Call to Arms, pt. 2

Today marks the launch of patch 1.2.1 on the American servers, which means it’ll be heading our way soon. I’ve not written all that much about it, because I’ve found it all a little overwhelming, but I know it heralds some big and important changes.

Keep upgrading should prove an interesting addition that’ll add some flavour to open RvR at higher levels and also provide some incentive for holding a keep for longer. I hope it works as planned, it sounds like some much-needed extra dimensions will be in-game shortly.

The Beyond the Sands live event launches with 1.2.1. I want to kill undead things, so I look forward to it. Goggles, however, will ruin my hair!

There’s a lot of general improvements, to the UI, to combat responsiveness and to the luck factor (somewhat), by the introduction of a token system of medallions for RvR. I really look forward to seeing how many medallions I can earn in an evening of RvR (and yes, I will take my r40 Rune Priest out for this test) and what I can buy for them. And of course, there’s the new Gates of Ekrund ‘arena’  (6v6 ranks 19-24), it sounds cool, but also scares me a bit, because I’m notoriously nervous about my abilities – but I know people really can’t wait for this, and I’m extremely interested in how it goes, I imagine it’ll be a surefire hit and people will always want an alt in these levels to do this (or to halt the xp gain if they could).

And I know all the class tweaks and changes will take some getting used to. But it marks yet another stage of Mythic taking on criticism and comment and working the game to make improvements all the time. And because of that, there’s only really one thing to say…

…bring it on!

(patch notes here)

[Edit: it’s friday for Europe (or today!), hurrah!]

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Sneaky Peeky

Just a quick post before I head off for work, Mark Jacobs has given a sneak peek of patch 1.2 over at the Vault boards, which includes the following highlights:

1) Bugs: I’m certainly not going to list 500 bugs/issues here, but the list is rather lengthy and right now bug fixes alone are coming in at about 16 pages of notes.

2) New Careers: Two new careers have been added, the Slayer and the Choppa. For those that got a look at the Choppa during Beta, you’ll see some changes and improvements but the Slayer is all new and ready to take the field for the first time.

3) Combat and Careers Adjustments: Lots and lots of bug fixes, adjustments and tweaks to all careers. This Balance patch focuses on addressing a number of global issues identified by the players that have been affecting the overall feel and balance of the game. This includes items such as Resistance stacking, Disorient effects, and Damage Absorb shields. In addition to these more global changes, we continue to work on each individual career addressing many of the more significant balance concerns and bugs brought up by the community. This includes a focus on the following careers; Witch Elf, Witch Hunter, Chosen, Knight, Black Orc, and Swordmaster.

4) Realm vs Realm: RvR is introducing several great changes including the new Open RvR Rallying Cry, Zone Domination System, and Siege Weapon Improvements and more!

5) Items: Itemization improvements and fixes for Gunbad, Bastion Stair, Lost Vale, Fortress Raid Rewards, City Invasion Rewards, and more!

6) Crafting System Improvements: Overall improvements to the system with Apothecary being the focus of this patch. New ingredients, improved interfaces and more.

7) Public Quests: Easy PQs for Tiers two, three, and four! This completes our first pass at the Easy PQ system and we will continue to review and tweak the system as necessary. As we have already done for Tier One, we have gone through the PQs in each Tier and made sure that at least one per chapter can be completed by 1-3 people.

8. New Live Event: The Bitter Rivals event will be launching with this version as the official kick off for the anticipated introduction of the Slayer and Choppa!

9) New Scenario: The Twisting Tower Scenario will be making a special preview appearance!

10) User Interface: Lots of UI improvements for both old and new systems! These improvements cover everything from crafting to RvR.

11) Mail: Send multiple items attached to each mail! Easily one of our most requested features by the players.

12) Client Stability: Continued improvements to the client in the areas of stability performance and visual quality. Improvements to an MMO’s client, just like the server, are ongoing and these will continue now and in the future to be one of our priorities.

Head over to the Vault and participate in the discussion!

Some Test Server changes coming sooner rather than later

As we all know, patch 1.05 is still on the Public Test Server, and if you go to any WAR forums, you’ll be sure to read lots of comments about how its affected various classes and archetypes. We’re all mostly interested in our own classes, but still – there were a bunch of interesting changes we have been wishing would be added sooner, rather than languishing on the test server to iron out the wrinkles. Lo and behold, patch 1.04b has been born and is due to go to the US servers today (also the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, by the way).

It really does have everything in that we’ve been talking about wanting before we get the rest of 1.05, so good call Mythic! (I imagine Europeans will get it on 12th, if usual patterns apply). Anyway, here’s the highlights:

When conquered, Keeps will always provide three gold loot bags and Fortresses will now offer six guaranteed gold loot bags as part of the chest loot.

Rally Masters have been added to all warcamps. Now, players can set their rally point in a warcamp in the same manner as binding in a chapter hub.

To promote population balance among the various scenarios, we have added a feature that reduces the number of times a specific scenario can launch in a short period of time. This will give scenarios which are launched less frequently an opportunity to catch up in the queue population and launch more often.

It also contains the changes to Chaotic Rift/Electromagnet which we look forward to seeing in the variety of scenarios we hope to be able to play now, not just Serpent’s Passage/Tor Anroc/Mourkain Temple/Nordenwatch, depending on your tier.

More tweaks and fixes and another patch

First of all, this is from the US Herald and any dates and stuff relate to US patching. No word on when Europe will get any of this stuff, we’re still waiting for some hotfixes, so maybe we’re being made to wait till it’s all in one package. NOT something we want to do, for the record. We’ve had a few days when the extra xp in Tier 3 & 4 would  have gone down nicely, thank you.

First of all, more bug fixes on their way. I particularly like this one that’s annoyed me for a while:

We corrected an issue that was preventing players from completing the “Battle at Doomfist Crater” quest. 

and these are good too:

  • We fixed an issue that would sometimes cause a player in the Logrin’s Forge scenario to respawn at the enemy spawn point after dying.
  • Players will no longer be able to destroy the postern doors of keeps. This will focus the battle at the keep’s front gate, providing a more fair and balanced experience for both attackers and defenders.
  • After these hotfixes, which are pretty small-fry compared with what’s to come, we move onto more xp tweaks relating to keep capture (once again, ignore the ‘today’ if in Europe):

    Players who capture an RvR keep previously received only renown. As of today, players of the appropriate rank (actual, not bolstered) will also earn an experience bonus for successfully defeating a keep lord.

    As with Public Quests and defeating monsters, the experience awarded for the successful capture of a keep will vary depending on a player’s rank relative to the difficulty of the keep.

    The article goes on to list appropriate levels for the various Tier Keep takes.. useful if you want to know at what level you’ll get the most xp for it. Not sure about that, but we’ll see how it plays out.

    Finally, the Big Stuff ™. The next patch notes. A mixed bag here, and you should definitely visit the Herald to get the full picture, because instead of copying and pasting, we’re only going to list a few:

    We’re pleased to announce the addition of a new regional chat system. This item has been one of our most requested features, and you can find the details below…Region Chat consists of two channels, Region and Region-RvR…

    Needed, not surprised it was most requested. Been needed for a while. Look forward to this. Wonder which area will become ‘Barrens chat’ – place your bets!

    • In order to ensure that the Apothecary skill remains a valuable crafting profession potions will no longer drop as frequently.
    • Seeds for Cultivation will no longer drop as frequently throughout the world.

    If you already levelled cultivation – well done! As for you apothecaries, I expect potions for my vials please 🙂 Especially now.

    Nurglings will no longer continue to make aggressive sounds after they have been killed.

    I love them, but hurray!

    Capturing an enemy standard will now reward the capturing player and his nearby allies with renown.

    Very nice change, making it just cost someone 2g to get a new standard and having some bragging rights, not as good as renown!

    • Renown gained from healing players was granting more renown than intended over long periods of time. Players who heal other players will still earn renown for aiding their friends in combat, but large heals or repeated heal-over-time spells will result in lesser renown gains than before. 
    • While going over the data collected for renown gained by healing, we discovered a few incorrect values that led to players earning far more renown than designed.  To ensure equal renown gains for players regardless of their chosen career and whether they group or not inside scenarios, we have made several adjustments to the way renown is granted from healing other players…

    You should go read all the changes here, especially if you play a healer. And especially if you play one that uses heal-over-time and large heals. I notice there are no changes to the xp earned by soloing dps classes. Not that we don’t welcome this being seen as a problem – just want to see how it plays out and what kind of knock-on effect we get as healers who have never gone solo.  Like how you slipped that one in right at the end of the list though, Mythic!

    Quick update: when does EU get xp hotfix?

    The US got a hotfix on friday which applied some tweaks to xp in Tiers 3 and 4. So we were hoping to get ours over the weekend, after all – other patches and hotfixes have pretty much been next day. Nothing yet. Went to look at GOA site. No news yet.

    But, went to Freddyshouse where Magnus has the following to say:

    These changes will be implemented on European servers shortly. We’re posting news on war-europe when it’s done.

    Mythic recently announced a designated patch-notes and hot-fix page. We’ll have ours up and running as soon as possible, hopefully this week. This will allow us to post hot-fixes and small updates as frequent as we want to which is really great. Can’t wait!

    You know what, we can’t wait either. But we have. Each time being told it was ‘hopefully this week’ or ‘maybe as early as next week’. I’m grouchy and a bit sick, but either give us the Realm War page and this amazing new hot-fix and patch page.. or stop promising stuff like that. We already pretty much go to the Mythic pages as default, y’know. Not because we want to, but because we have to.

    So anyway, we should get the xp tweaks soon.

    Not really expecting much on the GOA website anytime though, maybe by November, eh?

    Crafters take note: late additions to 1.02 patch notes

    This is mostly of interest to talisman makers and apothecaries.

    • One of the things we’ve been hearing from players is that our Talisman making system was a bit more time-consuming than we wanted it to be.  So, in an effort to make Talisman making more accessible to lower/mid-range crafters, our Items team changed Gold Essence (originally a product of Apothecary) to Gold Dust and added Gold Dust to crafting merchants to eliminate the need for a third crafter to level their skills. Unfortunately, this change was released slightly ahead of schedule and Gold Dust had no sell price. Rather than change everybody’s character, we  decided to leave the change live. However, in order to avoid an impact on our economy, we have made it so that Gold Dust, that had been purchased prior to server restart cannot be sold but it can still be used. This item can still be traded. So, since Gold Dust could previously be bought for no cost, well, you haven’t lost anything.
    • Players who previously had Gold Essence will notice that it has been converted to Gold Dust, which can be used in all recipes that previously required Gold Essence.
    • As a result of this change, Goldweed, which had previously been an ingredient used to create gold dust, has now been converted to a stabilizer for Apothecary. This is a boon to Cultivators, who could not previously create a stabilizer and it will help make tie Cultivation and Apothecary more tightly together.

    First patch notes

    Ok, the first patch is about to hit the US (and us too, since we’ve been getting things pretty much at the same time). Patch notes are up on the US Herald (GOA still has some catching up to do on communication, but hey, more on that another time).

    Here’s some of the highlights for me, personally:

    • Players no longer need to scroll down through the EUALA when logging into the game. The window now defaults to the bottom, and players need only check the Agreement box and click accept.
    • TAB-targeting should now more consistently select the nearest enemy in the player’s field of view.
    • Monsters which change velocity while moving in combat should no longer return “Target is Out of Range” sometimes when attacked by players.
    • The Gunbad instance lockouts will now be 30 minutes instead of 24 hours.
    • Some monsters have been identified that were dropping Destruction items for Order players. These monsters will now drop Order items for Order players.
    • Player pets have learned to behave themselves. They should now listen to their masters and stay focused while in combat with monsters, rather than dancing erratically. In addition, they should follow obediently at their masters’ side rather than spinning around.
    • The delay between sending multiple mails has been reduced from 20 seconds to 5 seconds.
    • In some cases, the chat window would reset to default position upon logout. This should no longer occur.