WAR: What is not being said

By now, it’s pretty clear that there’s a portion of the MMO community that feels Mythic missed the boat with PvE. The common culprit in this observation is the Scenario system. The rewards for running Scenarios are so great that PvE cannot get a critical mass of people involved to participate in Mythic’s Public Quests and standard PvE questing.

Since we’re talking about this on the internet, it’s natural that we spend most of our time speaking negatively about PvE in WAR. Those of us like myself, who happen to be enjoying the reasons PvE is emptier than RvR, are too busy playing the game to hop on our blogs and talk about why we’re in RvR much more often than PvE. Hint: It’s not only because Scenarios are perceived to be more rewarding than PvE.

As long as I’ve been playing MMO’s, one constant cry for a future MMO was “I want to be able to level entirely through PvR”. Granted, not everyone felt that way; some people (myself included) avoided PvP like the plague, because we hated being griefed. Mythic solved the griefing problem in Dark Age of Camelot (players could only communicate through emotes, separate PvE and PvP areas) but it wasn’t possible to level 1-15 in RvR.

WAR fixes that. Now, it’s quite possible to level a long way into the game (I’m only at level 25, can’t speak for 26-40 yet) doing mostly PvP. In fact, PvP is such a great way to advance that PvE feels comparitively empty, and people are floundering trying to find groups.

For a minute, let’s not dwell on the perception that PvE is wasting your time compared to running Scenarios. First, I don’t believe that, and second, it gets in the way of recognizing exactly what Mythic has accomplished with RvR. I don’t think people run Scenarios non-stop solely because it’s the fastest way to advance. I think we’re seeing a ton of people in Scenarios because, finally, an MMO has finally figured out how to give us a leveling alternative comparable to PvE. Gotta say, I’m happy to have another viable option, after PvE leveling in pretty much every game since EQ came out (as always, Eve Online doesn’t fit neatly into MMO comparisons).

As much as we’re hearing complaints in the blogosphere bemoaning PvE issues, there are just a ton of people totally loving the RvR in WAR. Instead of trumpeting their satisfaction from the rooftops (or blogtops), they’re spending their time playing the game. It’s human nature; if we’re happy, we don’t complain. If we’re unhappy, we run to the internet and get it all out 🙂 The lack of posting here since WAR launched is definitely due to me having just a ton of fun in WAR.

I’ll address my PvE opinions in another post. I just wanted to acknowledge, publically, what I’ve been saying privately about WAR. We finally have an MMO that makes it possible to level your character doing something other than non-stop PvE. This is a huge achievement for Mythic, and something we should keep in mind when we bemoan PvE being empty.

19 Responses

  1. Abso-friggin-lutely.

    While we are about and talking on how much we’d love to see the PvE and O-RvR incentivized, I think it’s brilliant and quite simple that Mythic’s build a game where you can fight dynamic battles (even if they’re instanced) from Rank 1 to 40 and enver tough a PvE NPC.

    It may be out of whack that it’s so much more efficient than all other types of play, but I’m not complaining more than just that.

    I love scenarios, I love being rewarded with XP for my PvP kills, and wins. I love getting loot off of bodies of players. And I love punting people into the lava of Tor Anroc.

    By nature MMO Bloggers complain. But I’ll be damned if I’m having a hard time doing it for WAR these first few weeks.

  2. Call of Duty 4 offers the same experience and doesn’t charge a monthly fee. Its as “massive” as scenarios are.

    I’m just sayin…

    I hope they continue to offer ORvR incentives. Because to me, THAT is RvR based character progression in a “massive” game.

    Mythic *seems* to listen to its customers. So I don’t think complaining about things that make us less happy has no value. But yeah, I think praising things that do make us happy is just as important.

  3. It really is the first time I have ever seen a game do that (leveling through pvp better than pve) so I have to hand it to ya, you’re right.

  4. Pete, your argument is only true in the narrowest sense. Sure, CoD and CS and Battlefield offer Scenarios, but are you going to overlook everything else about an MMO to compare it to a shooter? And remember, that’s ALL CoD4 offers. There’s no endgame to it. Don’t forget all the scenarios are leading up to something bigger, and by playing in the scenarios, you’ll be better skilled for that endgame.

    I think your comparison is apples vs. oranges.

  5. I had hopes of leveling in WAR purely through PVP, but running scenarios over and over just got too boring and felt like a major grind.

    So I ventured out into the world looking for some PQs and RVR. The few times I was able to participate in those activities I found them to be a lot of fun and a nice change of pace from scenarios.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the time I went out into the game world it was empty. So there was nothing to do but scenarios…and thus ended my WAR experiment for now. I might come back some day, but not until population issues don’t make or break the game.

  6. I hear you, joggoms. What I don’t understand is, if there are this many people feeling like they can’t find enough companionship for PvE, why aren’t all these people finding each other?

    I can understand Open RvR. You need opponents there. But PvE? How can this many people be saying they can’t find people to run PQ’s, and not getting together instead?

  7. It’s only apples and oranges if you stick to scenarios until you get to the end game. If you hang out until level 25 doing nothing but scenarios and decide to quit then its apples and apples.

    COD4 lets you gain levels and skills and get better equipment as you level up. Pretty much same as War scenarios.

  8. Well, that’s your choice in WAR, Pete. It’s the ONLY thing you can do in CoD4. That’s a big difference in my opinion. Can you gain equipment and skills and levels in the single-player game in CoD4 and carrying them over to multiplayer? Do you have an Auction House where you can buy and sell goods? Do you have tradeskills? Do you have a ton of single-player quests you can do if you so choose?

    Just because scenarios are faster to get to end game doesn’t prevent you from getting to endgame in different ways. And slower doesn’t always mean worse. I’m having fun in WAR PvE. Your mileage may vary, but you absolutely don’t have to stick to scenarios to get to end game.

  9. Rick, I don’t do scenarios at all, so that isn’t *MY* choice.

    But I’m talking about people who think this is all there is to Warhammer. People who do scenarios and have fun for a while, then go to see what else there is and find that right now there’s nothing much else going on, unless you’re part of a big guild or have a lucky night.

    Mythic is going to lose these people if they can’t find a way to get more folks active in group-based PvE and RvR Lakes. That’s all I’m saying.

    I’m hoping this Witching Night event will give us a glimpse of how the future will be. And I’ve got a lot of confidence in Mythic that they can fix this. But I’m not sure how many people they’ll lose between now and when they do.

    Rick, if you’ll remember you and I were talking during beta, and you’ll remember how jazzed I was about Warhammer. I didn’t come into the game looking for doom & gloom, but I screwed up and played too many alts and now my top level dude just hit 16 and I’ve been left behind. Trust me, it’s empty out there and I’m horribly disappointed by that fact.

  10. Pete, what’s different about WAR PvE than LoTRO PvE, or WoW PvE, especially at launch? I’m curious. I think Mythic has missed some opportunities, but I don’t see WAR PvE as vastly underperforming what other games had available. Is it just me? Other than dungeon content, which I’ll concede.

  11. The generic PvE stuff for some exp, maybe some mediocre loot or a handful of coin is fine, since you can solo it.

    But completing the Chapters (PQs) to get the good Influence Rewards can’t be done solo. Well, unless you’ve horribly out-leveled it.

    I can go into LOTRO right now, 18 months or so after launch and get a group for doing a level 20 (roughly equal to a rank 15) “Fellowship” quests without too much trouble, since there’s no where to be *but* in the PvE world. At launch it was even easier. Six weeks after War launched, getting together enough people to do a PQ has become incredibly difficult in the low tiers, at least for me. All I can tell you is that this has been my experience. Maybe I’m jinxed, maybe I play at bad hours, I dunno.

    The only thing “wrong” with the PvE is that there’s no one to do it with. Maybe Mythic needs a way for us to check Open Groups in other areas… so ok no one is doing Empire Chapter 7 but I see there’s a group doing High Elf Chapter 7, so maybe I can scoot over there. Though for that to be really useful we’d need more Flight Masters. Maybe they need a ‘summoning stone’ outside of PQ’s so you can ‘queue’ for them and when a sufficient number of people have signed up everyone gets teleported to right outside the PQ area?

    And the solo PvE stuff is pretty generic (as it is in most games); it’s the PQs (and presumably the lairs and the few dungeons) that have the cool “Oh WOW!” moments that really stick in your mind. So skipping them robs you of both those moments and the very nice gear you get from them.

    I also think the layout of the world is such that you don’t often have higher level characters passing back through lower Tier areas… in other games even when you can’t get a ‘level appropriate’ group going, you might snag some high level person to power you through it. I don’t find that all that fun but when you’re stuck and frustrated and ready to cancel your account, having someone come by and ‘jump start’ your journey again can be pretty encouraging.

    But if they can just encourage people to do more Lake RvR, I think that’d fix everything. First, it’s hella fun if you’ve got people on both sides doing it, so it gives you another option. Second it’s a lot easier to be in a persistent Lake RvR Group and say “Hey, anyone feel like knocking out a PQ for a change of pace?” than saying it in a Scenario group where everyone is going to exit all over the world.

    This problem may ‘cure’ itself too, as people might start getting bored with scenarios and start wandering out to try other things. Or maybe Mythic tweaks its network code to allow more characters per server and condenses some of the servers down. 52 North American servers seems like an awful lot!

  12. Rick, here’s a pretty typical experience for me. We had 3 people trying to do a Chapter 8 PQ and were looking for more:

    You’ll have to take it on faith that the dude wasn’t rapid spamming. The coin drops were from random critters wandering near us… (we were rescuing dudes and had 1 to go and were waiting to finish it until we had enough to take on the next stage, so mostly just standing around).

    About 20 minutes later I’d gone back to camp to sell junk and log and they were still looking…

  13. You know what would solve a lot of the PvE woes?

    If Mythic took the system for bolstering people up in RvR and made it applicable to PvE.

    It’d be great if CoWs could come down to Tier 2/Tier 1 and help out alts/lower players when needed and not have it be a waste of time for both (due to the leeching of XP).

    Mentoring system FTW.

  14. Pete said “The only thing “wrong” with the PvE is that there’s no one to do it with. Maybe Mythic needs a way for us to check Open Groups in other areas… so ok no one is doing Empire Chapter 7 but I see there’s a group doing High Elf Chapter 7, so maybe I can scoot over there.”

    I really like that idea, and I don’t know why we don’t have war camps in everyone zone. It’s annoying and unnecessarily time-consuming.

    Your screenshot, though, did you ever ask in /g if anyone wanted to come run it with you? I was the one talking in /g during the screenie, I don’t know if you asked anyone if they’d come help? I’m not saying you’d definitely get a hit, but it’s a possibility.

    Maybe we need to rely more on guildmates to help max out chapter influence? I don’t have any trouble maxing out influence solo, but I don’t always get to complete a PQ and get a loot roll.

    If Mythic isn’t giving us a system that has enough people in an area, or enough incentive to help out strangers, what can we do as a guild to help? I can try to be available to people in T2 and T3 to finish stuff up when I’m around.

  15. […] and I have been having a bit of a (civil) brawl over at his blog. The topic is PvE in Warhammer. The nice thing about a back and forth with a smart, lucid guy like […]

  16. I’d have to agree with Pete on the PQ’s and any group quests. They are currently undoable most of the time now unless you get very very lucky. The only option on my server is: fight in scenarios, do solo quests until you fall asleep from boredom, or run around looking for action in RVR lakes and RVR PQ’s.(which seem to have more action than the lakes)

  17. Rick — Absolutely, for *me* I could rely on CoWs to get stuff done (and would have, if I was going to be on for much longer). But not everyone is in a great guild. 🙂

    I need to be better about separating when I’m talking about my personal troubles vs things I see as systemic troubles that everyone is suffering from!

  18. I understand what you’re saying, Pete.

    If people aren’t getting into guilds in a game like WAR, trying to form relationships so they have a network of support for the different game options, do you think maybe they should be in a game like WoW, where soloing is more viable? Or is soloing in WAR not that much different than soloing in WoW?

  19. I’m with Pete, and I’ve been comparing WAR to FPS games too, because everyone’s Scenario Grinding instead of playing ALL the game.

    Granted, I can’t stand the PvE in WAR anyway… I can’t quite put my finger on why, but for some reason it’s just barely more interesting than the typical PvE I would find in some Korean F2P grindfest.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t go overboard with the “… but that’s *all* you do in an FPS…” stuff either. WAR was *not* designed to be your typical MMO with all kinds of fluff to do. Even the limited crafting is limited because it’s *only* designed to give small benefits to the fight. No housing, no cosmetics, no non-combat pets, no role-playing. If anyone ever made an FPS that also had NPC’s running around in it to kill… bingo, you’d have WAR with guns.

    As for social outlets, I’ve been saying since my first day in WAR how I’ve never in my life seen a more anti-social game before. Dead silence in the chats. Any chats. With the exception of the WoW kids calling everyone noobs in Scenario Chat. If I’d not known about and joined CoW early on, with no one speaking or getting to know one another, exactly how would I find a guild to join? Why would I even bother going to some fan-forum to look when NO ONE talks, including anyone from the guild I might be applying to? Guilds are great, but I don’t play MMO’s to play with ONLY a small group of friends or online/in-game-only acquaintances. I can join an FPS clan or an XBL group for that and not pay $15/month for that either.

    Personal Opinion: WAR would have been a much better game with a full, open world concentrating on meaningful RvR with plenty of decent PvE content on the side and NO Scenerios.

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