Archive for December, 2008

I’m With Stupid ->

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 31, 2008 by koljarn

Everyone has experienced them.  Whether you yourself said something idiotic (usually followed by about a minute of silence as you try to parse what just came out of your mouth or through your keyboard), or when another person comes up with some hare-brained comment or Wile-E-Coyote quality plan, we have all experienced “Stupid Moments” in WAR.  Sometimes these moments can be blamed on frothing berserkerism.  You know what I mean – uncontrollable bloodlust that drives you or another person to abandon a tactically sound position in order to rap someone on the noggin for a paltry amount of damage before they and their 5 friends annihilate you well out of resurrection range.  At other times, these bursts of stupidity defy explanation.

The latest experience that I had was a player loudly complaining that we should stop hiding in a keep (which we were actively defending) because it was “cowardly.”  I will grant that the number of attackers was about equal to the number of defenders at that time, but I am not really sure why someone would leave a strong position, where your force is almost guaranteed to win, for a much weaker position.  That’s only my latest experience, of course.

I’m a pretty understanding guy, at least in public channels.  I can sympathize when someone says “let charge them, it’s just a game, and it’ll be fun!”  It is indeed “just a game,” but remember one thing: to play at less than your best is an insult to your teammates and an insult to your opponent.  It’s a bit different if you’re just grouped with friends.  In that case, there’s no problem with “what the hell, let’s charge and die, it’ll be fun,” because it really can be fun doing any lunatic activity with good friends.  Even charging into the teeth of the enemy for no other reason than the fact that they were standing there.  Mixed groups demand a bit more etiquette and respect, but that’s a whole topic of it’s own.  Maybe another time.

Lion, the Other White Meat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 31, 2008 by koljarn

Guh… I hate, hate, hate it when they switch my shift from nights to days in the middle of the damn week.  I get like 3  hours of sleep, and am worthless to anyone in the office for two days.  At least my attitude can’t get much worse, as I’m already the office curmudgeon.

Anyway.  Warhammer.  With my limited time last night (due to the aforementioned mid-week shift change), I didn’t want to get wrapped up in tier 4 last night, so I loped back off to tier 2 with my White Lion.  Belus is inexorably closing in on rank 21, but his renown has been catching up with him (up to RR 19 now). 

Unfortunately, I ended up doing keep defense and more keep defense at Mandred’s Hold.  Two extended defense actions demonstrated to me a weakness of melee classes which I already knew existed, but hadn’t really been forced to experience firsthand.  I’m talking about the utter lack of things that a melee DPS can do during a defense.  You can’t really attack from the walls, you can’t really stand as part of a shield wall, and you probably won’t be able to get hold of a siege pad, as there are only two of them in the keep.  I ended up just repeatedly summoning my lion, sending him out to harass a selected enemy, and repeating the process until it finally came down to resisting a serious push by Destruction at the lord room.  If you can break the final push, then you have a few minutes of fun as the White Lion excels at pursuit and harassment of a fleeing enemy, but getting to that point seems to take forever – and relies entirely on the abilities of other classes.

I will say that the influence was great, though.  Belus has all of the Empire RvR influence rewards, now.  I’d love to get him the elite-level weapon from the elf influence reward list, but I never seem to fight there.  It must be a general aversion to Spite’s Reach.

So That’s What the Dark Elf Fortress Looks Like

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 30, 2008 by koljarn

Apologies for the lack of screenshots, but I mostly write this blog on my lunch hour at work.  On Ostermark, we managed to lock Dragonwake and Caledor last night.  I missed most of the battle, but I joined when Caledor was unlocked.  Caledor fell less than two hours into the fight – the organizers had this event firing on all cylinders.  I didn’t see much sniping or animosity, but I can’t say that everyone was on friendly terms with each other.  Anyway, about the fort (Fell Landing).

The outer walls of the fortress are pretty much like the ones at Drakebreaker’s in Dragonwake.  However, it has three gates, of course.  And the gates, just as with previous experience in a fortress, get knocked off of their hinges very, very quickly.  The courtyard is littered with tents, wagons, and cages, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the interior of the Empire fortress.  So, let’s focus on the inner keep.

The best way to think of Fell Landing is “Spite’s Reach on steroids.”  It’s a big, spiky dark elf keep with posterns on both the north and south sides (and one on the back, I think).  The terrain is such that reinforcements coming from the front of the fortress (and they will, since the read entrance seems to be bugged at this time) will get funneled down two narrow paths on each side.  Incoming Destruction players can and should be targeted at range, before they get near the walls.  After the door is down, the postern teams should move inside to cover the ramps on the second floor – these are great chokepoints.  As an engineer, that’s where I made my home, dropping napalms and tossing grenades into clusters of enemies.  The rest is largely up to the primary tanking force – march up and give the fortress lord what-for.

I did mention that it was like Spite’s Reach, didn’t I?  Remember that damned AoE-through-the-walls keep lord in Spite’s Reach?  Well, this is their relative.  This one hits people for about 11,000 damage, with no line of sight being required.  Our force did pretty well against the players, champions, and heroes in the fortress, but the lord’s AoE eventually wore us out. 

I wasn’t disappointed.  While it would have been nice to take the fortress, we did a great job of getting that far in a single evening, and I got to see new stuff.  From my point of view, it was an excellent evening.  Hopefully, the alliance leaders on Ostermark will continue to cooperate.  We don’t need them to be friends, just to shut up, stow their egos, and let the rest of us play the game.

Back to the Basics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 29, 2008 by koljarn

Last night, I just played my White Lion for a while.  Because the attitude in tier 4 basically sucks.  And here is something new – I rather enjoyed myself.

Sure, it was zergy.  Early in the evening, Destruction had about a 2 to 1 advantage.  Later in the evening, Order had a 2 to 1 advantage.  Aside from some dope complaining that we weren’t charging headlong into a defended fortress after we wiped twice there and the doors closed, I had a largely positive experience.  (On a side note, if suicidal charges are a real turn-on for you, then don’t let me stop you — go ahead.  Don’t expect me to follow you, either).

I’m getting a touch more lag than I did before I took my holiday break, but I don’t know if that’s due to something Mythic did, or if nVidia came out with a new driver in the last week.  I’ll have to look into it when I get home.  Which, incidentally, is going to be late once more.  Yes, another round of second shift.  At least I get a little overtime pay in exchange for killing off my evenings.

As to the overall status on Ostermark, I’m still in a holding pattern.  I’ve pretty much decided against leaving my guild.  If I do leave, it will be to leave the whole server, but it hasn’t reached that point, yet.  Hopefully, it never will.

Just Checking In

Posted in Background Noise with tags , , , on December 27, 2008 by koljarn

It appears that the blog is still here. Good, good….

The dysfunctional family seems to be somewhat functional this time around.  My parents’ poodle is as dim witted as ever.  Not a bad holiday so far.  And then, I made the mistake of reading the Ostermark boards on WHA.

You know, I thought that I left cliques behind in high school.  I was definitely wrong.  Everyone seems to be circling the wagons and sniping at each other.  This includes my own guild and alliance, and frankly, it’s disturbing.  I had high hopes for a little more maturity on Ostermark, but so be it.

I’m not sure what the solution is.  I actually considered just starting a fresh set of characters on Phoenix Throne, but they may be just as bad over there.  I also thought about leaving my guild and staying on Ostermark  as an independent, but that doesn’t appeal to me, either.

I’ve got a few days to think about it.  Comments and advice are welcome.

Now I Have a Machine Gun (Turret). Ho, Ho, Ho.

Posted in Background Noise with tags , , , on December 23, 2008 by koljarn

Wishing everyone a happy holiday in advance – not sure if I’ll get the time to post before Christmas, and I get back just before New Year’s Eve.

Nothing to report on Ostermark, today.  I did zero RvR last night.  Cleared some of my quest log, and relaxed.  That’s about it.

Looks like there’s quite a bit of inter-alliance drama happening on the Warhammer Alliance boards.  Stuff like that is why I refuse to be a guild officer unless it’s among close personal friends.  I don’t know who is to blame for this latest outburst, nor do I really care.  I’ve met a number of great people across many guilds on Ostermark, and it would be a damn shame if this started to segregate Order along alliance lines.

Keg Slayers and Fortress Defenders

Posted in Background Noise with tags , , , on December 22, 2008 by koljarn

It was quite the weekend on Ostermark.  Koljarn spent the lion’s share of Saturday and Sunday scrambling to make up for lost time on the list of tasks for the Keg End event.  Most of the tasks are simple grinding things – kill 50 snotlings, drink 100 kegs of beer, etc.  One task, however, was a real challenge to finish, due to me getting a late start on things.  That was the “kill 20 ogre tyrants” task.

It took me two days of cajoling to get some guildmates to head out to Thunder Mountain and grind some ogre skulls beneath our boots.  Not that I hadn’t seen the ogres before Sunday – on some of the defense calls I received, Koljarn passed the ogres often while traversing the RvR lake in Black Crag.  We never had the time to attack one, though.  Always in fast response mode.  Well, finally, at 2300 on Sunday I got a group of people together, we killed the damned ogres, and Koljarn got his Keg Slayer title.  Koljarn also got his “advanced” influence reward, which is a nice mug to go with the keg he has woven into his beard.

Speaking of RvR, it was a curious weekend.  Destruction managed to lock Chaos Wastes and send the fight back to Praag.  Which is a shame, since I never seem to get to explore the Chaos Wastes.  I was surprised when Destruction followed this up by locking Dragonwake, then locking Eataine a few hours later.  As best as I can tell, the Order players that were in Dragonwake/Eataine and the Chaos Wastes queued up for scenarios in regular PUG mentality, while Destruction organized every single group they had for scenarios, resulting in your typical 500 point steamrollering in each game.  Additionally, Order people just kept running around in the open RvR lakes while being outnumbered and not in a defensible position.  Basically, Destruction was being organized and Order was acting lackadaisical.  Destruction deserved to control those zones, and Order did not.

It is possible, though, that Order threw in the towel and let Destruction take Eataine.  I say this because when Order responded to a general call-to-arms at the Shining Way Fortress, there was an impenetrable wall of Ironbreakers at the third floor and quite a few of us Engineer types.  Engineers in a well organized defense are in their element.  We turned the second flor into a giant napalm-fueled barbecue grill.  Bright Wizards did their share, of course.  Over the course of a 45 minute defense at the upper floor, we routed several waves of Destruction as they re-organized and came back for more two times.  I really don’t think that Destruction had planned to take Eataine – they we short on tanks, which is truly odd on Ostermark where Destruction is tank-heavy.  Without their own wall of tanks, routing them was not really an issue.  Oh, and the server didn’t crash once!  That’s a big improvement over the last fortress battle.

There was also a good deal of RvR in Black Crag, as previously noted.  Koljarn got to renown rank 43, which is nice, I suppose.  The guild is making noise about tackling some of the higher end-game content.  I think it’s a possibility, as more and more people complete their Annihilator set.

And those are the highlights of the last few days.  The Christmas holiday is coming up, and I’ll be heading out of town for a week starting tomorrow night.  So, no Ostermark drama, but plenty of dysfunctional family drama!

Friday at Last

Posted in Background Noise with tags , , on December 19, 2008 by koljarn

Finally, Friday has arrived.  Last night of second shift for a while, and I have to prepare for my annual pilgrimage to the Garden State for Christmas celebrations.  However, tonight I will make time to play a little WAR!

Holidays and MMOs rarely mix, anyway.  Even when I lived a mere 20 minutes away from all my relatives, online game servers would be ghost towns during the holidays.  This is more noticeable in WAR than other games, due to the reliance of WAR on RvR to provide so much of the content.  If there are no players, then there is no RvR.

I haven’t even started on Keg End.  Hopefully, I can knock out the interesting parts over the weekend, in between last minute shopping expeditions and travel preperations. It looks like a fun little event, though there is some backlash out there against it.  There’s always backlash against in-game events, it is to be expected.

I heard that Order/Ostermark attempted an attack on a fortress.  Good for them.  The server probably crashed again, but no one can say that we didn’t put forth the effort.


Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming, Tabletop RP with tags , , , on December 18, 2008 by koljarn

Had a 12-hour work day ending at midnight, arrived home at 0100, got to bed around 0200, and followed this up with a dentist appointment first thing in the morning.  I have had neither the time for WAR nor enough sleep to be really coherent.  To add insult to injury, I get to the dentist’s office as they are opening up, and they tell me to go back home; the hygienist has the flu.

I did get to read this interesting post on the Greenskin blog this morning.  I have to say that I’ve experienced this, and it’s puzzling to me.  As much as I advocate the liberal use of low cunning, I will be the first to say that there is a difference between using creative and underhanded tactics, and just running from a fight.  I can only assume that this Order warband was farming gold bags, because there’s no other justification for it.  I suppose I really shouldn’t comment further, as I wasn’t there.

In a fit of nostalgia, I have ordered a copy of “Traveller”, books 0-8.  For those of you who have never played Traveller, I can only describe it as the seminal science-fiction role playing game.  Published way back in 1977, the mechanics are a little clunky, but it’s a lot of fun.  Personally, the best space-opera type rules that I have experienced were in the first edition Star Wars RPG, which used the “d6” system.  Those rules encourage a sort of dramatic and heroic role play that is just not possible in most other rule-sets.  The Traveller setting and technology really shine as being some of the most superior books ever written, though.  I may do a sort of a hybrid between the two — adopt the Traveller concept to d6 rules.

Weekend in sight.  Must persevere.

I Don’t Cotton to those Elfie-Types

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 17, 2008 by koljarn

Not normally, at least.  I have to say that if Koljarn wasn’t my main character, I’d probably be playing Belus, my White Lion.  White Lions are not like your run-of-the-mill stereotypical elf.

In the Old World of the Warhammer universe, the wood elves are your Celtic wannabees.  Hug trees, hide in the woods, love nature to pieces, that sort of thing.  Fairly tribal and a little savage, but still, a recognizable stereotype.  High elves are aristocratic with a touch of Rome, Machiavelli, and Tolkien.  They are incredibly, skilled, but not simply because they are talented.  They live many centuries, and have all the time in the world to hone their skills – and they do.  So, what makes White Lions different?

The elves of Chrace are naturalists, but unlike the wood elves, who live with nature, the elves of  Chrace are the wardens of nature.    I can more easily relate to that, as I’m not a pastoral type of person.  It’s as if a park ranger got militant and started making armed patrols, going to far as to thin the herd when overpopulation or starvation loomed.

The lore behind the White Lions of the tabletop game is pretty basic: they are elite guards of the Phoenix King, who must prove themselves by going out and slaying a full-grown lion of Chrace in hand-to-hand combat.  These aren’t your garden variety wispy Questor-the-elf types. who run around with a bow, playing “catch me of you can.”  These guys are badasses.

I enjoy the playstyle of the White Lion, also.  Generally, I maneuver around until I see an opening in the enemy lines or until I find myself on a flank or amongst the rearguard, then I charge in like a wrecking ball and see how much damage I can cause.  Frequently, it’s a lot.  If I can stay in range of healing, I can cause a major panic as ranged DPS goes down in a heap and healers find themselves being hit with an axe and eaten by a big ol’ lion.  Even when I fail to take an enemy down, I always cause a major amount of disruption.  What more could I ask for?

If you play Order, give a White Lion a try.  Heck, if you play Destruction make one as a whim on another server.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.