August 7, 2009

Taking a looong break from WAR, Creating new Blog

I wrote a few weeks ago that i switched my subscription method to manually and would check every month if I still had fun. My subscription runs out in a few days and i decided not to renew my subscription for WAR. During the last break i took from WAR my subscription had still been active and i was paying, but i feel it's time to vote with my money now and tell I'm not satisfied, I'm bored of WAR. I'm not the guy that plays a gazillion alts, i want to play my main char. Recently when i logged in there was very little to do. More often then i had fun i was simply bored because there is not much you can do during idle hours or when everyone else is busy. I know I'm not alone, since when i posted my leaving there had been a few other guild members who won't renew either.

The current "endgame" in WAR, once you reached a certain threshold, just holds not enough fun for me currently. I don't want to make this a huge wall of text, but to give you a few quick bullet points:
# No solo content for high levels, nothing to work on during idle hours, crafting system is too simple, only few mats you need to work on your crafting and basicly everyone can craft anything anyway.
# The whole RvR campaign does not make me feel part of a WAR between factions that much. The system is too constructed to immerse me. For all the numbers you need to watch its too simple on the other hand.
# Small scale PvP is what i want most, not the zerg. Due to the guild keeps not really offering anything for the guild to hang around those and the overall RvR lake zone design, very seldom will you have cool small scale fights, or you have to search for a long time.
# The RR system overall just feels like a massive grind to me, only to be able to wear eg. Warlord gear. The renown trainer features only add minor incentive.
# City sieges as "end game" for RvR are a joke. It's boring as hell, still buggy and just not polished enough. Takes place every now and then but ppl just got bored to have to put such a massive effort in something thats so unrewarding.
# No real incentive for high ranking guilds to take part in the world struggle or to really take and defend a keep. The possible upgrades need to make that keep the headquarter for that guild, easy access, etc. After guild rank 37 with the upgraded mounts, nothing else exciting to gain.
# PvE endgame is borked as well. All of us are totally bored from Lost Vale since only few really need the gear from there. The change to the ward/sigil system was good, but there is just too few things left in that dungeon to make you want to go there. Should really have added some crafting components or something. Besides LV there is only LotD content. Problem with this is, you can't really schedule for it as you dont know if you have access. So basicly to run TotVL you have to keep in mind you might need to do RvR before you can do PvE. The LotD lairs are fun, but the glyph requirement is just a giant timesink and doing the same boring PQs over and over again just because one group member is lacking this or that glyph.
# The itemization department still has major annoyances to iron out. The high-end sets and their stats don't feel right (at least for BO) in comparison. Many talismans from LotD still not working, overall timers broken.
# Black Orcs: I love the BO, its fun to play. Tho i don't feel like the defensive tank spec is rewarding enough for PvP. I don't want to respecc every time depending if i go PvE or PvP. I already use a silence, slow down, increase building times build with fitting gear (remove morale, lower resist, etc.) for RvR but still i think the overall design lacks. Mythic really should re-work the CC and give eg. defensive tanks some of it. I was very disappointed when Mythic gave a ton of cool armor models to the Choppa and my BO stuff still looks like shit. Seriously, there are only very few cool looking items for the Black Orc i feel. Due to the simple color scheme Orcs use, you can't really work around it with dyes either.

I don't agree with those that say WAR is doomed to fail. They failed in creating a game that will run with major subscriber number compared to other games (and could have reached much higher targets) and its always harder to win back a disappointed customer then keep a satisfied one. In the topic i name my absence from WAR a break, this is simply because i still think i might get back once things are to my liking. Since i don't think WAR is a bad game, but just the devs did not listen to the right crowd of voices and did not make tough enough decisions to "kill their darlings" when it comes to class balance and RvR. The upcoming months will show if Mythic will be able to make the though choices necessary or not. I had a lot of fun in WAR and don't regret the time i spend ingame. It was a good ride until i got bored.

I'm still a bit bitter about the difference between US and EU support. IMO GOA never managed to live up to their promises and Mythic & GOA together managed to leave a bad aftertaste since they really pissed off many EU customers that felt left out of the development process. GOA never really came around to create much content on their own, deliver similar marketing programs or to breath life into the EU forums. The EU veteran program is a good step in the right direction, but too late and too little to make me feel like getting the same level of support and care then the US customers do. I'd like to thank Nic & Magnus from the GOA Community Team tho, who were always forthcoming with information.

My gaming plan for the moment is to take a small break and start Aion in September with a bunch of guildies who also left WAR. During the upcoming weeks i won't be idle tho and slowly start to work on my new Aion blog, as i decided i don't want to stop blogging. ;) But since Stunty Stomper does not fit the context, i created a new blog from the scratch. It's still a work-in-progress but there will be content before launch already. My experiences from the last beta event will be posted in the new blog as well.

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Impetusium - Thulf's Aion Blog

So thanks for the WAAAGH! and take care everyone.

August 5, 2009

European WAR Veteran Program

Recently, when Nic (GOA) came back from his holidays, i got some more informations about the EU veteran program for WAR, which is supposed to be the mirror version of the US WAR oracle program. The program is on an invite-only basis and is supposed to enhance the QA process to test new content/patches with players, also organizing eg. raids and other events on a closed test server if need be. From what they told me the EU program currently has 100 members, which are divided into smaller groups for the different languages. Nic told me the US devs were very pleased/interested in the detailed feedback they got from the EU testers and that the EU program is not something to just keep people "busy" but to do some serious testing, closely connected to the core tester program. Although GOA wants to increase the amount of feedback even further and are looking into recruiting more players into the program for the upcoming patches. I assume good feedback on the EU forum and via the PTS will get you on the watch list. There has been a "closed" test server group before, but due to NDA issues GOA canceled it back then and send us all an email telling us they'd contact us again if they can sort things out. Maybe they also draw from that list, dunno what kind of people were on it back then. There is a special NDA in place for the veteran testing when the server is up (its not always online afaik). Probably the same GOA posted for the last PTS patch version by accident (still no official word on that beta agreement). Since my follow-up questions have not been answered by GOA yet, i can't tell you if there is a special forum part for the veterans, but since its like that for the US version i just assume it will be similar. Nice to hear that GOA finally came around with the European WAR Veteran Program, although i wonder why there is no proper info given on it via eg. the EU forum. I figured some of you might be interested in the info on the program.

On a sidenote, i played Aion beta on the weekend again and will most likely post some more about it over the next days. Have to sort some stuff out first. Stay tuned.