Back in action

Hello everybody Mykiel here, and today I wanted to talk to you about my absence. 
It turns out that I got really sick, but I got better and although it took a long time things worked out.  So since I covered the basics, let’s get back to killing people in the face.

I know this post is short, but it is just to fill people in on my absence.  With that being said, i’ll see everyone in game.

Spookfest 2012: WAR Winners Announced!

Str8silver_ACR4

Stratics is happy to announce the winners of Stratics’ First Annual Spookfest contest. First prize was awarded to Bardin for the video entry below.

Senlui claimed second prize with the screenshot below.

Finally, Azurill was awarded third prize with the screenshot below.

Congratulations to the winners! We will be in touch soon about your awesome WAR merchandise from our friends at Mythic Entertainment!

Stratics Presents: First Annual Spookfest

Str8silver_ACR4


TGN Stratics is please to host its First Annual Spookfest! Warhammer Online is preparing to celebrate the season with a myriad of spiteful tricks and sugary treats. To encourage you to take part in these festivities–from haunted cities and ghostly encounters, to frightening costumes and ghoulish quests–Stratics is hosting a contest for video and screenshot submissions. Winners will be eligible to receive a variety of cool gaming swag! There are two ways to participate in the contest:[one_half last="no"]

Video Entries
Submit a 2-3 minute video of yourself engaging the Halloween festivities in participating titles.
[/one_half]

[one_half last="yes"]

Screenshot Entries
Submit screenshots with captions that memorialize some of your favorite Hallowen events in participating titles.
[/one_half]

Prizes include:

  • 1st Place: Warhammer Online T-Shirt, Warhammer Online Lanyard, Featured on WAR Stratics
  • 2nd Place: Warhammer Online T-Shirt and Featured on WAR Stratics
  • 3rd Place: Warhammer Online T-Shirt and Featured on WAR Stratics

Entries will be submitted to Stratics Forums, where they will be judged by a conglomerate of game developers, community staff, and Stratics staff. Questions may be asked here: Stratics Central Forums.

Entries will be accepted from 25 October at 4PM EST through 1 November at 4PM EST

Submit Contest Video/Screenshot Below

Building a Better Warband – Silence!

main_aug_a3

So my job calmed down a bit, so I have the energy to write and play games again. It happens every summer.

In this edition of Building a Better Warband, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. In past editions, I configured every single member of warband. There are a lot more heroes available now, so in this edition, I have the warband split into the core group and the counter group. The core group will define the overall strategy of the warband, while the counter group changes heroes to deal with troublesome enemy heroes while still preserving the strategy.

The Silence! warband is built around the tactic Backlash. Backlash grants 20% bonus damage against a silenced target. Silence then becomes a damage steroid in addition to negating use of magic. The core of this group is Archivist, Conrad, and Drulg. Archivist would go Enjoy the Silence, Brute Force, and Backlash. Conrad would equip Inescapable Judgment. Drulg would equip Backlash. The other two mastery slots are player’s choice on Drulg and Conrad. I like Grim Pragmatism and Sneak Attacks on Drulg. I also like Sigmar’s Fury and Eternal Knowledge to round out Conrad.

This leaves 3 spots open. The group needs a tank, a second support, and a third damage dealer. This is the counter group for this warband. These heroes will change to counter enemy picks. For example, if Aessa or Korelei is picked by the enemy to counter Drulg, the tank could counter pick Albodi, the second support could counter pick Glowgob, or the third damage dealer could counter pick Nethys. (Korelei would also be a strong counter to Archivist.) The idea is that these heroes change to protect the strategy. Be creative with your counter picks and try to fool your opponents with it.

Granted, most players, including me, do not play at a level that requires this kind of strategic depth. However, the game can be played at this kind of level should the players desire to do so. I wonder how much longer or what kind of motivation would be required to get us to do so.

The Ancient Archivist and Updates for July

from CCP's Eveopedia

No one emailed any Top Plays, so I’m not able to put a video together for that. Is this something you all want to see? Let us know in the comments below.

Wrath of Heroes revealed the Ancient Archivist. This is the Hero we were shown at the Invasion that I can finally talk about. He is the Librarian from the Lyceum. While we were not given specific details about what all his abilities actually are, we were given his mechanic. The Archivist is a support character built around critical hits. His spells do additional effects if they critically hit. As such, one of his abilities can force a critical hit. The example ability we got was one of his abilities will do an AoE stagger, but only if it crits. Do you force the stagger or do you need one of the other effects more? Or do you just feel lucky and think you can get the crit without forcing it? Since I only know the two abilities and I have no clue how much damage he can put out or if he can heal, it’s hard to say what impact he’ll have on the battlefield.

I’ve trying to get back into Age of Reckoning. I’m rusty and boy does it show. Most of my guild won’t touch the game for various reasons, so I may need to run with another group for it. Don’t spam me with guild invites though. I’m also trying to play without NerfedButtons to deal with the clunky Swordmaster mechanic. It will take my some time to get used to it. Precious time I won’t actually have for awhile.

July is the busiest month where I work, so I will have very little time for games very soon. I won’t be able to post a lot, but hopefully Cookiemonster and Wrathius can cover me while I deal with RL stuff. :)

I want to do a new series for WoH I call Counter This (working title). Essentially, I post a clip of some gameplay, either mine or submitted by someone else, where a hero switch is essential and turns around the game. The clip stops at the player death when the switch occurs. The viewers then guess which hero the player picked and why. In the next episode, the answer is revealed along with reasoning and results, and the next puzzle is presented. Viewers who guessed the correct hero would be put into a drawing to win a little something. Also the player who submits a clip that is used also gets a little something. Any thoughts on this? Good idea? Bad idea? You lost your mind Tarelther?

WAR Stratics Guide to the Pyramid of Settra

The newest map for Wrath of Heroes can be a bit overwhelming. It’s similar to Black Fire Pass, but different enough to allow more strategies to develop.

When the map starts, there are six relics spawned in the outer circle of the center room of the Pyramid. Players rush out of their spawn location to the middle room, grab relics, and transport them to their treasure room, which is always a left turn from the spawn area. Four additional relics will spawn one at a time every 90 seconds. The 4 relics spawn at exactly 13:30, 12:00, 10:30, and 9:00 left in the scenario. The relic will spawn next to the statue in the very center of the room.

Each treasure room has two approaches. One directly from the center room and one from the stairs behind the treasure room. Standing on an enemy treasure chest will allow a player to steal a relic after standing on it for 5 seconds. Only one relic may be taken at a time. A player may only hold one relic at a time.  The order of players to steal from a treasure chest when multiple are standing on it is first in, first out.

Points are tallied every 5 seconds in the game, at 14:55, 14:50, 14:45, and so forth. A team receives one point for each relic in the treasure chest. Unlike the other three maps, no points are given for kills.

Now onto the meta-game.

The map requires your team to split. Some members will be attempting to steal relics from other teams, while others will defend. Also players will have to be ready for the additional relic spawns every 90 seconds for the first six minutes of the game. At initial hero selection, remember that the first six relics are in the middle for anyone to take. It’s a footrace. The goal is to grab the 3 relics closest to your spawn before the enemy can get them. It’s common to see very unbalanced teams at first and then they’ll balance out later. Common picks for the initial race are Nethys, Ikkrik, Drulg, and Bax. Volrik, Felicia and Ilanya are also common at the start of the map since they can deny an enemy relics on the ground with pull, knock back, and knock up respectively. Some teams like to use Olwyn at the start since she can’t be pulled, knocked back, or knocked up. Gromril armor is tough to take off after all.

Teams then split up into two different roles, attackers and defenders. Attackers go get relics from other teams. Defenders protect the relics already owned by a team. Note that since points are not awarded for kills, there is nothing to dissuade attackers from constantly suicide running into a base to force a defense. Also an attacker that temporarily takes away a relic only to get killed and have the same team return the relic did not fail at his job. While the attacker had the relic, the defender was not getting points from it.

Attackers need to be quick and/or resilient. A tank Nethys is one of the best options for this role. Use Rapidity or Acceleration with Endless or Eternal Knowledge and either Warped or Hardened Flesh or Desperation or Temerity. The cool down reduction makes her sprint available more often and the movement speed bonus has great synergy with the sprint. The third tactic helps her survive long enough to grab a relic from an enemy stash. Bax is also excellent for this role, although Flee, a chance to sprint on being hit tactic, would likely be better than cool down reduction on him. Drulg is a good attacker, especially with his alternate 5 Overwhelming Bellow and Momentum, which increases the duration of his Bull Charge, and Endless/Eternal Knowledge, reducing the cool down of those abilities, but he is a little squishy and needs some support. Ikkrik is also a good choice, but remember that hitting Smoke Bomb makes you drop a relic you are carrying, so have someone with you to pick it up if you get in trouble. Olwyn is good attacker if the enemy is using defenders with crowd control. Lucian can be a good attacker with Rapidity, Flee and Vigor. Kindly enough, all three of those tactics are in his mastery tree.

Defenders keep a players off the treasure chest completely, prevent an enemy from escaping with a relic, or just kill an opponent quickly to make him drop the relic. Ilanya is an excellent defender. She has amazing burst damage and a knock up to prevent a player from getting to the chest or escaping with a relic. Felicia is also an excellent defender. Use (Massive) Blasting and Cripple or Maim on her to make it difficult for an enemy to stand on the chest or get away with a relic. Volrik is excellent for defense with his pull, root, snare and heal debuff. He needs someone to help him with damage, but not many can defend quite like Volrik if he gets that help. Amenadresh is a great defender since his dots can prevent escapes and the armor debuff will help your team deal with the tanky attackers like Bax and Olwyn. Conrad with his alternate 5 Divine Cleansing is also a great defender when dealing with attackers that use staggers to ensure escape with a relic like Nethys and Drulg. Good luck trying to escape with a rune with Aessa around. Between her snare/root and Pounce or Fetch, it’s probably not happening.

Here’s a non-wall of text version of the last two paragraphs.

Hero

Suggested Role

Suggested Mastery spec

Alternate Mastery spec

Nethys Attacker Rapidity, Endless Knowledge, Desperation Rapidity, Endless Knowledge, Warped Flesh
Bax Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Desperation Rapidity, Flee, Agility
Drulg Attacker Overwhelming Bellow, Momentum, Endless Knowledge
Ikkrik Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Endless Knowledge Rapidity, Flee, Agility
Olwyn Attacker Relentless, Rapidity, Flee
Lucian Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Vigor
Ilanya Defender Brute Force, Blasting, Grim Pragmatism Brute Force, Grim Pragmatism, any other damage increase
Felicia Defender Blasting, Cripple, Endless Knowledge Blasting, Fiery Winds, Endless Knowledge
Volrik Defender Flaring Chaos, Concussion, Endless Knowledge
Amenadresh Defender Blasting, Cripple, Endless Knowledge Eternal Legions, Divine Shielding, Endless Knowledge
Conrad Defender Divine Cleansing, Inescapable Judgment, Balance Divinity, Divine Cleansing, Balance
Aessa Defender Eternal Protector, Endless Knowledge, Cripple Eternal Protector, Endless Knowledge, Fetch
Glowgob Either Life Steala, Divine Shielding, Desperation

The perks Massive Smash and Unholy Ward can also be invaluable on defense. Feel free to replace a tactic with one of these perks. Glowgob is Glowgob. He’s almost always useful anywhere.

In the case where a team has no relics, or if a team is majorly behind in relic count like the others have 4 each and that team only has 1, defenders should go support attackers in taking relics.  If the center screen message pops up saying a team has 5 relics, and the others have 0 or 1, both teams should abandon all defense and attack that team. If a team ever gets the 7 or 10 relic message at any point in the game, the other teams should immediately abandon all other efforts and attack the dominant team.

Watch this video for more information:  http://youtu.be/56io7wjyiOM

Discussion thread: http://6v6v6.com/topic/375-pyramid-of-settra-match-commentary-ft-tarelther-and-gaarawarr/

Glossary of Unofficial Wrath of Heroes terms

main_aug_a3

Some terminology used in matches may be confusing for newer players. We here at WAR Stratics have your back with this glossary of WoH slang.

A-bomb. An Archivist with a triple damage buff. It hurts. Trust me. Don’t let Archivist get a triple damage buff. Or else.

A-team. A team made up of only the 4 heroes that start with A. Aessa, Albodi, Amenadresh, and Archivist.

AC – A team comprised mostly of Aessa and Conrad. This is usually only played on Mourkain Temple, sometimes Arena.

BFP – Black Fire Pass.

Birdman – The Lord of Change from the Power Unbound perk. Also loc.

Borc – The Black Orc hero Bax. Also BO.

Bub(ble) – The Divine Shielding perk. Also DS. Can also refer the Glowgob’s 5 ability Mork’s Touch.

B-dub – The hero Felicia, who is a Bright Wizard. Also BW.

Chosen – The hero Albodi

Crit up – The perk Glory. Makes all attacks by a team critical for 10 seconds.

Cotton Candy – The Absorb Vitality perk. It looks kinda like cotton candy. But it definitely isn’t sweet.

Disengage – Stop a fight in progress in order to escape or gain a superior position. Felicia with Massive Blasting slotted dropping Rain of Fire on an enemy team while your team runs away is an example of this.

Eng – Engineer. The hero Durrig.

Fatman – The hero Drulg.

Gob – The hero Glowgob.

Guard – The hero Aessa’s 5 ability Elite Bodyguard. It transfers incoming damage from allies to her, much like the Guard ability in Age of Reckoning. Also EB.

Heat-seeking Missile – Any player who targets a single player repeatedly even at the cost of his life. Most often, this is also a Suicide Lucian. (Thanks Wreckd_ya)

Hot Potato – Using pulls and knockbacks to keep an enemy in the air for an extended period of time. Commonly done with multiple Rat Ogres on the same team.

IB – Ironbreaker. See Tin Can.

Initiate – Creating a temporary mismatch of numbers to start a fight. Most often this is done with a powerful crowd control effect. Volrik pulling a target creating a 1v6 is a classic example.

Invuln – The invulnerability buff on the Arena map. Can also be the Verdant Apotheosis perk since it gives an entire team invulnerability.

Kite – Running away from a melee hero or line. Often done by ranged heroes by placing snares and roots to keep distance while running.

LF WB – Half of the chat in the lobby, means looking for warband. Usually by someone just looking for the extra reward spinner and not a serious team.

Little Coin – The most common result on the reward spinner. Worth 55 gold.

LoC or loc – See Birdman.

Mara – Short for Marauder. Refers to the hero Volrik.

Mummy – The hero Amenadresh.

Pinball – The perk Massive Smash. Sends the enemy flying like a pinball being launched into play.

Position – When referring to heroes, a location where your team can assist you. A player caught out of position is often dead. When referring to a warband, position is any place where you cannot be flanked. A warband caught out of position is being hit on two sides by both enemy teams. See also sandwich.

PoS – Usually Pyramid of Settra. Sometimes used in its more traditional sense.

Rat – The hero Ikkrik.

Ratman – The Rat Ogre from the Terrible Transformation perk.

RC – RaidCall. Free voice chat offered by 6v6v6.com for all players of Wrath of Heroes. Details at http://6v6v6.com/topic/332-6v6v6com-community-voice-chat/

Red – The Orange Team. Usually used in voice chat instead of orange since red is only one syllable.

Sandwich – A team being hit by both enemy teams from opposite sides has been sandwiched. Arena is all about avoiding this happening to your team.

Scorp – Scorpion. The hero Serkhet.

Shammy or Shamy – See Gob.

Shield – See Bub(ble).

Sin – Assassin. The hero Zathis.

Sorc – Short for Sorceress. Refers to the hero Ilanya.

Suicide Lucian – Refers to an inexperienced player on Lucian charging by himself into an entire team. Also a Lucian that charges to the artifact without his team to start a Mourkain Temple game.

SW – Shadow Warrior. The hero Korith.

T# – Mastery Tier #. Most serious warbands won’t take a player until he is at least Mastery Tier 1. When accompanied by LF WB, the player is looking for a serious warband and is Mastery Tier #.

Tin Can – The hero Olwyn.

Totem – The Vision of Mork created by Glowgob’s 4 ability Look it’s Mork! Heals allies standing near it.

Trip – The triple damage buff on the Arena map. Also the perk Verdant Apotheosis since causes the entire team to do triple damage.

Trollrik – The hero Volrik with the tactic Flaring Chaos making the Terrible Embrace ability work from 100 feet away.

Vamp – The hero Nethys.

WE – Witch Elf. The hero Korelei.

WL – White Lion. Refers to the hero Aessa.

WP – Warrior Priest. Refers to the hero Conrad.

Have more you want to add? Let us know.

We Want Your Awesome Wrath of Heroes Plays

Ever do something amazing in Wrath of Heroes you want the world to see?

Make an epic escape to preserve your perk?

Survive a near certain death experience?

Perfectly time an ability or perk to save a teammate from death?

Or just overall do something completely awesome? Then we want to see it and show off your amazing plays.

A couple ground rules for this.

1. 720p or higher resolution. Lower than that and it’s often unpleasant to watch.

2. “OMG I hit Lord of Change and killed everyone. Isn’t that awesome?” No. It isn’t. Creative use of LoC is encouraged, but a clip of just killing everyone with a perk, no go. Have a tough fight to survive and get that perk done and then kill everyone with it, cool. Use a perk in an unusual way, cool.

3. If it even looks like you’re cheating, we have a direct line to Bioware Mythic to have it investigated. Yes, they will be able to find the game even with a slight amount of information. So don’t cheat.

4. Email us with the link to your creation to war at stratics dot com. Leave at least 30 seconds before and after the play to allow me to comment on it. If it’s a whole match you submit, give me a timestamp. I’m not going through the whole video.

5. Be a good sport. If there’s conduct that is less than sportsmanlike in the clip, it’s not getting used. On the flip side, just because you’re “that guy” in the clip who got owned, stay classy.

6. I won’t use any of the WAR Stratics team members’ stuff in these. Sorry guys. Gotta make it fair for everyone.

I want to publish the first episode by Friday June 29th, so give us your best stuff.

1.4.7 and Beyond – Tabula Rasa for the Careers?

SotA Concept Castle

Tabula Rasa is Latin for an erased slate. On the table for 1.4.7 is a complete overhaul of careers. This is something that we were told at the Invasion would not happen because of the time required to implement, but I guess Bioware Mythic may have changed their minds. I’m all for perfect mirrors. Just about every other PvP game out has the same classes on each side on the conflict.

This would not be the first time Bioware Mythic has wiped the slate clean and redid something. The city siege was revamped twice post launch and Open RvR got a complete overhaul with 1.4.0.

A thread has been started on the official forums. http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/230/index/12541890 Let’s assume for now that Bioware Mythic did decide to continue with the plan of a complete rebalance. When I started writing this they were going to go ahead with it. I went to sleep and woke up and they changed their minds again already.

Several players have come out against the idea of perfect mirrors. The main reason seems to be individual class identity. In my case, it would be, “I want to play a Swordmaster, not a High Elf Black Orc.” I can certainly understand this. I even asked the question once at a PTS event. Imperfect mirrors didn’t even really unbalance the game when the engagement size was between 24 and 48 players so long as each side had access to all abilities. However as the population has declined, as to be expected with an older game, the engagement size has fallen. Instead of primarily being warband based, fights are now group based. Imperfect mirrors are a big problem when not all the classes can be present in a fight. I would not have a problem with mirrors being mostly equal and then having a signature ability or two to differentiate them.

This also gives the development team time to ask and answer some hard questions. What is a tank? What is a healer? What should each be able to do? Are we happy with the tank/healer/melee dps/ranged dps archetype system? Should the classes be interdependent upon each other or be able to function independently? For the last question, I think the only reason the old defensive melee dps sets were overpowered is that not every archetype could self sustain in battle, still do appreciable damage and have strong defenses. If all archetypes could be self sufficient like that, I don’t think that would have been a problem.

I think this process is necessary right now. When the question on the effect of Guild Wars 2 came up, the standard answer of some will leave and try it out. Even James said he probably play it. A good idea to at least know what the competition is doing. And then some will come back for the PvP that WAR offers. We’ve already seen this in threads on the official forums with some people playing the Beta Weekend Events and preferring the experience WAR offers. To be completely fair, the WvW in GW2 is a virtual copy of WAR patch 1.4.0 with three sides like Dark Age of Camelot. The PvE in GW2 is basically a bunch of conditionally available PQs. A complete rebalance of careers allows WAR the opportunity to more clearly define or reinforce its Unique Selling Proposition. With tons of competition coming up, WAR will have to do something to stand out more in the crowd.

The original reason my guild has stopped playing WAR for the most part was lack of competition. We ran a warband stacked with 6-7 slayers with Shatter Limbs. We also had Knights stacked to give every aura in the game. We then filled in the rest of the warband. We were basically unstoppable. At the time, Destruction did not have the ability to group cleanse and still to this day, the equivalent of Shatter Limbs for Destruction is on an unreliable squig pet. The counters to our warband composition did not exist at the time. Balance is supremely important. Had it been better, more of them would still be playing. Who know how many more players rage quit the game because of this strategy?

The original USP for WAR was that it was designed from the ground up for RvR. PvE was built around the RvR gameplay mechanics. I think the time and opportunity has come to further define and expand upon it. They should take their time and do it right. After all, it’s not as simple as drawing an eye.

State of WAR Post Invasion

Starr Long Profile Pic

We returned from the Invasion of Bioware Mythic safely, physically that is. We’ll let you decide if we returned mentally safe. But even before our Invasion, there were already signs of battle. When we arrived, we were greeted by some new faces. Apparently the generals decided they needed more recruits for the upcoming melee. Yes, they briefly mourned the loss of a valued comrade, but they found another willing to take his place on the battlefield. A wise decision, given the magnitude of challengers to come. With challengers from Tyria, Arborea, and even from the future, they will need all the manpower they can get to stand strong.

Some of the troops need some additional training. Once they finish repairing some long standing holes in the walls, the next priority is bringing the troops up to snuff for the coming battles. They are currently reviewing the requests for additional training from the troops that were received while repairs were made to the walls. They don’t have time to fully retrain everybody for the enemy will be upon them long before they can finish that. They will be bringing the troops closer together in their capacities. Which troops need what training is still being discussed since we actually interrupted the day when that discussion was to take place. We will be watching for the training dispatches to come out, and relay information accordingly. Unfortunately, this means that other priorities to change how battles take place on the field have been pushed back again.

Some the battlefields of WAR have been more bare recently, particularly those where the less experienced troops tend to fight. Some of the troops have expressed a desire to stay within these areas, despite not being able to learn more and become stronger to fight in the biggest battles. This request has been passed up the chain of command and we expect a response to allow this as soon as battlefield conditions allow.

Like previous visits, we asked about lowering the burden of the troops fighting in the battlefields. We got the same answer as last time. It’s not in the plans right now. They want to see how the combatants in the smaller conflict do with lesser burden before lowering the burden of those in the larger conflict.

We also asked about the roster. We noticed several names on the roster of troops that are no longer active, MIA, or dead. We were advised that the roster is being purged mainly because it’s getting too long and it will assist in getting some reinforcements from the far north back to main battlefield. Also the roster was getting a bit heavy to carry around, so hopefully this will lighten some of the load. The roster from the far north needs to be combined with that of the rest of the forces before they can be brought together.

We also talked about the battles the took place at sea for a short time. Many hard fought battles took place on the boat, but we have not see on ship combat in quite some time. This is mainly because those who held the most interior room of the boat were nigh impossible to root out. Perhaps this was only because there was only one boat to fight upon. Bringing in additional ships to the battle should spread out the engagement area. A request for additional warships has been made to high command and we are awaiting approval. Unfortunately, we have no idea how it will take to make the decision, but we do anticipate its approval eventually.

The subject of revisiting other old battlefields came up, like those that took place in the capital cities. With supply lines for the primary sieges more strained that before, secondary skirmishes on the streets can keep more forces deployed on the front line. The idea was passed to high command and we await approval of the additional deployments.

Special concern was taken to the forces from Tyria. They expect to temporarily take some losses from these invaders, but also fully expect to be able to withstand the brunt of the assault. The forces from Tyria are trained in small scale combat, based around small squads. The forces of WAR are trained in larger scale combat, on a scale 5 times the Tyrian forces are trained to fight. The Tyrian invaders despite their training in smaller scale combat deploy very similar techniques in siege combat. Their forces are also not as specialized, so it remains to be seen if they can stand up under larger pressure.

Possibilities of a third side joining the WAR also came up, but were dismissed as unlikely. The armies involved in the WAR have already declared their allegiances and are largely unwilling to break them due to the consequences of being label as traitors.

Bioware Mythic is definitely preparing for WAR both in its own game and with other games. May this preparation be enough to withstand the coming assaults.

Discuss the article at http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/232/index/12330086