Guess who’s back?

From outerspace (okay, Wisconsin – semantics!).

The vacation was good. There was much drinking of beer, much eating of brats, and the lighting of fireworks, with the occasional dabble of family visitation, and a picture of my 93-year-old grandmother surrounded by her 9 great-grandkids. And the whole thing got capstoned by some terrible mucous plague that infected me about 5 minutes before the plan left the tarmac – a nice parting gift from the lovely midwest. While I was away, I stayed mostly out of the loop of the goings-on of the digital and gaming world, but I still tried to check my twitter feed once a day to see if anything amazing, fun, and cool happened.

There were a few things, but nothing monumental. The same-old drama of the interwebz.

Drama and Resolution.

Someone’s new job got me a Tee-shirt (in return for a Haiku)!

EA keeps gobbling up different territories of gaming.

Warhammer had another round of Bloggerinvasion (not enough words for links!).

SoE’s FanFaire landed with some insight at upcoming games (finally), and a new graphics engine called Forge Light.

Relatedly: Planetside 2 looks pretty darn spiffy.

I’m sure there was tons more than that I missed in my drunken revelry, but that should be enough to keep any sane person busy for at least 15 minutes, more if you link-dive like I do.

GamesCom – Friday

My WAAAGH! face.

You can go chat with them right now. Hopefully you can get it to work, so far, all I can do is read the action.

Edit: Over already. Far too quick, and technical difficulties robbed us of precious time. Such is life.

That said, what we got from it is the following:

  • New armor sets above sovereign.
  • New RvR zone available even if you don’t buy the pack (will be incorporated into campaign)
  • Powergap is recognized and will be kept in mind going forward.
  • The method of making the lower RR easier will probably be through bonuses.
  • Removal of the VP system (thank GOD!)
  • RA system (Realm abilities from DAoC)
  • Concept art of underground tunnels

Beyond that, not much was said, pertaining to WAR. The internet is a fickle mistress, and is best treated gently. I’ll be continuing updates as more information comes out.

Edit: Woot! Pack will be here before Christmas.

Edit: Nobwaart has a great compilation of questions asked during the live chat, and a big thanks to Werit for pointing out this post at War-Welten.

For a bit of commentary, I really think that Skaven as a playable race is going to be possible. It won’t be done in the normal way, and I’m currently leaning towards something akin to monster play from LotRO. The underground tunnels will probably run parrallel to the Empire zones (at least) and be the warrens where the Skaven have made their home. I hope that they will be able to come out of those zones and wreck havoc on everyone around, maybe with cache’s of warpstone deposits in the lakes as incentive that can be used to power up some way. There are a lot of really interesting possibilities with Skaven as a third realm, and it can be implemented in a couple ways. Should be fun.

Edit: Final blurb of the day for me.

We have a video of Andy and Carrie talking about the upcoming RvR pack. Lots of good little tidbits in there, as well as Carrie being just a silly goose. Me thinks foreign countries, sleep, and the hustle and bustle has gone to the heads of our intrepid producer and community manager.

Also, as I’m sure you are all aware, this weekend is Gamesday Baltimore. You should be aware, because I told you about it. PAY ATTENTION! Good. More info will be coming out this weekend, and we have more bloggers doing more interviews of more people about more stuff. MORE. Anyway, everyone in Baltimore have fun. I’ll be soaking up double renown as much as I can, when I’m not tethered to my daughter and wife.


August needs to conclude

It’s only the beginning of the month, and already, I want it to be over. Between all the changes coming with 1.3.6 and all the other things being discussed, I’ve got a head full of changes and not a lot of pay-off as of yet. I’m seeing potential new things that I really like (and want to talk about, but can’t), and more importantly, I want to play those things. On top of that, we have all the teasing and the hints, and the clues, and the innuendo about a big announcement going on with Warhammer this month in Baltimore and Cologne, that I’ve reached a saturation point. I’m becoming ambivalent towards anything new. I’m staying off twitter because I’m just in overload.

I want to stay on edge, but the constant stress has made me dull. I talked about the possibility of it happening in an earlier post, and it may be that the level of interest I’ve put into the game has caused it too happen sooner than normal, or perhaps I just want it too much. I think good things are coming, and soon, (weeks) for the game, and that a firestorm will come out of there. However, right now, at this moment, my drive is tiny. The game has its two-year anniversary coming up in 6 short weeks, and I would be avoiding the truth if I didn’t say that was a critical date that will draw a lot of attention. It will be a great launching point for something to go along with whatever it is they announce this month, or it will be a date of complaint for people outside to point to as proof of failure. That second group is probably going to do so either way.

Eh, maybe I just feel like things take too long to happen in the game industry. It feels like some things are able to happen lightning fast, but others require an act of Congress to get through. I just know that where before, I was eager, and excited, I’m now somewhat indifferent. I want to be excited again, but without something concrete, I can’t bring myself to be. As much as 1.3.6 is a great update, and will do a lot for the game, it’s rehashing and refining what I have been doing for the past 23 months.

How are you feeling? Have the hints you’ve heard been teasing you for too long? Are you still kindling that fiery inferno of passion for updates and information? Has your interest waned and you just take each day as it comes?

Information, leave the creativity at the door

I’ve been out of the loop of sorts of the goings-ons, while pounding my skull against a wall trying to wiggle free any tidbits of creativity that may be left shaking in my over-sized brain-holder-thing. While that’s been happening, a lot of things went down, that I was totally unable to participate in.

The two biggies: PTS stress test  and the Producer’s Letter. For the interested, go here for the audio of the Q&A or here for the transcript. I’ll be cruising through it myself, as the 5 minutes I got to spend in the session didn’t reveal a lot. Additionally, another test will be held this week on Warpstone, dates and times to be posted on the herald, so stay tuned.

I neither made it to the test, or was able to read the letter until just moments ago. A sick 7 month old, and a doctor visit for said baby, dominated a large chunk of my time over the weekend. When I did have free time, I mostly played SC2. However, what I did read in the letter of the month, was both interesting and, at the same time, somewhat uninformative. Yes, some watermarks were met, as in, the reporting of the new forums, the re-statement of the upcoming patch, and the imminent return of the Wild Hunt live event. The big hunk of meaty goodness, for me, is the release of information about the new 6v6 scenario.

Outside of that one new ray of shining light, we have conjecture and teases. Mythic will have a presence at both Games Day: Baltimore and GamesCon: Cologne. As much as I want to get excited that this means new content, an expansion, or SOMETHING is being released, I’m not. I’m going to be brutally honest here: I’m keeping expectations low, that way, all surprises will be good.

Bah, I’m dragging myself down.

Information Conglomoration

Who's predictable now?

you’ve probably heard a lot of the news elsewhere by now. Everything from the chosen guilds for the closed city testing, to the WAR box no longer needing to be purchased, the new Gromril Plating changes, and bitching and moaning, and everything in between. The WAR blogs have been busy. Well, I’m here to dig out the official announcements, and put them all together, so you can ignore all of them.Other than my weak attempt at alliteration yesterday, I’ve been a bit inactive this week. If you read comments, you know it’s because I was ill on Tuesday and Wednesday. The post that went up on Tuesday was one I actually scheduled in advance, against the grain of my typical habitual posting habits, so +1 for me. That said, I picked probably the worst two days to “incognito” in the WAR-verse (WAR-o’sphere? WAR-circle? bah! whatever). So,

Read more of this post

WAR: 1.3.4 Preview

You can read it here.

The most tangible news in the mix is concerning the weapons. Not purchased via medallions/crests, but with a new system through scenarios. SQUEEEE!!! My favorite part of the game currently, and the thing I take part the most in. We have no real ideas what the system will be, or how it will behave, but it’s coming. So, while this post doesn’t contain a whole lot of information, it has some, and that’s good.

I’d love to see Mythic get back to communicating with the player base like they were in the Fall of 2008. There doesn’t need to be a lot of quality content in the updates, just a line here or there to say they are aware, they are working, and they care. The player base is the mob, and the mob is fickle. Placate them, entertain them, and they will be yours.

Shut up, I can use lines from Gladiator if I want to!

Also, this whole thread goes on for a ways, and Andy seemed to be fairly active in it. My favorite back and forth was this tidbit.

  • Shuguard: does this mean thunder valley is scrapped? hurray
  • Andy: Maayyyyybe 


Of Global Conquest


I found an email in my box today from Global Agenda. Of particular note was the following letter.

ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 2009 – Global Agenda players will be able to experience the major features of the game after a one time purchase via digital download or box sale, with no monthly subscription required. An optional subscription package called  Global Agenda: Conquest will be available for those players who wish to participate in the persistent Alliance vs. Alliance territory control game-play and access ongoing content updates.

“Throughout our Beta process, our fans, players and reviewers have consistently told us that Global Agenda’s combat system is exceptionally fun and that they would love to play it as a multiplayer shooter” said Todd Harris, Executive Producer. “This single-purchase, non-subscription model will enable players to fully experience Global Agenda’s award-winning persistent shooter gameplay.”

“At the same time, many players are seeking a deeper experience, and want to engage in large-scale campaigns between player-created groups over limited territory and resources.  These players can opt for the Conquest subscription plan which includes our persistent AvA world domination gameplay, and other features typically associated with MMOs.”

The specific features associated with each pricing option are as follows:

Global Agenda (one time purchase – $49.99 MSRP) includes:

  • Creation of up to eight different agent characters
  • Character visual customization
  • Access to all combat weapons and devices
  • Cooperative Player vs. Environment missions against the Commonwealth NPC faction, AI-controlled enemies, and Boss Fights
  • Matchmade Player vs. Player missions with five different game types and over 20 unique maps
  • Character progression through 30 levels
  • Achievement and unlocks system for individual characters
  • Player Inventory for suits, flair, dyes, upgrades, and loot
  • Virtual Reality practice fighting area
  • Vendors and accumulation of in-game currency
  • Text chat with multiple channels
  • Built in voice chat during missions
  • Ability to join an established player-created agency
  • All play is on our single-shard, hosted server environment to ensure convenient and consistent gaming experience.
  • Ability to sign up for one free month of subscription at registration (credit card required, can be cancelled at any time)

Global Agenda:  Conquest ($12.99 per month, $11.49/mo for 3 month, $9.99/mo for 6 month) includes:    

  • Access to Alliance vs. Alliance (AvA) World Domination gameplay
  • A massive scale campaign between player created agencies and alliances over scarce territory and resources on a persistent world map.
  • Attack and Defend Territories in zones that match your agency’s schedule
  • Agency and Alliance Management – Create and maintain persistent player groups and officer ranks
  • Creation and Upgrading of Facilities – Control production and output
  • Base Raids – involving up to 60 players per side; coordinated between 6 different strike teams within linked territory instances
  • Agency Achievement System, Leveling, and Recognition
  • Auction House with bidding and buyouts
  • Mail System
  • Upgrade Text and Voice chat to support multiple channels and strike teams
  • Player Crafting with blueprints
  • Additional character customization options including elite character suits, dye colors, and seasonal flair
  • Ongoing Co-Op content at max character level
  • Ongoing AvA content, multiplayer PvP content, and new social areas

Global Agenda is currently in closed beta testing and scheduled to be development complete by the end of this year toward a Q1 2010 release.

So it seems that the game is going to be a fully realized single player game, with coop gameplay. I’m thinking of Diablo style (or dare I utter the word, Hellgate?). I hate to do it, but the pricing plan and release type of the game seems VERY similar to the disastrous Hellgate: London. Hopefully, their “Conquest” plan, is more MMO-ish than not, or else I think people’s expectations will be let down. Two dollars a month less than standard MMO charges aren’t enough to drastically change perception. Though, if the $10/month sticks around after launch (unlike Champions – you bastards!) it might be enough to alter the view.