Easter Sunday (cute vid!)

While I personally don’t celebrate Easter, I wanted a nod to it with my cute animals this week, and so I give you some chirpy Easter chicks.

Chicken WARs: The Empire clucks back!

Towards the end of the European closed beta a chicken war was launched. Chaos chicken bravely met with Order chicken, and boy.. the feathers really did fly. Because I had a visitor I wasn’t around for it, but as far as I know it was organised via the beta boards. Here’s a screenshot taking by a fellow guild member of ours:

One of the beta testers (Rayuki) also posted a video of the epic battle. Really, you need to watch this one!

(and nothing to do with EU beta, but Josh Drescher is also posting chicken vids!)

Hints and Tips for New Beta Testers

These are little and sometimes embarrassing questions that were frequently asked by us, our friends and guildmates or by other beta testers on the chat channels and beta bboards. They mostly deal with small things, things other people think are blindingly obvious – so we list them here so you can learn the kind of things we did!

Q. Can you res in combat?

A. Yes.

Q. How do I make my group closed (open is the default)?

A. Click on a party member, go to party options and toggle the ‘open’ tag. If you open the commands list via the chat window (right-click on chat tab, select commands list) you’ll see the toggle for always opening closed groups – but think about it, because open groups are sociable and we’ve enjoyed them!

Q. How do I get to Altdorf/Inevitable City?

A. The warcamps have flight masters who will automatically have a route available to your capital city of choice, and to warcamps in other racial zones. Select the pairing of the place you want to fly (Empire vs Chaos in this instance) and it’ll show you where you can fly to. To fly to the capitals is quite cheap, but make sure if you’re going straight to a flight master to join friends at rank 1 that you kill enough to give you a little cash first!

Q. Does the Warrior Priest really say “Bollocks!” when s/he gets hit?

A. Yes, clearly Sigmar is cool with that.

Q. I have got some renown ranks from PvP? Where’s this gear I can buy?

A. There are sets of weapons/armour you can buy at renown rank 2/4/6/etc. Ranks 2 and 4 have a vendor in the first warcamp for each realm. For higher ranks, you’ll need to find the vendor of the second floor of a keep in the world RvR area. Yes that means your side has to hold at least one keep for you to access them.

Q. Tell me about chat channels?

A. As per WoW, use /1 <message> to access your local area chat. You can create a custom channel by using /channeljoin <channel name> and then getting your friends to use /channeljoin on the same name. These custom channels are not currently persistent (so will disappear after the last person on the channel logs out). Use /channelleave to leave a chat channel.

Q. So what is this chicken business all about?

A. As the chicken expert, I’ll take this one. The zones in Warhammer are divided into tiers from the start at tier 1 to Altdorf/realm keeps at tier 4. You need to be a certain level to access scenarios of the next tier up. For example, at level 12 you are level appropriate for tier 2. If you then go into a lower level tier and flag yourself for RvR, you will turn into a chicken until the flag is gone or you die. It’s to stop griefing. You will automatically be flagged for RvR if you venture into an area with world RvR objectives — these are all clearly marked on the map. If you go into a lower level tier and don’t flag yourself (eg. to help a guildie with public quests or somesuch) then you’re fine. Naughty guildmates will try to tempt you into lower level RvR areas, so they can laugh at the chicken.

Q. How do I know I’m in a Public Quest? How do I find them?

A. You can filter their display on your map. Open your map (use ‘m’) and there’s a range of things you can toggle on or off, public quests are one of these and they display as little chests. You’ll know you’ve entered one as you get some text flashing up and it leaves the current objective on your screen. They won’t show up on the map until you have discovered them by wandering into the area though.

Q. Is there an easy way to track my influence in an area?

A green bar to the right of your mini-map shows you your influence in the current area. When it reaches each bar you can get an influence award. If you click on the green bar, it will open up your Tome of Knowledge and with some more information about the storyline and rewards.

Q. In-game mail?

Mailboxes are often at warcamps, so try looking there first. After that, Altdorf or the Inevitable City! You can send money and/or items to other players, or to your alts.

Q. How do I take screenshots?

A. Shift+PrtScr (or just PrtScr). The screenshots end up in a directory directly under the Warhammer directory which is called ‘screenshots’. Shift+Z turns off the UI so you can get a clean shot.

Q. Can I turn off my hideous skullcap/conehead hat?

A. Why, yes you can. It may not be as obvious as in other games, but go to your character screen and by the hat should be a little tickbox. Toggle it to do away with the fashion disaster! It doesn’t always seem to work though, so beware the hats of stickiness!

Q. How do I buy mastery skills?

A. First you buy levels up to the skill you want. Then click on the skill and click on ‘train’. You should then get the skill to use as you will.

Q. How do the career mastery and renown abilities work?

A. Probably the best way to illustrate this is to go to wardb.com. Under the tools tab they have links to a career builder and a renown ability builder for each career. This pretty much mirrors what you will see in game so you can check out the abilities and try a few sample builds to see how the points pan out.

Q. How do I get all the party screens from a scenario team on my screen.

A. As you enter the scenario you’ll see the teams form. Use the tickboxes to get the party info up in the top left hand corner and then drag that to where you want it, click on the next party and do the same. It’s a bit like the WoW raidframes.

Q. How do I join an open group?

A. If someone tells you there’s an open group with X as leader, you can type /join X. Or you can use a little icon below your portrait to search for all open groups in the area and join them via that interface.

Post-weekend reading

It’s a bit quiet this weekend, wonder why – but that gives me time for a proper stroll around the forums and fansites, where we get a lot of inspiration and get to see a really wide range of thoughts and ideas about the game. I’d definitely recommend branching out and checking some sites you’ve not checked before in the run up to release.

Thanks first, to Warhammer Conflict for allowing me to enjoy this: WoW Detox (don’t mock, we may all need it someday).

And after Warhammer Conflict, I stopped by Waaaghead, and decided I want a chicken run! Those in my guild (and server), beware! Ten Ton Hammer forums are also discussing chickens – it’s almost a meme!

Away from the forums, Ten Ton Hammer has a really interesting editorial going Рwill WAR succeed? They present a for and against argument and it takes an age-old discussion point and revitalises it. Take a look and see what you think.

Over at Chewing Pixels, Simon Parkin remarks on his Gamasutra article about Paul Barnett’s talk at Develop Brighton and Paul’s response to his article on Myspace. Paul drops by in the comments of the new piece and suggests further conversation.

Olympic link of the week is to a story you probably all have seen — Georgian and Russian athletes share an emotional embrace on the podium. You see stories like this, and remember why we make such a big fuss about the Olympic Games …

For an embrace of a different kind: A Funcom GM was sacked for cybering with Age of Conan player… you can read the details here and then decide if you want to go look at the transcript.

The Institute of Library and Museum Sciences has awarded a $250k-ish grant to the University of Texas’ School of Information Studies to study and investigate the collection and preservation of MMOs. Here’s an article about it from the professional journal, followed by some links that drew me to it from Kotaku and Game Culture.

Thallian is speculating about WAR’s impact. He actually is pretty positive about it, but cunningly expresses this in a gloomy way. A lot of sound thinking here though, which category do you fall into?