Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The Dungeons of WAR
Last night my guild did their first dungeon crawl in Warhammer Online. We visited the Sacellum, the arena in the Inevitable City, which has three short dungeon wings. The first has mobs level 13 to 16, the second from level 15 to 18, and the last from level 17 to 20. We cleared out the first, did the last except for the final boss, but didn't get all that far in the middle one, where curiously the mobs hit a lot harder than their higher level brethren. We might have beaten them too if we hadn't had one other player and me crash to desktop, resulting in half an hour queue to get back into the game.
The three dungeons are supposed to be holding cells for the arena, and they look the part. Of course that makes them look rather drab, compared to the often very colorful WoW dungeons. But apart from the look, the dungeons were fun enough. The trash mobs are of "champion" strength, and there aren't too many of them. Each wing seems to have 3 boss mobs, which are "hero" strength, and tough to beat. While the first dungeon only had beastmen, the last dungeon held exotic monsters, so we fought a wyvern, a manticore, and a hydra, all very nicely animated and impressive.
Gameplay in the dungeons was classic WoW style: We made a group with a Black Orc main tank, me as Shaman healer, two Chosen off-tank/melee dps, and two Squig Herder ranged dps. Levels ranging from 14 to 20, with the main tank being the level 20, which was helpful. Went in, beat up the trash mobs, and then faced the boss mobs, who took longer fights to beat. The bosses all just dropped green loot, but we got a blue drop from a trash mob.
We had one quest from Barak Varr to find a goblin in the deepest dungeon, and there is another quest for the lowest level dungeon in the middle of the arena. Unfortunately the arena is populated by level 35 aggressive mobs, and getting to the quest giver alive isn't easy. I only managed it by using the fleeing ability, dying directly after accepting the quest. Really bad placement, and the quest rewards aren't special either.
So all in all the WAR dungeons felt like the devs ticking off a check box: Dungeons, yes we got those! Needing a holy trinity of tank/healer/dps, they are less easy to set up, and give less rewards, than public quests, so I don't see me doing them all that often. I did like the boss mobs in the final Sacellum dungeon, but for the rest the WAR dungeons don't come close to WoW dungeons. But of course PvE dungeons is the main strength of WoW, so that doesn't come unexpected.
As far as I read, Altdorf has a similar set of three dungeons in the sewers, fighting Skaven. So if you are level 14 to 20, and have some likeminded friends, whatever realm you are on, there is a set of dungeons for you to check out. Interesting to see once, but otherwise just a minor distraction from the much better public quests and RvR of WAR.