Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My problems with Warhammer

I haven't stepped into Tier 4 for any length of time for over a week now. Prior to this I had been noticing low morale and a very low turnout on the Destruction side. Chat in guild and in our alliance pointed the fingers (whether rightly or wrongly) at game performance and class balance amongst other things.

I noticed while trying to lead during the week that the level of cooperation on our side seems to be dropping of. Large numbers of players in guild and in our alliance didn't turn out for a preplanned event. Where in previous months we had as many as 5 warbands we were just fielding two. I also found while people were happy to do some rvr very few were willing to do the more boring but essential jobs such as scouting and monitoring various BO and keeps. In general there was a lot of selfish play on destruction side with game play I hadn't seen in months rearing its head. Leading in rvr is time consuming and often frustrating. In the past leading in open RvR has been very rewarding and worth the trouble but having to over come the apathy of others is a bridge to far when there are a number other issues that are already undermining your enjoyment of the game.

Twice since then. I have either logged out or moved to an alt when The Inevitable City has been under attack.

There are five reasons that I believe I am not enjoying the game as much.

1. Mass RvR

The games performance during any large scale fight is appalling, not bad, not a bit laggy it is appalling. Warhammers great promise was mass rvr and 6 months in it as failed miserably at delivering it.

I believe if this issue is not addressed very quickly and with tangible results the game lose many more subscription. At the moment there are only 3 tiers of decent play, it is the main reason some people are still playing , pvp in the lower tiers is enjoyable and with the advent of the choppa many people are trying it out.

2. AOE

Both AoE damage and healing are too effective. I raise my eyebrow at the idea of skill in an MMO but if ever there was a skilless approach it is Mythics present attachment to AoE. A simple solution would be to make single target heals and damage more effective while at the same time reducing the effectiveness of AoE healing and damage. AoE has its place but not in its present form. Perhaps enabling damage from friendly fire is an option.

3. Class Balance

At the moment I think Mythic have completely lost control of class balance. The disparity between a magus and its mirror the Engineer is the first of many examples that come to mind. Not only is the game performance shockingly poor, the recent changes that have been made to class balance have made melee classes redundant in large parts of endgame pve.

Corwynn makes a pretty valid observation.

Inside the faction Destro has been pretty nicely balanced from the beginning, WEs melted faces but died fast enough to keep their overall damage in check and all the RDPS careers could fulfill their respective functions, with Squig Herders being the ones worst off. The balance between Order and Destro however hasn’t been that good, what with the huge amount of players playing BWs, the single most effective DPS career.

The great pity is that some very good changes were introduced, the Swordmaster was made into a viable class but you do begin to wonder if its accident rather than design. I have never been a fan of nerfing classes but some retuning is needed on a number of classes. That some classes were not looked at in 1.2 with anything approaching an understanding of how the game is actually played is at best shoddy at worst incompetent.

4. Patching

I am genuinely believe that for every inch Mytic advance the game with a patch they also manage to move half an inch backwards. The sheer amount of issues with performance in Lost Vale for example has got to the stage of being laughable. If it weren't for swift response from CSR our guild's last few LV runs would not have taken place.

Some time ago I wonder about staffing numbers in Mythic and whether they had the manpower to test. It is begining to seem that they do not have that capacity at the moment. You have to wonder whether Mythic are up to running an MMO to the standards expected by those who played World of Warcraft.

I am aware of those who accused Mythic of not listening to its player base in Beta but it does seem that they did not listen to their player base during the testing for patch 1.2 either. Perhaps it time Mythic's communications with its subscribers contained more fact and less generalities, the state of the game and recent dev chat were for the most part. We will do something, someday about something maybe, doesn't cut it.

5. Tanking

One of my hopes for this game was that it would be possible to play a tank class as a tank rather than as a glorified melee dps. The recent changes to the Black Orc, while certainly not crippling to the class as a whole have made anything other than a choice of 2-handed dps spec in pvp foolish.

The idea of a defencive melee support role for a tank has gone from this game.

In Conclusion:

Players on out faction on Karak Norn are getting pissed off as Synlaw points out when he says this

Dear GOA / Magnus / Whoever,
We - the players - have been very hopeful for a quick resolution to our issues. Many of us have decided to stick with our subscriptions for an extra month pending expected fixes. A week has passed, and we have yet to see any progress whatsoever. In fact, the server - and the game itself - seems to be getting worse and worse, bursting along the stitches of spit and chewgum. There is no other analogy which could explain why it has little to no lag on one day, then a day later everything falls apart with instances crashing, 10-15 second casting lag, etc. 
I am not aware if Mythic developers are actually reading these forums; but please let them be aware that you have an entire server crashing & burning subscription-wise due to their unprofessional testing and implementing of patch 1.2. Having consulted with the majority of Destruction guilds on Karak Norn, it is evident that the Destruction players are giving Warhammer until April to sort out the server, and realm balance issues. 
We are not asking for anything unreasonable. We are asking for an opportunity to play and enjoy the product we're paying for in relatively LAGFREE circumstances. Much as I hate to say this again, nobody is going to pay for beta-testing something that should have been solved a long time ago, considering the game is now approaching its 1-year mark. The main problem is the lack of any sort of addressing the issues at hand and maintaining a week-by-week habit of keeping the community updated as to what's exactly going on and what's being done to take care of the situation. 
If nothing is done by the end of April, I'm sorry but you will have to start organizing new transfers. Because the population of Karak Norn will drop, and it will drop like a rock.

I agreed with his sentiment

At the moment my time in game has decreased. I spend some of that time playing scenarios and a lot more of it playing my choppa (lvl 20). If the Choppa wasnt as enjoyable and the lower tiers so active I would be back in World of Warcraft. For the moment Warhammer is keeping my subscription but it needs to work hard and work quickly to ensure I resubscribe when my billing period ends.

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