Tenfold Hate

Weekend Warrior (Priest)
October 6, 2008, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

My first full weekend in Warhammer Online was a blast. I got in a solid five plus hours’ playtime both Saturday and Sunday, tooled around with some different classes, and got my Warrior Priest to Rank 15. Despite my anti-elf tirade last week, I created a Swordmaster and I’m really enjoying it.

The High Elves are so stereotypically, annoyingly, exaggeratedly elfish that I actually have a soft spot for them. I also found her a relaxing break from the micromanagement and constant thinking-on-your-toes necessary to play a WP. I tried a Magus too and I think I can safely say I’m just not meant to play a caster. I always like the idea of reigning hellfire and massive amounts of DPS on my adversaries, but outside of the ultra-fun warlock class in WoW, it seems squishy magic users just aren’t my bag. I’m gonna give the sorceress a shot before I make any final decisions in WAR.

So far, this game has been strangely zen for me–playing in the moment and enjoying the new journey with complete disregard for the destination. I don’t care what the “golden carrot” is awaiting me at journey’s end, I just hope it’s as sweet as what I’m experiencing now if I get there. There’s no “Oh sheesh, gotta plow through to this level so I can PvP” or “I need to race to this level so I can group up for a viable dungeon crawl.” Progression seems to occur AS I’m enjoying myself–it’s not some hoop I have to jump through in order to get to where I “really” wanna be or what I “really” wanna be doing. Go figure!

Traditional PvE questing is generally bland in WAR, but only because PvE questing is generally bland in any game after the first fifty thousand times you do it, be it EQ or WoW or whatever. There’s only so many ways you can reposition kill-and-collect quests and keep them fresh. In this sense, WAR is beginning to spoil me. I still quest, don’t get me wrong. But I use traditional questing more as a springboard–an excuse to explore and get to know an area and its inhabitants when I arrive in a new region. WAR has been the first game to show me I don’t have to grin and bear it anymore.

The tiered scenario system came as a bit of a shock to my system once my WP hit 12. I was really having fun with the three Tier One scenarios and kind of didn’t wanna grow up quite yet. Once you think you’re finally grasping the ins-and-outs of say, Nordenwatch, you hit Rank 12 and have to move along to Stone Troll Crossing. Outside of stumbling upon New Emskrank and having my ass handed to me by some higher level Destruction players, I haven’t even gotten my feet wet in the open world contested areas yet. But when they say “War is everywhere,” they mean it.

I only need reflect upon the ignored objective towers strewn across Azeroth and the Outlands (that no one bothered with) to remember how PvP can be handled poorly–and how that was reflected in the attitude of a game’s community. There was no sense of urgency, no sense of threat, no sense of genuine allegiance to one’s faction. Not in WAR, my friend.

Last night, I was working on a PQ in Troll Country. When a Chaos Chosen and a Squig Herder ran down the road, all five of us (a PUG mind you) without speaking, stopped what we were doing and went after the Destruction players. Because that’s the play environment Mythic (with ample source material from Games Workshop) so masterfully created. We weren’t debating in party chat whether we should kill the last 6 zombies to finish that leg of the PQ first. Our little avatars are brutal little avatars fighting for their virtual survival in a brutal virtual landscape, dammit! Fun stuff.

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