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No Prisoners, No Mercy
Host: Julie Whitefeather & Frances Kosac
There comes a time, friends, when your favorite MMO ceases to sparkle, when even new videogames lose their luster, and the computer room becomes a prison; and all that is left are two gamers (who happen to be nuns) with a very large axe to grind. Come join Julie Whitefeather and Frances Kosac as they go to War - and along the way discuss the events of the week in the MMO industry.

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Related site: http://www.virginworlds.com/blog.php?cat=julie


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No Prisoners, No Mercy - Show 23
Thu, 5 Feb 2009 21:39:00 GMT [download/play]



Welcome to Show 23: The Road to Naxxramus. This week we talk about
World of Warcraft, Raiding, Warhammer Online and the upcoming new
content and more...

1. Mad as hell: The Road to Naxxramus
2. Short Shorts
3. Too little to late?
4. Flame Proof Undies

Articles discussed:
http://www.popcultureofdestruction.com/2008/09/10/the-rockstars-of-war/
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=22005
http://chaosmoon.gameriot.com/blogs/WAAAGH/T1-Forever

The Road to Naxxramus (with apologies to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope)

We're off on the road to Naxxramus
This Griffon is tough on the spine
Who is going, what are spec is, why are they so mean
I'll bet you 8 to 5 that we meet Hegian they uncleam
Off on the road to Naxramus
My bow and my cat are just fine
Now they're asking how big they are, What's our dps?
We get to go to Naxxramus if we can pass the test
We certainly to get around,
Like a scourge plague hound we are Naxxramus bound


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Episode 23 Discussion Thread

'Naxxra-what?' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-06 01:21:25 CST
Hey, you ARE mad as hell! But I'm happy you were able to get that off your chest.

I agree that all the gear analyzing, dps measuring, talent spec of the month club nonsense really ruins the game. I will never let anyone tell me what spec I should be. I guess I'll miss a few raids, but at least I'll be having fun instead of working another job.

By the way, I really laughed hard at the Yosemite Sam in a dress thing and the gender topic.

http://www.barbneal.com/wav/ltunes/yosemite/Sam53.wav

Rogue insults. Here's one:

Rogues are the flaming poop bag on Thrall's door step.



'the Tier 4 wall, "end game", progression etc...' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-06 02:38:45 CST
so, first of all i'm am NOT a fan of "end game". i enjoy "game". i really don't recall ever hearing WAR "touted" as the end all be all "end game". it just so happens that the RvR/PvP area all leads into peaking in the tier 4 area where you can sack the enemies home base and do your raping and pillaging...

i remember hearing them talk about WAR being fun at any level. you can do RvR, PvP and PQs all at the beginning of the game!!! this game kinda feels like a D&D type game to me, like neverwinter nights 1 & 2 or the actual tabletop D&D games. why? because in D&D the main level progression is lv 1 - 20. so, if i had been playing with friends all year and was only lv 12, that would be about right. and if you bought certain books you could expand the games levels up to 40 and they were considered the 'elite' levels. so maybe the only problem you gals have is your approach to WAR. maybe tier-4 shouldnt be so much considered a wall as the last stretch of experience levels. also look at it this way. how many times do you hit a level in WoW that you can train up old abilities or even get brand new ones? every other level = 30 times (not including the two new expansions since were comparing WARs initial launch to WoW's). also take into account that on those levels you dont ALWAYS get something new to play with skillwise. it may only be a skill upgrade so that ends up being about 20 times that you train and get a new ability.

with WAR your abilities are automatically upgraded every time you level up, (so theres no 'purchasing' your skill upgrades like in WoW which costs WAY too much later in game) AND you get at least 1 BRAND NEW skill EVERY LEVEL!!! thats 40 times you get something new. so if it takes about the same time to go from lv 30-31 in WAR as it does to go from lv 54-56 in WoW i consider that to be of even progression. and remember in WoW your not even promised getting a new skill every even level, sometimes your just breaking your bank to upgrade your fireball spell for your mage from rank 6 to 7, or your charge ability for your warrior from 7 to 8... to me thats not worth it. now let it be known, WAR isnt my fave MMO, and while im not saying its the most fun i DO have issues with it, i find these healthy arguments to be a sound comparison to WoWs answer to leveling...



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 02:54:15 CST
I am having a bit of a difficult time getting through the train of thought above - however it sounds as if you are saying that you feel that Tier 4 in War is not a brick wall.

Perhaps you could clarify what you mean?

Beyond that, and something we would like to discuss in Show 24 is why people feel that Warhammer lost 450,000 subscribers.

Julie



'pacing @ julie.' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-06 04:16:24 CST
all i mean to say is its all about pacing. where, lets say it takes you 5 hours to go from lv 54 to 56 in WoW, in WAR it may take you 5 hours to ONLY go from lv 30 to 31. whats my point? sure your gaining twice as many levels in WoW as in WAR during the same amout of game time, but look at what your getting in BOTH games.

just about the same amount of skills, because u get something new EVERY level of WAR as well as your skills automatically upgrading every level. where as in WoW when you hit that odd level (55 in this example), theres not much happening.

notice also i didnt say i loved WAR nor did i disagree with any reasons given why so many people have left WAR. i said >" now let it be known, WAR isnt my fave MMO, im also saying it isnt the most fun and i DO have issues with it..."

meaning that i play it every once in a while, on average once every other or every three months. i have different issues with WAR as opposed to the "wall" (the reasons you gals dont like it as well as whatever else your reasons may be) that exists from lv 30-40. and i just have a different way of looking at that wall because your gaining something new (i.e.- an ability or skill) EVERY LEVEL, from 30-40. where as going from 40-60 in the original WoW may take the same amount of time as it does to only gain 10 levels in WAR. were still gaining the same amount of level rewards in BOTH games with the same amount of time put into both to receive those rewards.

so looking at the levels gained is kind of a superficial outlook when ultimately the amount of rewards per hour of game play may be exactly the same...

now i DO have issues with WAR. its not my favorite. theres many things it does do that i think WoW did wrong. But my fave right now would be LotRO with both conan and WAR being tied for a distant 2nd place.

with WAR my issues are im already bored at 15. not necessarily because the leveling is slow but because im not a social gamer. so i love the fact that you have more control in WAR over how and when you can upgrade gear without the need to gather a large group or even raid for that matter. so in WAR i can go do a PQ and just regular ol' questing to get gear upgrades. in WoW the gear i used to get after lv 10 for questing was usually not for my class and if it was it wasnt an upgrade. those are some of the most glaring issues i have with WoW that i feel WAR fixes for me. so whats boring about WAR around lv 15 for me? doing PQs over and over just to get gear...lol. im not a very social gamer. while i do love co-op games and i love playing mostly with family in MMOs, everyone i have turned onto MMOs in my family either doesnt play anymore or theyre still stuck on the 1st one i introduced them to, which happened to be WoW.

WAR can get very boring for someone who isnt doing RvR/PvP.
so, im not arguing that there isnt any reason for you to dislike WAR, or there isnt a just reason why so many people left WAR as much as i was just making a devil's advocate opinion about the tier 4 "wall"...



'PS' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-06 04:24:10 CST
yeah LotRO is my #1 MMO right now. im on Windfola. glad to hear your also playing that julie. do you like it? what server are you on?


'PS' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-06 04:30:46 CST
yeah LotRO is my #1 MMO right now. im on Windfola. glad to hear your also playing that julie. do you like it? what server are you on?


'Sex!! No, not that like that, get your minds out of the gutter :P' by xBevisx
Submitted on 2009-02-06 12:16:55 CST
I can understand how people get upset or frustrated by Mythics choice to restrict certain classes to specific genders, but as a fan of Games Workshop in general, I personally appreciate what they have done. It makes it more Warhammer-y for me, if that makes sense?

I dont play female characters (being a strapping young lad myself lol), just a personal choice, and the only time I ever considered it was to try out the witch elf class. And surprisingly it was just to check the gameplay, not to stare at underwear models. A guy on the internet not looking for a hot piece of T&A? Unheard of I know

All I can say is, were they to bring out a Warhammer 40000 mmo (which i believe someone is) I wouldnt expect to see female space marines.

But I can see the other side of the arguement. Im just set in my ways I guess.

Andy aka xbevisx aka Lulu Trixiebelle McFluffyPink (only on the weekends)



'Agreed with xbevisx' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 13:05:56 CST
It's just a lore thing that is all.

Like Andy says why change the lore? You can still play the class just with a different visual than you wanted but without ruining immersion for lore fans.

And seriously were is the 40k mmo THQ hurry up!




'Great show but...' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-02-06 13:51:16 CST
I totally disagree with the viewer's opinion about pacing being what's wrong with WAR. She's avoiding the problem by continuing to re-roll characters and play in the zones that are good. T1 and T2 were brilliant IMHO especially Empire side. Initially, I did the same thing. I stopped playing my BW who was in her thirties and got my WP into the twenties. When I went back to the BW it just made the problem in T4 all the more glaring besides slugging it out solo thru chapter after chapter of Stage I content only. That's not a gaming experience I was willing to pay to experience. One I sat there trying to convince myself to log in and play. That's when I knew there was a problem and unsubscribed. I'm happy for her that that method works but it's really avoiding the fact that content is empty, finding fun is spotty and T4 is just brutally BORING!

Fun show and loved the intro song just don't quit your day jobs. :-)



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 15:32:18 CST
Ok here is your chance to add to the next show. Saylah (our sometime guest and host of the Gamer's Fiction Podcast) feels that the listener who wrote about her dry bread sandwhich in War is avoiding the problem. She may indeed be correct because long term the same situation arises. Rocknerd seems to feel that there is nothing wrong with the "pacing" as Rocknerd puts it in War.

Still, it seems that Warhammer lost 450,000 customers somewhere along the line didn't they? So lets talk about WHY that happened.

What do you think?

Was it...

1.) People who played WoW tried it, liked it better and went back to WoW as Blizzard claimed happened with Age of Conan?

2.) Did they fail to deliver promised content?

3.) Was Tier 4 too hard to get through and players just moved on, not necessarily back to WoW

4.) Was the pvp too easy?

5.) Was it the lag and crashes in the fortress battles?

6.) Was it a matter that the game was hyped so much by Mythics pitchman Paul Barnett that it failed to live up to expectations and after the trial period players just let their accounts expired?

7.) Was it a combination of the above?

8.) Was it something else?

or

9.) Whats Warhammer Online? Aren't we talking about Age of Conan here?



'Lotro....' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 15:34:52 CST
Oops - ignore the spelling error/typo above

As far as Lotro is concerned I couldn't tell you the name of the server beyond it starts with an "e" - I have it set to come up automatically each time. I thought I would go back to try out the Moria expansion (I wanted to see how they did the inside of Moria). However by level 51 I have become very frustrated with the game.

I am not sure if I will continue to go back to Lotro.

Julie



'Leading questions' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 15:40:03 CST
Those questions on Warhammer are all really loaded. Your giving people your answers in the questions.

All MMO's after launch have a natural loss then they slowly build it back up. I think WAR is just in the spotlight so it's noticed more.

Scrutinise anything and you can find bad things to say about it.

War hasn't failed it's just found it natural level of player-base for now.



'Shake my head yet LOL' by mikejl
Submitted on 2009-02-06 15:57:54 CST
At times I laughed out loud and times shock my head in disagreement. Still.. always entertaining.
I love the "no main only alts" comments from one of the listeners. My philosophy is to "play the game and not let the game play me".

Great show.
Thanks,

Mike



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:14:44 CST
@ Mike. I will pass the compliments along to the author next time we speak. - better yet, why not visit her blog and tell her yourself?

@ Shuttler: Of course their leading - this is a podcast not a courtroom. Beyond that the post is trying to start a conversation. So you are saying that the natural level Warhammer is 300,000 subscribers? Why then did Mark Jacobs say he needed 500,000? Was he serious or did he just pull the number out of the air?

Julie



'Give us more credit' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:27:26 CST
You can promote conversation without giving people 7/8 static choices to choose from

I'm not trying to provoke you here I just think the visitors to this site are more intelligent than that and they would like to come up with their own ideas. Not choose one of yours.

Of course he said 500k and that's cool. I'm saying that they all find there natural level yes in this case it was 300k and over the next few months that will adjust again.

I think your mistaking 'natural level' with 'projected level' or 'ideal level'

I'm not saying it's the greatest number of subs, but come on 300 k is pretty decent for any game.

Of course he didnt pull the number out of the air that was based on what he needed to make target.


Why you so down on WAR?





'Not down on War' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:41:14 CST
@ Shuttler: Don't mistake down on War for the willingness to take a game or game developer to task for something. Nor expect me to be a fangirl of anyone except John Smedly or Rob Pardo.

@ Everyone else: No matter what one calls the 300,000 subscriber base, as the employees at Mythic (and even senior developers at this point) face yet another round of layoffs there is one thing it is certain about the number of subcribers - it isn't enough to pay the bills. John Smedley always said he would keep a game open as long as it paid the bills - and that, in the end, is what is important, not the absolute number of players compared to another game. Is 300,000 subscribers more than Matrix Online has? So what? The important point is what does it cost to keep the employees employed and the servers open.

No matter what is said, no matter what rose colored glasses someone may chose to look at Mythic through the question still remains...

What went wrong?

Julie



'Not down on War' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:48:16 CST
@ Shuttler: Don't mistake down on War for the willingness to take a game or game developer to task for something. Nor expect me to be a fangirl of anyone except John Smedly or Rob Pardo.

@ Everyone else: No matter what one calls the 300,000 subscriber base, as the employees at Mythic (and even senior developers at this point) face yet another round of layoffs there is one thing it is certain about the number of subcribers - it isn't enough to pay the bills. John Smedley always said he would keep a game open as long as it paid the bills - and that, in the end, is what is important, not the absolute number of players compared to another game. Is 300,000 subscribers more than Matrix Online has? So what? The important point is what does it cost to keep the employees employed and the servers open.

No matter what is said, no matter what rose colored glasses someone may chose to look at Mythic through the question still remains...

What went wrong?

Julie



'See that's more like it :D' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:53:11 CST
I'm not sure about rose tinted classes though. Are the layoffs due to the sub levels or is it just natural wastage due to development cycles and launch now being past.

Forgive me I know nothing about the actual reasons behind the layoffs?

I guess another thing to consider is the timing of the launch. We are in the middle of a credit crunch. If people had more available income would they play more than one game and keep a few subs open in the past. Now it's a case of choosing wisely so maybe players just chose what was safe and comfortable and a good use of their cash.

I know that I have dropped down my monthly subs.



'Not down on War' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:54:45 CST
@ Shuttler: Don't mistake down on War for the willingness to take a game or game developer to task for something. Nor expect me to be a fangirl of anyone except John Smedly or Rob Pardo.

@ Everyone else: No matter what one calls the 300,000 subscriber base, as the employees at Mythic (and even senior developers at this point) face yet another round of layoffs there is one thing it is certain about the number of subcribers - it isn't enough to pay the bills. John Smedley always said he would keep a game open as long as it paid the bills - and that, in the end, is what is important, not the absolute number of players compared to another game. Is 300,000 subscribers more than Matrix Online has? So what? The important point is what does it cost to keep the employees employed and the servers open.

No matter what is said, no matter what rose colored glasses someone may chose to look at Mythic through the question still remains...

What went wrong?

Julie



'See that's more like it :D' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 16:55:51 CST
I'm not sure about rose tinted classes though. Are the layoffs due to the sub levels or is it just natural wastage due to development cycles and launch now being past.

Forgive me I know nothing about the actual reasons behind the layoffs?

I guess another thing to consider is the timing of the launch. We are in the middle of a credit crunch. If people had more available income would they play more than one game and keep a few subs open in the past. Now it's a case of choosing wisely so maybe players just chose what was safe and comfortable and a good use of their cash.

I know that I have dropped down my monthly subs.



'Now a few words...' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:03:43 CST
How about a few words from Mythic employees as brought to us by one of the sites that is a regular on my news feed: Wandering Goblin.

This is from a news item by their staff member "Stinkerbelle":

Three people whom I respect, and all of whom are either current or former employees of Mythic Entertainment, are commenting on all the layoffs that happened at Mythic this week. Their opinions on this topic are, to say the least, interesting.

Sanya Weathers: Many of the layoffs included "some very senior people, people who expected to stay at Mythic until they retired...who deserved the loyalty they'd been told so much about."

Josh Drescher: "To anyone affected, if there's ANYTHING I can do, let me know. Letters of recommendation, an ear to bend, a beer or three - just say the word."

Scott Jennings: "Corporate loyalty is a LIE." [While he doesn't name Mythic specifically, Jennings' rage is thinly veiled.]







'About WAR' by BurntSushi
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:05:52 CST
I think that the population will always adjust with any MMO through its lifespan. This usually happens with new content and expansions, but once a majority of the population hits the content ceiling (and this applies to newly released games), well they will die out and the subs will normalize (WoW was a disaster when launching, with long queue times and server crashes and then of course population died down greatly after a period of time.). With Mark Jacobs stating that they needed 500,000 subs, well I really think that is what they were hoping for based off of box sales, not the bottom line to make the game a success.

With the Slayer and Choppa releasing soon, it should drum up more subs. At least I think it will. I know that I am going to resub so I can play my Dwarf Slayer and pwn some faces off and I may stay after that.

With WAR, I would like to see some changes. Like with RvR quests, instead of offering Normal XP, maybe offer RvR XP for killing 10 enemy players, etc. That would prompt people to hit RvR lakes more and go for Scenarios more often. All too often I see Rank 40 with an RvR rank 15-20. That seems off to me and I think that it is because RvR doesn't seem too rewarding. Also I would like to see some type of fix that would allow people to enter into out leveled RvR lakes and Scenarios with some sort of deleveling mechanic. I think that would help with the long queue times with lower level scenarios and help repopulated lower level RvR lakes.

Regardless of the amount of subs WAR is still a really successful game. 300K is nothing to scoff at. I am sure Funcom and SOE would love to have that number for one of their products. People are way too focused on the WoW number, 11.5 million is the exception, not the rule. WoW is so successful because:

1. Accessibility (almost any PC or Mac can play, you can buy a brand new computer with onboard video and still play quite well.)

2. Worldwide release (The Asian market for WoW eclipses our own. WAR is just releasing in Russia now.)

3. Blizzard itself (The company name inspires confidence, Blizzard always releases quality content, with few to no bugs.)

I think given some time WAR will pick up again. It hasn't even been but 5 months. Give it a year and I am sure WAR will pick back up.



'And further more' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:06:22 CST
And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?

Julie



'I'd still like to know why it happened though' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:07:25 CST
Any clues as to why they were layed off though?

It's awkward being in that position of not being layed off when others are around you you feel like you want to/have to say something. But what can you say!



'And further more' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:13:17 CST
And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?

Julie



'nice' by Token
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:18:42 CST
@ shuttler
They were laid off because it's EA.



'And further more' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:21:16 CST
And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?

Julie



'And further more' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:25:06 CST
And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?

Julie



'And further more' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 17:37:20 CST
And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?

Julie



'Success' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-06 18:49:28 CST
I think BurntSushi's remarks about why WoW is so successful is a big part what may be hurting mythic.

1) Accessibility: Blizzard did an incredible job of making a game that runs on just about any computer made within the last 5-6 years. I can't say the same for WAR. At just above minimum spec with lowest setting, I still had issues getting smooth gameplay. Yes, time marches on and technology advances. Criticize WoW's cartoon graphic style all you want (by the way I absolutely love the art direction in WAR -- hats off to the artists). But if you want the player base, find the crappiest old computer you can get your hands on and make sure your game runs on it.

2) Polish, polish, polish! Yes, it's a tired word. Yes, it's easy to sit back a be critical and say, "this game needs more polish!" But quite frankly Blizzard has the edge there. I think CCP has it too with EVE Online. EQ2 has much more polish than when it first released. That being said, it's much better to come out the gate polished than to make it up along the way. Blizzard knows this, which is why their fans wait in anticipation and frustration and then release sighs of joy when we get our hands on any product they make.

You can have the most interesting I.P., classes to choose from, storyline, newest game mechanics (PQ's, RVR, City Sieges), but you can only make a first impression once.

I don't know anything for sure, that's just my take on it.



'The one ton gorilla' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 19:05:07 CST
One thing is for sure, it is hard to compete with the one ton (there's the promotion) Activision/Blizzard gorilla. But then again not everyone is "Brad McQuaid" who was determined at one point to create a game that was the next "WoW Killer" (before Sony pulled his fat, and half his companies jobs out of the fryer). In fact, if I recall correctly Mark Jacobs seemed to feel that Mythic was not out to compete with WoW when he responded to the Blizzard Exec at the online games conference in Seattle last year who proudly announced to the world that many of the people who had gone to Warhammer were coming back.

Now in the end he may have been right, considering the factors that Seritaph and BurntSushi bring up. Back then, however, Mark Jacobs pointed out that players can play both games.

But it appears that some of them aren't.

Was the competition just too good?

Here is an excerpt from a post that Marisa just left on our google forum:

"I'm not sure what the reason might have been for every player, but from what little I garnered reading the forums it seems that many people rushed to 40 and found themselves suddenly alone in Tier 4. They got frustrated and left shortly afterward. Many still post on the forums, and seem to be looking for a good moment to come back (possibly once the new content starts being implemented)." - Marisa



'Or maybe..' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-06 19:07:19 CST
Or maybe it just needs more subscribers who are Polish? :)


'Just to clarify' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-06 19:16:23 CST
The points I bring up really have nothing to do with frustration with the game itself that people are experiencing. It has to do with getting the largest player base you can, and keeping them. People rush through WoW content, but it appears most of them come back at some point. Why is that?

I'm not saying Mythic should be Blizzard's younger copycat sibling. I love what I've seen of the Mythic team in video blogs and interviews, etc. I have total respect them as a game developer, and think they are top-notch. Could they learn some things from gorilla?

I think the answer is yes.



'The one ton gorilla' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-06 19:23:39 CST
One thing is for sure, it is hard to compete with the one ton (there's the promotion) Activision/Blizzard gorilla. But then again not everyone is "Brad McQuaid" who was determined at one point to create a game that was the next "WoW Killer" (before Sony pulled his fat, and half his companies jobs out of the fryer). In fact, if I recall correctly Mark Jacobs seemed to feel that Mythic was not out to compete with WoW when he responded to the Blizzard Exec at the online games conference in Seattle last year who proudly announced to the world that many of the people who had gone to Warhammer were coming back.

Now in the end he may have been right, considering the factors that Seritaph and BurntSushi bring up. Back then, however, Mark Jacobs pointed out that players can play both games.

But it appears that some of them aren't.

Was the competition just too good?

Here is an excerpt from a post that Marisa just left on our google forum:

"I'm not sure what the reason might have been for every player, but from what little I garnered reading the forums it seems that many people rushed to 40 and found themselves suddenly alone in Tier 4. They got frustrated and left shortly afterward. Many still post on the forums, and seem to be looking for a good moment to come back (possibly once the new content starts being implemented)." - Marisa



'WHY WoW>WAR subwise?' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-07 10:33:53 CST
JULIE-
"And furthermore...

If it IS simply a matter of the economy why would Mythic lose custmers while the 800 pound gorilla (perhaps we should promote it to the 1,000 pound gorilla) Activision/Blizzard continues to gain customers? What does Rob Pardo know that Mark Jacobs doesn't?"

simple answer and my brother is a perfect example. his first MMO was WoW which i turned him onto as well as gaming as a whole. it took me GIVING my brother a PC to get him into PC gaming. and gee, guess what that game was? diablo 1 & 2...

so i had played WoW since beta with my gal and my RL friends and tried getting him into it as well. it took me a year to talk him into it. by then i was ready to move on to other games at the time but still played WoW every other month with him. so now when new MMOs come out, instead of giving them a chance and learning a new game, he gets intimidated and goes back to the game he knows, inside and out to the degree that he knows where every quest is... so he tried LotRO/WAR and conan and not in any of them did he surpass the 20% level mark and really see the games for what they are. lotro highest level was 14, conan 14 (which is really sad considering how easy it is to level early) and about lv 9 in WAR... hes afraid to buy a new game and learn it. so in this economically broken era someone like him is more likely to play WoW as opposed to a game he might have to learn.

how many of the 11 mill playing WoW have been gamers most there life and how many are people who have already purchased or are looking to purchase a Wii and consider that to be their core of gaming???

this isnt an attack, merely an observation. i have been playing video games since i was 6 and my brother is 7 years older than me. im more likely to try new games (in fact my fave thing about gaming is installing a brand new PC game to check it out) and my brother is the complete opposite.

this doesnt mean all non-lifer gamers are like him, but i'd be willing to bet, more so than not, theres more like him than me.

and that sounds like a recipe perfect for blizz to harbor their contented gamers on their ship sailing for happy land filled with money palm trees...



'Hello on climbing etc' by Pufnstuf
Submitted on 2009-02-07 13:41:14 CST
Hi Sister Julie and Sister Fran,
I wanted to point ou in your last podcast you said in mmos things like climbing, jumping etc are not really there. Have you tried DDO (dungeons and dragons online)? I recomend you reach out to jerry Snook (ddocast.com) and lessah (Lessah.com) and listen to what is a hidden gem. you can jump, swim, do directional battle. It is very special. I am actually playing more LOTRO now but I am impressed with Turbine innovations.

second thing is you talked about WOW and their rudeness. This is WOW. Quit. I quit three years ago. you dod not get housing or anything. it is a good 'starter game' but I think eq2 and LOTRO are much more interesting and personally I think LOTRO is wonderful. I have a pretty house and horse and never even really pay attention what level I am. i am in a wonderful guild that raids (red legion -redlegion.com) on silverlode. they are very inclusive and though they raid they all have alts and are wonderful people. (my toon is Hunk there...if you do plug it say my name so I can get dkp :) )

finally, bravo for your mentioning on Halsted. Nice to see nuns that are non the typically catholic anti-gay that made me leave the church.

keep up the great work

Puf (ddo) or Hunk (Lotro)



'As for climbing' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-02-07 14:45:05 CST
Did you mention Conan on that I forget?

AoC had a climbing skill you could advance



'climbing and lotro' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-07 15:19:38 CST
@ Shuttler: Yep you caught me on that one. I completely forgot about aoc - surprising consideirng my character had 300 in climbing so I could climb walls in the capital city. Mark that one Shuttler one, Julie zero

@ pufnstuf: In fact I have been playing a deal of lotro myself lately. I am an officer in a lotro guild but that is mostly because I do their monthly newsletter for their members. In fact its funny you should mention lotro. One of my friends from Australia who is an officer in the same Lotro guild and quite knowledgeable on the subject has agreed to do a section of an upcoming show.

This of course will be after the raging fires in Australia subside - the internet lines to her part of australia run where the fire is so her internet is not stable.

Julie



'Random thoughts from a random squishy.....' by MagicKira
Submitted on 2009-02-07 19:15:21 CST
I'll just repost what I commented with on Jmo's blog cause he asked the same questions there lol.

I agree with all of that, but at the same time too, I think another reason a lot of people left was because WAR, despite the near flawless launch, still had a lot of bugs in it that many weren't willing to wait on. Standard New MMO bugs aside, it did have a few that were supposed to be tested in beta but weren't, such as the T4 fortress guards that allowed Destro to overtake Altdorf on one server just two weeks after launch. Simple things that by themselves are overlookable, but together are unavoidable. I forget who I heard say this, but they said that WoW players are starting to reach the end of their content from WotLK and are sitting back going "OK...Now what?" at about the same time that War has all these live events going on, pretty much one a month for the next six months.

I think that's going to attract quite a few people back, but whether or not its enough to hit 800k again and get people to stop saying that WAR's a failure? That's debatable.

As for the layoffs, EA had to lay off 1100 people. Mythic only had a tithe compared to some of the other divisions, so I don't think it was due to the success of WAR, if anything no matter how well War did, there still would have been layoffs because frankly the economy's hitting the gaming industry hard.

~Kira



'great point @ Kira' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2009-02-08 09:00:24 CST
yeah, im seeing got damn layoffs in my panty hose!!! let alone the game developers community!!!
judging WARs success are lack there of, based on layoffs seems quite foolish in this era.

i would just say this, and this goes along with my point earlier up, WAR is "succeeding" every day the servers are live.

if your a WoW fan and your keeping "score" sure WAR doesn't have the same subs as WoW. but does that mean if i want a great burger i SHOULDN'T go to a gourmet restaurant instead of McDonald's???

so i should buy a burger from mcdonald's because they have already served 11.5million?

OR

should i go to the gourmet place that has only served 300K because it tastes better to me?



'I agree with that analogy....' by MagicKira
Submitted on 2009-02-08 09:50:29 CST
It seems to fit, lol. The same day Mythic announced their layoffs, THQ announced they were laying off 600 people also so meh, its the times....


'A CORRECTION' by Unn
Submitted on 2009-02-09 01:07:21 CST
Hi all, Lithra here,

My article is actually at http://chaosmoon.gameriot.com/blogs/Skinnydipping-in-the-RvR-Lake/Delicious-Sandwich-Filling

The T1 Forever was one of my reference links in that article, but was written by Syp from Chaos Cast.



'I'm Lovin' It!' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-09 19:22:48 CST
I'm not sure I agree 100% with the McDonald's analogy. I definitely see the point rocknerd is making with it, but to me that's like saying Pixar is the McDonald's of CGI animated feature films, and I'd rather watch a Dreamworks film because it's gourmet or higher quality.

I think Blizzard's success is a testament to their quality. And unlike McDonalds, the level of quality in the game has not gone down but up over the past four years. Now I'm not going to blare on like some lunatic fanboy, but I have to say with all honesty that for a 4 year old game it still looks and plays beautifully. The more I play it, the more in awe I am at the level of detail they put into the zones, landscapes, creatures, etc. But that's only because I'm more likely to stop and look around instead of race to the top level at blazing speed to finish the damn thing.

The same could be said for many other games. EQ2, LoTRO, Vanguard, EVE are all gourmet in my opinion. Maybe rocknerd is right. Maybe ever more so because of things like player housing, musical instruments, or card games. There's definitely a want and desire for this which is why WoW isn't the only game in town.

And you can't but help cheer on Mythic because, man, are those boys trying. They so desperately WANT to see you happy with their game. And I don't think it's just because of subs. I think it goes much deeper than that.



'@Seritaph ' by MagicKira
Submitted on 2009-02-09 23:48:35 CST
It does go much deeper. Most of the people at Mythic at one time or another played the table top game and truly loved it. They have their 'first army' stories, and memories of painting the armies, showing them off, or even playing against other players. Makes for interesting conversation starters I bet..... :)


'Warhammer Lore' by Vroshnak
Submitted on 2009-02-10 15:30:55 CST
Sister Fran keeps repeating how all the Warhammer lore probably came from a marketing director or something. Both Sister Fran and Sister Julie claim that Warhammer's lore isn't high literature anyway.

Fran, the Warhammer universe came from gamers making games. If you can't be bothered to research the lore, or read the books, that's OK... but that doesn't make the universe trash. I'm most surprised at Sister Julie. I seem to recall that she has read the Gotrex & Felix novels set in the Warhammer universe. They are fantastic novels, you must have loved them (right?).

Why did you make these attacks at all? You don't need to kick Warhammer lore to make your point about gender and player characters. In fact, as Julie mentioned in the show, Mythic's decisions about gender aren't even supported by lore. For example, Warhammer lore supports female Chosen Champions (see Justine in the story "Blood and Darkness" in the book "Trollslayer").

Next topic...

Warhammer works for me because I am playing with a great group of close friends and we are all members of a good guild. It is hard for me to guess why anyone would like Warcraft better than Warhammer (or like Warcraft better than Conan, yes I said it) because I am not one of those people.

Perhaps reason 6 is the biggest reason... many people got into too much hype for the game and had unrealistic expectations. I think there are a lot of players out there who keep buying new MMOs hoping that it will be something so new it won't feel like a MMO anymore.



'WAR for me' by Carmedil
Submitted on 2009-02-10 18:31:31 CST
I play WAR and truly enjoy it. I play with 2 friends at scheduled times (Wednesday and Sunday nights) and we play our toons only during these times. This way our characters are on the same level and have the same quests. Mix in PVE and scenarios and we have a jolly good time, we can do any content (except keeps) even PQs just the 3 of us. We go in the RvR lakes when action arises in the region we are.

I must admit that without my group I wouldn't bother to play WAR since alone it's hard to enjoy some of the content like PQs.

One reason we play WAR instead of another game is because of the lore. Warhammer lore is very much part of our enjoyment of the game as much as the features. People agree that the IP of WAR is major, well that's because of the lore. To respect the lore is to respect the IP and thus the game. Don't forget that the devs mentioned that Games Workshop kept an eye on Mythic to make sure lore was respected. If it's lore permitted then a female class should be added, just request it where appropriate instead of over ranting and making the whole game look bad.

Here are more reasons why people left WAR:
1) Soloist can't do all of the content like PQs cause PUGs are harder to find at lower tiers.

2) People joined thinking / hoping it would have as much PVE content as other games and where disappointed with RVR being so closely weaved into the game (especially T4) even though the prelaunch videos said you could only PVE.

3) Even if everything you do is supposed to help your Realm, people don't really see the effects on the world until T4.

4) Hell people constantly complain about class balancing in WoW for PVE where they are supposed to be a team. When is comes to PVP it only gets uglier. When a game relies on it's PVP element as it's distinguishing feature, you know that class balancing will frustrate people. At high levels squishies (soft targets) get one shoted and others don't like the crowd control.

5) I feel to enjoy the content of WAR one must have some social network (friends or a guild) and I feel that the dropping in number of players has affected the quality of most guilds. It seems to be hard to find a good guild these days in WAR.

I have been following NPNM for some time and really enjoy it, but not so much the latest episodes because of the time spent bashing. Where have gone the moments when you speak of your enjoyment for the games you play, your good moments? Don't get me wrong, I love "Mad as Hell", but I liked the show better when there was a balance between the bashing and the praising.

@Julie: You said you were frustrated with Lotro, why is that? I here only praise of Lotro hearing the other side of the medal would be a interesting subject. Changing victims would also be refreshing.



'LOTRO not ugly' by Pufnstuf
Submitted on 2009-02-10 19:33:35 CST
Actually I have to jump on this.

If you are a roleplayer, explorer type and love lore, LOTRO is the best game out there. It is a immersive vast world with a beautiful setting, nice music, and probably the kindest most helpful community.

I played WOW for a bit and got sick of the gear stat culture (FRAN I was a mage so can relate to the silly DPS questions you got in raids or groups).

In LOTRO you can do what you want. The story is nice and every zone is immersively stunning from Shire to Evendim to Moria. Probably the best is people are nice and helpful and I have never been called NOOB or other slurs even though I started playing in November.

If you want a nice story, PVE, a pretty horse (there are LOTS to earn), housing, and LEGENDARY weapons, it really is an entertaining game.

I would totally start a new toon if you both came back!



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-10 19:45:48 CST
@ Carmedil: This show that we will be recording tommorow should be more to your liking then...no mad as hell. We recorded and submitted a show 23.1 (uploaded but not posted to Virginworlds yet) that too has not a shread of anger, angst or upset - it's an interview with Saylah from Mystic Worlds and Gamer's Fiction Podcast as well as a few words about the fires in Australia.

In fact in show 24 we are replacing "mad as hell" with "impressed as hell". Why? Well the only things either of us is ticked off about in gaming in general or in mmos has already been covered.

@ Carmedil and Pufnstuf: In fact the "impressed as hell" this week (which we have done once before) will be about Lotro (which part you will have to wait and hear/see). As for frustration upon my return it was because I found myself dieing constantly. While one guildie suggested I level up outside moria until I was two levels above the mobs I was fighting that didn't seem right - why should I suddenly have to do that? So I talked to a friend from Lotro (whom is one of the reason we discussed the fires in Australia in show 23.1, as you will hear) After discussing things it seems that the mobs in Moria are more difficult compared to the same level mobs elseware and also - There is a very effective spell I got that makes all the difference in the world (so I expect it to be nerfed now that I have it).

The friend, Christy, will be doing a section on lotro in an upcoming show. The problem is that she is from Australia about 100 km from the fires and the internet lines run through the fire zones so her internet is not stable.

@ Pufinstuf: Actually Fran doesn't care for Lotro. She tried it during beta and the graphics are simply not to her liking. She wasn't saying that they aren't good - she just seems to prefer something more akin to WoW. As for me I have been playing Lotro since the beta and have a level 52 character.



'Gender and Gaming' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-02-10 19:52:52 CST
@ Vroshnak: we will make sure we use your comments in the followup section we do about gender and gaming. Yes I did reat the Gotrek and Felix novels - and as you said "Mythic's decisions about gender aren't even supported by lore. For example, Warhammer lore supports female Chosen Champions". That is one of the reasons that it makes me "Mad as Hell." Fran and I (and other women whose comments I have read) are tired of the "boyz club" that much of Warhammer becomes. Yes, I do indeed have a level 33 goblin shaman, but the shaman is hardly "genderless" as claimed by Mythic - they don't call them "the boyz" for nothing.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in last show, I understand (even if I am not happy with it) about the decision between gender and the dwarves in Lord of the Rings Online. Still even that may change one day as much some may like to think it won't. There was a time when the thought of having a character that could use magic in any form was unthinkable but now we have them.

Julie



'LOTRO' by Pufnstuf
Submitted on 2009-02-10 19:56:46 CST
Ah nice to hear you have a level 52. I would agree to do the outside zones and not rush into Moria. Infact I am almost 51 HUNTER and only stepped into Moria once. I still have barely done Eregion or Forochel and THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO SEE!

I do recall Fran no caring for the graphics as I felt that way early on, but I guess I can tolerate less stylized graphics (though if you are on a hill in EVENDIM- WOW!), and prefer a nice community. I do think Fran should reconsider this verus the nastiness she gets in WOW.

No one has ever asked my Hunter if his DPS was high enough nor have I been call Huntard... So I will reiterate the community loves Lord ot the RIngs and thus it is simply a more considerate community. Other communities like DDO, EQ2, COH, and DOO are nice as well, but I do think no community has been more upsetting than WOW and it might jsut be when you have 9 million apples in the barrel, there will be thousands of rotten ones.





'KILL 'EM! ...with kindness.' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-02-10 20:25:46 CST
Community. Understandably a make or break factor for many people when choosing an online experience. I will not disagree that the community in WoW leaves something to be desired as a whole. Problem with WoW is, I like the game itself too much to let a few (ok more than a few) bad apples sour my experience. I found the best way to get around that is to lead by example, and hopefully you'll attract the company of others who share similar attitudes. 11.5 million subscribers is it? They're in there somewhere. :)

I've read before that LoTRO's community is awesome. I have been curious to try it out, and am very excited about what I have seen and read about Moria.



'For what it's worth...' by Grimjakk
Submitted on 2009-02-11 06:58:40 CST
... both Mark Jacobs and Josh Drescher commented that WAR's subscriber #'s are currently increasing overall. I'm guessing - in the face of launch bugs, the WotLK release, and just being an RvR-centric game - conversion rates weren't stellar.

For myself, I'm enjoying WAR and not in any hurry to hit 40. But then I had an idea of what to expect, having played DAOC for so long. In DAOC/WAR the best content is always the enemy, and it's not going to be consistent content. I'm enjoying the PvE story lines as I go, but I'm not stressing about grinding 'em out. For me, they're filler.

I'm also playing LotRO in CoW's Tuesday night group on Landroval. That's been awesome so far... despite the lack of pvp. ;) It's a different type of game, and really clears the palate. The community on Landroval seems great... and I got to meet Gandalf tonight. :D



'LOTRO....' by MagicKira
Submitted on 2009-02-11 09:09:56 CST
I've been playing a trial of it the past few days and I have to say that I see what Grim and Puf are saying. Yeah the graphics aren't stellar by any means, but they definitely are easier to look at than WoW's or WAR's even. The community is also just awesome, although I will admit I've been on kinda late-ish (past 8pm est) so that could have something to do with it....

I've never been a lore-nerd, but I will admit that I find myself reading the quests and going "Hey, he was there when...." whenever I see a character's name that sounds familiar. It's also one of the first few games where I felt like I had to help when the village of Archet was attacked. Even during the height of my days in DAOC, I hadn't felt THAT immersed. So yeah, Fran you may want to relook into LOTRO, if only to say "I told you I wouldn't like it." in the end (though I know you'd never do that....right?)

But meh, that's just my opinion...I've been called crazy so who knows? :P
~Kira



'Yipes, this thread went gold...' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-02-11 13:47:38 CST
Uh guess I lingered away from the conversation. I've been pounding out posts in between gaming but sure, I'd come discuss it. I think there are a lot of great things in WAR. Unfortunately, I found the not-so good more deafening and unsubscribed. It's surprising to think that two of the best classes I've every played were in WAR along with some of the most interesting PVE content and quests. But the way the game has combined their mechanics don't fit together as well as they do in other games. Grimm hit the nail on the hit head and I've said something similar. If you're only looking for 15 to 30 minutes of entertainment you can find that easily in WAR. Casual play opportunities are good. The problem becomes the lack of SUSTAINED entertainment. When I have a couple of hours to play, finding 2 hours of fun in WAR is hard.

While I was playing at least, WAR works best with a static group much like Guild Wars and even LOTRO to a degree. That's all well and good when you have access to a static group. I had one for a few weeks in WAR but then I didn't. None of the real life friends play MMOs and my family has moved back on consoles. Besides which I don't like the dependency on a static group so I don't and won't play those particular games. It's too limiting to my ability to enjoy the game so there's no point in it for me. Solo players are a HUGE part of the MMO scene now and while I'm not opposed to grouping I will not stick around in a game where it is a must to have enjoyment. I can't control when I'll have access to a group and not up for the work of finding and forming one, when all i want to do is log into a game and have some fun. For me, this was WAR's biggest failing some of which can be corrected by tweaking the game design. Those empty public quests being among the first things they should have fixed. That is the content I could have been doing when I didn't have access to a group. However, I'm not going to grind Stage I over and over and over because that's not fun.

If WAR is the sort of game that requires a static group or for you to be in a group more often than not that's fine. Mythic will then have to be fine with not having the many players for whom that play style doesn't work or isn't preferred. Remember when I said I was leveling out of fear? I feared exactly what happened when I couldn't keep pace with my static group. they moved on and the zones I was left in were barren even on a merged server.