Thursday, September 25, 2008

Well That Was Quick

Here I thought I would be making some gaming compromises but hubby has informed me he's lost interest and won't be subscribing to WAR after the free month is up. I kinda wish he realized this in beta before buying our two boxes.

As many have blogged about, I think WAR is a game where you get the most out of it being in a guild. I think if he had a large group to pvp with, he might have stayed longer. And having a good population is important even for pve. When we first started, it was early morning and all servers were low. So we randomly picked one. Our server choice stayed on low for days after, and there was never anyone around for public quests. So we started over on another server. Having people around definitely makes things more fun.

For my play style, I felt a little confined. Zones felt small and jam packed with aggressive mobs. The explorer in me was getting claustrophobic. And for some weird reason I'd start getting sick to my stomach after a few minutes of playing. I'm prone to motion sickness. The warg mount in EQ2 had this certain rolling movement to it that used to make me sick as well. But I never could figure out what it was that was causing it here just from general game play.

I think WAR has been done well, but doesn't offer what I'm looking for. But I've always loved Mythic as a company back when I played DAOC and cheer Mark Jacobs for his stance on gold farmers (go get 'em Mark!). So I really hope they succeed and the game continues to do well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guild Halls on Test

I thought it was about time I paid a visit to the test server. I just had to see the guild halls before they go live. The entry room of the level 50 Qeynos guild hall looks like this:

Originally, it was planned to be a 10-room hall. But if I added correctly, there are 13 rooms now. I thought they were beautifully done and just a perfect size for our guild. The amenities have been reduced somewhat as well, making it a little more affordable both to purchase and upkeep.

The level 30 guild halls, which originally were just existing 5-room houses with amenities added to them, are now smaller versions of the level 50 halls and quite nice as well. This is great news for the smaller guilds.

I did pay a visit to the level 70 guild hall. While the entrance is impressive, the layout was confusing and it was difficult to find your way around. I never thought I'd say it, but I actually prefer the level 50 hall. I think they've done a great job on the halls as well as a great job taking in the player feedback and making adjustments.

Along with guild halls, they've also increased experience gains from levels 20-70. While many aren't happy with the change, a lot of folks do seem to get stuck in the mid levels. I think this will help some with player retention. Also in the next couple updates they will be adding experience bonuses for players with alts at the level cap. For every maxed toon you have, you get a 10% experience bonus for all your other toons, up to a maximum of 50% bonus. Time to get my 70-somethings closer to 80!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MMO Compromises

Playing with your significant other sometimes means compromises. We got our start in EQ1. While we were there for four years, I was quite ready to move on to something else. It's a game that I felt was very stressful on our relationship. When I heard EQ2 was being released and would be more casual, I packed my bags and moved. He wasn't quite ready to leave, but since I wasn't there and most all of our friends had moved on already, he did join me in EQ2.

He enjoyed himself reasonably enough in EQ2, but I wasn't happy there. I didn't like the access quests, the class quests, the crafter dependency, the group death penalties, among other things. After a couple months I moved on to World of Warcraft. He stayed a few weeks longer, but eventually joined me.

We reached level 60 after several months and I then moved on to SWG. I hooked up with some old friends from EQ1 there, and after watching me play for a few days, he left WoW behind as well. We both talked about trying something else after several months so we moved onto DAOC from there. After a year there with several maxed characters, we heard EQ2 had made some changes and decided to head back there.

When I heard LotRO was coming out, I knew I just had to try that. I was a huge fan of both the books and movies. While we were in beta, my husband knew fairly early on it wasn't for him. I kept hoping it would get better. But he stuck it out with me for five months before he decided to go back to EQ2. So I went back as well.

Aside from the games listed above, there were a few others I tried that he pretty much hated after the first day and just refused to play with me (CoH, DDO, Horizons). But aside from those few instances, if you noticed a trend here, my husband has been the one doing much of the compromising. So after returning to EQ2 for the third time, I decided to settle in for the long haul, as there likely wouldn't be another PvE MMO that offered so much that suits my interests.

But lately, he's been the one getting bored. He'd been trying to get me to play EQ1 again with him for several months. I tried on several occasions, but I can't play that way anymore. There is just nothing fun about it for me. And with all the cursing and banging of keyboards going on next to me, I have to wonder if he really is enjoying himself or enjoying a memory.

And then we spent a few days in the Warhammer Online beta. Although I knew it wasn't a game for me, I saw him enjoying himself. So now it's time for me to do some compromising. I'm still committed to EQ2, particularly because of the guild, but I will be dividiing some of my time up to spend in WAR with him. I'll be playing a healer type on Order. While I preferred the appearance of the warrior priest, I enjoyed the play style of the arch mage and rune priest better, so still undecided. He'll be playing the ironbreaker with me and something on the Destruction side for when he's on his own. Gamestop called to let us know our copies are in today. So off on another adventure tomorrow!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Guild Wars Hoax

A year ago I came across a blog from a supposed ex-employee of, the developer of Guild Wars. He claimed had ties with the gold farming companies and would initiate account bannings to pacify the gaming community. Supposedly, however, they would inform the gold farming companies of the upcoming bans so that they could create new accounts. I came across no other sources to substantiate this anywhere so just filed it away to look at again in the future.

I was clearing out some old bookmarks (yeah I have way too many), when I came across this blog again. It seems recently this fellow came clean and admitted it was a joke. He was bored and wanted to see how gullible people might be. Wow, talk about attention-seeking. The whole series of nonsense can be found here. Ah well, one less bookmark in my clutter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vanguard Models - Finalized Version

After much complaining on the forums, the female faces were reworked to look more like their former selves. I've logged in all my characters and have to say I really can't tell much difference. They don't look worse; they don't look better. They are pretty much the same. The armor stayed the same on all but my ranger. She was in some plain full coverage armor, much like my other alts. But hers now looks like this:

It's not too bad I suppose. Also with the model update came the new Isle of Dawn, the long-awaited trial isle. New characters now have the option of starting at the home cities or here. And anyone trying out Vanguard on trial will be limited to the isle. The trial is anticipated to be available for download next week. They also graciously gave everyone four additional character slots.

I rolled a new alt to check out the new isle. I was disappointed to see my fps at 15 in spite of all the changes. So I'm not really sure why the model revamp was needed since it hasn't affected performance. But I give them credit for taking in all the feedback and putting the pretty back in the faces.

Aside from that, the bug fix list in this update was absolutely huge and filled up three pages of posts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It Really is a War Out There

They weren't kidding when they said war is all around you. Unlike most fantasy setting MMO's where hobbits are talking about pie and villagers are happily going about their business, here it's all about war. Buildings are burning everywhere, guards are fighting onslaughts of mobs, and angry peasants are joining in. This was my first impression as I entered the open beta of Warhammer Online.

I generally am never happy playing evil, so I looked to the Order side for options. I started off with an Empire Warrior Priest. I had only done a few quests when I came across my first public quest. I saw a message flash on my screen that started a timer on a public quest. I looked around to see what I should be doing and decided to follow some other folks I saw running around. I won't go into too much detail to ruin the experience of those who haven't played, but it was a bit of fun. It is pretty much every man for himself though, as people are trying to do the most damage to rack up the most points. I tossed out heals here and there but when I got into trouble, I was left to my own defenses. I died quite often in public quests.

The leveling rate at the low levels is slower than most other MMO's, but that's not a bad thing, particularly for an RvR-based game. From a PvE perspective, I ran into a bit of a snag at level 7. I had completed all the quests, and the next quest hub only offered RvR quests taking me into open PvP areas. I ran further up the road and found another quest hub; however the mobs in the area were 10-12. The public quests at my level didn't have enough people to complete and we kept wiping, so I went back to the lower level ones and did those over and over until I reached level 8. I found the flight master and thought I'd visit the main city. The cut scene of the dwarf flying me over there was pretty funny. I thought about maybe heading over the High Elf area and running through their quests, but decided to start something new instead.

So onto the High Elves. This time around I picked the White Lion class. I always gravitate towards classes with animal pets. I was getting annoyed that she kept staying in combat stance with her legs spread far apart and crouched. And when she ran, her head was always turning like she was peeking around a corner. I finally figured out that after you kill a mob, if you still have the corpse in your target, it keeps you in combat stance. So after every kill I had to hit escape to clear target. Also, there was a bug where I kept losing the pet command bar. It would just vanish from my screen. I'd have to resummon my pet to get it back. Aside from that, I did like the class. However, I didn't enjoy the High Elf area as much as the Empire. Some quests I never did figure out and I found myself at level 6 in the same boat as my Warrior Priest.

My husband, in the meantime, had been playing a Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine and enjoying himself. Despite my goody two shoes nature, I decided to have a look at Destruction. The Chaos caster I created slouched around in that undead manner so I didn't stick with her for long. I created a Goblin Squig Herder, but the constant jumping up and down of the squig on the right side of my screen cut my play time short with him as well.

I started a Dark Elf Witch and found myself surrounded by nothing but females. I guess it's possible that many were actually females. But considering how scantily clad they were, I'm guessing that guys that enjoy playing females are more likely drawn to this race than others. Also, the Witch Elf which is a rogueish type class, can only be played as a female.

Despite some bugs where mobs are hitting you but you're getting this message that you can't attack them or you can't see them, I think the game is very well put together. Classes are interesting and it was nice seeing long hair options for females which seems to be a rare thing in MMO's. However, it's not a game that I feel compelled to log into and not one I intend to purchase at this point. I'll keep grinding away some levels this week while I have the opportunity to and see if my feelings change. But for those that enjoy RvR, I think they will have a great time here. That really is where the game shines.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Guild - Episode 1

Just found this series of episodes on YouTube and thought them pretty funny. If any of you watched the Dr. Horrible series, you'll recognize one of the cast. Check out YouTube to see the rest of the series.