Drfited away – but still playing games!

My blogging career definitely tracks my MMO play activity. If I’m playing any genre but MMOs, I don’t seem to take the time to blog about it. Since I’ve been actively blogging here, I played some League of Legends, a lot of Starcraft 2, Team Fortress 2, and a lot of single player games that I missed while immersed in various MMOs (The Witcher, Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3, among others).

I recently started playing LoTRO again (and tried Rift on a free weekend), and my desire to blog also picked up. It’s curious; I’m a very solitary person within most MMOs. For example, I just finished leveling a minstrel (usually a very group-friendly class) to 65, almost entirely solo. Despite my reticent nature in-game, I’m happy to talk about what I’m doing in an MMO when I’m not actually playing it.

Why do I want to talk about MMOs more than single player games or multiplayer games? Is it something about the persistence of an MMO compared to the more transient experience of multiplayer matches? Is there more of a story to an MMO? There’s a pretty good story in most single player RPGs, but I don’t feel compelled to write about those so much. I spent a lot of time playing TF2 and Starcraft 2 and League of Legends with other people, but I don’t feel the need to blog about it. It must be the persistent world that makes me feel like sharing, the non-instanced nature of an MMO. Anyone can log on to Steam and find me for a TF2 game, or friend me on League of Legends and ask if I want to play, or I can join a variety of Vent/TeamSpeak servers and play a match with friends, but all those interactions happen outside the game world first. The MMO is always there, always on, always the same, and somehow that makes me want to write about it. Maybe it’s a way of connecting with my character who’s idle while I’m not able to log in, and maybe it’s a way of connecting with other people who are doing the same thing, yearning for a bit of persistence while we await another opportunity to enter that world and play.

Whatever it is, I’m happy that my on-again off-again relationship with LoTRO has finally reached a major milestone.

That took long enough

Gallatin at 65

It’s kind of crazy how much work still remains in LoTRO. As you can see, I’ve got trade skills to master, I need to figure out Legendary Items and maximize what they offer, I’ve got plenty of skirmishes to run, deeds to finish, traits to earn, and dungeons to explore if I ever decide to start grouping on a regular basis. I’ve reached level cap, but I certainly haven’t come close to maximizing Gallatin’s potential, and I hope to spend some time figuring out how to make him a useful member of a group instead of a solitary War Speech minstrel. He’s also got a big house to decorate!

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The Year I Fell Out of Love

I’ve never done reviews or predictions here. I’m not nearly timely enough in my posting to pull it off. That doesn’t mean I don’t mentally review the past gaming year, though, and this New Year’s brought the revelation that 2009 was the year I fell out of love with MMO’s.

I’ve gone through multiple stages of MMO burnout in the past, only to return with a vengeance to a new game/new world, but I suspect that’s no longer true. 2009 found me subscribing and unsubscribing twice to LoTRO and Eve (the closest current examples of the MMO design I prefer), and I don’t think I’ll ever play WoW again. I’m playing a lot of single player games and Team Fortress 2, and I don’t think I’m simply burned out in need of an MMO break any more. I might be done with MMO’s, unless something really interesting appears on the horizon.

MMO bloggers seem to be looking forward to Blizzard’s next WoW expansion, Bioware’s The Old Republic, and Star Trek Online in 2010. I have almost zero interest in any of them (TOR being an exception because of how much I’ve enjoyed Dragon Age, and I hold a shred of hope that Bioware will surprise me with TOR the way DA surprised me). I really don’t expect to buy or play Star Trek Online, and I can’t imagine ever returning to Azeroth. I had three good years in Azeroth, but I think I’ve exhausted that theme park. And honestly, I expect The Old Republic to be a similar theme park, albeit newer and shinier.

I don’t have the same sense of anticipation about new MMO’s that I once had. Maybe WAR broke me; I had so much hope for a DAoC-style game, and Mythic just abandoned so much of what I enjoyed about DAoC in WAR. It felt like it had been influenced far too much by WoW, and I have a fear the same will happen with The Old Republic. I’m still bitter about WAR, so much so that I can’t even bring myself to play the free trial to see what’s new.

The only game I can see myself perhaps trying again in the future is LoTRO. The new skirmish system in the Siege of Mirkwood expansion sounds interesting, and if they make the Book quests solo-able, that might be enough for me to give it another shot. I do enjoy my house, the crafting, and the huge world of Middle Earth, and there’s a lot I haven’t seen there yet; I’m not nearly as burned out there as I am with WoW. I suspect I’m going to have a long stretch of MMO-free gaming ahead of me before that happens, though. I just don’t feel the love any longer.

Surprised by a free-to-play MMO

Ok, I haven’t completely fallen off the wagon and re-subscribed to an MMO, but I’ve been dabbling with A Perfect World for the past couple days after playing pretty much nothing but single player games for the past couple months.

My experiences with free-to-play MMO’s haven’t been too positive. I’ve tried Runescape, Maple Story, Atlantica Online, Mabinogi…maybe some others, but nothing that made an impression on me, or made me want to log back in after more than a night or two of playing.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by A Perfect World. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a long way from a Western triple-A title, but there’s enough in it to intrigue me a little longer than the previously mentioned titles.

Graphically, I think A Perfect World would fall somewhere in the Dark Age of Camelot/Lineage 2 era. Better than the orignial Everquest, not as good as Star Wars Galaxies or EQ2. It’s not stylized,  so comparing it to WoW is an apples to oranges mismatch.

I can’t remember now where I heard of  A Perfect World. It might have been one of your blogs, or it could have been John Davison from What They Play on the 1up ListenUp podcast last week. Actually, I think that was it. John had an interesting conversation (mostly with himself) about home the gaming market is expanding, and how there are more people interested in different types of gaming than the “hardcore” press acknowledges. I think A Perfect World was mentioned in there as an MMO that has 50 million players, and how Western triple-A titles are missing something in their approach. Link here to the podcast, if you want to check it out.

I’ve heard crazy player numbers for Runescape and Maple Story too, and I thought they were crap, but since I hadn’t heard of PW, I figured I’d give it a try. It was a 1.6 GB download, a pretty painless install, and I was up and running.

There’s plenty not to like about it if you’re only a fan of Western-style MMO’s. I won’t even try to convince you that you might be interested if you get annoyed by things like clicking where you want to walk, unrealistic jumping ability (including a TF2 Scout-style double-jump ability), and a lot of quests that require you kill X things, over and over.

If you can get past that, what I did like about PW was the sense of a big world, easy travel, plenty of gear upgrades and crafting opportunities. You can be a Human, an Elf, or an Untamed, which reminds me of Everquest’s Vah Shir, and you can choose to be a Tiger, Lion, Wolf, or Panda. The Panda looks like a big Panda wookie…I was hoping for something a little shorter and rounder.

As you level up, you gain Spirit points (in addition to your XP for leveling), which you can spend on a Diablo-style skill tree. You also get 5 points a level to assign to your attributes, so you can customize your build-out quite a bit.

I haven’t bothered reading forums or min-maxing, but I’m sure there are plenty of best-build ideas out there. I’m just having fun NOT paying attention to that stuff, and enjoying the feeling of running around in a new-to-me virtual world.

Finding how much I enjoy the spaciousness of PW reminds me what I didn’t like about WAR. I felt railroaded in WAR, I think. The zones felt constrained, like I knew where the edges were all the time, and there were only a couple ways out. I haven’t experienced any zoning in PW yet, and it feels like I can strike out in any direction from my starting city. I like that sense of freedom.

PW is an RMT game, although I don’t feel like I have to pay money to enjoy it. In addition to the usual cosmetic upgrades in the Item Mall, you can get additional mounts and items that allow you to level faster and gain Spirit faster. There are also healing potions for sale that will allow you to fight longer. When you get to half-health, the item will trigger and heal you back to full. I think it only has like a 10 second cool-down, so if you wanted to spend money on leveling safer and faster, you could. If you’re any kind of experienced MMO player, though, you really don’t have to spend anything to make money and level fairly easily.

If I do play for any length of time, the one place they’ll get money out of me is increasing your bag space and bank space. Your inventory is pretty limited, and it’s fiendishly smart to make that a paid upgrade. I could probably drop $20 on getting enough inventory space to avoid bag hassles.

If you’re curious what kind of things you can buy, the Item Mall on the PW website lists what’s available. 1 gold in PW equals 1 US dollar, so you can get a sense of what they think has value. If what I found on the PW forums is correct, I think some of the items from the mall can also be sold by players in-game, and the exchange rate is somewhere around 100k in-game coins for 1 gold. It’s a lot easier to spend dollars at low levels!

There’s PvP as well, in the form of Territorial Wars. I haven’t looked in to that much at all, as I’m not usually a PvP fan, but it does sound interesting, kind of a Lineage 2 style of guild-level PvP. If you want to take a peek, here’s the overview of Territory Wars from the PW website.

I don’t really expect to play long enough to get to the level of dungeon raiding or Territory Wars, since I’m still pretty burned out on being serious about MMO’s, but it’s nice to have a fairly decent new world to casually explore, especially since it’s not costing me a damn thing.

I also got into the Ether Saga closed beta. Ether Saga is also developed by the Perfect World team, and oh my god, it’s cuteness overload. It’s aimed at a much younger audience, and I’ll probably show it to my daughter and see if it’s appealing to a 9 year-old. It’s still pretty rough, lots of Chinese that hasn’t been translated to English yet, and some of the English translations are hilariously incorrect, but hey, I can’t speak a damn word of Chinese. I won’t bitch about bad translations 🙂

The one feature I really liked in Ether Saga, especially since it’s aimed at a younger audience, is an auto-pathing option. If you get lost while you’re doing a quest, you can open up your quest log and find the quest giver and the quest target as green links in the quest text. If you click either link, your character will enter auto-pathing mode and run themselves to the quest giver or quest destination. I found that it was handy to use auto-pathing even when I knew where I was going, so I could re-arrange my inventory, or distribute skill points, or read the Help files. Ether Saga works much the same as PW, just aimed at a younger audience.

If you’re dead bored with the MMO’s you’re playing, and you’re not too excited by any new Western MMO’s coming soon, PW might be worth a few nights of exploration. If you’re still happy playing Western MMO’s, this probably won’t give you much to get excited about. I’ll be curious to see how long my own interest lasts, for sure.

My MMORPG Attention Stages

I’m still on MMO break, playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 and other single-player games, but I almost got caught by LoTRO this week. In years past, I think I would have succumbed to the lure of Middle Earth and re-subscribed to scratch my MMO itch, but I moved through my usual MMO attention stages much more rapidly than I used to. In fact, it was only about two days from “Boy, I’d like to run around Middle Earth again, there are some things that look like fun”, to “God, I’m tired just thinking about grinding levels”.

The first thing that got me thinking about LoTRO was Ethic’s post about farming in the Shire. I really enjoyed the crafting in LoTRO, and since that was one of the areas where WAR disappointed me, I felt the urge to dust off my hobbit (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) and do some farming and cooking.

Then I stumbled across a Tom Chick post about buying a house in LoTRO, and it was the second step off the wagon. Housing was another thing I really missed in WAR. My favorite MMOs have had some combination of housing, good crafting, and meaningful player versus player combat. He said making money is easy, and I could afford a house, and I could craft…I was weakening…

The third thing that got me excited about LoTRO was the most recent Gamers With Jobs podcast, the January 28th episode. They were talking about Moria, and how much fun they were having, and how awesome the world looks, and I was pretty much ready to sign up right there. BUT…

Then the GWJ crew mentioned that they didn’t level up the characters they were playing. It seems Turbine gave them accounts with higher-level characters so they could check out the new content. Very smart of Turbine to do that, very cool that the GWJ guys get an opportunity to enjoy Moria. However, one of them mentioned that they wouldn’t want to have to level a character high enough to experience Moria. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it mentioned grinding and fetching sandwiches and killing things over and over…and I felt the wind go out of my sails. My MMO burnout returned in a rush.

I know that feeling, the “Oh my god, I’d rather do anything than level” feeling. I’ve felt it eventually in pretty much every MMO I’ve played, from EQ in ’99 through DAoC, SWG, WoW, LoTRO, and WAR. It used to take a long time for me to get to that point. There was enough that was new and exciting about the worlds I experienced to offset the level grinding. After grinding through so many games, though, I just can’t take the idea of doing more of it to get to 50 to check out Moria in LoTRO.

So, instead of months to burnout, I went from excitement about LoTRO to burnout in just a couple days. I think that’s a sign I’m not ready to return to MMOs yet. That feeling won’t last forever; I think a long break will serve me well, and I’ll be able to face MMOs without a feeling of fatigue. I was amused, though, to track my attention span, and see how quickly it went from focused to bored.

WAR: Keg End – Server-wide Thunderdome Armageddon

There’s a rumor afoot, about happenings on December 17th, a “server-wide Thunderdome Armageddon”.  While the story below is mostly in-character, the communication from the Inquisitrix Lady Stern is real, revealing information about upcoming events in WAR. This is the second time Lady Stern has passed on information about upcoming events in Warhammer that I know of; the first person contacted by the Inquisitrix to pass on information was Jobildo. Note: I edited this a bit after reading my email a bit more carefully, to conform with the requests from the Lady and the Heresy Mill…it’s important not to completely reveal your sources! Read on for the story of how I found this as-yet unrevealed information…

One of the things I enjoy about Warhammer is wandering the streets of Altdorf. There are a lot of hidden places to discover, and Altdorf citizens involved in a variety of activities; working, playing, fighting, scheming, living and dying.

I was running errands earlier today, traveling from the guild hall at Sigmar’s Hammer, north past the bank, when I noticed a figure I hadn’t seen before. A woman, cloaked, almost blending into the shadow at the edge of the alley in which she stood. In fact, I think I only noticed her because she wanted to be noticed. After our brief conversation, I was convinced that if she wanted to remain hidden, I would have walked right by her, never noticing a thing.

She caught my attention, though, and gave me a nod like she knew me, and like she had something to say. I started to ask her who she was, and what her business was, but she waved me off with a slight gesture of her hand. She inclined her head toward a nearby doorway – a door I also hadn’t noticed before – and indicated I should follow her.

Given that this is the setup in every scary theatrical show produced in Altdorf, leading to a quick and violent death for an unwary adventurer, I was on my guard as I followed her through the threshold. I needn’t have worried, though. Entering into the building, I realized it was a pub, and my caution turned to confusion. I mean, I’m good friends with dwarves, and I thought we had explored pretty much every pub in Altdorf together, but I never knew there was one on this street.

The clientele was different as well. Instead of rowdy soldiers back from the wars, and hard-working Altdorf citizens blowing off steam, the crowd gave the impression of being…professional. No one stared directly at me as I entered, but I got the feeling they were all weighing my potential threat level. To my chagrin, no one seemed unduly worried by my appearance; I was being sized up by experienced adventurers, cool and confident men and women who, I noticed belatedly, all seemed very well armed.

As my companion and I sat in a small booth at the rear of the pub, I wondered what I was getting myself into. I wasn’t sure who’s attention I had managed to attract during my last couple months in Altdorf, making war upon the forces of Destruction, but I was hoping these folks were on my side.

Drinks were brought without being ordered. Great, she’s a regular. That means the rest of ’em in the pub must be her friends.

She raised her glass to me, and I responded in kind. We drank, she put her mug back on the table, and she leaned back against the cushions of the booth. Pulling the hood back from her cloak, she looked me in the eye and said “Let me introduce myself. I am Inquisitrix Lady Stern.”

Oh shit.

This could go one of two ways. When you get noticed by the Emperor’s Witch Huntress, you’ve either already been tried and convicted of heresy (without even being aware that you were on trial, and no chance at appeal), or…well, hell, I didn’t know what the “or” might be. Most stories including Lady Stern ended with “And she finished him off with pistol shot to the head after pinning him to the wall with her rapier…ran him straight through and stuck’m right to the wall”.

I had a moment of wild panic, thinking about making a run for it, but I knew I’d never even make the door…and the tiny remaining rational part of my brain reminded me that there were never stories about Lady Stern buying someone a drink before the Stab/Bang finishing move.

“You’re right,” she said, “I’m not here to kill you.” I think I sighed out loud in relief, because a whisper of a smile passed over her face.

“I need you to pass on some information for me,” she continued. And thus began my involvement in the Heresy Mill.

The Heresy Mill searches out information for the Emperor. Spies, smugglers, traders, thieves, politicians, priests…they all have information the Emperor is interested in, and Lady Stern has direct responsibility for gathering and disseminating that information. I’ve heard stories about the gathering portion of the operation; sometimes the Mill pays for information, sometimes they “convince” people to tell what they know. Blackmail, threats, or outright torture…they’ll use whatever gets information for the Emperor.

And the information the Lady had for me today? The information she wanted me to pass on to everyone else at war? Beware the night of Keg End, all of you. All of us! We thought we’ve seen battles before…it seems that the greatest night of fighting is being planned for the 17th, during the Keg End celebration. It’s a devious time for an attack, likely hoping to catch everyone drunk and unprepared…although fighting alongside a drunk dwarf on the 17th will be pretty much like the other 364 nights of the year…and the attacks are expected to occur in massive fashion. Her exact quote to me was ” server wide thunderdome Armageddon”.

How does she know, you ask? It appears the Mill kidnapped the Boss Nurgling in charge of Events, and stretched him on the rack until he spilled the plans for the event. By the time they got that bit of information out of him, he was too far gone to get further details, but the attack seems epic. Prepare for epic adventure on the night of the 17th!

That was the major story she wanted me to pass along, but there are other bits of information coming as well. I have to do a bit of investigation, more tramping about the streets of Altdorf (hopefully more time in pubs!), tracking down some leads and verifying some information. I’ll be back soon with news!

WAR: Good night, post-patch

I wasn’t going to play WAR tonight, actually. I played quite a bit of Team Fortress 2 (man, I suck at TF2…I used to be good at FPS games! Back before Everquest came out, I guess…lol, that’s a long time ago), and I was just going to hop into WAR to check mail, do a bit of crafting, etc.

I wanted to get a good night’s sleep, so I wasn’t planning to stay long. I swear!

Then I heard the Vent crew talking about doing some T1 scenarios, and I thought “T1 doesn’t take much investment, that’s easy in-and-out, I might as well join them, right?”

And then I traveled from the Dwarven area with my Ironbreaker alt (they had plenty of healing) to Nordland, and open RvR was hopping, and suddenly I was in for a couple hours of gaming 🙂 I dinged 8 and 9, and RR 6 and 7, all from the oRvR and a handful of scenarios.

If you felt like you got left behind in WAR, now’s a good time to get back in. With the launch of the new careers to everyone in this patch, T1 is hopping, and I’m sure T2 will be busy as well. We had some really good fights tonight. Our last scenario, Gates of Ekrund, ended up 500-495 in Destruction’s favor. The oRvR fights were pretty epic, on the scale of the beta fights, maybe 100 people fighting in and around Festenplatz, Harvest Shrine, and along the beaches.

Performance was great, I had nary a hitch, so I’m hoping the patch is pretty stable. There are some nice new Influence rewards for the first stage reward with Rally Masters, instead of potions, although your Renown rank has to be as high as your level.

I really do have to sleep now, unfortunately. Gametap released S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Shadow of Chernobyl today, and I want to take a run through before bed…but I know myself too well. I’ll see the sun rising if I don’t get up and go to bed right now. One more turn!

I’m also talking myself out of “just one more” TF2 map. Bed!

Some WAR links and thoughts

There are a couple WAR blog posts that I wanted to comment on, and I figured since I’m referencing more than one, I’d just make it a new post here.

Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats is wondering about the value of a subscription to a PvP MMO. I was interested in this post, because his reasons for not wanting to subscribe to a PvP MMO over a PvE MMO is similar to my reasons for the exact opposite conclusion; I don’t have much interest in subscribing to a mainly PvE MMO right now.

Ravious says:

In PvE MMO games, like Lord of the Rings Online, there is that feeling of the developer updating “further along.”  When Turbine updates the game with a Book update (as opposed to just a balance, optimization, and bug patch) they push the story further down the road.  We get new quests that expand the storytelling of the world, new instances and dungeons, and sometimes even new regions.  There is the value in receiving the content, but I think the bigger value is knowing that over the next big rise there will be more.

Fair enough. I won’t argue that WAR’s PvE rivals LoTRO, or EQ2, or WoW. Instead of feeling like I’m missing out on great PvE, though, I’m happy that WAR is offering me something I can’t get in any of those games; unpredictable gaming on a nightly basis. I guess I’m bored with PvE and the sense of sameness that I get in every PvE game. The setting is different, the stories are different, but the encounters are too predictable for me. I don’t derive much satisfaction from beating PvE challenges. What really gets me excited is knowing a mob of enemy players is out there, and our encounters will be much more unpredictable than anything a PvE situation can provide.

Does that mean Ravious (or anyone else who misses greater PvE options than WAR offers) is wrong? Absolutely not. I’m glad that there are games available that cater to both preferences.

The next post that caught my eye was Scarybooster’s “Hot for WAR“. Scary is praising Mythic for their attention to their game and their efforts to continually improve it. Now, I fully expect someone in the comments over there to say “Blizzard doesn’t have to put in that much work to fix their game because they don’t release a game as broken as WAR!” I don’t think WAR is broken, for the record, but a sarcastic comment like that still has a ring of truth to it.

One of the reasons that I’m happy in Warhammer is precisely because of Mythic’s attention to their product. I think Mythic is a little more ambitious than Blizzard, and I appreciate their type of gameplay. We really can’t get MMO gaming like Mythic makes anywhere else in the genre. Eve is always an exception; they really have a unique environment with lots of opportunity for excellent unpredictable PvP. At the end of the day, Mythic’s RvR design is more exciting to me than the PvE available in LoTRO, EQ2, or WoW, and I appreciate Mythic’s attempts to provide a gaming experience different from other MMOs.

I’m not going to deny that I enjoy different things in an MMO than many other MMO gamers. I don’t like raiding or dungeon crawling very much. It makes me feel constricted, closed in, like my role is very carefully scripted, and varying from what you’re expected to do will lead to failure. Apparently, the way I enjoy PvE is quite different from a lot players who are unhappy with Mythic’s PvE. I happen to enjoy it very much, and I don’t find PvE leveling much different in WAR than the way I played WoW or EQ or LoTRO. I get quests, I run out and do my quests, I get tradeskill supplies while I’m questing, I do some tradeskilling before bed. For my money, I’m just as happy with WAR’s PvE environment as I was in Azeroth or Norrath, and my progress leveling in WAR is faster than it ever was in EQ or WoW or LoTRO.

I think that the blogging community has to start acknowledging that there’s a lot of different ways to enjoy MMOs, and quite a few different experiences available. Just because a game falls into the MMO genre doesn’t mean it’s going to be similar to other MMOs out there, and it’s quite possible that games are going to go far enough down their own game-design path that we end up disliking the final product, despite the fact that they all start off in a very similar manner.

I won’t try to convince people (like Heartless, perhaps, or Pete), that Warhammer is a good game, or a game they should be playing. I think we’re starting to see people with more specific requirements for enjoying an MMO, and people branching off into the games that best meet those requirements. I don’t think each MMO should try to be everything for everyone. I respect that Ravious really likes LoTRO’s books and the PvE it provides, and I think Turbine has done a wonderful job incorporating a story into their PvE group encounters. I completely understand players who love the product Blizzard offers, and the excellent challenges they provide for small group or raid group gameplay. For players who prefer Eve’s universe, or EQ2, or any other game that’s meeting their MMO gaming needs, I say right on. All we have to do is be happy with our game, and let everyone else enjoy theirs.

And for me, there’s no greater thrill in MMO gaming than seeing 20 or 30 realm mates running alongside me through a zone, looking for trouble, seeing a crowd of Destruction headed our way, crashing together like a scene from Braveheart or Lord of the Rings. I love it when a big fight breaks down into 8 or 10 smaller fights, rolling across the green grass of Avelorn, and the ebb and flow of the battle is frantic and unpredictable, ending in glorious triumph or bitter defeat. Keep battles, siege warfare, flanking manuevers from postern doors, tactics barked through Warband or Region channels, dozens of people switching focus and wondering if the defenders will respond in time, staving off an hour-long keep take attempt from a determined foe, or finally breaking through a spirited defense to lay claim to a keep…

That’s what I’ve found in WAR. That’s what keeps me happily moving through PvE, knowing that at any moment, I might have the opportunity for something epic, something magical created out of the efforts of dozens of players.

In DAoC, on the Percival server, it wasn’t uncommon to get smoked by an opposing realm and lie dead in the grass watching them swarm over the objective you had attempted to defend. Instead of opponents laughing at your corpse, though, or dancing on it, or worse (/spit, /slit, etc.), it also wasn’t uncommon to be saluted at or bowed to by the victors.

As much as players on Percival enjoyed their moments of triumph, we all knew that those moments were made possible by the valiant efforts of our opponents. Without skilled and dedicated opponents, the victory would not have been so sweet. Maybe that’s the difference between PvE raiding and RvR for me. When I’ve beaten a dungeon or a boss, I never go home thinking “Man, they put up a hell of a fight, they’re a really good player, or that was a really good tactic”. After a good RvR fight, win or lose, as I sit there grinning at my computer with the adrenaline still pumping through my body, I know there’s someone on the other side of their computer grinning as well. They helped make my fun possible, and I helped with theirs.

I think that’s the essence of Mythic’s RvR for me, and I won’t tire of it any time soon. And for the record, I’m not really a fan of individual PvP. There’s something about running into battle with a group of friends that creates a shared magic I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the MMO world.

If you get that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from big PvE encounters, I respect that. I’m just glad that Mythic gives me a chance to experience that in competition against other players.