Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Well I've started a new blog named /BRB. It's based on gaming, MMO's and random crap alongside it that I find amusing and/or particularly interesting to myself (and maybe others). Mmmmm Gud will return with a couple of updates though as I found some bits and pieces (armour sets mainly) that I never posted so the blog will get an update but my other random writings and musings can be found at /brb


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Da last stomp.

Well for those who follow my twitter or know me in game you may already have gotten the idea if not the confirmation pretty much that my time in WAR has now reached its end.

I've spent many, many days of my life playing this game and enjoyed most of it without a doubt, but there always comes a time where you sit there and think "Maybe I need a break" and having a break over christmas, combined with life being a bit busier before hand meant my game time was minimal.. After this I realised I didn't actually miss the game and had no desire to login. My sub was actually cancelled three months ago (and runs out the 19th of January) as I was still disgusted at the customer support provided after the Tyrant cloak farce (read the back posts if you want) and realised I never resubbed when my rage calmed. This made it easier to just decide that it's time to call it a day when I looked at my sub renewal date.

I like WAR, the actual game is very good but with all games you play there's burn out when you have limited choices in what to do (again see back posts on depth). Combine this with sadly the neglect that some classes receive, the abysmal bug ridden mess some parts of the game have been left in (Vulture Lord as a prime example) and the glacier like speed it takes Mythic to realise that there are problems with aspects and then start to make changes (see bombing and melee healers). I guess limiting myself to one class that had the middle finger shown to it just after release and completely ignored for the following two years has burnt me as well, the mechanic (plan) and mastery is so busted that I'm sick of trying to shout for help.

WAR isn't dying, in fact I'll say that in the next 6 months once the Rift (and yeah, I'm going to give it a shot) hype has died down and people start to unsub that a lot of subs will come back. I'm actually sad a bit since I also missed out on the chance to be a core tester where I feel I could have helped, I would have still applied but with my heart not being in the game, sadly I can't justify potentially wasting Mythics time.

I'll be back to WAR, that much is a given... I'm looking to come back in the summer or just after once I've had a break.. Sometimes getting a break is the medicine you need to come back to a game... But whether I stay again I don't know yet, a lot has to get done in WAR to polish it back up and make it appealing to those players who play the minority classes.

I'll be keeping my blog up here as it is in preparation for a return. I won't convert it into a gaming or a rift blog as people still check this blog for Black Orc bits and pieces however I may pop a link up if I do decide to make a new blog and I will return periodically to this one and also check my email here Mmmmgud@gmail.com (yeah it's 4 M's on the email) if anyone wants to get back in contact at all.

As for my Twitter feed, I'm not sure what to do as I'm not convinced people want to read about my rift thoughts but I'll see, I may just make a new one but I guess people can filter me out if they don't want to... I think I'll be looking at more gaming orientated stuff rather than just Rift.. At least until I return to WAR.

Finally though I want to thank Mythic, in particularly Andy Belford, Keaven and Steven Engle for being fantastic folks (and I'll still be watching KSitM and also all the other WAR bloggers though kudos to Bootae, Werit and Grimnir.

I'll be back to check out the game in the summer/autumn so until then, keep the WAAAAAAAAAAGH going!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow....

Well time to take a wee winter break. Far too much to do over the next couple of weeks so I won't even attempt to get a blog post out (and right now I'm struggling as it is). Just want to wish everyone that reads and all those folks who contribute to the comments  a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Take care gitz and I'll see you all in the new year!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Steven and Keaven in the morning (and at other random times)

Steven Engle and Keaven mumblemumblesomething (sorry mate, don't know your surname) are two developers on Warhammer Online and both were on the UStream videocast that Mythic done a few weeks ago before the launch of 1.4 (which was awesome by the way). They've branched out a bit and during Tuesday and Thursday mornings (0830 East Coast US time) they have been doing a streaming videocast.

Now what makes this great is nt only how well they both work together as hosts but the actual discussions they have. It's not about WAR (which may make the odd mention) but about MMO's and those things in the MMO Culture that most of us subscribe to, in fact they had an excellent piece about hybrid classes in MMO's in 1.02. It's not long (only 20 minutes) and they do record the episodes (normally *cough*) so you can watch them later.

I whole heartedly recommend checking them out or watching the recording, even follow them on twitter @keaven and @steven_engle to catch them with the ad hoc shows (last Friday night was a laugh with a few of us jabbering away with Keaven). SO if you have any interest in MMO's or the culture that surrounds them. Please do check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A question of depth

So I've been struggling to balance work, real life and play time recently so my activity in WAR has been quite low unfortunately. Normally I get the 'twitch' to login and crack some skulls or go wondering off in search of something new and interesting however sadly the twitch just hasn't been there.

Now don't get me wrong, WAR is still my game of choice, I'm not running off anywhere soon but right now there's nothing grabbing me back to WAR. I'll log on, hit a scenario then pretty much give up due to the MIA  matchmaking system which still puts full RR80+ premades against low RR pugs. I've been unfortunate in my warbands recently that we're hitting Morale bomb warbands most of the time. My record stands at having 10 damaging morales hit me in a 2 second window which isn't mitigatable (making a mockery of the increased survival rate) and basically ends up being which side clicks faster and/or has more full Sov MDPS to drain multiple sides. For all the whining of 1k1 it still doesn't help against a rank 1 morale.

But that's just the evolution of battle now that standard bomb groups have taken the hit, someone will find a new way and it's only a matter of time before this spreads onto more servers and becomes more common amongst premade warbands (which are the standard on Norn). So lets move on anyway away from that. If I log into WAR late at night after work there's little for me to do now, I've hit a lot of unlocks already so I'm left looking at killing 100,000 mobs or blindly looking for an exploration unlock which may or may not exist and if it does may or may not actually be broken anyway - so currently unlocks are out for me. Scenarios and RvR as said are become frustrating, even roaming is becoming a chore due to ganking, adds or just unkillable warrior priests or doks or my pet hate... Kiting AM's (I HATE YOU!).

I'd like something I can do in WAR which doesn't go down the inevitable path of rage due to bugs or just unfun situations... I hate saying it, and I have in the past so apologies for sounding like a broken record but there's just nothing to actually DO in WAR in downtime. This isn't WoW or LotRO so I can understand a lack of fishing or archaeology but what about the crafting skills we do have? Why can't there be more to them, no siege weapon making? You could gather resources such as ore or wood (Mmmmm wud) or smith armour and weapons, scribe scrolls.... Heck I'd even like to do some fishing or archaeology, something to waste some time in so I have a reason to login and not get pissed off with the game.

I dont want WAR to be WoW, LotRO or some such, it's WAR.... But at least those games have more to do other than the main objective. WAR you RvR, everything else is left over, buggy or just plain doesn't work.The problem is that nothing will happen over night, in fact nothing will happen for a while because the game needs RvR to survive and rightfully that should be the primary focus. I'd like to hear about more things happening in WAR, more new stuff coming in but I can't see anything ahead of us now that makes me want to say "That's cool".

So in your downtime, when scenarios and RvR have become a chore/grind more than something what do you do?

Monday, 6 December 2010

The slightly more selfish Mmmmm Christmaaaaagh List

So in my previous post I had a Christmas List for WAR, once which was for the benefit of everyone. Sadly I forgot about adding Crafting to the mix as I think this is a horribly under looked part of the game by Mythic and deserves a lot more attention so I wish I'd remembered about it.

So what about a more personal list which to be brutally honest is much more selfish over what I'd love to see for my own benefit rather than the games.As per the previous one, this is not in any particular order.

1. Wot ever 'appened to our CC?
A few patches back there was supposed to be a revamp of the tanks crowd control actions, this came in conjunction with staggers and more immunity timers. A lot of tanks believed they would receive new CC actions but this never came and the best CC in game (the stagger) was limited to two tanks, the chosen and the knight... Both of which come with an AoE stagger (and potentially a single target though can't remember right now). I waited patiently a few patches but have decided that either I and many other tanks didn't read it right or they never bothered with looking at the other tanks. Give the other tanks a stagger even if it's single target but having only one tank class on each side having staggers (and providing the best form of group buffs with auras) doesn't balance the desirability of those classes in a warband compared to other tanks.

2. Da Boss is Da Wurst!
I've posted about this a while back but the boss tree for Black Orcs is abysmal. It's a buffing/aoe tree which features such amazing buffs as a group armour buff (so long as they're in 20 feet) for a short duration which doesn't stack with other armour buffs which are better. WAAAAGH! is just out right crap now after the old AoE nerf and the other actions and tactics are mostly useless with the only decent part of this tree being Big Brawlin'. Fix plz.

3. Mechanic... Still.. Painful.. and... Clunky...
We're almost at the six month mark and as I predicted we'd see maybe one change and that'd be it.. The worst mechanic in the game which actually hinders your rather than helping you. NO player I have ever spoken with would swap mechanics. It's downright dreadful, still breaks in lag and is a constant source of frustration by the Black Orc and Swordmaster. If you have a class mechanic in game which makes players say "I don't want to play this class because of it" then you know you need to look at a new mechanic, not just putting sticky plasters over it.

4.Tyrant back piece...
Now that the older RvR gear is easier to come by due to reduced costs and easier access to the loot rolls isn't it about time that they applied this to the PvE gear? I'm still fuming over the whole "tough shit" policy given by Mythic over an honest accident when the wrong person ended up with the loot and with the collapse of my VL group and lack of time in the evenings now it looks like I will never end up back there to find it, how about making players able to buy the cloaks for the masks and some scarabs? How many people still really goto VL other than for the glyph sets and after over 20 runs I still don't have the back piece... Isn't it a little bit unfair? How about adding in the same for Lost Vale and the city dungeons? Give tokens that drop off the bosses that when saved up will let you buy the pieces instead of relying on the archaic random roll mechanic for one class.

5. Remove renown ticks from resource carriers.
Hate to say it as I take full benefit right now and it's a long, long road to 100 but it's not exactly fair that a load of players can sit just outside the warcamp but still within range of the guards, go AFK and leech renown while contributing as a player in the lake so your side either doesn't get AAO or because there's mass numbers of AFK'ers then your realm gives the other side AAO. Really makes no sense. Last night in Praag for a couple of hours we seen piles of destro sitting idle just outside the warcamp as we struggled against more numbers in the lakes but they had AAO so we were getting zerged by more people fighting but they got the bonus of having less numbers... Work that one out...

Anyway that's my five right now and I could probably go off on a rant about others but really it's not productive, I like to try and offer a fix where I can but it'd be nice to see if other people also feel the same way for a few of these items...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mmmmm Christmas List

Well the end of the year creeps closer and so Christmas is just around the corner for most of us, so what better time than to put out my Warhammer Online christmas list much as I did last year. Now to make it a bit more constructive I've gone for fairly neutral things that would benefit people in Warhammer, not just me personally. It's in no particular order but I limited it to five of them. So without further ado...



1. Weather Effects
I'm still a huge fan of weather in a game, it brings a world alive and adds variety to a bland landscape. It's odd that the Marshes of Madness has the exact same weather as Eataine. Yes there's a couple of zones with snowflakes falling, but that's the generic snow zones you get in MMO's. Give us rain through Praag, howling gales through Kadrin Valley and fog and damp in the mentioned Marshes of Madness. It doesn't have to be forced onto everyone, give us the option for weather but I still hold out for the day where the world feels alive and not trapped in a glass jar.

2. New RvR lakes
For two years we've been battling through the same 9 zones with the same look, the same places to 'hide' and the same bits of pathway to get stuck on inexplicably. There's four tier 4 zones unused, commonly known as the side zones, allowing some sort of zone capture mechanic could be nice, perhaps once the middle zone is captured it unlocks one of the others in the pairing randomly instead of the same ones each time. It's also be nice to visit some of the old RvR lakes for T4 battles. I liked Barak Varr in particular, maybe it's just good memories of battles there but I really liked the style and theme of it, kept the place interesting. Maybe we could get a special T4 version one day, just lock the warcamps so players can't get out to an empty zone and leave the only exit a portal back to IC/Alt or into the lake. T4 players only of course.

3. Mix up the scenarios
We've had the same ones repeated a lot and I think it's time to mix them up. When they first came out people thought we'd say the vast majority if not all the other scenarios pop up that didn't make the cut in the weekend warfront.. I think we've seen 4 not including the special ones and I know a lot of folks that don't queue for certain scenarios (Temple of Isha in particular) due to the length of time they can take even when dominating the opposition. Mythic also still need to look at guard ranges as some are very unbalanced in regards to aggro ranges. Praag seems the worst for this as I've seen Order within a few feet of the guards and not get touched where I've been a fair distance and still gotten whacked (and not because someone else pulled). Anyway Mythic.. Revisit what's there and bring back some others that never got a chance to come back. While going through them though, I'd also like to make a mechanic in scenarios to avoid one side spawn camping the utter hell out of the other one and ignoring the entire point of the scen (like capturing the flag) just to grind out renown. A quick win should benefit as much as a 15 minute grind on pugs.

4. Matchmaking in Scenarios
Cross server, visible ranking system and scenario only gear... It's a lot to ask but I am confident this would kick interest back into WAR for a lot of people. Allow servers to fight against other servers with a global and server ranking system, setup teams (small cost of course) and allow 6 players to register for a team, you can either queue for ranked scenarios against other teams from other servers in a 6v6 battle, or queue for general scenarios using a matchmaking system. The arena style (lets not mess around pretending it's anything else) would allow players to earn tokens for scenario only gear, it has unique looks so can be used in the appearance system but will not provide bonuses unless you're in a scenario to prevent the teams dominating ORvR and to keep the gear level from going crazy. It'd be a paid booster expansion but I bet a very popular one.

5. Re-itemisation
It's a lot of work, but there's a LOT of gear out there with dreadful or pointless stats on them. I think one of the early Black Orc chests you can pickup has more willpower on it than anything else if I remember rightly. Now it'll take forever to get through each quest and influence reward but I think they can start off with tier 4 sets. With the new establishment of offensive and defensive sets and each T4 set having a PvE equivalent (annihilator and ruin, sentinel and conqueror, invader and dark promise, warlord and (almost) tyrant) I think going back and itemizing the sets so that RvR could drop defensive sets and PvE offensive versions. Balance them out amongst all classes better and you then have a more comfortable level of gear progression and options for all classes.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Lonely Borc Club

No posts this week of which I'm sorry for that. I was sitting trying to think and motivate myself to write something but it's been a fairly  hectic week at work and I really just wanted to chill for the weekend. I think one of the problems is that a lot of friends have now left the game and although the guild is still going strong and potentially is as strong as ever when people you have levelled up with, been through the first city dungeons all the way to killing colossus decide that WAR is no longer for them then the drive you have drops as well.

I'm still RR80 as well and know that once I hit RR81 the real grind starts and I'm really not looking forward to it with the more limited time I have now. I've been into two Skaven instances, both of which was double the number of Order to Destruction so it was pointless trying anything, normally had there been a group of us then we would have given it a shot but on my own, I won't bother. Heck, even on Friday night I sat down with a few beers to get something going and ended up just pugging EC for most of the night till I got so bored of it I just had to log out, that was also because there wasn't a lot of guildies on due to a RL meet up, but we used to get a good group going on a Friday night which was always a laugh, though with them now experiencing a cataclysm I think I can pretty much wipe out those nights as well now.

It always amazes me that really for a lot of people in a game it's the community which makes it for them, not the game itself. If you find yourself with a good bunch of people that you get on well with and can have a laugh and chat with then it makes even the buggiest game a lot more enjoyable. To be honest there's plenty of folks in the guild I can group with (although our healers have disappeared so balanced groups are a bit tricky outwith warband nights), so again some of that comes down to me though I guess being used to playing with set people and knowing exactly what each other does without even needing to speak on vent or TS has spoiled me.

There's also a bit of frustration right now with TTK. I loved being a huge mountain but now I realised that quite simply I get ignored as it's not worth the time to try and kill a tank, meanwhile I'm sitting hitting on a WP that is completely ignoring me as I'm doing hardly any damage, my debuffs are on long durations and he's immune to silence most of the time due to other CC effects kicking in. So I literally feel fairly useless right now, however this is also due to my spec and setup so I won't get overly frustrated.

One of the things I have to admit I'm disappointed the most in is the scenario matchmaking system. It's either a hugely simplistic and basic mechanic or it's broken. Yesterday I ran 10 pugged EC's, 8 of them were against premade groups with high renown players. Now either there wasn't enough destro premades running (our guild had two at the time) or the matchmaking just looks at something such as Rank and Renown Rank to give you the rating and then tries to fit you in somewhere and if nothing is found around your RR then just chucks you into the first available instance, and for the record I think I lost all 10 of my first instances and was still getting premades against pugs so either those premades from the best guilds on the server with the best players were losing a lot to be ranked beside pugs or really it doesn't work very well within the confines of a single server. I would rather wait a little bit longer for a scenario pop and know I'd get a balanced fight than get instant pops where I know I wont get any renown or fun.

Which nicely leads me onto what I think could be a huge injection of OMG for WAR... One which I have been against for a long time but now believe it's needed for the game. A proper "arena" style system which uses queues for all servers in the game, with a visible rating system for your team. A currency/token system which rewards you gear that can only be used in the arenas (imagine skaven fighting pits where they reward you with warpstone fragments that can be used to purchase better gear, though if you go out to the world the warpstone loses it's power rendering the armour and weapons useless other than for appearance *hint hint*). To me right now that would be awesome, it would give premade groups something a lot better to aim for rather than farming pugs and hopefully would give pugs a bit of a break from being constantly farmed in scenarios for 15 minutes as the objectives are ignored.

Ach well, I'll get back into the swing of things for WAR, need to find some motivation again for it as all I see right now is a huge grind ahead of me.....

Monday, 22 November 2010

What a Week for WAR

It's been potentially the biggest week for Warhammer Online since launch and I've not posted a soddin' thing so apologies for that but life has been busy with the launch of a new project at work and weekend just seems to have conspired against me to sit down and get time to write. On the upside I have a few good ideas for filler posts which you should see each week now, at least it'll tide me on until the new year.

So what has this week brought us? Well the big news was the release of 1.4 which I have to admit was much smoother than anticipated so a big WAAAAGH to the Mythic team for putting the hours in to get it going and we also had a great Dev Q&A on uStream which was very well done as well, much preferred the laid back style and felt much more chatty and fun. I hope to see more of these soon, preferably on a Friday or Thursday when I don't have work the next day *hint hint*

Back onto 1.4 though, and yeah it launched well, smoother than expected but not without some concerns. The main one that I think everyone is talking about though is the speed of the campaign, it's actually going much faster than before, to the extent that I doubt we'll see a 5* city again until they adjust the amount of resources required/produced. Also there seems to be a campaign bug which lets you capture bo's and keeps even when the zone is locked and even the whole pairing which was really confusing.

The RR80-81 Renown increase is really sneaky as well, gives you an OMG LOTZ O' PURPLEZ ON MAH SCREEN!!! which gives you one heck of a rush to see a 20k scenario, the sudden drop to normality will hit soon at 81 though and then the real grind begins.

So what will yet come for WAR? Well we know 1.4.1 is a bug fix patch so I'm not holding out for anything exciting really, after that I'd really like to see a focus on balancing classes a bit more again. WP/DoK are still the apex healers without a shadow of a doubt, the others don't even come close, best heals and best survivability will trump anything sadly. I'd also like to see more care and thought into the other less viable careers but I'd prefer that other classes get nerfed down rather than buffed as continually buffing of classes will leave certain ones way far behind and less enjoyable to play. It's a fine line with balancing classes but I hope that Mythic open up discussions with players on how best to tackle the changes.

The Skaven themselves are offering an interesting option to go alongside a warband but we certainly would never get a player to change to one due to limited usefulness. Currently we've found the Gutter Runner to be the best due to the passive scouting he offers players in the area so there's no need to sacrifice a warband member for it. Being able to see a warband sneaking up on you has saved us and turned a rout into a victory a few times already. I would however like to see a counter spying mechanism so if you have a skaven 'switch off' his scouting by using an ability he can plant false information making other skaven unable to feed back as well.

There's interesting times ahead for WAR that's for sure, if this expansion has been a success and the players returning to try it out for free choose to stay then we're onto a winner for sure.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The other items in 1.4 that we'll see

Well by all accounts if you're a WAR player you know about the 1.4 release coming on Thursday and there has been a lot of noise over Doomflayer and Warpforged armour sets as well as the new scenario weapons for 81, 90 and 100 but what about between those ranks?

Well on the PTS last night with an organised guild 3groups (well as organised as we can get on a Friday night) we went out out to the lakes to test it out. I wont go into the detail, my feedback can be found in the dev discussion forum but I was happy to discover that decent loot drops for the in between portions of those ranks, the scary thing is that the RR80 greens are better (item v item) than sovereign, however they don't come with bonuses but it should be a good way to introduce new parts into your armour rather than waiting 10 ranks thankfully. Here's a couple of screenshots I grabbed of loot that dropped in RvR (and thankfully someone put some greens on the auction house). I didn't see any weapons drop but I'll come to that in a minute.

Thanquols Invasion Bag Loot
Now we know that gold bags on the second and third boss drop doomflayer and warpforged respectively however the green bags on boss one (there's no gold), blue from boss two and purple from boss three also have loot inside them, so lets take a look at the hidden shinies:

All these items seem to fit a very nice gap in the gear progression (everyone like progression!). The weapon is very nice as well, giving you an upgrade over the RR81 weapons but letting you save tokens for the Doomflayer ones. I'm not sure if armour drops in the blue bags or if weapons drop in the others but I'm sure someone will mention it or we'll get a better idea closer to the time. In the meantime of course, I'm sitting here wondering if I'll be running about in green items again for the first time in about 2 years