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Why aren’t you fighting?

March 4, 2009

Yeah, it’s been awhile since the last post but a lot of things have been happening.

Firstly, the alliance has been shopping around for a new server. As I’ve said earlier, the Order/Destro imbalance in Tier 4 and the lack of overall numbers (Ironclaw hasn’t been any higher than Low/Low for a long time) has made us decide to look around now to find a well-populated and balanced server. I’ll post something about our findings later. We haven’t totally given up on Ironclaw yet, the 1.2 patch may change things. I’ll let you know.

Secondly, real life has intruded a fair bit of late. Job hunting in these troubled times is not exactly easy.

Finally, this POS PC is really starting to make me scream with frustration. I think it’s a motherboard problem but I don’t have a spare one laying around to test or the cash to buy a new one right now. And it’s now out of warranty! If anyone wants to send a spare p35/45 chipset MB my way send me an email,  the link is to the right.

WCPI Shout-out #1

February 23, 2009

The Warhammer Community Promotion Initiative (WCPI) is a scheme to get the Warhammer Online community writing, highlighting and promoting each other’s blogs, podcasts and other Warhammer Online content.

My first shout-out has to go to my fellow Ranald’s Light Brigade Alliance member, Cecillia over at Metro Gamer!

Cecillia (aka Shiro) writes about the perils of being metrosexual and being addicted to MMOs. His latest post shows how WAR teamplay tactics can work in real life.

The state of Ironclaw

February 20, 2009

I’m probably a bit too pissed off to write this now but I’m going to do it anyway.

Ironclaw at the moment is a joke. The sheer imbalance between Order and Destruction in Tier 4 is ruining the game for a lot of people. Destruction has 5+ warbands on every night. At the moment, Order can field, at most, 2 maybe 2.5 warbands. It’s not just prime-time, either. Destro has a lot of Asian players, so they start running around when most of Order has to log off.

It’s not just T4 players, either. Destro warbands are nearly all 40s, with mid to high renown ranks. The numbers the Destro guilds can field mean they regularly field Lost Vale groups getting gear. Order have a hard enough time defending zones to stop fortress pushes, let alone pushing for the fortresses ourselves.

Order is always on the back foot. Order players are rerolling on other servers or leaving WAR altogether, making the population imbalance worse. A member of my alliance deleted all his characters tonight. One of the senior members of his guild, he is one of the best warband leaders I’ve played with. His loss is going to hurt Order on this server more than just the loss of his axe on the field. I’m going to miss playing WAR with him.

I love this game. I’m mad that me and my alliance are considering rerolling on another server. I’m mad that my ingame friends are leaving. I’m mad that we have to try and defend Reikland, Eataine and Kadrin Valley every time I log on. I want to see the other RvR lakes. I want to be competitive in scenarios and in the open field. I want to push for Inevitable City but the population imbalance means that the only way I can do this with my guildmates is to do it on another server.

I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe Mythic could cap the creation of Destro accounts on Ironclaw. Should Mythic give us transfers to Darklands, the other Oceanic server? Give Order XP bonuses on Ironclaw? I don’t know but Ironclaw will be a dead server if something doesn’t happen.

Ironclaw update

February 17, 2009

Wow. The last few days on Ironclaw have been intense. (Warning: wall of text coming.)

On Saturday night, Order pushed in Dwarf/Greenskin pairing. we had dedicated scenario teams winning and 3 warbands in ORvR. We locked Kadrin Valley, Thunder Mountain and were blazing through Black Crag when Destro finally appeared with numbers. We had secured all the BOs and the north keep. Unfortunately, due to none of us really knew how to get to the southern keep. We had people wandering everywhere until we found the entrances. By the time we had done that, Destro had reinforced the keep. (They had people getting lost, too.) Due to the lag (is it just Ironclaw with this problem? It’s horrible when there’s more than 2 warbands around!), the numbers defending and people getting lost, we were unable to secure the keep and lock Black Crag.

With a lot of Ironclaw players lamenting the fact that Tier 4 Order is outnumbered, with a lot of the more experienced players rerolling on other servers or quitting (so say the Ironclaw forums on WHA, anyway), it was good to see some organisation and some numbers pushing Destro. Read more…

the unnerfed and unbuffed

February 13, 2009
Taking a closer look at the changes to Ironbreakers with 1.2. The changes are:
Bug Fixes:
* Grudge-Born Fury: This ability will now behave correctly when interrupted.
* Challenge: This ability no longer requires an enemy target.
* Heavy Blow: Fixed a typo in this ability’s description.
* Powered Etchings: This ability’s Snare and Knockback effects will now correctly obey removal/immunity.
Balance Changes:
* Stone Breaker: This ability’s % armor debuff has now been replaced with a flat value armor debuff.
* Oathstone: This ability will now deal Physical Damage.
* Overprotective: This ability will now deal Physical Damage.
* Runic Shield: This ability will now absorb more damage.
* Gromril Plating: This ability will now absorb more damage.
Nothing real big here. No nerfs or real buffs.

The change to Challenge is nice but it wasn’t a gamebreaker.

The biggest change for IBs is to Stone Breaker. By making it a flat debuff rather than a percentage based one, it’s going to be less effective on tanks and more effective on squishies. Watch out, clothies!

Public Test Server 1.2 Patch Notes

February 12, 2009
tags: , ,

The patch notes for 1.2 (going live on the Public Test Server next week) are up now at the WAR Herald.

Well here it is; The Public Test Patch Notes for Game Update 1.2. Many hours of blood, sweat and tears went into these notes, and it shows. From the sheer size (over 55 pages!) to the numerous improvements being implemented, it’s all been a labor of love (or was that WAAAGH!). In the notes below you’ll see over 500 bug fixes, 10 plus pages of career balancing, numerous RvR improvements, UI improvements, continued building on our success with improving performance and server stability and a considerable review of our dungeon loot itemization. While these notes are still technically a “work in progress” they represent the majority of the changes that will be implemented with Game Update 1.2. Please keep in mind, these notes are for the public test server and can change periodically throughout the Public Testing Process.
As always, thank you to our Players for their continued support.
Jeff Hickman
Executive Producer
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
The highlights:
  • Balancing and bug fixes for every class
  • Big crafting changes
  • Improved itemisation and drops for PvE dungeons, Fortresses and Cities
  • Slayer and Choppa!
  • Bitter Rivals live event with Twisting Tower scenario
  • Easy PQs for Tiers 2-4
  • Zone Control Domination
  • RvR Rallying Cry for Tiers 1 & 2
  • New party and warband windows
  • Stackable talismans!
This is a massive patch. Get the full patch notes here. These notes are not final and may change during the testing phase on the PTS.
We should be seeing from feedback from the PTS soon. Hopefully all these changes are a step in the right direction.

I already killed that guy!

February 10, 2009

Questing in MMOs, particularly in WAR, is an unsatisfying experience.

Let me explain. Most quests are “Kill x monsters” or “Speak to that guy over there”. There’s nothing really wrong with them, apart from the same-old mechanic being used. They are the clichéd staple of RPGs. You kill the mobs, they respawn. The AI or lack thereof, is typical, too. Why don’t they react when they can clearly see you wiping out 5 of their friends? One of the other type of quest is “Kill named NPC”. This where questing seems unsatisfying and futile. You go and kill the NPC but if you hang around long enough (sometimes not real long, either) the NPC respawns. Sometimes, you may have already killed that particular NPC, before you have received the quest, so you have to go and kill it again.

This is my bugbear with quests – you have no real impact on the world. Sometimes, Mythic has got it right. In some stages of quests, the named NPC doesn’t spawn until you do a particular thing. I know that in a shared world, these mobs respawn so another play can kill them but I don’t have to kill them again. Public Quests are different – they are essentially “dungeons”. The nameless mobs are always there.

Blizzard has taken a step in the right direction with WoTLK. Phasing essentially “tags” you so that your actions have consequences, at least for you. You see the world change. Certain NPCs and mobs will not appear for you as you complete quests. They will appear for players that haven’t done those quests. I don’t know how well it works but it’s a step in the right direction.

RvR, is of course, where your actions do play a role in changing the state of the world. Mythic has got that mostly right.