I played mostly WAR last night, starting play on the Chosen that I created at launch but hadn’t touched since then. It was fun, but unsatisfying in exactly the way I expected.
It’s become increasingly apparent that something needs to be done to experience gains. Only a tweak is needed, but it’s a significant tweak – characters advance too rapidly in scenarios. That’s why nobody is playing anything else. Chapter 1 and 2 Public Quests were utterly barren last night, there were only a few scattered people doing any of the regular PvE, and no notable world RvR was happening. Everyone is playing scenarios, and nothing else.
This needs to get fixed. Tweaking scenarios to make the really fast ones run longer is probably a good start, but overall XP gains from scenario play need to be smoothed out, and gains from world RvR and PQs need to be increased – significantly. Even Heartless, the Series of Tubes’ #1 WAR Fanboy, touches on this today, although I think that what he points out as a mere symptom is in fact a major component of the problem. WAR only seems like one-third of a game right now, because nobody’s touching two-thirds of it.
Granted, the point of WAR is not and never was PvE, or even PvE+PQs. But these were intended, near as I can tell, to be a significant component of character advancewment, and that fact is that they’re not.
In scenario play, I ran Nordenwatch about ten times, without even bothering to try to queue up for the other Tier 1s. Destruction lost every time, usually badly. Order was more organized and typically higher level. This tells me that the population balance issue is starting to even itself out via a second wave of players entering the game, who probably favor Order. This is a good thing for world RvR, but if world RvR is not where the players are, it doesn’t really matter much.
I do like the Chosen as a class – they’re probably the most straightforward tank in the game – but Nordenwatch is not an ideal setting for them. It’s very open, with great sightlines for the ranged DPS classes Order is so rich in, and with few chokepoints a stalwart tank can stop a surge through. I much preferred tanking in Gates of Ekrund instead.
After last night, WAR’s status is: still playing.