Daily Archives: September 26, 2008

‘Of the day’ness.

A couple of cogitations, ruminations and general tips that have forced their way into my brain from playing Warhammer Online and are now stuck there, unwanted, but are nevertheless a potentially useful lesson for the unwary. Like a door-to-door salesman who you’ve nailed to the front of your porch.

Thought for the day:
Every class comes equipped to perform their role in PvE and PvP straight out of the box except the tanks. At least, this is my experience with the dwarf Ironbreaker, because they don’t get their taunt until level seven. Admittedly they get Grudging Blow at level one, which is supposed to make monsters hate the Ironbreaker more, but in my experience it is not effective enough to hold aggro from, say, the healing aggro of a Runepriest. It’s not a huge issue because those first seven levels fly past like a greased pig out of a howitzer, but I find it a curious design decision, especially when the first public quest can be undertaken well before level seven, and has a final boss who really needs to be tanked unless you happen to have some A-grade kiters around at the time. I understand that Oath Friend is a core mechanic of the class, but it is not terribly useful in the early levels; it helps to build extra grudge but that’s not hard to do anyway in most early level fights, and its second benefit, where some of your skills help your Oath Friend as well, is not terribly useful because you have so few skills that would actually help them. Personally, therefore, I think it would have been more useful to have Taunt from first level, and then drop Oath Friend in at level seven or eight when you start to build a really useful set of skills that compliment it. It’s not a game breaker in any way, shape or form, but I just find it funny to be running around the Chapter One public quest, watching the healers heal and DPSers doing whatever it is that they do, whilst I am unable to tank.

Tips of the Day:
You can shift-right-click on bodies to loot them and it will automatically Loot All, so you don’t have to keep clicking on that annoying button.

Runepriests will often give you a buff when you’re in their group; it’s not just a buff though: the icon for it can be clicked to trigger an effect! Mouse-over the icon to see what effect will be triggered, often they deal out a small amount of damage, but some will give you a modest heal or some other effect. Triggering the effect does not remove the buff, it just puts a sixty second cooldown timer on using the buff’s triggered effect again. This is one of my favourite mechanics in WAR, and I hope other MMOs pick up on it and incorporate it, because buffs just got a whole lot more, uh, buff. Seriously though, rather than just granting you a passive ability boost, these runes, in addition, give you extra abilities. And what do extra abilities mean? Flexibility and options! And maybe prizes.

Spinning your character around when you’re on the character selection screen makes them perform a stunned/dizzy/unnerving-panting-weirdness animation. It’s one of those dangerous Easter eggs in a game, which is kind of fun, but is more likely going to have your player base asking why, if you had time to code that in, didn’t you have time to fix the broken /special animation on their character, or the strange clipping between certain headpieces and hair, or the fact that Destruction are totally overpowered against Order in the early Empire/Chaos scenarios because Chaos has tanks/DPS/healers and Empire has DPS and hybrid healers only. You know, those other minor niggles.

If you have trouble with truncated, missing or delayed text in your chat windows, turn off timestamps if you happen to have turned them on. I like timestamps, they tell me how long it was since I missed someone asking me to join a group, or to heal them, or what have you; however, last time I checked, timestamps hideously broke the chat window. It might be fixed by now, but I haven’t gone back to check. Still, at least my character does a funny animation when I spin him around on the character select screen!