I’ve been working on an anti-Aion post for a while now, building up seething hatred for those who have turned their back on WAR, and generally kicking puppies down the stairs while calling out the old Dwarven gods for strength. However, while I’m 9 paragraphs into tearing a hole in the glory perceived to be Aion, I’ve come to a few realizations. For one, this isn’t the kind of blog I run. It might be the attitude I use to fuel my rage on the battlefield, and take it out on tanks that see me as yet another harmless Slayer. It’s not how I like to promote the game or the community though. We’re haters for sure. Lots of hate and pent up rage without a doubt. We generally take that out on each other though, and more or less ignore the rest of the MMO community. Well, at least until people start taking out their rage and frustration on WAR itself. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it and I’ve gone through that phase a couple times.
I’m not mad at the bloggers walking away from the game. It doesn’t bother me that guildies are dropping left and right, regardless of the shinies I try to inspire them with. I can cope with running around in game and getting insta-ganked by a Witch Elf + Squig Herder combo, or a Chosen + DoK combo. Even with the “Coward” debuff in scenarios, I don’t really mind getting farmed for 15 minutes. It’s all part of how the game goes really. Populations sway back and forth, wildly at times, but there’s always a good period of time where competition is really tough. This isn’t an arena based e-sport kind of game. Sure we have scenarios, but there’s no ranking system aside from the scoreboard at the end of it. I think the downers are continual, and the release valve is hard to find. Sometimes, a few months off from the game can bring you back more than refreshed and ready to rock some Greenskin arses into the ground, while walking over a few Chosen along the way of course.
Personally, I don’t really think the campaign is all that great either. Sure, there’s a point to it I guess. It represents some kind of end-game we could push forward with. Awesome. Sadly though, I’ve never really been one to go around chasing carrots when I can have blood in my cereal bowl. WAR, your RvE endgame does not amuse me. However, if the path leads me to killing 500 Destro in 6 hours, I’ll poke along I suppose. That was a new record for me btw, ~500 kills last night got me a full renown level and we never flipped a zone doing it. Granted my K/D ratio was probably something like 1.3:1., but some quick rezzing healers kept me and one of my guildies up most of the time holding back a line of destro around 30 deep. Oh, and your warcamp Hero guards in Eataine hit like sissy girls.
What I’m getting at, and my huge reason for playing WAR, is the fast paced action in the game. Unlike anything I’ve played before and how it really pulls in the feel of the Warhammer fantasy. This is a smash-mouth beat-em-up bloodsport kind of game. Tear into your enemies with reckless abandon, rip out their entrails, strew em across your face, and dive right on top of your next warm target screaming bloody murder the whole time. There’s a LOT of death involved, and if you could see some of my scoreboards, you’ll notice my 10-15 deaths in a scenario with 12-18 deathblows, and rocking top damage with the best of them. If I get an assist, which is becoming more common as new players on the server start to recognize my bloodlust, I cause so much confusion and disruption in the back lines the front half entirely falls apart as all their support craps their pants trying to get rid of me. Yeah, you Sorcs and healers on the back lines, you know my face, beard, mohawk, and Spanners all too well. You’d better damn well /lol when you kill me, change your thong too, I’ll be back sooner than you hope.
If you fear death, or can’t stand being ganked, or panic at the sight of a reckless enemy, this game is going to piss you off. If you dwell on the inconsistencies, overpowered pocket items, mechanics associated with your class, or just can’t seem to figure out how to best utilize your powers, this game is going to piss you off. If you overanalyze the best spec to play, and realize not all specs are made the same, you’ll be scratching your head just before you go off on a tangent demanding developer intervention with the threat that your sub is in danger. If you find yourself smacking a door for 3 hours a night, and taking BO’s with a hoard surrounding you, salivating at the sight of an enemy to show its face, you’re going to be disappointed when the said enemy force either rolls over you or drops like a ball of lead entering orbit. I can go on for a while outlining everything I perceive to be bad about WAR, and other players could go on equally as long with a very different view on what is wrong with the game.
The point being, when the communal focus goes from positive to negative, it ain’t easy to get people to flip sides again. It’s like a cancer that needs to work itself out through attrition, people NEED to leave the game while doing as little damage as possible. I encourage this frequently among my alliance members, and enforce it within my guildies. If someone is gonna go, they’re still friends and co-gamers interested in finding that next best thing. The greener grasses that are tantalizingly out of reach, always elusive, but maybe something else can idealize the perfect game or at least something better than what you have. This is why, on the official forums at every opportunity, I try to get people to leave as fast as possible when they start a “QQ this game sux, bai!” kind of thread. The less people that share the frustration, the more potential enjoyment they can continue to have in game anyway. I see a lot of complaints, I have a handful myself, but the core aspects of the game that are great I enjoy with incredible zeal and fervor.
The people that stay through the horrid patching, pointless expansions, Ultimate Nerf Bat of Doom +7, and blatantly overpowered class combos really don’t dwell on these things for very long. Yeah, they’re a concern, but so is breaking a face in with whatever you’re holding in your hand. I like to hold kittens on occasion. The players still involved in this game I associate very well with actually. It’s light PvE, with a load of PvP. It kinda sucks that we need to PvE for the better gear, but it’s a nice alternative to the grinding zerg that rolls through zones on a mission for the city. I’ll be the first to admit I refuse to take un-contested contested zones. If there isn’t blood pouring like a river, or geyser where I’m involved, I’d rather take my chances with mobs that either one-shot, bug out, and occasionally die appropriately while dropping some loot. I rather enjoy that a lot of the PvE is damn near impossible short of a burst of luck (see Gorak in Lost Vale, or any of the LotD Lair Bosses). It gives people a reason to stop doing it, and go back to killing each other.
So what are you missing about WAR? What is your brand new shiny game giving you that’s any better? How does WoW stack up for the equivalent PvP? I went back and played DAoC for about a week, it was SLOOOOW. You run short of endurance and power constantly even if you’re pretty well buffed. Casters are regularly sitting down IN COMBAT to regen. Can you imagine this in WAR? Oops, healer ran out of AP/RF/SE, gotta sit down for 20s to regen it. Hope you guys can survive. Yeah, wow. Amazing. The pace of combat in WAR can be attributed to a FPS in comparison. I’m not talking about a Halo-style run around for 10 minutes with a load of armor and shielding, but more akin to a CoD4 type game, where a few stray pistol shots will have you lying on the ground wondering where the hell they came from. Sometimes you get lucky and run around racking up kill after kill for no other apparent reason than everyone seems to be ignoring you, and sometimes you so much as stick your nose around the corner to find
a melee meat grinding train being supplemented by 3 different kinds of caster damage flowing over their heads picking you out like an albino at an NAACP rally.
I think it all comes down to carrots. Every other game has a long train of carrots for the next best thing. Do this, get shinies. Do this, get more shinies. Do this really hard thing, get some really shiny shinies. There’s a few carrots in WAR related to RvR, but they’re so distant. By the time you get them you’ve forgotten that you were even going after them. The REAL carrot in WAR is the guy standing across the field begging you to spray his blood across his realmmates. It’s pure unadulterated killing for the sake of killing. Keeps and Objectives be damned, tell both the Capital Cities to go to hell, show your PvE bosses the darkest stain of your taint. If you don’t enjoy killing people because they happen to be standing somewhere in your vicinity, you don’t have a carrot. If you expect to go around finding carrots, not only are they going to be small and insignificant, you’ll probably find one stuck right up your arse by the time you’re all done. Bring on the carrot rage, I’ll bring on a boatload of weapons.
I really love me some killin’.