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Snafzg returns to WAR (week five): Oh, the places you'll go! (p2)

Brooke Pilley

Now let's move on to my dislikes. I realize there's no way WAR is going to redesign itself from the ground up, but I'm still feeling the effects of some pretty bad decisions they made at the drawing board phase. Firstly, the world is extremely fragmented. You have pairings, tiers, PvE zones, RvR lakes, all of which may improve overall game performance, but also split the playerbase. The world lacks any sense of connectivity once you hide your map because it's all divided by loading screens. The benefit is that it speeds up travel. The drawback is that it kills immersion.

It's an odd feeling when you can walk 50 yards into an RvR lake and see all kinds of players battling it out but walking 50 yards into the PvE areas feels like a tumbleweed scene from an old western movie. It gives the sense that aside from RvR, there isn't much to do and that all the effort spent on PvE leading up to release was wasted.

Next up is the overall RvR campaign. Pushing for your enemy's capital city is supposed to be a long and arduous process but by tying everything you do in RvR to a zone lock and putting the best gear in cities, it becomes the driving force for the campaign. On one hand the game seems to want to be this drop-in and drop-out fun RvR experience but packing all the best goodies in a city conflicts with this. To compare this to World of Warcraft, it would be like forcing people to clear a path for 2-8 hours before they are allowed into the top raid instance every time they want to run it.

And speaking of PvE, I've never been a fan of the multiple-day lockout timers and poor drop rates of WAR's various PvE dungeons. I can understand that they don't want to let people farm PvE instances more efficiently than RvR for gear but this is taking it too far. Why not introduce a token system for these dungeons? Having a 1/12 shot at getting the piece of gear you want due to the large number of WAR's classes carries a heavy punishment for those unlucky masses.

I mentioned my like for the patching approach Mythic has taken lately, but now I'll counterbalance it. I dislike that patches in WAR still seem to hurt the game almost as much as they help it a year after release. Sure, you get pages and pages of fixes and updates, and those are great, but when they're followed up by 3-5 days of hotfixes, it hurts the morale of players.

My final dislike is that Mythic isn't giving me a strong sense of where the game's headed. It seems to me that they're in a reactive design mode instead of a proactive one. It's great to react to player feedback but if that's all you're doing, the process feels as patchy as the world design. I kind of get the feeling that WAR is in maintenance mode. Maybe this is related to the Land of the Dead, which seems to have been successful initially (maybe too successful) but now seems to have fallen flat.

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