September 29, 2008

Guild Pattern & Heraldry Choices

As we're still discussing the final choices for our own guild, i realized it's nice to know the options you have. I have to say the options to choose from are far less then i expected, a tad disappointing. I also think it's too many different border options, which will enable two guilds to have nearly the same heraldry on the same server, as the borders are not very distinct - assuming the "unique" combination reserved for your guild is the combination of background color, border, emblem and standard shape.

Anyway, i found two websites listing the different choices:
Destruction Guild Heraldry
Order Guild Heraldry

Attack on Keep "Stoneclaw Castle"

Yesterday night a larger warband from Thirst members plus some randoms gathered in Hellfang Ridge to assault the RvR zone in High Pass. As we did not have many healers with us, after a small visit to Stoneclaw Castle, we decided to take Battle Objectives first. Usually those are guarded by one Hero and a bunch of other NPCs, which are not hard to take down with a larger group. I don't know if it changes with different ranks/renown, but i got 400RP for capturing battle objectives. Once we started taking over objectives we were opposed by a large group mainly from BOON Control and Vengeance. Fun!

The best battle was in and around Ogrund's Tavern, which has one small entrance with a door you can open/close. Due to the collision together with some skills this makes for a very fun combat experience, trying to break in or hold a building like this. If you don't have enough healing power its very hard to take over such an object tho, when you got skilled players holding the doorway. Even with a squad of Black Orcs using Raze and Hold The Line! The battle went back and forth, we took this battle objective, they took that. Some great open RvR action.

In the end we wanted to assault the keep despite our lack of healers. This is when the strange stuff started to happen: Some of us, including me, could not see the keep anymore. We saw only a few walls or parts of the towers and the rest was gone. The funny part was we could just run inside, as there were no walls for us. If "inside" most NPCs and players were "out of range", only maybe 20% could be attacked. I can only imagine how this must have looked for the players inside the keep, using a knockback and send someone flying through the wall. Butler was hit by the bug as well, think he frapsed it - so i might post a vid should i get one. This bug (probably due to server lag?) was really annoying and due to queues you did not really want to restart the client. First time i have encountered something major like this.

On a sidenote, phunqe on Karak-Azgal used the search function some during prime time and came up with estimated server population caps: Refering to his thread it looks like the population caps are 1500 players per side, 3000 players per server at any time. Feels about right, tho i can't say that all the zones on my server feel populated, sometimes you can walk for quite a while until you meet someone.

Tip of the Day: Did you know the sergeants at battle objectives will give you a 30min buff, when you talk to them? The type of buff you get differs per objective and you can see those in the "small print" when you mouse-over the battle objective on the map.

September 27, 2008

Inevitable City - City Rank 2

Finally the Inevitable City on our server went up to rank 2 two days ago. What exactly happened and if it was "locked" before, no one knows yet as there was no official statement from Mythic/GOA. What happened inside the city with the new rank? Well, not so much in general to be honest. I only found one new quest so far. In addition i realized some strange behaviour around the place with the Nurgle effigy - sometimes it changes to a Khorne effigy and the surrounding mobs change as well. Has this been there before? If so i must have missed it. If not, what's the point?

The major change with city rank 2 is the access to the guild tavern (Viper Pit) should your guild have the correct rank. While the Destruction tavern is IMO rather disappointing - boring interior, not much going on - there are a bunch of renown vendors in there. Great to not have to travel to all those keeps anymore just to have a quick look if something useful opened up. Even more interesting is the Quartermaster in there, as she also sells some basic apothecary ingredients. Some with (to me) new possibilities like snare bombs. Two things to note tho: a) The apothecary vials she sells are bugged (you can't add main ingredients) and b) She does not sell any talisman things.

One more cool thing you can buy from her are Guild Recall Scrolls, while they don't stack and are BoP they are dirt cheap and will (if used) teleport you back to the Viper Pit. Awesome! I'm not really sure tho, if it's intended we can buy them already, as later there is a guild rank (17) that promises "faster transit to The Viper Pit". If the teleport scrolls can be bought once you have access to the guild vendor, what will the later rank offer you? I can't imagine it's connected to the flight master inside the tavern as running to a warcamp flight master is of course far more annoying then just using a scroll. We'll see if it stays like this... too bad my bank is crowded with crafting stuff, else i would stash some.

The Bloodwrought Enclave opened up as well. While i see the first people that did hit rank 40 (first one i ran into was Flea from Eva Vix) already, I doubt there are enough already to move into BE yet. Beside the Viper Pit not much else happened as you can see.. or did i miss anything, any new you want to share about the capitol? GOA also posted a FAQ about Warhammer City Rank Advancement. A good read and more useful info in that news post as well.

One a sidenote, i finally activated AA/AF via my graphic card drivers and WAR looks much better now, without all those jagged edges. My performance stayed about the same, so no big deal for me. Should you need a pointer how to do that yourself, check here.

And finally, on monday we'll also get the queues bypass system like the US. About time they fixed that. Annoying enough you have to queue when switching chars. maybe thats gone then as well. Server cloning helped some on our server as well to tone down the queues.

September 25, 2008

Warhammer Comics

I always enjoyed those funny comic strips you can find for free on the internet, there are loads of them. But even better, when they are about your favorite MMO. There are a lot of "children scribbles" (excuse my french) out in several blogs, very few hit the nail despite being not illustrated very well. Beside the ones at The Greenskin and also Warhammerchen (unfortunately not updated since long), which i enjoy, i just found two new ones that are awesome...

One is Warhammer-Heads at comicstripclub. While they have a regular other strip (Electronic Tigers), we'll get a warhammer related strip every week there. This one is about a Dwarf who wants to play Destruction because he hates Elves. I laughed.

The other one is Tome of Knowledge. Greg will post comic strips (hopefully) regularly and they look great. Be sure to check the "A Lesser of Two Evils" one where mobs from Warhammer Online visit Lord Illidan from WoW. priceless.

Mount Gunbad: Mushroom-Crazed Night Goblins

Well, well... yesterday night we went into Mount Gunbad with a larger guild group. Me only being rank 20 and one of the youngsters. What initially started as a quick cave expedition ended up in a fully fledged mountain assault, visiting all three wings. But first things first... Mount Gunbad is located in the Badlands. In the far NW corner of your map you can see a cave, that's where you want to go. The mountain is home to crazy Night Goblins, that harvest weird mushrooms to brew potions. Over the years they have become very powerful through the forces they can access with their drugs. The whole cave is covered in moss, mold and mushrooms. The main inhabitants being Night Goblins, Spiders, Squigs and Giants... oh, and i did i say giant squigs? The cave scenery is very atmospheric, great place.

The whole mountain is a public instance. In most parts everyone can go and there are only (as far as i could discover) three one-room instances, which are group'o'six only, where a boss can be found in each. Most mob groups are larger and have at least a champion, usually 2-3 of them plus trash. Every now and then there is a hero in the middle of things. In addition respawn is quick some places so you better watch out where you go and what you pull. It's not possible to adventure solo in any part, a full group should be adviced. Inside the mountain is a *ton* of public quests and the final stages are enjoyably tough, like Biletongue (troll PQ). Mount Gunbad has its own influence bar and certain stages of influence seems to be needed to enter the private instance parts. XP gained inside the instance is, like in Sacellum, very weak. Maybe after another visit I'll write more about Mount Gunbad - I'll definately go back, it's some serious action in there. But not for the weak... *evil Orc laugh*

There are three wings:
#Right Wing (23+) contains Gunbad Lab
#Left Wing (25+) contains Gunbad Nursery
#Middle Wing (27+) contains Gunbad Barracks

It's possible for you to harness the mushroom powers of the Night Goblins: Just when you enter the instance - and later on at some places inside - is a cauldron bubbling. If you interact with it, you can choose from three repeatable quests to collect certain mushrooms. These quests do not yield any XP, but if you complete them will grant you three different 30min buffs. The buffs being Bloodfang Brew, Green Ooze Brew and Spikespore Brew.

Tip of the Day: Should you win loot bags from public quests and you can't wear the reward yet, store the complete loot bag in your bank until you reach rank. It could be, that in the meantime you find something similar - then you'll still have the choice to pick something else from the loot bag.

September 24, 2008

The Inevitable City Map (updated)

Watching the public chat channels and questions on some forums, there still seem to be a lot of people that have some trouble to find their way around inside the Inevitable City. Not anymore... here is a citymap with all important POIs in it. I did not clutter it with any trainers and such, as those are really everywhere and also show up properly on your map. The info & color code on the map should be simple enough to figure out. All city dungeons and public quests are on the map as well. enjoy.

Things to know:
Mount Vendor, needs to be rank 20, costs 15g.
Name Registrar, register 2nd name, needs to be rank 20, costs 4g.
The Viper Pit, Guild Tavern, needs city rank 2 (and guild rank 6) to open.

Points of Interest:
Bloodwrought Enclave, PvE instance (city rank 2, player rank 40)
Bilerot Burrow, PvE instance (city rank 3, player rank 40)
The Elysium, some strange garden (city rank 5)
Eternal Citadel (city rank 3)

Public Quests inside the City:
# Temple of the Damned
# Inevitable Rot
# Toil and Trouble (triggers by touching a cauldron in the alley)
# Chaos Unleashed - Defeat the Chaos Spawn (triggers by a skull in the alley)
# The Bigger They Are...
# The New Plague - Defend the Monolith (takes place inside the portal)
This PQ is triggered by a portal inside the Monolith, you can see the quest is "charged" by flashes below the portal that leads into it.

Tip of the Day: Did you know, that when you fall off the edge inside the Inevitable City, you'll get teleported to the resurrection point within the city, but without any penalty applied? Sometimes a fast way across the city.

Edit: Due to popular demand i added all the trainers (career, renown and crafting) to the map.

Crafting Trainer inside the city:
# Butcher
# Scavenger
# Cultivator
# Apothecary
# Salvager
# Talisman Trainer

Update 08/10/11: Added the PQ Chaos Unleashed, thanks Elsherath. Also added trigger info on two PQs.
Update 08/10/31: Added trigger info for Monolith PQ.
Update 08/12/13: Updated the Trainer locations for Talisman crafting and Salvaging for patch 1.1

Edit: Check this blog, should you search for an Altdorf map.

September 23, 2008

Mount & City Rank

So what's happening to Thulf you ask? And rightfully so... there is so much stuff to explore and write about and only so much time. I hope between still posting useful information (which at this point i think is of more use to you guys) i find more time to blog about my own adventures. I got *tons* of screenshots from weird, funny and cool places. I also have a large directory of dead stunty pictures i intend to throw in every now and then.. hehe. We started to refer to "DPS = Dwarves per Second" lately. ;)

This weekend Thulf dinged rank 20. yay! Of course i immediately traveled to the Inevitable City to buy my mount for 15g, which was not hard to collect until rank 20. I did not have to work for my mount, which was "casual" for a change. Black Orc's ride warboars (see picture).. looks a bit strange at first, but you get used to it. The idle animations are fun, the boar scratches his head on the floor sometimes or you pat it on the head - tough Orc love. The mount moves with a speed buff - being 50% faster then running/walking. Great to go places to explore or work on Tome unlocks. The mount summon takes 3 secs, which seems ok. Any hit from a monster will dismount you immediately, but falling damage will not! I really enjoy my mount...
Tip of the Day: Should you not have your mount yet, use your Flee ability to travel long distances. Your Action Points refill fast and as long as it's not a very dangerous area, you should be fine.

Since a small discussion on our server forum at WHA about advancing the city rank, i was asked how to check the current city rank? While inside your main city, there is a small red star above the minimap, mouseover it to get a pop-up showing city rank with "benefits". As of now there is no progress bar for city progression. While killing mobs inside the city, participating in PQs inside the city and also doing city dungeons (like Sacellum) and overall RvR performance should increase the city rank slowly, some players think the city rank progression is turned off for now - at least during beta it was much faster. And no, the "lock" on the bar above the map does only mean that it's not possible for the other realm to raid that main city. Due to the lack of a progress bar, no one knows for sure yet. Searching the net it seems like NO city reached rank 2 yet tho. Only time will tell, maybe we get a statement from Mythic/GOA about this soon. Should be nice to be able to use the Viper's Pit Tavern and access the vendor in there.

NOTE: Seems one of the imagehosters has problems today, don't be surprised if the blog looks a bit strange or some pics are missing, hope this will be fixed soonish.

Toe-to-Toe: Warhammer Auction House

Looking at the search hits, it seems like there are many people still struggling to figure out the warhammer auction house and how to best utilize it. I'll try to give you a quick rundown...
The most important thing to notice: When you hit the search button on the auction house (AH), your chat window will give you a number of results. If it states search results 500, some auctions have been cut off. The AH will only show a max. of 500 results at any time to you. Should you hit this magical number, its adviced to refine your search more to see all fitting auctions. Some features on the AH are still a bit bugged, like search for career related stuff, you'll always get some crap you can't use as its for someone else. You can sort results by clicking on the column top like name, rank, time left, etc.

From my use of the AH, your best tools are these (until the rest gets fixed):
# Item Name - enter a search keyword in here and you'll only get results that include it, use this!
# Rank from x to y - if you search for gear to buy, limit the search by a rank frame that makes sense. With rank 20 you don't want to search for rank 1 gear.
# Categories - if you only search for armor, weapons or crafting stuff you should use this one.

What about selling stuff at the auction house you ask? Well, the warhammer auction house UI makes it really simple for you. It tells you the the vendor price (good stuff!) and suggests a price connected to the vendor one with a little markup. Careful tho, some crafting material does not sell for much at the vendor, so its worth more then the AH suggests. If you think that the drop you found is only mediocre, you might want to take the suggestion (pending on the drop up it a little). I'm still amazed how many players try to sell crap rank 17 items for a few gold, no one will buy that stuff. If you have no idea how much its worth, use your common sense (would you buy an item for 5g at rank 17?) and search for the item first to get an idea about how others priced it (which does still not mean it's worth 4.9g if you know what i mean). You might want to adjust the duration tho, the default 24h seem a bit short. As a last sidenote: Your mailbox has a seperate tab for mails from the auction house - how could you miss that? ;)

September 22, 2008

The Sacellum Dungeons: Middle Wing (arena floor)

After the prelude with the first two wings, now we're talking about the real deal. The entrance to the Sacellum Middle Wing is on the arena floor. Monsters in there range from 17-20. Here you'll encounter your first dragonoid, a large Wyvern called Snaptail the Breeder. Fights now start to become more interesting... Looking at all those eggs, Snappy seems to bread a small army to release out of this dungeon. It is of no surprise hes guarding them and the lil'ones don't like their mother to be disturbed. Fun!

The Sacellum Middle Wing has three bosses:
Snaptail the Breeder
Viraxil the Broken

The second boss Goremane is a manticore, i think he had a knockback but can't remember exactly - nothing special. The last boss is a large Hydra, Viraxil the Broken, and here things start to heat up. Beside his normal attack he does a flamebreath on the tank. The nasty part is that he starts to spit fire on the ground every now and then, don't be surprised if someone shouts: Don't stay in the fire! Just... don't. Therefore the tank will move him around a bit. If people are on their toes, this is not the real problem yet. He starts shooting fireballs that do 2k+ damage to people. This is a huge problem, as all the squishies are in danger to get one-shotted, should their health not be topped. The healer just moves out of a fire spit and *bam* eats a fireball, dead. We tried different things to find out of there is a mechanic behind those fireballs, but it seems so far the only things you can do are: Don't expect to kill him with group members much lower then him, stack on elemental resistance and wounds to be able to survive a fireball. This is a tough fight if you head down with rank 17 players and people have to come prepared with gear and potions. Seemed a bit out of place refering to the other encounters... could use a small tone down of the fireball damage.
One more thing we encountered were a few graphic bugs: Some team members could not see the fire spit or fireballs, only after a relog they were able to see them.

Alone and scared in a corner in this dungeon wing, you'll also find Grobbit, whom you need to find for the quest Grobbit's Errand. Two more things to note about this dungeon wing: Gravestones usually have inscriptions and if a fire pit is cold, something might have burned in there before.
That's it for the Sacellum dungeon, now back to leveling so i can visit the next larger PvE dungeon named Mount Gunbad.

The Sacellum Dungeons: West Wing

When we first went into the Sacellum West Wing, my Black Orc Tank was rank 12. In this wing trash mobs start to hit you hard, if you're lower rank then they are. The noteworthy ones are the Mawgut Bull ogres in there. They come single or in a pack of two. If your tank is low rank, you might want to consider a guard on him from an offtank to share the pain. Once you're the appropriate level, they won't pose much of a headache, but in the beginning they were.

There are three (and a half) bosses in the Sacellum West Wing:
Sebcraw the Discarded
Lorth Thunderbelly & Slorth Thunderbelly (brothers?)

Hoarfrost is the first boss in there, but IMO hes the hardest in the west wing. He got a freezing aura that does periodical damage which poses a threat at lower ranks. His room is also bugged, make sure the tank places him on even ground, or he might get stuck or reset. Not much to say about the other bosses, pie. The last boss, or should we say bosses, is a couple of brothers with large weaponry - looks cool, but i was expecting some bigass flamethrower action in there. Well, it was not like that... one of them also drops a green set item.
One more thing to mention about this dungeon: Mawgut Gnoblars know how to build traps! ;)

You'll also find Unok the Gladiator in this wing, you need to challenge for the Test of the Arena quest.

September 20, 2008

Winds of Chaos - Sacellum Arena

After exploring the Sacellum Arena we're ready to have a closer look at that strange portal in the back of those small floating islands. Did you reach it yet? Beside one or two things to discover on the way up there (have a closer look around, you might find people hanging around there) the portal itself is a magnificent sight. Using the portal will let you be a tiny snowflake in the Winds of Chaos. Where those winds will blow you? That's hard to say... every time you step through that portal you'll gain a short glimpse to another scene. Being a giant between tiny houses, an empty beach somewhere, flying ships... i could go on and describe it more, but i decided I'll spare you the words and let a few pictures speak for themselves. Be careful tho, who knows what happens if you follow the Winds of Chaos all too often? You might end up on the moon and never get back... use at one's own peril.

September 19, 2008

The Sacellum Arena - Inevitable City

You already know about the Sacellum dungeons (I'll post info on the other wings during the weekend) but what about that large arena structure that houses them? While exploring the city i assume most did have a peak there - and maybe got slaughtered by some of the fighting mobs in there. For a low level they are deadly and will kill you rather quickly. The huge giant Friderax is easy to spot. Usually hes chained and does not move, but from time to time the PQ "The Bigger They Are..." starts inside the arena. You have to collect 50 Dark Drought barrels at the guy on top of the stairs, run down into the arena and pour them into the giants cup (left back corner of the arena). Next part is to kill the drunken giant... right. We tried to advance it a bit but the time is short and you have to dodge all those mobs inside the arena, when they are not occupied fighting each other. Looks like it will be fun later on tho.

What more is inside the arena to find you ask? Quite a lot of other interesting things... If you run through the arena (use flee once you get attacked) there is a place at the top of the arena fighting pit where you'll find Lord Engra Deathsword and his counsellors, one does hand out the quest Test of the Arena (Sacellum dungeons). Engra seems like a powerful lord, better not disturb him for too long.

It should be noted that there is a quest inside the city where you have to find mushrooms (starts inside one of the taverns), one shroom grows on the arena floor.

Now turn around, behind the lord and his companions far in the back you can see a mysterious portal. It's possible to reach it by jumping from floating isle to isle, climbing some tunnels, etc. It's a marvellous view from up there, don't fall down tho. ;) The portal leads to the Winds of Chaos, which I'll write about later today. This will be a strange journey i can tell you... it's fun that there is so much to explore in warhammer online.

It's worth to have a closer look around while you make your way for the portal. There is a guard trying to kill a prisoner, giving you a tome unlock for the lore of the Inevitable City.
Sidenote: You wonder why this is the first tome unlock i write about? Well, i'll write about a lot of things and also explore places with you... but I'll not write about any title, tactic or item unlocks i found for the Tome of Knowledge. I might give you a pointer here and there, but i think some stuff should be left as a surprise. So the only ones I'll write about are history & lore related ones that can be found at strange places.

September 18, 2008

Temple of the Damned & Item Budgets

One of the early public quests (PQ) inside the Inevitable City is a great way to entertain yourself while crafting, browsing the auction house or similar. It takes place in the Lost Narrows and is on a 30min reset timer, just go there every now and then to check if its up. Once you participated you know when its on again. You can participate rank 11+ i would say. The thing with this quest is: Usually it's not that many people around and you can finish the two stages with approx. 3 people, while the quest offers a ton of loot bags. The rewards are rank 15 and if you're lucky you might snatch a purple/epic loot bag, i did. ;)
The first stage involves killing Enraged & Horrified Souls, the second is a boss inside the temple called Sovek the Merciless. As a sidenote: The loot chest spawning seems a bit bugged, sometimes it spawns not inside the temple. So if its not there run around quickly and try to find it - once i found it inside the Soul Vault (bank) close by. O.o

What's wrong with the warhammer item budgets for stats? Meanwhile i found a bunch of greens that are far better then blues the same level?!? So you better look closely and don't give that much just because of the color. There is also one PQ at the greenskin chapter 6 that yields a blue weapon for most classes, which is *insanely* good for that rank. This must be a glitch somehow, look at that axe i got from it.. that's better then many weapons i get as later rewards. Looks to me Mythic needs to adjust item budgets quite some...

September 17, 2008

The Sacellum Dungeons: East Wing

Yesterday we went back into the The Sacellum Dungeons (Inevitable City). Our group was Black Orc (me), Chosen, 2x Disciple of Khaine and Witch elf - ranging rank 12-14 or something like that. The East Wing starts with champions rank 13 and they go up one or two levels later on. The whole dungeon is themed like some broken down prison wing. It was fun to see some new mobs and we got a bunch of tome unlocks for newly encountered species.

Tanking with rank 12 is a bit tricky as i only got Clobber, Taunt and Save Da Runts to help me out when everyone just goes all out on DPS. But with an off-tank (using a timed taunt every now and then) it was no problem, tho I'd suggest to take one (especially in the next wing) because of the trash groups. In the sum up concerning tanking it was not a problem at all. The bosses in the East Wing do some knockbacks and stuff, but overall nothing complicated - tank'n'spank.

There are three bosses in the Sacellum Dungeons: East Wing
Ghalmar Ragehorn
Uzhak the Betrayer
Vul the Bloodchosen
Vul is the final boss, has a shitload of HP and drops a green (but very good) set item, part of a two-item-set.

Overall the dungeon wing is rather short (but in a fun way) you pull a few trash groups, then a boss - rinse and repeat.

The West Wing is a different story and with our ranks the mobs there did hit us pretty hard, but we'll go back soon. One or two levels should do the trick to survive. Our sneak peak shows that wing will become even more fun...

Toe-to-Toe: Open Party System

After playing a few days i have to say, I'm having a blast! There are so many things to see, fight and explore... its fun. One thing that bugs me is, that many many players have not figured out the whole open party system for group play in Warhammer Online yet. It's rather simple: When you create a group, it's an open party by default. If you don't want other people to join your group, go to party options and untick the "open party" option. Then it's not necessary to be rude and just kick people that try to join your party.

What does open party mean? Anyone can just join your party. How to find open parties? All of you might have noticed the pop-up you get when you enter a new zone, showing open parties. But you can search/enter them at all times. Use the small icon below you character pic to open a window that shows all available open groups & warbands in your area. You get some info about what they are doing and how far away they are.

Tips of the Day:
# All party members can invite someone to the group. If the person sending the invite is not the party leader you'll refer him to the leader and he'll get a pop-up to accept the person into the party. Really useful so you don't have to spell out strange names over and over.
# If you grind PQs not only for influence, but also for loot bags, once in a PQ area sort open parties after distance and join a group. Your overall contribution should be higher in a party.

September 14, 2008

The Sacellum Dungeons - Deep into the Inevitable City

During open beta i also took my time to explore the Inevitable City a bit further. To the east is an arena type structure which contains also the entrance (or better three) to one of the first PvE dungeons. The Inevitable City has three dungeons: The Sacellum, The Bilerot Burrow and The Bloodwrought Enclave. While some of the dungeons only will open up later (how can you check the city rank btw?), this one is open from the start. The Sacellum dungeons got three different entrances:

East entrance - starting with rank 13 (beastman/khorne themed)
West entrance - starting with rank 15 (ogre themed)
Middle entrance at the arena bottom - starting with rank 17 (no solid theme but has a dragon and hydra)

While i only was only able to check out the entrance area of each wing, and beside a few rats did no go past the champions down there, others like Keen were able to venture into it. I also found a video about some boss fights in there. From the little info i could gather it's adviced to bring at least some kind of off-tank with you. The different three wings (designed for group'o'six gameplay) are fairly short and house a few bosses. The last boss of each wing will drop a set piece. So far i only found one quest "Grobbit's Errand" (found in Barak Varr) for the Sacellum, but i heard rumours about another one possible to pick up inside the arena middle somewhere. Once I'm the appropriate level again I'll make it my mission to adventure into the dungeon and post more info on it.

September 13, 2008

Rittenbach's Portable Camp

All preorders will get two special items, one of them being the Rittenbach's Portable Camp. Looks like it's on a one hour cooldown and will place a campfire that gives your party a 5min buff to regain health. Could be helpful in the right circumstances, i wonder if buffs from different people will stack.

GOA posted now a schedule for the upcoming headstart. Shall we start to take bets if things will roll out smoothly this time? I think if it was GOA developing the game players would have a lot less faith in WAR at the moment. One thing that seems to be on the minds of many guilds these day are server caps, we all hope it won't pose a problem to play with all guildies. Let's hope Mythic has a smart approach per server to them and not counts in all other "empty" servers.

BTW, did you ever wonder how the offices at Mythic look like and if Paul Barnett's work environment is to blame for him behaving like he escaped Arkham Asylum? Then this MMO report is for you.

EDIT: Because this gets asked often, your pre-order items will be in your mailbox once activated.

September 12, 2008

Toe-to-Toe: Basic Guild Battle Standards

The open beta is closer to its end now, so its time to test all you can and want to know for launch. Yesterday i tried out guild battle standards and figured they are worth an in detail article.

Once your guild reaches guild rank 5 you'll gain the right to assign two standard bearers (everyone can buy a standard, but only those assigned can use it) and use a Warped Battle Standard, which can be bought at quartermasters in warcamps. The guild leader will always be able to function as a standard bearer as well. You equip the battle standard in the designated slot (player doll) and drag it into a hotbar slot. Once you use it, a castbar will show up (takes a while) and you'll bring out the standard. When you have it out, you'll gain a permanent speed buff:

This passive speed buff will work for all guildies in your party (and most likely warband as well, did not test that) as long as they're within range of you. If you should die while carrying the banner, it will be lost - that's nearly 1.9g wasted then. Especially in the begining that would be bad, so probably best to let tanks carry it and maybe have an off-tank to "guard" the standard bearer as well if in dangerous areas. The nifty part of the speed buff is it will let your party move 25% faster through areas, could be useful when you don't have a mount yet. But be aware that the standard bearer can't use any of his abilities/skills while carrying it. He can only run & jump and has access to two core abilities in the beginning:

The blessing will prevent you from most damage for a short period. And NO it does not prevent falling damage, i tried. ;)

Planting a standard on the ground is where the basic battle standard gets interesting. Once you plant it, it will stay one hour (then decay if not picked up again) or until and enemy player picks it up. I have no idea what exactly happens then, but afaik they will be able to use it as a trophy or gain "Banner Scraps" to buy unlocks. As long as the designated standard bearer is still alive, it's not possible for another guildie to pick the standard up instead. I don't know if he would be able to do so should you die. As he gets a message I'm still alive, maybe so.

The interesting part is what the tooltip does not tell you... once the basic banner is planted it will radiate a pulse that will award all party members in the area of effect with a 20% morale boost. Imagine for example you enter a dungeon and plant the banner as your spot to fight and pull the mobs over into the pulse. Also useful if you are defending a keep. Depending on the fight you could use your morale abilities a lot more.

So its rather obvious that the standards real use will come at later levels with additional tactics etc. equipped. But for a cautious group even the basic battle standard can provide uses, maybe in the beginning more in PvE then RvR, but still. Standards will also be needed later to allow the guild to claim keeps.

Tip of the Day:
#You do not need to stand still to bring out or store the battle standard, you can do it while running.