The End of an Era - 10.9.2008

Simply put, I'm not playing WAR. My subscription ends in eight days and I won't be adding more time.

I also liked to think of myself as an MMO player, but I've finally realized that I'm not and MMO player - I'm a WoW player. I've played WoW for almost 4 years now, and not s single MMO has taken me away for more then 3 weeks. There is just something about WoW that can't seem to allow me leave. I can, honestly, no longer (after AoC, WAR, etc. disappointed me) see myself playing any other game than WoW, and I picture myself playing WoW until Blizzard takes the servers down (or discontinues the creation of new content). I originally planned to write a huge post about all of this, but I decided to keep it short because of what I'm about to say next.

Yes, I am done with Bloghammer (but I still do Blogcraft). However, this does not mean that I want Bloghammer to die out. Now, I am looking for a couple of people out there to take over for me. If you would like to write for Bloghammer, you're going to e-mail me at with your name, why you want to write for Bloghammer, your "WAR credentials", and a short 100-300 word example blog post. You may also add any other information that you feel I should know.

Now, don't be surprised if you see me periodically post some new things on Bloghammer. I still be checkin' around the WAR blogosphere every so often.

-Matt Graham

Where In The World Is Car-... The Bloggers? - 9.15.2008

I dunno about you guys, but I've been having a heck of a time remembering and keeping track of where all the other WAR bloggers are playing. I've heard Wolfenberg for some, Averheim for others, etc., but I can never keep track of it. I'd like to play with some of the other bloggers, but I dunno where they are! >.>

So, I decided to compile a list of where all the bloggers are playing (server), what their blogging handle is, what realm they play for, and their character's name. This way, it's easy and accessible for all of the readers who may be looking to play with the blogger from their favorite daily reading material!

So, if you are one in the circle of WAR bloggers and you'd like to have your "information" out there and readily available, e-mail me ( or comment this post with:

1. Your blogging handle.
2. The server that you play on.
3. The realm that you play for.
4. Your character's name (guild optional).

-Matt Graham

Syp Is Ugly - 9.15.2008

Syp has created what might be the most ugly being in all of WAR - as his main character. No, he didn't do it as a joke, it's his actual character. I don't even know what it is. I've never seen something like that in WoW or any other game before.

The following are pictures of... it... I did not alter the photos or add uglyness to them (like it really needs any added) in any way. The last picture is just plain wrong. I did not want to see that.

Good lord...


-Matt Graham

My WAR Not-Review - 9.14.2008

Ya know? I was going to do a full on beta review after my previous "disliked first impression". Earlier this morning, I decided against it.

See, four or five days ago, I was invited to the Wrath of the Lich King beta. That was also the last day that I logged onto the WAR beta. I think that shows something in itself. But, don't get the impression that I think WAR sucks, because I definitely don't. This time around, I did play much more of the beta, enough to get a good feel for how the game really works. I liked it, I really did. I liked almost every aspect of the game.

However, the reality is that my computer handles WoW much better than it does WAR. Now, it did run better in the open beta as opposed to the Preview Weekend, but it was still clunky enough for me to completely shove it to the side when I got my WotLK beta invitation. It's very possible that had I been "blessed" with a better machine, I may put the WotLK beta on hold for the moment.

Last night, in the WotLK beta, I experienced one of the most fun things that I've ever done in WoW - the Death Knight starting zone. It was so fresh and different from the other parts of the game. I couldn't log off, it was so amazing. I finished the zone in one sitting.

Once again, I feel that I need to remind you that I really do like WAR a lot! WAR is an amazing game, the thing is, WoW is just amazing-er.

I'm not done with WAR. The Head Start begins in just a few moments and I do plan to take full advantage. I'm going to get as far as I can so that when the game is put on shelves I'll be ahead of the laggy areas. And hopefully, sometimes in the not to distant future, I'll get a new computer. Then, who knows? My WoW playtime might slowly decline.

-Matt Graham

Beta Review Coming Soon - 9.14.2008

I'm not dead. Beta review coming soon.

-Matt Graham

Let Me Clarify... - 8.30.2008

Okay, so I'd like to acknowledge the comments made on my "WAR Is Good, WoW Is Better" post.

Trust me, I am aware that it is IMPOSSIBLE to review an MMO after only a few hours of play. The earlier blog post was supposed to really be a "first impression" from what I had experienced and a full review would come later when I could actually get the time to play. I thought that by saying I only played for a few hours, it would imply that I wasn't doing a full review, but I guess I should have made that more clear.

I apologize to anyone who may have been offended when seeing that post as a full review.

-Matt Graham

WAR Is Good, WoW Is Better - 8.26.2008

So, I got around to playing in the Preview Weekend. I didn't play much - no more than a total of 2.5 hours. I just didn't have the time. In that time, I did basic beginning level PvE, Public Quests, Scenario RvR, and extremely limited RvR (my computer couldn't handle it).

From what I experienced, I came to the conclusion that WAR is a really good game, but WoW is better. Everyone seems to want to compare the two games, so I will do so as well.

I realize that WAR is not yet complete - I mean, WAR is still in beta (okay, but yes, I guess it did go gold today) - and WoW is nearing it's 4th year anniversary. I didn't play for very long and even I was able to see that there is a lot missing in WAR. I know that WAR is not PvE centric, but I gotta tell ya, if Mythic doesn't add a few more PvE elements into the game, it simply won't be as successful as it could be. In my opinion, we are talking a possible 2 or 3 million subscribers if more solid PvE was introduced vs. 850,000 is the game stays the way it currently is.

The people that want a solely PvP MMO are deinitely the minority - and then there's the people that say they would love a solely PvP MMO before they go and finally play and run back to WoW like the carebears they are. It's just not realistic right now.

WAR at launch will NOT be AoC at launch. WAR is much more complete than AoC was at launch, but then again that's not saying a whole lot considering AoC is one of the least "complete" games I've ever seen at launch. The reality is that even after the months of delays, WAR is not as far along as it should be. I hate to go back to it, but maybe if Mythic had decided to push WAR back to 2009 we would not only have a more polished game with better PvE, but also the 4 capital cities and classes that were removed.

I'm not going to say that I completely regret pre-ordering the Collector's Edition just yet. I'm going to see what happens. I'll definitely subscribe for a month of WAR, and in that period I will make a decision - whether I will continue to play, or wait six months and come back. I really want WAR to be a sucess. Giving up after the first month of the game's release is not an option for me.

I'm not sure if I'm going to log into the open beta when Mythic opens that up on September 7th. We'll see what happens.

P.S. - The above picture is my rank 2 Warrior Priest exploring the zone. :D

-Matt Graham

WAR's Mr. Scrooge - 8.20.2008

For those of you that may not know, Brent is an "internet famous" blogger and podcaster from over at VirginWorlds.Com. The blog is great and the podcast collective is amazing (hehehe mostly 'cause I used to be a part of it :p ).

Yesterday, he made a post-NDA WAR blog post that got some attention from places like Waaagh! and Ten Ton Hammer. The post wasn't in the most positive of attitudes. You could maybe even go as far as saying it was a "flame"! Yes, the "F word" of the internet.

For example, Brent says that WAR "might as well have been released 4 years ago as it offers us nothing aside from one standout evolutionary concept, the public quest".

Now see, I do agree with most of that statement. I do agree that WAR is far from revolutionary (being that's is basically an upgraded DAoC with a new skin). But, the "shoulda been released 4 years ago" thing seems a bit extreme to me.

Brent also can't agree more with Richard Bartle when he said,
"I've played Warhammer Online before, it was called World of Warcraft".

Now, that's just wrong. :p

I'd advise that you read Brent's full article. He really does have good points. The curent MMOs that we see are not pushing the genre forward except for a few new features here and there. In my opinion, we aren't going to really see a new "generation" of MMOs until maybe 4 or 5 years from now, but even then, will the majority accept the new gameplay style? I don't know, I think Brent is the minority here.

Does this change my opinion on WAR at all? Nope. I got into this game knowing not to expect amazingly revolutionary gameplay - the mistake that I made with AoC. I still like WAR and my decision as to whether I will continue to watch it or not will probably be made this weekend during the CE Preview.

On a semi-related note, Brent had and SOEgasm this past week at the Fan Faire and it seems as though he really liked what he saw. I hope he's right.

P.S. - If you saw this post as disrespect towards Brent, you are mistaken.

-Matt Graham

Bye bye, NDA! - 8.19.2008

The NDA is now officially lifted!


As of now, the Non Disclosure portions of our Beta Testing Agreement is now officially lifted. From this point on players may now freely talk about their experiences in the game as well as post screenshots, videos, etc. We will be sending an email out to all our current players with full details about the lift over the next 24 hours. Players with access to our forums can also see the letter there. Players may not talk about nor reprint posts from our forums and our Test Servers (currently Deathsword) are still fully covered by the confidentiality portions of our Beta Testing Agreement. So, other than that, free feel to talk about and share your experiences in WAR.

My thanks go out to everyone who has beta tested and continues to beta test WAR. It has been with your help and feedback that WAR is where it is today. We really appreciate your effort.

WAR is almost upon us!

Mark Jacobs
VP, GM Mythic Entertainment

-Matt Graham

And now, we wait... - 8.18.2008

Okay, so after the period of unlocking, I was prompted to open up the new folder that was created by clicking the "Play" button. I ran "setup" and I'm assuming that it installed, but it seemed like it didn't take long enough.

It then brought me to the "EA Mythic Patcher Login" where I put in the same information that I used at the Mythic Account Center. It quickly did something (pictured right) and just went back to the login screen.

So, I think that I'm as far as I can be for now. I guess I just sit and wait for now with a useless extra 9.x gigs on my machine until September 7th.

The wait is gunna be painful. I'm one of those Collector's Edition pre-orders that didn't get into closed beta because my machine is not up to par. I'm not running a bad machine by any means. I was probably just a tad bit under the bar that Mythic had set for what kind of machines they wanted to allow entrance into closed beta. I can wait, but it will be painful. >.>

-Matt Graham

WinPlanet is Win - 8.18.2008

Okay, so FilePlanet isn't complete fail - at least for me anyways. Many people over at Warhammer Alliance are still having problems with the downloader - some can't even load the FilePlanet web page!

After a few hours, my download completed. After that, I received an error. I clicked "retry" and it brought me to the screenshot you see in this post.

So, apparently the file is currently being "unlocked". The screenshot was taken about 10 minutes ago. Right now, the green bar is at about 70-75%. I'm excited to see what happens next. :D

-Matt Graham

FailPlanet is Fail - 8.18.2008

UPDATE: I waited the 50 minutes that it told me to wait for the next availability check and my download has started. It's downloading at about 1 MB/sec. The estimated time remaining is a little over 3 hours.

So, the WAR beta download client is now available - I use the word "available" loosely.

Supposedly, you are able to begin downloading the client today, but the FilePlanet download manager seems to say "Est. date available: Tue, Aug 19,2008". So, ya... Some people are saying that their download has started and that everything is cool, some claim that spamming "Check Now" will eventually start your download, and some even say that spamming "Check Now" screws you over.

I'd guess that this isn't going as smoothly as Mythic anticipated - especially considering the delay for allowing people to start downloading the client was so that they would find a better way than their previous means (torrent).

I'm just gunna sit back and watch the QQ's fall from the sky as I spam "Check Now".

-Matt Graham

My Little Greenskin #3: Greenskin in Beta - 8.15.2008

As like always, you can click on the comic to get a slightly bigger version of it if you'd like.

Maybe some of you out there can relate to this edition of "My Little Greenskin" just as Spencer and I do. :p


-Matt Graham

Monday Movies - 8.13.2008


i brakded teh nda :(

P.S. - I've now actually written "My Little Greenskin" #3. I sent it to Spencer and he said that he will begin (and probably finish) drawing tonight!

-Matt Graham

Help Build My WAR Machine, Please! - 8.9.2008

I'm just gunna come right out and say it - I am computer retarded. When it comes to computer parts and accessories, I have close to no knowledge of anything. I understand the basics, but I don't know enough to be able to build my own machine that will last me the next 3, maybe 4, years and be cost efficient. In the past, I've gotten generic pre-built computers at Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and maybe only added some memory and a simple graphics card.

So, this is where you guys come in. I would like you wonderful readers out there to build me a good machine, online and figuratively of course, and leave links in the comments section. The best bet is to link me to a service that won't make ME put the computer parts together - oh, that would be a frustrating day or two - and where I can ship it to my house here in the USA.

I look forward to the different custom machines that people suggest!

-Matt Graham

IGN Interview's Paul and Jeff - 8.8.2008

I was going to post this for the next "Monday Movies", but I thought that I should get it up as soon as possible. It's a few days old and there isn't really any new information, but the main reason that I'm showing you this video is to build up more hype for WAR - not because of the game itself, but because of the people working on it.

Paul and Jeff have amazing chemistry. While getting quality WAR information, at the same time, I am always entertained when watching a Paul and Jeff interview. The two are able to feed off each other's energy so well and it always looks like they are having so much fun - even when they are stating something for the 793095th time. Paul and Jeff have such a passion for WAR that whenever I see them, I am completely reassured that WAR will rock the MMO world.

-Matt Graham

Back! - 8.7.2008

I'm back! Well, actually I got back last night, but I didn't feel like blogging. So, quite a lot happened while I was gone - of course. I could never go AFK without some big news coming out, that'd just be absurd!

First, I'd like to give some props to Regis from Wizard Sandwenches, errr, Wizards and Wenches for opening up a forum for the WAR blogging community called Blog Warhammer.

Second, I'd like to point out the awesomeness of the fact that Warhammer Online now has an official release date - September 18th.

Next, I'd like to point out even more awesomeness because anyone that pre-ordered the Collector's Edition will be able to get into closed beta as soon as next week. That's me! W00t!

And last, I'd like to let everyone know that "My Little Greenskin" is DEFINITELY not dead. It's just that I've either been busy or not around lately. The third issue will hopefully come soon.

I might post some opinion stuff later tonight. If not, I'll get something up tomorrow.

-Matt Graham

/AFK - 8.1.2008

I'm gone until Wednesday night. See ya!

-Matt Graham

Monday Movies - 7.29.2008

Just one movie today. It's a fifteen and a half minute video of Josh Drescher talking WAR at Comic-Con. I couldn't find a way to embed it, so just CLICK HERE to see it. Enjoy!

-Matt Graham

WAR Will NOT Release On September 23rd - 7.28.2008

I had to. But, I also had to do something a little different.

I don't care what the Singapore one-celled life form from the fiery pits of Mars' volcano's EA website says. WAR's release date is NOT September 23. My first, and probably strongest, reason is that September 23rd is the first Tuesday in the fall season - the season of this year in which WAR is supposed to release. It's simply a placeholder date.

My second reason is that, well, the NDA hasn't dropped yet. Apparently, we'll be getting the NDA drop before open beta begins. That being said, I expect open beta to go for at least a month, unlike the few weeks that most people think. After open beta, there will be the headstart, which I assume will be 5-7 days before release. So, here is my predicted timeline outlining why WAR will NOT release on September 23rd.

NDA Drop - August 4th
Open Beta Start - August 8th
Open Beta End - September 12th
Head Start Begining - September 15th
Head Start "End" - September 22nd
Official Release - September 23rd

Oh... Wait... Eh... Hmm... Maybe it will release on September 23rd after all... Damn...

Being completely honest, I actually did go into the post trying to prove why WAR wouldn't release on September 23rd, but a little over halfway through my timeline I had a change of heart.

P.S. - Busiest day of my life. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but whatever. "Monday Movies" tomorrow. Maybe. >.>

-Matt Graham

zzzZZZzzz - 7.27.2008

As you can see, I haven't been posting regularly. I'm pretty much hibernating while I wait for open beta or an NDA drop. I am not in closed beta, but I wish I was. If I were in the closed beta I'd be able to create awesome write-ups for you guys and release them the day the NDA drops - but I can't. *wink wink at Mythic*

I'll be posting more than I did the past few weeks, but it'll still be slow until the next big phase of testing hits. Expect Monday Movies tomorrow, "My Little Greenskin" #3, and some other posts during this week!

-Matt Graham

Monday Movies - 7.21.2008

"Monday Movies" is a new feature I'm going to bring you here on Bloghammer. Every Monday, I'll show you guys some great WAR videos that I saw throughout the week. I'm going to be showing you quite a few today, so get the popcorn ready! Enjoy...

-Matt Graham

Keen's E3 Adventure - 7.18.2008

Keen, from over at Keen and Graev's Gaming Blog, wrote up an awesome account of everything he saw, WAR related, at E3. The article talks about some cool new things that I haven't heard about in WAR before, and there is only one single piece of information that I'm a little disappointed by - that's pretty good. You should read the whole article, but I'm going to point out a few things that I liked to hear.

"Over 400 armor sets in the game."

"Over 114 different dye colors based on Games Workshops paints for the miniatures."

"The King encounter (he looks cool by the way) will be more than simply a “tank and spank” encounter. While fighting the Chaos king you’ll see voids opening around you and the floor breaking apart with chaos swirling all around and the pillars in the room falling. Adam sounded really excited."

"NEW ADDITION TO THE GAME: RvR Fortresses. These “uber keeps” (quote from Adam) of 'RvR Goodness' (quote from Mark Jacobs) act as an additional barrier between players and capital cities. They have also replaced the Capital cities in the battlefronts that had theirs taken away. These will offer very interesting RvR encounters. [...] A realm must capture 2/3 Fortresses to make the enemy Capital vulnerable."

"The combat looked fluid, polished, and extremely fun."

"Adam’s Zealot was only level 2 yet he was able to hold his ground against level 7 players because of how scenario’s work - they boost player’s abilities so that everyone feels on equal footing. It was working quite well."

That's a good sized list right there, and I'm only pointing out the things that REALLY caught my eye. Now, there is one thing that I'm a little disappointed about.

"There are no instanced raid dungeons. [...] Most dungeons are public where anyone can enter and fight but the bosses are instanced."

I'm gunna have to see that play out. I'm sure I'll be able to handle it, but it may be difficult at first because I'm coming over from WoW.

There you have it. Some awesome information! Thanks for the great article, Keen!

-Matt Graham

My Little Greenskin #2: Greenskin at E3 - 7.16.2008

Click the comic to view it in it's full size!

We are very happy with this one! Hope you enjoy! =D

-Matt Graham

My Class Playlist - 7.15.2008

Syp, from over at the Waaagh! Blog, posted a cool article earlier today. It's the first in a three-part series in which he's listing the classes he's most wanting to play, in order. So, being the rogue that I am, I stole his idea. >.> I won't do mine in three parts however, I'll just be doing it in one. So, the following is a top 5 list of what classes I'm wanting to play the most in WAR. Beginning with number 5 and ending at number 1 - the class I most want to play.

5. Greenskin Black Orc - The concept of tanking in WAR seems interesting. I'm looking forward to giving it a try whenever beta opens up to CE pre-order customers. To put it simply, the Black Orc just looks amazingly badass. Your enemy will be terrified to fight you up close because it's your specialty, but also because your intimidating look will scare them away before they can get anywhere near you.

4. Empire Witch Hunter - I think the big question here is, who wouldn't wanna play the Van Helsing, errr Witch Hunter class? It looks like lots of fun! At first glance, it seems like the Witch Hunter should be a ranged DPS class vs. a melee DPS class and it also seems strangely similar, at some times, to WoW's Paladin class. This is one class that I will definitely have to play to fully understand.

3. Goblin Shaman/Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine - "LFM Keep Siege!" How about me? *recieves group invite instantly* That's why I love support classes, not to mention the fact that they can be really fun to play. Support classes and tanking classes are also the first on the required classes list when starting a group. That's a good list to be on.

2. Dwarf Engineer - How amazing are the Dwarf Engineers? Very amazing! There is just something about them that lures you in. The Engineer's main form of damage output is ranged - something that I'm really wanting to play in WAR. The guns and special tools that they use just seem so neat! If I wasn't leaning so far towards playing Destruction, the Dwarf Engineer would probably be on the top of my list - but I dunno, #1 is hard to beat!

1. Goblin Squig Herder - Why? Well, I hate casters. My main intention is to play Destruction and the only non-caster ranged class is the Squig Herder. However, that's not the only reason. There's the humor factor too. I always thought that the idea of playing the "small guy" in an MMO while kicking ass is incredibly fun; my main character in WoW is a Gnome Rogue. That's not the only hilarious thing about Squig Herders. Who wouldn't wanna command packs of little red blobs with teeth?! I just love playing a character that isn't taken seriously and then suddenly pwns your ass!

P.S. - I wrote up My Little Greenskin #2 this morning and sent it to Spencer a few hours ago. Expect it anytime from very late tonight/very early tomorrow through Friday.

-Matt Graham

Bloghammer Featured on ChaosCast - 7.14.2008

ChaosCast, the first WAR podcast that I found when looking for them a little over a month back, featured Bloghammer in their "Welcome to the Community!" segment. Snafzg, from The Greenskin blog, pointed out the YouTube video my friend put together, as well as "My Little Greenskin" and Paul Barnett's thong action!

I'd like to thank Syp, Keen, and Snafzg for featuring the blog on the podcast! Thanks, guys!

-Matt Graham

The Realm War - 7.13.2008

Remember that third button on the main Warhammer website that was always blocked out? There was the Home button, the Herald button, and a button that could not be read. I always thought that it would end up being the official WAR forums, but it turns out that it's the page for the Realm War. Now, I've never played DAoC, but I hear that game had something that sounds very similar. Think WoW Armory. At least, that's what I expect.

I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't official forums, but at the same time I'm really happy with the surprise that I got.

-Matt Graham

Oh, Boy... - 7.12.2008

So, I'm gone for just a few days and EA Mythic, or shall I say Mythic Entertainment, performs an air raid on the MMO community. So, let's go through this last week in review. (I'll probably be posting more opinionated articles about each separate piece of news periodically.)

1. EA Mythic is changing their name back to Mythic Entertainment. They will remain a part of EA, they are simply just changing the name. It must be a zen thing or something.
2. Warhammer Online will be using Punkbuster as their method to fight against cheaters and hackers. No surprise there. Punkbuster is seen in almost every online EA game - at least the ones I play.
3. Guild Beta began yesterday. I'm still waiting for the word about Chrono Chaos's beta acceptance.. :p
4. Four, you heard it, four capital cities are are being removed from the game for launch. Maybe they'll be back in future patches or expansions - they'd better be.
5. Four has become the unlucky number in the WAR universe because it's also been reported that four classes are being removed from the game - 2 tanks, and 2 melee DPS. The Dwarf Hammerer, Knight of the Blazing Sun, Dark Elf Blackguard, and Orc Choppa are no longer going to be playable classes in WAR. I'm personally gunna miss the Choppa.

Wow. At least that's all of the bad news for now. I dunno if I could take anymore blows like this in one sitting. I was expecting announcements as far as a release date or something of the sort, but wow, just wow.

I'm probably not as upset about this as most of the other bloggers out there, but it definitely changes the way I look at the game. I think that Mythic might have jumped a little to quick to these decisions. Quite honestly, I'd rather have the game delayed until something like May 2009 with all the cities, classes, other features, etc. in the game, than have what you could call an unfinished or over-polished product and have it in my hands in a few months.

Oh well. I'm still loving the way this game is looking and I'm still looking forward to open beta.

-Matt Graham

Busy Week - 7.9.2008

This has been, and will continue to be, a busy week for me. Sorry for not posting recently, but I probably won't be back to posting until this weekend.

-Matt Graham

My Little Greenskin #1: Greenskin at the Grocer - 7.4.2008

Click the comic to view it in it's full size!

Creds to Arbitrary and Spinks. "My Little Greenskin" is now a reality.

Yesterday, my friend Spencer and I laughed when we saw what was said over at the Book of Grudges about the video we posted.

"[...] Finally, go stop by Bloghammer Online and check out the cute little Youtube slideshow made to try and get into beta. It’s adorable. I think perhaps I now want a ‘My Little Greenskin’."

Then, I said to Spence, "Dude, what if we really did that? It'd be fun!" He agreed completely and from there we decided to make it a reality. I wrote the story and he drew the pictures (working with MS Paint). What's pictured above is just the first of many we hope to bring you in this weekly comic! It's recommended that you click the picture to view it in it's full size.

We hope you enjoy our comedic taste. :D

-Matt Graham

I WUN PLEH WAR! - 7.2.2008

There are many things that I want to do in my life, one of which is playing WAR - NOW! Exactly one week ago, after pre-ordering the collector's edition for WAR three days earlier, I received my key for the open beta, the live head start, etc. This has been a very difficult week - WAR-wise. See, before I pre-ordered the CE, there was no guarantee that I would ever been in the beta for WAR. However, now that I actually have a key for the open beta in my possession, it's tough knowing that I WILL be in the WAR beta, I just don't know when. It's like knowing that you are going to die someday, you just don't know when or how it's going to happen. Okay, maybe that metaphor was slightly graphic, but I feel it fits the current situation.

I'm so obsessed with the idea of playing WAR. I'm going crazy! I'm constantly visiting fansites and watching videos, trying to get my fix immediately by reading every little piece of news as it trickles out. I'm prepared to do anything, some things that I can't say on this blog that include me, Paul Barnett, a wooden spoon, and a leather jacket, to get into the closed beta. I'll just end it there before my fanboyism of Paul Barnett crosses the line - if it hasn't already.

The below video is something that my friend put together in about 5 seconds. It's his "shot at beta". The original plan was for it to be a video of a "sick" boy wanting in the WAR closed beta for his last wish. Ya, my friend has a sick mind - I guess I can't really talk though. It's basically a slideshow of some pictures he made in paint. I guess that his aim was for it to be so crappy/odd that it might catch someones attention. Just watch it.

-Matt Graham

WAR's War With Warcraft - 7.1.2008

A subject was brought up on War Noob about how Warhammer Online is going to have a very narrow window of release in order to be successful. Here is a small snippet from the post.

"If you have paid any attention to the gaming world, you will know that StarCraft 2 is set for release in Q4 this year. Wrath of the Lich King is set for release in Q4 this year, but I have read bits and pieces here and there that WotLK may not be released until early in '09. Blizz just announced that they will be releasing Diablo 3. Although there is no release date yet for D3, speculation is that it may be released around Q4, 2009.

And now, there is speculation about Blizzard's next gen MMO. Certainly, no release date has been set for Blizz's next MMO but let's assume that it will be released as early as 2011.

[...]So with the upcoming release of SC2 in a few months, with the release of WotLK at the end of the year, or at the beginning of next year, and with the release of D3 perhaps at the end of next year (and of course this does not mention non-Blizzard games that will be released) it seems to me that EA Mythic has a narrow window in order to release WAR. Either they get it done this fall, or wait until the WotLK bomb drops and then stay out of its wake until Q2 or Q3 next year."

The following is basically my "response" to that post.

In my opinion, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 won't take ANY players away from WAR. They aren't MMO's, they are just regular games (RTS/RPG). The only reason that they are in this conversation is because they are from the same company that works on WoW - Blizzard. I might sound stupid if I said that Bioshock 2 will take people away from WAR, but it's really the same thing when you look at it.

An MMO player is very different from a "regular gamer". They know what they are getting into, meaning the subscription fee, when they buy an MMO. Sure, they buy other games like everyone else, but because of the subscription, they will come back at the end of the day and call the MMO "home". I just couldn't see a regular game taking people away from an MMO. The only way to "beat" an MMO, is with another MMO.

As for Wrath of the Lich King, the next World of Warcraft expansion, I highly doubt that it'll be pushed back into 2009. J. Allen Brack, from Blizzard, has already said that they are extremely disappointed that WotLK isn't as ready as they wanted it to be this far into 2008, so I'm sure that they are pushing to get it out there and ready for release.

My guess was always that WotLK will be out the first week of November and that WAR will be out the second week. If it weren't for WotLK, I'm sure that EA Mythic would have already stated a release date for WAR, however, they are probably waiting to see Blizzard's move and release two or three weeks earlier. You could think of it as a chess match between giganto-gaming companies.

WotLK, in my opinion, is really the only worry for WAR. The problem is that it's a big worry. But, like I said before, at the end of the day, I believe that WAR will be a very healthy and lively MMO - I definitely do not doubt that.

P.S. - Please don't take this as me flaming the War Noob blog. I'm definitely not. I love that blog and I respect his opinions. This post was just inspired by his post. It's is not a flame in any way.

-Matt Graham

It's The Little Things That Count - 6.25.2008

I'd like to bring up two "little" things that I believe are vital in an MMORPG. This is just my opinion of what's "vital" in an MMORPG because some people may not look at "exploration" as an important part of a game as much as I do. The two things are (1) holiday events and (2) weather effects.

Being totally honest, some of the most fun I have in World of Warcraft is during holiday events. For example, going on right now in the game is the Midsummer Fire Festival. The Festival begins on the summer solstice and runs for two weeks. The Festival is one of the very few WoW holidays that are not based off of real world holidays. Other holiday events such as Hallow's End, Love is in the Air, The Feast of Winter Veil, Noblegarden, etc. are all based off of holidays that we celebrate in the real world. So, when do I bring WAR into this? Right now. In order for there not to be war all the time in WAR and give the player's a break from all the fighting at some times, Mythic would be smart to introduce fun and INTERACTIVE holidays to the game. We know that they will have holidays in WAR because I'm told that it was listed as a major feature on their website ages ago, but will they be fun? I'm gunna go with yes - especially if it's listed as a MAJOR feature. What exactly is "fun" in a holiday event though? "Fun" is dropping stink bombs on the opposing faction's villiage like during Hallow's End in WoW. "Fun" is traveling to the snowy mountains of Alterac to retrieve stolen treats from the Greench like during The Feast of Winter Veil in WoW. You see what I'm getting at? It's the small, interactive, and FUN things like this that make me play a game.

Next, I'd like to discuss weather effects. It seems like weather effects in MMOs ALWAYS look good. It doesn't matter what game we're talking about, they just always seems to look good. In WoW, for example, the rain, snow, lightning, fog, etc. always looks very nice. The problem is that it doesn't happen enough. Very rarely do I ever encounter weather effects in WoW. They just must not occur that often, or something. To add to the rarity of weather effects, good luck finding a zone in WoW that actually has them. It's REALLY bad looking for weather effects in Outland. Zangarmarsh, where it sometimes rains, is the only zone introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion that had weather effects. Only one capital city in the game experiences weather effects: Thunder Bluff rarely has rain. And, only four instance in the game experience weather effects: Stratholme, Zul'Gurub, Scarlet Monastery, and Ahn'Qiraj. I just wish that I was able to experience the great effects that Blizzard has implemented a little more. Now, this is something that Mythic can take and improve upon - and I really hope that they do. Who doesn't wanna be running through a jungle in pouring rain or fighting an epic RvR battle during a bad lightning storm?! All that would do is add to the epicness of the game and Mythic would be stupid not to implement it. I found the following on the WAR website where Mythic addressed weather effects in a Q&A.

'Q: Will we see weather effects in Warhammer Online? And if so, will they have any impact on pvp, such as rain/snow/fog decreases morale, strength, ranged aim, etc.?

A: One more from Steve, and then we'll leave him alone: "If we have such effects, they will have no effect on gameplay, primarily because if we do have them, we will almost certainly have to allow them to be turned off for performance reasons. Invisible unknowable debuffs suck."'

The second part of the answer is understandable. Most games with weather effects do not allow it to affect gameplay and they also allow turn off/on options via sliders. However, what worries me is the first part of the answer. "IF" you have such effects? No, it's not "IF", it had better be "WE WILL" by release.

So, those are just two "small" things that I actually do look for in MMORPGs, and I hope to see them both in WAR.

-Matt Graham

X-Play Extended Interview - 6.24.2008

Three days ago, I posted the G4 X-Play WAR interview with Paul and Jeff. Today, I'm posting the seven and a half minute extended interview. Once again, there is really nothing new, but it is actually quite interesting/entertaining. Not that I wasn't already, but I'm officially convinced that Paul Barnett is the most exciting game designer - ever. Sorry Jeffy K, you're awesome, but Paul is awesome-er.

-Matt Graham

My Career Intentions - 6.23.2008

My main intention is to play a Squig Herder. I've always loved ranged classes in MMOs - the large damage output and the minimal damage input. Ranged classes are the "backseat leaders" in PvE and PvP. Now, why a Squig Herder? It's quite simple actually. I hate casters. I intend to play Destruction and the only non-caster ranged class is the Squig Herder. However, that's not the only reason. There's the humor factor too. I always thought that the idea of playing the "small guy" in an MMO while kicking ass is incredibly fun; my main character in WoW is a Gnome Rogue. That's not the only hilarious thing about Squig Herders. Who wouldn't wanna command packs of little red blobs with teeth?! I just love playing a character that isn't taken seriously and then suddenly pwns your ass! The Squig Herder is not the only class that intrigues me, however.

I love PvE in MMOs, but who doesn't? It's the basic foundation of most MMOs. The worry is that Squig Herders won't be viable and always needed in PvE. So, it's probably a good thing that I enjoy healing and support. My other main character in WoW is a Dwarf Paladin. This is where the Disciple of Khaine and the Goblin Shaman come in. Both classes interest me, but not as much as the Squig Herder.

If in beta, I see that the Squig Herder is in fact useful in PvE, I'll probably stick with that. Then, I don't see why I couldn't have a good DoK or Shaman alt.

-Matt Graham

I Caved... - 6.22.2008

I'm making this post at around 11:30 PM EST to get my one post for the day in. :p

I caved. I didn't wanna do it at first, but I did. I didn't wanna spend $86.98 on one single game, but I did.

Today, I pre-ordered the collector's edition for Warhammer Online. Why? Well, to be honest, it's mostly for the guaranteed open beta access and the head start in the live release. Although, the MANY other things in the CE aren't bad either: more "heads" to choose from, extra titles, special items, etc. Being totally honest here, it's probably one of the better collector's editions for a game that I've seen - and surprisingly one of the cheaper ones! In the end, I don't think I'll be disappointed. Of course, that's just optimism and hope there because there is no information out about the game that we weren't told about only by EA, but I have faith.

*crosses fingers*

-Matt Graham

"It's fantasy with all the crap bits taken out." - 6.21.2008

I'm not really a fan of G4 after all the major changes they made to the station a few years ago, but I made it a point to watch the WAR interview with Jeff and Paul on X-Play at 8:00 EST last night (Morgan Webb is a bonus) - and, of course, I forgot about it. However, thanks to Keen and Graev, I was able to see it. I knew it wouldn't be too long before it showed up on the net.

It's a very basic interview. There is nothing really new to see, but the gameplay footage in the video does look very nice. And as always, Paul makes some funny comments. The video is below. Enjoy!

-Matt Graham

New WAR Preview at IGN - 6.20.2008

A new hands-on preview for WAR was posted on IGN just a little while ago! The preview isn't amazing or terribly in-depth, rather, it's pretty basic, but it does help me to believe that this game will be great. I couldn't help but chuckle when I read the following from the article:

"If a developer's confidence equated directly to the excellence of a video game, then Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning would easily be one of the best MMOs ever made. There are very few developers as confident or as colorful as EA Mythic's Paul Barnett."

I think I'm officially a Paul Barnett fanboy.

Anyways, the preview would, of course, not be complete without videos to go along with it - FIVE videos that is. All five of the new videos are fresh and informative - I'll include one below on this post. Enjoy.

-Matt Graham

An [Epic] Beginning: Part Deux - 6.20.2008

Bloghammer Online. It is just one of my many ideas, but one of the few ideas of mine to become something. My most successful idea became World of Blogcraft, a WoW blog that's been running since October 13, 2006 - that's Friday the 13th by the way, ironic, isn't it? With Blogcraft, I promised to bring the WoW community news, opinions, and general awesome about the game, and I fulfilled that promise - still am. I intend to do the same with Bloghammer.

I announced Bloghammer on Blogcraft earlier, stating that WAR is my new obsession.

"Yes, my new obsession for WAR is true. It's kind of a weird situation though because the game isn't even out yet. I know that WoW won't be dying anytime soon, so I'll always have something to write about here on Blogcraft, but if Paul Barnett and the rest of EA Mythic end up screwing up, Bloghammer is out of commission. However, I'm gunna roll the dice on this one. I've never felt so good about a game before (besides WoW and it's expansions), so I really do think that this game will find its place in the always growing MMO world."
I also talked about my "predictions" for WAR.

"A perfect world (for players, definitely not developers) would be where WoW and WAR can coexist with 10 million subscribers each - at least for me anyways - but I think that's out of the question. There seems to be only room for one dominating MMO and I don't doubt that it'll be WoW for many years to come. My hope is that, well, WAR is a good game, but also that WAR can maintain a healthy population of committed players."

So anyways, stick around and see what I'm all about. I really hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy producing it.

-Matt Graham