Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WAR: Reminiscing

Oh WAR, how you broke my heart. All the fond memories, and all the wasted potential. I loved you WAR. Deep inside, I still do. I will find myself staring out my window thinking about all the cool times we had together. The strolls on the beach, the picnics on the hills, the wipes in the last boss in ToVL, those Darkpromise boots you didn't want to get for me... We were an item, WAR, we were a thing. But I felt like you didn't care. Like my feelings didn't matter to you. I loved you and you played with me when I should've been the one playing you.

Seriously now, I was looking through my screenshots and all these feelings came rushing back. WAR had this flavour, see. It left a gritty flavor on your tongue, like you'd actueally been riding on the back of a Cold One  in the dirt for hours. There would be dozens of us, defying the laws of real men; dozens of us occupying the same coordinates, keeping our Orcs quiet while we laid an ambush behind a rock or inside a tent. We would be so patient, so generous with our time. And, sure enough, they'd start pouring from the hillside or across the bridge, ripe and ready for us to deploy our forces on their flanks and rear. It's a wonderful feeling, seeing enemy characters you know are controlled by real people run for their lifes or giving in to the inevitability of your supremacy.

Hi Hun! ^_^
But that (PvP) wasn't everything I loved. I even loved the PvE, Maker forgive me. Running dungeons was easy and most times rewarding. I liked kiting the 2nd ToVL boss. I was good at it. And the other bosses were entertaining if not entirely bug-free. It was a good change of pace; we would have this scripted encounters to test builds and tactics for more unscripted ones.

But who am I kidding, PvP was what WAR was all about. The yells and screams of tanks and healers alike succumbing to the unrelenting bombing of a Wizard-centric Warband; the throngs of half dead characters spawning on healers in the back lines of a keep take. These things I haven't seen since. These things, this frenetic pace, this sense of urgency, that whatever it is you can contribute with you better do it quick, I miss. I'm not saying there aren't other games out there that can provide similar feelings and adventures but WAR was it for me. It was my first, my one and only. The game that made me feel like I had something to tell the world. And now it's little more than a painful reminder of happier times.

You learned to respect some names, some groups in the battlefield and you learned to disregard others. You knew who was who not because of trolling or other forms of epeen stroking but through their skill and efficiency. At least that was true for me. I was never into that whole forum thing.

Ah, WAR... If only you'd listened to us. If only you'd done it sooner. I feel like coming back, I really, genuinely do. But the part where I said WAR broke my heart was no joke. It's somewhat disheartening loading up a character you've spent years loving to find it's near to useless. I couldn't play a rr75ish healer against... anything without dying a gruesome death within the first few seconds of an encounter.

I don't know what the future holds for WAR and for me. I just miss it's epicness, the feeling of hundreds of people focusing on one goal, one ideal, one sentence: "Red is dead."


  1. Wow took the words right out of my mouth. War broke my heart too. Great post

  2. I think there's a small army of people that share these feelings.

  3. Duh. Stupid WAR. Why'd you have to go get so stupid? /sob

  4. Yes, indeed, there are :(

  5. When did you quit WAR? If it was before the last patch, you might indeed want to give the game another month.

    Most of the 1.4 balance issues were redeemed with the last patches. The overpowered gear for RR90+ was tuned down a lot. It still gives an advantage, but it doesn't grant insta-kills and immortaility any more.

    The overpowered procs on the armours are gone. Some finetuning could still be done, but everybody is able to fight and compete again.

    The hidden levels above 80, which were the actual (albeit hidden) core issue, were reduced a lot. No more does a character gain a secret level for every RR over 80. (He still gets one every 4th level. So, when fighting against RR 100, he's like level 45. Still an advantage, but he can be beaten, even 1 on 1, by a player of lower RR. )

    All in all, even my RR 63 Engineer (grenade spec, mind you, rifle spec still has issues) can again compete and is a threat to any enemy player, no matter the RR. Higher renown ranks thus are an advantage, but it now can be overcome by sensible setups and skill.

    I won't say that everything is perfect yet. If you play a physical ranged DPS, damage mitigation by armour can still ruin your day. But many things were fixed, so WAR finally is on the right track again. (I had more fun playing in the first week after the last patch than in several months before that. ) It took Mythic long enough to get there, though, many players were lost due to the slow pace.

    So, if you have the time, if you miss the game and you still have contact to your former guildmates, giving the game another month might be a good idea.
    (Don't hit T4 alone, though. Since gear lost importance, organisation and coordination became key to victory again. So, knowing people and playing with them regularily is key to success now. )

  6. I'm glad WAR still has players that will advocate for it but going back to WAR or not is something I won't decide on a whim. I'll have to think long and hard about it.

    I played the game for over 2 years, balance changes and patches aren't new to me. I got my hopes up many times just to see that everything was the same or the most crucial problmes had not been tackled.

    It wasn't just the new renown ranks and the new gear that broke the game for me, those were just the last straw. I was more of an abused spouse in my relationship with WAR. It kept disapointing me over and over again but I stuck with it because there were things about it I loved.

    I might eventually come back but I still have to distance myself emotionally from it. And besides, I hear SWTOR is stealing WAR's resources. I'm not sure I want to invest my time and money on something that's not going anywhere.

  7. Well said, that would about sum up my thoughts on the game as well, though I may have a little less resistance to going back should it ever tickle my fancy again...

  8. The things that WAR did well it did really well, but it's ultimate failure was a cascading self-fulfilling prophecy of departing players.

  9. Or not so small.

    I kid! (mostly)

    WAR didn't break my heart, we just grew apart. The little things stopped being cute and adorable, and instead blossomed into annoyances at first, and then bloomed into full-blown frustrations and grievances. I wasn't new to MMO relationships, so my previous callouses helped protect me, but not as much as they could have - I'd loved few games as deeply as WAR.