Challenging the Concept of Challenge

3 Comments

Or, the truth about MMO gaming….

Since I started blogging, I’ve read a lot about how players want to be challenged. A good amount of this conversation has circulated around World of Warcraft and the WotLK difficulty drop. I always accepted these statements as understandable truths but lately I’ve been questioning just how true they really may be.

Do we play MMORPGs for the challenge? A lot of you will probably say yes and I’d have to disagree with most of you.

To better explain, let’s look at the definition of Challenge:

“A test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking: a career that offers a challenge.” – Dictionary.com: American Heritage

Compare that definition to the current “challenges” of most popular mmos: pressing the right keys at the right times, staying out of the glowing shapes on the ground, try not to let the monster hit you, and put in enough time.

There’s more than that for some players but I think that about sums up the average players “challenge” in an MMO. The usual justification is that “it takes skill to play your class well.” Yeah, maybe, bust most MMOs don’t really require you to play your class “well” to succeed. They require you to fulfill your requirement which, we all know, doesn’t necesarily mean doing anything even near well.

By and large, MMOs follow a more time = more reward formula. Skill and challenge really have nothing to do with that. In the pursuit of equal opportunity, challenge has been lost in translation.

What does challenge mean to me? It means having to pay attention to a fight the whole time or risking death. It means more than auto-attack, 1, 3, 2, 2, 2. It means taking risks and making decisions that could make or break an encounter. In short, it means a much less forgiving game. For some players, dedicated raid/guild leaders and PvPers to name a few, that formula holds up. For the rest, time and repetition are the “challenges” they’re meeting.

But do we really play MMOs for the challenge of them? I sure hope not, otherwise we all went into this thing organizationally deficit, which, taken as a whole, is probably true (getting a group of people together is part of what makes a group leader’s job more of a challenge than most other aspects of play).

MMOs fill a different gap in our gaming lives. They provide a feeling of moving from one place to another, progression, that gives our gaming purpose. They give us a social outlet that gives it meaning and value. They give us a meta-game, a distraction from the day to day, and something to devote or intellectual resources to.

If I want “challenging” gameplay, I’ll turn to a game with difficulty settings. When I’m playing an MMO, I don’t expect any more challenge that knowing what buttons to push when and where not to stand — until that special little player comes along and pushes me outside of my bounds. The truth of why PvE will always top PvP in popularity is that most people in this genre want an MMO for what it is, a slightly dumbed down RPG they can experience with other people. And that’s not so bad.

Edit: I just read a recent article at Ferrel’s site, Epic Slant, that made me want to clarify something. He made the point that, yes, learning new encounters can be difficult. There’s no doubt about that. The reason I still feel that, on the whole, modern MMOs present little is that most people do not go through the effort of learning encounters themselves.  I wish more people would, I wish that I would, because it presents a far more exciting encounter until it’s mastered. There’s a social expectation, however, that counteracts that desire. The expectation is that you’ll either a) know what’s going to happen ahead of time; or b) keep up. That expectation pressures people to follow instead of learn.

WoW bought forth a massive influx of database sites so it’s no longer necessary for people to learn encounters on their own. The learning curve is drastically reduced for the vast majority of gamers because as soon as a guild or two clears through the latest dungeon, a strategy is put online that details everything subsequent groups are likely to encounter. Plus, for a guild with VoIP, only one person really needs to know the encounter well, and they can just tell the rest of the group what to do. Unfortunately, I also think a good chunk of gamers just want the gear upgrade at the end, too. Why bother with the frustration of learning the encounter on your own when the fight is just a means to an end anyways?

Perhaps a better statement is that modern MMO end-game is as challenging as players want it to be… most people just want it easy.

Advertisements

The Spoils of WAR

Leave a comment

Whoops! I thought I posted this before my post on scenario slanting. My bad, interwebz. My bad.

This week, I shared my feelings on how my experiences in the game are going. Since I put the negative out there, I thought it’d be good to let you know the positives I’ve found in the game. You didn’t think it was all bad, did you? No, definitely not and despite my proclamation that I’ll be giving the game another 2-3 months, I have no intention of giving up on it. As potshot put it, there’s the core of a great game in there.

1) RvR– WAR is an RvR game and in this area, I believe that there is a lot of fun to be had. In all honesty, I’ve had more fun doing RvR than I’ve had doing a lot of other things in my MMO experience – and this is coming from a PvE fan. There’s nothing in gaming quite like the finding yourself in the middle of an epic battle and even more so if you turn out to be the victor of the day. I’m not even referencing pure ORvR either. I’ve had a lot of fun in scenarios to boot despite the negative ones I’ve also had.

Scenarios have gotten a bad rap. In part, this is because of inequitable design when the game first launched. However, things are improving. Mythic listens and responds more than any game company I’ve ever seen. We’re a month and a half in and the emphasis is skewing more and more towards ORvR, which is great because that’s what this game is about. That doesn’t mean scenarios are no fun though. They can go either way and don’t always lean towards the team that picks up the idol first. With that being said, scenarios require organization that is generally absent from PuGs. My advice is to find a guild and work together as a team. WAR is not the most solo friendly game in the world, outside of PvE, so if you try to go that way you’ll probably lose more often than you’d like.

There is a big caveat to scenarios, though. Some maps are designed so that one side has an inherent advantage over the other. I’m looking at you Tor Anroc. This doesn’t mean you can’t win, if you’re the underdog, it just means you’d better have a team that knows what they’re doing. Personally, I feel that scenarios should be fair across the board – stay tuned today for a post on this.

2) Socialization – I have to say, even though some people feel WAR isn’t social enough, I don’t feel this way. Now, I’m not saying that regional chat doesn’t go by the wayside sometimes. I’m not saying that scenario chat is filled “Hi, there Old Boy!” or “Cheerio!” ‘s from good hearted Englishmen. Or even that you’ll always be talking to people you meet on the battlefield – or even those you’re in an open-group with. What I mean is that WAR has taken down some of the walls when it comes to team work. You no longer have to have a set of epics and a rap sheet of bragging rights to do things with guildies, or even strangers, that may be farther along than you. All you need is initiative and a willingness to work as a team. This applies to RvR and PvE alike (although in PvE, you may be at more of a disadvantage).

Breaking down these barriers helps players to feel like they’re making more of a contribution to whatever their group is trying to do. Likewise, if you’re in a group going for a keep take, the chances are that someone will be shouting directions (hopefully in a polite manner, otherwise they’re on their own) and people will be responding. “They’re flanking the west side!” “Fall back!” “The door is down, rush in!” don’t do much to help you make friends but they help you learn the names and skill levels of your fellow citizens. They help build recognition and therefore build the sense of community you’re going to feel when you play. Will it happen overnight? No, but it will happen if you let it.

I’ll tell you this much, when you’re in an organized group and find yourself tearing through your opponents, flanking them, rushing them… slaughtering them, that’s a good feeling. You feel like your team is a force to be reckoned with. You get a sense of pride and, really, a sense of power knowing that you’re doing so well. That’s where the skill vs. equipment argument comes into the light and you see why equipment should matter so little. In those moments, you’re Death on the field, not the guy who got a lucky AP drop.

3) PQs – When I did my first PQ, I was immediately enamored. It was extravagant and downright awesome. To me, it seemed like they brought the best parts of WoW’s dungeons out into the open world. So, I tried to keep on doing them. Unfortunately, you can’t do PQs alone and, on my realm at least, the rush to get to 40 left most of these quests undone. I sincerely hope this evens out. I love PQs, I love loot bags, and I love the team work. This system is wonderful, so if you’re a PvE fan take advantage of these whenever you can.

4) Zones – Now, I’ll admit that my experience here is limited. I’ve spent most of my time in the first three tiers of the DE/HE pairing. Out of those though, I’ve really enjoyed their design. My thoughts here are on the zones themselves and not necessarily the content that fills them… usually. What I’m trying to say is that the zones are big, fun to explore, and have a lot of potential. I mean, hell, a lot of what you’ll see in WAR is just darn epic. At the current time, they do seem just a little flat though. The NPCs are placed but they don’t really do anything. They don’t feel alive so much as they feel like automatrons. I can see you thinking, “But Raegn, they are just automatrons! The whole world is a bunch of automatrons!” and you’re right. But, in Avelorn for example, you’ll see mobs rattle off the same scripted line every 10 seconds. You can almost hear the “beep, beep, beep” of the server every time they do it and this kind of thing is in every zone and is in more than just scripted speech. Am I concerned though? Not so much.

The way I see things is in phases. The first phase is to get the content built and looking pretty. We’re in the second phase, which is to put the NPCs in the zones and make the content useable. The final stage will be to add the polish to make things alive, dynamic, and downright cool. This is the stage when I hope they make the game more of a “world” than it currently is. I think WAR is a step ahead of the game because the zones are neat right now but I sincerely hope that they polish everything up to a blinding glare. Or at least make them seem more alive. This is the stage where I hope to see more dynamic scripting in both actions and speech. It’s where I hope new quests will get added and old quests will be changed so there’s a little more variation. Right now, Mythic’s focus is on fixing the bugs first, polish second, and develop totally new content third (apart from the live events). This is as it should be.

There’s more that I like about WAR. I mean, truthfully, it’s a really good game. I think it’s easy to forget how long it’s been on the shelves though. That’s why I’ve stated that, after 2-3 months, I may be taking a break and not outright quitting. Hell, even if I take a break, you’d better believe that I’m still going to be keeping a close eye on the game. I’m even toying with the idea of keeping my subscription active just so I can check in and experience things first hand. So, no worries on the state of the blog. We’ll be here for a long time to come.

I digress. In a year from now, WAR may well be the most appealing game on the market. Sure, there’s Wrath and some players will remain there for a long time. Despite that, I’m of the belief that Mythic is going to work to continually update the game and make it what their players want. In the span of time between now and then, so much could, and probably will, change that many of the complaints you’re reading on the blogosphere could be rendered irrelevant. At that point, it will be up to Mythic and EA to advertise the game enough to get lost players to come and to pull new players into their wicked web.

All is not lost. People are annoyed because we had unrealistically high hopes (not necessarily by our own fault) and now we feel let down. It’s easy to feel that way but let’s counter it with some positive thought and a reality check. It’s too early to know where this game will end up. Anyone who says so has either a) been following the game for a long time, so they’re forgetting that the game’s only been live for 10 weeks; or b) a pessimist. Maybe that’s harsh. Regardless, both people aren’t looking at the bigger picture. So let’s you and I do that. You’ll feel better than you do now, even if you’re ecstatic about that game.

The Shadow Approaches…

1 Comment

Mythic, I beweeve in yo’ powah to perceeve. Translation: We’re still early in the game. Don’t forget.

Wrath of the Lich looms on the horizon, my friends! And that means it’s time for Mythic to begin (continue?) packing us away like a squirrel’s nuts. And by that, of course, I mean digging their hook into us so deep that that no one will be able to escape to Northrend. Except, we won’t be swinging from any chains in the highborn towers of Hag Graef, no, we’ll be digging our hooks into the backs of other players!

Let’s face the facts, if players jump ship for the WoW expansion, it’ll be months before they’re back (presumably). That’s a good amount of time when it comes to profits. Mark’s acknowledged that some players will leave but soon return return when they’re bored again; however, there’s also the caveat that some players will leave and not come back as they get tied into the raiding treadmill again. It’s the nature of MMO launches for subscription numbers to begin with a wax and slide into a wane until an eventual levelling off. The important part of this, however, is that the levelling off point isn’t lower than the what will be profitable and also conducive to good RvR.

The last thing we want to see is server merges, right? Not too good for prospective players perceptions, so let’s get this ship in order!

The biggest thing Mythic needs to do is to nullify the population imbalance and then to publicize the heck out of it. They’re working at this right now, sure, but it’s not good enough. They have about three weeks to fix it and get the word out. I’d like to see something big happen, as this is probably the biggest issue facing the game right now and word is starting to spread about the game being “imba” and that there’s no endgame because the players “beat the game” after only a few weeks. We know the inaccuracies of these statements but it’s up to Mythic to make sure the world knows it.

Second, let’s see some flair in your PvE. Right now, it’s standard PvE fair with all the different quest types and even the nice PQ system. Despite that, RvR is still looked at like the most efficient way of levelling. In itself, I don’t mind that at all; however, the PQ system is falling to the wayside. I’ve romped through three tiers of content and after the beginning of tier 2, I haven’t seen a single PQ get to the final stage. That’s a real shame and suprising to boot.

Is it just my server? Maybe the fact that I’m not in the final tier of play yet? Perhaps, but the fact is that most people aren’t in the final tier yet. Maybe it is just my server. They’re haters. PQ haters. Word.

And dungeons too. So far, I’ve heard few calls go out over guild chat to do a dungeon run. I’ve heard none in regional chat.

Part of the reason may be that players have no way to organize instance runs. Open parties are limited by your zone, therefore greatly diminishing any utility for setting up an instance run. I’m disappointed that Mythic, after all the effort they’ve put into their dungeons, isn’t stepping up to encourage their use. We need a LFG system in conjuntion with open parties.

Following that, let’s see the world brought to life a little bit more. I don’t know about any of you but I’ve come to see the WAR world as being pretty… flat. The lack of emotes, interactable objects, and “fluff”, as Mark Jacobs derrogatorilly dubs it, does not help WAR have the “world” feeling. People have complained about a feeling of detachment with WAR not experienced in other MMOs. I’d argue that the lack of “fluff” and other small, fun things are a decent part of this. The little things make up the whole. The other portion of this issue may stem from the mindset of Paul Barnett – but I’ll get there below.

To either MBJ or GW, whoever is stuck on the idea that fluff has no place in their game, I would simply say to get off your high horse. People have fun in more ways than some preconceived notion. Is it make or break for a player’s decision to play the game? I hope not. It’s certainly not for me but I’d like to think that Mythic and GW want all kinds of players and their gaming styles to enjoy their game. That includes the fluff-ites (a condition of which, I am mildly afflicted).

Paul Barnett has said that he’s more interested in creating a game than a world but Mark has said that fluff has no place in the Warhammer world. We’re consistently told that we’re in the Warhammer universe. Riiiight. I don’t get it but, hey, it’s your game. On a related note, players expect an MMORPG to have a world-like feeling. I tend to think WAR has this but many people don’t. Why design an mmoRPG if you’re not going to try to make a mini-world to roleplay and game in? And no, I don’t mean RP as in “I shalt avenge my honour!” I mean RP as in your character being a part of a larger world. Thankfully, by bringing a little more depth into this area of play this problem can be easily solved. Interactable environments = win.

Finally, please fix crafting. It’s in an abysmal state. Drop rates are horribly slanted and the rewards for levelling your crafting skill are mediocre at best. Why bother buying potions when they drop from every other mob? Why bother levelling talisman making when the grind to reward ration is so small? It seems to me that crafting in WAR started out as a grand idea that fell short of it’s goal and is now languishing. Think back to the Simpsons, my friends. Remember when Homer tried to jump the Springfield gorge? Let me refresh your memory:

Homer: I’m gonna make it! I’m gonna make it! I’m king of the world! I’m aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh…. Doh! Doh! Doh!

The majority of these things haven’t been the standard “this mechanic is borked like a spring chicken” type of points. You’ve read about those on a lot of other blogs I’d imagine, so I don’t see a need to rehash them all here. The fact of the matter is that Mythic’s ability to stand up against the biggest competitor’s high point on the market will determine the level of success it will achieve within the next year. WAR is a great game but it’s go-time now. Let’s see the big guns come out. Wow us (no pun intended) and make us not even want to pick up the ooey, gooey, icy blue box with the pissed off guy in the helmet. That freaking guy is threatening us Mythic. If we get too close he might kick our asses if we don’t buy the game. So, please, shock and awe MBJ, Josh Drescher, Paul Barnett and the like. Shock and awe.

This week in WAR…

Leave a comment

… for me. Or, “How Raegn got his groove back”. I’m liking these alternative titles. Fun stuff, alternates. Unless you’re talking characters. That’s not my bag, baby. Yet.

 

Greetings readers!

 

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I sure feel like it. I was updating this site every other day or more and now we’re going on a week with very little of relevance. I even missed patch 1.02! It sucks, yes, but we can blame the teachers. *shakes his fist*

 

Ah, so it goes though. Thankfully, I did get some time to play WAR yesterday. About three hours actually, which is more than usual for me. Unfortunately, my lost week got me a behind the curve in my guild. I was even able to be online during a scheduled guild event but… it was in tier three. Woe is me, woe is me. So, seeing where I precariously stood, I resolved to grind out a couple of levels.

 

Unfortunately, the “couple of” part didn’t really happen. During that three hour bout, I was able to finish off about three quarters of an experience bar doing non-stop questing in Ellyrion (this did allow me to rank up to 19). Let me just say, I’m pretty sick of killing High Elf archers, guards, and defenders. And screw their little steeds too! I know a real steed when I see one.

 

Annnyways, I was a feeling just a little burnt out. I won’t go into too much detail on that because I’m covering it in greater detail in Upon the Pyre this week, but I think I brought a little of that to the table myself. I was pretty stressed out to begin with. Again, we can blame the teachers. I do have to say though, I was a little surprised when I saw that I needed 117k experience to hit level 20 and was only getting between 1k-5k per quest (5k if I was lucky, usually between 2-3k). It just seems like a lot. If any of you are in your mid-upper 30s, or even 40, how much are you needing to hit those higher levels?

 

Another big occurrence that went uncovered this week, my guild claimed its first keep! A big congratulations go out to all of the members of Anti-Sanctus Chaotica that made it possible and to all of the opposition that made the ground soggy with gore. We appreciate your efforts but Chaos = Power. In the words of a famous Kwiki-Mart employee: “Thank you, come again”. In all seriousness, I wasn’t online when it happened but I heard it was a lot of fun and we have both enemies and allies to thank for that.

 

So, for me, it’s been a drear week. As many of you have been through similar circumstances, I’m sure you understand. And *knocks on wood* after this week, it looks to be mostly downhill so we should be back on track. Keep an eye on us, here, because I’ll be updating at the usual pace prospectively. Also be sure to check out the blogroll on the right. Between all of us, you should have enough WAR reading to satisfy the itch until you can pop in game.

 

Until next time, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!

 

(…I needed that. Who ya gonna blame? No, it’s not the Ghostbusters. *shakes his fist*…)

The value of fluff

1 Comment

Mmmm… fluffernutter, how long has it been? Daddy’s missed you. Yeeees, now where’s that naughty peanut butte-

Oh… hello. I didn’t see you there. Heh… moving on, we go.

It’s been known for a while now that Mythic isn’t planning on implementing any fluff into the game. Fluff, in this case, does not mean sweet marshmallow deliciousness that you wish you could roast over the burner on your stove. No, in this case, it means things such as vanity pets or tradeskills such as fishing. Mark Jacobs (Mythic VP) even stated on his blog, in response to a commenter’s question, that they have no intention of having things like this be associated with WAR.

I have to wonder, why not? I can see how having a cute little kitten following your greenskin around may not be exactly fitting but that line of thinking is, shall we say, “inside the box”. They could itemize pets so that they’d work with the IP, they just seem to not want to. At this point in the game’s development, I can see that developer time is probably better spent elsewhere. But what about down the line? Right now, the door is closed. Sorry bub, if you want a penguin, go play that other game.

Even though I’ve focused on pets so far, there’s more to it than just that. Tradeskills and novelty items could also be considered fluff. Even though the core of the game (RvR) has innate sustainable longevity, adversity to these diversions troubles me.

In essence, diversions could take away from the war effort, I suppose. However, if you’re taking that viewpoint, then the Tome is no better. If you’re out scouring for story unlocks and Tome rewards, RvR is probably going to float by the wayside for a bit. That is, however, unless you’re pursuing RvR achievements. These achievements serve a different purpose than the others though. RvR is well and good but the PvE achievements serve as another avenue of play instead of open-world battles and scenarios. In my opinion, diversifying achievements and playstyles is fine.

Fluff in games also serves a couple of important purposes.

First, as somewhat discussed above, it lets you go places other than where the game wants you to go. I can’t find the link but I believe it was either Paul Barnett or Josh Drescher (maybe Josh quoting Paul) that said that possibility is the mark of a good game. If you’re bored with RvR, maybe you’ll go and fish for a while and let off some stress. Let’s face it, you can’t do one thing forever without getting a little burnt out. At 40th rank, it’d be nice to have something to do other than RvR and dungeons. It’s not the end all be all but choice in MMOs is always a good thing. So, yeah, maybe instead of playing that scenario or running that dungeon you’ve already run, maybe you want to go and find a cool vanity item.

Which brings me to the second important purpose that fluff serves in games: it lets you customize your character more. Not everyone will have the same pet you have. Not everyone will have the blood diamond that lets you call a chaos storm above your head. That’s the power of innovative fluff and people would pursue it if things such as that were available. I don’t know about you, but I’d go out of my way to get a pet hellhound for my Dark Elf. Maybe a pet human “servant” (slave must have been too harsh of a word for the “Teen” rating). The same thing goes for the neat little items that make other people stop and take notice. I thought it was exceptionally awesome the first time I saw someone call down a pillar of light in WoW. Why not include fun things like this?

I don’t see the logic in not allowing them. It’s just restrictive and gives the competition one more, albeit small, thing over WAR. At the end game, no matter how engaging RvR and dungeons are, people will still look for something more other than the Tome. Do I demand fishing? No, but it would be nice if the door was open for possibilities instead of just saying “Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen.” Right now, it just seems like someone on the development teams didn’t like the idea of fluff and stopped the idea from being moved forward.

Cliché cutsie bunny rabbits and fishing for smiling sunfish (Mr. Sparkle… fish bulb)? No thanks.

Death serpent that breathes fire floating behind your shoulder and loosing poisonous dread snakes from the sea? Yes.

Make it yours, Mythic. Then, make it ours.

Upon the Pyre: Why the Hate for PvE?

Leave a comment

The latest edition of Upon the Pyre is now up over at Hammer of War! We’ve changed things up a little bit, so now my column can be found every Monday. I’m cool with this change and I hope it allows more of you to stop by in your free time… or down (read: unsupervised) time at work. My blog and HoW get the most page hits during the week. I know what you’re up to! Don’t worry, I won’t tell your boss as long as you don’t tell mine.

I’ve been scanning the reviews for WAR since launch. Some are very positive, some are negative, and quite a few are in between. One sticking point for a lot of reviewers is the PvE content. A lot of people don’t like that it’s not revolutionary; they don’t like “more of the same”. I just don’t understand these sentiments. Did we expect something more than what we got? Why? Help me out here, guys.

Click here to check it out.

Headstart: Day One

3 Comments

Finally, the live game! Let me start right off by saying that Mythic hit it out of the park today. I was able to log right on with no queues, no lag, and no crashes at all. On top of that, the game ran very nicely. I was getting only very minimal hitching throughout my three hours of play today. I’ve heard that reported elsewhere too, so it looks like they did something. 

There was one downside to today, however, all the variations of my Dark Elf name were taken. No Malys, Malis, or Malice for me. Oh well.

My first character was a Dark Elf Sorcerer named Urial. I’d been through DE Chapter One a few times before, so I levelled up to rank 7 fairly quick. I have to say, with the graphics turned all the way up, the DE zone is really great to look at. There was a lot of detail in the zones I saw and the stylization Mythic went with really brings out the evil, dangerous, vibe that DE’s exude. Bravo. I also encourage people to read the quest text. You’ll get some standard kill quests but there are a few nicely written ones that give some great insight into Dark Elf culture. The Tome unlocks are also great for this.

I took part in three PQs. The first one involved killing a bunch of high elf tower guards and sun mages. That was an easy enough task. Sorcerers are really nice because the Dark Magic mechanic really lets you kick out some nice dps. You also get a detaunt and a skill to boost all of your resistances so you can periodically take quite a beating without taking too much of a hit to your wounds. Using these skills, I was able to contribute quite a bit without dying.

Things changed in the final stage. I’d never completed this PQ before, so when I saw the giant dragon come flying down I stood in awe for a moment. Once I caught my breath, I unloaded everything I had on the beast. Bad idea. It only took a few seconds for him to turn on me and rain fire upon my head. That wasn’t enough to kill me, though, so he stomped on me too. Thankfully, the run back to the PQ zone was short and I wound up winning a lesser loot bag for a nice green.

Once I’d completed Chapter One, I moved on to my next PQ in Chapter Two. Unsuprisingly, this one also involved me killing High Elves. Funny, you’d think Dark Elves and High Elves didn’t get along. Imagine that. Anyways, there was no dragon in this one. The final stage involved killing a group of HE nobles on horses. It was still very cool and I was able to max out my influence after four attempts. It was around this point that I started to wonder if Sorcerers were a bit OP. I was managing to take on three of the standard quest mobs without losing much health and ranked 6th, 3rd, 1st and 1st for contribution, in that order, going through. I’m not complaining though!

After that, I completed a couple of kill quests. I was a little disappointed, to be honest. I had gotten a quest to collect eight HE heads and then stick them up on pikes to be displayed. Unfortunately, I had to log off before I was able to pike the heads. Incentive to log on early tomorrow! When I collected the heads, I stumbled across the second PQ in DE chapter two. This one was quite reminiscent of the first greenskin PQ in that you kill tree sprites, dryads, and then a hero level tree monster. It was still fun though and (I must have been on a roll) I got another lesser loot bag! Mythic wasn’t kidding when they said they were upping the amount of bags being given out; out of 11 participants, four green bags and three white were distributed.

I also took part in a few runs of Khaine’s Embrace. Who should I spot while I’m in there? None other than a High Elf version of Arenwino! Needless to say, I had to try to kill him. Unfortunately, every time I tried, Cyclops the archmage zapped me with his laser eyes and stopped me from getting very far. One day, Arenwino! Vengeance shall be mine!

I’m also pleased to report that I saw several instances of RP! I encountered it two separate times and was actually randomly solicited once. Plus, I didn’t hear anyone complaining or berating the RP’rs. On top of that, there was only one non-RP appropriate name from what I saw!  I’ve also been keeping an eye on the forums and it looks like there are some great prospects for RP-RvR guilds.

I’ll write more in time. Tonight, long procrastinated school work calls.

WAAAGH!