March 31, 2009

Another Ragbag, with AoE, Keep upgrades and Bio Breaks

Hum? Another Ragbag? Yeah, I'm a bit short on time these days due to me organizing a conference for the weekend. So its just some short pointers. But i'm writing on some longer articles as well, I'll post over the next days... exciting stuff. ;)

Syp got hoarse crying waaagh! and figured its time to take a bio break. Good luck with it man, feels like the right thing to do when reading your reasons. And finally you got a clean layout again. =)

I saw i was awarded a sticky keyboard award as well, and two times. I did not have time to have a closer look tho. But thanks in advance guys. While Regis said I'm good with pigs, Girl IRL naming me an old-timer, made me feel... old. ;)

You possibly read about the Incoming 1.2.1 GTAoE Changes Adam posted. The good news is Mythic is working on this stuff, the bad news its not nearly enough yet. There are several threads discussing these changes on the forums, but if you want a nice diagram head over to breakfast at war and read hey adam, ur doin’ it wrong from pancakez

Interesting stuff upcoming with next patch.. a short preview for v1.2.1 Patch and a more detailed description of the upcoming Keep Upgrade System. Sounds like a good start, but no where near where we need it... keep going Mythic, i seriously hope you nail down the endgame better before more people get bored.

And what the freakin' hell is wrong with the EU servers? Last night we were inside Lost Vale when the Inevitable City was attacked and Order even managed to get to stage two of the capitol siege. Inside LV the lag was about two seconds when you wanted to use a skill or move stuff inside your bags. The mobs behaved irratic and were teleporting around, which made some boss fights not that much better. Around midnight then the whole server infrastructure went to hell and people (me included) got disconnected all the time up to a point we could not even start the patcher anymore. Great! :( Now whats the reason? Is it again some "internet infrastructure" problem like the last time? Or did GOAs servers could not handle the stress? They really need to do something here, it was annoying as hell and all of us were fed up yday. And why is the lag inside an instance so horrible? All other MMOs i played organized the cluster in a way that you could at least "flee" from server lag when going into an instance. Seriously feed the hamster better or spank the internet monkey harder, i don't care... but fix it. Ah yes, we found one item in two wings we could use yesterday... everything else was crap to salvage.

In a hurry, no gfx today folks...

March 26, 2009


Tome of Knowledge posted a great article about History and Lore of the Tomb Kings. Good stuff.

Mythic makes good use of their forum and tells us what they're working on with regard to the high end dungeons. In addition they're thinking about applying some of the changes they did to LV to the city dungeons. Well, from our last trip there i have to say the repairable items are useless for good equipped players (and with sucky gear you can't run these dungeons anyway). I read tho, that Mythic is re-evaluating the ward system currently and tackling ideas to seperate it from gear more. We'll see if they can come up with something useful. More gear choices would be appreciated.

Talking about the forums, does anyone else have the feeling the EU/EN ones are not used that much? Seems people rather stick to Warhammer Alliance. While at the US forum there are interesting discussions every now and then, not so much in the EU forums from what i saw so far.

If you're bothered by casting lag in WAR, there is an interesting discussion going on here. While it seems not as bad as some think, its definately an issue when the UI is not responding to the game fast enough.

Ever felt Lost Vale is too hard for you? Well, maybe do it with seven people then: LV Seven Manned. LOL

GOA confirmed that EU players will also get the Signet of the Cursed Company when pre-ordering BattleForge. I'm not going to buy a game just to collect a WAR ingame item, tho the signet is one of the coolest transform items so far.

Ever wondered what will happen during stage 2 of an Inevitable City siege? On the Eltharion server it happened and there are several pictures and some info here and here. In addition there is a nice video from the Sacellum/Arena stage 2 PQ here. Looks like some serious fun, always wondered why Mythic does not use the arena for regular fights to entertain Destruction in the capitol more. Even the pit fight inside the tavern could be an event you can trigger every now and then.

March 23, 2009

3rd Party Tools

Since there are a few WAR related "tools" i use, i figured its worth an extra post. Because these are external programs, use any info provided here at your own risk. While it works for me, don't make me responsible if your dog puppy dies.

As Mythic screwed up the super-screenshot feature and the standard jpg screenshots look really wretched, I'm toying around with 3rd party tools to take the screenshots in WAR. At the moment i switched to FRAPS and take them as HQ .tga pictures since you can't adjust the jpg quality there either. I have to convert them later on as they take quite much space, but i just run a batch processing from IrfanView or Photoshop with high quality settings.

Here is another wallpaper i created while testing the different settings, shows the demon from the chaos camp in High Pass:

You can download the large files containing 1920x1200 and 1600x1200 versions here (choose free user).

Another small tool i started to use is the nomovie patch from kuntz. I was running the patched beta client to play WAR, so i never had any intro movies or long logo displays to deal with while starting the game. But with patch 1.2 my startup also showed a looong chain of all the logos etc. Especially when your game crashes and you want to get back in as fast as possible, its annoying. Kuntz created a small program that patches the original WAR files. You run it once and all the startup stuff is gone, its great! There has been some discussion on the forums that this violates the WAR Eula, so he removed the program from his website, but tbh if Mythic wants to ban me because i get rid of the movies... i need to find another home anyway. I found an uploaded archive of the latest NoMovie v1.2 here. He even provides the source code for it to let people check it does not alter anything else. I use it, it works great... when you start WAR, you get nearly immediately to the login screen.

One more tool i want to tell you about is EasyMyp, which is a file explorer for Mythic's .myp files. Be aware tho, this tool i suggest only to the advanced computer user and there is not much of a manual yet. They have a forum, but the program is still in the early development. Since EasyMyp will allow you to open and expand .myp archives this might especially be useful for addon developers to check out some lua code or if you need icons/textures from the game to pimp your website. And NO, you can't view any WAR models or other 3D stuff with this tool, its just a file explorer that will let you extract files out of the archives. I was searching for a few things from the Mythic files for a project I'm working on, thats how i found EasyMyp and thought some of you might find this interesting.

Like i said, some of this stuff I'm not sure how Mythic feels about it and i doubt they really approve, maybe tolerate it. So use at your own risk.

March 20, 2009

Get Your Personal Free Skeleton Warrior Pet

Since we don't have any access to the wolf/dog pets in the EU yet... What shall you do if you feel lonely and want a companion? Here is your chance to grab your own personal skeleton warrior construct to accompany you. You will be able to summon it everywhere (yes, also in IC) and it will even fight alongside you (tho its rather weak, just fluff). The downside: It lasts only for 55secs, then you have to abandon the quest and retake it again in Averlorn to get a new one. It looks great tho as you can see on the picture and people were pointing fingers at me when i was running through the Inevitable City with it. ;)

How to get it: In Averlorn chapter 11 (destro ofc) there is a quest called Bone of Contention starting at Kyathor Blackfen. When you advance the quest chain further, you'll come to the last step where you have to enter the camp of the Arkaneth forces and slaughter some. The info on WarDB is a bit messed up. But once you have the quest to slaughter the Arkaneth forces you should have the Blackened Stone ready in your quest inventory. When you use it, you'll summon the Enthralled Construct from the picture. If you want to get another stone, you'll have to abandon the quest. Then go to Morridan Darkrager (at 22170x42842) inside the camp itself and talk to him. He won't be very chatty but you'll find another gem in your quest inventory afterwards. Use it once to accept the quest again, now the gem is charged and you can summon another skeleton warrior. Rinse and repeat as often as you like. What says better "Stay away Stranger!" then your personal skeleton warrior bodyguard? ;)

March 19, 2009

Ragbag with Choppa and EU Forums

Tonight will be the EU dev chat on IRC. We'll probably be in Lost Vale so i won't attend and i assume someone will post a transcript. I don't really expect anything major new, but its nice the chat is taking place. We'll see how the Mythic developers will influence the EU forum later on.

My Choppa Stuntystomper is meanwhile rank 23. Soonish I'll see if i can gather a group for Mount Gunbad. Since we have access to the direct MG teleport scrolls, it should be easier to convince people. Despite having an easier time to move around with the Choppa due to Charge & Sprint, i'm glad i can use a mount meanwhile. Since so many players create alts at the moment, you can sell all the greens you find during your adventures for easy money at the AH. I think my Choppa alone made around 70g and i dye every piece of armor i wear and spend enough for gear at the AH and bought my mount etc. Since this is a ragbag i won't go too much into detail about my Choppa now, but intend to write a longer post about him in the upcoming days. One particular post i found useful: Choppa Influence Reward List

The super-screenshot feature is still broken. Until Mythic fixes it i won't create any further wallpapers, just not worth the time. I PMed Andy (Mythic CM) more than a week ago about it but did get zero response back from him, not even a simple "no idea". From my experience with the community teams so far Mythic vs GOA is 0:1 I've to say. Maybe the US CMs are too busy sending out USB drives with pictures, who knows. *shrugs*

Finally i was able to log into the new official EU forums. Apparently its possible to use some html code, which is nice. If you need pointers how to edit your signature or post pictures, check those guides people posted. If you need html color codes check here. Did you realize there are server forums, they're just not expanded by default? EU EN server forums here. BTW, if you want to edit your message you need to use the options menu to the upper right of your post, from what i saw at the forum many users missed it. The waaagh button apparently is a way to say a certain post was a good contribution, possibly some way to try and track good posts/posters for GOA.

Tip of the Day: After Mythic enhanced the quest log to two pages there is a problem at a certain point when new quests don't show up as marked areas on your map. Looks like the quest tracker can only show quests for one page, but not two. So make sure you eg. untick the ones not in your area and then sort quests after the zone column and check the ones you would like to track.

March 18, 2009

Official EU Forums - Beta Version Fails to Impress

Today the official WAR forums for the EU opened their "beta" version. To give you the bad news first: They failed to impress me. When you try to login, you have to route over the GOA flash login, which spins for 45secs and then greets you with the good old error code 414 - login failed, you can't login to the forum and post. Splendid! If this starts while only few explore the new forums yet, what will happen during prime time? Sloooow access i would guess. Browsing at least works... Hmm.. next thing you realize: The EU CMs have some new nicknames on the forums... WTH?!? I fail to see the bigger picture behind this tbh, its only confusing for people. The good news: The forums are hosted at the same company the US forums are and not many people complained about those. The forum itself (excluding the GOA login) is fast and does work well. The design is okayish but not awesome, guess its personal taste. Since i could not login to the new forums yet, i could not test the rest. Bummer GOA slipped this again and instead of creating some awe inspiring stunt its just something mediocre.

Let me know if you find anything interesting and don't forget the contest GOA is hosting to hand out some Skaven Cloaks and the unique Choppa/Slayer heads.

March 15, 2009

Thulf the Quest Giver

Those that follow my adventures from pre-WAR know i have always played MMOs on a roleplay server when i had the chance. I'm not a hardcore roleplayer, but i like the immersion and dislike people standing around in the major city talking about the Superbowl or having names like xXPowerBarbie13Xx. In addition its great that you can run into player driven events any day. With AoC being a PvP centric game we had some issues the political/diplomatic kind on the RP server tho, an attack always became a major affair of state when you just wanted to have some nice PvP. Therefore the decision for WAR to move to a "normal" server.

From the Witching Night event i still had tons of those Leather Mask of the Gobbo items. Since quite a while i had the idea to pose with Thulf as a quest giver in the greenskin newbie area and hand them out.

What better occasion than a lot of Choppas running around there? On Friday early evening i placed myself at the Snouts' Pens in Mount Bloodhorn and posed as a quest giver - asking for grey trash items from the Stunties to bolster the greenskin supplies. One thing i realised: The chat messages have to be quite short, if you add too many item links, those will make the message too long and it won't display. Therefore i had to shorten my message a bit. In addition to some pre-thought of lines for communication i also used the OrcTalk addon for slang flavour...
I know on "normal" servers players often are not that open for roleplay, as they're not used to it or don't have any interest in it. In addition the english servers are cross-cultural and some players don't speak english that well.

I had no expectations for this experiment and was prepared to stand there lonely for a while. I posed as a quest giver for around 40min and had two or three really nice conversations. I only handed out a few masks as many players were just running past, busy with their newbie quests, not reading the chat or not being interested in any interaction. Only one conversation i can describe as roleplay, the rest was people wanting to do the "quest" but needing pointers or high level players on their alts that already had masks themselves, but thought its a cool idea. As it was early evening the area was not bustling with activity the whole time tho. The result was okayish, but not great. I guess I'll try it again once everyone can create a Choppa and see how it goes then.

I can only encourage everyone to add to the server life with player driven events, be it regular 6vs6, player quests or just any other event that is open for others to participate.

Boiling Pot: AoE Stacking & Pick Lock

Beside the ragbag, I'm introducing a new category for hot topics about game flaws: The boiling pot.

Since the changes to resistances, which were needed, there is a lot of discussion about eg. damage from Bright Wizards, especially AoE, being over the top. There is always whining on the forums about nerf this and nerf that, but the BW AoE stacking causes some serious issues in RvR currently. The problem is a certain combination of abilities/skills in connection with the lower resistances and the game flaw that there needs to be no LOS to do this AoE, then stacking it with a few BWs. The video from the picture caused a lot of uproar on the US forum, as it shows three BWs killing around 20+ players without even being in danger. If you tried to take a keep/fortress with BWs stacking AoE in front of the door and realising that no melee can even get to the door without dying, but you can't even see the BWs stacking their AoE - there is not much you can do against it. If the RDPS could at least shoot at them you have a chance, but else its becoming very difficult. Add to that those warbands running a ton of Knights that just stand behind the door and repair it... its frustrating to say the least. Adam already acknowledged those flaws, so we can only hope Mythic works this out fast.

Another thing that should not be possible is Witch Hunters or Witch Elves using Pick Lock to enter a Keep, then abusing the still existing flaw that you can pull the Keeplord to eg. the balcony and solo killing him while all doors are up and the guards are still alive.

March 13, 2009

Braaain, mooore Braaain...

The mission was simple: Find the camp in the middle of the forest, descry the revolting Orcs and kill their leader Cannot Rememba. The young Choppa sneaked through the woods, enemies everywhere. There! The camp he was looking after... how would he disable the guards standing watch? Crouching up to every single one, slit their throat? The final solution was a different one: In plain daylight he walked in the middle of the camp, used a knife to attract the boss from their middle and killed him slow and painfully. While everyone was standing around, looking dumb and shouting: Braaain, mooore Braaain...

One major thing that bugs me while leveling - and i had nearly forgotten about - is the stupid Artificial Intelligence (AI) the NPC monsters have. You can walk in the middle of a camp and if you start killing stuff, it does not matter how long you're standing there or what noises you make, NO ONE, not a single guard, will be alerted by it. In the high level dungeons you'll always pull packs. It does not have to be some major brain surgery, but just *a little bit more* AI from the NPCs would increase the fun to kill stuff in PvE. Is this a sympton of wanting to make computer games easier and easier? I know i like a higher challenge rating then most... but c'mon, at least *some* challenge that keeps you thinking. More patrols to watch after, mobs alerting each other at a medium distance, etc.

On a sidenote: Didn't Mythic say they fixed the wounded mobs running away?!? On my Choppa i regularly encounter mobs running away wounded at full speed and then they run so far away that they leash back and reset to full health again. SO annoying!

March 12, 2009

Choppa Fire Sale in T1

Yesterday evening the servers came back up and everyone wanted to try out the Choppa & Slayer. Everyone? Holy Moly... everyone and their mother! T1 was insanely busy yesterday night. There were so many Choppas running around it was awesome. Downside was the mailsystem stopped working at all in T1 greenskin zone, i had to fly to the Inevitable City to take some stuff out - mailbox there was working properly. The first PQ behaved irratic as well with all the people standing around, the last bodyguards bugged out and were running around before you could attack them. Took a while but then they could be killed. Stuff died so fast: You're not eligible for loot. *lol*

We were running several groups for scenarios and luckily some guildies decided to create healer alts. BTW, we're in the process of a guild merger, but I'll write more about this some other time. Going back into the Ekrund scenario or Nordenwatch was really fun, has been a while for me. Doing the newbie quests, running scenarios and afterwards doing all the quests in the Inevitable City gave my Choppa, called Stuntystomper, enough XP for rank 9. And seriously, a minute after i took the screenshot i got shoulders. One thing i noticed, Mythic fixed a bunch of bugs and odd behaviour on the starter quests since i ran them with Thulf. For example when you have to bait a wolf in the woods and before people could attack him when he started running for you, but now he only becomes aggressive once he reaches that bait.

Funny to see are all the people that wear the promotional hats, masks and everything else you can put on your head. Until you're high rank enough to wear the first helmet with stats it doesn't matter. Looks great as people look so different. I also like the fact they enabled the "paint"-tattoos, which make the Choppas look like Savage Orcs. Although it seems to many watched Lord of the Rings and 50% of the Choppas are running around with their face painted white. Annoying was the spam in region chat. Sheesh... every second player was so excited he had to spam the chat how he'll chop some stunties or what a badass his Choppa is. I turned region chat off after 20 seconds into Mt. Bloodhorn. Overall it was a very fun evening and it seems to be a great time to level an alt.

Since the promotional Choppa/Slayer heads for EU are still MIA, I got another idea in my head. Maybe I'll find the time tonight to do it, we'll see... and yes, i will tell you about it once its done. ;) I hope i can chop some stunties together with Regis from Wizards & Wenches, as he rolled a Choppa on my server. Yes, its mine... i paid for it.

March 11, 2009

Fortress Fights & Zone Domination

With the recently introduced zone domination system (ZDS) slowly more and more people feel compelled to jump to their capitols rescue. One aspect of the system is to make it easier to flip zones if no defenders show up. In addition to me it looks like it makes it also easier for smaller forces to play a vitale role in defending a zone. Of course if you're getting steamrolled by a huuuge zerg, there is not much you can do against it. But walling yourself into a keep/fortress you can prevent a takeover for quite a while even with a smaller force, if done right. If you want to read a good sum-up for the ZDS, read How To: Zone Dominate at lagwar.

Part of the intended change was so there would be more capitol city raids and players could experience the "endgame content" (quotation marks as Mythic still needs to work hard on this) more often. Well.. this change did it, there are city sieges happening much more often. On Karak-Azgal they are happening more frequently as well now. But one major problem was not adressed by Mythic with the latest changes: What happens on the servers where there is a huge faction imbalance (talking about active RvR, not player numbers) due to whatever reason? With the capitols now losing city rank, some server factions are basicly locked out of the rank 40 city instances six days a week. The capitol needs rank 2 for guild tavern and lower of the two rank 40 dungeons (in IC thats BWE) and rank 3 for the higher rank 40 city dungeon. How would you feel if your capitol gets bombed back to Stone Age and the assaults keep coming so you can't rebuild it fast enough? Doing a lot of city PQs just to be able to get rank 3 again to enter the dungeon, next day your capitol was attacked again. Reads nice on paper, but try to imagine how you'd feel about that with only very few options to access proper dungeons for endgame content. This needs to be adressed. Every time a city is pushed into a contested state it loses a rank is a bit too much if the enemy is inside your city every night and the city dungeons are the only shot at Sentinel gear. My personal focus is Lost Vale, so I'm not bothered that much about it - but others are. Read: The Darker Side of Zone Domination at Knights of the Feathered Hats.

Interesting tidbit i found on the US forum: Victory Points from empty city siege instances are worth less to overall Zone Control. Reads to me like more power to small organized teams that beat the crap out of an instance full of n00bs. Question arises tho: With this change, what happens if no one would show to defend their own capitol, could the attackers gain zone control at all? The zone control system is another example at how Mythic fails to communicate such details to the players. I know people should read patchnotes & forums, but they don't. There needs to be a proper RvR guide at the official websites to spoon-feed peeps those important systems.

On Monday (?) evening we were defending the Inevitable City against a larger Order force. Not really the city, but the Maw fortress. Despite having much smaller numbers, we were able to fend the attackers off by walling ourself properly in, inside the fortress, and preventing another zone lock. While the whole thing was fun, there are a few things that are still not working like they should. The lag was awful again, seconds until your skills hit, sometimes attackers not rendering properly on your screen, etc. When my respawn timer went out it took a minute or longer until i did respawn. I know the EU servers had some trouble these days, so hopefully this was the cause and will improve fast, but others say their RvR performance went much worse with 1.2 patch. One more thing *very* annoying was that the fortress lord was constantly jumping between upper and lower floor. Mythic said they fixed the lord pulling down, but apparently they did not properly yet. If Order could pull him down by intention or his leash was just wacky, i can't say. In addition the guards he spawned behaved in a similar way, teleporting up & down and also were behaving pretty braindead, their AI was a major fail.

Like i wrote in another post already, I'm a bit disappointed to see many guilds only running certain combinations (3-4) of classes as they can use their skills together to a rather overpowered combination. IMO that's something Mythic should look into as well, feels weird not only from the immersion standpoint.

EDIT: Just saw a good recap at the US forum about some of the primary complains concerning AoE is out of control.

Because it fits the context somewhat, also read Things To Do and Not To Do in Scenarios at Wizard & Wenches if you haven't yet. Now read it again.

March 9, 2009

Ragbag & Bitter Rivals

Since the EU servers crashed completely (again) and we're stuck at the initializing screen since quite a while, i thought i'll update my blog with a new ragbag. Some of the pics are from wierd bugs i encountered after patch 1.2, seems it was just temporary glitches tho as i did not encounter them again.

Talking about glitches: On Karak-Azgal a group encountered a weird bug... they wiped at the skeleton sub-boss in BWE and afterwards the tank had an aura that attacked friendly mobs. After some killing of other players and aggroing the large ancient protector bird inside IC, this resulted in killing the whole leadership crew inside the Eternal Citadel. He wanted to become king instead of the king. Forum thread is here and there is a youtube video as well. I thought this was funny, worldfirst kill of a king. Although IMO now we have to shoot him, being a traitor to Destruction and all... i know others had the bug as well and some got suspended for abusing it to kill other players.

The Bitter Rivals live event is close to an end, so better finish the remaining tasks now if you want to flag your account for Choppa/Slayer access or want those titles. To flag your account with max event INF you can leave two tasks out. The Twisting Tower scenario had some really good ideas in it (base jumping, transformation, etc.) but the layout could have been better IMO. The Reikland Factory had a very good layout concerning access to all parts. Did you know that you can just jump off the tower if you want to keep your transformed state a tad longer? With the pie throwing back in game, its also possible again to obtain the two titles "Pie Assassin" (killing blow with a pie) and "Death by Pie" (get killed by pie).

The live event overall was okayish i would say, but i really wish Mythic will put some more work into the event tasks. Its the same boring stuff all over again most of the time. I know some kill tasks and collect tasks are designed to draw people into oRvR and try out the new scenario, but why not come up with something more unique? It would be easy to spice up some tasks with scripted events. Like the Slayer/Choppa attacks, but a bit more. Beside the cool "Stuntie Stompa" title, i thought the "treasure map hunt" was a great addition. There are three different map pieces to obtain: Bloodstained Map Piece, Glyph-covered Map Piece and Sand-stained Map Piece - those you can get in RvR, from some champ/hero mobs and also from the Slayer/Choppa NPCs that roam the greenskin zones. Once you finished the map, you can use it to start a small quest chain. At the end of the quests you'll get the title "Navigator of the Sands" and the final map as a pocket item, that does nothing (yet?). Would be cool if the map will obtain some kind of function once the Land of the Dead zone is released.

What more to mention about Bitter Rivals? The Slayer/Choppa NPCs can also drop a Broken Axe, using it will give you the title "Oathrender".
A sidenote on the Stinky Troll Bait reward (from event INF): When you use it (has 5 charges) it will generate an extra item inside your bag, called Boulder Throwing Troll - that is a huge kickass troll "siege engine", throwing boulders. Awesome! I have this idea stuck in my head about using those for an ingame game called Bouldertroll™, maybe I'll work on this further. ;) Just don't use it before you need it, else you'll be stuck with additional items. I used one and they look really cool (see picture). The Choppa/Slayer NPCs can also drop Redfang Grog sometimes.

Meanwhile the EU got a 10 days trial offer for WAR as well. Makes me wonder if/how we'll be able to get access to those recruit-a-friend pets the US has. If GOA works out a similar program for the EU *after* the trial offer, it will be hard to get those as people will have used the trial offer already. Hum...

While i haven't engaged in any capitol combat after patch 1.2 i hear some rumours about the first PQ acting very shaky and the boss mobs being a bit overpowered now.

There has been some heated discussion about the pick lock ability (you can bypass the postern door) in addition with the banner rez, as apparently some people exploited it and rez people inside the keep when all doors are still strong. Having an additional rez ability at hand for non-healer classes can be nice sometimes, especially in PvE. The main ingredient for the new rez potion meanwhile cost 15g at the guild vendor. I doubt i like anyone enough to spend that much gold on them. ;)

Should you not have realised it yet: Everyone can meanwhile read the official US Warhammer forums. They are still "beta" and some layout/color scheme issues IMO need to be improved, but at least they work alright from the looks of it. My personal guess is we'll have to wait until they move out of beta before the EU gets their own forums.

With patch 1.2 there are some addons that stopped working or some function that were disabled by Mythic. Luckily many of them got fixed to work properly: zMailMod broke with the patch. I saw this coming and cleaned up my mailboxes before the 1.2 patch. But rejoice: Despite z00g not playing WAR anymore, he uses a trial account right now to fix the mod. The first version is up already, tho the mass collecting function seemed shaky to me, not sure if it was the mod or the mailserver. If you're a cultivator, you should check out the new & improved version of Miracle Grow Remix from Irinia, which has some awesome improvements like queueing additives and such. Also check out the thread with the latest beta version here. If you use Crafting Info Tooltip, there is a beta version (with eg. the new seeds included) available here.

Talking about addons, i found this addon recently: Bloody Mess. The mod adds a gore effect to all damage done and received. While i don't use it myself i thought its creative nontheless. :)

On a personal sidenote: I started trading 175/200 apothecary mats for rare hybrid plants. If you're interested to acquire some of those plants you don't have access to, especially being a Butcher, poke me if you want. Maybe we can work something out.

Did anyone else noticed that apparently the super-screenshot feature stopped working? WHY? *sobs*

March 5, 2009

Rare Hybrid Potions

With patch 1.2 going live on the EU servers today, i spend most of the day organizing stuff and training crafting skills, etc. Thulf is now switched to 200 cultivating. Its not that hard to do. The increased critical failure rate is a tad annoying and additives are rather costly at the vendors, have to keep that in mind when pricing potions i guess. A major part of the day me and others spend on trying to get our hands on as many rare BoP seeds as possible. I created a large screenshot collage with the 12 new hybrid seeds, plants and potions known to me, check them out... some really cool potions there. One thing i noticed: Special moments with the rare seeds don't yield any dye pigments like the patch notes state. Ah well, maybe they'll be added later. I don't have any reports about special seeds dropping from bosses inside the instances or something like that. If you find/see seeds or potions that are missing in my list please poke me.

HAHA... many contacted me today because of the first live event title you can gain: Stuntie Stompa! Thanks guys, i did not miss it and had a gazillion people tell me they had to think of me when they got their title. funny. =)

TIP of the day: Since i wanted to give Irinia data for her Crafting Info Tooltip about the new seeds, i was researching the WAR chatlog. Some time back Mythic disabled the logging to disc and if you want to switch it back on you need to manually edit the UserSettings.xml file and change Logging logAllToDisk="false" to "true".

March 4, 2009

Grab Da Choppa! - Wallpapers

Since the EU players are waiting for the 1.2 patch to be applied, what can you do in the meantime? Maybe clean up your desktop and apply a new wallpaper? Since so many players are eager to get their hands on the Choppa, i used the last day on the PTS and created a few Choppa wallpapers from the rank 40 templates that were provided. The wallpapers are not panorama style, but i created them with the super-screenshot feature and they still should be high enough quality to be usable. Enjoy!

You can download the large files containing 1920x1200 and 1600x1200 versions here (choose free user).

March 3, 2009

Black Orc Newsflash: Sentinel Armor fixed in patch 1.2

Joy! I just logged on to the PTS running the latest build and oh wonder: Mythic finally fixed the Sentinel armor for Black Orcs. You can dye all parts and also the trophy slots work now. One happy Orc here.

Ragbag, EU Dev Chat & EU PTS R40 Templates

Right now there is a lot of misinformation spread when it comes to the difference between EU and US service and upcoming features. There ARE issues, i talk about them regularly as i think the EU customers should have access to the same features and service then the US got and that not months afterwards. PhoenixRed posted a larger article at the Warhammeralliance about "The Treehouse of WAR Customer Service" and the problems between EU & US service. You can read my answer in the thread (here). Regis at Wizards & Wenches, a fellow EU blogger, talks about some of the issues in his blog here. Despite the issues you'll find in those threads (and that i have myself), i feel there are a few facts people often mix up or are misinformed about. You can read more critic at the above threads, but here are some infos...

# Due to timezone and translation into four other languages, GOA usually is one day late with updates, patches and info. (Question remains if this delay could be prevented if they would get a day headstart from Mythic)
# Official Forums: While people are afraid (due to the lackluster GOA website) the EU forums won't be of the same quality then what the US hosts, GOA promises (credible) they'll be equal and of the same quality then the US offers.
# While people are afraid the split between EU/US forums will take us (EU) further away from the developers, it does not have to be that way. GOA already mentioned they'll get dedicated forums for better direct access to the developers so they can ask questions the EU community has and also relay issues the EU community points out faster.
# Did you realize there will be an EU dev chat on the 19th of March? I know i missed it, as i read the herald announcement right before and they looked the same more or less. Thanks to Nic for pointing it out to me. GOA states the EU dev chats will be a regular thing.
# GOA states they have access to all promotional stuff Mythic does. EU WILL get access to dog/wolf pets and EU players WILL definately get a shot at the special Choppa/Slayer heads. GOA works this out at the moment and we should see news on it soon. While its obvious that different marketing campaigns will have a different focus/timing, question remains why Mythic/GOA can't work this out ahead so details are ready at the same time, would prevent an uproar like we see at the forums now.

Overall things could get much better soon, but deeds will show, not talk and promises. And to be honest i fail to understand why GOA/Mythic don't come more forward with correct informations aggressively spread over the forums to counter all the negative opinions, when some are formed purely due to uninformed players.

With the upcoming official forums, GOA offers you to change your nickname that will be displayed with them. Go and check what you entered back then and change it if necessary.

Since we were discussing findings on the PTS in the forum these day, we found out that the EU PTS indeed has been running on an older build then the US server. For the testers this is very confusing as we talk about the same things but about different numbers with our fellow US players. GOA says it was because Mythic wanted the EU PTS to focus test different things. Well, might be so, but it still is confusing and why can't the focus test run with the current build? Talking about the EU PTS, it was just updated to the latest build and also available now R40 Templates for Choppa/Slayer, equipped with fitting gear. Go crazy!

Did you know that with 1.2 the quest part of your tome can have more then one page? I did not either until i read it over at the Captain's Blog.

Some of the new blue items inside Lost Vale will be repairable tokens all classes can use. It remains to be seen how useful those really will be, but at least for RvR where wards play no role, this could be viable. More info and some stats here.

Are you thinking about doing your own podcast? Or need some pointers which programs to use? CoTCast has some tools & guidelines for you. CoTCast is by far the funniest WAR podcast i know, check it out if you haven't. Hmm.. maybe i should record them a bumper if i can come up with something. ;)

As a last funny thing, i was pointed to this WAR machinima: "Part of dis Waaaagh"

We definately need more machinima for WAR!

And the official patch 1.2 release notes are posted, patch will be applied to US today, we should (hopefully) have it by tomorrow then.

March 2, 2009

Mount Gunbad HQ Panorama Wallpapers

When i was running around in Mount Gunbad on the PTS i figured this would make for some nice new HQ Panorama Wallpapers. Overall Feedback on my wallpapers has been great, it's not only Greg from Tome of Knowledge who likes them. ;) Mount Gunbad is a very atmospheric place, maybe I'll create more wallpapers from there.
With patch 1.2 we'll finally get a working super-screenshot, which is awesome! My raw pics from the wallpapers are around 10MB, therefore i increased the size on the wallpapers a step more. I still pray that Mythic will add a checkbox in the settings so i can set it to have a completely "clean" picture with the super-screenshot: no names, target arrows, UI, nothing. If anyone from Mythic likes my wallpapers, please poke the person that can make this happen. It would also be helpful if the screenshot numeration would just count forward (from last number in folder) and not fill empty gaps, would make it easier to sort out screenshots.

Due to popular demand, all new wallpapers only feature a small blog logo and nothing else. Enjoy!

You can download the large files containing 1920x1200 and 1600x1200 versions here (choose free user).

March 1, 2009

PTS 1.2: Hybrid Potions, Black Orc Skills and Dungeons

The weekend on the PTS has been great. I met a bunch of new people that poked me due to reading my blog or entered crafting discussions we had in the test-guild chat. Due to this, i was able to get up to speed much faster about all the changes and test different things better. Thanks for sharing guys, you rock! One thing that has been *very* confusing is that often tooltips and skills are not consistent and there is some talk about the US running an updated test server version compared to EU. Since some skills did change quite much, its hard to tell what the current status on them is. But like you know, all of the PTS findings can change until they go live. One more thing i realized for a new UI change: When there is RvR fighting going on in an area you'll see it on your map. If you enable the small HUD campaign tracker, it will show there as well.

I was asked about the difference between Butchering & Cultivating for Apothecary supply. Well, from the looks of it both professions will be able to supply you with the needed stabilizers without a problem. Butchering offers ingredients for Armor & Toughness potions, which cultivating doesn't. Cultivating on the other hand has the new rare BoP seeds now. For base supply both would do, what you take up will probably depend on which things you need and if you can be arsed to grow seeds. I was linked some more of the new hybrid potions and made a screenshot collage for you guys - really awesome potions. On a sidenote: Buff potions now have a cooldown of 5min, so no different potions gulping right before a boss fight. And NO, force shield/absorb potions do not prevent falling damage sadly. ;)

Some wierd graphic bug makes the texture on the new mounts reload every few seconds. Also to other players it looks like you drop off the mount for a splitsecond.

I had some time to play around with some of the new/updated Black Orc skills. While its still unclear in which state they'll make to live, some of the changes are really great. Overall damage got improved and even so with a tank spec and sword'n'board. Some of my favorites I'd like to point out: Stop Hittin' Da Runts - all new, gives 40AP whenever a warbellow triggers. Awesome new tactic, never run out of AP again when you have it. Works together with Can't Hit me! - you'll be able to keep it up a lot even without any +AP regen gear. Wot Armor? applies the armor reduction in one hit now, with the fitting tactic for 30secs plus toughness reduction. Big Slash is now 360 degree, together with Keep it Goin'! its a good AoE damage dealer. Shut Yer Face together with Can Youz Hear Me Now? does around 500dmg usable every 15s. Very nice finisher, not sure if its intended as the tooltip suggest it only increases the dmg up to 350dmg. Overall after all the changes there are many more viable specs possible and you'll have enough tricks up the sleeve to find one that will fit your playstyle.

Like the patch notes said, they went over Mount Gunbad and Bastion Stair again to add some nice quests & loot. While i did not have time to join any dungeon crawls to look for new drops, there are a few quests for each dungeon you might find interesting: Each Dungeon has one quest for different jewelry items (Mount Gunbad, Bastion Stair), some other items and also for timed special talismans (offensive & defensive). The jewelry items might even be good for high level chars, i know I'll get the block ones for my tank. When i tried the boss in Mount Gunbad he had some pathing issues, resetting him back to 100% health, but hopefully that will be fixed before it goes live. The quests for the special talismans are not repeatable from the looks of it.

Tip of the day: The PQ loot bags from city sieges will have new loot with 1.2, should you still have any, keep them! The purple one will have an epic jewelry item (example), the blue ones a weapon and the green ones a cloak. The items are now useful for a rank 40.