Founder’s Box

For once I don’t mean WAR in any way, shape or form. I was at the Ottawa Senators pre-season game against Philly last night but I wasn’t in the common stands, no. I was in the Founder’s Box which is way up on the penthouse level.

I want a seat like they have there for work. The pull down seat was leather and about 5-6″ thick and softer than a cloud. I’m 6’2″ and I could barely touch the floor with my feet, but still, so comfortable. Oh, I should get one for the desk at home too!

The bird’s eye view was good. We were behind the away net to the left (if you’re looking at the front of it), long side just after the corner.

Before that, we had a preview of the food that will be served to the box seat ticket holders. Wow, was it good. The Angus Sliders were my personal favorite. I regret having found them too late in the mingling because I probably would have camped them and KSed anyone that tried to get one (I’ve got to add some MMO lingo in there).

The game itself was not too bad. I felt a little out of it watching but I usually feel that way when I’m at the game. I’m a bit of a people watcher so I sometimes see something interesting and miss the puck being dropped or something. I also find that I miss the commentators (even Bob Cole and Harry Neale… but only a little..) and replays. I also miss the HD and rewind (PVR, DVR.. what ever). I know, HD vs. real life, but there is something to be said about having a pause button.

Philly looked like they weren’t really into it, at least not offensively. I think they managed about 15 shots on goal in the whole game. I would have thought with so many young players trying to earn a spot on the roster they would have played harder – unless the Philly roster is already decided? It was also their first pre-season game (so the radio said).

On Ottawa’s side Phillips, Schubert, Ruutu, Donovan, Fisher and McAmmond were missing.

I have to say I liked the look of some of the rookies. Despite what Dean Brown (I think it was?) was saying on the post game last night, #60 (Greg Maulden -sp?) played well. I thought he showed some skill though I do have to admit he looked unwilling to hit out there.

I was impressed by Jesse Winchester (#18) on the first line with Spezza and Heatley, but we’ll have to see how he does in the real season. Any Sens readers remember Bochenski’s pre-season awesomeness with Spezza and Heatley? Yeah.. let’s see how he does. That said, he showed a lot of fire on the ice. He played hard and to the hilt, throwing hits and back checking and making some decent plays. He even scored a goal from a bad angle by putting it to the front of the neat as Foligno was crashing the net and it went in off the Philly Defenseman. I have to admit, I was skeptical about putting him up on the first line but it’s looking good now.

Nick Foligno (#71) looked good as well. There was one point where I thought he was trying to be too unselfish and passed instead of shooting, but there ended up being a goal anyway. I thought his focus on the puck and willingness to throw the body was a good combination. He’s looking good on the line with Bass (#58) and Neil (#25).

I really wonder what the lines will be like when everyone is in the line up? Will that line (it was the 3rd line last night) be the 4th line? If so, it’ll be good to see that the checking line has is a scoring threat.

Defense. I thought Smith (#21) was solid again and Kuba (#17) did well enough. Bell (#9) had a little issue that cost them a goal – but I’ll give him credit for not screening Gerber, who probably should have stopped it. He might have been a little surprised. Bell didn’t let that hold him back though and he kept at it. I’m not going to talk about the A-Train (#24), he seemed a little quiet and I was waiting for him to lay someone out. Lee (#55) look alright but a little unnoticeable.I was a little surprised to see Richardson (#2) on the ice. I didn’t think he got a contract with the Sens? Maybe he’s still trying to break the line up anyway. He actually did pretty well. I didn’t see him make any mistakes but I didn’t see anything spectacular.

Honestly, I think they’re really going to miss Redden and fans that hated him will see what he brought to the team. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. You know that stretch pass Bell tried from behind the blue line? That was the kind of pass Redden would pull off multiple times per game. Notice all the bobbling of the puck on the attack line during the power play? Again, Redden was awesome there. Did you see when, I think it was, Lee slipped into the open slot from the blue line and missed the back door play? Redden usually hit the net there.

Really, people were too hard on Redden and I was disappointed to see him go.

It’s going to be tough to get a spot on the blue line (defense) for anyone looking to make it. Here’s what they have:

  • Chris Phillips
  • Anton Volchenkov
  • Jason Smith
  • Filip Kuba
  • Christoph Schubert
  • Brian Lee
  • Alexandre Picard
  • Brendan Bell
  • Matt Carkner
  • Luc Richardson

Likely in about that order.

There you go, some hockey talk.

WAR Bugs

Okay so there have been a couple of things that have really irritated me about WAR so far. The first two are bugs which negatively impacts RVR.

1. Engineer Turrets firing through walls – sound like the Animist’s mushroom turrets? Well, it’s happening. I bet it happens for the Magus’ turret-like pets too… maybe. It’s hard to tell because the Magus’ RVR Scenario map doesn’t really have a vertical layer design to it unlike the Dwarf one. Nothing is as fun as having three or four turrets attacking you through the ceiling and almost all the way down to your warcamp.

2. You can move through enemies easier than you can move through allies. It’s a real pain. It might just be worse because the Black Ork model is so big and broad. Which makes you question how it’s fair they suffer more? Is it a fair trade off for being able to block people out? I haven’t seen it yet. In fact, it’s not just the Black Ork that suffers this. The Chosen and Marauder are both very big as well. All the Order models are either tiny or thin. Hmmm… what’s the trade off? Not a lot that I noticed.

That said, there are some Destruction classes that need some looking at.

I’ve got my Witch Elf up to level 16 and I’m disappointed to say the numbers don’t compare to a Bright Wizard. Okay, comparing glass cannon to melee DPS. Well, the WE is a glass melee DPS type and at 16th level my most damaging finisher does 320 damage, it takes some build up to get to it and it also is concentration required. The average special attack was doing around 100 at about 9th level (I was using RVR gear weapons – I think they were between 9-11 DPS, might have been 13, but I think those were a little higher up). I’m now using 20 DPS weapons 7 levels later and I’m not seeing a big damage difference – I’m doing between 110-120. A BW can nail things for 300 damage in the early (sub 10) levels. Honestly, I’m not sure what the point is.

Oh, and the only snare we have is from our ranged attack that we get at level one and it only applies if the target is hit in the back. Compared to a Shadow Warrior that seems to be able to root someone from a good distance regardless of facing and seems to have some sort of defensive root ability… it’s sort of sad.

It also seems sad that very little of any of the damage is scaling up. I get the impression it should by the increases I have in my weapons but I’m not seeing it. The most damaging ability I have can do somewhere between 500-600 damage but it’s a morale ability with a cooldown timer.

Stealth? There is one attack that uses stealth and it barely does any damage – I’m better off running into come and just opening up with a typical chain.

They need some increase passive armor avoidance. When a WE attacks, it should hurt… bad. Heck tie Bloody Fury into so when it’s full they have to choose between damage dump or maintaining a heightened state of slaughter.

Maybe it’s an itemization issue where they need to scale the dagger damages up more as the levels progress. I don’t know, something just doesn’t feel right.

The Magus is another one I’m not sure about. They seem to get a number of AE spells but several are cone shaped in front of them meaning they have to get into danger. If anything, it just gets them into trouble in PVE because too many mobs get agroed. So does that mean you don’t use the ability unless it is in RVR? That seems like a waste of a level slot.

They have a target AOE DoT/Debuff that does pretty weak damage really. In fact, their DD does pretty weak damage too – though it is oddly comparable to the Sorcerer at lower levels. The difference is that they don’t get a crit bonus like Sorcerers (and Bright Wizards) do. The other big damage spell they get is a short range, practically melee ability. Again, they have to get into the thick of things to use it.

I’m not sure why they trade off any durability for this. Oh, maybe it’s that turret pet they have which does really weak damage. It seems to have a casting time and does about 10-20 damage per attack. It’s pretty weak. Tack on to that the only defensive ability they get early on is a detaunt which works on one target for a limited time and reduces the damage taken by half.

It just seems weak.

A case of the grass being greener on the other side? Maybe.

Bulls on Parade…

… oddly an appropriate theme song for Casualties of WAR (a.k.a. CoW).

Take a look at us stomping some keeps in T2 RVR. Some NWSF language is used. Yours truly appears as Sindaena, a Witch Elf. You’ll see me a few times in the video and I was there for all of it.

I can’t emphasize this enough, but I’ll try…

IT IS A LOT OF FUN!

Unfortunately, we’re currently not recruiting, however, if you send me suitable bribes I might put a word in for you. I’ll gladly take beautiful virgins, chickens or pie (chickens and pie are preferably virgins as well).

Thorgrim Needs More Order

… for me to annhilate. Now that I’m up there in ranks (11), I’m blowing through the enemy… and not in the way they’d want my Witch Elf to.

Actually, it really started to show when I got my daggers upgraded and worked on my Apothecary to bolster my strength, give me a damage shield and drop 500 point heals on myself if I strayed too far from healers (if they were healing). I’ve been redesigning the orifices of humans, dwarves and high elves for quite a few levels now… I’m just more sneaky about it now that I have Stealth.

And I have to give Mythic credit for how Stealth works in their game, it’s quite good. It’s one of the better Stealth mechanics I’ve seen in a game yet. Why? Well:

  1. It can be seen through sometimes, but not always (Hi2U AoC)
  2. It doesn’t appear to break when someone does see you and attacks you
  3. It doesn’t slow you down like it does in almost every other MMO
  4. It has a 30 seconds cool down which makes you need to think about when to use it (I admit, this might be a little high)
  5. It drops when you interact with things
  6. It has a limited duration
  7. It costs you Action Points while you’re using it, but not all of them like the run ability

Here are a few things I’ve done while stealthed that I really enjoyed:

  • I bypassed the tanks, DPS and such to sneak up on the healers which I can put down fast if I wait until they start to heal someone since I know their defensive target is set to someone else. I swear, I can almost hear the, “Oh shit!”s coming from them when I decloack behind them, nailing them with a backstab followed up by a Kiss of Death (damage proc + heal effectiveness debuff), DoT, damage, and puncture to finish them off.
  • One time I bypassed their whole group and took out their capture point in Khaine’s Embrace. In fact, I did that a few times.
  • I’m taking out Blade Masters and White Lions more reliably now. I mow through Archmages, Rune Priests and Warrior Priests. I do about the same to Witch Hunters and Shadow Warriors.
  • I stealth around our capture point protecting it. I usually wait for someone to try to capture it and then I pounce which interrupts them and lets me get in several shots.
  • I bail people out who think they’re going to die (i.e. decloak and clobber a tank who is eating a healer)

Really, it’s been a lot of fun.

Sadly, the most vicious thing I’ve seen done before wasn’t done by me. No, Chance gets credit for that. He fires an AE Root that traps Order folks at the altar area when Khaine’s explosions are about to go off then he gets out of there. Very nice!

Oh right, so yeah, Thorgrim needs more Order people or they need to start queuing up for scenarios because it’s pretty slow over there.

In case you were wondering, you can queue up no matter what rank (level) you are. If you’re rank 1 you will get bolstered up to about rank 8 – you don’t gain any new abilities, but you’ll have the health, hit and damage capabilities of about that rank.You actually have some really good people on the Order side so not every scenario will be a loss – most of them will be, but not all of them.

So queue up! You just have to click the war icon in the upper left corner of your mini-map.

And if you see a Witch Elf named, “Sindaena” target someone else.

ARGH!

I’m having a day from hell. I simply feel ‘off’. Body doesn’t feel right. Mind doesn’t seem to be working right. I’m struggling with something that should be simple to do but it doesn’t seem to be.

The wife called because the bigger little ogre’s teacher called. Apparently he’s being a little shit on the school bus and keeps standing up and not listening to the driver. The teacher also noted he’s misbehaving a bit in class, being a bit of a class clown.

It’s one of those days you wish you could have completely skipped.

ARGH!

I feel an urge to smash something.

WAAAAGH!

That’s the cry I made when I tried to log into Volkmar server for Warhammer Online on Sunday when the servers came up and I had a moment.

Mythic were tricky, I went in and created all my characters and figured I could just hop on after that but they fooled me. You see, once you create the character you then can log into the server. Queue! It was something like 22 hours with 400+ people in the queue. I popped over to the Order server for Casualties and no queue. Figures.

I didn’t actually get to log into Volkmar until much later in the evening and that was after a 30 minute queue… which was more like 45 minutes.

AAARRGH!

I did manage to log on Monday morning and I played Kneecappa my Goblin Shaman up to level 8 or 9 then I swtiched over to play a Witch Elf and I had so much fun with that class I didn’t stop until the servers came down for maintenance.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t log back in last night because I was busy rebuiling wife faction. I’ll try to pop on tonight and see how things go.

Just a thing to note to people playing Witch Elves or who had played them and dismissed them as WoW Rogues, the mechanics are similar, but note that your Blood Fury does not go away when you kill your target, you can build it up and hang on to it until you need to finish someone and you don’t need to build it on each target. Also note that your thrown dagger can snare a target that has their back to you… make liberal use of that. Don’t forget to keep one of your ‘kisses’ active as they really increase your DPS.

Too much fun… I can’t wait until I get stealth.

Watch your back out there…