Thursday, 28 January 2010

Details on the night of murder and scurvy dogs.

The latest WAR Europe newsletter published some sneak peaks of the upcoming live events as we welcome in the night of murder on February the 10th (though since it lasts a week maybe it should be the nights of murder? week of murder?). It also gives us a little more information on the scurvy dogs event. So for those who are yet to see it, here's a copy/paste job.
Live Event: Night of Murder
When: February 10th – February 17th, 2010
What: Love em to death!

Basic Butcher’s Blessing (+10% xp/renown/damage/incoming healing) and lasts for 3 in-game days
Advanced – Well-Mounted Skull – Places a pike next to the body of a fallen foe, topped with their head
Elite Khaine’s Caress – Event Slot item with Career-specific stats

World Drop ItemThe Noggin & Burning Blood Potion (that is to say, Khaine’s Regard, the ring, no longer drops)


Avast , me mateys - for the Scurvy Dogs are upon us! If plunderin’ be your port of call then prepare for a weekend of plank walkin’, swashbucklin’ and bare knucklin’ as WAR hits the high seas!

Scurvy Dogs introduces a new scenario – The Ironclad! The forces of Destruction seek to silence the cannons and bash some stunties as they invade from their makeshift pontoons. Be blasted into the air by sea mines in 6 vs. 6 close-quarters combat. Gyrocopters and Zeppelins fight to dominate the skies as you work with your team to control key areas on the Ironclad.

Become a dread pirate as you unlock the weekend events achievements within the Tome of Knowledge and see if you can earn the title “Dread Pirate. And if that doesn’t sate your appetite for booty then 25% more medallions might put some wind in your sails!


Both events sounds pretty good as always, hoping we don't have an emote spam live event and the 6v6 is always good fun, and with more medallions then I can see a weekend of mass scenarios (though typically I work Saturdays so that's one less day for me.. grrrr). Overall though, no complaints from what I see there... Now we just wait on the 1.3.4 notes...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Mythic clears up some bits on 1.3.4

Will just post this here, will comment later on as smushing order at the moment :)


Some of the Scenario currency will be obtainable for characters who are Rank 40 during Keep capture/defense as well as successfully winning both Stage 1 & 2 within a city's Contested state. While the bulk of it will be obtained within Scenario play, you are also gaining it for participating in certan ORvR activities.

Please keep in mind that this design is expansive and malleable. Due to Scenarios introducing the "new shiny" - we fully expect to see a drop in ORvR participation at first but then balance itself out. The rewards (ones being released with this patch as well as planned rewards in the future) have been carefully crafted to complement, not overshadow, those obtainable in ORvR.

As Andy has mentioned - he has brought up the premade situation to us on a number of occassions. While we are investigating means to provide a more balanced play experience for everyone, it's not a situation with a simple solution. We definitely hear your complaints and are looking into it, however.

In regards to the feedback about the cities and campaign - we have a large scale plan for the cities we hope to get into the patch following v1.3.4. The adjustment being released with this patch is a dependency for this plan. It has never been our intent to reset the campaign after a city's Contested state, dust off our hands, and leave it at that. We're not prepared to go into the specifics regarding the details of the plan just quite yet, though.

More 1.3.4 goodness.

By now everyone has read and posted about the 1.3.4 sneak peak we got yesterday. So... uhm... yeah.. I'm late doing it but when the post went up on the US forums we were in Vulture Lord (damn you 8th boss, down to 14%) and then I basically couldn't be arsed typing anything up at 11pm :)

So here goes my wee look over what was announced

At this point the plan is to have 1.3.4 on PTS by the first week of February or (at the latest) early the second week of February. Patch notes, of course, will accompany the opening of Warpstone.
We know this, but it's good to have it confirmed and more importantly when we can expect the full patch notes which we're all keen on.

We will be introducing an entire new line of weapons earned via RvR (this is the "feature players have been asking for"). These weapons will be purchasable via a vendor and will not be bought using medallions or crests, instead utilizing an entirely new currency system earned via Scenario gameplay from tiers 1-4. More information about these new items and how they're earned will be forthcoming in a Dev Diary with Developer Sean Bosshardt.
Ahh, so I'm wrong (there's a surprise, my track record isn't the best). My money was on the Warlord weapons being purchasable with warlord tokens and the sovereign dropping from the Kings. The mechanic sounds good though, although it will lead to a lot more scenario fights this will help those who prefer smaller premade battles, though it's worrying for the pugs who will get steamrolled by the top end premades. I can see the currency being much as they do for WoWs battlegrounds. For each scenario you get a generic currency but for winning a scen you get three special tokens (drawing or losing would be one token) based on that pairing. So you might find that some weapons may cost 20 Greenskin tokens and 100 Generics.. Best hope your party likes the greenskin scenarios...

We are completely reworking the current structure of Scenarios by removing some of the less popular and streamlining the tiering of Scenarios. There will be more details upcoming in a Dev Diary from Content/RvR Lead Mike Wyatt next month.
Streamlining the tiering sounds... interesting. Some have commented that it probably means adding rank 40 only scenarios as well.. Wouldn't that be adding more rather than streamlining them? Though thinking about it now they might go for 1-15 being tier 1, 16-30 being tier 2, 31-39 being tier 3 and tier 4 scens for rank 40's only... Maybe... We'll have to wait and see, one thing that is almost guaranteed though.. Thunder Valley will be dissapearing (about time, it's dreadful)

The last tidbit is a change to the way that the campaign functions. Starting with 1.3.4, once a Contested City flips into the Captured state (otherwise called "Stage 2") the Open RvR Campaign will now restart, leaving the realm sieging their enemies city with a tough decision: Stay in the city, possibly defeating your opponent's King, or retreat back to the open field to defend your realm?
This is actually pretty neat, the attacked forced could (in theory) lock down the opponents city if the underdog points are high enough, highly unlikely but would be amusing to have both kings dead. But seriously, it's a nice idea, gets people back out to the battlefield quicker. It's more renown from one zone lock than an hours worth of empty city instances. Hopefully this also means scenarios will open up fully and we can put the Reikland Factory and Twisting Tower scenarios during stage one of a city siege.

Looks decent enough so far. But, we're waiting about a month for the actual patch notes so it may yet change. As others have stated and so have I, it's highly unlikely this will be a huge combat and class update, I don't expect any nerfing of classes or abilities in this patch, that will come in the next major I believe. Anything else mentioned on forums etc is just pure speculation with no solid proof.

Monday, 18 January 2010

What happens when you've done everything?

Yesterday morning (well 11:30 ish) we killed the King. For most of the guild this was now no big thing as they've been there a few times now, but for me it was one of the 'big things' in my list to mark off. I came away with two Sovereign pieces and I'm now starting to realise that although I'm only Renown Rank 74 that's still only 6 more renown levels to go and I should or be very close to full Sov by that time wiping another end game item off my list.

So what do you do when you're RR80 in full Sov?

I know for some RR80 is the kiss of death as the motivation to spend time fighting disappears when there's no personal gain (and lets be honest about it, everyone wants to get something from WAR). Others can carry on fighting away without bothering that there's no more purple numbers floating about but I don't think people know what they will feel until that time comes.

I look at the guild and I see multiple people over renown rank 70 with sovereign gear and I wonder... What's in WAR to keep these people interested after the next couple of months pass? With more and more people in general now hitting the caps Mythic needs to talk openly with the community about plans or what people would like to see once they're 40/80. The obvious is to expand the renown ranks and level but might this be better for an expansion (which right now doesn't look to be happening until at least the two year birthday).

Personally I'd like to see an expanded Influence bar open when you're 40/80 which requires vast amounts of influence (gained from killing players only, so no zone locks etc) but offers not only weapons, armour and accessories but special trophies, titles, mounts and even some non combat pets mixed in as well. Of course, this influence bar would only be open for as long as there is a 40/80 cap, when that lifts then the influence bar disappears and the chance to get those items disappears with it...

Friday, 15 January 2010

What can we expect in 1.3.4 ?

This week we've started to see information filter through a bout 1.3.4 so I figured I would make a quick post looking over what we can possibly expect. Of course, all of this is subject to change and a lot is just my own personal opinion.

Expected PTS and Live date?
According to Werit the PTS MAY be up for 1.3.4 in early February. Meaning it's likely then we'd get 1.3.4 on live at the end of February, although I believe it's more likely to be the first couple of weeks in Feb it goes onto the PTS then early March we see it on live.

What can we expect from the patch?
Bug Fixes seem to be the popular choice. We can also expect more than just a handful of fixes to the ever present bugs. So what else? My safe bet is the addition of weapons and cloaks to the RvR loot. I also think we'll see the scenario structure changes. Anything bigger will be in 1.4. The only other possibility might be the start of the economy restructure driven by the South Korean launch (they have mentioned in the past that the Korean market enjoys a well created and playable economy).

Big Un or Little Un?
Hard to tell right now, I'd expect it to be a small to medium sized update to get us started in the new year (keep in mind a lot of development work will have been shut down for the winter holiday) and I'm sure they'd like to get something out to pacify us as well as fix the bugs. I expect the one after 1.3.4 to be a biggy but don't expect miracles in the next patch.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Da biggest?

With the rumblings about Black Orc size starting once more I found this little movie over at the excellent looking Da Blog (Hungarian Waaaaaaaaaaagh to you over there, sadly I can't read Hungarian but the blog itself looks impressive). It's not in Hungarian but I'd like any Black Orcs and anyone else with an interest in the lore and background of Warhammer to watch and do your thing at the end of it.

Go forth and be da big WAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

Support your Black Orcs, put the image on your forum signature, blog or anywhere else

Monday, 11 January 2010

A Black Orcs wishes for the new year.

After my personal WAR Christmas list a few weeks back, I figured I'd do a fairly selfish new years one for Black Orcs and what I'd like to see happen to my class over the next year.

1) Changes to the Plan Mechanic
The biggest pain to Black Orcs (and our mirrors the Swordmasters) is our mechanic, a "nice in theory but horribly implemented" mechanic which heavily restricts what we can and cannot use. For those who don't know what the plan mechanic is, the basic idea is that each attack leads onto another one, getting more powerful as the plan moves on before resetting back to the first step. There are three plans and they progress as you use an ability from each one. Instead we get...

  • A mechanic which breaks in lag (plan doesn't move on and your stuck on first plan attacks)
  • Puts your crowd control abilities on advanced plans so you have no CC on first contact
  • Offers no actual benefit as our last plans might cost no AP, but it's countered by higher than average AP costs on the first two plans...
  • Unable to move back a step when on our final plan (which for the record is where our snare is)
  • A very ill thought out middle plan with no basic strong abilities
The whole system is highly frustrating and needs a revamp. I'd like to see a cross between the hate/grudge and rage mechanic where actions are deemed "Smart" or "Hitty" and as you use say Smart actions you gain smart points which tilt the dial one way giving more benefits to smart abilities (less AP, more damage etc) but if you start using Hitty abilities then the dial will start to move back towards Hitty lessening your Smart benefits but increasing the Hitty ones.. make sense? No? Meh....

2) Get bigger
"Black Orcs will get bigger as they increase in power" Oh how I waited for this only to be dashed by it as they decided that Choppas needed this instead.. I posted about it a while ago but Mythic deemed that it was not suitable as Choppas needed to be bigger to indicate a bigger threat.. You know because the fact they are charging about with red rage flying around them doesn't indicate it enough... Now we're not looking for it to be based on plan or a rage count but all we were looking for is a minor increase for every 10 levels and 10 renown ranks or so up to a maximum when you get 40/80 where we'd be fully enraged Choppa size... My hope is still there, it was one of these "That's cool!" things that Mythic were quick to tell us about but fail to implement :(

3) Bellows still unbalanced
Bellows were the second mechanic Black Orcs get. One of three permanent buffs which we can apply, almost like an aura but they require us to actually do something.. and it's a proc so never guaranteed. The problem is, one is a standard and the other two are highly situational and to be perfectly honesty, pretty weak. Our brawler bellow is the typical one where we steal stats and apply to ourselves and party. I love it, it's great, the group loves it, no-one ever moans about it (apart from when I pull a target by accident as it procs onto them).

The other two are now fairly.. meh. Our toughest bellow which prior to the infamous 1.1 nerf bat was pretty incredible but now is certainly not "da toughest" but more of "da pillow" as it's now 40% as effective as we get a 25% chance to heal ourselves for 320-480 (and increase our wounds by 32-48) every time we hit something with a 10 second cool down (and of course the increase in wounds we get is only half as good as it seems due to the wounds soft cap. Da Greenest is all but useless, 25% on getting hit to increase resist/armour (depending on what you get hit by) by roughly 320/840 respectively, it also apples the same buff to party members within 100 feet. Sounds nice... but really, as a tank in RvR you are the last one getting targeted so it doesn't benefit your group, but again the soft cap on resists and armour means the actual buff you get tends to be half as effective as it reads.

The last two still need some serious work to bring them back to a decent level. The toughest buff is decent in duels/solo RvR but other wise offers no benefit in large scale RvR or when you're at full health. I'd like to see it become active when you defend against an attack as well and maybe just up the self heal a bit (I'd happily lose the increase in wounds). Da Greenest is a bit trickier as it comes from our Da Boss tree which suffers from identity problems (and in all honesty would be on this list as well but I forgot). By the description it's "A master path focused on buffs and group support" and in this tree we have... Two buffs/group support actions. One which gives our group mates an extra 560 armour (but you have to be within 20 feet and it costs 45 AP!) and another which is a tactic that gives our defensive target +100 or so weapon skill. I would personally swap Da Biggest to Da Greenest (group support and buffs remember) and almost mirror the Swordmaster 'bellow' for Da Biggest to become one which has a 25% chance on hitting to reduce armour of your opponent or increase strength .

4) Bashas (where's our maces!)
Black Orcs have a skill which lets us use maces/hammers. Basically they're called Bashas. You can sometimes see Orc NPC's running around with huge chunks of stone attached to a tree branch smacking folks about the head.

We don't get them

We don't even get a single hammer or mace we can use unless we pickup the dreadful land of the dead ones.

So when you next feel like adding new weapons into the game Mythic, there's a load of unused artwork and models which Black Orcs would like to use as it would give us a basha to break skulls with. There's even names of bashas in the Warhammer background if you're that desperate.

5) Improved Itemisation
I think this goes for a lot of classes and not just Black Orcs. The item set bonuses. The bonuses themselves on magic items (seriously... +8 willpower on our Warlord and Sovereign jewel is not gud).

Our Tyrant four piece is pointless... +5% parry when Black Orcs can't make a parry build plus you gave us the same bloody bonus on Conqueror. Warlord five piece is +5 disrupt... Disrupt is one of these things that happens by accident, you cannot stack it to make it worthwhile compared to every BW being Intelligence soft capped and I'd certainly not choose it over +76 strength or wounds for example, oh and just to add though, you cannot disrupt PBAoE which is 95% of a Bright Wizards abilities.

What is most important to Black Orcs in my opinion is (in no particular order):
Strength, Toughness, Wounds, Block, Melee Crit. Then you can have weapon skill, melee power, initiative (mainly for tanking PvE content) and then the random assortment of abilities which get tacked onto sets and go from absolutely dreadful to pretty damn cool without any rhyme nor reason.

Itemisation was something mentioned recently in the producers letter so lets hope they take a look and speak to the community about what they would like from the sets and item bonuses.


Well that was more than I had intended and in all honesty I could probably talk more about certain things in that list but I might come back to it. It might 'sound' like a negative post but it's just wishes and desires for my class that I play, I think I will have to do a 5 things that Mythic did right with the Black Orc in 2009 to make up for this :)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

GOA loses the Dark Age of Camelot licence

Doesn't affect anyone in the US, but over here there HAS to be some rumblings. For what it's worth I think GOA do a good job for European customers. The CSR's have been friendly and helpful and any server crashes I believe are more related the game stability rather than the server itself. Updates to the game are within 48 hours (barring European holidays/weekends) compared to DAoC's weeks - months. It's news on a slow news day...

Mythic Welcomes European Players of DAoC
Posted By: Andy Belford
2010-01-07 12:26:32

Today, it was announced that after eight years of operating Dark Age of Camelot in Europe, GOA’s license with Mythic Entertainment will soon expire and they will no longer publish or support the game.

Over the years, GOA has fostered a vibrant and dedicated community that is passionate about the game. In the coming weeks, GOA will be entrusting Mythic with this community of players.

We are currently working with GOA to take over operation of the game and its European community, and will soon be providing details about pressing player questions such as existing subscriptions, character transfers, game versions, localization, and more. We look forward to welcoming all players from the European servers and look forward to supporting them in the years to come.

While this closes one chapter for DAoC in Europe, a new one begins with a bright future of RvR ahead.

We’ll see you in the Frontiers!

Mythic Entertainment

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Last Orders

No, no.. Not the remains of Order (of which there are plenty still infesting the land) but the signal to end Keg End, Warhammer New Year Live Event. Another year done, more beer drunk and more fireworks than you can stick up a stunty.

Overall I think it was an average even for WAR. Nothing really special to remember it by this year but nothing that made me swear (too much)

Da Gud...
Black Fire Basin: Welcome return for this scenario I haven't seen since.. Oooh... tier three over a year ago. With the bonus renown and a new central flag mechanic I really enjoyed it when this scenario popped. Of course, the wintery theme to it just added to the year end feel.
Tasks showing what you need: Toast 12 allied careers... Ok I have 11, what am I missing? Simply click the task and it now shows you exactly without any fuss. Other live events have shown you by hiding it away in the tome but this year was the first (that I remember) which made the information easy to hand
Party Kegs: Nice idea, and seems there's a desire by engineers and Magi to allow them to have an ability which is much the same to let them build barricades. This needs to be fleshed out a bit more and made so it's not exploitable (build only where you can mount for example, and must be destroyable by the enemy).

Da Bad...
Fecken Giants: I solo killed 20 of them, group killed another 5 and didn't see a single goblin beer carrier :( Now it's ONLY 25 mobs killed, but keep in mind that one spawns per zone, in the RvR area and it's on a 90+ minute respawn in one area which everyone knows about. I just couldn't face waiting for hours for one mob to get some fireworks for my effort anymore... Very disappointed.
Event Rewards: The trophy was the same as last year, at least they could have coloured it differently or made it have a different name to indicate it was a different years. The keg was nice but only active for a few days and the event item only lasts until the next event and is just another couple of stats. There's nothing there that says "I did Keg End 2009/10" other than the 'Broo Dog' title.
The Keg End Tasks: Mehhhhhhhh..... Kill 50 (three times), boast (twelve times), toast (twelve times), set off (lots) of fireworks. Really unimaginative and just involves spamming a few times or just a night in the lakes/scenarios. Could have done with some more exploring ones or more special things to do.

Overall I'd put it towards the lower end of the live events Mythic have done, it was entirely forgettable and can't say I'll be mentioning it a few months down the line.

Monday, 4 January 2010

So I seen end game yesterday

And hit Karl Franz over the head with my choppa...

Our alliance on Karak Norn has been killing the King now for a few weeks but due to not being picked as a tank I've been sitting out (no harm done, my time will come) but I've also been helping out the lesser warded folks and going through the Warlord instances with the non King pushing war band. Yesterday we had a fair amount of folks on and took out both Warlord instances (one blue bag for me but everyone needed the golds that got it so no master loot down :( ) and then we went onto the Shadow Warrior, Engineer and Reiksguard. They all fell to our might and we visited the king, now we were low on DPS and wards so we had no real chance of taking him down, however we still went and had a quick shot at him to see what he's like (folks had to go) and I have to admit, he seems straight forward enough.

But... By Gork, the stage 2 city instances are buggy as heck. The amount of times things just randomly reset or mobs bugged out and did weird things is silly. Stage 2 is a complete mess, it's fun right now because it still feels 'new' to me since I don't see it too often but otherwise it feels very ... betaish still. I don't see them fixing this due to the changes coming in for the instances to be more RvR orientated, but for them to do this they need to completely remove the current instances and rebuild them from scratch, far too much is already buggy with them and to simply modify the existing instances would just make them worse.

Oh and just to annoy me more, I've discovered that weapons above warlord level ones drop from the three palace bosses. Touch annoying as that now makes the top three weapons all PvE drops :(