Where will Kaja go?

Burlok is dead, its remains smouldering in ashes. Kaja the dwarven Rune Priest stands ‘tall’ and looks around. She has a choice of new homes, aside from Karak-Azgal where the evil Ailil bounces on her disk.

Ok, I’ll prob move her to Karak Eight Peaks on monday. No idea what the new guild is doing, but these days I’m more of a soloer. And it sounded like a fun server on saturday.

RP server closures are sad to me, because they offer something that you just don’t find elsewhere. But WAR demands on numbers, and equality. And the numbers are so LOW on the RP servers, that these moves are inevitable. And wherever I go, I’ll be using Flimgoblin’s awesome new RP addon.

Hrrm, the move is on the same day my 6-month sub runs out. I was going to take a few weeks break from the game and then continue playing and move any new WAR commentary to my more general blog: Nerf the Cat. Yes folks, after a new breath of life for the Age of Blogging, the Book of Grudges is most definitely coming to an end.

It shows how things have progressed in 7  months. I’ve gone from uber-excited about every announcement, to slightly cynical and needing proof of things. I gave up on end-game and enjoyed the simplicity of tiers 1 and 2, and could play those all the time! I look forward to the Land of the Dead ‘expansion’ stuff. But I miss my guild, my friends, my server – and let’s face it, Book of Grudges is in no way as good as it was when I shared duties with Spinks and Hawley.

I am determined to keep an eye on WAR, I hope I enjoy my new server when I get back to playing there. It’s going to be a bit weird to make sure my friends (whose subs have run out) get to the same server. I’m not even sure it’s possible, so that will be seriously upsetting for all of us. I even got some great ideas for WAR blog posts at the pub gathering over the weekend. Those posts will be on Nerf the Cat, however. Not here.

Thanks to all for reading, commenting, visiting and keeping us in the feed-reader! It’s definitely appreciated.

Long time coming

I’ve been neglecting my blogs, and as I’ve just compiled some links for Nerf the Cat later in the week, here’s the WAR-related ones I’ve been checking out amongst others:

Werit summarises info from the Land of the Dead video, neatly and succintly and it gave me just enough of a taster to go watch the video, since I’m a little distrustful of marketing at the moment! It’s nearly June too…

I’ll really miss the colourful and sensible diagrams and dots from Breakfast at WAR, so here’s Pancakez’ view on the old chestnut of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It’s plainly awesome.

Frustration at the endgame continues with Bootae’s comments on his recent experiences at trying to get into a city siege and what happened. I have to say, I’m still not tempted to try city sieges, I enjoy the early tiers too much these days.

Before WAR launched, there was speculation about population balances and what would happen when one side was frankly overpowered. Werit returns to look at what’s happened on his server, Averheim and it seems players do prefer to be overpowered. Perhaps not surprising, but still somehow revealing.

Podcasts, podcasts – Stonetroll Certified and Warhammer Alliance have new podcasts out, both worthy of being in your list. (OK, so due to twitter I know the WHA one is due out very soon, but keep an eye on their site, it’ll be worth it and has a special guest!)

Snafzg, over at The Greenskin, shows us exactly how and why his blog hit 1 million views with an awesome screenshot of Destruction standing in an orderly queue for a Live Event kill task. I ‘awwed’ at them. So cute, and so far from being chaotic, eh?

There’s no getting out of this one, the decrease in WAR blogs, highlighted by Blame the Healer. At some point soon, I’ll also be moving my main blogging over to my ‘catch-all’ blog, but I’ll still be peppering it with WAR posts and speculations… for me it’s just too hard to keep two blogs going with any sort of quality control!

Bootae provides my favourite headline for a while, raising the issues of how the game could possibly spread players out across zones to avoid 10+ warbands all going after the same goals. I still think bringing in the other Cities would have helped with this somewhat, but truthfully we as players often choose easy kills/keep takes over the more disputed ones, so it’s definitely one of WAR’s problems. He also touches on the recent Winds of Change controversy, which has been picked up by many many blogs, and which I read in quiet disbelief. Snafzg sums it up on Massively, Skar also keeps me up-to-date, and Roo gives the subsequent nerdrage it’s own made-up word. Awesome.

On a lighter and more impressive note, Gaarawarr continues his insane PQ trawl which makes for a fantastic read. I wish I’d thought of it! This time he’s at the home of the elves (ok, so now I’m glad I didn’t think of it…)

And back to The Greenskin for my final link of the day. Snafzg has decided to start a semi-regular column about what he’d do if he were Mark Jacobs. It’s a useful call for constructive criticism and an interesting read. The first article covers gear grinding, something close to all our hearts.

Phew, sorry for the wordiness, it’s been a while I know. There’s a lot of great stuff still being done in WAR and written about WAR, so keep an eye on it all! Later this week I’ll be back to discuss more about the London get-together where me & Spinks hope we get to meet many of you and take lots of photos!

Shout out for the WCPI

This week I’m going to do a quieter shout-out, concentrating only on one site – Breakfast at WAR. It has a humour to it, multiple authors and really good articles that everyone should have in their feed readers.

Recently, Omelettez has given us an interesting perspective on being a female gamer – one I share in many respects, though I’m struggling with a few of my own demons right now!

And, as if to scratch another of my itches, Pancakez, the same week, has written a post that compares healers in WAR and makes me think about my class choices, before I remember which one I enjoy playing more…

So go, read it!

WCPImp!

Tune in tomorrow for the BoGgy Awards (have to pin down Spinks to get her suggestions too, since it’s still strictly a joint blog). But before that, here’s some of what’s been keeping me quiet over the last few days of reflection:

  • Tome of Knowledge saves me time by summarising the March Newsletter
  • Syncaine at Hardcore Casual talks about WoW’s 11 million and when they go on holiday
  • Werit pimped GirlIRL’s piece on daily quests that I was going to talk about, but adds some extra thoughts of his own, so I win and get to link to both of them!
  • Gaarawarr considers space trouble in WAR. I’m not a hoarder, I bin way too much, but I appreciate the problem of fixed storage. Give us saddle bags!!
  • Tufmudda manages to pinpoint some of the problems I’m having with WAR at the moment, except he says they’re all his problems… interesting
  • And finally, Bootae posted an awesome challenge to pimp your character and post a screenshot. I wanted to do this, but I’ve been waaaay too lazy

About the WAR Community Promotion Initiative:
The WAR Community Promotion Initiative, or WCPI for short, is a player-wide effort for WAR fansites, blogs, forums, and other WAR community efforts to cross-promote and expose content to everyone who visits them. Members of the WCPI regularly promote each other through links, spotlights, and other features. If you have a WAR site and you’d like to join, check out the WCPI thread or PM PhoenixRed on the Warhammer Alliance forums.

Brief blogging

Again, I’ve been extremely busy at work, so things in WAR have been a bit slow for me over the last couple of days, my Warrior Priest is just teetering on rank 17 and going through Barak Varr, because even when not a dwarf, I like dwarf lands. Have also considered taking Kaja, my Rune Priest out for an airing this week, so who knows, I may go see the Inevitable City!! I might ask some of my new guild to show me a higher level dungeon as well. What can I say? I love the Warrior Priest, but I’m missing my dwarfy!

Anyway, I’ve already done fair list of stuff I’ve read that’s caught my interest, but I also wanted to link to a friend’s new blog, that now has an article on about RvR tactics and short-sightedness, which I really think is worth reading. Although I’d like to think of myself as a good player, I know I’ve fallen into the trap of hitting the nearest target a few times, programmed from years of PvE play, I guess. But since I play with Torvik (the author, and one of my little Slayer buddies), and since I did used to do a fair amount of RvR in DAoC, I know what he’s saying is right – and it’s something I do try and incorporate into my tactics.

Another post I wanted to highlight is from Thulf over at Stunty Stomper and explains how to grab a skeleton pet if you happen to want one. An inventive and amusing post and one that made me smile quite a lot. I loved the screenshots of the pet also. I named it Bob!

Hopefully back with more content soon! First, I have to finish Battlestar Galactica – and then hold a wake. Only some things are more important than gaming, and Battlestar Galactica is one of those things.

Catching up on Links

While I’ve been away I’ve been frantically collecting links, and now it’s time to give them some freedom from their little cages. But not before I’ve mentioned that EU forums are now live (and fairly ugly), and there’s a dev IRC chat tonight (which I can’t make, of course!). But before I get into those in more details, here’s what’s been catching my attention over the last week.

  • The Homunculus explains how to give someone else the bag from a PQ… I really hope it’s not a bug, because this is awesome (and I love the post title too)
  • Pancakez over at Breakfast at WAR illustrates circle strafing with some moving dots. Really, it’s a post you have to go see for yourself. The dots remind me of my Slayer buddies (always moving, kind of little…)
  • Thulf experimented with posing as a quest giver for 40 mins, giving out quest rewards and everything. I should do this. His experiences made me smile and it was a great idea.
  • Zoso told us all about the Inevitable City (as an invader) and considering I know he was there again last night, I thought I should highlight this interesting post. I’ve yet to go and experience the City Siege, I have to say Mourkain Temple was more of a pull last night…
  • Gaarawarr has taken a look at the Order welcome back quests, and produced a guide to them that nudged me into checking them out, so hopefully it can do the same for you.
  • And, lastly Tufmudda has produced his recipe and timing for cooking a chicken while fighting in the Lost Vale – the challenge is now out there for you to post your own recipes that use in-game timing!

As you can see, I’m still a little behind on my reading, but catching up by the day! Idris the Warrior Priest is now at rank 16 (nearly 17) and stomping through Barak Varr with a giant hammer playing whack-a-mob. And as always, gaming is now taking precedence over blogging.

More interesting than here…

I’ve made no secret of the fact I don’t have a lot of time at the moment, but I have been able to flick through my feed reader and bring you the following links that I’ve found both interesting and useful.

  • Blame the Healer gives thumbs-up and down to patch 1.2. Also, an awesome summary of crowd control.
  • Knights of the Feathered Hat explains to me what I should do with the 8 glyph-covered map pieces I got yesterday while wandering around Praag killing Choppas.
  • Ghazghkull is giving more of an overview of the Bitter Rivals event, with daily tasks listed. I’m already quite behind!
  • Thulf, over at Stunty Stomper, clarifies some of the GOA/Mythic stuff, including pointing out that we’re going to get dev chats on the Euro side, to make up somewhat for the lesser access to devs on a daily basis. I like LotRO dev chats, so I’m looking forward to adding some questions to the mix.
  • The Captain’s Blog has a great piece by the blogger’s fiancee, a non-gamer (*gasp*)!
  • Green Armadillo, over at Player vs Developer has a really interesting article about Warhammer Online from a non-player’s perspective.

Enjoy! I know I did.

Today’s read-through

Incorporates some of yesterday’s updates, because I’m doing lots of overtime this week and behind with my reading. So fasten your seatbelts, and join me as I read through my feed reader, with no idea what I’ll stumble upon.

  • I agree, this is SO not a hag
  • Ha ha, Griffon Battlemasters in Nordenwatch change their appearance? I never noticed! Really, I barely look at them I’m baying for blood so much on starting a scenario
  • Yay, some bloggers have been city siegingboo, it’s not always gone too well. We’ve not got past problems with fortress capturing, so I’ve not been to a big city capture yet, and I’m not geared up for one anyway, but it’s both good to see it happening more regularly, and bad that it still needs some wrinkles ironed out. We shouldn’t be beta testing this as much in a live game, and I hope once changes are made they work and are well received. For myself, I’ve gone more for levelling and lower tier RvR as my route to enjoyment these days. Reroller has a good summary of bloggers’ experiences with cities up
  •  It’s good to have a sense of humour about losing in scenarios and to check the scoreboard at the end to see why, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had THIS problem
  • I still don’t know what a duiker is, I was too  busy going ‘Awwww’
  • Are Choppas and Slayers too cool for school? I think they might be, but at this point, what the hell!
  • An MMO can truly be classed as evil, when it makes you think of Britney Spears
  • Oh Ysharros, you hid an interesting nugget in there didn’t you? Would you pay $5/month to support a game even if you weren’t playing it? To keep things ticking over rather than the full subscription? I’m not sure I’d pay that much, but I might pay a nominal fee… (ps. I’ve not been on to Murder Night yet, but I’ll explain why on Nerf the Cat sometime)
  • And talking of BoG personal blogs, Spinks looks at the female friendliness of superhero games
  • Hrrm, March 19th the day to look into booking hotels for San Diego Comic Con. Will HAVE to remember that. Remind me! We’ll have a WAR player get-together, I’m sure (run by US bloggers, I’m hoping, so I can hide in there somewhere)
  • Cats – get OFF my desk!!!!!!!!!!!!! (they are fighting around the monitor, seriously)
  • Forums, official and unofficial are a timesink. Discuss! Actually, go see what the unofficial forums think about official forums – but remember, they’re not going to say anything impolite, are they? I mean, would you when you still want the devs to visit, etc?
  • Romantic costumes on your Xbox 360 avatars is NOT a good way to celebrate Valentines, guys & gals. But the comments almost made me fall out my chair grinning!

And, back to English…

[first of all, a quick thanks to my husband for his Russian update! I’m sure we all want to welcome Russian players to Warhammer]

And now, I think I may have added all the new Age of Blogging blogs to the blogroll (how many times can you get blog into a sentence?). If I’ve missed you, ping me a comment.

So it’s time for another read-through with Arbitrary. Fasten your seatbelts, I hear it’s rough out there on the blogsee.

  • Did I mention? I love diagrams, they are the way to my heart. I also don’t like Khaine’s Embrace. Homunculus wins on both counts.
  • Who knew? Choppas make me go ‘awwww’.
  • Ok, I’m partial to blood splatters, I like the banner, I like the layout, I continue to read the posts over at Confessions of an RvR Player.
  • The Wide Eyed Newb is carrying on with the RvR-only levelling  challenge, set by Syp. I wish I had the stamina to try it! I think the problem really is that it confines you to primetime play, and I like to play during off-hours.
  • Iain C – how can you give me a title change just as I’ve been meddling with the blogroll, it may have to wait till next week, but glad you’re safely in Germany!
  • Just awesome.
  • High Magic makes a good point about Realm Leaders – I would hate to try and take on that mantle so I have a deep respect for anyone that does. They know who they are.
  • Valentine’s cards and rhymes at Blame the Healer made me giggle. I might send my husband the Ironbreaker one. Again, I love blood splatter.
  • I hear ya, Syp. And I don’t disagree. The lay-offs suck and added a ton of blah-ness to my day yesterday. Not least because we have a restructure going on at work too. I’m profoundly saddened for the individuals involved. Maybe without this, EA could have saved some money.

Anyway, that’s it for today, WAR fans!

You load 300k subs, and whaddaya get?

… another year older and deeper in debt.

Electronic Arts (EA) announced yesterday that Warhammer Online had 300k active subscriptions at the end of last year. This was actually one of the high points of their earnings call.

They lost $641mil over the third quarter of last year, a huge increase over the year before. They’re closing down 12 offices (making approx 1100 people redundant, and are cutting down the number of games in their portfolio to 50 for 2010.

All of this is severe, and it gets worse. Three of the big name games scheduled for this year have also been delayed (hope no one was holding their breath waiting for Sims 3 or Dragon Age). If you’re bleeding cash, the only reason for delaying extra income flow from a new game is because you have no choice. Either those games are behind schedule, they can’t make their schedule because of the loss of resources/ job cuts, or there are other reasons to think that there is more profit from delaying than from putting them out on time.

So what does 300k subs mean for Warhammer

300k subscriptions is a healthy number for an MMO. If it seems disappointing now, it is because the hype machine was in overdrive last year. And also, no one really knew what to expect — we simply hadn’t much experience of seeing how a AAA MMO would go up against Warcraft. LOTRO and Conan were arguably different types of proposition.

I think the future for WAR is rosy. Mythic have dealt promptly with any issues arising, they were quick to offer server merges when it was needed and have been active with entertaining events and new content for existing subscribers.

The proof is in the pudding though, and we won’t know until May how many people who initially took out a 6 month subscription will be staying with it.

By far the biggest issues the game has in my opinion are technical ones. They need those large battles to be stable and accessible since they’re the big selling point. They could really use a larger server size too.

Balance and content are good to go. Not perfect, but not a red flag either. They can be tweaked as long as players are having fun in the meantime.  But for all that, it deserves to be successful, and the core of the game is sound. I said this back in my beta review and it’s still true.

Three hundred thousand is a solid number of players. It’s a solid income stream for Mythic/ EA. It’s definitely not a failure in any terms other than the overhyped ones. Eurogamer.net reckon that it’s enough to guarantee the game’s future, and they have a chat scheduled tomorrow with Paul Barnett in which the question is bound to come up.

And right now, Electronic Arts could probably use all the guaranteed income streams and  non-failures that it can get.

So what have the other bloggers been saying?

Wizards and Wenches has a null reaction.

Tobold discusses the attrition rate and why the early estimates were so high

Syp@Waaagh analyses what the numbers mean to him

Reroller also ponders whether players should be worried

Syncaine@Hardcore Casual is initially disappointed in the numbers, but argues that they are solid.

I haven’t written about it in my blog (because one post a day on financials is enough 🙂 ) but I’ll link to it anyway!