New City Infoz

The “z” makes it edgy and hip (really, I just couldn’t think of an interesting title).

Andy put up another set of bug fixes for night 4 of the city testing. While not as robust as the changes for night 3, I think there is one key area that is going to make many of those who expressed worry and concern have their fears allayed. The biggest gripe that was echoing across the forums was about players who went link-dead, or crashed in the middle of the city event, and then being forced to eat a lockout timer for all three instances. Well, they’ve implemented what they call a “lifeline”. We were all confused at first when, with no preamble or segue, Andy said, “Okay testing the lifeline”. He was met with a lot of “Ehh???”.

So, we all broke up into individual players, ran toward the city like a bunch of kids hearing the ice cream truck from the living room. We played in the city, happily smashing people’s faces in, romping around with wonton care of the safety of our environment, and then, told to summarily force-crash our clients. With great reluctance (because this has been FUN), I alt-tabbed, and told Warhammer to turn the fuck off. That’s right, you heard me, turn off Warhammer. It protested, and didn’t want to cooperate at first, but I showed it who’s boss by implementing my leet ctrl-alt-del skills. I win! Happily, the lifeline worked and I found myself in the same instance I had left from, with only one minor hitch. It took me two tries to log-in. I think my client started back up too quickly for the game to recognize that I was actually out of the game. So, I went through the loading screen, then immediately back to character select. I told you it was minor.

The other big highlight of the nights changes were the map indicators. We can now see where sappers, dragons, Warlords, and all that other important stuff is at by glancing at the map! Hot damn! No more running around an entire city trying to figure out where the fuck to go. Hell, they even work with the new “edge of the minimap” feature, which is slick. The city is looking better and performing better with each testing we’ve done, and there’s a very clear progression of polish and playability that makes me pleased inside.

I keep getting asked if this is going to be a fun experience for the long haul, or if this is just going to be a new shiny. I’ve been asked enough, that it makes me think other people are probably wondering as well. So, let me go over it a bit. Currently, the city siege is dull for two reasons.

For starters, it’s repetitive. You do the same exact task, over and over again. There’s flag, you guard them and kill the enemy. Even the second stage is the same, you just try not to pull the warlord who will wipe everyone. So, you spend an hour, doing the same thing, traveling between three very close locations. Secondly, it feels disjointed. Once you get to stage 2, everyone leaves to go do something else. Wave goodbye to all the high-level people, they are saying asta-la-bye-bye as they get their PvE on. That’s only if they manage to have enough people seeded in enough different instances to win everywhere. It sucks having to split up to ensure safety, having to zone hop to meet the enemy because THEY are zone hoping to prevent your stage 2 flip sucks.

So, now, you stay where you are. You do something different all the time. Even the first stage is spread out all over the city, that works a bit like Battle for Praag (or more accurately the revamped Battle of the Black Cairn) in that locations are locked. Also, you can teleport. You have a warband porting all over the place, trying to steal locations from the enemy, trying to unlock multiple points for capture, and trying to push fronts all over the place to keep the defender as off-beat and frazzled as possible.

Stage 2 you play escort a bit, but so is the enemy, and you have to decide if it’s better to keep your guys safe (as the split off in different directions) or try to go hunt down the enemies guys and kill them. How many people do you send? Do you keep a reserve of defense on your guy so that he can recapture points for that much-needed bonus in stage 3? Do you send all 24 towards the enemies and hope to burn him fast? Maybe only six and hope he’s unprotected. Great, maybe we should have someone scout it out and report for us? This breads tactics, group consideration, movement and battle plans.

Stage 3 is the straight up brawl. It’s the most simple and direct of them all. It’s fun, but it’s also my least favorite of the three. It’s still engaging, but it doesn’t have the crazy battle plan, multi-point objectives of the other two. What IS great about it though, is that you are faced with a decision. You MUST kill all champions before you can kill the king, but they have 20 people trying to kill you and yours at the same time. How do you hold off that hoarde of miniatures long enough to kill theirs? We had one fight last night that was truly epic, in that all of our champions were killed first, and we were able to come from behind, kill their champions and then burn T’charzanek down.

Like all things, you will become accustomed to it eventually, and it will lose some of its luster, but I think it has the elements necessary to be lasting fun. It’s diverse, self-contained, and best of all, it’s focused on pitting the actions of what I and mine do against what you and yours do.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

4 Responses to New City Infoz

  1. Perle says:

    Woot! Lifeline ftw! Any idea the timeframe to log back in? That is such great news! 😀

  2. Wasdstomp says:

    Now all they need to add is step by step voice directions so I really know where I am going. It is pretty sad that after 2 years I still have to look at my map in Altdorf to know where I am going. I guess I have just been to lazy to actually memorize the maze of alleys.

    I did peek in on Mykiels webcast of the city testing. It did seem more open. It looked like there were fights near the guild tavern area which is nice.

    I also saw the Champion part. I know alot of people were wondering how you were going to know who were champions. The players chosen as champions are like King Kong compared to the size of normal players. If you ever did the Warlord PQ’s in the city in the lower arena the champions are the size of the bosses that were down there. They make Shaq look like a midget.

    I will participate in the city to check it out, but I still don’t have any motivation to participate in Orvr to get to that point. Even with zone flips, and renown bonuses the renown/time ratio is so much better in scenarios, and collecting royals off of player kills.

  3. Rer says:

    This sounds really fun, can’t wait! =D

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