Wednesday, 23 September 2009


At the moment my time in Warhammer has been limited. I am still playing I have a Shaman who I am comparing against my Zealot.

I find him more amenable. His starter zone is better and he has a touch of the comical about him. Early on his mechanic seems more interesting, and reading on the forums the views tend to be positive about them later on. With posts like 'I love my Shaman'. Which I think is a first for a MMO class.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Bootaes Blogger Challenge! What is YOUR ultimate MMO group?

Bootaes has issued a challenge so here is my ultimate MMO group.


Spot 1: Warhammer - Black Orc

This was a difficult selection as the Chosen looks so good. But ever since I rolled a Warrior Priest and saw a Black Orc lumber over the hill dwarfing and annihilating all who got in his way I fell in love. Who could argue with an ability called ‘Right in Da Jibblies’.

Spot 2: Age of Conan – Conqueror

So here you have a tank that can use two weapon fighting. Anyone who is a fan of Drizzt Do'Urden will know wielding two swords is cool, doing this and being a viable tank at the same time must give them points.


Spot 1: Dungeons and Dragons Online – Cleric

Their versatility is excellent, they could also tank for you if your group were in a tight spot. The Warrior Priest from Warhammer nearly made it, but they are probably next generation Battle Clerics.

Spot 2: Missgideon (World of Warcraft - Priest)

For the single reason she was the only character I had who made it to the level cap in Vanilla WoW.


Spot 1: Eve Online - Megathron

They have everything, looks and style and filled with blasters as a Blasterthron would rip anything to shreds.

Spot 2: Age of Conan – Barbarian

They don’t actually have huge amounts of DPS as the moment, but would look good doing it. Blood splattering… heads flying all over the shop and the single fact you can pretend you are Conan and issues Arnie one-liners.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Pebble beach warfare?

Firstly I’d like to look at a few possible definitions’ of the word “Zerg”. You can pick one or dispute them if you like.

Definition 1

“The Zerg Swarm are a race of fictional insectoids and the overriding antagonists of the StarCraft series. Operating as a hive mind,….”

Definition 2

"Overwhelming an enemy with numbers - going for quantity instead of quality, by rushing your opponent with hundreds of millions of players that have little skill.”

Now I have been trying to par-take in some RvR this week and the “War” zerg doesn’t seem to even live up to any of the above. Rarely have I seen any focus, or even a goal of the PvP and there has been certainly no idea of rushing an opponent to overwhelm them with numbers or any inkling of a hive mind. (By the way I am not blaming Mythic for this; I am putting the blame squarely at the average player.)

I have joined a few war bands and a lot of the players are not even playing in the same zone. Then when I have run to where the main clusters of players are, you find a massive group of order and destruction just fighting in one spot. My best attempted at describing this is pebbled beach warfare. Each side has a turn at being the water, a wave of players smashing into the pebbles dissolving into nothing remotely meaningful.

Now I still consider my relationship with War meaningful, but this kind of PvP is like having dinner with your other half and finding a ginger hair in you lovely prepared chips, sausage and egg, when you both have brown hair.

What has happened to us? Are people just trying to grind renown, is it the fact flipping zones and taking keeps only gets you “Annihilator” gear, and most people and their dog already have this? One member of the guild did suggest moving to another zone, then some one pipe’s up they don’t want to do PvE RvR (taking keeps without opposition).

Before this post just descends into a rant, I will try being constructive.

For me, the only way to have a truly organised war band or scenario group is with Ventrilo or Team Speak. No matter how fast you type you can not respond to the flow of RvR without it. As well an integrating voice communication (I’d do what Dungeons’s and Dragons Online did and get the experts to help you integrate it, I seem to remember they used the gamespy people.) I would make it configurable and have 3 types of people in a war band. The leader, scout and member, allowing the war band leader able to assign roles and turn off mute depending on your role. That way you could have voice communication so only the leader and scouts can chat and the rest listen.

Should a war band leader get more renown or a gold bag, which significantly helps to flip a zone? A player already gets more renown on a tic if they took keeps and objectives. If you’re a war band leader with over a certain number of members could you also get something extra? A gold bag to re-distribute or more renown? This might make more people step to the front and try and lead as doing so actually requires thought and effort.

Do we need a war band leader only chat channel which spans regions? The region channels tend to get spammed therefore could leaders use this to coordinate themselves?

Mythic have done lot’s to try to coerce players to take objective and keeps, with extra renown and gold. But as far as I have witnessed a lot of the population for that past few weeks any way seem to be happy with the pebble beach warfare.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

PVE - Hunter’s Vale

It has been a mixed bag of PvE this week. From trying to see the Wild Hunt instanced dungeon Hunter’s Vale with my level 9 Zealot to doing Bloodwrought Enclave and Bilerot Burrow with my Choppa. It seems with most MMO’s if you want to see all the content your best rolling a healer or tank as DPS classes are ten-a-penny.

Even trying to go through Hunter’s Vale with my Zealot has been difficult with limited time, as having just one healer in the group isn’t enough to tackle the hero’s.

Again with time and circumstance being limited, I have not been able to get into a decent group for Hunter’s Vale with my Choppa. Guild members have either already done it, are out doing RvR or want to do city instance’s.

I don’t blame them, so I joined them in two of the city dungeons and enjoyed myself. As a bonus I even got two pieces of Sentinal gear.

What I got to see of Hunter’s Vale was good though, and I enjoyed it. Though there was an annoying bug with my Zealot. Party members seemed to show up as dead or with depleted health, when they seem perfectly fine standing right in front of me.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

WCPI:Grimnir’s Grudge

Over at ‘Grimnir’s Grudge’ he made an excellent post ‘Why you are going to (or already do) miss WAR?’. It is a simple question but the post covered so many topics from people leaving and how they do it, problems with the game to finally what he see’s as the essence of the game. It gave me so much to think about and made the boils in my brain bleed.

I have been away for a week and getting back into the swing of any MMO can be difficult. I think it’s the sun and sand which makes you forget why you played the time sink in the first place. ‘Grimnir’s’ post helped me see the essence of ‘War’ again. I logged in Tuesday night and thought right I need to complete the tasks, instead of thinking not lets carve some healers up. Consequently I only spent an hour and a half before I went and played ‘Batman Arkham Asylum’ (which is very good by the way).

‘Grimnir’s’ post helped me see why I play these games. Now if I quit a game I am not one of those people who wriggle on the floor in convulsing death throws on the forum spewing out hate and oily tentacles trying to take people with me. Or after I have died continually leave poisonous ooze to drive people away to what ever is my new shinny orb I am worshipping. I have always been the silent type who just moves on which a sourcey wink to the game “Catch ya later baby!” but I wonder what ‘Mythic’ prefer? At least the poisonous chaos beasts leave feedback, the most feedback they get from me is a closed subscription.

So getting back in the game can be a tentative time, with so many other games nudging each other for your time. I am not really talking about the newer games either… like ‘Champions’ or ‘Aion’ which at the moment don’t float my boat.

There are the also console games which I am not going to talk about here. But my two other MMO loves which are ‘Age of Conan’ and ‘Eve Online’, which in essence are in my view are quite similar to ‘War’.

‘War’s’ gems of play like ‘Grimnir’s’ states are the speed and bloody battle of war. I also think it brings with it the tactical combat of a well oiled war band that can use terrain and tactics to carve open the opposing side.

Then we have ‘Age of Conan’, I have not experienced it’s PvP as I only made it to level 55 with my barbarian and left before the PvP patch. But ‘Age of Conan’ actually excel’s in bringing this blood through its PvE combat. If you don’t believe me take one barbarian and sprinkle 6 bad guys and watch the blood fly. It is seat of you pants PvE combat with the barbarian knocking back and stunning foes… heads rolling and blood splattering. You make it out the other side with a sliver of health, but with the power in your lunges to shout down the wondrous ‘Hyborian’ valley with battle lust.

Lastly we have ‘Eve Online’. If you listen to ‘Channel Massive’ they call it gaming by spreadsheets. But I don’t imagine they have played the smaller fast guerilla style warfare of small ship combat. Imagine being 15 star gate jumps inside enemy territory (which actually takes real time and organization to achieve) and your cloaked scout has spotted your prey, a larger ship transporting some cargo. You spring your trap with a warp bubble and start to take him down. But this prey is not with out his own friends. Before you know it, scouts report in coming targets and your exit routes through star gates get closed off and a cat and mouse chase starts. You don’t have the coppery splatter of blood across your face but the eye stinking sweat and heart palpitations of the fight for survival are all too real.

But what is the point of this post, well it’s to give kudos to ‘Grimnir’s’ excellent post but also when you quit or play a game to try and remember why you play it. Push those bugs and niggles to the back of your mind and just savour the fear of your enemy.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Wild Hunt Video Guide-ish

Just in case you can not make it or all your guild members have already done it, check out this video to see the detail about the live event The Wild Hunt.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

None War post incoming.

So I am back from my holidays and I am looking forward to the Wild Hunt live event. But I just had to make a post about the book I read on holiday The Empyrean Age an Eve Online novel.

Now if I have a first love in the MMO genre it is probably Eve Online. (The name of this blog is a salute to the Eve server architecture.) Internet space ships for the win!

I thought the book scratched two of my itches. The first it follows classic (in my view) science fiction traditions. By this I mean taking a look at humanity as it is now and the human condition and putting a futuristic spin on those events. The next itch it plunges you into the Eve universe which is gritty and unforgiving. I could almost feel the mix of dirt, blood and pod fluid under my finger nails.