Home > Uncategorized > A Patch-History of WAR ~ The Age of the Tortoise’s Progress

A Patch-History of WAR ~ The Age of the Tortoise’s Progress

Yesterday I discussed what was in my opinion the Golden Age of WAR’s patch-cycle. Controversially, the time for the best patching was when WAR needed the most help and polishing. This, however, is not to say that the infrequency of patches in the present time is a sign that all is rosy. The Golden Age was when Mythic was taking a serious stance with polishing the game they released in September of 2008, and the 1.0 patch cycle (plus 1.1.0) was the spearhead of this operation. Not only were many aspects of the game fixed and polished, but dozens of new things were added that today are overlooked. The most important aspect of this patch-cycle however was not the amount of things that were changed and improved, but rather the pace of improvement. Today we look at the Age of the Tortoise’s Progress, which as its name would indicate was a time when the game was still changing for the better (overall) but the patch-cycle was slowed to a month-by-month basis. In this installment we conclude the 1st year of Warhammer and look at the patches leading up to the 1st year Anniversary…

1.1.1 Feb 3 2009
Introduction of Night of Murder Live Event
Launch of WAR in Russia
New ‘Defend BO/Keep’ Quests
New flight masters in secondary zones (i.e. zones without a Warcamp)
Healers added in Gunbad and Bastion Stair near boss instance entrances
Fortress minimum level raised to 37
Fortress Lord’s Terror aura affects defenders as well as attackers
Fortress outer-door hitpoints reduced
Contribution from city BOs and skirmish increased

1.1.2 Feb 22 2009
Doubled number of quests players can have, up to 40
Free character transfers for characters Rank 11 or lower

1.2.0 Mar 3 2009
Launch of Bitter Rivals Live Event and Introduction of Slayer and Choppa careers
Introduction of the Twisted Tower Scenario
Rally Cry introduced for Tiers 1-3
Easy Public Quests introduced to Tiers 2-4
Mailing multiple attachments made available
Two new Lairs in Kadrin Valley and Black Crag
Open Party button moved from Character Portrait to Menu Bar
Pets no longer move/attack through door
Players will no longer lose target when a Squig Herder enters Squig Armor
GTAoE interface revamped
Looting prioritizes corpses with loot over corpses without loot
Monsters who flee due to low health will move at a slower speed
Inventory overflow automatically goes into empty backpack slots
Disorient effects don’t stack, only most powerful one is applied
Immovable duration increased to 20s
Absorb shield buffs increased by 50%
Magic resistances receive diminishing returns after 40%
Alter Fate (Healer M4) no longer bypass Terror from NPCs
Shield Wall (Tank M2) no longer stack with other block bonuses
Hail of Doom (PhRDPS M4) damage fixed
Backlash (Melee Tactic) damage increased and elemental
Jagged Edge (Melee Tactic) damaged increased and corporeal
Racial Tactics Warped Flesh (Chaos) and Emperor’s Ward (Empire) absorb more damage
Centuries of Training (Elf Racial tactic) damage increased and spiritual
Taunt/Challenge no longer force pets to attack tanks
Massive Career balancing changes
-AM’s Drain Magic steals AP, doesn’t just remove it, absorbs increased, AoE Detaunt duration increased and CD decreased
-BW’s group buffs (Flames of Rhuin and Flame Shield) damage increased and made elemental, Funnel Essence damage increased and made Corp, Pyroclastic Surge now disorient by 50% for 3 seconds
-BG’s Exile KB range changed to vary with Hatred amount, None Shall Pass changed to physical damage and cannot crit, Shield of Rage’s absorb increased
-BO’s damage and absorbs overall increased, Wot Armor? changed to fixed armor debuff – not %
Chosen aura’s fixed to persist after zoning, Aura’s cannot be defended and now deal spirit damage, overall changes to Aura related abilities
-DoK’s Covenent damage increased and made spiritual, Khaine’s Embrace CD reduced and heal increased
-Engi’s Sticky Bomb made corporeal, Hollow Points duration decreased but damage increased.
-IB’s Oathstone made physical damage, Stone Breaker made flat armor debuff not %, Punishing blow made pysical damage and cannot crit
-KotBS’s aura’s fixed to persist after zoning, and same changes as Chosen
-Magus’ damage types changed around to Elemental and Spiritual
-Marauder’s Terrible Embrace made defendable, Touch of Rot and Instability changed to corp damage, Cutting Claw changed to flat armor debuff not %
-RP’s absorbs increased
-SH minor changes
-Sorc’s damage values primarily increased and changed around to Corp/Spiritual, Vision of Domination increased Word of Pain’s damage
-SW’s Eye Shot can be cast while moving, and Fell of the Week cast time reduced to 0s
-Shaman’s damaging abilities got a bump in damage and absorbs increased
-SM got massive changes
-WP’s group heal cast time reduced and heal increased, HoT increased
-WL’s Fetch range reduced to 65 feet, minor bumps in damage
-WE’s Kisses damage changed to corp and cannot crit, openers damage changed to corporeal and cannot crit, Witch Brew damage increased and corporeal and cannot crit, Pierce Armor no longer debuff armor but instead buffs weapon skill.
-WH got same changes as WE
-Zealot got increased absorbs and damage values
Butchering changed to work with Apothecary trade skill
Scavenging changed to work with Talisman Making trade skill
Right-clicking crafting items in backpack puts them in crafting window
Massive changes to crafting items and their drops
Two additional mount colors introduced to mount vendors
Three new mounts added available to Guilds at rank 25
Three new improved mounts available to Guilds at Rank 37
Loot tables updated for Mount Gunbad, Bastion Stair, and Lost Vale
Dark Promise weapons, cloaks, and accessories removed. New unique named weapons introduced with procs.
Conquer Belt moved to NPCs in Fortresses
Huge Quest and PQ bug fix
Itemization overhaul
Art Icons updated for dozens of items
Zone Domination Introduced: BO’s have to be held for 30m, Keeps claimed by a guild for 2 hrs
New RvR chain quests
Warband and Party windows updated and improved

1.2.1 April 16 2009
Guild Keep Upgrades introduced
Guild Window face-lift
Renown added on zone flip based off of keeps and BOs players captured
Renown, Inf, and Exp rewards from capturing Keeps and BOs reduced 35%
RvR currency (Medallions) introduced

Guild recruitment tab introduced
Ordnance introduced
Character profiles introduced
Gates of Ekrund expands to R19-24
AM’s damage increased across the board
Choppa’s Lotsa Choppin’ changed to cone damage and requires no target
Shaman’s damage increased across the board
Slayer’s Flurry changed to cone damage and requires no target
BW’s Rain of Fire and Sorc’s Pit of Shades no longer stack when being cast by multiple players
WP’s Cleansing Power made a group cleanse tactic
Mounts can be used inside Lost Vale
Butcher Gutbeater and Tooth Gnoblar now reset if they can’t reach player
Gorak’s lightning will now hit players standing on ledges
Scenario scoring system updated
Players occupying enemy keep when campaign resets will be teleported to Warcamp
Fortress populations adjusted to improve stability
RvR set boots and gloves drop from players now
Guilds that hold a keep in T4 during zone lock will get a gold bag
Shattered Limbs no longer stacks with itself; CD buffs no longer stack, only the strongest applies

1.3.0 June 16 2009
Introduction of Land of the Dead
Ward system revamped; wards now go to Tome of Knowledge and are not based on gear equipped
Opt-out introduced in PQs, keeps, and Fortresses
Deadbolt introduced to Keep upgrades
Action Bar count increased to 5
Inventory bags expanded to Crafting and Currency bags
Gunbad difficulty reduced to be completed by a party of 4 Rank 19s, Checkpoints added throughout Gunbad after PQs, mobs rescaled, influence requirements removed from Boss instances, more Exp from mobs, and new ramp for Order players, players now able to teleport to entrance of Dunegon after killing Instance Boss
T3 Outreach Quest introduced available at Rank 19 granting 62k renown upon completion of each stage of the quest
Dyable areas on armor re-evaluated
Numerous SC changes
Amount Gold Bags in keeps now reflect Keep’s rank and number of defenders
Clicking on a zone in Campaing Tracker opens the map for that zone
Only party leaders can group que for SCs
Auto-Roll tab added to parties and warbands window
Players who won a bag in a PQ or Keep/Fortress take and did not claim it will have it mailed to them in 24 hours
/who now works to see what players are in a zone
Numerous ToK fixes
Fixed Get to Da Choppa pulling more than one player per second
Regen of Books and Chalices for Righteous Fury and Soul Essence reduced
Players no longer forcibly dismounted entering Apex through arches
Reikland Factory made 18 v 18 SC
When a player’s corpse decays without first being looted, any items that could have been looted from the corpse will automatically be rolled on with the “Greed” setting by all players who would have qualified to roll on the item if it had been looted manually.
Expedition Resources added to T4 RvR guards

1.3.0b July 21 2009
Field of Glory expanded to give players an additional 50% bonus to Experience and a 150% bonus to Renown when killing players near Battlefield Objectives or Keeps.
Crowd-control changes introducing Immovable and Unstoppable buffs
Across the board AoE nerf; some abilities had range increased, but the type was changed from 360 to conical, for example
AM and Shaman career overhaul
Players can now have more than one RP Rune or Zealot Mark on them at a time
Fortress timers reduced 15m for each time that realms city has been hit in the past 3 days
Keep tool-tips display how well-defended a keep is
Fixed an issue with some Bloodlord pieces being rarer than others

1.3.1 Aug 18 2009
Keeps expanded with second ramp to lords level
Summoning Stones introduced
Invaded city collapsed to 3 stages: Contested, Captured, Rebuilding
City open to Rank 30+ players with Contested City scenarios
Warlord Instances rescaled for 24 people
Contested City BO count increased to 3, introducing Apex for the Inevitable City, and removing the Docks BO for Altdorf and replacing it with the Bright Wizard College and Central Altdorf
Victory Points in cities earned through holding BOs and killing players. NPCs no longer grant points. 1000 points required for victory.
Friends list version of Social window introduced with ‘Suggested Friends’ feature
Add-On management window updated with better information about Add-Ons
Over-healed ammount now displayed in Chat Log
Lost Vale mobs available for Butchering/Scavenging
Live Event Equipment Slot introduced
Multiple Armor sets revamped to be more dyable
Sovereign Sets updated to be more ‘epic’
BO’s marked with Green/Red/Blue shields to show control
Keep markers on map now show defender numbers (vulnerable to heavy)
Numerous UI fixes and changes
Launch of Wild Hunt Live Event for 1 Year Anniversary

The Age of the Tortoise’s Progress, as I have dubbed it, indicates an age when things were still moving forward, but slowly. The last patch of the Golden Age was December 11th in 2008, almost 2 months later WAR got its next patch – an indication of times to come. WAR was still moving forward but the rate of change had declined.

1.1.1 was a pretty hefty patch despite its small nature. It introduced our third annual live event – the Night of Murder, added flight masters to all the zones without warcamps, and added healers at the doors of the wing bosses in Gunbad and Bastion Stair. The key point of the patch however was the emphasis on the ‘end-game’. Half a year into Warhammer Online, more and more players were reaching higher renown ranks and acquiring the gear to push enemy cities. The main cork bottle-necking the campaign was of course the fortress which got plenty of attention in 1.1.1 with its outer doors weakened to give attackers more time within the main fort; the Fortress Lord’s terror aura was made to affect defenders as well, so attackers had an even chance, and the level minimum was raised. Also in this patch, the city got its first touch of attention with contribution for flipping to the second stage of the first phase (O.o) increased. At this point in the game, the contested cities’ first phase (the invader stage) had two parts – killing enemy mobs, burning stuff, and breaking boxes; upon completion of this phase the enemy champion came out to wreck havoc with his four minions – all requiring Superior Wards. Because this was primarily a PvE set up, contribution was increased for the two BOs (Monolith & Temple/Docks & Sigmars) and for skirmish – to emphasize PvP. Shortly following 1.1.1, 1.1.2 came out with an increase in the number of quests players could hold, and free character transfers for sub-level 11 characters.

A month after 1.1.1, the new numerical cycle was started with 1.2.0, the first patch with massive class balance changes. While the latter patches of 2008 were huge and had large implications for PvE and the exp grind, 1.2.0 was the first patch with its cross-hairs pointed at PvP. For many, 1.2.0 is a patch that goes down in history as one that left a sour taste in their mouths, many blatently over-powered classes got their first taste of the nerf-bat and the fair-weather easy-mode players begin to leave WAR. Changes in this patch which had great implications were: the increase of absorb bubble potency across the board, a decrease in magic resistance soft caps, armor debuffs changed to flat amounts and not percentages, WP/DoK Group-heal cast times reduced, BW/Sorc damage increased on single target abilities, many changes in magical/physical damage types, and nerfs to the WE/WH abilities. Also with this patch were pretty hefty changes to the crafting system penning Butchering with the Apothecary trade, and Scavenging with Talisman making (previously Butchering and Scavenging yielded materials for both Apothecaries and Talismen Makers). And perhaps another huge change to the PvP scene, or rather the RvR scene, was the introduction of Zone Domination Timers as a secondary option to locking zones instead of the old Victory Point system – guilds now played a role in RvR, so long as a guild had a deep enough purse they were useful to the realm! While the Career-balance changes of 1.2.0 were not the most popular, some of them were steps in the right directions (though today we rue the BW/Sorc changes, at that time they were aimed to weaken the wonder known as bomb-groups.)

Six weeks after 1.2.0 Mythic launched 1.2.1 to further the progress made by 1.2.0. 1.2.1 is the patch everyone wishes they bought their RvR gear for gold… Why? because in this patch RvR medallions were introduced as an alternate way of purchasing RvR gear that players couldn’t seem to win in keep/fort/city rolls; boots and gloves however began to drop from players. Guilds were given improved roles in the keep scene with the new ability to upgrade keeps, and were rewarded for holding a keep in a zone lock with a gold bag. In the RvR scene renown from keeps and BOs was reduced by 35%, but for dedicated players who stayed until the zone locked, they got double the renown for contribution from BOs and keeps they fought at. In the class-balance scene two massive changes were done to three careers: the Slayer’s Shattered Limbs was nerfed to not stack with other CD increasing abilities (a just nerf) and BW and Sorc RoF/PoS were nerfed to not stack with each other – yet another step to weaken the one-button-wonder bomb-groups. In the PvE scene, players could now ride mounts in the Lost Vale! Today players may laugh at a change like this and wonder who does Lost Vale, but back then Dark Promise was the only attainable set which offered Superior Wards, so Lost Vale was a hotly contested zone, and walking from the entrance to N’Kari sucked.

Two months later (notice how the patches slowly grow further apart) 1.3.0 was launched kicking off the next numerical cycle. 1.3.0 was a massive patch, critical at a time when the population was begging for new content. The poster-boy of 1.3.0 was the launch of the Land of the Dead, thus ending the Call to Arms patch-cycle started with 1.2.0. Huge changes with this patch include: a rescaling and update for Mount Gunbad making it more user friendly (a much needed update at that, and one that Bastion Stair never got), the introduction of crafting and currency inventory bags, the transfer of the Ward system from gear equipped to achievements accomplished in the Tome of Knowledge (previously you had to wear the piece to get the ward, this change allowed for mixing sets to optimize set bonuses), dyable areas re-evaluated, and the auto-roll tab in the Warband window. Key changes to RvR and PvP included the ability to opt out in keeps, forts, and PQs – a great step towards allowing realm mates help gear out others, dead-bolts in keeps, unlooted bags being mailed after 24hrs (so much grief over those who could not click on the chest in time and lost their precious hard-fought piece), and a nerf to RF/SE regen for WPs and DoKs.

Shortly after 1.3.0, 1.3.0b was launched to touch upon some things left out of 1.3.0 (because 1.3.0 was simply so huge). 1.3.0 had a large emphasis on RvR as a whole, but not on PvP and individual class balance. This change to PvP came with 1.3.0b which took yet another stab at bomb-groups (still reigning supreme, particularly in forts and contested cities), this time with a nerf to AoE across the board. While Sorcs and BWs were the primary targets of this nerf, every other class was the unfortunate victim of this nerf as well. Also introduced with 1.3.0b were the Unstoppable and Immovable immunity timers on Crowd-Control abilities, a huge step in making RvR and PvP a more thought-provoking process. No more could people blindly spam their CCs and see their effects take fruition. No more could players spam AoE and see devastating effects. No, 1.3.0b effectively turned WAR into a single-target game. Sure AoE still has its potency, but it is no where near what it was at launch and up to the summer of ’09. Renown and exp were increased for players fighting around battlefield objectives and keeps. Lastly, due to the previous changes to PvE and to the growing number of players on the higher end of the RR spectrum, cities were being pushed more and more, too much in fact. Mythic saw this and addressed the situation by reducing the fort timer by 15 minutes for every city push your realm made in the past 24 hrs. So after 2 cities pushes in a day, your realm only had 30m to take a fort instead of 1 hour.

In mid August of ’09, to round off the first year of Warhammer Online, 1.3.1 was launched to improve the end-game experience further. 1.3.1 made a massive change to keeps with the addition of the second ramp to the second floor – a change players wanted for forts but whatever… Cities were still a huge pain in the… butt. The first take of the contested city was designed as a 48 on 48 instance, killing the Invader PQ’s boss with 48 opponents and his horrible pathing was about as easy as herding cats. It was a mess, and most of the time the only viable way to complete the Invader PQ was to do it in an instance without enemy players (even then it was a challenge). 1.3.1 changed the old city into version 2 – the 24 on 24 city fought over 3 BOs  and the entire NPC/PvE aspect of the invader stage removed – points were acquired purely through PvP aspects of holding BOs and killing the enemy, and most importantly the second stage of the Invader PQ could also be won by killing enemy players instead of dealing with the buggy ass NPCs – a huge progressive change. Also with this patch the Add-on management window got an overhaul, the Live Event Jewelry slot was introduced (with jewelry lasting 60 days, promising a new live event with a new piece within this time-frame), the Sovereign sets were redesigned and made more epic looking (even though hardly anyone had seen sovereign gear), summoning stones were introduced (flooding LotD with lvl 1’s begging to be ground to 40, effectively emptying T1-3), and RvR lake maps were updated with new BO and keep markers indicating more accurate information regarding that locations’s status. Lastly, this patch was rounded off with the launch of the one-year anniversary Live Event, the Wild Hunt.

After one year, Warhammer Online had gone a long way. PQs and Quests were fixed by the scores, PQs were rescaled to be completed by different group sizes, Dungeons got overhauls across the board to make PvE gear sets more attainable, dozens of new features were added to improve the UI, experience-gain curves were evened out for a more gradual pace of leveling, Renown was readjusted for RvR, the Influence system was added to RvR giving players some of the best weapons they could get their hands on at that time, forts were re-evaluated several times, the contested-city got its first make-over, AoE damage was reduced, crowd-control immunity timers were added,  massive changes were done to career balance, Zone Domination was introduced, guilds were given a role in RvR, Land of the Dead was introduced, and four new careers, 4 new lairs, and two new scenarios were added. Flawed as Warhammer Online was at its launch, no one can say that Mythic did not make great strides in its first year. After four months of weekly patches hammering out the flaws by the cart-load, and then eight months of monthly patches aiming to address class balance and the end game, WAR’s first year was over. A year of progress, a year of improvement. But after every up, there is a down…

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. zizlak
    June 9, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    thank you for this posts..

    it’s nice to see how WAR evolved to the game that it is right now… and it brings up memories where Annihilator and Conquerer gear meant something in T4 😉

  2. June 9, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    I STILL hate the stupid 2nd ramp in keeps. It might make a difference in t4 but in t2 and t3 (especially t2) it makes defending a keep virtually impossible even with even amounts of defenders VS attackers.

    Btw, when you be back in game eka? :-(, I made WH for you, he rank 16!

  1. September 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM

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