Big Day Today

Here come the Slayers/Choppas! The new classes should be available to those who completed the Bitter Rivals event later today after the servers come down. But that’s not the only reason it’s a big day. There’s also a bunch of server moves happening to help players get to experience better RvR through more targets:

All characters on servers from which we have previously offered transfers will be moved to more lively servers…

…Here’s the full list of automatic transfers
Dragonback Mountains, Mount Silverspear, Sea Of Dreams, Tiranoc and Finuval Plain to Eltharion
Karak Ungor, Clar Karond and Karak-Vlag to Karak-Azgal
Karak-Hirn, Karaz-a-Karak, TorAnroc and Yvresse to Karak-Norn
Zhufbar, Worlds Edge Mountains, Axe Bite Pass, Karag Dron and Karag Orrud to Karak Eight Peaks
Makaisson, Ellyrion and Alarielle to Burlok

It’s quite a big deal and a couple of European bloggers have been talking about their experiences moving from Karak-Hirn to Karak-Norn. The server moves, along with the 10-day free trial available through WAR Europe and the return of players to see the new classes mean we should be getting some stellar play in over the next days and weeks, breathing new life into RvR and PvE (yes, time to get those hard PQs done). It’s quite a big deal to welcome new players to your server, especially when you’re used to the same old names – but give it a go, I intend to on Burlok and I’m not a naturally friendly person ;p! (btw, if you’re coming to Burlok as either Order or Destruction, I’ll be playing Idris the Warrior Priest, feel free to say hi or to kill me and report it here!).

And I know you’re all waiting for stuff about the Dublin trip, so here’s a quick overview:

  • lots of GOA, not so many players – we intend to change this at a London get-together (maybe check 9th May in your calendars…more on that soon)
  • GOA were really friendly, their offices all bright and decorated WAR-style
  • T-shirts rock 🙂
  • So do female Rune Priest birthday presents (thanks to Nic and Magnus for this, it has pride of place away from ALL cats!!!)
  • Go bother Tuffmudda to start the ‘recipes for MMO players’ meme. I reckon we can get at least one recipe out of every WAR blogger

I guess what I took away from it the most is that the individuals at GOA who work with WAR are incredibly enthusiastic and joyful about their work. Many of them are dedicated Warhammer junkies and however much we all love the game and the community, they do too. They just get to see all the other sides of it! And yes, there will be pictures and an interview with Nic and Magnus for quieter days!

Advertisements

Podcasts

I’m a bit of a podcast nut, because I have a 1.5 hour commute to and from work on the days I work (yes, I’m lucky enough to be a part-timer). I also tend to think podcasts can ease some of the blah from grinding, as and when I need to do it. So it falls to me, fairly naturally to give you a quick overview of the podcasts I listen to – I’ve tried to stick to WAR and gaming ones, but if you ask nicely I might list all the ones I have on my listening list (even ones I’m ashamed of ;p).

Warhammer

No Prisoners, No Mercy – now here’s one we can rely on! Part of the Virgin Worlds collective, this is really top notch and makes me laugh like no other WAR podcast. Sister Julie and Sister Fran put such passion and heart into the podcast that it’s impossible not to get caught up in its infectiousness. It’s a great insight into someone else’s experience of the game, and also raises some really interesting points. But let’s put it this way, the minute I get this one downloaded on iTunes it goes to the top of my listening list!

The Warpath – another weekly WAR podcast from the Virgin Worlds collective, this time helmed by Phillip and Stephen. long-time friends and players of Warhammer tabletop – which is great for me, because it helps fill in some of the lore that I’m really lacking in. I’ve really enjoyed their breakdown of classes – it gave me a lot to think about! There’s quite a bit here about progression through the game and how they’ve found the levels and tiers they’re currently playing, and I find it fascinating to listen to how others view these things, it also sometimes kicks me out of my doldrums and reminds me why I’m enjoying the game, and I look forward to the time when they hit their first fortress.

WARP – yay, another regular WAR podcast, and another one I’ve been enjoying recently. It has quite a few hosts, which means they bring a lot of different experiences to the podcast which is pretty cool. They cover things a wide variety of things, and taught me a lot about the various things different archetypes could do to siege equipment, and I think the show is developing really nicely even if it’s not quite as polished as it’ll probably be in a couple of months – but I still enjoy listening a lot.

Destruction Dollswhat can I say, it was a fun couple of episodes they put out, and I was greatly looking forward to more of it. But it’s been put on hold indefinitely. Shame, but it’s happened a fair bit. Still worth downloading and listening to the episodes they produced, but it’ll be pretty out-of-date.

Chaos Cast – produced and presented by THE triumvirate of WAR bloggers, Syp, Snafzg and Keen, this was once a fortnightly show. It seems to have also fallen by the wayside though, but I’m sure we’ll see the odd sporadic episode. The camaraderie between the three is obvious from listening, and it was always enjoyable to listen to.

Podcast of Reckoning another podcast that seems to have drifted off a little, but I’m listing it here because I know Orlock from MMOgeek fully intends to record another and get back into the swing of it. I remember it being full of fun and good humour, as well as having a British voice as part of it. The WarhammerGeek parody songs are simply fantastic, so even if you don’t go download the back catalogue of podcasts, head over to the site, listen to them and bug Orlock to record the ones he’s written!!

General Gaming

Virgin Worlds though I might like to pretend I don’t pay much attention to other games, of course I do. And Virgin Worlds is a great way to hear about developments in the MMOsphere. I may not agree with Brent on a few things (mostly to do with LotRO rather than WAR), but he’s terrific at what he does and always puts together an informative and entertaining show.

PC Gamer this is the PC Gamer UK podcast, and I adore it – despite the fact I don’t play many games at all. My husband and my friends are quite games-fanatic though, so it allows me to keep in touch with releases, and the contributors are always entertaining. It’s probably not work-friendly, but I love the banter between the contributors!

Shut Up, We’re Talking Darren and Karen host a podcast where they and their guests discuss the most up-to-date or interesting MMO news. Part of the Virgin Worlds collective, it’s another one I just wouldn’t miss and have been listening to for a while. It’s really interesting to get all the experiences of various MMO players and I’ve never failed to find this one particularly worth listening to.

Rock Paper Shotgun Electric Wireless Show – newish podcast from one of our favourite websites out there (I’m sure you’ve guessed we love it). Again this covers PC games, has great repartee and may not be entirely work-safe (if you’re prone to listening to podcasts on speakers at work that is!). But it always makes me smile, gives me a great insight into games I can then recommend to my husband/friends and has that nice touch of British humour about it. Episode 4 is basically a couple of the guys from Rock, Paper Shotgun, and Paul Barnett on a British train, chatting – which nicely encapsulates the casual and fun nature of the show. It’s only up to show 6 now, but I hope it continues for ages.

So that’s it in terms of gaming podcasts currently on my list, though it seems I may be trimming them down somewhat if those on hiatus don’t return soon!

Hope you enjoy them, if you go investigate. Or suggest some others for me to check out – remembering that some of my time is given over to comics, TV and film geekery too 🙂

Eurogamer Interview: Paul’s thoughts on everything

Eurogamer.net have posted up an awesome interview with Paul Barnett (Creative Director at Mythic) that they did at Games Day. (We were outside the room taking pictures of Ardua caressing a plastic Chosen.)

On how many players he (personally) predicts:

I don’t know what the business people have – they have all sorts of crazy numbers, and things to do with shareholders, and things that would probably get me fired. But we’re having a staff pool. I put down my bet: a million within the year, and then three million.

On expansions and updates:

GOA and Mythic have got a great track record of doing loads of content for free throughout the life of the product, followed by expansions every year or year and a half. WAR definitely is going to follow the same route. We already have a live team, a core team and an expansion team in the studio right now who’ve been working on all the different elements.

On Public Quests:

They pass my genius test. If you see something, and the first time you see it you end up slapping your forehead and going yeah of course, it’s obvious, whatever it was is probably genius.

On GOA:

GOA did it with Dark Age of Camelot and they’ve done it really well. They’ve done it in a very European way, but they’ve done it very well, and it’s more of the same.

On EA in Europe:

They know nothing about launching MMOs in Europe, unless it’s spending lots of money closing them down I suppose.

On why to play WAR instead of WoW:

It’s funnier than WOW. It’s easier to play, but all the dragons are still left to slay: in WOW, there really isn’t that much to do, not any more. You can wait for two years and get another ten levels, but you’ve probably seen it and done it.

Why not to play WAR:

If you really, really don’t like MMOs, you don’t like the subscription model, then I’d say stay away, mate. Don’t be a hater.

See, this is why they are professional journalists and I’m not. I just asked about the trousers 🙂

Meeting Paul

Paul was extremely gracious and charming when we met him at Games Day. He was sitting at a little podium in front of the spooling Warhammer Online trailer that people were staring at, ignoring most of what was going on nearby.

A little later, we got the chance to go stand with Paul in the GOA area and chat to him. First of all, we asked him what it was like to be at Games Day where he didn’t need to whip the crowds into a frenzy. He said it was quite relaxing to be a small fish in a big pond for once, and that of course he was used to Games Days since he’d been at Games Workshop for 12 years and attended 8 Games Days. He mentioned how it was interesting to see the game demoed for people who knew the lore extremely well and judged it against that, and how he didn’t need to explain what an Orc was to them at least. And then we chatted a bit about some of our favourite quests in the game and the things we thought people were being impressed by.

In an I-Spy point-scoring moment he likened it to trying to show people around your Church while the Pope was visiting the town. A fair estimation of the levels of interest in all things Warhammer vs all things computer game at Games Day.

About this time Paul dashed off to teach someone playing a Dwarf how to fire a cannon and we commented that the person probably had no idea who was standing there teaching him! Can you imagine?

We got back onto the subject of the quests we enjoyed and the humour in the game. Paul agreed that it had a certain humour element all the way through it, but one which veered very deliberately away from pop culture references, as opposed to World of Warcraft’s way of humourous quests, NPCs and rewards.

And we talked also about who the game was aimed at, the fact it was aiming more at the adult audience not because it was an adult game per se, but because 12-year-olds wanted to be treated like adults. Another design choice we think is really appreciated.

At this point we were joined by others and the chat just grew more, we did some introductions all round and Paul was very open to chatting to everyone that came over, and signed plenty of stuff.

He did keep getting whisked away to speak to people, but each time he’d come back and touch base. Spinks asked about his trousers and he gave us a guided tour of the various patches, some of which he’d done himself, some others had.

There was very little jumping about, only a couple of ‘waaagh’s and just a pleasant chat with someone obviously committed and in love with the game we’ve all grown to love.

Games Day photos

Ok, am just going to link to the photostream on Flickr without any long descriptions of what you’re seeing in the photos. I’ll warn you there’s just one of Paul, not THAT many of the GOA stand and plenty of all-round Games Day Warhammer-y goodness.

If there’s any you want to ask about, feel free to. (Going to work on the video over the next few days).

What we did at Games Day

First of all, let me say I haven’t counted up our I-Spy totals yet, though I plan on doing that tonight, so feel free to add your scores here. Who knows, there may be a prize involved (unless we win!). And you can read Games Day as it happened on the bookofgrudges twitter.  If you read the Games Day entries, you’ll get a feel for our coach journeys etc, ie. the boring stuff!

So once we got to Games Day we met up with Ardua from Echoes of Nonsense. He was easy to spot, luckily and he was already chatting to Paul. We exchanged Cherry Coke for chocolate (the blogger’s contract), and I said hi to Paul too just briefly while he was sitting at a little desk in front of a monitor continuously playing the trailer. He had to go to an interview with Eurogamer, and we wanted to check out some of the Warhammer stuff, so we went for coffee in the main room of the event. (Spinks: I demanded coffee at this point because I was a wreck from the early morning and coach. They propped me up in front of the Rhino noted below for pictures and then … coffee!!)

After coffee we had a look at some of the tables in Hall One, where the Black Library, Forgeworld and Author signings were. Ardua wanted to get some books signed, and I wanted to go look at the new books, so we parted briefly for that. They didn’t have enough cool Games Workshop related T-shirts or jewellery and I realised I’ve ordered them for my work library, so we didn’t buy anything. Then we went to check out the sale area (mostly sold out by the time we got there) and then Spinks checked Forgeworld. We decided to head back to GOA quickly.

GOA and THQ were situated in what we referred to as ‘a corridor’, because it was a corridor. The promised Rhino tank was next to the Dawn of War II stand and their trailer was getting a lot of attention. Because GOA had 24 PCs set up where everyone could see them and an orderly queue, it looked like a few less people – but I’d hazard a guess they had just as many if not more. Me and Spinks joined the queue and watched some of the gameplay. The game looked fantastic on the computers and monitors they brought with them.  We quickly worked out which computers were linked to the two bigger screens that the queuing people were watching and I nabbed one. Ardua caught with us when we got to play and I made a Squig Herder and did the initial Greenskin quests until the flying bit. I wanted people to see how much fun it was, and a lot of people just picked up whatever char the previous person left.

We took a moment to go look at the Games Workshop stands, check out the art competition and also look at the Golden Demon entries. Our favourite was in the diorama category and included some colourful multi-coloured squigs with spots on. (Spinks: I liked the purple one with yellow spots. And the one jumping out of a bush to bite a slayer on the bum. It wasn’t a prize winning entry but it made us laugh. We think they should have a section for comedy dioramas.) But seriously, there are some scarily talented people out there and it was great to see their work. We also went to the Arena and checked out the gaming tables and some of the amazing models and landscapes that were on show.

As we returned to GOA, Paul returned and asked if we were ready for an ‘interview’.  Ardua, realising we’re complete wimps, had organised this for us! And we went through to the GOA area and stood chatting with Paul in-between him having to dash off and talk to other people. More on what we talked about in a separate post. But he was charming, polite and adorable with his daughter. He also rushed off to help someone in the dwarf starting area who ‘wanted to fire that cannon’ (Paul’s words, but the guy was trying to work out what to do).

In one of the in-between times a couple of the people we know from Freddyshouse spotted us and asked the GOA staff if it was us! Incredible! So they came through to stand and chat with us and we got to meet Dervish from Covenant of Zak and Flimgoblin from Humberton Blackguard. Paul came back and there was another round of chat, videoing (if my vidskills are weak, the guys got much better footage I think), signings and hilarity.

The GOA staff told us we’d been spotted by a couple more people so we all moved over to chat to them and they were really nice too. Gave them guild details and had a bit of a warm-glow moment in the realisation that real people read the blog. So thanks to everyone who waved or spoke to us, seriously, it was humbling and awesome and you were all so nice!

Paul was nabbed for more interviews at some point and we were getting knackered so we went to the Arena to go watch the Golden Demon awards and then find our coach home.

Took quite a few photos and I’ll set up a Games Day flickr and just add them all to it, with little editing! Also, my brother-in-law is going to attempt to help me with the video footage I took yesterday and see if he can get it off the camera and show me how to edit it into clips. When that’s done, I’ll put it in our Youtube account. Yes, we have one, but we’ve never had any clips to show until now. I won’t tell you what kinds of things I videoed in case it all went horribly wrong – except to say that there’s some fun stuff in there!

No skaven skin cloaks, no T-shirts – but you know what? The GOA staff were incredible, and helpful and friendly and a little nervous about wearing big shirts with GOA on their backs. But I think we all managed to express our thanks for the game and that we really really want the European community to be as good as it can be. The guys manning the stall were actual GMs, and I think I prefer that to booth babes.  Oh, and we all got texts to say the headstart servers were delayed a little and then up and running just fine – so well done on a pretty damn smooth start to everyone! Especially GOA and Mythic, of course. (Spinks: The GOA guys were also cute and Irish, just saying … My husband texted to say ‘servers fine. am almost RR3 already!’ so we passed that on.)

Back from Games Day

Just a quick thank you to everyone we met at Games Day, it was really fun to meet you all and we had a great time. Special thanks to Ardua from Echoes of Nonsense who drummed up our bravery which allowed us to have a great chat with Paul Barnett.

And the GOA team – they were awesome, sweet and very helpful. And will be glad to have them as our GMs in-game.