I have been puging a lot on my Slayer so I’m kinda bitter these days (maybe because I die all the time?), which may affect this post. You have been warned! So, 1.4…
I tested the RR100 templates on friday with a guild warband. The scrap was in Dragonwake and unfortunately destro was outnumbered a bit, but it felt like the numbers swinged a bit as the evening progressed as a lot of people left (there weren’t that many of us to begin with). Keep in mind I ran with little more than 3 full guild groups and spent most of my time engaging destro. Anyway, here are my impressions:
The new ORvR design works great and I really liked the change of the carriers either going for the keep or the friendly WC, because it adds a bit of a random factor and makes the carriers harder to camp. But it only works to the point of actually attacking a keep. I have several concerns regarding the keep sieges:
- I realise this isn’t much better than how it is currently, but if the keep isn’t heavily defended the attackers will spend most of their time standing around doing nothing. Which isn’t too big of a downgrade from mindlessly bashing a keep door, but a downgrade non-the-less.
- Something that I called attention to before is now surfacing as a possible problem. Which is something you will see very often on live servers at a heavily defended keep siege, a funnel. I’m sure you are aware of the 5-10 second lag a large funnel can cause, fundamentally breaking the game with career mechanics not working, crowd control and buffs/debuffs lasting up to ten times the duration and general unresponsiveness all around. With the new zone locking system the only way to prevent a lock is to defend the keep, since it’s extremely hard and unpractical to block all of the resource from getting to the enemy keep/WC. Both sides will eventually have keeps capable of spawning rams and will be able to attack the enemy keep with it. This means that you will ultimately always see a keep defence before locking a populated zone and therefore there will always be a funnel. This promises frustration abound.
- There is another problem even without a funnel that would cause lag. Which is that the conventional funnel will be much harder to break in 1.4, as you have defenders spawning in the keep so you get a constantly replenishing pool of defenders in a defensive position that is very hard to break. Unless you heavily outnumber the defenders you will get overwhelmed even if you break the outer funnel, as defenders can just respawn instantly. The wounds debuff you get from dying doesn’t really prevent this from happening, so another system should be put in place to assure that once defenders have been defeated in one stage they need to retreat instead of just respawning and wearing down the attackers.
If I was asked to comment on the Warpforged and Doomflayer sets, I’d have to say that I’m concerned about WAR’s future, because they have some of the worst art I’ve seen in WAR to date. Tasteless color, design without any vision and it just feels as they were rushed and done in order to get “something” done. One of the most recognisable and precious pieces of the current top set Sovereign is the back piece. Without a back piece and poor art I feel like the new sets will be bland and won’t be easily identifiable, which in a way diminishes the efforts of a player who gets to the higher renown ranks.
Then there’s the confusing business of balancing the RR100 players with the lower ranked players. As far as I understand it, this is what Mythic is doing: currently when you reach RR80 you in effect gain an additional level, which basically means you ding rank 41. They are planning on making every five renown ranks after RR80 give an additional effective level in the same fashion, which means that a RR100 character would effectively be rank 46. Now these levels are important because a higher ranked character needs less of a stat to achieve the same damage/healing/crit/mitigation… as a lower ranked one (in addition to it being easier to get and thus being more valuable at high ranks) when they interact with each other. The greater the level gap, the greater the power disparity. This is also the reason for bolster being used of RvR in tiers 1-3, otherwise the RvR in those tiers would hardly be fair and competitive.
So now Mythic want to introduce these rank 46 characters to the servers, but are concerned about the power disparity between lower ranked characters and the endgame ones. It’s bad enough when a RR40 player competes with a RR80 one, how will he fare against a RR100 one, a player effectively 6 levels above him? Not to mention the extremely overpowered gear that the RR100 characters can equip. Mythic are now doing what they consider to be the only option, tone down the power of a rank 46 player. Which means that they are raising the stat softcap and increasing the amount of stats it takes to reach a certain level of damage/healing/crit/mitigation… Players were immediately concerned about the fact that this diminishes the power of an end-game character so much, that there is no point in buying the expansion and reaching the new renown cap at all.
Obviously, there are a lot of problems with balancing this and so far Mythic hasn’t been doing the best job. On the test server defensive tanks were unkillable, to the point of where it took 8-10 dps to bring them down in 20 seconds or so (my salvation WP was hitting them for 10-20 damage). WP and DoK healing was insane, with no other healer being able to keep up in healing or survivability, as our cloth wearers were being 3 shotted by WEs and Maras. I can safely say that there’s a lot of balancing still needed and that Mythic have their work cut out.
But there’s one readily apparent question that arises, which is WHY? Why the fuck are you doing this Mythic? Why do you want to confuse your players and even yourself? Making all high-end characters rank 46 and then tuning them down to the rank 40 level is redundant and down-right stupid. Instead you should just tone down the new sets and make them scale in power the way current Annihilator-Sovereign sets do (or slightly worse), without any kind of level increase over 41. Doing that would basically be the same as what Mythic is doing now, only it would take much less work, would be less confusing and there wouldn’t be as many opportunities to fuck up, as we know Mythic is prone to doing. If you want to encourage players to buy the expansion and level up, and want to incentivise the new gear and renown ranks, the above is as good of a strategy as what you are doing now. Only without the drawbacks. I’ll create a new word for this silliness, something in the vein of the much-mocked “Win-o-Meter”. “Confuse-a-Costumer”, which currently seems to be Mythic’s game plan for the future. Good going!
Oh, we’ve also tested the Skaven instance. It seemed bug free and ironed out, with boss health tweaked and some of the abilities fixed/changed. It was a much more enjoyable experience, but I still can’t shake the feeling the instance would have been better if it was changed to the “destro first, boss after” design with RvR and PvE being separate. Meh.
Also, Mythic, don’t be crazy. The RvR packs are to hit in 4 days, yet it was only two days ago when I tested the content and it wasn’t ready for live servers. Not to mention that there were only 3 zones ever tested, one of them being in T3. Be sane and take your time to do this right. You won’t get another shot.
But I’m afraid it’s too late and Mythic won’t listen to us anymore. Sigmar help us all.