Archive for April, 2009

30
Apr
09

Is Nerdrage The Real Cause of Global Warming?

Going by forums, the answer is probably yes. One feels like rambling today and by golly one shall.

I think I’ve worked out the chemical that causes nerd rage: Testosterpeen.

Given how highly strung a large part of our community is, I wonder how many of them will make it to 30. Or in some cases, 12.

Going around the forums after Winds of Change was introduced into the test environment then subsequently withdrawn, you could see who tracts of gameplayers getting hosed with testosterpeen. I mean, ok, it was a really bad idea and somewhere there is probably a mad dev laughing like a loon at the responses. It was probably a slow day in the office and mischief made itself known.

The GOA mods have been busy too. The General Discussion area on the official forums is turning into a bit of a Bermuda Triangle. Rant threads are sinking faster than Gordon Brown’s chance of ever being center spread in Playgirl (yeh that image will stick in your head now, no sleep for you tonight buddy!). I do rather love the indignant “BUT I WASN’T BEING HORRID” type posts from people who have threads deleted right after they’ve been very horrid indeed. It makes you wonder what they have to do at home before it gets above radar with their parents.

“Son, look, sacrificing auntie’s Jack Russel in a satanic rite means you have to do the washing up the rest of the week. Oh ok I can’t stay mad at you, just don’t do it again.”

Neighbour: “Your daughter just machinegunned my entire garden gnome collection!”

Parent: “Yeh, she does that.”

In fairness thats a bit ambiguous that one. Garden Gnomes should be C4’d, never machinegunned. The experienced person always saves the ammo for the owners of said Garden Gnomes.

On that subject… who makes Garden Gnomes? And why? And why do people spoil perfectly good landscapes with those eyesores. Its like someone wakes up one morning and decides that not only do they want to be a social outcast they decide they’re going to advertise it. Garden gnomes seem to be owned by very odd people, the type of people that perhaps do their gardening in Biohazard suits. Like one of my neighbours.

Putting Garden Gnomes outside your house isn’t daring to be different, its not going to mark you as windswept and interesting. Garden Gnomes mark an exclusion zone more effectively than the British Navy did to Argentina. It removes all doubt that the owners are People To Be Avoided. They probably have really tedious hobbies and lots of pictures of it.

Going back to our errant posters, the assumption made above is obviously that they have parents or still live at home with such. Many people defy social convention and never leave home. From what I can see on forums sometimes this is probably a good thing as I don’t see any positive outcome from some elements of the community roaming the outside world without supervision.

I don’t want to quote particular forum posts and am avoiding such. I don’t feel a need to put anyone under the spotlight and be horrible to them. There has just been some particularly vigorous posting from some more afflicted with testosterpeen, which in an MMO community these days is quite an achievement really for it to be noticed above the normal ambient whine.

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26
Apr
09

Altdorf Twice In One Day

I wish I could be as excited as the title of this entry would tend to imply. We pretty much pugged our way in late Saturday night and broke down the city doors around 1am. Later today we were back there around 4pm.

I also wish I could think of something cool or great to say about the city visits.  There are two types of reward that players look for in a game: experience or material reward. The experience of playing through something cool and impressive. The reward of shiny items that make their in-game avatar better at some function or other, or simply provide an entertaining piece of fluff. In theory, the endgame experience should be rewarding in and of itself. Garnering loot is a large factor for many but most would agree that you want the  process of gaining such rewards to have a large fun factor, even if the details of that fun may vary. Taking it further, one would expect the culmination of a lot of hard teamwork to be the best a game has to offer. Something that makes you feel your time was well spent, that the experience of getting there was worth it and if lucky, that the loot you take away reflects your track record of in-game awesomeness.

The city implementations in Warhammer miss this target by quite a large amount and many players (at least on Karak-Norn) are questioning why they would want to bother. Quite a few in our alliance alone have said they are up for the zone pushing and various RvR that make up T4 PvP in Warhammer but should we push all the way to the enemy city they’ll go find something else to do.

A rather damning indictment of what should be the culminating triumph of Warhammer.

The fun is from pushing the zones and objectives. Once you get to a city you pretty much do it because thats all there is to do until the city resets, if you want to RvR anyway. After you’ve done the tour of the city once or twice its a rather dull afair accompanied by outrageous lag and varying levels of frustration. There are minor moments of fun when you get to battle enemy players but usually its a case of whoever has the most numbers at that particular point in the zone, or whoever can get spells/abilities cast by button-mashing guesswork.

On Saturday’s late push there was nobody to fight. We just did the PQs a few times. While a bit dull, it did mean we were able to experience the city instance without lag for the first time ever. The city victory points didn’t budge the whole time we were there.

On the Sunday afternoon visit to Altdorf it was rather dreadful and all the poor design choices are thrown into sharp relief. I’ve mentioned them in previous blog entries, there’s no need to go over old ground.

At a guess, the pressure is on for the Land of the Dead to be the successor to Darkness Falls that everyone is hoping because for many players its the last chance for Mythic to prove they can deliver some kind of quality product with satisfying endgame content. My guess is that they are pinning their hopes on this to buy time for them to work on city sieges and forts.

24
Apr
09

Cautious Approval

After the craziness that was last weekend’s Mythic update, GOA have issued a bonus for all players for this weekend.

http://www.war-europe.com/#/news/?id_news=en442&lang=en

This won’t silence the GOA-haters but it does rather stick a big cork in the larger barrelled guns some are aiming at them. I for one think its a good sign of how GOA have improved over the years. I’m not going to let them off the hook completely because that would be unfashionable so before we get too excited, we’ll just say “Flash” then move swiftly on.

Continue reading ‘Cautious Approval’

20
Apr
09

Operation Operation: Altdorf 20/4/09

Monday night, Karak-Norn Destruction launched Operation Operation, possibly the most ridiculously named raid ever. Almost Orcish in its simplicity. Not a landmark event in any way as many people on many servers have sieged cities often.

 We started pushing zones around 1pm UK time. We had all 3 end zones by around 5pm and hit Altdorf around 9:20pm I think it was. Today’s play highlighted again some rather large flaws in the ‘end’ game, some of which is related to stability in the current patch.

 Atrocious lag in the zone prior to fort as soon as people started flooding the fort zones. In Kadrin Valley it looked like people were breakdancing as they juddered around.

 We had 3 zone crashes on Shining Way elf fort and 4 crashes in Altdorf which I think kicked everyone out of every city instance. It looks like as soon as a PQ timer hits zero then the city instances go boom.

 For me personally there were a few ironies – after putting in the time to messaging people and arranging things in advance and being online the whole time I didn’t ultimately get a chance to directly take part in either fort. I also struggled to get into the city itself and alongside my Destruction comrades spent a lot of time outside the city queing. And queing. And queing.

 Both forts fell within seconds of each other although the zone updates were a bit further apart. I’d like to claim we planned that but really it was the Shining Way crashes that caused delays that while we were locking Kadrin.

 This may seem cynical but I wondered if Mythic were aware of some of the flaws in the current patch and released it anyway because they wanted the live event code out on schedule. I believe they thought they could get away with it and hotfix their way out of trouble.

 I think Mythic should apologise to the players and to GOA. Any company that pushes out this level of dreadful coding has some serious quality control issues and personally if I worked for GOA I’d be firing rockets up Mythic’s ass for forcing my staff to pick up the pieces.

 1.21 has some very nice and welcome changes, but in terms of quality of coding it is shocking. GOA were fast to offer an extra day’s play in compensation and this is appreciated, but the core issue is still with the quality of software code that gets pushed out.

I’m sure over the coming week there will be more patching but it would be better if Mythic focused more on releasing quality updates than trying to stick to some schedule.

City sieges also need a complete overhaul. They’re anti-climactic in the extreme after one side or the other pushes hard for long periods of time and puts a lot of effort into coordinating large teams of people. That in itself is a separate discussion.

Land of the Dead will distract people from the feebleness that is city sieges but Mythic should take great care in future updates as they are not receiving any positive public feedback for their lackluster endgame and there is increasingly loud and frustrated criticism from the playerbase.

I have very mixed feelings about today. Warhammer feels like its nearly a great game and somehow keeps managing to just miss the target. I was pretty angry at a couple of points. During the repeated attempts on the elf fort it looked like the dwarf fort migh also crash.

On the community side of things, Mythic remain good at focusing people on larger goals than just shiny items and this I find far preferable to The Game That Shall Not Be Named. I like what they’ve done with zone rewards and such, and the continuing trend to promote teamwork where possible.

The quest for a more ridiculous name for a raid continues as does the mission to make Order as miserable as possible as often as possible (while everyone on both sides has fun of course).

20
Apr
09

Patch 1.21

I want to see Mythic justifying how they can ask their franchise partners to put up with the code they delivered for deployment to production environments last Friday.

I’ve seen computer viruses cause less downtime than Patch 1.21.

17
Apr
09

The Three Laws Of…

…The Magus:

  1. A Magus may not injure Order or, through skillz, allow Order to come to harm.
  2. A Magus must obey orders given to it by the voices in its head, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A Magus must obtain cool-looking armour so long as such efforts do not conflict with the First or Second Law.
 
The Man

The Man

The awesomeness that was Isaac Azimov came up with the original Three Laws of Robotics that many of us are familiar with:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

 

For Greenskins, Shaeffer came up with:

  1. Da orcses may not bash dem gobbos or, if hungry, allow gobbos to turns to slop.
  2. Da orcses must obey orders given to dem by da Warboss, even if dem orders conflict with da Furst Waaagh.
  3. Da orcses must get lots of dem shinies, but not stuff dat looks shinier than da Warbosses.
  

What would you come up with for your race/career?

16
Apr
09

An Intake of Breath…

Tomorrow in Europe we get Patch 1.21, http://war-europe.com/#/news/?id_news=en432&lang=en

Huzzah!

Details at:

http://herald.warhammeronline.com/patchnotes/index.php?id=2009_1-2-1

This is crunch time for a lot of players. It will be interesting to see how people respond after its been tested live on the European servers. It should be an interesting weekend as people test this out. There are 18 days remaining on my account. I look forward to finding out if its worth re-subbing.

Continue reading ‘An Intake of Breath…’




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