Thursday, 30 April 2009

And so, the winds of chaos have blown away.

So Mythic have apparently scrapped the Winds of Chaos 'fix' for laggy zones. If you haven't bothered to read up about it then don't worry. It basically came to... Too many people in zone = Random people get teleported to another zone.

Basically it was an utterly pants concept (learn from Ultima Online... They implemented the same when Trammel opened up and it wasn't popular then either, only it was called Telestorming) which deserved all the rage threads due to it being an absolutely pathetic idea to punish the players for the piss poor server performance. But hands up to Mythic and they all but admitted that yes.. It was a bad idea... And pulled it from the server that it was being tested on. Gz Mythic on listening. Negative Gz for actually thinking we'd be happy to see this implemented because of your fault.

So what could Mythic have done to prevent the lag and crash pits (we had a keep siege last week on Norn that crashed the server two or three times) that we have been suffering from. Well my immediate thought to the lag in the capital cities is "Well, aren't we really supposed to have a choice of which city we siege when the fortresses goes down?" But of course, we're still missing 2/3rds of the endgame with no sign that Mythic will implement it any time this year. Spreading the player base onto more zone servers would make sense as you could have a bunch of warbands attacking Altdorf and the others attacking the Elf city (forgotten name :( ), all these players would be on two different servers and not interfering with each other, instead we are cramming them onto one server which clearly can't take the load.

For fortresses you could have possibly split it into a couple of instances balanced over a couple of servers, but instead of it being a duplicate fort - which lets be honest, is just a glorified keep take - we could have two instances, one for building siege weapons and breaking down the walls into the keep and the other could be based on disrupting the enemy garrison/reinforcements (I'll leave the details to your imagination). In affect making them into large scenarios where the side that has the most points after an hour from the two will win the keep and the attackers can then assault the inner keep with minimal enemy defence or the defenders drive back the attackers resetting the campaign as it currently stands.

While having mass RvR is what the game is about is very clear that the game cannot handle this number of players in one zone. If you make new servers you risk spreading people about too thinly making it PvE. It's a tough balance. Worrying also when you realise just how many people will be packed into the tomb kings zone. If a fort or mass keep siege can get laggy, imagine what will be happening the first few days (weeks?) of Tomb Kings.

And here's a though to end it with.. Surely all these addons that use chat channels to communicate data must be causing a portion of it. 200 players all sending the status of a keep every 15 seconds or so must be contributing to server load, add in players DPS/HPS and anything else that gets communicated and I wonder how much of the lag is actually self inflicted...

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Still 'ere... Jus' thinkin'

Just a heads up that I've been crazy busy with work this last week so brain is in a vegetable state (well more so) these nights, but I'll keep posting away, just maybe not so often over the next week or two until it settles down. Dun worry though grots... I'm still smushin'... Or getting smushes :S

Friday, 24 April 2009

Magical Mythic Minutes and the 105 Minute Fortress Siege

Not sure if this is a Karak-Norn thing or not but anyone noticed the Mythic minutes appear to affect fortresses in particularly negative way. Right now, the timer has been at 0:00 for the last 10 minutes as we hold off the siege, my collectors camp cool down is about to tick over to be reused and my liniment has just ran out. New arrivals into the fort are advising the timer is at 25 minutes or so now.

When did forts get changed to over 90 minutes sieges? Is this a Mythic minutes issue or just lousy GOA servers again?

It finally ended after 105 minutes.... thank goodness... and #1 placed \o/

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Bollocks... Not again

So after finishing the blog post I decided to pop over to Reikland to see how the battle was progressing there. Upon zoning in from the flight patch I got kicked to the character select screen. Now upon trying to log in with Lokax it kicks me back to the character select screen once the Reikland load screen shows up and after the second time I try it, the client crashes completely.

Ran a file check - no luck.
Disabled addons - no luck.
Can log any other character in fine.

Time to login my choppa and send in one of those appeals again... *sighs*

Update #1 21:26 I found this while waiting on my appeal on the GOA forums, just so anyone else may discover this...
Hello everyone,

We have seen an unusual number of reports regarding players being unable to connect to their characters in-game.

If you are being sent back to the character selection screen after pressing play please contact our Customer Support Team so that they will be able to investigate and rectify the issue.

As this is a character specific issue please log into an alternative character and file a CSR Appeal, ensure it is filed as a "Stuck Issue".

You may also send this appeal via the Help-form.

Thanks guys, we are working on it!

Update #2
Well, got a response from a CSR who believed he had resolved the issue, however this wasn't the case, poor Lok was still stuck in the warp and now so was my Choppa who lodged the appeal. Logged in with my Shaman (yeah.. all my characters are greenskins and pitifully low levels) and the CSR realised straight away there was something not right and found it odd that my Choppa was visiting Gork (or Mork). Still he asked me to log for 5 minutes (about 7 minutes ago) so lets have another look!

Update #3
This is starting to look bad... Can't log into my four characters (bank alt squiggy is now locked out as is my Shaman). CSR was able to logon succesfully onto the characters. Wondering if a pc reboot and router power cycle will do the trick.... Thinking anything is worth a shot right now

Update #4
And Loky is bag in business! Major thanks to CSR Arcalstraaz who waited patiently with me and managed to find my myriad of stupidly named alts to help me through this one. Really nice and polite person.
Orcy Rating:

How many scarabs shall we find in Land of the Dead?

So with shattered confidence in Mythic and GOA at the moment (though damnit.. I still really enjoy the game you gitz!). I started to think about Land of the Dead and how it's going to hold up upon release. Mythic are rightly taking there time with it, but they do have a deadline and they cannot risk delaying it and thus the game being heavily impacted by the inevitable Summer Slow Down that affects all MMO's, and you wonder with the current buggy state that the other instances are in, how many little scarabs (being beetles and being bugs... see wot I did dere?) will creep into the zone.

Zone.. that's the crucial thing to remember, it's not a small patch at all, this isn't 1.2.1 nor even 1.2, but the biggest content patch that will likely hit WAR before an expansion is released. To drum up interest over the summer and tide it through the summer months when people rediscover the outside and beer gardens. Going back to what I said, when I step into Lost Vale, Bloodwrought Enclave or Bilerot Burrow I fight as many bugs and glitches as I do mobs, our goblins get stuck in terrain and down the back of the sofa, mobs warp or reset and encounters are about as balanced as a see-saw with a Black Orc on it. Add the RvR mix, an entry mechanic, lairs, PQ's and Mythics current reputation of publishing buggy content as I think we have to assume that a good portion of the zone won't be working right, or we'll find some busted areas in general.

This isn't a hugely bad thing, I don't think any content patch by any company goes live with no bugs or broken parts, it comes with 30 programmers competing against 500,000 players that want to win (though don't all want to cheat). The real test will be how quickly Mythic can react to the broken parts and fix them without breaking another aspect of the dungeon. Will we see emergency patches and the minor things (buggy PQ mobs, broken tome unlocks) also fixed quickly. Then we still wait for the bugs to be fixed in the existing instances, in the cities, the careers, the professions....

Hope you still have the resource to keep on top of the existing bugs as well as a whole new instance and zones worth Mythic!

Monday, 20 April 2009

SIX Server crashes in one night... (at least)

So destruction made a push today, we hit all the zones and managed to get to Shining Way, half the warbands went and battered down the doors while the rest of us hopped between Reikland and Kadrin Valley to secure for a second fort assault.

As we waited in KV, the elven tier 4 pairing crashed THREE times causing it to reset and the destruction warbands having to start knocking down the gates from scratch again. Eventually we took Kadrin as well and almost simultaneously we took down both forts leading to Altdorf... No thanks to Mythics lousing net code and GOAs dreadful servers...

So we get to Altdorf and immediately our instance is full, lots of us wait and I'm the first one ine. Then 2 minutes later, the Altdorf server crashes kicking me out the game (and crashing me as soon as I log back in for 10 minutes). Finally, Lokax gets logged back in, after waiting forty five minutes to get in the server crashes again as I watch the rest of the guild get booted. After waiting some more time I get another spot in basically a puggy instance and with 10 minutes left to go in Altdorf... It crashes again.

At this point, by the time I log back in there's 3 minutes and I'm back in the queue for Altdorf, staring at the portal and thinking I just wasted two hours of my life, and we won't even get an apology, nor any sort of admission of fault by either Mythic or GOA.

It must actually be quite embarrassing being Mythic right now, or are they living in perpetual ignorance where everyone is happy and the servers are running beautifully?

Well the guild has basically agreed on this... The games pride, the end game.. The major selling point...


WCPI Blog o' da week.

Drum roll please....... No, that's a Dwarf skull you're beating on.. Wait... carry on.

This weeks Blog o' da week goes to Bootae and his Bloody Blog! A fellow Norn player on Destruction side I always give him a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH when I pass as we charge into the massed ranks of Order.

So what better time than to read this Chosens blog than now? Eh? Go on... Go visit!

Bootae's Bloody Blog


The WAR Community Promotion Initiative, or WCPI for short, is a player-wide effort for WAR fansites, blogs, forums, and other WAR community efforts to cross-promote and expose content to everyone who visits them. Members of the WCPI regularly promote each other through links, spotlights, and other features. If you have a WAR site and you’d like to join, check out the WCPI thread or PM PhoenixRed on the Warhammer Alliance forums.

How to bypass every keep wall.

Well was browsing the Karak-Norn forum on Warhammer Alliance and this popped up as a new post. I won't be linking to it, nor posting the video, but suffice to say that it shows ways of getting into every tier 4 keep without taking down the wall through wall jumping, print screen client jump (you know when you hit print screen it 'stutters'.. I thought they fixed that in DAoC... how foolish of me to believe that it wouldn't occur in WAR) and some clever terrain exploration I will admit.

So how long will it take Mythic to look at this? Probably not for a long time and then they'll just throw barricades at certain areas and not actually fix this. I don't actually think this happens too much on our server despite the video originating from it, at least not at peak times anyway. Don't know what the 3am Domination Point Players do mind you :P

Sunday, 19 April 2009

*kicks Mythic*

So I logged out this morning at dragonwake, pissed at the state our siege of altdorf went (server booted us all out, and then we couldn't get our warband back in and we were scattered around). Went for a hike, got back, showered, fed and logged on.

So I'm running around dragonwake looking for some 1v1 or 1v2 action, promptly find nothing but 1v3 or more and die... a few times. Decide to head to IC to sort out my backpack since being a tank, cultivator, apothecary it tends to fill up quite a lot. Upon zoning to IC the game kicks me to the character select screen and Lokax appears to be in his tanking gear.. at Reikwald.. Uhmmm.. wut?

Log in... Reikwald load screen comes up and I wait.. game kicks me back to the character select screen.. I think Lokax is lost in the warp. Ok, this is my only real character, no alts played more than a few levels so a touch annoying.

Well time to login with an alt and submit a ticket.. let's see how long it takes!

Mythic is getting the reputation for releasing bug laden patches now...

Update #1
Ok, lets make a go of this, see how long it takes to resolve this issue. I submitted the ticket at 18:13. I have just rechecked at 18:30 and it's not listed in my amend appeal... Does this matter? Who knows.. there doesn't appear to be anyway to check...

Update #2
18:31 Get a scenario pop up for my Choppa... Mourkain temple. Click to accept and he gets booted to character select screen. Click to load him in and booted back to character select screen. Lokax now shows as being in Altdorf... Decided to try and load Lokax again, manage to get in, but he's stuck in the walls between Reikwald and Altdorf... Choppa still stuck.

Update #3
Checking Lokax's backpack.. Been rolled back, lost some conqueror tokens and officer ones.. *sigh*

Update #4
Well at 18:44 I'm back in at IC with Lokax.. looks like I got hit by the revert bug, lost some renown, lost some tokens but.... meh. Glad to know we're paying for a professionaly made product that shines next to games such as Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft and Darkfall. Gud jub Mythic! /sarcasm off and cancelled appeal ticket.. Not sure I want to play tonight now.. quite risky...

Update #5
19:00 Oh how foolish of me.. I went to the Maw to help defend while waiting for our LV group. Server crashed aaaaaaaaaand, I can't log back in now. Remind me to stay away from fortresses and cities.. forever.

Update #6
19:08 Nuts to this.. back in, buggering off to LV, it's less buggy than this bollocks...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

1.2.1 A brief review

So lets get a nice substantial post done of some actual content with interest...

1.2.1 - How's it been going?

I promised myself not to get all caught up with the MiraclePatch(tm) belief that people had when they read the notes about AoE changes, and.. other class changes. I knew that a lot of what people felt was imbalanced, was also due to player skill, ability, population, communication and a drive to succeed. And yesterday confirmed that, on Norn, destruction was zerging away in the morning but as soon as we came to stiff resistance from Order the warbands collapsed and melted away as Order literally walked through the zones and captured two forts with no resistance at all. This isn't class imbalance, or over powered mechanics. It's basically people playing like crap and following a zerg, then giving up as soon as things look tricky - combined with a lack of communication on our server from Destruction and we are always on a back foot...

Anyway, I'm rambling here so lets take a look at what has changed and how I feel after ONE day of it... I'll be using my patented (not really) Orcy rating!

Gobbo = Not gud...

Choppa = Better than a gobbo

Black Orc = Da bestest!

Keep Upgrades:
Seems to have done the job, keep doors no longer fall down like a sack of shit on a summers day the moment anyone gets close (fortress doors still do though, seriously, the time it takes to announce a fort is under attack, then for people to get there, the internal door is at 50%.. literally 5 or 6 minutes into the siege). The downside I see to this right now is that for under populated realms it takes a long time to break down a door now to try and disrupt a zone capture. There's no more guerrilla strikes on keeps especially if they have reinforced doors. From what I've heard all upgrades but reinforced doors are pretty much pointless anyway. Who seriously cares about healers/bankers in a keep? Still a bit to go on this though.
Orcy Rating:

Combat Responsiveness:
Well it seems to be working, though as I'm a black orc when I get server lag and unresponsive combat moments it can seriously bugger up any hope of a fight as skills don't fire, then go on cooldown. I'm sure casters love it, they don't have to get next to the target but even though ON MY SCREEN THE STUNTY IS NEXT TO ME, I AM OUT OF RANGE AND CAN'T SMUSH 'EM. It's still horribly broken for melee. More focus needed on this Mythic. The client/server synch is making melee combat really pants in even the lightest lag, especially when you have to rely on a plan system and can't just spam one button. This still needs a lot of work done on it, focus on melee.
Orcy Rating:

UI Improvements:
Oh My Gork! WIN! The guild interface is brilliant and the alliance tab works perfectly. Gork and Mork approve.
Orcy Rating:

RvR Zone Control Rewards:
Uhm, not really worked this out entirely, only managed to take the one zone yesterday before we got pummeled into the dirt but I got a nice renown buff, but other than that... I didn't notice any other buffs.. Mmm, not sure if I'm missing something here...
Orcy Rating:

Quartermaster System:
I like the idea of it so far, yes it will take some time but I don't want all the gear brought to me on a silver squig, I'm happy to get stuck in and work for it. And I can finally complete those old sets I never managed to finish. I've been hearing some reservations from the higher renown players (71+) saying that they get no advantage to the system other than being hunted down but I haven't looked into it too much. I'll just play this and see how it goes. Is good so far for me anyway.
Orcy Rating:

You know.. upgraded siege weapons... Better rams.. oil immunity (and they did take out bombs and caltrops) and such forth... For some reason I like this idea. Forgot to check the prices of them but it does seem like it could take a while to get enough, but suppose you don't want to overwhelm the place with epic siege engines.. Still, would have preferred to have seen this as a crafting skill than straight purchasing.
Orcy Rating:

Career Changes:
Well as I only play a Black Orc I can't comment on the other changes, I tend to put down getting my head beaten in to being out played rather than a class being OP'd. Though I can say we must be the most balanced class in WAR when the only change we got was a typo fix in an ability.
Orcy Rating:

RvR Changes:
Not sure about some of these.. I get bonus renown if I help to capture a BO or keep and we take the zone. Must I remain in the zone or can I zone hop for an hour while waiting on the timers and get back to the original zone or do I lose the bonus? Same if I crash out or otherwise log.. Should I re-enter the game, does it remember what I've helped defend/capture?
Orcy Rating:

Bad Stuff...
The lag is back on Karak-Norn... Well it was never really away, just people had slowed down and were scattered more. Last night in the IC defence I gave up trying to do anything, the lag made it impossible for me to target and kill anyone before the rubber banded about or teleported. I've been getting affected by a bug that doesn't show my respawn window. A /reload UI brings this back but also breaks some addons (that's my issue though...), amusingly I sent a bug report in to advise that I was suffering from missing respawn windows. This is my reply from GOA

You recently placed a support request concerning a missing item. We are sorry to hear that you have lost an item, however until further notice we are not reimbursing items in your situation.
... wut?.
Orcy Rating:

Well that's enough for me. Off to grab a coffee and a shower. Will be back tomorrow my little grots!

Friday, 17 April 2009

So glad you fixed AoE spam Mythic!

Click the image for a bigger view.

Note the debuffs above my health. Thought AoE wouldn't be stacking now hmmm?

Who needs Bright Wizards when you just stack engineers now.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Daemon Adoptables...

Well seems Lokax found something under his rock and somehow managed to adopt a daemon from Heresy Online. Feel free to poke it a bit until it becomes something useful...

And if anyone doesn't get it, it's one of those clicky web pased pet things you sometimes see floating around. Only this one is Warhammer based. Shame there's no Orcy themed ones :)

Broken Daemon Image
Level up Daemon!

Fluffy Bitz (part 2)

I was out on a hill walk yesterday, the fog was pretty thick and reduced visibility quite a lot, thankfully it's a local hill and not very steep or difficult at all but it was just a chance to get out the house and get a bit of exercise while I was on holiday. So off I trekked and as I went through the mist on the scrub land it got me thinking that there's something missing with the ambience of WAR.. The weather.

You get the odd chaos snowflake fluttering down in some of the regions with snow, but other than that there is nothing to make it feel like a living world. It remains static. Down in the Badlands there's no sand storm (and I bet we won't see any in the land of the tomb kings). The streets of Praag never seen a thunderstorm and Kadrin Valley never has a strong gale blowing through it, scattering debris throughout the region.

Every day is a nice day in WAR!

While I understand that it's not exactly a major thing in a game, nor would it be a high priority compared to the other glaring issues that need to be fixed, I'm sure Mythic has an environment/world creation team working on the tomb kings zone, placing objects and adjusting hills, but maybe we can hope one day to battle through a thunderstorm, defend a keep in a blizzard or be hunted down in a sand storm.

It's not essential. It's fluff... But it's what adds to the game.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Warhammer Arms Race

"My melee DPS needs to be able to hit harder than a ranged DPS since we have to get in close"
"No-one uses ranged DPS anymore because melee DPS does more damage, we need to have more damage since we're more fragile"
"What is the point of healers now as we can't keep anyone up? We need stronger heals"
"Our DPS classes can't kill anyone now due to over powered heals, we need more DPS!"
"I'm a tank... I stand here with no defined role in RvR!"

And so the cycle continues with each patch, the classes get more and more powerful, turning Warhammer into an arms race. There was a quote from (possibly) Mark Jacobs about how they would rather not nerf any class but instead bring the others up to the same power level.


There will always be a spec or class that can find a tactic set or buggy ability that turns them into an "I WIN" class. The minute you try to drag other classes up to the same level is when you start the arms race. Everyone wants the bigger abilities and the large floaty numbers overhead to be coming from them.

Currently archmages and shamans are getting a healing buff in 1.2.1. Overall the mechanic changes (it goes from interesting concept to 'why even bother with a mechanic?') and buffs should make them both fairly significant healers and I'd almost say on par with the current healing level of Warrior Priests and Disciples. So the poor Zealots and Runepriests are now the bottom rung healing class (and these were supposed to be the pure healers rather than the hybrid ranged dps / melee dps healers) so they need to get a buff up. 1.3 comes around and gives them a nice buff and we now have a situation where healers are ruling the roost and the only way to combat them is to up the damage people can do..

Or is it?

Mythic seem a bit.. wary of nerfing any class, I suppose EVERY MMO developer doesn't like to do this. It causes unrest in the forums, people may quit due to the changes and it never looks good having a class up in arms and screaming bloody murder about the nerfs. And imagine if every class was doing it.. Would that be a good thing? Possibly not in the short term but longer term I fully believe this would help combat balance. Take a step back and look at where the game is going right now, it's simply DPS/HPS escalating. If one class gets a nerf then they struggle to adapt due to the buffs that continually go around them. bring all classes down to a level peg and re look at the class mechanics. Melee healers for example should need to you know.. melee.

Of course there are underpowered classes right now, Shadow Warrior comes to mind, but instead of a big buff, what's truly wrong with them if the other classes were brought to the same power level?

Would you be happy for Mythic to tone down the class if it meant that every other class would be as powerful as yours? Dropping damage, healing and mitigation down to a level that is easier to manage?

WCPI Blog o' da week.

This weeks Blog o' da Week goes to WAAAGH! Roots. Great site by Xerb of War Underground fame. It has a series of great articles and many thought provoking posts that get you thinking.. Hmmm, this git may be onto something.

WAAAAGH! Roots. Check dem out!


The WAR Community Promotion Initiative, or WCPI for short, is a player-wide effort for WAR fansites, blogs, forums, and other WAR community efforts to cross-promote and expose content to everyone who visits them. Members of the WCPI regularly promote each other through links, spotlights, and other features. If you have a WAR site and you’d like to join, check out the WCPI thread or PM PhoenixRed on the Warhammer Alliance forums.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Lokax makes a movie!

Well on Friday night we did a bunch of RvR but also had a small group split off and head to help some alts in BRB, so during this time I figured I'd do some solo RvR.. Or try to, is bloody tricky finding people on Karak Norn that are willing to fight one on one or that don't run the minute there health gets low (I had a lot of clips of people getting beat up then running and I wasn't able to catch up to finish them off). Also you get a lot of folks jumping into fighs but then it's mass scale RvR so I have no issue with that, I can't expect people to not fight me, I'm a bloomin' Black Orc for Gorks sake!

There was a couple of mess ups I made in some of the fights but overall I don't think they went too badly. The music is just a couple of tracks that I felt were quite amusing (and first is NSFW) to go with Lokax as he stomped through Eataine and Praag.

Enjoy! (and there is a much better resolution and better quality file, but it's 400megs so not sure if anyone wants it really)...

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Is a third side or a new race on its way?

On the WAR Europe boards someone asked about the possibility of a new race being added and after a bit of back and forth there was a tiny tidbit of information...

Xmoe wrote:
i dont think ther will make new race..

You, Sir, are mistaken

Magnus Aalto
English Community Manager

Now really we can't look too much into this as anything of substance but I honestly believe there could be something in the works to help balance servers that are struggling on certain sides and this would simply be an NPC faction. Right now the logical idea would be the Skaven that could weaken defenses and strike keep lords and not to mention champion mobs could suddenly tunnel up in the midst of attackers to help the underpowered defence...

Maybe not though, it's only a random thought there. Of course, it might simply be the Tomb Kings helping to balance the Tomb of the Vulture Lord to ensure that access is never totally blocked off for one side for an extended time.

One thing I feel fairly confident about though is that we won't see a new playable faction or side for a while. Mythic need to focus on getting the balance right with the existing classes first before adding more to the mix.

So.. What could be coming?


Friday, 10 April 2009

oooh shiny...

Just so you know if the site looks a bit.... funny.. I'm messing around with a new template, so don't worry.

*gets back to hammering away*

Right.. dat looks about finished for now. Will touch it up over the next couple of days but any glaring problems or missing blogs on my ready stuff then let me know, I lost my old ones and had to import them from an old Google Reader *grumblez*

Fluffy Bitz (part 1)

I'm a huge lover of fluff in games (that's the geeky term for background and the things that pad out the game) and WAR has possibly the deepest licence for fluff that any MMO has, you can pickup a Warhammer novel or a rulebook and see lots of great background and items mentioned that the game just doesn't have enough room to fit in. Look at the noteworthy persons alone and there are a huge number of people mentioned with great quotes and... fluff to fill the game in with. There's a rich lore and background but yet still so much of it untapped.

So this is the start of my random thoughts upon the fluffy aspects of the game. GirlIRL did a wonderful article about it already so I don't want to step on her toes in my hobnail boots but it's something I've been thinking about a lot as well recently. It adds to the depth of the game and really, sometimes we just don't want to grind more scenarios, participate in a zerg or hit a buggy instance so lets see what else we can add to the game, which wouldn't take too much effort but would give us something to do.

I picked up an old Orcs & Goblins Warhammer rulebook off ebay for £1 the other week just to have a browse through it. The background section was quite thin I have to admit but what actually interested me was the magic items and the descriptions.

It shames a waste that there are a bunch of items with wonderful descriptions sitting in the rulebooks which the fans of the game could see in the..ermm.. 'flesh'. Now everyone loves shinies.. Don't care what they say but shinies mean progression and it is the most basic and fundamental need for an MMO, for a player to want to keep on playing to improve. Once the character remains static, that's when interest starts to wane. Adding more items to collect (and even better if they are usable) and a sense of achievement once you get your sword or shield that you desire.

So how would I go about adding the old magical items with the descriptions into the game in a way that would let players collect and desire them?

I'd start with adjusting the armoury section of the Tome to include Weapons and Amulets. Now with the amulet sets you complete small quests and can then go and purchase the amulets themselves from the Librarians. Lets keep this concept with the weapons but add in a mix of the other tome bits to fill it in. So lets grab a random weapon to see how we can fit this together.

Since the dawn of last Thursday, Fumpa's club has been the traditional symbol of leadership amongst the Blacknose tribe. Of course, to start with there were a few who didn't see it like that, but they've all since been, er, convinced.

OK, lets ignore the tabletop stats and well, the in game stats, we're wanting to make this fluffy enough to want people to collect it. In the Tome, under the armoury you'll see (well you would do...) the weapon section, under Greenskins there are lots of ??? and not much else. Now you've just been bashing away some rowdy Goblins in Black Crag when one of them drops an item "Fumpa's handle" now the item is bind on pickup and you can right click on it. Upon doing so, it unlocks a tome entry in the Greenskin armoury with the following:

..... ... .... .. .... ......... ...... .... ... ...... .... traditional symbol of leadership amongst the Blacknose tribe. Of course, to start with there were .... ...... ...... ....... ..... ..... ........ .... ....... ..... .........

O ???
O ???
O Fumpa's Handle

Upon finding more of the pieces it will uncover more of the story and once you have all three unlocks you can purchase the item from the librarian in your capital city and to show it off as an Unlock item you can paint it orange as well (because right now with the current itemisation, certain greens can be just as good as Mythic orange). Give the items more than just a proc, make them unique for situations, in our above example the Fumpa is a symbol of leadership, so give it a nice +strength bonus (Orcs only respect strength) but also give it a use affect. With a one hour cooldown, using the item (must be equipped) will grant all party members 100 points of Morale.

Would adding unlockable weapons give you something to do during the downtime when you're not up for the usual day-to-day of WAR? Would it add to the depth and lore of Warhammer to see interesting and unique weapons with a sense of achievement to them?

I'd like them for sure.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Six months on and are we now ready for release?

Well we're now six months or so into the life span of WAR and we can pretty much now stop with the "Well it's just new" excuses (not that anyone really did recently). We finally have the missing careers but sadly no sign of our missing cities. Is WAR now at a stage where you would release it or was it released on time?

I think everyone agrees that the release was decided by EA to get in before WoW's expansion regardless of the state of the game and while it went relatively smoothly all things told, the game overall was still very rough around the edges. I'm guessing a lot of what we're seeing is what was planned in the background before it was cut.

The game itself is starting to feel as finished as an MMO as it can be, the big bugs are getting squished and the game itself is feeling more responsive and less clunky. There's still silly little things that can be added i feel (characters weight for example... as a Black Orc in full heavy armour when I jump and land on the ground I make the tiniest little skip and noise on the ground, the same my shaman does, characters seem to lack substance to them). Of course we wouldn't have the same level of testing *coughs* as we've had over the last six months of the game had it still be in closed beta for longer then a couple of months of open beta.

I do feel that we're finally starting to get somewhere with WAR, we might be a couple of patches away yet, but WAR is almost ready for public release... Six months after it was released

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

My Blocka!

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your appeal. We have investigated the issue and found that the item was sold. We have restored Blocka o' da Doombull in Lokax's bags and removed 34 silver and 99 brass coins.

For any further queries don't hesitate to contact us via the in game Ticket system.

Kind Regards,

WAR European Customer Support Team

*Blushes* How did I manage that? And I checked the buy back option on the merchants and it wasn't there. Anyway, thanks GOA!

Da picture box o' Lokax #2

You don't even know where to begin with this...

It was possibly our Gobbo Snikkit... Or maybe it's his clothes... And that looks like something sticking into him... and I don't even want to know what happened to his legs...

The scorpions weren't that scary were they?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

WCPI Blog o' da week.

I always feel I should be promoting the lesser known, possibly the little hidden gems of blogs but I don't feel guilty for this one.. It's a big WAAAAAGHHHHHH to GirlIRL, who is well known, well established but is just a great writer and a wonderful read. Little else needs to be said other than if you don't already have her subscribed, then do so!



The WAR Community Promotion Initiative, or WCPI for short, is a player-wide effort for WAR fansites, blogs, forums, and other WAR community efforts to cross-promote and expose content to everyone who visits them. Members of the WCPI regularly promote each other through links, spotlights, and other features. If you have a WAR site and you’d like to join, check out the WCPI thread or PM PhoenixRed on the Warhammer Alliance forums.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Weapon Skill for da Warboss?

+++ Caution! Dis 'as Thinky Stuff +++
(07/04 updates in red)

So with the European PTS now up and the ability to copy Lokax over I decided to check out the possible secondary stat changes and how that would affect me. A weapon that Black Orcs have access to, the Badmoon Bigchoppa has always intrigued me with its proc and raw strength bonus. Now with the secondary changes looming overhead in 1.2.x it the weapon skill bonus on it suddenly makes it a lot more appealing.

So I did what any good Orc would do. I went out and bashed stuff till I found out what was bestest!

Here's what I found with no tactics used and hitting 96 times on level 38 spiders in Kadrin Valley.

Without any weapons equipped here are my stats (was in my rvr gear)
Strength: 557
Weapon Skill: 299

Numbers from live are in red

Bigchoppa of the Darkscale - with 2x +15 strength talismans in it
Auto attack hit: 254 / 253
Critical hit: 372 / From 34 crits: 354-402 (375.79 average)

Badmoon Bigchoppa - NO Talismans in it (because I forgot)
Auto attack hit: 274 / 273
Critical hit: 427 / From 34 crits: 382-434 (407.38 average)
+ 5% proc

Earthkeepa's Cutta & Blocka o' da Doombull - Wounds talismans (only other weapon I had)
Auto attack hit: 150
Critical hit: 220
+ lots of blocks

Using the Badmoon Bigchoppa and opening with a rank 32 Follow 'me Lead (+96 WS) upped my damage to the following:
Auto attack hit: 284
Critical hit: 486
+ 5% proc

Was on live this morning to note my strength and weapon skill as I forgot to do that. Also ran the first two tests again in a live environment. One thing I must point out though is that the Darkscale Bigchoppa is 3.0 speed whereas the Badmoon is 3.5, however I did not have any talismans slotted into the Badmoon. I'm no theoryhammerer (see wot I did dere?) but by stacking some Weapon Skill in place of strength certainly seems to help a lot (even on live) on the PTS.

Now imagine putting a black orc in a melee group and using No Choppin' Me as well as 'Ave Another One simply because you'll be spamming it and I think this might work out quite well for us...

Sunday, 5 April 2009

What if we had three sides?

In Dark Age of Camelot you had three sides (or rather realms). Albion (Arthurian legends), Midgard (Nordic legends) and Hibernian (Celtic legends). The obvious advantage to having three sides in realm versus realm was that no-one side ever became too powerful since the other two could combine to take down the dominant side, and the cycle repeated itself so no-one ever gained continual dominance over the other two. The major flaw was that power and population on sides would change dramatically with each patch and people would often hop servers to play the perceived imbalanced realm only adding to the need for the other realms to team up.

So the question lies, would WAR have benefited more by having three sides rather than the traditional two and if so, how would they have managed it?

The more I thought about it, the more the concept of a third realm grows on me. It would certainly help towards a lot of balance issues should one side be buffed a bit too much in a patch, plus allows for more interesting battles as two sides possibly take on one only for the two to turn on each other to claim the keep or fort for victory points for there own realm.

Of course, this will never happen, it would require building the game practically from the ground up and a lot of what we have (the tug-o-war tier 4 zones for example) to be completely redesigned and ripped apart, but it's nice to think.

The fun bit however is imagining how the realms would form as the current triage for both sides wouldn't work too well. I'd imagine something like this.

Empire & Dwarves:
Knight of the Blazing Sun, Warrior Priest, Bright Wizard, Witch Hunter

Ironbreaker, Runepriest, Engineer, Slayer

Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins)
Black Orc, Boss (imagine an orc healer.. Shouting instead of traditional healing... "Oi, dat was a scratch, get movin' again", "Yer not dead ya runt, get back up an 'it 'im"), Arrer Boy, Choppa

Troll (with Goblin handler.. imagine a pet tank class), Shaman, Squig Hunter, Fanatic

Dark Alliance (Chaos and Dark Elves)
Chosen, Zealot, Magus, Marauder

Black Guard, Disciple, Sorceror, Witch Elf

So of course, one realm had to disappear and (not so) sadly it was the High Elves. Simple reason is that I couldn't 'fit' them in anywhere and they seem quite stuck out there on the little island of Ulthuan. However, the same case could be made for Dark Elves so you could change them for Greenskins and simply add in the "Brettonia and Wood Elf" realm in place of the full Greenskin faction.

Ach, as said, it's just not going to happen but would WAR have been better with a third realm to balance out the odds when one side starts to become the dominant force, or is the Order vs. Destruction working fine?

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Secondary Stats

One sneaky little thing I found in the PTS notes was secondary stats.

"1.2.1 PTS introduces a number of changes to “Secondary” stats to give them a stronger effect on overall player performance. Please keep in mind that these new effects are in addition to existing bonuses that are already present in 1.2.

Critical hits: Critical bonus damage is no longer random, and is now a range of +5% to +75% based on stats (see below).
Critical heals: Critical bonus heal effectiveness is no longer random, and is now a range of +5% to +75% based on stats (see below).

Weapon Skill: Increases your Melee Critical and Ranged Critical bonus damage dealt.
Willpower: Increases your Magic Critical bonus damage dealt, and also increases the effectiveness of Healing Criticals from your healing abilities.
Initiative: Reduces your critical bonus damage suffered from all types of attacks.
Toughness: Increases the bonus Healing Critical effectiveness of heals which are used on you, and also grants you minor Hit Point regeneration while in-combat."

Hmmm interesting. The need to balance your stats is to me, very important for a game to have to avoid one button face smashers who stack one stat and use one skill. Giving stats more use in game and in fact for some classes a requirement to have to function well stands good for game balance.

I don't know what sort of willpower the average sorc or BW runs with, but I don't expect it to be too high, and with crits being quite a useful thing to have having to drop raw damage output to gain crit damage boost makes it a decision, do you go 50/50, or stack one at the expense of the other? Either way it should reduce the potency of one-stat classes if they have to find ways to balance them.

It may cause some headaches with itemisation but I'm certainly all for making people have to think of what they have to get on an item and balance it with the other stats.

Two Orcy thumbs up for this

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Do you play through your mind, or your characters?

Not long after I put my picture up the other night I had a conversation.. With myself.. In my head... Gork (or possibly Mork) was speaking to me...

"That picture is at the warcamp, why did you die there?"
"I charged in"
"Why? You got killed"
"I'm an Orc"
"No you're not, you just gave some free renown to the hundred order camping the warcamp"
"Yer right... I is a black orc and I dun run from no-one, specially dem stunties..."

Or so it roughly went. I really only play Lokax, so to me he is my only character. He has developed his own personality and likes/dislikes as I have. He can be quite impatient though tends to get bored quickly and is utterly fearless (but not stupid) having no regard for his own safety so long as he can put some 'urtin' on his foes. He remembers waking up after a battle against some stunties in the warcamp with a big metal plate on his skull and the desire for more pain. Ever since then he believes he's on a Waaagh from Gork (or possibly Mork) to get stuck in and do some bashin'.

I don't roleplay to the extent where I talk like an Orc, I'll quite happily talk as I normally would but do enjoy flipping into Orcy chat mode (especially in region chats) but I do play him differently from how I would any other character I've had. I enjoy getting into the Orcy mind, it's vastly more entertaining than the mind of a Chosen or Witch Elf (in my opinion). It's slightly off the wall and can make playing the game a lot more fun.

Of course, if I change to my Shaman (all 16 levels of him) then I have a completely different mind set, he's scared of large numbers of enemies, is absolutely terrified of bears but should he be with his best friend out in the wilds then he'll give anything a shot.. Until it starts to look bad...

When you log in your character to play, is it the character or the player that you see in the screen.

For me... I see Lokax and I get ready to unleash the


So me typin' board 'as sticky bits eh?

I blame the stunty bits stuck to it after I lobbed it at dem.. Hur Hur Hur...

Ahem, well I got nominated by the wonderful Mommy Can I Play Warhammer? and Cry Me a RvR. For the Sticky Keyboard, to sum it up and 'cause I wont do it justice here I'll paste the details :)

So what is it about?

  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!
So without further ado, lets gooooo.

Breakfast at War: With the tagline 'cozstunties iz better than bacon' you know you're onto a winner. Great insight and depth, lots of great reads and fantastic descriptions and of course, not to mention a huge lot of solution. Highly recommended read.

Bootaes Bloody Blog: A Chosen on the same server (Karak Norn (it's Dwarvish for 'Mountain of Lag')), I need to sit down and do his Pimp My Character post, but waiting one more renown rank (OK yeah I know I had a target.. I got it.. so onto the next one)

Corwynn Maelstrom: Filthy elf on Norn but also a wonderful writer and read. A lot of deep commentary not just on WAR but on many factions of life and the world.

Tufmudda: A fellow black Orc on (guess where) Karak Norn. Another nice read and offers a lot of good opinions and views on many aspects of the game.

War Lady's View: A personal great friend from pre WAR, her Jinglish makes her blog very unique, just don't call her Squig Hunter 'Pooch' (woof)

Stunty Stomper: Honestly, Thulf needs no introduction. Amazing writer, wonderful blog and always has valid points and concerns.

GirlIRL: No, don't say it as one word.. It sounds like an angry Gorilla that way... Girl IRL has smashed onto the scene to become one of the top blogs and with the witty writing and great work on the site, it's easy to see why.

Now the tricky bit.. 10 honest things about me that wont make you go screaming away...

1) I forgot to put the oven on to make anything to eat while I was typing this up, now I'm hungry. brb....

2) kk, got some lasagne made up quickly.. I'm 30 years old, living in Scotland with forests, lochs and mountains all around.

3) I used to live near the Scottish Highlands and kept over 100 sheep, 7 horses, 9 cats and 3 dogs.

4) I'm credited in a still available Games Workshop book as a background writer.

5) I first got introduced to the Warhammer world in 1989(ish) but never had an army or anything of substance for tabletop playing.

6) Nearly four months ago, after 18 years of long hair.. I got it all cut off, shaved right down to stubble on my head... And I'm glad I finally done it, feels a lot better.

7) I can still sit down and watch any of the original three Star Wars films at any time

8) I don't have a TV (moved house and threw the old one out, and never bothered with a new one. I have the Internet and more importantly, books)

9) I started my MMO life in Ultima Online, then Dark Age of Camelot followed briefly by Horizons, then Star Wars Galaxies, then Dark Age of Camelot once more before jumping to Warcraft and finally landing in WAR.

10) Give me a hill or forest and a nice day and I'll happily walk for miles.

April Fools Post

Welcome to Mmmmm Gud! A Halflings tale of adventuring for the perfect cake!

Being chased by Orcs or Goblins? Dark Elves enslaving your village? Greenfield Grasshuggers just been beaten 3-0 by the Chaos All-Stars? Then don't fear, for we have the perfect recipe to send our bellys rumbling with the sweet, sugary cakes of delight!

Now without further ado, let's get cooking!

Roasted banana and ginger cheesecake

3 ripe Bananas, peeled and thickly sliced
1 tsp ground ginger
125g golden caster sugar
50g Butter
200g gingernut biscuits, finely crushed
750g mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp cornflour
3 large Eggs
1 Lemon, zest only



1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Place the banana slices on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle over the ground ginger and 2-3 tablespoons of the sugar. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, until golden and very soft.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter slightly in a saucepan, then stir in the biscuit crumbs, stirring until evenly mixed.

4. Tip the crumb mixture into a 23cm non-stick, spring-form cake tin, pressing the crumbs down firmly with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

5. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl with the rest of the sugar, cornflour, eggs and lemon zest and beat until smooth and creamy.

6. Spoon the roasted bananas on to the biscuit base, top with the mascarpone mix and place the tin on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden. (The cake will still feel a little wobbly, but will set as it cools.)

7. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave the cheesecake to rest inside the cooling oven until completely cool.

8. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and slice into wedges to serve.