05
Apr
09

WAR Endgame: Mythic, what are you smoking?

I’m wondering if this will be the end of the game rather than the endgame.

City sieges are appalling. I’m rather shocked that the people at Mythic thought this would be an appropriate endgame to the RvR in WAR. On Norn we’ve been on the receving end of city sieges in the Inevitable City almost daily since patch 1.2 hit and the massive skewing of the game in the favour of Order. Massive? Yes. Patch 1.2 is the most ill conceived patch I’ve seen in an online game. The fluff was nice but it all but killed RvR for Destruction players except for the real die hards that refuse to buckle. Insane lag, appalling balancing and the net effect that the bulk of the Destruction players cannot be bothered logging on their T4 toons to play except on organised events which require a lot of planning. Order are pugging their way into IC every day.

So yesterday we get to Altdorf for the first time since the migration from Karak-Hirn to Karak-Norn. Two weeks of planning. We spend a couple of hours in a city instance with nobody to fight because the enemy won’t stick around and we were treated to sub standard PvE with THE SAME MOBS WE FOUGHT WHILE DEFENDING INEVITABLE CITY with crazy lag, buggy pathing and badly placed Lvl55 Champs that if you fart near them they wipe your warband.

What  designer in  their right mind thought this is a good idea? What Design Manager approved this embaressing mess? And just as important, why has it been left for so long since the launch of the game?

So today I log on at 11am, Order are just finishing capping their second fort of the day and we’re straight into IC again.  I’ve got maybe a couple of hours to play. Not quite as laggy as before but not brilliant. Bright Wizards are wanking their Rain of Fire as usual but fortunately these cheese players are easy for anyone with a brain to get around since they rely on standing their and letting that one button kill everything near them. Which in fairness has a reasonable chance of succeeding.

Someone in Mythic, PLEASE stick a rocket up your devs and designers so far their arses the nose cone is sticking out of their gobs. This City Siege sloppiness is going to cost a lot of players. The endgame should be something to excite and make people WANT to play to get there. I haven’t spoken to *anyone* in our alliance (9 guilds of very active RvR players) that likes or particularly enjoys the city instances.

So anyway, after a couple of hours play I have some shopping to do. Just before 1pm I putter off and take care of the necessary. I get home, do some chores, log on again just before 3pm. Order are on Second Stage. Ok. So I want to do some RvR. I ask around.

Uh. Well. It would appear I can hang around the city door and try to gank Order players entering or there is the Undercroft scenario.

Thats it guys?

Thats it Roo.

Ok guys. How long does this last for?

Some debate. Some say 24 hours. Some say 48 hours.

You mean I can’t actually RvR for anything up to two days as part of the endgame design?

Thats right Roo.

 

I logged off with no intention of logging on again in the next 24 hours and considering if I should bother logging on again at all. After a few weeks of patch 1.2 I already cancelled my subs but until now haven’t mentioned it to anyone so far. I decided to wait and see what Mythic are doing to fix the mess that is T4 RvR these days.

They should start by getting the designers into rehab.

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7 Responses to “WAR Endgame: Mythic, what are you smoking?”


  1. April 5, 2009 at 14:36

    Ugh, doesn’t sound good at all.

    I think my big disappointment with WAR in general is that I’d hoped that Mythic would build on what they’d learned from DaoC. But although they had some great innovations in WAR (I loved a lot of the scenarios, had a blast in open RvR and really liked the living cities and T4 zones, and ofc the red questy blobs) I never quite got that feel.

    I know my sub is up in May and not currently planning to resub. It was fun while it lasted, just not quite fun enough to keep me rolling.

  2. 2 Ineas
    April 6, 2009 at 19:25

    Arrgh, wrote a long comment only to have it eaten by me missing the e-mail field..

    Short version.

    Nerf GTAoE, buff PBAoE, stacking is an issue but not the whole issue. Endgame is crap.

    Having Uroo leaver would be like seeing your favourite uncle move to china, although you are far from the only one pondering about their subs.

  3. April 8, 2009 at 16:29

    Since I have limited play time, a lot of things don’t bother me, that potentially could.

    Roo, are you still sticking with your quit statement at the tail end of this post? Not even the temptation of medallions enough to keep up around?

  4. 4 Roo Stercogburn
    April 8, 2009 at 17:24

    I had cancelled my subs some weeks before making this post. Rather than making rage-quit threats (you know the “I’ll quit if you don’t do x” type thing), I just hunkered down to see what Mythic were doing about the patch 1.2 debacle coupled with the GOA-enforced server migrations and cancelled my account. I preferred to make a decision to quit then see if they fixed things. I’ve cut Mythic a lot of slack since WAR launched for their sloppy coding and rather dodgy balance, but 1.2 was jaw dropping in its incompetence.

    T4 RvR on Karak-Norn is *not* fun for Destruction most of the time now. You will play a lot of hours and get the occasional decent battle or fight. Endlessly being steamrolled by massively larger numbers of players with far stronger character classes is a ridiculous situation for Mythic to have allowed to happen.

    I just continued pushing server events (and supporting those organised by others) at times along with our regular alliance RvR.

    Last weekend was quite the eye-opener. Mythic have chosen to make the end game difficult to get to and play via bugs and poor coding, rather than by presenting genuine challenge. I tire of opponents always looking to play to win via loopholes in the game mechanics, of which Mythic provide plenty. City sieges need to be scrapped and rewritten from the ground up. I get the feeling it started out as a great idea that was gradually whittled down by programmers unable to provide what the designers perhaps hoped for. Maybe I’m giving the designers unwarranted credit. I just can’t imagine someone programming that and hand on heart putting it into a production environment believing it was an acceptable level of coding to provide to customers.

    And though in the great scheme of things its a relatively minor coda to the list of things… being the squishiest and least played class in the game is not as much fun as people think. People are staying away from the Magus career in droves. There is a reason for this. Typically its a player’s 3rd or 4th alt and they seem to have an attitude of “It can’t be THAT bad, I’ll play it and show everyone else how great it is…”
    A week after hitting T4 they realise how great what they were doing before was. More direct and indirect nerfs (although minor) in the pipe for Magus and nothing apparently being done to address the inequality of play. Possibly they’ll get around to it some months from now. The key word is ‘now’. I’m playing this class now.

    My account runs out on May 4th, that’s just under a month away. I wait to be impressed with Mythic’s solution.

  5. April 9, 2009 at 14:41

    I made a comment about a week ago or so ago, that Mythic were so afraid of being labelled creators of Daoc 2.0 aka Warhammer, that they unlearnt all the many lessons from DAOC.

    From a coding point of view, I see a lot of just fookin do it (City Seiges), box ticked, without a lot time spent on the “Well what if they don’t play this way” coding being put in. Like being able to pick your City Seige scenario. Thus avoiding a fight, Jesus that nearly put me a raging spasm.

    Each one a pointer to …. released to early.

    As Bluesky said in ventrilo, whose brain storm was it, to shut down the RVR for 24 hours on a successful king capture.

    A lot of things that we have seen from the very beginning, show a lack of understanding of how “Easy Mode” players can be. But from Mythics point of view, its very very expensive/time consuming to code for what ifs. It’s cheaper (though not in subscriptions) to code when you know how the players are reacting.

    What was it about 1.2 that caused your spasms .. give me link if you have already said what.

  6. 6 Roo Stercogburn
    April 9, 2009 at 20:53

    I don’t really have anything new to add that hasn’t been commented on loudly elsewhere.

    The overpowering AoE brought every mothballed Bright Wizard out of the closet that had been put away after they ceased to be top of the food chain several patches ago. The fact it is SO obviously badly balanced and was so from day 1 of patch 1.2 indicates very strongly that Mythic did not test this or made a decision that regardless of the effects the players could just put up with it until they got around to fixing it. Bad news guys – many players are NOT putting up with it and are voting with their feet. Further, some already strong Order classes got boosted (Warrior Priests and such). Class for class, Order already have a lineup of stronger classes, with very few exceptions where the Destruction ‘mirror’ is stronger.

    The Domination system finally allowed for capture of zones without having to do ridiculous amounts of grinding PvE, something that infuriated me from day 1 – I play to RvR, not grind dull PQs. However, it has contributed greatly to destroying RvR on Norn because no-lifers that play 24/7 on our server (on Order) take every zone way off prime time with almost no opposition. All you need to do is take the keeps then wait for the other side to eventually go to bed.Claim them or not, it doesn’t matter so long as you time it for the least populated time of day. Ironically, Order players on our server have been screaming at each other at times for claiming keeps when they are setting up for when they have more players on because there have been a couple of occasions where they’d pushed the final zone way off primetime ready for the daily IC pugging then someone had cocked it up.

    Personally, I think unclaimed keeps should revert to neutral now after say 1 hour and anyone in the keep at the time gets kicked back to their warcamp. If you’re not claiming it, you don’t really want it. Or have it so that every minute that a keep is unclaimed adds to the timer for when it is eventually claimed. So if a keep is taken but not claimed for 3 hours after it is taken, the domination timer starts at 5 hours. Something. Anything. Actually, I’ll drop the increased domination timer onto the GOA webby now I’ve mentioned it.

    Forts are falling most days anywhere between 2am and 4am. When most of Destruction are logging on for prime time we’re usually getting into the defense of the second fort, or more commonly, in Inevitable City itself. Forts should probably have locks on them that require a certain number of players on both sides before they ‘activate’. That way people can have fun off peak without screwing up the server if there is an outrageously unfair situation due to time of day. I’ll post this one on the GOA webby too.

    Anyway. So when the Order players are logging on at prime time, they are heading straight to loot farming PvE with the super support of their no life buddies that are causing the server to die, even though they don’t realise yet. Or care. Mythic has provided them with the means to play however they want until they get another MMO to play. Meantime, those of us that invest a bit more into the community and such get to watch it die a bit every day from lack of decent design planning and foresight.

    The forced migration at the same time 1.2 hit has obscured some of the issues and made them difficult to pin down. I don’t think any one source is to blame for the appaling state of the Engish Euro servers but the major surviving servers seem all to be reporting similar problems, albeit in the case of K8P bizarrely the situation is the other way around in Destruction’s favour.

    There’s very few bother now logging on T4 toons on Destruction. The populations between Order and Destruction seem to show as similar but give it a another month as current subs run out for a lot of people and I’d bet that is going to change sharply. The faster Mythic deal with the current patch issues the more chance they have of slowing the attrition. Regardless, I’d estimate by the end of the year we’ll be looking at one English language server for Europe, the only question is which it will be. Although something similar happened to DAoC, its hard not to notice the accelerated rate at which the population is contracting in Warhammer in comparision. Greater competition in the market means that product has to be higher quality and MMO companies have to face one simple product maxim – deliver or wither.

    Lastly, city sieges. I’ve already commented on this a few times now. These are dreadful in a way that is embaressing for a professional games company to peddle as product. As you said above, its like a box has been ticked off on the To-Do list, rather than much thought going into it. Shortcuts abound (same mobs to fight in each city), sloppy positioning of guards and NPCS, bad design of instance-system and the omnipresent lag. I call it bad but describing it as bad is like saying Anthrax may cause some irritation. The universal feeling after everyone’s city siege has been “Erm, thats it?”. There has been zero cool factor, very little fun factor, and massive frustration factor. City sieges are not a siege. They are a PQ that the enemy can choose to join in…but generally don’t. They are scaled for more players and yet somehow still manage to miss the feel of epic fighting. The PQ encounters are very buggy: smack a mob constantly and get told you didn’t contribute enough because you died 30 seconds before the lord died, released and were still running back when it went down. This is crazy-making when you only have a limited amount of time to do such things. How can Mythinc NOT have spotted these kind of programming basics.

    Mythic, make cities oRvR zones. Don’t argue. Just get on with it. Yes, I know it will hurt. I know programmers will have to work late. Put a queing system in that means equal numbers are in the city zone in each zone-tier. Make the boss encounters instances that people can choose to go to or stick with RvR. At least that way people that want to PvE can get on with it, and people that want to RvR have a cool zone to fight in that they wouldn’t otherwise get to and oh, when the king dies/gets captured/falls asleep from boredom, at least we have somewhere to continue fighting in. Cut out this crazy Swtich Off RvR muppetry.

    Base city fighing on the type of thing in Praag but make it even bigger and divide it into 4 zones, one for each tier. Make the buildings accessable. Throw in some funky high magic buildings were strange stuff happens. Make it *include* people, rather than excluding them. Again, I’ve said this elsewhere but I suspect its too late in the game’s life (as ironic as that sounds) for anything like this to be done. City sieges are going to remain a lackluster afair that might possibly in time have the bugs and balance issues reduced, but they are never going to be exciting. Mythic have pretty much blown that opportunity, which is a shame. It looks like it will be up to some other MMO down the line to learn from this and get it right. Its not very likely to be Warhammer.

    We get a decent turnout for alliance events and when I’ve got time to crank up the spam machine, for server-wide events (that I run – others do them with success, but very few bother). I’ve had several people confirm that these are the only things that will bring them out of alts or other games while they are letting their subs run out. Because we’re generally doing it prime time, we’re doing actual RvR – not PvE’ing keeps. As such, we may win, we may not. But at least we set out to fight the other side. On Saturday’s Altdorf siege, we started at 7am, which I personally am not inclined to do again. I was there more for solidarity and support rather than a pressing need to get to Lagdorf.

    The only people winning Warhammer at the moment are forum trolls.

  7. April 9, 2009 at 22:00

    Excellent post.

    The old 6 month subs will run out for a few people soon and that may hit the bottom line a bit. Myself I will carry on, since the guild I am in is very good and has the strong core from DAOC and other people picked up along the way.

    It’s more about taking the piss out of each other than playing really.

    We did the warband stuff this evening and it just wasn’t hitting the spot. Far to much CC and does make me long for the CC of DAOC and the RR abilities that ofset them.

    Oh well, I think the next 6 months will be interesting. Lets hope client performance makes some progress.


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