I was planning on taking advantage of WAR’s 14 free days for a while now and the live event starting was a perfect opportunity to do so. I was looking forward to returning so much that the six odd hours of installing the game, downloading the 10Gb of patches and patching went by like a breeze. It was finally time.
Was the overwhelming feeling of my first day back a “Welcome home!” or “What are you doing back already?”
Despite making a fresh install, the game had the old smell of something familiar rather than that septic plastic smell of everything new, since I saved all my settings folders and was able to copy them over. Jumping in was as easy as patching the game up after a minor patch, just reactivating addons and dismissing a few notifications. All my characters on Karak Norn were waiting for me just as I left them.
I first logged in on my White Lion to check on an old guild I was babysitting. Unsurprisingly the leadership has been automatically passed down when I was inactive, but since it was a trustworthy guy I wasn’t fussed about it. I was planning on logging on other more important characters after checking the guild, but seeing the lion I felt like I should bring the character up to speed and jump into a scenario or two. I then spent almost 20 minutes trying to work out what is the best combination of armor set pieces I can afford and wear (I’m a bit of a min/maxer), but at my disappointment I didn’t have enough tokens to afford a big upgrade. Only later have I found out about the vendor that sells all of the sets for gold.
I was nearly done with what upgrades I managed to grab when I realised I was missing a Kamen-Ra as the final talisman in my setup, but had none in the vault and they were 10 gold a piece at the auction house (talisman makers used to give them out for free because they were worthless). I remembered I had a stack of them on my other characters so I relogged. The first target was my Swordmaster.
I kept up with most of the changes WAR “suffered” and knew my much desired SM revamp (yes, the post is more than a year old, but most of those problems persist) wasn’t among them, so I wasn’t interested in playing the character past seeing what goodies I could pull from my vault and equip them. Which were a few Warlord parts, but not having enough tokens for a complete overhaul or any Kamen-Ra talismans I hopped on my Slayer.
This is where I was starting to feel a nagging feeling in the back of my head. Running around Altdorf it seemed devoid of players and I didn’t recognise anyone of the few people I saw. Hovering over to the vault I remembered I put all my purple LotD talismans in the guild bank — the guild disbanded. Oh well, I’ll just have to buy one off the auction house. By this point I’ve already forgotten all about my WL and was looking to tidy up my Slayer and go kill some orcs.
I finally found the guy selling Worn Sovereign and other sets for gold and facepalmed for a minute. I then spent further 15 minutes trying to decide how to fit the new set into my current setup, finally decided on something and upon trying to buy the third piece I needed realised I only had 30 gold on the Slayer, which wasn’t enough. I was about to relog and send myself some gold when Altdorf got invaded. Doh!
Because I didn’t feel like doing Altdorf on my group play specced Slayer without a group, I opted to participate on my Warrior Priest, but before that I got some food and a beer. Just in case. Logging on my WP I went through the same motions of speccing the now reset masteries and renown training, which resulted in a cookie cutter spec (salvation/grace, now up to M4, although I’m now considering dropping it and going salvation/wrath for the detaunt).
Looking around Reikwald I felt a bit depressed again, everyone I saw was a stranger. Lots of French and Germans, with only a handful of vaguely familiar faces. The amount of players I saw seemed to be about half the usual population as well. I entered an Altdorf siege with order having 3 full groups in the scenario and spawn camping destruction.
Of course, as soon as I made it in destro pushed out and killed me (others fled, they were French apparently). We won the first stage, but got throughly obliterated in other two stages by the destro group. Nothing out of the ordinary. Having time for another instance I tried entering a full one, but all I managed to enter was an instance where I was alone against the same destro group that owned order in the previous siege. Bleh. I ported out and queued for the two live event scenarios. Naturally, they refused to pop.
When the siege ended I was finally able to enter an Ekrund’s Gate which was being dominated by destro and went on for only two more minutes (but I did managed to meet two friends who complained about how they miss the old times). I then managed to get into the new live event scenario, where I was too busy remembering how to play and getting my ass handed to me by destro to really admire the surroundings (well, I explored enough of the Bright Wizard College to know what it looks like). Oh, the lava pool thingy is overpowered, nerf.
I felt quite a bit down at that point, so I didn’t feel like queueing for any more scenarios and just afked a bit in the deserted Altdorf. There were several contributing factors to my disappointment. For one, nothing in the game had changed much. I wasn’t expecting any new gameplay, but experiencing the same thing I’ve been playing for more than two years previously brought back that bad taste in my mouth. I’ve also realised how rusty I am. I always considered the WP (who are now even more overpowered than before) as one of the easiest careers to play. If that’s true, then I must really suck. Where I previously knew exactly what to do at any point in time, I was now blanking out at crucial moments. I was playing aggressively like I can when I know what to do, but failing every time. And while a difficult opponent is a welcome challenge when you’re bored, facing one can be disheartening when you’re trying to get back into the swing of things.
Also, for some reason the game seems to run slower than it used to, no matter what settings I use (I’m quite familiar with them). Which is funny because it’s a fresh install on a PC that is in a better condition than it was before. Maybe some of the addons are outdated or maybe my graphic drivers are conflicting with the game, but it was just another thing that bothered me and I will need to sort out. It felt like the game looked a bit uglier as well, which might have been just me remembering it better than it was.
A combination of all of those things contributed to me feeling quite depressed, so I logged off and tried to log in to LoL to get my first win of the day bonus. Maybe not enough time has passed or maybe I wasn’t in the right mood or perhaps I was expecting too much, but the first two hours of my return to WAR were disappointing. Of course I’ll play some more over the course of the free subscription and I’m planning on giving all of my alts a whirl and posting my thoughts. But the impressions so far? Not good, not good at all.
And yeah, I know Mythic have already used that title, but I thought of it first. There.