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1.7 Cycle Conclusion

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Today we look back at the 1.7 patch cycle and how it fits into the progressive expansion mentality. The 1.7 patch cycle consisted of the first portion of what is deemed medium-scale content injections. The 1.7 patch cycle consisted of 5 Live Events, with four of these ushering in subsequent patches of new content, for a total of 9 patches.

The 1.7 patch cycle began with 1.7.0a, the Arms Race. This live event both introduced new content, laid the ground for subsequent new content to be revealed, and most importantly ushered in a storyline of a weapons-struggle between the two realms. Key to the Arms Race were two new scenarios taken from the familiar depths of Ekrund and Mount Gunbad, and a new survival-mode instance with different rewards for each stage survived, rewards which would unlock new content. In terms of storyline, the Arms Race laid the groundwork for a new struggle between the two realms to field new armies, but before any army can be fielded, materials need to be harvested to compile the arms and armaments. 1.7.0 was concluded with 1.7.0b ‘Forged in WAR’ which was a patch that launched the unlocks players could achieve by participating in the survival-mode instance ‘Halls of Ekrund’. These  unlocks consisted of a pair of new tier 1 dungeons, a new trade which incorporated all existing trades, and new forms of siege weaponry to revolutionize Open RvR.

1.7.1 consisted of the Soldiers of WAR live event. This live event continued the story from the Arms Race, and while this live event took place entirely in old scenery, it included a new scenario within the bounds of Saphery – the Maze of Saphery. Most importantly the Soldiers of WAR live event introduced players to the concept of a new archetype, the ‘Heavy DPS’ which was meant to fill in a role of a melee anti-tank class. Thus far the 1.7 patch cycle had utilized primarily old content cast in a new light, with the exception of the new aerial siege weaponry.

1.7.2 began the three part process of introducing the three pairs of HDPS. With 1.7.2a we were faced with the Dusk of Ulthuan and the Dark Elf plot to take advantage of the situation which arose from the Soldiers of WAR live event. Players were thrown into a pairing-wide quest line that took them from the shores of the Blighted Isle to the gates of the enemy fortresses as they sought to play a role in coming struggle. Also introduced in this patch was the new scenario ‘Shrine of Asuryan’, and players got to revisit an old scenario with a specific spotlight – Tor Anroc. 1.7.2b conclude the High Elf v. Dark Elf saga by launching the Battle for the Phoenix Flame as the silent Phoenix Guard were called to battle the deadly Executioners of Har Ganeth on the shores of Ulthuan.

1.7.3 took the struggle to the mountains of the Old World as players descended into the Night of the Crooked Moon. This live event followed the foot-steps of the High Elf v. Dark Elf model with its quest line as players sought to gather more supplies to face the coming struggle as the night goblins were mobilized to join the Bloody Sun Boyz. As the dwarves mobilize to counter this threat they launch preemptive strikes which take them to the new scenario locations ‘Halls of Silverspear’ and ‘Crooked Moon Pass’. 1.7.3b finishes the Dwarf v. Greenskin struggle as players begin the War for Karak Ankor and welcome to their ranks the powerful Hammerers and the Night Goblin Fanatics.

1.7.4 addresses the last of the pairs as players embark on the final journey with the Dawn of Destruction. Here players first confront each other at Salzenmund in Nordland, in Troll Country, and in Ostland as both quest-lines parallel each other to promote conflict. With this storyline players attempt to track or hide the Raven Hosts movements in the mountains along the Empire’s eastern frontier. Also in this struggle players are taken to two new scenarios: ‘The Streets of the Damned’ and ‘The Beacons of the Frontier’. The struggle culminates in 1.7.4b with the Sea of Swords which reveals the Raven Host’s plan of attack and draws forth the mighty Greatswords of Carroburg to confront the newest threat from the Lord of Change – the Harbingers of Tzeentch.

The 1.7 patch cycle focuses almost exclusively on creating a storyline and weaving it together, a storyline which ushers in 6 new classes consisting of some long-time favorites in the world of Warhammer, and perhaps a new face. Some of the earlier scenarios and PvE locations are carved directly from old unused PvE content. The five new scenarios associated with the HDPS storylines are new material, however they are on a smaller scale. Arguably the greatest introduction in this patch cycle consists of the HDPS classes themselves. Because these 5 scenarios and 6 new classes are tacked onto existing armies, and are smaller-scale development, they are considered ‘medium-scale’ content change. However, the saga of improving Warhammer Online does not end here. The Age of Reckoning continues with future patch-cycles!

Categories: 1.7.x

Sea of Swords – Harbinger of Tzeentch

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

“Come forth men of the mountains, come answer Tzeentch’s call. Sheep-herds no more, now you shall be slayers of men. Embrace the Wind of Change that courses through your body and go forth in the name of Tzeentch to conquer all who would dare stand against you. You, child of Change, shall usher in a new era for the hosts of Chaos.”

~ Tzeentch’s Night-whisper to the men of Norsca’s mountains.

Harbinger of Tzeentch

Archtype – Heavy DPS

Armor – Heavy Splint

Weapon – Spear-staff

Mechanic – Aspects of Tzeentch

  • You assume different Aspects of the Lord of Change enhancing one facet of your combat style while weakening another. You can change your Aspects of Tzeentch in combat to better suit the situation.

Mastery Trees

  • Collapse – A focus on destroying the enemy forces’ heavy armor units.
  • Ruin – A focus on dealing wide-spread damage.
  • Demise – A focus on weakening your enemy. Read more…
Categories: 1.7.x, HDPS Tags:

Sea of Swords – Greatsword

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

“Never before have you seen such an imposing host among the armies of the Empire. Dressed in such finery, equipped with gleaming blades, standing tall and strong, the Greatswords of Carroburg are certainly an awe-inspiring force. Such is their training that a Greatsword handles their heavy blade with great precision, and with an ease that would lead one to believe they were swinging a feather in their hands. These mighty warriors are symbols of the Emperor’s authority, but woe unto any enemy that is forced to encounter them on the battlefield. One Greatsword is a sight to behold, but a regiment of Greatswords is sure to bring swift victory!”

~ Oswald von Horst, Prefect of Nuln

Greatsword

Archtype – Heavy DPS

Armor – Heavy Splint

Weapon – Greatsword

Mechanic – Combat Maneuvers

  • Your precise training has prepared you for many different situations. You assume different battlefield tactics enhancing one aspect of your combat prowess while leaving another weaker. You can change your combat maneuvers in action to better adapt to the situation on hand.

Mastery Trees

  • Carroburg – You focus on destroying enemy heavy armor units.
  • Averheim – You focus on dealing wide-spread damage.
  • Nuln – You focus on weakening your enemies. Read more…
Categories: 1.7.x, HDPS Tags:

Sea of Swords

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

A Song of Clashing Blades by Gregorius Volff of Erengrad

v1.7.4b

Though the leaders of the Empire had known the Chaos assault would strike in the east, they did not expect the exact location and sheer magnitude of the Raven Hosts legions. Try as they may, the Bright Wizards could not constantly track the movements of the Raven Host as they were clouded by powerful spells cast by Tchar’zanek’s magi. Tzeentch had promised Tchar’zanek a new host to lead the Raven Host to victory, but only if he could display his prowess as a Champion of Tzeentch. And so the Chaos legions marched south along the eastern side of the World’s Edge Mountains, ready to strike at the weakened frontier of the Empire.

Traversing across the World’s Edge Mountains via hidden underground tunnels, compliments of the Red Eye Night Goblins of Karak Ungor, the Raven Host emerged in Kislevite territory on the northern bank of the Upper Talabec. With their eyes turned south they faced the dreary province of Ostermark, scarcely populated and thinly defended. With no true way to defend itself against a widespread invasion, the League of Ostermark depended on rapid communications with their frontier towers to deploy their soldiers where they were needed. When the Raven Host appeared on the horizon the frontier watch-towers immediately began to light their beacons to signal Bechafen, Kislev, and hopefully Altdorf. The Celestial Wizards claim that nothing travels faster than light, and true to their word the alarm of invasion reached Bechafen within minutes, and by the time the Raven Host had fully assembled on the northern bank of the Upper Talabec Altdorf was thrown into chaos as generals ran with haste to gather their marching orders from Karl Franz. Reinforcements would not arrive in Ostermark for weeks; the people of that province would have to disappear into the fens and fight a guerrilla war buying time for the main body of the Empire’s army to arrive.

Among the first peculiarities noticed by the watchmen of Ostermark were the massive men leading the companies of the Raven Host. These giants-among-men hailing from the high jagged mountains of Norsca were Tzeentch’s gift to his champion, Tchar’zanek. Known as the Harbingers of Tzeentch, these fierce warriors were once solitary sheep-herds whose minds were susceptible to the winds of Change. With but a touch of the wind of Change they were transformed into deadly warriors .

Karl Franz, sensing the shift in the winds, had accordingly rallied his soldiers to face the new threat. Sailing earlier directly up the River Talabec were the legendary Greatswords of Carroburg. Karl Franz stationed them centrally within the Empire at Talabheim knowing that from that location they could better respond to any threat. When the news of invasion reached the Imperial Court, the Greatswords were immediately shipped north along the Talabec into Ostermark. First into battle against the Raven Host, they would bear the brunt of the assault. Sailing up the Talabec in their open barges, the Raven Host was about to witness the arrival of a sea of swords.

Order players who obtained the Imperial Call to Arms in the Dawn of Destruction Live Event have two weeks early access to the Greatsword. Destruction players who obtained the Icon of the Lord of Change in the Dawn of Destruction Live Event have two weeks early access to the Harbinger of Tzeentch.

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Dawn of Destruction – Corruption from Within

September 14, 2011 3 comments

It was well past the witching hour when Alexander Schwarzmord arrived at the decrepit fortress that served as a reserve seat for the local garrisons. This night, however, its purpose was to contain a heretic so powerful that even when downed, all of Praag’s brightest and strongest warriors couldn’t devise a means to permanently kill it. Such were the grave tidings brought to the attention of the Lord Inquisitor Schwarzmord two nights ago. He had made all haste to resolve this matter with all his zeal and fury.

Two lone guards were patrolling the bulwarks of the fortress; having noticed his approach, sigils of the Inquisition displayed, they had immediately signaled the gatekeeper. By the time Schwarzmord had made the outer courtyard, a squire bearing a lantern and a knight in plate armor with a broad, heavily feathered hat, were awaiting him.

“Evening, my lord. I am Kalyan Mavro, captain of the battalion stationed here. We were expecting you with great anxiety.”

The inquisitor motioned for the squire to take away his steed and greeted the captain with a wordless nod. He avoided Kalyan’s attempt at a handshake and glided past him not even bothering to look him in the eye. Read more…

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Dawn of Destruction Guide

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

1.7.4a consists of the Dawn of Destruction live event. This live event has 11 tasks for players to complete while participating in the Dawn of Destruction. Empire forces have begun to apprehend strange warriors of Chaos, creatures of deadly strength and unseen power. With the incursion of the Night Goblins from Karak Ungor to the east and the recent south-eastern thrust of the Raven Host, Karl Franz is anticipating a full-scale attack on the weakened frontier provinces of the Empire, but without further information he is unsure how to deploy his troops. One thing is for certain, a new host will be necessary to counter the powerful warriors of Chaos that have emerged. Can the forces of Order track the movements of the Raven Host and prepare for their assault, or will the forces of Destruction succeed in weaving a web of disinformation and stall the Order of the Griffon’s mobilization? Read more…

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Dawn of Destruction – Beacons of the Frontier

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

“Your duty begins today. You guard not only the frontier of the Empire, but you guard your land, your home. your family. Mark these words well and carry them in your heart as you take on the mantle of the frontier watchman. Keep an ever vigilant eye to the mist beyond, see that which comes unannounced. Keep an ever vigilant ear to the land around, hear that which moves unseen. Keep a vigilant hand on the ground, feel that which comes with undue haste. Nature is an unforgiving mistress, but over the years you will sharpen your senses and learn to feel the land. Protect the land, and it will protect you.”

~ Tul Waalen, Captain of the Frontier Watch

Far to the north-east of the Empire lays the desolate province of Ostermark. Here people eke out an existence on the rugged land, forging a race of people as unforgiving as the land they live on. The people of this harsh land receive little thanks for the burden they carry, but carry it with as much pride and honor as they can muster. It is here along the harsh north-eastern frontier of the Empire that the watchmen keep an eye to the north. Across the Upper Talabec lays the realm of Kislev, frequently ravaged by the hordes of Chaos. Sparsely populated the defense of the League of Ostermark and of the Empire lays in the speed of warning. In this land where swamps, mires, and forests dominate the landscape, travel by foot has no place. No, the quickest form of warning is by smoke and fire. Lining the border of Ostermark are scores of towers rising from water-logged swamps and above gloomy forests; towers made of stone, wood, and clay. With an ever vigilant eye on the frontiers of the province, the watchmen guard against undead hosts, greenskin hordes, and Chaos legions, and when those who threaten the Empire appear the Beacons of Ostermark are lit.

The Beacons of the Frontier is a king-of-the-hill scenario as players from both factions converge on one of the beacons that marks the frontier between the Empire and Kislev. The forces of Destruction assault the lone outpost from the north, but advanced warnings from other beacons have alerted the forces of Order who march south. Now both factions fight over this beacon in an attempt to control it and the message of invasion it carries.

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