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Kalin Redbeard goes to WAR!

A journal of my experiences in Warhammer Online.

Author: krindorf

Collision Detection 'For The Win'

Posted by krindorf Thursday September 4 2008 at 12:12PM
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I've been catching up on reading several blogs that I've not frequented lately, and read a post on Keen and Graev's Blog, posted on August 25th entitled Strategy exists - Teamwork a must that made me not only realise that I had totally overlooked a key feature of PvP in WAR, but also put a huge grin on my face. The text I'm talking about is as follows:

"Collision Detection can be used to Block the enemy from running away. If you can snare the enemy get your big tanks to stand in front of them. They won’t be able to retreat. Use your collision detection to block terrain, bridges, doors, etc. It’s funny and effective."

Yes, that's right; Collision Detection! Break out the finest ale! Huzzah!

Having this turned on is quite exciting in my opinion, as it really alters the dynamic of keep sieging and gives the defending side an advantage that, in the real world, they would have anyway.

For those of you who don't know what Collision Detection is, I'll put it in layman's terms. In games where it is turned OFF, you can walk straight through other players (enemies, at least). In games where it is turned ON, you can't, and have to go around, or kill that player. Good for a RvR PvP game, huh? Some games, especially online FPS's have variations of the system, where you can run through the sides of other players but not right through the middle of them.

I can't believe that I haven't digested that this is in the game, especially after all the reading I'm doing, and have done since I made my decision to go to WAR.

With Collision Detection on, defenders will be able to, in theory, mount more effective defences without turning tail and retreating to the boss room or other deeper recesses of their keep, something I was sick of seeing in LotRO, for example. Hell, you could hold them at the perimeter fence, the front door, the inner doors, the boss room door etc. It just adds a more exciting element to defending, and it is a bloody good call by Mythic to introduce this in my opinion.

As for attacking, it isn't a simple case of 'zerg' rushing the access points, squeezing players through and forcing the defenders to retreat to a deeper part of the keep to continue the battle; which is something I have been too used to seeing. I imagine attacking players will need to apply a little more tactical thinking to their assaults; focus firing on specific mobs i.e. tanks, etc. Then again I could be totally wrong!

I've not been in game thus far, and I would be interested to hear the experiences of any of you who have been in the Beta and can comment on the impact Collision Detection has had on siege defence/attack, as well as hearing your general opinions on Mythic's decsion to implement it.

Is it a big factor in WAR keep battles? Like/dislike it? What are your opinions on it?

The lack of a WAR tutorial instance/zone

Posted by krindorf Thursday September 4 2008 at 9:24AM
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I've been reading a lot of Syp's Waaagh! Warhammer Online Blog lately, which is an excellent read and will reward you for browsing his blog archives, and I spotted something in his recent post entitled 10 Features From Other MMO's I'd Love To See In War that I immediately had an opinion on worth writing about. Here is the text that caught my attention, which is point nine on his list:

"Tutorial Instance (LOTRO) - WAR is a fairly intuitive game, especially if you’re a seasoned MMO gamer, but Mythic shouldn’t assume that everyone trying out their game is — and they should be making allowances for the newbies who could feel very overwhelmed at the start of the game. An option for an instanced tutorial zone could be a great answer to these things, especially if they include all of the lingo, features and options that us vets take for granted."

First off, I completely agree with his opinion that there should be some kind of introductory element to the game to help those who may be playing their first MMORPG, and indeed, some who may be veterans of the table top world but are taking their first baby steps into the world of video games.

However, if something like this IS introduced into WAR, I am an advocate of giving all customers starting a character the option to skip it first time around. I've seen MMO's recently, LotRO being the main example I will use, where you were forced to go through the introductory tutorial instance/zone on your first character, then being given the privilege to skip it for additional characters created later.

In the case of LotRO, I didn't mind being forced into this as I am a huge fan of Tolkien and the universe he had created, and I was dying to see each and every aspect of the land and immerse myself into the story from the word go.

However with WAR, my approach is diferent. I don't want a rich, perfectly crafted introduction to the universe, the plight of the Order versus Destruction or a guided tour of the Dwarven areas, I just want to play!

Yes, I am a seasoned MMO player and yes, because of this it won't take me long to sort out my keys, UI, overall settings and find my way around the world getting quests, finding relevant & important NPC's and generally getting to all the important types of content...but the story is of no interest to me.

Warhammer Online, as far as I'm concerned, is about a 3 v 3 racial battle to conquer territory, keeps and capital cities with the ultimate goal being total, utter victory in the game world for side you are on. That's it.

I am not going to WAR for immersion, brilliant story telling, story arcs to blow my socks off or anything else that would otherwise support my game experience with creative writing and character dialogue. I know what to expect from being a Dwarf, I've played them before. I have never been into the regular Warhammer universe, WH40K has always been my thing and if this were Warhammer 40K: Age of Reckoning I would be approaching this differently, but it's not.

I haven't played any WAR at all. I'm even debating whether I'll bother using my Open Beta key from September 7th onwards; I've come to WAR for a fresh and unspoilt MMORPG experience and I just want to get straight into exploring, fighting, pillaging and enjoying the game.

It's a moot point to be talking about as unless Mythic suddenly spring tutorial instances/zones on us between now and September 14th/15th when the head-start begins, I'll be able to happily create my character and get cracking right away.

However the point still stands, let the veteran players who just want to get into the game and get their Return On Investment do so, and if you feel the need to cater for those new to MMORPG's, do so...but just make sure you appease BOTH.

WAR is coming...via the post man!

Posted by krindorf Thursday September 4 2008 at 5:33AM
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Well, I've done it. As of 17:05pm BST today, September 2nd 2008 I am going to WAR. Well, I'll be going to WAR on September 15th to be precise but still, it's a move forward and the cash has been spent.

I placed my pre-order via Play.com, and 29.99 seemed a fair price considering Direct2Drive were charging a few pounds more and not giving me an actual copy of the DVD media. Looks like pretty decent value, and a couple of pre-order items are a bonus.

So it is now time for me to soak up even more WAR knowledge, continue reading, listening, watching and waiting. I must admit I am quite excited, it's the kind of excitement I had prior to The Matrix Online launching (even though I did Beta that game) and I am sincerely hoping that Mythic can deliver. I was far too late on the Dark Age of Camelot bandwagon, so I'm glad to now be a part of WAR for the retail launch.

Outstanding!

I have decided...to go to WAR!

Posted by krindorf Thursday September 4 2008 at 5:32AM
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I've known about Warhammer Online for some time now, yet, I've never really had an urge to dig deeper until very, very recently. I frequently read Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Massively and both of these websites have ramped up their WAR coverage as of late.

I've been playing MMORPG'S for over five years now, with lengthily stints in LotRO, EVE, The Matrix Online and smaller stints in a number of other MMO's including Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest II and many more.

I'll be completely and utterly, totally honest. After deciding to find out more approximately ten days ago, I am at a point where, although I still remain somewhat disgruntled and cynical...I am genuinely looking forward to ordering and playing WAR.

The focus on meaningful, global PvP that has the kind of context that I yearn for is a good start. The Dwarven Engineer class that looks so appealing is also another bonus. I have read countless, and I mean countless articles, reviews, previews and just about every prominent piece of writing on the game that has appeared in the blogosphere; in an attempt to make sure I do not make a mistake with my cash when it comes to investing in my latest MMORPG.

I have played too many hours in Beta programs, and I feel different as I approach WAR. I have zero playtime in game, I have only seen the game via YouTube and other video resources. I'm relying totally upon word of mouth, the collective reviewer that is the community...and you know what? I feel great. It is an exciting prospect and I am either going to love the game or hate it; but as I haven't been beta testing the hell out of it for months on end, I am going in blind and THAT is a feeling I've not had with an MMORPG for a long, long time.

With WAR, I sincerely hope that I can have the kind of casual, fun, adrenaline pumping PvP experience far and away from the lands of Middle-Earth where I spent so much time. I'm going to try and keep this journal ticking over, covering everything to do with my WAR experience.

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