Posts Tagged ‘stealth’

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Imperial Inquisition – Silex of Warhammer Info

May 27, 2008

One of the elder Warhammer Online sites, Warhammer Info’s been spreading heresy far and wide — and today, that will end! We’ve tied up Silex and asked him very pointed questions as he sits on a very pointed seat.

WAAAGH!: Tell us a bit about yourself — your handle/screen name/real name, age, real life occupation, your previous MMO experience, and your play style.

SILEX: My screen name is silex. I’m 26, and I program COBOL for a living. How hot is that!? Honestly, I’m a little scared that I was contacted as a “community leader” for WAR. God have mercy on that community.

WAAAGH!: What type of social play do you gravitate towards: soloing, participating in small guilds/small groups, or participating in large guilds/large raids?

SILEX: Competitive grouping.

WAAAGH!: What motivated you to get involved with the WAR community and how did you go about doing it?

SILEX: Mythic + RvR = Good times. It’s a recipe for success.

I started out keeping some files filled with ability information turned up at GamesDay events. Figured other people might be interested, so I threw up a website. I lazilly throw in sarcasm and other junk – so far it’s going well. Or at least I haven’t been kicked off the internets yet. That’s a good sign.

WAAAGH!: What are some of the more notable trends you’ve observed in the WAR community since you’ve been active in it?

SILEX: The fanbase is very vocal and not afraid to explode in tears/complaints if we get wind of something we don’t like. Remember cross server scenario queues? How about non-segregated PvE areas? Or the recent “stealth”? …yea…

At the same time, the community is supportive of Mythic when release setbacks and the like popup.

A lot of tough love.

WAAAGH!: Did you play Dark Age of Camelot (or do you still), and what did you like/hate about it?

SILEX: Like – Emain, Glasny, and Weewolves.

Dislike – Mids, Albs, and Finlaiths.

DAOC somehow wrangled me in for 5+ years. No other MMO has come close to even half that. They’ve got the magic formula. Or they lace their game discs with cocaine. It’s definitely something.

WAAAGH!: What PvP experience do you have, and what are your general feelings on it?

SILEX: It is good.

WAAAGH!: What faction (order/chaos) do you plan siding with when the game releases, and why?

SILEX: Chaos will always triumph because good is dumb.

Ultimately, it all depends on what side the guild wants to go. I’d be happy anywhere.

WAAAGH!: What class(es) currently appeal to you the most, and are they similar or different to classes you typically play in other MMOs?

SILEX: Currently planning on the Zealot. It looks fantastic visually and its abilities sound interesting.

I love playing support classes, especially in group based PvP games. You get to observe the battle at a really high level and it always feels like your contribution to the fight makes or breaks things. And there’s the always classic:

“Hey, tank, go charge in there, I’ll keep you healed.”

“Ok.”

**20 seconds later**

“Where the hell was my heals?”

“Woops, went AFK.”

WAAAGH!: What features of WAR are you the most excited to experience?

SILEX: Getting a statue of myself built in the city. That is going to be priority one. I’ll just stand around it all day long taking screenshots of myself and shouting to the zone for people to come see how awesome I am. I’ll pay a new player to hand out pamphlets detailing my greatness. Can’t wait.

WAAAGH!: Did you apply for the beta, did you get into the beta, and have you pre-ordered the CE?

SILEX: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Where’s the fourth question in that chain where you ask if I’ve taken work off for launch day?

WAAAGH!: What concerns do you have for WAR’s gameplay and future?

SILEX: Population imbalance, gank group domination in scenarios, and expansions. We’ll see how Mythic plays those cards when we get to them.

WAAAGH!: What will you be doing with your gaming time between now and WAR’s release?

SILEX: Continuing to work on Orbs and hibernating.
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Da Newz – April 10th

April 10, 2008

Da Newz is WAAAGH!’s weekly wrapup of WAR news bits and chunks.

BETA TICKER: 654,971 (+10,463 from last week)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “For those who don’t want to see PvE in WAR, sorry, deal with it. For those who don’t want to see any form of PvP in WAR, sorry, deal with it. WAR has been designed, discussed and displayed as an RvR game with both PvE and PvP as part of the game. If you want to PvE your way up the ladder, you can. If you want to PvP your way up the ladder, you can. That’s been the plan from day one and it hasn’t changed at all.” ~ Mark Jacobs

  • Stratics hosted a House of Commons Dev Chat, the transcript of which you can read here.
  • Highlights to me include: everything you do contributes to Guild XP, Black Guard is still afk, you can travel between newbie zones fairly easy, gear does give a player an advantage (duh) but hopefully not overpoweringly so, PvE and RvR in end game go hand-in-hand, you can’t jump over any other character, Warcamps will be mini-city raids available to the world, renown can earn you stat packages to boost your baseline stats, lowbie players will have access to mounts but won’t own them, CE items are available to all your characters, dungeon loot systems should be “intelligent” and drop usable loot for that group, no integrated voice chat at launch, and no flying.
  • Loads of videos from the Paris Event, in no particular order:
  • Careers in WAR: You will earn 30+ Abilities & Morale that can change from fight to fight, you can combine Abilities with other players to create a combo, Morale abilities can turn the tide of a battle, you’ll get 20-25 Tactics to help you in RvR, Tactics can help you customize play sessions between solo and RvR, gives you choices, the Tactics Editor can save your favorite Tactic loadouts, the Mastery system came out of beta feedback, you get 30 Mastery points by the time you hit 40, there will be respecs, huge look at the Sorceress class.
  • Capital Cities: Cities have two modes (peaceful & contested), they are social hubs, some buildings only available to guilded folk, all the best loot is found in the city RvR situations, lots of utilities, iconic features/landmarks, banks might be attacked by robbers as the city gains in fame, random fun events, guards level up, city ratings equal realm-wide buffs, you will be alerted when your city is under attack.
  • Realm vs. Realm: PvP and RvR are NOT the same thing — RvR is so much more than that, RvR benefits both yourself and your realm, if you’re playing WAR you *will* be doing RvR, they are concerned about population balance, a lot of discussion on Keep RvR, Keeps should change hands every 4 hours or so but could go as long as days, more discussion on scenarios and city sieges.
  • Tome of Knowledge: Basic ToK overview, a couple of the unlocks are sending /tells 50 times or clicking on yourself 100 times, it likes to mock you, several tome unlocks in action are shown.
  • Q&A With Jeff Hickman: Mythic takes a hard line against gold sellers, the best items it the game are earned not bought, they have a plan for visual character growth but it is doubtful they’ll do it, they’re going to retool the dwarf mount, city pvp will be instanced, they generally don’t believe in raids, they have future patches and expansions mapped out, and you can throw tomatoes at captured enemy kings.
  • Producer’s Presentation: Jeff Hickman and Josh Dreshner, overview of GW and Mythic, they had a playable version of WAR 6 months into development, they seem VERY confident about a fall 2008 launch, and generally you’re getting about an hour and a half overview and summary of everything they’ve already said about WAR. If you’re only going to watch one video, this would be a safe bet.
  • Witch Hunter PvP Video: A half-hour of PvP action, from the perspective of the semi-stealthy Witch Hunter.
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Stealth: The Phantom Controversy

April 7, 2008

Two of the unofficial rules of this here WAAAGH! blog is that (1) I try not to jump right on the bandwagon of what every other site/forum/blog is discussing vis-à-vis the Hot Topic Of The Week, and (2) I don’t want to continually fall into the trap of getting too worked up over potentially nothing at all, particularly pre-release. We’re in beta, stuff changes, info is spotty and fed to us almost exclusively through the dev marketing machine. If this site were Ghostbusters, I’d want to retain the cool head of Egon, the sarcastic wit of Venkman, and the puppy like enthusiasm of Ray. Plus we’d have that token other guy who didn’t even appear on the DVD cover of Ghostbusters 2. Did you know there were four Ghostbusters? Hint: one of the four didn’t get top billing.

Therefore, it’s with a little reluctance that I dabble my foot into the current Hot Topic, the apparent emergence of the stealth mechanic in WAR and the small-to-moderate fan frenzy surrounding it. If you don’t want to read my notes and thoughts below, let it suffice to say that I feel it’s just another thing that people want to leap on as this week’s big issue and it’s gotten out of hand due to a lack of complete information and rabid minds. As I’ve been saying, people need to calm the heck down during the beta phase.

A little background to those who don’t see why this might be a big deal — after all, don’t most all MMOs have stealth in them? Hasn’t it become an accepted game mechanic that appeals to roguey types dating all the way back to good ol’ D&D?

If you’re like me, then you’ve grown to despise stealth in games, which seems to appeal to the cowardly griefers in the community. Give them a tool to bypass dangerous content and stab you in the back without warning, and it’s a foregone conclusion that jerks will flock to that like morons to the Insane Clown Posse. In a PvP-centric game like WAR, stealth has the very serious potential for driving away flocks of would-be players who, oddly enough, greatly dislike having someone they can’t see hit and/or kill them before they get a chance to respond. Apparently, Mark Jacobs agreed with that thought, and for the longest time in WAR development, he declared that this mechanic would be null and void from the WAR universe. Some kvetched and complained, but I and others rejoiced.

Enter the recent Paris Event, where journalists got their hands (and video cameras) on the game, where the Witch Hunter and Witch Elves were shown to have stealth-like abilities. Armed with a clear (to them) contradiction in Vision, fans flocked to the internet and started burning several Mythic effigies.

As with any “controversy”, a good journalist pushes away heated emotion and digs for facts. Here are the facts so far:

  1. WAR is in beta, and subject to changes, having new systems and mechanics tested, and things tweaked considerably before release.
  2. Mark Jacobs still hates stealth as it appears and functions in most other MMO games.
  3. I like cheese and egg sandwiches.
  4. Jacobs on IGN VN boards: “What they have seen is a system that allows for two of the lightly armored classes to close quickly with a target. There will be no combination of stealth + long-range damage dealing in the game. Two quick FYIs for ya. Some of the leaks regarding stealth have been, quite frankly, BS. During our last phase of testing there were some bugs in the implementation (“Gee, really Mr. Wizard, you had bugs in a Beta Test? I’m surprised!”) of the classes closing/survival ability. Second, as our beta testers know, I have said that I will take out any system or sub-system that I believe is a net negative in terms of RvR enjoyment.
  5. I added ham to the egg and cheese sandwich I had at lunch, on rye bread, and it was delicious.

So what we’re seeing is a lot of people getting in a tizzy for something they (yet again) know little about and lack the full scoop on the topic to make an informed opinion. Granted, Mythic should’ve probably anticipated this as a hot button issue and preemptively talked about it to the community before letting journalists “find” it as they played.

Trust me — If you hate traditional stealth, you have no better friend and trusted confidant than I. If WAR launches and a Witch Elf can just tippity-toe up behind me and stunlock me into meek submission before I have a chance to hit my “1” key, then I’ll be yelling the loudest in the crowd. But I don’t see a huge cause for worry here, or even a massive contradiction; Mark still adamantly hates stealth, and they’re being pretty honest as to what it is and that there will be pretty strict limitations on how it is used. If a weaker melee class needs a helping hand to get close to a fight without getting slaughtered 200 yards away by a rampaging mountain of steel, then I think it’s not a bad idea to give it to them — as long as they can’t initiate combat in that mode. As long as there are drawbacks and checks and balances for other classes to spot the invader.

A recent great example of stealth is in Team Fortress 2, where the Spy class can “disguise” themselves as a member of the opposite team in order to get close and make a strike. Instead of going the light-bendy Predator route, they tried something different and I think they were rewarded for it. The Spy is still pretty vulnerable and is subject to losing his disguise at any moment. It just evens the playing field for a guy who has less killing power than others. I’m cool with that.

[Edit: I was reminded that the Spy does have the "invisibility cloak" stealth as well, but its use rests on a very limited timer. D'oh.]

Keen has some passionate thoughts as to the topic as well, and I recommend you checking them out.

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