Tag Archives: tips

WAR Tips Wanted!

I haven’t played Warhammer Online since November of 2008, but one of the things that I still remember is that the loading screen tips were not exactly stellar… or very useful… or even true in at least one case.

Of course, as I said back then, having official forums usually generates a “things I wish I had known earlier” type of thread, something that Warhammer Online, lacking official forums for the first few months of the game, missed out on it seems.  So that fertile ground for tip generation was lost when there were a lot more players interested in the game.

Now though, the team at EA Mythic is trying to spice up the loading screen tips by having a contest of sorts.  You can submit tips, and if they use them, they will be attributed on the loading screen to your character.  And you will also get the in-game title “Tipster” if they use one of your tips.  The official rules from the forum post:

We’d like to proudly announce that we’re opening up an opportunity for players to leave a lasting impression on the loading screens of Warhammer, as well as the battlefield!

Loading Screen Tips are an important part of any game’s educational and entertainment value, and Warhammer is no different. With our loading tips, we’ve tried to tell a story for players about important tips on how the game works, as well as include some silly anecdotes about game development or Dwarfs.

We want you to have the opportunity as well, so in the thread below, we are going to be accepting your submissions to make a part of Warhammer Online history by immortalizing yourself in the loading screen tips. Here are the steps:

  • Submit your tips, as many as you like, in a post below.
  • Please post from the character and server which you would like this tip attributed to (remember it is in-game character names only)
  • All entries must be in before June 30th, 2010.

The loading screen tips will be submitted to a judging panel of Mythic employees who will select tips that most effectively judge the tip based on whether or not it is informative, lore-based, or humorous. Tips will be chosen based on how useful/appropriate/humorous they are, as well as if they’re information that can not be found more easily elsewhere. We may correct grammar/spelling, and all tips/names must pass Games Workshop approval.

Chosen entries will be announced and awarded an exclusive in-game title: The Tipster

We will be accepting submissions from now until June 30th, 2010.

The whole thing sounds pretty good.  I only see two problems.

The first is the inclusion of “humorous” as one of the types of tips they are seeking.  We all think we’re funny, the vast majority of us are wrong, and the forum thread of tips bears this out.  Including humorous tips is boosting the signal to noise ratio quite a bit.

Second is the seeming confusion about what is useful.  Tips that sound like the complaints you hear in a scenario… or that sound like complaints about complaints you hear in a scenario… not so useful.

Still, despite the usual problem with user generated content, I think this is a great idea.

I just could have done without the video.

That subjectively seemed a lot longer than two minutes.

I more of an Aion fan when it comes to these sorts of videos.

Some Tips are Lies

Of course not all tips are helpful.

As far as I can tell, you can only join the scenario associated with the region you are currently in, and then only if you are in the appropriate level range.

So no level 12+ players in Nordland can join a scenario, because Nordenwatch does not allow it, and no level 11 or below players in Troll Country can join a scenario because Stonetroll Crossing does not allow it.  If you are the wrong level, you get a message about not being able to join the local scenario.

You also cannot join a scenario queue at all from Altdorf.

And just to top it off, you do not always end up back in the location from which you joined.  I’ve ended up back in the war camp half way across the zone from where I joined on several occasions.

Tips About Tips

I generally like the tips that you get coming into a game.  There are often things about a game that I learn from the tips.

For example, in World of Warcraft, I learned that I could eat and drink at the same time.

I assumed that you had to do one or the other, but you can do both.  Of course, the tool tip doesn’t warn you that the animation looks goofy,

Shotgun that loaf!

Shotgun that loaf!

but there is always a downside to everything.

Other games have picked up the tips thing.  EVE Online and EverQuest II have added tips to their loading screens over the last year.

The harsh realities of EVE

The harsh realities of EVE

Proof that Woodworkers are useful!

Proof that Woodworkers are useful!

Other games have had them all along, like Lord of the Rings Online and Toontown Online!

LOTRO tips don't wrap

LOTRO tips do not wrap

Toontown Economy... a stronger base than our own?

A jellybean economy... a stronger base than our own?

Warhammer Online came out with tips on loading screens on day one.  I assume they are going to expand them over time, as right now there seems to be about eight tips, most of which I would describe as more philosophical rather than helpful, like:

Being a practical person, I might consider a tip about how to open up your friends list (the “o” key), since it link to the UI above the chat window does not note the key, unlike other buttons.  Or maybe something about how to toggle off the UI for a screen shot (right-shift-z), or even something about the two different types of screen shots.  I would go there before I went philosophical.

Still, there are a couple of concrete ones like:

That is actual hard data.  Perhaps not as universally applicable as the eat/drink thing from WoW, but good for the explorer type.

However one of the current Warhammer Online tips represents my least favorite tip:  The tip extolling tips.  Every game seems to think they need a tip like this, and it is usually part of the first batch of tips in the game.

Why does every game feel they need this tip, or one very much like it?

What drives the strange belief that people who do not read the tips already will be move by, or even see, this sort of message?

The recursive tip asking you to read the tips seems to me to be an indicator they there are not enough tips in the system.  I imagine a conversation along the lines of:

content guy 1: Hey, we only have five tips.  We need to come up with more.
content guy 2: Hrmm… how about a tip about how useful the tips are.
content guy 1: Cool!  Now we have six tips….

The problem is that even after the list of tips gets fleshed out and represents a wealth of knowledge, that one tip remains.

Why does that tip remain?  Has anybody ever felt informed by a tip telling you that you should read the tips?