Say ‘ello to the new git!

nazgum-squig-herder

Nazgum the Squig Herder – Iron Rock

I’ve been playing on Ostermark since release, and its been a great server at times.  Fun people, and a fair amount of action.  But lately, the action is becoming harder and harder to find..

I wanted to make a choppa alt a few weeks ago, to level with Snafzg‘s shammy alt; but Ostermark is just atrocious for activity in T1-T3.  Scenarios do not pop and the RvR lakes are barren.  Snafzg started suggesting we roll our alts on Phoenix Throne, which I initially didn’t like but it got me thinking..  perhaps having a second server to play on would be nice, then there would be two places to check to see if there was action rather then one!  Smart gobbo!

So I started looking at the server list.  My first thought was to make an alt on an Oceanic server.  I often play at odd hours, so the time difference would be a great benefit.  I started leveling an alt on Ironclaw, but it didn’t last long.  The lag was not enjoyable.  And while it was fine sometimes, it seemed too risky for a PvP game.  Next!

Open RvR!  There was a great debate at launch among our guild on whether to roll on an ORvR ruleset.  Our guild was in favour of it until Mythic changed the rules at the last minute to allow higher tier players to come down and gank the lower tiers, so we opt’d for a core RP server instead.  Now its just a few people rolling alts so I thought its worth checking out.  Hah.  That was a mistake.  You receive no bolster in RvR lakes, so you are heavily punished for going there without being near the top of your tier.  Level 20s were camping our Chapter 3 PQs.  And I tried to make my way to the Dwarf starting areas at level 3 so I could find some similar levels to fight, but the hero guards are everywhere and frustrating to try to go around.  Amid all the extra frustration of trying to level, I imagine T4 would play basically the same due to the 55 Hero guards everywhere, so what’s the point?  Next!

My real reason for looking at other servers in the first place was Ostermark’s population is so low.  So what should be my main concern?  Population!  ‘Ello Iron Rock!  Among the top most populated servers!  Now that seems like a decent choice.

So I will be leveling a Squig Herder on Iron Rock, while Snafzg levels a shaman there.  We’re effectively switching roles since I’m a shaman on Ostermark and he’s the Squig.  And of course the most badass female Orc Likla will be joining us as a Choppa!  Waaagh!  Should be fun times =)

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The journey to Nazgum v3.0

Since Warhammer’s release (which was 6 months ago already!), my main has been my shaman, Nazgum.  Over the course of those 6 months my spec (and playstyle) has changed quite a bit.  I’m just moving on to a new version so what better time to take a journey back to see how I got to here.

Nazgum v1.0: Healer

Whatever group Nazgum runs: Guild leader (I think) and regular warband leader as a shaman. Can and has healed half a warband on his own.[1]

For about the first 3 months that warhammer was out I played a shaman pretty much how you would expect them to be played; as a healbot roaming the RvR lakes in a warband.  I basically aimed to keep my Willpower as high as I could and I ran with the tactics Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Restorative Burst and Dat Makes Me Dizzy.

How did playing a healer work out?  In one word.  Awful.  I’m a PvP player, and as I see it there are essentially three options to PvP in Warhammer: Solo, in a small group, or in a warband.

Attempting to solo as a pure healer is useless.  You do no damage.  Really.  You can just take your damage skills off your toolbar.  You also have very low survivability.  Not exactly a winning combo.  With the above tactics and a focus on Willpower there was few fights I would win.

What about a small group?  Group vs Group should be fun.  It would be, except it never happens in Warhammer.  If you actually manage to find a group of 6 willing to go out there and roam the lakes you will be sorely disappointed to discover there is no opposing groups of 6 for you to fight – just warbands and stragglers seeking to rejoin their warbands.

So that just leaves warbands.  Playing a healer in a warband is essentially wack-a-mole with squared.  A square changes color you click it with a HoT.  Not much fun.  The amount of Crowd Control abilities in warband fights adds a lot of frustration as well.  You get silenced and die.  You get disabled and die.  And worse, you’re often a first target and few allies seem interested in trying to protect you.

The short summary is, no matter how I tried to play as a pure healer, it was often frustrating and rarely fun.

Nazgum v2.0: Kiter

Nazgum, because I usually idle in someone or other’s vent even when I’m soloing just so I have some background noise, and any announcement of “Hey, there’s Nazgum all by himself, go get him” is usually followed by ten minutes of profanity and hilarity.[2]

At about the 3 month mark from release I was done with warbands.  I realized there is no way they could provide the entertainment I wanted.  So I decided to take a second look at what abilities I have, and try and spec into a very self-protective role.  I switched my tactics to Discipline, Extra Special Mushrooms, Git Outta Here! and RUN AWAY!.  I dropped Willpower and instead focused on Toughness, Initiative and Wounds.

I took a few laps around the RvR lakes and.. it was like a totally different class.  A good class.  Not only was I nearly impossible to bring down, I could actually get kills as well!  Gork Sez Stop became my new best friend and with it I shifted to playing almost entirely solo.  In 1vs1 I was a beast, easily downing any Tank or Ranged DPS class.  Even Witch Hunters usually weren’t much trouble.  White Lions were my only real bane.

But there was still the problem that I killed slow.  Very slow.  I needed to rely on Gork Sez Stop for damage and players who knew to stop would result in a long fight.  It also started to lose its entertainment value.  Sure I could win fights, but it was repetitive and didn’t offer much variety.  I would basically do the same thing every fight.  I liked that my character was viable solo now (and teamed with a witch elf or marauder we would be a vicious duo), but there still must be a better way…

Nazgum v3.0: DPS

Hahaaaa. Death at the hands of a healer…tis a rare event that usually involves a computer malfunction. (Unless your name is Nazgum.)[3]

Way back when I was a pure healer, I never even considered trying a DPS spec, because my survivability was so low I knew it would just result in a faster death for myself.  But after getting a little bored with kiting I wanted to try something new.  I kept a pretty good focus on survivability with my stats (600 wounds/intelligence, 400 toughness/initiative), and switched my tactics up to Mork Is Watchin’, Divine Fury, Hurts, Don’t It? and Git Outta Here!.

war-combat-log1

Wow.  I had no idea shaman could actually do decent damage.  This new spec has made the game a lot more fun for me again, especially because it provides more variation to my fights.  My damage abilities belong on my toolbar now!  There’s a lot of buttons to select from now!  But fights are also more risky!  My survivability is way down and I need to learn to be more cautious as this spec.

I usually play solo or in a duo nowadays, and I wanted to see how my healing held up, so I teamed with Snafzg.  Usually when I duo with a dps it works pretty well, except when the other side has a healer, as I can’t contribute enough damage to ensure we down them.  Not this time.  Me and Snafzg put out quite the DPS together, and we went on a pretty nice tear in Chaos Wastes in front of the Order warcamp fighting mostly 2vs3 before eventually being brought down

war-combat-log2

So that’s where I’m at now with Nazgum, and it’s quite enjoyable.  Hopefully this spec lasts me until 1.3 when apparently Shamans are getting a bit of needed surgery on their Mork/Gork mechanic =)