Progress in WoW: Themeparkin’ it up

I’ve been so busy these past few days, sorry for the slow updates! I’m playing lots and LOTS of consoles lately, but I have definitely been putting in a good chunk of hours into WoW as well. I’m level 100 and basically working my way through Nagrand with a fine-toothed comb to complete all of the quests and absorb the story. Spires of Arak was really kinda boring and I feel like it contributed very, very little to the actual overall story. I think one boss may have come from the whole zone that meant anything… maybe not even that. Nagrand was a breath of fresh air, and I was immediately experiencing the story again.

I’m not making money at a reasonable rate yet, and by reasonable I mean to afford to pay for my subscription. Can one of you gurus out there give me advice on how to earn money? Every day I send my companions out on their missions but that only makes a few hundred gold (maybe 1/4 of them are 100) and I guess I should focus on fleshing out my garrison. Yeah… I definitely need help with what buildings and what to do.

The dungeons I’ve done so far have been a little bit of a let down. I did the first two on normal mode and they weren’t really special. I was also a bit shocked by how the loot worked. One person got loot at a time from the bosses and it was random. For some reason I thought everyone got loot. I’m going to have to review these loot changes again.

In general, the end-game in WoW is still really crappy. I don’t enjoy dungeon grinds at all. I want everything remotely imaginable done to reduce the grind and the annoyances for dungeons and raids so that I can simply jump in and jump out and experience them. I want my WoW to be like a FPS game where I jump in and play, experience the game to its fullest, and jump out. In a weird way, the more themepark it gets the more I want it to fully commit and just go all the way. As my time to play a game like WoW becomes more finite due to busy RL schedule (and my desire to play lots of other games too), I do find myself wanting that “niche” MMO where I can get things done — mind you, I still want that big epic and involved MMO too. There’s a spot for both in my life, hence why I have less time for a game like this.

Valor is coming back to WoW, but now it’ll come back in the form of just upgrading items rather than there being a valor vendor. I love the idea of a currency that complements items that drop in a dungeon rather than competes with them — the dev insights on their blog are 100% spot on, and I applaud them for finally making this realization. More of this kind of stuff, please!

My last point tonight is that on queue times. Holy crap the wait times of 45 minutes for a dungeon are murder on someone like me who might play WoW for 1-2 hours tops. Thankfully I have so much more to do still in the form of questing, but if I had finished everything? The queues would make me quit. That needs to be fixed.

Legion can’t come soon enough.

Darkfall: New Dawn

I get contacted by a lot of people who want me to check out their game, republish their press release, or somehow how let them piggyback on whatever small amount of attention this blog can bring. Usually I ignore them, but this time the email was a tad bit different.

Darkfall: New Dawn

The team at Ub3rgames is negotiating a licensing deal with Aventurine to re-open Darkfall as a somewhat new game called Darkfall: New Dawn. Why did they contact me? Apparently they read my stuff regularly. Now I get a lot of people buttering me up. It’s usually in the form of, “We’re big fans of your blog,” or “We really agree with you.” Most of that I shrug off as the usual BS. These guys are a bit different, though. They cited specific things about the blog here that has influenced them over the years. In fact, I “brought them to Darkfall” which means I could be the reason why they played Darkfall to begin with.

My last post about Darkfall talked about how I would never go back to a Darkfall run by Aventurine, but if someone else stepped up and took the reins I would be much more willing to try. Apparently that got these guys thinking because they mention that specific post as something that got the wheels turning and motivated them. Again, this is what they are telling me. Could it still be buttering me up to get me to cover them? Sure, but I like a little butter now and again.

We exchanged emails a bit and they sent me over a link to New Dawn in a nutshell. It’s a little bit like a design document talking about how they want to change the game to be more like a fantasy version of EVE. They’re saying all the right things.

  • Reducing the power gap
  • Giving more reasons to play, and more ways to play, especially “positive” ways to play rather thank just ganking
  • Fixing the economy (or actually creating one)
  • Making PvE more enjoyable
  • Making PvP a little more sensical

Take a look and let me know what you think. I see a lot of potential here, especially in making Darkfall more than just a “gankbox” as they call it.

I have always maintained that Darkfall was one of the better social experiences I’ve had in a MMO as it pertains to creating an environment where people have to play together. I made friends in Darkfall that I still talk to every day, and Darkfall was one of the best experiences this community has had playing together. Put that potential in the hands of a good team and we might have something here.

As always, talk is cheap. I told them I want to get in there and get my hands on what they’re making so that I can try it out for myself and let you guys know what I think. I’ll keep you posted.

Camelot Unchained “Bater” Details

The Camelot Unchained beta bater test (sorry Mark) is potentially coming pretty quick. Sheesh… it’s already October? Beta is coming (subject to change) early 2016 which means CU should begin taking the shape we can expect to see around launch relatively. Despite backing the game, I’ve purposely been avoiding CU whenever possible. I’ve had access to the alpha tests and I get all of the emails and newsletters, but I’ve kept this distance in order to protect myself and the game.

Getting too close too soon to a game like Camelot Unchained is like asking the fire not to burn you. Even with the upcoming beta, I am foreseeing a lot of change will occur to bring CU’s beta version in line with what MJ and team want to deliver, and what the backers and general public are expecting. The way they are discussing things, it sounds to me like launch is still quite a ways off.

There’s a video you can watch that’s about an hour long. I went ahead and watched it to extract the details you’ll want.

Camelot Unchained Abbot

In Beta Phase 1:

Classes (one of each for each realm (9 classes))

  • Fighters (or “tank” but that felt ambiguous)
  • Healers
  • DPS


  • Generic class without plans to specialize them
  • Gathering materials will be in
  • Full crafting reveal expected before the end of October


  • 1 Larger map
  • 3 small maps with plot ownership, contested stuff, etc.

Lots of other stuff like basic itemization, travel, technical stuff, basic guild system, etc., were mentioned. Most everything was stated as “basic but will be built upon.”

We’ve all been here before. The realistic picture being painted is that this is likely a fall 2017 launch at the earliest. Just like Mark said for beta’s launch date, “Expect the worst,” I’m expecting the worst for release.

Overall, I’m getting excited. I’ll allow myself that much. The classes revealed were the ones I voted for (which is exciting) and I like how I can already feel the class diversity starting to roll in. Hopefully it’s true diversity and not just the same spells reskinned for 3 classes. I want to see a class coming and think, “Incoming Abbot!” rather than, “Incoming melee/healer hybrid!” The class identify needs to be strong. My hopes are realistically high.

Like Lots of Classes in Your MMO? I Do.

Camelot Unchained Class Reveals

Camelot Unchained offered up one of their more interesting reveals last week: There will be “a wee bit” (read: a lot) more classes than originally planned. The reasons cited ranged from symmetrical class design being too restrictive all the way to being easier to balance asymmetrical classes.

Classes in CU won’t all have the same number of skill trees, and if I’m reading this all correctly it sounds like we won’t necessarily see mirrors across the realms. Lots of classes that aren’t the same? Less homogenization? Those are all the things I like to hear.

Dark Age of Camelot took a very similar approach. All realms had archers, speed classes, tanks, etc., but they weren’t all identical. Granted, they did all have (if I remember correctly) the same number of paths. However, they all played entirely unique. The Hunter was very different from the Scout.

Being able to say that essentially make any changes to any classes does make balancing easier on a per-class basis, but introducing more classes can quickly become difficult to balance if all of the classes are given enough diversity. Having 3 realms and maybe 10 classes per realm could mean having almost 30 different classes with the ability to all be very different. This is a breeding ground for flavors of the month.

The risk is worth the reward here, though, and I look forward to a return of more classes in a MMO with differing playstyles and themes. I credit the number of classes and replayability as the biggest reason I stuck with DAoC for as long as I did. Lots of classes and lots of diversity are now a requirement for me to play an MMO, and I’m glad to see CSE stepping it up in CU.

Heads up, backers like myself can vote for which class reveals we want to see.

Part 1: Making some WoW videos. Part 2: Let’s talk MMOs for a second.

Late night weekend update for the blog but I want to squeeze this in before I get too busy. I made a video last night while playing WoW that I wanted to share. I’ve started to notice a theme from some of you surrounding a line of questioning: Do you still play MMOs? Yes, I do. I play World of Warcraft very, very casually.

Since I enjoy making videos about the games I’m playing, I decided to include WoW and start a series showcasing why and how I am having fun back in the MMO I thought I quit a dozen times.

Now let’s chat about part 2 of this little question here. What’s with the state of the MMO industry? If you’re currently playing a handful of MMOs and you’re one of those people who can enjoy GW2 and SWTOR and ArcheAge and WildStar and you never quite understood why the population in those games was dismally low and the servers were merged then this isn’t going to be an answer you’ll comprehend. The MMO industry sucks in 2015, the talent is drying up worse than the reservoirs in California, and most simply aren’t worth the digital space they’re taking up on those MMO news sites desperate for page views.

I certainly do not enjoy them, so I don’t play them. There are a couple… maybe as many as 3… MMOs on the distant horizon worth even thinking about, but I have trouble getting excited right now. I think Camelot Unchained has the most potential for anything related to PvP. They just announced like a bazillion classes would be in the game, and I’ll write something on that soon.  Crowfall … let’s just say I have my “I told you so” post already written. Yeah, that sums it up.

If you use the term correctly, then yes I am jaded. I am tired, bored, and lacking enthusiasm. If you’re using the term incorrectly, you’re probably going to reply with something like, “Well you’re just jaded, Keen!” As if I’m wrong for feeling this way. I refer you to the correct definition. Some people like to call other people jaded as though there is something wrong with those people and the way they see something is inaccurate. I’m being pretty darn upfront here and stating that I’m bored outa my mind with MMOs and can’t find more than a shred of hope for them to improve. If you can give me a reason, I’ll be more than happy to hype it up and show some enthusiasm.

I’d much rather play a ton of fun games out there that aren’t MMOs than sit around and hate “gaming” because MMOs are currently awful. I’m having an awesome time gaming in 2015, and it’s because I got tired of waiting and moved on. Does that mean I won’t play MMOs anymore? Heck no. MMOs are my favorite games. I’m just waiting until they deserve it again, and by waiting I mean playing lots of awesome games.