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.

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A very quick thank you

To those that came to the pub yesterday and braved meeting me & Spinks as well as fellow players, thanks! I had a really great time, and it reminded me how much MMO players can sometimes have in common (in one case almost freakishly so, but in a comedic way).

Will write more soon. Hear from Warhammer Alliance over twitter that Mythic apparently care enough about Europe to start working on equality of marketing and give-away codes. They didn’t send any for our fan-run pub gathering, though! They’ll get there, in another few months.

Shame no-one from GOA could make it. Shame more people didn’t come. But, having said that, was truly glad to be able to chat to those who did in-depth, because they were all remarkably interesting people.

Who knows? When the dust settles and I’m home, I may consider it more.

WAR’s Groaning

Enough niceness, eh?  Bloggers, and in can be assumed others in the community, are testing out other games until WAR gets fixed or until the Land of the Dead brings people back to the game.  Hell, it’s what I’m doing. I’m even sometimes choosing grinding in LotRO over what it plainly fun about WAR – Tier 1 and an alt on many nights. People are doubting their subscriptions.

And Mythic? Mythic are tied to their desks trying to fix stuff and bring in new stuff that will need fixing with their lesser numbers in QA and elsewhere. The game needs these fixes and changes, and they’ve been promised to us. A number of people I know are pretty excited about Land of the Dead but not really bothered about much before, so this ‘live expansion’ is very important to Mythic, don’t mistake that. If it all goes wrong, it might be the end of a number of subs on both sides of the pond. The community is flagging a little and could do with pepping up.

Not heard of Paul visiting many blogs recently, or even updating his own. And that’s the problem with community involvement, once you start it, people expect it to continue. I expect these luminaries of Mythic to be doing all they used to do, marketing-wise, even when it’s unfeasible from a grander scale. But I’m sure there will be a ramp-up in community chatter and involvement with the Land of the Dead, there needs to be!

I’m finding WAR quite suitable for a casual game, but that also means if something more interesting comes up, WAR gets dropped for the night. I still enjoy the game when I play it, but even that’s somewhat because I’ve disengaged myself from the endgame, I’ve heard too much about it being unsatisfying, and I know I enjoy sleeping, so I don’t go to city sieges or defences, preferring to try new characters and play them through Tiers 1 and 2, safe in the knowledge I have my preferred char at rank 40 just in case I need a top level character.

WAR needs enthusiasm. It needs to be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, try alting, or play another game and keep your eye on info about the ‘expansion’.

And come talk to us all about it on May 9th at the Cittie of York pub in Holborn, London (while arranging to meet the rest of your guild there, of course). Seriously, I think we need more people for this or we’ll get moved out of our booked room… so ask around and drum up some interest, please!

Call to Arms, pt. 2

Today marks the launch of patch 1.2.1 on the American servers, which means it’ll be heading our way soon. I’ve not written all that much about it, because I’ve found it all a little overwhelming, but I know it heralds some big and important changes.

Keep upgrading should prove an interesting addition that’ll add some flavour to open RvR at higher levels and also provide some incentive for holding a keep for longer. I hope it works as planned, it sounds like some much-needed extra dimensions will be in-game shortly.

The Beyond the Sands live event launches with 1.2.1. I want to kill undead things, so I look forward to it. Goggles, however, will ruin my hair!

There’s a lot of general improvements, to the UI, to combat responsiveness and to the luck factor (somewhat), by the introduction of a token system of medallions for RvR. I really look forward to seeing how many medallions I can earn in an evening of RvR (and yes, I will take my r40 Rune Priest out for this test) and what I can buy for them. And of course, there’s the new Gates of Ekrund ‘arena’  (6v6 ranks 19-24), it sounds cool, but also scares me a bit, because I’m notoriously nervous about my abilities – but I know people really can’t wait for this, and I’m extremely interested in how it goes, I imagine it’ll be a surefire hit and people will always want an alt in these levels to do this (or to halt the xp gain if they could).

And I know all the class tweaks and changes will take some getting used to. But it marks yet another stage of Mythic taking on criticism and comment and working the game to make improvements all the time. And because of that, there’s only really one thing to say…

…bring it on!

(patch notes here)

[Edit: it’s friday for Europe (or today!), hurrah!]

A Joke Post

To all of those surprised the World First(!!!!) capture of Karl Franz hasn’t made Mythic’s homepage or the Herald, I have simply one thing to say:

Mythic hate Europe!

(and yes, I did feel the need to openly say this was comedic in intent, even if it’s a phrase I’ve repeated many many times in seriousness)

NB: You can read GOA’s write-up on the event here, along with some screenshots.

Newsletters/forums compared

Thanks to Nate over at Freddyshouse for perusing the EU and US newsletters and bringing up the following:

Originally Posted by Mythic Newsletter
When you become a part of the WAR Oracles team, you’ll earn increased interaction with developers

Originally Posted by GOA Newsletter
When you become a part of the Veterans team, you’ll earn increased access to the Community Team

No great surprise for any of us I’m sure. But interesting to see the quotations compared.

Holding Grudges

Let’s face it, there’s a reason we picked the name ‘Book of Grudges’ – we like the concept of a big Grudge book!

So let’s examine the biggest grudge on my mind at the moment:

EU vs US

We’re patently not getting ‘equal treatment’ to the US players.

But it should never have been promised to us.

GOA aren’t the developers, they’re not in a position to answer as developers, they get given the code, they don’t write it. The things we dislike about GOA (ie. the website) will probably never change. We could take bets on that, I think it’ll change just to shock us, actually – but really, they could have got a new site up quickly. So let’s ignore that. US GMs are complained about as often as EU ones, I imagine. And at least GOA have been in charge of when we get server transfers!

My original post was going to be a list of Mythic ‘untruths’ about Europe. I honestly feel that to Mythic, we are irrelevant except as a pay packet. Over and over they offer incentives to their US players, devs answer them (and 100% will answer US forums more than EU ones, we can guarantee that), they have access to devs at events, they have competitions with in-game prizes (again, GOA not the developer, so they can’t add stuff to code).

And it’s frustrating to feel that we matter so little that they merely wait until fan unrest so strong they offer something calming, like a message from Mark about how much we matter, or Paul saying something on his video blog… it should be an everyday thought. I don’t want to be the afterthought of a marketing team that know their game isn’t performing as it should. I want to matter.

And that’s the same problem all games have with class balance, and core groups and hybrids and things like that. Deep down, we all want to matter. And we should. And games companies REALLY need to examine how they treat their worldwide audiences. It’s fine to offer examples of how great one company has been, or another. But it shouldn’t be that such examples are unusual. I hate having to choose between a US and EU server. I hate that Oceanic servers are usually not even considered by companies. If you want our cash on a monthly basis, and you don’t want us to skip games focus on getting the game right and then on not going out to exclude people just because it might save you some money. In the longterm you’d avoid the grudge-fest, which frankly feels like it’s festering at the moment.

I don’t really care about little differences, being on the PTS at the exact same time. I do care about speed to fix things that are broken, I care about being brushed off when there are real concerns.