Thursday

Why Tier 1 Beats Tier 4 Content In Warhammer Online

Do you ever wonder why people love the free trial in Warhammer Online?  Is it really the free part, or is it that the game is actually enjoyable?  What does tier 1 offer that tier 4 doesn't? 

Tier 1 offers a much more enjoyable play experience than tier 4.  Players are on a much more level playing field.  In Tier 1 you know that almost everyone has equivalent gear unlike tier 4.  It plays a huge part in the fun factor.  You don't have to worry about being 40 renown levels behind another player.  You know that pvp is more about skill than someone having better gear, and stats.

The problem is tier 4 is going to even get worse with the introduction of the increase of renown ranks to 100.  It is going to put even a bigger gap between the veteran players, and the new players.  It is going to make tier 4 quite frustrating for most players.  It not only effects new players, but even veteran players who make new alts.

Initially all the players who are max renown rank played on a basically even playing field while ranking up.  It is much tougher now to gain renown for a fresh rank 40 player.  They are constantly up against players who are twice as strong if not even more.  It means it is going to take alot longer to gain renown if you are dying more than you are killing.

This is where Warhammer Online needs to take a look at there game.  Should there be renown rank brackets for scenarios instead of just all rank 40's being thrown into the same scenarios?  If you are being spawn camped by a guild of RR80's, or RR100's soon enough how much fun is it going to be?

I am sure this is one of the biggest factors on why new players quit the game.  No one likes to play a game where they see too much of a gap between the new, and veteran players.  Can you even imagine the difference between a RR100 player, and a RR40 player?

How do you think they should fix the unbalancing of fresh RR40 players with RR100?

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Tuesday

Is Now Really A Good Time To Have A Re-Enlistment Campaign For Warhammer Online?


This re-enlistment campaign for Warhammer Online seems to be bad timing.  Why would you bring back players now before the big Orvr changes, and the RvR packs?



It only signals one thing in my mind.  Warhammer Online is bleeding subscriptions.  They keep saying the numbers are growing, but what is their definition of growth?

They are promoting all these things in there re-enlistment campaign to try to lure players back.  Of course none of it applies unless you haven't been subscribed for 90 days.

Lets look at all this more closely, and see why this campaign isn't going to bring any players back.  Most of the bullet selling points are over 90 days old.  This means most of the players have already experienced the new rvr city, the bloom, the apprenticeship, new starting journey in Empire, Underdog, War report, and Weekend Warfronts.

These players have already seen all this, and quit.  What a worthless marketing move by promoting old content as something new.  Why bring players back when you are just about to revamp the game?

Shouldn't this campaign be running after patch 1.4 goes into effect along with the RvR packs.  If you want to lure players back you have to offer them something that gets them excited about something new.  Anyone that has quit in the last 90 days has experienced all of it already most likely.

This should be their first clue that even after all these changes they are losing players.  You aren't getting these players back by offering the same old stuff.

Another laughable thing is they are promoting game performance, and stability.  They say it is fixed.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to look on the Herald, and see Badlands issues almost every day.

They are also throwing in three in-game items.  Are they really worth it?  The signet turns you into a skeleton, but as soon as you take damage you return to normal.  The Libram of Insight is a CE rehash.  Basically you gain 15% to xp, renown, and influence for two hours with three charges.  The next is the arthritic hand.  It gives you 5 AP/sec regeneration for a whole 5 minutes with an hour cooldown.

All in all they aren't really offering much to entice players to come back, and I am sure it won't be very successful.

Would you be trying to bring players back before a big game changing patch, and rvr packs?


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Monday

I Refuse To Drink The Warhammer Online Kool-Aid

Not only am I refusing to drink the Warhammer Online Kool-Aid, but also wearing any rose colored glasses.  Quite a bit of more information came out about patch 1.4, and the RvR packs, but I still don't see these changes fixing the game, or make it any more exciting.

Okay the first thing is how they keep mentioning they are not going f2p, but instead they figured with all the Warhammer Online Fanbois they could keep the $15 a month sub, and add micro transactions on top of it. 

Do players really obsess that much on how their character looks?  Is it really worth $9.99 to change it.  It seems like a huge waste of money to me.

They keep talking about paid server transfers, but you can only go to servers that are low population.  What good is that going to be?  A transfer to Badlands maybe, but to pay $9.99 to move to another server whose population sucks just as much is just stupid.

Making vanity mounts equivalent to the starter mounts is pointless.  I guess maybe now more people will be hanging out in altdorf showing off their $10 horses.  I see no reason to buy one.

Vanity pets will have buffs.  Are you kidding me?  This is just the start of cash shop requirements to compete.

Who in their right mind is going to pay $10 for a War tract?  Basically one free level of xp for $10.  Obviously they don't read the powerleveling and gold spam in the advice channel.  I think they advertise 1-40 in 3 days for like $50, and they think someone is going to pay $10 for one free level.  Keep dreaming.

The new realm abilities announced sound very OP, and exploitable.What is going to keep a group from spamming Last Stand?  Be invulnerable for 47 seconds.  That is like an eternity in pvp.  So you die, and your other group member rezzes you.  Just get a core group rotating this, and see how much fun pvp will be when you can't kill anyone.  What if all the Bright Wizards exploit this during a keep defense when the other realm is trying to capture the flag.  Can you imagine the damage a Bright Wizard can invoke with a 47 second immunity?  Does that mean it protects it from blowing themselves up?  Who cares if you die 47 seconds later.  Just get 30 bright wizards doing it at the same time, and I guarantee there will be no destruction left standing, and than you just wait for your rez.

No name for this other one, but lets you use no AP for its whole duration.  I can already imagine the spamming of spells during this free spell frenzy.  You think you hate bright wizards, and Sorcs now just wait till some use this on you, and your faction.

The long awaited Orvr changes have been announced, and it didn't make me run to the account management page, and pay for a one year renewal.

Hypothetically this is going to open up the rvr, and spread it out throughout the zone.  Basically four bo's will supply resources to upgrade your keep.


Let's do some math.  With the excitement lets just say each faction has two warbands roaming in the lake.  One faction takes all four bo's.  This means at least a group will have to stay at each bo to protect it.  That leaves one warband left.  You will need at least one group per sapper from each bo. 

This will leave your two warbands spread out really thin.  The other faction just waits outside your warcamp with both warbands to kill off the 6 man groups, and sappers.  You end up never being able to get resources while the other faction does no work, and steals your resources.

You try another strat by just taking one bo, and protecting it with one warband, and the other warband escorts the sapper.  The other faction decides to take the other three bo's.  You than have to decide how you are going to stop them.

I see it becoming a real joke.  If multiple pairings are still open which it sounds like it won't change the game at all.  It will just be a race to see who can collect resources faster, and lock zones.  There still will be no pvp.  Order will be in Praag, and Destruction will be in Thunder Mountain.

Aerial bombing supposedly will be fun.  Do you remember Thunder Valley Scenario being fun?  You could bomb in that scenario, and everyone hated it, but now everyone acts like bombing is going to be so great.

Another fatal flaw I see is the spawning in the keep.  It is going to make it nearly impossible to take down the keep door when defenders will be able to respawn right back at the keep.  How about suicide defense?  You can be out collecting resources, and than suicide to help defend the keep.  How are you going to get the first door down with basically the other faction having an unlimited supply of defenders respawning?

Also once you get the keep doors down, and the CTF goes into effect I am going to laugh when it boils down to almost the same thing in the day of the forts.  Basically all the defenders pack into the flag room.  Spread your bright wizard aoe's around, everyone else spam your aoe's on flag.  How is anyone going to be able to capture the flag for thirty seconds.  Can you say goodbye to any zone flips if defended?  Can you say zone crashes?  Can you say slideshow?

The whole Skaven implementation sounds like a waste of resources.  I don't see myself getting excited about playing them whatsoever.

In Summary the game will still be broken.  It will still be two realms.  It will still be no pvp as each faction will just be in different pairings.  I am sure the first week or two there may be some action as people try out all the new stuff, but as soon as players once again realize that renown is better when you just go to a different zone to get zone flips we will be right back to square one.

Any Warhammer Online Fanbois want to try to prove me wrong?








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Friday

Watch My Live Broadcast #2 (Recorded)

Today I did my official second live streaming broadcast.  I recorded the live feed, and you can now watch my show in case you were not able to watch it live.  The video is raw, and unedited for the full effect of it being live. 

Choosing A MMO

Today I am featuring my very first guest post on Wasdstomp.  I want to thank Blaq for taking the time to submit a great article for my readers to enjoy.  Blaq is a blogger for Don't mention ze WAR!  He is an Europe based student, PC gamer, and an avid MMO fan. His current passion is Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.  You can find him playing on Karak Norn with several of his characters.
  • Tharagor – RR65 Runepriest
  • Fastrada – RR75 Warrior Priest
  • Blaq – RR55 Ironbreaker
  • Ensiferum – RR57 Swordmaster
  • Nariya – RR42 Shadow Warrior
  • Medhbh – RR44 White Lion-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The amount of MMO games that are to be released in the future is staggering, not to mention the various expansions and free to play overhauls. Regretfully, there's only so many hours in a day and we can't play them all. Which means that, unless you are an MMO fanatic that can spend all of their time playing games, you will be forced into the tricky business of picking one or two MMOs and sticking with them.

It means that you'll have some tough decisions to make. Here are some key questions which you need to ask yourself  in order to be able to choose a game that will hold your attention for a long time while providing you with the fun you crave for.

How much time can I devote to an MMO?

Online games are usually divided into either casual or hardcore. If paraphrased, casual would mean that it occupies only a small fraction of your free time, while hardcore usually means that it takes up more than half your free time. Although you most likely won't be able to identify exactly if an MMO will cater to the casual or hardcore, nosing around fan forums and looking up previews of the game can give you some idea of how big of a time investment it is. Most of the games will usually claim to appeal to both crowds though, so figuring out just how much of your time it will eat up is tricky.

What am I looking for in an MMO?

You can find an MMO for just about anything these days. Figuring out what exactly is your fancy is always recommended before committing to a certain game. If you like fighting other players the PvP (player versus player) genre will appeal to you. If you fancy stories, epic quests and battling giant monsters then PvE (player versus environment) games will be the thing for you. If you like exploring, building and crafting then sandbox MMOs will most likely draw you in. If you love teamwork and chatting with friends then MMOs with an emphasis on socializing will be your thing. That's just scraping the top and crudely categorizing the MMO genre. You'll need to figure out what kind of player you are for yourself. Something that might help you with this is taking a Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology (gamerDNA hosted test).

How much money am I prepared to invest in such a game?

Although it might seem trivial for some, there are people out there that have a tight gaming budget (mainly students), and won't be able to spend unlimited amounts on MMOs. For them the price they pay to have fun matters.
  • Free to play (f2p) games are generally free of charge but with limitations. If you want to play with no limitations a monetary investment is required. In no case should you treat a f2p MMO as a completely free full game, as you would be fooling yourself. Such games require a careful examination of how the need for the developer to make money and the gameplay is balanced, after which you should decide whether to invest time in it.

  • Next on the cost list are MMOs that do not require a monthly subscription. Do note however, that the developer will still need to make money after selling you the game, which might appear as a sort of mini-transaction system most f2p games adopt, frequent expansions that you need to buy or in-game advertising.

  • At the top of the cost list are MMOs that are pay to play (p2p). Which means that they either require a monthly subscription or paying for play time in advance. The payment method and pricing are usually announced before the game launches, and need to be looked at in case of a tight budget.
What is the community like?

An important question overlooked by many. The community can make or break a game for you. If you dislike playing with and against player much younger than you, you will probably be disappointed in the new LEGO MMO, and likewise you probably wouldn't enjoy a mature game if you like your games simple and cute. Gauging a community is usually simple, you just need to take a step back and ask yourself what kind of players the game attracts. If that doesn't help try browsing community fan sites and developer interviews, as they should be a fair indicator of the consumer base the game is aiming at.

Can your computer run the game?

Another fundamental question that usually doesn't come up until it's too late. If you aren't planning on, or don't have the money to update your computer, you might not be able to play games that are highly demanding hardware-wise. With the rapid progress in computer components and game graphics you might be caught off-guard. Buying a game just to install it and find out that it's unplayable, is a situation you don't want to be in.


These are just some of the aspects of playing an MMO that should be considered to avoid bitterness and anger. There are various ways to get your questions answered, but the most important ones are always keeping up with the game's development and the state it's in: browsing the official and fan websites or forums, reading interviews and previews, taking part in conventions where they might be displayed and of course, playing beta tests or trials. By doing so, disappointment is the least likely emotion you will experience when starting a new MMO.



Do you have a great article you would like to see on Wasdstomp?  It is really easy to submit one.  Send a copy of your article to guestposting at gmail.com.  It really is that simple.



Thursday

Badlands And The Future

By now everyone knows that Badlands is the server to be on.  Why?  It currently has the best activity of all the US servers.

It just makes me nervous with the rumors of paid server transfers coming.  Will everyone make a mass exodus to Badlands, or will there be a mass exodus off the Badlands server?

What can Mythic do to make people leave Badlands, and help balance out the other servers?  Will double renown for a few weeks do it?  Will players demand more than just that?  What else could they do to entice players to move off the server?

Should they just cluster the servers so being on any server won't really matter?  Is there server pride?

How are they going to prevent players from all conspiring to go to the same server?  How are they going to limit it, and not piss off players whose transfer gets denied, but all there friends made it?

Should they just make one mega server now, and save all the heartache?  What do you think will happen when paid server transfers happen?





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Wednesday

Sick And Twisted

What could be so sick, and twisted for a video game?  This game is pretty disturbing, but because it is you can't help from playing it over, and over to try to get the top score.  This game was featured in @Gamer Magazine which is made by Best Buy.

Basically the premise of the game is to push someone down the stairs, and the more broken bones, head bending backwards, legs twisting, and so on the more points you get.  I told you it was sick, and twisted.  The game is called Stair Dismount.

They also have another similar game called Truck Dismount where you basically crash a truck, and you are the crash test dummy.  Once again the game is sick, and twisted, but you know you want to play it over, and over.

It is available in several platforms including windows, mac, ipad, and an iphone.
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Broadcasting Live Friday Night

In Celebration of getting my internet back after my move I will be doing a live broadcast on Friday night around 9pm pacific time.  I plan on having a great show, and look forward to seeing everyone.  I know the show is pretty late, but unfortunately my friends at Comcast have until 7pm to show up on Friday.

With basically five days without internet it gives me plenty of time to prepare for a great show.    No one will be disappointed.  The show will be broadcast on Ustream.  I highly suggest visiting the site now, and registering.  By being registered you will be able to participate in the live chat, and Q and A at the end of the show.


I also suggest signing up for the Wasdstomp Gaming Email List on the right.  Make sure you never miss any breaking news, and be the first to hear about new exciting stuff here on Wasdstomp.

Once again I am going to have a blast putting on the show, and look forward to Wasdstomp Live Broadcast #2.  I guarantee it will be the best raw, unedited, and live gaming blog show on the internet.


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Tuesday

League Of Legends Rocks


I am writing this post, and thinking about how miserable I am going to be the next few days.  After discovering League of Legends I just can't stop playing.  The game is so addiciting, and I am without internet until Friday because I am in the process of moving.

How can this game be this great?  It doesn't feel like a grind.  You actually have fun the whole time you are playing.    It is just 100% fun.

I am currently playing some different caster types, and it just rocks.  I highly recommend League of Legends to anyone currently suffering from GRS.  I know with the Double Renown withdrawal symptoms kicking in that League of Legends is the perfect fix.

It is extremely rare that I like a game this much.  Seriously anyone that has been reading my blog over the last year knows I am usually ripping some game, or patch apart.

Simply there is nothing to complain about so far in the game.  I have found nothing that provokes me to ragequit, and break keyboards.  It is fun 100% of the time.

I mean what is the odds that I find a game that is free, and it is the best game I have ever played?  I am probably drooling from my mouth right now as you read this as I try to cope with my internet withdrawal, and playing LoL.

I can't stress enough if you love PvP than you will instantly orgasm when you play League of Legends.

What are you waiting for?  Download it right now since it is free.  I will look forward to battles with you, or against you in the very near future.



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Monday

Double Renown: Blessing Or Curse

Once again Warhammer Online is offering double renown, and players are eating it alive.  You would have to be crazy to pass it up.  It is their two year birthday, and what better way to celebrate than offering all their players double renown.

Double renown seems to be more common now.  Are they prepping for the RvR packs, and want more of the playerbase already at RR80?  I am thinking it is their plan.  What good is introducing a RvR pack to expand to RR100 if everyone on average is at RR65-70.

Just like World of Warcraft you want to make sure everyone in the game has experienced the end game.  Otherwise it will be pretty pointless to offer a RR100 RvR pack if no one buys it because they figure it will still take at least 6 months to a year to reach RR80.

I know Warhammer Online has said the RR curve is being leveled out.  Is that going to be good or bad?  I am thinking it is going to be good, but until all the details come out it could end up being bad for lots of new players or alts who are playing the catch up game as it is.

The Double Renown is so sweet.  I can't say I would refuse to login, and not earn it.  I only have two complaints about it that I think are pretty viable reasons.

The first thing I would like to see is a future schedule of Double Renown.  I am sorry, but some of us don't work banker hours with weekends off.  I would like to know weeks, or months in advance.  This would give me the opportunity to get the time off from work to fully exploit the double renown by playing 24/7 for three days straight.

I know Warhammer Online is worried that players would only log in for those dates.  If they are thinking that than maybe they need to examine why players would do that, and fix it.  Everyone knows the RR curve causes severe depression currently, and everyone hates it.

The second thing is Double Renown causes severe withdrawal symptoms.  After a full weekend of earning renown, and seeing your bar move it really motivates you to play the game.  The day they remove the double renown, and play for five hours to see a half of a bubble of progress you just want to ragequit.

If double renown is so popular, and gets players to play than how can they keep the activity so great? 

My idea would be to get rid of the stupid scenario warfront that reminds me of watching reruns than offering new content.  How long has it been now, and still some of my personal favorite scenarios still haven't been on it.  I say just ditch the whole thing since it seems that they could care less about offering us a new one every week. 

Just make it easy.  I don't care if you make Weekly Double Renown sessions from Friday to Monday, or you offer double renown via a new RvR pack.  You know everyone hates the grind why not fix it?


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Sunday

Warbloggers Exposed: Are You On The List

I am not sure how many Warhammer Online Bloggers are keen on sites that scrape feed content.  I figured I would expose it tonight for everyone to see.  The site is Warbloggers, and anyone with Google Analytics has the infomation right at their fingertips.  How many Warhammer Online Bloggers even realize this site exists?

Would you be mad to know that a site is out there that lets someone view every Warhammer Online blog on one convenient site?  How about when you see your own articles on there?

Lately I have noticed this uncommon use on my Google Feedburner stats.  I figured I would check out the site, and see who was linking me.  Surprise, surprise.  They aren't linking.  They are directly showing our feeds on their site.  They also have a tag cloud with all of our Warhammer Online blog names.  So whose site are they finding first on Google?  This site, or your blog?

Have you noticed your traffic dipping?  Are you wondering why no one is commenting on your blog any longer?  Is it possible this site may be stealing your traffic?

On the other side is it actually helping your blog?  Is it linking your blog, and in Google's eyes making your blog higher PR?

Just some of the blogs I have seen scraped on Warbloggers: Skuzfoz, Mmmmmm Gud, Thats Skar With A K, Massively, Don't Mention Ze War, TheHealerofTru, The Price of Wargh,Grimnir's Grudge, Bootae's Bloody Blog, Zizlak's Travel Diary, Werit's Blog, Rank N Vile,Super Effective, and more.

Even Wasdstomp is on it, and personally I am not happy about it.

What are you feelings about it?



Other Articles I have written recently that may amuse you:
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Aion Cleric Staff vs. Mace and Shield

Once again Hoschi is the man.  I always have to give him props on his superior guides, and walkthroughs.  Check out his Cleric Staff vs. Mace and Shield guide.

Abyssal Splinter Walkthrough

My friend Hoschi has been busy again putting together some great guides for Aion.  Check out his Abyssal Splinter Walkthrough.

Thursday

My Newest Gaming Adventure

Okay I have been in a real slump lately.  I am not getting my gaming fix, and the withdrawal symptoms are getting worse.  Tonight I move to my next game I am going to try.  I never even heard of the game until @Rer kept wanting a skin code for it from PAX.

I finally decided to check out the website, and see what the game is all about.  All I can say is holy cow.  This game seems like the type of game I dream about.  Of course this is all just based on what I have read so far.  I haven't played it yet because I see an all nighter coming.

This game is like WoW arenas without the leveling grind.  How great is that.  It is what I am looking for.  Small group pvp with teams where you play people around your same skill level.  How can that not be fun?

The advantage I see is players will play it alot more than just ten games like in WoW.  I am just super excited about this game.  It has ladders, and everything.  I think I finally found my next gaming addiction.

Lets just hope it doesn't disappoint me after I start playing it.  So do you want to know what game it is?  The game is actually League of Legends.  It is free which is nice so I don't have to waste fifty bucks if I end up not liking it.

I may fool around with some practice games with bots tonight, or it may end up being tomorrow night.  It just looks like the best part of WoW made into a little mini game just to make me the happiest gamer on earth right now.


After a little practice I will try to do it with some other players, and see how much fun I can have.



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Tuesday

Gaming Rut Syndrome

These last few weeks I have definitely been hit hard by the Gaming Rut Syndrome.  I will call it GRS from now on.  No matter what game I play, or download it just doesn't keep my interest for more than thirty minutes.

I think it may be actually PAX GRS.  A week before PAX I could feel it coming on.  I was excited about seeing all these new games at PAX.  I barely got my Archmage to 40 before deciding to take a short break from the game.  Originally it was just going to be for a week or so.

The problem is GRS is all consuming.  After going to PAX it just made everything else seem unimportant.  I just want to play all the new games I saw.  Unfortunately most of them I may not even get to play even next year even though most of them promised a 2011 release.

GRS has hit me hard.  I can't play another minute of Warhammer Online until either patch 1.4 or the RvR packs.  It just seems pointless until the new mechanics get in the game.

I played Lego Universe beta, and it was fun for about a week, and now I have lost interest in it to.  I swear GRS is a real disease it seems.

I have tried playing Global Agenda.  The game was a blast the first few nights, but nothing made me want to keep logging in every day.

I tried EvE, and even after listening to alot of convincing chat on Twitter I was to overwhelmed with everything in the game.  I really think the game is right down my alley, but I just felt to much like a noob, and ragequit after the tutorial.

My next adventure was to download my old love DAOC.  It wasn't even close to how awesome I remember it being.  It seemed so 1980, and clunky I just couldn't play it past the tutorial.

Why am I suffering from this Gaming Rut Syndrome?  Why are no games keeping me even slightly interested?  Is GRS that powerful that it controls my mind?

Anyways I am not sure what to do these days.  I am bored, and I definitely need some game to play.  The problem is my list keeps growing larger and larger of games I have tried, and didn't like.

I forgot some others I have bought recently, and once again I played them once.  It was Blood Bowl, DAO, LOTRO, DND, and so on.  I really am running out of options. 

Does Warhammer really have that much control over me?  I swear the game pisses me off more than it makes me happy most of the time, but I just can't shake it.  I keep going back to it like a cigarette habit.

I guess we will have to see if Rift, Tera, GW2, Firefall or SWTOR ends up finally setting me free from GRS, or some other game.



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Beta Key Frenzy: Free For All Giveaway

After going through all my swag from PAX 2010 I ran across several beta keys.  I have decided to have a beta frenzy free for all giveaway.  These codes are a one time use, and are all up for grabs.  Good luck.






I have two Rift:Planes of Telara beta invite keys:

ZFTJDAYKZQCVVVRFJ3H8

BXU9QXAP2AKEBYFY6GWC

I also have several End of Nations beta invite keys:

VMRJUPNZESTK72VDXECX

Y7ZFX65XDGVSF34668W6

S97Q7X7MUMZD6HQ4N6TG

I have one 30 day free trial product key for Fallen Earth:


HVQQC-WM4FJ-6XZ46-63Q9L




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Monday

How Skaven Could Be Implemented As The Third Faction

I know.  I am beating a dead horse, but after reading an interview from Guild Wars 2 devs it gave me this great idea.  Guild Wars 2  plans on implementing server vs server vs server world pvp.  They say it is the next progressive step after DAOC.  Can you believe someone is actually making a three realm war, and making it better than DAOC?   It sounds great.

I want to take this three server pvp system to Warhammer Online.  How can it be implemented into the game, and not cause five million hours of making content?  How could you do server vs server wars in Warhammer Online?  Would it even be possible?

I brainstormed for a while, and I basically couldn't figure out a way where you could pit three servers against each other in the way Warhammer Online is currently set up.  Anyone have an idea that may work?

I did think of way it could work with Skaven.  They keep saying you are going to be able to play Skaven, but not like a normal class starting at level 1.

This whole three server pvp thing really put my brainstorming into full throttle mode.  I figured with the introduction of the rvr packs, and Skaven how could they make this fun?

I think it could work if players from other servers choose the personality RvR pack.  This pack would enable you to play Skaven on any server other than your own.  Your whole objective would be to be ported to a server to help the underdog faction. 

You would have no server affiliation, but you would be able to have fun in the game knowing you were stopping a faction from locking a zone, or going to the city.  I think it would break up the monotony of the renown grind.

Would players be excited about playing Skaven like this?  At any time you could choose to play a Skaven on another server to help the underdog faction. 

I think it could work, and I hope this is what is already in the plans for the RvR packs.  How about you?


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Friday

In Case You Missed It

I recorded my live broadcast earlier, and wanted to share it with everyone.  It is unedited, and shown in its entirety.  I start off talking about some of the games I saw at PAX, and move on to some of my current rants for Warhammer Online.

It was my first show so bear with me a little bit, but I think you will enjoy watching the show.  I started loosening up after a little bit, and I think you will get a few laughs.

Watch my PAX Game Reviews and Warhammer Online Rants right here.




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Marketing 101 For MMORPG's

I have been a little frustrated with the marketing of my favorite games lately.  Is it really that hard to market a mmorpg?  Why is the marketing budget so small for a game that has invested so much time, and money?

Everyone can see the marketing power of PAX.  The thought of being able to play a game that is in early beta, or not even beta yet is the greatest.  Players love it.  Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool out there.  Why wouldn't you want to let as many players as possible get there hands on the game?

Pax unfortunately only lasts a few days, and than players are left suffering from withdrawal symptoms until they either get accepted to beta, or the game finally releases.

I wouldn't leave players hanging like that.  You can't give players a taste, and than expect them to go cold turkey.  They need something that keeps them talking about your game.

If at PAX your demo is playable than why not just let players keep playing it?  The fifteen to thirty minute demo, and up to two hour wait is worth it most of the time, but most players are yearning for more.

If I was in charge of the marketing department I would take the AOL approach.  Remember how that company grew just by giving away free cd's?  These mmorpg companies need to do the same.  I am not saying giving away your whole game, but give players an opportunity to take it home, and play it in the comfort of there own home.

How great of marketing would it be that during PAX you handed out 66k worth of free demo cd's to Guild Wars 2, SWTOR, AC Brotherhood, Dragonage 2, and so on just like how AOL used to have free cd's everywhere you looked?  Why not let players play this limited version of the game until it comes out?

The best salesman will always tell you that you can sell anything once the product is in the persons hand.  Why are mmorpg companies failing to hook people by putting the product in their hands?

I think mmorpg companies are really missing the boat on how to market games.  What do you think?



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Thursday

My Biggest Disappointment At PAX

One of the games I was most excited about seeing left me very disappointed.  Why was it my biggest disappointment at PAX?  I actually felt numb when in the booth playing.  There was absolutely nothing that made me say here is my money for my preorder right now.

What game could be that high on my list, and than completely drop off?  Actually it is one of the most anticipated mmorpg's coming out in the near future.  It is SWTOR.  I know they say they are bringing innovative stuff to the genre, but I didn't really feel it.

I hate the whole questing, and lore in the game as it is, and to have to listen to it makes it so much worse.  Yeah it sounded cool when I first heard about it, but I really don't care how I am in the situation I am in.  Just tell me what to go kill, or who to go visit.

I wasn't real impressed with the booth.  They were back in the corner near the mens restroom.  No real front and center stage like another game coming out around the same time whose booth was spetacular.  All the stations were running with small monitors, and seriously the booth lacked the awe factor.

If you looked around everywhere else games were flaunting huge 50+ inch monitors, 3d monitors, and once I was at the SWTOR booth I felt like I was visiting the dollar store.  It felt like I was watching myself play on a 17 inch monitor.  I am sure it was bigger, but compared to all the other games it really was lackluster.

I really didn't feel anything when I played the game.  It felt like SWG's with better graphics.  My feelings could change, but right now I don't see myself buying the game at release.




Wednesday

Mass Exodus To Badlands

Is it deja vu or what?  I know personally I have lived through what is happening with Badlands.  I don't see it being good for Warhammer Online.  If I saw this pattern repeating itself I would be doing some damage control pretty quick to stop the bleeding.  What am I talking about?  Let me tell you my story.

Initially I started on the Reikland server.  It was dead from day one.  I had to pve all the way to 40.  This was before they changed the way scenarios queued, and stuff.  It sucked, and basically everyone left the server, and rerolled.  This was before server mergers so there was no other option.

I had this crazy idea to make another Bright Wizard on Magnus as they were offering an xp, and renown bonus.  Everything was good, and than the bonus went away.  Once again I had to basically pve the rest of the way to 40.  Initially taking keeps, and bo's were easy.  No one was really 40 so you could get alot of renown real easy with a group of 12 people or so. 

Times changed as more and more people reached max level.  It seemed like it should be a good thing, but it eventually just caused every zone to be stalemates.  The losing side would stop queuing for scenarios,and zones wouldn't flip ever.  This was before domination timers.  After months of no successful fort takes, or city sieges everyone decided to do a mass exodus from Magnus, and go to the highest populated server Dark Crag.

It was a dream come true for most of us.  We had big plans to dominate the server on the Order side.  Sadly as each day passed most ended up quitting the game.  Not only the players who went to Dark Crag, but also other players on Magnus who felt like they got deserted.  I think in the end only about 5 out of probably 300 players stuck it out on Dark Crag.

At the time it was insane.  Order would constantly have the city locked down for 18 hours, and destro would be bored out of their minds, and soon order would be too since everyone had gear for the next 20 renown levels. 

Being on the most populated server was great with around the clock pvp, scenarios, and etc.  Eventually Destro stopped playing.  One by one most probably quit, or rerolled to a lower pop server that had a destro advantage.

We all know what eventually happened.  Order had no one to fight, and Dark Crag closed.  I see the same thing happening now, and I am still skeptical that the rvr packs will fix it.  Everyone is flocking to Badlands.

This means the other servers are going to feel like ghost towns.  It gives players a few limited options.  Reroll to Badlands, keep playing on your current server that is now a ghost town, or quit the game.

I would just cluster all the servers now, and save all the heartache.  I think if domination is being removed in the rvr packs than maybe it will be possible.  I think players would be willing to help each other cross server more than having to gear up a fresh 40 on a new server.

I just think something needs to happen fast.  Eventually one side or the other will dominate Badlands, and people will quit the game after losing day after day, night after night.
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Was PAX A Success?

That is a very good question.  What is success?  I know PAX was a success to me.  What makes me think that PAX was a success?

The biggest reason is PAX opened my eyes to the world of gaming.  I didn't realize that I had such tunnel vision on gaming.  There are really alot of great games out there.  I found plenty of games that ending up on My Top Five Games of PAX list that I never even had on my radar.

How do such great games never catch most players eyes?  Are we influenced by what other players like, and don't give some games even a fighting chance?

A good example is Rift Planes of Telara, and Tera-Online.  Both these games seem amazing to me.  I plan on playing both, but before PAX it would of never happened.  Why do I say that?  It is simple.  Seeing, and playing these games in person beats any videos, screenshots, or other media.

Another way PAX was a success was giving away free trials, and betas.  I have heard of Lego Universe, and Fallen Earth,  but never had the urge to try them.  PAX made me change my mind.  Currently I am playing the Lego Universe beta, and having a blast for a game that I thought was made for little kids.  So was it the LEGO name, or what that made me think that?

I will also be downloading my Fallen Earth 30 day trial.  After spending a little time at the booth the game seems pretty interesting.  I like the idea of almost everything in the game is player crafted.  I have always liked crafting, but since DAOC, and SWG  the crafting in games hasn't really interested me.  The game also plays more like a shooter which will be fun to see how that plays into an mmorpg game.

All in all I really enjoyed my time at PAX this year.  It was my first time, and I don't see how I could ever not go to one again.  It totally rejuvenated me, and 2011 is going to be a great year for gaming.



Tuesday

Rift Ascension Class System

The more, and more I read about Rift: Planes of Telara the more I want to play the game now.  The ascension class system reminds me of the Aion Ascension in a way, but Trion Worlds one upped it.  So what is ascension all about?

Initially everyone starts out as one of four classes.  You are either a Warrior, Cleric, Mage, or Rogue.  They call them Souls.  For example a Mage can become a Pyromancer, Elementalist, or a Warlock.  You are even going to be able to unlock Heroic Souls.  Is this going to be similar to unlocking Jedi in SWG's?

You earn soul points, and can put the points into soul trees.  These soul trees are similar to talent trees in most other mmorpg's.  You will be able to put soul points into different soul trees instead of just one tree.

One of the cool things is not only is there soul trees, but each point you spend in trees also unlocks new Root Ablilities.  It looks like a way to earn additional root spells for your character to set it apart from other players, can cookie cutter specs.

The best part is you will be able to attune, and unlock multiple souls with your character.  Basically this will allow you to play your toon with three different specs on the fly.  How many times have you been out in battle, and wish you could respec?  This is something players have been asking for since talent trees have come in existence.  Now you can play your healer depending on what is needed at the time.  Should you be 100% heals, dps, or a hybrid?  Now you can do it all without having to run back somewhere to respec, change tactics, trinkets, morales, or whatever.  It will be as easy as flipping a light switch.



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Monday

Contest For Rift: Planes of Telara Beta Invitation Key

Rift: Planes of Telara Beta Invitation from PAX
It is time for my first contest after returning from PAX.  I am so excited about the Rift: Planes of Telara that I will be giving away one of the beta invitation keys this week to the winner.  I will randomly pick a winner live on Ustream on Friday afternoon.  These keys are not a guaranteed beta testing invite, but it definitely helps your chances of being chosen once it starts.

I am making the contest pretty simple.  Each item completed gives you an extra chance of winning the beta key.  The more you complete the more chances you have of winning.  In the comment section list any items you have completed with links to screenshots, URL's, or however you want to prove you did it.

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Sunday

My Top Five Games From PAX

Rift Planes of Telara
I spent this last Friday at PAX.  I have to say it was better than even I imagined.  It was just great to see, and play games.  It truly makes a difference on your decision making.  I found some games I never even knew about, but are now on my list of games to buy.

The top of my list goes to Guild Wars 2.   The game is just fun to play.  The graphics are amazing.  It is the first MMO that really makes you feel like you are making a difference.  I couldn't find any flaws with game, or find a reason to not like the game.  I think this game will definitely make a huge impact in the mmorpg genre.  If I somehow get selected for this beta I will play it till my fingers blister up, pop, and blister on top of the old blister. 

The next game on my list is Rift Planes of Telara.  I spent three different sessions playing this game.  Each time I fell in love with the game more, and more.  Of course it is hard to judge a game in such a small little bit of time, but for me games are mostly a love at first sight.  I either like a game, or don't in the first few minutes of playing.  Fortunately I snagged a few beta keys, and will be downloading the beta, and having a contest to give away the others.

The third game on my list is Tera.  It is another mmorpg with amazing graphics.  They will have world pvp servers, battlegrounds, and arena fighting.  It sounds like my type of pvp game.  I signed up for the beta, and talked quite a while with the dev.  I enjoyed this booth the most because it wasn't like a swarm of bees hovering around, and I could ask lots of questions.  The dev said I was the only one the whole day that actually asked detailed questions about the game.  This MMO shouldn't be overlooked.  I think it is going to be a good one.

My fourth game on my list is Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.  I have never played a game like this, and I didn't actually play it at PAX because I didn't want to look like a noob playing it.  I was mesmerized by other players playing it though.  I just love the killing part in that game.  It is so gruesome, and brutal.  The graphics seem so realistic.

My fifth game on my list is not SWTOR, but instead Star Wars Force Unleashed II.  The game should seemed full of action, and killing.  Playing it was just so exciting, and fun.  I guess sometimes a game like this is a great game to play when you need a break from the grind of an mmorpg.


Saturday

Back From Pax

Waiting to get in to PAX 2010 in Seattle
Today I am back at home sitting in front of my computer hard at work.  After spending all day Friday at PAX I have so many games to write about.  It really opened my eyes for other games I may have never even have thought about playing.

It was a very exciting day at PAX, and I enjoyed it very much.  It was my first time ever at an event like this.  I don't know why I have never went before.  It is mind boggling.  I will never forget this whole experience, and next year I am buying a 3 day pass the day they go on sale. 

You can see most of my PAX pictures on Twitter, and my PAX Gaming Video Remix on Youtube.  I will be busy uploading more videos, and pictures during the next few weeks.