Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WAR -- What Was It Good For?

Now that WAR is ending, let's look back on the good, the bad.

  • Open World PvP with enforced tiers. This ensured that your characters never felt puny because a high-level swooped in, since it lacked heirlooms like WOW.
  • Public Quests, and probably one of the first MMOs that really did them right. They still have problems [not being in the initial leveling rush made most PQs nearly impossible to complete alone.]
  • Iconic characters and visuals, unlike WOW which says it has good character silhouettes, WAR had it.
  • Surprisingly good PvE balance between the classes, and the ability to juggle traits to allow healers/tanks to solo effectively.
  • One of the first MMOs to really make achievements/titles a major thing to do, integrating players who like lore with those who liked to explore.
So, why didn't it ever get off the ground?
  • Goofy class balance. The tanks, for example, were fairly interesting. But, mechanically, why bring anything but an Ironbreaker [assuming you played long enough to even have a Knight of the Blazing Sun available to you?]
  • Bosses required pitch-perfect performance, with poor rewards. I remember downing N'kari for the first time. Our party was joyous, and then, the drop was at best a sidegrade for a class that wasn't there. Token rewards in dungeons (like WOW's valor points) help ease that sting.
  • Fortress sieges were utterly a mess. Remember stacking Bright Wizards and pull'n'nuke strategies? Yeah. Fun.
  • A PvP focused game with atrocious PvP balance at the start, and continuing through much of its first year.

I played WAR when it came out (as an Ironbreaker, then later, a Knight of the Blazing Sun and Runepriest.) It was a solid game, but it had so many strikes against it that it was hard to get people to play. Which makes me think of FF14. FF14 is not new user friendly; I hate the map system. I hate how slow everything feels; I can't really impress people with the game, and WAR felt the same way.
WAR was very pretty; but the execution was sometimes clunky and the non-scenario PvP that was supposed to be its selling point just didn't sell me. I thought, maybe I'm not the target audience. After all, I'm not a hard core PvP player; I like cooperation and team work. But, it seems like it just couldn't hold out in the end. Which is a shame; I had some good times on Blue Team.

  • Zarkonen -- Max Level Ironbreaker
  • Muriel -- Max Level Knight of the Blazing Sun

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