Axe Bite(s) (the Dust) Server Transfer

17 12 2008

We received the news a couple of days ago that Axe Bite was being given free charecter transfers to Karag-Azgal or Karag-something else due to low population. Logging on last night we were also greeted by a pop up saying this was a very low pop server and we should move. I have been long complaining about the lack of people on Axe Bite, and investigations around in game showed that a lot of people where going to take up this offer. In addition, Karag-Azgal also apparently held a thriving population with active RvR.

As a guild then, Draconea Corda packs its collective bags last night and moved on mass to the new server. Congrats to Mythic, the transfer process was very quick and painless and also enabled the guild to not lose any of it’s progress.

The new server is busy, almost immediately I was greeted with a Stonewatch Fortess is under attack by the Forces of Destruction message and promptly flew over to Kadrin Valley to check it out. Huge amount of Destructions were there with at least 4/5 warbands moving enmasse to the Fortress. Unfortunately, the large influx of players must have been all to much for the server as we crashed at least 4 times while attacking the fortress and ported back to IC!! Hopefully that will be addressed shortly!

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Ding!

15 12 2008

There it is,  the most aupsicious moment of any mmo players virtual life in game – the reaching of the level cap/the glass ceiling/the begining of the end/anticlimax [delete as appropriate].

For a zealot reaching 40 presents two particuarly choice additions to the armoury, firstly the self rez skill (……), oh how I wish this had been granted a little earlier! On a 10 minute timer, this buff will give a self rez to you or another player (although I don’t think this works in scenario RvR, but I need to double check this, as I may have just buffed someone else). The second nice skill is your rank 4 Morale skil. I had already unlocked the one at the top of the …….. tree, which grants 250 action points to the group and allows everyone to absorb around 1700 damage for a set time. The other from the career trainer allows for everyone in your group around you to be rezzed and deal extra damage for a period. Another skill I got somewhere in the late 30s, ………….., I am finding hugely useful in RvR, particularly Serpant’s Passage (the only tier 4 scenario!), and is a short snare spell, which you can use on the move. There have been a number of occasions where I have been able to stop the Order player with the salvage piece just long enough for the baying pack of Destruction snapping at their heals to catch up with them. So.Satisfying!





Over the top lads!

19 11 2008

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The battledrums were in full swing last night on Axe Bite, as we witnessed and participated in a server first!

I logged with a plan for looking for a bit of rumble with the Order and ended up being drafted into the Destruction Army on a world tour of destruction and pillage. Well at least joined up with the Warband that was rampaging through Praag. As I joined up 2 warbands were close to locking down Praag, and were hitting up all the PQs. Order defence was nonexistant and the Keeps and battle objectives were taken and held with no problems. After around 30 minutes of my joining the victory points ticked over and Praag was taken, and the armies of Destruction marched on Reikland.

It is pretty impressive to see 2 organised warbands blitz through objectives and Keep taking, and with little to no Order resistance, the Reikland, Keeps fell quickly and objectives with them and we swtitched to the scenario and PQs to work on the victory points. By this stage Order were starting to realise that the Reikland Fortress was in iminent danger and the defenders started to mass.  We seemed to sit at around 96 victory points for around an hour as a to and fro battle to defend objectives and Keeps flowed up and down the map (Although at times I just kept getting the Benny Hill music in my head, as we rushed to one objective found the fight finished and turned around and rushged right back to the last). At around 11pm Orders forces were starting to get decently organised but Victory Points ticked over and Reikland fell!

I should at this point that the majority of the Destruction forces were in the late 30s and level 40s. I was rolling along at a scary 31, desparately trying to avoid mobs and any Order spotting me for the soft and very squishy zealot I am!

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We all piled down to the Reikland Fortress, a huge place encomassing a small town within its walls, with 3 gates before getting into the Keep. My recollections at this point become somewhat hazy, as my computer decided that 2/3 warbands panelling in the doors was enough, and fps dropped to a very jerky low number! Order resistance was at this point still almost non-existant, although I was imagining some frantic shouts going out in Altdorf at around this time! We made it to the main Keep within the fortress and all hell broke loose. The Fortress Keep is a lot larger than your normal Keeps, and inhabited by Champions, Heros and I think a Lord. Again the amount of players and frame rate made it largely difficult to tell what the hell was going on. Things started getting hairy as a few of us dropped, and Order suddenly piled up the stairs on mass. With only around 8 or 9 left in our warband, it looked as if the grand adventure was over, when suddenly the capture message popped and we took the Fortress!

This gave Destruction all of the Chaos Tier with just K…… Valley left in the High Elf tier with Order and the one last block before we could mount a city seige! Everyone piled to KV and we swiftly sweeped up the zone.

In the northern keep capture, I somehow managed to come first and the gold loot bag was mine (Annihilator set piece!), but lag and 30 players around the chest meant it despawned before I could grab it!!! I cried! Lots!

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Order seemed to finally get its act together by this stage and started to mount a decent defence, harrying us on a number of battle objectives across the map and splitting our force. This went back and forth for some time, and it seemed we had pretty much reaached a stalemate, and I had to return to barracks for the night. I’m looking forward to seeing the state fo the map tonight!

Hopefully some of the screenshots do some justice to the impressiveness of WAR’s RvR at this scale. If this is an indication of how life will be like end game wise in RvR, I can’t wait. Lots of fun, and altough I’m not sure how much I was able to contribute to the carnage, being a part of this was so much fun.

Would have been nice to get that gold bag though!





Mixed bag

17 11 2008

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Well 3 posts in one day, this is me trying to make up for lack of posts recently, mainly from real life kicking in, but also continuing problems with my main charecter in WAR breaking the internet. Although still happening, Mythic appear to be ironing out the problem (apparently something to do with areas with a lot of npcs having to load in), and its not quite as gamebreaking as before, although still similair to poking red hot needles in your eyes (my support page with EA is turning into an epic saga, but still only cut and paste generic responses to date!).

Fallout 3, Fable 2 and Gears of War 2 have also been taking up a bit of my time, but maybe more of those another day.

I have still been playing WAR though and sit at giggy heights of level 31 and exploring the Tier 4 content. First a few random thoughts and observations from the sessions over the weekend and last couple of weeks:

The honeymoon is most definitely over!

Noticed a lot of blog posts recently criticising or identifying issues in WAR. Which I think is fair, as people get deeper (or not) into the game and start to see potential areas of concern. As with any MMO, we are still early days, and I am happy enough to wait and see where things will go. I don’t, as much as I would like, have the time to devote to mmos, and WAR handles the balance quite well for that.

My biggest concern is really the lack of identity to your character and to the world/community in general. Axe Bite server went from being one of the first during opening days to get to a heavy population, of late it resembles a ghost town (although to be fair, it seems more intermitant than constant and does flit to medium population). I’m not sure if this is due to the normal plataeuing after a mmo launch in pop levels or whether possibly a number of people have left/transferred, but the effect in game is really noticable. As also been commented on elsewhere, people (lemmings) have gotten into this battleground scenario mentality, to the detriment of RvR and PQs. I’m not going to go on about this to much as it’s been covered well in other blogs, but PQs now seem to be about solo grinding Stage one influence.

Mount Gunbad

The guild did a run down here last week, and it was a lot of fun. Looks amazing, lots of bosses and tough mobs. Looking forward to doing more of the place. Great xp from the quests too. From the ToK it looks like there must be 3 of these ‘Legendary Locales’ in game in each races areas, look forward to seeing more of these.

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Tier 4

Of all the zones, and despite that fact that I am Chaos, Chaos lands to me carry much more impact of an ongoing War. The lands are bleak and war torn and carry a great atmosphere of dread and imminent death (which in my case is never far from the truth). Travelling into the Wastes for the first time and exploring has been interesting. I poked my head briefly into Praag, but retreated fairly promtly upon seeing a large angry looking lvl 36 bear.

Zealot

Glad to hear we getting a little dps increase in 1.05, not so glad to hear HoTs are being adjusted downwards! I’m sure more on this later!

T4 Scenarios

Already ranted at the recent ones I have been in below. Other thing I’ve noticed is jsut how fast people are dying! BW dots are a thing of pure evil, and I can be killed in under a minute from a few of these thrown on top of me!

Open RvR

So much fun. Will do a separate post on this I think, but hugely enjoyable. Participated in a huge 3 warband romp of Dragonwake at the weekend. Order where also in attendance, although never really threatened the Keep while I was on. I would really love to the RvR lakes expanded with more objectives (hell open up the majority of the zones to RvR with more objectives and take out the zone locking/PQ/Scenario farming mechanics).

We ended up going to do the Chp 19 PQs in the zone (way above my current level), and got one poxy green bag from the lot, but one of the best sessions I have had in WAR. Particpated in one with my Black Orc in Barack Varr last night, and managed to win my first gold loot bag after capturing the Keep which was cool. Will also have to work on my BO to get him to 17 now to wear all the blues and the epic that is waiting for him!

As the title says mixed bag of a Post, really jsut a catch up and some observations. Hopefully something more substantial coming shortly





Healing stats

17 11 2008

Spotted this post over on RP That Way —> site. Really useful breakdown on how Willpower, toughness and wounds stats balance out at higher levels.





Small Vent

17 11 2008

I’m not an angry player, and certainly one that doesn’t take these games too seriously. Sure, I’ll have a mutter when I get that 94 roll after being on top of the contribution chart and get sweet F all at the end of it. But, hey thats just the way of things, all part of the fun.

However, scenarios are really stretching my patience at the moment. As a healer, I generally don’t see a great deal in them, other than a group of boxes that I throw heals on dementedly for 15 minutes. Recently though, experiences in Tor Anroc and most recently Serpant’s Passage have had me chewing the edge of my desk. Now correct me if I’m wrong in these assumptions, but all the talk recently is of open RvR being abandoned for the ease of grind in Scenarios, yet 80% of the ones I’m in consist of me being farmed, either at the entrance of a cave or paddling at the edge of the ocean by the Order, and leaving with something like 1-4k xp and precious little reknown.

What I just can’t get my head around, is why so many people like? accept? cannot comprehend?? this situation and blindly stand there there getting their arses kicked for 15 minutes. Why? They are not getting much satisfaction in terms of winning, xp, reknown? The tactics in scenarios aren’t that complicated surely. Small maps, easy objective. Yet, once pushed back no attempt at lateral thinking is made to get out of the situation, despite subtle suggestions in /sp chat. Some great examples of this came from a Serpant’s Passage session yesterday, myself and a guildie went through.

Let me explain the scenario first  – Both sides stranded on a beach, a salvage piece is located at the top of the map and mountains sit in the middle, forcing a long run up and around to get to salvage piece. You pick it up and take it back to your ship on the shore to collect points. Simple right?

In practice, Destro get pushed back to their ship and Order quietly farm the salvage piece without interrpution while the Bright Wizards and friends farm us by the shore. This had happened a number of times yesterday, and I had given up on healing the group to try and push out of the beach and up to the salvage piece. We tried to getting the warband to move on mass and get out, to get a reply about running out didnt go to well for you last time (!?). As opposed to standing there and dying repeatedly I guess.   

At another point my guidie and myself had grabbed the piece and got it down to the shore but was set upon by the Order camping there. The piece dropped, right beside everyone, and it was just ignored us lay there dead shouting for someone to pick it up. Then a Order player, skipped in picked it and carried it away.

Now its not something I would usually get stressed about unduly, but after similar experiences in the majority of scenarios I’m playing, I just have to wonder what possible enjoyment people could derive from this!

-Talk to each other!

-You only need 2-4 players to farm the salvage piece, and the rest can keep Order busy.

-Pinned back? then coordinate and run out. Spread Order playes, but get them away from our spawn area!

-Order have the salvage piece? Run along the shore and interupt the runners

These are simple maps and simple objectives, but are really well designed, and need to have a small amount of talk between everyone to win. Nothing complicated, work as a team!

Ok vent over!





You take the high road and I’ll take the low..

28 10 2008

Couple of very cool moments in game last night, highlighting some of the great stuff not related to questing and RvR that are around the maps. I’ll post some screenshots when I get back from work.

I hit level 27 and ran out of quests in High Pass (except for one but am in fear of travelling to in case I get stuck in the temporal vortex that subsumed my character the other night breaking my internet and game!), so decided to stick my head into the Chaos Wastes, the, um, Chaos T4 zone.

As someone in touch with my inner Chaos minion, this place is a literal Raven Shangri-la, a paradise for common chaos folk. The wind howls, snow is of blizzard porportions (take a close look at the snowflakes, look familiar?), slowly rotting corpses litter the landscape and killer nurglings waddle their ugly corrupt little snot bodies around looking for victims. Just Lovely!

So a guildie and myself decide to have a bit of an exploration of the map, as we couldn’t pick up any quests yet. When we saw a huge ominous looking building appear on the map, just on the Order side of the RvR zone. Of course we wanted to check this place out and the massive castle loomed out of the murk (if you could smell in this game, you just know this zone would reek!), perched high on some cliffs, we tried for a good 30 minutes to find a way up the sides. Eventually working out that there was a door we entered Ancient Night! One of the most impressive structures I’ve yet seen in game, it is of massive cathedral like proportions, large blazers along the sides that inexplicably go on and off, and a staircase with dragons down the sides, their moving tongues adding to the sense of tension – that something large, with teeth like industrial wood cutters and probably oozing some rancid poisonous substance was suddenly going to appear and most likely not offer us a tour of the building! However, (sadly) it didn’t and the building remained strangely silent, but as you can see from the picture pretty impressive.

The other ‘wow’ moment was a little more unexpected. I had travelled back down to Nordland, trying to complete a quest for some oozing manuscript, the npc remaining stubbornly missing. I decided to have a little wander and after a bit of climbing and a little swimming I came across this place…

Looks amazing and clearly specifically designed, but totally out of the way from where you would look at going. I clambered up those little pools by the waterfall and managed to get across to where that cave is, and a mob called Red Wolf appeared at the entrance, all lvl 40 of him! In Nordland! With some careful peering into the cave discovered that the entire place was full of a pack of high level 39 and 40 wolfs! I am now determined to find out whats going on with this place, and if its part of some high level quest or an very obscure tome unlock, and will be bringing some guildies back to here! Will let you know.

It was just one of those really unexpected moment coming across this place and totally stunning art to design it.