Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 22, 2008
Mourkain Temple

Mourkain Temple is the WAR tier 2 scenario in the dwarves vs. greenskins scenario. And it is very badly designed. The basic rules are that both sides start out at opposite ends of a map, and there is an artifact in the middle. First one to click on the artifact grabs it, and now carries it arround. Collecting the artifact and holding onto it gives points, and the side that gathers 500 points first wins. Unfortunately the scenario has two major problems: Mounts and hedgehogs.

Tier 2 is the scenario that can be entered from level 11 to 21. In Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning you can buy your first mount at level 20, for an affordable 15 gold. So while everyone is running for the artifact, the few level 20 players will ride there. If one side has at least one player with a mount and the other side doesn't, the mounted side always gets the artifact. It would be so easy to disallow mounts in this scenario, I don't know why Mythic allows them here, where their use throws the battle off balance.

But mounts aren't the worst problem of Mourkain Temple, hedgehogs are. As others have noticed, the best strategy for the side that grabs the artifact first is to run back to their own base and form one spikey ball to defend the artifact holder. The official rules say that holding the artifact damages the carrier, but if that works at all, the damage is insignificant. Even with the whole other team bombarding the artifact holder at range plus the damage from the artifact, a tank can hold on to the thing easily for the whole duration of the battle, if he has just one dedicated healer keeping his health up.

This makes Mourkain Temple extremely unpleasant to play. The side that got the artifact first plays directly next to their base, where anyone dying respawns immediately next to the action. The other side has to run all across the map every time, and has no chance in that fight. Very often the winning side gets 500 points, and the losing side less than 100, earning them nearly no renown and experience points for their trouble. There are no close battles, no back and forth, no fun.

And it would be so easy to slightly change the rules to make this a fun scenario: 1) No mounts allowed. 2) Holding the artifact damages the carrier much more, and gives him a debuff that prevents him from being healed. 3) Dropping the artifact causes it to respawn IN THE MIDDLE, not at the point where it is dropped. So instead of the thing dropping in the middle of the group that held it next to their base, and often the same side picking it up, suddenly control of the middle of the battlefield would be important. Until Mythic fixes the scenario, I can advise you to use the tier 2 scenarios of the other two pairings instead.
One of my finest moments (as a Rune Priest) was grabbing the artifact when it was dropped and standing right in the middle of the map to avoid the base-jumping. I'd say 2/3 of our fights are done this honest way, with the rest done at bases.

I do love Mourkain though, meeting in the middle for a massive skirmish and scrap seems very dwarfy compared to Phoenix Gate and Stone Troll.

I guess it just depends how it goes.
Agreed. "Murderball" needs work. I've only seen once out of all the time I've been in there the score not a 500-0 blowout or close to it. That's very discouraging for both sides.

I also wonder why the tiers are 1-11 and so on anyway. Mounts are still a huge advantage in the other 2 scenarios as well. Why not 1-9 like WoW battlegrounds with a side-kicking feature to 8?

Another problem is that you can receive twice as much XP (possibly renown) solo than in these groups. I always just leave my group and join team 5 anyways. Never been a fan of penalizing for grouping in an MMO/social game.
Actually, WoW made the same mistake with battleground level ranges back in the day. The original level ranges were 21-30, 31-40, 41-50 and 51-60. Druids with their travelform ruled the 21-30 Warsong Gulch, and shamans joined them with ghostwolf when the 11-20 bracket was introduced. 31-40 was an another troublesome bracket due to mounts being available at level 40.
Either the artifact is bugged, or there is some rule or such about when and how much damage it gives to the carrier. I've seen an Ironbreaker getting hit for close to 1000 damage every few seconds, but more often it doesn't seem like any damage is inflicted at all.

While I've seen fights with plenty of back and forth and a close final score, the majority of the time one side dominates, especially if they have a handful of healers. I also agree about mounts, and you see the same issue in Stonetroll Crossing. Maybe just disable mounts in all tier 2 scenarios?

I'm pretty sure Mythic will not be shy about making wholesale changes to scenarios that aren't working so well.
Yeah this scenario is pretty horrible. The Chaos - Order T2 one is funny, it has a Benny Hill feel to it, when everybody is chasing the guy with the light ;).
Well. As shalkis said it's pretty close to old wsg. Same mistakes. Strange that they didn't copy (or bugged implementation?) solution from Blizzard.

Debuff on a flag carrier helped a lot with turtles at grave yards. Now even you have 3 healers with FC it's not gonna help you. 1-2 geared dps just nuke him down in seconds.
I've had the artifact as a Squid Herder - managed to grab it off an Order player both times. Once even when they went to their usual place to hedgehog it.

But it is frustrating when an Order side gathers the artifact and defends it by hedgehogging it next to their respawn area. I think it will be tweaked...but I'll be in T3 by then anyway :P
The problem with these scenarios (the temple and the troll county one), apart from the issue with one side having a mount and the other doesn't, is that in WAR in general, the artifact/flag carrier cannot die if he is getting heals.
I don't know if this is due to low damage output of dps classes (maybe people need more gear) or its due to the collision mechanism (melee dps cant reach the target).

If the carrier has 2 dedicated healers on him (that are protected) it takes ages to bring him (or the healers) down. By then the score is something like 400 to 100, and thigs cant be turned around.
I think a few minor changes might be in order, but for the most part I thought MT was pretty fun and well designed. Neither side has any great advantage, and I've been in many winning and many losing matches.

I can see it being a very frustrating scenario if you are playing PUG as a solo players though. It really seems to be designed for a nice well balanced group to dominate.
I just like to point out its Dwarves vs. Greenskins and not Humans.
For me this battle is interesting if your side knows how to flank and scatter their squishies in case the "defend the base" -scenario unfolds.

Besides, I find fighting against a defending side more challanging, at least as a Witch Elf.
Funny, I see a lot of offensive artifact holding :) ie. camping the ENEMY base with it. Won 500-0 like that the other day :O
Theres a time and a place to attack the artifact holder and when he is surrounded by healers with nothing better to do isnt one of them. :p
Also had a game losing 2xx-434, took the artifact back and won 500-434, that was a laugh.
Shortest queue on my server is for this scenario.
I agree, no horses in MT. It might be a bug though because you cannot mount up one you leave the starting area. But that being said horses make this trivial.

The artifact does do damage to the person who picks it up first when it is that idol like object in the center. However if that person dies and drops it the next person that picks it up takes no damage, we figured this out and would do early game passes and then go on the offensive for some 500 - 0 stomping.

When dropped the artifact will return to the center if no one picks it up after a given amount of time, I've seen it happen once but often there are just so many people around when an artifact drop happens that someone is always there to pick it up.

I think the intention is that the damage the artifact deals would not reset until it was warped back to the center, however it is not wroking that way.
At least you are getting Mountain Temple to pop. On my server the only T2 that pops more than once every hour is Stone Troll Crossing, which is a scenario that rewards zerging WAT too much.

Honestly after T1, T2 just seems like a big let down scenario wise.
One problem I've found is that when order huddle at their base they can get their npcs to take part.
I have never seen destruction npcs come off their hill.
Gee, sounds like WSG.

Why not guarantee no drawn-out games by introducing a 20-min time limit as well?

On another note, I waited 4 hours in queue for Ekrund. To boot, RvR was empty, so how is anyone supposed to get renown?
On my server T2 queue was poping every 3-5 minutes last night...

But I'm playing order so maybe that has something to do with it.
Agreed; this fight typically goes to the first team to the ball, and unless somebody screws up bad, thats game. I've held the ball for 95% of a match, I never noticed any particular damage, though I could have dismissed it as somebody nuking me.

Mounts need to be disallowed in all tier 2 scenarios.

What would be cool too is if a team held the ball for 100 points, then it automatically resets.
I like MT. Yeah the mount thing is annoying, but a friend of mine runs a White Lion and they can double stack sprints and move just as fast as any mount.

Also, if one side has turtled up, just start killing everything you can get at. Don't worry so much about the artifact. You still get points for kills, and I've been in a few games where even though Order had held onto the artifact for most of the game, Destruction was still winning because they were able to kill more of us.
I used to complain about Khaine's Embrace, then I went to Mourkain Temple with my Black Orc.

My friend and podcast co-conspirator, Stephen, remarked that while Khaine's Embrace feels like a good idea poorly executed, this feels like a bad idea poorly executed. It's a pretty blatant FPS port. The issue is that MMOs have healers, whereas FPSes generally don't (TF2 aside). In WAR, healers have proven enormously popular, relative to other games. Or rather, healers who actually heal, as opposed to Feral Druids and Shadow Priests, are a great deal more abundant, since you don't have to spec for damage to be able to solo.

In a lot of these matches, I have seen the opposing side be populated with no fewer than four Rune Priests, and one or two Archmages or Warrior Priests. Add an Ironbreaker with a mount, and it's game over.

Honestly, I think the biggest issue with Mourkain goes back to the balance issues vis-a-vis healing. If there are two healers and one of any other class, it is nearly impossible to kill any of the three without astronomically higher numbers. Now, perhaps I feel this more keenly as a Greenskin, since a Choppa might help mitigate this issue, but Dwarf v. Greenskin scenarios and open RvR often turn into protracted slug-fests that literally often last until one side gets bored and just leaves.
I have played this exclusively from level 12 to level 16 on my Rune Priest. It is by far my favorite scenario and pops like every 3 minutes on my server. I have seen it go back and forth a lot depend on what side had the skill advantage. The main bug as pointed out earlier is the second person to pick it up does not seem to get any damage. I do know at least one fight though that our Iron Breaker was getting hit for almost 2k and died. I could see the horse thing being changed but you can easily sprint and be right there when they pick it up if you time it right and nuke their carrier down while he is stuck in there being blocked in by tanky types.

We have won a lot of these even after Destruction got there first and turtle up. Most people just do not use all their abilities. The main two we use to break up turtles is the use lots of knock back on the healers or the carrier and knock them into our front line. The other thing most do not use is the 50% heal reduction that our Bright Wizard has. All you have to do is KB + Debuff + focus fire = win. But then again I run with me a BW and a High Elf tank for dps mitigation on the BW or me when needed. What it comes down to is organization. You would be surprised how easy it is to kill PuG group relic carries running back to their base when the majority of the healers are still in the initial scrum in the middle.

Any way my 2 cents
I'd rather see the artifact spawn at a random time after the map starts at a random point in a decent sized room. Thus, players would initially clash and try to gain control over the room and it wouldn't be all based on who has the least lag / fastest mount.

I'd also like to see kills in certain areas on the map yield different point values, ranging from very little near your base to a whole lot near some other area.
One of the biggest problems with this Scenario, on my server at least, is that being in the Dwarf / Greenskin area the Destruction side is almost entirely made up of Greenskins, whereas the lower pop of Order seems to attract a balance of classes.

With mostly just Black Orcs and Squig Herders, the entire thing is just a big slow situation of no matter which team has the Artifact everyone crowds under the ledge of the Destruction base. Order wins 80% of the time.

I don't care what folks say about this side or that side being 'better' or 'using their abilities'. Plain and simple when imbalanced populations lead to one-sided matches, it's a design problem.
Well i realy enjoy mourkain temple. At least on my server, Compared to phoenix gate wich usualy ends wich about 50-500, its usualy a reliable source of renown and exp no matter wich side wins.
And just holding the artifact is still no guaranteed win. I've won several times although order was holding the artifact.

But what gets realy annoiing is when the one of the champions from the spawn point gets pulled down. happened to me twice so far. we were leading like 400-150 and the next thing i know one of the champions comes down 1 or 2 shoting everyone on my team...
Yeah, allowing mounts into the scenarios is just bad form. They should be disallowed period. None of the T2 scenarios I've seen are big enough to warrant a mount.

One thing I'd suggest is making the team with the relic push into the enemy's side where they get extra points and the relic resets.

Bloodbowl in the making :$
There is currently a bug with the artifact. After the first person who holds it dies, the next person and every other after that will not take damage from holding it.

If you are faced with an opponent who runs back and tries to turtle with the artifact, you can still win if you manage to kill more of their weaker classes to get points.
This is a pretty painful instance the way it's designed now. In one game the other team got the artifact for free because they had 4 20+ and we had zero. We destroyed their team and chased them all the way back to their starting area, where they were able to take free shots at us. end result, we lost 500-80. I'm not sure why I would do this repeatedly.

Also, I've heard there's an exploit where people with the mount buff up entering scenarios retain it.

There's also apparently a big benefit to your renown gain if you drop your group in a scenario.

Mythic has a lot of things to fix.
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