Thursday, September 25, 2008

Warhammer Public Quests

I like the idea of public quests. However there is a drawback and I didn't expect to experience it so soon. If there isn't a "public" around you can't finish the public quests.

I'm logging into full servers but the low levels areas are sparse. I'm sure everyone is pushing toward the higher level stuff. But for someone like me who isn't playing much I'm unable to keep up with the herd. I'm still haven't hit the teens yet.

I guess it's not a big deal, because you don't *have* to do public quests to advance. However not being able to even take part in something considered innovative is a let down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

PvE to PvP transfers

WoW is allowing them now.

The move was obvious according to some, as you'll be allowed to create level 55 deathknights on any server you want regardless of whether your qualifying character is on a pve server currently or not. So the whole notion of needing to level from the ground up was thrown out of the window anyway.

Good idea on Blizzard's part because, whatever the cost, it may get some to think twice about spending money on warhammer around the same time they'll spend money to transfer.

This was one of a few holdouts Blizzard's given in on though. If I were to name the posts that receive the most Blue "we aren't considering it at this time","we have no plans to change this at this time" it would be:
1)Respec Costs
2)Flying Mount Costs
3)PvE to PvP transfers

Not that one has anything to do with the other, but forum prepare thyself for the onslaught of "You changed your mind on xfers, now lower the cost of flying mounts".

Warhammer concern

As I waited for a scenario to begin the other evening I got a furrowed brow. How in the world...aww I can't use my meme here...will Warhammer keep populations balanced? How are they going to manage to keep players on both sides so the larger side won't have horrific queues and the smaller side won't get zerged all the time? Warhammer touts itself as a PvP game. It is much more important to have a plan for how to handle this than it would be in WoW where battlegrounds were initially an afterthought and is a subset of the entire game.

The WoW killer

I don't think anyone really expects Warhammer to be the WoW killer not even Warhammer. But my lack of being able to get a friend to try out Warhammer with me got me to thinking about games like Ultima Online and Everquest back when WoW was first released.

I don't have a long history before WoW so I personally don't know what it was like. Did players back then say "WoW will kill Everquest!" "Wow is the DAoC killer"? Did the majority of players leave en masse or did they trickle away?

As my friend continues to play WoW which is still popular I wonder what it would be like to keep playing a dying game while all your friends leave to play something new? At what point did you jump ship? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum - an early adopter willing to try anything when it's first released?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life in

At one time I considered changing my blog name to Life in Outland or something like that once The Burning Crusade was released.

Although, I never once thought about changing it to Life in Middle-Earth, with me trying out Warhammer I thought maybe I should change it to Life in Warhammer World (I don't know enough about the game to say where it is taking place :/)

But I don't have plans to stick with warhammer for years like I did WoW. Not that Warhammer doesn't have potential, but as someone said, WoW has burnt many players out on MMORPGs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Warhammer: first impressions

I like it.

Please take note my highest character is level 3 or 4. So I haven't done much or ventured very far. Also this post isn't orderly, I just wanted to get some thoughts out there.

I was able to join a scenario (think WoW battleground) almost immediately after creating my character. The scenario instance bumped me from my rank (level) 1 you up to 8. The highest I faced was a level 11 which allowed me to run around and not just get slaughtered. Nice feature.

Since WoW's PvP was an afterthought, your goal is to level/gear up first *then* participate. With WAR you can jump right in. Not sure if twinking will/can occur, but so far I like being able to PvP right away.

What can I say about quests? They are straight-forward. Kill x of this, get y of that. And while we might complain about collecting 10 bear asses, honestly how would *you* revolutionize questing? Post your ideas here. I'll wait.

Yeah its not as easy as you think.

One thing warhammer does differently than I've seen before is show the area on your mini-map where your quest objective can be found. I know some will say this is dumbing it down, but before I left WoW I had come across mods that essentially did the same thing and I have to say they were pretty friggin' sweet. The only difference in warhammer you don't have to add a mod for it.

And that's what I'm noticing about this game. It's like they took ideas from WoW mods/addons and put them in. Simple things like cooldowns showing on the icons are already in the game instead of you having to download from curse gaming. If people really hate it maybe they'll add an option to not show it.

People have begged (don't understand the appeal myself personally but I'm also on the side of "do we *really* need housing") for dying armor in WoW. LotRO has it and so does warhammer.

I get this feeling that Warhammer figured it can't beat WoW so it would focus on the stuff WoW doesn't have. I mean really focus on it. One of the first tooltips you get is about dying armor. Good grief it isn't that important. And no one is going to leave WoW because they can dye armor in another game.

This isn't meant to devolve into a WoW vs. WAR discussion. It's not fair to WAR. I'll just say it again, I like it so far. Hmm what do most people post about.

Performance - I haven't reached in huge skirmishes, but so far the game is playable on my computer. For comparison I didn't even dare to try out AoC and I lagged during the beginning of lotro when everyone was trying it out. I also lag in Shattrath. I expect to lag, but haven't felt too much of it...yet. Definitely not enough to make me log off in disgust.

Graphics - Good (since its subjective). Someone complained about the graphics and I really don't get what they're talking about. I think the game looks great. It doesn't have that cartoonish feel that many people complain WoW has (never bothered me).

Combat - This was what worried me. LotRO combat doesn't feel right, hard to explain but it just doesn't. I heard similar grumblings about WAR but so far it seems okay to me.

Community - I think people are too busy playing to fill up chat with garbage. And I was jumping around from server to server too much to say what the community will be like. Although in scenarios people are already complaining (what?!?! say it ain't so!?!?!) about healers not healing. That gets SO old. Why don't people just give up on expecting people to heal? If someone is playing a healing class and not healing you they are not going to be pressured into healing just because you whine about it. They will
A) either ignore you
B) heal you, but if they do it's because they were already doing so, so your whining doesn't help, instead it does just the opposite! It makes us feel like apparently the healing we *have* been doing is going unnoticed.
C) reroll a non-healing class so they can join the crowd that moans about not getting heals.

Whew sorry about that tangent*. Disclaimer: That rant applies to all games.

Anyway, if things stay like what I've experience so far, Warhammer appears to be a game you can jump in play a little and enjoy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Warhammer: Choosing a side

I've already read that the Destruction (read Horde) side is the most populated.

I came across some funny posts concerning choosing a side for RvR in Warhammer.

I think we will be faced with what I call the Richard Hatch phenomenon. Richard Hatch was the first winner of the Survivor series. Richard craftily formed voting alliances, which was ingenious at first but then was copied for seasons to come.

Many players started playing WoW without thinking about PvP. Many, not coming from a gaming background, didn't know much about the game at all. Those in the know, and those focused on PvP chose Horde. Those not in the know suffered and usually since you don't find out how bad things are until max level, you've made friends, good guilds, find it hard to start over.

But with the knowledge of things from WoW will you choose blindly (read prettily)? Or have you learned from the master(s) that choosing a side for looks isn't the best choice when you want to (or have to) compete. Sure the people in the first Survivor were blind-sided by Hatch's cunniness, but what excuse did all the remaining Survivor tribes have?

The big difference is PvP was only a part of WoW. PvP is Warhammer, so perhaps both sides have good pvp racials if there is such a thing. And perhaps both sides will balance out as far as populations are concerned. (How will they balance populations anyway???)

I'm going to admit that I haven't learned anything and that I'll probably choose whatever seems "cool" to me first. But I'm not going to think twice about switching if things turn out as they did in WoW*.

*Please remember my decision to take a break from WoW and try something else had nothing whatsoever to do with PvP.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

LotRO: Found some fun

Fellowships. It is so much fun to quest in a fellowship.

Of course it isn't possible to do so, but if I could spend most of my time in a fellowship group (is that redudant?) I wouldn't have as many complaints about the game as I do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The benefit of playing a popular class

"Hunters are populated with bad players", "Rogues can't find a raid slot". Here are 2 phrases you're likely to hear in WoW. In LotRO the popular classes are also hunters, as well as champions (guess they are like warriors).

After leveling up and finding it hard to get in groups and raids, some players decide to play a healer instead. But as someone mentioned on the lotro forum, if healing was so fun why aren't there more of them. Some players want to raid bad enough they switch to healing.

So when it comes to playing a new game, latecomers ask "what is the most needed class?" "I don't want to be like the hundreds of other hunters running around". Inevitably people say "we could always use tanks and healers".

It makes me wonder if warhammer has manage to make being a tank or a healer as fun as dps.

Recently I thought about how it must have been rough playing a rogue or hunter or any other highly populated class pre-arenas and especially pre-BC because the best gear was inside dungeons and the dungeon could only allow for some many yellow and green slots.

But with arenas and pvp gear the best gear could be had by mostly anyone without raiding. So all of a sudden not only do you get to play your fun class you also are able to get good gear for it now.

It was a win-win for the popular classes.

People whine about rogues now, but I can't imagine WoW changing (much) how things are because you would alienate a large percentage of your player base.

People snicker at FOTMs, but who doesn't want to play a class that has inherent advantages?

I'm drawn to playing support classes because of my personality. Due to their playstyle and lack of "you are the hero" mentality, support classes are relatively scarcer. But as I ponder picking up warhammer, I think I may be best served by picking a popular class for a change.

Popular classes are popular because they are argumentatively easier or simply more fun.

I've heard of ret paladins who have stuck with the class trying their hardest to make them work (rumor has it wrath has given them some love). Begrudgingly healing just so they have a chance at some better drops.

Why not choose a popular class that developers focus their energies on, something that will have a leg up as soon as I enter the "create character" button? Something I don't have to work extra at just to match up?

I feel a little dirty about following the herd to the popular class. But hey I'm just saving myself heartache later right?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

LotRO: Where is the fun?

As I searched to figure out what is wrong with lotro for me. I came across some suggestions that the game would get better at 20. I also read it would get better in the 30s.

Of course bookend that with mention the endgame at lotro is lacking....where is the fun? Only between levels 30-50? What makes it so fun for those levels and not up to 30?

I've cancelled yet again, but just like WoW my account won't kick me out for a few months. That gives me plenty of time to find out if things really get better.

I want to give it a chance because I remember starting a druid in WoW wasn't all that fun. I tried leveling 2 before the 3rd stuck. I hit 20 or so and never looked back, ending up with a L70 eppiced druid that I wouldn't mind leveling some more in WotLK.

So maybe something will happen in LotRO, some magic level will make me powerful and I'll start having some fun and desire to continue on.

One problem could be lack of kinship and community. Many say they don't miss Barren chat or trade channel, but LotRO chat is so bare you almost think you're playing a single player game. And that is a huge problem. Yes everyone likes the ability to solo, but grouping with people, playing against other people or simple interacting with a PC instead of a NPC is the draw of MMORPGS.

I found out I can transfer to another highly populated server for 25 bucks but do I really want to pay that to find out things aren't any better? The sad thing is I haven't enjoyed playing enough to just level a brand new character to 20 just to save myself the 25 dollars. I could just put that toward one of the existing single player games.

I see several players on the forums who have 3 or 4 capped characters. I'm amazed. How could they stand leveling twice, let alone three or four times?

I can and did do that in WoW, but I can't fathom it in lotro.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Simpsons did it

I forgot what tv show - Family Guy? Robot Chicken? - had the joke about any story line that exists now "The Simpsons" has already done it. The Simpson probably did the joke.

Anyhoo, I read somewhere that public quests are something new in warhammer that you haven't seen elsewhere. I assume the idea of distribution at the end is the new part.

Because when WoW introduced the Shattered Sun Offensive quests everyone could get credit for a killed Emissary of Hate (anyone could place a banner through his corpse whether or not they killed him themselves or not). Also in the Kazzak area, everyone could increase their Living Flare whether they killed the elemental or not as long as you were close by when it died.

And I remember back when TBC was released thinking wouldn't it be nice if everyone could get credit for killing those voidspawns over at the edge of Hellfire Peninsula, since we were all in a bunch there anyway trying to be the first to get a shot off as they spawned (hunter *surprise* were usually first to finish their quest and move on).

So the idea of public quests is a very cool addition, but WoW kinda already did it. Well maybe Warhammer is actually a chip off the old behemoth - taking and idea and improving on it.

What I miss in WoW...

...that's not in lotro. (Yes I'm trying out lotro again while waiting on warhammer - never thought I'd say that).

What I miss from WoW that Lord of the Rings Online doesn't have is all the stuff outside of the game. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough yet, but I don't remember having to look very hard when it came to WoW.

1) Mods and Addons - many agree mods and addons are a mini game in itself. WoW's ui isn't horrible, but getting to change it around and make it something more useful or simply look different, customize it just to your liking is fun.

So many times I found something in the game not exactly how I'd like it only to find an addon that took care of it easily.

In PvMP raid settings I miss things like Grid for the same reason I liked using it in WoW. A way to see a lot in smaller screen real estate.

2) Thottbot, wowhead - how many times have I wanted somethng simply because I read that what others had said about it. I didn't even have a rogue and thought getting a barman shanker would be cool. It was a way to look forward to things you could get - like window shopping!

Yes, I have imagined how much longer it would take for me to play wow if I couldn't look up the quests on thott. But now I don't feel like I'm "exploring" while running around in circles for a quest item, instead I feel like I'm wasting time I no longer and willing to waste. I also miss some of the funny comments people make. In lotro its like rock is at 15.5x, 40.68y zzzzzzzz.

3) Forums - for as much of a cess pool people say wow forums are, lotro forums are not only tame but boring in comparison.

4) Celebrities - Leeroy Jenkins became well enough known outside of the game that it was a Jeopardy question (okay college Jeopardy but still). You'll never see Mr. T advertising for lotro, but what about Sir Ian McKellen? Okay Billy Boyd then if he's too busy. My point WoW has reached beyond the game itself and that makes it even more fun.

Maybe games were never meant to be so all encompassing, but that's the path WoW has lead us down and I kind of expect it now with other games. I hope Warhammer has some of the things I mentioned here it just adds to the enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've never really followed games too far ahead of release. So the only things I'd heard about Warhammer are from the WoW forums. I mostly ignored them because many WoW forum posters have a bias one way or the other to where you're not sure you're getting any information objectively.

I also heard it was going to be focused on pvp and given my experience with WoW I had a feeling of exasperation I wasn't willing to pursue in another game.

Yet for some reason, I want to try out Warhammer Online now. Maybe I'm already bored not playing WoW.

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