Warhammer Online needs real crafting

WAR’s version of crafting is fairly um well shitty. You can’t create weapons or armor. This means that all armor and weapons must drop from PVE or RVR.

This is a very bad design choice for a game that really thrives on quick PVP/RVR sessions.  The core group of players only wants to RVR, they go through the PVE just to get to the RVR in the end.  They would rather buy the gear and specialize it to their build from players.

This would do a few things for the game. It would actually make the auction house useful. Currently I rarely use it because the dropped armor that I need is way too much money or not available.

It would really drive a player economy. It would give low level players something to make money on. In WoW I loved to just harvest leather I would do it all day long just to make money and play the auction house. Buying low and selling high was a mini game for me and one I really enjoyed.

It would also let people customize their armor to really help out their vision for their character.  You could try out those crazy builds that no one else thinks of. DAoC had a great armor and weapon customization system.

Really the biggest benefit would be eliminating the need to try to get a drop in PVE/RVR. You could buy and equip your armor without grinding.

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Grigdus the Choppa levels 5 – 10

I am still having a blast with my new choppa. I am tearing it up in RvR and Scenarios when they pop. It is nice being the one that is killing the casters and not the one being killed. I can mow through most classes except pure healers they are a little difficult. Playing on this side of the game is different, and I must say that the Iron Breaker and the Rune Priest are far superior to their counterparts.

This does not really bother me much there will be differences in classes.  I have not experienced the OP nature of the Bright Wizard yet and I doubt I will. Having a 40 Bright Wizard gives me a little insight on how to kill them. You know just hit them with an axe once and they are dead. I hope that I can learn some techniques for getting away from melee by playing one against other BWs.

I am still really enjoying the newbie guild it is a great addition to the game. The mythic employees are still getting on every night and getting groups together and playing. It is a great idea and I really think that WAR has reached a turning point and will start growing again.  They need to use the momentum and announce an expansion.

I am really looking forward to the next 10 levels, on my BW these were some of my favorite levels and I hope it is the same.

Warhammer Game Update 1.3.2 and with it my return to WAR

Game update 1.3.2 arrives today.  I have been waiting for this patch to land to return to WAR. I am going to start a new destruction character and go to 40. This will be my first time playing past level 10 on the destruction side.  I am planning on picking a tank type, I don’t usually play tanks so it should be very different from my 40 Bright Wizard. I will blog my journey and review the leveling changes that have taken place since my last trip to 40.

My goals are to level doing primarily pvp and PQs. I will not focus on leveling quickly I will level trying to get the best gear for my tier to maximize PVP effectiveness.  I will post each day I play (with a new baby this is not often). I will take lots of screenshots and post them on scrns.me.

My hope is this little experiment makes me examine and enjoy the game more by really digging into it and trying to get different things out of it than I usually do. I normally just quest and try to level as fast as possible, this usually results in me quitting and going to a different game or starting an alt.

New Warhammer Expansion!

I have been thinking a lot about WAR and where it is going and it is about time for an expansion to be announced.  So I am going to do a little speculating on what it will contain and what I hope it contains. Most of this will not be new to any one that reads Warhammer blogs but it is always fun to dream.

Two new races: Skaven/Lizardmen

I know this is not the first time that these have been mentioned as a possible expansion races.

The skaven are a very devious race that live underground and try to take over the world all the time. They believe they are the greatest race that lives and the horned rat will guide them to ultimate victory.  They will try to avenge their ancestors for the the brutal beating they took against the Lizardmen in the 1000 year war.

The Lizardmen will be the Alliance side of the new race. They will defend against the Skaven invasions of their lands. They will call upon the help of the Order races to aid them.

New Continent: Lustria

Lustria, the lands of the lizardmen. The new lands will have content all the way to 40. The lands will be very tropical and warm. The architecture will be Aztec based. It will be an Island and the only way on or off will be by boat.

The Chaos side will be tunnels underneath the island.

New Content

Twenty new scalable instances designed for solo or group adventures of all levels. These are placed throughout the old and new lands. The reward scales with difficulty selected and how many people are involved.

A new static dungeon for every tier in the new lands.  They will have solo, group, and RVR content mixed together.  Lots of quests for each dungeon.

All of the capitol cities will be completed and will be open to capture.

Old world changes

Tiers 1-3 RVR lakes will be combined into one lake per tier. This will keep the player base together and offer a more active RVR experience. All of the old lakes will be turned into epic PVE areas that offer great rewards if you are brave enough to enter.

Warhammer v1.3.2 Patch

Read the full patch notes here.

This patch is still only on the test server. It adds a lot of stuff that should of been there in the beginning and changes some things that I don’t believe is the best way to change them.

The global chat channels should of been there from the beginning. What kind of mmo does not have global chat? This I believe was one of the biggest mistakes that WAR made. If people could communicate out side of the current zone people would be able to group. It makes the game feel more active and  I think this change alone could fix many many problems with populations and PQs.

The beginner guild is a great idea they had it in DAoC and it was one of my favorite guilds to be in. Very casual and a good spot to find groups.  This just makes me wonder why they did not bring this over from DAoC. It also has the benefit of not having any drama.

Make all characters start in the same zone. This one has me mixed. One of the big problems with WAR is the population while leveling is to separated for most of their great PQs to be any fun. I will have to try it to see what I think but on paper I don’t like it. It kills re playability. But it may make up for it with the new quests and people to group wit.

It would be nice if only one PVP zone was active for the first 3 tiers. Make the remaining ones group PVE content or something fun.

While I am currently playing Aion I feel that WAR is my home and I will come back. It has something that I have not felt since the first time I played WoW and UO. I do not think I am the only one to feel this way. I will return to WAR and soon.

Warhammer Online One year Review!

I just canceled my Warhammer account.  I am about to move and am going to play champions online for awhile. I will probably be back. I took the exit interview and it got me wondering what I like and dislike about Warhammer. So I decided to write a one year review.

My history with WAR

I started playing WAR on release and did not stop for an entire year. There are only 3 other games that have kept me for over a year, Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and World of Warcraft. I decided to play WAR because I loved DAoC and hoped that it would DAoC2. Unfortunately it was not DAoC2 I believe it would of done much better had it been.

I played the entire year and got my Bright Wizard to level 40 it took most of the year, I am a slow player.  I enjoyed the trip it did not seem terribly tedious and I had fun most of the time. I started a few alts but only got them into the 20s. I got into a good guild and I ran a few of the early instances. I am not much of an instance runner.  I don’t like taking the time and I HATE voice chat, which seems to be required for most instances now.

What I don’t like about WAR

PVE that is disguised as RVR.

This is my number one complaint and if they fix it I would re-subscribe on that day. All of the RVR is focused around avoiding any resistance. We try to avoid keeps and objectives that are defended.  What RVR boils down to is running around killing Mobs and waiting, lots and lots of waiting.  It is the single biggest waste of time I have experienced in a game.

The fort and city sieges are a joke. You basically do PVE raids and the zones are population capped so if you are not quick you CAN’T PLAY. Who ever thought it was a good idea not to let people play parts of the game?

The RVR should be done to win rewards for the realm not for gear. Gear should be randomly dropped from defenders.

The zones are to intertwined and boring

Almost every zone is half one realm and half the other. No matter what side you choose you are leveling in the same zones.  This kills replay ability. In DAoC each realm had entirely different land mass. It was awesome. You get tired of one realm you go to another for an entirely different experience.

The zones very bland and boring, there is no reason to explore them. I don’t even have an urge to explore them.  There is no excitement that you might get into a place that is way over your level because everything is so linear.

Why did they put zoning in the game? They did not have zones in DAoC. Zones ruin the feeling of a living world and make the world feel small. Zoning should not exist in modern games.

Soloing at max level

The game is very solo friendly until you reach 40 then you have to group to make any progress. I don’t like grouping.  I HATE it. I want everything to be available by soloing. I want epic solo experiences.  I want to be able to solo PVE content at level 40.  I spent the last 40 levels solo why do the designers think I will turn in to a raider?

I think the only required grouping should be in RVR. That is it!  If I want to do a raid by myself, let me.  I pay to play the game and if I get to 40 and the only thing I can do solo is start an alt and level through the same content I just leveled through, I am going to quit. I have a pregnant wife and a kid I CANT raid.

The PQs are a step in the right direction with open grouping and pqs it is possible to experience epic content without taking a lot of time.

Character customization

There is none! All bright wizards look the same. I know this is done to make them easy to see on the battle field and to follow the table top game. But at least make my clothing look nice. It looks like orange shit. I could be biased on this because I play the most hideous looking class but still I want a different color besides orange.

What I do like about WAR

PVP

This is WAR’s bread and butter. It is by far the best pvp out there even flawed as it is. The scenarios are well done. The keep sieges are fun when there is one. Battles having hundreds of participants is great!

They need to focus on this and make it happen more. If the entire game was just PVP I believe it would be very popular.  When PVP is happening I love the game.

Public Quests

The public quest system is excellent. It is fun, engaging, and easy to get into.  This is one of the most innovative systems that WAR brought to the market and I believe that all major games will copy it.

The problem with them is that you need people to do them and I think that by having so many of them they have hurt the system. They should have 1 per zone to keep the population together. It is still a great feature and when you have the people to do them it can lead to lots of fun and some good drops.

Everything else

There is really no other single feature that I can point out, but the rest of the game is great. It is a very well made game and it is very fun until you reach max level then the problems really start to show up because you hit them all the time. The developers are listening to the users and that is always a good thing.

I believe that this game will grow with time and become one of the longer lasting games on the market. You add a few expansions and some endgame content and this game will be a real contender.

Here is my totally arbitrary review score:

89/102

Mythic Layoffs Mark Jacobs responds

Original

Folks,

Mythic has always been committed to maintaining a high level of development and customer service to our MMO players. In anticipation of rumors regarding staff reductions here at Mythic today, this seems like a good time to provide some insight into the future of development, customer service, quality assurance and play testing at Mythic. Though we are resizing the team to move from a pre-launch to a post-launch size, we remain fully committed to creating and delivering the best WAR experience.

We have a very exciting schedule planned for new WAR content and that schedule is unchanged.  Over the next few months, the announced “Call to Arms” live expansion events, new careers, new Tomb King themed area and RvR dungeon will be made available to our players as planned.

With respect to customer service, quality assurance and play testing, prior to the launch of WAR, we hired additional people to deal with the rush of demand associated with an MMO launch and to insure the best possible experience for our players.  We accomplished that goal and as a result we had the smoothest-ever launch of a major MMO.  Since the launch last year, the demand for customer service has gone down as players become more familiar with the game.  Obviously, demand for a large QA and play-testing staff also falls after launch.  As a result, we saw a staff reduction which is in line with the company-wide initiative. In no way does this conflict with our commitment to customer service.  Staffing numbers will always map to consumer needs – it goes up when we launch new products and expand popular ones, and comes back down as players become familiar with the game.

Although we now have fewer developers on the game than we did leading up to the launch, WAR still has a larger dev team today than we ever had for Dark Age of Camelot. At Mythic, we’re committed to maintaining the trust of WAR players – we’re going to deliver the content and service that keeps you playing.

Mark

I take this as some pretty bad news and his response to it sounds like a bunch of spin. I understand that some cuts need to be made to maintain a profit and I hope that this is not the beginning of the end.  I will hold out hope. Mythic created one of the greatest MMOs ever and I have faith they can do it again even with less staff.

Only time will tell