Thursday 30 September 2010

Producer's Letter is out

Link can be found here. Reading now, digesting and posting about it later.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Skaven, my Chosen and me

I was having a natter on twitter the other day with people about the new Skaven, some folks are bit disappointed with how they’re being implemented and others, myself included, are not. However it wasn’t that long ago that I had been saying how the very concept of Skaven not being a traditional MMORPG level from rank 1-XX style character was NOT what I wanted. So what changed?

It boils down to a moment of self(ish) realisation that I had while pondering on the Gamesday UK Skaven news. My Chosen isn’t RR80 yet (RR76), for the simple reason that I am constantly being distracted by other playstyles and characters; after all it’s why I have 8 level 40s… So if Skaven added to that, well let’s just say my Chosen stands no chance of hitting RR100. I would end up being too busy going off on constant tangents and developing new characters.

However with this new system, my Chosen will effectively have access to 4 entirely different class playstyles AND still get all the renown earned. The downside of course is it doesn’t sound like I will really ever get that RPesque (new word ftw!) feeling of a true Skaven character and representing the little rat bastards properly, something I was quite keen on experiencing in an MMORPG, but for once I think I can happily live without that extra immersion. It’s going to benefit my overall progression so dramatically that I am pretty much converted to embracing the new Skaven.

With just one character we’ll have all these new options, but it is at the cost of our traditional expectations of new classes and expansions. Perhaps we have been too blinkered by the standard MMO mould for expansions and in fact Mythic are going to be stirring up a bowl of awesomeness, or perhaps being blinkered is right and it’s a case of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”. I don’t know for sure yet, but at present I’m feeling very optimistic about all of this. It will be very interesting indeed to see how the rest of the WAR population and those watching from the sidelines react, particularly once it all goes live.

I know Gaarawarr was considering posting something about this, more from the slightly concerned viewpoint, so if you’re interested in this topic be sure to keep an eye on his blog (which you should be anyway).

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Lokax posts an interesting idea on tanks

I was having a chat with Lokax the other night and he suggested some ideas of his about further defining the role of defensive tanks by using tactics to improve Taunt and Challenge. He’s got a quick post up on his blog Mmmmm Gud about the idea and I really think he is on to something good there. Go have a butchers and encourage further debate and discussion.

It links into something we were discussing at Gamesday about how it would be much better if Guard only worked if a tank was using a shield. It’s an idea a guildie of mine has often mentioned and when we were asked about our thoughts on it at the weekend (but this time it was raised by someone else) everyone thought it really would be an excellent change if it were to happen.

Further defining and rewarding tanks that play shield specs is something that would be good for the game all round. At present I am great weapon spec again, despite having been a shield tank for over a year and shield being my preferred play style. The problem is since the latest patch the loss in damage and gain in defence is just not worth it, particularly as by using a great weapon I barely lose any of my utility. I do miss my knockdown ability mind you, but the damage gulf really is so huge for a Chosen now that it’s just not enough.

So OI! Lokax! Take this idea further and post more pls ;)

Monday 27 September 2010

Bootae interviews Andy Belford at Gamesday UK

Gamesday UK was a great day out, we got lots of solid news about WAR and there was a truckload of WAR EU players in attendance at the main event. However the highlight was I got absolutely drunk as a skunk with Andy and a collection of people from the EU servers. Well I say a collection of people, there was one representative from Azgal, one infamous Norn player and a bunch of people from my alliance that went out on the beers. Andy proved to be a quality bloke, a good laugh and a seasoned drinker, important to fit in over here which he did admirably.

I could tell you all about the many, many hilarious and at times totally bizarre events that happened, but there’s just too much mentalness to type. Let’s just say it featured a copious amount of beer, a real life pirate, about 100 extremely drunk and glammed up women from a Hairdressers convention and a very rude south African lady. Oh and I got lost for an hour at 3am trying to find my hotel and almost decided to sleep alongside a motorway, thankfully that worked out ok though and I did find the hotel...

Anyways, thanks to an epic hang over and delayed trains, it’s taken ages to get back home and meant I missed breaking the main news of the day. I won't repost what has already been covered very well on both Bruglir’s blog and WAR Aura, be sure to check out the news AND then come back here for further goodies... However we also found out a lot of little bits and had many interesting debates through the night, so there maybe some more things I post about as my brain gradually recovers.

I did however get an interview with Andy. Questions were obviously all focused on the new changes and the future of WAR.

Bootae- First thing I was wondering about, you know you talked about the resource gathering from the BOs, is that going to be the current ones so you’d have multiple resource gathers moving around at once?

Andy- It’s gonna be all the current BOs, so there will be four resource nodes open at any point and they will be capturable at any point in time. So you’ll have to actively defend them all, if you want to hold them all then you’ve got to spread out and defend them.

Bootae- And defend the resource gathers themselves?

Andy- Exactly.

Bootae- So you’ll have multiple groups of people all over the zone guarding or attacking different things.

Andy- Yup. Because even if the resource runner is moving, the resource node can still be captured. So you’ll need to protect the resource node, the runner and probably your warcamp as well.

Bootae- You mentioned the resource runners being upgradeable. Does that reset if their node is lost?

Andy- No, that’s based on what rank your keep is.

Bootae- So now we’ll never again have a situation where you’re attacking both keeps, because we’ll always start off owning one and have to capture the other, while managing and controlling everything else in the zone.

Andy- Yup.

Bootae- The campaign itself then, this continues with the one zone open in each pairing, that locks, moves onto next zone, etc? We won’t have multiple zones open per pairing?

Andy- That remains the same. We had considered changing that, considering revamping how that works actually, but we decided it would be too radical a departure from the way things currently work and that it may actually having a negative effect on the game for people that were comfortable with the way the campaign progresses, but not happy with the zone locks. So we thought we’d change how zone locking works first, see how successful it is, see how it goes over with the players and then if we need to continue with adjusting the campaign mechanism we’ll go from there. But it’s part our approach incremental changes, it’s how we approach our development. We change things incrementally one step at a time.

Bootae- Regarding the Fortresses and the revamped campaign, is there a planned way they’re coming back into the new system or is it still very much up in the air?

Andy- We have it in our mind yeah, but we’re not set in stone or prepared to talk about their implementation just yet. It’s definitely one of those things on the forefront of what we want to do, the reintroduction of fortresses, however it’s not something we doing right now. That’s not to say the next patch set afterwards wouldn’t reintroduce them. Is that possible? It’s possible if we have all these changes go according to plan, everything works out brilliantly then if something falls into place with the fortresses that allows us to reintroduce them in a way that we think will be fun and dynamic then yes, we’ll move forward on that. So while it continues to be a priority right now, no we don’t have any definite plans.

Bootae- The next bit then for the campaign, the new Skaven zone… How does that fit in? The general idea in the community is about a tunnel system linking up all the zones, is that anywhere near the truth or is it more like a Land of the Dead entry?

Andy- You’ll find out this month.

Bootae- Moving on to Skaven, are Skaven something you can log in and play whenever you want or is there like a gated access of some form?

Andy- It is gated and it ties into the new Skaven area. How exactly it ties into the new area we’re not discussing right now.

Bootae- So will you be able to have both factions playing Skaven at the same time?

Andy- Yes.

Bootae- The four classes mentioned today, are there more to be revealed?

Andy- No, that is it.

Bootae- So no Stormvermin or things like that. It seems like the Skaven are being very much built around being a component of the new siege system.

Andy- The Skaven are there to enhance the ORvR experience. To make ORvR more fun and more compelling.

Bootae- So it’s not a third faction as such as we were thinking before, its more enhancement for the existing factions?

Andy- That’s correct.

Bootae- So Order players can have Skaven fighting alongside them?

Andy- Don’t worry, we got approval from GW (Gamesworkshop) on that.

Bootae- Hah, yeah you know people are gonna go for you on that.

Andy- Well the thing is if you read the Gotrek and Felix novels then there’s actually a point where the Skaven work with Empire. Even though the most recent edition of the Warhammer playbook has grouped them with Destruction, they really are very mercenary.

Bootae- They’re out for themselves.

Andy- Yeah, they’re out for themselves yeah. As long as you have enough warpstone to satisfy their craving, they’ll do whatever they can to get that warpstone. Including stabbing you in the back.

Bootae- So the RvR packs are one thing, but it sounds like from all this that it’s really 1.4 that needs to be in place to enable all of this.

Andy- Right now 1.4 is a component of the RvR packs, I would say that.

Bootae- You’ve talked before about how we’ll be getting these packs more often than a game would usually get full on expansions. So in future are we always going to see a major 1.4 style patch accompanied by a pack? So there will be the free patch and then the extra purchaseable components like the packs alongside that?

Andy- We’re not gonna stop free updates to the game, that’s not gonna stop. There’s always gonna be free updates to the game, we’re always going to be improving content, we’re always going to be making things better and some of that just happens to coincide with the RvR Pack. So yes there will always continue to be free improvements for players, regardless of if they purchase the RvR pack.

Bootae- So this current timing of pack and patch is just a timing thing.

Andy- Yeah, it’s kinda the logistics of the development schedule.

Bootae- PvE pack? Now I don’t give two monkeys about PvE really…

Andy- Neither do we.

Bootae- …but some people will do. So is the future of PvE pretty much out of the window?

Andy- The immediate future. You know, we’ve embraced the fact that we are an RvR game. Some people say it’s niche, some people say its you know, it is what it is, but people play Bioware Mythic games because they like to kill other players. That’s what we’re good at, that’s what we do. We are dedicated to making our RvR experience the best it can be.

Bootae- So thoughts of dungeons and lairs gone?

Andy- No, no, no. There’s actually a lot of lairs that are attached to the RvR lakes. Like the one in Chaos Wastes near the north keep. It’s kinda hard to get there, it’s like a jumping puzzle to get up.

Bootae- Ah yeah like the one in Norsca.

Andy- Personally I would love to see some of the lairs and stuff repurposed into RvR fights, I think that would be very cool.

Bootae- Like the invadeable Land of the Dead style?

Andy- yeah.

Bootae- We were talking earlier about a PQ in tier 1 Orc/Dwarf, where for whatever reason it’s RvR enabled. That’s probably the best PQ in the entire game, but then it doesn’t happen anymore.

Andy- We should have done more of those. We should have continued to build upon the PvP foundation interspersed with the PvE. Unfortunately that one PQ is one of the only places in the game where that happens with a PQ, up until the city revamp of course. So you know, it’s lessons learnt, no development team gets everything right, no development team is perfect. And I know a lot of people like to point at warhammer online and bash warhammer online, it’s the cool fashion. But you know, we’re still here, we’re still going, we’re still developing and delivering a visceral, heart-pounding experience for our players. And you know, our community is right now in a better place than its been in the last 2 years. The players, while they’re critical and while they still let us know what they think, they really do love the game and you can see it, you can see the passion.

People sometimes like to attach the word failure to our game, but you know we are not a failure, we are profitable, we are making money for the studio, we are still developing new content and we’re doing something that a lot of games are afraid to do, you know we’re saying yeah we made a lot of mistakes when we first launched the game and we’re gonna take 12 months, 16 months, we’re gonna take however long it takes to go back and fix these things.


My recording went a bit dodgy from here and I’ve got a horrible hangover clouding my memory, but I asked a cheeky question about sub numbers and while Andy wouldn’t divulge the numbers, he did confirm that subscription numbers are increasing. We also talked about the amount of people in one zone and Andy mentioned recently Badlands saw over 700 people in one zone, 500 of them attacking a keep. I also learnt a few things that I've been asked not to blog about, but lets just say I'm very positive about the next few months and the future of WAR.

And that was that for the interview, Andy had to head off to do yet another presentation to the masses and I went and joined the mass debate amongst WAR players about all the announcements. I'll post thoughts and stuff over the next few days.

So thanks to Andy for his time, the beers, chicken wings and a bloody comedy gold night.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Norn in pictures

On Twitter recently I've had quite a few people asking me what Karak Norn is like to play on, is it busy or a ghost-town? In general I would answer this by saying when it comes to activity and being competitive it's bloody excellent, in fact it’s quite possibly the best of them all in that regard. But today I shall answer through the medium of screenshots!

So yeah, if you want a busy server with plenty of fighting and you're on EU timezones, Norn is pretty damn good..

Gamesday INC!

This Sunday is Gamesworkshop’s UK Gamesday. It’s the biggest and most important event in the worldwide Warhammer calendar, but despite a long term interest in Gamesworkshop stuff I’ve not gone for many, many years. Too many annoying kids, too many strange people and too insanely busy. This year however I am going, partly to have a few drinks with folks from Karak Norn, but being honest as much as I wub my fellow Nornites, it’s mostly because it’s a chance to meet people from Mythic and possibly get some real news.

So I bought a ticket ages ago… which proved to be a mistake as I found out yesterday I could have gone for free, but at the time of me ordering a ticket and knowing how fast they sell out, I didn’t want to risk assuming I might be offered one. Still, I appreciate the thought ;) Anyway, since its a few hours on the train to Birmingham and is on a Sunday when the trains are extremely limited, I can’t actually get home afterwards. So I’ve got a hotel booked too AND the Monday off work, which means I can sink a few beers! With luck Andy, Carrie & Co will be up for that too. :D

The big questions are about, well, questions. Will anything of real substance be revealed at Gamesday? Will we have the opportunity to ask questions and if so, will they get proper answers?

I honestly don’t know. We expected too much from Gamescom, the same could well happen here. No bloody clue.

I keep thinking I should write a list of questions in case there’s a chance of an interview, or a Q&A but everything I would want to ask depends on either more news being revealed first or it has already been no commented before. So I dunno yet, we’ll see how I feel about it all nearer the time. I tend to adlib in general, so whatever happens I’ll blag it. One way or another, I’m sure I will have plenty to post about.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

2nd post of the day??? YES! FOR THEY BRING US MARAUDER LOVE!

Stance changing no longer effected by or causing global cooldowns? Oh my that is a GREAT change.

And excuse my ignorance on Marauder technical details, but does the rest of it mean Brutality has finally been made worthwhile?


Hotfix of awesome?

Check out the hotfix notes here, or below with my comments:

The following hot fixes were implemented during today's downtime:

General Changes and Bug Fixes
•Increased the quantity of Officer Medallions awarded throughout the game.
YAY! Great news for any alts and most importantly the mass of new players arriving into Tier 4. The rate at which people were gaining Officer medallions was totally FUBAR.

Endless Trial
•Endless Trial players may no longer use global chat channels. This includes the region and advice channels.
No more advice channel gold spam? Oh yeah. Bummer for the new players not subbing if they did need help, but needs must as the channel is useless at present anyway.

•Fixed an issue where certain crafting abilities would be interrupted while moving.
Not high on my list, but it maybe an annoyance for some.

Combat and Careers
Bug Fixes
•Fixed an issue where targeted AOE abilities would not affect the main target.
Uhm will this fix Glean Magic and the like??? Oh please let it be so....

•Fixed an issue where rewards for killing an enemy would not properly factor when a pet contributed to the kill.
Hadn't noticed this, but yeah that's a good one for Magus, etc. Not epic or anything, but a bit more renown is nothing to whinge about.

Not bad for a few hotfixes!

Head Case

I can’t decide which helm I prefer the look of…

I quite like the Invader helm for its retro, classic Chaos styling, yet perhaps it is a little too simple.

The Tyrant helm is a real favourite with the dual horns and intricate carvings.

But there’s something brutal in a cool way about the Dark Promise helm.

I think it’s the different styled eye slot and the off balanced big horn of horniness. Plus it’s the only helm that’s actually in the right scale… So that’s what I’m wearing right now, but that Tyrant helm in particular is very tempting. Oh decisions, decisions!

I must say I still love messing around with the new appearance system; it’s bloody great to see everyone looking so different at last. After much deliberation, other than the helm (and I think I will use the sov belt in one Realm Rank's time) I’ve settled on this as my current look…

Oh so manly! :P

Monday 20 September 2010

Busy weekend for WAR's birthday

It's been one hell of a crazy weekend on Karak Norn. The double renown for WAR's 2nd birthday party has brought people out in absolutely massive numbers, I've been on the painful end of (confirmed by keep guards) 10+ Order warbands a few times. But it's not been one way traffic, there's also been huge amounts of Destro in action too. Some of the fighting in Praag was just epic, giant sprawling melees covering the ENTIRE Martyrs Square area and stretching into all the side roads at once. Great fun and the game has run pretty well throughout, with the exception of one utterly insane night in Chaos Wastes where the entire server squeezed into one zone.

The renown and almost constant AAO meant I jumped my Chosen up two renown ranks to 76 this weekend and I also hit 40 on the Black Orc, bringing me to a total of 8 level 40 characters on Karak Norn. Of course some people think I'm bonkers, but I just think I'm free and enjoying the diversity those alts bring me. That said, I will be continuing to focus a bit more on my Chosen for the forseeable future and finally getting round to hitting 80. At least that's today's thought.

Mythic said the renown weekend bonuss was to kick off the 2nd birthday celebration, which suggests there's more to come, so I wonder what else we'll be seeing? Probably a couple of items I suppose, hopefully something useful ;)

Friday 17 September 2010

I received a lovely email yesterday…

…apparently amongst a range of insults, I am a retarded noob. It must be true, the internet told me. Now I’m not entirely sure who my accuser is, since unfortunately he (or she) didn’t put their name on the email and the address is some random looking hotmail thing no doubt created for this attempted abuse, so to make my response I will have to designate them a name of my choosing… something worthy of their eloquent and charming correspondence, ah yes I know… I shall dub thee Mr WankBubble.
Mr Wankbubble has taken umbrage with, I presume, a couple of posts I made on WHA regarding server population and subscribers.
Your posts are bullshit!1! IF your’ Server has 700 player obv  it cnt have FUCK all other subs
No, Mr WankBubble I’m afraid it’s you who is talking shite here. Clearly you have no understanding of how subscription numbers, gain/loss of those subscribers, account activity and snapshots of data will relate to each other, or more to the point, how they don’t have a direct predictable relationship. Let me give you a real life example. Let’s say Gym membership, an example I expect you are unfamiliar with, but I shall ignore that suspicious image of your hideous mass of flesh and continue.
Bob owns a Gym, it’s quite a nice Gym, but the colour scheme is not to everyone’s taste. At 7pm in the evening the Gym has 50 members pumping iron. Oooh such muscles! I bet your sphincter is quivering at the thought Mr WankBubble hmmm? Annnnnnyway, over a week we take a look inside at 7pm and every night there’s 50 members pumping away (fnar fnar… contain yourself Mr WankBubble!). 50 people every night, so how many people have a paid membership for Bob’s Gym? What do you think Mr WankBubble? Not much more than 50 eh?
 The answer is… it’s impossible to say. It’s at least 50, but it could be 52, it could be 10,000. You simply do not know how many people have a membership, but haven’t attended all week, or only visit in the morning, the afternoon, once in a blue moon, etc. The only way of finding out is by getting Bob to show us his membership list, which Bob doesn’t feel like sharing. As such you are trying to infer meaning to snapshots of data that without further supporting information, actually have very little meaning. Or in other words, you sir are an idiot.
Your fucking retarded noob and your guild sucks!!!
Hmmm, the first part of that dubious sentence is encased in enough irony that I don’t particularly feel the need to respond. It did make me chuckle though, so I thank you for that. Everyone loves a good self-own.
As for the second half, well… Kill Frenzy has never proclaimed itself as anything but a decent community and fun guild to be in. We do ok in PvP, sometimes kicking arse in a huge way and sometimes sucking like a $2 whore. That goes with the territory when a guild is half casual like us. I know from Order players (who’s opinions are worth something) where KF ranks in the grand scheme of Karak Norn guilds and that’s just fine. I’ve no problem with us being I guess upper mid-table, I suppose we’re a bit like Tottenham Hotspur really. So I’m afraid again I will take more amusement from your statement than offence.
As for the rest of your email… I am sorry Mr WankBubble but I wasn’t entirely sure what language it was in. It looked like some kind of hybrid between southern English Chav and d3wD speak from 1995, which while charming in a “ahh bless his moronic soul” kind of way, unfortunately it was completely unintelligible. So I think I’ll respond to the entire bizarre text with:

Thursday 16 September 2010

Mythic! This is how to fix the scenario heal leeching scumbags

Anyone that drops out of the scenario groups to earn increased renown at the cost of teamplay is a self-centred tosser. In fact I’d say it’s a reflection of their character and attitudes in real life. To take the insult and utter disdain for these cretins further; I bet they vote Tory, think The Sun is a real newspaper and while they dare not tell anyone, pictures of Margaret Thatcher make them strangely aroused. Actually that’s not fair, being a selfish twat is not restricted to right wing chavs or inbred toffs (though it is a requirement), so I’ll refrain from making further stereotypical sweeping statements. You wankers.
If you don’t know WTF I am talking about, allow me to provide a quick and slightly poor explanation. When in a scenario in WAR it automatically groups everyone, but the system allows players to drop out of the groups and move themselves into other groups. The intention of this system is to allow players to move the healers, etc around the groups and get things balanced. Unfortunately what people have discovered is if they drop their character out of the groups, but don’t join another they can get increased renown when running in solo invisible mode, particularly when playing a healer.
There are many problems with people doing this. For example they don’t get the benefit of group abilities, other healers can’t see their health bars at all (other than the overhead ones if enabled), their team mates can’t get group healed or benefit from other group abilities, other players in the team can’t see the missing persons health bar which hampers decision making, etc, etc. So as I said above in a slightly less pleasant way, it’s purely done for selfish reasons and has no benefit in anyway for your team.
The solution is simple, in my head anyway. Mythic, please make it so that in scenarios when you drop out of the groups you get a quitter debuff that stays on until you rejoin a group.
I have absolutely no idea if there’s actually a technical reason why this would be difficult, but it would solve the problem if it were possible to implement…

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Hunter's Vale, the top Dog, Lion, Wolf, etc of WAR's PvE

With the Wild Hunt live event the Hunter’s Vale dungeon is once again available in Tier 4. Normally the dungeon is only accessible for Tier 1 characters and I’ve not been in there myself since the last Wild Hunt event a year or so ago. I’ve been in a couple of times this week and I have to say that I think this is probably the best dungeon in WAR. In fact if more were like this then I’d be saying PvE in WAR was pretty damn good, but they’re not and it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, the PvE in WAR is not terrible (as some make out), but it’s not great and is far too glitchy with it's (at times) over complicated bosses and pathing issues. However, Hunter’s Vale is a very noticeable exception and is utterly spot on.

For a start it takes no more than 30 minutes to clear, which in my book is ruddy marvellous. I like a bit of PvE now and again, but I don’t like being stuck in a dungeon for 4 hours. Faster dungeons just put less time pressure on people in so many ways; it’s no big deal if someone has to AFK, less hassle if things go wrong, its less of a rush organising it and is also a lot less of a pain in the arse to fit around real life. So for me, while I do still enjoy big dungeons, given the option, I would much rather have a wider range of short but sweet dungeon instances to choose from.

The boss fights in Hunter’s Vale all have something a little different. They’re certainly not complicated and compared with Tomb of the Vulture Lord they are rather basic, but neither are they all pure tank and spanks. And that’s fine with me. I don’t want to explain tactics for 15 minutes each boss whenever anyone is new to the dungeon, its dull and just time wasting. I hated it in WoW and, well everything bloody well else too. Also in general terms it seems like the more complicated a boss fight is made, the more random, luck or specific class based it becomes. Hunter’s Vale avoids all of this crap and each fight is a quick explain with just the odd thing here and there to watch out for. Perfect.

Visually it’s just so on the money. It’s a really nicely themed and designed dungeon, that despite actually being very linear, it somehow feels a bit wild and larger than it actually is. I particularly like with both Hunter’s and the Lost Vale instances that Mythic have moved well away from the traditional underground or inside building dungeons that so much of WAR and other game features. Actually that’s something I liked about Age of Conan, it has some great looking outdoor “dungeons”.

Mythic for the foreseeable future are very much focussed on RvR and I think that’s a good thing, WAR’s strongest point is that RvR after all, but if Mythic decide to do more PvE one day (which they no doubt will) I would like them to consider Hunter’s Vale as the template. I really do think it’s the best PvE instance in WAR.

PS: The Land of the Dead Lairs are also good examples of decent short burst PvE. I wouldn’t complain about more instanced Lairs either, one day anyway…

Friday 10 September 2010

Magus (and engineer... spit spit) changes in development revealed!

Andy has just posted up some in development changes for the Engineer and Magus. You can find the post here, but for your convenience through the power of ctrl+C and V here’s the info:

One of our long-standing goals for the Engineer and Magus careers has been to make their Turrets and Daemons, respectively, more meaningful and impactful in a synergistic way, to help reinforce their role as a central part of those careers' gameplay experiences. We've mentioned in several Q&As that this is something which has been on our plate, and we're now able to provide some details on exactly what we're planning:

• For Engineers, a portion of the character's Ballistic Skill, Weapon Skill, and Wounds from equipment will also affect their turrets.
• For the Magus, a portion of the character's Intelligence and Wounds from equipment will also affect their daemons. Additionally, the daemons' autoattacks will now deal magical damage - Elemental for the Pink and Blue Horrors, and Spirit for the Flamer.
• For both careers, the character will begin receiving a new effect while they remain near their turret / daemon - Improvised Upgrades for the Engineer, and Unholy Empowerment for the Magus. This effect will start as a +4% damage buff, and will increase every 2 seconds by another 4%, up to a max of +20% damage after 10 seconds. If the character moves away from their turret / daemon, the effect will begin dropping back down, eventually fading from them entirely until they return to their turret / daemon's side.

We look forward to your feedback.

Very interesting… That’s a potential 20% damage increase which (if you’re specced in demonology) can be combined with a tactic for a total of 35% more damage. That’s also before you take into account the buff to pet damage. At the moment pets for a Magus are little more than remote control bombs, this could change that completely and not only make pets better, but give Magus a more unique play style. Obviously there are questions around survivability, since pets die almost instantly now, but with the further wounds perhaps this will change?

Huge potential here, looking forward to testing this.

Blorc update, almost there...

We had a shockingly bad time in RvR this evening, in part due to the odd screw up by us, but mainly due to over half my warband suffering from incredibly bad lag. Players were appearing to teleport around and there was a regular occurrence of that old favourite; the classic lag spike pause. This combined with a very zergy night in every racial pairing (just soooo many people online tonight) was obviously pissing people off and we haemorrhaged players as they (quite sensibly) decided to go do something else. Nobody likes getting rolled by superior numbers AND lag. So I decided to do a little bit of Blorcing.

Off to Land of the Dead I went and then it was the usual stuff, grindy grind grind! Ran out of rest XP just after I dinged level 37, so I’ve left it there for now and will continue soon as I have a full level’s worth built up again. Which means I've only 2 levels more grinding and then I’ll use a war tract item for the free ding to bypass 39-40. It’s nice to have the end in sight and I’m quite looking forward to swinging that great weapon about in Tier 4 properly.

Actually I’m considering not doing any PvE with this character at 40, instead sticking with a Great Weapon and just going for RvR & scenario items. Of course it’s easy to say that now… We’ll see ;)

Wednesday 8 September 2010

It’s a funny old time to be a WAR blogger

We know there’s stuff coming, big stuff by the sounds of it and from those various sounds we’ve got a rough picture of it all too. New progression, a totally revamped and revitalised campaign, loads of other bits and bobs and of course, Skaven. The difficulty for a blogger right now is while we have a rough picture and one that would normally be good for some speculation, it is pretty rough and we also know that more and more solid information will be appearing over the next few weeks/months. As such it’s just so easy to spend time and effort writing a big theory post only to see it rubbished within a short timer by Mythic revealing more of WAR’s future reality upon us.

So it’s both an exciting and frustrating time for me, I’m really looking forward to learning more and I feel quite confident about WAR’s future, but I find myself at a bit of a loss on what to post. The potential for awesomeness should we get an increase in the number of open zones from the DAoC/City siege inspired new campaign, the HUGE potential of mobile siege weapons (sieges towers please!) or trying to puzzle out Mythic’s somehow playable Skaven.

Hmmmmmmm, hmmmmmmm and thrice hmmmmmmm

In other news... Gary has no pants.

That's a whole lot of WTF right there.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Mobile Siege weps!?!? YES!

Werit spotted the Q&A post, check out his summary of the latest news here.

Bloody awesome news :)

Monday 6 September 2010

Must.. stay... on... target.. Doh.

There is a problem with being an Alt-Whore like me, that being spoilt for choice and having moments where I just can’t decide what to focus on. I’ve got different little targets for each character, but to reach all requires a bit more spare time than I’ve got.

I sorta decided my priority now is to get Bootae (my Chosen) to RR80, I’m RR74 now and have just the Sovereign gloves to acquire for full sov, so it makes sense. But who am I kidding… I know I won’t be able to purely stick with playing one character. Already since deciding to focus on Bootae I’ve snuck onto my Black Orc and got a another level there (36 now), played with Choppa specs, did a dungeon with both my WE and Squig Herder, oh and played my DoK too…

I wish I was better at staying focussed. Perhaps it’s a good thing, I’m a hell of a lot less likely to burn out or get bored. Yet with new realm ranks and content that maybe linked to them coming out before the end of the year, I suspect I will regret not getting 80 on Bootae if I don’t do it before then.

hmmmmmmm but but but... doh.

Friday 3 September 2010

OMG it’s a Squig Apocalypse!

Last night Kill Frenzy and our alliance (Tainted, Dark Omen, Blood Pollution, The Unlikely Plan and Rigante) went on a Squig Frenzy. A giant WAAAGH of Squig Armoured characters zerging and ganking anything we could find.

We peaked at 36 Squig Herders split over two warbands, all with Squig armour active and all with Squig pets beside us, which meant we were charging in with a total of 72 Squigs… It was quite a sight to behold as this screenshot from Greez (Ironbreaker from Red Guard) shows.

Only problem was we had a mere 8 level 40 Squig Herders, everyone else ranged from level 9 to 37 and there wasn’t enough apprentices to go round. As such our warbands were often more visually intimidating then actually effective, though we did wipe a few groups out through pure shock and awe and provided the odd distraction for other Destruction to capitalise on. Oh and we did the everyone assist target plinking during a keep defense which was quite lethal, until an infamous Order guild with a high proportion of Bright Wizards decided to melt our little goblinoid faces. One day I’ll have a full warband of level 40 Squig Herders under my control, one day… Then you’ll be sorry :P

After dicking about in RvR we headed off to a few locations to get some more specific footage for our next Kill Frenzy (and friends!) video. Keep an eye out for that in the near future!

Thursday 2 September 2010

The 1.3.6, the best patch WAR has ever had?

This patch has not by any means been perfect; there are things it introduced that are (or were) a problem. Some of these problems have been relatively quick to fix and others are a bit more of a headache. However the bad has, in my humble opinion, been FAR outweighed by the good, including one new addition in particular that is the best thing to happen to WAR since launch. And it’s such a good change that I want to be sure this post ends on a high, so I’ll get the bad out of the way first.
Performance and graphics bugs
The game performance has got worse, not consistently as everything can be fine for big chunks of time, but then sometimes (with varying regularity) you’ll start getting those performance hits and freezes that fit the vague term gamers use of “server lag”. On a few occasions it has become barely playable and at one point it did lead to most of my guild (myself included) logging off to play something else. However, Mythic have been doing server maintenance almost every other day and performance has dramatically improved since the patch went live. As such it shouldn’t be too long before this becomes a non-issue. Actually, the last couple of days I haven’t had any performance problems at all.
Graphics bugs… there was this strange thing happening occasionally where the game’s textures flashed grey for a couple of seconds, but thankfully Mythic hotfixed it earlier this week and it’s now resolved.
Sovereign Armour
This is both good and bad. Good for people that are renown rank 80 and can equip as much sovereign as they wish, but bad for everyone else. Prior to this patch the gear gulf between the 80s and everyone else was something I always thought was rather over-hyped, unfortunately that’s no longer the case. It’s more noticeable with some careers than others, but for those in the “more noticeable” category it’s more than a little bit over the top. Certainly there are some recognised bad RR80 players that have suddenly become a lot more dangerous or hard to kill purely based on the numbers and abilities associated to their armour, combined with the armour’s new synergy to their career. It’s a pretty harsh world out there for a new level 40 right now.
I think the problem here is not so much that the Sovereign armour was changed, but more that the other armour wasn’t. Sovereign armour was improved and made more sensible in the way it worked, but that still leaves everyone else mixing and matching armour sets that often have bonuses / stats that simply do not work or make sense anywhere near as well as the new Sovereign armour does. I would really like to see Mythic roll out changes for the other armour sets akin to the new Sovereign. I do think there should be a noticeable reward for reaching RR80 and I do really like the way Sovereign has been changed, it’s just that this change has moved RR80s quite far forward while leaving everyone else standing.
Auction House
The watered down auction house is not great, it’s very basic and some things are too hard to search for if you don’t know the name. Not that this is much different to how it was before, as it’s never been particularly good. WAR’s auction house and mail system are rather limited and clunky, there’s definitely room for improvement here. I would highly recommend Mythic have a long hard look at EVE to see how it should be done.
And now the good stuff…
The new appearance system is bloody marvellous; I love the fact that people actually look different now. I’ve seen some really inventive use of the “bugged” armour pieces and it’s been great hearing this whole new topic of discussion as people try and find unusual armour from quests, drops, etc. By the way Mythic, it would be nice if there were a way for us to get influence rewards again somehow, just for the graphics really. There’s some really nice influence reward armour and weapon graphics that many of us can’t get because we sold the armour to a vendor in 2008!
Most Career changes
I could do a break down of all the good things that have happened for careers, but it would takes ages, so I’ll just pick a couple of paired examples...
Stealth was fixed for Witch Elves and Witch Hunters, which is absolutely bloody brilliant and about time too! Previously it would break at stupid ranges and for all sorts of silly reasons, like being buffed, guard being applied, etc, etc. I was already enjoying playing my Witch Elf and this has made it even more satisfying to play.
Shadow Warriors got the buffs they’ve needed since launch. I’m really pleased about this even though I don’t play Order, because prior to this almost all Shadow Warriors were free renown. Sure there were a few exceptional individuals that made it a little bit more effort, but even against them I always had an edge purely because they were playing with the deadweight of a gimped career. That’s just not fair on them and not particularly satisfying for me when killing them. Now however it’s an entirely different kettle of fish and those good players are as utterly lethal as they should have been before! As a knock on effect Squig herders received similar changes and for the first time ever I have more than 2 combinations of tactics to consider as viable options.
Oh I should also mention Zealots and Rune Priests..
Since the patch went live Mythic have made further changes to the revised Harbinger of Doom/Healing mechanic. All told I think the changes for Zealots and Runies will need some time to bed in before we really know how good or bad it was. I’ve heard very mixed views on this and I haven’t had enough time on my Zealot to be able to tell. I do know that it has boosted my stats considerably and when playing pure healer it has been buff, but I’m not so sure about DPS zealots. At a glance it looks like they loose a lot of survivability, but perhaps they will play more like WoW’s Shadow Priests?
There’s been a lot of career changes and in general “is niiiccce” as Borat would say.
Oi! Leechers! In your face you slaaaaaags!
No more leeching in the warcamp, no more guarding the mailbox, now you have to be in the RvR lakes to get any renown. Yes some people have been finding places to hide in the RvR lakes to leech their zone locks, but that in turn has just supplied us with a new and amusing game of hunt the leechers. I’ve found some AFK toerags hidden in some quite cunning places, which on occasion required a bit of effort to get to, but in each case so far I have managed to exchange their AFK leeching wankerdom for a smack in the face and have then taken delivery of their renown to myself. I thank you.
There was an amusing moment the other day when I noticed a chain of combat log death spam as a well know Witch Hunter killed 13 AFK Destruction hiding in the Wilhelm’s Fist keep… made me chuckle.
Here’s a tip for you folks, if you are doing solo or small scale roaming and you go to a new zone that has the Against All Odds bonus in your favour, but for some reason you can’t find any enemies in the zone, just go hunting. It will quite likely be a group or two of AFKers hiding somewhere and it would be terribly rude of you to not butcher the lot of them and earn their oh so sweet AAO buffed renown points. That said, this seems to be happening less because of AAO itself, which leads me to…
Against All Odds
Oh Mythic, Mythic, Mythic! You pulled off a bloody marvel with this one! I love AAO. This was the bit I referred to at the start of this post as “the best thing to happen to WAR since launch”. Just in case you don’t know what it does: AAO is a buff that kicks in if you in a RvR lake and are outnumbered by a certain (unknown) amount of enemies. The buff increases how much renown you earn and caps at a 400% increase, yes 400%! What this has done is encourage people to spread out around the different zones and not just zerg all the time. That doesn’t mean it has eliminated zerging or blobbing. Since there are times when a zerg is required, there are some guilds/alliances and players that like to zerg and there are also some people that at times just want an easy life. I’m sure we’ve all surfed the zerg when online but not paying full attention due to a distraction from real life.
What AAO has done though is give a reward and incentive for people to fight away from their own faction’s zerg. And the reward is considerable… If I recall correctly the most I’ve had so far for a single kill was 7.8k renown, but I’ve heard of people getting a quite a lot more. With the big renown boost it means charging a small, organised group into zergs can actually pay off quite well if you get just a few kills and if you start capturing objectives too, it can really punch your renown upwards.
After this patch I find myself really looking forward to 1.4 and the RvR Packs. The combination of the upcoming revised campaign system and Against All Odds has potential for awesomeness. AAO is a huge step in the right direction.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Werit's Arsenal shoots and scores

Arsenal has two important meanings; one is a storage facility for weapons and ammo, the other is a London based football team that plays truly beautiful football, but is unfortunately full of whinging cry babies, dirty cheating bastards and has a myopic Frenchman for a manager.

Werit, bless his dwarven beard, is creating something that combines the former with a little bit of the latter, as he’s building a weapon and armour database for WAR and in my book that counts as going beyond the rest of us and our standard blogdom and trying to score a rather high quality goal. It’s only in the alpha stage, but our little stuntie friendy is beavering away and updating regularly and you can instantly see the potential for the future with Werit’s goal being, as he describes it:

Why another item db? My goal is for this to be clean, quick and up to date.

So be sure to check it out and support this up and coming WAR resource: Arsenal of WAR

About Me

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