Monday, August 24, 2009

Winning Contests and Defending Altdorf

Woohoo! I won! So that means I've signed myself up for another round of WAR blogging. Unfortunately, due to the insanity that is fortress sieges (a second ramp for Forts seemed like a no-brainer), I'm not able to provide my promised interview of the defeated Destruction Lords. En lieu of that, I'll instead give my impressions on an actual city siege under 1.3.1, with me in the role of heroic Altdorf defender since Destruction managed to beat us to it.

I logged on to find that Altdorf was under siege and a solid guild group was online defending. I jumped in the warband and queued for the instance, hoping that the rapidly dwindling siege timer would hold out long enough for me to get in. Took about fifteen minutes, but I made it in with about 50 minutes left on the siege; plenty of time to get my feet wet in the new system. Turned out we were routing Destro pretty handily, though I must applaud the group or so of Destruction players that never gave it up. They fought hard and tried to hit the BOs, but with such a disparity of numbers, Order was able to sit on 2 BOs for the duration.

With the BOs securely in hand, it didn't take long to flip the PQ to the second stage and bring out the General, who was promptly ignored. Those guys are tough PvE content all by themselves, and it doesn't help that his Hero minions insisted on chasing our healers all the way back to the Order spawn point in the market. Odd pathing aside, I still don't like that even with 2-1 population in an instance, it still doesn't seem viable to beat the General down. An unchecked lion, or an accidental taunt, and the battle field is immediately littered with allied corpses. "Why bother with that?" seems to be the consensus. We can just hold the BOs, kill the few destro that stick out their noses, and wait. Destro doesn't need to really defend the General, they can just follow in his footsteps and mop up.

We finished the PQ twice; add in the 2 crests for successfully defending the city and I got 4 crests for an hour's defense. Not horrible, but I'm still left sitting on a grand total of 10 Invader crests. I've got 999 Officer Medallions ready to go, but until I can get into another City Siege or get lucky fighting in RvR, my gear progression will remain where it has been for the 4 to 5 weeks: 2 Invader/ 4 Conqueror for RvR. I'm RR 57 now, and the inability of my server to get to a City Siege has been a bit of a frustration the last couple weeks. It's got to be even worse for the folks even higher up the Renown Rank ladder.

Well then, you're probably asking, what would I do? Here ya' go:
  • I would have added a second ramp for Fortresses. What's good for the Keep goose is good for the Fortress gander, and I'm personally of the opinion that if you let your side get dominated so badly that you're depending on the Fortress Lord to keep the other side out of your Capitol, you need some incentive to make sure things don't get to that point. Go guerrilla, get mobile, leave BOs before the second tick, and otherwise shake up your strategy to annoy and confuse your opponents. It's too bad that they didn't take this opportunity to try to improve the Forts, but they are promising something new in terms of Forts and the campaign in patch 1.3.2, so we'll see.
  • I would have toned down the General. Are we mice or are we men? When the General arrives on the scene in a city siege, it's pretty obvious that all these lauded "heroes" and "champions" as we players like to fancy ourselves are able to contain him as well as a wet paper bag. Forget killing him, we can't even make it so that he doesn't kill us in one swing. I'm okay with the idea that the Generals of the armies in WAR would be immune from our taunts. What I don't understand is why this needed to be translated into an immediate "General goes freakishly insane and kills everyone" response. Especially now that the BOs are in place, the dominating side is going to win the second stage by virtue of being able to field a full defense of the Objectives. I don't see a reason for the General to still be so stupidly powerful.
  • I would have run more QA/fixed QA processes. I've defended Mythic before when the issue of bugs comes up, saying that some bugs aren't going to be found until you get a full population load and see it in the wild. That's still true but now we seem to be getting lich bugs; bugs that were quashed before and have now returned because nobody destroyed the phylactery of poor source code management and testing. I work in software development and I know how easy it is for someone to check in old code on accident. But we shouldn't be saying that a bug that was fixed before has now returned almost a year after launch. You shouldn't even start a project, especially of this size, without a very strong source control system and testing procedures in place and ready to go.

Complaints aside, this patch was a nice big step in the right direction. The new siege is more fun and based on what it should have been all along: killing enemy players. I'm encouraged that Mythic has a plan for Fortresses, despite what seems like a wasted opportunity to redo them a little now. We'll see what they come up with. I've got an idea or two myself, but I'll save that for another post.

Originally posted at


  1. I left the WAR scene awhile back, but all the patches from when I left seem to have slowly put the game back on its feet.

    What I would like to know from you and anyone else really who plays WAR, is there still people making use of that one hack program (WarBuddy I think?) in RvR? from what I read it seemed like game breaking stuff to me.

  2. It's not as uncommon as I'd like. Fortunately, most folks are very quick to report anything that even smells fishy. Mythic needs to get ahold of that program and run down the list of "features" and start breaking them. The fact that they haven't yet is disconcerting.