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Anti-Aliased: I'm a champion, and so can you pt. 2 {Massively}

Aug 19th 2009 3:59PM I did notice the graphics -improved- as far as my tastes were concerned when I set my settings lower.

It got rid of some, but not all, of the stylization - which I guess is done in post processing.

What'd we think? Staff impressions of the Champions Online beta {Massively}

Aug 18th 2009 3:51PM Finally got in. I had to go out and pay Fileplanet for a premium membership so it would stop disconnecting me...

But I got in. Too bad I'm at work with my laptop, or I would have stayed in for more than 5 seconds... :D

Still, I hide my screen long enough to get through character gen on a toon I appropriately named "OMG I MADE IT IN"

(which was nice - I was expecting an error for having spaces, but there she was...)

Graphics are very different from the average game, but that can also be said of WoW (at least, back before WoW was the only game in the universe...).
- Hoping that the funky graphics grow on me, and on others, and just like they did with WoW, serve to launch the game into star potential.

Only 8 character slots means I'll have to be very thoughtful about my alts. In CoX I've got a good 30 of them. Likewise in WoW, though I often forget I have those alts as most of them are level 1s on assorted servers...

I do like that you can repeat names. Yes, it means there will be 10001 'Drizzts' or 'Wolvies' in this game... but it also means that if I come up with a clever name, I won't lose it just because somewhere in the world another comic geek had the same idea 3 seconds sooner...

Earth Eternal opens sign ups for closed beta test {Massively}

May 21st 2009 3:27PM The game may not be made by / for furries - whatever those are, but it is a furry game.

Furry is not just a word for a type of x-rated animation. It refers to any use animal-anthropomorphic characters, and in particular when such use is the or a major theme.

If you make a game where you run around playing humanoids with animal heads and possibly also paws and tails - you've got a furry game.

Earth Eternal opens sign ups for closed beta test {Massively}

May 21st 2009 11:26AM I'm just glad its a furry game that is also PG-rated.

This is pretty much the first time since the Albedo comic of the 80s that Furry anything hasn't been x-rated. Some of us furry fans are -NOT- pron-junkies and actually want something friendly for all ages.

That said, their community managers are going to have a heck of time policing all the cyber that's going to break out until people realize they need to take that to Second Life or somewhere...

WoW Rookie: Wave your magic wand {WoW}

May 20th 2009 5:08PM Thought I would add the first starter wand, made by enchanters, requires level 5.
- Get it at level 5 if you can, at that level range, it really helps.

Guildwatch: Bad form {WoW}

May 20th 2009 1:00PM Responding to someone with no more than facts you can back is never harsh.

Guildwatch: Bad form {WoW}

May 20th 2009 11:34AM We had something like the 'raiding is too easy' form of drama.

We had an epic naxx-25 geared healer join us, and she put in a good deal of effort bemoaning that we were doing 10s and not 25s, and not geared or progressed enough (we're essentially a casual guild).

At one point I'm making another attempt for the Red Sword of Courage (this was prior to argent tournament by about two weeks) and invite her along (H:UP) to heal for the run.

5 wipes, in a row, on the gauntlet in the long hallway with the mobs and the boss that spawns on a dragon. All of them the exact same way.

That epic "I'm too good and geared for all of you" healer stood there, 5 times in a row, as he whirlwinded through her. The last two times after the boss started up the whirlwind I just stopped and watched as he moved halfway down the hallway, rather slowly actually, and got her. I just kind of wanted to see if she would actually even try to sidestep or run.

On a later run I learned, while there as DPS, that I could taunt that boss to change his direction when he went for a healer (that was dutifully running out of the way rather than standing there and 'taking it like a clothie'). But still...

The game gets a lot of people who walk around with an "I am so leet" sign over their heads who, when push comes to shove, have no clue, or at least no more clue than anyone else around them. In that run we were not yet ready for the strat of that boss, but she was simply way below ready...

Our roughest night ever in naxx-10 was with her as one of the healers - wipe after wipe after wipe on the first boss of spider - a previously short 1-shot boss for us. She claimed priest spells had a range of 25 yards, so she couldn't heal the tank without the effect the boss does shutting her down (not sure where she came up with that 25 yard notion - we only got through in the end when the shaman stepped up and took on both his and her healing duties at the same time).

Two weeks after she left (for a more progressed guild... their mistake to judge by gear) one of our new recruits dinged 80 and we shrugged and brought her to naxx, and on quest blues, she healed us through a full clear. That full clear had a few people on lesser geared alts than the prior group, not just her.

It's not your gear, its your skill, that counts.

The Daily Grind: How do you choose a side? {Massively}

May 19th 2009 1:33PM That may sound silly...

But its about my method too.

Look for the elves, go for the other side. That worked for me in WoW at first, until they put the darned Gygaxian-fantasy-beasts on both sides.

I'll have to admit that one reason I was never able to get into Everquest was the presence of elves on both sides from the get go. It just served to lock out an ideal option for me.

If there is some aspect of a subgenre you really dislike, that can make your choice for you. If not, you're going to have to get a little more involved.

With something like City of Heroes/Villains (CoX), you have to play through a few levels on both sides to get a feel. I find the music, stories, and zones better on Red Side (villains). But my preferred AT (tanker) is only on Blue Side (hero)... I get by a bit with Brutes on red side, but its not exactly the same thing.

How do we start a guild? {WoW}

May 18th 2009 11:55PM Officers:
- Who will they be?

Give this a lot of thought. I have two methods of making officers:

1. In the dark days when the guild was very small, I promoted people who stuck with us anytime there was a crisis or slowdown in play. That's about half my officer team now (4 or so people).
2. When certain people start to do certain things, I call it an official role if they accept my offer to become and officer and take over that duty. This has given me 3 officers at present: my raid leader, my recruitment officer, and my 'retro/lownie night' event officer.

More structured (raid) guilds often have multiple raid leaders (one for each raiding team), and class or role officers, plus recruitment officers. Some even have a discipline officer. There are also bank officers, loot/DKP officers, and so on.

I suggest keeping it small, unless you enter 'hardcore raiding' on a big scale.

I use my officers as a sounding board. Officer chat is where I voice my concerns about the state of the game, the guild, or potential or existing drama issues. For that end, having those 4 general officers that have no defined duty actually helps me. For many guilds, having a group like that would seem useless. For me, having the people who I know are loyal, even if they just want to solo 90% of the time, helps - because over time I've grown to feel its their guild maybe even more than it is mine.

Have a plan for what kind of officer team you want. Consider that a team that is just 'my RL buddies' is probably a bad idea. It can actually help to have some people you -do not- know in real life, especially if you need access to a different point of view. My officers very often point out things from ways of thinking that result in conclusions I would never have reached, but which sound good once I hear them voice it.

Vent: If you plan to raid, get it. Costs maybe 5 bucks a month for a 15-person channel. Get that, and keep it at that level until you are actually doing a regular 25 all guild run. Then buy it to 30 or so. You always want a few more spaces than your actual raid size. It lets you keep an off-topic channel going in vent, or to have someone in vent who's not actually in the raid but whom, for one reason or another, you want to be able to speak to.
Password your vent, print out the info for its billing, and keep a tight hold on the admin info. Consider having a second password for a channel in vent for raids and a channel for officers, as well as a general vent channel. Anytime a raid includes a PUG member, just have everyone leave the passworded channel for an open PUG channel. That way you only need give PUGmates one password, and if you have to boot them in mid raid, you can just channel jump, kick, and deal with re-securing passwords later.

How do we start a guild? {WoW}

May 18th 2009 11:36PM 2. Guild bank:

- Buy the first tab as soon as you can. Its 100g, be prepared to pony up the costs yourself.
- For future tabs, do fund raising drives among the members.

What I do is put a message in the 'message of the day' saying we're raising money for a new tab to be used for [some reason]. I then lock the ability to use guild bank funds for repairs, but still allow guildies to take out gold. That results in them having to make a conscious choice to take guild funds, while at a bank. The end result is they can still take out the exact same amount as before, but its amazing how when you make them think about it, 90% of them won't do it.

As soon as you can set aside one guild bank tab for secure items. Anyone can deposit, but only officers can withdrawal, but anyone can ask for something in there. Use this tab for epic loot and raid shard (abyss crystals). It will remain mostly empty, just accept that. Not having it risks getting ninja'd.

My brother's guild only allows the tabs to be used for crafting mats. Anything else deposited gets sent back, and he actually g-kicks people if they deposit a non-mat more than 3 times.

We simply designate a different purpose for each tab, and then every so often do a fire sale where we first vastly boost how many items people can take out (but turn off deposits) for one week, and then spend another week auctioning off everything left in the guild bank, and putting the profits back in as gold.
- Our guild bank is often very cluttered, but that's what the members put in it, its what they want, so its what happens.

Some guild award DKP for depositing crafting mats.

Note: some guilds won't let new members withdrawal anything. I recommend not doing this. We in fact let new members take out items from any tab but the locked tab. We just let them take fewer. Its a very handy way to spot a ninja before you give them bigger permissions. If you give them no access at all, you'll never know. Let them take 1 items per day, and really fast you'll know if they lock on to the best things first that have nothing to do with their toon...

Some other points:
1. Guild Note. Honestly, let everyone edit their guild note. Consider the same for their officer note, or use that to record useful data. We use the officer note to record what date recruit-ranked members joined, but then delete that data once they become full members (so that we can't have a 'veteran bias' forming). For raiding members, I also note what team they are on and what role they are there for.

The regular guild note is open, even to brand new recruits, and becomes a place for people to put fun little sigs, or professions, or whatever. It helps build community to leave it open...

...That may sound silly, but the moment you start a guild, your purpose in WoW is no longer to play the game, but to manage a community.

Be careful who you give invite privileges to. If you're a zerg guild, give it to anyone, you'll grow like crazy. If you're a quality guild, restrict it to officers, or even just the GM and recruitment team (if any).
- Limiting who can invite will slow growth, but manage it. Its a choice to think about.

Alts: Will you allow them, and if so how many. Many guilds limit the number of alts they accept. Here's a tip: Don't. By allowing an unlimited number of alts, my guild has done a lot to improve guild loyalty. My members usually join on one toon, and very quickly I find them bringing in all sorts of alts. Pretty soon there are people logged in at all hours of the day - on their mains or alts... and that just means that anytime somebody asks for a group in guild chat, a whole pack of people offer to switch to their other toon and join up... It really works to build guild loyalty if people feel they have been accepted for them, rather than their toon.