Tuesday 30 November 2010

Sorry sorry sorry

I am part way through writing a proper post, but I've not had much spare time lately and when I have... the renown is sooooo nice.

So here's a drunk squirrel.

I think we've all been there.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Hotfix details...

...can be found here or pasted below.

General Changes and Bug Fixes
•The new dye options available to players who have purchased the Personality Pack have been reduced in price.
•A new dye color, Badab Black, has been made available to players who have purchased the Personality Pack.
•Corrected an error with colors on some Magus Disc Mounts.
•Fixed an issue where Thanquol’s “Warp Lightning” ability would occasionally not properly display.
•Fixed an issue where players eligible for veterans reward (WAR Double Aegis) were not properly receiving their reward item in the mail.

Realm vs. Realm
Open RvR
•Siege Weapons destroyed within a Keep’s area will now grant Contribution.
•Aerial Bombers defeated within a Keep’s area will now grant Contribution.
•Various improvements have been made to Contribution earned while participating in a Keep Siege.
•The Resource pool threshold for Tier 4 RvR Keeps has been increased. Keeps will now require additional resources to increase in Rank.
•The health for Tier 4 Keep Doors has been increased.
•Fixed an issue where the Skaven ability “Running with the Pack” incorrectly had a Renown Rank restriction.
•The Skaven/Giant Rat camps in Tier’s 2&3 Empire vs. Chaos have had their levels adjusted to be more appropriate to the new Tier restrictions.
•Fixed an issue which could, in some cases, prevent additional instances of the Thanquol’s Incursion RvR Dungeon from being created.
•The Quest “Release Control” granted by the Excavated Skaven Device has been disabled. Players will now be required to exit the RvR Lake or die to remove the Play as Skaven buff.

Contested City
•Fixed an issue which could, in some cases, prevent additional instances of Contested Altdorf or The Inevitable City from being created.

•Adjustments have been made to the Scenario Matchmaking system.
•Fixed an issue where Scenarios were not properly triggering.

BTW I will be posting in the near future with some thoughts about the introduction of 1.4, its just been delayed by me not getting enough time to properly play the game and get a good enough feel for all of the changes to live.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

The Verminous Horde - release timing info

Can be found here. Or copied below:

"The ground beneath your feet rumbles and shakes as Skaven tunnels have appeared all over the Old World. We are proud to announce the launch of Game Update 1.4 and The Verminous Horde RvR™ Pack. We will be bringing all North American and European servers offline at 7:30 AM EST/13.30 CET. At this time we anticipate all servers to be back online no later than 12:30 PM EST/18.30 CET. As always, please be sure to check the Herald for updates regarding this downtime."

And in case you've missed them, the patch notes are here.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Balancing zones, keeps and sieges

Something I’m wondering about with 1.4 is how often will city sieges happen? I’m struggling to make any prediction I’m happy with because we quite simply do not know how the new system will play out in the end zones. Locking zones like Kadrin Valley or Black Crag are already quite different challenges strategically to say Praag and with the new campaign system I think the layout of zones is going to have even more impact than before.

Kadrin Valley is a prime example of this with the southern keep being so close to the warcamp; how will that work out with people rezzing in the keep, new people joining the zone so close by and the resource gathers arriving next door? And that’s before we start thinking about the routes that resource carriers take and any potential bottlenecks. What could happen though is perhaps we’ll actually see zones that are dramatically easier to attack or defend for certain factions, which in turn will change the way an entire faction views what zones and actions are important strategically. If for example Kadrin Valley was an easier zone for Destruction to take and hold, then it really starts to put pressure on Order to not let Destruction capture Thunder Mountain in the first place. That could actually be quite an interesting thing for us to deal with. I don't think every zone should be perfectly balanced, though the number of zones balanced different ways should be even.

Also, how hard is a fully upgraded and defended keep to take in 1.4? From what I hear it’s bloody difficult, but is that a good or bad thing? If it means less city sieges then I would say yes its good, but if it means no city sieges… that’s not so great. City sieges should be unusual and special enough events that you want to attend, but they shouldn’t be so rare that you don’t get a chance to unless you play 24/7. About the keeps though; I really think they should have a mechanism where they start to downgrade if the controlling side does not continue to gather resources. Otherwise we’ll get situations where both keeps are max level and it’s just zergs at keeps. Laggy, shitty and annoying zergs, the horrible thing this patch is trying to get away from. AND it puts even more importance on Battle Objectives, which is a good think in all respects.

Unless they already do downgrade? Please correct me if they already do.

Undoubtedly some tweaking will be required by Mythic over the coming months, the detail of what tweaking is required will only come out as we start to properly play the campaign on live servers. I think that’s actually going to be a lot of fun to play through, as potentially everything we’ve got used to is turned on its head.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Perfect Patching

When 1.4 arrives this Thursday, please don’t for a minute think there won’t be problems, because it’s a given that there will be. It’s always the way.

Most MMO patches bring with them a whole load of issues, be they lag, bugs or whatever. And with 1.4 including such a monumental change to the campaign and more, well… I’ll be amazed if it’s all smooth and perfect. As such, it’s not really worth going all emo rage and ranting if/when things go wrong and you can run the risk (if you care) of making yourself look a bit stupid as you wind yourself up over the obvious.

Now I’m sure we’ve all seen people saying “no we shouldn’t take it, we’re paying customers” and to a point that has some merit, so is it right to just accept these inevitable problems? Yes and no. Update problems happen with every MMO and that is not going to change anytime soon. Actually that’s not quite a broad enough statement, because really it happens with pretty much every type of software. Out in the real world, software upgrades are the bane of my working life and in particular I’ve learned to dread the major landmark updates. Those point zero versions that basically should be called Headache Inducing Toss 2.0, the buggers.

It would be lovely if software developers could deliver perfect, bug free software and the following patches, but with so many different pressures applying to release schedules and software being written by humans, it’s just not realistic. Also as anyone who’s ever been involved in serious software testing knows; what happens on your test system and what happens in a live environment are not always as related as you’d expect or hope. Combine that with MMOs being so damn complicated and having such large numbers of simultaneous users in much more free form environments and yikes… It sure as hell isn’t easy.

Having said whilst I’m obviously showing some sympathy towards MMO developers, I think it’s always important to ensure that the issues revealed on your test servers are properly dealt with before anything goes near live. I’ve not been able to get onto the PTS much and as such I can’t really comment on how solid 1.4 is, the feedback out there is rather mixed and some people’s opinion (both negative and positive) I find difficult to trust.

So going back to that “paying customer” bit… I would say it is unrealistic (though perhaps not unreasonable) for us to expect perfect updates on the day of release, but it IS perfectly sensible to expect any serious issues to be unforeseen ones and to be dealt with promptly after release.

Fair enough?

Saturday 13 November 2010

1.4 and RvR Pack.... THURSDAY!!

Yup it's almost here. Check out the official herald post for confirmation if you so wish.

Can't wait :)

Thursday 11 November 2010

New Career Builder online

Rancid has made a career builder over at war4scrubs, which with wardb dead is a great move. Check it out here.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

About those RvR packs - updated already LOL

$15 for both? That works for me, as along as we don't see (the all too regular these days) people ignoring exchange rates and doing a straight translaton to £15... It's not actually a huge life changing difference of course ($24), but at the dollar price I think Mythic have nailed it perfectly below the line where it would start to border on being a bit cheeky.

The server transfer cost of $19.99 is ok (its comparable with other games I believe), but there desperately needs to be other FREE options to salvage servers like Iron Rock.

As for all the vanity stuff, well... it's vanity stuff, so any price is fine if people will pay it, as shown by when Warcraft charged $25(IIRC) for a reskinned sparkly bloody horse and bazillions of people rushed to buy it.

In other news, yeah I'm sorta back but will be cutting down my gaming time considerably, got to be sensible and focus on other stuff. Plus my ISP is Virgin Media cable and as you can see here we've got major problems playing WAR right now. :( Which sucks royally obviously.

Oh and go read the latest developer discussion post. Huge news... HUGE. Oh ok I'll post it in here.. give me a mo...

"As we draw ever closer to the launch of the all new Verminous Horde™ RvR-Pack, we’d like to take a moment to address some concerns that the community has around some of the benefits that the pack offers to those who purchase it and the impact that it will have on WAR in general. Specifically, we would like to talk about the “power gap” and what measures we’re taking to address it.

Reading through the forums, we see your concerns about the fun factor of a R33 player going up against a R40/RR80+ player. While we want to give our players attainable goals and clear milestones by which to measure their progress in game, it is important to us to not deliver an experience that is “un-fun” for the lower level segments of our population. Simultaneously, we believe that our game is most enjoyable when the population is high, so it was not in anyone’s interest to split up the population.

RvR Tier Bracket Adjustment: We have decided to expand the brackets in Tiers 1-3, creating more of an overlap for players to remain in the lower tiers for longer if they so chose. At the same time, this alleviates issues in Tier 1 with “twinked” Endless Trial players, making it a more level playing field for active subscribers. Trial players will continue to be capped at rank 10. Of course all players will be bolstered to the max possible Rank for their tier, so as to lessen the impact of the increased cap. The proposed bracket changes are as follows:

Tier 1: Ranks 1-15
Tier 2: Ranks 12-26
Tier 3: Ranks 22-39
Tier 4: Ranks 32-40

Scenario Matchmaking: We will be introducing an all new Scenario Matchmaking system which will work to pit players of like ratings against each other when possible. Player rating is determined by skill and performance, so the better you do, the higher your rating. We’re very excited about this new system and the opportunities that it opens up to us for future development.

Ease of acquiring gear: We’re making RvR Armor sets much easier to attain. Annihilator will be sold for coin, Conqueror will be purchasable from a vendor for Officer Medallions only and Invader and Warlord will now be rewarded in ORvR from Tier 4 Keep Captures rather than only being available in the city. Sovereign armor will now be available from Stage 1 of the City Siege experience.

Gold Bag opt outs: We are introducing the option to opt out of Gold Bags only from RvR PQ’s. So if you’re still trying to get that elusive weapon or you’re in need of more 200 Talisman boxes ;), you’ll be able to still roll on those rewards while at the same time not taking loot away from players who can use them now.

Finally, players who purchase the Progression Pack will find that the rate at which they gain Renown has been increased on an ascending scale based on Renown Rank, capping out at a 300% bonus. This means that players will be converging on 80 much more quickly than the current 80s will be leveling. We believe this will condense the RVR spread in many ways.

Over the coming months we will be closely watching the RvR environment on all live servers, evaluating the impact of the Renown Rank cap to 100, the introduction of new armor sets and weapons and how the new Renown Ability revamp will affect how you play from day to day. We’re very excited about all of these changes and look forward to this and even more improvements, new features and new content as WAR continues to evolve and deliver the best RvR experience possible.

Thank you for your continued support and we’ll see you on the battlefield!"

Crikey! Need to think. Initial thoughts are ooh me like lots.

Friday 5 November 2010

Gonna be AFK for a while

Real life has just slapped me across the face in a big way and I won't be feeling like writing much until some shit gets sorted out. Be back ASAP.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Random vid time

OK no time for a proper WAR post, so here's some carefully selected random video strangeness from the interweb.


Prince Charles represents

OK and this one... if you're a little kid, overly sensitive or don't like blood, 1) what are you doing here? and 2) don't watch this next vid pls.

Quite probably the GREATEST film ever made.

Fried Shrimp? WTF??

Monday 1 November 2010

Order and Skaven

One of the things that is often mentioned in discussions about the way Skaven are being implemented in WAR is how it’s perceived as being wrong for Order to ally with them. Many people are quite annoyed by this and while I’m not hugely bothered, I do agree that it is very dubious and I don’t think it’s right.

There is a reference in the lore to it happening, but as far as I’m aware only once, in a Gotrek novel. However there are masses of moments in the lore where Skaven and the Order factions have had major conflicts and seriously, these were not little lover's tiffs. We’re talking LOTS of major wars and pretty much attempted genocide. So when you consider that, to then see Skaven suddenly changing to being all buddy buddy just doesn’t really wash. And the mercenaries for hire thing? For Destruction it’s plausible, but for Order races? No, no way. Empire siding with them is in absolute desperation is just about passable, but Elves and (particularly) Dwarves is really stretching it. Skaven have filled a lot of pages in the Dammaz Kron…

But, and it’s one of those big BUT moments… Gamesworkshop have been involved in developing the new Skaven for WAR and they have given this the green light. Knowing how fussy Gamesworkshop are about protecting their lore, it’s a bit odd, especially when you consider that the new warhammer rulebook not only makes it very clear that Skaven are in the Destruction grouping, but also the new boxed set is all about a bitter conflict between High Elves and Skaven. Friends, allies, mercenaries, nah sorry folks it’s just not right.

So why have they done something in WAR that is seriously wonky when compared with the tabletop? I’d guess that there was probably a load of different reasons; including a worry that Skaven would be so popular that they would have unbalanced the 2 factions if they were limited to Destruction only AND with resources tight perhaps it may not have been possible to introduce a proper Order alternative (Lizardmen, Wood Elves, etc). No doubt loads of other reasons beyond my reasoning too.

Also I suspect that Gamesworkshop recognise that the tabletop does not cleanly translate into an MMO and as such may see Warhammer Online as an alternate reality to the tabletop world, which for the sake of better gameplay perhaps they’re happy to be a bit more flexible about. Personally I do think that no matter the reasoning behind it, it is a crying shame that Lizardmen weren’t introduced as exact mirrors of the playable Skaven. It would have made this all a non-issue. So with me now blatantly ignoring any issues of time and money to make it so, I think it could have worked quite like this:

Rat Ogre = Kroxigor
Gutter Runner = Chamelon Skink
Warlock Engineer = Skink Priest
Pack Master = OK this one I’m not sure on as a direct mirror is tricky. It would need to be a Saurus somehow for character appeal… Surely something though?

Easy for me to say of course...

Anyway, regardless of any of our doubts about the lore thing, Gamesworkshop agreed it and that’s what we’re getting. GW own the lore, they can do whatever they like with it. Sure, Mythic have misjudged a bit what people really wanted and expected from Skaven, but then you know how it is. No matter what Mythic had chosen to do with Skaven, it was never going to please everyone.

So in summary, for me it is a bastardisation of the lore and I think it’s both a missed opportunity and a misunderstanding. But I’ll get over it, in fact I already did, about 5 minutes after hearing about it at Gamesday. I just felt I should post my thoughts about it. I will continue paying, playing and enjoying WAR. The single most important thing to consider about the introduction of Skaven is: will it make the game even more fun to play?

I reckon so.

About Me

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