March 3rd/4th, 1.2

Woohoo, just got my WAR newsletter for February, announcing the 1.2 patch will hit on 3rd March and the Bitter Rivals event lands on 4th March, nicely in time for my trip to Dublin! And after the event, for those who complete it – hello Slayers (and Choppas, naturally). Just checked US newsletter and they have the same dates so let’s timeshift a day and assume it’ll be 4th and 5th March for Europe until we hear otherwise

Official European forums are due just after 1.2, so we can get used to our new separation and see exactly how often we hear from Mythic employees over them. In fact, we could start a sweepstake!

The newsletter has a ton of info about the new classes, with their masteries listed. There’s also info about the Bitter Rivals event and especially the new scenario we’ll all soon be playing.

I’m a little absent, because Spinks is up with me on a visit, but expect more updates soon and in the meantime, look forward to your newsletter, take in all the info and look forward to the start of March!!

ps. please note I linked to the US newsletter because I couldn’t find the EU one online again. We have no recruit-a-friend deal, no offerings of loyal pets or magic wands. I want a pet doggy.

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First look at the Slayer

The European PTR is up (and you can access it by running warpatch.exe, a file that you will find in your Warhammer directory), so naturally I jumped on and created a Slayer.

[Note: Thanks Earandur for pointing out that I missed a step in describing how to access the EU PTR — if testpatch.exe is there, use that. If not, use warpatch.exe.]

So just me, and every other person on the Order side! As far as looks go, everyone knows what Slayers look like and you have a decent range of mohawks and tattoos to choose from. Red hair is not optional (neither are beer bellies), but you’ll just have to guess at which of them are the natural redheads 🙂

My first impressions are good. It’s a class that does exactly what it says on the tin. You run up to things and hit them hard and hopefully they die before you do. Job done. And then you go to the pub.

Slayer Mechanics

I was too busy taking pictures of my tatts to have any screenshots of the mechanics, so I’ll just describe them instead.

Badass in more ways than one

Badass in more ways than one

There’s a speedometer-style graphic above your hotkeys. As you hit things, the meter clocks up. When you stop hitting things, it ticks down again. When the meter rises above a third of the bar, the bar changes colour (your status changes to ‘Furious’). When it rises above two-thirds, it changes colour again (your status changes to ‘Berserk’).

When you are furious or berserk, some abilities deal more damage and cause you to be more vulnerable. Both the damage and the vulnerability are greater when berserk than when furious.

So you dial up the meter by hitting things, and become more of a glass cannon (glass axe?) as time goes on.

The Slayer also has a set of standard melee style debuffs, there’s a snare and a heal debuff. The talent trees are divided between AE damage, short fast blows, and longer fights (which includes more DoTs and debuffs).

I’ve no idea why they do this because everyone will pick the tree that gives the best burst damage. This is a PvP game after all. Just sayin’

Balance on the PTR

Haha, oh how I laughed. Well, balance may or may not be screwed but everyone on the PTR is playing either a Slayer or a Choppa so we really have very little idea how balance will work out when other classes are around also. All the chat on the PTR channels was about how powerful the new classes seem. But there aren’t any of the classes around that would show up their weaknesses (tanks to stop them mullering the back ranks, anything with crowd control to stop them in their tracks, ranged dps to nuke them when they’re weak).

However, they do kill things fast.

Much has been said on forums about the balance between Choppas vs Slayers. But you have to remember that Choppa vs Slayer is the only fight in town on the PTR. So while I personally would prefer my melee to have an anti-heal debuff than an armour debuff, it’s not useful when fighting Choppas. This debate will probably continue happily unabated until the heat death of the universe.

Summary

I think that the people who have been waiting for the new melee classes will be very happy with what they’re getting. They hit things hard, kill things fast, and look great. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life …

But what we don’t know is what happens when there really are tanks and healers around. What happens to them in keep raids (stand around getting bored with the rest of the melee?)? Will they be neutered by CC in tier 4?

Also, I haven’t covered Choppas, but Keen has spent some time playing one and posts his  thoughts on the class here.

Eurogamer speaks to WAR devs

Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman, along with ‘an entire pack of Warhammer Online bigwigs’ spoke to Eurogamer yesterday in a live chat, where they gave snippets of information about the game events, the Land of the Dead, the new classes, and future plans for the game. I’ve copied and pasted some of the bits I found most interesting, but good ol’ Eurogamer has put the entire transcript up, so you can go read it in its entirety.

Tomb Kings or The Land of the Dead is a massive zone which is broken up into two parts – The Necropolis and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.

It is RvR-gated. In other words, each realm must fight for ownership and the dungeon is expected to change hands nightly…

It is full of new and interesting PQs, new lairs, refreshing game mechanics, new rewards and loot and generally awesome new stuff.

Many of the great things from Darkness Falls will be built upon. Tokens, other loot methods, wide level range, and the thrill of your enemy always breathing down your back.

It is accessible from around levels 25 and up. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord is actually a super high level area designed to supplement our end game content after Lost Vale.

So we are working on multiple events as part of the Call to Arms campaign, two of which specifically revolve around eluding to or gaining access to The Land of the Dead.

What you are specifically referring to is our race for access, the main plotline behind the Rise of the Tomb Kings (Live event #3). This event represents a race to first access (limited time exclusive access) to the dungeon. This will be an Order vs. Destruction race for superiority.

CC is definitely something we talk about almost on a daily basis. We will continue to talk and then tweak the abilities to get as close to perfect as we ever can.

Preparing for the New Classes

We can guesstimate we have a month-six weeks before the new classes find their way onto our servers. It’s time (as they used to say on Pipkins), to get ready!

  1. Create blog about new class (come on, Age of Blogging* only just over, slip in a Choppa blog and a Slayer blog!)
  2. Pick a name and grab it before anyone else
  3. Place bets on how many variations of Gotrek there will be on your server (on the Order side, naturally)
  4. Learn the Greenskin/Dwarf starting area, read up on the tome unlocks and scenarios (as if we don’t all know Nordenwatch in our sleep/nightmares)
  5. Place bets on how long before one class is considered ‘overpowered’ or ‘nerfed’
  6. Run a sweepstake in your guild or on your blog for how long before the new class/es are called ‘overpowered’, ‘fotm’ (can’t be spelled out), or before a hotfixed nerf is put in
  7. Sort out your social life so you have some time with your new creation!
  8. Sort out any other games you play so you can take a break from them
  9. Be nice to husband/wife/partner so they truly understand why you NEED extra online time, or persuade them to come duo with you!

ps. Patch 1.1.1 is on its way this week.

*rest of the blogs to be added to Book of Grudges blogroll by the end of this week, I promise! (arbitrary)