Friday, August 22, 2008

Warhammer Online: Guild Beta Impressions - Part II

Here is the second of my beta impressions from the Guild Beta. This post is kind of short, since this phase only lasted a week. This was labeled Beta 3.2 and opened up the Tier 3 zones. My random thoughts are below in no particular order.

Note: This was written in mid to late July.


In addition to continuing to play my Black Orc, I also played a bit in the starting zones for the Empire and Dark Elves as well as playing a Squig Herder up to level 10.

I noticed that the Tier one objectives for Empire/Chaos were a hotbed of activity. Likely due to the fact that they are all of 10 seconds outside of the camps, and sit smack in the middle of both sides. On the other hand, the objectives for the first two Greenskin/Dwarf zones are tucked away in a corner of the map that noone ever goes to. So those objectives usually switch hands with no conflict whatsoever. Of course, it was mostly a mindless zerg (if you played WoW before they implemented battlegrounds, this is akin to the mass Hillsbrad/Southshore fights that used to happen on a daily basis).

Beta 3.2 saw the opening of Tier 3 zones, but they seemed strangely empty. It also seemed that the racial pairings aren't as in your face as they were in the other zones. The only times I saw any enemies in the two Greenksin/Dwarf Tier 3 zones was when they were riding by to go to the Gunbad dungeon.

Speaking of dungeons, I believe this is the first dungeon available for Destruction players. It's called Mount Gunbad and is designed for mid-20s players. It involves delving down into a cave to take on some goblins that are breeding super squigs. Though you have to go through a portal to get inside, the dungeon itself is open, which means that everyone is in the same instance. I think it's divided by faction, since I didn't see any enemy players inside, and all of the quest givers were goblins. There is no party-size limit, so you can take as many players as you want. Unfortunately, I crashed soon after entering and was unable to get back to my non-Guild group due to respawns, so I didn't get to see much of the place.

Some of the scenarios are pretty lame. For example, there is one King of the Hill scenario that is actually on a hill. Unfortunately, a number of classes get a knockback ability, which they will use to knock you off the top of the hill, forcing you to run back up. Another scenario requires you to grab and hold an artifact. The usual result is that one side gets it first, then camps below their spawn with it. Sometimes I have fun, sometimes I don't, usually revolving around how well my side is doing. If you enjoyed WoW's battlegrounds, you'll probably enjoy WAR's scenarios. Though sometimes you might end up waiting a while to get into a scenario, one good thing is that once the scenario is done, you're returned to the exact spot you were in before you entered. Makes it easy to continue on with questing or activities while waiting in line.

This phase also saw the push of the Realm War 'leader boards' which are pretty dumb at the moment. For one, they don't update and still have info from two weeks ago. For two, they're really not that interesting. For three, I don't see any info about the actual war. That is what I want to know! Which keeps are controlled by who, where has the fighting been going on for the past couple of hours. What objectives are available for attack. How close are we to pushing the gates of our opponents' city? This is the sort of info I expect to see. I could really care less about who spent the past 24 hours grinding renown points. But, I'm assuming they have plans to make it more interesting.

Next Up: Part III, which includes info from some time we were given in the Tier 4 zones with templated characters.

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