Against all Appearances

Patch day – Waaagh!

Full patch notes.

While I’m at work I’m sure all of you crazy people with differing schedules will be frustratedly pacing back and forth for the servers to come back up so you can get your havoc on. If you’ve been reading this site, and paying attention to the abundance of communication from our Mythic Pig Dog Overlords, as they like to call themselves, you should know basically everything that is coming. From item appearance to against all odds, there are articles and forum posts about anything you could have any question about.

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Hold on, let me test that

Friendly Player Collision (FPC) is remaining for now.

Good news for me as I go off into the weekend. I’m rarely a fan of big, last-minute changes, and this definitely qualified on both accounts. The adjustment that a change like this would have on the game as a whole is extremely far-reaching. More so than upping the resist cap, and that’s not something they’re eager to do without a lot of consideration first. So, if for no other reason, we should all be happy that Mythic heard the playerbase, and recognizes how big this really would be to the game, and have decided to give it more time.

The way I see it, is that removing it would be like a social entitlement program (think Social Security in the states). Once it’s there, it’s as close to impossible to reverse as to not matter, and a lot of people demand it, but in the long run, there can be some very bad side effects. It should not be something done lightly or with a minimum of testing. Seeing the company take this change seriously speaks volumes of them being thoughtful and considerate (the literal translation, not the “that’s so nice-of” type).

Ninja Leglolas in 1.3.6

It’s alway been surprising to me that the shadow warrior class didn’t have a bigger following given it’s immediate visual references to popular pop-internet-culture memes. Namely, the fantasy fan-boi hardon for the theatrical adaptation of Legolas, and the ever popular Ninja. The appearance of the class is a clever blend of bows, swords, and masks that make the career appear to be a deadly assassin and get the adolescent juices of every young boy firing in over drive faster than Angelina Jolie in Gia. I think it’s always been a bit of a testament to the lackluster state of the career that it remained near the bottom of the barrel of population despite its immediate “pick me!” appearance. Maybe this is why almost everyone you know has a Shadow Warrior alt left languishing in tier 2 or 3, but never seemed to take it any further.

However, there are a lot of things coming with the new patch that I believe are culminating in a very substantial step towards the class being competitive. Maybe not desired, or a first choice, but competitive, and I mean this for both single target assist trains and bomb groups. The class is seeing an overall slight boots in damage thanks to the recent change of including the melee weapon into the calculation for ability damage. With a 70.0 DPS sword, Shadow Warriors will see about a +36 DPS universal to all physical attacks (sorry, not for you Festerbomb). This, in it’s own right, isn’t a game changer, but it’s a rectifier for a long-inequitable situation. It’s also one of the many small changes we’re seeing.

The class is also waving adieu to minimum ranges, the damage increasing tactic is being lowered BUT the situationaly negative aspect is being removed, a range increaser for the mid-range attacks, and a tactic that gives a situational cast-time increaser. The career is becoming more dynamic and varied in its play. I can easily switch between short and long range without seeing a detriment to any of them. I can apply all my debuffs when that Choppa is standing right on top of me, and I can hit you with my fast, low-damage mobile attacks from 100′ away. The play of the class is being opened up to actually play more in line with its intent, of being effective at multiple ranges.

That said,  I think the career is still going to lack the consistent killing power/utility that lets the other RDPS’s (Sorc, BW, SH) be so deadly. In future iterations of the game, I hope to have the lethality of the class placed somewhere other than a once-a-minute trick pony.

A bit more to chew on

In my previous post, I talked about the big career balance changes coming down the pipe, and a bit of my take on each of the changes and what my thoughts are on them. That beast of a post can be a lot to digest, so take your time, don’t rush it. When feeling overwhelmed, this post is here for you to add some diversity. Not a lot of diversity, as I’m still talking about the patch, but there will be more pictures, and it’s not all “ZOMG CLASS BALANCE!!1!!one!”. The big highlights are Against All Odds, Armor Appearance, Split Sovereign Sets. A side of “no more mods using /assist” and more scenario weapon art also served to wet our appetites. There was also the reveal of the unification of Warhammer into the BioWare social community, so you know, there’s that too.

What a week to have off

Welcome back boys and girls, to the show… that stops temporarily at times. Maybe next time I decide to take a break, I’ll figure it out ahead of time and try to get some guest bloggers or something (that’s the hip, cool thing to do right?).

I picked a hell of a week to go on blogger-vacation as it pertains to Warhammer. We saw a slew of information thrown at all of us between patch notes, community announcements, and information in general. For the sake of posterity, and on the off chance that I’m the only WAR blogger you read, you can check out the patch notes here, and the incorporation of the official forums into BioWare’s community here.

It can go without saying, but there’s a ton of information in this patch, and as you can surmise from taking a quick look over, the focus is on two things.  Open RvR and class balance, two things which are intrinsically entwined in this game, and have been on top of players hit-lists for a while now. I’m happy to say, that as a whole, these steps are in the right direction. Even better, has been the fact that a lot of these concepts were made known to the playerbase ahead of time in the various in-development posts. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but Mythic continually impresses me with just how much information they give out, and how communicative they are with the players. I never recall seeing SOE, Blizzard, or any other company put out ideas and get feedback from the general population that actually affects decisions like I’ve seen from Mythic. It’s an incredibly heartening activity that is an extra personal touch from the development studio. Say what you will about response time, or implementation, they show routinely that they listen. As a blogger, and a player, that’s a soothing lozenge to my proverbial sore-throat.

Well, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the stuff you all actually want to talk about: Class changes. Always a hot-button topic of epic proportions, a conversation and process that is sure to make Career leads pull out hair, and spend a little extra time fondling that bottle of cognac, as they await the slings and arrows of their constituency. This is going to cover a lot of ground, so put on your hiking shoes.

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Produzentenbrief – Juni 2010

That’s German for “just under the wire”. Or Producer’s Letter June 2010, if you want to be a kill-joy. Did I ever mention that I really want to learn German? Always thought it was a very cool sound and interesting language. Anyway, goodbye tangent, hello message. Yesterday, Carrie dropped her June letter on all of us eagerly waiting and squirming fans of Warhmmer Online. We wanted insights and gleans into the details of what’s going on. We want that every month, and that doesn’t happen. It’s almost as if the producer’s letter is more of a general outline and not a detailed laundry list…

In all seriousness, this was a pretty typical letter. Sadly, I feel like a good chunk of the letter got necessarily eaten up with information about the consolidation of all European servers under the Mythic name and control. We got about four paragraphs of the seven on game-substantive changes and plans. It took out a bit of the sexy lingerie and gave us boy shorts instead. Cute, and attractive, but not the mouth-watering hotness we want. That’s not to say the letter itself was devoid of information or empty of things I can really sink my teeth into. Instead, only half of the letter was stuff that, if I am honest, aren’t on top of my priority lists and are a bit of old news. I mean, come on, we knew about it a couple of days ago (I know, I know, I’m being a jerk. Europeans need to be assured that all will go well and this is for the best). In internet time, news more than a day old is history.

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Who will you choose?

As you should all be aware of by now, the newest producer’s letter has hit the shelves. The frenzy to pull it down and consume it in one giant gulp has gripped the community. It’s mostly a rehashing of the 1.3.5 patch that is coming, and a reaffirmation of the city changes, and what a benefit this is going to be. Carrie touches lightly on some other aspects, like playtesting, Q&As, future blogger round-tables (good luck you guys!), and even some face time with the Euro players (they get lovin’ too!). However, without question, the biggest piece of information that the populace is latching onto with the tenacity of the pit bull, is her final paragraph. One sentence in particular actually.

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