Monday, March 22, 2010

Warhammer Online: News from the front

Talk about a change of pace for the family.

It happened officially yesterday. The wife stepped into the WAR universe, and something interesting took place.

She had...FUN??

Now, I need to reiterate something here for the masses; We are NOT PvP'ers...PERIOD. We like to enjoy a challenge of a game without someone griefing our fun or making it so we cannot progress. We enjoy the little things. Killing AI mobs, playing in our small group and being anti-social unless we MUST progress with others, etc.

Now, a little history on the WAR front. Initially I started goofing off with the free trial (which I am still on, BTW) and had some problems at first. I had resolved these (though the client is not perfect, as we are finding WAR has the EQ2 client issue. Too much on the CPU and not enough on the GPU. This is causing a massive overheat on my OC'd CPU's). After solving the problem though, I focused on leveling up my main, a Witch Hunter.
I really do enjoy this class and the aesthetic as I previously mentioned. But, I also was interested in trying a heal class as well, and moved to War Priest.
WHAT a change. It felt more powerful, and seemed to really fit my style. I took it through RvR and felt what it was like to enjoy some massive PvP.

As to the RvR, I knew I had to try it, as it is what the game is built around. I did not realize how much of a blast this would be though. Now, whether it is the server I chose, or what expectations I had built up...I feel group based PvP really works compared to the FFA style, like in Age of Conan.  It also has proven that in both Age of Conan AND Warhammer Online, the prevalent gameplay that is the most enjoyable is grouping.

So, how did the family get involved in this? I initially set out in WAR to just goof off in the mornings or the downtime for family gaming to run around and play. But, my son, coming from a stint in Aion (yes, I will post on that soon...), logged in and started playing different characters. Next thing I knew, he was NOT playing Aion anymore and was strictly playing WAR.
I honestly think his background in playing Halo, Battlefield, and Call of Duty (as a few choices) lend itself well for him to be involved in mass pvp styled combat. He is use to the "team" perspective of fighting in arenas to get points and gain renown. It really shows here as well.

The next thing I knew, we were teamed up and away we went. This weekend we joined our first warband. A large group all with one goal...protecting the realm of order. This did not leave the wifes attention, as she seemed interested in how much we wanted to get involved. We played RvR for over 3 hours.
The final blow of gaming came late Saturday when the wife and I logged in to play Guild Wars. The son joined in...but, soon was not interested. He grew bored, and apologized and said he did not want to play GW anymore.
We were disappointed. I told the wife I still wish to play, but she also lost interest at that point.

Game families...ARGH! There is no doubt we have built a synergy between the 3 of us. When one goes down, the other two are sure to follow.

So, after a lovely Indian meal Sunday, we convinced the wife to log in and give it a college try. Luckily, there were some bonuses. The Elven women in WAR actually look good (compared to another title with Elves - *Cough* LOTRO *Cough*). She also liked the idea of the Shadow Warrior, which would be a unique class for the wife (she has played Casters and Melee mostly...never a Ranger except shortly in Guild Wars).

So, after this, we were off.

She noted the mobs at the beginning seemed slightly "stupid", which of course, they are meant to be. She blew past this, and that is good (wait until I discuss Aion and her trial She moved on, and then made it to the first PQ "Ravenhost Vanguard". She got the first taste of "Open Groups" and mass murder in a setting where a ton of players were involved (when we entered, there were about 12 other bodies there including us 3). What amazed both myself AND my son is she finished 2nd overall in the end, in their ranking system for ability of the player in regards to contributions.


As she gained new skills, she enjoyed the class more and more. By the end of our play schedule (we had about an hour to goof off), she noted that she will play again. Always a good sign for my EXTRA picky wife.
I am shocked she took to the game, yet, I see a lot of potential in the overall gameplay lending itself well to our 3 person team. Time will tell. RvR is still on the horizon, and who knows how she may react to dying over and over.

I am actually enjoying Warhammer Online. They seemed to have ironed out a lot of bugs, increased combat speed, and visually enhanced the game. WAR, along with Age of Conan were both games with horrible launches that led to games that are looked down upon in the long run.  I find it pretty amazing that both of these games have made such turn around's...even without the revenue to back it up.

Now, is WAR good enough for us to BUY our copies? Time will tell.


Longasc said...

Getting three together to play a game together... that's really hard. Tried that with my best friends, never worked so far. Too bad your son lost interest, but the good thing about GW is, he can always come back. And maybe will even find a bday minipet in his backpack.

I think the current free trial model is the future; if not the really awesome Guild Wars model, which companies apparently so loathe to copy. :/

Anonymous said...

Great to see you had a good time! I'm curious to hear how your wife takes to the PvP aspect of the game. Just keep in mind the reality of the "zerg" and being outnumbered: eventually enough enemies will surround you and nothing you can do will stop you from dieing, the best you can do is try to take as many of them with you as possible!

Openedge1 said...

What is funny is the "Zerg" in ORvR is what really grabbed us. For some reason, one on one duels FFA style just do NOT work...yet, this whole "Join The Rally" attitude is awesome fun.
PS: Second play had the wife keeping me up and going back for more in ORvR, so, I think she likes it.