Choose My Adventure: Frustrations mount in Warhammer Return of Reckoning


Memory is a funny ol’ thing. It can straight-up lie to you and convince you of something that probably wasn’t even there. Or it recalls something from the past without taking into account that things have changed between the recollection and the reality. I’m not sure whether that’s the case with my ongoing Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning return or I’m just stupid, but I’m starting to think that maybe I was misremembering how this game plays.

Or perhaps it’s just the fact that melee classes are utterly useless in anything but PvE. I don’t know.

First off, I should just go over my experiences on the side of Order, which saw me create a Warrior Priest as per the poll results. Granted, I’m not a fan of the Warhammer Empire of Man, either in fantasy or sci-fi, but I was at least intrigued at the idea because this seemed like the Order-side analogue to the Disciple of Khaine class that I had remembered liking previously.

Sure enough, as I slowly moved my way up the character levels, the assumption was proven correct, only instead of using two swords and spookiness, this class uses a hammer and paladin-esque holy light to do its aggressive healing. it started out pretty meager for a couple of levels at the start, since I was draining through the resource that fueled my attack heals and direct heals, but over time I had gotten a couple of resource builders to balance out the resource spenders, which kept me in a state of perpetual invincibility. I even managed to take down a creature that was five times my level with the proper rotation.

Of course, this was all in PvE. All of that went sailing out of the window when I entered the battleground queue as match after match, fight after fight, time and time again, I was mowed down with almost no retaliation or concern whatsoever. I was made a footnote in someone else’s KDA sheet. It definitely didn’t help that it seemed like I was getting the exact same freaking battlefield every damn time, but the location didn’t really matter so much as the helplessness and uselessness I was made to suffer repeatedly.

At first I had presumed that perhaps it was a matter of bad gear. I was just starting out, after all, and I supposed that I had to grind it out in order to get the renown rank, XP, and currency I needed in order to kit myself out. That didn’t seem to matter, though, since once I had gotten myself some better gear and got dropped into the same battlefield again, I was steamrolled once more. I may have slightly delayed the inevitable, but it didn’t change the inevitable.

I’m honestly not sure where I’m going wrong here or what I can do about it at this point. All I keep doing is being beaten down, and it’s hardly an incentive to do things, even for a casual activity like PvP battleground queue. It’s not because I’m losing – I’m used to losing both in video games and in meatspace – but it’s the absolute speed and velocity and ferocity with which I’m losing. I’m not just being beaten; I’m being turned into a puddle.

This has led me to assume that perhaps melee characters are just not meant for me, which is frustrating because healing by assault is one of the most interesting MMORPG archetypes going. I enjoyed that sort of thing in TSW, I enjoyed shooting friends with heals in WildStar, and I also recall liking that sort of mechanic in a class in RIFT. This is such a cool style of class, but in WAR ROR, it feels like just being a punching bag.

As I said, perhaps it’s more mental than actually mechanic. More than a few of the battlegrounds I got wiped out in features a lot of melee characters, after all. Perhaps it was sheer numbers. Perhaps it was lack of focus. Perhaps I’m just awful and should quit.

Unfortunately, I can’t quite. My stubbornness won’t allow me to. The deadline of this article format won’t allow me to. I’ve still got one more week of this frustration to push past and then I can live the rest of my life and all of you can stop reading the annoyed grumblings of someone who sucks at PvP. So that means there are a couple more polls to get through, then after that, I’ll be taking Bree’s advice and sticking a pin in this column for about a month while I focus on a new series about playing something I actually actively enjoy.

The first poll will be another one about focus, though it will be a little different this time around. I’m asking whether I should switch over to a PvE focus for a little while, try out a ranged class in PvP instead to see if perhaps that’s the rub that will make this more bearable, or revisit the first character I made and see if perhaps that’s the missing link. The way I’m feeling, I don’t think either answer is a solution; this game’s PvE is your bog standard themepark MMORPG, albeit this one with player devs who have tried to fix up the original game; being at range doesn’t guarantee that I won’t be turned into paste; and I’ve been so far removed from my Disciple that it’s probably only going to hamstring me further. But I’d like to at least give it a shot. Just once more.

What should be the final point of focus?

  • PvE. Take a break. (27%, 55 Votes)
  • PvP. Get back in there and fight on. (45%, 91 Votes)
  • Return to Khaine. Perhaps bring the knowledge you learned to bear. (28%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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The second poll is about the aforementioned ranged class, assuming that option wins out. Obviously there’s the chance that this selection won’t actually make it to the next write-up, but if the votes do swing towards PvE play or ranged character PvP play, I’ll be making some ranged something-or-other.

What ranged character should I try?

  • Magus. Ride the Doom Disk. (25%, 53 Votes)
  • Sorceress. Bend the Dhar to your will. (19%, 39 Votes)
  • Engineer. You cannot resist the Dwarfiness. (38%, 80 Votes)
  • Shadow Warrior. Why not bow (for real this time)? (17%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 208

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Polling will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 21st!

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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