Monday, March 2, 2009

spell effects, scenarios and shoulder plates


Good WAR weekend for me: Gunbad right wing run, first piece of stalker set, lots of scenarios. A couple random thoughts:

Spell effects settings. So the settings on spell effects work like this: choose performance level (fastest framerate, balanced, or super awesome ... something like that, I'll never know) and who's effects you show: none, self, party, warband, all.

Default for me was fastest and party (i think). So what's curious about this is that mobs that have spell effects, like say the Herald of solithex the final boss of the third PQ on the right side of Gunbad, drops these little purple volcanos everywhere, but you'd never know if your spell effects weren't set to "all". You see nothing. And then you die.

So a couple of thoughts about this: one, why would I want to see friendly effects, but not hostile ones? I'd much rather for performance reasons see say, unfriendly only, or self and unfriendly.

Also, does this mean there are opposing PC effects that I've been missing? If so, what the fudge! Why would you let me turn this off?

Okay, so as a side note on that fight, my party-mates, good folks all, told me that we should fight the herald at the top of the ramp by the mixa cauldrons. I'm a noob to the dungeon so I wasn't going to argue, but yeah, I think that's wrong.

At the top you have three narrow paths that meet by the entrance to the final wing boss, and you sort of cluster in there. So when the herald drops his volcanos, you have nowhere to go but back and back. Tank him on the bottom and sidestep, imo. Has Prince Malchezzar taught us nothing?

Okay, where was I. Oh yeah. Jeez there's a lot of scenarios in tier 3. I thought I'd done them all when i posted on friday. Wrong. six scenarios. Some pretty good ones too. I'm particularly fond of Talabec Dam. While its possible to just zerg up at the bomb drop in the center, it seems to encourage small group fights, which I quite fancy. Also, it just strikes me as very narrative in a way that many others aren't.

The crater is more of a king of the hill sort of deal, reminds me of the old days of Tarren Mill sieging in WoW, sort of a big standoff with the occasional bloody charge.

Still haven't done any high pass cemetary, so I'll be curious to see what that's like.


Okay last random thought, everyone knows that WAR has borrowed liberally from WoW in play mechanics and such, and most everyone knows that WoW borrowed many aesthetic/world ideas from Warhammer, but it occured to me that perhaps the most important of these is the shoulder plates.

Seriously, giant shoulder plates should be copyright games workshop. Were others doing it in the late 80s and early 90s? Probably so, but no one made quite the art out of it that GW did. Warhammer 40k's space marines are sort of the poster child but the early realms of choas stuff, which was both fantasy and 40k also made full use of the gigantic flamboyant pauldron.

Nowadays it seems kind of like a standard, but it really isn't. There's no giant shoulder plates in Tolkien, or AD&D or any of the other sources for most of fantasy's design fundamentals. Giant shoulders are really a games workshop product.

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