Archive for March, 2011

Mirror WAR – SW v. SH

March 31, 2011 4 comments

We hear it all the time – ‘my mirror is better than my class’ or ‘that realm has all the better classes’. Players constantly cry for balance with the assumption that balance does not exist. Does it? Are the mirrors truly imbalanced? A while ago I tried to probe my readers’ minds on the issue of class balance, but with such a general question the response was meager. Mayhaps people are shy talking about other classes or do not want to risk saying something that someone else will ridicule, so let me set up the stage for you. Instead of pandering to bias thoughts, I’ve gone a step further and actually done some research into the matter and would like to do an analysis of each mirror to see how they really match up. Maybe if I address each mirror individually and ruffle some feathers I can stir a directed discussion – your responses will be taken into account for my upcoming project =)

*All values for this project are taken from the PTS RR100 Templates. Core ability values were recorded without mastery points in the respective tree. Mastery-tree ability values were recorded at the level the ability was acquired (so if an ability is available at 5 mastery points, I used the tool-tip value from when 5 points were invested into that tree since you cannot use the ability at 0-4 mastery points)

I begin my project today by looking at the class I am most familiar with, the Shadow Warrior, and its archetypal mirror, the Squig Herder. I recognize that the SW’s mechanical mirror is the Marauder, but for all intents and purposes the SH is its mirror.

Read more…

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The Stronger Race

March 29, 2011 9 comments

Four tactics slots. Four precious tactics slots… Every class has fifteen core tactics and nine mastery tactics, for a total of twenty-four tactics competing for the prized positions in your tactics bar. Of the fifteen core tactics four are common across the archtype, eight are unique to the class, and three are common to the race. While it may seem uncouth to splatter my blog with the words ‘race’ and ‘racial’, alas that is the topic of today’s discussion – the racial tactics and how they compete. So who has Mythic destined as the dominant race…? Read more…

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Renown Abilities Then and Now

March 28, 2011 2 comments

Before I jump into today’s post, just wanted to quickly refer you over to Sir Tru’s Questing Guide Site. Today I wanted to briefly discuss the ‘Renown Abilities’, you know, those abilities you unlock at Renown Rank 10,30, and 40 and hardly ever use (if at all). These abilities are attained via renown rank, and it is presumed that if you are getting renown, you are killing players, ideally in RvR lakes. To better assist your killing of players, particularly in keep sieges, these abilities were designed to address particular elements of the keep siege. However, these abilities only look good on paper, and in the end they are hardly used by their careers. In today’s age of Warhammer these abilities make little sense in the tiers they are handed out (what is a MDPS going to lockpick in T1…? what oil is a tank going to deflect?) and clearly need some re-adjustment – not to mention with 5 minute cool-down timers the abilities are less attractive. Let’s take a look at the individual archtypes and see what they have and how it can be improved. Read more…

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Scenario Design

March 25, 2011 13 comments

A while back Mythic started up a thread regarding scenario feedback shortly after the release of 1.4.1 – when the scenario line-up was shaken up the second time since the institution of the new scenario system. The thread focused on what players were happy to see changed in terms of the scenarios removed and the ones added. A few players have suggested an even spread of the different types of scenarios so players have a greater choice. I wanted to take a quick look at the different types of scenarios and ask you, my readers, if you had the power to design a new scenario, what would be your ideal design. Read more…

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The Drawing Board

March 22, 2011 4 comments

Today’s post is a bit of an extension off of the recent discussion regarding physical mitigation (and the community’s desire for magical mitigation to be addressed as well) and the roles of archtypes and how said roles are being exceeded by new gear and statistical combinations. Mythic needs to step back and go back to the drawing board from ’06 and try to understand what the intended roles of the archtypes/classes were if they are to fathom how to fix them. Was the ‘drawing board’ version of the archtypes perfect? No, but it made a hell of a lot more sense than what we currently have. Read more…

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Physical Mitigation

March 19, 2011 8 comments

First off, many thanks to those who came to support the mock-battle on the PTS yesterday. Had some fun fights and actually got to show people places they’d never seen before. My particular thanks to Developer Sean McNair for joining us in the fray and assisting with rezes of accidentally killed film-crew members and the slaughtered masses

Yesterday Steve Engle started a thread about upcoming proposed changes to Physical mitigation. Pretty much the Devs have admitted that the 1.4.0 post RR80 armor sets and weapons have made careers go ‘beyond their intended expectations’. The issue lay with the fact that in these new sets melee classes’ armor values are at the physical mitigation cap (75%) while tanks well exceed this value (rendering armor debuffs useless on them) and light armor classes approach the intended armor threshold of medium armor classes. The end result is that tanks are nay un-killable if specced defensively, yet can afford to speck offensively with relative comfort around physical dps classes; melee dps for the most part spec defensively because they can put all their renown points into offensive stats and simply by wearing defensive gear they become un-killable due to ProcHammer at its best. Mr. Engle asks the community what they think the caps should look like. He explains that simply adding more weapon skill or giving classes magic attacks is but a band-aid on the whole issue. Well Mr. Engle, I applaud you for your communication, but let’s be frank – adjusting physical mitigation is but one part of the problem and doing only this would be a band-aid on the whole issue. Read more…

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PTS Mock-Battle Update!

March 18, 2011 6 comments

Just a reminder, the mock-battle filming is today, March 18th at 8PM EST. If you wanna shorten the wait time feel free to update the patcher before hand (it may take a while) and create your toons and spec them as you wish. Also as a personal request – please purchase a normal looking mount – not the stupid birds. My wonderful friend Dilek has offered up our guild vent for the event – we will share vent info in region when the event starts. Should we for some unforeseen reason find more people in our vent than it can handle we shall revert to using smoke signals and banging stick against trunks. Bring friends, popcorn, and toe-socks!

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Filming Auditions!

March 15, 2011 4 comments

As I iron out the final tid-bits of my upcoming project, I beseech you, the Warhammer Community who loves Warhammer, to aid me in this upcoming project! We are going to be filming a mock-battle on the PTS this Friday, March 18th at 8PM EST and I am looking for bodies to participate in this. The goal of this mock-battle is not necessarily to kill each other, but to show Mythic what a fight in different new locations would look like. I will have one friend running around with fraps to capture the fight and edit it into a video and when the project is unveiled the video will be made public. The is to depict fighting in new exotic locations – not the same bland old ‘Reikwatch’ or ‘Hardwater Falls’ – and then to show Mythic the potential of how these fights could breath a second life into RvR!

If you love WAR and want to see it grow and improve and have some patience to help out with a project, then I beseech you to come out to the PTS on Friday March 18th and join in the fray – filming shouldn’t take more than an hour or two and depending on how much we get done Friday, we may try again for Saturday. I currently do not have a vent for this event but will work on getting one. Hope to see some bodies on Friday, the more the merrier! Bring friends! There will be a cookie and punch reception at the end =)

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WAR, RvR, and ProcHammer

March 14, 2011 7 comments

A few days ago Steven Engle and Keaven Freeman made comments regarding class balance and RvR (respectively) on the Herald, and in one sentence at the end hinted at what these two have in mind for the future.

First off Steven Engle discussed how it is difficult to take 12 careers and fit them into a 6-man group setting with the concept of interchangeability amongst them. For example you cannot just swap out a BW for an Engi and expect the same results. He noted how AoE and CCs have been reduced/restructured to decrease the potency of certain career paths all with the aim of improving 6-man combat. All of this is intended to improve, if not enforce, 6-man combat and the utility of each career in a group setting. However, despite these over-arching efforts to nerf AoE damage or bring CCs under a manageable state many classes have been left out in the realm of ‘group utility’. Due to the varying dynamics of combat in WAR (from full scale zerg on zerg warfare, to 12/6-man scenarios, to 1 on 1 combat) it is almost impossible to construct a career which excels in all situations (unless its a DoK). Let’s take a quick look at some of the careers and see how they fit into Mr. Engle’s realm of ‘group utility’ and ‘class balance’ as he precariously tries to juggle both.

  • Of the tanks the IB and BG are king of paired-combat – whichever ally they chose to buff can become just as lethal as they are; the KotBS and Chosen dominate the position of group utility with their buffs (depending on how tight the group is of course); and the BOrc has a varying amount of group utility, but with the proper spec it can take ages to kill. Then we have the Swordmaster which has virtually no group utility and is the black-sheep of the tanks. Mythic will tell us they have Whispering Wind, Guard, and Nature’s Blade. Fantastic. If you want a kick-ass guard on Order – you find and IB, he’ll guard you and buff the hell out of you. If you want someone with wide-range group utility you get an KotBS. If you want someone to punt for you in Tor Anroc you get an SM. While this may be oversimplified, the SM is desperately lacking in group utility.
  • Of the healers we have a mixed bag. Naturally every healer has group utility with heals and buffs, each excelling in different spheres. The Zealot and RP have been bolstered and are at a far better position now in terms of group utility and efficiency than they were before. However, then we get the DoK which is the jack-of-all-trades in WAR. In a game that is centered around the group – the healing DoK (and WP) certainly excel and fit that role well, but the melee DoK is a lone warrior of lethal potential. Melee DoKs are in a genre of their own – they kill and don’t die, and they do a hell of a lot of killing. While melee WPs have similar abilities and tool-tip descriptions, they fall behind in the DPS race due to having a great weapons while the DoK flails away with two single-handers. The Melee DoK while retaining high group utility should they choose to run with a group, has far too much damage/survivability to be considered ‘fair’ in the realm of class balance.
  • Of the medium armor Melee DPS one cannot really argue for ‘group utility’ since they don’t really buff their group too much or have CCs – their role is to kill and kill fast. The Choppa, Slayer, WL, and Marauder as the ‘medium armor’ MDPS are more dependent on groups (until they get their defensive OP-as-shit Sov+ sets); however, the WL arguably falls behind in the game due to a forced Greatweapon status. While every other MDPS has the option of dual wield, the WL is stuck with a 2Her – the only MDPS forced into a 2Her. MDPS’s survivability is dependent on parry, which is increased with dual-wield weapons, and again the WL falls short in this department. In the end-game gear sets which revolve around wtf-did-Mythic-implement-these-OP-procs-that-proc-too-often defensive gear sets (few run offensive) you again have a game of procing your ability the most which is done best with two weapons swinging away at a fast pace. Again the greatweapon WL falls short in the proc-game. The Slayer and Choppa are very close to each other in terms of balance. The WL and Marauder however are not. In my opinion the Marauder is far superior and has been buffed too much. Far too much of the WL’s potential is buried within the buggy-ass cat and can not achieve the same potential as a Marauder. The Marauder can slot tactics to increase his Strength, Init, Weapon Skill, or Toughness, whereas the WL cannot. The Marauder can debuff his enemies weapon skill, initiative, wounds, armor, toughness, the WL can debuff his enemy’s armor (let’s not discuss what his pet ‘can’ do because more likely than not the lion is chasing a bunny or stuck on a tree). Comparing the two is like comparing Switzerland to Bangladesh or a brand new 2011 car to one you found in a junk yard from 1947. They don’t compare well. Oh right you’ll tell me the Marauder’s mirror is the SW – well that’s even worse. In a group setting the Marauder and Choppa do very well for Destro and the Slayer for Order’s MDPS – the WL can pounce. In the Age of ProcHammer Dual-Wield wins, the WL loses.
  • Of the stealth ‘light armor’ MDPS we have the WH and WE which have no group utility for any reasonable argument to be made. The classes are designed to gank and thrive in that environment. A well-versed player of either class can kill anyone he wants of any other class – they do not fit in terms of class balance. In larger skirmishes they don’t really fit as well unless they stealth to the back lines and kill a squishy, but even then their life isn’t particularly secure.
  • Lastly we have the RDPS which is among the biggest disparities in the game. First off magical and physical do not compare. The BW and Sorc will always be on top so long as Mythic leaves the system as it is. Any retard can line up their buttons and click five abilities and nuke whoever they want in one rotation. Call it skill, or call it running your finger from A to L on your keyboard. Their group utility comes in their incredibly over-powered killing potential. The Engi and Magus are the red-headed-step-child-twice-removed of RDPS, quasi-magical damage pull-bots with pets that are a ball-and-chain. Maybe they have more group utility but when your sole role in a group is to pull the enemy so your group can smash their face into their aoe attacks… its certainly a testament of skill. And then we have the SW and Squiggie which are as comparable as the WL is to the Marauder. Whereas the WL’s pet should be put down to put it out of its misery because its so dumb, the squiggies pets should be exterminated as a pest and nuisance. The common joke on Order is ‘where is the squig herder whose pet is hitting me… well if I’m in Serpent’s Passage, he’s in Barak Varr.’ As ‘exclusively’ physical damage RDPS they fall behind their compatriots with the magical bolts; however, the squiggies damage numbers are brought on par with his pet which shoots through walls, around corners, and most likely across zones. The squiggie’s survivability is far superior to the SW, and with its wide range of CCs, debuffs, and rapid damage potential (because let’s be frank here, the squiggie is about rapid damage to harass and kill) the Squig Herder is in a far better place than the SW whose only group buff is a 10s AP regen and a 15% crit tactic for their group mates…. but since no one wants a SW in their group, why slot it?

So are the careers balanced and group utility equal across the board? Hardly. Do I want exact mirrors – hell no. Do I think there is room for improvement – hell yes. Melee DoKs, WEs, and WHs are far too effective solo-ing and can kill anyone without impunity. Melee DPS in defensive gear are far too effective to the point where they are tougher than some tanks and also can do well without heals.

As for Keaven Freeman’s take on RvR… well we have 1.4.0’s horrid system of staring at doors which he aims to improve by letting us hit the doors. The new system should never have been implemented in the lower tiers. Far too often in T2/3 players opt to not defend their keep (because there is no reward for doing so) and just go to another zone where the enemy is not, in order to lock it. Locking zones in the lower tiers is too easy and the reward more lucrative than defending your own keep. Mythic needs to either scrap this stupid system in Tier 2/3 or find a way to incentive RvR in these tiers, not RvDoor.

As for what we can look forward to… well they are addressing the post 80 gap, the physical damage reduction, and attaining values above the cap. One can only hope they learn from their mistakes and do this sooner than later.

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Mythic’s Got it Upside Down

March 11, 2011 2 comments

Today we got a thread asking the community…. what they want to be asked about/what they want to discuss. After a few posts James replied that the questions seemed to be geared more at the devs than what he was hoping for in terms of questions to stimulate discussion. The truth is that while the community may want to be asked questions and feel like their feedback/input means something, we really have more questions for the developers that we want answered. Sure I’d love for you to ask me about my thoughts, but what I really want to know is your thoughts, Mythic. Why haven’t you addressed physical RDPS yet? When will you balance the new armor sets and bring them in line with the rest of the armor sets? Are there any plans to ever give us new locations/T5 to fight in, or are we stuck in Praag for the next 6 years?

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