Currently I’m not playing any MMO, free to play or otherwise. Which makes me feel like something is missing in my gaming life. But whenever I start thinking about what MMOs I could get into, it results in me going through the available options and always coming around full circle. I end up looking at WAR because none of the other options are appealing enough. Seeing and hearing about how much people are enjoying the game makes me want to reinstall the game and resubscribe. Remembering all the fun I had I almost ignore the portion of my brain where the unpleasant memories reside. But only almost. If I contemplate about returning for a bit too long the bad feelings all come rushing back. I always stop myself though and attempt to see things from a rational perspective. I start comparing my past experiences with the changes that were made to the game.
The things that I didn’t enjoy:
The power scaling
Mythic made a big blunder by implementing overpowered items and making the hidden levels scale with the already overpowered items. The resulting situation either meant you ground the levels or got manhandled. It was a lose/lose situation for me, as I don’t enjoy anything that I need to grind (and grinding completely destroyed any semblance of PvP in the game) and I don’t appreciate being manhandled just because I refuse to grind. It made me feel like I’m not good enough to contend with other players, as I would get destroyed by players who were levels above me or I would destroy players who were levels below me, which made it all just as bad if not worse. Choosing between quitting or playing a game where most of the time losing or winning was not a result of your own actions, I will always choose to quit.
Messed up lower tiers
I know I might be in the minority of players that liked the tiers leading up to T4 much better before all of the renown bracket reshuffling happened, but that’s how it is. Originally the tiers were divided in such a manner to divide players according to their career rank. Their renown rank was pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things until they got to T4. T4 was clusterfuck of everyone after career rank 30, from renown rank 10 to 80. It didn’t really work, but the previous tiers did. There was a clear tier and armor set progression over the ranks for anyone that chose to PvP and a clear level distinction. But with the removal of the renown rank cap and the rejiggling of the levels, the lower tiers became the same clusterfuck as T4. This was all done by Mythic in an attempt to redistribute the renown brackets in order to have a better transition from the orderly lower tiers to the T4 clusterfuck and to facilitate that they had to reshuffle a lot of the armor sets, which ended up exacerbating the situation.
I guess you could call me cynical, but in my opinion the decision to not design a new tier and instead just stretch the existing content to cover the increase in renown ranks and in the process mess up the lower tiers is not a good one. Not to mention the zones that were designed for certain level ranges being overrun by level ranges that weren’t meant to play in it in the first place (“Oh look, I can place a Mistress of the Marsh in that tight little T2 choke to completely screw over a whole warband!”).
No new content
The last truly fresh content WAR saw (Warsaw?) was Land of the Dead. I don’t count the Skaven instance and the implementation of the Skaven monsterplay as new content. Those were small new features that spiced up the game a bit, but certainly weren’t content. Every successful PvP game developer knows that, while PvP players don’t require the same content train the PvE players do (because of the nature of PvP), they still need to have new things to fight with, fight over, fight in and fight against to hold their interest. Mythic haven’t done that. They’re expecting the players to be content with basically the same content (I’m on a roll!) they’ve been playing since launch. The occasional live event, most of which were lately only rehashes of the old ones, didn’t help the situation much.
The grind post RR80
That was definitely one of the things that killed the game for me. The renown ranks above RR80 took an agonizingly long time to reach. I wouldn’t be fussed about it if it weren’t for the fact that you needed to reach those ranks to stay competitive. In all honesty, I could have lived without the renown rank cap being raised. I felt the game was somewhat balanced with the time it took to reach RR80 against the power attained with it. If Mythic wanted to give the players a new experience they went about it the wrong way. The grind coupled with the fact that I’ve been playing the same game since the launch and getting rolled over by the higher renown rank players really put the last nail in the coffin.
Well, I say that was the last nail in the coffin, but it was my guild moving over to WoW that was the last nail in the coffin. They were even more disillusioned with the game than I was and simply couldn’t be bothered to stick around. Because most of my desire to play came from playing alongside them, once that was gone I really didn’t have much of a reason to stay. You might say that I could simply find another guild, but it’s not as easy as that. I’m not a person who could jump guilds. I take time to forge social connections and when I do I maintain them. Searching for a new guild was as much of a hassle for me as starting to play another game. Which I what I was going to do, if it weren’t for the fact that there weren’t any new MMOs I’d want to play.
The things that were fixed:
The power scaling
Mythic has adjusted much of the over the top gear and the scaling of the hidden levels past RR80. I hear it makes for a much more balanced experience, but I can’t help but think that because the disparity between the renown ranks gets bigger the higher you go, T4 is actually in a worse shape power/rank balance-wise now with the addition of the new renown levels than it was before. Even with all of the adjustments Mythic has done.
The grind post RR80
The grind has been somewhat lessened with the renown bonus extending post RR80, but when I say somewhat I do mean it. I have no illusions about how long it takes to actually gain renown levels these days. Which makes me sad.
I wish I had amnesia
Because if I had, I would be able to enjoy WAR for at least a few more months, if not years. The time I spent playing the game made me jaded and I won’t be able to enjoy it until (unless) Mythic makes some drastic changes in addition to introducing new content. But in case that doesn’t happen, can someone please hit me over the head? Just strong enough to lose a few years of memory please.