Friday 27 February 2009
My first experience of MMO guilds was in Ultima Online, just before the 2nd age hit. In my first few days of UO I got talking to people from a guild called The Eternal Knights of the Circle (EKC). The EKC was an awesome guild, it had its own city, fought the good fight against PKs (players that had gone “red” from murdering so many other players), was very well structured internally and had a strong moral code. You simply could not be an arsehole and stay in EKC, it was all about a community of sound people. Interestingly it used a Monarchy system, no guild council or democratic malarkey, the king was the king, end of story.
I could write a whole article just about EKC, it really was the best guild I’ve ever been in (technically I’m still a member) and was where I cut my teeth in guild management as I moved up the ranks. It’s fair to say that EKC formed the foundation for everything I’ve done with or wanted out of guilds since. Just without the roleplaying bit…
I dabbled with loads of other MMOs, but the next one to get a grip was Dark Age of Camelot. Whilst playing on the beta, with a real life friend of mine “Filthius” and bunch of other ex-EKC, we started grouping with a collection of new people regularly. This naturally led to us deciding to form our own guild at launch. Soon as the game went live we got the cash together and formed the Legion of Darkness (LoD). We decided on Filth as guild master, with myself as co-GM. Filth was the main man for the in game leading, where as I focused on guild admin work and sorting out structure. With our EKC past we knew we wanted a guild that was again about the people, not the l337ness, we sure as hell didn’t want a guild full of wankers. Which led us to the development of guild rule no1 “No wankers”.
This simple, yet effective rule helped us form a great guild, which went on to become a fairly big player in the whole RvR scene. Obviously what qualifies someone as a wanker is totally subjective, but if you want a guild of likeminded individuals, then not taking in people that you would consider wankers does the job for you.
As ever with MMOs, you move on. With a new born daughter I didn’t have much spare time for running guild stuff and the temptation of dabbling with other new MMOs teased me away from DaoC. This eventually led to Filth and I jumping ship and surfing the new sea of MMOs.
Filth and I again ended up leading a guild, this time in World of Warcraft and once again with the “no wankers rule”. Yet again we had a friendly and fun guild. Over time WoW taught me a lot about running guilds, particularly as the MMO world became obsessed with loot. What a bloody nightmare, we had to write loads of sodding rules or risk watching turd hit spinny things. Like most guilds we had to make the move to a DKP variant and all the hideousness that entails.
As WoW changed more and more into Animal Crossing, I was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the game. The co-GM thing was no longer perfect, Filth and I as ever got on perfectly (we’ve been RL friends for like 15+ years), but at times our guild policies could lack clarity, as it depended on which one of us you spoke to.
In the last few months before WAR I decided I’d had enough. I stepped down from my co-GM position. WAR was approaching; I was pissed off with WoW, bored and only logging in to chat with my mates.
I’d decided with WAR that I’d set up a new guild as sole GM with a small number of rules (8), tightly controlled recruitment and suffering no fools. I had my core players from Blazing Phoenix coming along with us and this time I got the website, structure and everything sorted out well in advance. Filth of course would be on my officer team ;) Blood Pact was created on launch day with everything in place. Rule no1, was of course set in stone.
Since then Blood Pact has grown to become one of the premier Destruction guilds on our server, in size, activity and most importantly, quality. We’ve had 4 other guilds merge into us, all being ones where we knew them beforehand and we were certain of the quality of their members. The guild has a great atmosphere and it’s on its way to building another awesome online community. I imagine its more luck than judgement on my part tbh, but assuming I did something right in the last 10 years of guild management, here’s 7 things that I think might have helped…
1) Don’t recruit wankers. If any get in, kick them.
2) Democracy is over rated. A strong but fair leader means swift, decisive action. Plus the existence of rule 1 means if your leader is a wanker they have to kick themselves. :P
3) More than 10 main guild rules are too many. People won’t remember them, if they even bother to read them.
4) A nice website, clever charter and fancy uniform are all good and well, but it’s your guild member’s actions that define how your guild is actually perceived.
5) Don’t take on everything yourself; share your workload with a balanced officer team.
6) Officer ranks should have clear roles and responsibilities identified. If officers don’t fulfil their role, demote them, even if they’re your best mate.
7) Quality > Quantity. Always.
Blame the Healer is well worth checking out. It's regularly updated, covering all sorts of WAR related topics. Whilst it's obviously written from a healers perspective, there's something for every WAR player there. There's loads of posts I could have linked to, but here's a couple I've picked out..
Having played a healer myself in games before, I highly recommend this post for those that haven't.
And from a week or so ago, check out some WAR extreme tourism ;)
Next up is Snort's blog Tuffmudda. Snort is on the same server as me and is one of the guys that stepped up to the plate to get Destruction organised. As such, this blog is not just written by a WAR player, but a leader of men, women, geeks and questionables. ;)
He often posts about the big events on Karak Hirn, so you get some action replays :) You maybe interested to read on this cunning diversionary tactic for keep defenses.
Snort being a Black Orc player there's often posts about the class and thankfully always from a considered and objective viewpoint.
Also I must link to this post. One of his guildies has made an excellent Lost Vale guide.
Tuesday 24 February 2009
Chosen stuff being my main concern, lets have a butchers then...
· Mixed Defenses: Fixed an issue that made the parry bonus of this ability a multiplicative bonus instead of additive. (cool, BIG improvement to this tactic)
· Repel: Fixed an issue that limited the knockback distance of this ability. (YAY! About time eh!)
All Chosen have undergone changes and as a result will need to reallocate their Career Mastery Points. Be sure to speak to your trainer right away to regain your abilities!
· Discordant Fluctuation: The base damage on this ability has been increased and will now deal Spiritual damage. The ability will not receive benefits from stats nor will it do critical damage.
· Dreadful Agony: The base damage on this ability has been increased and will now deal Spiritual damage. The ability will not receive benefits from stats nor will it do critical damage.
· Bane Shield: The base damage on this ability has been increased and will now deal Spiritual damage. The ability will no longer receive benefits from stats nor will it do critical damage.
(For all of the above 3 abilities we'll have to see this in action to judge, it might be a buff, might not)
· Touch of Palsy: The value of the barb damage has been increased and will now deal physical damage. The barb will no longer receive benefits from stats and will no longer do critical damage. (On the PTS prior to this change Palsy was god awful, I hope this fixes that. I would expect so as this appears to be Mythic's reaction to feedback on it)
· Tainted Wound: The base damage on this ability has been increased and will now deal Spiritual damage. The ability will not receive benefits from stats nor will it do critical damage. (another wait and see before judging)
· Hasten Dismissal: This tactic is now a level 35 Core tactic. It reduces Repel's cooldown by 50% and turns Repel into a long knockback. (this sounds awesome)
· Corruptive Power: This tactic is available at Corruption x11. All Corruption abilities cost 35% less action points. (this also sounds awesome)
· Baneful Shielding: This is no longer a valid tactic.
· Dire Shielding: This ability will also increase the duration of Bane Shield by 7 seconds.
(Nice one Mythic, merging those 2 tactics frees up a tactic slot for bane heads, which is only a good thing)
· Bane Shield: Multiple Chosen with this ability up will no longer prevent each other from dealing damage to the same target. (good good)
· Oppression: The disorient effect has been removed. This ability will now reduce incoming damage on the Chosen by 15% for 10s. The cost has been lowered on this ability. (woah massive improvement to this ability, corrupting is getting interesting...)
· Rending Blade: No longer requires an active aura to receive a bonus effect. The ability is now a Point-Blank Area of Effect ability that deals Spiritual damage. This ability requires a Great Weapon and no longer has a cooldown. (double woah, if this does respectable damage then Dread is looking much more appealing)
· Relentless: The cost and damage has been increased on this ability. (sounds good)
· Dreadful Fear: The cost of this ability is now free.
· Corrupting Wrath: The cost of this ability is now free.
· Discordant Instability: The cost of this ability is now free.
· Discordant Fluctuation: The cost of this ability is now free.
· Corrupting Retribution: The cost of this ability is now free.
(no such thing as a free lunch, but I'll settle for an aura)
This certainly appears to be a big buff for Chosen. If the damage, avoidance and mitigation improvements are more than just token increases, then for the first time we might have viable mastery specs that do not include Discord. I've had a bit of a play with potential mastery specs with these changes in mind and I can see some interesting Dread/Corruption specs I'm very tempted to try out. My only concern with them is not having Quake from Discord, it's such an awesome ability for RvR, I don't know if I'd like playing without it.
Lets just hope it's as good as it sounds :)
Monday 23 February 2009
Open RvR in the lower tiers can be sparse, not because people don’t want to do RvR, it’s just easier to queue for a scenario instead of finding a fight and the XP/renown rewards are more reliable than in open RvR. People will nearly always take the easy option after all. Of course if those people already in scenarios weren’t in there, then they’d be doing their RvR out in the open world… You know the whole open RvR bit that WAR is meant to be about... Instead we have Tor Anroc over and over, and over, and over again. There’s a big molten bore reason why despite me having a lot of alts, not one of them has made it through Tier 3 yet.
In tier 4 scenarios are an epic pain in the arse. As well as the above issues, they also count towards zone locks, which means people get all stressed if anyone below level 40 and/or with crap gear dares join them. I’m sure we’ve all seen the region chat stuff with people trash talking those damn noob lowbie scumbags that had the temerity to join a T4 scenario. That’s a real problem, people getting shit just for playing the game the way it was designed to be. Those people leveling up are the future of WAR, it's not exactly promoting the game if we give them grief for getting XP. And regardless of who the community decides is allowed to do what, it’s still just more people taken out of open RvR and dumped into instances.
Of course if there was no scenarios, then the lack of variety in open RvR would become more obvious and it would also slow down the levelling process. So clearly they can’t just be removed, without enhancing the whole open RvR experience. So what to do?
I’ve an idea for a solution, based around the public quest concept. Lets get the scenarios out of the instances and turn them into public quests, and voila! Public Scenarios! Public quests without any PvE element, just the same requirements as the current instanced scenarios have. To a point WAR already has this sort of thing with Fort captures, BOs, etc, working in a similar method, but currently it's just so limited and I would suggest, an opportunity to improve.
Lets take for example Stonetroll Crossing. Grab a section of Troll Country’s barely used PvE zone, remove the mobs and update the landscape with a Stonetroll Crossing style area, complete with troll pacifier and angry rock throwing trolls. Replace the scenario timer with a revolving PQ timer and we’re good to go.
We’d need to avoid making these another way to RvE, but perhaps that could be done by having the XP/renown reward using a multiplier related to the number of enemy players killed in the area during the Public Scenario’s timer. So if you did it solo while Order are in the other zone, nil points for you sunshine, but get stuck in and scrap each other? XP and renown for all yay! Or something like that anyway. :P
How then to stop the enemy refusing to fight in that scenario? Hmm needs some incentives…
What if a Public Scenario was then linked somehow to a Battle Objective, or even a keep? Say if you win the above scenario, then the aforementioned angry trolls attack Stonetroll keep, attacking players and NPCs alike.
How about if each zone had a battle objective that actually was a Public Scenario? If I recall correctly we have 36 identical battle objectives in Tier 4. Seriously, that needs livening up. So rather than yet another kill 6 NPCs, click flag and wait snorefest, how about Artisan’s Gift was say a Serpent’s Passage style Public Scenario? What if Defensive Boon had a capture the flag type system for controlling it?
There's a wealth of options here, it doesn't have to be the 36 identical battle objectives it is now.
But, but, but there won’t be an even number of players! It won’t be fair!
Personally, I couldn’t care less. It’s Warhammer, not HappyClappyHammer. Why in the world would bloody Orcs turn up to Nordenwatch and say “Youz lot stay ‘ere, we iz only takin uz 12 ta fights dem fair like!”.
Just because instanced scenarios were in World of Warcraft, doesn’t mean we need them in WAR. If you look back at when WoW’s PvP wasn’t rubbish, it was back when there weren’t any scenarios, back when people used to turn up at Tarren Mill and just kick the crap out of each other. It wasn’t always even, it was very rarely fair, but it was a lot of fun. Far better than the “lets lose this quick” crap you have in WoW today. Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot had some of the best PvP ever in MMOs, with no scenarios needed.
This is far from a new idea either. World of Warcraft does actually have Public Scenarios (Eastern Plaguelands, Silithius, for example), just no bugger does them because WoW’s open PvP is pointless and everyone lives in… yup, instanced scenarios. Where as WAR’s open PvP is far from pointless, it’s just suffering from a lack of variety.
Thing is, that variety is there; it’s just needs moving out of those bloody instances.
If you don't already know Syp and his mighty Waaagh blog, 1) where have you been and 2) get over there!
It's one of the first blogs I check each day with Syp commenting on both the state of WAR now and ideas for the future. Interesting post up at the moment about Murder night here: Bounty Hunting
He's got an idea there which reminds me of the old bounty hunting we used to do in Ultima Online. Man I loved Ultima ;)
Full website url is: http://chaosmoon.gameriot.com/blogs/WAAAGH
Other site I'm posting about this week is Wizards and Wenches. Another of my personal favourites and it was actually on there that I read about the WCPI. One of the things I particularly like with Regis' blog is there's always something to raise a smile, a little bit of humour :) With the world of WAR at times being blasted by negativity and Blizzard sponsored anger monkeys, we need blogs like this to read :) As for what's on there, it's a real range of stuff. From tips on setting up a UI, to WAR news, to an Orc's version of YMCA, great stuff all.
Full website url is: http://wnw.blogwarhammer.net/
Sunday 22 February 2009
People seem to be really liking it. And I mean really, really, really liking it. Loads of people talking about re-rolling.
Obviously it's all low level stuff, so it's not that indicative of end game performance, but it would seem to have very pokey DPS and looking through the skill lists it's certainly got some funky stuff. If you then look at the discussions going around about Witch Elves and Marauders, people are making out those classes are now redundant, particularly with Witch Elves. Hmm, I don't totally buy that myself, a class is only redundant if you choose not to play it. They will still have decent DPS, they may not be no.1 melee DPS anymore, but they're not gonna be useless surely?
That said, the 1.2 patch is nerfing Witch Elves and the changes to Stealth worry me a fair bit I have to say. Yet with so many changes to other classes, resists, pick lock, etc, will it all balance out? I'm really hoping that the new working pick lock skill is going to shake up keep sieging, something where Witch Elves could potentially be awesome.
I don't think we'll have any real idea of the impact of this patch until it hits the live servers, the PTS is too random and the various forums are so covered in bile it's hard to work out what's actually true.
One thing's for sure though. When 1.2 goes live, the Choppa is going to be hugely popular and we're all gonna be sailing on the sea of green.
BTW if you want an easy way of seeing all the new goodies the Choppa brings with it, go check out Wizards and Wenches. There's a great post up with the abilities, tactics and morale all on one page.
Wednesday 18 February 2009
First off for comparison purposes, the current mount.
This new one is called the Maroon Marked Steed
And this is the one I'll be getting, the Decayed Flesh Marked Steed.
Tuesday 17 February 2009
Favorite Zone = Praag
This is probably my favourite PvP zone from anything ever. It's got a great atmosphere and with the maze of winding streets, it makes for some awesome sneaky RvR battles. It's a zone that really encourages some tactical play. With Zone Domination my hopes for Praag are even higher :)
Favorite Race = Orcs and Goblins
Whilst I play a Chosen, I'm not quite so convinced by the other Chaos classes, they're cool and all, but not quite grabbing me. Where as I really like the greenskins, I was seriously torn between Chosen and Black Orc at launch... Mythic have got the whole warhammer feel of them sooo right. I've got lots of greenskin alts and as soon as the Choppa is out, I'll have another ;)
Favorite Career = Chosen
Obviously. ;) They look awesome, which for a sad git like me is a big deal :D We've got a nice range of abilities and are great at being annoying gits in PvP. And I never get bored of Quake and Touch of Palsy.
Favorite WAR Feature = Tome of Knowledge
Bloody brilliant. The Tome of Knowledge is one of the best features I've seen in any recent MMO. Really, really cool. I'm terrible for not paying much attention to quest text, then wondering what was going on in the chapter before. The tome's been great, because when that happens I can just read through the storyline and catch up. Then ofc there's all the stats, unlocks, armoury, rewards, etc. Awesome. And it has to be said, WoW's attempt at copying it is just sodding laughable.
Favorite Skill = Touch of Palsy
It was a tough one with Quake (65ft cone AoE knockdown) as close competition, but Touch of Palsy wins the day. Chuck it on someone and then watching them run themselves to death, just never gets old..
Favorite Scenario = Nordenwatch?
Hmm tough one, I'm not a fan of scenarios. It's probably just Nordenwatch. Simple fighty fun.
Favorite Live Event = Murder Night
This worked well I thought. Didn't need to put too much effort into it, but enough to enjoy it. It certainly turned PvP on its head for a few days with everyone waaaagghing at marked people.
Monday 16 February 2009
I've got a Witch Elf alt that I'm trying to get fully oRvR influenced up in tier 2. I've maxed out Chaos and Orc influence and now just need the last 25% in the Elf lands, but I've not been able to get bugger all for over a week now.
It's seems oRvR in Tier2 Elf lands has totally dried up, there's never anybody there, where as the other areas are pretty busy. Anytime I've suggested attacking the all blue Elf Lands, people are saying it's too hard to take the keeps because of the keep Lord's AOE, so they don't bother with Elf lands at all. Frustrating , as I'm not seeing any Order in those zones to kill, and believe me I've done some long solo hunting sessions to try and find some. I can't get a group to even do the BOs their. Alas my guild has bugger all T2 alts at the moment, so it seems I'm stuffed. :(
All a bit odd... A week or two ago people were able to take those keeps and T2 elf was quite busy. As far as I know nothing has changed? The Lords did AoE before I thought...
So what has happened?
Have people just bottled it because it takes a more effort or have those keep Lords been secretly patched? Hmmm I suspect the former.
UPDATE! Actually got to take some BOs in Elf lands today, but as for the keeps....
Thursday 12 February 2009
I'm just digesting them now, nothing that's immediately made me think oh bloody hell.
As you can imagine I leapt straight to the Chosen bits. Here's my thoughts on our changes:
Dire Shielding: This Tactic will no longer cause Bane Shield to stack when multiple Chosen in the same group use the ability.
This ability will now deal Spirit Damage. Additionally, the damage effect on Bane Shield will now only trigger a maximum of once per 2 seconds per character affected
I don't think we could argue that bane shield was a bit over the top. It was always going to get nerfed and there's no point crying about it.
Something that does hit us a bit is I noticed abilities that increase spell build up will no longer effect instants. I dropped Corrupting Horror a few weeks back when I changed to a Discord/Dread mastery spec, but when I did have it I have to admit I was kicking seven shades of turd out of healers rather easily.
Hate from auras which affect all group-mates will now be credited to the individual group members, instead of all to the Chosen themselves.
Threat generating from buff auras is no big deal anyway, so like whatever.
The buffs to mention
Blast Wave: This ability will now deal Spirit Damage. Additionally, this ability will no longer lower the target's resistances, but will instead lower the target's Wounds
Good move, since the resist reduction didn't stack anyway.
Discordant Fluctuation: This ability will now deal more damage. Additionally, the damage effect on Discordant Fluctuation will now only trigger a maximum of once per 2 seconds per character affected.
Increased damage is good. The 2 second thing is fine.
Corrupting Retribution: This ability will now heal for slightly more.
Dreadful Terror: This ability now removes slightly more Action Points from the victims.
Sounds good, I hope "slightly more" equates to a worthwhile amount.
Challenge: This ability no longer requires an enemy target.
This is more of an improvement than people may realise. Small time savers can make the difference in manic fights.
A lot of our stuff has been changed to spirit damage. I'm not sure how much of an effect that will have, only testing them out for real will say I imagine. Also it looks like auras turning off has been sorted out, lets hope it also fixes the times other than zoning. If so.. much rejoicing.
I'm generally of the opinion that Chosen are actually pretty well sorted. I read lots of whinging on various forums, how we can't compete with a squirrel in PvP, that we can't tank anything, blah, blah. Yet I and most of the other Chosen I know have all tanked in places like Bilerot and Lost Vale without difficulty (hell I've even had to step in after a Blorc died and succesfully tank LV bosses with a great weapon equipped). I've not had any problems in RvR of any real note, other than fighting Ironbreakers, but then we're all jealous of IBs :P Sure, ideally I would have liked to see the mechanic for aura twisting improved, the Corruption and Dread mastery paths made more appealing , and have an uber AOE knockback that does 12k damage added.. But like Snort has pointed out for Black Orcs the sky is not actually falling.
For now whilst I'll reserve full judgement until I get to try out the patch, all told I'm fairly happy with the Chosen patches. Could it have been better? Yes. Does it look like Chosen are shite? No. This of course won't be popular with a lot of people and I'm probably therefore a noob, moron, etc for doing fine with my class as is.
Tuesday 10 February 2009
You are bloody joking me... Everyone gets kicked back to character screen.
But ok, we'll cope, we can get back in quickly and continue. Loading... come on... Yes! We're in! Hmm, loaded in at the warcamp, but ok we can still do this! Oh wait... No we can't. Not only are the Fortress doors back up, they are now UNATTACKABLE. lol :P
It had been a cool night, the moments of boredom were being forgiven due to the big chance of our server's first City siege being in sight. But it turned into a massive anti-climax when, first the game couldn't take our numbers in the fortress choke point and then the game bugged the forts to make any futher progression impossible.
On our server the vast majority of Fortress attempts have either bugged out, zone crashed, lagged to hell or been captured through cheating (accidental or not). Tonight I've logged off mildly peeved, but still positive as I'm confident Mythic will sort things out. However I saw a lot of people who were logging and were very pissed off. Understandably tbh too.
The next patch needs to bring some serious improvements to oRvR. Fortresses don't need sorting in a couple of months, they need sorting out right now.
With the Choppa just a month away, I'm really hoping it's going to be another class that just totally grabs me. I'm really liking the look of the class and since generally the Orc & Goblin stuff in WAR is some of the most characterful and entertaining to play through, hopefully leveling up (again) won't be too tedious.
Wrecka mastery is sounding like the one for me. If it encourages the psychotic playstyle suggested in the video I linked previously, well that can only be fun. ;)
Bring on Nordenwatch packed with Choppas and Slayers! It's gonna be melee madness for sure :D
Sunday 8 February 2009
Lots of cool sounding things, but in particular the changes for getting Conqueror gear. I've heard plenty of people lately whinging about not being able to get greater ward armour without doing PvE, and they probably have a point. So these 2 points may cool things down ;)
1)Conqueror gear may be spread to the guards in the forts.
And the big one...
2) After patch 1.2, they will implement a “currency” system, which will allow you to gain an alternate form of “currency” for capturing keeps. Those can then be saved up to buy Conqueror gear, and possibly more.
This is a really good move and can't come soon enough tbh. With the dungeon lock down timers it's a pain in the neck getting wards regardless of if you want to PvE or not. And of course if you don't want to do the instances, well at the moment you're stuffed.
Also... Choppa and Slayer sound great. New mounts and mount colours, yay! And the traps and stuff in the new dungeon, hah awesomeness ;)
Tentonhammer have got a really good video of the Choppa with Adam Gershowitz explaining everything. Check it out here. I'm sooo making one :)
Friday 6 February 2009
Meanwhile I'll pick out some highlights relating to the live expansion...
Tomb Kings or The Land of the Dead is a massive zone which is broken up into two parts - The Necropolis and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.
It is RvR-gated. In other words, each realm must fight for ownership and the dungeon is expected to change hands nightly...
It is full of new and interesting PQs, new lairs, refreshing game mechanics, new rewards and loot and generally awesome new stuff.
Many of the great things from Darkness Falls will be built upon. Tokens, other loot methods, wide level range, and the thrill of your enemy always breathing down your back. Lots of opportunities for RvR within the dungeon itself.
I presume The Necropolis is the main zone and then the Tomb of the Vulture Lord is the Darkness Falls type main dungeon. Be very interesting to see how this is all laid out, tbh there's so many possibilities it's hard to guess.Tokens? Great, if it's like the DAoC token system that is all good.
You can be attacked anywhere in the Land of the Dead. There is a huge open-world area, but also some instanced areas. In ANY of these areas, your enemy can hunt you down and fight you (as long as they gain control of the dungeon while you are in it). Even the instances are not safe.
Now that sounds very cool. Obviously with a Darkness Falls style the open areas would be dangerous, but the instances not being safe as well when control is lost? Awesome, probably ;)
It is accessible from around levels 25 and up. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord is actually a super high level area designed to supplement our end game content after Lost Vale.
Good move. Level 25 is about when Tier3 turns into boredom central, so this can only be a good thing.
Thursday 5 February 2009
So in theory wards are an awesome system... But it needs Mythic to truely buy into their own system and not be lured by other games ever growing stat style.
With new instances and the like heading our way in the free expansion, I really hope Mythic avoid the temptation to give us new armour sets with monstrous stat increases. The impact on PvP could be horrible for players that aren't into doing dungeons or are more casual in their playtime. We really don't want a WoW style thing where if you've not got the latest gear, then you can't compete at all. Items can be made interesting through variety and ingenuity rather than just piling more numbers on.
Tuesday 3 February 2009
I really, really like the atmosphere and the look of the place. You get a nice feel for the warping nature of Chaos as it's twisted this once oh so lovely tree huggers paradise. Presentation wise I'd say it is on a par with most of Warcraft's better dungeons, obviously comparing it with the ones also designed for a single group. I'm a big fan of out door dungeons, so this was just my sort of thing. Also the mobs looked spot on, just the way they should and I particularly liked the boss models.
I also love not having to faff around with sheep, banishing and all that long CC (crowd control) stuff that is so important in WoW. I prefer WAR's more in your face PvE in that respect. Good old fashioned scrapping, where subtle use of CC makes a difference. Getting away from over reliance on CC, and the class restrictions plus mods/macros that brings with it is no bad thing.
Bosses are proper tactic style, not just tank and spank. Of the 4 bosses in this part of Lost Vale, 2 were straightforward big hitters with lots of weak spawning mobs to deal with and very easy. The other 2 were more involved, 1 had a very fast moving boss where you had to use these pink cloud things to control who he agros and then the final boss was a big Spider that has a couple of stages and a range of things you need to deal with.
When you walk into an instance and the very first mob you fight (a giant worm boss thing you encounter again later in another wing of LV I believe) bugs out, vanishes and then instant kills you all... well that's not a good start. My mate that was showing us round says it does that every few visits. That is totally unacceptable and is playing into the hands of the Mythic bashers. I've never had that happen in WoW, and I'm gob smacked there's a common bug on the very first thing you do in WAR's showcase dungeon.
That boss I mentioned where you have to use the pink clouds? Whilst my guide explained how the proper tactics, he then went on to say nobody actually does the proper tactics, since you can just stand on a fallen tree, the boss can't reach you, bugs out and you can just DPS down in total safety. Whilst I appreciate the easy loot and yes we could have done it properly, I would have preferred it if there wasnt such an easy way to bug and beat the boss. It devalues the challenge and epic feel of the dungeon.
Watch out for gettng stuck in scenery... there's some awkward rocks in the final boss room. Which if you get stuck in and the boss agros you, it can end up with a bugged boss and a wipe as the only way to clear it.
Run backs. Mythic have missed a trick here... Whilst they thought of how you remove the resurrection debuff, by having a healer dude that appears at various points throughout the dungeon, why can't you also respawn there? When you die you still respawn right at the beginning. Please change that, I really, really loathe running through empty instances if I accidently click release or we wipe.
Generally the place looks great so far, but some of the textures need a little love, beaches and some of the rocks in particular. Also having seen a video recently where someone applied a bloom type effect to Lost Vale, please please Mythic give us some more graphic options. Obviously I'd like general performance improved for everyone first, but places like Lost Vale could look so much better with a bit of blooming HDR goodness.
Overall, I liked it. I'm looking forward to going back, but I really hope there's less major bugs in the rest of it. I've been on enough MMO launches to cut the game some slack where maybe others wouldn't, but bad first impressions can still turn me off. Please no more bugged first pulls.