Thursday, 31 January 2008


I've recently started a cow warrior to play with some friends. It starts with a two handed hammer. Yet I can still rend, and eventually hamstring using a blunt weapon. What?

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The Price of Gold

(oh man, this post is going to get gold selling spam out the whatsit)

I managed to find elemental plateau completely empty: it was 5am server time I guess, which was an advantage. I thought I would perform an experiment.

I figure that elemental plateau is probably the most profitable place to grind money. Maybe there's somewhere with cloth and gold drops that beats it, or a better drop rate on greens, but whatever. Auctioneer tells me that primal fires sell for the most on my server, at about 22ish gold.

So I killed fire elementals for half an hour. The results:

68 elementals killed dropping:
26 motes of fire
68 grey elemental bits, worth a total of 7 gold, 97 silver, 5 copper
1 grey weapon worth 2 gold, 58 silver, 2 copper
2 greens, which I put on the auction house, call them about 5 gold each, sold to disenchant

So two primal fires, for about 45 gold, 10ish gold of greys, 10ish gold of greens, grand total of 65 gold for half an hours grind.

5200 gold divided by 130ish gold for an hour comes out at about 40 hours of straight grinding.


Friday, 25 January 2008


I just finished the Ravenholme section in Half-Life 2 (yes, the original, not one of the episodes).

If I hear that screech again, it'll be too soon.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

On the Impact of PvP

Tobold and Syncaine (and I will openly admit I haven't come across his blog before) have both made a post on so-called "impact pvp", pvp that affects the world in meaningful ways. The general conclusion from both is you can't have "impact pvp" and successful pve in the same game.

I'd like to disagree. I think that there isn't such a game at the moment, but that there could be. It would need a complete paradigm shift from current game design though.

Firstly: multiple factions would probably be needed. As in, 5 or 6 distinct factions, which have allegiances and enmities. These can quite happily be mutable by player actions, but there needs to be locations you can go to which are flagged 'friendly'. Zero-sum the system so that each faction is always flagged friendly with at least one other faction so that there are a several varied places you can go to without getting ganked by enemies. Let people migrate from faction to friendly factions via some kind of rep function. Have capturable locations, etc. Something for pvpers to do. Have raid zones that are defended/guarded by factions, something for pve-ers to do. Also, something for them to work together on.

Secondly, regular resets of the server. This may seem a biggy, but if its written into both lore and mechanics, it should be fine. Focus on titles, something everyone seems to be implementing these days, and other intangible rewards. You can even have tangible rewards if you want.

Thirdly, a low level cap. If you, as a level 5 newbie, are wandering around when suddenly a level 568 elite pvper comes along, you have major issues and might quit. If your level cap is 20, and you design the scaling so that the level 5 still has a chance (if not a huge one), and a group of level 5s can almost certainly take down a single 20, you don't end up with the 'I was ganked, I'm going to quit' issue, especially as you can level up relatively quickly to be the same level, have the same power level abilities, and can get revenge.

Of course, none of these things excluding the level cap (in Guild Wars) are in any MMOs at the moment, and I find it unlikely that the other two would really gain acceptance individually in current MMOs as they are currently structured. If we want this style of impact gameplay, both pvp and pve, it needs to be built from the ground up to encourage it, rather than saying 'We are pvp', or 'we are pve'.

It would also be quite the risk, making me think its not going to happen any time soon.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Obligatory Catchup Post

So I've not posted in aaaaaaaaaaaaaaages.

I blame sunspots. That and just having an absolute ton of stuff happening; a show to stage manage, Christmas, moving back and forth to uni, and exams. Exams still aren't quite over, but I've got something I really want to comment on so, I thought I'd try and catch everything up.

Of the three games I can actively play (without setting up a new account or whatever), WoW is far and away my most active one. I now have my 70 mage slowly grinding up money for her epic flying mount, a nearly-20 hunter on the same server to help grind money for same (as leveling is more fun than grinding primals), a 41 druid on a different server to play with friends at uni, and a level 5 priest I'll get to in a moment.

I've not played City of Heroes in a while. The random instances using the same tilesets over and over and the slowness of leveling all just kinda conspire against me enjoying plain old leveling. When I was regularly playing with a group it was fun, but doing task forces (or whatever the villainous equivalent is) requires the grinding 10 levels to get to the minimum level each time, even if I do get a couple of levels out of each one.

I still log into Kingdom of Loathing regularly, even if I don't play all of my turns to their maximum effectiveness. I still listen to every podca- sorry, mp3 recording of their radio show that gets updated on an rss feed (and did even when I wasn't actively playing), but I expect that I'll get the spark of interest again when I start doing things in their hardercore mode, bad moon.

Guild Wars, well, I've beaten it. Well Factions anyway. And doing anything else just seems... flat, there's no objective there, even though theoretically there's plenty I could do. There're the end-game raids, the pvp, and getting perfect weapons and armour. But two of three require other people, which in GW tends to be a bad idea unless you know who you're with already, and the third is grinding. Lots. And solo if you want to get all the loot that drops.

Of non-MMOs, I'm in Ravenholme in Half Life 2 (yes, the original, and yes, for the first time) so that needs progressing. My Team Fortress 2 stats are lacking, although the LAN party I'm at this weekend should remedy that to an extent, I'm at the final boss (maybe) of Phantom Hourglass, and although D&D has been on hold over the holidays, I'm going to try to tie the remainder of that up fairly quickly, as a) I wrote myself into quite the corner, and 2) I want to play!

The main reason for updating this post is that my girlfriend now plays WoW, as a blood elf warlock, hence the level 5 priest listed earlier. After a couple of hours, we've got to level 5, and done the first few quests in Falconwing Square. Of course, I've been doing a lot of thinking after she said she wanted to play a warlock, perhaps too much, but I'm thinking shadow priest + warlock will be good for leveling, and then can convert to a good 2v2 arena team at 70. Careful selection of professions later, and we can be swimming in gold when we get there as well. I actually also have arena talent choices partially planned out.

Conclusion: I plan things too much, especially when its to avoid doing productive things!