What are YOU doing on 9th May?

We (ie. me & Spinks), along with some of our friends, will be at the Cittie of Yorke pub in Holborn, London, having drinks and discussing WAR and probably all sorts of related things. And we’d love it if you could come along, with friends, guildies, forum friends, anyone at all who’d like to join a get-together of London WAR players, friends and family!

The address of the pub is 22 Holborn, WC1V 8BN and we’ve booked the front room for 4pm onwards. Nearest Tube stations are Chancery Lane, Holborn and Farringdon and you can see what the pub looks like and get an idea of its location and reviews, etc from the Beer in the Evening website. The Transport for London Journey Planner can help you get info about how to get to Holborn from anywhere else in London and is a really useful tool.

It’s a good weekend to be in London anyway, since Star Trek is released on 8th May!!  We picked the weekend especially, but also because it avoids bank holidays, when travel is always more expensive.

Anyway, would be great to get as big a turn-out as possible, so I’d be grateful if you could spread the word on the forums and guild channels that you use on a regular basis. If it’s successful, who knows, there could be many more such fan get-togethers which could eventually form the basis for something a little more official. That being said, I know the gang from GOA are hoping to send people along, so it’s a chance to hang out, talk WAR, and drink (naturally!).

I would now make a reference to London as the Inevitable City but I’m kind of tired, so you’ll have to wait to see me in person for my razor-sharp wit!

(and for the record, a few of us are hoping to see Star Trek at the IMAX the night before, but it might get complicated to organise for too many people – but if you are there, I’m sure we could say hello in true British fashion  – ie. with a drink).

Advertisements

WAR Thoughts and Grievances

I’d write about patch 1.2.1 and keep upgrades, but people have written about it a hell of a lot better. I’d write about the Archmage/Shaman changes, but I’m hoping Spinks will contribute her thoughts. So, for one day only, here’s the start of a little whine/rant about Warhammer from someone who’s followed it, loved it and been frustrated with it. I play the game, but a lot less than I once did.

I’m not feeling all that connected with the Warrior Priest, despite the fun of clubbing people on the head and healing with hitting, I did feel a connect with the Rune Priest, so I will be heading back to playing little Kaja in the coming weeks and maybe getting my guild to help me with some of the end content.

So, what’s the whine about?

Well, while I appreciate all the changes WAR is having made to it, the game is changing rapidly, more rapidly than perhaps any other MMO I’ve played , and all as a result of devs listening to the playerbase. But. And it’s a BIG but. Really, the game should have had this stuff earlier and the launch delayed. I don’t mind inclusion of the missing classes, because let’s face it, both sets of class inclusions have given the game a huge PR boost and brought players back. But, the rest of this stuff? WAR is taking on as many good ideas from Dark Age of Camelot as possible, with the keep upgrades, the Darkness Falls-esque upcoming Dungeon and no doubt we’ll have relics-lite soon. With every upgrade I’m happy as a player and frustrated like hell as a commentator. If these devs are so great at game design, why wasn’t some of this stuff in earlier. We’re no longer silly consumers who have little choice in our gaming, we see polished games come elsewhere, and here we have a game that’s seemingly still testing concepts on a wide scale in order to find its identity.

But, it can still be fun, and the changes will enhance gameplay for all. So we should remember the positives. I suppose.

The BoGgies! (well, Honest Scrap Awards)

Book of Grudges has been lucky enough to have received two awards lately from other bloggers and now we’re ready to spread the love!honest_scrap1

Regis over at Wizards & Wenches gave us a Sticky Keyboard award, because we know he loves all the cute animals (and prints them out and puts them on his wall!). Honestly, it means a lot Regis, don’t pay attention to my humour.

And then, Bootae’s Bloody Blog gave us an award too! Out of the blue and very humbling, and always surprised but happy by attention to the blood splatter!

Now, these awards come with some stipulations and it’s my turn to carry them out:

  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

So, I give you my 7 picks for a BoGgy Award:

Stylish Corpse – started with WAR, quickly moved on to be an entertaining read covering any number of MMOs from the very charming Ysharros. If you don’t read it, you should. And then follow her on Twitter!

Spinksville – Book of Grudges would be nothing without Spinks, who agreed to come on board and write a blog with me after I had a particular daft idea one day. She gave BoG most of it’s great content, I think we can all agree.

Syp’s new project – Bio Break – because I would have nominated Waaagh, for all the reasons I made in my post about Waaagh closing. Syp was a massive help when we started blogging and has continued to support the community intensely. Think Mythic should have sent him more presents, so this award will have to do (just wipe off the blood splatter).

Gaming Granny – Esri is another of us female bloggers, one who shares our love for cute animals pictures and that can’t be overlooked. She used to be in charge of the White Lion blog, but has moved on to more general topics here, and again, always worth reading.

Josh Drescher – to get back on topic, he has the most updated and bloglike of the WAR ‘pros’ blogs (Sorry Paul, I hate Myspace and don’t love video blogging though I appreciate it spawns greatness). And for that, he gets an award.

Adventures in Figuring out MMO Design – Iain C, for again, giving us a huge amount of help and support in the early days of the blog and when you could. Also because although this blog isn’t updated all that often,when it is, it’s always interesting and thought provoking.

Killed in a Smiling Accident – they get the award for being purely awesome. Great guys, great blog, always makes me smile (if not laugh!) and I boggle at their ability to entertain while still making some really valid points. If you don’t read it, you should get in trouble.

I have a lot more I could have awarded, and 7 is quite hard, but anyway, there’s my choices as of today at 6:30am. An also-ran would probably be May Contain Gamers, which is Codemasters’ blog and shows everything I think a gaming company blog should be!

So that was just a delaying tactic and now you need 10 facts about me.

  1. I hate cheese (unless it’s toasted nearly to death or doesn’t taste of cheese – ie. Philadelphia). I know, people think this makes me weird
  2. I had a female rat called Elvis who was one of the BEST pets ever
  3. I was once HM Treasury’s webmaster
  4. I lived in Gainesville, FL for two years with my husband, before returning to the UK
  5. I want an Aibo really badly, and can no longer explain why (since I now have cats who would prob be scared of said Aibo). Damn you Sony for stopping making them!
  6. I’m a middle sister, though I swear I don’t have middle child syndrome/complex – really!
  7. My hair has been purple, green, red, blonde, I’ve had a mohawk and I’ve been a skinhead 4 times. None since I reached 30, but I always threaten to go skinhead again
  8. I intend to get another tattoo before the year ends. I currently have blue daisies around my ankle, but I’ve just found a new design I like… so now it’s all about getting over being a slacker
  9. I was nearly expelled from a primary school. It never went past the stage of being asked to leave, because I did. And my parents found me a much better school anyway! So nyeh!
  10. I went to New College, Oxford and did a degree in English Language and Literature. I’m not very proud of this, I’m adding it because it’s prob the most shocking fact about me I can think of as I’m not the type and discuss it very rarely

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.

PTS, and forums?

So America got their PTS yesterday and we get ours today. That’s business as usual. Nothing to see here (unless you want to go play on the PTS – public test server – in which case go read up on what you have to do!). The day delay is what we’re used to and it’s not bad at all, we can live with that.

Official forums also landed in the US yesterday with much fanfare on the Herald and the various Mythic tweets (ah twitter, how quickly you have become a marketing tool). Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care when Europe gets their forums. We know they’re underway. It just reminded me how sick I am of the whole split in the global community. A joined community would have fuller servers, equal treatment in terms of dev responses, etc etc. We don’t need to go over those arguments again.

And I don’t especially blame GOA for this. They had an opportunity to market and run WAR in Europe, and hey, it looked like a sure bet. I’d have taken that bet. They’re not responsible for getting devs to care what Europeans think, or to offer things like the unique Slayer/Choppa heads to Europeans too (I mean, even if I’d flown to NYCC, I couldn’t use the code). They’re responsible for bringing up these issues, but really all they’re in charge of is running the servers, website, forums and everyday stuff. Probably lots of marketing/promotion too.

And yet, the European playerbase is not insignificant. If they could have quoted player numbers separately, I’m sure they would have – but 300k Europe AND America. So we make up part of the whole when it comes to financial statements, but in terms of day-to-day play, it feels to me like I don’t really matter at all to Mythic. Just to GOA (for better or worse ;-p).

We’ll see.  There’s still hope we’ll get some European love sometime, and not just get Paul Barnett sent over to Games Day to smooth things over when a launch has gone a bit awry. I’m hoping to see devs regularly visiting the European forums (which will exist by then, oh yes), and for their to be European promotional events similar to Comic-Cons and Games Days and that we’ll get access to all the same in-game content as our American counterparts.

But anyway, ignore my grouchiness and go play on the public test server! I’ll be cheerful when my week of full-time work is done. Never let me volunteer for overtime again is the message here!!

[Quick edit: Mark Jacobs stopped by the Vault to say the US forums are in beta, and eventually they will be open to the public to view but not to post on, I’m betting that will be how it gets shrugged off that the devs don’t post on European servers!]

Bringing in new classes

The three games we play have something big in common at the moment, they’re all introducing new classes to the game – so we thought we’d do a very brief look at how the introductions differ:

Knights of the Blazing Sun and Black Guards in WAR

Two of the ‘missing’ classes being introduced to the game sometime before the end of the year (pending date changes, of course). As everyone reading this will know, they’re both tank classes – the Knight is mirror to the Chosen and will use auras and twisting, the Black Guard mirrors the Ironbreaker but uses hate instead of grudges as a mechanic. They’re iconic classes and have been much missed, so there’s bound to be plenty of them.

Now, WAR might be the first MMO to introduce new classes so early on in the cycle, mainly because they were obviously close to being ready when cut out from release. This means that there won’t be any new starting areas, gear was already designed, and it’s still in the stages where people are testing out alts anyway. WAR has also chosen to herald the entrance of the new classes with a fairly interesting live event, which is going on in all zones at the moment. Hopefully it’s going well – some will do it for the fun, some for the chance to get a week headstart with the new classes – again, something that I believe is pretty new in the genre, but will probably be copied!

Rune Keepers and Wardens in LotRO

Came in with the Mines of Moria expansion. They can be various races (covering all of the races in-game, but each new class skips one race), but the starting areas remain the same. Turbine have added gear for the classes to each stage of the game, including raidsets etc.

Interestingly, both new classes are supposedly decent soloers, and together they form the tank-healer combo, with some good dps between them. A good design decision for the overwhelming number of the new classes that started in the game this week.

Death Knights in WoW

Came in as part of the new expansion, although none of the pre-expansion events specifically featured Death Knights. They’re well known as part of the lore, have featured previously as raid bosses in pre-Burning Crusade WoW and anyone who played Warcraft III will be familiar with them. This class also starts at level 55 so skips the bulk of the levelling process.

They have a full Death Knight specific questline when you create a new character of that type, in a semi-instanced setting that reminds me a lot of the LOTRO introductory quests. The questline is solid and fun, and features lots of WoW-trademark style quests with the customary pizzazz and sparkle. There’s an associated storyline to do with redemption from evil and choosing to fight against their previous overlord. It’s well written and  culminates in a fairly epic battle scene. They also get a full set of good quality gear and a fast mount thrown in for free, which you are awarded as part of the intro questline.

The gear they release you into the outside world with on a Death Knight also looks absolutely fantastic. (Well, until you start replacing it and look like a clown again, but it will last for awhile.)