The Secret World WAR

I’m going to wrap this blog up as I don’t feel that WAR is worth bothering with now.

I’m not going to eulogise over what WAR promised and failed to deliver or how it was ruined by dumb production ideas from the “community”
WAR’s only hope is to be taken up by someone who can actually see what potential the Warhammer world has in an MMO and then invest time and energy in developing it – Funcom/Turbine/Cryptic – anyone other than Bioware.

So it’s on with the Secret World – If you see Charles “Hoy” Fort or Howard “Jazz Maverick” Moon give me a wave.

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The Secret World

After waving goodbye to SWTOR and happily jumping back into WAR along came The Secret World.
As a lifelong reader of all things weird I was rather intrigued with TSW and I wasn’t disappointed.
After a 14Gb download I started life as a member of the Templars and found myself in London get briefed on what’s in store. I chose a shotgun and dressed in camo gear made my way to Kingsport.
Straight into zombie-type territory and Lovecraftian nightmares.
The quests are straight forward with a bit of decent puzzling – judging by the chat the puzzling was a little beyond some people.
There are no classes to choose from – you just level up in whichever weapons you want to go with and there’s a maximum of  7 active and 7 passive abilities so things don’t get overwhelming.
And, joy of joys, you get to see the whole map all at once – unlike some games; I’m looking at you SWTOR – have you not heard of AtoZ or outposts sharing information?
If you like Fortean Times, X-Files, Gothic Horror and Conspiracy Theories then you’ll really get into this game.
I can see me getting the lifetime subscription for this one – it certainly has possibilities.


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Goodbye SWTOR – Hello Again Waaagh!

I’ve finally waved goodbye to SWTOR – I gave it a good run but there was just nothing to keep me playing.
I found the storylines very shallow, the regions were bland and empty and no matter which class you played you always ended up in the same places doing the same things. I couldn’t even find anything to blog about it was that bleh!
The inevitable server mergers have begun and I would guess work has started on making it F2P.
Waving a glowstick about wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
Best check if you still have a subscription outstanding – I cancelled mine a few months ago but when I looked at my account it was still active.

So it’s back to Warhammer Online – not Wrath of Heroes; I play the the real man’s game Age of Reckoning.
I spent the weekend getting reacquainted with my characters and shuffling stuff about and decided to run around T3 with my Zealot. To my surprise it was great fun – loads of people and plenty of action. Don’t listen to the stormcrows on the forums.
I don’t think I’ll be playing as much as I used to though as I’m busy doing up the house.
It was really nice to get back into the atmosphere of WAR – I felt a lot more immersed than I did with SWTOR – mind you on that score STO and LOTRO beat SWTOR.

On with the Waaagh!

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1.4.6 Comes To The PTS Today

After months of waiting 1.4.6 has finally made an appearance.

There are some interesting things in there, some fixes for bugs that have been out there for many many months – no mention of the T2 GSkin RvR bug though.

I feel the need to Waaagh! once again.

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Let’s Do This!

I’m too busy working on the house to play games but that stalwart Mykiel is still trying to drum up support for Warhammer Online –
Let’s Do This!
Flogging a dead horse or reviving a dying one?
It’s a shame Bioware can’t be arsed putting some effort into promotion.

Normal service will be resumed at the end of the month – looking forward to Legend of Grimrock in April.

As a late celebration of St Patrick’s Day –
Chocolate and Guinness Brownies

4 eggs
¼ cup sugar
225g dark chocolate, chopped
115g white chocolate, chopped
7 tbsp unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
1¼ cups Guinness stout
Preheat oven to 190°/375°F. Grease a square dish with butter.
Mix together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy in an electric mixer.
Melt the dark chocolate, white chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Continue stirring until smooth. Remove the chocolate from the heat and beat into the eggs mixture.
Sift the flour and cocoa together and beat into the mixture. Once combined, whisk in the Guinness.
Pour the mixture into the greased dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
To serve, cut into squares dust with fine sugar.

Try them with a drop of this

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WAR PvE Making A Comeback?

Since packing in SWTOR I’ve had a relatively game-free week concentrating on getting the house tarted-up for selling.

There was one intriguing post by Keaven Freeman in the WAR Dev Discussions that caught my eye –
Upcoming for 1.4 . *mumble*mumble* 
This seems to hint at a possible rejuvenation of PvE which I believe would bring a lot more people back to the game, especially if they totally revamp the Influence/Renown/Experience armour and weapon sets.
Along with the proposed changes in 1.4.6 this could be very good news for WAR indeed.
I’m hoping this isn’t just a Dev pipe-dream that hasn’t been pre-agreed with management but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will never see the light of day; I hope I’m wrong.

Apart from that it’s been rather a quiet week except for the announcement that Legend of Grimrock is due to be released in April – now that will soak up my spare time and probably a bit of work time too.

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In A Galaxy Far Far Away – It’s Very Very Boring

I’ve given up on  SWTOR – I gave it my best shot but it’s just another generic MMO with a Star Wars shell.
I can’t find anything in it to keep my interest and it got to the stage where I was dreading turning in a quest only to find yet another one to do; the novelty of the dire PvP and space combat soon wore off. The final straw came after yet another – go over there and talk to Blahty Blahblah he won’t give you anything but he’ll tell you to go somewhere else.
SWTOR had promise but, as with WAR, Bioware are unable to deliver the goods.

So what now?

Keaven Freeman started an interesting thread for WAR
1.4.6 Bugfix Patch Shortlist
Requesting feedback on the proposed bugfixes in 1.4.6 – if they get this right it could mean a brighter future for WAR.
I think I’ll wait for 1.4.6 before going back though – my recent excursions into WAR haven’t been very fruitful.

I haven’t played Skyrim since SWTOR came out – I might jump back into that; there’s also Metro 2033 and Stronghold 3 sitting patiently on my HD.
I had a yearning to play Comanche Gold last week – wonder if I can get it to work …..

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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WAR Is Not Quite Dead – Yet

How much effort does it take to put together an email to all subscribers to inform them of changes to a game?
I’ll tell you – Bugger all
Every time there’s a Beta run for WoH I get an email, I get emails all the time from SWTOR, LOTRO and STO – what do I get from WAR – nothing.

James Casey finally bothered his arse to write a Producer’s Letter 

So what does it tell us –
There’s a patch 1.4.5a coming out to fix the relic and fortress mess that was 1.4.5
1.4.6 will be a bug fix patch because that is what the community has been asking for.
1.4.7 will be the introduction of Dynamic Objectives to ORvR “The goal is to give more fun and rewarding things to do
A later patch will see a new Live event involving demons.
Changes to crafting have dropped over the horizon for now
The WOH team they have finally finished the T7 armour – well worth the cost of dropping support for WAR.
Inactive names on servers are going to be cleared up – a little late now – this should have been done prior to the big merge.
We have some new ideas for pets and other items for our store” – I dread to think.
At least they’ve stopped pretending that there are great things around the corner.

Not exactly inspiring  – a little more effort wouldn’t go amiss
It’s all very similar to the stagnant period that MMOs go through just before going F2P

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Cannot See Target

After many weeks of hopping from one character to the next I finally got to the end of a chapter 1 with my Imperial Agent.
The quest was Defender of the Empire and I had to defeat Darth Jadus with my sniper – no problem I thought; that was until I got the “cannot see target” message every time I tried to shoot him.
What do you mean you can’t see him? He’s there in front of you with a dirty great red name tag on his noggin ….. Oh! He’s stood on some steps and that’s why you can’t see him.
After trying various methods I finally took him down only to discover that he regenerates to full health and I have to do it again – bollocks – I’d just spent a fortune repairing my armour; you can’t res your companion if they die on the steps either.
I submitted a bug report about the “cannot see target” only to be told that they know about it and they’re working on it – hmm not much help here then.
I had a look on the forums and there’s quite a few posts regarding this – apparently I’m supposed to kite him for 2 hours hitting him with DoTs and hiding behind display screens – so rather than wasting more time and armour I dropped onto my Bounty Hunter.
Once again I started getting the “cannot see target” error on the lead up to the end of chapter 1 – deep joy – luckily I was able to target the end boss.
So now I have a Legacy – it’s taken quite a time but that’s comes from alt hopping, having your eldest son commender your PC over yuletide and doing stuff to the house.
I then rolled a Sith Warrior/Juggernaut – I wish I’d done this one before – I’m really getting into it. The responses in the quests feel a lot more natural and not so contrived – might actually see this one through to the end.

BTW – Stronghold 3 isn’t as bad as the reviews made out.

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The Universe Is Big And Getting Emptier

The launch of SWTOR hasn’t been without its problems with some glaring omissions and silly little problems. I would guess a lot of this was due to rushing to get the game out for Christmas in some sort of acceptable state.
But the recent video from James Ohlen (Game Director) is just another example of the disingenuous crap that many software companies come out with when their product doesn’t quite match up to all their pre-release hype.
What’s that the players want? An adjustable UI? Never thought of that. What a load of bollocks.
Bioware supposedly absorbed Mythic so that they could bring their vast experience in the MMO genre to SWTOR – in which case they should know what happens when they treat their customers like idiots.
There are noticeably less people playing SWTOR now – at least I’m no longer tripping over resource ninjas but it’s harder to find people to team up with. The game also feels empty, not just through the lack of people but depth of play – there’s something missing but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
The landscapes are very nice, the animations are good and so are the character voices but some of the dialogue grates after a while. Maybe that’s it – listening to the same phrases over and over but in different contexts and choosing responses that don’t quite work out as you expected. I find it becoming rather disturbing that I can pick up “alien” phrases that are repeated with obviously different meanings – wanna wanky & killy mcranky – perhaps they hoped we wouldn’t notice.
Then again SWTOR seems very short on humour – one of my favourite animations is the freeing of the cocooned imperial soldiers as they fly through the air and plummet to the ground but was it designed to be amusing? It’s all very serious and earnest – maybe I’ve missed out on some subtle nuances; I can’t remember much in the way of humour in the films and I can’t be arsed watching them again to check.

40k celebrates its 25th anniversary this year but it seems that THQ are struggling to get the funds to complete Dark Millenium – lets hope they get it sorted out.
On the up-side The Lord Inquisitor has got the greenlight from GW to continue with his film project – the sample videos look excellent and this is well worth supporting.

Not sure what’s going on over at WAR – there are many conflicting reports about the latest patch and for Kai to post that the bug with the Dwarf/GSkin T2 perma-lock is unfixable is rather unsettling; especially as it was fixed at one time.
When you’re in a hole – stop digging.
At least there was humour in WAR.

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