I spent maybe two hours in game last night, but it was a very eventful two hours. Casualties had set up an open-world RvR event for the night; by the time I’d logged in (after 10 PM,) they were working hard on capturing Stonetroll Keep in Troll Country. Hudson and JoBildo have more details of the evening; I myself took part in one successful keep attack, one unsuccessful, and the taking of the Crypt of Weapons in Ostland. The CoW effort was greatly assisted by members of Aggression and White Wolf Clan and some members of the Candymancers, so a shoutout and thanks to those groups, who appear in all cases to be capable and organized. I think we had well over two full warbands when I was on, and we went over three at some point.
Something I had not previously realized, thanks in part to my shuffling the PQ Objective window off to the far corner of the screen, is that every keep, at least in Tier 2, has a Public Quest to either take or defend it. I ended up getting a rather nice keysash out of the deal. I’d logged off by 11:30, but folks kept going for a couple of hours, massacring Destruction wherever they went and eventually taking Dok Karaz Keep in Barak Varr, and holding Stonetroll Keep against a Destruction onslaught for close to an hour.
Casualties of WAR has thus far been nothing short of a rousing success; that the game is as good as it is has helped, as does the fact that it naturally lends itself to guild-organized activities on several different levels, from small-group efforts all the way up to multi-warband world RvR. Every time I’ve been on, playing either side and even in the mid-afternoon when I play most often, there have been a ton of people on. It’s grown so fast that we’re closing recruitment for the time being; applications cease tomorrow, and it’ll be reevaluated after a month or so. We were up to Guild Level 9 on Averheim as of last night (level 8 on Thorgrim,) which makes us one of the top-ranked guilds on the server. This is an outstanding achievement for a casual guild, even one that’s large and well-organized.
This brings up something else I have not yet mentioned in any detail; the game’s onboard UI Editor. There’s a straightforward option to add hotbars and arrange them in a couple of different ways, and a full-fledged layout editor that lets you control the position and size of each and every UI element. This is similar to but slightly more powerful than the similar feature in Vanguard, which doesn’t let you resize elements and which makes hiding them a bit less easy. I had an annoying tendency in Vanguard to close the control window before exiting layout mode; this left it on, and I’d have to go back into the menu to switch it off. WAR won’t let you do that; you close Layout mode by saving the layout.
The Crypt of Weapons Battlefield Objective impressed me; I’d seen several in Tier 1 and they were all basically the same sort of arrangement: a flag out in the open, sometimes in a fortified or semi-fortified area, or maybe a town square. The Crypt of Weapons is underground, which is cool in its own right, but what impressed me is that it’s not the same sort of setup as every other Battlefield Objective, much as all the scenarios of a given Tier aren’t just clones of one another. It speaks of an attention to detail paid to the design of the world that I find reassuring, despite Warhammer’s world being generally less immersive than EQ2’s Norrath or Vanguard’s Telon, or even, for that matter, Age of Conan’s Hyboria.
Spammer ban announcements have indeed been pushed to all servers; Wilhelm has screenshots of a couple HERE. This is a wonderful thing, and the in-character announcements are very amusing, but as Darren points out, having the announcements be popup boxes in their own right is kind of intrusive. If I’m loafing in Altdorf clicking through a popup is no problem, but if I’m in the middle of furious RvR, the distraction might cost me my ass, and that’s no good. Darren suggests they be made available on the Herald, but I don’t like that – part of the charm of them is that they’re both in-character and in-game. I’d rather see them sent through the chat system, where they can be read at leisure.
I started playing MMOs without addons, and it took me a while to see the benefit of them, but after a while playing WoW I accreted quite a few; the combination of TomTom and Lightheaded made that game much easier to play. Similar functionality is mostly built right into WAR. At this point I’ve installed a couple of minor addons; an aesthetic one that changes the way damage numbers scroll off the character, one to Loot All so I don’t have to click again on the loot window, and one called BuffThrottle, which causes buff status to be updated every half-second instead of continuously. This last was said to decrease client-side lag in large engagements, and based on last night’s experience it seems to have helped. Although lag from the client is only part of the total lag, every little bit helps, and I recommend this addon for that reason. Don’t be shocked if Mythic builds this right into the client at some point.
I actually going to recommend the Curse Client for players of both Warhammer and World of Warcraft – in addition to helping fill out the Curse database, it manages your addons for both games and keeps them updated, without the intrusive ads of, say, WoWACEUpdater, which clicking through can get you a nasty keylogger or virus for your trouble.
All told, I didn’t seem to gain much XP from last night’s escapades, but I did get enough renown to hit rank 11. The next step for Einfeuer is to get his regular rank up to 14 or 15 so I can start getting the nice renown gear.