Choose My Adventure: Cue da ork-estra

Eliot Lefebvre
E. Lefebvre|06.29.11

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Choose My Adventure: Cue da ork-estra
It took me some hunting to find a copy of Warhammer Online on shelves. I could have just bought one online, yeah, but I will admit to being a fan of sentimental clutter like retail boxes. Once I finally nabbed one -- an adventure in and of itself involving a trip around Farmington, CT in a dismally overcast evening -- I installed it and got busy making a character.

Or at least, I would have, if not for the fact that one of the polls was a dead heat from start to finish. See, while my faction and class were apparently pretty easy to assign by consensus, getting my ork-or-goblin's class decided proved quite an ordeal. By the time the class poll closed, ranged DPS and melee DPS were in a dead heat.

Well, I had to have a little executive initiative, right? Klurgind the Choppa was born on Gorfang and given the oldest and most intelligent ork face I could find. (I would have gone with Grignr, but it was sadly taken.) So jump on past the cut to see what I got up to during my first foray into Warhammer Online and to let me know where I'm going next.

My adventures started out with the obvious point -- killing a whole bunch of humans because a lot of Tzeentch disciples told me to do so. I can get behind that. It gave me a nice ramp-up to get used to the central mechanic of the Choppa, which is similar to most of the class mechanics in WAR insofar as it's not a straight ramp-up effect. Essentially, the longer Klurgind is in combat, the higher his Rage gets. But past a certain point, he goes Berserk and gets much more vulnerable to damage. As a result, solo combat relies on my using abilities to dump rage before it passes a certain threshold, and group combat with a decent tank relies on my dumping rage at the last possible minute. It's a nice mechanic, although a bit simple from what I've seen so far -- I can only assume it gets better as one levels.

I'm also fond of the little chapter-based influence mechanic; it's like a version of World of Warcraft's reputation that doesn't make me want to hit my head against something. The public quest for chapter one was remarkably underpopulated at first, but the second time through gave me enough time to complete the chapter and cap out my influence gauge. That was enough for a new axe and a piece of chest armor. Unfortunately, it falls apart a little when you start moving into areas that are underpopulated, which I found to be the case once I moved on from the initial region.

Crafting struck me as one of those things that I've heard nothing but negative press about... and I honestly can't see why because it's fairly interesting. Essentially, as an Apothecary (which I picked along with Butchering -- I'm a sucker for making potions) you pick a container and a main ingredient and then add additional ingredients to try to improve your chance of success. It's a bit more involved than the now-standard model of click-and-forget, which I appreciated. Nothing revolutionary, but something I liked.

The quests, on the other hand, are... well, the kindest thing I could say is that they're present. There's nothing wrong with them, to be sure, but there's nothing that made me sit up and say "oh, this is really neat." Most reliable sources that I've found seem to imply that public quests, open RvR, and Scenarios are the way to go for leveling. I'm inclined to agree (although you will get a chance to sound off on that, naturally).

After hitting rank 6 through combination of questing, public quests, and occasionally butchering things for the heck of it, I realized that it was really past time to start dipping my toes into the reason for the season. More specifically, it was time to get into PvP and start getting my Renown Rank up. I'd never really fully understood the system, but figuring that higher numbers are always better, I queued up for a scenario and got choppin'.

As it happened, I wound up in Dragon's Bane, which... well, it would theoretically be possible for a scenario to remind me more of Arathi Basin, but nothing springs to mind, although this was more like a version of Arathi Basin that worked a little bit better, as there are only three objectives to capture and the overall player population kept moving in a lively fashion. I also started to get a grip on the RR system here, since it essentially functions as a parallel leveling path. The stuff you get through Renown seems potent, pretty much necessitating some serious PvP in order to take part in the endgame -- or so it appears.

Once I'd successfully taken on that challenge, it was on to take part in some open RvR in Nordland, which was... slightly less productive, not in terms of Renown, where I was able to progress at roughly the same rate, but insofar as there were no open groups and thus my Influence essentially didn't budge. So that was a bit disappointing. I also found the Renown vendor, although I hadn't yet picked up any of the rewards for my newly buffed rank. If some kind soul could offer suggestions (or a link to useful guides) in the comments, it would be much appreciated.

Klurgind doesn't quite have his first Mastery point yet, but he's progressing at a decent clip, and I'm enjoying myself thus far. So the question becomes, where do I go from here? And as is the tradition, I'm turning the answer to that question over to the community. I imagine I'll be picking up at least my first point by the time we reconvene, so this week's questions will center around what to spec and what to do. Of course, if you're on Gorfang, feel free to give Klurgind a friendly tell or two -- I'd love to get some Massively community action going on here.

So here are this week's polls. Let me know what you think by Saturday, July 2nd, and I'll be back next week with a solid dose of chopping.

As a postscript based upon the last poll there, I have been playing around a little with other characters just to get a feel for the other classes. Swordmaster seems pretty nifty.

What happens next in Eliot Lefebvre's adventure? It all depends on the choices you make on Choose My Adventure! What path will he choose? Only you can determine that! And the best part is that you can keep reading every Wednesday until you've made not one but several different choices for him!
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