a warhammer online blog

Saturday, 31 January 2009

My Wishlist

Inevitably nearly everyone is going to have their own personal wishlist for Warhammer - it's a young game, and is far from perfect, especially thanks to the powers that be rushing the Beta stage. Instead of talking at my boyfriend, I decided to write down some ideas I had:
  • Let players duel each other in a designated area of the city - I am not a duelling person, I don't think I ever took part in one in my 2 years of WoW but while in game or reading blogs you'll hear a low whine of people who miss that feature. Duelling your friends is a great way of fine tuning your reaction times and skills without a penalty. And every time I'm near the War Quarter, I see that massive expanse of NPCs fighting each other and wonder - why can't that be enacted for real players? Or at least contain a portal to mini-instances for two people? By itself, it's an unused, wasted piece of the city and dammit, I don't like that.
  • Come out with a low-spec version of the game - another "if Blizzard can do this, why can't Mythic?" wish. My laptop is very very low spec but somehow makes it possible to play the game. If there was a way of turning off even more of the graphics, Mythic would be opening up the potential userbase even further. And more players = more money.
  • Hotkey for zooming in and out - every once in a while I'll get lazy and take my laptop to bed to do some crafting, or maybe a scenario, but with no mouse scrollwheel, it makes playing awkward. I went into the hotkey section to discover there was no keyboard button that controls the camera zoom function. Am I blind or is this silly?
  • Improve the ORVR notification system - when I log in I want to know if I'm missing anything in the other zones, where the warband and fighting is, and how many Order are in the ORVR lakes. Kill markers on the map and messages to tell me when something has already happened feels like too little too late. I want to see a swarm of action and dive in headfirst, not type /1 and hope someone out there will update me.
  • OPEN THE OTHER CITIES GOD DAMN YOU - come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come onnnnnnnn what are we waiting for here? I am dying to see the Elf city, learn my racial lore, do quests. The Phoenix King should not be holed up in Karl Franz's bloody office! If absolutely necessary, send me in and I'll find all the bugs to help the developers stablise it. I'm pretty good at breaking the game.
  • If you're going to make things easier, make it optional - I love Syp but his constant requests for easier XP gain and tome unlocks are frustrating. Yes, levelling after 20 takes time and effort, and yes it's hard to find tome unlocks but that's the game. I don't want to have someone hold my hand and lead me through the game, it ruins the thrill of seeing my hard work pay off. I can't do much about the XP change, but if you're going to change tome unlocks easier, I want to be able to turn it off so it's not readily accessible.
  • Renown sellers = le suck - I'm getting tired of having to click on every renown gear seller in Altdorf because I can't remember which one has the latest gear for me. Giving them titles (ie: Apprentice -> Artisan) would help. A lot.
  • Customised mounts - OK, so we can't have faster mounts, but could we customise them? Saddles, bridles, trophy slots? Can I have a pink pony? Please? Perhaps this could be accessible at renown level 80? :D And while we're here, non combat pets? Pleeeeeeease?
  • NERF WITCH ELVES - because they make me cry in scenarios. Odogg and the infamous Blades (now renown level 77! Aargh!), I'm looking at both of you. Odogg in particular seems to hate me, I wonder if she's a stolen relative of Kipling...
So not really huge complaints. I'm excited that Live Events have become a consistent part of the game, that gold selling isn't an issue, that people are organised and motivated to play as a team and that bitching is still a dull murmur in the hum of people getting on with their own shit. I can almost guarantee that I'll be subscribing until the end of 2009 if the devs keep the customer service & patches up to scratch. It's a great feeling to be this positive about a game and yet not be addicted. Hooray!

Friday, 30 January 2009

On Yesterday's Announcement

A quick post because I'm stil jetlagged and haven't managed to put more than a few hours gaming in this week:
  • Slayers/Choppas: awesome! Awwwesome! I was never really excited about the Dwarf classes, or in fact the other Melee DPS characters, but who wouldn't want to play a Slayer? Smashing and bashing, and an extra-emo backstory (which is why I chose a Shadow Warrior as my main) to boot.
  • Night of Murder: can't wait for this event, I like the look of collecting another trophy as a live event reward, as well as any excuse to brutally murder anyone in my path.
  • Oh man oh man oh man, a free expansion! I love you Mythic! They're treating us so well. If there's one thing I enjoy about MMOs, it's seeing the game shift and grow as the months go by. I swear they keep putting new NPCs in Altdorf without telling us...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Real Life Time

There won't be any new posts here for a few days, as I'm finally off to the US to become a newly crowned American immigrant. I'm all packed and ready, but obviously settling in is going to take some time. I'd like to give a big thanks to Mythic for using servers in the US that, unlike WoW's crappy laggy localised European servers, work extremely well for people located overseas. You guys rock.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

More questing in Chaos Wastes!

...and not only did Kipling end up with a massive 80% towards level 38 via questing alone yesterday, but I got my very first bestial unlock! I was having a poke along the foot of a mountain range and found a named Bray Shaman that naturally, I had to kill, and resulted in the unlocking of said tome. This is the easiest way that I've found to get a bestial trophy in the game, short of going back to the lower level areas and killing champions. But your mileage may vary.

(When I went to the Library to pick my trophy, I chose the Ceremonial Dagger and was instantly disappointed that it was so tiny. They could have made it at least half the size of a regular dagger! Meh. Maybe I can pick my teeth with it or something.)

I unlocked a lot of tomes while I was running around yesterday, as well as meeting Dragon Ogres for the first time:

Talk about a beast! I don't want to know how they came into this world.

In conclusion: I like Chaos Wastes a lot - creepy landscape, new types of mobs, more space to move. I hope Mythic does something to make the mobs less clustered in the Tier 4 Elf lands, because I just can't be bothered with the level of difficulty there at the moment.

Things to do next: work on Kipling's renown level. While it's not pitifully low, I'd like to see the gap close between rank and renown before 40 for efficiency's sake.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Time to Get the Book Out

So if there's one thing I'm good at in MMOs, it's getting lost. If there's another, it's falling off or getting stuck in things, but that's another story for another day. Having dinged level 37 today via Keep taking (1) and a scenario, I was a little stuck. Another level to churn out. So I took myself to Praag - I had a few "I'm tired of looking at you, go and annoy this NPC in this camp" quests. Riding around there is straightforward, despite the clustered landscape - which may I say, I love, it's so dense and realistic. It reminded me a lot of the ruins of Eastern Plaguelands, only far more advanced.

But then I got to the south of the Chaos Wastes and nothing seemed to make sense... the maps showed a path that didn't exist. Was there a tunnel? Was the path a lie? After having a poke around for a few minutes, I gave up, not wanting to risk being the next snack for the nearby Champion, and booked it back to Dragonwake. Sometimes things aren't what they seem.

Once I did get back to the Chaos Wastes, I found a nice selection of quests - one LOLworthy chain taking me into the RVR zone - accidentally found Bastion Stair (thus clearing two spaces in my quest log!) fell off a cliff and logged out at the camp in the middle.

It seems to be quite a small zone, so I'm going to have more of a poke around in the next few days. That is if I get a chance - I'm emigrating to the US next Wednesday, so I have plenty of packing to get on with!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Blighted Isle

Monolith Population Stats

Mythic released some figures about my realm in a recent post on the Herald. I knew we were being steamrolled, but chalked it up to us being a bit crap and being slower to level than Destruction. But no:
Active Accounts Per Faction: 44% / 56%
Relative Average Exp. Earning Rate per Time Unit: 50% / 50%
Relative Average RP Earning Rate per Time Unit: 50% / 50%
Average Exp. Per Character: 51% / 49%
Average RP Per Character: 51% / 49%
There are 12% more Destruction players on Monolith. TWELVE PERCENT. And we're actually earning more XP and renown than they are? Wow! In the face of such difference, the fact that we've been able to organise and blitz an area is amazing! Well done everyone. Order are kicking ass on Monolith and everyone should get a cookie.

They also said:
"We do realize that numbers alone do not always equate to the very real perception players experience when waging war in open RvR. There are many different variables that can play into what you actually experience, including the time of day/night, the organization and cohesiveness of the group, and player skill. As developers, we also realize that it’s simply not possible to control these aspects, and there are times when one side is inevitably outnumbered on the battlefield."
I guess the only thing the devs can do, without completely meddling with the game and thus give certain players an advantage over others, is to push for server transfers for one faction side only. There were the exact same arguments in World of Warcraft, so it's not a unique problem, and I am glad to see Mythic addressing them, sharing information with us and helping us all overcome the frustrations we face instead of branding us a bunch of crybabies and return to counting their piles of money.

Now that's customer service, and that's why I'll keep playing. Fluffy bunny non-combat pets would help too.

Monday, 19 January 2009

What Now?

I seem to hit a wall in every game without fail. Back in the day (um, 1997-8), I resorted to ringing the Nintendo hotline because I couldn't work out how to get past the second dungeon in Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (to date, one of the only decent game I've ever completed). I like Warhammer and I've just renewed my subs, so I'm not going to up and quit, but I need to find a solution to the corner I'm stuck in.

  • Kipling (nearly level 37) seems to be surrounded by quests that are too hard - too many sensitive mobs that respawn too quickly. ORVR is a killer because I'm running on ghetto specs, so until I get my new desktop (post-emigration, but very soon!) I can't join in there. I did complete some quests in the Dwarfland, but I'm reluctant to zone jump too much, in case it makes questing on my alts boring. I could happily ding via grinding Serpent's Passage, it's a brilliant scenario, but it doesn't pop enough to keep me busy.
  • Icepick does not like RVR. No one seems to heal her, so it's an exercise in frustration. I'm one of those crazy people that likes to run facefirst into a group of the opposing team (quote from /sc "WTF is that chick DOING?"), but it's a shortlived joy if the healing is nonexistent*. Questing is more than easy, especially when Knights can easily solo champions. But when your renown is affected by your level, it makes more sense to keep them as even as possible. And all the fun ORVR is still in Tier 3.
  • Petroleum wants scenarios. Scenarios refuse to pop. Pop scenarios, pop! Aside from that, I'm loving Archmages. I especially love that one move that's a *zzzzzapp!* lightning bolt from the sky. I'm aiming to play her all the way to Tier 4, so hopefully the scenario popping won't be a massive inconvenience and I can keep moving forward in a fluid motion.
So in short, Tier 4 has questing problems, and Tier 1/2 has scenario popping problems. I'm not sure much can be done about the scenarios... maybe try and boost server population? But they could definitely improve the ease of Elfland quests - after Saphery, there just don't seem to be a good distribution of achievable quests. Kadrin Valley onwards has a far superior layout.

*Healing in Tier 4 is amazing. I love you guys.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Dear Mythic...

Please could you throw one of those promotional packages my way? My roots need doing, and my boyfriend is too lazy to buy his own clippers to shave his head.




Friday, 16 January 2009

(Dark) Elf Land

Scenarios refused to pop this afternoon, so I weasled Petroleum, my new Archmage, into the Dark Elf side of the Blighted Isle and had a poke around. I managed to get all the way to their starting ground without being shot in the face. Not really sure that's a good thing... but whatever!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Age of Blogging: Thank You!

A big big thanks to everyone linking to this blog for the Age of Blogging month that's going on throughout January. It's great to get comments and hear that people are interested in what I'm getting up to! I'm also finding it hard to keep up with all the blogs, there are far more people getting involved than I expected and so many good blog posts to read now! I'm hoping to make a compendium of my favorites at the end, but for now if you look right, I'm linking to them in the sidebar. Even that little list took me a couple of hours to organise the other day, and it's perhaps 5% of the concentrated effort piling up!

If you're thinking of starting a Warhammer blog and haven't yet, join the fun! It's often as easy as a screenshot.

Mother, What's WAR?

So proud of Monolith's Order last night. I logged in expecting to see Dragonwake locked out by Destruction, only to see the exact opposite and Region Chat buzzing with people giving directions and updates. Not one but three warbands were roaming the Elflands looking for Destruction blood, blitzing the Battle Objectives, dodging zergs, planning a defence of Reikland. It was fantastic. So so proud that we're finally turning around, organising ourselves and pwning as we should. After giving up - my poor laptop could not handle the action, and turned the game into more of a slideshow - trying to help in Caledor, I took Kipling back to Dragonwake to quest and do Serpent's Passage* et al to make sure we kept the zone. Because it started trying to turn back on us very quickly... as this game tends to do. In a month or so I should have a better computer and thus will be diving into the fray.

*re: SP, I am still chasing the elusive 100k final damage score. My closest has been 99k.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Serpent's Passage Sample Stats

Am I the only one that absolutely loves reading the stats at the end of each scenario? I love it! I love seeing how everyone else has played in relation to me, why x person didn't do as well (usually because they've died a lot), why y person pwnd. Screenshots also give me a good measure of how I'm progressing on my characters and an idea of what I should expect from others. As usual, click the images for readability:

Can't Keep Control

Spent the last handful of hours trying to exert some influence over the Order/Destruction Dragonwake bar. Talking to a guildie while I was knocking off some awkward quests opened my eyes to the fact that not many players seem to realise that it's not just oRVR that determines the area control. And to be fair, I didn't realise this myself until a few weeks ago. Swivel thy eyes to the image on the right.

So oRVR obviously has the biggest influence over which way the colours go, but if Destruction have 20 players running around completing their quests and Order only have 2, it's not much help either. I might have been imagining this but I swear I saw the Order bar go up a notch when I completed a quest today! It shows that every player in this game matters, even if they never get a single point on their renown bar. Instead of standing around at the warcamp waiting for scenarios to pop, it might make more sense to go finish any leftover quests you have lying around (in return for this, I will lobby for non-combat pets in the near future).

(And even now, reading the bottom part of the text properly, it sinks into my brain that BOs = a boost to your renown. Want more renown in scenarios? Make sure you grab a BO first! One of the major flaws in playing WAR is that half of us are just not reading the content properly. It's a fantastically designed MMO if you're conscious.)

Highest Renown...

...from a single player kill during a scenario so far. Nice huh! I am guessing a certain someone has been ploughing the post-40 renown fields and must be pretty high by now. Which works great for me, the lower level you are in a scenario, the more renown you get. But still, I look at the number "598" and can't quite believe that one player kill could net so much. End game scenarios are now looking quite promising.

PS - had some real life stuff to tackle recently, hence the lack of posts. I'm intending to get stuck in this week.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Pestilent Soul, Level 19 Hero

Found this horrible thing near Icefist Warren in Troll Country, surrounded by trolls. Having beaten down a level 19 Champion, I figured this would be difficult, but not that difficult. After all, Kipling dinged level 35 and has a shiny new cloak leftover from the Heavy Metal live event! Um. And then it beat me down to the floor, and I fell off a cliff and died. Fail.


Got him! It's a Snap is now unlocked for Kipling.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Time Out

An email in my inbox today announced that my 60 day timecard? Had run out. Because I'm in the UK (which will change soon, woohoo!), I'm dependent on my boyfriend to finance my subscription (I don't use credit cards), and he didn't check the internet before going to work today. And from work, he's going on a business trip for a few days... argh. I managed to get him to pick up a timecard from home on the way to the airport, so hopefully I'll be back in game by tonight instead of at the end of the week.

The good news is that he took advantage of the Black Friday Amazon.com deals and got them for half price. Half price is excellent.

Troll Country Exploration

Last night I finally got to game with my boyfriend, but instead of doing productive things like scenarios or quests, we went out in search of a few unlocks and to see what we could see in Troll Country. I'd spotted these Yetis a week ago, and wanted to kill some. So we did:

Close to the Destruction warcamp, we saw an AFKer. Aside from a band of RVR flagged Destro, this was the only other person we saw in the two hours it took to traverse the landscape.

Hung out in some water. I took all my clothes off to see if we got an unlock for skinny dipping. Alas: no. So back on they went.

You have encountered a Wareagle!

Take a look at this monstrosity, it had an eerie "trapped souls screaming" soundtrack emanating from it:

After this, we moved west into what came across as a very unfinished, barren landscape of trolls and icy caves:

I was a little disappointed, because I was hoping to find some history & lore unlocks, or something a little more random, but only came out with encounter/world/25 kill unlocks. And then we found Coldsnap, the champion that would provide the unlock for "It's a Snap!"...

...but only to the person with the killing blow. My boyfriend isn't as bothered (ie: he has a sane mind) about completing his tome. So you can guess who got the killing blow right? And he's a Rune Priest! Dammit! He has the best luck at the moment for drops and whatnot.

I'll be back Coldsnap! Don't you think I won't! And after blitzing through a quest cave (ie: mobs only, nothing interesting at the back) our journey had come to an end. This chap lies beside a large rock outside the cave to the south of Coldsnap:

Would have been nice to have an unlock telling his story, do you think he's a Slayer? And what's a Dwarf doing so far from home?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Ostland is Beautiful

One reason I am looking forward to getting a new desktop in 2009 is to experience the graphics turned up to 11 (the other is to stop crashing to desktop every hour and cut the lag in keeps - my problem, not the game's fault).

Saturday, 3 January 2009

So Shamans are AWESOME, huh?

Playing as Icepick yesterday I came across not one but two RVR flagged Destruction players in Ostland. No idea why they were running that way, they were quite close to what I think is their warcamp, but this is the first time I've seen anyone flagged in such an obvious enemy area. So, being a good slave to Order, I attacked them both. One was level 13 and went down too fast (I needed Marauders for a quest) to comment on, but Boomsok was another matter. The little bugger managed to get me down to half health (!) before I managed to murder him in cold blood amidst the trees. His self-heals were epic and I'll definitely think twice about jumping a Shaman in the future.

And obviously, when a scenario popped for both of us 2 minutes later, I was absolutely spit roasted by the Destruction team in revenge. D'oh.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Through a door, down some stairs...

...hit some red-level Destro NPCs, turn around and run for your life. But stop to take screenshots, because it's a beautiful game. All in the Troll Country oRVR area.