WAR, one month in

Four weeks since we started playing WAR, give or take. The shiny-new smell has worn off, but the routine is proving to be very enjoyable. I still sort of find myself wondering what I’ll do at Rank 40; will the game become one giant renown grind for RR80? Fortunately, it’s not something I’ll be experiencing anytime soon given my usual leveling pace.

Mythic has been pretty good with Q&A and with patches, though in the case of CTDs and stability, patches seem to break as much as they fix, but that’s hardly new in the MMO world. The anti-scenario-afk code was a little overzealous to begin with, but I’m seeing more character names with a string of 0s which means it’s working a little bit. It’s irritating enough that folks should handicap their own side like that without them actually getting rewarded for it with xp and renown. I still think they should patch it so we can attack them, but that’s just me.

I finally got SpamMeNot to fight against gold spammers, and it really works. I hope it actually reports them to customer support the way it says it will, but if it doesn’t, that’s just too bad. The solution Mythic has implemented — making non-spamming customers navigate a very clunky interface to then type in the entirety of the spam text by hand — is sublimely ridiculous. Not only do we get spammed, but now we have to spend MORE time dealing with it? I don’t think so, Tim. I am more civic-minded than many in MMOs, but when the solution is almost as bad as the problem, I’m going to ask for a new solution. Like right-clicking on names in chat with a “send tell / add to friends / report” option. This is not reinventing the wheel, and I hope it’s going to be implemented down the line. (Mark Jacobs has asked for feedback, so chat should eventually improve.)

Nasty prosaic practical things aside, I’ve played a fair amount, though less than I wanted to. Ysharros has something like 2 days and a bit played, Amariel is probably at around a day, and the others are all just hours. Still, in a month I’ve managed 72 hours of solid play, even if some of that was spent AFK with the invariable RL interruptions. Last time I Bartled I came out as SEAK, which is probably still valid, so you’ll note that actually doing anything useful with my gaming time is relatively low on my list of priorities. I’d say killing other players has gone up significantly, but Bartle measures PvP and not RvR and I, for one, think there’s a difference. As for the S side, CoW remains a fun place to be; membership is shaking down as expected and recruitment may reopen in a few weeks, though it will be pretty low-key and will require strong recommendation from within.

I’ve run Tier 1 and 2 scenarios till my eyes bled, and I am coming away with an increasing respect for the scenario designers. Those maps aren’t just slapped together, they’re very carefully crafted — and Mythic aren’t above tweaking them later if needed, as was done with the T1 Nordenwatch scenario late in beta to give Destruction a more fighting chance at winning it (which it didn’t have before due to approach paths for the fortress). It’s a shame only one scenario seems to consistently pop in each of the first two tiers — Nordenwatch at T1, Mourkain Temple at T2 — though I haven’t tried T1 scenarios since the recent changes so that may be out of date.

I’ve also learned that, much as I may loathe a scenario now (Stonetroll Crossing atm, Khaine’s Embrace when I first started playing), I will eventually come to respect — if not love — it once I’ve done it enough times to learn its intricacies. That said, I’m not sure I will ever do more than hate Stonetroll Crossing; after a very first, beginner’s luck win, I have been destro’s kill toy in every scenario since, both with the shadow warrior and with the archmage. One day I shall have my revenge.

I haven’t played any Destruction characters much, but not because I don’t like Destruction. Quite the contrary, I think ALL the destro races are either cooler (Chaos), funnier (Greenskins) or better looking (Emo-elves), and many of their mechanics play out in a better-looking way (that raven-thingy that zealots can cast on enemies). And that’s why I’m sticking with Order. If I play Destruction too much I may be tempted to stay on that side and they already have more than enough players. My affection for the underdog is stronger than my desire for ultimate Goth or Mutant style… just.

How’s your first month been?