Wards out, Sigils in. LotD looking better every day.

I suppose it was Mythic’s intent all along to add an element of PvE grind (or achievement, whatever you want to call it) to WAR’s PvE system.  It’s my opinion that this system existed solely because, well, what would their PvE be without the wards?  Anyone want to take a stab at it?  The simple truth of the matter is that without a ward system there would be absolutely no purpose behind their PvE.  People would skip everything up to Lost Vale and the Pve in WAR would be even more shallow and unrewarding.  Barriers of entry are required to give the sense of accomplishment and purpose.  The unfortunate side effect of the ward system, aside from the fact that having to grind gear to be able to grind gear to be able to finally go somewhere you want just to grind gear, is that it meant you had to wear a very specific set of armor to get the benefit.  It also meant you had to go for a very specific item and wait for a drop (or a lucky roll); a random element that often became more frustrating than anything.

Sigils seek to alleviate this problem.  They are effectively the exact same thing as Wards:  Barriers meant to prolong and artificially add purpose to content.  Why are most people happy about this?   There are three main reasons to celebrate:

  1. You can wear what you want to wear now without worrying about wards.  (Albeit you still have set items with set bonuses… so it’s somewhat a moot point unless your set bonuses suck).  You can wear anni in LV now though, so if you’re one of the classes whose previous set was better it’s a reason to rejoice.
  2. Getting Sigils is now far more reliable than getting wards.   Whether it be from PQ’s, killing a boss X times for an achievement, or getting the gear (which I assume will still give a ward/sigil…) it means you’re no longer having to rely solely on luck for a drop.  If it’s done correctly it should mean that players can progress through the content more smoothly at a steady rate of progression.
  3. They’ve still effectively kept PvE gear from making you overpowered in PvP.  Yes, I consider this a reason to celebrate given Mythic history.

This change, while not a huge change for WAR’s itemization or loot system, is still better for the game.  I’ll take this as a sign that Mythic is at least willing to say “you know what, this old way wasn’t good enough and we can improve it”.

I’m not a fan of the ridiculous number of public quests but it’s clear that Mythic loves them.  I’m trying to find the silver lining in all of this though.  Is it that opportunities for the vegas loot system will be plentiful, or that “content” is everywhere, or maybe I’m just one of the few that doesn’t like the poorly scripted “waves” or “stages” setup?  The glyph system where I’m going to have to do the PQ’s could provide a purpose to them, or it could be downright annoying.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts on it with you all and hopefully being able to say that I enjoy them.

What has me SUPER excited are the huge boss fights.  I LOVE huge bosses!  It’s why I enjoyed raiding in World of Warcraft and why I like watching my brother play console games.  Boss fights are where it’s at.  Watching the videos of boss fights

Okay, now I need your help.  I’m torn here.  Should I play my 37 Shaman on Dark Crag (I also have a high 30’s Squig)  OR  my 18 (who I can level quickly) Choppa on Phoenix Throne?  I would need a guild on both servers.  It’s now just a matter of which server is better and which character I would prefer.  The Shaman is already 37 with full annihilator so I can do city dungeons with him.  Having a Squig Herder that level is also a plus.  I also have over 1,000g.   I’m just not sure about Dark Crag.   My Choppa has about 100g and he’s my only char on Phoenix Throne.  The plus to him is that I’ll be able to experience all of the LotD content – from lowbie to high levels – instead of just jumping into the end-game.    I’m looking for advice on making this decision (hopefully from people on either of these servers).  I want to get to work right away whichever way I go so that I’ll be ready for LotD.  For my Shaman it would mean hitting 40 and doing some city dungeons and for my Choppa it would mean leveling a bit.

Is it June yet?

  • That’s true. The new Shammy mechanic sounds awesome. Makes it that much harder to decide to play anything else.

  • Why don’t you play both? Level your Choppa from now until LotD and then move over to your rank 37 Shammy so you still feel like you’re accomplishing something while in Land of the Dead?

    Jumping straight into LotD as a rank 40 will be less fun for you imho because aside from the experience of the bosses and perhaps grinding for glyphs, you won’t actually feel like you’re accomplishing much. Sure, there’s going to be a bit of RvR in there, but experiencing a mostly-PvE zone when you aren’t gaining XP is probably going to feel less epic.

  • After having re-read that, it doesn’t really capture what I’m trying to say, so let me use a simple analogy.

    Was Darkness Falls more fun below rank 50 or when you were rank 50? For me, it was the former because of all the options available to me. Once my SB hit rank 50, all I really did was lurk around ganking people. That got boring quickly.

  • I’m back with my 24 Black Orc on Dark Crag. However the game feels the same. There is nothing to point me in the right direction. Like hey this is how tokens/sigils work.

    I’m still wondering around aimlessly in the dark, queuing up for scenarios and looking for RvR battles until I get bored.

  • My advice is play on the server whose community you like more. If you like both play on both.

  • Snafzg’s suggestion makes a lot of sense Keen. It won’t take long to go from 37-40, especially with a bit of rest xp stored up.

  • I’ll take smart and clever mob AI over scripted events. Boss scripting tends to be a little better, but it’s still not as compelling as good core combat.

  • Good thoughts on here. I should be able to get my KotBS to about 25/28 by June and so he will be benefit from the initial wave of madness 🙂

  • I didn’t like my experience on Dark Crag. I initially left my 40 BW on Magnus to reroll on Dark Crag. I got to 40 really quick, but it just wasn’t the same. You have 5 million people on the server, and no sense of community. I went back to Magnus, but it irritates me alot too. It is a good thing though because it gives me alot to write about on my blog.

  • I think the primary purpose of wards is to keep the importance of gear down for PvP/PvE. Traditionally, the barrier to raid bosses is the power of your equipment which is obtained on the ol’ raid treadmill.

    In that system, compare BS and LV, the equipment will be pretty different in power levels. This just makes gear that much more important, which is what Mythic was trying to avoid. As Wards do not affect players, they can add them in place of extra stats.

    By separating the wards from the gear, I think they are finally getting close to their original plan of making the gear less important.

  • I seem to be the only one that enjoyed PQs while playing WAR.

    I found PQs to be a great benefit to the game, but problems arose when the PQs were seperate from the leveling quests (for the most part). Plus, once you hit 40, there isn’t a single PQ worth doing and the RvR zones in all tiers are empty of PQs. Competitive PQs would have added a ton of fun to the RvR zones IMHO. Alas, Mythic was lazy.

  • I really wish the zone wasn’t going to be packed with PQ’s. They are so incredibly boring… and Mythic seems to think they are the greatest thing to hit MMO’s in years.

    Anyways, am I the only one worried about how stable this new zone is going to be? Last night, on Dark Crag oddly enough, there were maybe 100 people fighting over the middle BO and lag was pretty bad for a good chunk of the fighting. This was only 100 people, in a zone that has been in the game since launch. How on Earth are they going to properly implement Land of the Dead when they can’t get the rest of their game right? I’m not trying to be a hater, and I want LotD to save the game for me like everyone else, but I have a feeling that the zone is going to be the same laggy crashing mess that the rest of Tier 4 is right now on most servers.

    I guess the WAR apologists will say that 1.3 could fix the lag issues completely, but I wouldn’t believe that for a second. There are parts of this game I really love, but parts that drive me bat shit insane. I’m sick of waiting for a miracle patch. If they drop the ball with 1.3 I, and I suspect many many others, will be done with WAR for good.

  • Meant to say fighting over the middle BO in Praag… trying to post properly at work doesn’t always work out well.

  • @ Snafzg: ” …all I really did was lurk around ganking people…” This is why I think you’re awesome! That comment gave me a pretty good chuckle.

    @ Keen: I agree with many, play them both. June is right around the corner. I will be taking in my R40 toons and will surely have some high T3/low T4 toons go through as well.

  • Pick one and stick with it. WAR sucks without an active guild and if you are leaping back and forth between servers and characters it is going to be hard to network with a new guild.

    My opinion on Land of the Dead is like your’s but more pessimistic. I hate how the PQ’s are designed. I hate that every one is basically a quick time mini game. Dodge the fire, hit this falling object, etc.

    That also carries over to what I saw on the final boss fight for LotD. You have to attack his hands after they fall? This looked like some cheesy console action game, not a MMO fight. I like a few gimmicky encounters but I also really enjoy good ol’ fashion tank and spanks like EQ had.

    Furthermore the whole “theme” behind Tomb Kings is horrible. I love anything Egyptian, however this content patch is nothing but one cliche’after another. They go so far as to outright say they wanted it to be like indiana jones. Ya lets run from locust swarms, fight terra cotta armies, and disarm booby traps. Is this Tomb Raider or Warhammer?

  • LotD looks really appealing and I’m definitely considering resubbing and starting a Choppa. The only thing that puts me off is the lack of decent PVE and lower levels. Yeah, I know it’s a PVP game but I just looooove PVE dungeons.

    How is the PVE experience these days?

  • @WeFlySpitFires: PvE right now is all the same. You’re not going to get any new PvE content until LotD, where hopefully aside from all the PQ’s it will feel like a more polished and immersive PvE experience.

    @Snafzg: I think you might have given me what I need to decide. The most fun I had in Darkness Falls was leveling. I really enjoyed taking a group and wandering or camping areas and killing the mobs to collect the tokens. After the leveling was over I enjoyed the big bosses and raid events.

    I want to play both, but I think I’m going to stick with the Choppa and find a guild that has people my level (alts or mains) and an active group that will run the end-game together.

    18 Choppa looking for guild on Phoenix Throne! 😉

  • I’d play the Shaman, but still leveling up a Choppa might be worthwhile with the changes to MDPS classes and a less cumbersome Sigil/Ward system on the way.

    Dark Crag can use all the good Destro players it can find, especially since Order killed our King yesterday.

  • I deffinately think you should stick with the Choppa for several reasons. I agree that the most fun I had in DF was leveling and collecting the vast plethora of seals and experience, and always looking out for getting ganked.

    Secondly, Phoenix Throne is just an amazing community. Both Destruction and Order have loads of awesome people and players, and Order vs. Destro is getting more balanced every day.

    As an aside, I’m sorry we had a few people take off as of late, that’s the problem with trying to keep a guild as small as possible I suppose. A bunch of us are leveling up alts, and are around or just slightly above the rank 18 area. We’ve got a Choppa, a Black Guard, a Black Orc and I’m playing a Shaman. I’m sure it won’t be the same without all the people and you don’t really know us as well as you knew Sto, but if you so choose you’re welcome. Other places I’d recommend checking out are Prophets of Malal. They have been extremely helpful since we all rolled destro and they’re basically a guild chock full of class-acts.

    Look forward to healing ya!