Changing Play

Yesterday was patch day for League of Legends. The big ticket items were the rework for Kayle and the introduction of another new 6300 IP champion, Wukong the Monkey King. Having been a previous enthusiast for Kayle, I was eager to see what changes she had coming her way, as I felt she was a bit on the weaker side of things. She had a great passive, but wasn’t able to really fulfill either of her roles as a support/carry very well. Of course, when the video was released, I was a bit saddened. I had just finished up all of her rune page a few days back, and the change meant buying 18 new runes and 3 new quintessence if Phreak’s predicted build would be more suitable. So, after I put the daughter to bed last night, I jumped into a few games to play with her to get a feel for the revamp.

I’ll be blunt, I’m not super happy with the Kayle rework so far. It’s not bad per-se, but it has definitely taken her far away from what she was before. Where before she was a good support/carry blend, that could be nasty super-late game, she’s now more of a pure carry. The hit to her heal spell, Diving Blessing, is a real kick in the nuts to any aspirations of support play. Nidalee’s heal was a far superior support tool before this change, as it has a better cooldown and a vastly greater power ratio, and after the change, it’s not even a comparison worth making. It’s as if the functions of Kayle’s heal have been swapped, making it more of a speed boost than a heal now.

That’s not to say that all the changes were bad, but Kayle is clearly no longer the champion I once played and enjoyed. She is being put almost wholly into the carry slot than the support slot. That shift is a new way of thinking when playing as her and how to approach building her. Once I’m able to get past this paradigm shift, I think I’ll have a strong hold on Kayle, but I’m not entirely sure if I want to. Playing a pure carry can be fun, but in LoL, I really enjoy more diverse and complex champions. Nidalee may take over as my primary champion after this patch.

As for Wukong, shocker, he seems pretty strong on the power curve. He’s also 6300 IP. I’d really like to see some more low and mid-range champions released, Oriana was the only one in recent history who came in under 6300 point. Relatedly, I’d enjoy a more frequent IP push-down for older champions. The push-down doesn’t have to happen as frequent as new releases, but doing a price cut of 1 old champion for every 2 new ones that gets released shouldn’t be something that will cause a revenue loss, and would go a fair way to pleasing customers.

Still Alive

EVE Incurssion 1.4 patch notes in their full glory, or a condensed version. EVE dev-team Best Friends Forever (BFF), have really taken to heart the concept of polishing things up, and this patch can see a lot of those little things being rubbed to a shine, especially the UI portions which got lots of column space.

Still watching videos, up to about 5 pages of notes, on about four different videos, that are about an hour a piece. Yeesh, I took a bigger bite than I expected.

Smoke and a Pancake

Want to know how to ruin a successful movie series?

Werit already used the title I was looking for, so whatever. However, as he points out, yesterday we got our Producer’s letter as well as a small patch. The patch changed the new “stance” mechanic for the Rune Priest/Zealot to function as a 1:1 ratio, as well as a couple minor bug fixes. The bigger subject of note was the producer’s letter.

In this letter, Carrie hints at the removal of the VP system, and how it is going to change the face of the ORvR campaign. Gone will be the days of Waithammer, allegedly. Between her and Andy’s answers on the Q&A thread, we can see them moving toward a more dynamic and actively-involved PvP system, with sights on the city to hopefully take queue from the things that worked there.

Read more of this post

It’s alive!

I got to do my first instance of the new city siege yesterday on Gorfang. It was the first for our server if my sources are correct, and my guild had a good time. It wasn’t particularly challenging for us, on which I partially blame myself. We faced off against uncoordinated groups who hadn’t done this before, compared to our 12 members, led by myself and another player who was in the closed testing. We won handily all three stages, and I even got to be a champion, which was very cool. That said, the BEST experience of the night was finding out what the fix was to stop the punting from the bride outside the The Inevitable City’s palace gates. The trampoline feature was a glorious amount of fun. I took some video and some screenshots that I will try to compile this weekend. Like for real this time.

So, the patch is live, and kicking, and working almost flawlessly. Cities are being pillaged, players are learning the ropes, and the reception seems to be positive on almost all accounts. Despite the expected server-downtime hiccups that no one but a few players are really surprised or demoralized over. Europe wisely waited 24 hours to deploy their changes and let us Yanks beta test it for them (one of the few advantages of GOA service), so I hope you guys get to smash face today and have the same fun we did.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Burn them or Forgive them?

Can you tell what game I've been playing lately?

Ahhh, patch-day. Anyone who has been playing MMOs for any period of time has come to love and loathe these wonderous days of days. When large updates come down the pipe, the hordes of players flock to the game en-masse to experience the new shineys of the world they love so much. With so many people running across that bridge back to a wonderland of fun, it’s no surprise that things go wrong from time to time. Yesterday with WAR was no different. All servers were announced with downtime around 8pm EST, and slated to last till 9 pm, then 10:30 pm, and lastly, for 11:30 pm. At 11:30, the servers did come up.  Right now as I type this, servers are down again, until a prospected 5:00 pm EST. This is a lot of downtime for Mythic, and one that I can’t remember being equalled previously with any other patch. For Mythic mind you, I can easily recall the time of EQ2 and WoW where patches and expansions required DAYS of downtime to finally get things smoothed out. So, this lead me to wonder, how do people feel about these perilous adventures in newness?

Read more of this post

Rock that city

1.3.5 is coming today. In fact, servers come down not 16 minutes from the time that I am writing this. If you follow the second link to the herald post, you’ll see a nice splash page that goes over the broad ideas of what this patch is brining and some neat screen captures from the game as it relates. Follow the first link to the notes themselves for a far more in-depth explanation of all the changes coming, and this patch is a beast of an update, coming in at 10,124 words. Yeah, reading it all will take you some time, so I’ll try to hit the highlights.

Read more of this post

1.3.5 and Bonuses (Bonusi?)

As I’m sure you saw on the herald, 1.3.5 is now on the test server. The patch notes have been released. And people are slobbering over the new 100% bonus to RR and Exp from the apology. My plans to cool my heals on my Order characters have been officially postponed. My guild leader talked to me yesterday about my frustration and it gave me an ear to vent to a bit at least. I still want to play my Blackguard some more, but getting my Knight to 80 is the primary goal, and this bonus is going to help make a big dent in that.

With that out-of-the-way, here are my thoughts on the patch.

Read more of this post

The City Scoop

Ahhh, my trip. It is definitely an experience that I will not forget anytime soon, if ever.

My day started off with a typical early rise to get to the airport. A bit of a wait after, and I was touching down in Dulles airport in D.C. If you were a good and attentive follower, you would have noticed Andy Beldford (hence-forth, known as Bandy Belfords) sending out tweets with our smiling mugs after arrival. Mykiel (aka Sweet Uncle Happy Pants) was the first to arrive for the tour-de-force of Blaaagher Invasion, Werit and myself shortly followed, with Gaarawar filling the last spot of the group and we proceeded to lunch before we interrogated talked with a members from the  different development groups.

We arrive to a table at lunch, with seats already filled by Josh Drescher and CJ. Tastey food, and a conversation dominated by the bearded Reverend filled with stories of lizard people, moving woes, gaming references, and the overall terrible state of modern-day cinema led to a close and we made our trip to Mythic HQ. In there, is where the meat of this story begins. So, continue reading for the paraphrased question and answer session with the Mythic’s content team. Keep in mind, I’m shortening both the answers AND the questions to keep this from being 30 pages long. We need all the words we can get, but attention spans are only so big.

Read more of this post

Patch 1.3.4

The notes are up for the latest of patches coming our way in Warhammer. I missed out on the exclusive hotness of it all yesterday while I spent time with family that came in from out of town (my niece is 4 days older than my daughter, and they look eerily similar). All the buzz right now is over new RvR weapons that can be gained primarily in scenarios. Other bloggers have covered the news of this subject pretty extensively, and even given some great examples of the artwork we can find of the new RvR weapons. As great as the RvR weapons are, there is a lot more to the notes than just that particular system, as well as some corollary changes brought in with the system that have a far-reaching effect.

One of the biggest changes to the game with this patch is the removal of the vast bulk of the scenarios across all tiers, and the decoupling of racial pairings with victory points. To more fully explain, all scenarios that are played will count towards victory points in all campaign pairings. So, if you are playing in Battle for Praag and win, it will affect the victory point contribution to flipping Dragonwake, Kadrin Valley, or any other zone for your tier. In addition and concurrently with this, they have removed all but six scenarios that will be played at tier 4, with a reduction of available choices at the lower end. I take issue with this for a couple of reasons.

Read more of this post

No, we’re not going to help you

How do I know that the Shadow Warrior is not getting any attention in the balance department anytime soon? This is how.

I’m not angry at Andy, or any of the other fine deliverers of information that we find on the forums. They’re all just doing their job. I am frustrated that they won’t even deliver news on their intent and direction. The Shadow Warrior community needs something more than the canned response, “We continually look at all classes and are constantly performing balance adjustments.”. They need something a little more concrete and definite. “Yes, we recognize the limitations and concerns of the community. We have criteria for determining adjustments and balance changes. The reason we have not addressed the issues presented so far are as follows:”. I think Mythic could earn some serious SW fanboi love if they did that.

This is a more general gaming blog with a heavy focus on WAR for now. My days of constantly pioneering the Shadow Warrior class are long gone. It’s too much work, and took far too much energy. Plus, I’m happily playing my Knight now, and am not as up to date on the issues the community faces in a practical sense. I try to keep abreast of it all, for situations like this, but nothing beats first-hand play time. Anyway, I hope for SW changes, but do not forsee them at all, in any reasonable amount of time (fourth quarter at the earliest if I were a betting man).

Good luck Shadow Warriors, you are more stalwart and persistent than I.