Archive for RVR

My one and only balance concern: Tanks.

Posted in General with tags , , , , on September 11, 2008 by Ullric

Most of you know by now that two tanks were cut from release, The Knight of the Burning Sun(Empire) and the Blackguard(Dark Elf). While this change does not affect Destruction balance because they have two very cool tanks in the Chosen and Black Orc, Order definately gets the shaft.

While the Ironbreaker and Swordmaster are both very viable, useful, and downright fun classes to play, they just lack a certain coolness about them that is hurting Order. I’ve played countless scenarios in every pairing, and while a few of them contained a fair number of Order tanks, most of the time Order had at most 1. This has led to Order losing almost every scenario i’ve been a part of. The scenarios Order won all had one thing in common: at least 2-3 ironbreakers or swordmasters were present.

Most of you will say that my opinion on the coolness factor of the Ironbreaker and Swordmaster isn’t necessarily held by most people, but from what I’ve observed so far, I’m not far off the truth. This is certainly concerning, at least until KOTBS is put back into the game. MMO players want a large, plate wearing, shield bearing monster and Dwarfs and Elves do not satisfy this.

Mythic is I’m sure aware of this, so I’m just basically pointing out this fact to all of the Order guilds out there. Definately make sure at least some of your players are going IB/SM so that your keep sieges and scenarios don’t end in frustration.

Advertisements

Massively’s World of Warcraft player’s guide to Warhammer: For those of you waffling between the two.

Posted in General with tags , , , , on September 10, 2008 by Ullric

Massively has written a very excellent article basically comparing World of Warcraft to Warhammer and judging by the tone of the article, Warhammer comes off looking great. I definitely agree with most of what they said about the two games and the similarities they share. I also feel that they were right to spend the most time on PVP and point out the fact that this is Warhammer’s big advantage over WoW.

Definately head on over to Massively and check this article out.

The War Reporter: Interview with Snafzg of The Greenskin

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by Ullric

    Recently i sat down with Snafzg of The Greenskin to get his take on a few of the PVP issues facing Warhammer players as they prepare for the launch of the game.

Ullric: Ok Snafzg, the big question right off the bat. I would like your thoughts on the Open RVR ruleset.

Snafzg: I’m quite torn on Open-RvR right now to be honest. I sway back and forth daily! I like the concept of being able to kill people anywhere, anytime but Mythic hasn’t been very forthcoming with the specific details of how they plan to deal with the all the potential issues people are bringing up (and there are quite a few). I can’t get into any specific details around this due to the NDA, but I’m starting to fall into the camp of those who believe the game was designed for the Core ruleset and the Open-RvR concept was an afterthought.I think we have so much fun because we’re so easily amused. My niece could be entertained by an empty water bottle for hours when she was an infant. Give us a snotling to kick around and we’ll remain happily occupied just the same.

Time will tell I though! I only have a few more days to decide.

Ullric: Do you agree that people should be chickened in lower tier zones if they are higher level? Basically, what is your stance on ganking “lowbies?”

Snafzg: I would say that I don’t think people should be chickenized when entering lower level zones except for one huge reason: keeps. If highbies weren’t chickenized for entering lowbize zones, they’ll end up dominating the lower tiered keeps and battlefield objectives. Can you imagine trying to take a T2 keep as a bunch of 12-21 people with only a few level 40s defending it? You’d have no chance. Levels in WAR make a huge difference and for a game that is designed around zone control for the purpose of unlocking cities for siege, highbies overtaking lowbie RvR lakes will make open-world RvR meaningless unless you’re at max rank to feel competitive. It will basically mean the only place you can find remotely balanced RvR will be scenarios… and that will turn the game into WoW.
 
Ullric: Do you feel that Warhammer has captured what PVPERS really want in a game?

Snafzg: Well, you’ll never please everyone but I think the average PvPer will have a great time in WAR. You can find arena/battleground-style matches in the form of scenarios if you queue up with friends or guildmates. You can compete in meaningful open-world RvR. Your guild can actually claim things and you can boost your ego by gaining notoriety as dominant forces in PvP (statues in cities and competing against other guild groups). Everyone who loved DAOC should be an instant fan of this game.

The only type of PvPer who may not like WAR is the soloer. You might find the odd 1v1, but because of the lengthy time-to-kill (some fights are upward of 90 seconds) theres a good chance someone will spoil your fun. If you’re a soloer, I suggest playing a Witch Elf/Witch Hunter with their semi-stealth and rolling on an Open-RvR server so you can seek out 1v1 fights in enemy PvE zones (hump major travel routes and quest spots).
 
Ullric: I know most of us want to feel part of epic battles, do you see that happening on a regular basis in Warhammer?

Snafzg: If you consider zerg vs. zerg to be epic, you’ll find no shortage of epic battles in WAR. If you consider 6-20 man guild groups/warbands vs. other 6-20 man guild groups/warbands to be epic, you’ll find no shortage of epic battles in WAR. If you consider 12-18 vs. 12-18 goal-oriented RvR scenarios to be epic… You get the idea.
 
Ullric: Do you believe that Mythic should open scenarios such as Khaine’s Embrace to ALL levels? Why or why not.

Snafzg: I see pros and cons. The biggest pro is that you can always experience your favorite scenarios even if you outlevel them. The biggest con is that the queues will take much longer to pop if the scenario-hungry population is spread out over more scenarios. Also, I think the scenarios will lose their exclusivity and it would stymie alt creation if you could always play your favorite T1 scenario at rank 40. I guess my answer would be no.
 
Ullric: Should combat be slow and very tactical like it feels now, or fast paced and almost fps-like? Strategy vs. twitch and your thoughts on the matter.

Snafzg: Sometimes, I feel like the 1v1 battles are too slow because people tend to ruin the fun by adding, but overall I’m a fan of the increased TTK (time to kill). There are several other MMORPGs or FPS games you can play if you’re looking for fast-paced PvP. Let WAR stand out from the crowd imho. It’s also worth mentioning that you can still bring in a bit of twitch play by using the environment to your advantage and remaining mobile while attacking.
 
Ullric: Ultimately, how do you see Warhammer succeeding as a game catered toward pvpers.

Snafzg: I think the PvP in many other games lacks purpose. RvR in WAR is more than just PvP. In WAR RvR, even the PvE plays a big part.  It’s the sum of everything your realm does vs. the sum of everything else your enemy does. The hardcore PvPers in WAR will be able to play alongside the PvEers without looking down their noses at each other because they’re both working toward the same ultimate goal and neither can accomplish it by themselves.

In terms of PvP combat mechanics, I think people will find many similarities and differences between WAR and other MMORPGs of the genre. For me personally, I think they kept all the good parts and got rid of all the bad ones. Also, the  PvP in WAR isn’t only about killing enemies. It’s also about capturing their control points, taking and claiming their keeps, and eventually sacking their city. What’s not to like about that? I call it PvP with depth.
 
Ullric: Mythic says that population imbalances will not be an issue. Can you give me your reasons why you agree or disagree?

Snafzg: If their realm queues work as intended, population imbalance won’t affect the gameplay much, however, it will affect how many people can actually get in to play the game. Do you want to be on the more popular side and sit in a queue for 5, 10, or 20 minutes? Realm caps are a way to deal with imbalance issues but they don’t resolve the issue. For that, Mythic needs to market the heck out of whichever side needs a population boost.

This can’t be done before launch because you never really know how the numbers will play out, however, once the dust settles after launch, they need to figure out which realm needs a boost and promote it like crazy.
 
Ullric: Some community members are worried that balance issues will affect the game negatively. Do you believe the game will have balance issues? If so, which archetypes will offer the most problems.

Snafzg: Theoretically, career balance in the game should level out if everyone mixes the way Mythic is hoping they will. By that I mean, allied melee DPS should run to both the Greenskin and Dwarf starting areas to provide that missing archetype. Surplus tanks should also run to the Dark Elf and Empire lands to lend a hand.

I find it really hard to call out individual career balance issues in beta because things are constantly shifting. I guess all I can say is this: take a smart tank and a smart healer and send them at a group of somewhat decent, but not as skilled player enemies and watch how long they stay alive. I’ve seen a Runepriest and Ironbreaker take on tons of enemies without ever worrying about getting killed. The IB will rush in and gain the aggro of several enemies and if the Runepriest is unaccosted, the IB will stay alive forever. No joke. I think this is an archetype issue, so I guess it would be the same for any of the healers and tanks who partner up. If the enemy was smart, they would CC the tank (root, snare, knockdown, knockback, etc.) and focus fire the healer. Even if that happens, a good healer will prove to be quite durable as well.
 
Ullric: Whew, almost done Snafzg. One more question, and it’s a big one. Do greenskins get to have all the fun?

Snafzg: I think we have so much fun because we’re so easily amused. My niece could be entertained by an empty water bottle for hours when she was an infant. Give us a snotling to kick around and we’ll remain happily occupied just the same.

When I started my blog, it was one of the very first and I really did feel like I was having all the fun. Now that the game is so close to launch, new blogs are sprouting up like watered seeds in a cultivator’s pot, so I’m happy to see that fun being shared with a wider audience. The community is growing daily and it’s nice to see all the new excitement they’re bringing with them.

Ullric: Well thank you Snafzg for your time and I hope we get this opportunity again some day.

If you want to be good at RVR, read lots of Sun Tzu.

Posted in Strategy with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by Ullric

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a classic text on military strategy, oft quoted and and oft misunderstood. Basically it’s a list of axioms by the famed Chinese general that can be applied to almost any situation to some extent. The main reason I mention this book is a lot of what is mentioned in it can be applied to RVR in Warhammer.

Take, for instance, line 18. It says, “All warfare is based on deception.” If this sounds kind of like common sense to you, then you are correct. But you would be r to find out how few the people are that actually have common sense. Always strike where the enemy least expects to be hit. If order suspects you are going to take a keep in Reikland, go to Ulthuan. Destruction camping the entrance to your keep? Peel some of them away by using a small force as bait to give your larger force an easier time. 

Use terrain to your advantage. “The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.” If my memory serves me correctly, trees and such actually block line of site in this game, and players have collision detection. This greatly increases the tactical implications of a battle because you can actually form lines. The enemy will have to flank you from a disadvantaged position such as from below.

“Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.” Always make sure you and your team are working at an optimal level of communication. It pains me to still hear of people who aren’t using ventrilo or some form of voice communication to pvp with. Also, don’t be a pansy. Speak up in Vent. If you see a big group of bright wizards blowing the crap out of your team, please kindly point it out.

“The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops.” Never fight your enemy the same way twice. An enemy that expects what is coming from you is an enemy that has already defeated you. Be unpredictable. Franklin D. Roosevelt was so unpredictable during World War II that he didn’t decide to land in Normandy during D-Day until 24 hours before for fear of the Germans finding out. He basically fooled even himself. That is what i call unpredictable.

Well there you have it. I’ve given you a few excerpts from the Amazing Art of War by general Tzu. If you have heard all this before, I congratulate you on being so well versed. If not, be sure to read the full text and I’m sure you will find a few ideas popping into your head for the next time you face your enemies on the battlefield.

Welcome to realm vs. realm, the blog for pvpers by pvpers.

Posted in General with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by Ullric

This is my introductory post so I shall keep it short and sweet. I am Ullric, and I have been playing MMORPGS pretty much constantly for 10 years. Anything you can think of, and some things you can’t think of I’ve probably played. For the last 4 years, off and on, I have been a WoW addict. It’s time i broke the addiction.

I’m sure you can tell by the title of my blog that I’m going to be focusing alot on the RVR aspect of Warhammer Online. Most blogs seem to be general Warhammer news sites, but you and I are about to get closely aquainted with killing, maiming, and pretty much destroying the opposing faction.

As the game moves through launch and into the near future, expect commentary, advice, and random tidbits about RVR. Here is a bit of advice to get you started: If it’s red, it’s dead. 

Happy hunting, whatever species that may be, and I’ll see you shortly.