Friday, May 29, 2009

Phase 2 on PTS

Land of the Dead Testing Phase 2 is up on the PTS. Ranged DPS changes are now in, as is the expedition resource collection for the Land of the Dead. It isn't clear if we can access the new zone yet, doesn't seem so as they would have mentioned it. Also, they will be giving mount rewards to random testers.

Vertical Progression

Players are like girls who say they want a nice guy. What they really mean is they want that nice guy on the side, just like their horizontal progression. When it comes down to it, it is the vertical progression that gets them going.

I hear a lot of lip service given to how bad vertical progression is and how much better horizontal would be. WoW would be the poster child for vertical progression. Each new major content release gives players higher levels, harder ( equipment wise) bosses and higher level equipment. As much as players are abused by this system, they always go back like it's some sort of Lifetime movie.

When WAR's launch was approaching, a lot of people liked it due to the focus not being on vertical progression. It has 40 levels and that will likely be the upper limit. Instead they provide things like Renown ranks, which are important, but not nearly as important as experience ranks.

They also put the highest end equipment in the game from day 1, the Sovereign armor set. I'm not sure how they could ever trump this set, as it comes from the supposed final encounter of the game. The ceiling in WAR has been set, all that is left is horizontal progression (renown and new characters).

What do I end up seeing in game? All of a sudden, everyone is a farmer. Rewnown farming is an age old practice in the game. When influence came out, folks farmed that. They are farming tokens now. All so they can fill up the bars and get the loot. What happens when they get to the end? Many Renown rank 80 players have left the game as there were no more bars to fill.

This seems to be all too common in WAR and other games. Do players really want horizontal progression?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going Commando

The ailment cast upon me yesterday has not gone away. It actually kept me from exacting my revenge on the battlefields yesterday. It is hard to find a good healer these days. I took some NyQuil, although it may be OP... wonderfully OP.

So that leaves us with another short post for today.

Commando was on TV yesterday. What a great movie, it really should be a RPG (MMO or SRPG). For a funny take on it, check out this review (Adult language present, for you work folks). They have a ton of funny reviews for 80's action films too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In the meantime

As I'm is not feeling well today (struck down by a devious Destruction weapon probably), this will be a very light (even for me) post.

Check out this Paul Barnett interview, funny stuff.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cheating at WAR

There has been a lot of coverage lately about applications used to cheat at WAR. These technical-based attacks are just one form of cheating that plague the game. Recently, I was introduced to another form of cheating which was much more devastating than a movement bug.

On Saturday night, all was well on the Badlands server for Order. We were making a good push and were in Black Crag and Chaos Wastes. Cooperation was high, as we were attempting to lock down CW. With only a couple minutes left on the final keep, it suddenly reset back to 2 hours.

The guild which occupied the keep had relinquished their claim just before we locked the zone. That is a very odd thing to do. More investigation showed that it was a very small guild made up of low ranked players.

Seems very likely this was an alt guild of Destruction who were either cross realming or working with the Destruction on our sever. It could also be it was some griefers on our own side, we may never know.

Overall the tactic worked well for Destruction. Once the keep was reset over 70 of them flooded the zone from the fortress and pretty much ended Orders advance for the night. For me personally it was very deflating. I don't mind losing, but not to cheaters. Out of disgust I ended up just logging off for the night.

The guild responsible was reported but it is unsure whether or not Mythic will act. One fix that should be made is you should be of the correct rank for a tier to claim a keep in that tier. That would at least force would-be cheaters into leveling up a character first.

Lastly, I doubt much of Destruction was in on this and I'm sure they were quite surprised to see the keep reset. Hopefully this kind of abuse ends, as it will just ruin the enjoyment of the game for both sides.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Killzone 2

After a fun time with Resistance Fall of Man 2, I thought I would give my PS3 some work and get Killzone 2. I had heard good things about that game and it's supposed to be one of the best on the system. So yesterday I popped it in.

First of all, I spent 20 minutes just upgrading my PS3. I never had to upgrade my Nintendo, just let me play the game!

The opening cinematic was pretty good. Old man talking about how they were going to kick our ass off the planet. It got me pumped up and ready to go.

The graphics looked good at first, but it constantly tears and hitches. The gameplay was very sluggish as well, but that may be an option I have to fiddle around with. It just felt so slow.

I got through the first mission, but so far I am unimpressed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Upgrade those upgrades

I think that the keep system has been a success so far. While keeps are still mostly the same, they are a tad less static now. You do need to consider the upgraded door strength and those Champion guards can be a real pain. As for the rest of the upgrades, I don't really see or notice their presence too much. So what else can we do with keep upgrades?

Wall Guards. Hire some guards to man the other wall. They can provide range fire and help you out against those pesky intruders.

Snare Ritualist. Right now, people just run by the first floor guards. Maybe the ritualist guards could also have an AoE slow so that they are likely to be dealt with.

Promotion. Upgrade your Keep Lord and his guards.

Siege Upgrade. All siege pads are upgraded to provide a damage bonus.

Pride. A Tier wide buff can be purchased for the guild. For example, a 10% Strength bonus to any guild member in Tier 4.

Flight Master. Guild members can fly directly to the keep.

What are your ideas for new keep upgrades?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the level

Are experience levels a necessary part of the RPG formula? This is a question that came out of a post I made about wanting a Tier 4-only version of WAR. It was said that without levels it would just be a FPS. I agree that is the case if there are no levels (levels can also be skill points) at all, but what about the traditional experience levels we have grown to love and hate?

The purpose of experience levels is to give a feeling of progression and in many cases to help tune difficulty. They come from a time before MMO's but have lived on in many of today's games. However, I now see them as more of a barrier than anything else.

Imagine a pen and paper DnD group. Would they exclude people from playing with them because their character was too low of a level? Would the GM tell him (or her) to go grind out a few levels and then they could participate? I've never played in a DnD group, so I'm not sure. It doesn't seem likely though. That could be the case with larger more official groups, but a group of friends?

There are many kinds of levels, not just the tyrant experience level. WAR has a renown level system, EQ2 has AA points, LoTRO has Legendary Items and so on. There are a myriad of ways to advance your character without separating them across levels.

In games like Eve Online and Darkfall you can play the heart of the game a few minutes after creating your character. You may not be very effective, but you can at least participate in some fashion. Even 0.0 space holding alliances need tacklers (which new players can do) in Eve.

That is what I'd like to see in WAR and other up and coming games. Let people play together and let them enjoy the meat of the game from the start. Use levels to allow progression and character customization but not to act as an artificial barrier between your players.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reward Ratio

Player rewards are a tricky subject in WAR. As we have seen, how players are rewarded can have unintended consequences. Back when influence was introduced, the goal was to give more reason to fight over BO's, Keeps and to kill your fellow player. In reality, it just led to keep/bo swapping as players avoided combat.

Fast forward to today. Tokens were recently introduced and have led to another unintended consequence. Players are now flipping zones without making any attempt at the fortress. the reason for this (well, one of the reasons) is the reward ratio between zones and fortresses.

Capturing a zone is nearly as rewarding as capturing a fortress. A zone gives you renown, medallions and a Conqueror Crest (Tier 4). Capturing a fortress gives you the same, plus a loot roll for a bag. Since only 10% (estimate) of players who participate in the capture of the fort will receive a bag, it is not really an incentive. So the ratio is pretty even.

Fortresses are difficult to attack and not really that fun due to their static nature. Also, opening one up for attack will in some cases send your opponents to defend while you finish locking another zone.

With a close reward ratio and the poor fortress fight, zone flipping has become the method of choice. One way to help the situation would be to make the reward ratio a bit larger. For example, it should take 5 zone captures to get the rewards from 1 successful fortress siege. Maybe then when the keep is open for attack it will be worth taking.

I really do not envy Mythic. They have the best of intentions with these systems, but they underestimate the modern players thirst for loot. Loot is just a representation of accomplishment which I suspect they don't get enough of offline.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life begins at 40

I was thinking about a new PvP centric ruleset for WAR. All characters start out at rank 40 and renown rank 0. There are no Tiers 1 - 3, only Tier 4. Equipment pretty much stays the same, limited by renown rank. Abilities would now have restrictions on them based on renown. So when you start the game you would have a basic set of abilities and earn the rest through renown.

When you create a character, you are immediately in the thick of the fight. No empty lower tiers, just everyone in tier 4. This would be extremely alt friendly, as you'll always be able to play with people. Sure, you'll lack a full set of skills and the advanced equipment. I think the fact you'll be back in the fight more than compensates.

This pretty much leaves out most of the games PvE, but for those of us who don't want to PvE I think it would be a lot of fun. Would you play on a server with that ruleset?

Monday, May 18, 2009


Mythic, what's the deal? You are making tremendous strides with the game but leave so many frustrating bugs. While many of these bugs are not game breaking, they do cause the player problems and lessen the fun of the game.

Yesterday I took part in a fortress defense. We were doing very well and held of a couple of very near captures. Then with about 10 minutes left, I get disconnected. Of course I end up back in Reikland and my spot has been filled. So when the defense is over, I get nothing except the shaft. 50 minutes of lag well spent I'd say.

Developers have said they know about this problem, many times. It has been months since this fortress cap system has been put in yet there has been no fix. Is this some programming problem that takes months to fix? I doubt it. Are the developers short handed and busy working on other things? that seems much more likely.

This whole population cap system was a stop-gap measure but has somehow become the standard. It was rushed to be put in to stop the crashes and not very well thought out. If you know its a problem, why hasn't it been fixed?

Why are enemy NPC's still spawning inside controlled keeps? More specifically, it is the 'keep upgrade' npc's that don't despawn. This has been a problem for a few weeks now... but has not been fixed. On the surface, it doesn't seem very complicated, just make them de-spawn on keep capture. It is pretty annoying getting killed by champion npc's inside your own keep.

Ever since 1.2.1, my connection has been awful. I get disconnected , on average, probably once an hour. I'm not sure I can fully blame this one on Mythic... but it is strange it started around when 1.2.1 came out.

Capturing keeps with melee using Pick Lock has become very common place. Mythic even has a fix for it, a keep upgrade called Deadbolt. Why not put that in the game now? 1.3 won't be out for weeks, so you are going to let players (non mdps and defense) suffer until then?

It is great that the Land of the Dead is coming out. However, leaving these (and others) obvious issues in the game is just not acceptable. I am pretty optimistic about WAR and am usually pretty happy but come on Mythic. These issues need fixing as soon as possible.

Friday, May 15, 2009

WAR Changes Incoming + PTS

Thursday was quite a day for WAR. It started off with a hotfix that adjusted token prices. Some items had their prices raised, but many had them lowered. For example, I was able to buy my Conqueror Belt for only 80 Officer Medallions and 3 Conqueror Crests. I forget what it was prior... but it certainly wasn't that cheap. Most of the Conqueror stuff was lowered by a good amount.

If that wasn't enough, Mythic dropped the 1.3 Patch Notes on us, check them out. They are pretty massive, so it should eat up a good chunk of your work day to read them. Here are some notable changes:
  • Land of the Dead. Enough said.
  • Sigil System. The ward system is dead, long live Sigil's!
  • Class changes. AoE power lowered across the board.
  • Healing changes. Should address WP/DoK healing.
  • Crafting backpacks. More space for crafters.
  • Deadbolt. New keep upgrade that lets you lock the inner keep's postern door. No more keep ninja's.
  • New Siege Weapons. Better and more varied, sounds good.
  • More quests that reward tokens.
  • Better rewards for taking higher ranked keeps.
  • Pass on PQ roll added.
  • Auto Roll on loot (i.e. tokens).
Those are just some of the nice things in 1.3. I likely missed a bunch of others, so check out the patch notes.

1.3 is on PTS too, so get on there and have fun (test). The Land of the Dead is not included yet, but the rest is.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Wish for Mythic

Overall I am pretty happy with WAR. I have fun when I play, and that is all I really ask from a game. While things are looking very nice for the future (Land of the Dead), not everything is going well. At least on Badlands, the lower tiers seem pretty deserted.

Two of WAR's best features are class variety and the ability to level by PvP. Without enough players in the lower tiers, leveling by PvP becomes impossible. I really have no desire to do PvE on my alt when there is RvR action to be had on my 40 character. As a result, I am missing out on all of that class variety.

With the Land of the Dead approaching, I really want to get an alt to at least Rank 25. At that rank, you'll be able to venture to the new zone. It will likely be very popular and much leveling will be had.

My wish is that I be able to roll a Rank 32 / RR 0 character from the get go. All the action is in Tier 4 and that is where I want to be. Give me gray items and 0 renown... I'll build it up. It's ok if this is a one time thing too, I won't complain :)

As an alternative, since my wish is not likely to come true, maybe we could have some lower tier events? Offer bonus xp/renown in just a lower tier for a weekend. Anything to get some life down there. This may draw people from Tier 4, but only for a day or two.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Return of Reikland Factory

Just saw an interview with Mark Davis (Live Events) over at Massively. It covered a lot of what we have heard before, but did have some new information about May's (early June) event:

"There will be many ways to gain points in the event, like, for example, the Reikland Factory scenario that will be producing airships for Order."

Reikland Factory was a pretty popular scenario when it came out for the Heavy Metal event. Glad to see it making a return, especially in a way that fits the event.

Another tidbit dropped was that the there will be a special city PQ.

"These public quests will be different, as during their phase II there will be a possibility of a "panic" stage starting, where some randomized event will occur and players will have to help solve the problem quickly."

A less static PQ experience? Count me in.

Rise of the Tomb Kings is shaping up to be an exciting event, especially considering what is at stake. Just add in a RvR PQ (involving player kills and a boss) and I think we'll have a serious winner on our hands.

WAR Contest!

Xerb over at WarUnderground and WAAAGH Roots, is running a contest. This one is a bit different than any I have seen before and looks pretty interesting.

"Beginning May 11, through May 24, I will be hosting a player made radio commercial contest over at WAR Underground. These 30 to 120 second Warhammer related commercials can be anything from funny fake products, to a commercial about your toon, podcast, blog or fansite. I want variety, I want hilarity, I want entertainment folks. So get to work!"

Full details here! Oh yea, there are prizes to be had.

While I don't have that sort of creative talent, I look forward to seeing what the entrants come up with.

New Engineer Build

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was trying out a new Engineer build. My previous one was pretty much a full Grenadier build (looked like this). This is an effective build, especially for defensive situations. There is much debate about the Rank 4 Morale, but I liked it. The 150 foot range made it very attractive.

Since I had been playing that build for so long, it started to get a bit stale. I needed to shake things up a bit. The tinkerer tree really didn't offer anything of interest. Electromagnet is not very useful in a keep defense, so I looked at the Rifleman (shouldn't it be Rifledwarf?) tree.

In the end I came up with this build. It features Snipe and Napalm. It's hard to live without Napalm... as it really is a nice skill. So the new build had to have it. Of course going that high in the Grenadier tree really limits what I can do. Luckily, Snipe was reachable.

Snipe is a really fun skill. First of all, it has a 150ft range, which is sweet. I can hit people from relative safety. Of course I don't have any other skills at that range, so I may not be able to finish them off without getting closer. Works very nice as an opener and a finisher.

Secondly, when you combine it with Unshakable Focus (T2 Morale), you get get some pretty huge numbers. Hitting a Sorc for close to 3k damage feels pretty good, especially in the back as they run away.

To get Snipe, I really only had to give up Sticky Bomb and Extra Powder. I have not noticed the lower AoE, so I may never add Extra powder back in. As for Sticky Bomb, it really is just another DoT which I'm not missing much either.

I am about a rank from getting another mastery point, so I need to figure out where to put it. I may go for Crack-Shot, although I don't like its 2 second cast time. Sticky Bomb may yet be back on my hotbar.

During my playtime yesterday, I noticed something interesting. I was defending a keep which had the +15% armor standard. There was also a WP with prayer of Absolution going, check out my armor:

As cool as 99.3% is, it really doesn't help me all that much. Most of the damage I am dealt is of the magic variety.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WAR rages in Reikland

Yesterday was a great afternoon of WAR. Upon logging in, I saw that Destro was pushing Stonewatch. Estimates had them at 3 warbands. Order rallied at the fortress with approximately 2 warbands. And we waited. The attack never came. Instead we received word that they were attacking the North keep in Reikland.

Since there was 50 minutes left on Stonewatch, we decided to meet the enemy head on in Reikland. When we arrived, they were on the inner keep door. An epic battle ensued. We were able to drive them from the keep, but they launched several more assaults. It was non-stop action for at least 40 minutes.

The renown was flowing like cheap Dwarven ale. I got a defense tick from the keep for around 1,500 alone. I even had a chance at some Warlord Engy gear, but lost the roll.

As the action was dying down, we headed back to Stonewatch for the capture. Soon after, Destruction was sighted in Thunder Mountain so we pursued. We were too late to save our keep, so we hid out and waited for them to leave. Once they left, we began our assault. Time was important due to keep upgrades.

We managed to take the keep before too many defenders arrived. Next up was the central keep. By this time, Destruction was back to defend. We eventually made our way inside the inner keep, but their defense was just too strong. The outer doors came up and we were trapped. This seemed like a good time to get going, so I hopped over the wall and made a break for it. I didn't make it far :)

Part of the fun was my new Engineer build... which I will be posting about tomorrow. A change in spec is a nice way to shake things up. I had a great time and can't wait to login this afternoon.

Mounted Combat coming to WAR?

During part 2 of the G4 video (about 1:50 in), Jeff mentions that they have plans for RvR mounts that do "interesting special things." While it isn't necessarily in their plans for the Land of the Dead... it is something they may do. Could this mean that mounted combat is on its way to WAR? Maybe, maybe not. It is fun to speculate though. Here are some possibilities:

Armored. In the video he did say armored, that could be looks or function. An armored mount should be more difficult to be dislodged from. This would actually be nice, as it is very annoying to be riding along and someone pops you off the mount. Since it's armored, it may be slower. Not sure if they will actually put in drawbacks, as they are not 'fun' (I think the choices are). No one likes slow travel either.

This one seems the most likely, as it is the easiest to implement.

Melee Attack. Think of traditional mounted combat, the rider has to get into melee range. This would likely be similar to Age of Conan, where on your mount you have special abilities. As fun as it would be, it is hard for me to see it fitting in WAR. What can the mount do that current melee cannot? It needs a drawback or eventually everyone will be using them. Did AoC mounts have negative aspects?

As nice as it would be to see cavalries going at each other, it doesn't seem too likely to me.

Ranged Attack. The mobile siege cannon. This would be a steam tank or something similar. This mount could come in many varieties based on speed, defense and attack power. Maybe it could even be used to break down keep walls someday. There is a lot of potential here, but it may not make a whole lot of sense. One of the biggest complaints about WAR right now is the amount of AoE and this would just be adding more.

Seems more likely than a melee mount.

Defensive. During World War I, tanks were mostly used to get troops across the trenches while providing cover from machine gun fire. In War, ranged attacks can be potent, so maybe a mount could provide similar defense.

Unlikely that this will be implemented, not sure any fantasy game has such a beast.

Stealth. Imagine a stealth enabled mount. Ok, so this doesn't really make much sense and would probably be very overpowered. Just an idea :)

So what else could Jeff have meant?

Monday, May 11, 2009

MMO Security

One of the hot WAR topics recently is a certain program that allows cheating. I will not be giving it free advertising, so lets call it Program X. Using Program X, a player can do funky things like fly around, teleport and other such things. Cheating programs are nothing new to MMO's, but this is the first big one for Warhammer.

Disclaimer: I have not inspected Program X, as I don't want it on my system at all. However, I do have experience with software protection.

Right now a whole lot of people are clamoring for Mythic to fix it, as they should be doing. Because Mythic won't discuss it (I wouldn't if I were them), maybe I can shed some light on what is going on.

The first step would be to reverse engineer Program X and figure out exactly what it is doing. This is not very difficult, but it will be time consuming. It is easy to spend weeks on this task, especially if the author included obfuscation. Mythic probably doesn't keep this expertise on hand, so someone either has to learn it or they have to bring in a consultant.

Program X is likely reading and writing to the WAR client's memory. This is a common thing to do for any malicious program and not limited to game security. The author had to do a bunch of reverse engineering of his own (which is against the EULA and possibly DMCA) to figure out where to make adjustments.

Once he has the locations, he can change the memory (RAM) as the game runs. Many MMO's do a lot of boundary checking in the client. By altering memory, those checks can be bypassed. Most of Program X's features are movement bugs, which involves boundary checking.

That is pretty much the How and why of Program X. Now for the fun part, how do you 'fix' this? Sadly, it is not easy. There are several possible methods.

Move checks to the server. Counting on the security of the client is a losing proposition. A malicious user will be able to bypass nearly everything on the client given enough time. Boundary checks could be moved to the server side. However, this comes at a rather large performance cost.

Encryption and Checksums. Using cryptography, you can encrypt or take checksums of memory to verify they have not been altered. This comes with a performance cost. Also, it is likely to be bypassed given enough time and effort.

Drivers. Operating System drivers operate at a higher level than programs and can be used to protect them. You are probably familiar with DRM's use. No one likes drivers added to their system. They can cause all sorts of stability issues. They are also not foolproof either.

Blizzard's Method. WoW battles with this problem all the time. Part of their solution is the Warden. Basically, the Warden will watch every process on your system looking for bad things. Does it have any business looking at what else you are running? That is something for you to decide. However, this system is not foolproof either.

PunkBuster. See Warden.

Sadly, this is a never ending battle for MMO's. Once Program X no longer works, its author will update it so it does, and the cycle begins again.

Hopefully this article has shed some light into the issues that Mythic (and other companies) is likely dealing with.

Where is Werit, Video Edition!

It's been a while since we've had a 'Where in the WAR is Werit', so this time I made it a video.

If the embedded link didn't work, it can be found here.

So what did you think of using video instead of screenshots?

And of course, where is Werit?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Land of the Dead Video #2

A 2nd video from G4's XPlay.

Did he say mounts that do special things? Yes he did.

For more LotD info, check out gaarawarr.

Also, here is the direct link for the video.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tomb Kings Trailer - Video

Just watched the G4 XPlay segment for the Land of the Dead. I thought it was awesome. They have it online, so check it out yourself.

EDIT: Video #2 can be found here.

What did you think?

If the above didn't work, you can find it here.

Tomb Kings trailer tonight


Tonight on XPlay (G4 8pm EST) they will be showing a trailer for the Tomb Kings. Jeff and Paul should be on too.

EDIT: See the trailer here:

For the Longest Time

Woa, oh, oh,
For the longest time
Woa, oh, oh, oh
For the longest time
If Destruction would stay with us and fight
The time spent here would be much more bright
What else can I do
I need some of that loot too
I've been standing at this Fort for the longest time

Mythic, please make some way for fortress sieges to end early. No only likes doing nothing at a fort for 40 minutes. Do you know what happens to region chat and how many naked Dwarves appear? ::shudder::

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twitter pays off

As you may or may not know, I recently joined Twitter. It is an interesting service and I am going to try and stick with it. On a completely unrelated note, did you see the rumors Apple was going to buy it for $700 million? These turned out to be false, but as far as I know, Twitter does not make money. I'm not sure how you would make money off of the service, besides charging the users (very bad) or doing ads (not really possible and bad). Wonder what their business plan really is.

One of the people I follow is Josh from Mythic. Once in a while, he will post item codes that can be redeemed for in-game WAR items. They are one use, so first come first serve. I managed to snag a code for the Big Apple, Snorri's Spikes and the Choppa teeth.

Thanks Josh! I am tempted to also roll a Choppa... we'll see how long I can hold out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Werit stays at WAR

It has been a rough month or so for WAR bloggers. Many have closed up shop and moved on from blogging and the game itself. On the surface, this might look bad for WAR. I don't think it necessarily means something is wrong with the game, but it doesn't mean anything is good with the game either.

Blogging about one topic for months on end is difficult. Most of the blogs that have closed their doors have been 100% Warhammer themed blogs. Some of them have been going for over 6 months straight. That is a lot of blogging on one topic.

Also consider many of the bloggers have been playing WAR since launch, 7 months ago. Hard to believe its been that long isn't it? 7 months is a long time to play a game, any game. I've been playing about 8 months now. But here's a little secret... during that 8 months I have been playing other games and taken a week or two off from WAR several times. After playing a game non-stop for a long time, leaving is not a really big surprise.

So when you combine a single blog topic with burnout from playing for months.... blogs closing is not shocking. I was lucky enough to choose a blog name that really isn't tied to any topic. It was just a coincidence, as I don't remember thinking about it when I started this guy up. It really helps to be able to talk about other games.

Taking breaks from WAR is healthy too. I get tired of it and go play Eve, WoW, EQ2 and whatever else I feel like. Eventually something goes on in WAR and I come back and play. The last few weeks are a great example. On this blog it has been near constant WAR posts, as there has been plenty going on. I had planned on posting about Eve, EQ2 and Champions Online.... but they all got pushed back because of WAR.

I hope that some of our departed bloggers do return. My advice (like I'm qualified to give it) would be to come back with a more MMO neutral blog name just to give you flexibility. Also, take some time away from WAR. The end of May will see the Rise of the Tomb Kings Live Event, which should be some crazy RvR action. Then after that, the Land of the Dead Live Expansion launches.

WAR has a lot going on for it, even if the blogging community is going through some tough times. So don't let it get you down.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Success at Nordenwatch

Over the weekend, Mythic surprised us with a mini Live Event, Struggle for Nordenwatch. It wasn't very complicated, they opened up a tier 1 scenario for everyone, gave it +10% Experience and Renown and added a task list with a Title reward. It could not have been too much work on their part, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.

I did manage to complete all of the tasks and become the Master of Nordenwatch. At first I thought that completing 20 scenarios was not going to be doable. On Sunday though, the scenarios started to pop pretty fast and I completed them. Overall I made some good Renown and got some tokens.

Ever since hitting 40, I have pretty much avoided scenarios except when needed to lock a zone. Now that we have zone domination, I never queue up. This weekend, I played a lot more WAR than planned and most of the time in Nordenwatch. The scenario itself is fun at 40 and the renown was very nice.

I think that it is safe to assume we will see more events like this in the future. Personally, I'd like to see something like this once a month, maybe even more frequently. They don't have to give us a task list each time, just a +XP/Renown bonus would get me to queue up and the fact it is a scenario I have not played in a while.

Alternatively, they could give us a task list. It should be expanded upon so it will take several weekends of that scenario to accomplish. Since it takes so long, a nice reward should be at the end of it, not just a title. I'm not sure if players have the patience to complete an event which may take half a year.

These kind of mini events will be crucial to WAR's success. They add variety to an otherwise static experience. I know what many people are thinking out there, Tor Anroc as a 40? I say bring it on (not just because I'm a punter), it'll be fun to see what it is like at 40. Besides, it's only for a weekend.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WAR Watcher Updated!

WAR Watcher allows you to keep track of the campaign on your server. When a zone changes hand, you can be notified by RSS or Twitter. Some notes from the update:
  • Now be notified via Twitter!
  • Zones will be checked for changes approximately every 5 minutes.
  • Accuracy depends on Realm War, so WAR Watcher can only report on what it shows.
  • No more Contested messages, just captures.
  • Sorry EU folks, your Realm War doesn't provide the needed information.
If you are a twitter user, here are the accounts you can follow.


If your server is not listed here, please post it, drop me an email or twitter me and I will add it.

Sign up for the RSS feeds at:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nordenwatch Task List

Mythic announced the Struggle for Nordenwatch Event today. It isn't a full fledged live event, but still a nice surprise. The Tier 1 scenario, Nordenwatch, has been opened up for all tiers. Bonus XP and Renown are also given for fighting there.

Here is the task list:

It runs from now until 8 AM EDT May 4th. I will certainly be checking it out.

Where are they?

It occurs to me that we have not heard too much from Mark Jacobs or Paul Barnett lately...

Q: Where are Mark and Paul?

According to twitter, Paul has become an Orc version of Martha Stewart and is setting up a hobby room at Mythic.

As for Mark, I heard that he is on a mission to prove that token gear can actually be obtained. Until that point, he has no time to post.

Seriously though, these two were the face of WAR. Mark especially used to be pretty common on the VN boards. I always thought the way he interacted with the community was great. For the past month (at least), we have heard very little from Mark. Sure, he could just be very busy... but his silence is not very reassuring.