Friday, March 14, 2008

Chapter 8: Someone's poisoned the water hole!

Ooh boy, have I had fun or what? I mean, seriously. For once I'm not joking about this! I've actually found humor in finding so many faults with the game that it has become like a sort of fun little hobby. The name of the game? "How many faults can you spot within an hour?" Let's start, shall we?

While my night did start off slow in the department of trying to find the last damn flesh sample from a foul seraphim in Upper Ground, I did find myself making my way, for the second time, running through the same zone just to get to that blasted zone. Of course, along my way, I enjoy a good skip and hop. I mean, there is debris all over the place on the empty river bed. What sort of fun could I conjure up by hopping onto a still-intact boat? Of course, nothing can be as frustrating as pressing the jump key and just having your character just sit there idly.

As I was waiting for the next area to respawn with monsters, I drilled my character to understand that when I press the jump button I do, in fact, expect him to jump.

Yes yes, not such a lively topic I understand, but there are just some of the smallest things that do crawl under my skin. For instance, like not being able to key bind the control and shift keys because they are predisposed to act as permanent in-game buttons for on-the-fly hotkeys. As a lefty my keyboard setting in FPS games has always had me bind the right control key as jump. Of course, I found that impossible as the control keys (both of them) are reserved for on-the-fly boosters (such as fire retardant potions or adrenaline pills). Of course, why there isn't an option to turn off such a stupid feature (No, I do not want to use a fire retardant in the middle of a fight with spectral enemies. Sorry.) especially when you rarely carry any such items is beyond me as well. So, right now, the jump key, for the very first time in a game that offers me to jump, is set to num 0. I guess the upside is that my pinky is now finally getting a workout.

After spending some fun time jumping in place for a few minutes, I decided to walk on through to Upper Ground. Remember, I'm still trying to keep on the line of completing EVERY single quest, no matter how menial or repetitive it may seem. In case you have forgotten why, it's more due to the fact that I 'm trying to see if Flagship Studios tries to vary it up a bit or not in the department of side quests. So, I go along my merry way in Upper Ground killing seraphim left and right, just like I did the last time. Amazingly enough, I clear out the area of seraphim again and not a single one drops the required (and last) item for the quest. Not a SINGLE one. And I know, because I spent the next ten minutes going through the area from top to bottom three times just to make sure the item didn't elude me.

While I didn't find the last flesh sample in my third stint in searching the area, I did find one elusive seraphim that some how got himself stuck inside a building with no roof. Oh, and no, just for kicks, he didn't drop a flesh sample either.

Oh well. Maybe I'll just have three times the fun by restarting the instances once again. At least I'm getting plenty of opportunities to build up my experience and collect loot, right? I mean, considering how crazy I must be to continue this quest and do it over a third time I need to focus on the very little positivity I can find out here. After all, I did find a piece of armor that made me want to chuck my dye kit down the fiery inferno (I'm getting really sick and tired at looking at my 98% black 2% yellow armored guy). And hey, there's always Tetris as well!

Doo doo dee doo doo dee doo doo dee doo doo dee doo dee doo dee doo doo doo...

Eh, who the hell am I kidding. I think at this point in time I was looking for something very sharp to stab myself in the foot with. Perhaps if I was in physical agony it would take away my anguish from having to go through the area a third time. But hey, I'm a trooper. I have a right to bitch. I did pay $60 for this product after all. Don't like it? Don't read it. Pretty simple. But let's move on to a lighter subject, shall we? How about some sight-seeing?

You know you're a smash in the art department when you cook up an in-game advertisement for a store selling clothing for tall people and you have to jump on a dumpster and pan the third person camera up to see what the store is about.

So I decided maybe I'd press my luck and just go to the next area after Upper Ground. You know, just to see what I'd come across. Maybe get some good loot or get some more experience. That way instead of just restarting the instance all over again I'd spend ten or fifteen minutes exploring Barge House while the seraphim respawned in Upper Ground. Of course, it didn't take very long for me to find a lovely graphical glitch. Of course, while people are of the opinion that unless you're not a programmer or a game developer yourself that you can't actually point out something as a glitch because you have no "credentials" to do so, I'm still of the opinion that us low-brow folks can spot trouble here and there. I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Now you see it...

Now you don't!

Yeah, you could imagine my surprise when I turned a bit and found that the whole area but the ground texture had disappeared. Good times. The fun didn't end there in Barge House as well.

I'm no expert here, but this appears to be a glitch.

So after spending another 10 or 15 minutes trying to look for some more of these glitches (DISCLAIMER: I am not a programmer so my opinion obviously does not matter) in Barge House, I gave up on just two big glaring ones and decided to go back to Upper Ground. Lo and behold the place had respawned quite nicely, which gave me the opportunity to clean out the whole area once more of foul seraphim (which were in plenty in supply). So here I am, once again, clearing out the place. I'm heading down the very end of the last alley way looking and hoping that there is still one last seraphim that would be happy enough to drop a damn flesh sample. So I round the corner, found out that I had missed one that was stuck also in another building with no roof and coaxed him to come on out and play. And would you know it, the bastard dropped a flesh sample. Well, at least I've proven you can get your way in Hellgate--as long as you try about fifteen times over and over again.

Repeativity never tasted so sweet.

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