Daily Blogroll 9/22 – Server is Down edition

I didn't have anything to say. I just liked the font.

Aion launched yesterday for pre-orders. Cownose got in. Petter had the five hour queue (and he’s under deadline!) Heartless_ isn’t playing, but loves him some queues, anyway. Lars got to level 3, server kicked him off, welcome to four hours in the queue. Naamah got in, but his friend had to wait three hours. It’s a good thing, though. I think he kinda has to be positive about the whole thing, though. AT&T and NCsoft conspired against Keen.

So, upshot: Aion is live, and there are really, really, really long queues. World of Warcraft had them. Warhammer had them. Aion has them. Years from now, you’ll brag about how long you spent in the queue on launch day, just like people lining up two days early to see a trailer for the new Twilight movie.

Remember last week when everyone was gaga over Champions Online? These days, your new MMO gets a week before it’s displaced by the next new greatest MMO ever.

Thanks to Beau and Leala of AbleGamers, I now know the REALLY big news for Wizard101 is not that we get to ride Tony the Tiger or mean looking horses or ambiguously drawn broomsticks, but that every school of magic will get their very own house design! Which is definitely cool, but I gotta ask, is it big enough to hold all of my stuff? The Friendly Neuromancer says we’ll have questions to all our answers in October.

Which reminds me (for no particular reason) about a recent, personal project. I was trying to find girl and boy names that matched the months of the year. Like Mark or Marcie for March, Julian or Jules or Julie for July and so on, but I was totally stymied by February. Febrilla? Febworth? Just couldn’t do it.

Toldain responds to a recent post by The Greedy Goblin (is he re-rolling once goblins become an actual playable race in WoW?) who insists that modern raiding is knowing where to stand and how well you follow the script, not what gear you have. Toldain wonders if that is really true for MMOs OTHER than WoW? Like, say, EQ2? Toldain rightly points out that in many recent EQ2 raids, DPS is pretty key — and mobs do plenty of AEs that test your resistances and ability to potion-cure various ailments swiftly.

EQ2 is a really bad example, since they have since Rise of Kunark decided that heavily scripted, WoW-like fights are way better than the old tank-and-spank, specifically to allow lesser geared raiders the chance to complete the event, if they know the script. As an ex-EQ raider, I hate that this slows well-geared raid guilds down for no real reason.

Someone also commented on that same post, and I feel bad I didn’t bookmark it, because it fell into the trap of assuming what was true for WoW was true for every MMO with raids. Gear may not matter in World of Warcraft, but it definitely matters in EQ2. The epic Mythical weapons typically give bonuses of some sort to the entire raid — and the final encounter in Rise of Kunark, Trakanon, almost requires their use. Not to mention the various resists that need to be pumped to unheard of levels.

Ferrel and Psychochild have been having a discussion, which they’ve been kind enough to blog, about How To Motivate Reluctant Raiders. Any raid guild knows the drill. You stay with safe and familiar content, and people get bored and leave, or they get all the loot they wanted and leave. Or you try new content, and after a string of wipes people leave (but they’ll suddenly return if you start winning!) I’ve been in a lot of guilds and known people inside of a lot more, and I think the only thing that REALLY works is to make being in the guild a privilege, a privilege that can be revoked. If the raid leaders coddle the people, well, they start making demands and then you’ve lost it.

What, you think raiding is a GAME where you have FUN? Raiding is SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Psychochild is of the opinion that games focus on rewarding the individual player when they SHOULD be rewarding the entire group. I like that idea. Why not have vendors in guild halls that sell epic loot, but the variety of stuff they can sell is dependent on the guild’s recent progression, and the currency is tokens from killing stuff? Ferrel thinks with enough care, a guild’s point system can be designed to be fair and motivational.

I still think fear works best.

|                                                |
| DuE to the FlOoD of STranUrs cUming to MY      |
| seTtlement, I have decided to BuiLD thiS fens  |
| To kEp yur SCUMMY Butts out and frOm kILLing   |
| my InnoCENT peoplE!!                           |
|                                                |
|   Signed,                                      |
|     Gwark, settlement leader                   |
|                                                |
| warning:  i Have tolD all roviNg Kobld guaRDS  |
| to attak on SIght of intRudrs!!                |
|                                                |

The Ancient Gaming Noob brings us back the days when women were women, men were men and four footed farm animals had better be quick after nightfall. back when 3D graphics were called ‘text’ and people were thankful. Today, he tells a tale of Leuthilspar and the well-defended Kobold village that lurked just outside of town — if you could find it.

Oh, and one last thing — Straha over at WTFComics has three new pages to his ongoing adventure about a lizard warrior, a wood elf druid, and the people who love them. Enjoy!

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13 thoughts on “Daily Blogroll 9/22 – Server is Down edition”

  1. Actually, it makes me a little happy that EQ2 has moved to some more scripted encounters. I’ve just returned to the game, and a big part of the problem with their raid designs was that EVERY encounter (DoF + KoS) was a jousting match. Two timers would be kept for the two AoEs, one person would call when to run out of melee, and another to call when to rush in after the AoE went off. If there is more diversity in them now, it makes me a happy gamer to have just order TSO.

  2. Ferrel “At least the fear of being booted from the guild”

    Bah that is for loser casual guilds! My guild instilled fear by sending small Death Stars to the homes of fail players! Try staying out of that fire mr afkdps.

  3. For what it is worth, I too played the Aion headstart a lot this weekend and yesterday and I never hit a queue a single time. Maybe I am just lucky, but rather than play on a full server, I opted to pick a different server and get my friends to join me there. The server of choice, it seems, was Lumiel and I DID have a character on that server, so yesterday I logged in with it and played a bit and had no trouble getting in and poking around. I guess I just live right.

  4. I probably should keep my mouth shut here because I am NOT end game experienced in any game … except for WoW, but from a tanks perspective, not only is gear important, but the INSTANT I hit level 80 I was considered gimp until I managed to run enough heroics/spend enough gold to build up enough defense gear to hit the magic number ( I think it was 540 something ) to make me uncrittable as a tank. On top of that I needed to have a minimum of 22k HP, so some +stamina was in order. Before I scrounged that gear set up, I was unable to advance in the end game much at all.

    However, in response to “I hate that this slows well-geared raid guilds down for no real reason”

    Maybe I just don’t get it, but I always liked the scripted nature of boss fights in WoW. It makes the fights unique and fun events in the game. However, I always thought that it seemed like there was ONE way to win and you had to follow the script. Maybe we could see some better AI programmed in order to make fights have a random element. They key being that the fights would still need to be winnable, but challenging for guilds. The guild that wins would be the guild that can communicate and think on their feet the best. So I guess what I am saying is: Making boss fights special and different from other big fights = good. Making them a predictable dance that everyone studies on youtube before doing the actual fight = bad.

  5. Thanks for the Marleybone laugh, my storm wiz just unlocked Chelsea. Which apparenty is where ManTown is (Like Chinatown, but for humans) since the letter Penny Dreadful sends her family is addressed to Chelsea Court.

  6. Re: W101, do you do any multiboxing? I thought earlier I read about you having multiple accounts and thought you were running them at the same time sometimes. Do you still do it or did it get boring?

    I’ve been thinking about it, but then I think about it in every game and never do it. Though with “f2p” it might be something to consider. (otoh, if it’s true I spend more then maybe not … :) )

    I saw one guy who I think was doing it. One guy would run up, then the other guy, then the first, etc, staggered, and it seemed like an awfully annoying way to do it. It would at least let me try out the different schools and some mutli-wizard strategies without repeating content over and over, and also without having to only play when friends are on.

    Plus he must have had a third because he always had the extra swirly space with no one in it. (hmm if you can do that with free accounts not even leaving Wizard City that would be a way to stop people from porting in and aggroing then fleeing).


  8. @Amber — do you have a return scroll? You should have gotten a few of them when you started, and if you haven’t used them all, you can use one to return you to your starting city. You can buy more at the closest town if you’ve run out.

    @Yunk — Yes, I multibox. I don’t move one, then the other, then the first, etc. I run one of them to where I want to be, then teleport the other to her. Way easier that way. You can turn off letting friends port to you :)

    @Sierra — I’m not surprised they put humans in a ghetto in Marleybone. They want to be able to control us.

    @rob — okay, here’s what I meant. There was this gate encounter in EverQuest, Rallos Zek the Warlord. You couldn’t go to the Elemental Planes until you beat him. He was an open world mob, technically, though the quest to even enter his fortress took many raids, and to encounter him meant beating his sons, Tallon and Vallon, earlier, and they were ALSO open world, heavily camped mobs.

    Each encounter was scripted. Vallon would surround himself with duplicates which would quickly overwhelm if you tried to kill him before his copies (if you could even tell them apart). Tallon would port around his room, sending AE arrows at people and confounding melee who just tried to keep up. And Rallos… well, first you had to kill Vallon and Tallon within minutes of each other, and then immediately pull RZtW to the Arena. He had deadly AEs and really high dps, and beyond that, summoned soldiers and monstrous boars who ALSO did monster dps just to keep people busy.

    When we first did RZtW, we had people aggro and kite the adds while the main raid struggled to do enough dps before RZtW’s increasing power (and increasing adds) did everyone in. Another guild I was in did the PROPER thing and had enchanters and druids charm the adds and send them against RZtW, which worked well enough. Toward the end of our time in that zone, both guilds I was in would just mez the first wave of adds, kill RZtW with our then-uber gear, then kill the adds. A forty minute raid went down to about ten minutes.

    See, getting to the point where you can just ignore the script if you can handle it is the eventual goal of any good EQ raid guild.

    @Toldain — I meant Gevlon the Greedy Goblin :)

    @Ferrel — I was being serious. The best, most uber guilds have members who struggle to do their best gladly because otherwise they will be booted. You can do some incredible things once you only have people who want to work together. People who whine and cause drama and have a MEMEME attitude toward loot should be let go. There was a guild back on Erollisi Marr called Cries of Insurrection. They were jerks — and proud of it — but they Got Things Done with very few people because they liked their underdog status, had a chip on their shoulders and had something to prove. They never were a top guild on EM but everyone knew their name.

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