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Now before you take out the Flame Thrower pls hear me out. My interest is to debate this impression. Maybe I am wrong, its just an idea, no need to start a war over it.
What I saw in the last weeks was quite a lot of people reporting the same thing: WAR is a good game in theory, but they feel a letdown in it's reality. Now like many I was excited to see WAR come live when all those cool ideas were presented to us in videos: Public Quests, Scenarios, whatever. I will admit WAR really has successfully established some great concepts, some who will certainly stay in the MMO world, like the symbols over quest givers heads once were established by WOW.
I tried to think about my own reasons why I felt less and less compelled to play WAR, compare it with those of others and tried to find some common things.
An idea I had was, maybe WAR is the victim of its own success. In a way. Let me explain.
We all know WOW is a huge success by subscription numbers. (No quality vote here from me!) So one of the things many gamers and companies expressed that led to this success what how easy accessible WOW is. It established the symbols over quest givers head, promoted the fast travel mode, the guided experience where quests were sorted in some kind of theme park, asf. Not all of these were invented by Blizzard, but perfected. You could reach the "fun" places faster and it had less "waiting for the fun to start" times than any MMO before. If you recall the EQ1 days, were your character just had to sit and meditate ever so often, you see its those kind of things WOW wanted to eliminate.
I think it was THIS aspect which Mythic tried to improve, and the entire game breathes this ideology. People should never wait for the fun, have to seek the fun or have any sort of "downtime". A Blizzard dev, when asked what their idea for success was once said: "we checked every feature, and if it wasnt fun, it was out". Now IMO Mythic tried to perfect this idea, and what was supposed to be a formula of succes may now prove to be a receipe to mediocity. Some examples:
1) The entire world is build like a theme park: you advance from zone to zone and you never have to return to any place you have been before. Its like one long tunnel. The good side is, you dont have to seek the "fun", but what greatly suffers from this is the feeling of a living, diverse world you make some 2nd life in. There is little need to roam, to explore. It just does not feel like a world in the sense other MMOs did. Even the zones of WAR are not to be located on the world map. You never have a real inner map of the world, just of single "event zones".
2) While there is Open RVR, most people tend to go to scenarios for obvious reasons: you always get people of the equal number, no waiting for a battle with the risk to face a much greater number. All the possible odds are balanced out. Its the perfection of taking away all need to talk to players, to cooperate, to form social communities, because the game takes care of everything. The downside is, the RVR zones are depleted. This is even strengthened by the fact that quests give much less XP than scenario grinding. A very, very easy way to PVP is offered, but it comes with a price: people are getting too lazy to organize anything outside of scenarios.
3) Since practically all quests are soloable and PQs automatically add people, and since you can join open groups without exchanging a single word you get a perfectly running machine. There is not a single obstacle which forces you to converse with other people. Having been in SWG and EQ2 the longest time I find this way to show the quest goal on the map in such an exact way always as a letdown in immersity. And as humans function, they almost all take easiest way. I always felt a game should enforce grouping and cooperation to some degree, because only then communities are formed. I vividly recall in EQ2, when in its older days there were much more heroic mobs, those mobs were the root of my first online friendships. I only say Scarecrows in Antonica. They were heroic once, and thus there the first groups formed, because they were impossible to solo. Now they are solo mobs and people all solo there in silence anonymity. WAR is streamlined like this all the way. The player is prevented from ever really needing to cooperate, to plan, to organize, its all laid out in one path you can always do it at ease.
I will refrain from adding too many examples and leave it with those. One of the things people find exciting is the need to have to find things by themselves. In a way I cant help to feel that WAR went way too far with making this game playable without any need of conversation, of waiting and seeking of any thing that creates ingame communities and gives a feeling of accomplishment. Its like a simplified PVP-WOW version. They meant it well: no more downtime, no more seeking the fun, no more "I dont know where to do something that is fun". All is perfectly led and organized for you. And the result is similar to as humans devolve in the movie "Wall-E". When the system does everything for you, you loose some sense of accomplishment, of making a world your own. Its just a shot, but I somehow get this feeling that many of those aspects of WAR which were meant well and supposed to make it easier to get into the fun may prove to be those mechanics to keep WAR a niche game.
Now before you start a flame-war: you are entitled to love those simplification. As you see I dont. Lets just try to be polite still.