Further, More Positive First Thoughts

Twelve hours later, I have had more time to ponder my first night of WAR. Since I am neurologically hard-wired to be cheerful, the technical irritations have faded while the more enjoyable parts have been reinforced. My brain chemistry rules! Let’s add some happier things.

I should note again that those were “first impressions,” not “a review.” The first levels are your wolf-slaying levels, where an early quest is “find a mailbox” (not literally, in this case). The first six levels of any MMO are probably pretty similar.

But they are not entirely similar. WAR takes a different approach, getting players involved in the war and with each other very early. Your early levels in Middle Earth or Hyborea are essentially (if not literally) a single-player experience: your dwarf enters the tutorial alone, learns what the buttons do, watches Gandalf kill a troll, then joins an instance of part of a zone where no quests require groups. Dark Age of Camelot, contrarily, has a low-level quest of “find a group.” Taken to greater extremes, I found two public quests by level 5 in WAR. You have a few little quests to learn the buttons, but those all take place in the “real world.” After that, you can jump into PQs and RvR, and many do by level 4. For my wife, that is terrifying: having a single-player option until level 20 sounds nice, because she does not want to be judged while learning or to get other people killed in the process. When my point is to play with other people, starting in an error-tolerant grouping-encouraged environment is great. Also note that we fight the enemy at the end of the public quest, rather than watching an NPC do it.

Another nice thing is a lack of pack space. Wait, what? WAR is already known for having fewer, longer fights. In later levels, this will serve to let you use all those cool abilities that take a while to build. As you start, it means that you are not being sent to kill ten rats. Kill three rats. Is that a difference? As an Explorer, yes: ten is a grind, but three is perfect (one is new, two is learning, three is making sure you have it down). Yes, three is less grindy, even if those three take as long to kill as ten or twenty other-game rats. You also get less but more valuable vendor trash, as opposed to boars that drop five different trash items. I don’t want more pack space, I want fewer space issues.

Two parting random notes. First, before encountering an enemy, I had 788 experience from Tome of Knowledge unlocks. My first one was for adding to my friends list. Level 2 was pretty much free from learning the buttons and talking to people. Second, how did those level 1 dwarfs make it past all the outer guards, all the way to the Greenskin newbie area? And how consistent are we on dwarfs versus dwarves?

: Zubon

11 thoughts on “Further, More Positive First Thoughts”

  1. In the Kill Ten Rats vein: (1) most PQs have Kill Ten Rats-type quests overlapping, which is a great way to basically get double XP, and (2) when you need to Get Ten Rattails, everybody in your group gets the object for every kill!

    Personally I have not been so excited about a game since Guild Wars release long ago.

  2. I am the first to admit WAR doesn’t do much new besides providing a new backdrop and RVR style gameplay – but I am a big fan. I was won over by not having to do quests.

    In beta with one character I got to Rank 20 RR 18 without doing a single, generic, typical quest. No Kill X’s. No escorts. I simply Did Scenarios, Open field RVR, and Public Quests to kill the time in between.

    Tip: Once you get to your warcamp, you can fly to other pairing’s warcamps, and que up for their scenarios too. So with 3 scenarios in que at any time, I would do PQ’s while waiting or capture Battlefield Objectives in Open RVR (if a group of people were doing them). Didn’t have to quest at all – admittedly, I would pick up the Scenario quests (repeatable – do Khaine’s embrace, Gates of Ekrund etc, to make sure I had ample cash flow) and also pick up the open field RVR quests (Kill X # of enemies) but again that is just duplicating my current actions anyway. My only beef so far is that you can’t que for other scenarios from wherever you are, just your own.

    After getting as far as I did without doing the old school quests I realized it provided me with a different way to level and me likey. If you are a quester the quests are decently written, but if you are not, you do not have to worry about not being able to advance.

  3. Second side tip (sorry forgot to throw this in the last, and of course can’t edit). If you are just solo questing or doing PQ’s, and your friends are doing the same in other pairings, group up. Have them ‘join as group’ for their pairing scenario, and you do the same. That way you don’t have to fly to the other warcamps to get into the other scenarios – it will pop for you as it will for them.

  4. [quote]Second, how did those level 1 dwarfs make it past all the outer guards, all the way to the Greenskin newbie area?[/quote]

    They’re from that big fort that is right next to the Greenskin starting area that is also the focus of the entire Chapter 1 Greenskin assault (including the Public Quest, and being catapulted onto their walls)

  5. I get the fort, which is a much better explanation than most games have (i.e. none) for how the weakest enemies got all the way to the heartland. Still, this is the base of the Greenskin attack, and there are level 1 dwarfs holding it back?

    Well, I guess not. We steamroller them every time the PQ comes up.

  6. Technically if you look at the Realm map you are at the furthest point from the main objectives of control. Consider it the weakest Greenskin outpost being attacked by the weakest Dwarven troops. The more valuable troops are further inland protecting the more important assets.

    Sure, still a bit of a stretch, but are we getting closer?

  7. That sounds good. I’ll take that.

    Now someone get Turbine to explain how the level 5-10 orcs and goblins slipped by the level 50 guards at Trestlebridge and set up huge camps in Bree and The Shire. I don’t see how the forces of good will win against enemies that mass-produce 40,000hp orcs, but somehow only the 200hp ones make it to the home cities.

  8. The light. It burns us. Nasty wicked Shire and Bree sunlight weakens and delevels us.

  9. Maybe the guards see the orcs and thinks it’s a trick to get him to chase them while the elite orcs sneak by. So he stands at his post and lets the 200hp orcs run by for the townspeople to deal with.

  10. @Zubon: It is the same with us. When you are level 50, do you bother with the level 5 creatures that you run by? I think not.

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