Balance

Remember the time I said “Witch elves kill me in two seconds,” and I commented that it might be a bit overpowered? Well, I was wrong, and the reason I was wrong was a beautiful tank ability called “Guard” that shares 50% of all damage I take with the tank…who – with their vastly superior mitigation and HP pool – easily soak their own damage and half of mine. It means I can hold off a Witch Elf, or a couple of tanks, while I heal both myself and the tank. It works great.

Also, you’ll note that Ironbreakers are dwarves and thus very short; I’ve found it is remarkably easy for me to jump over them to put them between me and would-be melee attackers. I also use as much terrain as possible…I never stop moving, keeping everything I can find between me and what will sometimes seem a very frustrated melee unit who knows they can kill an Archmage in two seconds if they would just stand still.

Actually, now I do sometimes stand still for them…because with Guard and my detaunt on them, it’s easy for me to keep myself topped off and keep them loaded up with DoTs. I also spam Drain Magic every chance I get, because burning away over a third of that action bar of theirs means they will run out of AP first. I blow it early so I can use it again in the same duel. I can’t wait to get that tactic that awards me AP when I burn theirs. Would I rather have the Shaman channeled one? I don’t think I do. While it may seem numerically superior, there’s definitely something to be said for yet another instant that gives me a point of Force, burns 1/3 of their AP, does a bit of instant damage (however small, it’s like a pulse of a DoT in my mind), and will eventually give me some AP to extend my burst-capability during that duel. It doesn’t commit me (unlike my Hand-Laser, which I admit I enjoy using since it disregards LoS once it starts).

I had a few really good fights tonight. One duel between a Chosen, a Sorceress, and myself in Nordenwatch; I strafed constantly around a large boulder to break line of sight from the Sorceress so I could focus on the Chosen. I lost that fight, but it was a really fun one. I also had a really fun skirmish with two Zealots and a Magus. At that point in the evening our Swordmaster was there helping me out, but he peeled away from the Magus to pull a Chosen off of me, leaving me to play a little game where I would DoT both Zealots and scare at least one away, load the Magus up with DoTs, light myself up like the Central Park Christmas Tree with heals, and repeat the process. With two healers to my one, I wasn’t able to kill any of the three…but I got close on the Magus a few times. And this wasn’t a level differential…they were all 9s and I was 9. (As of the end of the night, I’m 10.5.)

So far as Scenarios go, I’ve noticed something; they go one of three ways:
1. Destruction is either better organized or has level superiority (or both) and steam rolls Order.
2. Order is either better organized or has level superiority (or both) and steam rolls Destruction.
3. Both sides put up a really good fight and one or the other wins by kills or a final capture, both teams in the high 400s.

None of those situations seems to happen more than any other; I’d call that balance too. This game does have balance, and the more I play it, the more I see it. It’s hard to wrap your mind around, especially when some class (e.g. Witch Elves or Marauders) gleefully chases you down to kill you in a matter of seconds and they succeed whenever you don’t have back up. The trick is to always have back up. That’s why you want a guild.

My first scenario tonight was Nordenwatch, and I went in there with five For Science peeps (basically everybody except for the Swordmaster in the photo…he was at work). With communication and teamwork, it’s amazing what we can do. A Rune Priest and an Archmage healing together – even each other – must be a tremendous pain in the ass for Destruction; it’s like you can’t kill us (not even Witch Elves) unless you swarm us (and sometimes they do). But swarming us is hard when our tank and DPS team will go out of their way to stick themselves between the bad guys and their healers. I swear, just the five of us alone could take on twice our number in Destruction randoms. Teamwork is so vital in this game; it’s entirely balanced around it. And whatever changes they make, I sincerely hope they stick with that mentality. It makes the game awesome. Team work is very fun and extremely rewarding mechanic-wise, so it’s twice the fun.

Find yourselves a guild and get into it. Make sure it’s a nice one. Mine will be recruiting starting Thursday…now only because I have a crap-ton of work to do tomorrow and I may not even be on. (Play all night today, work all night tomorrow: balance. =\ ) Every guild is recruiting now. Go get one. If it sucks, ditch it and find another one. There are many, and you should shop. Or get a whole ton of your RL friends to join you and do it up. Remember what’s really important about guilds: and that’s running in with several of your buds carrying flags to bolster your fellow troops.

Standards. Are. Groovy.

I’m glad we had this talk. Now stop whining about Witch Elves (this means you, Thade) and make friends with more tanks.

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~ by thade on September 17, 2008.

6 Responses to “Balance”

  1. I personally went off my rocker last night while playing with Thade. Yes I was a tired, cranky Ironbreaker, but that stupid Orc kept healing himself and dammit that was annoying because it meant I had to beat me frustration out of him for an extra 30 sec before he finally gurgled his last breath.

    Which brings me to my tidbit for today, courtesy of Thade who kindly listened to me bitch last night. Classes in this game are not balanced against each other class. Each one has a foil on the opposite side and, if used correctly, can completely negate the usefulness of a particular unit. This can get frustrating within the realm of 1 vs 1, but as Thade has said, this game is more about x vs x. Also, the joy of taking out a single destructo toon is nothing compared with taking out a TON of destructo toons with your friends.

    This is also where newbs would respond with a “lrn 2 play.” While I detest newb forum trolls completely, there is a word of wisdom in that line when it comes to Warhammer. You will not find this game fun if you don’t learn your class. Ironbreakers are NOT heavy dps. Expecting them to be will only piss you off (sorry bout the tantrum last night bud). Ironbreakers are walls of metal and muscle that are used to keep others alive by soaking damage. Oh, we can kick a little ass, but we don’t have the burst that witch elves or white lions have.

    So, my suggestion is… Use the first ten levels to learn your class as well as you can. I know ten levels is just scratching the surface, but it’ll give you hints. If you like what you see that early, you’re on a good path. If you don’t, well there are 9 other classes on your side of the war. One of them will fit. All you have to do is … lrn 2 play.

    Ironbreaker 4 life

  2. Guard, while clearly very helpful in most cases when your getting pummeled, can be a double edged sword if your not careful. The damage that is sent to the tank via guard is not mitigated at all by his armor/parry/block/dodge (not sure about toughness), so for mele dps the best way to damage a tank is really to hit his guard target and hit them hard. As an added bonus if his guard target is a caster/healer, which it should be most of the time, you will also prevent them from getting off non-instant casts with your mele attacks disrupting them.

    The only reservation I would have as a mele dps pummeling a tanks guard target is if it is also an IB’s oath friend as you’d be giving the IB permanent max grudge, damn those pesky dwarfs.

    The best tool a tank has for saving healers from mele, especially at early levels is their snare. They are the bane of mele everywhere and all tanks get one at rank 4 I believe. Collision detection doesn’t hurt either :p

  3. As an Archmage, throwing DoTs out frequently will drastically reduce the cast-time on Boon of Hysh (our big interruptible heal); and I also pop a HoT potion on myself, and keep both other hots on me as well. In a real pinch, I’ll spam myself with Healing Energy until I can roll off a full-Force Transfer Force at my target.

    In any case, if it is in fact not mitigated, that could be cause for concern. However, when I was getting beaten on and I was Grumbleboom’s Guard-target, the damage he was taking was really not so bad. On the other hand, I was suddenly able to stand up to Witch Elves and Marauders (in one exciting case, two at once) so I’m looking forward to experimenting with it more. =)

  4. Guard is basically relying on the tanks superior health in relation to other archetypes to buffer the damage that the guard target is taking. As I understand it, all of the mitigation occurs on the guard target end, so for example:

    A mele hits a healer with guard, the raw dmg is 150, with low armor and toughness the healer mitigates 10 dmg, with no guard the healer would take 140 dmg, with guard the healer takes 70 dmg and the tank takes 70 dmg.

    This is quite nice for mele dps as I heard tanks typically have between 50% and 70% physical dmg mitigation depending on whether or not they are using a shield, but when they use guard they essentially only have as much mitigation as the person they use guard on for the damage they take due to guard.

  5. Well, I can say that even with people wailing on Thade, I personally did not see much of an increase in my own personally taken damage. Which leads me to believe that my mitigation works even on the damage given to my guarded target.

    I will endevour to test this theory in the next couple of days. I will then post here what I determine to be the result.

  6. zomg I didn’t add my tag!

    Ironbreaker for life

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