Friday, March 27, 2009

Class is now in session...

Time to take your seats and get out your books. This week I've felt like a student of the Breakfast at WAR Institute of Advance MMO Design and Pancake House. Professor Pancakez has been kicking out high-quality, detailed examinations, nay, dissertations on all things MMO and WAR design-related. We've got the topic of balance between mirrors, hybrid classes (interesting in an "I never thought of it like that" way), Sun Tzu's take on WAR RvR, and more to come. As you can see, I wasn't joking about it taking me a week, but it's been well worth it. So if you have the inclination, dive in to any of the above and check it out.


Originally posted at WARnPieces.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WPs are OP!!!!11!111eleven

Whew! It must be rant week. The part that jumped out at me was, of course, the complaints about Warrior Priests with Cleansing Power. I decided to bring my response over here, because I want to say some stuff about this complaint specifically and also about the general complaining attitudes that I've seen on multiple blogs and forum posts. One blog post didn't get me worked up by itself, so I don't think that author should have to deal with my counter-rant in their comments.

My WP doesn't run the Cleansing Power tactic, because until 1.2 it was too weak to justify not going further into the Grace tree for leveling. Pre-1.2, almost nothing of importance to me was a curse (e.g. Witch Elves used mostly hexes). Now I'm perfectly willing to agree that the first tactic in a mastery tree should not shut down an entire class as this seems to do to all Choppa's debuffs. I'd even be willing to contemplate that there are now too many abilities that are curses and some should be made into a different attack type.

But I'm personally sick and tired of the post-patch screaming bloody murder that happens every single time the game gets an update. Adding new classes is going to mess with balance. Especially when there are people out there who try to screw up the public testing (check the tell in chat) to prevent balancing from happening. Tweaking abilities is going to mess with balance. Reducing or modifying defenses is going to mess with balance. Nobody is out there saying that the game is now perfect. In fact, the next major patch is all about class balance. So calmly state your issue and then get back to having fun. 

There is no way under heaven for Mythic to be able to balance test everything so that all issues show up and are addressed before it goes live. It's just not possible till it shows up in live play, because people play differently when their real characters are involved. I think that everyone needs to make some decisions. Do you want to help move the game forward and help it get better? Then keep playing, have fun, and give constructive feedback. Mythic has shown themselves willing to listen. Do you want to play the game at the same level of polish that you are used to from WoW? Come back in a while. Mythic is working on it, but the simple fact of the matter is that no major online application that has this much user interaction is going to be perfect at 6 months, especially when new features are being added regularly. If you like the new freebies then you have to accept that some other things have to be set to the side while the new stuff is being developed.

To all those wonderful readers, bloggers, and players who aren't filling my rss reader with complaints and tantrums, thank you. Hopefully 1.3 will address the valid class balance problems and we can get back to enjoying the game as a positive community.


Originally posted at WARnPieces.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chirp, Chirp (And Thoughts on WAR Post 1.2)

I've seen a couple of blogs mention that things are kinda quiet in the WAR blog community. Too quiet for their liking. And like so many MMO gamers with the need for affirmation in their hobby, they start to wonder if the game is failing due to disappointment with patch 1.2. Well, I've been quiet because I've been playing and having fun. Gobs of fun. Patch 1.2 has been a blessing on my server, since with zone domination we've been able to counter the massive zerg effect that a couple of destro guilds where pulling off. It's been great to actually see the campaign progress in our favor. 

To the naysayers, I've got something very simple to say. I'm loving the game. I was loving the game when Witch Elves where demolishing me. I'm loving the game when Destro CCs me back to the stone age. And yes, I'm loving the game now that my side does well. But you've got to take both the good and the bad. New patch means a lot of new content, with the potential for new bugs. I've seen more CTDs this last week than I did last month. But they'll fix it. If there is one thing that Mythic has shown it's that they will listen and fix things. 

To those who complain about bugs, welcome to software development. There is no bug free code, only code where the bugs haven't been found yet. Maybe it's just because I'm a programmer, but bugs are one of the last things that I worry about in a game of this size. Sure, the painfully obvious stuff should be fixed asap. But you won't see me /ragequit over a monster not pathing well or a BO failing to give a domination point. Hopefully those who are so upset with these bugs are sending in an error report when they run into a problem and not just whining about it on the blogs and forums.

On the topic of nerfs and such, I'm pretty unfazed with Mythic because I used to play a game that made pointless nerfs to make entire builds completely useless in PvE because it's too strong in PvP. So far, I've not seen that from Mythic. Stuff will always need balance tweaks. That's just part of playing an MMO. But Mythic has done a good job so far of addressing things. I'm not saying that they are perfect or that they don't make mistakes. But they do make steps consistently in the right direction. One of the most encouraging things to me is that it seems like both Order and Destruction complain about balance almost equally. Not a perfect measuring stick, but an indicator that Mythic is even-handed when making balance changes.

Moral of the story: it's a game. If the things that you don't like are bad enough for you to leave, then do so. I wish you well and hope that you find more enjoyment in whatever new game you decide to pursue. But I'd like to strongly encourage everyone to really give things a shot. This game has made tremendous strides in the six months since launch, all while releasing tons and tons of new content. Stuff happens, but I'll take the game where the developer is openly communicating and consistently pushing the envelope of what the game can do any day of the week. 


Originally posted at WARnPieces.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Devs Listened To Me!

Alright, so it probably wasn't just because of little ole me. But with the 1.2 patch Mythic has fixed that little issue with the rested XP display. I now see that I've got 100k rested xp on my Black Orc alt. Looks like I'm going to be busy catching up!

Everything about the new UI has been really nice. Maps seem accurate now, and I love the indicators in RvR as well as the active players number in PQs. I'm still getting used to the new party and warband finder, but I think it's going to be a good thing in the long run. I'm a little sad to lose zMailMod, but the changes to the mailbox were needed. I'll probably always come down on the side of making the game client more capable, even if it breaks some nice addons.

Other thoughts on all things 1.2: 
  1. Twisting Tower scenario is pretty interesting and fun. Hopefully tonight it won't be quite so choppy.
  2. I've already gotten the first reward for Bitter Rivals influence, with only two tasks finished. Looks like Mythic is making sure everyone will get a shot at the elite reward, which is good. These live events to release new classes have been very successful in part because they took what could have been a negative (classes released late) and made it a positive (fun event with sweet rewards). 
  3. Hooray for the crafting changes. It was so nice to not have to reselect all the items to create a new talisman the same as the last.
  4. The new mounts were tempting, but I'm holding off for the guild mounts. Just 2 more ranks, CoWs! Let's go!
  5. I seemed to last longer in open RvR. Not sure if it was because the group finally gave me a Guard or if it's a result of the changes to armor reductions. But either way, I'm one very happy front-line healer. Pancakez has a great write-up on the armor reduction changes, for those who are curious.
So, how's your experience been so far? What's your favorite change?


[UPDATE] Hey WAAAGH readers! Make yourselves at home, but feet off the couch, please! Many thanks to Syp for the recognition


Originally posted at WARnPieces.blogspot.com

Who, What, When, Where?

So I'm scrolling through the guild forums, looking for any posts about planned dungeon or oRvR events when I had a thought. I know, rare occurrence and all that, but here it is:
Why can't we have an RSS feed of guild calendar events?
It's a pain to look at 2 or 3 different places (in-game calendar, guild forums, alliance forums, etc...) to stay current on the planned events. I'd love to see an RSS feed, web page, or other information radiator (little agile lingo for you programmers out there) to tie things together and keep people informed. And while we're dreaming, maybe Mythic could even provide the guilds with a permission set to allow folks to update the calendar through a web interface. Something on the user control panel of the forums, even?

I realize this idea isn't anything mission critical, but it's exactly the kind of thing that Mythic could implement in the coming months and reap a lot of benefit from. A couple man-days of effort to design and implement the code changes for the server, then hand it off to the web-devs to put together the feed/page. In fact, once the data is accessible to the web developers, there are any number of cool, social network-y things that can be done, like sending out event invitations, updating forum status during guild events, and the like. 


Originally posted at WARnPieces.blogspot.com