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November 11, 2008

Comments

Yeebo

Apothecary has serious issues. Talisman making is pretty useful, and not too hard to level. However Apothecary is damn near useless for anything but healing potions, as you pointed out. With the totally random availability of ingredients, I honestly can't be bothered to level one.

Just out of curiosity, are you on a destination server? They seem to be doing a lot better than the others in my experience.

Melf_Himself

You should consider getting in on the server transfer game, I've been hearing good things from people who have transferred into higher population servers.

It's a general game design flaw to have people separated permanently into different servers. The whole process should be made more dynamic.

Saylah

@Yeebo - Bad thing about the crafting setup is re-doing is a huge pain because of the necessity of farming mobs for random drops to skill up another profession so that is completely out of the question.

@Melf - I'm on a destination server that started as high with queues to medium. And while it must be better than low population, it's nothing like it was at launch. As much as I enjoy the game, the fact of the matter is that the reduced population = fun halved. *shrugs* But I'm in for the long haul regardless. I just hope they address how the lack of players actually prohibits content completion and decide to address it. For example, PQ Stage I should drop a chest with lesser bags, PQ Stage II drops a chest with the next best bag and Stage III only drops the other higher quality bags. After all, it's not the player's fault that the population has become a problem. If people want to stand around spamming for groups, there are other games they could be playing or simply doing Scenarios like many of them have elected to do. :-(

Yeebo

@Saylah: I wasn't suggesting a redo, although I totally see where you got that from my post. I too leveled an Apothecary for a while, and once I saw what it could really do for me I just stopped. I have one talisman maker, all of my alts feed her rare components (which she mostly auctions) and use the rest of the stuff they gather as vendor fodder.

I wasn't expecting much out of the crafting in WAR, but I have to admit this is below my meager expectations. Two production professions, one of which is basically broken, fed by four that each get ten bits of near vendor trash for every useful item. It may be the worst crafting system I've ever encountered in an MMO. Of course the crafting system in DAoC wasn't a real charmer either, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Despite my negativity it's an overall minor quibble for me. Smashing in skulls is it's own reward, I didn't buy WAR to craft.

Hudson

This is the exact thing I complained about when I quit, and in a few follow up posts. Of course I got drug over the coals for it.

Lars

CoW's Order side is on Averheim, which is a destination server. We've been getting bonus XP, though I think that expires today. But T3, at least where I'm at, is completely dead. No Open Groups in your area and long queue times for Scenarios dead. Its too bad because with the right amount of players, this game is a blast.

JoBildo

Last night seemed rather upbeat and crowded, for me. But then the days before (Sunday/Monday) were rather slow.

I'm starting to think that the majority of the players are in T4 on Averheim, because I hear nothing but action going on there, and that Order's outnumbered up there significantly.

It's an odd thing... a game with too many paths? It seems players are spread too thin across Tiers and Pairings. They need to direct them somehow, as they did with Halloween's event.

That'd help solve the issue at hand, I think.

Khan

As already mentioned, I think a lot of the issues stem from the number of separations between players. If everyone ran to join the open RvR areas all at once, I'm sure the game would be unplayable. However, the game at times seems to get hit by the opposite problem: people are all over the place so areas appear dead.

I'm in tier 3 on my server. Last Saturday, I was in a warband for a public quest (haven't been in one of those for a while) and battled in one of two Destruction warbands to take or defend keeps against what was roughly two Order warbands. Sunday, however, was completely dead for PQ groups and open RvR. There wasn't so much as a skirmish going on. At least on my server, it seems to be all or nothing: armies are flowing across the fields in open battles or they're all on break.

While I too am concerned about the separations between players (What happens when we're all in tier 4? Will we ever see action in tiers 1 - 3 again?) I suspect it was just an off night for you.

SleepySam

I'm on a destination server, bulk of the population is still in T3, with some whining about lack of action in T4, but that is changing as more of level into T4. I think/hope getting most of the server at 40 will resolve the bulk of these issues. If not it's a real shame, because the tools are all here for fantastic rvr.

Jeremy T

The population issues are potentially devastating. I could tell right away that PQs as implemented would be horrible failures due to their heavy population dependence, and this is proving to be the case already.

One way to mitigate the population density issues (aside from the obvious move of server mergers, which IMO should be the next step) would be to dramatically enhance leveling speed and just get everybody to the level cap pronto. Instead of leaving players spread out and stuck grinding through T3/T4, speed up the process and they all come together on level 40 content.

Making the game both population dependent *and* spreading people out across a long leveling grind is a brutal combination. Honestly, the slow progression in T3 is leaving such a bitter taste in my mouth that I'm not sure I'll even make it to the level cap, which is a shame - I feel like the game could really shine if they could just get everybody together and playing RvR.

Saylah

The problem with the hit-n-miss, off days, all or nothing, etc situation the players are facing, is that you can't control if the stars are going to align when you're available to play. I've been playing everyday since last Friday and with the exception of one evening where we did some T4 RVR, the largest group I've been in was a party of 3, AOE grinding Chapter Influence.

With ranged DPS, tank and healer there were still PQs that we just couldn't complete to Stage III. We got them to S2 then moved to the next PQ while that one reset, then go back and start again. While this was definitely effective at getting INF and XP it wasn't exactly a laugh a minute. It was only enjoyable because it happened to be with two guild members who are moderately chatty so we enjoyed each others company. If I'd been doing it with two strangers and not on Vent, it would have been BORING.

However, once we had to go our separate ways - spouse home, time to eat and so on, I spent the remainder of the time (a few hours) grinding solo while popping in and out of Scenarios. While pleasant, I'm not sure that I can describe it as fun.

I don't think getting everyone to T4 is the answer either. I was never all that excited about reaching level 40 because there isn't an extensive end-game. I keep moving forward now out of FEAR that I'll get behind the leveling curve and find myself in exile. I worry that the open RVR will become "been there, done that" after a couple of months. Same zones, same keeps and while the combat will be every changing, how can that hold your for months on end?

I didn't care about that so much before because I have at least 3 other classes that I'd really WANT to have a chance to play. The problem is that I just can't imagine grinding up thru the game as it stands now. Doing quests in other zones sure, no problem. Doing the same Scenarios as another class, I'm all in for another go. But the situation with not being able to find groups for group content and solo grinding Chapter INF, no way in hell do I want to do that on other characters.

All of these concerns keep me strapped to my main and more focused on hitting T4 than I was originally, purely because I know that at some point, the concentration of players will be in that tier.

Saylah

P.S.

I think that there will be a small surge in T1 when the new classes hit live so I'll probably start my Warrior Priest then and ride that wave for as long as it lasts then go back to my main.

*vlad*

Perhaps this game would be better off without character levels, then there wouldn't be this need for everyone to be grinding to end-game in order to play with other people.
In PvE games like WoW, levelling is largely a solo affair, but WAR is based around PvP, and the need for other people to be around is much more important.

JoBildo

Vlad, that's been talked about a lot. But there's no going back now, you know?

I think instead a feature they should focus on is Mentoring and Sidekicking. Let people level up to their friends temporarily, and down to them just as well.

It'd solve a lot of issues. I'm always surprised when a game launches without some sort of mentoring system.

Openedge1

@JoBildo

Yet, how many games offer this mechanic...two?

EQ2 and CoH? AoC has a mentor up, which is probably the stupidest implementation of any mentor system.

Yet, so many still do not get it.

Wonder when one MMO company will say "Hey this worked for this game, and this worked for that game...lets make a game -that includes ALL those features..."

Duh!

As to WAR, I saw all these issues before launch, and like Hudson, I was dragged over the coals also for stating this.

The game does not have built in longevity. No major end game. No PvE worth a darn, and overall boredom unless you are in groups.

Forced grouping is bad...even when hidden in a fun mechanic.

WAR will soon be niche like so many MMO's since WoW.

Julie Whitefeather

Another great post...how about some air time this weekend to voice your opinion on our show? Skype? Another MP3? You are always a big hit on the show. Dont make me talk about your great post without you.

Julie Whitefeather

Julie Whitefeather

p.s. Your rss feed is broken.

saylah

@Hudson & Open - I didn't respond earlier because as bloggers I enjoy you both and wasn't sure there was a way to say this without sounding rude or self righteous, and I'm a rather direct author as it is. So rest assured that since you're linked on my blog I like your work and read your blogs.

Regarding being raked over the coals,I'll offer that there's a way to say things and a way not to say them. I could have written this post in an inflammatory manner filled with accusatory anger. I've done plenty of those but that's when I'm simply ranting, and looking for players who want to come along for the ride and scream, "GRRRRR," with me. That's not to say that's what either of you did.

In this case I'm not angry. I'm concerned and interested in an open dialogue about the issues, leaving a more matter of fact tone. It's pretty hard to dispute the problems I've noted so I don't anticipate anyone attempting to rake me. :-)

saylah

@ Julie - I'm on vacation and am open to doing it "live" since I can adjust to any recording time easily this week and next.

Openedge1

No offense taken.

We know we have what is coming to us anyways. And in all honesty, anything that was said at first was very direct and not "rant"..

It turned into rant AFTER the raking...hehe.
(Yet, you do remark that it is ok for Heartless_ to rant? hmmm..taking sides...boo!)

And to your comment of concern, it is why I come and read your posts, even when it does not involve a game I like, because you do lay it out concisely and succinctly, to a fault.

(Yet, you ranted in your new post...lol..too funny)

Thank you for being the calm one (most of the time)

saylah

@Open - Ah well, that would be like complaining that the Grouchy Gamer tends to be grouchy on his blog. So I see no point in complaining about it. :-) I almost interjected some in guild forum drama to spice up the laughs but thought better of it. So far all the COW bloggers are being rather Suzie Homemaker sweet and not airing any dirty laundry. Far be it for me to be the first to let shit fly. LOL Besides which, I wasn't involved and didn't get wind of the post until it was already locked. HEHE

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The Smithes

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