Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 17, 2011

Not Rifting too much…

I am staying calm and quiet in this weeks Open Beta. I may be lurking…but, I am not focused on speed leveling, reading all the guides and massively reworking my soul combinations.

I want the game to feel a bit new.

For example, I am sticking to the one faction I will not play as much; Defiant. I have also stuck to my main class for what we call the “Static Group”; a set level system for players in this group with a schedule of days and times we will play. I have not strayed into other classes. I have stopped doing crafting, and overly engaging in any quests.

I know people want to be able to have all the answers when Rift launches. Not me. Having taken a break from MMO’s for a few months, I want my game to keep me rocking for a while. Not be burned out on restarting over and over or knowing how something progresses.

The Open Beta has helped me test my new video card I got (Nvidia GTX 570) and power supply. It has let me rebuild my main over and over until I have what I like…

And now, February 24th cannot get here soon enough. I’m Ready!

Ranking /out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 7, 2011

Simple Complexities Rifting

This past weekend, Simple Complexities had a chance to gather and get in some gaming time in Rift.

First up, I want to thank Chrome for lending us Vent for guild use. I also appreciate the patience of the team as I dealt with burned up power supplies, fried video cards and smartphone venting action going haywire.

Myself, I was not just trying to get some game on, but had to deal with a son and wife who both got the flu (seems quitting smoking and being careful helped me avoid it…so far *knock on wood).

Overall, the gameplay really was helped by how Rift is pushing for a more group dynamic game, and it showed in how much fun even spread out groups could have.

For example, there were level discrepancies between various players, as much as 5+ levels in our guild. I was worried this would cause concern, thus why I like the “two level variation” rule (no more than two levels when grouping for questing). What shocked me is that it did not hurt the lower levels as much as I thought. One character gained 2 levels alone during an hour or so of play after turning in quests which were done much quicker than normal.

The weekend also saw us entering dungeons for the first time (for myself and several others).

Difficulty is truly ramped up for the dungeons. Aggro is too easy to pull large crowds. But, also the challenge made me see the fun and cheer when we made it through a fight. A concern was that if you die, and cannot res, you get thrown out of the dungeon. They really need a “vitality” healer at the front or something. Add at least a res point at the entrance. Running back through mobs to get to the entrance was not fun.

As I mentioned about dungeons, was the same for regular mobs. It was a breath of fresh air to read in patch notes that mobs got a buff, not a nerf. Regular quest mobs took more to defeat. Add to this the regular Rift invasions and Footholds, and danger lurks around every corner.

Overall, the experience truly made me jones for the launch. Working with my guild mates proved to be a blast. I hope to spend more time with everyone.

Until next beta and head start…

Ranking /out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 7, 2011

Rift Beta 6 Weekend

Just a heads up. I am working on several posts. One is about this weekends fun in Rift beta 6. the other is about guilds in Rift.

Several members of our guild logged quite a few hours over the weekend playing Rift and seeing how groups meshed.  Dungeons were explored, Rifts were closed and guild perks were investigated.

As to Guilds, quite a few cool features they have. I will explore that a bit more very soon.

All I know is Rift was great fun and fun was had by all.

Cheers Simple Complexities.

Ranking /out

 

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 3, 2011

Upcoming changes for PvP in Rift Beta 6

A bit of discussion has been raging through the forums for Rift. How can the PvE servers have “forced” PvP.

There is some erroneous information regarding this about players specifically (for example, you CAN turn off auto flagging of PvP in settings…so, if you wish to avoid PvP 100%, check that out), but the main concern was in regards to griefing by players at quest hubs.

Anyways, here are the latest patch notes about changes Trion is doing for the next beta test. Check them out HERE.

Any thoughts? Share them in the comments.

Ranking /out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 2, 2011

Rift Blogs

Are you a blogger who will be writing about your adventures in Rift? I would like to highlight your blog here.

Comment below and give your link!

Ranking /out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | February 2, 2011

Slow Return

And I am BACK!!!

Having taken a break from my previous game, I return. Welcome.

Just a quick update. This will now become my Rift blog. Discussion on my Guild, Simple Complexities, and talk of Rift: The Planes of Telara.

Stick around as the fun will begin February 24th.

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | September 28, 2010

No, I’m not dead…

But, I am on hiatus…and soon will be gone.

It has been a great run, but this will be the final month of Warhammer Online. I have played now for exactly a year, and feel it is time to move on.

I will be doing one final post soon to do a write up of all that we as a family in WAR have accomplished. I will also discuss why we have decided to move on. Of course, time has to do with that…as I feel I have done so much, that continuing to keep playing would be an antithesis to fun.

I will say that Warhammer Online HAS been the second longest MMO, behind Guild Wars, that I have played. And, this is not to say I will not return. For now, variety is the key to having fun, and a new game is just what we need.

Stay tuned for my final post of all WAR for the year!

Ranking…out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | September 16, 2010

And the answer is…

We have renewed. The wife and I have decided to keep our Warhammer Online accounts going.

Why is that?

First off, nothing on the market appeals to us. We have played so many MMO’s that trying to find a new one is difficult. The only one we have not put any real time into is Aion. We have played several levels (with myself going to 15 and my son hitting 22), but the appeal is tricky. There are issues for us like mobs that seem so silly looking. Combat is not very fluid. Yet, we have no issue with the character models (very awesome looking), and the idea of the flight mechanics are neat. But, for now, Aion stays off our list until we get desperate.

Next, is the world and the IP of Warhammer…period. The setting appeals to my inner child of roleplay. The Germanic Renaissance visuals appeal to my sense of artistic awareness. The mobs look great, like they came from the novels. When I play WAR, I feel like I am a character in the books.

The classes are fun to play. PvE, though shoddy at times, is still engaging enough thanks to fights keeping us entertained. Speaking of the fights, combat is just way more fun in WAR than a lot of MMO’s we have tried. Character appeal of how my classes look in game is also a selling point. When I am smacking someone with my hammer, or blocking with my shield…it just looks right.

We have other little areas of interest as well that keep us in. We have a guild we are leveling. We have a metagame of sorts doing the Tome unlocks and crafting for a new set of characters. We also have a goal of completing all chapters for the Empire setting in PQ’s. Soon, we have debated adventuring in the other realms.

And of course there is RvR (when it is going).

That leads to the frustrations like my schedule hampering my ability to RvR. The issues with the Gold Seller spam. The problem with lowered populations on my server of choice. The medallions concern in RvR. The bugginess of certain parts of PvE making me shake my head and worry that Mythic is just in maintenance mode.

And yet…I am not ready to leave. As I logged in this morning, a small skirmish was underway, and keep takes were happening. I fell right in and felt at home. I logged out later and then brought in an alt. I completed several quests to progress his level. It made me comfortable in that world.

Maybe I just bitch about the game because I really want it to do well. It has been a while since I have been that way about an MMO; that I wanted to login and play. If a game can keep me like that, then I must not be ready to leave.

So, another month will go by. I may complain…I may shower with praise. Who knows. For now, I belong here, and it is where I want to be.

Ranking…out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | September 13, 2010

Why WAR should not be Free to Play…or should it?

Since this past weekend, the news of course has been about Turbine’s relaunch of their game, The Lord of the Rings Online as Free to Play. Numbers look good so far, launching LOTRO into the top 10 for the first time *ever* on Xfire (a great way to look at how games are doing versus trends.)

It is hard for Warhammer Online players to see this though and of course not worry about the health of their game. As a comparison, WAR dropped on Xfire this past weekend, to lower numbers than it usually has. So, check the forums today and you will see a multitude of players asking why WAR cannot follow the same scheme. Why is WAR not F2P with a cash shop.

One reason: PvP.

The “Pay to Win” issue looms large when you have a competitive sport like PvP. When others can pay to advance, while others cannot, this gives a player a sense that their skill is not they key, but is based on how big your wallet is (Makes you wonder why doping is frowned upon by many; unfair advantages suck). I prefer to call that “Big Business” and “Real Life”…but, I digress. PvP cannot allow this type of gameplay, if it wants to be known as a GOOD PvP game. WAR is a GREAT PvP game.

One offer that I have kept out there is the Tier pricing scheme. We all know Tier 1 of WAR is free. But, why not let others progress a Tier at a time at a price. I have covered this in many places, but for those who do not Twitter or read forums, the fix is simple. Each Tier is offered at a $5 increment. But, as well, keep the current T1 limitations in. Make it so the player must be a subber to get Blue, Purple or Gold bags to open. Cut off mail access. Only allow chat to be Advice and Region (and RvR of course). You need a “carrot” to get people moving.

I could easily see myself having one alt on another login who would just be Tier 2 for example. I would gladly pay an extra 5 to just stay in that area of skill. I bet you would also see more doing the same. And of course, $15 unlocks all. With the added bonus of RvR packs coming, the potential for extra cash flows exist. But, you gotta be smart in the business and not shoot yourself in the foot (“We are NOT going Free 2 play”….why say that at all?)

But, I also see more potential. No matter how much the RvR players want to ignore it; WAR has PvE. It is pretty decent PvE (needs work still, but has the true potential there). May I suggest something new.

How about a  100% Free to Play PvE server. NO RvR. Leave the lakes in place with it’s RvE, but players must flag themselves (i.e: duel) to RvR. Make all RvR purchasable by Cash Shop, but base it still on RENOWN. Just now Renown is gained by either RvE or Duels. And hey, why not leave Scenarios…but, make them an addon. To access Scenarios for 30 days pay $5 or $10. Of course, make sure players can GET RvR gear still in game. But, increase the grind. I smell Asian grind all over it, and thus gain an audience that likes that type of gameplay.

You are so elusive my little Unicorn because no one ever comes here to find you.

Allow horses to be earned, but raise in game cost, or offer them in the cash shop. Offer the uber horse and griffons/manticores in Cash Shop only. Make guilds have limits. A major guild can have 20 players to start, but you must level guild to Rank 20 before you can expand that. Or just let players BUY slots at a dollar a pop.

I have a whole list of them here, but hey, you get my drift.

Potential for mass market is where you put the effort in. Turbine learned this, and it is paying in spades. SOE still needs a few lessons (they went overboard in their cash shop, and based on the numbers, it shows interest is low). The truth is the market has changed. The game devs need to learn to cope with the concerns, and learn to game the market to meet their ends. Profit is the overall winning goal.

Any MMO can switch to a Free to Play model. Just, that model can ONLY exist in PvE. PvP and cash shops are just a bad idea. Recognize your strengths of your product, and you could be doing as well as Turbine or any Asian based Free to play.

Ranking…out

Posted by: Rank-n-Vile | September 7, 2010

Ranking Up

The service offered to us by ANY MMO is this. We pay monthly to “level” up our characters. We may also enjoy time with others, long walks on beaches (of dead orcs and goblins mind you), and romantic getaways (a brush with cybersex in Stormwind for example; seems to be a veritable norm for some).

Barring all this…when does the romance die? When do relationships end in our MMO lives?

WAR

My breaking up point came very close this weekend while enjoying my current game of choice, Warhammer Online.

Discrepancies abound when you reach that “end game”. WAR has provided something different than most MMO’s, in that Raids are not the norm. Well, that is, teaming up and hitting PvE godlike critters with stats that abound, bugginess that ensues on a regular basis and gear for all. WAR offers a very good PvP end game with their Realm vs. Realm feature. You take over keeps,  fight the other side (two faction system here), and attempt to finally overrun the opponents city. All great fun in love and WAR. You fight to earn your keep.

Simple.

This weekend brought to a head the huge issue with how you are rewarded for doing what should be the games main focus; RvR.

First off, changes came about in a recent patch which changed how you receive the Medallions needed to get yourself geared for the fight. Whether Mythic believed it was just too easy, I do not know. But, now it has progressed to a beyond difficult stage. Especially if you want RvR to be your focus (seems you can get some goodies via PvE routes still). Medallions were dropping very rarely, and if anything, there were times I walked out of a fight with NONE. I calculated that over a 16 hour period of RvR combat, I went from have 93 medallions to holding 109. Roughly 16 medallions (interesting). So, one drop per hour. Now, using this chart, I am looking to save up for the Invader gear. If you read, the boots and gloves drop from players, so I will not need to buy those. But, for the rest, I will need roughly 1001 medallions. On average, 41 FULL days of playing. We all know we cannot play that much. Now, lets say I play around 4 hours a day..I only have to play 250 days to get all of my pieces. That is, of course, if I have not outleveled that set.

Which I will.

So, how about overall leveling as a whole. Getting to where I need to be? Lets look at my other focus on doing a straight PvE character through WAR. I have had fun, as I share the duties with my family members. We have noted SEVERAL discrepancies here, which could hurt the game with it’s new RvR focused push. For one, the gear, as you reach higher levels, comparatively to the lower, is terribly awry. Stats start to not make sense. Certain pieces offer attributes that are not the main focus of the class. It is almost like they are forcing your character to take different routes than you have chosen. So, trying to get better pieces is sometimes difficult. Doing Public Quests and finishing “Normals” or better rated PQ’s should offer us gold bags. But, there are times they just will not drop. We eventually outlevel that area, and thus, we lose access to the better gear. And who wants to run the same thing over 100 times for one piece of loot when we are ready to progress?

My second concern in PvE was presented when after playing that 16 hours of RvR, I noted a 4% increase in our Guild rank. Guilds gain levels just like players. XP contributes a percentage to getting that Guild upgraded to better banners and other specialties you may have for RvR in WAR . Now, why was the 4% bad? After 4 hours of PvE, we had gained almost 12%. So, triple the amount of XP gained, in less time played. Really…who would want to RvR when all I keep feeling is like I am being punished everywhere?

So, in Ranking Up, there just feels to be a huge chasm between what the game WANTS you to play, compared to what you MUST play to survive and progress. Want to level your Guild to gain better function within RvR? Better not RvR. Want better gear in PvE? Better RvR. Want better gear in RvR? Better PvE.

I am now confused.

Seems WAR is not alone in this issue with gear and earning rewards. Age of Conan has had concerns over their new factions system being too grind oriented, and gear has had issues since launch. These of course happen to be the two games that launched at about the same time. Note, Everquest 2 has a GREAT gear upgrade system (which includes well done crafted goods) as well as Guild functionality that works. Of course PvP is not a main focus, but an addition. Is it strictly a PvP issue, seeing both WAR and AoC’s main focus was PvP? Well, then I could point at Guild Wars which does PvP well. They offer a straight path to just PvP without PvE, and offer a skill over gear mentality.

Are these just shortcomings then in games that had supposedly shoddy launches, and are still trying to learn how to be good MMO’s? Like I said, I love WAR, but man oh man…she let me down this weekend, and I may have to send her a “terse” love letter.

Ranking…out.

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