The Calm Before the Expansion

Gah! I hate the weekend before an MMO expansion releases!

In just a few short days I’ll be able to experience all kinds of new content and game system changes, so I get totally pumped to play the game (LOTRO in this case, and the expansion is Siege of Mirkwood). But suddenly the “old” non-expanded game seems a bit tattered and worn. If there’s some specific thing I want or need to finish before the expansion launches, I’m fine, but otherwise it just feels like killing time before the new shinies arrive.

Mind you, this is all in my head this time out. The old content won’t really feel tattered and worn once Mirkwood launches. And it isn’t like I’m at the level cap and ready to charge into the forest. Hardly. I haven’t even been to Moria!

But I did preview the expansion and already have some Skirmish-earned armor picked out and I just want to get working on earning it NOW. I’m ready to start my quest to enable Skirmishes.

I feel like a kid waiting for Santa to arrive!

War’s ups & downs

While playing Warhammer last night I had some quests to do in RvR areas. A few times I ran across a member of Destruction, and we did battle. The experience buffs make a huge difference. I’ve been grinding plague trolls for like 2 weeks (obviously not literally). I’m level 15, they’re level 15. They give 400 experience per kill. Up the road a bit are these pesky sprites that are level 16. They also give 400 experience. When I ran into a level 15 Destruction character and fought him 1 on 1, I got 2000 experience for the kill. Later I encountered a level 17 Destruction character and beat her. 3000+ experience for that. So yeah, the xp buffs make a marked difference.

WARNING: Moping, whining part of the post begins here.

This morning I log in and go back to grinding plague trolls, fantasizing about a day when I can get a group to cap Chapter 7 influence. Then amazingly, more people show up. I join their open group and we churn through stage 1. Finally I’ll be able to do stage 2 on this infernal, hateful, spiteful, vile Public Quest. And then… they all leave. And I’m left alone again doing this quest.

Ah well. I go grind sprites while the trolls reset. At one point two of them attack me. Things are looking bad, so I pop a health potion. “That item cannot be used yet.” WTF? The icon isn’t dimmed, there’s no cooldown timer on it. I try a HoT Potion. “That item cannot be used yet.” Bam. Respawn. *sigh*

At this point I’m not having fun and thinking that maybe cleaning the toilet would be more rewarding than grinding more trolls and sprites. I decide to say the hell with it and move on, leaving Chapter 7 incomplete. And then Mandred’s Hold comes under attack. There’s chatter about it in /regional and I head out there to defend the homeland. Destruction has a sizable force attacking the Keep. Order has… me. At least that I saw.

I try to pick off a straggler but get noticed and killed. Respawn, head into the Postern Door. Destruction is inside but I get up the ramp and aid the NPC Keep Lord in defending as best I can. Still no Order. Destruction pushes up the ramp, I die. Run back…and just as I get to the front gate the guards change to Destruction. Keep is lost.

In /region there’s much moaning and groaning. I give up, go back to finding quests or something to do. Then Destruction hits the other Keep. Much more moaning and hand wringing in /regional, with a side dish of finger pointing. Finally it sounds like maybe someone other than me might actually think about perhaps defending, so I turn around and start running back. But by the time I get into the area, the keep has fallen. More moaning and groaning, and then someone suggests “Well let’s take it back!” but they’re shouted down by some self-professed Leader of Order who explains that its not a good time because there are defenders.

WTF? Isn’t that the BEST time to have a fun battle?

At this point I realize that my day is slipping away and a long unpleasant work week is drawing near and having to work this hard to have fun just isn’t an efficient use of my time, so I log.

Yes, I’m pouting & whining instead of acting. I could’ve shouted down the self-professed Leader or Order. Or I could’ve done what most others did and just let Destruction steam-roll the BO’s and Keeps and keep grinding trolls. But by this point the wind had gone completely out of my sails.

Warhammer is great fun with the planets align and you find a group and there’s some openRvR happening. But for me, that’s maybe 25% of the time that I play. And I’m really starting to question whether its worth $15/month for that 2 hours of real fun I get out of it every week.

Easily influenced

Last night you got a rant. Now you get uncomfortable naval-gazing….

That’s right, its the introspection post! Woot!

A couple of nights ago I went tearing through Tier 2 with CoWs and others and had an absolute blast playing. Since then I haven’t had any significant time to play. But I’ve been following blogs and some boards and this whole scenario issue has been eating at me.

And before ya know it, I’m ranting about everyone playing scenarios and no one doing OpenRvR when *the last time I played* all we did was OpenRvR. Granted most of Destruction didn’t get the memo but it was still fun to be in a big group (that wasn’t playing a scenario) taking down objectives.

I dunno why I let myself get caught up in the negativity. I think it has a lot to do with being frustrated because I want to play but can’t. So already my brain is headed down the road to snarky and when there’s other snarky brains headed in the same direction, mine just joins the warband and the snark breeds.

Before I do any more commenting on Warhammer, I’m going to wait until I find some time to put a few solid hours in. Get the joy back. Pretty much every time I log into Warhammer, I have a good time. Often I have a great time.

Maybe I’ll get to play tonight. I’ll definitely get the chance tomorrow. Blessed weekend, come to me!!!

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

But I do indeed feel fine.

So at 7 am on Sunday, an alliance of Destruction guilds on Averheim launched an attack on Altdorf, Order’s Main City. Semantics aside, they got into the city but failed to kill the King before they were ousted. For a few hours, only Tier 4 Order Characters could enter the city and that was to defend it. A few hours later, Altdorf was back to normal and if you’d gone out to enjoy a beautiful fall day yesterday, you wouldn’t have ever known anything had happened.

Unless you checked in with the blogosphere & message boards where people are sharing prettystrongreactions to this event.

For Ardwulf, this is reason enough to quit Warhammer [EDIT: see his comment to this post and his blog post on the topic. My apologies for mis-representing his reasons. This was more like a ‘final straw’ thing than his main reason for leaving]. Saylah seems concerned that players can use the clock to get an advantage (the attack started at 7 am), and lucidly points out some weaknesses in the system. I hope she offered these points as feedback to Mythic. And the VN boards are just an explosion of whining, as is typical of the VN boards. In game, we had a guild member seemingly very upset and declaring the war over for Order and that it was pointless to keep playing (I paraphrase, but that was his tone).

I am surprised to find myself surprised by these reactions (meaning the reaction of people on various message boards; I think my fellow bloggers make good points). You’d think I’d learn by now. Warhammer is an RvR game, and RvR (or PvP) isn’t always fair and its almost always messy. Sometimes you’re going to win and other times you’re going to lose, but if you want to win early and consistently, you pretty much have to be hardcore. Casual players/guilds/sides aren’t going to win as often as people who build their life around a game. (This, by the way, is why in general I prefer PvE games, but I’m making an exception or Warhammer since the RvR is so fun.)

One specific note as to the time. Mythic has stated that all the objectives have to be taken within 12 hours in order to capture a city, from which one would infer that this might be a 12-hour event. Given that, 7 am doesn’t seem to be so off the mark as a good time to start.

What no one seems to be considering is how much fun this is going to be when more of us are level 40. We did City Attack and City Defense during beta, and wow, was that some fun stuff, running through the streets of a city, sacking and pillaging, or saving and protecting. It was fun on either side.

And it’s part of the game. If you don’t want to play a game where you are sometimes inconvenienced by events in the world then quitting Warhammer probably is the right thing to do, honestly. People so often complain that their actions in a MMORPG game world have no consequences: well in Warhammer they do have consequences, but not all consequences are good ones.

The impact this attack had on me was to get me anticipating even more getting into higher tier RvR. I wish I’d been high enough level to help defend the city. Next time hopefully I will be. And I’m looking forward to the day when we try to give as good as we’ve got and make a play for the Inevitable City.

And when this back and forth gets tired, I’ll move on. Another puzzle (to me) is people wondering how Warhammer will sustain our interest for years to come if people are attacking the cities already. I’ll say right now that no game is going to sustain my interest for years to come, nor am I looking for such a beast. There are SO MANY games to play and more coming all the time. Life is short and I want to play and enjoy as many of them as I can.

Warhammer Chat Paradox

Two of the biggest issues that people are complaining about when it comes time to complain about Warhammer Online:

1) I always miss /tells because nothing draws my attention to them
2) Gold sellers keep sending me /tells and its seriously impacting my enjoyment of the game

Does this seem odd to anyone else?

If the chat system is so bad that you don’t notice tells, then how can the gold seller spam be so annoying!!?

I’m just askin…

And, like Ysharros, I’m sorta tired of the WAR bashing. If you don’t like the game, that’s fine. We get it. No game is right for everyone. But why put so much energy into a string of anti-Warhammer posts? It seems to me like it takes one, maybe two, posts to say “I don’t like Warhammer because of X, Y, & Z. If these are big issues for you too, you might want to hold off on buying the game.”

Then move on and share your *enthusiasm* for games you like. Because enthusiasm is infectious and fun to read. Whining, not so much.

And yeah, I realize the irony of me whining about whining. 🙂