Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Also today.. RvR Adjustments in 1.3.6

ZOMG! Double post day!!

We'd like to announce some upcoming changes for RvR in v1.3.6. As stated by Carrie Gouskos in a recent Producer's Letter, there are many upcoming changes for ORvR in the near future. While some of these changes do affect ORvR, they do not conclude the list by any means. We are vigilantly working on much larger improvements to be released in a later version.

  • ORvR: Victory Points for PVE and Prior Tier have been removed. New pool values are as follows:
    • Tier 1
      • Objectives: 40%
      • Scenarios: 40%
      • Skirmish: 20%
    • Tiers 2 & 3
      • Objectives: 45%
      • Scenarios: 35%
      • Skirmish: 20%
    • Tier 4
      • Objectives: 45%
      • Scenarios: 30%
      • Skirmish: 25%

  • ORvR: Zone capture rewards will now only be awarded to players within the RvR lake or an associated Tier's Scenario. Players will remain eligible for rewards for 5 minutes after leaving the RvR lake or an associate's Tier's Scenario as long as the player is within the appropriate pairing.
  • Against All Odds: in the event that an army is outnumbered within an RvR lake, members of the outnumbered army will receive a scaling bonus to Experience, Renown and Influence. This bonus becomes active on qualified players after being outnumbered by 20% or more. The bonus cannot surpass 400% and requires at least 6 players of each Realm to be present within the RvR lake.
  • Scenarios: players with the "Quitter!" debuff will no longer suffer a penalty to Experience and Renown but will now be unable to queue for a Scenario until the "Quitter!" debuff has faded.
  • Contested Cities: Players belonging to the Realm that lost Stage 3 will now always be properly disabled by the Routed ability.
  • Contested Cities: Portals leading out of the Khorne War Quarters and Slaanesh Chambers no longer check for combat status.
  • Contested Cities: Guards will no longer spawn at the six objectives within Altdorf and The Inevitable City.

This is all quite a lot of info to digest. Against all odds only gives xp/renown/influence so wont impact the actual fighting (I initially misread this part, so apologies if you read something else here :D ) . Quitter change looks decent as well and how many people will we see hiding just inside the rvr lake but still close enough to the warcamp to get guard protection? Fair few I bet,

Changin' da plan

So we get a new ability in 1.3.6 known as "Changin' da plan". Here's the details straight from Mythic.

Black Orc:
  • A new ability, "Changin' Da Plan", is now trainable at Rank 3. This ability will instantly shift you from No Plan into Da Good Plan, or from Da Good Plan into Da Best Plan, or from Da Best Plan into Da Good Plan. It is off of the global cooldown, and has a 5 second cooldown of its own.
To add to this, Mythic have stated it won't cost any AP.

So what to make of it. Well it's something which isn't a nerf lets put it that way. It does seem a very clunky way of handling things, adding an extra ability for us to fit onto overloaded action bars. Removing it off the global cool down is good but certainly not a huge advantage as the game is fairly unresponsive at the best of times, let alone in laggy situations where it won't actually help (and possibly will end up making you change plan when you don't want as it queues your actions all over the place).

I am thinking of ways to use it already and can skip out parts of a rotation now, a lot will involve timing and proper use of CDP will make a Borc more effective, however bad use of it can cause more problems than it's worth and possibly you gain it too quickly where you will still be getting the hang of using the plan mechanic leading to over complication.

Is it good? Yes for the simple reason that if it's bad we don't NEED to use it.

Is it a fix? No. The mechanic is still horribly broken with poor game response, bad action design, ill thought out combinations and our CC is still on cool downs which limits the effectiveness of changing plans if you activate it too early leaving you with the choice... Use another ability or wait for the cool down and lose precious damage.

I'm still trying ot think of a better way to run the mechanic within the limits that Mythic would put in, but it's harder than thought. I do love Bootaes idea of adding in the effect of the tactic which grants 0/+10/+20 crit depending on the plan, however I would drop that to 0/+5/+10 and also add the same rate to be added for Block and Parry (after all we're tanks).

Monday, 28 June 2010

So while I woz away....

Mythic and GOA change things around.. I read the details from the phone but doesn't look too bad. I'll have a quick post about it tomorrow as I have nothing but good things to say about GOA and the European community team.

Also, I noticed Bootae asked a question about Black Orc (and SM) mechanics to me, I'll have a quick think and get back to you on that this week :)

Enjoy folks, seems us in Europe get a weeks no progression before the transfers are done to Mythic servers... Annoying since I'm now back from holiday, although the Steam sale is looking gud...

Monday, 21 June 2010

Off on 'oliday again

Away from the PC for a week to enjoy some quality time with the better half and the sun. Have a good summer all and don't forget the suntan lotion!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Surveyor set for Black Orcs

The Surveyor non-set comes from Mount Gunbad. It's repairable green items so fairly easy to get (I got most of them from a drunken naked war band.... and bought the rest for a few silver). It's a decent looking set, and the shoulders are often known as the coat hanger shoulders. It's a nice looking set, you can find repeats of the set items throughout the early stages of tier 3 so if you like the look there's a fair chance you can pickup the bits without having to bother going into Mount Gunbad. As an added bonus I included the Surveyor one hander and two hander weapons (didn't find the shield, but if I do I'll add the picture to this post). It does come pre-dyed in green and black. Trophies on shoulders not included....

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A dedicated followorc of fashion

So part of my little ongoing quest is to complete every Greenskin quest in the game (currently finished tier 1 and 2 and almost done with tier 3). I actually levelled up in the Dark Elf zones as back in the old days there was no Black Guard so hanging around in there gave me lots of opportunities to group with players running PQ's etc. This has worked well in my favour now as I go back, run the Greenskin quests and read the story behind each one and follow the grand pairing storyline. Some of the quests are brilliant and I'm sure in my rush to level I would have skipped reading them. Do yourselves a favour, run the Greenskin quest line and just follow it, I mean you can't beat a goblin in disguise as a slayer with a load of moldy beards stuck to his face, Gork speaking to you and being launched by a catapult.

Anyway, what does this have to do with fashion? Well it's also letting me do another personal quest which has been inspired by Blog the Witch who looked for a lot of unique designs and the announcement of the item appearance changes. And that is to collect every type of item for Black Orcs in game, all the models and skins that are different. This was made slightly trickier in 1.3.5 as they changed a lot of the green drops, so no Precursor pieces dropping which may not be replaced by another item. It's quite fun to realise though that the rank 39 green shoulders use the old tier 1 graphic though, so it's a decent change.

Thank Gork though, for the expanded bank space right now as it's starting to fill up...

This is NOT including any set items, so no invader, warlord etc in this screenshot and has only a couple of the tier 4 weapons.

So this will let me work out a combination of items which looks and just feels right for Lokax, I love tinkering with his appearance, right now he's just a giant red Orc in sovereign but it's not quite unique enough for me. I have never showed my helm due to loving his iron face plate and broken tusk face (does anyone have an idea if the special Choppa Teef face change works on Black Orcs?). I have a provisional set worked out, which looks a lot more scrappy, maybe not quite 'ard enough but it looks not too bad at all. I will be missing quite a lot of old influence rewards I will have picked up at some point and dumped and sometimes it's hard to tell if it's a different graphic or not for quest rewards, so when giving the choice of two you have to just hope it's different. I'm helped at least by some old concept shots of Black Orc armour and weapons, so I'm keeping my eyes out for anything which may resemble them. And of course, I'm desperately looking for a basha (club/mace) as there's plenty of Orc NPC's with them, just never seen a drop or a model of one for players :(

Anyway back to the quests!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Hell Yeah! Orcs in Helicopters!

Nothing to do with WAR, but it's Warhammer 40k Orcs.... In Helicopters... Online...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Da Toughest - A Guide to the Black Orc Tanking Mastery


In the second part of my guide to Black Orcs I'll be discussing our primary mastery - the tanking role. We have a whole tree dedicated to this known as "Da Toughest". It features our self heal bellow, aggro generating attack and a few defensive abilities. I'll look at typical mastery builds and mastery rotations. This is just a guide to the tree and some builds and rotations around it, specific guides on roles such as the ORvR tank will feature as a seperate guide. Warning, this is a LOT of text (over 2,500 words).

Da Toughest is our tanking tree, featuring defensive abilities and tactics. Each point in the mastery tree increases the effectiveness of abilities from this tree. The purchasable actions and tactics in this tree are geared more toward PvE tanking rather than anything of great value to RvR. There's a few key points to know about Black Orcs and PvE tanking though. You have to keep in mind that we're not 'technical' tanks like Black Guard or Chosen, we dont have mass amounts of parry and no way to drop our chance to be critically hit. What we do have though is a decent block rate which can be increased by a large amount (at a cost of threat generation and AP) and a vast amount of wounds. Finding the right balance between your wounds, armour, chance to be critically hit and defenses such as block and parry is half the battle. I tend to make sure I'm well stacked on wounds with a low chance to be crit, your healers should be able to keep you up, if not then dropping a bit of crit reduction for more block/parry might be the best option (and a bit of praying).
A key stat that Black Orcs lack in however is parry, we have no real natural way of increasing it other than one tactic which is quite weak (and even then it's 0/5/10% depending on the plan you're in). What this means is that Black Orcs are vulnerable to cleave attacks as they cannot be blocked, only parried. If you struggle on a boss with cleave attacks then there's no harm in seeing if a chosen or black guard can take over the tanking duty for him, it might be easier until you can start stacking Parry through renown.

  1. Action Breakdown
  2. Tactic Breakdown
  3. Rank 4 Morale
  4. Builds, Tactics and Morales
  5. Rotations

Action breakdown
I'll break down each action that comes under Da Toughest mastery, I'll list plan, action point cost and if it's a low, medium or high damage action.

Clobber (first plan - 35 AP – Low Damage)
Our basic threat generating ability. Causes a decent chunk of damage and increases threat on our target. It costs 35 Action Points (compared to every other tank other than Swordmaster who does the same or more damage for 30AP, and the SM does spirit damage with his). This should be used a couple of times upon engaging a boss before starting your rotation and is a good, solid ability in PvE. Sadly not great in RvR due to needing to slot a tactic to turn it into a morale drain attack, combined with the high AP cost, spamming it will drain your AP very quickly.

Tuffer 'n nails (second plan – 30AP – Low Damage)
This action increases our armour by 990 for 20 seconds, it's not on a cool down but is in our second plan. A great action to use for PvE tanking.. IF you don't have any armour potions or a DoK with the armour buff covenant on due to the fact it doesn't stack which is disappointing. In all honesty though the buff you get from it is better than the covenant or the armour potion so should be used. It's cheap as well for one of our actions so fits in nicely, plus smashing a shield into someone's face is always good for a laugh.

Right in Da Jibblies (second plan - 35 AP – Medium Damage)
Quite possibly the most iconic action from a Black Orc. Kicking someone right in da jibblies causing a decent amount of damage and a reduction in weapon skill. Excellent in small scale for taking on melee DPS to reduce armour penetration (the bane of a tank).

Savin' Me Hide (third plan - 0 AP – Medium Damage)
My favourite RvR ability. Increases your toughness but importantly reduces the incoming magic damage your group receives by 20% for four seconds. This is a great ability in large scale RvR where bomb groups rule the roost. The four seconds could do for being a bit longer due to it only being 20% and Black Orc abilities having a hidden cool down due to the plan mechanic. I would recommend this and Not In Da Face as two essential RvR actions. Put this as your third plan and your group will love you.. For four seconds.

Ya Missed Me (25 AP – Low Damage)
Now we look at the purchasable actions. Ya Missed Me is the first action you can buy. Upon blocking you can deal a chunk of undefendable damage to a target and reducing the physical damage done by 20% for 10 seconds. This is great in PvE encounters but also very handy in small scale RvR (scenarios, 6v6 etc) where it will proc off a guard if you block it and can then dish out de-buff to any target you want. Not as much use in large scale RvR due to the single target nature of it but if the enemy has a melee focus or a super slayer then you can neutralise them. What is important is that this action is not bound to a plan so you can use it and retain the plan you are in without stepping ahead or back.

Can't Hit Me! (15 AP/Second – Medium Damage)
Can't Hit Me! is the ability other tanks want and immediately believe that it makes Black Orcs the best PvE tanks in the history of ever. "OMG you can get 100% block permanently".. WRONG! CHM is a fantastic action but it's certainly not an ability to trivialise PvE due to a couple of drawbacks. The first is that it drains AP. Black Orcs have a higher than normal cost for abilities so when you get out of AP, it is more of an issue. The second problem is that the threat generated is very low, you will only be dealing around 120 damage upon blocking so you can only spam it up once you have a large amount of threat (imagine 240 threat compared to 1000 threat from a choppas auto attack crit). It's great for emergency situations or for holding large numbers of mobs but remember you cannot block a cleave so it won't help on a lot of bosses. It is however essential for PvE tanking for a fall back and to keep up when you're at the last few percent of a boss when your threat should be high enough.

Down Ya Go (Third Plan – 0 AP – High Damage)
Our only knock down appears at the top of the toughest tree. 20 second cool down and a 3 second knock down... Not great, but it does have the single biggest base damage of any black orc ability. I have seen 2k+ crits on this with a two hander however the fact it's on a 20 second cool down, is the third plan and the knock down is only three seconds does limit it as a crowd control action. If you're speccing into the tree fully it's worth it as a burst damage ability and in small scale it's nice to have for neutralising someone for three seconds so they can be focussed down.

Tactic Breakdown
Less Stabbin' Me (3 points in Da Toughest)
The first purchasable tactic you can get is Less Stabbin' Me. I actually think this is overrated and used a bit too often. People see the 10% increase to parry and block in the last plan and get blinded by it. This tactic gives 5% increase to parry and block in second plan and the afore mentioned +10% in the third. The problem is, you don't hold yourself in a plan for long as you're debuffing the target, hitting things, trying not to get hit and building threat. It's pointless in RvR and in PvE the tactic slot would be better suited for an 'always on' tactic for tanking.

Stop Hittin' Da Runts (7 points in Da Toughest)
Now THIS is a must have tactic. 40 AP every time a bellow goes off (normally 25% of the time on a hit). It works in a fantastic combo with Can't Hit Me and Da Biggest bellow which can proc on multiple targets almost giving you 50% extra block for a longer duration as your AP will be regenerating when the bellow goes off. It also lets you keep spamming the rotation as you shouldn't have any AP issues. If you're taking any points in Da Toughest then you could do a lot worse than take Stop Hittin' Da Runts.

Mor' Hardcore (11 points in Da Toughest)
Dear Gork.. What a dreadful tactic for 11 points. Right in Da Jibblies and Savin' Me Hide will now knock back targets a medium distance. Two main problems here though. Medium distance is actually pathetic compared to any other type of knock back that tanks have (Black Orcs have the shortest distance of knock back available). And the second problem is that Right in Da Jibblies is on the second plan along with our base knock back so there's no use in having two knock backs on the same plan when you can only use one anyway. Seriously, this is one tactic I have NEVER taken and in its current form NEVER will.

Rank 4 Morale
Can't Touch Us
Group Members within 100 feet gain 200 Action Points and absorb 4500 damage over 15 seconds. This is basically a very weak version of the Zealot Rank 4 morale Tzeentch's Shielding (250 Ap and 5400 damage over 20 seconds). It's also an exact mirror of the Swordmasters morale 4. Basically it looks nice for extra support in a war band but as ORvR Black Orcs tend not to spec into Da Toughest for war band action it's of limited use and I certainly can't justify the 3 mastery points you have to spend to get it. It's a common trait amongst Tanks, the rank 4 morale in the defensive tree just doesn't seem worth the points. Honestly unless your war band requests you to spec into it then don't bother.

Builds, Tactics and Morales
One of the great things about Black Orcs is that a lot of the actions you use are not in the actual mastery tree so you can actually perform most roles without having to respec too much but you do still need a build. I'll do each build for 25 mastery points and point out where you can put the other points once received. All builds feature PvE tanking as a feature but some (particularly the ORvR and Skirmish specs) will also feature in other trees with different builds

Fairly obvious build. The spare points including those from renown ranks can pretty much go anywhere but I find popping them into the brawler tree will at least help Skull Thumper and Da Biggest bellow while Arm Breaka is handy if you find yourself doing some RvR. Tactics and Morale are straight forward as discussed above.

Turtling is all about survival, losing group utility, damage and general usefulness to become an immovable object. It's not a whole lot of use but some do enjoy playing it. Extra mastery points I'd split between both trees as you'll absorb more damage with Rock 'Ard, heal more with You got Nuffin' (which is now a group heal, not the anti de-taunt as shown) and if you use the toughest bellow as a turtle then the extra points will help to heal. Stop Hittin Da Runts can be useful as well if you want to slot that instead of the You Got Nuffin, especially if you want to spam Can't Hit Me. I've included both in the build so you can swap them out depending on the situation.

AoE and survival is the biggest thing in large scale ORvR. The more damage and debuffs you can do while staying alive the better. Depending on tank numbers and what they're specced for (example being Chosen with crippling strikes) you will likely have to be either spamming Hold The Line or hitting the ORvR rotation. Spare points are just that, put them anywhere that you feel like though I'd recommend keeping them to the Boss spec or Toughest. Putting them in Brawler will just spread it out too much. I have to admit however that I feel a good solid ORvR build is based more in the Brawler tree, but this works if you wish to keep a single spec.

Skirmish is what I call the Toughest build that is most effective with for Scenarios/6v6 or small roaming groups but with the PvE aspect of the tank still attached (again it saves a respec). It's also effective in ORvR however you do lack Big Brawlin' which is great (more in the boss guide). Spare points go in brawler to get Arm Breaka and Not in Da Face. Tactics can vary if you want to use a two hander, I'd then slot in Dat Was Great, Stab You Gooder or Stop Hittin Da Runts depending on how you feel and how your group is composed.

Your basic toughest rotation for PvE tanking involves two toughest abilities and one from the brawler line.

Clobber >> Tuffer 'n Nails >> Skull Thumper >> Clobber >> Right in Da Jibblies >> Skull Thumper

Clobber is a no brainer, until you have a decent level of threat up then use this in your first part of the rotation. Once you hare happy you have enough threat then start swapping in Wot Armour? to help the group DPS. You can then move onto Tuffer 'n Nails which will give you a nice armour buff and lasts long enough that you can swap in Right in Da Jibblies when the second plan comes around again. Skull Thumper, although it's a brawler ability there's no decent third plan from the Toughest that you will use in PvE. Use Skull Thumper as this will do damage every time someone crits, so if you have a crazy Witch Elf, Sorc or Choppa with a huge crit build you will actually gain extra threat and damage done to them. Skull Thumper features more in the "Da Biggest" section. Of course, during this rotation you will keep Ya Missed me up on the target when it appears, as this does not break your plan you do not need to worry about it causing any interference with your rotation.

Turtling is an incredibly boring way to run as an RvR tank, in fact it offers little to no group utility, probably won't earn you any friends but you will be incredibly difficult to kill.

Rock 'Ard >> Tuffer 'n Nails >> Savin' Me Hide >> Can't Hit me for 5 seconds if under attack

Add in Can't Hit Me as often as possible and you will be a solid rock, just that though.. A rock, you wont be hitting anyone, you won't be doing anything and in fact you'll be a big, immobile blob of worthlessness.. Not Orcy as not enuff fightin'. This is more like Stunty fightin'. Note though that Rock 'Ard is in the Boss mastery tree so I'll discuss that more in that part.

The next rotation is for the ORvR build. Catching as many enemies out and helping your allies is the aim here.

Wot Armour? >> Big Swing >> Savin' Me Hide / Not in Da Face

The whole aim of this is to cause debuffs and disorients with Big Swing then follow it up with damage mitigation or unstoppable buffs if facing low numbers of casters. You should be in the middle of your war band doing this to the enemy unless the healers aren't staggered (chosen AoE normally) in which case feel free to disorient them, just be careful you don't break any staggers that are incoming. Though as stated on the top of the guide, I'll actually be doing a guide just on the ORvR Black Orc.

Skirmish Build is what I basically use as a term for a spec that you can use in PvE tanking and also in Scenarios or small scale stuff. I'll do the rotation for RvR as the PvE tanking is the same as the standard rotation above.

Wot Armour? >> Right in Da Jibblies >> Down Ya Go! >> Wot Armour?/Arm Breaka >> Trip 'em Up >> Savin' Me Hide / Shut Yer Face / Not in Da face

The Skirmish rotation does vary depending on what your facing and if you have the extra mastery points from the renown rank, for example I really wouldn't bother with Savin' Me Hide if you're not facing any casters or they're not overly powerful or blowing the crap out your group at that point in time, instead Shut yer Face on a healer would be fantastic as would Not in Da Face to increase cool downs (and gives unstoppable to your group for four seconds).

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A welcome to the WAR Europe crews WAR Blog

I'll be keeping an eye on you gitz for news so yer on me blog roll.. Now Mr Kaxzane, about that onRPG contest....

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Primeval (Priceless) set for Black Orcs

Part two in the Non set sets... This is the Primeval set which drops in the Tomb of the Vulture Lord as repairable purples known as Priceless .... It's the same models as the Invader set but it does have a melee crit bonus on the shoulders instead of a block bonus that normal Invader has so works out well if you have a spare armour piece and want a bit more power. Plus, the shoulders are arguably the best in game for any class.. I mean, a Rat Ogres skull on one shoulder and every spiky bit you can find on the other.. What's not to love about them?

Monday, 7 June 2010


Well it happened last night, and in all honesty it's how I wanted it to happen. In a middle of a fight not a zone leech or undefended keep take, actual fighting. I'm the official leader of G.R.E.E.N. in the guild (Getting Renown Ethically Each Night) so that basically means only get renown you fight for, no zone leeches and step out a BO before the final tick if you didn't have anyone to attack... I'm the only member :P Just scenario weapons left for me before I've officially 'completed' the game, but right now I'm having a lot of fun in the RvR lakes. Humans are much less predictable an opponent than memorising key strokes and positions for end game PvE encounters.

Huge thank you to everyone in Hand of Blood that helped me on my way there and a special shout out and thanks to Asrok, Garamore, Gogron, Kendel, Lethy, Mavve, Mimz, Snikkit, Xhera and Xzi.

(as a side note, that's part two of the Black Orc guide almost written so it should be up today or tomorrow)