March 22, 2009

Why Are You Here?

I'm feeling a bit on the curious side here. What got you to start playing WAR? Are you a die-hard Warhammer fan and Dawn of War just wasn't cutting the mustard for you? Are you a hype gobbler/ compulsive MMO tourist. Did you want Dark Age of Camelot: Now With Squigs? Did the Free Trial hook you in (while also giving your friends precious, precious vanity pets)? Or were you a World Shaper who tested the game way back in beta?
I was a launch day buying, pre-launch hype-gobbler. I got especially enamored on WAR from Rock Paper Shotgun's coverage of the game. I had never played an MMO before, but all of a sudden, something just clicked in my mind and I had to try one out. I didn't want to start playing WoW because of the negative stigma that my circle of friends have for it (despite all of us having played every Blizzard game since Warcraft 2). So, on the word of RPS, WAR was my game of choice, and I haven't stopped since.

Hot Fix: Lords Are Now Of Sane Mind

I like that Mythic is being a tad playful about it's announcement for fixing a bug that's been causing outcries since the first fort take.
"Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause Fortress and Keep Lords to display erratic behavior, abandoning their guards and fighting alone on the ground floor of the Keep or Fortress. Lords will now remain on the appropriate floor with their guards during the entire battle."
Because it was the Lords' fault all along: they had gone crazy and decided that they didn't need any guards and that it was their house; they could go wherever they wanted to.

March 13, 2009

Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link

My spotlight today goes out to someone else who is enjoying his Choppa at the moment. Ghazghkull (how do you even pronounce that: Gaz-kull?) is a fairly new blogger who has a good grasp on how to insert humor into walls of text. He is a screenshot and picture junkie like I aspire to be more of, giving his posts some nice colour. He also has keen photoshopping/ms paint skills (if the definition of keen meant "total noobsauce").

It's always enjoyable reading posts from someone who obviously enjoys the game and enjoys writing about it so check him out.

The Post Where I Brag About How Good I Am

With 15 levels under my belt, I feel like I can give a proper recounting of my Choppa's 1v1 experiences so far. For those keeping score I'm using a 2 hander and am pretty well geared at all times with either blues, greens or PQ set items. An important detail I should mention is that these took place entirely in scenarios so bolster is applied to both sides unless otherwise noted.

Slayers: Equal win-to-loss ratio. I found that I had more luck against duel wielding slayers than 2 handed slayers.

Full-on zerg on zerg, the Choppa seems to win out slightly more over the Slayer, but I think that's just because I remember the victories more than the defeats.

Rune Priests: Don't have a chance. They can't outheal at this level, and, with no CC to speak of (while Choppas get their snare and Charge early on) it's not even a challenge.

Archmages: Same as Rune Priests.

Warrior Priests: They win more often but I have killed some 1v1. Sometimes they are too focused on doing damage that they forget to heal themselves. That's when I pull out my exhaustive blows and finish them off. Choppas win more in T1, but WPs fare better in T2

Bright Wizards: Hah!

Engineers: I've killed a lot of higher leveled Engineers (like rank 14 vs 20) if I can get close to them before they see me. Otherwise, I've been kited, rooted, knocked down by land mines and knocked back skillfully enough that the Engies end up winning. Most of the time, what makes or breaks these fights, is in how well-timed the root is, if I have Charge! ready to be used, and if I can kill them fast enough that they don't gain access to their lvl 1 Morale Super Knockback.

Shadow Warriors: Advantage goes to the Choppa. If the SW can kite, root and DoT me up long enough before I get in close, they can switch to Assault stance and finish me off just fine. Most of the time the Shadow Warrior is unskilled though and I just plow through them.

White Lions: I didn't get any opportunities for a 1 on 1 but in the group melee scraps, they seem to go down just as fast as Slayers and Witch Hunters.

Witch Hunters: These fights are always the most interesting and the most fun. If they can get the jump on me with their Incognito skill they will more than likely win. If I get the drop on them it's a pretty even fight. More often than not, the fights ended in a tie (meaning one would die, then the other would fall because of a DoT). These fights never end with the winner at more than 25% health and are more dependant on who gets they're exhaustive blow/ accusation / sever nerve off first.

Tanks: Didn't fight any 1 on 1, but I do remember a lvl 21 KotBS lasting a long time against 3 lvl 11-13 Choppas, killing one and leaving another at 50% health. It was quite a frustrating fight.

These are entirely what I've experienced so far and in no way should be taken as stone-cold fact.

As a final note, my favourite attack is Weaklin' Killa. No other exhausting blow even matters.

Truly Heartfelt.

To: Fellow Community Members
From: Me
Subject: I'm Sorry

The community has shown me some love and I ignored them. I lagged behind on my blog and WHA checking and it turns that on the 8th, I was part of the Warhammer Alliance's front page WCPI spotlights. Big thanks for the spotlight!
Other links I have missed are the Bloody Twenty, and Ghazghkull.
If anyone else out there has an unacknowledged link to me that I've missed please comment so that I can give proper thanks!

March 12, 2009

Not Impressed

Today, I saw 2 full Order Warbands, after pushing us around the lake for a while, hole our one WB up in Mandred's Hold. I then saw them break through the door in about no time flat. I then saw them pull the Keep Lord down to the ground floor. In Tier 2. Even though they clearly had the upper hand. We prevented them from getting their loot bags, but they still wiped us pretty quickly anyways. I have to say I wasn't impressed. I didn't think people were still doing this In Tier 2 of all places.

Choppa: The Early Years

A few days ago I may have mentioned that I would be playing WAR less due to my nerdy tunnel vision pointing itself in other, non WAR directions. This was false. I don't know why I thought that the Choppa wouldn't pull me in but that was a bad call on my part. All of my free time has been dedicated to chopping with no signs of slowing down. It's been a blast.

Since I'm so tired of leveling exclusively in ORvR, I'm leveling Chopzaloz with a mix of everything, but generally avoiding the RvR lakes. From all of the PQ and influence rewards, I've forgotten what it's like to get blues and greens constantly flowing in, instead having to wait for the renown gear. Easy PQs are my new best friend.

Heals? Who needs heals when we can outchop anything that stands in the way of our Waaagh!

Do you know which scenarios I used to hate? Phoenix Throne, Khaine's Embrace and Stonetroll Crossing. Do you know which scenarios are really fun now that half of the players are MDPS? Phoenix Throne, Khaine's Embrace and Stonetroll Crossing. Now that everyone has high damage and low health, they move at a brisk pace and the tides are constantly changing. The Gates of Ekrund scenario also plays much differently now that no one is on the top floor nuking the middle.

For crafting I've taken up Salvaging and Talisman making. It fits well with all the PQs I've been doing. I've breached the level 50 mark on both of them.

Chopzaloz, sneaking up on a surprisingly well detailed sparrow.

Chopzaloz is level 14 now and I'm thoroughly enjoying my time with him. My Zealot needs some love but he can wait.

March 10, 2009

Music Soothes the Soul and Wastes the Time

Another thing that's been keeping me from WAR, or taking up all of my alt-tabbing time while playing WAR, is sorting through the new OCRemix cd: Summonning of Spirits. Tales of Symphonia was my first ever JRPG and it holds a very special place in my heart. So special in fact that I haven't picked up the sequel, for fear that all of my fond memories of Symphonia are just nostalgia and the fact that everything was new and awesome back then to me.

This new CD is such a time-sink to me because whenever a new OCRemix collaboration CD comes out, I always end up trolling OCR's and vgmixes' archives looking for lost gems. This time is no exception.

This is a high quality remixing job and everyone should pick it up. It is free after all.

March 9, 2009

Definitive Link to Gaarawarr

My WCPI spotlight will be towards Gaarawarr and his extensive armour set guide. He lists, he explains, he defines, he extensifies and most importantly, he does all of the work for you. It really is very helpful and I'm using it to plan out how my first T4 character will level so that I can have the best set gear the earliest.
Cheers to you Gaarawar wall-of-texting for all of us.

Tell Them Your Name

The good folks over at Sore Thumbs are collecting some research on gaming pseudonyms and why you choose them. I'm looking forward to the resulting article and I hope that anyone who reads my blog can add their own stories. To help you folks along I'll share my deep, dark origin story. No family members were killed but I assure there was much emotional trauma. This is the e-mail I sent out:

Hello, my name is PQQ

This tale has a few steps to it so it requires some back story. I used to game at my friends house alot because I had a Nintendo Gamecube, but he had a PS2 (much jealousy on my part). He also had a very small TV which will come into play later. All of my friends were Diablo II fans to some degree so it seemed like the purchasing, playing and enjoying of Champions of Norrath was a done deal. It was but that's not the point.
The point is name creation. I'd chosen an elf character and I wanted the name to sound elfin. I also wanted it to start with a P because my real name does. I also wanted it to be funny, and dirty. So I started with Poo. I worked it into Poosalot. I ended with Poozaloz. This was elfin enough and many a hero (male and female, the name is gender neutral) would pick up the mantle and do great things.
Except for James Bond.
He was too real of a character to receive an elf's name. When it came to 007: Nightfire's multiplayer, every one needed to create their own profile to save control schemes and such. These profiles needed a name. With impatient friends surrounding me, I had to think quick. I also had to uphold my crass tradition so I'd decided on my first idea back in the Norrath days. I named my profile POO. Well, I thought I did.
Remember when I mentioned that my friend had a small TV? Well the game had an even smaller font and an awkward circle function to select letters. The end result was me choosing the wrong big, round letter next to P. My profile was now PQQ.
The rest is history. It's my gamertag and online handle, While Poozaloz is what I rename main heroines in RPGs to. It is also what I rename Epona too in all Zelda games, unless I decide that she should be LowRida.

Cheers, PQQ.

As a side note on my blog here: I haven't used either of these names in WAR. Poozalaz I didn't think would get past the name censors (I have since found out that you can be called Assblack and Critoris and not get flagged). I didn't want to assign a character my official PQQ tag for fear of not liking that class and having the name go to waste.
What, dear readers, are your naming habits? Do you use the name you gave your first D&D character? Do you rename RPG characters after crushes* or loved ones? Do you go with what you used to sign arcade machine high scores with? Is it a variation of snipe or master chief like half of Xbox live gamertags? Let me know.

*Lol to anyone who did this to Aerith. Double lol to anyone who did this to Aerith even after knowing what happens to her.

What I'm Up To. A Promise to Return

So I've secured early Slayer and Choppa action and I've gone back into hibernation. Not for getting bored of the game at all (I'm still enjoying every day that I get to log in) but because I'm deep into my other nerd pursuits.

Since Psychonauts, I've gone on an adventure gaming binge and it'll be a while before I'm done with that. I've replayed all 4 Ace Attorney games which let me tell you, was no small feat. I finally finished off Hotel Dusk to get sweet, sweet closure. Hyde was an interesting character. I then finished Time Hollow in 2 days, but I have mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed the premise and the mystery, but thought that the characters were all so uninteresting. So very, very uninteresting. I only finished the game out of an instinctive need to.

Right now I'm playing through Grim Fandango, A Vampyre story, and the not so recently translated Fate/stay Night. I won't be writing any blog updates on these as I want to keep this a WAR-centric blog but now you know what I'm doing with my gaming time.

Also, with the new Watchmen movie out, I've pulled out and reread most of my trade paperbacks and picked up new ones so I'm also on a comic book binge right now.

Bear with me, because soon, I'll be catching up on all of the anime I've fallen behind on or forgotten about. The cycle that is my obsessive impulses will return to focus on WAR, but right now it's secondary. Or tertiarty.

March 5, 2009

Dark Elf Quest-Giver Flowchart

I'm a big fan of frivolous flow-charts so it was only a matter of time before I concocted one myself. This one here is a light-hearted take on how much Dark Elves hate the people who do all all of their work for them. It's a subject I touched on before in my pet-peeves post but I feel like I can lay it to rest here.
Click for full-view

Twisting Tower the Best Part. Swearing at Witch Hunters

My experiences so far with 1.2 have been mostly positive. Too much info for full paragraphs so some quick bullet points here:

  • My Hoeth specced, S&B Swordmaster still rocks the house in damage.

  • Twisting Tower scenario is sweet: 18 people? Hell Yes. The easiest to PUG and still win. It is also the hardest scenario to heal in I've ever seen. LOS is always getting broken.
  • Disregard my last comment about healing if you spam group heals. You will be in heaven in this scenario.

  • Speaking of PUGing, Order's strategy most of the time is to zerg the top-most room, feeding off of a slow trickle of diversionary kills, while destruction caps the points and wins by more than 200 points.
  • Me taking one for the team

  • The Greenskin oRvR lake PQ would be awesome if I could ever get a group going for it.
  • The exp bar now shows all of your rested exp. It looks great because I have a ton (the benefits of casual play).

  • The choppas and slayers duking it out make for a great place for Black Orcs to hide.
  • I didn't realize how many people pronounced slayers "slayas" until I spelled it that way by accident just now. This needs to stop. Dwarves wouldn't be caught dead speaking orcish so lets all go back to pronouncing in "slayERS" like we were meant too.

  • Squared addon is wonky now. It doesn't refresh right anymore. This isn't Mythic's fault but it's still annoying.

  • I've picked up 20 Glyph covered map pieces, but none of the other two kinds *sad face*.

  • Zone Domination hasn't visibly changed T3 oRvR for me. In_T4_though, it seems to cater to off-hours capping very easily.

  • Witch Hunters getting through posterns have ruined all of my attempts to solo defend a keep. I screeched like a little girl the first time it happened. I'm deeply considering leveling up my Witch Elf before counter measures to this become commonplace.

  • I don't see very many Witch Elves anymore. I'm lucky if there is two per warband.

  • Being able to hear my Zealot say "Bollocks!" on command with the new /swear emote makes me entirely too happy for such a little thing.

That's it for now. More updates as they happen

Wide Eyed Wall

March 2, 2009

Picking up my Sticks

Here it comes. I can't wait. When there's a new big patch coming out, I tend to hibernate and not play for the week leading up to it. It recharges my batteries and I get to catch up on any other games or books I've been leaving behind. But I'll be playing my heart out for sure, SuperScreenShotting everywhere. See everyone then.

February 28, 2009

Why Can't wcPI have a catchy acronym?

So I have joined up with the WCPI. Nothing warms my heart more than some link love, and I link to others often enough that the only thing that will really change will be my post titles. I started blogging near the end of the Age of Blogging so I know how great community cross promotion is. It's only natural that I take part in this too.

My first recommendation will be towards Mark's posts, while being intelligent and well written, almost always teach me things. His Shooting_Range posts are well done theorycrafting. Though his best posts come from his War College series. Reading things like these makes me glad I'm not an alliance leader, but then this comes along and makes me feel like I'm a terrible warband leader. All of this logistics talk and group duties and such make me glad that I'm just a peon.

February 25, 2009

Shrewd Marketing

Billboards like this are the reason that my first character was a Warrior Priest. He embodied everything that was bad-ass about Order.

When Can you Officially be Wrong

Seeing this post, while making me laugh, really got me thinking. I know it's not right to review a console game without finishing it, or playing it for an adequate amount of time. And I know it's annoying to hear people bash an MMO and call it failed after only playing for the first two weeks.

But where do you draw the line at what's a long enough time to have played an MMO? Does the amount of time that comes with the game purhase count as long enough? It's a game designed to be played for months on end so there's a good chance you won't have a max level character or seen all of the content. Does this make you unfit to review the MMO? Especially since the first month (when the most people will be trying out and reviewing it) is always the worst for an MMO. Speaking from experience, the WAR that I played in the first month wasn't the same WAR that I played for the past month.

The MMO bashers may be annoying, but are they wrong? When does your opinion about an MMO start to matter? I've been rethinking about how I view the naysayers on the internet when it comes to WAR. I used to think "they just played for a few days and now they feel like snarking it up in comment_threads," but now I'm starting to doubt. When do you start/stop having a valid opinion about an MMO? After every patch? After you've acquired the best gear? Only if you play an a populated server? It's not like they played an anti-WAR, meant to crush their souls until they quit. They played the finished product and it wasn't to their liking

We can't hide behind the ever-popular "it's a great game now, they fixed all those bugs and design issues," because that's not going to cut it. The MMO tourists have moved on and the loudest naysayers will, on principal, never resubsribe and continue to bash the game. It doesn't matter how good the game gets a year after release, it blew its chance by not being good enough at the start.

What I'm trying to say is don't hate the haters, hate the game that sucked when it mattered most.

February 23, 2009

Non-WAR Activity Log. One-Shotted.

This one is a wall of text so watch out.

WAR is my first MMO and I'm loving it to death. There's nothing like a good MMO and I won't be hanging it up anytime soon. That being said, first and foremost, I'm a console gamer. And for the past week I've been console gaming. The difference between when I've got a good console game to sink into and a good PC game to sink into is my amount of time spent on a computer. See, when I'm playing on a PC, good game or not, I'm constantly alt-tabbing, checking news-sites, blogs and whatever. This goes double for WAR. But playing on a TV set, with a controller in hand and a keyboard so very far away, I just don't have the urge log in. Except to check the herald and penny-arcade. Some things I just have to do.

It's hard to explain, but when I find a really good console game to play, it then becomes all that I do in my free time. For a really good computer game, I can always save, alt-tab, or whatever. I'm just programmed that way.

So what have I been playing that has so effectively kept me from WARing, blogging and general interneting? Psychonauts. An old Xbox game I never got around to picking up because at that time, I only had a gamecube. It's been on Steam for awhile but I've only recently acquired a capable computer. Lo and behold though, I found myself browsing the Xbox Originals tab. After picking up Sega Soccer Slam (great game about racial stereotypes beating each other up while occasionally kicking a ball around) I came upon Psychonauts and remembered the ridiculous amounts of adoration it's received from the press and blogs and reviews. So I bought it.

Seeing as Psychonauts is all that I've been doing outside of school/work for the past week, and that I really want to blog about it, I'm gonna write out my thoughts.

It plays like a platformer/collectathon with some (fairly easy) fighting. The bosses are especially easy, with the final one being the easiest. The different levels consist of different campers'/asylum inmates' brains and the variety and uniqueness of them are pretty huge. The "Milkman Conspiracy" will go down as one of the best levels of all time. The game is pretty easy for the most part but then something happens. Then you get to the Meat Circus level and the game becomes nigh-on impossible with a mix of timed portions and aggravatingly hard platforming. But it's the climax so you stick through it only to end up at a boss that's easier than all of the others. And then there's a satisfying ending cinematic.

The story was light-hearted and unique, with a save the world main plot and a romantic subplot that was very cute, but weird if you remember that they're ten years old. Wasn't that still deep in the cooties age? Right from the opening cinematic, the game snagged me with its charm and genuine humour. A lot has been said about how funny the game is so I won't really add much there, but the game is real funny, not poop joke funny. In between the happiness though, there are quite a few sad moments tucked away in corners, like Milla's secret room and Sasha's vaulted memories.

The characters are endearing and memorable, even the side one-note characters. If you take the time to see it they all have their own sub-plots going that are interesting for the most part. It also helps that the game is fully, 100% voiced, and acted well too. It's rare to see a game where the kids act like kids and it stays believable. They have child-like relationships with each other and it is all very respectfully written. My favourite kid is Vernon, with his slow, monotonous voice, and his boring_stories. Also, Mikhail, the wannabe bear wrestler, has the best fake Russian accent ever.

The graphics hold up nicely being very stylised and cartoony. I don't know if they were touched up for the 360 release or not but the game looked really good, with a lot (a lot) of little details and flourishes everywhere. It made for a very believable, if fantastical world.

The music is awesome, and the songs are appropriate for their respective stages, though they are kind of short and loop often enough to get annoying. Especially when you're trying to find every last collectible (which is all the time). My favourite tunes are the ones from the matador/painter/wrestler level. Nothing stands out as bad, except if I have to hear the "Meat Circus" music anymore I may have to strangle someone.

Tenuous link to MMOs to keep this entry relevant to my blog: The way that the game rewards exploration. There are countless one-time only conversations going on between the campers that you can only see if you travel the camp avoiding the main plot. There are so many hidden extras and I know that I missed a lot of them, You get a different reaction from everyone every time you: levitate them, firestart them, punch them, confuse them, show them the button, show them the "claw", hit them with the brain duster and tickle them. Also with "clairvoyance," everyone (including enemies, animals and bosses) see you as something different. Don't forget to read the bulletin board after a major event as it updates often.

As a side note, when I like a game, I really get into it How much into it you ask? I have since purchased_the_soundtracks, checked out the Psychopedia, the camper`s myspace pages, and if there was an art book I would have bought it for sure. I am now eagerly stalking Brutal_Legend. And I am hunting down a copy of Grim Fandago as we speak.

A lot of love and detail went into to this game so if you haven't picked it up yet, it's up on Steam and XBLA. If you need any more reason to play it, it's a game that Yahtzee likes, and he hates everything.

While I was gone console gaming: Choppas and Slayers are put up on the PTS, a new round of server transfers start, Darkfall gets more pre-orders than they can handle and most importantly, I_got_a_one-shot.

February 17, 2009

Seven Favourites. Yes, Canadians spell it with a U also. Same with Armour and Neighbour

I should get to posting my seven favourites now shoudn't I?

Favourite Zone: Ekrund. The dwarf starting zone was great for instilling a sense of fighting an uphill battle against superior numbers. The constant war-cries, the giant cannon, the first PQ, cannonballing greenskins; it was all very atmospheric.
Favorurite Race: Chaos. Everything about them is just so unsettling. They're humans, but evil and most likely mutated. Anyone faint of heart who actually reads Chaos's quest text and goals actually get squeemish about doing it. They have the best voice-overs, coolest tanks and are led by Tchaarzanek. What's not to like?
Favourite Career: Copcept-wise, art-wise and mechanic-wise, it would have to be the marauder. The idea of having some guy, morphed by chaos into having these mutated arms bearing down on you, wearing a horned helmet, spiked shoulders and a big wrestler belt is just so cool. And being a melee DPS with medium armour and an AoE damage tree is pretty cool too
Favourite WAR Feature: This can't really be called a feature but I love the rivalries and general side-taking that goes on in WAR. It's very hard to level out a character and not feel an attachment towards your side. And if you're PVPing, a hatred (or at least grudges) toward your enemies. You genuinely feel bad when alting on the other side of the fence
Favourite Skill: Ruthless_Assault for the Witch Elf paired with Kiss of Doom. Attacking 6 times + however many Kisses activate... it just makes my day seeing all of those numbers scroll on by. A close second would be Rampaging_Syphon. Seeing my groupmates' health bars topped off, along with doing a fair amount of AoE damage never gets old.
Favourite Scenario: Lost Temple of Isha. If your in a close one, where the whole scenario is just one big, long, fight at the flag, then there's nothing better than that. Win or lose it always feels like an accomplishment.
Favourite Live Event: Heavy Metal: I liked the idea of being able to sign on for twenty minutes, complete the task, then go do whatever. It was nice that near the end, they dumped the rest of the quests on us all at once to do in a weekend. Reikland Factory was also pretty awesome.

February 16, 2009

Monday Update in tha House. A Good Idea at the End

Downtime seems to be non-existent in Tier 3 for now. The only problem being that scenarios don't queue all that often and when they do, well, let's just say that I'm on a bit of a losing streak and I odn't want to talk about it*pout*. I do have one gripe with oRvR right now but it's nobody at Mythic's fault.

My gripe is Order's oRvR strategy. It doesn't happen every night so I think it's one certain warband leader's doing but it's so frustrating when it happens. It consists of not putting up a defense anywhere until Destruction owns everything but one keep, and then shoring up in that keep with 3 warbands for the rest of the night. Never leaving to take a BO. Never leaving to a different zone. This leaves us with no choice but to attack a keep that has more defenders than attackers, while Order gets to farm to their heart's content. It's not even like their outnumbered because they squash us whenever they do decide to roll out and get some fighting in.

I never thought that I would find something that I hate more than keep swapping, and that's the total absence of keep swapping. So my options are to get farmed or nothing, eh? Well, I guess I can wait in the other keep, but then I'm not fighting anything and where's the fun in that?

Crafting-wise, I haven't done anything at all, which is gonna bite me in the behind later. My best bet for crafting right now would be to wait for the new patch, and then become a talisman maker/magical salvager or normal salvager.

I have one final gripe and that has to do with this screenshot:

Do you know what would be awesome, and really help towards making RvR the best way to level? If, when your RR is capped at 99% waiting for your real rank to catch up (happens constantly), you got a boost to exp. This would work by, say, any Renown that goes to waste just becomes straight exp. It's so annoying seeing all of those renown ticks that go nowhere for the last 50-30% of every level I've gained so far. I know it's to balance out those that PvE and RvR and make sure that your RR doesn't get too behind your real Rank, but why punish those that only RvR?
That's it for this week.

February 14, 2009

How to Seduce a Witch Elf

Valentine's day is here (Night of Murder too but that's a different story). For all of you single characters out there, time is running out on finding that special someone for this special day. But I'm here to help. For anyone with an eye on that cute Witch Elf who's always in the same warcamp as you, this step by step guide is here to help you on the path to wooing her on Valentine's.

Step 1: Study and Make Plans.

For a few days to a few weeks time, you're going to have to do some research on your intended date. This is done simply by staying out of sight while still being able to watch her. This is to pick up on little things that teach you more about her that can help you start a conversation, such as: when she checks her mail, does she put her left or right shoe on first, how many times she blinks in any given minute, and does she prefer Pepsi, or Coke?

Of note is that a woman's eyes have a strange defect that prevents them from seeing through foliage. Use this to your advantage. Proper spying technique can be found here.

Step 2: Striking up Conversation
Using your research you can now commence communicational relations. This is a risky part in the courtship. One false move and there will be no getting into the lady's good graces. Other guides will tell you to approach with confidence, not to stutter be amicable and tell jokes. This is effective, but I'm here to help you further. See Witch Elves are so used to looking down on others (physically and metaphorically) that finding a height advantage would be to your benefit. Standing on a higher step, or addressing from the top of a hill will make her notice you more, increasing your chance for that elusive date.

If that doesn't work, then remember that women admire persistance, particularly of the nagging variety. As a last resort, you can always ask her out until she succumbs to the pressure. There's no shame in success so keep at it.

Heeey..........................................................Hey, listen.........................................................Heeeeeeeeey

Step 3: Getting Around the Obstacles

Sometimes, there will be a wrinkle that needs to be smoothed out. Maybe an overprotective big brother or ex-boyfriend will be trying to hinder your efforts. Or maybe she won't go out on a date unless it's a double-date with her twin sister or best friend. In the latter case, simply bring a wingman that won't upstage you.

Brothers and ex-boyfriends can pose more of a challenge as they can easily be twice your size, and direct confrontations with them may result in having your pants stolen (according to Big Bang Theory). One solution is to merely drink with them and chat them up. Them realizing that you're a nice person, along with their drunkenness, will usually net you a pass.

Step 4: Picking a proper date area.

This can be summed in a set of photos

Good choices.................................................................vs........................................................Bad choices

A party or a kegger in a picturesque landscape vs. a volcano

A candlelit restaurant vs. a trip to the community slop-seller

Now that you have your date the rest is up to you as I have yet to extensively test out and master the rest of the dating process. Good luck all and have a happy Valentine's Day.

February 13, 2009

Train Milking and Anti-Peeves

I've just recieved a wonderful link from Syp over at WAAAGH (thanks man!) for my top ten pet peeves post, but then he went and one-upped me with his top ten anti-peeves! So that I don't look like a negative nelly (I'm really not. How dare you insinuate such about me :)) and I'm all for stealing someone's idea, here are ten of my anti-peeves.

  1. Your own head as a pocket item. I saw someone who said he got three. What a lucky (or unlucky) guy. Now why can't I get one? Am I too uber to not die enough?

  2. Getting that big heal off just as your partner was at 1% health and then winning the battle. There's no bigger rush than that.

  3. The Dark Elf quest givers may hate you but Order quests generally reward you with some thankfulness. It makes you appreciate fighting the good fight.
  4. "I'd like to further show you gratitude in yonder tent"

  5. You know how whenever there's a quest to find a lost scout or something, and they're always dead when you get there? I thought it was pretty cool that there was one Dark Elf quest to find a dead body but it turns out that he was alive. The quest giver then tells you that you should have killed him in a typical Dark Elf "thanks."

  6. Reading a kill collector or Rally master's Tome unlock. They always have something bad-ass to say.

  7. Spotting Tzeentch's little hydralisk claw for the first time. It's there in the cinematic and everything but I never noticed it until about a month ago.
  8. This took me months to spot

  9. How oppressive the atmosphere of the IC is ... to Destruction. You've got the Dread Sentries (their tome unlock is very chilling by the way, a recommended read), the constantly watching eyeballs, constantly fighting beastmen and marauders, a coliseum, and a general unfriendliness and untrustworthiness from every NPC that makes you wonder why it is that you're helping these people anyway. And then you remember that it's for personal glory, endless gifts and riches, and crushing Order scum.

  10. How a Greenskin warcamp's outer walls are just whole, uncut tree trunks tied together. It just fits so perfectly with their aesthetic. It's rough, shoddily built and simple, all while serving it's purpose.

  11. The sheer amount of patches I've seen. They always seem to aim to fix things that I've specifically seen mentioned in blogs and forums, and the speed at which they come out is good too. For example, do you know how many blog posts there were for "WAR needs its own Darkness Falls" and "change keeps so that a tank wall isn't the be-all-end-all defense"?

  12. The frequency of live events. There's always something around the corner to generate buzz and chatter and there's never a time when I'm not looking forward to logging on.

And there you have it. Now it can't be said that I've never said anything nice about the game.

February 12, 2009

Of Banner Taking and Tutorials

So I stole my first banner awhile ago. I was part of a group (about half a warband) that snuck up on about 5 guys trying to take a BO by themselves. Needless to say we wiped them. In the confusion I went for their banner, because my partners don't really need heals now do they? They can heal themselves. So I squatted for 15 seconds and then BAM! A renown bonus and morale boost. The thing is, that no one else in the group could figure out where the bonus came from. I told them it was from capping their banner, only to be met with the internet equivalent of a blank stare. "You can do that?" one of them asked.
To be fair, their stares were pretty blank to start with

Is this one of those things, like what to do during a city seige, and what wards are (actually got asked this today), that players just don't know? I remember learning about how to capture banners from a herald post somewhere, but how many players (especially new ones) read through the herald's archives? I think that there are definiety some things that need either a revamped tooltip, a tooltip in the first place, or one of those tutorial pop-ups that everyone turns off after their second alt. Sometimes, there are players that aren't familiar with every manual, dev post and FAQ page. Sometimes, the game itself just needs to hold your hand that little bit more.

February 11, 2009

Pet Peeves and Eye Twiches

I have certain pet peeves when it comes to WAR. These aren't the earth-shattering, make you want to quit, "Why Mythic, why?!?!" kind of grievances. No, these are just the kinds that make me twitch without knowing that I'm twitching. These are the kinds that have no bearing on the game and don't need a bug report to fix, but that I wish I could. I'll make it a list. A top 10 list.

  1. Killing the same White Lion's pet 10 times in a row, without seeing a hint of the elf himself. Would it kill you to show your face once in a while? Well it probably would bit it's still annoying.

  2. Getting focus fired. Would you guys stop it already? There's like 8 others guys around me, do they not look good enough to you?

  3. Having a "Defend the Keep" quest with 19 out of 20 kills done when the siege defense ends. Because great, now I have to wait for them to siege it without it being a ninja siege all over again.

  4. Witch Elves that wear capes. Why do you gotta block the view? What else am I supposed to look at while waiting for a BO to cap?

    One of these Witch Elves knows where it's at

  5. Moving up a Tier without a maxed out oRvR influence bar. What am I gonna do, go afk as a chicken during keep and BO captures? Because that's bound to be fun. I guess I could roll in an RvR-server, but then that would solve my problem and this list isn't for finding solutions.

  6. In an RvR server, being ganked by groups of lvl 20s in Tier 1. Is it really that much fun? Does getting kills labelled as "trivial" really feel worth your time and effort? (Well, lack of effort anyway.)

  7. How Dark Elves never thank you for doing any of their quests. It's always "You did alright, I guess" "I still think nothing of you," "I guess I'll have to watch my back now that you know my secrets," and "You were only my pawn, used so that I didn't have to dirty my hands. Idiot." Anyone who can stick it out and level in DE lands is seriously masochistic.

  8. Capture Points and BO flags blocking your Line of Sight. Listen, I know Elves are skinny and all, but to be able to hide behind a pole just seems ridiculous. Black Orcs are easily ten times the width of a flag, but I guess I can't see him? Mythic must think that their characters are loony toons.

    This cat knows how to hide behind a pole

  9. The run from Spite's Reach to Cascade's. It is a brutal distance between keeps, and it's in a tier where almost nobody has mounts. Having to release while attacking or defending it is a brutal affair.

  10. The look of the Zealot's first helmets. A headband with beads? What am I, a hippy? Now the later helmets look pretty cool, but maybe that's just because anything would have been an improvement.
    *Update* I also have up a list up of my ten_anti-peeves.

February 8, 2009

A Great Achievement (that wasn't mine)

Huzzah! The Badlands server has seiged Altdorf! I have nothing to do with this as I'm stil stuck in tier 3, and I was at work at the time, but good job realm. Maybe this was helped along by the Night of Murder? Anyway I'm really excited and, now that I know that the final push is finally getting done (we've had Thunder Mountain locked for weeks), I can't wait to get to 40 and take part in all of the action. It's too bad that if I'm not there by the time Bitter Rivals comes around I'll be too busy Choppin' it up to be leveling my Zealot. But them's the breaks I guess.

A Cure for Downtime. First Monday Update Appears on a Sunday.

If anyone is doing the RvR-only challenge I've found the cure to oRvR downtime. Get to Tier 3. Seems simple but that's really all there is to it. I've played from noon till 4 in the morning, with oRvR happening the whole time (it was a day off, don't judge me). Scenarios don't really pop all that much, but when they do, my side always manages to win (always meaning almost always) so I've had some nice exp there.
I guess I'll do a weekly update of my RvR-only challenged Zealot and Monday seems like the best time to do it, being after the weekend and all.
So yes, I now never have a lack of anything to do and it is comforting to know that I don't have to plan out my log in hours. Other than that I'm rank 23 with my RR at 99%, just waiting to be pushed up. I've managed to score a devastator chestpiece so hip-hip-hooray for that. Other than that no other drops, but I'm still prowling around for those two unique Night of Murder drops Which I'm starting to think are going to be Battle-Brew BackPack rare. More to come and good luck to anyone else who has joined the challenge. Remember, it all gets better in Tier 3.

I am reusing this screenshot, as it makes me happy

February 7, 2009

Night of Murder Started, Almost Done.

This screenshot that was taken after 1 keep seige, 1 keep defense (failed, but it was a long one. I was the only healer out of about 20 guys) and 2 scenarios should say a lot: the influence bar is a joke to get. But some tasks will take a while, especially the 10 Keep Lords. I guess musical keeps are going to happen for a while during this event. Also, passing around a skull equals good times.

I see you down there, being all marked and stuff

February 5, 2009

Ragtag Defense Success Story Can't Do Anything Else. Then Mopes.

I failed to take a keep today. Three keeps. Let me start from the beginning. I'm good at being on the alert and starting a group for quick, impromptu keep defense, which is what happened. Successfully. Once we wiped order though, I figured, we have almost a full warband: about 10 tanks too. We should take some keeps back. So I put out the call again and we rush to the other Empire keep. There was about 5 defenders. The thing about having ten tanks is that with having that many and an unfull warband, we only had 3 healers. That's not a lot of heals to spread around. We never made it past the oil.

I do not have a picture as it would be full of shame

So we dusted ourselves off and went for some dwarf keeps. We got pushed back by meager defenses twice more there as well. I definitely need more getting used to how T3 works, and general Warband leading as I didn't do a terribly productive job of anything. Granted it wasn't an ideal set-up, but we could have succeeded in something

Why Mythic? Why are defended T3 keeps so hard to take by a small force with an unbalanced healer/tank/DPS ratio? You ruined my afternoon and I think I need to go for a nap.

February 4, 2009

There's Something About Mandred. Hiding In The Forest With Witch Elves

This is my last experience before leaving T2 and it was a pretty great one. Taking Mandred's Hold. You may not understand what this is like for Destruction on my server, but here's why it was so great. See, Order seems to have a special to-do list when it comes to oRvR and this is what it is:

  • Take undefended keeps and BOs while avoiding any kind of resistance.

  • If Mandred's is lit up on the map, you must drop everything as no other zone matters.

  • Defend Mandred's at all costs. Pack all of tier 2 in there. Don't even bother with Stonetroll Keep. It's not important. Neither is trying to take back any other zone, because as long as we hunker down here, destruction has no choice but to feed us kills for three hours.

"Mine! All Mine! Destruction cannot have it! Everything else though? Fair game."

Finally capturing it took forever. Like, 9 till 2am forever. The offense tick for finally taking the keep was insane. The night was a long chain of trying to beat down the door, being pushed to our warcamp (then I would take one of the camp siege weapons and pick people off which was much fun), pushing them back to the keep, then someone would take BOs, and then it would start again. To mix things up during the open field battles, I sent tells to a few Witch Elves in the warband to follow me. A plan was in motion.

While the warbands fought each other as blobs of RDPS that wouldn't dare get close lest they catch cooties, my little group of me and three Witch Elves (big pimpin, eh?) moved off to the side a bit and hid in the trees. Correction; they hid in the trees, while I goaded Witch Hunters and White Lions to come attack me. They would then get jumped while we shared a laugh. Sometimes a WP and/or a tank would tag along to make our lives more difficult, but we could always run into our safe, happy zerg. This was the best of both worlds: being part of the large, epic battle, and fighting the small, quick and intense skirmishes that feel oh so rewarding.

We actually only took Mandred's because there were about 5 Order left still logged in by that time. The lesson here is that winners never sleep.

Obligatory scoreboard screenshot #46

I also came 1st in contribution, because I was siegeing it the whole time. Then I rolled a 178. But who needs chestpeices right?

The Challenge so Far. A Parting Story for Dok Karaz.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been leveling a Zealot by doing the RvR-Only-Challenge. This means that you can only collect xp through scenarios, open RvR, grit, determination, and waiting around a lot. It has been quite the experience. I think I'm going to regale you with my experiences.

Tier 1 flew by. I gained a level every two or three scenarios at the start, then started mixing it up with some RvR lake action. By lake I literally mean only one lake: Empire/Chaos. I had still managed to max out my influence in the other two zones, but that was entirely from musical BOs. Actual oRvR kills came from Festenplatz zergs, and the winner was decided solely on which side was fielding more people at the time. Most of my time was spent camping warcamps, or being camped at my warcamp. As a healer, T1 was boring except for scenarios. Except Khaine's Embrace. That one can suck my nuts for all I care.

Tier 2 took place in all of the zones. Musical keeps was in abundant supply, but never constant. Whenever we owned most of the tier, Order would keep a death grip on Mandred's Hold and never give it up. A lot of my time was spent looking up at that keep. I did a lot more scenarios this time, but I enjoy all of the T2 ones. Especially as a healer, because they're rarer and you just feel extra useful and loved.

*sigh*Just another zone cap against no defense.

If you're wondering about what gear I've gotten out of all of this it is: the Obliterator set (the boots were given to me though), oRvR influence rewards, and jewelry from renown vendors (I've picked up no drops). Out of the 25 keeps I took part in taking (I only know this because of the title I just got), I'd received 5 gold bags. Oddly, none of them came from when I placed in the top three for contribution. I am a terrible roller.

If you keep turning in kill quests and are constantly queued for scenarios, you'll level at a pretty good clip. The problem is that you can't play during off hours. At all. If there's no one in a lake, and no scenarios are popping, your only option is to... make potions? This is my only gripe with the challenge. I can't do anything when it's not prime time. During prime time is great (hence the word prime) but sometimes I still want to play after hours.


So I'll use an alt to get my PvE questing fix (I love reading the quest text and the sometimes odd objectives). This didn't last very long. I just couldn't do it. AI mobs just weren't cutting it for me. I could feel myself getting sleepy every time I repeated an attack rotation. I'm also very tired of T1 right now (so many alts in so short a time.) PvPing for so long has spoiled me, with its constantly changing partners, enemies and situations. The ups and downs are just incomparable. It isn't that PvEing is boring, it just doesn't compare to pitting yourself against a live opponent. There's a lot of intangibles involved, but it mostly comes down to "am I having fun?" The answer is a resounding yes. I'm gonna miss being the big dog on campus but here's hoping for more tales in T3.

I'll finish with a true story about my undying passion for a keep.

Dok Karaz. O how I love You Dok Karaz. I made it a personal mission to attack or defend you every time there was a hint of action taking place. There was no real reason for this, other than after having defended it once, I didn't want to give it up until I had too. There were three times where I didn't start defending you until your door was already broken in, rallying murderous fighters along with me, forming a stalwart platoon of 7-10 people each time. We'd rush through the ranks of Order massed on the ramp so that we could stave them off from your Lord's room.

Sometimes they had already gotten past that, and they were trying to fight your Lord out on your ranged siege equipment pad. Well my platoon was having none of that and we whisked them off of your walls with steel, spittle, and more stalwartness. When they tried for a second go before we could rebuild your door, we pushed them back again. Best of all, when they tried to gain reinforcements from the dwarven ironclad, We chased them down and stalwartly killed them there too. Twas a great day to not be a dwarf.

This is only like, a fifth of the attackers. Swear to god. I beat them with just my bare hands

*Update* War'nPieces also has his writeup of the rvr challenge, while linking to yours truly. It may not be a race, but I have to say, my toon's farther than his toon. Well his twoons. I still win alright?

February 3, 2009

Keep Quest Test. An Easier Challenge?

Today I had the pleasure of testing out the quests given by a keep lord. Quest actually. It was a kill twenty people, while in the general area of the keep, while your realm owns the keep quest. And lo and behold I found myself defending Dok Karaz. And turning in the quest three times. The BO sergeant's quests are the same thing, but probably won't see as much action.
This but thrice

As an aside, this makes it easier (slightly) for anyone who's taking the RvR-only challenge as my level 20 Zealot's been doing. I have to say it's slow going, unless you're defending keeps for an extended period of time, or winning scenarios. That's not to say it isn't fun though. No, it's the most fun I've had with a character yet, but details about this I will save for a later post.

February 2, 2009

Character Copying. By Pop Culture I Meant Geek Culture.

Seeing this post over at girlirl, while being a good commentary on the lack of character customization in WAR, also made me want to challenge that notion. And I'm going to do it the only way I know how: recreating characters from pop culture.

Here's the Hulk, but this one was a gimme. You can't give orcs hair so it wasn't perfect but all you really need him to be is big, green and shirtless so this one is a success.

This here is the face of Everquest, Firiona Vie. This was the closest ponytail style, but I think using a Sorceress would have made for a closer stance. Just pretend that the sword is a staff and we're good to go.

It's the gamedom's favourite lawyer Phoenix Wright! I found that the Bright Wizard had the most unique hair and beard options. There was, sadly, nothing to match Apollo's hair though.

It's Wolverine! To be honest, that Bright Wizard hairstyle just wrote itself. Too bad he didn't have any non-ridiculous sideburns to choose from. It's was either foot-long mutton chops or nothing. Think of him as Wolverine if he was conceived back when that beard was in fashion. Which, come to think of it, was always.

This Saber actually came out pretty close, even though there was no 'tiny nose and mouth' option. WAR is definitely not anime-friendly

As a bonus though she even got Saber's invisible sword.

Gerard Way was easy to recreate once I started using girls. This was expected.

As a special one I'll show you what a fair portion of people tried to do anyways. A BW Goku. To test this I searched for Goku on Realmwar under just Bright Wizards. 9 Gokus, 5 Gokuus and 17 Ssjgokus. This isn't even counting the other classes, or names like Sephirothxgoku.

Speaking of which... Pretty close eh? And I used a male character and everything. This was not expected.

In summary, I found that the only thing you could really customize was the hair, scars and eye color so I think my challenge failed. It was definitely underwhelming to someone who just came off of Fallout 3 (My guy looks like a Mythbuster). All of this doesn't matter though cause we all wear helmets right?

February 1, 2009

State of Scenarios. Curse You Mishka

This isn't just a screenshot to show you how good of a healer I was (not hard to do being the only destro healer). This is really a screenshot to show you what low level scenarios are like, win or lose: Warrior Priests. It really is true that everyone and their mum is rolling a WP nowadays. What this means is that, after the next class balancing patch, if they get nerfed, how many people are going to ragequit? Unless a substantial amount of them are just alts. But if that isn't the case then Woe be to Mythic, because the backlash will be terrible.

As an aside, Order in that scenario was so PUG-tastic it was unreal. No one attacked me, the only healer, except for one Witch Hunter. I was 4 of his 21 killing blows.

Here's another screenshot to show how bad (or good, depending on your view) soloing has gotten.

A Plan fails. The Oil is The Most Fun You Will Ever Have.

Wasn't planning on posting today but I had quite the oRvR experience and I do believe you are going to hear about it. There's really nothing you can do to stop it as it's already to late.
So Dok Karaz (T2 keep) lights up and I run over to see what the deal is. A couple other destros follow me so I open up the party menu to see if there's already a warband going. Lucky me there wasn't so I hatched a plan. A plan to lead my first warband and have it not take part in musical keeps.

I started an open party, made it a warband (it filled up insanely fast) and sent out a call to arms to defend our keep. I figured if there wasn't actually any order there then we would go around and take BOs and keeps until they decided to muster a force up, and then we would fight them, win or lose. Turns out there was two Order bands versus our one. We wiped and not wanting to lose my warband, I suggested (with tears in my eyes) that we take another keep, which we did. We then went back to Dok Karaz and took it back.

This is when I tried to salvage my original plan. "Wait here," I said, "The Order zerg will be here soon and then we can farm them." It was a reasonable suggestion. Too bad nobody listened to their esteemed leader, with cries of "There's too many of them," "we can take Mandred's,"and "I want my influence and chestpiece." Fighting all of a sudden became a bad thing. I let them leave but I stayed.

Me and the rest of the defenders

Let them play musical BOs, I thought, I can wait. Eventually, Order did come. I manned the oil and got more than a few kills. They eventually broke through obliterated me, but not in the good way. In the end I probably got more renown than them, but most important of all, I had a lot more fun.