The decision I’m referring to is tonight’s hotfix to remove the change made to the game in the 1.0.4b on 11/11/2008 (yesterday). This change was a heinous, horrible, and downright stupid (sorry for being blunt but it was) change to the game that should never have, ever, seen implementation. Here is the info from the patch:
In addition to reducing the amount of damage received from high-level encounter NPCs, each Ward on high-level armor set pieces worn will now affect the amount of damage players are able to do to those NPCs. Players not wearing any pieces of the appropriate armor set will see their damage greatly reduced. For each piece of the appropriate armor a player wears, their damage against the boss monster will increase. [Source]
Basically, if you don’t have any of the set you do 1dmg per hit to the mobs in the dungeon (100% decrease), if you had 1 set item you do 80% reduction, 2 peices a 60% reduction, etc. (Source of these findings) This change effectively placed Warhammer Online onto the same path that Trials of Atlantis took Dark Age of Camelot. Essentially it was going to turn Warhammer Online ito a gear-treadmill based game just like World of Warcraft. Instead of needing the gear to make your character’s stats and abilities better, it would simply be needed to let your character do any damage at all to the mobs. It was forcing players to spend their time farming Dungeon A to move to dungeon B to move to dungoen C, and so on and so forth. There’s no need for me to explain much more about why that is a horrendous form of game design since Mythic hotfixed it out. The players spoke – and they spoke loudly. Here’s what Mythic said tonight:
In response to player feedback we have reverted the recent change to the Ward system on high level encounters throughout the game. Players will once again do regular damage and the set bonus will only impact your resistance to the encounter’s attacks.
The ward system will continue to undergo further testing and development on our internal and public test servers. In the future we intend to introduce improvements to not only the ward system but to the item rewards tied to the system as well.
Please note if your character is currently logged in you will need to un-equip and re-equip the pieces in order for this change to take effect. [Source]
I think improving the item rewards and the dungeons themselves is the first step. Although it feels like WAR has a lot of items, in reality the ones worth using are limited and players have already designated the “best” gear. I want to avoid the pitfalls of having to PvE-treadmill in order to take out the Kings of a city (which would have been a likely result of the 1.0.4b change) and just have the encounter be dynamic and aided by having the gear – not required. WAR is not a PvE game and quite honestly the PvE is lackluster (what I’ve seen so far – I still need to see Lost Vale and some city dungeons). Forcing me to do specific dungeons/raids/etc will only cause people (myself included) to find a game that has better PvE.
So again, good call on taking this one back Mythic. There are plenty other directions to go other than treadmills. PS, Darkness Falls now kthx.
On a side note, Wrath of the Lich King releases tonight at midnight. I’ll be honest and admit that I had an urge to get it and play but when I saw that the content was all 65+ (probably 70+ in reality) I became uninterested. Vertical expansion FTL. Tomorrow will be an interesting day for many games out there… I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of tumbleweeds.