Monday, 30 March 2009

Da picture box o' Lokax #1

Was browsing through a load of old screenshots from WAR and figured I might as well post one up every week or so, sometimes it's nice just seeing what happens to other people and get an amusing chuckle from whatever happened in them.

This first picture I title... "Runnin' is fer Stunties"

Looking for an addon...

Anyone able to help here?

I'm looking for an addon that will let me see how many times I block an attack. Basically I'm wanting to run some extended tests on a mob, check to see how often I block, then reset it and try on another mob. Thought Tortals DPS thingy would do that but doesn't appear to. Anyone got any recommendations?

A look ahead.

Ah, a new week and my lazy 'Sunday' (I don't work Mondays \o/), so time to sit down with a freshly ground coffee (Mmmmm Hazelnut and Amaretto), make up some toast and think what WAR will bring this coming week.

Well with the PTS coming up at some point and no doubt the patch notes as well in the next day or two we'll see the inevitable "OMG IM QUITTING THIS GAME COZ I R NOT UBER ANYMORE!!!111111@@@ELEVENGOBLINS" quickly followed by the "OMG THEY R NOW UBER HOW CAN WE COMPARE TO THEM??!?!?!?!111@TWELVESQUIGS" and then finally the "OMG THEY HAVEN'T TOUCHED OUR CLASS, MYTHIC ARE TRYING TO GET US ALL TO QUIT!!!1111@@@THIRTEENGNOBLARS". What I think people will need to do is to sit back and take a deep breath before forming an opinion about any changes. This is 1.2.1, not 1.3 or 1.4, there will be no major ground breaking changes and as you should know in every MMO, that the power of classes will rise and fall like the tide. You may have been the uber class in 1.2, but it's time to suck it up and realise that in 1.2.1 you're not so good, or possibly you're better now. Who knows until it's truly live.

I'm going to promise myself not to look at the first Borc change I see and get annoyed (no really I won't), but to look at the picture as a whole and do my time on the European test server to check out changes and feedback where I can.

Hopefully the Inevitable City won't be under siege during our LV runs as that pretty much killed it due to the lag last week, we managed to make good headway and in a couple of hours got to second wing, final boss (tree guy) before we called it a night rather than pushing our luck.

I'll get on me thinking stone later on and come up with a proper article to post, until then keep smashing dem stunties!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

WCPI Blog o' da week.

And dis weeks blog o' da week is.. *orcy drumrolls (on the 'eads of stunties)*

Mommy Can I Play Warhammer?

A fantastic read of how a family enjoys Warhammer. There's no grief, no hassle, no crys of nerf or OP!!!

Just a fantastic family enjoying Warhammer as it should be. For fun and together.

Go check dem out.. Lokax orders it!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Of course Mythic.. You have to ruin a good rant...

By announcing that 1.2.1 is coming to the PTS...

Bar stewards!

Weekend Preview - v1.2.1 Patch

Combat Responsiveness Improvements
– This subject has been an object of much discussion, both internally at Mythic, and externally among the community over the past few months and the team has been focusing especially heavily on this issue over the past few weeks. The result is that we have made a number of important improvements to this aspect of the game. In V1.2.1, casting times have become more accurate under normal play conditions, and players should no longer see a significant “stretch” or “pause” when casting spells while playing in “normal” conditions. We have also changed the UI display so increments of ½ second will be shown to give the player a more accurate and correct representation of time, and in high-lag situations, there will be a slight pause after the bar has filled up instead of the current “stretching” system. We have also made improvements to the animations and special effects-systems, which will result in better transitions especially when players are “chain-casting.”
Yeah, but will it fix "Your target is out of range" when you're in a laggy area for the melee classes? All I see is that you're attempting to fix the spell casters... Great for them.. Even worse for melee

Keep Upgrade System
– Our new Keep Upgrade system allows guilds that own a Keep to increase the Keep’s utility and defensive capabilities in a number of ways which we will talk about in a ton of detail later today. Upgrades need to be paid for, of course, through a maintenance fee, and upgrades will decay over time if maintenance fees aren’t paid. We will have a Keep Upgrade Interface to help the guild track the status of its Keep and associated upgrades. And for those guilds that take and hold a Keep until the zone is taken, a special reward awaits.
Great in theory... But honestly, with the way zone dominance works, why waste time and effort in paying for a keep to be upgraded when 3 people can just take it down and the zone at 3am? I'll wait until I see the full notes about this...

General UI Improvements
– We have made a number of improvements to the UI, including a major overhaul of the Guild Window that includes making it larger, adding more tabs and even more useful information. We have also made changes to the User Settings window to make it easier to use.
Cool, that's all good.

RvR Zone Control Rewards
- We have made a number of improvements to reward players receive for capturing an entire zone as opposed to individual Objective and Keep captures. Battlefield Objectives will also buff players in the zone, and the players who have captured a Keep or Battlefield Objective will also see a doubling in the amount of Renown gained when the zone is captured.
So in order to keep balance and prevent one side continually dominating the other you're going to reward the dominating sides with more loot and renown boosts making the gap widen? Err.. what the hell?

The Battle for the Gates of Ekrund Expands!
– We have added a special 6-on-6 version of the Gates of Ekrund for players between the Ranks of 19-24. This will help players at these Ranks gain experience faster while the team continues to work on other improvements to the experience-gain pace for those Ranks. Of course, this new Scenario “Broken Gates of Ekrund” is also accompanied by its own quest.
Is it just me or am I one of the only ones that finds the levelling pace was actually fine before all the XP boosts? It's meant to feel like an achievement, something you've earned to get to 40 and not just something to hand out.

Beyond the Sands Live Event
– It’s time for another Live Event, and the rise of the Tomb Kings is getting closer by the minute!
Bets on a title, trophy and a random piece of equipment for the rewards?

Lots of Bug Fixes
– While nowhere near the size of the main 1.2 patch, the team still found time to crush a bunch of bugs while working on the rest of 1.2 and the upcoming 1.3.
All good! \o/

Return to Nordenwatch Weekend Event
– We will also be holding a special Nordenwatch-themed weekend event.
I was going to post an idea about introducing a random tier1 - tier3 scenario into tier4 for each weekend so looks like this could be something similar

And More!
– Lots more features, career balancing, and improvements to the game are on their way. More details about this next week
Nerfs or Buffs... Class Balances or Class Overpowering. Will the AoE classes remain top of the pile for DPS and melee healers remain top for the healing classes or will there be a shift in power to make another class dramatically unbalanced.... Stay tuned!

Speedbumps on the way to the daily IC trashing.

+++ Warning, frustrated rant ahead +++

Well was idling in IC, bored as guild is normally quiet on a Friday night (I work on Saturdays) and I noticed that Fell Landing was under attack (it had literally started) so I decided to pop off an at least try and get some renown.

I got there as the timer reached 56 minutes left. The inner door was at 80%... what the hell? Ah well, might as well try and repair it.. Oh I can't.. it's been stealth nerfed so you can't repair doors. Ah well, lets see who else is here defending.. Mmmm.. I count thirty or so (one full warband and we had a warband of 6).

We got steamrolled.. Well rain of fired within seconds of the cardboard doors that can't be repaired more than twice every minute being sneezed at and falling over.

What is the actual roll of a tank these days in RvR?

We are no longer roadblocks but speedbumps, and soon we'll be a speedbump with a road around it when they add multiple paths into the lord room.

Our resists have been nerfed so we are fodder for the AoE caster face rolling (well rather face smash ontp keyboard for all the ability it takes. You don't even need to roll).


We can't taunt pets to attack us.

If it's not AoE it's disable/knockback/knockdown or anything else to make us unusable.. Normally in AoE stacks as well rather than single target, you know.... Because if it's AoE it's better or something.

Ah *sigh* I dunno... I just feel like Mythic are quick to nerf minority classes but cannot get the balls together to acually get a hot fix out there to prevent the abuse of certain skills made by the popular classes. Hey Mythic.. if the hotfix is too much, you can still adjust. Combined with wanting to make it easier to assault keeps and forts and you wonder why even bother trying to defend if your on a server which is dominated by one side.

Well, since that's IC under attack, I may as well log off play Empire: Total War

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Mmmmm Gud - review

Well since my last post was a fairly negative one (born out of a night of sheer frustration) I've decided to sit down with my Mmmmm Gud list and think of what I enjoy in WAR and what makes me want to log in (or not log out)

1) Small scale RvR
Wot? Hang 'on... Last time you loved mass scale RvR... True, but I'm starting to appreciate the smaller scale RvR, whether it's in scenarios or small war bands. The first crucial part is that it's on a much more personal level. You don't get hopelessly zerged constantly, you can pick and choose your fights a lot more. Smaller armies are much more manoeuvrable and WILLING to do more than renown farm. They can escape a lot quicker or strike a lot faster. We've been running alliance war bands recently and just having less than 20 folks in it and you can do more than a war band and a half. Communication is so much better, people help and single target more. Yeah, things still bugger up, but you're with a small group of friends so it's more fun.

Shame when I'm out solo most Order run from me when they're below 1/3rd health *grumblez*

2) The maturing community
As the game matures the community starts to pull together, you start to trust your guild mates more, names are recognised you get whispers from people saying "Hey, love your blog!" (no really.. I've had one.. epic win!). Once you start to get used to your guild and the people you share the game with it starts to feel a lot more comfortable in the game. Logging in to share your time with a great bunch of people and wonderful friends can make a dull day or game a lot more fun. Spend some time chatting with your guild mates and do more events with them, whether it's ORvR, scenarios or grinding. It helps to bring the community together which helps you and the game in the long run.

3) Fixes are coming.... 'onest guv'
We're still waiting on details and it might be almost a month since 1.2 was released with still unbalanced classes and abilities but the fixes and bug squishes WILL come, just for every day Mythic doesn't release details it's another day that someone will get pissed off with a broken aspect and quit.

4) Easy PQ's
I still enjoy going round these and finding new ones or fun ones. I stumbled into a quick and fast Tier 4 PQ the other day and ended up grinding a bucket load of gold and greens from it without realising. Go out and explore them, find some fun ones and see how they progress, follow the little stories they give, they can be fun wee reads (and even better, take your guildies and friends to the harder ones).

5) Updated RvR Influence system.
I am eagerly awaiting more news on this, many people already go out and use the tier 4 armour sets so by the time they get full influence the gear is pretty much redundant, would be nice to either have a themed set to collect every three months which would be usable in all instances barring the cities or have some way to upgrade them by spending your gathered influence.

So that ends a quick Mmmmm Gud for today. Sit down and give me your five things you enjoy about WAR right now, you don't need a huge spiel o' pish about them, but lets see what you all think...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

All quiet on the Mythic front.

It's been fairly quiet from the lads and lasses over in Virginia and you wonder what's going on behind closed doors. Paul Barnett is noticeably silent. Mark Jacobs pops up every now and then to say "This is coming soon! (tm)" and the odd dev makes an appearance on the Oboards to give a response of very little substance. No news is good news they say, but in an MMO it's concerning.

Class imbalances are worse than they were upon release. End game is still horribly broken and bugged. Lag has pretty much killed our servers evening game play, we can't even do LV these days since IC is constantly under siege and the lag from that gives us +6 second cast timers on everything. The campaign is now dictated by the side which has the most people that can play in off peak times due to the dominance system. Apathy has set in with many players, I checked the number of players defending IC last night.. Order 301, Destro 146. Tonight was Order 273, Destro 110.

Do Mythic have a plan, or are they currently scrabbling around thinking "WTF do we do?". They can't respond to issues quick enough and severely lack in communicating to the players what they will be doing to resolve the worries and problems the players have with WAR. Can Mythic afford to let the game break apart through not being able to react quick enough. With WoW's 3. 1 patch, a new raid instance and class re-evaluations coming in a week or two, can WAR still hold onto people who are starting to feel jaded with the game in its current state.

Mythic. You NEED to get out there and start saying "This is where we are, this is what we know is not working and THIS is how we aim to fix it".

I really enjoy so much of this game, but still so much makes me able to switch the game off without a good thought. I tend to log off now thinking "That's pi**ed me off" rather than "That was cool". I WANT to keep playing this game, you're not making it easy to enjoy it though Mythic.

Speak to us.

Monday, 23 March 2009

WAR Europes story contest

Over on the WAR Europe forums there's a contest to win a Skaven cloak for some fan fiction. You're given a paragraph from various pairings and you finish the story off. This is the opening paragraph for the Greenskin story...

"The strangely attired gang of Orcs bulled through the wood toward the lonely Dwarf tavern. Gragnak ‘Eadsplitter, greenest, meanest and biggest of the warband sniffed the air, listened to the rumbling chatter of the boyz to his back and snorted in disgust. He wasn’t just stronger, he was smarter too and much as he wanted a good dust up with the stunties this was a chance to prove his cunning to da Warboss.
“Oi!” He roared twisting to plant his Choppa into the forehead of the bemused Orc behind him. “Keep yer gobs shut, dem Stunties will know we be coming.”
Reaching up the unlucky Greenskin wrapped dirty stained fingers around the weapon embedded in his thick skull and with a quizzical raise of its beady eyes fell forward. Gragnak retrieved the cleaver with a brutal yank before he’d even hit the ground.
“Listen up! Dem stunties won’t know we be Orcy until we’re well inside. I ‘eard off Gagna, an ‘e ‘eard it off Bugrag dat we done dis trick wid Stunty beards right? Well dat worked so fink wot we’ll do wid dese.” The mammoth Greenskin strode out of the tree line and toward the Tavern door.
Stumbling forward in his unfamiliar garb Gragnak slammed the door open, adjusted his wig and stepped inside.
“Ahhh,” came a voice behind, “dats why we needed da skirts.”"

And this is how I finished the story... *Clicky*

On my command, unleash waaaaaghhh!

You know, I was trying to find a nice trailer or some sort of cinematic clip on YouTube with some siege warfare on a castle but really couldn't find anything, but never mind, all it takes is a bit of thinking to get in the mood.

So sieges or keeps and forts. Staring at the enemy as the ram goes up, oil boils and is poured onto the defenders as they burn and scream (well OK, burn). The cannons and ballistas are built up, ready to rain untold destruction on the defenders, except they don't. How pathetic are the siege weapons in WAR? Seriously, anytime a cannon hits me I might fall over and get a tickle from the 200 damage I take but that's it.

There's no fear in standing in the range of siege weapons other than the boiling oil over a keep door (and even that's not a huge worry), it's the bloody AoE stacking that defends keeps and forts. There's a lot of untapped potential in the siege weapons and possibly a few balance fixes at the same time. So lets look at the two main weak points for siege weaponry in WAR.

It's crap. Honestly, absolutely pathetic. There is NO point in sitting with a catapult, flinging rocks at the enemy when the damage is so pointless it does nothing more than a scratch.

Righto, so I have the inclination to setup some siege equipment since as a tank I'm pretty much limited in my siege taking abilities (apparently a ram isn't a siege weapon anymore either...). So out of boredom I set one up to tickle a few defenders on the walls. Except they're out of range.. Every single person on the walls is out of range of a giant bow and arrow, unless you happen to be standing on one corner of the walls, which is miles away from the action. Waste of time, money and effort.

So how would I go about making the art of siege more interesting, while at the same time discovering a cure for world poverty and possibly making some toast at the same time?

I'd leave the existing siege weapons as they are.

Wot? You gone off yer noggin dere Lokax?

Nearly, but not quite.

Instead we add a new trade skill to the game Siege craft (nicked the name from DAoC). Siege crafters would be able to make improved versions of the weapons which would increase the range, damage, give unique looks and also give special siege weapons for each faction.

Gathering profession
The skill would be linked to Cultivating and Salvaging. from cultivating you can grow trees that once harvested would provide wood, from Salvaging you would be able to refine items to get metal (in addition to your normal goodies). The higher types of siege weapons would require higher levels of wood and metal.

Using Siege craft on the field of battle
I don't think any profession should be chucked on an alt and left to rot while you send mats back and forth, I like the idea of each profession having a place on the battlefield. So what can you do to get people to take Siege craft on mains? One simple way, and one more complicated but involving. The first is to grant a straight range and damage bonus for a siege craft using a siege weapon. +5% damage and +10% range bonus (for rams, +2% damage bonus for each siege crafter using it). The second one would be to make Siege crafters the only ones to 'activate' the siege pads on the ground (keep the oil and ram pads active for anyone). A siege crafter would need to right click on the pad to activate it to allow people to build on them (imagine it as clearing away the ground and setting it ready for a siege engine). Add more pads to the area around keeps and even a few inside them (requires higher levels of skill to activate a pad in the higher tiers and forts)

Da weapons!
Now the fun bit. Each type of weapon you can buy from the Quartermaster would have an improved crafting version which as said, does significantly more damage and has a much larger range, one which will make any tower defenders think twice about showing face on the walls rather than standing there immune to everything. Of course, allow siege weapons to be used on the doors (though increase the damage that doors can take) . Rams can be upgraded to say 6 man versions, doing more damage and giving a buff to everyone who uses it mitigating incoming damage by 50% (a concerted effort should still break down people, but you're mean to to be hidden under the canopy really, even if your character is at the side on the screen). Of course, give oil a larger area of affect, longer lasting burns and possibly up the damage a bit. Make them meaner, siege weapons should make people scared when they see 10 cannons appear in front of the keep. Remember, siege weapons are on both sides, so no one side would have an advantage.

New weapons
OK, little fun idea. I LOVE the Troll boulder thrower it just feels so damned orcy it's great. So how would you be able to add this into the game on a permanent basis?

Simple really ('onest guv). Add a special BoP seed for cultivators (Troll Fungus - da trollz luv it), upon growing it, they can harvest it and give the fungus to a siege crafter. Adding this as a 'special ingredient' in the siege crafting window would turn the weapon into a Troll boulder thrower (in affect, you've promised the troll more nibbly bits if he lobs more rocks at da stunties). This theme can be repeated for the other races. For example, poison/acid throwers for the Dark Elves (special apothecary potion), Demon Forged cannons for Chaos (uses a special salvaged part). And the same for Order (Ogre mercenary with the cannon on his arm for Empire with shinies from salvaging) , special oil from apothecary for the Goblin hewers for Dwarves and you could give the high elves some sort branch from cultivating to make a nasty bolt thrower (I didn't think that idea through entirely did I....)

In game effects
OK, so how would this change the game as it stands? My immediate thought is that it would address the AoE for the initial taking of forts and keeps. You wouldn't have everyone stacked in one place (the door) for them to be obliterated by mass AoE stacking, no need to change aoe damage that way or the mechanic. You can have siege weapons spread out, blasting the door from a distance and trying to pop off dangerous targets on the wall. The defenders can take out other siege weapons and players to keep healers aware and players from going afk while attacking. It gives melee classes something to do other than stare at the wall while the siege is going on, they can easily handle the war machines and feel as if they are contributing.

It opens a new possibility of the defenders sallying forth to take out a few siege weapons before retreating while under the cover of there own siege weapons from the keep. Gives a reason to push the attackers rather than just waiting for the inevitable final assault on the lord. Get out there and break down some of the nice shiny weapons they have to give them something to curse you for.

It spreads the field of battle out, rather than being focused on one part (the door), hopefully giving rise to more tactics than AoE spam and zerging the door (seriously, huge iron door getting broken by witch elves with flimsy little daggers...)

Other random ideas...
You could expand the idea to defending BO's. Add pads to them which can be used for palisades, pit traps (imagine charging into a BO, only to find yourself snared or rooted as you 'fall' into a pit trap), or blown back as you stand on a mine. Caltrops could be used to cause damage to any attackers getting nearby as well. Gives something to the BO anyway.


Bloody hell, that was a lot of writing, really not gone into too much detail since it's really only for fun and unless Mythic sends me an email I don't think I'll elaborate on it any further. It's all speculation on game balance etc as well, who knows what the true affect could be. I'm not a designer, nor will I ever claim to be but to me it's a fairly good idea though I am sure as with all ideas, the person who thinks it through doesn't always see each side.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

WCPI Blog o' da week.

A new addition to the Greenskin family (but not a new blog) is Cry Me a RvR (hur hur hur).

It's a great little read, lot of witty comments and enough to keep you entertained as you read through the scribbles :)

Friday, 20 March 2009


From the Grab Bag for this week.

Q. Why are Black Orcs not larger than Choppas?

A. Black Orcs and Choppas are intended to be the same size, just like every other race/career combo in WAR. That being said, while full-on Berserk Choppas are larger for game-play purposes, this is only to call them out as a very dangerous target that needs to be dealt with ASAP!

Lokax is offically a sad Orc now *grumbles and sulks*

Digesting the Dev Chat (Om nom nom nom)

I went into the dev chat expecting it to be unspectacular, you can't goto a chat expecting a million and one answers for a million and one questions, not to mention sneak peaks and previews. It's not going to happen. I've been following dev chats since the good ol' days (tm) of the Stratics House of Commons chats for Ultima Online and I knew what to expect.

Instead of reviewing each question I'll look at the ones that contain substance and something to get into.

[19:25:53] <@warhammeronline> Thahitia asked: I know you might not talk about classes, but are there any plans to give range dps some kinda cc, so melee will not instant kill range dps if they get close.
[19:25:53] <@warhammeronline> Nate_Mythic answers: More CC on ranged careers is always "dangerous" because of kiting concerns. In general, we try to balance CC at higher levels (i.e. realm as a whole). That being said, CC is one of those aspects of player combat which we're always monitoring for balance issues.
Wait, someone want's MORE crowd control in the game? Bugger that! Kiting and chain roots, snares etc must be abolished, well you shouldn't be forced to spend the majority of a fight with some form of crowd control to prevent player actions. Take a look at your class. In a 2 minute 1v1 fight, would you be able to keep crowd control on an opponent for more than 50% of the battle? If so then crowd control is over the top.

[19:28:50] <@warhammeronline> [EC]Steve asked: Why does Divine Assault and Rend Soul not get affected by a healing debuff what so ever
[19:28:50] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers: Divine Assault and Rend Soul are lifetaps as such the amount of healing generated by them are proporitionate to the damage dealt. This means you can reduce their healing by reducing offense, Str/WS debuffs, Damage Debuffs, Taunt Etc are all effective ways of reducing damage and in turn also reducing the effectiveness of these heals
I had to look up what those were, but they do seem like very sick abilities for melee healers, especially in skirmishes and just general survival. 350% of your damage? That's pretty nuts, even with debuffs and taunts that's till grabbing a huge, huge increase. No wonder it seems that WP's and DoK's (I assume) are incredibly difficult to kill even with multiple people attacking them. Must stress though, it SEEMs that way though...

[19:31:15] <@warhammeronline> Beves asked: Faultfinder the ability that allows you do to 10% more damage to keep doors is pretty useless, are you going to improve it?
[19:31:15] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers: Faultfinder as well as many of the other RvR seige specific abilities will be getting updated around the same time that the RvR team releases many of their oRvR improvments in future patches
Updated eh? Hmm, nerfed or buffed... I really don't like the idea of buffing damage done to doors. They're big huge iron gates or solid oak, not pieces of soggy cardboard. They already go down quick enough with a concentrated assault. They should bump up the door hitpoints, but put the focus on siege weapons doing more damage to the doors, rams should do the most but the ballistas and catapults should be able to damage doors as well, makes them actually semi useful and gives the defenders a reason to try to sally out to take down the siege weapons rather than tipping oil, waiting for the inevitables *Tip-splosh.....*

[19:33:38] <@warhammeronline> TfG|FiFa asked: hello, is it true that every 2h and dual wielded weapons have a 10% less chance of getting blocked/parried by the opponent? thx
[19:33:38] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers: Greatweapons (2HD) are harder to block, Dual Weild (2x 1HD) get a parry bonus on incoming attacks
I never knew that. Does explain why Witch Hunters parry a bucket load of my attacks and I can't block for shit against Swordmasters and White Lions....

[19:34:15] <@warhammeronline> Zeiden asked: Do you plan on implementing new ways of capturing a keep such as for example Choppa throwing catapults or breaking the walls instead of only the door or maybe moving Siege weapons?
[19:34:15] <@warhammeronline> Josh_Mythic answers: Maybe. :)
If anything it will be the third option, can't see the walls being breakable sadly, nor being able to launch Orcs (as cool as it would be). Just not really practical to design I guess. Need more effort on looking at siege weaponry though (still need to write down my ideas for it)

[19:36:41] <@warhammeronline> Mendoras asked: PvE in Tomb Kings: you stated out that it will be a little above LV. Will we see more challanging and intelligent PvE Encounters? In ToA (DAoC) we had some tactical encounters like ML9 Phoenix ... thats somtheing I miss in WAR. Or are there plans for Warband Encounter or large Open World Encounters like tge Dragons in DAoC?
[19:36:41] <@warhammeronline> Destin_Mythic answers: Thanks, I implemented the Phoenix encounter! The Land of the Dead (our Tomb Kings dungeon) does indeed offer some incredible encounters like you describe. In fact, the team working on this dungeon is the same team that built The Lost Vale, so you can expect The Land of the Dead to represent the next level of gameplay.
For those who don't know what ML9 Phoenix is, check out the video, it's not the best to look at, or work out what's going on, but it was a fun fight. Well I'm actually looking forward to the PvE element of Tomb Kings as well, as odd as it may be, it's also the PvE content which will help this game, despite it being RvR focussed. If you can lure the PvE'rs in, get them hooked to the RvR. Oh to have things such as the Glacier Giant going through the zones... (link1) (link2) (link3)

[19:38:54] <@warhammeronline> Helird asked: I would like to know what reasons you had to implement the current Wards system when it is obviously not the best. It is based entirely on luck and can be completely frustrating when items drop for classes not even present in the instance (I have been doing Lost Vale for 6 months now and only received 3 drops on my Zealot)
[19:38:54] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers: We are actively working on ways of improving the ward system so that it is less tied to loot and more through in game acheivments (beating content)
Attunement style would do me fine!

[19:45:38] <@warhammeronline> [F]Sauce asked: Hey, having seen that its not as simple as one might hope to achieve massive scale rvr, with server stability and class balance being some of the issues, do you plan on steering RvR to smaller skirmish fights or persisting with 'zerg vs zerg'?
[19:45:38] <@warhammeronline> JeffS_Mythic answers: We have a team of engineers constantly tweaking and optimizing our server and client code. We plan to cater to both smaller skirmishes (via scenarios and objective captures) while introducing new tactics for several warbands to work with to encourage them to spread around to capture zones. We'll be applying these ideas to the cities as well as we improve them.
Ah nice, I'm starting to appreciate small scale battles so much more now. Even running solo recently, but WHY does 95% of the enemy (and I am not being sarcastic) start running away the minute they are close to death. Just fight it out for Gorks sake, be an orc! But anyway, lets hope they can reduce the mass zergs this game is becoming.

[19:51:10] <@warhammeronline> Fed|Rhissa asked: AoE abilities currently seem to be a bit stronger than most players want them to be. Reading US boards it seems though only ground target AoEs (RoF, PoS) and associated tactics are going to be revamped. My personal experience is that also instant cast AoEs are to strong, yet they seem to be out of discussion. Are there any plans to change instant cast PB AoE spells along with GT AoE spells?
[19:51:10] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers: AoE damage is a concern for us and we will continue to work on balance adjustments, our first focus is fixing GTAOE in a way that eases up the current choke point issues without over nerfing the careers that use them. After which we will continue to watch AoE damage in general
You know, i don't think people really mind about the actual damage AoE does, it's more the fact you can place the target where the camera can see a spot, but not where the character can. Just fix it. Seriously. 'You. Cannot. See. There.'

[19:51:13] <@warhammeronline> kynoko asked: are we ever going to see arenas in WAR ?
[19:51:13] <@warhammeronline> Josh_Mythic answers: Definitely possible.
Gork no... No arenas in the WoW style. If you want to add in 6v6 style fights (which I'm all for), then add a zone, that 6v6 teams can queue for, upon entering a fight it places you and your opponents in an instance themed on the zone (maybe an out lying farm, a village or inside a city under siege). Small bands fighting over control and resources of a town, grants tokens to spend on special items which can only be used in the zone. Have a map which shows the victory points for the individual instances and which side 'controls' more of the region. Must expand on that idea...

[19:52:15] <@warhammeronline> Wiggletphyre asked: Are you going to implement the city's of the other 4 races in the near future?
[19:52:15] <@warhammeronline> Destin_Mythic answers: Not in the near future, no. For now we are focused on bug fixing, improving RvR, improving performance and stability, and testing / refining the Call to Arms live expansion.
Argh! You dirty, dirty apes! Give us greenskins our 'omes back. I don't want to be sharing it with the pink humies that smell bad... Bah.. guess my little hope goes out the window and into the drops now *grumbles*

[20:01:02] <@warhammeronline> kynoko asked: even if 200 people go to a frortress, and u have 20 tanks healing the door. how u suggest to smack the doors down ? it's impossible for us.
[20:01:02] <@warhammeronline> Agershowitz_Myt answers:
There is a hotfix due soon to help fix this issue it will only allow the door to be healed a certain number of times over a set duration by the Tank's Realm ability
Fanbloodytastic.. You can remove the ability for mass tanks to heal doors, but you can't remove the ability for mass AoE on a single spot, mass group healing, or mass shooting through the fecken walls. Oh bugger off, what are tanks supposed to add to a keep or fort now? We stand in the way and get the crap blown out of us. Last Fort fight I was in, I could have gone afk for all I done standing there just making myself an obstacle. Ah, but don't worry. They're looking to upgrade the keep abilites such as fault finding... But rest assured, they're nerfing the tank one.. Gee, thanks.

Well, that's all I'm going over for now, there was a lot more to it and a few things I haven't touched on, but they are mainly things I don't have a strong opinion on, well not enough to warrant spamming you with even more walls of text crits. So anything from the dev chat that you guys found good.. bad... or just.. meh?

Thursday, 19 March 2009

And with my bajillion gold pieces, I can buy Altdorf

OK, I'm a poor Orc I have to admit. Too much respeccing, flight paths and wipes and not enough actual earning money makes the bank balance look a little pale these days. I'm well enough off that I don't have to scrabble in the drops to find a shinie to sell to pay for a re spec (well not yet anyway) but if I don't actually occasionally grind then I find myself looking at a dipping balance.

But then apart from re specs and wipe bills what outgoing expenses do we need? Is there really a point in making money once you get your 15 gold to buy your mount at level 20? I know Mythic don't really want you worrying about gold when you can be out there smashing skulls and breaking bones but with the ever growing influx of gold into the economy (quite unlike real life really) any attempt in the future to at least balance the cash flow could be impossible.

Gold sink rewards are good (mmmmm) and gold sink punishments are bad (dat 'urtz!). Mythic wants to keep the game flowing without it being a grind so putting in a gold sink punishment such as repair bills is not really an option. So what do we have? Well naturally it leads to the gold sink rewards, but again you don't want it to become a grind to get better gear so a reward shouldn't give you an advantage over another player who is more casual or just spends his teef like a good Orc. So what could we spend our shinies on?

Weapon & Armour Models: Much as we can get rare heads in the dye slots, how about paying a bucket load of gold for very unique looking pieces of armour and weapons? Pay 150g for one, slap it in the special dye slot and it will change the model of your stick to a model of a a shiny, pointy stick. Keep the dyes unusable until rank 40 to avoid level 1's running around looking like the Emperor after a good buffing from, one of his little priests.

More mounts: Instead of a re-hue, how about an actual new model? Give Orcs a wolf or Cyboar, Dark Elves could get the dark mounts, High Elves unicorns and Dwarfs can get a donkey... Just something different to ride on would be nice, but I guess it helps the silhouette point that WAR had (you should be able to recognise the class from it's silhouette) if all classes generally have one mount.

Emotes: It might sound silly (and WAR is actually a silly game really, but good silly) but add a few more emotes but make you have to pay to learn them. Not just generic ones, but emotes that come with animation, sounds and.. uhmm. flashy lights and jingley bells. OK maybe not the lights and bells...

Bank Slots: Obvious one really, lets us buy, say six extra bank slots for a 100g or whatever, can never have enough crap taking up space in your bank.... Especially me..

Of course, there will always be the people who scream "ZOMG FIX XYZ CLASS THEY ARE OP AND I R NERFED!!!!!1111eleventyonezomgbbqlol", but a game cannot exist on fixing perceived imbalances and purely career changes. A successful game adds the little bits of content at the same time to give everyone something to benefit from (and after all WAR has a content team for live events etc).

Well that's me off to the WAR-Europe dev chat. Wonder how it will go... Determined to get my "Make black orcs da biggest again!" question in... Hur hur hur

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Cloaks - What a shame, what a waste

I've got three tome cloaks. The spring shawl, some undead scraggly one and the one with the screamer on it but they remain in my tome unlock items, a real shame as they are very nice and distinctive items, possibly more so than the trophys.

Once you reach level 16 and start finding cloaks around the lands I'd be impressed to see anyone still using them for non role-playing or posing reasons. The reason is simple, they have no use. The loot cloaks you can get, while fairly standard and plain looking can get your heraldry put over them or dyed specific colours, but more importantly. They have stats and bonuses which make a difference in your day to day playing.

That's the problem, so here's my solution (I'm very much a player who will offer a solution rather than just bitching about it).

Use the dye mechanism you get for the special heads (collectors, limited edition slayer and choppa etc) where you put the head in the special dye slot and it will change the face for you. Add this fuctionallity to the tome unlock cloaks where you can buy a cloak pattern instead of the cloak itself. Goto your local dye merchant, pop the pattern in and it will replace the old cloak model with the unlock one allowing you to enjoy your hard discovered cloaks and show them off no matter where you are.

Sounds straight forward enough to me, but no idea if there would be coding issues with it at all.

Either way, gimme my cloak made from stunty beards!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Urgh... 10% to go....

And I'll escape tier 4 for the joys of tier 1 again.

10% until I reach my renown rank target I set myself pre 1.2 and I'll hopefully get there tomorrow. Once that's done Lokax will be sticking with PvE and cultivation for a while I think.

You can only take so many zone crashes, suffer so much lag and watch yourself get rolled constantly by war bands as your tier 4 zones are captured during off peak hours leaving yourself staring at a screen of white (or black) coloured zones as "yet another fort is under attack". Fort defences lose its appeal and novelty factor because it happens so frequently now. Is the Dominance zone system to blame? Making it too easy to get to forts whereas before sides had to really work for a good day to push to a fort and couldn't send out the night shift to cap them all at 3am when the rest of the world sleeps. I'm hearing stories about servers that basically are all but empty in tier 4 for certain sides as the city gets destroyed daily as people can't defend the zones during the awkward hours.

Put it this way, I'll give it another MMO analogy. If you joined a guild with your max level character to raid instances and dungeons. Would you stay in them once you realised that every morning, while you were at work, they'd take there own level 40's out and do the instances themselves, leaving you with either going into the dungeon on your own to face overwhelming odds, or rolling a new character to join the lower instances. That's how it's starting to feel... Make an alt or just give up in sheer frustration at tier 4.

Or maybe everything is working as intended and I'm just needing to get used to being on the losing side for once in WAR?

10% to go....

The Red Coats are comi... Hang on.. The Forums are coming!

Well for us Old Worlders it's about time we get our forums, and to go with it we get a little contest to win either the Skaven Cloak (rat on your back) or the Choppa/Slayer unique heads.

Directly from GOA on the European site...

But that’s not all! We have more news for you! We will hold two contests during the launch of the Official Forums and you will be able to win exclusive items: the Skaven Cloak and a unique for the Slayer and Choppa. There are two ways to enter these contests:
Fiction Contest - Check the Roleplay boards of our forum and write your story there.
Guide Contest - Write your own personal guide to the topic you prefer (careers, general game play, modding your UI) and post it on our forum to inform your fellow allies and enemies.

Now to think of either story or a guide... or Both.. Hmmmms.. Where's me thinking rock gone.. Also there's also the dev chat coming up on Thursday which I'll be sure to be joining.
Dev chat
Talking about discussions, we have an important announcement for you: To celebrate 6 months of WAR and the launch of our forum we’ll be hosting a European IRC chat with the Developers from Mythic on the evening of Thursday 19th March. More info on this in the upcoming days so stay tuned!

Hope you all have a good week and what would you prefer if you had to choose? The heads or the cloak? Personally I'd really like the heads the cloak while very cool has one major drawback. It's a cloak, and my opinions about fancy cloaks will be revealed tomorrow (spoooky...)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Dat 'Urtz! - Review

And here we are Gud fans, it's time for another countdown of the five things that make Lokax go "Dat 'Urtz!" when he plays. There's been a few changes to this as I've been doing a bit more RvR this week, two items have dropped out, the LV Wipe runs (simply right now because N'kari was resettable for us finally) and terrain bugs (it'd be sixth) but it hasn't bothered me as much this week. This is now the aftermath of 1.2, so without further ado.. Why don't we take a look.

1) AOE Stacking
This has become a major focus point over the last week with small teams of engineers and primarily Bright Wizards (I'm assuming of course that Sorcs and Magi can do much the same) able to just obliterate warbands by stacking aoe on a single spot, most of the time without even being in sight of the enemy, simply hiding behind a wall and dropping it. I won't waste my time with a rant about it too much, I'll just advise you to check out the post over at Stunty Stomper regarding it. Thulf has said it better than I ever could.

2) Crowd Controlled out the game
I've actually taken to looking at my "Unstoppable" buff I get once I get CC'd (not when.. 'cause I will) and I think I've realised what one of the biggest issues with the crowd control system is. The Unstoppable buff takes affect the moment you are CC'd so if you are rooted for 10 seconds and it is not broken then you will only be 10 seconds away from another root or heavy CC. Now I might be wrong, I need to check it, but I think snaring a target is on a separate immunity timer (if it has one at all) so you could then be snared from a distance making it all but impossible for melee classes to get to you. It doesn't help we (black orcs) have one CC breaker in juggernaut which is on a 60 second cool down.
Solution: All classes CC immunity timers should start the second the crowd control is broken. Also Mythic, give us a proper counter to crowd control for ALL classes. At least there is a happy ending to the story, hopefully, according to the State Of The Game post: CC will be getting a look at "Our primary focus over the next few months will be the Crowd Control concerns and we will continue to investigate and fix issues we find with this type of ability. "

3) Being hurt through walls
Don't want to go over the same ground but it's probably worse now with AoE stacking through walls. Just fecken fix this crap Mythic, it's getting very close to the top of my list.
Solution: See last weeks Dat 'Urtz

4) (Please, no) More dots!
I'm all to familiar with DOTs being a former WoW Warlock, but the rate I seem to pickup DOTs in WAR is silly, I go near a couple of Bright Wizards or Engineers and I walk away with more DOT's on me than someone suffering from the measles. With weapon procs giving off dots and the nerf in resist effectiveness you can simply be dotted to death then knocked back/snared and there is absolutely bugger all you can do about it since there's very little way to remove any hex's debuffs or ailments that you are suffering from and those that do can only remove one on a long cool down.
Solution: Implement more core abilities for classes to remove DOTs, add a proper 'cure' potion for removing them or/and remove the dot affect from certain weapons so you you will not be covered in them. Though those classes that make use of DOTs the most MUST be given a buff in return for the nerf (probably direct damage).

5) The missing content
Still waiting on any news on our missing 2/3Rd's of our End Game. How long until a website or magazine picks up that 6 months down the line and WAR still hasn't added it's end game properly yet? C'mon guys, focus should be on adding the content that was removed before adding the stuff folks didn't ask for (not to say that Darkness Falls won't be good, but I'd rather have my cities there first)
Solution:Errr.. add them? Give us an update? There's at least some concept art of Eight Peaks floating around so they must have something still left of it before it was cut.

So that's my five thingies that are 'urting me right now in WAR. Wot's yours?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Waits jus' a minute. Us Black Orcs are smaller than dem Choppas?

It's been rumbling for a while now, but with the visual aspect of the Choppa not being the biggest Orc in the game (defeating the whole lore aspect of black orcs being the biggest, darkest and toughest greenskin) it's starting to wear a bit at us Black Orcs. There's at least two threads out there which haven't even had a dev response about something that was meant to be in the game but quietly got cut. Now that we have the choppas increasing in size, it's time for all of us Black Orcs to stand up and be counted.


Show support for the cause, and when the European forums come up I'll be putting the same issue in, as well as putting a feedback request in today. Anyone that supports us, please post on your appropriate thread and drop (just one) feedback to Mythic asking for this feature to be put in now we're the smallest Orc.

Bioware Social Discussion
Warhammer Alliance Post

WCPI Blog o' da week.

Recently discovered this blog Spearhead which is a very good read. Excellent layout, design and a lot of food for thought. Well writen and one I'll be reading for a long time.

Check it out:)

Will WARs darkness fail?

So I'm starting to get some reservations for the Tomb Kings version of Darkness falls.... Will it help the WAR experience or will it hurt it in the long run?

WAR is supposed to be an Open RvR game. The focus of it is to engage the enemy on the field of battle to capture zones and get to the cities to engage in a bit of looting and pillaging. Now I understand that the land of the dead will be a zone for capturing, so there will be the initial burst of activity an warfare for the capturing of the zone and once it's captured, then what?

Will the winning side go to into the dungeon and look for the new rewards and items (to make it worth the time, the rewards have to be good otherwise people will not bother), clearing out the last remains of the previous occupants if there's any about with big zergy warbands? Will the losing side just uproot and bugger off back to tier 4 and take the unprotected BO's, keeps and possibly forts since they'll be locked out until another assault on the zone can be made? In effect making tier 4 a pretty dead area for one side..

I honestly don't know, but it's just a worry I have that it will split the sides more and become more of a RvE game once a side has the tomb captured.

Still, there's a long time to go and no doubt there will be mechanics in place to encourage the continual warfare... Well I hope there is....

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Picking flowers on the field of battle

So there I was on Monday morning. Charging through Dragonwake, yelling Waaaaaaaaaaagh! and with the intentions of slaughter and carnage, when I realised how quiet, serene and picturesque it was. So i stopped off my boar, let him snuffle about and decided to pick a small flower... Den i crushed it under me stompas!

Why are so many of the T4 RvR lakes (I don't run any alts right now so can't remember the others) designed in such a way that they look like tranquil landscapes and not war zones? Praag is actually the only one that feels as if there is a war going on with raging fire and burnt out shells of homes with the occasional NPC in battle with another NPC to give a sense of a warfare. You can be running with a warband through an empty, desolate zone and it feels very fake. Certainly not adding to the sense that you've entered into a battle zone.

So what do I feel could be done to make the RvR lakes more of a battleground?

In my opinion, the best place to feel like there's a war going on is actually all the way back in Mount Bloodhorn at the Kron Komar PQ and camps. The ambient sounds of warfare add so much to the zone, hearing cannons blast, Orcs shouting. To see explosions and enemies dying with two sides engaged in constant warfare. It feels like you're on the front line about to charge in. Now I don't expect Mythic to fill the lakes with NPC's and explosions due to lag reasons but surely it might be possible to add a few in, certain spots in the lakes where you can have two sides of NPC's locked in eternal combat (make them invulnerable to players to avoid them being farmed). Even better, and I have no idea if this would be possible, but have a system in place that plays louder and more frequent ambient warfare sounds (explosions, sounds of steel on steel, shouts and death cries etc) the more action there is in a lake, make it feel like you can hear the battle from a mile away. There's no need for it to get louder as you get closer, but make it feel as if you're stepping into a battle zone and not a landscape painting.

Scar the landscape some more with the marks of war. Sorry a keep with a bit bashed out the wall while the rest of the landscape around it looks like a summer field such as we have just now doesn't count. Craters with corpses, more ruined buildings and items around battlefield objectives (I always remember Nordenwatch at the Destruction starting flag with the fishing huts, being able to run around and feel as if you're in a small camp). The BO's still stick out like a sore thumb, something randomly placed. spice them up with war and blood!

Now I'm not saying that the whole zones must be littered with corpses and craters, or explosions and elves but a bit of world re-design would go long way to make it feel like WAR!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Mmmmm Gud - review

Well time to appraise what I've been enjoying in WAR this last week or so. Things won't always change, there will be certain aspects I always enjoy so will always remain in the list, but I'll try to put a fresh perspective on them so as to avoid it being a copy/paste job each week.

1) Cultivation
I'm really enjoying this now. Prior to 1.2 I had a lowbie alt with 200 Cultivation (levelled without any repeatable quest seeds) but once he got to 200 I pretty much stopped doing anything with it due to lacking the time to invest in making sense of all my seeds. Now with the system streamlined it's much more accessible, you glace at your bags to see what you get from a special moment (would be great to get more than dye and an improved seed though, maybe a one shot special seed or spore? to give you a random effect, doesn't have to be a bonus to stats or skills, maybe something to make you glow, change your appearance or whatever). I've just been spending time in the game planting away even though I'm at 200, just chatting and making posts for the blog. Mmmmmm gud!

2) More fixes in 1.2.1
Nothing mentioned yet over than another 400 fixes. Thumbs up, never say no to getting the game smoothed out!

3) Easy PQ's
OK, really enjoying this as well, go into a t4 area and just smash some stunties over and over with influence, the chance of seeds (see Cultivation above). Being able to feel like I can read a story, while putting the boot in AND getting rewarded for it, either on my own or with a great friend while chatting away over Vent or spamming each other. Great on your own, better with a mate! Think I'll list my T4 favourite easy PQ's and see how they compare to others.

4) Continual open RvR in the lakes
Only happened once this week but still enjoy seeing ranks battle each other, shame it's not happening as often as I'd like it. There needs to be more incentive for armies to meet each other on the battlefield and not just zone hop once they have finished a clash. Increasing the renown for a pitch battle over time instead of making it slow down to single points as people die. hmm, I sense another post idea coming up.... *thinkz*

5) Exploring!
This week I found one of the new lairs and discovered a couple more tome unlocks for history and lore. Do yourself a favour and just read some of them. One of my favourites will become a basis of another post at some point. Just take a wander through a zone you didn't spend much time in... Your Choppa or Slayer will still be there when you get back. There's no rush...

So that was my top five things I've been enjoying or am looking forward to in WAR this week. WAR's Darkness Falls (I always forget what it's called) has dropped out the list for a reason, again this will be the basis for a post. Is it really going to be a good addition to WAR?

What's your top five?

Da Choppaz are comin'

An' dey don't care who dey fites!

Love this CGI piece from the Warhammer RTS games.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Adopt a little git

Well maybe not adopt one. You don't know where the grubby little blighters been, but help one.

Today I was grinding up seed levels to get a batch of 200 greens for generic uses and rather than staring at the grim Inevitable City I decided to take a fond reminder of tier 1. So Off I went to Mount Bloodhorn to find a vendor and just relax while I messed around getting batches of seeds up to 200.

I had forgotten that over here in Europe we finally had trial accounts and so was quite happy to see lots of new players running around and asking questions, talking about how much they enjoyed the game. That fresh to the game enjoyment.

I ended up spending a good portion of the time just talking to people in the region channel, answering questions and just explaining things. Many other people in the area with experience were doing the same. There was no "lol u nub" or sarcastic answers, everyone was being genuinely nice and helpful to our new little gits trying the game out.

Then everyones connection to the servers was lost for two hours. Thanks GOA.

So do your game a favour. Spend 30 minutes this week in a tier 1 zone, just exploring for unlocks, doing old quests or whatever, and just be helpful to all the little gits asking questions and looking for advice. It doesn't hurt to be nice to the people who can help keep the game alive. The more people that play, the better for everyone.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Depth in WAR

So today got me thinking... How deep a game is WAR truly? In the long run, how much longer will this game hold peoples attention?

I come from an Ultima Online background, possibly the most deep MMORPG in history (it does have well over 10 years of game as well), but just the fact that there is a whole crafting system, PvP, exploration, player economy and social interaction sets it apart from the many other MMO's out there. You can literally log into UO and do anything.

Now my time in UO has long past, but my yearning to be able to just escape from the niche of a game still remains. WAR IS a PvP based game, the whole point in it is to battle one another, however you cannot expect people to always want to do this and at least you have public quests and... urm... well that's about it really. Or is it? I'll look at a few things we can do in WAR when the RvR grind gets boring or you just want a lazy day chatting to guild mates and doing random stuff.

The Tome of Knowledge
The tome of knowledge is a great idea for improving depth and giving us something to chase after, however sometimes it's more of a long slog just trailing through newbie zones looking for something (you don't know what) to give you.. well you're not sure. Now there's addons to help you discover things but I'm never a fan of 'cheat sheet' style addons to dumb down an aspect of a game. However being able to get a 'hint' ("Discover a specific item in Saphery" doesn't really cut it) by following items and quests in game as to where to get unlocks would be great.

Fantastic idea, love the idea of mini bosses just waiting to be found, but it's so disappointing to setup guild runs to go off and find some only to discover that every single one you visit has been killed and it could be 12+ hours before they respawn. Drop that respawn timer on lairs, add a few more in but more importantly, give us a reward that would be useful for anyone for killing them. Keep the basic little bits of loot, they're good, help many players and some are still useful once you're in the end game gear, but how about adding a single item that drops from each boss. Once used, it unlocks a trophy for you. Oh to have Stinkfang the Vomitous' head on my shoulders, a necromancers book bound to my belt or the claw marks of a dragon embedded into my armour to show off with. The little things help to make great ideas more appealing to the mass market.

There's just something lacking in WAR here. I know one of the main design points was not to make it Warhammer: Age of Needlework, and I agree with this, but we need more crafting to the game to give us something to do in down times, and also to give the achiever and socialiser more to do. My personal favourite idea would be to add Siege Crafting into the game based a bit on DAoCs own siege craft. Have the basic siege weaponry weakened down a bit from the Warcamps, but allow players to craft siege weapons that are much more powerful (honestly, who is wary of any siege weapons other than oil?). This is an idea I actually want to expand on and write about so I probably will get something down this week or so for it to explain further what I mean.

Ghah... Player vs. Environment... The bane of a PvP niche game. But it's what drive a lot of players to play an MMO. Everquest got good because of it's PvE aspect, as did WoW with it's raids and Ultima Online with its requirement to replenish stocks from monsters. For WAR to continue to exist and to gain more than 300,000 subscribers the game needs to appeal to those people who are bored of the raid grind in WoW but still have that itch for it. Going back to my last Dat 'Urtz I mentioned that the missing cities are making WAR miss out on content, get a focus on implementing the cities and you will have more PvE content for both sides to participate in, more loot, more stuff to do... You don't need to drag people from the RvR lakes, but you need to give those people who are bored of PvE in other games something to look at WAR for.. Six dungeons for each side doesn't cut it when two of them are for lower ranks. Get the cities in and get more PvE to show off.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Dat 'Urtz! - review

And finally.. welcome to the Dat 'urtz review for this week. It's been a long time coming but been stuck with work, 1.2 and Empire: Total War (sadly not as good as Medieval or Rome in my opinion) This was my initial list made before 1.2 and in all fairness it's probably best I wait a few more days before adding my 1.2 opinions in anyway ;)

As will be the usual, there's no point in bitching or moaning unless you can offer something constructive, so I'll at least try and offer a solution.

1) Crowd Controlled out the game
Sorry, Warhammer: Age of Crowd Control is still getting on my nerves. Snares, roots, knockdowns, disables, knock backs, silences and disrupts. That's a LOT of crowd control for a game which preached that it would be CC light. You can literally still be CC'd out a fight leaving yourself helpless. One of the most annoying aspects is the fact that the immunity timer still seems far too short and the knock back distances are still far too out of whack with certain classes being able to punt others for absolute miles with no way for the knock backed target to get back into combat before the KB cooldown is up.
Solution: I'd like to see all CC affects halved to see exactly how that performs. Remember tier 1 with little to no CC and how getting stuck in was fun? If not halved then a 50% increase to the immunity timer would help.

2) Being hurt through walls
So I'm standing beside a keep lord and I'm taking damage from turrets/demons and aoe from the floor below. These things magically shoot through floors and boil up through the cracks... No it's just lazy coding. It's happened on our server once before where basically the mass amount of turrets and aoe casting destroyed the defending healers and then destroyed the rest of the defenders who were stuck in combat. No sword was raised in anger or jibblie was kicked... Simply taken out by something which cannot see you... *Annoyed*.
Solution: It's something which probably isn't an easy fix but really needs to be looked at to polish the game to make it accessible for new players and not a lesson in frustration.

3) Lost Vale wipe runs
Ok, which dev thought it would be a good idea to spend just over seven minutes running from lost vale beach to N'kari (using short cuts). Seriously, Seven minutes wasted doing nothing apart from talking rubbish on vent and praying no-one gets dc'd or falls of a cliff and dies meaning someone has to start running from the beginning again. Keep in mind, this seven minutes isn't including loading zones or running from Averlorn to the boat, nor buffing up when at N'kari. For a game which again prided itself on being fast paced, why put a total time sink in to make it a brutally boring experience? The actual time it takes from dying to taking on N'Kari is well over 10 minutes of literally nothing... And that's not just for her/it/him/wtf, all the bosses are like that, one long, slog run....
Solution: You see those healers that spawn in LV (why do they heal exactly? there's a healer in the camps in Averlorn you run past....) allow them to teleport you to another spawned healer for example
"I can teleport you to the remains of:
The Dark Promise Beast
*click* ~teleport~ \o/ win!

4) Where's our cities?
Soooooo, we have our Guard and Knight, soon we'll have our Choppa and Slayer.. Now all we're missing is four out of the six cities. Two thirds of the end game is currently missing six months from release. The servers are being consolidated so there's plenty of people to make the cities look busy. Imagine the content that they could add when these cities are finally (if they ever will be). Six new dungeons for each side, loads of new quests and unlocks... THAT is content that should be added back before putting the new stuff in. You could have new armour sets as well, where your sentinel might focus on one tree your dwarf and greenskin set could focus on one other tree and point ear lands could focus on the third tree, you could actually have a set of armour which helps your characters spec!
Solution: Erm.. add them, or at least give us a bloody update on them, it's been nearly a year since they were cut with not a single word on them but yet they can talk about new dungeons and zones.. Give us our end game content back!

5) Bloody terrain...
Run, run, run, run, stuck... Move, stuck still, move a bit more, still stuck, backpedal and run around twig on the ground.... Run, run, run, jump over rocks, find self stuck between three rocks and have to book out. Run, run, run, get stuck on random corner of a building.. get annoyed and throw object at screen... Run, run, run down path which is at a slope and ends up making you actually take damage because the gradient is in such a way you 'fall' down it....
I have to admit, the glitchy and buggy terrain is one of these things that slowly niggles away at you and can make a game play session which is already frustrating due to bugs or glitches (like being CC'd and then blown up through a wall while in Lost Vale after a seven minute wipe run as all you want to do is use your book to get back to your Orcy home but you're stuck with the Inevitable Shitty).
Solution: I'm going to start reporting bugs for ever terrain piece I get stuck in, fall down while running down it or generally is designed in such a way that it pisses me off. Do the same...

Well that's this weeks urty things. More posts and random dribbles of brain fluid over the next few days now it's my weekend....