Monday, 5 December 2011

A Last Hurrah

I’m gonna be back playing WAR for a month or so, until the 9th Jan when my sub is up. My guild has decided to wind itself down with the vast majority of players including the leaders deciding to move to SWTOR. So for a few weeks there is to be something of a last hurrah with a few players like myself popping back on-line for a farewell Des bashing.

I have been increasingly tempted to get back into things anyway so this was all the incentive I needed. I will not be going to play SWTOR unless there is sufficent positive feedback about end game PvP so I may even stay in WAR after doomsday if there are still some people to play with, and against.

I had about 4hrs in game on Friday night. Was awesome fun, just the buzz I’ve been missing.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Fair Fights

1 Destro + 1 Order = 1 Winner + 1 Whiner. Bask in the glory of my mathematics.

I think future development of WAR needs to focus on fair fights. 2 faction RvR was never going to cut it and the campaign and introduction of Forts/Relics needs to be seriously focused to reduce the advantages of numerical superiority.

AAO and Underdog (does this still do anything?) isn't enough on it's own. Maybe it was to start with, but not anymore, not now have folks the option to reroll on the same server to play on the winning game. Crashing the client does not enable the measely 8hr lockout you know.

Karak Norn has been suffering from realm imbalance for a long time now with Destro dominating for months. And if Destro aren't dominating Order are.

The latest Destro dominance came about when a french server merged with Norn and with this came a guild called Legion de Midgaard Nord, LNM, who can regularily field 6FG of well geared players, and play well to boot. Destro was already in the ascendancy on Norn at the time but this merge cemmented it big time.

It has been politely requested via the medium of forums that Destro should stop zerging Orders for the good of the server but that's not going to happen.

Whilst I would like to say Orders should man up and adapt it just hasn't happened either and just won't happen. Success breeds success. Many Orders have rerolled Destro's to ride the renown train to Altdorf or gradually quit RvR after geting wiped one too many times.

There has been some adapataion by Order. Some Guilds and alliances have merged but this has been slow going and in the meantime, and to their great credit imo, LNM rerolled to Order and are racing back to T4 as we speak. They say they will review the situation when they reach T4 and settle on a side. It's very admirable of them but it won't change anything. One side will always dominate.

LNM's reroll has created a vacuum on Destro's side now and Order are back in the ascendcy, suddenly emerging from the warcamps/Sc queue, or returning from Dessie alts.

Allowing cross-realming was criminal to be honest. Like me you may be a pillar of rightousness ;) but the world is full of easy moders. It really is. Look outside, there's one right now!! And why not, why do things the hard way when there is an easy way? It's human nature. But it's sucks for both sides really and drives everyone towards RvE.

How can a 2 faction game ever be balanced?

My radical idea would be to allow everyone to fight each other and only Guild and Alliance members are friendly targets. Maintain some lore and RvR by not allowing Order and Detro to Guild or Alliance together but everything else is a free for all. I'd make a new map to go with this. Call it T5. A large PvP zone with hex-style territory, claimable by guilds and rewards points but split up depending in the size of the guild. This would put the cat amongst the pigeons.

I'll get my coat ;)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Kid and the Vicar

I had an impromptu game of Warhammer 40K (tabletop) with my cousin on Christmas Day last year. Whilst he taught me a lesson in why not to drink 3 bottles of red wine and take control of an army of slavering genestealers he mentioned that he played WAR with his some of his friends. He’s 11 by the way. I am 33.

This made me think about the different type of people who play Warhammer Online and where Mythic/Bioware/EA see the market for WAR.

When I was eleven I played Warhammer tabletop too, and computer games (Dungeon Master on the Atari ST anyone?). I very much doubt my cousin played WoW before WAR . He did not seem like a grizzled DAoC veteran either.

My next door neighbour is a vicar, he’s 40, and a huge tabletop fan. He enjoys the painting and modelling aspect the most and makes some simply amazing converted armies and scenery. He had heard about WAR and asked me about it. I was very cagey to be honest. I do not see WAR as Warhammer at all. It’s a PvP MMO. Although he likes to play Guitar Hero on his Xbox he is no gamer and I don’t think there is anything for the tabletop hobbyist in T4’s endgame PvP. In short, I did not recommend it to him.

Somewhere in all last week’s goings on I picked up that Mythic are going to make this new announcement at Games Day US, Game’s Workshop’s annual tabletop fest. Game’s Workshop’s Warhammer hobby has a hugely established fanbase of all ages around the world. I’m wondering if the news will be something to try to continue tap into the ever-lasting and lucrative Warhammer hobby market. Something to make the game more accessible to Warhammer fans who are also casual gamers. One commenter on Bootae’s blog threw out the idea of the game being released on Xbox, which Mythic did demo was possible before launch. Would certainly fit the criteria some of the bloggers have mentioned (e.g. speechless). Only Sigmar knows, and his bloggers ;)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Yes, I am eagerly awaiting the July 6th news. I am checking all sources of WAR news for WAR news every few minutes.

It feels like Transfer Deadline Day for an Everton FC fan. UK football reference here, humour me :)

SkySports (1 hour before the deadline): "Yes, Argentine World Cup hero Juan Roman Riquelme has been spotted outside Goodison Park..."
(30 mins before deadline): "No, turned out it was the cleaner".

Latest snippet from Werit on Twitter is they are on their way for playtesting and presentations. Playtesting? I am sure they are not playtesting F2P, the no.1 speculation going around. And could they playtest a shakeup of the RvR campaign? Not sure how, unless they can go into a new or restyled zone or something. Maybe new keep siege interations? Ladders and stuff.

Course, they could playtest new careers but let's not go there.

Werit, Gaarawar, Mykiel and Eka are over there in the US, and Bootae and Zizlak on Skype (no.1 skype conversation EU). Maybe others???

Last time Bloggers were invited to Mythic they introduced the new City sieges and that turned out well, although a tad stale now. What will it be indeed? I can't help but get excited.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Wink and A Smile

I have not played much of 1.4.3's Live Event yet. Didn't get the eldest to bed 'til almost 11 last night so was knackered and just inhaled vapours from an empty beer bottle and vegged my way through a couple of Scs. What little I saw of the College of Corruption I couldn't make sense of, just got farmed on the stairs.

I logged off quite down actually. I shouldn't bother logging in so late, just to catch a lock and PuG a scenario or two. Leeching locks used to be worthwhile when I was RR50 and shit, as you could get about 10% renown for it, but not so anymore.

Soloing Scs rarely turns out for the best at that hour either. In Gates of Ekrund last night the only DPS in the group, a WH, stealths up and goes missing, wants to be the man I guess. One of the healers turns out to be DPS. I actually had some fun though. Switched to my WB spec,a nd with Odjira, Quick Escape, and full defensive setup I gave the Des a good run around. Got 0 renown though.

My overall thoughts on patch 1.4.3 are that is of very little consequence to me, or the game. WAR's events aren't really events as I imagine them to be. Nothing actually happens. It's just an extra scenario with some progress/reward attached. My WAR is oRvR, not Squishies of Asqy or whatever they are called. When will they do a Live Event that actually takes place in the live world, in the lakes? They could try some new campaign ideas or something, wandering monsters, special RvR quests into the side zones to rescue supplies or something. Something!

Despite the little grumble up there I am content with the game as it is, plenty of fun to be had. Can't get enough of it in fact. It's not exactly what I want it to be, but it what it is, you know. Yadda yadda yadda. WAR has a lot to offer me when I am fully awake and there is beer in the bottle.

But what's this 6th June schizzle? I have learnt not to get carried away with my hopes and expectations for WAR but if Bootae deems it appropriate to devote a wink and a smile to it then it might be something up my street. I'll wager it's not more vanity pets. My guess is it's a joint sub for DAoC and WAR, perhaps with a levelling bonus to get people going. This is a guess. I hope it's wrong.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Battle for Thargrim's Headwall

I took part in Grezko's event on Thursday gone. It was a Dwarf vs. Orc & Gobbo only battle in Black Crag. It was a hoot, despite loads of elves turning up. Screenshot here is us Dawi lined up ready to take on the stinkin' greenskins.

I miss this sort of thing from the game. For me this event brought Warhammer to WAR, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Lesson #341: How to Zerg

I've had a bit of an AFK lately due to the birth of my second son (:D woot!). Just getting back into things the last week or so.

My last post was soooo negative for me, I am a lover really.

Last patch was very good for the game and I am enjoying every bit of it, of course I am, and everyone around me seems to be as well.

WAR is great, you really never now what to expect, you can be fighting small scale one minute and the next thing you know the Zerg turns up. Soloing is cool, Scenarios are cool, massive RvR is cool.

Here's a video a guildie posted on our forums, made me chcuckle. Norn gets like this occasionally on Saturday nights :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Move Along

March's Producer's Letter is out, although it's not called the Producer's Letter anymore but the March Community Update.

It's basically says nothing. They repeat what has been going on in the Dev discussions, and then some blah about Facebook.

One small ray of ...err... sunshine?.. is that patch 1.4.2 will be up on PTS soon - early April, which by my reckoning is no longer than a week away, then it's middle-April. This is really just a few small steps forward after the massive backward step that was 1.4.

I will say this though. If each of these Dev Discussion topics brings a well-considered change, even very simple ones, then it could add up to something alright in the end. Just takes so damn long though, doesn't it.


With the preparation of patch 1.4.2 in full swing, this month’s update is not the typical Producer’s letter. Instead it is brought to you by the WAR community team. This new monthly overview will summarize things that were going on in the past month and give you a heads up on things to look forward to. Our producers will present new features or major changes and give you and insight into the bigger picture in State of the Game updates. On the forums you have direct developer interaction at your disposal.

We’ve been using the Dev Discussion forum to give you insight into our current and future plans. It has been a busy month on the dev discussion boards with a wide range of topics. Thank you to all those who participated, your feedback is very helpful and we are looking forward to further discussions in the future.

Dev discussions from this month include:

General feedback: Campaigns

Hypothetical Discussion: Horde Scenario

Patch Feedback: Scenario Line-up

Patch Feedback: Keep Doors

General Feedback: Future Discussions

Feature Discussion: Physical Mitigation

Hypothetical Discussion: Scenario Rulesets

Thank you to those who have liked us in the past month. We are so close to the 5,000 like mark that we thought we would give you a little something extra for your support. In recognition of player efforts, and in acknowledgement of requests from players who have already purchased the RvR double pack, we are having a 1 week 25% off sale on server transfers. This will run from April 1st through April 7th. Check it out here.

Coming next month
In closing, we wanted to let you know we are working hard to push some changes to the power gap concerns based on the feedback and discussions we’ve been having on the forums. This should be hitting PTS early in April for testing. We also have some interesting changes to Grovod in the works as well as a surprise for the scenario lineup changes in the next patch. Finally, we’d like to encourage people to continue to talk about the game in the discussions as we will be opening up the topic of crafting soon and want to get as much input as possible for our plans.

Thursday, 31 March 2011


In 4 weeks time my wife is expecting a baby but that's ages away whilst today is the last day of March and I am expecting the Producer's Letter.

A lot has been "discussed" since the last letter, mostly within the Dev Discussions on the official forum. From February's letter and the forums the following could be on the agenda for today's (?) letter.

I hope there is a damn letter. Although it usually amounts to little, it is something. I am not going to start playing anything new, so it's WAR or bust for me, and whilst I am (thankfully) cleansed of hope for major changes, like a "new frontiers" campain, knowing that there is something going on in the background keeps me happy.

Dev Discussions
- Campaign Changes
- Keep Doors
- Physical Mitigation, maybe a reduction in how much armour is worth
- Doomflayer & Warpfored Nerfs. Post-80 gear nerfs
- Effective Level nerfs
- Scenario Line-ups
- Grovod Caverns Skaven Scenario
- Ironclad Scenario

Horde Scenarios

Live Events
- Maybe more news on Sigmartide. My idealistic hope is this will be an actual NPC War which is going on in on the side zones which we participate/RvR quest in. No chance. With Wood Elves and Beastmen as new playable races.

'Advanced Crafting'
My fantasy here is something that can be crafted and slotted on armour and grants bonus similar to current set bonuses so you can customise your armour more. Who knows what's in store?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Dev says Nerf

In case you have not seen this already Steve Engle in his 'Physical Mitigation' thread on the offiicial forums has touched upon some planned changes to the 1.4 gear.

"Currently, the plan is to reduce your effective rank gain from one every renown rank gained to one every four renown ranks gained.

Note: This means the stat soft cap goes from 1550 at RR100 to 1175 at RR100.

Doomflayer sets will have ~ 233 less stats total on them in comparison to the current LIVE Doomflayer sets.

Warpforged sets will have ~365 less stats total on them in comparison to the current LIVE Warpforged sets.

Both sets are adjusted based on the Effective Rank they are intended for, which is now ~42.5 and 45."

He later added...

"SC weapons, any non-set Verminous Horde drops, and RVR purchased accessories will all receive attention as well."

I have put his quotes in italic to make it look like I am quoting from Joyce and not the Bioware Social Network.

Friday, 11 March 2011

WAR vs. Washing Up

Every time I log into WAR I have a great time. This could be just spending an hour putting some liniments onto the AH and tinkering with a different gear/renown/mastery setup, or full on epic RvR or City sieges.

Like the night before last, I was even more tired than is usual for me. My wife and I are trying new ways to get our 2 and half year old son to sleep better in the night in preperation for having another baby soon (very soon). This has been interesting but tiring so I logged in with the sole intention of playing some leechhammer.

Basically, I visit the AH and check liniment prices, then grab a load of ingredients, fly out to the most promising leeching spot and then alternate between roaming and making stacks of pots. I enjoy this. Do a bit of washing up. Wiggle the mouse a bit. Nice relaxing evening.

Destro however had different plans and were just locking down Eataine and an Altdotf defense was on. In the time it takes to say "Reikwald" a guild WB was up, I was tuned in and on vent, geared up and potted, and ready to go.

It was a City Siege with a twist. We spent too long getting our warband organised at the start of Stage 1 and then were outplayed as Des split up to cap multiple BOs at once. We were faced with killing Sappers for 20 mins or conceding stage 1. So we lost the stage but did manage 100+ kills to about 4 losses. Nice RP.

Stage 2 was a tie, but another 100 kills or so and a balanced fight. We were moving as single warband whilst Des were splitting up into groups and flanking us. It made for a really great fight. The stuff you pay money for.

Stage 3 was where it went weird. We got down 3 of their champs but couldn't take down the 4th, a Black Orc. His HP hardly shifted. That's when we realised we were up against 13 healers, including 10 DoKs. Shifting focus to the healers wasn't any better - we could only kill 3 or 4 before the others started rezzing up and the Black Orc would be back up at 100%.

The timer elapsed on the stage but we duked it out some more. Karl Franz and T'char went for a quiet cup of tea and wondered whatever happened to the Red Plague. We tried a few different things, like coordinating our CC and stuff, but we couldn't break through and our morale dropped a bit and people started dying. Both sides ended up with 400+ kills and 100,000+ renown for some ( for me!).

It ended on a slightly sour note for us that we could not break through their healing - lots of people blamed Doomflayer- but I really think a large part of it was losing all control of the BOs in stage 1 and giving Des the healing bonus. And of course facing so many healers.

It was an great evening though. The washing up did not get done.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

1.4.1 was Kind to Me

1.4.1 has been very kind to me.

I am on the cusp of RR70 so have practically dropped straight into full lolSov. There was a big RR gap between old Invader and Warlord (from 55 to 70) and Warlord for Swordmaster's is crap anyway. +5% Block and +5% Disrupt set bonuses on Warlord are very low value when compared to +72 Tough and +72 Wound on Invader (go compare their RA cost). Why Knight's and IB's get +78 Wounds and +5% Melee Crit on their Warlord and SM got Block & Disrupt I'll never know.

Anyway, I had been faced with skipping most of Warlord and remaining in 4 Inv all the way up to swapping in for real Sov. Being able to skip Warlord completely has made me very happy.

I am also pleased that the increased Renown Gain now carries on post 80. I had been worried that I would hit a brick wall at 80/81.

When I resubbed in December I was RR53 and most of the guild I joined were 81 or 82. Now I am 69 whilst they are 84-87ish. I was 30 RR behind, now I am 15. I could see myself getting to 80 though just as they were getting to 90 and then never really catching up until they all got at 100. I am confident now that I can gradually keep on closing the gap.

There are many other things I like about this patch (loading times) and of course I recognise that real issues remain for a lot of players but, being selfish, 1.4.1 has been great for me. I am optimistic too about the Producer's Letter and will post my thoughts about that soon.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Throwing Axes are OP

Well, I have been thinking all day about what my KB:Death ratio data really means and what I can conclude from it all when I saw this...

A Marauder on the PTS in Defensive Warpforged killing a Shadow Warrior in Offensive Warpforged .. at range with Throwing Axes.

I wonder how much just these Defensive Procs are contributing to whole imbalance thing. Oh Boy.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

KB:Death Ratio - Now & Then

Some very valuable feedback in the comments from my last post has spurred me into further analysis.

My results last time showed that those folks with RR90 scenario weapons scored a disproportionate number of killblows for their rank and my hasty conclusion was that this is proof of the power gap.

The feedback I got was... did I consider that the very same people who are RR90 are also the most skilled and experienced players and therefore dominate regardless of gear.

I did think about this angle whilst putting those last numbers together but I can be blamed of making the common statistical mistake of confusing correlation with causation. Here's an example of what I mean copied from t'internet:

"Consider school students' shoe sizes and scores on a standard reading exam. They are correlated, but saying that larger shoe size causes higher reading scores is as absurd as saying that high reading scores cause larger shoe size.

In this example, there is a clear lurking variable, namely, age. As the child gets older, both their shoe size and reading ability increase."

The omitted lurking variable in my case is player skill.

So, accepting the assumption that the most skilled of players will always dominate, has the new gear in 1.4 made the best players dominate even more? Do these players kill more whilst dying less?

Cconveniently I have a combat log saved from May 2010, 9 months ago. I am using the ratio of kill blows : Deaths as my measure and this obviously "rates" DPS classes above Tanks & Healers.

Below is a table showing the top 20 players ranked by KB:Death ratio from one night in May 2010 compared to one night in Feb 2011 on Karak Norn.

As can be seen the "best" players, or those in the best groups, were just as dominant on that night back in May as they are on the night in Feb. Extending this to the top 50 rather than top 20 gives an average of 6 KB:Death now compared to 5 KB:Death in 2010.

This analysis suggests that the top players are running amok but only to the same degree as they were 9 months ago. Statisitically the two data sets are very similar.
There is not an overwhelming power shift.

Of course these very skilled players will dominatae over low RR players even more in their new gear than they did 9 months ago and I can understand more and more why Mythic's repsonse to the power gap has been to adjust the lower level armour sets.

Feedback is extremely useful and warmly received :) Sorry for the error (see edit)

EDIT: First time up this post detailed a slightly better KB:Death ratio in May 2010 than nowadays. I forget to fully calculate some of the numbers. New results suggest KB:Death ratio is slightly better now than then but the two data sets are very similar. My conclsion is the same h, I think, that skill does prevail over gear, but I will take some extra time to mull this over. Please draw your own conclusions :)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

3220 Killing Blows

Did you know that your combat log records every kill blow that happens within your current zone for both Order and Des?

I am not one to accept coonventional wisdom without some kind of look-see at the facts so in order to try and measure the power gap I have parsed my combat log from a typical night of RvR on Karak Norn and this is what is says.

The total number of kill blows was 3220. This was in 3.5 hrs so one killing blow every 4 secounds. Good stuff!!!

The combat log also tells you who was killed and by whom. There were 700 unique characters names who landed a KB or fell to one. This is more than I expected. Lots of people, or enough!, out and fighting.

I think these are very good numbers. That's lots of people playing and lots of fighting in the zones.

Next though, when an auto-attack lands the killing blow the combat log details the weapon that was being used....

[11/02/07][23:31:52] Knofel has been slashed by Aeoluw's Sentry's Blade of Reverence in The Cursed City.

From this I can work out how many people are using which type of weapon. Scenario weapons all have the same name for each RR band - e..g "Axe/blade/sword/whatver of Supremacy" for Order RR65 weapons, "Blah Blah of Malevolence for Destro RR90". There is also the "Imposing" wepaons. From this I can determine how many killbows high RR folks are getting compared to low RR.

Time for some graphs...

The graph on the left is the number of unique character names that landed a killing blow with each rank of scenario weapon and is my approximation at the renown rank distribution at the moment. There were 6 characters seen using a RR90 Scenario weapon.

The graph on the right shows the number of killing blows landed by each rank of scenarion weapons and is an approximation of which renown ranks are landing the most killing blows. RR90 characters landed 64 kill blows.

You can see killing blows for RR90 on the right hand side chart is disproprtionate to the distribution of ranks on the left and is out of sync with the normal distribution. This is show more disticntly on the chart below.

This is the ratio between the first two charts. It is number of killing blows per RR char. At RR90 a character lands 3.7 KBs on average. RR65 0.4 KBs per char on average.
This is a clear indication that RR90s are running rampant slaughtering as they go. I do not want to descredit them for their skills and abilities - because I have see some of these guys in action and they are good.
But the Kill Blow ratio chart shows a nice and steady increase up from RR65 to RR84 like you would expect. The drastic increase at RR90 is a measure of the effect of the power gap.
Remember I determined RR by KBs from scenario weapons but now knowing the names of those who use a RR90 weapon I can work out the total kill blows and their deaths. The ratio was 224 killed 30 deaths. 17 of their deaths were a single WE who I guess was out ganking. So, with her removed, the ratio would be 171 KBs to 13 deaths. Unbalanced.
The good news is there are plenty of people playing and fighting, averging a kill every 4 secs in the zones I was in. Most people are still sub 90 and their kill blow ratio is not out of hand. This means this game is still enjoyable... most of the time.
But RR90 Power means those players can run amok and when you run into them repeatedly it's probably not so enjoyable. Let's hope Myhic address this with 1.4.1.
There are a low number of kills from low RRs though so new players into T4 do need the boost they will be getting from 1.4.1, especially as player majority of players push into they high RR80s.
All being said, I still have great time out in RvR, even if we do need to pay special attention to certain players. Most of the time it's an even fight, all being said. The real problem for me is the RvR mechanic. The fun just grinds to a halt when it's siege time, but that's another story, and another patch.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Power Gap - Feeling It

Since my last post about not feeling the Power Gap there have been several posts from other people who are definitely are feeling it.

Bootae has quit because of it. Sad days.

Blaq puts it at the top of his priority list in his post WAR on depreciation

Zizlak get’s Doomflayered Right in the Face.

Whilst Taransula rejoices at getting into Doomflayer in The Big Ding claiming Doomflayer is everything she hoped for.

I can’t help feel that I am being contrary with my point of view that I am not feeling the power gap pain, perhaps being blindly optimistic, so I am left revaluating what I said when I made the point that I still thought the Sov 8-piece abilities would retain their tactical advantage over DF.

In order to try and compare the gear I have used the cost of the first rank of the renown ability to work out an equivalent renown point cost of 5 pieces of each armour set. Basic stats like Str & Tough cost 1 renown point for 4 stat points. 2% Melee Crit is 5 points. For armour I have used the value on talismans – 164 armour is equivalent cost to 23 STR.

Doomflayer is as much above Sovereign (33% more renown points cost) as Sov is above Invader. This is a big step up in terms of stat points but Sovereign get an 8 piece bonus ability that Doomflayer does not.

Let’s look at the abilities that a Full Sov group could have available to them over a Doomflayer group.

2 Healers - 2 x Absolute Preservation – the party cannot be crit for 20s
1 Offensive Tank - Leading the Charge – 60% movement speed increase for everybody
1 Def Tank – Inexorable Force – 5s CC group immunity
MDPS -Desolation - Area effect morale strip
RDPS – 50% increased AP for enemies

The morale strip Desolation and two Absolute Preservations are key for me. Immunity to crit for 20s will reduce incoming damage by a huge amount , maybe 30% overall but a lot less spike damage. Being able to drop your morales but denying the enemy theirs is another biggie.

Of course this relies on a high level of organisation and teamwork to pull off, and I guess herein lies the problem. The vast majority of encounters between two sides are not between super-organised groups. I’d be foolish to claim “if you get super organised in your Sov it will be okay”. Errors will always be made on both sides and the margin for error between Sov and Doomflayers is too much.

A PuG group in Sov would get tramped on by PuG Doomflayers but you could say the same thing about gear throughout the four tiers of Warhammer.

So the question is – should a group in Full Sov stand a chance verus a group in Full Doomflayer? And if so, how much and in what circumstances? 1 in 10 chance if they get lucky with crits, or manage to get the first KD in?

Likewise, what chance should a group in Invader stand against Sov?

I don't know. If you have a thought on this please do reply.

The real bad news for me is that Warpforged gets the same abilities as Sovereign does and as a 5-piece bonus, not 8 like Sov. From my graph Warpforged to Sov is equivalent to Sov to Anni. This is seriously Eek.

Mythic do need to make adjustments to the gear. I think for starters they could change the structure of both DF and WF to make them 6-piece instead of 5 to prevent grabbing the Sov 3-peice bonus. The set bonuses could be granted at 4 and 6 instead of 2 and 4. I would also remove the Sovereign-style abilities from Warpforged. I think these changes would not upset anyone who has worked hard at getting the gear already, at least not as much as downgrading the whole set.

The aim would be to give the player a real choice between awesome personal stats or valuable group abilities.

Mythic have also released details on plans to allow your RR to level over and above your XP level which they estimate seeing people around RR60 when they hit R40, which will help even things out a lot, especially if Warlord gets a little revamp with an eye on the type of group-abilities that Sov has - how about a group-wide Cleanising Wind for Tanks in 6-Warlord?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Power Gap - feeling it?

I'm honestly not feeling the power gap right now, or at least not where it matters (in da jibblies).

Sure, I can't go anywhere solo without getting ganked, but I have never setup for duelling anyway so this doesn't bother me. It's not a single player game.

In a group I still think organisation and teamwork is more important.

I've ran about 20 odd scenarios with assorted guild premades in the last couple of weeks and have perhaps lost 2 of those*. On one occasion we had 3 out of 5 players sub-70 (me included) and we won 7 out of 7, including versus well-known Destro premades. The group was SM 52, SM 59, BW 68, WP 83, IB 83 - hardly the pwn all group of the century. Idly roaming about with the same group between Scs we encountered 2 RR90 players, a DoK and a Marauder. We killed them without any trouble, as you would expect 5 v 2. They were not the "group-killers" of internet fame.

This is not me trying to be all leet and knowing, not at all. I am just saying that, from my experience, which is all I have to go by, I do not feel that being outranked and outgeared means an automatic loss, which is the impression you get from reading the forums.

Perhaps the gap is not wide enough yet. I get the feeling that whilst many individuals may be RR90+ already, guilds/warbands on average, are not. Maybe some are just beginning to reach a position where they have more members online than not hat are RR90+. This may start to change the picture entirely, but I'm not so sure.

Sovereign Gear provides some excellent bonuses that significantly benefit a group. Doomflayer and Warpforged may bring great individual power but my money is on Sovereign retaining it's importance to a warband's overall performance, with DF & WF giving players more choice between group utility/synergy and all-out raw DPS/heals.

* - to put this into context a bit, in the 2 lost scenarios we were convincingly beat and hardly seemed to make a dent in our opposition whilst they creamed us, so yeah, with all things being equal I am not dismissing the importance of gear and rank.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

We Care A Lot

This song, one of my favourites from back in the day, sums up how I see the WAR community these days. We care a lot, but some people have faith no more. I am still okay with things. I was certainly interested to read what Mykiel had to say the other day but you are not going to catch me linking to a Bon Jovi song! First time I have linked a video, let's see how this works out...

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Colour of Renown

Boy, Keep Sieges are a mood killer aren't they. I really enjoy warband nights but a couple of times recently we've ended up at the keep. Fun out in the lakes skirmishing, pushing back and forward, la la la, real PvP, ends up with the big clusterfudge that is a keep siege. We try to make the most of it.

I blame the renown. "Big Tick Incoming". Folks can't resist. It's like a warband galloping purposefully through the lakes, a force to be reckoned with, only to spot an AFK Shaman taking a dump in the bushes. Purple Lust just takes over. I can feel the tension, people glancing about, straining at the bit. Do we kill him? Shall we kill him? One person goes for the kill and the frenzy takes over. The warband falls over itself to kill the poor little git. Bmoo-ooo, bmoo-ooo (that's the sound of everyone mounting up again).

Of course, a firm "ignore the Shammie" from the WB leader would keep everyone on track and rewarded with a fuzzy little feeling inside that we are a pro unit after all. (Note: This is a fictional example, I would never go near a gobbo with it's pants down!)

It's the same with a Zone Lock or a Keep tick. You can't blame folks for wanting a nice chunk of renown, I mean everyone else is going to get it aren't they?

You could be fighting in KV, perhaps quite literally against the odds, maybe not quite earning the renown you deserve, when someone says "praag is locking". Glances. Shall we go? People are already starting to scroll, then cancelling it, then scrolling. Are we going? Don't get left behind!!!

I feel it's detrimental to the game for everyone to chase Zone Locks.

  • Why not just reward all players in all RVR zones whenever a zone falls? So Praag locks, everyone in Dwarf and Elf gets the tick for it too.
  • Why not base the size of renown tick you earn directly on how many players you & your group has killed? You have playing RvR for 3 hours, you've contributed to 300 kills. A zone lock somewhere, you get a nice, healthy tick for it worthy of the contribution you've made to RvR as a whole.

Keeps could still be important for the zone lock... but that's another post.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Reasons for Quitting and Not Quitting

Reasons for Quitting
I've had two long breaks from WAR, both around the 5 month mark.

The reason for both times, I thnk, were the same.... burnout + slow progression.

With a busy family life I can only play 2-3 hours a day, tops, and even this cuts into my sleeping time. This would be fine in itself, but coupled with very slow progress through renown I slowly burnt myself out.

I pugged it a bit too much if I'm honest, and got fed up of losing. Even in a guild premade, even with vent, my precious time slot was too often spent getting farmed over and over in scenarios. My guild was quite a good one, but it was a large and mostly blobbed about. Franky, I craved the kind of competitive play and organisation I would read about on other blogs and forums. My restricted playtime held me back from applying to "top guilds".

My class didn't help either, the Swordmaster. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but being widely perceived as gimped, being behind the gear curve, and not really catching up I got tired of it all and drifed away.

Back for 1.4
I still followed the WAR blogs, mostly my favourites Bootae, Werit and Super Effective, so I followed the news about 1.4. The free 10 days "Return to WAR" offer was enough to tempt me back in mid-December.

I would not have resubbed if it wasn't for the accelerated progression up to 80. Now I can play at my own pace and still feel like I am making progress.

I vowed to find myself a guild too, one whereI felt at home and I am pleased to say that I did and that I am really enjoying myself in-game.

Well, I am glad this post is out of the way, it didn't contain any maths at all.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Blogging Again

I've been back playing WAR again now since mid December after (another) 6 month break. I've been meaninig to start blogging again for a while now but found it hard to get started, other than a random out-of-the blue bunch of suggestions for making Skaven more meaningful to WAR and RvR.

So I have decided to give myself some focus by listing what I have been thinking about and what I want to blog about.

  • Why I stopped playing back in June and why I am back
  • My experiences since returning
  • Power Gap
  • Keep Sieges - my likes and dislikes
  • WAR Stats: new analysis of WAR's numbers and the combat log.
  • WAR Stats: Anatomy of a Fight, an in-depth look at what happens during a fight.
  • Swordmaster Specs & Builds

That'll do me for now.

As a quick starter for ten, I am enjoying my time playing WAR. I totally get the concerns that are doing the rounds but right now I am enjoying my playtime a great deal. I cannot get enough of it. Lack of communication from Mythic is my biggest concern.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Skaven Warbands Roaming the Lakes

Here’s some new ideas to make the introduction of Skaven into WAR have a point.

This would not require much effort from a dev point of view in my opinion (a gamer). Everything is in game already. Just a slight rehash of the skaven classes and a small and very generic new zone.

Skaven vs Skaven

When Thanquol’s opens up players/groups/warbands queue for it jus like a City Instance or Sc and when it pops for your group or warband you get ported in. No RR restriction. You all get turned to Skaven. You can choose which class. A menu pops up and you can choose which Skaven class you went to play. The classes will need some tweaking from how they are now, but not much. Nothing “original” is required, they could just copy ideas from the current classes.

And then you have a big skaven fight against the opposing faction’s skaven over some kind of scenario/City style objective.

Skaven Warbands Roaming the Lakes

On top of loot and shit, whoever wins the encounter gets to continue playing as Skaven out in the lakes. So the winning warbands from both sides get ported into RvR as Skaven.

Skaven should be made overpowered but have drawbacks – no res allowed, no heals from non-skaven. If you die as a Skaven you do not respawn as a skaven. OR perhaps have stats or damage/healing decreases slowly over time up to the point where they are actually weaker than the normal players. They start with a 200% buff to damage which fades to 50% after 30 mins.

Level Up Your Skaven – Bonus at Low RR
This would be my favourite bit. When you kill players as a Skaven you earn RP as usual but you earn SP too (Skaven Points!). You get to spend these on levelling up your Skaven, something like renown abilities, even exactly like RA. You still get to choose which skaven class every time Thanquol’s pops so you don’t level up a single skaven character per se, you just increase your pool of points to spend each time.

Players with low RR will earn Skaven Points quicker than high RR in the same way that they do now with RP after the Progression Pack. This will help new and low RR players get the chance to be more powerful.

Skaven Tunnels
Skaven could be not be allowed out of the RvR zones but instead use tunnels to get between zones. This could actually be a new zone – just a simple generic series of tunnels that meet up and wind about leading to different ports, with plenty of opportunity for rival Skaven warbands to meet up and duke it out. Controlling access to these tunnels could be controlled by capping BOs out in the “real world”.

P.S. I'm playing again