Friday, September 12, 2008
My WAR open beta
Right now I'm waiting for the European open beta servers to come back up, GOA had a "technical issue" after patching to 4.1.1. one day late. As the open beta ends tomorrow, so Sunday the headstart period can begin, I guess that's the end of the open beta for me. So what did I do during this time? Not much, I have to say, due to a mix of various technical problems, and me being not that interested in a character that gets deleted a week later. So basically what I did is try out the Witch Elf class, by playing one to level 10.
First remark on the Witch Elf class is that there are no male witches, you need to play a female if you want to try that class. No problem, I'm not paranoid about playing female toons. But I must say it did bother me that in 10 levels I never ever found any item of clothing which would actually have covered her enough to not get arrested for indecent exposure in the real world. If you are the type who likes to look at nice ass all day, Witch Elf might be the class for you.
So I level my Witch Elf up doing a nice mix of PvE and PvP. The advantage of that is that I get up to renown rank 7, and get access to some very nice renown gear. But then I didn't do all that many public quests this time, which would have been the alternative for getting equipped. As Ryan Shwayder's Nerfbat says, public quests don't work all that well when too few people are online. Between the registration issues and the lower population caps for beta servers, there weren't always enough people around to really finish public quests. But I don't agree with Nerfbat that public quests are antisocial, when there were enough people around they usually helped each other instead of exploiting each other.
In PvE the Witch Elf is quite useful, especially with decent gear. In PvP the Witch Elf, well, what was the word, ah yes, SUCKS. Ranged classes are infinitely much better in PvP than melee classes, because enemy players you'd actually have a chance to kill usually just run away. After having played an Archmage, who with a mix of ranged dots and self-heals is very good in PvP, the Witch Elf was a huge disappointment. I actually once met an Archmage solo in a lonely corner of a scenario, and he had no problems killing me, although I was one level higher. I simply don't hit *that* fast that he can't heal himself. And at least in the levels I played him the Witch Elf doesn't have the stealth or stun abilities that make a melee dps Rogue viable in WoW PvP. I also duelled an Ironbreaker once, but this time he was a level higher than me, and melee dps don't look good against tanks anyway. I didn't do any keep combat (in the closed beta for keep combat I got boosted to level 18, in the open beta I didn't get any level boost when entering tier 2 RvR zones), but I didn't cherish the thought of defending a keep as Witch Elf either. Ranged classes can stand on the walls and rain down destruction. A Witch Elf has to run out to do anything, and bikinis don't do much for damage mitigation. For release I'll play a Shaman on European servers, and a Bright Wizard on US servers.
I also tested out talisman making as tradeskill. Thanks to some advice from a reader I finally found out how to make magical essence (it says you should salvage it, but in fact you should just click on it), and made one talisman that gave +2 toughness for 8 hours. Being relatively hard to make, needing a disenchanted magic item as well as other materials, I was a bit disappointed that the talisman has a time limit and doesn't work permanently like an enchantment. I guess for release I'll stick to apothecary, potions are more useful than that, at least while leveling.
After GOA finally let people who weren't in the closed beta register for the open beta, we founded our guild. One evening we got 9 people together, and decided to do some RvR together. First try we managed to get both groups into the same scenario, but lost badly against a hardcore PvP guild who had done the same thing. In the following attempts we always ended up with only one of the two groups in the scenario, until we gave up. Then we went and wanted to do some open world RvR, but most tier 1 zones were already fully under Destruction control. We found one corner with two Order-controlled battleground objectives, but taking that was rather easy. We met few Order players, and seeing a whole group of us, they all just ran away. Not very exciting, really. We should have done a public quest instead.
So, not the best open beta I ever had, but at least I learned more about the game, and know better what classes and tradeskills I don't want for release.