Thursday, 30 April 2009
Rubbish new GOA CSR policy regarding loot
This week I won my first ever loot bag in a fortress. However the chest wasn't visible to myself and several others winners. I raise a help ticket for a CSR, surely they must be able to reimburse us. I'd presumed they would have logs they can access for contentious things like fort loot. It would be, you know, like a sensible thing to have.
CSR response via email much later was this:
After investigating your case we regret to inform you that we are unable to restore your loot bag. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.
As we can understand this can be frustrating, this issue will be escalated to our quality assurance department for further investigation, in the hope that we can avoid this situation in the future.
For any further issues please do not hesitate to contact us via the ingame appeal system.
Warhammer Europe Customer Service Team.
Obviously I was not happy about this at all. I know several people that have previously had missing or unlootable gold bags mailed to them. Hell, even people that didn't loot cos they were bloody dead or outside the keep have had them replaced in the past. So I raised another ticket to point this out and that this is purely the game at fault, so why don't I get equal treatment. This time a GM gets back to me quite quickly. Alas, he simply says that their policy has changed and they don't replace loot bags anymore "sorry". Hmm that's a crap new policy, but ok...
Unfortunately, the tale doesn't end there. Today I was the only choppa in an alliance warband when the Conqueror choppa gloves drop. I click need, everyone else clicks pass or greed. But oh joy, nothing happens. No rolls, nothing. The loot simply vanishes into the ether. Ok thinks I, this is a different situation, I'll raise a CSR ticket and hope for the best...
You recently placed a support request concerning a missing item. We are sorry to hear that you have lost an item, however until further notice we are not reimbursing items in your situation. Should you require further assistance please feel free to place another support request.
WAR European Customer Support Team
Ok excuse caps, but this needs saying loud.
WHY HAVE YOU GOT THE OPTION IN YOUR TICKET SYSTEM FOR LOOT BASED REQUESTS, WHEN YOU REFUSE TO BLOODY HELP?
In both situations the game screwed up. Nothing to do with players doing anything dodgy or stupid, the game simply cocked up delivering the loot. Yet the CSR's wont do anything? WTF is that about?
Considering the various issues being leapt on by disgruntled rage quitters of late, the last thing Mythic/GOA need to be doing is pissing us about when the bugs skank our loot. Either replace things or get rid of the option in the help menus, because at the moment it just raises false hope only to replace it with annoyance. Alternatively, make it so loot doesn't bug out. Whilst discussing this I discovered it's not exactly unusual. :(
What makes this doubly annoying is now that you can't buy any conqueror, etc for gold, it's now MUCH more difficult to get the gear. The token system takes ages to get any armour with, compared with how you couold quickly get a couple of bits before. Which means if the items drop from players, crap like this is immensly annoying. I am not paying 650g for conqueror gloves from the auction house.
It's easier to get bloody invader for crying out loud.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
It's all about the Zerg! Uhm, no.
Pushing my dubious culinary themed anaolgies a bit further, this boils down to a simple choice; you can join the zerg or with just a little effort, cook up your own fun...
Obviously a handfull of players can't take an entire Zerg head on (tightly organised warbands using voice comms can though), but a single group of players can make themselves a nuisance and if you're really cunning, you can change the course of the campaign... You see as well as loads of players, zergs bring a couple of other things to the table: Personality clashes and laziness.
Good old fashioned, greenskin style animosity in the ranks. How often have you seen open warbands descend into arguments as players disagree over bloody everything? Half a group go there, the main zerg goes here and 2 randoms sit in the warcamp and every 15 minutes ask where everyone is.
The zerg moves on, but Billy-Bob just carries on sitting there AFK at the battle objective. He cba you see. Bugger it says Billy-Bob, let the others do the work. Much easier to just leech renown, whilst alt tabbing to troll forums. Eventually Billy-Bob realises he's getting a bit far behind and runs to joins the other stragglers who are milling about confused. It seems everyone is still bloody arguing over what to do next. Meh, time to go on /follow.
Full on, tightly organised guild or alliance warbands rarely suffer from the above, but they're not immune. With those type of professional zergs, people still get separated and have to run back. However, experience tells us that the majority of warbands do not fit into that category. They're either PuGs or are from less focused guilds/alliances. They are your target.
Be one with your inner Ninja
Ambush stragglers, ninja BOs and keeps, charge their healers in the arse just as they attack the champion mobs or just skirmish for the sheer fun of it. Don't just use the usual routes to get places, fly to other zones and cut back to your target zone. Use the PvE areas to sneak through, send 1 person off to tag keep A while you send a ninja team into keep B. Use every annoying bloody trick you can.
I just passed another Kojak with a Kodak, this place is crawling with bears, where the hell are you?
Voice comms, should not be underestimated. In some ways voice communication is actually more powerfull for a small group than they are for larger ones... Organising a warband in a hectic fight even with voice comms can be hard work, lots of people listening (sometimes talking too) and it's not always clear who something applies to. With a small group communications can more easily be direct and efficient, with less room for misunderstanding. It's one of the reasons you will sometimes see small groups cut through bigger groups of players with devestating effect.
So that's all fine for me to say, but what about putting into practice?
The proof is in the pudding
Unusually today I was online during the day, but the guild is very quiet at this time, so we could only run a small guild group. For much of the day there was only 3 or 4 of us in the group, the most we got to was 6. There was a destruction warband RvEing, but we left them to it and decided to do our own thing. Order were very active and pushing for multiple zone locks.
Yet it was our small group alone that delayed the Kadrin Valley lock for a couple of hours against vastly superior numbers. There was no other Destruction in KV at that point, but there was at least 1 Order warband. We still pulled it off.
It was also us that stopped Dragonwake and Reikland locking. I can safely say it was us too, as we alone took the objectives and keeps that stopped Order's domination timers with minutes to spare. Maybe Destruction warbands were elsewhere keeping Order busy in those zones, but regardless it shows how 1 small group is far from useless in WAR. When I logged off, Order had still only managed to lock one of those zones.
We were sneaky, cunning and tbh total gits, but we had an awesome time. We capped keeps, took BOs and led people on a merry dance. We took down groups twice our number and bravely went down fighting against the big zergs. From some of those fights I'd like to think a few players may have been given a bit of an eye opener regarding Kill Frenzy. ;)
So next time the zerg gets you down, put on your chef's hat and go cook up some trouble.
Winds of Change all puffed out
Good news! It's always pleasing to see that Mythic do listen to their players. Lets hope they can find a better solution.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Oi! Mythic! Spread 'em!
There’s always the option Mythic have gone for with the Fortresses. This is where the zone has a limit to the amount of players that can be inside, but in my mind at least this is as much a pain in the arse as it is a benefit. When all the action is in one area, but you’re not allowed in, that’s just no fun. There’s also the new idea to teleport people out if the zone is going to crash, which is fine in that it stops the zone crashing, but rubbish for anyone actually playing the game.
What Mythic need to do is give us much better reasons to fight over multiple zones. If I log on and see Fell Landing is under siege, that shouldn’t effectively cancel out all oRvR because everyone is rammed into one zone and everywhere else is dead or lagged to crap as a side effect. There should be multiple oRvR things we can choose to do at any time. It should be a war on multiple fronts, with multiple goals and not so focused around Inevitable City/Altdorf or when it arrives the Land of the Dead. If we can’t fit everyone into one zone now, are Mythic really confident that Land of the Dead will stand a chance? Keep in mind this zone starts at level 25, so there could potentially be even more players there… I do not want to be all doom and gloom about Land of the Dead, but it does make you wonder.
Obviously we don’t know the details of how LotD will work; perhaps there are things in place that will prevent it being a sandy lag pit from hell or perhaps by it’s very nature it will spread players across the other zones too. However I would suggest that Mythic need to go further and also implement some of their original plans for WAR and put in the 4 missing capital cities. This is something they said could well happen, way back in the early days after launch it was mentioned and again, if I recall correctly anyway...
Think about it, if you could capture a fortress and you then siege it’s relevant city, but without locking down the ENTIRE campaign and focusing every bloody player to one area. So say Order take Fell Landing, then they get to siege the Black Ark, but crucially the Empire/Chaos and Orc/Dwarf campaigns remain open should players prefer to do them instead. Genuine options to push multiple zones, but this time it doesn’t lead to one giant clusterfuck as everyone is rammed into IC or Altdorf.
Extend the city downtime after a successful siege, bring in realm wide buffs for each enemy city you control (say 20% renown/XP bonus per city), sorta like we used to have in Camelot and yay! A proper campaign, that has players fighting over loads of different areas at the same time. And crucially, tangible benefits not just for winning in one zone, but for controlling the campaign as a whole.
Kinda like what WAR was meant to have in the first place.
Monday, 27 April 2009
Lets all run through one doorway and get farmed, yes that's a good idea... sigh.
There was a few attempts at going round the side from people, but the amount of times I ended up on a solo flank attack was just depressing. The poor sods on our side that tried to organise things were just ignored.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
CHOP! CHOP! DING! DONG!
I've decided to respec away from path of Da' Wrecka. It is very good, but I'm finding it not particularly challenging to play. You run in, spam AoE, use git to da choppa to pull people in and that's about it. It's been a lot of fun and it made leveling VERY easy, but I'm wanting a bit more variety in the abilities that are worth using. Perhaps I'm missing some subtle details with Da' Wrecka, but there you go. I briefly dabbled with Da' Savage before, but it just didn't feel right to me so this time I've decided to try out Da' Hitta, which is the great weapon based mastery path.
It's themed around big spike damage with a range of what appear to be quite potent debuffs. Unfortunately I've not been able to properly get a feel for it tonight, as with 2 forts down (1 each) all the oRvR was focused in Kadrin Valley. A zone now simply known as bloody Lagville. Thankfully I managed to get a few scraps in before the 2nd Fort went down and everyone and his wife descended on the zone. It got pretty messy from then on and after the northern keep battle crashed the zone for a third time, I decided to call it a night :/
First impressions are positive in that I've got lots of abilities to choose from and I brutalised some people in 1v1, but I'm not so sure how it will play out in large scale fights. I imagine I will miss Da' Wrecka's more powerfull AoE in those situations, but the proof will be in the pudding.Hopefully I'll get some time to really experiment with Da' Hitta over the next few days
Saturday, 25 April 2009
One of those moments of RvR awesomeness
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Looking on the bright side - 5 quality things
Today I feel moved to combat the rampant negativity and post 5 quality things that make WAR a cool game. Once I started writing this I realised I had a load more than 5, but if they're so inclined I'll leave that perhaps for my fellow bloggers to pick up on.
1 - The Warhammer Lore
It’s Warhammer! Gamesworkshop have spent 25 years of constant development and refinement to create the Warhammer world that we know today. Mythic have available a monstrous amount of high quality background story, imagery and characterisation, there’s no need to create some half arsed nonsense about magic gnomes or other such rubbish.
This is of course subjective and some people have no idea about Warhammer (how many times have we seen people ask for male Witch Elves or female Orcs…), so it may not be to some folk’s taste, but for me it’s the ultimate setting for an MMO. There’s plenty humour, but the overall feel is dark and gritty. This is a game that drops you right into war and doesn’t flinch.
2 - Evil
The Destruction playable races are actually proper, full on EVIL! There are no poor misunderstood Orcs, uncouth barbarians or sad persecuted Trolls, oh no, this is without mercy, murdering bastard, torturous evil. We have quests to burn villages down, to wipe out populations and defile the graves of their ancestors. This true evil also helps define the Order faction, giving them purpose within the game world. Defined powers of light and darkness.
As my mouse cursor hovers over my Chosen on the character select screen, I know to click that button means logging in with a character that is as far from Mr Nice Guy as possible. If I was a tad more demented in real life I’d be cackling as I did so… MUHAHAHAHA! Etc :P Sometimes I’m sorely tempted to play Destruction on a roleplay server :D
Or maybe playing Destruction just gives us an excuse to be arseholes, either way it's all good, I mean bad :P
3 - Real enemies
So many MMOs that feature different and opposing playable factions fail to deliver those factions as proper enemies. There's either little point fighting them, the game's PvP is pony, or the presentation of their differences is so poor that it just doesn't inspire any feeling to the player. Games should make us despise our enemy factions and want to crush them utterly. WAR totally delivers on this. Thanks to the distinct look, feel and charisma of the different races combined with the overall RvR centered style of the game, from the very start it begins building that loathing of enemy players. Sure there are enemy players I have a respect for of course, but I still want them all slaughtered ;)
4 - Class choices
All the classes are cool. Sure I have favourites, but I could honestly see myself playing any of them. In fact it's proving to be a problem for me, as I now have every character slot filled and I can't decide which to take to 40 after my Choppa. Sure some classes have the odd issue to be resolved (like every MMO ever), but they're still all interesting. Across the wide range of MMOs littering my dubious past, there's always been a load of classes I simply had no interest in. Not so with WAR :) I suspect this will be the game that I have more top level alts than ny other previously, and I am known as an alt whore.
5 - Options
WAR gives you a lot of options on how you level up. I can get XP from old school PvE grinding, Player Quests, Dungeons, PvP Scenarios and OpenRvR. There are obviously ways that are faster than others if you want to rush, but all of them are viable ways of getting to 40.
So there you have just 5 things (from many that I could have picked), that for me make WAR not only a great game, but the MMO I want to stick with long term.
Forgot to link this: http://www.warhammeralliance.com/forums/showthread.php?t=280922
Warhammer Alliance have an interview with Mark Davis, Live Events Lead for Mythic, about Lands of the Dead.
Gonna add a 6th quality thing about WAR purely for my own amusment.
Spotting an Order player in an Altdorf siege that you recognise as someone who comments on your blog and then the pair of you trying to fight each other ;)
Kolapz, I think it was 2-1 to you on killing blows mate :D Damn you sneaky shadow warriors lurking at range :P
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Next up is Spank the Tank. Gotta love the Top 24 Career Looks list :D Not sure I agree with it all, but he has Chosen as no1 so clearly there's sensible thinking gone into it :D
And here we have Spearhead. Always a well written blog, but the effort he puts into his WCPI posts puts us all to shame :)
Monday, 20 April 2009
Your instance is full
Update! We got in by having everyone leave the warband, queue solo and then reform it inside. Ok its cool we got in, but that's just bloody stupid. Our instance was full, yet it let us in solo with EXACTLY the same number of players to EXACTLY the same instance. LOL :P
Sunday, 19 April 2009
What a difference (for the worse) a day makes
The game was running beautifully in Lost Vale, a really big improvement with almost zero slowdown due to spell effects, etc. Very cool. I also finally got a Darkpromise Helm and was a happy bunny obviously, but then a few things happened that suck royally.
We started on N'kari and confirmed what others have been saying, it would seem to be impossible to do as things stand (unless you are REALLY lucky). Her Circle of Pain effects has a much wider AoE than the graphics represent and is doing stupidly high damage. On my Chosen I was getting hit for 2.3k, thats not so bad apart from when you get hit by multiple at once because of the size of the AoE. It's even worse when one spawns on a healer, hitting them for 5k BEFORE the graphic has even appeared and then the follow up tick finishes them off.
I simply do not believe Mythic tested Lost Vale properly for 1.2.1, it feels like someone has changed lines of code and not bothered to see what it happened. If they think they did, then they need to do a serious review of their internal testing procedure. With my own job one of my many oh so exciting duties is I'm heavily involved with testing and acceptance of pretty complex software in the public sector, it's a bloody nightmare let me tell you. So I fully understand how for many things you won't know if the translation from your test to your live system will work out, until you get it on live. You think it would, but it doesn't always work like that.
However, instanced boss fights with are very controlled environments, with set phases and events, that are easily tested. I do not understand how this, Gorak and the butcher can be so broken. It's not as if WAR has many end game dungeons, Mythic need to get this right and at present it's simply not good enough.
We tried N'kari a few times, same shit kept happening so we gave up and decided to go oRvR. And discovered that tonight on Karak-Norn Tier 4 oRvR had became unplayable....
Order were on a huge offensive, decimating Caledor as we arrived and in massive numbers. I think it was probably the most Order I've ever seen in one keep. The lag was horrific. Really odd crap was happening, I'd see players sort of vibrating one the spot for about 5-10 seconds and then teleporting away and entire warbands worth of players vanishing and reappearing. After a few laggy deaths, somehow I made it to the inner keep which is when it really went to rat shit.
Order got into the lord room and every single enemy player vanished for about 45 seconds. Confused we thought at first it was a server crash, but as we were still taking damage from them it clearly wasn't . Everyone on alliance vent was just laughing at how pathetic this was on the game's behalf. Then Order capped the fort and Caledor crashed properly. The laughter soon turned into a mixture of sardonic amusement or irritation.
Then the rollbacks started. I've not logged in with Bootae yet to see if I've lost that DP helm... Please note this is AFTER the emergency maintenance that supposedly fix things. If anyone works out what it fixed, I'd love to know.
Not good Mythic, not good at all. You need to hotfix like buggery chaps, because at the moment whilst I love this game, I can not defend this sort of crap.
Sooner that gets applied to the EU servers the better.
Patch 1.2.1 and the maintenance are most perturbatory
It seems people are having very different experiences with game performance after the 1.2.1 patch. Prior to today's emergency maintenance, for myself and the guildies I'd talked to the game had been running much better. Yet I did see in alliance, region and on various blogs and forums, a fair few people saying it's running worse for them.
And then today since the emergency maintenance, it would seem to have dragged performance down a bit for everyone. Not sure what the deal is here. Most perturbatory indeed.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
1.2.1 first day final impressions
Generally I'd say at this early stage it seems very good, but it's not without a few problems either. So first off lets get the bad out of the way.
First off we have Lost Vale.
I've not been in there myself today, but I've heard of 3 bosses that have new and serious bugs. The Gnoblar at the Butcher boss is bugged and starting at 50% enrage which is making it nigh on impossible. Gorak the Ancient is randomly nuking fully warded people for 20k, making this impossible to do. And finally, I didn't catch the exact details but N'Kari is doing some buggy uber damage attack also making it impossible to do. It needs to be stressed I'm not hearing this from people new to LV, but very experienced WAR players that have had LV on full farm for months. Looking at the official forums shows this is not unique to my guildies and is a common problem. Frankly I'm shocked bugs this serious in WAR's premier dungeon make it to live. How did this get past testing? Especially considering those bosses have FIXES included in the patch notes...
Sometimes when you get killed, you click release and nothing happens. It won' let you log out and you have to ctrl-alt-delete, shut the game down and restart it. I only had this happen once all day, but I saw another 4 people have the problem once or twice.
Entering City Siege instances doesn't always work. Order sieged IC earlier and when trying to enter IC for siege defense it would start to load, then just go back to the Maw. Eventually I got in, but this was an annoyance. Some people didn't have the patience and just logged off.
Both of those 2 problems have been acknowledged by Mythic, so should get sorted quickly. Lets hope LV gets hot fixed fast too.
And now the good!
The new guild UI is very good.
In fact I'd say it's now one of the best I've used in any MMO. Truely a massive improvement and makes my life as a guild leader soooo much easier. Also little things like being able to look at the guild roster and instantly see who's in what type of warband, then just right click to join them, such a simple idea and really bloody great. Popular one that.
It's a lot better. I've been playing melee classes all told for about 5 hours of RvR today and the improvement is immense. We talked a lot about it today on ventrilo and everyone was reporting big improvements. Our witch elves in particular were most pleased.
For the first time ever I was able to do large scale oRvR with full spell effects on and have acceptable FPS. It's still not good enough, as the bigger fights I had to turn it off for, but it's a major improvement. Couple of warbands fighting was no problem, it was only when it got into multiple warbands it started to chug. But regardless it's improvement enough to show promise.
Are quite a bit better. Not great yet and far from the epic moment I expect, but far better that previous ones I've been on. Game performance wise we're talking about a huge improvement, today I fought players and not fighting lag. Also with the Invader Crest tokens as rewards both for the PQ and a succesful defense, it gave us more tangible incentives and a proper reward for defending.
I really like it. The drop rate seems about right, people aren't going to be in full Invader over night (though it seems some people think they should...), but if you do RvR you will get RvR armour rewards. Bare in mind these tokens are in addition to the set pieces from loot bags. So people still have the normal chance to get items. The tokens are a back up system, a kinda reward insurance policy.
The only thing we can't do anymore is buy things like the armour set gloves for gold from vendors. Makes it a tad more difficult to quickly gear alts, but IMHO it's not worth crying about. There's still the BoE bits dropping from players and it just means people need to pay their dues and go fight people for tokens. From memory I think my haul from today was 4 Invader crests, 6 Conquerer Crests and 16 officer medallions. Remember those crests can be broken down into large numbers of medallions, so it really won't take that long to get stuff.
Also I highly recommend you check out how much stuff actually costs (Greenskin has a good post for this), because people in region chat are talking total crap. I've seen people saying how the Invader helm costs 500 Invader crests... Actually it costs 9 Invader crests and 475 officer Medallions. I got almost half the crests in one day's play and if break down those conquerer crests that'll give me 46 medallions already. Soon as I have enough Invader crests, I'll start breaking them down too and then the medallions will fly up.
Seriously, take the crying on forums about the token system with a pinch of salt. It needs time to fully assess how good or bad it is, but to me it's looking good.
Cool, I think... They had an impact, but were not game breaking, at least that's my initial impression. Long term effects? Wait and see.
Melee is back baby!
Melee works again. Wizards, Engineers, Sorcs and Magus still hurt, but the AoE spam is nothing compared with what it was. For the first time the large number of Bright Wizards didn't over balance things. First time in ages that it felt like an even fight. Today was the most fun I've had in RvR in a long time. When using Gashface my choppa I died loads (obviously), but I had a blast and really contributed to our group/warband killing things.
When on Bootae my chosen, well that was a surprise. We've got harder to kill in RvR, like big time... I had it explained to me, but may have since got the detail confused, apparently it's something to do with a change to how toughness works.
Big talking point prior to the patch, Rending Blade... the nerf isn't too bad, but you have to adjust how you play. For smaller fights I did just fine with a great weapon. Though I sword and boarded for all the big fights, be mad not too.
Also, it seems Touch of Palsy got a bit better. I need to test that out more and see if anyone else has noticed anything, so don't take that as gospel.
So there you go, first day and first impressions are worrying for PvE (sloppy testing?), but very positive for RvR. With some good hotfixing, this could work out very well.
PS gratz to Karak-Norn's Order for getting to IC on the launch of 1.2.1. This clearly showed you're not just about Rain of Fire stacking and will remain a force to be reckoned with. Fair play to ya! ;)
Friday, 17 April 2009
Very brief 1.2.1 impression
In keep takes and other oRvR I'm actually able to run with spell effects set to show all. Not done a fort take yet, but had some big fights and its running well.
Not getting the out of range shit at all anymore. And the Witch Elf I am grouped with is almost wetting himself with glee now that his class works again.
Tokens, dropping at what is IMHO a reasonable rate. I think some of the people whinging are expecting full invaders in like a day or something, that and have short memories of gear grinding in other MMOs. People I'm playing with and talking on vent now, are all happy as things are.
So far so good.
Thursday, 16 April 2009
1.2.1 goes live in US today... Live in EU tomorrow? CONFIRMED! :)
Normally us Euro types get the patch the following day, so I presume we get it tomorrow. No word from GOA yet...
Notice the new quartermasters are in, so new loot system goes live :) Awesome.
I'm hoping the improvements to siege engines live up to at least some of my expectations.
GOA confirm patch is tomorrow:
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Insert probe related pun here
1. What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)? Explain how you chose the name.
Bootae - I'm predictable like that, every MMO it's always Bootae. Only exception was Age of Conan where I was Draich, but that whole experience was a bit trippy.
2. What was the name of your very first character in an MMO? Explain how you chose that name.
Ultima Online was my first MMO and I started off withmy first Bootae there. As to why I chose Bootae, well back in the days of Xwing vs Tie-fighter and so on, I was known by the name of Lord Booty. No idea where that came from, random name spawned by booze and stuff. Anyways, in one of my old Xwing clans everytime I logged on one of the guys would shout BOOOOOOTAE! So when I needed a name for my first UO character, I just went with that.
3. Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?
See question 1-2.
4. Do you ever reserve names, planning to use them for characters that you might play later? If so, what are they and why do you hold on to them?
These days I always reserve Bootae and Draich.
5. Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?
Tank, being a Chosen. I tend to play either Tank or DPS classes, but I invariably make alts of most other types though.
6. What archetype was your very first character in an MMO? Why did you choose it?
My first MMO character was created before archetypes existing in MMOs. Ultima Online doesn't have classes as such, you have a set number of skill points that you could share amongst load of different skills. For UO vets, my main was a 7x GM swordsman, I also had a 6x GM mage/tamer and a couple of other 5xGM alts for all sorts of different stuff.
7. Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally? Why?
I nearly always play either Warriors and Archers, so heavy armoured melee (be that tanks or MDPS) and ranged DPS. I think overall I lean more towards the tanks, can't beat plate armour and hitty sticks.
8. What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?
Ultima Online's criminal system. Nothing has ever compared with the adrenalin rush of being jumped by a PK or the comedy of chasing a thief through the city streets.
9. Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free? Which and why?
World of Warcraft, to say hello to some friends from there. I wouldn't actually play the game again as its dull as fook now (I tried out WotLK, major zzzz), but I'd use it as a chat room now and again.
10. How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO (total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level reached, etc.)?
Ooh good question. Uhm, raid progress and either personal kill ratio or the success of the groups you're in. Elitist geeks may find this hard to believe, but how often you play doesn't matter , what matters is when you are online you should be awesome or at least not shit :D
Changes to 1.2.1 as a result of testing
Key bits for me are:
Increased base hit points on all pets. (Squigs, War Lions, Turrets, and Daemons)
If it makes them more relevant then that's all good.
Flurry/Lotsa Choppin': These abilities have been changed to a Cone area of effect that will only hit targets in front and on the sides of the character. Due to this change the abilities will no longer require a target to activate.
Fine with me. Generally I think the Choppa seems pretty balanced, but after a mammoth RvR session today, yeah Lotsa Choppin is as they say "OP". This seems like a fair change.
Players operating a Ram will now be immune to Knockback and receive reduced damage from Oil Siege Weapons.
Siege Rams will now do twice the damage as they previously did.
Keep doors will now have double the hit points they previously had.
We have significantly increased the hit points of Ram Siege Pads.
Excellent. I was asking for something like this the other day. Making siege weapons more important is no bad thing. Hopefully the start of more improvements.
Caltrops and Dynamite will no longer be introduced with the Ordnance system.
This I'm really pleased to hear. Players didn't like Caltrops, testing showed them to be to have a negative effect on the game, so Mythic got rid. GJ Mythic.
Now what I want to know is when is the patch going live? And when do we get the token based loot system?
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Is that a Bloodthirster in your pocket or...?
If you don’t know you’re demons, it was the huge winged bugger that turned up at the end of the video. So why can’t we occasionally summon things like that for keep sieges?
What if we were able to unleash a greater demon of Khorne on people... Imagine seeing this bugger running at you:
I want some funky way of summoning something really bloody nasty to aid in keep attack or defence. There would need to be some kind of restrictive factor to stop them appearing all the time, perhaps it would take 6 players to summon and they would each have to use an ability or items with a week long cool down to do so. Something like that anyway, but whatever, the end result would be a huge great lord mob with serious kick arse power turns up and goes on a rampage! Something that wouldn’t happen all the time, but enough to give everyone some OMFG moments.
Every race has an option for something. Off the top of my head things like:
Dwarf = Anvil of Doom
Empire = Steam Tank
High Elf = Dragon Prince on a dragon
Orcs = A giant or Wyvern riding Black Orc git
Dark Elves = Hydra
Big, horrific, killy stuff to inspire some panic and stir up some epic battles. It could also be a way to make Lairs more relevant, but that’s something for another post.
Keep sieges should be as epic as the into trailer :)
I've carried on with the PvE quest and PQ grinding to get up to level 35. I'm now thinking that I'll focus on RvR to get my realm rank up, it's a mere 24 at the moment. I had been told that we got pick lock at level 35, this would appear to be bollocks and I'm now hearing it's at renown rank 30. Doh. That was why had I raced up to bloody level 35... Bugger.
Aaaaaaaanyways, how is the Choppa? Pretty cool to be honest. I'm still going with Path of Da'Wrecka, which is fun though a little 1 button spammy with lotsa choppin. But it's fairly relaxing to play in a sort of psychotic way. It's very easy to farm mobs in PvE. When I've got rest XP I quite often just farm PQ mobs, since I kill up to around 5-8 even level mobs at once, depending on their type of course. With rest XP that's netting roughly 1.5k per mob, which adds up fast.
As for RvR, I've done a wee bit in tier 4. So far I've been battered in 1v1 fights (fighting geared 40s doesn't help ofc), but found myself to be quite usefull in group situations. With my AoE slow down, lotsa chopping, charge skill and Git to DaChoppa I've been able to cause some carnage and catch runners. I'm not sure how well Choppas are balanced yet, they seem ok to me in RvR, but it's probably too early to tell, but I suspect the yells of OPness are perhaps just the usual whinging.
Main thing for me remains, it's an Orc, it looks cool and it's fun to play, in a straight-forward Orcy way.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
WAR's siege warfare needs attacking
One thing many others and I would like to see improved in WAR is siege warfare. Within this are a wide range of topics including things like; better access to keep lords, the role of melee, risk vs reward and much more, but I’m going to have a ramble about siege engines and how I think they could dramatically improve keep sieges.
At the moment we have the following siege weapons:
Of these by far the most effective are boiling oil and battering rams. These two are very much the lynch pin of attacking and defending keeps respectively and also highlight one of the main problems with sieges. It’s ALL about the main gateway and getting that door down.
Rams themselves work ok. I think perhaps we could have more options for battering rams, maybe expensive ones that give protection against oil, but in their current state they are still very effective. Also I think the interface and method for using rams is awkward and a bit dull, but generally they work pretty well. It’s not something that needs urgent attention. The same goes for oil.
The ranged weapons however are not so hot. I love the look of them (for what that’s worth), but they’re just not cutting it performance wise. Even after the damage improvements in 1.2, they’re still not effective enough to be important. Very rarely will you see more than a couple deployed by defenders and even less often for attackers. I think they need dramatic improvements in their effectiveness, not just so they can kill players, but more importantly so they become important to players. I want to see both attackers and defenders actually giving a toss about siege engines other than oil and rams. We should be hatching cunning plans and launching sneaky raids to destroy enemy siege engines. If the enemy has deployed cannons we should be living in fear of the bloody things, not ignoring them as irrelevant.
However, if ranged siege engine damage were increased without other changes, we’d just end up complaining about Cannons being the new Bright Wizards/Sorcerers. To prevent this and solve the zerging one doorway bit we need to encourage the battle to spread out a bit and give both attackers and defenders more options. This would benefit keep related RvR generally, as it would reduce the effect of AoE, possibly reduce lag and importantly give melee and tanks a bit more to do. So how do we this?
Easy! Well, easy for me to say anyway... It's not exactly new, but is of course siege towers, ladders and tunnels!
How then could these work? I’m sure there’s loads of different ways of implementing them, but here’s some ideas:
These should be both expensive and bloody good. Requiring say 12 people carrying a component each to create, so that you would need 2 full groups working together on the battlefield to construct the tower. Then you’d push it towards the walls, with the defenders first challenge being to try and destroy it before it gets in place. It would need loads of hit points and be something to be feared; if it gets deployed then the shit has truly hit the fan. Once in place, attackers could rapidly climb up and onto the walls. Defenders would need to rush to the block off the enemy’s path, clear the walls and destroy the tower, or risk attackers swamping the walls.
A simple mechanic for a simple tool, attackers can place them against walls and climb up. Defenders can click the ladder to knock it off the walls with a chance of destroying it totally. This would mean defenders would actually need to properly man the walls, not just if you are a ranged class. Defending melee DPS and tanks could fight to keep the walls clear.
Ideally we would have the option to undermine walls and make them collapse like in medieval sieges. If we can’t have that, then being able to employ some Skaven or Dwarf miners to dig a tunnel into the castle grounds could be cool. To prevent tunnel spam, like the siege tower it would need to be expensive and/or difficult to create. For the defenders, perhaps attacking either entrance to the tunnel with some kind of explosive (purchasable from the Quartermaster NPCs) could destroy it.
I would love to have destructible walls and I’m puzzled why we don’t since Camelot did (not at launch mind you), but I’m assuming that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. However the above suggestions would spread the combat around the walls, making things much more interesting and without needing us to blow walls up. They would also provide real tactical choices for both attackers and defenders. Attackers would be able to get into the keep by multiple methods and from different directions; feints and attacks on multiple fronts really would be possible. Defenders would need to take all this into account and have at least basic defensive plans in place to deal with the various types of attack they could be facing.
Look at the size of tier 4 keeps and their surrounding walls. How much of it do we actually use? If you’re not in tier 4, the answer for you is; bugger all. We’ve got all this space to play with and instead we’re huddling together round a single bloody door. Of course there are melee DPS classes sneaking in postern doors with pick lock, but since they can’t get healers in with them and we’re only talking about 2 pre-set entrances, it’s not proving to be as dramatic an option as I’d hoped for.
Spread the fight around, give us options and make keep sieges the slice of awesome pie we hoped for.
Monday, 6 April 2009
WCPI - Linktastic!
I'd also like to give a shout out to:
Breakfast at War - These folks just got to 100 posts and over 10k hits. Go have a read and you'll find out why :)
Way of the Chosen - Rivs has put up an interesting post about why he could never be a carebear.
Tank Wall - I only recently discovered this blog. Great name for a blog and he's playing a Chosen. Sensible chap clearly. Well worth a look.
Biobreak - If you didn't catch the news last week, Syp has moved on to a more general blog. It's looking good, but then that was a given.
The Greenskin - Delves into WAR's crafting. If you've not paid much attention to crafting before, this gives you a good summary of the different types available.
Saturday, 4 April 2009
The best thing about sieging Altdorf was...
Just like when Order attacks IC, our first Altdorf siege was also a laggy pile of crap. I've got a good system, my mates have good systems, but these city siege instances run terribly.
Why are city siege instances so bloody laggy?
Why did the zone crash twice?
Why was there numerous zone crashes before people even got to Altdorf?Again today I had people comparing it with Alterac Valley in WoW, which doesn't lag anything like WAR with roughly the same amount of people. Bad comparison? Not really. I'm sure from the dev's perspective there are a million and one reasons why we shouldn't compare the two, but purely from a gamer's perspective its an 80 person PvP instance and it doesnt run like a lame goat.
The worst bit is that I can't even tell if the public quest set up is ok or not, because the game runs so badly in these situations it's not being given a fair trial.
Amazing really, in 24 hours I've had some refreshingly brilliant moments in T4 and then been rudely slammed back down by what should have been a large slice of awesome pie, with custard. It's such a shame that reaching the end game tarnished all the great work put in by Destruction to get there.
There was some entertainment to be had out of it, but not any thanks to the game itself. After the 2nd crash we ended up in an instance against what appeared to be a full 48 Order from one of their powerfull alliances (some of the same faces from last night). We were down to 3 groups in our warband after the crashing, but thankfully there was another warband of destruction in there too. The first battle for the PQ was a real tough one, with us failing to kill the Lord. Clearly this wasn't going to be a loot farming instance, so what did the other destruction warband do? They quit and left us with just our 3 groups against the Order. Hah bit lame tbh, but it sure left us with a challenge... :P
We obviously got battered, but we put in a pretty good show for ourselves IMHO and at the least managed to stop the Order warbands farming the PQ. Think we gave them a few scares when we charged their healers in the back a few times :D
It seems that getting to Altdorf was exactly what we needed and at the same time, the worst thing that could have happened.
I saw people that until now had stayed positive about WAR become very disillusioned. This was the carrot they'd be working towards, the light at the end of the tunnel, but it turns out the carrots actually a bit of a turnip.
Friday, 3 April 2009
There's still fun to be had in Tier 4
A bunch of guys from our alliance (The Evil Leage of Evil) made it over, getting us up to 3 full groups in our warband. Just in bloody time too, cos just then Order woke up. What appeared to be a full warband of Order turned up, all from two decent Order guilds (Ginnuga and Renegade Legion) and launched into an attack. Epic keep defense ensued, with things looking a bit dicey a few times, but thankfully in a close encounter we managed to defeat them after a looooong fight in the Lord room. It was a proper scrap and it was great to win against quality opponents.
Having been defeated at the keep this bunch of Order weren't going to just throw themselves at it again, oh no, too cunning for that. They had other plans it seemed and we sent our scouts out. Our lads clocked them hanging around the Rottenpike Battle Objective, waiting for it to become attackable. With us being slightly outnumbered, we hatched a simple and not exactly new plan. We'd attack them as they attacked the guards. And maybe it would have worked, except for a few rather large problems....
As we rode in to attack we realised we'd left a bunch of our warband behind us at the keep, but it was too late as the enemy could see us now. So we then in a moment of comedy gold, took the most direct path to the Order, which meant jumping down a small cliff... Small yes, but bloody high enough to take off half our health :P DOH! So we ran headlong into a warband of good Order guilds with half our health missing and our already outnumbered warband further depleted.
As you can imagine, it was a massacre :D If you've not been to Rottenpike before, it's got lots of walls and scenery you can use to your advantage, it really is perfect for defending. And those Order guys knew what they were doing. To be honest if we'd had even numbers it was going to be a tough fight, but they took us apart big time! We suspect it may have been their devious planto lure us out in the first place. :P
As the night continued we had a few more guildies and alliance members join us and a ended up with full warband going for the rest of the night. There was a shit load more fights and plenty of quality moments in both defeat and victory, but crucially for me tonight, it was all a good laugh. It didn't lag, the fights were mostly competitive and it didn't once get frustrating. Sure we did one time give up on a keep attack because of a wall of AoE at the door, but instead of suffering it we just moved to a BO and to Orders credit they followed out and got stuck in.
With our alliance warband we held onto our claimed keep against multiple attacks by a few different Order warbands and as I log off now its still ours and our allies have claimed Badmoon Hole too, hopefully the night owls amongst us will be able to finish the job and get the zone locked. All told a great nights RvR, fair play to both the Order and Destruction that made it a whole lotta fun. After having my Tier 4 morale crushed by laggy fortress crap, tonight's smaller scale action has reinspired me in a big way with Tier 4 RvR.
Stat Adjustment pondering
I quite like the idea, as at the moment there's just too many irrelevant stats and I don't see it meaning I'll need to re-gear myself much. Other tanks I spoke to also seemed to like it, but some of the DPS nutters I chatted with were quite concerned. At the moment they've mainly stacked things like say Strength and Wounds, but to maintain decent crit damage with these possible changes they would also need to get a load of Weapon skill somehow. Apparently requiring quite dramatic changes to their current equipment.
It seems like the toughness change would fit in very easily, its not game breaking and I imagine those that would want the benefit already have a lot of toughness (i.e. tanks), but perhaps this isn't the case for stats related to damage. I've not seen any PTS feedback on it yet, but it's sounding like this could be a delicate one to get right. Here's hoping...
Thursday, 2 April 2009
WAR Proposed Stat Adjustment! Hmmm :)
Very interesting indeed.
Critical Damage Calculations
Currently (on 1.2 live), the amount of base critical damage dealt is a random value between 40% and 60%, which then is further modified by career mechanics and buffs. The proposed change will remove this random range and set the base value to 50%. From that 50%, a formula that utilizes the attacker's secondary stat for that attack type (Weapon Skill for Melee & Ranged, Willpower for Magic) and the defender's Initiative will shift that 50% to anywhere between 5% and 75%, based on the values of each stat as compared to each other. With a high positive offensive ratio (more Weapon Skill than Toughness, as an example), the critical damage gain has the potential to be higher than exists on live now, but with a high positive defensive ratio extra critical damage can be greatly reduced.
Your Weapon Skill or Willpower and your targets toughness effecting Crit Damage? Wow, that really mixes things up. A lot of currently dodgy armour sets would look totally different, for example all those Magus items with lots of willpower. At the moment its useless, but with this? Hmmm... Look forward to hearing how this works out.
I like this a lot:
Health Regeneration based on Toughness
Currently (on 1.2 live), the player has no health regeneration in-combat. The proposed change would give every player a health regeneration tic every 4s that would occur even during combat. The amount healed would be based on the player's Toughness, with the current discussed value at Toughness / 5 worth of heal every 4s. Any health regeneration bonuses would then be added to this amount.
At the moment Toughness is the bastard red haired step child of the stat world, this could really change that. If this went live I'd be very keen to see how this works for tank classes.
These are just suggestions being put on PTS for testing, they're not set in stone as going onto live servers. It's our opportunity to see if we like the suggestions and then provide feedback.
PS: GJ Mythic, I really like this style of being open about your ideas and promoting constructive feedback. It's refreshing to see a developer giving the players such an opportunity to shape development.
Chosen - Rending Blade nerfed, Dread mastery ruined again
It made up for the nerf to Touch of Palsy, Cleave STILL not working and the weakening of all our other single target abilities. This 5 second has now basically killed the Dread tree again. :(
Bloody hell :(
BTW I know I don't normally rant, so sorry :P
Patch 1.2.1 patch notes are out- Chosen Dread spec killed again
I've not got time for a full review before I need to hit the sack, but here's a few highlights for me:
The Guild Window has received a major facelift and several functional improvements. We have added more information to the Guild Window, such as new news alerts and additional statistics on the profile tab. We have also resolved several interface bugs with the window, such as promoting and demoting through the UI and loss of guild permissions.
This is going to make my life sooo much easier, thank bloody fook for this.
Various improvements have been made to Zone Control Rewards in Tier 4 zones to reward players for zone captures more so than individual Objective and Keep captures. When active zones are captured in Tier 4, all players in the zone are awarded Renown based on their level similar to Tiers 1, 2, and 3. If a Keep is claimed by a guild when the zone is captured, a Gold Bag will be mailed to the Guild Leader who can then mail it to anyone in the guild, as they see fit.
Oooh, gold bag? Sounds cool, could help with getting Annihilator for those unluckly sods that every guild has. Possibility for abuse? Dunno, nothings springing to mind immediately.
Upgrade Your Assault with Ordnance!We are pleased to introduce a new resource to RvR that players can trade in for deadly assault upgrades! Scattered throughout the RvR lakes and acquired from killing players, Ordnance is collected and traded in for various items and weapons to use in open field RvR! Battering rams with more hit points, ballistae that do more damage, oil immunity potions, caltrops, and dynamite can all be purchased and used on unsuspecting enemy players!
Hah, sounds funky :D
- Auras will no longer immediately dispel themselves and go into the temporary version.
AT BLOODY LAST!
- Bane Shield: Fixed a bug that allowed this ability to turn off some auras.
- Rending Blade: This ability’s tooltip now correctly states that the ability is undefendable. Additionally, this ability’s reuse has increased and the cost has been lowered.
Bah, shame to see this nerfed, but with all the mostly justified crying about AoE, it's no shock. I dread to think (pun intended) to see how long its reuse is.
[UPDATE] It's 5 seconds. Bah :( 1.2 nerfed Chosen's single target DPS to the point if being useless, but with Rending Blade (if we specced for it) we had respectable AoE DPS. It made up for the nerf to Touch of Palsy, Cleave STILL not working and the weakening of all our single target abilities. This 5 second has now basically killed the Dread tree again. Lame :(
This post by Zaknarakh sums up the problems in each patch perfectly:
A few changes here which I've not put up cos it doesn't mean much to me, but this one does: Rain of Fire: Fixed a bug that allowed this ability to continue channeling after the caster’s death. Additionally, this ability will no longer stack multiple times on an enemy. Instead, multiple Rains of Fire in the same area will begin to affect more people.
Knew it was coming obviously, but I still want to say... thank fook for that! Same applies to Engineers, Sorcs and (Havoc) Magus and their GTAoEs. Everyone knows AoE is killing tier 4, this can't go live soon enough.
Where are the buffs to this now rubbish class? If the "target out of range" problem also gets fixed in this patch and the reduction in AoE of Doom has the required effect, maybe we'll see improvement for WE from that, but hmmm. Disappointed otherwise.
Mounts can now be used in exterior areas of the Lost Vale.
YAY, about bloody time. Also good to see a range of bosses being fixed.
Loads and loads of other things in the patch, but it's late and I need to crash out :)
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
EA and Activision-Blizzard to merge?
Does this mean WAR will become WoWAR? Seriously this has the potential for some pretty messed up turd, I fear for the future of WAR if this goes through... We'll have Goblins in bloody tuxedos and poxy Gnomes discombobulating Dark Elf poontang left right and centre.
I've refrained from emo-nerd-rage-quit moments, but this could tip me over the edge. Depressing shit indeed :(
You can check out the details here from Blizzard's PR people and then Mythic's follow up announcement here.
- Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.