You are going to have to stay with me on this, since we are going to be going around the houses on this, before we get to the title.
I don’t think anyone would deny that this game is based around the warband, without having the subtlety of smaller group fighting (Small dig there). Now due to the warband containing up to 24 players, you have a very high likely hood of similar characters existing within the warband and therefore their AOE abilities firing at similar times. Creating waves of destruction, which make it relatively straight forward, that once a warband is turned by another one, then it’s pretty much the end, bar kicking a few token skulls around the field. Especially if that warband is relatively well organised.
Now it’s my argument that morale abilities in the case of healer types, are the wrong way round. By the time those higher level morale abilities are ready to go, everyone is dead or running. If those abilities were up at the beginning of the fight, then they would absorb the initial impact of those AOE instants that are flying around, instead of players just crumpling under the initial impact. I am talking about, healing pools, absorb x damage, jack up armour/resists, basically anything that extends the first throes of battle and provides people a chance to get settled down for the fight.
What’s funny, is Mythic had derived what I thought was a better system in DAOC. Yes it’s back to that bloody game again. Here’s where DAOC was superior for exactly this type of thing. These special abilities (Morales in Warhammer) were purchased with Renown Ability points (yes those ones that you tend to forget about in Warhammer, since their impact is so minimal). The scheme was exactly the same, you achieved RR50 and you had 50 points to spend. But the abilities were far more significant in DAOC. You had abilities which depending on the level you purchased, normally level I (5 points), II (10 points) or III (15 points), defined their effectiveness. So to get level III, you would invest 30 RA points. Now level I could be 10% melee resistance for 30 seconds, II 20% and III was 40%. So depending on the force arrayed against you, you had the choice on whether you used that ability or not. 15 minutes later, it would be available again. So it wasn’t a decision you would make lightly. Not like at the moment, when it’s like smacking your head on the keyboard in a spasm, with a hope of firing off everything.
This whole thing rewarded sticking with a character, to gain those abilities that maximised your effectiveness within the group. Working hard to level up those characters. It also allowed smaller groups to hold out against larger and maybe more disorganised foes. However in DAOC, it was very rare to cap out characters as quickly as what seems to have happened in Warhammer, but that’s a topic for another day.
From my humble standpoint, I would happily ditch the whole morale thing and swap to a more substantial RA function list. Not that non event of RA abilities we have at the moment. This way I feel I could more effectively deal with the ebb and flow of battle when playing my rune priest. It’s funny how I have moved from morale ability reversal, to just dumping them completely. Something is needed to turn this from a numbers game, to actually providing the opportunity for skill and tactics to win through, even if only occassionally.