Links for the weekend

 

  • Systemic Babble discusses the recently announced 3DS price drop, and the prices of games on mobile systems. What exactly happens to the industry if a new generation of gamers expects a good mobile game to cost approx $1?
  • How does it feel to be sidelined from a raid because (your raid feels that) your class just isn’t optimal for the encounter? Vixsin, who raids with a hardcore group, discusses her feelings about it. For many players, this comes close to experiencing discrimination in game. After enough other players think your class is more or less good, it gets treated that way regardless of the player. And on another note, Sacred Duty explains that protection paladins are overpowered in WoW at the moment. Again.
  • Another sale, another astounding humble indie bundle. These deals operate on a ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ basis, so it’s interesting on that link to see roughly how much people pay. Linux users on average pay a lot more than players on other o/s, intriguingly. Maybe they’re more generous souls.
  • How can devs turn a good character into an evil one or vice versa in game? John Wick discusses the heel turn with examples from professional wrestling.
  • I mentioned the crazy Street Fighter x Tekken SDCC panel this week. Here’s a more thoughtful look at another fighting game from a fan – Scott Juster writes about Mortal Kombat and why it was so special for him earlier in his life.
  • Serrain writes a wrapup for the Planes of Madness event at Rift, over at Rift Junkies. He asks whether it dragged on too long.
  • Stabs takes an educated guess at how the RMT Diablo 3 Auction House will play out. And Gus Matrapa in Pretension +1 offers some advice to D3 fans on how to freak out about a video game.
  • Werit discusses the revamp of fortresses in WAR. They will now “house artifacts/relics which can be seized by the opposing realm.”  That’s a direct import from DaoC. Is WAR slowly morphing into DaoC2?
  • Jeff Vogel asks when players should have to make decisions about progressing their character from a designer’s point of view. He suggests devs shouldn’t ask players to make choices until they have enough information on which to base a decision. I’ve never liked having to make irrevocable decisions involving gameplay (such as class, etc) before I really know how the game plays or what I’ll want to do later on.
  • MMO Melting Pot continues to curate (it’s my new word this week)  great articles around the gaming blogosphere and post links along with analysis. Here’s one highlighting a post on Level Capped about whether the majority of gamers really are foul mouthed teenagers.
  • John Walker at RPS writes an intelligent, impassioned rant against all those mainstream media outlets who rushed to assign some blame to computer games like CoD for the shootings in Norway.
  • Anyone missed Larissa’s regular posts? Course you have. The writer is now running a new blog about film called The Velvet Cafe. This is one of her posts about what the audience can add to a movie. I’ve been thinking about this, because going to see Captain America on opening night in San Diego during Comic Con was absolutely awesome, and not just because the film was good and they gave us free swag (OK, the free swag helped.)

All aboard the monetization train – pay for levels, ads in games

Just when you thought it was safe to step out of your computer room, a couple more companies are experimenting with additional ways to get their paws on your hard earned moolah.

Buying levels in WAR

Arkenor covers the new Warhammer Online account entitlement purchasing service –- a cash shop by any other name. As well as the (now usual) server transfers, vanity pet, shiny cosmetic trinkets for your armour and mounts, they are also selling a ‘specialised training pack’ which grants one level to all of your characters.

Naturally this has the blogosphere up in arms, but I wonder if selling a single level for an inflated price is really such a game breaking issue. I remember many times when playing DaoC wishing I had the option to pay to jump ahead a level or two, particularly if I’d hit a hell level or was just tired of the final stretch of the level grind.

The fact that players even adopted the name ‘hell levels’ for levels that seem unusually difficult to pass during the levelling phase of the game  shows how common a phenomenon it was in older games.

Obviously we like to think that slicker design solved the hell level problem in modern MMOs, but does it matter if someone is desperate to pay to level up?

Hadrune argues that none of the new WAR cash shop items are gamebreakers, and feels that they are all optional.

To my mind, the proof of this particular pudding will come not when cash shops are added to sub games, but in how game design changes in future to make better use of them. Maybe adding the facility to buy a level is not a great solution to the hell level problem, but it’s far worse if hell levels are deliberately designed into the game to entice people to buy.

That’s the slippery slope argument. And it hasn’t happened yet.

Zynga takes in game advertising

Zynga, as we know, has no qualms about maintaining the purity of the gaming environment, and what could be more immersive than finding an advert for Megamind inside your Farmville?

Gamasutra notes that their current partnership with DreamWorks isn’t the first advertising promotion that they have run. Presumably it’s another good source of income for them so expect more in the future. And there’s no mention of allowing players to pay to avoid the ads.

I would argue that Zynga’s route is likely to prove far more ruinous for MMOs than WARs. Buying your way past a hell level isn’t in the same league as encouraging all your players to dismiss the idea that immersion in a virtual world has any value at all, or is something they might miss when it’s gone.

Gaming news: Zombies in Black Ops, FFXIV released, MSoft wants Second Life, Recettear and Minecraft huge hits, Skaven in WAR

So, yesterday was Eurogamer which bore a surprising resemblance to a bunch of gaming zombies wandering around a huge exhibition hall, half of which was full of demos of Assassin’s Creed II.  Arb and I will talk more about our Eurogamer thoughts next week.

  • Things I saw which caught my eye were:
    PS3 Move. I saw a few demos with the Move and … they looked fun. I don’t think my living room is large enough or tidy enough to justify a purchase but it did look cool.
  • Dragon Age 2. Now with less blood spatters but still with some so you know which game you are playing. We cheered when there was a closeup on the blood spatter.
  • Indie Arcade. Didn’t have time to look at all the games, so focussed on a bizarre passive aggressive game which kept telling you to stand away from the computer and not press buttons. Also a fun explory/ platformy game where I amused the guy standing next to me by falling off a cliff and exclaiming, “Oh! I guess that’s not how you use the stairs.”
  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Absolutely adorable, and looked pretty fun too.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Reminded me of Uncharted 2, mostly down to the graphics, gameplay and camera angle.

In a press release about SWTOR, Bioware revealed more information about the smuggler. It’s sounding increasingly as though the smuggler IS Han Solo rather than just being inspired by him, and one of the latest reveals is that there is a wookie companion.

Also in gaming news this week was another spat between Bobby Kotick and whoever. I’m getting bored of following these arguments but they seem to get a lot of gaming press. I imagine it will be EA’s turn next week.

Gaming post of the week is Unsubject’s admiration of DCUO’s courageous and brave brave marketing decisions. The game is due to be released in November and we still know virtually nothing about the gameplay – it doesn’t bolster confidence.

Zombies in Black Ops

Activision revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops will feature a multiplayer zombie mode. Apparently it will involve “brand new zombie experiences”. Your guess is as good as mine.

I don’t pretend to understand where it makes sense for a franchise that has always been fairly solidly based on well researched real world settings to go all zombie on us but zombies are cool, right? (Maybe the new zombie experience is that you actually get to play a zombie!) The game is due to launch on 9th Nov.

Another shooter which is drifting away from being too realistic is Medal of Honor, from which it was confirmed that references to the Taliban were dropped this week. Instead they have been renamed as “Opposing force.” Personally I think they should have just reskinned them as zombies.

Final Fantasy 14 launches on PC

September 30th marked the launch day for FF14.

Feedback I have heard so far has been positive, but keen to point out that the game harkens back to an older style of MMO than recent WoW fans (for example) may be comfortable with.

Microsoft interested in Second Life

The Escapist reported this week on a rumour that Microsoft has a bid in for Linden Labs, noting that LL laid off a lot of staff recently and is known to be in some trouble.

They think that Second Life would fit in great as a virtual world for xbox players. I’m not sure about that one myself, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it if the rumour is true.

Minecraft and Recettear show good sales

You may notice on the right hand margin of this page that I’ve included both Recettear and Minecraft under the current list of games we’re playing. (Arb is playing Minecraft, I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I will!).

We think they’re both ace, and so do lots of other people.

RPS reports that Recettear has sold over 26k copies, which is pretty darned good for a little indie PC game relying mostly on word of mouth, a near zero marketing budget, and digital downloads.

However, Minecraft makes that look paltry by apparently taking in $350k profit per day.

These trends all bode well for the indie market. With every awesome game that gets successful, players will be more and more willing to try another one if the word of mouth is good. Both of these games are excellent value for money –- obviously there’s no guarantee either will be up your street but both have demos and it won’t be hard to google a review online.

Skaven in Warhammer Online

Werit writes about (Bioware) Mythic’s announcements of their plans for WAR. Plans which include playable Skaven … sort of. Players will be able to control Skaven, but not in a way that replaces their main character.

I’m a little unclear on the details but it sounds as though players will be able to assume a Skaven role in PvP but there won’t be any supporting PvE for the rat people. Werit compares this to monster play in LOTRO which, to be fair, is enjoyed by a lot of people.

Gaming News: Gamescom News (GW2, Diablo III et al), Skaven for Warhammer Online, Age of Empires goes F2P, Blizzard sues private server, 90% kids in the US play online games

It’s been a week of new trailers and press releases, as opposed to actual news.

One of the more interesting forum snippets that Player vs Developer picked up is that the majority of F2P players in Dungeons and Dragons Online don’t reach the endgame. I’m not surprised by this, given that the free to play model encourages more casual players who’ll tend to be less engaged with a game and probably more likely to drift away if it gets grindy. And also that we know that even in WoW, most casual players don’t get past level 10 in any case. But I also wonder how much of this is the model that allows you to unlock content for all alts at the same time. So once you have bought a few low level instances, you might as well level a few alts through them because … hey, you’ve already paid.

There are also rumours that Realtime Worlds (devs for APB) have found a buyer. Hopefully more news on that shortly.

Bits and Pieces from Gamescom

I thought the Best of Gamescom awards were quite interesting this year in that although Star Wars: the Old Republic was nominated for both best game and best online game, it didn’t win either. Guild Wars 2 won best online game of the convention, though. And that’s via voting from people who were there and tried the demos. I suspect that to be more of a judgement on the demos than anything else, but I really think that the Best of Gamescom category should be made up of games which already won their own categories. And maybe they should make the developers have a steel cage death match fight too.

Also any voting in which Gran Turismo 5 wins out over Kirby’s Epic Yarn is not reflecting my personal tastes so is largely irrelevant to me ;)

Blizzard turned up with some more information about crafting in Diablo III. Comments have noted seeing similar elements to WoW, but I suspect that’s missing the point. Or maybe it is the point. I’m looking forwards to hearing more about D3 at Blizzcon, it’s probably going to be the biggest ever PC game when it does launch. They also commented in interview that Cataclysm needs a couple more months before release.

Arenanet brought a video of Guild Wars 2 gameplay.

(edited to add: Yarr suggests in comments that people might find this to be a better and more informative link.)

There is also a Portal 2 trailer.

THQ also ruffled the Warhammer 40k fans by noting in interview that their upcoming MMO would not allow players to play as space marines from the beginning. I don’t really get why people are upset about this since inquisitors are way cooler!! *ducks the flames* but you probably won’t be able to play those either.

Bioware Mythic mention skaven, fans go wild

Mythic discussed future plans for WAR in an interview this week which mentioned ‘an RvR pack’ which would involve skaven but not as a standard race that players could play from level 1.

They expanded on this  in a chat session. There will be a new PvP zone, new renown ranks to earn, and a focus on open world RvR. We’ll expect more announcements on this fairly soon.

Age of Empires to go Free to Play

Microsoft is planning to release an online version of their popular RTS, Age of Empires. And it will use the free to play/ freemium model.

Apparently there will be levelling and quests and incentives to team up with other people. It will be quite interesting to see how this works out for a RTS game and why they aren’t going the battle.net route of matching opponents instead.

I suspect it’s easier to make and balance a cooperative game. And also, they’re keen to provide some permanence for your capital city which means that it can’t be nuked while you’re offline.

Blizzard sues private WoW server, wins $88mil

So the story is that someone was running a successful private WoW server, with a F2P type model. Blizzard found out and sued them. And was given a huge punitive award by the courts.

Lum notes that the private server had more players than most other MMOs out there, although I think that since it was F2P that most of them probably weren’t paying, or else registered to see what it was all about but didn’t play much. What is real is that the owner earned $3 million from the private server, and with that kind of money on the table, you can see where the incentive lies. And also why Blizzard pressed for a large award.

The question on the table is whether this indicates a large latent demand for WoW to go free to play. I suspect there probably are plenty of people who’d love to pay their way past bits of the  game they don’t want to play, and lots of others who think it would work out cheaper for them with a F2P model.

The kids are online

A report this week based on a survey of 5000 kids across the US showed that over 90% of ‘tween’ kids (8-15) play online games. My first reaction is to be surprised that 90% of kids in the US have access to game capable PCs or consoles and internet connections, so I’m assuming this survey is based purely on those in families which do have these things.

I mean, who gives an 8 year old an iPhone anyway?

More worrying was the facebook statistic:

Facebook is now the favorite website among tween (8-11) boys and teen (12-15) girls.

This is interesting because Facebook’s policy states:

  • No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us through this help page.”

Yes, you can play facebook games through someone else’s account, but … I wonder. Or is it just that it’s the easiest website for kids to remember and to tell surveys if asked to name one?

EQ2 Extended in Open Beta, has a bumpy ride

The free to play version of EQ2 is now in open beta, so feel free to go try it.

But don’t buy anything (who buys anything in a beta? Honestly, people!!) if you already have a subscriber account, because you might accidentally lose everything. I’m sure SOE will figure out a way to give all the stuff back and fix the bug, but that one is pretty epic.

Having said that, it’s great that people actually do buy stuff in the beta because it helps to find these sorts of bugs.

Gaming News: Lord British takes NCSoft to the cleaners, EQ2 goes free to play, Where will the social gaming acquisition madness end?, WAR comes to the Bioware forums

Lots of business news this week with some ludicrous amounts of money changing hands over ownership of social gaming developers and sites.

In other news, good luck to the folks at the new WoW shaman forum (totemspot.com) and new mage forums at Mana Obscura. You’ll likely see lots of class blogger names that you recognise on both fora.

Also if you are a keen reader of MMO blogs (I am going to assume this will apply to most readers, otherwise why are you here?), check out the new MMO Melting Pot. Their goal is to pick out interesting posts from around the web, with commentary. And they also keep tabs on podcasts et al. As of now, it’s very WoW-focussed.

Richard Garriot wins lawsuit against NCSoft

The sad story of Richard Garriot (aka Lord British) and his dealings with NCSoft finally comes to a close. This is more of an employment law story than a gaming one, but he claimed that he was forced to resign from his post as NCSoft Austin CEO and then to write letters claiming that it was a voluntary redundancy.

This matters hugely in terms of what sorts of payments he was entitled to on leaving. You tend to have more rights to redundancy pay et al if you are fired than if you choose to leave.

A court decided in his favour and awarded $28million in lieu of the lost pay. I’m always happy when I see companies which try to pull a fast one on employees nailed down by employment law, most of which doesn’t represent all that much protection for employees anyway. Hopefully others in the industry will take note.

Everquest 2 Extended

EQ2 is going to offer a free to play payment option, on separate servers from the current ones – I think I’m rapidly preferring non-subscription over F2P for games funded by microtransactions. Their plans confuse commenters who note that the F2P servers will also have subscription options which offer fewer options than the current subscriptions for the same (or higher) price.

I’m not all that certain that EQ2 will really suit the model, but I’m sure lots more people will at least give the game a try when the new options go live. And it’s another step in the seemingly unstoppable trend towards switching from subscriptions to cash shop payment options. Or at least adding different payment options.

This all seems very experimental to me at the moment. But the separate servers and unimpressive F2P subscription options mean EQ2 at least has plans to dissuade existing subscribers who play casually from immediately switching over and paying less. (Ideally you don’t want players to say ‘you know, suddenly my $15pcm subscription doesn’t look like such great value, I only play  a couple of hours a week …’)

Social Gaming Acquisition Madness – Disney buys Playdom, Gamestop buys Kongregate

Only a few weeks ago, Playdom bought Ralph Koster’s Metaplace. Now they in their turn have been acquired by Disney for the heart-stopping sum of approx $560mill; a little less than that for which the mouse house sold subsidiary Miramax earlier in the month. (note: you may have seen the figure $762mil around the place, that part is actually dependent on Playdom’s performance).

So Disney thinks that social gaming is a better bet than Hollywood, and they may be right. They certainly own a vast number of IPs that could prove fruitful for gaming purposes. But that’s a lot of money for a gaming studio that isn’t right at the top of its field. Or even second. The eMarketer blog has a pithy analysis, wondering whether this will go down in history as one of the notorious acquisitions of the decade. In comparison, EA’s $275mil for Playfish last year looks like a bargain.

US chain gaming retail store Gamestop bought PC casual gaming nexus Kongregate this week also. Kongregate is a great site, home to many great tower defence games, The Elements card game, and doubtless many others I haven’t heard of. They are very upbeat about the news in their blog, unsurprisingly.

But as a non-US person, I can’t imagine that Gamestop has a lot to offer me in terms of things to buy with tokens. This is a general problem with going from a bricks and mortar business into the internet – suddenly you are serving a worldwide population who really don’t care about your US based restaurant/ movie/ netflix rewards. It’s likely they’ll concentrate on the US customers, if driving people to their US outlets is seen as the core of their business.

Note: We see the same trend in twitter with their @earlybird offers. I haven’t seen a single one that would be applicable locally. I really think they should call it @usearlybird or just do internet based offers.

Zynga also have evidently decided that the mere 500 million Facebook users is insufficient of a user base and is exploring new opportunities with google, and also in Japan. They also annoyed players this week by shutting down one of their games, with no reason. (I assume the reason is insufficient profit but these games can’t cost all that much to run …)

In any case, with Disney switching from films into social gaming, Warner Brothers recent acquisition of Turbine, Gamestop looking to online social gaming rather than retail … there is a trend here.

Valve (with Steam) and Blizzard (with battle.net) must be laughing.

Warhammer Forums move to Bioware

Speaking of which, the Bioware social network has recently absorbed the official Warhammer Online forums. I love that if you get to the language option screen on the Bioware forum, they use the Canadian flag to represent English. I’m sure the Quebecois are thrilled to bits with that.

None of the blogs I read had much to say about this, I’m not sure anyone was actually fond enough of the Official Warhammer Forums to care. Besides, it isn’t as if they are going away.

In other Bioware news, Greg Zeschuk has decided that his previous figure of 1 million SWTOR players wasn’t enough. Now he says the sales target of all future releases is 10 million units if they are to be considered major hits.

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this. Over the lifetime of a very successful game, 10 million sales is viable. Or maybe he’s just inhaled too much of the Brighton sea air …

Starcraft 2 is live and on air

Starcraft 2 launched this week, and players and reviewers alike seem pretty happy with it. The press were not allowed to review the single player campaign before launch so I imagine there have been a lot of gaming hours poured into the thing. Kotaku report that someone finished the single player campaign in 16 hours.

Gossip Gamer has a cool visual guide to show the difference between SC1 and SC2. And meanwhile, I saved the Norad II in SC1 – go me!

Some guest posts on the way next week

This is not really news but I’m away for a few days next week so you’ll see some guest posts on the blog here. I think you guys will love them, actually.

On WAR

My history with Warhammer Online goes back about a year. That was when Arbitrary and I first started blogging about the game, several months before it launched. This was our first post, dated 14th May 2008.

I don’t regret any of it. We had a brilliant time writing about WAR, engaging with the hype, seeing how it evolved through beta, learning about the lore, chatting to other bloggers and readers, tussling with GOA, going to Games Day UK, and watching the community ebb and flow.

So I can’t help feeling a pang when my sub runs out today, and Arb wound up the Book of Grudges for much the same reason. Not only that, but this is the week that our server is also closed down and everyone offered free transfers to more populated ones.

That’s good in the sense that the game NEEDS to be played on well populated servers. But it still leaves me with a sense of closure – I’m gone, the guild is (long) gone, the blog is gone, the server is gone.

I really did enjoy playing Warhammer Online. I would and I do recommend anyone to try the free trial if you’re bored and looking for a new game. The starting levels (tier 1) are some of the best fun you can have in MMOs.

Best things about the game:

  • Red questy map blobs. When you got a quest, a red blob appeared on the map showing you roughly where you had to go. It very neatly gave a little direction while still leaving some room to explore. I miss it in every other game I play.
  • Scenarios. A little 15 min slice of PvP action that you can queue up for from anywhere else in the game. I loved how all the scenarios had different layouts and a variety of win conditions and winning tactics.
  • Holiday events. They weren’t all hits but Mythic did an awesome job of providing a stream of new temporary content in a way that put WoW to shame. Not only did we get holiday quests and events, we got temporary scenarios to play. Can you imagine WoW making temporary battlegrounds available?
  • Two targets. You could have two targets selected at any time, one offensive target (ie. all your attacks directed at them) and one defensive target (ie. all your heals/buffs directed at them). This was absolutely awesome for healers.
  • Public Quests. The quests themselves were hit and miss but the idea was great. You could roll into an area, help a load of other people with the quest, and be in line for reputation and rewards. And you didn’t have to even talk to them if you didn’t want.
  • Open groups. This one is a winner too. If a group or warband (ie. raid) was set up to be open, then anyone in the area could locate it and invite themselves to join. It sounds scary to a WoW crowd but a lot of the WAR content (such as open PvP) was of the type where more warm bodies were always welcome.
  • Open RvR. Some of the most fun I had in game was running Tier 2 or Tier 3 keep take evenings with the guild. And if we didn’t have enough people, I just set the warband as open and announced on the /order channel where we were going. The group filled up pretty fast.

I’m not going through the bad points, it’s been done enough. Endgame is lacking, the requirements for picking up ward gear were intimidating to people who didn’t want to run the instances, etc. These issues are being addressed!

As to why I left:

  • Guild leaders left after about a month in game. Yes, it affects morale.
  • Demoralised by the ward PvE gear requirements.
  • Wanted to spend more time in WoW — I didn’t switch immediately to Wrath, I spent some time playing both. But it was getting clear where I wanted to spend more time.
  • Bored of Tier 4 and not really enjoying the PvE instances I was able to run. I really do like the Tier 4 zones a lot, they’re gorgeous (apart from the Dwarf one). But do I really want to run around in warbands doing hit and runs on keeps every night?

Having said all that, the land of the dead (due out in June) sounds awesome and depending on how my gaming time goes I’ll be tempted to resub. Even just writing about the game makes me want to play it again, maybe as Destruction this time.

What Mythic should have done

In my mind, the game they should have made was DaoC II. This isn’t just because I find mythology more appealing than Warhammer, it’s because three realms works better than two, it’s because they threw away the concept of huge frontier zones in favour of PvP pools, it’s because we loved the seamless virtual world feel of the game. It’s because they had one of the best implementations of housing I have ever seen.

And it’s also because a feudal setup has huge possibilities for endgame that are there to be explored. In a feudal society, the king parcels out lands and titles to knights who distinguish themselves in battle. That’s a whole potential housing-centred minigame in itself.

A look at the new Warhammer guild search

Thanks to Jennifer@Girl IRL for spotting the new guild search interface amongst all the other patch 1.2.1 changes that went live this week in WAR. (It is patch season in MMOland, yes.)

I’ve felt for ages that  in game tools to help players search for guilds that match their interests and vice versa are horribly lacking. Given how central to a  social player’s game experience it is to find a well fitting guild, that’s pretty much an unpardonable omission.

So I’m going to talk about how to use the guild search (on an unguilded character) and give some examples of what you can find out from it. Jennifer (in the link at the top) posted a screenshot of the interface guild leaders use to set up their information when looking for new members.

Using the Warhammer Online Guild Search

Step 1. You access the guild search tool through the guild interface, by clicking the green shield icon at the top of your screen.

Step 2. A window comes up which describes how to form a guild. (I didn’t take a screenie of this because it’s a bit dull, unless of course you want to go make a guild.) At the bottom of this window are two tabs. Click on the one marked search.

OK, so the game has spotted that I’m not in a guild and is going to let me see if I can find some hapless group of players that might suit.

They’ve given a decent selection of attributes to search with. I was looking at the pictured dropdown box with mild confusion (what exactly is the difference between a chatty and a family guild anyway?) As it happens, when you search you will find that guilds can tag themselves with more than one of these labels.

So you can search for guilds that are PvE focussed, PvP focussed, casual etc. You can search based on guild rank (which can matter in Warhammer), you can search based on number of members, and whether or not they’re looking for your class. And so on.

Step 3. Select the attributes you want to search for and then hit the search button.

(Free advert for We Are Legion of Karak Azgal (EU), since they were first in the list)

I was searching for guilds with over 100 members, and it’s not all that unusual for Warhammer guilds to be that large. I was also searching for guilds of rank 20 or above because I am vain and at rank 20 you get to wear the guild emblem on your cloak. So I was searching for large, well established guilds, who had been active enough to get to rank 20.

So this is the format you get for the search results.  The guilds are listed to the left and the x/yyy number shows number of members logged in right now vs number of total members. I logged on early in the morning to get these screenshots so it’s not surprising that no one is around.

You can see whether the guild is in an alliance and who the recruiters are if you want to get in touch, as well as information about guild size, rank, and other interests. And there’s a small blurb written by the guild leader too.

I’m well impressed. It’s not a great leap forwards in game design but it fills a useful and important role, and it isn’t overly complex. Thumbs up to the Warhammer devs.

ObPlug: Warhammer Online is running 10 day free trials at the moment (US version here, EU version here). Tier 1 (levels 1-11) are terrifically fun, and if you do like it and decide to stay, you now have a better way to find a guild.