WOW Private Server

HI all I am new at this and I would like to create a private game server…..would someone be kind enough to tell me how to do it. I just installed the CD now I have version 1.2.3…..whats next? I also downloaded wowemu amd i can’t seem to get it to work properly. PLs any helpful hints or suggestions would be gratly appreciated….Thanks to all!

[WoW] About raiding

Saving comments from the developers from the official forums in the debate “hardcore Vs casual players” (first, second):

I think there are some very valid points in this thread. You’re touching on a very difficult issue. Many of the proposed solutions sound easy (and are easy in theory) but are very challenging in either implementation or execution. By implementation I mean, things such as a dungeon that dynamically scales in numbers and difficulty according to the number of people and level of those people (while certainly a very cool idea) is very complicated to do right (right being the key word here). Execution is another thing altogether. Execution refers to how and why we would do such things. Sometimes there are things that we can technically implement but make a concious design decision not to (for example, proxy bidding in the Auction House). So in terms of execution, I’m not confident at this point that some of the proposals are completely sound.

I’m a little disappointed that people criticize us as not doing things for the casual gamer. The whole basis of our design philosophy has been to create a game that appeals to players both casual and hardcore. The very fact that players who vehemently call themselves “casual” reach level 60 in our game (have max tradeskills, have epic mounts) seems like a testament to me that we achieved that goal (at least somewhat).

In fact, we often prioritized things in favor over the hardcore. For those of you who have been playing the game since release, you’ll remember that the game shipped with Onyxia and Molten Core as our only raid content. Rather than rushing to get Blackwing Lair, ZG or AQ done, we then focused our attention on Maraudon and Dire Maul. We prioritized those two dungeons OVER raid content even though we were lacking in the latter department, because we wanted to fully flesh out our casual experience first.

We need to strike a very challenging balance here. We want to provide for players who raid, players who solo, players who pvp, players who tradeskill, players who merchant, etc… and the list goes on. When we add content for a group that doesn’t include you, it shouldn’t be taken as an affront to your playstyle. We have a lot of people we need to keep happy, and we’re not going to forget about anyone.

Now the main thing we need to do is get The Burning Crusade out. Players at 60 who do not wish to raid want more of what they had in levels 1-59 which was Questing With a Purpose. When we can add a suite of new content and raise the level cap, we can give players the sense of progression they are looking for. They’ll get more of that WoW experience that they came to love. The Burning Crusade has a very balanced combination of solo/group/raid/pvp content. There will be brand new, non-max level dungeons. There will be max level 5 man dungeons. There will be a 10 man raid, something we’ve never done before (at least endorsed). We’re very aware of what people want and we’re going to deliver on those needs.

But it would simply be unfair to cut our current raid game short because people think it’s somehow hurting their play experience. It’s perfectly ok to NOT raid if that’s not your thing. But there are lots of WoW fans out there that thrive on getting together in large groups to conquer difficult content. And they want (and should be) to be rewarded for that effort.

When we put in a raid, we’re not making a decision to keep content from people. We’re trying to provide for an area of our game that we felt was previosly deficient.

We’re going to continue to patch this game and we’re going to try to make sure there’s something for everyone in each patch. Sometimes, however, there might be content that’s not your thing — i.e. solo/raid/group/pvp. But please remember, we haven’t forgotten about you. Making someone else’s idea of fun gameplay go away isn’t going to magically create more content for you. We need to provide for everyone. I can assure you, we’re working extremely hard to do that.

Why do you folks have to copy EQ so much? Why can’t you develop your own forms of end-game content?

I’d love to see Blackwing Lair and the bosses and things. I think that’s want most casuals want over items and things, just to do and see everything. One of my favorite moments in this game was fighting the Baron of Stratholme for the first time. Wow, a Death Knight! Here’s the “Warcraft” part of “World of Warcraft”

But you chose to make that extremely difficult to engage in due to an incredibly unimaginative gameplay design

Please stop copying other games, for the sake of innovation and allowing players to experience the world, not just “work” in it

I don’t think you’re being fair here. You yourself pointed out that we provide “epic” feeling content for non-raiding people in 5 man dungeons, citing Baron Rivendale. I’d go so far as to say the boss encoutners in Gnomeregan and Uldman are more epic than endgame content in other games. We provided an Honor System and Battlegrounds to provide other avenues of advancement for certain players. You can tradeskill Epic items without raiding…

You’re more likely to get your voice heard if you keep the posts more productive and less antagonistic. To be frank, part of the allure of Blackwing Lair to people is that it’s so difficult to even get to see the content in there. Could we make it a solo dungeon? Yes. It would take less than a day. Would it still have the same allure? The answer is no.

There have been a lot of good points and counter-points in this thread. I wanted to chip in my 2cp in terms of design intent and philosophy, so I am going to refrain from comment on the “man-hour/epic#” equation.

What I was going to comment on has been touched on in many respects by Shirokaze, so I shall quote partially (I suggest you read the full post if you haven’t) and comment. Much of what I wanted to say and even the approach is contained in his/her response (beat me to it :P)

The number of players in a run sets a bar on how much you have possible before you just run out of potential. For example, in a five man group, you usually have one tank, one healer, at least two DPS (rogue, hunter, mage, warlock, some combination of these) and then a swing character of some sort (additional DPS or off tank or secondary healer). After a certain point, the damage concievably taken by a single tank caps. The amount of healing that a single or even two healers can do caps. The fact that fewer healers are healing what even in 40 man groups can be ONE maintank for some events means aggro is generated faster. Likewise for DPS, the more they dish out the more they risk capping it out.

More importantly, many of the things that are DONE to 40 man groups simply don’t scale down to five. If you look at every 5-mannable run in the game as is, even UBRS, none of them employ anything terribly complex in the way of their encounters. There may be a reasonably high damage mob or a damage tick, but nothing like Shazzrah where a mob’s teleporting into your casters and AEing them or like Vael where he’s randomly popping off people while giving EVERYONE a unique buff that’s simulataniously killing them. You can’t lose people or afford to lose people in the same way with fewer people.

*snip, edit for length…*

The potential for varied encounters does increase with the number of players you add to the group/raid. This is not to say that you can’t have nuanced and exciting challenges to a 5-person dungeon, but they are going to be decidedly different than what can occur in a 40-person dungeon. With 5-person dungeons, there is no opportunity for elements such as healer rotations, tank rotations (to a lesser extent) or even large(r) parties of elite mobs. Certain abilities of raid bosses do not translate to 5-person groups. How does a Major Domo encounter translate into a 5-person group? Is everyone supposed to tank a minion? How do you design such a thing?

What makes a raid boss truly epic? I can tell you it is not simply a matter of HP. If we buffed Darkmaster Gandling’s HP to that of Ragnaros, he would simply become unbeatable. You could do that with the simplest trash mob and achieve the same results. A 5-person group would not have the stamina to beat it(npi).

Take Nefarion, for example. An ability that targets a specific class for punishment would wreak havoc on a 5-person group. With effectively no way to counter within a reasonable time, one person removed or killed from the group is a significant shift of power. The same cannot be said for Gandling, where a player’s removal from the fight does not certify a group’s doom.

The designers have sought a truly epic feel and play to these 40-person encounters. They continue to elaborate on encounters of this type in a way that is fun for players, but, in all honesty, fun for the devs, too. They are, after all, trying to develop imaginative ways in which to kill you. The nature of some of these raid encounters should convey that clearly.

When it comes down to it, a boss can be considered epic by their ability to crush legions of mortals before them. That is one way of looking at it. These bosses have powers and stature that merit epic rewards, regardless of how players are currently “trivializing” said content. And I use quotes rather facetiously.

As a whole, the designers are currently exploring many facets of what 40 and 20-person raid content can be. They would like to have many dungeons set up for players to select from. However, they would also like to explore the possibilities of content for smaller groups as well. There is definite interest in providing situations in which individual accomplishment stands out that much more. It is simply a matter of what is being explored, designed and implemented now/soon, as opposed to later.

But, I digress…

To answer directly the question posed in the subject line: No, it mustn’t, but it is more available/likely now due to the epic nature of encounters.

P.S.- Sorry for the rambling…

Extended vacation/Out Of Order

Pissed off.

EDIT: I don’t intend to break the silence anytime soon but this was too funny:

I mean after all, 1.81c wasn’t a bad patch, It was a good patch, one of the best ones so far. Infact 1.81 so far is turning out to be one of the best patches ever introduced to DAOC, All because Scott Jennings took over as the head guy smacking Mackey down after Catacombs.

Jennings has done a great job since he’s taken over, We’ve gotten Argramon, DR, TOA fixes, Class Fixes, and Classic servers for those who didn’t like those things.

EDIT2: Ahaha! After becoming the producer of DAoC we also discover that Lum is now Internet Relations Manager for Mythic:

Scott Jennings, Internet Relations Manager for Mythic Entertainment, a.k.a. Lum the Mad, added his wisdom to our discussion of instancing in online worlds. He has joined our forums and linked his reply in response to Brad McQuaid and Raph Koster’s comments about the subject.

Really busy these days, huh? I’m waiting for the book as well.

EDIT3: Mythic pushed on the test server another huge patch.

Lots of changes in Ralm Points mechanics and classes. I wish I could comment but I don’t really feel I can contribute in a meaningful way. While I can understand some of these changes, some look rather obscure or I cannot figure out the reasons behind or what is the intended purpose. On the boards I’ve seen a bunch of players complaining but again I don’t think I have the competence to contribute with comments that aren’t just vague and imprecise assumptions.

Which brings to my critique. Here above there’s a quote from a player that again somewhat rants against Mackey. The one that the players saw as the responsible behind most of the radical changes to the classes in the past. In particular I remember all the drama when Mythic nerfed the berserks. I remember that I had also a discussion about that episode with Therrik (former wiz Team Leader). He said that Mythic couldn’t have handled it in a better way. The nerf was necessary and there wasn’t any solution to keep the players calm. Instead I had another opinion and I thought that the reaction of the players was adequate and a direct consequence of Mythic’s attitude. And with a different attitude that “trauma” could have been handled much better.

This is another occasion to undeline that old point. Right now huge changes are being pushed in the game. I see some of these as positive, some not incisive enough and some potentially bad. But the most important point is that for many of these I only have a really vague idea of the reasons that brought to these changes. I cannot suppose the line of thoughts that the devs followed to arrive to those changes and I can only wonder what they can be.

This is the critique to the lack of communication. Changes are pushed on the game, some rather significant. But we know nothing about the reasons behind these. We are just served with the patch notes and have to wonder by ourselves what is going on behind the scenes.

Again I don’t find this accettable, nor positive for Mythic. The players have all the rights to get mad if they feel so because they have no way to understand better what is happening and noone is caring to discuss these important changes with them. A two-way discussion, of course.

So I have this huge patch and I wish I could comment and discuss it. But right now I’m just puzzled about it and I have so many questions that won’t have any answers. I could go on with my assumptions, but the problem is that the players are left just with that: vague and imprecise guesses.

Quoting and reversing a comment about Eve-Online: “They surely aren’t making any effort to justify their decisions.”

I’m really not surprised if some players get mad.

EDIT4: Eve-Online introduces real I-WIN buttons. Ahah:

Bigger than life? These are the daddies of any fleet, inspiring its children with technical bonuses that even scare me a bit. They have the same abilities as Motherships; having a clone bay, corporation hangar and ship maintenance.
But there’s more…

* Jump Portal
Instead of just activating their jump drive, Titans are able to open a bridge to distant solar systems allowing gang mates to jump through. Opening this wormhole comes at a cost based on every ship that goes through, on the mass of the ships that enter and distance of the jumps. So Frigates will be cheap to send through but Battleships will not be. It won’t cost as much as not as dreads jumping on their own but it will be a number you won’t forget once you’ve tried it out for the first time.

Still not done…

* Doomsday Devices
You may have heared rumors of some superweapons that only titans will be capable of using. Some of you have even fallen victim to such a device destroying your ship. These weapons are true and they should not be tested when there are large numbers of friends around, unless you are as cruel as I am. What these weapons do is BIG BAAAAAAAAAADAA BEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwn and hurt almost everyone that is in sight, so be careful with your mouse when flying with your friends. These weapons are expensive to use and can not be used frequently (massive reactivation delay, recharge time is 60 minutes).

So the possibility to open portals and launch raid attacks to other system and weapons of mass destruction that finally won’t discriminate between friends and enemies.

Sounds good :)

Who cares if it’s so totally unbalanced :)

The staggering possibilities make me squirm. I wrote on Corpnews some of my desires/expectations. I really hope CCP will go down that path. Because it’s so awesomely cool.

EDIT5: Well said.

EDIT6: Related to EDIT3. From the Grab Bag:

Q: How does (insert 1.81 patch note here) affect (insert game element here)?

A: Y’all, this is not a smart aleck answer, so don’t take it the wrong way when I say, “Beats me, log in to Pendragon and find out.” This material is on the test server so we can see if our conjecture and planning is close to Reality Land. That’s what the test server is for. We’re testing as best we can internally, but nothing beats real live player experience.

So go test it yourself because I don’t know your conjecture and planning and I cannot figure out if they are close to Reality Land.

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Mezz Me and I Kick Your Ass

I gave a look to my enlarging notes file where I write random stuff and I found an old note that I just couldn’t figure out what it meant: “mez in Star Wars”.

Just that. I really don’t know what I was thinking while writing those four words but at least I’m not the only one taking notes and forgetting what they mean. Then the other day I suddenly remembered from where the observation came from and what I was supposed to say about it.

In general my design ravings start from a simplification of an observation. I isolate a problem, something I don’t like or something I do like and try to figure out what are the essential reasons that make something good or bad. Then I try to “reposition” these elements to see if it’s possible to maximize the benefits, reduce the problems and move the design toward a more positive direction (potential, from that point onward). This pretty much summarizes most of what I do. In fact the great majority of my ideas come directly as a revision of what’s already available more than rabid creativity. I try to put things so that they are more appropriate. Starting from what I see to move on what I’d like to see.

In this case the problem was about the “mezz”. Of course with the focus on PvP since it’s where most of the complaints and problems are concentrated. For a long time I sticked with the standard opinion “mezz is bad” because the most annoying thing possible in a PvP fight is about losing the control of your character. In fact in my bundled ideas about DAoC I was proposing to reduce considerably the timers so that they could have been more manageable. But with the time I’m radically changing my opinion and I’ve tried once again to detach myself from the commonplaces in a similar way to what I did when I reevaluated the “unbalance”. In fact “mezz is good”, it adds a whole lot of depth to an encounter and could be an exciting element building up the fun, if used properly.

Here starts the observation. What are the cases where being mezzed is annoying and frustrating? Are there other cases where it’s instead something positive and exciting? In WoW it’s hard to say, or better, too easy. WoW’s PvP is too “disconnected” and lacking strategy and class interdependence and organization. I’ve seen a few recurring tactics like 4-5 mages rushing into a zerg spamming AOE while shielded/healed by priests and the organized stun-ganking groups of 3-4 rogues, but besides these trivial patterns there isn’t much going on and it’s mostly an open field combat where everyone goes on in his own way (and where raids and groups are simply used to share Honor points and a chat channel). This is different in DAoC, instead. There’s way more interdependence between the classes and teamwork. The classes have more defined roles and the encounters can be won or lost based on the performance of the single. This applies in both 8vs8 and the larger battles and it’s in this second case where the use of Crowd Control becomes more of a factor. There’s more organization and depth. The raw combat in WoW is more interactive, smooth and satisfying. You have access to many more “tools” and the actual combat has a better flow (since you have plenty of time to react and enjoy, while in DAoC the combat could just last a matter of seconds and get engulfed in a lag spike between a frame and another). These superficial, coarse observations are already enough to reconfirm a rule. We like the combat to develop and open up possibilities instead of rushing to get resolved as quickly as possible (which comes directly and reconfirms another old reasoning). Like an inverted direction (the “inverted tree” I also commented here).

What I noticed in DAoC is that it is true that the Crowd Control adds depth to a PvP encounter. In particular I’ve seen experienced groups fighting successfully against 2-3 times their numbers and not just with /assist trains. I’ve seen awsome fights that lasted a good amount of time (also because they happened on the classic server, without buffbots and I-WIN artifacts) and it was also thanks to a clever use of CC. What I think is that WoW’s combat isn’t superior to DAoC because of the reduced use of CC, in fact I believe that this is one of the unique strengths of DAoC that it can still hold agains the numb PvP mechanics in WoW. So I think the CC is not the problem itself and doesn’t need to be “solved” (it will surely be a predictable mistake for the upcoming games). But maybe it can be improved once I figure out what isn’t fun about it and how it’s possible to maximize the positive points.

In my experience I’ve been in both 8vs8 and larger fights. In 8vs8 the CC is mostly used to isolate the players out of the fight so that the other group can pick targets one by one. This is the most frustrating example of CC because it *removes* the combat. Once the CC lands and is not purged, the combat is over, you already lost. This is not fun because all the gameplay is trivialized into a first-sighting. It becomes just a matter of fast ping and reflex and there isn’t much more involved. The “combat” here is missing, it’s just a routine to end the fight because it stops to be interactive as the mezz lands and puts the other group out of business. In the larger fights, instead, the situation may change (in particular if you have a keep or a tower to support a defence). The mezz, most of the times, isn’t anymore equal to a timed death. You don’t stare anymore an unavoidable end. In these cases the mezz becomes effectively a “timeout”.The fight goes on, you are forced to see it without being able to contribute but you are anticipating the moment when the mezz will break and you’ll rush in the fight. The fight is there, is awaiting you. The wait builds up the tension and your desire. And these are wonderful premises for the fun.

What I see is that in the first case the CC erases the interaction. You have the “timeout” but once it triggers you have also already lost. In the second case, instead, the “timeout” is still there, but as a premise to the combat and not as a premise to an unavoidable death. So what I think is frustrating is *not* the timeout itself. In fact this timeout not only is required to give some depth to the encounters, as explained above and largely acknowledged, but it also builds strong premises for the fun. It’s a valuable addition to the gameplay and not something that should be minimized or removed. On the contrary what doesn’t work is the definitive removal from the combat. The CC used as an I-Win button too unbalanced and powerful compared to the other skills and spells (which also brought to highly specialized classes that do just CC, another wrong point). So my conclusion is that the negative points of CC are not about the wait it directly implies (the wait), but more about what comes after (the combat). The timeout should lead to some sort of “comeback” where the mezzed player can recover his gameplay. This can make CC work without being annoying or frustrating.

The meaning of that cryptic “mez in Star Wars” had its origin here. I wanted to underline how the final fight between Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn/Obi-Wan Kenobi is a perfect example of the mezz and its positive “narrative” qualities. In this fight Obi-Wan is cut out by the force fields and can only watch the duel between Dath Maul and Qui-Gon. In that moment the point of view of the observer is the one of Obi-Wan. We see the action through his eyes and this narrative stratagem is used (and is successful) to build up the tension of the combat. In particular to build up a tension that WILL get discharged (liberation) in the following fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul.

This pretty much explains clearly two basic and crucial points. The first is the one I explained above, in order for this mechanic to be effective and successful, the combat cannot be negated. The tension accumulated MUST be discharged or the game (or movie scene) will be just feel frustrating, unfinished. The second point is that, from a functional point of view, Obi-Wan isn’t just waiting there doing nothing. He is building up some rage and when he exits the mezz he is different from when it entered it. He is angry, more determined. The following duel will be a discharge of the tension of both the spectator and the protagonist (empathy+catharsis).

How to translate all this into a game and once again maximize the good points while removing or minimizing what doesn’t work? My ideas are just the direct result of all those observations. And more goals set to reach. As I often repeat what is important is to set goals, then the actual implementation to reach them may vary. The first goal I defined is again that the combat must follow a mezz and cannot be negated. The tension has to flow somewhere in order of the “timeout” to be satisfying and tolerable. If the mezz just leads to a sudden death without giving back the control to the player, the result will be terribly frustrating and nowhere fun. The second goal is tied to the first. It’s about giving the mezz abilities some side-effects so that the players have to stop to abuse this mechanic and add some more depth to it. The purpose is to add side-effects that benefit the victim of the mezz and that counterbalance the power of the mezz.

This is also a perfect example of what I mean with In-Character design compared to Out Of Character design. Here I just observed a movie (or imaginary) scene and imagined, from the perspective of the spectator or the player, how to translate those mechanics into a game. And not planned an abstract formal system out of thin air to then retrofit into a specific setting.

The practical implementation is just an example. I shaped it around DAoC because it’s the game I know better and the one where the mezz has a strong purpose and gameplay role. /and it’s also the game where it was more harshly criticized. A topic still well alive today and rather important for the games of tomorrow.

To begin with, the system I imagined doesn’t include the stuns because they are too rooted in the gameplay and too short to fit in the observations above. So the changes are isolated to two cases: the root and mezz.

In the case of the root:
– If a character is rooted and not in combat (receiving, dealing damage or casting spells, specifically) it will build up an “haste” buff that will trigger as the root breaks and that will last for 1/2 the time the character remained rooted. The buff grants a 20% bonus to melee attack speed, casting times and running speed, plus a “freeze” of the mana and endurance pools (shown graphically by making these pools shine brightly) for the duration of the buff. So that the character can use styles and cast spells without losing mana or endurance.

The buff will trigger only if the character remained rooted for at least five seconds and it will have a minimum duration of three seconds and a max of fifteen. The “purge” RA or similar effects will interrupt the buff build-up as they land.

In the case of the mezz:
– If a character is mezzed it will quickly regain health, endurance and mana at fast speed (in 10 seconds the pools should be completely replenished) Plus, it will build up a “liberation” buff that will trigger as the mez is broken (or fades out) and that will last for 1/2 the time the character remained mezzed. The buffs grants immunity to stuns, immunity to interruption for casters, a freeze of the endurance and mana pools, and a 20% bonus to the damage of melee attacks and spells.

The buff will trigger only if the character remained mezzed for at least five seconds and it will have a minimum duration of three seconds and a max of fifteen. The “purge” RA or similar effects will interrupt the buff build-up as they land.

The purpose is to not affect the duration of the mezz and roots in the game. After a long observation I decided that it’s not that the problem and reducing those timers will just remove the complexity of the encounters. Instead these changes are aimed to counterbalance the power of these spells and offer the victims a “way out”, so that the focus doesn’t stop on who lands the mezz first but on the actual combat that follows the “timeout”.

Of course this is focused to improve the specific mechanics. It’s obvious that those classes that right now are too strictly specialized only on mezzing skills should gain more active “toys” to contribute to the fights.

The proposed implementation is, once again, just a rough idea of what could be possible. It should be tested thoroughly internally so that the system is balanced and fits the goals set. The details I wrote are just the result of approximate simulations that I made in my own mind and with the little experience I have from the game. If they come out realistic and balanced it means I’m cool, but that wasn’t my purpose.

What concerns me is to demonstrate that the goals are valid and should be taken into consideration. The practice, then, may vary based on the experience and what comes up through the testing.


“Community” is still the stuff that happens when everyone’s back is turned. In the MMO space, everyone’s been passing around the metric that says less than 10 percent of their player base ever uses message boards — except that they’re reacting the worst way possible. Instead of taking those 10 percenters and making something useful out of their various community segments, in and out of game, they’re tacitly saying, “Look, all we have to do is run these people around in circles so they don’t make more noise and they can play armchair developer, but what they really say doesn’t matter. The real players are our great silent majority, who speak with their checkbooks.”

Lemme get back on track. What I realized early on with Shadowbane is that the next best thing to playing the game for most players is thinking about playing the game. Would-be players want to make mental connections with the game material. The business of laying out the red carpet for would-be players isn’t just dropping screenshots every so often (though that helps.)

More developers should realize the gulf that exists between them and their target market, and instead of just shouting across it, they should build that bridge, and then go meet their players in the middle.

Make no mistake about what I’m talking about here. This is as important as building the game itself.

Really, I would have never guessed that it was J. to write this.

It’s interesting even the quote he has on his blog.

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WoW 1.9 patch notes – (thank you for the leak)

Patch notes leaked as usual. I was actually expecting the test servers to go up on Tuesday, at least if they want this patch out before Christmas. The notes are what matters though.

I’m posting on the fly, so I’ll need to format. Maybe comment later.

EDIT- Since the test server is up and the patch notes officially out, I remove them from here.

Well, not much to comment, actually. lots of minor changes and fixes, all the major features were already known and changes to the classes that I don’t feel like commenting.

I noticed the huge nerf to Warrior’s Enrage, though.

The leak seems to come from here, which also has the updated stats of some Tier 2 armor sets.

EDIT- The patch notes will be available here later on.

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Easier Said Than Done

Still on TerraNova someone linked a recent post (12 September) from Raph on SWG boards about the communication with the players and their plans to improve it.

Truly amazing if compared to what happened in the last weeks.


Hey there everyone–

Lots to reply to in the above, but I figured you’re less interested in rehashing the past and more interested in concrete things that we will do to improve things.

I wanted to let you know that I spoke this morning with Alan Crosby, who recently became our director of community relations, about the update process. For those who do not know, the position of director of community relations is a relatively new one here at SOE, one that we’ve been planning on having for a while. Alan’s job is to enforce community policies across all the titles–and one of the first is the update process, which includes the whole In Concept->In Dev->In Testing thing.
I didn’t mean to give the impression that this process is fully in place across all the games, or even working at peak on the games where it is implemented. It’s not. That’s why we have Alan in this position now.

The plan is to have this system roll out across all the games in the coming weeks, and along the way, fix it on any games where it exists but is not being used to its full intent.

To reiterate: our goal is

* prospective changes should be discussed in advance of implementation to gather community feedback
* as implementation proceeds, the changes are documented and posted to In Development as they are completed
* when ready, these detailed notes are posted as a source of information for testing
* when propped to Live, the notes are updated with any changes necessary, and posted as the latest update
* a history of updates is maintained to serve as documentation for added features

As you have pointed out, some of this is not happening. The objective is to make it all happen and become habitual, as soon as possible.

Not everyone seems to agree at SOE.

This confirms my suspects about it being nowhere planned.

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“Realm vs Realm and Class focus” Part 2 – Tank love

The changes to the tanks have landed:

Armsman, Warrior & Hero Changes

Heavy tanks are considered the defensive juggernaughts of the realm they fight for, and as such, will be getting added abilities and improvements to their classes.

Note: These abilities are currently only available on newly created characters. All of these will be available on previously created characters in the near future. Functionality of some spells are not yet finalized and will be adjusted accordingly. Please feel free to include any feedback you have in a bug report while testing these abilities on Pendragon.

BattleCries – This is a new system that provides burst defensive bonuses to self and group for Heavy Tanks.

– Level 5 Shout – Taunting Shout: Frontal cone taunt that causes mobs to turn and fight the tank or at least increase the hate amount towards the tank. Re-usable every 60 seconds

– Level 30 Shout – Bolstering Roar: PBAE 250 radius attack that breaks root, breakable snares and mesmerization effects on group members. If the tank is CC’d (other than root) they will have to purge themselves or wait for CC to wear off, then fire this. Re-usable every 10 minutes.

– Level 40 Shout – Rampage: Group shout which increases the chance to resist debuffs by 35%. Lasts for 10 seconds. Re-usable every 5 minutes.

– Level 50 Shout – Fury: Self only shout which gives a 50% chance to deflect crowd control spells (similar to the RR5 Bonedancer ability), and increases resists to magic spells by 50% for 10 seconds. Re-usable every 15 minutes.

– Level 15 Spell/Ability – Metal Guard: Group buff which increases the ABS of group members by 3% excluding the caster of the buff. If there are multiple casters of this buff within the group, then this will stack up to a maximum of 9%. Other players can receive the benefit of this buff, but the caster of this buff cannot so it is possible for another heavy tank to have a bonus to his ABS if another heavy tank joins the group and casts this buff. Duration 20 minutes.

– Level 35 Spell/Ability – Climbing Spikes: Self castable buff which lasts for 30 seconds that grants Climb Walls. The player will have the ability to climb walls for a short duration of time. While climbing a wall, any hit that does more than 31 damage will knock the player off the wall. Furthermore, any hit which knocks the player off the wall will hit for double damage. If the buff runs out while the player is on the wall and he/she does not reach an area where they can walk again, they will be knocked off the wall. Re-useable every 60 seconds. (Note: Currently this spell does not have an icon which makes it unable to be used. This will be addressed in a future version of Pendragon.)

Passive benefits

– Upon choosing the path of a Hero, Armsman or Warrior, the player will be granted 50% siege resistance automatically. This includes all siege damage types including Boiling Oil.

– Upon reaching level 41, the Hero, Armsman or Warrior will begin to gain more hitpoints as they progress towards level 50. At each level beyond 41 they gain 1% extra Hit points per level. At level 50, they will have the full 10% benefit.

– Upon reaching level 41, the Hero, Armsman or Warrior will begin to gain more magic resistance (spell damage reduction only) as they progress towards level 50. At each level beyond 41 they gain 2%-3% extra resistance per level. At level 50, they will have the full 15% benefit.

On a first, quick read these were my comments:
I don’t like these at all. Too overcomplicated, too situational, too percent based. Not easy to use and understand. Not really “fun” based. Clunky.

Then I gave them some more attention, one by one.

The taunt cone and the root-breaking roar are good (I hope in decent animations). The “Rampage” is probably the more lacking, too short, weak and situational to be actually usable. Fury+Bolstering Roar is an interesting combination and may bring some more fun to the 8vs8 (with some actual combat instead of sudden deaths at a glance). Metal Guard is well planned for the stacking possibilities. The Climbing Spikes are an original implementation of the ladders often requested. What if a group of tanks climb a tower while it is undefended to go right to the lord?

The passive benefits are good.

I expect the other classes to start ranting a lot. It’s hard to figure out the balance implications without observing all this in the practice.

The changes to the larger RvR are severely deluding as expected, instead.

Still waiting for something “truly RvR” that would impact the game.

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