I played WAR from September 2008 (Head Start) until the 3rd week of April 2009. I de-subbed at that time, because Patch 1.2 had gone live, and city sieges and mass RVR were wildly unstable. The game client was crashing several times an hour.
In early July 2009, I re-subbed to WAR to check out Patch 1.3, and I’ve been playing since then.
Before I start, let me say that there are some classes that need buffs in terms of class and faction balance. I won’t belabor that here in this post.
Patch 1.3 Highlights
The most significant change was the addition of the new zone, Land of the Dead (LotD). The game also seems to have gotten much more stable between 1.2 and 1.3.
LotD in practice was primarily a PVE zone, with PQs you have to grind to gain access to single-boss instances, called tombs. You have to re-do the PQs after you run a tomb. There is also a PVE instance with multiple bosses, called Tomb of the Vulture Lord (TotVL). I haven’t run TotVL, nor do I have any plans to. I’ve had my fill of PVE from other games (World of Warcraft, LOTRO, etc). There was very little RVR in LotD, because of the mechanics for entering the zone.
As I mentioned above, WAR was much more stable in Patch 1.3. That was the biggest reason I decided to stick around for a bit. Which brings me to the next major patch…
Patch 1.3b Highlights
This may have been the most controversial patch released for WAR, because there were across-the-board nerfs to AoE damage abilities. Many people, including me, felt that the changes were knee-jerk.
As it turned out, the nerfs vastly improved the quality of RVR by removing the cheesy AoE wipes that were prevalent pre-1.3b. Before the patch, it was easy to wipe groups of opponents by stacking 2-3 AoEs in the same spot. It required no skill and was frustrating for players. I was one of the people on my server who initially welcomed the live changes in 1.3b, and eventually, other folks did as well. Immunity timers were also increased, which was a good thing.
With the changes, RVR in 1.3b was the most enjoyable I’ve ever had in WAR. The combat was epic; e.g. some fights would last for several minutes in a scenario before one side emerged as the winner. It took coordinated focus-fire to break the tank wall in a keep or fort. I have seen a lot of players come back, or at least play more regularly, once word of 1.3b got out.
In my opinion, if WAR 1.0 had the same AoE damage as WAR 1.3b, the game would have had a much higher retention rate. In hindsight, many of the things players complained about were directly or indirectly caused by the imbalanced AoE damage. Remember before Patch 1.1, when magnet-bomb groups would wipe out the other side in scenarios and RVR? People complained that the magnet abilities of Engineers and Maguses needed to be nerfed. That might have been true, but the issue would never have been such a big deal if AoE damage weren’t so high.
Patch 1.3.1 Highlights
Edited August 21
On a positive note, the game performance seems to have improved (higher FPS). Both faction can enter the LotD zone at any time, and that was a good and oft-requested change.
There are 3 significant concerns for me with 1.3.1:
- I’ve been CTD’ing (crashing to desktop) multiple times an hour; the game is very unstable. On top of that, the servers have been brought down for maintenance / fixes every day since the patch went live
- there are a lot of bugs affecting gameplay, most notably the absorption bubble bug
- The new LotD barter weapons are big upgrades but only obtainable via PVE
The new LotD barter weapons (check out the Swordmaster versions) deal 66 DPS for 1h’s and 95.7 DPS for 2h’s. That is a huge jump from the current highs of 60 and 87 DPS for Lost Vale 1h’s and 2h’s and 91.4 DPS for 2h’s from the city sieges, which people won’t have realistic access to unless there is an imbalance in their server’s faction population. I’m concerned that players will continue to have to PVE in order to remain competitive in PVP in terms of weapons.
There should be some means of acquiring weapon upgrades via PVP, without requiring city PQs. Since Patch 1.3.1 went live, neither side on my server, Phoenix Throne, has managed to push a city. On servers with balanced faction populations, PVE may be the only means of getting excellent weapons. The RVR influence weapons were a good start (53 and 76.9 DPS), but they were introduced over 6 months ago.
I understand that a game need progression, but PVE doesn’t have to be the only answer. I hope Mythic extends the RVR crest / medallion barter system for armor to include weapons; please post your support in Keedo’s suggestion thread on the official forums if you agree.