Tag Archives: Andy Belford

Nicknames

I just couldn’t help myself.

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WAR Blog Kit

I’ve used the Fan Site Kits offered on Warhammer Online’s Web site in a couple class projects over the past year, and I’ve always hoped that an updated version would be released.

Andy Belford stopped by Mykiel’s Webcast tonight, and us audience members had a chance to pester him with all sorts of questions, from the serious ones regarding the upcoming patch to what he played in Dark Age of Camelot.

I asked if a third Fan Site Kit would be published in the near future. Andy said that, when he gets the time, he plans to work on a WAR blogger kit.

Hopefully we’ll see it sometime soon, they do keep poor Andy chained to his desk after all.

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Why Can’t I Be Da Biggest?

I missed out on the stability test on the PTS last night, but I was able to log into the Mythic vent to catch the tail end of the Q & A. An alliance mate asked me to put a question in my comment, but Andy and Nate had already passed by the C’s.

However, I luckily had a guildie (whose name began with T) who was in-game and in vent, and was willing to put our question in his comment.

We wanted to know if there were any plans to create bigger Black Orc models.

Andy said that he was in favor of the change and had brought it to the higher-ups, but they turned it down. He noted that they had a few reasons that he couldn’t remember offhand, but confirmed there are no current plans to implement bigger Black Orcs.

So, for now there will be no green, mean, 8-foot tall fungi tanks. What a shame.

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Busy Bees

I don’t know what’s got into Mythic, but I sure like what I’m seeing.

Just two days ago Andy Belford announced changes to the City siege experience, and they were implemented today. That responsiveness caused me to flail my arms about in happiness.

Not only will access to the Guild Halls, Imperial Palace and Citadel be severed from City rank, but two scenarios will be active during Stage 2 of City sieges. Mythic is bringing back Reikland Factory and The Twisting Tower for when Altdorf and The Inevitable City are contested, respectively.

Moreover, soon we can stop complaining about the siege timers. Next week, after a Public Test Server event, the Stage 1 timer will be reduced to one hour, and the Stage 2 timer will be reduced to three hours.

That’s three hours of Reikland Factory or The Twisting Tower if you choose not to participate in the siege. I can’t wait!

But that’s not all

In the October newsletter, Mythic said they would be removing the 10-day restriction from WAR’s free trial. Then Werit brought it to my attention on Tuesday that the client would be streaming, allowing users to download content while they are playing the game.

I thought this was an awesome idea for all the obvious reasons. People have lives, and things can come up that interfere with getting the most out of WAR when they only have a small window of time.

Also, I heartily agree with Werit when he says, “One day the mood may strike me to try out a new game.  Nothing kills that mood like a 8gb download.”

When one of my friends downloaded the trial a few months ago, he griped about how long he had to wait. My sister and her boyfriend had the same response when they downloaded it this week.

Well, the good guys and gals at Mythic set up the new trial today too.

OMG there’s more?!

A Dev Diary on combating hackers popped up on the Herald today as well. Development Manager John Cox apologized for not being more candid, but frankly that’s understandable in this situation.

Grimnir packaged the main points of the diary into a tidy little list:

1. We acknowledge that people hack our game.

2. We acknowledge a third-party program that is used to hack our game.

3. We infiltrate groups known for hacking our game to discover these hacks and destroy them.

4. We collect a ton of data to make sure that only legitimate hackers are punished.

5. We have been doing this all along.

While this diary couldn’t be as in-depth as some others, I’m really happy to hear from another person involved with making WAR great. Accusations of cheating appear on the forums now and then (and get locked soon after) so it’s good to see how Mythic handles such problems.

Now seriously, Mythic, go get some sleep or something. You’ve done a great job.

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Inside Winkl’s WAR Stats

Volkmar took a hit this past week when the server lost a sizeable chunk of active rank 40 players.

That’s 483 Order and Destruction players who, for one reason or another, did not increase their renown rank percentage, according to Winkl’s WAR Stats.

“You can’t lose more players than you add to have a viable game,” Winkl said in a private message interview, referencing Volkmar’s gain of 160 new rank 40 players.

And with the recent release of Aion by NCsoft, the odds aren’t looking too good for next week’s stats either.

More mergers?

Winkl said in his post on the forums yesterday that he expects more server mergers to be coming our way soon.

“If they merged Dark Crag, Iron Rock and Volkmar together, we’d end up with 3,135 Destruction (50%) vs. 3,014 Order (50%),” he said in the interview. “Of course, that’s assuming everyone continued to play and they actually merged the servers.”

Obviously, a major problem with merging those three servers is the people who play for both Order and Destruction. Unless Mythic comes up with a solution, they’d be forced to choose between their characters, as many did during the summer mergers.

The nitty gritty

After Mythic announced their second round of mergers, Winkl began collecting data on the game. He pulled his information from third-party sources and posted them on the forum.

On the same forums, Community Coordinator Andy Belford made a remark in response to concerns of population imbalance.

Actually, according to the actual Tier 4 and overall numbers we have, Volkmar will be pretty much 50/50 once all of the active server transfers are completed.

After being told by Belford that his information was incorrect, Winkl said he decided to get his own stats, from warhammeronline.com’s very own Realm War.

From there, he automatically issues queries to pull characters, guilds, Realm Rank activity and gear.

“For a server such as Volkmar, that results in 8,112 career queries, 2,260 guild queries and 12,835 player queries,” Winkl said. “It’s a roundabout way of gathering information, but it gets the job done.”

The data is separated into “lists of players by RR (so you know who the big-ticket players are), active/inactive counts, net gain/loss for the week, Destruction vs. Order by renown rank, Players by career, Top 25 Active Guilds and more.”

Player activity was originally determined by whoever gained at least one percent of renown in a week. He has since added activity designations based on renown gain from 10 percent to 50 percent.

What about the endless debate over who outnumbers whom?

In the interview, Winkl said the general breakdown for Dark Crag, Iron Rock and Volkmar is as follows:

Dark Crag: 1,024 Destruction (60%) vs. 677 Order (40%)

Iron Rock: 863 Destruction (53%) vs. 760 Order (47%)

Volkmar: 1,248 Destruction (44%) vs. 1,577 Order (56%)

So guess what?

According to Winkl, Belford was wrong and Volkmar “hasn’t come anywhere close to 50/50.”

Listen up

When asked what steps he felt Mythic should take with Warhammer, Winkl outlined five suggestions:

WAR is supposed to be everywhere, so class/population balance should be top priority. Address these issues and folks may come back.

Listen to the player base. If we are telling you that the Absorb trinket is broken, fix it. If Bright Wizards are using a new “feature” that is game-breaking, fix it. Don’t add a new event in which the scenarios never pop or bother fixing tooltips. These are obvious issues will lead and have led to people quitting.

Make all scenarios available all the time. When the game already has a limited number of scenarios, why limit someone’s choices because ZoneX was captured. Since all we can do some nights is queue for scenarios, having 2 to choose from isn’t much incentive to login. More variety, more fun.

More patches, more frequently. Rather than saving everything up for one huge patch that will, unfortunately, seem to break more than it fixes, release smaller patches. This way it seems as if you are actually doing something to address the game. I don’t need more posts from DevX telling me about how good potions are going to be “sometime in the future”. What I want is a patch where I can test it and they act upon the feedback.

Be proactive on server merges. I think they waited far too long for the first few rounds of merges and I’d really hate for them to make the same mistake again.

Ultimately, Winkl hopes his stats can help people get an idea of the health of the servers and affect Mythic’s course of action.

“I know they’ve looked at my stats as I see in the domain logs,” he said. “They have all of this information available to them instantly. One can only hope that they learn how to use it and make better informed decisions in the future.”

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