Just a quickie

Unfortunately I’ve not had much time to play fallen earth the last couple of days, as much as I’ve wanted to. I have been playing around with crafting a bit more and I thought I’d share a few tips with those just starting out and getting to grips with the system.

Craft early, craft often: as you are gathering various materials, always make sure you are crafting something- even if you don’t really need it. Stuff you make that isn’t of any use can be salvaged to get some of your materials back.
Don’t buy trade skill books: most of the low level books can be obtained in the starter towns for free by doing quests for various NPC’s. I bought all the Lv. 1 armour crafting books, only to get them all for free from the next quest chain I did (they weren’t cheap either!!!)
In fact, don’t buy any trade materials: Everything you need can be found for free in Fallen earth, or traded/bought from auction. Vendors are crazy expensive, the disparity between the prices they buy and sell at mean if you make a habit of buying crafting components from vendors you will be broke pretty often.
Mark good scavenging/mining areas with waypoints: when you find a good spot for getting trade mats, right click it on the map and stick a waypoint on it. Don’t forget to rename it to something that will remind you what it is!
Get off the beaten path: don’t be afraid to go a bit out of the way, there are plenty of neat little places to discover and the extra travel time will be worth it when you don’t have to fight over nodes with dozens of other players.

That’s just a few things that I’ve had to learn the hard way so far, do yourself a favour and heed them well. You’ll also want to get onto crafting the best armour you can wear as soon as you possibly can. I found it helped no end in making my crafter a bit tougher than a wet paper towel.

On a more random note, I tried harvesting a copper node the other day and it gave me 3 furry onions. It would seem anything is possible in the post apocalyptic world of FE.

Fallen Earth: Really quite good!

OK, I got FE today as you may know. I've only played it for roughly 6 hours so this is by no means a difinitive review (unless you're Eurogamer?), more of an 'initial impressions' piece.

Lets start at the beginning- the options for character creation are fairly limited. There's lots of options you can change, from the usuals like hair style & eye colour to more unusual things like height and body hair. There are 2 different slots for facial hair (one for beards, one for a moustache iirc) 2 slots for piercings, and 2 for facial tattoo's and 2 for 'face paint'. You also get to choose the style and colour of the clothes you start out in. These are all great but I just felt there wasn't enough options in each category for my liking.

On first stepping foot in the game I couldn't help but be surprised by the quality of the graphics. What I had read about the game led me to believe that they were quite medicore, but even with them just under maxed they looked sharp and pleasing to the eye. Some of the animations on the other hand, looked slightly unnatural at best, but the majority are fairly well done (you wouldnt believe how many dance emotes there are!)

The game starts with an essentially single player tutorial which is a must do if it's your first toon in FE. Although it looks like a fairly generic MMO, with the typical UI layout, it most definately doesnt play the same way. If you dont do the tutorial you'll be pretty cluless when you get into the game. Please, if only to save the plyers nice enough to sit in the new player channel answering questions a headache, DO THE TUTORIAL.

the comabat is a breath of fresh air in the MMO genre, grinding mobs in a turn based system, for me, becomes monotonous very quickly. The FPS style real time combat keeps it chugging along and is actually a challenge- I had died several times before I reached level 3. Sure I was getting used to the mechanics still but it meant I had to really concentrate on what I was doing, always making sure I had the upper hand in the fight. Admittedley, levelling up takes a lot longer then in the usual MMO's. I played for the best part of a day and logged off as a level 4 character. Far from being in any way a negative thing, I thought this was great- it makes attaining that next level of so much sweeter! My only gripe with combat is that lag can make it hard to land a hit if your target is moving, and if you're on at primetime the lower framerate can make aiming tricky.

The crafting system bears similarities to the EVE way of doing things minus the need for blueprints to work from. You can research or buy trade skill books which will then allow you to craft various items in that category (eg the jackets 1 book will let you make various low level jackets) and then the materials must either be bought or harvested/scavenged. I've not done a huge amout of crafting yet so I'll leave it for now and post a more in depth review of it later.

The only part of the game I haven't tried out is PvP, which is a shame because if it turns out good it'll be one of the things im most excited about in this game.

Some minor problems are present as to be expected in any fresh MMO blood: some resource nodes still show after another player has looted them, performance isnt great, lag is a problem in populace hubs, lots of graphical and game world glitches. The most annoying thing Ive found so far is that when you find/craft an item for a quest it often doesn't update the quest tracker. One quest today involved me having to aquire 7 ragged cotton. I had 15 in my bags (it's also a pretty handy crafting ingredient) but the quest tracker only counted 1. You can work around this by abandoning the quest and visiting the NPC again but it has gotten quite irksome already.

Before this turns into a wall of text, ill leave it here for now and post up some additional thoughts after I've had a bit more time with the game.

Tl:dr version- it's got the usual new MMO problems, but is still an entertaining game with huge potential.

Oh. Here we go again...

I've been following the beta/release of Fallen Earth for a while now and been pretty interested in it, so today I've decided to take the plunge and buy the game, mainly thanks to posts like this one from syp and a few others that are now buried in my google reader.

I'm really liking the sound of a sandboxy, crafing heavy MMO, especially one with FPS style combat! I've still got a month left on my WAR subscrption, and I'm still enjoying it but FE proved too much of a temptation to resist. I think I'll play the free month and if I enjoy it more then WAR ill be moving over for good.

I would love to play both at once, but I bareley have the time free to play one MMO, let alone two. Ill let you know how it pans out.

The Changer of ways deems it so....

On the WAR Europe homepage they've added a letter from Nate Levy, Production lead at Mythic detailing some tasty sounding changes that are coming to the game over the next few patches, you can read the whole thing if you follow the link but this following snippet is the one that really interested me being a Chosen player:

“Secondly, another aspect of allocation that we're working towards as a long-term goal is to slowly shift the general distribution of Crowd Control to be more common on defensive careers—such as the tank archetypes—and away from DPS-focused careers.”

It would seem that the tank archetypes are getting a bit more love from Mythic and hopefully having a bit more utility added to our arsenal in oRvR. As always the changes are going to be spread out over several patches, a method which seems to have served Mythic well in the past. I have to say I'll be looking forward to seeing how this affects the game play for my Chosen warrior.

More thoughts on this later if I can find the time...

A quick update..

Yes, I know its been a while. Thinking of and writing blog post takes a lot more time and effort then you may think though (of course, if you're a blogger yourself you already know this!).

Unfortunately It's been a bit hectic for me at the moment. What with my band practising twice a week, coming down with shingles, working way too much (and still always being skint) and getting out at the weekends (maybe that's why?), I've found precious little time to play, let alone blog about, Warhammer.

I have been able to sample defending a keep after the addition of the second ramp, and I have to say it makes it a lot more interesting, if difficult, to fend off attackers. the choice of routes keeps you on your toes and always wondering "should I go check the other ramp?". Both times I defended a keep we used a fairly simple tactic consisting of 'run between each ramp and see where the enemy's coming from' which worked for us but probably wouldn't against a more cunning Warband, or if we had been outnumbered.

To me combat still feels a bit disjointed with delays before abilities firing, and I really haven't noticed much of a difference in the animations or smoothness when in combat. The new social windows neater than before and on the whole I think its an improvement, though I cant say I've needed the 'recently interacted with' feature. On the whole an OK patch from Mythic, I cant experience how its affected the city sieges but from what I've read it seems mainly positive so I guess its a +1 to mythic for a fairly decent patch.

In other news, I've joined up with a guild called Havoc who have been around for a looong time (I think they're one of the oldest Destro guilds on the server) and they seem like a nice bunch of people. Mainly focused on the endgame RvR and instance runs, I'm gonna have to get my Chosen to 40 asap so I can join in the fun.

Oh, and cant forget to mention that Rivs of a High Latency Life has decided to dip his foot back in the tepid waters of WAR and start up his old Way of the Chosen blog. I used to enjoy reading his posts there and will be following how does. You should too :).

Huh? Blizzard? Who're they....

While it would seem that almost every other blog in the MMO blogosphere is talking about the news of Blizzards latest expansion, I for one, am not all that bothered by it. The updates to the ‘old world’ (Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms) sound interesting, and I may have to download a trial of the game after it’s released just to see what changes they’ve made.

BUT…. I know for a fact that I won’t be subscribing again. The rest of the features in the expansion follow the tried and tested blizzard game play extension method- add more grind (and more shinys to make it seem worth it). And even though they seem to be actually trying to do something with the PvP, They’ve never been able to get it right before and I doubt they will now. I suppose they may surprise me but I won’t hold my breath.

Right now in WAR I’m having a lot of fun in the lower tiers, My Chosen, Athekkhar, is Lv 23 and I ventured into the RvR lake in Tablacland for the first time last night to defend a keep. The initial 8 of us in the group managed to hold off the 12 or so Order players until our WB had filled up. So had Orders’, who came back for a big push and got through the outer doors, only to be beaten back by the brave defenders before they managed to enter the keep proper.

What followed was a rampage through Tablacland, the frenzied host of Destruction managing to hold a roughly equal Order force at bay while capturing all the Objectives and locking the zone! I have a suspicion that this was almost certainly due to several fantastic healers keeping us all alive, but it was a great introduction to T3 RvR none the less!

And speaking of healers my little Shaman Gazgreb is still in Tier 2. Progress has been pretty slow with him due to me playing almost exclusive PvP when I log him in, healers don’t seem to get all that much experience when purely healing; surely someone else must have noticed this? Or maybe I’m just not all that good at playing a healer :)

Still formulating my thoughts on patch 1.3.1 but I’ll probably be posting them in a couple of days, my general impression so far is fairly meh, but ive net had chance to examine the changes in any detail yet so it would be unfair to comment!

downtime blues

So im sat here waiting for this huuuge new patch to download, even though I thought I'd been clever and downloaded the bulk of it last night. Just skimming through the notes, I'm liking the sound of the improved performance for the animations. My rig isn't the best in the world and on balanced settings with 2x forced anti-aliasing it gets pretty choppy when the PvP heats up. Hopefully this will be sorted but I'll have to wait and hope for now.

In other news I've been enjoying oRvR over the past few days, there's definately more of a drive to keep hold of the zone after all the objectives have been capped to get that sweet lockdown bonus. This has led to some pretty determined scraps between Order and Destro in tier 2, the only problem is when Order doesn't come out and play, it can get a bit boring waiting around in the RvR lakes waiting for scenarios to pop.

My only negative experience so far has been trying to take the keep in Shadowlands- a small army of destro had assembled in all its vile glory before the keep doors, only to be held at bay for what seemed like an eternity by battlements quite literally bristling with Order scum, cackling gleefully through mouthfulls of juicy renown points as they farmed us for all we were worth. Seemingly no amount of focus firing at the oil would destroy it and try as we might we just couldnt get though the gates without being mown down by a torrent of righteous flame and AoE spammage from the bright wizards and friends.

I'm really hoping that the extra ramp added to the keeps in 1.3.1 will help even the odds when there's a lot of defenders, but then I think it'll also make it nearly impossible for a small group to defend against a much larger one without being over-run. The question is will the improvements outweigh the negatives? this WARrior says an optimistic, and possibly uncertain yes.

Ahh, the patchers at 90%, time enough to squeeze in an hour (or so) before bed :)

*EDIT* Had a quick play last night and got a few impressions of patch 1.3.1 i want to jot down. I'll have a longer session tonight and write my initial thoughts up soon.

It's been a long time..

My curiositys got the better of me, I'm coming back to WAR!

I've been keeping up to speed with whats been going on in the game and it sounds like Mythic are trying their damndest to sort out the problems that the players are bringing up, and it sounds like they're putting a fair bit of thought into it too. I've had a niggling urge to re-sub for a few weeks now and I finally caved in. Never been one to resist temptation :)

So, I'll be posting the odd musing and how I'm finding the game now. I doubt anyone still checks this blog but I enjoy writing my thoughts down every now and again, it seems to help me organise what I'm feeling into something that makes sense.

Seeing as its still summer I'll probably be playing prettey casually untill the nights start to draw in and the weather turns back to being typically British but ill still try and put up a couple of posts a week and take it from there.

Karak-Norn watch out, I'm back!

Oh noes!..

My subscription ran out yesterday, and I won't be renewing it. "Oh no!" I hear you cry (all 3 of you) "not another blogger leaving WAR!"

Have no fear though, it's not because I'm fed up with the endgame or anything else, and it won't be for too long. I've got a lot of stuff happening IRL at the moment and the weather's getting nice so the social life I claim to have will start kicking up a gear. Plus our band is playing its first show in 2 weeks so we need to get our heads down and actually finish off the songs we've been writing. I'm hoping to be back just before Land of the dead is released so I can see what that's all about, but untill then I won't be around much.

Have fun in WAR!

70 posts? how do you find the time?!

I only left google reader for 2 days and now there's 70 unread posts! seriously guys, how do you find the time to write all these things? I guess I've got a lot o' reading to do........



After all those keep takes, I somehow managed to get first in the contribution and still come third after the 'vegas roll'. Finally completed the Obliterator set, even though I've got a better chest piece now :).

The live event has definately improved the ORvR (in the Marshes of Madness anway). Lots of skirmishes and 1v1's happening around there tonight. To tell you the truth it's great fun as well. For a bit of an update on how I'm progressing in the game, Athekkhar dinged Lv 21, RR 19 tonight, and my other Character Gazgreb (a Shaman) is now Lv. 15 RR 15. Above is a nice picture of Athekkhar in his Obliterator set and all colour coordinated gear. Don't he look 'ard eh?

I joined a guild on Karak-Norn called Hosemen of the Apocalypse (HoA). They're a nice friendly bunch focused on oRvR (which sits perfectly with me), but do some organised alliance instances as well. If you play on Karak-Norn and love the thrill of oRvR look us up on the new fangled guild UI thinga-ma-bobby.

Brainwave: Keep Sieges!

Just an idea I had to make keep takes more interesting and less of a stalemate dependant on numbers. I mentioned before that there needs to be other ways to get to the Lords room so that defending players can't swamp the stairs and make taking it impossible. The problem with this is balancing it so that when there aren't many players defending they can still put up some reasonable defence, but gives less advantage to the use of far superior numbers.

This one's a bit of a puzzler. Any advantage that you give to the attackers will inevitably make it a hell of a lot harder for a small (say 2 parties) force on the defensive. The fairest way to work this would be for the server to monitor the number of defenders in the lords room and the number of attackers and alter the keep accordingly.

For example, if there was 2+ WB defending the keep and only 1 attacking, extra siege pads for towers to be placed on would spawn or Maybe the level of the champion guards would be lowered. This would stop the keep being an almost insurmountable challenge for the attackers, and hopefully they would stick around for longer. I've no idea wether this would be possible to implement or how it would affect game performance but it seems like the most logical option to me. Obviously though, it could be abused. I'm sure you'd hear some arsehole WB leader telling people to "GTFO or the attackers get another siege tower!!". On second thoughts perhaps not then.

Failing that, how about different options open up after a period of time. Say the door takes 20 minutes to respawn once its broken. After 10 minutes, if the keep hasn't been captured, two siege towers can be constructed. If after another 5 minutes the keep still isnt taken then a third siege tower (or maybe some other option- like an orcapult!) becomes available. Hopefully this would encourage attacking WB's to stay the duration instead of sodding off as soon as they see a mass of tanks and healers at the top of the ramp. This still would mean making alot of changes to the game, I hope that mythic are working on something like this but I've got a feeling it might be a while before we see it.

Finally, the easiest change to make to help break into a well defended lord room would be a battle standard like the ones I suggested for capping keeps in this post. Perhaps there would be one available to buy at the rally master that granted the carrier, and only the carrier, a large bonus to toughness and resists. It would also have an ability on a long cooldown (say 60 sec) that was just a massive AoE knockback. Get this guy up the stairs and take apart the tank wall then everyone else can leg it up and wreak havoc. Then it would be up to the defenders to really defend.

Just some random thoughts that were going round my head today. feel free to comment on them.

1.2.1 Firsst Impressions

Ok, I know I’m a bit late to the party. Last night was the fist time I’ve been able to sit down and have a good session on WAR since patch 1.2.1 went live and I thought I would share my thoughts on it. Seemingly I’ve found it rather different to most of the other bloggers- looks like the problems are mainly in the T4 areas. I was only doing RvR when I played, and as it is my main focus, I'll write my impressions in relation to it.

Combat Responsiveness:
Seemed a definite improvement, there is still some slight lag before abilities fire, but that’s probably the server lag that comes with oRvR. I didn’t get any of the crazily long pauses before the odd ability would go off, all in all a good improvement.

Great idea but not sure about the drop rate for these, or the fact that the ones from enemy players are rolled for. I was playing for close to 3 hours last night and I ended up with 12 medallions, which doesn’t seem very many at all considering how much the phat gear costs. Most of those (or possibly all) I got from locking down 2 zones and keep captures. Definitely a good idea though. I don’t feel nearly as hard done by for not getting loot bags because, even if it isn’t much, I’m still getting something at least.

oRvR focus:
The RvR lakes were buzzing last night. The reduction in renown and influence from keep/BfO capture looks like it has shifted the focus more on flipping zones. It’s still pretty pointless trying to take a keep when it’s being defended by 2 Warbands though, as we tried to do at the start of the night. It did mean that when we went to try and flip other zones order actually followed us and tried to stop it happening. Compare this to pre 1.2.1 where order would be happy just sitting in Mandreds Hold farming us for renown and then follow us round re-capping stuff as we left.

Last night was different. Last night actually felt like a conflict. After wiping several times trying to take mandreds we went to help out another WB defend Dok Karaz. There weren’t many order attacking and after sending them packing we decided to try and lock down the Orc/Dwarf pairing. It was the first time I’ve ever actually had to fight over a BfO! Order kept turning up, harassing us as we tried to take down the guards. We managed to hold them off and get the cap but props to them for putting up a fight. It was definitely the most fun I’ve had in oRvR.

Eventually over the time I was playing we managed to cap both the Orc/Dwarf and HE/DE pairings. I wasn’t actually in the HE/DE pairing when it flipped so I don’t think I got the ren/inf bonus which is annoying but just from the other pairing I earned a nice amount of both.

Order seemed to be concentrating on locking down the Empire pairing but we left a WB there just to try and stop them and I don’t think they quite managed it. If they had sent a few more people to defend the orc lands they could have done the same to us.

Overall for the lower tiers this patch seems to have done the world of good for oRvR. I’ve not had chance to check out how any of the PvE content’s changed (if at all) but ill probably write up some more thoughts after I’ve had a bit more time to experience it.

Mythic sure seem to be taking baby-steps in fixing issues with each patch but (discounting the reports of T4 players and the problems they’re having) I would say that it’s going in the right direction. I think I recall Paul B (but it could have been Mark Jacobs) saying they wont be doing knee-jerk reaction “FIX EVERYTHING NOW!!” patches. I agree. If you introduce too many changes in one patch, and something breaks or doesn’t work as intended you have a much tougher time figuring out where the problem lies. Was it A, or B…… or perhaps A and a bit of B (but I could just be C, or D, or E?). see what I mean?

Definitely a thumbs up from me, seeing as the instability and lag issues in the top tiers don’t seem to be affecting me at present. Now I just think there really, REALLY, needs to be alternative entry points into heavily defended keeps (more on that later).

Patch day blues...

But not for me!

Fist time I'm glad I'm at work, hopefully by the time I get back It should be sort-of sorted out.

Fingers crossed.

I aint seen any posts on how the EU patching proccess is going, lets hope GOA have managed to prevent or already fix some of the problems that cropped up on the NA servers.

Saving oRvR: My turn!

There are quite a few people who are putting forwards their suggestions for improving the oRvR in WAR at the moment. I’ve been slowly developing my thoughts on this over the last week or so. One thing I’ve definitely noticed is that while it’s easy to decide what you don’t like about certain aspects of the game, developing a workable solution that may actually be possible to implement is a hell of a lot harder!

Here is what several sessions (read: 20 minutes) of deep and profound thinking has come to so far. Some of these have been mentioned many times before on other blogs but I agree that they are essential to improving RvR:

None or very little renown from capturing BO’s/Keeps. Also Increased renown/inf from killing enemy players.
This is the main reason why it is so much more rewarding to “RvE” empty keeps and undefended BO’s. Last night 2 destro warbands spent close to 30 minutes trying to take Mandreds. Half an hour of killing enemy players and it was hardly noticeable that my renown and influence bars had moved. So we went and took Stonetroll which was undefended and in 10 minutes had earned more inf & renown from essentially PvE. This only encourages players to take the path of least resistance and avoid long drawn out fights that are going to be difficult to win.

Holding BO’s increases renown gain from killing enemys.
I think the capture mechanic should be changed as well. BO’s shouldn’t be defended by NPC’s. Instead if a realm wanted to keep hold of one they would have to have a few people on hand to defend it. The lockout timer for recapturing them should either be reduced to around 5 minutes or got rid of, and the time taken to capture it increased to 5 minutes to allow the defenders enough time to get there.

Reduce the size of Warbands to either 12 or 18.
This would hopefully help reduce zerging somewhat while remaining useful for healers to see other players health and buffs etc. and keep people organised. Smaller groups would be able to defend/assault separate objectives with cohesion as a unit, but more units means (hopefully) more objectives will be fought over at any time.

Keep Capture Changes.

  • No keep lord/champion NPC’s.
  • Renown merchants relocated to keep lords room and are the top rank for the tier (eg. 21 for tier 2). These NPC’s will fight attackers but not unbalance the fight in the defenders favour.
  • Keeps must be taken by planting a battle standard on the very top floor of the keep. These can be bought at rally masters and are automatically equipped once purchased, however they can be put down, and picked up by a different player.
  • If they are put down or dropped they can be destroyed.
  • Battle standards give a small buff and renown/influence gains to the warband of the carrier, battle standards with different buffs can be bought. If put down it gives a buff to all nearby friendly players (but can be destroyed). Once it is used to claim a keep it no longer gives the buff.
  • Siege towers/ramps (which can be destroyed like oil etc.) or other ways to get directly onto the second floor. Being on the wrong end of a tank wall, as much as I love them, is extremely frustrating. Giving a couple of different options that don’t involve trying to fight through one heavily defended bottle neck would be nice and make the fights more dynamic.
  • Guilds can still capture keeps by planting their standard at the top. They can add some champion level guards and upgrade keeps as proposed in 1.2.1, a guild that claims a keep would get increased renown/influence gains in that region (more so then other player not of that guild).
  • A transport scroll similar to the one for the guild tavern can be purchased from a vendor in a guilds keep that gives instant travel to the keep lords room. (not sure if anything like this exists already)

Get rid of loot bags.
The current system of loot bags and Vegas rolls is such a random system it’s bordering on being unfair. I’ve never got above 17th place in any roll, even after coming 3rd in the contribution rankings. Our WB leader (a chopper) last night was saying how he’s already won 7 gold loot bags by level 17. Having one part of the best T2 PvP set only being in a gold loot bag means a large proportion of people will never complete it. I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never get it. Unless we got a bonus to the roll that increased with every keep you are involved in and didn’t get a bag, and was saved even after you log out , eventually you should get something for your effort. I cant see rolling for loot bags being a fair way of attaining gear without it.

Attackable Warcamps.
I do agree with Pancakez as far as warcamps should not be like a huge roadblock that stops a warband in its tracks, and provides a completely safe haven the other side. If the NPC’s at the edge were brought down to the top level for the tier it would make it possible for a side that was being beat badly to fall back to the warcamp and use the NPC’s to help them out. It wouldn’t however provide a completely safe shelter where no one could get you. If the enemy force was big enough they could take out all the guards and run into the camp and still kill you.

The rally masters should become like the keep lords here and be hero level, and the other quest givers and merchants Champion level; It would be a huge undertaking to kill all the NPC’s, chapions and Rally master. If a rally master is killed the zone would be locked down by that side, however anyone of that faction in the area would be worth twice as much renown for an hour.

I also agree that attacking the war camps and objectives could be made more fun, like murderball fun. How about having a big explosive device in your warcamp. (‘da bomb’), someone can pick it up and you then have to try and carry it into the other sides war camp and detonate it to lock down the zone? Or perhaps that could just net you a nice amount of influence and renown. Little quirks like that would add a lot to of life of oRvR IMO.

The changes I’ve outlined above are mainly aimed at making it harder for a large group to defend keeps. At the moment I feel it’s far to easy for a full war band to keep attackers out of the lords room, and if there was only a small force defending from a much larger one there wouldn’t be much in it for the attackers, but the defenders should get a reasonable amount of ren/inf.

If anyone’s got any thoughts on my thoughts feel free to post a comment (if anyone actually reads this that is!)

*Edit* I completely forgot about the token system coming out in patch 1.2.1. I'm looking forward to being able to work towards a reward from oRvR, I just hope that everything you can get in the loot bags is available to purchase with them. Also they are reducing renown/inf gain from keep/BO capture by 50%, which is a good start to encouraging engaging the enemy players and holding a zone untill it gets locked. I really hope this will encourage the two sides to engage in battle and not shy away from a long, drawn out fight. I guess we'll soon see :)

(Possibly) my first WCPI promotion thread

I thought this week it would be a good idea to become part of the community promotion initiative. At least I think I am now. I've still not had any confirmation off PhoenixRed at the WHA forums but what the hell I'll do it anyway, it'll give me an opportunity to write down my thoughts or add my point to what other bloggers have been saying.

I'll start off with 3 posts that have made me contemplate how I feel on certain subjects. I'm sure I'll be broaching these with my own posts in the not too distant future but for now you can read up on what these guys have to say.

So here goes:

Breakfast at WAR: RvR remodelling: Pancakez has posted some inspired suggestions for making RvR more rewarding for actually engaging the enemy players. While I broadly agree with many of the points he raises, some I think may not work as intended. It's been far too many times I've heard people calling "there's too many defending, lets go to a different keep", a 'different keep', I think meaning one that’s undefended. This post really got me thinking about changes I'd like to see in oRvR, hopefully will be posting those later in the week.

Bootae's Bloody Blog: Siege Warfare: While were on the subject of RvR, we definitely need different ways of attacking the keep in oRvR. The fact that there is only 1 entrance and 1 way into the lords room means its pretty biased in the defenders favour and makes it almost impossible to take a keep if there is an equal or superior number of defenders. Stuff like siege towers and destructible walls would keep the defenders on their toes and give the attacking side more of a chance.

Way of the Chosen: Know your role: Some more musings from a fellow Chosen, Rivs is trying to work out what our role is as tanks after the resistance nerf, and the upcoming rending blade nerf. Also our lack of an effective class mechanic (hopefully will be posting my thoughts on this soon too) means we seem to be a bit lost amongst the other tanks at the minute. I'm with him in wanting more survivability rather then DPS. Like he says, if I had wanted to play a good DPS'er I'd have rolled a choppa. (P.S Rivs: yes our job is to put on our aura and we do look good!).

Too much to do, too little time....

Unfortunately due to work and social type stuff taking up a lot of my time, the fact that it’s the end of the football (soccer) season and there are a lot of games being shown on TV, I’ve not managed to find much time for any proper sessions on WAR. Thankfully the due to the fairly casual friendliness of the game I’ve been able to log on most nights just for a scenario or two or some PQ’s. It’s still been fun even if I’m only on for half an hour or so, my only annoyance is that playing oRVR for such a short amount of time is pretty pointless and as much as I’d love to crush some order skulls, half an hour just isn’t long enough to really get into it.

Athekkhar dinged Lvl 17, RR 15 (half way to 16) last night, the rate it’s going is definitely slowing down, I’m not too bothered though. Tier 2 has been good so far and I’ve heard that in T3 the AoE spammage really starts and it’s pretty tough as a melee character at the moment.

Fortunately for me it’s bank holiday weekend, and after working some overtime today, watching the Wolves (yay!) play Southampton (boo!), then seeing the other half tomorrow I should have 4 days in which I can spend a disgustingly large proportion of my time playing WAR.


*update* Wolves beat Southampton 3-0, oh the sweet success :D

Why 14 hours is casual friendly.

First off I have to congratulate Destruction on Karak Eight-peaks for the massive accomplishment of the worlds first city capture! Great work you lot!

It seems that there's mixed feelings pervading the blogosphere about this- relief that the pinnacle of WAR endgame isn't completely broken and is possible with enough coordination. Also there's a lot of what I can only describe as disbelief that it took over 14 hours. Wall of text and Rainbow MMO seem to put these points across quite eloquently, while Incoming Pull has posted a good rebuttal to some of the concerns.

While I think there are valid points on both sides of the fence, I don't really believe that an undertaking of this magnitude taking so long is a bad thing at all. This is the ultimate goal of the game, and it should be something that everyone on the server can take a part in. If it only took as much time as an endgame raid in other MMO's lots of players may be at work or have other commitments that prevent them taking part at all. At least with something this long, even if it starts when you're busy (or not) at work you'll still get back in time to help out. Going for a meal with your partner? Doesn't matter, it'll probably still be going when you get back (If you don't mind missing out on the 'after dinner treat'). Putting the kids to bed? Its OK, missing an hour doesn't matter all that much.

It's in this respect I disagree with most of the other bloggers view of 14 hours being just for the uber elite, or the super dedicated. I think due to the nature of being able to drop in and out of the action when you need, and it not really affecting your sides chances of winning, makes it more casual friendly then many other MMO endgames.

Instead of players moaning that they never seem to be on line when the king falls, at least they can say 'I helped take keep X, I did my bit to help out'. And yes, most players will miss out on the 'phat lewt' the king drops, but surely being able to say 'I was there, I took part' is better then missing the whole thing completely.

Does what it sez on th tin guv'

Ahh, the Joy of a good tank wall. This was taken in mandreds hold tonight, it was the last keep in T2 that destruction owned. 2 WB's of us made a stand against the hoards of order and managed to cut them down on the stairs before any of them could get to the keep lord. After their initial push, which broke like water against our wall of steel, they seemed somewhat reluctant to try it again and ended up buggering off before the the keep doors had closed! We were on a roll after that, went and took Stonetroll keep in about 15 minutes and then all the BO's before I had to call it a night. How I wish I didnt have work tomorrow!

P.S thats me with the blue pauldrons. Still not got any new ones even though we took 3 keeps over the night, I must be the unluckiest roller on the server.

LFM Healers pls. K thx bye

Last night was a frustrating (but still pretty fun) night in Empire T2. A full destro WB was running round trying to take keeps, a full warband with 4 healers in total. Thats 2 DoK's, a shammy and a zealot who left early on in the night. I didn't realise before how much of a difference it makes to have a good amount of healers, we tried for close to an hour to take mandreds hold. The oil and door went down fairly quickly but once we were inside we just couldn't clear the lords room of their WB+ of players. I counted at least 3 Archmages, 3 or more Warrior Priests and a couple of Runepriests. As fast as we could kill them they were being healed or rez'd. Our healers, who did a grand job considering how few of them there were, just couldn't keep up and many of us ended up having to run back from the warcamp.

With so many healers up there I knew there wouldn't be any point in going 2 handed, even the minor increase in damage output would still have easily been out-healed. I just stuck with S'n'B, kept guard up on the real DPS'ers and kept on twisting my auras. 15 minutes or so of fruitless hacking and it was obious that we weren't making any headway, every time we pushed there was still as many order on the second floor so we decided to take a couple of the BO's and see if that helped us any.

Then came the order counter attack. As soon as the door of Mandreds was back up the all piled up to Stontroll, by the time the noble defenders had started arriving the door was nearly at 50%.
It wasn't long before it was us defending the keep lord and we managed to hold them off for a while but they just kept rezing and coming at us. Our poor healers were having a hard time keeping the people still fighting alive so most of us ended up having to run back from the WC, which is a hell of a long way. Inevitably we were eventually cleared out of the second floor and most of the players just gave up and went their own way.

It's a shame that something like an unbalanced number of healers on each side of the fight can have a massive effect on how easy or hard it is to take an objective. It's also a shame that healers seem to be quite rare for Destro in oRvR, perhaps healing is too noble a proffesion for any self respecting Destro player? Well, I went and played my shaman after the WB fell apart, hopefully if I get him into T2 and we're in the same situation again I'll go log him in and see if it helps.

Chosen unite! time to get this put onto the live servers!

After the final comment on my last post bemoaning the lack of attention given to the Chosen career recently, it would seem that Mythic obvioulsy read my blog and do whatever I suggest. They are planning on introducing a pretty interesting change to the test server, the full details of which are here but for those of you who have ADHD, the attention span of a goldfish or are just plain lazy I'll summarise it here:


This is great. In fact its more then great. Its so great I nearly stood up and cheered when I read it at work (ok, maybe not quite that good). It's definately made me excited about playing my chosen in RvR in future. I've had a growing feeling of not being very useful in RvR and keep takes since I hit T2. It seems that a tanks life consists of:

  • Spamming 'hold the line' while the Rdps take out the oil and enemy players on the keep walls.

  • Battering an inanimate object untill it breaks (with a few respawns in the proccess).

  • Then, once the fun bit starts not being able to do enough damage to be that usefull (and even more runs back to the keep).

This change to health regen will mean the higher toughness that is inherrantly present with tanks will increase our survivability, hopefully by a noticable amount. Because we have a low damage output we need a longer time to bash away at enemy players and need to last as long as possible to maximise the pain! I really hope this will mean Tanks can last longer in PvP, 'cos that would mean we can fulfill our roles more effectively.

I cant envision this majorly unbalancing the game. DPS specced tanks will stack mainly strength, so they still have a higher damage output and wont benefit nearly as much from the toughness regeneration, but will have lower chance to be critically hit with the weapons skill changes. Obviously this will help, but only marginally. It would be nice to see a small improvement to the damage of a 2H weilding DPS spec chosen but I'm not expecting it to happen.

The sword n' board tanks will last longer in PvP, as well as PvE (handy for tanking those Champs/Heros) and will be able to spend longer harassing the enemy healers or playing guardian to MDPS'ers in RvR and Scenarios.

Im definately going to get onto the test server when these go onto it to see how much of an effect it has, in the meantime all you fellow tanks out there should let mthic know if you think its a good idea. My first thoughts on this are very positive, as you can tell.

Healers Rejoice! but wheres the love for the Chosen?

There's a thread over here on WHA that's trying to garner some player feedback about some possible major changes to the Shaman/Archmage careers, it's a lot to read but there's some pretty interesting ideas on there. Obviously the fist thing these healers will notice is that the SH/AM base damage is being increased by about 25% in the next patch! While I know from my limited experience it takes a long time to kill PvE mobs as a Shaman so the extra damage will be a nice change, I'm not quite sure what the fallout will be RvR wise.

Now the major plan for these classes is a complete overhaul of the class mechanic. For those that didn't read all the post on WA, it will be changing from the current system where casting a spell of one type will add a point to the other types charge, with a maximum of 5 points of one type. They are thinkinig of moving to a scale from 3 to -3. Casting, say, a healing spell will add one to the scale. Damage spells will move it towards -3, and buff/debuff spells will move it closer to 0.

At +3 the healer will recieve a bonus to healing spells and make damage spells less effective, -3 will give a bonus to damage and make healing less effective and 0 will give a bonus to buff/debuffs but the damage & healing spells wil be at normal power.

I think this is a great move, it will allow healer that focus purely on healing to put out some great healing at the expense of not being able to quickly switch to high damage output. This is a much better mechanic compared to an average healing output, with every 5th spell being a fairly powerful quick fire damage dealer. In oRVR and scenarios most of your time (in my experiance) is spent looking at the boxes on squared and healing party members. It's very rare that I would switch to damage spells unless we outnumbered the opposition, so it's not often that I have any points in the one that buffs healing spells making the healing output pretty mediocre.

Adam (at least I think it was him) mentioned possibly having some sort of ability that has a long cool down but allows a quick switch between healing and DD'ing. I personally believe that a better option would be to have an ability with a slightly shorter cooldown that reset your points to zero. Instead of having a 60 s cooldown on a spell that instantly inverts where you are on the scale (eg. -3 would become 3, 2 would become -2) there would be one on a 20s cooldown that just put it to 0. This would still enable a faser switch to damage dealing but would still require a small time to build up to max, but would also be good for a pure healer or DD as they could use the ability to put some quick buffs/debuffs on people and then go back into what they were doing before (again, with some build up).

I dont know if anyone on WHA has already posted something like that, I may have to put it up just in case, I didnt comment on the new top level morale ability they may be adding as I only played the lower levels as a Shaman but its nice to know that they are having a real good look at the classes and trying to address players concerns about them. +1 to Mythic!

Now wheres the Chosen love eh??

In other news Thulf over at Stunty Stomper has discoved a stange new part of the world, but what could it be? New area under development, a testing area for new content, a hangout spot for the GM's? apparently it includes Troglagobs as well. Go check it out now!

Movin' on up...

T’was a sad day yesterday, for it was the day I finally had to say goodbye to Tier 1 and move on up into T2. I guess now I’m going to have to get used to being flattened in oRvR and scenarios a lot more often, but at least I can get involved in some keep takes, I’ve been looking forward to those for a while!

Athekkhar is currently Lv 13 RR 12, since reaching T2 I’ve been doing some PQ’s and questing to get his level up a bit before I start going all out RvR. Reflecting on Tier 1, it seemed pretty balanced between order and destro, in both scenarios and oRvR. Scenario wise we would occasionally steamroll order, sometimes they’d steamroll us, or we would reach a stalemate and it would finish with both scores quite low but very close.

RvR in the Empire has been great. Every night there was at least 1 WB each side fighting over the BO’s, with each side having the upper hand for a while before loosing it to a well timed push from the other side. Like with the scenarios, sometimes we would be able to hold all the BO’s, sometimes order would. The other racial pairings seemed a lot quieter oRvR wise; the few times I went to the HE/DE pairing it was in a smaller group of 6 or so players and if there was any order about it was usually another small group which actually made a nice change from the more zerg-like empire areas. The one time I ventured into the Ork lands for some RvR there was 2 parties of us and we didn’t see any order at all. I didn’t really bother going back again, I’m not one for the PvE of BO capping with no opposition. I’ll have to get a better feel for that pairing when I level my choppa up (yeah, I gave into the temptation and rolled another alt).

The only thing that I can really complain about in T1 was that the PQ’s in the dark elf lands rarely had people doing them, so maxing the influence bar involved a lot of just completing the first stage of the easier ones. It’s not too hard to do this in T1, but is kind of annoying just for the fact that you don’t get no “phat lewt bag”.

Towards the end of the tier I decided to forcibly make myself read the text for every quest I took, and to my surprise, I’ve started reading it because I want to instead. The text is actually very well written and I enjoy getting a bit of background and following the general story of WAR, it seems to give the quests purpose. The Salzenmund quests were probably some of the best so far, I love how you’re sent not just to slaughter all the defenders/women/children etc. but you’re asked to subvert and manipulate some of the characters of the town in true Chaos style, I thought that was great.

Farewell for now Tier 1, I bid you an emotional adieu. Here’s to T2.

The tragic story of robot and mouse...

Nothing WAR related here, but I thought I'd share this video that a friend of a friend knocked together the other day, it put a smile on my face. its a slightly odd short animation of a robot and his pet mouse..... enjoy....

Non Gaming Girlfriend

Havent been on WAR for the last couple of days due to spending some time with the better half. I've been contemplating whether it's a good or bad thing that she has pretty much no interest in gaming at all.

On the one hand it does give me time away from PC's and forces me back into 'RL', but I've always wondered how different it would be if we both shared an interest in MMO's.

I did once get her to try WoW, back in the days I used to play it. After about 20 minutes killing wolves in the human starting area she quite confidently declared " this game is sooo boring, why the hell do you play it!?". Que me then trying (without succeeding) to explain that you have to develop your character to progress and most of the fun stuff came at higher levels.

"so why dont you just start at a higher level?"

Good question. And looks like one that Blizzard have asked themselves, and decided that it needs addressing with the DK starting at Lv.55. Guild wars previously took it even further by having the option to start a character that was already at level cap, but could only be used for PvP.

WAR has gone the opposite way to solve this, by making scenarios and RvR available almost immediately after you start the game. Bringing the content to the character, not the character to the content as it were. I much prefer it that way 'cause I'm admittedly a sucker for starting off having nothing and no skills and the feeling that you get when, say, you find your first shoulder armour and now your character looks 10 times harder!

So, she saw me playing WAR when she came round the other day and actually seemed to take an interest in it (one of here complaints about WoW was 'you can't kill the other people!'). She even went as far as to ask that if she installed it at her house, would we be able to play together over the internet?

Fingers crossed, 2 years of subtly trying to spark an interest in gaming may finally be coming to fruition. Oh happy days!

The Silent Leaders

After reading an couple of interesting articles on leading a war band over at Waaagh and Knights of the Featherd Hats, I thought I would share my own experiences on the subject. Granted, I've never led a WB outside of T1, and even then not done it that often but my over-riding expence was that no one actually seems to listen to you. I'll use one incident to illustrate this:

Fighting in the Empire RvR zone I was leading a PUG group of 3 parties, we had just capped festenplatz and were fighting order around that area. I decided to go and scout the docks which was just about up for taking and found that it was undefended. Another DoK was already there killing the guards. I helped them finish off the champion and before I could say anything s/he had scampered off to claim the BO. I immediately asked the WB to come down to the docks to defend it untill it was secured. No replys. Looked at the map, they were all still at festnplatz fighting around an objective we'd already taken, even the returning players were running straight from the warcamp to the rest of the WB. I asked again. Again no response, no movement. By this time an Order Engineer was just off the docks, most likely telling his WB that there was only 2 DoK's defending the BO. By this time I was slightly annoyed and thinking we were about to get a whole WB pile in on us to re-take the objective, so I tried again, this time trying to make it sound a bit more like an order- "everybody down to the dock now or we're gonna loose it!"


Fortunately the order WB never did turn up and me my fellow DoK capped it ourselves, but I left the group pretty much straight away. What the hell's the point? It's like trying to organise a drunken rabble in a brewery. I know I'm not a natural leader and I've got a way to go before I would class myself even as a good leader, but I'm reasonably intellegent. Enough to see an opportunity and decide what needs to be done, but communicating that to 20 other players and getting them all to act on it sometimes seems like an exercise in futility, which kind of leads me on to my next point:

Leaders that just dont talk. I used to get frustrated when the WB leader was utterly silent, the WB needs direction and some form of strategy otherwise its just a huge brawl with the winner being the side who's players don't get bored first. When I did find myself in one of these PUG's i used to try and suggest stuff without seeming like I was usurping them:

"Lagoon's up for capping, send someone to scout it?"

Most of the time I never even got a response though, the guy just keeps swapping people into different groups to keep balance but doesnt do anything else.

I can understand now why people may not want to try, but if you're not going to, please, give the role of leader to someone who will. You never know you might be in one of the WB's where some people actually do listen, and that makes it more fun for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I know its T1 and people are new to the game or learning a new class, and I've been in several PUG's that have been organised with a good leader and they've been tremendous fun! (I'm going to have to add some of these guys to my friends list!). I'm also sure that in T2 it will get better as people realise the inportance of working as a team, and I'm looking forward to it.

So, things everyone should remember:

  • Listen to the WB leader (been said before, but it can't be stressed enough)
  • If you are the leader and dont want to give out orders, find someone else who will.

Here endeth the first lesson.

10 days well spent!

Well my trial of WAR is coming to an end tomorrow, I thought I would let you all know what I've been up to and what I think of the game as it is now. Here's the characters I've been levelling:

Athekkhar – Lv 10 RR 10 Chosen

Masanith – Lv 10 RR 10 DoK

These have become my 2 main characters, initially I just planned on levelling athekkhar but out of all the alts I made the DoK was the one that I enjoyed playing the most. I also levelled up a Shaman, Choppa, Zealot, Warrior priest, Iron breaker and Sorcerer to between 5 – 8.

Tier 1 has been bustling the past 10 days and I've loved every second of playing. There's usually enough people around to do PQ's, plenty of RvR going off and scenario's popping regularly. I spent almost 4 hours in the RvR zone in Nordland tonight; BO's were changing hands, both sides were pushing forwards, eventually to be pushed back. We started with order keeping us just outside the warcamp before we managed to gradually push them right back to their own, and so it went back and forth most of the night. I think at its peak there were 2 war bands of about 15-20 players on each side. The battle raged and great fun was had by all.

The PvE side of the game, apart from the PQ's is still a bit lacklustre. The background to the quests is quite good, but the AI and pathing still seem a little off, much better then just after launch but still not quite right. The PQ's are excellent though now they have different difficulty levels, the fact that I could solo one in each area if I played at some god forsaken hour in the morning meant there was actually something to do while no one was about!

Frankly though, I don't really give a monkeys whether the questing system is shiny and polished, I want WAR! Brutal, bloody and intense WAR! Please Mythic, do something, anything, to reduce the lag and increase the performance (though for me it's not as bad as I hear other people making out) and I will give you cookies. Cookies for the, um..... cookie monster? (Paul, perhaps? )

I'll be buying the game tomorrow and starting on my conquest of tier 2. I've joined a nice friendly guild: Alpha Legion. They seem like a good bunch of players who focus mainly on RvR, hopefully I'll be chronicling our exploits against order in the not too distant future. Expect to hear more from this WARrior.

How to force Anti-aliasing in WAR..

I found an interesting little thing for people with Nvidia graphics cards tonight, I thought I'd share incase anyone doesnt know this already. Of course it could just be me being behind the times but hey, here goes.

I've read a few complaints about there not being any anti aliasing in WAR, but if you use an Nvidia card you can force anti aliasing using Nvidias managment programme. If you go onto Control Panel >> Nvidia Control Panel. Go onto Manage 3D settings on the menu on the left and then the programme settings tab. You should see a list of options like this (click for larger image):

First go to Add, then find the EXE file for your WAR install. Then on the list of options, under Antialiasing - Mode, select 'overide any application settings' and then your preferred mode from Antialiasing - Settings.

Click apply and your done, WAR now has its own graphics profile that forces AA! Easy as that :)

I tested it out tonight on 8x AA, and it looks a lot easier on the eye. There was a drop from 40-60 FPS to 20-40 FPS during PvE and around quest hubs, the most noticable difference was
in RvR (in about a 12 vs 12 fight). The FPS dropped to around a constant 12-15 FPS when in the thick of it. usually its around 30+ without AA. Its is a noticable difference but definately playable at the framerate. Large scale keep sieges may be a different matter though.

I 'm running a 9500GT with Dual core 3.16 Ghz processor so i dont know wether it would be playabe with forced AA on a lower end machine but hey, give it a try, it does look great with it on!

Happy Clappers R us

Before I write this post I should explain a bit about myself. I am an optimist. A hopelessly positive optimist. I will always look for the good in any situation and concentrate on the things that I like in almost everything I do. That goes from following football (the real football, or soccer to some folks), where my kind is known as a ‘happy clapper’, to my work. OK, so now I’ve admitted that I can start.

I just finished reading the transcript of the EU Dev chat that Regis has posted over at Wizards and Wenches, and I have to say it has given me a lot of hope about where Mythic are taking the game.

My Experience in T1 so far is that Mythic have vastly improved the game since launch (I only played the open beta and for about a week after), they have got rid of a huge amount of bugs, combat feels smoother and the abilities more responsive. Apothecary and cultivating are much improved (I even find them quite fun!) and in the dev chat they mentioned they will be looking at talisman making next. What’s more is that I haven’t had one, not one crash to desktop yet! Even in the Sea of Claws last night with a full WB, fighting around Festenplatz against at least 1 order WB I hardly experienced any stutter, only a small dip in FPS. It was a blast!

I think the game now is really where it should have been at launch. I guess Mythic probably didn’t have full control over the release date with EA looking over their shoulder, so I’m not going to blame them. Even though I’m still in T1 and most of the stuff doesn’t apply to me (yet) I am quite excited about several things mentioned in the dev chat:

Making the city sieges more RvR centric and less like PvE with enemy players harassing you.

Making the first city siege PQ Lord’s difficulty vary depending on how many defenders there is.

Balancing the AoE of BW/Sorc. This may take a few attempts for them to get right but from what I hear it needs to be done.

Improving the chance of getting a useable drop in RvR

More things to craft!

Lots of hints at making Keep sieges more fun & dynamic such as alternate entrances, moveable siege weapons etc.

And by ‘hint’ this is what I mean:

“Zeiden asked: Do you plan on implementing new ways of capturing a keep such as for example Choppa throwing catapults or breaking the walls instead of only the door or maybe moving Siege weapons?
osh_Mythic answers: Maybe. :)

Come on guys! The smiley face just gives it away! And makes me really want to know what they’ve got planned!
I know me and a lot of other new/returning players are having a blast in the lower tiers, I hear people commenting all the time in region chat that they’ve just upgraded their trial account or how much fun they’re having (as well as the odd stereotypical WoW player asking silly questions).

I’m confident that Mythic can and will get the issues with end game RvR fixed but its not going to happen overnight. For all the people complaining about it roll an alt and come have fun with us in T1 till then :).

How many quests?!

I've been thinking about the point Syp raised about questing over at Waaagh. I completely agree that something should be done to encourage people to read the text when picking up a quest. The Warhammer IP is one of the best developed (save maybe Lord of the Rings) around and its got some fantastic history and background storeys in it, seems a shame that no-one really reads the stuff.

While I do think that Wizards & Wenches idea of having one epic quest chain in an area, with fewer quests that grant more XP each would be great, I think this definitely wont be done any time soon (if at all). I really cant see Mythic rewriting and changing a huge part of the game when there are other more pressing issues to fix. Dont at blame the healer also came up with a good Idea of adding some pictures to the ToK to make reading the text easier on the eye, which would help but I don't think it would solve the problem. Perhaps the idea of having different options at each stage of the quest chain would make reading the details more important though (see the blog for stick-man awesomeness!).

So, I came up with an idea for a simple aid to help. It wont solve the problem entirely but I think it would help somewhat. I reckon the main thing that puts players (or me anyway) off reading the quest text is when you enter a new area, particularly a war camp, the mini map is covered with the green quest dots- there can easily be 7 or 8 that crowd everything else out, and a player just arriving at the quest hub's probably going to think “whooa, holy crap, its gonna take ages to read through all them” it's much quicker to run round the whole camp, get every one a quick as possible and then work your way round the red blobs on the map.

Now a few of these quests will be RvR or the repeatable scenario quests (especially in warcamps), and if these were given a different icon, say a red skull or crossed swords, it would make the mini map a lot less cluttered when you first reach the zone. Instead of being a blob of green quest markers there would be about several less, and the rest the Scenario/RvR markers. If you wanted to carry on questing when you reached the zone you could go straight for the PvE quests, and when you wanted to do some RvR you could go back to the appropriate quest giver and pick them up. I think every player wants to be as efficient as possible and reading quest text, as well as getiing tiring after the 4th ot 5th one, is time that could be better spent getting XP.

I'm not sure whether I've explained this too well, it made sense in my head! I think it would help in some way until Mythic can get round to tidying the quest system up, if not then it'd just look better :).

I have a cunning plan

I had a moment of insight last night. Not the usually good kind mind you.

I realised that I don’t really have any idea about my goals or objectives for this here blog, I’m just sort of going with the flow at the minute. So, in a rare moment of forward thinking I have decided on the following:

• 2 Posts per week: While I could probably write a post everyday, it does take up a surprisingly large amount of time that would otherwise be spent actually playing the game. Hopefully it will stop me burning out and running out of Ideas. These posts will probably be on Wednesday and Saturday/Sunday.

• Blog about more stuff: I’ve been enjoying using the blog as a place where I can write down and organise my thoughts on various subjects, it’s kind of therapeutic. Hence, I’m going to be blogging about things other then Tanking and PvP in WAR. It will, however, remain generally Warhammer related.

• Make it look nicer: It’s been an ambition of mine to learn HTML and possibly XHTML for a while now. I did learn some very basic HTML several years ago (enough to create a simple web page using notepad) but I’m going to have to start over now. I can use this blog to experiment with, and hopefully make it look a lot better by doing so.

So, next post this weekend, and time for me to dig out my ‘Teach yourself HTML’ book I never finished reading!

On the other hand....

It seems as if just to remind me that as well as being fantastic healers keeping you alive in WAR, theres also the ones who don't seem to quite grasp what 'healing' actually means.

I decided to have a brief look round the Inevitable City after my unusually successful Khaines Embrace scenario. I took a few of the easy quests, went to the AH and took in the sights of a Lv 5 capitol city. Having noticed that the low level public quest was active (the one where you kill tormented and horrified souls), and seeing as I had to kill them anyway, I decided to participate. It was just me and 2 healers, a Disciple of Khaine and a Shaman. Throughout the PQ I only recieved one (yes ONE) heal which I actually had to ASK FOR!!

This was on the final stage where you kill the champion mob that spawns, I was doing my best to keep the aggro on me. It wasnt untill I was nearly dead that I noticed I wasn't being healed at all. What's more annoying is that both the DoK and Shammy were, quite literally, stood right next to me. All I got was a HoT after I'd asked "can someone heal me pls" but when that ran out.......nothing. No more heals for me, and was shortly followed by a long walk back the the PQ.

I guess coming top of the loot roll was a small consolation, even if it was just a green bag. Damn though, some healers just should have rolled WE's.

Blood for the blood god!

Had a fun evening doing some PQ's and RvR tonight in the Chaos T1, I ended up dying a hell of a lot in oRvR but it was fun for a while. I ran a couple of Khanies Embrace scenarios, and second time around I decided not to play tactically and just see how much damage I could lay down.

So, the blood lust consuming me, I hunted down all the squishy players I could find (and there was lots!). Rather to my surprise this is how I'd done in the end:

And he looked at the bleeding bodys strewn across the battlefield and was pleased.....

To be honest though, I think without Kogoma and Shoe pumping out the healing juice I never would ave lived long enough to dish out that amount of punishment. Props to you two, if I ever see you in game again you'll have my thanks 'in person' :)

Just goes to show, good healing is essential for the team, even though we did loose in the end as we left out alter totally undefended for order to sneak a capture in.

Next time..... next time.....

The low level tank and PvP

Well I'm at work and nothing much is happening at the minute so I thought I'd share my experience of scenarios and RvR from my first 8 levels at a tank. Overall I've been enjoying getting the good old adrenaline rush of proper PvP, and the fact that the Chosen doesn't die nearly as often as the marauder I played during open beta is rather enjoyable. My only gripe is that it seems tremendously hard to kill anything apart from squishy RDPS and odd MDPS. If theres a healer around Im pretty much screwed as it seems to be impossible for me to out DPS their healing.

It's this apparent lack of DPS ability in T1 that's led me to try to find some other roles that the tank can fulfill, here's what I've found so far:

Auras: whenever I'm in the thick of it with plenty of enemy players and my party members close I usually focus on cycling through the various auras so that (ideally) all 3 of them are active at all times, I'll usually use the more group oriented abilities as well. This seems to be more usefull when it gets crowded than trying to straight DPS, even if it means less kills and killing blows. Oh well, I'm an altruistic team player, I dont mind!

Disrupting the Backline (i.e. suicide): This one seems to work best on the Nordenwatch scenario, but is applicable anywhere where you have a melee scrum in the middle with each sides RDPS and Healers further back on each side. DPS classes might be good for getting in and quickly taking down a healer or Bright Wizard but they get killed almost straight away (I got this alot as a marauder in the open beta) and then the healers are straight back to healing and the BW's back to BBQ'in Destro. Hence occasionally, when I see an opportunity like this, I will sneak (yeah, Chosen can sneak) roundthe side, quaff a HoT potion and charge recklessly into their back line and go for a healer. Usually panic will ensue as the healers focus on keeping the one you're targeting alive and the RDPS will try to take you down a.s.a.p!. The object of this tactic isnt to get easy kills, its to try and distract their damage dealers and Healers long enough for your team mates in the big scrum in the middle to chew through the opposition. That 15 or so seconds that the healers are more concerned with me then healing their team mates is sometimes enough to swing the skirmish in our favour. This works even better if there's another tank that comes along, or if you manage to get some resto from a friendly healer.

Leading the charge: Seems that most of the softer DPS classes, when there's two large groups facing off against each other, are reluctant to take the risk of making the charge into the enemy ranks. Quite rightly so, chances are if they're at the front they will be dead before they get to do much damage. Usually to galvanise the troops into action it'll take a tank to make that initial push and draw some of the fire while the MDPS classes pile in behind you. If you've got a decent healer or two in your party its not too bad as they will generally out-heal the damage you're taking untill the enemy players start switching to targets that go down easier. Of course, good healers are in high demand and sometimes it doesnt work out as you'd hope!

If anyone has stumbled onto this blog already, welcome :) and what are your thoughts on tanks and their role in low level scenarios?


Greetings and salutations!
Welcome to Tank Wall, this is my fist attempt at one of these new fangled blog things so you'll have to excuse me if I don't seem to know what I'm doing at first but bear with me, I'll get the hang of it eventually!

So I should probably introduce myself to all you folks out there in the WAR blogosphere, I'm Athekkhar, a prodigal player returning to the fray after an absence of 6 months. I jumped ship from WoW (dont hold it against me) at the start of the open beta but decided to put off buying the game for a few months untill most of the problems such as server stability, RvR balance and zone control had been addressed and sorted by Mythic. I've still been following how the game's progressed on the great blogs that got me interested in Warhammer in the first place, namely
Book of Grudges, the greenskin and Waaagh.

It was with much anticipation and excitement that I decided to download the 10 day trial, and after much struggling with GOA's frankly still broken registration pages, I finally returned in a blaze of triumphant glory to once more wreak death and destruction on the word of Warhammer!

Enter Athekkhar- my new main toon, complete with mohawk (like me :D) and 'devil eyes' (not like me). I've always enjoyed playing tanks and with them being able to, albeit debateably, hold their own in PvP I decided to go for the tough stuff. For me it had to be a Chosen 'cos they are just the coolest, most badass ones in the game IMO. Currently he's level 8 and smashing his way through scenarios and oRvR if theres any available

In the not-too-distant future posts I will be sharing my experiences on being a tank and *trying* to be fairly successful in PvP, also thoughts on how WAR has changed it the 6 months I've been gone (that's going to be a long one), gear, stats and builds as I progress and my over abundant use of parenthesis (don't worry, I'm seeking help for it).