The other side of the leveling coin

I was talking to a co-worker about WAR at lunch today (he bought lunch AND beers, yay co-worker!), and he was asking how I’m enjoying it.

A bit of history: When I started working at my current job back in ’99, said co-worker was a huge PC game player. He invited me to play Age of Empires multiplayer at the end of each working day, and we talked a lot about games we liked. I was playing EQ at that point, and got him to try it out.

9 years later, he’s still playing EQ, and the leader of a big guild on Seventh Hammer. I’ve never managed to get him to play any other MMO’s for any length of time, but we do enjoy talking about all the games that are out there, and how they compare to EQ. It’s an interesting touchstone to a very, very, distant point in my game-playing past.

I wanted to complain to him about how I feel like WAR’s a little grindy, but then I remember he plays EQ. And I remembered that I hit level 20 last night, halfway to the level cap, just three weeks after the game launched. And I realized I shoud STFU instead of complaining about how things feel grindy.

Like Ysharros said in the comments on my last post, we miss our fluff. We miss our houses and crafting and little virtual businesses, but I really shouldn’t complain too much about WAR being grindy. It’s no EQ. I’ll hit the level cap by the New Year, I’m sure, and can I really complain about a three month trek to level cap in an MMO? Yeah, I’d like fluff, but I’m not going to knock WAR for not including a more diverse economy. I enjoyed the heck out of WoW for a couple years even though they streamlined what they were offering in their game.

I think we’re seeing MMO growing pains. Huge titles realize they can’t create the necessary amount of gameplay and content AND give us housing, crafting, an economic model, etc. The games that try to be everything have been less than successful. The games that try to do a few things well have been pretty successful.

I think, as we see MMO’s continue to evolve, we’ll see companies figuring out how to add in more crafting, more economic options, and more fluff. It’ll take a generation or two, though, I think. We’re still seeing the refinement of the combat model, and honestly, that’s probably what the majority of game players are looking for. I think Mythic is smart focusing on RvR, and focusing on getting people to interact more than WoW did.

I’m hopeful that Mythic will add more fluff as the game progresses, and that’s probably the correct order to do things. Make a good, competitive, fun game that draws people in, and then give them other things to do once they’ve hit end game and had a blast with RvR. If you never get to the fluff, at least your core game mechanics were solid.

I’m going to try to be a little more patient in T3…we’ll see how that goes 🙂 I have a mount now, and I can at least open up flight points a little more easily, and riding from zone to zone won’t be quite as painful as running back and forth between Ellyrion and The Shadowlands was. Ow. I only have 10 levels to go before I can actually participate in T4 stuff, even if I’m not at the level cap. And I’m only three weeks into the game.

I can’t complain TOO much, but I did feel a bit of a burn yesterday 🙂 We’ll see how levels 20-30 go. Stay tuned!


2 Responses

  1. Just remember that you needn’t be in any rush… it’s not like you HAVE to get to 40 to enjoy the game’s content. There’s Gunbad in T3, 6 new scenarios, larger keeps that I’m sure CoW will be storming, and oodles of new PQs and quests.

    It’s slower than WoW, and considering there’s only 40 levels, I’m finding the pacing near perfect for me. But that’s all just “IMO”.

  2. Experience Enhancements: Phase 1
    from Warhammer Online Herald Current News Feed by Robert Mull

    As part of our ongoing effort to tweak Warhammer Online based on player play patterns, we are making some adjustments to the rate and manner of experience gain in certain parts of the game. We continually analyze the data from our in-game metrics tool and as a result, we have made some changes to WAR. These changes will ensure that you will see a noticeable improvement to the rate at which you gain experience in tiers 3 and 4.

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