I do not envy Mythic right now in trying to fix Warhammer Online. Mark Jacobs issued a statement to the community to shed some light on upcoming improvements, mostly related to encouraging Open RVR (oRVR). It appears to have been met with mixed reactions. A portion of players who wanted a game dominated by oRVR, want it NOW. They don’t want to wait the potential months it’s going to take to execute the full vision.
I’m definitely concerned. I understand that they have to find a way to fix oRVR and appease that segment of the player base. However, I see some fundamental problems in core mechanics of the game. In my mind, these are more important. The PVE content is empty but provides one of the character progression models. It’s more common for 1 to 3 people to be grinding out the Public Quests than the full groups it was designed to accommodate. COW is a large guild, yet we recently couldn’t field 10 people to do an instance, even though it was posted in advance on our forums.
Itemization is just weird sometimes. The rewards are supposedly tailored to your class but I’m often presented with choosing the lesser of two evils. Armor isn’t usually a primary stat stacked by cloth wearing classes but sometimes I have to choose the item that has the most AR because the other stats are just silly for my class. I get things with Willpower (+healing) or Ballistic (+ranged weapon damage), when as a magic caster what I really need is Wounds (+health), Intellect (+magic damage), etc. I have a difficult time determining when to break out of set pieces where you lose the accumulated bonuses when the individual rewards, supposedly for my class, have these odd stat choices on them.
Contribution in oRVR has been called into question. To my mind, unless they fix that everything they built on top will be compromised. I’ve had days when I win a bag at every Keep. I’m shocked and surprised. Then other times I’ve gone all out and don’t get anything at all. There are multiple threads going that are voicing a concern that some type of static contribution value is assigned to a character when they enter a zone. That could explain what’s happened to me or not – who knows, but the fact that people don’t trust how the loot is being assigned breeds additional discontent.
I personally don’t perceive any value in a guild holding a Keep. There are some rewards but for me, they don’t even begin to cover the daily costs extracted from that guild’s coffers. Bragging rights – uh, sure - if someone happens to go by that Keep, stop and read the banners where they’d see your guild name and then associate that again with some player from that guild that they encounter while somewhere else in the game it’s bragging rights, but not much beyond that. I know that you get banners/standards that are useful in RVR/PVP situations. However, I’ve rarely seen our guild even have a banner present while we’re out doing organized oRVR, so how much value are they really???
We don’t want a gear dependent game some players posted in response to Mark’s thread. From me to Mythic, “Please no gear trumps all situations like WOW." That being the case, how do you motivate players to do other content without the carrot of better rewards? If you make them substantially better than everything else, then I’d have to ask why they bothered with all that other content in the first place. WAR deployed with parallel tracks of progression. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you ask, one of those tracks, Scenarios, has become the undisputed King of Content. Now they’re stuck with trying to figure out how to get people out of them.
oRVR is a lot of fun, so don’t get me wrong. However, I get much more of a team feeling from Scenarios these days than from oRVR. In Scenarios, your participation tends to be more important and pivotal to the outcome, where as not so much in oRVR. It’s the whole the more people you have the less precision and cooperation is required to be successful. You can mindlessly zerg in oRVR simply because of numbers. I’ve done oRVR where I don’t bother to group with anyone at all. I just follow the sea of bodies and kill stuff because I don’t plan on staying so there’s no point or real “need” to group up. I think there’s something more fundamental that has to be fixed to make it actually a team-based activity, before amplifying the rewards to get people out there.
On top of which, there are bugs in the way oRVR works. The lag is absolutely horrendous at times. Lag with collision detection sucks ass! Collision detection + lag in confined spaces sucks ass times two!! Collision detection + lag + inconsistent line of sight rules is the mother of sucking ass!!! No amount of getting more people into oRVR is going to make that better. In fact, it will do just the opposite.
I’ve had occasions where I’m not allowed to cast a spell over some little hump in the road – and I do mean it’s a hump, while other channeled spells can be cast around corners and through solid objects. I can run straight through players of the opposite faction some times and other times not. Platforms, stairwells, ramps etc are designed narrow, in situations where 20 to 40 people are meant to be engaged and you can’t even move for getting stuck on each other. People are jumping up and down because they can’t tell what they’re stuck on and are praying that some slight jostling of their body will un-stick them. That’s not fun. Sometimes it’s so annoying I want to slam the keyboard down and walk away.
There are ghost players all over the place in oRVR. You can’t tell they’re ghosts (not really at that location anymore) and the game will let you burn an ability or Morale with a LONG cool down on something that’s not there, tell you it’s not there AFTER the fact but still locks you out of using that spell until the GDC expires. I can’t tell you how that pisses me off.
And while we’re on the subject of messed up encounters – fix knock downs or take them out of the game. I get knocked down but on my end my body jumps right back up. I try to cast something, game says I’m disabled and knocks me back down. I pop back up and try once again to run or cast a spell but game says I’m disabled and knocks me back down. I do this ping-pong up-down a few times then finally, I’m up for real. As a result, I avoid all mobs that use a knock-down spell. Unfortunately, I can’t avoid players who have them and going through that goat-rope in PVP/RVR is just…just… fix it please or take it out!
So while I get that people want more oRVR, “NOW GRRRR!” I’d prefer to see the foundational game mechanics tweaked and improved first and foremost. More isn’t going to make the bugs and oddities any better. I enjoy PVP. I enjoy PVE. I suppose enjoying them equally, gives me more patience when it comes to increasing the amount and frequency of the oRVR. Sure, it’s mad-cap fun when it’s happening but there are issues that I’d rather not have amplified by more.
I'll keep playing because the fun out weighs the negatives. I keep playing because the content is good, the animations are great, characters just look so hawt in their outfits but not in an "over the top larger than life" manner. It's the nuances and style of the art direction that really appeal to me. I keep playing because there is variety in the kind of content available and I actually enjoy a good bit of the quests. I hope for Mythic's sake and mine, that the other players are patient.
P.S. Please release the fix to combat sluggishness. I have spells that have pre-requisite requirements like hexes. The pre-req hex is instant cast. i cast it followed by the go-boom spell only for the game to tell me the instant hex is required. The instant hex which was cast first shows up after the fact but when I try to repeat and cast the go-boom spell it's now on cooldown. This happens a lot. Instant cast spell when it doesn't fail means INSTANT CAST, without the whatever-is-going-on-behind-the-scenes-before-the-game-reconizes-its-been-cast-and-landed-successfully nonsense.