It’s not you, it’s me

As you might be aware, I recently reactivated my WAR account with the two-week subscription for returning players. While I felt quite an urge to play for the first two days, it quickly dissipated and I ended up playing LoL or DA2 instead of WAR. It’s true that I only had the opportunity to play for a week or so, since I didn’t have internet access for the other half of the subscription time due to a modem blowing up, but even so I probably only managed to clock in eight or so hours of playtime. Most of which was spent playing my Blackguard alt.

What little time I spent on my many T4 characters felt extremely tiresome and dull. In one word; meh. I was disappointed by how little has changed and the fact that the act of simply logging in no longer felt exciting. Instead of seeing endless possibilities of slaughtering many twisted men, their horses and whole households (or assisting in doing so) I just saw endless possibilities in getting farmed in scenarios, ganked in ORvR and lagging out in keep siege zerging. T4 had nothing to offer to me, which I was partly responsible for.

I didn’t see the point of searching for a group of people to play with just for the duration of my “test drive”. And although I had several nice people invite me to join them, I simply didn’t feel comfortable with finding my way into a circle of nice people, only to leave them a week later because of the game being a disappointment (which may well have happened). T4 in WAR seems to only be enjoyable in a group environment and I may have shot myself in the foot by not joining one, but I honestly didn’t expect my feelings about the game to change this much.

In the past I was fine with running solo. I did that for about half of my time spent in WAR, and I enjoyed it. It got tedious after a while, to which the solution was finding a group or taking a break, but even while in a good guild or coming back from a break, I could enjoy solo PvP without a problem. Things have changed.

I seem to have gotten fed up with being farmed simply for not being in a premade group. I can’t even believe the words I’m writing right now. The concept of a premade being better than a random group has always been perfectly understandable to me. And it still is, but I guess I am at a point where I’m confident enough in my own abilities to realise when I’m playing to my full potential and acknowledge situations where losing isn’t my fault. The feeling of doing my best and getting farmed like I was playing without a keyboard, is the most infuriating feeling in the world to me. I guess this is exactly why I can’t stand playing scenarios in WAR, where the chances of having a PuG vs PuG scenario is about one in five games (even a premade vs PuG on our side isn’t enjoyable).

My Blaguard alt.

One of two screenshots I took - my BG.

Then there’s ORvR, which I only attempted with my Slayer. Since he’s sort of useless in keep sieges without a group, I spent most of my time running around trying to pick off stragglers. I didn’t have much success in the fun department because, much like with scenarios, you’ll only find an even fight in perhaps one out of ten cases. Other times you’ll get ran over by groups of enemies, have your enemy be ran over by a group of allies, fight someone who outranks you by far (even at RR78) or someone you outrank by a several armor tiers. Perhaps LoL has spoiled me in offering PvP with instant gratification, but I’m not prepared to spend most of my time looking for fights that I actually have a chance of winning.

Playing my BG alt was perhaps the most fun, even though I mostly played scenarios and got demolished in T2 ORvR (she’s only level 12 or so). But with that being said, I strongly doubt I’d be able to play an alt for a prolonged period of time, because the bracket changes (which I’ve ranted about lots) still infuriate me. With them lower tiers went from an ordered bracket system, with brackets being clearly defined and spanning a set number of career ranks (abilities, gear, career and renown masteries to go with them), to something resembling T4, in that the power range of available opponents is baffling. You no longer only face opponents you have a chance of defeating and because of that you are doomed to either search and selectively fight opponents you can beat (an impossible task in WAR) or suffer getting farmed.

On the subject of getting farmed, for those not familiar with the feeling (WAR players will be), it’s when you’re getting beaten with no hope of fighting back. Nothing you can do will help you win because the odds are stacked heavily against you. I used to be ok with this. I used to think that getting beaten by someone that’s using only one ability is fine, because he has progressed further into the game than you have.

Now I’m strongly against it. Any game that’s looking to provide a competitive environment for its players should strive to pit evenly matched opponents against one another. That’s when both sides have the most fun, that’s when they learn the most about the game and that’s the environment that cultivates fair competition. WAR doesn’t do any of that.

You may argue I haven’t given WAR enough of a chance. That I haven’t tried searching for a nice group to play with, because as we all know it’s a team game, right? But to that I have to say the following; the sheer fact that I rather sat in a 30 minute queue in LoL than play WAR (I could have played it while sitting in the queue), tells me that I’m not really brimming with excitement to play it. In addition, I feel like I’ve given the game enough chances in the past two years.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s you or if it’s me. What matter is that one of us has changed and we can no longer get along. Not the way things are now. I fear we have seen the last of each other for a long time. Godspeed Warhammer: Age of Reckoning.

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6 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me

  1. Guild Wars spoiled me as it was my first PVP game and the level and gear were not a factor as you could just role a top-levelled toon with top-level gear and play. It was competitive, and it was fun. WAR always mystifiied me and though I certainly enjoyed it for quite awhile I always thought it was short-sighted and just plain dumb to create such disparities between competitors with gear and RR levels.

    Since GW is still popular and vamping up for GW2 I would say their strategy worked. That may not be a fair assessment because GW also offers PVE which attracts a lot more players than WAR did, but still. GW did a lot of things right.

    Despite the complaints in WoT about the matchmaker system I find it to be similar in pitting even TEAMS against each other. You may get put into a battle and go “WTF am I doing here?” but chances are there is someone on the other side wondering the same thing. Once the ‘level cap’ is reached (Tier 10 tanks) that’s it. There are no sub-levels, no special gear. Everyone is even and the only thing that can make a bit of a difference is the gold ammo- which anyone can buy if they want.

    • Funny thing is, iirc Mythic stated several times during development that the emphasis in PvP would be on skill not gear. Look at how that turned out.

      The things GW did right (I’m baffled at the fact that I played it for a bit and never went back) really give me hope for GW2. Please don’t let it suck, please don’t let it suck,…

    • Oh don’t worry, this is a relapse. I quit shortly after 1.4.3 came out, exactly because the game wasn’t fun due to the power levels being out of whack and the incessant renown grinding.

      I had another go and not much has changed. I mean things have been adjusted so it might not be as bad, but it’s not something I’d pay for.

  2. It was a bold move attempting to go back to WAR. I have done my best to drown out the siren’s call. I loved WAR for what it was, but it’s that no longer.

    The only difference in my experience with the game is this: I started WAR during Beta, but that doesn’t make much of a difference because I quit shortly before Beta finished. This was due mainly to the level of polish that simply wasn’t there. I gave the game about a year and let it attempt to fix itself before I jumped back in. However, the only thing I enjoyed from the game was the ORvR and a handful of the PQs. Once I reached T4, I was met with the sub-par experience of continual keeps/IC sieges, and running across RR75+ groups of about 5 destroying our entire zerg. =\

    This quickly got old. The old T1-T3 design was enjoyable. It was the stagnating feeling of T4 that had the game lose its savor.

  3. In T4 the power gap is still clearly apparent..but the power differences in lower tiers aren’t that big that you can not overcome them.

    I ran solo with my shaman in T2 and had absolutely no problem in defending myself against R25 opponents. All in all the power gap from obliberator to devestator isn’t that big..

    In T3 I am alting a bit with my 2 year old alts, i.e. R32 RR28 ..and still can be a reasonable addition to a group or at least able to run around solo (but most of the time I don’t do it as I’m helping someone from the guild).

    One final note to T4.. the power gap is apparent and still a bit too big, but it’s more managable than before 1.4.2. If you die in 2 gcd’s than you have done something wrong as I can’t remember someone killing me in 1vs1 in such a short time..even with my R60 Engineer or Slayer I am able to stand longer than that.

    Too bad you didn’t enjoy your time in WAR when you gave it a second chance.

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