Return of the Rock Band Machine

My XBox 360 came back from Microsoft. Though, I guess what I was sent back counts as a “new” refurbished XBox 360. It plays Rock Band 2 well. So, I can’t really complain. They even threw in a free month of XBox Live.

Stupid guild, be more funny!

A few weeks ago, when I rolled a new character on the Dark Crag server, I joined a guild. The guild seems active, but I never see anyone online. I just think my play times don’t overlap with anyone else in the guild. Bummer. I will probably leave that guild and keep looking.

I tried to focus on questing again, when I realized how crappy it is to not know if a quest is too high level to complete. I also see how dumb it is that scenario quest givers are only at war camps. So, while you are questing, if you do scenarios, get used to running back to a war camp every time you complete a scenario quest. I shouldn’t let it surprise me so much that the most basic concepts of game-play seem to escape the developer of the game. As if there was almost no play testing, or the play testing was conducted by developers themselves.

Those little things become a big problem. Bigger than something like keep defense. I understand how important keep defense is. I know it’s important that the keep game in T4 be really solid and fun from either side of the castle wall. But, before people can get there, they need to not be faced with a small problem 10 or 12 times each time they play. If I have to run around more than I spend time having fun, it’s going to break my will to ever see the T4 keep game.

Runhammer Online

Run. Run is everywhere.

When you start a new character in Warhammer Online, you do quests and maybe some scenarios. The quests move you along in the world and you level up. The scenarios never disrupt your location in the world. But, then, at some point you will find yourself at a war-camp, and you will find the first flight point. If you decide to press on with questing, you will not enter the dry desert of limited travel. After your first war-camp area, it’s going to be about ten levels or more worth of travel and questing to reach the next war-camp/flight point. During this questing desert, you’re going to do a lot of running.

This is my breaking point. And my current goal in the game. I have never gotten a character past this drought. I can’t seem to get through T2 without losing interest, starting an alt, or just giving up. Many times I feel scenario’d out, there’s nothing really hopping in Open RvR, and I look at my quests and the 10 minute run and it just breaks my spirit. I can’t hop on a bird to the place where I left off. Why not?

The 3.0.8 WoW Patch

I played more WAR than anything this week. Mostly because WoW had been patched and it made the game unplayable for the past few nights. On top of that, I had to figure out if my spec was going to be different and re-spend my talent points.

I’m enjoying the Chosen class I am playing in WAR recently. Being a tank has some real advantages. Especially if you can find a good healer and keep the baddies off them. Some real synergy there for sure.

I still have not found a good guild. The Dark Crag server has a real active community on it, and I have not yet had a night where something wasn’t going on. But, the guilds I have tried out so far seem kinda meh. Maybe it’s just because I am not max level yet.

Why does this bother me so?

I was really hopeful that the new expansion for World of Warcraft would clear up the problems I had with equipment. But, like most things, those hopes have slowly faded as I see more and more of the end game.

One of the fundamental basics of game design is to help players not gimp themselves. If a melee player doesn’t know his hit cap (which is very very hard to find out based on the game alone), he can easily get too much and gimp himself. The “fix” is to have lots of third party forums, articles, spreadsheets, and simulators to help people try to even understand their gear choices.

Though, if you think about it, the game also doesn’t show you how well you do outside of living or dying. Mix in random effects that can kill players for “challenge” and you have a perfectly obscured system that has no measurable method of knowing how well you are doing or how to become better.

I challenge any raiding group in WoW to raid under these conditions.

  • No mods. That means no threat meters, no decursive, no DPS meters, nothing.
  • Each piece of gear that drops has to be worn by someone as you make progress through the content. Obviously, harder content means better gear.

I put forth these rules because I think that without the fabrications and discoveries of players, the content in the game would be too hard and too confusing. People would be poorly geared and unable to know how well they are doing. Prove me wrong.


I need the good community. Not so much for WoW, but for WAR. Warhammer Online is all about the PvP and you need a good sized, active community to really enjoy it. So far, I have not found a great guild. They all seem to have ten or more inactive players and maybe three or four active players. Even if they are in an alliance, the alliance is a graveyard channel.

I suppose WAR doesn’t need much community. Open groups and scenarios take care of finding a group. And that’s half the effort. Granted, those people can suck and make life frustrating. It means every group is only as good as it’s average player. Guilds can practice, establish better communications and build expectations on performance. Guilds can offer consistancy to the RvR in WAR. And that’s what I want.

Dark Crag

I rolled up a new Warhammer class on the Dark Crag server. I had read that the server was popping and I knew of a guild on the server. So, why not give it a shot? The 500 person queue on my WoW server was a subtle hint.

I can’t comment on the guild much yet, but the server it totally crammed with crazy action. I did “join all” for tier one scenarios and I got into all three scenarios and they had plenty of people in them on both sides. I even did quite a bit of tier one open RvR. That’s pretty impressive for WAR.

It’s frustrating

I went on vacation over the holidays and now that I am back, it seems like WoW has queues out the butt. When I see 400 people waiting ahead of me, I usually crank up Warhammer.

Maybe I need a new server, but Warhammer seems to consists of me joining a warband, going into some open RvR, and then watching the warband hem and haw about how hard it is to take keeps and how we should just pack up and go somewhere else. Really inspiring and fun stuff there. And when I get tired of that, I go play Rock Band 2.

And my stupid XBox 360 died on me. Four days after the warranty expired.

I guess I could play EVE … *shudder*


My XBox 360 died today. A quiet, subtle, little death of three flashing LED’s. And only four days after the original warranty was up. And on the same day I spoke to my friend, Szmore, whose XBox had died that week.

Luckily, Microsoft has owned up to their poor manufacturing and design and for this particular issue, they will repair the XBox for free for up to three years from the purchase date. Here’s to those betrayed and angry people who complained loudly enough and long enough for Microsoft to take action. Thank you.