November 29, 2008

Bilerot Burrow Info & Map

During our last run through Bilerot Burrow i created a map from this place as well. The whole dungeon is very straight forward, but maybe a map can help with the initial orientation. Bilerot Burrow is located inside the Inevitable City (near Monolith) and is the harder one of the two capitol dungeons. If your group doesn't have enough wards you'll be better off going to Bloodwrought Enclave. Some of the trash mobs are harder then the bosses, but you'll find out very quickly if your group should be inside Bilerot or not, it's a gear check right at the beginning.

There are three bosses inside the dungeon:
Ssrydian Morbidae (Sentinel shoulders & belt)
Bartholomeus the Sickly (Sentinel gloves & belt)
The Bile Lord (Sentinel chest & belt)

Bilerot Burrow MAP v1.1

Update 04/12: added the location/name of the missing hero.

November 27, 2008

Rotten Places

After i finished my assassin training in Reikland Factory i joined the guildies for a quick run through Bloodwrought Enclave & Bilerot Burrow. It was well worth it i snuggled with Lady Luck in some dark alley before, as during the evening i got two Sentinel pieces: Sentinel Eadplate and Sentinel Sholdaplate. That leaves me with three greater Wards, which will be valuable in Lost Vale. Overall we've been very lucky with loot drops yesterday, as I've never been to a dungeon run when we could use more then last night. Some silver lining after all those Magus & Marauder drops going to waste. The downside: You can't dye helmet or shoulders and will look like very other Orc. And on top of that, trophies don't show at all - not even with the gear switching trick. crap.

While I've been in Enclave several times, i had never been to Bilerot before. I think Enklave is really boring beside the last boss fight, Bilerot finally was fun again. The dungeon consists of very narrow and intricate paths so you have to adjust the camera view constantly. In the beginning this is *very* annoying, but you get used to it. It results in being careful to go around a corner as you can't see what's next. The boss fights are ok, with the last one being loads of fun! I really enjoyed The Bile Lord fight... without spoiling it to much for you: Everyone has to move constantly and pay attention while killing the boss. In the end he'll swallow you and you have to fight inside his stomach. The Orc flat on the floor in front of the Bile Lord on that pic is me, would you've been there.. it had some comedy value. ;) We killed him on the second go without much trouble tho. Fun!

November 26, 2008

Pie fights!

The final tasks for the Heavy Metal event were made accessable all at once today. Most of them take place inside the Reikland Factory scenario, which - when it pops - is fun carnage. It's clear by now that you only need 12/14 tasks to flag your account for the final reward. To be honest i stoped bothering after i got my cloak, i have no interest in testing the new classes as i won't play them. The cloak reward is great! It looks unique and the "use" ability has only a cooldown of 2min. A guildie confirmed you can take the rank 35 cloak even if you're lower level - so it might be worth getting that one, saving it for later. The paperdoll UI did not reflect the -3% being critted chance from the cloak. Either that stat is broken or it's just another UI flaw. I bugged it, we'll see what gives...

One of the fun parts is that you can pick up pies (Gravybombs) all over the RF scenario and throw them at other players. While i think they could have added a cooler animation when hit and a sound, its funny nontheless. And who knows... if you try hard enough, you might get "marked" by pie, if you know what i mean... some stains you never can get rid off. ;) I'll definately go back later and throw some more... to complete my assassination training.

In addition, i added two more little helper addons to my list: AllianceRosterFix fixes the display issue in the alliance roster UI (why are there so many flawed UI elements that are bugged? Can't Mythic put some trainee on the job to fix them? Sheesh.). Show Health Percent adds a percentage to enemy/friendly targets - useful to coordinate fights when eg. bosses spawn adds or similar at certain HP levels.

November 24, 2008

Bastion Stair General Info & Maps

The Bastion Stair (public) dungeon is one of the high level dungeons, you'll probably spend some time in. The Bloodlord set, which can be obtained from the bosses, has (like the Annihilator set) lesser wards, that will help inside the city dungeons and in Fortress fights. You best reach the dungeon through the very NE corner in Praag, there is a portal which will take you towards Bastion Stair. The structure is actually located in the Chaos Wastes (far SE corner) where there is a portal as well, but access through Praag is faster from flight point.

The Bastion Stair has an entrace hall where you'll find a bunch of quest givers, a healer and the rally master that will grant rewards from Bastion Stair influence (you gain from doing PQs inside the dungeon). Like in Mount Gunbad you'll need enough influence to enter the private boss instances at the end of each wing - first inf bar for first boss, etc. The lockout (after you kill one of the final wing bosses) for Bastion is 1440 minutes. You can use /lockout to check how much time is left on the instances you got an active lockout. The whole dungeon got a Khorne/Beast/Demon theme.

The Bastion Stair consists of three wings:

# Trail of Carnage

(left portal - mobs 33+)
There are three Public Quests in this wing:
1. Rise of Carnage
2. Bloodherd Labryinth (nice typo Mythic)
3. Trail of Carnage (Arena Challenges)

The final boss in wing 1 is Thar'lgnan (drops Bloodlord boots).
Trail of Carnage MAP v1.0
(with connections and boss spawns)

# Path of Fury

(right portal - mobs 35+)
There are three Public Quests in this wing:
1. Fury's Ascent
2. Halls of Rage
3. Path of Fury

The final boss in wing 2 is Lord Slaurith (drops Bloodlord shoulders).
Path of Fury MAP v1.1
(with connections and boss spawns)

# Steps of Ruin

(stairs straight ahead up - mobs 37+)
There are three Public Quests in this wing:
1. Step of Anger
2. Step of Hatred
3. The Brass Legion

The final boss in wing 3 is Kaarn the Vanquisher (drops Bloodlord helmet).
Steps of Ruin MAP coming soon.

As of patch 1.1a the Bloodlord gloves drop from golden PQ bags inside the dungeon.

There is also a fourth area, called the Rift of Rage, located at the end of the third wing, where the last and fourth boss, Skull Lord Var'Ithrok (drops chest & gloves), can be found. To gain access to the portal to enter the last private instance, you'll need to finish a few quests inside Bastion. The ones you need to finish for attunement are
wing 1: Blood on the Steps (3 part quest), leads to Leashing the Bull (kill wing 1 boss).
wing 3: Infinite Patience (4 part quest), leads to Vanquishing the Skull Lord.

In each wing you can find skulls laying around on the floor, they are named after the wing you picked them up (Skull of Carnage, Skull of Fury and Skull of Ruin). Those skulls can either be placed on pikes found throughout the dungeon - then they might yield a short buff or a curse - or can be placed at the respective skull piles near the entrance hall to spawn another boss called The Collector. Apparently you need around 100 skulls from each wing or something along those lines to spawn him.

NOTE: This post is work in progress and will be completed/updated with maps of the other wings as well as more info. You won't find any spoilers how to kill bosses here tho. It's just to provide some orientation inside the dungeon. If you find any errors (some things i just wrote from memory) please let me know. If you can remember the exact names from the non PQ related boss spawns, leave a note as well.

Update 24/11: Added the rest of the PQs and the map for wing 2.
Update 29/11: Updated the non PQ hero name for wing 2.
Update 13/12: Updated the patch 1.1a info about gloves.

November 20, 2008

Heavy Metal Firefox

I had no real expectations for the new live event Heavy Metal, figured the rewards would be rather pointless again. To my surprise the rank 35 cloak you can gain from the advanced influence is very nice for tanks. While atm using the initiative cloak from the renown vendor i already have the crit reduction, but the rest is a bonus and the on-use ability could prove useful in some boss fights... beside looking cool. Therefore I'd suggest you participate at the daily tasks (apparently they don't change at midnight but rather around noon). It looks like you'll still be able to finish the influence bar when you miss out on some, but no one can tell that for sure yet. A player named Xaxas posted screenshots from the test server, where apparently you could already see all the tasks awaiting you (1,2) and the info has been compiled into this thread at WHA. The new cloak will go nicely with my new boots, as i got Sentinel Feetsplate in Bloodwrought Enclave yesterday. Bummer i can't dye the secondary color... joy!

To bring more clarity to the players concerning zone control and captitol raids Mythic/GOA posted a write-up on their homepage. Better go to the US site and read it over there, as GOA only pasted it but did not fix the errors in the text yet. The changes to the campaign don't seem that dramatic... on Karak-Azgal we had a lot of RvR going on but no zone has been locked yet. There is a macro you can use to get control point values:
/script EA_ChatWindow.Print(towstring(GetCampaignZoneData([GameData.Player.realm]), SystemData.ChatLogFilters.CHANNEL_9)

Since the Realm War pages went online in EU as well (go and fix them bugs already GOA!) i thought it should be useful to add it to my search engine list in Firefox (like you can do with WarDB), so i can look up that guy who is talking in chat channel right now. If you want to add it yourself as well, follow these instructions. If you mess it up, don't blame it on me. I use the Web Search Pro plugin, could be that the config file looks a bit different for you - I'm too lazy to deinstall it and see how it looks then. ;)

How to add EU Realm War character search for your server to Firefox:
Beforehand you'll need to find out your server ID. Head over to the EU Realm War and select character search, type in your character name, select your server from the dropdown menu and search. Then hover over (or open in new window) the column headers (see pic). Inside that string you should see a part like server=12 - that number is your server ID. Now:

1. Go to the address about:config (type it where you would normally enter a website address)
2. In the "Filter" box, type: mmsearch
3. Double click on extensions.mmsearch.mmsearch-freesearchengines to edit the value.
4. move to the end and paste in (change server ID and name [bold parts])
f_ewarf_vWarhammer Online KA charf_v

Now press OK to save and restart Firefox. enjoy.

November 18, 2008

Flipping the Switch

During the last days i switched from cultivating to scavenging on Thulf and moved cultivating over to an alt. One of the best choices i made, it's possible to train scavenging to 200 in about a few hours. It's always hard to lose progress you made, but sometimes it has to be done. Luckily with my knowledge about cultivating i was able to bring my alt up to 120 culti already and the next time I'll watch some TV he'll get to 200 easily, as the hardest part is over. I had some funny encounters while i was running around in full armor grinding low level PQs. Some peeps were really happy i was there to help them finish the PQ and i got a lot of tells what i was doing there. I still think one day i should go back to the starting area and hand out my own quests to new players... would be fun.

Since Mythic finally fixed the last PQ in wing 3 of Bastion Stair we went back to the Skull Lord (final and fourth boss) these days to send him back into the Rift of Rage. It's a fun fight and be it only due to the size of that Lord (check the size of his axe compared to the players). ;) I should take some time and write up for you a few orientation pointers for Bastion Stair, we all can run around there with closed eyes meanwhile. If you do wing 3 first and people got used to the portal jumping its always fun to lead group members towards the exit portal (in the other wings) instead to the boss instance - sometimes they take the bait and use it. I know, it was late. :P During that run i was lucky and got the Bloodlord Sholdaplate, which gives me the two piece set bonus. They look nearly identical to rank 3 white Orc shoulders btw. I was also finally able to get my hands on the Bodyplate of the Bleakest Despair, which eluded me for quite a while due to unlucky PQ bag generation. In addition we visited Bloodwrought Enclave, but i have to say i was quite disappointed as Bastion Stair is more fun and feels more of a challenge - needless to say we could not use a single of the drops in there. One thing that really annoys me is the lackluster high rank dungeon quests. You get these awesome tasks and then the only reward is some XP (it's a rank 40 quest, hello?!?) and there are not even follow-ups. At least should have made those more atmospheric and if nothing else reward some good looking social clothing you can wear while hanging out in the city.

The EU finally got a beta (!) version of the Realm War pages online. I used this fact to create a new info frame for the right navigation with a direct link to my profile. The EURW is still buggy tho... some weird localization errors and other bugs leave room for improvement. It's nice to see Thirst is one of the top three ranked destruction guilds on our server tho. Looking at the sheer amount of members other guilds have, I think we're doing really well. I think they squeezed in some kind of server status page into the leaderboards... but i dunno, overall the realm war pages seem ok, but there is still way to go. I hope we'll see some fixes soon and not in the same time span it took GOA to bring them online.

Tip of the Day: Despite a recent hotfix for the data.myp issue (every crash increased the file size), it seems that one did not fix an already existing large data.myp file. So it might be a good idea to go into your WAR folder and check the size of that file. If it's several gigabyte large (it's supposed to be around 50MB), delete it and tick the "full file check" in the patcher next startup.

November 13, 2008

The Grass is always Greener on the other Side

People stop playing Destruction as they think things are better on Order side and vice versa. I did put some heavy thinking in switching from Cultivating to Scavenging these days. I'm 200/200 Apothecary/ Cultivating since a long time, but the lack of access to stabilizers did not vanish. I was hoping when the server would mature more, the supply at the AH would become better, but it did not. Of course i can ask around in the guild and usually will get some water, but it's annoying. Especially when usually you only craft 20% of the potions you need yourself and give the rest away for free to friends & guildies due to lack of demand at the AH. So right now i bleed through the nose for stabilizers i buy from the AH when i really need them and no one else is online to give me some. My guess is that either not many people bothered to pick up gathering professions or they simply vendor the stuff. So my new plan, that's supposed to lead me to greener and mellower meadows, for these days is to train an alt for Cultivating and pick up Scavenging with Thulf. Should you level up some alts, feel free to send me all kinds of seeds you find and would just throw away else. ;)
Refering to my post yesterday, i decided to go for the 'Eadplate of the Stair you can see on the pic, looks good.

Not only is the beer supposed to be better on Order side, but they also got trophies from monsters hanging from their guild officers room inside the Pretzelbar (or whatever their milk lounge is called). Check out the pics Arbitrary posted from it. Compare that to the officers room from Inevitable City on my pic. Why don't we have some Stunty heads at the walls.. and beards.. and stolen beer... ? Guess it's about time to raid Altdorf and steal their trophies!

On a sidenote i installed two new little addon helper i want to mention: AutoDeath (can automaticly accept being resurrected and fixes the annoying countdown box) and MovableLootWindow (registers loot/roll windows with layout editor). Good Stuff!

November 12, 2008

When i grow up...

...i want to pillage & plunder Altdorf capitol. In the meantime Thulf hit rank 40... yay! The last two levels i did reel in with questing through Greenksin & Chaos chapters. So now what? I'll test my current mastery tree against another spec idea i got, atm i use 0:17:8 and am quite satisfied with it. I really should do some more RvR and bring my renown up. One mission of course has to be to get more Wards for the high-end dungeons. So far i only got the Bloodlord Andsplate and mobs inside the city instances and Lost Vale hit damn hard. Beside gear from PQ loot bags and boss drops, i can't upgrade my gear anymore with quest or influence rewards. There is one influence reward, the Da' Gorfang Bladestoppa I'll switch with my current Witch Steel Bladestoppa, to get but i nearly maxed the influence already. Beside that nothing else i can do beside running instances & PQs and hope for a lucky drop. Easiest way will probably be to do some RvR to be able to buy the rest from those rewards, tho nothing really major there beside the stuff with insane renown requirements. One quest to mention is Helpin da Humies, really easy travel quest and good reward if you did not get a better head piece yet. I got two good blue drops from PQs inside Bastion Stair i use: Gore Covered Sholdaplate and Bloodherd Eadplate (I could also use Eadplate of Demons, but the Bloodherd one looks better - maybe switching it for 'Eadplate of the Stair). The rest is a mix from the best quest, influence and BoE drops i could get my hands on. Overall I'm satisfied with my gear and atm i run around with approx. 11.6k HP (yes, includes the wounds tactic) while maintaining a very good level of mitigation. Once i get more set pieces with Wards my HP will go down a bit, but looks like i should be able to stay around 10k, which should be sufficient.

Overall i have to say the journey from 1-40 was enjoyable, partly also because the humor in the greenskin chapters is fun. I tried to stay away from the elvish chapters as much as i could, as i found them rather boring and too turquoise & pink. Character development felt like it was going somewhere, i gained new skills and new gear on a regular basis and had the feeling it was useful. Although itemization sucks at 25+, it really does. While in the beginning you praise that quest rewards are always useful to you, during later levels it's mainly DPS gear choices - three nearly identical pieces, but no tanking stuff - and like all the other classes you suffer from really weird stat distribution on gear. The gear 32+ being the worst... check out the epic rewards from Bastion Stair influence, WTH?
One thing i thought was rather disappointing is the really easy AI from NPCs. You get a quest to eliminate the boss from another tribe, head over and hes surrounded by his 10 bodyguards... you just get into a good position and shoot him, while he runs mad at you his gang does absolutely nothing. There are very few linked mobs in PvE, or those with smart behaviour or special abilities. This results in the normal PvE game being really, really easy. Starting with Mount Gunbad inside the instances it gets a bit better, but not much. Some of the scripted PQs are really cool, but i wish there would be some more generic intelligence for NPCs.

Talking about the city dungeons, Bloodwrought Enclave & Bilerot Burrow, and Lost Vale finally I'm able to venture into them, which is great. I took a sneak peak right after i turned 40 and in Lost Vale you can explore a bit and even kill a few mobs on your own... looks promising. ;) So beside Bastion Stair, expect to see a few updates and screenshots on those high-level dungeons here soon.

Patch 1.0.4b did hit EU today and introduced a damage reduction if you don't wear enough Wards. Evens out the playing field and everyone has to get their hands on Ward gear now. The random drops inside the dungeons suck tho, going there again and again and only find loot no one in your group can use is frustrating. Mythic should either introduce repairable items that more then one class can use or at least generate part of the loot depending on group setup. I don't think its viable to only drop loot that can be used by all in the group, as people probably will gear up to fast - but at least some way in the middle should be found. GOA also mentioned the EU Realm War pages again and they had run into technical difficulties.. blah..blah. Seriously, no one cares... we want results. GOA does not have to develop the game just provide service to EU customers and it takes forever for them to get stuff done. Answers from CSR to problems/bugs have a backlog from one or two days and the "service functions" they are supposed to provide with their website are non-existent yet. While i acknowledge their job is more difficult then many realize (having to coordinate everything with Mythic) the lack of service since the launch results for me in a state of mind where i don't even bother to read any of their excuses anymore. Go and get the stuff done, then we can talk... win trust back with results.

EDIT: Looks like the ward patch did not only nerf damage a notch, but significantly. People report they do barely any decent damage with only a few set pieces and in addition that bosses only drop one set piece and one blue now.
EDIT2: We've been in Bastion Stair tonight and i can't confirm any nerf in loot drops, looks like it did before patch to me.
EDIT3: Mythic reverted the Ward change back via a hotfix tonight. No word on when this will change for EU yet, but its coming.

Tip of the Day: When you port back into the Viper Pit via the Guild Recall Scroll, maybe to use the Flight Master inside the VP for quick travel access between zones, you don't have to run around the small podest to buy a new scroll. Just stand at the corner and you can access the vendor as well - saves you a few seconds everytime you do this.

November 8, 2008

How exactly to take the enemy capitol - like the guys on Volkmar server did

Looks like Order on the Volkmar server did take a field trip to the Inevitable City (1,2) and were grinding the PQs there. They did not kill the Sub-Bosses and could not advance to the King tho. Since we got some trouble with advancing the campaign on Karak-Azgal and had some clarifications from MagnusK, the latest Grab Bag explains more in detail how locking zones work. Basicly even when you took over all BOs and Keeps in one zone you still need to queue for the attached Scenario (and win it) or do quests in that zone to completely lock it down.

About the current timers involved for city capture:

#Once the zone right before the fortress gets taken, you have 1 hour to take the fortress.
#After the first fortress is captured you have 36 hours to take a second one.
#Once the 2nd fortress falls you then have 6 hours to do all the PQ stuff vs your opposition and lock down the city.

Phase 1: Both sides doing PQs fighting for victory points (VP).
If VP are won by the attackers:
Phase 2: Defenders pushed out, Second set of PQs switched on. Defenders inside can stay, but cannot zone in from outside. You then have 2 hours to complete the 2 tough PQs.
Phase 3: If you lock down the city due to finishing the last two PQs, you'll gain access to the King Instance encounter.

If the PQs are not completed
Phase 3: Martial Law, 2 hours of rampaging the city
After 2 hours: 15 minute rebuilding Phase, defender can zone in but attacker cannot. The ones inside can stay. At the end everything resets.

People already complain that it's not really possible to have a real break due to the timers. Once you approach the final steps you'll need to stick to it or you'll lose all progress. If you don't have enough peeps to get involved for around 10 hours, it might be difficult. The times listed by the player from Volkmar differ a bit from what some Mythic people posted, but maybe it was changed recently. Would be nice to get an offcial list from Mythic about the timers involved.

From what players tell, they got eight gold bags per PQ inside the main city. So it's possible to win some pieces of the Invader set (boots drop from rr50+ players) during them.

European public test server - Status: Unconfirmed

Not only do the EU WAR customers still wait for server status and Realm War pages, which were promised since a looong time, but MagnusK now posts that European public test server status is unconfirmed. Good Go GOA! :( Feedback from GOA CSR is mediocre at best as well, takes forever to get a response and usually its not very helpful. With the not satisfying service it's no surprise you can hear voices that doubt that our EU bug reports make it into the Mythic system anyway. Until today GOA's service is still a fail and if WAR wouldn't be developed by Mythic, i think many more players would have quit by now.

Tip of the Day:

Did you know it's possible to dye all cloaks at the moment? Just unequip all other gear and choose to apply the color theme to all items, this will also dye your cloak even if it would deny this else. With the guild emblem on cloaks still bugged this saves you from staring at those ugly white cloaks. ;)

November 6, 2008

Epic Quests for Fun & Gear

My char is 37 already so a few levels ago i started to look around for gear to get; the best stuff for my tank from quests and such. I enjoy to have a closer look at what people wear when i stand at the AH or mailbox. You can always find some cool looking stuff ths way. One thing i realized rather late in Warhammer, there are lots of epic questlines, some longer some shorter, and party quests you can gain rather nice gear from. Besides, often the story is very entertaining. Despite those quests are labeled as "party quest" I was able to solo all of them right when i could take them. If it involves areas with lots of mobs, you just have to move careful.

For your convenience i created a list with the endgame epic quests and their starting points for Destruction, so you won't miss them:

Quest: Prophecy
Starts at: Hekl the Soulless, Chaos Chapter 19
min. rank required: 35
Last Step/Rewards

Quest: Out of Favor
Starts at: Relkarin, Dark Elf Chapter 19
min. rank required: 35
Last Step/Rewards

Quest: Broken Core
Starts at: Mosk, Greenskin Chapter 20
min. rank required: 35
Last Step/Rewards

Quest: The Ebon Flame
Starts at: Fenrith Thaurgyn, Dark Elf Chapter 18
min. rank required: 37
Last Step/Rewards

Quest: Annihilation
Starts at: Cultist Begrid, Chaos Chapter 21
min. rank required: 37
Last Step/Rewards

Quest: Time to Waaagh!
Starts at: Waruhag the Black, Greenskin Chapter 22
min. rank required: 37
Last Step/Rewards

As there seem to be some problems with abandoning long questlines, it might be better to only start them if you can finish them. One more thing you should notice is the last three have many rewards that have hidden procs (here the ones for Blorc) attached to the items. I use the Blood Fury weapon and the Dissolve X (800 armor debuff, 6sec) procs fairly often. Those procs also seems to be bugged atm, as you can equip other items and still use those procs - i cba to test this, but read about it.