MMO Chain Letter

Grimnir recently tagged me in a chain letter that’s making its rounds among a few bloggers.  It’s mostly being answered by war bloggers, but contains more general questions such as the origins of your name and what classes you prefer.  So if you wanna see my answers read on!

1.  What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)?  Explain how you chose the name.
My main character’s name is, in case you can’t guess by my domain name, Nazgum! =)  How did I choose the name?  It’s a name I made up and have been using for a while; I like it, it sounds kind of funny, people usually end up nicknaming me “Nazzy”, and its quite unique so its not usually taken in new games.

2.  What was the name of your very first character in an MMO?  Explain how you chose that name.
I really don’t remember; I think I’ve played too many games hehe.  But, the first character I really remember was called Nazgum, way back in 1994 or so, in a text based game called MUME.

3.  Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do
you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?

I almost always call my main character Nazgum.  I think the only exception was Guild Wars, as I disliked all of the male character models, so I made a female toon there, and Nazgum just didn’t feel appropriate then hehe 😉

4.  Do you ever reserve names, planning to use them for
characters that you might play later?  If so, what are they and why do
you hold on to them?

Yea I usually reserve Nazgum 😉

5.  Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?
My current main is a shaman.

6.  What archetype was your very first character in an MMO?  Why did you choose it?
My first archtype was an assassin/mdps.  I selected it because I like to solo and, on the surface, it seems like it would offer a lot of strategy; however, I’ve found since stealth equals invisibility in most MMOs, that usually isn’t the case, so I tend to shy away from them now.

7.  Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally?  Why?
I am usually drawn to ranged DPS classes, archers in particular.  In Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft my mains were both ranged DPS (Kobold Hunter and Orc Hunter).  I almost never play mages or healers.  My shaman was actually my first attempt at playing a healer in any MMO, and I selected it because WAR seemed like it would be a fun group game; of course as you can see in my videos, I mostly solo anyways =)

8.  What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?
My favorite feature from an MMO I no longer play would have to be Artifact weapons from MUME.  The idea behind them were, they were very powerful magic items that were unique, only one person at a time could have it, making them very special, but they would decay after a week.  Some examples of artifact weapons from MUME:

  • Glamdring: one of the Elven swords found in the book the Hobbit.  It would begin glowing when enemy players got near, a very useful feature in a pvp game; it also did extra damage against enemy orc and troll players.
  • The Black Sword: perhaps the most powerful weapon in MUME, it was also the most dangerous, as it would force you to attack the nearest target occasionaly, which may be your allies!
  • Black Runed Sceptre: a very powerful staff for a caster, however it is owned by a Nazghul, who is ever seeking it back!  And while you hold the staff you are constantly hunted by a supermob that cannot be killed, forcing you to ever stay on the move.
  • The Black Many-Tailed Whip: not a very powerful weapon, but very useful with groups, allowing you to entangle targets and prevent them from fleeing!

I always wanted to see an MMO grasp onto the concept of artifacts, as I think they would work very well.  In Warhammer, add in some artifact weapons mentioned in the lore.  Make them only last for a week then you must find them again.  Also, make them lootable and easily visible in combat, making for a much more intense experience in the RvR lakes for those who have them!

9.  Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free?  Which and why?
No.  I’ve never not played an MMO because it had a fee; if I want to play an MMO I don’t mind paying =)

10.  How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO
(total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level
reached, etc.)?

How do I measure my characters success?  Jeez, that’s a tough question for me.  I’ve never really been too interested in the story or lore side of games.  I’m not much of an achiever either, I don’t really care what gear I have as long as I can still be competitive.  I’ve never really been into guilds or titles either..  I suppose I would measure my character’s success by how well I can play them; beating classes I should not easily beat, or winning outnumbered fights gives me a nice sense of achievement.

And that’s all my answers!  I’m gonna keep this chain letter going by tagging Snafzg to answer it, because he hasn’t written many posts lately and I miss reading the occasional war rant 😉

Say ‘ello to the new git!

nazgum-squig-herder

Nazgum the Squig Herder – Iron Rock

I’ve been playing on Ostermark since release, and its been a great server at times.  Fun people, and a fair amount of action.  But lately, the action is becoming harder and harder to find..

I wanted to make a choppa alt a few weeks ago, to level with Snafzg‘s shammy alt; but Ostermark is just atrocious for activity in T1-T3.  Scenarios do not pop and the RvR lakes are barren.  Snafzg started suggesting we roll our alts on Phoenix Throne, which I initially didn’t like but it got me thinking..  perhaps having a second server to play on would be nice, then there would be two places to check to see if there was action rather then one!  Smart gobbo!

So I started looking at the server list.  My first thought was to make an alt on an Oceanic server.  I often play at odd hours, so the time difference would be a great benefit.  I started leveling an alt on Ironclaw, but it didn’t last long.  The lag was not enjoyable.  And while it was fine sometimes, it seemed too risky for a PvP game.  Next!

Open RvR!  There was a great debate at launch among our guild on whether to roll on an ORvR ruleset.  Our guild was in favour of it until Mythic changed the rules at the last minute to allow higher tier players to come down and gank the lower tiers, so we opt’d for a core RP server instead.  Now its just a few people rolling alts so I thought its worth checking out.  Hah.  That was a mistake.  You receive no bolster in RvR lakes, so you are heavily punished for going there without being near the top of your tier.  Level 20s were camping our Chapter 3 PQs.  And I tried to make my way to the Dwarf starting areas at level 3 so I could find some similar levels to fight, but the hero guards are everywhere and frustrating to try to go around.  Amid all the extra frustration of trying to level, I imagine T4 would play basically the same due to the 55 Hero guards everywhere, so what’s the point?  Next!

My real reason for looking at other servers in the first place was Ostermark’s population is so low.  So what should be my main concern?  Population!  ‘Ello Iron Rock!  Among the top most populated servers!  Now that seems like a decent choice.

So I will be leveling a Squig Herder on Iron Rock, while Snafzg levels a shaman there.  We’re effectively switching roles since I’m a shaman on Ostermark and he’s the Squig.  And of course the most badass female Orc Likla will be joining us as a Choppa!  Waaagh!  Should be fun times =)

The journey to Nazgum v3.0

Since Warhammer’s release (which was 6 months ago already!), my main has been my shaman, Nazgum.  Over the course of those 6 months my spec (and playstyle) has changed quite a bit.  I’m just moving on to a new version so what better time to take a journey back to see how I got to here.

Nazgum v1.0: Healer

Whatever group Nazgum runs: Guild leader (I think) and regular warband leader as a shaman. Can and has healed half a warband on his own.[1]

For about the first 3 months that warhammer was out I played a shaman pretty much how you would expect them to be played; as a healbot roaming the RvR lakes in a warband.  I basically aimed to keep my Willpower as high as I could and I ran with the tactics Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Restorative Burst and Dat Makes Me Dizzy.

How did playing a healer work out?  In one word.  Awful.  I’m a PvP player, and as I see it there are essentially three options to PvP in Warhammer: Solo, in a small group, or in a warband.

Attempting to solo as a pure healer is useless.  You do no damage.  Really.  You can just take your damage skills off your toolbar.  You also have very low survivability.  Not exactly a winning combo.  With the above tactics and a focus on Willpower there was few fights I would win.

What about a small group?  Group vs Group should be fun.  It would be, except it never happens in Warhammer.  If you actually manage to find a group of 6 willing to go out there and roam the lakes you will be sorely disappointed to discover there is no opposing groups of 6 for you to fight – just warbands and stragglers seeking to rejoin their warbands.

So that just leaves warbands.  Playing a healer in a warband is essentially wack-a-mole with squared.  A square changes color you click it with a HoT.  Not much fun.  The amount of Crowd Control abilities in warband fights adds a lot of frustration as well.  You get silenced and die.  You get disabled and die.  And worse, you’re often a first target and few allies seem interested in trying to protect you.

The short summary is, no matter how I tried to play as a pure healer, it was often frustrating and rarely fun.

Nazgum v2.0: Kiter

Nazgum, because I usually idle in someone or other’s vent even when I’m soloing just so I have some background noise, and any announcement of “Hey, there’s Nazgum all by himself, go get him” is usually followed by ten minutes of profanity and hilarity.[2]

At about the 3 month mark from release I was done with warbands.  I realized there is no way they could provide the entertainment I wanted.  So I decided to take a second look at what abilities I have, and try and spec into a very self-protective role.  I switched my tactics to Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Git Outta Here! and RUN AWAY!.  I dropped Willpower and instead focused on Toughness, Initiative and Wounds.

I took a few laps around the RvR lakes and.. it was like a totally different class.  A good class.  Not only was I nearly impossible to bring down, I could actually get kills as well!  Gork Sez Stop became my new best friend and with it I shifted to playing almost entirely solo.  In 1vs1 I was a beast, easily downing any Tank or Ranged DPS class.  Even Witch Hunters usually weren’t much trouble.  White Lions were my only real bane.

But there was still the problem that I killed slow.  Very slow.  I needed to rely on Gork Sez Stop for damage and players who knew to stop would result in a long fight.  It also started to lose its entertainment value.  Sure I could win fights, but it was repetitive and didn’t offer much variety.  I would basically do the same thing every fight.  I liked that my character was viable solo now (and teamed with a witch elf or marauder we would be a vicious duo), but there still must be a better way…

Nazgum v3.0: DPS

Hahaaaa. Death at the hands of a healer…tis a rare event that usually involves a computer malfunction. (Unless your name is Nazgum.)[3]

Way back when I was a pure healer, I never even considered trying a DPS spec, because my survivability was so low I knew it would just result in a faster death for myself.  But after getting a little bored with kiting I wanted to try something new.  I kept a pretty good focus on survivability with my stats (600 wounds/intelligence, 400 toughness/initiative), and switched my tactics up to Mork Is Watchin’, Divine Fury, Hurts, Don’t It? and Git Outta Here!.

war-combat-log1

Wow.  I had no idea shaman could actually do decent damage.  This new spec has made the game a lot more fun for me again, especially because it provides more variation to my fights.  My damage abilities belong on my toolbar now!  There’s a lot of buttons to select from now!  But fights are also more risky!  My survivability is way down and I need to learn to be more cautious as this spec.

I usually play solo or in a duo nowadays, and I wanted to see how my healing held up, so I teamed with Snafzg.  Usually when I duo with a dps it works pretty well, except when the other side has a healer, as I can’t contribute enough damage to ensure we down them.  Not this time.  Me and Snafzg put out quite the DPS together, and we went on a pretty nice tear in Chaos Wastes in front of the Order warcamp fighting mostly 2vs3 before eventually being brought down

war-combat-log2

So that’s where I’m at now with Nazgum, and it’s quite enjoyable.  Hopefully this spec lasts me until 1.3 when apparently Shamans are getting a bit of needed surgery on their Mork/Gork mechanic =)