Friday, November 28, 2008

Wrath of Bad Quest Design

A few days ago I mentioned a neat quest chain in WoW involving those always fun Druids from D.E.H.T.A. Often after a high, you will hit a low, and I did with another quest chain in Wrath. This one starts North West of The D.E.H.T.A camp in the quarry.

There is a quest giver named Etaruk and a stone, that also gives quests. I forget the name of the stone, I do not want to back to that forsaken quarry. The gist of it is that some Mages, dogs and gnomes are stealing Kalu'ak stuff and you have to stop them.

I picked up the initial two quests and entered the quarry. Almost immediately I knew this was going to be bad. I have a quest to kill the treasure hunters and a quest to look at some signs. What I see is 3 types of creatures and a lot of potential flotsam to click on. You can probably guess where this is going.

I will spare you the pain and give you the condensed version. I had to go back to the quest givers 3 or 4 times, just to get sent out to kill the different mob or click on the different item. Does it matter I had to fight my way through all of the mobs every previous quest? Of course not. I passed by the garbage on the ground each time, but the rock didn't want to tell me to pick it up on my way by.

This is one of the main reasons I get frustrated with WoW. Does Blizzard pay their content folks per quest? Did they just need a time waster? Are they just mean? Blizzard is supposed to be about quality, this was the opposite.

The Death Knights get phasing, the rest of us in Northrend get this?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

This weekend, I got a chance to watch The Incredible Hulk on Blu-Ray. I was looking forward to this one as I had heard good things, especially from Hudson. I seem to have been one of the few who enjoyed Ang Lee's Hulk. Oddly enough, so did Ysh over at Stylish Corpse. We seem to be on the same movie schedule.

Overall I enjoyed the move a lot. Edward Norton is usually pretty good and this was no exception. The action was pretty crazy and the story was good too. the picture and sound were top notch.

***Spoiler Warning***

Some random thoughts and questions...
  • Lou Ferringo was a nice touch. I also enjoyed him when he was on King of Queens... good show. Who doesn't like a free surprise pizza?
  • You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry.
  • It seemed like they were hinting at two sequels, one with the strange Dr. Sterns and one with Iron Man and posse. It could just be one sequel though. IMDB shows no sequels for Norton.
  • Why would Iron Man (and the Avengers?) be going after Hulk? One, it ended on a good note with Hulk saving the day, two Stark is now a 'good' guy at the end of Iron Man. I'm not a comic book reader, so maybe the answer is there.
  • Guatemala to Virginia in two weeks, starting with nothing but tattered pants. Impressive.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why fight? I'll tell you why

The forums are always an interesting place, usually not in a good way. One of the most common gripes is there is "no reason to fight." This is perhaps the one that bugs me the most. It is inevitably followed by "gimmie, gimmie, gimmie." So why does it bug me so much?

It is a sign of what the online game community has become. Everything is about incentives and rewards for the individual player. Also known as, selfishness. You don't hear these complaints about a single player game, where selfishness would be fine. It only really comes up in MMO's, when other people are involved.

Warhammer is a Realm vs Realm game, Order versus Destruction. We are at war, the other side wants to kill us and take everything. That would be your reason to fight right there. If you are playing for rewards, you are not playing the game. Instead, you are playing the game systems.

Gear, Renown and Gold? You can keep it, as it is secondary. Have some pride, defend that keep, kick your rivals out. Once Mythic fixes the zone issues in T4 (which they better do soon), conquer their city and kick them out of there too. Win.

To me, Warhammer is about the fight. I generally don't rant, but this constant complaining about needing more incentives is getting old. If you are not enjoying the activity don't do it.

You know what I call doing an un-fun activity for a reward? WORK.

Werit the P.I.T.A.

Over the weekend, I did manage to get some WoW time in. I had planned on playing more yesterday, but a WAR came up. I finished up a few quest lines, but am still hanging in at Level 70.

One quest line I finished, and thought was interesting, was the D.E.H.T.A (Druids for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) encampment in the Borean Tundra. These guys always have a bone to pick with Nesingway, the hunter.

Some notes:
  • Putting fur over traps so trappers get caught in them is pretty funny.
  • Freeing baby mammoths from traps is pretty sad.
  • Having poachers and animals fighting it out is a nice touch.
  • Collecting poachers ears is pretty nasty. I guess they want to make necklaces out of them. The reward is repeatable and nice.
  • Heh, Karen "I don't Caribou" the Culler
  • Heh, Clam Master K... but we have to kill him? The old-time scuba divers are neat though.
  • Riding and fighting on a mammoth is fun.
  • I was able to solo a 72 elite.
  • I could not finish off Harold Lane, due to his trapping and running, which picks up adds. Some Horde came by and helped me out.
In the end, I received the achievement, D.E.H.T.A's Little P.I.T.A.

Monday, November 24, 2008

WAR Scheduling change Update

Remember this? Well, I have spent my afternoon playing WAR doing World RvR. So I guess that change will start tomorrow? ;)

Today's Heavy Metal quest was to kill 15 players in World RvR, so this may have lead to the surge in activity.

WAR scheduling change

After some thought, I have decided to make WAR a prime-time only game. That means I will only really play at night time. I have spent a lot of wasted time during the afternoon looking for World RvR or waiting for scenarios. I really have no desire to PvE, so this seems like a logical solution.

It will mean a reduction of play time, but not really, as I didn't due too much in those hours anyways. I'm sure I will pop in during the afternoon just to make sure though, it is hard to stay away from possible RvR action.

Werit the Devastator

This weekend was actually pretty busy and did not allow too much game time. It used to be holidays meant more game time. When you are all grown up it actually starts to mean less game time. Oh the irony. I did get some WAR in though.

Werit is now at BR 31/RR 31.

Friday night I started off with some world RvR. Being the loyal Order Dwarf I am, I followed the call to Dragonwake, where Destruction was attacking the Drake keep. There were warning signs when I entered the province that it may have been a bad idea. There were no open warbands, the rest of the map was red and there was very little chatter on the region channel. I made my way to the keep.

It was pretty quiet outside of the keep, no Destruction waiting, so I started to get a bad feeling. I went to the first postern door (you know, the close one). What happened next was pretty funny, at least in my mind. I appeared on the other side of the door, flanked by two Destruction tanks and starting at at least 3 Destruction casters (all WAAAGGGHFFFLE House members). I must have caught them off guard, because I was able to click the door and hit flee.

I warned folks riding to the door and came back with about 4 or 5 others a few minutes later. I had tried the other entrances, but they looked pretty defended too. I should have taken the hint and went off to do something else, but we Dwarves are a stubborn bunch. So with my fellow Order, we pushed through the postern door.

In the warmer months, I would not have minded a dip in the pool. However it is pretty cold here these days, so the multiple purple lakes (Pit of Shades) that awaited me when I zoned in were not welcome. I was dead before i could get a skill off. That pretty much ended my T4 adventures for the night.

The alliance (Redemption), which CoW is a part of was getting together a force to retake Avelorn. I joined up, because being a 31 in T3 should make me feel better about the beating I just endured. We managed to capture both keeps and all the objectives with some Destruction resistance. I walked away with 2 gold bags, one included the Devestator's Bulwark. This completed the set, giving us Werit the Devastator.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Feedback: WAR Addons

My question to you, on this snowy Friday, is:

Do you use any addons for WAR? If so, which ones and why?

I currently do not use any. I'm not even sure what is out there and what I am missing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Indiana Jones and the what?

Recently, I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Blu-Ray. This was the second movie I've watched on the PS3. Overall it was decent. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, as it had a lot of potential to be awful.

The picture was very good, in fact too good sometimes. There were scenes where it really felt like I was seeing the set. It is hard to describe, but it is good and bad. Sound was good too.

**Spoiler Warning***

The plot for me was just too far out there. I know that Raiders, temple and crusade were pretty crazy too, but for some reason those felt more grounded. This one just seemed a bit too much. Add in the fact that Dr. Jones had seen the aliens before? Eh.

The communists make a pretty decent enemy, so no real complaints there. His greaser son? Well, it could have been a lot worse I guess. Having Marion back was fine. Ford is just looking old though, especially in HD. So overall, not bad, not good. It is definitely not in the same league as the first three installments.

Mythic Frustrations

"Rest assured I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world." - Comic Book Guy

Last night was not a good night for me and WAR. I didn't have too much time to play, so i thought I would hop on and have some fun. It started out promising, as Destruction was on the move in both Tier 3 and Tier 4. Looks like they are making a push for the capital. Should mean plenty of action.

So I headed off to Dragonwake to help defend a keep. Order managed to arrive in the inner keep just as they captured the keep, trapping us all inside. So that did not go so well and the warband disbanded. Next, an ally mentioned that they were attacking the keep in Black Fire Pass. I get down there and only find there are 3 of us defending the keep. Needless to say, we lose.

None of that is Mythics fault though. I am 1 bar from 31, so I figure I can get in a couple of scenarios and get a level. After that, back to the world RvR. I get in the scenario and the server CRASHES. So that pretty much ended my night of WAR.

There was really no point on waiting for it to come up, all open RvR would take a while to get started again, if anyone even wanted to. Even scenarios would take a while as everyone has to log back in. I feel pretty bad for Destruction, they are trying to play the game and take the capital city, but are prevented by bugs and server crashes.

I do not get too much prime-time gaming due to other responsibilities. I feel pretty bad I wasted it on WAR last night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Rules for Wrath

Since I have started playing Wrath of the Lich King, I set up some ground rules:
  1. I will read every quest. In the past, I have been known to skim over the quest dialog. This time I will read every single quest I accept. Level 80 is pretty my the end of the game for me, so I hope to get a good story at least.
  2. No QuestHelper. I will not use any addons like QuestHelper. Don't get me wrong, I really like QuestHelper, and I would certainly use it for an alt. Since the content is new, I do not just want to rush from point A to point B.
  3. No crafting. If I see a mineral node I will mine it, but I will not 'farm' anything. Blacksmithing is a harsh mistress, and is actually not very fun for me. If I need an item, and I have the materials I will craft it, but other than that, no effort put into crafting.
  4. No Reputation. Sure those rep vendors have some nice stuff, but I will not go out of my way to earn their favor. Really, what is the point? I will not be raiding and any pre-80 equipment will be replaced.
  5. Do what is fun. Probably the most important rule. If at any time I start to not enjoy myself, move on from that activity or enlist some help.
So those are my rules for playing Wrath. We will see how they go. Anyone else setting up some boundaries?

(WAR Note: I did play some WAR last night too and have WAR-related posts in the works)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Werit Invades Northrend

Yesterday, my Copy of Wrath of the Lich King arrived. Since I still had an active subscription I figured I'd log in and see how it was going. My Protection Warrior was vacationing is Outland, so he took the first portal back to Stormwind. I cleared out his Quest Log and his inventory, and it was off to the harbor.

The harbor is actually pretty scenic. What is the deal with that gigantic gate? What is it keeping away from the harbor?

This leads me to my first complaint. Why am I going to Northrend? I could not find any quest to send me there. The boat at Stormwind will take me to Borean Tundra, while the boat in Menethil Harbor will take me to the Howling Fjord. Why would I go to one zone over another? Why go at all? I hear this is a big bad Lich King, but that is about it. I was hoping for some sort of story arch.

So I hopped on the boat to the Borean Tundra, for whatever reason. I only did about ~7 quests but everything seems nice enough. I like the environment. It looks like I will be fighting off the forces of the Lich King and looking into some Cultists.

One nice touch is that achievements gained are broadcasted to guild members, and it has nice clickable link text which tells you what it means.

So far, I have no replaced any gear (Kara stuff) and gold will be plentiful. There are a bunch of new combat animations I see going on which I have no clue about.

That pretty much covers my adventures in Northrend yesterday. I hope to get some time in today, but Heavy Metal calls.

Monday, November 17, 2008

WAR Weekend Report plus Gripe

That's right, I am including a Monday Gripe with this edition of the WAR Weekend Report... at no extra charge! How's that for value?

Overall, my weekend was pretty good. Werit is now at BR 30/ RR 30. I got some prime-time WAR in on Friday Night with some guildies and alliance folks. Most of the time was spent in tier 3 with two keep defenses. We won both fights, but they were not easy. The 2nd keep defense they made it into the Keep Lords room. It could have gone either way.

And now for the gripe. I hate when players say, "let them take the keep, so we can re-take it and get bags." Forum goers will readily blame Mythic for this, and as usual, they are wrong. The problem is players playing the system, not the game. This has always been a problem and always will be. Here are the incentives I need:
  • Fighting is fun.
  • It is our keep and they want it.
That's it. Just play the game and not the system... you'll be happier in the end. Ok, end of Gripe.

Saturday I did not play too much. I ran some scenarios when I had free time, nothing too intense. Sunday I was planning on playing a bit, as Destruction threw down a gauntlet. Sadly the action did not really start until late afternoon and my time was limited. I went to Dragonwake to join the fight. We were beaten pretty easily there.

Then it was off to Praag where we had some successes. Then their reinforcements arrived and I think we were beaten there too. I had to log off, so I can't be sure. Destruction was definitely better organized than we were. They also had superior numbers, but it may not have mattered that day.

How much Fallout 3 did I play? Zero. I really meant too. Every time I get on the computer I think, "Let me just check to see if something is going on in WAR first." The next thing I know, I have run out of time to play Fallout 3. I apologize fallout 3, I will make time for you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Engineer Idea: Robodwarf

While I was eating lunch today I was thinking of the Engineer Tinkerer mastery line. It is no secret that it is not very interesting. The magnet is nice and all, but doesn't make it worth going down that path. The healing keg is nice too, but pretty weak.

The Tinkerer is supposed to be up front with the melee, fighting it out. So there should be an ability that supports this function. Then the Squig Herder popped into my head. They have Squig Armor that gives them some melee abilities.

I think a Squig Armor type ability would be a neat addition to the Tinkerer mastery line. It could let the Engineer become a serious melee threat for a time. Just think of the power loader in Aliens (the picture). It should fit the lore fine, as we Dwarves have our own gyrocopters.

What do you think, some powered armor for our Tinkerer Engineers?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Multiboxing, Fair or Foul?

Multiboxing: Playing multiple accounts concurrently using multiple computers or application instances.

First, it should be noted that most major MMO's allow multiboxing, so it is not against the rules. It may be against the spirit of the rules though.

I think the issue of multiboxing falls into many gray areas. For example, using it in WoW PvE seems perfectly fine to me. The thought of running some small group content, by myself, is actually pretty attractive. Since it is PvE, you are not really hurting anyone else, unless you are just being a jerk.

PvP is where I start to get unsure about the issue. Multiboxing seems to offer the advantage of no need for communication and ease of focus fire. That same advantage may also be a disadvantage though, as you are limited to how well your software does in allowing you control of the other characters. I recall Xzin doing pretty well in PvP. Still, I lean towards multiboxing in PvP giving to an unfair competitive advantage.

With more and more MMO's coming out the player population is getting spread out too. MMO's require cooperation, but what happens when there are not enough players and it just gets tedious? Multiboxing is one answer to that, although not necessarily the correct one.

So what do you think about Multiboxing?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too Much Information

With the release of Wrath of the Litch King, I feel that I already know way too much about the game. I have not been following it, but I do like to read MMO sites. So I am still exposed to WoW info. Even before the release, there has been a huge amount of guides and strategies posted for just about every aspect of the game. Yea WoW Insider I am looking in your direction.

The path has already been blazed from 70 to 80, in every class. Every tradeskill has been analyzed and all the loot has been data mined. Maybe not ALL, but most. I have not read any of the guides, but I know they are out there. The min-maxers do not waste any time.

Is there any real mystery left in Wrath? The end-game raids are usually pretty untouched, but I will never seem them anyways. I guess this is the price we pay for an Open Beta. Sadly, MMO's need open beta's, as they need a whole bunch of players to test. Players like to talk and share, so it is inevitable.

The only real option is a self-imposed media blackout, which is much easier said than done. You want just enough info to make you want to play but not so much that the game feels like it has been played through for you.

I will likely see Northrend in a week or two.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WAR, a few requests

WAR, there are a few things a I need. They are not big things, but would help me out.

  • I need a Scenario Queue time estimate. It doesn't have to be extremely accurate, just give me a ballpark figure. If it will likely be 30 minutes before one comes up I will go do something else. It will also stop me from wondering... "Is it just me? Am I not synced up right?"
  • I need some feedback on what that keep I claimed is doing for me. I hear it may be contributing Guild XP, but where do I check? How much is it actually costing me?
  • I need the UI to tell me that I have a debuff on me that hurts me when I move. Yea, I am looking at you Witch Elf. I know an addon probably does this, but it should be standard in the game. There are numerous dots, so it is tough to tell.
  • I need to be able to find where the open world RvR action is at a glimpse. Give me a listing of all RvR open parties, filtered by tier. This would be a great time saving feature.
  • I need a 'Clear All' scenario button. We have a 'Join All' button for scenarios, how about a 'Clear All' option? It can get pretty annoying when queueing up a party and everyone having to get synced. Especially since we really don;t know what synced means. I usually throw some salt over my shoulder just to be sure.
Those are not too tough, right? They would improve my gaming experience, so I hope to see them in the game sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fallout 3: Blood Ties

Since WAR was down this morning, it gave me a chance to play some Fallout 3. What a great game. I am only Level 5 and have not done too much at all yet. This morning I decided to finish up the Blood ties quest you get in Megaton.

***Spoiler Warning***

I had already searched 2 of the 3 locations for the missing brother. Of course the one I needed to go to was the last one. That cave was a pain and I hate radscorpians. But I do love mines... so it evened out. Anyway, I made my way to the subway station.

It got a little confusing at that point. I ran into a ghoul named Murphy... who runs a meth... er Jet lab out of the subway. Not really far fetched actually. He needs some Sugar Bombs (food) to make UltraJet. I used my Speech skill and got him up to 30 caps per sugar bomb. Looks like I can buy some UltraJet later on too... not that I would do such a thing :)

That was really all the subway had to offer... or so I thought. Here is where I am supposed to find lucy's brother... so there had to be more. Luckily, I came across this blog. There is a manhole in the room with the radioactive barrels. It leads to some tunnels and 2 of those shellfish things which are a pain to kill. I used a Combat Shotgun. So eventually you are in the subway tunnels. At the end is the train yard. If you are there, you went too far.

The path veers off and leads to the 'Family.' These are a bunch of vampire wannabes... but they are not hostile. I ended up working out a deal between them and the town and everyone is happy. The lead guy, Vance, gives you a schematic. Although I bet you can just kill him and take it.

Also, once you go back to the town and tell them everything is ok, return to the Family. You can talk to Vance about how to be a vampire... which will get you something (nothing bad).

I may go back and wipe out the Family. I don't like the idea of 'vampires' running around. Can't be good for anyone. Also, they have a lot of stuff... which I could use.

Iron Man

Last week I got my hands on a PS3 to use as a full-time Blue-Ray player and a part time game player. The first movie I watched was Iron Man. I never did see it in theaters... in fact I have not even been to a movie theater in a couple years. I did hear much praise about this movie, so I was looking forward to it coming out on BR-DVD.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie very much. It had plenty of action and was low on the cheesy scale. I should mention I am not a comic book reader, so this was really my first introduction to Iron Man. One thing I thought was lame was his chest reactor. People have pacemakers, so it isn't the fact that he needs one that bugs me. It is just the way it looks. It is on the outside of his body and glows. Cover that thing up, it looks weird.

The picture quality of the Blu-Ray was very good, as was the sound. I found Tony Stark's character to be very entertaining too. I consider it a step above the Spider-Man movies. I can;t wait for the sequel in 2010... and The Avengers in 2011. Most of you have likely seen this movie, but if you haven't and like action... go check it out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WAR Weekend Report

This weekend, Saturday specifically, was one of the most fun I have had in WAR. It all started on Saturday morning (EST) when a guildie (Thunda) and I were looking for trouble in Avelorn. We did not find too much, as it was morning. So Thunda suggested we claim the keep in the name of CoW.

I had a standard and not much else to do, so why not. I went and claimed it. Thunda claimed Destruction loved taking our keeps... I had my doubts. I was wrong. The rest of the day was full of action in Avelorn. On at least 3 separate occasions (and one on Sunday), Destruction attempted to take the keep.

The Casualties of WAR recently joined the Redemption Allience (War Dogs, Obsideon Order) . This would be very important as our allies were instrumental in defending the keep. There were also many other who showed up. Order was very active in Tier 3.

The battles for the keep were very good. Numbers wise, I don't think any side had an obvious advantage, but it was really tough to tell as there were a lot on each side. On each attempt, Destruction got further into the keep. During the 3rd attempt (Saturday night), they reached the keep lords room before we were able to push them back.

I did not get to play much on Sunday, but was told there was another attack which we were able to repel. The status of the keep is currently unknown.

I had a lot of fun, probably ranks up there with the most fun I have had in WAR. Thanks to our allies for helping us defend. Thanks for Destruction for attacking and making it a good time.

I am currently RR 28/BR 28.... when T4 needs me, I will be there.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Engineer changes in 1.05

The patch notes for WAR 1.05 have arrived! They were pretty massive as Mark had eluded to. There is really so much to go over and I am sure many other blogs will be taking care of that duty. So what I want to talk about is the changes to the Engineer class.

Admit it, other than the magnet, you never really worried about the Engineer. Sure I could top damage in scenarios, but it was all DoT's and spread out. Usually had very little solo kills or killing blows. The only class I could solo was a Sorceress with 0 Dark Magic built up. The Engineer needed some help and it got it.

• Root effects will now properly have a chance to break whenever a player takes ANY damage. This includes individual tics of Damage over Time spells.

This one has me a little worried. The grenade mastery line, which I am, is all about Damage over Time. I am a grenade chucker, it is what I do. I try to get as many DoT's on as many people as possible. This change will make me the anti-root. My own Barbed Wire root would seem useless. I will reserve final judgement until it is tested on the test server.

• Point Blank will now correctly ignore Knockback and Knockdown immunity, as well as not trigger it.

Sweet! I hated when Point Blank did nothing.

• Flak Jacket: Magic Damage will no longer reduce Armor counters.

Great, hopefully the longer our Flak Jacket stays up, the less squishy we will be. I was hoping for some less annoying mechanic for this, because it is something I have to cast every time I spawn. No big deal though.

• Gun Blast: The damage of this ability has increased.

I don't use this ability anymore (grenades), but this should be pretty good. A 2 sec cast time should be worth more damage.

• Many damage increases.

I won't go through each one, but they sound good. We really did need some more damage.

• Self Destruct: This ability has had its cost removed, the reuse timer has been increased significantly, and now deals damage in addition to knocking down.

This is a bit disappointing. I liked to use it but rarely got the chance since it had a 1 min cooldown and the time it takes to set up a turret. Battles move too much. I could care less about the damage, as the knockdown is worth much more. With instant cast on turrets (tinkerer), I could see how it could be a bit much, so no big deal.

• All Turrets: Gun, Flame and Bombardment Turrets have had their cost greatly reduced and their auto attack damage greatly increased. In addition they are now core abilities and will match the level of the player’s rank when summoned.

You mean my turrets won't just be there to annoy people with their sounds? I really hope this makes them useful, as self-destruct was starting to be the main reason I was deploying them. Will have to wait and see what the damage is.

• Electromagnet: This ability has undergone significant changes. The cost of the ability has been significantly reduced while the cooldown has been increased. In addition the build time has been increased, the ability can no longer be cast on the move, and the maximum number of targets affected by this ability has been decreased and it can now be defended against. Lastly this ability will grant immunity to knockback effects.

Had to happen. It should still be useful in certain situations though. This should be the end of the magnet/rift saga, yay!

• Barbed Wire: This abilities cost has been decreased, the cooldown has been increased and the ability is now available at rank 12.

Increased cooldown? Not sure why, but it doesn't really matter. DoT's are so prevalent that roots will be breaking almost immediately.

So basically Engineers got more damage and hopefully a little more survivability. The new public test server will hopefully work out the kinks, but the real test will be when it hits live. Can't wait :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black Fire Basin needs help

Black Fire Basin is a scenario in Tier 3. I know, I know, Tor Anroc is supposed to be the only T3 scenario but it is true. It features a classic Capture the Flag (CTF) mechanic with two flags. Usually CTF is pretty fun, but not here.

Last night I only had about 20 minutes to play, so I queued up. To my surprise Black Fire Basin came up. Sometimes it can be pretty fun, but that is pretty rare. So I hop in. When the match starts, a few of us Order head off to make a run at their flag. What do we find? The entire Destruction team at their base. We actually manage to grab the flag for about 15 seconds before we were all killed.

So we regroup and try again. the entire Destruction team is still turtling at their flag. In fact, I don't think any of them left the base for the entire match. Since we were aggressive, we had died more, giving them a score lead. They ended up winning due to the time limit. It was pretty awful.

This scenario should reward aggression, not the turtle tactic. Here are some ideas on how to improve it:
  • Move Spawn points to opposite sides in the middle of the map. Right now, if a defender dies, they will easily be back in the action (without a rez) before the fight is over. This just makes turtling easier.
  • The map is big, maybe a little too big. It takes a couple minutes to ride over to the enemy flag, which also supports turtling since the attacker has to come so far.
  • Maybe the flag should cause damage, as other objects do in scenarios. This might help the situation when each side has the others flag and are turtling. Map size may also help here.
This is one of the scenarios Mythic needs to look at and improve. Hopefully they will in the coming months. The real sad part is that it was still enjoyable since it was not Tor Anroc.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You don't need to be the fastest...

you just need to be faster than the Dwarf Engineer.

Yesterday was a rough day for me in WAR. During the week, I only have one or two hour long chunks of play time. What I generally like to do it queue up all the scenarios, then go find a fight in Avelorn or whatever Tier 3 zone I am in. If there looks like there will be some action, I leave the scenario queue.

There is often a Witch Elf (and at least one companion) hoping to jump a player when they come over the Avelorn bridge. I fell victim to it before, and did again yesterday. I was however ready for the Witch Elf. I was not ready for the DoK.

There I was fighting on the bridge, 2 vs 1, when a fellow Order player rides right by me on the bridge. Didn't get off his horse, just kept on his merry way. I, of course, died. Undaunted I return, find a Witch Hunter willing to fight and we get some revenge.

Later on, there were about 4-5 of us in the vicinity of the bridge looking for Destruction, because they are there somewhere. We are not grouped, the other show no interest in a group as they are in one. Are they in one with each other? Who knows... So 3 Destruction start advancing on us. Awesome, time for a fight.

I take a shot to dismount one of them, and setup a turret. It seems awful quiet around me. I look behind me and see my Order 'allies' flee'ing across the bridge, even though we have them outnumbered. I drop a landmine behind me and follow suit. Destruction eventually catches up and kills me near the end of the bridge, not far from my 'allies.'

Just one of those days in WAR I guess.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PS3 and Me

Late to the party, I received a Playstation 3
last week. I have been the owner of the XBox 360 since it launched and a victim of the red ring of death. When the HD-DVD addon came out, I jumped all over it. It allowed me to have a low cost of entry to the HD movie age. Alas, it was not meant to be, and HD-DVD went the way of Beta.

So what caused me to pull the trigger on the PS3? I wish I could say it was the games, but I cannot. It was the Blu-Ray movies. Right now, there are a ton of movies out that I never saw in theaters. Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Dark Knight (coming soon) are a few examples. Normally I would just get these in HD from Comcast On-Demand... but I could no longer wait.

So I went with the unbundled 80gb version of the PS3. It came with 1 controller and no games. The sad part is there are not any games that forced me to buy the console. I'm sure I will pick up a game soon though. LittleBigPlanet is supposed to be pretty good.

The first thing I noticed about the PS3 was its size. Microsoft and Sony must have switched places this year, because the PS3 is big. Setup was pretty painless... although I don't 'get' the on-screen keyboard. It just confused me, so I stayed with User 1. It should be noted you can plug in a USB keyboard.

The interface seems decent enough, no complaints yet. Of course, I have not even made a PSN account yet and only watched a movie. More on the movie later.

I am happy so far, I can play Blu-Ray movies, PS3 games and the final slot in my entertainment center is now filled.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is the Honeymoon Over?

Games are a lot like relationships. They start up hot and heavy, you just cannot get enough of each other. Everything is great and it seems like it will never end. Like all good things, it does come to and end. Games are no different, and as you have likely seen a lot of blogs have been posting their post-honeymoon blues. Some have even decided to break it off.

Once the honeymoon is over, you see your partner (or in this case, game) for what they really are. Sometimes, what you see is still great and still what you want. Other times, you are left wondering... "What was I thinking?" or "I hope my friends don't find out that I....". It is the natural course of events.

The Honeymoon is over between me and WAR, it actually has been for a while now. I am continuing to see WAR and have no plans on breaking it off. Is She perfect? Not really, but neither am I. Some things I do not like about her:
  • The 20's are taking forever. Order needs help in T4, but we just can't level up quick enough. The fact that Destruction has moved on to T4, means that scenarios are slower, which means slower leveling for me (I don't want to PvE).
  • As a non-magnet Engineer... I am tired of being so squishy and having no ability anyone fears.
  • Open RvR, in a warband, is a recipe for slowing the leveling process.
  • I am tired of doing the same scenario 90% of the time in each tier.
  • I wish my gun and cloak didn't clip. I could always not show the cloak, but still.
  • I need more bag space.
  • Still have very few RvR Tome Unlock
  • When 'The Witching Night' is over, Open RvR will again be difficult to find.
Even with those faults, I do enjoy WAR's company:
  • Fighting in Open RvR and scenarios is fun.
  • The many classes are different and gives replay value.
  • CoW are great folks.
  • I can play for a short period of time.
WAR is also cool with us just having a casual sort of things. I can just call her up on short notice and we'll hang out. No spending the weekend together or meeting her parents. If I want to go hang out with another friend ( Fallout 3), WAR has no problem with that.

So the Honeymoon is over, but the relationship goes on.