Guessing at the announcement

There’s a dev chat scheduled on Tentonhammer later today at 7pm EST, at which it’s very likely that the developers will be chatting to all comers about today’s announcements.

7pm EST is midnight round where we live, so on the off-chance that we don’t hear anything before then, here’s some of our guesses at what Mythic may plan to announce.

  1. Slayers, Choppas, and a new event to introduce them. Despite Girl IRLs (can we stop pretending that no girls play these games yet?) best efforts, I remain unconvinced about female slayers ūüôā
  2. A St Valentine’s Day massacre-style holiday.
  3. Official bulletin boards
  4. Revamps for some of the missing cities (if anyone was around for beta you may remember that the original idea was to have a full city for each race, rather than fortresses).
  5. New hats for High Elves!
  6. Pets. First ones available will be a groupie for dark elves and a walking beer keg for dwarves.
  7. New tradeskill: Topiary
  8. Mail revamp to allow multiple mails (Earendur)
  9. Paul and Josh returning to the mothership (Melmoth)
  10. Stunty Stew for dinner! Nom nom … (Warboss)
  11. Horse trousers and Naval Combat (Zoso, and I want some of what he’s been smoking)

Feel free to add your suggestions, we’ll add them to the end of the list.

Amusements

These things made me smile:

A bunch of Warhammer Online videos taken from action on Karak Eight Peaks. There’s a wealth of videos to choose from, and it’s great to have them all available. Do you have anything similar? Let us know and we’ll take a look!

And Roo, famous from DAoC days, over at Freddyshouse, has returned to verse to produce something pretty spectacular in a thread about potential Dwarf Slayers:

Young orc, der’s no need to feel glum.
Me said, young orc, kick a dorf in da bum.
Me said, young orc, ‘cos you’re in a new zone
Der’s no need to be unhappy.

Young orc, don’t get hit in da face.
Me said, young orc, knockback elves into space.
You can slay dem, and Me sure you will find
Many ways to be ded rock’ard.

It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.

Dey have everyfing dat you need to enjoy,
Kick da jibblies of all da elves…

It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.

You is green and you mean, biggest orc on da scene
You can eat all the gobbos you see …

Young orc, are you listening to me?
Me said, young orc, get some skulls on your gear.
Me said, young orc, No! Flowers make you look queer.
But you got to know dis one fing!

No orc does it all by himself.
Me said, young orc, get dorf heads on your shelf,
And just go there, to the F.O.R.T.
Me’s sure dey can rez you today.

It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.

Dey have everyfing dat you need to enjoy,
Compare yer choppa wiv all da boyz …

It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.

You can get yourself clean, you can nom a good meal,
You can nom whoever you feel …

Young orc, Me was once in your feetz.
Me said, Me was down – me’s choppa was blunt.
Me felt gobbo jokes Me was da brunt.
Me felt da uvver orcs were all cunning.

Dat’s when someone came up to me,
An’ said, young orc, drag yer arse up da street.
It a place there called the F.O.R.T.
You’ll be da big nob some day.

It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T.

Dey have everyfing dat you need to enjoy,
You can hang out wiv all da boyz…

FORT
It fun to slay at da F-O-R-T
Young orc, young orc der’s no need to feel down
Young orc, young orc be da bestest around

F-O-R-T
Den just go to da F-O-R-T
young orc, young orc Me was once in your feetz
young orc, young orc Me said, Me was down and out wiv da glums.
F-O-R-T

Quantum of Linkage

First up, this month’s WAR grab bag from Mythic. This one is a winner, it discusses zone control in detail and how zones become locked at Tier 4. They also list all the renown rank titles for every race (holy crap, these things go up to rank 100??) and have some screenshots of female Knights of the Burning Sun and Blackguards just to prove that yes, Mythic have found artists who can draw kickass female fighters in plate. Oddly enough, while male Swordmasters ARGUABLY look a bit girly, the female Blackguards look like male impersonators. And if you want to try one early, they confirm that the Heavy Metal daily quests will be soloable, quick, and available to characters at any rank.

Mark Jacobs stops by the Vault boards to update on the Public Test Server and point out some more tweaks being made (for tweaks, read buffs/nerfs depending on your archetype). Also says the PTS due to go live this weekend, update mentioned at A Wall of Text, which alerted me to it.

This is an old (but interesting) article I found on Gamasutra about design issues with hybrid classes.

Wendy Despain talks about video games that bark (a bark is the slang for the words that an NPC says randomly when you click on it.)

In the category of ‘I couldn’t make this shit up’, the US army wants to try out its AI in MMOs. As if Barrens Chat (old WoW dino joke) wasn’t bad enough.

Gary Gygax’s favourite Christian charity refuses donation from GenCon because of its association with D&D. Here’s a cartoon about it.

If you can’t beat it, tax it! China is going to impose a tax on virtual goods income (ie. gold farming, among other things).

That last link reminded me of a cool story about Michael Faraday, who explained the importance of electricity to the prime minister of the day with the insightful comment, “One day, sir, you may tax it.” Read it and other stories about famous scientists here.

Just in time for the Christmas rush, Square-Enix open a European random stuff store. So now you can have those plastic models of Sephiroth and Vincent Valentine to do funky fangirl things with at last. And if your fanfic is good enough, you might even get a job with them!

Here’s a WoW link in preparation for the expansion next week: Jame’s Guide to Death Knight Levelling (55-61). This is for people who want to do it the most efficient way possible.

Bit late for the US elections but here are a couple of links:

A funky typographic summary of this US election campaign. (nb. site is safe for work but the URL isn’t, go figure).

And another interesting typographic fact, last Wednesday was only the fourth time that the New York Times has used a 96 pt font for the front page.

Campaign gossip, courtesy of Newsweek and the Huffington Post. This one made me laugh though:

The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for the Democratic primary debates, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

Vote for your favourite US election candidate in Spore.

For everyone who is enjoying seeing their opponents (political or otherwise) weeping sweet sweet tears, this is John Scalzi’s recipe for Schadenfreude Pie

They call me MISTER Poppet!

Wotcha everyone,

Yes, it’s another part of my ongoing random musing about names.¬† Particularly on Role-Playing servers, seeing as that is my server type of choice, and at the moment, I’m musing about second names.¬† Surnames.¬† This one’s particularly rambly, so you might want to get a brew in and relax.¬† And enjoy the journey.¬† Sorry.

So, here I am at level 20.¬† I get me a horse and a surname.¬† It’s almost like a coming of age ceremony, similar to your first legal beer, or your provisional driving license.¬† Just with less fanfare from your parents.

And seeing as I was in Altdorf sorting horse (no, I haven’t named it.¬† I make it a policy never to name something I might one day eat.¬† And there’s good eating on a horse) and surname, I decided to do my bit for Altdorf, and finish off some of the quests sitting in my Tome of Knowledge.¬† No, it wasn’t about clearing some space in there, and it wasn’t about getting some easy cash and quest xp.¬† No.¬† Honest.

Booting down doors, taking names.¬† Investigating corpses floating in rivers, and generally being seconded to the Altdorf Rozzers.¬† Quite fun, really.¬† And within I few minutes, I’ve got the line; “They call me MISTER Poppet!” running around in the Movie-In-My-Head(tm).¬† Lots of fun, really, and as mentioned earlier, the side effect of helping Altdorf out left me with a warm feeling in my tummy.

It was only later that I started checking out other people’s surnames.¬† Sometimes things are just going too quickly to take note of *any* names, never mind two for the same set of pixels that I’m chasing around a battlefield.¬† And I’m visually lazy.¬† I spend a lot of time at work having to be very accurate about what I’m reading, so on my own time I slack.

But every so often, a name registers in my subconscious, and batters through the wall to my… umm… very conscious.¬† Sometimes it’s a really nice name, one that makes me immediately hate the owner for having a better imagination than me.¬† Hates them!¬† Really hates them!¬† Whilst congratulating them!¬† And others, I read a name that makes me wince.¬† Anyone that thinks the name “Shadowbladedeathdancer” is ok for a name, or even worse chose it because “It’s cool” deserves to have their internet rights removed.¬† I apologise if there actually is a “Shadowbladedeathdancer” out there.¬† It’s a name I chose at random, and I wasn’t singling you out for scorn.¬† Even if you deserve it, for having a name like that.¬† It’s not cool.¬† It’s not a name.¬† It’s words stuck together!

In between the two extremes we get the “comedy” names.¬† Sometimes it’s an innocuous enough name, whose comedy is only released at level 20 with the addition of the surname.¬† Sometimes not.¬† Either way, the question of whether or not comedy names are acceptable is not something that will be resolved in this rambling pondering; I first encountered the “issue” of comedy names in a forum post shortly after I started playing Everquest.¬† It’s going to be going for a long, long while.

The issue here is that, just like World of Warcraft, comedy is a part of the world.¬† And therefore, part of the lore.¬† So when the self-appointed Lore-Police start screaming about names, and comedy names at that, they don’t have a leg to stand on.¬† When the NPCs have comedy names, how can reporting comedy player character names be enforced.¬† It gets worse; the original Intellectual Property evolved over many years, and there are scary amounts of incidental and obvious humour;¬† One of the early army lists for 1st edition was called “The Insane Conjurations of the Necromancer Colin”, or some such.¬† And one of the 2nd edition Regiments of Renown, whose name I cannot remember despite getting all het up about it, was a regiment of sea-elves tasked with guarding ports.¬† Their usual challenge (in Elven, of course) was “Elo cailor, gotda leit?”¬† Even when I first read it, I groaned.¬† [I await anyone who has the original information who can correct my shoddy failing memory.¬† I was about 15 when I first encountered Warhammer, so it’s been a while since I have seen the original.¬† If you could correct it, well done.¬† Not only do you get 25 Hawley-points, but you’ll be making the inner child in me happy for getting some of it’s history back accurately.]

No, you don’t need to ask me, I will happily volunteer the information:¬† Yes, I am considering starting to greet Elves with that phrase in game.¬† It’s part of the lore, after all…¬† I just need the correction/confirmation to arrive, and I’m away.

So when the self-appointed Lore-Police report your comedy name, do you get to report the Van-Rentls of Marienburg for their comedy name?  Yes, another old piece of the world, there.

And I suppose the other question is this;¬† Do game designers get a “Get out of jail, free” card from what some people might refer to as the “Lore-Wielding Assassins of Joy”?¬† No, I don’t use that term.¬† Never.¬† But the point is that we don’t get to even comment on NPC names, so why do they get to change ours?

Personally, I hate to see an obvious gag name.¬† With a passion.¬† But I understand that they are a part of the world, so I turn a blind eye.¬† Of course, that blind eye means I won’t be healing them and won’t be helping them.¬† Swings and roundabouts, really.¬† With a comedy name, you need to be able to duck and weave…¬† But I respect them enough to not start reaching for the “report” button whenever someone with a comedy name batters me into the ground.¬† Again.

Cheers,
Hawley.

Why I don’t do Temple of Isha

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain amount of manic frenzy about standing at an exposed flag and fighting. I enjoy that part of it, but.. from the very first time I saw the map, I can only think of one thing. First, let’s look at the Temple of Isha map:

And now onto my warped mind.. this is what I think of everytime I go into that scenario…

Yes, the female reproductive system, stuck in my head since those lovely sex education¬†classes at school. So, it’s never been a scenario I¬†can take seriously, and I spend more time wondering if the designers missed the likeness. When I mentioned it to my scenario group once (I’ve been kind of tentative to mention,¬†because well.. I wonder if I’m just weird), none of them had thought of it that way… oops. It did lead to a whole scenario worth of jokes about it though! I’ll leave some of those to your imaginations.

Tor Anroc, while popular and crazy never makes my mind wander – so bring it on!

More discarded post titles

And here we go again, a trawl through the post titles we’ve had sitting in our drafts for so long we deleted them (not really, I don’t think we’ve considered any as proper posts – yet!)

  • Which hairdo for your Swordmaster?
  • Knit your own nurgling
  • Leeching for dummies – max your annoyance contributions
  • What moron domesticated cats?
  • Capturing the Tlag – A WAR Spelling Bee
  • The Good Beer guide to Altdorf
  • That’s it – I QUIT!!!!!
  • Ulthorin and Arkanin: can cross house romance ever work?
  • If PvP = pet vs pet…
  • Feed a Dark Elf a Pie Week starts!
  • Roland the Headless Organ Gunner

Alternate Scoring for Tor Anroc

Forget killing the dude with the thingie, we all know that the real objective in Tor Anroc is to throw as many of the other team into the lava as possible with your knockback!

Unfortunately the scorecard doesn’t adequately reflect this (scorecards are obsessed with holding thingies and hitting/healing stuff to an unnatural degree!) so you’ll have to keep score yourself and compare with your mates later. The scores are additive , so if you knock someone into lava, have them land on an island, and then watch them die there, you can score 3 + 2 + 5 = 10 points!

  • Knock someone into lava: 3 points
  • Knock more than one person into lava at once: +1 point for each extra person
  • Knock someone into lava and have them land neatly on an island: 5 points
  • Knock someone into lava and have them land on an island which already has someone else on it: 3 points
  • Knock someone into lava and watch them die: 2 points
  • Knock someone into lava who manages to escape: -1 point

No links please, we’re British

First, a welcome to Swisshammer (more Euro blogs!) and Kiss My Bolter.

Have any ideas on how to improve the chat system in game? MJ is taking feedback in a thread on The Vault.

GOA haven’t provided us with an EU¬† server status page yet, so Penlid@Freddyshouse has produced one of his own.

Money News tells you all about tome tactics and how to unlock them. (The quest librarians who award the tactics aren’t currently in the game due to being fixed for an exploit but I expect they will be soon.)

Quick Youtube vid you should go watch – Paul Barnett’s finished Hamtoucher’s ‘WAR(here we come)’.

Rock Paper Shotgun has a blistering review of My Dream Job: Babysitter. Maybe it’s because I was drunk when I read it but that made me laugh a lot, thanks guys!

British gamer stabbed over forums dispute? This is just plain wrong. We’ll never be hosting a forum! And on a crime theme, but with absolutely nothing to do with gaming at all, a tyre-slashing grandmother in Germany has been ordered to knit jumpers as a punishment!

Games Radar has a list of ten gaming¬†moments you wouldn’t want your family walking in on. It made me grin,¬†and includes any form of playing World of Warcraft. Meanwhile, Fidgit has a list of 10 moments that changed videogaming forever. It also includes WoW, as well as the Portal song.

You think Warhammer plundered from World of Warcraft and you haven’t read all the history of both games to know exactly how they line up for borrowing from one another? Well, how about this? World of Warcraft are now putting out a miniatures game. No kidding.

Let’s all get behind the Rock, Paper Shotgun list of 10 things all PC games should do. They had me at Alt-Tab support.

Gamespot have¬†a¬†guide to Mourkain Temple that everyone should read! Best guide so far, and not least because the angry Rune Priest looks like Arb’s. (thanks Ardua for sharing that link)

Just in time for Fallout 3 (what do you mean you didn’t know it was out in about a¬† month??), The Escapist notes that UGO have provided a crash course in Fallout.

KOTOR MMO to be revealed later this month according to CVG. And RF Online is closing in Europe and North America on 10th November.

Wired has its review of Warhammer Online up now, it’s pretty damn positive. Obviously we haven’t been linking to every review of the game, we figure if you’re reading this blog, you probably like the game, but this one came in a bit later than others, so stood out in the feed reader.

Kiziko has an interview with Josh Drescher, it’s very funny and he also talks about capital cities and city sieges.

Kikizo: Some people say that this could be the next World of Warcraft…

Drescher: Those people are very kind!

Kikizo: When we say “some people” we mean your PR guys…

Drescher: [Laughs] Well OK, very good…

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 ūüôā

Keep yourself busy

EA tests new marketing by offering ¬£20k of free petrol at a petrol station in North London to celebrate the launch of Mercenaries 2. Chaos ensues at the petrol station involved – locals whine. Gets reported in The Telegraph’s motoring section. It got a lot of news space, the game was mentioned in each. Free petrol was limited to ¬£40 per car¬†(the game costs ¬£27-¬£40 depending on platform).¬† Gets called a smart campaign. We agree – but have spent many happy minutes contemplating a similar-style campaign for WAR where Marble Arch is turned into the Gates of Ekrund and tourists fight Londoners!

Hurrah, Spore finally got released. Cue more Spore articles! While we’re waiting for the sporn to take over the universe and me to figure out the tribal phase, here’s an interview with Will Wright about the launch. And here’s a cute article about the world’s tiniest billboard – advertising Spore, of course.

How to break into the Industry! Any Industry!

US Politics has been in the news a lot over here this week.¬† Seems there’s some election going on in the US. Not sure who to vote for? Luckily, the Edge has examined the candidates’ gaming credentials. Meanwhile, Daniel O’Brien at cracked.com cuts to the chase because there’s only one issue he thinks Sarah Palin must address.

Tobold is one of our favourite bloggers, and he notes for the record that Mythic (US) have given him a free WAR account. Yay for freebies, and congrats Tobold! I find this amusing because like us, he’s planning to play in the EU anyway because of timezone issues. Naturally, other bloggers have reacted in a variety of ways. Wall of Text wants to know how he can get freebies, and Syp ponders the ethics of freebies/pay for bloggers.

Thanks to PixiePalace for finding this picture of a badass female warrior in fantasy-style heavy armour. She’s right in that it’s quite difficult to find images like that which aren’t showing a lot of skin.

Would friendly fire work in an MMO? I know the people I play with, so am glad there is no friendly fire!

Killed in a Smiling Accident mourns the loss of some secret classes, last seen in the super secret alpha stage of the game; the Scion of Slaanesh, the Dwarf Beer Master, the Orc Negotiator, the High Elf Conscientious Objector, the Dark Elf Emolator, and the Human Bloggerer (thankfully not quite extinct yet.) Kept us smiling, for sure.

Keen and Syp weigh in with thoughts about the chicken mechanic staying on the open-RvR servers. It’s an interesting debate, and apparently Mythic are now surveying feelings on it, via the preview weekend+ players.