I was wrong, last week, when I said TB was all same shit, different day. The cap speed change has actually changed the battleground somewhat, and the net result has been that control flip-flops almost every battle, or at most every 2 or 3 (on my server).
That’s actually a good thing. It means people get a chance to win now and then, which everyone likes, and everyone gets a shot at at least some of the extra dailies. When one side or the other had control for days and days, that wasn’t the case and it got pretty tedious.
It’s been interesting to see people adapt to the mechanic, myself included. It’s been irritating and interesting to see that despite a pretty clear message in, you know, patch notes, that TB is all about capping flags, people continue to fight off over there in the distance, firmly believing (and saying so in chat) that killing that hunter for the 18th time way off on the road is way more productive for victory than standing at the damn flag.
And it isn’t. I’d have proof if I’d remembered to take a screenshot or a video or something, but yesterday we capped the Ironclad Garrison flag right out from under the Horde, and almost nobody died. Well okay, people died in droves, but the aim going in wasn’t to kill them, it was just to apply what the Horde has been doing perfectly at least as long as I’ve been doing TB: get more people AT the flag than they have. And since we already controlled two of the points (Alliance was attacking), under the new mechanic it took maybe 10 seconds to make them lose control, take control ourselves and win. Yay!
So this is now my Dude with the Thing mantra. I’m the Old Bag With The Flag.
“This is my flag. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My flag is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my flag is useless. Without my flag, I am useless. I must stand true by my flag. I must stand there better than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must stand there before he stands there.”
Extra points for knowing what movie I’m bastardising without having to Google it. Google killed quote competitions!
Oh, and Hi! to all the people who waved at me on Icecrown. (Okay, all two of you.) I’m still amazed people read this blog – when I write. Yeah yeah. Quit nagging.
Patch 4.0.6 hit today, and here’s what it had to say about Tol Barad:
# Tol Barad
* Attacking forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control 2 keeps.
* Defending forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control all 3 keeps.
* Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. [snip blah blah blah]
* The weekly PvP quest “Victory in Tol Barad” now awards 200 Honor Points and 3 Tol Barad Commendations.
* Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.
Gee, thanks. As far as I can tell, this makes zero difference. I’ve been in a battle to see for myself now, and all it means is that the capture points flip-flop so fast it’ll occasionally make you dizzy. Other than that… same shit, different day. Same place, same tactics, different cap mechanics. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or just laugh, because this is a typical MMO PvP “fix”. (Yes, PvP is hard to balance. No, I probably couldn’t do any better. However — unless you’re a dev with direct experience of doing this kind of thing, get the hell out of my armchair.)
(Actually, it means the Horde will have an easier time than ever taking it back on my server, on the rare occasions they let us have it, but I’ll get back to that.)
So basically, players who don’t hold TB continue to get bugger-all for trying to take it back, and the players who already hold TB continue to get commendations, extra honour, even more weekly commendations, a pat on the head and a chocolate biscuit for holding on to it. ALL the benefits accrue to the defending side, and somehow that’s just wrong. Note that I say this after several days of my side holding Tol Barad — if it’s not fair it’s not fair, whether I’m winning or not, and it’s just plain skewed.
From my perspective the motivation is entirely on the wrong side. Players who already have the place have every incentive to hold on to it, while players who don’t have only one incentive: take it so your side can get all the goodies. If you fail, however, you get nothing — too bad so sad, come back in 2 hours and try again, okay? It might be different!
The basic mechanic remains the same. The attacking force needs to split into 3 in order to have any chance whatsoever of winning, while the defending force could technically hold the zone as one single-unit zerg (though that would be really vulnerable to mistakes) — at worst they can split up into 2 major groups, which is usually what happens, and just play the round-robin “We grab the capture point you just took and can’t spare the people to defend” game.
Mistakes and poor fighting by the defending side remains about 80% of the reason Tol Barad changes hands, at least from what I’ve seen. When we’ve lost it, it was because we deserved to after playing like idiots, and not because the attackers deserved it after playing amazingly well. The attackers, for the most part, do play really well, but there’s only so much you can do to overcome the basic inequity, other than pray for a really crap team on the defending side. When we’ve won it, it was partly because we played amazingly well and mostly because the defenders somehow really fucked up. That’s just wrong.
And finally a few helpful tips for people in Icecrown TB teams, though I doubt anyone here really needs to hear them.
1. Moaning and whining in general chat about how awful we are and how we’re zomgqq going to lose — that just doesn’t help. STFU and make yourself useful by dying or something, but don’t mess with morale and don’t clog up chat.
2. Moaning and whining in general chat about how there aren’t any healers just means you don’t like dying. It’s PvP — get used to it. Hell, I hate hate hate dying and I’m used to it, to the point where it’s just a speedbump before I can get back in the fight. If I can suck it up, so can you. And if you’re dying a lot, maybe it’s not the healers’ fault, hrm? Maybe you’re squishy and NOT a priority. As a hunter I’m amazed and grateful when I do see green numbers pop up over my head, but I sure as hell don’t expect them. Healers have enough problems in PvP, like being the #1 target all the time. STFU and don’t clog up chat.
3. This one is really important. FIGHT. ON. THE. FREAKING. FLAG! Is this rocket science? Is it nuclear physics? There is a flag, which is a big farking pole in the middle of the farking capture point, and you need to be near it. It’s like the dude with the thing. Not difficult. Do it. Here are the 3 main ways in which Alliance (the only team I’ve seen in action) fails to understand capture points:
a) The more people on a flag, the quicker it will flip. 95% of the time we attack a place and everyone fights about half a mile away, nonchalantly, like this is actually going to help. The Horde, who are ugly but a damn sight smarter, assault the flag and not the people around it. This means that once we clear the buggers from around a flag, fucking off to Timbuktu is not helping!! Stay and cap the damn thing! How hard can it be to understand that 10 people will cap a flag a million times faster than 2? How hard can it be to understand that capture speed is tactically vital?
b) Fighting miles away from the flag serves no purpose. I really don’t see how this can be stated more clearly. This is especially true if you’re attacking, since the defenders just rez right in the middle and can go wherever they’re needed. In fact, forcing them to rez and move on can be counterproductive rather than keeping them tied up at a specific place. Short-term gain offset by long-term loss.
c) Someone who mucks around at the edge of the capture point is trying to lure you away from the flag. Just because they’re waving their arms at you in a vaguely taunting way doesn’t mean you have to give in. Gosh, you know — if you let them come closer, to where 15 of your team-mates happen to be standing by the flag, the taunting bastard will die in about 3 seconds. On the other hand, if 75% of the flag defenders see a guy on the horizon and start chasing him, we’re going to lose.
This happens all the time, whether I’m attacking or defending. I’m seething with ire and a strange kind of puzzlement that such a simple concept — fight at the flag! — can seem so impossible to grasp, even when 5 people are repeating it calmly and rationally in chat every few minutes. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been standing in flag defense, only to see 1 guy pop up in the distance and be immediately followed by most everyone who, seconds before, was at the flag with me. 3 seconds later I’m no longer alone at the flag — I’ve been joined by the half dozen Horde who were just waiting for my foolish team-mates to be lured away. It almost never fails, and now I watch it with a certain fatalistic resignation.
Here’s the main thing to know as far as TB on Icecrown goes: once the Horde outnumber you at a flag, you’re going to lose that flag. And everything that leads up to them outnumbering us at flags is a major reason why we usually lose. The major reason we hold on to the place when we do is because it’s really, really hard to lose Tol Barad — if victory were a little easier, I’m not sure we’d ever have it more than once in a row after a Horde defense fuck-up.
Yes, I’m moaning and whining, but at least I’m not doing it in general chat during a battle.
In which I discover the power of absence
All I need to do for our side to win Tol Barad is —
Not take part.
I missed a battle yesterday because I was too busy writing my conclusions post, and hey presto! When I get back we’re in control again. Yay! Huzzah! Drink vodka and let slip the feral druids of war! (No, I don’t know why I’m polluting Shakespeare with grain alcohol and hybrid classes.)
The next battle went fine, even though I was there — hey it’s defense, it can be done by an army of sleepy chimps — but the battle after that was an almost-debacle where the only reason we didn’t lose the island was because ONE of the chimps was vaguely awake.
It was odd. I fought like a demon in that one and so it seems did everyone around me, and yet still we slid almost inexorably towards defeat. It’s actually not about the chimps – the only reason we didn’t lose the island is because it’s too easy to defend. Slowly, sloooooooooowly I’m seeing people come to and stay at the flag, after many many many repetitions in chat. Don’t fight way the fuck over there where my arrows can’t reach your opponent – if you can’t see the possession bar, you’re in the wrong damn place. (As an aside, I can’t see the possession bar at all. I suspect one of my myriad add-ons is to blame.)
Kind commenters have pointed out that an upcoming patch may change the details of how Tol Barad works. Then again, WoW patches less often than Halley’s comet comes around, so I’m not holding my breath.
PvP ProTip of the Week
ProTip, though I doubt anyone who visits here is that kind of asshat: Yelling at people in chat and calling everyone else an idiot because they’re not doing what you’re telling them — not matter how smart your instructions might be? That won’t ensure compliance. For my own part it ensures a hearty “Screw you too, buddy!” if only in my head. Being called an idiot makes me contrary – I know, I’m a little unreasonable. I can’t imagine most of the other people in the raid are going “Oh my god, he’s right, I am such a moron, let me quickly run and do exactly what he says.”
This irks me. Do. Not. Call. Complete. Strangers. Names, you jackwagon dickwad! It’s not polite. Plus it’s counter-productive.
Brilliant, or so dumb it only seems brilliant?
Speaking of instructions, someone was very earnestly telling us never, ever, ever to return to where we died in TB — so if you’re defending the Slagworks and you die there, go anywhere but there when you rez. I’m still trying to puzzle that one out — it’s either brilliant strategy, or it’s really stupid pseudo-brilliant strategy founded on the pseudo-strategic “let’s go round in circles!” principle, which isn’t really a strategy at all but rather simply a direction.
I can see why you might want to simply move on because mostly when the bad guys come in, they do it as a zerg and you’ll be dying anyway, so you might as well reinforce somewhere else and not waste 2 minutes on a hopeless defense. On the other hand, if the other side knows all they have to do is kill you once and you’ll go away, it pretty much ensures zerg tactics and it leaves you open to smarter moves.
This is an Eddie Izzard continuum-of-cool conundrum.
Last and least, some random screenshots
Let’s start with a few caveats. I’ve only done about 20 of these Tol Barad battles, and I’m no PvP expert; I’m barely even a PvP noob. On top of that, my situational awareness in visual effect-heavy PvP is diabolically bad — I’m working on that, but I’m easily visually overwhelmed.
All that being said, I’ve been reading up on Tol Barad and I’ve reached a few conclusions of my own. This post is partly to set out those conclusions for review and partly to get feedback from the more experienced PvP types out there, because I really would like to work out if it’s possible to win Tol Barad through strategy, or if it mostly comes down to waiting for the defending team to be bad enough to permit a win.
For those unfamiliar with Tol Barad, this is a much better introduction than I could provide, though it may be a little dated. I gather there may be some TB changes in the works, but I haven’t actually done any research on that yet — so this post is based on the situation as I know it and as it seems to be right now. Listos version for those who don’t like links:
1. The zone is contested and never starts off neutral. The team currently in possession defends, and the opposing team attacks. Maximum team size is 80 (2 raid groups). I’m not sure what the minimum team size is currently because that’s been tweaked a bit since December, but I’ve never seen less than a mostly-full raid.
2. There are three capture points, arranged as the points of a triangle around a central non-contested location (Baradin Keep). The attackers have to hold all three at once to get a win. The defenders need to retain only one at the end of the countdown timers to win.
3. The initial battle timer is 15 minutes, but this can be extended in 5-minute batches by destroying 1-3 defending siege towers. The siege towers can be destroyed by using siege engines positioned at various points around the map, which have to be driven up to the towers. Those same siege engines can also be driven around the map for other purposes, though they can’t really do much other than be really bulky and have lots of hit points. Note that as far as I know, the siege towers serve no purpose whatsoever other than to give an extra 5 minutes when they’re destroyed. They don’t help the defense and they don’t hinder the offense.
4. The attackers always respawn near the capture point where they died, at one of the three triangle points. The defenders always respawn at Baradin Keep, right in the middle of the map and equidistant from all the capture points.
5. At the beginning of the battle, the attackers spawn on a bridge leading into the zone proper, which is a little to the left of the top point of the capture-point triangle — which means that that particular capture-point becomes the obvious first point of attack (and has been in every attacking battle I’ve been in so far).
So that’s the basic setup. From what I’ve seen, attacking strategy seems to be to grab the first point as fast as possible, which doesn’t usually take long, and then to always move clockwise around to the next capture point. Defenders are occasionally left at the first taken flag, but usually not enough to put up a creditable defense. Zerging is the most prevalent strategy on both sides, but it seems to work a lot better for the defenders than it does for the attackers.
My observations and possible strategy ideas are as follows. Please feel free to destroy them and improve on them, bearing in mind my opening caveats.
I. Fight at the flags. Flag/capture-point possession begins to shift as soon as there are opposing-team bodies around the flag. There’s no need to kill anyone or clear the area around the flag before possession can start changing (which if memory serves, was a requirement in Warhammer scenarios like Nordenwatch). If those defending a flag have 10 bodies there and you bring 30, and even if those 10 mount a heroic defense, possession will immediately begin to shift towards those with greater numbers.
The obvious conclusion here is that being near the flag is actually more important than killing the opposition, other than as a means to reduce the number of opposing bodies at the flag. The corollary to that is that fighting away from the flag is strategically unhelpful. And yes, luring people away from flags is a common tactic — from what I’ve seen of late, the Horde appear to understand this flag mechanic while the Alliance (my team) doesn’t.
II. Intelligence is crucial. In just about every battle I’ve been in, I’ve seen the Horde leave corpses at the capture points so they can keep an eye on what’s going on. I’m not sure we’re doing the same thing, and I’m starting to think we should be. Of course, being a corpse isn’t really that glamorous and the instant reflex is usually to respawn so you can rejoin the battle as fast as possible. I have a feeling it would also be useful to have scouts on the roads, but that might be a) dangerous for the scouts and b) spreading the team too thin. The attackers tend to get spread pretty thin around all three bases as it is.
III. Defend the captured points. Obvious as it is, this is the really hard part. The attackers have to keep moving because they have to take the other capture points. The defenders, in theory, could use about 80% of their forces to just zerg from one capture point to the next and make sure the attackers can never hold all three at once. This is pretty much what actually happens in the matches I’ve seen, both as an attacker and (less frequently!) as a defender.
The question here is, how many do you leave at a flag? Leaving a handful is pointless unless you can rapidly reinforce them, and “rapid” just doesn’t seem to be possible in TB. Comms aren’t easy, and most of the time nobody listens because 75% of what gets said in raid and general chat is either conflicting or just plain bad advice. Leaving 10-15 lets you defend a flag for a little while but generally doesn’t work when the opposing side brings 20-25. Leaving 20-25 of your own leaves you too short to effectively attack the other capture points, especially if they’re well-defended.
IV. Communications. I’m only including this because it should be, but I don’t see this being affectable. There are too many people shouting too many different things in chat, and the good comms gets drowned out by the crap. Good communications would be an invaluable tool for victory, but I just don’t see it happening.
V. Kill priorities. I have a feeling that if the attackers could decide on kill priorities they might have a better chance. Instead, battles tend to be incredibly chaotic — which of course is the nature of PvP. My own priorities as a hunter are to hunter’s mark any healers I can spot and then take out any of the softer targets I can see. I think I’m going to start sending my pet in to bug casting classes, especially healing casting classes (i.e. priests).
VI. Better use of AOE annoyances. This is almost certainly skewed by my many deaths, but it seems to me that the Horde knows how to use their ground-based AOEs to better effect than Alliance does. It took me several matches to realise I should be putting down traps ALL the time, because even if they’re only a minor annoyance, local skirmishes can actually hinge on such minor annoyances. I’m not sure what all the other classes can do but if the Horde can do it I’m pretty sure we have the means to as well.
VII. Go counter-clockwise — that’ll totally fox ‘em! Okay, I’m (mostly) joking on this one. But you never know. As it stands, everyone knows the general direction of battle is clockwise, and I’m not sure that’s really a strategy. I’ll grant that it’s a start — people need to have a basic idea of where they should be going, but that only seems to work for a few minutes. Once the capture points have changed hands a few times, the attacking forces are scattered between them, and the clock has counted down a few minutes, it all seems to devolve into even greater chaos. People will holler for reinforcements in chat for their own beleaguered area, and the match turns into instant-reaction rather than overall tactics. This probably goes back to Communications, and since I don’t think it’s possible to effectively communicate and have people actually listen, this may be insurmountable.
VIII. The towers are irrelevant — or are they? I welcome clarification on this point. Right now, as far as I can tell the towers do nothing for either side other than prolong the agony for the attackers. If that’s true, then there’s absolutely no need to pay any attention to them. From what I’ve seen, if the attackers can’t win in 15 minutes they won’t win in 30 — in fact, extra time seems to work entirely to the benefit of the defenders.
IX. If VIII is true, use the siege engines for other purposes and use them a lot. Those siege engines are slow, but they’re BIG and they have quite a lot of hit points. I noticed as a defender (only the attackers can use them) that they’re a real distraction when someone drives them right onto the flag and just bimbles around there, getting in the way, until the engine finally gets destroyed. Maybe I’m just easily visually distracted, but it seems to me that we could and should make use of those engines to add a bit of chaos and force the flag-stickers to move around. If nothing else, while the defenders are ganging up on me in a siege engine, my buddies have a chance to gang up on them.
That’s about it. I’ve noticed a few other things but they mostly pertain to my own character and how I still suck at PvP. For instance, Warden’s Vigil is a horrible place to fight at when you’re ranged. There are stairs with corners on the way up to the flag (outdoors but still), which impedes line-of-sight, and the damned flag itself impedes LOS — which means that I can see my opponent perfectly clearly, but I can’t bloody fire at them because of LOS issues. I need to figure out my own positioning up there so I can be more effective both as an attacker and as a defender. As a result, I’ve noticed that I’ve been avoiding Warden’s Vigil like the plague if I possibly can, which isn’t much help to my team if that’s where I should be.
Comments? (Helpful) suggestions? Observations of your own? I’d love to hear them. I’ve been enjoying Tol Barad for the last week or so that I’ve been playing it, but a string of defeats has left me frustrated and wondering if it’s even worth bothering with. If I can improve, if we as an attacking team can improve enough to have a chance of winning, that’s one thing. However, if it mostly comes down to waiting for the defenders to be crap — then I probably can’t be bothered to take part. That’s not fighting, that’s just gambling, and I don’t gamble.
For various reasons owing very little to WAR itself and rather more to that pesky Real Life monster, I’ve not yet checked out the Night of Murder event, nor am I particularly interested in doing so right this second. (As an aside, thank God these events are now designed with real people and real schedules in mind — they last a week or more rather than those 3-12 hours, “we know you’ll be online” old-school events.) Write-ups are starting to come in from others bloggers, including this one from GirlIRL, whose blog is well worth checking out and not just because she’s also female and might share some of my undergarment-arson tendencies.
And then I came across my own signature on the CoW forum — I don’t usually look at sigs, don’t usually have more than a 1-line one myself, and that’s the largest one I’ve had in years (said the actress to the Bishop) — and suddenly the main reason WAR isn’t holding me that well became apparent.
That K rating is a bit of a killer — or not, as the case may be. In a game that, ultimately (and in its best execution*) comes down to PvP action, my timid little o% killer isn’t going to get me far.
I tried RvR. I actually enjoyed RvR in WAR, for the most part (and that’s a hell of an achievement by Mythic, incidentally). But it hasn’t changed the basic type of player I am and I doubt it will, because oddly enough that profile is probably pretty close to the type of person I am too. I like to explore stuff (metaphorically and otherwise), I like to talk with people, I occasionally get something done, and I’m really, really not interested in conflict. I avoid conflict like the plague. Ya might say I have issues with it. So, in games, RvR/PvP is never going to be something I do more than occasionally. Which may mean that WAR isn’t going to be something I play all the time, but rather dip into when I feel like it.
Sort of like Bildo’s dual-wielding MMOs, but different.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that what various bloggers have said in the last year or so may be right: WAR might be more entertaining, on the war-front, if there were more than 2 sides. With two sides you have a couple, feuding or — as often seems to happen — snoring and avoiding each other. Add another side and suddenly you have a love triangle, and things become a whole lot more complicated, and usually therefore more interesting. Given that Mythic is not shy about tweaking, adding, taking out, and otherwise morphing the WAR baby to make it better (as with the introduction of the new mega-dungeon–zone-thing Land of the Dead), I have very little fear that if the 2-sided conflict isn’t quite working out, they’ll improve on it. Surely the IP allows that much wiggle room? (Yeah, I’m a little steamed about the character gender issues, but today isn’t the bra-burning post day.)
*see what I did there?
Anyway yes, 1.1b is in the process of patchinating (technical term) as I type. It’s not earth-shattering in terms of excitement, patch-wise, except for an interesting note on RvR renown point awards. Since I’m not quite sure how it worked before I can’t really tell you what the difference is, except that the awards seem higher than before. Presumably, now that we’re seeing more R40/RRxx folks coming up, Mythic are starting to get better info on the general RvR grind. I can’t comment much on it, since I haven’t done any significant RvR in about 6 weeks, for various previously documented reasons.
Either way, if it means that renown ranks will be a teeny bit easier to get once you pass 20 or so, that’s a good thing, right?
Notes are here, and for the access-challenged, here’s the text:
WAR 1.1b notes
1.1.0b is almost here, and while the notes may not be very long there are some great fixes that make a lot of significant improvements to the game. We’ve got some additional fixes in the wings so stay tuned for more as we continue to work on enhancing content and improving stability!
1.1.0b will be going live Tuesday, 12/16. All North American servers will be brought down at 7AM EST with Oceanic servers to follow at 9AM EST. We expect all servers to be back up and running by 1PM EST.
As always stay tuned to the Herald for the latest news and updates and continue reading for the 1.1.0b Patch Notes…WAAAGH!!!
- We’ve added additional messaging to the Inventory Overflow system introduced in the 1.1a patch. This was done to aid players in understanding what the Inventory Overflow in fact does and how to utilize this new feature.
- Fixed an issue that was causing the Nordenwatch scenario to crash intermittently.
- Fixed an issue that would cause the wrong realm name to appear in the center-screen Keep or Battle Objective capture message.
- Renown, experience, and Influence rewards have been added for attacking and defending Fortresses.
- Renown gains: This patch includes a significant fix to the amount of Renown gained in both open Realm vs. Realm combat and Scenarios. The intent of this change is for players to gain Renown based on the differential between a player’s Rank and Renown Rank. The examples given below are based on solo Realm vs. Realm confrontations without any sort of bonuses and with both players being of the same Renown Rank (differences between RRs also affect RPs awarded):
- If a Rank 40/Renown Rank 1 solo kills a Rank 31/Renown Rank 1, the Rank 40 will receive 206 Renown as a reward.
- If a Rank 40/Renown Rank 1 solo kills a Rank 18/Renown Rank 1, the Rank 40 will receive 70 Renown as a reward.
- To discourage exploitation of this system, if a player is killed repeatedly in a short amount of time they are worth less Renown each time due to the existing diminishing returns system. Also, please keep in mind that the difference between players’ Renown Ranks will also affect the amount of RP rewarded.
- Nordenwatch: Reenabled access to this Tier 1 Empire vs. Chaos Scenario. Fixed an issue with this Scenario that affected server stability.
It’s been a while since I played WAR seriously, and as a result it seems my PvP-meter has declined back to its usual “OMG NO!” state. I’ve been avoiding scenarios on all characters and making sure I play at times where no oRvR is likely to be going on (i.e. 6 o’clock in the US morning).
PvP is not a natural playstyle or choice for me, and as soon as I stop practicing I retreat to my comfort zone, which involves not doing it if I can help it. I’ve been dreading T3 scenarios ever since Ysh turned 22 and couldn’t go into T2 anymore — I’d just got used to Mourkain Temple, dammit! Well, I say “used to,” but what I really mean is “able to stand 7 minutes of chaos without comporting myself too poorly or soiling her velvet-nap SW outfit.” All I’ve ever heard about T3 is that there’s only one scenario — Tor Anroc — and that it involves spending most of your time boiling in lava. Not being one of the classes that can pull victims in or one of the classes that can then AoE them to death, and given my utter inexperience with it, I suspect I’d spend 95% of the time in lava and the other 5% running back from the respawn point.
I did get to the stage, in T1, where I can cheerfully die and just run back to the fray. In T2, I still lose the pedals now and then and just end up running around like a headless chicken, prey to whatever Chosen or Witch Elf fancies a slice of High Elf for dinner. In T3… I dunno. I don’t like being ignorant (of the landscape, of tactics, or other folks’ choices), I don’t like being confused (though you’d think I’d be used to it by now), and I don’t much like being dead all the time. I had a bad time in Stonetroll Crossing — half a dozen attempts and confused and/or dead almost all the time, except for one time I got the bloody pacifier, alone, just in time to see 8 Destro come up on the knoll and wonder where the hell Order was; and I had a fairly bad time in Phoenix Gate — and I *still* don’t get the point of that scenario. I understand what we’re supposed to do, I just don’t understand WHY anyone would want to do it. It’s a giant empty scenario map with mini- or mega-mosh stages and… that’s about it.
My intense and probably irrational hatred for game-death is part of what’s kept me from enjoying PvP all these years (aside from, you know, the asshats who tend to gravitate to it); it’s not really that onerous in WAR, but after 5 or 6 chain deaths I do start getting a bit frustrated. To my credit, at least I don’t vanish from scenarios the way lots of people seem to be doing now when they don’t like the way things are going.
/tangent — and WTF is up with that anyway? You join a scenario to play a time-limited game and you bloody well stick with it, win or lose. You don’t fark off when you’re losing just because you can’t stand the thought of not obliterating the enemy, or because the NPCs on your side aren’t providing you with whatever service you think it is they owe you. (I’ve already ranted about player tendency to see anyone else in a game as “not real,” just a bunch of quasi-NPCs who are there to heal them, tank for them, or otherwise provide whatever it is Joe Q Asshat thinks he’s owed — but I may rant about it again, just for fun.) I may have had a horrible time in some scenarios — the ones where everything goes wrong from the start, for whatever reason, or the ones where there are 5 of you and 11 of them, or the ones where your side is all level 1 and they’re all level 11 — but it has never, not once, occurred to me to bug out of one because it wasn’t going the way I wanted. Serisouly — WTF? /tangent
The thing is, there isn’t a whole lot to WAR if you don’t do at least some RvR on the side, and I know from past experience that it can be fun, even though it also tends to be l-l-l-laggy and crash-to-desktoppy. Besides, Ysh has some Devastator boots and I wouldn’t mind a) being able to wear them someday, which isn’t likely since she’s RR17 and they’re RR23 req to wear and b) getting some of the other set pieces someday, preferably before Ysh hits 40 and they’re no use to her. That’s sort of what happened with the T2 Tracker set — by the time I got even the first piece, I was levels and levels above having a use for it.
On the whole, fun as it can be, RvR is something I have to force myself to do. The more I’m confronted by people who just don’t understand how someone couldn’t love it (or whatever activity it is they’re hawking), the more obstinate and contrary I get — actually, the more anyone tries to get me to do anything, the more contrary I get, but that’s another story and the reason why I never joined the armed forces.
So now I’m wondering — could I just get Ysh to 40 and worry about RvR then? The Devastator shoes are just shoes, and I don’t really care about items. I can always pass them on to someone more deserving. And in the meantime, I wouldn’t have to agonise about stupid PvP and could just PvE — as long as I don’t make a big deal of it, people might not notice. (Does blogging about it count as a big deal? Oops.)