I wrote a post a little while back about enjoying my time at the top end of Tier 1, playing my witch hunter. With WAR’s tiered RvR options, there are definite peaks and valleys in your relative power throughout your leveling progression.
I knew that the sense of power I experienced with the Witch Hunter at level 10 and 11 would fade quickly when I started fighting Destruction forces in Tier 2. I’ve been through it with my archmage and my shadow warrior, and the transition from strength to fragility is clearly evident.
That change in relative ability doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t enjoy yourself in oRvR or scenarios.
RvR is quite different than other PvE-based games. In Warcraft, or Everquest, to participate in dungeon groups, you generally have to be within a fairly small level range to be an equal contributor to a group, because there’s a limit to the number of players that can participate in an instance or raid. Additionally, as you increase in level in PvE-based games, you have to be properly geared for those encounters. Enough armor, enough hit points, enough DPS, etc.
One of the things I always enjoyed about Dark Age of Camelot was the open-ended aspect of RvR. There was always room for another player, and there was always some task that a lower-level or lesser-geared player could perform. The same has been true so far in WAR. Despite the fact that my archmage (at level 30) and my witch hunter (at level 14) are near the bottom of their tiers, they can be quite effective within specific roles in open RvR.
When I started play last night with my witch hunter, she was halfway through level 14. I started her mostly to take up the scavenging gathering skill, to provide materials to my archmage for apothecary tradeskilling, and I was planning on grinding through PQ’s and quests to get more scavenged goods.
As I ran through Troll Country, though, I realized there was some active T2 RvR going on, and I joined a warband. I was a bit hesitant about what I could contribute, but it’s hard for me to turn down a good RvR opportunity.
There were three groups in the warband, and we took back a couple Battlefield Objectives and beat back a couple smaller Destruction attacks. Having the advantage in numbers, we decided to take a keep.
I had to be careful in RvR. I can’t withstand a direct attack from a DPS class, and I can’t expect the healers to get off a big heal in time to save me if more than one person is ganging up on me. I definitely can’t survive long running a ram when there’s hot oil dropping on my head from above a keep gate. That said, if I’m patient and pick my spots for fighting, I can be quite effective.
I always try to bring siege gear with me when I go out to RvR. Knocking out the oil over the keep door is a great way for a lower-level character to contribute. Harassing the defenders with AoE ranged siege gear keeps them from plinking away at the healers trying to keep the ram operators alive. Trying to slow enemy reinforcements as they run for the keep doors gives my team more time to kill them.
Once the keep door is down, I can’t be part of the initial rush up the stairs to kill the keep lord, but I can defend from below, watching out for enemies sneaking in from behind, and I can harass enemy players who try to charge down the steps into our healing ranks. As much as possible, I try to assist higher-level players who are already engaged in a fight. I’ll always try to assist a DPS class who’s attacking a healer, provided I don’t get too deep into enemy lines and get myself killed. I’d rather chase a shaman for 20 seconds, keeping them from healing their own team, and escape back to my side of the fight with my life, than chase the shaman for 30 seconds and get myself killed. Sticking back with my healers also gives me a chance to give them a small measure of protection from Witch Elves unstealthing next to them. I can slow them with a pistol shot from behind, and I can do some damage to them while the healer hopefully keeps themselves alive. It’s rare I’ll get attacked in that situation; enemy players in the back lines are usually trying to kill healers or bright wizards.
I ended up getting a lot of Renown points from the Battlefield Objectives and all the enemy players we killed. I did pretty well with experience as well, although not nearly as much as I would have gained if I just worked on PvE stuff, or ran scenarios. The Renown gains are important, though, and open RvR was just so much fun that I didn’t really care about xp per hour gained.
I was probably out in open RvR for about 2 hours, and then I did a couple hours of questing, and I gained an entire level. I’m about 30% into 15 now, edging just a bit closer to even in Tier 2. I’m hoping the T2 oRvR on Badlands (and all the oRvR, for that matter) is this active on a regular basis. We’ll see if the Mythic plan for merging servers keeps things active. There were quite a few people running PvE stuff around me too. It’d be a nice trend if that continues.