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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer

Author: pvthudson01

Vote for what MMO I play in November

Posted by pvthudson01 Saturday October 18 2008 at 9:42PM
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Which MMO should Hudson play for one month?

You can vote here  also

Alright, well my second MMO subscription has expired. I will NOT say what it was in order to not skew this poll. Time to try something new. In the spirit of this ELECTION YEAR I give you the first annual:


I am going to do something a little different and let YOU readers cast my fate. For the first time ever, I am going to let a poll decide what I should play. Of the games listed, these are ones I own. I am not going to let the readers pick just any game, sorry. I am not that sadomasochistic. So no, there will be no “Lets send Hudson back to Age of Conan or maybe Ultima Online.”

The games below are ones that I would consider returning to for ONE-TWO months. IF at that time I find I am having fun, I will voluntarily stick with it and blog about it.

Why am I doing this? Well it is simple. I never stick with one MMO at a time. I need a break from what I am playing and I like to keep up with things in other games. Also, many of the games listed below have an expansion forthcoming and it would be interesting to be around when this goes live.

The result of this poll will not take effect until NOVEMBER. That way I am playing in the midst of most of the major expansion releases. As part of this contest, I WILL purchase the expansion of whatever game you all vote for (be it Mines of Moria, Shadow Odyssey or yes…Wrath of the Lich King). So if you really want to stick it to me, fine go ahead. Keep in mind however that the games I listed I don’t mind playing, despite the fact that it may pain me to go back to some.

I can play the characters I want, and the server. You pick the game. Have fun, and I will leave this poll running for at least a week. Keep in mind though that I will be most active in Warhammer Online and my time WILL be split between two games. After ONE month of the game you all vote for, I have the option to GET OUT.

Random contract fine print:

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), including delivery, processing and handling fee. Excludes taxes, title and license. Actual dealer price may vary.


How do you fix the casual player dilemna?

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday October 16 2008 at 10:20AM
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This article reposted from my new blog home at

The World of Warcraft spin machine is in full force this week. During Blizzcon, interviewed Blizzard's COO Paul Sams who declared that players were already returning to World of Warcraft after WAR's release.

In the interview he gloats and brags and claims that Blizzard's expansions for WoW come out so slow due to massive content additions and how complex they are. I really don't buy that at all. While they do polish the hell out of their products, I think that the real reason for the delays are that they try to watch the market and copy or include everything that makes another game popular. It just makes me curious how as time went on Blizzard announced things like achievement systems and added in game calendars. Whatever. It still does not mask the problem that WoW is a PVE raid oriented game with high end content that 60% of its playerbase will not be able to experience due to time constraints.

I look at something like Mines of Moria and think that Turbine may be doing us more favors with Legendary Weapons and small 3 man dungeons than any other MMO out there right now. I remember when Lost Dungeons of Norrath came out. Or even the mission generator in Anarchy Online. No one has made an effort to copy this or give us this kind of content. I loved LDON because you would go to a camp and spawn a mission and it would be random (as random as technology allowed back then) and then it was a great romp through a dungeon for some good gear. The camps would be full of people and everyone KNEW WHERE TO GO. Dungeons weren't hidden in a cave somewhere with a swirly entrance. Some nights I would tank 5-6 dungeons in a row and have a blast. If you wanted a different flavor you would go to Faydark and Q up for the vampire dungeons, or Ro and Q up for the Orc dungeon in the desert. Of course it being EQ1, LDON's relied heavily on tank, healer, crowd control. In the effort of MMO's today to be so solo friendly, they have shot any chance at this type of content in the foot.

In Anarchy Online we had a mission generator that you could scale for XP or money. You just zone in and you get your own little dungeon...errr..base to explore and shoot stuff.

What are the issues with generated content we see? People ignore the outside lands, or if it is single player content no one would ever see anyone. I think EQ2 ran into this issue with some of their mini expansion packs you could buy for 5 bucks or whatever the price was. Tabula Rasa had this issue even though the instances scaled, which was pure awesomeness. However no one in Tabula Rasa grouped or talked. End result: Garriott shoots himself into space and his "dream game" dies a horrible death.

Warhammer is running into this with Scenarios. Are all these instancing ideas killing MMO communities? Do we need to drop this mechanic and force people into the open and make them work together? It would be hard I know. You can't have 80 vs 80 Nordenwatch, you have to control the amount of players and make sure it ends. Everquest 1 never had this problem because it was PVE not PVP oriented. Unless you get rid of the scenario idea and make your world one massive open RVR, you will always be limited by technology and by player populations. Warhammer Online has come the closest to fixing this with Public Quests. We have a system where you can kinda "raid" outdoors in content that is pushed along by people participating and advancing it to the next stage. If there are not enough people, it simply sits at Stage 1 and gets ignored. If ther are enough people, it pushes to Stage 3 or 4 and a "raid" boss appears. Brilliant actually. What if more games incorporated this type of content EVERYWHERE. I personally love it. is not a dungeon, and it is not PVP. Of course dungeons in EQ1 were wide open, and we saw spawn campers, loot whores and botters everywhere, which is why WoW went with instancing and OMG THE CYCLE IS ENDLESS.

I don't know why I am clamoring over all this lately. I just wanted to see more people involved in the content of MMO's but minus the grouping holy trinity or the need for a set amount of players. Any way you look at it, I would not want to be the designer that would have to try and hash that out for a new MMO. Maybe Darren over at Common Sense Gamer had it right and we should all just play Oblivion.

Ok, that is the last of "thoughtful Hudson" you all get this week. I am out of here for a Brooks and Dunn concert tonight. Don't ask...just don't ask.

WAR: Where's the test server

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday October 9 2008 at 7:49AM
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I have moved my blog to I also host my comic book site there as well it is just easier to post to a domain where I can store files.

Anyone notice how fast Mythic is rolling out these patches? They are coming hot and heavy (easy there) and it seems almost to be way too pre planned for my liking. Almost like...these were things that just didn't make it into the LIVE version and they knew they had to fix this stuff. Very odd. Most MMO's have a grueling test server period where they ask you copy characters over and then you languish over there and things seems to work ok and we wait 3-4 weeks and then finally they release the patch and then someone exploits something. The servers are then taken down for about 2 hours and they come back up and something else is broken. This is just the way it works in MMO land. No test server yet in Warhammer land. I think that these "miracle patches" were somehow lined up and we had the proverbial wool pulled over our eyes.

Anyway, I am still having fun so I don't care. I am not interested in half the things that are broken because they don't effect me. Let those that level fast find the bugs and fix the game so that when I cap it works like a dream.

Last night my Ironbreaker, cleverly named Hudson (trust me I didn't want to do that but it takes some pressure off Bildo because people can identify me in game now) grouped with a bunch of Casualties of WAR folk and rolled the RVR scenarios. I hit rank (level) 9 and RVR level 9. Still can't say I like his tanking mechanics, I don't like any tanking mechanic where I have to "build" things up, but oh well. Until the population imbalance is fixed, I do not want to play my chosen and level ahead of his RVR rank.

While we did ok, the lack of healing and the SKILL of Order healers in a way scares me. Sure we are all doing Tier 1 stuff, but man we got whooped toward the end of the night. So bad that one of our guildies had to join with his alt healer. The group was a lot of fun however, and we rolled in at one point with 5-6 Ironbreakers, all sporting the CoW tag over their heads. A steady wall of short stocky Dwarves marching for the Nordenwatch fort. Also something that was disconcerting: Nordenwatch was the ONLY scenario popping. I haven't run a Khaine's Embrace in almost a week and a half.

After that I started questing in Altdorf, the capital city of Order. Altdorf is a pretty cool city, but there is a lot of wasted space. While huge, I can't help but think it may be TOO big for the lack of content. The docks are quite the vision though, and some of the NPC's are a riot. From street brawlers to commoners carrying ship cargo, they did a nice job of bringing the are to life. If you are not careful, you will get attacked by bums, Skaven hiding in barrels, and nasty demons that break through portals and hang around until some higher level players might dispatch them.


All in all a good night in WAR, but I just wish we really knew how this patch thing was going to work in the upcoming months. There is no way they can keep pushing these fixes out without testing them in the future. Something is going to break big, and it will bite them in the ass.

Blizzard to WoW lovers:

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday October 7 2008 at 10:27AM
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I will simply link to all the great blog posts that cover Blizzard's latest attempt to console their players of World of Warcraft that they can fix their end game. Blizzard is proclaiming they have great stuff in store once they copy Warhammer's open PVP scheme. I am sure it will be only 2 years away in some sort of add on, but ESPN lovers can only hope. I doctored the screenshot above, I admit it. I have l33t photoshop skills.

You can read a good dissection of this post over on:

Hardcore Casual
Wizards and Wenches

As for me, I like to sum things up with video, so I will sum up WoW PVP with this interesting albeit disturbing look at "the sport". So touching, so moving...I almost was brought to tears.

What the?? Dumb CE quest rewards part two...

Posted by pvthudson01 Friday October 3 2008 at 1:43PM
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Ok, so I have a level 6 Iron Breaker now, and being the completist that I am I will have all of you know that he is also a perfectly balanced renown rank 6 as well. I also finished all his collectors edition quests just a little bit ago.

I got his little mug, the PVE reward which gives a pretty good buff. Strength and toughness increased by 3%, but it makes him dumb. Well he is a Dwarf, so I don't care.

So then I took the PVP quest. Kill a Black Ork, a Squig Herder, and a Shaman in RVR combat. Ok cool. Gate of Ekrund pops.

I go in, the Black Ork is level 2, I take him out fast and start scanning for a Shaman. Sure enough there he is in back. Ok ignore everyone and charge after the gobbo. I cut him and now 2/3rd's of my quest is done. Need a Squig Herder. I am getting hit with arrows, and I see a squig hopping around.

Where is the sneaky little bastard. I look up, sure enough he is hidden behind a crate, top level all alone. Hmmm.

I charge THROUGH the Destruction ranks and no one follows me. I go down the steps, around and all the way up the backway. Squig Herder never sees me coming. Two wacks with my axe and he is half health, and he decides to run....AND JUMP. Umm ok. I have more hit points, he lands on the other side of the wall almost dead to my half health, and I cut him down. Quest finished, bring on my purple reward baby!

Gates scenario ends, we lose (go figure) and I head in to the quest giver. And I get:

What the hell? Now c'mon. It takes a off hand slot, oh yeah I am sure I will use that instead of a shield, good call! What the hell am I supposed to do with that thing, play backup tambourine in the damn Partridge Family band? Give me a break! BAH!

Well that was just great. However, according to a comment on the item, you can:

"Ironbreakers (in lieu of a shield) and Engineers can wear this flavor item alongside their main weapon. It sheathes on the upper right back shoulder. You can also unequip any weapons and wield it regardless of career if you normally use a two-handed weapon (Runepriests, or Greatweapon Ironbreakers)."

Fan-freaking-tastic. Next reward please? Time to move to the next race. I'm out of here until Sunday, enjoy the weekend!