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Baldur

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About Baldur

  • Birthday 12/14/1984

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    Solo Player
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    Kenshin Wanna-be

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    3.0 Development Team

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  1. With the death of Ratar, they had been covered in some choking cloud of gas, and some sentient ooze began to slow them down, but that was not what set Baldur into a coughing fit of confusion... Baldur watched... whatever this strange display was going on between several of the players and the bosses. They were engaging in a very bizarre banter back and forth... and one of the generals stopped to say her pledge of allegiance? He shook the distractions out of his head and turn his attention to Rori. The warrior was almost dead, and it didn't follow normal hate mechanics. So it could run around and attack whomever. Taking out Ratar first had been the correct move. He was the true wild-card. Durares should really go down next, but Rori was almost dead and they didn't want to give him a chance to heal back up, even though the raid was in great shape, there was still a subtle war of attrition that would go on if the battle dragged out. "Beat, let's finish off Rori." Baldur called to the younger spear wielder, followed by a fit of coughing. With the pirate targetted, Baldur crouched down to activate his charge skill and launched off at Rori as a blurr of blue and orange light, mid charge his <<San Ge>> activated and the crimson arc of light from the <<Muramasa>> tore into the drow's form, several slashes following as his HP bar began to plummet. With what he had left, Baldur and Beat should be able to finish him off. "Cal, let's see what your team can do against Durares."
  2. Talking about a quest of the first day, and where new players could start and I'm curious what you think.

     

  3. I've had a quest idea for a long time I've really been enamored of. The first day. Often times people come to the site, and they don't know what quest to take first. They don't know where to start. They have a hard time nailing down their character, etc... I had originally wanted to pitch this as a longer quest, as part of a level floor (for example. New characters would start at level 5 or 10 or whatever), but even without that idea attached to it, I think it's a fun idea, and in line with the quest "What we fight for." It would be a quest, Ideally for a new character, about the first day in Aincrad. But for older characters it could be reminiscing. This first day is incredibly important, since it's essentially a shared experience by all players. It's the one thing every player has experienced and shared memories of. For my parents generation it's like the day of the JFK assassination. Everyone remembers where they were when it happened, the details of that moment burned into their minds. For my generation, I can remember 9/11 with crystal clarity. What I was thinking, the details of the day. Exactly where I was. This would be a moment like that for our characters, and I think it is woe-fully under written about. It would work something like this: Solo or group. But everyone in this thread is level 1. It would be a page or two long, since this is really about spending time with the character and getting into their headspace. The quest would not be repeatable, since you only have the first day once. Items nor col could be traded since this is immediately upon entering the game. The quest description would really be an outline of events that you need to cover in your thread. Something like You get home, your nervegear has patched, and it's almost time for the game to launch. Describe your setup and thoughts leading up to saying the words "link start" Include or skip character creation, but talk about your first impressions of SAO upon diving in. In this your first full dive? Have you played other non-mmo nervegear games? Describe your first few hours in SAO. Do you take a quest? Wander around exploring? practice combat? The Town of Beginnings is crammed full of new players like you just starting out Write about the moment you realize that there is no log out button. Do the people around you believe? Do you find out from someone else? Or do you not find out until Kayaba teleports you to the square Watch the scene in the anime where kayaba reveals the plot of the game and reveals everyone's true faces. How does your character react to these events? Now that your identity has been revealed (were you a guy playing a girl at first?) what do you do? Do you believe him? Do you think this is a bad prank? Do you really believe people will have to clear 100 floors, or do you wait for the authorities to free you? What is the rest of that day like? How much time passes before you decide to leave the town on the beginning and take that first step out of the safe zone? Describe that moment. Mechanics aside, I think it would be a fun quest everyone should do, since it's a really defining moment. It could be fun for us veterens to replay those moments knowing who became important to us, and knowing what we know now. For new players, it's a good place to start and feel out a character. I think you could do a fun series of "time-warp" quests. Such as the "first few lessons are free" quests. These could all take place "in the first few months" but that would require only new players could help each other. Still, I think this "time warp" idea would allow players to get enough levels under their belt to be able to hand-wave the amount of time that has passed between the game launching and "now" so that they don't have to come up with an idea why their character sat in the town of beginnings for 3 years. Thoughts?
  4. This work week may in fact kill me, but I am SO CLOSE to being done!

  5. Baldur

    Lets talk bosses

    To an extent the bosses are scaled to tier of equipment, but that's why i think the level required for the equipment should be dropped to make sense
  6. Baldur watched as once again Hirru got into the middle of the pack and used his AoE sword art to distract the squishy targets and leave them open for he and Beat. Unfortunately, Baldur's attack had left him on the opposite side of the group of mobs from his allies. He eyed the health bar floating above Ratar and the other bosses, and heard Mac's instructions and the man was right. Rori was a priority, and he was about to shift targets, but Mac then said to finish off Ratar would be a huge boon to the raid, and Baldur agreed. They could switch to Rori, but it was possible that they could finish off Ratar here and now, and then the entire raid could focus on Rori. "Beat, let's end him now!" Baldur rushed up behind the dark elf, and once again unleashed his <<San Ge>> sword art, the <<Muramasa>> leaving blood red arcs of light trailing behind his sword as it moved faster than any human could, crashing down into the dagger wielder's form. "They can be stunned. Lock down Rori!" He called to group two. They had a full roster of six, and would be better able to coordinate having someone come in with a stun. Baldur watched as the enemy health bar dropped, and then suddenly saw a flash of read all around his vision as his own HP bar dropped. That was weird. I still have my safeguard. It must have to do with a room or status effect of one of those cards. It wasn't much, and as long as he still had his safeguard, he felt like he could let his battle-heal regenerate him.
  7. Baldur

    Lets talk bosses

    I think the last slew of bosses have been fantastic. That said, I have a lot of opinions, which I'm sure surprises no one. Basic mechanics: This boss fight actually highlights this perfectly, but Frontliners should never be at a loss about how basic mechanics work going into a boss fight. These are the fundamentals of how the game works. I really hate that bosses break from this. I'm not talking about things like the card mechanics, or now abilities, but things like how turn order works with multiple bosses. This stuff should be consistent, or if not consistent, known to the frontliners before-hand. Players should be surprised by the boss's powers, not by how the game itself works. Hate should not be fire and forget. As someone who primarily plays tanks in MMOs, hate is a tank's Damage, and his opponent is his own DPS players. Tanking should be an active activity that is fun and rewarding as much as DPS is. Think about what you expect the tank to be doing in a boss fight, and we should make those actions in the system. Right now it's just howl, and then ignore the boss until your DPS catches up a few turns later. Turn order: We ended up with the system we have now because I have to compromise with Oikawa, but there should be turn parity. That means everyone acts 1:1. However, what we currently do with party set-up and posting windows I think works really well. It gets parties to act as a unit, and I think people are more organized to post that way, and it gives everyone an idea of when their turn will be. We seem to be moving quickly through turns. Turn parity will do a few things, and I'll make sub-points below Staff will have to post as the boss less: The boss would (mostly) only post once, then all of the parties would go, then the boss would go, then all the parties would go. Narrative consistency: One of the key narrative components of turn based combat is that all of these actions are going on at the same time. Party 1 and Party 2 are attacking at the same time, they're not sitting around waiting for their turn, and I think that gets lost in the way we're running things currently Boss's can take bigger actions: Bosses can still take multiple actions in their post, it just all happens at once. This mirrors how it happens in all other games. We have created a special oddity here a myriad of dizzying reasons. It makes threat easier: Bosses would attack the people with the highest thread across the entire raid, not just the "active party" stuff I had to invent to try and make this system make sense It makes multiple enemies easier: Players wouldn't have to worry about juggling different types of combat, all combat would just be the same. Player phase, enemy phase, and everyone gets the same number of turns. Boss fights and non boss fights would operate the same: you wouldn't ever have a question about a basic mechanic of a boss fight versus a normal fight, they would operate the same. It should be easier for new players to pick up: this is how every other game, table top and turn based computer game operate. You can still have interrupts and triggers: You can still do things like "when the boss hits 75% health" that happens mid round, but it wouldn't be the boss' "main action" it would be a trigger/reaction I love the detail and personality and creativity going into bosses lately. I think they've done a great job with the writing, making them interesting bosses, and also interesting to read. Bialas was the first boss thread I wasn't involved in where I just read it and enjoyed it. I love that bosses have become more accessible. I mean, we'll see how it works out for the tier 2 players, but I love that players are getting more involved at an earlier level. I think this is good for the site on a whole I still think dropping tier level requirement makes sense, and wouldn't require any adjustment on anyone's part other than changing the level. Currently, we have tier 3, which starts at level 50, and you get on floors 21+, then then 30+ will be tier 4 at level 75 and up, then tier 5 at level 100 and up? On floor 50? This is silly. Drop the tiers to ideal levels. Floors 1 through 10, and levels 1 through 15. Floors 11 to 20, Tier 2 and levels 16 to 30, Floors 21 to 30 Tier 3 and levels 31 to 45. Floors 31 to 40, Tier 4 and levels 46 to 60. It makes sense, and it gets new players into tier 3 gear at a reasonable level for the content they're fighting, and it means they won't be at a significant disadvantage vs players that have been here for longer We've been wanting to get new players up to speed and involved faster, and until we do something like a level cap, this is an easy win for doing that. I think everyone should get -a rewards- for the boss fight, even if it's just Col and Materials. Give everyone a couple thousand Col, and a couple mats each. Or drop a pot and let the players distribute it. I know the last hit bonus is canon and everyone loves it, and that might be okay for DPS players who make up 75% of the raid, but we need to differentiate it. Drop (1) 4 slot item per boss that is designed and awesome like we have been. Drop a couple unidentified items. Due to the random nature of the identification process, you could even drop unidentified 4 slot items. They wouldn't necessarily have a "unique" enhancement, but would still be better than the average gear. This would let you reward more players without putting too many OP items out there. Or you could drop a couple of 4 slot "standard" items. I mean, I know it's not "meta" bet a sword with 3 slots of damage and 1 of accuracy, even though it doesn't have a unique enhancement, is still a great weapon, and lots of players would love to have it. Road to getting to the boss: I still think we're missing huge story opportunity with our current method of getting to the boss. 99% of players go to the boss fight as their first experience on the new floor. That is -not- how this is supposed to go. We should make story events out of exploring the new floors. We have lots of people who want to be storytellers, let's use them. Let's making exploring the new floor for the first time fun and exciting. Let's make discovering the labyrinth fun and exciting and a community event. Let's make exploring the labyrinth and event! I know it will slow floor to floor progress down, but everyone almost unanimously said the journey is the part they're interested in, not the destination.
  8. Baldur smiled as Shield took down another drake and found another skin as well. "Nice job. Let's see if I can't do mine a little better." Once more Baldur crouched down into what was quickly recognizable as his <<charge>> stance to activate his <<San Ge>> attack. The azure blands of light that followed his black and red katana tore into the drake. It's hp dropped... and dropped.... and dropped into the red... and then without any visible HP left, the drake endured. "I cannot tell you how upset I am right now Shield. I really have no words." The samurai flicked his sword off to the size facing the other drake with more than a little visible annoyance in his body language. "It should die of the bleed effect, but still. That's just... I can't tell you how frustrating that is. It's gotta have like... only single digit health left.
  9. "You sure? Ow!" "Sorry, I hit my head on something." "..." "No, that's not what I hoped it was... can you see anything?" Shuffling noises came from Baldur's.... direction, the sound of bits of boots and cloth scraping on the flood. "Damn... I really can't see anything this is crazy." Shuffle. Shuffle. "Well, I now see the upside to torches... heh..." Shuffle. Shuffle. "At least there doesn't seem to be anything down here." "Hold on, I think I found something." Suddenly, there was a woosh as several torches seemed to light at once. The chamber was... not filled with light as Baldur had hoped, but their immediate area suddenly held the orange glow of fire. Four wall sconces had suddenly lit as Baldur had scrambled on hands and knees, apparently grasping at every hand sized rock he could find. When the light came back on, he picked up his glowstone once again, but the soft white light was outshone by the orange and so he put it away. "Seems like the lights come on as he continue down our path...." But there was no path. Obviously they couldn't go back up the destroyed stairwell, but the columns seemed to stretch off into the darkness. "As random as this all seems, it had to have been made by a person, designed with an intent. So there must be a clue around here somewhere. Something to tell us which way to go, or how to solve whatever puzzle is here. Can you see anything that jumps out to you?"
  10. Baldur looked thoughtful as he listened to Hikoru speak of his history with Lowenthal. Baldur had not known the man personally, but his life had left echoes throughout the tower. He had been close to many people, and his death had left scars on many, including breaking up Jomei and Zandra's relationship, and ousting Ariel to the fringe of the Frontline, where she had yet to be seen again. Not to mention the incredible betrayal it reflected upon Hikoru. Reaching forward, he picked up his tea with a careful touch, and blew on it softly to cool it. "It seems you have succumbed to the curse of your unique skill, Hikoru." Baldur gave him a wry smile. It was something that they had brought up before, when he had been training Hikoru in the katana. "Your skill is to be invisible, and that it seems has become your achilles heel." Slowly, Baldur took a sip of the tea. He never did well with particularly hot teas, but in SAO at least, you couldn't burn your tongue, even if it was uncomfortably hot. He was glad to hear that Hikoru could not bring himself to become a PKer, because he was right. He could easily become an extremely lethal Pker. However, it also made him an amazing frontliner, due to the huge spike damage and not generating thread. If Baldur had to place money on one person being able to make it to the very end of the game alive, it would be Hikoru. "I would be careful about putting Lowe up on a pedestal, or any of us, really. We are all more alike than not. We have been thrust into a position none of us asked for, and forced to make the best of it. Some have... adjusted... better than others, but we all started at the same place. We are all just trying to make the most of our situation. How we choose to handle the situation is what defines us. There is always a choice. It might not always be the one you want, but there is always a choice. The choices Lowenthal made, the choices you make, I make, Hestia.. that action is what defines us. If you want the rest of the frontliners, or the tower, to see you differently, you have to make different choices." He took another sip of his drink and then set it down for the moment so he could genuflect as he spoke. "We all had the opportunity to decide who we wanted to be in this game. We all made avatars that looked however we wanted. That's what drew so many people to SAO, the chance to be someone else. But that choice is always there, it is just more difficult at sometimes than others. When we go away to college, we have a chance to reinvent ourselves, but really, the change in location has nothing to do with it. We have that ability all the time. It is just a mental crutch, and having all new introductions that seems to make it easier. We all wear masks, and we change them regularly. We act differently when we're with friends, or with family, or at work, or even with different groups of friends. Aside from the Jungian implications, it's mostly the same thing. My opinion is that you should stop wanting to be someone else, and start figuring out who you are."
  11. Baldur's eye watched closely as the doors open, his aura changing from the every friendly gaijin samurai, to one of a man who knows something life and death is about to go down. Whatever would come their way, they were as ready for it as they possibly could be. All that was left was to fire the first shot, so that all of their plans could fall to pieces. But when 5 bosses were revealed, Baldur was almost relieved. Things were going as expected. As the first time, however, they had no clear direction. They were effectively the scouts and the Vanguards. Shield taunted all but the tank, and Hirru shot out afterwards, AoEing several of the targets. However, the tank moved to intercept him, and so Baldur used the opening to attack one of the bosses Hirru hadn't been able to reach. It seemed to be some kind of dagger wielder, and if it had stealth as an ability, Baldur wanted to hit it now before it had the chance to vanish. Taking a powerful step forward Baldur crouched down into his <<charge>> pre-motion, the energy of the boost rising around him invisible to others, but the subtle tugging motion of the system assist trying to move him forward was palpable. His hand then moved to his katana, and as he gripped it, the system shot him forward like an arrow, azure energy exploding out of him as he streaked through the air towards <<Ratar>> and then <<San Ge>> exploded forth in a dizzying array of crimson bands of light as they bit into the dagger wielder almost simultaneously. The charge skill momentum carried Baldur past the boss, and his armored boots skidded on the ground as he slid to a stop, now on the opposite side of Shield. He should get back to the group quickly, but he paused to see how much damage he did to the boss's HP bar.
  12. Baldur smield at Zandra as she showed up, cutting it a little close to the deadline. They had to draw some kind of a line in the sand, or they wouldn't be able to tell if someone was coming, and as every buffed up, they couldn't run the risk of everyone wasting all of these consumables. The sheer amount of materials and col sunk into one of these was staggering, and was a large driver of the entire economy of Aincrad. "Thank you Zandra, I appreciate your hard work on this. Let me know what I can do to help and I'll make sure to repay you somehow." He gave the fierce woman a deep bow of gratitude and respect. Baldur also turned to Hirru and smiled at the Jade Hunter, "I am glad you made it. I was getting worried you were going to sleep through the boss raid." He clapped the merchant on the shoulder in a friendly way, truely glad to see him, and then made his way over to Shield. "Well, @Shield, here we are. I am ready, you look ready." Baldur looked over at where their team health bars appeared in his top corner of his vision. Ruby, Beat, and Hirru. Turning to face the other three, he gave them each a long, calculating look with his steel blue eyes, trying to gauge their emotional state. Their team was one of the mainstays of the raid. The first into the breach. It felt good to be in the vanguard. Baldur had always struggled to 'catch up' but while he was behind most people in levels, he had experience and a good enough build to do what he needed. "I've got a lot of healing crystals with me, and a couple spare safeguards. If we need healing, @Ruby, I've got some Tier 2 group heal crystals I can use to augment us if you feel it's needed. Otherwise, I'll just follow his lead. He points, I punch. Well, I slash, but you know what I mean."
  13. Baldur smiled as @Shield approached him and commented on the battle that lay before them. He was glad to see @Beat at his side, and nodded to the fellow DPSer as well. Hopefully Baldur could out-DPS the younger man at least once. The young man had the edge on Baldur because of weapon choice, but hopefully Badur had the edge on him in raw base damage thanks to the <<Muramasa>> at his side. The blade's weight was never comfortable, but he felt @Teayre was with him whenever he wielded the blade in a boss fight. As if she were silently cheering him on, but he also felt the weight of the lives it had taken, several front-line members who had been slayed by the cursed blade, but he used their weight to find on, in their memory. "I don't know if I am more scared or excited by the battle to come. I enjoy a challenge, but I don't want anyone to die. Still..." Baldur looked over his shoulder at everyone getting prepared, "This is an encouraging sight to see, I hope that with everyone so prepared for the fight ahead, we prove to be its equal without anyone falling below a certain level of safety." Baldur then noticed that @Jomei, @Telrenya, and @Pinball had arrived. He walked over to the ginger and then opened up a trade window. "I know you said you could use some help, so here itis." He sent over a +3 Damage potion to Jomei, and then to his blond companion. He gave the fellow veteran a nod, "See you both on the other side." The gaijin Samurai then made his way over to the young man and smiled at Pinball, "You've done good work here, Pin. You should be proud." He accepted the two deserts and promptly began to eat them. "Stay focused, listen to Macradon and your party leader. It's just like what you've done before, but the 3d model is ten times as large. Do what you've practiced and you'll be fine." -2 Perfect T2 Damage Potions (Sent 1 to Jomei, and 1 to Telrenya) +1 Rare T3 Dessert - On the Run: +2 EVA [#101778] (consumed)+1 Rare T3 Dessert - Bullseye: +2 ACC [#102200-1] (consumed)
  14. Boss fight sign ups have begun!

  15. It was time. For the Nth time, Baldur tugged at his gauntlets. They still felt new to him after he had worn his previous armor for so long. He was the perhaps the most defense focused of the light armor DPS users, but that was probably the scars left behind from Azide, and the uncertainty of what may come. All of that apparently meant that he had a new nervous tick of fiddling with his gauntlets to make sure they were secure. They were equipped in his status window, which was really all that mattered, but it was one of those strange physical ticks left over from time in the other world. Looking around, he saw that he was one of the early birds to this fight. Mac and Cal were here and ready to lead their teams, while a junior player seemed to have a delivery of consumables for them. He wondered if @Oikawa would be able to make the fight as well. The gaijin samurai knew how troublesome upgrading to the new tier of equipment had been, and he didn't know if the blond had had the chance to do so yet. Turning to @Neopolitan Baldur gave the cook a smile and a respectful bow. "Thank you so much for your contribution. This will greatly help me to excel in the coming fight." It was against Baldur's principles to take something without giving something back, but he didn't have an idea of what would be considered equivalent trade. So he resolved himself to look up the players shop afterwards and repay them for their kindness and hard work. As he ate his Tofu Burger, Baldur walked over to the two tanks, @Macradon and @Calrex. "It is good to see you both, my friends. Are you ready for this fight? It we are right, it could be the most chaotic we have fought since Rohk."
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