Daily Archives: December 5, 2008

Too many buttons!

So Warhammer’s 1.0.6 patch has arrived, tier 1 areas host roaming packs of Knights of the Blazing Sun hunting ostrich, emu and peacock for decorative feathers (but, following the law of the MMOG, having to make do with sparrows and the odd chaffinch to start with), battling with hordes of Blackguards in scenarios dubbed “Clash of the People Wearing Lots of Armour who Hit Each Other for a While with Little Effect”. I rolled one up, and can exclusively reveal their level 1 ability involves hitting people. Possibly with a sword, though I wouldn’t like to commit to that level of detail just yet. I still seem to be generally immune to alt-itis, though, so chances are he’ll get parked up next to the level 3 Witch Hunter, level 3 Archmage and level 3 Swordmaster who hang around the background of the character select screen looking a bit fed up that I only log in to them when bag space is getting tight and I’m shuffling around some dye.

Back to my main Bright Wizard, and things have changed a bit. I popped in to the Warhammer Alliance Bright Wizard forums to see what people were saying about the career tweaks, read a couple of threads, and spent the next half hour squirting bleach up my nostril to try and cleanse my brain. (Remember, kids, never squirt bleach up your nostril. Try a brillo pad on a stick instead. Actually, better still, just don’t go to the class forums of Warhammer Alliance. Or any other MMOG, ever.) Non-exhaustive empirical testing from a few scenarios, I’m further down the damage table; it used to be rare for anything other than a higher ranked Bright Wizard to be above me, now there’s a fair mix of Order careers towards the top of the board. It’s not a disaster, I’m still putting out decent damage, so I’ll see how things pan out over the levels and the 1.1 patch before singing the Doom song at maximum volume.

One thing I did needed to do was sort out my talent points, and re-slot talent and morale abilities, which meant sorting out my action bars again. Pop quiz, hotshot: you’re a Bright Wizard in a scenario heading off to capture a flag and your party encounter the enemy. You notice a Witch Elf vanish into stealth, a Magus and a Shaman are hanging around at the back casting spells of some kind, and a Black Orc and Disciple of Khaine are charging towards you. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

If you said “apply a healing debuff and DoT to the Magus, de-hex any DoTs that have been applied to you, detaunt the Black Orc, drain the Disciple’s action points and increase her global cooldown, root the Witch Elf that inevitably stabs you from stealth, activate your shield then focus fire on the Shaman using morale abilities to knock the Black Orc back”, well done, you’re an elite PvP machine. If you smirked at that previous sentence because only some sort of n00b would try those tactics, award yourself a further 10 smug points. If you said “AAAAAAAHHHH, push buttons, AAAAHHHH he’s hitting me get him off get him off hit him with a bucket ruffle his hair up they hate that AAAAAHHHHH I’m dead”, congratulations, you’re a normal human being. And if you said “that’s a stupid question utterly unsuited to a multiple choice format especially with such limited and specific options”, feel free to provide a short essay instead, though I’m afraid it won’t count for any extra credit.

Anyway. The point is, there’s lots of options for a Bright Wizard in WAR. A few too many, I think; I’d filled two actions bars of buttons by level 30 and I don’t really want to start a third, partly to preserve screen real estate, and partly because I’ve got quite enough to be getting on with already, thanks, with my standard fireball, and standard DoT, and better DoT with longer cooldown, and AoE DoT, and instant cast PBAoE, and detaunt, and healing debuff, and spell to get rid of combustion, and spell that knocks the target down, and quick cast single target attack, and channelled damage/snare, and cone AoE, and channelled AoE, and targeted AoE, and a ten second shield, and a one hour shield, and some other buff, and… what have I got bound on alt-7? Something useful, I’m sure… and panic/flee, and a mount hotkey, and a potion or two, and an assist macro, and a coffee maker, and a speedboat, and a nagging sensation that you left a window open upstairs… I exaggerate, of course, there’s no action bar option for that last one. It’s a morale ability. No, I’m kidding. It’s obviously a tactic.

Generally I’d be happy to lose a few of those abilities, my poor brain (and action point bar) can only cope with so many possible courses of action in the middle of a fight, but maybe that’s just me. And sometimes you really do need a quick way of activating the coffee maker while on your speedboat…