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So before I get started, I'd like to say that I have yet to Beta WAR (Although I pre-ordered and was lucky enough to get into the preview weekend coming up - I'll be writing more about my experiences (much more) afterwards).
I've done a fair amount of reading of forums from multiple websites, including here at MMORPG.com - as well as on the official page. I've read about classes, open world quests, PVP balance, performance, etc. But again, I'm stating that before I write this and get flamed for not beta testing the game - that I have NOT taken one step in-game as of this post.
With that being said, I've got a few of the things relating to each category in the title of this topic.
I'd like to start out with performance, and say that I'm relieved by the screen shots, and descriptions of WAR's game as easy to run, and not graphically intense on the average system. Most people who play PVP games aren't interested in what the image of victory looks like - they want just want to make sure they aren't looking up at someone when its all over. I'm happy to hear they didn't funcom or vanguard this release by throwing together a graphically intense game that really halts its performance in every other aspect of playability. I'm sure others will agree with me - and I'll still get flamed by someone who thinks it looks like WOW.
Moving on to experience - I'd like some help from a beta tester to help me understand how its distributed. Do I get X amount of points if I do >0 damage to a target and it dies? What happens if I'm just healing someone who takes a target down? Does damage/amount healed positively or negatively change the amount of experience per scenario? I certainly hope that its based on combat effectiveness, instead of simply 'tapping' someone else and moving on. However I haven't read much about this, and am curious (and would like to further discuss the topic and its viability in-game in a future post).
Next, whats with the no-pvp death penalty? Now, don't get me wrong - I don't want to repair every 20 minutes, or get ganked onto a spot and not be able to move for fear of a further death penalty - but there has ALWAYS got to be risk in a game. It's been said so many times. No risk PVP death will have an adverse effect on the population that really desires a PVP based game with reward and risk. This won't be a huge matter, as the rewards - as I come to understand them - are plentiful for PVPing effectively. Time will tell, but honestly - there needs to be a penalty for being killed in pvp. Even if its minor and almost irrelevant, to keep people from zerging, death teleporting, and doing another annoying stuff that makes people playing the game for fun or even for sport tear their hair out.
Could it be true - is someone actually about to release a polished, nearly as promised, game? They made the right choices, as far as anyone who doesn't just want something to complain about goes, removing the content they felt wasn't on par for launch (Classes + Cities). This will keep balance issues to a slimmer margin (4 less classes = less work, is it sad I feel the need to explain that?)
In terms of a PVP based game - how much will the population suffer from 'power player' syndrome? Will there really be a place here for casual pvpers to log on for 45 minutes and enjoy themselves? How much can a skilled PVP player, one who understands the game mechanics enough to find the 'power' class builds and use them exceptionally well, stand out in a huge RVR crowd? Can one player REALLY make that much difference? It seems every class has a particular trait (or two) that they can really shine with. I feel that in WAR there will definitely be a place for people who enjoy learning the game enough to dominate it, as well as those just seeking to have a good time. However, that doesn't change the fact that in a PVP game, people get discouraged. They get beat down, and they quit. They'll complain that its the game's balance, or the lag, or the poor framerate/bugs/cat on the keyboard - but in all honesty, PVP games deter players who don't take the time to learn from their mistakes and experiment. I think the maturity of the game will reflect this after a few months when the griefers and children weed themselves out via their own frustration.
I'm looking into all these aspects and more, and really hoping to come up with something I can write that will give perspective players, and current pre-order subscribers - a great view of the game. Please comment, correct, criticize, and challenge me on anything I've said. I'd love some input on the aspects I didn't cover here as well.
For the first time in years, I'm looking forward to joining up in a beta (after playing so many MMO's trying to find a decent PVP scene its ridiculous) and having a ball.
Thanks for reading!
The contents of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com and its management.