Thursday, December 31, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Yesterday I was all set to do Lost Vale for the first time. My guild was putting together a group, so why not? It seems my small interest in PvE angered the RvR Gods. I was just about to scroll to the Lost Vale, when things took a bad turn.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Usually on weeknights, I don't play much in the evening.  Last night I made an exception and logged in for some WAR.  I really had no agenda and just went on to see if anything was happening.  One member of my guild was putting together an Invasion (Purge) group for the Tomb of the Vulture Lord. I joined up and we were off to the Land of the Dead.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A belated gift

Yesterday was a rough day in WAR.   It just so happened I kept running into organized Destruction groups (premades) and got trounced.  We were not organized, so it was our fault.  To seek refuge, I joined a keep defense.  We repelled the attack and I got a late gift from Santa.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tasteless Rewards

I received The Saboteur as a gift a few days ago.  So far all I have had time to do was open the package.  Inside I found a code to redeem.  Neat-o right?  I was rather surprised about what the code was for...

"Redeem for in-game topless dances..."

What the...  did I just get a coupon for a virtual Nudie Bar?  I know the game is Mature rated and we run around blowing up Nazi's.  Still this seems just a bit over the top for me.  Needless to say, I will not be redeeming this coupon. 

The Saboteur

Part Time Klingon

Big Star Trek Online news recently; Klingons will only have PvP content (sorta).  I am actually torn about how I feel about this announcement.  This isn't exactly original, as Lord of the Rings Online's Monster Play sounds very similar.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

!work - Holiday Edition

Christmas eve has to be the longest day of the year when you're at work.  I likely will not be posting again until next week, so everyone have a great holiday.  Here is some stuff to do instead of watching the clock.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

First Night

Keg End isn't the only holiday event in town.  I've also been playing Fallen Earth and their First Night Event.  I was hoping to put together a video but decided against it.  I still have not found a way to make watching me going after resource nodes exciting.  I do have some nice pictures though.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Werit at WAR: Keg End

This past week has seen the arrival of Warhammer Online's winter event, Keg End. It has been a lot of fun and one of the best events so far. This episode of Werit at WAR showcases some of the action. The music is a tribute to my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas Vacation.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why WAR: PvP

This is the first, in a series of posts, about why I play Warhammer Online.  There seems to be a generally negative perception about the game going around.  While some of it may be justified, it really has no impact on the reasons I enjoy the game so much.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December's Producer Letter

Yesterday, Mythic released the much anticipated Producer Letter for December.  Well, it was much anticipated to me anyways.  It is a bit odd, after reading the letter I am both excited and disappointed.  So what does Mythic have in store for us?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time to Re-enlist

Mythic has announced that between now and December 23rd, players who have left WAR can return at no cost for 10 days.  No subscription required.  So is it time for you to re-enlist in the WAR?  I think so, and here is why.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keg End... Begins

Today marks the star of WAR's winter event, Keg End.  There are fireworks to set off, Giants to slay and Ale to drink.  As always, some nice rewards to be had, which are different than the previous years event.  Read on the for the task list and some of the rewards.

What WAR Needs

I think it is safe to say most WAR players want Mythic to release an expansion soon.  I happen to agree, so I figured it would be a great time to settle into my recliner and put on the Armchair Game Designer hat.  What does WAR need to do in a hypothetical expansion?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Werit goes Camping

Fallen Earth introduced Camping in yesterdays 1.2 'Social' patch.  Using the new Construction skill, you can create semi-permanent structures in the game world.  Of course I had to check this out, so I went on a camping trip.

A Dwarf and his Dog

As a reward for participating in 1.3.3's PTS event, players received a non-combat pet.  In the case of Order, it was the Imperial Hunting Hound.  While I am not a huge fan of vanity pets, who doesn't like a good dog?  I know you want to see this fine specimen... and the dog, so read on.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rising through the ranks

Leveling a character in WAR has never been easier.  Over the weekend I played a bit on my Rune Priest, which was Rank 17.  I saw one of my fellow CoW's was online (Hi Tzu!), who was rank 40.  Seemed like a great time to try out the Apprentice/Mentor system.

Friday, December 11, 2009

!work - 12/11

It's been a fun week for gaming.  Both WAR and WoW released some patches, which is likely keeping a bunch of gamers busy.  For those of us stuck at work, that is little comfort.  At least we can read about other people having fun.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Honor and Service

Every so often I get the PvE itch. Usually when it strikes I head over to Everquest 2. It has been an interesting time with recent updates and the expansion, Sentinel's Fate, on the horizon. I ended up making a video (with commentary) covering some of the neat aspects of EQ2 and my adventures.


Yesterday morning, WAR's 1.3.3 patch (called Retribution) went live.  I have been talking about it quite a bit, so I'll skip the rehash.  The big question is, how is the game now?  It is too early to make any big conclusions, but I am having a lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WAR Christmas List

The holiday season is fast approaching.  There are a few things I'd love to see from WAR, who better to ask than Santa?  I will be trying to keep my list reasonable, as I don't expect Santa to be able to arrange a 3rd realm.  Read on for my list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coming Soon to WAR: Scurvy Dogs

A few days ago, I was searching for information in order to upgrade my Fight Finder add-on.  During the search I stumbled upon some evidence of new content for WAR.  Read on for some details about WAR's new Live Event, Scurvy Dogs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

WAR 1.3.3 PTS: Part 2

Last Thursday, Mythic held the 2nd part of the 1.3.3 testing event on Warhammer's PTS.  The primary goal this time was to stress test the client while using the 'Oooh Shiny' setting.  Over 200 players participated and for the most part the results were good.  There is video of the battle after the break.

Friday, December 4, 2009


My post about last nights WAR PTS event will be out on Monday.  Until then I'll leave some keywords for it:  200+ Players, little to no lag and Oooh Shiny.  I have some nice battle footage to go along with it.  Now onto the !work list.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WAR 1.3.3 PTS: Part 1

Last night a PTS event was held to put the latest patch (1.3.3) through its paces.  The focus of the event was on the new WAR Report system.  I ended up wandering around the world checking out the new HDR/Bloom graphical option.  Read on for a run down, pictures and a video!

WAR Quickie

Later today I will post an article about the PTS event last night. I made a video for it, but it will take some time to render and upload.  By the way, the WAR 1.3.3 PTS event continues tonight at 8pm est.  There are a couple things to talk about until then.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Q&A with Fallen Earth's Wes Platt

The last time we talked with Fallen Earth developer Wes Platt, it was just before launch.  Since Fallen Earth has been out for a few months, I wanted to catch up and see what they were up to.  Wes was kind enough to answer some more questions.  Thanks Wes!

Werit: Fallen Earth launched a couple of months ago.  It seems to have gone pretty well from a players standpoint.  How was it from your perspective?

Wes Platt: It was the first major MMORPG launch I've ever been involved with. From my point of view, it was a great experience. Turning the game loose on the world, letting people play what I had a hand in creating, that's really exhilarating. We've received a lot of positive feedback on our missions – especially the character dialogue – so that has meant a lot to the writers who put so much time and energy into crafting the stories that we set out to tell in Fallen Earth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PTS Event Tonight

Tonight on WAR's PTS server is the first part of  the testing for patch 1.3.3.  It is an official test, so you have a chance to win a special mount for just participating.  The test usually doesn't last too long and is a lot of fun.  I will be there on my Engineer named Werit. 

The download for the patch is already available.  It came in at a hefty 1 gig, which you may want to start downloading sooner rather than later.  The 1.3.3 patch introduces HDR and Bloom graphical effects, so your performance feedback should be very valuable to Mythic. You'll need to enable them in game.

NOTE:  The PTS event has been moved to tomorrow (Wed) night.

Warhammer Online Game Card

1.3.3 Patch Notes

Last night, WAR's 1.3.3 patch notes were posted.  Back when 1.3.3 was announced it was billed as a bug fixing and polish patch.  They accomplished that goal, as there are quite a few bug fixes.  They also managed to add a couple neat features with this patch.

Monday, November 30, 2009

DAoC Interview with Mark Davis

Rancid, over at Back to the Dark Age, had a chance to talk with Dark Age of Camelot's new Producer, Mark Davis (WAR Live Events producer).  DAoC isn't in the news much, so it is nice to see some new information come out about it.

BttDA on Expansions.  UO showed that you’re never too old for an expansion.  Many consider UO and DAoC in the same “maintenance” mode right now, and that no new development is going on.  Can you dispel that rumor?  Are plans for an expansion in the works?

MD: We have new development going on all the time for Camelot, though not necessarily in the form of a boxed retail expansion.  The question is, what’s best for the game?  Does Camelot need another expansion?  Possibly, however it’s not what we’re working on currently. That being said, it could be something we do in the future.

Go read the full interview!

Werit subscribes to...

Over the weekend I re-subscribed to Everquest II.  Don't be jealous WAR and FE, this is just a fling.  My desire to play has been slowly creeping upwards for the last month.  Sure Syp didn't help, but the main reason is the Sentinel's Fate expansion pack.


Last week I talked a bit about what I learned from trying out Adsense. This time I experimented with Adsense's sister product, Adwords.  Adwords is Google's ad creation and management product.  When I created an Analytics account  I received a free offer of $100 worth of ads.  So I thought, why not?

Friday, November 27, 2009

This is the DROID you are looking for

A couple days ago, I became an owner of the new DROID phone from Verizon.  This is actually the first smart-phone I have ever had.  The main draw for me is the web access as I am not a big text message user.  For my impressions, read on.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Two great Steam deals

Want something to be thankful for?  How about digital distribution and the great deals that can be had.  First up on Steam we have Fallen Earth for $25.  Not only is it a great price, you get a special Faction t-shirt in-game item.  It bears the emblem of your faction and gives +stat increases.

Also on Steam is the THQ Complete pack for $50 (50% off until Monday).  This sucker has 18 games in it!  Titans Quest, Saints Row 2, Warhammer: Dawn of War I and II, Company of Heroes and more are all included. 

Have a good holiday, and for those non-US folks, have a good day at work? ;)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WAR's December Plans

The WAR newsletter arrived yesterday and with it a glimpse of what is in store for the month of December. With the recent layoff's and the holiday season, I was not expecting too much.  It does look like it will be a good month for WAR though.

Werit at WAR: Shaman

In previous episodes of Werit at WAR, I have played only Order characters.  I think it is time to give Destruction some attention.  So this week I bring to you Werit the Shaman on Iron Rock.  He is Rank 15, likes long walks on the beach and fungus.  Watch the video after the break.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well played Aion, well played

Even though I don't play Aion anymore, I like to keep up with what's going on in the game.  Recently they had a new patch, 1.5.1, which was interesting. CAPTCHA's in game, really Aion?  Then today they released a new video of Aion's future.  I must say, it is nothing short of amazing.

STO's Next Faction

Star Trek Online is starting out with two factions, the Federation and the Klingon's. Even though the game hasn't even launched yet, I think it is a safe bet that they will add a third faction eventually.  Star Trek has a number of interesting possibilities, so which will it be?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Borderlands and Fallen Earth

Bronte, over at Are We New At This, got a chance to interview the President and CEO of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, about Borderlands.  It is a very interesting interview, so check it out.  Part 1, Part 2.

One of the Fallen Earth forum goers made a music video for the game using A Horse with No Name. It is extremely well done, take a look after the break.

Lessons Learned

Some of you may have noticed that last week I had an Adsense ad in the sidebar.  One of the reasons for this site is as a vehicle to try new stuff.  Whether it is a new game or a web technology like Adsense, there is plenty to learn.  While the Adsense is now removed, I did learn more about how it works.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Torchlight Contests

Runic Games, the creator of the action RPG Torchlight, is holding a fan art contest.  The winner gets a Penny Arcade strip, signed by the dev team. One interesting piece is that they mentioned you can participate without any artistic talent (like me!).  A fan site is also holding a contest.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dawntide Update

It has been a little while since I posted about the new sandbox MMO in development, Dawntide.  Turns out they have been pretty busy and the game is coming along nicely.  As there is no NDA,so  I can post what is new.  Read on for the latest news.

Friday Temptations

You didn't really want to work today, did you?  It's been a busy week for me and not in a fun way.  Luckily some other folks picked up the slack and gave me plenty to read.  Now I pass them on to you, so that this day can go a bit faster.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's so civil about Galactic Civil War anyway

One of the major things missing from Star Wars: Galaxies has been any kind of meaningful galactic Civil War.  Sure, you could fight those evil rebels (weren't they the bad guys?) but it was largely inconsequential. All that is about to change, because the next update is all about the GCW.

Open the Gates

When the Land of the Dead was released, it required many more resources in order to open it to your realm.  The only practical way to do it was to flip two zones.  Not too long ago, they lowered the amounts so turn-ins were more meaningful.  Now, in combination with the frequency of city sieges,  control of the zone changes hands pretty regularly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yesterday, the gaming world received some sad news.  Pandemic Studios was shut down as a part of the sweeping EA cuts.  They were one of my favorite game studios.  Let's take a look back at some of their awesome games.

Gratuitous Space Battles hits Steam

Gratuitous Space Battles is a game where you design your ships, deploy them and watch the carnage unfold.  There is really nothing else like it on the market.  I have always enjoyed the space battles in Star Wars, Star Trek and others.  GSB takes that aspect and builds a game around it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Missing armor in Dragon Age?

A few days ago, I started up Dragon Age only to find that my character was walking around in his underwear.  While there are certain situation where this is acceptable, fighting the darkspawn is not one of them.  It seems he was missing his armor.  In particular, this armor was from the Warden's Keep DLC.

To fix: Go to Downloadable Content then the Installed Content tab.  Un-check all of the items and then re-check them.  Go back into the game and your character should have his armor back.

Another fix:  Make sure you are logged in (lower left corner).

Hope that helps.

Dragon Age: Origins

Werit at WAR: Bright Wizard

Dragon Age wasn't the only game I played over the weekend.  I was in a PvP mood so I spent some time in Warhammer Online.  Rather than playing my normal characters, I had an urge to throw some fire around.  So I created a Bright Wizard.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Just because it's the apocalypse doesn't mean you have to wear those instruments of death and destruction.  Fallen Earth announced a new bonus when you purchase the game which is sure to get you looks around the canyon.

Dragon Age + The Old Republic

Most of my game time has been consumed by Dragon Age lately.  It is rather addicting.  As I play, I can't help but think what Dragon Age tells us about Bioware's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. 

Friday, November 13, 2009


Recently, I have come down with a case of MMO envy.  I had hoped yesterday's WAR Producer's Letter would have alleviated it but it did not.  In fact, the letter did not do much of anything except tell us what we already knew.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last night's PTS event

Last night, there was an event on WAR's PTS to test out the new shortened city siege.  I, as usual, strolled in later than I had hoped.  I did get a chance to fight for close to an hour though.  For a look at the video and my impressions, read on.

Q&A with Torchlight's Matt Lefferts

Today we have the third and final Torchlight interview.  Matt Lefferts, the animator of Torchlight, was kind enough to answer the questions as well.  I think the animations in torchlight really help to get across the feel of the combat.  Thanks Matt!

Werit:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Matt Lefferts.  I’m one of the founding members of Runic Games.  I’m the animator for Torchlight.  I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated in 06.  I’ve been in the industry for about 2 years and freelanced for 2.5 years before that.  I will be playing the part of Biff in this production of, Death of a Sal… moving on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PTS Event Tonight

First, I want to wish everyone that lost their job recently, good luck and thanks for the effort.  As it often does, WAR marches on.  Tonight, at 8pm EST, they are holding a PTS event in order test some of the new City Siege changes.  They include the shorter duration and changes to how victory points are calculated.

These events are usually pretty fun.  You can use a template and try out classes on either side.  Some of those fancy mounts will also be given out to a lucky few.  I plan on stopping by, as Werit of course.  If you can, stop in and say hi.

Q&A with Torchlight's Matt Tanwanteng

Torchlight week continues with the second of three developer interviews.  This time we have Matt Tanwanteng, one of the MMO and Toolset developers.  Can you spot the Simpson's reference?  Thanks Matt!

Werit:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi!  My name is Matt Tanwanteng, and I graduated with a Master's in Computer Science from MIT before coming to Runic and inheriting the Newbie Brick.  Here, I'm officially helping Peter lay out the codebase for the upcoming MMO version of Torchlight.  Most recently, I've been working on testing out and documenting the modding process and have been having fun throwing together little unofficial Torchlight mods.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Engineers new clothes

Don't worry, no dwarfs in their birthday suits.  I had to phrase that last sentence carefully as it could have brought the wrong kinda traffic to this site.  I don't change my gear often in WAR, as it isn't that important.  Eventually, I saved up enough medallions and was able to upgrade.

Q&A with Torchlight's Wonder Russell

Recently, I had an opportunity to ask Wonder Russell, the Minister of Culture at Runic Games, about Torchlight.  This is actually the first of 3 interviews with folks at Runic, thanks Wonder!  If you are not familiar with Torchlight, be sure to check out this video review of the game.  Check back tomorrow for the next interview.

Werit:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Wonder, I’m a chick in the gaming industry which reminds me of a quote from my Alaska days: “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” Except for Runic Games, that is! ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Combat in Dragon Age

In my previous video, I only showed off the very basics of how fighting works in Dragon Age.  Looking back at it, I don't think it really showed how fun the combat system can be. So today we have a video of the first boss fight.  This may be considered a minor spoiler.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fallen Earth Friday

It has been a crazy week for gaming.  I've played Torchlight, WAR, Dragon Age, GSB and a little Fallen Earth.  The Halloween Event ended but I did manage to get my shotgun.  Sadly, I am not skilled enough to use it yet.  I do have some pictures of some other stuff though.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dragon Age Video Review

This really isn't a review, as I don't judge the game.  The video will show, without spoilers, what Dragon Age has to offer.  So if you still have not had enough Dragon Age, you can check it out after the break.

Changes coming to the City Siege

When the fortresses were removed in WAR's 1.3.2 patch, the intention was to get campaigns moving again.  It was successful but perhaps too successful.  On some servers, city sieges are occurring too frequently, resulting in some players being locked out of their city.  Mythic is aware of the problem and has outlined some of the planned fixes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gratuitous Space Battles + Star Wars

When I think of space battles, Star Wars immediately comes to mind.  In fact, I have always liked the space fight angle much more than the Jedi.  X-Wings, Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters,  it was all great.  When I first played around with Gratuitous Space Battles it was clear that someone would make a mod to use Star Wars ships.

Dragon Age: Impressions

Yesterday the long wait for Bioware's latest venture, Dragon Age: Origins, came to and end.  I went with the Digital Deluxe version from Steam.  I played for 3 hours or so yesterday.  Read on for my no spoiler impressions. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Streaming WAR

Recently, I did some intensive investigating (twitter) and found an interesting tidbit about WAR.  You may recall that WAR is revamping their free trial.  That is not the only change coming to it though.

Farewell Aion

If you have been reading my recent articles about Aion, it should be no surprise that I have canceled my subscription.  Since well before launch I have been cynical towards Aion, but the game at least deserved a try.  Much to my surprise it was not as bad as I thought.  In the end though, it just wasn't the game for me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Death Troopers

Death Troopers is both a new book in the Star Wars universe and also an event in Star Wars Galaxies.  As you may expect from the title, it involves zombies.  While you may think they are hopping on the zombie bandwagon, it appears that they have been a part of the Star Wars lore for a while.  For a video and more info, continue on.

What Aion can learn from WAR

Last week, I made a post discussing what WAR can learn from Aion.  Performance, Crafting, PvP and the economy were all included.  That doesn't mean Aion is perfect in those areas.  There is always room for improvement and WAR does have some good ideas.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to buy Dragon Age: Origins

Maybe I'm alone but buying Dragon Age is pretty complicated.  There are standard editions, collectors editions and digital deluxe version.   You can buy it online or in stores and most of the time what you get is different.  Hopefully this post can help you decide how best to buy DA:O.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Black-Hole

Does it feel like a black-hole is stationed next to your cubical, slowing time down to a crawl?  Each second seems to take longer than the next.  Sure, you could buckle down and work, but who are we kidding?  The answer is out there, somewhere (like after the break). 

WAR unveils a new Free Trial

In this months newsletter, Mythic announced that they have made some changes to their 10-Day Free trial.  At first the news worried me a little, but the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded.  Once it goes live, it will be a great time to try out WAR.  Read on for more details. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Torchlight Video Review

Usually, I don't like to do game reviews.  One reason is I feel you cannot really sum up a game with a number.  Another is that often times it is hard to get a feel for how a game plays. For the new Action RPG, Torchlight, I decided to do a video review.  You can watch how the game plays while I talk about what it has to offer. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WAR comes to the Mac

That's right Mac users, Warhammer Online is now officially released for you.  If you want to check it out, head over here and download the trial version.  To remember the occasion, I threw together a quick commercial.  I do mean quick, so I apologize in advance for the quality ;)  Check it out after the jump.

What WAR can learn from Aion

Soon my time in Aion will come to an end.  As I expected, the game is just not for me.  It isn't a bad game and I did have some fun while playing.  Even though I won't be playing it, there are some things that WAR can learn and hopefully be an even better game.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The truth about zombies

Fallen Earth tells it like it is.

Werit at WAR: Daemon Moon Rising

Most of my WAR playtime this week has involved the current Live Event, Daemon Moon Rising.  I think this has been one of the best Live Event's yet.  It has sparked quite a bit of RvR with the PQ and bringing the back High Pass Cemetery scenario.  See for yourself after the jump.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Action Points get Fixed

One of the long standing criticisms of WAR is that it require zero to little 'skill.'  I won't debate what 'skill' really means, as that is a whole a post in itself.  In this case, it comes down to just being able to SPAM abilities.  In 1.3.2, WAR has taken steps to fix this problem.

Werit goes to GameX

Much to my surprise there was a video game conference close to where I live over the weekend.  It was called GameX and it was a developer conference plus an expo.  I've never been to a game conference before, so I drove over to check out the expo.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Time Accelerator

The weekend is almost here, but a long Friday at work stands in between.  You could pass the time by working... or you could do whatever you can to make it seem to fly by.  I'm a big fan of the latter, so I offer you these links.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Daemon Moon has Risen

The newest Live Event for WAR has begun.  It is a day early, but I'm not complaining.  This event has me pretty excited, so let's get to it.  You can find the task list and other info after the break.

Q&A with Soldak's Steven Peeler

Yesterday, we had a preview of Soldak's new game, Din's Curse.  I was able to catch up with its creator, Steven Peeler, and ask some questions. Thanks Steven!

Werit:  Please tell us a little about yourself and your new game, Din's Curse.

My name is Steven Peeler. I’m the owner of Soldak Entertainment, the lead designer of our games, and the only programmer over here.

Din’s Curse is our upcoming single player and co-op multiplayer action RPG with 141 class combinations, infinite number of dynamically generated towns, real consequences, and a dynamic, evolving world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fallen Earth Freebies

Another 3 post day, I'm turning into Syp.  I just can't help myself though, there is so much game stuff to talk about!  Out of nowhere, an email from the Fallen Earth team arrived.  It was a nice coincidence as I was in game catching up on my crafting.

Re-Enlist in WAR

Are you tired killing that same old monster over and over again?  Do you want to take out your frustrations on others?  Have an urge to yell WAAAGH?  If you do, now may be a good time to give WAR a chance.  There are a number of reasons why.

Din's Curse Preview

Action RPG's, such as the ever popular Diablo, tend to be relatively simple hack and slash games.  Soldak Entertainment is taking them to a whole new level.  In their upcoming Action RPG, Din's Curse, they bring a dynamic and meaningful game world to the genre.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dawntide Giveaway UPDATE

All the invites for the Dawntide Beta Giveaway have been sent out.  Be sure to check your SPAM boxes just in case.  Thanks to everyone who sent in a request.  If you missed it or did not get an invite, be sure to register at Dawntide's Beta Center

2 weeks, 3 games

Is it almost November already?  It seems like I was just talking about the huge MMO month of September.  Not to be outdone, October and November are teaming up to bring us the launch of 3 new games.  While they are not MMO's, they definetly deserve your attention.

Dawntide Beta Key Giveaway

Dawntide is a new sandbox style MMO which is currently in its 2nd beta phase.  Some of the main features are: Skill based, Open World, SWG-like crafting, sailing and town building.  I happen to have a number of beta keys to give out, sound interesting?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Days of the Dead

Fall is upon us and that means the start of MMO holiday event season.  Fallen Earth is launching their first event, Days of the Dead, just in time for Halloween.   Most holiday events are pretty lackluster to me, but I am excited about this one.

Werit at WAR 10/19

In this week's 'Werit at WAR' segment I decided to try something new.  As I'm on a video kick, I recorded some of the action I saw this weekend.  Most of the clips end up with me dying though.  I also made up a new title sequence, so let me know what you think.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Werit Gets Owned

Three posts, on a Friday?  I know, it is a bit out of the ordinary.  To celebrate Friday and the release of the 1.3.2 patch I have another video for you.  This time it is of my character, Tirew, getting demolished in a fight.

Producer's Letter - What was missing

The Producer's Letter released yesterday was pretty good.  It will be a much needed patch even if it doesn't get players all excited.  There are a few things that I would have loved to seen in the letter.  Hopefully they will be realized in an upcoming patch.

WAR Producer's Letter

Yesterday, the much anticipated 1.3.2 patch was released on the live servers.  Along with the patch, we also got another Producer's Letter which outlines the current and future plans for the game.  What does Mythic have in store?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WAR Siege Video 1.3.2 Part 2

In Part 1 of the 1.3.2 PTS Siege Event we saw Order on the offensive.  Performance was very good, but the video did not really show the true scale of the Destruction force.  In Part 2,  Order is defending the keep.  This actually happened prior to the first part.  Did performance hold up inside the keep?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WAR Siege Video 1.3.2

As I mentioned in the last post, I took 60 gig worth of video from last nights PTS event.  I think this does a good job of showing just how far WAR's performance has come.  My graphics were set to Balanced and I was using Fraps to record.  Over 250 players participated and still the video came out pretty good.  Check it out after the break.

NOTE: Part 2 is up!

1.3.2 Impressions

Last night, Mythic held a PTS event to test their performance improvements.  The goal was to get a whole bunch of people attacking a very well defended keep and see how it holds up.  Over 250 players ended up fighting over the keep. How did WAR do?

NOTE:  Check out the video of the siege
NOTE:  Part 2 of the Siege Video is up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WAR PvP video 1.3.2

In preparation of tonight's PTS event for WAR, I logged in to get all patched up.  After patching I thought I'd look around and see what was going on.  The map showed some action in Reikland so that seemed like a good place to start.  I took some video of the fight, it's after the break.

Fallen Earth Tips - Auction House

It is good to know that commerce has survived the apocalypse.  The zones in Fallen Earth are big... really big, so it can be a bit of a pain to find things.  This weeks tip reveals the location of the Auction House in Sector 1.  Hop on your horse or ATV and load up your junk as there are chips to be made.  Check out the video after the jump.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kindle vs Sony Reader

I saw a commercial for the new Sony Reader which said it started at $199.  As a Kindle user my curiosity was peaked due to the low price.  Amazon recently lowered the Kindle 2's price to $249 and this was even cheaper.  So I set off to find out why it was so 'cheap.'

Hoarders - The MMO

I was watching the A&E show, Hoarders and couldn't help but think of MMO's.  If you're not familiar with the show, it is about people who cannot throw anything away.  Their homes and yards end up turning into junk yards.  In real life it turns out to be a very serious problem, but in MMO's it is standard fare.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dawntide: And so it begins

Dawntide has entered phase 2 of its beta.  With some luck, a bribe and a sacrifice or two I was granted access.  Since they don't use a NDA I can freely talk about (and show) my experiences.  It should be pretty fun to document its development. Oh and of course help them find bugs :)

Some of the graphics are very nice, much better than I was expecting for a beta.  I especially like the water and sky.  For more articles about Dawntide, click on the tag.

You may still be able to get into this round of testing, head over to their beta center

Passing the time

Another Friday is upon us.  What better way to help the day go by faster than surfing the web?

This week on Werit we saw...

Warhammer Online gets a new beginning.
We watched many a ship be blown up in Gratuitous Space Battles
Cliff Harris came by to chat about said space ships blowing up.
We learned about WAR's plan to get everyone involved in RvR... well almost everyone. 


Syp tells us what Star Trek Online should learn from Champions Online.
Guess who's back? JoBildo's back!
Syncaine tells the tale of how they lost a city.
Triumph at the Star Wars opening.  Yea it's old but still hilarious.
Grimnir  discovers the long sought after WAR poems.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WAR for Everyone

Another one of the features coming to WAR in the 1.3.2 patch is an apprenticeship system.  Due to the always entertaining chicken system, higher ranked players are forbidden from participating in lower tier RvR.  It also isn't feasible for lower ranked players to participate in higher tier RvR.  With this new system,  all of that should now be possible.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Q&A with GSB's Cliff Harris

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Cliff Harris, the creator of Gratuitous Space Battles.  If you are not familiar with the game, be sure to check out the video preview.  GSB is all about designing your fleet, giving them orders and then watching the carnage that unfolds. Thanks Cliff!

Werit:  Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your new game?

I'm cliff harris, most people call me cliffski. I used to be a programmer working at Lionhead, and I left there to set up my own little one-man games company. I've been doing that for quite a few years, doing games like Kudos and Democracy, but my latest game is a space strategy game called 'Gratuitous Space Battles'. It's a new take on the whole war-game genre, because it's all about planning and strategy, rather than fast reflexes and direct control of your forces.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gratuitous Space Battles - Video Preview

Gratuitous Space Battles (GSB) is a new title from the one man programming band, Positech Games.  The best way to describe it would be to take Master of Orion (or Space Empires), pull out the ship design and tactical combat and then build a game around them.   As the name suggests, you end up with some very cool (and large) space battles.

If you pre-order the game you are able to download the current beta version.  I ended up doing that a few weeks ago, so I thought I'd put together a video preview for the game.  Check it out after the jump.

NOTE: Check out a Q&A with the creator.

Monday, October 5, 2009

WAR's New Beginning

One of the new changes coming to WAR Patch 1.3.2 is a revamp of the new user experience.  As it stands now, new players will start in their racial pairing, of which there are 3.  This is not in itself a bad idea, for a PvE game.  Multiple starting areas are usually a must when PvP is not a concern.

Friday, October 2, 2009


One of the more interesting concepts in Aion are the Rifts.  These portals allow for limited PvP in zones outside of the Abyss.  Over the last couple days I've had a chance to play with them.  They provide a bit of spice to an otherwise bland PvE experience.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daemon Moon Rising

Live Events have always been one of the great features of Warhammer Online. Yesterday they spilled the beans on the next one which is called Daemon Moon Rising. Is that the moon that just hangs out in the background? Is it too early for a computer joke?

Check out the details and a video after the jump. I am experimenting with using page jumps, so if you love them or hate them, let me know.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fallen Earth Tips - Waypoints

In this segment of Fallen Earth Tips, I talk about some easy ways to manage your waypoints. As I am an explorer who loves to track down resources, the waypoints are very valuable to me. When I started, their use was not obvious to me, so I hope this video helps out any other players in the same situation.

Direct Link.

In other Fallen Earth news, patch 1.0.9 was released. This patch mainly focused on crash fixing and performance enhancements. It sounds like we may need to start testing Fallen Earth for steroids. Yea, that was lame, but it's early here so cut me some slack :)

Here are some highlights:
  • Updated the resource thread to sleep when there are no resources to load, which brings the total CPU use down to around 50% or lower on a dual-core machine.
  • Added the Large Address Aware option, which enables up to 4GB process space for 64-bit operating systems instead of the default 2GB.
  • Enabled particle debris on vehicles driving over dirt or gravel.
  • Increased the range at which the mount window pops up. You can click the mount window to target your mount at any time.
The performance update has helped at least one blogger.

I need to try out my ATV now. Better particle effects often translate to an improved riding experience.

So far I am pressed with the patches they have delivered and the speed at which it was done. Now I am even more curious to see their first content patch.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Interview with Warhammer's Carrie Gouskos

Recently, I had a chance to ask Carrie Gouskos, of Warhammer Online, a few questions. Some of these are ones that I have been wondering about for quite a while. Speaking of WAR, did you know the patch notes for 1.3.2 are out?

Thanks for the time Carrie!


Werit: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for Warhammer Online?

Surely! I’m an Associate Producer at Mythic, and I was responsible for the UI and Tome of Knowledge development leading up to launch. Since we launched, I’ve taken a step back from the Live game and looked at some other side projects, leading the nebulously named Special Projects team. That included work on the Realm WAR website, producing the Mac client, and some other stuff we haven’t announced yet. Currently I’m back on Warhammer development as the Producer on Warhammer Asia.

That’s the CV, as for a brief bio about myself, I’m a former games journalist and former employee at the defunct version of Acclaim Entertainment. I obsessively collect video games and consoles (tally is at 57 right now), and I talk a lot. Also I like cupcakes.

Werit: One of the big projects you were involved in was getting Warhammer Online working on Mac's. How has that gone?

Getting Warhammer on the Macs has been much… much harder than I thought it would be. You’d think because the game was done on the PC and because we had the help of TransGaming to port the product over that it would be a cinch. But there were a lot of pieces and a lot of factors that differentiated the Mac and the PC game from a technical perspective. Fortunately for this reason, working on the Mac gave us a new perspective the PC version, and I’m very proud to say that improvements done for the Mac are going to be greatly beneficial to the PC players as well. Look it’s the Mac and PC folks working together!

Werit: What was the biggest challenge involved in getting it all to work?

Performance, performance, performance. As I mentioned, Macs work in different ways than PCs, and some of the things we did one way for the PC just didn’t play nicely with the Mac. Figuring out how to get that done, while not stealing resources hard at work on the PC game, and while still making sure everything still worked in the end, was very challenging.

Werit: Any chance we will see Linux support in the future?

Probably not. Sorry Linux people!

Werit: I've noticed there have been a bunch of improvements to the Realm War web pages. Can you catch the readers up on how that is going?

Thanks! The web team has been working very hard and I’m glad to hear it’s paid off.

Let’s see, after launch, we put together a crack team of people to take a look at the Realm WAR and figure out exactly how to best support the needs of our users when they might not have access to play the game. We all have experience of wanting to sit and fixate over our characters while we’re at work, or unable to play, or whatever.

So we outlined a whole bunch of features we wanted to support, to allow people the chance to get info about the game. We had a couple different phases of implementation, and have been gradually introducing the ideas in order of importance. For example, the most recent additions include the ability for players to log in and see which of their friends and guildmates are online or offline, as well as detailed RVR information about the last few events to occur on the server. There’s more, there’s always more of course, and we’ll get to them as it makes sense for the team.

Werit: I and others have made tools that use the Realm War information. Any chance we will see Realm War start to use XSLT? Some other MMO's implement it and it makes using the web pages much easier.

Oh so those were yours! Nice work! J Of course it’s something we’d like to do, but we’re always balancing resources. At the moment we’ve dialed back work on new features in the Realm WAR because we’re focusing on other things. But making the Realm War more malleable for the community is always a priority when we’re investigating new features for it.

Werit: Any plans to branch out Realm War into services such as RSS or Twitter?

Why yes! RSS has been on the top of our to-do list for awhile, but we just didn’t get to it. Twitter is an interesting beast, I’ve been using it for awhile now and while I think it’s great, I think a lot of companies who try to use it for marketing end up using it in the wrong way. Currently we just have individual staff accounts that aren’t really official, and one official account that gives Herald news. And I kind of like it like that. I don’t know if we’d extend it to the Realm WAR, but I guess we wouldn’t ever rule it out. That’s more bordering on Andy and the Community team’s territory though.

Actually one of the unannounced Special Projects that we’ve been investigating since the beginning of the year is an example of an extension of the Realm WAR. I can’t spoil it now, but I would keep an eye open in the next month or so for more info.

Werit: How goes the Tome of Knowledge? There have been a lot of improvements to WAR lately, but the Tome remains largely untouched.

The Tome will always be very close to my heart, but the UI and Tome were both taken over by a very talented producer (James Casey) who owns them in their entirety. I don’t know all of what he’s up to, but I expect big things!

Werit: Can you give us any hint about what the Cards page is for in the Tome?

I don’t want to spoil James’ thunder. ;) Though to be fair to him, he inherited that burdensome question from me. There is something going on with the cards, but more will be revealed later. That’s your hint.

Werit: It's hard to believe WAR is a year old. Looking back, what are you most proud of?

It’s hard not to say the Tome, because I’m extremely proud of it. But I think I’d rather highlight the work that the UI Team did in the year leading up toward launch. I was lucky to have such a talented team, and I was lucky that everyone was willing to work extraordinary hours. And I was lucky we had the ability to put features into the main game for the UI that a lot of games only have in mods. A lot of things came together that make me really proud of the UI as a product, though I wish we had more time to do more. But that’s the developer’s credo right? I wanted more time! Why’d those players have to make us launch?!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dawntide Beta - Phase 2

Today, the folks over at Dawntide announced that they are taking applications for phase 2 of their beta. If you are not familiar with Dawntide, check out these links for more information.
If you do not get invited, no need to fret. There is no NDA so you can follow along easily. My application is in, but I tend to have bad luck.

To apply for the beta, go here.

Blood in the Water

Most of my weekend gametime was spent playing Aion. Yes, I can now actually play! I have been pushing through the PvE content at a pretty good pace. Due to the smoothness of the engine, it actually isn't too painful. Although, I'm not sure I'll be able to do it a second time with an alt.

Sunday morning I reached rank 19 but had completed most of the quests in the zone. The final campaign quest required defeating a boss. I just didn't have a block of time big enough to get it done with a group. That left me with two options: grind it out or head to a level 20+ zone. I chose the latter.

There are two zones that have level 20 quests. Brusthonin is a PvE only zone and Morheim which has some rift based PvP. Morheim was the obvious choice for me. It turns out each side has a quest that takes them very close to the enemy starting point. The result is that there is PvP right next to the base.

It wasn't long before I had my first Aion PvP experience. One of my guildmate's (a Templar) engaged him and I hung back and healed. As this Elyos was alone, he did not have much of a chance. We won easily and I got my first Abyss points.

One nice touch about Aion PvP is that you cannot see the level of the opposing player. They all show ?? in their level circle. So you may want to choose who you attack more carefully, as they could be a higher level. I should mention that later on I also experienced my first PvP loss. It was my fault and I let a Ranger get to me while I was healing another player.

Much like LoTRO and WAR, I'm finding it tough to do PvE now that I have a taste of PvP. I spent the rest of my game time just hanging out and looking for Elyos. It would have been better spent getting to level 20, but not nearly as fun.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Valhalla or Bust

For your Friday reading pleasure, may I present an interview I did for Grinding to Valhalla. It offers a bit of insight to why I blog and other such important topics.

If you do not want to read about yours truly, then maybe some of these links will tickle your fancy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fallen Earth puts PvP on the map

I mean that literally. Until recently, the PvP areas were not marked on the map. As there are several areas and the sectors are just so huge it was a bit of a pain to find them. Speaking of the map, I like the look of it as it fits the game well. There is another level of zoom, but this is the map for Sector 1.

Yesterday I set out to explore and hopefully find some resources. I cleared out the inventory, made sure I had extra horse feed and set off into the wasteland. In the end, I found a rather expansive Coal, Copper and Iron field.

The field seems to be in the middle of nowhere and rather inhospitable. The high level creatures there don't help matters. I was able to avoid them for the most part though. I loaded up the horse with about 50 copper and 50 coal before heading home.

Aion, the first 11 levels

While I still can't play Aion, I may as well give my impressions of it up to this point. Don't worry, it is not too colored by my current predicament ;) I've actually played through the first part of the game twice, due to the server move. The good news is the second time goes much quicker.

Let's start with the positive side. It sure does feel polished. Is that like saying someone has a lot of personality? The graphics are good and combat is very smooth. It feels like it has been released for a year already.... which is has. That about covers the positive.

On to what makes Aion meh to me. The gameplay is very derivative. Seriously, this is the same game we've been playing for years. I find it completely uninspired. That's ok though, as I'm not playing Aion for the PvE.

I must be a glutton for punishment to put myself through 25 levels of this just to get to the Abyss. The wings are a neat touch, although a jetpack would be better. It would also be nice to be able to use them more.

I should be able to play again tonight, but I have my doubts. Some issue will arise which will prevent it from happening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NCsoft does not want me to play Aion

First, we have the huge queues that eliminated any kind of head start for many players. Then those who chose to move to lower population servers were met with "Can't create a character" messages due to balance concerns. I have been effected by both issues and really got no head start.

Then today things were finally looking good. I had a character on my guilds new server and no queue issues. Everything was going well, that should have been my first clue.

It turns out NCsoft just froze my account because my boxed order has not arrived. Appears they had a 24 hour grace period to enter the retail key. So again, I cannot play Aion. My order should be here in a day or two.

Why do you hate your customers NCsoft? You probably don't, but it sure feels like it.

Fallen Earth Tip and Patch

Yesterday, Fallen Earth officially launched! Compared to most modern MMO's, Fallen Earth can be a bit difficult at the start. It's learning curve is not as steep as EvE's, but it isn't flat either. I've started a new segment called Video Tips.

The first tip is about inventory management.

Direct Link.

Along with launch, patch 1.0.8 was released. You can see the full notes here. They are pretty big, but the most interesting news has to do with vehicles. In Fallen Earth you have to fuel your vehicle with gas. If you have a horse, it must be fed.

Vehicles went through gas very fast, making them near useless when compared to a horse. In 1.0.8 they have increased the fuel efficiency, making them much more economical. As someone who has a pre-order ATV, this makes me happy. I'm not going to break it out until I can craft gasoline though.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

STO has PvP leveling!

In an unexpected turn of events, Star Trek Online has announced you can level entirely by PvP. This is a huge and great surprise, at least for me. That is one of my favorite things about WAR. Although, I don't mind PvE as much in the STO universe. That is probably because the shows were like a big PvE quest.

You can read more about it here.

Aion's Perfect Storm

As you have no doubt heard, the login queues during the Aion Head Start are crazy. Anywhere close to prime-time and you are looking at a multi-hour wait. Besides the obvious reasons, too many people and too little servers, there are other factors.

One of Aion's features is the private store. You basically turn yourself into a stationary vendor selling your wares. When in store mode, the activity timer is disabled. So unless a networking hiccup disconnects you, you'll stay logged in.

As broadband is the norm and most do not have hourly charges... a lot of people have the ability to leave Aion running. Combined with no activity timer you can guess what happens. There are loads of people using the private store to stay logged in around the clock. This is legitimate but it just contributes to the large queues we have been seeing.

So far, I am not a fan of the private store. Due to the benefit of never logging off, they are everywhere. Most just use a default text or come right and say they are AFK. They must be contributing to the lag too. The concept sounds interesting, but at this point in the games life it is pretty annoying.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dawntide Q&A with Christian Hummeluhr

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Christian Hummeluhr, Producer of the upcoming MMO Dawntide. You may recall I have posted about Dawntide before as it looks quite promising. Thanks to Christian for taking the time to answer my questions.


Werit: One of the things that really stood out to me about Dawntide was that you do not use a NDA. That kind of open development is almost unheard of in MMO's. What lead to that decision?

Christian: Because we have limited resources, every time we make a decision about the game, no matter how basic, we intensely question our first response. The NDA decision is a great example of it – we were talking about needing to draw up an NDA, and we asked “What does this do for us, exactly?” and came to the conclusion that it does not do anything.

NDAs fundamentally attempt to keep information from getting out. This is an exercise in futility in this day and age – even assuming that no one breaks the NDA on the down-low (We’re all law abiding citizens here), people can still easily communicate to one another that the game sucks by saying “This game sucks.”

Werit: Openness does not only apply to the development. One of Dawntide's listed features is "Open ended character development." Can you tell us a bit about what that means?

Christian: Open character development means you make no decision that ties you down to any specific path of progression. It’s always possible to just pick up a new item and start doing something else, so your character’s skills will be defined by what you like to do in the game rather than in which direction the next carrot is.

Werit: Crafting in Dawntide looks like it is a core gameplay mechanic, rather than just a diversion. My favorite crafting system had to be Star Wars Galaxies. From what I've read, Dawntide seems to be going down a similar path. Can you tell us a little bit about how it works?

Christian: We have a big article on Crafting up in our Feature Discussion forum. It is very similar to SWG in that raw materials vary in quality and sources are dynamic, so a given piece of territory won’t always have the same resources or quality of resources.

Werit: Will there be decay on crafted items?

Christian: We haven’t made a final decision on how items will exit the game to combat mudflation yet, but an item durability solution is definitely on the table.

Werit: Decay can be an important part of a crafting system, but it can also lead towards a lot of frustration. How do you balance it so expensive items are worthwhile?

Christian: Very carefully.

Werit: One interesting tidbit's I picked up in my readings was about the supply and demand based economy. While reading about it, it reminded me of Elite and the player-based economy of EvE. Are they influences behind Dawntide's system?

Christian: I’m a big fan of EVE’s economy and they have definitely been a major source of inspiration for us. Players need to be responsible for the vast, vast majority of all market transactions if you want to have realistic effects like wars affecting the economy, and we definitely do.

Werit: Trading is a fun career for some, including me. How will players move goods around? Will they have a lot of backpack space or will the mount do the carrying? Is there an opportunity for pirating?

Christian: As a rule of thumb, nothing will move unless someone moves it. However, it will be possible to load ships with large amounts of cargo, and we will also have carts and wagons to help individual crafters improve their carrying capacity at the cost of speed and defensibility.

Werit: Will there be a central Auction House? How about player owned vendors?

Christian: We will be using localized markets. The current plan is to have local warehouses where you can rent space, which both markets and vendors will link to. Using the market will incur some sort of fee for the convenience, while vendors will have to be paid a set amount for their services.

Werit: Will a character be able to do it all (crafting/combat) or do you see players having crafting alts?

Christian: I think we’ll see people having alts. As convenient as it sounds, I can’t see it working out well if a significant amount of characters can simply do everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people played at least two characters to fully enjoy the game.

Werit: Dawntide is currently in it's first Beta phase. Any hints as to when phase 2 starts?

Christian: Expect an announcement this week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Aion and the Wizard of Oz

What do Aion and the Wizard of Oz have in common? They both seem to have a lot of little people in them. The height slider in character creation allows for a wide variety of heights. Normally I would support more options in character creation, but when PvP is a big part of the game is presents some issues.

Smaller Hitbox. It's been shown that smaller characters have a smaller hitbox in Aion. Since Aion's combat does not have any FPS elements, it isn't a huge deal. You can also use tab to select them. It does make them harder to click on, which is still an advantage.

Lost in a crowd. Smaller characters are also easier to hide in the crowd. There really isn't much that can be done about this, but it is also another small advantage.

Fallen Earth had this problem earlier in its life. Since it uses a FPS-type system for combat it was a bigger issue. In the end, they ended up lowering the height range a player could choose. Otherwise everyone would have been quite little in PvP. In WAR, everyone has the same size hitbox.

In Aion's case, smaller characters will have a slight advantage. Many of the PvP video's already show a plethora of small characters being used. The hitbox issue is just silly, everyone should have the same hitbox size. The only exception is if being smaller results in some disadvantage.

It isn't a big deal, but PvPers will take any advantage they can get. Be prepared for the onslaught of Aion Gnomes ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gates of Ekrund returns to WAR

As a part of WAR's year anniversary celebration, they are making the Gates of Ekrund scenario available for all tiers this weekend. It is all a part of the Battle at the Gates weekend event. Last weeks Mourkain Temple event was a lot of fun, even if I didn't get to play it much.

The scenario will only be available until the 21st, so be sure to get in there and check it out. As with previous events there is a task list with a title reward. These are often difficult to accomplish, but I wonder if we will be able to continue our progress the next time thay bring back the Gates? No matter, it is a lot of fun.

And the winner is...

September has been the month of MMO's. With three major launches it has been an exciting time. So far I have been sitting on the sidelines and not committing to any of them. That time is over. A winner in the "What MMO will Werit play in September" contest has been chosen! Lets take a quick look at the contestants.

Champions Online
  • + Non-fantasy setting
  • + Amazing character customization
  • - Brand new with the associated issues
  • - Felt small
Fallen Earth
  • + Non-fantasy setting
  • + Crafting is a core part of the game
  • + Skill based
  • - Brand new with the associated issues
  • - Unsure of its future direction
  • + Highly anticipated, will be popular at least initially
  • + PvP based endgame
  • + Polished as it has been released for over a year in Eastern markets
  • + Many people I play WAR with will be trying it out
  • - Anime influenced art style
  • - Wings
  • - Same old quest leveling scheme
And the winner is... Aion.

While there are quite a few things I do not like about Aion, the sheer amount of people that will be giving it a try makes it worth the cost. I will have no shortage of folks to play with as many CoWs will be giving it a shot. My pre-order is in, so next week I will be playing.

There are really no losers here. I will also be jumping into Fallen Earth and Champions at some point, just not at launch. It has actually taken quite a bit of self control not to buy into those already. I can thank a free DDO for providing a distraction.

Aion will be joining WAR as my 2 MMO's that I will subscribe to. Will I get beyond the free month of play? We shall see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Comment System

You know what they say about imitation... so thanks Brent! I'm lifting his idea :)

The Disqus system seems to be a step above the default Blogger comes with. So I'll give it a shot, what do you think?

WAR introduces Stagger

In this Dev Diary, Nate discuss some of their Combat and Career plans. The quick summary is that they want to move crowd control from DPS characters to defensive characters (i.e. Tanks). This will also include making CC morale abilities higher ranked.

As a part of these changes they want to introduce a new CC effect called Stagger. A Stagger will disable a character for 9 - 12 seconds, but will break on any kind of damage. Knockdowns will still exist, but will be shorter in duration.

Knockdowns are meant to be offensive CC and staggers are primarily defensive in nature. Stun's are going extinct and all disabling CC will be one or the other.

These all sound like prudent ideas. I do have a concern about stagger though as I play a Grenade Engineer. Our job is to DoT up the enemy... which will now break stagger, even if it is applied prior. Many of our primary attacks are AoE based and I foresee many a stagger broken.

It is a tough problem, if they make previously applied DoT's not break stagger it would be very deadly. I guess we will see how it works in practice. I just want to be able to use my skills without breaking everyone's CC.

Moving CC from DPS to defensive characters is a good idea and probably long overdue. I am interested to see if Engineers will get more CC, as we are billed as a defensive class.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Fallen Earth PvP Change

Fallen Earth recently made a small but significant change with how PvP works. For more information about PvP, check out the recent developer interview. The change in question is:
  • Changed the radar on the mini-map so that it shows other players based on your Perception vs. their Athletics and stance rather than always by default. Teammates will always be displayed.
It is important to note that PvP in FE is free for all. Before, when you entered a PvP area, you could see other players on your mini-map. This put quite a damper on stealthy tactics or even just hiding. Some way to hide yourself has been often requested on the boards and the Fallen Earth team was listening.

Rather than just making a blanket change and hide everyone, they went the RPG route and based it on stats. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. My initial thought would have been to hide everyone when in a PvP zone, but firing or running would cause you to be visible for a brief time.

Basing it on stat value does make some sense though. If you are a combat character you will be harder to spot as you are more likely to have a high Athletics value. However, some combat characters may not have a high perception, so they might not spot others too well. Having a crafter type as a spotter might be an interesting niche.

I'm glad to see a change was made though, should spice up the PvP areas.

Tokens in an unexpected place

Recently, I took a trip with some family to an amusement park. While walking around, we came across a carnival game. You know the one where you compete with others over who can shoot the most water into a clowns mouth? Yeah, that's that's it. This by itself is normal, but you now win tokens.

One token can be turned in for the small piece-o-crap prize while four can be turned in for the large piece-o-crap prize. That's all well and good but then I looked at the rules which stated: Everybody wins, Every time.

I was taken aback by this, as these games had always rewarded the winner. Now it doesn't really matter if you win, you get a token just the same. On one hand this makes a lot of sense for the folks running the booth. If you want that large prize, you are guaranteed to get it in 4 games. That makes it a bit more tempting. Of course at $3 a game, they will make a tidy profit.

On the other hand, this killed our motivation to play so we kept walking. The $3 price tag didn't help any, what the hell? In retrospect, the tokens should not have had any influence on our wanting to play. We were not playing for the prizes and there still would have been a winner. I guess we just don't want to see everybody winning. Hey, that's family :)

This system is actually more extreme than what you would find in a MMO. There you at least have to do something for the tokens. In the carnival game, you really are just handing over money for a token. They should at least have had the winner get 2 tokens or something.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Q&A with Fallen Earth's Wes Platt

Recently, I had a chance to talk with Wes Platt who is one of the developers on Fallen Earth. He was kind enough to answer some questions for posting on this site. Thanks Wes! Fallen Earth is currently in pre-order launch access mode and will be open for all on Tuesday September 22nd.

For Fallen Earth videos, you can check out the ones I posted on youtube.


Werit: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for Fallen Earth?

Wes: My name is Wes Platt. On the FE forums, I'm known as Canticle. For more than a decade, I worked as a journalist for the St. Petersburg Times. Now, I'm a content design team lead for FE. It's my job to help guide other designers on a day-to-day basis as we develop new content for the game.

Werit: I know text based games are a big part of your gaming history. Have they influenced your work on Fallen Earth? If so, how?

Wes: The text-based online multiplayer games that I've worked on helped me hone the creation of dialogue in short order and to jump rather fluidly from one character's mindset to the next. As a result, it's fairly easy for me to move between characters as I'm developing their dialogue for missions in Fallen Earth. I've also found opportunities to sneak in some Easter egg references to characters from my games here and there. If you play OtherSpace, keep your eyes peeled and you might spot them.

Werit: You may have heard Star Wars: The Old Republic is trying to make story a central part of their game, which many MMO's have gotten away from. Is the story an important part of Fallen Earth?

Wes: Story is a huge part of Fallen Earth, from beginning to end. We've got several major storylines that carry throughout the game. You learn early on that you're a clone, so that's a central storyline. In another, we explore the back story of the corporate giant, GlobalTech, and what its leaders did in the name of progress. You've also got opportunities to explore whatever became of the followers of Alec Masters after the fall of Hoover Dam. And those are just the core storylines. Every town has a story, from fighting off bandits to recovering from mass poisonings to trying to thwart zombie-generating lunatic AIs. We love telling stories in a post-apocalyptic environment. Some of them are true post-apoc. Some are horror. Some are sci-fi. Some are humor. We've even got the occasional unrequited love story here and there.

Werit: Fallen Earth is launching September 22nd. It just so happens to be near the release of Champions Online and Aion. That is some pretty stiff competition. What sets Fallen Earth apart?

Wes: Fallen Earth is set apart from the competition first and foremost by the setting: It's post-apocalyptic Earth. Next, we've got a deep crafting system that lets you make 95 percent of all the gear and other goodies available in the game world. You can make everything from a bladed hockey stick to a muscle car. As for having competition: We're okay with it. Our goal is to develop a growing fanbase over time. If we can follow a slow but steady growth curve similar to EVE Online, that's just fine by us.

Werit: I find the horses and vehicles in this game very interesting. How many mounts are out there for a player to get? Are there any customization options?

Wes: We've got several types of mounts: Horses, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, dune buggies, and a muscle car known as the Interceptor. Players can make variants of each kind. Some are faster. Some hold more cargo. And some are equipped with guns. Horses will be popular because they're the only mount that you can fire a rifle from and they'll regenerate stamina, while vehicles need refueling. You can shoot handguns from other vehicles. Right now, our vehicles are single-passenger. We've got multi-passenger on the wish list.

Werit: Player made add-ons are becoming a mainstay of the modern MMO. Does Fallen Earth support these kind of add-ons?

Wes: Not at release. It's still under consideration.

Werit: MMO's seem to fall into a couple camps regarding content releases. There is WoW and their big but slow updates. Then there is LoTRO with their frequent but smaller updates. Once the game is released, how will updates be done?

Wes: We're hoping to add small content patches rather frequently, with major updates coming on a quarterly basis.

Werit: Fallen Earth does have PvP. Can you explain how this works and why a player will want to participate?

Wes: PvP comes in a few flavors in Fallen Earth. We've got some designated zones that are just intended for the video game equivalent of paintball: You run around and kill each other for fun. We've got some that offer "supernodes," which drop rare and valuable crafting components. And then we've got conflict towns, in which players of the various factions and their allies can battle for supremacy. If your faction takes over a conflict town, you get access to special merchants and mission-givers that aren't available to anyone else. During PvP, you earn Death Toll points. You can use those points to gain access to PvP gear.

Werit: Where do you see Fallen Earth in 3 years?

Wes: Successful, with a steady and growing player base and regular content patches. It's a little difficult to give an accurate forecast right now. Once the game releases and we've got a solid foundation of subscribers, it should open the door for us to add more exciting features to Fallen Earth.

Werit: Finally, what would you like readers to know about Fallen Earth?

Wes: To learn more about the game, visit our website at You can also follow our regular updates on Twitter at
. We're looking forward to enjoying the apocalypse with everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rewind: I can't play female characters

Still can't and still being lazy with the rewinds :)


I am a man in my late 20's and have been playing games for close to 20 years now. In all that time, I can't remember playing a female character (except for Metroid of course). In fact, I do not even read books when they are told from a female characters perspective. When creating a MMO character, I will always create a male character. If the class only offers female characters I will not play it.

Often times I will see guys posting things like "If I am going to look at this character all day, I want it to be a chick." That thought had never occurred to me as I do not think of my characters in a sexual way. So I have never really thought I was looking at a dude all the time and I still don't. If that sorta thing gets you going, more power to you :)

So why am I like this? Could I be sexist? Maybe... but I don't think that is the issue. When playing a game or reading a book I will try to put myself in the place of the character. If the character is a female I can't seem to do that. To support this idea, I used to have the same trouble creating non-human characters. I still will usually go with the Human option. In WAR I will likely be a Dwarf, which is really just a small human.

There is nothing right or wrong with the characters we chose. To each his (or her) own. Am I the only one like this?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rewind: Zerghammer

This one was originally posted 6/18/08... was I right?


One concern I have with WAR, is that the tactic of zerging will become too prevalent. Zerging is basically getting a large group of players and going from objective to objective, laying waste to anything in your path. There is nothing wrong with it, but it tends not to be very fun for the other side as there is nothing they can do except ride out the storm.

There is a reason Zerging happens and it is not lack of skill. Simply, it works very well. The mechanics of a MMO, in general, foster this tactic. Why does it work so well?

Healers - In order for a zerg to sustain itself, it needs healers. They are also a major factor in what makes a zerg so effective. If a few healers are present, the battle becomes: DPS vs Healing. If you cannot out DPS their healing, odds are you will not be able to break the zerg.

Going after the healer first can be effective, but if they have a healer healing that healer it becomes difficult. Rushing into the zerg to get the healer will often result in a quick death, even if you get to the healer.

The Map - The layout of the battlefield is often zerg friendly. Objectives are not usually that far away from each other. This allows the zerg to move quickly to objectives which may be under attack.

Objectives - Some Objectives require a group to take. This means it will take time, which allows a zerg to respond, often times rolling over you before you can capture the objective. The tactic of spreading out and attacking where the zerg isn't becomes less effective.

A force with superior numbers and reasonable equipment and skill, will and should win more time than not. That is not in dispute. The problem with a zerg is, it becomes pointless to even fight it. You will just end up feeding renown to your enemy. All you can do is make your own large group or wait until the zerg breaks up, then go recapture everything. The whole battlefield becomes a flipping affair.

Will WAR have these issues?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rewind: Werit captures a Greenskin

This week I am being lazy and posting some re-runs. Enjoy!


Today we have an interview (RP/In Character) with Snafzg from The Greenskin. Hope you find this format enjoyable and entertaining!


In an undisclosed cave, somewhere near the Dwarf/Greenskin border...

A feisty Goblin sits in a crude chair, restrained. Behind him, two heavy-set Dwarves stand with grim expressions, but keeping their distance from the chair. Entering from some unseen tunnel is an austere Dwarf, more lightly armored then the others. He carries a rifle on his back and several strange canisters on his chest. The Dwarf approaches the Greenskin, stroking his beard lightly.

Werit: Well, Well, what do we have here? Some green... thing. I bet you thought you could get away with trying to spread that Greenskin propaganda without any consequences. Now you are going to answer some questions for me. If you don't, well, we have way of making you talk.

He nods towards an odd contraption in the corner of the room. The only things that can be made out are: gears, a steam whistle, a small rock on a piece of string and a keg of ale.

Werit: So lets get started. What are you and what is your name?

The Goblin unflinchingly stares at his interrogator, a glinting malevolence in his beady eyes.

Snafzg: I ain't be tellin' ya nothin', ya pompous stuntie!

Again, Werit motions towards the contraption.

Finally taking the hint, Snafzg quickly glances at the torture device and takes a hard swallow before opening his mouth again. Through gritted, needle-like teeth, he seethes:

Snafzg: Ah, dat's a pretty piece o' machinery ya got there... My name be Snafzg an' I be a Gobbo o' da Greenskin tribe: Enmity. Ironically, that's what I be feelin' fer you at dis instant!

Werit grins.

Werit: Is that so? I hope I can get to bed tonight knowing that. Tell me, what use could a creature like you be to them?

Snafzg: Oh, ya know... little o' this, little o' that. Mostly baby snatchin', keepin' the snotlings in line, and takin' care o' ya mum! Oh, and I dabble in da Gork n' Mork arts o' Shamanism. She loves dat especially!

The two Dwarven guards raise a sign of protest but Werit waves them off.

Werit: No slimy, disgusting, offspring of a slug insults my mum!

Werit starts to reach for one of the canisters strapped to his chest, but moves his hand away.

Werit: You are lucky we dwarves take oaths seriously. However, there are limits goblin. Back to the matter at hand. How do you feel about the war? Do you like your people getting slaughtered by us or would you prefer they just fight some bears or something?

The Goblin cackles loudly; a sound akin to breaking glass, grinding stone, and the shrill, gleeful cry of a bar wench.

Snafzg: Does I prefer bears? Are ya tryin' to kill me with ya nonsense? Sure, I'll kill a stinkin' bear just to get good n' messy if there ain't be stunties around, but ya gotta know I'd rip yer jugular out first if I be havin' da option of it!

Werit: This is probably a silly question, as I don't think Greenskins understand the concept, but I was told to ask: Do you take part in any trade skills?

Snafzg: Oh yah, sure. I be craftin' some fungus twixt me legs right now! What you guys call Cultivation me guesses. I actually poisoned a whole batch o' yer ale before ya furry git muscleheads caught me fer questionin'!

The dwarves exchange a concerned look amongst themselves but then shrug it off because Goblins are known to be cunning, deceitful creatures.

Werit: Fungus eh? That would certainly explain the smell. Moving on, what is the deal with those Squigs? No matter how many we kill, they keep reappearing? Tell us their secret!

Snafzg: They be a-sexual, but I guess all ya fuzzballs wouldn't known anything 'bout that, being so ugly n' all! Prolly don't know a-sexual from b-sexual from any-sexual! I've seen da hairy upper-lips of ya brauny women... and I gots ta say, I'd rather do it with mushrooms to be honest!

Werit turns a deep shade of red, especially around the ears. His broad shoulders and wide arms twitch involuntarily. His hands begin to flex open and shut, as if throttling some invisible neck.

Snafzg leans slightly back in his chair, a wicked grin starting to form on his disfigured face.

Werit: I got one last question before ridding the Old World of your presence, filth. What do you think of your allies, the elves and those deformed by Chaos?

Snafzg: I ain't got much t'say 'bout dem other than I'd like to show da Dark Elf women a sloppy good time, da Dark Elf men a serrated shiv in da spleen, and dem Chaos freaks, well, dey can take a deep breath of my fungal feces! Us Greenies don't play nice with others because we don't play nice with ourselves neither! Ya got that, ya cheap, lying, no-good, rott'n', four-flushing, low-life, snake-lickin', dirt-eatin', inbred, ovastuffed, ig'nint, blood-suckin', hell-hound-kissin', brainless, ****less, hopeless, heartless, fat-arse, bug-eyed, stiff-leg'd, spotty-lipped, worm-'eaded sack of squig spunk?!

Werit: You go too far, scum! Our tunnels won't smell so bad with your corpse floating down the river! Take him out, brothers!

With a smirk and a snort, the Goblin Shaman makes several quick hand gestures. An aura of green surrounding him, he shouts: "Gork says stop!"

Simultaneously, the Dwarves breath in sharply and each clutch at their chests. With every step they take towards their diminutive prisoner, shockwaves of pain shoot up and down their spines. The two guards collapse within five paces and Werit falls to his knees in agony.

The Greenskin mutters something unintelligible and the ropes that bind him unwravel. He brings his legs up, squatting in the oversized chair looking self-assured and demented all at once.

Snafzg: O' what prideful fools ya Dwarves be. Da boss'll promote me fer takin' out another batch o' stinkin' stunties! I can't wait for me special blend o' ale to warm, den burn through ya clansmen's bellies!

With a grimace of pain and all his will, Werit quickly reaches over his shoulder, drawing out the chestnut-stocked rifle. He fires off a round just as another lance of pain racks his entire body. It misses inches wide of his intended target, putting a neat, cauterized hole through the green creature's ear.

Snafzg shrieks in pain as he clutches his already-scarred ear. With a penetrating and evil red stare he hisses at the Dwarf. The little Shaman launches himself over his kneeling ex-captor and make a run for the exit tunnel. He notices a detailed map with strategic markings on a side table as he passes the mechanical torture device and skids to a halt on his calloused heels. Grabbing at it, he hears the loud clicking of a rifle being reloaded. His fingers grip the rough edge of it and he quickly ducks and rolls just as the wall where his head used to be explodes with shards of fractured stone.

Werit reloads the lever-action rifle again as he grunts. The pain is receding and the water that previously blurred his vision is nearly gone. He slowly takes aim as the Goblin jams the crumpled map into his inner robe, making for the dark tunnel. He fires again and hears a squeal of pain but Snafzg staggers into the shadows muttering another incantation. Werit reloads as he struggles to his feet and then bounds towards the injured prey.

Werit: You'll not get away with our secrets you vile creation!

Snafzg can be heard cackling, through ragged draws of breath as he skitters around the corner out of view. Werit pursues with a scream of rage.

Werit: This isn't over, you're going in my book!


Many thanks to Snafzg (who wrote a good chunk of the above) over at the The Greenskin.