Mark Jacobs blog, Open Beta, and CPU issues.

September 5, 2008

Mark Jacobs not only started a blog, but has been a one man typing machine ever since. It’s almost scary really; the guy posts and replies more than Tobold. I doubt our blog overlord will take this lightly, and has already fired an indirect shot (well not really, but go with it here)

Jokes aside, the blog makes for some great reading, and gives some nice insight into not only Mythic, but Jacobs himself. The game must be more ready to go than we though, if Mark has time to blog like a madman, and Mythic starts the open beta a few days early (hear that, something in MMO land happened BEFORE it was planned. It’s a reverse Blizzard!)

I’m curious to see WAR without the graphics turn down, and to play with Aria when the NPCs don’t run away from you. I mean we had a great time during PW, and the game was seriously borked. Getting my 2nd computer back from the shop ‘soon’ (the repair shop and Blizzard have similar business models, quality work, not so good with the whole timeframe deal) will help too, as it was having a little bit of a CPU overheating issue, and being a high end machine, I was not super comfortable messing around with the CPU myself. I would rather pay $100 or so and be safe than do it myself and fry three grand of hardware. When the CPU was having issues, it would randomly shut itself down, which in turn oddly enough made WAR erase 5-10 minutes of game play, often resulting in Aria having to redo a quest or run to a town for a second time. When that happens every hour or so, it’s understandable that she was getting frustrated. On the other hand, the fact that she is still really looking forward to the game speaks volume.

Is it Sunday yet?

September 4, 2008

Open beta here yet…?

Sorry one track mind right now, and currently the servers are down.

Warhammer Online Open Beta, Launch, and the hype.

September 3, 2008

The Warhammer Online open beta is just around the corner, and shortly after Warhammer will finally go live. While the game is by no means ‘finished’ or ‘perfect’, it’s actually in far better shape than what most people saw during the preview weekend.

The NPC/Pet pathing issue, which was the most major and noticeable bug during PW, has been fixed, along with a graphics fix that will finally let us see what the engine behind Warhammer can actually do, instead of viewing muddy textures 10 feet away from our character. In addition to those two major changes, a slew of lesser fixes have also go in (according to forums and such), adding further polish to a game that was already in good shape.

I have little doubt Open Beta will generate even more buzz than the PW did, and as positive as the PW was, I think Open Beta will blow that out of the water. Simply put, WAR was drastically different with working pathing than it was during PW, when even I at times logged out in frustration. It will be interesting to watch fan reaction during Open Beta, both from people playing it for the first time, and those who only got to play during the PW. Both groups are in for a treat, and instead of getting hung up on bugs, they will be able to dive deeper (read: outside the starting area) into the game and actually see how the systems work. We already saw a few PvE players react positively to the small sample of RvR they got; my guess is a whole lot more of that will happen during Open Beta.

WAR has been getting a lot of heat for its almost constant hype, both from Mythic and from fan sites. In most cases, a product never lives up to the hype, and no matter how good it actually was it leads to disappointment. With WAR, as hard as it is to believe, I think MMO fans will actually be surprised by just how well the game works, how everything fits, and how its got both the familiar MMO feel while offering so many “that’s awesome” moments.

I’m very much looking forward to launch, not only to play a great MMO, but also to watch and observe the reaction from both fans and skeptics alike. For me, it’s 2004 all over again, waiting for the WoW beta to finally end so we can get in and ‘make it count’.

Taking a no doubt short break from EVE.

September 2, 2008

I’ve long been a fan of EVE Online, and constantly cite it as an example on how to fix whatever current issue is brought up in MMO gaming, so it’s somewhat surprising that I’ve decided not to renew my two accounts, which run out in November.

My original plan was to continue playing EVE alongside Warhammer Online, keeping up with market activities and running a Corp Op when possible, yet I just don’t think I’ll do ENOUGH to justify continuing the subscriptions. While I still love the game, I just don’t have much pull to log in these days, and without a clear goal, EVE gets rather dull. Running missions just to run them gets very boring, mining even more so, and any market/trading can be done usually in less than 10 minutes a day.

This has left me wondering what exactly EVE is missing that other, more traditional MMOs have to keep us going. When I quit WoW the first time it was due to complete raiding burnout. The second time it was due to running out of interesting content pre-raiding, and raiding was not something I was interested in again. Both times however it was a very clear end, I just knew I was done. With EVE, I certainly could continue to play, and I’m sure I would log in once a week or so and do a few things, but that drive to log in, the motivation to pay the monthly fee, is just not there. And I think that feeling is fairly common in EVE, just from reading other blogs and also talking with Corp members, who seem to drift in and out of the game.

Perhaps that’s part of the design, a constant, living world which you can revisit at will and pick up right were you left off. If you leave for 6 months, your Corp won’t be on a new tier of raiding, or replaced you with another member to fill in your role. When you come back, you will still be able to run missions, mine ore, and trade. While EVE has a nightmarish barrier of entry for completely new players, it has perhaps the lowest barrier of reentry. I have no doubts I’ll come back to EVE, likely sooner than later, to pick up right where I left off.


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