So, why exactly am I giving WAR another shot? The biggest reason is that I'm in a bit of a gaming lull. I was an avid console gamer up until the release of the PS1, at which point I gave them up for MUDs and MMOs. Honestly, I can't be bothered with singleplayer games these days, no matther what platform they're on.
As for MMOs, I've given much of the current crop a try but just couldn't stick with them. I'm a PvPer through and through and I'm not a huge fan of what's currently available. There are a number of interesting options on the horizon, but that's the problem -- they're on the horizon. Aion, Global Agenda, and even Champions Online (to a point) look appealing but they aren't here yet. And honestly, who knows how they'll turn out in the end anyway?
I'm in closed beta for some of those games but if the WAR beta taught me anything it's that I'm not much of a beta tester. I have a pretty casual gaming schedule and I'm certainly not interested in spending it in buggy and/or temporary environments. No offense to anyone else out there -- to each their own -- but there's no way I'm going to level (read: grind) a character from 1-30 in Aion closed beta (for example), just so I can have it wiped a couple months later.
The next main reason is that I think WAR truly deserves another chance. It's coming up on its one year anniversary and has changed immensely over that time. Like I said, I really haven't been actively playing since January, which means I missed all the Land of the Dead stuff and a number of other improvements. Patch 1.3.1 should be released shortly as well, which will usher in plenty of nice game-changers, including fixes to city siege, T4 RvR, and hopefully, enhanced class balance.
Is there really a better time to give WAR the old college try?
The plan is quite simple: Play the heck out of WAR for one month and see if it earns my recurring subscription.
Most of my the time will be spent on my rank 40 renown rank 44 Squig Herder (aptly named Snafzg) but I may also play around with my rank 12 Shaman alt on Iron Rock. Ultimately, the Tier 4 endgame is what should sell the game, so that will be my primary focus. I don't play MMOs to roll a constant string of alts if the endgame isn't strong enough to maintain my interest...
Areas I want to cover include: game performance, the RvR experience (solo, skirmish, keeps, city, scenarios, etc.), the PvE experience (Land of the Dead, Wild Hunt, etc.), polish, class balance, population balance, etc.
This will not be a review in the traditional sense. I will not award Warhammer Online a score at the end of the month. For me, it's either pass or fail. Pass means Mythic gets my sub. Fail means they don't. I will, however, document my experiences for you all to see. My hope is that it will generate some interesting discussion and highlight how much the game has changed or hasn't (gasp).
I'm not too proud to ask for help!
I could do this alone, but why should I? Half the fun in MMOs comes from the community, right? I'm pretty sure my alliance disbanded and most of the members of my guild quit the game. If I'm going to start fresh, I might as well do it with a bunch of new people! If you play Destruction on Phoenix Throne and have an active Tier 4 guild in need of a Squig Herder, please email me at snafzg-at-gmail-dot-com or leave a comment here with your contact info. My goal is to put in 15-20 hours/week with a good group of people.
I'm also not too well versed in the latest add-ons or custom interfaces, so any suggestions are welcome. I freshly reinstalled the game from my DVDs last night, so I have a clean slate to work with.
Stay tuned every Thursday until September 10th as I document what happens when Snafzg returns to WAR! I am excited to give it another shot and really have no idea what to expect either way.