I’m WARn out…

It was a great weekend.  Alot going on.  I managed to try and get a decent feel for five of the Order and six of the Destruction classes.  Over the next couple of posts, I’ll break down each of the two sides and what I thought of the starting areas and classes.

It was neat to finally get a peek at the things everyone raved about.  Public Quests are one of those “duh, why didn’t we think of that” items that should have come along alot sooner.  More often that not, I finished a PQ and wound up with a group to go quest hunting with.  Same with the open party system.  Parties tended to be more flexible, and oddly enough, more effective, than I’m used to.  You group up for one quest or a series in an area, and then disband at the end, only to float into another new group a few minutes later.  The end result, for me, was a sense of connectedness with the other people I was playing with.

Perhaps even more impressive, was knowing that I could log on even for a half hour, and not feel like it was a waste of time.

All was not roses and glory though.  The first day of the preview, I either got lagged out or crashed out of every starting area in the game!  And that was on the Casualties Guild approved server, which had, according to the population counter, a measly 2100 people on it!  Most of the areas I was in had a lot of people, but I can’t imagine it was any less than you would see in a big RvR battle.  And I’m not running a slouch compy either (see the About section).  And I did have one CTD each on Sunday and Monday morning.

Still, it was never a big deal.  Why?  Because the development team and Mark Jacobs have been open in their communication and diligent in their fixes.  With Vanguard, the CTDs I got were frustrating, because I knew they wouldn’t be fixed anytime soon, if ever.  Mythic though, has already demonstrating that they are serious about fixing issues.  That goes along way towards improving my attitude when I hit a bug, which, lets face it, are inevitable.

So to round out tonight (told ya I’m tired!) a few random awards.  A loot drop, as it were, from a Public Quest:

Top Winners:

Gold Medal:  The Zealot.  It was just another healer class for me to try as I prepped for launch (my brother usually tanks, and as I mentioned below, I thought this would be a good time to open up my experience to include being a healer.  But the class totally rocked my world.  One of the neat things about playing Mages in EQ is the ability to give things to other classes – weapons, items, armor, etc. – through your spells.  It was always a neat idea, but hard to implement.  But I think the Zealot/Runepriest mechanic was a great way to take that idea, and make it truly useful and balanced.  Some of their buffs also give you an ability.  Its that simple.  And that cool.  I ask the tank – what do you want?  PBAoE?  DD?  What’ll it be?  Repeat that question for every other group member.  I felt like I was useful in a way that went beyond healing. 

Silver Medal:  Public Quests.  Boy are these things addictive.  I knew the characters were throw aways, and yet I kept going back one more time, trying to place higher, max out influence, enjoy the experience of knocking down big time baddies and *being a hero.*  There I said it.  This was a bullsye way to make the players the heroes of the world in an active and engaging way.  Already I think the potential for those who like RP servers is staggering.

Bronze Medal: The Greenskin Starting Area.  Getting lobbed onto the castle walls was something else.  My brother and I wondered aloud where all the drunken disoriented dwarves in barrels were coming from, and the answer was so perfect, and so dead on target lore wise, that it was a joy to behold.  We’re seriously considering going this route.  Shaman was nice as well.

Top Losers:

Treacherous Ring:  The Missing Classes.  It was awkward to be playing the Public Quests, and look around, and realize you had no tanks.  Gameplay wise, it was fine – you could still finish the quest.  But it just *felt* weird.  It breaks the lore in a way that is so strong it actually interferes with the game play.  I don’t know yet of an MMO that has added classes back in that it chopped before release, but I hope that that’s in the works for WAR.  They are badly needed.  This was seriously a deal breaker for me.  I cannot play Empire or Dark Elves because of this.  I don’t know many othe people as ramped up as I am about this, but this was the glaring achilles heel of the weekend and of the game, and I hope the smoothness (tech-wise) of the weekend and Beta does not mask this issue.  It needs to be fixed pronto.  Given that the Chosen and Ironbreaker have different mechanics that could easily be mirrored on the opposing side to fill out the tank slots, its also extremely puzzling.  Keep an eye on this, I have a feeling its going to become a bigger issue than people are aware of right now.

Broken Hairbrush:  Lack of Equipment.  That’s right.  There’s no goodies.  You can’t go to the store and pick out your new weapon.  You will only get new equipment through quest rewards or PvP.  Sometimes items do drop, but its extremely rare, and the drop table, unlike the quest rewards, does not take your class into account.  I got 4 items drops over the 4 days I played, and only one of them was useful to my class.  It gives me an uncomfortable itch to know that I’m stuck using essentially the same weapon for 40 levels.  Especially considering there is nothing lore wise that limits weapon types!  What a great time to enact the long overdue idea of item stats not having to match item graphics.  Chaos mages in lore wield axes, Elven mages wield swords.  Every character, no matter what, can handle a hand weapon of any make – mace, axe, sword, hammer – you name it, your tabletop character can wield it!  Why is that not true here?  Why as a Rune Priest am I forced to use a wooden staff for 40 levels?  Whose insane idea was that?  Ditto, by the way, on armor.  Armor that has different names and backgrounds, but for 10 solid levels, will look exactly the same, *no matter what the stats are or how rare it is.*  Also, tell me that’s not the final dye list.  And tell the joker who made “Shadow Grey” into green that its a blue grey instead.  Srsly.

Canteen Water: Travel.  I’m sure most of the Beta peeps know everything they need to know, but…I didn’t have a clue what zone connected to what zone, how to get there, how to find buddies in other races, or where these mythical, so big they can’t program more than 2 in 3 year’s time cities are.  This was offset somewhat by the Book of Binding not having a cooldown timer though.  While I’m thinking that may just be a Beta perk, it was insanely nice.  And it got me to wondering exactly why it is there is usually a one hour limit on recalling to base.  Why do that exactly?  *Time sink?*  Please tell me we’re still not drinking that particular flavor of McQuaid Kool Aid.

Enjoy your two weeks of rest people, you are going to need it.

Next up:  The Side of Order.  And some screen shots and maybe even a video!

One thought on “I’m WARn out…

  1. Wolph

    Nice review,

    Some remarks:
    -About the tanks: good point I believe that will be an issue as well, but I also heard they’re working on it.
    -Lack of equipment, not true. However you do need to read the manual to get this:
    There are RENOWN merchants who have the cewl gear, they have however only equipment for the renown level you have and you start at level 0. Your renown increases with everything you do to oppose the other faction (that can be PQ’s or PVE’s) but they increase by far the most in pvp especially the instanced battle grounds.
    Also the drops do become more frequent (but indeed not very) as you become higher level…

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