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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

 

Guilds vs single players, who do you please?

Let’s face it, players will stick with a game much longer if they feel like they are part of a community than if they are playing by themselves. Great guilds make a huge difference.

But you can’t go full bore and please the only guilds because then casual players would get left out of the mix. Guilds make people want to log in and play when there are other things they can be doing.

I know this from personal experience and from what other people tell me about Fight on the Flag. When Warhammer first came out we formed a single-group guild and did scenarios all the time. But as we got to know more people, our ranks grew to the point where we could field two groups.

ORVR was awesome with everyone in Ventrilo and assisting our MA. We would only do scenarios when RVR was slow. At the very least, don’t hurt guilds on purpose, and that’s almost what the recent changes feel like.

Earning insignias via RVR was a great idea, but the only viable way to earn them was via scenarios. That simple change to the game has changed the way players view ORVR and I think that’s bad news for guilds, especially those like mine.

Most of the players in FOTF when I asked them this week have said scenarios are actually less fun.

Why?

  1. Collecting scenario currency has made scenarios more of a grind and less fun.
  2. The fact that it does not matter if you win or lose the scenario encourages AFK players, which in turn demoralizes the rest of us who care.
  3. Queueing solo means you can get more crests per hour than if you queue as a group. There is a disincentive for grouping with a friend or friends.
  4. Because of the grind, people do not want to ORVR anymore, and those who love ORVR are sad pandas :( We love ORVR if you couldn’t tell.

I think the situation can be fixed, if they would only make the insignias obtained from scenarios drop in ORVR as well (possibly at a 1:5 ratio to crests).

(more…)

Posted by on April 18th, 2010 1 Comment

Solo scenario healer haters unite!

I really don’t know why it bothers me so much, but whenever I see a solo healer in scenarios it makes my blood boil.

Let’s face it, there’s only one real reason to go solo in scenarios: to leech renown. I’ve only gone solo only a few times in scenarios. Most of the time it was because another group left mine and I was alone. But my God, when I do solo, it’s very easy to see why many are tempted.

The guy with the blanked name was solo the entire time (though we mocked him in vent for his failures at healing and gaining renown):

solohealer

Despite the above screenshot showing the aforementioned healer getting terrible renown, the amount of renown gain for solo healing is probably why the issue is so polarized. You can find many many threads on the forums of people complaining about solo healers soaking up the renown. I’ve seen solo healers getting 13,000 renown in a scenario (of respectable realm rank) while my team gets a pretty high amount, 3,000 to 5,000.

(As a side note: I think Mythic was actually rather forward thinking in choosing to award renown for healing people. In DAOC it used to be you got no renown for heals, but you got a sizable amount of renown for ressing someone after a fight. Many healers would watch someone die only to res them to get the reward.)

So when the healer (shown above in the screenshot) said in alliance chat “Ding RR 70!” everyone was quick to say grats. Everyone but me, because I couldn’t not say something anymore. I had to do it. I said something to the effect of “Grats on 70, solo scenario healer!” One guy said “Grats rescinded.”

solohaters

I cannot think of one non-selfish reason one should consistently go solo in scenarios on purpose as a healer. The aforementioned solo healer was saying he was a great solo healer and it would be pointless for him to be in a group because he was not group heal specced. Another person sent me a tell in his defense because the guy was trying to get to 70 to be fully warded for king. Fair enough. Maybe we won’t see him solo healing anymore but somehow I doubt it.

I have a few reasons why solo healers should consider grouping instead of going solo:

  • Guard
  • Buffs/chants/auras
  • Teammates being able to protect you better because you’re in the group
  • Getting heals from other people
  • Other people not hating you because you’re a freaking LEECH and we will wish they could tell Destro to kill you so they can enjoy the sweet, sweet Schadenfreude

I don’t think anything should be done about solo scenario healers, however. It’s always nice to see who the selfish players are for future reference.

Posted by on March 21st, 2010 Comments Off

Cleanup aisle five!

First off, happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Destro wanted to give us a hug today so we decided to give back in spades. FOTF and Obliteration’s morning crew rolled the few Destro that were in Altdorf this morning. It was incredibly coordinated. Bright Wizards were grouping up as if they had a hive mind.

Cleanup, aisle 5!

Cleanup, aisle 5!

It’s too bad we didn’t have better attackers. I would’ve loved to have seen what our organized group could have done against organized Arsenal. We have faced them before, and whenever they lose resoundingly they tend to leave to find easier pickings. At least we know we can put up a good fight.

Order also downed the King at a fairly reasonable time Saturday night. I was so hyped up afterward that I could hardly sleep. Andora, our SM, got his final piece of Warlord gear and will be able to tank the king as soon as he gets one renown rank. Woot!

Now, in a completely unrelated rant, please inspect the following two screenshots:

BFPrenown

MawRenown

See the difference? In both screens, I took a screenshot of the moment the zone was taken by Order. However, in the top version, I only got 192 renown for taking Praag, even though I had been there for both keep takes and a number of Battle Objectives (see above: I had just helped take Armory when the Scenario popped for us). It appears that after joining BFP that I had the idle hands debuff (seven seconds left before scen starts, see ss). This reduces the renown you can earn.

In the second one I was in the Maw when Chaos Wastes flipped. You will notice I got a ton of renown. So in short, there is no incentive to take a scenario when you stand to gain so much from having taken BOs and keeps earlier in the day. This is really something that Mythic ought to fix. ~13,000 renown vs ~200 rewnown? There is really no choice there.

I’ll take the larger figure, please.

Posted by on February 14th, 2010 3 Comments

FOR THE SWARM!

Just wanted to share some screenshots of the Order zerg that I took Saturday night. I am fairly certain more than 200 Order were swarming zones and taking keeps.

ozergthumb

Here are more pics from the same location of more Order flowing into the Manor.

By the way, Saturday was the worst night I’ve had in gaming in a very long time. We had double overdog points (I guess that’s what we call them) meaning that Order had attacked Inevitable City twice within 24 hours. That means it takes much longer to cap zones. We couldn’t get enough Victory Points to cap either. Sometimes we were sitting at 105% of required VP and because of the underdog mechanic we couldn’t cap. I hope this was a big reminder to Order to keep those in mind when we schedule a city push.

Long story short, we started at about 8 p.m. Pacific and didn’t get to the city until midnight (major sorrow for the Eastern timezone people). I wanted to stab myself in the face with a screwdriver. We had a good fight at the entrance to Maw. Then in the city my warband just happened to get the one with the halfway decent Destro in it. I was soo tired. Unfortunately we had a lot of random PUGs in the scenario with us. Eventually they left to make way for Irony, but the damage was done.

Fortunately we managed to take the city during the Super Bowl and down the king. Unfortunately for us those of our guildies who watch football socially did not get to join us :( At least it’s one step closer to getting full Warlord for Andora, who will be able to tank the king for us during our future FOTF king runs!

Posted by on February 8th, 2010 3 Comments

A TOVL rant: Why don’t they fix this?

For the longest time FOTF has avoided doing TOVL. There are many reasons, one of which is that PVE content tends to be buggy and we are too lazy to figure out the strats. We decided to start doing TOVL last weekend because the gear is too good to pass up. Our theory is that,  in the time it takes us to do Lost Vale, we can get really nice other loot, including talismans, cartouches and warlord-equivalent stats gear.

Last weekend we downed the first two bosses fairly easily (not bad for the first time in several months). On the third boss we wiped and five of us released. We asked for the sixth to release and when he did, the gates remained closed as if the boss were still in combat. We sent in a stuck appeal and we got no response. Destro owned the zone so we couldn’t just reset. Frustrated, most of us logged for the day.

This morning, we planned to wake up early and do TOVL. We wiped on the first boss and five of us released. The sixth released and yet again the gate was closed (maybe this is a trend?).

TOVLsucks

(Perle is on the flag, there are six people. Notice the door is closed?)

Again I sent in a stuck appeal and again we got bored after waiting for 30 minutes and getting no response. Finally about 30 minutes after we left the dungeon we got an automated message that they were “looking at the problem.” Pshaw!

Both days the bug prevented us from progressing further. Both days our time was wasted and we become more disenchanted with the game.

Maybe the solution is to release at the same time so we don’t get the bug? I really don’t know. Once everyone is dead the doors should open and that should be that. If someone knows the answer to this please let me know.

I guess this goes to show we will never be done fighting doors.

Posted by on January 23rd, 2010 2 Comments

The Underdog’s Lament

In every game the members of FOTF play, no matter what realm or race, we notice similar things about the underdog side.

The unending complaints and excuses for why they are not winning bind them all together.

First, blame the other side for:

  • Hacking
  • Cheating
  • Using cheap tactics and/or OP classes
  • Alarm clock raids to avoid a fight
  • Cross realming
  • (This is contrasted with our side’s desire to play legit and get a good night’s rest)

Second, dehumanize the other side because:

  • They are in school and have nothing better to do than play a video game during their ample free time
  • They have no social lives and/or live with their parents
  • They don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse or are too fat to get one
  • They don’t have a job or are on unemployment
  • They have cancer or some other terminal disease that allows them to play so much
  • (This is contrasted with our side’s ability to get jobs, have social lives and families, and we also don’t live with our parents, have good hygiene and work out)

Finally, criticize your own side, shift blame and minimize the helpful things that could cause you to perform better

  • It’s everyone else’s fault but yours
  • Class balance favors the other side
  • Developers don’t play our side so the other side is OP
  • The uber guild won’t let us join their warbands, therefore we can’t work together to win
  • Perle is a big meanie and won’t let us join her warband because we don’t use Vent. Vent doesn’t really help anyway (actual conversation during a city defense):

citytalk

Do you know of other excuses people use for why the underdogs lose? Feel free to post them below and I’ll add them to the list!

Posted by on December 23rd, 2009 1 Comment

No mercy for the straggling Order!

To kick off this post, I wanted to share a screenshot of the text message after Order kicks Destro out of Altdorf:

nomercy

(Just in case you cannot read the text in the picture, “Altdorf stands strong! The city is Recovering. No mercy for the straggling Order.”)

For those who haven’t surfed the forums relentlessly, Istaflyiii on Gorfang discovered a bug that basically hands Destruction the keys to Altdorf three times a day. By just respirating oxygen into carbon dioxide, Destruction can flip zones and get to Altdorf.

And order can do nothing about it. In fact, if Order tries to do something, it actually works in Destruction’s favor.

Wow. What a disincentive for RVR if you have any shred of realm pride. Fortunately, Mythic says they are working on the bug, though the timeline for a fix is sketchy at best.

One player on Gorfang wanted to try to quantify the gear and renown haul due to the VP bug, and Destro of course, say it’s not a big deal (though there are the few who are calling attention to this).

Case in point: Cald noticed that Order owned one keep in Thunder Mountain. We claimed it, noticed we had about six people and called in T4 channel for help. Anyone who wanted to defend with Ventrilo could join our warband and we could try to prevent Destro from taking the keep.

I wish I had taken screenshots of what some said to me (and I would blur the names to prevent too much humiliation). I got several tells from people saying “Don’t defend it only flips to the city faster” who were actually ANGRY at me trying to defend our lands!

Of course I didn’t listen, and we led about three groups from TM to KV to try to defend. It was all in vain. We were up against 5 warbands at one point (90 on the keep and another warband defending BOs).

tunnelvision

Morale on Order side is very low. Let’s hope they fix this bug soon.

Posted by on December 7th, 2009 Comments Off

An open letter to Mythic: Why we quit

I canceled my Warhammer account last night and was asked to provide feedback at the end of a short survey. Here is what I wrote. I have removed my personal contact information from the letter. My comments about the letter will be in brackets and italics.

Dear Mythic,

My guild, Fight on the Flag, enjoyed your game for a long time. Unfortunately, we left because felt we could no longer have fun in your game because of a number of factors:

1. Unbalanced server populations make lopsided battles no fun for either side.

My guild initially rolled Order/Gorfang because we sought a challenge. We preferred to be the underdogs and thought Order would lead us to good times — and it did, at first. But then Destro, for whatever reason (insert crying about BW bombers), felt they could not compete and stopped showing up to fight. Scenario queues were terrible for the overpopulated side, and sometimes several queues would pop and nobody would show up to anything. Sever merges only exacerbated the problem because, while you added more players to the server, the gap between the two factions remained as large, and possibly grew.

2. You tried to cater to too many player bases (PVE vs. PVP) and therefore failed to entrance either of them. [I should have listed this as number one, because frankly LOTD was a horrible failure.]

When FOTF started playing Warhammer and realized the potential of this game, we thought back to our DAOC days (as Legacy of Storms on Alb/Bedevere) and became afraid. We seriously considered starting a letter-writing campaign to Mark Jacobs begging him not to introduce a Trials of Atlantis type expansion. “But no,” we thought, “they wouldn’t do that again. TOA was a disaster.” How wrong we were. The second I heard of Land of the Dead, I thought “Oh crap, not again.” Everyone I knew from DAOC who had participated in TOA hated the idea, yet they remained cautiously optimistic because you marketed it as a “Darkness Falls” type dungeon.

Warhammer was marketed as a RVR game, like DAOC. Yet in DAOC the gear requirement to PVP (pre TOA) was never an issue. You get max crafting skills, spellcraft your MP armor and you were ready to PVP. You didn’t have to deal with bugged instances, terrible itemization and unlucky drop rates. But in Warhammer, someone decided that you had to cater to the PVE player base and add instances to get your gear. This was a HUGE mistake for anyone who loved Warhammer for the PVP. For my guild, PVE was something we dreaded but tolerated because we wanted to make sure that we remained competitive with the other side. Warhammer PVE was a time vampire that sucked away what little time I had to play with my guild on the weekend.

3. You were slow on server merges, leaving hopeful yet despondent players to languish on dead servers or consider rerolling.

I had written to you before to merge Gorfang with another server because the Destruction side sorely needed help. Unfortunately, my guild rerolled on Phoenix Throne before you merged servers. By the time the Gorfang server merge happened, if we were not already 50 we were well on our way on PT. In any case, players had asked for weeks if not a month or more for the server to get merged. We all knew what was wrong (I even crafted a video, just search for Doorhammer on Youtube).

Aion was the nail in the coffin because so many players left Warhammer for it (and honestly some of us hate that game so far because the grind is so oppressive, but we can’t come back to Warhammer because there is nothing to come back to). [It's a bit like that hot chick that dates complete jerks, but she would rather be dating a jerk than nobody at all. Neither solution (Warhammer or Aion) is best, but Warhammer burned us most recently so we're kinda leery about that option.]

I don’t want this to be too long. I would be surprised if anyone reads this anyway. But you had a good game going, it’s too bad you didn’t listen to your veteran DAOC players.

Sincerely,

Perle, GM of Fight on the Flag
www.fightontheflag.com

PS. We will never forget the fun times we had in Warhammer. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, as DAOC still does. The time we killed two full warbands with our six-man BW bomb group was priceless. I only wish I had been running Fraps at the time. (And yeah, tone down AE next time you make a game, or players like us will use it to our full advantage.)

I am not saying Warhammer is dead. I hear there is still action, but not the fights we had before on Phoenix Throne. If you have evidence to the contrary, however, please post a comment. A recent patch has revitalized the Destruction side from what I hear (marauders got serious buffs).

By the way, anyone who would say BW are/were OP and that Destro couldn’t do what Order did, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We rerolled on Phoenix Throne and regularly ran successful bomb squads (though our gear was a bit worse, we still won many fights against top-rank guilds).

Posted by on November 2nd, 2009 1 Comment

Soo, eta on that Aion exp boost patch?

I agree with much of Massively’s write up about Aion’s first month.

Yes, the PVE is boring. It’s so boring that one of our most patient guildies in the world (i.e. Mr. “You need to suck it up and grind, quests are a waste of time.”) has all but quit the game.

Grind

The only reason I personally haven’t given it up yet is I see the potential (and I have a bunch of wicked cool guildies to suffer through this PVE grind with).

Does anyone know when that experience boost patch will be in? Some guildies say since we are months behind Asia in patch cycles, we will be waiting quite a while. I hope they fix the experience grind issue sooner rather than later.

Read the parts of Massively’s write up that I agree with:

It was still a shock to many Westerners to only get half their level from quest XP and the rest from setting up camp and killing the same beasties over and over again for the remainder. Again though, NCsoft has been listening to player concerns and the latest patch notes indicate a massive quest XP boost coming soon.

It’s not that I’m adverse to putting in effort to get something, but Aion‘s grind just seems like unnecessary punishment. I realize it’s a PvPvE game, but I’m just astonished that they gate the PvP with 25 levels of bland PvE.

Posted by on October 26th, 2009 Comments Off

The fuss about Aion

With Phoenix Throne having little RVR as of late, and roughly 600 players who had committed to playing Aion, Fight on the Flag figured we’d see what the fuss is all about.

Aion is a beautiful game and the flight mechanic is awesome … or so I am told. I truly wouldn’t know much about anything past level 11 because I’ve literally only been able to log in for a total of 53 minutes of game time.

I started out fairly patient. Game launches are usually rocky in some way or another. But as my queues grew during the week (I live in the Seattle area and my guild is East Coast), I grew more and more frustrated. Thursday was the last straw for me. I’ve lost any shred of patience I thought I had. I had just spent 2+ hours in the queue, and when I literally had less than a minute to go to get into the game, I crashed. You can tell how upset I was by my exorbitant use of exclamation points.

Many blame the queue times on the AFK shops.

AFKshop

Since last Sunday, when the head start began for this game, I’ve spent a total of 15 hours in queues (yes I kept track). There are a number of bloggers who speak to the issue of solving queue times much more eloquently than I.

Bringer of Ouchies suggests a move from the EA Mythic playbook:

The perfect solution to this involves looking into how EAMythic handled it. They took the servers that were struggling with queue times and cloned them. Creating copies of everything, allowing people to choose between two servers that had identical copies of their characters. This allowed many to make a switch to a lesser populated server in order to enjoy the game.

Fortunately it appears NCSoft is making small steps to alleviate the queue. They patched this morning to allow AFK shops for only 30 minutes at a time. The writer of the ForTheLore blog appears to have mixed feelings about this.

Me? I say it’s a Bandaid on a flesh wound. I agree with both ForTheLore and with Bringer of Ourchies: More servers (other than the two that are planned) are necessary.

In other news, we created a guild. Unfortunately, the game is cutting off the last letter of our name:

Fla

Here’s to hoping that the queue times are going to get better.

Posted by on September 25th, 2009 Comments Off