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the last bastion of hope

March 23, 2009

Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous. -Sun Tzu

The knowledge that allying yourself with an untrained force is dangerous has been an important force in warfare for thousands of years. The awareness of this problem throughout history has lead the creation of increasingly organized and skilled military forces in the modern world. Armies have progressively decreased in size as technology has increased the killing power of individual soldiers and reduced the reliance on slow logistical movement. In modern warfare communication is an instantaneous and powerful tool which allows commanders and generals to direct units in very precise manners. More importantly the increased training that soldiers receive allows them to communicate with one another to coordinate amazing tactical feats. Land units direct the fire of machines flying high above head onto targets miles away. Artillery units are able to calculate ballistic trajectories so that guns firing thousands of feet apart and miles away from their targets are able to strike simultaneously. Training, strategy and tactics have reduced the death toll of war, while increasing the effect those wars have.

There is however another precedent in war: The use of under trained, unsophisticated troops as mercenaries. The individual troops in these situations don’t matter. Instead it is solely important to recruit a large enough force to ensure victory, either through fear, or sheer overwhelming numbers. The larger the force, the less skill is required by the individuals in that force. In essence these armies are large armed mobs taking loose direction on where to strike. Each soldier is worth much less, so this reduces the cost of putting an army to war. When these types of armies clashed the battlefield is covered in bodies who knew nothing more than the direction to aim.

An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. -Sun Tzu

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with WAR? The fact is, the core gameplay of WAR centers around individual players becoming mercenaries. The game centers around ‘RVR’ which is actually simply a breakdown of organized battle into simplistic manpower struggles. Random ability selections often result in very good outcomes. Many players acting randomly will destroy small organized groups who lack the modern sophistication to deal with the larger force. Artillery fire is broken down to the extent that siege weapons, with the exception of Oil, have little impact on players. Crowd control abilities often impact large groups, allowing the true artillery of the game, AOE ranged DPS to destroy waves of opposition with little danger to themselves. Battlefield knowledge is lowered in worth so that the knowledge of where to stand out of harms way is important tactical necessity.

Then there are the mechanical aspects of RVR gameplay. While in life war is horrible and being able to cause as little harm to your opponent as possible is an important aspect of invasion, in WAR causing harm to your enemy is the sole goal. However, WAR has been crippled at a fundamental level by the importance of this real life value being imposed on it. Rather than being encouraged to take part in the game itself, players are instead encouraged to take undefended positions. Experience is downplayed as players primarily learn how to combat PVE mobs and cleverly beat the other team to objectives, capturing them before any combat has taken place and then escaping as the cycle continues. This is compounded by players not being given true incentives to defend their objectives. The rewards for capturing an undefended fortress are profound, while the rewards for defending a force against insurmountable odds are merely token renown points. There is no point to attacking other players in RVR, they’re merely an annoyance that is preventing you from partaking in the games outdoor PVE raiding system.

Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays. -Sun Tzu

WAR should be a game about combat with other players. It should be about the skill and precision that modern warfare embraces. The best way to do this is through the classical systems of PVP as they have developed over the past years. Players partaking in PVP know that balance is very important and acting randomly is the shortest route towards failure and death. Players must learn to prioritize targets and how their class will perform when teamed with those around them. The synergy that classes have with one another becomes very important. The ability to perform efficiently with your character and the knowledge of how to properly equip and train that character are pivotal to success.

PVP combat is at its best when neither side is given any statistical advantage. This results in organized groups dominating unorganized groups. Higher skilled players stand out clearly from those who lack skill. There is an inherent elitism which will develop to seperate those who are knowledgeable from those who are not, weeding out low-skill players when groups begin to form to compete in competitive forms of PVP. The reliance on numbers is completely removed as both players are supplied with the same number of units. Instead the depth of the gameplay is increased as players find new ways to fight the evolving tactics required to stay ahead in a game where neither side has a numerical or positional advantage.

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. -Sun Tzu

PVP is a very different idea from RVR. In RVR groups are so large that tactics are inconsequential. The breakdown of tactics results in mob warfare, where both sides simply bleed each other out until the side with higher numbers prevails. PVP is a different animal, where priority targets are important and knowing who to kill and how to kill them defines the outcome of battle. In PVP simply throwing bodies towards a problem in waves until the problem is solved is not an option. Instead there exists a meta game in which players balance and tweak their groups and individual characters around certain strategies and tactics. This allows a group which is well developed to gain an advantage over a group which has not made this effort.

The only place where PVP is currently available in WAR is in scenarios. Scenarios have quietly been preserving the game and preventing its collapse. Players who are skilled and wish to participate in PVP are given the option to enter scenarios in groups and prove their worth on equal footing. Scenarios limit player resources through characters caps and encourage strategic play through the implementation of objectives, allowing a team which may not have the firepower to confront their enemy to instead divide their effort.

Scenarios also provide the only manner in which characters in WAR can be gauged: Scoreboards. There are many who believe that scenario scoreboards are simply ego-stroking endeavors, but the truth is these charts can tell you a great deal about how the game was played. Many factors are ignored however, including the the information concerning which scenario is taking place and the characters level ratios. Scenario charts are under-rated and over-used. The truth of these charts is that they provide you with almost every number by which you can weigh the worth of players, except the recording of where those players were amidst battle. You can see what ratio of damage players required to produce kills. You can see the impact of AOE damage and healing on pressure. It may not be perfect, but without some additions to gameplay it is the only proper way to evaluate worth in WAR’s only PVP system.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. -Sun Tzu

It is truly sad that many players do not want a competitive, rewarding form of PVP to be added to the game. The player base seems unwilling to acknowledge the purpose of arenas to display skill in all fields of gameplay. It’s sad because it denies what could be a potentially game-saving system. It would allows players to partake in highly competitive PVP as well as rewarding those players for their skill and allow them to further tailor their characters for PVP. Beyond this it would allow for players to be ranked by their experience and give a basis for classes to be balanced properly. It would even allow for same-faction balance, a concept which is completely foreign in WAR, which is quite sad. Many who are scared of such a system fear that they will be unable to get the rewards that highly skilled players will gain access to and be exposed for their inability or unwillingness to be competitive. The truth? Low-skilled players do not deserve the same rewards given to high-end players who have proven their skill and dedication.

WAR has in effect given low skilled players a cloak that allows them to hide from analysis. These poor players are able to debate score-sheets and claim that players performing well were lucky, supported by large groups, or even that the opposing side was simply horrible. These can be true, but reality is that there is no way to properly evaluate player skill. So players who do lack skill are able to hide amidst the mob and reap the rewards of those who truly are putting forth the effort. Still others use the excuse that it would make WAR resemble its ‘big brother’ WoW too much. That would ignore the massive appeal of player tournaments in many other games encouraging highly skilled players to compete and exposing flaws in games that were previously considered well balanced. Instead we are left with promises of a PVP game which has evolved into a game too focused on RVR to be considered either competitive, or PVP focused.

Perhaps I’m still a kid at a tournament. Standing in front of that red lollipop and those six buttons. Pondering the advantages of a low kick.


33 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 10:13 am

    The ‘Low Kick’ is used to sweep the leg!

    I get what you are saying and agree wholeheartedly. As a general rule I find the scoreboard in scenarios useful in evaluation but still missing key elements that help contribute toward a successful scenario. Take Nordenwatch for instance. If you remain at the Fortress in an attempt to prevent a solo/stealth capture while the main zerg rushes to kill the other side then your stats will suffer. As a general rule I tend to play defensively (unless on the offensive) and would normally be one of the few who stay back defend the flag/objective. To me the bigger picture is more important than my own personal stats.

    “In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.” — Sun Tsu (The Art of War is in my top 10 favorite books, of course I’m a military history geek so it would be)

  2. pancakez permalink*
    March 24, 2009 11:45 am

    As I mentioned in the original article, there are several things missing from the scoreboards. Positioning in the field is definitely an issue because as you said someone defending the rear objectives may not get much credit for output in the game despite contributing a great deal. I would suggest as a solution that the scoreboard is rearranged so that experience and renown, which offer little information were moved out of the way, while ‘contribution’ was added. This would take the victory points from: kills, being within the radii of an objective when it ticks victory points, capturing a flag, carrying / being near / killing someone with the murder-ball, etc. This would definitely allows for a lot better analysis for player by comparing their statistics to their contribution. Then you could properly analyze players whose numbers were low, but contribution was high and vice-versa.

    The argument against this sort of analysis would be that when calculating character balance, any character regardless of gear level, or skill can guard an unopposed objective. So while it does provide information on a base strategic level the information says little about the player. On the other hand it would allow an objective view of players with high numbers, but low contribution: A sign of poor team performance. Either way the addition of the value wouldn’t lessen the worth of the existing numbers so the information would not in any way corrupt the data.

    Oh and on the low kick. It’s also used for tick-throws, kara-throws, avoiding high attacks, pushing opponents away, chaining into uppercuts, low-pokes and range checking. Particularly in the case of Ken’s L.MK. 😉

  3. March 24, 2009 2:31 pm

    Ok. I think I have one problem with this post and that is the idea of arenas. The problem is that we, as MMO gamers, have already seen the result of arenas in an MMO. It’s called WoW. Here’s the problem. In WAR and other games there are certain classes that are support classes and not build to take on opponents in small forums 1v1, 2v2 ect Nor should they be. For ex. (and maybe I’m overlooking something here) but lets say I was building an arena team and I needed a healer. I had the choice between a WP and a RP. To me the choice is obvious. The WP has better survivability and would therefore last longer and be around at the end of the fight to throw heals on me. So, now as a RP (who doesnt do much damage by the way and is very squishy) I would feel the need to QQ on the forum says “my career can’t compete in areans, please fix this.” Then all kinds of crazy balancing acts would go into effect that would make the RP over powered and imbalance the whole game. Then in order to fix it the Devs would create a stat that is only useful in PvP. And then you would have to spend xx amount of time every day to gain this gear and no one would want to have you in their arena group unless you had x amount of said stat but you cant get x amount of said stat unless you do the arena. Meanwhile the Devs are busy balancing some other class (a ranged class) perhaps because they are complaining about line of sight issues or whatnot. Yeah, personally, and this just my opinion, if WAR introduced arenas I would be the first to cancel my subscription. Next thing ya know they’ll have 300 different vanity pets and a rock band that plays in Altdorf every saturday. -NK 🙂

  4. pancakez permalink*
    March 24, 2009 3:48 pm

    Well, if you insist on bringing up WoW, you have to keep one thing in mind: Arenas saved the game during Burning Crusade and led to an inflation of public awareness, respect for the game and subscriptions. They ultimately resulted in the ability for the game to be accepted on a professional level.

    There is also a large misunderstanding of the way arenas work amongst a large portion of WARs populace. Take your example for instance where your group wants to have a healer. Now, what size team are you looking at? 2v2? That’s probably never going to work in WAR. The more likely sizes are 3v3 and 6v6. In 3v3 your healer selection would vary dramatically depending on what type of team you’re building. For dual melee team, it is very likely that WP/DoK would be wanted. However, for less rushdown oriented teams you could very well be looking at an AP drain/CC combination using AM/Shaman in conjunction with other classes which can drain AP and keep people off the healers. The use of a trip-melee team like Ironbreaker + White Lion + Warrior Priest opens up counters like Chosen + Shaman + Sorceress. Now, obviously Cleansing Power would need to be fixed before this would be a proper counter, but the reliance on three melee would result in the Chosen being able to lock the entire opposing team down with Quake and Repel. 6v6 would be even more complicated, though with the current state of healing heavily favoring spammable AOE heals, it’s unlikely that any team would lack a DoK or WP. However, it’s also very unlikely that any team would have a second DoK/WP, because no one would wish to give up their instant resurrect.

    The point is arenas give a chance for people to actually see where balance lies. The fact that the game is broken to an extent that arenas could not be competitive now is not indicative that arenas are too small in focus, but rather that WAR lacks focus. No one is asking for poorly designed systems like the welfare system Blizzard has put in place to cheaply acquire arena based gear. Nor are people asking for the arena to provide gear that is in every way superior to the other options. The problem is that the only PVP system in WAR is scenarios, which offer no rewards which can’t be obtained through a PVE grind. There is no way for skilled players to shine in WAR, which leads to a lack of balance, which then punishes skilled players further. I must reiterate the closing of my article however, WoW is not the best model for how arenas should work: E-sports are. WoW is considered a novice-level e-sport game at best. Look to Starcraft if you’d like an example of a Blizzard game with balanced tournament play. The patch process triggered by tournament play turned what was released as a broken and bias game into one of, if not the most balanced RTS game to date.

    Prior to competitive play, many players believed zerg rushes were dominant purely due to CPU incompetence, or poor play. When competitions become popular it became very clear that 4 pool rushes were simply too fast. Arenas and competition don’t hurt game development, they actually give the developpers better tools to keep their games balanced. There seems to be a large portion of players who simply don’t understand this process. Without competition, all the developpers can rely on is a small test group and the maturity of forum-goers. Since the top players make up a small portion of the test groups and forum posters even these sample sizes aren’t as accurate.

    I’m sure that there is a group of players out there that would quit over arenas being added, but I seriously question their motives. Regardless of what class you play, it would only become more balanced. Are Rune Priest and Zealot useless in arena? Mythic would literally be forced to address the issue. Is AOE in general too powerful? It can’t be left in or the arena system will give an accurate measure for how off balance WAR is in favor of AOE classes… and so on. Competition is good for progress.

  5. Omelettez permalink*
    March 24, 2009 5:19 pm

    I’m actually hoping for vanity pets. I miss my rocket chicken.

    What boggles me is why people are so anti arena. Mythic isn’t going to be forcing people to do them. I’ve always viewed it as something optional that was competitive. I love competition, so I’m all for it… as long as they don’t have wellfare loot.

  6. March 24, 2009 5:24 pm

    I myself am not keen on arenas. Not because I don’t want to compete, ( I was a competitive fighting game player for many years SF to KOF) but because the core gameplay is technically large-scale pvp. Arenas are great for fine-tuning classes, but tuning small-scale pvp and large-scale pvp is not the same thing. I agree that dealing with constant zergs, BO/keep swapping etc is disheartening, but when an organized groups actually fight, the feeling is incredible. I’ve been in zergs, and I’ve also been in guild-only warbands where we harried the flanks of the zerg, defended BO’s and keeps, and overall used tactics to overcome greater numbers.

    Arenas are a good idea in theory, but I don’t want them to be inplemented wow-style. I hated how they turned into another grind in BC, and I actually like the random incompetence and brilliance in open rvr. It never feels like the same old same old for too long.

    PS. I really want to get back into SF4, but those damn fightsticks being so expensive and hard to find is really killing my hype. Maybe later on when KOF 12 launches.

  7. shadowwar permalink
    March 25, 2009 8:31 am

    I agree there should be more incentive for defending objectives/keeps other than just a renown tick. There needs to be a system in place that gives equal rewards to the defender as it does the attacker. Our agreement pretty much ends there. Arenas and forced small scale PvP would not be good for this game, and I disagree entirely that scenarios are what is keeping this game afloat. I know more people that hate scenarios than like them, what keeps people here are those great moments of open field fighting. The tactics and strategies that take place in the RvR lakes are on a higher level than individual participation. Sure, each persons contribution (or lack of) is mitigated by the larger number of people, but if you have a general, a true leader guiding multiple forces, the results are devastating. This is made just that much more apparent when the groups are highly skilled and used to fighting with each other.

    When multiple warbands are coordinated and working in unison toward a common goal, nothing will stand in it’s way. I see arenas and scenarios as a mere distraction from the real fight. Something to do in the past time that MAY give you a better understanding of how your character operates. However, the knowledge you take from them, may not necessarily apply to larger scale combat. I see it as a progression of sorts. Duels can be fun, and it’s an individual accomplishment. Arenas can be interesting, and you and a couple buddies have gotten ahead a bit. Scenarios are decent and a good sized group have proven their worth. Open battles are for the leaders, the most pleasure is taken from being a driving force to success. The smaller the number of people, the more pleasure a single person can directly take from that conflict, which is why duels give so much individual pride, but why it is harder to derive self-validation from large scale fights.


  8. Omelettez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 8:57 am

    I don’t think ORvR is what’s keeping people here. Honestly, I enjoy scenarios far more than ORvR. Sure, it’s an awesome success as a leader to manage everyone, but not everyone can be a leader, can they? So does that mean that everyone else doesn’t feel as much success as the leaders? Probably, I don’t entirely know. It might vary from person to person.

    Saying that ORvR is “the real fight” is pretty bold. Makes everything else in the game insignificant. For me, I want a more skill-based environment. ORvR does not have that. You can have a hundred retards rolling their faces on the keyboard and still win. All the poor players get lost within the masses and people don’t seem to care. Those people who are great players don’t exactly feel like they shine in such a huge group like that, especially when they are carrying poor players with them.

    So why not give the skillful players an environment where they can shine? I’m not saying there should be 1v1 duels or 2v2s, but I wouldn’t mind seeing 3v3s or 6v6s. And you say that there’s too much individual glory in small-scale PvP, but I don’t think there is. Yeah, you get personal satisfaction from winning and getting a high rating, but in WoW, or at least on our server, you KNEW who the top arena people were. Everyone did, and it wasn’t because the players themselves talked about it, but everyone else did.

    I want competition and sadly, there really isn’t any in ORvR. At least I don’t feel like there is.

  9. Khaindar permalink
    March 25, 2009 10:02 am


    i really the blog you two have put up, kudos! Its a really enjoyable read. And as an old hardcore raider (EQ1, WoW pre-TBC) having read those posts bout spreadsheets and tanking was quite enjoyable.

    But back to topic. While i can understand that some people would like to have arena like stuff in WAR, to prove they are more “skilled” then others. I feel, like someone else already said, this is not the main focus of this game.

    I for my part know alot players, who only stay in this game because of the RVR and if they would want to participate in arena fights, they would go and play WoW. TBF most of them been there and done that.

    I must highly disagree with the statement that a skilled person doesnt make a difference in rvr and larger battles in general. I cant count the times we, as in our guild, have beaten 3+ times our numbers. My it be 6 vs. a warband or warband vs. multiple warband. Focus, leadership and dedication to your class/role are the major keystones of that.

    So i think the take home message is, “skill” makes a difference in WAR.
    Sure you wont win all the time, but then who does?
    On a last note, i still cant get myself to think of gaming as a sport, or e-sport for that matter. 😉

  10. pancakez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 11:34 am

    The problem in WAR with ‘skill’ in large RVR battles is twofold. First, the game encourages skilled players to avoid one another, so those who show the most skill are those who are the most secretive at avoiding each other. That is the representation of skill in RVR, which in WAR is the equivalent of an outdoor PVE raiding experience with easy to kill mobs hidden behind hard to kill doors. Without a complete overhaul in the reward system, removal of PVE mobs from RVR and the introduction of player limits, RVR will never be a focal point of skill. Secondly, players within WAR are given enough overall power that conflicts between large groups of them quickly devolve. It is easy to be deceived into believing that a skilled force can conquer a much larger force, but this theory quickly falls apart when you understand the games core systems.

    Unless all players were brought down in power this will not change. 6v12 is definitely possible, but here we’re not dealing with large scale battle at all. However, these are small scale numbers that are workable in scenarios. When you look at 24v48 it’s actually a much different story. In fact a ‘skilled’ group of 24 would have more difficulty defeating a ‘low-skill’ group of 24 than that same group of 6 would have defeating 12. This is purely because of game mechanics.

    People assume that WAR is balanced around large scale RVR, but that isn’t actually true. The closest WAR comes to balance is in groups of about eight. At this point some players are not getting full gain from AOE heals, while AOE attacks can be avoided to some degree. Larger groups favor AOE damage too heavily, while smaller groups favor tanks and melee too heavily combined with AOE healing. Retuning the game for 6v6 arena would not be a hard thing to do. In fact the primary change it would take is the adjustment of AOE heals to obey line of sight and have their power adjusted down by roughly half.

    The reason I question to motives is that attention to small scale PVP would have little to no effect on RVR. Balancing classes would only make open PVP better, while reducing many of the factors that hurt sieges, such as AOE prevalence. It would not and could not impact PVE, because when balancing classes against each other the lowest common denominator would always be the ability to function in PVE. Since RVR consists primarily of PVE, there would not be an impact. The minor PVP aspects of RVR would be improved by the re-balancing of classes to function against each other in PVP.

    I abhor the gut reaction to hate anything in any way associated with WoW. That game has many faults, which would need to be avoided, but taking the good from it is not a bad thing. The idea that there is too much personal glory in small scale PVP is ridiculous as well. Really, should people who win at the Olympics all be stripped of their medals? NASCAR winners forfeit their winnings? The reason personal glory even comes up is that glory exists at all. There’s no glory in RVR. People may talk about there good experiences in RVR, but to assume this is the norm would be short-sighted. The norm is efficiency: Avoiding enemy warbands while taking undefended keeps repeatedly. When clashes do occur, the norm is for a very large force (24+) to rapidly destroy a small group (less than 12). This cycle repeats until the small force is reduced further, then the larger force either camps (no keeps left to take), or continues to take undefended keeps.

    When I say that scenarios are saving WAR, it’s because that’s the truth. Scenarios are what is keeping low level players involved. Scenarios are why so many players continuously make new characters to play tier-1, bolstering the player base. Scenarios truly are the only competition in WAR. Successful open world PVP is not about large roving warbands; but small groups randomly finding each other. I can’t say it enough: RVR is not PVP. If RVR is WARs focus, the game has no hope.

  11. Khaindar permalink
    March 25, 2009 12:17 pm

    That the whole RvR system, influence rewards and city sieges need a massiv change, is quite obvious no arguing over that. That classes need balancing and that WAR is atm the Age of AoE RDPS/Healers is also true.
    But while i understand your reasoning and i quite agree with alot of the stuff that is said. I stand by my point, skill does matter in RvR.

    Its no difference if we beat 3+ times our numbers with 6 people or with 24. The fights tend to go a bit longer, but that is mainly because were more spread out due to dodging the insane AoEs, that fly around these days. If 6 people can learn to dodge AoE spells, 12 can. If 12 can, 24 can…. It really isnt that hard, you just need people willing to put the afford in.
    I get the same feeling of accomplishment if we wipe out a group in small scale or a warband or more in larger scale combat. It all comes down to people doing the right thing.

    So i think what i want to say is, for me at last, rvr is more fun then scenarios.

  12. Omelettez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 12:57 pm

    I had something to write up, but then my mind just took a trip somewhere and I lost my train of thought. So sorry! All I can say is that I feel less accomplishment in a warband and that I feel like I’m not valued for how good of a player I am but valued as a body that can fill up space.

  13. shadowwar permalink
    March 25, 2009 1:09 pm

    Both of you make good, clear arguments but I still disagree. Maybe it’s a server difference, I play on a relatively lower population server, so the fights are more personal.

    Points that I specifically disagree with are when you speak of large forces rolling forces on keyboards being difficult (even challenging) for a skilled group to defeat, and the differential for facing a skilled equally sized force is minimal. I can’t help but think that your experience is so incredibly different from my own, to the point that I would think you were playing a different game. When I’m in a guild warband, and we run upon a warband made of guilds we recognize, we know it’s going to be a good fight, and one that takes all our skills if we want to win. When we run on larger forces with unrecognized names/guilds, we know with almost certainty, they’re going to get rolled. Coordination and cohesive play is a large part of the “skill” involved.

    The small scale skirmish and arenas that you seem to desire would be in place to highlight a type of gameplay that this game doesn’t focus on. And yes, I continue to postulate that ORvR is what this game is about, and that scenarios are not what’s keeping people around. Almost exclusively, I read from others about their highs in the lakes, and rarely, if ever, do I hear about exhilarating moments in a scenario. The statement that scenarios are saving WAR is not the truth, and to state such is hubris in an extreme factor, it’s an opinion. I don’t think it’s intentional deception, it’s just based on what you see. I see alts and new people playing and jumping into the RvR lakes and calling out for others to play out there, in the real world over scenarios.

    Other than a few notable exceptions (mostly AoE), skill does have a far stronger impact upon group play. I will agree in part because of this that some fixes need to be made to AoE abilities, AoE healing needing LoS, GTAoE attacks having LoS as well, etc…

    Anyway, this is getting exceedingly long for a comment, so I’ll cut it short. I don’t want you to think in any way that I’m being hostile or critical of your opinions at all, I just disagree for many reasons based on my own personal observations of this game, and the community messages that I read and take part in.

  14. pancakez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 2:36 pm

    Not sure how I should react when accused of hubris, then told that it wasn’t meant to be hostile. Not sure there’s something more hostile than telling me my views are filled with pride and arrogance. While they are my views, they’re also supported to a great deal by the community. It is quite possible that certain individuals have had a great deal of luck in their dealings with RVR so as to come out with the feeling that it is successful. However, I would again argue that while it is possible, it isn’t the norm. One has to look only for a moment in discussions over RVR to find references to PVE training, the mob mentality and how common massive zergs are. It’s quite possible that this situation is better on low-population servers, but it’s not wise to focus only on those servers with no problems, while ignoring the massive problems on others.

    Again, this is something that is supported a great deal in the community. There will also be people who don’t believe it’s a problem. What I would suggest is to do this, on your server run a /who and find out how many rank 35+ players are on your side. Now double that number to simulate a balanced realm. When I checked my server this number was 246.

    Do you think it would be wise to balance the game around a battle between 10 warbands? Do you think any individual character would have an impact in that battle? When I say that scenarios are saving and arenas could help save WAR it is not purely over popularity. Scenarios are currently the only way, besides assigning ‘monitors’ to RVR on each server to keep tabs on exactly who is doing what in that massive battle, to gauge character performance. This is where game balance is coming from, not from RVR. The problems of RVR are most easily diagnosed in smaller scales. Again, this is because players blend in during RVR hiding poor play. This isn’t possible in scenarios as the numbers are too small to deflate personal worth. Arenas would be even better at diagnosing problems because of their ladders.

    My argument is not that WAR is doomed to fail, or that there is no hope. My argument is that small scale competitive PVP is what is keeping WAR balanced and playable. I do not believe the game is focused on RVR, nor do I believe it should be. The game should always be based on competition, something which is rare in RVR.

    There are a lot of examples of why this is, but the argument Khaindar makes about AOE is a good one. The claim that it is as easy for 12 to avoid AOE as it is for 6 is misleading and highly inaccurate. Why? Try to picture a battlefield, now, try to picture 12 players spread out in such a way that AOE is hitting a single target. Now, try to move that formation so that all the players within that group can impact the battle. Even if all 12 players are ranged it takes a great deal of effort… okay, make it 48 people now. Is it possible? Now, in WAR the lowest ratio of single target to AOE is 75%. So if 2 players are being hit, you have now multiplied an opponents ability by at least 1.5. In the case of BW/Sorc you’ve now doubled their impact. Again, it’s something easy to miss in RVR, because there are so many bodies that it’s easy to believe those hit weren’t paying attention. It’s more likely however that those hit were unable to escape the AOE radius before dying, even if they reacted quickly.

    These kinds of things are found easily in PVP by tracking productivity and success. In RVR? Who knows. You claim that RVR is great and strategic. Most others claim that it’s a mindless PVE zerg. If the community can’t even agree what RVR is, how can developers use it to balance their game? I would argue that they can’t.

  15. Omelettez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 3:05 pm

    ORvR can be strategic, but it’s just one or few people relaying orders to everyone else, who simply follow or not follow the commands. In something smaller scale, it’s not one person giving orders. At least not the times I’ve been in something small scaled and organized. Everyone works and communicates together. Not to mention, the reaction speed in smaller groups, in my experience, is far more efficient than it is at larger scale. I’d prefer the environment where everyone contributes something. In ORvR, it seems like there is no difference in me standing there doing nothing and me actually defending/attacking.

  16. Khaindar permalink
    March 25, 2009 3:31 pm

    That where our opions diverge. RvR is highly strategic, IF you play with the right people. Its strategic if you have to coordinate multiple warbands to counter your enemies every move, to read his intentions and to have your “troops” in positon and ready.
    If you break the warband down to smaller units like groups, it becomes tatical. If the people in the guild play together long enough and often. There is no need for many orders, its like a well oiled machine, point it in a direction and it does its work.
    There is no hiding and slacking in our warbands, were always on the move, never stopping for long. If you dont follow the orders your not going. Harsh but easy and efficient.

    And to make myself clear on the AOE topic i never said 48 people can totally evade it. I said were spread out more because of it. 😉

  17. Khaindar permalink
    March 25, 2009 3:36 pm

    Damn sorry for the crappy english. That will teach me not to type while playing. 😉

  18. Omelettez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 4:04 pm

    Just because you work long with someone on anything doesn’t entirely mean that you work well with them. And your warband sounds awesome by the way, it truly does. I wish everyone could work like that. Sadly, throughout all my experiences in large groups throughout the MMOs I’ve played, I’ve yet to experience that, therefore I’m left to feel that it’s close to impossible to accomplish. It sucks. Truly does.

  19. pancakez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 4:06 pm

    It isn’t a question of if people slack, but if they can slack. In these large warbands, just as in hardcore raiding, even if people aren’t slacking it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t if they wanted to. Try it once in a while, just stop doing anything at all for 20-30 seconds. See if anyone notices. I’ve gone AFK to grab food in the middle of RVR and came back alive and well, no one had noticed me AFK for over 2 minutes. I was in a full warband that was about half full of a guild attacking a keep. I just decided I’d rather have a sandwich than AOE the tank wall for a bit. Didn’t really matter, came back and still got fifth on the PQ roll. I have mad skills in the kitchen, I admit. 🙂

  20. Khaindar permalink
    March 25, 2009 4:25 pm

    Kudos to your mad kitchen skillz then. 😉

    I think its a matter of experience that the people you play with have. In our guild and also in our alliance we have alot of old school mmo players. EQ1, DAOC even UO. The people are mature, they know there shit and they focus on the game at hand. If they have to look after the kids, cook food or please the wife they log or leave the group. So it think the main point is, find people who are mature enugh and serious bout the rvr.

    Yeah it could be my experince differs from others, but in the end if we wouldnt have this awesome rvr is wouldnt even bother playing this game, as much as i like the lore.

  21. Omelettez permalink*
    March 25, 2009 10:19 pm

    I completely agree with you, Khaindar, about finding people who are mature enough and serious about RvR. From my experience, half the people who claim to be that mature and serious turn out not to be. Luck sucks D= I swear…. It’s probably why I’m so bitter about large scale events because in the back of my mind, I KNOW just by default that due to the fact I’m there around 15+ morons are as well. The day I get a perfect group in something large scale where I trust EVERY single person will be both a glorious day and doomsday. Maybe I’m too demanding, who knows. I just know that I’ve found more trust in people in smaller groups.

  22. Khaindar permalink
    March 26, 2009 2:02 am

    As you pointed out correctly its a matter or trust. In a small group fight, it “easier” to see if everyone is pulling their weight. Its getting really tough in large scale combat.
    I wish you the best luck finding yourself a good large scale combat group.
    Well we can just all hope one day, we will get the mmo of our dreams. With challenging large and small scale combat, an amazing PvE experience and a fully thought out crafting system. Prolly when im 85 or so. 😉

  23. March 26, 2009 5:36 pm

    Um. Seems as if my comment has started a royal rumble here. So I want to throw myself back in the ring.

    1) I use WoW as a stick by which to measure WAR because it is by far the most successful MMO to date. I would guesstimate that at least 60-70% of people playing MMOs today got their start in WoW (big deal, so did I). With that reasoning you could say that ~60-70% of people playing WAR are ex-WoW players. A good number of ex-WoW players have never learned and I fear never will learn about teamwork, sacrifice and the greater good. They want everything handed to them hence the state of that game (WoW) to date. Unfortunately, they are a large percentage of people that are all paying their fifteen bucks a month to Mythic/ GOA and when they cry the pockets of the developers listen.

    (And every MMO developer releasing MMOs after WoWs success also measure themselves against WoW)

    2)Perhaps you are right about the effect of arenas in WoW. That was merely my opinion. It seemed as if all anyone cared about after the arenas were released was ‘nerf that and fix this and a few L2Ps thrown in’. I understand the purpose of balance but if they need arenas to figure it out, as opposed to using the systems that are currently employed, I think maybe Mythic should go into another line of business. They could sell designer ties or something.

    3) My last point is this, the way the game works now (in my opinion) is that oRvR is balanced because that is the foundation upon which WAR was built, large scale RvR. SCs seem imbalanced because of this but not glaringly so (in my opinion). Smaller scale PvP would only cause an even brighter glare of imbalance that would light up the forums with WoW chatter that the devs could not ignore. Then we all will begin to realize that class balance is like swapping out the jokers in a house of cards, they will all come crumbling down.

    Peace, love and hair grease.

  24. Omelettez permalink*
    March 26, 2009 6:28 pm

    No worries, Nosmo, I fell asleep in the ring halfway through it.

    I truly agree with what you said for number 1 point as well. It’s really true and sad at the same time. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is and doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.

    I have to disagree with ORvR being balanced as of now, mainly because I can’t wrap my head around the concept of one large mass of bodies fighting against another large mass of bodies as balanced. For me, I would like to see them have smaller scaled RvR if anything to work more closely on class balance.

  25. pancakez permalink*
    March 26, 2009 8:21 pm

    I have to comment too, because I don’t want people who don’t know me personally to get the wrong impression: I love debates. People say everyone has two things, an opinion and an asshole. My reply is always, “Sure, but how many people can defend them properly?”

    With that in mind, I love hearing different opinions, especially from people who have different experiences and expectations. I still don’t agree with your analysis of balance between RVR and scenarios, which my feelings are actually the exact opposite. I find RVR much less balanced than scenarios purely because of the ratio of individual power to player count causing massive instant-gibs. I have to say it again though, I love to hear other opinions. Information is your friend, after all.

    Oh and to clarify, when defending your opinion, or asshole, it’s wise not to get them confused. Shanking someone mid-debate is rarely acceptable…

  26. March 26, 2009 9:02 pm

    Ok. As far as oRvR and Scenario balance goes, let me throw this out.Do you think that a person could come to a decision about the balance between the two, RvR v.s. SC, based on their career? An example would be: Range DPS are not as effective in scenarios and keep takes but are more effective in oRvR zergs and keep defense while the opposite can be said for melee DPS, good in scenarios and keep takes but not as good in keep defence and oRvR zergs. And would you think that that may dictate a persons view point on class balance?

    Furthmore, do you think that, despite the excellent job Mythic did with the careers, a lot of people may be confused as to the purpose of their career? (or maybe Mythics confused?)Example of this would be: the Shadow Warrior doesn’t do as much damage as a Bright Wizard it needs to be fixed; the Shadow Warrior is a support class/ hybrid and isn’t designed to put out a massive amount of DPS. Or: the Rune Priest hardly ever gets top heals in a scenario; the Rune Priest/ Zealot is the strongest single target healer in the game. I have struggled to understand how my career (my flavor of the month career) fits into the big picture. And in all my ignorance I have never thought that it was the fault of the game/ developers/ Paul Barnette (who hates me) but instead my lack of skill or lack of understanding my purpose.

    I have, over the years seen a broad spectum of players both bad and good. I have seen people take the most nerfed class in the game and dominate. I have seen people take the most OP class in the game and get their faced stomped ever time they walk out into the battle field. I guess this is why I blame myself.

    Wha? Wha? Oh yeah, got off topic a bit. oRvR, Scenarios and Arenas, sorry. I think the mentioning of class balance gets me fired up a bit. -NK

  27. pancakez permalink*
    March 26, 2009 9:41 pm

    I think there can be a very large impact on class play dictating how you feel about certain aspects of the game. For instance during a keep defense, Sorceress is actually quite overpowered due to their LOS ignoring AOE with attached random knock-back (which can bug siege rams as well). However in small scale situations the Sorceress needs a great deal of work. The same can be said of say a comparison between a Rune Priest and Archmage. The Archmage is by far the better healer, but performs substantially worse in scenarios due to their lack of survivability. When looked at from a ‘my class’ type of perspective, which is what a lot of players have, yes you can definitely get an idea of balance. The problem is this personal bias is not useful to design decisions, which is again where competition comes into play.

    As far as the confusion players get, I can definitely see that, but much of it is less the design intent and instead the real-time outcome. For instance, there are many signs of intent and a lot of designing that went into the ranged healing classes having three roles, similar to DoK and WP. However, this design was done poorly and has failed, leaving them as purely healers. This causes a lot of issues within the community when people attempt to utilize those aspects of their character. A DPS Archmage currently will fail, the same goes for all the ranged healers. That’s despite having an entire tree dedicated to DPS. Why? Well, bad design. The confusion, I believe, comes not from poor design and balance itself. Per your example, should a Shadow Warrior deal competitive damage with a Bright Wizard? The answer is definitely a yes, but only on the condition that they are specced for pure damage. The reasoning is that Bright Wizards provide at least as much support as Shadow Warriors can… if specced for it.

    It’s always a good idea to start with yourself, but one also has to consider how others perform as well. This is where things like tiers come into play. If you’re not familiar with tiers this is how they work: You take every character from a fighting game and rate them against every other character individually in a set of 10 games. For instance in SF3 looking at Ken versus Chun Li, at equal levels of play, Chun Li should win 6 and Ken should win 4 matches. You then take those rankings against all characters and subtract 5 from each and add them all together. You wind up with how much better than ‘equal’ that character is. For instance, Chun Li in SF3 is +33. Compare this to Sean at -37. This isn’t ‘personal’ skill level though, these were derived from tournaments, keeping track of wins and losses of everyone and evaluating.

    Really, you’re not off topic, if you followed what I was talking about before you come right back to my original article… competition breeds balance. Was Capcom listening at those tournaments? No, not really. But that’s their fault. It’s definitely an approach that needs to be done properly and it would be in Mythics hands to not repeat many of the mistakes Blizzard and many other companies have made. Again, small scale balance is not going to hurt large scales in any way. If anything it will increase large scale balance as well.

    Here’s the reasoning for that: For small scale balance to work, it needs to be balanced at an acceptable level for the game; 3v3 and 6v6 are good, 2v2 and 1v1 are definitely not. Blizzard’s largest failure was in the decision to balance around 1v1. This caused the great amalgamation of WotLK which turned the games classes from unique snowflakes to bland oatmeal. Once an acceptable level is chosen, most likely 6v6, you then balance groups of this size against each other. Through experimentation (aka arenas) you find where certain things seem to work too well, or not at all. It does take time and the game is not in a state where this would work, but stop and think about the largest problems currently festering in RVR.

    Let’s take two of them: Cleansing Power and AOEs. Apply Cleansing Power to a 6v6 arena. You have now negated the following classes use in arena: Choppa, Sorceress, and the offense of DoK. Now look at AOEs, assuming arenas would be well designed, they would likely have LOS issues to allow for strategic play. However, as both AOE group heals and ground-targetting AOE attacks ignore LOS any pillars, or corners would become hiding places from which to spam AOE attacks, or safely heal.

    What you’ll find is that the problems of small scale PVP are the same as those of RVR. The difference you’ll find is that in small scale PVP the problems are much easier to notice and analyze.

  28. shadowwar permalink
    March 27, 2009 8:29 am

    I disagree with the entire concept of trying to balance large scale battles around smaller scale combat. Yes, people can slack and hide in the crowds. One person going to the kitchen and making a sandwich is emblematic of the problem that causes ORvR to lack strategy. The belief that the individual is of no consequence results in the whole not functioning to the best of it’s ability.

    So yes, I believe the individual does matter, and their effort does have an affect on the outcome. However, so many people, so frequently choose to behave otherwise, that their individual contribution is lost. It’s just not seen, because like you said, there is no scoreboard explaining what everyone did, and the contribution system is still buggy/random enough that it distracts from any real form of accountability.

    Warband structure should be set up to mirror regiments. Multiple warbands are lead by one “general”, each warband has one “commander”, and each party is a “strike force” with a “lieutenant”. When groups are set up like this, you have the general giving assignments to to each of his commanders who then determines how each strike force can best be used to accomplish that task. This provides accountability, a chain of communication, and a clear goal for each and every person to have when playing the game. If any person hasn’t played with this set up, I can’t imagine that ORvR would be nearly as much.

    If things are not set up in this manner, yes much of the strategy is lost, because you have the zerg. Mindless groups of people all moving in a lemming horde toward one nebulous final goal. I understand why people think that the large scale battle is lacking in tactics and strategy, it’s because few people have taken the time to approach it correctly, and thoughtfully, or enough people haven’t been involved in a war effort set up like I mentioned above. It’s easier for people to justify doing whatever the hell they want to do when all that is at stake is a current score-board and they don’t really need to be held responsible for a large scale effort. It’s a focus on the individual rather than the group, and this game is extremely socialistic in it’s approach to game-play.

    I still don’t understand how it’s possible to make the statement that large scale PvP is not this games focus, when everything that has been implemented, and every word that has come from the developers states that exact sentiment. The prevalence of AoE (heals and damage) shows the intent of the designers for much of this game to be played against and with many people. The focus of RvR from the start has been to have people spread all throughout the lakes, taking objectives, setting ambushes, and working on multiple fronts to defeat the enemy. Saying that the focus and best course for the game to take is going the way of Scenarios/Arenas is to discount everything that this game was billed and built for.

  29. pancakez permalink*
    March 27, 2009 12:48 pm

    My point was actually that the game lacks focus, not that it is focused one way or the other. I’m not sure you understand the argument that balancing around a small scale will help large scale battles either. Again, whatever your beliefs may be, it is easier to be lost amidst a large battle than it is a small one. The people who are choosing not to do their best, or perhaps to do nothing at all are proving that it is possible to slack in a warband and still prevail.

    Beyond this, with a warband you’re looking at 288 class combination, while with 6v6 it would only be 72. What you’re looking at is a finer tuning. Trying to balance WAR’s classes around warbands is only going to spot particular things which are overpowered. Any classes that need work are not very apparent at all. In smaller scales you’ll actually find that balancing impacts large battles in a positive way, as I mentioned earlier. The reason is that most problems with large scale balance are due to abilities that are too powerful on a small scale, then given a large effective range.

    You claim that the prevalence of AOE is due to the games RVR focus, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Many AOE attacks do too much damage to be acceptable, while the AOE healing removes the skill requirements put on healers. Both are out of place in an RVR game. Both are also more obviously problems in small scale battles. This can be said of any problem of player balance in RVR.

    I should just go back to Sun Tzu: Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals.

    The difference is small scale battles require more precise control from the individuals, as each one makes up a larger percentage of the army. That’s just the way it is. You may not like it, but your character is worth four times more in 6v6 than it is in 24v24 warband fights. Really, think about it for a moment. Six players can take an undefended keep. So if you go in there with a full warband and suffer 75% losses, you can still win. Why? Easy, you didn’t need 18 of those players in the first place.

    It’s easy to talk about having a warband leader, with lieutenants and things, but the average player is never going to see that. Most high end players will never see it either. Not because it wouldn’t be of some use, but because it’s not remotely needed. People simply die too fast in 24v24 and in larger battles it becomes nothing more than an AOE fest. Don’t think so? Make a Warband like this: 4 Warrior Priests, 20 Bright Wizards. Can any opposing group stand up to it? Nope. There would be two abilities involved: Rain of Fire and Touch of the Divine. This team would be able to do those two things and be able to instantly kill anyone within 110 feet. Would it take any coordination? A little, give five of them defensive duty (spam RoF on their own group) while the other 15 follow a main assist. They put RoF wherever that main assist does any anything near that spot dies.

    Sounds extreme, but these are the type of problems small scale balance fixes. It would quickly show that these AOEs do too much damage and heal for too much. It may be difficult to understand, but that’s the nature of fine tuning.

  30. March 27, 2009 2:07 pm

    “4 Warrior Priests, 20 Bright Wizards. Can any opposing group stand up to it? Nope.”

    Just one last comment here from me, ‘I think’. I have noticed that this concept works well with quite a number of careers (not always in oRvR but PvP in general) when you have two of the same careers they are quite a strong force as opposed to two different careers. Try killing two rune priests that are exchanging heals. Two choppas will plow you over while one choppa may kill someone but will likely die fast without heals. Two IBs grudging each other? forget about it your done. This doesn’t seem as prevalent with opposing classes with few exceptions of course. Or is this just my imagination?

  31. pancakez permalink*
    March 27, 2009 2:56 pm

    Well, what you’re looking at there is cross-support. Two Ironbreakers may be strong, but an Ironbreaker and a Warrior Priest is much stronger. The reason I brought up that situation is where ‘exploitation’ of certain things gets exposed in small scales. Seeing a warband consisting of 20 BW and 4 WP would be an unstoppable force in PVP, but it’s very unlikely that anyone will field that group. However, it is very likely that BW stacking would occur in 6v6. It’s things like that which got POM Pyro fixed. The reason stacking BW works is that the AOE damage is so high that they don’t have to focus fire on a single target, but instead they can produce focus fire on as many targets as they can fit into RoF. Yes, you can ‘run out of the fire’ but that first tick occurs as soon as the spell is cast. You’ll looking at taking 2500-5000 damage instantly, then another 2500-5000 2 seconds later. Even if you have flee up you’re looking at 3 ticks before escaping. Potentially 15,000 damage.

    No other stacking causes this, except classes with large amounts of AOE. Otherwise aiming at some form of multi-class synergy is better. Two Runepriests are hard to kill, but a Runepriest and an Archmage is a better healing setup due to the AP drain. The Runepriest can gear for pure healing, while the Archmage can gear purely for defense. If the Runepriest dies, it will be instantly resurrected. Meanwhile the Archmage, due to gear, will be harder to kill. Two Choppas may cause a lot of damage due to their AOE as well, but a Warrior Priest + Knight would crush them. Two Ironbreakers might be able to cause a lot of strife, but a Black Orc and Marauder would beat them.

    Really, this is why I mentioned 2v2 wouldn’t be acceptable. Look at 2x WP or 2x DoK. Can any group of 2 beat them? No, too much cross healing. Now, can any group beat 3x DoK, or 3x WP? Definitely. Too many lockdowns available to groups of 3. It gets even worse at 6v6, where these group would be entirely gimped. Too many ways to out heal and lock down a group full of melee. How would 6 WP stand up to 1 Chosen, 1 Black Orc, 1 Marauder, 1 Magus, 1 Shaman and 1 Zealot? The best case scenario is 4 Grace/2 Salv, but either way their offense has no way to catch the ranged, while being forced to eat tons of damage and CC. The reason I brought up the BW/WP setup is that the only counter is DoK/Sorc. 5 BW/1 WP doesn’t have a real counter. It’s simply a good example of how small scale and large scale problems converge.

    Balancing around 6v6 would actually help balance large scale battles a great deal. Again, it’s simply a matter of being able to tune classes more finely.

  32. L1H permalink
    March 30, 2009 1:56 pm

    What a wonderful discussion!

    Where I fall in on the issue is this: scenarios (in their current form) are wasted potential.

    Scenarios should be the “X-box Live” platform for WAR, featuring tournaments, cross-server queues, special rules scenarios (1 respawn, etc …), arenas, I would go so far as to say that you should be able to launch a “scenario only” mini-client: all of these features for quick and easy to access PvP not tied into the Realm War. Throw in a “book of grudges” official add-on, and it’s show time.

    I think some of the people that are fearful of these types of features are afraid of competitive PvP or they are incapable of making the distinction between WAR the RvR MMO and the “PvP Game” within.

    I don’t subscribe to the belief that enhancing scenarios would diminish RvR as long as RvR provided equal opportunities for progression and reward.

  33. Ooey permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:03 pm

    Debate 101, don’t use “in my opinion” or “I believe” or the term “I” in general when starting an argument. It shows insecurity about your opinion. You need to make the statement as boldly as possible. Trust me, your argument of “tact” and trying not to offend doesn’t fly in debates…

    On that note, this is a great debate and I have mixed feelings about this exact thing. I would completely cut down the amount of RP, even take them away altogether from keep takes and BOs. I would then make BOs required for keep taking — holding a % of them depending on the zone and how many there are. RP would only be gained by actively killing someone (ala DAoC). The problem with this system is that it would take a year if not years to hit max RR, and the instant gratification crowd wouldn’t be down for that.

    Where I’m coming from:

    I’m a big fan of most of WoW and WAR. I’ve played them both, attaining the title Champion on my server (3rd on the server rank 10+) by only killing people and getting contribution points. I quit when the BGs were release and went back to PvE. I have been playing these types of games since MUDs and PnP days. So, I am well versed in the games themselves and all of the ones I have played have a part of me. I really enjoyed most of them and only have selfish things to complain about when it comes to them. I hold active WAR and WoW accounts and balance my time between them.

    I enjoy your blog Pancakez. Keep it up!

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