Jul 23 2008

Welcome to Warhammer Beta 3

Published by at 10:10 am
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Yes, I’m in the beta. I’m overjoyed beyond words.

I will have to watch what I post here and only comment on official press release content from now on as to not break any NDA rules. It will be tough to do this because I’m sure I would have a lot of amazing things to say. I’m glad because this means I’ll be able to seriously take part is testing and fixing a lot of the problems that may or may not exist with the zealot, disciple, and shaman class (they will be my two main focuses during testing since I’m a healer).

The fun begins tonight!

Jul 14 2008

Warhammer: Age of Drama

Published by at 1:15 pm
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I’m tired of the drama. The game will still be awesome. Shun the unbelievers!

I think for launch it actually makes more sense the more I think about it that there is only 1 pairing and then as the game goes on, they add the other capitals. There can be storyline explanations they can put into why and make a cool launch event when they add the capitals in.

For example Dark elf / High elf pairing, it could be that simply the dark elf/high elf invasion is new…er than the Chaos / Human. Remember the Dark Elves are INVADING high elf lands raiding on a Black Arc. Orcs / Greenskins are more tribal and don’t have LARGE capitals in general. Over time they could come into play. Likewise since those are “newer” invasions as far as storyline maybe the Dark Elves haven’t decided to raid the High Elf city yet or visa versa. Same with Dwarves, maybe they are SOOOO defended that you can’t invade them yet at launch. Likewise you could spin the story where it’s a “need to enter” only restriction on who can enter the capitals. They are PHYSICALLY there you can even see where they are, but you can’t enter. I’ve seen the dark elf capital in screenshots, it’s a HUGE Black Arc (although it could have been a different Black Arc), but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed inside. Maybe you’re not high enough ranking yet, they don’t want you inside.

Regardless, the tier pairings will be there. The content will be there. I hope at launch they get the other 4 classes in ASAP. Then start working on the other capitals one at a time with a few month launch windows between them. Assuming they launch in the fall, I hope they have the classes all in by the end of the year and hope they have all the capitals in by summer 2009 and I’ll be happy.

Regardless of my wants and wishes, I give Mark Jacobs and the entire Mythic Entertainment team props for stepping up and saying something unpopular now rather than wait until launch and try to sweep crap under the rug like Age of Conan did.

Jul 11 2008

HILYMI 2 Year Anniversary

Published by at 3:48 pm
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Although this is a bit late it’s still important and worth mentioning. On June 15th, Hit it like you mean it, my guild and band of brothers hit their 2 year anniversary mark. I made another slide show style video showing off all the great times that have happened in the last year. Almost every single one of us now has the Collector’s Edition of Warhammer and we’re eagerly awaiting Open Beta and launch of the game.


Watch Streaming – YouTube
Download – High Definition 720P

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Jul 09 2008

Inflation in an MMO

Published by at 4:10 pm
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I’ve written many articles in the past on inflation and the economic stability of an MMO. Many of these were on Tabula Rasa because well… honestly the inflation and economic state for the most part was pretty good at the time in which I was playing. Today I read an interview of Josh Drescher on Ten Ton Hammer titled “WAR: A Look at Living Guilds with EA Mythic Part 1“. This article got me thinking. Not about Keeps and RvR, more so it got me thinking about the economy within Warhammer.

Right now we know very little about how the economy works within Warhammer but we know this much:

  • Paul Barnett hates grinding
  • There is no money sinks like armor repairing
  • There is no monetary cost associated with death
  • Tradeskilling was presented to useful, but not a money sink
  • Player equipment trade seems to be rather insignificant
  • Keeps capture is a “significant event” with a “significant cost”
  • Siege weapons are supposed to be costly
  • Guild banner loss has a small monetary cost
  • NPCs in PVE and PCs in RvR all drop gold

 

So the questions that arise are…

  • What keeps the player economy in check?
  • Does gold become a trivial thing that only matters to endgame guilds?
  • Does gold matter at all to the individual player?
  • What stops server gold inflation from getting out of hand?
  • What does the individual with no guild have to spend money on?
  • Does money become essentially pointless over time?
  • Do the few sought after tradeable items become insanely costly?

 

After doing some research into how DAoC handled inflation, they did so very well through tradeskill money sinks. Some of the better items in the are crafted and very expensive to make. This lowered the amount of liquid gold in the economy, replacing that gold with hard assets in the form of gear. Of course this is assuming they used a BoE (Bind on Equip) system for gear. A non-BoE based equipment system is no better than having no money sinks at all. If gear is easily traded from one person to another, items keep their value in original gold prices and actually their initial value decreases over time as demand for lower itemed gear drops as a server grows. In fact if they don’t decrease in value, some rarer items increase in value and you have an item based economy (search Google on Diablo II’s economy).

I certainly hope Warhammer has some kind of A. money sinks and B. BoE / BoP based equipment system or else you’re going to find a very week economy within a few months from launch. Tabula Rasa underestimated this and I’m sure Age of Conan suffers from similar problems (because it also lacks a BoE / BoP concept, at least at lower levels anyhow). You cannot simply ignore the economy of an MMO. Human beings are capitalist animals. We need a tangible reward for the effort we put into something. An environment with too weak of an economy is boring and unaccepted by the human psyche. The perfect Utopian world where everyone has enough money for everything they need and never wants for anything is unrealistic and boring. Although it’s great for lazy people. Last time I checked Warhammer wasn’t for lazy people. Lazy people play that other game. People who want a challenge goto WAR.

Jul 04 2008

Waiting on Warhammer Continues

Published by at 3:53 pm
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It’s now been 3 full months since HILYMI committed to Warhammer. I know a lot of other guilds have been waiting a lot longer, but the suspense is killing us. We all have preordered the collector’s edition. We all are just randomly playing games until WAR comes out and we’re all hoping to have our names drawn in the next round of beta invites which should be coming very soon.

 My random MMO of the week is Secret of the Solstice. Considering it’s just past the summer solstice, I figured it would be fitting. The game at first look seems like a simpler, but better looking Ragnarok Online with better UI and more group oriented play focus. Of all the MMO’s I’ve always gone back to from time to time, Ragnarok Online is one that always kept my interest. It will be interesting to see how this newer game based on the same engine plays out.

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Jul 02 2008

New Blog Title

Published by at 6:00 pm
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When someone quotes your blog with the message

CyberVic – less creepy than it sounds.”

It’s time for a change of blog title. The other day I made a really awesome Lord of Change using the spore creature creator. Well in the Waaaagh! Blog’s News Blogs and Sites updates, they described me as quoted above. I don’t blame them, but it did make me want to spring into action. I’ve been thinking pretty hard for over a week now and came up with a somewhat witty title and encompases my blog pretty well. “Thoughts of an MMO Gamer” with the subtitle “By Victor F. Laurence: Programmer, Analyst, Learner, Leader, Gamer”. Basically I removed CyberVic out of the title all togehter and put my name in the subtitle.

EDIT: After thinking more on it this weekend I decided on “O Rly?! Ya Rly! No Wai!!!” with the subtitle “A witty, random, and sometimes serious blog by Victor F. Laurence”.

Jun 27 2008

Spore Creature: Yellow Squig

Published by at 9:33 pm
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To celebrate the release of the new Spore Creature creator, EA Mythic started a contest for Warhammer fans to make their best squigs, record a video, and post that video to YouTube. Being well versed in Spore already and having a great time with it, I figured I’d give it a try.

Most people think of squigs as red, pink, and purple balls of death. Squigs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors so I wanted my squig to be as unique as possible. While the “ball of death” requirement was still important, I wanted my squig to be yellow, female, and to kill you with cuteness before charging at you and biting your head off. I also wanted to make sure to give my squig the tiny little barely usable arms that most people seem to forget. Well I’m pretty pleased with her. Hope you enjoy her!

Jun 27 2008

Review of the Lord of Change Sneak Preview

Published by at 10:36 am
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Lord of Change Sneak PreviewA while ago I was rather depressed because what we thought was the Lord of Change looked really bad, simplistic, and didn’t look anything like the concept art for the Lord of Change. Well recently in Paul Barnett’s latest video blog, he had an entry called Animation. Let’s do a comparison between the Lord of Change minuature, concept art, and this video (screenshot to the right).

Miniature
Concept Art
Video “Animation”
Screenshot Blown Up

It seems like they have done a great job with this model keeping true to the concept art and capturing the greater deamon of Tzeentch’s style. I believe the head still needs work and he isn’t wearing the headdress that’s in the concept art. The scale of the model I think is appropriate and to about the same scale of the Bloodthirster. The robes still are lacking detail, but then again they could encorporate the details like the golden cord-like belt into the skin of the robe. The wings aren’t modeled, but that could be that they replaced them with dummy wings for performance while doing animation testing. With how well Tchar’zanek looks (also from this month’s newsletter), I’m sure they will get the texture detail on TLoC down well.

Overall I give Steve and whoever else is working on this model two thumbs up. I can’t wait to see him in game.

Details from the concept art we can see in the blown up screenshot:

  • Leg / foot structure
  • Clawlike, slender hands
  • Feather details on his elbows
  • Two bracelets on each arm
  • Staff in his left hand
    *Note: Opposite of the concept art, but true to the miniature
  • Uses non-staff hand for casting as seen in video
  • Long slender neck with bird like head
  • Flowing robes that hang down like in concept/miniature
  • “Crest” like structure on the base of neck/shoulders
  • Large wings (although not detailed)
  • Scale of Lord of Change to a human

Jun 20 2008

Spore Creature: Lord of Change

Published by at 5:56 pm
Tags: ,

The anticipation is agonizing!

June 14th was the deadline to enter the BOOM Studios Promo Code for entry into the closed Warhammer Beta. Being a loyal fan of Warhammer and Dan Abnett, I ordered the comic and had the code entered some time last month. It’s bad enough they delayed the deadline for the entries to June 14th from May 31st, but now all of us are sitting back waiting in anxious anticipation to see if we are one of the lucky 20% who are getting admitted into the beta. Thankfully, I’ve been entertaining myself with Spore, but I still can’t wait to hear news of whether I even got in or NOT.

To make productive use of my time in Spore while waiting on Warhammer, I present to you: The Lord of Change. Yes the Greater Deamon of Tzeentch himself made by yours truly.

 

Jun 18 2008

Zealot Review of Baltimore Gamesday 2008 Video

Published by at 2:00 pm
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Gotta love the french:
http://war.mondespersistants.com/?news=931

3 second big heal was 530 for 40% of his AP.
2 second heal / 5 tick HoT was 293 with a hot of 89 for 25-30% of his AP.
Instant long HoT was also 89 for 10% of his AP.

In other words 6 seconds to fully heal a clothie who apparently at this level has around 1000 HP. Who knows what kind of hitpoints a tank would have at this level… 1500- 2000 maybe?

Yes sir, that’s interesting. I’d love to know more about how that Zealot was speced. It seemed like his big heals were very mana inefficient, using 1/3 of his AP. Considering the recharge rate of AP and how it works in the game… that means HoTs are CRUCIAL to the overal healing experience. Overall it seems like they want you to focus more on HoTs and then be doing damage between Heal/Hot’ing and HoTing. This is just an observation, again completely unknowledgeable about his spec. Who knows he could have been speced for HoTs more so than direct heals. He beat that swordmaster down pretty well just using HoTs on himself and DoTs on the swordmaster.

Another interesting thing to observe here is that even given the normal recharge of AP, if you just sat back and spamed big heals, you’d run out of AP pretty damn quickly. Yes, AP recharge rate is decently fast in WAR, but if you just spammed big heals you’d run out of AP and have to wait for recharge or swap to more efficient Heal/HoT healing and HoT healing. A good healer would be doing this anyhow if he/she cared about “mana efficiency” for lack of a better term.

Overall, I’d say that this kind of Zealot with his spec, compared to WoW works a lot like a high spirit build priest who’s speced mostly in Discipline with some good choices in Holy or Shadow for damage dealing capabilities. I do like how the Zealot was actually taking the time when noone was hurt to instead of just standing there actually using the duel targeting system and doing some damage taking advantage of the fact that everyone’s life totals were ok and his AP was full so he was doing damage.

I love the pace of combat and the feeling. It reminds me of Arathi Basin battle healing with a good organized group of folks. Two thumbs up for the Zealot experience depicted in this video.

I like this video more than most Zealot videos because for once the zealot is doing his job well and the team wins. The other team which seems less coordinated and less efficient heals is being dominated by a team that’s obviously communicating well and sticking together. You can tell because toward the end, they line up in a V formation, preparing for the next wave of the attack. They did a good job of keeping each other alive during the fighting as well.

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