Saturday, December 13, 2008

Warhammer Online: Mourkain Temple Scenario - Suggestions for Improvement

General Scenario Improvements

If you read my guides, you might notice I harp on this a lot. But it is very important, so it is worth mentioning.

Longer Delay Before the Scenario Begins

What's the rush? Give people time to zone in, get buffed, and discuss strategy. Another 1 or 2 minutes would not slow down the action. On servers or at times of the day when scenarios are not popping fast, the crazy rush makes even less sense. Help ensure a fun scenario experience by giving people time to get off to a proper start.

Immunity Timer When Zoning Out

What is the purpose behind zoning people out of a completed scenario with no immunity timer, so when they finish zoning they are dead or nearly dead to NPCs? What is the harm in a 30 second timer where they are immune and cannot attack? There seems to be an institutional belief that players should not be out fighting in the PvE world between scenarios. This makes no sense. A huge part of the fun of Warhammer Online is the fact that you can do so many things at once. You can PvE some, RvR some, do scenarios some, and go back and forth almost at will. It keeps your game play fresh and prevents boredom. Do they really expect people to just stand around idle in a warcamp waiting for scenarios to pop? What if someone plays on a low population server or plays when scenarios are not popping fast?

Warhammer Online: Mourkain Temple Scenario - Fun Strategies

Fun Strategies

Perhaps there are people who enjoy the ultra repetitive turtling strategy. I certainly do not, and from everything I have read in the Warhammer Online blogosphere it would appear most people dislike it. But fear not, there are actually some FUN winning strategies as well.

Hold the Temple, Crush Your Enemies

While it is still important to back up a little after claiming the artifact, it is not necessary that you flee all the way back to your respawn point. Simply backing up to the entrance of the temple on your side of the map is good enough to let your realm mates crush the enemy in front of you. This is especially true if your team has a lot of tanks and melee DPS. The structure of the temple provides excellent line of sight obstructions to duck behind when ranged DPS gets too heavy.

If you can keep the fight on the
opponent's side of the temple you do not even have to worry as much about passing off the artifact. You can simply recap it from its original location if your carrier accidentally dies with it. This is not ideal (it is much better to have someone nearby), but it is good to have this backup option. If you think you can safely control the artifact spawn location, this could open up the opportunity to let a ranged DPS hold the artifact and unleash high point death from afar. When he or she falls, you simply recap it.

Passing off the Artifact

The carrier of the artifact is subject to a continual DoT that cannot be dispelled. The DoT hits for more and more damage the longer the carrier has the artifact. Eventually it will get so large that it cannot be healed through. Once the artifact starts doing more than 1000 damage per tick, the carrier should inform his or her team how big the DoT is. When it starts to become unmanageable, the carrier should try to convince another team member (preferably a tank) to withdraw from battle and come stand next to him or her. At a lull in the fighting (if possible), healers should stop healing the carrier so the DoT can kill him and the designated new carrier can quickly pick it up.

When the artifact is dropped, there are only a few seconds to click on it before it returns to the original spawn point. The range for clicking on the artifact is actually very long. It can be grabbed from quite some distance away. So try to make sure there is a line of sight obstruction between the dying carrier and any potential enemies.

Know the Score and the Time

The score and the time can dictate changes in tactics. If you are losing a close game, but have the artifact, it might be a good idea to have your carrier go ahead and devote full effort to fighting. This is the equivalent to "pulling the goalie" in hockey. Kills by the artifact carrier are worth more points, and those points could be enough to pull ahead in the last minute of a scenario, or it might get you to 500 just before the other team.

If you are losing and do not have the artifact, you might as well forget the carrier in the last minute or so of the scenario and just try to get a few kills. Earning a little more experience and renown is a good thing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Warhammer Online: Mourkain Temple Scenario - Winning Strategies

Winning Strategies

Mourkain Temple is a very straightforward scenario, which is both good and bad. The good part is that the lack of complexity generally results in a lot of action. The bad part is there is really only one way to win and thus little room for interesting, clever tactics.

There are really only two main ways to play this scenario. One is exciting and fun, the other is a pretty lame and repetitive. Unfortunately, the second is far more common. Sadly, it could all be remedied with a few improvements to the scenario.

Turtling or Hedgehogging

This is the standard strategy most people employ from both realms. It involves the carrier of the artifact immediately running back to their spawn location and hiding right underneath it. The carrier is then surrounded by members of his team, who (with the aid of ranged attackers from the spawn point) slaughter anyone who tries to kill the carrier.

Far too often, the only real challenge in Mourkain is getting the artifact first. The majority of scenarios are won by whoever gets it first. This is a real shame, because a lot of potential fun is wasted. The advantage to holding the artifact near your spawn point is enormous. Anyone on your team who dies is back in action really fast, whereas opponents who die must spend at least an extra minute or so before they get back. Ranged attackers, healers, and rezzers can often stay safely above the battle without even jumping down from their spawn point. This is especially true for order who tend to have more ranged DPS.

Order tends to turtle up behind a broken wall near their spawn point. Destruction tends to turtle up inside or behind a hut at theirs.

A team using the turtle strategy needs to remember that killing people is still the main source of points. If you are turtling but the other side out kills you significantly, they can still win. This happens sometimes when the carrier team is melee heavy and the other team is ranged DPS heavy. They can stand back and slaughter your "defenders" over and over. Any attempt to get at them in small numbers simply results in dead melees 1-99 feet away from the ranged DPS. This speaks to the huge imbalance in favor of ranged DPS in WAR, but that is a different issue.

Beating the Turtle

To beat the turtle, you need to either farm their defenders from range (as described above), or gather your entire team for a powerful attack on their carrier. If you wait a minute or two after the initial clash, you can get all of your respawns together and strike when the DoT damage from the artifact is starting to get heavy.

You will really have to fight effectively and focus fire if you hope to beat the turtle. The advantage to turtling is just enormously big in this scenario.

It might help to pick off a few stragglers or bored/aggressive members right before you make your big rush. This puts the numbers in your favorite for 1-30 seconds at least.

Warhammer Online: Mourkain Temple Scenario - Beginning and Basic Information

Scenario Basics

Type: Murderball

Duration: 15 minutes

Winning Condition: First team to 500 points, or highest points at the end of duration.

Tier: 2

Player Ranks: 8 through 21

Number of Players: 12 per realm


  1. Killing a player: 5 points
  2. Killing a player while holding the artifact: 10 points
  3. Killing the artifact carrier: 10 points
  4. Holding the artifact: approximately 3 points every 5-10 seconds

Once it Begins

Unfortunately, the first 30 seconds of Mourkain Temple are extremely important. You need someone to grab the artifact as quickly as possible so your team can start racking up points. If there are any level 20+ players on your team, they can mount up and get to the temple fast. Alternatively, White Lions and Marauders have multiple sprint-type abilities that can get there about as fast as a mount. 

You grab it by clicking on it and watching a 2 second timer. If there are multiple people there, you better hope you clicked first. Once you grab it, you definitely want to back up a bit towards your spawn location so your team can catch up. There is usually quite a battle right away as the team that failed to grab it tries to kill the carrier. The team with the artifact generally tries to retreat with it (sadly, back to their spawn area usually).

If you have any AoE roots or snares, use them here whether your team grabbed the artifact or not. Slowing the other team's retreat or chase are both good things. This is also a good time to AoE the enemy if you can, as most of your foes will be frantically trying to pummel the brightly glowing carrier into dust.

If you are the carrier, work hard to break line of sight at every opportunity. Enemies will be nuking you and dropping DoTs and CC on you as rapidly as possible. Help your healers by giving them time to let HoTs tick and dispel DoTs or CC abilities.

If you pull back only a short distance, you might be able to get a few quick kills on whatever overly ambitious melees charge forward. This helps your team get some quick points.

If your team fails to get the artifact, then it is off to the races. Most of your team will charge forward and try to get a quick kill on the carrier. Usually this fails. Most of the time the carrier is able to get safely behind his own lines.

Warhammer Online: Mourkain Temple Scenario - Summary

Official Summary

Find the Mourkain artifact and seize it for your realm. Killing the enemy while carrying the Mourkain Artifact will yield more points, but slaying the artifact bearer also yields increased rewards. Carrying the Artifact will inflict damage to the carrier over time.

(Source: Mourkain Temple loading screen)

Official Details

From the Warhammer Herald:

"Hold the ball and you'll get points over time, as well as points for killing other players - more points than you would normally! If you're killed while holding the ball, the other team will get double your normal kill value... and of course you drop the Murder Ball! As with all Murder Ball Scenarios, you will take damage for as long as you're carrying the artifact... power has its price!

Both Realms start this map on opposite sides of the Mourkain temple ruins. At the center of the temple lies the Mourkain
Artifact. The swampy terrain and temple provide an impressive backdrop for this Scenario. Players who are swarthy and use their sprint ability wisely will make it to the Artifact first, and gain the upper hand. Teams that stick together and protect the Artifact carrier will find this Scenario easy to win. In a way, Mourkain is reflective of our open field combat in the Marshes of Madness, but with the added satisfaction of chasing down a specific target. Teams that flank and use the whole terrain will be able to shake free the Mourkain Artifact from their opponents grasp. Use the swampy terrain and vines to break line of sight, and always be on the move in this Scenario. Staying still will net you a quick death, and possible loss of the powerful Mourkain Artifact!"

Where and How to Join

Mourkain Temple is located in the Marshes of Madness, which is part of the Dwarf vs. Greenskin pairing.

You can queue for the scenario from any Tier 2 zone by clicking the icon that is located at approximately 11 o'clock on your mini-map. This opens the scenario queue interface. You can then pick scenarios to join solo or as a group. You can also join all available scenarios with a single click if you choose. Note that when you use the Join All button the scenario code slightly biases you towards the scenario(s) located in the same pairing as the zone you are physically located in.


While you can queue for this scenario from any Tier 2 zone in the game, you can pick up quests for the scenario in the Marshes of Madness and Barak Varr warcamps. These quests can be completely an unlimited number of times, and they will net you a few thousand experience and a good amount of silver each time you turn them in.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Warhammer Online: Nordenwatch - Suggestions and Conclusions


Nordenwatch is an excellent, very fun scenario, but there are still ways in which it could be made better.

Longer Delay Before Beginning

This is a problem with all scenarios in Warhammer Online right now. They start too quickly. If you enter the instant the scenario window "pops", by the time you zone in you are lucky if it is 30 seconds until the scenario begins. Many members of your team will not even be in yet, as they might have been in combat when it popped, or they might load slowly. An entire scenario can be ruined simply
because a few people got in late. This can result in the first fight being a disaster for one side, and the other side setting up an unassailable defensive position before things are finally equal. The short delay also makes it hard to get everyone buffed, and virtually impossible for ANY kind of strategy to be discussed. They should add 1-2 minutes to the starting delay. This would improve things enormously.

Do Not Let Unbalanced Scenarios Begin

12 on 8 is no fun. 12 on 10 is rarely fun either. Hold the beginning of the scenario until both sides have the same number of combatants. This one is so obvious I do not understand why the system does not work this way.

Let People Join Even While in Combat with NPCs: This is another general scenario issue. Since the game lets you join when dead (with no death penalty) why does this limitation even exist? All it does is waste time as the player has to either finish the combat, run far enough away to get out of combat, or hurry up and die. This is nothing but a huge inconvenience.

Give People 30 seconds of Immunity when they exit the scenario

Again, this is a general scenario issue. There is no excuse for zoning out of a scenario and being dead before you finish zoning (or < 10% health). It is like they expect people to stand around in a war camp doing nothing between scenarios. This is impractical (as sometimes queue times are long) and pointless (as one of the strengths of WAR is being able to do so many things tat the same time).

Less Points for the Fortress Capture

Change it to 20 points. There is too much emphasis placed on the Fortress.

Less Points for Holding the Fortress

Some people think it is 2 points per tick, but in practice it appears to be 4. Change this to 3, and it would be much better. That would mean holding the other 2 is better than the Fort. This is a good reward for how much harder it is to hold Barracks and Lighthouse.


Nordenwatch is enormous fun and it is a great introduction to RvR in Warhammer Online. It is probably the best Tier 1 scenario, and in the end it is one of the best scenarios overall. You get into the action fast, and you get back into the action fast even if your team is losing. It is well designed, balanced, and a great way to start off any character's career.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Warhammer Online: Nordenwatch - Losing Strategies and Things to Avoid

Losing Strategies

Gank the Other Realm's Spawn Objective:

Occasionally, one team will send 1 or 2 people to the opposing realm's spawn objective to try and get a sneaky capture. This strategy might seem to work at first, and may seem very appealing. But in practice this only accomplishes two things:
Virtually guarantees a loss at the Fort since your team will be outnumbered. The Fort is worth double the capture points of the Barracks or the Lighthouse, so this is a net loss of 15 points.
The opposing team will almost certainly capture it right back when their respawns roll through and probably outnumber whoever capturedit. This gives 15 points to the other team, which nullifies the initial capture points. So now you have a net loss of 30 points.

Worst Case Scenario: A couple members of your team run across to capture their spawn objective. They flip it from controlled to uncontrolled, but soon after get killed by respawns or nearby enemies. The enemy then recaptures it for themselves. During this time, the enemy also takes the Fort due to their numerical advantage. This results in a net loss of 45 points (30 points for the Fort, 15 points for recapturing their spawn objective, and none for your team). This also means the opposing realm got 60 or so points for kills (since they probably killed all 12 of your team), and due to being outnumbered your realm may very likely have received 0 kills. So within the first couple minutes of the scenario, your realm is already down 120 to 0. Brutal.

Nothing Else Matters... GET THE FORT!

This has been addressed elsewhere, but it bears specific mention as a losing strategy. Throwing yourselves repeatedly at the fort will accomplish nothing but give the other realm a lot of easy, fast points, renown, and experience. This is particularly true if subsequent attacks on the Fort happen haphazardly as your fallen allies straggle in after various respawns. This strategy frequently degenerates into fighting half way between your own spawn objective and the Fort. This means you never even threaten the Fort in a serious way, and they enemy just farms you at their leisure.

Things to Avoid

Yelling "HEAL!" or other criticisms of the healers. While it is possible the healers on your team are bad, one or more of the following is more likely:

1) They are overwhelmed. You might have too few healers, or their level may be such that there is not much more they can do.

2) They are constantly under attack and/or nobody is helping them shed attackers.

3) You simply charged ahead foolishly, got focus fired, and were out of healing range or (rightly) deemed not worth healing due to your own recklessness.

4) The other team is simply better. If the other team is delivering ferocious DPS, your healers will simply be unable to keep up.

Insist that the only way to win is to hold the Fort. I think this has been addressed sufficiently, but it really needs to be driven home.

Calling your teammates stupid, noobs, fools, or any other insult. Tier 1 is a chance to get to know people on your realm. These are people you may be fighting with for many months or years to come. They may be learning how to play MMOs for the first time, or learning a new class archetype. No matter how badly you think they are playing, these are your teammates for now and perhaps for the future. Helping them learn is a much better idea than criticizing them for failure. Furthermore, the failure may be your own and not theirs. In RvR based games, your reputation is more important than on purely PvE games. Being liked simply by 25-40 people in your guild that you raid with is not enough. You will need to be able to work with hundreds of different people if you have any hope of success in large, open world RvR.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Warhammer Online: Nordenwatch - Aftermath of the Fortress Battle

Aftermath: Your side won the battle at the Fortress

Congratulations! Your side won the big battle at the fortress. This usually means one of three things:

  1. Your team is simply better, and will probably crush the other team repeatedly in every massed engagement.
  2. Your team played smarter, or their team spazzed and did not play smart. Perhaps your team focused fire better or you saw their key support faster. If the other team learns from their mistake (not typical) then later battles may have a different outcome.
  3. Your team had all 12 of its people zone in faster and they all got to the Fort faster. Do not underestimate the effect of this. Scenarios in WAR start extremely rapidly for some reason. For this reason, a few slow loading players could give you a false sense of accomplishment.

After this initial win, you have two main choices:

  1. Chase after your defeated foe. The reasons for doing this include: getting a few more kills, trying to capture the third objective, hoping to farm the other team at their spawn. No matter how crushing or slim your win was, there will almost always be someone yelling on scenario chat "HOLD THE FORT! DON'T CHASE!" This is good advice if your victory was slim. But if you rolled the other team hard, an aggressive strategy is probably more likely to yield fast points, heavy kills, and a quick and richly rewarded victory.
  2. Hold the Fort. If you had a very close win at the Fort, this is probably a good, safe idea. Let your team respawn and get into good position to defend the fort.

Aftermath: Your side lost the battle at the Fortress

Click that RESPAWN button and gather your forces. If you are a leader type, encourage people to hold at the Lighthouse/Barracks and wait for everyone to respawn. See the above section for reasons why you lost that massed battle. You now have two choices:

  1. Gather your forces and hit the Fort again, hoping for a better outcome. This is only a viable strategy if you lacked all 12 members in the first fight, if it was really close, or if you think your team could have won but for a few mistakes. Generally, if you lost the first all out battle at the fort you will keep losing them in a straight up 12 on 12 fight. Keep that in mind before charging off again to be slaughtered. An entrenched foe at the Fort has an distinct terrain advantage over the attacker.
  2. Send a few people to the objective near their spawn to take it. This not only gives you points, but it will probably pull a few of their players away from the Fort. You may also get to kill a few of their respawning members and dump them back in the respawn queue. If you are able to hold the objective near their spawn against 1 or 2 small attacks, that inherently means their force at the Fort is now reduced in numbers. That is the time to strike the Fort - when you have a numerical advantage.