New Headgear

So I think I’ve found the secret to Warhammer. Log in with absolutely no expectations.

Last night I had an hour or so before bed so I logged in just to bash about a bit, knock off some solo PvE quests or whatever. And I did that, then headed to Bohsenfels to turn in my assorted heads, books, reports and bobs… that’s when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something unusual.

There’s a little bit of farmland north-east of town, and spectral figures were floating around in it, I thought. But I looked again and they were gone. I decided to investigate and a moment later they were back. Sure enough, I’d stumbled on one part of the Witching Hour event.

After reading Ysharros’ post about the event, I’d pretty much written it off as being an event only for hardcore players that put 40+ hours/week into the game. And to complete the whole thing, it might be. But 15-20 minutes of beating down restless spirits (they’re all of level 2!) is enough to complete the first phase, so now I too have a mask! Important Note: The mask was found on the corpse of the 50th restless spirit I killed. I’m just assuming that wasn’t coincidence and that it was Mythic’s way of delivering the quest goodies for that phase of the live event. All the other spirits I killed had like 3 brass coins and nothing else; I’m glad I’m anal enough that I was still checking them when I hit #50!

I was encouraged by the amount of chat going on in /region, and that a lot of it had to do with RvR, and not just the Witching Hour quests. Keeps were being attacked and defended and the realm was coming together to fight the good fight. I looked at the clock and muttered a curse at myself for waiting until so late to log in (damn you, LittleBigPlanet!!!). But hopefully this level of involvement will continue throughout the event and beyond.

Since I still didn’t have one of those jaunty Witch Hunter hats, I figured I’d just run around with a Goblin Mask on until I found one. I’m all about style! But I realized I still hadn’t turned in the quests I’d finished. And what do you think one of my rewards was? Uh-huh, that’s right: jaunty hat FTW. I just need to get to a vendor who can dye items now. The quests were also enough to push me into Rank 17…one more rank and I can tag along with CoWs in Tier 3!

Tonight will be devoted to the 8 hour Ghost Hunters Live Event on Sci-Fi, but I’m looking forward to jumping back into Warhammer tomorrow. Maybe I can find one of these cauldrons and get part 2 of the event done as well.

Happy Samhain to all my readers! Don’t like the ghoulies get you when you’re out enjoying the holiday!

Will Halloween bring OpenRvR Love to WAR?

So over at the Herald Associate Producer Mark Davis brags talks a bit about how some of his ideas made it into Warhammer. It’s a fun enough read but then we get to this:

In the skirmish areas around the entire world during the Halloween holiday, there will be boss monsters lurking for players to kill. They’ll have cool loot on them, of course, so players from both sides will want to take them down. I’m sure Order and Destruction will play nicely with each other and share equally with each other for the spoils of the fight – yeah right!

Yeah right, indeed! Will this be enough to coax people out of the scenario queues? What will it be like, trying to take down a boss monster while also defending yourself from incoming players from the other side. Will we be able to “ninja” the boss, letting the other side weaken it (and the boss weaken them) before we sweep in to obliterate both players and boss at once? Will there be stand-offs with both sides waiting for the other to attack the Boss?

Lots of possibilities here. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, thinking about getting the chance to slaughter (and be slaughtered) in celebration of Witching Night!

In the meantime, Ysh had a great post on PvE up at Stylish Corpse, with Thallian, Smaken and I commenting so far. There’s the beginnings of a good conversation over there, so check it out. I hear Ysh is serving hot mulled cider in honor of the season. Presumably she spikes it with rum….

Mark Jacobs Interview at Ten Ton Hammer

Oh, that sweet crooner Mark Jacobs. Look at what he said when asked about the new RvR Influence System:

I know for sure that it’s not going to be designed to encourage people to play scenarios.

Good news to those of us in the Anti Scenario Society [ASS]. We ASSes are sick to death of worlds being empty cuz everyone is sitting in a Scenario Queue. If you’re not an ASS, then don’t fret, Jacobs says they won’t nerf Scenarios, just make OpenRvR better. Hopefully good enough that you’ll leave the queue and come out and try to smack some ASSes around.

Anyway, read the full review here.

Scenarios are not MMO

Warning: This is an opinionated, biased rant. 🙂

Jobildo’s post got some excellent comments and in turn got me to thinking about scenarios and why I resist them as much as I do.

And the answer, it turns out, is pretty simple: I’m not paying $15/month to play Team Fortress with some RPG trappings. I’m paying to play a Massively Multiplayer game with a persistent world. Call of Duty 4 allows me to play missions over and over on the same handful of maps while leveling up a character and guess what? It doesn’t cost me a penny once I’ve bought the game.

For people who sit in a warcamp and grind scenarios, there is really no need for a persistent world. A lobby would do just as well, wouldn’t it? A lobby would require vastly fewer server resources and would’ve cost orders of magnitude less to develop.

Essentially, this is

It feels stupid for me to pay a monthly fee to, in part, support the infrastructure for a world that no one wants to use.

And I’m kind of dubious that after ranking through 40 levels in scenarios, people are suddenly going to go into OpenRvR (erm, that assumes that T4 scenarios exist…I honestly am not sure if they do)! More likely they’ll either leave the game or keep grinding scenarios until they hit 80 renown, and then leave.

What I’d like to see is all the scenario grinders funneled off to one server, and all the OpenRvRers gathered together into another server. The grinders shouldn’t have to pay $15/month to play, either, but that’s a side point. The OpenRvR Server shouldn’t even offer scenarios.

What irks me is that, yeah, it’s hard to find OpenRvR even on high population servers. Why? Because everyone is grinding scenarios while commenting that OpenRvR isn’t fun because no one does it. Curiously, I wonder if there isn’t MORE OpenRvR on less populated servers with longer wait times for scenario queues. I plan to find out.

I understand people want to get to cap as fast as they can. That’s why the gold sellers also offer leveling services. Grinding scenarios isn’t the fastest and easiest way to cap: paying someone to level your character is. But I don’t see anyone openly suggesting this is the best way to go about it. Why not? If all that matters is getting to 40 as fast as possible, why not just buy your way there?

If you really enjoy running scenarios, then this rant isn’t really directed at you. Enjoy the game, though why you pay a monthly fee to do in this game what you could do for free in any of a multitude of others is beyond me.

But I’m seeing people expressing opinions along the lines of “I don’t really like standing around grinding scenarios but there’s nothing else to do.” Well you sir/madame, are part of the problem. Get out of the damned queue and get out and start exploring the world! Yeah, it might be quiet at first, but if people on both sides of the battle just opted to not grind scenarios for one night and head to the RvR Lakes, there’d be *plenty* to do!!

OK, end rant.

Whew, I feel better getting that off my chest.

And Mythic, for the love of all that is holy, stop sticking us in a friggin’ scenario queue every damned time we move into an RvR Lake. You’re just fanning the flames doing that, tempting people to leave!!!

OK now I’m REALLY done this time.

Improving OpenRvR in Warhammer

Jobildo has a great post up outlining some ideas to make OpenRvR in Warhammer more appealing than it is now. It is (unsurprisingly) a well thought-out post and you should go read it if you haven’t already.

I was honestly a bit shocked when I learned how much exp you can get from playing a scenario mini-game. Now I understand why everyone does them over and over until they start talking about the boredom of grinding scenarios.

Note to Mythic: When players start putting the word “grinding” ahead of one aspect of your game, it’s time for you to pay attention. For many (not all) players, Grinding isn’t an affectionate term.

Note to Players: We’ve seen evidence that Mythic listens and responds to player feedback. So don’t get discouraged! As Moltke said, keenly anticipating the age of the MMORPG, No battle plan survives contact with the enemy and WAR is a matter of expedients. I’m pretty sure Mythic’s battle plan didn’t anticipate people ignoring 3/4ths of the world in order to sit in a scenario queue all night, and that they’ll continue to refine the game until players are enjoying all aspects of it. Mythic’s method seems to be to slowly add bonuses rather than to go overboard and then have to nerf. Smart fellas.

What can we do? Provide feedback to Mythic, either on forums or in blog posts. Link to good posts like Jobildo’s to get it more attention. Make some noise and let Mythic know we want to be able to progress at a reasonable pace via OpenRvR!

It will come in time. WAR is Everywhere and Everwhen. It isn’t going anywhere; at least not anytime soon.