Sunday 31 July 2011

A busy week

Done a lot of stuff round the house, painting, DIY, all that crap. Which meant what spare time I had, aside from family stuff, went into chilling out playing games rather than writing stuff. WAR wise I have dabbled with the Blorc a little, but have mainly been playing a Marauder in tier 3 with a bunch of recently returned and rerolled guildies. Will talk about that a bit soon...

Monday 25 July 2011

Gobbo Frenzy

To mix things up a bit, yesterday we had one of our KF event nights. KF and friends went on a GOBBO FRENZY!

We cobbled together a full warband entirely made up of Shaman and Squig Herders, got ourselves a little bit organised and joined the madness that was last night’s Praag. There was loads of Order everywhere, constant AAO for us and as a result a fair bit of renown and entertainment. I think some of our enemies may have found it surprising quite how potent that horde of gobos could be… but everyone assisting on one target will do that. :P

Alas we didn’t have anyone frapsing last night, so no video this time round, but basically it was lots of running away, arrows, squigs, laser beams, getting sandwiched by multiple Order warbands, cackling on Ventrilo and general nonsense. All good fun. Oh and we got to totally screw with Order’s keep take by having everyone assisting on their ram each time they deployed it. Having well over 30 DoTs on a ram melts it fairly promptly, I think we destroyed about 7 or 8 rams in that one keep take. :D

Elsewhere.. no gobbos involved but lol

Sunday 24 July 2011

Skyrim Gameplay video AKA DO WANT! - updated

I just had a little bit of excited wee creep out. Updated link,...

HD link here.

Saturday 23 July 2011

WAR on the road

Mythic posted this earlier detailing some events they're going to be attending. Copy paste job for ya'll below:

Some interesting weeks are ahead of us. There are four events that we plan to visit before the end of August giving us the chance to have some face to face conversations with you.
The first two events are the US and the German Gamesday operated by our good friends at Games Workshop. The US Gamesday in Chicago is on Saturday, July 30th and the German Gamesday is on Sunday, August 7th. At both locations we want to take the opportunity to present the details of the upcoming patches as introduced in the last Community Update. Do you want to share your ideas how Fortresses should be re-introduced or which areas can make excellent new points of conflict? In Chicago or Cologne is your chance to discuss it in person.

The next event is GamesCom 2011 in Cologne. It starts on Wednesday, August 17th and ends on Sunday, August 21st. WAR won’t have a presence on the EA booth, but we will have some meet and greets events planned. The exact details including dates and times will be posted closer to the convention.
The last event is PAX in Seattle, WA from August 26th to August 28th and again we hope to meet some of you there for feedback and discussion.
The end of August will also see an announcement about our future plans for Warhammer Online.
See you on the road!


Wednesday 20 July 2011

A return to WAR - Squig Frenzy

The Squig Herder is one of my favourite WAR careers; it has loads of character and (in theory) good damage combined with excellent mobility. Unfortunately 1.4 turned up and gave them (and other ranged physical damage careers) the proper shaft by gimping armour penetration. Now I wasn’t interested enough to look into the calculations and details that explained why this gimping happened, but I know that it did because I tried playing my Squig Herder back then and it was bloody terrible. Mythic acknowledged these issues and eventually changed some things about, including adjusting a supposedly unpopular tactic so that it provides a dramatic boost to a range of DPS stats, at the cost of toughness. Combined with the lower renown rank requirements for armour sets and the excellent new item sets, this looked like it might have gone some way to making the career not suck donkey balls for any players below RR80. The question of course is has it made any difference?

Yes, it has made a significant difference and the career is very much worth playing, but it has unfortunately come at a significant cost.

I’ve had a few solid sessions in Tier 4 now with my RR52 Squig Herder, taking part in a mixture of solo and small scale group roaming, as well as some warband and scenario action. I dabbled with specs based on each of the 3 mastery trees, including variants of the old cookie cutter specs from the past, results have been mixed. In general I think the career works pretty well, has a wide range of decent abilities, some great morales and is very well defined in it's role and game-play style. Whilst not one of the big 4 that both factions have, it is a very good career and one of the most fun to play.

For the laugh I tried out playing a full on melee theme with its Squig Armour ability/stance/thing. It sucked, big time. The damage is poor compared with other melee, the range of abilities have some use but are too limited, it just feels too slow and as a result is surprisingly dull to play. It does have Bad Gas which now it's not linked to your squig actually has a chance of working and the Squig Armour does look cool, but that’s all it's really got going for it. I’ve no idea how viable it is at high RR, but at low ones avoid this at all costs.

A heavy Quick Shootin’ spec, that doesn't also have plenty of points in Big Shootin, is mediocre, not bad, but certainly not good. The abilities just do not hit hard enough and I always had to rely on Big Shootin abilities to get the burst to actually kill things. In certain situations it could be great, when kiting an enemy 1v1 for example, but all too often when multiple players and healers are involved, I found it too lacking in damage. That said, I see the heal debuff as an essential, so would always want that on my action bar. At low RR I would say this mastery tree is worth experimenting with, it might work for you, but I personally wasn’t happy with it as my main focus.

The one that really worked for me was a spec that was high in both Big and Quick Shootin. Plink still rules the roost as primary source of killing and was doing quite reasonable damage, certainly enough that I wasn’t just leeching kills from the big boys. Which wasn’t much of a surprise as this was basically the spec I used to play anyway, so the familiarity no doubt helped. To be honest I was pleasantly surprised at quite how good the damage could be, nothing silly of course, but decent. This was helped by the stats I can now reach: 1070 BS, 650 WS and I think about 25% crit, though I don’t remember how much my total ranged power was. I could easily get my crit a lot higher and run at say 500 WS too, which might be worth doing. That’s not bad at all for a mere RR52 character and I at least felt competitive.

However… This damage comes at a significant cost. A mere 6-7k wounds, a pathetic 98 Toughness and bugger all other defensive stats. Which means if anyone deigns to look at me, I am totally and utterly buggered, but to be honest I don’t mind this. I have to work harder to stay alive against the high RR people sure, but I can get solo kills if I’m clever and do very well when working with a group. So that doesn’t bother me so much as the other big problem.

Basically Squig Herders now only have 1 tactic slot. There are two tactics that between them give a lot of Ballistic and Weapon Skill, they are both absolutely essential. Then there is Run Away, the speed boost on damage tactic, this is a career defining tactic for a Squig Herder and is again absolutely essential for a low RR one due to the lack of survivability related stats. So that leaves one slot free… For me that had to be the range boost for Quick Shootin abilities which brings them in line with the Big ones. I’d like to take the tactic that reduces Plink’s cast time, but it’s not viable without other tactics to help with the increased action point cost. There are other tactics I’d also like to use, but they just can’t compete with stats and Run Away, so I find myself frustrated and feeling somewhat restricted.

All told this means that yes a lowbie Squig Herder works rather well again with certain specs and honestly it is a great laugh to play, but you’ve not got many options in play style or build. I don’t know how much that changes later on and it may not bother you anyway, but personally I would really like to feel like I have more choice in how to build my character. Ranged DPS gets some attention in the next patch, hopefully that will include having less essential tactics (without gimping things...) and making Squig Armour specs worthwhile.

Monday 18 July 2011

Bit of a greenskin theme

I'm having a bit of a break from my Shaman and have mainly been messing around with my Squig Herder and Black Orc. The Squig Herder is RR52 and the Black Orc a mere RR42, both are level 40 and as such are right in the sodding deep end in Tier 4. So I'll be posting about those this week to continue my return to WAR series of posts, though there is the risk of other tangents diverting my attention of course..

And I ended up playing my Marauder and Chosen tonight :P

Wednesday 13 July 2011

A return to WAR - Mean green laser beam

I mentioned the other day that I’ve been playing a DPS Shaman recently. Where the Magus proved to be frustrating, the Shaman with a DPS spec and a mere RR50 (now 62...) has been an absolute revelation; it’s far more effective and entertaining than I had expected. In the past I had played my Shaman as a healer, since it was just not possible to get enough DPS related stats at his low RR, but the recent changes to WAR’s armour restrictions and the new jewellery set have completely changed that.

I’m wearing:

  • 2 Conqueror and 3 Invader armour
  • The Land of the Dead cloak/jewellery 2 piece with the magic power bonus
  • 4 parts of the new accessory set (belt+3 jewels).
  • A staff from one of the Tombs (Sky I think it was) with INT and MP talismans.

This selection seems to be the best combination of set bonuses to maximise my damage and gets me to around 250 damage bonus, which for someone at that RR is not too bad I think. I’m not far off getting Worn Sovereign now too which should make quite a difference too. Whilst this seems pretty good to me, if anyone has any ideas on improving this further, any tips are more than welcome.

I do of course switch to healing tactics and armour if in a situation or scenario where there aren’t enough healers, no point choosing to lose, but wherever possible I’ve played as DPS. Unlike the zealot, a DPS Shaman doesn’t become a particularly effective healer just by switching, so how you spec is more of a rigid play-style choice. Spec wise I’ve dabbled with the classic tri-mastery set up, which has a lot going for it and gives more survivability, but at the moment I prefer a balls to the wall Gork with Green spec. Sure, it’s a fairly selfish spec to go for and isn’t making the most of the Shaman’s unique abilities, but I don’t care, I’m having a good laugh with it. That said, I am tempted to try out a more Green focussed spec and get more from the Shaman’s lifetaps, I’ve heard some good reports on it and since I do a lot of solo roaming, it could work quite well for me .

Regarding the solo roaming; whilst it’s best to run from RR90-100’s with a clue, I’ve done rather well in 1v1 fights in general and been able to earn some very nice renown just doing my own thing. Group play with people that know I’m in DPS mode has been very good too and in particular one night playing as a DPS Shammie tag team was hysterical and very successful indeed.

One thing you will get though is shit from people who are offended that you dare spec for DPS. Now, if you’re point blank refusing to heal even when there are no other healers or if when DPS mode you’re not using your lifetaps and mork charged instants to help out, then you probably deserve to get called a twat. However, that doesn’t excuse those occasional morons that will give you shit even if you and your team are doing well. For example the other day I was DPSing in a scenario, we had people healing and things were going rather well. Terry Fuckwitt Chosen (name changed to insult the idiot) then decides to complain about “fucking LOLhealerDPS”. I didn’t bother replying and let the result do the talking, We won comfortably I finished with over double his damage, had 3x more killing blows and in fact I healed for more damage he did. Oh and to make it somewhat ironic, by the look of his character and how squishy he was, he must have had a LOLDPS tank set up himself. So even when you're doing nothing worth any crap, some twats can't resist it.

Anyway, to sum it up, the Shaman is an excellent class to play even at low RRs. It can be effective at both DPS and healing, though not really both roles with one spec. Healing is the fastest way to gain renown and whilst still enjoyable, it’s not quite as much fun as playing as DPS (not that healing shammies are dull, far from it), however DPS spec is a fair bit more challenging to play and earn renown with. Be sure to make the most of the career’s mobility, practice and you’ll do well. It’s early days for me and I’ve got lots to learn, but it has been great and the gear gap has barely been an issue. I can fully recommend the Shaman for any returning or new player.

Though if you do spec DPS, don’t refuse to heal when you need to. Like I said above, don’t choose to lose.

UPDATE! In other news there's a new development thread up about new locations for scenarios. Check it out here.

Monday 11 July 2011

A return to WAR - The Magus

My experiment to discover which of my horde of lvl 40 low RR alt characters is the most viable, took a slightly unexpected turn last week. A conversation with a mate of mine that’s somewhat obsessed with his DPS Shaman, unwittingly aroused my curiosity and I decided to see if it was possible to go DPS with my own RR50 Shaman. Previously it really wasn’t possible to get the stats required, but now thanks to the lowered armour restrictions and the new accessory set, it worked out very well. I’ve been playing the Shaman most of this week, have taken him from 50 to 60 and had a bloody marvellous time. However, more on that another time, as today I’m actually going to talk about my Magus.

The Magus is RR50 and turned out to not be quite as bad as I expected, yet at the same time was utterly frustrating.

At high RRs the Magus is quite potent; I’ve grouped with some great Magus players and have seen the impact they can have. They can hit pretty hard, though they’re no Sorcerer by any means and it takes a good player to do well with, where as a bad Sorcerer player can be carried by the career to a point. A Magus does not have that luxury. At low RRs however it’s quite a frustrating career due to the commonly recognised overarching problem with the Magus since launch; it doesn’t know what it is trying to be.

I’ve seen ranged support class bandied around, or a CC based ranged class, a DoT based nuker and so on, None of them are quite correct. The idea of it as a more support based class has some sense, but it doesn’t play out like that as the Magus doesn’t bring anything unique to the table other than Rift , but that is something you have to choose to spec for high up in the Daemonology mastery, is only 1 ability anyway and taking it greatly limits your ability as a ranged DPS class. It does have quite a lot of CC in total, but there are issues with most of it that limit the career reaching a genuine and valuable support role.

AoE stagger – A little demon you place down that enemy players have to go near to detonate the stagger. It’s very easily avoided.
Snare – A melee range snare. MELEE RANGE? It is utterly useless because of how melee abilities have longer range than should due to latency (type thing) and the burst damage output MDPS have. This would only work if it was an unbreakable root.
AoE stun – This requires you to detonate your pet. Your pet is stationary, so this stun is not always in the right place and if you do detonate your pet, you have reduced your damage output by 20% and that’s not including the pets damage itself. This wouldn’t be so bad if pets were an instant cast instead of 2 seconds.
Knockback – Single target, short punt and a 2 second cast.
Disarm – You have to choose to spec it and because of its long cast time, it’s of little use in the moments it would be required.
AoE Root – Instant cast and as such it’s fine.
There are also morale abilities, but they’re reliant on morale obviously and are nothing that other classes don’t have.

So as you can see the Magus does have quite a lot of CC options, but they’ve almost all got problems, particularly when you consider the class is very squishy and spends most of its time stuck on terrain. What I found with my low RR Magus is that with a Havoc/Changing spec I could do reasonable damage if I throw absolutely everything into DPS related stats and completely forget about survivability, but because of the limitations and unreliability of the career’s CC, you find yourself really struggling to stay alive. That spec also means no Rift, which is the Magus’ only unique selling point.

To be able to utilise all of that CC the Magus needs to be able to deliver it and that requires it to either be tough enough to shrug off attacks, or mobile enough that it can avoid them. Unfortunately the Magus is neither of those things. You can spec Daemonology, turn yourself into a melee range character and build your stats around survivability, but this is at a dramatic cost to damage output and is a very restrictive playstyle. It’s probably not what people envisaged when they choose to create a Magus.

So I think with the Magus Mythic need to:

Make them more mobile by changing how their pets work and reducing/removing CC cast times.
Make them a LOT tougher and literally make them pillboxes of doom.

In both cases I think Rift should become a core ability, the snare should be made ranged and their pets needs to be made a LOT more powerful. The pets should have abilities that go beyond just damage buffs, perhaps like Chosen auras. These changes could help better define them in a pet based ranged support role and give groups a reason to want a Magus instead of a Sorcerer. I believe most of this would apply to the Engineer too.

Also their DoTs are too easily removed and too slow to provide any meaningful burst and their cast time nukes do not hit hard enough. Which is not made up for by the career’s CC in any way and means it’s not able to compare if you consider damage it’s primary purpose..

Well there you go; I still can not recommend the Magus for a returning player. They’re not terrible, you can have some fun with them, but as it stands every other class is just that bit better. Mythic have changes coming in 1.4.4 for the Magus, but I have no idea if it will be enough to stop them being the worst career in the Destruction arsenal.

Sunday 10 July 2011

I am a liar apparently

It has been quite funny reading the forums since visiting Mythic last week. Lots of jumped up little pricks who’re desperately slagging the bloggers off and making wild unfounded accusations about our playtimes, game knowledge and personalities. I particularly laughed at being called a liar by Gemmi, as that’s rather amusing all things considered. Yet the problem is these people just don’t know anything about us, certainly they don’t know dick about me. That much is obvious from the bollocks being said. So in turn, as I am under no obligation to say nice things about them, I’ll make an assumption about their motives based upon their posts and consider them a bunch of mindless, bitter retards who can’t cope with the possibility that someone else got priority over them. I mean come on you deserve it don’t you, you are the most important person in the world, your gran always said so. Seriously kids, bitterness and jealousy are terrible traits.

It’s not my fault I got invited by Mythic and you didn’t, I wasn’t expecting it and don’t tell me you would have turned down the chance if you’d been offered. Likewise, being hit by an NDA isn’t my fault, I am as frustrated by it as anyone. Also I have been very clear in saying don’t get hyped up, because whilst I am cautiously optimistic I’m not that excited. If you read that as promises of great wonder, then you fail at reading more than I fail at writing.

I do think that in future it needs to either be open for us to talk about, or have a NDA initiated from the start so nobody else gets told anything is happening at all, but it wasn’t like that, so deal with it, just don’t shoot the messenger. It makes you look a touch mental.

This post is of course both a bit of a troll and troll bait itself, but I’m hoping for some awesome and witty responses. The bile spouted so far has really been quite basic and ill informed; I think you can do better. There’s not really been much decent trolling to read on the official WAR forums or WHA in ages and I know many people are missing the drama.

Friday 8 July 2011

Planetside 2 trailer released

Many of us had started to suspect that the hacker problems for Sony and SOE may have meant the death of Planetside 2. But oh joy, its hasn't. The first proper trailer is out.

This for any serious PvP MMO gamer is a big deal. 3 faction RvR and no PvE, this is a strategic combat game and if its half as good as the original then we could be in for a treat. The video may not look that amazing to someone who didn't experience the original, but take my word for it, this has massive potential.

Kill Frenzy will be playing Planetside 2, of that there is no question at all.

HD link on Youtube here.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Sceptically optimistic

It’s been quite entertaining reading the various reactions from around the internet to yesterday’s visit/skype video with Mythic by myself and a selection of other bloggers. People do so love a drama. First off, I find the NDA and the way information is released as frustrating as anyone, it’s not something I’ve ever had to care about before, but at the same time I can understand why things are done that way sometimes, certainly I can in this situation. Mythic have been badly hit by over-hype in the past, so they’re trying to be cautious, while at the same time share some info and get some opinion on other things before moving forward at the end of this month. Is the way of doing this right now correct? I don’t know really, I’m not annoyed by it enough to cry, but obviously I’m well aware that I am a bit biased as I got to take part in something that most don’t. Though to be frank, over nearly 3 years of writing shite here I have chosen to not put annoying adverts up, so make no money from blogging and other than any enjoyment I glean from writing, the only thing I get back from this place is some extra info on games, invites to things like yesterday and a few more beta invites than normal. If that’s a problem for you, well I don’t give a toss, get over yourself you twat.

That’s the problem with every MMO really, there’s always a little army of forum trolls and bitter ex-players that will pour derision on anything and everything the developers do, whilst at the same time there’s the blinkered brigade that will go on about how great everything is regardless of reality. In WAR’s case if you’re rational about it you can see that both of the extremes are wrong. The ever decreasing server list over the last 2 years is a clear testament to the game’s problems, you can not argue with that decline, but the fact that it is still going when others are not, that yesterday’s events happened at all and that patches continue to be developed show it’s far from dead in the water.

In light of what I learnt yesterday I am not leaping round in excitement for WAR’s future, but neither am I packing my bags and remember I have quit the game before when things pissed me off. Regular readers know the things that would make me excited, they also know what would make me quit. If you’re expecting WAR to either collapse or rise to the top of the MMO charts like some acetylene fuelled phoenix, then you’re wrong. I would recommend taking a more middle view, don’t get pulled into hype and expect too much, but don’t listen to the doomsayers and instead I would recommend accepting that WAR does have a future.

I am sceptically optimistic, but no more or less than that.

In other news, I'm gonna be pimping some old KF vids prior to a future event ;)

Wednesday 6 July 2011

From today, the stuff I can say

OK so have got a few things I can post about. It’s quite restricted and I can only apologise for that. I hate the “Something exciting is coming but we can’t say!” shite as much as the rest of you, but rest assured that if I thought it was a load of old bollocks then I would say so here. Also while I am obviously omitting the majority of what Mythic showed us today and from my lack of RAGE™ obviously I don’t think it’s a load of old bollocks, I don’t want to overhype it either. It’s not a 3rd faction or one of those second coming of MMO awesome things we’ve talked about before, but it is an interesting development. I wouldn’t even bother speculating to be honest.

So anyway, what I can say for now..

Patch 1.4.4 is due in August, but I didn’t catch when 1.4.5 was due. I’m a little mixed up over what was coming in which patch, you can blame dodgy streaming over Skype for that confusion.

Fortresses are in development right now. There will be developer discussion posts going up about them. The intention is for them to not work like they used to and instead to be something you do alongside the main campaign. The concept of DAoC style relic raids are of course being played with. I know we’ve been here before with forts, but there was some significant and lengthy discussion about them today and currently forts are expected for 1.4.5. Watch the forums for the dev posts.

Mythic are working on the “defensive win” style rewards/bonuses/things. Something that will make people to want to defend zones, keeps and objectives.

Ranged Careers are being focussed on for 1.4.4; in particular Shadow Warrior, Magus and Engineer were mentioned.

ORvR development and improvements continue to be worked on. Also PvE’s relation to WAR and RVR is being pondered on, it’s not as ruled out as in the past, not that RvE is desired of course.

Mythic have been going through WAR’s zones, dungeons and even areas that didn’t make it to WAR live, looking for areas that make for good places to smush faces. These are being looked at for reworking into new scenarios and the like, just as we’ve already seen with College of Corruption and Eternal Citadel for example. A lot of areas were mentioned from all over the game, for example the Library in Land of the Dead. Basically Mythic are really trying to make the most of the wasted assets they already have.

OK, there's probably more that I've not remembered or couldn't hear properly (Skype video can be dodgy and my daughter was choosing to be quite chatty...). Keep an eye on the other bloggers.

OK so..

It’s been a bit of an odd one. I shall first explain what has complicated things.

I’m still on the skype thing with Mythic and will be for a while I think, but about 15mins ago it was mentioned that we were under NDA. Now I didn’t know anything about this and hadn’t seen one. It turns out it was emailed to me this afternoon for me to reply and agree to, but since I was at work right until I got home and put Skype on, I hadn’t even looked at that email account and until just now nobody had even mentioned it. Which as I didn’t know, it meant I tweeted a couple of things about WAR. Not anything too big mind you and nothing about the big news, I was saving that for this place…

Now, since I didn’t know about or agree to it, legally I am not under NDA in any sense. However, I’m not about to shite on Mythic and burn my bridges with them. So a bit later on we’re going to confirm what they would like us to reveal or not and I shall respect that. Until then I will just say this:
  • There IS proper WAR development going on.
  • There is something happening that is a big deal and has a lot of potential.
  • If you think you know what it is, sorry, you don’t.
More info ASAP.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Countdown to tomorrow

Tomorrow then is the slightly teased about July 6th and something WAR related is indeed happening. Mythic have invited a selection of the US bloggers to their offices to show them future developments for WAR. However this time is a bit different and some of us EU types have also been invited, via Skype.

So tomorrow I’m racing back from work to see what gets revealed, I say race as time wise its a bit tight with getting out of work for the start... but should be ok. I don’t know what it is we’re going to see, I‘ve no real idea if it will be a huge exciting OMG shock or a big letdown, but I am pretty sure that Mythic have a fair bit to talk about. I say this as we’re getting:
  • 30min presentation
  • 1hour Q&A
  • Another 30min presentation
If you’ve ever had to do a presentation or pitch for work, you’ll know that to do a full hour worth of talking means you’ve got to have a fair bit of subject matter. So I am very intrigued indeed. I could post my guess as to what it is, but I’m not going to since it’s only tomorrow and I don't want to risk looking like an even bigger prick than normal :P

Are hopes to be dashed once again? Or could we be turning an unexpected corner? I shall update ya'll ASAP tomorrow.

Countdown to tomorrow

Tomorrow then is the slightly teased about July 6th, something WAR related is indeed happening. Mythic have invited a selection of the US bloggers to their offices to show them future developments for WAR. However this time is a bit different and some of us EU types have also been invited, via Skype.

So tomorrow I’m racing back from work to see what gets revealed, time wise its a bit tight with work for me... but should be ok. I don’t know what it is we’re going to see, I‘ve no real idea if it will be a huge exciting OMG shock or a big letdown, but I am pretty sure that Mythic have a fair bit to talk about. I say this as we’re getting:
  • 30min presentation
  • 1hour Q&A
  • Another 30min presentation
If you’ve ever had to do a presentation or pitch for work, you’ll know that to do a full hour worth of talking means you’ve got to have a fair bit of subject matter. So I am very intrigued indeed. I could post my guess as to what it is, but I’m not going to since it’s only tomorrow and I don't want to risk looking like an even bigger prick than normal :P

Are hopes to be dashed once again? Or could we be turning am unexpected corner? I shall update ya'll ASAP tomorrow.

Friday 1 July 2011

Kicked things off with my Zealot

It’s been another mixed week of gaming temptations, with the highlights being of course WAR and then last night a Kill Frenzy Arma2 session providing much comedy and tension. Only in Arma 2 will you get a spectacular death caused by a police car and a chain reaction of exploding motor cross bikes, a herd of cows murdered after being mistaken for Spetsnaz and our KF elite special forces team assaulting an airfield on mountain bikes as several miles of woodland burned to the ground after to a collection of Stinger missile related calamities. Arma 2 I love you.
Anyway, regarding WAR, as mentioned recently I’ve been dabbling with alts a lot and have decided to turn that into a little test of what WAR would be like for a returning player with level 40 characters with relatively low RR. Which careers would be ok and which would be a nightmare?
I’ve mainly been playing my Zealot this week, taking him from renown rank 40 something to 58. I’ve also focussed my play style on DPS, only switching to healing when absolutely required. It’s actually been really good and I have really fallen for the class again. I now think that the change to Harbinger is actually an improvement, certainly for someone in my position, as it so dramatically buffs your heal or damage stats that it frees up renown points to be used elsewhere. This allows you to set up a much more rounded character than is possible with any other career. If you don’t know, when Harbinger is turned off it transposes all your Intelligence, Magic Power and Magic Crit into the healing equivilents, Willpower, Heal Power and Heal Crit. When you turn the Harbinger on it does the opposite. As such without any effort at all you can have extremely good healing stats relative to your level and it takes a lot of pressure off you to desperately upgrade your armour. It also means that regardless of spec, you can switch modes and at least heal or hit moderately hard, certainly enough to be able to rescue a situation or finish someone off.
From this week I feel that the Zealot is generally in a pretty good place. When I used heal based tactics I’ve been able to quite comfortably keep my group alive, found it to have an enjoyable mobile play style and also had excellent renown gain. DPS mode is not as effective, but was still quite reasonable and I at least felt like I was having an impact. It doesn’t hit that hard compared with the proper DPS classes (mainly…), yet it is potent enough to kill people and I have won plenty of 1v1 fights against a range of careers. Scenario scores don’t mean a great deal, but for what its worth I’ve regularly been in the top 3 Destro when there were enough other healers that I was able to focus on just doing damage. Also with it’s heal and armour/resist debuff tactics the Zealot can have a real effect on the outcome of fights. In a couple of city sieges I was in a heavy AoE warband and the difference when I used the AoE heal debuff was quite noticeable.
AND the class has a range of perfectly viable specs that can both heal and DPS well simply by changing tactics on the fly. This is a huge bonus for me and as you can probably tell, I am very pleased with how the Zealot performed. I’ve had to force myself to play other characters and am constantly tempted to switch back to the Zealot. I’m thinking I may concentrate on getting him into Worn Sovereign armour as a priority. So Zealots, yes indeed, I can recommend them for both returning and new players alike.
I’ve started dabbling a bit more with the Squig Herder and Magus, more on those as soon as I’ve put enough time in to trust my opinions.

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