We’ll make a killing!

The ProducersSo, we have a new letter to the fans of WAR. This time round it’s penned by Jeff Skalski. In it, he talks about the current focus on giving us more information, and trying to be open about the intended direction of the game that we’re all playing. To follow words with action, he gives us more words. Specific words. Words about actual changes and intent. These are good words. Obviously you can read them for yourself, but since you’re here, I’m guessing you’d like to hear what I have to say about it as well. If so, please keep reading.

Jeff spoke about some of the specific changes they planned on bringing to WAR. One of them worthy of mention was the AoE and CC changes, as you can read from this:

AoE balance fixes:

  • All AoE abilities are moving to standardized ranges and coverage, based on their type (Melee “Cleave”, Conical AoE, Line AoE, PBAoE, or Targeted AoE).

Crowd control changes:

  • All Immunities Persist Through Death:Pretty simple one here, no more Stun -> Dead -> Rez -> Stun -> Dead.
  • Increased Duration of Disable Immunities: Immunities for the disable family of CC (knockdown, stun, disarm, and silence) will have their immunity timers increased from 6 times the effect duration to 10 times the effect duration. In other words, if you are stunned for three seconds, in 1.3 you would have an 18-second immunity. With this change, that same immunity would be 30 seconds.
  • Root Immunity and Knockback/Pull Immunity Combined:We’re rolling root immunity and knockback/pull immunity together into a single “movement immunity” effect.  This immunity will remain for 30 seconds, and will prevent you from things such as being pulled in, then immediately rooted in place, making it a much more tactical decision about whether it’s better to stop an enemy in place or move them around.
  • New Renown Purchase Ability:We are releasing a new Renown Point purchasable ability at Renown Rank 40 that will be a “CC immunity” that players can trigger for temporary CC immunity. This should help break up the “I get CC’d at the beginning of a fight and there is nothing I can do about it” issues.

The AoE stuff, seems decent to me. Standardization of how it works in this game will probably lead to a greater equality and balance, and make the jobs easier for those who have to deal with it. However, I’m not sure how keen I am on the entire CC change. To me, it seems like they’re doing too much at one time. Incremental steps is what Mythic has always claimed to do, but it hasn’t been seen deployed in reality everywhere the work. Honestly, what they should be doing is first try out of the changes (I prefer the increased immunity timers), THEN if it still proves problematic, try out the next (combination of immunity types).

If they DO decide to go ahead with this CC change, I hope they look at this from another conceptual point of view, as to what all of the different CC does. Stuns and knockdowns are virtually identical, in that they prevent movement AND use of abilities. Roots, knockbacks, and pulls inhibit movement, but not ability usage. Disables, silences, and disarms prevent ability usage, but not movement. It should be a sliding scale I believe, with three groupings. It would be more difficult to do, but would provide for greater equity of game play I believe. Let me explain further.

In my scenario, person A gets rooted. They gain a resistance. Any further roots, knockbacks, or pulls fail. All other forms of CC have durations halved (round down), but immunity timers will still still be based off the original duration. Now, if person B gets stunned, they gain immunity to all forms of CC. Seeings as how stuns and knockdowns completely stop any participation in the game for it’s duration, it’s doubly detrimental to the recipient. This scaling and diminished returns would still allow for coordinated groups to be very powerful, but it WILL be harder to land all of these controls in the proper order, and even then, it will have less affect than it does now.

Keeps are going to be getting changed also, not in the immediate follow-up to 1.3, but it will happen in 1.3.1 he says. Which sounds fair enough to me. It’s not immediate, but it is fairly soon. He says this specifically about them:

On the RvR front, we’ll finally have the second ramps in for the Keeps.  I wish they were going up in with the 1.3.0b patch, but a few hiccups happened right at the end and we had to hold them back one more patch to allow for adequate testing.  Regardless, they look great and we’ll be posting more information about them on the Herald over the coming weeks so you can get a look at the adjusted layouts.

And let us not forget City Sieges!

Another big ticket item for the RvR team in 1.3.1 is the work we’re doing on the city sieges.  The goal is to make them RvR-centric from beginning to end, and this is just the first phase of our plans.  I’ll save the details for my next letter, but I will share this: In the redone capital city PQs, defenders are never kicked out of their city, and they can now win the main city PQ during the capture phase to reset the campaign even quicker than the current 18-hour timer.

This is good news to me, but not all that I wanted (of course). I want more juicy details of how exactly they plan to shift the focus more toward RvR than to RvE and a complete inability to advance with any adequate resistance.

I have hopes for the communication that is going to be coming to us. We as players can take a lot in terms of underperformance if the core is fun, and there is good, honest communication coming to us from the developers. If what they say pans out, and happens as they say it does, it could be a good chance to rebuild faith from the players that the game is on the right track.

 Writer’s note: If you’re wondering why I used the remake image of The Producers in lieu of the original, it’s because, well, Uma Thurman looked damn good in that movie. Pretty much the only time I ever thought she was more than just “above average”.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

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