Am I to be left with… A Moosey Fate?

Wotcha everyone,

I had been wondering about posting something about the wait for the release of Warhammer Online, when I found that Syp had posted something on Waaagh! which covered very nicely, and in a more concise way, what I had been pondering.

What had started me off on my musing was watching the Invader Zim episode “Game Slave 2”.  Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen, heard or watched Invader Zim, but it’s one of my favourite cartoons.  Sharply satirical of modern life, the episode I’m talking about sees Gaz, the video game obsessed sister, go all J-Horror at the poor foolish mortal that was stupid enough to get between her and the latest games machine, the aptly named “Game Slave 2”.

I marvelled at the skill of the animators, I wondered at the skill with which the director brought in so many clever J-Horror references, and I wished that I was as good, as sharp and as talented as the scriptwriters.

And then, after a short pause, I panicked that they had written the episode about me.

I am “eagerly awaiting” the release date.  No, I’m not chewing the walls in anticipation, but I am looking forward to finally getting my head shaved, letting small children poke me with sharp sticks until I am furious (righteously) and then getting stuck in.

But you see, I’ve pre-ordered the game.  I can rest easy in the knowledge that there is a copy out there that is waiting just for me.  That at some point I shall get a headstart key, and that key will mean that even if the post is delayed for up to a week, I shall be fine.  So I’m fine.  I don’t need to worry, because other people will be ensuring that I shall get everything sorted with a minimum of fuss.

Unless.  Unless there’s an administration error, and my pre-order is lost in the system.  Or they’ve run out of copies of the game.  Or there’s a postal strike.  Or hordes of insanely territorial World of Warcraft fans zerg the distributors, in the hopes of getting PvD (Player versus Distributor) epixxx?  What if there’s a nuclear war?

So now I have “The Terror”.  I can’t control whether or not the world is engulfed in nuclear war!  So maybe I really *must* have my Game Slave 2.  Maybe I *would* go all J-Horror crazy at anyone that looks like they’d stand in my way.

Maybe I am not the sane, rational, non-addicted games fan I thought I was.

Cheers,
Hawley.

Bye bye freedom

So Warhammer Online has gone gold, and the open beta will be with us on 7th Sept – the client is up and ready for download!. That gives me.. a couple of weeks left of ‘freedom’, and I don’t know about you, but I actually have a plan this time on how to get things ready in my life.

The Practical

  • Gain some husband rep by doing dishes, cooking, generally hanging out and watching DVDs
  • Ensure laundry is done and up-to-date
  • Make and freeze some meals so husband doesn’t have to do all the cooking! (he’s unbearably good at feeding me when I’m caught up in gaming)
  • Get plenty of rest, seriously, plenty!
  • Catch up on all my recorded TV on the PVR – making sure I’m on top of things, and reminding myself that leisure time doesn’t have to be in front of a PC
  • Organisation – sort out bills, medical appts, etc
  • Give lots of quality cat-cuddling time, so they don’t feel too unloved and fall asleep on keyboard or mouse when they want attention
  • Work out my autumn TV schedule and set it all up on the PVR. Yes, I am a bit of a TV fan, but I like to think I only watch decent stuff ;p
  • Read more of the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin. Just finished book 1
  • Make sure vidcam works before Games Day trip, and that I have any idea how to get data off it

The Philosophical

Ponder the following:

  • What is better; Trez or Freebies?
  • Why is it called ChaosCast if they’re all playing Greenskins?
  • Which am I looking forward to more; Lost or Battlestar Galactica?

Game-related

  • Look at Rune Priest masteries, have a vague idea how I might spec
  • Finalise list of character names I actually like – double-check that I like them
  • Decide on an alt (more naming hell)
  • Decide if I even want a Destruction alt on another server
  • Build up my post count on guild forums, which I’ve not been that active on because of blogging or gaming!
  • Make sure I’m up-to-date with all my LotRO stuff and do stuff with LotRO guild before my play-time there scales back radically (yay for lifetime subs)
  • Discuss some BoG plans with Hawley and Spinks – maaaybe look at design, and then ignore it ;p
  • Get nervous about Games Day, try not to worry about missing out on some headstart because of travelling to and from Games Day and seeing my family at the same time

I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking I need to get things in order before the game releases. So what are you all planning to do before life gets… really busy?

Waiting.. patiently?

Where is the newsletter???!

I’m normally a fairly chilled person, and I do write blog posts, I really do. But since last week we’ve kind of been saying ‘well, let’s wait till the newsletter and then write some stuff’. And I know they only said early this week, but I’ve been up too long already (woken by hungry cats, not anxiety about the newsletter!), so I’m sitting here.. thinking of things to write, and then coming back to – ‘but where’s the newsletter’.

It reminds me a bit of having a permanent excuse to not do something. Like, ‘I’ll go cycling when the weather is nicer’ when you live where I do. (another excuse that is well-used by me).

So instead of the newsletter, here’s some things that have been on my mind lately that have nothing to do with the beta. Yay.

The Road to War game (yes, the site is currently down, but you can go read about it and see a screenshot from it over at Keen and Graev’s). It’s no surprise to some of you that one of our discarded posts related to things Warhammer Online could learn from certain cult TV shows. I think perhaps this bit of viral marketing is one thing they share in common. At the same time as I play the Road to War game (and no, not playing until I hear about whether there is or isn’t a European alternative, though I suspect I know the answer to this already), I can also be recruited by the Dharma Initiative.

Lost has run a few successful ARGs (alternate reality games) in between seasons with mixed success. The first was a bit fiddly and only really scored with the hard-core fans who then were a bit annoyed at some of the pay-off. The second was the search for Flight 815 and worked quite well because it included mini-games and then used footage that was later incorporated into episode 1 of season 4 of the show. And now we’re being recruited for Dharma between seasons 4 and 5. It’s a fun way to spend the hiatus – a time when fans can be lost or retained.

So, back to the Road to War. It’s a good idea to keep up and build interest in the game in a viral manner (lest we forget, that’s what viral marketing is about). But, everyone taking part should remember that this is (as far as I know), Mythic’s first pass at such a big enterprise. And trust me, this kind of game is a big deal to pull off successfully. Turbine has done something similar with the Mines of Moria, but on a smaller scale – I played it for a week or two, but then went back to my normal stuff.

There will be exploits, the site will go down, there will be people who complain about the rewards – but through all of that, it’s a learning experience, it’s the games company finding a new way to connect with fans and interested parties and you can guarantee there will be more things like it, each learning from the last.

What else?

I’m as confused as anyone about release dates, pre-order stuff and everything. I seriously have no answers. I suggest waiting for the official releases and making Dress-Your-Own Paul Barnett dolls. I found making mine very zen. Now trying to decide whether to take it to Games Day with me! Also, do as Wrenn suggests and go check out the excellent Warhammer Online community out there. We’ve not really even been a part of it that long, and we feel very welcomed by everyone in it. So thanks to all for that.

But most of all:

Where is my newsletter???!

Outing?

I usually try to use the same set of names through all my gaming, it makes things easier and it’s a good way of quickly identifying friends. And yet I find myself contemplating taking on a new name for Warhammer Online, depending on the race I choose. I have it in my head that there are no decent dwarf names amongst those I usually use. So if I do end up with a dwarf, I’ll need a new name. Which has got me thinking!

I’m also a little conflicted over identifying both myself and my guild on the blog. I’m sure as the open beta, early access and game launch I’ll be commenting quite a bit about what my friends and I are getting up to, how our guild is progressing, etc. But, I’m not sure when to out the information, or whether to out it at all!

Anyone have any strong thoughts/feelings about this? Will you be keeping your character name/guild private?