Archive for September 2009

State of the game 0909   2 comments

Well.. I’ve been quiet for the past ..hum.. weeks. I apologize for that.. But real life is quiet busy atm and I have not much time for gaming. With not so much gaming going on there is not so much to write about, though I have some drafts here waiting to get finished.

As the patch notes for patch 1.3.2 are online I wanted to write my state of the game post..

The current situation on Drakenwald is quiet terrible. It’s really demotivating as destruction is on the zerg-trip and we are always outnumbered without having the slightest chance. They stand every day in Altdorf or ..like the past couple of days.. lock the pairing and then don’t attack the fortress. Order is atm in a motivation-low and some of the warband leaders quit WAR and went to Aion. It’s not whining about the destructions zerging tactic, as the game supports such tactics..It’s just an observation of how the situation is on the Order side.

One problem for me that emphasizes this low motivation on Order side is that our guild is currently also in motivation low..In the past the guild had some downs and ups and this compensated some problems Order had. Having both motivation lows just amplifies the problems..

As I am not interested in zerging (one of the few options to stand a chance against another zerg) and I don’t have much time to play, I created some destruction toons on Carroburg (well…some of them were created back in march, but now I play them more). All of the chars are in T2 which is quiet fun and the zergs don’t exceed 1-2 warbands.. which is imo an ok size.  Playing there was quiet fun and bitching and swearing was not as rude as on the frustated order fights on Drakenwald.

This just emphasizes the impression that WAR is really great in T1-T3, but has some heavy weaknesses in the concepts of T4. The whole design of the RvR-campaign is just not …fun if you seek good fights and not just aoe-zerg-bombing runs which are accurately described as a game were you are “brain-afk”. I’m not sure what patch 1.3.2 will change there as the fortresses are now irrelevant without having a new meaning (Mythic didn’t get that done in time). I haven’t looked much on the career changes, but I’m sure that mindless bombing will still be a winner in zerg stuff..

Patch 1.3.2 was labeled ..again..as a game critical patch..and actually I think that it is one critical patch too much.. You can’t claim every minor patch, i.e. x.x.1 a critical patch.

Maybe I will play WAR until I find something new (can’t wait for Star Trek online … ;) )..  It’s in some aspects still a great game, e.g. career design, implementation of the Warhammer IP, etc. , but there are heavy flaws, which imo Mythic can’t fix or at least don’t show a proper way to handle them.

Posted September 29, 2009 by Karic in General, WAR, Warhammer

Off topic: The stars   Leave a comment

Yet again a non-Warhammer related post.. It’s a travel diary. So topics may change..Let’s see what the future brings.

Talking about the future. Actually there are only two titles that I look forward to or follow loosely.

The first is Star Wars: The old Repubic. I’m still curious how they will put all the things together to form a MMO with big story telling, heroic stuff and MMO-basic stuff (group-play, crafting, social elements, maybe raids? ).. This is maybe a title for me. It seems a bit narrow to me as for the stories you are tight to that stuff that Bioware writes, but that might be a bit too pessimistic.

One thing that I wish every MMO has and STOR will have is.. decisions in conversations with NPCs. You have options and have to make decisions when you talk to a NPC.. That’s cool. Overall I get the impression that it’s just a co-op KotoR. Looking at this video from PAX this gets emphasized (the presenters even talk about STOR as being KotoR3,4,5,6..all in one). It’s basically just a revamp of the demo shown lately, with a imo disappointing over-sexed female bounty hunter and a different decision in the flashpoint demo. I start to hate the force leash attack from the sith warrior.

This game looks very good and might play very good.. but all in all it just doesn’t seem like a MMO. At this stage of marketing/release it’s really just a co-op game of KotoR and nothing more.. A MMO feels different. Just because they use the label MMO for selling more copies doesn’t make this game a bad one though and I might actually test it when it’s launched.

The second title is more likely to get some of my money.. It’s Star Trek Online. The general gameplay just seems (note: this are just assumptions made by looking at the screenshots and reading the dev-chat log)  interesting enough for a casual approach to the game with many opportunities to experience Star Trek, not just a Sci-Fi Game with Star Trek ships.

There are two problems I see with this title. The first might be minor, but can cause problems. It’s population imbalance and PvP. As the game will have some sort of PvP and most likely more people playing Federation, this might cause some problems in PvP as numbers matter (if you take the average skill as equal). If PvP will get instanced than this means for one side long waiting times for PvP… In terms of PvE this pop imbalance will be irrelevant. If PvP is not instanced than the large scale PvP (if present) will reduce to a comparison of number of ships per side.

The second thing about STO which bothers me is the release of the game for console. I’m old.. I mean.. I played MUDs and really enjoyed them.. I’m used to read stuff in a chat window. I’m often quiet in Voice Chat and prefer typing stuff.

Consoles just lack that sort of communication. Therefore the game might not bring out that much of chat in text-form..which really bothers me. A MMO needs player communication and voice chat should not be the only option for that. Just flying side by side and not doing some silly talk over text-chat might be the new form of game-play in MMOs, but it’s not really my kind of play.

Maybe someone who plays Champions Online can tell me something about the chats there, as this game will also be available on Consoles (atm it’s only released for the PC afaik).

Until then I (and maybe even parallel to one of those games) I will stick to Warhammer, because all in all in enjoy the game (even though there are some things that really really make me angry)… or make a pause. Depends on the next months.  RL can be really time-consuming and it doesn’t make sense to stay subscribed if there is no possibility to play the game or enjoy it to some extent ;)

Posted September 8, 2009 by Karic in General

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3 days late..but I still have to mention it ;)   Leave a comment

In one of the dev diary posts on the Herald Nate Levy said something about the changes that patch 1.3.2 and beyond bring towards cc.

I think I’m not alone with an overall positive “thumps up”-feeling about it. CC getting away from the damage-oriented careers and being more a thing for the tanks and healers is the right way imo.

All since the change of cc in 1.3.0 I’ve been moaning about the effects the changes had on the def-careers. All of my guild mates can tell you about that ;) I’m still not sure how the Magus and Engineer fit to this division as they are off-careers on the paper, but can be skilled in a rather defensive way with some cc. Tanks will gain some usefulness again and healers probably will stay alive for a little bit longer.

The change of the stun/knockdowns to a “stagger” skill seems ok. It stays longer, but can be broken by damage. I’m not sure how well this plays, but it sounds a lot better than the non-breakable stun we have right now.

Posted September 7, 2009 by Karic in Healer, RvR, WAR

Better, bigger.. lag   Leave a comment

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.. but my working schedule is atm quiet harsh. So in the few free time (1-2h per day) I rather play Warhammer than write stuff. With so few playtime it’s quiet hard to write anything anyway..

Reading the WHA interview with Jeff Skalksi about patch 1.3.1 drove me to “add new post”.. ;)

At first I didn’t want to write anything about the patch 1.3.1..but now I just have to. It’s imo a miserable patch. It broke more stuff than it fixed and when I read Jeff Skalski saying “the performance has improved” I just can’t believe it.

This patch has dropped the framerate for me and introduced never seen lags. When I talk to an NPC in a contested campagain (note.. not zone, this lag goes for all the campaign) I have a 2-5s delay before he responds. And that is just talking to an NPC! In RvR or scenarios things get even worse.

Battle for Praag was a scenario that went rather smoothly for me. No lags whatsoever.. When my connection was bad it had small hicups but all was manageable. Now I have tremendous amounts of lag.. something like every 30s the players freeze for 3s .. and no action can be made. Players warping away, even when the game seems to run smoothly. It seems to me that the client-server connection is quiet bad.  Sometimes the game takes my whole bandwidth and even causes distortions/lag in voice chat…

With such lags I don’t even think about going into ORvR..

This patch is one of the reasons why someone from our guild left the game..and actually I canceled my subscription which runs until November. I must admit that this is not the only reason, there are several others… but I’m not sure if Mythic is getting the turn and delivers a smooth gaming experience. Experiencing a patch which brings me tons of lag and reading a statement from a producer “the patch increased the performance …” is just.. too much for me. The overall performance increased yes..but only up to patch 1.3.x .. In 1.3.1 in dramatically got worse. I have so few time to play that this really is a reason not to play the game.

Let’s see what the future brings.. Mythic seems to have some nice plans…but as always they have in bold capital letters on top of the todo-list “career balance” (I don’t want to start on this … ;)) and “server/client performance”..

Posted September 3, 2009 by Karic in General, WAR