Archive for August 2011
At first I wanted to call the title for this post..or posts.. “It’s not you, it’s me”. I wanted to explain why a MOBA is no real alternative for me for playing a real MMO. I could have started with so many points, but it’s not about saying that MOBA’s are bad. Ach..I’m starting to write about stuff I didn’t really wanted to head in the first place ;)
Just to keep it short.. focusing on WoH. In my eyes one of the aims is to deliver a game which actually doesn’t involve a lot of commitment to it. You are not tied to any character, don’t have to invest stupid amounts of time. You just hop in and play. There are many valid reasons why this is a good thing, but there is some stuff I would miss if this would be my only online game and/or I would play it for a whole evening. Actually I would miss this stuff that much that I most likely wouldn’t do online gaming any longer. (Just to make it clear.. I will try out WoH and play it besides WAR and never instead of WAR. You might understand me after this little series of posts)
The first part of things I need in an online game is the scenery .. and having time to enjoy it. WAR has a lot of great places which I actually enjoy to watch and where I often find new spots to look at. Sometimes I’m running through deserted zones (and RvR lakes looking for enemies) and it’s just fun to explore some stuff. In WoH there will be similar places like in WAR, but much more enclosed..and you won’t have the time to watch them.
There are lots of more nice places in WAR.. (and a lot more screenshots in my screenshot-folder) ;). It just takes sometimes a bit of a not-so-active-phase in a game to be able to realize it’s beauties..
There is a new dev discussion in the official forums. It’s about bonuses while defending a keep.
In short words the to me important stuff is as follows:
- When a ram is destroyed, the defender get a boon (for 60s) which helps them killing some attackers near the keep. This boon goes away when people leave the keep for longer than 5s.
- Players can actively repair a keep door and even rebuild the outer one (inner one can’t be rebuild, but repaired). Rebuilding of the outer door works by sending a non-fighting, but killable NPC from the inner keep to the outer door. He also sells wood for repairing keep doors, just like we knew it from pre 1.4. This time though, it won’t be sold for gold but for RvR currencies.
- Ram gets a bit more defense and cannons are fixed.
- There is no additional renown-tick for defending or doing some of the new stuff
For a more detailed list, please follow the link to the official forum.
My first reaction to this proposed changes is quiet..positive. First of all I like it that it’s not just a renown-bonus for defending. Mythic seems to learn that this is not the way how fighting is encouraged. Thumbs up for this.
Overall this changes will most likely slow down the campaign and help defending a keep. The only drawback are the numbers.. Mythic has a tendency to not get the right numbers, i.e. in this case duration of the buff, the amount of the affected stats that are increased, stability of the ram, damage of siege equipment after the canons deal less damage..etc..
This has to be tweaked carefully to not stop the campaign all together or e.g. make the ram unkillable.
Another problem to me is that the campaign will still be focused around the keep.. after you can get the ram, there is no big need for doing something in the RvR lake other than trying to get to the keep. Gromson proposed that it should be mandatory for a zone flip that all the BO’s are tapped at the time the flag in the keep is tapped. I’m not sure this will help, but the general idea is nice because it helps small groups in defending and makes the zerg have to split up a bit. I also so there the problem, that a small, very well organized (high-RR) group can stop the whole campaign.. which would also not really be a good thing. Oh..where we both agree on is that the renown tick for locking should be removed all together ;) Well..but this is all a different battlefront.
This time it’s about the keep defense and I think that this might encourage people to fight more at the keep as defenders have an incentive to kill the ram other than just having fun on a suicide mission. The bonuses help you in killing people and this grants you renown..especially when you have AAO. All this will be tricky though because it will be delicate to balance, but finally it seems that Mythic is getting the grab and not just throw out more (renown) stuff.
As some Bloggers already prepared stuff prior to the official announcement of WoH, there is a lot of activity in the blogosphere around..let’s call them classical WAR-Blogs.
Of course everyone is showing you the official announcement trailer. Or some nice PR-pics like this
Shameless as I am I just generate traffic without posting much on my own now ;)
So check out what Mykiel has to say about the announcement and how Mourkain temple works in WoH.
Gaarawarr writes about his experience while playing the game during the Bloggerinvasion. He’s also showing some of the skills some heroes had (it’s not finished yet and so everything is not fixed), but it’s not all WoH. He also has to say something about WAR of course.
Bruglir isn’t decided on what he should think about WoH.
On the “German Front” Gromson and Njnel are quiet sure what they should think about WoH….
Of course there are Werit and Bootae writing about it, as well as there’s a discussion on Waaagh.de. Werit is more writing about his experience playing the alpha while Bootae prepared an interview.
I will write my own thought on this game later.. there are some points made in the overall discussion which makes me think over some stuff. There is one thing that surprises me though..well two things.
The first one is the overall reactions..I had expected a bigger rage-storm, but maybe people are just fed-up with how Mythic is handling stuff and they just don’t care anymore- Move on to another game and so on…
The second stuff that surprised me.. even Buffed.de (a not really WAR-friendly site) is posting about WoH, even though their post shows that they have absolutely no clue on a game outside of WoW ;) Because of all that re-branding stuff Mythic is no longer connected to the Warhammer Online game and especially with WoH..at least the pc-gaming websites cited the announcement to be made by Bioware (which isn’t false, but somehow it’s strange) and not Mythic.
Darn..I thought that I could get away without new stuff from me ;) Well..I kept it to a minimum… for now *ta da daaaaaaa (imagine a dramatic music here)*
Shortly after the Skype/Bloggerinvasion I had the opportunity to ask a Graham Bennett, dev at Mythic, about the upcoming Warhammer Online:Wrath of Heroes (WoH). Here are just a few questions I could ask (in bold letters) and the answer from Graham Benett. Thanks to Kai and Graham for their time.
There is a lot I wanted to ask more, but I wanted to keep it short and solid facts to ask for weren’t simply there or I had no clue about them. I still hope that you enjoy it anyways. ;)
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your role in development of WoH.
My name is Graham Bennett and I’ve been working on games for nearly a decade, most recently as the Lead Designer on WoH. I joined Mythic last year when they tempted me away from rainy England with promises of sun and burgers (though they neglected to mention the tornados). I’ve been a long time fan of all things Warhammer so getting the chance to work on WoH was fantastic, and even better I got to be in from day one.
What is WoH about?
WoH is all about fast, furious fun. The raw entertainment of WAR Scenarios combined with the excitement and tension of 3 teams competing for the same goal. That’s right, Mythic is bringing 3 team combat to Warhammer0!
What can be bought by real money and what “unlocked” in the game?
One of our goals was to avoid selling “power”. WAR, and indeed Mythic, has a great tradition of strong competitive gaming and that’s not something we want to sacrifice. Instead you’ll be unlocking new options, both tactical and cosmetic. Most things will be available using the currency you earn just playing games, and there will be accelerators if you just want to save some time.
Many people demanded WAR to go f2p. Why did you go with a separate game?
It was looked at, several times, and every time the conclusion was that the WAR experience wouldn’t survive the transition. Subscription games and micro-transaction games are very different beasts, relying on different drivers for players. WAR would have become a game very different to the one so many of you are dedicated too, and that wasn’t acceptable to us.
At the Skype presentation and Blogger invasion (Impressions from that and stuff about Fortresses) you told us, that WAR will benefit from WoH. Many naysayers will now call WAR to be doomed (ok, they will do it anyway ;) ) and declare that most casual players will leave the game. In fact you even said that WAR is for the competitive type of gamer and WoH to be more of a casual game. In what way is WAR having benefits because of WoH?
At the feature level it’s all about compatibility. WoH is being built using the same engine and tools as WAR and that makes it easy for us to move things around. So any work, particularly visuals, which are developed for WoH have the potential to be used in WAR. We already have a boatload of new armors which I’m sure the WAR team will want to talk more about. Another of our goals with WoH was to develop Champions which aren’t currently playable in WAR. We have quite a few of these lined up, from Vampires and Ogres to IP characters you’ll recognize from Warhammer. If you can play it in WoH then it’s a theoretically possible for it be a play-as-monster option for WAR, simple as that.
How can the experiences gained from WoH be transfered to WAR? Both have scenarios, but the setup is totally different (12vs12 vs 6v6v6). Do you think that there will be anything done to improve the scenario pop up time in WAR for T2 and T3? Right now there doesn’t pop up a scenario at all and with this development it seems that WAR is tending to focus solely on the RvR part and further neglecting the scenarios.
The WAR and WoH teams are very close and there’s constant knowledge and experience sharing. As to whether we’ll see a specific WoH scenario in WAR? That’s definitely a question for the WAR team :)
Last one – Döner Kebap or Currywurst with Fries? (At first I wanted to ask Pirate or Ninja, but then I remembered the Döner ;)).
What’s wrong with just Fish & Chips? I really miss Fish & Chips … I checked with Kai and unless he’s trying to trick me Currywurst sounds pretty good, certainly preferable to the suspicious Kebap! (Ninja all the way!)
So..the big announcement is made. Mythic is bringing out a new game..Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes (WoH).
Shortly after the announcement a Producer’s Letter from James Casey has been released which adresses the effect this will have on WAR.
Also Werit and Bootae wrote something about it. For those german speaking..visit Waaagh.de for the discussion.
What is WoH about? Well..in very short words the essence can be describe as: it’s f2p and 6v6v6.. 3 teams beating each other up ;)
Well. I know that it’s not something many people expected..and wished for.. and even I am not sure if this is something I want, but I will give it a try. I will post on my thoughts in the near future.
Steven Engle posted the planned changes to the Engineer and Magus careers. For those who are too lazy to follow the link, here are the changes:
-Field Repair moves to Rank 22. This ability is renamed to Shock Grenade. You remove stagger effects from your ally target and 5 others in a 25 foot radius around them.
-Redeploy moves to Rank 3.
-Fixing the issue with Extra Ammo causing wild mobs to agro.
-Land Mine will no longer have a cast time. This should fix most of the issues of receiving an “Invalid Target” message on placement.
-Flak Jacket will no longer have a cast time. The value of the armor buff is reduced, but will stack with other armor buffs. The buff lasts 60 minutes and will no longer have the 20 hit removal condition.
-Strengthen Thrall moves to Rank 22. This ability is renamed to Shocking Jolt. You remove stagger effects from your ally target and 5 others in a 25 foot radius around them.
-Resummon moves to Rank 3.
-Fixing the issue with Lasting Chaos causing mobs to agro. We are also fixing the tactic Chaotic Attunement.
-Daemonic Infestation will no longer have a cast time. This should fix most of the issues of receiving an “Invalid Target” message on placement.
-Daemonic Armor will no longer have a cast time. The value of the armor buff is reduced, but will stack with other armor buffs. The buff lasts 60 minutes and will no longer have the 20 hit removal condition.
As with the SW/SH the focus is not on increasing damage, but giving some more/better utility. Overall I like the changes.
Especially the Shocking abilities (Shock grenade and Shocking Jolt) make the Engineer/Magus a nice addition to a group. Steven added a bit later that the ability has a 20s cooldown, is in throw range (i.e. 65 ft, so in general melee range ;) ), has no cast time and costs 0 ap. Sounds a bit too good for this skill, but I’m sure that this stats are not final and are subject to change.
The stagger (land mine Daemonic Infestation) getting his cast time changed is a work around as you can see from the notes. Overall I have still difficulties with the land mine as it fires off inconsistently, but the cast time reduction may help at least with the positioning of that %(§”(*! .. thing ;)
The self-armor buff changes were something many folks demanded for a long time. There is nothing said about the value of the buff, but I like it that it stacks with potions and other abilities..a bit more survivability is nice as I think that both careers are a bit too soft, concerning the ranges of most of their skills.
Are this changes raising the Engineer and Magus to new heights..making them OP ? No, but overall I think that these changes are nice. I like the approach of giving both careers more utility .. especially against those stagger-bots.
Does this mean that both career are perfect? No.. but at least the changes are heading in the right direction. This is something not all changes in the near past deserved as a comment ;)
but still not much time for writing a proper post… I wouldn’t be me if I had not something to rant about.
This time it’s the perception of the own strength/weaknesses people seem to have about their career. First of all..only very few folks in the forums say that they can’t handle the career that they are playing for an extended period of time. If something is going wrong then it’s someone else has done something wrong (most likely dev’s don’t being able to balance *cough*, dps-healers don’t doing the stuff you think they are supposed to do, i.e. serve you as heal-bot, and so forth).
Bah..I didn’t mean to write that stuff in the first place and better stop this line of thought… I wanted to point your attention to the Shadow warriors and Squig Herders complaining about the changes to their careers.
I understand to some point the complaints from the SW’s.. at first sight the changes will change the way their career will function a lot. Many see it as a nerf, because one of the crucial offensive weapons (knockdown) is replaced by a self-knockback, which most of them don’t see as needed with their current style of play. How this will work for the SW’s ..I have no idea. So I’m cautious in rating it, but from a healer’s perspective it seems nice that they can get away from melee’s as SW’s are often horrible tanks ;)
Turning to the Squig Herder. This self-knockback is imo definitely nothing a SH needs. Both gobbo careers are kings in kiting. They don’t need a bit of more CC. Oh..but we deal so little damage they will say.. but a ranged career that can’t be killed by so many other careers is still strong I will say. Ok ..a SH can’t solo-kill all enemies in 1vs1, but he..well..it.. can kill a lot. So whining about not getting enough love by this changes is ..somehow funny.
Before any of the PRDPS demands more damage.. let’s see how the mitigation stuff will be handled. You can’t ignore those planned changes. This will affect the PRDPS a lot and in the long term a straight damage buffs to the abilities right now won’t do any good later. Handling mitigation will be ..fascinating anyways. If it’s done wrong, than melee setups will be even more favored than they are now. So working on the CC abilities of those PRDPS first seems like a good approach, but it shouldn’t be the last one. What I wished for would be a faster schedule on the changes to PRDPS. Waiting another two month seems too long..but those times with hotfixes and tweaking at a higher frequency are gone..