A Runepriest guide for Warhammer Online.

Monday, 28 June 2010

GOA -> Mythic Servers Happening Tomorrow! (Tuesday 28 June)

Not Runepriest related but important enough to get the word out there:

Tomorrow (Tuesday) GOA will be sending our server data to Mythic. No more progress on your character will be saved after that although they are allowing you to 'play for free' until July 6th. Aren't they generous?

It looks like Mailbox and Auction data won't transfer so it is recommended that you empty these slots before then.

GOA in their eternal incompetance haven't bothered to email these details out to subscribers yet so expect some unhappy and shocked fans. Especially if they continue to play oblivious...

Why they couldn't have planned for a higher uptime is beyond me, I'm sure someone could drive the servers to the datacentre in Germany and turn them on in less than a day! Bah I know it's more complicated than that but to me it'st taking the cheap, rushed way out.

You can find naff all information on the website here.

You can find far more useful information on the mythic website here.


At least we get two weeks free subscription afterwards. 

Friday, 25 June 2010

UI Add-on Developments - Unitframes and Range

Recently I've been noticing some devent improvements in UI add-ons being released for Warhammer. Two of note to the Runepriest are more accurate range finding mods: GroupRange and libRange.

GroupRange is an add-on which will display the distance of your groupmates from you, apparently accurate to +-10 every 100 feet. Whilst this may not at first sound that useful you have to recall the power of Blessing of Valaya. Without requiring LOS you can find a nice hidden corner to heal your group from. Often I have been running through the steamtank to see my group member's icon through the wall. I had no idea how far they were but now I know as soon as I'm in range to start group healing them.

You can see a group list with ranges in Red/Green to the left of my Healthbar. Also if you look to the White Lion in the top right he has a green 75 indicating his range. There are about four different options for displaying the range - these are just two.

libRange is another parallel line of development, creating the same underlying functionality as GroupRange but without a frontend. Fortunatly the mod developer has created features for Squared that allow it to take advantage of the more accurate range finding. It will now fade more accurately when members are out of LOS and out of range. You will need to disable Squared's own LOS/Fade under Misc Options.

Finally, Enemy, this has been around for a while now, has excellent Group Icons, Assists, UnitFrames, KillStats and more. Recently the author has added mouse click functionality to the UnitFrames to allow click casting of abilities like Squared. The effects indicators on Enemy are really good, better than Squared for the most part so it is definitly worth considering switching over.

Finally I've started creating pages leading towards a Runepriest guide on the righthand side. I've started off with a rundown of the Mastery Paths and will add more as time goes on. Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

More detail on 1.3.6 DPS changes for the Runepriest

Runepriests & Zealots:
One of our long-time concerns regarding the Runepriest and Zealot careers is that they ultimately become more limited than other Healer-archetype careers. This is because the other healing careers have their Mastery paths sorted by role - people who play those careers make a decision about the role they want to play, then specialize in the corresponding Mastery path and gear up appropriately. Runepriests and Zealot, however, have their Mastery paths sorted by delivery vehicle ("direct", "over time", and "area", essentially) and then have both offensive and defensive abilities together in each Mastery.  Since there's obviously no such thing as "gearing for direct", though, Runepriests and Zealots then have to decide again whether they want to be offensive or defensive and then gear appropriately - the net result being that even within their chosen Mastery, half of their abilities are ineffective.

We want to maintain the general setup of the Runepriest and Zealot Mastery paths, but we also want to address this issue.  In order to do both of these, we will be adding a new ability to the Runepriest, and changing the functionality of Harbinger of Doom for the Zealot.  All Runepriests will now start with an ability named Rune of Breaking, which can be toggled on and off:

  • While toggled off, the Runepriest is affected by the Rune of Balance.  This causes all Intelligence, Magic Power, and Magic Crit stats on items to be negated, and instead converted into Willpower, Healing Power, and Healing Crit bonuses.  We're currently planning on these stats converting at a 2:1 ratio - in other words, a total of +100 Intelligence from gear would instead be turned into +50 Willpower while this ability is toggled off.
  • While toggled on, the Runepriest is affected by the Rune of Breaking.  This works the same way but in the opposite direction:  Willpower, Healing Power, and Healing Crit stats on gear are negated and instead converted into Intelligence, Magic Power, and Magic Crit, also at a 2:1 ratio.
  • Rune of Breaking may be toggled on and then back off at any time; doing so is instant and costs no Action Points.  However, once it is toggled off, there is a 30 second cooldown before it may be toggled back on again.

For Zealots, Harbinger of Doom will be changed to provide this same functionality.  It will become a starting abilities, and can be toggled on or off.  While toggled off, the Zealot is the Harbinger of Change (and has the same offensive gear stats converted into the same healing stats), and while toggled on, the Zealot is the Harbinger of Doom (and likewise, has healing gear stats converted into offensive stats).  Additionally, all of the Zealot's tactics which currently affect Harbinger of Doom will be redesigned to be appropriate for this new system, and the Runepriest will also gain some tactics which affect Rune of Breaking as well. 
Nate Levy
Lead Designer
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
WarhammerOnline Forums.

"The new effect will probably just be called 'Rune of Anger' and give a character glow effect... Hope they at least remember to flip heal crit to magic crit as well!"

Not a huge suprise in functionality of the ability, you can see my original estimate wasn't too far off the mark.

One suprising development is the improvements to our healing that it will bring. Any int, magic crit, magic power will convert into the heal equivalent. We all have some base int, and most sets also add a certain amount of int so it should be a boost to our willpower. It should be a lot easier to hit the willpower cap with the changes and be able to spend points in more survivability, some old items may need to be re-evaluated in light of this change. Conqueror and Invader have magic crit and int set bonuses making them slightly more viable,

I'm not sure that the ratio will stay at 2:1, I think I would prefer magic/heal crit to be a 1:1 ratio as that doesn't develop naturally with our character. Intelligence could then be slightly lower preventing everyone from having capping willpower too easily.

I have a number of concerns with these changes though:
  • In healing mode, we will be able to contribute little or no damage due to negating our base int, and vice-versa for DPS mode and healing. I don't think it should negate (all) willpower/int. For example one could convert willpower to intelligence in the ratio of 2:1. Then half effectiveness of willpower in Rune of Breaking mode.
  • DOT/HOTs are calculated each tick, so if you DOT/HOT someone and then change stance the damage/healing will drop. This really reduces effectivenesss of stance dancing, something that could be a fun and advanced way to play the class.
  • Can't change tactics in combat to meet your DPS/Healing needs.
  • Still have broken/worthless tactics. 
  • Could trigger the Global Cooldown.
  • Still don't have a mechanism to reduce enemy resists to our damage.
  • Balance issues if weapon DPS does affect our magic/heal power and comes in on the same patch. Could we really become flavour of the month?! 
One way to overcome 2-3 of these issues is to have tactics with 2 features - a balance and a breaking side. e.g. Blessing of Grungni - Under Rune of Breaking critical hits will reduce resistance to elemental damage by 150. Under Rune of Balance critical heals increase incoming healing by 25%. Another way would to be able to choose a tactic set to go with each Rune.

Interesting anyway and should give us more options. Time will tell...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Discipline versus Ancestor's Echo

Just thought I'd post some quick numerical analysis and thoughts on two talents: Discipline and Ancestor's Echo.

At 30% crit, 13 Grugni/11 Grimnir, Average Heals (including crit):

Ability 1050
890 Willpower
Diff 25% Ancestor's Echo

Rune of Regeneration 2812 2646 -166 +0
Grungni's Gift 707 652 -55 +162
Blessing of Valaya 77347071 -663 +972
Rune of Serenity63336002-331+0

Benefits to Ancestor's Echo:
Doesn't overheal - more useful when casting Blessing of Valaya for non-damaged party members.
Ignores heal debuffs.
Worthwhile when you reach willpower cap without Discipline.

Actual value is less powerful than a raw heal because shields ignore resists and armour. 100 HP lasts a lot longer on a tank than a 100 point shield.
Doesn't affect Rune of Regeneration, Rune of Serenity, Rune of Shielding.
Unaffected by Blessing of Grungni.
Less reliable, but still a good proc rate.
Could spend 1 mastery point elsewhere.

I believe the disadvantages indicated in italics probably don't initially occur to people when thinking about the tactic. Do people think it is more viable than Discipline when you aren't willpower capped? Comments please!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

1.3.5 Runepriest Heal Change Analysis

13/6/10 - It seems the spreadsheet wasn't multiplying the base heal value by the group multiplier. This skewed the results for Blessing of Valaya and Rune of Serenity somewhat showing them as less efficient and less powerful than they really are. Fortunatly as the review mostly focuses on GG I only have to correct a few sections annotated in red. BoV values still seem a little low compared to casts on my character but it shouldn't make too much difference to the overall analysis.

Right I've finally got round to updating Stormblazer's Healing Charts to take into account the Runepriest changes in patch 1.3.5. You can see my efforts here. Take note that I have only tested this for my mastery build of 13 Grungni and 11 Grimnir, but should give most people a vague idea. Onto the analysis.

The big change in 1.3.5 was the changes to Grungni's Gift. The base heal amount increased roughly 35%  from 200 - 270HP. The AP cost was massively reduced from 30 to 15.

GG is useful for 3 things: Spam healing on a target to keep them alive, spam healing on yourself when being attacked and healing on the run. Pre 1.3.5 the AP cost to spam heal GG would quickly leave you out of AP, especially if you didn't yet have a high crit pool to regain AP through our tactic Restorative Burst. Post 1.3.5 with the reduction in cost of AP an almost constant spam of GG is possible even with a relatively low heal crit of 25%.

The increase to the base heal makes it more effective in actually outhealing incoming damage. However with any focused damage on a target you will need backup. The benefits of GG is that you can get that first heal in instantly allowing time for group heals or other healers to swop targets.

Here are some statistics (based on my char) of the changes to GG.
Healing per Second (including Crits) increased from 384.4 to 465.4 HP/s. 
Healing per AP increased from 19.2 to 46.5 HP/AP.
Healing per Second per AP increased from 12.8 to 31 HP/s/AP.
Efficiency Scaling (hp/ap/100wp) doubled from 1 to 2 - for each 100 Willpower your HP/AP increases twice as much.
Now to compare this to the other effective single target heal - Rune of Restoration (Rune of Mending doesn't come close):
HPS is 465.4 compared to RoR's 774. A big difference of ~300HPS.
HP/AP is 46.5 compared to  42.4. Grungni's has become more efficient - slightly.
The big change comes in when we compare HPS/AP - GG has 31 compared to RoR's 17.
But lets look at the other benefits:
More likely to proc Blessing of Grungni (+25% healing) due to more casts.
More  likely to proc Restorative Burst (+40AP/3s) due to more casts.
No knockbacks.
Castable on the move.
You get your first two heal (~1300HP)s in the 2.5s before RoR can land. This keeps that character up for the all important group heals or other healers to switch targets.
RoR only useful if you are precasting on someone who is going to take large amounts of damage and you know you aren't going to be hit. It's less efficient now (a lot more so with the tactic proccing regularly). I can hardly think of a reason to use it even in PVE. I don't think I will ever use it again in RvR - and I didn't use it much beforehand.

One of our abilities has stayed quiet up till now - Blessing of Valaya. It has 415HPS not that far below Grungni. Yes it's HP/AP is only 19.2 and it's HPS/AP is a terrible 6.4 but that is only for a single target. These numbers grow huge if your whole group is taking damage, and even if they are not you have a very large chance to proc Restorative Burst (on any of the 6 people you heal) making the HP/AP and HPS/AP much more efficient. You also don't need Line of Sight which has loads of tactical advantages, from hiding behind rocks or standing at a different floor in a keep.

The downsides? Knockback on casting, slightly shorter 100yards range, unable to cast it on other members of the warband, and if casting reactively it might not land in time to save a player due to the 2.5s cast time. The majority of the time this should still be your bread and butter heal - as dull as it is to find a bush and spam cast.

Rune of Serenity

The changes to Rune of Serenity aren't as noticable. The base percentage to healing has roughly doubled from 300 to 600. However the effect of willpower seems to be reduced from 0.4 HPW to 0.3. This is unconfirmed as I admit my testing hasn't been conclusive.

Despite this if landing on 6 players this becomes our most efficient heal (156HP/AP) after Rune of Regeneration (93HP/AP) and Blessing of Valaya (6man -75HP/AP).  Unfortunatly it isn't a very noticable heal because it doesn't always land on those in need. I like to cast it in keep raids and in scenarios as it doesn't cost much and should net some renown leech from other group it bounces to. I try and cast it when another group has taken damage but can't really tell how effective it is. It is now quite an effective heal to use in PvE as you can be sure it is acting on people when the group is taking AOE damage.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

City Siege Stage 3 - RP Weapon and Armor

 Longstaff of the Incorruptible
Missing anything obvious? Answers on a postcard...

Overlord's Vestments
Not terribly exciting.

1.3.6. Runepriest DPS Changes?

In patch 1.3.6, we want to make further improvements upon the Zealot and Runepriest careers. We wanted to give options to the healers that train a mastery path for a delivery method rather than a playstyle.

When thinking of changes, we kept coming back to one thing: “HARBINGER OF DOOM” (BIG FOR EFFECT). I can already tell the Zealots are cringing and thinking, “What is that crazy person doing to my Harbinger?” The meat of the change is that Harbinger of Doom becomes an active toggle. You start in “healing mode” by default and by activating the toggle you switch to “damage mode”. This will allow Zealots to pick a Mastery path for the type of abilities that they want, without being forced to then pick again between damage and healing. While the actual effect of the toggle is still being discussed, we are leaning towards flipping magic to healing and vice versa to achieve this goal. Some of you are probably saying, “What about Runepriests? I didn’t hear him say anything about Runepriest!” The plan is to mirror this ability on the Runepriest career as well."
Source: May 2010 Producers Letter

Hmmm, the jury is out, any increase to our DPS has to be a good thing but the fix lacks originality. The Runepriest is in need of a decent mechanic either new or building upon master runes or oath runes. Our mastery lines could also use a bit of life. The new effect will probably just be called 'Rune of Anger' and give a character glow effect... Hope they at least remember to flip heal crit to magic crit as well!