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.
Regrettably, I can’t support the thread on the forums (EU player ><), but you are totally, totally right. I'm one of the members of a long-time PvP community guild, and the main reason we left WoW for Warhammer is that instead of being dependent on PvE gear and weapons grinding / gold farming we could just do scens and ORvR.
I understand Mythic's idea that some PvE has to be present in the game, but making PvE gear vastly superior to PvP alternatives? Imagine that Blizzard created a new set of honor / arena gear that was miles better that the existing raid sets and items, and raiders would have to do PvP in order to be able to compete with other guild who also do. Sound pretty stupid? That's what Mythic does, in reverse.
Let's face it – right now most players who chose playing Warhammer over WoW are either die-hard fans of the Warhammer franchise or (the most common category) fed up with constant need to grind PvE gear and gold. If Mythic wants to emphasize PvE in WAR's progression, they just have to remember that there is already much better PvE game out there.
Great post. I agree with your comments, esp about WoW and Mythic having gear acquisition backwards.
I play WAR because it’s currently the best PVP MMORPG on the market. I was very happy with Patch 1.3b, but 1.3.1 has been a disappointment. I don’t like paying for games that crash so frequently. It’s the reason I de-subbed back in April.
The reason that WAR is still holding up despite the stability issues and horrible balance is because (and only because) it occupies a niche that nobody else does (“Western” PvP MMO). Maybe that’s also the reason behind Mythic not hurrying to fix the most glaring problems – if they had some competition things might have turned out differently…
I agree 100% with your evaluation of patch 1.3b – I actually left WAR as well after patch 1.2, frustrated.
It turns out though that it was a combination of mistakes (hidden design flaws as well as buggy codes) that resulted in the devastating AoE-fest with Bright Wizards and Sorcerers chasing tanks all over the battlefield with their insta-AoEs – It was laughable…
1.3b and its several “updates” fixed a large portion of this. I really like the new keeps with 2 ramps from 1.3.1 – I never bothered to check LoTD much since it was PvE-grind and I have LOTRO for that (pages anyone???) when I have an attack of temporary insanity – but I’ll give it a look if you say that both sides can access it at the same time now.
On the side – We have not heared from your Shammy in a few weeks – Come on, haughty elves are a lot less fun to read about than green obnoxious cackling goblins – your blog inspired me to start a Squig Herder and I am having a blast with it.
One last technical question: On the videos your shammy is jumping a lot – Now for moving backward, jumping is a requirement to match the speed of running – but for side-kiting, does it break LoS or something?
In terms of side-kiting: I jumped around on my Shaman while kiting out of habit. It prevented me from getting snagged on rocks and stuff on the ground, and it looked funny. And, very importantly, it kept opponents in LoS of me, so I could use instant-cast attack abilities on the move.
However, there was some discussion about jumping while kiting, and apparently it induces lag on your opponent:
I didn’t believe that at first, but while playing my SM, I watched RDPS and healers who were jumping while kiting closely, and I think it does create some sort of lag effect.
That doesn’t seem fair, so I’m trying not to do it anymore on my Shaman. I want to beat opponents because of good movement and timing of skills, not because I’m lagging them LOL. Jumping while moving is ingrained as a habit, even on my SM when I am not Holding the Line. So it’s taking some time to break.
[…] had launched in its current state, WAR would have been a success instead of a colossal failure. I shared that viewpoint when I played WAR patch 1.3b over the […]