Monday, May 24, 2010

Warhammer Online: Rank and VILE!

Something that interests me in Warhammer Online is the multiple ways to level the character. You not only have a main "rank" (your level in most other MMO's), but you have the RR or Renown Rank, and Influence.
Influence is not too important to your character as it just tracks progress through the TIER system. In PvE, influence is gained by completing Chapters of stories in the Public Quest system. The RvR Influence is by completing Tiers in Open RvR (you gain no influence for Scenarios...or not enough to really care about).
You get some ok gear, but that is about all the Influence meter offers (that I know of...anyone want to enlighten me on this?)

So, my two focuses have been Renown and standard Rank.

Now, here is an example of how my character looks in the "rankings" system (on the Realm War system from Mythic, which allows you to track characters, not unlike the Armory for WoW).

Note my RANK and then you see RENOWN.

This post is all about that smaller number...the Renown. Renown basically tracks your "PvP" level. The higher it is, the more you have PvP'd (RvR) and of course, you have gear to show for those levels, as some of the best stuff is Renown gear.

This past weekend I racked up an amazing 18 hours of gameplay working on this Renown (if not all became a blur on my 7th siege of a keep). All of that gameplay consisted of one type of RvR; the Open RvR (ORvR).

Awesome you say?

Well, the fact that I was at the end of RENOWN 20 when I not so awesome. I basically gained a level and two 18 hours of play.

The true definition of grind...THAT is Vile.

ORvR consists of several measures to gain Renown points (RR). You take Battle Objectives (BO) and Keeps. The keeps can garner the most points, as not only will you take the keep, but will be in combat with a lot of the opposite faction. You can also defend keeps, but only gain major points in either style of gameplay by winning.
Order was definitely on the short end of the stick the whole weekend. Destruction could field two or even three Warbands of 24 players each...while Order had...One.

Now, mind you, this is Tier 3. This tier has been known to bring grown men to tears, and as such, most players head to the Land of the Dead (LoTD) (this all has been discussed in my previous post) to quick level to Tier 4, where balance is somewhat restored. But, during this time, you gain no Renown, as LoTD is PvE, which goes towards standard Rank.

Another way I could gain this RR faster is through Scenarios. But, thanks to the new patch this weekend, it seems Scenarios were NOT going off. I was able to compete in TWO Scenarios the whole weekend.

And do not start me on population issues.

But, back to the difference between the Renown Rank and the standard Rank.
How competitive can a player be if that Renown rank has not increased when they enter Tier 4? And why is it that the main style of play that is the most enjoyable is so unforgivable to the player who wishes to PvP.


To play what I want though, I must endure hours of long, hard work to stay competitive, and that may be an issue going forward.
I have mentioned many a time that I am strictly a "Casual" player. But, WAR seems to need more than I can offer it. 18 hours is just a little to much, no matter how much fun I had. Definitely adds up to cause home issues, that I do not need.
When I saw my Xfire times (a good reason to use Xfire, so I can babysit myself), and had played as many hours as I work a full time job, I was dumbstruck.

Warhammer is extremely fun, but is turning into a job more than an enjoyment...and that may have consequences down the road.

This week, I plan to pull back that focus on the RR, and instead play some PvE with my wife, and maybe some scenarios if we can get them. The wife had already seen the effects of ORvR, and lost taste for it pretty fast. She loves the PvP, but the "siege" style system of takeovers and major battles were not for her. I understand, as for her to even like PvP to begin with is major, as she truly hates it in other MMO's. The fact she is willing to do some Scenarios is great.

Time is ticking, and I am unsure if I can reach max level (let alone crank up that RR), so, I may have to go back to "enjoying" WAR and not working a second job for the Empire.


Wasdstomp said...

Wait till the later renown ranks. It gets worse. I have to say that Scenarios are way better than Orvr for renown. Also if you run State of the Realm you can get the benefits of Orvr with Freenown as you fly zone to zone as they flip while queued up, and playing scenarios.

One Shard said...

As long as you can wear Annihilator gear when you hit 40 (rr33) you should be fine. Don't forget it is a group PvP game so a good guild can offset your renown rank in tier 4. I am also a very casual player 10 hours a week tops, I tend to play when our guild has oRvR nights so I always feel like I contribute. Also I don't know if you are like me but if i focus on gear and rank I tend to have less fun. When I focus on just playing the game and killing the gear and rr just become an added bonus.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a huge fan of the Renown Rank system in WAR simply because it was too tedious to progress through. I understand why they have it but it seems almost like too much of an obsessive timesink and grind fest.

Longasc said...

The idea behind this in every game that uses a similar system is to make sure that people stay longer in this or that bracket.

The way to ensure this is to introduce said long and very time intensive grind.

But it is a double-edged sword; people can burn out, get bored and dump the game.

Positive example how it could be done differently: Guild Wars "Faction" PvE skills (Norn, Asura, Kurzick, Sunspear...) are very easy to acquire. They are also very effective already at the lowest rank.

But the grind to maximize these skills is sometimes extreme. But it is NOT MANDATORY to progress and use these skills, they just get improved.

(The achievement/title progression in Guild Wars is, however, one of the grindiest I have ever seen. I hope they don't emphasize the achievement stuff as much as other games do by now in GW2. Then this would really be awful.)

Anonymous said...

You're experiencing the worst of the game right now sadly. Tier 3, as you said, is the one that brings tears to your eyes. In large part, it's because of what you experience.

Overall, the renown you can gain from SCs is vastly higher than ORvR, across the board. You get a good amount of kills in a short time span, PLUS a bonus at the end.

That said, when you get to T4, if you can chain BO and Keep takes in a pairing during a push to the end, you can make major renown, as they carry over from zone to zone. I.E. If you take all the sites in Reikland, and capture, then the same in Praag, when Chaos Wastes locks, you'll get the bonus for all of CWs Keeps/BOs, but also the ones for Reikland and Praag. You can easily wrack in 10s of thousands of renown this way. Once you hit tier four, the earning potential goes through the roof.