The Warhammer Online patch notes for 1.2 are now available; if you have a few hours to spare check all 55 pages out. Its jaw-dropping how many changes are set to go in, the new systems being added, and just how much the crafting has been revamped. All that plus a boatload of career balance changes and overall RvR refinement. All this work while WAR has already had its share of live events, previous patches, two careers added, two more set to go in shortly, and the whole RvR dungeon/zone planned for release in a few months. Say what you want, but you have to give Mythic credit for the amount of effort they are pouring into WAR right now.
I’m not going to go over all 55 pages of the notes, but I do want to point out a few of my personal highlights. First up is the zone domination system.
* To earn a Domination Point from a Battlefield Objective, it must be owned by your realm for 30 minutes.
* To earn a Domination Point from a Keep, it must be claimed by a Guild and then held for 2 hours.
*If you lose control of a Battlefield Objective or Keep at any time, you lose the Domination Point.
This will be interesting, as two hours sounds like a rather lengthy amount of time, yet will also place a HUGE emphasis on defending your guilds keep. An hour or so of pre-lock keep capture, then a final objective push to lock the zone. At least if your alliance wants to lock a zone, they don’t have to rely on random scenario losses hurting your cause. Hopefully the end result of the system is a faster campaign, with more zone and fortress locks occurring through the week.
* RvR Hotspot icons will now scale based on the size of the battle. The tooltip has also been clarified to give an indication of how big the battle actually is. Hotspots will also be displayed on the racial pairing view and campaign UI tracker.
Finally, those battle icons will actually be useful. The map functionality in WAR has a lot of potential, but currently is a major hit/miss due to bugs or outdated information. Once it’s functioning at a level to really be relied on, it will be a huge tool for organizing RvR and getting everyone to the fight quicker.
* The Zone Control Bar can now be clicked to provide more details on each Zone Control Pool, including each contributing system, and who is winning the battle for each. This will tell you what your realm still needs to accomplish in order to conquer the zone!
This is huge. Finally players looking to seriously push a zone will know exactly what they need to focus on to move things along. With this in place, it will be interesting to see whether the system itself is the problem, or the lack of information about the system. Perhaps sending players to complete a PQ or scenario won’t be as painful if the players know exactly how many they need to complete.
* Public Quests will now always be displayed on the map even if the Tome of Knowledge Unlock for the Public Quest hasn’t been unlocked yet.
A nice change, this will give those out-of-the-way PQs some love, and make organizing and moving from PQ to PQ much easier. Hopefully this also fixes the bug that was not showing the PQ location on the map even after you had discovered it. The PQs themselves are great content when you have a group, so anything to help get players into those groups and to the PQs is a good step forward.
* Warband members will now show up on the minimap and zone maps.
Thank god. Another major step forward to helping players get organized and to the correct location in RvR. This change alone will go a long way to reduce the general confusion that currently plagues RvR.
* Characters that are in a party or warband and are disconnected from the game will have their spot in the party saved.
This is nice, as nothing was more annoying than having someone crash or disconnect in a full warband, and have that spot taken before they logged back in. It’s a small change, but the small changes overall add up.
I’ve yet to really go over the class changes, other than to notice that the DoK got buffed for healing, and that the WE career did not get as nerfed as some expected, especially if the changes to kisses now allows them to crit. Of course we will know a lot more once this patch is on test. Finally, as much as I dislike playing alts, it’s going to be tough not rolling a Choppa and seeing all of the greenskin zones fully. The greenskins are one of the more unique and entertaining races, so I’m looking forward to immerse myself in that.