I’m Back and with New and Improved Insensitivity.

I guess I’m on my road to moving on. Moral of the story, things do get easier when they repeat. Which is odd to me. Amazing what you remember when you look back. And how you forgot all those things before? Insensitivity.

So I’m no longer broken, but I’m definitely not taking things seriously. I worked through the holiday and the weekend. Not because I had to, just because I could pick up the work. I think it was good. But my humor is back to a slight twist of dark and sarcastic tone. And not going over well with anyone.

Ended up pissing off a guild mate last night with over use of CAPS. Real pissed off too. She did not enjoy my over-excited threats to kill people who don’t listen. And today I pissed off a co-worker this morning. She was blasting Christmas music from her office. The same 3 songs over and over and over. So I sent her this:

Thank you failblog.org, for being there for me. It’s as if you are always on the same page.

However, it makes me think. I’m not like the rest; I don’t fit in; I’m easy to piss people off. And all without realizing it. Do I not think ahead? Do others think ahead, or am I just a little obscure? I don’t know. And I’m not sure that I care.

Formulating how I should properly apologize to the guildie. Should probably start by stop drinking so heavy while playing. Meh,

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Warhammer Online: VP locks, Scenarios and You

Short background: To lock any zone you either need Domination Points by holding all Objectives for a certain amount of time (Keeps 2 hours, BOs 30 minutes) or you can Victory Point Lock by having a proper set of victories in 4 fields (Objectives, Scenarios, PvE, and Previous Zone). Up until scenarios were fixed, Victory Point Locks were fairly rare. But now with them active again, we have a new problem. That problem is centered around queues and short-term goals.

Ultimately, locking a zone takes coordination and time, in either lock type. Building Objective Points towards the VP Lock is a simple as taking the objectives. But building Points in Scenarios requires wins in scenario instances. If those aren’t popping, you can still queue up for the scenario(s) and build points in that area, slowly by each person, but still build them. This ends VP Lock 101 (obvious to all). Now for 102 (obvious to few, apparently).

**The usual result of Domination Locks; You go to get a drink in your boredom and your cat screws up your UI while your gone. You come back to an unfimilar screen as you hear on Vent your group screaming for heals. Too bad you can’t help them, cause you put all your eggs into a Domi-Lock let your guard down and you found out your evil cat works for Destro.**

The problem with queueing for scenarios is you may just be doing it to build the points. But you and your WB have no intention of taking the pop if it were to so occur. Mainly because you are queued to just build points in hopes of a VP lock, but aren’t willing to risk losing the better chance of getting a Domination lock. IE, VP would nice, but Domi is better to ensure.

So here you are, you have 2 WB about Dragonwake and so far you having been shutting down all attempts for the opposing side to take a BO from you. Unfortunately you still have 30 minutes to wait and the VPs are at 62. Suddenly you see an order for all WB assistants to queue their groups. Also you see message to not take the pop if it does. This could result in a negative effect. Because you may not have any intention of taking the queue pop but the opposers Premade does. All they have to do is queue; take the pop; and even without an opposing population in the scenario, they only have to get 1 point to win the Scenario and earn 25% in SCs for their VPs.

Suddenly that 62 VP you once had, goes to 59. And so on if you keep doing it. One win for them negates the points you were building by queueing. The SC points for VPs was set in place to build for those that queue as a counter to keeping a VP locks blocked by the opposing army refusing scenarios. It wasn’t set up to just give free points. If you don’t take the pop, you are giving free VPs to the other side, and solidifying the probability of not having a VP lock at all.

The counter plan to this is to organize in such a fashion that 2 premade groups are assigned as SC group. Their job, to take SCs. When not in one, they sit in the middle of the RvR pool and run to areas that need assistance. They should be separate from the WBs that are assembled for the defense fo the Domination Lock. Once these 2 (or more) groups are established they announce that they are queueing, once completed everyone else (defense WBs) can queue. This allows for more SC points to develope. If the SC pops, the first queuers (premade groups) will be given the pops first, and once in, they announce and all defenders un-queue.

Once the premades exit the SCs, they re-queue and the process above starts all over again. This will always make sure you not only develope SC points, but that you ready to respond when an SC actually pops. 2 groups are recommended. Saying the SC is one that normally runs 3 to 4 groups, then those 2 groups need to call for reinforcements in /1 Region and the WB leaders need to decide if they can spare one (or two) groups to go in the SC with premades or if they can spare one person from each group, so that the lose in troops on the field is equilateral.

By using the above strategy you can rapidly respond to defenses in the pool and also ensure better results in your VP Locks. The better you ensure VP Locks the bigger your WBs will grow and the better moral you will have for your faction in continuing to push the cities. Sitting about always trying to Domination Lock is a good way to lose troops. This type of “sound” strategy causes massive frustration as soon as a slight error occurs and puts a halt to any further progress your armies can make that day. Pushing for VP locks is essential, but performing that task has an important role in what procedure you choose. Too often simply forcing group leaders to queue everyone results in a negative result in opposition to what was intended. And this needs to stop.

Not a leader, just a guy who judges yours,

Warhammer Online: Borderline Exploits

Have you recently been given a rez through a keep door?

I have accidently discovered the secret. And to my credit, all on my own. And no, not with a hack. It’s due in fact to lag and healer mods from the Curse.com clients and probably mostly because of the ‘performance’ upgrades of 1.3.2. How do you do this? Why can you do this? And should you do this?

Most importantly, how the hell can I (cough, I mean you) do this. Well, firstly, I am sure as a healer you are using Curse to give you a mod like Squared. If you are not, go shot yourself and reroll. Squared is a mod (for those of you that are not healers) that better displays health of everyone in your Warband and makes choosing worthy friendlies to heal, that much easier. Furthermore, using a mod like ISHealBot allows you to assign abilities to your clicking on friendly squares.

For example, a friendly is taking heavy damage. Without any mods you would have to click on them, either by the list on the left or by physically in your sights. Then you have to apply your healing abilities by clicking the abilities or by hitting your hot buttons numerically to activate them. There is alot of time wasted in performing these actions. To be one of the better healers, you need help. With mods like ‘IsHealBot’ you can assign the basic HoT to just basic clicking. Meaning just clicking the person in ‘Squared’ will allow you to instantly cast the HoT right when you click. That would allow you to apply a single HoT to everyone in your WB as quick as you can click. If you think about how fast you can click, that is some fast healing. Prepare to lose AP/RF quick if you aren’t careful.

Furthermore you can assign more abilities to ISHealBot by having a conditional key, like CTRL or SHIFT or ALT, or combination of those with a click on a Square. So if you are like me, you have the basic HoT on regular click, your basic instant heal on CTRL click, and Rez on SHIFT click.

Now, abilities start a cast and take the cost of AP/RF before it checks for pass/fail. If you try cast a HoT on someone 200 feet from you, that doesn’t stop the ability from taking 20 AP from you and then failing. There is a great benefit to using these mods, but also room for negative results on failures by just ignorantly clicking about. Now if it is something without a cast time (like the basic HoT), the system checks for the pass/fail, cast the ability, and when errors occur it refunds the points spent. However, in the case of abilities with cast, you are not refunded the AP for the failed cast. So in heavy combat like a Keep for instance, you can throw a cast on someone with this mod and possibly get the cast off before the system realizes you don’t have LOS, or within Range, since you can start a cast before it checks for pass/fail. In the case of heavy cast times, like rezes, you can possibly beat out the collision detection (pass/fail) and cast a rez on someone on the otherside of the door before the system realizes that shouldn’t be possible. In many cases, the error message will pop up, but too late as the cast already made it to the end of the 2 seconds and the rez is accepted. You essentially preformed a LOS exploit.

Is it my fault though? I’m not sure it’s my fault that Mythic encourages Mods and helps these mods. So I don’t think the mods are illegal, they aren’t third party programs in my background. Is it my fault as well that I didn’t realize the rez or heal intended is not in LOS (Line of Sight)? Before I went through to test to see what was happening, I went weeks without knowing I was doing it. Really, the reason this can happen is Mythic to better improve server performance must have given ability cast priority over collision detection. So though the action is tested for pass/fail, it is not immediate, therefore allowing, by accident or not, the ability to wall/obstacle heal cast.

My concern is that I don’t feel I’m hacking or exploiting on purpose, but it could be seen that way. I recognize that I can now do things beyond the intention of the game, but I’m not hacking. How close am I to the line of exploiting? Am I being watched by John Cox? I’ve reported it through feedback and the fact that I am doing it if they want to watch me to see. I like the mods and my intention here in reporting myself is that I want the exploit possibility fixed. Without those two mods, I’m not sure I could keep playing my healers. My new found ability to heal through a wall, or rez you through the door is not really one I want. I just like my mods and the ease of being a well noticed healer inside of my WB.

Now, before you walk away from this article thinking “I need to do that” or constantly fill your ventrilos with “Freakin wall hackin Shammy.” This borderline exploit is just that, borderline. Why? Because it only works under heavy collisions (lag) and few out of multiple tries. To rez someone through the door, averages about 3 tries from my findings. Each time you tried you had to pay the AP/RF for each, they don’t get refunded. So in a way, you are paying 3 times the normal cast times and AP to rez someone, on average. Same for heals that have cast times. This is normally what the combat log would look like:

00:00:00 Casting Breath of Sigmar on Captmoronbangsonram cost 20 RF
00:01:00 You cannot see your target
00:01:00 Breath of Sigmar Failed
00:02:00 Casting Breath of Sigmar on Captmoronbangsonram cost 20 RF
00:03:30 You cannot see your target
00:03:30 Breath of Sigmar Failed
00:04:30 Casting Breath of Sigmar on Captmoronbangsonram cost 20 RF
00:06:30 You cannot see your target
00:08:00 Captmoronbangsonram has accepted your resurrection.

On the third try I will still get the error, but the cast was already sent by the time it realized it failed after 2 seconds. Now weighing the benefit of this, is hard. It cost a dedicated 6 and half seconds of a healer’s time and then another 60 Rightess Fury. Pretty heavy prices for a rez. Now, if I had a helper healer in the group, didn’t have to worry about everyone whiping and I have nothing better to do then rez Captmoron, then not so much. How often do you have that benefit? Hence the title ‘Borderline.’

See, you can learn something from my rants sometimes.

Regards you hackers,

Mr.Meh

Warhammer Online: Coming of Times: Part 2

My last post was quite harsh, a bit rash, and even too definite. I guess in a way, if you feel like you don’t like the game, just go try something else and then see the error in your ways. So I did. And only reinforced the fact, that what I want just doesn’t exist. And being mad about that is dumb. I can only keep daydreaming my ideas for a game. Maybe if I collected those random thoughts on hard copies, I might actually be rich one day.

Until then, I will like some of my readers be going down with the ship. I will not yet renew my subscription. As stated in one of my comments, I rather not give EA accurate numbers on what to expect.

So for the meantime I am back in WAR. I don’t know what to do about it, but I am back. Unfortunately, I get to battle in an almost completely unbalanced server. Either you play early in the day to be in the RvE Order Zerg or play at night and get steam rolled by the Destro Zerg. I think I will be testing the waters on different servers. Since I am in a such a mood to tryout new and old things. Might as well do it inside the game as well.

Mr.Meh

Warhammer Online: Coming of Times

Late last night, a guildie pointed me to an article that stated EA had issued more layoffs and 80 of them on Mythic, the studio that currently maintains and runs Warhammer Online along with Bioware’s oversight. My good blog friend has links to creditable sources of the layoffs. Nothing confirmed by EA or Mythic yet, but it is at no surprise. We were kind of on the fence about believing an expansion might be coming. But an elimination of 40% of the staff can guarantee that one is not happening.

I really never felt WAR was a failure like so many in the dark forum commenters would have you believe. Their sly remarks and baffled speeches on uberness and how WOW is better never really phased me. Their post were seen to me as I would see any other spam advertisement along the borders. I thought the game was a great take on the PvE Warhammer world as a fan of Games-Workshop and the Open RvR that Mythic is famed for, is a great mechanic and one not any other MMO could mimic. I think my concerns and suggestions were always on what can be improved, and what could be next.

So the above bit of news definitely struck my plans in WAR hard. I still have about a month of subscription, but my new found lack luster attitude has struck on. I don’t really see the point in  grinding out a high Renown Rank. I have made about nine level 40 characters in the past year. 2 of them over Renown Rank 40. Even if the expansion was another year or so out, the work to make the game better was worth the effort. Without the possibility of expansion or growth, I’m not sure I can keep doing the same thing over and over again with the same slight frustrations taking over my attitude.

Call it a protest to those that lost their jobs, call it what you like, I cancelled my subscription renewing next cycle. Hopefully something will come to change my mind. But at this rate, I am not sure it will be coming. So my WAR Suggestion are on hold. In the mean time I have been searching on what to try out, what to go back to, and/or what to do. Granted I could just go get COD MW2, but that would make me close to a streamline gamer. And I don’t feel like paying $60 to find out something is an AIMBOT jerkfest. I’ll wait a bit. 

So this morning I started a download of LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). Don’t know what I am getting into yet. I’m not much of an avid PvE’er. I like it, I just don’t really know how to find groups and power level all that well. Hopefully there are solo play paths to take in this. It been a  top contender for best MMO since it’s release in 2007. And still has plenty saying good things. With an expansion coming next month, who knows, maybe I’ll find something I like. I’m thinking I will probably just get my RvR craving in the second week just like in Aion. And because I am anticipating that, I have DAOC (Dark Age) on download at that same time. If I am going to go back and play RvR, maybe I should try something I haven’t. 

Here’s to good playing in the future,

Mr.Meh

Warhammer Online Suggestions: Act 3: The Rebirth of Forts

Hello Readers,

If you are new to the suggestion post that I have been making and like where I am going with these ideas, please feel free to catch up on the past ideas:

Warhammer Online Suggestions: Act 1
   PvE Party Finder and Battlefield Objectives Improvement

Warhammer Online Suggestions: Act 2
   Armor colors, Facial Merchants and Armor Skins

 

If you are not in game now or are just oblivious to the latest issues, Mythic in the last patch removed Forts and in the process created a city siege nightmare situation. Ultimately, I am sure they were just trying to answer the mail in which all of us (including me) were screaming for a fix in the lag monster that was forts and I think anyone who has a toon over Renown Rank 45 was wondering if they were ever going to see a city. So Mythic responded to a 2 part problem with one solution, kill the forts.

In the end we have all but one server (North America) that has an Altdorf well under rank 5. In Gorfang’s case, they have levelled IC. We wanted to see the Capital City, not live there. What can we blame? I blame the crappy test server that doesn’t test anything other than suck ups, but that’s me. I also blame the fact that we don’t have an underdog system and therefore encourage everyone to go play alts on the winning side with different servers causing the massive population imbalances we have now. But that really doesn’t fix anything by pointing fingers. Sure it makes me feel better, but it really doesn’t solve anything.

Altdorf 1 Star

And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Mythic knows what to do. The Herald, which averages about 2 post a day since launch, the RSS feed has been silent for 3 days and none of the earlier post address the most current issue. Not unless the MMO Calendar is providing us insight into a solution. My feeling is, there’s a good amount of scrambling taking place in Reston, VA this week.

To assist you, Mythic, I have written you the following feedback. Though I love to believe you read my emails, I love for others to like my suggestions too. Here’s one I hope gets through on the drawing boards.

 

Suggestion #4: Rebirth Forts as an Instance

Issue: Cities are too easy to siege, Lack of Pre-End Game Fun, Invader easier to obtain than Conqueror

They were thought to be a useless hard grind for conqueror gear that ended in a giant lag fest that ultimately foiled any hope to get into the opposing city. Unfortunately without them, as we can see from the track record of every single server, sieging an oppossing city is about has hard as it is to just ride to the cities’ gates without forts.

The lack of forts really takes us away from having some type of PvP situations for RR 35 to 55. You gain your Annihilator gear and now you can have Invader in no time. Making the obstacle, how quickly can you grind Renown Ranks? With my RR44 White Lion I have sitting in my Bank my Invader boots, gloves, belt, shoulders and chest piece. At this rate I am tempted to actually breakdown my warlord crest, just because I’m not sure I will ever be able to obtain the Conqueror Helm and Chest without doing that. I have a better shot of being full Invader by RR55 than I do being Conqueror by RR55. Not exactly, as that is a gross example, but there is an obvious skew in the wrong direction. Not working as intended, dare I say.

Rank 5 keeps? Ummmm … I haven’t seen one. At this rate, I think if I ever did, my chance to roll will be out of 200 others. That is what I am guessing it takes. I don’t think us other servers (non-Gorfang Iron Rock) have those kind of populations to have rank 5 keeps. Though, even with Forts, I think the Conqueror dropping rank 5 keeps should stay.

The forts had a purpose and their missing presence is much more apparent now.

Solution: Rebirth the Forts as PQs like a city with instanced Lords

The forts did not work because of the lag and the harshness of attacking the Lord with defenders. You could possibly get lucky with one Fort, but with the time constraints and raised tensions of city invasion, taking the 2nd fort is quite difficult if at all possible. By then defenders have gathered and are quite ready for your crap.

My idea is to bring the forts back into play but with more involved in having an instanced Lord Room when the attackers can clear the fort. This means that it’s instanced with better availability for Conqueror bags, it relieves fort lag, and it means the fort captures have a better possibility. Many fort takes failed just because the attackers fall just barely on the Lord (a lord whipe).

The fort would have static, not rubber band, Champs that still guard the fort and have a mini boss to kill on the second floor. Once cleared groups can enter the Lord instance on the 3rd floor. The capture of the Fort relies on Victory Points like a city PQ. Getting to the Inner Door will yield 10% VPs; getting in the Inner to Mini Boss yields 20% VPs; Killing the Mini Boss and being able to go to third floor gives 30%; and each Lord Instance kill yields an additional 20%. 2 Lord Kills would call for capture, saying there wasn’t even a defense. With whiping defenders, you can possibly avoid needing a 2nd Lord kill, but can still finish the instance if already in.

Mini Bosses and Lords drop items of value to all including Conqueror Item Drops and Rare Items, making Forts still valuable kills even if over RR50. The captured fort chest drop (separate from boss loot) will still have contributions for rewards for those that didn’t enter the Lord instance either because of groups or because of choice to kill defenders. So there is not a bum rush into the Lord instance. If you want to kill defending players, you won’t be punished for it, but a Lord kill is still needed to take the Fort in the case no one is volunteering to do the instance. We all get more chances for rewards, we have a lagless major keep take and we have better chances to get into cities as compared to the old fort system.

Also, just like cities, the Fort Rank restrictions should be reduced to 30+. I understand keeping out the 29 and belows. But 37+ only enforces the use of gank squads, which is not beneficial to either side. As it causes a needless desire to keep watch resulting in boredom or frustrations.

 

Still formulating (writing) City Siege Improvements and Land of the Dead ideas, be on the lookout this week and next,

Mr.Meh

Citibank: Cancelled Cards and Lies.

This blog entry doesn’t fall under my normal gaming reviews or suggestions, it falls under my random rants. And if your reading this you are probably torqued just like me and my blog hit your google/bing search when you searched for answers.

So what’s my beef this week?

Citibank and their corrupt mayhem and utter disregard for just simply operating as atleast a mediocre business. If you have any business with Citibank and possibly have a bonus credit card with them and/or are still confused of what’s happening to you, please read on. Just recently Citibank has made a large effort to close down “unwanted” gas bonus credti card accounts. By “unwanted”, not so much that they are overdue accounts as they are ones that the company is not making money off of. Here is some basic background to share on my experience with this. 

I had a Exxon Mobil Card through Citibank which was the best and top of the pile card in my wallet. 15 cents on every gallon and 1% on all purchases. I never spent more than I had, and their was never a point in which I had a balance. When you commute 30K a year, the benefits of this card go without saying.

But without warning, literally about a week ago, my favorite credit card is being denied, everywhere. Embarrassing, yes. Cause for concern, yes. I used this card for everything. I’m not even close to my limit. I go and check online, everything seems normal. I even call the hotline and I am told that “nothing seems wrong.” So I take my car in for some repairs and there again, the card gets denied. So I call again, and NOW I am told that my account has been closed due to negative credit history on a recent inquiry to Equifax. They didn’t care that they never informed me formally or that they lied to me just a day before, or did they share what this bad history was. I would “have to speak with Equifax.” Oh that’s cute. You ever just called and spoke to a Credit Bureau before? It is not possible. So in a worry that I am in the middle of a credit scam and my identity has been stolen, I purchase all 3 of my credit reports. I do keep an open membership with Experian and monitor my credit monthly as they send me e-mails, but I wanted to know what Equifax knew.

Surprise! Nothing’s different. Nothing negative and nothing has changed. I call back Citi and same response, I push harder to speak with someone else or a manager and got hung up on. So I shredded my card and paid my balance. Meanwhile I waited for my formal letter from Citi. The reason they shutdown my card … (drum roll please) … “Lack of Credit History.”

To quote the interwebs “WTF.” Well obviously that’s bulltards. I’m twenty seven. I never had a checking balance over $2K, let alone paid for something in cash. I’ve had 3 cars, student loans and dozens of credit cards. I’m lucky to not be over my head in debt. But lack of history? I don’t know what counts as credit history then. I’ve been an active card holder just with you guys for over a year. That’s a stupid excuse you could give me when I was 18 when I apply for the card, not at 27 and after a year as a card holder. Really … WTF.

But here is the real twist that you should all care about. Because Citibank closes the account this way, the report goes to all 3 bureaus stating that I have a negligent, I’ll repeat myself, it goes as a Negative Closing of an account that had to be forcibly closed by the loaner. So though Citibank didn’t actually have any  negative history before, they will be happy as clams to create it for you.

So to all those that haven’t yet opened that letter to see why, or maybe are just wondering what’s happening, or just want to know you are not alone. You are not, read and beware. And you are further getting bent over. This isn’t just a loss of a bonus card this is negative credit hitting your history.

For those that still get to keep your card and haven’t been shut down, you may like to know that you haven’t received this letter yet:

http://www.businessinsider.com/citi-customers-reach-out-to-us-2009-10

Enjoy your secret 29.99% interest increase that has taken effect, they just don’t feel the need to tell you, yet.

For Citibank, this won’t go unremembered, this isn’t water under a bridge. You didn’t close an account because you were having problems and needed to and do it in a decent manner. You cut cost at the expense of unsuspecting customers. You are everything we fear and hate about large banks. Forever, any affiliation that a company has with Citibank, is a company I won’t ever deal with.

Furthermore as per the letters I sent to Exxon/Mobil, it is also your responsibility to help your customers when an affiliate does something like this. Your inaction and lack of care does not go without notice. I will never ever, ever so help me from a life or death situation ever buy anything in affiliation to your company, Exxon Mobil. The card was to help ensure my spending means at your stations, now it ensures that you never receive so much as a penny from me for a lifetime. Not that I am that influential, but I hope it effects you in some way and any future problems that your company may befall will be a lifting joy to my betrayed heart.

Citibank, go *!$%#&$* yourself. I hope your company fails and your decisions to make horrible business practices are met with everlasting disdain and retaliation from everyone you screwed over. Your pathetic and needless actions does not go unnoticed and will not be forgiven or forgotten.

Signed,

Mr.Meh