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I’m closed…

Unfortunately, I’ve all but quit playing WAR. It is with a sad heart, because I think it is one of the best MMO’s out there. I just can’t find time any more. Work, girlfriend, family and friends, more work, and of course my other hobby – photography – takes enough time as it is, so I don’t have any real time to play any more, and thus I decided to quit. My subscription lasts out May though, so I might log on sometimes when I don’t have much to do.

To all you who read the blog – thank you! And to those who commented – it made me feel that my efforts were worth it!

Happy gaming, and good luck with your lives! Remember to go outside and quest in Real Life sometimes too. There are some epic rewards waiting for you there as well, you just have to remember you can’t re-roll 😉

Why not WAR?

When I tell people that I play an MMO, everybody asks: “Do you have a level 80 yet?“, and I have to tell them that no, I don’t, because in Warhammer Online, you can only be level 40. They look at me like I’m green, and from Mars. “What dude? You don’t play World of Warcraft? Why? Why? WHY!!?“, and then I try to tell them, but they never listen. That’s why I’m writing this post.

If you think World of Warcraft is the only MMO out there that’s worth playing, I hope you’ll read this, and see if I can change your mind.

Let’s look at pvp first.
In WoW, you can run into your capital and join a pvp battleground. You will be placed in a team with others, and you’ll be within a certain bracket. Level 1-11, 12-21, etc (if I’m not mistaken). There, you’ll meet casual players, hardcore players who are tired of levelling their lowbie so they do a battleground, and twinks. A level 11 rogue, with 1300 health (when Average Joe has around 300), with armor so thick and magical nothing will penetrate (unless, of course, you’re a twink too), and weapons with the best enchantment you can get. He will stealth up behind you, and kill you before you even know you’re dying. Real fun this. And, he’ll stay there without gaining xp, so you will meet him on every character you roll. And he’ll kill them, one after the other.

In WAR on the other hand, you can click an icon on your minimap from the moment you spawn after rolling your character. In due time, that is when the parties are full, you will be invited to join a RvR (realm vs realm, as in High Elf vs Dark Elf, or Dwarf vs Greenskin, or Empire vs Chaos) scenario. When you accept, you will automatically be transfered from wherever you are to the scenario -and after the fight, you’ll pop right back where you left! No running around to find your scenario at all. Every character smaller than level 8, 18, 28, or 38 will be bolstered – that means they’ll get the extra health they need. (As in, if you’re a level 1, you’ll gain a temporary increase of 7 levels with health.) People will gain xp from the scenario, so you won’t be facing the same twink over and over again, and people will not have the best equipment there is, because they’ll outlevel it soon, and they will find better soon.

No twinks, no running to find your scenario entrance, no super-gear, no “imba” people – I say WAR wins the first round.

The experience of xp
In WoW, you can do either quests or instances to gain experience. Oh, and you can grind. Repeatedly slaughter the same bunch of monsters, over and over and over and over and over again, until you reach your wanted level. Instances are good, because you might get lucky and grab some boss-loot. Something “uber”, an item that you’ll keep for at least a good twenty levels. You will also work as a group, and share some fun times. And, you’ll get some decent xp. When you quest, you do “kill X mobs”, and “run from X to Y doing Z”, and that’s normal for MMO’s. A bit dull after a while, but still. You’re getting there, right?

In WAR, you can do quests, just like in WoW. But you can also join a public quest. A open quest, where you’ll need a party to complete the main objective, and where you’ll gain xp as you clear the secondary objectives. (Say, first you need to kill 100 evil elfs for stage one, then you’ll have to kill 10 evil elf champions for stage two, and in the end, you’ll have to kill the elf hero, and his entourage, at stage three.) And, there are new chapters everywhere, and more PQ’s to each chapter. The rewards you’ll get will be usable for a level that equals the chapter number, times two. (So, if you do chapter 3, you’ll get rewards for level 6.) Most likely, you’ll find an epic drop on the hero, and you’ll also roll for loot. This loot comes in a chest, with bags of various values. And, as you do PQ’s, you’ll find that you’ve got quite decent gear, without having to pay an arm and a leg at the Auction House.
After a day with PQ’s, you might want to do some RvR, and you join an open RvR warband. Up to 24 players to each warband, there might be a lot of pvp to attend. You might attack, or defend, keeps – depending on what side of the conflict own it, and you’ll gain experience claiming battlefield objectives. Winning objectives, capturing or defending keeps, and killing opponents, will all give you xp. The bigger the group, the faster you can do things, but you’ll get less xp. It is quite possible to do nothing but oRvR, and gain level 40 without doing anything else.

Even if WAR doesn’t have instances, there is so much more to do than grinding and quests. You’ll be working together with other players on a whole different level than in WoW, because most of the content is made for groups. The good thing is that more often than not, you’ll manage to kill your way through the PQ, even if it’s considered a hard one. So, again I’ll have to declare WAR the winner.

Let’s make stuff
WoW has one of the best crafting systems in any MMO. It’s been a while since I played it now, but as I remember you can make potions, you can sew your own robes, leatherwork your new armor, mine, create plate mail, pick flowers, make runes (after Wrath of the Lich King), and a bit more. You can cook, do first aid, and even fish!
In WAR you can scavenge and butcher, two skills that work in a similar way, except one is picking humanoid parts, and the other is picking animal parts. You can cultivate the various seeds you find when you loot monsters, salvage magical components, and you can make talismans or potions. Not so much to choose among, and every guild worth a few copper will have at least one expert talisman maker, and one expert apothecarist.

So, due to the lack of interesting crafts in WAR, I’ll give one point to WoW.

What do you guys think so far? I’ll hopefully be back with part two in a few days.

No luck today

I have told you about how fun I’ve had with the various warbands I’ve attended, and lead, but today I’ve got a few other experiences.

I logged on, and found a warband in Ostland. So far, so good. We were going to capture the battle objectives, and after just a few minutes I got leadership. “Thank you”, I though. Since I had just logged on, and just gotten leadership, I decided to check how the warband was doing, so I tried to follow the flow for a bit.

There was no flow, because a flow is when everything floats in the same direction. This was a rag-tag band of people running solo, so I tried to take charge. At first, I thought I had succeeded, because all gathered, and we took the Monastery of Morr without loss. Then we ran to the next objective, and people started acting like solo players again.

I tried to pull the warband together, and again I thought I had succeeded. We managed to capture the next objective too, and then we decided to try for the keep. We had five healers, four or five tanks, and the rest was dps, so we should be good. At least if the order didn’t arrive.

They did, and the warband went ballistic! There were suddenly fifteen leaders and ten deaf people, and a group of four or five who listened to me. It went downhill from there.

Well, next time I hope I either don’t have to lead, or end up in a good warband.

Today, I got what I crave!

After having been running around for a few hours, I finally found a warband that was going places. All over the places actually. I was one of few healers, but we did manage to take keep after keep. Then, all of a sudden, I was the only healer, and I got a lot to do. At level 14, you’re not the best to heal T2, but you are so much better than having no healer around, so people accept you.

Anyway, I got praise for my healing ability, and even more praise for saying “I’m off to the bathroom, don’t die!”, because, as I was told, many healers just go afk without saying anything. Seriously? They do that?

If you’re the life line of a party or a warband, you can’t just run off like that. If you tell the party or warband that you really need to run to the bathroom, they’ll understand. More important, they’ll know you’re not there, and wait with the hardest encounters. If you don’t say anything, you’ll end up without any groups, because other players can’t count on you.

Anyway, after a run through all of T2, we had all the BO’s and all Keeps but the one in Ellyrion. With only six people left in the warband, we gave it a go, but didn’t make it, so we decided it’s night. I ended up with level 14 and rank 14 though, so I’m happy.

The f…!?!

Yesterday I updated my graphics drivers as one of the last things before shutting off my computer, and today I’m getting a message when I try to start WAR: System video card fails minimum specs — Warhammer will now terminate.
What the F?!?? My specs can’t be worse after a night? They’re still much better than the minimum specs Mythic has told us about, and the game has worked great since release.

Edit: I have made a roll-back, so now I’m on my old driver, and the game is running like a charm again. I blame Windows Vista, but I always blame Vista… All I can say to people who experience the same issues is that they should do a roll-back on their driver. (If you have to update your driver, you’ll just have to manage without the game. Sorry…)

The art of being nice

I might be saying the same things as in other posts now, but I guess it can’t be said to often.

When you’re in a group, what you say and do will stick. So, if you’re an ass, people will remember an ass, and if you’re the “omgmostimbaplayerevr”, people might remember that too. I hope people remember me, and I hope they remember me in a good way.

I tend to be polite with people when I’m in their group. I say thank you when they buff me, or if they give me anything, and I buff people without them having to ask for any buffs. I only need on items that I really need, and only if I need them on the toon I’m currently playing. (So, I’m not Needing on Squig Herder items if I’m playing my Zealot) I do not overrun the leader, even if I know better, but I might suggest other options than the one pointed out. When I’m in charge, I make sure we’re always in the action. Nothing is more boring than standing around waiting, while someone tries to decide what to do next.

I’ll stress this a bit more: If you’re in charge of a warband, keep it moving! Do not stand around arguing about where to attack next. Go to the closest battlefield objective and capture it – or better yet, run straight for the Keep to capture that. There’s where the best prizes are.

What I don’t like at all is people who think they’re entitled to be main something, just because they came first to the party. “ffs, I’m main healer” or “you be off-tank, you came last” is really pissing me off. “I’m main healer, because I’m five levels higher than you and got way better gear!” – yes. “I guess I’m main tank, because I have a sword and a shield.” – yes! “I r mian whatnot cuz u all suxxorz!” = get the hell out of my warband!

Anyway, that’s enough for now – there are keeps waiting.

Blogging Spotlight

To my amazement I had 250 hits yesterday, and around 70 so far today, so I checked where the hits came from, guessing it would be some bot or other that was spamming me.

Not so. I had been picked out as one of the blogs over at Warhammer Alliance! They’ve had this Warhammer Blogroll, that I attended, and I must have done good. Thank you for promoting me! This makes me want to write more 🙂

The slow grind…

I’m constantly hearing people say things like: “Grinding quests with my Zealot takes forever” and “the dps on my Zealot is insanely low”, and then I don’t hear any more about their healer. And I never see it again either.
I guess that is because people think they should be able to solo their way through WAR, and in a way they are, instead of trying to find groups to do stuff with.

Yes, I do solo on my Zealot, but I mainly look for groups, either for PQ’s or for RvR. If someone need a healer for a quest or two, I also tag along, as I most likely haven’t done that particular quest.

This game, Warhammer Online, is a MMO. That means you’re supposed to gang up on everything. So, if you’re a whiny healer class, who can’t do shit alone, go grab a group!

Saturday morning blues…

It is strange how there can be a lot of people playing Friday at 10 am, but hardly a living soul Saturday at the same time. You would think that more people had the day off any given Saturday, but obviously they’ve all been out for a few pints yesterday.

Day of the Zealot

Today I had a field day. (Pun intended!) My girlfriend is out of town, and I was done at work early, so around 2pm I sat down to play, and I decided to play my zealot for a while. It’s now almost 12:40am and I’ve just logged out of the game.

Trinina was level 4/0 when I logged in today, and after dinging to level 5 playing solo, I heeded the call for WAR, and went to the warcamp. There I met with a few tanks and dps, who needed a healer to keep them up. Of course, being level 5 I didn’t have a lot to bring, but I did my best. After a while I found myself at level 6/3 and all of a sudden I was the leader of the warband.

I decided to do the most of it!

How to run a successful warband.

First, you need a couple of dedicated players, who are willing to listen to you, and you only. If nobody listens, you might as well just pack your belongings and go somewhere else. I was so lucky as to have five players who decided that if I was in charge, I should lead. So, they said straight out: “I only take orders from Trinina!” – and they did.

Second, you need to be able to think. Not only tactical, but also about who’s in what party, and who goes where. There’s no use having all the tanks in one party, all the dps in another, and all the healers in a third. Your job as a leader is to actively move people around, so you got a little of each in every party. (Of course, the first couple of hours I was the only healer. That made it tough!) Make sure tanks have guard on the healers, and that someone stands ready to intercept any enemy closing in on the guys pouring out their healing love.

Third, you cannot be scared of your warband. Yes, someone might be higher level than you, and someone might be very good at killing the other side, having played the game since release (or even beta), but when you’re in charge, you lead. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to advice, because you should. And you should let a couple of the best players become warband assistants, in order to make things go smooth.

Fourth, you need to know where to find what. There is nothing as corny as a leader running in the wrong direction, or one who doesn’t know the names of the battle objectives you’re about to capture. Check the map often, so you know where to go. And if you see the other side run by, make sure that either all of your warband turns to hunt them down, a dedicated party turns while the rest runs to the objective, or all keeps on running to capture that sweet victory.

Make sure to spread some love through your warband. Tell the people who do good that “this couldn’t be done without people like you!”, because that will boost morale (real life morale, not in-game morale!), and you do want your players to have a good time. Also make sure that you have a backup plan, just in case your warbands efforts aren’t quite enough to win. Defeat makes you stronger, if you chose to learn from it!

After a day of running around healing in rvr I’ve also figured out something that most healers should: Never be the one who rushes into the battle. Never go for the kill if you’re not 110% sure you’ll not pull aggro from anything. Do your job by pumping in HoT’s and larger heals where it’s needed, and do remember to buff everybody you can before the fight starts.

Well, that’s a bit of my mind. Hope you like it…