War with cute little buggers

WAR and summer is in the air. Where I live, the heat has risen constantly now for a few weeks, and it's wonderful. I spent yesterday and most of today lying on green grass outside my apartment with the sun scorching my skin, listening to music, drinking cold things and watching people walk by. Female people mostly. Heat can do wonderful things. Ah, summer, how I love thee.

I found plenty of reading at Massively when the sun disappeared. A three-part article about guilds in WAR (part 1, part 2, part 3), and information about Dwarven Engineer and Goblin Shaman, the Shaman being one of the classes I'm most interested in. Ever since I watched a movie of a PvP battle with a small goblin Shaman, hobbling forward with a big staff, throwing spells and healing on everyone and everything, I was instantly in love with the cute little bugger. Being small and dangerous has it's lure; sadly World of Warcraft's gnomes is just too cute and fluffy (I only typed "WoW gnome" in Google and searched for images, I swear!) to be seen as dangerous.

Apparently Shaman will have spells from two schools of magic: Gork and Mork. Gork is all casting spells that hurt-a-lot in your opponent's face and Mork is casting healing in your team-mate's face. Casting damage spells for Gork will make Mork jealous (and vice versa), and when he get jealous he will lure you over to casting his spells by offering you boosts to those spells.
It's a very interesting way to take heal-botting out of the game and enable your healers to do damage as well. If you are running around healing your team-mates for a long time, it will make your next Gork spell really, really nasty.

Most game designers have realised World of Warcraft's error in making healing so important and intense that you can't do anything else. Age of Conan's healers have healing spells that both heal and do damage, or require you to hit the mob to heal your party, while making healing not as intense by having most healing be done over time instead of direct. Shaman's healing technique offer a third, and I would say more interesting way to solve the problem. So far WAR have been coming up with one revolutionizing idea after each other, I'm confident that the MMO genre won't be the same after WAR. If early games like Everquest was the 1st generation MMO games, and World of Warcraft was the 2nd, WAR will definitely be the 3rd.

I also found a week old, but interesting interview that had a question answered which I was wondering about after written yesterdays post about sieges. What happens when you take a capital?
How will WAR ensure that a capital city isn't held indefinitely?

Jeff: We don't want people to win all the time, and we don't want people to be overpowered because they're winners. A lot of different factors go into measuring success when an enemy takes a capital city. Enemies are given a certain amount of time, typically 24 hours, to ransack a capital city. Actual owners of the city are encouraged to retake the city once that timer runs out. They become more powerful as time passes while the enemy gets weaker, so we give players bonuses and enhancements to push the enemy out. We don't want them to stay there forever.
I guess this give the game a more natural feeling to the world than just resetting everything.

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