Crap, I forgot the underscore.
The weekend starts with Friday and continues on until almost 3am Saturday. Lots of WAR and WAAAAGH!ing. (Yes, it’s a verb.)
After whining about the servers going down just as I got home, they came back up. Okay, not immediately afterwards, but it was a lot sooner than the announced 10:30pm EST availability. I hopped on to Crag Mere and finished creating my Goblin Shaman named, “Kneecappa”.
I was pretty impressed with the Goblin Shaman, he seems to heal well and dish out some pretty decent damage with his concentration required DoT he dishes it out pretty decently. He’s also got a small heal, medium heal, heal over time and an attack spell that also heals over time as it damages the enemy (sort of like a life tap but it goes to the defensive target).
It’s a monster of a class but I get the impression that most of the healer classes will be quite vicious (i.e. need nerfing). I was able to beat just about everything I faced one on one, except if they were higher levels, though even then it wasn’t too bad.
I played a lot of scenarios with some fellow CoWs and we kicked ass. I played enough of them to get into Reknown Rank 7, close to half way. I also outleveled most of the PQs and quests in the starting area because we were hopping into scenarios at level 2. I ended up Rank 7 by the end of the night morning which isn’t too bad for less than 6 hours of play.
The next day I popped on and off but I didn’t really play for too long. I cleared up some quests and appear to be aiming for the next tier. I think I’ll grind some PQs or more scenarios to get my level up to 10ish. I want to get to RR8 so I can pick up the new RVR gear.
They adjusted Public Quests so that you now gain more weight the number of times you’ve done it (or so it seems) and they’ve increased the number of winners. Really, they need to have the number of winners determined dynamically by the number of people that are there for the roll or who have participated in two of the rounds at least. I popped in and was guaranteed one win early Saturday morning because it was me, two Squig Herders and a Black Ork doing the PQ where you’re killing lots of dwarves.
Well, they made a lot of changes. Anyway, here is the list of things that I wasn’t too keen on last time:
Models – a couple of the models with cloth had clipping and overlapping issues. I believe long hair also was an issue.
I didn’t notice this as much with the Goblin Shaman I played. I also didn’t really notice it with the Witch Elf I had created but I suspect that’s because she wasn’t wearing much in the way of clothing.
I have to admit, I’m a little annoyed that they let the cat out of the bag when creating characters. At the character creation screen you pick from a grouping of your race and you see them in their best gear… or high end at least. It’s a little disappointing to see the cake before the birthday party.
Character Variance – it wasn’t easy to tell one character from another. A big part of this is due to lack of customization in the character creation. The other part that really doesn’t help is gear. It seems the gear upgrades are less obvious. The initial jump has something, but after that, it seems most armor in that ‘tier’ looks the same. *I’d be forgiving about this since it means less work for player PCs to render so it suits the PVP/RVR/PQs for performance. Dye seems to be one way of separating your character, but most of the colors aren’t all that impressive and they seem to have the same availability for each race. I strongly suggest they create color palettes for each race with some of the overlapping ones being the more expensive (hey, make people pay to conform to guild colors). Costs are also tiered so certain colors are more expensive – I get this concept, but I don’t like it, especially when you’re already so limited.
This is still an issue, in my opinion. At the starting point and through most of T1 you can’t really distinguish one person from another just by looking at them. Half the time I didn’t notice the person was a CoW until I took a moment to read their name and tag.
Dyes can be used to make a difference, but people have to actually be willing to use them. Me? Well, the Banana-man is back. I’ve got my Shaman in bright yellow robes, bright yellow shoes and with bright yellow wristbands. If it looks like a banana, chances are it is me.
That said, I’m not sure I like the colors or the way you dye things. It just seems a little off.
Performance – bad. I’m pretty disappointed with the performance of the game given the system I have. It is more than capable of running VG at the higher settings and EQ2 at the Extreme Quality setting. WoW… well, full blown. Some of this can be attributed to the large number of people on screen at most times – it’s a zoo, really. I also noticed some degradation overtime so I suspect a resource leak somewhere. I also experienced a crash.
It didn’t look good when the Preview+ weekend started. The patcher was fine but then I got into the game and it wasn’t showing any servers or details on the connection. It seems when it timed out trying to connect the game would throw an application error. Not pretty. The fixed that after they took the servers down.
I still got a crash and several times I found myself kicked to the character selection screen. This happened when running about and once when I was hopping into a scenario – which was good timing because two level 10 Witch Hunters appeared out of no where and started attacking me during one of the PQs. Being level 8 and caught by surprise by two melee DPS classes would have meant death otherwise.
Yes, I was in RVR mode. I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. They need to adjust the 10 minute cool down, it’s too long. At least it clears when you die.
Bugs – there were a number of bugs. One involved the quest helper markers (icons over the NPCs heads) getting stuck in a mode which was annoying. Another had to do with a PQ in the Greenskin area where you’re supposed to collect barrels – I picked up one and couldn’t seem to pick up others. One involved creatures running away from you after you engage them then they come back – I don’t know if it is intentional or not, but it was annoying because it’s not like they were low on health or anything.
Quest markers seemed to update correctly but I was getting some issues with my group/warband player listing disappearing when in scenarios which makes it hard to tell who needs healing. The weird thing was that I could see the buffs under people but I couldn’t see anything else.
I did see some creature pathing issues at first, but it was smooth the rest of the time I played.
I still couldn’t seem to pick up the barrels.
A new bug cropped up and it’s really bloody annoying. Somehow, the mobs get into a state where they cannot be attacked or they’re dead but still seem to be acting. It’s really frustrating.
Textures – world textures seem a little weak. The ground and rocks seem a little bland in most of the areas I saw. Some were well suited to the area but others were just too common. Where are the shaders?
Much better. I’m not sure if they fixed it or if it was due to updating my Catalyst and DirectX drivers. They do need to be better about alt-tabbing and working with dual monitors. I was impressed the other day when I was playing EQ2 and I discovered I could interact between the two monitors without putting EQ2 in windowed mode. Mythic, get on that.. it’s sweet! Makes switching Ventrilo channels a lot easier.
World Design – while a lot of people like that quests and the world ushers you into one direction while I like choice. Give me two or more paths to take. Heck, each class has three mastery paths, why not make quest lines for each one that emphasize that path?
Still not a lot of choice in advancing through the world. I mean, you can go to the other starting areas and play there but there is no real choice on which way you can go through the PVE quests. No branching that sends you in different directions or anything like that. If you played one Greenskin through PVE then you’ve played them all through there. Maybe that makes more sense.
Go easy on me, I’ve had limited sleep on the weekend.
Classes – I noticed the Disciple of Khaine and Battle Priest had identical gameplay which was somewhat disappointing. The Bright Wizard and Sorceress seem that way as well. I believe the Engineer and Magus are very similar as well. I think these are the only few pairings like that, but I’d have to see more.
This is still the case, at first glance, but it’s hard to tell if it is as obvious after all the patch changes. That and I only played a shaman all weekend.
Responsiveness – not so good. Somewhat understandable when over crowded, but when you’re playing at 6am and there are very few people around, things (inventory, NPCs, abilities…) should react a little better.
Much better. It was a whole lot better.
PVE – there didn’t seem to be a lot of PVE stuff early on. While that isn’t entirely a true statement, that is a feeling you’ll get because the PVE content you’re doing is tied to some of the RVR elements you’ll face. In other words, if you’re an ork you’ll be fighting a lot of dwarves and if you’re a dwarf, you’ll be fighting a lot of orks/goblins. It’s almost like playing a FPS with computer controlled bots… same sort of gameplay, only it is easier because the bots aren’t too bright.
Still the same. I’m not sure when the instances start but it would have been nice to have more dungeon delving feeling available. Going into small mines or buildings doesn’t cut it for a delver like me.
That’s about it for WAR. It was a positive experience.