Slayer of Servants Four and a glimpse of Thorog!

Lastnight I was invited by Reunion to join them on yet again another weekend Helegrod run. This was the most fun I’ve had in Helegrod thus far. We started by quickly clearing out the trash towards the spider boss because we had actually cleared the giant in an impromptu raid Saturday night. Things went extremely smooth for a good majority of the raid being “Pickups” or “Invited friends”.

We first cleared the spider which was nothing new to me since I had done her before and then we moved on to the Drake boss. (These bosses have names but I totally can’t remember them so I’ll refer to them by their common name Spider, drake, etc.) The Drake boss was a really intriguing process. As you progress through the various corridors you come upon these squares on the floor that you must leave someone behind standing on. When the rest of the raid moves on that person on the square then triggers a lever on the wall near them without leaving the floor. This opens a series of doors which allows the main portion of the raid to advance through and eventually to the main room where those on the squares can rejoin the raid. The Drake boss himself was also some what of a change from the norm because you had the main humanoid and 4 adds. Each from worm was tanked and the two drakes behind were CC’d by the Lore-Masters. After the main boss dies you finish the adds one at a time. Apparently if you don’t CC the adds they can breathe fire and wipe the raid. Good to know!

So that’s 3/3 bosses 1 shotted by this raid tonight and we were an hour ahead of schedule. What do you do when you’ve done so great so far? You attempt the impossible of course! Yet we made an attempt on Thorog for the heck of it. This guy is in a league of his own let me tell you. He’s nothing like the rest of the entire instance at all. Everything else you can get on the 1st-3rd try without even being experienced raiders. Thorog on the other hand requires practice and much skill at both the game and your class. First off in preperation for this beast everyone needs to bring a hope token – the +5 kind that cost a fortune on the auction house. You also need health potions, fear potions, and a lot of money to repair your armor when you’ve died 10 times.

Needless to say we didn’t beat Thorog. He does this ability where when he flies in and lands he breathes on the entire raid (Think Onyxia from WoW) and he will wipe out your entire group instantly if you don’t do the secret trick. What trick is that? WOOT Captains are finally important! Yep that’s right Captains use “In Harm’s Way” and “Last Stand” to make the group and themselves invulnerable to damage for 15 seconds. This allows Thorog to breathe all he wants and the raid will remain alive and kickin’. Not only that but Captains have the only fear remover ability for a group thus making us gods when it comes to removing the “bomb” from a person so they don’t blow up on the raid. So that’s all I will share with you for now on Thorog but you can read the full strategy for this beast here at Preying-mantis.

So yep a fun night in Helegrod. I am now known as Man-At-Arms Graev, Slayer of Servants Four… and if they had the title “Thorog’s Dinner” I’d have that too.

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The scale of Warhammer and tidbits of info!

Browsing around for videos of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, like I usually do on a Sunday afternoon, yielded surprising results.  We’ve seen video clips showcasing the graphics, the combat, and other small details.  In this video from the Warhammer Vault EA Mythic gives us a look at a Scenario in progress.  I know what you’re probably thinking… so what?  Download the video here.
Watching this video really gives you a sense of just how big the scale of this world is going to be.  Look at the enormous structures looking overhead and the vast towns.  If you recall from a previous blog entry I quoted Paul Barnett saying that the streets will be ailve with beggers and peasants and it will feel like it is real.  Now to me that’s a lot of work!  I hope they can not only deliver on that promise but much more.

Now to further showcase the massive world check out this video from a French fansite showcasing Praag, Altdorf, Black Craag, Temple of Tzeentch, and Reikland!  The world is enormous and it takes this dev a very long time to traverse the different areas even with some crazy speed buff on.  Something to note, in addition to the amazing and beautiful enviroment, is the quest locations.  To me they seem extremely out of the way and placed in locations that would be tedious to go back and forth from.  However if you listen carefully you will notice the dev say that the locations are in fact RVR enabled so hopefully the action packed adventuring fills in for what looks to be a lot of running.   Also note the corridors of the streets of the cities.  They are not populated or “living” to me.  Hopefully that changes as beta progresses.

So there you have two videos showcasing the world of Warhammer but that’s not all I have for you this afternoon!  Lurking various boards I came across some information I thought I would pass along to all of you.  Thanks to KyanMehwulfe for the following information:

-Guilds will have levels and lots of feature/ability customization
-18 months ETA for max level guild, 24 months for RvR player ranks
-Best armor set from capital city seige
-Day/night = quick; holidays from Warhammer lore
-You can’t actually PvP everywhere in a city siege, only in a flagged area (Unexpected… I assumed the city would be full RvR)

The one that stands out to me the most is the last one.  You can’t actually pvp everywhere in a city siege.  That makes sense to me given that players will need some place to be safe so they can respawn but it does make you wonder if players will be able to escape the combat by crossing some “line”.  The whole pop out and shoot then duck behind the safe line tactics from previous MMO’s comes to mind.  I would love to see footage of a city siege where it showcased a player dieing and returning to the fight.  Hopefully when a city is truly under siege by another realm it will be a very bad thing for the defenders.  It shouldn’t be a “who cares let them have it because our vendors are safe over here” type thing.  It should be “crap if we don’t defend or take that back we won’t have access to X”.

That’s all I hvae for you this afternoon!  I hope you’ve all had a great weekend so far and have a great Sunday evening. 


Raise those sails full mast me hearties!

It’s time to start building more hype for Pirates of the Burning Sea! With what would be only two months left until release my anticipation for PotBS is growing steadily every day. I am finding myself less and less interested in the current games I am playing and the big reason looming in the back of my mind is the impending release of what I feel will be the greatest MMO of 2007 and by far the most unique we have seen yet.

PotBS So to start things off I thought I would share with you all a little announcement. I have joined the Pirates of the Burning Sea Vault Staff over at the IGN Vault Network! I look forward to the great times I will have on yet another Vault as I work with the other staff members to bring this community what I hope will be a great resource and community unto itself.

So I asked myself what better way to start building hype than to share with you all things that get me hyped?

*Without question the best PotBS video interview is the one over at Gamespot. This Pirates of the Burning Sea Stage Demo features an interview with Russel Williams CEO of Flying Labs Software. It answers many questions about game mechanics, land and sea combat, economy, and much more. This video alone must have answered over a dozen questions.

*Today Tobold blogged his PotBS preview and he included a great description of the crafting/economy system. As you all know, or hopefully know because this is one of the best parts of PotBS, the entire world economy is player driven. To quote FLS on their own system, “If you can dream it, you can build it”.

Since I can’t possibly think of a better way to put it here’s what Tobold had to say on the crafting and economy: “Of huge interest to me is the fact that PotBS will have a completely player-run economy. Every player has 10 plots on which he can place various production buildings. Some gather raw materials, like wood or iron, some make intermediate goods like nails or ship masts, and at the top of the pyramid there are shipyards making ships. The trick is that to build one ship you need far more than 10 different manufactured and raw goods, thus you can’t have a complete production chain on your own. If you are shipbuilder, you buy intermediate goods from players who themselves buy raw materials from other players. If they manage to balance this right, this could be very exciting. The website also mentions local and regional auction houses with profit to be made by trading, buying cheap where the goods are produced and transporting them to where they are needed. This is getting better and better. This is like EVE without the boring asteroid mining!”

*I’m a sucker for Dev chats. The latest FLS dev chat comes to us from Booty Island Radio and it features plenty of fantastic information. From Languages, plans for expansion packs, to customization this is another great resource for those of you out there wanting to know more.

*And lastly, how can any of you plan to play or let even get hyped for Pirates of the Burning Sea without knowing your Pirate Lingo?! Avast ye landlubbers n’yer normal speakin’ voices! Get to studying maties!

I hope you are all as excited about PotBS as I am!


World of WarCraft players can rejoice….

… but they’ll still be doing it without me. Yep the Northrend rumors are true and confirmed at Blizzcon and we now have a bit more info out there for you sponges to absorb.

*Introduction of the Death Knight as a playable dark necromantic character class.
*New zones, quests, items and monsters packed into the Northrend, an icy continent that is home to the Lich King.
*Raised level cap to 80
*New battlegrounds featuring siege engines and destructible buildings.
*More character customization, including hair, dances and skin color.

Now although I will never play WoW again, and this is even moreso backed up by the revelation that this will likely be more of the same old raiding, I must admit the things I saw in this official trailer look really impressive. Blizzard has always been able to capture my attention with their trailers and cinematic’s. If I have one regret in not playing World of WarCraft it will be missing the storyline for the WarCraft Lore progress… even as bastardized as it has become.

Check out the trailer and see for yourself! Arthas looks really good. 😉


Because I am oldschool… “Ding!” Level 50!

Yep I finally hit level 50 in LOTRO. I’ve had 3 previous chars reach level 30+ and this being my fourth has finally made it to level 50. The adventure was a long one (not really, it’s been less than a month?) and sadly much if it was much more boring than I had hoped. Looking back at the leveling process in LOTRO I must say that my favorite aspet of the game has been the storyline quests, or “Books”. These story quests are the saving grace for LOTRO’s PVE game because without them you would have a game so jam packed full of quests to kill boars and wargs that most players would burn at at level 35.

There are a few people I would like to thank. First and foremost Bartlebe and Beoarke must receive the greatest thanks from me because these guys have been my leveling buddies from day one. Without their help and support I don’t think any of us would have even decided to try the PVE game again and abandon our monster characters. Next I would like to thank the members of Oakenshield Templars. Questor and Proator have been really great about helping us with the quests that required a bit more strength than we could muster.

So now I have finally accomplished all that I have wanted to truly accomplish in LOTRO. Now I move on to my secondary list of obtaining higher PVMP ranks and exploring the dungeons and “end-game” pve aspects of LOTRO.