Not Quite As Expected … or Was It?

I was on vacation for Thanksgiving week so I was lounging in luxury … thus no posts. It’s hard work writing these things. Not really, but I took the week off to relax, visit friends and family, and oh yeah, play some WAR.

I didn’t play WAR non stop, there were some nights I didn’t play at all. I played some right after 1.4 went live and as many others have commented, the city sieges were happening far too often and flipping zones was way too easy. But the renownz!

Things appear to have stabilized and Mythic has implemented some fixes. The past few days the experience has been pleasant.

Siege, Siege, Siege
The biggest gripe for most right after 1.4 was the non-stop city sieges. While players were wandering around not knowing how the new campaign worked, they would blob up into a zergball and just bum rush zones. With no keep NPCs and a larger force on your side, flipping zones was child’s play. And even if there was some resistance, a small group could go to a less active zone and lock it with somewhat ease.

The complaints prior to 1.4 were the amount of city sieges. This patch was to fix that. In the short term, it did not. The city can be fun and with the new loot pecking order (Sovereign, Doomflayer, Warpforged) there was reason for people to take part (and advantage) of the increased frequency. The allure of getting a purple weapon and some new high-end gear are all it takes for people to flood in. Not even one full day since 1.4 launched, there were players who had upwards of 3 pieces of the new gear (from the city and Thanquol’s Incursion).

Mythic jumped on this fairly quickly, upping the amounts of resources needed to rank up keeps. This has helped. I can’t speak for what happens during the day (I’m at work), but in the evening there has been a decline in us going to the city. I expect there to be a back-and-forth of no sieges to too many sieges depending on population. More on how to curb that in a future post.

This item has gone not quite as expected.

Campaign Evolution
It’s amazing how many morphs the RvR campaign has gone through since WAR launched. Each update has improved the game and our much of our feedback has been implemented. RvR had gone extremely stagnant there for a while and Mythic knew something drastic was needed. People weren’t actively taking part and RvE isn’t nearly as fun.

Patch 1.4 has definitely breathed new life into the campaign. When you enter an active zone, before running out to join the fray, pull up the map. More times than not there will be hotspots all over the place. That’s exciting. You’ll still come across a zerg here or there but you’ll also encounter a lot more small groups. The fight has been spread around the zone nicely.

I’m not seeing as much BO defending as I thought we’d see. Since BO’s only have a 5 minute lockdown it’s more common to see a BO flip and then a group will swarm in to take it right back with the time traveled to get there enough for the lock to expire. So rather than a dire need to hold Martyr’s Square it becomes a take it and run somewhere else, leaving the BO undefended until the next time the enemy appears to be capping it.

The fighting has been quite good and it’s refreshing to see people defending and keeps. Being able to respawn inside makes defenders braver to go out and mix it up. And the battle fatigue debuff stacks which helps level the field for attackers. Since 1.4 has gone live, I’ve taken part many a good keep battle. Good times!

Other than the BO issue this item is as expected.

Scenario Matchmaking
People were running scenarios? The times I played the pops were not abundant. It seemed as though people were content to mix it up in the RvR lakes. Then I learned the new matchmaking system was borked. I guess that explains some of it.

Throwing us a bone, we were given 5 days of the Eternal Citadel to make up for the issue. Everyone’s favorite, right? If you run a melee train, sure … but for us squishie ranged guys it can prove a nightmare. No cover. Nowhere to run. Dead. You’re typically not going to garner a ton of renown as the scenario ends so quickly. That’s a blessing I suppose. The main draw for this scenario is the ability to quickly gain scenario emblems. I gained over 50 and wasn’t playing hardcore at all this past weekend.

I’m a slacker so someone tell me … did they fix the matchmaking system yet?

This item is not quite as expected.

Thanquol’s Insursion
It’s difficult for me to comment on this new RvR dungeon. I’ve only entered it twice. The first time there were only two of us on the Order side and half a warband for Destruction. There were other Order players listed which leads me to believe they entered … and then subsequently left.

Last night was my second foray and I only knew it was available because guildies were mentioning it in Vent. Shouldn’t there have been some sort of “LOTD” foghorn Skaven bell sounding thing that rattles my speakers? I got in there and it was the opposite of my first experience: a half warband of us and two or so Destro. I didn’t win any worthwhile items but gladly took the new crests.

It seems as though this would be cool and fun with equal numbers. Having to be “Johnny on the Spot” to get in and the window of opportunity when it’s available needs to be looked at. Last night’s example was a good one. Half of us in Vent had zero clue it was open. We weren’t AFK third-floor keep squatting, we were out fighting in Eataine.

The Skaven instance was meant to stall/slow the campaign … cause a diversion to prevent zone flips and city sieges. We left to do the dungeon meanwhile the campaign didn’t stall. Destro flipped Eataine.

This item does not appear to be as expected.

Color Me Bad … Really Bad
I love player customization as I think many players do. The standard dyes that we’ve had since launch are meh … so-so … passable. You can get by with them for the most part but they truly lack a lot of the punch players want. There’s a “red” but it really doesn’t punch like a red. And there’s a couple “yellows” but they are not vibrant like yellow. The same can be said for the rest of the color palette players have at their mouse clicks. Yes, I just spent the last paragraph discussing colors.

To give us more choice and better options, dyes drop off mobs out there in the world. Whether you get a Snot Green or Scab Red these are slightly better colors than the ones at vendors. Some are more accessible than others with Chaos Black and Skull White being the rarest (until the billing snafu that had Mythic giving these away to those affected).

When I learned new colors would be coming in the RvR Personality Pack it was sure to be a welcome thing amongst the community. After 1.4 there were some glitches with some colors not being available and the overly expensive price for them. Really, 2g for colors I just paid for through the RvR Packs? Eventually the pricing was reduced and all the new colors were rolled out.

So what of these new colors? Some are nice while some are well … not. To each their own but the neon colors now present some hideous combinations. Not sure if my Guild Leader reads my blog but his WH is quite clownlike and ridiculous with his current color ensemble … up until he kills you. So Mint Chocolate Chip Green will not be making an appearance on any of my toons. The new “better” Black as it were, is a detail killer unless you enjoy a high-gloss look.

I’m guessing these are as expected.

They’ll Make Great Pets … and Mounts
From the number of players I see running around with the new vanity pets, I’m assuming they are a big hit. I still have yet to select which ones I want. Some make sense for us Order players but I wonder how I can explain walking around with a two-headed dog. Won’t I draw the attention of more than a few Witch Hunters? “Nah, it’s not a chaos mutation … I swear it was born that way. You know, pure bred dogs, all the inbreeding. That’s all.”

The new mounts looks sweet and I appreciate the quicker speed and greater chance of not being dismounted. Some goof Marauder tried his stupid “pull” thing on me and I just ran away. I hate that thing. I selected the “Steel” mount but was given the “Silver” one. A new hotfix has gone in that will allow players to swap the color of their mount and pets whenever they now choose.

These appear to be as expected.

Overall Thoughts
Even though 1.4 had a slightly rough start it appears to be settling in quite nicely. I’ve really been enjoying RvR more than I have in quite some time. WAR was always supposed to be about largescale fights and for the most part, we are getting those. There is reason to get involved and the renown is sweet. I’ll finally be able to reach RR80 (the slacker I am). My guess is that this patch is going as expected but some of the issues have been prominent enough to require a reassessment. Mythic has already made some adjustments and I imagine more will be on the way.

Getting anywhere from 10k-20k renown for flipping a zone is quite nice. But my RR81+ friends tell me the drag hits you after reaching that bellweather rank. I’ve been fortunate to have gotten some nice new items along the way. In two city sieges I’ve gotten a nice fill-in belt to go with the Doomflayer set when I one day complete it. I received a sick endgame staff from a purple bag in Stage III. Shame it will take me about two years to reach RR98 and use it.

And lastly I just got my first piece of new gear … Warpforged Gloves.

I’m enjoying where we’re headed but hope more substantive things are on the horizon. In 6-8 months from now, what kind of new RvR Pack can we expect? What else can be added to a PvP-centric game so quickly? We’ll discuss that soon enough.

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2 Responses to “Not Quite As Expected … or Was It?”

  1. I won that same exact weapon today in the city. I will probably ragequit the game 200 times before I actually am able to use it.

  2. I’m enjoying everything so far, I have good and bad sessions. But if I play for long enough in a session it will even itself out.

    Which is why I haven’t blogged. I want to get and play the game.

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