December 21, 2008

Update: Epic Fail Mythic and Three Things to Keep Me Interested

Back in October, I had a rough time with Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR). I wanted to take some time to give an update to my two damning posts.

First, an update to Epic Fail Mythic. To start off, I have moved on to Tier 4 and transferred my characters from Averheim to Badlands.

On a good note, lairs are now re-itemized and most lair bosses drop some pretty phat loots. I have only done a couple of lairs since the changes and the loot was very rewarding for the difficulty of the encounters. Along with update lair loot, a lot of armor sets received updates and are now actually justifiable to use over random green gear.

AOE farm groups are a normal occurrence and dominate the field with a plethora of overpowered AOE crowd control skills. Compounding this issue are the massive zergs of players running around in Tier 4, ensuring every battle is a lesson in frustration instead of fun. Even with slight nerfs and fixes to the core AOE farm abilities, they are still overpowered. Mythic must remove these from the game completely or risk losing more players because of them.

Apothecary is still laughably bad, but since multiple server transfers have lead to a higher population on Badlands, basic crafting components are readily available making it a little less painful.

To end on a good note, RvR outside of scenarios rewards a lot better experience now and is almost viable as a leveling strategy. Combined with boosted leveling speed in Tier 3 and 4, Mythic may just save WAR as an RvR game.

Three Things to Keep Me Interested was the title of my second anger-filled post.

1. As stated above, magnet abilities such as Electromagnet or Chaotic Rift must be removed from the game or people will continue to quit. Electromagnet and Rift are AOE versions, but it is increasing becoming obvious that the single target versions such as the White Lion's fetch will need to be removed as well. They do not belong in this game.

2. The open-world RvR zones have received an update. Small grind meters, known as Open RvR Influence, have been added to encourage players to venture out and kill each other in open-world zones for epic shinnies. Unfortunately, Mythic still refuses to add anything meaningful to keep players engaged and active in the open-world RvR zones. The "live event quests" are a start, but are passive activities at best. Mythic needs to add real, meaningful, and active content to these zones.

3. Scenarios are still a source of grind. Mythic slowed down the worst scenarios, but they are still an issue. They still reward far too much experience for damage/healing instead of winning, a fatal flaw that will continue to make me question whether Mythic spent enough time thinking out the grand scheme of RvR in WAR. Fortunately, open-RvR rewards are significantly better and offer a viable side-attraction to scenarios.

Mythic is doing well with updates, but unfortunately it does show that WAR needed a few more months in the cooker. And don't let this post fool you, WAR's #1 problem is still end-game performance. It is still completely UNPLAYABLE, but Mythic is getting closer to a resolution. Then they might be able to move onto making the actual end-game combat something players can enjoy.

PS. Mythic, come Jan 20th, I am still canceling. WAR is far from a good game in it's current state.