Posted by: Erbse | September 27, 2010

The concerns

Yea, who’d I be if I wouldn’t point out worries and/or flaws. Right! Not me.

As everyone should be aware already, there was plenty information given today in regards to the upcoming expansion(s). If you’re not yet aware, check the post beneath this one out and browse through. I’ll only take my time and peck on a few points, mainly those of relevance to me. Skaven are non of those, if that disappoints you, well, glad to be of help!

So then, I’ll first take a look at the (so far) known micro transactions. I’ll use quotes from WAR Aura, so credit goes the original author of course.

  1. Server Transfers: Your going to be able to transfer toons from one server to another for a fee, theirs not going to be any cooldowns on it although their be putting in restrictions to stop over populated servers getting increasing any further. Normal rules apply so only Destro/Order characters on any given server.
  2. Mounts: Appears mounts will be available from a on-line shop, vanity style for a fee, the only one I could see from a screen shot were called started mounts and which, IIRC seemed to be +25% speed and 100% dismount change so seemed aimed at Tier 1.
  3. Pets: Again vanity type pets will be added. Andy mentioned some of these would have a buff associated with them, the example he gave was one that applied a +2 speed increase so other types are likely to be similar sized so very minor but there.
  4. WAR Tracts: Purchasable from an online shop similar to 2-5. Exactly the same as the in game item and you’d only be able to get one.

Lets what we got here. Mostly irrelevant things really, but for 1.) which most certainly is long, long, long, LONG, LONG overdue. Since I consider all irrelevant but for 1.), why bring it up? Well, the reason is simple. Warhammer is already a pay-to-play game, while now implementing things for real money that gives players an additional edge. If I pay $15 bucks a month I want to be on equal footing with everyone, as that is the fee. I don’t want to pay more, nor become inferior because some people decide to pay more. The last game doing this crap was EQ2, and I didn’t have much of an issue kissing it goodbye, as I’m only so tolerant that I accept fair play and not pay-to-win. Given that ranks in Warhammer Online mean crap unlike the renown I don’t truly care about 4.), however, what’s up with that? Many people by now got multiple toons beyond their 60’s if not higher, let alone 5(+) R40’s – would it be too much ask to throw them a bone rather than offer War Tacts up to buy? Now, the prices aren’t known, but even at a price of $5 I couldn’t help but laugh. While this isn’t gamebreaking just yet, it paths a way for more and more consumables, XP potions, RR potions, timed Mounts, teleport items, stat increasers etc. We all have seen cash shops of different kinds. Do you trust Mythic enough to maintain a fair balance between those that pay additionally to the $15 a month and those that don’t? Given the class balance I sure as hell would not. Same for their patch history.

Don’t get me wrong however, I’m not anti cash shop by any means, but I’m anti cash shop in pay-to-play games. All content that’s being produced for extra money should originally have been created and covered for by the monthly fees we’re paying. If they have time to design skins so you can be all funky looking if you pay $5 for them, then they, too, could have done it before without charging $5 for them. I consider micro transactions as a complete ripoff in pay-to-play games, at least those that have any impact on the ingame environment.

Well, lets get to the thing that got me really thrilled, the RvR overhaul. Before that however, please take your time to read my definition of what I consider a healthy server. To me a server is healthy if there’s something going on 24/7. It’s that simple. Of course there’s peaks and off hours, but even during off hours there should always be something going on, naturally less than during the peak, but still.

Ok this was the biggie as far as I’m concerned, you can keep your skaven this is what I was interested in! (Not really the Skaven look cool but yea RvR goodness!)

Right, Well first the domination system is going out the window all together.

Each open zone will have the two keeps and the 4 BOs still. When ever a zone “unlocks” one keep will belong to one of the sides automatically so even in Chaos Wastes Order will have one and vice-versa in Reikland.
You zone into the Keeps, NOT the Warcamps from here on in! You respawn after dying in Your respective Keeps as well! You lock a zone by capturing the opposing keep. That’s it no waiting no mess right? Well no it’s a bit more complicated then that. Taking a leaf from the new scenario’s their going for a far more dynamic take on controlling a lake involving the Battlefield Objectives.

These are still cappable as normal but there is no longer a cooldown on wresting control of them from the opposing side. So no capping and wandering off for 15 minutes safe in the knowledge it’s untouchable. You leave one unguarded and they’ll be vulnerable.

Why do you need them? Well once capped by either side they will start generating resources and when enough of them have build up a NPC spawns. (Think sappers from the city instances) Now when one spawns it will just sit there doing nothing…

They need to be triggered by interacting with them at which point they will scurry off with the resources and head to your Warcamp. Their gonna be fairly squishy and if the opposing faction kill one they will drop the resources which can then be ninjaed so they’ll need watching. (Resources are gonna be important so trying to watch four BOs while guarding the carriers, while attacking the keep and potentially defending your own should do a fair job of splitting zergs and forcing warbands to co-ordinate with each other across a zone, will also have amazing potential for smaller hit squads to run guarilla sabatage tactics!)

So you once you get resources trickling into your warcamp they’ll start leveling up your owned keep which will have 5 Ranks.

  1. Rank One: Resource carrier’s will become armoured and become far less squishy.
  2. Rank Two: Carrier’s will get a speed boast. (Hopefully one and two will mean once you get going ranking up will start escalating by this point)
  3. Rank Three: Offensive siege weaponry becomes available! These will spawn in the keep and can be picked up by anyone and deployed any where, no more siege pads! Siege weaponry in general is getting a massive boast with the single target ones doing around 4k damage unmitigated! (Not sure if they meant it’s Unmitigatable or 4k before armour/toughness etc is taken into account but a big increase either way!)
  4. Ram becomes available, more offensive siege weapons spawn, Aerial Bombers* unlock – (*)Patience!
  5. More weapons, more Aerial Bombers!

So should be mentioned that they are changing keeps so they CANNOT be ninjaed and doors CANNOT be harmed other then by Rams. Well Rams and one other think but that’s to follow somewhere below! So with keep doors pretty much unassailable untill the opposing keep hits Rank 4 you need to be out in the lake patrolling, watching out for the opposing side as they try and disrupt your well oiled resource gathering troopers!

Keeps are going to have a Anti-res aura within the outer walls untill the Outer doors are taken down so any attackers, usually MDPS ghosting in through the postern (But potentially any class) will not be able to get ressed EVEN IF THE *Insert healer here* IS OUTSIDE THE WALLS.

The keep CANNOT be taken until the Inner Doors are destroyed so no more ninjaing cos it aint gonna work. Once the doors are down its a case of charging in, piling up the stairs, bundling into the lord’s room but OH NOES: “Your keep lord is in another castle”. Yep Keep Lords are no more instead they’ll be a banner where they stood which must be interacted with uninterrupted for a full 30 seconds (timer subject to chance if its not realistic in practise). Now im not 100% on the ins and outs of this part but as the defenders spawn within the keep you are going to keep getting hit by waves of pissed Order/Destro while your trying this so should be fun!

Oh well, quite a read that might needs to be digested first. Oh well, moving on regardless, in case you get stomach ache, been my pleasure. So then, these changes are incredibly wonderful, in fact possibly what it should have been like from day one. The Skaven thing sounds like a nice plus, but whatever. The revamp sounds absolutely brilliant. Why am I bringing it up then? Simple. Remember when I talked what I consider a healthy server? Given that definition, how many servers in Warhammer Online (US) come to mind? Yup, it’s Badlands, and Badlands only. Funnily enough Badlands in the same run, to my own surprise that is, is the only server coming somewhat to what EU server have in terms of activity. This leaves 3 US servers bite the dust (by comparison), Iron Rock, Gorfang and Volkmar.

While the changes sound incredible, and probably are, they rely heavily on activity. We all played Snorehammer, Waithammer and Doorhammer long enough, that’s for sure. Given the changes however, and the RvR lakes being as awkwardly designed as they are (definitely the dwarven lakes), I can’t see the system rising up to a level one could refer to as epic unless there’d be two Warbands per realm in the same lake, meaning 48 vs 48. Given that you have to cover 4 BO’s, bomb stuff and work on a door down that certainly relies on a lot of numbers to really play it. It’s almost like DoTa or comparable WC3 strife mods. 48 vs 48 on Gorfang is pretty unimaginable at this point but for peak hours – then at least it may even be well more than just 48 vs 48 making it all the more fun. Also keep in mind that there’s still always 3 active RvR lakes at a time, so RvE still remains perfectly possible, and possibly is even easier than currently as you no longer get 2h nap times on keeps. This is my major concern really, as players will be responsible for the content they get. If there’s not enough people playing however, then at least they let you transfer now, which I guess probably regulates things eventually. Still, I’m still supportive of some US -> UK merges to ensure 24/7 War. Imagine the silly brits with their un-understandable accent!

Given the transfers I wonder if it’ll possible to transfer from US -> EU or EU -> EU and US -> US only, I for one hope it’s the first.

Time will tell how it’ll bounce out, on paper however it definitely looks superb, so nothing to criticize there, at least not until it goes live and we’ve to suffer from the bugs who will undoubtedly will make our Warhammer lives hell 😀


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