Archive for December, 2008

Chivalry Is Voluntary

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 by Frankie

Thats right, folks! As much as Mythic has presented us with a nearly-perfect game, the MMO community of today will always find an easier way. Always take a short-cut. As much as Mythic has set the scene for epic battles of Generals and Heroes and Victory and Defeat, they cannot force us to follow their lead.

MMO’ers of today avoid glory and honor and chivalry in the pursuit of greed and selfishness and “progression”. Warhammer is FUN, but people don’t play Warhammer. They twist and warp it into something different. Warhammer is Glorious. Warhammer is Honorable. Warhammer is Chivalrous. The players on the other hand, are not.

A developer could create a flawless game, but can never force the players to play it. An endless web of checks, balances and counters must be implemented to steer players towards the intended goal. Glory must be forced by elimination of other options… but then, is it still Glory? Is a result still honorable if its preceding actions are motivated purely by selfishness?

Must these days truly be lost to us? I remember the days where I would step up alongside my guild leader in defense of my guild-mates under unlikely odds, scoffing at the probable loss of such petty things as ‘loot’ and ‘gold’. The outcome was a raging battle, always honorable, and occasionally resulting in glorious victory. I could charge headlong into the most unlikely of circumstances, knowing without turning that every single one of my friends would be on my heels. Even with more steep death-penalties than the gamers of today could grasp, we would do this.

These were the days when one sooner identified the cloak than the player.

Are such concepts now out of reach?

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Tankin’ Tuesdays On Hold

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 by Frankie

Until further notice. I apologize to those of you who were waiting on this one. I had some personal issues arise and haven’t found the time to thoughtfully and skillfully write an informative write-up. Most likely, they will resume on January 6. I will still be writing regularly, just not the analysis I promised. I’ll throw out some tanking tid-bits when I get the opportunity to entertain those of you who only come for that.

So keep coming around, and I will keep writing. Just don’t expect any Tankin’ Tuesday posts until next week at the earliest!

Endgame: A Delay To The End

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 by Frankie

A thought came to me this morning…

What separates modern pay-to-play MMOs from the free ones of the past?

What I mean is, free MMOs are often centered around an endless grind of 150 levels. Games like Helbreath, Dragon Raja and Knight Online had the most ridiculous grinds only to be followed up by further grinds. Yet they were fun. Every tradeskill and combat skill was a grind. Yet we loved it.

The new MMOs are full of people RUSHING to the end of the game, only to demand more delay to the end of the game (dungeons, loot etc). And god forbid your level cap be something that takes longer than a week for the ‘hardcore’ to attain… players will unsubscribe in the thousands! Yet these free MMOs have held such loyal followings in their time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a proponent of endless grinds of great bore, but we now fail to capture what once was. Once, these things were fun.

While WAR may have 40 levels, Helbreath would have 150. Surely I am not entertained by the 40 levels of WAR, despite Mythic’s best efforts. And the levels of Helbreath were even longer. The levels of Dragon Raja numbered as high as 500. There was also a very large ‘carrot’ at almost every level. Be it major advancements on current skills, brand new skills, stat points to distribute as you see fit… More importantly, appearance enhancements: To reach level 80 meant pure gold armor. To reach 100 meant wings on your helmet. 120 was a black-bladed “Knight” weapon. People looked up to, respected, and admired such traits. Why? Who knows! Why not now…

Perhaps we just game in a different age. Or maybe new MMOs have ruined us all, and gear is no longer anything to be admired and strived for; just another speed bump to be spat on in our rush to finish so we may once more cry “MORE ENDGAME!”.

The Epic Journey To Individuality

Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2008 by Frankie

Merry Christmas. I know I am waaay late, but I honestly hate Christmas for reasons you all probably dont care about.

Anyways, on to WAR!!

I have spent a great deal of time trying to track down a NPC I will not identify, in a zone I will not name, near a frozen lake I will not… errr… I’m trying to find a title! One that is very difficult to come across, from a NPC that rarely spawns and then automatically despawns, in a very strange and awkward-to-reach location.

I was thinking this morning (while at work. I work the day after Christmas) about what an incredible amount of time and effort (and money) people put in to looking unique.

People spend hundreds of gold on dyes. I heard somoene on Dark Crag paid over 500g for ONE black dye. I know I personally have spent probably 100g on dying my items, and endless hours looking for a shoulderguard for my Rune Priest that fit my style at the cost of stats!! I even have on occasion gotten angry when spotting someone who used my Rune Priest’s color scheme! I mean, I was the first, he has no ri-

Okay, I protective of my schemes sometimes. Luckily, every Swordmaster in the universe keeps their black and red colors on set pieces, or goes with all white. Individuality incoming!

And now here I am, spending hours and planning my lunch hours around checking this spawn, just for a title that most people will not even notice!

Whats the furthest you’ve gone in a MMO for the sake of individuality?

A Poem For Mark Jacobs

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 by Frankie

I’m down on my knees
Begging you please
Let us keep the xp’s!

Thats all I got! That is my epic-fail of an attempt to join Syp and Bildo in asking Mythic to make the experience bonus PERMANENT! A week ago, I was on the verge of headed to WoW… though I didn’t really tell anyone that my feelings were that extreme. But this bonus experience (especially while I’m so busy I can barely play WAR) is really helping me push along in what feels like a most miserable existence.

My thoughts on how long it should take in T3 and T4: The same as T2! In Tier 2, I had fun in scenarios, and I could drag it out for weeks in Mourkain Temple, or blow through it in a few days if I got bored. Perfect! It wasn’t too much, wasn’t too little. It was just right.

I rolled a Swordmaster because I, like many, initially made a class that wasn’t what I hoped (Rune Priest). Or it just didnt feel quite right. You don’t like your career, but the grind to 40 on a new one is just horrible. So you stick to a class you don’t like, preferring to try to find a niche than reroll. Eventually your unhappiness overwhelms you… but the longer you wait to reroll, the less likely you are to do it. So you just quit.

The leveling content is only fun once (to me). It wasn’t so bad the first time because I was with the curve and we were experiencing new things together. But now my friends are 40, and I want to join them… or the urge to join CoW on their server… but to play for months of boredom and misery to finally have the fun?

Meh.

The fundamental flaw of leveling in WAR is that if you don’t like your class, thats it. You’re sutck with it. In WoW, people dont mind their class because every class can be warped into something completely different via talent points. In WAR, you are what you are, and trying to be something else by way of mastery will only result in you being mediocre.

Take something from WoW: Boosting experience gains will slowly become more and more important as the average level nears 40 and the people bore of your early content.

[Tankin’] Swordmaster

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 by Frankie

Huge wall of text. You have been warned.
Avoid like the plague if you don’t like theories and breakdowns, or have a very solid understanding of how to RvR on your tank.

This post will review the Swordmaster’s basic concepts and strategies in 1 vs 1 RvR. I will be focusing on Improved & Perfect Balance attacks. I rewrote this entire post half way through, my apologies for being late!

The Swordmaster: The Duelist of Warhammer Online. The Introvert of Tanks. The Most Capable Small-Scale Killer. One of the few classes capable of outplaying any opponent in the game.

I currently have a Swordmaster focused on the Path of Hoeth. If I were 40, I would begin working into Khaine for Balanced Accuracy.

Why Hoeth?

Spirit Damage: Simply put, you can debuff it with a Hoeth-based attack. And your Ensorcelled Blow has a DoT tactic, which I am a huge fan of.

Whispering Winds: The biggest, most obvious draw to the Hoeth line is among the best silences in the game. Whispering Winds (WW) not only silences for 5 seconds, and more importantly INTERRUPTS any spell in progress.  Some would tell you to hit your silence right away in hopes that it becomes available again later, but this is quite situational.

Wrath of Hoeth: As I will discuss below, Wrath of Hoeth can become critical to defeating some opponents and even trivialize others. With points in the tree, Wrath of Hoeth can reduce the Spiritual Resistance (primary damage of Hoeth) of anyone in the area by over 300! Many people say this ability is a waste in a Swordmaster’s rotation, but I say that it is equal to if not better than the armor reductions of an Ironbreaker! I will get into details of how this fits a strategy, below.

Aethyric Armor: 30 minute buff on zero cooldown. Adds a hefty chunk of armor as well as (more importantly) 5% disrupt.

To sum it up, I feel the Swordmaster can inherently defeat many opponents regardless of mastery, and thus must set up mastery points to conquer those he is weakest against…

Initial Thoughts

Shield: Always use one. If you aren’t, youre foolish. Warhammer has given tanks the wonderful ability to block almost all incoming attacks. The damage mitigation of a shield is unreal, and the ability to possibly avoid controlling effects is critical.

Gear: As Swordmaster is a preventative class, I focus somewhat on Strength. I prefer to lean on my ability to parry/block/disrupt better than other classes.

Perfect Balance: Dragon’s Talon cannot critically hit an opponent. While it is more damage, this fact makes it less effective against healing classes than Blurring Shock. Chain blurring shock if preventing damage is a non-factor, regardless of how long is left on its previously applied debuff effect.

Unstoppable Juggernaut Tactic: Many opponents’ snares controlling effects are on a 20 second cooldown. If my memory serves me right, both the Sorceress and Squig Herder snare are on 20-second cooldowns (though your first Juggernaut on a sorceress will be the disarm).  Unstoppable Juggernaut reduces Juggernaut from 1 minute to 20 seconds. It is also useful for fighting opponents back-to-back.

Opponent Breakdown

Prepare Your Opponent – This is in reference to setting up debuffs on your target that increase damage taken from other effects. The following strategies are quite basic and can be improved upon. See note at the bottom after reading.

Disciple of Khaine:  An disciple has the ability to heal from his weapon swings, as well as using a handfull of heal-over-time abilities. There is one weapon buff which you should concern yourself with: Celerity – chance on hit to slow you down. You CAN silence a DoK but it is far less effective than against many other classes. Your first perfect should be Whispering Winds to silence in order to delay the starting of those HoT abilities as long as possible. Hold down the DoK with Quick Incision and Dragon’s Talon. Prepare your opponent with Wrath of Hoeth (spirit debuff) and Blurring Shock (more damage on crit). This will allow you to deal enough damage to penetrate the initial wall of heal-over-time (HoT). After your opponent is such prepared, focus on Eagle’s Flight (+25% parry) for your improved balance to avoid those healing swings. Alternate your Perfect’s between Dragon’s Talon and Blurring Shock. You are racing against the clock. Keep up Quick Incision at all times for their slowing aura lest you give them the ability to run away and heal.

Witch Elf: Their key abilities are On Your Knees! which is a knockdown, and the ability to disarm. Also beware the opening from stealth: When a Witch Elf first attacks you, stand still. If you are moving, their debuff will inflict damage every half second. I believe this effect lasts 10 seconds. Juggernaut to be used on Disarm! Also, never let a Witch Elf see your back. Not only can you no longer block or parry from behind, but she ignores your armor when behind you (typically). Eagle’s flight and Dragon Talon are key abilities here. You are reducing the witch elf’s intial damage as much as possible. The Witch Elf has no slowing effect but does have a knockdown… so while quick incision is key for slowing them and keeping them in front of you, Eagles Flight is equally important.

Marauder: As far as I can tell, nothing special here. Keep up Eagle’s flight. Quick Incision is secondary as they have no way to slow you. They DO however have a sprint ability as well as their Flee! core ability, so they can get away from you in a hurry if you take the upper hand and they realize it. I tend to use quick incision once I have sealed my victory and feel they will soon realize this. They have a debuff that can add a cast time to your attacks, but I do believe it can be blocked and possibly even parried. If you’re losing to Marauders consistently, I really am not sure what to tell you.

Shaman/Zealot: All about preparing your opponent. A good Shaman/Zealot will pre-heal. He will begin healing before it is necessary in an attempt to never allow a killing-silence. Generally it is still not enough and you will begin to outdamage it if you have Prepared Your Opponent. I would silence early here as it is a race against the morale bar. Use Intimidating blow as often as possible to keep them below that Rank 1 morale. Allowing a Rank 1 morale is a 1800 instant heal that ignores silence. If they can survive to this point once, they can do it again (especially since your AP bar will be empty). It is critical that you prevent the R1 morale as long as possible. Chain Blurring Shock (Since Dragon Talon cannot crit).

Sorceress: You’ll get sick of hearing it, but they’re a race against the clock. Use Hold The Line to close the gap with a sorceress. Do NOT Juggernaut out of the snare. They have the ability to disarm which you MUST be able to use Juggernaut on. Quick Incision first to keep the sorc close, followed by a silence to delay DoTs and hopefully snare. Use Silence as often as you possibly can. Use Hold The Line at all times while snared and while catching back up to the Sorceress to mitigate damage. After surviving the first snare, you are then free to use Wrath of Hoeth to prepare the target. Its all about damage, and WoH while specced Hoeth is a huge boost! That is about all there is to the sorceress… Juggernaut disarm. Hold The Line any time you’re out of range. Slowing the sorceress is critical. My fights typically go: Hold the line, Quick Incision, Whispering winds (silence). WoH, Blurring Shock (to stack up damage), Quick incision again to brace for a snare and blurring shock again for criticals.

Squig Herder: They have one important snare and I believe one knockback. Their one snare looks like slime and is the only reason you’ll need Juggernaut. These are typically an easy fight. Hold The Line to close the distance, make sure Quick Incision is always up so they cannot escape after a knockback. Juggernaut the snare. I am told that their melee swing is doing ridiculous amounts after the patch, so I suppose you could rotate Eagle’s Flight, but QI always takes priority #1.

Magus: LOL. Silence early and often. Can’t say much else.

Tanks: Simple. Lean on your strengths. You are a master of damage-avoidance which puts you head and shoulders above other tanks. Put it into practice! Your damage is spirit and you have the ability to debuff it, which is likewise huge.

 

I hope this helps you, and if you have any other questions or want me to go into further detail on a class, just ask. I went over a brief and VERY basic strategy for each class but in reality, there are MANY adjustmets you can make to these according to how they react to you. If there is a big enough demand for how to combat a certain class, I would be more than happy to dedicate a post strictly to strategies against that class.

Altdorf Invaded: Order Rallies, Destruction Cowers

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 by Frankie

Where to begin…

Destruction of Dark Crag invaded Altdorf this weekend. To the surprise of many, Order rallied to defend! At the opening of an invasion, PQ instances begin to open that hold well over 1 warband of players on each side. If there are enough, multiple open. Order rallied and repeatedly destroyed the destruction in the PQ instance “Altdorf 3811”. After about two hours, the destruction started to disappear and none more came in.

I figured they were either giving up or some bug was kicking them out…

WRONG! There were at least 30 destruction waiting outside the gates of altdorf waiting, all of whom were queueing ONLY the instance of Altdorf that had too few Order. The destroids who were in our game had logged out and back in queueing for another one that didn’t have enough order in it (full destruction vs roughly 4 order). Apparently that is the only way to not get instantly put back in to your original game. I have never been so disgusted with the cowardice of a population in my life. So the destruction farmed their empty instance for hours until an unexpected server reset.

Would you REALLY rather wait in a 3 hour queue for a rare shot at easy loot than instantly fight for honor and glory and pride?!  You know who you are, and YOU MAKE ME SICK! Farm your loot. Take it all. I don’t care. Make your excuses about tanking kings and wards and all that other crap. I’ve heard that for months. Face it, its all about the loot, and when you have the gear to tank, it’ll be about getting more loot for something else or a new character. GREED I say.

Mythic, this epic fail falls on you too. If an instance is outnumbered 20:1, CLOSE IT. Force them to enter an instance with a fight.

Anyway, Order gathered up to attempt multiple fortress assaults at at least 3 different poitns over the weekend (that I participated in), and every single time the zone would crash. I swear if they would fix that, order may actually see the inside of a capital city!

So this one’s to the Order. We honestly pulled together in our most desperate hour. Also to the prayer that one day WAR may see more Honor and Pride and less GREED.

In other news, Helik the Swordmaster is now 32 1/2, and the rested is ROLLING in with the most recent buff to rested experience gains. I placed #1 in a small T4 keep raid. Funny because the guild doing it refused to heal me because I was not a part of their guild. I was forced to retreat and drink a potion. By the time I was able to rejoin, he was dead… and I got #1. Hah! Too bad I then rolled a 92 and got 20th. Maybe people should stop the GREED and just play the game. Refusing to heal someone because they showed up at YOUR keep? Heres some news: This is massively multiplayer online WAR! If you don’t want other people showing up to conquer keeps because they’re ‘stealing loot’, you’re playing the wrong game.

Happy holidays.