Apr 02 2009

70 or so recruits and falling

Published by at 10:52 pm
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So when you make a large cake, you gotta break some eggs. I’ve recruited to the breaking point of being able to track all of them and now that I’ve hit that breaking point, I’m taking a break to see how all these new recruits pan out. There’s a LOT of potential in a lot of the recruits, but I was still shocked to find out several left today. I probably shouldn’t be shocked, all of them except 1 hadn’t even posted on our website yet. Amazingly, one quit after I told him to make a post. He replied to my request with a /gquit and told me “uuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Sorry man I’m just not into commitment”.

Amazing I gotta tell you, what’s MMOs coming to. In a way I kind of miss the days of EQ where people respected their relationship with their guild and when guilds were almost a requirement to play the game past level 20. Oh well. In the end even if half the recruits make it we’ll be better off. In about a month I’ll go through another recruitment drive. I like this recruit at the end/beginning of the month because it’s easy to keep track of when recruits recruitment period is over. We’re averaging about 18-20 people on every night. Hopefully that number stays constant. In about a month we’ll have that many 30-40 members online and Bastion Stair well become our nightly mistress. Like they say “let the bodies hit the floor”!

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Mar 29 2009

42 new recruits since Friday

Published by at 11:07 pm
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Yes, 42 new recruits and we have more potentially through referrals.

Now that we have a more active player base, I really need to put some fires under the asses of the officers. Either they need to step up and start organizing events or I need to find new officers. I busted my ass to reignite the fire in HILYMI, they need to make sure to keep the coals red hot and not let them die from lack of attention. I will continue to recruit through the week. My hope is to have around 100 unique members by the end of the week. Some recruits won’t make it, but then again I do know that with the surge of new people, a lot of current members will step out of the darkness. Worst case scenario, I will be able to recruit a few more if we drop below that number.

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Mar 27 2009

Getting HILYMI back up to speed

Published by at 11:47 pm
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Thanks to Michael being on board now, I’m feeling amazingly oddly relaxed and most of all I feed like I can focus on the guild for the first time in months.

I actually recruited 10 new recruits for HILYMI today. I tried a slightly new angle on my recruitment method and it seems to be working really well. I actually took the time to promote an officer and come up with a game plan on how to get the guild running back at full steam again. I’m absolutely amazed, I dunno, it just feels like magically things are just going really well. 

I think I might need to make some revisions to the HILYMI website. It seems enough people are getting confused with the forums that it might warrant some updates to the skin. Not really a big deal, just something needing to be look into. I also need to start producing some guild videos as well as updating the guild gallery. Maybe I can find the time this weekend to do some of that. 

Tonight we had 12 people online at one point. I really would love to see the guild over 20 online again. Once we start hitting over 20 consistently, every night, then I know we’re at a healthy guild number. It seems like a healthy number of about 20-25 will keep the guild from ever complaining that there’s “nothing” to do. We might certainly get close to 80 unique members with 40 or so alts, putting the guild around 120 characters. Of course the most I’ve managed in unique members was around 120. If we ever get that big again, I’ll have to make sure I have solid officers first. If we had that many we’d be able to fill over half a war band and probably a full war band on most nights. Of course regular PVE runs would be a given for sure. I think we can’t do it just with recruitment though. We need to focus on scheduling events.

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Feb 19 2009

Moving servers

Published by at 7:44 pm
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Wowy zowie batman!

We’ve all known for a while that the overall population of Umgrim has been suffering. We’ve been asking Mythic for a while to merge our server with another one. Well Mythic took it a step further. Starting tomorrow they are offering free server transfers for anyone on Umgrim and 2 other low population servers onto 2 other servers which they hope to be stable in population once this is all done. So collectively via Warhammer Alliance and other boards like UmgrimWarlords, we have made a universal decision for the MAJORITY of the server of Umgrim to move to Iron Rock. This is on very short notice because the move starts… TOMORROW. Yes that’s a big order and a lot of fast communication I need to make to my guild to ensure that everyone all does the work necessary to move their characters to Iron Rock. We have no idea what will happen to people who don’t transfer now so everyone needs to get it done. We’ve communicated via phone calls, text messages, forum PM’s, posts, and emails. Hopefully we’ve reached most everyone. We’ll see how this goes. A little nerve wrecking for sure!

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Feb 16 2009

Relaxing 4 day weekend

Published by at 5:52 pm
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I’ve been really stressed out recently and thought it good to take a nice 4 day weekend. President’s day being Monday, all I had to do was take 1 additional day off and BAM, 4 day weekend here we come. Overall it has been very relaxing and I even took the time to volunteer for Potluck in the Park on Saturday which was my first volunteer work I’ve done in a very long time and first one dealing with the homeless. Besides that I’ve been working hard all weekend with Kerrie on the garden and things in the garden have been looking better and better. All the RnR has been good for me I think. My stress level is lightyears lower than it was last Wednesday. I even got a good bit of gaming in this weekend and finally hit renown rank 31 in Warhammer which means I’m now able to wear my Annihilator gear.

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Feb 04 2009

Anyone still reading?

Work has been seriously draining on my as I’ve moved into my role as manager of software development for ecoAsset Manager. Many things including learning more about the product to leadership training and in general getting more used to the big corporate processes and procedures of IHS. I’ve been really deeply involved in the migration of all of our code from the Mountain View office as well as Salt Lake City from their old source control onto TFS. On my product specifically, I’ve been doing a mix of prototyping different technology stacks including WCSF with MVP vs .Net MVC and LINQ to SQL vs LINQ to Entities.

Family and health have been ok, family more so than health. I’ve been really stressed out recently and that’s really affected my health a lot since Chron’s flare ups are more likely during times of stress. I’ve been learning how to deal with the stress better and started recently going to the chiropractor which has helped with shoulder and neck strains from stress.

While Warhammer has been fun, I really haven’t had nearly enough time to play it because when I get home I’m so tired / stressed out that I can’t think. The good news is that I love my new boss more and more every day which helps with my stress level. My team is really starting to come together and become more integrated and used to working with each other. Overall while things have been stressful and insane, I see them getting better and hope that things will improve over time.

NOTE: Posted some backdated blog posts which I kept in emails to myself.

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Oct 03 2008

It’s been a while

Published by at 3:02 pm
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Suffice to say with moving, new role at work, and the exciting launch of Warhammer Online, I’ve been very busy. Add two trips to California into the mix and make that VERY TIRED and VERY BUSY. On top of all that, my brother just had his daughter (see Ray’s website on my links list) Rachael Elizabeth Laurence on September 13th at around noon. Very happy things went smoothly and both of the proud parents are doing fine.

In regards to work, I have my Senior Software Engineer (Charles McAuley) hired and recently I’ve been interviewing perspective candidates for Technical Support and my other Software Engineer. Interestingly enough at least 2 people (that I know of) have looked up this website and other websites I’m sure of mine and done research about me prior to the interview. I of course have nothing to hide and am open person, it’s just not something I’m used to (although I should be almost expecting it these days). I think I’ve made my decision at this point about who I want to hire for support, but I’m still working out the details with Tony and corporate (paper work).

In regards to entertainment, Warhammer has been going very well. The guild is up to around 40 members again (plus around 10 alts). The game is great and it’s really awesome to be close to all my good friends again. As always trying manage a guild of 50+ people is challenging, but also rewarding and the members appreciate how I manage things.

In regards to home life and Kerrie… well things couldn’t be better. We’re *mostly* unpacked and have caught up a little bit on the garden. Me being out of town for two weeks in the last month hasn’t helped with the house progress, but even still things have been progressing nicely. We’re enjoying the new house and really settling in well with our lives together finally.

Those are the top events in the last month or so. Will hope to start getting back into the groove of blogging again for those who keep up with my goings on. Life has been busy and I hope all my readers out there have been doing well.

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Sep 02 2008

PAX 2008

Published by at 2:47 pm
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This weekend I was at PAX 2008 meeting Jeff Hickman, Paul Barnett, Josh Drescher, and James Nichols from Mythic Entertainment. I got my picture with Paul and Jeff (while wearing Paul’s signature shades), signatures from Paul, Jeff, & Josh, and an “Elder Beta Tester” T-Shirt from James. I was spending so much time at the Warhammer booth showing off the game to other people at the convention that Jeff even joked “Give this guy a job”. Some of the other people who were paid to be there to demo the game were learning things from me. When Warhammer had it’s official presentation at the event, it was SOOOOO packed and overflowing that they had to cut the presentation in half and do it twice back to back “in fear of a riot” if they didn’t.

Back in June, I blogged about seeing a preview on Paul’s video blog showing the new Lord of Change model. When I met Jeff and Paul this weekend, I asked them directly about the new model. Jeff assured me that while there are still several different Lords of Change in the game there is one which is the “impressive looking one” which I believed he said was in the Lost Veil. I was rather pleased to hear about this and went on my merry way. Later on in the day I was showing some people the Inevitable City. Well upon zoning into the Inevitable City, I ran into none other than the Lord of Change. This was expected, but unexpectidly, he looked truly amazing. Just like I would expect with huge wings, 3 stories high, white robes, golden staff, and all the little details. Later on in the day I told Jeff that I saw him and was impressed. He was glad to hear that.

Speaking of glad to hear about it, I showed Paul where he could put in another “plunger of the world”, a location near the chaos starting area that he didn’t know about. He was rather pleased that I found it and said he’d get one put in.

Overall it was a fantastic event. It was kinda “meh” for me though because I was so excited about WAR and talking with people about WAR that nothing other than the concerts were really all that interesting. Spore was pretty amazing though as well as the One Ups, Johnathan Coulton, and Will Weaton. The World of Warcraft and other Blizzard BOOTHS (yes plural) made me giggle. Tabula Rasa and Guild Wars booths also had a brief visit by me.

There will be WAR starting September 14th. Oh yes and HILYMI will reign again!

Aug 21 2008

Warhammer’s NDA Dropped

Published by at 10:24 am
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Which means I can talk all I want about the game now. Of course I didn’t have time before to talk much about the game because I’ve been so damn busy. BUT, now I think I’ll take a few minutes to talk about it Noted this review is from a Wahammer Fanboy, one that is as big as you can get. Although I am a Fanboy, I am also realistic about MMOs and take my MMOs very seriously. I will talk about the things that are bugging me but I’m just going to say these are MINOR Things. Minor things that no MMO to date has gotten perfect at launch. So, with that said, let’s get to the meat.

Graphics– No one can doubt that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a perfect representation of the Warhammer universe. It almost makes me want to cry how beautiful the game is to look at and feel. The towns and epic size of everything reminds me of EverQuest, while the general flow of the zones reminds me of WoW. Textures are as good as you can get. Even though it has a dark feeling to most things, they are colorful and real. Not the dark brown palette of Age of Conan. They aren’t cartoony like WoW. I think they fit the good natural, dirty, but epic looking art style that Games Workshop has been famous for.

Sound– The game sounds and feels like Tabula Rasa did for me. WAR really is everywhere and you’re reminded of that fact with the sounds of canons, rifle fire, stampeding horses (happens in some scenarios when a giant cavalry charges into the field), and all the other amazing sites and sounds of the game. The music is really well orchestrated and transitions well from place to place. Sound effects are appropriate and don’t sound cheesy at all.

PVE Gameplay– Quests are well organized and drive a complex, well written storyline similar but even more well done than WoW. Additional quest types have been added to the genre like “Christmas quests” and kill collectors. Public Quests are so amazingly fun that they can’t really be described. You have to experience it to really understand. Quest reward still need a bit of work in my opinion, it’s something they are working on fixing. A couple of patches ago quests rewards were horrible, now they are good. So by the time the game launches it should be worked out and I’m sure they’ll continue to tweak itemization, but it’s mostly there. Did I mention Public Quests are awesome? Really, they replace the need to even have instances in a game in my opinion. Although once you get up into the higher levels and start doing instances, I’m sure I’ll change my tune.

RvR– Take old school Alterac Valley from WoW, put it on steroids with no limit to the amount of people engaged in the battle, add seige warfare, add more relevant quests that are repeatable and rewarding, and that’s open world RvR. RvR is fun, engaging, and right now a bit laggy, but I think a lot of that has to do with the debug code running behind the beta client. Siege capture is TOUGH. Defense might be too easy. We’ll see I’ve yet to take part in a successful siege capture. Scenarios are fun, but some are a bit confusing. They could add better descriptions to them when you enter the first time or something. Many people have no idea what they are doing. Might be a side effect of beta. RvR gear is reasonably easy, but not too easy to get for the effort you put in. If you RvR as you level and do leveling and RvR you should be able to buy RvR gear to augment your quest gear as you level. Right now I’m Rank 14 with a Renown rank of 9.

Immersion– The Tome of Knowledge, big cities, huge world, what else can I say? Seriously this game wins on immersion. I feel like part of the Warhammer universe and in a way I feel like the since I’m focusing on Chaos/Order that I’m missing out on the other aspects of the game world. The lore and storytelling is fantastic and the Tome just makes it that much better. The first time I explored the Inevitable City, it took me an amazing total of 2 hours to fully explore it. Of course I was wrong and found other places I didn’t know of a week later. The game is seriously huge and you can easily get lost in it. While there are zone lines between Tiers, it’s not a huge deal. You will only cross one of these zone lines a handfull times in you entire character game play.

Balance– This is where things need to be worked on the most. Order in general feels more overpowered than destruction. Bright Wizards are stronger than Sorcerers. Engineers are more powerful than Magus. White Lions are more powerful than Squig Hunters. Witch Hunters are 20 timers more powerful than Witch Elves. Warrior Priests destroy people and never die, but Disciples of Kain are kinda… meh. Runepriests can’t be killed but Zealots are leathery at best. Dwarf Tanks have more CC like abilities than Black Orcs. Chosen Hold aggro and are beefier than Black Orcs. Overall even within a pairing, ranged DPS is more powerful than melee dps. Tanks have the same dps but more survivability than melee dps. Healers have amazing amounts of survivability plus have ranged combat. Above everything else Witch Hunters are melee dps’ers who are also ranged. Bright Wizards, Witch Hunters, and Warrior Priests are the most overpowered classes in the game. I’ve seen 3 patches in the game and in my time I’ve seen the balance sway this way and that. I don’t think anyone knows for sure that Mythic has up their sleeves, but they are changing the balance rapidly and I think there is a method to their madness. Hopefully in the end, it will balance out.

Overall– This is a fantastic, well polished game of which the biggest complaints that people have are little teeny tiny bugs and balance issues. Structurally they have more meat at pre-launch that WoW did in the first 2 years. They have features implemented and implemented well that WoW hasn’t even come close to implimenting even in their 2nd expansion. The UI out of the box has amazing amounts of customization. Their add-on support is amazing. The community is insane (see www.wardb.com). This game has the potential to de-throne Warcraft.

Grab your marshmallows. The Age of Reckoning is at hand.

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Aug 04 2008

Life has been really busy

Published by at 1:23 pm
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Between the Warhammer Beta, college, my car being broken into, changing job roles, possibly other opportunities, house hunting, preparing out household budget, moving finances, keeping my head screwed on, meeting with mortgage lenders to get pre-approved for a future home purchase, finding the PERFECT place, signing paperwork, working with a homeowner/landlord who’s not even in town, dealing with getting new teeth put in my mouth after fracturing two of them, and now packing and preparing to move by the 15th starting this weekend (wears me out just saying all that)…

Let’s just say I’ve been busy. More details forthcoming as I find the time to post.

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