Monday, 30 March 2009

BBB nominated for a Sticky Keyboard Award

Bloody Hell! I got nominated for a Sticky Keyboard award by Way of the Chosen. Rivs must have seen me ruminating on what's better, Polish or Italian milfs. To be honest I'm still not decided, more investigation required I think, a hard task I shall not shirk from...

Doh! That's gonna get me some messed up google traffic. Anyways, thanks Rivs ;)

The award comes with stipulations….
1) When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.

2) Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

Righty ho then, chocks away!

Keen and Graev's Gaming Blog - This was the first gaming blog that I read regularly. Keen's a real MMO tart like myself and you'll often see him getting all hyped for the latest MMO and smothering the blog with information. The thing I particularly like with this site is as Keen gets all hyped about the latest MMO , his excitement drips off the page like sweet ambrosia in Zeus' beard. Then of course as things don't turn out as well as expected, it turns into a more calculated critique of what went wrong and what could be done better. Always a good read.

Tome of Knowledge - Love the custom webcomic style artwork on the ToK, really cool. Where else can you see Mickey Mouse meets the followers of Chaos? But that's not all, oh no dear reader, the ToK also has a wealth of info to bury yourself in. Be sure to check out the flurry of Tomb Kings info over there lately.

Wizards and Wenches - How I love thee. Much like Rivs I first visted this Blog with near rabid expectation due to imagery the name conjured up of Wenches needing a good old fashioned Slaanesh style defiling. Alas that was not to be, but what I did find was quality writing with everything from caption competitions to guides on configuring your add ons. A good dose of humour thrown in too.

Stunty Stomper - Lets be honest, this blog needs an award just for the quality name. That aside, this really is one of the best WAR blogs out there. Not only does it have a great look, but it also has a regular wave of great articles. And on top of that there's useful stuff like maps of dungeons and cities and an ever growing collection of custom WAR style wallpapers.

The Captain's Blog - Not just a Captain, but an Inquisitor too! Don't mess with Inquisitor Goody or he'll get the comfy chair... Diverse WAR topics from going on Safari to event reviews, good show old boy! Plus he's on the same server as me, which of course makes him most excellent. Well that and in trouble when I find him, the damned Order goody goody ;)

Werit - What's a Werit? Apparently it's a befuddled Dwarf having lost its beer. I'm sure we can all appreciate the confused state this can cause. So how the bloody hell does Werit manage to write such a well considered blog? Articles regularly depart from WAR, but that's no bad thing as you get some tidbits about other MMOs.

Book of Grudges - A blood covered banner? Clearly a sign of impeccable taste and how I dare not overlook a blog of such obvious class. Great thing with this blog is the unbiased writing, you get a flavour of WAR without any epeen, l337 geekdom or fanboy blindness.

Tuffmudda - Where else can you get a guide to slow roasting a chicken in Lost Vale? Genius.

--
Nearly forgot the 10 things about me, here goes then:

1) I've somehow managed to get on TV a few times, but my fave is for shouting "Show us your clint!" at Clint Eastwood. The other times it were mainly just Crimewatch anyway :P
2) I am a Liverpool FC supporter.
3) My favourite film director is Akira Kurosawa.
4) I think Ultima Online was the best MMO ever made and you will not convince me otherwise.
5) I read a lot of varied stuff, but for pure enjoyment my fave author is Bernard Cornwell. Derfel Cadarn ftw.
6) I used to regularly wake up in strange uncomfortable places. Thankfully this has never included the back of a Volkswagon.
7) My current fave album is Angles by Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. As a Chosen I must agree with Thou Shalt Always Kill, but I think my Chosen may have missed the point.
8) When the numbers got into 50+, I stopped counting.
9) I would say that Cheddar is the true King of Cheese, the rest are just minging tasteless crap or foul prentitious nonsense.
10) I prefer cats to dogs, if I throw a stick I don't want the bloody thing back. Stupid mutts.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Being saved to instances in WAR needs fixing

...because at the moment it's a bit rubbish and either broken or just badly implemented.

You get half way through Lost Vale, but with a bit of bad luck and a bugged boss, time runs out. No problem! We're all saved to the instance, so we'll just continue on Sunday we say. Sunday arrives, but one of our guys can't get online due to RL stuff. Which means, no continuing LV for anyone, because with the stupid system in WAR you can't swap people out and save their replacement to your instance. Why are people punished if a guildie is ill or something?

In fact I've not been able to see the last wing of LV yet. Due to regular bad luck both in game and with the effects of real life, everytime we arrange a second night something goes wrong.

Really REALLY bloody annoying.

Why didn't they just copy Blizzard's perfectly fine system for being saved to instances?
Mythic, please, please change this ASAP.

[update 1]
Annnnnnd while I'm here. God I hate run backs after a death in dungeons. Mythic you had a great idea in LV with those quest giver ghost things that spawn, you know the ones where you can remove your res sickness debuff. Why can't we also res at them when releasing? 5-10 minutes of running back is not fun :P

[update 2]
Ok lol, I got into the middle of LV tonight. :) My point still stands though.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Patch 1.2.1 preview including Keep upgrades and AoE nerf! (YAY)

Some links for you lovely people, first off:

Patch 1.2.1 preview:
http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=725

Combat Responsiveness Improvements. A biggy for a lot of people. We've seen lots of work on this since beta, will this be the patch that finally sorts it?

Keep Upgrade System. A slice of awesome pie, at last. No destructable walls yet though, but can't have everything at once I guess. See below for more info on keep upgrades.

General UI Improvements. PLEASE let this include sorting the crappy alliance roster, we should be able to set alliance permissions based on guild rank. Also a guild UI that works without having to use /slash commands would be good..

RvR Zone Control Rewards. Sounds promising.

The Battle for the Gates of Ekrund Expands! – A 6-on-6 version of the Gates of Ekrund for players between the Ranks of 19-24? Now that is interesting! Are 6-on-6 scenarios something we'll start seeing more often? Has potential to be a bit of a guild arena type affair.

Beyond the Sands Live Event. Yay, I like live events.

Lots of Bug Fixes . Yay, details asap pls ;)

Return to Nordenwatch Weekend Event. Have to see what the deal is with this. Will it be Nordenwatch available beyond tier 1?

And More! – Lots more features, career balancing, and improvements to the game are on their way. More details about this next week.
Didn't see mention of AoE, but it's only a preview post. However I just found this:
http://forums.warhammeronline.com/warhammer/board/message?board.id=archetype_ranged&message.id=416#M416
YAY!

And then some more detail about the Keep Upgrade system:
http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=724

Keep upgrade system sounds great, just hope it doesn't cost the earth ;) Not that it should be too cheap either tbh, else we'll have level 10 keeps everywhere... A fine balance needed.

All told nothing new to any ex-DAoC players, other than Ritualists and Divine Favour, but all good. Being able to bind to your guild keep will be the most telling factor within your guilds main play times, but will upgrades be enough for your keeps to have a chance of not being capped early morning, etc? With Order doing things like taking a Fortress on our server at 9:37am UK time on a Friday, I doubt any keeps have a chance, regardless of upgrades. Unless you have a guild with a very wide spread of play times.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Not a lotta choppin and does the new AoE of doom cause the lag?

Not had that much spare time last few days due to a mixture of real life stuff and having the damned pox. Which has resulted in not much progress with my Choppa. What little time I have had online when not on my Chosen I've just used to grind out quests with Gashface.

Doing a chapter at a time in each 3 pairings, seems to work quite efficiently. So far I'm up to level 24 with very little time put in since I left tier 2. Though obviously this has meant bugger all renown gains, my renown rank is lagging behind at 21.

Maybe I'll get stuck into tier 3 RvR a bit more when I get more time, but it's kinda tempting to just hammer straight through and get into tier 4.
Though with the way tier 4 is at the moment, I'm not so sure I'd be wanting to use an undergeared alt in RvR there. If my pretty well geared Chosen can die in literally 1 second with the AoE spam of Doom, it doesn't bode well for a squishy choppa :P No joke, had this at a recent fortress attempt, walked anywhere near the gate it was instant death with just a wall of numbers filling my screen. Dunno how many Bright Wizards they had stacking rain of fire, but ouch... Same would happen to Order when our Sorcerers stacked pit of shades I guess. Literally impossible for healers to do anything, especially when combined with the horrific lag. Hopefully it'll get fixed soon.
Interestingly that night we noticed that soon as we managed to get the Order off the walls and the Rain of Fire spam stopped for a bit, instantly the lag got better. Like a LOT better. I had spell effects turned off, so RoF shouldn't effect my PC graphic wise and everyone in alliance chat was talking about the lag reducing. So it wasn't just me.
Is it the calculations AoE makes the game do or something that shafts the server performance? There's a link for sure it would seem.

WCPI link pimpage

Girl IRL has gone all tractor on us and is talking about her desire for some more farming action in WAR. Fair questions asked about expanding crafting in WAR at:
http://girlirl.blogwarhammer.net/?p=812

Gaarawarr has posted a dead good guide to armour sets in WAR. Something that will be particularly handy if you're new to WAR and working out WTF we're talking about with wards, sent, DP, etc. Check it at:
http://gaarawarrgabs.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/definitive-guide-to-armor-sets-in-war/

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Pimped my Chosen, how about you?

I'm a big fan of the armour dye system in WAR. With every piece of armour having 2 different sections that you can change the colours of, it really does mean not everyone has to look the same. The clown vomit armour you had to put up with in Warcraft always pissed me off, it was ok once you had a full set of something and it was properly themed, but then you just looked like everyone else. Coming from games like Ultima and DAoC, I never understood why Blizzard made armour so restricted.

The other beauty with WAR's system is it's not just the customised armour colour to add character to your, uhm, character. You've also of course got guild cloaks and the wide range of trophy choices.

One of the things this is allowing me to do is as I build up a second set of Sentinel armour with different talismans (so I have a tanking set and a PvP set), I have them dyed differently. This way I don't have to check my equipment to see which I have equipped, I can tell soon as my character loads in. Simple little thing, but cool none the less. If I'm wearing Black/Red, then its PvP time :)

So come on my fellow bloggers, lets have a butchers at your characters. What sorta funky armour dye/trophy/cloak themed action you got?

Here's how Bootae looks at the moment:



Saturday, 21 March 2009

Hip Chop ya don't stop

I've had a quality night of Choppa action :)

It started off with joining a warband and getting a few keeps, not hugely defended, but Order put up a fight none the less. Once it started getting a bit too RvE, we formed a guild tier 2 warband and did PQs and scenarios. Didn't lose one all night and had some really slick results, with us pulling back from the brink of defeat to get the win a couple of times too. There were a few big name Order guilds with what appeared to be premades in scenarios, which can be a lot of fun to go against when both sides are fairly balanced. Always good to get a decent competitive fight and doubly nice to edge the wins too ;)

As time got on and people needed to log, I went off to do some quests to hit 20. I've not really seen much of the PvE areas in Barak Varr before and on reflection there's probably quite a lot of the game world I've not seen yet. Maybe I need to do some more exploring... Anyways, after bashing a few dwarven heads in, I dinged 20 and got my mount. Yay! No more running!
Took it for a spin around Ostland, but it was a bit late and I didn't find anyone to run over. Then I realised that the keep in Shadowlands was showing as under attack. As it was about 1am at the time it was probably just a guard being agroed, but with the Elf oRvR influence rewards being the last ones I need, I figured it was worth a look.
Man I was glad I did ;) Order had at least half a warband hitting the keep, maybe 3 groups worth. There was only 2 other Destruction defenders... I joined their group and we had some amusment pouring boiling oil on the enemy, but we reckoned we were doomed once they got in. Not going down without a fight though, oh no sir! Soon as the door was down we moved up the 2nd ramp a bit and let them agro the Lord. His AoE kicked in and so did we :D The Order tried to exploit the Lord out to the balcony, but we made hit and run attacks and the Lord wasn't falling for it either. We killed about 3/4 of the Order as the situation threw them into disarray. Then the strangest thing happened... The last few Order jumped off the battlements and ran away, leaving us 3 heroes alone in the keep. First time I've ever seen Order leg it quite like that.
I have to say nice one to Wifz and Regain that I was grouped with, it was a proper comedy moment and they were good company for it :)
I'm the sexy one in the middle.

So all told a good nights Chopping. Lots of fun, lots of action and pet piggy to ride too. Quality stuff ;)
And it's made a big improvement to my Choppa's Dammaz Kron scores :D Nice session RvR stats ;) Of course now I've posted this I'm going to get bloody maimed for a month and end up on -500 :P

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The pain of daytime Fortress/City sieges and AoEhammer

Lately its become fashionable for Order on Karak Norn to do fortress and city raids during the morning and afternoon on weekdays. Something which has been very depressing for those of us with normal 9-5 jobs, as by the time you get online for normal prime time gaming at say 7 or 8pm you're already at least one fortress down and Order are about to cap a second or even worse, you log into an IC siege.

How Order manage to have so many players that are students, school kids, unemployed or working night shifts I don't know, but you would presume Destruction would have a similar amount. I've read before that younger players tend to pick the goodies in fantasy genre games, but even if that's true it surely wouldn't be that many more players and they'd still have to be at school until like 3 or 4pm. So without any census data to go on and nothing but shit throwing flamewars on forums, I can only presume that the Destruction players that are on during the day times are on alts and not bothering to defend. Unless Order are actuallly recruiting at a local job centre :P But I walked past it this morning and didn't notice any pointy eared tree hugging gits...

The daytime raids are a problem, but not because the players on at those times are taking forts and sieging cities. Certainly not in fact, as there's no reason why those guys should be exempt from parts of the game. Maybe thats the only times they can play after all. The problem is those events that happen whilst the majority of players are at work can then bugger up the game for the majority of players, whose only option when they get online at more "normal" times is to either defend in a lagpit or suffer a city siege. At present its a bit like the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

This could perhaps be avoided if the lock down timers for fortress and city sieges were smaller. That way the poor sods working nights could come online in the morning, take forts, cities, etc and then by the time the rest of us get on we'd be able to do the same. Or at least have the option to try. I know I'm sure tempted each time to just go play an alt, tier 1-3 doesn't have these issues and has been epic fun lately.

Having just been on a primetime fortress attempt and having first hand experience of the ridiculous power of Bright Wizard AoE now (I'm sure the same applies to our Sorcerers), I can perhaps understand why Order are reluctant to push for 2 fortresses in prime time. Monstrous AoE spammage that can take my 9k hit points away in under 3 seconds, can not be healed through when your healers are suffering with 4+ second delay cast times due to lag. This is meant to be Warhammer, a predominately melee based game, not AoEhammer.

Mythic please do something fast with this whole situation. It's spreading rampant negativity at a delicate time and not all of it is an over reaction.

EDIT - found some census data from tonight:
Order: 966 total, 236 rank 40s
Destruction: 960 total, 202 rank 40s
Interestingly there were 112 BWs - more than any other class, including Slayers.

Nuff said tbh

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Level 40 Choppa already? You sir are a nut job

Yup one of my guildies hit level 40 with his Choppa earlier today. Our server's first (edit... possibly second...). I would like to put it on the record right now that he is officially a bloody mentalist.

Impressive, yet scary at the same time. Especially when you consider he has a job and a lady friend. I think he must have been inspired by 80's UK television when Roy Castle sang:

Dedication, dedication
Dedication, that's what you need
If you wanna be the best
If you wanna beat the rest
Oh-oh dedication's what you need;
If you wanna be a record break-er, Oooooh.,

Or perhaps he's just mad as a balloon. I know where my money is. Thankfully not in Icelandic banks.

Anyways, I'll get some level 40 RvR feedback from him ASAP.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

State of the game malarky

In Mark Jacob's state of the game address the other week he listed the following as their priority list:
1) Client/Server performance in RvR
2) Bug & Polish
3) Open RvR in general
4) Keeps in general
5) Keep Defense
6) Battlefield Objectives
7) Zone Capture
8) Zone Capture rewards
9) City Raiding for fun and profit
10) Career Balancing
11) Scenarios

I was looking at this list and thinking about what I would prioritise myself and I've realised it's almost exactly the same.

1) The thing that is most frustrating at the moment is most definately the server stability and performance in large scale RvR. When you've got 200+ (my guesstimate...) people crammed into a small area like we regularly see in Fortress takes (daily on Karak-Norn), the server starts to cry. It also has a knock on effect onto the surrounding areas as masses of people rush around reinforcing attackers, intercepting the enemy, etc. Rest of the time the game performance is fine for me, but everytime this happens its a disappointment. Not a surprise mind you, every MMO has this problem, other than Eve, but then that doesn't have the same sorta of terrain to deal with and is many years down the road of development (though with everyone on one server there are probably technical lessons for developers to be learnt from Eve).

2) Second to that is bugs. This is nothing like as buggy as say Age of Conan, but it does have plenty of bugs particularly with PvE content and I know a lot of people get all het up about bugs and expect WAR to be as bug free as WoW is 5 years after release :P So for the sake of all our sanity it needs sorting.
The biggy bugwise for me since patch 1.2 is guild and alliance permissions. People at random not being able to talk in /as is a real hinderance and is very frustrating. This needs to be hot fixed like now.

3-8) Mark has this down as basically improving the whole RvR scene. Fair enough, whilst RvR is pretty cool most of the time and pisses all over the lame PvP in most other MMOs, there's lots that could be improved further. Keeps are high in that list, but Fortresses in particular need big changes. Combine the bad server performance and the fact that a Fortress is nothing more than a keep with bigger doors and a harder Lord, and you end up with a rather underwhelming event. Mythic need to do something drastic with Fortresses. Change the layout and the whole single Lord thing. Maybe have multiple areas that you need to control within a properly HUGE fortress, like an armoury, barracks, towers, etc. Just get the bloody lag sorted and make it more interesting. It needs more than just a bloody extra ramp ;)

"We also want to put in more attacker options, more attacker abilities, and experiment with new types of siege warfare."
Siege towers? Lets hope ;)

"We want to make BOs more relevant and necessary for the Keep take to Zone Capture progression."
Battle Objectives need spicing up, I'm very intrigued with what Mythic have planned here.

9) I've not done a City Raid since 1.2. Prior to the patch it was crap, but I hear its a bit better now.
The City Raid experience that we currently have in the game will also get some additional work. Our primary goal is to add more RvR opportunities throughout the entire Raid. We are looking at a number of options and possibilities under consideration for more “RvR” and less “PQ action”
Good :P

10) Career balance, also known as a poison chalice.
"1.2.1.......will give some extra loving to the Archmage, Shaman, White Lion, and Marauder"
When asked about the 1.2 patch a Witch Elf gave this response :


Add Witch Elves to that list pls. I can't cope with their misery any longer. I know they're a bunch of previously overpowered semi-naked emo sluts, but come on they're a bit shite now.

11) Scenarios, like whatever :P I know, I know some people love them. So I'm sure this is good news.

Official WAR Euro Forums - The Lyceum or Bilerot Burrow?

Official WAR Euro forums open on Wednesday, starting with a forum beta.

So how long before they turn into a hate driven flame fest?

Oooh I'd give that about say 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes after that they will become a heavily moderated land of locked threads. And that is probably a good thing.

Having had to live with unofficial forums and the hate spawned drivel over most of them I just can't be arsed with it anymore. I don't want to hear from the WoW is teh LAW! crew, the people blatantly pretending to have played other old MMOs (particularly regarding DAoC) using their made up past "knowledge" whilst ranting, the obvious Blizzard employees and horde of people with ridiculous expectations for a young MMO.

Die Mythic! Die! and 'OMFG I quit!11!1' attention seeking posts will not help anything. WAR's got it's problems, some big, some small, but nothing that can't get sorted out. It's also got a lot of great things about it. Constructive criticism will only help improve the game. Look at the WoW forums, fuck all productive ever comes from there either, just the same nerf this, nerf that, I quit and hate posts. Though due to sheer bulk of posters there are some decent bits of information regarding talents, etc. Something that would certainly be helpful on the official forums, if people manage to stay civil enough to let the quality posts come through.

Of course should GOA/Mythic heavily moderate the Euro forums to try and make them more readable, we'll just see lots of "OMFG!1! they locked my post about calling you smacktards! You smacktards!" :P

Will the new forums turn into the Lyceum or Bilerot Burrow?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Chopwork Orange

I so wish I had thought of that for my Choppa's name. Ahh well, too late now.

Anyway, so me and my droogs have had a quality couple of days in Tier 2. All that was missing was some weepy young Devotchkas...

LOADS of action. Scenarios popping very regularly (quite often instantly) and large scale oRvR with multiple warbands clashing over keeps. Not much of the RvE nonsense, but lots of proper RvR scrapping. It's still Choppa/Slayer crazy, but there's a fair bit more diversity in classes than I saw in tier 1. My Choppa is at level and renown rank 15 now and it's been a doddle keeping both my XP and RPs going up evenly.

I'm still enjoying the Choppa, it's suitably manic in its playstyle and I think this will take over from my Witch Elf as my 2nd priority character. Lots of AoE spamming crazyness which is fun, but not very taxing. So far its really just a case of spamming Lotsa Choppin and Wild Choppin, with the odd snare or charge thrown in.

PvP wise I'm doing ok. I must admit that I can't quite shake my tank habits of trying to smash deep into enemy lines all the time, which with a squishy choppa can be more than a little suicidal. Of course for Orcs suicide is painless, but it is certainly bringing many changes to my Dammaz Kron score line (best add on ever btw), as I fluctuate wildly between insane killing machine and unsupported idiot in the middle of 4 Bright Wizards... But crucially I'm enjoying it regardless and that's all that matters :)
I've now had multiple 1vs1 fights with each Order class. I've beaten every class 1v1 at some point, but if I recall correctly it's only the following classes that I've had any losses against:
  • Warrior Priest
  • Sword Master
  • Slayer
  • Iron Breaker
Everyone else hasn't been that hard to kill. I doubt that's down to me being uber, more just a case of what the Choppa is designed to do. As in to kill squishy tree huggers.
Of course in RvR and scenarios, 1v1 fights are not the norm. It's sprawling melees and uneven fights that you'll most likely be stuck into, which the Choppa can do just fine in. Sure if I'm focused fired by more than 1 person I go down faster than a Kings Cross hooker, but with some good healing and staying in control of your rage, the Choppa can really bring the pain.
In scenarios I've hit the no1 spot for both damage and killing blows a good few times, even with me as low as level 13 in tier2. Obviously those scores shouldn't be taken as Gospel, but it is an indication that something is right when you're on the winning side and you're top in both. I've seen some other Choppas (and Slayers) get some crazy arsed damage scores too.
I'm not going to say the new classes are overpowered at this level, but they're certainly competitive.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Chosen 1.2 and happy bunnies

Having now had a bit of time to play with the changes 1.2 brought in, I thought I best comment on what it’s meant to me as a Chosen player.

Short version: I am a happy bunny.

Longer version: On the first day I changed my mastery spec to a Dread (rending blade) and Discord (Quake) spec. You can see my mastery and tactic set up for PvP here.

I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve not tried out anything else yet at all. Which of course means I’ve not tested out the apparently uber tanking specs. I will get round to that at some point, but in the mean time here’s how it’s gone for me with my great weapon style spanking.

Rending Blade is now bloody great. In PvP I’m hitting for between 300-875 on every target within 30 yards, that’s not too shabby at all when you consider Rending Blade does not have a cool down and I can spam it. Combine that damage with the ticks from our DoT aura and baneshield, and ouch indeed. However I was chatting with a guildie the other day that was not at all impressed with Rending Blade, but as we discussed why, it became apparent I had a lot more strength than he did. So it would seem that damage scales up very well with strength. Check out this video of a chap hitting for up to 1.6k with Rending Blade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B2nZDWRFKo
It’s on mobs rather than players, but still its Bloodwrought Enclave so it’s not like hitting crappy low level things.

Blast wave... I can’t say I’ve actually noticed the wound reduction this now applies to enemies, but that’s probably because it’s being lost amidst the carnage. I’m too lazy to go trawling back through combat logs and doing calculations. I’m using the ability when ever it’s available though and things are dying pretty quick, so I presume it’s contributing to my overall happy bunny factor.

Proper knockback! I like this a lot, finally we’re have a knockback on a par with other classes. Ok we have to use a tactic for it, but that does also reduce the cooldown so I can live with that. Great for breaking things up a bit, buying you some time and of course the classic punting people off bridges in Dragonwake.

One of my big favourite changes is the new Power of the Gods tactic. Auras now cost zero Action Points to use, but this tactic improves them yet more by giving you 5 AP per second for each aura running. I run 3 auras at a time using twister and a macro on my G15, so that’s a very nice 15AP per second. This has made a HUGE difference to my action point regen. Before it was a bloody nightmare, but now I very rarely run out of AP. A great change this.

Touch of Palsy has been ruined. Utterly ruined. This is a bit crap tbh, it’s our level 40 ability for Tzeentch’s sake! So now you ding 40 on a Chosen, you rush to a trainer to get your new uber level 40 ability and it’s like... err... WTF is this crap? :P It’s not really worth putting on your action bars anymore L Which is a shame because it was my favourite ability before, a great “noob” killer and a huge help in stopping people just running away from us.

There’s a shit load of other changes in 1.2 for Chosen, but I’m not going to comment on the less significant ones or those I’ve not really tested out.

As for how this has all worked out for me, well…
In my first Twisting Tower scenario I finished top on damage and killing blows by a long way. This proved to be more than just a one off… Whilst it must be said that particular scenario is perfect for an AoE based melee class, I’ve also done noticeably better in oRvR with a great weapon than ever before. Dramatically better in fact. I’ve turned into a bit of a monster and one that can’t be ignored.
I’ve heard people complaining that all they have to do now is spam Rending Blade and yes that’s certainly the case to a point, but they’re perhaps also missing out on a lot if they’re really spamming one button. If you’re twisting properly and using things like our snare, root, Quake, Baneshield and Blast wave you’ll not only do more damage and have more control, you’ll find yourself with plenty to do. At least I’ve found that to be the case myself.

I keep hearing that solo target damage is lower, but to be honest I’m not really noticing it. This maybe because I’ve got more strength in my great weapon gear than I did before the patch, but I suspect it’s the all round changes. Since 1.2 I’ve only lost a couple of 1v1 fights, both of which were against Warrior Priests. I’ve killed plenty of Warrior Priests too, but when you go up against a good one damn tha’s a tough fight.

I am really missing Touch of Palsy. If my other CC abilities are on cool down then stopping runners is just not possible and it was one of those abilities that was a joy to use. However that’s my only real complaint and all told I’m very pleased. I used to loathe using great weapons in WAR, since without stacking ridiculous amounts of strength it just wasn’t worth the loss in survivability. 1.2 has changed that, as now I actually do enough damage to warrant it. Of course for keep defence tank walls and other similar moments I revert back to using a shield and my more defensive equipment, but that’s no bad thing. Variety in play style keeps things more interesting and I can just switch my gear and tactics to get the required job done.

With my current spec and gear I really can play an offensive linebreaker, not just the hard to kill one. I can now run in with the other tanks and smack shit out of people, I can’t be ignored or I actually have a chance to kill you. Result :)


BTW for reference, I'm running at unbuffed approx:
Strength 710 (ish)
Crit rate 20-25% depending on what I'm experimenting with.
Hit Points 8k

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Choppa day2

Righty the statement that great weapon is better? Nah don't think so. I'm dual wielding and doing totally fine in both RvR and PvE. It would seem, at this early stage anyway, that you can go with either option just fine. It looks like what mastery you go for will really decide what weapons you wield. I'm starting off with Path of the Wrecka for some crazy AoE of doom.

Did a load of scenarios with a half a guild group earlier, so got to give the Choppa a real good go in PvP. AoE damage is impressive, I can lay down a world of hurt on a bunch of folks. Single target damage is only ok, but I suspect this is because I just don't have enough abilities yet.



However, PvP in tier 1 is wonky... ORvR and scenarios are so full of Choppas and Slayers that I'm not getting a proper idea of how the Choppa wil fit into the big picture, other than what Mythic have talked about with the whole walking bomb thing. Presumably as I get into tier 2-3 there will be a bit more diversity in opponents.




Just finished tier 1 yay, now for tier 2...

First night of real Choppa action...

...and it was pretty cool.

I've had a bit of a sporadic nights gaming, but managed to get Gashface up to both realm and renown rank 7. So it's too early to really judge the class or anything, but enough for a first impression.
The mighty Gashface!
Unsurprisingly it's another melee glass cannon, but I think some people maybe surprised at quite how squishy they are. In RvR I died a LOT. This maybe due to me being a bit too interested in the Wrecka stuff, so meaning I was in full berserk mode the whole time, which in turn means I have my armour and resists reduced by 50% in exchange for increased damage by 50%. Or I could just be a bit cack.
Regardless, it was fun anyway. And I enjoyed playing the whole psychotic Orc thing, very different from the more calculated way I play my Witch Elf where stealth lets you choose your fights more.

In PvE I'm AOE farming quest mobs with ease. It seems the Choppa sure can kick some damage out.

Lots of guildies were talking about finding Great Weapons much better then dual wielding, particularly in PvP. No shocks there with the tradition in MMOs of great weapons for burst damage, but if this is the case yet again, then I really hope at higher levels dual wield gets better for PvP. Personally I want to play a dual wielding Choppa, I use a great weapon with my Chosen a lot, so a change would be cool.

Anyways I'll update again when I get more time playing with my chopper... fnar fnar

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Choptimus Prime

Was already taken :( One of my guildies was gonna have that name, loved the idea :P I've gone for a good old fashioned orcy type name "Gashface".

Admist the usual rambling, I'll blog away over the next few weeks about how I get on with my new Choppa. But for now I'm faced with this still...


Bugger.

Monday, 9 March 2009

WCPI time

The whole server transfer was a big deal for me obviously and it went pretty smoothly in the end. Though there's some right bloody comedy crap smothering the WHA Karak Norn forum now as old Norn players and the ex-Karak Hirn people slag each other off. With all that epeen rage somebody is gonna get hurt :P
A voice of sanity amongst the ranting comes from Snort over at Tuffmudda as he discussing the reality of the situation.

Riv's got himself some Dark Promise gear. Considering the crap luck he was having with getting Sentinel, its about time eh? ;) Read his excellent blog over at: Way of the Chosen. The man clearly is a sensible chap having chosen a Chosen like the rest of us clever types.

Another blog I highly recommend is Tome of Knowledge. There's always interesting stuff to read and I'm a big fan of the custom artwork that enhances this blog. Talented swine! ;)

Friday, 6 March 2009

The Guild is dead. Long live the Guild!

Well that's a transfer done then... Karak-Hirn's Blood Pact is no more, the name was taken on Karak-Norn. So we formed Kill Frenzy today! Same quality people, just with some renaming for both the guild and some of our characters.

It's going to be very interesting on Norn over the next few weeks. It looks like all the destruction and order alliances from Hirn have moved there, I can't think of any that didn't off the top of my head. It's certainly going to mix things up a bit! I don't know what Norn is like for organisation currently, but as both factions have a load of very organised alliances (in fact really it's alliances of alliances) arriving today, well it can only complement or even enhance the server's existing factions.

Putting aside GOA's rubbish promoting of the transfer, I was impressed with the ease of the process. Only difficulty was at the time we tried to create the guild, IC was under siege and that complicated things somewhat :P

Looking forward to some hot Norn action ;)

Community spirit is alive and well ;)

Well it looks like all the big guilds (including mine) are moving from Karak Hirn to Karak-Norn. Representives from both Order and Destruction met up on a ventrilo server to discuss how to keep our community together and between them decided on Norn.

There were big events on our server last night as people said goodbye to it. Lots of fighting, emote banter and some fun between enemies. I'm really impressed with the attitude of people here and it bodes well for people on Norn to have us heading there. Check this screenshot taken by Svengrom from last night:
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/1858/svengrom007.jpg

Fair play to everyone there. Stay classy Karak Hirn ;)

Thursday, 5 March 2009

GOA: How to break up friends and influence people (to leave)

I’d like to say in advance, if this comes across as a rant, then I apologise now ;) Since WAR launched I’ve not once ragged on GOA, but alas today I have joined the masses drowning in frustration and misery brought on by their inept customer service.

Yesterday patch 1.2 went live on the European servers. Big news indeed, but for players on Karak-Hirn it’s turned out to be just the “and in other news” moment. You see directly after the GOA announced the patch had gone live, they then declared a new round of server transfers. Starting the following morning! So we’re talking about no more than 12 hours notice of server transfers and the icing on the cake is, they didn’t state what time limit the transfers have.

Panic has ensued.

Now this is clearly badly done by GOA and more than a little bit rubbish. How GOA expects guild and alliance leaders to coordinate a transfer with only a few hours notice, I don’t know. However for me what’s increasing my annoyance is the manner of their announcement regarding Karak-Hirn. There has been no discussion previously about population problems, yet their announcement basically says get out now your server is dying. We then also had a bit of inside information leaked to some of our server’s influential players that the population is decreasing badly, confirming the “get out of Dodge” message.

Whilst writing this, I’ve just heard that now when you log into WAR and Hirn, a message from GOA warns you this is a low population server and go play elsewhere. Magnus the GOA rep has also just posted on WHA talking about the “decision to close Hirn” being tough, etc. So GOA is well and truly ringing the death knell for my server. With just a few hours notice…
Link here to Magnus' post: http://www.warhammeralliance.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3672406&postcount=110

I have mixed thoughts about the transfer (transfer? I mean closure), as whilst our server’s community was recognised as one of the best in Europe, it is smaller and the difference in server activity particularly in the lower tiers is monumental. You can forget open RvR in tier 1, it just doesn’t really happen and tiers 2-3 are only marginally better. In tier 4 there’s regular action, but it’s nearly always focused in one zone at a time. There’s not the numbers to effectively attack multiple zones regularly, apart from those nights where we pre-arrange attacks. So in that respect, I’ll be happy to move and get more WAR action. I understand and accept that something needed to happen.

However, that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about the situation we’ve been put in. Something needed to happen, but it should be done in a sensible and planned manner. Transferring guilds and alliances causes hassle both in and outside of the game world, hassle for your paying subscribers; we deserve more respect than this.

As a guild leader I have to stay positive to try and keep my guild together, there’s no option but to move and now I have to make this work. But frankly I’m stunned (perhaps naively) at how bad GOA’s timing and communication has been. Let me elaborate:

· It was bloody patch day! Emotions are running high as the nerf debates rage, so obviously dumping a short notice transfer on people is not a good idea. Imagine you’re a Witch Elf player and you’ve just discovered not only has your character been nerfed beyond all sanity, but you’ve also got to move server and quite possibly have to lose your characters name, is that perhaps going to annoy you? You think? What a wonderful incentive to log in that is eh? People that were verging on quitting are being nudged over the edge.

· Guilds that transferred to Karak-Hirn now have to transfer AGAIN. People are not happy.

· Any server’s members being told to transfer would ask this, but with Hirn’s competitive tier 4 and decent community and instead of killing it, why is Karak-Hirn not a destination server? I presume there are valid reasons, but why could they not have been shared?

· Players may have to change their characters names. Whenever there’s a server transfer this comes up, but again with the short bloody notice it exaggerates the annoyance.

· Guilds may have to change their names. This hits my guild and it sucks. What do we do then; call ourselves “The REAL Blood Pact”? Or how about “Karak Hirn Blood Pact not to be confused with this servers Blood Pact?” Sigh… so it’s basically time for a new name, which means changing our website, graphics, logos, everything. A bit of our identity gone. Blood Pact was created the first day of the Collectors Edition headstart, we like our name :( And you can bet your bottom dollar the destination server’s guild with our name isn’t even bloody active.

· I’m fairly confident all my active members will wait for our alliance’s confirmation of where to go, but not everyone will be this lucky (and I’m only confident, not certain). GOA has rushed this through; because of which lots of guilds are going to loose players in the move. People will move to the wrong server in the panic, plus people will be left behind. For some this will be a guild killer. And what about your friends not in your own guild? With time and a little thought, this could have been avoided.

· What if you’re in a Destruction Karak-Hirn guild, but you have an Order alt on the destination servers? Sorry bud, you can’t move it first. Tough shit old boy, delete your Order character or you can’t stay with your Destro friends anymore. This could have been totally avoided with transfers allowed between destination servers BEFORE launching the full transfers, allowing people to prepare.

· There’s a lot of bloody admin and organising work for guild officers and leaders. In fact our whole alliance wants to stay together, that complicates things. Hell, our whole bloody server wants to move as one. Why oh why could you not have given us time to prepare?


In a months time I might be thinking that moving server was the best thing we could have done, but right now I have a total nightmare to organise with hardly any time to do it properly. I'm pissed off and so is everyone I've spoken to about it.

I really wish GOA had handled this better.

Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

City sieging reminds me of the missus...

...when she says "Is that it?".
Not really :P I have her limping for days after through my herculean man powers. I'm like the bastard love child of Shaft and the Mitchell brothers.

But on a less serious note...

My regular readers will know that I'm pretty positive about WAR, I'm no fanboy but I'm not buying into the rampant negativity that smothers the internet about, well pretty much everything ever.. Whilst I think there's lots of room for improvement with open RvR, I'm enjoying it and I also quite like the PvE (shock horror!). So all told I think WAR is pretty solid and for an MMO only 6months or so beyond launch, it's got massive potential to deliver buckets of awesome pie.

However, the current live server main event, the big deal we're all meant to get excited about, the pièce de résistance, is city sieging. Which turns out to be a hugely disappointing, underwhelming anti-climax. Quite frankly, it's rubbish.

I logged on to discover Order had captured two Fortresses and Inevitable City was now under siege. Once I got over the misery of Order beating us to a city on Karak-Hirn, I think "nvm, at least I'll get to see something new and awesome". Sometimes optimism is such a curse..

Basically it boils down to a buggy instanced PQ (which most likely won't have any enemies in) or a buggy crap scenario. I loathe scenarios anyway, so that was lose/lose, but as for the instanced PQ... The instance list pops up with the number of players, so you can choose where to go. I apologise for not screenshotting, but it was something like this:

Order 48 - Destruction 48
Order 48 - Destruction 0
Order 3 - Destruction 48
Order 43 - Destruction 48
Order 40 - Destruction 2
Order 0 - Destruction 39

So basically the one with a possible decent fight was full and the rest consisted of people avoiding each other so they can farm loot. So I had a choice of gank or be ganked. Yay...

Now I understand that gets fixed in a patch soon, but even so that doesn't get around the rubbish PQ. Which was basically all 48 Destro huddled on one point and AoEing the mobs down so fast you barely see them. Thankfully after a while Order did turn up in our instance, but that just meant we had a clusterfuck zerg fight in one place. There was moments where this got a bit more entertaining, as the fight spread out a little, but and this is crucial, it is FAR more fun, interesting and challenging to fight Order pretty much anywhere else. Why would I want to log into a city siege? You're better off waiting for it to reset and get back to the decent fights in proper zones.

Please, please Mythic have a drastic rethink about how this works. Think about that awesome trailer we get to watch once WAR loads up. Now that's a city siege. It's got massive trebuchet type things bombarding the place, siege towers, carnage in the streets, hell even a Lord of Change shows up. It makes you think wow this will be epic!
Where as the reality of it is just not very good, in fact it's no where near good. It's like when you get a text notification that you've won something on the national lottery, you rush home to check the numbers... the excitement builds up, this could be the end of mortgages man! I could quit work, buy a football team and get wasted in Monaco with Heidi Klum.

Ahh bollocks, it's just a sodding £5.

Gutted.

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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.