WAR October Newsletter and my commentary

It’s late, it’s small, and there is barely a scrap of new material. But what did you expect when we learned that they were closing their doors to the public for 2 months? Personally I’m just glad that I have something to talk about now. For those of you who have not had a chance to check out the Newsletter here’s a link.

I’m not impressed with the Grab Bag nor am I impressed with a few bubbly paragraphs about the High Elf army. Honestly they should have completely foregone the newsletter this month if it was going to be in such poor fashion. In the Grab Bag there were 4 questions and only ONE had not really been answered fully before. This was more of an obvious scramble for information bag. This really needs to be a huge part of the Newsletters because this is supposed to be the “most popular and most interesting” questions on the minds of the players. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I choose to forgo any commentary on the Elf stuff.

I found the Video Podcast to be nothing short of spectacular! As a musician myself (Oboe and Clarinet) I really enjoyed getting a sample of the music in WAR and the hear the ‘Filmharmonic’ Orchestra play – Now there’s the talent in this production! The discussion on what types of musical inflections a Dwarf would have really made this shockingly perfect sense to me and that’s really something I think very few ‘gamers’ out there can truly recognize and enjoy. Maybe I should forget about games and pursue a music career….

Probably the most interesting wall of text was the “State of the Game Adress” from Mark Jacobs. It was the usual stuff they recite to us over and over but this time we were given a little more to chew. It turns out there were in fact lay offs in the WAR department. How truly unfortunate for those working on the team to be let go so soon. While we were “reassured” (for what that’s worth these days) that the layoffs will have a minimal impact on the game itself I really question how losing anyone at this point can ever be considered good. So more of the same old yada yada here.

And from watching Paul’s Video Blog I noticed the 50 v 50 City Sieges. All I have to say is it sure as hell better be for QA testing and not the real deal. What a grand way to ruin city battles. Limiting them will not only make them less epic but it will make them “fair” aka cheesy and battleground-esque. WAR IS NOT FAIR! But since I have nothing to say this is a ‘for sure’ thing yet I’m not going to make too much noise. Just know that this would be a huge mistake.

Okay, overall it was bad but we knew it would be. It’s the first newsletter after the layoffs, the delays, and honestly I have a feeling in my gut something else is going on that we’re not hearing about. When something big is leaked and it sheds some light on things remember this blog post. Let’s cross our fingers for the November Newsletter.

Not going to say I told you so

War delayI found a few moments to write this evening while browsing the internets to quench my addiction’s thirst when I came upon this little gem of information. In EA’s Earning’s Call they announced that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was being pushed back to Q2 2008. Well who didn’t see that one coming? Despite the constant reassurance that “we would see a Q1 2008 release” Mr. Jacobs finally relinquished his strangle hold on that Q1.

Q2 is the new goal and I could not possibly be any happier. Ohhh we’ll surely hear from the sniveling naysayers about how ominous this announcement is but I honestly choose to ignore them. We’re looking at quality here people – this isn’t something you push out the door. I’m elated that EA is not pushing WAR out the door because then we would never hear the end of it.

The goodness of this news is compounded upon by the relief of knowing I will get to enjoy games like Pirates of the Burning Sea and EQ2 that much longer. For a while there I was beginning to worry that I might have to double up the subscriptions there in order to play both. Luckily for all of us PotBS will get its due chance to succeed and try its hand at changing the genre around a bit.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to view the October Newsletter for WAR yet then please do. I’ll provide my feedback on it either later tonight or tomorrow.


November Already

I can’t believe it. Where has the year gone? It seems like just yesterday that Vanguard hit the shelves, then LOTRO, and now here we are in the second to last month of the year. Looking back, October held many changes for me. Last month alone I stopped playing Lord of the Rings Online, went through a MMO slump, picked up NWN2 Expansion, got involved with Pen and Paper DnD, and returned to Everquest 2. In addition to all of that we had the revelation of WAR beta being delayed, the release of Team Fortress 2, and the cancellation of Gods and Heroes to secure a stronger future for Star Trek Online.

As for the blog here it’s been a spectacular month. October was a great month of writing and reflecting over the gaming industry in general. I’m continually amazed at the interest shown over what is written here. I’ve watched the statistics rise every month and we’re sitting at about 200-300 visits per day on average. I’m honored and blown away by the response. To my readers I can only thank you and say that I intend to continue writing always with an eye to the future. Sadly we missed a podcast this episode this past week due to being busy, having company, and an overall slump of “new” information out there. We’ll pick up again soon.

What does November hold for me? I’m going to continue my casual journey through Everquest 2 and I look forward to the release of Kunark on the 13th. Pirates of the Burning Sea is growing closer to release hopefully with an NDA drop soon – really looking forward to this.
Thanks again for reading and here’s to a great November!


Gnobby’s Adventure in Blackburrow

blackburrowSorry for the lack of updates lately. With the site being slow and a busy week of relatives over it’s been hard to find a free minute.

Last night I had a chance to get 2 hours in on EQ2 and I decided to take my little Gnome Conjuror into a group for the first time. The group mechanics in EQ2 have always amazed me because not since EQ1 have I experienced this feeling. Being fairly new I was offered the position in the group from a helpful player who has been somewhat a mentor to me over the past few days. Taking me in under their wing I was teleported by their higher level player to Antonica and then shown where I could get the quests for Blackburrow.

Once inside Blackburrow our group made quick work of all the quests. We had one of the members 2 boxing their mentored level 63 Fury which made things a lot easier for us when we died. We didn’t however cheat our way through. We died plenty of times due to choosing not to unmentor the Fury until we were wiped (so they could res us.) The entire trip yielded me nearly 3 levels and much needed group experience as a Conjuror. Since I only have the earth pet right now, and considering we had no tank, I was getting too much aggro from my pet pulling it all, dying, then dropping it on me. I learned that there are abilities that are AoE and abilities that are AoE only to the encounter you’re fighting – VERY important lesson to learn early let me tell you.

Gnobby is now nearly level 18 and almost ready to start the early crushbone quests and finish the Gfay quests all together. From there I think it’s time to move in to Butcherblock Mountains, but I’m not sure. I could really use a quality leveling guide that basically lays out where to go next or simply advice from anyone out there reading this. Achievements are also another shadow looming overhead. Deciding where to put these points is going to be a huge dilemma for me. I have 8 or 9 points right now and can’t decide if I put them in the Conjuror tree or the Summoner tree. Once I decide that the next dilemma starts for me – where in the tree to put them. Do I focus on my earth pet or my mage pet – my nukes or my pet’s abilities – solo or group build, etc etc etc.

I’m really, really enjoying EQ2 again and I foresee many months of enjoyment. If you’re on Antonia Bayle say hi to me (Gnobby) if you see me online.