Moved out of State

car packed with bags for move out of state

My apologies for the long gap between posts gamer monkeys, but I have been quite busy. I moved from California to Texas at the end of October to start a new full time job and between adapting to my new surroundings in Houston and Spring, training for work and surviving into the holiday season, I have not had a lot of free time for mmo gaming and blogging, to my chagrin.

Leaving to accept the position meant I packed essentials into my car and drove for four days straight from the San Gabriel Valley (about 30 or so miles east of L.A.) to Texas, traversing 3 states along the way and staying with relatives and a couple of hotels. I would have preferred to fly, but beggars can’t be choosy.

However I am planning to review the killer guide blog’s guide to Warlords of Draenor right before the launch of wow’s next big expansion in a few days so keep an eye out for it. Killer Guides blog has been writing about wow and mmos in general for quite some time and they were nice enough to ask for a review on their Warlords guide, so I will make time to provide it. I also plan to play more ArcheAge in the interim, just won’t have all the time in the world for it given the parameters of the job. Don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of pwning n00bs??

More in a few days when things get less hectic.


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Layoffs at Turbine Could Spell Trouble for LOTRO and DDO


I have been reading over the past few days about he layoffs planned at Turbine and the forums on both LOTRO and DDO have been buzzing with speculation and elucidation, trying to ascertain how these latest round of layoffs might affect both games.

As reported on various websites and blogs, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is planning on laying off staff at developer Turbine (Asheron’s Call, Lord of the Rings Online, Infinite Crisis). This is the  statement about the layoffs from the WB as presented on Joystiq:

“As part of our normal business process, we’re routinely looking at the strategic alignment of our company. Unfortunately, in order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions. These are always tough decisions, which we don’t approach lightly, but it’s crucial that Turbine is structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace.”

That is PR speak for people are losing their jobs, which is never a good thing for folks, specially before the holidays. It’s sad that the reductions in the labor force come at the expense of talented folks in order to try and capture profits from the fledgling mobile game market. What the suits at these game companies don’t ever see is that nobody wants to play a game like an MMO on a mobile device, at least many of us don’t because of the loss of immersion, unlike facebook and mobile games which are time killing mindless ways to pass time and have often little depth inherent in their composition and design.

It was especially sad news because as of this writing, it is unclear how the layoffs will affect both LOTRO and DDO. Some gamer monkeys are not concerned, but it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that if you downsize your development teams or put fewer resources into play, at the very least expansion and growth on projects becomes stagnant and there is little growth.

For me, as for many others it is just sad that two of the best f2p games, (I especially love the grouping mechanics and unique D&D 3.5 flavor of DDO) may have to downsize, or stagnate without constant new updates if the layoffs affect the development. Worse yet, there is no guarantee as to the long term life of these games and they could join Syp’s list of discontinued games  (shown in red) before too long, if the situation becomes severe.


John Thornhill has once again updated us DAoC gamer monkeys about the Halloween event running from  now until Nov.3. I had a blast running around Molvik last night which was jumping with players enjoying the game’s unique brand of RvR. I managed to level both my thane and skald to level 38

From this week’s herald:

  • The Ghostly Harvest Quest offers players level 45 and up a dangerous adventure in the frontiers. Speak with John Tobin on the Cotswold Bridge, Foa Muldisson outside the Jordheim North Gates, or Nera by the road in Mag Mell to begin the quest. (Note: Players who completed this quest last year will now be offered it again.)
  • Treat sellers have been spotted selling sugary confections inside Meath, Erikstaad, and Caerwent.
  • The consignment merchants would like to show you their Halloween spirit! Pick up the merchant and place it back down on your house porch and he will change into a Halloween outfit for you!
  • Be aware adventurers! Ghosts haunt the streets of your capital cities as the pumpkin moon rises! Ghosts have also been spotted in Mag Mell, Aegirhamn, and Campacorentin Station.
  • The horses you once rode have joined the spirit realm. (This affects stable and merchant horses only – not player controlled horses.)
  • Something strange has happened to all of the puppies.
  • The pumpkins have been carved into jack o’ lanterns!
  • A trio of crazy old women have been spotted selling costume potions inside Camelot, Jordheim, and Tir na Nog.
    • The costume potions last 15 minutes each and come in a variety of flavors.
    • The costume potions work best if you remove your helm and armor.
    • You cannot digest another costume potion if you are transformed into any of the monster forms.
    • The costume potions’ magics are short-lived and the potions will be useless after the festivities end so don’t horde them.
    • Some of the costume potions allow you to take the form of the enemy, so don’t be scared if you see some in your capital city or housing zones, it’s just your realm mates playing dress up!
    • The costumes and potions only work while you are in the capital cities or housing zones. You cannot use them outside of these zones and if you leave the zone while in costume, you will lose the effect.
    • As always, the days before, during, and after Halloween these potions can be used in RvR (With Exception to Pixies, and ghosts potions, which are not usable in the frontiers ever)


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Dark Age of Camelot Anniversary Bonus Weekend

Today is the actual birthday of DAoC. According to Community Manager John Thornhill, to celebrate, the following bonuses have been applied and will run until the morning of Tuesday, October 14th:

On Ywain:
50% bonus to RP in all NF zones (including Darkness Falls and The Labyrinth)
100% bonus to normal XP gain in all classic zones and dungeons.
100% bonus to normal BP in all NF zones.

On Gaheris:
100% bonus to normal XP gain in all classic zones and dungeons.
100% bonus to normal BP gain in the capital cities.
100% bonus to normal RP gain in the capital cities.

In each Capital City:
40% Bonus to Crafting Speed
20% Bonus to Crafting Skill Gain

In all Housing Zones:
20% Bonus to Crafting Speed
10% Bonus to Crafting Skill Gain

Personally, I have been playing this game on and off all month long, but I wish I had more time to actually enjoy it. I ran into another player last night who told me he climbed levels by doing quests and spent over 8 hours just running quests! I quested about three hours last night and my Thane on Ywain is now level 36. However, I need to respec as I need to put all my points on sword skills and storm calling.

Molvik was way more crowded than the other b.g.s so now I combine T.D.s with b.g.s and when I can’t group, I run solo quests in Midgard and it’s always pretty interesting and enjoyable.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, Broadsword Studios are doing a fantastic job trying to re-invigorate the game and bringing back former players to the fold, no easy feat for a 13 year old game trying to compete with modern games which are getting lots of attention like ArcheAge and Elder Scrolls.

I am even more excited about their offer for something I have been asking for for a while, a realm T-shirt!

Midgard T-shirt

Midgard T Shirt! So you can pwn mobs and opposing realms in style!

I was so excited to get my hands on one when I saw that they were being offered again! Please order yours (Midgard) so they can meet the order goal of 50 and I can get mine gamer monkeys!

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Dark Age of Camelot Celebrates 13th Anniversary with RvR Tournament

my GW Avatar in game

For the past week or so I have neglected my GW2 avatar in favor of playing Dark Age of Camelot. I am happy to report that the transition between developing studios (Broadsword v. Mythic) appears to be going splendidly. Just last night I was logged on and noticed that there appeared to be updates to the social interface which lists the guilds, which players are online and allows you to connect with others on the ywain servers.

I am not sure if this is a new feature or something the Broadsword devs recently implemented, I am, after all a returning player and had been absent from the game on and off for about 2 years, but it does seem like the team is hell bent on doing more for the game than the previous team and that can only be a good thing.

This week has been hit or miss, but I did discover that a faster way to level my Thane (who is level 32 and fast approaching the level cap of 50) is to do Tds (Task dungeons) in addition to I had been frustrated trying to find groups on the level 25-29 battleground (Braemar) so I was eager to level out of there and move on to Wilton and Molvik. One night I farmed for several hours until level 28 and the next night I was lucky enough to team up with some vets in Atlantis who were more than happy to group and introduce me to some awesome tds. I had a blast going through a number of td runs and would have played an additional 2 or 3 hours, had it not been so late with work hanging over me the next day.

If you gamer monkeys are interested in finding out the whereabouts of these tds in game, I found this guide to be quite handy. I also like this guide which indicates all the by their corresponding level limits and Realm Ranks. I think most DAoC vets already have this info, but if you are n00bish or even a returning player like myself, who is getting more into the game I think you will find them useful.

Then we got these news from the Herald today: In celebration of our 13th Year Anniversary, the Dark Age of Camelot team is pleased to announce our first-ever King’s Tournament! Sponsored by King Constantine of Albion, King Eirik of Midgard, and King Lamfhota of Hibernia, winners of the tournament will win their very own statue in-game, stylized after their character and placed in their realm’s capital city!

Holy crap! I wish I was high enough level to compete in RvR but I did join a guild recently so maybe my guild mates are interested. Click here for all of the juicy RvR details and happy pwning gamer monkeys!!! Oh and happy 13th birthday Dark Age of Camelot! May you continue to thrive in the years to come and keep showing those young mmorpg pups how pvp is done old school style!!!

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Trion’s ArcheAge A Most Disappointing Experience

ArcheAge server meme

courtesy of evil monkey boy

I would like to say that playing Trion’s new mmo ArcheAge has been a huge disappointment gamer monkeys, I would like to, but that would not be fair or accurate, considering I have hardly had the chance to play. I am not alone, but if I was a patron I would be royally pissed.

Of course, game launches have historically been chaotic at best and a few wrinkles are to be expected but seriously, the days since this game launched have been pretty bad considering every time I would fire up the game launcher I would be staring at a queue of more than one hour or 3,000 players ahead of me.

Massively reported on Monday that Trion had opened more servers and had promised to compensate players who paid for the head start of the game but who were unable to log on to play.

The obvious question in gamer monkeys’ heads might be, why wasn’t Trion more prepared for the massive amounts of gamers trying the game in both their EU and U.S. servers leading up to the Sept. 16 launch? This and other launch issues such as the advantages of being a patron vs. a f2p player and what sort of compensation (if any) players can expect were also addressed by Massively.  and Ozzallos from even went as far as calling ArcheAge the most overhyped MMO game of the year.

So despite the problems, has the game lived up to the hype? Only time will tell, there are some bloggers who report having fun playing the game while there are others who report frustration and heartache. As I said, my exposure to the game is minimal, as a f2p game I found the early levels to be grindy, but one night after the queue subsided, I was able to log on, only to experience a glitch in which my character was wading through water while the rest of the world floated about his head in some sort of graphically drug induced dream. WTH???

I will not go as far as comparing the ArcheAge launch to the hype and subsequent launch of Warhammer Online in 2008. (Although I can recall the hype for that game, then being thoroughly disappointed by its development)  or the more recent launch of STWOR. Because of graphics problems, I didn’t get to play SWTOR right off the bat, but when I finally tried BioWare’s mmo, I was bored, saddened and royally disappointed by the game. The voice acting and character story was OK, but the early level and world were terrible.

ArcheAge has not yet reached those low depths, but then again I have not been able to play it long enough to compare. Yet, it hasn’t been for lack of trying!!

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DAoC Battlegrounds Revisited

With so many options in the mmo gaming landscape, the newest addition being Trion’s ArcheAge, gamers now have more options than ever in regards to which virtual world they inhabit.

ArcheAge is supposed to have a robust pvp system in addition to being a compelling sandbox, not that I would know as every time I have tried to log into the game there has been a long queue and I have been unable to play the game, I am not alone, others are experiencing the same frustration. ArcheAge launched on Sept 16, both f2p and p2p players (called Patrons) were allowed to log in, but it seems the launch has been less than smooth.

ArcheAge queue message

Unable to join friends on the ArcheAge U.S. servers, I have gone back to playing the venerable and celebrated mmorpg Dark Age of Camelot known for the best pvp. I have taken good advantage of my seven day “reenlistment” free time and I am sure to sub for the rest of the month as l am almost half way to level 50.

It’s a hit or miss proposition playing DAoC in 2014. Depending on what time you log on, you may find it difficult to find other players to group with. This game as it was when it debuted in 2001, heavily relies on groups to run with and there have been times when the server has seemed like a ghost town.

Other times though I have been in Killaloe or Thidranki when I have been soloing and getting beat down by mobs when all of a sudden others come to the rescue and I group with them for the rest of the run. Most recently I have been playing a Thane and learning to spec my spells and axe or sword weapons. For most of you gamer monkeys who would like to play DAoC remember that the easiest way to level up to max level is to do b.g.s. Some are more crowded than others at peak times.

It is impossible to know how populated the game is, given Mythic and EA didn’t release detailed subscription numbers, and Broadsword probably has followed suit. Yet, make no mistake about it, the community is friendly and helpful and some of the best I have encountered in my years of playing mmorpgs.

I don’t restrict myself to b.g.s while levelling in DAoC, but that is because I think it’s a beautifully designed game and I enjoy doing the pve portion of it as well. It may not be World of Warfcraft, the game that originally sapped most players away from DAoC, but I love the lore and design of Hibernia, Albion and Midgard and on the pvp front, it’s always nice to be on b.g. runs and fend off the occasional gankers from the other two factions.

Best of all, the game runs beautifully and fluidly on my laptop despite the old mechanics and archaic U.I. compared to newer games. Most of the time I play it on my bigger monitor and desktop, even though I have a substandard graphics card on that machine, it does not make a difference with DAoC which requires less system resources. Some will undoubtedly be turned off by the ancient looking graphics, but for me, the graphics are part of the charm and are not as bad as say the original Everquest. I almost always find DAoC a fun and truly highly immersive experience.


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ArcheAge Set to Launch Tomorrow, But can f2p players Join in the Fun?

running around in Dar Age of Camelot game battlegrounds

Jef Reahard from Massively has been writing an ArcheAge journal detailing his impressions of the ArcheAge headstart which started on Sept. 12 and is going on until tomorrow’s official launch. He posted again today about pve and other issues with the game.

He makes some good points and addresses the question of land rushing and a lack of pve.

What worries me most as a f2p player and not a founder for tomorrow’s official launch is the long queue times which have been posted on the forums during both the beta and the head start.

There is no doubt that Trion has built an interesting world, but is the business model of a cash shop with other premium features like a subscription a huge disadvantage for non pvp f2p players to overcome?

Personally I have been waiting for answers while at the same time playing older games like Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft. I think that playing modern mmos has spoiled me for a game like DAoC I sill have fond memories of leveling toons in the b.g.s but I find the controls too clunky now and the b.g.s are not as populated in the lower levels, so I have to level up to at least 24 to make it worth the experience, but I don’t know if I have the patience when I can log onto wow and get into Warsong Gulch.

We shall see how the AA launch unfolds tomorrow and in the following days.

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