Choose My Adventure: What Warhammer Return of Reckoning taught me about my competitive nature


I used to believe that I wasn’t a very competitive person. Sure, I could consider myself stubborn and driven to excel, and I most assuredly know that I’m given to fits of despair if effort doesn’t yield results very fast, but those aren’t really remarkable traits, and not ones I attributed to being a competitive sort. Now that I’m looking back at my time through Warhammer: Return of Reckoning, I’m going to have to admit to myself that I’m probably a lot more competitive and therefore affected by PvP than I first supposed.

Of course, I should begin with my brief stint as a Dwarf Engineer, and I do have to sadly report that it was brief. I only got up through the first few levels before I kind of had to call the whole project off owing to my inability to do what polling asked of me, which was to enter PvP.

For what it’s worth, I can admit that I understand the appeal of the Engineer class. Having an extra gun friend to unleash long distance firepower on enemies certainly felt effective in the PvE activities I undertook, whether it was basic questing or taking on world events. Even at the first couple of levels the class felt potent, which isn’t something that I could say of the others I’d tried. Seriously, the range and damage of this thing is kind of absurd.

After some acclimation to how the class works, some hotbar adjustment, and a read through of what keybind commands my turret to attack, I was pretty much mowing down enemies with impunity. Most of my targets didn’t get close, and by the time they did, all that was required of me was one or two swings of my giant spanner at their heads. I was even able to take on things that were above my level, ending only because I wasn’t paying attention to my health bar. It was admittedly extremely intoxicating to see the bodies pile up at my character’s feet.

Unfortunately, I never got a chance to see how this all felt in PvP. I didn’t enter any of the RvR lakes during my play time, and every time I otherwise joined a PvP queue, I was left sitting on my thumbs for hours. I’m not sure just what it was that drained the battleground well so hard. Perhaps it’s that Twilight’s Tide event that’s currently going on in the rogue server. In any event, it was mission failed by the time I set my personal deadline, and I was pretty much mentally checked out of this game anyway.

That’s since left me to ruminate on my experience with ROR to this point and contemplate how I really feel about things. Last week I was a bit emotionally bothered by the whole affair I admit, leaving me this week to ponder the question of why. And the only conclusion that I can draw is that I’m a competitive PvP’er.

I like to win and don’t like to lose. That’s not really saying anything surprising, to be sure, but as I kept getting invested in PvP in this MMORPG and kept getting handed loss after loss after loss, either through sheer lack of gear, abject lack of skill, or just bad teammates in one or two cases, it was affecting me. I wasn’t really able to just let it slide off of my back like I suppose other PvP’ers can. In short, I was getting very salty.

When I started this series of adventures, I wrote that the battlefield PvP queues were some of the more fun and more laid back PvP experiences I had enjoyed, and I still do stand by that statement overall. However, I also have to admit that I was growing more and more invested in winning to the detriment of anything like enjoyment or learning from mistakes. I was basically flying into a red mist, hungry to chase wins and not focused enough to just play.

I suppose this is something of a form of progression for me when it comes to PvPing. For years prior to this point, I would just outright fall apart under the heat of battle, whether it was in old-school team shooters, in fighting games, or other PvP battleground activities in other MMORPGs. So I suppose I should be happy that I’ve at least gotten to a point where entering PvP doesn’t turn my brain into an absolute bowl of failure soup as I literally forget which buttons do what. Though that problem still happens to me now and again. But I do not like competitive me. I do not like being frustrated by what should be a fun activity.

I guess the answer to what to do about this would be to PvP more. Get acclimated to the beatdowns and lean into the grind. But it’s very hard for me to get past the rising blood pressure and blinding fury I feel when some PvPing goes badly, and ultimately I’m going to choose comfort over the grindset mindset. Or you could say I’m giving up if you want to be a jerk about it.

Either way, this game is off of my disk drive and out of my life. But not necessarily because I think it’s bad. It has its problems to be sure, most of which are probably associated with balance, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the greater problem is me and my inability to separate having fun from wanting to win matches. I’m perhaps a little too competitive for this kind of game. And if nothing else, I was taught that lesson as a takeaway from my time back in ROR.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be taking a little month-long break from Choose My Adventure in order to just mentally reset, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to provide some travelogue-style showcases. Next month, I’ll be doing several pieces under our revived Some Assembly Required banner as I note my progression through Craftopia, then after that it’s back to CMA stuff, which brings me to the next poll option and my next idea.

By the time I come back to this column series, Lost Ark should have put out the update that’s intended to smooth out its endgame experience for those who are just starting that treadmill climb. You might recall that when I was traveling through this ARPG for a prior CMA, I found that the lower tier endgame content was pretty much devoid of participants, so I figure a revisit to see if some of those experiences have been smoothed out is in order. However, this does mean that I should tie down what character to take that journey with. Thus, this week’s poll.

What character should I explore Lost Ark's endgame with?

  • Sorceress. Return to your first character (28%, 14 Votes)
  • Paladin. Return to your sword boy. (26%, 13 Votes)
  • Something different. Return with a Powerpass instead. (46%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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As usual, polling will close up at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 28th. Frustrating as this ended up being, I am glad that I was shown something in my return to ROR, and I do wish the fans and the rogue server’s operators continued good luck.

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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