Thursday, 16 December 2010

The 1.4 Honeymoon is over

Sorry Mythic, I aint holding back on this one and I don’t think I can be accused of being negative, just utterly realistic to the situation a great many of us are finding ourselves in right now…

I said recently how 1.4 had some issues but also had a lot of potential. The 1.4 patch has had a fair bit of time to bed in now and I still stand by that previous statement, but I think it’s fair to say that those issues have become considerably bigger. As ever there are many little things that need sorting out, but there are two big killer issues: Zerg lag and repetition.

As soon as a keep hits rank 4 the game turns into a horrible laggy clusterfuck of zergdom. Everyone piles into the keep being attacked, funnel defences are set up, morale bomb counters are used and hundreds (and hundreds!) of players fight over a single doorway, since Rat Ogres and bombers are irrelevant in large scale fights. The game turns into a slideshow, people start crashing to character select, abilities stop working and the doom and gloom begins. So you either decide to forget the attack/defence and change zone, or you face a slow inevitable collapse as people get bored of playing a game that now runs in a frame by frame manner not unlike a comic book. First your DoKs log off because soul essence no longer recharges and they can’t do anything, then a few other people log off out of frustration and at worst then the zone crashes and everyone decides screw it lets do something else.

Other than thr zone crash (which isn't exactly rare), the rest happens pretty much every other night, in fact sometimes much more regularly and it’s getting really bloody old. This patch was meant to disperse the zerg, but it hasn’t, instead it has dramatically intensified it. Prior to a 4 star keep, when the focus is on the Battle Objectives, I love the game. On Norn we get lots of people roaming around and there’s something for everyone. However, unless it’s a quiet time of day when a keep hits 4 stars, it’s then time to consider logging off or (heaven forbid) going AFK. I don’t want to slag the game off and I always try to be as fair as possible, but there’s no two ways about it, this really bloody sucks. What really grates as well is that prior to the keep attacks I’m quite often having a great time and thinking how much of an improvement the new resource system is, only to have my happiness shattered by the zerg crap it leads to.

Then we have the repetition issue. Thanquol’s Incursion is too small, not very interesting and a huge disappointment all round. Regardless of the tunnels and things in the dungeon, it has proven to be effectively a single chamber with a boss in the middle and probably no enemies to fight inside. If there are enemies you can bet your bottom dollar that one of the sides will outnumber the other at least 4 to 1, which is just a boring and frustrating experience for all. As such this new dungeon barely registers as something to do. I can not tell you how much of an epic disappointment Thanquol’s Incursion has proven to be. It looks quite cool, the bosses look great, but why are there no other Skaven inside? Why are these rat infested tunnels, not actually rat infested? What is the point of all the tunnels? It needs a lot of work.

And as for playable Skaven… Gutter Runner and Warlock Engineer are brilliant fun, but in such limited numbers that you don’t often get to play them. The Rat Ogre is dull, ineffectual in lag, dies very easily and throwing people on walls is pointless in large scale. The Packmaster is beyond rubbish and absolutely poo to play. As such playable Skaven and the new dungeon just hasn’t freshened things up enough, it still feels too samey.

Which means we’ve got another bunch of Renown Ranks to grind through on our way to 100, but in exactly the same zones as before, with nothing new to look at and a worse than ever zerg problem. I’m sorry guys, but it’s just dull. We desperately need new content, something that makes the game feel fresh and give people that sense of wonder and excitement that comes with new toys in a MMO. Look at the other MMOs around, level cap increases are accompanied by new things to do and most importantly new things to look at. That’s what keeps things fresh and helps mask the nature of the grind.

Mythic are tight on time and resources, we know that, we understand, but most people playing the game couldn’t give two turds about that and that’s quite a fair viewpoint really. Development issues ares just not their problem. They want to enjoy the game they are paying for. Yet we have an extension of the last 2 years grind and when we look around we see the temptations of other games… WoW has a monstrous new expansion, Star Trek Online has proper new content added regularly, Age of Conan has a full expansion, Lord of the Rings Online plus Pirates of the Burning Sea have gone free to play, Guild Wars 2 is on the horizon, DC Universe Online is getting some good reports, etc, etc. There are loads of MMO things to tempt us right now, and I’m still in bloody Dragonwake.

Look at the side zones Cinderfall, West Praag, etc. Notice NOBODY playing there, now notice how cool the zones actually are, and consider what an epic waste of space, time and effort they are. Take them, make the RvR enabled, turn some of the keeps and buildings into objectives, etc. Perhaps even keep some of the PQ’s and relate winning them to resource gathering. Yes I know it’s easy for me to say and there’s probably a massive amount of work involved, but seriously folks we desperately need fresh feeling surroundings. Hell, I know I always say it, but make everything RvR enabled and give the PQ’s some kind of resource related impact.

I don’t know which of the two issues is the easiest to fix, but I do know that a combination of zerg lag and repetition will do nothing to help WAR’s future. There are lots and lots of rumblings of discontent right now.

Fix it please.


  1. I agree with every word you've posted bruglir. I was all for the changes on paper. Then I played it and I enjoyed it as well. But as you say, the second the keep ranks up...I lose all desire to play.

    The playable skaven ui not getting separate keybinds or a remapable ui is also tremendously lazy and makes it a real hassle to use, which means I can't be bothered.

    I've lamented continuously over all the unused resources this game has to offer. Over how much more fun it would be if people were more spread out and you rarely, if ever, encontered zergs of hundreds of people. Instead the game takes the exact opposite turn and forces me into even bigger zergs. All this with zero new content. Even the weekend events seem to be 50% blackfire basin. Seriously, wtf, there's plenty of scenarios you haven't even used, why this again? But that's another story.
    Put somone on the events to tweak them, test them, and try them out on test or why not on live. Change the scoring mechanisms, move guards, test spawn barriers. Do something to show continuous improvement and keep things fresh and do it where very little developer time means huge amount of time sunk into it by the players, such as with scenarios.

    I've been in a fight once over close to 30 Thanquol’s Incursio. Oh and a couple of times there were 1-2 griefers inside to ruin everyone's fun. But that's it. It's usually 3-8 ppl doing very slow pve.

    Oh and within a week or two the , the unemployed, young people, people in school or on sick leave will start to hit rr90. Which should be fun for semi-casual gamers or ones with jobs and any activity outside of WARs renown grind.

    So to sum up, bigger zerg and a more massive power gap than ever before, all in the same, stale, semi-balanced content with no pve-option to sink time unto when the server is dead or collected in a single zerg. Sigh. I love this game and I've advocated for it at every turn. Always reminded people of the few developers and their need to focus their efforts. But meh.. This update didn't turn out at all like I intended, hoped or dreamed. Why is that all I've ever thought is how everything in this game has such huge potential, if only they'd do this, that or the other. Why is nothing ever released that's simply awesome or close to filling its potential already? I might need a break until something epic happens here, but I'm afraid it just might not.

  2. I swear I'll learn to type one of these days..

  3. My biggest deal, is the Open RvR just isn't very open any more. There's no space for anything tactical, no last minute BO captures to delay a zone cap for another 15 minutes, and no space to build your own adventure.
    Every battle follows the same pattern and it's growing awfully tedious.
    As expected, it has led to a higher concentration of players in small space, but without the improvements in stability that was essential for this to be supported, and despite the fact the game is a lot more fun when forces are a bit smaller.
    ~Readda - Karak Norn.

  4. Agreed.

    I don't even do ORVR any more - part of that is down to my super-casual, hour or two at a time play style and part of that is because ... it's boring.

    I've not been all that interested in the ORVR mechanics for a long time, I'd rather be doing PvP, as opposed to ZvZ or even 12v12, so I'm more inclined to test my luck and skill against larger groups, trying to get a kill or two before I die. However, with the increased level of zergery, it's almost impossible to get a kill amongst that lot unless you're a defensive Sov' wearing WE or WH. So now I do scenarios, usually solo queued. On Norn it aint so bad, really, I seem to get generally balanced queues, though some of that feeling might come from playing a self-sufficient class like a DPS AM.

    The last time I really enjoyed ORVR was back before 1.4, when I got to be part of Jalis' last warband on Iron Rock, before he too left the game. That man knew how to lead a warband with pure enthusiasm ...

    I hate to say it, but perhaps there's no coming back from this for Mythic and WAR? Maybe 1.4 was their last shot, as the inevitable "ooh shiny" of other MMOs lured away the punters.

    I think, right now, the only thing keeping a lot of people playing WAR is that there's nothing else like it. If a game like Rift ends up having good PvP, that could spell the end for WAR.

  5. To be fair, I'd rather go to the keep when it's near the end. Otherwise I spend my time trying to catch players going to the keep.

    Keeps just aren't fun. They weren't before and aren't now. I think we can expect some tweaking in 1.4.1, but anything more, considering xmas is coming along, is going to be very hopeful.

    I'm a bit stumped what to suggest. Mythic have made the BO's more valuable post level 4+, by having them renew the doors, but how do you force a 100 players to another zone, unless you instigate the same concept as what was used on fortresses.

    Bootae, you complained about what's not working, but what do you suggest. Opening up the other 2 zones will make f'all difference, people will still play the same way. They will storm the keep area once the door's look like they are going down.

    We have 3 active zones at any one time and pretty much all the time, people are piled in one, unless they are getting hammered, then they jump to another zone for an easier life.

    Since the RvR zones abutt the PvE zones, then you can't dropped something else in, unless you create a zone which is totally unattached to a preexisting land mass, like the LotD.

    Unfortunately, they can't do a cataclysm on the game, like they did with DAOC new frontiers.

  6. I don't think the end is nigh, there does seem to be a constant stream of new players joining and old folks returning, but unless something happens I'm not sure how well WAR will do at retaining its vets.

    There are a lot of distractions out there and they get a lot more attractive if things start to feel a bit stagnant. I don't think its too late for Mythic to stop that happening, I'm still playing after all, but I am finding myself not overly inspired about getting to RR100.

  7. The problem is, WAR in its current state is a baby eater and that will be its downfall. Who wants to be cannon fodder until you can get the ranks and gear to compete?

    1.4 = WAR's NGE (for those unfamiliar with the term:

    Glad I'm in Rift beta so at least I have something to look forward to. No RvR at release, but hey, an open world is better than a gated one with crappy RvR at this point for me.

  8. You are pretty much on target Bootae. I still find it fun, but that is do to my playstyle. I can understand how repetitive it would get if you play WAR for a lot of time.

    What can be done? I'm not sure. WAR is what it is, and the overall RvR system is probably here to stay. The developers are trying to work within what they have, but it may never be what some of the population want it to be.

  9. I was saying this kinda stuff when 1.4 was on the PTS and people were telling me to give it time, let it go live. Unfortunately the live experience has proven to be dry and dull.

    For me, the sad fact is that Mythic takes no input from its community - they just do what they think is cool and spoon feed it down our throats. And then we hate it. Makes me wonder why bother trying to communicate with them...

  10. It's a problem I've been thinking a lot about too. How do you expand such a PvP heavy game? WoW is so easy to do this with by simply adding in new PvE quest chains and raid dungeons. That's not going to excite PvPers.

    I think they are going to have to bite the bullet and get real ... new classes, races, and RvR zones are needed. If they want to retain their base, playing the same game again and again and again in the same zones is stale.

    Hey, we'll be getting another RvR Pack in 6 months or so ... maybe they'll surprise us. HA!

  11. I think it's interesting to note that all the things you correctly bring up about keep sieges are why the forts were removed back in the day (which some people seem to forget), and why it doesn't make sense to bring them back yet.

    I recently unsubbed for a number of reasons including the ones you highlighted (compounded by the fact that most of my guild got bored pre-1.4 and took a break, and haven't been compelled to come back post-1.4). I could vent about a lot of things, but I'll limit it too

    -WAR has (d)evolved from an Warhammer MMORPG to MMO action game with Warhammer art. Maybe this is what a lot of people want, but I think they've driven off a lot of potential customers going down this road.

    - A lack of direction now that they've finished they're overhaul of the original PvP mechanics (scenarios,, city sieges, orvr), as evidenced by the lack of producer's letter this month. I don't really find it acceptable after 2 years to say our vision for the next fix is polish and bug fixes, but we're still going to charge you the same $15/mo as WoW or other games getting new content. If you charging a monthly rate, bug fixes and polish are a baseline service included while you develop new content.

    -Based on what's been done post-LotD, I just don't see any reason to think they physically have the resources to do a major overhaul of the zones to do things like expand the lakes or integrate the side zones. And so they're basically left shuffling around existing maps (e.g. Eternal Citadel) or slowly brining small new art assets (scen weapons, new armor sets).

    Anyway, I'm hoping in a few months they'll get themselves moving forward, but I'm not holding my breath.

  12. There was a definite 'funnel' of players into the RVR lakes due to player feedback 'back in the day'. It was the reason the rvr and experience doubled in the lake areas. I remember the forums and chat channels abuzz with people angry there weren't enough people rvr-ing ,that there were too many people doing PQ's, etc. Now there seems to be too many people zerging.

    Don't get me wrong I am grateful for the increased action. 1.4 got me back, plain and simple. I really love this game-even when I hate it- but more does need to be done.

    The reality of it is there has always been the zerg and likely always will. I miss the ORVR servers which did spread out the pvp action. Some of my best times were fighting the enemy at shared PQ's such as Thane's Defence.

    It is hard, I agree, to reach a happy consensus. What will make us happy as PVP'ers? I think, in brief, that we need to focus on making the pvp more equal, and less grindy. I don't want to grind, but I want to PVP. Eventually my desire to be competitive wanes as I climb the ladder and I just re-roll an alt where at least I know it will be somewhat competitive until I hit T4. We obviously won't make PVE'ers like this game- the content is lacking. Mythic has to focus on making this a good PVP game not, as was said above, an okay action game with Warhammer art.

  13. My only problem with 1.4 is that it feels like the rvr is too linear to much on rails. Not enough for an organized warband to do to try and take heavyly defended keeps.

  14. Agree, RvR can be fun when you run in 1-2fg and manage to find fights against even number or larger numbers that is less coordinated.
    But when a keep gets 4 starts rest of zones died, more or less. Why? Most likely that you might get a bag and you get a X renown bonus for it when you take it. But problem is that if they remove it, people wont try to take it.. And people don't want to miss out the little extra free renown. So its not entirely a game mechanic problem, its player that want more for less... I do wish they made it a bit different when keeps hit rank4, the door heal when you gather resources is pretty good, but when all defenders is standing in a huge funnel it doesn't matter, and they are standing there because it giver them player kills and renown.

    About RvR in general (I'm not calling it openRvR anymore since its not very open).
    Roam and take BOs you running close to and set of the carriers and then hit keep at rank4, no surprise moment at all, no sneaky BO hits. No zoning to Caledor and run to Dragonwake and take BO closest to order warcamp when you get spawncamped 10min before domination lock.. And its a shame really.. I hated it when Order did it and loved it when Destro did it, thats how it should be tbfh.. You could even have some realm coordination and not just "ALL TO KEEP".
    How to bring back the surprise? I dont know but best I can come up with right now is:
    Open up a hole zone to RvR, Put in 4 more BOs of the old styls. You have to control 3 of the 'new' to do dmg to door. Make the 'new' BOs so you can claim them and when you do your guild can see Orders close to that BO and maybe even a teleport fuction for that guild from keep and warcamp to the BO or close to it. Put the 'new' BOs in the corners of the map so they are spread out. That should split things up a bit. But I do know that it would make the zone very hard to lock, maybe to hard. And city's wouldn't appear very often, and that sucks a bit since I got two alts that needs soven gear very soon. But tbfh, I doubt I will play the game long enough for them to ding rr80 if things don't change soon.
    Scenarios are very depending on having a good premade.
    Citys you need a descent guild/alliance warband.
    For soloroaming you need a good group since you will 11 times out of 10 will be ganked by anything from 3-300 players.
    For RvR you need to be very drunk to not ragequit from the lagg.

    And when they do something about the RvR they should also put in a idle hand debuff in keeps if people don't move they don't get any renown or counted in the AAO. And same within guard range at warcamps, people should need to be out of guard range to get renown and counted into the AAO. Since they now can stand safe behind guards with a table fan and pencil and whatnot to trick the game.. (ok, some stolen ideas in the end)

  15. fix your blog, just wrote something serious and it was apparently to long to post... FU YOU

  16. Nail Head collision detected.

    The fight for the BO's is great but on Norn we loves our zerg. The second a keep hits rank 4 defenders pile in to hold the keep. "The funnel" is just a means of one realm griefing another for bazillions of renown.

    Suggested fixes

    1. Keep rank will degrade over time if three or more BOs are lost.
    2. BO's are never locked and can always be retaken.
    3. If your keep hits rank 4 then no more enemy respawning from the rvr lake (anywhere outside the walls) into the OTHER keep area instead they respawn back in the WC.
    4. Rat ogres can throw non WB members on to the wall 5 sec cool down.
    6. Add warp tokens as currency 1 for killing a player controlled skaven and 1 for completing TI. Use 10 to convert into a skaven of your choice. Make them tradeable. Let people have "vermintide" fun with their guild.
    7. Renown gained from the reasource carrier is scaled to the amount of time you have spent escorting the carrier. Unlike now where hanging around the WC is enough.


  17. Well

    Since i been away from war (Health problems) i knew before i left that still things felt the same before 1.4 came out..

    But after having a break i just wanna get back to war and kick some arse!!

    But kinda like what i said on lokax's blog when you been playing war for 2 years + 1 year Beta then all things feel the same after to long..

    General burn out's of players do happen. i mean bootae can tell you i'm all ways in sc's or ic half the time kicking some ones arse or geting mine kicked..

    But i do argee on bootae's points there are a lot of new mmo's hiting the market my self i been beta testing warp (Before my health problems started) but if i didn't enjoy war some how i would of left long ago so some thing is keeping me here..

    But there needs to be a rapid change

    (ps) Bootae mate just in case i dont see you in war ( most prob gunna stay off untill after christmas) I hope you have a merry christmas mate and i will see you next year..

  18. It is exactly as I predicted when they announced the changes.

    Keeps would turn into what Forts used to be, and players will bounce to opposite pairings, avoid the fight, and earn the quickest renown.

    I went back to WOW, and playing in the same guild as a bunch of bloggers. The game so far has been pretty fun. The new Goblin, and Worgen zones are amazing. So far I have run three characters thru gobby land. I now have a druid, lock, and priest hovering around level 20.

  19. Just had an idea. How about if you're in your keep you don't contribute to your side for aao. Might help with the afkers. What do you think?

  20. AFKers are not the biggest problem. Yes they steal your AAO and give freenown to SH hackers who terrain exploit.

    The zone lock mechanism is more than a little iffy and the way the skaven fit in completely sucks. I would love to see Skaven BO guards holding a BO, make them random too just to mix it up.

    For me the biggest problems with war will never get fixed. The zones are laid out terribly GW2 sounds like what WAR should have had.


  21. (Disclaimer: These comments have been posted nearly verbatim on Krosuss' webpage, but are posted here for the very same reasons)


    I had an idea that came to mind while I was trolling the bulletin boards. It kind of applies here, but it is an indirect connection and I wanted to ask you and your readers what they might think about this idea (if you will allow me to do so). I feel that I will get an honest and respectful answer and I hope that if it sparks something, that it will be heard by the “right” people… (you seem to be in that particular “universe”)

    For the longest time I have been grumbling about the disparity of the T4 levels and how the lumps are very hard for the 40′s and such. I have heard lots of good comments in the past, especially on this website. For the most part my grumblings have come from the tiered armor & weapons aspect of the game and I have seen various ideas about how to “fix” T4 so that it is a bit more balanced.

    Now the tie in to this post.

    Patch 1.4 and Thanquol’s Incursion were supposed to improve RVR and ease the pain for T4 lowbies by drawing off the highest players and leaving the T4 lowbies to fight amongst themselves. It appears that hasn’t happened as hoped, as is being discussed to some extent in this post.

    Since we are not likely to see a new Tier (like T5) and tweaking the weapons and armor doesn’t really make sense from a character development perspective (you have to develop / strive for something with all this play time right?) and new abilities is likely not a good idea (maybe even a bad idea if they are commensurate with RR level), why not consider this idea?

    Have RR point awards be commensurate with the player defeated?

    For example: when a RR80 person fights and defeats an RR40 person, they get 500 points; when they fight and defeat an RR60 person, they get 750 points; when they fight and defeat an RR80 person, they get 1,000 points; and when they fight and defeat an RR100 person, they get 5,000 points. (points and percentages are just for illustration of the concept)

    There would be some in-game mechanic that would apply this sliding scale, perhaps just like the RR Booster that currently in place for those choosing to spend the extra $15.

    Likewise, there would need to be some sort of identifier for the different RR levels so that the players looking for RR points could choose their targets appropriately.

    Already I can think of abuses and interesting standoffs that may come from this mechanic – if it doesn’t exist already in some fashion.

    But I was curious what you all might think to this idea, as a nacent concept. It seems to offer a fairly straight forward fix, without taking away anything from the game, but perhaps offering something new as well.

    Thanks for the opportunity to post and for any comments!

    Merry Christmas!



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