Archive for the ‘WAR’ Category


Goodbye, WAR

December 18, 2013

It feels fitting to do one last post on WAAAGH! today, many years after my last.  Today, the servers shut down, and this interesting, flawed, and frantic title closes.

I don’t regret following, playing, or writing about Warhammer Online one bit.  It helped get me into blogging and connected me with many great friends.  It was a lot of fun at times, even if it didn’t fully live up to its promise.  In the end, all we have from any MMO are our memories, screenshots, friendships, and (in my case) blog posts.

WAAAGH! out.


The Mod Squad

December 2, 2008

I’ve been holding off on experimenting with mods in WAR for a few reasons: one, I consider it part of my duty to cover this game as it is in its purest, Mythic-delivered form; two, I’m lazy; and three, I wanted to wait until after a major patch, let things settle a bit (and mods catch up), and go from there.

So I’m earmarking next week to trying out Warhammer Online mods for the first time — and I’m asking you for guidance!  I’m willing to try out any of the mods YOU find useful and fun, and give you my thoughts on them.

Don’t be nuts or list every mod in existence (I am going to limit it to only one or two mods a commenter), just list the “must have’s” that you feel I should include in my gaming experience.  Comment away!


Random Picture Tuesday!

December 2, 2008

I decided to clean out my screenshots folder this morning, and pass along the savings to you!


Yay!  I earned a bright, shiny new trophy!  Whee… what?  Oh, I guess I have to give it to the enemy then.


Syp vs. Pig — the eternal MMO struggle continues.  In memory of Book of Grudges!  (Seriously, guys, come back already… the joke’s up!)


You know how there was that Jurassic Park quote “life will find a way”?  In WAR, it’s “gold spammers will find a way” — here, they’ve moved the battle into my mailbox!


In a zone that I grew to hate with the passion of a million dying stars, I found actual proof of Hell.  Here it is.  This innocent-looking corner of the map is home to an atrociously hard-to-navigate mining pit that killed me a million times as I tried to get all the way to the bottom for a quest.

I hate Badlands.  So.  Very.  Much.


I don’t recall the particular circumstances of this evening, but good moods were nowhere to be found.  For the record, I’ve never played, nor ever wanted to play, Everquest.


Patch 1.06 Pwns You

December 1, 2008

Heads up: Patch 1.06 is heading to live servers tomorrow (Tuesday).  I’ll sort through the extensive notes later, but for now, head over to the Herald to read part 1 and part 2 of this pretty hefty patch!


ChaosCast and You

December 1, 2008

I’ve heard a few comments, here and there, floating along on the breeze like a guilty conscience, about the status of the next ChaosCast episode.  Short answer is: it’s coming.  Probably.  Maybe.

It’s not the easiest thing to get three guys in different time zones and countries together for a two-hour recording session, but it is a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, it’s just been insanely busy on my end and I haven’t made it a priority.  An average day’s responsibilities and activities for me include:

  • Running, editing and writing for my movie website, Mutant Reviewers From Hell
  • Making time to write in my spiritual blog, Watchman
  • Spending time with my wife
  • Working sometimes incredibly odd hours
  • Going to class and doing related reading, research and papers for seminary
  • Reading upwards of 200 new blog posts every day via Google Reader
  • Odd jobs around the house
  • And, y’know, sometimes playing games.

This isn’t an excuse, it’s just the explanation of a 32-year-old man who has a lot on his plate and has to balance different areas in his life.  Writing for WAAAGH! is very easy for me — I usually sit down and write two or three articles when I get a half-hour to spare, and then save them up for when days get nuts.  But I’ll never be a lightning-fast leveler or spend gobs of time raiding, because I simply can’t.

So I promise to get in touch with Keeny and Snaffy and see what we can get in the works (I know, for their part, they have been trying to find a good time to do this).


The Headbanger

December 1, 2008

heavy-metalGUILDIE: I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a title for finishing Heavy Metal.

ME: Like “The Headbanger”!

Considering that I’ve been Away From Keyboard for a full seven days, it was a bit eye-raising to have wrapped up Heavy Metal in an hour or so of gameplay before it ends this week. Eye-raising, but welcome — I hate tedious grinds, which HM was not, and I love accessibility, which HM definitely was. I snagged the trophy (meh), the level 35 cape for when I hit that rank in 2011 (yes, Syp is a painfully slow leveler), and the tank head start access (nice). I figure that if I was able to do all of this fairly quickly, then pretty much nobody has an excuse for getting early access to the tanks unless it has something to do with space slugs and their nefarious memory juice.

So far we’ve experienced two Live Events from the Mythic crew, one for October (Witching Night) and one for November (Heavy Metal). Both weren’t perfect — they definitely felt rough around the edges, experimental, feeling their way toward middle ground and compromise. We’ve called in the color commentators (Chuck and S’kuk) to give us their expert analysis on how the Live Events fared, and what we might expect in the future.


  • Witching Night’s main goal was to drive people into the RvR lakes, with a secondary focus on providing an in-game Halloween-themed holiday.
  • Heavy Metal was both an advertisement for the upcoming 1.1 content patch (with the two tank careers), and putting people through a guided list of tasks.

Use of Tome of Knowledge

  • WN – Functional but awkward. It was more or less an in-Tome quest counter with few instructions of where to go, what to do or how to reap your rewards.
  • HM – Can we say “heavy metal riff”? Oh, we can. A more clear checklist of To Do’s, although it was disappointing that you couldn’t toggle any of them to show up on your main screen in the quest counter area. Much improved overall.

Ease of Completion

  • WN – Tough. Parts were obscenely easy (such as grabbing a Goblin mask), but most of it either was hard to find (such as the cauldron spots or the phasing ghosts) or hard to do (progressing the RvR PQ to the point where you could down a Lord… and repeat that 9 more times). The INF bar absolutely crawled, making the grind not worth your while.
  • HM – Very easy, although it was problematic that a majority of the tasks took place in the temporary scenario (Reikland Factory) and some servers didn’t have the population or interest to get that scenario to pop. Once Mythic opened up the daily quests to be able to do them all at once, it was a breeze.

Unique Features

  • WN – The first oRvR PQs, combining a mix of PvP action (stage 1) with a PvE mini-raid (stage 2).
  • HM – A new scenario and the trial of daily quests.


  • WN – Witching Night’s rewards were mostly cosmetic (although cool-looking): masks, cloaks and shape-shifting potions. There were also special relic and amulet loot that dropped from certain mobs with stats attached to them. Also, two titles.
  • HM – While the trophy was fluff, the cloak (available in each of the four tiers) had decent stats, and the crown jewel of the event was getting a week’s head start on playing a Black Guard or KotBS.

Adjustments on the Fly

  • WN – Witching Night’s short duration was compounded by several bugs/problems, one of the biggest being that the entire warband attacking a Lord wouldn’t get the kill — just the group. Was patched midway through.
  • HM – Mythic acted fast to quickly hotfix the infrequency of the Reikland Factory scenario pops, as well as opening up the “daily” task list to be able to be completed at a player’s leisure (gamers were afraid of missing a day and not completing the event).


  • WN – While WN certainly did drive players into the RvR lakes, the action was anything but dynamic. Across all servers, large mobs would form on either side and stand at a respectable distance from each other, sniping cautiously but usually unwilling to commit full force (and thus potentially giving the enemy “free kills” toward their PQ goal). Players would also refuse to engage at all, stalemating the PQ altogether in stage 1. Finally, the close proximity of the warcamps to where the action was being fought meant that killing an enemy had no effect on the enemy’s army size past a few seconds.
  • HM – While Reikland was well-received, having this Live Event hinge on a scenario smacked of weirdness in the aftermath of a huge backlash against the primary focus of scenarios in WAR. For servers or tiers that couldn’t get Reikland Factory to pop, there wasn’t a way to get around it. Finally, this Live Event swung from WN’s very tough difficulty to almost insultingly Fisher-Price ease — several of the tasks just involved showing up somewhere, or doing a chapter 1 PQ.


  • The speed of introducing Live Events so soon after launch was a tremendously good hit. People like fluff, and fluff they got (although because this fluff shared a stat-item spot, they rarely got worn once the event was done). It did get people together and into the RvR lakes, and several energetic stories arose from those conflicts.
  • For being more or less a PR stunt for the 1.1 patch, it did get people excited about the tank classes (with a rather unique elite reward) — and Reikland Factory’s received a huge chunk of acclaim for its design, multiple strategies, fluid battle and fun little asides (pie throwing!). Of the two Live Events, HM catered equally to all players — hardcore and casual, PvE and PvP alike.

So what does the future hold for Live Events?  If nothing else, we do know that there is a person in charge of developing them and a dedicated tab in your Tome of Knowledge, so they’ll be returning for sure.  I think they have some kinks to continue to work out, but by and large, any new content is always welcome and a great change of pace.  Live Events can goad players into doing types of content they normally would not, and in giving them clear-cut goals and a list of things to achieve those goals, they feed the Achiever in all of us.


Poll: Merge or Remain?

November 30, 2008

Oh My RvR!

November 30, 2008

I know I’m pretty late to the party with the Open RvR announcements that Mark made last week — blame a great week away from it all in the sunny lands of Washington D.C. (lookit me, I’m palling around with Lincoln!) — but I’m back, and it’s time to tackle the leftovers of this news story.

As I said previous, Mythic’s newly stated priority on oRvR signifies a big shift in the game’s focus, putting a bulk of their chips into the hat they think will bring them the most fame, glory and subscriber numbers.  Time will tell on this — right now, my oRvR experience has been limited to joining roving bands of renown seekers who bounce from Keep to BO to BO to Keep, taking any that are undefended and avoiding actual conflict with enemy players.  That’s Boring and Pointless in my book, and I’ve shied away from oRvR until something changes.  Perhaps this will be the lure back into the RvR lakes of legend.

RvR Influence System – We’re getting this with 1.1, and while there are no specifics to it past a comparison to the PQ Influence system (so let’s assume an INF bar and tiered rewards), it does give us a measurable goal to shoot for while we dither around in PvP combat.  I’m interested in just how many tiers there will be, how many rewards, will the rewards rotate, will you max out a bar and be done with the tier, etc.  Lots of questions, but a really good addition.

Increased oRvR Visibility and Traveling – This is a catch-all for a number of features to get players aware of the oRvR conflict and get them there pronto: a second bind point, campaign HUD, and tier-wide messaging.  None of this is “sexy”, per se, but necessary — kind of more bricks and mortar to the foundation of the RvR program.  My only concern: does more increased travel equal an increasingly devalued sense of the world’s scope?  We’re already bouncing around the place with binds and scenarios and near-instant flight-points between zones — will we forever lose the sense of the world of Warhammer as an actual place with size versus a series of instanced maps?

RvR Incentives – Past the influence system, there will be a number of other goodies.  Daily RvR quests – definitely.  People like to be rewarded for what they’re doing already, kind of a two birds with one stone thing.  Keep Quests have me wondering if they’re going to go beyond “today’s quest is to take [named] Keep” that everyone will be gunning for — are they going to introduce scripted or variable elements to keep taking?

Keep Ownership Incentives – This is a no-brainer from how often we’ve been hearing about it — people need incentive to not only take keeps, but try to hold and defend them.  Giving guilds goodies… that’s a very positive thing.

Fame System – Another item that, y’know, sounds good, but I need more details or hands-on experience before making any sort of judgment.  But it does sound like Mythic’s going to be expanding the amount of player-set goals they can shoot for, and that might make folks actively look for combat instead of shy away from it.

This quote is the most catching, however:

It’s really as simple as this, oRvR should be a major focus for leveling, item gain, etc. in WAR. Some of the systems are already in place and in Tier 4, oRvR is alive and well. On other Tiers, however, oRvR is not being engaged in as often as we had hoped when we launched WAR. Our goal is to ensure that oRvR is the place where players can level the fastest, get the best items and overall, have a great time while doing it. It is supposed to be riskier, more challenging but ultimately, more rewarding than any other place within WAR.

People love to quote Mark Jacobs because he likes to say huge and sweeping things like this, that may or may not come back to bite him, or may or may not be a huge success.  This is Mythic drawing a line in the sand and saying, “PQs?  PvE Quests?  Scenarios?  All well and good, but oRvR is where you should be playing.  It’s the place that’ll be the most rewarding in all ways, and it’s where we want to funnel the bulk of our player base into.”  Perhaps some gamers might balk at this, viewing it as a deliberate limiting of their game time options (while they can do whatever they like in a game, players invariably head toward the most rewarding experience for the least effort/time involved).  But this is the most dynamic, variable element of WAR — player-versus-player combat — and I can’t fault them for wanting this to be the crown jewel that sparkles more than the rest.


GameSpy Continues The Love

November 29, 2008

gamespy(I’m sure it’s not because this feature was sponsored by Warhammer Online or anything… right!)

I just thought this was a cool excerpt from GameSpy’s Holiday Buyer’s Guide:

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

World of Warcraft finally has some decent competition. We here at GameSpy have steadily played quite a bit of WoW since it came out in 2004, but Warhammer Online finally stole away some of our thralldom. It’s easy to see why. Warhammer borrows liberally from the undisputed market leader, but advances many ideas a few steps further. Foremost amongst these is PvP. In Warhammer, it’s the way you’re meant to play, and the execution is brilliant.

I played WoW for four years, and I feel that the majority of the time I spent was essentially a preamble to PvP. Warhammer Online helped me to realize this by putting this crucial aspect of the game at its front and center. As a PvP gamer, I previously had to quest, level, and partake of every other aspect of the “grind” in order to graduate into the experience I was after to begin with. If you’re anything like me, then WAR is probably for you. — Miguel


Return to the Promised Land

November 26, 2008

Because a lot of fret and worry has been spilled over the number of WAR players who (supposedly) returned to WoW for the expansion pack — including, it seems, the formerly WAR-only Casualties of WAR guild/blogger social network — I’ve tried to stay aware of what’s been going on over there in Blizzardtown. As far as I can tell, a majority of people are giving the following two reports:

  1. Wrath of the Lich King is very well-done, interesting, pretty and caters well to the casual player.
  2. And it’s very, very quick.

“Quick” not as in “someone hit level 80 within a day of launch”, which is the sort of insane goal that’s expected from hardcore geeks, but “quick” as in “the bulk of the pre-launch level 70s are now, or shortly hereafter will be, level 80.” The Burning Crusade wasn’t anywhere near this speedy with its population ascent — trust me, I was there.  It remains to be seen how much of the new end game Blizzard’s rolled out will retain the current crop of players, but this lightning-fast chow down of the new content gives me a gut feeling that after another month or two, gamers are going to get restless once more. Including and especially the ones who returned from WoW from WAR.

I mention this because this is a narrow time window that may be a blessing in disguise for Mythic. They have a few months of being able to blame Wrath of the Lich King for subscriber drops before the onus falls fully on them — and they have a few months before the famous game-hopping crowd could be searching once more, possibly looking to give WAR a second chance.

If WAR beefs up, shores up its weaknesses, incorporates the new tank classes, gets the ball rolling on serious oRvR fun, improves game performance, and really ups their PR — EA should be throwing a lot more muscle behind this property than I’ve witnessed — then, sure, it could be a second, “soft” launch of WAR, one to fully convince players that the title’s on the way up in the world, and is so much more worth playing now than ever before.

Of course, that’s a lot of “if’s”, including the presumption that WoW-WAR gamers will get bored with Lich King in that time period. In any case, the public profile of Lich King should die down enough to let the other MMOs regain their voice and slice of the journalistic pie — and that might just be the right time to begin trumpeting WAR anew.