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Monthly Archives: March 2012
Lights go on in the gamosphere
It has our attention, that’s for sure. I have already decided to buy it, which is unusual. Guild Wars is a good product which my family has played happily and without issue since we found it some years ago. I think sales of GW2 will break all records and be astounding, I really do.
I also think their competitors won’t be able to catch up. The lessons to be learned are ones some publishers very obviously don’t want to know or even acknowledge:
Guild Wars, the original, is exellent value for money. You buy it, download it, install it and play it – it doesn’t look for stuff you don’t have (physx … hello PotBS – its now 2012), you don’t have to tweak and faddle, the system specs are forgiving. The cash shop is non-intrusive, the game play is entertaining. Every time I have contacted support they have been professional and worked to solve my problem – which is more than can be said for 97% of the game support with which I have dealt. (Yes, I can measure things, I just think it’s an inadequate way of tackling Anything). And they haven’t messed with the playerbase to anywhere near the extent that Blizzard and SOE do, to cite the shining examples of the day. So yeah. I’ll wait to see what the first laptop comments say, and we’ll buy. Well done. I’m not easily parted from my cash.
Solid product, good value, respect for playerbase, forgiving specs. That’s their reputation. Which will now translate to sales of their new product.
And then they even seem to have some new ideas. It’s a winner.
Competitor’s behaviour has filled me with wicked glee also. Will Eve’s already-in-overdrive press release department actually explode I wonder as it strives to churn out yet more more more? Does SOE have any other plans sitting in dusty cupboards to haul out and blow the dust off – long after everyone has given up the will to live waiting for anything to happen. I’m delighted Vanguard will soon be free to play and feel heartily pleased for anyone that’s been holding their breath for the next GU on EQ2. Seems GW2 did the trick, eh. Movement! And then there’s dear old Blizzard. I bought the annual pass because I knew I’d be playing the year out and I liked the sweeteners they offered. Not a mighty good idea to backtrack on those now though. I wonder what bright spark didn’t check out EU law before posting the original FAQ. I don’t know how it works in the States but over here you sell what you advertise, end of. The purchaser does not have to take your logistic problems into account when it’s time to deliver, and no amount of contractual small print releases you from handing over what you said you would. And you aren’t allowed to argue interpretations either. It is the vendor’s responsibility to be specific in the advertisements and promotional material. You may not mislead.
If people were under the impression, caused by the FAQ and other material, that they would get into the beta “when it went live”, and they didn’t get into the beta when it went live, the wrath of the law can be invoked. I imagine there’s money to be made from that, for lawyers and customers alike. Anyway the stupid complacency that allows Blizzard to imagine they will be able to get away with some kind of bait and switch here is precisely what will sink them in the end. I bought the annual pass rather than just pay my way through this year because of the sweeteners. If they don’t cough up, I’ll ignore any other special deal they advertise. The goodwill that sends me to buy Guild Wars 2 does not exist in me for any Blizzard product. Like everyone else I put up with them because WoW was one of the better run games in a very poor crop.
Not that it matters hugely – plenty of other stuff to keep me occupied. I’m not planning to buy Pandaria by the way – beta would be a chance to change my mind (must be a few out there feel the same), but that doesn’t seem to occur to them either. Complacent.
The dance has begun!
The blogosphere too has been cheered – there are little GW2 sparklies here and there as people look upon the website or get into the beta. I’ve tried not to read too much, I want the shiny new feeling to be as full-on as possible when I first play, but I’m definitely picking up on the buzz.
From now on until launch I do expect every GW2 move to spark some attention-getting from other game publishers/sellers. People only have so much time and attention, even if they are the hardest of hardcore and right now that big shiny imminent launch is taking up a lot of it. I don’t think Eve can crank out more press releases…… or can they?
Whee this fun – ok, here’s a poll!
Updated March 28 – closing this poll on the weekend (31 March)
Updated April 3 – poll closed – many thanks to the voters! (ooo it would be a boat – you lot are mean!)
Wurm Online Begunner’s Guide (PVE) Safe Spot: Part 2
For the part where you find yourself turning up there every day and begin thinking “this is serious!”
My thanks to everyone who agreed to appear in this guide
and assurances to the good folk of Deli that when I am done with this guide I will destroy any structures I no longer need.
Your server is very pretty!
Time to be Basalt … and I’m at the beach still where I found the blessed log. People are online, yay – I say hi! with some enthusiasm, and am greeted back – it is the owner of that wonderful log – he is called Dadadah. I apologise for using some of his log – he says its ok – we’re good.
After some chat where I explain what I’m doing and he explains what he’s doing we share a breakfast of mostly fish (and the wolf Dadadah killed) by his campfire. Silvertown Harbour is in being rebuilt, it turns out, and Dadadah is a part of that. His aim is to build a rowboat here too. After a while Festecles (as in Hercules) arrives, more introductions 🙂
I’m planning to spend time foraging and exploring and wander off, to be reduced in seconds to 5% health by a bear I came across o this is more like the Wurm I know! Dada patches me up – what a sweetie – luckily I myself have some healing covers from yesterday too and no lasting damage is done. It’s nice to be in the area while they go about their business, talking about their project – which is pretty big from what I’ve seen. There is the usual “aaargh” etc from Dada as he fails to attach things to his sailboat. Shipbuilders on Wurm sound the same everywhere – I feel totally at home.
About the bear… I didn’t actually see it with my hicky ui, but once I knew it was after me I ran to a nearby guard tower and yelled for help – I was already pretty damaged when the guards engaged it & realised theres some stuff should go in here. I survived, the bear died and Dadadah gave me some cotton in exchange for the meat and two strawberries hahahaha. (tx for cotton Dada!)
* Kiting to guards: Once they respond, keep moving – the mob will still have you targetted and you need to shift it around near the engaged guards until it drops you (trial and error). Or die. Alternatively you can run through the guards’ territory, out the other side, turn, run back – yelling help now and again. That works quite well and is very amusing for everyone to watch.
* One big advantage of guard towers vs templars for a new player/traveller is that the guards do not only kill on-deed. In other words if you can kite your mob to within guard range but off-deed the meat will be accessible to you.
Later I also walked the edges of the tower guards’ range so I’d know where to bring things that were about to kill me.
who tangled with a spider soon after that. Festecles joined in! woohoo fighty fighty
Dashing Dadadah and the Mighty Festecles prevail!
Yere i just had a thought…
and now there’s a poll 🙂 This isn’t a solo guide – just a what-you-might-do-after-the starty-bit guide, remember. I will be asking for help if/when I need it, just as a new (ish) player would.
Wurm Online Begunner’s Guide (PVE) Safe Spot: Part I
For the part where you find yourself turning up there every day and begin thinking “this is serious!”
Where Basalt was headed
I have a little alt that got stranded in Deli, I started two when the servers opened. One in Exodus (she deeded) and one in Deliverance (she didn’t). The Deli alt still has her mysterious noob beginner night light awwwwwwwwww :). She is bound for the Exodus deed above, a trading deed to be, a long term project that I don’t hurry with.
Her name is Basalt. She’s made it from Green Dog (where you spawn) to the coast at the south, intending to swim (yep) to the other server, she never found undeeded clay along the way and has no means of carrying water yet (hence at coast). She could start the swim to Exodus now. However, I stopped the beginner’s guide at finding a safe place. I think it might be good to work through safe spot options with Basalt. I’ve been playing long enough to know I can do whatever I set out to, one way or another. Basalt will divert for a while, create or find a safe place and leave some ‘stuff’ there maybe for another new player to find one day.
Perhaps the swim across shark infested waters will not happen, but thats ok. It will be a story, and I don’t know the end.
It’s something of a tangle right enough. For a safe place, nails and a lock are going to be needed. For nails and lock, a small anvil is required. Anvils, even small ones, are heavy. I cannot run from anything scary with an anvil, and running is my top survival strategy! I can’t leave it lying about, or it will be looted. I need an anvil to create a safe place to store my anvil. Here is what I can see:
That’s a sly unicorn (even prettier than the white ones) – a lot of unicorns here in many colors. I am at a village called Faydark (!) and safe for the moment I think. I head carefully for the coast (ahead) and then turn left. I know I shall find either villagers (possible safety) clay (can go more inland once I have made a jar or two) or a rock face where I can begin rummaging for iron. Along the way I need to find cotton and wood to make a fishing rod. I pass a starving dog – I might be able to kill it but it would yield no meat (starving animals don’t give meat when butchered) and I would sustain injuries. Someone is in local, and I say hello, a new person like me I think – they need a hammer. I’m not that far along yet 🙂
* Bolded stuff is what I have decided I’m needing at any point. I’m not going to write up stuff that’s in the wiki, I began doing that and it quickly got wordy and tedious. (Exit chat (enter), Press H, little box = wiki, type keyword.)
* Coastal journeys are good for finding first resources when you start. Ufortunately the spawn never is at the coast that I know of. The search for a safe spot to keep your things begins with some exploration, either for clay or for a road, or for … well anything useful.
I reach the coast and turn left, foraging as I go and soon reaching a village called Silverton Harbour. Just outside there is a log!
Treasure treasure, but not as it is (too heavy). I spend a pleasant half hour carving a spindle, some fishing hooks and two shafts. Will be a shame if I die and lose them, but thats Wurm.
At Silverton Harbour I see dead animals (which I cannot get meat from since they are on deed). Thats good news, it means a spirit guard is active. I could stop here for the night, but I’d like to adventure a little further first. I mark it in my mind to come back to if need be. The dead animals give me information too. The wolves are young, newly spawned and though I couldn’t kill one, it would have meat on it if I did. There is a scorpion – deadly to me, but they cannot swim – and a crocodile. The crocodile is bad news. And there are bears. Bears can swim. I have an idea of what the local wildlife is like now.
* Dead animals at the edge of a deed are a good sign that a spirit guard is present and active – that means a safe place for yourself to pause or heal or log out. If you drop something here you may pick your own item up. So can the villagers of that deed. And their allies. A village you do not belong to is not a good safe spot for keeping things. (But it’s quite a good place for staying alive!)
Between Silverton Harbour and Thorins Bay I find clay. Being this lucky isn’t really good for the guide, but it happened. A quiet half hour ensues. I make bowls and jars. The log I found earlier serves me well again, I make a campfire and fire what I made. At the clay there is a pile, well decayed, from which I take one flask. I’ll need it eventually. I could take more things, but I’d prefer to just make stuff. I could make a flask, but this time I take one – for luck! My first casserole, (strawberries basil and parsley) lowers my nutrition. Hopefully as I get more skilled that won’t happen. Food is complex on Wurm – I don’t understand it, but I know I’m fat enough to survive my own cooking for a while :). Beyond Thorins bay is a cliff face, where I could probably rummage. However my casserole reminded me that I’d better find something more substantial than foragings to eat. Tomorrow the hunt is on for cotton. I see no dead animals at Thorins Bay and return to Silverton Harbour for the night.
This is a good place and I could survive in this area off the land indefinitely, even on my ghastly casseroles, carrying little, but I have a mission now to make things and find a place to put them. To free myself from constant foraging, I need that rod, so for now travelling is more a case of exploring nearby and forage, forage, forage. And botanise. Foodstuffs I cook for skill, healing herbs I mix to make healing covers.
* You can forage and botanise the same tile. Mixed grass cannot be eaten. I think. The creation of a fishing rod is quadruple rng with finding the cotton being the hardest part, many, many, many fails. Making a string from the cotton can fail (keep the rags), making a fishing line from hook and string can fail, and making the final rod from fishing line and shaft can fail. Relax, cook what you can, make healing covers and trust that at some point you will succeed. Or ask someone for help.
Sometime late on the second day, I find cotton. It could have happened much sooner, or taken far longer. After that the rng is good to me and within minutes I have a fishing rod. Those hooks and shafts I made before came in very handy. As people appear in local I say hello. Most are polite enough to return the greeting, but disinclined to chat – I don’t mind. Since I will be hanging around until I move on, I’d rather be known to be approachable, polite and friendly.
I take a little time to improve my wooden items (mallet, spindle and rod) as far as I can without a file or pelt. To reduce decay(ugh) on them, however little the reduction, and to begin gaining some woodie type skills. Also so the fishing rod doesn’t snap suddenly. I don’t get them improved far, but still. Then its off to find a fishable spot!
As the light fades, there I am, fishing, it feels good to have achieved this much. Now time to consider options, I think, so that next time I play Basalt I have a direction if not a plan. Options for safe places to store things that is. Here are the ones I know: a field, a building, a rowboat, a large cart, a mine. The field is easiest, but not that safe at all. It can be bashed and lockpicked if not attached to a finished building. Even if attached to a finished building, people can bash the fences (making sure nobody is about – so like real life). A building, a cart, a mine are both next hard. The building is the safest, the cart is safe in itself – it cannot be lockpicked. But the whole cart can be stolen, reinforced mine with a door on is safe except to mine-denizens, ermmm meaning not that safe for me but ok for goods unless someone bashes the door in. A boat is the hardest to do and very safe once complete. It requires appreciatable amounts of lead, wemp, cotton, wood, and a safe place to construct it too. It’s not beyond me, but might take a long time. All offdeed and non premium options these, as behooves someone who having started is finding their feet. Also a possibility is to deed somewhere, but thats quite a big subject and I want to put it aside for now. Same with joining a village, completely solves the problem, but a big subject.
I would normally go for a building, since it really is the safest place, but in the interests of blogness, I intend to travel around and see if maybe in some situations one of the others becomes more suitable. If I find a lot of felled wood near some iron perhaps a cart. If I find a small abandoned cavelet, maybe I’ll stay in that. It should be interesting!
* Before a safe place to store stuff is found, there are still 2 options that allow you to log off keeping a limited amount of goods safe. One is the bank, accessible through a token – very few things can be stored there. The other is to carry everything you value on your person when logging. Be aware that meals and foodstuffs will decay fast if you keep them in your inventory when logging out. Best eat it.
I’ve been very lucky so far, but I know well it’s not always like that. Tomorrow, I may lose everything. Except the skills I gained.
(Don’t drop your anchor!)
No, not more 4 a.m. theories 🙂
I figured out how to approach the follow-on guide (Wurm Begunners Guide) yay, working on that now. I have a little alt that can do an adventure following on from where I left the first guide. Life on Wurm (trying out diary form) isn’t working out for me. I feel like one of those superior older players doing it, you know the kind, get them in every game – lot of mention about how long they’ve been there, their progress, who they know etc etc, status flags everywhere. Trust me I’m not interested in game status, oh ho, so very, very, very not. Fun and fun only for me these days. Will fling a Life on Wurm post in now and again there. When something fun, or interesting crops up.
I like working on stuff and updating, makes it fresher and makes posts under construction nearly “live”.
Weekend soon also yay! Hungry people will be home from school soon and underfoot, big pork roast with rosemary is in the oven already and the house smells great. I love Fridays.
Had some ‘…thingie’ related ideas which I’ve jotted down at great speed. Seems to be an idea day today, long may that last. I got the printer cartridge I needed, must apply to printer! In fact I feel a big todo list coming on. Todo lists are great, they clear your head and stop things going around in circles in there. While researching stuff for …thingie, I’m struck by how seriously programmers take themselves. Wow. Good thing I have that steel in me because they often seem hell-bent on disuading others from trying to make their own game, it’s so hard, takes so long, pitfalls, problems, coding is so hard…, graphics take ages…. Rude noise to all that – doing it anyway, so nyah!
4 a.m. bolt upright in bed. This is it, I’m sure this is it. This makes sense! This is why!
It’s been bugging me a lot how such a lovely game is being sooo badly managed, I’ve been trying to come up with a plausible reason – if only to settle my own head. I have it, I’m sure I do! (hehe)
It’s being Zynganised!
hmmm? no I promise I didn’t eat the mouldy cheese again (wut anyway, I like mouldy cheese)…. transient customers instead of a playerbase, heavy cash shop presence, pop ups, communicating via forcebook, and tweeter instead of the forums, losing the herdcore, losing the vets and aristocrats, compressing levels to the speed of light to get everyone homogenised at the end for greater sales…
I know it’s just one of those 4 a.m. theories that looks silly in the light of day but kind of creepy how many things do fit, unsettling. Yeech. Don’t like.
Life on Wurm and some mild rambling about the Diablo III RMAH
One of the things we are never short of is changes. Originally made as a PvP game, PvP is still the main preoccupation of our Glorious ermm…. well, Rolf. I for one am ok with this mostly – PvP is constantly being tweaked and twiddled with. PvE is very popular indeed though, and though the PvEers escape a lot of the constant fiddling, we do get fallout. Not long ago, trolls were suddenly allowed to bash fences and stone walls. Fields became insecure. Griefers could pull trolls right next to a fence and release the livestock for butchering and fighting skill gain, and they did. You could log on to find a troll had let your lifestock out just because it felt like it – that happened too. Trolls can still bash walls and fences. I hired more guards than usual but has to be said they are not all that effective. At the time, the hunting deed was right next to what I called the Trolls Tea Party. Just over the hill was wall-to-wall trolls of all ages and sizes having a whale of a time on the Steppe.
By luck more than anything else, the hunting deed never did get bashed, and the trolls seemed to have moved on or died out. Less of them was seen overall on all servers. I reduced my guards to one, which is handy for when I need to get building work done and don’t wish to be disturbed. The rest of the time the guard is set not to attack aggressive creatures, unless I desperately need meat, which doesn’t happen very often.
Today I was going to fire that last guard. It’s an extra one silver a month I pay and really just a luxury. Except… apparently spawns have been beefed up today, new lairs are appearing. I wonder if that includes trolls. I’m still going to fire my guard even if it does. One guard is almost useless against a troll just now, taking hours and hours and dying over and over before finally dispatching a troll. Personally I think the trolls just keel over from boredom. I’m not mad keen on being held to ransom is why I’ll still fire the guard. Ummm… well see what happens. Untamed horses are now targettable by aggressives – which means that haulage is suddenly very difficult, and empty bins can be carried off into the distance by looters if they aren’t on deed. I have no great feelings about this by the way…. Wurm is…. well you just ride these things out. Or leave. Or find a way around. Or wait for it to change. Or make a persuasive argument on the forums. Or catch Rolf’s eye at some point – or a million other variables. Ride it out usually.
Great hot diggety dog omg changes are pretty normal stuff here – Wurm is not as static as people think when they first start playing. I’m not really all that excited by the RMAH in Diablo III. Somehow managing to be both behind and way ahead of most games – in Wurm the translation of game currency to real currency and back is old hat. Accounts are auctioned on the forums, game currency is sometimes sold there too. It’s quite funny watching people writing about Diablo III and trying to work through the ramifications. In the end it turns out to be quite simple really. Instead of the action happening on eBay or via bots and goldsellers, the players just sell and buy on the forums or privately. An established reputation is an asset, if not a must in these transactions – rip someone off and your chances of doing it again are very small. Of course the main reason for the Diablo III RMAH is not RMT, but the cut the game will take which makes it a stinkier kettle of fish and is a recipe for inducing complications where they need not be. So… instead of free trade using either ingame or real currency it’s all got to be coded and….monetised and….chopped up and tied up otherwise the game might miss out on some cash. oooo can’t have that.
Even the DIII legal problems are self-induced. If someone is evading tax by not declaring what they are selling and buying they are a criminal end of, nothing to do with what game or other source it came from. Just as if people use a game to gamble in a non-gambling country it is they who are breaking the law, and if they then don’t declare their winnings, again, that’s nothing to do with the game they were playing while gambling.
Unless of course, the game wants to play casino House. Then, suddenly there’s a problem. I would imagine that operating as a casino House amongst anti-gambling statutes is going to be somewhat tricky. As far as I know laws encompass intent as well as the letter. Calling it pretend gambling or pretend buying and selling is automatically going to fall the minute real money is involved, in the case of gambling, possibly even before that point.
If you preside over real buying and selling, and take a cut from that, it’s hard to keep out of the legal problems that arise when someone breaks a law via a game transaction, since the game company is then financially benefitting from illegal doings which they facilitated innit. They can argue “unknowingly facilitated” I guess. O well not my problem. That mine door still needs to be replaced.
Today I… lets see, farmed of course, tried to tame a unicorn and got beaten up badly. I know I can’t do it, my skills are too low. But I always try whenever I get the chance anyway. It’s become a ritual. So it ate my onions and then kicked me to pieces. It was bright white and would have fit right in amongst this group that all decided to stand on one tile and pose for a picture
one day, a white unicorn amongst these.
Life on Wurm
I spend some time on Wurm Online most days – have to or my fields would turn to stubble, the farm animals would starve, all the mine doors would fall off and of course every item I own would rot to nothingness. And I’d never grow up to be skilled! I’m going to try doing some descriptive posts while I arrange my thoughts for the second Wurm guide. I’m logged in now, actually, doing the rounds. It’s night. And nights on Wurm are daaaaaaaark……
I nearly missed that little newborn lurking deer. Lurking deer are smaller than normal deer and jade green. Like little jewels. This one’s mum is diseased because the pen got crowded when I was downsizing. She is in quarantine, tamed by an alt and also offline (you can set tamed animals to be offline when your alt is). So now I know offline animals can drop their young which then suddenly appear online – and diseased deer still breed. It’s a worry…. she’s been diseased for quite a while now with no improvement. I don’t like crowded pens and I think I have the population right now, will have to keep an eye on it though…. life on the farm eh… haha ok here’s a clue –
I’m safe in a field while I farm – but can you imagine what it’s like out there in the dark With Spiders! There is in fact a wolf just beyond the fence. He howls in the night… I consider hunting him but I’m in a hurry this evening, just feeding the animals before bed, really, and attending to one or two small things.
The rest of the night’s farming is uneventful apart from when I fall off a cliff, and dawn finds me fishing to feed the dogs. It’s nice doing this. It’s raining but I’ve arranged it so one of my shacks opens directly to the water, can look out over the lake and be dry and safe from crocodiles which is helpful when you are afk scribbling your blog. Usually I just enjoy the scenery while fishing, it’s a long timer per action. Or read a book. Or chat to a friend. Nobody I know online just now. The phantom ducks are quacking though, and the water laps… sooo peaceful… phantom ducks – well you can hear them but there are no ducks in game, or female pheasants. I keep checking pheasants juuuust in case, but how do you spell friend? it looks funny, I’m sleepy 🙂
The farming isn’t always this tranquil. Sometimes I get chased by a crocodile. Or a bear. If I’m playing a stronger me I’m up for a fight too. Having alts is slightly suspect, sort of, due to pvp spies but I like having more than one deed and travel takes ages. It is easier to have mayor alts that each look after their place. I rotate premium through them since I’m not intent on maxing anything. I really just like being here in this unusual virtual world. Each deed gets its share of premium attention – actually others in the family play too and a friend, so we would end up with more than one deed anyway. But has to be said, they tend to dabble – leaving ma here to keep things ticking over. I’m glad we rationalised though – it’s worked out well. The dogs are soon fed and the fields are soon tended. I decide to go for a walk on the tundra, hoping to find a male dog – but the creepy mine that leads up there has caved in yet again… so I work on building a sailboat instead for a little while. I really am sleepy though.
I like it when games balance life – I spent today very actively in real. A little farming and fishing was lovely pre head pillow collision. I log out at the skilling deed – (apologies I have my graphics settings on low tonight, no real need for that, was fiddling with them earlier in the week and forgot to change)
all is well
GW2 pre-order from April 10
Title says it all, yay! If the finances allow I will be breaking the habit of a lifetime and playing something thats actually current, maybe even pre-ordering for an excited offspring with near enough birthday (all my excuses in a row there, see) and we’ll cross fingers the lapdap can take it Scotty. Minimum system requirements are remarkably low bless them bless them. Will buy anyway. The next upgrade for us (when we’re good n ready) will be an Asus I think, and we can enjoy GW2 then if not now. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever revert to static computing really so I feel great spending money on a game which leaves the starting blocks with all the homework done.
Bet it sells up a storm this one.