Archive for October, 2008

Blackfire Bloodbath

Posted in Background Noise with tags , on October 31, 2008 by koljarn

So, the Witching Hour event continues, with all that it entails.  Actually, all that it really entails is a massive punch-up in Blackfire Pass, followed by 45 minutes of sitting around while everyone goes AFK until the PQ restarts.  I don’t think this was what Mythic had in mind when they said they wanted to get more people into open RvR areas.  Order lost two cycles of the PQ and won one before I logged out early – it was getting too frustrating just waiting for the action to start again.

On the plus side, Koljarn made it to Renown Rank 26 last night, so his Battle Rank and Renown Rank are almost in equilibrium again (he’s Battle Rank 27).  Maybe I’m a little neurotic, but I like to keep the Battle and Renown Ranks equal to the point where I will stop doing any PvE for weeks at a time until the two ranks are synched up again.  This probably means that I’ll get to rank 40 much more slowly than everyone else, but I’ll be RR 40 by that time, too, and require less grinding – and then I can just enjoy whatever aspect of the endgame presents itself from day to day.

Mythic has announced that they are going to offer transfers to Ostermark.  Frankly, I find this somewhat disturbing – we had a nice population balance(51% Destruction, 49% Order), and most other servers have an overabundance of Destruction players.  I predict that things will go to hell pretty quickly, unless Mythic really implements some more draconian transfer policies.  I’d support not allowing transfers to any server side which already has a 60% majority of the accounts.  I know this would never be implemented by Mythic, though, because some people want to join the highly populated side.  Of course, they promptly whine that they can’t get any fights outside of scenarios, and scenarios take too long to start.   What they don’t seem to uinderstand is that it only affects their side, because of the population imbalance on their server!  If you really want to get into scenarios or find fights in open RvR, start characters on the underpopulated side of the server!

On the guild front, people are sending me tells out of the blue, asking me if I want to join them.  While it’s nice to be wanted, anyone just asking me if I want to join them makes me immediately suspicious.  I don’t know anything about them, and they really don’t know me.  Basically, it’s like some cloaked stranger coming up to me and asking “Hey, little dwarf, want some candy?”  Yikes.

On the positive side, it’s Hallowe’en.  That means two things.  First, my dog will bark his fool head off every time a kid comes to the front door and rings the bell.  Okay, that’s not the positive part, it’s just what he does.  The second thing is that I get to break out my collection of bad, bad, bad movies and savor them guilt-free.  If my housemates complain about it,  I can tll them to pound sand – it’s Hallowe’en, damn it!  The only question remaining, is which to watch first: Dead and Breakfast, Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Mister Vampire, or another gem from my collection.

Twitching Hour

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 30, 2008 by koljarn

So, the Witching Hour event kicked off last night on Ostermark.  I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, it brought more people to the RvR lake (I spent my evening in Blackfire Pass).  On the other hand, there was a lot of sitting around and doing absolutely nothing for hours.  Multiple hours.  People wandered around like lost sheep and generally got picked off by Destruction, who were out in even greater numbers than we were (some people insist that the majority of Order has moved on to tier 4 content, but I don’t know the actual numbers).  As the evening drew on, Destruction slowly ground us down and people left the zone.  However, they kept asking on the “orderrvr” channel whether the PQ had started or not.  When it finally did start up, Destruction rolled the scattered Order forces easily, getting the requisite number of kills and winning the PQ before the people who left the RvR lake could return.  Good for Destruction – they obviously wanted it more than Order did, they persisted, and they deserved to win.

I was getting ready to log out, as it was getting near midnight, when the PQ started almost immediately once more.  This time, most of the Destruction players had left the RvR lake, and Order repeatedly rolled the remaining understrength warband, winning the PQ.  The Great Unclean One was a nasty customer, but we put it down.  I won a lesser loot bag, but was unable to claim it – more Destruction showed up and decided to camp the chest, which was pretty lame because the chest has a truly miniscule despawn timer – but all’s fair I suppose.  I can now feel free to return the favor to them without guilt.  Anyway, I got a nice mask from the corpse of one of the Destruction players and a purple hammer from a chapter 14 PQ, so all is well in Lootsville.

So, what are my opinions on PQs in RvR lakes in light of last night?  On the good side, it brought a lot of people to the RvR area when the PQ was active.  On the bad side, we sat around for three hours.  That’s absurd.  It’s poor execution of a decent idea.  The fact that I missed out on loot the second time around doesn’t bug me too much – a green drop is nothing incredible to me, especially when I am going to be leveling out of tier 3 in a few weeks.  So, RvR PQs aren’t a bad idea, but Mythic needs to revisit the mechanics a little bit.

Low Cunning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 29, 2008 by koljarn

So, what does it take to be victorious in RvR?

I’ll be damned if I know.  I do know how my RL friends and I play in RvR for maximum fun, however.  Underhanded.  Sneaky.  Opportunistic.  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not advocating cheating or abusing bugs in the game.  No, I’m talking about “low cunning.”

Low cunning is hitting the opposing side where they are weakest.  Outmaneuvering them.  Ambushing them.  Then, fading away when your hurt and angry enemies turn to fight you.  If a tactic strikes you as being legal but underhanded, it’s probably an example of low cunning.

Some people will say this isn’t fighting fair.  I say that they’re right, and keep on doing it.  Others will say that fighting this way is just playing smart.  Well, sometimes it is.  I’ll admit that sometimes embracing low cunning means adopting needlessly elaborate battle plans.  But, it’s fun!

Guilds. Or lack thereof.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 29, 2008 by koljarn

I seem to have a problem with finding stable guilds.

This isn’t a new problem, it’s happened in just about every other game I’ve played.  Typically, I find a guild, do a little research on them, join them if I like them, and then the guild either falls apart, or evolves into a completely different sort of guild (usually one that I don’t like).  This cycle repeats itself two or three times in each game that I play before I find a group of emotionally stable people whose company I enjoy.

Sometimes a guild dissolves due to lack of people.  Sometimes a guild changes leadership styles.  Sometimes a guild changes its focus.  Any way you look at it, things change and you need to be ready to move on for the sake of your own enjoyment (and sanity).

So, how does this tie in to Warhammer Online?  Well, here’s the way the guild game has played out so far.  Before I even got into beta, I was looking for a guild.  I found a good group of older gamers (older meaning college age and beyond).  They were a great bunch of people, and I was looking for ward to playing alongside of them, but real life intervened.  The leaders of the guild had to discard the whole idea of even playing the game, let alone leading a guild.  As the nascent guild had only about ten people in it and they weren’t even playing the game yet, it quickly dissolved.  My second Warhammer guild showed some promise also, but the population dropped off from about 15 at the peak, two a total of two online at any one time.  Time to move on, I guess.

So, third time is hopefully going to be a charm.  I’m looking into two of the guilds that I find myself fighting alongside in RvR.  I’m taking it slowly (again) and I’ll make my decision in about a week.  In the meantime, I’m keeping my options open.  We’ll see how things play out this time.

Osterwhat?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 29, 2008 by koljarn

Now to gripe and to brag about my server and guild status.

Ostermark was my first choice of servers.  By the time I got home from work on the first day of CE head start, Pheonix Throne  was full with a queue to get in, while Ostermark’s population was listed at medium on both sides.  It’s pretty much stayed that way, too.  The numbers are about equal on each side, but the population is a little low for doing PQs, and getting open RvR up and running can take a little doing.  As long as the poluation doesn’t go down, Ostermark will be in good shape for the forseeable future.

The type of people I’ve run into on Ostermark have been relatively mature and level-headed.  I like this – nothing is worse than people standing around and complaining instead of doing something.  If something isn’t working, then find another way to do it, or do something else.  Obstacles are there to be overcome or avoided.  I’ve had my fill of negativity in other games, and I’m glad that it’s kept to a minimum on Ostermark.

The RvR picture on Ostermark is like the weather.  If you don’t like it, wait a little while and it will change.  I’m still in tier 3, but objectives and keeps change hands fairly regularly.   Both sides feature active participants.  I’m not a scenario person, and I tend to avoid scenarios, but I know several people who have levelled up almost exclusively by playing them.

The Dwarfinator – Rise of the Machines

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 29, 2008 by koljarn

So, what sold me on playing an engineer?  It was probably the fact that one of my offline friends and myself duo’d the entire dwarf/greenskin tier 1 area.  Granted, there are no keeps in tier 1, and the toughest NPCs you’ll run into are champions, but we still found our combination of careers(swordmaster and engineer) to be superb.  Of course, you don’t get much in the way of mastery abilities in the tier 1 levels, so Koljarn the engineer was pretty generic.  So, there was a choice to be made.

Rifleman seemed to plain to me.  Shoot stuff until it dies.  It’s a good enough option, but I wanted something else.    Tinkerer has a beer-based heal.  Oh, the lure of beer… but grenadier has explosions.  And fire.  And airstrikes and artillery.  Yeah, I knew pretty quickly which route I was going to take.

I don’t regret going with grenadier.  It’s not the most potent skillset on the battlefield, but it does make a difference in sieges.  And here’s the key point for me: it’s fun.  I love dropping explosives on people from a great height, then ducking behind cover and waiting for the “boom.”  Sure, there are some abilities that are disappointing so far (i.e. Strafing Run), but as a whole, grenadier is decent in PvE and RvR.  And who can really ask for more than that?

So, a warrior priest, and ironbreaker, and an engineer walk into a bar.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 29, 2008 by koljarn

I’m not as young as I used to be.  That’s another way of saying that I forget things.  Little things.  So, when I try to post about “how it all began”” for Koljarn, understand that I’m not a young ‘un any more.  The details sometimes slip through the cracks in my fractured mind.

I got into the last month of beta, and knew that Warhammer Online had promise.  Having played more than my fair share of MMORPGs, I have a pretty good handle on what I do and do not enjoy.  Generally, I find mindlessly beating the stuffing out of some virtual foe to be therapeutic, but I’ll settle for a support role, so long as I can contribute.  So, I started out playing a warrior priest throughout my short allotment of beta time, and at head start.

As the new RP server at the time of CE head start was Ostermark, I chose that server.  No queue times were and are a good thing.  And I enjoyed playing my warrior priest – if he couldn’t really contribute in melee, then he could always hang back and heal.  The problem that I ran into was the fact that of other people liked playing their warrior priests as well.  When the warrior priest was just about battle rank 20, and ended up in a warband that was fully 50% warrior priests, then I knew I had to try something else for the sake of my sanity (warbands composed of 50% warrior priests cannot do much in a siege situation).

I’ve tried ironbreakers, shadow warriors, witch hunters, engineers, and others.  I still keep lots of alts around – the classes are mostly fun to play, and it’s nice to have an alt or ten around so you can have options open for whatever mood strikes you.  When defending a keep, however, I made my choice to stick with an engineer as my main character.  The carnage that I witnessed an engineer dish out was impressive.  Yes, he didn’t kill the enemy force on his own.  Heck, I don’t know if he dealt a single deathblow.  He did, however, tax the attacking Destruction warband to the limits of their healing capability, and then the few other defenders used that leverage to break the siege.  Multiple times, as the Destruction warband was determined to take Mandred’s Hold regardless of the opposition, and they kept coming back for more.  My career choice was clear, but that was just the beginning.