Full Metal Dust Jacket

November 21, 2008

So what are we to make of Heavy Metal at this point? Okay, apart from the rockin’ guitar riff when you open the Live Events tab (for fun, click on the tab multiple times, rapidly!) and a severe decrease of annoying summoning horn sounds, the meat of this patch was in the Reikland Factory scenario and the Heavy Metal “to do” list (which is gradually opening up, but soon will present itself in its full, naked glory in time for the Thanksgiving holiday).

The scenario is both fun and a success, visually well-designed with a lot of potential for strategies and victories. Bonus happiness for the fact that it can be accessed by people of all tiers, from rank 1 to rank 40; bonus sadness that it isn’t popping as often as people need it to be (especially for quests). It does beg the question of why popular scenarios, such as Nordenwatch, can’t be accessed by all tiers in the game.

However, what is interesting is how the Heavy Metal daily task list is resonating with players. People like it, for the reason they like these sorts of lists in other MMOs: it gives them a list of rewards and a clear, guided path of how to accomplish that goal. It feels like a step above the PQ influence bar page, because it’s not just doing one thing, but a plethora of tasks that get players out of their rut, whatever that might be — endless scenarios, endless keep taking/retaking, endless questing — and off on adventures hither and yonder. It’s also precisely the opposite of how the Tome’s worked so far.

For the most part, the Tome is reactionary — it reacts to previously hidden accomplishments when you pass an invisible line, and then rewards you (usually XP, but sometimes with other lustable loot). While being praised and rewarded for things you’ve done is all well and good, it isn’t a motivator in any sense, unless you’ve done your out-of-game research and know what to do to get certain unlocks and gain certain rewards. You aren’t aiming for a goal, just rewarded from time to time.

With the Heavy Metal event, the Tome swings around the other way. You have a clearly shown reward (trophy, cloak, one-week head start on tank classes) and a list of tasks in order to earn that reward. It’s straight-forward and not frustrating to the average, perhaps casual player trying to catch up with the big boys.

As Mythic evaluates how this Live Event progresses, I’d like to urge them to examine why this setup resonates in their players, and throw my opinion into the mix: we need to reveal all — or at least a large bulk — of the hidden Tome unlocks and give players a clear, guided list of things to accomplish and rewards at the end of the road. I’ve floated this idea around and several people have given me a positive thumbs up for the idea. Snafzg said that it would make the game “cooler imho” (Imho is his nickname for me). If nothing else, we can argue that this would get people diving into their Tome more often.

The Tome of Knowledge has far more muscle and scope than any other similar system in other games right now — it’s time for Mythic to pull off the covers and show it off in a big way.



  1. In-my-honest-opinion is his nickname for you? 🙂

  2. I’m against too much information how to obtain the unlocks.. atm I have the choice whether I go to websites to find the todo-list for a certain unlock or I keep exploring.

    This is good for the times I want to be an explorer..not only achiever. (coming from a explore-heavy MUD I like it sometimes just to strive around and explore stuff. This is one of the features I really like in WAR and missed e.g. in WoW) It’s nice to stumble upon things or search for them rather then getting the exact target.

    It’s nice to have a defined list for live events to break the normal tok-behavior/system, but I don’t want all of it changed. In a live event you need exact goals as the time they have to be fulfilled is limited. For the “normal” unlocks you don’t have a time limit (for core servers that is.. ORvR is a little bit different).
    Some things need a little more hints, but not “kill mob x to unlock Y”, “go to a to unlock b”…
    Therefore I’m e.g. happy that Mythic made the hints for tome tactics clearer, but not revealed everything.

  3. The only complaints I’ve seen regarding Heavy Metal aren’t anything new, queue times. I know some people in T2 have waited for over an hour before on a moderately populated server. In T3 I’ve seen no issue and the scenario is indeed fun even it is a bit chaotic at times with everyone running in different directions.

  4. I think a clear path written in the tome w/ a progress bar as to how to get a tome tactic is a start.

  5. Well I love the attempt at live events but this one is really sucking for me. I have gone from level 6 to level 9 in 2 days… always queued up for Reikland and I still can’t get in one time!

    I am not sure what the problem is but this is absurd. I want to participate… I want the unlocks emblem and cloak but seriously… if I can’t get in on my server after 2 days of being queued for over 2 hours each time… this is sadly unfair or broken.

    It doesn’t make any sense… how can a live event work for some people but not others? Already having the 1 hour nvidia memory leak CTD is bad…and am suffering through it until a hopeful fix comes out… but trying to get in this live event is very upsetting, especially on top of the CTDs.

    I have complained. I have an open ticket with EA Support. I have called Mythic. I have talked to an in game GM. Seriously… WTF? I WANT TO PLAY YOUR GAME and you are trying every single thing possible to push me away… sadly.

    Yet I still try and play… hoping and wishing for the patch that fixes it all… hoping I can get anywhere in at least 1 live event…


  6. I’ve said this before (and if I didn’t I should have) that scenarios need to be removed from victory point contribution, probably as a part of completely revamping how that system works. The great side effect would be that you could play all the scenarios just like the new Reikland factory.

    My assumption has always been that the scenarios are tied to zones and they contribute to zone control, and that’s why you can’t ever play Nordenwatch or Khaine’s embrace again after you leave tier 1. Removing the victory point contribution frees the scenarios from this bondage!

  7. Doesn’t the tome already do this to an extent? I’m fairly sure that for the bestiary pages you get a list of things to do. . .but only when you’ve done the things above it. For example, they start out with “Kill 5 of X”, which shows you kinda what you need to do for the next part.

    Also, you don’t have to have it displayed in order to get credit for it, so it still lets you do the random rewarding thing as well.

    Now obviously this is only part of the Tome and there are many parts that don’t even give you those hints. . .but I’d argue that the Tome does give a substantial amount of hints already. Just not in an easy to look up check list fashion.

  8. Reikland Factory was popping pretty slowly on Averheim last night… got my WH in there to do the quest, but waited 30 minutes with my WP and was pretty disappointed.

    Keep in mind that I’m running 5 toons, so I’m definitely a serial altoholic. When I realized this I logged off my WP and logged my Chosen on Azazel (as that’s where I’m hoping to run a BG toon as an alt a week early). Queued up Reikland Factory and was in there in about 10 minutes. Pretty pleased, save for ridiculously bad lag.

    Not sure about running Quests in the Scenarios though… I’m pretty sure I saw a couple frustrated people yelling obsenities at those of us who were just running around to each flag – some people play those scenarios to win, and I’d be the first to concede that those of us doing the quest were dead weight (until we completed the quest, and could get into the action with a little more commitment).

  9. Doing this would really turn the ToK into an Achiever’s dream rather than an Explorer’s dream. You would think this ultra-secretive and reactionary version of the ToK would appeal to both equally, and it does, but if you aren’t much of an explorer, there’s no way for you to do any achieving.

    I am about a 5/100 on the Explorer scale and 75/100 on the Achiever scale. The current state of the ToK is completely useless for me. Tweaking it to lift the veil of secrecy would make me actually care about this feature a LOT more. It would make the Tome a really sweet uber-quest log.

    If that’s not their vision for the ToK, well, that’s cool. Stick to your guns and I’ll stick to mine (by never bothering to give it more than a quick glance). Sorry Carrie!

  10. I would love to see some more direction like this. I wouldn’t want to take away any of the hidden goodies from the tome, but adding some things that provide more incentive to do different things would be great.

    As I wrote on my blog (rkik.wordpress.com), Tuesday night when the task was to complete the PQ stages, was the first time I have really been able to do all of a PQ with random people since early T2. You just never seem to get that critical mass of people in an area without some pre-planning. More time based events like this where people are encouraged to do things like PQs and such would be very welcome.

  11. For those of you with a yearning for a list of things to accomplish rather than a reward for finding things yourself willy nilly, check out the Tome Tactics mod. I’ve found it handy for when I’m trying to find a particular tactic unlock, or just want something to go off and do while waiting for a scenario to pop. This way you can have the best of both worlds, the joy of unlocking something unexpected and the ability to have a checklist to go down for those of us with gaming OCD, without taking anything away from either the Explorers or Achievers.

  12. I sympathise with wanting a list of things to achieve – and I love the current live event for giving us that. But I have deliberately not “read ahead” to find out what I’m going to be doing (I saw a list of all the requirements published somewhere, but turned away quickly) because I want the fun of finding out day by day.

    I like the tome’s reactionary “congratulations you just did something cool” approach, and I think it encourages in-game conversation (“how did you get that”). However, I also agree on more guidance. If there were a way to take a step or two toward that without turning it into a giant cheat sheet – perhaps offer the option on each tome item to reveal the requirement or not, at player discretion; or perhaps have an ability to ask the tome for something to do, and have it set you the day’s challenge from a randomly selected tome unlock within your level abilities – then I’d support that.

    Turning the tome into a huge list of “do this, get that” would vastly reduce my interest in it. I want to be surprised, not given a list of things I need to do.

    Darklands Shaman

  13. Oops, It’s called Tome Titan not Tome Tactics. Sorry.

  14. Check out the Curse plug-in, Tome Titan.

    It’s great – provides a nearly complete list of all tome unlocks (their coordinates, rewards, etc) at a click of a button.


  15. As a xbox360 player i will tell you that telling people how to grind to get things is much more effective than them being all hidden and exploring. sure make some a mystery but otherwise you are adding steps outside of the game to get things done and not letting people just stay in game. achievement whores will do them just because they are there.

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