Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Warhammer Online: Patch 1.2 First Impressions

Here are some random thoughts from my 4 hour play session, of which ~90% of that time was in the RvR areas.

Seems like load times for zoning have decreased. My lag was about the same as usual. I didn't have any of the crashes that a lot of players were complaining about last night.

The Twisting Tower scenario is interesting, though it does seem overly laggy. Also, I'm really tired of the whole pie-throwing gags, especially in scenarios. We don't need extra distractions in the middle of a pitched battle. Add in achievements for accomplishing the goals in the scenario rather than throwing pies! I also had WAR lock up on me in the middle on the new scenario as the eye 'cleansed the tower'.

Being able to see everyone in your warband on the mini-map and full-size map is pretty sweet. And the graphic dot used to denote the position of other players in your warband is very distinctive and readily stands out on the maps. I can finally tell where everyone is with a quick glance at the map! Certainly you can say that this is something that should have been in on release, but at least they've polished it up at the same time they fixed whatever issues were causing players to not show up.

Not much comment about crafting, as I don't really do any in WAR. I do have a low-level cultivator and was happy to see seeds available on the guild quartermaster. It was also exciting to occasionally get dye ingredients. I haven't read up on the details, but I thought I would be able to get seeds back when harvesting, which so far, hasn't happened. Perhaps my skill level is too low?

The new RvR domination system is interesting. It definitely spiced up the RvR last night. I think we've had a total of 5-6 zone flips since the patch (probably more by now). I haven't yet decided whether the constant zone flipping will be a good thing or a bad thing in the long run. Previously, I always felt a strong sense of accomplishment when we locked a zone. And I still felt that last night (especially after expending a lot of energy to defend numerous assaults on Objectives we had locked down), but I wonder how quickly that will pass.

Some RvR zones have now have a contested PQ. We completed it a couple of times in Black Crag as we passed, simply by killing the dwarf slayer guarding the flag. Not sure if something different happens when you keep your hero alive instead. It also wasn't clearly explained that you pick up your reward in a chest off to the side of the warcamp. If someone in our group hadn't known, we probably would have missed it entirely.

Things are a bit different in PvP now. I'm still working on figuring out how I want to setup my tactics since a lot of abilities have changed. And I'll need to respec my mastery points sometime soon, as one of the mastery tactics I had previously purchased is now a 2-hander buff (I use a one-hander and shield). I ran the Da Biggest shout pretty much all night. Not sure if anyone in my group noticed the additional buffs they were getting. And despite knowing beforehand that melee DPS would be able to enter the postern doors of enemy keeps, it completely slipped my mind in the heat of battle and I was very surprised to have several White Lions charging up the ramparts! I look forward to seeing how this plays out in the future. It did seem overly easy for them to simply run through the patrolling guards and get to a spot that was safe from the NPCs. I think there should be several guards stationed inside of every postern so that they have to fight to get inside rather than simply Flee their way in.

Crowd control is still out of hand. I spend over half of any large-scale fight either disabled, knocked down, disarmed or rooted. It's especially bad for melee as roots effectively bring your contribution to the battle to 0. Burst damage also seems to be pretty crazy at the moment. I started thinking about equipping the wounds and/or toughness tactic for most of my tactic sets. I'm also hoping that will start seeing some small class tweak patches over the next few weeks.

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