Gathering Data

Since Mythic has released 1.4.1 I felt it would be much more prudent to gather data regarding the new state of the game. In breaking down and looking at the classes I realized that the recent changes could and have affected just how well some classes are performing. So I have decided to push back my series on Warhammer’s classes until I have gathered more data. During this time I am also hoping to get some data from other players. (Eg. Their combat logs) So until I feel I have enough data to make some good observations I will be pushing back my class breakdown series. ( Probably another week or two) This will allow me to get a better feel for Warhammer’s meta game and give a more accurate report on the classes.

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Side Tracked

With all the dicussion going on in the Dev Forums I was side tracked today. I ended up spending the greater part of my day coming up with new ideas for the current campaign. After much thinking and typing here is what I came up with, 5 pages later. (Sorry about the formatting Word to Web just doesn’t look amazing)

*Warning: Incoming wall of text*

Here’s how I would improve the campaign.

The major flaw of the new system is its single point of failure. If you can’t support the ram you can’t take the keep. In order to change that there needs to be multiple ways to victory. Since we are being hypothetical I figured I’d throw my idea out there.

Using the PQ & Resource systems that are already in place in WAR and things that were done in DAOC this new system would work in the following way. (Skaven will remain the same as live except packmaster with 1.4.1 changes)

PQ:

Attackers:

Stage 1: Breach the walls

Below are the multiple ways to complete this task and what you will use to do this.

–          Destroy the door

o   Ram

o   Trebuchet – See below

o   Ballista

o   Rat Ogres

–          Destroy a portion of the wall

o   Trebuchet

o   Catapult – See below

o   Bombs – See below

–          Seize the oil room for 5 – 10 minutes and outer door will open (Time to be better determined through testing. Approximate time to take down undefended wall/door possibly? Option is only available when keep is defended by x amount of players maybe?) Ways to accomplish this include:

o   Orcapults – See below

o   Rat Ogres

o   Flying Mounts – See below

o   Picklock

o   Siege towers – See below

o   Skaven Mines – See below

Stage 2: Breach the inner sanctum

Below are the multiple ways to complete this task and what you will use to do this.

–          Destroy the door

o   Ram

o   Trebuchet

o   Ballista

o   Rat Ogres

–          Destroy a portion of the wall or inner Citadel itself

o   Trebuchet

o   Catapult

o   Bombs

–          Seize the bottom floor for 2 – 5 minutes (Time to be better determined through testing. Approximate time to take down undefended wall/door possibly? Option is only available when keep is defended by x amount of players?) Ways to accomplish this include:

o   Orcapults

o   Rat Ogres

o   Flying Mounts

o   Picklock

o   Skaven Mines

o   Siege Towers

Stage 3: Capture the keep

If inner sanctum standing

–          Seize the Lord room for 2 – 5 minutes

If inner sanctum is destroyed

–  30 seconds – 2 minutes on flag

*Also Trolls/Axe throwers would be available for use.

Defenders: (Respawn at nearest controlled bo or keep for stages 1 & 2 and bo for stage 3)

Stage 1: Defend the walls

Below are ways that defenders can defend

–          Use siege equipment (Ballista, Trebuchet, Catapults, Trolls/Axe throwers)

–          Disarm Bombs

–          Flying Mounts

–          Divine Alter – See below

–          Mine collapse – See below

–          Rebuild

Stage 2: Defend inner sanctum

Below are ways that defenders can defend

–          Use siege equipment (Ballista, Trebuchet, Catapults, Trolls/Axe throwers)

–          Disarm Bombs

–          Flying Mounts

–          Divine Alter – See below

–          Rebuild

–          Mine collapse – See below

Stage 3:

Inner Sanctum is still standing but breached (Eg. Wall or door down):

Below are ways that defenders can defend

–          Use siege equipment (Ballista, Trebuchet, Catapults, Trolls/Axe throwers)

–          Flying Mounts

–          Divine Alter – See below

–          Rebuild

Inner Sanctum is destroyed:

–          Use siege equipment (Ballista, Trebuchet, Catapults, Trolls/Axe throwers)

–          Flying Mounts

Expanding on the above: (Possibly all upgradable with bos – See Bos section)

–          Keep Ranks: Bring back the old keep rank system. Giving the ability to pay to upgrade keeps and their offensive and defensive abilities. Able to buy better things at keeps as they rank.

–          Ram – Sam function as it is currently serving in the game

–          Ballista –  Sam function as it is currently serving in the game

–          Trebuchet – Able to damage doors and walls

–          Catapult – Able to fire boulders (AOE damage/knockdown or knockback)

o   Upgradable to fire dead/diseased animal corpses into keeps  – Bought with ordinance  or skulls (Last a while like maybe 5 minutes or so doing aoe damage to those around them limited in how many are available and how close they can be “placed” to one another)

o   Fire – Burning dots

o   Ice – to freeze players in place

–          Orcapults – Able to throw players onto or over the walls. Work similar to the ones used in Gates of Ekrund.

–          Siege Towers – Are created at the attacking keep and must be pulled by horse/pushed by troll(Maybe player pulled?) across the zone to the other sides keep to be deployed there.

–          Axethrowers – Able to do aoe damage to an area.

–          Trolls – Repurposed to throw stones at doors and walls(Similar to trebuchets but not as good)

o   Upgraded able to larger sizes using skulls

–          Bombs

o   Carried from the attacking keep on a player.

o   They have a timer which if unused before a certain time expires on the carrier causing them to die. 5 minutes like the siege equipment buffs.

o   Once placed at a keep they must be defended for a minute before they explode and do damage to the wall.

o   No bombs for doors

–          Skaven Mines

o   Attackers:

o    Able to use new skaven known as Skaven miners to dig tunnels at certain points underneath the keep walls and into the inner sanctum.

o   Mines happen in stages.

o    Each new stage in a mine must be reinforced to continue digging.

o   They will require wood and other resources provided by Bos.

o   Defenders:

o   Are able to collapse parts of the tunnel by removing the reinforcements at the chance of weaken the wall above it.

o   Also if they are able to fight back the attackers, they can use the piles of dirt from the attackers digging, located outside the wall to fill in the hole. Depending on the amount of people helping out this could be a quick or slow process.

–           Flying Mounts

o   Similar to the current way they are.

o   Possibly double the amount available.

o   Give the player alternate paths to use.

New Upgradable BO System:

Bos will now serve a greater purpose. The longer a bo is held by a realm the greater things that can be created and produced by it. They will probably need to be graphically updated to reflect this.

Rank 0:

–          BO is dormant nothing is happening not captured by either side.

Rank 1

–          BO is captured and begins to level up using a resource system similar to keeps currently.

–          At this point NPCs  can be created at the bo. These NPCS go out into resources pits or mines and begin collecting resources to level up the bo. (Alternatively players can help in the leveling process) Think RTS resource collecting.

–          After a certain amount of resources are gathered the bo ranks up.

Rank 2

–          Basic Siege weapons become available here

–          Respawn/teleport for controlling available here

–          Produce wood and mining stuff for Skaven Miners

Rank 3

–          A siege workshop is created

–          More advanced siege is available

Rank 4

–          Miners and most advanced siege become available. Workshop upgraded

–          Skaven Miners available

Rank 5

–          Piece of siege tower is available to be built at workshop

–          When all the Bos have been controlled and have produced their piece for a siege tower, that realm is able to build 1 siege tower at their keep. They are able to do this as many times as they like, however they are limited to 2 at any one time.

–          At this point it must be escort across the zone to the other keep

–          During this process they can be sabotage by the opposite realm. Such as killing the trolls pushing/ horses pulling or destroying the wheels. At this point the realm whos siege tower it is will either have to repair the wheels or gather new horses/trolls from the keep to pull the siege tower.

–          The siege tower is extremely hard to destroy however it can be delayed.

How a BO flip works:

Using a flag system similar to what we have now players are able to take control of the other sides bo. However each time a bo is flipped it loses either a rank or a certain amount of resources. All progress on further rank options is halted and possibly lost. (eg. Piece of siege tower is lost) Possibly able to capture or destroy workshop from other realm. This way you can steal the siege tower piece they are creating. Maybe other upgrades can be done through it as well. (Again like an rts)

The opposing realm is then able to use it at its own and upgrade/use it as it pleases.

*Alternatively mounted players could be used to move all siege around.

Conclusion:

There it is I’m sure there are other things that could easily be added to a system like this and improved. These are my ideas. Feel free to use them to improve the Warhammer Campaign.

Hope they help,

Vauleen

EU WAR Transitions

So last week it was announced that GOA would be handing over the EU reigns to Mythic. In a statement posted on the herald the following could be found:

BioWare Mythic is pleased to announce that we will assume operational responsibility for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning European players beginning 7 July 2010.

On Tuesday, 29 June 2010 Mythic will be taking a data stamp of all European account, character and guild information from GOA, for both present and past players. Once this has occurred, all player and guild progression will not be saved for a period of a few days. Please note: While we do not anticipate any issues, please be aware that at any point during this transitional period that we may need to restore character and guild data from the 29 June 2010 data stamp.

When the process has completed, the European Mythic servers will be brought online and will be continually monitored during this transitional period. All game play during this period will be free for existing subscribers and current European subscribers will receive two weeks of free game play beginning 7th July.

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions which can be found in English, French and German.

See you on the battlefields!

I hope that this transition goes well for the EU community. I’m sure that many will be happy to finally have direct access to Mythic, and to feel like they are more of a driving force behind the game. Anyway to our EU brethren, good luck with the transition!

Note: The new servers will be hosted in Germany.

Mythic says bye to Josh Drescher

According to Josh’s twitter account,

“FYI: I can’t get into details (and, in fact, don’t HAVE many more details), but it was a layoff. I wasn’t fired and I still love Mythic.”

So it appears the Josh has been laid off from Mythic. He also goes on to tweet.

“Quick note, then I’m going offline for a while: WAR isn’t dying. The game is better now than ever before and more goodness is on the way.”

So without more details to go on it would appear that Josh’s roll within the company had diminished. It appears that they were no longer in need of his services, nothing more.

With that said, it appears to me that Carrie is going to take the reigns. So I look forward to seeing what Carrie and her team have in store for the game in the upcoming months. As for Josh I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Vulture Lord Touchdown

Last night I was finally able to finish the Tomb of the Vulture Lord (TOVL)  for forever. At least for getting the gear that I needed on Vauleen. Last night after way too long spent on boss 8 he dropped my much needed cloak. With that I have finally completed my LOTD  jewelery and armour sets. I also received a funerary mask. Using my page and 5 funerary masks I was able finally to purchase my 2 hand Land of the Dead Mythic weapon. (It was a great night)

Chosen Cloak

Chosen 2 Hander (Same graphic)

Now that  I have completed TOVL there are very few items gear wise that I need to collect. These items include my LV shoulders, palace weapons, sov scenario weapons,  Blood Lord armour and a couple of the lower level armour sets.  I look forward to collecting these and really completing Vauleen. Here’s looking forward to finishing 🙂

The Underdog System Response

So after writing yesterdays post I logged on today to find a comment regarding what I had said. The following comment has not only got me to thinking it has also inspired me to write a response that was worthy of its own post. So here’s the comment that I received and below it is my response.

“The problem with the underdog system is it still doesn’t help if your faction is outnumbered. If you always face two warbands to your one, or two groups to your one, and so on it doesn’t matter how great the underdog system is you will never be able to flip a zone.

Possibly if the underdog system would speed up the zone dom timers, or remove them completely as an underdog you may have a chance if it would flip if you owned both keeps, and all four bo’s.

Of course it would probably lead to exploiting it so I doubt there is any fix except either a third faction of players, or somehow incorporating a third faction of npc’s like Aion.”

-Wasdstomp

I do see where the poster is coming from. The current system however does already decrease the zone domination timers based on underdog points. Last night we pushed Order to 3 underdog points.

At 3 underdog points the following happens:

– BOs are instantly dominated
– Keeps have a 30 minute domination timer
– You only require 55 VPs to flip the zone
– Campaign pairings lock for 5 hours

So what your saying about speeding up the system for domination is already in place. And they even give you the option of flipping at 55 VP. Let me put it this way, if you control all the objectives in an RvR lake you already have 45 VPs. All that leaves is 10 VPs more to flip. Which you can pick up from PVE (5 VPs), Prior Tier (5 VPs), or Scenarios (25 VPs and tend to hang around 5 – 10 VP on their own all day anyway). looking at what I’ve written above it should not be very hard to push zones for the underdog.

Even at 2 Underdog the following is true:

– BOs have a 10 minute domination timer
– Keeps have a 45 minute domination timer
– You only require 60 VPs to flip the zone
– Campaign pairings lock for 4 hours

Although a little more work then 3 underdog points, the campaign is still much more easily pushed by the losing realm. If you have all the keeps and you cap all the bos in under 15 minutes, the other realm can’t take a BO back to stop the flip. This is because BOs don’t unlock for 15 minutes even though they are dominated in 10 minutes.

Now I do understand that a 3rd faction would be ideal but at this point I don’t ever expect to see one introduced to WAR. So I’ll leave it at that.

Now to address the posters original point. I deat with being the underdog from the start of the game until  September of last year when the numbers appeared to have evened out. Going from the Order zerg on Azazel to the Order zerg on Volkmar  I was always fighting an uphill battle. Now at times it sucked but we still fought back. The one thing this did however was to unify our realm.

Being the underdog takes a different mentality and requires  working with everyone no matter what your opinion of them may be. All the players on our side were battle hardened, and had the ability to play at a higher skill level than the majority of the Order. This was extremely noticeable when you played scenarios while pugging. The higher skill level and organization of the average Destro allowed us to fight off greater numbers and in the end be the first realm to kill the King.(Karl is to my left cowering)

Karl is to my left

Now that said I do understand being outnumbered is a problem but in reality that is always going to be the way things are in an Orvr environment. Whether its 2 realms or 3 there will always be times when 1 realm out numbers the rest. What I do however think would be interesting would be 5 realms. It would require lots of people but it would also give you more fronts to fight on. As well it would require more diplomacy between the realms. But that’s for another day.

In the end I think a lot of what happens in WAR boils down to the mentality of its players. By going into the lakes believing you can’t make a difference you put yourself at a disadvantage. More battles are lost due to a negative perception and low moral than any other factors. Not to say the same can not be said for underestimating an enemy or being overconfident. When a player believes that he or she is going to lose they will undoubtedly lose. Take for example seeing a premade in a scenario when you are pugging. The first thought that crosses most peoples minds is we’re done for. It’s a mentality like that that immediately puts you at a disadvantage.

Now often I find that bad odds can be overcome by using good tactics and communication. By thinking about what you are doing and not running in blindly your odds of winning are significantly increased. By communicating with your group you keep everyone focused and often times they stick together more. Good tactics such as hitting the tail of the zerg when you can’t fight them head on or fighting from the high ground will usually lead to great battles. While often times this will cause you to out kill your opponents and wipe. Sometimes the opposite will happen you will wipe your opponents.

All in all it is difficult to fight especially when out numbered in Orvr. Sometimes it is very hard to compete with the zerg other times the zerg is blinded by freenown and they pay for it. Playing smart and fighting around the zerg is often your best bet and will generally lead to a great RvR experience.  So if your losing in the lakes get into a group and go try a new strategy it just might work.

The Underdog System

The underdog system has some flaws, at least on my server. Currently on Volkmar when I log on from 5 pm est  to 12 pm est. (Yes I sometimes play a lot) Destro is stuck at -2 underdog points the whole time and we are not able to push to Altdorf. I understand that the underdog system was designed to prevent people from constantly pushing the city. However anyone playing during this time frame never gets the chance to attack Altdorf because it is pushed earlier in the afternoon.

This has been going on over a week straight. Unfortunately the order can’t seem to push back enough to remove some of the underdog points. So we are stuck at a constant -2 underdog points stalemate. Destro pushing the zones unable to push to Altdorf and Order unable to push back strong enough in the lakes. Now Destro is still able to flip zones and it appears that are going to try pushing even if that means zone domination or reaching that 70 VP mark.

Although I have been disappointed to not see the city there have been a ton of great Orvr fights lately. It appears that being given 2 underdog points  Order is attempting to go out in the lakes and push the campaign back. For example last night we had a great fight in Praag where about 2-3 groups of us fought off over a warband of Order at the Southern Garrison. (South Keep in Praag) There have also been other great fights such as Reikland the other night. I was out in a 6 man defending Wilhelm’s Keep (North Keep Reikland) where my group, another strong 6 man plus a couple others took out at least 2 warbands of Order and then pushed them them back into their warcamp. Those are only a couple of the highlights of the past week for me.

Now to get to the main point of this post. Although I find the underdog system restrictive and annoying right now, stepping back and looking at the bigger picture I see that it has been working. Destruction is still inspired to flip zones and the Order feel they have a chance to compete because of the lower zone flipping requirements. By forcing Destruction to get 70 VPs to flip, there has been a significant increase in the activity taking place in the lower tiers. Many players have been attempting to squeeze all the available VPs from everything to flip the zones including doing lots of PQs (PVE VPs) and flipping the lower tiers (Prior Tier VPs).

By bringing greater activity into the lower tiers it can only help the game at this point. Activity in the lower tiers can also be a breath of fresh air for people how as constantly playing tier 4.I even noticed last night that one the Tier 3 keeps was being defending by Order trying to prevent Destro from flipping Dragonwake.

It is my hope that with the campaign stalled and the double underdog points we will start to see more Order heading to the lakes. It’s also my hope that at some point the Order will push back in a big way. But until then here’s hoping…