One Shots: Eight-bit vista

One of my favorite MMO April Fools of all time is Guild Wars 2’s playable Super Adventure Box. It’s so brilliantly designed and executed that it goes far beyond mere joke territory and became an institution. A fun game-within-a-game.

Reader Little Bugbear took advantage of an initial foray into SAB to take what I consider to be a very arresting picture. It’s almost a silhouette of a character lounging against an 8-bit skybox. “Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy a nice day of gaming,” Little Bugbear said.

Before we get into the rest of this week’s lineup, I want to share the news that we’ve made some further improvements to our comment system that should allow you to share your screenshots in bigger and bolder glory, especially when you post one at a time!

“Here’s an unintentional up close and personal picture from Blade and Soul,” posted Rafael. “This cap is busy, but I love it. See, the thing is I was looking through all of those quests on the right trying to figure what to do next while I waited for a raid to pop. And when I glance back at my toon, Yalie, she is looking back. Yeah, it’s just one of those things that games of this ilk do now days. But it was very cool. And her smile and expression are priceless. Almost as of to say. ‘Chillax, dude. We got this.'”

Liandreth reminds me why I keep wanting to play Albion Online despite the subscription and gankbox focus — I love the graphics and camera angle.

“Here’s a really nice shot of a waterfall I found whilst wandering around in Albion,” Liandreth  writes. “I did want to get up close and personal. It’s pretty.”

“When I first arrived at Grahtwood in Elder Scrolls Online, I tried to capture the sheer grandioseness of it’s size and beauty. Of course, I added the cheese of an action pose,” Wanda said.

Hey, no judgment here! If you can’t do cheesy heroic poses in MMORPGs, where can you do them?

Everyone seemed enthusiastic about my “up close and personal” challenge a couple of weeks ago, even if it resulted in some inner trauma. Poor Wild Abyss got too close with one of RIFT’s wildlife and came away haunted for life: “This is closer than I ever wanted to get. Milking space bug things… not even once.”

Screenshot challenge time! This week let’s look back at our starting steps in MMOs by sharing pictures of fledgling characters and our favorite beginner zones.

Every week, One Shots shines a spotlight on the best community screenshots from your MMO adventures. If you have a great pic to share, email it to justin@massivelyop.com with the subject “One Shots.” Make sure that the picture is over 880px wide and comes with a description or story!
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47 Comments on "One Shots: Eight-bit vista"

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Robert Mann

Beginner characters in starting zones… I don’t think I ever screencapped such a thing! Also, any of the MMOs I would have the interest in doing that with just at the moment would not be true to form, as they are all things I have played and experienced before.

:(

Oh well, this is just an Error 404 week for me!

Crow
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Crow

Had a good week. Stuck close to the bubble and ran bunches of sightseeing missions before tomorrow’s big nerf. Then it’ll be out into the black again…

1) Approaching a water world from its dark side. 2) Docked at ITO Orbital, my home station. 3) The Pleiades from a distance on approach. 4) Gravity lensing from Maia B, the infamous black hole, twisting the Pleiades and galactic core. 5) A large ring system around a terrestrial world in HR 7221.

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Melissa McDonald

ANSEL super-res pic from ARK. This is the smallest setting, 12K x 7K. It can go to many gigabytes in size. The detail as you zoom is unbelievable.
https://goo.gl/photos/SF4APyJtYpwEV5R18

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Little Bugbear

Image one: I got this shot while hanging off of a helicopter fleeing the Goblin starting zone.

Image two: The glow effects in FF14 are so nice. I just had to take this shot.

Image three: My first character in WoW was an Undead. So I’ve always had a soft spot for Tirisfal Glades. It has an eerie always Halloween gloomy feel to it.

Image four: Is my first Wow character. I lost all my old pictures of her on my last rig. Look at her now, all grown up.

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Utakata

Technically that is one of the starter zones the Goblins “blew up”. o.O

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Here is a another early oldie. The drop in after character/car creation in Auto Assault.

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Jon Sleeper

Really old, vanilla WoW screenshot of my first character in the game. And Atlas Park from up high after getting full fight in CoH.

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Ryuen

Some digging turned up the oldest MMO screen I still have, date has it October 2006 so I believe this is from Vanguard beta? I think the character was a monk and obviously posing in front of some harbor city.
It’s been a while, details are a bit hazy ;)

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rafael12104

Sweet! Thanks for the shout out Justin. I love unintentional caps. They are the best kind.

Ok, for this week, I can’t go back as far as I like. My really old pics archive is on an old failed HD. Luckly I may be able to recover the data but it will take some work.

In the meantime here is an oldie of one of my first toons in SWTOR. This is the moment I realized SWTOR was my new MMORPG home.

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Rees Racer

“…pictures of fledgling characters and our favorite beginner zones.”

I jumped back into TERA a few months ago, and been having a nice go of it (so much so, that I’ve since subbed to “Elite” status). I was very happy to see that the old starter area, The Island of Dawn, had been re-vamped…and replaced with what is called The Lost Isle. It is more streamlined, and less cluttered. I always thought TERA does great things with colour (especially with my monitor on Scenery mode), and I appreciate the palette used in most locales, including the introductory zone.

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Utakata

The “Fel Tainted Menagerie” I posted below is just under that pink tree pictured above actually. :)

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Utakata

PS: Err…your post got me curious about the Island of Dawn (the original start zone). So I was going to take some pics there, because it was a lovely zone. But to my horror , when I arrived, I knew right away that was not going to be possible…as the zone in question has some considerable “renovation” done to it. And is surrounded by level 64 Basilisks, which I am not at a appreciable level to deal with on that character. Sorry…

…here’s a pic of it though…for “ole” time sakes. :(

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Michael18

Four years ago, in early 2013 while exploring the zones of LOTRO’s first Rohan expansion, I came to the Falls of Rauros. Standing there at an ancient lookout, facing south-east towards Gondor and Minas Tirith, I dreamed of exploring these planes and wondered what Gondor and the White City might look like. Alas, important business required me to turn west into the heartland of Rohan instead of south. Later, fate (or rather Turbine/Standing Stones’s lore monkeys) sent me through the Paths of the Dead to the southern shores of Gondor and so I approached Minas Tirith from there, from the south.

Yesterday, when exploring one of LOTRO’s recently added zones, this journey of four years came to an end. I wandered the swamps I had already seen in 2013 from atop Rauros and approached these iconic water falls, this time from the south-east. There is even a path leading up to the very point where I had been standing four years ago.

Gladly I have screens of this: the first screenshot below, taken in 2013, shows the view I had back then. The second screenshot shows the lookout where the first shot was taken, but this time seen from the south and in 2017.

For me, the fact that such an experience is possible in LOTRO shows that the devs working on it have really understood what it means to turn Lord of the Rings into a virtual world. And I like that this is not even mentioned much in the main quest line (though I haven’t completed it yet; might come later). Instead, it’s just a small detail you can create your own little side-story with, if you like exploration.

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Koshelkin

Awesome.

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Michael18

I’m always amazed how the LOTRO devs manage to give every zone its own character and make it interesting to explore, despite the fact that they’ve had to do variations of grassland/forest since many years, now (it seems Prof. Tolkien didn’t think of poor MMO world builders when he designed the geography of Rohan and Gondor).

Here a view from atop Min-Rimmon, one of the northern-most of Gondor’s warning beacons.

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Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Bunch of earlies from the oldies. I gladly never hid UIs back in the day -they provide memories for me too.

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rafael12104

What is that last one from? The Matrix Online? Lol.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

yessums

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BalsBigBrother

Is that last green picture Matrix Online? if it is I think that might be the first time I have seen one in One Shots.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Here are some more then

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Koshelkin

Hmmm… LotRO, ???(Everquest?), WAR, Vanguard, Matrix Online?

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

You almost got them all. Everquest = Gods & Heroes. That Lotro one is from beta for sure – I remember falling thru that floor every time I went there.

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Koshelkin

Never heard of that game. <.<

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

I did not last long and got a reboot later that also fizzled. It needed more work before it was released the 1st time and nothing was improved when it got rebooted.

The best thing about it was that you had a group of minions running around with you that leveled and upgraded just like yourself -and the roman lore.

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Utakata

Usagi Drop in Fel Tainted Menagerie:

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Golconde

Magical Dolyak of GW2

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Koshelkin

Nice challenge you got there. I’d contribute if I still had shots from that time. I hope to see some entries, though. The first steps in MMO’s, especially the *very* first steps, are always special. In the meantime enjoy the pleasant stare of my BDO energytwink begging you for screenshots.

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rafael12104

I love when they look at they unexpectedly look at the camera. It freaks me out a little too. LOL.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

in a defend the radio mission this week i found myself in the middle of a llama farm. the llamas were running about rather wildly and it gave me enough pause to take a screen,

showing off my pink ak47 here.

and my full sleeve tattoo here.

i thought this night shot while flying about looked quite nice

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rafael12104

Lol. A Llama farm? There is something you don’t see everyday.

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Robert Mann

There’s one right outside town, so I can if I want. :P

Oh, yeah, in games totally not though!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

yeah the game has a fair bit of farm animals in it. including teh aforementioned llamas. pretty funny stuff.

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BalsBigBrother

So with the new patch that is coming next week in Elite:Dangerous we are getting something called mega-ships which are supposed to be enormous. That led me to wondering how they compared with the current capital ships which I believe are the biggest ships before this patch drops. So off I went to find a capital ship and take a few snaps so I can make a comparison when I do hopefully find one of said mega-ships.

Last few are of me crashing into a potato … um flying at great speed with lots of grace and skill with absolutely no shouting at my AI (voice attack) to reverse thrusters right the f…lippin heck now before finally bringing things under control to land at the service station for a quick top up of fuel and a change of underwear. :-)

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Ryuen

E:D sure makes for some great screenshot material.
Have you made the trip to Sag A yet?

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BalsBigBrother

Um *blush” I have started it a couple of times but had to turn around both times after getting careless, damaging modules and not wanting to risk pushing on. This was all very early in the game though and a lot has changed since then.

As it happens my current game goal is to kit out a Diamondback Explorer with engineer mods to potentially try again though I am taking a test run to Colonia first once it is ready.

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Ryuen

An explorer with engineer mods would make a big difference, you should be able to make it in quite a few less jumps than my pre-engineers Cobra.
It took me more than one try too but I have to say it was quite satisfying when I finally made it there (and back) in one piece.

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BalsBigBrother

Sigh, so picture order:
Pic 1 -2 relate to the first paragraph. I did post a third one but that doesn’t seem to have shown up. (will attach to this reply)
Pic 6, 5, 4, 3 relate to second paragraph but they seem to have come out in reverse order to what I put them in.

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Koshelkin

Oh wow. Nice caps. Is it hard to get into the game by now? I was always at a loss about what to do at the beginning. Any starter tips for someone who wants to start a more combat focussed career?

Crow
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Crow

It isn’t tough to get into the game now at all, but starting out and building up your cash reserves can take time. Thankfully, there are a number of small combat ships that are a ton of fun to fly (more fun than the large ships a lot of the time) like the Eagle, which is pretty dirt cheap. Since it is, well, Elite, the basic idea is that you’re dropped onto a station with a crummy ship and a tiny bit of credits and you just kind-of… go.

There’s a whack-a-mole meta money-making game that is usually where it is at for making credits quick, but all aspects of the game are lucrative and you really, for the most part, just get rewarded for playing however you like to play.

There are a ton of good resources in this thread here for new players if you take the dive.

There are all sorts of beginner guides out there, but the biggest advice I’d give is to use either VoiceAttack or VoiceMacro (free and even better in some ways!) in order to use voice commands to control aspects of your ship (because there’s a lot to keep track of).

Fly safe, Commander.

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BalsBigBrother

Thank you Crow, I am probably not the best person to ask when it comes to combat as it is not something I actively look for so I wouldn’t really know where to start with advising folks.. Most of my fights come about as a result of being attacked while doing other activities rather than be going out to pick a fight (that isn’t really me).

I would +1 what Crow said about don’t get too fixated of rushing to the big ships I have seen a lot of folks burn out and rage on the forums when trying that. Some of the most fun I have had has been flying the Cobra MKIII and Asp Explorer.

While a lot of folks will say never fly what you can’t afford to rebuy if it gets destroyed every one will do so at one point or another so the only other thing I can offer is try to build up a fleet of ships.

So when you do want to upgrade try to have enough to buy a ship out right and be able to fit it with decent modules without having to trade in your previous ship. That way your old ship will be mothballed and put in storage so if you do get destroyed and find yourself short of credits you have a fall back to fly. It will make getting back on your feet a little easier and less painful. :-)

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Koshelkin

I got the upgraded beginner ship from Beta/Early Access purchase and the expansion preorder which seems to be a decent ship to start with. It’s just the flight time is very limited and I struggle to plot longer, reasonable routes.

Crow
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Crow

Part of the trick is getting the most out of your FSD, which isn’t always a priority in a heavier combat ship. But even for combat ships balancing a decent jump range with proper outfitting can be a hurdle. A cheaper ship like the Cobra MkIII can get a nice jump range with the right modules (realistically around 20-25 Ly). Having a ship to “get around” (and run missions/passenger transports/explore, even) and a dedicated combat ship separate can help with the issues of range. A well-equipped combat vessel usually has a pretty poor range, due to heavy modules and a full kit overall. So if you’re set up in a system to do combat, use your faster ship to fly there before swapping to your combat role. The ship transfer feature makes this pretty painless.

In terms of maxing your Ly jump range, the rule of thumb is that A modules are better than B better than C, etc., with the exception of D modules which, for most things, are the lightest of all the modules and swapping unneeded modules to D class can increase jump range immensely. When you get further and are more comfortable, you can sometimes even downsize the modules entirely (going from a 3 to a 2, for example) to get even further.

Last is using a fuel scoop to extend range. Though on a more combat focused ship it tends to be a waste of a slot.

You can play with fittings here.

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Koshelkin

And another great site. Don’t do this to me, I love playing with fittings/builds/loadouts in games.

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Koshelkin

I bookmarked the site which you linked. I’ll take a look at it later on. Regards.

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Ryuen

Challenges like this make me mourn the loss of my old screenshot folder (and associated backup CD), that thing held quite a few screens from my MMO history in the early 2000’s :(

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Koshelkin

Ah yeah. True enough. I lost alot of memorable shots(at least to me) to stupidity/failing external drives in the recent years. For my first MMO it wouldn’t be hard to make something up, though. My Sam in FFXI basically looked like the one they used in most official screenshots of the class.

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BalsBigBrother

Aww snap same for me too. I lost most of my FFXI screenies when an external hard drive was destroyed in a house moving accident, I wasn’t best pleased to say the least /sigh :-(

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