Folks all over the Blogspace, and elsewhere I’m sure, are wondering how the apparently staggered release of servers is going to work in the first week or two of WAR. I could throw in some links, but you could just scroll up and down your RSS-feed entries or, if you’re actually here, click on a random blogroll entry. Chances are you’ll see a post about server choices.
Back in 2004 when KSWN picked Icecrown for WoW, we ended up with just this kind of decision. Icecrown soon became known as Icedown and along with a handful of other servers, suffered all the tribulations everyone else did and then some, just for added buggy fun. We considered moving, but really, once a guild hits a certain size it becomes almost impossible to do without enormous amounts of effort and usually hassle.
Looks like CoW are just going to pick one Core-ruleset server for each side of the guild, Order and Destruction, and we’ll ride out whatever happens. It won’t please everyone but you never can do that anyway, especially not if you want to stay sane and prevent guild management from becoming a second (or third) job.
No, there’s no real point to this post. If you read this far, I’ll give you your money back. I’m just hoping the WAR launch is smoother than the WoW one was — which almost nobody seems to remember for the steaming heap of downtime, lag and ocean deaths it was — and that nobody has to consider a server move with a guild of more than about 5 people.
All you medium and large guilds out there — good luck.
It won’t be for everyone, but it will be WAR for me. Quick Yay/Boo:
- Open groups – Easy come, easy go and no strings attached. I like this. I hated having to struggle to form PUGs only to discover I was with 5 asshats (one of me is enough). Open groups you can join, do some stuff, move on.
- Public Quests – They’re almost no fun when they’re heaving, as of course all the earliest ones are. They’re good fun when there are a couple of dozen people there, and even more fun when there are just enough (or less) because then they become a real challenge. What many haven’t noticed yet is that they don’t just come in different flavours, they come in different difficulty levels too. Chapter 2 seems to have 3 PQs in each area, and they’re not all the same challenge level.
- RvR – I am still shocked at how much I’m enjoying this. I have learned to treat death more lightly than I usually do, though I have several names on my Open Beta-Chrace server shit list. It seems possible to have a shit list (as in if I see you I WILL try to kill you, [insert name]!) without really taking any of it personally. I am taking it as a compliment when I seem to make it on other people’s shit list — it means my RvR skills are improving.
- Guild levelling – I tend to be cooperative, so seeing something that everyone contributes to and benefits from is great fun.
- Playstyle compatibility – This is highly subjective, but I have yet to find a career I actively don’t like, though of course some are better fits than others. The fact that most careers have a mirror-image in the other faction is very clever — it makes development a little easier, but it also means people don’t have to stray too far from their comfort zone if they want to try the other side.
- Stability – It’s great for me. It’s not so good for others. Mythic seem to be taking this seriously, which should be good news for the not-so-good camp.
- Casualties of WAR. Say no more! Well, except maybe MOOOOO.
- The interface needs work, but I’m exceptionally picky about that. Right now, every time I log in my chat window has jumped a little higher up the left side of my screen. There’s some sort of weird snap-to-ing going on, because when I resize it with the customisation tool you can actually see the chat window jump. Click on the chat window again and it’ll return to where it should be. It’s minor, if a little exasperating.
- All the little buglets still around, like “Target is not attackable” messages while said “Target” is happily beating the snot out of you. Eh, it’s beta.
- Character models could use a LOT more work. I suspect this will never happen, because it’s part of keeping the load as light as possible for mass numbers on-screen.
- Lack of fluff. I will always miss fluff. Right now it doesn’t matter much, but in 6 or 12 months when the newness has worn off and I’m pig-sick of RvRing all day, I think I’ll notice the gaping hole where “fun stuff to do that isn’t PvE or RvR” should be.
- Crafting. I’m a craft ho, so for me crafting in WAR might as well be nonexistent. That said, what they have put in will probably work very nicely, and they appear to be thinking about repeat business for ALL crafts (well, all 2 of them) right from the get-go, which is heartening.
- Auction Houses. I’m sorry, I hate those. Always have, always will. But I acknowledge that players need a way to exchange goods for money from each other… I just don’t like the way AHs implement it.
I actually had to dig into my minor-gripes bag for that BOO list, because Mythic appear committed to squashing most of the obvious must-fix issues as fast as possible. I have some longer-term gripes about certain classes I’ve played, but it’s very easy to armchair-dev without knowing the full picture. Also, I probably need to L2P, especially in RvR. Finally, I know from having tried a few R31 template chars in beta that what you see at Rank 5 really isn’t a good perspective from which to judge a career’s entire progression. They do progress, that’s the point. A R5 char is not just a cut-down version of a R40 char; new abilities, masteries, tactics and the rest make an ever-increasing difference.
Lots of other folks seem to be disappointed by the graphics, which is somewhat understandable. It’s not as pretty as LOTRO by a long shot, nor are insanely detailed as Vanguard. However, it runs relatively smoothly for me even when there are 30+ people all moshing about on my screen in RvR, and that matters. Besides, it’s hardly ugly.
See you on the battlefield. Or the PQ. Or the guild tavern. Cheers!
EDIT – and a shoutout to my Ni buds. I may be WARring with a different guild, but you won’t get rid of me from the meta-tribe that easily. I may come stalk you on the ArmPitz server! May your WAR be long and bloody.