WeeWarTimes.com Launched!

WeeWar Times Screen ShotThe Knight Knetwork is pleased to announce the newest site in the Knetwork – The WeeWar Times!  If you aren’t familiar with WeeWar, it’s a turn-based strategy game you play from your browser.  WeeWar is an amazing site and is one of the most innovative games around when it comes to giving players control.  A useful API, attentive developers, and an addictive game have created a vibrant community.  The WeeWar Times was launched as a news site to serve that community and will provide an outlet for News, Tips, Interviews, and Map Reviews.

Notes for Aspiring WeeWarLords

weewar.comI have to confess that I’m mildy addicted to WeeWar, the free online multiplayer strategy game (think turn based Command and Conquer). The site is recently out of beta and has already built an impressive userbase of over 30,000 registered users. It’s fun, addictive, and with turn time limit’s from 5 minutes all the way up to 3 days, it doesn’t require you to sit at your computer for long periods of time just to play a game. If you are an aspiring WeeWarLord then I’ve put together a few notes that can help get you on on your way: (if you’d like to share this with someone just starting out, I’ve redirected WeeWar.KnightKnetwork.com to this post to make it easier)

Before you sign up (optional):

Before you play a game:

  • Learn about the Map you’re playing on, there are standard and custom maps
  • As a player, you start with 1500 points. If you win a war you get points and the other person loses them. You get more points for beating someone of a higher rank.
  • It can take more than an hour to finish even a small 1 on 1 game, the more players, the longer it takes. Take care not to join too many multiplayer games on large maps or you will fill up your available games and not be able to play while waiting on others to log in and go. I recommend leaving at least 2 slots free for small games with short time limits so you can always play when you want.

During a game:

  • As you’re learning, use the greasemonkey scripts to get an idea of how fights will turn out and to keep track of how the game is progressing.
  • Units are less effective when damaged, retreat and repair rather than attacking when low on health. Also, learn exactly how strong a unit is versus other unit types @ WeeWarWiki.com
  • Terrain can greatly change the way a battle turns out, learn how to use it if you want to win
  • If you gang up on a unit you’ll get attack bonuses for attacking from different sides
  • Know when to fold them! Surrender when the game is really obviously over, don’t tie up an opponents HQ slots by prolonging a game needlessly
  • End Your Turn! It’s an easy rookie mistake to make, so think about it and always remember to hit that ‘End Turn’ link

After a game:

  • When the game is over don’t feel bashful and politely ask for tips on how to improve, many players are happy to help
  • To get the game out of your HQ so you can play another one, you’ll need to archive or permanently delete the game from it’s game options

After you play a few rounds:

  • Get a better idea of how battles are calculated check out the WeeWar Specifications
  • Join in WeeWar discussions on the WeeWar Forums
  • Want to play MORE? Upgrade to a Pro account and get 10 games instead of 4, plus extras! You’ll also be supporting the game’s future, if that kind of thing matters to you.

MMOG Leader Group Dynamics Lesson

It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in any Massively Multiplayer Online Games. When I was involved it was amazing to see how friendships could spring up and how people could come together to support each other and all pitch in to have a good time and build something together. It was also amazing to see how it could all fall apart, sometimes in what seemed like an instant, and other times gradually over time as people lost interest in the group’s goal and each other. There was, and I have to assume still is, a TON of drama that goes on in any guild and I always assumed that any gathering of a group not really known for it’s social skill set was doomed to eventual failure. While that may be the case there is a lot of interesting information out about group dynamics and social group limits and optimal sizes. I was really doing research for an article on Facebook and other social networking applications, but it turns out the MMO games have really proved to be THE rich data source for social theorists.

Since this information has been gathered from these games it seems only fitting that it be pumped back into the system, leaders of groups and guilds should be able to utilize this information in-game, add to it some more conventional and generic social skills and leaders can keep their player groups happier and more efficient, and in my experience that makes it more fun as well! I’m not an expert and won’t pretend to be so if you are interested I suggest you read up:

  • Dunbar’s Number -Dunbar’s number is a theoretical number that sets an upper bound on how big a human’s social group can effectively be, this is a wikipedia article for general background after you’ve got that read:
  • The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes – Digging further into the Dunbar number, Christopher Allen does a good job explaining the Dunbar Number and explores how satisfaction varies with the population of a group, be sure to read his other posts on the subject.
  • Palo Alto Research Center’s PlayOn – First indulge yourself in their Guild Name Generator, and then check out the content. They’ve gotten some really good data and have used it to study player’s playing times, habits, and personality types.
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People – It turns out that interpersonal skills are timeless and useful anywhere, if you haven’t read Dale Carnegie’s classic I suggest you pick up a copy. (more…)