Last Hurrah of Headstart

Wotcha everyone,

Well, here we all are.  The Head-Start.

After what feels like decades, it’s time for The Big Show.  Am I ready?  Nah, of course not.

But I am struck by that wonderful, exciting feeling of a game world full of opportunity, just waiting for me to step inside and make the most of it.

Now, I didn’t get much time to play during the open beta, but just so you know that I do read read and value your comments, I created a Swordmaster (Swooosh!), a Bright Wizard, and a Magus.  I would have tried more, but just didn’t get the time.

As you may have guessed from reading between the lines of previous posts, I really enjoyed playing a Swordmaster.  It surprised me how much fun it was, actually.  I’m sort of ambivalent about tanks;  sometimes I enjoy trying to hold aggro, and be all tanky, whilst others I really can’t be bothered.  And their lack of healing ability can annoy me.  But no, playing around with the balance mechanic was fun, and I really liked the whole…  Swooooshiness of it all.

Bright Wizard was just plain random-death fun.  I got all glammed up, tattoos up my arms, and just made stuff burn.  The lack of variety of spells was good for me;  I just wanted to see if everything burned!  It seems most stuff will…  Although I did die seemingly randomly a few times, due to their mechanic.  As I was just trying out the class, it was a giggle when I just fell over when I was just doing fine previously, but I can see how that might get annoying later on.

And I also tried the Magus.  Surf Evil!  That disk is fabulous.  If I had the option of getting one of those in real life, the first thing I’d do is check if I could get all of the doors in the house widened.  If the answer was, “Yes”, then my choice would most likely be, “Yes”.  I love it.  But, and there is a big but, flinging multicoloured bits of head-explodey doom about just didn’t call to me as much as The Gun that Engineers get.  If I was to play Destruction a lot, I’d probably get a Magus, but I don’t think it would be my main.

But all that is gone, as for the next couple of days we all live in Headstart Land.  And then we shall up-sticks to just down the road to Live Public Serverville (Population:  Us).  It’s one of my favourite times in gaming.  As a brand new server in a brand new game, it’s just filled with opportunity.  The game is just starting, and that means that the various hierarchies that seem to form as a server ages aren’t there.  People are just players, their avatars are characters, and we’re all equal.  We are all made of win.

What’s also really cool is that everything we do from now on means something in game.  Every time one of my characters gains a level, that’s a level that will be staying there.  Each piece of armour, each trophy, each shiny coin is mine.  For the last couple of months of gaming, no matter how much I was enjoying myself, or immersed in the game, at the back of my mind I was always aware it would be wiped all too soon.  That last fun-inhibitor is now gone.  So yes, I am having a ball.

And Hawley lives.  I did wonder what I’d do if someone else had the good taste and fashion sense to pick such a fine, manly, fabulous name such as “Hawley”, but luckily (for the server, probably) no-one else wanted it.  So that saved me much agonising, heart-ache, and grumpy moaning about having to find a new name for my healer.  Phew.

In addition, I created a load of alts.  Well, I say alts, but they will probably be played as much as Hawley.  Including a Swordmaster and a Bright Wizard.  I didn’t create them to “save” names, but just because I was so excited.  How could anyone not be?

I don’t know about you, but my future is bright.  So bright, in fact, that I have to wear (white) shades…

Cheers,
Hawley.

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Initial thoughts and stuff

So, we’ve had the game for a few days now, all our headstart people have been in since Monday, and we await the influx on Thursday. Here’s a few points on how it’s been:

GOA’s done a good job

There was a slight delay to the Collectors Edition Headstart, a couple of hours. Standard Edition headstart went well with people getting in smoothly. Queues haven’t been horrible (we’ve had none, but we’re Order and Core-RP), just haven’t seen too many complaints. And everyone who got an email back from a GM was very happy with it. Just Thursday to go and signs are positive! Also, there is nothing about it in the gaming news – which means it’s going well. (Obviously there are stories that the game is launching, but strictly they’re focusing on Thursday).

EA problems with keys an exercise in why to order elsewhere

I really feel for people who went with EAStore, because hey, it’s EA and they promised all sorts of goodies and for a while they were the only Standard Edition seller (soon joined by Direct 2 Drive) who said they were offering the headstart. Sending out the wrong keys was a cock-up, I hope everyone is in now and it wasn’t too painful. Having problems with manufacturing so that not all CEs have been sent out on time isn’t great either. On another note, looks like Play.com has some CE copies left. (This may be out-of-date when you get to read it).

Standard Edition Headstart

Because of Games Day, I started playing a few hours before the Standard Edition people came online. I was out of the starting area and at the first Dwarf PQ. Had to ask in-guild for some help finishing it and someone headed back to help (yay, guild). By the time we got to Stage 3 it became apparent the Standard Edition had come online as suddenly a whole gang of people entered the PQ, meaning we stormed it. Was a great sight and feeling. So enjoy that today America!

Guild

We have a separate post coming with names, screenshots, guild details – just making sure of Hawley’s first. But quickly, would just like to pause for a moment to say the guild is great. We’ve done a few things together and lots of things in smaller groups. Chat levels high, as is excitement. The guild is full of people we haven’t yet met, and Teamspeak is full of unfamiliar voices, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun learning about and meeting them all.

The Game

The game remains insanely fun, with a few collywobbles as I realised this character isn’t getting deleted so I better take it a bit more seriously. Scenarios have been plentiful (more so at night), open groups have invited me along, rather than waiting for me to invite myself, have done a bit of exploring in the mornings – but I intend to do more. I’m not sure why, but it feels better than either beta. I have a suspicion it’s the number of players and general level of excitement. Good stuff!

Quick update

Standard Edition headstart seems to have gone pretty smoothly too if the impressions of people in our guild is anything to go by. So well done all involved.

There does seem to be some weirdness for those that pre-ordered at EA Store, as they sent out the wrong codes. According to a post over at Freddyshouse the correct codes are being mailed out this afternoon.

EU Key Validation (and stuff)

Morning everyone! We’re up at Stupid O’Clock to get our stuff together before heading off to Games Day. Although not as early as Ardua@Echoes of Nonsense.

CE codes for headstart have been successfully entered in the EU website. If you are having trouble with this, don’t log in to the site. Just click the tab on the right labelled ‘Code’ (ie. without logging in). The form has spaces for you to enter your site name and password as well as email address and code. You’ll get an email to confirm the headstart code. They have given until the 1st Oct to enter a valid CE code — plenty of time for even the slowest of distributors to get the boxes out after launch.

Good luck to everyone involved at GOA and Mythic, wishing you all a successful head start. We know the game is going to be a hit at this point, we don’t know the numbers but we have started to see early reviews trickling in from the UK press and they are only one step short of ecstatic. Although to be fair, the UK press probably grew up among squiqs anyhow (we love you really!).

GOA have offered 7 days free to everyone who was in the Open Beta as recompense, which is generous given that it was a beta. In real terms, if you assume 100k people in OB all paying £8.99 per month, that offer is worth (8.99*12/52)*100k = £207,461 to the company.  That should keep people happy, as long as the head start and launch go smoothly.

We also have an EU list of headstart servers up on the EU site, and since there’s only one RP Core Server, that’s where our guild will be.

Any plans this weekend?

Here’s GOA’s plans for this big ol’ weekend (aside from coming to Games Day, of course!)

We will close the open beta servers on Saturday afternoon at 15:00 CET. We thank you for the time you spent in the game and for your feedback which helped us to apply the last layer of polish.
If you own a Collector’s Edition Pre-Order you will be able to enter your head start code on Sunday at 1:00am CET. Also, you will be able to register your bonus items at that time. The head start for the owners of a Collector’s Edition Pre-Order will begin on Sunday afternoon.
If you own a Standard Edition Pre-Order you will be able to enter your head start code and your bonus item code on Monday at 9:00am CET. You will be able to log into the game and play as soon as your code has been validated.

Seriously. Collector’s edition headstart is what, half a day longer than the Standard Edition one? (I know, I did notice the ‘as soon as your code has been validated’… but all the codes will need to be validated, for whatever edition.)

Good luck all!

ps. for Games Day

Have decided to twitter our trip to Games Day and have just set it all up to take twitters from my mobile, so hopefully there will be good reception there! Not sure what kind of stuff I’ll have to say except ‘whee, big tank battle’, but if you want to follow it, the twitter is bookofgrudges. Who knows, we might be able to persuade random people there to steal my phone and send messages! (seriously, do not steal my phone!)

If there are no updates after 10am UK time, you know the NEC is somehow getting in the way of my mobile phone. We might pay for some wifi access – but since it’s something like £5/hr we’re more likely to make you wait till we’re home that evening (I’m staying with Spinks for the Games Day experience!).

Don’t forget to bring your Games Day I-Spy along, I’ll be bringing a copy amended for me & Spinks (we get quarter points if we meet someone who’s read the blog!). It’s had some tweaks since I originally made it up, mostly to reflect the fact we know Paul Barnett will be there, but probably not any other Mythic types.. and Iain C and Magnus are unable to attend due to the headstart launch, so have changed it to generic-GOA staff. Also a generic 20 points for grumbling you’re missing the headstart launch!

  • Will we get skaven skin cloak codes like the US Games Days? Hope so!
  • Will we go gawk at the huge tank? Definitely!
  • Will we be happy to chat to anyone despite our nerves? Yes, though forgive us if we seem a little nervous, we’re used to this cloak of anonymity we won.

I’d suggest a big meet-up sometime, but honestly – we’ll be at the GOA booth, am sure you all will be too!

And, here’s the GOA press release about the Games Day presence as an added bonus:

GOA today announced that they will be bringing the highly anticipated MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR), to Games Workshop’s annual Games Day on September 14th, 10am-4pm at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.

GOA will present Warhammer Online on 24 PC’s, guaranteeing hours of non-stop Realm vs. Realm action for legions of attending Games Workshop enthusiasts.

WAR’s Creative Director, Paul Barnett, will also be on hand to meet fans and speak with press as GOA publicly presents the game one final time before its global launch on the Day of Reckoning – 18th September.

Magnus confirms Euro headstart info

[Edit: this refers to EU headstarts]

Info plundered from Warhammer Alliance forums, as I’m in a bit of a hurry!

HS is planned as follows
September 13th – Open Beta servers close
September 14th – Collector’s Edition Head Start
September 15th – Standard Edition Head Start

The rest of the post includes some other info about the headstart, end of ‘open’ beta and when the 4.1.1 patch will be applied (friday morning), so go read!