Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (December 12, 2011)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).

Let’s start today’s Geekwatch with Lotro. We’ve just received update 5 which gives us the second half of the expansion that launched in September. Since I’m not playing Lotro much, I haven’t actually cared about what’s in the update too much. I know it’s new instances and a new raid. In case you’re interested and for some reason haven’t found them yet, here are the patch notes (and the known issues). An interesting bit of information is hidden inside and fortunately, Doc Holiday posted about it: The plugins finally got a plugin manager! That’s one thing I really wanted Turbine to add. It’s just not so nice to have to use a third party plugin for all that stuff. I’ve only tested it shortly and one plugin worked while another didn’t but I guess that’s because I haven’t updated them in quite some time. ;) I guess that also means that I’ll have to update my Lotro plugins guide. If you want to have a look, ignore the part about needing a plugin manager and ignore the part about the plugins leading to crashes. ;)

And finally, a giveaway posted at Casual Stroll to Mordor: Win Turbine Points! I am not going to participate because I don’t need any points. But I’m sure it’ll make a few players out there very happy. :)

Next on the list: Warhammer Online. Though the poor game isn’t getting any good news, I’m afraid. Or maybe they are good news for the remaining players. Mythic announced two more server merges on Wednesday. After that, we’ll have 1 US server, 1 European server, 1 German server (technically European as well but we do like our own language too much… ^^) and 1 Russian server (not operated by Mythic, I think). Werit has posted a bit more about WAR. Tobold also writes about this and poor SWG. I found this spot-on. SWTOR kills SWG and maybe even Warhammer Online. We’ll see in a month or two. ;)

Let’s switch over to Everquest 2. This game just went “free-er to play” after having had a f2p server for about a year or so. Now you can access all servers. I returned, especially because they made a few changes to their f2p-system. This now is the third try I’ve given EQ2, by the way (in case you remember me asking How many chances do you give a game? some time ago). I wasn’t too happy with any of the available free races but started playing one anyway. After Sony’s hacking fiasco, I’d gotten 400 Station Cash, though, and figured that I could upgrade to silver and buy myself the race pack that includes ratongas. I couldn’t find the silver pack anywhere in the shop and was disappointed only to find out that apparently, Sony had granted all accounts, including previous trial and f2p accounts, the upgrade to silver! So I already do have all those benefits. I quickly bought 500 more Station Cash and am now the happy owner of three races: ratonga, Iksar (lizard ladies! I already made my “Gechi” – and was very happy to see that this name wasn’t taken yet on Freeport and ogres. I was certain I wouldn’t care about the ogres at all but they do have a certain charme. I might make one later. So far, I have Tenedra (whom you can see on the picture on the right), a wizard ratonga and a ratonga swashbuckler. I also have said iksar (guardian) but haven’t played her yet. I’ll most likely continue playing Tenedra. If you’re curious about all the pros and cons of EQ2’s f2p version, head over to Player vs. Developer who wrote a great post about it. This is also the first f2p game that I ever spent money on, I think. And Guild Wars (though it doesn’t count because it’s not a real f2p game to begin with… ^^).

Last but not least: Guild Wars 2 and their lack of news. Sadly. Though I’m just impatiently shuffling my feet here. Hunters Insight reminded me of Eric Flannum’s post again:
“All that being said we’re definitely getting closer, we’ll be revealing the final profession before the end of the year, and we’ve got a few other things to talk about in the coming weeks as well.”

There aren’t too many days left and as Hunters Insight says, they probably (hopefully?) won’t want to tell us all about the last class during the holidays. I also got curious when I saw Massively announce the IRC chat with Jon Peters and Johnathan Sharp on Wednesday. Maybe there’ll be a lot of questions to ask then? Maybe we’ll finally get to hear something new about Guild Wars 2?

All I know is that I don’t care much about SWTOR. It’s not my kind of game. Instead, as you might have noticed, I got sucked into EQ2 and am now exploring this game while anxiously peeking at Twitter, waiting for some official tweet from GW2. ;)

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (August 1)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about LotRO, Guild Wars 2 and any other interesting news related to gaming.

First things first, I found it amusing to read a dispute between several players in the Warhammer Online forum. The short of it: Mythic was at GamesDay in the USA (I forgot which city it was in. Sorry). A (former?) player asked some questions and got some uncomfortable answers. The worst one would be:
Me Q: So what you’re saying is Mythic is gonna stand back and do nothing while the game is going to hell?

Prod A: The game will stay up for the hardcore dedicated players as long as we got them the game isn’t going anywhere. We still have Ultima Online and DAoC and we’re adding new content for them.

However, he apparently misunderstood when James Casey talked about Rift and how some former members of Mythic worked on that game. And there’s still the question whether Shadow Warriors will get more Crowd Control or not. So what I quoted above is also questioned. Is it true or not? If you ask me personally, I’d say that the patch history and how much was added to the game since its release (compared to what was taken out) speaks volumes.

Edit: Artiee published a recording of the Q&A. It’s hard to understand but what I could hear basically confirms the quoted answer above. Still not really a surprise, I guess. But they did confirm that there are no resources for new content like a new class etc.

Not an MMO, but still a game I’m interested in: Diablo 3. This game will offer an auction house where players can sell items for real money. You’ll be able to see items and also characters! Apart from that, another sentence stood out: It was also confirmed that the game will require an internet connection to play at all times. I love having games on my laptop that I can play wherever I take it without having to be online. Germany isn’t known for its wide access to WLAN hotspots or other cheap methods to go online when away from your home access. ;)

For interested readers who are capable of German, I’ll give you three more links: Diablo 3 im Hands-on-Test, Item-Handel gegen echtes Geld und Jay Wilson im Interview. – The following might be a “good to know” for concerned WoW players: “Ich glaube nicht, dass unser Echtgeld-Auktionshaus auch in World of Warcraft funktionieren könnte.” Translation: I do not think that a real-money auction house would also work in World of Warcraft. So hopefully, we will never see something like that in WoW.

Guild Wars 2 will hopefully bring us some cool information at GamesCom. On the list of things to show is the Charr starter region, mid-level play for Sylvari AND Asuras, all 7 professions (which means we will probably not see the last class revealed there), finally more information about PvP in Guild Wars 2 and last but not least, the character customization! The latter is probably the most exciting part for me. Call me odd but I usually spend a lot of time making sure my character looks the way I want it to. Of course, knowing more about the PvP systems is also high up on my priority list. I can’t wait to get into PvP again (preferrably without having to worry about item spirals and sucking not because I can’t play my class but because it’s horribly undergeared).

Last but not least, Lord of the Rings Online talked about itemization with the upcoming expansion, Rise of Isengard. When I read the first two paragraphs, my heart sank a little. Fortunately, it gets better when you keep reading. I am just not a fan of the whole item spirals. I also do not get why a character should become more and more and more powerful because of super awesome gear. But at least, they will offer some good items to everybody no matter their playstyle. I would assume that this also makes balancing content easier. If you need to balance quests around players that have super-awesome-über gear and players in regular-standard-unter gear, I’d assume that it’s either too hard for the latter or too easy for the first group (I’m looking at you, World of Warcraft!).

Underwear fashion show

This interview with Martin Kerstein (German Community Manager at ArenaNet), taken by Fesra and al’Ellisande, is from the RPC Cologne. It’s all in German! One question seemed a bit silly to me. They’re asking whether we’ll be able to change our character’s underwear in Guild Wars 2. Martin Kerstein doesn’t think that this’ll have a high priority because it’s not the intention of the game to run around in your underwear. I got curious and actually had a look at what my characters are wearing below their armour. Then I compared it to other games (I’d actually never paid attention to that before but I do know that you can’t strip your character naked. Probably wouldn’t be a game for 12+ anymore then, right? ;) ).

First, let’s start with World of Warcraft: The goblin (on the right ;) ) seems to have a few more details and the underwear looks sharper.

On to Warhammer: Again, a goblin. Also a dwarf and a member of chaos (human). Not much to say. It (the underwear. Not the character models!) looks similar to WoW, actually.

LotRO was disappointing. The characters wear very conservative underwear. In some cases, probably even more than when you put on some clothes. ;) Then again, it fits to the world, so I won’t complain! I don’t need to see sexy lingerie. I definitely prefer cohesive character designs (on the other hand… ).

Last but not least, Guild Wars! The game that started this whole expedition of mine. ;)

Top to bottom, left to right:
Necromancer (Nightfall), Warrior (Nightfall), Monk (Prophecies)
Assassin (Factions), Elementalist (Prophecies), Mesmer (Prophecies)
And on the far right, in white: Paragon (Nightfall)

The assassin is by far my favourite! If I’d ever tried to imagine what my assassin could wear below, I definitely would have expected there to be some extra weapons. The necromancer, warrior and monk are a bit bland but the others make up for it.

I only got screenshots of female characters here because I don’t have a male character and all my character slots are filled. So I couldn’t take one of a male character. According to al’Ellisande, male mesmers also wear purple underwear, though.

In closing, I can say that I was positively surprised to see the underwear in Guild Wars. Obviously, the artists put a lot of thought (and a lot of details!) into it. So I hope that we’ll get something similar in Guild Wars 2. Yes, it might not have a high priority but it probably didn’t have a high priority with Guild Wars either and yet, we got different underwear for each class. Maybe we can at least put dye on them to change their colour (by the way, Martin says that Kristen designed 255 different dye colours for Guild Wars 2 – I’m definitely looking forward to *that*). I’m not sure how popular purple underwear is (looking at the mesmer here, obviously ^^). And hey, LotRO lets you give a name to your horse that nobody but the player him-/herself can see. So why not be able to change the colour of your underwear even if nobody else will ever see it? Or maybe at least beachwear? To be appropriately dressed for the underwater areas. ;)

WAR without resources?

It’s been speculated for months if I remember correctly but Warhammer’s community manager finally confirmed it: They lent their people to SW: TOR.

Mythic has strict policy not to announce anything until we are certain that we can do it within a set deadline. The origin of this policy is imho easy to understand if you look at the past (6 capitals, 24 careers anyone?) as well as the current situation where resources are lent to SWTOR and planing is difficult.

I wonder what that means for TOR? Do they need more to be able to release this summer? It’s something one can only wish for WAR’s players because after that, they might get a few more updates…

Either way, Warhammer players probably aren’t too happy about that.