Wednesday, 31 March 2010

WAR Stats: Damage Received per Class

The chef at the Blurring Shock cafe is all out of pie but has cooked up another tasty treat. This time it's damage bars (may contains nuts).

Following my look at the damage I received in game by damage type (i.e. Spirit, Physical, etc) I have now looked at the damage done to me by each class.

My reason for doing this is to make me more survivable in RvR, and to make me a better tank. One of my favourite things about WAR is the wealth of different stats available to the player, offensive and defensive. With such variety it isn't always easy knowing which stats are the best - hence a closer look at the numbers.

I can't easily determine who auto-attacked me. In the combat logs there are lots of hits simply described as 'attack'. I could go through it by hand and figure each one out but it's a ball-ache so I'm not going to. In the data below auto attacks from all classes are listed together as 'All auto-attack' and, as far as I know, all auto-attacks do physical damage only.

The results are before any mitigation from armour or resists. I play a Swordmaster on Karak Norn and as was pointed out last time the type of damage received will depend on who attacks me. As a tank I am naturally in the firing line.

This doesn't mean that a Chosen and a Choppa do the same damage, but that these classes did the same damage to me over a couple hours gameplay. I can't tell how many Chosen or Choppas there were out there. One would assume that there were more Chosen. Remember too that these values are before mitigation so Chosen would've done more actual damage to me than Choppas as my spirit resist (40%) is lower than my physical (75%)

Conclusion: Can't Ignore the Sorc
There is a lot more to PvP than total damage. Burst damage might not amount to much in total but it puts prssure on healing and kills. In my search for a better defense however, I can't ignore the amount of damage done to me by the Sorc. +Block and +Disrupt and good Spirit and Corp resists will be important.

There is more work to be done! Next week I am going to have a look my avoidance stats (Block/Parry/Dodge/Disrupt) as well as how much damage I take from Casters vs. Melee vs. Ranged.

I'll need to look at individual high-damage abilities at some point soon too.


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Gromril Plate Nerf - What else?

Breaking news from backseatdev: "The Ironbreaker ability, Gromril Plating, a Morale 3 ability that gives every group member within 100ft a 7200 damage absorb shield, will be changed to be self only in the upcoming patch"

What other unknowns might lurk in 1.3.5?

I've heard there is a massive godmode buff to Swordmasters. Oh, wait, it's not April yet.

Ahh, the memories...

I am going to celebrate my 10th post by recalling some of my memories from the early days in WAR as I took my wide-eyed MMO-noob self on a journey into the unknown.

Khaine's Embrace
In the very early days you could only join one scenario, the one for your pairing. For me in HE vs DE this was Khaine's Embrace. I loved it, good job too seen as I had to play it over and over. I was already in T2 when scenarios across all pairings were opened.

In my first ever scenario this is how much of a noob I was. I hadn't seen much of other players yet, so at the start of my first scenario, with all the other HE players runnning about in their freshly laundered white dresses I asked in /sc "are you all real people?". No reply. I mused to my wife "hmmm, I think these are all just controlled by the computer".
I hope to see Khaine's Embrace in a Weekend Warfront one day. It hasn't been canned has it?

Questing through the Tiers
I actually felt a sense of immersion in the early days. I would look interestingly at the maps wondering what lay ahead. With each new quest I felt I was on a mission of importance to the war story that was unfolding. I particulary remember first entering T3 and being struck by the chaos of an Orc invasion on the beaches of Chrace. That immersion has gone now. Well, maybe not completely, but there's no way you'd find me questing and getting involved in the story these days. Still, I enjoyed it whilst it lasted.

Joining my first Guild (Serenity)
I bumped into some folk at a PQ around level 15 and got invited to a guild called Serenity. This was on Karak Ungor (EU). There were only a few of us and the server was pretty dead until we merged with Norn. Still, we had some good times and it enhanced my enjoyment of the game. The founder of the guild (Shiro) left a while after due to illness so we all got together to take some pics and give him a good farewell. In a way I have never left this guild. Serenity merged with Ironclad Regiment, who in turn merged with Executed where I reside today.

Epic RvR & 'Call to War'
In the days when neither side on Karak Norn had made it to a City a White Lion called Malril set up a website called War-Orders which was used as a forum for Order guilds to meet and plan events and strategies. Some of the discussions back and forward on the site were worth the money alone but every now and again a massive event was planned called 'Call to War'. Guilds would muster their troops and we'd gather up mounted at the warcamps. I used to do a bit of guild fiction on Serenity's forum to set the scene a little. We'd literally feel like we were riding out to War. This kind of RvR is a regular occurance these days, which is great of course, but experiencing it for the first time is still a great memory for me.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Why WAR will win the battle

Gonna put my serious hat on here for a bit.

Warhammer Online is a great game, and I emphasise that word because that's what it is - a game which I play and enjoy.

WAR is 18 months old, more or less, and it has now reached a position where it can go from strength to strength.

It's inaugural year was not without issue and it's a great credit to the quality of the gameplay that it's come this far and survived.

The pre-launch hype was a factor of Mythic's own-making and the game had to weather the ineveitable backlash.

The Tier 4 RvR element of the game was always going to need refining after launch. Designing a flawless 400-odd player RvR system across multiple zones without proper player testing would've required a team of sheer genius to achieve. T4 RvR wasn't perfect, and still isn't, but it's pretty damn good when you think about the complexities involved.

Changes to Mythic's internal leadership and merger with BioWare must have stunted a lot of the progress the game could otherwise have made and is now catching up on. I can remember a time when there was a different Producer every month. There were staff cuts and a global recession to deal with too.

Despite all this WAR has survived and is improving all the time.

Welcome changes are on the horizon in 1.3.5, the game is being taken to new markets and new content is in the pipeline. I would hope the next 6-9 months sees the improvement to the endgame and new content that players want.

With this achieved there is huge potential to take the RvR game to a new level, with new maps and territories for players and guilds to fight over in true Warhammer-style campaign. Mythic have already shown they can come up with great and original material for players to enjoy. With an established and stable platfrom to build on the future for WAR looks good.

/hat off

Thursday, 25 March 2010

New WAR Blogs

As a new WAR blogger myself I wanted to give a shout out to the latest new blogs that I've come across.

I must give big thanks to two dwarfs. Werit , a dwarf who has misplaced his tankard of ale but still finds time to give new bloggers a plug in his weekly 'News from the Front'. And to Grimnir, for handily putting an asterix next to new blogs in his bloglist.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

WAR Stats: Damage Pie meets Premade

I was fortunate enough :p last night to PuG some scenarios and run into Destro premades on KaraK Norn and along with my fellow Order PuG-in-arms proceeded to get the mauling I deserve for going solo.

My damage pie from yesterday was based on what I would consider typical combat, verus all types of groups, and including scenarios won and lost, oRvR, skirmish, keep battles and "zergfare". I thought it would make an interesting excercise to compare this with the damage dished out by the premades.

This new damage pie (now with extra cherry!) is from 5 scenarios. Destro were very, very heavy melee and well backed up well by healers, with the odd caster or ranged. This was the distribution of classes across all 5 scenarios.

DoK 10, Chosen 10, Choppa 6, Shaman 6, Zealot 6, Witch Elf 6, Black Orc 5, Sorc 5, Squig Herder 4, Black Guard 4. Note: no Marauders or Magus!

Below left is a breakdown of damage type collected from the whupping I took in these 5 scenarios compared to the more general "overall" damage on the right that I posted yesterday.

Conclusions: There is more than one way to skin a Tank
It'll be stating the obvious to a lot of people but the type of damage received will vary depending on who you are up against. I knew this but I wasn't quite expecting it to be that different and ironically, since yesterday I had re-geared/specced slightly to have a better defense against caster and magic damage. My mistake!
The lesson I will learn is make sure I have different options available to me and make decisions based on who the opposition are. Having an armour pot handy against melee trains for example, some +disrupt rings against caster heavy groups.


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

WAR Stats: Damage Pie

I was messing about with the different armour sets I've got for my Swordmaster (Anni/Sent/Conq) and trying to figure out which Set Bonuses to plump for.

I could not look past the 3 Piece Bonus of +320 Spirit Resist on Annihiator and the 2 Piece Bonus of +344 Corporeal Resist without wondering exactly how much more defense this would give me over the other defensive stats, like +66 Toughness Bonus from Sentinel.

So I decided to parse my combat logs to see exactly how much whack I took from the 4 different damage types.

Here's the results.

This is total damage inflicted on me (a Tank) during 45 mins combat time before any mitigation or absorbs are taken into account.

How I did this
I used combat log parser and saved the file as text and imported that into excel. I then sorted the spreadsheet by ability name and created a pivot table to sum all damage from each ability. Then the tedious bit. I looked on WarDB at each ability and made a note of the damage type. Then added it all up. I'll be happy to provide better instructions to anyone who's interested.

My Conclusions
I was suprised to see how much damage came from magic compared to physical, thought it would've been more like 33%:66%. Also, just how little elemental damage I took. No need for +Elem on items then but definely need to keep the Spirit and Corp high.

There's a hell of a lot more useful information to come out of this and I'll be making some more posts in the coming days, things like the amount of Burst and Crit damage, the amount of damage from each archetype and my %mitigation.

Wait 'til you see the breakdown of damage per class and just how much Sorcs accounted for! Stay tuned for that one.


Monday, 22 March 2010

The Balance Feels Good

Since my return to the game one week ago I've been playing a lot of Scenarios to re-hone my skills and make some ground up on my Renown Rank.

It seems to me there is a much better balance between all the classes now compared to 9 months ago, at least as far as I can tell in Scenarios.

Back "then" in a scenario the eventual winners could be decided very early in the game, often already 100 victory points up after 2 or 3 minutes and taking up residence outside the opposition's spawn camp to see out the game 500-14 or something.

But in the last week I've seen a few things in scenarios that I can't remember happening much, if at all, when I first played.

Fightbacks for starters. I joined in a Scenario the other day and Order were losing 25-300. Here we go, I thought. But Order fought back bigtime and the score finished something like 475-500.

Another time in Serpent's there was a battle around the wreckage that just lasted for ages, 10 minutes maybe. No-one was getting killed! At one point I even thought I might have been disconnected or in some massive lag spike.

And in general fights and skirmishes seem to last longer. It's really to the benefit of the game that encounters are slower paced.

I imagine the emblems are a big part of this. Players won't leave at the first sign of a mauling. Winning the scenario, rather than just racking up kills, has actually become desirable.

I wonder if this was an intentional move by Mythic, or if scenario weapons were just introduced as another carrot to keep people grinding away. I would like to think both.

Friday, 19 March 2010

A Tier 4.1 Idea

Bootae over at Bootae's Bloody Blog talks about the lack of a next step for end-game players and this got me thinking about an idea I've had for WAR since I started playing way back.

I had not played any other MMO before WAR but was especially keen to play this one
as I'm a long time fan of the warhammer table top game. So playing WAR I've always hoped that elements of the tabletop would make it into the game.

In table top each player has an army composed of different units used for different functions: large groups of ranked troups, skirmishers, artillery. They are placed on opposite sides of the table and the players take turns to move and attack.

So this is my idea to roughly represent that.

Organised Groups and Dueller
I haven't given much thought to the trigger for "The Event" yet but at some point in the game a notice goes out to all high level players that the event is starting in 15 minutes or so. This is time for people to group up. Folks can band together in a 6 man group or warbands, or can opt to remain solo.

After the 15 minutes is up leaders of warbands are invited to join the instance. If a warband isn't full the WB leader is asked if they wish to accept extra players (PuGs). Leaders of 6 man groups are invited in the same way.

All the solo players are asked if they want to join a WB or go in to a Duel. The system should try to assign the solo players as evenly as it can (ie DPS/Tank/Healer).

As a result of this there will be:
A) Premade Warbands
B) PuG Warbands
C) Premade 6 man groups
D) Duellers

Like for Like Match-Up
Next all players involved in a WB or groups get ported to a brand new instanced map. All the solo players who opted to duel go to another brand new place.

The groups would be matched up with their equivalent enemy on the map, premade vs premade, PuG v Pug, 6 v6. Each woud be given a pop-up message to claim a certain objective. I would probaly say two warbands and two 6 mans groups per side in each instance of the event.

The Thing
Here's the thing. To balance the encounter and to keep the WAR immersion the warbands and groups could see each other but only be allowed to damage and be damaged by the opposite group, i.e. the PuG warbands would only fight each other, the 6 man would fight the 6 man. Each different group would be fighting over a different objective that would have some interaction with others in the event. The 6-man party could perhaps fight over an objective giving control of a war machine to lob rocks at an enemy warband in batte with their allies.

Vitory Points would be scored for holding an objective over time, killing players, the usual. The Event would end after 30 mins and launch into another new map where the warband and groups who won their single objective are placed against the winners from other instances, and likewise, losers against losers.

At the end VPs are added up and the shinies are dished out. The most victorious warbands and groups, those contributing most to their sides win, could be hailed as champions and given extra shinies. Successful guild groups could be given special standards to show off.

But what about the Duellers?
Ah, yes. All duellers are randomly matched up in 1v1 instance placed in a creatively designed map and duke it out with their opponent. When the duel is over the players are placed into another randomly assigned 1v1 instance, and so on 'til the time is up. At the end of the event VPs are totted up and added to the overall pot and the most successful players are given their kudos.

People may think duelling is against the spirit of WAR but at RR80 players should be given the platform to do whatever the hell they want.

Well, I guess I'll reign myself in now, my mind doth wander off. Happy Days.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

My WAR re-education starts here

I've had 3 or so hours game time since my return to WAR following an 8 month absence. I first had to fix a load of UI errors leftover from numerous outdated Addons, then redo all my action bars and key bindings (the state I left them in!). With this all straightened up I hit the queue button....

Scenarios: They feel pretty much the just the same. I noticed a lot less CC than before. I was hardly ever CC'd myself and I can't remember my own AoE knockback working once. A good change overall I'd say. The pop-rate was great too, and with being able to join the queue from Altdorf I was able to play scenarios non-stop the whole time.

oRvR: Well to be fair I've not done any RvR yet but 3 of the 4 times I logged in their was a City siege going on. What was great though was that the campaign resets so the City isn't the only option to players. Again a very simple and very good change. In the past I hated it when going to get my ungeared ass owned in Altdorf was my only choice, besides farming Elvish Parsley of course.

Swordmaster: Well, the vibe I'm getting about my only really progressed character (RR41) is not good. The forums are doom and gloom and it seems there have been several combat mechanic changes to the game in general that have added up to incremental nerfs to the class. 8 months ago I wouldn't have said I was a great influence on fights but an influence none the less. Now? Well, I felt as I may as not be there but it's early days yet and I'm very rusty.

Currency & Items: There are a lot of new currencies in the game that I need to learn about, and a lot of new items too, like LotD talismans and pocket items that I've been reading about which are all new to me. I'm going to have to figure out what's what, how to get what, and what it takes to get what I want.

Gear: I always struggled to keep up with the gear race but now I must be miles behind. I think I'm in 4 Anni/2 Sent at the mo, with some Conq. stuff in the bank. I'm not sure what's the best way to proceed from here. I need to work out how much more effective getting to the next level of gear would make me in combat. I have no ambitions to reach the pinnacle of uberness but I don't want to be a gimp

So overall...? Boy, am I glad to be back!!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Why WAR Blog

Well, I've not had any game time since my first post yesterday so in the meantime I thought I would give my reasons for starting a WAR blog.

Simple. I have always loved reading WAR blogs and forums. I want to be a greater part of the WAR community and contribute something to it myself.

The Second Humming

I'm getting back in the game after 8 months out. I played from launch 'til June 2009 when I moved house and had no net for a couple of weeks. I was playing way too much though, it was killing me. My son was only 8 months old back then and the lack of sleep between him and the game was literally killing me.

I had thought I'd deleted the game and even threw away the disc but then I noticed the WAR.exe on my C drive and have had a growing itch to play the last two months that has just got to be scratched. I started reading some of the old WAR blogs and the newsletters and that was that. I'm back and can't wait to get going.

I'll try and recall what I remember of WAR back in June last year...

  • The Land of the Dead was released the day I moved so I had about 2 hours of running around it and doing not much. LotD was claimed by some to be the "Saviour of WAR". The community were very much looking forward to it. I wasn't. Me and PvE have yet to click. I was looking forward to the extra dimension it would add to RvR though. Order were the first to get on the airship on Karak Norn. I remember I was very pleased about that.
  • Fortress Battles and large scale Keeps were a nightmare. My residing memory of them is a screen filled to the rafters with toons, my PC lagging like a old man in a race. My main was a Swordmaster and being the dutiful tank that I was I would always lead the charge trying to break the line on the stairs - only to die in a hurry, not be rezzed, respawn, not get back in to the keep and miss out on any contribution. If I did get loot I would never make it back in time.
  • Scenarios were great fun. Probably my favourite type of fun.
  • I loved oRVR too of course. Getting together in a guild WB and claiming and protecting a keep. Destro on Norn were usually in the ascendency so a lot my guilds fighting was about defending keeps. I loved the anticipation of being on the walls and seeing the red names of Destro approaching. On special nights chat was full of calls to arms and organisation of different WBs in the area to flank the attackers and we'd rush out to complete the rout.
  • There hadn't yetbeen a King kill on Karak Norn, on either side. I think the first worldwide had been just a month or two earlier.

Inevitably a couple of negative points in there but overall it was top fun of course or I wouldn't be back. I look forward to seeing what's changed, I've heard there's been quite a bit.