Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

A wiki comes to Vanguard Crafters

I have a bit of a confession to make today about something I did in the past. When Vanguard firstVanguard Crafters came to be and was released, I was heavily into the crafting. I really got into the system and learned a lot about it, contributing and participating in the various forums. Vanguard Crafters was and still is the premiere site for talking about this sphere of game play and I jumped right in. I had heard they were planning on creating a wiki about a month or so after release and immediately signed up to join the crew.

I didn’t have much of a background in mediawiki or any wiki development for that matter, but I had contributed to a variety of sites in the past and knew that I wouldn’t screw anything up bad enough that a simple “revert to previous” couldn’t handle.

I was accepted by Genda and joined the small crew of five, assigned specifically to the content team. I was psyched and at once I began saving a variety of information like recipe data, quest descriptions, npc locations, skill sets, clothing bonuses, and a ton of screenshots. I had some initial guidance from my team leader on what was needed and I hit these points off quickly, adding everything that was needed to the database on a daily basis. However, as I began to quickly finish what was assigned to me, I realized that the team leader’s response was arriving later and later. In fact, this person had gone afk from the game and was really never seen again in the forum. This was a common occurrence during the time of the Sigil to SOE changeover.

I had no guidance and no clue as to the optimal way to organize the data, but as the last remaining active member of the content team, I did my best to help the design and tech side of things. I tried to clean up bad pages and centralize information to make it easier for them to find pages no longer needed or redundant. I offered my help up in the forum and gave them details as to the best way to direct me. In the end, it wasn’t the lack of guidance that led me to stop visiting the forum, it was the introduction of a new contributor.

She came and she kicked some content ass. She blasted up the new pages and helped put out a final product that the community needed. I felt that the information she had was more than enough to get out a great backbone of content for the community to reference, and any more contributions by me would only gum up the work they were trying to accomplish.

So with that, I’d like to thank Demila, Genda, and the rest of the Tech/Design team for coming together to put out this wiki for the Vanguard Community. Nice job. Oh, and if you see any pages that look weird they may have been created by me (nuitwaters), don’t blame it on those guys.

Now, if they will take me back, I just might jump into Vanguard again.

October 3, 2007 Posted by | Crafting, Vanguard | | 7 Comments

The woeful cry of the Unsubscribe button

For the past three weeks I have been playing LotRO and EQ2 in tandem and on Sunday I was forced to make a decision between the two. My month long trial of Everquest 2 had come to an end and my recurring bill to Turbine was set to post to my account on Monday morning. A tough decision indeed and one that has come up much to often over the last year.

It was clear to me that our group was losing interest in Middle Earth over a week ago, but I really didn’t want to confront it as I had invested a large amount of time into my character there and still had a lot to do in terms of the story-line quests. We are all in our mid to high 40’s and have experienced a majority of the content and have also had a boatload of fun doing it. Yes, there are still areas like Carn Dum and the rest of Helegrod to explore, but maybe its because the horizon is so clear on what to expect that we have lost the will to continue. The feeling of “more of the same” is a contagious sentiment and in an effort to prevent it from spreading among us, we almost subconsciously stopped playing together for about a week.

When I make a decision to unsubscribe from a MMO its always about the money. Its really never about the game, because if I was either financially independent or the game itself had no recurring fee I would continue to keep the game on my hard-drive. Even some games that are in the perceived worst of state when released can change, and I really wish I could support them while they go through that evolution.

One of the largest of such changes is that of Everquest 2. While I have no prior experience to judge this progression, there is the consistent din that travels the internet always referring to EQ2 as an example of what SOE can do and may possibly do again with Vanguard. I have written a small amount about my travels so far in this world and I plan on doing more as I have I have not only chosen to continue playing in EQ2, but I also managedEQ2_HolyTrinity to drag along the rest of the holy trinity.

So, my goals have changed a little as of now in EQ2. What was once a singular expedition into the lore of Faydwer and beyond, has evolved into something similar to that of Troy’s podcast – EQual Perspectives. My two companions are big Everquest 1 veterans and I am now the noob under their wing. I still have yet to realize what I have got myself into by convincing them to return to the EQ world, but I believe I got a nice taste of it last night. The two of them went on about some zone-chasing-thingamabob that murdered 200 children and had them up for two weeks while they waited in line for a chance to camp it and retrieve the Boots of Shit Kicking. Something along those lines, I don’t know.

When those Everquest 1 people start reminiscing, I have found it best to just let em get it all out and then offer cocoa after they have finished. Better results with the kind that has marshmallows too.

I still plan on returning to LotRO (famous last words) as my wife was still having a good time there and so are a couple of my friends. I was in a great guild, so if you play on the Firefoot server and are looking for a nice group, be sure to check them out. There are alsoHI_1 atleast two more articles I have written that I have been putting off, one being our last run on Sunday through Haudh Iarchith.

I have enjoyed my time there, and in retrospect, I am not too upset about leaving. I had a lot of fun and did more quests than I can imagine. I was a bit burnt out on the Lord of the Rings lore even before I bought the game and yet they did a remarkable job in dragging me back in and making me feel like this was the Middle Earth that Tolkien had described. I say, “Well done!” to Turbine.

Tempt me, and I may be back sooner than you think.

September 19, 2007 Posted by | Adventure Journal, EQ2, LOTRO, Rants, Vanguard | 2 Comments

Hearts and minds

Sethanon over at Wife-Aggro.com, brought up a really good point about reputation rewards in his newest podcast episode. He and Ragemore were talking about the recent addition to Lord of the Rings Online of the regional reputations. They cited a note made by the developers stating that they did not intend for their system to exclude players from grouping together but instead offer an alternate avenue for players to explore.

This idea that reputation advancement should net actual in game rewards like armor or trinkets always bothered me but I don’t know why. I never found myself itching to grind out boring quests or kill counts for factions in WoW, and I probably won’t be doing in LotRO. However, it really sounds like this isn’t where Turbine is taking the game anyway.

Continue reading

August 21, 2007 Posted by | Brainstorms, LOTRO, Rants, Vanguard | Leave a comment

The Evolution of Vanguard

SOE posted a big teaser last week of the next update to hit Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. This will be the largest change to hit the game since the last “Game Update” and the first real addition to the game by its new owners. Its plain to see that SOE is rushing to prove to the community that it can change this game for “the better” by removing or changing actual game mechanics that have been in since beta.

As I read through the update, I couldn’t help but organize the changes into various categories:

Continue reading

July 30, 2007 Posted by | Vanguard | 2 Comments

SOE is trying to seduce me

Yesterday I received an interesting email from SOE in which they were trying very hard to pull me away from my current game to start anew in EQ2. They started off the message by acknowledging the fact I no longer subscribe to Vanguard and noted that they are working hard to meet the changes the community is demanding of the game. This scares me because it was those late comers to the beta that got the developers to change the Death Penalty to the state it is in now. They didn’t have altars or the ability to call your corpse in beta.

The email went on to really entice me though. It offered Everquest 2, all of the expansions, adventure packs and an opportunity to play until September for free!

YIKES!

Very tempting my precious.

I am enjoying LotRO a lot right now and do not see myself actually downloading this to jump in. You can’t say you didn’t try though SOE. Don’t worry though, I didn’t plan on returning to Vanguard until atleast September anyway. Ill give you the 3 months you may need to clean this up and I will be back.

-Brackish

July 20, 2007 Posted by | EQ2, LOTRO, Vanguard | 3 Comments

Tempt Me

I think its safe to come into the water now.  I’ll do my best to wade through this tepid slime of lingering resentment and disappointment and deliver my hope on the future of Vanguard.

I served my time and gave the game more than its share of help.  I started Beta in March of 2006 and continued off and on until release.  The birth of my son during this period made my usual playtime much harder to keep and restricted me to solo play, a small portion of the game.

After Vanguard released, I played many characters on the Shidreth server and leveled a Psionicist to Adventuring-30, Minerologist-32.  I also spent a lot of time working with VanguardCrafters.com in the wiki team as a content provider.  Its sad to say that the project may never see the light of day due to lack of coordination and a drop in team members. Continue reading

June 25, 2007 Posted by | RL, Vanguard | Leave a comment