Archive for April 20th, 2010

 

Top five problems WAR needs to solve

Warhammer is a decent game or I wouldn’t be playing it. But if a viable alternative were out there I’d probably jump ship. It actually pains me to write that. It was a hard decision to leave Warhammer for Aion last year (Aion’s mindless grind made it so easy to return). And if you want to avoid elitist jerks in Warcraft this is the game for you.

I wanted to include a top five list of things to improve because I do want Warhammer to continue to be an enjoyable game.

1. Population balance

praagzerg

To see corresponding Order zerg pics, click here.

The bane of every PVP MMO seems to be population balance and Warhammer is no different. It seems every other month is feast or famine in this game. We switched factions a couple of times to Destruction to allow our server to recover from the effects of too many Order.

Population problems have been around for a long time. DAOC had problems but DAOC also had three factions. If one faction was doing badly the other two usually showed them some mercy (after taking their relics of course). If another faction was doing really well, the two underdogs ganged up on them.

I think the easiest solution to this one is to add a third faction. I bet devs are really tired of hearing this. But I really think it could a) revitalize the game and create more excitement b) help the underdogs gang up on the overdog (for lack of a better word) and c) (most importantly) bring in new players.

The problem with this is how do you redo the rest of the zones? That’s a hard one. It would probably have to be some sort of underground race so they wouldn’t have to redo the surface zones. It would be a lot of new content to create if they wanted to make it as rich as the other campaigns. I also don’t think it would realistically happen.

2. Game performance

Warhammer is not the most stable game out there. Every night at least one guildie crashes — and it’s not because their computer or their ISP sucks. I can run Guild Wars all day long and never crash. Warhammer, on the other hand, is a different story. I recently built a new machine that has more than respectable components. It should run Warhammer with ease. Yet I have the same problems that most of my friends are having. I get about 10-15 frames per second at any one time. I can have settings at “fastest framerate” or “oooh shiny” and it doesn’t make a difference and I have no idea why.

Game performance is a huge issue, especially with the upcoming city sieges. If you crash to desktop in the new city siege, you automatically get lockouts for the city encounter.

3. Rewards for RVR should be a choice and not a problem

If you are unfamiliar with the principle of game design regarding choices and problems, please watch this fun video. But if you don’t have seven minutes, here’s the gist using the example of the recent scenario changes where you earn an insignia upon completion of the scenario.

You can get insignias from winning a city PQ or by taking a keep, but by far the easiest way to get insignias is by doing scenarios. It is not a choice for players to do scenarios. If you want your weapon before 2012, you need to do scenarios. I think this is a perfect example of problem vs choice.

Is the goal of the game designers to remove players from the ORVR lakes? It sure seems like it.

4-5. If we MUST PVE to get better gear, make it less frustrating

This will count as two items because it deals with PVE.

- Buggy PVE encounters

I can’t think of anything more frustrating in a PVP game other than being forced to PVE. Oh wait, I can. Being forced to PVE in a game that has buggy PVE encounters (see earlier post: A TOVL Rant: Why don’t they fix this?).

It seems the best way Mythic has addressed this problem in the past is by removing the content altogether. We all remember fortress encounters, which were so buggy that it was nigh impossible to win (or or allowed you to win, see post of Destro’s first Altdorf siege here, which was assisted by a bugged Reikwald fort lord that warped to the bottom where they easily killed him).

Do they read bug reports? I submit one every time. Do they have time to fix them? I would guess not.

- Remove luck from the equation

I cannot remember where I read this but I think I heard that the devs are going to include a system where if you have the ward for a piece of equipment then you can actually buy the piece (someone in the know please correct me if I am wrong). That would be awesome, especially if they did it for every encounter.

Anyone who has been to the Tomb of the Vulture Lord knows that the loot drops are amazing and the drop rate is abysmal. We have gone through entire clears without seeing a single piece of Tyrant gear drop. Other guilds who have been doing this much longer than Fight on the Flag can tell you they’ve never seen a breastplate drop, or have seen multiple back pieces drop for classes not in attendance. This is sooo frustrating for players! Spending five hours in a dungeon to get nothing for anyone in the group is not fun. Yet the gear is so good we can’t not try.

So there’s my list. Please let me know what you think and if you would add or remove anything.

Posted by on April 20th, 2010 3 Comments