April 27, 2009

I'm back

Just a quick note: I've been on an international fair for more then a week and due to preparations and fair attendance had no time to write in my blog. So no, not dead yet... just have been very busy. ;)

April 9, 2009

Ragbag & Easter Eggs

No, I'm not already searching for Easter Eggs just yet... only have been rather busy IRL and quite frankly did not miss playing WAR that much. That's why there were not that many posts during the last days. No worries, this blog won't close, I'll keep on playing WAR at least until the Land of the Dead is released (if that's not delivering I might rethink) but so far I'm still into WAR and think its a good game.

Starting to get a little dampen by the feedback from Mythic and GOA tho. Looks like Mythic focuses on their own little US forum and not much else. I wrote about my zero-response from eg. Andy before. The first king capture/kill (EU) took a few days to make it into the herald news. You start to wonder what's going on over the pond. GOA seems busy as well: Two weeks ago i inquired about how exactly the communication between GOA & Mythic would happen and what role the WARforge - Idea Exchange would play. Also the US already uses their "Oracle program", while the "EU Veteran program" is MIA. Since i got no answer to my questions so far, i have to assume GOA does not know the answer yet. Regis "The Box" was spot on if you ask me - so far the communication seems to be more window-dressing then real, at least it looks like this for many EU players. If the two companies that run the game bother so little, why should i? Let's hope they work on fixing stuff... shall we talk about the Realm War Pages again? Better not.

Talking about the first king capture on K8P. Nice! Although from the dev response you can see the encounter was bugged and the CC should not happen on him. GOA posted some screenshots here from the encounter. At WHA (1,2) you find more screenshots from Emperor Karl Franz and the loot. In total the whole raid took around 14 hours (wtf?). There is also a video with a funny song from that night: Destruction in Altdorf, they PVE all night long. LOL

Did you read about the upcoming token system for RvR gear? Wizards & Wenches sums it up nicely and you can read the original dev post here.

If i feel like it, I'll jump on the PTS and check some stuff out... but the weather turned around nicely for spring activities outside.

April 3, 2009

April Fool's, Lost Vale and Rant

Just so the people reading my blog through a newsfeed reader don't miss it and spend hours searching: The entire Beyond the Kraken Sea towards the GM Castle post was just my sophisticated April Fool's joke. Everything was fiction and photoshoped. If you spend some time up there searching for the Journal (and i know some did *g*) i hope you had some fun at least and maybe saw a new area. ;)

After the evening in Lost Vale when the server started to screw us over, we went back another evening to finish the instance. We encountered some strange bugs (most is covered on the forums) during our run and especially at N'Kari i think we had the pleasure of encountering all of the ones mentioned here. Running several meters past an orb and picking it up was no fun. Also it felt like the stupid channeling-tomes are even harder to pick up now. Took me around 100 clicks to pick one up at some point. I fail to understand why the end-game instances does not seem to have any priority in the bug fixing process. At least they give people something to do while Mythic works on fixing the real end-game. But when you run an instance with a five day lockout and its bugged like hell, you start to ask yourself "Why am i doing this again? I want to have fun and not bite my keyboard due to stupid bugs..."
We did not get many items we could really use during that run, but i was lucky enough to grab Da Choppa of da Chieftain, which will become my new main weapon. I still wonder why there are just more or less generic weapons and not some designed for specific roles so eg. you can obtain a tanking Choppa - guess its part of a somewhat lazy itemization.

During our LV run we were talking a lot about the current "feel" of the game. The main problem right now is that there is not much to do that you can call endgame. Once you're not (or very seldom) running city dungeons anymore, because you got full sentinel, you can only do Lost Vale (which has a long lockout, you can't switch team members and its bugged), do oRvR and scenarios. The thing about oRvR currently is tho, that its a zerg-fest. Those of you that played AoC may remember some of the cool small scale PvP you could do there. That's the feeling i want in WAR as well. Zerg attacks are freakin' boring. Attacking Keeps involves too less strategy and the capitol raids are boring as well, once you've been there a few times. The whole end-game is not polished enough to be fun. And the thing that really bugs me are the very few possibilities you have to "upgrade" your character. Farming renown just feels like a grind, as does running LV currently. If we would not have such a fun crowd to play with in the guild, i think many more would have quit already. Once you have full Darkpromise gear you can only upgrade via Warlord gear (rr64-70). If i will hit a wall when i have to grind 30 renown levels to be able to wear the next item upgrades and there is no other possible upgrades... probably I'll rethink the "fun" I'm having. Mythic is re-thinking the ward-system and i hope they're doing it properly. In addition i know for a fact, that when the Land of the Dead does not deliver towards end-game fun and the "feeling" you can upgrade your character more, WAR will face hard times.

April 1, 2009

Beyond the Kraken Sea towards the GM Castle

Edit: Like the date indicates, this entire post was my April Fool's joke for you guys. Gotcha! =)

Those of you that like to explore will know there are certain places in WAR that are called "dangerous territory" and are unused areas or parts of the map you're not supposed to be in. Many places have some kind of teleport security in place, if you trigger it you'll be ported to your binding location. Some places have "security holes" and you can explore into the unused zones. Usually its not very exciting, just vast emptiness... But do you remember the GM island in WoW? Well, there is a similar place in one of the unused zones in WAR. Its the only place i found so far that looks like a game designer joke placed there in case someone would find it. The area is only sparsely designed and its not that many ojects there, but it includes a larger castle and more important: A QUEST GIVER!

Description how to get there: Fly to Eataine and ride towards the place marked on the map close to the PQ. Behind the tower is a small slope that leads up into the mountains and can be climbed. Once up, comes the hard part as you'll be entering dangerous territory and your map & minimap are useless there, ergo no system of coordinates to use. I'll give you the direction as good as i can, but its really easy to get lost up there and lose your way. Once you have been there, you'll understand why as it all looks the same. Even i could not find the area one day and got lost. Incoming Pull blog has been there recently as well (and posted a video about it), but i assume he did not find the way to the GM Castle since its not very obvious.

Word of warning: If you dismount in the dangerous territory you won't be able to mount up again. You can ride around on your mount just fine, but its not possible to remount by whatever reason.

Once you ride up the mountain try to keep NW (orientation from your viewing point, not from the last map location) and look for a huge steep face "wall" you can't climb. In that zone are three different of these kind of huge walls that look similar, but only one can't be climbed to the left or right side - that's the one you need to find. The other two you can go up slopes to the sides. Since everything up there looks the same and there is not much you can take for orientation, you'll just have to ride around and search some. Maybe if i find the time to clean up my HD i could create a video as well, but no promises. At the base of the steep chasm wall, in one small jagged corner approximately in the middle, you'll find the "First Journal of Aperire" on the floor. Using the book will teleport you to the top of the wall you can't climb otherwise.

On top of that mountain luckily you can mount up again. Behind you is like a smaller mountain range and you want to take your way around it to the left. After a short while you'll be able to leave the mountains behind you and you'll see a larger structure in the distance. You nearly made it! The place has a small castle in the back and a tent in front of it. Strangely enough the castle and the trees right next to it don't have any textures for me. Dunno if its because the place is unfinished (sure looks like that) or if its me. But i don't have any other texture problems ingame. There is a lonely unicorn walking in large circles around that place. You can't interact or target it in any way tho. In front of the tent is a humanoid named Pentu Ratlab and he is a quest giver! Else there is not much to see, beside a few trees the area is the same vast emptiness like the rest of the dangerous territory.

Not only skipped my heart a beat when i found the area, but i would not have expected to find a quest giver there. The quest itself tells you about a clan of Troglagobs that stole a magic book. Doing some research via internet provided me with the info that Troglagobs are a race of aquatic goblins: "Troglagobs are by far one of the more unusual types of Goblins. They are Goblins that dwell in the sea, making coastal raids against the Empire, Tilea and even raiding the shores of Ulthuan and Lustria. Recently, many of these ocean dwelling Goblins have been sighted on Albion in great numbers, in the muddy southern tip of the island that has come to be known as Trogland. Troglagobs can have greenish skin like their Goblin cousins, though most tend to reflect a more seaish green such as turquoise or similar blue green color. The hands and feet are webbed like that of a frog making them exelent swimmers with exceptional speed. Troglagobs actually have both gills and lungs, allowing them to breathe comfortably above and below water. However they will not venture too far from their aquatic habitat, as they need to refresh themselves at least every few days of else they will dry up and die."

There is a large water surface (endless sea?) to the right side of the castle area where the ground goes down quickly. So supposedly thats where the aquatic goblins came from. But be careful not to step into the cold water, as you'll drown and die very quickly from taking drowning damage. Nothing else to find when i searched the area, no real shore either. The quest asks you to find the book somehwere in dangerous territory, which could basicly be everywhere. The reward shows a key trophy (why is this uncommon and not epic?) and the quest text tells you about entrance into the castle to claim your reward. If the reward is that trophy or something else is unknown to me. But would be cool to enter that game master (GM?) castle and possibly being able to re-enter while wearing the key?

Since there are so many different areas with dangerous territory and its hard to search/navigate in them i figured its worth posting this secret quest so more explorers can help with the search. Maybe the quest is unfinished (since the castle structure seems to miss textures plus the place looks weird) and you can't complete it, but who knows? Would be awesome to be able to enter the game master castle and see whats behind the doors. Anyway, thought this post makes up for the still missing article about exploration in WAR i wanted to write for aeons. Happy hunting...