Archive for December, 2010

WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

December 23, 2010 3 comments

Here’s another stab at 1.4. The new ORvR mechanic was suppose to freshen up ORvR – split up the zerg, slow down the city, make keep sieges fun. Well, it didn’t. Can we say hugest backfire yet? When you asked for feedback on the forums regarding the new mechanic we gave it to you and we told you it was boring as dirt. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with the forums, a very select percent of the population posts on them. Even more unfortunate is that those who posted said how much they loved the changes, a very select few voiced discontent, so Mythic was mistakenly lead to believe that that majority of the population would like the changes made to the ORvR. Well time has told the story better than I can. ORvR in the post 1.4 universe is a monster, by several accounts. I shall list my discontents which many share and try to provide constructive solutions. Read more…

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 10

December 22, 2010 1 comment

PvE Gear
Another horse I’m not quite done beating to death. But since it’s Christmas-time and I’m making my wish-list, I’m going to beat him some more and let Mythic save his life. I cannot possibly fathom why in a PvP-centered game Mythic would not concede to making the PvE gear easier to acquire. They literally want us to waste time grinding PvE encounters. Sure, no one said you need the PvE gear, but for some classes its pretty high up on the list of desirable/necessary. For example, for healers all their RvR sets (pre Sov) are dps oriented , while their dungeon sets are heal oriented – not 100% sure on WP/DoKs b/c I know WP Tyrant is dps; for tanks their RvR sets are dps oriented and PvE sets survivability oriented. I would think most players like their healers to heal, but unless they grind PvE dungeons (which everyone is doing less and less these days) then they can’t fulfill their role to maximum efficiency until they get sovereign gear.

Let me be clear hear, what I do not want is for Mythic to take their great axe of simplification and whack the diversity of Warlord, Invader, Conq, etc. down to a couple bland sets without variation for the archtypes. I didn’t think they should have done that for Sovereign or the new sets, and I don’t want them to do it to any other set. No, as I said above, the two sets already exist in the lower ward brackets, the only problem lay in the difficulty of acquiring the set that fulfills the role of the archtype.

Today, acquiring RvR sets is hundreds of times easier than it was at launch. Is this bad? No. But why is it still so damn hard to get PvE sets. I know Mythic wants you to work towards some achievements, but doing a dungeon 24+ times for one piece is crossing the line of ‘work’ into ‘grind’. Now I’ve pulled my friends by their uvulas into every dungeon so I know full well both how hard it is to acquire the gear facing the odds and hard it is to compose a group for a dungeon in an RvR game where the loss of precious purple numbers makes the heart bleed so. Come on Mythic, you’re giving away Warpforged gear to renown rank 20s but force RR80s to grind dungeons dozens of times just to get a single piece of gear?

I’ll go dungeon by dungeon to be a little more specific.

  • T1: Hunter’s Vale – A T1 specific dungeon set would be neat. Leave the PQ gear to the tree boss and the hound/wolf/lion mothers, but you can easily implement new dungeon boots from the Cadathian Lion and the chest from Kurunos.
  • T2: Aldorf Sewers/Sacellum – A permanent 2 drops per boss would be appreciated, why make the lower tiers suffer for the constant pushes in T4. (Not sure if this has been changed, haven’t run this since pre 1.3.6)
  • T3: Mount Gunbad – Up the drop rate for the wing bosses to 2 pieces per boss.
  • T4 Lesser Wards: Bastion Stair – Up the drop rate for all bosses to 2 pieces per boss, remove the influence requirement for wing instances, and remove the mandatory nature of the Brass Legion PQ in the middle wing.
  • T4 Greater Wards – Warpblade Tunnels/Sigmar’s Crypts – Having done Destro’s versions which are half as long and twice as easy… I can only ask for some parity here. Again, having lower warded gear be affected by the city zerg-fest (which drops Sov+ gear) seems unfair. This dungeon’s city-rank sensitivity should be fixed.
  • T4 Superior Wards –  Lost Vale – I’d ask you to fix the buggy as spider and N’kari but I’m afraid of the consequences…
  • T4 ‘Excelsior Wards’ – Tomb of the Vulture Lord – Increase the drop rate of the repairable gear. Sure it’s repairable, but if it never drops it’s a moot point.
  • T4 ‘Supreme Wards’ – Thanquol’s Incursion – Increase amount of Gold Bags
  • Overall Request – make all gear repairable by archtype/race and a higher drop rate than exists for ToVL OR make class specific pieces but for classes present in the instance (if we have no engineers, we don’t want two engineer chests).

We shouldn’t have to grind PvE sets when we’re already grinding to RR100.

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

December 21, 2010 6 comments

Ah the time has come to address this issue… 1.4 brought us Skaven… sort of. When most people asked for Skaven ages ago they wanted a playable army. The skaven bundle came in two flavors: Thanquol’s Incursion – a PvPvE dungeon I’ve already discussed; and 4 new ‘classes’. More precisely we got 4 rat skins with 6-8 abilities each. When you look at the average class which has about 25 abilities this is a rather slim comparison. In my opinion the skaven are nothing but a cheap gimmick. They hardly add to the RvR experience (both due to limited numbers and class utility) and are all in all pretty bland. Most people who subbed hearing ‘Skaven are coming!’ probably unsubbed already disappointed with the product. Those who have stayed are staying for reasons which are most likely not the skaven. I have little doubt in my mind that if the skaven in their current form were removed not many people would cry. That is in fact what I am asking for – get rid of the rat skins and give us a playable skaven army.

For those who think I’m jumping on my lore bandwagon again, I am not. Allow me to explain why the classes don’t really fit/work out so well. Read more…

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

December 20, 2010 3 comments

Land of the Dead & Vulture Lord
Now I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll mention it again – hoping that this time by it being on my Christmas wish-list something may come of if!

I don’t know who (aside from the developers) likes the Land of the Dead lock mechanic. The zone is an artistic masterpiece that everyone loves to hate. Gone are the days of its novelty. LotD was marketed as this intense PvP contested zone, made more intense by the unlocking mechanism – you had to battle it out in the RvR lakes to gather resources so you could wipe LotD of the evil enemy. Although this happened when the zone locked, its honeymoon period was short-lived. The excitement of unlocking LotD is lost, now all people want is for it to be unlocked so they can go do their PvE content; hardly anyone goes there for serious PvP (I’ve given room to the rr80s who feel like boosting their ego killing level 33s). Given these opinions (which many share with me) I see no reason why the locking mechanism should exist – it’s obsolete.

Branching off of this, we enter the realm of ToVL. Another artistically stunning dungeon, but the bugs in it make it horrendous – with 1.4 new bugs were introduced to the trash mobs of bosses 3 and 6 lagging the hell out of people’s games and forcing them to crash (in some cases freezing up their computers) and boss 1’s carrion phase. Coupled with the infrequency of usable gear there is little reason anyone would want to run this dungeon (going on 14 kills of the Vulture Lord, where art thou chest?) Repairable gear is nice, but when it never drops the concept is rather wasted. Maybe Mythic hates me and has cursed my account, but when you’ve done multiple clears of ToVL without a single piece of repairable gear dropping… something isn’t right.

Oh and did I mention purges? Yes, well this also needs some attention. I’ve seen arguments for this one all over the place, – people love, people hate it. Let me say that in my opinion the purge heavily favors the purgers. First off when you run a dungeon you often times bring the standard group set up for PvE (tanks speced into initiative and survivability, dps specced for max dps output and lower survivability, etc), so their mindset is PvE; whereas the invaders are purely able to spec for one situation – killing players. My tank that is specced for block, initiative, and lower damage intake/output is rather useless when all the invaders have to do is kill the squishies and leave me for last; whereas a purging tank could spec into strength, melee crit,and weapon skill because he doesn’t have to worry about a giant scorpion critting him for 10k. The fact is simple – groups that purge in many cases would not run the same group for the dungeon. For example, you would not run ToVL with three DoKs, a Chosen, a choppa and marauder. Why? Well because this combination cannot cleanse the debuffs from boss 3-5, or the stagger from Akil on 6 or 8’s dot. But it is a lethal melee train purge group. I’m not picking on Destro here, the same can be said for Order groups. The fact is that many classes are not optimal for purging, yet would still want to run the dungeon for their gear. Not only that, but the invaders just have to kill 6 players (you rez a squishy and he gets insta-killed, that’s 2 points against you) – the counter doesn’t reset. For the defenders they have to kill ALL 6 of the invaders, every time they are resurrected their counter resets. How exactly is this fair? Perhaps its broken, not sure…

As a side note, when LotD was released many Tomb Kings fans saw this as the last nail in the coffin for this army ever being playable as a race in Warhammer Online. While I agree that this would a rather hard implementation since most of the Tomb Kings are mindless undead, I see no reason why Mythic cannot expand the Land of the Dead. There is room to implement the Tomb Kings as perhaps a third or mercenary faction, or even allow one or two new archtypes to join Destruction. Most of all there is tons of room to expand the conceptual realm of the Land of the Dead. Zandri is but one of the cities of Nehekhara, you’ve got Khemri, Lahmia, Mumas, Quatar, and more. There is much room to make another ‘pairing’ of the Land of the Dead, a pairing which truly implements what Mythic tried with the Skaven. In my opinion the Tomb Kings would have been a far better choice for the 1.4 ‘race’ expansions we’ve gotten (PvPvE dungeon, 4 ‘controlled’ units, a struggle over resources which contribute to the campaign but do not take away from it, NEW zones.) So much that could have been done and made sense with game lore…

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 7

December 19, 2010 4 comments

Class Balance
Here’s a rather broad category for Mythic to achieve. 1.4 brought us an injection of new toys both good and bad, but aside from the recent changes to the Warrior Priest and DoK group heal, we haven’t seen any further progress in the realm of class balance.

In my opinion the measures taken to balance the Dok and WP were not enough – their group heal got nerfed and they’re all screaming about doom and gloom (when they’ve been clearly on top for 2 years). No, I believe the DoK needs some attention in terms of dps (I do not think the WP compares in terms of dps). When you bring up the argument that Warhammer is a team oriented game, it makes sense that every class requires other classes to work better. That is unless you’re a melee DoK. This is already evident in Tier 2 when you see 6 Order try to take down a melee DoK and the bastard just wont die. Not only will he not die, but he slowly widdles down the 6 killing him. Perhaps this was a uniquely talented individual being beat on by 6 turnip sacks, but I know DoKs who say their own class is ‘stupid-OP’.

Other classes that need looking at are the Sorc/BW, Choppa/Slayer, and I believe that Zelots and Runi’s have been made perhaps too strong with the direct 1:1 conversion from Int>WP and Magic Crit/Power>Heal Crit/Power. Naturally bringing mirrors closer together would be nice but this is a fine line that I dread.

The one thing I do not want Mythic to do is to erase the uniqueness of classes because of all the ‘my mirror has ‘x’ that is better than me’. I’m tired of Marauders crying about Pounce when their tentacle of death is a one shot trick and does not generate aggro (pulling from inside WCs…) when a WL’s fetch requires the pet to reach the target, which most people either kill or move away from, and the stupid beast can be parried or blocked. No, each class has unique abilities which should stay unique, the complaint about mirrors is when one mirror has a decisive advantage in terms of dmg/healing output. Or when a mirrored pair is bleak in comparison to its archtypical mirrors.

Everyone’s got their own list (no doubt with bias thrown across the board) about how their realm is under-powered and then the devs tell us ‘we has numbers, you is fine’, but the truth is some of us have played this game long enough to know that certain classes certainly need some love, and certain classes are overplayed because they are too damn good. I kid you not, but on my server when I run scenarios most of the time destro has around 3 DoKs, 3 Chosen, 2 Choppas, and 2 Sorcs + the wild cards. Likewise for Order we have a crap ton of BWs… which use Rain of Fire on single targets. All one has to do is take a look at the population figures to see which classes have the heaviest populations across all servers and realize why it is so.

Please Mythic, trim the excess fat off the classes which clearly over-preform and give some loving to those who have been hurting since launch.

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 6

December 18, 2010 3 comments

Public Quests
I venture back into the realm of PvE at the risk of people boo-hissing the typical ‘this is an RvR game’. Well I’ll be brief about this topic (I hope). Public quests are a massive portion of the PvE experience in Warhammer, most of the quests in some way or another direct you to a Public Quest so that you can get draw into the mini PvE battle. A while back Public Quests were reworked broken into an ‘easy’, ‘normal’, and ‘hard’ Public Quest for each chapter of a races’ storyline. While this was a step forward I would like Mythic to take another look at Public Quests, again another aspect of the game which has been side-lined long ago.

The first and most important thing I’d like Mythic to take a look at is the difference between easy, normal, and hard PQs. A couple months back I dragged my friends on three epic PQ crawls – going from Chapter 1 to Chapter 22 of an Order storyline in one day (if possible). While my friends dropped in and out of the event I made sure to be there the whole time… 18 or whatever hours it took. In the process of doing these 180 or whatever PQs I quickly learned Mythic’s thought-process on a PQ – it is more or less a measure of time.

  • Easy PQs generally require around 50 mob kills and the final stage consists of a champion.
  • Normal PQs generally require around 100 mob kills and the final stage consists of a hero.
  • Hard PQs generally require around 150+ mob kills and the final stage is a combination of hero’s and champions (perhaps a hero with two champions, or four consecutive heroes)
  • Some Hard PQs (the ones with more than three stages in your tome) have a Lord at the end

Now given this information, I highly disagree with the mob grind Mythic has imposed on us. A PQs difficulty lay in the final fight, not in the amount of trash you have to grind for the first stage. Would it be too much to ask to lower the mob grind down to 50 for every PQ that is over 50? Or perhaps halve it?

The last point is I’d like Mythic to give PQ gold bags the same consideration they gave Invader/Warlord bags from keeps. In the new system you have the choice of two pieces you can extract from a gold bag, increasing the chances of you getting the piece you need and lessening the grind for these sets. PQs are already a grind, why not make the PQ armor sets less of a grind?

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WAR’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 5

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanquol’s Incursion
Ok, so Mythic promised us this fantastic Skaven-themed zone with 1.4, a zone which would not detract from the campaign but add to it. For my Christmas wish list I would like to see Thanquol’s redone. Let’s break down Thanquol’s Incursion (TI) and shine some light on how it can be improved.

Going back to my previous 8 course meal I used for Dungeon Analysis – Read more…

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