Wednesday 30 December 2009

AoE - Can WAR learn from WoW?

I got an email recently from CMK author of the blog, he wanted to know if I thought WoW’s latest changes to AoE could be the solution for WAR’s rampant AoE of doom. I have to say before I got the email I hadn’t heard about the AoE changes in WoW, but I think he just might be onto something…

Here's the exact text of the change:

”Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal
to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.”

Obviously those numbers are just an example, but you get the idea. Would it be enough? Unless the reduction in power is significant, when 10 Bright Wizards/Sorcerers turn on their PBAoE it’s still going to be instant death for everyone in range. Yet potentially I think it could work, with some clever number juggling it could certainly have a big positive impact on AoE in WAR.

Sunday 27 December 2009

Roll out the barrel!

Just saw this thread on WHA. These guys are on to a bloody great idea. Mythic could actually intentionally add player deployable barricades and obstacles.

As someone mentions there, this could be a great way to flesh out the "support DPS" concept of Magus and Engineers.

Potential there me thinks.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Xmas

I went looking for something Christmasy to kill, but all I could find were some White bearded dwarves playing in the Snow. The little tossers.

Have a good one all ;)

Sunday 20 December 2009

It's not all zergy zerg zerg

I've had a few slightly funky RvR sessions over the last couple of days, almost all of which were not Zerg related!

Using my Chosen I teamed up with a Marauder from KF and we went looking for trouble in Reikland. In some ways this was a bit dumb as the zone had zergs from both sides trying to capture it, but we figured we could scrub about and maybe, just maybe get some small scale action. I was very pleased to find bloody loads of it! Sure, we also got zerged by warbands plenty, but we did get lots of fights against more manageable numbers. Was a good laugh taking on whole groups at once to see how many we could kill before their numbers won the day. Ego whore moment; we kicked much arse :D

It was also cool to see some enemy warbands and random players recognise and respect what we were doing, and letting us fight on fairer terms. Though I did have a full retard moment where I quaked a warband that was quite happily riding past me... Didn't work out so well for me that :p I blame the latest post pig pox illness slowing my feeble brain.

Then a bit later I went to Karak Norn's designated duelling area and had a few scraps, which is nothing remarkable in itself. However I had a duel with a Swordmaster that lasted over 10 minutes... I didn't note the start time alas, as it was only when I realised it was taking a while that I started watching it. So it may have been as much as like 15 minutes... I wonder what the longest fight ever has been? DoK versus WP could take a while I bet...

And then tonight there was a preorganised 1v1 roaming PvP event in Praag/Chaos Wastes. Unfotunately I could only go for an hour or so, as the wife & sprog needed me to resolve a conflict... Alas epic pixel bashing doesn't qualify as a good excuse to stay on the PC. Anyway, it was a cool event and if your server doesn't do this sort of thing, I would recommed you try it out.
As for how I did? Meh, I had a rough time. I won a few against a mixture of opponents, but I also got my arse well and truely kicked. Before tonight I had never lost to an Archmage 1v1, which led to a big shock when I was repeatedly kited to buggery :p I have a new found respect for DPS Archmages. The other people I lost to were a Bright Wizard, Ironbreaker and White Lion. They're not classes I normally struggle with 1v1 at all, but all of these guys were not only high RR but also great players and I got spanked like a cheap tart. Whilst I would have almost certainly lost against them regardless, it has highlighted to me that I need stop fucking about with my 7 regularly played alts and focus on getting Bootae's renown rank and gear up to scratch. That's not an excuse for losing, like I said I would probably have lost anyway, but I'm not doing myself any favours.

Coming up tomorrow is another server event; roaming 6v6 fighting. Not sure what my group will look like yet, as it starts a bit early for a guild like ours, but whatever we throw together it should be a good laugh.

So there's plenty of non-Zerg action out there, if you want to find it.

Friday 18 December 2009

WAR's new Producer's Letter brings a new Producer

You can find the new Producer's letter here:

So Jeff Skalski role has changed to something else WAR related and Bruce Maclean is the new Producer. I'm not going to read much into that, it could be due to positive or negative things, or just the everyday office stuff we all have at work.

Bruce Maclean kicks off straight away with his first Producer's letter, which is a bit of a mixed bag. It spends FAR too much time dwelling on how amazing everything Mythic has brought in recently is, when tbh we all know about these changes. Of course I understand this letter is just another outlet for hyping up the game, but that's just not going to wash with WAR's embittered community. If you're reading that letter, you already know about the first 3/4 of it. Personally I'd prefer it if the Producer's letter spent more time putting up lights at the end of the tunnel.

Thankfully it's not without clues to the future...

Looking back at past accomplishments is all well and good, but we’re not resting on our bloodied laurels here in the land of WAR! Next year is going to be an exciting one, and I am looking forward to sharing more of our plans during the frigid days and long winter nights of January. We’ll have exciting new Live Events, new weapons and cloaks earned by spilling the blood of your enemies in RvR, a new Scenario structure, economy and loot drop improvements, adjustments to the King and Warlord encounters to convert them to RvR-only battles, UI customization enhancements, Tier 4 RvR campaign improvements, daily quests and so much more - and that’s just our near term plans for 2010.
 Farther into the year we’ll see…oh but you’ve heard me ramble enough! It’s time for that drink, battle, and crying enemies!

OK, brief but fairly interesting.
The RvR weapons and cloaks I presume everyone already knew about, but this is definately worth a nod to. It really can't come soon enough and I'll be most intrigued to see how it works. I'm hoping it uses the existing crests.

New scenario structure? That could mean anything... I suspect it's cross server scenarios.

Economy and loot drop improvements... Ok, if it means less utterly irrelevant green drops, that's no bad thing.

RvR-only Warlord and King battles? Now that is very interesting. Is this the end of RvE? Or will it be like the current city sieges where half the people involved are in empty instances watching a counter tick upwards? Perhaps Mythic have a cunning plan... Regardless, this is something a lot of people have been asking for and fair play to Mythic for acting on it. This will undoubtedly have a LOT of eyes on it from the community.
UI customisation... uhm ok. Not got problems with the current UI myself, but sounds good.
Tier 4 campaign improvements... Another "this could mean anything" comment. However, it's desperately needed. The current campaign is an utter farce and on my server the Underdog system has actually made it worse. It's just meant even more city sieges for BOTH factions... Real improvements can't come fast enough.
Daily quests... Err.. unless oRvR related... whatever. WoW is that way -->
Farther into the year we’ll see… Damn it! More info now pls :P


Tonight we went out for some RvR action with a two and a half group Kill Frenzy warband. Without really intending too we ended up with an almost entirely melée based warband, other than a few healers and one single target spec sorc. All told it was a frustrating experience.

Obviously against the Order puggies we cleaned house, including us delivering some brutal maiming in a busy Altdorf instance... This was despite the Destro puggies (supposedly on our side) best efforts to constantly guard pull...

It was against the Order premade guild warbands that our unintentional melée theme became annoying. Every single Order warband was bombing, and credit to them they did so effectively, but it was frustrating because there wasn't a great deal we could do. Partly our fault because not only did we lack range and bombers, but also our warband was cobbled together and didn't really have any synergy with the class balance in it. Other than just having lots of melee, there was no proper theme to givr it direction. You can make effective melée groups, in fact earlier today some of the guys were doing a 2 Chosen 4 DoK group that was brutally effective in scenarios. However tonights warband just wasnt right for facing bombers. I guess the thing is just like the best bomb groups you have to start excluding people because of the choice they made when they very first logged into WAR. Can't take more than 1 of class X... Go re-roll bitch.

A few weeks back we ran a 3 group bomb warband. Obvious results against decent opponents really, same as in the earlier days of bombing when we bombed regularly like everyone else. If we outnumbered the enemy we won, if they outnumbered us they won, if it was roughly even numbers then it's 50/50. Just depends who's bombs & CC go off first, with better gear adding an edge occasionally. Had some damn tight fights against one of my fave enemy guilds "Crimson" that night, /salute to them, but even so it was still boring as hell. I so hate bombing.

Amusingly, or perhaps it was just tragic, on that night we went up against a full Order warband that had a few tanks, a good collection of healers and ONLY Bright Wizards for DPS. Not a single other class. Got burnt by them, shock horror. 8+ Bright Wizards turning on their AoE at once has predictible results no matter what they're fighting...

Anyway not really sure where I'm going with this other than to say... Bombing is still ruining the game and for Gods sake Mythic will you please address it. I dont want to have to bomb, but it seems that all anyone does these days. Putting aside tonights lack of synergy in our set up, because I put my hands up, that was our stupid mistake, but it is bloody annoying to know we can be as effective as pretty much anyone, if we decide to play in the most boring way and bomb bomb BOMB!

PS: I don't blame bombers for bombing. It is the most effective way to win in WAR. I won't stop using Ravage because it hits hard. Which I imagine is why even when I'm solo, if I encounter Bright Wizards they bomb me :p

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Could the public test servers be more public?

I saw this post today and it got me thinking:

Why don't Mythic (and GOA) start using their Public Test Servers a bit more imaginatively?

At the moment the PTS is only used to test the next patch, which is fair enough, but it could be taken further. Use it to try out new things, not things planned for patch 1.x but things that it would just be interesting to see working (or not). Crazy ideas from both Developers and the playing community, things like that thread suggested and much more...

Making all AoE cause friendly fire.
Or remove ALL AoE entirely, heals, damage, debuffs, the lot.
Make Tier 4 full RvR with some of each zones PQs converted to Battle Objectives.
I don't know... whatever interesting thing that could be tried out with minimal effort but still providing something potentially funky.

Of course if Mythic were to do this, the hate brigade would jump on it as them showing a lack of direction or something. Pffft... I think it would show a game developer showing more interest in their players suggestions and being open to creativity.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Sorry for a brief lapse... posting. I got utterly slaughtered on Friday night through to saturday morning, then had a 2 day hangover, from which I'm still not 100% reovered and now work is mad busy. Doh.

Be warned, booze is bad. I will post again once I've regained function in what remains of my brain.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Squig Frenzy!

And one shaman...

Click for bigger pics ;)

1.3.3 first impressions

This is slightly random due to only having a brief amount of time online so far...

Bloom/HDR/Post processing whatever you want to call them effects look nice. Though I'm getting very noticeable sort of shading gradient lines in the sky, not sure what this is. Performance wise it's running well. If I max everything out its not so hot where there are large numbers of players and spells effects going off with FPS down in the 10-20 range, but that's probably down to my graphics card (GTX260) not being top of the line. Once I tweaked some things down to a bit more mid range I was back to FPS of 40+. So far I'm pleased with the graphics. My Magus' disk looks awesome.

Its a kinda irrelevant change, but I really like the new animated character select screen. It adds a bit of extra atmosphere and is just that bit more polished. Also they've changed the stance of your characters when you get your portrait up, it looks cooler now. Again irrelevant, but nice.

On the Chosen front... Ravage nerf is perfectly acceptable. Dreadfull Terror appears to now work. All is good.

From people talking in alliance chat, I gather the Action Point nerf for Sorcerers (and Wizards) is quite a big deal. Myself, I've not yet been in any bombing fights, so I'm not sure if this will be the nerf bombing needs or not. Hopefully... as long as it doesn't ruin their classes in other ways of course.

lol @ /kata

/cower gone?

Not had any bug problems yet and neither have I seen anyone complaining. So far so good.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Respect your elders

Late last night we scrabbled a group together from the dregs of us left online and decided to do a scenario or two before bed. It wasn't a bomb group or anything and our healers were both low RR alts, but we had 2 tanks, 2 healers and 2 DPS, all of which were being used by decent players. It was a solid group and I expected us to bring some pain. And we did. The first couple of scenarios went well, with us winning comfortably and kicking much arse, but then it went a bit pear shaped...

We joined Battle for Praag, sitting there full of confidence and waiting for the start timer to expire, when one of the guys looked at the player list and spoke up on vent "er.. think this won't go so well...".

He was soooo right.

We were facing some decent Order, which is no biggy, but also a premade from one of the top Order guilds that included pretty much all their big names. Not only good players, but equipped with the very best gear the game offers (including one with full Sovereign) and at Realm rank 80. How they find the time to play so much I don't know, but they've certainly made the most of that time. We lost 500-85, didn't get a single kill and I earned a single bloody renown point. I've never lost so bad :P

We were a bit random at times admittedly, but even when on the ball, we just couldn't out DPS their healing, or heal through their DPS. It was horrid... I've not got that many real life Elders in game, but this sure made me respect the potency of the renown rank version.


Monday 7 December 2009

Loving Tier 1 right now

Credit where credit is due, Mythic have done well with their changes to Tier 1. Sure by funnelling everyone into Nordland we miss out on the other pairing’s zones, but to be honest they were always really sodding quiet anyway. Since the changes, every time I log in with a tier 1 alt I’ve found the zone to be packed with players. Constant fighting in the RvR lake, which with its 3 Battle Objectives and well arranged terrain provides plenty of good scraps. I’m a big a fan of the Nordenwatch and Ekrund scenarios, so it’s great to see those scenarios pop regularly. Obviously the Elf one doesn’t pop so much, but then it’s a bit meh compared with the others anyway, so who cares.

Other than RvR the most noticeable change is finding people are actually doing Public Quests. Rewind to almost any point before the changes and you’d have found them empty. Actually on the subject of PvE, there’s also the Hunters Vale dungeon now in Tier 1. This was a great move. I wish WAR had more dungeons like this, not too short, but most definitely not too long and rather well polished too.

Also the new tutorial pop up screens are a great idea. Really well presented.

The only thing I’d like to see changed is for Mythic to add more Battle Objectives. It works well now, but I think there’s great potential with a couple more. There’s quite a bit of RvR enabled terrain that isn’t really ventured into (also Norsca’s beaches are asking for some WAR!), which is a shame because it’s a great looking zone. But I’m nit picking, Mythic did good and it will be very interesting how many new players stick around.

Sunday 6 December 2009

Saturday night's RvR in a few pictures

Click the pics for the bigger images.

A few (318...) Order arrive.

"We bomb because we're outnumbered" doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny. :P
They bomb, we bomb, every-bloody-one bombs.

Defenders in the keep are smothered by red pixels.

A look at the map confirms; WAR is indeed everywhere.

Our group tried to slow Order getting into IC, which meant we got into IC late and had an empty instance. :( I did get a nice shot of me posing at the Apex though.

But despite my posing, the end result was always going to be Order visiting the Citadel.

And I believe they got 7 king kills. No shots of that obviously, being instanced PvE. Such a shame all the proper PvP leads to PvE. Gratz to winners tho ;)

Friday 4 December 2009

Frank requests fog lights

Check out Frank's post on WHA:

Frank is absolutely 100% correct and that post sums up the situation perfectly. Mythic, please, PLEASE read his post and take it seriously. We need you to fit us with some fog lights.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Mythic, a tip on tooltips and patch notes

Sometimes Mythic really don't help themselves. The latest patch includes a LOT of tool tips being fixed and in the patch notes Mythic have listed every single one. Thing is, we couldn't give two shits about bloody tool tips. Yet as you browse the patch notes, hoping to see something positive for your gimped Black Orc, Shadow Warrior, etc, all you see are tool tips being fixed...

There's nothing wrong with fixing tooltips, but listing them like this, even going so far as splitting them in the career sections, it just adds insult to injury. This is not something your subscribers consider a "real" fix. You are giving people fuel for the hate fire, which is obviously not a great idea. This isn't the first time either.

Please in future just have one line in the patch notes stating that a lot of tool tips were fixed.

Despite this patch having some potentially good stuff, it's already become known as the tool tip patch.

When's 1.4 out?

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Close Quarters is....

...still in the game. Why?

The biggest problem in class balance and overall RvR is the insane power of AoE. Charges are still led by Wizards and Sorcs instead of melee. Why has the latest patch once again ignored this?

I can live with the patch notes being a bit meh and uninspiring, but this apparent ignorance of WAR's longest running and most annoying balance issue is seriously doing my head in.

For God's sake Mythic sort it out. Not just tooltips :P

PS: I hear that one of the BW changes will impact on bombing. Unfortunately most of the posts I've read are by infamous trolls, so I guess we'll have to wait and see if that's true or not. Let's hope. If so I will happily eat these words.

PSS: Ravage nerfed, fine with me I'll live. AP aura buffed, great as long as it's also fixed...

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