Posts Tagged ‘warhammer’


Rethinking hobbies

May 15, 2009

It’s no surprise that sometimes me & Spinks settle down to chat about some of our favourite MMO chestnuts (so to speak). This time, I actually asked her to take a look at something that I was considering and add her suggestions/comments, and we got to do a proper ol’ brainstorm, sibling-style.

The topic I was considering started at crafting, and then kind of veered off to hobbies and generalist abilities (oft-called secondaries in World of Warcraft if I’m not mistaken). Some of the problems of terminology come with the MMO disparities. In WoW fishing is a secondary, in LotRO a hobby, and in other games probably a craft. Spinks suggested I try and break down what I had, but I’m still having some trouble with that, so here’s a few suggestions we’d like to see in games. Some could be full-on trade/craft skills, some could be hobbies, some skills any class could buy, secondary abilities… some may appear in games already, I hope they do!

  • Taxidermy – let us, the player characters, make trophies for housing and/or clothing. I love the trophies in LotRO, everyone’s keen on trophies in WAR. It’s a nice customisation option which can be kept controlled and can be done. This is probably a full-on crafting skill, producing fluff items that never need to have stats but would always be desirable to sell to other players as decorative items.
  • Hunting – why should a hunter be the only class that can track beasts? Is that really a core skill. In Conan, surely anyone used to wandering the wilderness could pick up some basic tracking skills. More of a secondary here, because it should be open to every class in some way – could be seen as an extension to quest guides (or ‘red blobs’ as I call them)
  • Sailing/Swimming – would it really hurt a game to let players sail or swim a little faster if they chose to train in this ‘hobby’ over other ones? I know player-crafted boats are in Vanguard, and in DAoC you could even have a guild boat. But even in a game where you’d have to hire a boat, you could be a sailor and let it go a little faster. All games have some aspect of swimming, so a swimming skill may not be quite as useless as we once thought it was in DAoC (for everyone who didn’t play, you could up your swimming skill, but it was often cited as the most useless skill to up by players!)
  • Gardening – for games with housing, why not let us take on some landscape design projects. Also could involve collecting plants and specimens from around the world and to grow and combine them. Could work as a more tricky version of herbalism too, kind of mixing what WoW and WAR do with herbalism and cultivation, but also having a decorative side (also for floral wreaths and daisy chains for character decoration)
  • Horse-training – this one fits in the realm of either hobby or craft, depending on resale values of mounts that could be customised, either with tackle, or speed, or colour variations. If we can buy mounts, why can’t we have player-trained ones who have other skills. Maybe they can do dressage, maybe they can jump higher or run a little faster. Instead of making a better horse/mount a reward, let us buy them from other players who take the time to train them in some bizarre mini-game.
  • Farrier – taking on some of the traditional skills of the blacksmith, allow players to make things for their mounts (or to sell to other players for theirs). Horseshoes that increase speed, or add stability over certain terrains.
  • Animal husbandry – probably the one I’d want most. Games have farmers, I want to have a chicken farm, or stock cows in my off-time. I’m sure games exist that have this in them (not least Tale in the Desert), especially on the farming side to provide ingredients for cooks. As a hobby though, let me BE a crazy cat lady in game and sell cosmetic pets to my peers. Maybe I have to catch the cats, breed them, whatever… allow me to do this and I might enjoy crafting and hobbies more.
  • Falconry – a kind of mix between animal husbandry and hunting, let us have hunting birds that aren’t necessarily useful in combat but that can hunt and track and bring back food. Big training aspect to this (and I’m already dreaming of sending my falcon to loot a corpse)
  • First aid – WoW has this with bandaging. I think all games should have something similar. The first one I’ve included that I KNOW exists out there, but I feel strongly about it!
  • Brewing/Vintner – LotRO has brewing to some extent, WAR should have had it. Let us produce the crops and make the drinks. Ok, there may be problems with the under-age market, but really… wine and beer! It’s then up to the game whether these have any properties, but LotRO has shown that just giving players a drunk effect is a decent bit of fluff. Funnily enough tobacco in LotRO seems to have died more of a death, fluffwise.
  • Music – Again, LotRO has this to some extent, the ability to teach and learn instruments, form bands and play music. Definitely a hobby, as it’s hard to imagine a way to make money out of it (unless you form a skimpily-dressed girlband of course. Mindboggle)
  • Languages – Once destined for World of Warcraft, and included in EQ if I’m not mistaken (as well as DAoC somewhat), the ability to learn languages of other races/peoples – assumes a diverse culture in-game, certain this will be in SW:TOR too.
  • Cartography – Now here’s an idea for explorers. Some kind of hobbyist explorations coupled with the crafting ability to put it down on paper and teach people certain maps. I’d buy a map to an instance in-game, and off another player. It’s a bit fluff-like, but I’d put it in just because of my own love of exploration (when I have a chance)
  • Calligraphy – definitely a hobby – make in-game mails look prettier!

I know I’ll get comments telling me which games have what, and I’d welcome them. I love to think some of these have been well-implemented, and I hope, in the future, that MMOs will have the depth to give us a full in-game experience of hobbies, crafts, abilities etc.

Thanks once again to Spinks for many of the above ideas! Go read her blog!


Playing tag

April 15, 2009

That cheeky Ardua over at Echoes of Nonsense has tagged me in GirlIRL‘s meme. I don’t mind, as I planned to answer it over at Book of Grudges, but hell, thought I’d do it over here too as it’s slightly better suited on my general purpose blog, and at the moment my BoG blogging isn’t really reaching any dizzy heights of greatness (I know this people, I really do).

1. What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)? Explain how you chose the name.

On LotRO it’s Idris, chosen because I like the name and because I first played around with it on WoW.

On WAR it’s Kaja, picked to be Norse-y when we started WAR on a RP server. I kind of wanted either Kaya or Kaia or Kaja, but in the end I liked the j. Just noone now pronounces it right!

2. What was the name of your very first character in an MMO? Explain how you chose that name.

My very first surname was Nim Little on DAoC, and the Nim was picked as a hang-over from my MUSH days. My last MUSH post was as Changeling Wizard on Dublin by Night where we all had names from Arthurian legend. I was Sangreal when I was an Admin and then Nimue when I became a Wiz (MU* terminology with no apologies here). So when I started on DAoC, I shortened it because I didn’t want to use anything too Arthurian and because I didn’t really have a feeling about RP names, but it seemed ‘good enough’. A close friend online started called me Nimlet, so when a surname was gettable it was suggested that I pick Little (I was also a very small char), so I picked it. Plus, as I was a friar, I liked the gentle Robin Hood reference. I don’t think anyone has ever asked before.

3. Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?

I keep a stable of names, from those I always use to back-up ones I like. But if I start on a RP server and none of my names suit, I’ll pick another (see WAR naming).

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 try to get Nim, but never do. My current MMO pals all know me as Idris, so I try and get that – and frequently don’t, and after that I don’t bother. If husband is playing or planning on playing, I grab Ylyana for him. Weirdly enough, there’s probably other names I’d quite like, but I’m fairly laid-back if I can’t get Nim or Idris!

5. Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?

WAR – healer

LotRO – healer/melee hybrid (specced for healing)

6. What archetype was your very first character in an MMO? Why did you choose it?

My first archetype was a healer/melee hybrid (the friar in DAoC). I picked it because Spinks suggested I try either a Cleric or a Friar as, for some reason I don’t remember, I must have said I wanted to be able to heal. We certainly had no plans to duo at the time, so she wasn’t angling for a pet healer, I do know that. She told me how the classes were and that friars were a bit gimped but expecting a buff (she’d read all the beta forums, I did actually start the game in the first week of release), and anyway the idea of being a monk in a robe with a quarterstaff REALLY appealed. So I went with the friar and never looked back. We need more monk classes.

7. Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally? Why?

I suppose my previous answers have kind of answered this already, I tend to play healers, but healer hybrids. My only pure healer has been the Rune Priest. I do really enjoy healing, especially in high pressure environments, but I also like decent armour, so the hybrids call out to me.

8. What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?

Hrrm, a tricky one, as I don’t look back ALL that much. And while there’s stuff I miss from DAoC and WoW, I’m not sure any of them are ‘features’ as opposed to just bits of content. I miss massive free-for-all raids in DAoC, master levels, epics, Darkness Falls, battlegrounds, and relic raids. I miss shifting in WoW (I played a druid 4-5 times), again, the instances, and um.. some of the PvP.

9. Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free? Which and why?

Despite this being a love letter to DAoC, it’s too old a game for me to go back to. I’d probably play WoW if it were free, or if I’d had a lifetime sub. Purely because it’s a common denominator game and I imagine me and my friends could have fun there if we ever were in the mood to level there all at the same time, and not out of synch with one another (as has happened). I’ve said before I’d never go back, but I would, in the right circumstances, and being free to play would help those.

10. How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO (total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level reached, etc.)?

That’s a tricky one, because as GirlIRL said, it depends whether I’m levelling on in endgame. I find a character successful for me if I enjoy playing it enough to not want to roll an alt within the first 10-15 levels. After that it’s probably basic stuff, like level reached and dungeons/quests achieved. I tend to take each task as it comes and try and conquer it. For example, in LotRO, I’ll feel good about Idris again when I’m Kindred with the damn Galadhrim because that’s my current trawl. Before that it was getting the Radiance gear which was tougher and more fun. Plus, if I’m finding groups and able to play through the content I WANT to play through. I rarely look at damage or healing tables. If we live and I’m the healer, that’s a success ;p

Now. Do I tag more people? Probably!

Ok, who do I want to hear from:

War of Alts – I want to know where Roo got the name and more DAoC memories

Spinksville – because I think I know the answers, but I want to test my sibling knowledge

MMeOw – let’s spread it to the LotRO blogs, and this is one I read all the time!

Only going to name these three, as I think it’ll get fairly well spread about anyway and I’m lazy!


Next stages

January 20, 2009

So the next stage of getting back into blogging properly on WAR is to go through all those lovely new blogs (and I’ve peeked at most of them and they are pretty fun), and add them to my feed reader. To stay informed on European things.. well, I’m hoping people give me a little slack as I’m getting my head around it. And try to make some contacts on the various servers – actually, that’s my plan for this weekend, truthfully!

It’s strange, I actually used to work in the field of internet communications consultancy, and wrote papers on community-building, etc. But it was all to do with massive multinationals and activists and bringing the two sides together. And I prefer random blogging, really. But I do feel insane loyalty to the games-blogging community, whatever game – though especially WAR, I guess. I’d say especially LotRO too, but the game doesn’t have a very vocal blogging community.

And sometimes I wonder about that, but then.. how often did I mention LotRO on Book of Grudges? How often before that did I think about talking about it, but didn’t? Yes, I guested on a LotRO podcast but that was because I was morbidly curious to hear how I sounded, and because we were discussing my love of the time – monster play.

Anyway, as I juggle opinion pieces here, and community stuff there, things might get a bit jumbled. Always feel free to prod me in the right direction. All your views mean a LOT to me.