Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow....

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

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

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A question of depth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 6 December 2010

The slightly more selfish Mmmmm Christmaaaaagh List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mmmmm Christmas List

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



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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Lonely Borc Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 22 November 2010

What a Week for WAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The other items in 1.4 that we'll see

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

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

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

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

Friday, 12 November 2010

Breakdown of the stats for Black Orc Doomflayer and Warpforged sets

Seems that 90% of my posts recently have been about the sets but such is life when new stuff comes out.

We've gone over the graphics for the sets and it seems to have split the community into a love/hate though I think more dislike it to be perfectly honest, ach well, we always have our appearance system anyway so it's not a huge deal. I think my main annoyance with it is the Doomflayer boots, all other sets from Conqueror onwards have knee and thigh guards so having exposed legs (admittedly with a manky pair of old trousers on) doesn't seem to fit the look with the rest of the armour being all metal bolted on.

But anyway, here are potentially the final stats for the sets. They still don't have resists on them so I guess this was a choice made to prevent the soft cap being obliterated. While the offensive sets look good the major drawback is a lack in crit reduction or initiative on them, you can end up with a 40% chance to be critted for wearing full Doomflayer (without accesories though).

You can fit at least three piece sovereign into the sets as well with the back/belt/jewel in place however the high level cloaks are quite nice as well. In all honesty you can check all this stuff out on the PTS but it's nice to see out of game as well.

Defensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 313
Tough: 510 (-102 DPS and -16 DPS from fortitude)
WS: 196
Init: 293 (10.1% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 788
Armour: 5733
Block: 15%

Offensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 461
Tough: 391 (-86.6 DPS and -0DPS from fortitude)
WS: 378
Init: 123 (40.7% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 747
Armour: 5733
Block: 10%
Damage Bonus: 108.2 DPS
Armour Pen: 18%
Critical Hit Bonus: 6%

Defensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 350
Tough: 595 (-119 DPS and -24 DPS from fortitude)
WS: 196
Init: 335 (5.9% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 834
Armour: 6659
Block: 17%

Offensive will give you the following stats without accessories, weapons/shields, renown abilities and talismans
Str: 546
Tough: 433(-86.6 DPS and -0DPS from fortitude)
WS: 424
Init: 123 (40.7% chance to be critically hit)
Wounds: 784
Armour: 6659
Block: 10%
Damage Bonus: 133.2 DPS
Armour Pen: 20.2%
Critical Hit Bonus: 8%

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Doomflayer and Warpforged armour graphics

Well the PTS came up, I managed to take a couple of screenshots then my client crashed and I can't get logged back in as the test realm is full. So you will get the graphics today and time (and the PTS) permitting tomorrow I'll grab screenshots of the full stats for both sets for reference again.

One key thing, the sets DON'T come with belts or back pieces. The rr98 belt is actually the same style as the Warpforged so we can assume it goes together (graphically), but I didn't see a belt that went with the Doomflayer set in my backpack so the Black Orc looks a bit slimmer than normal.

I like the Warpforged set and even the Doomflayer set looks nice however the helm I don't know if I love or hate. I love how it's a big, clunky bit of metal with spikes and bits welded on, but I can't seem to shake the image of a droid from Star Wars when I see it. I think playing around with some dyes could net some interesting results, but in the meantime here we go.

Doomflayer (no belt, no cloak)

Warpforged (with rr98 belt, no cloak)

Monday, 8 November 2010

RR100 Weapon and Shield graphic updates

Straight from the PTS I present the Black Orc RR100 weapons. I love the Deathbringa of Mork and it's glowy red particle effect (as a side note, green glow = offensive, red glow = defensive so it's easier to tell the type of weapon equipped). There's no shield particle effect and the RR100 two handers have the same skin as do both shields. I guess they have time yet to change that so no rush, but hope they will have different looks.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Orc mounts for the Personality pack

They're easily visible in the PTS but they are also beside the three royal crest mounts, so just to make them stand out a bit, these are the three that it appears you can get with the Personality pack. The orange looks confirmed at least due to it showing in the teeny pic of a Black Orc on the site.

I'm more likely to go with the Black/Red mount to replace my Manticore but I am really tempted with the Black/Green as well, just looks very warpstone themed. But no rush yet to decide. I'm just glad that I get my mount Pork back (he's named after the Orcish god of boars).

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Snotling love

Well they released the first set of WAR Microtransactions. Ok, got a Snotling pet and they're seriously cool items. They might be a bit buggy with not moving on other players screens but I'm sure that will be fixed. Hopefully these are just test items and we will start to see more and more things such as these (GIEF WYVERN!). I don't mind spending a few quid on them, it's a hobby, I've spent more on something for a hobby which is a lot worse so meh :P

Anyway, here's Lokax and Tat the Snotling :) (only one person that reads the blog will get the reference... /cheer L)

Quick summary of Borc changes in the 1.4 notes

So the patch notes are now up. I'll quickly summarise any changes that affect Black Orcs for ease of reading:

As you can see, Black Orcs didn't even need a tool tip change this time, we didn't get any item changes and certainly no ability tweaks which is a bit disappointing for potentially the biggest WAR patch yet. Oh well, there's always 1.4.1 but at least we know we're balanced.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Couple o' thingz

First of all, a huge thanks and gratz on a good guild mate MrSpanky the choppa for not only reaching RR80 but also on making a seriously nice banner for me.. Gogo Spanks!

In other random bits of news I've not managed to sit down for a proper test of 1.4 after the first European one but some of it is a bit of WAR burnout as well (not helped by the Tyrant cloak incident). I'm also rapidly running out of random sets to collect so guess I'll be starting to show the more common ones and even open my collection of items up for browsing. I have a couple of other posts in my head but I need to get them onto ePaper really as my stockpile has almost run out.

I'll get the brawler guide out within the next two weeks, it's my own mission right now, hopefully it'll be finished up this weekend and I can schedule a post for Monday or so, but no promises. Learnt not to do that from the past.

In other news, someone kindly posted the exact block formula up on my block post so that will be added to make it clearer and the RR81 two handers got updated so edited the post to say what the new DPS is.

Anyway, time to chill with a cuppa for a bit and work out something to do for tonight so have fun all and see you on the battle field.

Oh and seriously Mythic... You've introduced an ability called "Thwap" and then "Thwap!Thwap!Thwap!" Arrrghhh! I don't want ratmen things Thwapping me!!!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Infiltrators (Grime Covered) Set for Black Orcs

The Infiltrator non-set comes from Saccelum Dungeon as a series of green repairable items. They drop as "Grime Covered" items and once repaired they become Infiltrators. There is no set bonus to them, they just have a common appearance and share the same name.

Decent looking pieces though not a fan of the helm. The gloves and boots are nice pieces and they come in a decent red and grey colour system so it all matches up nicely. Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Doomflayer Offensive set

It's only two weeks late or something so don't worry. Also I have apparently managed to not take screenshots of the Warpforged Offensive so they will be going up later as well, plus it lets me pad out another post I guess...

Good looking set, chest piece is an absolute beast with the extra crit damage on it as well

Friday, 29 October 2010

How to convert block rating to block chance

I wanted to work out how much block the RR100 shields would provide (potentially saving me renown points on block rating) so I worked it out quickly. It's probably already posted on Warhammer Alliance or on another blog somewhere but meh... was too lazy to look for it and brain needed a work out.

10 block rating on a shield = a 0.57% chance to block

This is a rough number but it works out pretty much dead on what block chance you get.

Tactics, Renown and +block% items add on after the block rating is worked out, so a 500 block rating shield with +2% block bonus would give you a base block chance of 30.5%. If you had a +10% block tactic on that would then give you 40.5% block.

Edit: Thank you to Anonymous who posted the following in the comments. It's the actual formula and gives you the exact block rate, even if it is a bit more numbery

The calculation works for characters that are level 40, as the equation factors in level per block rating.

Block Rating / (((Level * 7.5)+50)*5) = Block(*100) = %

So for example, at level 40 this works out to be Block Rating/1750.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

New RR81 Black Orc Weapons

On the latest PTS build the RR81 weapons are available. These require royal insignias and open up the doomflayer.

One handed equipment costs 730 Captain Emblems and 430 Royal Insignias, the two handers cost 1460 Captain Emblems and 860 Royal Insignias. Though keep in mind you can buy the bauble of Vice (trophy) as soon as you get 430 Royal Insignias so you don't (currently) need to wait until you're RR81.

To note one thing though, the two hander DPS is currently out of whack, it's around the same level as Invader so it's likely a bug since the other items are in line with slightly above royal

Edit: Two handers now have 112.6 dps

Sunday, 24 October 2010

We've accepted your mistakes Mythic, why won't you accept ours?

So I was at Tomb of the Vulture Lord, 8th boss.. kill number 22. For the first time in 22 runs I've finally seen the Black Orc cloak drop, everyone is cheering on Team Speak - Finally, Lokkie gets his back piece.

I click on need.

Need Rolls
You roll 75
The Chosen main tank rolls 75

"What the fu... I clicked pass"

It's a tie

You roll 63
The Chosen main tank rolls 65

Ach well, we can always CSR it, use a wild card it's no problem... Except the Mythic servers don't have the wild card system (for those who don't/didn't play the EU servers back in the GOA days the CSR's offered a three a year wild card system to allow you to undo mistakes such as these, or incorrect server transfers, no questions asked, they just let you know if you had run out. I get a canned CSR response basically telling me they don't offer this service, and that if I want it I should leave feedback on the Herald. For the first time in my 11 years of playing MMO's I almost went off on a flame on the CSR. I resisted, deciding instead to post something here.

In Mythics defense, yes they have a "Need on use" feature, we forgot it wasn't on, we only go for the 8th boss, to get two cloaks and three Mortis pages and we wanted to get done as quickly as possible. However we also had to put up with the ever bugged out 5th boss causing us to reset the instance as usual, a bugged out 6th boss and the usual warping trash, unhittable mobs and getting stuck on the terrain. The general frustration, annoyance and muttering that happens every week which after 16 months you'd think they'd have fixed by now. It's not actually fun to do anymore but we promised one another we'd keep doing it until we had everything we wanted from it. Friends stick together.

We have accepted this instance is a buggy pile of crap which will never be fixed, we've accepted dreadful server performance and unbalanced careers, we've accepted for the last two and a bit years now that the game isn't perfect but we enjoy it when it works well and that is why we play it, we're loyal to Warhammer because it sometimes brings great moments and fantastic RvR. All I'm asking for now in return Mythic is that you look at your customer service you offer and think long and hard about accepting OUR mistakes from time to time as loyal, paying players because right now, I'm going to check when my subscription ends.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Dis is a GREEN blog now!

Alrighty, working out the kinks with the new layout, PLEASE let me know if there's anything wrong with it. I decided to go with a green theme reflecting Greenskins and Warpstone. The background image will change and I'm rubbish at banners so the title will as well (though feel free to submit something gud!).

So aye, if you see wonky things over the next 24 hours then don't worry, it's just me breaking stuff.

New Twitter function added to the blog

Got a nice green Twitter button down at the end of the post now which should in theory allow you to immediately send any posts to your twitter account. Still messing around with it so should be ready to roll soon.

Bollocks, it doesn't shorten the URL and for some reason the standard twitter widget thingy on here doesn't show up,  must be something in the CSS but gork knows wut...

Edit: Actually on saying that I've just had a look at the new template designer and it's quite nice, think it's time the Blog got a new coat of paint earlier than intended.

Friday, 22 October 2010

No changes so far for Black Orcs in 1.4

I took some time out to go through each individual action and compare it to live. Since the only template available is RR70 and I'm RR80 on live I had the free mastery point so I didn't get exact results. But all damage was within a couple of points so I'm taking that as they mastery point. If the PTS has no sneaky Black Orc changes then at least I now also have a base level of damage to compare things to which is always useful.

There's still a lot of time to go until 1.4 so there might be changes coming yet other than being a bit bigger. I have to admit I'm not even seeing any tool tip changes this time so don't hold out for marauder/magus/engineer sweeping changes for us but I'll keep people updated as and when the new builds arrive.

(oh and the DPS sets will be posted up later on today.. ish)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Preview of the Doomflayer and Warpforged defensive armour sets

So as a quick follow up, here is the armour sets for Doomflayer and Warpforged. I'll add the offensive ones tomorrow as well as a couple of nicknack's that I found when I get some more time. For some reason the Warpforged chest pieces weren't available, or I couldn't find them anyway. I'll update this post with the WF chest when I find it.

Anyway, enjoy as they are sickeningly good.

Disclaimer: These are the current PTS armour sets. They can and could change by the time they go to live so keep that in mind

Edit: Also as you can see there are no resists on these pieces so it's pretty much a given that they'll change

Preview of the Doomflayer and Warpforged weapons

Hopped onto the PTS and the new Weapons were for sale on the scenario vendor. Didn't have time to take a screen grab of the new sets but I'm sure the server will be back up. In the meantime, feast your Greenskin eyes on these choppas and blockas...

You can click on them for a better view as well.

(edit - Disclaimer: These are PTS weapons currently, they can and could change by the time they goto live so keep that in mind)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Keepers Set for Black Orcs

For once my set I'll be showing is actually a set. I never even knew this existed until recently when a guild mate was on the "gather all armour sets" grind and pointed it out to me, so the pair of us did a few runs down in Saccelum Dungeon and got my set (easier with an actual DPS to rip through the mobs). This is what the set looks like and the stats can be found at the WARdrobe at the moment. It's a fairly basic looking set, only three pieces however the hands are quite decent with the extra arm guard on the left piece.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Looking at potential Renown builds in 1.4

The first draft of the new renown abilities have been published and they make for some quite interesting ready. Keeping in mind that they are very likely to change and currently do not have a tiering system in place we can start to look at potential builds. The abilities are a bit more defensive orientated but that suits as fine as tanks. Makes our lives easier.

One thing I want to keep in mind however is that as our gear gets better our block will also so the more I look at spending 20 points of renown for a total of 10% block I am struggling to justify it with other cool things in there.

So here's a few builds I can think of:

RR40 Defensive
Defender IV = 10% block increase
Futile Strikes II = 8% reduction in being crit
Trivial Blows I = 5% less crit damage

At RR40, you're just wanting to survive in ORvR against higher geared players, at this point you likely will be a guard bot so ensuring you have as much block and survivability is the way to go.

RR80 Defensive
Might IV = 72 Str
Deft Defender IV = 18% dodge and disrupt
Trivial Blows III = 30% less crit damage
Cleansing Wind I = cleanses all Curses, Ailments, and Hexes from you on a 5 minute cool down

RR100 Defensive
Might IV = 72 Str
Deft Defender IV = 18% dodge and disrupt
Trivial Blows IV = 50% less crit damage
Cleansing Wind I = cleanses all Curses, Ailments, and Hexes from you on a 5 minute cool down
5 points spare, possibly just pickup a bit of parry and block

Yes I picked strength, I still rate it highly on a tank even in defensive because if you hit like a wet noodle then you become worthless other than a guard bot and guard bots get ignored, you should be at least able to assist in dishing out damage, even if it isn't a huge amount. Some people prefer to pickup Weaponskill to improve armour penetration and parry so I'll leave it up to the individual to pick, I'd still recommend strength.

I picked Deft Defender over the block and parry for the simple fact that as a Black Orc we severely lack any sort of disrupt, we can get a high block (which will only get higher as gear progresses) and we have an OK level of parry available to us. This will help more in the long run than a smaller boost in block (and AFAIK, disrupt doesn't require you to be facing the target like block).

Trivial Blows. Crit damage is a pain, you can see 2k spikes even with high toughness and soft capped resists. A permanent reduction in damage taken from crits will help to balance out the fact that we will see more crit on higher gear levels.

Cleansing Wind. Perhaps it's a pet hate of mine but I detest seeing a pile of dots and debuffs on me and having no way to remove them other than the harbingers cloak (still not found the LotD ones to see if they're on the same cool down). Harbingers only removes a couple and isn't available to everyone anymore so having cleansing wind will give us a life line in small scale stuff, even if it's on a 5 minute cool down.

RR40 Offensive
Might V = 120 str
Blade Master I = 4 WS
Opportunist I = 2% melee crit

RR80 Offensive
Might V = 120 str
Blade Master I = 4 WS
Opportunist IV = 14% melee crit

RR100 Offensive
Might V = 120 str
Blade Master III = 38 WS
Vigor I = 4 Wounds
Opportunist IV = 14% melee crit
Quick Escape I = Adds a 5% chance to increase your movement speed by 25% for 5 seconds.

Obvious really, stack strength for guaranteed damage, then work on crit for the bonus and top off with WS to add armour penetration and I've added in Quick Escape since it should proc off dots etc to allow you to catch up with kiters to smash 'em in the face.

What I really don't rate
Looking through the RA and there's a few I don't rate for us which might look good to start with. The first one is Hardy Concession (You take X% less damage, but you deal X% less damage.). We want to do damage at some point and simply soaking up a bit of damage with a reduction in our own effectiveness offers nothing of benefit in my opinion. It IS very good for healers though.

Regeneration is another RA I don't rate. Ok, I don't rate the cost of it, the hp/4 is always nice but not for the cost in renown. I can't see any build where you'd even have 10 points left over which wouldn't be better placed in a stat compared to 30 hp/4.

I kinda go against the grain here but this is partially my own failings. I don't rate resolute defence currently as much as it was. The immunity timers right now work fine and with a Black Orc having Not in Da Face helps us and the group more. However! This is easily swapped if you want/require it for Cleansing Winds I in the 80+ builds so the choice is yours.

So that's my wee review of RA's as they currently stand, it will change and I get the feeling I've calculated something wrong at some point but... Meh :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Doomflayer and Warpforged sets for Tanks

Apologies for not bringing this info up earlier, I've recently started a new shift pattern at my work which is 5 days work squeezed into 4 so much longer days, the upside though is that I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off every week \o/ So at the moment I'm trying to write up a couple of posts in advance until I get my head around managing my time more. In fact this was actually written on Friday and saved for today :)

So Mythic have announced the tanking sets in the RvR packs Doomflayer is for RR90 and Warpforged is for RR100. As with the Sovereign sets they come in Offensive and Defensive flavours. For convenience I'll post them here. Keep in mind that you gain access to all pieces now at 90/100 so there's no progression of parts.

For the new fortitude stat what Mythic has posted should describe it decent enough:
"In addition to these new sets, we are also introducing a brand new stat. The stat is called Fortitude and is effectively "Toughness Power." It works with the same relationship as Melee Power/Str, Ranged Power/BS, Heal Power/Wil and Magic Power/Int."
So without much more ramblings, here's the sets as they currently stand (they will change, trust me)

Doomflayer (Defensive)
Tou - 289
Wou - 182
Init - 170
Str - 141
7% reduced chance to be crit
5% block
80 hit points every 4 seconds
4 AP per second
4% reduced armor penetration
80 fortitude
Set Bonuses
2 piece - On Being Hit: 10% chance to increase Fortitude by 238 for 10 seconds.
4 piece - On Being Hit: 10% chance to Heal yourself for 1030 health over the next 5 seconds.

Warpforged (Defensive)
Tou - 374
Wou - 228
Init - 212
Str - 178
9% reduced chance to be crit
7% block
120 hit points every 4 seconds
5 AP per second
6% reduced armor penetration
120 fortitude
Set Bonuses
2 piece - On Being Hit: 10% chance to increase Fortitude by 308 for 10 seconds.
4 piece - On Being Hit: 10% chance to Heal yourself for 1325 health over the next 5 seconds.
5 piece - 2m cool down - Your group becomes immune to Stagger, Knockdown, Root and Knockback effects for 5 seconds.

Doomflayer (Offensive)
Str - 289
WS - 182
Tou - 170
Wou - 141
6% melee crit chance
80 melee power
5% reduced chance to be parried
4 AP per second
5% parry
6% critical damage
Set Bonuses
2 piece - On Hit: 10% chance to reduce the next two heals on the target within 10 seconds by 516.
4 piece - On Hit: 10% chance to increase Melee Power by 238 for 10 seconds.

Warpforged (Offensive)
Str - 374
WS - 228
Tou - 212
Wou - 178
8% melee crit chance
120 melee power
8% reduced chance to be parried
4 AP per second
6% parry
10% critical damage
Set Bonuses
2 piece - On Hit: 10% chance to reduce the next two heals on the target within 10 seconds by 662.
4 piece - On Hit: 10% chance to increase Melee Power by 308 for 10 seconds.
5 piece - 2m cool down - Nearby allies have their movement speed increased by 60% for 10 seconds.

As you'll see the biggest change is the reduction back down to 5 piece (of which I approve) and the removal of stats from the set bonuses, now it's replaced by a chance to proc a higher value. Now even with the reduction down to 5 pieces the stats are higher than the combined 8 pieces of sovereign, for example defensive Sov has +134 wounds where Doomflayer has +182, so there's a fairly good chance you will be leaving sovereign behind.

However, the defensive sets have gone back to "On being hit" which defeats the whole point of being a tank as you tend to have a high avoidance so you won't generally get hit.... They will likely change this to be "On being attacked" and reduce the potency of them. The self heal buff is nice, works out better than pure hp/sec regen and is much more noticeable, though potentially dispellable, again though, it's only of significant use if the proc changes to "On being hit" really. Fortitude I really need to understand more, is it simply a counter to the other powers to nullify them? If so it's nice however just revamping toughness could have done the same thing. As it stand Toughness is a misunderstood stat and usefulness is constantly debated.

Offensively the sets look nice, in particular the high wounds will keep us from being slightly less squishy MDPS. One of the key procs though that I am looking keenly on is the two piece proc

"On Hit: 10% chance to reduce the next two heals on the target within 10 seconds by 516 (662 on WF)."

This sets up Black Orcs as a very nice healer killer. Heal debuff on them, disrupted, silence and cool down increase should let us lead a train on healers very nicely. Right now I would say that we're looking at two piece offensive and either the rest sov or defensive being the normal, but a lot of that also depends on the jewels and back pieces and other items that may drop in Skavenblight. So far so good though, hopefully Mythic keep up with the excellent Black Orc artwork and we should be quite chuffed with our gear.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Cleaning up the cave and a look ahead

Well yesterday I decided it's time to start doing a bit of cleaning work in the Mmmmm Gud cave (ick... Orcs dun like to clean stuff) but there was quite a few inactive Blogs and other bits and pieces no longer used. I'm also in the process of sorting a few new graphics out for the launch of the RvR Packs so it will get a fresh coat of mud. If there's any recommendations or things you'd like to see me change in the blog then just post a comment, email me or send me a message on twitter.

Also, if you run a Warhammer blog and I've not linked you at the side then please let me know through the same channels above, the more we all link through to each other the better. In particular I'd like to recommend a new blog to the scene Hadrune's Ammo Dump a great guild mate who has just started blogging and has some very high quality posts up already. Go check him out gitz.

The plan for the blog is to have the Brawler and Boss guides done by the end of the year (Brawler is nearly completed and I'm desperately holding out for Boss changes) and then to clean up the Toughest guide. Next on the guide list will be armour sets to use through the ranks, part of this may require me to actually go back and roll another Black Orc to remember the lower tiers but that might end up being fun as well and a good progress guide for new Black Orc players.

The blog has and will keep a Black Orc theme with my own personal rants about things going on as well, I'm not qualified to have an opinion on any other class since I don't play 'em :) You may notice bursts of posts and then a period of nothing for the coming couple of months as I've recently changed work hours so will be getting used to a new way of working each day :)

So see all you gitz back on the battle field

Friday, 8 October 2010

How to be... Gorbad Ironclaw

Gorbad Ironclaw
Gorbad Ironclaw, atop his vicious boar Gnarla, was the mightiest Warlord that ever lived. Gorbad Ironclaw and his tribe, the Ironclaw Orcs, absorbed the Broken Tooth tribe along with the local Goblin and Night Goblin tribes, to create a massive force of Greenskin warriors. The tribe marched through Black Fire Pass to attack the Empire under the Emperor Sigismund. Gorbad's army conquers the territories of Solland and Wissenland, but Gorbad himself was wounded in the fighting. At the fortress of Altdorf, the Waaagh! was kept at bay outside the city walls. Gorbad unleashed Wyverns upon the city, who threw the defenders into disarray but were ultimately repelled without achieving their main function, which was to destroy the city gates. Eventually, the lack of progress and Gorbad's injury took their toll on morale, and the army disintegrated. The remnants of Gorbad's tribe were ambushed and defeated on their way home by a Dwarf army under the King of Karaz-a-Karak. It is not known if Gorbad survived the encounter.

Part two in my "How to be..." series (part one is here). Today I focus on Gorbad Ironclaw, an Orc (not a Black Orc) who rose to become a great Warlord. Although Gorbad wasn't a Black Orc, I don't see any reason why we can't recreate him. One of the challenges for Gorbad was that he appears to have a couple of Choppa items (helm and chest) so I've attempted to recreate them as much as possible within my set guidelines of making it as easy as possible to achieve.

Sadly though, one thing I have messed up on is that there are a few items I've used which are quest rewards (search for the items on WARDB to find the quests) so apologies if you've already done them and trashed the reward. If I find an easier way to get the items then I'll try and remember to update this post.

I've used the following pictures of Gorbad as reference:

At least working out the colouring is easy, blood red the whole way through.! Once again, the shoulders became a bit of a pain, there's nothing really that matches up, but also they are fairly hidden under his cloak on the model and painting so I've simply used a fairly low key set which doesn't stand out. The cloak potentially could be replaced by the Tyrant Glyph back piece as it has the fur style plus the pole at the top but I've gone for the easier option to get (that and I don't actually have the back piece.. *mutters*).

I'm not overly happy with the weapon either, I feel there's a choppa which resembles it more but I can't seem to find it, in fact I'm almost positive there is and it used to drop as T4 green loot, but damned if remember properly. The chest I'm sure I can find a better version for as well, but the Carnage one I used (just do some newbie PQ's) works in the meantime.

So here we go, Gorbad Ironclaw. WAR style (click for bigger pictures).

Head: Ancient (Antiquated)/Conqueror 'Eadplate
Shoulders: Shouldaplate of da Miner (Quest)
Chest: Bodyplate of Carnage
Back: Vanguard Cloak (T4 renown vendor)
Gloves: Staunch Manifers of Skill (T4 green drop)
Belt: Decent plackart of Skill (T2 green drop)
Boots: Primeval/Invader/Darkpromise
Weapon: Bad Waaagh Choppa
Shield: Blocka o' da Doombull

To read up a bit more on Gorbad Ironclaw, I suggest you visit the Games Workshop page about him. Some fun little tidbits of information. HERE

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

We did it gitz... WE'Z DA BIGGEST!

From the PTS.... Black Orcs are now bigger than the Choppas!!! You can click on the picture for a bigger view. Middle is a Choppa and Chosen and the two at either end are a RR80 Black Orc and Tier 3 Black Orc, as you can see there's no difference in size based on renown, well if there is, it's not noticable. Still not complaining.

As a side note, I've not found any Black Orc changes other than the size and Save Da Runts (our guard now requires a shield). Not much time to check out more but will have a look tomorrow proper. Also I have to say this before I get too carried away.... This is only the PTS, it may change, they may remove the size difference so lets not get too excited.. ;)

(Edit: Added a Chosen into the mix for the size difference now so you may want to force a refresh of the site, holy crap we're massive! Although the Tyrant Black Orc doesn't look as big, he was slouching at that point as the chosen stretched up, trust me, it's noticable)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Tanktics part three. Guard.

You can check the other two parts of my tanktics series here and here but for those who aren't overly bothered it's simply a small post with combining tactics and the tank archetype abilities to improve them, to give something a bit more well.. Tanky.

Following on from my conversation with Bootae about only being able to guard if you are a shield it occurred to me this is actually a nerf. We're removing something from two handed tanks and not giving them anything in return, it doesn't actually make tanks want to guard more (which they always should anyway) but it certainly gives people ammunition to whine in scenarios etc about "OMG not a 2h tank.. ffs you're not mdps". If we were to only allow guard to be activated if using a shield then potentially we'd have to increase 2h damage to make it worthwhile for tanks to go 2h in scenarios etc.

Orrrrr..... We could look at combining it with a useless tactic. Now barring Unstoppable Juggernaut the other tank tactics are pretty decent, as we've already commandeered it for a Hold the Line buff then we either have to change another archetype tactic or I'm sure there's a useless tactic each tank has we can replace. I wont go through each class to find it, I wont pretend to know anything about Knights or Blackguards so I'll leave it as that, but here's what I propose instead of a straight "you can only guard if using a shield"

1 Slot Career Tactic - No range - No cool down - Passive
If you have a shield equipped the damage split on your guarded target is increased to 75% assigned to you and the effect range is increased to 50ft

I have deliberately gone a bit overboard with this as I felt that my Hold the Line was in retrospect quite weak although it had the right 'feel'. Improved Guard might be a bit potent but it certainly makes choppa and blocka tanks be an absolute beast for guarding targets and much better than the 2h equivalent without nerfing 2h tanks.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

More thoughts on tanktics!

So I'm desperately trying to make my brain work tonight, for some reason motivation has disappeared and I'm tempted to just watch a film or some such, but I'm going to force myself to write something. Better to at least be a bit productive today even if I did sod all at work today.

So I wrote an earlier post about having changes to the taunt and challenge mechanic by adding in a tactic which improves it by speccing deeper into the tanking tree for tanks, and after speaking with Bootae earlier in the week we liked the idea of giving sword and board (or choppa 'n' blocka) tanks something more rewarding for speccing that way in RvR. To me, tactics are an easy way to look at how tanks can be improved, we have certain ones which are shared or at least are all very similar and yet we hardly have any that interact with our archetype abilities (taunt, challenge, guard and hold the line). So after my little thought about challenge/taunt being changed a bit, how about we look at Hold the Line....

Tanks have an unused tactic which is shared amongst them... Unstoppable Juggernaut. This tactic is all but useless these days with and in fact was never that great to start with, I can't see any tank justifying using up a tactic slot on it when there is so many better tactics out there. Now I don't want to make a tactic which works with Hold the Line that makes it the Uberbestomgwtfbbqpwn tactic of all time but I do want to make something which makes you think "Hmm, could I possibly slot this instead?". So after a few thoughts and simply looking at the name of the tactic I actually realised it's fairly simple.

1 Slot Career Tactic - No range - No cool down - Passive
While using Hold The Line! you also become immune to roots, snares and knockdowns, this also increases the channeling cost of Hold The Line! to 25 AP/sec

Nice isn't it? You can still be staggered and knocked back and the AP cost does go up, but it certainly helps to make tanks push forward more and gives another nice effect to having a shield. My other version of this was was to include knock backs (but not staggers) and increase the AP again to 30/sec.

Would this make a worthless tactic better? Certainly. Would it be used? I don't yet know but I can see potential for keep sieges and with WAR heading to more important sieges it could find a very nice place. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Video: Hand of Blood - Recipe for Hate

Another video from the Hand of Blood vaults (well last night). A nice epic battle against one of the top guilds on the server (if not world) and then a little show on how to clear out a blob which is camping your war camp. Epic night of kills, it was a stupid amount again, there was over 3,000 kills in the zone when we jumped to Dragonwake to break up a potential zone lock.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Taunt , Challenge and tactics - Is there wasted potential?

So I've always thought that two of the four class defining abilities that tanks have (challenge and taunt) have no actual interaction with any other tactics or abilities. The tactics in that mastery can be good but especially as a Black Orc the top tier tanking tactic is absolutely rubbish (you can check previous rants on it in older posts). I'm sure each tanking class has the same issue, a tactic in there that really, isn't all that good and would rarely if ever be slotted and you'd gladly see another one replace it.

I have a little proposal for all tanks, it's not overly thought through so potentially it might be a bit potent or underwhelming but how about this for the top tier tactic in your tanking tree:

1 Slot Career Tactic - No range - No cool down - Passive
(insert name here)
Cool down on Taunt and Challenge is reduced by 5 seconds and the effectiveness is increased by 5%

So this would put Taunt on a 10 second cool down with 35% extra damage and Challenge on a 25 second cool down with enemies doing 65% damage to all other targets. The question is, would it become an option for you to slot, something to ignore or an essential tactic?

There's other possibilities as well, such as increased range or making Taunt a cone effect like challenge. Could we also then do things with Hold the Line?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Antiquated (Ancient) Set for Black Orcs

The Antiquated set from Land of the Deads Tomb of the Vulture Lord is a green repairable set. Once repaired it becomes Ancient (piece name). The actual set itself doesn't offer any set bonuses but does feature Strength, Toughness and Initiative as the primary stats, it's basically a T4 Surveyor set and is fairly decent to use but will quickly get replaced as it's rank 40 gear (primeval for example is much better). The set itself though replicates the Conqueror gear so it's good if you want to have some of the same appearance as it, the shoulders and helm tend to be popular. Anyway, if you want to find any of these on the Auction House, just search for "Antiquated".

Friday, 24 September 2010

Five things you didn't know about Black Orcs

Here's five things you may, or may not know about Black Orcs in Warhammer Online.

1) T'ree Hit Combo #1: It hits five times, not three. It's meant to.

2) T'ree Hit Combo: #2 It's one of the only actions that has fluff in the tool tip as well 'As Da' Big Boss would say, "Countin' is for Stuntiez" '

3) We are the only tanks that can do corporeal damage and have ailment actions

4) Our collectors edition head (the metal face plate) will be the same colour you choose for the metal bits when you create the Orc (so you can have a red or gold face plate for example)

5) We can use hammers, but none we can use actually drop from mobs or quests.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Changing da plan - A guide

So after a few weeks of 1.3.6, the biggest change to the Black Orc mechanic since launch has been used, mind you it's the only change to the Black Orc mechanic since launch so that's not saying much about the worst designed and badly implemented mechanic in the game. Thanks for throwing us a life line after nearly two years!

Anyway before I rant more about it, Mythic have mentioned in the past that they are looking at the mechanic and how it works in the future so maybe we'll see something come of it.

Well back onto "Changin' Da Plan". How does it work after testing? Overall it's not too bad, in fact it can work very well but also leads to over complication. I actually know of Rank 40 Black Orcs that haven't bothered with it as the mechanic and finger fiddling is enough for them without adding in another one. However I would recommend that all Black Orcs pick it up and use it as much as possible to learn the benefits of the new action.

Key points to remember about CDP.

+ It costs no AP
+ It's off the global cool down
+ In combination with Big Swing you can 'preload' to the third plan
+ You can step back to second plan when in our third plan

- It's not just to preload a plan
- It has a 5 second cool down which cannot be removed
- It can complicate a rotation
- Accidental use can cause problems

The act of moving up plans to second or third after using Big Swing in preparation for combat is known as Preloading. Prior to engaging in ORvR I'll often setup a big swing or knockback if near a cliff face (I still gloat to this day about my preset aoe knock back killing four order that had come out of hunters vale near a cliff in Dragonwake and slid down the side of the terrain face taking fall damage).

However talking to some fellow Black Orcs and they tend to use it to setup moves at the start but then it gets lost in the shuffle of combat. Setting a rotation in your head is potentially the best you can do rather than trying to hit it in the middle of combat without thinking ahead. You can also preload third plans by using Big Swing to move straight onto it, letting you smack a target down straight away leaving them open for the melee dps to rip them into pieces.

Rotations (and stepping back)
Rotations pre 1.3.6 were fairly standard you could easily sit spamming three different actions but now with Changing Da Plan it can complicate things and lead to more actions being used.

Two example rotations are below:

ORvR (preloaded onto plan 2) - If on healer attack duty
Big Swing - Not in Da face - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Big Swing - Shut Yer Face - Wot Armour? - Big Swing - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Big Swing - Savin Me Hide - Wot Armour?

Single Target (example in PvE)
Wot Armour - CHANGE DA PLAN! - T'ree Hit Combo - Follow my lead - Right in Da jibblies - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Trip Em Up - T'ree Hit Combo

As you can see, CDP isn't always used when it's on cool down for the simple reason that it can sometimes break a better rotation. For example in the Single target rotation we actually change off the third plan away from t'ree hit to use a snare, even in PvE. The reason for this is actually straight forward. When you reach the third plan you actually have a 1.5-2 second cool down left on T'ree Hit and using another 3rd plan ability might not add much more damage. If you change down to second plan and immediately use Trip Em Up you will be ready for T'ree Hit again straight away. One great little unintentional boost that T'ree Hit now has is that it because it's a channeled skill which takes exactly as long as the cool down on CDP.

Lag does play a part in this though, so be warned that changing plans in heavy lag can take a few seconds to register leaving you wasting cool downs. Experiment a bit in each situation you're in to find your lag level and how you feel with a long rotation. It's not about memorising one rotation for each situation, it's about using a base rotation and swapping out actions for each situation. For example you probably won't bother too much about Trip Em Up on a slayer but using big swing may prove to be efficient if you don't have action point management issues.

So in conclusion. Changing Da Plan can be a very powerful tool, though can also be used poorly causing more issues or not using it to its full potential. If you've never used it, or are unsure on using it, please take the time to play around with some low damage champion mobs to find a rotation you like. Get used to using CDP in non dangerous or crazy situations and that will get you more comfortable in using it.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

'appy second WAAAAGHday to Warhammer!

Two years old and still going.

Not bad for a game that was going to get shut down by Xmas 2008 and is dead in the water being in "Maintenance Mode".

May everyone at Bioware Mythic keep on Waaaghing for a long long time, I look forward to another two years at least of Warhammer Online. Thanks to all the devs that work and have worked on the game and to all the bloggers and twitters that keep the community going. Kudos also to everyone who just plays the game and shows support quietly by going out and enjoy it, you truly are the stars of this MMO.

Happy Birthday Warhammer.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Video: Hand of Blood - Sleepless in Praag

Another video from our epic adventures in the lakes. Well in this case it was one lake, we pretty much spent all night in Praag against all odds (literally with the buff). A sickening number of kills in total (I think we counted up to 1,200 by the time we called it a night) and one of our RR79's got 1/3rd of his renown bar during it. Awesome fun, a mix of classes and good banter all night, we wiped others and got wiped but always picked ourselves up and headed back out. Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A proposal on how Mythic can make Black Orcs da biggest.

So I'm beating this subject to death again, only this time I will offer a solution. Adding character changes as they level up can already be done as can be seen by the Magus disk and the White Lions pet so we know this is a possibility already to put in but the question remains, that if Mythic decided to put it back in, how could they? This is where I attempt to answer that.

First of all, lets give Mythic some money out of it. There will be a WAR booster pack out which would add to all classes and races a way to customise your appearance further depending on your renown rank, this is achieved through the use of special 'dyes'. If you have the collectors edition you know about the head dyes which give you the special faces, this would act the same way, allowing you to apply a new change to the character.

For Black Orcs I would propose the following.

Upon achieving renown rank 20 you get a mail in the post from a Sneaky Git letting you know that there is an old warboss in a zone that is ready to get a good kicking and this would be a great chance to push yourself up the ranks in Grumlocks Waaaagh! So off you trot to the location, find the Orc and give him a hiding he wont forget, seeing that you're a much tougher Orc than he is, he gives you some fungus beer and a leg of ham and slips off into the distance admitting that you're much bigger than he is. This beer can be used in the special dye slot to increase the size of the Black Orc by 1% It's not a lot but still, you're not yet a tough Black Orc like Grumlock. Also the leg of ham, if used in the special dye slot will darken your skin a bit.

Once you get to RR40 another mail appears again from the Sneaky Git. This leads you to a quest to complete involving blowing up stunties, much hilarity and then defeating another bigger Orc in a headbutting contest. Upon completion of this you receive another pair of dye items to use which increases the size of the Black Orc to 3% above base size and the other will darken your skin further, also you receive quite a large trophy to proudly wear showing you're bigger than other Orcs.

This process repeats itself at RR60. A quest which sends you off to take some Elf ears and track down an Orc which has betrayed Grumlock in exchange for his own pile of shinies from the High Elfs (which in reality is just a load of shiny stones). Once this is done, you will again receive the two dye items which once used increases the size of the Black Orc to 5% of the base size and darkens the gnarly green hide of your Black Orc even more. Along side this though you are granted a Shield, this has no stats and is bound to player, in fact it's a unique skin for the appearance system, it turns the shield into a High Elf shaped/design but with Orc glyphs and no doubt some extra spiky bits attached to it. Again, this shows off you have achieved RR60 if you want to use the appearance.

Guess what happens at RR80? The sneaky git reveals himself to be Gazbag who has been watching you. Having defeated an old Warboss in the orc lands, a warboss in the stuntie lands and a warboss in the elf lands it's time to head to the Empire and lay down Grumlocks law on a warboss which has had a siege set on Praag for months now without progressing and in fact is getting fatter, lazier and his boyz are getting more and more worthless as each day progresses. So a quest is set forth to get them sorted for Grumlock until you draw the ire of the big, fat warboss. Again, once you defeat him you feel the power of the Waaagh and as all Orcs do when they defeat a bigger Orc they themselves become bigger. The dyes you receive this time increases your size to 7% of the base, make you even darker and in addition you retrieve a choppa which is in fact the Runefang which was lost to a great Waaaagh many centuries ago. Again, this is only appearance, and not effect.

Finally, when all appears to be settled down, Grumlock calls upon you at RR100. The Skaven have used some evil ratty magic to enslave one of Grumlocks trusted Black Orc bosses. You have to go down there, break the enchantment (and a few skaven skulls), upon doing this the boss wakes up and realising that the only way to redeem himself to Grumlock would be to give you a solid beating takes you on at a fight. Once/if/when you defeat the boss (it doesn't have to be easy, just a challenge for a solo player) the now beaten boss, hands over a chunk of warpstone, a cooked rat and a massive, black warpstone enchanted two handed great choppa. The warpstone will increase the size of the Black Orc to 10% over the base, the cooked rat will darken the skin further and the great choppa is a unique appearance for great weapons.

And that's that! It doesn't need to go further, it can be expanded to other races and classes (dwarves get longer beards and more gnarled looks, Bright Wizards may gain more burn marks or flames erupt around them (oooh particle effects) etc etc). You also don't have to use each item, it's simply there if you want to you might like your skin the current colour so there's no need to change it, your size might not appeal to you and you may like the appearance of other items better. Whatever your choice though it's that. A choice, you're not forced to buy it as it offers no in game advantage and even if bought if you dont like the look of being bigger and darker, well heck, you don't need to use it!

I'd pay for it for sure.

Monday, 6 September 2010

How to be Grimgor Ironhide

Grimgor Ironhide
No one knows Grimgor’s early history. He came from the east, staggering out the Blasted Wastes with an unknown number of grizzled, tired and hungry Black Orc bodyguards, now known to other Orcs as "Da Immortulz" (The Immortals). Upon entering the northern portion of the Worlds Edge Mountains he quickly took over the first tribes of Greenskins he came upon and within a month had carved out a small empire for himself. From there he set course on a campaign of destruction that the northern Worlds Edge Mountains had rarely seen in their history.

So with the new armour and weapon appearance system in place I thought it would be a fun idea to try to replicate some of the famous Orcs from lore. For my first one I decided on Grimgor Ironhide, as you can read above (and the link sends you to a Wikipedia article about him if you want to find out more).

So I did a bit of digging around on him and came across pictures of him and his miniature in the tabletop game. I decided to stick with the Games Workshop colour theme and try to replicate his armour and appearance as much as possible. Now a word of warning, it will not be 100% accurate, for once thing Lokax has a big metal plate stuck on his head so please ignore that for the sake of appearance, and the armour in game does not always equal what you see in artwork or on miniatures so it's as best as I can manage. Grimgor also appears in game at the last Greenskin hard PQ I believe, I've not used this as reference at all.

My rule of thumb for these is that all equipment should be relatively OK to put together, I want to try and avoid Sovereign and the likes so that most people can put together the same gear. Below are a couple of painted models (the first is the Games Workshop painted one so I've gone with that colour scheme) that I used for reference as well as the artwork above.

The actual armour set I came up with was easier than expected once I'd stopped trying to be absolutely perfect. For example I was looking for boots without spikes on the knees but were heavy full plate... Don't think there is any, so I had to settle on spikes. Same with the shoulders, I couldn't find any rounded shoulders that looked like Grimgors so I had to use ones with spikes on them. Oh and also, lets not mention the pose...

During my travels should I come across more armour models that will suit it better I will update the armour list. If you read the background, at one point Grimgor heads into High Pass so I placed him there for the screenshot. But in the meantime here we go...

Head: None/Hidden
Shoulders: Shouldaplate of the Fallen Explorer (green drop from Land of the Dead)
Chest: Primeval/Invader/Darkpromise
Back: None/Hidden
Gloves: Primeval/Invader/Darkpromise
Belt: Primeval/Invader/Darkpromise
Boots: Primeval/Invader/Darkpromise
Weapon: Bigchoppa of the Darkscale (from Lost Vale but the model does appear quite often)

I used Chaos Black primary dye and Ulgu grey secondary dye (ok, I used the Dye Preview addon) to get the colouring right and for the belt I used.. gah, can't remember now, but chaos black is the secondary colour. I used a knife trophy to try and simulate the choppa Grimgor has on the side and removed the other trophies.

It's easier to get the primeval pieces as there is no Renown or dungeon required. Just search for "priceless" on the auction house to find the repairable pieces.

You can also read more about Grimgor Ironhide on the official GW website here