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I've been playing online games for over 15 years now starting with MUDs and most currently playing primarily LOTRO and Rift. I tend to focus more on the end-game aspects and can get pretty involved in games that grab my attention.

Posts by DocHoliday

What’s Keeping Me Busy


I haven’t been writing all that much, and that’s mainly due to not playing much of anything lately.  But things are coming around and I’m getting settled at my new job and getting into a better routine with our newborn, so I should be getting back into more of a schedule.  But it shouldn’t be a surprise what main games are occupying my time and plans for the future.

I’ve been in and out of LOTRO lately, but more trying to keep things somewhat organized and not doing a whole lot out purely due to time constraints, that are loosening up.  I’ve toyed with the idea of dusting off my Captain but I think there’s still more then enough work to do on my Warden to keep me busy.  She’s not in that bad of a position, but I need to go grab a few virtues to adjust to the whole Agility switch.  I also think I’m going to start playing in the new instances to see what all I can do in there to challenge myself – I’ve heard rumors of Warden’s soloing the new 6-man, so that’s something I’m going to toy with.

Sadly I really haven’t been able to get in much of The Secret World and I’m really looking forward to the new content with Issue 6.  I always enjoy that world once I’m in it, but the concentration requirements have been a bit of an issue for me.  I’m still feeling pretty good about my Blades/Blood build but I think I’m going to probably check out the Assault Rifle and see if I can make a Warden-like build in TSW.  I’m really excited to get further into Translyvania as everyone talks about how much harder that area is and I’m curious to see how that all plays out.

My main play time though has been with Football Manager 2013, mainly because I can run it almost as a background game.  I ended up having a bit of a philosophy shift and started over a new game as my previous one I had cheated just way too much and it really wasn’t much fun due to the lack of a challenge.  And by cheating, I mean re-loading if I don’t get a result I like.  I started again with Everton and have reduced my “cheating” to long-term injuries (over a month) and transfers.  I know the purists will say that I’m not truly playing the game but I really enjoy the player development side of it, and the other option of “starting over” is quite daunting.  I just started my second season on this save and am enjoying it MUCH more then previous games as I pay much more attention to each game.  My first season saw quite a bit of turnover as I really prefer younger players and Everton has a bunch of older (yet still valuable) players.  I ended up selling Jelavic,, Gibson and Heitinga along with a couple others and a ton of loans for a infusion of over 51 million pounds.  I ended up spending that on 3 players initially – striker Ademilson from Brazil, fullback Mattia De Sciglio, and center back Ryan Shawcross as some of my other targets weren’t available or were too expensive in this new patch.  I then went out in January and was able to bring in Clint Dempsey on the last day of the window and Moi Gomez to strengthen my midfield.  My moves and my youngsters really preformed quite well as I was able to reach the finals of the FA Cup (losing to Manchester United) and 3rd in the Premier League.  The biggest disappointment was getting knocked out in the 3rd round of the League cup, but the fans got over that after a bit.

Coming into season 2, I have an amazing wave of youth from our development system so I really don’t have too many holes to fill.  The RNG was very generous with me as I brought in 5 players rated 4 stars (maximum is 5) or higher that should be fun to see how they develop.  I parted with Mirallas, Naismith and Gueye which brought in quite a nice sum of money.  I brought in a couple of youngsters and then on the last day of the window I saw that Michael Bradley was available so I grabbed him to see how he would work paired up with Jack Rodwell (yes, I modded the initial DB to keep him on Everton instead of the crappy move to Manchester City) to control the middle of the field.  My start has been a little rocky with an opening day loss followed by a dull draw, but I did win my 3rd game and am now getting into the teeth of Champions League group play, so it will start to get VERY interesting.

I still enjoy FM13 but I’m really starting to get the itch to get back to my characters stuck in MMO-land and as such I’m sure they’ll get some more attention, which will bring more writing from me as well.


My Hopes for the new Turbine Player Council


I must admit that I’m on the fence about this whole player council thing Turbine is rolling out.  A part of me thinks this is a good idea for Turbine to have a more structured way to get feedback and guidance from the community.  However, I also think there’s the distinct possibility that this will just be another avenue for Turbine to ignore.

On the positive side, there’s quite a bit of detail to the makeup and roles of the council.  Also the timing seems good as they’ll be able to interact with the team pre-alpha which should be early enough to actually make changes.  It also seems like the council will more or less be the funnel for the community to really focus attention to the areas Turbine needs to pay attention to.  The size of the council (30 to 50 members) should certainly be good enough to get a good cross section of the community and also not overly task any single member.

However, I think the biggest issue will be the lack of feedback from the Council to the community.  Again, this is another NDA protected avenue such that even though we’ll know who’s in the council, we still won’t be able to get an idea of what the council is actually doing.

This will then be just like the current Palantir Program in that there’s no understanding form the community of what the results from this effort have been.  For instance, I’ve commented and have been concerned by lack of polish coming to Bullroarer but we have no insight into whether or not Palantir provided feedback to make it better or if the same issues persisted through that program.  While I’m sure the folks involved in Palantir are doing a good job and trying their best, we have no clue if they’re not doing their job or if it is just Turbine not provided them an option to do much.  Over the past couple of betas I’ve been disappointed in the amount of changes that have been made despite all the feedback, but again we have no clue what things looked like upstream of that to know if Turbine actually makes changes or just pushes through what they want.

My other concern about this program is how receptive Turbine will be to criticism.  Personally I feel that they have become very defensive and not even willing to answer questions that they don’t want to talk about.  What will happen if you’re on the council and you speak out, will they have the same policy there as they have been accused of having on the forums?

I really want this new council to do well and help Turbine continue to produce a game that people enjoy playing for many years to come.  Personally I have invested a lot of time in this game and would like to see my enjoyment of it continue until we reach Mordor, or even Gondor for that matter ;)  I highly recommend interested folks submit their applications and try to make the council what they want it to be as that will then help move the game where you want it to go.  Not that I expect to be accepted, but I will follow my own advice and will be applying.


LOTRO Official Update 10 Release Notes



Shockingly enough, there’s a known issues list already posted.  Pretty significant especially when there’s so much in there regarding loot not hooked up, which was one of the main selling points for this update.  Seems like a minor issue – and I don’t understand why Turbine springs a release with no warning when there are this many “little” things un-resolved.  Granted, it probably will take them time to wrap everything up but it seems like another pass of polish would’ve done quite a bit of good and not let the community down at all.

<End Update>

I was a little surprised that they sprung Update 10 on us yesterday, mainly because there had been so little PR for it.  Pretty much the VERY light “developer diaries” were the only things leading up to this update, without too much fanfare.  Maybe Turbine feels guilty that many people paid for this update almost a year ago, but oh well.  There’s not much that’s in the notes that we haven’t seen from the pushes to Bullroarer so this should mainly just be a compilation of those patches.  The full notes can be found here, but I picked a few that jumped out for me:

  • Mithril coins are in – don’t forget to log into your alts to gather all these up
  • All sorts of Critical Damage changes – hopefully this isn’t too broken
  • Tons of power changes – there were mixed reviews of this on Bullroarer, but expect to need to do some tweaking to adjust to the changes
  • Fate is now the leading contributor to critical rating
  • New 6 man (Bells of Dale), and 3 new 12 man raids (Flight of the Lonely Mountain, Fires of Smaug, Battle for Erebor)
  • In Their Absence instance cluster is now scalable
  • Warden’s are now agility based
  • All sorts of PvMP changes
  • Forced emotes have a toggle now so you won’t be impacted by them
  • No more defeat dread
    • I’m still not sure why this was removed – was it really that big of a deal for people?
  • Tasks and quests can now be completed in a raid
    • I don’t get this one either – seems like this creates more potential farming issues like the Hytbold areas
  • Trail foods can be made at ovens now – another “why did this take so long” thing

Overall it is good that they’re adding more instance content, but the massive system changes are always scary since they never seem to get them right the first time.

What are folks most excited about with Update 10?


The Secret World Update 1.5.5 Patch Notes


Like many of TSW’s updates, this one came and went pretty quickly without too much fanfare.  However, this not only brought some fun social items but quite a few other changes and tweaks.  I’m not sure I’ve figured out TSW’s numbering schemes but this to me seems pretty big for a tertiary update.  Full patch notes can be found here, but here are some snippits:

  • Valentine’s Day items
    • I like that not only can you send traditional Valentines, but also warnings
  • Quite a few changes to the Albion theatre
    • I need to find more time to spend there, really curious to see what others are doing
    • Anyone have any good YouTube channels for this?
  • Ranged weapon resources should build more reliably
  • Tweaks and changes to pretty much every weapon type
  • Crafting changes to make dis-assembly more uniform

I’m sure there are other things in there that folks might find important, but those were the big ones for me.

Here’s hoping we get news on Issue 6 here soon!


LOTRO Update 9.1.1 Patch Notes


I didn’t even realize there was going to be a patch today but there was and 2 things from this really jumped out at me.

First, I was surprised that they’re doing server side performance enhancements ahead of Wednesday’s extended downtime.  I’m all for them doing things, it just seems strange timing to me.  But hopefully it will help as I know since Rohan many (including myself) have been having issues.

It seems like Turbine is still dealing with farming issues (or at least that’s my guess) as loot is being completely removed from certain (they’re not saying which) public instances.  After all the initial issues, I’m surprised they didn’t do more but this seems like the logical step.

The other note in there is that the drop rate for legendary crafting recipes will be increased from the bosses in the Rohan crafting instances.  I’m assuming these are the “Horse Lords” recipes that for now are the best gear in the game.  Now we don’t know what it will be increased to or where it was at, but this does seem like a move to try and get these spaces some more attention.  Looks like they’re trying to put more of these out there for folks not running group instances, which I can’t complain about but again the timing is interesting with all the changes coming with Update 10.

Not too much else in the notes, but you can check them out on the Lorebook.

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