Sunday, December 20, 2009

10 Days of WAR: Day Three

For Day Three of my 10-day return to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, I ventured back into tier 1 to see how the new limitless trial was working out.  I rolled the one Order class I haven't played: the dwarf slayer.  Instead of starting in the dwarf lands, I was transplanted in the Empire starting area of Nordland.  This is meant to make sure that new players are concentrated into a single zone, allowing for the key features of WAR to shine (PQs, RvR, lairs).

I took a screenshot of a new item, the Rune of Transport, that describes exactly what it is all about:


Not only does it highlight the new combined starting area, it also makes a statement about the way the player density in WAR has been heading: down. However, the new starting area is good for WAR and it helps tremendously to hide the player density issues of the later tiers.

Playing at 11 PM on a Saturday night, I was shocked that so much was happening in Nordland.  New players were everywhere and most public quests were hopping.  Also, the RvR lake was packed and scenarios were starting on a regular basis.  Asking around, I found that A LOT of the "new" players were on the limitless trial and after some observation it was apparent.


Players were not behaving as I had expected.  Many were willing to repeat the PQs well after maxing their influence bars.  Others showed no interest in progressing at any reasonable speed. Some even explored the far reaches of the zone!  It was obvious that rank 10 (the max in the trial) was the end game and it was only a stones throw away.  There was no need to rush.  This spurred my optimism as I am now seriously considering playing the limitless trial after my 10 days are up.

Tier 1 has always been my favorite experience in WAR.  This is the tier of content that sold me on the game in beta and the weekend previews.  This was the tier of content that every beta tester agreed was "polished" and all Mythic needed to do was copy it four times over for a successful game.  It was all false hope as Mythic did not copy it and the current state of the game stands as evidence.  I would be curious to see how many veterans would rather spend time in tier 1 compared to tier 4.  I know I would!

Even with my love for tier 1 flowing, I still despise the RvR lake setups.  Tier 1 is worse off than tier 4 as there are no keeps or mounts for fast transport.  Fortunately, Nordland has the best of the tier 1 RvR lakes and is the only RvR lake in the game where I agree with the warcamps being close together.  It's tier 1 and players NEED to be put close together to spur action.  The Dwarf and High Elf starting RvR lakes are terrible in comparison.  Mythic chose the right zone for the new "new player experience".

Still, there is almost NOTHING outside of the battlefield objectives and zerg warfare in the tier 1 RvR lake.  No PQs, no quests, and little PvE content.  There is a lair to complete, but its out of the way and requires a solid group of coordinating players.  Its a stupid design, a waste of resources, and a missed opportunity.

Over three days, it is apparent what one of my major gripes with WAR is.  I truly thought that Mythic was going to incorporate all aspects of WAR into awesome end-game RvR zones that would attract both the PvP and PvE players.  This blend of play styles was going to put in place a varied platform for future growth.  I was fooled into thinking that RvR was something more than just PvP, but in WAR it is not.

What will I do for day four?  Come back tomorrow and find out!


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