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!

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 🙂

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).

Playing with Models

I’m really not a miniatures gamer. I don’t collect models — well, apart from a short phase a few years back where I picked up a few beanies (don’t laugh, the chinese dragon is cool!). Actually, I always did wonder what the appeal was of collecting models. I can understand it if you want to play a game like Warhammer with them, but go into any specialist game shop and there will be piles of models for just about any fandom imaginable.

I never did quite get it.

War Hydra

War Hydra

I say this as a prelude because I never spent much time (read: any time) looking at the Games Workshop model range. It’s just that I’m subscribed to the White Dwarf email newsletters at the moment, to keep up to date with what’s going on at Games Day and they previewed one new model a few weeks back that really made me sit up and look.

OK, war hydra, cool looking figure, right? Well yes. But I saw that picture just after we’d started testing closed beta and it was the same day that I’d tried my first public quest, in the High Elf starting area. And it has a hydra and it’s keeper as the boss mob in the third phase.

And it looked just like the model!

I know this is not rocket science. Naturally a game based on a set of miniature rules will have characters and monsters that look like the miniatures. But it was only after I browsed the models that I really figured(sic) this out. I realise that at this point the warhammer grognards are probably thinking ‘she’s a moron’ but bear in mind that like lots of other people, I’m coming to this from the MMO side of fandom 🙂

Archmage and Mage

Archmage and Mage

I’m quite lucky because I’m going with an Archmage for my main, and that’s one of the few figures that GW make as a female model (also, you can’t always tell with elves).

I know I’ll no doubt make a rubbish job of it but damn if I don’t want a model of my character now! I can imagine people picking up minis to paint as their character, or making dioramas based on public quests.

Anyone else tempted by the figs?

Games Day (UK) I-Spy

I-Spy books were around a lot when we were growing up. Basically they were spotter’s guides that included points for everything you saw, in a little book you could helpfully write on (always fun as a child).

Anyway, in my excitement and nervousness about actually going to Games Day I decided to sit down and create for everyone a little I-Spy sheet to supplement other Games Day activities. Feel free to amend it for US events (you could even use it for Comic-con over the next couple of days). And I’m happy to take suggestions of things I may have missed!

Games Day I-Spy (Google Doc)

ps. the chocolate entry exists to make sure I personally get some points 🙂

moar links!!!111!!!!

The Brainy Gamer wonders why industry keeps making so many shoot-em-up games.

Mark Jacobs comments on current plans for server types. Open RvR servers will be present as well as Core.

Classy Gamer explores the decision to remove some of the tanking classes from the game and pleas for their return.

Ten Ton Hammer talks to Erik Mogensen, Licensing and Acquisitions Manager for Games Workshop about the future of tabletop gaming in an MMO world, and Warhammer in particular.

Iain C, Community Manager for WAR in Europe ponders whether MMOs are more like massively single player games these days and looks at the importance of soloing as well as group play.

Keen’s interview with Mark Jacobs can be read in full over at the Vault.

So the Mythos Beta has been shut down. Not really a surprise, but it was a fun little game and we hope it returns someday.

At The Vault, RagingMarauder has a thread for people to make their predictions for launch. I see lots of predictions of people taking a day off sick! And Linuxx has some good advice on that:

never waste a sick day on a launch..it never is worth it…maybe in a day or so after launch then get sick.

Coffee-lovers check out Oliver Shwaner-Albrights New York Times coffee blog. In an interview on the Mr and Mrs Smith blog, he discusses where to get the best coffee in London.

Massively’s latest articles on Warhammer Online are all grouped together here. They include articles about UI customisation, open groupings and RvR.

Josh Drescher mentions the upcoming appearance at Comic-con, while Paul Barnett goes a step further and lists a few events he has on his schedule, including Comic-con, Develop Brighton and PAX. We’re, meanwhile, still preparing for our trip to Games Day UK!

At Warhammer Conflict, they have a Focus Discussion: Solution to Gold Farmers

Another week, another set of guild highlights on both official pages, and features profiled guilds and some info about guild advancement. Here’s a link to the EU one.

Games Day (UK) I-Spy

When we were kids there was a range of books called I-Spy books. In them, you got points for each thing you spotted. Each book had a theme, like ‘Wild animals’ or ‘Flowers’ and we loved them. They were great ways for a parent to keep a kid quiet and busy, but also playing a game and learning about the world around them. I just remember hours spent on journeys ticking off things we’d seen.

Anyway, less of the history lesson and nostalgia from me. I was bored, and thinking of things we might do at Games Day UK in September, and I decided to devise an I-Spy sheet with points and things to do! I’ve tried to include everything I know is happening, and have also added points for finding Josh Drescher/Mark Jacobs/Jeff Hickman even though I have no idea if they’ll be there. Will probably put up an amended file the week before the event, but here’s my first draft – feel free to make suggestions or amend for other events 🙂

ps. the chocolate is there to ensure I get some points!

Today’s reading challenge

Another new blog to welcome to the community, put a big hand together for Da Squig Herder. We’ll be watching you, greenie!

The Warhammer Herald starts releasing guild information as the guild beta gets underway. We expect to hear a lot more about how guilds work, but for now – take a look at how to create a guild. Happy to report that this news is also up on the European site, complete with a featured European guild instead of a US one. Nice work!

Penny Arcade weighs in on the recent announcement of cuts. Secret Lives of Mobs reaches part 5 of The Inquisition strip.

New episodes of ChaosCast and the Podcast of Reckoning are out (they need to stagger them, but hey, it’s great to hear Warhammer podcasts regardless of timing).

The Greenskin hosts Romanus’ part 2 modelling guide. I look at these things and am totally in awe of how anyone makes a (detailed) lump of metal look so damn good. We definitely recommend these guides if you want to give painting a shot.

The new E3 screenshots can be seen here and are all the ones dated July 14th. Looking pretty! And here’s the factsheet.

Summary of the EA press conference at E3 notable for the total lack of mention of WAR. I wish the press would chill about iPhone software (we’ve had smartphones for years here that you could download 3rd party software to.)

Eurogamer reports EA’s announcement of Nucleus, a new social games service which will be launched initially in sports games and then across 25 games by the end of 2009. One of the examples given cites Warhammer Online:

you might tell Ellie she has to get her Warhammer Online character to level 30 and unlock all the Battlefield achievements by next weekend, and Nucleus would also allow you to tell your mutual friends that you had set this challenge.

Blizzard have won their case against the programmer who created Glider, a bot system.

Josh Drescher gives an interview to Gamasutra about releasing in a post-WoW world.

TenTonHammer forums pose the question we’ve all been asking – How would Paul Barnett have delivered the news about the city and class cuts? Seriously, it’s worth stopping by and having a look at both the text and graphical answers.

Games Day UK – tickets on sale online (or from shops tomorrow)

If you’re in the UK (or elsewhere) and want to go to Games Day UK at the Birmingham NEC on 14th September, don’t forget that tickets go on sale on saturday 28th June from Games Workshop stores around the country.

You can also buy them online here.

The Games Workshop website can help you locate your nearest store. The stores also organise coaches to and from the NEC, but the coach places will sell out faster than Games Day tickets will, so if you want a coach ticket too, you’ll need to be sharp off the mark on saturday morning.

Tickets for the event are £30, coach tickets will cost extra.

Warhammer Online is going to have a presence there. But I think we’re both also hoping to get a sense of the Warhammer tabletop game and lore and just be in the same room as lots of people that love it and to see their reactions to Warhammer Online.

Baltimore Games Day snippets

[These are taken from WHA forums and Only-WAR forums]

Review by Beowulfhntr, including some video

  • banner scraps can be turned in
  • 10 char slots per server all the same faction
  • squigs and white lions cant be named yet but they want them to be
  • top renown guild gets a statue in the city
  • dyes available through renown, as well as other – basic – means
  • certain classes revisited, such as Iron Breaker and Engineer
  • High Elves playable
  • more PvP scenarios available
  • closed BETA keys given out, along with codes for exclusive in-game bonus item the Skaven Skin Cloak (they better have these at Games Day UK!)

And now for some quotations:

My question was, “I was wondering how you guys were planning on balancing out loot distribution between dps,healers,tanks for the RvR, PQ’s, and renown situations.” I’m not really sure they understood my question right off the bat but after the Q&A session Josh was standing off to one side and i was able to get my answer. They are making the loot distrubution ‘hate’ or ‘aggro’ based so that everyone has incentive to do their supposive ‘job’ during the PQ/RvR/Renown situation in order to get rewarded.

Accord to the Q&A at Gamesday, the servers will not only have a cap for the total number of players on a server but a cap on the number of people per realm. So for example it that cap is say 3000 for both Order and Destruction, once 3000 Destruction players have made characters on that server then the server will be locked from other Destruction players. And only Order players will be able to make characters on that server. Another topic that was covered was that they will have measures in effect for RvR, that if one side is always getting owned then that side will receive ” help ” was the word that was used.

Garthlik at Warhammer Alliance has put up a post that links to all the reviews there, so it’s worth following that for fuller reviews than we’ll probably put here. We’re saving some of our Games Day energy for our own trip to the UK one in September.

A full video of the Baltimore Q&A can be found on WarhammerOnline.tv.

Also, head over Waaagh, for a list of 50 tidbits from Games Day Baltimore. It’s a much more comprehensive listing than I’ve managed here.