Tag: GW2

Project Trinity: april’s gone, now onto may

Moving on with my plan to cut my MMORPG rotation down to three MMORPGs per month, i’ll also try and look closer at what i play. Thankfully, i’ve still got Raptr installed, tracking all games i play, so it’s easy to give the previous month a review.

It is worth mentioning that i began this project in mid-april, so forgive me if this list contains more than 4 MMORPGs (3 of my own choosing, 1 in the guild project which currently is Age of Conan). So, last month i played:

  • Star Wars: the Old republic – 14 hours
  • Age of Conan – 9 hours
  • Final Fantasy XIV – 6 hours
  • Elder Scrolls Online – 4 hours
  • Guild Wars 2 – 3 hours
  • Neverwinter – <1 hour

Adding all that together, i spent about 36 hours with playing MMORPGs in april. I like, however, how SWTOR gained the top spot here- i played it almost exclusively in the second half of april, with some FF14 thrown into the mix (all FF14 hours have occured last week).

I have to say, it seems as if Project Trinity is working out just fine for me- not only do i cut down my attention into fewer games, but i’m also more invested in them. After all, 20 of these 36 hours have been played in the second half of the month, while Age of Conan’s time was pretty much constant over the weeks, so the second half wins with about 24:12 hours over the first half of april.

I hope it will continue like that. As i’ve mentioned, this month will see Final Fantasy 14 as my main MMO and SWTOR & ESO as side dishes- to be honest, i expect to play FF14 and SWTOR for about the same amount of time and ESO to fall short to these two. The reason is simple: i have projects in FF14 and SWTOR, but not so in ESO.

After Eliot’s article on Massively Overpowered where he wrote about catching up to the expansion in time as a fresh level 50, i am so not in a hurry anymore. What he wrote about seemed to be a lot of content to do even when you reached the current cap, not all of it what i’d call engaging content- that the least it did was to assure me i’ll not be ready for the expansion when it hits. I might be able to play the new classes with release, though.

But that’s fine with me- it puts me in a place where i won’t be telling myself i’d “have to” play lots of FF14 to catch up and instead free me up to play more SWTOR where i have some plans for 12XP when it hits.

Interesting guild: Remnants of hope

I wonder why guild topics seem to be so underrepresented in the blogging community- is it because it’s a taboo topic, is everyone content in their guild, has everything been said on the topic or is it something you just don’t talk/write about?

My situation

See, the thing with me and guilds is this: i find them to be an interesting and very important part of MMORPG gameplay. It’s metagaming, alright, but it is important. As games and player mentality move away from a design where you would meet other interesting players in the respective game worlds, interact, socialize, add to friendlists, chat and so on, the importance of guilds as a social background to the games we play only rose in importance. Sure, guilds are there to achieve ingame goals, as well, but that’s secondary to me.

To weave such a social network, i think that guilds, or better yet- multigaming communities, need to put a framework out- some kind of structure within the community- to make it work. Yes, that means rules. And players willing to take a leadership role and responsibility. I have been in three multigaming guilds, all german, all “laissez-faire”, and found the experience to be lacking everytime. Sure, the people are nice, but in my opinion most people are and to me it just isn’t enough that players “are willing to help you if you ask for company in a dungeon”. With LFG-tools, i don’t need help with that.

So i’ve made a decision regarding my current multigaming guild (namely, for now i’ll just stick to my little project within that community and see how it goes, but will look out for a better fit, as well). Also, i kind of want to make “great guilds / communities” a topic here.

Remnants of Hope

So when researching communities – and i think it might be a good idea to turn this “bad” topic in a positive one- i came across the multigaming community Remnants of Hope. They’re active in Star Wars: the old republic, Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar. So they’re all games i don’t play, which is unfortunate, because i think, structurally, they’re great. I don’t know if they would be a good fit on a personal level, but there are lots of things i like about this community- on paper.

Recruitment

They do forum applications. And while i don’t like this way of doing things very much, i understand it is one of the better ways to go if you aren’t a small guild of friends who recruit personally but a community that also recruits “strangers”. But they take it one step further- if you’re accepted, you’ll have to pass some Trial membership goals- namely, there’s a number of forum posts expected, joining the guild in ingame activities (and they do those) and other stuff. If you fail to deliver, your application is going to be declined, but you may apply again after a short period.

Structure

The remnants of hope make use of ranks- there are officers for diverse playstyles within the respective games- it seems the minimum for officers is: PvE, PvP, social and recruitment. I like how they divided recruitment and social- then there’s the PvE officer for progression and the pvp officer for, well, pvp. In some games, they additionally appoint RP and crafting officers. This is the setup a guild should go for- and if every officer does his or her job, there will be many offerings of in-guild activities, ranging from PvE stuff to RP/social events- while not putting a large burden on a single officer. See, if every department puts out one event a month, there’s something for every week. Officers can also appoint Assistants (members willing to contribute would have to apply for that role), so that they can get help from other players.

A plan for opening and closing chapters

With all the guilds i joined so far, there’s been the “let them do what they want” attitude. So when a new game released and it was clear that a handful of members would want to play it, a chapter was opened up- if someone was willing to take the role of guild leader. The guild leader was appointed by doing a forum thread: “Hey, we want to play this game, but we need a guild leader. Who wants to do it?” and…. a lot of silence.

The Remnants of Hope have a process to open new chapters- members interested in forming one need to write a proposal to the community elders, who’ll then make a decision whether this new chapter has a chance to succeed. I imagine you’ll also have to name your guild leadership with the minimum of officers. This makes sure that there’s not only enough interest in a new game, but also enough interest and investment in a guild within this game.

They also have what they call “casual games”- now, i have limited forum access (of course, i’m not registered and don’t do interviews yet), so i don’t know for sure, but what i’d do with these “casual games” is found a guild without need for leadership (because it only consists of members of the community) and without recruitment. If someone wants to elevate the guild in that game to elevate to a real division, again, there needs to be a plan.

For closing chapters, it seems easy: the community elders question chapters when more than 50% of the officer roles are vacant for more than two weeks. If they think the chapter has run its course, they’ll ask the leadership of the chapter for their opinion. If this leadership thinks it is able to turn things around, there’s going to be a probation.

Conclusion

Easy enough, right? I think this is a good way of doing a great multigaming community- providing a framework for members to participate in forming the community, a process of recruitment that isn’t so easy and makes use of one simple thing: if a player invested time and energy to succeed in his or her “trial membership goals”, he or she also invested in the guild and community. You’ll want those players, because “let’s just recruit nice people and let them do whatever they like” ends in….inactivity.

Game time: Waiting for Final Fantasy XIV ARR

So, i was able to fit in two gaming sessions in the last two days- who would have expected that? With my new shiny arriving on saturday and the newfound freedom to play what i want, i went into two different games.

Star Wars: the old republic

Yes, you read that right. I mean, i bought the game and it’s “free-to-play” now, so why not? Unfortunately, the client is really big and it took some time to get even to the minimal needed download to play on a starting planet. After that was accomplished, i went in with a new character on my “preferred player” account.

The “rumours” stating that SWTOR is very restrictive to free players are true, though. Although i didn’t feel very much in my first evening playing up to level 5, there’s a lot crossed out even for preferred players- you’ll be greeted with a screen showing you right off the bat that you are only preferred and not a subscriber. While i think it is ok to inform players about the restrictions they face, it’s really not welcoming when you see what you don’t have before even selecting or creating a character. The next thing crossed out were most of the available races- but i’d run with a human, anyway, so that didn’t hurt much.

All in all, game-client-wise, it was not a pleasant stay: long download times, two or three crashes and the restrictions presented to you in a “in-your-face” manner. The stay in the game, though, was surprisingly pleasant.

I came to realize i like the graphics- style-wise as well as judging by the look- the quest presentation is very good, as well. If you take your time with it and watch those voiceovers, you’ll start to care for your quests. The dialogue options further increase the feeling of involvement, so that was great. And then, something really surprising happened: i was on a quest, and somebody else was on the same quest. Within seconds i had a group invite! Now that’s interesting, i thought- that hasn’t happened to me at least in this year, maybe even in 2012. I had a nice time in that group until i realised that it was late and i would have to go offline.

All in all, i think SWTOR is a nice “play-to-finish” MMORPG, but don’t fool yourself when going in- i think a sub is the best way to experience this game. There’ll come XP reductions, limited dungeon- and warzone-runs and so on. While i was surprised when i went in with an open mind instead and had a good time, i think i won’t log in again.

Guild Wars 2

This game used to be my big hope for the genre, and for some time it looked as if it would be what i expected it to be. But then, quite suddenly, actually, i got the feeling i was working with a neverending to-do-list of daily and monthly achievements, renown hearts, vistas, points of interest and waypoints. I liked the dynamic events, although they didn’t influence the game world as much as i had liked.

When i went in yesterday, my character logged in while a dynamic event happened around her. I didn’t know where i was, my inventory was overflowing, i had popups because of my achievement points and no idea how to play my character. So that was somewhat troublesome. When i beat this event and tried to defeat the champion to enter a balloon for the queens jubilee, i already had enough of that. The gameplay is nice and all, but GW2 is too fast paced for my taste.

Final Fantasy XIV

I read some nice articles about this game in the last few days- to mention two of them, there’s Keen from Keen and Graevs gaming blog answering common questions regarding FF14 and ZAM prepares us for launch.

What i got out of it: first of all, i can’t wait! There are so many systems and experiences i don’t know in this game that it’ll be a joy to discover them. For instance, i knew there was some kind of multiclassing- in the sense that one character can do it all, but also in some synergies between classes.

What i didn’t know is that some of these combinations form second-tier jobs, and now i’m torn- will i become a Paladin, White Mage or a Scholar? I have no idea how they all work out, and the difference between the White Mage and the Scholar is only in changing around Arcanist and Conjurer as primary or secondary class.

I really like hybrid classes, though, so i’ll want to build something that’s able to heal and do damage- i’m quite unsure which of these three will be my best option. The most fun i had with any class in any game was with the druid in WoW when he got the Bear- and the Cat-form and i could do anything in a dungeon – primarily DPS, but healing and/or tanking when an add attacked the main healer or somebody else. Great times! Unfortunately, those didn’t last long because at that time, you had then to decide where to go with your druid. A combination of two out of the three roles was still possible, but being mainly DPS and helping with tanking and healing wasn’t really viable. So that would be great, maybe the Paladin is the way to go? Hm, we’ll see.

The thing with FFXIV is, i can see a long time ahead and i don’t even know a thing about the game – i just know that i’d like to play one of these three second-tier jobs and be able to craft myself some armor, at first. So i know, let’s say i’ll stick to Paladin, that i need to level my Conjurer at least to 15 (by doing story quests which also unlock the first dungeon and airships ), the Gladiator to 30, and the corresponding gathering and crafting jobs accordingly. With my gaming speed, this can take some time.

Oh, and “Spiritbond“? Didn’t know about that one, either. Great!

So, i am really looking forward to that one.