Thanks to a fluke of scheduling, I managed to put in a couple of hours of WAR play in this morning. I’m all set in in Casualties with my main, Einfeuer the Bright Wizard. Vent continues to cause aggravation – I had an open mike the entire time I was on. Nobody said anything, but I imagine the stream of grunts, complaints about getting crap for PQ loot, and that kind of thing was annoying to all. At least I didn’t sneeze – my sneezes are thunderous.
I made probably ten characters to lock the names down, and got some, but not all, of my choices. The servers are Averheim for Order and Volkmar for Destruction. I got Einfeuer up to rank 7, and doing one round of Nordenwatch was enough to push me to renown rank 4, which I think is pretty good for two and a half hours of play. I ran all the Chapter 1 and 2 quests in the Empire starting area and at least dipped my toes into each Public Quest. As noted, however, I scored no loot whatsoever despite probably a dozen runs at them. But this is what Influence gear is for.
All of the PQs were sufficiently populated to complete them – even the two out-of-the-way ones in Chapter Two. The Burning Windmill is right next to the Chapter 2 quest hub and always has lots of people involved. The other two are far enough off the beaten path that, advancing mostly via PvP as I was, I didn’t even get to see them the first time around.
We absolutely wiped the floor with Destruction in the Nordenwatch scenario. I did die once, but that’s well under my average for Bright Wizard play. And I did a lot of damage despite having only one DoT available. This was mostly due to my not being explicitly targeted by Destruction players much; mostly luck, in other words, although I would like to think I’m getting better at keeping the very soft Bright Wizard out of the thick of things.
The client seems solid to me – I had no crashes or significant hitching, and turning graphics down to the default ‘Fastest Framerate’ setting seemed to eliminate any lag in Nordenwatch. I still had some texture popping, but I can live with that – I’ve put up with it in pretty much every MMO except maybe EQ2. The launch patch went very quickly – less than a minute. Nor were there launch queues on either server, although the population was High on Volkmar. But that’s to be expected at nine in the morning on a weekday. I will be pretty surprised if there’s no queue tonight.
The game seems to be in about the exact same shape as when I left Open Beta, actually; the unattackable mobs issue is gone as far as I’ve seen to far, but pathing still remains a problem. Not that, as a Bright Wizard, I’m inclined to complain when a mob fails to get right up in my grille. It’s still fun, most importantly, and I hadn’t lost any desire to play it during the two-day holding pattern.
I’ll be at work late, so I’m not entirely sure how much play I will get in, but I plan to play for at least an hour or so. I anticipate that the great majority of Einfeuer’s remaining Chapter 1 activities will involve RvR of one form or another, before moving back for some PvE and Public Quests when I hit Tier 2. This depends, of course, on what’s going on in-world at the time; one typically can’t plan on spending all one’s effort in scenarios if there’s nothing happening in World RvR at the time.