Friday, February 27, 2009

What to do about Iron Rock?

The Iron Rock server is currently the poster child for imbalance. Since Mythic instituted a server merge, Altdorf has been raided for 6 days in a row. The Badlands server doesn't look so bad now. Iron Rock is not alone, on Volkmar Order is giving Destruction quite a beating too. There may be some debate why this is happening, but there are a couple reasons that this is just not good for the game.

First, when a capital city is sieged it ends up locking down all of Tier 4 RvR. There is only one open scenario and only one place which has objectives. So on Iron Rock, for 6 hours of every day this past week, players have been limited in what they can do (on both sides). This isn't a big deal when it happens every once in a while. When it happens every day, it has to be frustrating.

Secondly, being overwhelmed every day will just grind down the losing side. This is a video game and not real life. They can easily turn the game off and go do something else if it becomes more trouble than it's worth. A one sided RvR game will quickly lose it's appeal for the winning side. It is in no ones best interest for one side to completely dominate the other.

So what can we do to rectify the situation? Here are a few ideas:

Lockout Timer. After a siege, the city would be safe from attack for a week (just an example). This would be very effective in stopping constant city sieges but I don't think it would work very well overall. This is really just punishing the winning side. Also, as the game stands now there is nothing else for the winners to do. In June, when Land of the Dead is launched, they will have an alternative.

Server Transfer. Allow a certain number of Order from Volkmar to transfer to Iron Rock and Destruction from IR to Volkmar. This may work, but I suspect a lot of people will not want to transfer from their winning server. There does not seem to be a downside to trying though, as long as the numbers are controlled. Alternatively, low population servers can have transfers based on realm.

Temporary Buff. After a siege, a buff (i.e. damage increase) could be applied to the losing side (Tier 4) for a limited amount of time. This could effect players and/or npc's. If the defeated side loses again, the buff would be increased and the duration extended. As a side effect, those buffed could be worth more renown. This would give the victors a greater challenge (and reward) while also giving the defeated a boost.

I am a fan of the Buff idea, I think it will encourage both sides to fight. What do you think?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Werit gets podded

Yesterday was a rough, but interesting day for me in Eve Online. It started while pricing out how much it would cost to build a Retriever Mining Barge. I noticed that I could make a tidy 1 million isk profit from a quick ore trade. As I need the money for the aforementioned Retriever, I bought 200,000 units, exhausting my funds.

The route was only about 7 jumps, but it did go through low sec space (.4). I have traveled through .4 space before an never had any trouble. It was also early and not many people on. So I hit the autopilot on my Badger and was on my way. Begin foreboding music.

As I jumped into low sec, I saw flashing red. Uh Oh. As I was in a Badger, there was really no escape, especially versus 3 of them. Before I could do much of anything, my ship was destroyed. A few seconds later, my pod joined it. I awoke in a station not too far away. Luckily my clone was up to date, so no skill point loss.

So what happened? I had met my first gate camp and experienced my first podding. They did not want my cargo or a ransom. We were not at war, so I guess they were just bored. My badger was insured, although not fully. I was not carrying any cargo, so I really did not lose too much. My estimates are about 400k.

As frustrating as this was, it was my fault. I could have avoided this situation without too much trouble if I was not complacent or lazy. Before purchasing the minerals, I should have inspected the route. Using the map, I can display how many ships were destroyed in a system in the last hour.

If I had checked that, I would have seen that something was going on in that system.

So here I am with 250k isk in the bank and 4.4 million isk worth of goods on the other side of the gate camped system. I could wait it out, but I have things I need to do with that money. So I decided to run the blockade so I could go put in a sell order. After running my ideas past the fine folks at Eve University, I had my plan.

Using a shuttle, I should be fast enough to get through the camp. There I sat on the safe side of the gate, pretty nervous for a video game. The key is to use Warp to 0 (zero), rather than the autopilot. It will allow me to get off the gate much quicker.

So I jump. As soon as my ship materializes, I warp to the next gate. I could have only been visible for an instant. There was definitely some activity at the gate, but i did not stick around to watch. I had made it! Phew.

I reached the station where my goods were stored and sold them. Luckily, I only had to take a very slight loss. On my way out, I ran the gate camp again without any trouble. I learned quite a bit, so hopefully I will not repeat those mistakes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WCPI: Garrison of WAR

The folks over at Warhammer Alliance have started the Warhammer Community Promotion Initiative (WCPI) in order to get the word out about interesting community sites. I have been meaning to do this more as well, so this would be a good time to start.

The Garrison of WAR has a nice post about what they have seen on the test server. I should admit I am a bit jealous. Several of his recent posts were in my mental queue to do, but he beat me to it! I am going to have to speak with the security dwarves and find out if there has been a breach :)

Patch 1.2 has a lot of small details that go along way. The dots used to show your party members on the maps are a great example. On Pre 1.2, they were silver squares, now they are green or red circles. They look much more crisp. Also in the post, I learned they refresh more often. That will be very helpful.

We also get a look at the Open Parties and Warbands windows. This is another great addition which should help get you into the meat grinde.... err fight quicker. I do wish they could integrate the active warbands, across the tiers, into the map overview.

So go check out the Garrison, I will likely be adding him to the blogroll on the sidebar soon too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


BattleForge was brought to my attention by Keen. His review will be a bit more in-depth, so I suggest taking a read. BattleForge is a RTS/Card Game/MMO with a fantasy setting. I was skeptical at first, but the gameplay offered actually works really well.

The Card Game (200+ cards) aspect adds a lot of variety, since you and your opponent can make your deck however you please. There are also spell cards, like AoE heals and damage, which can be used on the battlefield. This adds some spice to the normal RTS formula.

There was a good amount of PvE to do, but really, why fight the computer when you can fight players? After I was somewhat comfortable with how things worked, I did a few PvP matches. Sadly, I was disappointed.

It seems that the problems of RTS PvP also affect BattleForge. Most matches I was in all went pretty much the same way. Rush units close to your opponent, build towers. Repeat. Many of the cards can only be used once you build up/capture resources and it seems (from the boards) that matches don't really last long enough to get there.

Now there is some strategy involved in this rushed form or ring-around-the-tower and there are likely some counters. I was really hoping for a slower more strategic experience.

Another issue is the cards themselves. New cards are obtained from booster packs... which are bought with real money. It was hard to tell if there would be any in-game way to get new cards. I don't mind paying for a game, I just dislike paying for individual booster packs. With Star Wars Galaxies trading card game, they give all subscribers 6 or so booster packs every month for free with their subscription.

BattleForge has a lot of potential and I will definitely keep an eye on it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Werit the Speedbump

Another Monday is upon us, and I feel especially cranky this morning. WAR has not been helping my mood as of late. It has been rough times of Order on Badlands lately. For the past 3 or 4 weeks, Altdorf has come under siege every weekend. While it was interesting the first time, it is quickly losing its charm.

Not only is the city being sieged every weekend, we are starting to see fortresses being attacked during weekday afternoons. Most of the time, they do not even bother to attack the fort. When they do, it is just to try to lure defenders off the walls. We still have to defend it though, which can make for quite a boring hour. All the while they are pushing another zone.

Badlands used to be a 'balanced' server or so we thought. There was a time when Order actually pushed a fort a couple of times. However, even during this time, we never had the upper hand on the server. Since the patch which weakened fortress doors and stopped defenders from being rezzed near the keep lord, Destruction has been on a rampage. I'm sure the situation is reversed on some servers.

The Armchair Generals will be quick to say it is a tactics problem, especially when no one asked them. While tactics may play a part in some cases, the overall problem is numbers. On Badlands, Order just does not field enough people at any given time to put up a prolonged offensive. Stats site show that Destruction does have a character advantage, but not by a wide margin. What it does not show is how many are actually playing on average.

We do try an organize and go on the offensive. When we do, we are usually met with a larger force, which will change our tactics. All we can really do is go into speedbump mode to try and delay their capturing of zones. That is really doing just delaying the inevitable, because usually the side with greater numbers will win the war of attrition.

I am starting to get tired of always being on the defensive. Back before launch, I think I remember Mythic saying there would be some balancing mechanism that would make consecutive city sieges progressively harder. I may just be remembering incorrectly though. In any case, this is something that may be needed.

As it is now, the strong will just keep getting stronger. As someone who is constantly on the defense, that is not a prospect I want to think about as the game goes on. I have no desire to farm a PvE instance for hours on end in the city siege, just to watch the same folks take home bags. Even if the instance actually has destruction in it, I can only take a couple hours max. Last night, I could not even get into the city to help defend.

So what can be done? It seems Order is getting smaller every day. Tactics can only do so much when outnumbered by multiple warbands. The city battle is getting old fast. I'm not really in an alt mood either.

All that being said, I still do have some fun when I login. The battles on the small scale are enjoyable, just not the larger campaign.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Werit goes green

That's right, I rolled a Choppa. Since I am a one realm kinda guy, I will save the Slayer for when it is live. In the mean time, it's Choppa time! I only got to play for a little bit, making it to Rank 3. The Choppa reminds me of the Incredible Hulk with a loincloth. How can that not be fun?

Here is me, Werit the Choppa.

Loincloths everywhere!

Choppa pain train...

Oh yea, there were new little Dwarves too. I'm just taking a break here, honest.

The scenarios were pretty crazy with just Choppa vs Slayer in almost all of them. We had a Shaman in one, he was mauled by many naked Dwarves. What a way to go.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Siege Weapons

Any Dwarf worth his salt likes a good siege weapon. I am no exception and a firm believer in massive firepower to solve problems. Whether that be Destruction or a difficult can of beans, a big freakin' cannon usually takes care of it.

I had always thought that WAR's siege weapons were decent. That was until I gave WoW's Lake Wintergrasp (LW) a try. I found the way LW handles siege weapons to be much more fun than WAR. Check out this video clip (no sound) brought to you by Werit Spieldorf:

In LW, there is no zooming in when use a siege weapon. You still get a full view of your surrounding and of your interface. This is very important, as there are so many times in WAR where you just don't know what is going on around you. You don't always get messages or warnings either.

Also, notice how you see your projectile. Unlike WAR, I actually feel like I am firing a weapon in LW. In WAR's system, you do see a slow moving cannonball, but really, it just doesn't feel right due to the zooming. The impact of the projectile is also better in LW. When making the video clip, I was having fun just lobbing the projectiles into empty space.

What can WAR do to improve their siege weapons?

No zooming. For me, it just ruins the experience. I would like to be able to see what is happening around me and my interface.

Use a visible projectile. It may be unrealistic, but it helps make it feel like you are firing a weapon.

Better impact graphics. It should feel like I just hit the ground with a large weapon of destruction.

All Siege Weapons should be AoE. Locking on to a target with a cannon just isn't that fun. Ballistas and other non-splash damage should do an AoE cone of damage.

There is a lot of potential to make Siege Weapons more fun. In the upcoming Bitter Rivals live event, they will introduce Flame Cannons and Giants as new siege weapons. If we can just improve the experience of using a siege weapon, they should become a big part of WAR.

Note: I am thinking of doing more multimedia content (i.e. Video ) for this blog, what do you think?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Werits PTS Adventure

Yesterday, the WAR Public test Server opened its doors to the public. While it does not feature the Slayer or the Choppa, it does have most of the rest of the 1.2 patch. Copying my character, Tirew, over and logging is was a breeze. In fact, I was able to rename Tirew to Werit for the PTS!

Upon logging in, I had to reset a lot of my UI settings. One thing I noticed is that the game looks better. I'm not sure if it is just me, but everything looks crisper. It was set at high quality which is what I normally run at in non-rvr situations. Either way, looking good.

I also noticed my gun had a sweet new model. I would post a screenshot, but the server is offline. The old model wasn't bad, it just was not placed on my characters back properly. Instead is was above his head. The new one is placed correctly but looks a lot different. I did get some compliments about it :)

The map is coming along nicely. There is a tooltip for the battle indicators which give a vague idea of how many people are there. I had always thought the different battle indicators served this function already. Also, you can navigate to the other maps with directional arrows on the sides. Nice touch.

Zone Domination is in, sorta. You can click on the zone control bar to get... 4 other progress bars. Each representing one aspect of the zone control (i.e. Objectives, Scenarios). I hope they work on this a bit. I was hoping for numbers rather than bars. Also, it does not really tell you how much each bar matters in the scheme of things.

With zone domination, you now have to hold objectives for a set amount of time (30 minutes and 2 hours for keeps). The times appear on your map. As of yesterday, they need a bit of work since they are not really lined up with the objectives. Also, you don't seem to be able to retake objectives and other strange bugs. But it is a test server.

Keeps are going to be wild and crazy places due to pick lock actually working. In the few keep fights I was in, there were always folks inside the keep. I'm not sure how much I like this whole idea. Keeps used to be a safe haven, now the only 'safe' spot will be standing on the keep lord. Gone are the days of a small desperate defense. Keeps will only be worth defending if you have a good sized force.

Chosen were probably having a great time on the PTS. Their Blast Wave skill was bugged. It was changed to debuff wounds rather than resistances. Someone neglected to fix the value it debuffed for... so we had Chosen taking away 4,000 health AoE style.

I did get a message about Order making a Rally Call. I have no idea how this applies to Tier 4, which is where I saw it.

The new Groups menu looks very nice. I was not able to do a Tier 4 wide search for RvR groups though, however that ability will be very helpful.

It was very nice to have my Barbed Wire animation back. Actually, I noted a lot more animations... I guess they added a bunch more.

The keep/objective defensive quests in Tier 4 have been upgraded to reward 1.5 gold which pretty good compared to what is on live. I was unable to find the RvR Quest chain though.

By evening, they had to turn off region chat and scenarios. Such is life on the test server. With Chosen wrecking everyone, seemed like a good time to call it a night.

So far things are looking good.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Engineer changes in 1.2

The Engineer was not affected nearly as much as some other classes in the upcoming 1.2 patch. There are some buffs and nerfs though, lets take a look:

Coordinated Fire. This tactic has always been broken and now it is fixed. It seems as it will increase damage 15% on a single target when using Signal Flare. Since it has never worked, it is hard to be sure. There has been much debate about whether or not this will be an overpowered skill.

Concussive Mine. This tactic has always been broken and is now fixed. With it, we can add a disorient effect to our Land Mines. I had been wanting this ability to work for a long time now. It would have been very effective before 1.2 but with the changes they are making to disorients, it remains to be seen how useful they are.

Lightning Rod. Made slightly less damaging. This skill was not very useful to begin with, so no major loss.

Hollow Points. Now multiple Engineers can apply this DoT without resetting the DoT. Any extra damage is nice, although this one is pretty low. The wardb tool-tip is incorrect and it is closer to 400 over 9 seconds.

Electro Magnet. Magnet will no longer pull people directly on top of the Engineer (or Magus). This should help with people getting stuck on each other.

Sticky Bomb. This ability will now deal Corporeal damage. By using an Acid Bomb first, we should now get a bit more damage out of it depending on the targets resistance.

Rune of Forging. Now absorbs more damage. I'm not sure if anyone really uses this tactic. Keeping my turret alive is one of my last priorities.

Those are the direct changes, minus some other uninteresting changes. Here are some of the other changes that will affect us:

Ground Target. The ground target reticule should no longer get stuck at our feet. It will be nice not having to do the ol'mouse shake to free it.

Disorient Change. Disorients will no longer stack or affect instant cast abilities! This will be huge as AoE disorients were out of control. Sadly, it will also affect our concussive mine tactic, so Destruction will never know our pain.

Immovable timer. The immovable immunity timer has been increased to 20 seconds. This affects Knockbacks and roots... two of our forms of CC. This one is pretty big, as it will be tougher to keep melee off of us. the real question is, why is the unstoppable timer not being increased too? We can't knock folks back as much, but we can still be knocked down just as much. Knockdowns are much worse than knockbacks.

Resistance Changes. Diminishing returns have come to resistances. Once you reach 40%, they kick in. Also talismans that have resistance reducing effects have been cut by 50%. This should help Engineers out with a bit more damage due to lower resistances across the board.

Terrible Embrace. Marauders can now use their pull ability on the move and its cast time has been reduced to 1 second. This means a whole lot more pulling and no real way for us to escape.

Overall, the Engineer was left pretty much alone. They fixed some bugs, which is all I really wanted. Hopefully they will take a look at the mastery tree in 1.3 and make all three trees viable. The Immovable and Terrible Embrace changes are pretty worrisome but we will have to see how they play out. Speaking of which, the public PTS opens today, so go test the changes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Werit and Eve Online

Eve Online is a game I really want to play. In fact, I have played it for years. My character is almost 3 years old there. However, I have only played maybe a couple months over that time. I only have 2 million skill points. That should give an idea about how little I have actually played.

While I think it is a good game, I just have never been hooked. That is surprising, as I love games like Elite and X. It is likely the social aspect, as I have never met anyone in game or joined a corporation. So when the CoWs started to talk about Eve, I got interested again. I also found that Eve was offering a free 5 day trial. So my account has been reactivated.

I am really at a loss of what I want to do. I have 2 million SP's spread around. I could go learn the Caldari Cruiser skill, but have not yet. Currently I fly around in my Badger, Kestrel or Destroyer. Money wise I have 5 million isk. In the past I have run missions, mined, built and sold ships and traded.

I really do not want to run missions anymore. Building T1 ships seems to have a razor thin profit margin, so it barely seems worth it. Mining is pretty boring.

Trading take a bit to get into. So far I have only been able to deal in Trade Goods (like Silicon). When I say trading, I really mean hauling, as I am just buying low then selling high. Buy/Sell orders seem like the way to go, but figuring out what to do takes time.

I have been considering a venture into low-sec space. I'm just not sure if there is much for me to do there in a frigate. I am a believer in only flying what you can afford, so I really do not want to take a cruiser in there. What can I do in a frigate? I would like to keep my CONCORD standing high :)

Any ideas?

Friday, February 13, 2009

If you could reroll...

Q: If you had the one-time choice (in any MMO) to switch your class with another, retaining level and similar equipment, would you? If so, what change you would make?

For me, it would be my WoW Warrior. As much as I like Titans Grip and their tanking, I would trade him for a Paladin. They are just so much more versatile with their healing options.

In WAR, I am pretty happy with my Engineer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Werit awash in 1.2 Notes

The patch notes for WAR version 1.2 have arrived. You will no doubt be reading about them on all sorts of places today. Given the sheer amount of information in those patch notes, I will separate my thoughts into several posts.

Lets start with my overall impressions:

Zone Domination. As I mentioned before, it sounds good but makes me nervous. Will we end up with several city attacks a week? Only time will tell. Something had to change though.

Rallying Cry. Get to the action quicker? Count me in. This sounds like a great change. I wonder why it is limited to T1 and T2 though, is it because of mounts? It's a long ride from one end of Dragonwake to the other.

Crafting Overhaul. I really like the sound of this. My crafting died long ago, never making it over 50. Will it solve my issues with crafting and RvR? We will see, but it certainly looks more fun. Sounds like you'll be able to switch gathering abilities with the patch.

UI improvements. I am very excited about these. It will be great to have more visibility about the world and more information.

Potions. Potions persist after death now! I will actually use them in RvR... great change.

Disorient fix. Thank you. This will make the game much more enjoyable for me and I am sure many others.

Magic Pets. No more squigs following me into the keep, yay! It affects lions too. Now if they can just fix the turrets/magus pets.

Abandoned Mounts. Finally, no more mounts left behind. In big fights this got very annoying.

And now for a What the....

Terrible Embrace. Somehow Terrible Embrace got buffed in 1.2. TE now has a 1 second cast time and can be cast on the move. That is just crazy. I get pulled a fair amount right now. I at least have a chance at escaping though.

With this change, I will have no chance to escape the pull. With a 1 second cast time there is not enough time to interrupt. Now that it can be cast on the move, I will not be able to run out of range. I really don't know why they didn't just make Fetch and TE equal.

I am very excited for 1.2 to come out, as the patch notes sound great.

Special Delivery

It began by receiving a Valentines Day card in the mail.

It's only fitting it should conclude with me receiving something else in the mail...

Now I carry around my own head in my pocket. Thanks Draconess!

Overall, I thought the Night of Murder event was pretty well done. It was not nearly as grindy as Kegs End. It was almost a little too easy, almost. On the first day, after an hour or two I already had the advanced reward (Murder Fang trophy). This was not even going out of my way to do anything, just time spent in Open RvR.

That being said, I will not be completing the event. So really, it wasn't that easy. The 10 Keep Lords and the 20 Marked NPC's will remain unchecked in the Tome. I did get the Elite reward, but won't get the final title.

Some suggestions:

Marked Targets. There were a ton of marked targets in RvR. So many that I never really felt the need to target them specifically. It would have been neat if killing them gained your group a short term buff or just make them a bit more rare.

Atmosphere. I would have loved to see some more stuff going on in the warcamps/cit that had to do with the event. Maybe some folks getting chased by DoK's or decorations.

Shrines. The Shrine of Khaine was extremely easy to kill. There was rarely any battles over them that I saw. Maybe move the buff from here to the Marked targets? Shrines would be an interesting place to get event loot too.

Now that this event is wrapping up, we are only a few weeks away from the next one... Bitter Rivals!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sigmar Crypts

Dungeons (and PvE) have never been the focus of my gameplay in WAR. It wasn't until I had a good experience in Bastion Stair that I really took any kind of interest. There was a scheduled run for the Sigmar Crypts over the weekend, so I figured it was a good time to try it out. I had recently hit 40 and had a full set of lesser wards.

My first disappointment was that it was a return to the traditional dungeon. Bastion Stair was part public dungeon and part instance. Crypts was fully instanced and lacked any PQ mechanics.

I found the visuals in here to be very drab and boring. I know it is a crypt, but it really was very uninteresting.

The mobs were also a tad buggy. Many times they would come through the walls or get stuck in the walls. Pulls were also a bit weird sometimes, as the mobs would dart around. The terrain is also buggy, as we had players get stuck.

The bosses were pretty good in their mechanics. I was happy to see it was not all tank and spank. The bosses themselves were quite boring looking though. In Bastion Stair we got to fight a huge dragon. The best we got here was a somewhat cool looking reaper.

Loot drops were quite stingy, and I think we only had 1 class appropriate drop the whole run. Please, implement a token system to go along with the drops. Badges in WoW seem to have worked out very well.

Overall I had a good time with our CoW group, in spite of the dungeon. I'm not sure if I will run Crypts again anytime soon. If there was a token system, perhaps. Warpblades is still on my list to try as is Lost Vale.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crafting and RvR

Crafting in Warhammer takes the form of 4 gathering skills and 2 tradeskills. It is unlike most other MMO's as there are no recipes to learn. You can read the details here. While I do like the system, it needs some improvement. This is especially true from the RvR standpoint. I predominately play WAR in the RvR lakes and here, not all crafting is created equal.

Butcher. This skill is used on animals and can net you mostly organic ingredients. In PvE, animals are plentiful. In PvP, not so much. This is not useful in RvR.

Cultivating. Grow seeds into plants and my profession of choice. However, seeds do not drop in RvR. Without the raw material's it makes this skill useless (or quite expensive) in RvR. You can get some ingredients from bags, but that usually is not enough to sustain your need.

Salvaging. In this skill, you can break down items into shards with specific stats. As players do drop loot, this can be useful in RvR.

Scavenging. The same as Butchering, but for humanoids. This is very useful in RvR (and PvE), as players are humanoids.... even Orcs. There is plenty to scavenge.

Talisman Making. This tradeskill uses the results of Scavenging and Salvaging to make long lasting buffs. As the ingredients are available from RvR, this is a decent profession to take (but can be difficult to level).

Apothecary. This tradeskill uses the results of Cultivating and Butchering primarily. As they are not really options in RvR, apothecary becomes difficult as well. At present, the potions you make do not last beyond death which is a very big drawback. You die a lot in RvR. (NOTE: The near future may bring us a change to this!).

We can currently level 100% by just doing RvR, however it does not seem possible to level up crafting at the same time. Cultivation should be viable in RvR. I'm not sure I want players to be dropping seeds as that would cause many many popups. Maybe we can gain access to vendors that sells all types of them and use tokens as currency. The vendors in the guild halls are nice, but really not sufficient.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Battle for Altdorf - Part 2

Continuation from Part 1.

We left Part 1 at the beginning of the Altdorf invasion...

Altdorf was packed with defenders and most everyone was pretty excited. This was a first for many of us. Even though we wished it had been their city, we were looking forward to something different.

I was still with my Sigmar's group, so when we got the popup about the invasion our party leader had to choose what instance we were to join. As I was not the leader, I'm not sure how many instances there were to choose from or how full they were. So into our instance we went.

We were greeted with an Altdorf under siege. It was dark and ominous with most of the light coming from fires. I thought to myself, I really should have read up on this first, as I had no clue what to do. We decided to head to the docks and capture it. This is useful in securing the zone and completing the competing Public Quest.

I had heard stories about empty city instances where one side just farms the PQ. This is not one of those stories. Destruction was well represented in this instance. Over the next hour, we took turns getting to Stage 2 of the public quest only to defeat (or be defeated). The 2nd stage is to defeat the opposing general (hero mob).

What ends up happening is that all forces on both sides rally at their general to defend him. It turns into a massive fight. If the general is not defeated in 8 minutes (I think), the PQ resets. I can see how this would be boring if there was no opposition.

There was also a scenario here, but I never bothered to join. Why would I? There was non-stop fighting in the city already. The fact most people were doing this for the first time probably contributed to how hectic it was. No one had a plan to win, it was more "lets go kill destruction!" There is nothing wrong with that, as it was quite fun.

After an hour or so, I was just too tired to continue. I retired from the battlefield and went to bed. When I awoke, Altdorf looked liked it had always looked. Was it all a bad (good) dream? It appears the invasion failed, this time.

Some thoughts:

Fortress Doors. They seem paper thin now. Destruction absolutely steamrolled the forts in the morning, and it was not even that early. This is why the Zone Domination, coming in 1.2, makes me nervous.

Locking. We were waiting for Destruction to lock Reikland for at least an hour Saturday morning. They really should have been able to. In contrast to my above statement, this is why I am looking forward to Zone Domination.

Exploit or not? Why was Destruction in between the fort and the city? This is not an area we were meant to defend... so should they be able to attack? Kind of defeats the purpose of the mighty fort.

City Instances. An empty instance would have been quite disappointing. However, a full one is pretty fun. We did have issues getting our party members back into the instance when they were disconnected.

City PQ. repeating the same PQ over and over (for a possible 5 hours) would get very boring. More PQ's should be added in order to mix things up a bit.

Tokens. I would love to see a token system in here, so we can work towards the advanced armor sets rather then being at the mercy of a gold bag.

Atmosphere. Altdorf's invasion atmosphere was great.

Even though it was my city getting raided, it was a lot of fun defending it. I hope next time we can give Destruction the same fun experience, but in their home.

Battle for Altdorf - Part 1

Saturday was a very interesting day for me in WAR. I got my first look at a city siege and I took my first trip into Sigmar's Crypt. I will be saving the dungeon run for another post. The city siege was the first one on the Badlands server, at least since the server merges. Destruction had gotten close before, but this time they actually broke through.

I logged in around 9:30am to find that Eatine was just about locked down by the forces of Destruction. Using a guild recall scroll, I got to Altdorf and took the south exit to Reikwald. From Reikwald, I took the Northern path to Shining Way. Once at the fortress, I took a position on the middle wall just as Eatine fell.

Destruction was on the door almost immediately. Sadly, there was only a handful of defenders at the fort. In approximately 3 minutes, the outer door was down. I was pretty surprised by the speed, so was caught off guard. I had to take the long way around the inside of the outer wall to get to the inner keep. I was not quite stealthy enough and was killed near the inner keep postern door. A kindly Warrior Priest rezzed me.

As soon as I was rezzed, I was being attacked. The door to the inner keep had already fallen. It was only about 3 minutes since the outer door fell. I ran up to the Lords room, but it was just delaying the inevitable. The fortress fell a few minutes later. Shining Way was owned by Destruction.

Order was now starting to get organized, so we all descended upon Reikland. We found Destruction was here in force already. We were pushed away from their keep by overwhelming numbers. Reikland looked like it was going to fall as well. So the call went out to man the Reikwald fortress for a final defense. This time we would be ready.

We waited for an attack that never came. Destruction was not able to lock down Reikland. It seemed as if they were 1 victory point short. There was some excitement, as Destruction had found their way to the rear of our fortress, between the fort and the city. This seems like an oversight on Mythic's part, as they should not be back there.

Fast forward 12 hours. I logged in for a Sigmar's Crypt run. During the run, Destruction made another push. This time they set their sights on the Dwarf fortress of Stonewatch. They had to hurry though, as Shining Way was close to being reset. they managed to defeat a full defending force of Order, but not before Shining Way reset. Undeterred, Destruction attacked Reikland and locked it.

Reikwald was the last stop before they gained access to the city. We listened to the defense reports on the regions channel and it did not look good. As we finished our crypts run. Reikwald fell. Not many of us knew what to even expect next. The invasion of Altdorf had begun.

Continued in Part 2.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Night of Murder is upon us!

It has arrived! Below is the Tome page for the latest live event, Night of Murder. It looks much less painful than Kegs End. Although, 10 Keep Lords seems a bit high. I would have gone with 5. This event really is all about killing... as it should be. Be sure to click on the Live Event tab multiple times :)

The elite reward is a piece of jewelry that is for a subset of classes (you have 4 options to choose from). It has an attribute bonus (i.e. Toughness), some nice +100 resists and a +5% gold or renown bonus. The advanced Reward is a trophy, and the basic reward grants you a title.

Here is a list of the requirements for the event:

See you on the battlefield!

Tirew turns 40!

Yesterday, during a Serpents Passage map, Tirew hit rank 40! This is my first character to reach the level cap in WAR. His renown Rank is 41, so I just had to wait for the XP to catch up. He actually leveled during a fight with a Witch Elf, which I thought was appropriate.

Tirew, formally known as Werit, was the first character I created during the Head Start period. It has taken about 5 months for me to hit the level cap. In game time, I am at 14 days. He was born on the Averheim server, which sadly had to be merged. When I came to Badlands, Werit was already taken. That is where we get Tirew from.

Overall, I have quite enjoyed the last 5 months in Warhammer Online. I never felt that the leveling process was a grind. This is likely due to the fact I could level however I wanted. I would say that I spent 95% of my time leveling by RvR. Sure it was slower, but I never felt rushed. I was having fun throughout the 40 levels, not just the end.

So what's next for Tirew? He will continue to take the fight to those dirty Destruction. There may be an end-game dungeon mixed in here or there as well. Having a couple Sentinel pieces could not hurt. Maybe I'll get lucky and grab some Conqueror armor, of course I only see a piece drop about once a week.

You may also start to hear about an alt now. I have an IB and WH both near Rank 12. I also want to try a WL... so who knows what alt I will seriously work on?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


To the people who lost their jobs: There is not much I can say that hasn't already been said. It sucks. Thank you for the hard work and I hope you find new jobs soon.

To Mythic: I wish I could say this hasn't shaken my confidence about your game. How could it not? You have a lot of work to do and now have less people to do it. There is no positive angle here.

To bloggers and forum posters: It is pretty disturbing to see the posts with an undercurrent of glee and smug self-satisfaction that have resulted from this news. If you derive your self worth from online games, it is time to log off and get a life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Where in the World is Werit?

In this frightening picture, Tirew braves trees that appear to be alive and not really made out of wood.

Where in the World is Werit?

Answer: I was in Horrorsong, in North East Chaos Wastes. Better hints next time :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Traps in Land of the Dead

One of the fun parts of the RvR Dungeon (Darkness Falls, Delving in LoTRO) is the time when control switches over. At Mythic, they call this the Purge. Does that make the time before the changeover, the Binge? Anyway... it sounds like they want to spice up this occurance in their new effort, Land of the Dead.

In the recent IGN video, we get a brief glimpse at one of their ideas (12 minutes or so in). There is a hallway with a rather large swinging pendulum. It is an obstacle/trap, which can be enabled and disabled by the players. So lets say you are getting chased (or chasing) your enemy. You can turn on this trap ahead of them, or behind you.

It sounds like a great way to make the whole Purge be even more dynamic. It would be interesting if crafting/loot could play a part in setting up these traps. Let's say you find/craft some spikes. You can load them into a trap which would enable it.

I hope there are other traps. 3 words... Giant Rolling Boulder.

Atlantica Online

I had been reading about Atlantica Online (AO) over at Hardcore Casual for some time now. I finally reached the threshold where I had to give it a try. AO is a free to play MMO which does use microtransactions to pay the bills. There are a couple things you should know about me first:
  • I do not like anime and most JRPG style games.
  • I do like party based RPGs, where I can build and arm my team.
So right off the bat AO is conflicting for me. It is very influenced by Anime/JRPG games, but it is also party based with a lot of flexibility. I reached Level 10 and here are my thoughts:

Graphics. The battle graphics are decent and quite workable. The world graphics are not very good looking at all. It feels unfinished. I remember looking out on the ocean and seeing the squared edge of the world, apparently this one is flat and looks like a tile.

Sound. Not sure the best way to describe the sounds in the game. I am going to go with Anime and Street Fighter influenced. Not really what I am looking for in a game. The music was decent though, at least the techno/rock thing they had going.

Combat. This was very refreshing. It reminded me of Final Fantasy type combat. I did enjoy this part of the game, it makes a great change to the normal MMO combat.

UI. The User Interface is pretty awful in my opinion. It is unintuitive, clunk and ugly.

Party. Like I said, I do enjoy making a team and arming them for my playstyle. AO does this pretty well. For example, my party consisted of 3 Swordsmen with shields, who manned the front-line while I (Cannon class) and an Archer stayed on the rear line. Enemies would have to go through my tanks to get to my ranged folks in the back.

Crafting/Enchanting. This is another nice part of the game. I can use a lot of what I loot. If I get 2 shields, I can combine them to make a better shield. It does make the whole loot aspect much more interesting than the standard MMO model.

Grind. Syncaine was not kidding when he said this game was all about grind. That is not a problem if the activities are fun. AO does have a lot of things going on to help avoid the grind feeling.

AO has a lot of good aspects, but not enough to keep me playing. The style, clunky UI and the fact I am busy with other games force me to pass on it. I really like some of the ideas in the game. I would be interested in a polished Western version with a subscription.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Travel Costs in WAR

Recently, I have started to notice that using the gyrocopter to travel to different tiers is actually pretty expensive. It costs 45 silver for the flight. I guess whatever they use to power that steam engine is quite expensive. Now you know the real reason why Slayers have a death wish.

The cost isn't really that high, but it has been hitting my wallet hard. There are kill quests in each tier that can net you about 1 gold and 59 silver. These are great, but there are many times that I am not able to complete this quest in a play session. When I log in again, the battle has moved. So I actually end up spending quite a bit on just getting to the fight.

This is one of the few money sinks for the game, and that is fine. We really do not have a choice about paying it, as there is no other way to get to our destination (other than our transport stone). In some other games, you do have the choice to ride to your destination, although it will take longer.

Right now there really isn't much to spend money on, so this really is not a big deal. In the future, who knows? Maybe we can get our beloved emperor to enact a stimulus package to help out with these fuel costs :)