Archive for the ‘Scenario’ Category
WAR is not moving fast forward..so there is not much to talk about it, but life is moving fast forward..so I neglect this blog a bit even though I have some ideas for stuff to write about…
As Diablo3 has sucked some of the players out of WAR, the premade I ran with dissolved and now I’m soloing the game..which was never good and will never be the ideal way to play the game. Well..nevertheless I’m actually enjoying it, playing solo or just with a handful of friends. Just as long I evade T4 that is ;)
In the last couple of days I took my Engineer and ran through some ..now T2.. scenarios, i.e. RR16-69. It’s a totally unorganized frenzy, but somehow still fun as there are really few premades dominating anything. So it’s still possible to have fun when you queue solo for it.
That’s one of the nice things from the last patch to WAR. 1.4.6 revived the lower tier scenario pop ups and that just adds (well..brings back) scenarios to low ranked players, which is a nice distraction from all the zerging that now dominates WAR. It’s atm quiet impossible to do any small scale fighting in WAR as I have not encountered any groups, just solo-ers and Warbands. That’s the downside of bringing some balance to the game.. many people fear a bad killing statistics and therefore huddle/hide in a warband… When power levels don’t differ too much, the number of participants gets more important for the fight. So you have to decide what you want..balance or zerging. It’s a kind of Sophie’s choice. With the current playerbase it doesn’t seem that there is any other choice available than those two, but I don’t want to rant about it ..again.
What I want to point out is that the power levels now feel much better than they did from 1.4 to 1.4.5. The last patch leveled the battlefield imho quiet nicely, even though I didn’t test T4 to a great extent in the past two weeks. The fights I experienced there before my vacation were fun as no one seemed invincible, i.e. indestructible while one-shotting everyone. Better coordinated/skilled groups dominated fights and that’s the way it should be.
My only gripe was that I couldn’t join friends in T4 scenarios with my Engineer as he was sub-rr70 and therefore in another bracket. Imho it should be allowed for r40 chars to participate in such scenarios when they are in a party doing scenarios. How this can be done technically is another topic…
No matter what you do.. the zerg is always there.
When Drakenwald was closed I went to Karak Norn, because I’ve heard that 6vs6 fights were often found there.. It took not long for me to find out that this is sadly not the case on that server. 12 seems like the minimum for groups in t4..to be fair this holds for both realms. So in the last weeks I’ve experienced some zerg stuff in the RvR lakes. Particularly Monday seemed to establish as the zerg day.
But this isn’t a post about the zerg on the server.. What I thought of is the fear of many folks out there to die in a RvR/PvP game. Damaz Kron statistics and renown grind is more important than a good fight. Which is also not the real starting point for this post..I’m writing in reverse order here ;)
All those stuff comes up, because I think that the patch 1.4.6 for WAR will change the balance in T4 a little bit. It will be nothing dramatic, but it will lessen the power gap between a fully equipped RR100 and someone entering T4. I can’t stress enough how much I like this as imo a gear/power gap is nothing that should decide the outcome of a fight in such a game. As I already mentioned in a previous post..I don’t think that it will dramatically shift power balance as the fully equipped RR100 premades are still stronger, but not by such a large margin. It will be just a bit more difficult to hide lack of skill now..
.. and that could be a problem. That statistics thing now kicks in.. people don’t want to die. It ruins the numbers.. If there would be not such a zerg-heavy gaming style in WAR I would therefore expect even more zerging when the balance gets better. The Zerg protects..the Zerg makes nice numbers.
What I’m beginning to ask myself is if there can be any game with a large community where the game is really good balanced, not zergy..not grind-orientated (renown, other purple numbers, etc..)… Is there a place in the MMO landscape where people seek a fight, because it’s a nice beating on each other and that is enough*? Can there be such a place? Is the current gaming community interested in something like this?
On the other hand..people play Diablo.. so much for the interest and fun in grinding… ;)
One last note. Though the patch for WAR doesn’t seem spectacular it’s (at least in theory) a good patch..even though I would have hoped that such bug/balance fixing would be made on a higher pace. Letting bugs be exploited for months and more was imo not good for the pop numbers…
Oh.. now the really last note..I promise. I have no clue how the city siege will turn out to be, but as the zerg slows things down I didn’t experience a city siege in quiet a while and will not comment on the new mechanic other that I’m curious how it will be in the live game.
*As I mentioned once in voice chat.. “I don’t care about renown as long as some elves die”.
As I’ve already mentioned lately I play often my Ironbreaker.
He’s just rr70, so weak in most aspects of t4 fighting. Still I don’t think that I’m useless and still contribute to the fight even with my 2-handed specc… here it is.
I terms of distribution of mastery points there is no real alternative for me. In terms of choosing tactics..there are a lot more options ;) IB’s are a career where I wished that there would be more tactics slots available ;)
Nevertheless I’m often surprised how sturdy this build is…even when I’m just wearing worn sov equipment (with armor, crit and mini-odjira) and an old axe from Lost Vale. The stability comes from the speccing into brotherhood and the M2. This moral skill helps me overcome incoming burst damage quiet often, because there is no way to circumvent it and it reduces incoming damage practically to just damage from moral abilities.
Lately I even used this build in zerg situations.. just swapped the equipment to def-worn sov and axe+board. Even without further speccing/choosing equipment to block the IB got 30%+.. I’ve changed the tactics for this fights a bit: The Greatweapon mastery tactic is changed to Seasoned Veteran (reduction of incoming damage to 85% after blocking an attack), the rest remains. Somewhat surprisingly this is enough to make me useful even when warbands collide.
I thought about changing the Ironbreaker to being a real tank again.. being an unbreakable Ninja-turtle.. something like this build… which I discarded quiet fast, because this build loses too much crowd control abilities. A little bit more useful seems this build, but than again it didn’t seem like a real def-tank as many points had to be taken out of the “def”-mastery tree. What’s the point in a tank that’s no threat to anyone and also doesn’t have the tools to help his teammates. Ok..with RR70 my little IB is no threat either, but he can be really annoying ;)
My conclusion is that tanks in WAR have not only to be tough to kill, but have to bring more stuff like debuffs, crowd control and at least a little amount of damage to the table. The combination of this requirements is in the best way provided by the spec I’m currently using (or a spec which is a lot like this. My understanding of the game is not perfect, so there are certainly a lot more tricks and different ways to build a char than I know and provided here. Just a note: I’m not really using any/a lot lotd stuff on my alts and didn’t include that in my evaluation of the usefulness of a build. It’s just a general form of my understanding of the game..but hey..it’s my blog and I’m allowed to write the most silly stuff here .. feel free to comment though)
Just derailing again.. I think this requirements are valid for any PvP game. A class has to be more than just the narrow tank, dps or healer slot, but it has to contribute to the fight in a multitude of ways..which is something that makes PvP more engaging than PvE and distinguishes good from bad PvP games, but that’s a different story which is to be told at some other time ;)
I have arrived on Karak Norn. We had some decent fights with our group, but also some strange stuff going on.. fleeing order (while having more people in the zone) and the old “we don’t really defend the keep, but like to farm the renown there”-types of keep fights.
Funny thing to note is that we meet a lot of fellow guys from Drakenwald (both order and destruction) in scenarios who just seem to have reactivated their chars. Nevertheless it’s quiet nice that scenarios are popping so fast. The balance of the fights is not so nice..thanks to the power gap good players with high ranked chars are ridiculously more powerful than it’s good for balance…but that is nothing new and I won’t bore you to death with a whining-post about it ;)
There are some careers which don’t feel the power gap so badly… most of these careers are tanks. At least I made the experience with my RR68 Ironbreaker. Even though he is quiet low in renown rank it’s possible to contribute to the fight in a meaningful way. In a zerg situation I die instantly playing him, but that is ..foreseeable and ok, as I skilled him more into offense. Other careers suffer more due to the power gap.. mostly squishy melee dps, as they don’t have enough stat points or/and gear to be tough and still dish out some damage (Marauders are an exception there, because of the career design).
So the adjustment time is still a bit rough, but I see potential in getting some nice fights. There is a lot going on which is very nice compared to the dead Drakenwald server.
There’s also a nice greeting post at WHA welcoming all those who transfered from Drakenwald to Karak Norn.
Now some just need to learn proper English (still some German abbreviations and talk on the public channels.. more than I can ignore or add to my ignore-list ;)) and everything will be fine …well there are a lot more prerequisites, but we don’t want to be too picky when the weekend is around, do we? ;)
Yesterday I heard that the Account-Center for Warhammer will be down today.. (forgot to check it yesterday and can’t do it right now..sorry for that).
What does it mean? Well.. not much, but it raised the hope that the free character transfer away from Drakenwald will be enabled. This are actually good news for the remaining players left on Drakenwald.
The server is right now not a lot of fun..it’s “active” only between 20:00 and 22:00 ..and even then scenarios are not popping up well (99% just the 6 vs. 6 ones and even they just once a hour). In open RvR you hardly find anyone. This lack of competition not only leads to low renown gained per hour numbers, but also to a decline in quality of the fights. It’s just not fun and engaging to fight against a door or outnumbered opponents.
The folks of Drakenwald tried to push for a free server transfer for some time and now it will finally happen.. so everybody is happy?! Well.. some didn’t want to wait for 3 month and so payed the money for a paid transfer. The announcement that only transfers from Drakenwald to Karak Norn are available was not well responded, because some went to Badlands and their chars may now get divided on two servers. I was stubborn and didn’t want to pay, so I get free transfers now to Norn, which is anyways my preferred destination.
What do I expect? At first more enemies..therefore more fighting going on. This is good as RvR needs fighting and lots of enemies… so do scenarios. So this will be nice!?
I do have some concerns though as I’ve heard that many rr100 premade groups are roaming on Norn, which is quiet bad, because right now there is still some heavy power gap between rr100 and below and I don’t want to get steamrolled all the time. I would like to have a good mix of easy and really hard enemies… just variety and not always the same fights. I don’t need new maps or other content in a PvP game..just a variety of fighting and therefore different enemies with different tactics, etc..
Well.. I still have the hope that the RvR bolster in the next patch will level the playing field so that rr100 is an advantage, but not the real decisive factor in a fight. I am allowed to dream, right? ;)
Seems like Mythic has a new bunch of ..Trainees hired. And you say that WAR is on maintenance mode..pah.
There is no other logical explanation for this (Play as Monster) and this (PM SC), the later being not that big problem because it’s an event and restricted to some weeks and in general might play out well, if you take the whole event and not just that part with the monsterplay.
The theory of the Trainees has the nice side effect that it would explain the 3 month patch cycles (anyone remembers the 2-3 days it needed a hotfix after the game was released? ;) ). They hire the trainees as cheap workers ..let them
mess up code the patch and hire new Trainees afterwards, who need to get trained and do the next patch, which then has absolutely no connection to the previous one. Of course it takes some time to train the new ones.
This is a logical explanation for the incoherency in design and content changes we’ve seen for some time now ..if you ask me. The hypothetical dev posts in the dev-section of the forum are just a pool for new input because the Trainees didn’t play WAR and had no idea what this game needs. Asking the playerbase what they want is very good to some point, but actually new impulses have to come from the dev’s..
that’s what they are paid for.
At first I wanted to write about why this monsterplay thing is wrong..but I think that it’s too obvious. For today it’s enough that I told you about the hire philosophy at Mythic HQ.
Well..I’ve been quiet for some time now.. one of the reasons was RL and another was the lack of stuff to write about..
Well..that is not true. A lot of stuff happens WAR related, but there has not been the urge to write about it. I want to stay below my rant-quota/month ;) It’s been some quiet ..spooky past weeks. Before patch 1.4.2 the game was really broken for me.. it made absolutely no fun, because of several reasons; two being the gear and rr-imbalance. Are those fixed? Well..fixed is the wrong term, but it’s more or less playable now when you face enemies with higher rr. Speaking of higher rr..
Our guild has a quiet relaxed play-style. Our top priority is to have fun together..ermm..Njnel..not in that way :P A side effect of our play-style is the quiet low RR when we build a group. We have only two active members who are above rr80 and some in the 70ies..some even below 60 (e.g. Halgart, the slayer I’m playing).. Before 1.4.2 it was impossible to fight with such a setup. Now..it’s not much better, but sometimes we can give at least a good fight..before giving the enemy the renown ;)
It’s no problem if we get beaten up as long as there are some real fights in between.. and there starts the problem. The amount of fights that are actually fun has declined dramatically after patch 1.4.0.. I think that this is because everyone is chasing those funny purple numbers.. and because of the imbalances the new ranks etc. brought.
Without those fights the motivation sinks..and frustration rises. Actually around the time of the patch 1.4.2 my motivation for WAR was quiet low.. too much grinding for too silly stuff. What added up to that was the smaller ability to solo stuff in the the game. Pugging scenarios is worse than ever.. Most likely you will face 2 premades..often they’ll even admit that they queued to be put together in a scenario. So scenarios don’t work..unless you just don’t care..die a few times and endure the beating.. Oh what fun! ;)
So scenarios are out.. PvE is out..because WAR will never do anything meaningful in that area (focus on RvR and such stuff..blabla from the dev’s..you know that stuff already.) What’s with ORvR? Well.. Runepriests are not great in soloing that stuff.. Just s siege at a keep from time to time..but that’s not really fun. So lately I’ve played my slayer more for roaming solo through the RvR lakes.. most of the time I die, well..but as I don’t care (*note to myself: new post) it’s not as frustrating as with my Runepriest, with whom I hope to be at least some sort of competitive.
“Then build a group and don’t run around solo” you will say.. well..my gaming time is a bit broken up because of my two parrots.. and some other stuff. So it’s quiet tricky to join a group.. My guild knows that and accepts it..for which I’m thankful, but for grouping up with other people this is quiet a barrier. To complicate it, our guild has atm not many people online..so we can’t even make a full group.
Our alliance is now also at some motivation low..so we are even having additional problems to fill up the group. So we are running around in the RvR lakes with 2-6 dwarves..(-1 for Ilani’s chars..she prefers elves..horrible I tell you..just horrible sense of taste.. *shakes his head*) with an average of 4. What we often face are warbands (at least 3/4 of a warband) as enemies.. groups are rare or they are built of rr95+ chars.
This leads to an evening full of frustration, not because we lose, but because it’s constantly a totally unequal fight. You get beaten up and most of the time it feels like that’s just because of rr disparity. There are also a lot of unknown names in rr90+ ranks.. It feels right now that you have to grind your way up to rr95 through keep sieges and after that rr you may build a group for scenario. WAR distilled..you might say (Mythic cut so much stuff..that they might actually really change the name ;) ). Every other option seems to be a dead end as long as you have the wish to be competitive on a level of knowing your character and how to play it..and not on a level of rr-race. There was a slow shift in the way this game was casual friendly.. and I don’t like the direction it has taken.
There is something to add though.. The change of the rr-restrictions in lower tiers changed the way new players will perceive T4 as they now have around rr60-70 when they enter T4 .. but old chars..like the alt’s I still have from Huss (a server closed in 09!) suffer from it. Maybe I’ll write another time about it..I think that this wall of text is already big enough to be seen from space, but at least there died no slaves during the building of it… I hope.