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Archive for the ‘Land of the Dead’ Category

 

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

Aion vs the alternative?

Face it, no game will ever be perfect, although Warhammer came awfully close. Aion could also be that game if it didn’t take so much PVE to get to the point. Our guild has always been full of staunch PVPers. For most of us it is very painful to try to grind through the levels. It is very boring.

sleepy

Several of us are on our last legs in Aion. Khaevil even vowed to never play MMOs again after this experience.

An obvious question: What now? This has caused me to look back at Warhammer. From my previous post you would think we would never, ever go back. But time has changed the game from when we last played it.

The BIGGEST thing that killed Warhammer for me was a lack of people to fight. That rationale is no longer an excuse:

wbgorfang

This screenshot from Gorfang was taken on a Sunday morning, back when we used to think all of the Destruction were in church. My account was still open so I thought I’d check things out. Order on Gorfang is now seriously outnumbered, out-organized and outclassed.

My second point in the aforementioned post is that Land of the Dead forced people to PVE to keep up with everyone else. While this is still true, there is some sad news on the PVE content front:

Mythic has had some pretty massive layoffs in the creative department:

Mythic laid off 80 people today (Nov. 9), which is about 40% of the company and responsible for 90% of the content. According to a friend of mine who left before this happened, they’re putting Warhammer into “maintenance mode.”

I say sad news because I hate to see anyone lose their job. I am not happy they have lost their jobs at all. While some say “maintenance mode” means that the game is dead, Organdonar has a more optimistic outlook:

If they aren’t adding new content then they aren’t fucking up the game.

Yes, this still leaves LOTD in the game, but frankly if we had not played Aion and stayed in Warhammer we might have most of that gear by now and we wouldn’t have wasted our time with so much PVE. With the creative team mostly gone, this means they won’t add more PVE content to the game anytime soon. Then all we have to do is wake up and PVP. Awesome!

Lastly, my third complaint (Mythic was slow on server merges) could be resolved soon. From Massively’s interview with Jeff Skalski:

Q: Would it be better to merge servers again?

A: Yes and no. Merging a server affects a lot of people, and some players rejoice while others get upset about the change. It’s a tough call really. Right now we’re closely watching Dark Crag and Phoenix Throne. Both have passionate players on them, but we wish the populations were higher. With the recent release of 1.3.2 ,we’ll be holding off on any merges until we get a few more weeks of data. Then we can make final, informed decision if needed.

Interesting. Very interesting.

Where does that leave us? I am sending out my recruit-a-friend invites to members as I can (I only get one per day, how lame is that?). With the recruit-a-friend invite we get 10 free days of game time to check it out. (If you are interested in an invite, send me a PM on the forums and I will add you to the list.)

Posted by on November 23rd, 2009 Comments Off

LotDead Shadow Warriors

We thought we’d ruin some Order’s PVE by running in Land of the Dead for a while on Sunday. For such a highly touted expansion, there was hardly anyone there. But when Order gained control, a lowbie zerg of Shadow Warriors leaped off of a cliff we happened to be hiding behind. Most of them ended up at half health, or worse. They were easily dispatched.

Those aren't rocks, they're corpses.

Those aren't all rocks, they're corpses.

Yeah killing a bunch of lowbies wasn’t terribly challenging or brag worthy, but watching renown (albeit very little renown) falling from the skies was pretty entertaining.

Posted by on August 31st, 2009 Comments Off

Lockblocking 101

Fighting over the weekend, especially Saturday, was awesome. Destro really wanted to get into Land of the Dead, but Flags in Space wouldn’t let them! Rumbles at the Battlefield Objectives were pretty good for our tiny server:

middlepraag

Several times we attacked the Destruction in Praag. Most of the time we were repelled by their sheer numbers. This is how fighting should be all of the time. I did take a video of a small fight. I would post more videos but the view from my Archmage is pretty boring.

Sunday we explored Land of the Dead. The officers talked and we discussed how much we want to be chasing gear vs fighting Destruction. Initially we chased gear because we were getting flat-out owned. But now, we seem to do just fine against Destro. We decided that we only want to chase gear when there is no fighting going on (usually early on Saturday/Sunday).

Personally the little I’ve seen of the Tyrant set, I really want it for my Archmage. But the bosses don’t drop the pieces every time /sigh. I really wish Mythic would realize that most people who play this game for PVP do not want to do endless equipment grinds. A few of our members have been running Lost Vale since our very first attempt, and they only need one piece to finish their set.

Posted by on June 29th, 2009 Comments Off

Land of the Dead PQ and boss guides

Just an FYI for all of you running LOTD while Perle works nights this week.

The guide, written by Jistabell on the Warhammer Alliance forums, is comprehensive from both Order and Destruction sides. Hopefully by the time I log in Friday evening, some of the bugs will have been worked out.

If you care about lore for the Tomb Kings (I don’t), then read here. Bestiary and tomb unlocks here, and boss strategies for Tomb of the Vulture Lord here.

Enjoy the PVE while I’m gone for the week.

Posted by on June 24th, 2009 Comments Off