Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tarelther's Take on What WAR Does Right

It's been busy at work for me lately, so I've not had much time to play, much less post. So I want to go over what WAR has going for it that other games just don't get (yet).

1. Immunity timers on CC. In other games I've played, PvP devolves into who can get their stun-lock going off first. The immunity timers force players to think ahead, wait for and create opportunities, and prevent well balanced opponents from trying to simply win through brute force. I also don't have fun staring at my screen for 10 seconds unable to do anything while the enemy kills me and my team.

2. AoE abilities do less base damage than single target abilities all else being equal. For example in FFXI, my first MMO, the black mage -ga AoE spells were a LOT stronger in single target than the single target equivalent spell. There was no real PvP in that game, so the only downside was that it was more MP intensive.

3. Action Points that regenerate quickly. You can't just wait out your opponent and hope to win the battle of attrition. With balanced and well matched groups fighting one another, incoming damage is easily dealt with by healing. This means that someone has to use CC (which causes an immunity, so it has to be timed well) or morale to create an imbalance for long enough to get some kills.

4. Morale abilities. These abilities typically end an engagement, one way or another. It also forces some strategy. Do I dump my morale at a lower level at try to end the fight quickly, knowing that if it fails, we're likely going to lose to the enemy morale dump? Or do I hold it for a higher morale, hoping to survive any earlier dumps by the enemy?

5. Tanks do something other than get ignored until the end. Guard, Challenge, and Taunt are well designed to allow a tank to make himself a more attractive target than normally found in other games if played right. I can't tell you how times I've noticed I'm hitting a Chosen harder than the Zealot he's protecting.

I've got some complaints about WAR. Don't get me wrong. One does not become a Core Tester by agreeing with Mythic all the time. I think it's the best MMO on the market for PvP right now, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Although I wonder if Mythic could create a better PvP game without the strings of the Warhammer license attached to it...

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