Archive for December, 2010

the patch that could have changed everything…

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 31, 2010 by bruglir

This is going to be a long read, brace yourselves!

patch 1.4 can be seen as a success, or failure. it succeeded in some areas, and failed in others. the ideas were good but the execution is seen as very poor. and to top it all off, many players are just getting fed up of so many little things that they become big things. so i’ve come up with some things that could change it all… i won’t pretend to think i know better than anyone, at the end of the day i still enjoy the game, but i just believe it could be better than it is. and i want to see WAR have the glory it deserves.

I’m sure there will be many people who would disagree with me, and that’s fine. That’s their right, that’s their prerogative. All I ask of people, who DO disagree with me, is that they be constructive in their feedback of this.

I should also, probably foreword this by saying it’s extremely unlikely any of this will come to pass. At the end of the day I’m just another player, and I have hope that WAR can be “better” than it already is. As such, the majority of this is based on personal opinion, and although I’ve consulted many (many many) other people about it, it remains my opinion alone.

That said. If you do agree with it, fantastic, let’s try to publicise it as much as possible, and see if mythic listen and implement some of the things we’re talking about!

Problems with the game (perceived or otherwise):

Only 10% of the games total content is available to tier 4
players.

You read that correctly… once a player moves up through the games tiers, they lose access to the previous one. By the time you reach tier 4, that’s 3 whole tiers (75%) gone. Of that 25% that’s left, roughly 60% of the remaining play areas are PVE. Bearing in mind that this is a PVP game, advertising huge open world rvr combat, that’s a real shame.

Casual players constantly fighting hardcore players, and vice versa.

This is probably one of the biggest problems. It goes far
beyond such issues as gear which is easily available and renown which can be
gained by all, in time. Casual players feel they have “no place” in the game,
currently. As there is no safe haven for them to play in.

Career balance.

The rock paper scissors mechanic is pretty broken. Along with every career having too much of everything. Every career feels like it should be a one man army, and very few TRULY rely on group play to be at their best effect. Having realm mirrors that are non-identical is fine, I encourage it. But at least try to build around the fact that everyone must have a weakness, or that they should rely on something other than themselves to be the most effective. Not to mention the obsolescence of some careers down to such simple things as potions. Having a career or careers become “useless” because their primary roles can be replaced by a purchasable item is not a good thing.

Strength in numbers.

I fear this problem is persistent in all games, not just WAR. More numbers = more wins. Blobbing/zerging is prevalent. But not just because of career balance, or even the mindset of players. Part of the problem lies in the ease at which a huge number of players can move from one place to another in good time.

Possible solutions, and reasoning behind them:

Widen the rvr lakes in tier 4.

There is really NO reason not to do this. All that would need to be done, is reduce the number of pq’s, or even keep them there but alter them to be rvr pq’s, and change the chapter camps into battle objectives. It’s really not that complicated a solution, but it works on multiple levels.

Firstly, it stops a large group from being able to be everywhere at once (or at least get from one place to another in a short period of time). This would have more effect on separating the zerg than any other change. Because a smaller force would be able to take any given point, and know that if the enemy were all blobbed up on one spot, the likelihood of them getting to that point in time is slim. It promotes actual skirmish combat, which is what players want.

And secondly, it allows players to utilize a larger area of the game world that is currently just… not being used.

Change the tier brackets to function on renown ranks instead of career ranks.

  • Tier 1 = rr0-19
  • Tier 2 = rr15-39
  • Tier 3 = rr35-59
  • Tier 4 = rr55-100

This would give players a much closer bracket of competition with each other. It allows a larger portion of the game to be played for a longer period of time. Currently players can ascend through all 40 career ranks in under a week. Which leaves months, possibly years (in my case) of playing through tier 4’s same old same old content over and over again. A secondary reason for this is the stat difference between annihilator and warlord, is much much smaller than the difference between warlord, sovereign, and the new doomflayer/warpforged sets.

Change scenario queuing system.

Group queues, where possible, should only ever fight other group queues. this would GREATLY aid the pug vs premade problem. pugs are largely built of casual players, but if they’re constantly rolled over by premade groups who literally do nothing but spawn camp for 15 minutes, ignoring objectives in favour of renown. those casual players will just stop playing. I recognise completely that pugs SHOULD get rolled by premades, however what also needs to be recognised is that there MUST be an outlet for casual players. leave the open rvr zones for the pug vs premade fights, but at least give pugs the sanctuary, and premades the competition, of decent scenario queuing.

Give the general careers an overhaul

This is an important point, and not one to be taken lightly. I’ve put a lot of thought into how this should work, looking at the current careers, their current roles (or lack their of) and tried my best to come up with something that actually compliments the original intention of “rock < paper < scissors < rock” idea.

Firstly, potions need to stack with regular buffs. Having utility careers who’s utility is well… useless, because a simple, purchasable in bulk potion can over-write it, is just not on. However, an important amendment to that statement is that they should ONLY stack with GROUP buffs. Players should not be able to drink a strength potion, and then buff their own strength on top of that.

Secondly, debuffs… let’s talk about them. Why do so many careers have access to so many of them? Especially careers who deal more damage than anyone else having just as many debuffs. It’s not fair and it’s not right, so let’s revise it…

  • Tanks will now have access to heal debuffs. Incoming debuffs will be limited to 2handed spec lines, outgoing debuffs will be limited to sword + shield spec lines.
  • Melee dps will have access to resistance debuffs.
  • Magic ranged dps will have access to armour debuffs.
  • Physical ranged dps will have access to resistance debuffs.
  • Healers will have access to cleanses, and incoming heal
    buffs.
  • Utility careers (magus/engie) will have access to both
    armour, and resistance debuffs, but with lower delve values than others. They
    will also have access to outgoing heal buffs, as well as group damage buffs.

This system is designed so that no one career can excel on its own. To get the most out of any given career, you need another to compliment it. It allows a lot more freedom to create groups of different setups, with different things in mind. But penalises you for taking a cookie cutter setup every time, because someone else will always find a new setup that beats it.

General mechanic changes to “hybrids”.

  • Guard – guard can only be used with a shield. However there
    will be a tactic in all tanks 2h mastery trees which grant them a 15% outgoing
    damage bonus.
  • Divine fury – this tactic will be changed so that any healer who uses it will no longer be able to resurrect a fallen ally.

The reason for those two changes is fairly simple… the combination of guard on a 2 handed tank + a dps careers, is just too great. However, tanks do need a trade off for losing guard. Similarly, healers who want to spec dps should lose their “main” healing ability, of being able to resurrect people.

And finally, I guess… fix melee healing!

That’s all for now, I’m sure I’ll have more to say soon. Cheers.

forum post here, please post.

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your dream 1.4.1 patchnotes…

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 22, 2010 by bruglir

So after seeing this post on the official WAR forums. I thought about it and thought pretty hard. And decided that of course, anything I suggested would ultimately not happen, but it would still be fun to type up a
bunch of “fake” patch notes anyway.

Just to see people’s reactions and stuff.

It also turned out to be much much longer than I could have posted on the official forum. So I decided to make a blog post about it. Try to bear in mind i don’t know every career inside out, so some careers i’ve
deliberately missed off just because i don’t know enough about them, and if i’ve added a career that i don’t know much about, it’s quite probably down to “peer pressure” and reading up on the various complaints.

Here goes!

General RVR changes:

  • Siege weapons, and rams are now affected by your
    realms AAO bonus. They will now deal between 100% damage at 0 AAO and 400%
    damage at 400% AAO.
  • Scenario queues have changed! if you are
    queueing as a group, you will now only fight other groups.
  • All warcamps will now have two (2) rank 55
    champions at their exits.
  • Scenario guards now have a 200ft aggro range,
    will only use ranged attacks, and cannot move (they will not wipe an entire
    group if they are out of 200ft).

General balance changes:

All armour careers have had soft caps implemented on their
armour and resistance values.

  • Light armour, and robes will now soft cap at 30%
    with the soft cap on resistances increased to 50%
  • Medium armour and medium robes will now soft cap
    at 55% with the soft cap on resistances increased to 45%
  • Heavy armour careers will now soft cap at 70%
    with the soft cap on resistances remaining at 40%.

Bright Wizard and sorcerer mechanics have changed, they will
no longer have a chance to receive backlash damage. Instead they will have a
scaling incoming heal debuff applied to them.

  • At 20 mechanic, 5% heal debuff
  • At 40 mechanic, 10% heal debuff
  • At 60 mechanic, 15% heal debuff
  • At 80 mechanic, 20% heal debuff
  • At 100 mechanic, 25% heal debuff
  • this heal debuff can be applied on top of
    others. So a second incoming heal debuff would reduce incoming heals to 37.5%
    at full mechanic.

Career changes:

Disciple of Khaine

  • Rend Soul has been moved to the sacrifice tree
  • A single target, channelled heal has been added
    to the dark rites tree. It is classed as “fragile”, and is almost always
    interrupted.
  • Lifetaps will now have their multipliers
    increased by the amount of soul essence in their resource pool.

Engineer

  • The hollow-points tactic will now give you an
    additional 15% armour penetration. But you will not gain additional damage as
    before.

Magus

  • The chaos unleashed tactic will now allow you to
    ignore 10% of your targets resistances instead of gaining a critical chance
    bonus.

Marauder

  • All abilities may be used regardless of your
    mutation. However if an ability is not designed for the mutation you have, it
    will have a 75% reduction in damage.

Shadow Warrior

  • All abilities may be used regardless of stance. However
    if an ability is not designed for the stance you are in, it will have a 75%
    reduction in damage.
  • The enchanted arrows tactic will now give you an
    additional 15% armour penetration, but will no longer ignore resistances.

Squig Herder

  • The clever shootin’ tactic will now give you an
    additional 15% armour penetration, but will no longer grant you an AP bonus.

Slayer

  • Shatter Limbs has been changed and will now debuff outgoing heals by 50%

Swordmaster

  • The vauls buffer tactic has been changed. it will now cause Dragons Talon to hit up to 8 additional people around your target.

Warrior Priest

  • Divine Assault has been moved to the grace tree.
  • A single target channelled heal has been added
    to the path of salvation, it is classed as “fragile” and will almost always be
    interrupted.
  • Lifetaps will now have their multipliers
    increased by the amount of righteous fury in their resource pool.

White Lion

  • Echoing Roar has been changed, and will now increase the cooldown of all abilities by 5 seconds, to your target and all allies within 30 feet.

Witch elf

  • For every point of frenzy, you will gain 3% more
    armour penetration.
  • Agonizing wound will now ignore 3000 armour,
    instead of 100%

Witch hunter

  • For every point of accusation, you will gain 3%
  • more armour penetration.
    Torment will now ignore 3000 armour, instead of
    100%.

more interesting developments.

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 12, 2010 by bruglir

well, after reading some forum posts, and some people “just not getting it”. even so far as calling me stupid, and a noob and stuff, for only factoring in KE as a spell, saying that a good dok prehots, and uses other abilities… well that’s cool and all, so i figured i should probably just, you know… factor those in too.

what i’ll do now, is calculate everything over a period of 15 seconds, as that’s how long our longest hots last. we’ll see how quickly we run out of SE shall we?

Khaines Vigour

  • 40 SE cost
  • instant cast
  • 15 seconds duration
  • 10 seconds cooldown

Restore Essence

  • 55 SE cost
  • 0.5 second cast
  • 5 seconds duration
  • no cooldown

soul infusion

  • 30 SE cost
  • instant cast
  • 15 seconds duration
  • no cooldown

soul shielding

  • 40 SE cost
  • instant cast
  • 10 seconds duration
  • no cooldown

khaines embrace

  • 60 SE cost
  • 1 second cast
  • no cooldown

for the sake of argument we’ll say that the dok in question has yet to enter combat, sees an enemy group coming, and decides to act. he prehots the group with KV. then places 2 hots onto the groups main assist as he’ll be in first, and then pops his group bubble to try and help against that initial hit. after that he can start using KE to pop out some group heals. now, try to remember that CURRENTLY, all of these instant cast abilities could have been used while KE was on cooldown. but now there is no cooldown, and you will have a choice between using a global cooldown on another instant cast hot, or casting another KE. currently if you cast an instant, the GCD would be over just before KE’s cooldown allowing you to chain cast things.

now it’s different. i’ll use an image to display the new timeline for all this.

 
now we just have to pray to the gods that we’re all in full sovereign, and that we don’t need to change to other armour types later on in order to keep up with the gear curve. even full sovereign will struggle past the 15 second mark.

And now for something completely different…

Posted in Other stuff. on December 11, 2010 by bruglir

in non-WAR related news, the indie dev team i work for just announced our first title, yippie!

head over to www.conquesthd.com and check it out!

interesting developments…

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 11, 2010 by bruglir

Well well well… we’ve had some exciting/disappointing for some developments from mythic today, in the form of changes to the way dok/wp heals will work in future.

before i get into that though, i had a comment regarding my last post, i’m sorry the guy doesn’t have a blog, however he does have a twitter, follow him @AndyBursh

now then, into the nitty gritty. perhapse to break precedent, Steven Engle gave some figures over the core tester IRC channel which i’ve been allowed to share with you all. it’s nothing amazing or fantastical or anything like that. just a “before and after” sort of thing:
[16:37:08]  so for example if you once healed for 1280, it will be closer to 720ish

with that in mind, let’s review a few things. firstly, the way Khaines Embrace used to work:

  • 1 second cast time, 1.5 second cooldown = 2.5 seconds between casts (in-theory).
  • 60 SE per cast = 24 SE per second cost
  • 1280 non-crit heal

and how it’s going to work:

  • 1 second cast time, 0 cooldown, 1.4 second GCD = 1.4 seconds between casts
  • 60 SE per cast = 43 SE per second cost
  • 720 non-crit heal

so let’s do the usual math bust here. over a period of 10 seconds, in the old ways you could likely have gotten off 4 casts (if there are no interrupts or setbacks). over the course of that 10 seconds, assuming full sovereign + mythic chalice, you could regen up to 220 SE. this would almost negate the cost of the heals, as they would cost 240. you could suppliment this with 1 use of Essence Lash to regen another 45 SE, however it’s un-needed and you’ll get the full 4 over 10 seconds anyway, for a total of 5120 non-crits worth of health in ten seconds

now… under the new system, you could theoretically cast 7 heals. theoretically.
now, why is that only a theory? well. first of all, that would cost a whopping 420 SE. you can regen a maximum of 265 if you get an essence lash in there. but even then that takes away one of your heals, as it costs a GCD to use. so now we’re down to 6 heals. those heals are 54% less effective than they used to be too (720 = 56% of 1280). of those 6 heals you only have enough RF to cast 4, and then another on the 11th second. giving you just 2880 worth of non-crit heals over the same 10 seconds.

this actually gets progressively worse. as the fight goes on, you’ll need to use more abilities to regen your soul essence (yes, even in full sovereign). each of those abilities takes away 1 gcd that you could have used to cast a group heal.

this has the knock-on effect of causing fewer heals to be cast instead of more, over an extended time period. and for a lower delve value. i actually think this was a clever move, it’s bringing dok/wp heals to where they should be: supportive aoe, leaving “burst” healing to clothie careers.

edit: some 8 hours later or something… after some ZZ’s.

it was pointed out to me on the WHA forum that “ZOMG UR MATHS SUCKS!!”, because they correctly pointed out that at the start of a fight, dok/wp have 250 resources at their disposal anyway.  so with that in mind, currently you will run out of SE…. never, you can keep pumping out the heals every 2.5 seconds for ever and ever and ever.

with the new changes, you’ll run out after 10 seconds, giving you the full 7 heals if you really want to spam them (for a total of 5040 heals) within that 10 seconds. but again as in the above example, you’re out of SE and you have very few ways to reliably regenerate it. really, after the initial hit of a fight, dok/wp are likely to find that their healing suffers a lot purely because they’re used to just spamming a button and everything being ok.

good players will work around it, but the majority of terribads out there, who are fotm rerollers who played the career so their guild wb could get an ez win? well… they’re gonna get a pretty hard kick in.

Dok/WP Love/Hate; a letter from an Archmage…

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 5, 2010 by bruglir

this is a really cool (roleplayish) writing from the perspective of an archmage, take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s definitely a good indicator of the mindset of clothie healers vs dok/wp. if we could get this reposted on all war blogs, and get some actual momentum going, i’m sure we can get some worthwhile and meaningful changes made to healing careers. thanks!

“Dear Disciple of Khaine and Warrior Priest,

I hate you, I really do, but I love you too damned much to stay mad at you.

First things first: I’ve got to ask you how a 1s group heal that can heal for more than a 2.5s single target heal isn’t unbalanced?

You’re fantastic partners to have as a healer, but I have a sort of love/hate relationship with you. I love healing alongside you, because you keep me alive and make up for my absence when I’m kiting somebody around; even while you stand in one spot whistling and making origami penguins. It’s like you’d be just as happy and effective without me.

When I’m running around like a mad man screaming for help, unable to help heal the group with more than HoTs, you stand stoic, spamming that group heal, determined to make sure our groups health never drops. Thanks. I hate you.

Beside your overpowered might, I look no more than a child in one of my mother’s ill-fitting dresses. I guess it’s cool though, because you don’t have a clue what to do when the other team all decide to beat up the same person; that’s where you need my help. In those peaceful moments when I’m not dead and I’m not running away like a Shaman with a speed proc, I put absorb shields on our MDPS and magical infusions on our little tanks; it makes me ever so happy to see them drop below 20% health and then go shooting back up instantly. I know some of that is down to you, but I tell myself that was all my work; it helps me get through the day, ok!?

I prance around cleaning up those little bits you missed with your incessant group heal spam, and tickling our enemies with my debuffs. Sometimes, I even put a HoT on you because it makes me feel good.

Then I see the scoreboard. You’ve done ten bajillion healing in nine minutes, and I’ve done about five thousand; but I was putting HoTs on everybody and using my channelled heal to save my favourite little Slayer from being blown up by the nasty Sorcerer .. I hardly even died either. I felt like I’d done really well, but no, you take that all away from with your stupid group heal. By the time I’ve cast a heal, or seen a HoT tic, your next wave of health has hit and rendered my efforts null; but if it weren’t that way, you wouldn’t be the same stubborn, armour clad, hammer wielding prat I fell in hate with.

When I see the enemy, I cry and run away. What do you do? You stand there like a statue and take the beating with that ridiculous armour, you idiot; but then you’re still spamming that stupid group heal and keeping me alive! You only do it because you can’t run away in that much armour.

If I’m lucky, I’ll see that skanky Witch Elf coming. Then, when she pops on me, I’ll be able to get away, and lead her on a wild goose chase around the map; all the time jeering at her and screaming for help. If she catches me though, I’m dead. Again. Not even you can save me. You wouldn’t even try, but if I can keep her away for long enough your constant healing might keep me alive until the friendly neighbourhood Dwarf comes and hits her round the head. If you were in trouble, and by some miracle I wasn’t, I’d heal you with everything I’ve got, because I love you that much!

So, you make me look pathetic on the scoreboard – stealing all my healing points – and then you make me look like a weakling when somebody attacks me. Great … but your wounds buff is so damned good for me, how could I stay mad at you?

Sometimes, I get tired of looking like a fool compared to you. You make me so angry, I unleash the power of Khaine upon my enemies in a tirade of lasers and pain – but I still heal people, or myself. I run around the map, trying to find that stupid Choppa so I can put all my DoTs on him then burn his face off with my Searing Touch. During all this, what’s happening to our groups health? That’s right, it’s not going anywhere. You’ve got it covered. See, I told you it’s like you don’t even need me. I feel so unappreciated.

Still, I suppose I should take solace in the fact that I can try and kill people when you make me angry. In fact, I’m pretty much a one-elf killing machine. I don’t need you to heal me. My enemies pain is my tonic.

Sorry, what? You can do that too? When have I ever made you angry? What? You get to run around with a big hammer smacking people in the face? Fantastic. I guess I should have figured that you carry a hammer for a reason. So you’re telling me you can do all those things that I thought made me special – healing myself by damaging my enemies – AND that stupid armour of yours means you can go toe-to-toe with those ugly Marauders? That’s just unfair.

Well, I have heard more complaints about my legendary damage, so I guess I must just be better than you. So there!

I don’t know if you know this though, but people really hate it when you get your big hammer out. When you hold it in both hands, it’s like you forget how to heal completely. What am I meant to do if you’re not wildly spamming your group heal like the disabled chimp I’ve grown to love? Well, I’ll die a lot more, and so will the rest of our team.

You know what, I’m glad you’re a healer. I love you when you heal. You keep everybody alive, suffuse us with the glow of high quality group heals. However, if I hear you’ve been having another affair with a Rune Priest, it’s over. I’m going dps spec forever.

Kindest regards,
The Archmage.”

OHNOES!!! more numbers!

Posted in Warhammer Online - General on December 2, 2010 by bruglir

 After reading a couple of threads, having some heated discussions, trying to help people understand “JUST WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?!” when you move past rr80, i’ve decided to post the results of some testing i’ve done with some friends.

before i go on with this, i should probably prefix it by saying that the formulas we’re working with are ones that have either been found on sites such as Warhammer Alliance, WARwiki, or others. along with our own internal testing and theorycrafting. none of it is official (as in, none of it came from mythic) , and is entirely open to scrutiny, so feel free to argue if it makes you feel good!

now… up until now we worked under the assumption that the phrase “+1 all mastery” meant “+1 effective rank”. and that with the +5 all mastery you gain on the way to rr100, your character has an effective rank of 46. That was an incorrect assumption according to our latest testing. that means that my last post about armour penetration and stuff should be disregarded, and i can only apologise for that. however, i didn’t know any better 😛

Just like before, there are 3 parts to the armour penetration formula. these are: 

  • <attackers weaponskill> / ((7.5 x <defenders rank>)+50)) x 0.25 = <Armour penetration> — this applies to players under renown rank 80.
  • <defenders armour> / (<attackers rank> x 44) x 0.4 = <Physical mitigation> — again, this applies to players under renown rank 80.
  • <physical mitigation> x (1 – <armour penetration>) = total mitigation after penetration.

now, how do things work after rr80? well actually it’s fairly simple… although it had us boggled for a little while, we believe we’ve cracked it. after you hit rr80, your renown is factored into both the penetration, and the mitigation calculations. HOWEVER, only the attackers renown rank is factored in. it scales from 1-20 based on how far above 80 you are, and we’re almost certain the calculation now looks like this for players above rr80. 

  • <attackers weaponskill> x (<attackers rank> / (<attackers rank> + <attackers renown> – 80)) / ((7.5 x <defenders rank>)+50)) x 0.25 = <Armour penetration>
  • <defenders armour> / (<attackers rank> + (<attackers rank> + <attackers renown> – 80)) x 44) x 0.4 = <Physical mitigation>
  • <physical mitigation> x (1 – <armour penetration>) = total mitigation after penetration.

I realise at this point that not everyone is into “LOLZMATHS!”. So to make things easier, here’s a spreadsheet of how things will look as you progress up to rr100 (from 80). this assumes that you keep the same weaponskill value, and that your opponent keeps the same armour value all the way up, as that seems to be peoples biggest concern (plenty of people saying omg i’ll have the same ws values!!!), defender is in medium armour + pot.

So, what have we learned from this? well first of all we were wrong about the affect of “all mastery”. All mastery is literally just +1 to all mastery abilities (and baseline i think?), just adds a small amount of base tooltip damage, nothing more. secondly we’ve learned that moving up through renown ranks does indeed lower the effectiveness of your weaponskill, this was likely to stop you being able to completely ignore the armour of anyone lower than rr80. kinda makes sense. that said, because your enemies armour seems to be tied into YOUR renown rank, it’s actually not offset that badly, and you’ll still find you’re doing decent damage against people who’re neglecting their armour.

however, just to stop the naysayers. here’s how it would pan out for someone who’s just hit rr80, and has to go against someone in full warpforged + pot.

so yeah… i guess what we can draw from this, is that at rr100, hitting the same target, you lose about 20% armour penetration overall. however you ‘re likely to gain that damage back in the form of weapon dps, and much larger amounts of primary damage stat, and you’ll even have room for some WS talies i’m sure!

i hope this clears up a little bit more for people how things will change for them.