Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Magus v. Engineer: Compare and Contrast

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2009 by dahras

magus01_04Over the last couple of days I have tried literally 6 Destruction classes, most of which I got to level 5 (except for some… R.I.P. poor zealot). After this experience I have settled on one which will be my new WAR main, the Magus. I was a bit leary about trying the Magus at first. The class seemed like a squishy Engineer, and dispite the fact that I LOVED the engineer (I only left it because my buddies rolled Destro), I didn’t want to play the same class again, except an inferior version.

To my suprise, the magus and engineer have been vastly improve since the days of the ‘one-magnet-trick-pony’. Most specs are pretty good, and the classes both have the abillity to compete. Also, the magus and engineer, while similar, are definitely not the same. I find that the magus has quite a few AoE abillities, much more than the Engineer. They also have quite a few good defensive abillities, which are necessary becasue of the much lighter armor they wear (as compared to the engineer). Where as the Engineer’s Tinker spec has a lot of useless gimmiks, followed by the epic Electro Magnet, the Magus has a solid, PBAoE spec in Daemonology, reinforcing their “magnet spell” theme.

On the other hand, (at least to me) Havoc is not as strong as marksman, which has a stronger theme (single target, Direct Damage, lots of one person DOTs, with a AoE DOT that still works for one target). Havoc has good spells, good talents, but less of a theme. Of course I could be wrong, and their spells could be really great, but I’m not sure. Personally, I think that Fire Storm of Tzeentch should be traded with Indigo Fire of Change (from Changing). Fire Storm has a shorter range than most havok spells, as well as it is an AoE spell in a Direct Damage spec, where as Indigo Fire is a long-range, Direct Damage spellin a short-range, AoE DOT spec.

Changing and Grenadier spec seem to be the most similar, except of the aforementioned spell swap, and I really don’t have much to say about it. It is a strong spec, and probably one the majority of Magus’ will take, due to its versatility (it can PvP and PvE well) and relative simplicity compared to Daemonology.

Though the ‘feel’ and ‘theme’ of the Engineer comes through much better than that of the Magus, I have to say, the Magus spell effects and animations are some of the best I have seen in any MMO. I am especially impressed with the arc and throw of Flickering Red Fire, and the swirls from Rend Winds.

I personally like Havoc the most (even though I think it needs a few changes to strengthen its theme) and am really excited to keep playing. I should post some more soon!


Theme and WAR

Posted in Design Thoughts, Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 by dahras

The first real blog post I am going to write is about an oft overlooked part of MMO’s: theme, some times referred to “feel”. For example, WAR aims to get you the “feel” like you are in a WAR, or to “feel” angry at Destruction for burning your town. Note, this is less immersion, but more the emotion that is conveyed by the game. Now I don’t want to get too artsy, but this element is something that just makes games for me, because it gets me into the game more than realism of mechanics or interactions.

There are three main elements that give theme to MMO’s. The first element is set design. This is how the area looks, and thus how it feels. The second is monster design, which is how the monsters look and act. The final element is the writing, which is probably the most important of all.

These three elements come across in all of the T1 areas very strongly. They all convey different types of war: siege warfare in the mountains, sea invasions, and a huge horde attacking from the land. This direct theme really didn’t hit home for me though, because I was already expecting that theme. Where the theme of WAR really hit me was the Marshes of Madness for dwarfs and Ostland/Troll Country for Chaos. Both have very striking themes. The Marshes of Madness, which have thick, sight-blocking scenery and heavy concentrations of mobs, screamed guerrilla warfare from the first chapter, and the writing kept the theme going.

The story of the dwarfs, who hate the jungle, having to fight against an opponent who seems to be unstoppable by nature of their knowledge of the area and their vast numbers brought mental images of Vietnam to my mind. At first, I was frustrated by the Marshes, but eventually I realized the zones genius; I felt just like the dwarfs! I was tired of the Marshes and the endless ambushes by the mobs spawning around every corner, just like the dwarfs must have been.

This element of theme has really let me enjoy the game much more, and really appreciate some of the zones that I have loathed before. I’m not sure a lot of people will get the emotion that WAR conveys, because so many people don’t read their quest log, but I love that they put this much effort in for us that do!

A Small Boom

Posted in Administration, Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 by dahras

And the reverberations caused by the starting of Clockwork Landmine are felt… well, they probably aren’t felt at all.

Yep, I’ve decided to start (another) WAR blog. No one really should know about my last blog as it only had like one post. My issue was that not only was I blogging about the wrong class, I was blogging about the wrong side as well. Well, I’ve learned the error of my ways and am now back and blogging about Dwarf Engineers. I have played a few MMO’s including WoW, and I am used to being a healer, but enough about me, you want to know about my blog.

This blog will be all the stuff relating to WAR that I’m interested in, focusing on Engineers. Hopefully I’ll provide a guide or two when I feel like writing one. Ususally I’ll blog at least one time a day but some days or even weeks, I won’t blog at all, so don’t freak out. Some of my posts will be long (like this one), some will be short. Some will be well thought out, some will be rants. Basically, I’m not setting any rules concerning this blog at all, and thats it, but I do want to share my experiences and hopefully provide well though out and interesting posts to you, the reader.