Monday, 19 July 2010

Orc 1999

So were have I been? I rolled 3 skulls and have been ko'ed by Blood Bowl. A friend bought the PC blood bowl game, so a few more of us followed. Then before I knew it I had bought myself a plastic orc blood bowl team from ebay stripped (guide here)the miniatures and repainted them in the theme of Space 1999.

Here is a picture of them before and 1 stripped.
orc1999 before

This is what they look like now with the addition of some goblins.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A change is as good as a rest?

As well as the game and community one thing which keeps a MMO player coming back for more is routine. For over a year now my routine has been Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights I login into War.

A blood bowl addiction has pulled me away from War to a point. Now I only login for guild RvR nights. So at the very least I login on Tuesday night for a 4-5 hour open RvR session. But with the recent Mythic announcement for European players moving servers and progression freeze for characters for a week this will probably see a further break for me.

My subscription is still running, but I am not entirely sure if I’ll be playing War for anytime this week. I don’t think I am alone, so could this mean a dent in subscriptions as people just let War slide? I for one think Mythic might need a little enticement to get people back into the routine.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Single target choppa

When there has been no set guild RvR nights happening I run some scenarios with my new choppa build. I have been running the AoE spec but these days, I am not really getting the damage or killing blows. The spec worked in a premade group with other AoE classes and healing backup, but when you’re running scenarios solo the damage just gets soaked up by AoE healing.

So I have spec’ed Hellichoppa to mostly Da’Savage tree, with strength around 950 and about 8.5k of wounds. The dilemma is what to have as my next important stat, weapon skill or toughness. It seems easier to raise my weapon skill but apparently toughness is more useful in open RvR as you face a wider range of damage. Weapon skill is most handy against melee classes, so I plan to give both a try.

The single target damage has been a fresh of air for my choppa. Jumping on the back line and actually killing people has been a revelation since my AoE build days. But I did come across a rather embarrassing defeat against a shadow warrior at the north flag in Dragon’s Bane. I was the only destruction at the flag and he rode up on his horse. I gritted my teeth to get ready for run around the flag pole, as he kited me. But to my surprise he started attacking with melee range, thinking I would win we started to dance. I left with a red face and he left with half his health.

On another note a few of my friends purchased the PC Blood Bowl game so I thought I would give it a try. So far I am completely addicted and actually thinking about buying a team of miniatures. I love the skaven but don’t really know enough at this stage to create decent plays

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Would you pay to swap?

Did you ever get character to level 40 and just think meh? I would pay money to just be able to swap to a different class. I would change my chosen to a black orc. Its got nothing to do with power or mechanics I just think they look cooler. I wouldn't want gear just swap my class and ranks and I’d be happy. What toon would you pay to swap?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Packed oRvR...

So on my third night of oRvR I finally got to take part in a city siege it was an Inevitable City defence. We won the first two stages but lost stage 3. Their healer an archmage was very good. I loved the new city siege but I need to run it a few more times to write some more. Anyway with the new city siege came lots of players in open realm versus realm which was absolutely excellent so I took some pictures.





Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Organized fun

Saturday night was my first play session in a week as I have been in the America. I was hoping to get to see the city siege but all I got was lovely open RvR. It was slightly frustrating as I wanted to see the new content but order prevented destruction locking Riekland on more than 1 occasion.

I tend to prefer oRvR to scenario’s for the sheer range of combat. You can go from a 1v1 to 100v100 and everywhere in between. The zerg might be a powerful force but it tends to run as 1 which leads to loss of keeps and battle objectives.

This happened Saturday night, as no guild war band was running I ran with an open war band. On more than a few occasions a smaller group prevented zone locks by sneaking to Schwenderhalle Manor or Frostbeard’s Quarry in Reikland. The Manor is an excellent place to defend with a small force. Destruction mainly moved as one (aka zerg) so a lot of the night was spent with most of Reikland under destruction control but reacting to smaller more organized order forces. The classic example is when the Manor is left open or only has a few scouts. They were able to take it and defend, against a greater force. Even when they wiped, the order war camp is close to the Quarry with enough time to take and lock before destruction zerg can reach them.

If most of my time was spent running in an open war band I don’t think my perception of oRvR would be as positive. But most of my time is spent in guild war bands that can turn on a dead goblin. Player’s follow orders and stay together defending or pushing as one and co-ordinating with other war bands to cover battle objectives. Maybe this is why my views on oRvR are so positive? You hear people call War, Waithammer or say its open world PvP is more PvE.
I think a lot if these views come from open war bands or the player bases focus as a whole. If your focus is renown and you just going through the mmo motions you’ll probably spending a lot of time guarding mail boxes or waiting for a objective/keep tick. If you shift your focus to fighting and tactics the style of oRvR changes and in my opinion the fun increases.

I wonder how many zone locks have been lost while the zerg waits for a keep or battle objective tick, or when the zone is under control and hordes of players wait it out in a keep or by the mail box. I have ran with a few excellent war band leaders who seem to always come up with new ways to mess with the enemy, from ambushing just at the right spot, using terrain as an advantage and being able to extract themselves from the fight to see the flow of battle and issue orders to push just at the right spot to roll the enemy.
I am not advocating oRvR is perfect there are lots to improve, but I think the core is there. How to improve it? Would siege weapons, city siege like mechanics in keeps or an alternative to zone locking help? In the end I am not so sure as I said player focus (path of least resistance) and open war bands (disorganized zerg) will always be there to detract from those improvements. It also seems there are a lot of smaller guilds out in oRvR as well. You have an open war band run by 3 people from a guild. They work together but war band chat is none existent, so the majority is left in the dark.

How do we reach this ‘organized fun’? :) I have said it once but having in game voice chat would go a long way to help organization. State of the realm, AutoBand and WARCommander make a war bands easier to lead could these be improved upon and be part of the main game. But how do we get smaller guilds together and move those who mainly PUG into organized war bands? Could guilds have incentives to be larger and participate more in oRvR. Maybe the new player experience could be extending to a tier 4 set of tutorials? Ones that highlight the extra stuff you can gain from being in a guild and ideas of what to do once you hit the level cap. Mythic produced this team play guide does it need to be updated to cover tier 4? I think stuff like this would make excellent video grab bags.

I think giving war band leader’s extra abilities might promote more organization. I would imagine the buffs would only come into use when the war band reached a certain number. You would not want lots of war band leaders of 2 or 3 created just for buffs. Buffs which only trigger when in RvR like slight buffs to speed for the war band when riding mounts or extra renown when the war band leader issues a rally call to fight on him. I am not talking game breaking abilities just little extras to give incentive to fight with the war band.


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Don't mention ze WAR!

Check out Don't mention ze WAR! They even have a video from the Squig Night (but from the dark side). The perfect banner for the sight could be an orc in a pointed helmet.

Friday, 14 May 2010

24 vs 24

It has been a good week in War, we had a guild event of 24 versus an order guild of 24 in a locked zone. The aim was fun, to improve our tactics and learn to play together as a guild. The event lasted around 3 hours I fraps’ed it see below... The variation in tactics from fight to fight where cool, as each side saw what the other did in the last fight and tactics developed. Our war band had lower renown rank players and we didn’t have the numbers to swap out substitutes. But we gave a good account of ourselves and won a number of matches.
I have also been in tier 2 with my sorcerer and I was surprised again how much action there was. I was also surprised by the lack of organization in war bands. I joined around 4 different war bands and all had a silent war band leader and members not just scattered in the zone but across multiple zones.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Krosussaysburn post of win!

Once in a while a post comes along which blows me away and is made of excellence. Head over to krosusssaysburn for their post on possible skaven classes. I particularly like the Moulder Rat Ogre Packmaster concept. I would dump so many of my current characters just to play any one of these.

Monday, 3 May 2010

I am the resurrection

Unless you have had your head up a black orc’s behind (it echo’s in there) you will have seen the latest bomb shell that as of patch 1.3.6 you will be able to play on both sides. I am fine with it as long as it doesn’t lead to exploiting.

I don’t think it is a precursor to another faction. As why wouldn’t you just do it when the faction hits the servers (although maybe it could be used as a hint).

What I would love is if the ability to play on both side meant War moved to single shard architecture as in Eve Online. If they could create the server setup to handle this and it was done due to an improvement in server technology rather than population decline I think this would improve War immensely.

Some have said it is another nail in the coffin for realm pride. With the exception of banter on the server specific forums I have seen very little of realm pride anyway. Even in other games I have not seen this kind of solidarity. Eve Online the solidarity comes out of necessity and survival and generally steams from the need for loot/resources.

I think Mythic are fighting a loosing battle with regards to realm pride as the carrot seems to win. You can see this when it looks like half your realm in tier 4 are standing next to the mail box, or when guilds who once spent most of the time in oRvR retreat to scenario’s to grind for weapons.

If I had control and it was possible I would probably implement the following:

  • Emblems would be awarded for kills on a group basis and awarded on drops and to the winning side. The loosing side would still have a chance of them as long as the actually did some fighting.
  • Zone locking renown would only be awarded if you contributed to victor points.
  • I would increase the chance of armour and weapon crest drops from killing players.

On another note in my haste to participate in the guild Juice night I deleted my level 24 squig herder by accident. I thought he was lost and my characters and I would have to have a collection for our departed comrade. But I logged an appeal in game and he was restored the next day! Now that’s what I call service.

Friday, 30 April 2010

What’s going to happen to our love?

So it is about that time again to post another video. This is one about the love between a herder and his squig. I imagine it’s a little more pure than that between an elf and his lion. I can picture the lion and elf sitting in front of a fire on a forest retreat talking about football to try and reinforce their masculinity. I am only saying that after the fun I had recording the footage and running into some white lions.

By the way don’t try and ask me ‘what is the point of this video’, as the only response you will get from me is a blank expression. If you don’t like ‘The Ocean’ I have a Billy free version here.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Juice Night

So I moved guilds. The move was a dilemma for me as I left some nice people, but as I only have limited time I needed a guild who did more oRvR in those limited play sessions. I know this means my quest for better weapons will take longer, but I prefer the hustle and bustle of a war band.

Anyway my first night with the new guild happened to be on Friday night which they call Juice night. It seems a time when the guild just kick back and do something wacky and fun. My first night was no exception. So I create a squig herder called Mattdamon (they all had to have hollywood names) and joined a war band of squigs. It was a good night and I had lots of fun and even frap's some of it.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Memory Lane - Wood Elves

A post by Blurring Shock about speculation of how they would like Wood Elves in War brought back a flood of memories. Warm Sunday’s playing Warhammer fantasy battle on a massive table in my friend’s back yard. We weren’t in the same class of an all boys secondary school, but I guess geeks somehow gravitate to each other.

I had a box set of Skarloc’s Wood Elf archers, who each week would exasperate my friends dwarfs till all was left was the elves against my third friends undead army of skeletons. His army was not made up of one of the Regiments of Renown but a box of plastic skeletons which only cost something like £4.

Jason’s (the boy whose yard we played in) mum and dad owned a seamstress shop and didn’t mind us hanging out while we painted the miniatures. His dad was a big Queen fan and constantly played the Highlander soundtrack. Classic (at least in my eye’s) Queen tracks like Don’t Loose your head and Gimme the Prize still to this day are synonymous with Warhammer for me.

So I have dug out my miniatures and posted some pictures. The painting is not very good, but it was my first set.

Skarloc Minitures



Friday, 23 April 2010

Red Plague

If you look over at PODCAST he has come up with some excellent speculation based on the latest patch notes with regards to the Red Plague here is the snippet below:

The rumors started first. Sickness. Deaths. Before long the rumors weren't just whispers but screams echoing into darkness - The red plague had come.

In response to the virulent outbreak, merchants have abandoned their routes, preferring instead to remain in the perceived safety of larger cities. The Crafting and Training Guilds have issued a decree recalling all guild members to their respective capitals rather than risk the loss of their master crafters and trainers. For the first time since the war began, experienced Order and Destruction forces must now head to Altdorf and the Inevitable City in order to consult with career trainers, craft masters, and merchant kings - for until a cure is found no sane man will travel the battlefields of the land alone.

Yitu (the link is wrapped in the google translator)an excellent german blog has been following these rumours for some time.

I would love to see the Skaven make an appearance as a playable race in War. After reading Skavenslayer (A Gotrek & Felix novel) which I would fully recommend. I came to like the race which almost seem have to even more character than those lovable green skins. Not to spoil the book but the Skaven use plague to weaken their foes before they surface. Wouldn't it be cool for Mythic to use the same tactics.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Need on Use

I did have a long post on patch 1.3.5, but it got binned as most has already been said. I am looking forward to the changes. It looks like queuing will be the same as scenarios, so you can get in as groups which is not totally in the realm of pug status but still gives to an inkling of control. It may be a happy medium between PUG vs War band premade. But then again it still means I may have to leave that war band which I just spent to last few hours locking zones with.

Blaze from made an interesting post on Entitlement. Basically he thinks casual gamers should not be able to get end game gear. To an extent and as a casual player (around 6 hours a week) I sort of agree with him. Renown rank 80 should not necessarily be a given, and access to Sov gear should only be accessible by the right renown ranked people.

In our guild we have roll rules. Depending on your rank you may only roll need on crests when you are around the right renown rank. This allows the people who actually need the crests get them a little quicker.

With the new city changes it looks like I might be able to see the end game with my main who is only renown rank 48. I would like to see end game content, but I would not want to deprive others who actually need the crests and gear. Maybe the usable mechanic could be extended to renown range instead of just class.

Maybe the real problem is the amount of content available once you reach level 40. If you look at the amount of content in tiers 1 to 3, it seems disproportionate with how long you spend in tier 4. I am not saying we need more tiers, but the 2 other cities could be handy. Today I’d settle for more varied keep mechanics in tier 4 to make each keep take different. Could those mechanics in city sieges be used in keeps?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Positivity YES... Have U had your plus sign 2 day?

If you have read my blog for any length of time you may have noticed my posts don’t always follow the current stream of news and also tend to be positive (points to those who get the song reference). We all know what has gone on over the past week, so I don’t think I need to visit the subject as the internet is already filled with maggot ridden finger pointing. I do wonder though how many of those neutral MMO blogs who posted about the billing issue and if they also posted topics on what War has done right of the past few months. But I guess that’s just the nature of the stone throwing MMO community.

Anyway I am straying away from what I wanted to cover. As of late, it has been good to be a War player for the following reasons:

Endless trail

This has been a good move by Mythic to let you play the game in tier 1 for as long as you want. If you want more positivity head over to the following threads on the US and European forums and check out the people converting to subscriptions.

War went free!

Yes, you no longer have to buy the retail box to play the game, just convert your existing trial account to a full account and start paying the subscription.

New War bloggers

The amount of new arrivals to the War blogging community is excellent. I don’t think I have seen this many new faces since the WCPI started back in February of 2009. Have I missed any? Please comment if you have more.

Bloggers visit to Mythic

The guys at Mythic yet again reached out to their community and invited them to ask questions about up and coming content. I really appreciate it, when they make the effort to interact with the community. We have seen it on a number of occasions from the 12 days of Mythic to the Land of the Dead blogger initiative, were they posted bones to players.

Additions to the game

Since around patch 1.3.2, we have seen a lot of positive steps in War’s game play and features.

Improvements in responsiveness, and reduction of lag in large scale 100+ encounters.

Apprenticeship system to allow you to play with your friends.

Graphical enhancements

War report which takes you to the action quicker.

New user experience

Balance fixers for crowd control and fixers to the AP(Action Point) system to make War more tactical.

Coming Soon

Also we have lots of great stuff on the horizon, the city siege improvements for 1.3.5 look very exciting indeed. I thought they were just going to tweak and change the odd thing. But they look to be far reaching.

If you have not already seen it, Mythic are also looking to bring back fortresses and will be looking for feedback from the players.

Imagine a world with RvR driven city sieges and new fortress mechanics together with the improvements we have seen of the past few months.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Returning to War: The video podcasts

Now I don’t know if your family is like ours. In the midst of the cucumber butties, scones and barrels of real ale in our back room we have an effigy of Paul Barnett placed on a purple velvet rug surrounded with candles and a cassette tape continuously playing the sound recording of Paul’s speech on the complete hobby experience. But if you are new to War and have only recently tried it through the medium of the endless trial you may be unaware of the video podcasts made by him. So below I have linked a selection of my favourite.

Here are some links to Paul's best bits.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

White LioooOOOoooN dum de dum

Over the past weekend I have been trying to put together a War video based around the squig herder and their love for the squig. A not so epic tale of origin and conflict, therefore I have been spending a lot of time in tier 3 scenarios with my HUD hidden.

I have enjoyed the herder as he plays differently my other classes. I don’t really play him for the big damage numbers but to make a nuisance of myself by snares and hitting people when their health is low.

A new enemy has arisen though, one I have pretty much ignored with my choppa or chosen. The new enemy has been the white lion (every time I say ‘white lion’ the Ultravox record White China plays in my head and I replace the chorus with white lion).

One white lion in particular was the bane of my existence throughout the scenarios I played. I think I became almost a speed bump made out of plasticine as they used what I think is Pounce and immediately spring bordered next to me and carved me up like an iceberg lettuce. It was fun and even now I am frantically searching for white lion killing tactics.


Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Returning to WAR: Leveling in Land of the Dead

With a lot of people returning to War I thought I would post the odd guide. @Werit (Hope you don't mind me stealing your title)

Today’s post consists of some good spots to level in. I have also posted, so more people come to know these spots. As they are excellent for PvP and ambushing. Nothing breaks up your rhyme than the blade of a Witch Hunter. Check out the maps for the locations, you will see my character marker showing the position.

River Drakes

Area of effect spots.

The following is a list of good AoE leveling spots. A good group should consist of an area of effect (AoE) DPS a healer and a tank. The simplest tactic is the tank and DPS sit in a central spot and the healer who has a tanks guard on him just runs past mobs and due to the guard the tank draws the aggro. Once a sufficient amount of mobs have been gathered the DPS spam’s his AoE attacks and you all get to watch the experience roll in.

River Drakes (map link) - Relatively close to the destruction war camp. Also good if you have Butchering as a craft skill.

Bandit Scouts (map link) - You can use the underground building to try and minimize the chance of getting jumped on by a Witch Hunter.

Skeletons (map link) - Off the beaten track and is sometimes not as busy as the other spots. The Skeletons spawn just by the covered entrance.


Champions of Sebok (map link) - Good spot for single target DPS, you need to watch out for the AoE damage from the champion as it can hurt a lot...

Words of Warning

With rested experience you can probably churn out a level an hour but this means your renown rank will not keep pace with your level which could mean you spending a lot of time in tier 4 just playing catch up.

If it is your first character I would not recommend this, as you miss out on all the excellent content in the other zones. As well as excellent Land of the Dead public quests which are a blast.

Don't forget this game is about War and hitting other player's in the face!

Champions of Sebok

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

WCPI: Super Effective

Check out Super Effective she seems to have the same alt weakness as me with 4 characters almost at level cap. Not surprisingly though, she has a better handle on the English language as well :)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Play War without buying the game!

It looks like Mythic are doing another first to allow people to play War without having to buy the box and just directly upgrade a trial account. See the details here.

I think this is a smart move as it removes 1 more obstacle for free trial players to convert to subscribers. About a year ago I gave World of Warcraft another look and to my surprise I had to buy both expansions and a months subscription to play with my friends. In the end I didn't buy both due to the extra cash.

On another note my shaman 'Slapit' hit 40 yesterday which is my third character to the level cap. You might think I would concentrate on 1 of my 40's. Maybe my main 'Hellichoppa' and raise his renown from 46 to at least the 50's so I can wear Warlord gear.

Not on your snotling, I have my squig herder who has just broken into tier 3 called 'Toenail'. I gave him a run today and it was so much fun, not having to heal or be in the thick of it as a MDPS being targeted by everyone and their auntie.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


This was meant to be my 100th post, but the hint of any sort of War expansion trumped it. I never thought I would make it this far as my usual attention is like my choppa’s life span charging into a war band in open RvR(very short lived). For this post I thought I would look back and try and pick out my favourite posts. These are not the ones with the most hits or comments, just the posts were I liked the ideas. To my surprise I was spoilt for choice and had cut the list short.

Third faction and a single vision

Around patch 1.3.2 the cries for a third faction were very loud. They seem to have subsided now as the player base may have accepted the way Mythic are heading with fixing the core game and incremental fixers to RvR.

Realm pride by statistics

These numbers are available and I still think graphs showing the number of keeps and objectives taken, tinted with guild information could help realm pride.

Breaking up zerg

Order numbers are still high on our server and king captures are relegated to early morning raids. Together with a large amount of the player base trying to get crests through scenarios means open RvR is up and down at them moment.

Defence sabotage stage for keeps

The changes for keeps have made the fighting in keeps a little more dynamic, but when greater numbers are involved keeps start to become little more than speed bumps. I have seen a varied amount of tactics involved defending against greater numbers from morale building tactic and meeting them in the open. Defending from the top and hoping just to gain renown to forming a tank wall at the door. Mythic have a great base and could add a lot to keeps to improve them without investing too much and by just including mechanics which are already in the game such as public quests and siege weapons.

Tier 2 revisited

I still to this day like playing in tier 2. Any time I get jaded with the masses or pre-made groups. I can just pop to tier 2 were levels fly by and open RvR becomes more manageable. This was also one of the earlier posts.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Hallelujah War Expansion news!

Bootae found it and it looks like we have real news of a War expansion!

I have never continually sub'ed and made it to a MMO expansion, could War be my first? Well it was the first which kept my interest to make it to the level cap twice.

By the way this was also my 100th blog post and what a post to make!

In a recent GDC 2010 interview with UGO, BioWare's Dr. Ray Muzyka said of Warhammer Online, "Right now it's [a] really profitable business unit within my group." Muzyka went on to say they've actually seen more people come into the game since enacting the free-to-play model on the game's earlier levels, and that he personally felt they were working.

In fact, by the sounds of it, Warhammer Online is due for some interesting announcements in the future. Another of Muzyka's comments on the title was, "We have new content planned and all kinds of cool expansions for it." We don't know how much more clear cut a message can be than that. And hey, it's good news! We're looking forward to our playable Skaven and Lizardmen, Mythic and BioWare.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

An’t no boils on me!

Over the past few weeks my experiences in War have seen ups and downs. I am currently levelling my Shaman to 40, as of today he sits at 35 so almost at level cap. This means I’ll have 3 characters at 40. The Shaman has been the easiest character up to now to keep his renown near to his level, so much so he is nearly ready to wear full Annihilator which beats the pants of the PvE gear available. He is not far off beating my Chosen on gear who had been 40 a while now. I still find the levels between 30 and 40 troublesome. PvE wise you are sorted, there is plenty to do but then this means you renown starts to lag. PvP wise in tier 4 you are almost a leper even being a healer. Few want you in pre-made scenario groups and pug war bands start to become scarce as most of them are alliance only war bands.

But when there has been an alliance war band running, it has been epic. Renown and experience flows and the fighting has been excellent. A good few times with have sat at a battle objective of ¾ of a war band holding out for the final few seconds trying to keep a horde of order at bay and prevented a zone lock. Those times are truly precious.

We have also tried the tactic of defending a keep by build up morale 4’s against the siege pads. Then when the horde of order turns up at the gate we immediately run out and push them back. A few nights ago it looked like an almost certain zone lock when instead of defending 2 keeps we stayed at the north keep in Chaos Wastes and used the above tactic. We managed to push and wipe them 3 times before they completely gave up.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Dwarf Boat (Karaoke Version Goblin Style)

I didn't get 20 comments. :( But the hits to the blog and other peoples links were cool. So here it is, I am not responsible if your ears bleed and green chaos mucus dribbles from your nose.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Dwarf Boat (Karaoke Version)

It is a bit late as my time is usually split between edit or play and playing War tends to win. Hope you like my footage of the Ironclad scenario to sing along too. I do have another version with me singing a terrible goblin impression but it was to awful to post. Then again if I got 20ish comments on this post I might feel obliged to post it but that will never happen :) as my max is around 3.

If you would like a reminder how the song is sung before you go and impress you friends with you own rendition have a look at the original here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Try the fish. I am here all weekend.

The stars aligned which meant I actually got to play War at the weekend (wife went out), could this be fate or coincidence that patch 1.3.4 hit the servers only the day before. Scission my chosen alter ego slapped me across the face with a gore soaked metal gauntlet and shouted ‘Thank the changer!’ I was just a glad to have an evening sitting in my pants in a pre made scenario group.

I got to play in a range of teams from the standard PUG to alliance and guild groups. My focus was to play in an organized group and not just get gear for my main character. So I swapped between a choppa, chosen and shaman alts to best support the group makeup as we lost and gained members. This also meant I got to play Ironclad the latest new scenario in War from varied points of views.

First off I had a complete blast, the close quarter fighting and 6 man groups meant you played a much greater role in the success or failure of the instance. The extra shinnies on offer meant the scenarios popped all night long.

The scenario is intense, if I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be like trying to sleep in a dustbin while a black orc constantly kicked and rattled the metal bin.

Only a few of the matches went completely for or against, though we never got spawn point camped. Most of the matches seemed even with lots and lots of fighting. The better groups where able to mix up taking the flags and keeping an organized group who stay together the run around.

When I played my healer it was constant AoE heal spamming. Then until I learnt to hide and keep mobile, I spent match after match with at least two people trying to pound me into the ground. So my roots and snares were used in full force. Once I got the hang of it, it was a case of either sticking with the tank hidden just around the corner or playing hide and seek with the melee DPS. It is a small boat but there is a lot hiding places and corridors to run round in.

My chosen loved this scenario, as it was almost impossible to take him down and he died once in about 5 matches. The close proximity of a healer and the ability to get out of sight of any ranged DPS couple together with limited numbers meant he could almost saunter around the boat checking out the hors d'oeuvres and winking at the witch elves.

Lastly with the choppa, again it was excellent but a little squishy at times. The AoE was excellent after you had played hide and clobber with the opposing healer and the witch hunters had little or no area to sneak around you. A quick AoE attack usually brought them out of hiding as they crept up on your healer.

I really enjoyed the 6 man scenario and had a lot of good balanced fights.

We also played a few of the other scenarios as well, and ‘came a cropper’ in Reikland Factory which may end up being the new Thunder Valley. About 4 times on the run we joined the scenario late after people had quit, finding the main group of order camping the first flag while smaller groups capped the flags. We tried going around, but at times it was hard just getting out of the spawn point.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Dishwasher Safe?

I love tat like this. You can pre-order them here. So wish they would do Games Workshop miniatures of the classes in War. I would end up spending a lot of money.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Patch 1.3.4 Ding!

So patch 1.3.4 is on its way for Thursday so hopefully this might mean our guild starts more oRvR and scenario runs to get the new kit.

Hellichoppa my Choppa just hit renown rank 45 so he gets to equip all his Conqueror gear. Woot! I have kept all my set gear throughout the tiers so a video will soon follow showing them all.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Should ‘Land of the Dead’ have been free?

I have just finished listening to show 58 of Shut Up. We're Talking, which they discussed when is it alright to charge for downloadable content? They discuss and rightly so that Mythic charging for the missing classes was not optional and would have made a lot of people angry.

But I am wondering if giving us Land of the Dead free a good decision in business terms. I don’t remember if Land of the Dead was meant to make it in on release and could have been a prime contender for DLC without the gated system. As it works as a separate zone, gives you access to new content and gives players of 25+ a good place to power level.

Today’s MMO market is vastly different from the days of regular free updates and large paid expansions. Lots of games are offering $10 pets, so could they have got away with charging us $10 for account access to Land of the Dead. Then would War's numbers then appear more positive and offer potential in Electronic Arts eyes.

If it meant more regular content and a rosier future for War with regards to funding with this model in place I know I wouldn’t mind paying.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Fun, fun, fun

Over the past week oRvR has been quite active as our guild Nightfall has joined forces with Aes Sidhe. Aes Sidhe is a good guild with plenty of active players. I don’t know any of them personally but have played with them throughout Wars life. I used to be in a TOG guild (The older gamers) and both guilds where in the same alliance back in the day. So I spent a little time talking to them on Ventrilo while we ran scenarios.

So the past few nights we have been able to put together nearly 2 war bands of players which is a lot of fun. Order on Karak-Azgal are around tier 4 in abundance so you can usually find around 8 war bands spread across two zones. This has meant huge battles of 100+ players with plenty of battle objectives and keeps swapping hands in some epic battles for zone capture.

We tried bombing them at the gate for keep defences which order bought about 3 times before they started to pull back. But as more order joined the attack we became little more than a speed bump. As they seemed to be running round mainly in one group we decided to try and move quickly to slow them down by capturing objectives. A little while after the rest of destruction turned up in Chaos Wastes after locking Dragonwake. They immediately went for the south keep as we just capped the two northern objectives.

We joined them as they hit the inner door of the keep and went for the keep lord. Just as the main order group came in the south keep gate to defend. The Lord went down with 100+ of enemy players (I am guessing of course) inside the keep to wipe any destruction.

Our forces wiped and we re-spawned and went straight to the north keep to take it quickly. So in the space of a few minutes the zone went from 1 red battle objective, to two red keeps and 3 red battle objectives. Just shows what can happen fighting superior numbers with a little luck and timing.

Throughout the night we only noticed a single time when the server started to groan, which is excellent performance. All the time I was able to use abilities with little or no lag with multiple war bands on the screen at one time. It looks like Mythic are trying to push this even further have a look at Werit video below, or go and visit Shadow-War for more information on Mythic’s stress testing.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Importance of a guild

For me one of the most important aspects of any MMO is finding a guild early on in you characters life. It always improves my knowledge of the game, and will keep me playing the game for longer. I have found without being part of a guild I end up jumping from game to game, never really getting past the mid leveling stages.

While I played Eve Online not being in a corporation (guild) usually meant the destruction of your ship. As without friends (unless you played the forums) you tended not to be aware of politics within an area of low sector space or have the multiple eyes of your friends around the various systems. So at any time you might find yourself at the mercy of pirates or in the middle of a war. Where anything not alliance colours is the enemy.

As a casual War player (about 6 hours a week if I am lucky) I find being part of a guild even more important. I know I will never be part of the guilds inner circle of players or have the best armour. But having a regular set of players to call upon is vital especially in War. Most nights when I login there is already a fully functional alliance war band in the thick of battle which I can just join and sign into Ventrilo and start chopping away. If not and no people are doing city PvE instances or power leveling in Land of the Dead you can quickly get a scenario group together.

You also get to see guild/alliance chat and see questions you did not even know to ask, never mind knowing the answer.

Voice chat also comes in to play in most of the guilds I have been part of. This is also crucial in War as it allows a war band to move as a tight-knit group and turn on a coin. There have been times when the whole war band has hidden behind a rock at a moments notice, or the war band leader has decided to flank the enemy or try a completely new strategy to win the day. When you are part of a guild the leader knows each member of the war band and knows they can rely on each member to follow orders even when it looks like certain defeat. Sometimes it does end in death but more often than not it ends up in fun and a shared unique experience which otherwise the game could not offer.

As well as all the above War also offers special mounts, access to recall scrolls and access to the Viper Pit. So if you not part of a guild, how come?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Busy news week

So it has been a busy news week for War. With the new 1.3.4 patch going on the test servers and news is trickling out about 1.3.5 from Werit.

Patch 1.3.4 seems to be a love and hate patch. Everyone is drooling over the new RvR weapons (check out Gaarawarrgabs for screenshots), and screaming over the removal of so many scenarios (see Grimnir reply to Mythic).

I never really liked the idea of removing content in the first place, and I wonder how bored a new player would get after playing Nordenwatch over 40 levels. Lack of choice is never a good thing but at them moment I don’t actually care about the update. So trying to write a post about it almost seems futile.

I don’t care as I think it won’t have that much of an effect against my current game play (short sighted I know). My current game play is oRvR and levelling the odd alt. I know they are streamlining and polishing to trying and attract new potential players but as a long time player I tend to look past the warts now and mainly concentrate on either following war band orders or learning a new class.

What I do get excited about is even more improvements to large scale RvR performance; check out Shadow-War’s post detailing 420 players in one area. Could this also mean a possible return of fortresses as they have made a lot of improvements since they were taken out.

I think the not caring also stems from no big expansion news yet. I am with Bootae and wish Mythic would give us hints at least on the future instead of just tweaks and polish. Some people are just never happy are they. ;)

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Hamster Overload

Now I don’t know if War is gaining subscriptions or whether it is down to server consolidation. But the amount of players running round in tier 4 on Karak Azgul is getting a little crazy. When I logged in Thursday night both sides population were high.

Large scale RvR can be fun and epic feeling, but the hamsters keeping the servers rolling make some awful creaking noises. (Just in case you didn’t know the European servers are powered by hamsters in wheels.)

I have posted before about splitting up the zerg, here which might take a little effort. But maybe they could introduce some mechanism for double capping. If two battle objectives or both keeps get capped within a described time of each other you get an extra renown bonus. This would need organization on the region scale, but could also break up multiple war bands.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Forged by Chaos

So I have just finished reading ‘Forged by Chaos’. It has been my favourite out of the 3 Warhammer Online novels. Even though the first book called ‘Empire in Chaos’, did entice me to roll a warrior priest.

The book follows the tales of the 3 destruction sides from Warhammer Online in their quest to retrieve the Spear of Myrmidia and that’s about it. The book is basically a dungeon crawl with a little bit of characterization. I wouldn’t be put off by this though, as we are here for the combat and insight into destructions point of view.

Chaos and the Dark Elves are represented reasonably well. The two main characters in the book Kormak a marauder and Beblieth a witch elf have consistent stereotypical storey lines and managed to build a hate, hate relationship.

What shines throughout the novel are the green skins, I looked forward to any time they appeared in the book. They also have some of the best lines in the book such as ‘It was up to him then, one black orc against a few hundred humans and their elf sorcerer. Gorgut considered it fair odds. Gorgut also had a hard time understanding numbers bigger than twenty.’

The combat is fast paced and flows well with loads of enemies and blood with lots of enemies from Bastion Stair such as Thar'lgnan and Lord Slaurith. If I had a complaint about the book it would be the amount of characters. As a reader I can not handle too many weird names thrown at me and I was glad as the numbers started to thin out.

If you have some spare toilet reading time, I’d definitely give this book a quick flick through.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Large Scale RvR

Werit posted the video on Friday, I just had to repost it because it shows the large scale RvR so well.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

What is the goal of a premade scenario group?

I imagine the goals are varied from farming PUGS, fun, to the challenge of meeting a similar group. A lot of the premade groups you will meet will be bomb spec’ed. Are these groups just in it for the farming or are they just using the most effective tactic to win? What would happen if scenarios as well as the blind queues, offered group/war band listings? So you could put your group up and accept challenges from other groups.

Would the premade groups still choose to just farm the PUG’s or would you get teams playing against each other.

But does this stray away from the point of ‘War’ which is the RvR campaign? The scenarios would still contribute to campaign but could they also add more? Then again would this kind of e-sport help ‘War’ gain subscribers, and if it did would it ultimately spoil the campaign shifting focus away from oRvR. You could then see this e-sport vocal minority calling for changes to classes to support the smaller scale team based combat.

I know there are more questions than answers. But that’s what scenarios do to me…

I always envision the premade group as the elite champions of your army, but shouldn't’ they be out on the field of battle and if they are not what’s keeping them in the scenario and off the open field?

Am I examining scenario’s too closely, are they just meant for the occasional distraction? Or to hide from the zerg when you don’t have the numbers and again I have more questions…

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Patch 1.3.4

So we have some details of the possible 1.3.4 patch here below are the snippets with some thoughts.

We will be introducing an entire new line of weapons earned via RvR (this is the "feature players have been asking for"). These weapons will be purchasable via a vendor and will not be bought using medallions or crests, instead utilizing an entirely new currency system earned via Scenario gameplay from tiers 1-4. More information about these new items and how they're earned will be forthcoming in a Dev Diary with Developer Sean Bosshardt.

I hope ‘entire new line’ also means new models as I would hate to see existing weapons with just new stats. My favourite part of ‘War’ is oRvR and I mainly do scenarios when there is none about while levelling. Then with my level 40 alt’s I play scenarios even less as generally PUGS and tier 4 scenarios equal little or no fun. But the introduction of RvR items for scenarios could mean my guild start to put together more premade groups and those equal lots of fun. Especially when you meet a similar pre made group.

We are completely reworking the current structure of Scenarios by removing some of the less popular and streamlining the tiering of Scenarios. There will be more details upcoming in a Dev Diary from Content/RvR Lead Mike Wyatt next month.

I don’t like the fact they are removing content as less choice is never a good idea. I’d prefer them to examine each scenario and try and improve them.

The last tidbit is a change to the way that the campaign functions. Starting with 1.3.4, once a Contested City flips into the Captured state (otherwise called "Stage 2") the Open RvR Campaign will now restart, leaving the realm sieging their enemies city with a tough decision: Stay in the city, possibly defeating your opponent's King, or retreat back to the open field to defend your realm?

I feel quite positive about the city siege changes and as it’s a pain standing round with no opposition waiting for the zones to unlock, so we can get back to oRvR. It also might help the under dog realm, while the dominating realm are still in the city maybe the other realm can get a head start and lock zones with less opposition.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Aldreter the Warrior Priest

It has been a little quiet in the guild of late so I thought I would see how the other half live so I have been playing a ‘Warrior Priest’ called ‘Aldreter’ on the European ‘Karak-Norn’ server. The ‘Warrior Priest’ is my favourite looking ‘Order’ class. I think it is the bulky armour and hammer.

I have not done much PvE except for the odd PQ so her level and renown rank are still the same. Returning to play ‘Nordenwatch’ with her has been fun. Usually when you get completely wiped at the ‘Fortress’ flag it is a forewarning to a scenario of pain. But I stuck with the group and we went to the ‘Barracks’ flag to try and cap that. There was me, a ‘Witch Hunter’ and an ‘Engineer’ and we managed to hold the flag for most of the scenario.

She is only level 12 so I am not sure if I’ll look for a guild yet but it would be good to see how people react to the ‘Destruction’ classes through guild chat and ‘Ventrilo’. As I said I have been mostly doing PvP but if you know of some good public quests or other PvE content I must see please point them out. It was weird seeing ‘Altdorf’ in the peaceful state as I am usually trying to kill people in the streets with my Choppa.


Monday, 18 January 2010


Just incase you have not come across this beauty check out ‘P-O-D-C-A-S-T’. It’s a ‘War’ blog with a difference, the difference being it is a series of video podcasts with some excellent information which is also entertaining. I would like to access it through ‘YouTube’, but then I suppose there would be no need for the site.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Play time over the last week seems to be splintered and varied. Do you ever have one of those nights were you play about 3 alts and none of the time with them seems to stick. The scenario’s you enter are filled with bomb squads and all you have are pugs, and even half of them head for the exit once they see the guild names above the opposing team. So you try another alt but the zones have all been captured by your side.

Then you think of playing alts on another server and your enthusiasm wanes as what you really wanted to do was make progress with the first character you logged in that night.

Well that was me until we got a group together for ‘Land of the Dead’ and just started to farm experience. I have never seen my experience bar go up so fast, within about an hour I had gone up a level on my Shaman. I don’t do it very often but grinding mobs sometimes can be very relaxing. It’s like the Earl Grey tea of MMO’s predicable and relaxing. You can actual learn something about your character and have time to chat with guild members.

Friday, 8 January 2010


GOA’ has lost the ‘Dark Age of Camelot’ licence. I am not entirely sure if this is down to their management of DAoC but might be down to the fact the cost of having someone else run your game. As I imagine most distribution is done digitally and support might be much more cost effective when it is done in house. Obviously this is pure speculation.

I don’t imagine ‘War’ will follow suite anytime soon as the contract probably lasts more than just a year, but I would love to see ‘Mythic’ take the power back with ‘War’. Even if it meant getting the patches a week later I would much rather have the same forum and perks as the USA.

Hell I’d love ‘Mythic’ to completely take the power back and go solo from ‘Electronic Arts’ and have the power to say and release what they want. ‘Werit’ made a very insight tweet “I've never seen a MMO so afraid of itself as ‘WAR’ is”. A lot of the time you get the feeling from the staff that they want to howl from the hill tops what is coming up but a very tight leash seems to choke their voices.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Mythic the impossible, possible.

Around this time of year, blogs tend to come up with lists. Not wanting to be left out I thought I would come up with my own list with regards what I would like from Mythic. Now this list is purely selfish and completely unreasonable and in no way needs to benefit the wider player base or even attract other MMO players to the game.

An alternative mount

My Choppa is getting tired of looking cramped on a boar, and would love a different/bigger mount. For comedy value maybe a Troll gimp mount complete with Orange (fruit not the colour) mouth piece harness so my Orc can ride on his shoulders.

More siege weapons

I want to be able to climb on a catapult with a group of friends and be launched over a keep wall in oRvR. I want a slowly moving destroyable armoured siege tower to push up against a keep wall.

City siege scenarios

I’d like scenarios based on ‘Altdorf’ and ‘Inevitably City’ siege warfare, as an alternative to the instances. These scenarios need to be themed around the siege with capture the city entrance (flag) to hold off the invaders. Pollute the cities water (like the Serpent's Passage mechanic) by carrying the tainted water to a point on the map.

In game guild mail/forum

Able to send/receive mail from my guild as a group mail and have our own in game forum… While you’re at it… have it accessible through a browser as well.

War camp warfare

The ability to attack the opposing realms war camp and take out their flight masters for up to 2 of the 3 points in a single paring.

Fortresses back

I would love to see these back after the improvements they have made to performance.

Human Cloning

Mythic need to implement human cloning, so I can get to play some of my Order alts.

He is with me!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Siege defence with a difference

So what did everyone get for Christmas? Was it a ‘Millennium Falcon’? Well that was probably my favourite gift when I was a child.

I have not played much of ‘War’ over the holiday break as my wife got me ‘Dragon Age Origins’ as a gift. I like it, but it just feels like ‘Baldur's Gate’ with cut-scenes and without my cherished ‘DnD’. For me this does not bode well for ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ as I don’t really want the same MMO formula with voice-over’s and dialogue trees. If you can tell me a story through game play and quests instead of scripted dialogue and text it may win me over.

‘War’ could do this if they build on the public quest mechanic. I would love to see more of the ‘Land of the Dead’ public quests where the kill x defeat n are wrapped up in more unique events.

Back to ‘War’…so my first major play session was a city siege defence with a difference. Instead of queuing up for the instances a large contingent of destruction decide to defend the city gates on ‘Karak-Azgal’ lead by a rather famous server player called 'Nitro' who seems very apt at getting the masses to function through region chat. We managed to keep the gate up and even push order back on a number of occasions. It was a lot of fun.

Heartless_Gamer also made an interesting post about a ‘War’ prediction ‘Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will be sold or shut down by EA.’. I am not sure this will happen but the thought does not fill me with dread either. ‘War’ has a very solid base and anyone with money could easily use this to build a very successful game. I still don’t believe MMO’s are built in a year (after release) and take time to mature and grow to their full potential. ‘Electronic Arts’ just need to see this and not let ‘War’ fall by the waist side.