Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The rich get richer

I had a whole other post ready to go but I’m excited. When I was level 15 and began crafting I set a goal for myself. My goal was to make 1,000,000 Kinah by the time I hit level 30. The key was that I didn’t want to make it by farming or quest turn in’s or hoping for random world drops. I wanted my primary income to come from crafting. The entire reason for this was in WoW I had to do Daily Quests to pay for my enchants, gems, and repairs. I hated daily quests but I never studied the Auction House enough to make a real profit off it. I was going to change that in Aion.

After 27 levels and 255 skill points in Alchemy I finally reached the one million mark. Sure it wasn’t all from crafting, but the vast majority of it was. I would estimate that 85% of my current net worth is from crafting and buying/selling on the Broker. I built a spread sheet with all the Reagents needed for the potions I could make and figured how much profit could be made off each one. I then set a minimum I would sell potions for along with a maximum I would pay for the reagents. This enabled me to keep my profit at a maximum without having to redo my figures every time the market changed; it also kept me competitive at all times.

Someone once told me that it’s easy to make money when you have money. I use to think it was just a poor man’s ideology of the grass is always greener but now I see otherwise. This morning when I logged on I did my normal searches on the broker looking for reagents to make my potions. To my shock I found one reagent being sold for 1/3 of the normal going rate. Now the thing that would have normally stopped me from buying all these is the fact that the reagents were being sold is such a large quantity stack that it would cost half of my current kinah to buy it, just this one stack.

I bought it. I bought the entire stack and a few other small stacks being sold for the same price. I then broke the large stack up into smaller stacks of 20 and listed them on my 3 characters for 2.5 times what I paid for them. If I hadn’t planned ahead on making so much kinah early on, and leveling up selling alts I never would have been able to pull this off.

By now I will have sold all the reagents I listed, because even the price I listed them at is under what the current price has been the last 4 days. When all is said in done I should have about 2 million kinah tonight when I go home and log on, effectively doubling my entire net worth in 24 hours.

Just because I’m crafting items doesn’t make me money in the Aion economy. Crafting permits me a constant presence in the economy and keeps me informed of the typical prices of certain items. This knowledge has given me the ability to recognize when an item is being sold for so cheap I could flip it, or when to avoid buying inflated reagents.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 Demo: First Impressions

The first thing I noticed when I got in was the colors and graphics. The game looks a lot like Team Fortress 2. That isn’t really a bad thing, just a thing. It’s not cartoony like TF2, but the colors and “vividness” of the scenery really reminded me of some of the TF2 maps I’ve played.

The graphics aren’t necessarily better in L4D2 than L4D but they are cleaner. The world has a more polished appearance to it, like Valve really figured out how to get the most out of their current gaming engine. The game runs smooth, which is really relieving considering all the negative posts I saw on the Steam forums. I had no lag issues or graphical issues to speak of.

In the Demo you can only play two levels in Campaign mode of the Parish scenario. The 4 new characters all fit fairly well together, as much as Frances and Bill did at least. They have interesting and sometimes funny dialog conversations.

The new weapons are amazing. The machete is by far the best weapon I’ve found, not because it’s more powerful than most rifles but because I feel like a ninja. When the real Zombie Apocalypse happens you bet your ass I’m going to be carrying a machete. The melee weapons really added a new combat element to the game as well. In L4D1 you only switched off your main gun to your secondary weapon when you were out of ammo. Now in close combat situations I find myself switching to my machete, night stick, or even electric guitar more often.

The new special infected are interesting, though not really difficult to kill. You have a zombie that spits acid and the acid burns you. You have a charger that well… charges you and slams you into the ground. The funniest one though is the jockey, a little midget zombie that jumps on your back and rides you. All the old infected from L4D1 make a return too, along with improved AI. The hunters were taking better timed shots and 2 or 3 special infected would wait to attack at once.

There are only 2 complaints I have about L4D2 Demo so far. One being it’s to easy. Sure we only played two levels but half way through our first run on normal we had to bump it up to advanced to get some sort of challenge, and me and my buddy aren’t the best at FPS games. By the second play through we were on Expert mode, which did atleast pose a challenge.

The other complaint is the atmosphere. I like that Valve is trying to get away from “zombies only attack at night” by having this scenario during the day… but it doesn’t feel scary. In L4D1 you felt like it was a survival horror game, and often times would be in spooky close quarters that were hard to tell where the zombies were coming from. In the only playable level for the L4D2 Demo the sun was shining and the world was rather open. I had enough cover to back into a corner but then I had a HUGE field of fire to mow down infected. On the off chance some did make it past our barrage of bullets they were then assaulted with machetes and guitars.

I can’t wait for the full game though. L4D2 was a blast last night. I’m going to play again tonight with some more friends who just finished installing it. Versus mode is going to be really fun if we get to play the new infected. Over all the demo made me glad I bought L4D2 already. If you liked L4D1 I would recommend picking up L4D2 just based on the demo.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quick Monday Post

Steam/Left 4 Dead 2:

Steam released an update and Left 4 Dead 2 requires it... however it wont install. I followed the instructions and spent about 15 minutes last night attempting to figure it out. I gave up and went back to Aion. I'm going to spend some time today at work... during breaks I swear, looking for the solution to this problem.

Update: I think I found the Left 4 Dead 2 fix. I'll check tonight and hopefully have something worthwhile to write about. However the forums that brought me a few things to try also listed a LARGE amount of existing bugs. I'm worried this may end up with me logging into Aion anyways.


I'm a crafting whore. My friends in Vent still think it means the game sucks but after being gone for 2 days and coming home to 600,000 kinah in sold items I was really excited. I just listed another 1000 potions this morning. The down side is it took 1 1/2 hours to make them. Luckily with day light savings I was up early then spent the rest of the morning making breakfast for my kids and watching cartoons with them before they had to goto school.

Crafting in Aion would really suck if you had limited computer time, for instance a shared family PC. Since my computer really is MY computer it isn't an issue for me. When ever I have a few minutes I can load up Aion and start crafting while I still perform my fatherly duties without my childeren lacking for attention.

More to come tomorrow!