Monday, March 30, 2009

RoF / PoS Idea

So, after perusing the usual blogs, I came across Werit's blog discussing the AoE and Keep changes. It really got me thinking about the current situation with certain AoE spells.

Obviously there is a problem right now. When you have multiple PoS / RoF in an area, there is no getting around the fact that you have little to no chance of surviving. The big solution it appears will be put in place is to make it so multiple spells will not stack with one another. While yes, that is a solution, I do not believe it to be a good one. It still does not address the fact that these spells can be placed anywhere, with no threat to the caster. It also essentially can make having more than 1 BW / Sorc in a keep defense utterly pointless. If only having 1 AoE spell being able to be cast on the doors, what are the rest of the casters going to do?

Why not make the spells scale downwards? For every other ranged AoE spell being cast, the next identical spell in that area would be reduced by say....50% dmg? It would at least not let those casters be useless, not to mention drastically tone down the immediate damage that people are taking right now.

There is also the problem of these spells being cast with virtually no AP cost, and no risk to the caster. Perhaps make those spells combustion build faster? At the least the AP cost needs to be increased.

A big downside to the proposed nerf of the AoE spells, is that is severely limits the capability of a small group of taking on a warband of players. As is right now, a 6 man with 2 BW's can definitely kill an entire warband of less organized players. I've been a part of it on more than one occasion. By taking away the stackable effect of these abilities completely, the success rate of that 6 man to actually win against 18+ is drastically reduced. Hopefully Mythic sees the downsides of the current proposal, and a change is made.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Awesome Sauce....Changes inc!

Wow, just wow. What a great day for some positives for the Warhammer community.

Two HUGE notifications on the herald today. One being the Keep Upgrades, and the other being patch 1.2.1. Both of which could seemingly have an enormous impact on the game.

First, the keep upgrades. My initial thoughts.......perfect. What better way to promote open RvR than to make keeps much more difficult to take? If it is taking people much longer to take keeps, the more apt they are to be just running around looking for fights. Being able to increase door hp, add guards, bump up guards to champion levels, have HEALING guards (Finally), and the ultimate Divine Favor Altar could potentially be game breaking as far as T4 goes. The only way I see this as being bad, is if it is poorly implemented making keeps just entirely to difficult to take at all.

As far as 1.2.1....Finally:

Combat Responsiveness Improvements – This subject has been an object of much discussion, both internally at Mythic, and externally among the community over the past few months and the team has been focusing especially heavily on this issue over the past few weeks. The result is that we have made a number of important improvements to this aspect of the game. In V1.2.1, casting times have become more accurate under normal play conditions, and players should no longer see a significant “stretch” or “pause” when casting spells while playing in “normal” conditions. We have also changed the UI display so increments of ½ second will be shown to give the player a more accurate and correct representation of time, and in high-lag situations, there will be a slight pause after the bar has filled up instead of the current “stretching” system. We have also made improvements to the animations and special effects-systems, which will result in better transitions especially when players are “chain-casting.”

Will we actually see little to no "cast lag"? Will I not have a cast bar when using an insta cast ability? Hopefully this goes in perfectly.

RvR Zone Control Rewards- We have made a number of improvements to reward players receive for capturing an entire zone as opposed to individual Objective and Keep captures. Battlefield Objectives will also buff players in the zone, and the players who have captured a Keep or Battlefield Objective will also see a doubling in the amount of Renown gained when the zone is captured.

Also probably a good thing. Now that it will be more difficult to take upgraded keeps, people should be rewarded as such. Nothing like doubling your Renown earned.

The Battle for the Gates of Ekrund Expands! – We have added a special 6-on-6 version of the Gates of Ekrund for players between the Ranks of 19-24. This will help players at these Ranks gain experience faster while the team continues to work on other improvements to the experience-gain pace for those Ranks. Of course, this new Scenario “Broken Gates of Ekrund” is also accompanied by its own quest.

This to me seems like something more geard for future patches. A lot of players are wanting more skirmish fights (myself included) What better way to test that out than with a 6v6 instance? Not sure if this is getting to close to WoW Arenas though....we'll see where it goes I guess.

With all of those changes not to mention bug fixes, career balancing, and Beyond the Sands, the next few months for the Warhammer Online community are seemingly going to be great!

Promote WAR!, not Hugs

Over the past week or so I have realized that while the Warhammer game itself is supposed to be centered around WAR, the only real WAR I seem to have is finding enemies to fight. Sure there are times when I may find a single warband out to fight, but for the most part I find that the Destro and Order communities on PT avoid each other in order to be successful in taking Keeps and BO's. I find this to be a critical flaw in the RvR system that WAR currently has in place.

Right now, Zerg mentality is king. If you can swarm a keep with 3 WB's, it is that much easier to gear yourself. People are to concerned about gear in this game. I wish people would actually compare the gear to see the very marginal difference there is between even Annihilator and Darkpromise. Because of the gear concern on people's minds, zergs are created. When an opposing zerg shows up, it is then time to fly to a new zone.

Currently there are no real quests or any incentive to fight in Open RvR. It is always, defend xx keep, defend xx BO, take xx Keep. Other than the kill 25 players, what other incentive is there for ORvR? There are little gear drops for those of us who are interested in that. The Renown is good, but really you can get 7k renown for just taking a zone. Influence is much of the same. Other than actually wanting to have small scale, ORvR battles, there is no reason to do so. Something needs to be done about that.

Perhaps promote ORvR in locked zones by increasing renown gain by 10%? Maybe increase the amount and level of gear that does drop from players? How about creating quests that reward Renown and Influence, rather than 1 gold?

Hopefully Mythic gets it right soon as it is no secret that the T4 action in Warhammer is lackluster. There is no sense releasing more content, when the current content you have is currently unproven.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gank Groups - Reborn

Well finally, for the first time in what seems like forever, my guild was able to run nearly a 6 man group in ORvR yesterday. We ended up running with only 5, but it was a solid 5 at least. Slayer / BW / RP / RP / KotBS. Probably not your "ideal" group setup, but it worked to perfection.

As we ran around Praag during prime time, obviously we tried to avoid the 3 WB vs 3 WB zerg that was running around, virtually doing nothing but camping each others warcamps. Sure we got zerged down a few times, but there were other times that were simply magnificent. And I must say that while I do attribute most of it to our skill, I must give some of it to the fact that AoE right now is crazy. Just maybe crazy perfect.....

We were able to, several times mind you, kill an ENTIRE Destro WB! With, that's right, only 5 of us! By using terrain to our advantage, mainly the closed in graveyards in Praag, we were able to really bottleneck people into the doorways and AoE them down. It was probably the best time I've had in WAR to date. It left me pretty satisfied with the state of the game right now. And finally, it left me with the feeling of wanting more from open RvR in WAR.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where are all the Slayers?

So tonight I was doing some T4 Scenarios with a few guildees, and would'nt you know it we came across several guild groups running 5+ Choppas....all level 40.

Now while I'm not surprised at the amount of rank 40 Choppas, I am surprised to see just how very few Slayers there are of equal rank. Besides myself, I believe I have only seen 2 other rank 40 Slayers (Phoenix Throne). So where are they all? Leveling up through RvR, gaining renown? Lets hope that we see a bunch of Slayers soon though cause I must say, my butt sure is sore from the beating we took in those scenarios. The amount of damage they put out is just through the roof. Not to mention it was coupled with some Sorc pits and Magus pulls.......again. Maybe it is just the fact that Destro has a lot more time to level? While I don't know the age breakdown of players on PT, I'd imagine that Destro appeals to a younger crowd. Just basing this shearly off of looks really. Who knows.

Also, do Choppas get some sort of knockback ability? On more than one occasion it seemed as if a Choppa was using an AoE knockback of some sort, I couldn't tell for sure though. While I could look on WarDb right now, it's to nearly midnight and I'm tired.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Active Abilities and Their Place in WAR!

First thing's first. Welcome to the show! I've created this blog mostly for my own musings, but I hope there are some who enjoy reading and taking part of the experiences I go through in Warhammer Online.

Now, on to the meat of it. Active Abilities. Ever since 1.2 has hit, I can't help but feel as if active abilities really should have a place in Warhammer. A lot of people will think otherwise. There are some that will say, "Everyone will just spam their I-Win button." Or those that may think having an active ability takes away from the skill of the game play.

With the coming of 1.2, we have seen a major shift in power to casters / ranged dps. The amount of damage those classes can put out in such a short amount of time is unreal. I mean really, good luck getting sucked in by a Magus, into 3 Pit of Shades, all whilst being knocked down by a tank. Let's face it, there is no surviving that. Now the problem with the above that I had, isn't the fact that it is being done, but rather the fact that there is ultimately nothing anyone can do once the process of getting sucked in starts.

We've seen in other games, Active Realm Abilities (DAoC). Things like Purge, Group Purge, First Aid, Vanish, etc... Yes, at first there were abilities that were OP. Hibbies only having Group Purge being an example. Eventually though, Mythic got it right, and each realm had access to the same RA's.

What is the reasoning these abilities cannot have a place in WAR? Having a "Purge" would allow you to remove a knockdown or snare, and maybe get you out of that AoE mess. I'm definitely not saying these things are spammable by any means. Things with 10 to 15 minute timers, possibly even longer. Would that really be so bad? Would a Vanish type ability for WE and WH's be so terrible? They can only stealth once every 30 seconds as is right now. Would giving them a Vanish every half hour be terrible? By keeping these things on long cool downs, it doesn't take the skill out of the game, but puts in even further decision making by letting the player choose to use it in a particular situation.

Also keep in mind, that not all active abilities have their place in WAR. While a purge or an out of combat heal may be good, things like in combat full self heals for a dps class do not.

Some also may say that we do have active abilities in the form of Morales. I tend to agree with this, other than most of Morales seem to be oriented toward that of damage for a dps, or healing for a priest type career. Maybe making Morale abilities / Tactics changeable in combat would switch my view on this subject completely, but that is for another post.