in the manner that I prefer. Too busy to fix or care, good enough:

If anyone is curious, I’m running the game on an 8800gt. I don’t know if any of the graphical issues are card/driver specific. If I recall correctly ATI fixed their drivers to also allow forced AA within ME2 but I’m not sure. I am an nVidia gal for the time being 😛

On Choice Based Gameplay and WoW Updates


Ah sorry, real life and uuuh not so real life cuts into my precious WoW time. Twitch. In between games at time moment. So I finished both Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, which is a great game by the way. Not perfect, but among games that offer decision tree based dialogue, BioWare does a pretty decent job especially compared to say, BioShock for example and how your decisions influenced the game (I’ll be good and not spoil it despite the fact that it’s pretty old by now…).

I mean, ultimately there are only a handful of ways that any decision based game can end no matter what you choose but everyone’s Mass Effect play through is a different experience depending on what dialogue options they picked and who they partied with. It’s fun seeing what path other people chose. This sort of gameplay is closer to what PC based role-playing should be, to me at least. I wonder if Blizzard would ever add anything similar to WoW at some point in the future. Actually, I am not really sure how that would even work in a massively multiplayer environment…

So long story short, I and am more-or-less putzing around until Final Fantasy XIII comes out in early March. I think I’ll hold off on buying anything new and finish something from my stack of old unfinished games. Probably going to actually cyle back into a period of heavier WoW playing if the servers manage to let me in. Proudmoore has been awful since patch 3.3.2.

We have tanking alternatives now so I have been gleefully DPSing as of late. Consequently, my Protection set has atrophied a little bit to the point where it is marginally acceptable for the new content. But here’s the problem: I don’t really have time anymore to farm for multiple sets of gear and since I’m not tanking primary spec (and don’t tank much anymore), I don’t typically roll on tanking pieces unless they get greeded out.

Being hit by a mild case of altism again. I would love to work on my hunter again if I have time (barely have enough time to work on my paladin. Long commute FTL). Or, I could just leave him as a glorified transmute/smelt/mining bot and finish off the Loremaster achievement on my paladin before the expansion hits. So close but so little motivation to quest more!

Oh, I got a new gaming mouse a few weeks ago. I’ll make a hardware post about it at some point. It has more buttons. More buttons mean that I can bind even more random macros. Oh, I am open to post suggestions by the way. I have been in the mood to update more but have hit a post idea dry spell.

Review: Dragon Age


Dragon Age is probably the most captivating game that I have played in recently memory. I logged well over 50 hours into the first campaign and have started up a second campaign as a different race and class, which I guess, is pretty rare for me since honestly, most RPGs hold very little replay value for me. TL;DR for the rest of this article: Dragon Age is a fantastic game if you are in any way into fantasy games buy now.

Depending on what race and class combination you choose at the beginning of the game, your character is given one of six origin stories to start with. Each origin story is more than just a background intro; It helps to weave a tale of political intrigue and integrates into the main plot line of the game, probably more-so than most other choice based RPGs. A human noble for example, would be addressed differently than an elf would. It adds an subtle flavor as well as perspective to the story line.

The game as expected is fairly heavily influenced by character choices. There a some instances blatantly obvious dialogue choices ala Fallout 3 and Oblivion (as in: the good option, the neutral option and asshole). For the most part though I thought that they were very well done. Some of the choices were genuinely difficult. There were a couple of occasions in which you were forced to side with people. What you choose throughout the campaign will also affect the outcome of the game to some extent.


After you are set along the main quest line, it’s still more or less the same game no matter what you do, but origin stories and player choices make it different enough to warrant a second play through. Influence is a very overlooked factor in most games of this genre. Though we aren’t where I’d like to be in terms of how much the player should determine the outcome of the game, this is definitely a step forward.

The plot follows a classic good versus evil fantasy tale format. It’s obviously derived from any number of fantasy settings: Elves are tree huggers, magicians are aloof, dwarves live in mountains, and humans are for the most part assholes. But that’s not necessarily that bad of a thing is it? I mean, executed properly, it is a formula that has for the most part withstood the test of time. Most importantly, the land of Ferelden is absolutely rich with lore and history. BioWare really brought it to life with the amount of detail that they have poured into its creation.

The story is solid and gripping. It was captivating enough to hook me for almost 60 hours, which is pretty big considering my bad track record of getting bored with games or sidetracked and never picking them up again. There were a couple of areas that seemed to drag on a bit too long. The Deep Roads and the Fade could have been shorter as I spent the better part of several hours in each of those dungeons. Other than that, it was pretty well paced.


Each party member has a distinct personality. I’m usually not a big fan on RPGs that force you to choose between party members, but that’s a factor that has never really bothered me about BioWare RPGs. I don’t know about how everyone else plays, but I tend to favor one group of characters at the extreme exclusion of anyone else. Experience is distributed to all companions whether they are in your active party or not, eliminating the need to level grind or rotate party members out of fear that the plot might force you to swap people in (I really wish Square did this).

The dialogue is nicely written and the voice acting is well done. I am particularly picky about the latter; nothing spoils a game more than cheesy overdone voicing. The way Morrigan and Alistair were portrayed was especially well done in my opinion (Alistair had a lot of great lines). I actually didn’t realize that Claudia Black was Morrigan until fairly recently (Stargate: SG1, FarScape). I thought that she sounded familiar but just couldn’t put my finger on it. The silent hero thing is awkward. I was kind of hoping that the main character would have been voiced ala Shepard in Mass Effect.

I was very impressed with the combat system. It’s really scalable to be as complex as you want it; From World of Warcraft like me button mashing to a highly tactical, almost turn/RTS strategy feel. Party member AI is customizable in a manner that is very similar to Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system: It allows you to setup a prioritized series of scripts (i.e: shoot an Arcane Bolt at the enemy with the lowest health, heal any party member < 50% HP, etc). Or, if you are lazy there are presets available for the AI scripting (healer, tank, etc). I did that most of the time and it worked fine.


BioWare, more-so than probably any other game studio did an exceptional job of tweaking the interface between the console and PC versions of the game to make sure that neither felt gimped for the sake of the other. If you have ever played a PC based MMO, Baldur’s Gate or any other similar game then you will feel right at home. By the way, I highly recommend playing the PC version if you can. Though I haven’t played the console versions, from what I understand they are fairly different in terms of what you can and cannot do with the interface. For example, the PC version lets you mouse scroll zoom out into a bird’s eye view tactical setup where you can click drag multiple units ala Baldur’s Gate or even kind of sorta like an RTS.

Dragon Age is good looking and polished, but nothing that I would consider graphically astounding. The armor sets and characters are well designed and unique looking. Areas are also well plotted out and lush with detail. The texturing though could have been better in my opinion. For example, something just seems a bit off about the skin texturing in my opinion. It’s too glossy or something. I kept thinking about during certain (sex) scenes. I mean, it’s like they were bathed in cocoa butter or something.

Bottom line: Dragon Age is a shining example of a fantasy RPG. I mean, what else can you really ask for?

Merry Christmas! (Random Update)


I’m having a lot of fun doing the new content. We got Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper and the Airship down last Friday, which was nice after kind of a slow raid the week before. Improvement is nice! Deathbringer might have gone down if my internet hadn’t decided to take a huge dump on me. We are still well within the awkward attendance threshold though in that there is an interest in getting back to into guild only 25-man raids, but not enough people (the semi-PuGs just aren’t the same. Fuck random people).

I keep meaning to run the new 5-mans (hilt hilt hilt hilt) and the daily random more regularly, but a longish commute during rush hour sort of kills a significant portion of my play time. I got a few more tanking upgrades though during last week’s raid and from badges, etc. I really need to work on improving that gear and macro set (awesome guild member posted a bunch of really good ones on the forum a while ago, must find). My raid time is actually pretty evenly split between tanking and DPSing at the moment, with perhaps a slight bias towards DPSing.

Other games that I have been playing: Modern Warfare 2 was fun. I am not really certain has to how much value I received for my $50 given that the single player campaign is short and the multiplayer is gimped to hell. Like the first  game, MW2 retains the same fast pacing and excellent narrative. But at the same time, there are many instances where the game feels distinctly on rails with whack-a-mole-esque gameplay and obviously triggered scenes. Lots of fun either way. I wish there was a co-op option for the entire campaign rather than select missions. More games need co-op.

But anyway, since it is unlikely that I will squeeze out another post before the end of the year: I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Belated Review: Borderlands

Wow this game is serious gun porn. Just an incredible amount of weapons; And it’s not just the quantity, but the presence as well, seeing how they drop like candy out of a pinata. Expect constant weapon swapping! Weapons are divided into basic classes: Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Guns, Rocket Launchers and so forth. 200,000+ guns sounds very impressive within the context of a first person shooter, where 20 weapons would be considered a lot. But, within the context of a role-playing game? Not so much. In reality, most of the guns are your standard randomly generated RPG varietyala Diablo II or WoW (they even follow the same color system: white < green < blue < purple < orange :P). Most of your drops are going to end up being vendor trash.

But, that’s not to say that each weapon is drab or similar feeling. Weapons are differentiated between each other by variances in damage, firing rate, reload speed, elemental attributes, etc. While minor statistical differences might not seem like it would matter much, would would be surprised at how differently some of the weapons play. For example, a pistol with a large clip, low damage and high reload speed plays very differently than a slow pistol with high damage and a large clip. It is very much about finding a weapon that suits your play style and situation. Besides, all bets are off when you have a sniper rifle that sets targets on fire.

Gameplay wise, it is at heart a straight up shooter. Critical damage is determined by hit location. Circle, strafe, circle, strafe etc. The RPG elements are very similar to any other FPS/RPG blend: experience based leveling and talent trees. There are basic classes to choose from each with a distinctplaystyle , weapons specialization and special ability. Mordecai the hunter for example, is adept at Sniper Rifles and Revolvers. If you though for example, prefer to play him with machine guns, you can do so effectively. It just won’t be optimal.

The graphics are cell shaded, which is interesting given how late in the game this change was announced. Cell shading worries a lot of people for some reason; I think people were afraid that the game would go Wind Waker on everyone. Fear not though; the graphical changes in Borderlands give it a unique feel, as opposed to the standard shades of brown pseudo-realism going around in nearly every other first person game. ThinkTF2 (cell shaded, tongue in cheek design, stylism) + Fallout 3 (general setting).

Cons: Some elements of this game are a bit finicky; Bullet collision through certain objects for example, feels off to me. Most weapons are balanced well except for the rocket launchers, which do surprisingly underwhelming amount damage in comparison to similar weapons in other games. The AI could also use some work. Most anything, even many bosses can be line-of-sighted and kited around for a not-too-challenging kill. The mobs very easily get stuck inpathing loops or run into collision problems.

The quests themselves leave a lot to be desired and rarely, if ever, step out of the “kill x and bring y to z” flavor. Until you hit a certain point in the game, expect massive traveling and fetching. If I haven’t already mentioned the plot. Yeah. The plot…But, most of the above a nitpicks. If you are looking for a fun way to feed your obsessive compulsive urge to collect shit, Borderlands is worth a play.

Dabbling With Aion


Ignore the frequent theme changes. I’m playing again and am too lazy at the moment to use the dev site.

I better post this entry before I get busy again. Delayed is better than never! I compulsively bought Aion off of Steam a few weeks after it was released to scratch a PC game itch that had been festering all summer. It was my downtime project for a bit, the idea being to reach mid-game so that I could do a review after experiencing some of the meatier content in the Abyss. Sadly though, I only made it to the mid-teens before I set it down permanently (real life business happened).

It’s hard to discuss MMO’s fairly without soaking a significant amount of time into them. You see, they are like people: some are pretty and sweet things on the first date, but transform into an overbearing bitch a few months into the relationship. Some on teh other hand are diamonds in the rough; They just need some time. Okay okay, that was a really bad metaphor (it’s late). TL;DR: Take this post with a grain of salt, I is noob.

Aion is a visually stunning game. The zones are beautifully designed, spell animations are shiny and fluid, the textures and water look very very nice and the character models are detailed nicely. I know that everything looks good when it’s new, but I really do like the way Aion looks; it is pretty. This game by the way, despite having only two playable races, is the holy grain of character customization. No seriously: There are not only a ludicrous amount of facial modifiers and hairstyles, but there are also sliders and options for body type in height. I think I spent an hour playing with this…

If you have played WoW or any other PC based MMO, you should be able to jump into Aion without any problems, since it more-or-less follows control and mechanics standards to a letter (a good thing). The newbie tutorials are also somewhat better than what WoW has to offer (until 3.3 at least). It’s a very polished MMO, though nothing that I would really consider ‘new’. It is however, different enough from WoW to be a fun side project but not innovative enough to make me want to play it past the free trial. Initially at least. As mentioned above, I don’t know what the end game content is like because none of that is introduced until you hit level 25.

The problem is that until you hit that point, the game is a fetch and kill quest grind. Quest progression in general is very linear. From what I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be even the option of being able to level grind in another zone. Being linear is not necessarily bad; The zones and quests flow together smoothly into a clear progression path. And yes, it is a grind whether it is disguised as a quest or not. I was a bit disappointed by the quests themselves. Though well written, there aren’t enough of them to level to the cap (I can’t find the link, but someone actually bothered to add up the total experience from every quest in the game compared to how much experience you need). The quests themselves are unimaginative and rarely diverge from fetching, killing X of Y or running across the zone to click on something.

The questing interface is rock solid and dare I say, a bit better than WoW. Actually, the interface in general is extremely polished. I am trying to think of a gripe, but I honestly do not think that I have one. I really like the in-game database. The quest text contains hyperlinks that when clicked, will open a pop-up window containing a description and a generally location of the NPC or item.

So the big thing in the game as well, advertised on the box and everything is the ability to fly. You actually obtain this ability fairly early on in the game at level 10, but it’s restricted to only a few small areas. I know that it plays an important part in later game elements, but so far it seems pretty gimmicky given that I can only fly in like one area for 60 seconds. The flight controls were also a little cludgy and awkward, but I guess I was just expecting it to function like WoW a bit too much.

Gameplay is fun but nothing too new. In WoW, every class has a pretty standard spell rotation consisting of a series of buttons that you press in a certain order to maximize damage output over a specific period of time (well or collision prioritized FCFS for retribution paladins). In Aion every class has a pretty standard spell chain consisting of a series of buttons that you press in a certain order to maximize damage over a specific period of time. Fun? Sure. Different? A little bit. Groundbreaking? Not really.

The content distribution seems a bit uneven. No dungeons or instances until level 25, so until then it’s rote questing and grinding. That is so vanilla WoW! Aion isn’t the holy WoW killer, but It was actually fun. If you are looking for a side squeeze to try out, give this one a shot.