Monday, August 25, 2008

More thoughts from Preview Weekend

Well.. it's Monday and work is light at the moment, so I can blog more. Ha!

First, my public service announcement.

Ladies, Gents and Greenskins.
If you are considering WAR, on the fence about it, or even mildly curious. Do yourself the biggest favour imaginable. Bring a friend with. The joy factor is that much more because of it. More on this below.


The Downside of Open Grouping
There are many people celebrating open grouping, and really it should be celebrated. I found one slight problem though, which mostly I am ascribing to newbie shell shock (You are dumped into a war after all) and the quirks of a preview weekend. All the closed beta folks knew what they wanted to achieve. All the Preview weekend guys like me wanted to find out what was going on.
Open grouping does help. Filter by range and hey you know if people in your general vicinity are doing things you may also be doing or interested in.
The problem I found was this. No one talks.
It actually took a trip to the High Elf starting zone to get a chatty pq/open group.

People came and went. Hell I did too. There was a certain sense of disconnection. However I am hopeful. As I progressed through the chapters people became more talkative and would speak to one another. Heck, one errant Dark Elf in an RvR zone stopped to bow to me (he wasn't flagged otherwise he'd have gotten a staff in the skull).

So yes the open grouping is much vaunted and talked about. If your first experience is a bit silent and akward, don't worry. Everyones head is likely spinning as much as yours. Go with it and you'll make friends in no time.

Related note Terry (Bregel from here on) is/was in Closed Beta and was surprised by something in the Preview weekend. This is an upside of open grouping. Myself (Orrekai), Bregel and Zylasharr (did I get it right T?) were in a public quest. There was another team also there. Both of us were below maximum strentgh so one or two clicks and the teams were seamlessly merged. Instead of two sub par teams running hither and yon, suddenly we were a full one. Sadly we didnt get into any trouble or areas (barring Scenarios) that would have required us to Warband it up a notch, but that little tool was a welcome surprise.
Also due to my having to close the game several times, open groups meant I could hop back in without harassing them (much) on teamspeak for an invite.

For the cheap cheap fare of 50 bronze, Bregel, Zyla and I beercoptered into Altdorf. Well... not Zyla, she was on a Rune Priest as well our first time, but you get the idea.
Altdorf is huge. Really huge. I could spend most of a day rather than the hour or two that I did exploring that place. I am not even sure that it was completely opened up despite being at 5 stars. In fact thinking about it, the city shot up the ranks, so it was likely bumped up.
Some pointers to Altdorf.
There are screaming cats. Get used to them.
Barrels are not toys.
Swirly glowy green things are very enticing to certain Dwarfs.
I met Gotrek and Felix, you should too.
The Steam Tank PQ is really rather clever.

We also came across some randomly and oddly naked Dwarfs. There were representatives of the three armies working out in this square. All were targetable but you couldnt attack them. That is, except for the level one naturalist dwarfs. I singed one or two to teach them a lesson about the value of britches.

Many more things occured there, but I'll keep them for another post.

Just my second PSA here. When you go to start your guild, it only takes a little cash and a party of six. Don't rush the process though. I know you all want to level up your characters and your guilds and get out there and smash heads in. Take some time though. Set aside an hour or two for you all to drop into Altdorf and gawk like tourists. Take in the sights, get the tome unlocks, examine weird swirly green things.
Honestly, don't miss it because you're in a rush or "will do it later". Enjoy your first foray into the living city of Altdorf.

Tome Unlocks
These things are everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
The quick guide to collecting.

If it moves or highlights? Click it.
If it doesn't move? Mouse over just incase.
If it has legs and cons blue? Talk to it.
If it moves and cons red? Kill it.
If it looks interesting? Run over to it and gawk.

Also don't be afraid to die. Don't be afraid to die in RvR. Don't be afraid to run around in circles healing yourself or others as fast as you can buttonmash. It's all a blast.

In City of Heroes I have the very well deserved nickname of Lemming. Heck on Teamspeak and Vent, there is even a song for when I have one of my "moments". Where angels fear to tread, there Ardy is, likely nomming floor.
In WAR, this name took on a whole new meaning. Seriously, watch your step. I don't know how many times I fell off cliffs while having a gander. It was funny every time. Especially the one time I fell off as a Sorceress, hugged the wall on the way down and ended up having a lesuirely swim back around the coast. It didn't matter that I fell, funny though it was, I was having a great time exploring and there was also the novelty of surviving.
I then did get into the bad habit of casting Heal over time runes on myself and jumping off some places just to see if I could.
So please, do watch your step. But if you end up flailing your way into the grave, don't worry. It's funny and death just means you'll get moved to the nearest rally point.

That said, future guildmates? I'm sorry. If the shortest distance between me and where we're going is a barely (if at all) survivable drop of a cliff. Well... I'm going to go get my base jumping tome unlock.

It is my lot in life to die. Doesn't matter if I've taken a stroll off Everest, found a playmate (you'd be surprised how often I run into hero/champion mobs and set fire to them on reflex), or RvR'd. I am doomed to die. I have come to accept it, and even find something worth laughing about in it.

Two examples.
1) Bregel and I were in Altdorf. There was a barrel. Thanks to Hawley at the Book of Grudges, we knew that this could only mean one thing. Pain a la Skaven.
Did that stop us? Hell no.

Bregel was, if memory serves, at the time 7. I was 8. Ironbreaker and Runepriest against a level 20 Skaven.
And we were winning! Not quickly mind you, but we were certainly winning. The healing and the runes were keeping Bregel going and we got the Ratman to 50%.
Then he turned around and stabbed me in the face. So ended that fight.

2) Bregel, Zyla and I were in the Khaines Embrace scenario. As usual, despite teamspeak, the two members of the Elder Race gave the keen eyed long limbed Shadow Warrior the slip and went off to wreak havoc as only Dwarfs can. During said havoc, Bregel suffered a graphic glitch and was unable to see. He was still there, but the player himself couldn't see a damn thing and was going to have to restart.
Around that time an entire party of Destruction showed up.
At first, I was able to heal the damage. Only a few of them were paying attention to me and the rest seemed to be considering options. Then they all decided that the Runepriest must go!

Commence backpedalling. But! I had a plan! Surely if I trained this mob over the Ironbreaker whose life I have preserved so often... an Ironbreaker who is only going to exit anyway... surely that is a fair trade? He can lay down his life for me in payment for all the times when I preserved it.
Ohhhh no. They were having none of that. The entire party ran past the otherwise idle Ironbreaker, turned me into mush and then bizzarely kept running. They completely ignored someone who could then capture a point. Bregel was toasted shortly thereafter by Khaines Embrace.

So my final PSA.
Budding Generals and clever guilds. If someone is going to storm a keep or try storm yours. Destroy their battle plan in one easy step. Mount an Archmage or Runepriest on a stick and wave him off to the left. While they fall over themselves in an orgy of destruction, feel free to put the fear of Grungi, Grimnir and Valaya into them.

More later if I remember anything else!


Anonymous said...

Love it Ardua, great post!

The people chatting thing may not be entirely down to preview weekend or even open parties. Chat was low even before this weekend, sadly. Part of that, I firmly believe, is how unutterably crap the chat windows are -- they don't scroll text properly, you can't filter out some of the types of chat (like broadcasts and channels, so my tells/guild chat window was damn near useless at times), and... seems to me people just don't talk as much in games anymore, period. Maybe it's a youth thing: the more younger players we get, the less chat I see. That may also be tied in to the increasing use of voice chat, which may be dandy and useful, but it does corral you into talking with only a certain subset of people, all the time.

Looks like I'm starting to ramble, so I'll stop. Been thinking about chat and stuff for a while, maybe your post will prompt me to make one. ;)

Ardua said...

Thank you very much sir!

With regards teamspeak and such, I admit I've been guilty of that. Talking so much to people over a voice program that we all go silent in the game. Or vice versa. It flip flops alot with Roleplayers.

Personally I am wondering if it is a pug mentality that is lingering.
"Don't talk to these people, they're just an open group you joined to do this pq"

Hopefully we'll see a change in attitudes when it goes live in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Ardy redefined his title of Lemming in hilarious ways, oh yes. *giggles* We love our Lemming, oh yes we do! o/~

And you were pretty close on the spelling. It's Zylashiir -- though considering you couldn't spell her name last night you've certainly made progress. ;)

My biggest bitch was the keep sieging. After you headed out, I made the oh so stupid comment of "watch, once I hit level 10 there won't be an Order-held keep". Yeah. Attempted to reclaim Ruh Durak (or something along those lines) to frustration. There were NO Order-held keeps and those bastards had level 20 ultraviole[n]t cons. Even I have my limit of no-penalty dying. However, Bregel was able to find an Empire-held keep (Austland?) and I frantically purchased everything but trinkets.

I do need to email you the screenies of Zyla in her Realm 6 gear. <3 <3 <3 Ohmigod so need to get Zyla up to L10/R6 ASAP on live. I'm also getting used to stance-switching on the fly in Khaine's Embrace...

arbitrary said...

Nice post and glad you had a ball!

Our open groups have always been a bit chatty, but maybe that's just me and Spinks!