The rats have landed

As you should be well aware of by now, The Verminous Horde RvR pack arrived last Thursday, and we just had our first full weekend of play with the new toys it brought. Rats have been roaming the lakes left and right. As far as patches go, this one was implemented incredibly smoothly. No game-crashing bugs, or campaign-destroying issues were there, and downtime for it was relatively minor, especially when considering how much was added in. That’s not to say that there aren’t issues that need to be dealt with, and the importance of the various issues will vary from person to person. For instance, on some servers, it was discovered over the weekend that scenarios were obliterated into non-existence. And of course, in typical, and perfectly reasonable ( is my “/sarcasm” needed?) internet fashion everyone cried bloody murder in response.

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No room at the inn

Last night was the North America PTS event to test out the RR100 templates. To say it went well is an understatement. To say there was a good turnout would be a disservice. My class ended early last night, so I was able to rush home in time to catch the tail end of the event. I sat down in front my computer screen at 8:25 PM EST, and was met with an unsettling message when I tried to bring my newly created Shadow Warrior into WAR: “Population is full”.

Wait, what? I thought that I’d have better luck if I tried to create a destruction character – Blackguard incoming!

The results were no different.

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Tiers from the Moon

"Tears from the Moon" is one of the best of the album.

Above and beyond all the skaven news that we’ve been getting pummeled with of late, Mythic released some new information via a post on the official forums by Andy that told us all about a restructuring of the various tiers throughout the game, and other plans to help account for the upcoming power gap that will be coming in the picanic basket of Verminous Horde. The post, as a part of Mythic’s continued series of In-Development threads, is titled “Addressing the Power Gap”. The reason for this is most telling by a statement in the preamble that reads:

…we’d like to take a moment to address some concerns that the community has around some of the benefits that the pack offers to those who purchase it and the impact that it will have on WAR in general.

What I find compelling about this, is that it touches on a few topics at once. It lets the reader know that the developers are attentive to the customer. It conveys a sense of careful consideration of concerns carried by the player base. Finally, it is an example that developing an MMO is not some linear progression where things have a minimal impact. Creating and maintaining a game like this requires thinking geometrically to really consider the varied and many outcomes every change can leave upon the world you create.

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Why, hello there

Look. At. You. P.S - Click me!

To hold you over

I won’t be able to attend the PTS tonight, so last night, I did some quick poking around on the test server, running around the lake and getting a look at all the new toys we’re getting. Or, well, as many as I could. Nothing feels drastically different from the old map, everything you come across should be comfortable and easy to interact with. There are still a few graphical glitches that seem to be lingering (like the cast bar ghost after interacting with a siege weapon), but for the most part, if you use the stock UI, basic information should be right at your fingertips, telling you different things in a familiar manner. Follow the jump for some pictures and comments.

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GamesCom – Friday

My WAAAGH! face.

You can go chat with them right now. Hopefully you can get it to work, so far, all I can do is read the action.

Edit: Over already. Far too quick, and technical difficulties robbed us of precious time. Such is life.

That said, what we got from it is the following:

  • New armor sets above sovereign.
  • New RvR zone available even if you don’t buy the pack (will be incorporated into campaign)
  • Powergap is recognized and will be kept in mind going forward.
  • The method of making the lower RR easier will probably be through bonuses.
  • Removal of the VP system (thank GOD!)
  • RA system (Realm abilities from DAoC)
  • Concept art of underground tunnels

Beyond that, not much was said, pertaining to WAR. The internet is a fickle mistress, and is best treated gently. I’ll be continuing updates as more information comes out.

Edit: Woot! Pack will be here before Christmas.

Edit: Nobwaart has a great compilation of questions asked during the live chat, and a big thanks to Werit for pointing out this post at War-Welten.

For a bit of commentary, I really think that Skaven as a playable race is going to be possible. It won’t be done in the normal way, and I’m currently leaning towards something akin to monster play from LotRO. The underground tunnels will probably run parrallel to the Empire zones (at least) and be the warrens where the Skaven have made their home. I hope that they will be able to come out of those zones and wreck havoc on everyone around, maybe with cache’s of warpstone deposits in the lakes as incentive that can be used to power up some way. There are a lot of really interesting possibilities with Skaven as a third realm, and it can be implemented in a couple ways. Should be fun.

Edit: Final blurb of the day for me.

We have a video of Andy and Carrie talking about the upcoming RvR pack. Lots of good little tidbits in there, as well as Carrie being just a silly goose. Me thinks foreign countries, sleep, and the hustle and bustle has gone to the heads of our intrepid producer and community manager.

Also, as I’m sure you are all aware, this weekend is Gamesday Baltimore. You should be aware, because I told you about it. PAY ATTENTION! Good. More info will be coming out this weekend, and we have more bloggers doing more interviews of more people about more stuff. MORE. Anyway, everyone in Baltimore have fun. I’ll be soaking up double renown as much as I can, when I’m not tethered to my daughter and wife.


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.

Tales of Hate, Entry 10

Today is July 1, and I will be posting this on July 16, 2010, and will be the final post of the series for now.

Gorfang destro has seen a massive shift the last couple of weeks. Whereas before destro was always the underdog, fighting and scrapping for every win, of late, they have been the zerg. The force that runs over all opposition. They have been steaming down order, and breaking through the doors of Altdorf on a consistent basis. So frequent is this overwhelming assault, that the other day, order had three underdog points. Three! Obviously, my fun factor has dipped dramatically. I really enjoy being the underdog, and every time I log on Kaah to see a zerg, my desire to play vaporizes faster than an illegal alien outside an immigration office.

The class is still fun and interesting, and I think with more rank, gear, and maybe even a team to play with, he could be ridiculously nasty. A three-man assist train led by a Blackguard should bring the fear of God into the hearts of any target it falls upon. The kicker is that the career is getting some changes they have asked for. I like them sort of, but they are giving up a lot for it. They are getting a mirror of the Iron Breaker armor debuff, and the strength/willpower buff, but losing their disorient AND their morale stopper. Those are two biggies to say goodbye to, and it makes me sad. However, in the spirit of greater realm parity and similarity, it’s the right move.

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Tales of hate, entry 9

Today is June 21, and I will be posting this on July 15, 2010.

It was an interesting weekend for my Blackguard. I got to play a bit here or there, and even do a city siege. As I said from the get-go, I’ve been keeping mostly on the down-low about my character, but not being overtly sneaky about him. If people found out who I was, so be it. I wouldn’t lie, and outside of my forum signature on the Alliance forums, I don’t advertise my identity on him. That said, if you’ll reach back in your memory banks, you’ll remember a post (a couple of weeks ago for you) where I talked about some awesome drama and an ex-guildie. Luck would have it, that I ended up in a city siege with him. Within minutes of his guilds arrival, I got chatter asking if it was me.

I confirmed.

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Tales of hate, entry 8

Today is June 14, I will be posting this on July 14, 2010.

After a couple of weeks of debate, I did decide to reactivate my Blackguard’s account and keep it active quasi-permanently. Meaning it may go forever, it may go till these posts start going live in July, or it may go until 1.3.6. Reasoning totally dependent on my mood, the tides, and whether my daughter laughs at my silly noises in the morning. Completely arbitrary. Still, I played a bit this weekend, and had a good time at it again. Kaah is firmly into RR41, and quickly making way to RR42. As usual, I was enjoying almost insta-pops the entire time I was playing him, but sadly, none of my guildies decided to commit in any serious fashion to their destros since everything in house has returned a happy equilibrium.

A new (or so old, I forgot it) and interesting experience was pushing zones to the city starting early in the AM. I wouldn’t call it fun per-se, but it was interesting. What intrigued me the most, was the behavior of the people I was zerging with. As I said before, I’m doing this whole thing completely unguilded, so I am going with the full experience of a friendless, unsupported, unknown nub. I make full use of all the systems in place to bridge the gap as much as possible. I make liberal use of open warbands to mooch as much healing as possible. I’ll frequently run into a lake, hit “L” and join the biggest warband I can. If they look like they’re doing something semi-productive, I’ll run over to them, and fight in their general direction/area.

Of course, I’ll be in queue for a SC.

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