WAR State of the Game: Classes making a comeback and more! My thoughts…

Mark Jacobs released WAR’s first State of the Game address this morning.  I wasn’t expecting much more than the “We are the most successful mmorpg ever launched” that you find in every mmorpg state of the game address – it was there 😛 – and the usual “we have exciting things planned for the future” – also there.  However, there were quite a few things that I want to address which both pleasantly surprised me and aroused some sort of desire to give feedback.  What I’m going to do is break down what I feel are the key points in his SotG address.

“I’m happy to announce that in December, the Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun will officially be part of WAR.”

Holy smokes! That came out of nowhere for sure. I’m extremely shocked to see classes being introduced to the game so soon. Wait for it… here it comes… ahh there it is.. can you hear it? It’s the thousands of people screaming and crying because they just devoted weeks of leveling another class when they really wanted to level one of these from the beginning. Personally, I’m stoked. I was already going to roll a Chosen alt because I wanted to play a tank but this right here might have my waiting and playing something else instead. This will definitely reignite the lowbie areas in a few months and… gosh, what a coincidence.. right before the Christmas rush! No, I won’t go… 😉

“We’ve been working non-stop to improve that performance and we’ve got a number of things going into the game between now and 1.1 that we expect will help to address everything from crashes to desktops (CTDs) to stuttering.”

Good! I’m still not happy with my system’s performance. Most of my problems occur in large RvR fights so hopefully Mythic is going to address those issues in this performance update. I have not CTD’d for about 2 weeks now so that’s a good sign that they are at least able to provide actual results with their statements of fixes. If they can fix RvR lag then I’ll be able to give the game an A+ on performance.

“We will continue to enhance WAR’s mail system until it is one of the best mail systems found in any MMORPG.”

I really do hope so because as it stands now it’s honestly the worst mail system I’ve seen. Sorry, it’s just too clunky and takes forever and a day to get even one item out. The only reason I got the “open your mailbox 50x” achievement was because I had to in order to remove the item I bought on the Auction House.

“In 1.1 (and beyond) we will be doing a myriad of things for our RvR players, including improving gear drops, increasing drop rates, and implementing an RvR-influence system to compliment the current PvE-influence system.  We will also be giving players more incentive to engage in open RvR by improving the rewards for both assaulting and defending in RvR.”

I might be more excited about this than the new classes. Recently the realization of how worthless RvR gear is has been a downer on both myself and my friends who RvR on a daily basis. All of our gear is from PvE and had we skipped the PvE portion of the game then we would be under-geared and performing poorly. That’s drastically different from the “You can purely RvR and remain competitive” rhetoric we received pre-launch. Even though PvE gear is currently the way to go, gear is still very easy to obtain and available to everyone unlike some games. Having an influence system and more incentive to engage in open-rvr is going to absolutely help. I sure hope they don’t wait until December though…

“Other changes for 1.1 include major additions to the chat system (item linking and more) as well as continued work on our targeting system, including adding Main Assist and Target of Target.”

YES… seriously this needed to be in the game a month ago! Very happy to see that it’s not something being ignored. Target of target, main assist and item linking = me happy.

“We will also be offering the first server transfers to our players to continue to help even out the server populations.  These transfers will be free of charge but they will be limited to moves off high-population servers to select mid-population servers or off of low-population servers to a selection of mid-population servers.”

This will probably help the underpop servers in some way, but to be quite honest I don’t feel it’s going to do much. Why? Simply because those on a high-pop server probably enjoy their high-pop server. There are no longer big queues and people actually enjoy playing with others. The whole reason these low-medium servers don’t have people is because no one wants to play on a low pop! People won’t leave the lap of luxury to downgrade their playtime experience. Not most people anyway.

“We’ll also be adding more exciting content to the game, including fourteen entirely new quest chains, two new Lairs, and many more Tome of Knowledge unlocks!”

Honestly, I’ve never done the Lairs so I don’t know what excitement, if any, this brings. Fourteen entirely new quest chains could be great… but they could also be level 10 repeatable quests that give you seeds and 2k experience. I’ll have to wait until I see what a Lair holds and where these quest chains will be before I can get excited about this one.

“Almost every career is going to see some changes and love coming their way and there are very, very few changes that will be seen as reductions to a career’s abilities.  The Combat and Careers team has spent the last month looking at the changes that they want to make with an eye towards making improvements and buffs, not removing or weakening abilities.”

Finally someone gets it. You don’t nerf classes – you make the others better! In most cases… I still think a certain class needs some fixing *cough DBZ red haired tatoo’d flaming sons of pyro shh cough*. Not bitter. Not at all. I hope that they’ve spent a lot of time thinking of great ways to add a little spice and variety to some of the classes as well as bolstering the abilities of others to bring them up to par. This could mark the beginning of a great balancing era for Mythic. If they don’t screw it up then perhaps they will ensure the longevity of their game. This is, after all, their greatest weakness. They struggled very badly to balance DAOC and a lot of people lost interest because of it.

What I would like to see soon:

  • A less vague time frame for the 1.1 release
  • Details on the changes being made to classes.  Better to know ahead of time what to expect or look forward to.
  • More info on the RvR itemization.  Can we expect our current gear to be made better and an overall pass made on RvR itemization?  Weaponskill on Shaman and Sorc gear for example….

Alrighty! That’s the good stuff coming at us in WAR. I’m excited about some of it, skeptical about some of it, and overall very upbeat about the future. I think that means you can consider this mission accomplished, Mark.

  • Target of target, main assist and item linking = me happy.

    100% agree 😀 And a Open All Mail Button Please ;_;

  • We all know that Magnet + GTAOE stack = balance

    Still beats me why they put that stupidity into the game, they never let beta testers look at it.. just dumped it into the game and not it complete messed up the game at T4.

    Ohh Magus.. oh pulled and Aoe stunned 1-2-3 oh everyone dead.

  • As much as I’m excited about the KoTBS and Blackguard. I’m still wondering about the choppa and hammerer.. when will these be back in? I didn’t really care for the knight in CB. They wasn’t that fun of a class to me so hopefully they fixed them.

  • Other than the fact that from all reports it’s at least 60-40 Destruction-Order, nothing I guess.

  • mythic has done well to put the new classes in so quickly, why complain about the other ones? its obvious to me that they are working to add cut classes back in, thats enough for me.

    also, i dont open my mailbox. i have 100s of msgs that are unchecked. i hope they fix it soon, i think i have a 50 day limit before all my stuff is deleted.

  • I’ll definitely be trying out the Knight of the Blazing Sun class. Should be interesting to see if they’ve modified it all based upon their initial approach for it (more tactician than tank).

    “…as it stands now it’s honestly the worst mail system I’ve seen…”

    Couldn’t agree more. I mean if they had the ability to attach multiple items to one mail post like WoW, it would probably reduce their mail load dramatically.

    “Recently the realization of how worthless RvR gear is…”

    I just found out this myself. I’m doing all of the Chapter PQs in each realm to try to maintain the best gear I can. Only thing I’m finding thought is that some of the PQs are kind of boring. The Chapter 9 Dwarven quest was fun though with waves of undead attacking on a front with you defending the dwarves.

    “…those on a high-pop server probably enjoy their high-pop server.”

    I wouldn’t doubt it. Red Mountain seems to have a medium population for both Order and Destruction now and it’s kind of sucky. I mean open world RVR is what I want to play, yet there is very little of it. The introduction of the realm chat channels seemed to help a bit but not as much as I hoped. Still I’ve been in two big keep battles in the last two days so that’s pretty decent. Prior to that, I could barely find an “even” battle with more than 10 people per side. I just really miss the Beta Tier 1 battles with like 30 to 40 people per side. Was awesome. Even better, the smaller maps forced group to congregate for larger clashes. Loved it!

  • I’d like to see more love (or something, anything) go into RvR that isn’t just incentives of loot, exp, renown.

    I’d also like to see improvements that make Public Quests active and fun as well.

    A lot of the other stuff is very positive, I’m especially pleased that target-of-target will be in the default UI. And it’s good to see confirmation that at least some of the cut classes are back (although I’m not expecting the return of the Choppa).

  • Sounds pretty nice, im happy that they feel the community, not like someone else..(aoc anyone?)

    I really want new bars for the scenarios because the current one suck for the healers at least.
    The warband ones are great, i would be ok if they used the same in the scenarios.

    Buffing than nerfing is the best way to do it, great job just by thinking it mythic 🙂

  • Yeah I will be thinking about re-subbing here soon. Also NO I didn’t cancel due to balance or what ever every one was whining about. Just have some issues in the real world that need to be worked out before I should spend most of my time playing lol.

    Yeah I am already predicting that for every one Knight of the Blazing Sun we will see twenty or more Black Guards. Even with addons to help twist my friend is already sick of it and hes not even in tier 4.

    Only two things bother me about what he said though. Like you mentioned they had a harder time balancing DAOC so it gets me a bit worried. Though I am not too worried since it cant be as bad as CCP. Nerf something so bad that it becomes useless then only start to rethink it 3 years after the nerf.

    Then for some reason target of target bothers me as well. As a healer its going to be nice I can just target a BW or something AP drain him then after that 9 seconds I know who’s going to be the next person needing heals. I also think you will see more tanks not casting guard till the actual fight due to seeing target of target.

    Also was it that hard to use their assist system? You can assist people for both hostile and friendly targets. I think mine are hostile are shift and friendly is control. I think the one named AID is to assist and get their friendly target. I’m not sure since I had to cancel and cant get in game to even look at keybinds.

  • Keen says: “I still think a certain class needs some fixing *cough DBZ red haired tatoo’d flaming sons of pyro shh cough*. Not bitter. Not at all.”

    Fenix says: The only real problem with Goku is that his DoT tree is significantly stronger than the other 5 Glass Cannon Masteries. They’s already said that their goal isn’t to nerf, so just be content with the fact that Sorcs will be getting some love.

  • Good stuff… I agree with you as well on almost everything.

    Daoc started its decline with ToA and the inability to correct the problem in a timely manner. IMO it seemed like alot of the new classes that were introduced were just a ploy to balance out the realms. If u didnt play mid and were at the receiving end of a prenerfed warlock, does it slightly remind u of a Bright wizzy in some ways?

  • The only thing I am wishing for is a fix for the CE heads. Many people, including myself, got bugged where it applied when we dyed our items (and it was not in the rewards box). We are stuck with them, and we don’t want to be. They need to add the option to remove them or toggle them. I know it is a face, so it probably requires some coding. But I know it is possible. Even if it had to be a GM resets your looks so the next time you log in you have to create your toons appearance from scratch (of course you could only do this like 1 time as a fix.)

  • @Proximo: Because Mark Jacobs had said that some of the cut classes would come back. Now he’s confirmed which ones. If it was going to be all of them, I’d have expected him to say so.

    You never know though. *shrug*

  • Mark has said, regarding ALL the classes, that when they can be fixed and done right they will be added to the game. I’ve never heard him say “some of them” instead of all of them. In fact, Mark told me in person that the Choppa was the closest to being finished out of all of them. That gives me plenty of hope that it’ll see implementation someday.

  • I love the idea of not nerfing classes into nothingness like daoc but buffing wont fix BW, lesser sorc’s they do way to much dmg. if you buff say magus,engy,sH , SW mostly considered the weakest classes notice something that’s going to happen ;p its a stealth tank nerf i feel the pain already.

  • There was a lot of good in the address, to be sure, but I was a little disappointed that there was nothing said about crafting. I mean, right now, crafting is pretty unbalanced as far as drops. On top of that, it’s not really worth all the trouble of leveling your skills up.

    I hope they actually address these issues instead of letting the system languish as MBJ’s malformed baby.

  • “…or off of low-population servers to a selection of mid-population servers.”

    Not sure how they can spin possible server mergers into a positive. Let’s hope, for those playing on low-low servers, that free transfers off of dead servers will come before December. I am however, glad to see that they are putting the gaming experience of the customers ahead of the bad publicty that comes with server mergers and closures.

  • I gotta admit I’m excited to try these. I have enjoyed three out of four tank classes so far. Can’t wait to see how these play. 🙂

  • @Keen:

    “over the next four months we’re looking at bringing back some of those classes that we cut”

    Read it however you wish in context, all I’m saying is he’s been specific about 2 classes returning and vague about what else will happen.

    And now today:

    “Even if the other two classes were ready – which they’re not”

    I’m not saying the Choppa won’t come back, I’m saying I’m not holding my breath for it. Hell, that’d be how many months down the road even if it does happen?

  • Not sure why you think BWs need to be nerfed – have you played one yet? They’re so squishy you’ll wonder how they can survive to do any damage.