Last night’s play focused again on scenarios – the newly-granted ability to queue from any Tier-appropriate location in the world helps quite a lot, although, as it turns out, you cannot queue up from the capital cities. Oh, and queuing for groups appears to be wonky right now – sometimes it works, sometimes only some group members get the invites.
It took some doing – a losing round in a scenario is only likely to net you only 3-4K experience points, while a win is probably going to get you 10-15K. I played through a lot of losses in the later afternoon yesterday, with healers who wouldn’t heal and ranged DPSers who didn’t want to DPS. It was frustrating until we started to get guild groups together later on, and starting winning rounds of Mourkain Temple.
When all was said and done, I was rank 20, renown rank 16, and happily riding around with my new mount and last name (Starkbrenner.) Getting to half the level cap in two weeks is pretty remarkable for me, and hopefully more a sign that I’m getting better at these kinds of games than just that I’ve put an amount of hours into it that’s a bit over my average. Will I be at 40 in two more weeks? That would really surprise me, as leveling speed has visibly slowed around each half-Tier mark, and I expect that to continue.
Getting my mount and last name gave me a bit of time to explore Altdorf a bit more; with the city now at level 3, I was able to visit the Emperor’s Palace and poke around there a bit. I even got an RvR quest from the Emperor himself! Without the other two Order capitals in the game, the other Kings can be found in Altdorf as well – I may as well go get their quests tonight. I turned them down wiothout thinking about it last night, not realizing at the time that there’s no telling where we’ll be doing RvR tonight. Might as well cover all the bases, and if we do well enough I can probably complete a couple of them.
Rank 20 puts me in the gray area between Tiers – I can queue for T3 scenarios (I was actually running quests in T3 High Pass at level 19, which was… dangerous, to say the least,) but I’m still technically in T2 and can participate in those activities until the moment I hit 22 and turn into a chicken. The timing could not be better; we have some Tier 2 Open RvR action planned for tonight, which is very unlikely to put me over that edge, but playing at the top of the tier will be a nice change.
Open-world RvR seems to advance you quite a bit slower in conventional experience than scenarios do. But then again, it seems to me that if you are completing the RvR goals (taking and securing Keeps and Battlefield Objectives,) rather then just chasing down stragglers, the renown gains are quite sweet – and bear in mind that these are effectively Public Quests. I’m still not sure if it’s quite as quick as playing scenarios is on a strict time/progression basis, but participating with large groups in open RvR is probably the most fun thing I’ve done in any MMO. I can’t wait for tonight.
I am starting to explore the Tier 3 scenarios. These should be popping with increasing frequency now that more people are pushing that high. I played one – Tor Anroc – last night. This is one of the two in the High/Dark Elf pairing, a murderball affair comparable to Mourkain Temple, but set on an array of stone bridges over pits of lava. To say the least, this will be glorious once I get my knockback ability at 28. As it was at 20, I found it pretty fun – the physical layout of the map suits ranged DPS fairly well – probably better than any other map I’ve played on, because the melee in-your-face types can’t necessarily get to you, and few ranged classes can keep up with the damage output of a Bright Wizard specced for direct damage. Tier 3 Marauders looks utterly badass, by the way.
I also made another new alt yesterday to play in the early afternoon hours, a Warrior Priest name Eugen (pronounced OY-gen, the German form of Eugene.) I got him to to rank 3 and renown rank 2 with a run in Nordenwatch. Unlike some of the other healing classes, which have high survivability but low damage output, the Warrior Priest is supposed to be pretty good in PvE as a sort of hybrid healer/melee DPS. I am thinking, as of right now, that this class is not a good match for me in the long term – rolling through both offensive and defensive targets is, I think, kind of a hassle (although if I plan to do any serious play of any of the healing classes I will be retooling my keybinds to support that better.) However, I suspect that as the WP moves upward he gets some AoE heals, which would alleviate that potential issue. Still, they do look pretty sweet once you get them armored up.
At this point, I have played eight characters in the live game. I have a bad habit of alt-itis, but that hasn’t really gotten in the way of progression on my main to this point. I still have not decided what character to push on to get into Tier 2 – likely it’ll end up being a couple of different characters in the long run, but with Einfeuer on the precipice of Tier 3, I’ll want to make that call in the next few days – but after pushing to level 12 or so, that character can sit there for a while.
Tomorrow is, of course, the two week mark of WAR’s release. I’m expecting (and hoping for) a major patch sometime soon, one that will address CTDs, lingering pathing and UI issues and . It’s getting to be time for one.