Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 10, 2008
A WAR plan

As I stated in the previous post, I plan to quit WAR and go back to WoW in a month, and I stated my main reasons in that post. This post is about what I did in WAR up to now, and what I plan to do until I quit. Due to personal and work related stuff getting in the way I didn't play quite as much as I would have wanted. But I did level a shaman to level 19, I learned both salvaging and talisman making to over 125, and I currently own a fortune, 150 gold, ten times what a level 20 mount costs.

So where do I go from here? Obviously I want to reach level 20 and buy a mount. I might want to continue to level 21 or 22, and see some tier 3 content, the next group of scenarios, the bigger keep battles, the public quests. But then I think I'll stop playing that shaman, because I feel I made a mistake rolling a healer in WAR. As Serial Ganker Sid67 so correctly remarks healing is a frustrating and thankless job. And as you can read in the Book of Grudges, many people in PvP target the healers first, because that is the clever thing to do. Last night I was in a scenario where somebody shouted "Don't try to kill the tanks. Tanks are not targets!", and that really made me want to play a tank. In RvR I do like doing the strategic stuff, capturing flags, guarding our flag, and a tank is much more suited for that. And if the enemy is persuaded that tanks should have diplomatic immunity from being targeted, that just increases my survivability even more. As a healer I just die too often.

And it isn't just PvP, I'm not really happy about my shaman in PvE either. Healers aren't all that great in killing mobs, no surprise there. But in World of Warcraft that is balanced by healers being absolutely needed and sought out. As I wrote about my WoW healer, playing a holy priest in WoW is a social engineering choice: You might have trouble soloing, but you'll always be able to find a group, and you're first in line for raid spots. WAR doesn't work that way, because nobody assembles groups. Groups just happen, they assemble themselves. And if there is no healer, people just play without one. There might be a general idea of "we can't attack that keep without healers", but that doesn't lead to "we should look for a healer and be nice to him". Instead the best you can hope for is no feedback at all, because otherwise all you hear is "why didn't you heal me!". And only in good guild groups did I ever see a tank trying to actively protect me with his special damage redirection abilities or by trying to stand between me and the enemy. So usually in PvP I'm the first to die, and while waiting for the respawn get angry comments of why the hell I'm not keeping the others alive. Doh! Because I'm dead, dude!

So I think that shortly after reaching level 20 with the shaman, I'll switch to my black orc, currently level 6. The good thing is that tanks in WAR, just like in most other games, are heavily dependant on the quality of their gear and stat bonuses. So having a main who is both rich and able to make great stat boost talismans should make playing that tank easy. I think I'll move over to the dark elf area, and level up there, to play through another series of quests. That leaves the chaos area in case I come back to WAR later and want to play a damage dealer, like a surfer dude Magus.

I'll probably be playing that black orc until November 8. The GOA account site finally came up, and I saw that the combination of the "free" month I got with the box, plus CE pre-order free time, plus free days for the problems with the headstart add up to me being able to play until then without ever giving GOA my credit card details. Would be silly to subscribe on the 9th, only to quit the game on the 13th. I'll sign back up when I grew bored of Wrath of the Lich King.
So basically you'll revert back to WoW because you feel more important there? Well, is a reason as valid as any other.
One thing is certain, WAR seems to me a game as casual as they come and much more casual than WoW. I found strange that one of the factors that contribute to that is precisely one of the reasons you're quitting.
Nevertheless, and based on much of what you have written, I plan on trying out WAR. But I don't think I will ever go back to WoW...
I'm thinking along the same lines as you for both of your previous posts. I've played 3 characters up to level 12 in WAR and upon beginning to level a fourth I found the starting areas where barren of players and scenarios would take hours to pop. While this is certainly the case with WoW too there are so many more quests for WoW to help you level and very few people get close to completing every quest available to them. I just recently hit 70 and did not step foot in Shadowmoon Valley or Netherstorm!
Like you say, there is a very high level of polish in WoW that people have become accustomed too.
I too have always played healers and it's certainly a lot more thankless in WAR, I remember so many times being thanked via whispers for good healing or helping out someone about to die while questing in WoW. So far not a single person has thanked me in WAR :(
What continually surprises me is that no one targets the Magus, even when my AoE DoTs are hitting seven people crowded around a flag and earning me more renown than most of the healers.
Playing a black orc isn't all that much fun either tbh. You hardly receive heals in scenarios, and die pretty fast as well when a few jump on you. Plus the combat system is even worse for melee I think.

Curious to see how you'll like it ;).
Funny how I just had the exact opposite impression yesterday :) In WAR, healing feels much more useful than in WoW to me. I was never drawn towards my priest (he stayed around lvl 30) and instead played my warrior and my warlock, while I absolutely love the Shaman now in WAR. Healers are rather rare, too, and we're useful.

In RvR I have made way better experiences than you have, obviously. On one hand I've trailed whole groups after me because they wanted me dead, distracting them from the flag that my friends could snatch meanwhile behind them. I've survived the onslaught of 2-3 enemies at once symply by outhealing and outrunning them. And I've caught dying groupmates and turned battles symply by being in the right spot at the right time. Things like that never happened to me in WoW, where 1v1 battles are way more prevalent - I guess that's for design reasons, but it's certainly something I experience.

So, while you may go back to WoW, I'll certainly stick with WAR :)
Oh, and both in PvE and RvR I've had tanks stand between me and the enemy, and use their healer-protecting abilities to thank me for my heals. I guess it's a matter of being lucky or not with the server...
I'll second the 'maybe its your server... ' response. It's not very helpful, I know, but I did tons of BGs in WoW, and they are much less healer friendly, IME. It's not just the assholes (I find posting my healing and the complainant's damage usually ends the discussion) but also the scale of the bgs - War's scenarios are smaller, tighter, and you have much more chance of someone actually seeing that you are in trouble.

Of course people go after the healers - who wouldn't? I do it on my SM, I expect it on my AM, and it's what you will find yourself doing on your Black Orc. As one poster remarks, the respawn is just a pause. I check the map for strategic options, admire my healing ranking or congratulate another healer, get up and do it all again. That's PvP healing; hell, that's PvP.
I also play a Shaman, only level 14, but I am having a blast. Why are you dying so fast? I hardly ever die at all in scenarios, even as a level 12 in a tier 2 scenario. I hope your one of those healers that run in with the tanks and dps to the front lines, of course you would die first.

What I do is I stand back from the main fight. And I heal and dot people from there. There's the occasional Witch Hunters that will pop up and fight you. Just run around and heal yourself and eventually someone from your side will see that and kill them.

And just a tip, you need to set your key bindings to really maximize playing a healer. You need to set a key for "tab" targeting the next friendly. And just use that key to heal people. If your clicking on friendlies, your just wasting a lot of time and probably frustrating yourself. I am always one of the top healers in a scenario even being a low level compared to the rest.

And I don't understand why some of you need to be "thanked" personally to enjoy a class or game...A sign that a healer did a good job would be winning the scenario. I think healers are so crucial to winning them.
Which european wow realm will you play at?
Good choices, got a shammy, orc and witchelf myself. Not decided which Im going to make my main character yet though.
I really wanted to like playing a healer, but the "constantly getting killed" issue really turned me off of the class. I tried four other classes and finally re-rolled Witch Hunter (so I could be the person killing you - Sorry Tobold, at least I'm not on the Euro servers).
Also Tobold. When I constantly get killed like in the first 2-3 minutes of a scenario. That usually means Destruction is going to lose. Every time I play a scenario and this happens, we lose. But if I can be alive most of the time, it means theres a good game going on or we are winning. The game is very dependent on other people and classes not acting like idiots.

I haven't had much problem in Wolfenburg, with the Happy Fun Guyz. Its been pretty fun so far in this server. And I rerolled here after hearing about them.
"I'll sign back up when I grew bored of Wrath of the Lich King."

Ok, see you around November 13th
@Tobold: You need to play more during US hours in CoW instead of on those EU servers. :)

It's funny, but in most guild groups the tanks make a point to use the guard ability on the healers, or oathfriend, or both. I've found that in PUGs for PvE and RvR... people are less than smart.

Makes me very glad to be in an organized casual-friendly guild.
What I do is I stand back from the main fight. ...A sign that a healer did a good job would be winning the scenario. I think healers are so crucial to winning them.

My problem is that this only works in Morkain Temple. In both Phoenix Gate and Stonetroll Crossing the "main fight" in 90% of the cases has nothing to do with "winning the scenario". I won a Stonetroll Crossing single-handedly by making TWO complete troll pacification rounds, while everyone else was somewhere in the middle fighting with no purpose whatsoever.
"...while everyone else was somewhere in the middle fighting with no purpose whatsoever."

Having fun is a purpose.
If you haven't played a healer much in PvP then it's a learning curve, and a harsh one. But you won't always die instantly in Phoenix Gate. With practice, you'll get a better idea of how to watch the flow of a battle and keep yourself mostly out of harm's way. I actually die a lot more on my White Lion than on my Archmage.

You just have to ask yourself if you think it might get more fun if you died less, and if it's worth spending more time on it or not. I think everyone who ever played a PvP healer has toyed with the idea of playing a tank for more survivability :) I know I've had bad scenarios where I've come out and ranted to Arbitrary about this Ironbreaker I want to reroll -- that somehow never gets above level 5 before I miss my AM. The reason we come back to the healer is the sheer amount of power and control that you get over the battleground. It's the same reason you get targetted first. Someone has to be the first target of the assist train .... (try standing next to a sorceress, they are usually tempting targets).

Anyhow, I'll look forwards to reading what you think of WotLK!
I don't know if people need to be thanked as much as there is a lot more anti-healer hostility in WAR than you see in WoW. Not sure why, maybe cause healers are a lot more fun and people think "OMG that WP/DK is meleeing and not healing! what a nub!"

Other than that, I think it's a lot more fun playing a healer so far in t1-t2 than in other games. In WoW on my priest I don't live long enough to heal unless I have a certain spec and/or so much resilience. The classes themselves are much better.

Usually the only classes that make it through to the healers are tanks which don't do as much damage. Though they can if they time their knockdowns right and have high willpower for disrupt. (willpower isn't just for healers)
Maybe it's because I wasn't a healer in WoW but I absolutely have a blast healing in WAR. I assume it gets less and less fun as healing debuffs enter the game but my shaman is rank 17 and I really enjoy playing on him. One good healer can turn the tide of a fight and I enjoy seeing me keep several players up as the enemy team just melts away.

Between the shield spell that I have and the detaunt I find that I can usually just about ignore an attacking player, as long as it's not a Bright Wizard. I also find that players are usually quick to swarm attacking players that get on the healers.

My only complaint is that I don't really enjoy solo play on him and often can't find PQ/PVE groups and that scenario queues on my server for tier 2 are 15-20 minutes @ prime time for Destruction. So I find myself looking for players to heal and not having any luck.
As a Black Orc, I try to make a point of being very protective of my healers. Even if this is the first time I have run into them in a completely random scenario. Healers seem to remember who comes a runnin' and suddenly you are getting priority heals. Tanks are impressive but a few heals make you an indestructible god! "Butch da Black Orc likez da healie gits"

I have also noticed that the xp for quests does slow down around 20 or so. I started running out of quests at 19 when I finished ch 9 and the rest of everything in Barak Varr. But that was sticking only with the one story line. I hadn't done any quests in the other pairings and only a moderate amount of scenarios. I was actually pretty impressed with that. The same thing happens in WoW, if you stick to your one area, you will soon have nothing but yellow and red quests. You have to work the other regions and jump back and forth in order to level up solo. Especially as a squishy. So, the same thing eventually happens in WAR with having to work parallel questing regions. I am not sure what the problem is.

The slow popping scenarios and being unable to complete PQs because of low populations is pretty annoying though. Not sure what could be done to help that problem short of dynamic nerfs that would suck in their own special way.
I'm 100% with Guido on this one. I hated healing in WoW and never got any healing alt up to a reasonable level. I can feel regularly like I'm playing a big part in turning the tide in a scenario, or helping a PQ succeed with my heals in WAR. I also haven't experienced thanklessness. Keeping people alive will almost always get a "nice heals" or "thanks" after the fact, as well as the occasional solicitation to join a guild.

Just remember, healing a flag carrier is just as important as getting 5 people to chase you while you run the opposite way from the flag runner because they can't wait to kill the squishie healer.
Healing in PvP is a lot more complicated than PvE, that is for sure.

With my shaman, if I am not playing smart, I am out in front letting everyone see the lil greenskin with the green beam flowing out of him. I die very fast in those situations. Makes perfect sense.

If on the otherhand, I am behind or in the middle of fellow players, I rarely die, and I keep my teammates alive. I've been whispered a few times, thanking me for healing them.

Ultimately, its the same as WoW PvP. You never DPS a warrior who is getting healed. You always kill the healer first. If not, the warrior and healer will kill you every time.

If you are dying first, and fast, then your teammates aren't doing what they are supposed to do. As a Black Orc, you will be virtually dependent on healers if you plan on carrying any flag. Its a vicious cycle.
bai bai
I was pvping a bit today, leveling my Shammy a few levels, and yes, I definitely feel targeted as a primary target by everyone.

And yes, I've seen other scenarios when I wasn't playing my healer and folks were bitching at the healers.

Bottom line? You bitch at me, and I won't heal you, lol! There are plenty of others who'll need the healing.

That, and continue to play DPS classes for the most part.

But I can see why healers aren't a very popular class to play.
Wtf, A healer needs to be congratulated on good heals ?????

What kind of attitude is that, a healer has to heal, it is his job ...

In DAOC, I never thanked a healer because he was kind enough to heal me ... Ofc when we had a rough fight and we survive, then we could thank each other but healing is the standard

Same with the sorc/ministrel, you aren't suppose to say : "hey, wow, you are mezzing, good job, waaauw, you da man "

Stupid WOW mentality, ruined the MMO sphere totally
Thanking a healer isn't necessary. But if you constantly blame the healer for your bad aggro management, you shouldn't be surprised that soon there are no more healers to be found. Every bloody idiot thinks that if he dies, it's the healers fault. In reality its usually their own fault, and even if the healer did nothing but heal all the time, he couldn't heal everybody in PvP.

Stupid WoW attitude, yes. But from the bloody dps players, who still haven't understood that in PvP there is no main tank who can get the aggro of them, and who can be kept alive by constant heals.
I played a Warrior in WoW pvp, and I hated it...
without a healer I was useless, and being on a pvp server made it even worse.
I'm glad theyve made tanks exactly what they are: front-line fighters to be feared, and not free hk's

in WAR i decided to roll healer to return the favour to all those who ran by and kept me alive whilst being ganked. (by a holy priest of all things)

so this is me saying a big THANK YOU to all healers/buffers out there.

A couple of things i noticed: 1st WAR is a new game, with new combat mechanics, you do get the idiots that complain on /sc "look at that WP dpsing" (hello...he HAS to dps to heal you) and I think the unfair complaints against healers will fade with time, as more and more people try out new classes and understand how they work.

As a healer, I run from dps, try to outlast tanks, and /special at other healers in pvp.
WAR is a team-game, and a dam fine one too,
WoW needs to stop they whole "oh, we make EVERY class balanced" BS.
Classes aren't all even steven, its an MMO, find a friendly tank and hide behind him. switch between healing him and yourself.

IMO: if you die as dps, tank, or healer, the fault usually lies with the person killing you, not your own team-mates.
I find your comments strange, having played a Shamen to lvl 21 I have no trouble killing mobs even multiple mobs solo. Not sure how your spec'd but that could be your problem. Only playing chars up to 1/4 of their end game level is no way to gauge a game.

I played WoW after DAOC died in EU and did not like it. The RvR is non existent and Group PvP was instant based and crap. I leveled a hunter and Paladin to 50+ before I gave it the boot. At least I tried.

As for comments on community did you join a good strong guild within an Aliance. If you had you would be able to get group anytime.

IMHO WAR > AoC > WoW imo - let the flames commence.
The targetting the healer tactic is one which,well, works.

You've alluded to this, and in time I beleive the successful teams will be the ones who realise they have to put some effort into guarding their healer rather than rabidly charging the enemy like a pack of medic seeking pitbulls.

I ran into a group that had a fairly effective strategy in a scenario the other day, with a layered cadre of healers, with one forward covering the front line of tanks, another midrange covering the forward healer, and a third at the back bouncing his heals between mid and front rank healer.
My side? rabid loonies who charged the same healer far too often.
They won nearly each engagement and held areas against numerically larger groups.
Sterling and organised play by the lot of them.
These kind of victories breed imitation.
Sure, theres some time to go before everyone is that organised, or even trying to be, but it goes to show it can be done (as far as anecdotal evidence is considered proof at anyrate...)

As to the coinage issue, I do agree that there really doesn't seem enough to spend it on yet.
While this does disempower gold sellers as stated by another commentator here, it would be nice if there was a use for it all other than aggressive bidding.

What I'm trying to say is this.
You have a point, some areas of the game are lacking at the moment.
Not enough to convince me to leave mind.
Hopefully not enough to thin out the playerbase too much aswell. (though on saying that, I loved daoc and we had, what? 2 english servers at the start and a third open pvp one eventually)

The thing is, I reckon War won't ever really be the game for you, mainly because that game already exists.
Just like Wow won't ever be the game for me.
I had a good year or so playing, and enjoyed myself.
I just couldn't get into the raid mentality.
I guess I just like my raids Keep shaped and crawling with enemy players.
For the planning, the cooperation needed to pull it off and the sheer dynamic nature of engaging a live player.
That's what Daoc used to give me.
With luck, War will too.

All the best to you, and enjoy Northrend (that's the new place, right?)
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