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Open Beta Notes: Character balance, combat, and moreFollow

#1 Sep 07 2008 at 6:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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So far I'm having an awesome time in the game, are you?! I wanted to point out a few things that I took notice of and see what you thought. I'll list them here for easy pickings:

1) I have been on several different servers so far and Destruction almost always outnumbered Order. I noticed large groups playing destruction, while there were fewer groups playing Order. Should we be concerned about overall RvR balance?

2) Graphics are simply amazing at this point! While I still feel there is some work to be done, I think they enhanced a few things over the previous weekend. How do you compare the graphics to previous versions you've seen?

3) Combat encounters are a fun time, but there are a few interesting things here to note. First, the melee ranges seems to need a lot of work still. Second, how cool are some of these maneuvers?! Check out the Squig Herder in particular and watch what they can do when in full combat. I'll try to get some screenshots up later. Their bow attacks are simply wicked. Send in yours and we'll post them!

4) I don't know if you've noticed yet, but in playing a male elf... well, sometimes I'm simply confused if I'm playing a male elf! A few more choices in the "masculine" department are in order I think. Elves are naturally "refined", but to me the game has them a bit TOO refined at this time. A "scruffy" elf isn't a bad thing.

5) Squig Herders were a difficult experience in the beginning of the game to play, but this is one area that has most definitely seen tremendous improvements. So far this is my favorite career to play! I love having pets in general, and playing this career really makes it fun. Everything I've been doing hasn't been ruined by the pet doing (or not doing) something it wasn't supposed to.

6) Renown gear seemed a bit underpowered right now. I've been trying to use this with a couple of characters, but it just doesn't seem functional at this time. What are your impressions? I haven't had a lot of time with these characters yet, but I'm not getting anywhere with Renown gear.

7) Give me high resolution graphics! Yes, there are great graphics in the game when in your immediate area. However, one thing that a lot of games will do is lower the details of resolutions the farther out they are. This preserves performance when details aren't really necessary, however, it can still make things from a far view look rather ugly, marring everything up close. There aren't many options yet for graphics adjustments, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the game will offer settings on the order of what I've seen in EverQuest II.

8) I love just exploring and getting lost. Fortunately for those adventurers you will find great areas to explore in the game. WAR is actually bringing back memories of Dark Age of Camelot (an old time favorite of mine I still play from time-to-time).

Ok, I have 2) and 7) that could be combined, but graphics are seriously important to me, and so they deserve double mention :P.

So far overall, it's been a blast! I just wish I could join up with the rest of the group here, but its been sporadic with my Internet connection :(. I feel like I'm in China again! (I'm not, honest!).

Edited, Sep 7th 2008 9:13pm by Berek
#2 Sep 07 2008 at 6:39 PM Rating: Good
Honestly, I have to say that the graphics do not seem as pretty as the amount of resources used would make me think. Maybe the amount of resources being used is mostly due to the sheer amount of players in the opening areas, but I was a bit shocked at how low my framerate was compared to how the graphics looked. I logged out for a bit today, thinking that maybe the bulk of players would move on and allow me to come back when the opening zones are less crowded.

Also, I am a bit disappointed with the opening of the game. I remember reading about a year ago that WAR was going to begin players in a completely different way than other MMOs. If I remember correctly, I think we would begin in an instanced area with more of a "it's all about you" type of storyline you would see in a single player game. The player would work through a story, and it would end in a large-scale RvR battle that works into the main lore of the world. After that, players would move into the main world. I just remember specifically that the developers saying they would not immediately drop the player in the world to start quest-grinding. I am going to start digging up the magazine that said it (pretty sure it was Game Informer).

I am still saving my final opinion for when I am able to play a bit more freely. I know I have the system requirements by a mile, so maybe once more players move on it will work a bit better for me.
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#3 Sep 07 2008 at 7:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mistress dacypher wrote:


Also, I am a bit disappointed with the opening of the game. I remember reading about a year ago that WAR was going to begin players in a completely different way than other MMOs. If I remember correctly, I think we would begin in an instanced area with more of a "it's all about you" type of storyline you would see in a single player game.

I've been covering WAR since its launch and the devs have NEVER said that was their goal. If someone said that, they made it up themselves.

Quote:
The player would work through a story, and it would end in a large-scale RvR battle that works into the main lore of the world. After that, players would move into the main world.


I don't know how the world RvR is treating you so far, but I feel this is true so far.

Quote:
I just remember specifically that the developers saying they would not immediately drop the player in the world to start quest-grinding. I am going to start digging up the magazine that said it (pretty sure it was Game Informer).


I haven't felt like I'm in a quest grind at all, if anything, I feel like I need to take a break from PvP so that I can get some quests done!

#4 Sep 07 2008 at 8:30 PM Rating: Decent
Just a note about graphics. I know for LotRO at least, they did not release the full graphics until the game was actually released. And yeah, I notice Oders is outnumberd, but they seem to be a lot more organized in the scenarios, winning most of em.
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#5 Sep 07 2008 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
Tovin wrote:
Mistress dacypher wrote:


Also, I am a bit disappointed with the opening of the game. I remember reading about a year ago that WAR was going to begin players in a completely different way than other MMOs. If I remember correctly, I think we would begin in an instanced area with more of a "it's all about you" type of storyline you would see in a single player game.

I've been covering WAR since its launch and the devs have NEVER said that was their goal. If someone said that, they made it up themselves.

Quote:
The player would work through a story, and it would end in a large-scale RvR battle that works into the main lore of the world. After that, players would move into the main world.


I don't know how the world RvR is treating you so far, but I feel this is true so far.

Quote:
I just remember specifically that the developers saying they would not immediately drop the player in the world to start quest-grinding. I am going to start digging up the magazine that said it (pretty sure it was Game Informer).


I haven't felt like I'm in a quest grind at all, if anything, I feel like I need to take a break from PvP so that I can get some quests done!




I don't know if it was from the dev's directly, but it was part of the initial story when we got the very first screenshot of WAR (the current one, not the dark one that was abandoned about 5 years ago). It was part of the same story that had mentioned the servers in a constant state of war (much more so than what it seems is in the game) and that they would "reset" every so often. Not character data, I don't think, but for balance between both sides. This may have been much longer ago than a year, but I know I read it in a game mag. I have been trying to find the article that mentioned it. I even remember where I was when I read it.

However, I know this was a long, long time ago, and the game has undergone many earth-shattering changes since then (that first screenshot does not even look like the game now. The one the article showed looked very WoW-ish). I have not followed much about the game at all since then. I would have just loved to see something besides the now cliche "log in with new character, grab the quest from the NPC next to you, go kill 4 or 5 of prescribed mob, etc." opening.

Edited, Sep 8th 2008 2:48am by dacypher
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#6 Sep 08 2008 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
1) I have been on several different servers so far and Destruction almost always outnumbered Order. I noticed large groups playing destruction, while there were fewer groups playing Order. Should we be concerned about overall RvR balance?


This can be an issue depending on accessable the higher level renown gear will be. If it's only available from keeps, then if destruction holds the keeps, they will have access to the higher gear. If not, then order will still be able to compete with destruction.

It appears that Mythic will try to regulate this from the start as well. While logging in, you were able to view the Order/Destruction server populations, and there were some that said Destruction - Max (or Locked, something like that) meaning that if you wanted to play Destruction, you needed to choose a different server.


Quote:
6) Renown gear seemed a bit underpowered right now. I've been trying to use this with a couple of characters, but it just doesn't seem functional at this time. What are your impressions? I haven't had a lot of time with these characters yet, but I'm not getting anywhere with Renown gear.


I noticed this as well. One major change they did was to spread out the gear over multiple ranks and realm ranks. In the preview weekend, you were able to purchase/use a massive amount of equipment at rank 8, RR6. Now, you can use one piece at rank 8, RR6, one at rank 9, RR6, one at rank 10, RR7, etc....

They've also changed the renown accessories to be unique-equiped so you can't load up on 4 of one accessory (I think this is a good change).

Based on the prior renown gear, the new gear seems very underpowered. They removed/reduced quite a bit of the resists on the gear along with all other stats.
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#7 Sep 08 2008 at 12:46 PM Rating: Good
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Mistress dacypher wrote:

Also, I am a bit disappointed with the opening of the game. I remember reading about a year ago that WAR was going to begin players in a completely different way than other MMOs. If I remember correctly, I think we would begin in an instanced area with more of a "it's all about you" type of storyline you would see in a single player game. The player would work through a story, and it would end in a large-scale RvR battle that works into the main lore of the world. After that, players would move into the main world. I just remember specifically that the developers saying they would not immediately drop the player in the world to start quest-grinding. I am going to start digging up the magazine that said it (pretty sure it was Game Informer).


Actually what you are thinking of was in reference to Age of Conan. In that game the starting area is supposedly solo, never have played it myself, but War never said it would be like that.
#8 Sep 08 2008 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Age of Conan was a BEAUTIFUL (bad) game.

I am willing to "endure" average graphics in exchange for awesome gameplay.

Having said that, the graphics are not bad. They are at least as good as WoW. They are similarly "cartoonish" but effective.

One note - If you have a dual-chip card (Like an nVidia GX2) with internal SLI, DISABLE SLI. Similarly, if you have a physical SLI setup, DISABLE SLI. It's not yet supported, and it will make the game crawl.

I have an nVidia 8800GT in my PC right now. (Core 2 Duo E6750n @ 2.66 GHz, 4 gigs RAM, n8800GT 512mb, WinXP). Yesterday I was at a friends' house and hooked up to his 1080p TV. I was running FLAWLESSLY at 45+ FPS at 1920x1080 with settings maxed. If that isn't great performance from an average system, I don't know what is. My PC could be built from scratch for ~$500-600 ....

I have a feeling that max settings as they are right now are not actually the game's max possible settings. During closed beta, the graphics were locked at low quality. They look a lot better, now, but they might still not be fully unlocked.
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#9 Sep 08 2008 at 1:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Twirdman wrote:
Mistress dacypher wrote:

Also, I am a bit disappointed with the opening of the game. I remember reading about a year ago that WAR was going to begin players in a completely different way than other MMOs. If I remember correctly, I think we would begin in an instanced area with more of a "it's all about you" type of storyline you would see in a single player game. The player would work through a story, and it would end in a large-scale RvR battle that works into the main lore of the world. After that, players would move into the main world. I just remember specifically that the developers saying they would not immediately drop the player in the world to start quest-grinding. I am going to start digging up the magazine that said it (pretty sure it was Game Informer).


Actually what you are thinking of was in reference to Age of Conan. In that game the starting area is supposedly solo, never have played it myself, but War never said it would be like that.


Age of Conan was awesome for the first 20 levels. It was like a single-player game with a great story. Of course, the rest of the game after that felt generic, wasn't nearly balanced at release, and generally sucked.

In a game of story vs gameplay, I choose gameplay every time. That's just me, of course.

WAR does seem to have a TON of lore weaved into it. It just isn't told with voice-acted cutscenes like Age of Conan's first 20 levels. They were just a tease, though. There seemed to be very few voice acted scenes after L20.

Edited, Sep 8th 2008 5:40pm by Jordster
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