Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You gotta fight for your right to party

On City of Heroes there have been a few fight night type things organised. Tanker Tuesdays on Champion, Golden Giza nights on Virtue, Supergroup clashes (iirc) on Test server. The community which has had years to grow pulls together in various different ways to play together.

At the moment in WAR, people are pointing out a lack of cohesion thus far. Guilds are taking care of their own sure (Or at least one hopes they are and that Oathkeepers Legacy isn't an abberation). The realms have a rough identity as well.

However it seems that a good stand up scrap is elusive. Werit has lamented the lack of non primetime action. Snaffy over on the Greenskin also talks about how many MMOs suffer from a lack of critical numbers at other times of the day. I, myself, have commented many times on Ostermark servers seeming tendancy towards early bird Order and night owl Destruction, with the zone control swinging after some seemingly invisible watershed time.

Another good point from Snaf is that there are no current "go to" areas. Or if there are, we either don't all know about them, or I just don't because Im in the bottom end of T3 and haven't played much recently (due to Girlfriend rather than lack of desire).

We can lament the fact that the roleplaying on Roleplay servers seems not be as prevalent as some other games, but I won't because I prefer roleplay lite. We could decry the fact that late afternoon/early evening EST isn't primetime but being on GMT myself I've long since accepted the fact.
We could hope that once the server gets enough of a mature population (in the sense of levels rather than maturity) that the campaign will coalese along the lines laid out for us and the fight will begin in earnest.

Many things could be hoped or said or wished for. I, however, am going to try an experiment.

God willing my fickle attention span will hold out long enough to see it to fruition and that I will put as much energy into its dawn as I used to into the blog.

I want to organise a completely out of character fight night on Ostermark.
In my own teeny opinion, nothing will bring a server together better than having rivals. While the other realm is a faceless mass seemingly bent on opposing us and taking the best bits of geography (Bregel has much to say on this, but rightly so) there's no real sense of connection. We already can't talk to one another except by going outside the game. The seeming solution is to then forge a connection. For the first few attempts, I am going to try organise a well behaved and informal fight night. People or teams will sign up. There may be themed battles (I've a few bad puns for that).

Basically until we get to know one another, we can't really get to rival one another.
When Norri, my engineer, came up through T2 I ran alot of Mourkain Temple scenarios. Not because I was grinding xp/money/rp but because I genuinely enjoyed the experience. In doing so I started to recognise names. Maybe they were grinding, maybe they were just enjoying the play. Maybe they prefer scenarios. At any rate, I could have my own rivalry. I could yell "That guy, I know him, let's kill him". The war became personal, but still fun.

Hopefully Fight Night will get off the ground and hopefully it will do the same for a few people that scenarios did for me. So expect me to try to infiltrate forums and blogs this coming weekend.

I'm not looking to hate the other side, but I am looking to get to know people so caving their heads in will be that bit more personal and fun. A friendly rivalry now is tomorrows guild on guild keep battle.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ardy Proudly Presents a Blog Entry

When was the last time you were proud of an achievement? When was the last time that it wasn't just a tick on a list, but rather a crowning moment in your game?

Or even better, when was the last time someone was proud of what they've given you to play?

We all have different definitions of a defining moment. However nowadays people are less interested in having the crowning moment of awesome than they are in ticking all the boxes in the checklist of their game. Have to win... have to complete everything... have to get ready for the next hurdle and pointless task. Not because it's fun, but because we're compelled to.

We all have different cherished memories in life, games and everything else besides. One strong memory for me was the change in my own thinking between Command and Conquer Red Alert and Red Alert 2.

I've always had many gaps in my geekery so to speak. I've never, for example, played a Blizzard game barring a five minute attempt at WoW. I haven't ever developed a taste for anime like many of my friends. There are books and comics and the other media that seem to be woven into the concept of "geek" that I just have never had the pleasure of nor bothered with (Watchmen, I'm looking at you).

My first experience with RTS games was with Settlers, way way back and played on an Amiga. After that I didn't come back to them till the Playstation. Command and Conquer mind you, not Dune.
Fortunately I could rent alot of Playstation games, and I came across Red Alert. It was fun, it was an RTS and I enjoyed it. Beyond that, I don't remember much. It just didn't impact me the way some games do (though I did love the Chronotank and missed it in later installments). I played the expansion in the same manner, fiddling with the Playstation controller and being paranoid that my brother on a borrowed and linked Playstation was looking over my shoulder to see what I was doing.

Roll on RA2. Man was it a different beast entirely. This time, this time I was on the PC. I was comfortable with computing. I was expecting a mere game.
I got an experience.

The Premier was plotting. America would be his. The Kirovs cast shadows on skyscrapers as the sound of jackboots revved up. The Hell March kicked in and man did it kick ass. Fantastic music, a sense of story and in the middle of it all... Westwood Proudly Presents. This was their baby and they were proud to show it to me, to let me play with the game and to enjoy the movie that came between missions.
I was hooked. Yuri’s Revenge? Same thing all over again. An experience. A cherished memory.

There was a Penny Arcade strip that in a nutshell dealt with EA. When they mass produced crap, they made money hand over fist. Since trying for smart, clever or just simply good games? They make a loss.

I'm supporting them during this loss with my copies of Warhammer and Red Alert 3. This is not EA fanboyism though. This is something else besides. It's something visceral.

The Empire delivered their ultimatum. One lone man on the cliffs saw the ships approaching... and in the middle of the opening of Hell March 3. EA proudly presented.

Everything I do in that game isn't just a tick on a list. It's a proper achievement, hard fought and hard won.

I am proud.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm not quitting

Everyone in Warblogosphere has commented by now. Some are staying, some are going. Some have clever plans to reignite the fun. Others have defined expectations of fun and others have found their center.
Me? I'm still plugging away. Being an infrequent writer (I have excuses, some of them are even good) and frequent player.

The world is no less beautiful than it was when I first logged in. In fact it is more so as I never could look above the horizon on my specs during beta, but that all changed for live.
The flavour of the world is still Warhammer.
The fun is what you make it, and me? I'm making it as best I can.

So... completely pointless entry of the month here. I'm not quitting WAR. I see no reason to leave somewhere I am enjoying still, despite a slowdown personally in tier 2, despite population questions and for the simple fact that some of the complaints bandied about can only ever be fixed by staying.

So folks. Ostermark is the place. Orrekai and Norri are the names.
I'm still there, why don't you drop by an open party? We'll make some fun. It'll be a blast.

Upcoming : Badlands on Orrekai and running around RvR lakes, causing trouble, on Norri.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Zomg nudies!

On Virtue server in City of Heroes, the cyber crowd is easy to spot.Either a) their profile has the little tag "Erp" or b) they're in Pocket D. I know that is a broad generalisation but more often than not it is accurate. Even dawdling in the D can sometimes be dangerous to your sense of squick. One time I was playing one of my female toons (gasp!) and a friend was playing one as well. They were roleplayed as sisters and were having a harmless chat in the Tiki Lounge.
Along came a chap and he sent me a tell. "Mrp?". I asked what he was on about and eventually got the blunt answer of "I'm asking if you two are mrping, if so I want to join". Eww.

Such is life on Virtue. The leather clad succubi and hyperactive nearly naked catgirls are possibly the most harmless of the crowd.
I'm sure that most other games where there are roleplay servers will eventually encounter the problem of digital nookie.The thing is ... I can't tell if it's going on in Warhammer or not (granted, do I really want to know?).

Allow me to set the scene. Myself and a friend have rolled up Witch Hunters for the purposes of eventually causing mayhem at keep sieges and defense. Edelmann and Katrine had joined up with a Bright Wizard friend (whose name I've forgotten, sorry Sare) to enjoy Nordland.
That's when I came across the pair. A male Warrior Priest standing in a field, with a naked Bright Wizard lady standing in front of him. A little unusual I thought, but I wrote it off as someone going for nude unlocks. After all the Tome rewards you running around in your skivvies so...

But then doubt set it. We were fighting at the beaches and as is my habit, I got more aggro than I could manage and had to trudge back from the Grey Lady twice. Both times, they're still standing in that field...

So we did as amused and nosey players would. Edelmann and Katrine, Witch Hunters both, ran up and demanded an explanation for the possibly heretical behaviour. Can't trust those Wizards you know, they have truck with magic and that way madness and Chaos lies.

The response to our in character accusation? An emoted eyebrow raise and then a run for the border. Cue the Benny Hill add-on (Seriously, someone should write that) and begin the chase. Shouting and hollering for the witch and heretic to stop and face Sigmars Inquisition.
Eventually they escaped through the flight master and we ourselves had no interest in chasing them further.

I'm left with a question though. Did we four have an amusing roleplayed moment? Did we confuse and chase off someone dual boxing or duoing who was after nude unlocks? Or did we actually bust a couple getting it on in the middle of a field which happens to be in the rough path between two PQ's and the Grey Lady?

You can never be sure after all.

On a final naked note, there is apparently a bug that will make someone appear as though they are nude when mounted, despite being fully armored. Kaelani, our Archmage in Oathkeepers Legacy, declared that she was Lady Godiva!I declared that I had that title.

Yes ladies and gents, summon a mount in your capital while naked and you too can be Lady Godiva.