Archive for the Warhammer Online Category

T-Minus 4 Weeks … or So

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , on February 3, 2011 by krosuss

If you’re ever going to pull out a trick play … it’s now. Rift is slated to launch on March 1, 2011 here in North America and on March 4 in Europe. I’m not here to say Rift will be good or bad but it’s the next big lamprey that will be sucking players away from WAR.

To date it’s no secret that the natives are restless, myself included. A communications glut and a recent significant departure have left the doom slightly ahead of the gloom in the wake of Patch 1.4’s flop. And why shouldn’t players feel that way? We need to be coddled, consoled, and told every single little plan that is hatched. The secret squirrel, hush-hush stuff is old — TOO OLD — and we wants us some firm plans so we can plan out how we intends to plan to play.

That’s where Mykiel comes in. He’s definitely different and has a unique perspective on things. Mykiel loves him some PvP and he simply enjoys playing. He wants to get out there and fight which will lead to him having fun. Meeting him last August at Games Day Baltimore it was refreshing to hear his thoughts on WAR from a rather interesting angle. Some say he’s too rosey but I say he’s realistic. But that’s me.

Mykiel was at Mythic recently and writes about it here. The astute will recall that it was Mykiel who started the whole Red Plague rumoring last year in April. That led to other bloggers chiming in and a flurry of speculation, theorycrafting, and excitement that led up to the RvR Packs. Okay … so things haven’t been that awesome since those packs launched but the build up to them was fun. Right?

Mykiel eludes to what he heard. And because he’s under an NDA he can’t mention specifics. Fair enough. He says that he was really surprised by what he heard. He also says to watch the forums over the next few weeks. Quote: “Good stuff is coming.” End Quote.

Okay, Mythic … it’s now or never. With some thinking F2P is on its way, others saying that the expected exodus to Rift will surely crush this game, what ace is up your sleeve? Can you pull off some of this kind of amazing shit? That’s what it’s going to take. You’ve got until Rift launches and then … perhaps only the crickets will be listening.

Good Luck, Andy

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags on February 2, 2011 by krosuss

By now many have heard that Andy Belford will be leaving Mythic for an opportunity out west. The allure of being close to home and around family is important (for those that are family oriented). I never got the opportunity to meet Andy but trust my fellow bloggers with their assessments of him. I always felt he seemed genuine and forthright in his posts on the forum. I also feel that he did care about his work and for WAR. In the technology world (games fall into that realm) it’s not uncommon for folks to come and go quite often. Tech is a fast-moving industry and with signs that the economy is slowly starting to wake up … companies are starting to hire again (albeit not as quickly as we’d all like).

Thanks, Andy, for you work and good luck in the future with wherever you land!

Hiatus Extendicus (January Producer’s Letter)

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , on February 1, 2011 by krosuss

So … like Punxsutawney Phil, Mythic has crawled out from their hibernation and have seen their shadow. That means six more weeks of nada for the faithful. Groundhog Day jokes aside, this letter was long overdue.

I’m not shocked that Patch 1.4.1 will be a small one to address bugs and to fix things. That is to be expected after the previous patch’s girth. However, some of the flaws we’ve seen since last November are not so easily resolved nor should they be classified as “bugs”. But all of that can be discussed in another post. Let’s focus on the January Producer’s Letter itself.

F2P?
One major thing that’s coming through loud and clear seems to be a covert move to a F2P model. Why else would there be a push to the forefront on this new interface to get your EA Store items and other oddities? The F2P chestnut has been lurking in the background for quite a long time. Some seem to feel that making a move to this model would be a good thing while others disagree. I’ve never played a F2P MMO so I truly can’t say whether it’s a good or bad idea.

I’ve heard of some successes like Wizard 101 … while there have been some base disasters like Allods Online. I suppose if it’s done the right way it could be a good thing. And many gamers enjoy “free” so if it draws more players to give the game a try then it could be a good thing. There’s a part of me that hates the idea of a potential pay-for-power game. But then the selfish side of me wouldn’t mind paying actual cash for some things (within reason, of course).

For example, I’ve never completed my Sentinel set. As it stands, I’d never wear a single piece of Sentinel again — it’s now beneath me — but the completist in me wants, demands, to finish the set! If I could buy the remaining two pieces I need for a $1 a piece I’d do it rather than run Sigmar’s Crypt ad infinatum. But that could open the gates to a host of other items where those with the cash improve while those on a limited budget do not. That’s where F2P can be a bad thing. The letter mentions additional items becoming available on the EA Store … name changes, more pets, etc. Perhaps this F2P bluster is just that.

Scenario Facelift
Next we learn that the permie scenario list will be mixed up a bit. That’s probably a good thing (as long as Thunder Valley isn’t added). The Maw of Madness was mentioned — I like that! Also mentioned was some of the scenarios will be shuffled between tiers. Imagine the fun of Tor Anroc in Tier 4. I’ll respec just to get Backdraft so I can punt the crap out of people. Lava! We’ll have to wait to learn more about this. With this it would be nice to see some new Weekend Warfronts? Maybe?

Get Me Out of Here!!!
That free server transfers to select servers is on the way could be a godsend. It will also draw the ire of players that have already paid a premium to find fun elsewhere. Fun, by the way, which is something the game should already be providing for our subscription. Since we’ll never get an accurate count on population, isn’t it more likely for a server merger or two? Would it hurt to have a Volkmar/Iron Rock, Volkmar/Gorfang, or Gorfang/Iron Rock merger? That’s what I assume these “free” transfers will be … a merger. My server of Iron Rock has been hit or miss. So far my guild has stuck it out and in the end, I will go where they go.

Awesome Coming … We Swear!
As always, there’s some big, BIG things on the horizon. By ‘Big’ they mean ‘major’. And we’d love to tell you all about them but are constantly reminded of our past promises and failures as we sit on our psychiatrist’s couch wondering what went wrong. Get over it already!

Unless I’m daft, which I very well may be, one assumes Forts are a part of these “new features” we can expect. And when you sit back and think about that, a reimagining of the Forts really isn’t new. If that’s going to be a cornerstone of the new features then how dumb do they think we are? I guess pretty dumb. Maybe we’ll be surprised.

Would it be so hard to outline the entire year and state: “We plan to roll out new zones, new gear, new races, and new classes”? Or mention one quarter of that. Can’t something be promised? Anything? Mythic isn’t the CIA … and keeping the new goodies a secret is pretty much overly old at this point. If this game isn’t going to be turned off, then they should dig into the forums and see what players really truly want. It’s not that hard to discern but it is understood that the resources probably aren’t there to deliver on a significant chunk of what’s being clamoured for. Then be carefully selective on what you focus on. Find the longest thread out there … ((cough-Skaven-cough)) … and do it. The implementation of Skaven in 1.4 didn’t pan out. Then go back and make it right. You’ll be surprised how excited players will actually be.

I’m not alone in saying I want new races, classes, and zones to explore and fight in. And dare I say a new dungeon or two? That would make people excited. All the lore, art, and groundwork is there … it’s almost too easy. Easy? Well, the creative end of it, anyway. The programming, developing, etc. is where the challenge comes in and therein lies the problem.

8 … Yes 8
Live Events seem to be on the menu this year. We’re told to expect 8 of these which could be some nice chunks of new content. We’ll get some of the usual repeats (Night of Murder, Wild Hunt, Daemon Moon/Witching Night, Keg End). So in addition to the 4 repeats we should have 4 new ones coming. Some of these LE’s are a lot of fun and usually spur a resurgence in players and action. Here’s hoping for something cool.

Expansion … Not What You Think
The letter mentions expanding existing areas. This sounds like what so many WAR bloggers have been blogging about since forever: enlarging the RvR lakes. At this point any thoughts of players flodding the PvE parts of each map is not going to happen. Even thought there are some interesting quests, cool sites, and fun PQs … the game has totally turned its back on anything relating to PvE (except for the dungeons). Why they haven’t dug into their old DAOC playbooks to update the WAR zones to mimic those is beyond me. Here’s looking to a bit more substance in the lakes as well as more objectives necessary to flip zones.

Lastly, Congrats!
More real news … Carrie was promoted to oversee all of Mythic’s Live games. This sounds like WAR, DAOC, and Ultima Online. I’ve been happy with the game and communications since Carrie took over … right up until she stopped communicating after 1.4 went live. Congrats on the promotion but sad to see such a drop-off with the communication thereafter.

About That Hiatus
Even though I mentioned in my last post the beginning of this month, I am still on a hiatus. I had all the best of intentions to get back in and play but the urge has yet to grab me. Other games have diverted my attention but I still often find myself thinking of WAR. Believe me, one of these nights I’ll be downloading whatever updates I’ve missed and will be running around. I’m hopeful we’ll get some more news on what’s planned … but I wouldn’t bank on too much info. That’s just the way Mythic rolls.

P.S. The Realm War is still borked.

65,000

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , on December 9, 2010 by krosuss

That’s the amount of renown I earned in a city siege last night.

It’s no secret that city sieges have not stalled since the rollout of 1.4. In some cases they seem to have accelerated. On Iron Rock this is the case, as I logged in last night Destro was in Altdorf. And later to close the bookend of the evening we pushed to the Inevitable City.

I’ve been rolling in renown and am at 40% into my 79th rank. RR80 looms and I anticipate hitting that mark either by or slightly before the weekend if things continue at this pace. It’s frantic and the amount of purple numbers flying across the screen is intoxicating. Each night this week I’ve been up later than intended because the renown spigot has been spurting purple all over us (sorry, that sounded kind of gross unless you’re into that sort of thing). The next morning I tell myself “I’m going to bed early tonight … I’m not going to login”. Then what do I do? I login and stay up too late.

If you stumble into an empty city instance it’s possible to parlay that into three instances where you’ve just gained a ton of purple and if you’re lucky, some Sovereign, Doomflayer, and Warpforged. Last night was no exception.

The Inquisition
Patch 1.4 has breathed new life into my guild. Every night we easily field half a warband and many times more. We have an assortment of hardcore players sprinkled with some casuals and a bunch of us in betweens. My definition of hardcore is “playing all day everyday (or close thereto)”.

These hardcore guys are racing each other to RR100. It’s a friendly competition and keeps them all motivated and engaged. It also makes for some lively chatter in the vent. Some of them check the rankings to see where they stand on Iron Rock and across all servers. Many of these players aren’t simply renown sponges … they are very good players. You want them in your premade, you want them as main assist, you want them healing you.

Since virtually none of them read my blog or even know I blog, I’ll give them an anonymous shout-out. I’m proud to call these folks guildies. As of today on Winkl’s, here’s where they stand against all other Order players (on all active servers):

5.   Kliest, Warrior Priest
13. Nistin, Witch Hunter
21. Fare, Witch Hunter
31. Abissmal, Witch Hunter

The rest of us are pathetic slackers. I think that’s pretty impressive for one guild’s roster. I won’t be joining that race even after I hit 80. I’ll just clip along at my own pace … sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly.

Siegefest
Now back to that 65k city siege. The sieges are happening so often it’s not uncommon to zone into an empty instance. We flip Black Crag locking Dwarf/Greenskin and rush through the portal behind Butcher’s Pass enroute to the Maw. We enter the gates and there sits one lone Chosen in our instance.

A tactic many guilds like to employ is sending scouts into instances to gauge the competition. Was this Chosen a scout or some pug who wanted to run about the city? We’re not sure but soon Destro flooded into our instance. We were outnumbered 2-to-1 and anticipated getting an ass whooping. We held our own but were soon overwhelmed. To our benefit, another premade warband came to our rescue and filled in the remaining Order slots. We had a DPS advantage but were extremely squishie. There were many recognizable Destro names that we knew would make this a really good fight.

Stage I
Instead of BO farming, the sudden flood of players made this an enjoyable and highly contested city siege. After taking the Slaanesh Chambers we made for the center to try and cap the Emissary of the Changer. The center becomes that crucial hub in city sieges that either holds back attackers or opens the way for further incursion.

We’re unsure if Destro knew we gained reinforcements or not as we swarmed into the middle and eventually took the point. The next battle ensued at the Outcrop. Taking the point we then held off Destro at the Temple of the Damned which sealed Stage I’s fate for Order. We fought it out at the Citadel gates and eventually busted down the door. Winning the stage I received a cool purple staff to add to my collection.

Stage II
Sometimes you know you’ve lost and Destro knew Stage I was going to us after we swept most of the points successfully. Stage II is always a new start and as both sides quickly sought to down Warlords we found ourselves at a stalemate with the stage ending in a draw. Do you burn down a Warlord or escort your own? Do you split your forces or run as a zerg? So many strategies to ponder.

Stage III
You can get your butt kicked in Stages I and II but then come storming back in Stage III for the win. This is team PvP at its best when you have two equal forces squaring off against one another as the Kings go toe-to-toe. It truly is a huge improvement from the old.

I’ve been a champion a few times, as typically there are other DPS with more Sovereign. I’ve been steadily gaining in renown rank and as I’ve ascended I’ve been putting on my Sov. To my surprise I was annointed Champion. Don’t choke.

Fortunately, I was matched with some fine players and we worked well as a team. Despite the chaos around me I was instrumental in burning down my RDPS adversary and helped bring down their Champ healer before falling myself. Destro knew they needed to burn my uber toon down or they wouldn’t stand a chance. HA! It was quite a brawl and in the end we came out on top. When it was all said and done I had accrued well over 65,000 renown. Amazing.

Seeing Purple
Getting to RR80 isn’t the steep climb it once was. As I’ve read on the forums, someone posted that RR80 is the new RR60. They may be right. I’ve gone from RR76 to the cusp of 80 in just about two weeks through moderate play. The RvR Progression Pack has lived up to its name and has been worth the money. I’m going to enjoy the boost while it lasts. I’ve been told that after RR81 the crawl begins anew, as it probably should.

Is it wrong to be able to fly through the ranks? Some may say ‘yes’ … I’m going to say ‘no’. In a PvP game where higher level equals more power it is important to keep the playing field as level as possible, within reason of course. There’s always that balance between those who play more than others and the perception that it’s now too easy and allows the more casual to be nearly as strong.

A debate for another time as I can understand both sides of this argument. For now … I’m going to enjoy this purple rain.

The Tyrant

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , on December 8, 2010 by krosuss

I don’t typically post about my in-game accomplishments. I’m not “leet” in any form or fashion. I’m a moderately decent player who has good nights and bad but moreso just enjoys playing WAR.

The other night I finally completed my Tyrant set! It’s the first PvE dungeon set I’ve finished. The number of times I’ve run Sigmar’s Crypt, Lost Vale, and Tomb of the Vulture Lord it would seem that I should’ve finished at least one by now. Nope. And that shows the sheer luck involved with getting PvE gear in WAR. (Or in my case bad luck.)

I know that PvE isn’t for everyone, especially in a PvP-centric game. PvE is what it is and once the mechanics and boss behaviors are figured out … the dungeon becomes easily farmable. And unless you’re one lucky bastard, you’ll need to go farming … a lot. I guess that’s the point.

RvR gear may be straightforward in its acquisition but it takes time to grind those medallions/crests to make the purchase (or more luck on loot bags). For some pieces of gear it can take a looooong time. So the chance to get gear quickly via PvE is enticing and with an experienced group who knows what they’re doing, it can make getting gear a much better experience.

THE LONG ROAD
My guild spends time in RvR and running scenario premades. We always make time to run dungeons whether for mains, ALTs, or to help fellow guildies. Our main tank is a real trooper. I have no idea how many runs he’s been on but he’s very patient and knows the ins-and-outs of each dungeon like the back of his hand. Our guild leader has also logged a ton of runs on his toons to help guildies get their’s. Our guild officers (myself included) also sacrifice time to go on runs and will often pass on gear so others can get a small slice of PvE happiness. We have a good group of people in The Inquisition and I think that’s why we’ve survived while many guilds have not.

Our core TOVL group participants fluctuate and I’ve been a part of runs many times going back to when we couldn’t beat Boss 7 (changing color auras anyone? you’re dead). TOVL can be a big time commitment that can span a few days. If the instance is being “nice”, the bugs will be few and one can proceed at a fairly quick clip. And if no one invades your instance that makes it even better.

We took our lumps, vented frustrations, but finally figured out what works to beat the damn thing. So then it all boils down to luck. Killing each boss yields a 50% chance a Tyrant piece will drop. The good news here is that drops are archetype- and race-specific rather than class specific (e.g., if DPS Boots drop … any DPS can roll on them, repair them, and use them). The drops are like so:

Boss 1 – DPS Boots
Boss 2 – Healer/Tank Boots
Boss 3 – Dwarf/Greenskin Shoulders
Boss 4 – Empire/Chaos Shoulders
Boss 5 – High Elf/Dark Elf Shoulders
Boss 6 – Healer/Tank Helm
Boss 7 – DPS Helm
Boss 8 – Chest and Class-specific Backpiece

This would be a welcomed addition to the other dungeons in game.

PECKING ORDER
All groups employ their own loot rules while some groups don’t care. With TOVL we have a loose set of guidelines to follow when taking people through:

Is this your first run?
Newbies are given PQ bags to accumulate golden cartouches to purchase the glyph and cape set at the Land of the Dead warcamp. If they are the only representative of their archetype/race present, open rolls on set pieces (boots, shoulders, helm), glyphs, and backpiece.

Next time …
As players begin to accrue more Tyrant, we defer rolls to those who will be getting their third piece or more. We master loot Boss 8 bags to players so they can gain Funerary Masks to buy the belt and gloves.

About that chest …
The toughest piece to get and of course the most coveted. We typically see who has enough Tyrant pieces that warrant rolling. On my early runs, even when I had a number of pieces, I’d opt out for someone who had made more runs or was closer to completing their set. They paid their dues. I’d get mine some other time, fair is fair.

KRO ON DECK
I’ve gone on many a TOVL run where nothing would drop … at least nothing anyone could use. Despite 50/50 odds we would be on the wrong end of that virtual coin flip. I’ve been on many runs where I didn’t roll at all. It’s a part of paying your dues, helping others, and waiting your turn. Well … it became my turn.

I had everything else … all the other Tyrant pieces, the backpiece, all the glyphs. The run takes a little longer than expected and we lose one of our healers to the sandman. Checking the Guild roster we find one of our Rune Priests online who joins.

Loot rules are explained with the promise of Funerary Masks. “If the chest drops … Pass.” This was the first time this RP ever set foot in TOVL. After two quick wipes, we got our collective act together and success. Loot the boss! Loot the boss! The Chest! And two backpieces! SWEET!!!

As I clicked ‘Need’ I sat there with a sense of relief at finishing the set and feeling appreciative of my guildies helping me. Why hasn’t it landed in my bag yet? Not everyone hit ‘Pass’ … they are slow … no worries. A really long pause goes by … no … no … NO!!!!! The RP botched the loot roll even after it was explained to them … ‘Needing’ on the chest while unbelievably ‘Passing’ on the RP backpiece. WTF?!?! Not a bad haul for their first foot in the dungeon: belt and gloves plus the chest!

Needless to say I was upset. I logged out in disbelief at what just happened. The RP rarely plays anymore but their member note states the Tyrant pieces they still need. LOL When any Tyrant item drops, it appears to be for your class. It shows a familiar icon and text that makes it look all yours. So it’s easy to understand someone clicking for it. So I don’t blame them for the mistake. The anger faded as I came to my senses that this is just a game … get the hell over it. And I did.

LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN
It takes a few weeks but I got back on the TOVL horse. We try more runs and alas, no chest drops. I’m online one night putzing around when I get a tell. “Want to run Boss 8.” You’re on Boss 8? I get to avoid the rest of the dungeon? Heck yeah!

I join my guildies plus one alliance member. After my arrival our group leader goes over the loot rules. “If the chest drops PASS on it … Kro gets the chest tonight. Okay? Okay.” The fight goes well, down goes the Vulture Lord, and OMG! The chest! It dropped again! This is it! Finally! NEED!

Who cares what happened last time? We all know what’s what and look, other cool stuff dropped again. More backpieces! I can’t wait to run my full Tyrant. Wait for it … wait for it … check your bag …

No …

Not again …

No …

((( rage … growing … blood … boiling … )))

You’ve got to be kidding me! Let me check chat … NO!!!!!!! … yes … again. Our alliance mate ‘Needed’ and my shitty roll ensured I would be thwarted on that Tyrant chest yet again in the same exact fashion. My guildies were in as much disbelief as I was. Surprisingly this time … I wasn’t as mad. Schleprock is as Schleprock does. Fortunately this player, who inadvertendly swiped my Tyrant chest, plays more and I like them (I’m indifferent to the RP from before). So it’s going to good use. While my inner asshole raged.

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM!
Much time went by before we really got into that misbegotten dungeon again. Patch 1.4 and the RvR Packs were dominating our time. A TOVL run gets posted on the calendar and we pull together an assorted cast of characters.

We get a good group together and after we wipe a bunch on the first mobs it’s found that we’re running the wrong tactics. The run proves fruitless for the most part as jack shit wants to drop. Having started a bit later than planned, it was getting late. Boss 8 wasn’t being as cooperative as usual and we wiped a lot. One more try … if not, let’s finish tomorrow. No dice.

I don’t like picking things up the next day. With LOTD’s locking mechanism and when people decide to be on, it’s easy to get subbed out of a run in favor of finishing it. That wasn’t going to happen! I login a bit earlier than usual, RvRing and running scenarios. I get a tell that we’re going to finish. Off to LOTD.

We picked up a few new folks to help us wrap things up. Honestly, at this point I figured the chest won’t be dropping any time soon. One shot we drop Amenemhetum. We all stand around waiting for someone to loot the body. Someone? Anyone?

And there it was … and this time everyone involved knew the procedure and what button to click. ‘Need’ and finally … success.

It’s the little things that sometimes make your day. Who knew that winning some computer pixels with numeric stats on them to complete a set of pixels would make mine. I guess that’s what MMO’s are about. Little or big milestones out there online that your toon chases. Sometimes you reach them and sometimes you don’t.

I have more little achievements to strive for. I’ll continue running TOVL to help my guildies get their Tyrant and that “Mummy’s Boy” title needs to be added to my Tome. RR80 is around the corner, a Royal scenario weapon, full Doomflayer. There’s plenty more to keep me going.

Hope this story gave you a chuckle … it’s easier to look back at it now and makes the achievement a whole lot sweeter plus I got a new title.

Not Quite As Expected … or Was It?

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by krosuss

I was on vacation for Thanksgiving week so I was lounging in luxury … thus no posts. It’s hard work writing these things. Not really, but I took the week off to relax, visit friends and family, and oh yeah, play some WAR.

I didn’t play WAR non stop, there were some nights I didn’t play at all. I played some right after 1.4 went live and as many others have commented, the city sieges were happening far too often and flipping zones was way too easy. But the renownz!

Things appear to have stabilized and Mythic has implemented some fixes. The past few days the experience has been pleasant.

Siege, Siege, Siege
The biggest gripe for most right after 1.4 was the non-stop city sieges. While players were wandering around not knowing how the new campaign worked, they would blob up into a zergball and just bum rush zones. With no keep NPCs and a larger force on your side, flipping zones was child’s play. And even if there was some resistance, a small group could go to a less active zone and lock it with somewhat ease.

The complaints prior to 1.4 were the amount of city sieges. This patch was to fix that. In the short term, it did not. The city can be fun and with the new loot pecking order (Sovereign, Doomflayer, Warpforged) there was reason for people to take part (and advantage) of the increased frequency. The allure of getting a purple weapon and some new high-end gear are all it takes for people to flood in. Not even one full day since 1.4 launched, there were players who had upwards of 3 pieces of the new gear (from the city and Thanquol’s Incursion).

Mythic jumped on this fairly quickly, upping the amounts of resources needed to rank up keeps. This has helped. I can’t speak for what happens during the day (I’m at work), but in the evening there has been a decline in us going to the city. I expect there to be a back-and-forth of no sieges to too many sieges depending on population. More on how to curb that in a future post.

This item has gone not quite as expected.

Campaign Evolution
It’s amazing how many morphs the RvR campaign has gone through since WAR launched. Each update has improved the game and our much of our feedback has been implemented. RvR had gone extremely stagnant there for a while and Mythic knew something drastic was needed. People weren’t actively taking part and RvE isn’t nearly as fun.

Patch 1.4 has definitely breathed new life into the campaign. When you enter an active zone, before running out to join the fray, pull up the map. More times than not there will be hotspots all over the place. That’s exciting. You’ll still come across a zerg here or there but you’ll also encounter a lot more small groups. The fight has been spread around the zone nicely.

I’m not seeing as much BO defending as I thought we’d see. Since BO’s only have a 5 minute lockdown it’s more common to see a BO flip and then a group will swarm in to take it right back with the time traveled to get there enough for the lock to expire. So rather than a dire need to hold Martyr’s Square it becomes a take it and run somewhere else, leaving the BO undefended until the next time the enemy appears to be capping it.

The fighting has been quite good and it’s refreshing to see people defending and keeps. Being able to respawn inside makes defenders braver to go out and mix it up. And the battle fatigue debuff stacks which helps level the field for attackers. Since 1.4 has gone live, I’ve taken part many a good keep battle. Good times!

Other than the BO issue this item is as expected.

Scenario Matchmaking
People were running scenarios? The times I played the pops were not abundant. It seemed as though people were content to mix it up in the RvR lakes. Then I learned the new matchmaking system was borked. I guess that explains some of it.

Throwing us a bone, we were given 5 days of the Eternal Citadel to make up for the issue. Everyone’s favorite, right? If you run a melee train, sure … but for us squishie ranged guys it can prove a nightmare. No cover. Nowhere to run. Dead. You’re typically not going to garner a ton of renown as the scenario ends so quickly. That’s a blessing I suppose. The main draw for this scenario is the ability to quickly gain scenario emblems. I gained over 50 and wasn’t playing hardcore at all this past weekend.

I’m a slacker so someone tell me … did they fix the matchmaking system yet?

This item is not quite as expected.

Thanquol’s Insursion
It’s difficult for me to comment on this new RvR dungeon. I’ve only entered it twice. The first time there were only two of us on the Order side and half a warband for Destruction. There were other Order players listed which leads me to believe they entered … and then subsequently left.

Last night was my second foray and I only knew it was available because guildies were mentioning it in Vent. Shouldn’t there have been some sort of “LOTD” foghorn Skaven bell sounding thing that rattles my speakers? I got in there and it was the opposite of my first experience: a half warband of us and two or so Destro. I didn’t win any worthwhile items but gladly took the new crests.

It seems as though this would be cool and fun with equal numbers. Having to be “Johnny on the Spot” to get in and the window of opportunity when it’s available needs to be looked at. Last night’s example was a good one. Half of us in Vent had zero clue it was open. We weren’t AFK third-floor keep squatting, we were out fighting in Eataine.

The Skaven instance was meant to stall/slow the campaign … cause a diversion to prevent zone flips and city sieges. We left to do the dungeon meanwhile the campaign didn’t stall. Destro flipped Eataine.

This item does not appear to be as expected.

Color Me Bad … Really Bad
I love player customization as I think many players do. The standard dyes that we’ve had since launch are meh … so-so … passable. You can get by with them for the most part but they truly lack a lot of the punch players want. There’s a “red” but it really doesn’t punch like a red. And there’s a couple “yellows” but they are not vibrant like yellow. The same can be said for the rest of the color palette players have at their mouse clicks. Yes, I just spent the last paragraph discussing colors.

To give us more choice and better options, dyes drop off mobs out there in the world. Whether you get a Snot Green or Scab Red these are slightly better colors than the ones at vendors. Some are more accessible than others with Chaos Black and Skull White being the rarest (until the billing snafu that had Mythic giving these away to those affected).

When I learned new colors would be coming in the RvR Personality Pack it was sure to be a welcome thing amongst the community. After 1.4 there were some glitches with some colors not being available and the overly expensive price for them. Really, 2g for colors I just paid for through the RvR Packs? Eventually the pricing was reduced and all the new colors were rolled out.

So what of these new colors? Some are nice while some are well … not. To each their own but the neon colors now present some hideous combinations. Not sure if my Guild Leader reads my blog but his WH is quite clownlike and ridiculous with his current color ensemble … up until he kills you. So Mint Chocolate Chip Green will not be making an appearance on any of my toons. The new “better” Black as it were, is a detail killer unless you enjoy a high-gloss look.

I’m guessing these are as expected.

They’ll Make Great Pets … and Mounts
From the number of players I see running around with the new vanity pets, I’m assuming they are a big hit. I still have yet to select which ones I want. Some make sense for us Order players but I wonder how I can explain walking around with a two-headed dog. Won’t I draw the attention of more than a few Witch Hunters? “Nah, it’s not a chaos mutation … I swear it was born that way. You know, pure bred dogs, all the inbreeding. That’s all.”

The new mounts looks sweet and I appreciate the quicker speed and greater chance of not being dismounted. Some goof Marauder tried his stupid “pull” thing on me and I just ran away. I hate that thing. I selected the “Steel” mount but was given the “Silver” one. A new hotfix has gone in that will allow players to swap the color of their mount and pets whenever they now choose.

These appear to be as expected.

Overall Thoughts
Even though 1.4 had a slightly rough start it appears to be settling in quite nicely. I’ve really been enjoying RvR more than I have in quite some time. WAR was always supposed to be about largescale fights and for the most part, we are getting those. There is reason to get involved and the renown is sweet. I’ll finally be able to reach RR80 (the slacker I am). My guess is that this patch is going as expected but some of the issues have been prominent enough to require a reassessment. Mythic has already made some adjustments and I imagine more will be on the way.

Getting anywhere from 10k-20k renown for flipping a zone is quite nice. But my RR81+ friends tell me the drag hits you after reaching that bellweather rank. I’ve been fortunate to have gotten some nice new items along the way. In two city sieges I’ve gotten a nice fill-in belt to go with the Doomflayer set when I one day complete it. I received a sick endgame staff from a purple bag in Stage III. Shame it will take me about two years to reach RR98 and use it.

And lastly I just got my first piece of new gear … Warpforged Gloves.

I’m enjoying where we’re headed but hope more substantive things are on the horizon. In 6-8 months from now, what kind of new RvR Pack can we expect? What else can be added to a PvP-centric game so quickly? We’ll discuss that soon enough.

Night 1 … Patch 1.4

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , on November 19, 2010 by krosuss

By the time I got home, purchased the RvR Packs, downloaded the patch … it was dinner time. (mmmmmm … spaghetti and meat sauce … raaaryhhgjjgmmmm) Then I had brought some work home so my time in game was brief with me resetting my Mastery points and picking new Renown Abilities. I also opened all my mail. You get quite a few things when you buy the packs and they were all waiting there for me. Still need to select my new mount, some trophies, and which pet(s) I want. Fun stuff.

I logged, did some work, and then logged back in around 10 p.m. Destro was in Altdorf. Wha?!?! So much for slowing down the campaign. Some guildies got a chance to try Thanquol’s Incursion and said they had a lot of fun. And it seemed as though there was a lot of RvR. One guildie received 20k renown on a Praag flip. There appeared to be a few little hiccups as some zones flipped when they weren’t supposed to.

I dabbled with the new dyes … wondering which one was the “better” black they mentioned during the Q&A the other night. There were some interesting additions including a green that will make you stand out even in the sooty haze of Thunder Mountain. Over to Gorfang to play around with my Destro toons and Order was in the Inevitable City. Wha?!?! Just how many city sieges were there yesterday?

My hope is that I’ll be able to corner some time over the weekend to really get settled in and have some fun.