Thursday, August 30, 2012

Q&A with End of Nations Chris Lena

The fine folks over at Trion Worlds were nice enough to answer some questions for me about the upcoming MMORTS, End of Nations.  This is a game I have played and am certainly interested in, so I wanted to get some more information out.  Below is the Q&A, answered by Trion Worlds Senior Producer, Chris Lena.

The third beta test for EoN has just been announced and will start September 7th!  Remember to stop by Dev Spy for End of Nations developer posts, tweets, videos, Facebook, and Reddit entries.  On to the Q&A!

1)  End of Nations is often billed as a MMORTS.  What does that actually means in terms of the game?  Are players fighting over anything or is it more along the lines of expanding your own personal nation?

In terms of the game, we are trying a lot of new things that really make End of Nations a unique persistent online RTS game. Within the game on each shard, both factions are fighting on maps in a persistent online world where their victories and losses have an actual effect on the control of territories on the map. Players are fighting in what we call campaigns where each faction is trying to take over the world via controlling all of the territories. Each territory offers a unique bonus that is also a benefit for fighting for that specific territory.  In addition you are always growing your persistent commander whether that be through collecting more units and structures for your army or leveling up and make choices in your Research tree.

2)  The most popular multiplayer RTS is Starcraft 2.  What does End of Nations bring to the table to differentiate itself?

We offer great RTS gameplay that is both quick and straight to the point – combat – as well as we have multiple maps and game modes that keep the tactics changing from map to map. Our loadout system allows players to set up multiple companies of units, structures, commander abilities and heroes that they then can take straight to the battlefield and if need be the players can switch them out during battle. Our maps also range from 1v1 all the way to 28 v 28 for some truly unique and interesting combat. One of the biggest things that sets us apart from other games is that we are a fully Free to Play game! When we launch you will be able to download and play End of Nations without restrictions for free!

3)  Are you guys planning on bringing End of Nations into the eSports arena?  If so, will there be rankings, tournaments, prizes and everything that goes with the sporting aspect?

That’s something we are really interesting in becoming a part of and something we are deeply exploring!

4)  When it comes to competitive play and RTS games, reflexes (actions per minute) and the ability to micro-manage your units are paramount.  Does End of Nations continue this trend, or will those of us with slower reflexes still be able to compete?

End of Nations is definitely all about combat and tactically use of your units, abilities and structures. One of the great things about End of Nations is that you can successful even without the high APM or mirco skills normally required in a traditional RTS. Those skills will certainly help you get to the top and stay there but I wouldn’t say they are necessary to enjoy the game and have fun with it.

5)  Let's say you are not in the mood to fight other players, does End of Nations offer any other kind of gameplay?

Yes! We have multiple game modes where you can either fight as a team against AI or you could try your hand at our Campaign (story) mode where you will learn the backstory and lore of End of Nations!

6)  End of Nations will be free to play and have a store.  What kind of items can players expect to see?

Our store will function largely like most other Free to Play games with convenience and cosmetic options available. We will have boosts as well as skins and colors to help you stand out on the battlefield. One important thing to note is that with this being an RTS we are strongly against the idea of a pay to win type store.

7)  Heroes are a particularly interesting aspect of End of Nations.  They are similar to League of Legends Champions in that they have special abilities and their own personality.  Do you plan on releasing new ones at regular intervals or will they be rare additions?

We not only have Heroes but also Elite Companies.  Elite Companies are special pre-made companies that not only have a hero unit but also have other unique units, structures, and abilities.  We do plan on releasing both Heroes and Elite Companies regularly although we have not decided on the interval yet.  We think they are a great way to not only introduce new strategies but also a way to progress the story of End of Nations.

8)  To go along with the eSports question, any plans for a Spectator mode?

Nothing has been announced yet regarding a spectator mode.

9)  Finally, Is there a Mac or Linux version in the works?

Not currently!


Thanks Chris!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WAR Update

What's this?  A WAR post?  I know, it has been quite a while since my last one.  The Mythic team is currently working on the 1.4.7 patch which mostly address some Combat and Career balancing.  In this case, the normalization of effects.

It doesn't sound all that cool, but equality is an important part of a PvP experience.

From the forums:

The upcoming patch will see the following standardizations applied to these categories of CC abilities and morale abilities:

==[ Knockdowns ]====
3s - Knockdown, AoE Ability
4s - Knockdown, ST Ability or AoE Morale
5s - Knockdown, ST Morale

==[ Staggers ]====
3s - Stagger, AoE Ability
6s - Stagger, ST Ability or AoE Morale
9s - Stagger, ST Morale

==[ Roots ]====
5s - Root, Ability
10s - Root, Morale

Currently, values vary.  With this change everyone will be on a level playing field.  It does not change which careers have access to which type of CC though.  It also affects some classes, who may not have been really a problem like my Engineers Land Mine.  But you know what?  That's ok.  Sometimes you have to take one for the team.

Whose to say improvements for those classes won't follow anyway?  You have to start somewhere.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GW2 Lockboxes

I put some more time into GW2 yesterday, reaching the ripe old level of 7 (and getting my first turret!).  Not much has changed from my impressions yesterday though.  I did however come across an old unwelcome acquaintance:   The Lockbox.

More specifically, The Black Lion Chest.  You get these as random drops seemingly at any level.  What do they contain?  I'm not really sure.  The description says a random tool, buff and a stack of tonics.  It is locked of course, and the only way to open it is to buy a key from the RMT store.

You can get 800 Gems for $10, which makes each Gem around 1.25 cents.  Keys cost 125 Gems, so in real money that is $1.56.  Do I want to spend that much to see what is in the chest?  Is what I find in there even worth that much?

I'm really too new to the game to know what's worth a buck fifty to me.  It better be a long lasting buff, or a large stack of tonics.

There is also the currency exchange, which lets you buy and sell gems for gold.  Right now it is at 27 silver per Gem.  So that key would cost about 33 Gold and 74 Silver.  Are the contents worth that?  The currency rates could be all out of whack since the game is new, so who knows what they will settle at.

Even though I hate the idea of Lockboxes, the mystery of them is inescapable.  At least they don't put all their new and interesting stuff in them like certain games, STO, I'm looking at you.  I put the Lockbox in my bank, maybe for a rainy day if I have some leftover Gems.

Meridith points out, "You can get the keys as reward from doing your personal story quest. Inside includes often more keys, some potions, etc."  So that's great that you can get them in game.

Some Twitter feedback:

Scarybooster @werit actually you can get the keys for lock boxes as a drop. I've gotten 2 keys and 9 lockboxes

Stargrace @Oakstout @Scarybooster @werit I bought 5 keys with gems, got 2 back. Looted only 1 in my 30 levels so far. 10 chests.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Werit goes GW2ing

So the head start for Guild Wars 2 happened over the weekend.  It seems like it went ok, not as smooth as some other MMO's but also not very badly.  I eventually made my way in and created Werit the Engineer on Jade Quarry.

I actually only managed to make it to level 3  over the weekend.  I just did the first couple Wayfarer Foothill events, nothing too crazy.  The game does not do much to keep me interested when I am sent out into the world with "Go forth and help people, and your legend will grow."

In SWTOR recently, I started out trying to get a Hutt gangster to support the Empire, which I found a little more compelling.  I still have to start my personal story in GW2 though, so that might be interesting.  I chose 'lost a bar fight with a rival'  so I really hope it gets more epic than that :)

Good thing about GW2 is that there is no sub, so I can really take my time.  What I spent most of my gaming time on this weekend was Europa Universalis 3.  I started up as Venice and have been building a Vassal Coalition throughout the Mediterranean.  Seeing those plans through has been greater than my will to play MMOs.  That'll end soon though, as it always does.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wrath of Heroes Tracker

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes has joined the Dev Spy family.  Compared to other games, I offer a bit more limited information.  There are no official forums, which makes it tough to get Developer posts. is the next best thing, but spammers have ruined that avenue.

What it does offer is:  main site news, Twitter, Facebook and Live Streams (including yours truly). Right now, there is a bit of a problem with some of the Facebook entries.  I strip all HTML out, as I don't want to pass anything nasty on to you fine folks, and sometimes their title is a link.  That makes for an empty title, I'm working on a fix.

Head on over to  and check it out under the WoH tab.  If you have previously saved settings, you'll have to enable the game in the Customize menu.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scatterbrained gaming

Lately, I've been going through a rough time of gaming.  It isn't that I can't find anything to play, it's that there are just too many options.  I'm almost left paralyzed by the amount of choices.  I suppose it's a good thing, but I also miss the days of just focusing on a single game.

I want to play SWTOR.
I want to play League of Legends.
I want to want to play WAR.
I want to play Firefall.
I want to play The Secret World.
I'm going to play Guild Wars 2 in a few days.
I want to play Wrath of Heroes.
I want to play End of Nations.
I want to try out SMITE.
I'm tempted to play Rift because of the expansion pack.
I want to play Distant Worlds
I want to play Skyrim
I want to play EU3, Victoria 2, Hearts of Iron 3 and Crusader Kings 2.
I really want to play Planetside 2.

I'm sure I am missing some games, but the amount of options out there is just insane.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Event Final Impressions

The Grand Acquisitions Race has come and, well, gone.  It only lasted around a week, which is a common complaint and understandable.  I managed to complete everything without too much effort.  Overall, I would grade the event with a C+.  It was on route to an A, but took a dive at the end.

I really enjoyed how the event started.  We got a nice news broadcast, an awesome hologram of the Chevin telling us what they wanted, and a voice over for our Government contact.  There was more story than the Rakghoul event and I found the tasks less tedious.

One developer, and I cannot find the quote, said there was a twist at the end.  As far as I can tell, there wasn't really.  On the Republic side, the SiS guy said he'd do some investigating and let us know.  Then we got a simple mail mentioning the Gree fleet and that was it.

I really thought we'd get a video of the Gree Fleet and an introduction to the Terror from Beyond Operations to finish up the event.  Instead, we got that weak mail.  It's a shame since it started out so strong.  Could the layoffs have had something to do with the seemingly unfinished ending?

Oh well, now it's back to my level 10 Sniper! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WoH Gets a New Ranking System

Today's Wrath of Heroes patch (0.24) is pretty beefy, so there is a lot to go over.  The most interesting change, at least to me, is the inclusion of a brand new ranking system.  the previous system was more of a High Score board and rewarded time rather than skill winning.  Does the new system fix that problem?
New Ranking System.  In the new system, everyone starts with a score of 1,000.  Your score will go higher or lower depending on whether you win or lose.  Sounds a lot more like an ELO type system than a High Score!  This should make rankings much more interesting, and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

It's probably not perfect yet.  There should be a solo queue ranking to separate premades and the rest.  Otherwise, premades will dominate the rankings.  It'll be interesting to see how their system works as 2 out of 3 teams will lose every match.  Does 2nd place lose less points than 3rd?

Ornaments.  These are another big addition to WoH.  If you played WAR, they are kind of like Trophies.  Except this time they affect your heroes weapons.  Unlocking hero skins and trophies will grant you new ornaments which can be used to customize your character further.

Some other interesting changes:

The third scenario reward spinner no longer requires the player to join a warband. Instead, this spinner now requires a personal Score of 20 or above.

Gaarawarr will love this one.  I do too, no longer do us solo players miss out on a wheel opportunity.  

Elite Tactics will now be highlighted by a Gold border to make them easier to spot and slot.

Good change, but I'm still hoping to see the way these tactics are changed overhauled.  Make them purchasable individually!  

Albodi the Chosen has been added to the Store. See the Hero Lineup section for more information.

Rivs should like this guy.  You can check out his abilities here.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Give it to me, now.

Now I've done it, I went and watched a video about the upcoming game, Europa Universalis 4 (EU4) and now I have to have it.  Let the obsession begin.  To make matters worse, there are a couple of expansion packs for EU3 which I have neglected to play.  That means I am very close to hitting the Buy button on Steam.

Rock On

We have entered the 2nd stage of Project Aquarium, the addition of water and live rock.  The rock is from Florida, and has been cured and scrubbed by someone much more knowledgeable than I am.  I was told it produced quite a smell.

Live Rock is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.  Hopefully nothing bad hitched a ride and survived the scrubbing.  We'll see though.

This week we are letting everything settle, and hopefully in a few days the water measurements will allow us to add fish.  As we have 2 small children, we will be going with a couple of Clown Fish and a maybe Blue Tang ( Dory).  I saw maybe as my quick research shows they may not be the best neighbors or fit in my tank well as adults.

Friday, August 17, 2012

ELO is a fickle mistress

So I had gotten myself up to a 1264 rating in League of Legends.   It's not very high, but it qualifies me for a Bronze standing should the season come to an end.  The best players are at 2200+ ELO.  If you finish with a standing, you get a skin reward and some forum graphic.

ELO Decay does not start to happen until 1400+, so I thought to myself, maybe I should just stay where I am.  That would mean not playing the game, which defeats the purpose.   You know where this is going....

Played two games last night, got trounced in both games and my ELO now down below Bronze.   Luckily, Season 2 does not end until October, so there is plenty of time for me to get back up there (or go down even further).

Speaking of ratings, Wrath of Heroes is making some changes to their system.  No real details, but I'm glad to see something being done.  The system was just not sustainable and it rewarded time more than skill.  Hopefully, the new system will do a better job.

And finally, a self-plug:  I will be adding a new game to it next week!  Hint, it's mentioned on this page :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grand Acquisition Impressions

The latest SWTOR live event, The Grand Acquisitions Race, has been going on for a couple of days now.  These impressions are by no means final, since the event is still going on.  So lets get to my likes and dislikes.

  • Story!  Unlike the Rakghoul event, there is a deeper story to go with this event.  That includes cut scenes and voice overs.  
  • That big Chevin hologram is awesome. 
  • There are some new and interesting mechanics.  For instance, yesterday I manned a big blaster cannon.
  • There are actual clues you can discover to help you find the items.  Happening upon a group of smugglers looking at a hologram is one example.  It will narrow it down to an area, but you still have to search.
  • I'm a fan of having different parts of the event unlock daily.  It gives me something to look forward to each day when I log in.

  • The story kind of drops off after the first few missions.  I really expected the daily unlock to bring another piece of it, but so far it has not.
  • I'm glad they gave clues as to where you can find items, I just wish there was more of a reason for them being there.  Why was item X in a random crate rather than somewhere that made sense?
  • The rewards are an odd mix.  You have Bowcasters and Sand People social gear.  What do either have to do with the Chevin?  No clue.
  • There is some unrest with Shady transients which no one (in-game) seems to have mentioned yet.  You'd think they would.

There are at least a couple more days left in the event, so we will see what happens.  Overall, I like it and feel it is an improvement over the Rakghoul event.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cross the Streams

Don't worry, there will not be total protonic reversal in this case.  One of the newer features in my MMO tracking system, Dev Spy, is the listing of live streams for all of the tracked games.  As always, you can choose not to show some games bu going into the Customize menu.
The top 10 streams, taken from both and are shown for each game.  Just click the arrows to go to navigate.  Clicking on the picture will let you watch it without having leaving Dev Spy.  

Live streams that go off the air are automatically removed and replaced with new ones, so you should not have to refresh the page.

Tip for Chrome users:  Go to Customize->Notifications.  Enable desktop notification support, reload the page and you should see a Follow button for each live stream.  Once followed, you'll get a small popup when the user comes online, even if the browser is minimized or you are on another page.  

Dev Spy can be found at:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SWTOR Live Event is a go!

This morning, SWTOR launched its second live event:  The Grand Acquisitions Race.  It is basically a  scavenger hunt (maybe, some strange stuff going on which makes me think there is more to it).  You won;t find any spoilers in this post, just some basic starting info.  The Chevin, who are running the event, can be found on Nar Shadda and that is where it begins.

Head to the Lower Promenade and it is kinda hard to miss.  Believe it or not, I actually did for a few minutes.  Look for the giant hologram!

There will be a clicky at the base of it, then off you go,  You'll get a mail message not long after.  That's where I stopped.  There is a rewards vendor nearby, who has a selection of Bowcasters, a speeder, and some social gear.

Most characters should be able to participate, as it mentioned the items can be found on Nar Shadda and Coruscant (DK for the Imperials I imagine).

Can't wait to get started this afternoon.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Wrath of Heroes gets a Podcast

It's about time I say, those slackers.  The folks at Mythic have put together a podcast, using youtube minus the video, to talk about some upcoming happenings with Wrath of Heroes.  I originally heard about it from

Oddly enough, this is Mythicast #2... guess I missed #1.  Also, get the #2 jokes out of your system now, I'll wait.

Overall, I found it to be pretty interesting.  The new legendary hero sounds good, although he would be awesome if he were a Dwarf.  They also talk about other future champions and goings on.  It was a good listen.

Now I am going to be a bit negative.  At the end of the podcast they mention something special happening around Halloween.  Great, seasonal events, who doesn't like them?  It sounded like there would be a new legendary Hero too.  The Red Duke.

The Red Duke has been referenced in the WAR files for a long time, probably part of the never launched Vampire Count expansion that Mark Jacobs mentioned way back when.  Excuse me for being a little bitter that WoH will get The Red Duke and WAR will not.

I could be upset for nothing though.  Maybe now that they are fixing up his model, he can be used in WAR.  I don't care how he's used, just put him in there somewhere.  It would be something new and interesting.

Project Aquarium

Yes, an actual aquarium.  Clever title for a Monday morning.  That's the latest undertaking in the Werit household.  It was the wifes idea, which I am am not fully on board with.  We have too many other things to take care of, but I digress.  I figure if we are going to do this, we're going to do it right.

That means going saltwater.  It's a lot of extra work, but we have a local pet store that will take care of a lot of the mundane details.  First step:  Get Aquarium.

Check.  We went with a 60 gallon glass tank.  Nothing too fancy here. That's still just the paper insert you see. The cool part, to me at least, is what is sitting on the top of the tank.  It came with a couple of standard hood lights, which were just boring.  I tossed those aside and went with this:

It's an LED lighting system.  Specifically, the Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System.  It puts out around 3,340 lumens and since it is LED runs much cooler.  It also adds Geek cred to the tank at least until I get my remote controlled submarine with a camera.... some day.

Right now we are waiting for the Live Rock to get in.  It's being cleaned and cured prior, so we should be good to go to get water and rock in the tank this week.  Then, if we are lucky, we may be able to talk about fish next week.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lowered Legacy Levels

During a patch this week, Star Wars: The Old Republic made a rather big change to their Legacy system.  If you don't recall, the Legacy system is an XP bar shared by all of your characters allowing you to unlock some new and interesting things.  BioWare decided to lower the requirements for a number of the perks.
  • The Legacy Levels required for experience modifier perks have been adjusted. The ranks now require Legacy Level 2/3/5/7/10 (changed from 5/10/15/20/25).
  • The Legacy Levels required for companion modifier perks have been adjusted. The ranks now require Legacy Level 2/5/8 (changed from 5/10/15).
  • The Capital World and Outlaw's Den priority transit perks now require Legacy Level 2 (previously 10).
  • The Fleet Vanguard and Black Hole priority transit perks now require Legacy Level 5 (previously 10).
  • The Legacy Levels required for the repair droid perks have been adjusted. The ranks now require Legacy Level 5/8/12 (changed from 10/15/25).
  • The field respec perk now require Legacy Level 5 (previously 10).

These are some significant level requirement reductions.  I must say I am very happy to see them happen.  My Legacy level is still only 5 (have a 41 and 31), so this opened up a number of new options for me.  I went ahead and purchased the 2nd tier Warzone and Class Mission experience boosts right away.  I could get the 3rd, but I'm too cheap.

So why the change of heart?  I can think of a couple reasons.  One, there is a large segment of the population still under Legacy level 10.  This would give them more to strive for.  It could also be in preparation of F2P this Fall.  Secondly, maybe they want to make room for new unlocks at those higher levels.  

Overall, I think it is a very good change.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Secret World Dev Tracker

Since the The Secret World forums lacks a dev tracker, I have added the capability to Dev Spy.  Currently, it tracks 5 of the more active developers and I will add more over time as they spring up.  To see the developer posts, just check out the TSW tab.

In addition to developer posts, you can also see the latest TSW youtube video (official), tweets, Reddit posts and live streams (both and  The tweets and Reddit features are not enabled by default, so you'll need to click on the Customize link at the top of the page in order to see them.

The page updates automatically, so there is no need to refresh.

Dev Spy can be found at:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Motivation Killer

With the recent announcement of more layoffs at BioWare and the impending change to a free to play model, my motivation to play the game has really taken a hit.  It's not the game has changed since before both changes were known, it is just that bad news dampens the spirit.

As I mentioned before, the F2P may not be bad news to some players, but it's not particular good news to me.  It doesn't provide any benefit to me as a subscriber, so it does nothing to lget me excited about logging in.

One thing I have never understood about MMO companies is that when they announce bad news, they don't seem to follow it up with any good news.  I'd like to see:  "We had layoffs.... but here is also a look at something new we are working on!"  This never happened with WAR either.

I'm afraid I know why it doesn't happen.  They don't have any good news to share.  WAR certainly never did.  SWTOR seems to have pushed off Makeb, so I guess they could not give us anything about it.  HK-51 is supposed to be coming out pretty soon, they could have given us a peek at the process to get him.

Instead, they just let the bad news sit in our minds and fester.  There is a new live event in the 1.3 patch, but they still have not turned it on.  That would have gotten peoples mind off of the layoffs.  Ah well, hopefully something will happen to get my excited about logging in again soon.

Friday, August 3, 2012

End of Nations Beta Weekend

The upcoming MMORTS, End of Nations, is having another beta test this weekend.  It is technically a closed test, but keys are available.  I played during the last one and had a surprisingly good time.  I cannot say much about it, but I will be playing at launch.

Looking for a key?  Try these sites...

If you want keep up with the latest End of Nations news, be sure to stop by Dev Spy for dev posts, tweets, Facebook, videos, and live streams.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


One thing I have noticed while playing ranked matches in League of Legends is that the aggression levels of other players has increased.  I don't mean on a personality level (which it probably has too), but in the way that they play the game.

I played two games yesterday, both wins, and faced off against the same guy.  This was several hours apart, so I wasn't sure if it was him or not.  Anyway, the first match he jungles and ganks top around level 2.   So I did my duty and warned top before the second match.  Sadly, it was not enough.

He ganked bottom, me specifically.  That's another thing I noticed, players really go after the support character.  Usually, they try for the AD carry and let me dump all my abilities to save him.  In ranked, they seem to come right for me, which is something I will have to get used to.

The best games I have played so far are when our jungler actively wards.  I ward plenty, but I don't travel the map nearly as much as the jungler in the early phases of the game, never-mind going into the enemies jungle.  It is a huge boost when you can get good ward coverage early in the game.

Current ELO:  1187

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's a Shame

As you have no doubt heard, SWTOR is going free to play this fall.  BioWare is trying to spin this in a positive direction, as is PR's job, but it is anything but for them.  If they were sitting on 1.5 million subscriptions we would not even be having this conversation.  It's not all bad news though.

For the average MMO player, this is actually good news.  It's a free game to play.  Looking at their chart, you will be able to do quite a bit without spending a dime.  Even if it was too expensive to make for a market that changed, it is still a quality game and now it is mostly free.

For players like me, it is very disappointing.  The main reason being that it takes time and resources to convert the game to this new model.  This is time that should be spent on expanding the game systems and other fun things.  I really don't want to see them go down the same path WAR did.  WAR spent so much time backtracking that the game never really advanced beyond fixes/changes.

How will this all play out?  I'm not sure.  F2P has worked for games like LoTRO and STO, so it could very well be a boon to SWTOR.  My plan is to remain a subscriber for the foreseeable future.    I still have a lot to do in the game.

P.S.  What happened to Makeb?  It is not on the 'Coming Soon' list.  Wonder if it is being pushed back due to the F2P launch.