Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Bringing My Witch Elf out of Hiding

Murder Night has inspired me to dig out my WE and play around in RvR again.

Alot of people come to WE's expecting them to be the equivalent of WoW's rogue. Sneaking around looking for target to take down behind enemy lines.

The reality is the witchy classes are ill equipped for this role. Specifically they are ill equipped to survive.

I have found that where i find myself most comfortable is operating slightly behind the tanks using stealth to close the gap to any caster who the eb & flow of combat leave isolated before retreating back to my own lines and then attacking any tanks or meele dps behind the tank line until my stealth cooldown is up.

Witchys lack the sort of ability rogues have to escape after their initial burst. Two in particular are sorely missed:
A in combat instant stealth ability (vanish)
A temporary near invulnerability to most ranged dps (cloak of shadows)

The other problem is WaRs battlefields.....
and the problem is exactly that, they are often open fields with very little cover. Scenarios are equally bad at this & sadly 2 of the most often launched ones (Tor Anroc in t3 & Serpents Passage in t4) are bare wastelands.

WoW pvp has alot of problems but they are never short on areas to break LoS.

Rainbow MMO has a nice concise article about the experiences he is having with his own WH in & around keep sieges, and I'm wholly in agreement that they can be a bore. But i feel the situation isn't much better for any of the meele DPS classes.

With the arrival of 2 more medium armored melee classes with he slayer & choppa the situation is only going to get worse.

I feel mythic has 3 options:
1. Fix the Pick Lock ability's.
2. Introduce seige engines beneficial to melee (Siege Towers are my particular choice for this).
3. Give them a AoE mitigation ability.

Id be happy with any of these for my witchy but i wonder which people playing the Ranged DPS classes think is the most reasonable.

This is a crucial issue to fix becuase until mythic do they cannot fix contribution either. The current system as reported by Witches and Wenches although broken is however equal in its unfairness. If contribution was fixed without also fixing the issues melee has in finding a role to play the likelihood is it would be almost impossible for any meele dps to get loot.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Happy L2Focus fire day (formally known as Death Night)

Learning to focus fire is one of the most important thing to learn in any PvP game, and its amazing how often people don't seem to be able to work together.

Fortunately for everyone mythic has made a holiday where people are marked with big glowing red skulls and prizes are given for killing them.

So far Death Night Holiday event has been satisfying and quite fun. Its nice to play a holiday in WaR where the holiday objectives encourage RvR.
The rewards are easily obtainable and the final trinkets with their + renown bonus are particularly nice. Its nice that its bug free as well.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Kick in the Nadz: Mythic Job Losses

The economic downturn has sadly turned Mythics way today

Syp is very upset by the job cuts at mythic and has pledged not to blog for a week as a mark of respect. While i agree with his sentiment i don't think his method helps.

Allot of the responses to this on the net seem surprised that it's well known members of the design team who are loosing their jobs. But to me its not a big surprise, because not all that long ago i went through something similar myself.

Currently i work part time as a library assistant.
I used to work as a freelance print designer.

I would take a brief from clients, design their poster/leaflet/cards/ect, and after a design was approved i would send it onto a printer.

The Problem was as the economic downturn hit the people who were giving me work they started getting less work themselves and it became harder and harder for business to get the credit they relied on, so instead of commissioning a new item they would try and use up every last copy of the last one they had made, get very small amendments made to a old one made, or just go direct to the printers behind my back and get new copies made of their old.

When funds are tight any business will look at what it has got planned for production and ask itself "How long can we survive on what we have already got".

My Guess is the announcement of job losses has as much to do with the call to arms announcement than it does with the subscriber figures (although 100% not helped by them).

Look at it this way, most likely the higher level conceptual design for everything announced on the 29th is probably done. Assuming that they have passed the 'conceptual' stage and are now entering the implementation stage for that content, they effectively have enough content to keep the people who produce the bricks and mortar of WarR occupied till July (assuming they stick to their release schedule and adding 1 month of immediate bug fixed when lotd goes live).

Its a sad way for something to happen "Thank for designing this really cool land of the dead and new classes for us.... now goodbye" but somewhere someone had to ask the question, "can the company sustain its current wage bill?"

Did the right people get fired?

Could other people have took pay cuts to allow more to retain there jobs?

Could the people who lost their jobs have instead be reassigned to other roles?

Which in turn brings up the question of could/would they have accepted the wage cuts which would have come with it(to use my example i obviously couldn't charge someone the same to make amendments as i could if i was doing a new piece of work).That's assuming they had directly transferable skills(i for instance have no idea how the hell to operate a industrial printing press).

These are the questions id like to know the answer to but due to NDA's i really doubt we ever will.

Anyways this is allot on conjecture on my part, i don't work in the game industry so my guess's are probably quite far off. But i think people should look at the wider picture before too heavily criticizing mythic as a whole, especially when we don't know how much choice they were given by EA.

What allot of people will find shocking is that after these cuts EA's stock market price went up.

I hope those who have lost their jobs at mythic (and indeed those still working there) are able to find a way to ride through the worst of this because with Warhammer they produced a game they should be proud of.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

So Close (and yet so far)

Black Orc: Ere boss, i killed those 25 stunties you wanted!

Keep Lord: Gud Job, erez some spare teef for your trouble

Black Orc: Iz dat all?

Keep Lord: yer

Black Orc: Right im off

Keep Lord: So you killed all of dem stunties then?

Black Orc: Nah

A loud crashing sound is herd

Keep Lord: Zoggin Heck they've broken the doorz!

Black Orc: Yeah sorry about that boss. But you said to come back here and tell you when id killed those stunties.

Keep Lord: Youz little grunt! I'll Feed ya to the snotlings........

The Keep Lord Raises his axe menacingly and turns to the Black Orc, at that moment a tide of Order players erupts from the stair well and swamp the lord his cries of rage lost amongst their victorious cheers..


Mythic have a horrible tendancy of producing things which come so very very close to genius but fail on the final hurdle.

Todays patch introduced Kill quests which are given out by Keep Lords and BO sergeants.

Done rightly this was the solution to the long standing problem of the game offering no incentive defend.

Sadly this isnt going to happen for two reasons:

The Rewards:
Gold & Xp
Lvl 40 players have very little need for either.
I just don't understand this choice of rewards. Somewhere they seem to be fundamentally missing the wants of lvl 40 players.
If they had given RR & Zone Influence it would be another stroy,since these are both valued. XP & gold however are basically on little to no worth to any endgame player.

The Hand in Mechanic:
The little conversation at the start is what my imagination says goes on thanks to mythics decision on how this would work.
Having Keep Lords Give out the quest is fine, but having to go back to him to hand it in is just plain stupid.
Mythic pioneered the idea of using quest items instead of npcs as part of quest chains, and this would have been be a idea opportunity.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Great expectations

I found myself with very hesitant to write any posts atm, there's allot i want to write about the problem is it all up in the air.

It appears from the patch notes for 1.1.1 that fortress's are being made significantly more accessible and that mythic expect this to open up capital sieges allot more.

generally i'm in favor of this but the problem is Zone Domination was announced a long time ago, but no significant information on how it will operate has emerged since it was first announced.

Without the changes to zone locks being made it unlikely that the keep changes will have a chance to be experienced because zones are still to difficult to lock.

The new careers and associated live events are very unclear too.
As for the 'live expansion' there is no info outside mythic's very tightly controlled press release.

The Zone domination system has to be done just right, in particular it important that the difficulty of preventing a lock increases as time passes to encourage people to fight early and not just wait until the last moment and swoop in and ninja 1 thing.

There are a couple of methods mythic could use but as yet no indication has been given as to which one will be used.

Its unsure as yet is if mythic want to make zone domination the primary way of capturing a zone or if SC's and PQ's are still going to be the primary method.

Im hoping for a bit of both The way id like it to work is:

Keeps Contribute a static amount

BO's contribute a static amount on initial capture and then a constant stream of VP's as long as both keeps are held.

PQ's & SC's both still contribute VP's which decay over time.

anyways this is still all pie in the sky, but i hope mythic's tight lipness & the amount of time they have spent on it means that whatever changes are being made are significant

On a final note there's one line on the patch notes which is making me very hopeful
'New Quests: New quests are available from Keep Lords and Battlefield Objective Sergeants' i wrote here about my hope for quest with decent rewards for zone caps so im gonna cross my fingers and hope, but equally its possible the quest could be timed quests which give a bonus if the objective is held for the duration which would certainly give a better incentive to defence.