My Warden is level 24 now.Â I’ve been putting in a good deal of effort to level so that I can see the PvP, learn more about my character, and make absolute certain that I want to continue to play (aka start over and continue on) at launch.Â I finished up Darkwater and moved on to Tenebra without issue.Â Getting groups to do the elite mobs in Darkwater was fairly easy.Â Castle Blight, the instance in Darkwater, is really quite difficult and as a result no one was looking to do groups there.Â Moving on to Tenebra, my Warden started to feel like I was fighting an uphill battle.Â Mobs started taking longer to kill and they would be more difficult for me than I had gotten used to.
Stats are a big deal.Â Finding that sweet spot for you is what it’s all about.Â Â I had originally ignored Luck completely and never felt like I was suffering.Â Seeing everyone else around me amassing Luck (it’s the stat that increases your crit %) I thought that perhaps I was ‘doing it wrong’.Â Changing up some gear I was able to lower the rest of my stats but boost my luck significantly.Â This brought me up to a 20% increased chance to crit.Â As I leveled up to 22 I was really starting to feel sluggish.Â I decided to unequip all of my luck gear and just focus on boosting Intel and Perception with Wisdom trailing slightly.Â The result was that I didn’t crit much at all, but my regular hits were hitting such that they were almost what my crits were.Â Still, I felt sluggish and I still do now at level 24.
Since there wasn’t much I could do about my stats, I decided to examine my build.Â My plan has been to be a Melee Warden, which is a playstyle that uses Fist Weapons to get in there and tear stuff up.Â Unfortunately, this playstyle is either a very late bloomer or it’s just not in line with what I want.Â After watching a few other Wardens as caster specs have some great spells and do well I’ve decided that a caster spec with a lot of emphasis on the pet is the route that I’m going to try at launch.Â There are a lot more bonuses to lightning damage, utility abilities, and ranged burst damage available to a caster spec.
The Holy Lands are a rough place.Â Imagine Stranglethorn Vale but in a denser jungle, with harder mobs and enemy players lurking everywhere — that’s Asee-Teph.Â Â The League have a port at the north end of the allod and the Empire are stationed at the south.Â As a League player I am giving quests that send me all over the region, even right next to the Empire’s port.Â Running across an enemy is very, very common.Â Being hunted by an enemy is even more common.Â It’s all out PvP here.Â There’s no flagging and the only “safe area” is deep inside your port city.Â Random skirmishes happened so often that I’ve lost count, but a few major PvP fights took place in the center outside this enormous Pyramid temple.Â Each side had about 15 players and we would push each other back and forth.Â Scouts would flank and sometimes we would surround them.Â It was exactly like what we used to see in Hillsbrad back before BG’s were released, right after the PvP ranks were first added.
There are PvP ranks implemented that let you gain access to gear.Â From what I understand it’s like a modified version of WoW’s PvP ranks.Â You gain ranks that let you buy gear.Â Ranks are reset every week (or two?) making you have to regain them.Â Â The gear looks nice.Â I haven’t seen PvE dungeon/raid gear to compare, but I assume it’s going to be somewhat on par.
Adding to the random battles, there are 14 objectives in the Asee-Teph Holy Lands that allow you to gain Glory (it’s like Renown or Honor).Â Â If your side controls the majority (or is it all of them?) then you get access to the Temple Pyramid contested instance in the middle.Â It’s a neat system.Â Quests in the zone send you to capture certain ones.Â I believe they’re repeatable as well.Â These quests + the natural desire to capture them for dungeon access + the buff you get for visiting them = lots of hot spots for battling the enemy.Â They work out a lot better than WAR’s objectives.
Sadly, I didn’t see much success with my class which has me down a bit.Â Scouts are like snipers that will pick you off very, very quickly.Â It’s like the old days where a Pyroblast or whatever that huge fireball mages shot, followed by a fireball or two, would mean certain death if they got the jump on you.Â Warriors are also bad news for me since they charge, sweep, and execute an ability chain that sends me to the respawn point pretty darn fast.Â Summoners don’t kill me quickly, but they’re very sturdy with their life drains.Â I blame my spec mostly though for my inability to really take on anyone.Â My damage is rather pitiful against other players since the damage range on claws is so low and I don’t gain access to the +%dmg bonuses until the 30’s.Â Â Grouping up to fight is where I was able to help the most with my regen buff and my knockdowns/silences.Â I can only imagine adding damage to that arsenal and I’d feel very well-rounded.
It’s been a good experience thus far.Â Holy Lands are rough and I think a lot of players are in for a shock.Â I recommend a questing partner and a lot of patience…. a lot.Â You’ll die a lot,Â you’ll get lost a lot while trying to find quest objectives that are not clearly labeled, but you’ll also have fun.