My main hit 28 last night, which means…something…when it comes to participating in Tier 4. Somebody help me out here, I can’t remember exactly what the benefit of level 28 is. Does it make you eligible for the Tier 4 buff bump? Do you get a smaller bump in health and armor if you’re < 28?
Anyway, as I get closer to Tier 4, I’m starting to think that this will be the defining range for my final opinions about Warhammer. As I’ve fought through Tiers 1-3, running lots of scenarios, finding occassional good open RvR, and struggling like many other people to find a critical mass of players in PvE to group with, I’ve wondered if making a decision about WAR’s success or failure based on my Tier 1-3 experiences would be premature. I think, for me, that’s going to be true.
Back in the DAoC days, there were no early battlegrounds. You had to either keep up with the leveling curve to participate in RvR on an equal footing, or you had to accept the fact that you had to level in PvE to catch up. You were at a significant disadvantage trying to RvR at level 40 if the leveling Bell curve was closer to 50.
Mythic changed that eventually, adding battlegrounds for lower players, based on level ranges, but that wasn’t available at the beginning of the game. I think Mythic did a great job fixing the RvR participation problem in WAR, but I suspect by the time I’m well into T4, Tiers 1-3 are going to look a lot like the DAoC lower level battlegrounds. It’s a fun place to do something other than just grind PvE, but it’s not equal to the endgame RvR experience, either.
I think T4 is going to define Warhammer, because it takes some commitment to get there. By the time you start to participate in T4, you’re going to be playing with people who have decided that WAR is the game for them, and they’ll likely be around for a while. It’ll be easier to find a group of people to run around with on your side, and you can bet that your opponents will be skilled and equally dedicated.
I’m not trying to tell everyone that they should play to Tier 4 before they decide whether WAR is a good game or not. If you tried it and didn’t like it, there are a variety of valid reasons for reaching that conclusion. Maybe you hated the empty feeling of PQ’s and struggled to find Open Groups. Maybe you got tired of Scenarios being the best way to advance, or felt like you couldn’t find enough Open RvR action. Maybe there was a server imbalance, and you couldn’t get scenarios to pop even if you wanted to run them a lot. It could be a lack of depth in crafting, too much running between flight points in PvE zones…the list goes on. While I think Mythic made improvements in the Tier 1 to Tier 3 adventure compared to what we experienced in DAoC, I can totally accept that there are gamers who don’t want to invest the time to get to Tier 4.
That said, I think those of us who do reach Tier 4 are going to find a pretty wicked game, and gameplay that’s still unique in the MMO genre. I’m looking forward to the Tier 4 push to level 40, to enjoy the game with the rest of the players who enjoy what WAR has to offer. Looking back, I think Tiers 1-3 are going to look like baby steps toward Tier 4, and I think Tier 4 is going to be one hell of a good time :)