Archive for August, 2007

End of an Era

Posted: August 30, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Guilds

All things must change to something new, to something strange.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

It’s been a little over three years since my guild, the Legion of the White Rose,  founded a chapter in Everquest II.  Those of us in Beta were spending more and more time in the Shattered Lands and less and less time in the old world of Norrath.  Though we’d been grouping for weeks, we had enough of our officers in Beta to officially take the time to form up the guild. 

From that point till now, we’ve only allowed the 16 different “good” classes into the guild’s Everquest II chapter.  Every group, every hunt,  and every raid have been performed without the benefit of brigands, defilers, necromancers, or any other class which starts in Freeport or Neriak.  We’ve proudly displayed ourselves publically as a Qeynos only guild, and actually considered it a huge event when we finally allowed Kelethin citizens to join us.  For over three years we’ve stuck to this tradition. 

…till tonight. 

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Clockwork Gamer?

Posted: August 30, 2007 by Kendricke in Out of Character

We’re changing names.  That’s right.  After months and months of grueling negotiations with several massive corporate conglomerates, we’ve finally wrested control of www.clockworkgamer.com from…well, no one. 

Based on discussions with the various contributors coming on board, we’ve agreed that virtually no one (well, almost no one) wanted to write for a site called The Kendricke Tracker.  When I suggested names such as The Kendricke Collective, Kendricke’s Cohort, Kendricke’s Servants, Kendricke’s Knuckledraggers, Write for Kendricke NOW!, and my favorite, Kendricke Rules… well, let’s just say the votes weren’t unanimously in favor of such titles. 

In all seriousness, we’ve kicked around a lot of ideas over the past few weeks and eventually came to like Clockwork Gamer.  I don’t think it was anyone’s first choice, but it did eventually start to grow on all of us quite a bit.  We’ve begun work on a new look for the site, and we’ve managed to snag the .net and .org versions of the domain address as well.

I’ll be sad to see the old “Kendricke Tracker” name go away, but I’m excited to see what it’s growing into.  Hopefully some of you are excited with us.

Over at GameDailyBiz, R.A. Salvatore has written an article on his thoughts regarding game design, writing, and the evolution of the industry:

I knew my job as a novelist, as I said before. I invite you the reader to adventure along with my characters on some epic quest. In a video game such as the one I’m now working on with 38 Studios, that job changes profoundly, because the most important character in this adventure will be, has to be, the one you, the player, creates. You don’t want me or any other author writing your adventure for you; you want to “write” it yourself, through your adventuring.

It’s a very thought-provoking read, touching on many aspects of storytelling from a multitude of perspectives:  as player, as author, as designer, as reader. 

Shard of Fear Coming Sooner?

Posted: August 30, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

As reported on The Archive of Ik:

While patching test today with the new Game Update information, a friend and I ran across an interesting little MP3 File being saved to our test directory.

Download the Shard of Fear MP3!

This might mean good news to those of you looking forward to the upcoming new zones, the Shards of Fear and Hate! While a lot of information hasn’t been offered about these new and upcoming zones beyond simple developer mention, this just might mean that we’re closer to returning to pieces of the planes than originally thought!  We can all hope for it to arrive soon after Game Update 38.

Any thoughts? Share them with others on our Forums!
(Special Thanks to Cenvere of the Antonia Bayle server for the lead).

For those of you who couldn’t make FanFaire and who couldn’t keep up with the various announcements after-the-fact, the Shard of Fear will be one of the two “Planes” being touched on again in Everquest 2 (the other being the Shard of Hate).  The Shard of Fear is being designed as a very difficult high level single group dungeon, whereas the Shard of Hate is being designed as a raid instance. 

Testing, Testing…

Posted: August 29, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

For those who have missed it, it looks like Update 38 is finally making it’s way to the Test Servers:

  • Dual Wield Weapon Changes
  • Bristlebane’s back
  • Trivial Loot Code no longer applies to quest items
  • Bloodlines Chronicles spell tweaks
  • Some Fighter group buffs have become raid buffs
  • Sort Quest Journal by Quest Level

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In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.

-Hubert H. Humphrey  

According to the ancient Celts, Names hold power. Often times, Celtic parents would give two names to their newborn children, a true name known only to a trusted few to be held close and private, and a given name to be known to all.  After all, if the sidhe (“shining folk” or “faries”) learned your real name, they’d have power over you with many of their spells and tricks.

The Celts believe this because they believed that names imparted unto the holder of the name a general place in the world that set it apart.  A boulder was just a boulder, but naming the boulder “Jan’s Rock” could impart a bit of magic to the place.  The more often the boulder was called by this name, the more power “Jan’s Rock” might draw to itself, eventually perhaps gaining some mystical powers of its own.  Anyone then knowing the outcropping to be “Jan’s Rock” might then be able to draw upon some of this strength.

For this reason, the ancient Celts were careful with the act of naming, reserving true names for people and then referring to them by public nicknames, and sparingly naming places or events, to be careful with drawing too much power to an area (and thereby potentially attracting the shidhe).

Names have power still.  Oh, I may not be able to invoke the name of Scott Hartsman while powering a spell in order to have him do my bidding in the Kunark expansion, but the fact is that many of the names in games today draw quite a bit of power from the names which are chosen.

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Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

Posted: August 28, 2007 by zobek in Legends of Norrath

The Legends of Norrath beta has been going on for two weeks now, and I’ve played several matches so far (against more than just Kendricke, too – though last night’s game certainly was fun, even losing). I’m getting the rules set in my mind and starting to identify strategies for certain situations. All in all, it’s a pretty fun game – but there still seems to be something missing.

It’s not the variety of gameplay – having four deck archetypes (fighter/mage/priest scout), two factions (light/dark), and two ways to win (complete 4 quests/kill your opponent’s avatar) takes care of that. It’s not the tactics that one can take. It’s not even the relatively limited pool of opponents at the moment.

It’s the cards.

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