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Category Archives: Warhammer Online

WAR. What if they had a war without tanks or medicine?

How quick would we throw up the white flag of surrender if we, as a faction, failed to bring tanks and healers to a fight?  However quick the points from two, then three, flags generates from the enemy who seem to have an endless supply of tanks and healers.

What’s up with Order?  My last scenario, Nordenwatch, but of course, we had one single tank, who cried about a lack of heals, one single healer, actually a rune priest, and the rest were DPS types.  At least five Bright Wizards a couple Shadow Warriors, some Witch Hunters.  Can you steamroll in reverse?  Can you say “The Mother of All Retreats?”

Aren’t Ironbreakers ridiculously overpowered?  Bashing everyone into lava and such?  Why doesn’t everyone want to play a Stunty?  And how about those robes and swirling elegance and grace?  Doesn’t that spell out “M1 Abrams” in the Language of Love?  Don’t we all want to play Swordmasters?  Uhm, no.  I do, but not all of us.

Are the Knights of Burning Sun the answer to Order woes?  Will non-Stunty, non-Dresswearer, be the class to which Order will flock and provide at long last the tanks required to fight a proper WAR?

Or will the Dark Elf tanks be too cool for school and Destruction will get one more cool tanking class and Order will continue being the faction of squishy, “hold the bridge at all costs,” side?  Because I think the Dark Elf tanks will be cool.  I picture dual wielders as opposed to greatweapons, or maybe glaives vs. greatswords.

The Chosen are cool.  The Black Orcs are too.  Me, personally, I like Swordmasters.  Call me elitist.

I hope the KotBS are the answer to Order tanking woes.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

Let’s talk about heads. Warhammer heads. Warhammer CE heads.

This is pretty much just a random collections of thoughts about Warhammer.

The wife liked it so much we picked up a copy for her.  Or, more correctly, she got my account, and her characters, and I got a new Collector’s Edition account.  My wife’s the best.

We decided to leave our Destruction characters on Tyr Elor (or something like that), a low pop server.

I wanted us to have our Order characters on Averheim however.  Yes, it’s a high population server, but <Casualties of War> rolls there.  That I at least live on the same world as all these big names in mmorpg blogosphere should be really interesting.  When they talk about the stuff they’re doing, I might actually be taking part in it as well.  (PQ’s/Public RvR for the total win!)  (Too bad their recruitment is closed though.  :/  )  And, yes, Reikwald was under attack last night.

I was going to talk about heads.  The Collector’s Edition comes with a custom “head” for each character.  One per.  Chaos get their eyes sewn shut with a flap of skin and there’s this unblinking (and totally dead) cyclops eye (or tattoo).  I don’t like it.  Dark Elves get this big tattoo that looks like someone’s slapped them.  Hard.  I thought it would look okay, it doesn’t.  Goblins get this crazy grin.  I swear, my new goblin Shamans face is way more animated than before with that grin on.  Or maybe it’s the absinthe.  It’s sublime but perhaps my favorite “head.”  Humans have this Phantom of the Opera mask.  It would be really cool.  If it were removeable.  But none of those “heads” are removeable.  Once installed you’d better like it or start another character.  High Elves get this blindfold.  I think this is the best, or second best “head” they offer.  Dwarf men get a keg of beer in their beards.  Makes them look like Saint Bernards.  I’m not sure what the women get.  I suppose an Octoberfest style dirndl maybe?  “You’re supposed to be admiring the head!  Look up, why doncha?”

As Altoholics, this is what the wife and I are looking at playing.  Me and her.

On the Order/Averheim server:  Swordmaster and Archmage. (See the header.)  Warrior Priest and Bright Wizard.  Witch Hunter and Witch Hunter.  Bright Wizard and … not yet created.

On the Destruction/Tor Ely.. server:  Disciple of Khaine and Sorceress.  (She thought I should have named him Marilyn Manson.  But my guy looks way cooler, and more fashionable, than Brian Warner.  And I’ll definitely need to dye my stuff at least 25 times.  And she loved the Sorceress in the trailer.)  Chosen and a Zealot to be created.  Marauder and Magus.  Shaman and a Black Orc maybe.  (I’m not sure if the 2nd ugliest race, without a gender, appeals to women though.)

Naturally, there’s one or two other couples yet to arrive to the party.

Last night before I call it a night I get my Disciple to level 5.  I do a couple intro quests.  I do the Chapter 1 public quest to the point where I get all of Chapter 1′s influence points.  And while I do that I join enough Nordenwatch matches to reach level 5 Renown.  It took hardly any time, or was so much fun I didn’t really mind the time. 

The PvP is fast and furious, yet not twitch, flick, and jump.  There’s no “one shots” which is sweet.  There are no “It’s a Warlock, game over” classes.  I like how they give folks “battlefield ranks” which allows more to compete on a more equal basis than otherwise.

I can’t put my finger on it.  But Warhammer Online appeals to me so much more than Lord of the Rings Online did. 

Is it the setting?  The Lord of the Rings setting starts off mundane.  But then so does the Order side.  Is it the more ready access to the “dark side” of the Chaos start?  Surely the muck goob mountain of the Greenskin starting area isn’t it.  And Dark Elves starting zone is the High Elves lands they’re invading. 

Can it boil down to just being more engaging at the low level, where a lot of folks find themselves now?  Seriously.  You won’t want to step foot into Warcraft’s first Battleground until level 16 or 17 at least.  And then you will be pwned by professional level 19 twinks dual wielding weapons with executioner and mongoose enchants (or at least fiery), epic armor kits, etc.  I.e. it’s no place for the innocent, niave, or casual.  But by level 19 in Warhammer, you’ll have already passed through so many battles.  You have 3 instanced battlegrounds, with different playstyles, that you can enjoy up to level 11, then another 3 different battlegrounds, with different playstyles again, that you can enjoy up to level 21.  You’ll have many RvR areas on the maps that you’ll get to before you reach 21.  Those in your race’s starting area, and all those in the other races starting areas too.  Is it the War and being able to participate in it?  Warcraft offers no rewards, not really, for PvP until you’re max level.   There was no new 60 pvp gear when the capped lifted.  They just made sets for 70.  And it’ll be the same at/for 80.  Warcraft seems to require max level to enjoy the game to the fullest.  Everything else is just the journey to max level.  My Disciple of Khaine was level 3-5 and I was out PvPing.  And I was getting killing blows.  And I got to gear myself up with PvP rewards.  Maybe that’s the difference.  Warhammer has more breadth in it’s core content at early levels than Warcraft or LotRO?

But it’s all good.  As developer-type folks figure out what appeals, and to maximize the number of people they appeal to, and provides the proper mix at the proper temperature and tempo, the gamers only stand to benefit.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

Trolls. Flags. Gear. Raids. Future.

I was left with the strong feeling, this morning when I woke, that last night I was dreaming that Trolls were ganking folks at the Troll bridge and folks should be careful.  Of course that’s an amalgamation of the two MMORPGs I play, WoW and WAR.

First off, there are no Trolls in WAR.  Not player races anyway, and NPC’s never gank.  It takes a black and twisted soul to gank, and those are reserved for season pass holders, and those with lifelong memberships, to eternal damnation.  ;)  (Well, ain’t those some nice non sequiturs.)

So there’s this War Camp in Troll Country.  The Tier 2 Empire scenario area in Warhammer.  That’s where you can fly into from elsewhere.  What’s handy is there’s a Public Quest immediately below it.  Arrive and go kill slavering ghouls.  Spend a little time with it and get all the influence rewards.  Three loot bags later and I’m wearing new shoulders and sporting a new sword.  The first and only Swordmaster Helm drop I’ve ever seen on any character goes to another Swordmaster.  (I’ve got no luck.)

Anyway, like I said, this Public Quest is right below a War Camp.  Now if you wander into this camp, looking for a vendor, say, you will flag yourself.  And I don’t see a mechanic that turns that flag off.  It seems to last the duration until you log out, leave an RvR scenario, or die.  Well, ain’t that handy for the level 20 Chosen who’s hanging around this particular Public Quest, more so that most folks are level 12-14, flagged.  Didn’t take much to take this level 12 Swordmaster out, no siree.  But I got better, and I did knock out the rest of my influence, and then we took you down, you running like a dog for your kennel, the tail between your legs your only indication of masculinity.  And then that Marauder, killing a Dwarf before turning to the Archmage.  I guess he didn’t expect me running up the road, thinking, “Heck, I’m flagged, what’s the worst this could come to?”  I absolutely love collision detection in the pvp fights.  It lets a tank really be a tank.  And, you know it, that 40% movement speed debuff is in my swing rotation.  That would be a dead Marauder left on the road side.  At least he didn’t run like the Chosen had.  Took it like a man.

Oh, yeah, Trolls.  Apparently, north of the War Camp where this Public Quest is, where you kill the slavering ghouls, in Troll Country, there’s this bridge that passes over a river.  Apparently there is a Troll in the neighborhood who’s death will unlock a tome and you’ll get a pocket item.  The bubbly spite is in one pocket already, I’m curious what the troll’s got for me.

So my Swordmaster made it to level 12.  He really got nice upgrades reaching Rank 10 renown and that was from a lot of pvp in the Nordenwatch scenario.  As a tank/dps type my constant goal was to press to the Fortress flag and survive.  And once the Light House and the Fortress were secure it was then to harry the Barracks.  Destruction can’t really go on the offense if it’s playing defense.  And, folks, the Bridge is not a victory objective.  You get nothing for fighting on the bridge between the Light House and the Fortress.

What I noticed, if you don’t have many tank types, your group tends to stay at a distance.  You can’t do that.  You have to fight on the flags in order to flip them.  I know because when I came out with my Bright Wizard, level 8, I tried to stay at range.  Well, “at range” is not good enough to turn a flag.  Now, exactly like Alterac Valley and taking the Relief Hut or Aid Station, you have to move to, and past if you’re trying to pull defenders away, those flags.  So I made a point of finding bushes in “flip range” of those flags and then unleashed what fire power I could.  And if I were going down, I made a point to rush past and to the opposite of the flag.  If I can pull some folks my way, maybe my teammates will take the opening and advance.

It’s funny, but when I played my Swordmaster Empire mostly won Nordenwatch.  When I played on my Bright Wizard we mostly lost.

And if you play Warhammer, have you noticed that most drops are for alts, or for other people in your party?  I assembled a full set of good Witch Hunter gear last night.  Four things while on my Swordmaster, a level higher than he can use now, and one while on my Bright Wizard, a level below, but blue.

In other news, Greenclaw and the lovely Itarilde played in the Shadow Moon Valley.  Later, Greenclaw picked up more AB marks and now has 1/2 of the Arathi Basin marks he needs for the chest armor.  He’ll grab what remaining honor points he needs in Alterac Valley and pick up the 5th and final piece of the gladiator’s kit.

One point I’m seriously annoyed with Blizzard about:  I read somewhere that they intend to require both Battlegrounds *and* Arena points to acquire the pvp gear at level 80.  I’m a trooper.  Give me big battles to fight in.  I’m not a gladiator.  It hasn’t been welfare epics.  I didn’t need 9 or 24 other folks to help me get my gear, but the time I’ve invested so far hasn’t been any less than that of any raider in a proper guild.  And I’ve stayed somewhat competitive through my own devices and without ever having to rely on anyone other than the lovely wife.  But to make me go to the Arena for access to gear?  Thanks, no.  Unless decent crafted gear is more boe than bop at the end of the game, the journey to 80 will probably spell as much interest as I’ll be able to muster at that point.  I’ll choose not to perform in your Colosseums.  (If I wanted that kind of game I’d have been playing Guild Wars for the last three years.)

Horde front, the guild has been having borderline attendance issues recently.  I was not raiding because of work, but I don’t make or break our guild.  A flurry of medical emergencies, power outages, and connection difficulties, and we don’t have enough to go after Kael in The Eye on Saturday.  And folks aren’t interested in anything less.  Though a few folks did show up to take on Blackwing Lair where Dragon killing was the night’s highpoint.  Vael in 1 minute 30 seconds?  Last night was to be our Mount Hyjal night.  Except we’d go for Kael if enough logged on.  Mount Hyjal it wound up being.  Where we killed a boss, and for the 2nd boss we lost enough AoE to call it.  You know, in 8 days we’re going to be playing with new rules.  Level 51 talents.  And then a month later the expansion itself.  Is the current season of raiding at an end?

And do you remember Molten Core raiding?  We raided with 40 people, and we had numerous folks always on standby.  As Shaman Class Leader I always had folks who had to sit the raid out because we had more than enough Shamans.  That old guild, come the BC expansion, made a guild called “Kara Killed My Guild”.  They fractured and fell apart.  MC, BWL, Naxx, and then Blizzard crushed them.  40 was too many.  Make it 25.  But first make it 10.  Remember the days of the guild “Main Tank?”  Gone.  He rolls for loot like everyone else.  How is it possible that 40 man raid guilds were tighter than 25 or 10 man raid guilds.  And the future means nothing can’t be 10-manned.  Guilds aren’t done getting their faces kicked.

Anyway, I’ve messed around a bit with the expansion, and here’s what I think from the perspective of playing a Warrior, Shaman, Druid, and Hunter.

My Warrior’s going to go Protection.  Even if I don’t raid, even if I don’t instance, I have always liked the concept of the warrior with a shield.  Someone else said “think 300″ and you’ll know what a shield can do.  Shield slams, reactive damage, and charge at any time, make me happy.

My Shaman.  I have no idea.  I’ve got really good Elemental gear.  I’ve got almost as good Enhancement gear.  I’ve tried both specs in the beta, just out killing stuff, and there’s been a change?  There’s a difference here somewhere?  Ghost wolves?  The cooldown is long enough you know you don’t use the ability a lot, which means you won’t use it at all.  C’mon, give the Shaman’s two ghost wolf pets something useful to do.  Reduce the damage they do, but make them act like a “damage shield” like a Druid’s Thorns.  Always on, always on defensive, or at least be able to attack what the Shaman’s attacking.  I think it would be cool watching level 60+ Enhancement Shamans running around with a pair of full time ghost wolf guardians.  Elemental felt identical to what it is now.  Otherwise, I didn’t feel there’s anything new about Shamans as the expansion hits.  (Afterall, the 51st talent is available to anyone level 60+.  There will be nothing new from that point to 80.)  And I have a vested interest in this class.  It was my first to 60, first to 70, and he’s raided end-game content twice now.  I don’t need two tourists taking in the beauty of Northrend.  Or four.  One will be enough.

Druids.  Kitty pounce and bear tank nerf.  I went from 60% damage mitigation to 40% with changes coming in 3.0.  There was talk about adding a percentage of increased mitigation based on the number of party members.  In a 25 man raid, that’s fine.  In a two person party, that’s negligible.  Somebody said cat dps is going way up, that’s great for cats, but, still consider there is a Dire Bear form for a reason.  It’s just been blown out of the water, turned into a rug to lay before the fire and cry on.  Not that I mind, I play a cat.  But I don’t like my wife’s bear getting nerfed.  And I bet a whole lot of the bear community is up in arms.  Up in paws, dammit.  There’s changes with the Druids, some good, some bad.  Kitty charge, oh yeah.

Hunters.  Mechanically the same.  But I like that some Hunters can tame special pets, and that they finally gave pets their own talent trees.  And not every pet is identical except for shape and size anymore.  Pets are very differentiated, and some pets are tanks, some dps, some utility.  I think Beast Mastery Hunters are very pleased with the changes.

But, hey, that’s just me.  Your average Joe and his thoughts about stuff.  Your mileage may vary, and I’m certainly not the definitive source of theorycraft!

And Death Knights.  I love the intro story.  There’s one incident that just hits the ball out of the park, that gives me goosebumps just remembering it.  I love it.  But I absolutely hate the fact that once you’re through that story, done in a couple of nights, or a couple of hours really, you’ll find yourself facing the prospect of leveling through the Outlands, again.  Death Knights should not have to leave Azeroth.  Blizzard could not have added two more zones, as a transition to Northrend?  From a pure mechanical, go through the motions because you have to point of view, a Death Knight will enter Outlands at 58, and graduate to Northrend at 68.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough for today.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2008 in Warhammer Online, World Of Warcraft

 

Need or Greed in a time of WAR.

Last night I played around in a little WAR RvR.  I did not really appreciate earlier how decent the reputation rewards are.  It is a substantial upgrade over quest drops and the influence rewards.  I’m all of level 8 now, but I forsee a lot more time in the battles.

In one match a piece of loot drops that we all have a chance to roll on.  At a quick glance it’s a green item.  A gun.  I’m thinking Witch Hunter.  Hovering over the item though I see it’s for Dwarves only, therefore for an Engineer.

My experience with the Public Quests has been that a lot of folks simply Greed what they can’t use.  And a few will roll Need on everything, particularly if they can’t use it.  I suppose they “Need” the salvaged materials, or they “Need” to gear up an alt, or they “Need” gold.  Hey, we all do, am I right??

But, no, not really.  We don’t all need everything all the time.  It encourages me when I see folks rolling “Greed” for something they don’t really need, or, and bless their hearts, some even “Passing” on something they can’t use.

But I’m human, I’m in that mosh pit, and hell, when folks are pigging it up, my worse side get’s a hold of me, and if everyone just rolls “Need” on everything, I’d be an idiot not to myself.  That just makes me human I guess.

Like I said, this Engineer gun drops.  My first reaction is to roll greed on it.  Because my wife has an engineer and I love giving her presents.  And then I see a Witch Hunter roll need on it.  So that’s how it’s going to be?  Alright, I’ll roll Need on it too.  And I win.  I feel kind of dirty about it, but it was me or the Witch Hunter, and neither of us can use it.  Neither of us should have rolled “Need” on it.  But he did, I did, and the mob rules.

“Grats” someone says.  That’d be the third person who’d rolled need.  This was the Engineer.  The guy who could actually use it.

And as God is my witness I moved around the flag looking for this guy.  I found him and opened up my bag and I dragged the gun onto his character.  I’m going to give that gun to the Engineer and I’m not messing around with wasting time and striking up a converstation about it.  Just do it.  “Did I want to destroy the item?” the game asks.  No!  I again took the item and dragged it over onto his character.  “Did I want to destroy the item?”  No, no, no.  Sigh.  In Warcraft you can give someone something by dragging the item from your bag onto their character.  That automatically opens a trade window.  Not so here.  I see Destruction breaching the hill.  I move up to his portrait and figure I’d get a trade window open with him.  He moves into the fight.  The last thing he needs is some ninja looter opening windows on his screen as a fight starts.  The game ends and we’re home again.  I don’t recall his name well enough to try and mail it to him.

So here is what I resolve to do.  I’ll keep rolling Greed for stuff for alts, provided someone else that can’t use it doesn’t roll Need.  If we’re all honest and decent, that works for me.  But as soon as I see a Witch Hunter roll Need on a Rune Priest drop, I am too.  But here’s what I’ll do.  I’ll say in chat, /sp, wherever, “Whoever rolled Need and can really use it, come open a trade window with me and it’s yours.”  Or I’ll track them down and open a trade window with them and give it to them.  That way the folks who honestly rolled need get the advantage of my rolling for them in addition to their roll.  Frankly, what else is there to do?

What Mythic should do is add a small mechanic to the loot roll process.  If a class can’t use an item, they should not be able to roll Need on it.  Allow a Witch Hunter, say, only 2 options on Engineer gear, Pass or Greed.  This would would greatly increase fairness in the loot drops. 

Or is the consensus truly “All’s fair in love and war?”

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 
 
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