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Archive for March, 2011

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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Scenario Matchmaking?

March 9, 2011 10 comments

Tap. Tap. Is this thing working? Yes, the Scenario Matchmaking system Mythic claimed to have introduced in 1.4.0… I’ve grown to believe that it indeed does not work. Scenarios are seen as an escape from the drudgery that is RvR, and lets admit it – RvR is boring as dirt. I don’t know how this matchmaking system is suppose to work but I’m getting rather tired of queuing into scenarios full of RR70ish to mid-80 Order versus RR90-100 Destro. Yesterday I was blessed with a succession of mind-blowing-fun scenarios where we were paired against three RR100 Destruction players (WE, DoK, Choppa) and Order’s higher RR was 86. Just one RR100 is sufficient to sway the tide of the scenario to that realms favor, but three? Seriously? Not only that, but I’ve grown to believe that Destro on Gorfang only knows how to play melee DoKs (with pocket healers) and tanks. Mythic should seriously evaluate which classes are played the most and why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last one is from Tor Anroc…. and before someone says ‘but what about Order’s classes’ let me assure you of all these scenarios, the highest amount of healers Order had in any was three – on average order has two healers and one tank per scenario. I recently did a city instance with 13 (Yes, Thirteen) DoKs, its a great pity I forgot to screenshot it.

Somehow things never seem… matched up?

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Communication Please!

March 8, 2011 10 comments

Pre 1.4.0 Mythic graced us with a live video Q&A aimed to address the questions players had regarding the upcoming changes. Irregardless of what people thought of the answers, the move was a leap in terms of Mythic’s communication with the player-base. That Q&A however focused primarily on the changes to ORvR and the Skaven (main questions players had at the time), but the need has arose for another Q&A because there are some serious questions that need addressing – primarily Mythic’s view of the new Doomflayer and Warpforged sets. I suspect that in Mythic’s testing of these sets they tested them against eachother (i.e. Doomflayer vs Doomflayer and Warpforged against Warpforged) which would give skewed results. The truth in the world of Warhammer is in fact different, players rarely fight someone in the same gear. Instead we have players in Annihilator gear fighting¬† Warpforged, something Mythic tried to amend by shoving the lower sets and renown ranks down to T3, but the problem still exists.

I’ve seen a Defensive Sov tank be man-handled by a Doomflayer Witch Elf; I’ve seen a melee RR100 DoK kill 6 people; I’ve seen feats performed that should not be possible – all because of the gear. I speak for much of the community when I say we would like to hear from Mythic what their reasoning/logic is for these sets and if they plan to address the issue. History has shown that Mythic is horrendously slow at amending the errs of past sets (Hierophants Grace for example took a year to readjust). Does the matchmaking scenario system even work? Today I fought a scenario with 12 players in a range of RRs from 70-85 on my side, not a single RR90+; the Destro side had 3 RR100s and handful of other RR90+s. Needless to say we couldn’t dent the enemy.¬† The three RR100s alone decimated our 12. This is not my idea of fun. So how about it Mythic, how about answering some of the questions the entire player-base has regarding these sets and the state of RvR?

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Do You Like What You See?

March 4, 2011 1 comment

Two small developments in the world of WAR – first off we have the thread about Keep Doors (because we’ve gotten to the degree where talking about keep doors is the next big thing!) Basically about letting us attack and repair doors. I’m humored by all the mdps saying they have nothing to do during attacks and defenses (you know other than lock-pick in and fight on the first floor) – too many fair-weather players are afraid to lock-pick in and die and run back. Everyone wants siege ladders so they can fight within line of sight and jump off when they’re about to die so they can be healed up and climb back up the ladder. Get a rat ogre to toss you, same concept.

Secondly we have the ‘Like Warhammer’ Campaign to… lower the cost of the pack we all already bought last November. Err now this one really confuses me. Why would I want the cost to go down on something I already bought? Drop future prices, ok… but drop the price on something I already have? No incentive. Mythic, your marketing department needs some help.

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Sigmar-Tide

March 3, 2011 4 comments

So I did a tad more digging into this new LE and its background to see what I could find out and stumbled upon some other info/rumors in the process and thought I’d share.

First off Sigmarzeit (Sigmar-tide) marks the first day of summer on the Imperial Calendar¬† and lasts 33 days. Its the 18th day of the fourth month and is celebrated with the symbolic crowning of Sigmar as the emperor of the Empire. There is naturally room for plenty of fluff quests for Order here taking players from Sigmar’s Temple to retrieve streamers and party hats and /pray over enemy bodies for this one; however, one has to wonder how Destro’s version of anything would fit in for this. Also since we already have a SC in the IC (the Eternal Citadel) one could possibly reason that Mythic could make a counter SC in Altdorf with a similar nature.

Secondly, while digging I stumbled upon someone’s comment that they prodded a contact they had in Bioware Mythic and found out some info regarding future PvE expansions. Now this is just a rumor, but from what I read I am really worried about where this will take WAR. Two phrases leaped out at me which screamed LotD and TI (i.e. PvE flops poorly received) – ‘PvE dungeon/lairs’ and ‘random quests based on which realm has control’. Dungeons/lairs, ok. Dungeons/lairs with the existing crappy God-awful loot-roll systems? Not ok. Dungeons are plagued with two massive red flags which create massive animosity towards them – buggy-as-hell NPCs, and horrid loot systems. Every player has their share of stories of farming so-and-so dungeon ‘x’ times only to never finish their set because a piece always dropped for a class not there. You want my tale of woe? Sewers of Altdorf (Keeper) – soloed each wing about 5-8x before finishing; Gunbad (Redeye) – took almost 20 runs to get final piece, boots; Bastion Stair (Bloodlord) farmed the middle wing dozens of times (upwards of 4+dozen…) before I got my helm and chest pulling people’s teeth each time to run it; Sigs/WBT (Sentinel) – 8 months to get last piece, boots; LV (Dark Promise) upwards of 20 kills on Dralel for last piece, boots; ToVL (Tyrant) – over a year of ToVL runs and 18 boss 8 kills for the chest piece. PvE loot-table = crap. I do not want to spend another year farming a set which is obsolete in comparison to RvR sets.

And then there is the phrase ‘random quest lines based on who has control’. Ok random quests I guess are meant to keep players interested in the dungeon because every time is something new, I see your reasoning behind that. However, quest lines based on which realm has control? Holy crap, Mythic. For how bloody long has the community been asking you to remove the stupid lockout-system on LotD?! Have you learned absolutely nothing from LotD?! When this map opened up (marketed as the hip new RvR lake people were dying to get in to purge the invaders) it killed RvR; you locked the zone and the RvR lakes emptied of your faction as you went into LotD and killed the enemy, they went back to the empty RvR lakes to lock a few zones to flip back control half an hour later, and you had this cycle of locking empty zones to purge the enemy from this horrid map. After LotD WAR suffered its first huge population drop. Then we got TI with its random opening mechanism, again marketed as a PvP ZONE (not tiny ass encounter) where you fought tooth and nail against skaven and enemy players. And what do people do in TI? They leave when there is opposition because they want free gear. We do not want to bloody lock PvE-zones anymore. We do not want to farm resources to control a map for PvE dungeon access. If this rumor pans out to have any truth in it, it will be received as well as LotD and TI (both were followed by massive population drops).

This rumored new dungeon is scheduled for September. Technically speaking Sigmar-tide can be a stepping stone towards this September LE much like the Bitter Rivals and Beyond the Sands were part of the Call to Arms and led to LotD. Please, for the sake of the game, stop thinking of new PvE content to inject into a RvR based game and consider fixing existing PvE AND most of all fixing existing PvP! Too many classes are unbalanced. Doomflayer and Warpforged are unbalanced. RvR is boring. And then rumors reach me that Mythic is working on new dungeons with realm control… Let me guess, next we’ll start hearing about Mythic’s ingenious plan to retain players by increasing the RR cap to 200….

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