Archive for October 2008
No, it’s not about the Witching Night.. Everyone writes about it, so I won’t do it ;)
Mythic announced the next Live Event called “Heavy Metal” .. I think Paul chose the name ;)
It’s an event around the introduction of the two missing tank careers, the Knights of the Blazing Sun and the Black Guard. The interesting points:
- Tome quests which yield influence with nice rewards (basic: trophy; advanced: cloak; elite: headstart to play the new tank careers)
It’s an interesting approach to lessen the flood of starters of this careers as both will be pretty much liked. I dislike the fact that you have to do daily quests for reaching elite as it just feels like grind, but some people will like it and do it. I most likely will not do it as i don’t want to play such a career, but my Ironbreaker wants a heavy metal cloak! ;)
- Exclusive scenario Reikland Tank Factory during this event
Well.. an exclusive scenario sounds nice. Breaks the routine, but on the other hand I think this will be the only scenario being played as it gives an Renown bonus of 10% .. Will this lead to lesser ORvR action? We’ll see.. Mixed feelings about the bonus. I think that it would be often played without any further reward as it’s new. No reason to drag people into it by the bonus.
This event starts on November 17th and lasts until December 1st.. So patch 1.1 will be shortly after this one, most likely not more than a week later.. Is this still fall? Well.. I think official winter start is at December 21st.. so it’s still fall ;)
Sometimes while I read the /order channel on Huss it reminds me why dev’s shouldn’t always listen to players.. ;)
Just three highlights:
(Before patch 1.0.3) Someone complained that XP in T3 was going to get boosted as it lessens the grind. You’re eyes are ok.. It was felt as not grindy enough. I know that not all people want more grind, but this statement made me just speechless. I just shook my head and tried to ignore the talking as it was too weird.
The next two things go about scenarios.
It’s the wanted feature “XP off” .. Again obviously totally wrong idea. This would kill scenarios and economy. Just look at WoW and the level19 (epic-equipped) chars. The “non-alt”/casual player who wants to do some scenarios while leveling would just get steamrolled by those chars and it would lead to avoidance of ORvR and scenarios as they would be no fun to those players. Despite the fact if it’s even needed, those casual gamers couldn’t afford any decent gear in the auction house because someone buys this gear for his alt. These are obvious counter arguments, but still some people want this degeneration of the game.
And the last “/facepalm-award” goes to “Let 2 groups join the scenario”, i.e. let all the scenariogroups be formed before the scenario starts. Again this would lead to an end for casual gamers to join scenarios and completely break scenarios. The element of chaos the random partners in you scenario offer really balances the game to be more casual friendly. Fixed groups (with vent) will surely dominate over any PUG (without vent) so the number of PUGs gets less and scenarios would be avoided. It’s ok if half of the scenario is a team which plays together on a regular basis. There is still some “random”-effect how well they play together with the other half of the scenario-team.
This are just some points where I had to rub my eyes, check the monitor connection, virus-alerts, etc.. They made me speechless because they are so obviously wrong. They can’t be real, can they?! ;)
Tobold wrote about the reasons he thinks won’t make WAR such a huge hit like WoW with 10mio. subscribers.
I wasn’t sure if I should reply to such a statement in any way. Thankfully melf_himself did it in Tobold’s comments section for me. So i just write down here what I think about it.
Actually those numbers don’t count anything other than for the people sitting in the marketing department or for any stockholders of some company. They don’t measure anything. To be in MMO language it’s like comparing kill-counters of rats-killed to dragons-killed. Sure, you’ll kill more rats than dragons but does it make you a uber-monster-slayer? ;)
It’s the same in measuring a quality/success of an MMO. It’s nothing you can put in an easy number. If you just take subscriptions as a base it’s really difficult to compare different payment models. On the other hand.. who gives something on those numbers? The stockholders just want to see the €/$ sign on the end of the year to be a big plus; that’s what make the value of the game to them. The gamers just want a good game, they want to have fun and the value comes from how the game delivers things they want and evades stuff they don’t like. I even heard some people on our /order channel complain that WAR is not enough grind! *coughs*
Tobold builds his reasoning around “grief” and inconvenience players feel in different ways. One is the zombie infestation in WoW and the other is the per-definition inconvenience in getting killed in PvP.
Those things are completely different aspects of “grief”.
Zombie event in WoW: I’m currently not playing Wow, so I must rely on some blogposts how exactly the mechanics goes there, but I think that I got the important parts (correct me if I’m wrong). This is something people just can’t avoid. You suffer from this event if you play this game, no matter if you want to participate or not. This is some bad point of inconvenience.
PvP (especially in WAR): You know what you are going to experience (somewhat). You flag yourself for RvR, join a scenario, enter the RvR lake and get a warning message from the system, … You know that you might get kicked in the butt. You know that there is no guarantee for winning in PvP (in contrast to PvE where encounters are build to get defeated).
Does this mean that WAR is more mass-appealing than WoW? No. People are badly trained to what they can expect from PvP (thank you WoW .. I just had to make this remark ;) ) and this perception/feeling heavily influences the degree of frustration/grief they expect/feel when playing PvP oriented games. The only reason I see why WAR is not going to make 893489348394 billions of subscribers is that it has strong points and doesn’t try to cover every single gamer’s choice of play out there. It’s all about RvR.. You could also argue that Lotro is never going to make 10 mio. of subscribers as it’s more PvE focused. Every new MMO will get more specialized on certain points of gameplay as they have to separate themselves from the rest so that they can draw away some players and get new ones.
So every new MMO will most likely get not as high subscriber numbers like WoW, but this doesn’t make a game a bad one. As long as they don’t make such a single-server structure like in EvE it doesn’t even affect you as a player. There are just a few hundred/thousand players on your server. You don’t see anyone of the other millions out there. For you as a player the only important thing is “Is this game fun for me?”. That is the only thing someone has to keep in mind. Not all MMO-players have to play the MMO you play/like. As long as you ahve enough like-minded persons around you (so that it’s no empty server) and enjoy the game it’s the MMO for you, let those marketing people and stockholders think about subscriber numbers ;)
WAR is a game that is heavily dependent on the server population and the people that play there. It’s no static world with keeps changing owners and areas being controlled by different realms, handing out some bonus to the realm. This also effects the general gameplay like scenario queuing or getting steamrolled in ORvR. This is the backlash with a non-static world.
One has to keep that in mind when reading forums and blogs. When people complain about ORvR being dead/non-populated this doesn’t apply to every server out there. The game perception is heavily dependent on the server and it’s population.
I am playing on a server with no big guilds and high-population (no queues on both sides). Order and Destruction fight for keeps and the ownership changes quiet often with heavy battles going on at the evening. When I take a walk in the ORvR-lakes I most likely will find some action. Yesterday I played every T3-scenario without waiting longer than 3 minutes for it to pop up. So no “oh..just Tor Anroc” moaning from me. (Though I moaned as in the Talbec scenario we started with 2 players on the order side and 8 on destruction. The head start destruction got there couldn’t be compensated later on) I would say that the server is working as intended. On another server I hear that Order got some really good organized guilds and stomps Destruction in the ground. That’s also something which is rarely heard, but I think it’s out there…
So everything’s fine? No, as there are servers out there where population and therefore the game is unbalanced. I have no solution for this as this is mainly player driven mechanic and they behave sometimes rather spooky. ;)
I just wanted to remind everyone that experience you get while you play the game may differ heavily depending on the server you play. It’s normal for an MMO, as the fun in it is mostly dependent on the people you are playing with. There is no exception to this rule. A good guild or some friends multiply the fun a game is. Being an MMO WAR builds on this and emphasizes it much. It also adds the dynamic world control to it, so you are even more dependent on your realm mates and not only guild. So it’s up to your realm to make the game fun, not only Mythic.
Everyone know who frustrating it can be when you get steamrolled in a scenario/ORvR and how much fun it is when you play as a team and defeat the enemy or at least give them a good fight e.g. at keep defense. No loot mechanics involved, just hitting each other with nasty things..
Am I the only one who wonders that “Blessing of Valaya” (the group-heal of the Runepriest) is in the mastery path of Grimnir?
I mean.. There is a path of Valaya, but a blessing from Valaya isn’t in that path.
The spell fits in the path of Grimnir as its an AE-effect (and the path of Valaya is not about AE), but why do they have to call it “Blessing of Valaya” then? Would it be that wrong/difficult to call it “Blessing of Grimnir?”. Just wondering.
One thing I really like in RvR fights (no matter what form of) is the collision detection.
It’s normally more important when I play the Ironbreaker. Just step into the way of that Witch elf which wants to run to you healer and hit your shield at the same time on the head of that Marauder.. Pure fun! ;) It gets frustrating as a tank when you step between some melee fighters and your healer and the healer doesn’t understand that he has to take one step back to get out of 5yd melee range and be in safety. No he just stands there and gets beaten down by that melee fighter.. Frustrating..mildly spoken ;)
When I’m a healer I sometimes try to get rid of those people who try to kill me using the collision detection. Just bring my tank between them and me, run around a group of other casters so that they block me and the melee fighter has got to switch targets or run around that big group.. In those seconds won I can spread out nice heals etc..
Yesterday I had to laugh because of collision detection. I played Phoenix Gate and there was.. surprisingly ;).. a Witch elf who captured our flag. She wanted to run past my Runepriest, used to cause fear/shock at a healer whom she approaches. I saw that some of our dps’ers and tanks where after her so I made a side step and blocked her. I just giggled as I could imagine the “WTF?!!” she must have thought. She stood there, running against my Runepriest and doing nothing to hurt me while our defensive strike team jumped at her.
Of course collision detection is also a source for panic, yelling, frustration and such.. Mourkain temple is a nice example for it as it has some bottlenecks where the soft armored dps’ers like to stand. As a healer it gets frustrating to try to get past them because you want to heal a melee char. On another occasion it gets frustrating when the tide of the battle changes and the whole pack gets pushed back. You can’t easily run through them. This slowdown is really something you don’t want to have ,)
All in all this collision detection makes fights really fun and I couldn’t think of any PvP action without it.
Just some sort of vent-post .. ;)
There are many kinds of tome unlocks in WAR. Some can be get really easy .. e.g. just kill a orc or which is even more likely (and also gets you a title) get killed by an orc.
Some are not so easy as they involve exploring, crafting, etc.. or just track other parts of your life in WAR.
And there are those ridiculous ones like playing a scenario naked. This is the part where I get a bit grumpy. Those naked unlocks seem funny at the first glance, but I really find them annoying. It’s not only that it’s breaking immersion (which is not the ultimate argument for or against something but sometimes it feels important to me), but it also interferes with my gaming experience.
Someone playing naked just drops off any bonuses that his/her items gives them and intentionally plays with much less effectiveness leading to me putting much more work for achieving something than it would be needed if he/she wouldn’t play naked. In scenarios I find it even more annoying than in any PvE stuff, because in scenarios the teams are balanced in terms of participants, not in terms of #naked. So it really does matter if you play the best that you can or just go “just gimme that unlock”. To me it feels like afk’ers in WoW-BG, even if it’s not nearly the same.
Here Mythic rewards a play-style which is directed against your own team-mates (realm) and is also just visually annoying. I don’t need any characters running around naked, but the tome-unlock-hunters out there will try to make this unlock because they know that it is there.
So you naked out there: Grab your chain mail and kill those greenskins, don’t take a sunbath behaving like a elf!