January 11, 2010 3 Comments
I spaced out early last week when it comes to this blog. After a years worth or writing, I guess I needed to put the fingers to rest for a bit. That said, let’s move on to todays topic: the totally awesome weekend I had of playing WAR. I don’t do the rote “here’s what I just did” thing too often, and I don’t want to talk about just that today either, I want to look at why this weekend stood out for me. What did I do differently that made this past weekend a topic-worthy event?
As most of you are probably aware, I almost exclusively run with my guild. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll also see that my guild has never had more than 12 members, and until recently we had maybe six. So, given that, I have grown incredibly used to five and six man teams, running around, bombing the crap out of every blip that crosses our screen. If it’s red, it’s dead. Our focus is SCs. We stay away from the lakes most of the time, unless it’s a keep defense, because those are awesome. Attacking a keep is a snore-worthy event that makes me want to take a cheese grater to my face. It’s terrible. If you read way back when, you might remember that I was in a REALLY big guild before. Probably the zergiest of zerg guilds Order side. So, I’ve done my time in small group play in SCs/RvR, I’m clocked in the zerg-fest of Keep takes/BO hunting, I did the necessary PvE of city dungeons and LV, and I’ve paid my dues solo’ing on my SW while waiting for the rest of my guild to come back and play. I’ve played in most aspects of the game, and found the parts that make me happiest. That said, this weekend, I did some stuff I haven’t done in a long time, or never had before.
I fought the last boss of the Vulture Lord. One night, Archer was asleep (finally), and I jumped into WAR and Vent. My guild was doing Vulture Lord of all things (we typically eschew all things PvE). They were on the last boss, and having a difficult time with him, so they asked me to come in as a second Knight for cross-guarding purposes, and I actually had a decent time. It’s been forever since I felt I was up against a decent challenge in PvE that was obtainable and not road-blocked by bugs. They weren’t able to kill him while I was there, after a couple hours, I had to go, but apparently they downed him later that night. So, an interesting and fun PvE experience in WAR? Talk about a change in my perception of the game.
The other highlight for me, was doing some duo’ing with the other guild tank, on his Ironbreaker. My Knight still needs to gear up on LotD stuff, and that means getting ankh’s, pocket items, etc… The best way to do get the Ankh’s has been to gank alts leveling out there for the 20 kills quest. Well, my guildleader was up for it as well, and the two of us ran around smashing in faces left and right. I finally got to see what it felt like to do very-small group play out there. The zone was controlled by destro, so we knew if we died at any time, that was the end for us. It was incredible fun. Yes we were taking on players who were in there 20s and 30s, but when they have numbers (and bolster) it evens it out a lot. I think we ended up finishing the quest three times before the players finally got on their mains and rushed us with about nine level 40s, ending the excusion.
I think the reason both stood out to me was that they were both different from my normal play. A shake up of sorts to my routine that helped to crack mold I had poured myself into. I think it’s also interesting to note, that both events took place in Land of the Dead, a zone I usually decry as terrible. In general I hate the zone. I still don’t think highly of it, and find it overly situational still, but will concede that it has merit.
It helps that both experiences were incredibly positive, even though both ended up in eventual failure. The entirety of the enjoyment reward I reaped could be relegted to my understanding the possibility of success. To be more clear: some PvE is purely luck, some is terribly done and imbalanced. N’kari and her orbs are a PITA that often times bug out, causing the wrong people to get the wrong orb, and thus a wipe. Bilerot used to have some crazy nurgle-eating mechanic that could completely destroy any chance of success. The Sacellum PQ in Inevitable City Stage 2 is still geared toward 48 players and impossible to finish. Some PvP is impossible to win, and only running away is possible. A six-man attacking a keep with a warband inside will not suceed. Three players fighting six groups will die horribly. Some things are inevitable, and inevitability, when examined, is just the removal of options. Options are good.
These experiences of the last weekend weren’t huge, monumental experiences. They were slight deviations from normal, and it really helped to highlight for me the diversity that the genre is capable of, and more importantly, what WAR itself CAN offer. The problem is finding it.