Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Suck!

I can't get any sleep because of my $@#$R shoulder is keeping me up at night. Now that problem has caused me to have serious fatigue, whicn in turn is making my tinnitus worse than normal. I've had tinnitus for several years now, but when your really tired it sounds like you've got a box of crickets living inside your ears. To date, I've not had a good nights rest in over three months now and the tinnitus has been bothering me for a week, so looks like a trip to the E.N.T (ears, nose and throat doctor). Not sure what he will do for me, maybe prescribe something to help me sleep or just clean out my ears. With my bad luck, he'll probably just say your stuck with it. That would really suck!

That being being my sad lot in life currently, I don't have anything exciting to report this weekend. I managed two more levels on one of my WoW alts. Whooopie! My hunter is now 45. I did discover that hunters in WoW are way over powered. I was able to kill a level 47 warlock without even getting a scratch. What a sad state that is.

On my way to keeping myself busy this weekend, I managed a little Xbox 360 action. I'm really digging Geometry Wars 2. If you have an Xbox 360 you should have this game already downloaded and installed. If you don't your a communist and need to head back to Russia. I continued with my Xbox fun by trying a bit of Crackdown, which is another Xbox game I suck at, so I won't say its awesome, but it is fun. I've got a date with some CoW members sometime to play some Madden 09. I manage to do ok at sports games, but from what I'm seeing, these guys know how to play, so I'm probably going to be losing a lot.

Now for a little self promotion. If you have Twitter, you can now add me to your list of friends. You can also check out my city. The more visitors I get the bigger it becomes, so tell your friends and visit often. lol

This is all I've managed to do while I wait and wait for Warhammer to be released. Damn, this almost like waiting for xmas day when your a kid only it lasts too freaking long.

I did manage to get mentioned on Channel Massive's latest podcast during their Blog- a-steria section. Apparently, I'm the sanest blogger out there. lol But I won't let it go to my head. The section is towards the end of the podcast if your interested.

I did manage to edit this blog twice after it was originally posted, which seems to be a common occurance for me. So people that happen upon this after it hits their reader will notice that I've changed a few things, and my spelling may or may not be better only because I suck at the english language too. lol

Oh, one other thing I have discovered in the past few months. I like Sushi. Not the type that's in a roll but just the raw fish or as it's called Sashimi's good. I just have to convince my wife to try it now.

Hope to have something better next week.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The blog!

How important is the blogger's opinion to you, the reader?

If I blogged about broccoli, how I love it, and how I think its a great vegetable I'm sure the mass of people reading my blog wouldn't post comments about how crazy I am or that eating a vegetable that looked like a small tree was just horrific or maybe I should be shot for singling out how one vegetable is better than all the others. Maybe I haven't given other vegetables enough time or consideration.

But why not? I mean, there has to be someone out there who has a definite opinion on broccoli and whether its better than another vegetable. Should it be hyped over others or just harvested and burned on sight?

Well, probably not. Because I'm pretty sure there are not many Broccoli or even anti Broccoli Fanboiz out there, wasting all their time scanning blogs, looking to put someones personal experience about broccoli under great scrutiny only to call them crazy for not liking cabbage. But there are a lot of MMO fanboiz out there that do just that. Specifically Warhammer Fanboiz.

Recently, several MMO bloggers have been sharing their own personal experiences from last weekend's WAR preview, me included. They have been honest with their feelings and experiences only to be trashed by posters and fanboi bloggers. I'm sure that it hurts when a trusted blogger, someone you read daily doesn't like the game your excited about, but does that mean there is recourse to call them crazy for posting about their own gaming experience just because they contradict your own?

A blogger can be a trusted ally sure, but when they don't see things your way, is it ok to trash them or flame them for not seeing a game the way you did? Is that a good way for others to see your side of the experience by talking bad about someone elses? Just because they don't see it the same way as you, does that mean its ok to call them crazy?

NO! How the blogger experienced the game had nothing to do with you, the reader. It was them not liking the game, nothing else. It's not like the blog was written to attacked you personally, they didn't throw red paint on your door, they didn't run over your foot or call your mother bad names, so why take offense if they didn't like the game you like? I can't fathom the insanity of this situation.

So they didn't do the same things you did in the game, so they didn't experience the scenarios the way you did, so they didn't play the world RvR or didn't understand the PQ system. So What? Why attack them? They didn't attack you? They expressed their personal experiences and thoughts about an in animate object, an MMO game in their personal web diary or as we all refer to them, a blog.

If there is so much hostility out there over something as inane as a video game, why even blog? When all your going to get is grief and misunderstanding from your readers, who should, as fellow gamers, be able to empathize with your gaming experiences, why even try?

To blog or not to blog? That truly is the question.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Experience.

Blogger's have been blasting the Internet with their opinions about WAR. They've been more than kind to let the community know that WAR is either the Jesus game or just isn't fun at all. How can this be? The completed game isn't even out yet, but still people are giving it the thumbs up or in some cases the thumbs down. How can people be so certain about a game when all they have had, at best, is just a taste of the final product?

If you don't experience every aspect of a game, do you still have enough information to review the game? Is the beta a true representation of what the game will be like at launch? Are blogger's doing a disservice by offering their opinions about a game, a game mind you, that is still in the final stages of being polished for consumer consumption?

I just thought I would ask.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Pros of WAR!

This is where I tell you what I really liked about the WAR since getting to finally play it over the Preview weekend, there is just one hitch. All the great things I wanted to say, have been echoed all over the blog-o-sphere today, so anything I said at this point would be anticlimactic. So I thought I would talk about things others haven't spoken about.

WAR has a built in quest helper. Every time you collect a quest, a circle will appear on your map, highlighting the area in which that quest can be completed. If you forget what circled are is for what quest, all you do is place your cursor over that area on the map and it tells you all the information you need to know. This is awesome. No need to get an additional MOD to help with quests.

Another great thing, is that quest items don't take up space in your inventory. There is a separate tab area in your bag that holds all the current quest items, so your not forced to destroy loot you plan to sell just so you can complete a quest. A very nice simple feature that can make a large difference to any one's game.

Some of the quests you can do correspond directly to the world's RvR. There was a quest in Tier 2, where you had to kill 5 players. I grabbed it, then head into one of the many open RvR areas, join a warband, kill the 5 I needed and turn in the quest. I actually got half a level doing just by doing that and nothing else because it was a repeatable quest which there are several of in WAR. There are also quests that have to capture objectives or complete senarios, which are instanced RvR similar to WoW's Battlegrounds. It wasn't over powering and no one career had an advantage over another, except the over powered Bright Wizard which I hope get the nerf bat before release.

As a bonus for completing these types of quests you not only get experience towards PvE leveling but also towards PvP or as its referred to in WAR as your Renown Rank. This gets you renown points, which you can spend on tactics at level 10 and gives you the ability to purchase renown ranked gear, which is far superior to most quest items you will get. Again, you can level up your character doing things other than questing. There are many options to leveling your character which makes WAR a bit more versitile than WoW.

Character Models:
Many have complained that there is a lack of options when creating your character's looks. I think this is on purpose. Your suppose to be fighting in a war and as such, most armies tend to look a like. There is no room for individuality. Which is why all of the renown rank armor looks the same with the ability to dye it the color you want. Which is also a throw back from the days of the Warhammer table top game. Who didn't spend hours painting their greenskin armies? I don't think of this as a poor feature but as one that represents the heart of the Warhammer mythology. Besides, once it's painted it looks really great.

Total Experience:
The Preview weekend was awesome. I spent most of it playing a Chaos Chosen or in gaming terms your basic MMO Tank. It was fun. There were some issues, as many have discussed already, concerning Mob/Pet pathing , but nothing that made me want to stop playing or run back to WoW.

I would say that it ran better than AoC did at Launch and this isn't even the final version. I did crash to desk top a few times, but nothing that made me write off the game as flawed and terrible. It was a beta, so I don't expect it to be perfect. As you have read in my blogs, I won't criticize till the game is on the shelf waiting for me to buy it. Then it better be 98% working. I'm use to the fact that most games come out incomplete, so I'm not expecting it to be 100% and if they need to release a patch on day one to stabilize things, I'm ok with that. As long as they fix the issues and don't release a patch every 10 hours I'll be good to go.

I can see myself playing this game for a very long time. I don't think it will bore me as LOTRO or CoH did. This game has potential and I'm sure that the guys at Mythic have lots more in store once the game gets out the door.

On that note, I will post a few more snap shots I took this morning at 4am. I woke up and decided to try my hand at the Disciple of Khane. Enjoy!

Oh, forgot to add one final thing. Bags! You don't have to buy larger bags. As you level up, the game automatically gives you more bag space. I don't know when or at what levels you get the space increase I just know that at level 10 I had tons of room.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Preview Weekend

Spent all weekend playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. I have to say, the Chosen are lots of fun. Good amount of defense and lots of nice juicy damage.

I'll post more later, once the euphoria wears off and I start coming down off my gaming high, then I will be able to express myself better and be more objective. Sure, there are issues, but it's a beta and they have a month to get the game polished (Sorry, Darren) and ready to ship. So, I'm not going to be as critical as some people would be.

Lets just say, the game was fun, I plan to buy it and I'll be playing it more than any other WoW substitute I have tried in the last year. I will still be playing WoW. Why? Because WoW is different from WAR and WAR is different from WoW. Even though they have similar core dynamics, they are virtual different games.

But I'll chit chat about this later. In the mean time, enjoy a few screen shots I took.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Kool Aid

Poor Darren over at Common Sense Gamer. He does not think WAR is awesome. The sad thing is, he posted how he felt on his blog and now, people are upset. People are actually upset. I can't believe he would do that on his own blog, I mean offer an opinion that didn't conform to those of others.

Apparently, his position is that WAR is a good game, just not the answer to WoW. I can't actually believe he had the nerve to say that. That's like throwing yourself on a live hand grenade these days. Does he not know how rabid the gaming community is over WAR? Has he not seen the signs? The flood of WAR centric blogs, the videos, the podcasts that have been around since the game was just a whisper on the lips of Mythic. Has he not seen the Hype? My god, the man is in for it now. He's cut himself deep while treading in shark infested waters.

I mean, he clearly states that WAR is a good game, he enjoyed it, but it just didn't seem to capture enough of his attention in the beta to justify playing it full time. To top it all off, he actually said that he was looking forward to what SoE had to offer in the next year or so, saying that..
FreeRealms, DCU and Agency will offer MMO GAMEPLAY mechanics that are new and interesing.
and that...
...even though WAR is released in 2008, it is still a game caught in the past and, like it or not, with the same feature sets (…with some variations…) as WoW/EQ2/LOTRO. It still follows the definition of an MMO as set out by Blizzard in 2004 and as set out by Everquest in 1999. Same forumla. Same game. Different IP.

Games like DCU, FreeRealms, Agency, Wizard101…those are the future…
Since that little post, he has been accused of drinking the so called "SoE Koolaid". I mean the nerve to like something other than WAR and to say nice things about Sony in the same breathe is just, well, it's just blasphemy.

The sad hard truth is , he's probably right. I mean, so he doesn't like WAR and thinks SoE has a better shot of producing the next gen of MMO's. I don't like hockey and I'm sure a lot of hockey fans don't have a problem with that, as a matter of fact, I don't think they even care.

I'm sure the reason that Darren is in trouble is that people value his opinion about games. He has a huge following, me being one of them, and I think they expected him to get on board the WAR boat and sail the uncharted PQ seas.

Apparently, NOT!

I'm not saying they shouldn't be disappointed, he didn't like their game and now they are bummed, but come on, why attack a man because he has a different opinion than yours?

Do you really think he's drinking the SoE Kool Aid? Brent might be, but only because they turned him into a game card, but Darren?

I'm about to switch from WoW to WAR and people will probably be saying the same thing about me. I'm excited about WAR. Does that mean I think WoW sucks, no. I'm just tired of WoW. Blizzard did their job and had me entertained for a good 3 yrs and now I'm ready to try something else. Is it Blizzard's fault? No. I'm ready for a new experience and I'm hoping I can get it from WAR. Does that mean I'm drinking the Mythic Kool Aid? No!

I'm just saying it's madness to condemn someone because they aren't interested in your game. He didn't belittle WAR, he offered an opinion, that I honestly believe is correct. WAR has a lot of the same mechanics as a other MMO games, they just beefed them up and changed a little here and there. I'm still going to play it, because I'm ready to try something different. If it turns out to be a WoW clone...then, OK, its a WoW clone. I liked WoW, I should like WAR. I'm sure it will be different enough to capture my interest for a few months maybe even years, till the next thing comes a long.

I'm saying, just because they don't like your Kool Aid doesn't mean their drinking someone elses.

The Pimpage of WAR

I'm going to pimp two sites that have good WAR info, since the NDA has dropped.

Over at A Wall of Text, Brent has some really great videos of in game action as does Keen of Keen and Graev's. They have a great video of a tier 2 tower siege, really cool stuff.

Also, the WAR data base is up and running and has tons of information.

So far none of the video or blogs I've read have put me off my WAR game.l I'm still very excited about it and look forward to my preview weekend. Currently, I have the game downloaded and I'm just waiting for the patcher to become active so I can get the next step underway.

Don't worry, I won't over blog about WAR, especially once it gets started. But for now, I'll post what little info I can squeeze out of my fellow CoW's. lol Which will be easy now that the guild vent server is up. They are going to hate the sound of my voice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Question?

How many think that once the NDA is lifted there will be a flood of positivity about WAR?

I read about how people are itching to tell what they know about WAR and how much they want to explode with knowledge, but is that going to be good for the public? Might some people be just as eager to tell how bad WAR is?

Naw, I did not think so either, but you have to ask yourself, what happens next? If everyone who's in closed beta has mostly positive things to say, will that leave us wondering if WAR will be the answer to WoW, or just something to keep us going till WOTLK comes out? Is WAR just something that seems new and different, but in the end will be come stale and boring like any other MMO?

How unique is WAR anyway? They aren't breaking new boundries, they are taking the basic IP, giving it the standard MMO treatment and changing up a few things to make it seem different like the RvR and Tome of Knowledge. Till recently, they kept pushing back the release date, like most MMO's. They have cut a few things from production to meet the new release date of September 18th, which Heartless has pointed out, even WoW has done.

So will it be different enough to beat WoW? Will it capture millions of players like WoW did?

Honestly, I think so. I've never been this excited about a game before. Prior to this, I casually knew what the WARHAMMER IP was, but never for the life of me thought it would interest me this much. I'm actually in a guild pre launch, something I've never done or been interested in and it rocks. I search the forums and fan sites for the smallest bit of information about the game, knowing full well that I'm encouraging the hype, but I can't help it. I won't say that I'm addicted to a game thats not even been released, but the anticpation is killing me. I already have a pre order with Gamestop, but I bought a $1.00 pre order box from Target, just so I would have an open beta key, because I don't trust Gamestop to have mine. lol

Lets just say that I'm looking forward to seeing the NDA go away. I plan to spend a good bit of time checking out blogs and other sites. If there is any negativity about the game, at this stage, I don't think it would discourage me from playing it, that is how bad I have it now.

There are still lots of questions that need to be answered. Lucky for me, I know the answer to the most important one.

Will I be playing WAR over WoW?

The answer is YES!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Confession.

The blog police are closing in on me.

I have committed the ultimate sin, broken my own golden rule. It's been said that confession is good for the soul so here it is, I've been hyping a major MMO game prior to it's release. I'm speaking of WAR.

Yes, I know, it makes me a hypocrite! Especially after having condemned others on blogs for the exact same thing. I am so ashamed of myself I can't even think straight. But I must continue.

There are only two logical reasons for this personal failure. One, I've pretty much lost interested in WoW. Not sure why and I can't for the life of me figure out how to recapture my enthusiasm. I've been trying to level up alts, run heroic dungeons and even try to get into a few raids, but I've not had any luck with any of those options when it comes to getting my interest back up for WoW. I might be experiencing the burn out everyone talks about. For the past week, all I've done is play Xbox 360 games and surf the net looking for information on WAR.

That brings us to the second reason I've faltered, readers, I've slowly become hooked on WAR and I've got it bad. To start with, I've joined a pre launch guild called, "Casuaties of War" and I spend most of my time trolling the guilds forum boards, like some kind of MMO whore trying to get a WAR fix. I read WAR centric blogs and listen to podcasts, like ChaosCast, devoted exclusively to WAR news.

I tell you, it's a pretty sad state. I've even hyped the game a little here, on my own blog, which I still can't believe I did. Although, the Tome of Knowledge is the coolest aspect that I've discovered so far about WAR, other than the RvR and Crafting. Damn it! I'm doing it again.

In my defense, I can't truly hype WAR as effectively as EA Mythic can. The fever is getting very high now, even after the annouced changes. The changes that removed 2 major careers from both sides and eliminated 4 capital cities. There was a bit of a squabble here and there with Fanboys, but I honestly don't think that hurt the games chances at a successful launch.

I won't say I'll ever be a fanboy, but I can see myself enjoying WAR and having a great time. But in the future, I'll try to keep the pre release hype to a mimuim.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Tome of Knowledge

Today I unearthed the Tome of Knowledge and let me tell you, it was an incredible discovery. I've been reading blogs for months now gaining small bits of information about WAR, just to see if I would really be interested in it. I've learned about all the different careers, the different races and even the different ways RvR will be implemented in the game. But nothing compares to what this small object can do to entice people to play WAR.

The Tome of Knowledge in short keeps track of EVERYTHING. Everything you click, every mob you kill, how many times you die, how many times you've used a spell, and much, much, more. It is a repository of all knowledge your character gains throughout the game. This knowledge is displayed as flavor enriched text which helps tell the story of your character in the Age of Reckoning, which is the backdrop for the game.

I view the concept as a hybrid of different ideas, like the collection quests in EQ2, the title system in Lotro and even the achievement rewards from Microsoft's Xbox live system. When you unlock a certain piece of knowledge, you'll gain some extra experience for the discovery and then the book may provide you with clues to other objectives that will help you earn even more experience or point you in the direction of more unlock-able items.

It's a game in and of itself.

I can see myself becoming obsessed with unlocking tons of stuff. But as you do it, you learn not only about your character's background history thru the flavored text, but also how you play the game. It keeps track of all the things you do with the keyboard, how you click, and how you move your character and you can open up achievements or titles just from that alone. This to me is the most innovative part of WAR and I'm just now hearing about it? This is a gem of an idea and more people should know about it. lol

Well, I'm just glad I discovered it today and will do all I can to get as much information to my readers about this awesome aspect of WAR.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Casualties of War

Casualties of War is a new Warhammer online guild started by fellow bloggers, Genda and Jobildo. Let me start by saying it's starting to shape up as the guild to be in. Most of the members so far are bloggers, who's blogs I read just about daily, Heartless, Ethic, Wilhelm2451, Cuppycake, Rick and several others. The guild is not restricted to bloggers, so everyone is welcome to apply.

The guild will be on two servers, still yet to be decided, with one server being for Destruction players and the other for Order. It will be a casual guild with the emphasis on providing a fun, relaxed and drama free atmosphere for all members.

I've not picked which side to start my future main on, both Destruction and Order have classes that really appeal to me. Starting with the White Lion, Warrior Priest and Witch hunter on the Order side, while the Black Orc, Shaman, and Witch Elf on the Destruction side are also peaking my interest. It's like Christmas, untill you start openning up presents, you don't know which will be your favorite toy. Boy, that was a hard analogy to pull out this early in the morning.

Rest assured that this game will be taking up more of my time than anticipated, because of the added feature of having a guild filled with fun people.

On a side note, if you haven't purchased a High Def television for your Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, I highly recommend it. The difference is night and day. I spent yesterday at a friends house playing Madden 08 for the PS3 on a 50" DLP HD TV and it was freaking awesome. Lucky for me, about a month ago my old 26" RCA TV in my man cave died, so I purchased a 32" Samsung HD for my Xbox 360. It just makes all the difference. Any one that tells you they can't tell the difference between High definition and Standard definition TV have them seek an opthomologist as soon as humanly possible because they most likely have gone blind.

Also, if you get an HD TV but can't afford the HD cable or Sat service, no worries. Just buy a $12.00 Tv antenni at Radio Shack and you should be able to pick up all of the local channels, which have been broadcasting in HD for some time. Unless you live out in the sticks, but still you'll have a great TV for you console, and thats the only true reason to getting one anyway. It was mine. You know hard it is to break a 26" TV?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Clarification

I want to make it clear that I do plan to purchase and play WAR when it comes out. As a matter of fact, I already have some money down on a collector's edition, if the guy at the gamestop understood what I said.

My recent posts here and on other sites might suggest that I'm hoping WAR will fail. This is not true and therefore, wanted to clarify a few things. The honest truth is, I'm hoping WAR will not only have a successful launch but do extremely well in the MMO community. If it beats WoW then great, because either way, I'll be playing the top two MMO's out there. I'm just annoyed at everyone saying it is going to be better than WoW without the benefit of actually hands on game play.

Video and still images, especially those released by the designers themselves, can't always be trusted and those in the beta can't speak for all of us till we get our grubby little hands on the game. Besides, beta players can only report on what they have seen, not what might or might not be fixed by the time the game goes gold.

I just want to get a nice influx of news and information, without all the hype. Sure, it looks great, sure the concepts of open questing look awesome, but you can't compare any of that to WoW till the finished product is sitting on your desk top. You just can't. The hype for AoC was huge, the launch was spectacular, but the game isn't doing so well, players are still having to deal with bugs and issues that existed at launch which have yet to be corrected. How many that endorsed the pre launch hype are still playing?

Look at EvE. It sneaked in under the radar, and has successfully carved out a nice portion of the MMO pie for itself, and from the blogs I read, its only getting better. But before last year, I didn't know anything about it. Why does every big name MMO have to adopted the philosophy of pre release hype to the point where the community becomes a feeding frenzy?

I'm just puzzled.