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.