Monday, April 27, 2009

Should I return to Warhammer?

So I’ve been pondering this question with my time off while taking care of my new baby girl. Its coming time that I might start playing some games at night on a limited basis but I noticed I haven’t missed War all that much. I’ve been keeping up on the forums and have discovered quite a few of the really popular and nice guys on the SwordMaster forums have finally quit and now I’m wondering if it isn’t maybe time for me to do the same. The sad part is it isn’t really the game play that’s at fault, but all the bugs (see beta comparisons) that still exist. I enjoy the game, but I’ve made it to the end level up and now am wondering do I want to lag my way through keep sieges? Hammer away at pve dungeons?

The root of the problem is this. I love Wars pvp and I think the balance is somewhat there. But the fights are never in fair numbers, and the keeps are all exactly the same pretty much. Scens would be great, if they didn’t seem to always be one side rolling over the other. And scens are real picky whether they will be open or have people playing them anyway. I enjoyed the first three city dungeons, but after running them several times those are boring as well. I could gear up, but for what? In WoW I would gear up so I could compete better in the arena, which I guess was one of the only reasons wow kept me so long. I really wish War had an arena and ranking system, maybe some day.

So I like small scale skill based pvp, but I can’t find it much in War right now. I like the PvE, but only to the point of gearing me, not running it 90 times and not ever seeing my drop. And after I get my piece from a dungeon there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to go back there except to help friends which I have done. The end game is supposed to be Orvr and sieges, I don’t know, maybe if there wasn’t massive lag those would be more fun, but I’m not really feeling like that would be the case. The set ups are boring, the lord rooms can be walled off by players using collision detection and aoeing a small spot. This usually leads to the enemy even if outnumbered 4-1 being able to easily stop you. Again its mostly zerging and little strategy, IF you can even move well at all.

In any case I guess this post speaks for itself, I’m not sure I’ll make it back to War. My sub ends on the 17th and I may start playing other games and writing more about them. Most notably Demigod but I may try a free game called Atlantica as well. These games also have there issues but at least I don’t have to pay monthly to play them. In war these things still plague me and are wearing me out now:

Massive Lag (scens are usually ok, keeps are almost always crap, forts are outrageous)

CTD (still crashing to desktop at least once a night)

Bugs galore (fligh paths not taking me where I chose to go, chests not looting, abilities not firing, millions more that have been discussed)

So I guess I’m asking why stick around and play War through all this? What incentive do I have to get higher than 40/40? Are you all still enjoying War and plan on sticking around? Is there something I’m missing that is going to make end game more fun?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baby Time!!!

I'm a proud new papa of a sweet baby girl! I'll be out of gaming commision for a bit so don't expect too many new posts :-( If I get back to gaming faster or have time and some thoughts about games I'll be sure to be back sooner rather than later. You never know how things will go. Could be a few weeks to a few months. Well I'm super Happy, super tired too so I'll leave it at that for now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DemiGod First Impressions

So I pre-ordered a while back the game Demigod so I could play in the beta for it. At the time I didn’t have a lot going I wanted to play and I really liked Defense of the Ancients hero game that spawned from warcraft 3 the frozen throne. So I figured what the heck. Well I played the beta for a bit then got sucked into Warhammer, I quickly stopped playing much demigod. However the game released its live version yesterday so I figured why not try out their finished product. I only got about an hour of game time in and I was playing single player mode, but here are my early impressions.

The game is pretty fun. That doesn’t mean I know how long it will be fun for, or how much it lasts, I’m just speaking from my first impressions. I jumped into a single player tournament with npc teammates and npc enemies and went at it. I liked what they did with the specialization points, I played the unclean beast assassin type demigod and could see that there were probably 2-3 different ways to build him that would be effective in game. I played him once as a aoe/projectile and once as a super speedy melee monster. Both were pretty effective (but I didn’t have any competition really since the easy computers were way too easy).

There were a lot of diversity and item choices as well. I’d imagine that each build will find the best items for that particular build and will try to get to that. I found the items seemed quite a bit powerful, but again maybe because I was on easy cpu the money flowed in faster than its supposed to. I’ll try to get to more of this when I get some time in, at the moment I’m not feeling too well and warhammer does crowd my time (new patch came out tonight to try as well). Have any questions about demigod or how the game works or plays? I’d love to expound upon it for any that are interested.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is Warhammer Still in Beta?

Been thinking a lot about this lately. Love the game and it has kept me for a long time so they definitely did a lot of things right. But there are a ton of little things (some bigger than others) that makes me and my friends often wonder, are we paying to play beta still? Here are some issues in no particular order:


What is up with the mail system? Takes forever to send/delete/take any items out of there. Very frustrating when you do any sort of mailing between AH guys or alts. Or even just to friends. 20 seconds or more sometimes to take an item, then when you delete it gives you this message like you haven’t even read the mail yet, its all pretty crazy. AND to top it off until recently it was much much worse, could only send/receive one item at a time. They’ve improved it but its still pretty terrible, one can live with it since it isn’t core to the game play, but it sure does seem weird that it performs so poorly.


This one is a real big issue and seems to span multiple players and hardware types. The game still crashes to desktop a ton. At least once per night I play. Sometimes it doesn’t let you right back in either. Friends have reported the same, and it seems so random. Happens at different times. And when you get back in others didn’t crash you wonder why is that? Then they will crash at a completely different part. Its all very weird and annoying.


This is hard to pinpoint as well since so many people have so many different hardware configurations. But I think its safe to say even on the best rigs the game lags way too much in Orvr which is the supposed end game. I don’t know a lot about how to fix it but its definitely there. They have got to figure out a way to optimize this better since the game is supposed to be a huge open field of war driving back and forth, but when you are out there the game stutters like crazy.

Rewards System

Randomizing keep contribution THEN random rolling is a terrible way to distribute gear. You have to get lucky twice! Then to top it off you might actually get the lucky double roll, only to get the same gear piece you have! That system has to go like immediately. Influence system was a nice add but it was way after the fact and only some of the items are useful, still I’m happy they at least put that in. Pve instances could also use a much better system, especially since they have lockout timers so you can’t run them every day. I have read about their new token system, it should be a step in the right direction. However the game has been out quite a while now, it should have been obvious this gear system was terrible from the beginning, ESPECIALLY since you have a gear requirement system in place to force you to get certain pieces before you can progress to the next dungeon.

Scenario System

A great system IMO and seems to work well in tiers 1-3. In tier 4 with zones locking and scens getting locked out it seems to need more work. There needs to be a MUCH better way to get the sides more even possibly not starting them till the proper teams get in. Over my tier 4 experience I’ve noticed my side either crushes the enemy, or gets crushed, 90% of the time. That’s pretty boring. A lot of people ask for more Orvr and get rid of scens, I like the scens and wish that I could play them more often, and have them more balanced. They are a much fairer fight most of the time, and allow for more small skirmishes which can be some of the most fun battles to me.

Added from emails with a friend of mine, Cliff the Chum (my comments in parenthesis) –

Character pictures

Why are these images randomized when the group is first formed?? Instead of just showing their face? I’d rather not see anything if it’s not going to be the people I’m actually in a group with. (Its silly to me when I see a weird mask or face on a teammates picture then all of a sudden later its actually them. Doesn’t bother me too much but is kind of dumb it does that, doesn’t seem like that hard to fix that. Where is it getting those other pictures from lol.)

Zone tracking

This is usually way off the mark. Several times I’ve been in the SAME zone with my friend (lets say Eataine) and it tracks me in Kadrin Valley and him in Altdorf. (This is very true and super annoying. I’ll often run to where my team is supposed to be in a scenario or in Orvr only to find that no one is actually there. The tracking is way off and it really throws off your choices of where to strategically go sometimes. Also knowing what zones your friends are in is beneficial, its stupid to fly somewhere only to find they aren’t even there.)

NPC lag

After a scenario or a flight path trip or death in RVR, it takes the game almost 10 seconds before it displays the NPCs in the area. I notice this the most when looking for a healer after I die. (I agree with this too, how bout just make the loading screen take an extra few seconds, why have me show up but then I’m in a world with no people in it for a while. Seems odd).

General Game Responsiveness

General game responsiveness is subpar. When I have a morale ability up and ready and NOT on global cooldown, it should work WHEN I press it, not 2 seconds later like it currently does. This is not on the client end, this is completely on the server end. I notice this with all my abilities but particularly noticeable when using CC moves like Roots and Knockdowns and especially morale moves. (This is a big game issue as well. They have done a lot of work on this as it used to be even worse, but as a SwordMaster there is still a long way to go. Having balances I have to work through its extremely annoying to hit an ability, have my balance move, but then not be able to use the next balance and have to do it over again. In laggy situations this becomes even worse, but sometimes it happens even without lag.)

That’s it for now, anything I missed?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Level 40 Sword Master

So I been out of the loop here posting for a little bit, I’ve been busy but also I got my Sword Master to level 40! I finished a couple of the first level 40 city instances and re-specialized a couple times to test some things out. So far I’m extremely happy and now I’m ready to post some of my thoughts on the early stages of a fresh level 40 Sword Master.

1. Wall of darting steel (our level 40 ability that grants us 50% parry/disrupt/dodge while wielding a two hander) is absolutely amazing. Really, it’s the only reason I’m fully enjoying playing a 2h SwordMaster in Orvr. Sure I used a 2h throughout my level up process, but at 40 with high Strength you start to notice you aren’t doing a lot less damage than a 2h, a little bit maybe, but not enough to forgo being able to block nearly 22% or what not. And you definitely feel the squishyness (and seemingly lack of heals given to you) when running with a 2h. Channel that Wall of Darting Steel when you are taking heat though and wow, its beautiful how long you can last, often retreating or finally getting healed. Bonus to it as well is it is hitting em back for damage, sweet.

2. The early instances are fun and challenging. I’ve done crypts and tunnels (helmet side). Both instances had a few wipes in my pick up groups, but we were relatively inexperienced and I only have 3 wards. Our main tanks had 5 but I’d imagine it could be done with 4 and a little more experience. It was fun learning the pve encounters. I’m guessing that sure I might get a little bored of them after 10 or so runs (maybe more not sure) but the lock out timers actually help with this I think. I can’t run it more than once every 3 days or so, that helps force me to do other things. Even at 40 I have a lot to do, and I still enjoy Orvr when its not a zergfest (getting rarer these days) and scenarios.

3. Strategic Orvr seems to be happening a lot more. With the changes to zone capture I’ve been involved in a lot of warband splits where we guard different BO’s and just a lot more coordination in general. Its pretty refreshing and enjoyable. Even had one epic orvr battle at a BO that lasted like 4-5 minutes or longer with tons from each side fighting. It was pretty awesome. Most rvr however is one huge group rolling over another, but when we have large really cool fights its very fun and fulfilling, also when I get in small skirmishes I enjoy that a lot too.

There’s a lot more but I’ll stop at that for now. Still having a blast, even with no experience gain and that’s a good thing. I’m happy to be at the cap. I still have things to achieve like RR and gear, but I’m happy where I’m at and having fun playing the game so really I couldn’t ask for more than that at the moment.