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 :)