First off, let me start by apologising for all the slacking. I haven’t been updating as I really want to get my WP to RR80 before the expansion hits (not going so well) and I’ve been messing around with some other games, the fruits of which should be visible soon. But I won’t make any excuses for the slacking, I’m just letting you know what I’ve been up to. I’ll much rather make up for it with increased activity in the coming weeks.
The subject of this post is something a bit overdue, which is my take on all the recent info on the expansion. If you aren’t aware of any details on new content, check my blogroll and you are likely to find more information that you could hope for. I won’t be going into much detail, since there is no need for that with all the hardworking WAR bloggers doing it for me (I’m just lazy).
Everyone was screaming skaven and here they are. The complete details on how the mechanic of becoming one is going to work isn’t clear yet, but the information we have is enough for a fuzzy picture of what we can expect. I was hoping for them to become a neutral third side, with both sides having the option of taking part in the conflict as a skaven with a completely pragmatic take on the world. They could do whatever they pleased, but would only really be a threat when acting as one, be it hindering the winning side (usually the smartest thing to do), or kicking the faction that is down. A third side would solve a lot of problems and completely transform the game. It didn’t seem to hard to implement and with the recent groundbreaking changes we’ve been seeing from Mythic it wasn’t too much to expect.
But alas, it was not meant to be. Instead we seem to be getting a form of monster play. It’s not exactly monster play but I can’t find any other MMO mechanic to compare it to. To play as a skaven you will seemingly need to enter a new RvRvE dungeon, where you’ll be competing with the other realm to unlock access to it. Because the dungeon will be locked to RR65+ it makes me think playing a skaven will not be something lower RR players will be able to do. I could be wrong, though. Then there’s the fact that skaven don’t seem to be useful for anything other than keep sieges. There is no mention of the damage skaven will deal to enemy players, except for the assassin dealing less than normal damage. The little details we’re still missing will determine whether skaven will have any other uses besides keep sieging. I don’t think Mythic will allow them to queue for scenarios or enter dungeons, because well, that would be just silly.
This whole skaven thing could turn out to be pretty bad in my opinion and is certainly far from what I hoped for. No sense crying over something we haven’t even had a chance to see though, so hold the waterfall for now.
Seems like Mythic listened to the players and removed the Wait component of the hammer. Locking a zone will now depend solely on very tangible actions of the two sides. Currently a a player has almost no idea how much of an impact he is having on the war, since VPs are these mystical intangible points that you may or may not be collecting. But now you will either attack or defend with a clear goal, take the enemy keep while securing yours. Fail and you lose the zone. With this system it’s going to be easier to lock an empty zone, but harder to lock a defended zone. This means that it’ll be much harder to reach the enemy city at primetime, something the players have been complaining about since the city siege revamp. But read the last two sentences, put two and two together and you get: alarm clock raids! Even if we will see the reintroduction of late night/early morning city pushes, I still think that lowering the city siege frequency is a good thing, and I’ll be glad to see the VP/Domination abomination finally gone.
I only wish Mythic would have gone all the way with the overhaul and had done away with the zone locking system completely. It has been suggested many times before and is only a step away from this change. With all 9 zones open all the time and a realm needing a total of 12 (out of 18) keeps under their possession to unlock a city, we would do away with the tedious and zerg promoting ORvR, introduce tactical RvR gameplay and virtually enlarge the game world.
It seems like the guys and gals at Mythic opted to only implement half the needed changes. I can only hope that someday we see the rest.
I really hope Mythic is introducing microtransactions only as a way to jumpstart their funds and improve the game as it is, and not as an innuendo into a more microtransaction heavy MMO, or even a transition to a modified F2P model. Because I just can’t see those working for WAR (I’ll have more on that later in the week). As long as the microtransactions stay at customisation items, items that augment the time spent in-game (instead of removing the need to spend time in-game), server transfers, name changes and later new content, it won’t drive players away. If they start offering actual power, that’s when things might go south. I think that the introduction of an item-shop might prove to be beneficial to WAR as long as Mythic doesn’t get too greedy or transition into a F2P model.
All in all…
…I’m a little bit disappointed. I feared that I might get overhyped (happens often) and it seems I was right. Currently I feel like Mythic is going in the right direction, but could do so much better than the impression the accessible information gives me. This estimate is based solely on incomplete and sketchy information though, and I will reserve final judgement until I’ve had a chance to personally experience whatever Mythic throws at us. I suggest you do the same and stay on top of information Mythic releases.