Posted tagged ‘Warhammer’

Two Factions, 5 Levels, Blogger Dropped

December 15, 2010

WarhammerCataclysm

As I work on finals and find time to play Cataclysm and other games that I am behind on, I’ve also been working on reading through my blog roll. There were nearly 400 posts that I had missed in my month of writing and I’ve been working slowly at it for around 14 days now. This has led to several topics that I want to cover:

The first topic is Warhammer 40k Onlines two factions. Many around the net have cried for it to be at least three factions, and many of them want even more than that. Would it be pretty cool to have three factions? Sure, it could be cool. Would it be cool to have more? Not even a little bit. The game could be amazing, but based on how the industry has been going it’s not going to see WoW numbers. The more factions you have in a game, the fewer people playing each of those factions. That means longer wait times for dungeons, pvp, less player interaction and an abandoned looking world.

Even three factions is pushing it. Sure, Dark Age of Camelot did it and by all accounts it was fun, but could that success be seen again? You might say “of course!” but look at WoW and it’s clones. Just because a game emulates the features of something that came before it and succeeded, doesn’t mean it’s going to succeed on it’s own. That’s not to say it couldn’t, but I’m personally glad that they went with two factions. I already play games that friends play but I’m unable to play with them because of two factions, or servers, or whatever. Not to mention the more I’ve played games designed for a PVP crowd the more I realize it’s the PVE that drives them, if they succeed at all. I think designing a game, a AAA game, for PVP is a folly that will only end in pain and layoffs. Smaller budgeted games can get away with it better I think. I mean, it probably cost Adventurine a few hundred thousand to design the art assets for DarkFall, and another $50 to program the actual ‘content’ like all six quests. (Of course I’m being silly here, there are plenty of good points about DarkFall, this just feeds into my next subject.)

Next I was going to comment on several on Syncaine’s posts, mainly those bashing World of Warcraft and it’s Cataclysm expansion, but honestly I don’t see the point. Here is an entire post from Syncaine:

For some, it will take longer to download an expansion than to reach it’s level cap.

That is most impressive for 25 months, hundreds of devs, and millions of dollars later.

Lowering the bar (of accessibility!) yet again.

That’s not the only post he made about Cataclysm, and most of them are as ignorant and angry as this one. It’s gotten to the point that I finally just removed him from my blog roll. While I enjoy his unique incites into DarkFall, he rants about WoW like a spoilt child, or a drunken scorned lover who’s just found his ex’s MySpace page. He spews hate for something he truly doesn’t understand just because he personally didn’t like what the game used to be, or what he assumes it is based on conjecture and what people around him tell him about it. That’s all I have to say about Syncaine at this point, I just won’t pay any attention anymore, it’s not worth it.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Cataclysm and some of the interesting things I’ve noted so far. First of all I’d like to say that anyone looking at Cataclysm like it’s only 5 levels of content is in a sad state. That’s not to say that they are playing the game wrong, just that I feel sorry for them. I paid $40 for the expansion and so far I’ve logged around 15 hours just getting two different races to level 20. I experienced in that time moments that really made me gasp out loud, moments with plot twists that got me excited to see what would happen. I’ve done quests that I think surpass anything found in an MMO up until that point. Some of that is because I am a lore nut, and with all the changes I can’t seem to stop stumbling across massive updates that shock me. Anyway, even if I stopped here I;’m still getting far more for my dollar than those who bought Call of Duty: Black Ops for $60 and a 5 hour campaign.

I’ve got one character to level 40 so far. An Undead Hunter who is just finishing Western Plaguelands, which need a new name. One of the changes I am really happy with is the updated low level armor skins. Now you no longer look like a court jester as you level if you just use quest gear. If you count on drops and purchased AH items you’re still going to look silly I imagine.

On the other end of a spectrum I have a character who is almost level 81. The levels aren’t taking as long as I would have liked, but it’s not so fast that I feel like it’s cheap. Sadly the area I am questing in is entirely underwater, and while they’ve done a much better job of underwater levels than some other games (I hate you Ninja Turtles!) it’s still not very fun to relearn the game, having to now pay attention to a full 360 degree circle. Add onto that the fact that their spawning seems to be off, as I’ll kill a mob and immediately have it and it’s friend spawn ontop of the body. It can be really frustrating.

I’m looking forward to getting in some of the harder dungeons though. As a tank I’m excited to see CC make a resurgence, and having my wife play a healer means that if a DPS doesn’t want to CC, he’s getting the boot and we’ll instantly have another. I’m also looking forward to some level 85 PVP and getting my first set of Cataclysm gear which will probably be the introduction PVP set, assuming there is one this go round.

See you all around, whether it be in World of Warcraft or one of the twenty other MMOs I’ve been checking out.

Slow Down and Smell the Roses. Damn Roses.

April 29, 2010

WAR1

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mythic Entertainment lately. This is partly due to the fact that I recently starting playing the trial for Dark Age of Camelot. I got a guild in Fallen Earth, and when I logged into their vent I noticed that they had people in a DAoC channel. I like the guild (Clan in Fallen Earth) so far so I’m messing around in DAoC and chatting with them.

It’s weird going from Warhammer Online to Dark Age of Camelot, a game I never really played back in the day. The first thing I noticed was that the UI was TERRIBLE. Of course it’s because of how old the game is, and I actually like some of the differences, but having to /whisper npc’s with key words to get quest dialog…I haven’t had to do that in an online RPG since I was playing GemStone (a MUD) on America Online.

On the other hand I was immediately sad that I had never picked it up back in the day. The setting is very interesting and I like the little bit of lore that I have been exposed to so far. I am, above and before anything else, a fan of settings, and DAoC’s is great.

DAoC

I started wondering what the subscription numbers were like and it doesn’t appear there are many. There are reasons that a game like this might not be very successful in today’s world of modern MMO’s, such as it’s archaic UI with no mini map (I love the action bar being on the top left), or the quest log being almost no help at all, or even the fact that it’s mostly a grind to levels.

What I found however was that it had one of “Those” expansions. Trials of Atlantis is considered by many to have killed Dark Age of Camelot. To sum it up quickly it appears that it added a lot of PVE grinding in order to be competitive in RVR. It’s one of the big problems that WAR had when it launched, forcing people to PVE in order to improve in PVE. That is possibly the worst thing you could possibly do to a PVP/RVR game.

What amazed me though is that, amongst all the ranting about the changes Trials of Atlantis brought to the game and how bad they were, people took the time to talk about how pretty the new zones were, about how interesting it was to explore and find new areas that were really well done.

Then I thought back on Warhammer Online and some of it’s amazing areas and zones, and about how beautiful they really were. I also thought about how it was never mentioned amongst all the hate threads and posts. In fact, exploration is never really mentioned in any MMO’s anymore. Most people talk about it based on what quest/grind spot they found, but not what a pretty area it was.

Have MMO’s lost that sense of exploration, are they not worrying about making beautiful areas? Or have we gamers with our ADD lost the ability to slow down and smell the roses. Or at least notice that they are there.

Ugly? Yeah Probably.

April 23, 2010

I read MMO Gamer Chicks recent post about her characters and how they all have certain things in common (Adventure Historian made a post on the topic as well!) . It got me thinking and I decided that I would do my own write up with my characters, and man are they ugly.

1. They are all male.

Oh I’ve tried a few females here and there, mostly alts, but I just can’t get into them. I think it’s partly because, while I hardly roleplay in games, I am a roleplayer at heart and I just can’t put myself into the shoes of a female avatar. I know the general excuse guys make, that extreme macho B.S. of “I’d rather look at a girls butt” but I think that’s all to try and clear up any worry of them being “gay” for playing a female toon. Sure, women look MUCH better than men, usually in video games too, and it’s fine to say that you like the aesthetic of a woman toon over that of a man. But when you use the “If I’ve got to stare at a butt” argument it just makes me wonder why you find one or the other sexually arousing. I think MMOGamerChick has it right when she says “I’ll admit the smooth curves of a female avatar are easier on the eyes when you’re staring at a game interface for extended periods of time.” It’s not sexual, or not supposed to be, it’s just fact for some. How did I make this such a long paragraph? Why am I still typing? Oh God this needs to stop.

2. They’re mostly ugly.

Some games require that I play a human, and in those games I generally make myself gruff and “woodsy”. The type of person you probably wouldn’t sit next to on the bus, but choose to stand instead. Others let me pick darker or just strange races, such as giant cow people. The really nice character creation lets me make whatever I want, such as Star Trek Online, and anyone who has seen my character on STO knows that it’s not pretty.

I think the main reason I tend to pick “ugly” races is that I LIVE in this world. I WORK in go to school in this world. I’ve SEEN humans, and they are boring to look at. Give me the option to play something vastly different than the usual and I’m going to jump at the chance.

Another reason may be that I don’t want to blend in with everyone else. Sure in real life I want to remain as anonymous as anyone else, but in game I want people to stop and say “Woah! Let me get a screenshot of this guy!”

The final reason is that it’s harder to come up with stories for strange species, and I really enjoy doing that.

3. They are tending toward the same name.

In this I am the exact opposite of MMOGamerChick in that, while her characters used to be named the same things and are moving apart, mine used to have unique names, each and everyone one of them contemplated on more than their appearance. Now though they all tend to have Amun or Toth in the name, such as Amuntoth, Amunkodo, Connor Toth, etc. I always try and work it in and make it fit lore-wise, at least a little, but I’m trying to make it easier for people to track me from the blog into the game and say high.

After the break will be pictures from some of my characters, so if that doesn’t interest you then no need to wait on the loading. If it does, click away!

(more…)

Chaos Crashing!

March 29, 2010

Chaos

For my birthday I received (after asking everyone I knew since I’m far too broke to buy it myself) the expansion pack to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II entitled Chaos Rising. Chaos is my second favorite faction in the Warhammer 40k universe, next to Orks which are already included in the game, so as soon as it was announced I knew I had to own it.

I’ve got some positive stuff to say about the expansion and some negative stuff. I loved the fact that it stayed very RPG like and indeed it seemed to move more toward an RPG feel with this expansion. We now have dialog “trees”. Sure they don’t branch but I can see them testing the waters for their 40k MMO. The story is another solid area. It was well written and had me sitting there nerding out at several parts. Of course that is partly because I am a huge 40k fan.

The biggest negative for the game was that it has a bug at the moment that causes your game to crash to desktop when you beat the final mission, sometimes. This DID happen to me and I went straight to the forums where I found out it is a somewhat common problem. Relic assures us that they are working on the problem so that’s good. What’s not good is that the game uses Games For Windows Live which means any patch has to be sent to Microsoft for approval before it can be released. The last time this happened, when Dawn of War II launched and people were getting crashes left and right, it took a week from the time the patch was done to the time it could be released. A WEEK of not being able to play what I’ve paid for because of GFWL, a service I hate completely.

The only new unit you get is the Librarian (I am speaking of the single player campaign), though you do get to mess around with a few tanks and your librarian can, if he becomes corrupt, control enemy units. This is always fun to control a big unit and have it turn on it’s friends. If you can’t tell I did go Corrupt, and I found another complaint in doing so. Like in most RPGs that give you the option of being evil, you often have to perform poorly at the game to get the evil points. For example there was a mission where, if it took me over twenty minutes to complete all my squads would gain corruption points. I was done in five minutes but had to let them sit for fifteen in order to get the corruption points.

There are other ways to get corruption, some of them pretty interesting, though I won’t spoil it for you. I haven’t tried the pure route yet to see the difference but I will once Relic gets their patch out. In the meantime the game will just be occupying space on my hard drive. Or maybe I’ll play some Last Stand.

Another complaint was the voiceovers. Most of them are quality, well all of them were pretty good at least except for Thaddeus. He sounded monotone and boring. It was like he wasn’t trying and no one cared. It stands out a LOT when he is having a conversation with anyone else. The sound problems don’t stop there either. Sometimes the voices get very quiet for no reason and then they will increase in volume again, then get quiet again. It really kills the mood.

All these complaints aside I would recommend getting the expansion to anyone who enjoyed the base game, or to anyone who enjoys the 40k universe. Of course this is only AFTER THEY PATCH IT! Trust me, beating the final, 40 minute boss fight only to have it crash RIGHT after, before anything saves, is very demoralizing. Maybe it’s not a bug, maybe it’s Chaos.