[Crowfall] Knightly Updates

Crowfall was something I backed instantly. In large part it was the way that the dev team communicated. Early on, I felt they were communicating to me. I’ve been watching Crowfall continue to keep communicating to the players. They talk about milestones, difficulties, triumphs. It makes me feel like I have stake in the game.

To be honest though most of those updates just made me nod knowing it was still a large ways off before I would play. It’s like if someone is telling me a couple places of where they plan on taking me for dinner. I like hearing their thought process, but I can’t really think about what I am going to eat until I know which restaurant we are going to. Crowfall news has felt much the same. I appreciate the process, but not much to chew on, for me.

This changed subtly with the Knight Powers. All of the sudden things felt less “high concept” and more “this is what I might chew on”. The post goes over the idea of Minimum Viable Powers for each archetype and talks about some powers each will have. For example, special movement powers might be assigned to “c”. It’s interesting and gets me thinking a bit about the other archetypes. Continue reading [Crowfall] Knightly Updates

[WoW] Freely Returned

I find it ironic that I am returning to World of Warcraft at the exact moment subscribers are apparently leaving in droves. I am also returning for free deciding to create a new priest in a new server rather than removing 10 years of dust from my priest of old.

Yes, a decade of dust. I bought World of Warcraft to tide me over for Guild Wars 1. That $15 was a lot back then, and so when I really was hitting the leveling wall I quit. A friend used my account for awhile so I have a few expansions. He quit with Pandaria.

I would say it took a pretty perfect node to get me back. I love Heroes of the Storm so am constantly seeing “advertisements” in that. I am bored in Guild Wars 2 with that expansion nowhere in sight. I just can’t bring myself to get back to The Secret World, where I dislike combat, or Lord of the Rings Online, for sentimental reasons of keeping my memories back in the good ol’ days rather than what appears to be a pale horse. And, I can play for free in World of Warcraft up to level 20.

My strongest memories were of Elwyn Forest; gliding through the treetops on the flight service. Then there was that haunting, perfect music. I picked up a new human priest on Ravenholdt (RPPvP), and away I went. What was new after a decade gone? Continue reading [WoW] Freely Returned

[GW2] Lion’s Arch: The Mnemonic Connection

This morning I had my coffee while doing my daily. As usual, I do my last 1-2 daily achievements in World vs. World. The exit portal from that eternal battle heads in to Lion’s Arch, where I usually log off now. It’s just a nice place to be. A place with history.

When I logged on – in Lion’s Arch – I had an NPC on a broomstick floating by. Other days I see Suriel the Blazing Light jogging through the city to train for her next fight. The city feels alive, but more important than activity, the city feels personable.

I know friends who have bought the gem store broomstick so when Mr. Broomstick goes floating by the pot stirs with a plethora of those memories. I have fought Suriel, and her presence brings up memories of the Queen’s Gauntlet and that whole celebration. There are memories and secrets tucked in to every corner of the city. Bhagpuss covers secrets quite well.

I think ArenaNet hit the perfect MMO city for those two reasons – memories and secrets, that is. Any MMO developer can create a fantastic city of activity and architecture. ArenaNet themselves created five more. Yet, unless there is a connection to be there, all the superficial beauty in the world is wasted. Continue reading [GW2] Lion’s Arch: The Mnemonic Connection

[GW2] Meaningful “Guild” in to Guild Wars

The end of last week was a huge info dump in Guild Wars 2 with 6 blog posts detailing the guild system that is coming with the Heart of Thorns expansion. I admit with the extent of this information, I have not been able to process the entirety of it, but my gut reaction was that “they are bringing ‘guild’ in to Guild Wars”.


Guilds have been part of the lore since the pre-history of Guild Wars 1, where they were so powerful they started shaping the flow of kingdoms. The kings were not able to control them. They fought against one another. There was no peace across the land. It was in a way ironic to name the game after such a dark time. I wonder what some original concepts of Guild Wars 1 looked like; EVE Online perhaps? Finally, the charr invaded and the human kingdoms crumbled since the guilds, more powerful than any kingdom’s army, were already embroiled in conflicts of their own.

The power of the guilds never reached any similar level in the gameplay of Guild Wars 1. The closest it may have come to this prehistory might was a huge reputation grind in Factions, where a guild could “own” an outpost. The GvG system also helped a little in that a guild was an entity that fought on the leaderboards. It appeared that whatever powerful mechanics guilds would have imagined by early ArenaNet, they really did not culminate.

Guild Wars 2 had this inside joke: “where are the guild wars?” Guilds could claim objectives in World vs. World, which had little meaning to the attackers. Guilds joined teams for competitive PvP, but they felt like a shadow of Guild Wars 1 where people would sell off guilds that had won championships just to be able to have a cape trim. In Guild Wars 2 PvP teams will merge, separate, rename themselves and boot someone out without thought for the brand of that guild. A guild was a pretty bare social construct in early Guild Wars 2.

Finally, ArenaNet is going back to the earliest fiction and game concepts of what it meant to be a guild, and they are implementing those ideals in game. Continue reading [GW2] Meaningful “Guild” in to Guild Wars

[GW2] Lash and Love


Picture this. You are watching your boss on stage at E3. He’s about to launch the pre-order button for something you’ve been working on for months. The community has been positive. You feel good about your work. You have a lot of work left to do. Now people will start to speak with their wallets. It’s a scary time, and then the worst possible public reaction occurs.


This is not a post on the right or wrong of the situation. It’s a post in the hopes that fans who have free voice remain mindful of the power of their words. Continue reading [GW2] Lash and Love

[GW2] Parenting and the Heart of Thorns Pre-Purchase

My eldest daughter sits across from my youngest. They both have ice cream. I’d rather be sitting at the dinner table I crafted and chatting about the day with my wife than bringing out the laser level to make sure each bowl of ice cream is volumetrically equivalent.

The eldest sits with a scowl on her face because the youngest had the highest ice cream peak, or perhaps a spoonful more, or just better presentation of the dessert. Her enjoyment of her own ice cream is ruined. All she cares about is that her younger sister may have more.

Pretend you are the parent. What would you do? Continue reading [GW2] Parenting and the Heart of Thorns Pre-Purchase

[GW2] Nec-reaction to the Trait Update Preview

ArenaNet sent out a big email at midnight last night detailing a huge chunk of next Tuesday’s giga-patch notes. Dragon Season in fine form has them up. A lot is shifting. There are some good changes, and there are some pretty wonky changes.

The reaction from the necromancer community is not what I had hoped for. Yes, we are still in paper mode, and I expect fiddling from the community and  ArenaNet after the patch drops. There’s no way that this is balanced. It’s “pretty good” though, I feel.

Except with necromancer. There’s still no feeling of “wow, we should get a necromancer on our team so we can [something awesome]”. I am hoping that some of the developers’ decisions on the necromancer’s “purity of purpose” shines through in actual play. Continue reading [GW2] Nec-reaction to the Trait Update Preview

[WoW] Flying into Cheat Mode

Blizzard has responded well to the outcry of the previous developer decision to ban flying from the latest expansion. They’ve decided to give [back?] flying as part of the open world end game.  Once unlocked on one character with collecting treasures, working on faction reputations, doing all the Draenor things, etc., all other characters get access without all the hoops.

I think one commentator in the official Blizzard post nails it, and gets downvoted heavily for the wisdom. The top comment says “this is reasonable”, and then the response from the one is that ‘if you’ve already done everything in Draenor, what reason is there for flying’. Continue reading [WoW] Flying into Cheat Mode