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Saddo haunt, post game-over

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hobokenbob
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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:21 pm

I made 40 (last level for now) on my zealot last night. This was pretty easy compared to leveling up other MMOs, and I really didn't grind much at all until the last few levels. I actually ended up dinging 40 while playing pvp scenarios: propping up my group of stone cold killers with some healing love while they raked in the xps for me. I was hoping I could actually get the kill shot that would ding me but the reality is support classes don't get that many chances to kill directly.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Postby Tobliz » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:21 am

the more I hear people talk about this game or the more I read about this game, the more it sounds like "WoW: To Hell with Raids, we're doing PvP!"

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Postby hobokenbob » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:39 pm

Tobliz wrote:the more I hear people talk about this game or the more I read about this game, the more it sounds like "WoW: To Hell with Raids, we're doing PvP!"


essentially. there is some anemic pve raid content in the game, but the rewards for pvp are two fold: superior gear and about 10 times the fun/frustration/insantiy of any pve event.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:42 pm

anyone still play this? what's your thoughts on the latest patch?
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Postby OMGBEES » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:52 pm

I think you were the only one who was ever playing?
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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:56 pm

well fuck it. it's ruined now.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Postby OMGBEES » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:57 pm

Do tell?
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Postby pablo banquo » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:39 am

No way it could be ruined already. What's the problem?
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Postby hobokenbob » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:00 pm

there are alot of problems, and really no one who doesn't play would appreciate a rant on it. lets just say the producer had said sometime last year that (paraphrasing)"if an MMO isn't adding servers in 6 months they are in trouble". Well, in fact four servers were just force merged into mine the other day :P

you could say they cocked it up pretty bad. still i met some cool people and the guild i'm in is the highest level destro server. I'm still the 4th highest zealot on it by renown rank even though my play time lately has been much less than usual.
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Postby OMGBEES » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:58 pm

hobokenbob wrote:there are alot of problems, and really no one who doesn't play would appreciate a rant on it.

I will always appreciate a rant on it. I'm interested in design considerations.
lets just say the producer had said sometime last year that (paraphrasing)"if an MMO isn't adding servers in 6 months they are in trouble". Well, in fact four servers were just force merged into mine the other day :P

you could say they cocked it up pretty bad. still i met some cool people and the guild i'm in is the highest level destro server. I'm still the 4th highest zealot on it by renown rank even though my play time lately has been much less than usual.

So is that an issue of marketting, or actual design? What's driving people away?
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pablo banquo
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Postby pablo banquo » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:47 pm

I'd say that releasing a game in an already quite savvy and saturated market wouldn't have helped.
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Postby OMGBEES » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:37 pm

WoW will always be the gorilla in the room, but I doubt that would be such a huge issue. I would guess it would be an issue for getting NEW subscribers, but I would think retention would be more based on the MMO itself.

Either way, it would be awesome if Bob would actually talk about what's going on instead of making cryptic references.
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Postby Kauser » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:20 pm

He might be afraid of spoiling it for everyone, or it's just a knee-jerk impulse back to his days as a CIA spook.
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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:30 pm

Well yes, WoW is obviously a huge challenge to every MMO coming out now. Fact is, a fully realized and fun alternative simply means that people aren't going to wait and be patient for your team to finish polishing your game. Any MMO team will have about 6 months to fix the biggest issues with their game before people start leaving en masse. In other words patch 1.2 was the critical "last chance" for many many players.

The Problem, pre 1.2:

The main issue was that for a game essentially focused on oRvR (open realm vs. realm combat), the actual mechanic for oRvR was incredibly simple boiling down to the fact that once you reach a critical mass of people, the only thing that mattered was numbers. So when your realm doesn't have the numbers, the only thing to do is leave the field, go to another zone and take over battlefield objectives and keeps where you won't be swamped over by "the zerg". Because the old VP (Victory Point) system for locking a zone up essentially depended on the idea that the opposite side was willing to fight it out, leaving was also strategically sound for keeping the other side from capturing a zone. This strategy was both used and derided by everyone, but "the ghandi defense" was also the only way a smaller realm would not get smacked around by a bigger realm. It worked too well. Nearly no one got to the other side's city because of this and because of poor design for fortress defense (fortresses were the last defense prior to the city) that made defending far easier than attacking. This meant that the actual overall "war" was essentially static.

Another huge issue was within zones there are 4 battlefield objectives and 2 keeps that were supposed to be points to fight over. Their capture contributed to the majority of the VP pool, and also gave the attackers a big burst of realm points, and keeps also dropped loot in the form of the first real level 40 set piece in the armor progression system. However for all the bonuses for capturing them, there was simply no similar bonus (or fun) to defending them. The fact that renown points (the "XP" of RvR) were rewarded for essentially PvE alone was a huge problem, but what made it even worse was that for a large party, the renown from taking them far outstripped actually killing enemy players. The reward for killing a player was based on his level/renown level and was split up between everyone who took part in killing him, and if he was killed recently he'd be worth less, many times a player kill might only be worth a few rp once shared out. However taking and holding a BO gave *everyone* at the BO 500 points (5-10% more including certain tactics and items that could boost this) and a keep gave everyone 1100 points (plus loot). That meant that often quickest way to character progression was to "farm" these objectives, also practiced and derided by everyone often called RvE (as in it's really PvE because you're just killing NPCs).

So why actually fight other people? You could defend a keep for hours and maybe get 1/5 the renown you'd get if you simply left that keep to the enemy and took another keep in another zone from them. Then, simply switch back to the one you just lost and retake that keep while your enemy did the same on the one you just took. Defending a keep was also tragically simple: the only objective was to kill the keep lord NPC. There was one entrance to the lord room, all defense centered around stopping the enemy on the ramp leading to it with a wall of tanks and a lot of AE centered right there. Healers simply spammed their heal on the tanks. Ranged casters simply spammed their AE attack on the floor in front of them. Tanks…well they stood there. And poor melee DPS, they just sat around with the thumbs up their arse. As far as attacking a defended keep? If you had about 2 to 1 odds you would win if not you would fail. RvR became a game of musical chairs where if players actually fought each other, it was incidental at best.

But at least in this situation, there were positives: the VP system meant that you needed to participate and win scenarios (small fixed number instance matches that had some goal around them such as king of the hill, capture the flag etc.) which were fun, especially for the under populated realm as numbers didn't matter. You didn't have to worry about "3 AM raids" and waking up to your city being sacked. And towards the end both sides (on my server) simply gave up on zone control and keep swapping (once everyone got their armor sets) and participated heavily in scenarios and finding each other in open field battles for fun. It was an incomplete end game, and unfortunately the population imbalance was rough on destruction, but fun could still be eeked out.

The "fix"

1.2 was an attempt to negate the "ghandi defense". They implemented a new system to capping a zone: if a side took all the BOs and Keeps and held them all for 2 hours per keep, and 30 minutes per BO, then you capped the zone. The idea was it was supposed to promote more vigorous defense. The reality however was that it simply made zerging even more of a mandate, numbers an even bigger positive, and defense essentially futile. Whichever realm had the most players on the given server rapidly began sacking the enemy city upwards of one a day on some really imbalanced servers. Even my server which is considered to be one of the more balanced has seen 3 sacks on the Destruction City in the first 2 weeks. That means, in theory you don't have to kill a single enemy player to reach the enemy city.

There are no longer any mitigating factors to help the underdog realm. And on every server order outnumbers destruction because of the class design and aesthetics much like Alliance v. Horde in WoW: no one wanted to play "ugly" orcs. Even worse many classes on destro were limited to one gender (usually male, but for the assassin class destro had only females) due to lore issues. (would you believe at the start of the game you couldn't even play a female tank as destruction, until they introduced the blackguard class? There is still no male assassin class for destro). This was a pain in the ass before, but it's killer now. The first week on my server was brutal.

There was high interest on both sides so destro tried its best to fight, but it was rapidly apparent we could not be on offense - all our numbers were enough just to stop zone caps within minutes of the timers being out, and so we did, running around putting out fires and getting jumped and crushed by huge armies, if lucky we'd delay a zone cap for 30 minutes by sneaking in a BO cap. Scenarios being unnecessary meant there was no one queuing for them anymore. But even so, zones were lost quickly and then the city. Over and Over.

It stopped even being a contest as attrition to destro's side happened really fast after it became apparent how fucked we were. Destro's only time to get back on offense and take zones is during off hours. There was a major off hours push to raid order's city but even that failed on the second fort because of bugged NPC guards that kept insta-respawning!. Then the server merger came. Merging unbalanced servers with other unbalanced servers only made a bad thing worse.

Order won the war, but even they are really sad. Winning against 4 to 1 odds, pveing through the entire end game, is no more fun than losing the same way. And it turns out that the actual City Seige is one giant public quest - just more PvE. So they'll farm our city until it gets boring and shut the lights off before closing up shop, and there's already way too many familiar names I don't see anymore when I log in on both sides.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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pablo banquo
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Postby pablo banquo » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Ouch.
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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:15 pm

Don't get me wrong, I think WAR has the potential to be a terrific experience. maybe a year from now. and by then they'll be down to one server. They released too early, and they had some basic misconceptions (in my opinion) of what the players really wanted in an RvR game, or perhaps what they would do in a situation. They made huge carrots out of some of the lamest parts of the game, instead of rewarding what could and should be it's niche: massive pitched battles, and one than didn't solely rely on numbers.

There's also some major balance issues between classes and each round of nerf/buff seems to create more problems than they fix but those are just temporary whine about this or that class issues every game like this faces.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Postby hobokenbob » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:24 pm

also technically in warhammer lore greenskins are asexual - they are barely sentient fungi.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Postby OMGBEES » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:23 am

It seems like the numbers thing is a huge issue for any game with PvP, and yet no one tries to fix it. I would think they could just give experience bonuses that adjust as numbers adjust, favoring the smaller side. The bonus makes more people play as that, then it fills up and the other side drops, and that one starts getting bonuses.

I guess the problem there is tracking active players versus unused characters.
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Postby dogmeat » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:16 pm

Sounds like the balance issue is the same throughout the game, so no amount of realm shifts like you get in WOW would solve it really...

I remember reading about the PvP aspect of game prior to release and thinking it sounded awesome but from your description it sounds horrid.
Which devco is supporting it/haemorraghing money?

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Postby hobokenbob » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:30 pm

dogmeat wrote:Sounds like the balance issue is the same throughout the game, so no amount of realm shifts like you get in WOW would solve it really...

I remember reading about the PvP aspect of game prior to release and thinking it sounded awesome but from your description it sounds horrid.
Which devco is supporting it/haemorraghing money?


Well what's sad is that the dev's first game like this (DAoC) had an elegent solution for numbers balance: 3 teams. any one team that got too powerful generally had to face an alliance by the other two until status quo was regained.

Mythic are the developers but they were bought, and forced to rush out their incomplete game by EA (you might recall their annoucement of having to cut out certain classes as well as some serious chunks of real estate prior to release made it to a penny-arcade comic)
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

Jason Mustian


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