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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 6:58PM DrewIW said

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"Fall damage is also still a big issue for me, especially when you mix in WAR's intermittently laggy RvR experience"

Amen.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 7:17PM brookep said

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Thanks! I'm planning on playing hard and letting everything sink in over the next week or so. Part 4 will give an update on my continuing progress towards my goals and the Wild Hunt live event. Part 5 will be where I let it all hang out, recapping everything I enjoyed and didn't.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 7:20PM sundrop said

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After reading your return blogs, I decided to give it another try as well. I just wanted to let all the readers know that the game is currently $10 (which includes a free month) on the EA store.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 2:44AM (Unverified) said

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Heh it's still full price $80 in the Australian EA store. If I could buy it for a price like that, I'd give it another chance too (I only played beta and headstart before cancelling my pre-order, never actually owned the game).
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 7:54PM (Unverified) said

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Hey Brooke,

Nice write-up. I look forward to some more LotD info next week. That's too bad that it's not the RvR boon some people thought it would be and it seems like it didn't really help subscription numbers, as the game is down to 5 servers now in the U.S., I think. You touched on the subject, but do the servers feel a little empty?

Aikau

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 8:34AM brookep said

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I wouldn't say they feel empty in general -- it's just that certain zones do. If you choose to PvE in certain spots, you're probably not going to see very many people. It's also a bit difficult getting people to join you for certain dungeons. (On Phoenix Throne anyway.)

This happens in many MMOs one year out though. I don't recall running into too many people in Azshara or Winterspring a year after WoW launched either.

WAR really has made RvR its bread and butter. There's always a battle of some scale going on in one of three pairings no matter what tier you'e in based on my experience. Outside of RvR though? Yeah, it can feel a bit lonely.
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Posted: Aug 28th 2009 11:28AM (Unverified) said

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One cannot possibly speak for ALL the servers and what their population is. I can tell you from personal experience that both Iron Rock and Gorfang are quite populated and there is almost always something happening on both.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:12PM MrDiamondJ said

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The terrain stickiness started happening after the 1.3.1. patch. Everything was fine up until that patch, and then you started getting stuck on damn near everything. That's not indicative of how it's been in the past, and I believe they've fixed it now (I play nightly and haven't had any issues for days).

The fall damage is annoying, I agree. What really bugs me are the certain hills (I believe there's one in Dragonwake) that hurts you as you travel down it. For some reason it makes you take small falls all the way down, instead of have you "escalator" down its length. You have to actually stop mid-hill and let your health fill back up. These are rare, but it's like, seriously Mythic, fix that stupid crap.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 2:51AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah it seems like the latest hotfix did a lot to correct the terrain stickiness. As for the fall damage, I know exactly which hill you're talking about and it's ridiculous. Yesterday I saw about five people die right in front of me from that "escalator" effect you were referring too. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.

As for what people have mentioned about not being able to get groups, roll a toon on Iron Rock! I almost never have to spend more than 30 seconds looking for a group for RvR unless it's like 4 in the morning. Even then there's usually a small group somewhere hunting Order (this is T4 but my T3 experience was similar. I did T1 and T2 a long time ago when the game was brand new) It's also amazingly well balanced right now it seems.

When I first hit T4, Order was kicking our ass constantly. But we picked up a whole lot of new T3 graduates and it's now a pretty close fight between Order and Destro most of the time, at least in ORvR (which is where it really counts imo.) Some days Order is pushing us back to our forts, other days (like yesterday) we're doing it to them. And sometimes (like this afternoon) we'll fight for hours over a single zone with no clear victor in sight. There were probably 100+ people of each faction fighting in Chaos Wastes today for quite some time. Was pretty cool.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:23PM Belmondo said

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I would like to hear how the additional ramp on the keeps (all the keeps?) has changed those fights.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 8:36AM brookep said

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I will make sure to cover this in my next post. I've only participated in one T4 keep take so far.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:15PM Justpotatoes said

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Terrain stickiness is one of my biggest pet peeves, along with getting stuck in the casting animation. (Do you get stuck with your bow in the air a lot? I set aside my R40 sorc and started leveling a squig herder last week, and I keep getting stuck in the plink animation...ugh.)

I'm glad to see you're having fun and happy to see you're back on PT! I'd offer you a guild invite, but since most of my guild has drifted off, you wouldn't be any better off than you are now! There are still some great guilds on PT that are going strong though. I'm sure you'll find one soon. :)

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 8:37AM brookep said

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Yeah... I've been stuck in my plink animation as well... Starting and stopping your mount summon clears it. That or Sticky Squigz (AoE root)... :p
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:43PM TheJackman said

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Sounds like a EA games and that's not a good thing :)

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 12:19AM agitatedandroid said

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It still sounds as though they need to just man up and drop it down to 1 server per side. My experience in WAR had always been one of utter loneliness after about month 3.

Now, every report I hear from WAR is one lamenting a group or a guild or someone to actually fight.

I don't know what WAR does wrong cause I did have fun now and then but I surely wish they'd fix it.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 12:19AM (Unverified) said

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Nice writeup mate keep 'em coming.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 12:43AM MrDiamondJ said

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The second ramps have been added to all keeps (note: not forts), and they're a lot better. I just did a series of keep takes on Badlands, and the second ramp makes a huge difference. The days of idiotic logjams are over.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 1:15AM Averice said

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That stickiness was part of the major turn off for me from the game when I first tried it during the free trial, though it seemed to get manageable after about 15 hours or so of having to deal with it. I never experienced any lag though, despite the number of free trial people running around. nVidia has updated drivers pretty recently, that fixed the lag I was getting while playing Aion.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 1:32AM (Unverified) said

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I've been playing War for a while now and here is where IMHO the game really falls

While the mechanics and quirks of the combat mechanics are important, that isn't the core issue with the game.

The problem is the way they designed the world. Tiered maps was a very, very bad decision. "Goal" capitol city sieges was an even bigger mistake. By the time you reach level cap you are only playing in roughly 20% of the gameworld targeting a single city. You think they where going to have longevity issues??? nah.....

This game needed an open world with a castle siege system like DAoC in the sense of able to attack at any time crossed with Lineage 2 with it's openness and benefits / town / resource control.
War just feels way to much like a shooter with fantasy characters and it just doesn't do enough to hold your attention. It's all about grinding different point bars which is just stupid. At no point does it feel like a virtual world at war.

I've been riding this game for the last 4 or 5 months because my wife loves it,watching it die server after server. I've had to move my character twice now in that time frame.
This game isn't going to make past Q4 2009. There are simply not enough people sticking with it.

Posted: Aug 28th 2009 2:59PM (Unverified) said

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I will say that Snafzg's articles inspired me to rejoin WAR...and as the week's go by I figured that I too would write my own "mini article" if you will about my experience. I feel that I'm a pretty level-headed guy and can look at things and objectively. I'm not a fanboy of WAR (really have no clue or care about the lore), but for that matter despite playing WoW for years I don't consider it to be the Holy Grail of MMOs either. That being said...

Last week I mentioned I rerolled as a choppa. I only got him to rank 8 or 9 before I gave up on him. Why? It wasn't the class itself, I really liked the "rage" mechanic they had, the damage was superb even at lower levels, and of course I got what I always wanted since the game launched: A dual-wielding orc! The problem is the *purpose* of the choppa...is he meant to go behind the scenes and chop on healers? Is he supposed to charge right in the fray and AOE destroy everything? Is he supposed to hang back and protect their healers? It was really kind of unclear, but one thing was blatantly clear...if you didn't have a pocket healer (or two!) you were toast. I can't tell you the number of times I had to do the respawn wait and run back to the action. I was running more than I was killing! This was a problem with my Black Orc back in the day, but even more so with a "squishy" Choppa. Having healing obviously is a requirement to any successful battle, but in WAR it is really really really a requirement.

It was then I said to myself "man, if the success of my battles depends so much on healers, and I'm not getting heals from these guys (it seems few healing classes want to actually heal in pugs), then I'm gonna roll a healer!!!"

And so "Healies" the shaman was born on the Iron Rock server :)

Equipped with the Squared healing addon, I'm rocking scenarios and oRvR like a healing machine. More people staying alive means more wins, which means more renown, XP, and oRvR influence.

Now I'm not saying that everyone rerolls as a healer, but it's completely changed the game for me.

Ok on to more non-class specific stuff:

Tier 1 RvR - Unfortunately T1 was a ghost town for me. I can count on one hand the number of times I traded blows with stunties in oRvR. All of my time was spent running around with a small group capping Battle Objectives. Extremely boring, and frankly worried me that I would be in for a grueling ride until I hit T4. The scenarios however were readily available, and I don't think I had to wait more than 15 minutes for one to start. The ability to join any of the scenarios from anywhere (something that wasn't possible when I used to play long ago) was a welcome addition, and all 3 of the T1 scenarios were tons of fun to play. The introduction of the medals (recruit, scout, soldier, officer) is also a great idea...I was quickly able to get a couple of really cool set pieces in T1 for my shaman, and the ability to combine those into higher level medals (and vice-versa) is a brilliant idea.

T2 RvR - I'm currently just rank 14 (and renown rank 14) but I can tell you this...on the Iron Rock server there is PLENTY of oRvR action! I've actually only played a total of 5 T2 scenarios (personally I really don't enjoy scenarios for the most part) but I've participated in tons of BO & Keep attacking and defending. It's literally as simple as logging in, going "/1 any oRvR going on?" and boom you are in a warband. There's actually more action going on than when the game first launched! It's probably because of all the server merges, but hey who cares...there's fighting! Last night was a prime example of the fun to be had. We tried to retake the Keep in the Marshes of Madness, but after a solid 30-45 minutes of it (and we're talking a full warband or more attacking) it was apparent that they were stuck in there and weren't coming out. So we all flew over to the Elf lands and started attacking their Keeps there. We still ran into opposition (there seems to ALWAYS be some order hanging out at their keeps!), but after a bit we broke through and took the Keep. After that we started attacking BOs, and we were just one BO away from flipping the zone when we were met with a swarm of Order. We managed to fight them off just long enough to cap the flag, and then proceeded to defend it until it locked. We were all rewarded with medals, tons of XP and RP, and a huge chunk of oRvR influence (more on that in a sec). It was truly an epic experience...and this was just T2! Oh, also the two ramps in the Keeps is brilliant, and in my mind makes Keep attacking more balanced...it makes it easier to take over a Keep without making it too easy. There's still plenty of trouble getting to that Keep Lord :D

Ok I said I am an objective guy, so here's the stuff that still really stinks about WAR:

PvE: I haven't done any of the dungeons or anything since I'm started playing again, but I can tell you that the PQs and quests are worthless and pointless in this game. You can never find a group to do PQs with, and even if you do you'll find them to be mind numbingly boring. Kill 50 dwarves, then kill 5 tougher dwarves, then kill one really tough dwarf, then hope to get a loot bag (more on loot in a sec). Quests are as vanilla as they come for the most part...there are some fun ones but the vast majority are really bland. Is this a bad thing? Well, yes and no. I think a successful MMO should provide an intriguing, engrossing experience in both PvE and PvP. But considering the fact that I'm pretty PvE'd out from WoW, I'm more than happy to ignore them altogether and just kill stunties out in the wild :). In T2 I would say at least 90% of my leveling has been through RvR.

Gear: Overall I would say that I'm disappointed with both the gear choices and their appearances. At rank 14, i'm still sporting some gear that I got back in T1, we're talking like rank 8 stuff! I don't really replace my gear until around rank 17/18 (yes there are bits and pieces but I'm talking real upgrades), which in my eyes is entirely too long to go inbetween upgrades. And let's say I kill something and loot a pair of shoulders that is an upgrade. Hooray! I put them on and...wait a sec, this must be some kind of bug because these look exactly the same as the previous shoulders I had. Nope, not a bug...just a really small set of armor models to work with. I'm not saying that they should look more epic...I'm just rank 14 I can understand looking like a bit of a grunt, but if i have a pair of shoulders with a little claw sticking out of it, and I find a new pair to upgrade, can I have a little bone sticking out of it? something different? anything?

Oh how i could ramble on forever about that, but let's talk about the rvr influence gear. First, it's great...the stats are good, they are "purple" for those who care about that sort of thing...i can't comment on how they look but something tells me it's the same model as the green gear. My gripe? That influence grind is going to be a bitch to fill, especially if you want to get all the gear from all the T2 areas. Like I said, I'm almost rank 15 and have leveled predominately through RvR, and I've only got one of the influence rewards so far. Will I get them all before I hit 22? Maybe, but jeez that's gonna be tough. I actually saw a dude in our warband running around as a chicken trying to glean off those last bits of influence so he could get his gear. Maybe I'm wrong, you guys tell me if you are finding it really easy to get the influence gear...I'm just saying it doesn't seem feasible to go after them all.

TLDR version: RvR is better than ever, PvE is worse than ever.

I think that's my rambles for now, if you want to say hey I'm Healies on Iron Rock. I'll be sure to post my mini-review update next week alongside Snafzg :)

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