I’m almost “there”

It’s easily argued that MMOs are all about progression. The reason we play them is to become better in a game, through an investment of time. Whether its increaseing skills, ranks, levels, gear, or personal gaming ability, we’re looking to reach a point of competency (I would say excellence, but many are satisfied with just being adequate). I, and others, often find it good to set goals and benchmarks to shoot for. Being able to focus upon an objective helps to maintain clarity, consistency, and staves off any feeling of being overwhelmed in games that boast huge variety and options as a core paradigm.

In WAR, once you’ve reached level 40, most people start aiming for a minimum renown rank, to allow them to wear a base set of gear. Some shoot for invader, dark promise, conqueror, or even as low as annihilator for what it is they want. Of course, there are other things people strive for in terms of gear. Weapons, jewelry, cloaks, and the whole array of possible pocket items. Whatever it is, there’s often some set build of equipment they are looking to reach to be able to do what it is they want to do, and everything after that is just gravy and pure fun.

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Warhammer: I really do love it

A post over at Kill that Cheerleader made me realize something: I really do love Warhammer. Despite some of the mistakes they’ve made, this is a GREAT game.

  • It runs amazingly well on my computer that is just as old as the game, with a sub-par video card.
    • I run max affects, and FRAPS to the same hard drive in big fights and still walk away with 10+ FPS.
    • I virtually never CTD (once every two weeks or so).
    • Game errors are rare.
    • Bugs are becoming less and less.
    • Loading times are quick.
  • The PvP is balanced and fun.
    • Some classes need attention.
    • Overall realm balance is spot-on.
    • Almost any type of PvP-play desired can be found
    • Scenarios are the shining jewels of WAR.
    • Even stage 1 of a city is enjoyable when there is competition.
  • The leveling is easy for new players.
    • LotD is a GREAT grind spot for quick leveling.
    • Ganking in LotD is huge fun
  • Once you hit 40, how you play is up to you, but the goal is still to smash faces.
    • You don’t have to swap BFOs and Keeps
    • You don’t have to do just scenarios
    • You don’t have to do just dungeons
    • All paths of WAR are for the purpose of PvP
  • Super Casual
    • It’s easy to hop on for 30-45 minutes and do something
    • Gear is not a huge determiner once you get into Annihilator
    • Getting gear is STILL easier than in any other game
    • Weapon progression is about to be made possible through PvP means
  • No huge emphasis on meta-gaming
    • Money is not that important
    • Crafting creates mostly disposable benefits
    • Crafting is easy to do, ranks quickly, and materials come handily

Honestly, for the way that I want to play game right now, nothing could be better for me. I still get twitches to go back to EQ2 sometimes, and EVE really, really, REALLY pulls on the part of me that wants a true, full-world sandbox, but I don’t have the time. Yes, Mythic makes some mistakes, but they’ve been better about fixing/correcting/addressing any that come up than any other company who’s game I’ve played for extended periods (SWG, EQ2, WoW). If you want a PvP game that’s just fun, and all about melting faces, and fighting the other guys in a constant Valhalla-like realm of combat and destruction, WAR is the game to play.

Tights, M16s, and Paint

Like some twisted list of items carried in the pocket of a schizophrenic, my weekend was a jumble of random, disparate activities, woven together with some strange unifying cord. When looking back at the actions you take over the course of a weekend, think about the separate elements sometimes, and how little those elements may seem to mesh. Truly, the breadth of the human experience is vast and diverse. Still, despite the apparent lack of connection between the nouns in the title of this particular post, they behave like a row of dominoes, back to front, each inexorably leading to the other.

My wife and I had decided this weekend, that we would finish my room. The color pattern started as being a deep blue with a hint of grey color, and marching around the room at chest height was a beige stripe about 16 inches thick. The difficult with this particular task when we first did was the orange peel texture of the walls. It created a hurdle for which we had no legs to jump. That hurdle was a crisp line. No matter how hard I pressed tape down, or how steady my hand, there was always a bleed through. Thankfully, with the coming of our daughter, an ingenious friend of my wife helped to paint stripes on the baby’s room with a clever technique I will not bore you with. So, we revisited my game room using this device to not only crispen up the beige line, but to add a much thinner deep red stripe in the bottom half of the first stripe. This task ate up a surprising amount of time. I did the taping, my wife the painting.

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To elaborate

The screenshot you see in the post from late last night is one of my Knight. Standing in front of the Demon Prince Tchar’zanek. On his knees! I was very lucky to be able to go along with my guild to fight the king last night. I logged on about 15 minutes into the city siege, and word was that “stage 2 might happen”. My guild already had a warband going, so I found an empty one, and basically surfed the forums for 45 minutes.

My boredom paid off though, and I got to be the ferryman bringing the warband to a clear road to the palace, and a consolatory spot to do this with them. See, at RR63, I don’t possibly have the wards necessary to be able to tank any of the bosses, or do too much damage to them. So, I mooched. I like to think of it as payment for ensuring their safety and access to the content, but hey, call it what you want. I happily went along with the quasi-alliance/guild PUG warband, bugging out two of the four sub bosses to kill them. I think a lot of us were surprised when we successfully killed two of them legitimately, considering how many unwarded players we  had.

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Two birds, one stone


Thanks Syncaine.

Stress Test

Like I said earlier, I video’d some of the test server from a week ago. Here’s a quick glimpse into performance.

The truth about competency

Over the weekend, a guildmate of mine sent me a link to this video. Besides the hosts obvious talent at engaging the viewer, and his head start at making himself sound more knowledgeable by virtue of his British accent, it is a really well put together piece. The crux of the seven-minute piece is the result of a study on individual ability, and the same individuals perception of said ability. I don’t know if the study is real, fake, made up for this, or what, but the concept is sound. I can say this with assurance based on my vast array of anecdotal evidence. Do I need to put an emoticon here to show the sarcasm, or have you all started to be able to discern that by this point in my writership?

This concept of perceived ability being vastly different from real ability in those who are in actuality incompetent, can be extended to almost any activity you partake in. Whether it’s on a forum, where having a discussion with someone, and you just dissect each point with carefully worded and researched counter arguments. Or perhaps discussions of someone’s in-game skill. Of course, this is a particularly appropriate topic given the nature of this blog, and the concept that I am going to focus on.

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How to tell

When a blog is going to be awesome?

Images of Superman giving Wonder Woman five across the eyes, that’s how!

The author of I Heart Gorfang is a much loved player by both sides of the eternal battle on Gorfang. Her blog looks to be a lighthearted collection of images as she apparently blew up her storage capacity on the Alliance forums. Welcome Chicken!

Don’t stress me man!

I’ve had the lovely experience of being up since 4:30 AM with a 6 week old that refuses to stop crying, so if this is less than coherent, I beg your understanding and perseverance.

As you should be aware, last night was a stress test of the server infrastructure held on Warpstone hosted by Andy from Mythic. As typical procedure goes, everyone gathered up in Praag at the warcamps, hoped onto the official vent channel, and went to our corners. One faction was sent to a keep and then the other was sent to attack. The turnout was impressive, with 250 or so people on simultaneously.

Of course, that wouldn’t satisfy Mythic now would it? No, they have some spiffy new tech that lets them spawn virtual players, and the classes today were Bright Wizards and Sorceresses. These bots ran around spamming Rain of Fire and Pit of Shades, trying to gobble up all the tasty performance they could. Between players and bots, there were 420 players, all at one place. Being the brave, adventurous chap that I am, I got it into my thick head to Fraps this beast and see how it went. Surprisingly, it went pretty well.

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