Choose My Adventure: Battleground PvP in Warhammer Return of Reckoning is unexpectedly fun

    
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I was not anticipating this.

I came to this week’s assignment with not an inconsiderable level of dread. My previous experiences in PvPing were coloring every expectation and causing my guts to roil a bit as nerves started to fray. It wasn’t helped that hitting the button to enter a PvP battleground queue wasn’t instantaneous. It also didn’t help that picking only one battleground seemed to make that wait longer, forcing me to select “Join All.”

But you know what? PvP in Warhammer: Return of Reckoning is hugely fun.

It’s possible that I feel this way because of the generally low stakes of the battlegrounds I was fighting in. These were, after all, self-contained things that didn’t appear to have a greater impact on the wider world of the game as I was experiencing it up to this point. It’s also possible that the small zerg nature of the fights made it easier for me to hide my terrible performance. Or maybe it’s because the Disciple of Khaine class really is a brilliant choice for me, mixing your usual DPSer with some healing support to combine into a fun class to play.

But I had fun. Fight after fight, win or lose, I was enjoying myself. I was eagerly joining the queue shortly after I left. I was beginning to get annoyed at how I couldn’t immediately join into a battleground once my number was called because I was in the middle of another routine PvE objective. I was looking forward to getting into fights.

The battlegrounds I’d experienced, to be fair, weren’t what I’d call remarkable, most of them involving controlling points along a map of varying number, though there was one match that was a CTF fight. Still, keeping things simple worked to my benefit, leaving me to focus on fighting.

And I feel like I was even improving as I went along, too. At one point during a fight in the Highpass Cemetery scenario I was able to bring a few of my teammates back from the brink of death and was making enough of an impact that it seemed like the opposing team was targeting me entirely, though that may have been simply because logic dictates that healers have to die first, more likely. Still, it felt good to feel like I was contributing. Even in matches where we lost handily, I still had a sense of doing well and getting used to my character.

Of course, it’s still pretty low-level as far as PvP goes, and there are still some things I need to work on. I still fall apart in putting out my proper rotation once I find myself face-to-face with one or more opponents, and I am having an absolutely awful time targeting friendlies in the chaos of battle, but even with that in mind, the scenario queue has been extremely good fun. Far more fun than the PvEing aspect. By leaps and bounds.

The only thing that kind of feels missing is a sense of progression. I’m starting to just now notice there’s a Renown bar beneath my XP bar that’s filling up, and I’ve just recently learned that I have a couple of abilities that engage using Morale, which I don’t think I had before I started doing PvP battlegrounds. Still, there doesn’t seem to be any overall sense of accomplishment or progression.

Perhaps that’s just me missing the point, though, or ignoring the fact that this stuff is genuinely fun. I’m not sure this is the game that changes my mind about PvP overall, but I also have to admit that I have not had this much fun in PvP anything since I tried to run a couple of battlegrounds in WildStar as my healslinger.

Unfortunately, the PvE level grinding hasn’t really moved along too well as a result. I’ve only gotten a few more levels since last time I reported in. That wouldn’t be a problem normally except for the fact that it was suggested that I try to get to level 16 to get into the more open world warband stuff. And these battlegrounds have actually made me want to chase that.

But should I? That’s poll question one, actually:

Should I progress to get into RvR things in WAR ROR?

  • Yes. Get the levels that are suggested and keep on fighting! (76%, 109 Votes)
  • No. It's time that you move on to Darkfall. (24%, 35 Votes)

Total Voters: 144

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The second poll circles back around to the winning game to move on to next, Darkfall: Rise of Agon. Admittedly, I’m very likely not going to have a whole lot of time in this one, especially if the results of poll #1 go the way I think they’ll go, but once again I still think having a bit of foreplanning is not a bad idea. And since Darkfall is a skill-based game, I suppose it’s prudent to ask about what kinds of skills to follow up on.

What sort of skills should I focus on building up in Darkfall?

  • Melee. Swords and armor and safety. (41%, 38 Votes)
  • Magic. Spells and running away from people. (59%, 55 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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As usual, polling closes at 1:00 p.m. EST on this upcoming Friday, February 12th. I’m going to try my best to sit on my hands here, but I really, really am itching to get into some more battlegrounds before polling wraps up.

…hell with it, here I go into the queue again.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

Disagree on this one; the mass fights mean for some low level button mashing amongst huge player zergs, and that is addictive in the literal Cookie Clicker “Bash the buttons, watch the numbers go up” way maybe, but after a while you see the exact same gameplay loop over and over again, and all you’re left with is the insane grind towards a new armor set.

Most people’s experience will go exactly like this;

* Play the PvE, discover it’s awful, and that PvP is the only real game.

* Spend ages trying to understand what is going on, because the community is excessively elitist and really doesn’t want to explain what they’d like you to do; but they’ll rage at you if you don’t already know.

* Look at the map to try and work out what the acronyms being used are referring too, and discover the four flags in every battle area.

* Go to a flag, realise there are chests there, then promptly get murdered 1v1 because the individual class balance is atrocious. Especially favouring White Lions with insta kill alpha strikes and pets, or stealth assassins with lockdown-until-you’re-dead.

* Work out that mostly it’s just moving chests from the flag back to the keep to level it up, whilst watching the Realm chat argue amongst themselves about how much is too much levelled up, as well as insulting each other’s leadership.

* Find the Realm fights are so heavily lobsided based upon predictable real world timezones that one side or another spawns a ram, and promptly steam rolls unstoppably straight up to the opposing keep. Don’t ask about what the ram is, if you do you’ll be told in painful detail to never, ever even think about touching the ram unless you know what you’re doing again.

* Sit around and discover sieges just mean sitting there until either the Ram gets through the doors or, in a few rare cases (Usually caused by bad leadership attacking when the fight is too imbalanced still) getting zerged off the walls by the defenders. Whilst sitting there, discover the third element of the PvP balance, The-Tank-That-Just-Will-Not-Die.

* The wall goes down, and then you attack the boss. Who is a damage sponge and doesn’t really do much. Or, for added excitement on highers tiers, siege a second wall before you see the boss.

* Occasionally, you’ll see the capital city of your faction being sieged. Go and stand by the gate to get into this, and find you virtually never get into this and no one really seems to know why . Delight in the occasional conspiracy theories such waits inspire, like you have to be dancing a jig the exact moment the moon is in the second house of Aquarius for the match making to work. More likely, if a faction is so over-played that they can win enough fights to get to the capital, the matchmaking can’t find enough of the other side to spawn any more instances.

* But because the reputation/reward grind is so insanely huge, sit there hoping for the however long it is for the entire fight to end anyway, because you fear missing out on the rewards, and besides which everyone is now in there so PvP elsewhere is largely dead until it stops.

* Now do all of the above again. Forever and ever. Eventually you discover how to quickly find a Warband, and are doing it as part of a larger group! Waaagh!

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Anstalt

Glad you are having fun in PvP!

WAR’s scenarios can be great fun, but it is balanced around groups, rather than individuals. If you can get in a 2-2-2 premade (2 tanks, 2 healers, 2 dps) then you can really start executing some strategies and making a big difference. As a DoK, if you’ve got a good tank guarding you, you will become nearly indestructable!

As for a sense of progression, yeh, its all a bit odd and confusing at times. But, you have options:

1) Gear
Nearly all the best gear comes from PvP. This is the primary reason why most players don’t bother with PvE, because any time spent PvE’ing means you’re missing out on PvP ranks, which means missing out on gear. There is gear that comes specifically from Scenarios, and gear that comes specifically from RvR. Generally speaking, you want the RvR armour sets, and the Scenario weapons. Both can be purchased from vendors in your main city (IC for destro, Alt for order) or from the tier 1 warcamp for lowbies.

2) Renown Points
Each time you get a PvP rank, you get a renown point. These can be spent on passive stats. Pretty much every stat you have, you can buy more of using renown points. As a tank, I’ve spent my points in Futile Strikes (reduces chance of being crit hit), then block, then parry + disrupt. These renown points make a big difference to your character. There should be renown trainers in most warcamps, as well as in the main city.

3) Usual XP
Yes, the XP you earn from PvP is less than if you were just PvEing, so it is a bit slower. But, if you stick with the game, you’ll come to appreciate that! A general guideline is to keep your renown level equal to your career level, but preferably you want renown 5+ levels above your career level. This will mean that you can always wear the PvP gear when you hit the appropriate career level. Also, im sure you’re doing this already, but make sure you visit the career spec guy (i forget the name). From level 11 onwards, you start earning points that you can spend in speccing your character down 3 trees. My tank has a DPS tree, a buff tree and a tankiness tree, so your DoK will have similarly appriopriate for healing.

This career spec is a big part of progression, as each tree includes new skills to unlock, as well as new tactics to unlock. Plus, speccing down a tree buffs your base skills in that tree. Some of the skills or tactics unlocked here are career defining, so well worth experimenting. Being low level, you won’t see much of it unfortunately, but worth checking out anyway.

Good luck with future PvPing!

Whilst I did recommend pushing to 16 so you could at least see the RvR being played out to it’s fullest, if you can’t get there then I still recommend trying the Tier 1 RvR. There are no keeps, no siege engines, but still plenty of players having a good old scrap! Usually only active in Empire vs Chaos, but you’ll find plenty of open warbands to join.

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Anstalt

I should also say that on live, there were also Renown Tactics that you could buy instead of passive stats, but I dont think these have been implemented yet on RoR

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CoreChamber

I also loved the PVP in this game, content was limited and never grew. Plus other games were in their hay day. Never could fix the “zerg” and wining in the end was just an Icon flip if I’m recalling correctly. Also had Public encounters which Rift played off of. Love the Squid Herders. Paul Barnett defined hype with this game. He had me hook line and sinker. Then he disappeared from my radar.

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Ironwu

I actually did PvP in all the War systems, and enjoyed it. At least I did until they nerfed my Bright Wizard into the ground. Oh well. :/

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BalsBigBrother

Warhammer PvP was just genuinely good fun and it got pretty epic too with the sieges and so on that you could do at end game.

Probably the only mmo PvP experience I have ever enjoyed. Even with the bad server performance that was a big problem with this game when things got really busy. So I guess I can award it the best PvP slideshow award too, hehe :p

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Anstalt

Luckily, the RoR servers are way better than the live servers for performance, not to mention our own PCs are way better than they were in 2008.

I still have to turn down my graphics somewhat, but at least I can participate in 500+ player battles now with virtually no lag and decent FPS. Definitely a huge improvement over what i experienced on the live servers!

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BalsBigBrother

That is good to hear and I imagine those 500 + player battles are even more epic when running decently.

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Bruno Brito

The game was made for PvP, so you’ll find that the game just feels natural at PvP’ing, and it’s honestly good. I prefer warbanding on lakes tho. Waiting queues for scenarios is…eh.