While this woe video is a bit over a week old, I figured I'd post it up here for everyone to see while I work on a newer, larger post. It was a pretty good woe all around, though it doesn't compare to the epic battle for Luina that occured last siege. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fraps that one.
Double woe video post. Sorry for the delay on posting these, these are videos from the last two war of emperiums.
Admittedly, war of emperium is a bit unbalanced at the moment. Despite the challenge of defending 10 separate forts, guilds simply are unable to currently match our attendance, supplies and organization. Most of the problem stems from zeny though, and the fact that we get a lot of zeny from our forts... more than any other guild could hope for. Ten 60-70 econ forts tends to do that. Its not that other guilds aren't skilled or high level, but most of the guilds we're fighting in our forts are bringing 6-12 players to the battle... with the odd one bringing maybe up to 20 players. Unfortunately that doesn't compare favorably to our guild attendance of 40, or our alliance attendance of 60+ players.
I'm unsure how to make things balanced though. Splitting war of emperium times (woe2 on Tuesday, woe1 on Sat) is definitely going to help, because I think its unreasonable to expect that we can defend even when our forts are the only ones at stake. I was hoping our position on top would encourage startup guilds to band together into alliances that can fight against us... and as players became higher level they would be better suited to fighting (level 60 characters taking on level 80 ones is way less fair than 80 versus 90), unfortunately its looking like players are simply giving up. I don't want to drive players from the server though, I want to see it become a competitive battlefield.
I know it sounds conceited to say these things, but I think the fact that we control as an alliance 18/30 of the castles (the Valkyrie guild itself has 13 of those), it gives us some right to say such a thing. What can we do to even it out though? Obviously we're going to give up some woe2 castles when the split comes, which will help the issue to some degree. I don't want to engage in a server wide non aggression, even though our policy to date has generally been to let guilds do what they want to do as long as they're not in the forts we want. I still want woe to be about fighting and controlling forts, but more and more guilds are just stepping to the side and letting us do our own thing, which isn't really fair. Not that many of the guilds could stand if they chose not to anyways. So how do we do it? How do we help guilds become competitive, so that woe can stay fun and exciting, without simply giving up what we have?
Anyways, more about the wars themselves. On the 12th we attempted to give one of our woe2 castles to our ally, Libido. Libido's fort unfortunately was broken last minute by a breaker cloaked in their emperium room. The woe of the 15th involved attempting to re-take the castle from Inertia, defending our other forts, and then attempting to wrestle away the Meginjard forts from those who had it (as well as a good fight with RageQuit). Overall the woe was fairly fun, though as I mentioned before fairly one sided.
On a technical aspect, I played around with the resolution and rendering on both of them. The first one is a 640x480 rendered FLV at 1600 kbps. The second video is a smaller resolution MP4 rendered at 800 kbps. The MP4 came out to only 70MB though, while the FLV 175MB. Let me know what you think about the two videos.
High resolution versions (about 210MB 640x480 H.264 encoded) of both videos are available as well.
November 12th WoE
November 15th WoE
So now that I'm actively participating in War of Emperium now I decided to create a new WoE category on the blog. Damn that category list is getting pretty big.
Technically speaking, being able to record woe has been a series of hurdles. My system had some issues related to out of date chipset and sata drivers that basically slowed my hard drive write speed to a point where it couldn't accurately deal with the throughput needed to handle recording for a long period of time. You can see the result of the Orc Lord video I recorded a bit ago, the choppiness was due to this problem. I nearly toasted the system during a bios update gone bad, because apparently the asus windows bios flash utility is absolute garbage, and my system wouldn't even turn on, but luckily removing the battery from the motherboard allowed it to boot again. The weirdest thing is that the newest (and best) drivers for the sata controller were not available from the manufacturers web site, but only via windows update. Weird.
So I was able to record the entirety of woe at a steady 40 frames per second. Its clear that there's some tweaking to be had, running fraps on 1/2 screen size when running at 960x600 resolution doesn't generate the highest res video possible. Also fraps had some issues during the recording process at the very start, and you can see the unusual issue where the video appears to sometimes jump between slow-mo and fast forward. Unfortunately no post editing can fix it, but its not too noticeable and only occurs for a short period at the start.
About the battle itself, I think woe was pretty well everything we expected. We managed to retake our lost Nidhoggur fort from Inertia without too much trouble, and managed to hold off attacking guilds from our other WoE2 forts. Holding 10 WoE2 forts at once isn't easy, and sometimes glaring mistakes can be had, even when you are as coordinated as we are. In particular, the Promise guild managed to take one of our forts before we even realized it was under attack. Oops. All I can say is that someone was supposed to be watching it for attackers.
The dead branching was another in a line of rather unfortunate but distressingly common low tactics employed by some of the enemy guilds. Last woe they took a low level acolyte and tried to place warps to deadly maps over our existing warp portals to castle forts and attempted to break kaite and other effects out of forts before we entered. This woe they memo'd directly onto the portal and spammed dead branches outside so no one can go in. Unfortunately for them their trick wasn't particularly effective. While we killed the branches after we removed them from the fort, the GM team responded to an email inquiry in a near record 2 minutes in game to take care of the branches, though we left no work for them. While I have particular beef against Ragequit's Jambalaugi, I don't have anything really against most of the other guilds we're facing, so I don't want to judge their members, but it does seem as though their leadership isn't above cheap tricks.
At present Valkyrie Guild holds 13 castles, 9 woe2 forts and 4 woe1 forts. An impressive hold by any account. I'm unsure how long we'll be able to hold basically half the server's forts, especially considering there doesn't seem to be any shortage of up and coming guilds with decent players behind them, but either way I'm expecting to have a good time.