Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A personal decision

I already mentioned that my WoW server had problems last weekend, preventing me from playing as much as I wanted. I didn't mention that instead of playing WAR instead, I reacted by a mix of impatiently camping the WoW servers, and walking away to watch some DVDs. I logged into WAR once, emptied my mailboxes, and logged out again, feeling absolutely no desire to play WAR. Meanwhile my head is full of all the things I want to do next in WoW. I have to face it: I effectively quit WAR already.

This isn't completely unexpected, even before I started playing WAR I said I would probably just play it until Wrath of the Lich King comes out. And me preferring WoW is not necessarily a judgement on the respective qualities of the two games. It is a personal decision, based on personal preferences. I like PvE more than PvP, always did, and World of Warcraft is simply the better fit to my preferred gaming style. I did like many parts of Warhammer Online, like open groups and public quests, but with everyone mostly playing scenarios, the parts I liked in WAR just didn't happen as much as I would have wanted them to.

And in the end it is like Melmoth says: It's a matter of whether you are having fun in a game, and not always easy to explain why you haven't. It isn't something you can really argue about. I am in no way dissing those of you who prefer WAR over WoW, that would be *your* personal decision, based on *your* personal preferences, which are exactly as valid or silly as mine. There is no reason whatsoever why we should all prefer the same game, and in fact I think it is healthy that *not* everyone prefers WoW, because competition is good for the genre. I wish Mythic the best of luck with their game, and hope they'll break that million subscribers mark. I might be back some day, and am looking forward to all those improvements they promised us. But for now my gut tells me to play World of Warcraft, and who am I to argue with my gut?
I experience the same, but then when logging on in WOW. I still have an active account, patched it, but didnt do anything except check on the achievements on my char. No rush to collect mats or anything which i did do before TBC. Instead of mild excitement is a definite more of the same feel. I do like the setting of WotLK though, and am curious as to how the DK will play, so Blizz will still get a bit of my money when the xpack arrives..
Instead of mild excitement is a definite more of the same feel.
Ditto. Unsurprisingly, content designed for Achievers doesn't motivate an Explorer. I've ordered my WoTLK, but considering I've seen everything except C'thun and Kil'jaeden (Kel'Thuzad will be seen in WotLK, so he doesn't count), the achievements don't add any motivation to play now, even if I could.
I think, as any game, the fun part is a mix of many things...
The game have to be fun but at same time there's many components that can be outside the game itself.

So it can depend on your mood, on what you played or not played before, on what other friends play, and many other things.

We can dissect a game in pieces, analize them and discuss about the good, the bad and the ugly.... but tasties can't be duscissed.

We can talk about apples and argue how to judge quality of apples. But we can't discuss if someone like oranges more than apples.
I can understand how someone can not like WAR pvp, I can understand how someone can like WoW-specific stuff like the sport model of PvP (arenas) or just organised guild raiding, which is what it is in pretty much any game that has it.

What I don't get is how someone could prefer WoW PvE, which is just WAR with the fun bits taken out. No PQs, no tome, no trying combinations of tactics, just eye-bleedingly tedious solo quests to increase numbers. To me, that kind of stuff is like the bread in the sandwich - a kind of necessary stabiliser to prevent you getting sick from too much fun stuff.

Seriously, what is the attraction to those people eating the WoW bread sandwich?

"organised guild raiding" = PvE
What I don't get is how someone could prefer WoW PvE, which is just WAR with the fun bits taken out. No PQs, no tome, no trying combinations of tactics, just eye-bleedingly tedious solo quests to increase numbers.

If you play like that, only solo, you play WoW wrong, and can't possibly understand the interest. The attraction of WoW PvE is group content, and the dependancy of players from each other. Players that need to work together to overcome an obstacle, thus forming a strong bond. WAR has much easier formed groups, in which players depend on each other to a much lesser degree, and form much less strong bonds.

On "no tome, no combination of tactics", you are just plain wrong. WoW has achievements since the last patch, which aren't any less interesting because the interface doesn't look like a book. And combination of tactics play a far bigger role in WoW than in WAR, due to the reasons stated above, that players depend more on each other.
Well, a discussion can be had i guess on which game offers the more tactical gameplay. I would not want to make any definite statements about that (certainly not in a 'youre wrong, period' way).

Due to the almost pure pve nature of wow though, (raid) encounters are like puzzles, which can be cracked once, they will always stay the same and not adapt. Sure tight cooperation is needed for all to push the right button at the right time but that is more a question of strict coordination than tactics. The tactics part in the encounter is solving the initial puzzle (a one time event) much of which can even be done offline and in advance.

In more pvp oriented gameplay the encounters are per definition, due to human input, not equal. One could say that responding to these ever changing conditions and opponents requires more tactical skill then making a one time gameplan and sticking with it. imho.
A massive battle of 60:60 people in WAR is not unpredictable at all. I did a lot of RvR action so far and it is always the same.

Even the environment stays the same - it's always the same type of castle - or even the same castle.

Playing my Bright Wizard at 40 is also not very challenging at all. It is much more challenging to lead a raid in TS while doing the perfect cat druid PvE boss dmg rotation, while also keeping the particular boss tactics in mind, than to place 100 detonates on the castle wall, followed by a fire rain.

On a big scale of several organised groups, RvR action may be challenging. Although I was in quite a organised guild in WAR I can say that neither we did anything like that - nor did our enemies.

Withough objectioves - like flags in Arathi and towers in AV, a 60:60 PvP scene is always a chaotic deathmatch zerg. Even worse than 5:5 arena.
Imagining that you will get do do dungeons, instead of solo grind in WoW, sounds like a triumph of shiny new-game optimism over common sense and past experience.

If you happen to be the kind of person, with the kind of play-time and kind of friends, who can't get a PQ going, there is no way in a million years you will ever get together the precise numbers and class balance needed to do any WoW instance while fresh.

But I haven't being following the WoW expansion pack news closely - have they done something that changes the basic broken model of getting together 5 (no more, no less) people for a fixed number of hours of sub-par experience?

It's not 2003 any more - you can't assume there will be a critical mass of people wanting do to any dungeon just because it would be wrong not to.
I've reached Rank 40/RR 34 in WAR and I have yet to see the complex tactics in WAR PvP. I found the tactics used in WoW Arena far more complex, and imo WoW PvP is far more demanding.

Still WAR is not a bad game. I'll play it till November 13, then switch to WotLK.

My biggest concern with WAR however, is the endgame. I don't seem to understand how the endgame will operate. From my experience up to know, it seems that if there is a reasonable number of defenders in a keep/fortress it is practically unfeasible to capture it. That makes prime time city captures unfeasible as far as I can tell. Taking over a zone today, and planning to take the next tomorrow, is also unlikely to happen, since 6-8 people can reclaim all the keeps in a zone in 1 hour, if uncontested.

Could someone please explain to me how WARs endgame is supposed to actually work? The only way I see it working is having a guild taking shifts 24hours/day waking everybody up (via phonecalls) if a threat comes up in the middle of the night.
This is the main reason for me to quit WAR. Lack of End game perspective.

WAR is a leveling game, but leveling takes only a tiny amount of time - compared to end game.

If they had just removed the levels and spent all these ressources to produce end game experience it might have been a wonderful game.
Im not nearly at R40 yet (casual player reporting) but find the pvp encounters more diverse (avoiding the word complex, if you want that youll be better of playing chess, or in the realms of vidgames, maybe an old skool hex based wargame with 5 full battallions on a 1000*1000 grid map). In my view PVE encounters are always 100% the same, PVP encounters will differ, thats inevitable. Both can be used to make a good game. I played WoW since launch and probably liked the pvp part most (even though it wasnt the primary focus of the game). Not the e-sport Arena but the old massive TM / AV battles. To me WAR offers more in that preferred play style.
Well, a discussion can be had i guess on which game offers the more tactical gameplay. I would not want to make any definite statements about that (certainly not in a 'youre wrong, period' way).

I fully agree that which game offers *more* tactical variety is a matter of debate. My absolute statement of "you're wrong" is only valid against the absolute statement of soru that WoW has no tactical combinations at all, which simply isn't true.

As several other commenters remarked, there are downsides to both models of endgame. The WoW endgame has more different raid boss encounters, but every one of them is static; once you know the tactics, and have the manpower and gear to crack it, it becomes a pure excercise of perfecting your excecution of always the same moves. The WAR endgame is potentially less static, but large groups of players often tend to behave in quite predictable ways, and the various tier 4 keeps only differ in look, not function. Taking first the dwarf fortress and then the empire fortress is probably more similar than taking first this raid boss and then that raid boss in WoW. Which one of the two is more fun, and more motivating, depends on personal preference. You can argue whatever you want, but somebody not interested very much in PvP will never get excited about the endgame in WAR. And vice versa for WoW.
Well have fun in WoW. :)

I've made a decision too, but it's the middle road. I'll certainly keep playing WAR because in my opinion it has superior PvP, but I will also buy and play WOTLK just because I know that WoW has excellent content up to max cap and before starting to raid/PvP. In the end I will most likely drop WoW for WAR. It's just a question of how long I'll keep playing them both.
'WoW has no tactical combinations at all'

I only meant wow doesn't have the WAR feature 'tactics', the things you can switch around on the fly to try to find a combination that works optimally with your stats, gear and build: the closest is stances.

You were right though, that they do have a feature roughly equivalent to the tome in WotLK.

For end-game elite play at least, both games have the more general meaning of tactics. For players in those categories, it's a whole different set of question as, when played that way, which game is:
1. more fun
2. more accessible
3. more sustainable

At that level, it's not the PvP/PvE thing that makes the difference to me, or even the sport/war PvP, but fixed capped numbers versus unlimited, 'elite' versus 'zerg'.

I tend to agree that in that specific case, PvE is more fun than PvP. But getting to be part of it, rather than hear about it, counts for a lot more.
"The tactics part in the encounter is solving the initial puzzle (a one time event) much of which can even be done offline and in advance"

You can say that about 99.9% of Boss encounters, in almost any game, online or offline, solo or group, from Sonic the Hedgehog to Goblins and Ghosts.

Sure, read how to do Kaelthas offline (and see that there is no exact method of how to do it), go to Tempest Keep with 25 people who have never been there before, use the tactices you read up on, and you will fail this encounter on your first attempt at it, guaranteed (even after the huge nerf in the last patch).

"there is no way in a million years you will ever get together the precise numbers and class balance needed to do any WoW instance while fresh."

Ever heard of guilds? I can run instances every day of the week without a problem.
I will be running Wrath instances with guildies as soon as it is released. I will also be raiding Naxx at 10 man and 25 man levels.
I don't know what version of WoW you were playing, but it isn't the one I play.
My 2 cents:

Something that puts me off from WoW is the artificially high requirements for entry in most big guilds.

If I were to play with lots of people I'd probably be asked to put forth a resumé of my PvP skills or PvE raid background.

In WAR, as me being in one of those big guilds contributes in taxes and as another soldier in the war for keeps, I'm not asked to go through so many loopholes to play with people. Therefore I can enjoy groups for PQs, scenarios, etc far easier than if I were to reactivate my WoW account.
It's funny the different reasons for people wanting to leave WAR and go to WoW. Personally I never once got into WoW. I beta tested, bought it at release, got incredibly frustrated with their server stability among other things, managed to play for about six months before I decided to call it quits and go back to DAoC.

Now, DAoC on the other hand, I've played that game pretty much since it was released and to this day if it had the population it needed for RvR I'd be there. I've left WoW twice to go back to DAoC, I'll never go back to WoW again.

WAR needs some work, and I'm content waiting it out, I love the RvR, I love the options for RvR/PvP, I love the fact that most people aren't elitist jerks (at least on my server), and I love the way my character looks.

All of what i said above is just personal opinions... But if DAoC manages to come out with the Origins servers, you can bet I know an entire guild that will be back in DAoC.
Well said, Tobold. Play what you find fun. People will have their own preferences, but after all this is *your* blog so you get to talk about *your* preferences.

I guess you've stopped playing Spore, too, huh?
My WAR subscription is up and I haven't renewed. Too much focus on scenarios and the lag is terrible.

I doubt I'll be back either. I don't want to spend a months subscription fee just to see if the lag or game has improved. Maybe they should include 3 months play with the game price so players have time to settle.

Yeah, my personal decision was never to pick up WAR in the first place. I have no major interest in PvP, I am a PvE nut. If ever I do get the itch, I can run some BGs or arenas or raid a city in WoW and have the itch sufficiently scratched without it leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

One of the main turn offs for me about WAR is the prospective endgame in the longterm. It was something that we had talked about in the email, Tobold, on how city seiges seem like they will be the end game and all they can add to the game is more races/cities and not more levels.

In the long term of Warhammer, I see the expansions only adding more racial pairings and their capital cities. This is just theorycraft but my expectation would be in every WAR expansion you'd get just 1-2 more capital cities to siege, some more scenarios, and a bunch of zones to quest through if you're into alts. Whereas in every WoW expansion you get a myriad of new raid instances to run. That's my bread and butter.
I guess you've stopped playing Spore, too, huh?

I never play single-player games very long.

On the subject of guilds: Having a good, and large enough, guild makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of a game. If you don't have a guild, the WoW endgame becomes pretty much impossible. But then without a guild the WAR endgame is probably less fun too. You can tag along while some large raid captures a keep or even city, but you won't get the full benefits unless you are part of a guild in that raid.
Completely agree with you Tobold on the guild point, not having a guild affects both games equally.

The only point I was trying to make on my comment was that I found easier finding a big casual guild in WAR than in WoW. As WoW has hooks that entice big guild to raise the commitment bar to go into raiding and doesn't reward the guild for having a huge amount of members if they are not part of the core raiding/arena/bg group. At least that has been my experience with that game so far.
I agree that personal preference may be one of the most important criteria in choosing a game to play and invest time in but it is a criteria exercised on an objective base: whether the game in question is "good" or not. Precisely what defines those qualities are open to debate though I think as medium develops critics and players will develop a more uniform judgement about the construction and execution of particular games. So while you may prefer WoW now and War later, I still think there is a possibility of putting these games in a hierarchy of achievement, even if that it is only relative to their self selected audiences. Teasing out just what makes game X better than game Y leads to better experiences in the future as developers take those lessons and incorporate them into new games.
well neither game appeals to me. Done WoW enough, the exp will come out and the raids will be ridiculous to keep the powergamers entertained for a few months, then they will lower the requirements so the softies will finally be a dungeon and feel good about themselves, been there done that.

WAR, bah, was in beta, didn't grab me, not that good, animations suck, graphics horrible, end game nonexistant, the only fun is if you happen to get a decent pvp battle, PQs were a-ight, but not that special.

therefore, i'm playing nothing, have mor imp things to do. I'll still read the site, see how much fun you are having, see what problems come up, and I just enjoy the dynamics of MMO socializing. peace
I'm sticking with WAR, here is why.

I was in a fairly successful raiding guild when I played WoW, I was an officer and one of the raid leaders in this guild. We had BT an Hyjal on farm in summer '07. When the ZA patch dropped I found despite being a key member in the 25 man scene I was not considered to be "Ideal" in the new 10 man content. I realized how exclusive WoW could be and i canceled my subscription, It wasn't this single issues that made up my mind but many little things that added up.

Given all the negative things that have been said about WAR recently it really is the type of game that tries to be inclusive, I've never been turned away from a PQ or open world RvR. When we ran Gunbad if people wanted to join just increase the warband etc... I know there are problems with WAR's dungeons (disconnect boots you to the start etc..).
An excellent post. What I find most amusing is that all of the city captures and attacks that I have read about thus far have happened at non-prime time hours for the region. Couple this with the criticism about WoW PVE encounters never changing. So WAR gives such a huge advantage to defenders in open keeps and sieges RvR that players are actively seeking to turn what should be an epic RvR encounter into a steam roll PVE encounter by attacking late at night or early in the morning.

Irony poster is ironic.

If the game was more focused on PQ and open RvR I would have stuck with it longer. As it was I found myself spending hours unable to find open groups in my tier and grinding 150-200 mobs for influence before moving on.

Part of the WAR burnout may be related to all of the hype that so many of us have been caught up in for the past year or so. We went into the game with all of these preconceptions and were disappointed when the game didn’t deliver.
Fun is, I believe, almost impossible to quantify. You can break a lot of things down logically and discuss game design minutiae forever, but sometimes you just miss what makes a game fun.

In this particular case, I am also finding that Warhammer is just not that fun. I can't decide if it's because my order character is so boring, the combat is too even, progression too slow, PVP too repetitive, or what. But it's not that fun for me.

I hope it's fun for more people, because we need more competition in this market.
I don't think this comes as a surprise to anyone. As the dust settles and players start jumping off the "Hey, there's a shiny new game out" bandwagon, the folks who predominantly enjoy the scripted encounters and intricate group synthesis necessary for raiding will go back to the PvE game, and the folks who enjoy the spontaneity and randomness of PvP will stick with the superior PvP title.
Maybe RvR from 1-40 was a bad idea on their part as it overshadows so many other aspects of the game.

If WoW had level 20 "raids" that were just as, if not more, enjoyable than level 70 raids would that take away the desire to push to 70?

In the end I just also don't feel that it's the game for me in it's current state.

It's a pity that they kept the open beta so short and level capped @ 20. So many of these issues could have been cleared up durring open beta prior to launch.
Part of the problem with WAR is that it doesn't really feel like a world. But more a few stitched together zones.

Also I didn't feel any connection with my in game character...

Hard to explain why that is :). In my case the CTDs didn't help much either !

You have to look at the numbers to understand why that works for you, and wouldn't for others.

a guild which can do a 25 man raid while leaving no more than X people out has 25 + X members. If each member logs on at a random time in a Y hour window willing to do an instance on Z% of days, it will take them a certain amount of time until there is a valid 5 person-group online and ready to go.

Best case, 60-person guild where everyone has alts to cover class imbalances, is all the same level and plays 100% of the time and logs on in an generally agreed 1 hour window, one group member logs on per minute so you can form a group with an average wait of 2 minutes from log-in.

On the other hand, a 40-person guild with 25% average online, starting during a 4 hour window and needing 7 people to guarantee a valid 5 man, one person logs on per 24 minutes, and getting a group would face an average wait of about an hour and a half, with a 3 hour wait not being uncommon.

In smaller guilds, or ones with people of different levels, it gets exponentially worse.

TLDR version: WoWs fixed raid caps and fixed group caps means you need to be online more than 50% of the time, or be a bottleneck class without which nothing can be done, in order to get to do anything interesting.
why dont you rename this blog to "tobold's WoW blog, with some other mmo every once in a while to how how orginal i am" ?

Your more of a sell out then blizzard it seems
Wasn't I a sellout to Mythic not so long ago? :)

I'm not deleting this anonymous post, because it is an excellent example of how irrational people react to simple statements of personal preference. Playing a certain MMORPG is quasi-religious, and trying out and not liking some game is heresy.
It's funny Tobold, when I found your blog I read it from the very beginning, and WoW was not even in beta when this began.

So, it's not really fair to characterize this as a WoW-only blog.

But how could a blogger giving attention to the MMO's out there not dedicate as much to WoW as you have? It's been the biggest thing in the genre ever - it's polish and scope have been huge and made MMO's accessable to new players.
Good thing you have that free lifetime sub! You can check back in whenever you want a bit of meaningful RvR action (once they polish it up) and stick with WoW for the vastly superior endgame raid content.

They each have strengths and weaknesses that appeal to different styles of play.
I don't like expansions. I prefer to play new games to old games with just a few new things. That said, I am more likely to check out LotRO Moria than WoW WoTLK in November if I need a break from WAR.
PVP unpredictability becomes sorta predictable as time goes by not 100% but at least to the point where you can make a good guess .... people will learn what class X will do again class Y, what to do when ability A is use and knowingly that ability B is next.

It boils down to knowing the rules/class and how to make those rules/class work for you.This is a good thing because "skill" will come into place where you have to improvise and do some variety and their success rate will go up and a bad thing because well players who don't do their research or even attempt to learn will always fail or do mediocre most of the time.

This goes for both WOW and WAR. Scenarios or Arenas. Taking a keep
or PVE bosses. Although I have to agree with VLAD that there are encounters in WOW where there is no ultimate strategy Kaelthas anyone? you see alot of people skipping him and even t6/sunwell gear people avoid doing him cause they can't just expect to overgear him like most bosses(brutallus, just tank and spank is a good example).

In the end its a Carrot on the stick game again ... and the question is what's your type of carrot? atm for me its WOW PVE/PVP

P.S. Welcome back to WOW Tobold!

P.P.S. Check out the achievement where you need to read certain books concerning the Lore of WOW. Have fun ^_^.
You sound like you have a guilty conscience! Haha dont feel guilty, its just a video game dude. No moral implications for the future of humanity. Its just a video game.
Tobold, do you think if perhaps WoW has "ruined" you for other games? Would it seem like to you that before WoW you were able to play other MMOs for longer periods of times and get more deeply into them? It just seems to me that since WoW you haven't really been able to give any other game a fair chance? You quit Lotro very early, AoC even quicker, you've now quit War very early and whatever other games there were in between, and keep going back to WoW even at times when it seemed like you were a bit bored with it.

Would that seem like a fair assessment? Why do you think that is? Is WoW truly the superior game of them all, or do think familiarity plays a big part of it? The older we get, the more set in our ways we get and such?
I'll continue to play WAR with a buddy, a few hours each week, and WoW whenever. I've taken a few breaks from WoW, but I'm still on the same server and character I was when I started three years ago, so there are intangible "tasties" wrapped up in my experience with World of Warcraft. I like PvE/scripted content, exploring, and playing with the auction house. I've never hit level cap before the cap rises, usually run around in greens/blues, and generally I enjoy my time in the game. I also enjoy reading this blog, whatever game Tobold happens to be going on about.
I'm glad you're playing WoW again. I never tried WAR because of the hardware requirements.

I'd like to see "the long list of things" you want to do in WoW.
Would it seem like to you that before WoW you were able to play other MMOs for longer periods of times and get more deeply into them?

Wouldn't say so. I played the original Everquest for 19 months, but all the other MMORPGs between EQ and WoW I only played for a few months before getting bored: DAoC, AO, SWG, FFXI, and some others. At that point I thought EQ had spoilt me for other MMORPGs, and then WoW came. I'm waiting for the NEXT game that can hold my interest for over a year, but haven't found it yet.
I agree that choosing a game for it's "fun" value is and should be an acceptable personal decision.

I'm the opposite in that I have had no desire to resub to WoW after playing WAR.

For me, the biggest issue is time.
Grouping in WoW is much less flexible than WAR in both time committments and group make-up.

There are couple points discussed I'd like to point out that I simply have a different perspective on.

First, I am not ready to judge the endgame. There just aren't a good number of people in Tier 4 to get a sense of that will feel like. And postulating on what Mythic will be doing with future expansions seems very ahead of things....

Also, in my experience guilds and endgame raid experience in WoW do not create bonds but tension through the practice of exclusion as another poster mentioned above. Multiple times a week I was having to take part in decisions about who was going where or not at all. Maybe this will come about in WAR later, but I haven't seen anyone frustrated because they were left out of something. I understand that this is part of WoW and it is a reason I lost interest.

To that end as well, you can argue about the bonds you form in one game or the other, but I felt like in WoW, all I needed to do was play my part of the puzzle and as long as everyone else played theirs, regardless of who they were, we were fine. I find that WAR, in a more fluid environment, you have a bigger variety of playstyles and playing with one person feels far different than someone else helping form real connections.

Again, these thoughts are simply my perspective and for discussion -- I'm not saying that WAR or WOW is better. And as Tobold put, which you prefer is probably more about the style of game than anything else.
Tobold Said:

I'm waiting for the NEXT game that can hold my interest for over a year, but haven't found it yet.

I'd be interested in knowing what you think such a game would consist of. Either developers will produce tools that will allow them to generate content at much faster speeds in the near future, or we'll continue to see the much loathed "grind elements" incorporated into any future releases.

I think the static nature of current MMO content will have to change if such a game is to be made. WoW has definately taken some steps to alleviate this with the new "phasing" concept, but I feel these are baby steps compared to changes that sould be done in future titles.

Your take on personal preference is spot on in my opinion, and I am just about 100% certain that future titles will force developers to make a decision on what type of gameplay elements they will want to incorporate and what their target audience is going to be.

It will definately take a company with deep pockets to produce the next 'big' MMO that has mass appeal across all the types of playstyles that exist.
If you play like that, only solo, you play WoW wrong, and can't possibly understand the interest. The attraction of WoW PvE is group content, and the dependancy of players from each other. Players that need to work together to overcome an obstacle, thus forming a strong bond. WAR has much easier formed groups, in which players depend on each other to a much lesser degree, and form much less strong bonds.

On "no tome, no combination of tactics", you are just plain wrong. WoW has achievements since the last patch, which aren't any less interesting because the interface doesn't look like a book. And combination of tactics play a far bigger role in WoW than in WAR, due to the reasons stated above, that players depend more on each other.

Sorry Tobold, due respect to your opinion, but I and many others are not drinking the Kool-Aid on this one.

WoW is effectively more of a grind than WAR, and the foundation of your argument is that since the content is more difficult to deal with (in the sense of it being more tedious, mind-numbingly boring and monotonous, IMO), takes longer and is more complex to complete. And in turn, since you've bonded with your fellow raiders (grinders), you form more of an attachment?

I prefer the scenario-based, short bits of palatable, bite-sized content that WAR offers on this one. You may consider yourself a casual gamer in certain cases, but most of us don't have time to run 3-4 hour WoW raids, or repeat dungeons a half-dozen times in order to get the widget you need to complete stage 1 of 10 of your epic quest chain. Etc.

I think WAR is the future of this kind of game - it's obviously not evolutionary, but arguing that you form deeper bonds because you're slogging through molasses instead of driving down the highway is akin to saying prison inmates bond more than co-workers or sports teammates because they're locked in cells together and are forced to look at each other 24/7.

Personally, that's not something I'm really interested in. :) But to each his own...
"These are the designs that try players' souls", eh, Nick? Misery loves company, and bonds forged in hardship are stronger than fair weather friends? There's some validity to that, but it's not what I'm looking for in a game.

Don't waste your players' time. A game is not something that I'm looking for obligations in, I'm looking to play. If I want to forge those inseparable bonds of internet brotherhood, well... I'd rather do so because I'm having fun, not because we're suffering together. I never want to feel obligated in any way to play a game. I've plenty of obligations already, thanks.

Of course, to some, grinding is fun, and slogging through raids for rare drops is a blast. Managing a guild or holding a position of social power is a heady aphrodesiac. That's not my preference, but hey, some folks like it.

I happen to like WoW for the solo content. I won't play past the free trial because it doesn't offer sufficient value for my casual play schedule. I'm obviously not the target audience... but neither am I a WAR junkie.

To each their own indeed, and leave each to their own. There's no need to think that somehow some other player's preference diminishes your choice in any way. *shrug*
Just to address the Achievement vs Tome thing mentioned earlier...

I don't see them as the same thing at all. I was interrested to see what the achievement system was in WoW, and was very dissapointed. It was just a series of plates saying I did something, sometimes (with a checklist) and some strange numbers next to it giving me some sort of ultimate score that I dont really know what it is for. I am going to assume that it is like an Atari game and those points are to see how well I have done... The WoW acheivements are interresting, but they strike me more as a checklist of things to grind for.

I love unlocking things in the tome though, as it unlocks a lot of flavor text and lore. To me, that is substantial, and something I can actually enjoy rather than a simple check list with bragging points and the rare possability of the occasional title or pet. Each unlock enriches my understanding of the Warhammer world, and draws me further into the game. The checklist of what I did is almost beside the point.

But that goes back to what you were saying about taste, Tobold. you don't seem to get all that excited about lore, or at least not as it was presented in the Tome, so you see the Tome as being almost identical to the Achievement system in WoW, whereas I see them as radically different things.

For my money, Tome beats Achievments, but then again, WoW has done other elements exceedingly well, so I shall continue to play both.
Poor Tobold. After a few weeks of playing Wrath of the Lich King you'll be bored again. Then what will you do? I'm reminded of the daddy's girl who can never find a boyfriend that compares to her father.

Unless you're willing to give LOTRO, AoC, or WAR another chance, the Summer of 2009 is going to be torture for you )

= # # =
Having followed (and enjoyed) your blog for years I'm afraid I'm going to side with Essi's post here. I'm no WoW fan but there's something about the massive time investment that, perhaps not surprisingly, makes it very hard for folk who raided heavily to move on.

As a long-time reader who has always found this blog very entertaining, insightful and well-written, I can't help but notice that perhaps other titles aren't getting the chance they might have if WoW was not so dominant.

That said, of course, it's your blog and you'll quite rightly write about whatever takes your fancy! It's just a shame, imho, that that's increasingly restricted to observations on WoW.
I feel the same way in reverse, having a blast in war and see no reason to log into wow or buy the expansion just to realize nothing has changed.

Both are great games depending on what you are looking for and there really isn't a wrong answer. I went against my gut and bought TBC when it came out and quit a few weeks later, not gonna make that mistake again.
Although I come up as an ESAK on the Bartle test, WAR has rekindled my DaoC RvRing bloodthirst. My only problem with the game at the moment is finding folks to fight.

I'm sorry you're not going to be covering it any more. I'll still read you though :)
i'm suffering the same disinterest in WoW atm. I log in, check my mail, oh boy i got 500g for selling herbs, then log back out.

all the changes in 3.0 feel like too much at once to swallow. Plus my guild fell apart, and that's a HUGE factor in my disinterest in WoW atm. I have a good guild in WAR, new people i've never played with before, and am learning who's who and waht's what. that alone keeps WAR fresh, but i've said before and i'll say again: i wish WAR was just a mod built on top of WoW's engine.

I actually find the BGs in WAR to be pretty enjoyable (everyone hates the lava? i love it, lol) just because they're a change of pace, and I never really did the BG grind in WoW. I'll definitely 'check out' Wrath, but for now WAR is keeping me occupied.

While not technically superior is almost ANY way, it's got a good vibe, and people are excited to be playing it.
I'm right there with you, Tobold. I let my WAR account gut said "Im bored of this" and I went back to my hunter in WOW. Played that with friends over the last few nights and had fun...they weren't on tonight and I was alone. Boy I got bored fast and left in about 10 minutes of being on. I guess I'll just surf the web until WOLK comes out, har.
I lost interest in WoW after levelling through the Burning Crusade. I left for LotrO - went back again during a lull between books and levelled up another 70 but it never seemed to regain that excitement again. Possibly because people in the old guild i had been in had moved on and were way ahead of me when I went back.
WAR is something I was able to start fresh and I intend to stick with it a bit as I don't have any interest now in going back to WoW. I'll check of Moria though and expect to run WAR and LotrO for a while. I have a lifetime sub for LotrO which really really helps and WAR to stratch any PvP itch that I have (I really don't like PvMP very much!).
That is a shame, i've enjoyed your WAR posts. WOW posts won't hold as much interest for me unfortunately.
Now i've sampled WAR I won't be returning to WOW anytime soon. WOW is a mature MMO - WAR will only get better and I plan to enjoy that ride.

WAR -> LotRO for me.
Wall of text inbound that most won't read :P

If a number of my friends from my old Guild weren't playing WAR I’d already be back in WoW.

WAR is not polished enough at the moment, in a couple months maybe, but right now it's imbalanced, and buggy (though to be fair WoW is to thanks to 3.02 right now)

The big draw was the RvR, well so far that's non existent, Scenarios are NOT RvR. That leaves me comparing the parts of it I can to WoW, that means I compare Scenarios to BG's, and the PvE.

Then there is the PvE. I love some of the mechanics, especially where everyone in a group can get credit for drops, and that every mob of a type will drop the item you need (always hated in WoW being told hey I need 10 horns from this creature. all the models obviously have horns on them, yet you have to kill 50 of them to get 10 horns

I love the concept of PQ's but the fact that unless you have a guild group odds are you won't ever get past the first stage shows they are flawed. This holds true for all the PvE. The above were I mentioned it was nice for everyone to get credit for drops is also useless, almost nobody groups up for actual quests and instead when you DO see someone on the same quest they tend to just keep killing on their own instead of teaming up and making it go faster for both parties involved. The game feels like it's already been out for 3 years what with almost nobody populating the world because they are in Scenarios. Now people will say but the game is supposed to be about PvP duh that’s why they are in scenarios, but that is wrong. Not only are scenarios hurting PvE but they are hurting what is supposed to be the focus of this game…RvR

The Scenarios are fun no doubt, but they are simple and basically all either CTF (hello WSG) or KoTH (hello Arathi Basin/EoTS) with Murder ball being the only part that is new. All fairly simple, personally I always preferred AV style which is a little more complex with a nice little "boss" at the end of it. I love the join all concept, hate the fact that 9 times out of 10 it pops the same scenario over and over. I love the time limits on capture the flag scenarios (I despise WSG with a passion). Overall though I have fun in them I just don’t want to do them all the time, because you know the other term for doing one thing all the time is, well, grinding

The real problem comes from the fact that the reward (exp and renown) outweighs the other options (PvE and RvR). Players will always take the quickest option to the ultimate goal, and in an MMO that first goal is max level. This leads to nobody doing any real open RvR (ganking doesn’t count). Keeps only get taken during non peak hours because the risk to reward ratio is lower. In a keep siege with a small number of defenders can at times take over an hour, in that same hour I could have done 4 scenarios and gained more EXP and Renown than I would having captured the keep Also let’s not forget that if you are in a guild of sufficient rank Mythic has essentially removed any need of the keeps because you can buy all your Renown gear from the guild hall. Not to mention the fact that there is a large gap in between Renown gear (you typically get a full set in the early levels and a full set in the later levels of a tier) so you buy your Renown gear and typically can replace it with drops or quest rewards thus making it pointless to begin with.

I don’t dislike the game I am just frustrated that it has essentially turned in to a scenario grind and forgotten the rest of the game existed.
Random Poster just rolled a critical hit on WAR. I had planned to play in the Spring but not now. What kills it for me is that the one feature that I was/am most intrigued about (public quest) doesn't sound practical unless you are playing on a brand new server and even then the opportunity won't last long, since everyone is trying to race ahead.

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There are and will always be new people and others rolling alts to run PQs. I have finished every greenskin PQ through chapter 7 just by inviting those passing by or joining up with someone that started already. Don't let that be a reason for not giving it a try.
@ the above anonymous should try it as order

I can't believe the large population imbalance slipped my mind. That is another root cause of the issues and I think why you see so many varied responses on this.

For the Destruction guys they have the people around and wandering by to do PQ’s because they outnumber Order on most of the servers (this is the case on my Order server and my Destruction server, there’s not enough Order people to go around), since they can’t get in to Scenarios they get to play the rest of the game with the Scenario pops (which depending on the Tier can take quite a while) as a nice diversion. As an Order player you have the exact opposite problem. Since Scenarios on a lot of servers tend to pop in less than a minute for order that’s what they do, that leaves the rest of the world under populated. I have literally played for 3 hours in the T3 zones and not seen a single person not in my guild outside of a scenario.

You’ve got a good ¾ of your playerbase bitching because they can’t get in to enough Scenarios and they are tired of the PvE, and then the other ¼ bitching because they can’t do anything EXCEPT Scenarios.
and I need an edit function :P

@ the guy who said I critically hit WAR

By Spring everything I just posted may be irrelevant a lot can change in a few months. It may very well be worth a shot then at the very least if you have a friend playing it use the inevitable trial that will be forthcoming.
Public quests are very nicely done - even a quite small well balanced group can do them. Certainly if you're looking forward to them you won't be disappointed
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