As mentioned in the post below, 1.4 patch notes are now out, linked for your pleasure, by me. Here. There’s a couple of interesting things in them and a couple of things I just need to comment on. For full coverage (ok, partial), read on.
Evidently, the Power and Progression packs have been merged, probably due to the lack of content in them. As they are now, I can’t see them costing more than 15 euro each. There is barely enough content in there to justify that price. But seeing how a snotling pet costs 10$, I could be wrong. Hopefully not.
I have to make an assessment that might be seen as negative advertising or trolling for the sake of trolling, but it’s the truth and needs to be said. This is not an expansion. There is almost no new content, besides the Skaven dungeon. It makes LotD look like a full expansion, only we didn’t have to spend a dime on it. So why would we pay for these packs now? One reason is renown rank advancement, as you’ll need the Progression pack to unlock the ranks following 80, which is a fairly huge deal and will probably be in the shopping cart of every serious WAR player. But give the progression after 80 as a free expansion (it’s not a lot fo work after all, just change some variables, set the thresholds and you’re done. There weren’t even any extra rewards added, the renown mastery overhaul wasn’t exactly tied into the progression pack and has been pending since launch pretty much) and there won’t be many people buying the packs. All of what is getting changed and added with 1.4 and expansion packs could have been added as little patches over times, as we’ve seen it happen many times before. The fact that we are seeing Mythic trying to eek out extra funds by doing these not exactly costumer-friendly packs and offering additional paid services might be a sign that WAR isn’t doing as well as EA wants it to. I certainly hope that’s not the case, and if it is, that the new item and service shop solves Mythic’s problems.
I’m really looking forward to this, as I believe it will fundamentally change the way WAR is played. I’m already seeing what I believe to be a side-effect of the changes, people scrambling all over to get into a good guild that can hold its own in ORvR, because the zerg as we know it will be pretty much dead. With no obvious and easily attackable targets even zerglings and PuGies will need a lot of coordination. The viability of gathering into a big blob and just zerging every zone will drop and we might see the random sheep player disappear entirely. This does, however, raise the bar a bit and takes away some of WAR’s ease of access that it is known for. All in all I believe this will be a good change.
Renown Training Overhaul
I don’t particularly like the design of the training window but I think that this is a welcome change. Half the abilities weren’t used as they weren’t powerful enough/others were too powerful, thus pigeon-holing a player into usually 2 possible specs. The new system will be much more flexible and allow the players to customise their specs even further. I’m not a fan of the new passive renown abilities (less damage taken/done, dodge/disrupt, old Odjira-like thing, reduced crit damage) as they seem to be a bit overpowered and absolutely insane when combined with other passive abilities, some active renown abilities (flee lasting 15 sec and not preventing AP regeneration, last stand) and certain career abilities. Hopefully they get balanced before going live, or as it usually happens with Mythic, shortly after they go live.
Unlike the large majority of Order I believe the Marauder buffs are justified and needed, and will not result in an insanely overpowered career, rather a fairly balanced one. I hear that the Engineers aren’t exactly thrilled about the changes and feel like Mythic isn’t listening to them at all (a feeling most of us are familiar with), but I have no idea on how Magi stand on the changes. There is also a nice sneaky HRT fix for WE, I always felt there was something funky going on as HRT had a debuff component but still scaled better than Puncture.
The thing I was most surprised to see were the WL changes. I wasn’t aware that there are going to be any, possibly because I’m not keeping up with the discussion around the class balancing as much as I should. Either way, I don’t think the changes are warranted. WLs are again getting something they don’t exactly need, while their actual needs are getting ignored. Sure the CtW change is nice, as the hardest hitting ability the WL has nearly always critting is possibly overpowered. Mirroring Sundering Chop to the new Impale might anger some players though, as while the damage of SC on an armor debuffed clothie will go up, the damage on a non debuffed clothie or a medium/heavy armored target will go down in comparison to the current SC version. No sign of useful abilities being mirrored like Terrible Embrace, an incoming heal debuff and an AoE knockdown. Mirroring done wrong.
Giving out Annihilator and Conqueror for free (gold) and moving Warlord to keep sieges and Sovereign to stage 1 city siege is quite a bold move, but a welcome one. Lowbies have a hard enough time with trying to get a grasp on T4 gameplay while leveling and gearing their characters. They don’t need to be further confused with understanding and acquiring different currencies, or possible unwanted gear gaps because of inability to gather enough RvR token.
A lot of small tweaks and welcome changes. Things like tweaked fall damage (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve died taking a shortcut near the order WC in LotD), guild banners outside the guild taverns now working, merging of the renown gear vendors, new mounts, emotes defaulting to a hostile target, new weapon art and a working button for moving trophies to the right (oh wow!).
One peculiar thing: “The cross realm lockout timer will now display using only the greatest time unit rounded up. For example 1:35 will now display as 2h.” I’m being told that cross-realming is only enabled on Russian servers, so this change possibly only applies to them.