Posts Tagged ‘warhammer online’


Finishing up the Feed Reader

November 5, 2009

It’s clear! I’ve read it all! And with a cat sleeping on my keyboard so I can’t type without hitting her ear (got to love helpful cats). So here goes, with two stories from a variety of blogs this time – one about WAR and one about LotRO:

A lot’s been written about the new WAR free trial, taking out the 10 day restriction and just opening up Tier 1 for free play. WAR is a game that will always be close to my heart and I would definitely boot it up sometime post-Mirkwood and play through some Nordenwatch for old time’s sake. I hope it gets them some extra subs, and going streaming is great too. Of course, it’s not ALL good news, because apparently GOA hasn’t announced a similar scheme yet.

When we were writing The Book of Grudges back in the day, it always frustrated me how much of my time I had to spend talking about the differences between the EU and US experience for players. I thought I’d dropped that as a topic when I switched to a more generic blog, but now it’s raised its ugly head for me in LotRO. Turbine run and develop the game in the US. Codemasters run it in Europe. In terms of server stability and even my own personal experience with GMs, I have no problem with the Codemasters service. But, it did take an age to get EU players access to the Lorebook for editing purposes (a bit of a smokescreen I have to say and one I never got behind, because I think the Lorebook is pretty pointless).

But with the my.lotro service, Turbine has finally produced something related to the game that I am actually jealous of, and which I’m mad at both Turbine and Codemasters for not extending to the EU players. So now to the links, right? Well, both Casual Stroll to Mordor and Doc Holiday talk about the new class-specific lotteries being held on my.lotro at the moment. And this follows some more generic lotteries. It sounds fun, it sounds community-building, and we don’t get it. Grr.

(Spinks just asked if I’d pick an EU service again. It’s looking less and less tempting with each game with a split in service).


When is an Expansion not an Expansion?

September 14, 2009

Back in the day I was a bit mean about Warhammer’s ‘live expansion’, calling it a mere update. People are already saying the same about Siege of Mirkwood. Both undoubtedly add content to the game, one through digital download and payment, the other through a summer of added content. The Warhammer one was free, deservedly so, as the game needed the changes it brought badly. The Mirkwood one will only be available to purchase as a download. Not seen either before in my MMO-ing, but that IS limited to Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft before either of the above games.

Perhaps we’re too harsh sometimes on definitions. If the developer calls it an expansion it’s an expansion. Just because it doesn’t fit into our preconceived idea of one, hey, things change… it’s expanded/added content and the word mostly fits. Now, whether Mirkwood is smaller or bigger than one of LotRO’s content updates (that are traditionally free), remains to be seen. We’re a cynical bunch, we love to remind ourselves that LotRO launched with the promise of an expansion a year. Come on, did anyone necessarily expect them to keep that pace? Especially seeing/reading what was left out of the Mines of Moria due to time constraints.

And would you rather a developer rushed out some content to make good on such a promise, or just released stuff when they felt it was ready? Yes, they may lose some players in the intervening period, and they make their money on a monthly basis, but there will always now be a degree of MMO curiosity (or tourism) in the playerbase. We’re all too interested to see what the new games come up with, and how some of the features could be added to the game we actually like. Or, we could find a new home! We’re fickle, and that’s no bad thing. It keeps devs adding improvements and content! And so the cycle continues.

I’m sure my views of Mirkwood are coloured by the fact I bought a Lifetime sub in beta for LotRO, so I really haven’t paid for it for its entire life. I paid £15 for Moria, Mirkwood should be similar if they keep the $20 and just convert it to sterling. And I have no problem spending £15/year on a game I love! My feeling is though, and I’m usually a natural cynic, so take this with a punch of salt, that Mirkwood will be worth the money. It may feel like a large book update, which we’ve previously had free, but if Turbine can’t support providing them for free, then I’ll live with that. The company will have to live with it, and see where people vote with their money.


A Little Pissed

August 7, 2009

Decided I wanted to check out WAR for a month or so to say hi to people. Decided to use 10 day reactivation offer to use old chars and account to do so. They want me to transfer them all to some random server, not the one I want. My fault perhaps. But I’ll be starting over on Karak Norn to try and find a couple of you.

I will be returning to Comic Con slow coverage. Just life is a bitch at the moment!


As if by magic…

July 23, 2009

Beach and CC day 1 030

(Aion – Comic Con style)

Yes, I will blog about stuff sometime. It’s crazy, I’ve done mostly stuff that isn’t game-related. But thought I’d stick to games for the first post.

And for the record, I couldn’t resist:

Beach and CC day 1 033


Some Links – Catching Up

July 8, 2009
  • My favourite speculation on WoW’s Cataclysm comes from Killed in a Smiling Accident. I’d love this to be the case, and it does neatly solve a few problems for Blizzard.
  • Shadow WAR brings up one aspect about Land of the Dead I hadn’t previously considered. It may not be the same on every server, but still…
  • Skar weighs in with his views of WAR’s LotD, touching on one of my everlasting bugbears – Mythic’s PR. It’s interesting reading, as always
  • I love Gaarawarr’s correlations between Monopoly and WAR. Playing Monopoly with my family is about the nearest to PvP I get in real life ;p
  • I’m with Syp, in that Aion isn’t for me. I’ve played some of the beta – it’s gorgeous, the flying is fun and the quests and classes are fine, but for the moment, it’s just not for me – I doubt I’ll write much more about it except to say this, too many people are covering it in much more detail. I’m just busy!
  • Green Armadillo isn’t wrong, Turbine offering too many return-to-LotRO events one after another is a little weird – no idea what to make of it, but do hope they announce Rohan pretty quickly


June 24, 2009

Well, I’ve been asking for a while where Mark Jacobs has got to. Thanks to the Warhammer Herald and Wall of Text we now know:

Mark Jacobs, current General Manager of Mythic will leave EA on June 23, 2009. We thank Mark for his contributions at Mythic and wish him the very best going forward. Mark played a major part in the success of Mythic with his contribution as General Manager and Lead Designer of WAR.”

I’m not that surprised, we’ve heard nothing from him for a while now. And he’s not known for keeping quiet! Anyway, the change is apparently due to a restructure within EA to bunch together the RPG and MMO groups:

EA is restructuring its RPG and MMO games development into a new group that includes both Mythic and BioWare. This newly formed team will be led by Ray Muzyka, co-founder and General Manager of BioWare. With this change, Ray becomes Group General Manager of the new  RPG/MMO studio group. BioWare’s other co-founder, Greg Zeschuk will become Group Creative Officer for the new RPG/MMO studio group. Rob Denton will step up as General Manager of Mythic and report to Ray. BioWare’s studios remain unchanged and continue to report to Ray.

It can’t really hurt to have Bioware involvement, in my opinion – and will definitely be interesting to see how the studios work together. In reality, a lot of companies at the moment are stripping out layers of management, and we know EA is trying to keep costs as low as it can. I’m sure there will be some interesting creative mixes in Bioware and Mythic, and who knows what exciting projects or changes will come out of it.

And let’s face it, we’ll all be paying attention to see where Mark goes next.


BoGged Down

June 17, 2009

Today I removed Book of Grudges from my ‘Favorites’ list. Can’t believe it stayed on there that long, esp. as it’s not exactly hard for me to memorise and type out the URL if I ever want to check it out. Felt strange though, so I thought I’d mention it.

Which brings me to WAR. The pre-Land of the Dead live event has started in the US and is coming to the EU today (ok, so it amused me to have the words Dead and live so close together in a badly-formed sentence), and the buzz has started. Patch 1.3 is out in the wild, ready for action. Sounds like people are having fun with it, though I’ve not immersed myself in too much chit-chat about the ‘expansion’ so far. Mostly because I’ve decided to give it another month before considering WAR again. Partly for things to settle in, so I can take my time about it, and partly cos I’m away for 2.5 weeks in June and I’m too cheap to pay for a month’s play when I can’t make use of it. Ha ha. At least I admit it!

In LotRO, rejoined my old kin, and was a bit overwhelmed by background chatter again, albeit friendly and welcoming. Was the right choice at the right time, and we celebrated by um… doing a 3-man instance 3 times (that sounds like we were invoking some weird spell, I wonder if we went around widdershins or deosil!). Anyway, was a good night and about all I could manage after finally getting on my bike and doing a commute to and from work for the first time in a while.

Dentist today. !joy. Then maybe alcohol, depending what dentist does. One of my fave co-workers leaves this week, and the mood is therefore sober and not-sober all at the same time.