WAR progress report – 11/9/08

Alrighty, this is going to be a conglomoblog entry to showcase what I’ve been up to in Warhammer Online since the last time I… made a conglomoblog entry of where I’ve been.

Lately I have been playing on Phoenix Throne on my Ironbreaker (Stocky Rumblebelly).  Phoenix Throne has revitalized my love for Warhammer Online just as I thought that perhaps I was wrong about the game.  You see, Wolfenburg server, while not entirely bad, has a D+ community that doesn’t quite seem to grasp what this game is all about.  Phoenix Throne, however, has an A- understanding (great, but admittedly not perfect) and seems to bring out a lot of the best in WAR.  The community talks in chat channels; not just the default channels but in custom made RvR channels.  The community roleplays, hangs out in the capital city thus forming a sense of population, and actually does ‘stuff’.

On Phoenix Throne I have experienced, in just this past week, more than I have experienced in over a month on Wolfenburg.  Open RvR is an hourly occurance in all tiers.  Order and Destruction are evenly matched on the battlefield and – dare I say it – actually stick around after a defeat.  In one hour of queueing in T3, I’ve seen FOUR (4) different scenarios (all amazing in design) – Tor Anroc popped LAST!  In T2 all the scenarios are played and the winning goes back and forth.  I find myself reluctant to level because I’m having so much fun.  Sadly, yes sadly, the exp is so good from scenarios that I’ve barely had to quest and I’m being ushered into T3 faster than I would like – that’s a farcry from my experience on my other characters where I was struggling to level because nothing was going on.

So now I sit on Stocky Rumblebelly on Phoenix Throne at level 21.  I’m loving the game, loving my guild (Happy Fun Guyz have added an Order division on PT “Black Fire Fellowship” (I know, Rp’ish of us)) We have not completely given up on Wolfenburg but right now we can’t bring ourselves to hating the game again when the alternative is to have so much fun.  C’est la vie.

    now that’s you mention it i need to roll a order char on American servers (occasionally(only happened to me once) oceanic get a password incorrect error but the American servers still work

  • Glad to hear warhammer’s going well. But honestly I had too much fun on Wrath of the Lich King Beta that I stopped my 6 month subscription for WAR and pre-ordered WRATH.

    November 13th and a day “sick” off work here I come!

  • It’s all about balance. WAR kicks tail with population balance. Glad to see your balance has improved. Here’s hoping Mythic can do that for all the servers.

  • i wish i could bring myself to reroll, i am 38 right now on my server there is no open RvR at all, just scenario after scenario. i just cant bring my self to lvl again right now so will check out lich king.

  • Keen,

    I was going to hold off rerolling a different server until a ruleset with no incentive to do scenarios comes out: or no scenarios. I did want to try role playing. You’re implying that PQs and oRvR is alive and well on the current ruleset, just role playing. That’s pretty awesome. Why did you roll the core ruleset? You think open rulesets have worse community?

  • Hey Guyz,

    the same in Germany! Was on a low-pop server and it sucked.
    Since two weeks I play on “Erengrad” which is not only highest population of the German servers but entire europe as well!

    High server load even around midnight. Order and Destruction on even population.
    Scenarios pop up every few minutes.. IT ROCKS.

    Warhammer is a jewel if one plays on a high-pop server. And it’s crap on a low pop server.
    Hopefully they start merging the servers asap!

    I love this game so much. Did not even pre-order WoW and was a WoW-Fanboi for a long time.

    BTW: cool blog Keen / Graev 😀

  • Is the community better because it is Order side or because it is RP? Interesting question to answer, are these all the ex-DAoC players who get what this game is about? My server was high pop, but I played Destruction since launch and people don’t communicate much in channels, and everyone just runs scenarios over and over.

    I mean what you are describing for Pheonix Throne just sounds like the perfect server. Which would mean there is nothing wrong with the game at all, that it is really the player’s fault?

    I don’t have the drive to start over right now on a different server, and a different realm, find a new guild again etc. I’ve cancelled my sub, but I’ll be following this blog.

  • I think Wolfenburg also has a terrible Desto/Order balance too right? Destro up 1.9/1?

    It’s funny that WAR’s biggest issue is finding a good server, and once you do, everything in the game basically ‘works’ and even the minor errors are hardly anything to bother with. Xmas time should help all the other servers gain some population, and hopefully things all balance out eventually.

  • @Keen: Remember in your last post about WAR, I said I tried Phoenix and wasn’t that impressed? Well I decided to give it a second chance with one important change. Since I was so ticked off on the extremely low lack of heals from other healers (especially when they were right next to you), I decided to role up a dwarven rune priest by the name of Vamir. In other words, I took the “stop complaining and do something about it” approach.

    I’m happy to say that while things aren’t perfect, they’re a hell of a lot better. Now that I’m the one putting out the heals, I find a lot more people seem to rally around me (as I’m a fairly decent healer having played a Zealot a while back). I’m not waiting for them though but rushing out to the RVR lakes to assist even just a few people as much as possible (well when the odds are right). Again this gets people rallying around us quite a bit and we’re taking objectives in the Tier 1 area quite well.

    My only frustration though is the lack of interest in defending these objectives. Oh some people try but after we cap everything, everyone seems to take off. Yet I find defending quite enjoyable, as it’s often the more difficult thing to do, since it’s a true PVP engagement compared to attacking an objective which is often just against the NPC mobs. Last night though, I was in a small group and they actually wanted to defend objectives in Blighted Isle. Was a total blast, as we knocked out an enemy group enroute to an objective and then repelled the same group when they grabbed an objective and were trying to defend it.

    All in all, I’d now agree with your statement that Phoenix is definitely more enjoyable than other servers but the game is still not as good as I’d like it to be yet. Hopefully they’ll pump out some more minor patches before the big 1.1 patch to make defending just as worthwhile as attacking.

  • BTW for those who are depressed about rerolling and leveling a character, you do realize that you can even take a Tier 1 character into higher tiers and contribute, especially if you’re with a larger guild. It’s best if you’ve reach at least 10th level though, since even a low level healer can be put on rez duty while the higher level healers can maintain the heals on everyone else.

    Anyways, all you need to do is run to the zone where your guild is currently at (either alone or with an escort). Once you’ve got the flight point, you’re golden. I figured this out on my other server when I was desperate for RVR combat and went to Tier 4 with my 25th level character. I was quite surprised at how much I could contribute (i.e. ranged attacks, manning siege weapons, etc).

  • Hey Keen, how much do you think the RP ruleset contributes to the community on PT? We both played Percival in DAoC, and I think the roleplay rules were a big part of developing a solid community.

    I’m not a “thee and thou” type of roleplayer. In fact, I usually only emote “in character”, and respect other people who want a more developed RP character. That said, though, in my limited experience, it seems that people who choose RP servers tend to develop a better overall server community.

    It’s a completely subjective observation, and I suspect there’s more to it (like finding a server with a good population balance, and perhaps a server where people are more inclined toward Open RvR rather than toward endless scenarios), but I do think RP is a helpful contributor toward a good MMO community.

    Gotta agree with Syncaine too. I do think that when the server pops match, and the playstyles mesh, suddenly WAR becomes a much better game. I’ve wondered how much individual opinions of WAR are colored by playing on a specific server; it seems that you can end up playing a vastly different game on one server than you can play on another.

  • I just woke up so bare with me while I try to answer all the questions that I see here.

    @Jakub: ORVR, PQ’s, Scenarios, and PvE, and Roleplaying are all alive and well on Phoenix throne. I don’t think it’s entirely because the server is a roleplay server though. I think it has to do with the quality of the individuals that make up the whole of the server community. The people here are just… better. It’s blunt to put it that way but it’s true. We rolled on the core ruleset because, honestly, we wanted the best server. We heard great things about Phoenix Throne so we went with it. Turns out there is more Open-rvr here on a core ruleset than on a Open-RvR ruleset server. Go figure.

    @Daria: I think the atmosphere is partially a result of the roleplaying. To say it doesn’t play a part at all would be lying. It’s not entirely responsible though – see my comments above. I definitely see a lot of ex-DAOC players here as well – possibly a very large reason as well. The game is far, far, far from perfect but I think the best of what this game can offer is currently being found on PT. This definitely reinforces what I think about it being largely the player’s fault that open-rvr doesn’t happen.

    @Syncaine: It started that way but has recently come a little closer to 1.3:1. It truly is all about finding the ‘right’ server in WAR.

    @Nollind: Great to hear that you are enjoying WAR on PT! 🙂 In T2 there was a lot of incentive to defend Objectives and we had a lot of fun defending them the other night. I think Objectives, overall, need to be addressed and made to be more enticing.

    @Rick: Again, the Roleplay plays a part. I haven’t seen any “thee and thou” roleplaying, unless you consider dwarfs shouting “lad” to be of that sort. 😉 But there is a lot of in-character and more discussion of the world around you on a roleplay server. And yes, as pointed out, the server you’re on matters so much – too much.

  • I also agree that a server’s population makes a huge difference. I leveled a character up to the cusp of T3 on Averheim, and things were pretty bad there. People tried to get world RvR going, but there was a huge alliance on Destruction (Xen of Onslaught and a couple other big guilds all agreed to go destro to work together) that completely overwhelmed Order.

    Whenever the call would go out that a keep was being attacked, dozens of destruction player would swarm the battlefield almost instantly. Eventually Order just developed this attitude that it wasn’t worth trying because they’d get ‘zerged’.

    Then I moved to Dark Crag to try the Open RvR ruleset. Lots of skilled people to play with or against, and an active community (lots of talking in chat, etc.), but no world RvR to speak of. Well, Order and Destro both had roving warbands in the RvR lakes, but very rarely at the same time.

    Keeps would change hands nightly, but it would always be a warband vs NPCs or maybe 1-2 players. People just don’t respond to calls for backup in chat – there’s just no motivation to go fight in the world unless it’s a guild group trying to take a keep.

  • Im in the No Prisoners No Mercy guild on PT. The guild was created for the listners of the podcast by the same name. The wacky Nuns are the guild leaders and we are looking for an alliance if your up for one or are in an alliance that needs more. We have about 65 toons in the guild right now and are growing.

    Have fun.

  • I have to say it, you know I do. There’s much I like and even love about this game.

    But if it’s an MMO where you have to be on the right server to get just the right mix of player-driven magic to make it work– that’s a big fail for the game overall.

    Like a lot of people, I already have a character / class I like, I already have friends and guildmates on the server I’m on (Monolith) and well everyone piling onto Phoenix Throne is not really much of a solution.

    I’m glad you guys are having fun with it. Lately though, I’ve felt less and less motivation to login.

  • “But if it’s an MMO where you have to be on the right server to get just the right mix of player-driven magic to make it work– that’s a big fail for the game overall.”

    I’d have to agree with you Rog. I mean as I said above, I’m definitely finding some “fun” on the Phoenix Throne server but elements of RVR are still missing (i.e. incentives). Once those are resolved (hopefully before everyone leaves), it should make the game much more enjoyable to play for everyone on ALL servers.

    Oh I was reading something from a dev the other day, when they were talking about capturing a zone. They still emphasized that to take the zone, you need to do PQs and Scenarios to do so. In my opinion, if they remain adamant about this (even with patch 1.1) instead of making objectives very finite and clear (i.e. just keeps and BOs) then I think people will still continue to leave this game. In other words, if they don’t remove this “black box” aspect of zone control, people will get frustrated in trying to capture a zone and just leave.

  • I would have to agree as well that it’s definitely not a ‘good’ thing for the game to only be fun on some servers – a “fail” even. If the reasons for some servers being better than others can be addressed across the board then the game would be in a lot better shape.

  • One reason for PT’s success is that a very large number of people from the DAOC RP servers (Percival, Guin, Nimue) coordinated for weeks ahead of time so that we all sign up for the same server. It is a very strong and also mature community. I am seeing people all the time that I fought against or with in the first years of DAOC…

  • Man I knew I shoulda picked that server. I am from Guin/Hib as well. They are a good bunch of folks 🙂

    Lots of variables to consider why one server is better, besides the obvious reason thats theres actually people to participate in scens/ open rvr.

    I play on Volk/Order and Skull throne/destro. People seem to communicate alot better on Volk.

    Glad to see u gents are enjoying urself 🙂


  • I played on Wolfenburg and Phoenix Throne during the witching night event. The event was amazing on Phoenix Throne. The non-scenario rvr action was great. There was little to no action on Wolfenburg however. We just stood in the rvr lake waiting for Order to show up.

    As for my transition from an open rvr server to a core rp server; there is much more non-scenario rvr taking place on Phoenix Throne. The players on Phoenix Throne just seem to want to experience everything that Warhammer has to offer.

    I am really enjoying this game atm. Patch 1.05 looks like it will improve the fluidity and balance of combat. The future is looking pretty good for this game. I am surprised to say that I will not be purchasing WotLK.

  • Frost Wyrms/Abominations are attacking Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Thrall and Garrosh battle it out in the Arena too because of an argument. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  • @Drezzah

    Come on man, we know that you are really Mike Morhaime pimpin your game on all of the blogs. jk bro, hope you have a blast with Wrath:)

  • I’m playing on Karak Eight Peaks EU, and I’m playing less by the day. There’s only Tor Anroc popping in T3, there’s little to no Open RvR, and when there is there’s highly unbalanced numbers (usually Order has more people, and I’m Destruction). There’s no chatting going on, not even in our guildchat 0o.
    There’s noone in PQs, nowhere, wherever I go.
    And this is one of the “busiest” EU servers they say, well I guess they are all queuing for scenarios then =(
    I admit that I’m one of those only queuing for scenarios, but it falls rather naturally when the only other option I have is to go solo PvEing, and that ain’t much fun in WAR imo.

    Was thinking it might be a server issue, but dunno if I can be arsed with leveling another toon on a server where I know noone. ><

  • I rerolled from Wolfenburg to Destruction on the Badlands server (which has the core ruleset). The activity and population on Badlands is solid.

    If I create an Order toon, I’ll create it on Phoenix Throne.

  • All they need to do is force merge servers, RP servers should be merged to PT and Ostermark, all of the low pop regular servers merged into 1-2 server, orvr servers.. same thing

    Game is great we just need more people to play it properly..

  • yep, new server/character, you’re being diagnosed with acute MMO hate denial. person’s with this affliction will do anything to recapture that love they felt with their first mmo, and will even put themselves through hell to get a facsimile of their initial experience. aka, nostalgia whores. I give you a week.

  • @keensego

    If you are not Dr. Keensego than shut up. The only peeps that have the right to give a psychological “diagnosis”, are individuals that have been educated to do so, regardless of whether or not you stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

  • @Keen,

    It was fun running scenarios with you and Vrin with my IB (Taugrym) last week.

    I’m really glad you and your guild decided to roll on PT. A server’s community and population can make a huge difference.

    On PT, we need more Order tanks to help balance out T4, so I hope Stocky makes it to R40. For the same reason, I’ve decided to switch my main from BW to SM (Taugram).

    I disliked SM up until R8, but after that it’s gotten steadily better and in T2 the class hit its stride at R14-16. I just dinged R20 so hopefully we’ll get to run T3 scenarios together. I posted a couple narrated SM videos and will continue making ’em on my way to R40:

    Again, it was great talking to you and hearing your takes on the game and on the various classes. See you in-game.


  • Having played on PT from head start – while it is one of the most solid servers, I still find it hard and harder to log in, and will not be renewing this week.

    I just logged in my lvl 15 sorceress, ran all around T2 (minus war camp)and saw only 2 other characters in about 10 min. This is just unacceptible for me, I shouldn’t have to power-level to end game status to find the majority or players in a game that is only 2 MONTHS OLD. I felt less lonely starting a new character in L2.

    So yes, if you enjoy war scenarios, and are having fun with the overall game despite its flaws, then Phoenix Throne is a great server. For me unfortunately a great server does not save this game from its inherent failings. I really wanted to like this game too..