I promised that this month’s CMA column would feature my attempts at getting into some PvP MMO action. Sadly for you (but mercifully for me), the opening steps I’ve taken in to Warhammer: Return of Reckoning were not so active in that regard. Still, I’m beginning to slowly appreciate what makes this game beloved by folks.
Full disclosure, first off: I actually despise the Warhammer IP. It reads too much like some edgy teen’s idea of hard-bitten fantasy fiction that they posted on a personal blog. My selection of race and class most certainly didn’t do this feeling any favors because I elected to go with a Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine. This wasn’t necessarily because I like Dark Elves, wanted to join the Destruction faction, or gave a toss who Khaine is, but because the class is a healer that requires me to get in the mix and slash at people with two swords like some kind of confused Drizzt Do’urden. And since the polls told me to go with my heart, that’s the choice I’m going to live with.
Despite the issues I have with the setting, I absolutely feel like I’ve made the right choice in terms of career. The Disciple of Khaine not only dishes out some tasty damage in the early going, but it also has this outstanding toolkit that sees me winning by attrition, which is one of my favorite ways to win fights in MMOs. I’ve already unlocked several skills that dish out heals when I complete attacks, and combined with some full-on damage attacks and a HoT skill, I’ve been given the sense that I can stand up to most threats. Admittedly, this hasn’t really been put to the proof yet, but at one point in a public quest I was able to solo a pretty stingy Hero-level foe as I slash-healed my way from the edge of defeat to victory.
Speaking of public events (and gameplay in general), WAR ROR definitely has some fun things going for it. It’s mostly been an on-the-rails paint-by-numbers themepark MMORPG experience, but along the way my quests have guided me in to public quests that have three stages’ worth of objectives to complete, all for the opportunity to be at the top of a leaderboard and get shinier rewards from a chest at the end. Think Destiny 2 public events but with a very angry Elf woman and all of the dark fantasy visual tropes one could ask for.
As for the main questing itself, it’s middling to boring at best. There are a couple of weird design choices in the game that rankle, such as the minimap not doing a particularly good job of highlighting quest objective areas, “glowies” needed for certain objectives not being too terribly glowy, and nearly every questgiver NPC having three or four different quests to do, which seems like a weird complaint but considering the previous two complaints it just makes them stand out that much more. There are also a couple of visual oddities in the game as well; more often than not, enemies I attack will scuttle backwards to me in a very Japenese horror film manner. It’s a simultaneously funny and unnerving bug. Even so, no game is entirely perfect and none of these issues have ultimately bogged down my enjoyment of my class.
Of course, this all sort of misses the point for this month’s objective. I have not gotten into a single PvP fight yet. Considering I’m low level that does make perfect sense and I would rather not have some high level bored person steamroll me every time I tried to complete a quest objective, but I also get this distinct impression that the guided tour is simply setting me up for failure down the line, with no real exposure to at least on-level PvP fights to try and temper me in the crucible of combat.
With that in mind, that leads both in to my plans going forward and the first poll for this week. I want to give WAR ROR one more shot to see how its PvPing feels, but I turn to you fine readers for advice and direction. I am currently Rank 10, which according to the map seems to be enough to get me into the first open PvP area, but I’m also reasonably sure that the themepark breadcrumb trail is leading me the way it is for a reason. Or is it? Let’s plan it out with poll one:
Should I start picking fights or stay on the path?
- Pick fights. Head to a PvP area and see how things shake down. (75%, 93 Votes)
- Stay on the path. The game's PvE questing is guiding you for a reason, doofus. (25%, 31 Votes)
Total Voters: 124
As for poll two, since I plan on giving this game one more week at least, I suppose it’s not a bad idea to plan the next PvPing destination. So I’m bringing back last week’s poll options to plan ahead on the next PvP title to go to. This does come with the asterisk that I may continue with WAR ROR for another week if things turn out well or if I have new polling choices come to mind. Even so, let’s plot our course.
What PvP title should I try out next?
- Darkfall Rise of Agon. If themepark isn't working out, try a sandbox. (45%, 46 Votes)
- Blade & Soul. Yes, it's themepark, but it has flagging! (14%, 14 Votes)
- Guild Wars 2. Get into the structured PvP scene. (41%, 42 Votes)
Total Voters: 102
As usual, polling will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. this coming Friday, February 5th. Until then, I’ll once more be very curious to see what the polls look like as well as any good ideas from the game’s community on where to go next. This is wholly new territory from an old game, which is kind of awesome; it’s nice that even classic titles in this genre can still surprise you.