SWTOR: Server Merges Timing Compared to WAR and Suicide

My post yesterday rustled some feathers. And the first comment came from a long time reader, Akalukz, who said “same thing happened with WAR, not sure where the surprise is”.

This got me thinking: Why am I surprised? Why does this seem like an atrocity? Why does my butt hurt?

BioWare/EA definitely feels like the bad guy. The worst kind of bad guy. This isn’t hate against the machine for delivering unasked for goods (CCP). This isn’t displaced anger in consequence to lack of content (Mythic). This isn’t profound disappointment with unfinished PVP open world promised (Trion). This is simply, unadulterated despise for not allowing a basic player need in an any MMO. And that’s the ability to actually play with other players.

This anger stems from a growing assumption that this problem was getting worse and worse. We expected the reason was due to political cause for the sake of saving face to the ignorance of stockholders. When the number of loss in 400K was shown on the fiscal report we just assumed, “well, hell, the cat’s out of the bag”. There is no more save face here. Now maintain what you still have, save some cost on servers and do some transfer mergers. You have 60+ server begging (literally) for it to happen. I’ve yet to see someone say “Yeah, I don’t really want to merge. I like playing with the same 5 guys”. I’ve literally never seen an MMO let a server get this bad. Let alone 60 of them. Fuck, even Tabala Rasa wasn’t this bad off. And they sucked.

So why the hell am I surprised coming for years of frustrations with Mythic WAR?

So I did a little math and historical analysis based on EA’s prior MMO project and now a subsidiary program under EA BioWare.

  • Warhammer Online Sold 800K copies by release date.
  • WAR launched in September of 2008 with 750K subscribers.
  • In October of 2008 they lost roughly 100K (18.75%/13.33% Loss) after the “Free Month from Box”
  • In November of 2008 rough numbers of 500K were being thrown around (37.50%/33.33% Loss)
    • This realization led Mythic to merge a number of servers with a response by the end of the Month. 
    • Free Transfer with designated servers were allowed with mandatory merges by December.
  • Sadly, by the end of December (for numberous reasons) of 2008, rough numbers indicated about 350K left (56.25%/53.33%)
    • Another merger of servers took place by February of 2009
  • Finally by first real content patch “Free Expansion” in May of 2009 WAR had leveled off to 300K (62.50%/60%) and from there took a steady decline for the rest of its life.

What does this have to do with anything? Well if you look at the timeline and the percentages, they should be eriely fucking familiar.

Just over a 80% retention for the first month of game launch.
And then a 40% loss in population in the first 6 months.
All too familiar.  

  • December 2011- SWTOR launches with 2.1M in sales
  • January 2012   – EA says 1.7M retained to subscriptions (19.05%)
  • May 2012 – EA Fiscal reports 1.3M subscribed (38.10%)

Before Mythic even saw the 40% loss they opened transfers. So, yeah, I am surprised. We, the players, have no fucking clue exactly what you gain by keeping up running costs for multiple servers. No clue.

What’s “suicide” in the Title for? That’s a funny story.

Sitting around waiting for the Pop to occur for a warzone, many players on the server agreed to spam CSR tickets urging for Server Transfer. Some filed this as a ‘Suggestion’ many others as Harrassment. The party harrassing said player? BioWare. For not allowing immediate transferes. One player wrote to the affect – “We have no economy because there are no players, we have no PVP because there are no players, we don’t have anyone to socialize with because there are no players. Give us server merges or god help me I’ll kill myself.”

I don’t personally know what he was thinking, but sure enough what followed was what we expected. Police arrived at his door to check on his well being. No joke.

Granted the player’s actions were profoundly moronic. What did he think they were going to do? It really makes me laugh. Your players are so hard pressed to recieve merges today, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for this service.

Advertisements

WAR Bloggers: A Wikipedia Story

I was having this argument last night. ‘Mr. Meh arguing, surely you jest?’ Yes, an argument about WAR and some history. For the purpose of not having to read too far into it, I went right to the Wikipedia.org and searched Warhammer Online. It only took a second, but as I scrolled down, I quickly forgot what I was arguing about, because I spent the next ten minutes hurled over laughing.

Continue reading

WAR’s Future: Lowerer Your Expectations

At some point you are going to have to face it. I know lots of the WAR community is upset and perturbed right now, but that really doesn’t call for the words being exchanged. Between people making demands for developers heads and then even bloggers calling out other bloggers, it’s all just getting a bit ridiculous. Andy came back, you should be happy. It has definitely stirred back up the community. I’m seeing post from bloggers I haven’t seen in ages. But they aren’t at all happy. Just a couple links to the forums and you can find such extreme posts as for people calling for the head of Andy. Really? He’s a PR guy that had to take some time. For others that realize this fact are after Carrie’s head, or assume that change has already happen.

Let’s get something straight here, community. This isn’t Mythic’s fault, this isn’t Andy’s or Carrie’s or anyone elses that anyone is attacking. It’s EA, it’s always been EA. How you have forgotten this, I don’t know. But believe me, EA loves that you have. Because the more you refocus from the real enemy, the more likely they don’t lose you as a predictable SW:TOR buyer.

BioWare is no different today than Mythic was in 2007. It was a great game developer with the money backing of EA the giant. Well the truth is, is EA just clearly has no idea what MMO means yet. And either it’s going to be another harsh lesson for them on the biggest budget game to ever be produced (ever), or community willing, we can teach them something from WAR so it doesn’t repeat. It’s called, don’t get your hands in an MMO unless you are trying to make an MMO. An ever-growing community with constant advancement and progression. We just never received that from WAR, and could we ever expect different when they announced progression packs and slapped the hands of anyone who accidentally said expansion?

How are we this upset? This game isn’t growing. All and any available resources are in BioWare’s hands.  They have been for quite some time now. You have a studio well over budget and probably far behind deadlines. If EA wants to strike at Activision, they aren’t going to be doing it by investing in an MMO they consider a disappointment. The point is, is that Andy might have gone for a month, but certainly and obviously developers are allowed to speak on the forums without him standing over their shoulder. It’s clear all resources and people available to fix the game are no longer there.

Your remainder in the game that no longer deserves a monthly subscription is just proving to EA that they can make cheap money with almost no investment. Because, guess what, an angry customer is still a customer at the end of the fiscal year. Is this the fate and model we want expressed against SWTOR when later EA is trying to decide how to invest in their MMO that at some point would need a real expansion?

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

Hunting Disciples of Khaine

As the majority of my guild entertains RIFT betas and other games, an abnormally small amount of guild members hang about on Order Badlands trying to better learn their new classes. A recent turn of events led to a mass exit from Destro Gorfang and led to former RR81+ members to try their hands at new classes. Some leading roles they have never been in and are constantly testing the waters.

The playing habits of the opposing realm (Destro Badlands) use constant tactics that our old server never would have seen. To see a ‘Get Ta Da Choppa’ again is wildly amusing. Spamming ‘Lots of Chop’ in T4 is hilarious for all our veteran Choppas playing new roles. A heavy mass concentration of tanks is also a sight most would never think to see again. But a new trend post-nerf has yielded something everyone sees a great deal more of, and that’s the DPS DoK.  Slowly but surely, it seems most RR60+ DoKs are realizing that you can make a great deal more Renown soloing in AAO than you can trying to group heal in a Scenario. Which then leads to many of my former Destro friends who were used to LoL DPS WPs not being a problem to going, “OMG, nerf the DOKs!”

So I was having a conversation with our young up and coming White Lion (one of the 4 actually) who made a career out of tanks for the last 2 years making 2 RR80+s and he was whining about the solo DOKs.

“But why?” I asked. “Are you running solo yourself?”

“Well yeah.” He said.

“Are you spec’d to be solo?”

He described his tactics and masteries and I said “Well that’s a great Warband setup you have there Captain Glass Cannon. But in a solo one on one or small encounters, you are meeting other Glass Cannons, namely DOKs who can burst heal themselves. You can’t, so you will always fail that way.”

He had at a time a R40 DOK in DPS spec, so he knew the animations. I described how he needed to take out the Rend Soul, and low and behold, you’ll win, very easily too. The advantage to the DPS DOK is the Rend Soul, the ability to get massive solo healing off. The disadvantages are actually overwhelming. Most DPS DOKs, can’t achieve over 800 Strength, so their pass through is horrible. They lack any sort of Armor Debuff, so they require to stack up WS in renown and talismans if they can. If not, they would have problem on even Rune Priest over the RR60. The also have the Initiative of crawfish. They generally sport a 23% chance to crit on. At best it’s usually still around 10% even in Sov. They have no break snare like real DPS, and their snare requires 2 hits. The result is, the DPS DOK is a Glass Cannon by all respects.

What do you have to do to take out this venerable but deadly foe? Stop the Rend Soul. The chaining melee ability heals in 3 parts. However the cast is extremely soft, you can break it, set it back and ruin very easy; by even defending against the first part of the chain will ruin the rest of it. A DOK’s death is usually primarily due to a bad Rend Soul. And since this ability is on a small cooldown, they really don’t get an immediate second try.

What I advised him to do was to respec his WL. Mostly into the Guardian tree, to put his DPS in the Pet, and to get more CC, like a 2 second knockdown, and the rest in Hunter for Pounce and Forced Opportunity. Then to take his renown into Parry and WS, abandoning his Crit. His tactics to include the Parry, Str, and then the Parry Strike back. The forth tactic could be any of his liking. And of course, slot the Evasive Manuevers for the Moral 1. The Talisman slots should be composed of WS and Wounds. Lastly to stock up on Pots, all of them. The idea here, is you are going to be trying to Parry as much as you can while feeding all the attacks into your Lion, while you place pot shots at the enemy infront. Most importantly, the armor debuff. Flanking is not going to happen as you need to be facing them, and getting mass crit hits that normally a WL would stock up on isn’t really help here. The normal game for DPS is to do it fast. The object here instead, is to just last enough to ruin their burst heal.

You find your DoK, or they find you. And you do a dance manuever of keeping the DoK infront while, keeping up your Armor Debuff, and cycling the damage abilities you can give your Lion under the Guardian tree. The DoK’s strength is most likely horrible, so unlike a real DPS you might encounter, this one you can actually parry quite a bit. As the fight continues in a slow manner, you’ll parry and parry, and your Pet all the while will be slowly eating away at the enemy with your help. You’ll obviously need to support your health with Pots. The key to success is timing out the Rend Soul. You don’t want to completely rely on your parry to stop it. Usually within the first 5 seconds of the fight, the DoK has taken below 50% health, expect the Rend Soul. If not preemptively, then look for animation starts of the Rend Soul, and give your Lion the order to Knock him down.

Normally, you only have to ruin one Rend Soul to win the fight, at that point it’s probably the end for them. If you miss your shot and they get their Rend Soul, don’t worry, wait for your Moral 1, save it for the next stage of the fight. When the DoK needs his/her next Rend Soul, your Parry all for 7 Seconds will not only ruin that, but any Consume Essense Strikes he/she tries to make up for that after. The reason for keeping up a Parry defense, is not only to get the unsuspecting parry on the Rend Soul, and to sustain your life, but to also ruin most of his/her strikes so that they struggle to gain Soul Essense. With higher level DoKs, the fights can take as long as 20 seconds, which would normally mean many Rend Soul chances, the idea would be that after the second Rend Soul the DoK would struggle to retain enough SE to even have a third. Along with Knockdowns, the Pull is also an interrupt, you can use that as well, if the Moral and Knockdown are on cooldown.

As for using this setup in group atmospheres? It’s really nerfing your attack. Most groups aren’t going to be happy that every tank hits way harder than a DPS, so it’s an expensive one way spec to go and kill DOKs. But if you spend your life near solo aspects looking for AAO, then the solo DOKs are probably what you need to work against.

And for my new DOK friends that happen to encounter this specific setup and your memory triggers on this article that you are up against this type of enemy, then the counter is real simple. If your WL opponent is purposely staying infront of you and you are seeing way more parries than you would hope for, simply just use your Rend Soul on the Lion, then detaunt it, and go back to the main target. If the fight is taking long, make sure your SE stays in line by hitting the lion a couple of times. Don’t kill it, you may need it, just detaunt it. The Lion can’t really stop your attacks, and has horrible defenses. Perfect for Rend Souls.

Enjoy,

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

How to Save WAR. A Blogger’s Dream for 2011.

Tis the season for wish lists. And Mr. Meh is no different. Well … other than his defiant belligerence and common theme of dissatisfaction, he’s like any normal blogger … with the temper control of a 3-year-old. So, as a year beginning event, I have come up with my ultra super ridiculously, not even possible, extensive wish list for WAR in 2011 and beyond.

My big concern for the game and further developement for the game rest around drastic change. It’s no secret that WAR is suffering right now. The game’s future is in jeopardy. While Realm WAR still worked, you could go to Pauser and see the server population averages. Which is a little better than watching subscriptions. It shows you the activity. You had an initial return pre-1.4, but only 2 weeks after its release, server populations started to slope down. WOW’s release of Cataclysm didn’t help, but then Mythic introduced a drastic nerf to WP/DOKs. You can argue all you like about its stupidity or need, but the fact is, the nerf certainly didn’t bring any subs back. Mid-December showed a drastically decreasing population levels. In some servers, almost 40% less than what they were showing on average play time just a month. Which probably helped Mythic’s wallet further as many guilds paid for mass transfers to new homes (E.G. US’s Gorfang), which was the only server showing little change to population levels. Along with RIFT’s closed Beta basically being offered to everyone at this point, WAR populations are dimming. There is the problem. Not only in the communication between the communities, but in the communication down from Mythic’s approach.

To me, the change in 1.4 was a good broad sense of change. But a great deal of removal to much of the current content of balance was removed. Where a year ago, I think many of us felt WAR was going to have a nice long death we could ride out, this year seems that it might kill itself much quicker than what we would expect right after an expansion release. The game needs some adjustments, some quicker than others. I like think that I could knock over the captain and take the controls to the ship before it sinks, and just draw all over their white board and say “do it.” So, I have come up with an extensive thought process for what I think would be a game change in the next year or so to keep me and many of you. And part of my idea is mostly working around what we have and making the game what it should have been all along. A PVP game with a little PVE. And though the player base treats their game play this way, the game layout and content is not. What the game maps are now composed of are 15% mapping for PVP for which 99% fo the game is played, and then 85% cluttered with working but unused PVE content for which very few are in.What I would shift my focus with in 2011 would be that, admission to fully dedicating the game to PVP with some bonus PVE mixed in.  Now though it’s hard to let go of what you built, at some point you have to admit that these unused areas are at the expense of not only server lag burdens, but mainly that this unused areas are actually for the most part new content for many players.

I propose an almost total overhaul to the game play of RVR, Maps and Gear. Hold on to your chair.

STEP 1: NO TIERS

First step in the overall RVR change is the elimination of tiers. There is no Tier 1, 2, 3 or 4. You could argue it is all T4 now, but for having better use of the game and for the purposes of using the zones in a fashion that I have imagined, I would eliminate the tiering system.

LEVELING

Instead of statistic gaps, the leveling system would be only to purchase new abilities and earning additional tactic slots. All base stats for each character would be based on what is currently the base statistics for a class at rank 40.

ENDLESS FREE TRIAL

Players can still use the endless free trial. However, they can never gain over the Rank and Renown Rank of 10. Their crafting skills can never go over the rank of 50. They can go to any of the classic zones (Nordland, Norsca, Ostland, Troll Country, High Pass, Talabecland, and so on for the other pairings). They cannot go to the Endzone Areas (Praag, Reikland, Chaos Waste), Forts or Cities.

BASIC GEAR

All gear that is sub-40 current would need their base statistics increased and an overhaul to the system would need to take place. Essentially, all gear armor values and statistics would to need to be buffed to match T4 (R40) standards. Gear that was upgraded from current T1 through T4, would all now be showing as White gear. Much of what currently exist would no longer be able to drop or be found. After this change only the gear that drops on player kills, renown gear merchants, and bonus gear would exist in the game.

For the purposes of Magic Salvaging, the craft would only now be able to salvage rank 40 gear in all cases. This crafting skills base for salvaging would be based on the rarity of the gear. Skills 1 – 50 can salvage White, 51 – 100 Green, 101 – 150 Blue, 151 – 200 Purple. Once 200 the user could then finally salvage Mythic rarity. Talismans making would remain the same. As the current separation of statistics from talismans is not that far. A purple talisman in T1 values +15, where T4 is only +24. There is not too much separation it can remain the same.

RENOWN BONUS GEAR

All gear would need scaling, so everything would be in the works for change. So this is multipart. First, all the PVE based dungeon gear would need to be available to purchase through the gear merchants. As well their placement would be among the possibilities in PQ bags for RvR objectives. This gear would all need to be scaled to T4 with progression that their base stats are better than White gear, but their advantage includes multiple piece bonuses. Because of changes to the RvR objective PQs (Keeps), most pre-Conqueror/Sentinel equipment will only be able to be purchased. It also means that if a RR85 character kills a RR10 player, they could have the ability to earn a Recruit’s Medallion again.

All the pre-Sovereign gear bonuses and stats will be revamped to make the gear more scaled to that of Sovereign’s current ability to focus. This means that players, even pre-Sov, can focus more offensive or defensive. In the case of healers, it would be more of a focus in Heal (defense) versus DPS (offense). Most to all sets currently have a mixture of stats and bonuses that make it impossible to truly focus in an aspect. The consequence of having such mixed stats means that even a full Warlord wearing character is still worlds away from a Sovereign wearing one, just due into the fact that Warlord is mixing in stats that aren’t really needed. That player generally needs to mix gear to get what they need. Where Sovereign is giving everything the player wants, and nothing that they don’t appreciate. So even though there is only a Rank of 10 in difference, the actual level of play is separated.

To this issue of statistic disparity, renown bonus gear will have classic RvR sets turned into Offensive based sets, while the classic Dungeon sets will be offering the defensive attribute. For example Annihilator set for the White Lion would focus Strength, Melee Crit and Weapon Skill. While the Bloodlord set, now available without Bastion Stair, would offer a more focused Toughness, Wounds and Parry stats. For the case of Warlord’s defensive partner, the Tyrant set would be revamped for its mirror. As it was the closest dungeon matchup set. The run through Vulture Lord would no longer yeild Tyrant, but would be for the Glyph items as well as full clears offering a chance for a gold bag that would have the LOTD mythic weapons. The World Boss would no longer spawn.

The rarity level of these gear sets would also be revamped. Where DoomFlayer and Warpforged will be Mythic, Sovereign and Warlord/Tyrant will be Purple, Invader/Dark Promise and Conqueror/Sentinel would be Blue, and all sets Annihilator/Bloodlord and below (Devastator/Red Eye to Decimator/Tracker) would be Green now. All other gear is White.

*Part of this idea is actually something that should be done even without this drastic all one tier idea. Part of the difference in gear from Sov to anything below is the simple fact that these gear options provide specialization. That is what really causes the power gap in T4. If characters at RR60 could specialize their stats, the separation of power would only be minimal in comparison. Despite gear mixing, you can never gain the AP and Power boosting that Sovereign offers.

Gear drops from player kills depend on their renown rank. The dead players renown rank would represent the possibility of the item they drop. RR 1 – 25 drop White, RR 26 – 39 drop Green, RR 40 – 60 drop Blue, RR 61 – 80 drop Purple, 80+ drop Gold.

WEAPONS

Scenario Rewards Weapons will just have the pre-T4 weapons removed, as all Scenarios will grant Officer Emblems no matter the rank. To preserve the fine art that was developed for these weapons, the weapons available with Officer Emblems (pre-Conqueror) will have multiple choices of the same stat, just for different art. Players begin earning Conqueror Insignias at the purchase of their first pre-Conq weapon. As well, the color rarity of these items will be changed. Officer Emblem only weapons would be green, Conqueror to Invader would be Blue, Warlord and Royal Weapons will be Purple, all above will be Mythic.

*Again, a change to rarity colors that should have been done in 1.4. As a RR81 green weapon makes little sense.

To help fix with the cost of Staff or classes that benefit mainly from Great Weapons, the cost of two hander, or staffs will be reduced by 25%. Their overall cost is still greater than a one hander, but the reduction will help in the despair that faster leveling 2 hander only classes share.

STEP 2: RVR REVISION

OVERALL ZONE ADVANCEMENT

The main point to elimination of tiers is to gain the accessibility of all zone possible. Each of the 3 pairings have their own unique war taking place. Though players don’t necessarily see this, due to the constant zone changes to catch action or just to leech renown points. Ultimately, each of the 3 invading armies of Destruction are working together to invade each of the enemies cities. Orks may love the Waaaagh, but the sacking of Altdorf doesn’t benefit them as much. And ultimately Malekith only cares about taking Ulthuan, and his goal is only to put enough pressure on the Empire to draw High Elves away from defending their home land. So though all the zones are arranged in a way that this is a total war, the campaigns in Avelorn have little to do with the battles in Ekrund.

To that end, previous T1 though T3 zones are considered the Front-Lines of the battle.

For Dwarves, the Greenskins are trying to push through Mount Bloodhorn into Ekrund. As well as going through Marshes of Madness into Barak Varr, and then again through the Badlands into Black Fire Pass. Pushing through these zones will get them into Kardin Valley, to then push Stonewatch as to invade Karaz-a-Karak. As well Dwarves are trying the opposite to get though Black Crag through Butcher’s Pass so that they can reclaim Eight Peaks Karak. This same plot can be mapped for the other 2 pairings.

In my idea the battle for each pairing takes place first in the prior tiers 3 zones (it’s really 6), locking down 2 of the three allows advancement into the old T4 zones of that pairing, called EndZones, so that you can push to the opposers Fort, and then onto that City. So for Destruction to advance through Dwarf, they would need to capture 2 of the 3; Ekrund, Black Fire Pass and/or Barak Varr to gain access to travel from Black Crag up to Kardrin Valley.

When a side unlocks access to the Endzones (previous T4) by capture 2 of the 3 Frontline Zones, the invaders start in the middle zones (Praag, Thunder Mountain, Dragonwake). Apart of the invasion requires advancement through each of the zones to then push into the next. Once reaching the end zone, they must win the battle at the fort to then gain access to the unique City for that Pairing. If the defending force is able to successfully defend, then they lock back out the advancement in that pairing, and the Frontline zones unlock once again.

FRONTLINE ZONES

All zones will have their PVEness removed. The whole maps become RvR zoning. No more lakes. There will be key small protected areas for Starter areas so that new players can get a crash course in the game, in each of the old Chapter 1 areas. These small areas will be guarded by rank 55 heroes to ensure the safety of new players for their short time in that area.

Essentially, each zone’s purpose is to have 1 Castle (bigger keep) for each side. Each located approximately on the roads to the next zone at their respective corners. For instance, Empire’s Castle for Troll Country/Ostland zone would be located in Wolfenburg at the South East end of Ostland. The addition of Castles are nothing more than oversized keeps that have flight masters, quest NPCs, Merchants, Trainers and Bankers within the first wall of the Castle. The capture of the opposer’s Castle is the means for locking down that zone area.

Each Castle has 2 supporting Keeps for their side. Each located on relative paths to the Castle. Each Keep grants the ability of the capturers to send attacking forces against the Castle. Each Keep then has 2 supporting Battlefield Objectives. As Patch 1.4 introduced, holding these BOs grants Carriers, these Carriers can then be ordered to give resources to their corresponding Keep to grant attacking forces. Each Keep has an opposing keep in which it’s resources will help attack.

Each side starts with one Castle, 2 Keeps and 4 BOs.  No real difference than the current setup with RVR in T4, except for the addition of Castles and the spreading of the objectives over the field and making a much larger field of battle. The objective to capturing a zone requires the capture of the opposer’s Castle. To do that, the attacker needs the defender’s 2 Keeps to build enough resources to assemble attacking forces from their castle to the opposers. To take the opposers keeps, the attacker needs to build and gather resources from Objectives to rank their keeps up.

There is a possibility of a two-way battle in the zone as two Keeps are paired against each other. So each side could potentially be attacking the other, so the zones aren’t fully focused on one thing, and will help maintain less zerg lag action. As well, if one side loses all Keeps, and only retains a Castle, their Castle is granted Keep Attacking resources (Cannon, Ram and Air Assault Teams) in the Castle Barracks so that they can launch attacks on Keeps to reclaim the zones. Once a Keep is captured, the Castle loses its Keep Resources.

Rams and Cannons are no longer player controlled from the Keep. When the Keep has been granted enough resources to have the corresponding benefits from patch 1.4, players can click on the Cannons and Rams to initiate an NPC army that will travel from their keep to the opposer’s keep. When the player commands these troops they have to the option on a quick drop down list of which Keep they want this force sent to. These Ram teams of NPCs will operate on their own. The Cannon teams will just escort the Cannon to the appropriate drop points. The Cannons will only be able to be fired by Players, though the Cannons will have NPC guarding support from the escort teams that led them there.

Flight paths of Manticores/Griffons lead to the Keeps based on a drop down list offered to the player when they click the flying beast. Flying beast from the Castle go to the opposers Castles. Doors are also able to be hit by players once again, but Door HP is increased with RAM damage so that the clear benefit is showing in using Ram teams. NPCs escorting and operating the ram are champs, and only defend themselves while escorting the Ram. While on the Ram, the NPCs have great defenses against oil. Meaning players will have more benefit going outside the door to defend the keep, as the NPCs are more vulnerable to players. Castles develop rankings once an enemy Keep is captured. But only to max rank of 3. The second enemy Keep must be captured for a Castle to earn past Rank 4. Attacking forces against a Castle are summoned from the Attackers Castle and need escorting  to the opposing Castle. Castle Door and Ram Hitpoints values are so high that ninja attacking the door by hand would be near impossible.

Guilds can claim Keeps again, not Castles. Keeps and Castles have NPCs again. Heroes and Lords will be in the Keeps and Castles, but only on the bottom floor. As well Castle Lords on the bottom floor are Lesser Warded and most are capable of instantly killing those not warded enough.The way to capture a Keep/Castle is still by ‘capture the flag’ means. Objectives will also have NPCs again. Objectives will always be unlocked and available for catpure; no timers, no lockdowns. When an objective is captured, the attacker’s Keep sends an NPC team to travel from the Keep to defend the BO. Players will be encouraged to hold the objectives atleast until NPC support arrives. Along with more active NPCs at the objectives, the zones will have Patrolling NPC guards around the Zones. The Patrol Guards move along roads mostly contained within the defending area of the Zone Pairings.  Flight paths now go to the Castles of the pairing zones. The old warcamps are removed. Deaths always respawn you to the Castles. There are however flag points to travel to the other Keeps quickly.

Keep captures offer Annihilator/Bloodlord based rewards. Castle captures offer Conqueror/Sentinel based bags. Purples bags include the notorious Crit Cloak now lost to us in our 1.4 game play, and additional defensive/offensive cloak option will be added in.

PVE in RVR

Zones will have basic remnants of prior chapter locations. Many of the liar bosses will stay in place. As well as groupings of NPC enemies of beasts/troops that are away from key areas of Keeps and Objectives for Crafting and Leveling means. All these NPC ranks will be upgraded to base of 36 to 45 to help with leveling of pre-40 Players.

Questing in these new zones, have the same basis for repeatable killing quest, along with objective quest. Along with those are the additions of Crafting and Campaign Questing. There will be a myriad of Craft Quest added NPCs to the Castle areas. These quest are simple. To aid in your grind for either XP, Money or Craft, these NPCs are interested in the byproducts of those killings. For example, one NPC may grant a repeatable quest for collecting 50 Wolf Pelts. This quest maybe helpful to you if you are grinding Wolf packs to obtain more butcher materials. These quest will help make up for the loss of Rat spawns currently in the RVR lakes. These ‘PVE grind’ quest will also help distribute these possible grinding players to different locations, making it a bit harder for teams of PVP focused groups from camping said Champ Rats.

The other addition to questing is the Campaign Quest. Campaign Quest go in an order of achievement to the rewards. These quest will help influence players to be more biased of which pairings they want more action in. And hopefully take a bit more away from zone jumpers looking for cheap renown earnings. To access the Campaign Quests, a player must first accept the Campaign from that Faction’s pairing: Empire/Chaos, Dwarf/Greenskin, or High Elf/Dark Elf. Accepting that Campaign grant access to the chain of quest to follow. Accepting another Campaign ends all progress on the previous Campaign Quest and starts from the beginning the new Campaign Quest. The Campaign Quest triggers a series of goals, small and big to accomplish. Starting with simple kill quest, to Battlefield Objective Capture and Holds, to then kill quests of higher renown players, and so forth to it leads to a successful City Capture. Each step of the quest grants favorable portions of Crests and Insignias based on the level of difficulty. Due to the high amount of Crest/Insignia earnings from the quest, it helps put favoritism in players wanting to remain in certain pairings, rather than riding the zerg wave.

ENDZONE AREAS

If in a pairing one side is able to lock capture 2 of the 3 Frontline Zones, then those Frontline Zones lock down and the corresponding Endzone unlocks for the attacking side. Though these zone were originally setup for a 3 zone push back and forth, in this new setup the fight always starts at the middle zone (Praag, Thunder Mountain, Dragonwake). Depending on the side that is attacking, they are looking to advance into the next zone towards the enemies city. The defenders need to simply win at the middle zone to lock down the EndZone and move the fight back towards the FrontLine Zones. To move onto the next zone, the attackers must first lock down the middle zone. For example, Order’s advancement on Chaos, would require first capturing Praag, and then Chaos Waste to move on advancement into the Maw. Destruction would be able to stop the advance by capturing Praag. They would not be able to move into Reikland on its capture. If the zone movement is always back and forth or stalemated, the EndZones are on a 12 hour timer to return to the Frontline Zones.

Unlike the FrontLine Zones, these 2 Endzones are independent of each other until the other is locked down. The arrangement of the Castles, Keeps and Objectives are equivalent to that of the Frontline, however they are more compact as they fit in one zone. It is assumed that with an EndZone opening that heavier fighting would be attracted to the area, shorter travels and quicker action will be more appreciated here. As a Ward check for lower level players in the area, Keep Heroes are Lesser Warded and Castle Lords are Greater Warded.

Keeps in these EndZones offer Conqueror/Sentinel rewards the same as the Castles for the FrontLines, however the bag count is higher in these zones. Castles offer Invader/Dark Promise rewards. Additional Jewelry options will be added in the Purple bags for defensive and offensive options.

FORTS

Forts have been reactivated based on the need for more high level content. The servers seem to be able to handles hundreds at a Keep now. It’s clear they should be able to handle Forts once again. As Forts are higher level content, the entry into the Fort is Renown Rank of 50+ required to win bags. It’s not going to be an old check to see if you can enter the area, just a check to the player that are there have no direct gear benefits from entering the Fort. It doesn’t restrict a player from continuing to play or travel with companions, just limits the ability of lower level players gaining bags that might be of better use to those at the proper ranks.

Forts now have 2 levels of NPC to battle. On the bottom floor is a team of Champs led by a Hero that is Greater Warded. Upon his/her defeat, the attackers can advance to the 2nd floor to defeat the Lord of the Fort that is Superior Warded. The third floor contains the flag necessary to accomplish the capture of the Fort. This flag is guarded by four 55 level Heroes until the Lord of the Fort dies.

Forts grant a giant cache of bags. The gold bags include Warlord/Tyrant Options, as the Purple offer Weapons.

Attackers can travel to the Fort from their Castle (not the captured). This Castle will be the spawning point for death releases in the Fort. Defenders can travel and spawn from a Camp setup just behind the Fort for their entry. Once the inner door collapses, this spawn travel position is locked out, and entry into the Fort for a Defender is locked while either the Lord or Hero are engaged in combat.

A successful defense is declared if the defense of the Fort can hold for 1 Hour (starts counting after one of the outer doors opens). A small cache of reward bags are rolled for the defenders as well as renown galore. A timer is showing on the Objective Boxes as well as the Realm map for all players in the game. After this hour is finished, the Doors close, NPC spawn all over the Fort as if they were a mass set of reinforcements. And the last Endzone before the Fort is reset both sides. This means that the attackers can keep advancing on the Fort if multiple tries are needed.

If a Fort is Captured, the defenders of the zone, no longer have points to which they can travel or respawn to inside the RvR areas. The zones have been turned in to City invasion and attackers can travel spawn in the captured Fort that now hase Merchants, Flight Master, Bankers, Auctioneers and other Quest NPCs for their adventure into the city. Defenders have an unreachable, other than by Flight area, for their entry into the City Defense. This will also be the spawn point for deaths on a Captured Fort or Exit from City.

CITIES

The addition of extra cities for each Pairing will need to take place. Their arrangement and layout share in  the respects that the progression through the city must have 6 BOs, an end point, and a Chamber for Leaders to be fought in times of City Attacks.

For Dwarf, the addition of Karaz-a-Karak would be added in beyond the Fort Stonewatch. High Elf would need Lothern added into the path beyond Shining Way. Greenskins would have Karak Eight Peaks beyond Butcher’s Pass. And Dark Elfs would have the Floating Fortress of Malekith’s Fist beyond the Fell Landing. In times of peace, players can travel to these cities, but the myriad of PQs, questing and extra features of Altdorf/IC will be lacking. These cities only offer trainers, banks, and merchants.

The fight in the city is dependant on the amount of opposers. First, entry into the city will require a RR of 60+. Warnings will be displayed to players of lower ranks even trying to fly to the area. The first stage of a city, will have 6 BOs in the previous arrangement of each adding an additional 5 minutes to the stage clock. But the Objectives are given NPC to defend instead of Cannons. Dependent on the number of the defending force, these NPC upgrade to Champion, Hero, Lord levels in comparison of the invasion force numbers. If the instance currently contains a full Warband of Attackers, but only 3 Parties of Defenders, the NPCs are upgraded to Champs. 2 party differences upgrade them to Heroes. 3 party differences grant Lord levels. This way, instances struggling to gain the needed bodies have some support in the fight.  The NPCs do have Excelsior Wards as a gear check to Invaders.

Successful completion of the Stage 1 grants a large cache of bags. Defenders successes do grant bag rolls, but only a fair amount. This is to help encourage attacks rather than defenses. In most cases, there will always usually be empty instances for attackers. Its rare when defenders receive empty instances.

For the Second Stage, NPC Lords now have a Supreme Ward check. They are also downsized in stature, so that their appearance isn’t comical. These NPCs are also accompanied by a NPC team of guards that are Excelsior Warded. These Guards are upgraded based on the level of defenders/attackers in the instance as in the last stage but in this case it would benefit either party depending on the difference in numbers.

For the Third Stage, a new set of Wards will be created for gaining of DoomFlayer gear. This Ward set will be the Ultimate Ward. The 4 Chosen Guards for the Leader are given this Ward defense from their attackers. As well all champions and leaders statures will be downsized to more normal levels, so that their appearance isn’t ridiculous. If players are having a hard time finding where a champion or leader is located, then they should either look for the giant beam of light on those players, or consider applying for their AARP membership and retire in Florida.

City attacks last for 1 hour and then go into a 1 hour safety mode for completion of remaining instances. When the safety mode is complete, the EndZone, Forts, and City go back into neutral stance and the fight returns back to the Frontlines. Because of the multiple City addition, players can always rage war in another zone, if playability isn’t favorable or wanted in those areas.

STEP 3: SCENARIOS

SCENARIO LIST/SELECTION REVAMP

Overall, I think a great deal of others may have been wanting the original change. But the variety of scenarios currently is boring. Though personally, I am biased to the original changes, I could never understand how Reikland Factory makes the cut, but Forge didn’t. My opinion, and you can chime if you want, if you didn’t like a Scenario, you probably just didn’t queue for it. If you were incapable of not queueing for a scenario you didn’t like, you probably nerd raged off this game awhile ago. Just my opinion. But removal of content while there are easy ways to avoid what you don’t like, never made sense.

In this change, I would add back in all the Scenarios, with the modifications to some of the Scenarios. These Scenarios are linked to their corresponding zones as well. E.G. Gromril’s Crossing is for Kadrin Valley, like High Pass Cementary is for High Pass/Talabecland. These Scenarios are only able to be queued for if said zone is actually unlocked for battle. E.G. You couldn’t play Reikland Hills if Destruction hasn’t locked down the FrontLine Pairing of Empire and won in Praag to be in Reikland.

In many cases, very many of the Scenarios had too many Objectives and were too large to enjoy. As we can tell from our current Scenario selection, the average WAR player just simply can’t handle more than 3 Objectives at once. And when you do have 3 objectives, those objective better not be more than 50 feet from each other. Any old Scenarios that had 4 or more BOs, will just simply be reduced to having 3. Their normal mechanics will then be adjusted for it.

The objective here is for variety. So much has been lost in the content of the game that was already there. It’s time to put it back. I think we are big boys and girls now.

As for the Scenarios being linked back to their corresponding zones, is for the tactic of winning scenarios grant resources to that area’s Keeps and/or Castles. That way, Scenario biased players can once again help their fellow realm. As well, it will help influence which Scenarios they are favorable to for zone pushes.

SCENARIO MATCHUPS

Apart of the Scenario Revamp is the separation of RRs being played against. Scenario Tiering will be based on RR 1-20, then 21 to 40, then 41-60, then 60-80, and then 80+. This scale does adjust based on you/or your group’s success/failure in Scenarios. To display this to the player, an Effective RR is given to each player. This scales depending on your Scenario Travels. To scale RR amongst groups queueing together, the straight average of each Players Effective RR in the group at the time of the formation and then adjust accordingly as scenarios progress and group member changes occur. So, it is still possible for a RR 10 to meet a RR92 in a Scenario, but it would require 1 or both to queue in a group that averaged their RR to meet the criteria or massive sets of winning for the RR10 and losses for the RR92. So if a RR80 decided to group with some RR50s, their full group would actually bring their RR ranking back to RR55 before any Effective RR were scaled in, so their group would still Queue into the 41-70 groupings despite having a RR80 in the group.

Your Effective RR stays with you no matter the group changes or your exit from the group until you logoff. The Effective RR adjust up 5 Ranks for each Scenario Win and down 5 Ranks for each Loss. So technically a full group of RR80s could be so bad that they actually could lose enough to fight a in RR1-40 Scenario. It would require 8 straight losses, but would be possible. At the same time, the benefit for a player and groups that do well, would be more likely to be able to go into the next Scenario Tier to test their weaknesses against more potent foes.

The downside to this system is it will not let you or your group go into a scenario tiering without having the proper Effective RR. This means that outlier RRs like 1-20 and 80+ may have longer wait times than others. Though the 80+ group will have less issues as time advances in the game and more are available to play against. An even further separation of 90+ grouping maybe needed at that time though.

Along with Match-Ups will be the check in the system for proper class distribution. The system will just make sure that atleast 2 healer and 2 tanks have queued for the Scenario. E.G. It won’t allow 12 PUGing Shadow Warriors into the Scenario. Unless of course there were 2 separate Premades that composed their groups of entirely 6 DPS. The system will not be able to judge if the Healers are DPS or in Heal (for obvious reasons), so it is not full proof. It only checks for the case of PuGs, to make sure there is atleast some basic support classes in the Instance. 

STEP 4: REALM TACTICS & RENOWN

UNDERDOG

The demand for this original system was in fact needed. There was no real way to govern the fairness in the activity to one side over the other. In many cases, you have desperate one-sided fights. And in some servers or in some weeks, one side finds themselves knowing no different other than city defenses. 1.4 really took the fire out of the Underdog. Only have the advantage to have longer zone locks, just generally means you slow down the rate of city pushes by one side. You aren’t really helping the underdog, you aren’t just limiting the other side. So, no one is happy.

The proposed system above is quite extreme. 3 separate pairings with each, their own cities. That would probably solve the underdog issue. However, they still needs to be a safeguard, and there needs to be a change even if you still have 1 city pairing. Simply, a buffing to resource capture values for the underdog. Everytime the enemy invades a city, then the system grants faster resource developement to the opposers.

AGAINST ALL ODDS

It is really only the mean for moving gankers out of the fight to a more sparse zone. The original idea was to get the few to try to take on the many. Though this may happen, it really used for RR80+ DOKs, destroying RR40s that are running about trying to do real RvR. It encourages the highly advanced in the game to seek out those of unequal levels.

A RR 84 Witch Elf and DOK guard a resource carrier just sitting at a BO, waiting for unsuspecting young player to ignorantly go try and help their realm by moving resources, only to find only a balanced RR80+ team could take on that type of gank group. Even a full group of young 40s are going to have an issue with 2 RR80+. Do the WE and DOK really have a challenge? Are they helping their realm? Not really. Do they get a serious amount of renown for it? Yeah they do.

I would scale AAO down to 100%. The incentive is still there, but the reality of AAO being constantly inflated falsely by AFKers and other issues, doesn’t help encourage RR80+ seeking challenges. A RR80 owning a RR40, should yield very little bonuses. Certainly not as much or more than participating in any sort of realm progression.

RENOWN FOR RVE

There is missing advantages for participating in the small aspects of the Realm. Moving resources and capturing Flags is now more of a burden than a tactic. There is little reason for something small to be defending. I never felt there being a problem with renown for BO captures. It encouraged group atmosphere and helped actually pinning organized small hit and run groups against mass recruits gathered in a small spot. It also spread the fight out. The renown for the BO capture needs to be put back in. Give a reason for someone to cap it, instead of group of RR85 passing right by it. In the broad spectrum of realm advancement, the small reward is not farmable, and even if it was, great. You still are in PVP harm’s way.

***********

Part of what caused the game’s decline is the overall progression of the game has given every player the ability to get everything. I know we raged about not being able to do endgame in this game oh so long ago, but in respect to the adverse effect of the changes, we have a really different problem. And it comes down to something I read last month by a blogger on Gamasutra.com. In Zen, if you were immortal, that would be a real problem for you. If you think about how you would spend your life if it was eternal, you would be slothful and depressed. There is no timer or restriction to your life. In this game we have no penalty for death or failure. The mortalness of our game was the unachievable end, yet still technically possible. We raged when the VPs were wrong in the city, we whined when we got it, but there wasn’t enough time to finish a PQ.

Renown was too hard to gain. Here you go, AAO and Progression Pack.

Karl is too hard to beat. Here you go, now he doesn’t fight back and you see him every other hour if you like.

The end game is now so achievable its not even fun. It’s just what you have to do to be on par. Do you go into the city to have fun anymore. Premades can’t find competition, and PuGers escape the Premades and look for the easy path. There is no question if you would ever be in the end game, its a question of how long do you want to wait. And that, that is immortalness. To which we have been given, and the mortals that we are, we thought that this is what we wanted. The question is, how can we make this fun everyday in our way with our current monster?

And it’s not that dreaming on behalf of a company is that off the wall. Though we have no sense of timing or how to implement something since we aren’t publishers or developers, doesn’t mean the ideas of players aren’t heard or shared. If we take a look at my post last year, arguably everything suggest in my Spring term was implemented in a fashion. Not that I was alone on the ideas, but when enough of the community express their basic desire, you influence the monster that is developement to dream themselves, or so I like to think. 



And my above is just my White Board of close to exact of where I would go. Obviously as I present them, Devs would chime in and go “Well …. did you consider this?” or “That wouldn’t work for these reasons.” As I would expect. I’m just drastically dreaming here. And in that specific mess of precise ideas are actually some small tidbits that should and could be stolen fairly easily.

  • Revamps to Rarity of Items. Good for crafting and showing usefulness to players at quick glances.
  • Additions of Forts and extra Cities. Expanding RVR focusing and using already in place terrain is shouldn’t be a bad idea.
  • Pre-80 renown gear bonus revamps. Stealing the ideas of Offensive/Defensive Sov is a good way to balance the difference in RR.
  • Reduced Great Weapon cost in Emblems is a good way to encourage Scenarios for lower levels.
  • Underdog and AAO changes to help influence zone movement and Realm participation can’t be bad for zerg dispersion and realm unity.
  • Scenario viriaty and contribution back to the realm war helps contribute quicker wins and less renown camping. It also provides more game back to the players.
  • Effective Renown Ranks would be not only a good gauge to the player of how they are fairing in instances, but a better balance for finding fairer fights in them.

Overall, I’m not looking at this as a movement into an expansion. I’m looking at what we have and what we can do to not only salvage, but progress. Use what is sitting right there. Do that, then we truly have room for more expansion into new areas. Right now we lack challenge to endgame, we lack fairness in matchups, we lack content of what we actually used to have, we lack the small things that we used to have.

Thoughts, suggestions, arguments?

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

Healing: Out of Group – A Drastic Issue

At some point, even if you aren’t a healing class, you have probably noticed the ridiculous renown gain of an out of group healer. We aren’t talking a couple of more thousand. We are talking 3x if not 4x times much as the next runner-up with the progression pack. In many cases it doesn’t require real healing dedication, as many post-nerf WPs and DOKs are proving. All you really need to do is cycle HOTs all over. And in most cases, even in heavy losing scenarios, a healer doing this can still get what most consider a good scenario renown gain. So win or loss, these out of group healers are racking in good to spectacular gains in renown, no matter what. 

I’ve seen cases where one side was only able to get 2 or 3 cheap kills in the entire scenario. Mostly the spawn campers got a little too close for a punt or pull into the guards. The result, is the out of group healer absorbs all their renown. And since the other side’s RR seem to be that much higher, that healer get’s 3 to 5K for almost no work and little contribution to working with the team. Obviously, if you were being camped from the start how are you receiving that much of a reward while the clever killer gets little to nothing.

So right now, the only things that keeps healers in group; are premade setups; general discomfort with the idea of doing it; willing to take to the hit to renown gain for the team; or they just don’t know better. I personally, under my WP/DOK shell have way too much discomfort in doing that action. Renown gain isn’t as important as knowing I did the best I could. And especially now with the nerf, my function is really all group. There is little room I have in RF/SE expense to use on other groups. It’s not a matter of bursting my group heal and distributing some love to the other parties, my RF/SE pool can’t afford doing more than healing my group. I just can’t swallow losing, or winning knowing that my heals were probably half of what they could have been. Not to mention utility in Morals and blessings for my group.

Last night is what really upset me as I have been swallowing down my pride since patch 1.4’s release. I was the solo healer in my SC, so I thought. I was a lone lowbie WP (my 2nd WP at RR42) with a group of tanks and DPS, with another group of tanks and some DPS in the other. Due in part to the tanks using shield and guarding everything, I was barely able to work my ass off in holding my group together, slightly. The other group had the mind to hold a little back as they were only receiving HoTs and every so often the normal heal and/or Moral 1 in an emergency.

At scenario end, I was proud to see a win score of 500 to 430 in Black Fire Basin, with 420K healing from a post-nerf WP. Which meant it had been one hell of a fight for BFB not to turn into a campfest. I had not been able to beat 200K in healing since the nerf. To my dismay, even with team kills totalling over 50+ on what looked to be fairly high level RRs on the other side, my renown was only at 3K on a RR42 WP with the progression pack. It was the second highest renown gain that Scenario. The first, you ask? A RP with 14K renown and with … drum roll … 120K healing. 420K in group healing  for 3K in renown compared to 120K in out of group healing at 14K … wow.

“THERE WAS A RUNE PRIEST IN HERE!!!!” I screamed in vent. “How is that possible? When I had to perform every rez? Not to mention that every person out of my group was dying for heals.” They literally would have to back off the attack and wait for the HoTs to get them to a moderate level. Most out of group never saw 100% health the entire scenario. I just didn’t have the RF do so. The  healing only seemed to move when I did the heal, and rezzes were only preformed by me, I had no idea a RP was actually also in the Scenario. He wasn’t there at the start, and must have quickly loaded in and then out of group before I notice his square on my Squared mod. The fact that the other group had so many problems shows that the fuck was only HoTing the entire time. For a WP to beat a RP in heals is a ridiculous notion. To be beat by a post-nerf WP is even more absurd.

So if the point of the game is to get renown, then what holds any healer from healing out of group? Premade, conscience, opinions of other players? Where as of 6 months ago I was under the impression that if you wanted to heal out of group, you could with the understanding that us competent healers hate you. With patch 1.4 and the progression packs, my opinion has changed.

As WP/DOKs have taken a nerf, I think, that it is time for an entire heal nerf. It is time for the elimination of out of group heals all together. To only be able heal in group members. The change needs to be made and soon.

As drastic as it is and many will hate that they could be in RVR right infront of a willing Zealot to heal but can’t, or that there is only 1 healer in the Scenario and one group is screwed. It would be a major change and much hate would come about. But quite frankly, exactly why are you okay with the loss the of renown? You realize that renown they are getting is not free renown, it was yours. From your contribution from your kills, they aren’t getting a small piece, it’s you that get the crumbs. Someone dies, they are worth a renown value at death. It’s distributed based on contribution, distribution in your group, and also to a great extent the healers that provided the HP after your kill. You are trading the possibility of receiving some heals for what? Massive loss in renown? Get a dedicated healer.

Tanks, can’t guard out of group, let alone anything further than 30 feet. What support are you as a non-healer not going to receive with a heal out of group? At worse, the demand for finding dedicated healers will go up. The demand for grouping will occur.

We don’t need a change to renown gain and contribution, we need a heal nerf. No more out of group healing, it’s time.

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

The Melee Healer – A History Lesson

Part of the quick change made to Melee Healer on the Hot Fix last week has erupted into division of ideas and general discontent. Overall, I think much of the community is suffering from discontent in the game, but drastic changes have left some of us butt hurt, and too many others spouting falsities from their mouths of stupidity. So, here’s a quick little lesson from Mr. Meh, so you can stop saying stooopid things.

Hearing this; “Your healing has been OP for 2 years now” is a clear way to reveal: you haven’t been playing here for 2 years.

At launch, many of us WP/DOKs did exist, but for different reasons other than what you think. We weren’t born and spamming group heals straight out of Chapter 1 as you some how invented in your imagination. I think very few of us wore a Charm in our left hands at any point. Why would you? What benefit would a WP/DOK have in that time for having one? There was none. We were DPS and accepted that our melee healing was at best just a small by-product of our DPS.

By December of 2008, major losses to the subscription base had hit for the 3rd time. Mythic was looking at almost 1/3rd of the population they had only 2 months before. In Patch 1.0.6 of December 2nd, Mythic finally gave an attempted ‘fix’ to the melee heal, the Rend Soul/Divine Assault having its heal value increased to 350%. This upgrade was intended to save the melee healer, but only influenced the need for a DPS in PvE. The second adjustment, which finally made it viable to hold a chalice was 2 fold. One was the improvement that gave the WP/DOK proper RF/SE generation from the chalice, but also the improvement that RF/SE would generate after death and while in flee. This meant they could heal on the run and still in the retreat. Combine this with the addition of RvR influence rewards so that every WP/DOK could get a purple charm, caused the frequent sightings of WP/DOK that were trying to actually heal. Not well though.

Though obviously gimp and seemingly useless, there were still a decent set of populations of WP/DOKs running about still unwilling to unsub. Which then caused hostility as no one WB or group ever considered a WP/DOK a healer. The said ‘OP’ness came in March, almost a half of a year after launch. On March 3rd of 2009, Mythic in a Hot Fix apart fo Patch 1.2.0 had increased all shield and procs mitigation amounts by 50% globally. This change had sealed the deal for the death of melee healing. Whatever sad attempt it had been able to accomplish, fell dead at this change. Apart of patch 1.2.0 had changed the Group Heal for WP/DOK by lower the cooldown but greatly increasing the heal value. Not by a little, but by a lot.

Slowly but surely, the rise of healing melee healers came to fruition. And by mid 2009 WP and healing DOKS were the ‘Elite’ must have healers in your group for RvR, due to their combined survivability and burst healing. By Fall of 2009 with the nerf to AOE damage in Patch 1.3.0b, the use of melee trains had taking over as the elite damage source over that of SORC/BW bomb squads. The obvious foe to melee trains, were healers that not only were apart of the melee train but could survive it.

By the introduction of patch 1.4, too good of gear was just being handed out, not earned. Just incase you missed your chance before 1.4, they made sure you had the same gear and rank within a week after the progression packs were released. With so many WP/DOKs running about in full Sovereign, along with the poor introduction of Hardy Concessions, it didn’t take more than a millisecond to realize there was major problem. Giant survivability combined with burst group heals was noticeably a problem by even the users fo the classeds.

Though a quick change was made on Hardy Concessions there was no evidence of there being a nerf to survivability of the healing melee healer. Instead the nerf came to the group heal. Now, though a WP/DOK can adjust and accept that burst healing is no longer in their focus, they can accomplish some fairly adequate numbers. But what goes untouched and unmentioned is always to the focus of what we wanted when we started our journeys on the melee healers: Working Melee Heals. Either they need to decide on a method to which they can uncouple the workings of melee heal to make it viable or Mythic just needs to admit it’s not viable and adjust the abilities in general, accordingly. Or they could ignore both.

Not that this story justifies making one ability OP. I just want you to stop saying “OP for 2 years.” Say “OP for over a year.” It took a good year to be considered even a healer. It took another year, to be considered the best. Give the progression some credit. From uselessness to demi-gods, the evolution of the Warrior Priest/Disciple have been actually pretty tremendous. You just didn’t realize it, because you weren’t paying attention.

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

is a supporter of the Love Patch Campaign: