Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Some folks know, others may not, I won two tickets a fortnight or so ago on Facebook for the Irish Premiere of the new Star Trek. Paramount Pictures was hosting it in the Savoy screen 1 on O'Connell street.
Both myself and Shannon are still, as she put it, buzzing from last night. It was bloody epic.
To keep this spoiler free, we're not going to discuss the plot nor most of the effects. Instead here's a quick run down of my thoughts.
1) I missed Paul McGillon (Dr. Carson Beckett from Stargate Atlantis). I know he was given a role and we even checked the credits but I just didnt spot him. Still on the 8th I'll be going back and having another go. Simon Pegg does a wonderful job as Scotty though, so I'm not too bothered (they both went up for the role).
2) The Constitution class Starship Enterprise. Registry number NCC 1701. Abrams, your guys are geniuses. To elaborate, the Constitution is a workhorse. It's ugly, it's the 60s. When The Next Generation came about they kept the shape but smoothed it out, so we got the delightful Galaxy Class Enterprise D. In the Next Gen movies they further sexed it up in the Soverign class Enterprise E.
This version, this reimaging of the Enterprise and the Constitution class? Gorgeous. They took something that, while iconic, was outdated and kept its spirit intact while giving it some much needed love.
3) Realism. Aliens, phasers and Warp speed aside, this universe feels real. It feels as though we could get there, unlke the old Federation which was just a little bit Stepford.
4) The biggest thing they've done? They've made this exciting.
Of course there is bang and whizz and graphics and half naked women, that's to be expected nowadays but that's not what I mean.
I was raised on science fiction. The 60's British sci fis, the 70's and 80's American faire. Star Trek from the get go all the way to the current era. I have grown up with my mind in the stars and you know what? For the longest time I didn't much care about Star Trek.
I was excited to see new Babylon 5, I'd be thrilled when Battlestar was going to do something awesome. I look forward to new Fringe and Sarah Connor Chronicles (they better bloody renew that last one). Though for the longest time Star Trek was that thing I did. It happened somewhere in the run of Voyager, I wasn't looking forward to next week anymore. I would watch but because I had always watched. Enterprise, I just lost it there. Manny Cotos 4th season was genuinely good and certainly brought me back to the fold, but Enterprise was so ... uninteresting to me that when I missed an episode, I wouldnt try catch it again despite the fact that nowadays things get repeated fifteen more times before the end of the week. I lost the faith.
After this movie, after this reimaging/reboot/reawakening ... I want more. I am excited once again and Star Trek is king of the hill. They signed up for three movies? I want those movies.
In the end, that's part of what comes next. I am going back on May 8th. Not just to spot Paul McGillon, not just for Shannon to get buttered popcorn and not just because my friends will be going then. I am going back to buy my ticket, show my support and show my love.
In MMOs people always say you vote on the game with your money, I'm voting for more Star Trek. It was and is just that good.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
10/12 for the goggles, but I'm still going to finish it all out because I'm all about the fluff.
Still, doesn't he look good?
(Do all use engineer players use the same explosion in a a matress factory hairdo?)
Bit of a general question open to all.
WoW has become the McDonalds of online gaming: Everyone loves it, I like it,Above quote taken from Tobolds Blog
too.-> But which player can stand burgers over and over?And no, you do not
need to be a "hardcore elite raiders" to get that feeling. By commenter Longasc
We are not discussing Wow in any way shape or form. This goes back to the sandwich metaphor (and eerily I did make a burger comment...) and shopping around. This also goes back to the idea of lifetime passes to games such as Lotro.
Assuming that WoW is the McDonalds of Online gaming and other games represent other restaurants, how much more would you be willing to pay for a varied menu?
WoW caters to millions, other games also have their own populations. In the end though a vast majority of our online games are made by the same crowd in some fashion.
How much would you pay SOE or NCSoft or Turbine or Mythic or Blizzard or CCP or NetDevil or whomever to have access to several very different games at once? SOE already has the Station Pass, but how much more than our normal monthly fee would you pay for a super pass to let you easily play WAR and WoW and EVE and CoH for example?
Instead of grabbing what they can for their own games, would it be profitable or even sensible for the various names in online games to share their subscriber bases? A Taco Bell sharing a roof with a KFC sort of deal.
Would you buy a Blizzard/NCSoft/Mythic game pass for one month or a year of cross company gaming? If it was affordable, so called WoW tourism aside, how many of Blizzards 11 million would explore further, and how many more would leave other games to go stomp around in Azeroth?
I'd consider it myself. The only limiting factor is time, I can only be in one game at a time unless I get silly... so many games, so many choices.
It’s not always a good thing to be caught looking at blogs while in work, or even posting to your own. Still because I have such time to think in work, I often have some topics come up in the mind to blog about and they don’t survive the trip home.
However, I forgot blogger lets you email in your blogs so let’s try that this morning. See if we can’t get a pretty blog out. If not, I’ll repair it over lunch.
So onto the meat of the matter (what is it with all the food comments lately?).
Since October 2008 Warhammer has had 6 live events. Only three of them relate to actual holidays, two were for class releases and we’ve one going now to build up to a new zone with one more to come.
Of the six, I got the elite rewards for three of them and am working on the fourth tonight. The two that I didn’t manage were Kegs End (so much grinding) and Night of Murder (iirc it ran into my time in
Personally I am pretty pleased with the rate we’ve been getting these live events. They always spruce things up, but at the same time they often cause an unforeseen idiotic side effect. During Kegs End, you had to /boast and /toast a number of characters and classes on both sides. That was clever, kill a guy, boast over his corpse. The problem in execution was… dual targeting. If you’ve that last class you want to boast targeted, and you’ve yourself or anyone else on your side targeted (healing or whatever) you’ll emote at the friendly target. This is why so often for reasons best known to themselves, instead of gloating over my broken Rune Priest body, Black Orcs have a tendency to laugh at themselves, sometimes two or three times.
So imagine a scenario where it’s already a bit crazy and someone is spamming an emote bind but has forgotten that whole target issue.
Also in Bitter Rivals and Heavy Metal with the pie throwing. It is amusing to see an otherwise well behaved scenario team suddenly break and charge into the jaws of the enemy because “Oh yeah, I need to pie some guys”. Hey I am not complaining about that one though, in doing that very thing on Vorri (or Norri at the time) I not only pied a guy good and proper, I got one in return and the tiny amount of damage killed me. Cue title “Death by Pie”.
The side effect I have seen on Phoenix Throne in Beyond the Sands is a massive sort of tier based blindness. The second day I played the even I went on Vorri my level 24 T3 Engineer. I have 8/12 tasks done. I have to finish the quests based in
Compare and contrast the night before on my 32 Rune Priest Orrekai in Tier 4.
Perhaps I will suggest it tonight. Quick tangent! Good on Phoenix Throne setting up channels to co-ordinate RvR. They have /chan tier1, tier2, tier3, tier4 and /chan organize for when there’s several warbands getting messy. I really should write a macro so I can button mash and autojoin the channels.
Back to the Event.
I plan to finish it out on Vorri tonight and if all goes well get cracking on Orrekai as well. It is a habit from when I only had the two characters and fortunately I’ve not returned to how I used to be in City of
All in all I am having fun in Beyond the Sands and look forward to next months event. I wonder what little gap in peoples thinking it will introduce. How many times are you all going to run this one?
To close though, a link. Enjoy!
I will say two things.
1) It is my current mission to hunt down the guy involved and get an interview.
2) I cannot be more clear than this. I want a freakin sweet Griffon.
So if anyone from Mythic stumbles across this, I have sent some emails but if you have an answer, please drop me a line.
If anyone else stumbles across this and wants to be invite to Warhammer, drop me a comment or mail on my profile.
Ardy's Platform '09. Freakin Sweet Griffons for All!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Granted, I'll put almost any meal between bread. Ask Shannon.
How does this relate to WAR? Well I am going to close my eyes and pretend it does. Actually the whole sandwich thing comes from a blog I remember reading once, may have been Ixobelles. The idea being that the sandwich shop that offers it all and has the freshest bread and fillings is the best.
That and when I originally started writing this, I was waiting for lunchtime.
Anyway back to the point at hand. PvE is your bread and butter, except I hate butter. PvP we'll call being the spicy/very flavourful fillings. Some like them, others not so much. Despite the original sandwich theory being that the shop that offers better sandwiches than the others is the shop you will always return to, I would like to offer the counter theory that we have not yet made the perfect sandwich.
A sublime medley of tastes and textures, a mix of colours and sounds when you chew. No one has yet made such a sandwich that you can lean over the theoretical counter and say "hold the PvP" and have it remain delicious. Or even "Can I have a wrap instead of bread? Not feeling PvE".
Right now several WAR/MMO bloggers are casting their eyes about and trying new treats. Some are in EVE, others CoH and probably a few in WoW. Vanguard, LOTRO and Champions Beta have all also been mentioned.
If they come back to WAR, of course I'll be pleased, but I am not going to shove my choice of food down their throats. One day we'll get the game that has it all and spells the end of the MMO genre as we know it, one day we'll have the sort of game where hardcore casuals and casual pkers and seat of the pants market junkies can all co-exist without any trouble.
Until then, I wish everyone the best on their travels round the worlds offered by MMOs, I hope they find something filling and enjoyable, I also hope I'll see them again around my way.
In the end though, sometimes when you're in a sandwich shop... all you really want is a Chinese take away.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Personally in Warhammer I have four active alts that I've mentioned herabouts. All Dwarfs as is only proper. In City of Heroes, despite originally being very conservative and loyal to a handful of characters, I ended up filling my 17 server slots on Virtue.
I personally, as mentioned in GirlIRLs meme, prefer to start out slow and only play support when I start a new game. It's how I learn the ropes, the community and if I like the game. Other folks like my good friend Seph love to try everything as soon as they can. Seph had in very short order, some 10 or 15 alts and may well have filled two servers. He wanted to sample the various classes and have them there to play later. That's his perogative.
Now to the meat of the matter. Before the switch from Ostermark to Phoenix Throne my regular play group wasn't regular anymore. Some had left, others couldn't afford the time. C'est la vie. As a result I decided that I would shop around and find myself a nice Guild to try out. Grungi was with me though as when I settled on this course of action, Bitter Rivals had just finished and I hadn't even gotten Aardii past the first PQ in Ekrund when I saw the various guilds vying for new blood.
I ended up joining a fantastic bunch called The Sentinels as well... they were in my PQ group and seemed like good chaps.
Now a part of Sentinel policy is that they wanted to recruit not just your character, but you yourself. All of your characters on the server. At first, I was a little wary as well I had some in the Oathbearers Legacy, a friend group from CoH.
Now though, all my Dwarfs are with them and I've one inactive character remaining in the Oathbearers. They all left so nyah.
This means no matter what I play, when I play I am with them. Whichever alt I feel like being on, I've an active guild to be around. This is in part because when any of them decide they'd like to alt and play something else for a bit, their alts are also there. We're encouraged to be together and it works. Notes on the Guild Roster let you keep track of who is who easily and so far I've not met one bad apple.
Now I don't know any of them personally, I've not yet formed the friendships I did in City of Heroes. In CoH, I'd happily join any group a friend wanted me to and I have come to think that this is a bad thing.
When my account expired, it wasn't just me not being on the global channels. It was several supergroups losing one of their number. Had I been centralised like the Sentinels prefer, well then one group would have only lost one person. You can, except in cases of Dual boxing or that crazy 36 account WoW guy, only be in one place at a time. This causes trouble when you have 17 places to be instead of one or two.
In the end it may all just be a cycle. I may end up filling Phoenix Throne and Vortex to the gills. I may end up have 20 different alts, but I wonder if I will have 20 different places, or by joining guilds like the Sentinels, will I only have one or two?
Either way that time is still in the future of my Warhammer play, I've 40 to get to yet and Vorri has his eye on those Aviator Goggles from the live event. Tonight, you'll find me with the Sentinels, no matter who I happen to be.
There's plenty to dig up though and as an addition to the WCPI and because of something mentioned on Sentinels guild chat, I present to you the quick link fest to the brightest and best about the Land of the Dead, Beyond the Sands and the Live Expansion.
- Beyond the Sands from the Herald
- The Tome Of Knowledge on the Tomb Kings pt1
- Pt2 from ToK, also what got the attention of Massively
- GirlIRL considers the Live Event
- When in doubt, Lexicanum
Also ... in a WAR related note. Some personal pimpage. If anyone is going to Baltimore Games Day and can grab me a code, I will heart you. If anyone wants to join Warhammer and help me earn a bloody sweet Griffin, so much love. Otherwise, get back to readin ye buggers.
Dug up the links. Check. Drank. Check. Kill.... well the barman looks shifty...
You know I know have some notes on that somewhere... expect a blog entry shortly. For now though I present to you this weeks WCPI Shadow WAR's Blog
What I love about the latest entry is the close call nature. It was the goodbye post all blog communities don't want to see. It was a departure and a goodbye.
But then there was light at the end of the tunnel and the game was fun once more, the blog lives!
So for Shadow having hope and for the many games we all have yet to play, this is my WCPI.
The community I promotes it.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
1. What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)? Explain how you chose the name.
Right now in WAR I am playing bot Vorri and Orrekai rather alot.
Vorris name comes from the server transfer from Ostermark to Phoenix Throne. Related to #4 below, I didn't placeholder the name on PT and so Norri Powderkeg could not be Norri on PT. Hell I was surprised I got Norri on Ostermark. I changed it because I like the sound of the name. That and one day I will eliminate the imposter Norri and reclaim the name.
Orrekai is related to #2. I went with the first name I ever used in an MMO and changed it to suit a Dwarf.
2. What was the name of your very first character in an MMO? Explain how you chose that name.
Ortus Sapienta. Jenquai Explorer, Galileo Server, Earth & Beyond.
This was a good few years back and having never played an MMO I had no idea what the naming conventions would be (or if they exsisted, they dont really). So cue the latin dictionary online. Jenquai were the explorer race and to be an Explorer class in the explorer race? Got to be latin. Ortus means birth, Sapienta as far as I knew at the time meant wisdom.
A better name was a friend I made. Dafugizzi. He entered every zone and yelled "Who?", say it all together now.
3. Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?
Not really. I started with Ortus Sapienta and that was in fact the name of my first hero in City of Heroes and for a long time my global handle. After a bug with the global system in CoH, everyones handle was reset to the first character they logged in. Not knowing this, I logged in my Peacebringer Ardua and so became @Ardua. After that, well that's when I really started making friends in mmos and they all knew me as Ardua. So on boards, here on the blog and other places you'll find Ardua or Ardy (or the slayer Aardii). We'll see if this lasts into the next game.
4. Do you ever reserve names, planning to use them for characters that you might play later? If so, what are they and why do you hold on to them?
I do not and have never understood the practice. My altism only came into being after playing City of Heroes for a while and the naming comes at the end of creation there. I've always been in the habit as a result of rationalising the abilities first, the origin second, the look third and pulling a name and bio out of my ass just before I play. Some friends still in CoX take the time to craft backstories for all their toons, anyone who likes any of mine? I invented it thirty seconds before pressing "Enter Tutorial".
Regis! You forgot #5! How am I supposed to copy paste efficiently?
5. Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?
Healer. I always gravitate to support classes when I enter a new game. How better to learn how things work than by helping everyone do what they do and taking notes? My second "main" is an Engineer done in a support manner as well.
That said, as anyone I've played with in CoH can attest, being support does not mean I will behave. I will be ... enthusiastic.
6. What archetype was your very first character in an MMO? Why did you choose it?
Jenquai Explorer as in #2. Basically support class. Cloaking, scanning, scouting, wormholes and suchlike. I picked it because the Jenquai race appealed to me and the explorers explorer, what's not to love?
7. Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally? Why?
Support! Though WAR is my first attempt at being a main healer. I prefer sitting back somewhat from the action and seeing how the battle is going and possibly by my actions influencing where it goes. Melee people just hit it till it's dead.
8. What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?
Wormholes from Earth & Beyond. One class could provide them, mine. Sure it turned some players into little more than glorified taxis. Sure some people like that (See Taxibots or Rogue Isles Transit in CoX). I enjoyed it though because it let me, if I chose provide a service to a great many people who had to get where I could go. Rezzing the dead, healing the hurt, mitigating damage, all these are good things, but how happy would a Warband be to see someone who could teleport them to Altdorf *now*.
9. Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free? Which and why?
EVE. I love the depth of the game and what people do with their freedom there. I just have never been comfortable with the timesink it would be for me to do the game justice and experience it in the ways we occasionally read about. If it was free though? I could easily skill up or afk mine on the laptop while I play and one day be ready, in my own mind, to play properly.
10. How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO (total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level reached, etc.)?
If playing them makes me happy. Level caps aren't everything, though I'd like to be there. Money isn't everything, though it buys shinies. Social status isn't everything, though it's great to be recognised or looked up to.
Being able to log out at night, pleased with what you've done and considering it time well spent. If the MMO doesn't make me smile, it isn't worth my time, let alone my money.
5 bloggers I also want to probe for answers:
Arbitrary, I choose you!
Sneaksz you're up!
Snaffy must tell us all.
Werit, why not?
We already have a few podcasts going (I really should get into those...) and enough blogs to shake a level 2 +5 crotchetiness stick at.
Still todays WCPI goes out to a dual effort of WAR Underground and the Waaagh! Roots blog. They've got radio, they've got guild bits and they've got thee poooowwwer.... sorry, wandered off there.
Slowly but surely we're getting there in the blogosphere. Hop on over to WAR Underground if you want to promote your guild, check out some player made videos or read a few guides to Warhammer Online.
Now if only they could get rid of that elf chick. I vote for a big barrel of Bugmans.
Monday, April 13, 2009
This is just a snippet entry as there's something else going on that I'm paranoid about and want to check out. Bloody args.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Massively has a Daily Grind article up with the following question.
Do you think a game needs to include some form of PvP to be successful? Or can a game go with a purely player vs. environment or cooperative approach and still succeed?
Now I've my own question based on the whole PvP thing. Not is it necessary to be successful but rather, what does it or could it do to the structures that come about in games.
In City of Heroes there is some PvP both through arenas and pvp zones, essentially though I've always treated it as a PvE game. A few years ago the Silver Guard was redoing its website and one part of that was a picture for the front page of all the available members wearing the Guard uniform and basically showing off the colours. A group effort, a sign of unity and all that jazz.
Boy did it ever go wrong.
Firstly there was one member who at the time didnt have the ability to enter Supergroup bases because they had to be the only person I think I had met who didnt bother getting CoV (if memory serves, a whopping $1 increase in the monthly sub at the time, I could be wrong). What do you do in this situation? Personally if I couldn't be where every other single player in the group was, I wouldn't hold things up. No... that's too easy. So this member (to be honest I've forgotten the character name otherwise I'd be all for the shaming) basically had us all relocate to Atlas Park. Atlas is the armpit of the CoH universe, partially due to it being one of the two newbie zones (don't hate the noob, help the noob) and partially because the Atlas statue has a big idiot magnet in it that summons hyperactive morons.
Secondly, despite it being a group photo and the group having colours, several members refused to wear them. The Guard never enforced a uniform like some other supergroups, but personally I would have thought that throwing the colours on for the sake of thirty seconds wouldn't have hurt. Excuses ranged from "I don't have a uniform" to "I prefer my shades, the Guard ones clash with what I want".
Finally it was down to getting people to position themselves in a sensible manner. Top tip, if you have an 8' tall character, stand behind the 4' ones. Wait for the Atlasidiots (polite name) to get out of the frame. Wait for the afkers to reposition. Wait for the sun to come up as this has now taken so long we're in our third night cycle aaaaand finally click.
It wasn't a bad photo but I still as you can guess have a sore spot over all the nonsense that interfered, especially the fashion comment.
Compare and contrast a straight PvP game. We'll take a few examples.
Planetside, also a few years back, had several outfits making in game promotional/recruitment videos. Cue many many more players than the maybe two dozen Guardsmen standing in formation and having a mexican wave style salute to the camera. You were in the military now and you followed orders.
Massively gave a one-shot of Darkfall Online with an "Inquisition raft fleet". Players coming together and, even if their vent server is filled with penis jokes and bash.org style nonsense, forming a fleet to take the waters they want.
EVE.... just EVE.
Why does it appear to take a game or setting where the prime opponent is other people for our imaginary otherselves to show discipline that they wont when facing a computer? I know of course there are exceptions to both sides of this and of course no amount of roleplaying or discipline survives first contact with the enemy.
Is it something in ourselves? Are computer controlled enemies unworthy of displays of restraint and discipline or are other players such a threat that we look down on displays of axecrazy? Will in game AI advance to such a point to challenge this?
Finally in the 80/20 split of Warhammer (i.e. 80%pve 20%pvp inverting in later levels) that I once heard quoted play with this? I've seen some instances of people following orders and acting in concert in ways I wish bands I've been in could, I've also seen everything degenerate into a zergandpray. Does Party 2 always listen to the Warband leader and cover the postern? Or does this only come later when it is clear it's you vs another meatbag?
I'm in the guilditary now, but I think no one got the memo.
Friday, April 10, 2009
After the GOAmeet Dublin well.... we wanted to try another go. So this time information is available from Arbitrary and the Book Of Grudges blog, as well as her own Nerf The Cat. The broad plan at the moment is outlined over there. Check it out. Come to London. Let's Waaaagh!
Oh and the Star Trek thing is my fault. But who doesn't love the idea of IMAX Star Trek?
(That will be May 8th, times tbd)
Tufmudda is one of the other Irish bloggers which if nothing else makes me feel all warm and happy because my God does this country need more MMO players. Check the site out for honest views on the ups and downs on the Euro servers as well as an awesome chicken recipie that I will have to try.
...What I still haven't finished Gunbad? I've never even seen the Lost Vale.
Tastes like stunty
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
One of the things I love about Warhammer is that Orrekai is 32/30. There may be just 8 levels of pve left, but I've 50 renown ranks ahead of me still. I fell out of love with alot of my 50's in CoH because I had done it all and there was little left to do (thankfully I was cured of my badge addiction).
Back to Orrekai for a moment. When I reached t3 I had a good run of luck. I got two Devastator pieces in short order, one of which was my first keep gold bag. I raked in xp and renown and it was all good. The rest of my t3 career entertained me (I didnt manage to cap inf in Elves, but thats all) with new toys coming, new additions through renown training and generally learning names on Ostermark, like I am again on Phoenix Throne.
The end of this particular T3 run reminded me of how it started. As I crept ever closer to 32 I worried because despite winning plenty of Gold Bags, they were never in a keep necessary for me to get my Devastator Vestments. To make matters more ... complicated, oRvR on Phoenix Throne is certainly to my eyes hopping. I've bands to join every night and we have enemies to fight often enough to keep it interesting.
With 6% left to go to 32, I managed to finally get my Devastator Vestments.
Thanks go to Vilydes for running the band that night fantastically. With 4% left to go, I felt confident I could scout what may have been a Destro attack on Ghronds. On the way, I got my rr30. In Ghronds, I left t3 in style.
Dropping boiling oil on people over and over until I died so suddenly neither I nor the Rune Priest healing me could believe it. That is until the hammers and shield came up. 32, chicken and leaving the tier happy.
Still I've learned names, gotten used to some peoples methods and as Orrekai passes into t4 (and on that particular night, despite a zone crash, an awesome t4 battle), Vorri takes his place at the bottom of t3. The only thing I can say now though? For the love of all that is proper and Dwarfy, defend keeps. Influence is tasty.
Vorri as before has entered well and I am sure will leave well, having come up with people I recognise and cannot wait to play with in T4.
Special thanks to Krellgar, Dachtwar, Vilydes, Compassion, Halstadt and Thomgrim all of PT.