Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (January 5, 2014)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch and the first Geekwatch in 2014! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to Guild Wars 2 – and on occasion, other games.

We have been relatively quiet for some time, as we had visited bookahnerk’s family over New Year’s. My plan had been to use the time away from my main PC to play around with Folk Tale and its Location Editor Preview on my laptop. Unfortunately, my laptop – which isn’t a gaming laptop – can’t handle the game. I shouldn’t have been surprised about that, I guess. ;) On the other hand, that left me with more time to play board games with the family which isn’t a bad thing either (and I got to play all the expansions we have for Talisman now).

So, as I just mentioned, Folk Tale got another update. Yes, updates are very slow with Folk Tale and if you have bought into their Early Access, you’ve got to be patient. But they do update us regularly on their blog about the progress behind the scenes and I was very pleased to see they kept their word and rolled out the Location Editor Preview before Christmas. What it does is basically let you build maps. I decided to start slow and spread out over the map later. What you can see in the picture below is just a very tiny area of the space that I could fill theoretically. But even this tiny space took me about an hour or two. I need to get used to the controls first and need to get to know all the different pieces I can add. But it’s a lot of fun! I still do not regret having spent money on that game. True, it’ll take forever to get my hands on the game, but it still looks like it’ll be a great one for me. And in the meantime, I have this thing to play around with. I’ll build my perfect like Paerokaville. ;)

Folk Tale Location Editor Preview
Folk Tale Location Editor Preview

If you’ve been away over the holidays like we have, you may have missed the winter events. Guild Wars 2’s Wintersday is running till January 21 (the next patch will be on that day, so depending on when the patch lands, which time zone you’re in, etc. make sure you’re done with everything on January 20!). Rift’s Fae Yule Celebration will be available until January 9, while Lotro’s Yule Festival will end on January 14. So, no matter which of these three games you’re playing, you still have some time left to finish everything.

Rift Yulefest

Of course, even gaming companies, or rather their employees, take some time off during the holidays. This means there weren’t any live streams from the developers. The first 2014 twitch live stream from TrionWorlds will be next Friday, January 10, 2014. It has become part of our weekly routine to have the live stream open on Friday evenings, so it was a tad bit disappointing that there were no such entertainment this Friday. ;) Guild Wars 2 did not have any live streams either. They are concentrating on finishing/making the next four living story releases. Hopefully, after that, I will never have to see Scarlet again. I suspect ArenaNet will have another live stream soonish for the next patch. With the patch coming on January 21, I doubt the live stream will be this Friday, though. Oddly enough, Turbine – or their community manager Sapience, at least, is joining the ranks of using twitch live streams. Sapience wants to start streaming regularly. Nice to see them getting closer to the community. Or, we’ll see, at least.

Dragon Season GW2 News

And last but not least, I am proud to mention that Tilion from Dragon Season launched a News Section on their website! This works by him and certain partners using the twitter hashtags you can see on the left when they are making tweets on Twitter. Bookmark this site if you don’t want to keep checking the Twitter website for news about Guild Wars 2.

Lotro: Buy your housing chests before Helm’s Deep arrives!

lotro_packedUnfortunately, there aren’t many exciting news about housing changes on the horizon, if at all. The most important change at the moment is that the chests available in your personal house will get more expensive when the expansion hits in a few days on November 18. This only counts for housing chests that haven’t been bought yet!

Let me elaborate. At the moment, when you get a deluxe house, you can unlock two housing chests which can be used for storing items. The first costs 100 silver, the second one costs 500 silver. Each of those chests can hold up to 30 items which means that you get 60 slots for 600 silver.

When Helm’s Deep arrives on November 18, the chests will be changed to “storage slots”. If you already bought your chests, don’t worry, you will keep those 60 slots. If you haven’t bought them yet, you will have to pay 1 gold for the first 15 slots, 5 gold for the next 15 slots, 25 gold for 15 more and 125 gold for the last 15 slots to get to the current 60 slots. This means that instead of 600 silver, you will have to pay 156 gold!

Lotro Kinship HouseIf you were wondering whether to buy a house or not: Now is the time to go buy it! The good news is that they cleaned out the neighbourhoods and evicted inactive players a few weeks ago. There are lots of houses free now! I had abandoned my own one to move into a neighbourhood where bookahnerk has his tiny house, a friend has hers and bookahnerk’s and my private kinship (“Second Breakfast Club” – yeah, we made that kinship mainly because we wanted that name… and the kinship house) is right next to my new home. I was so happy when I saw that this perfect spot was available!

The good news about those changes is that with enough gold (and later, mithril coins) you can now get up to 120 storage slots in your house! It’ll cost you 156 gold (depends on whether you already have the first two chests or not) plus 400 mithril coins. You can buy 500 mithril coins for 4000 Turbine Points (that’d be 2 times 250 mithril coins for 2000 Turbine Points each which is the best value at 8 Turbine Points per mithril coin). Those numbers are all for deluxe houses. I’m not sure if the regular small houses will still keep their current chest limit of 30 slots.

GamesCom 2011 – only… a few more days! ;)

We already know that Sylvari will be playable at GamesCom. So far, this was more or less the only thing I was concerned about (Guild Wars 2, that is, not necessarily the Sylvari).

But now I wonder: What about the other games I’m interested in? More importantly: What about LotRO? They will release their next expansion “Rise of Isengard” in September. So it’d make sense to have them be present at GamesCom. I couldn’t find anything definite, though. The only thing I could find was that Warner Bros. will have a booth there which led to people assuming that Turbine (which was bought by WB) will be there as well. I don’t like assuming things, though. So I asked. ;) Sapience, CM of Turbine, replied to me with this: “Yes. I’ll be there along with Producer Aaron Campbell, and also Tolero and ProducerGlin from DDO!” They will be at the WB booth!

I still remember last year when we were looking for LotRO at the Codemasters booth and one guy working there had no clue what LotRO even was. O.o Last year, they were also at the WB booth, I think. So, just in case you’re going to GamesCom and want to see what WB/Turbine has to show, they will be in hall 8.1 Booth: C020 B021.

NCSoft, on the other hand, will be in Hall 9.1 Booth: A011 B010 .

Whatever you do, avoid coming close to Hall 6.1, Booths B20 B21 B30 B31 C20 C30. That’s where Activision Blizzard will be and while in general, I really enjoyed GamesCom last year, this whole area was loud and crowded with hardly any fresh air left. ;)

LotRO: Ready to move

My little hobbit’s packed her bags and is now waiting for June 1 to move from Codemasters to Turbine. The European community is also wide awake and asking a ton of questions.

One very important one was answered today: The European RP servers will still be supported after the move! That’s great news! I never understood why Turbine doesn’t have RP servers. I figured maybe it’s because they’d like to see RP on all their servers which, in my ideal world, would work perfectly. But from what I hear, there are always people who think it’s their job to make fun of RPers (which seems to happen in other MMOs as well). And it’s probably a lot easier for the RPers to just gather on one or two server(s) so they can find RP-partners easily.

Anyway. Another issue I’ve seen is that some Europeans are concerned about Turbine’s forums. I haven’t posted much in Codemasters’ forums, so I can’t say much about it. There are two big concerns: 1) Turbine censors and deletes postings that criticise them and their game (seen here), 2) they don’t allow off-topic conversations and lock topics when they become off-topic (as in: the main content of the conversation isn’t LotRO anymore) and European players are used to talking about other stuff and that’s what makes them a gaming community (note: I read that on the forums. I don’t know how much of that is true and, most of all, I don’t know how much that happens or doesn’t happen on Turbine’s forums!) – as seen here.

As a result, an inofficial LotRO forum was started. I quote the admin: “Well, let’s say we’re a bit less sensitive when it comes to criticism. That’s not an unlimited access pass to troll and curse though. You can get banned here too.”

Zzeno, producer at Codemasters, also invites the players to use Codemasters’ MMO forum to continue talking to each other after the transition.

Either way, I think it’s great to see the gaming community not only complain but also do something about it. :)