News Flash: WAR is not Doomed.

I really thought for a while on what to say here. So many naysayers using slippery-slope arguments with next to no basis other than their own knee-jerk fears or knee-jerk need to be noticed. I am under no illusion that this will really change your mind if you actually (think that you) believe that WAR is Doomed, nor that it will reach the people who have set ultimatums such as “IF ALL THESE BUGZ R NOT FIXD I AM LEEVING AFTAR MY SUB ENDS LAWL QQ.” The people that will read it and perhaps nod their heads have likely already said as much anyway. That said, it’s the hot topic, and what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t belly up to the freakin bar?

Bugs. There are plenty of games that had pretty annoying bugs which were never fixed but were still a great time to play. I don’t know how many times Master of Orion 2 crashed, or the Odin-summon in Final Fantasy II (US) bugged out, cost mana, and didn’t actually go off. I’m sure they’ll fix the bugs in WAR, since (unlike the two games I just cited) they are continually generating revenue which they can channel into doing so. There may be some bugs that escape, but hey…the game is still a good time with friends.

Balance. Why anyone would seriously complain about “fixing balance issues” is beyond me. Maybe they, unlike me, did not grow up in a world where a level four wizard would die in a matter of seconds in any conflict, while a level nine and up wizard could completely dominate any conflict (if prepared). Unprepared, still dead in a matter of seconds. And druids and clerics were basically always invincible. (Second Edition Dungeons and Dragons, table top.) The game wasn’t about “fair”. It was about “fun”. Does fair = fun? I don’t think that’s necessarily true. While the Disciple of Khaine can happily engage four players by itself if the player is skilled, that is a hell of a fun fight for the defenders.

That was tangential. My point is that if you’re unhappy with balance now, odds are you will still be unhappy with balance in some way later (unless its in your favor, in which case someone else will take your place in being unhappy with balance). When I think of the game in context of 1v1 or even 3v3 fights, balance is a non-issue. Three DoKs will tear through almost any other 3v3 combination. Three Bright Wizards will certainly cut your numbers down hard before they go down. Three Archmages or Rune Priests or some combination thereof seem invincible to focus fire. 3v3. It’s hard to think of balance in context of 15v15 or more, but think on it this way.

When a full war-band of Destro runs into a keep and myself and two other players (Archmage, witch hunter, bright wizard) can completely decimate them as they try to take the keep lord, balance is a non-issue. When I can use my knock-back and single-handedly send the ENTIRE opposing team into the lava (omg was that fun; I was too shocked and excited to SS QQ), balance is a non-issue. The issue (which is a very fun one) is strategy and team work. If you focus on the team-aspect, play with your friends, and really think about what your goal for an event is and how you are going to get it, you are going to have fun. If not, you’re only cheating yourself.

Balance is not about a one vs one stand off. Remember when I threw down with that Marauder and I used terrain and movement to my advantage? Balance.

I intend to keep paying for and playing WAR for the foreseeable future. I’m sure I’ll keep enjoying it. Because, frankly, I find internal balance when I play with my friends. Don’t you?

P.S. I forsee comments of the flame-variety as a follow-up to this post. Know this: if you QQ on my blog, I won’t clear it. I will clear comments as I always have…I clear them if they contribute to my purpose. My purpose may not be clear to you, but that’s OK: your purpose isn’t clear to me either. That is balance.

~ by thade on October 31, 2008.

15 Responses to “News Flash: WAR is not Doomed.”

  1. Very well said…I could not agree with you more. It is unfortunate that the people that find something wrong let it bother them to no end, instead of finding the things that make a game enjoyable. Sure there are things that I would love to see in WAR but it is still young and I would hope that Mythic keeps doing what they do and make the game better. I get the feeling that these people that are QQing about problems just want to find a negative reason to leave the game instead of confessing that they enjoy another game more, but that is goes hand in hand with what you said about people wanting to draw attention to themselves.

  2. Wait to fight the man dude!!! Nice post keep it up!!


  3. I think the main problem is the feeling that there is a lack of community. Small guilds miss out the most because the grass is always greener in the big guild where they do all your socializing for you instead of you actually having to go out and meet people yourself. But it’s a symptom, not a cure. My theory is that the biggest problem with WAR is chat channel mismanagement. We need to feel that we are part of a world, part of something bigger. On Ostermark, I’ve made the most friends as a result of the channel that we as Order players decided to make for oRvR. We pass the word around, and it is working so far.

  4. The problem with balance in online games is that not only do you have to literally balance everything, but you have to provide the perception that everything is balanced. Even if two things are literal mirrors, if the widespread view is that one is superior to the other, players will consider it unbalanced. That is to say, without fail, players will consider almost everything as unbalanced at one point or another.

    However, it is another matter to dismiss balance totally out of hand. Making sure everything is working as intended in an online game with hundred of spells and thousands of buffs and millions of items is about as hard as providing the perception of balance. A single item that improves a single buff can throw a single spell out of line in ways that none could have accurately foresaw.

    I’m really trying not to sound condescending here, because I agree with the theme of your above post, but a lot of these small issues that change the game in large ways do not become apparent until the endgame. And they are balance issues, that left unchecked would maybe not quite kill the game, but would significantly warp it. And I do think Mythic will fix them, but lets not dismiss them out of hand.

    (Forgive my sloppy html skills)

  5. Cedia I agree with what you said about chat mismanagement. This lack of community has shown to be a major reason as to the people who claim that this game will fail, or how it’s not fun.

    I in Volkmar, in For Science guild, and although we are a small guild, we are allied with one of the biggest guilds on the server. I think, not only us as an alliance, but our faction has proven to respond well in open RvR situations, in the sense of letting people know of attacks on certain keeps or asking about creating a warband and stuff like that. It makes the game alot more enjoyable and fun.

  6. The grass is defnitely not greener in bigger guilds, and thanks to alliances there’s no pressure to form or join one. I think Mythic has done a fantastic job with the guild/alliance system in this game and not giving zerg guilds a major advantage.

    As an example my guild only has like 20 members, we were the highest level guild destro side, loved our server but hated the pop imbalance, so we deleted our characters and rerolled order and are now the highest level order guild and soon to be highest lvl guild on the server overall again. All this when many guilds on the server have over 50 members and 1 destro guild has over 100. Don’t buy into the myth that large guilds are the only way to get things done because so far I’ve seen how remarkably fair the system is to guilds of all sizes.

  7. To Sinnach : I understand your point, but throwing in screenshots of scenarios with 8 bright wizards doing a ton of damage is not proof of anything. Brightwizards are the ultimate glass cannon, but if all eight hit the same target it will die. It doesn’t matter what that target is, it will die.

    This is the same thing as showing an Onyxia kill with 40 priests and then saying that priests are OP. They aren’t, they work together and accomplish a goal. If the BWs were in a guild on vent then they would do even better. Hell, if they were all multiboxed, the same thing would happen.

    In this case, how were the chaos forces dealing with the BWs? Were they trying to bypass or flank the BWs? Or were they charging up the slope straight into the face of the cannons so to speak?

    This game isn’t balanced 1v1 and i hope to God it never is. Differences in classes makes this game more interesting and allows for a more in depth feel to the game, which I find both refreshing and fun. This is of course my opinion and I stand by it.

    Ironbreaker 4 Life

  8. QQ! (jk)

  9. @Sinnach I’ve always found it funny how Destro QQ about BWs. You know what the usual cry on Order side is when we are on a losing spree. “..It’s because Destro has all the good melees. Damn we need more tanks, and WL sucks, and WE is better than WH. QQ..”

    When I’ve been in a fight with many BWs, the Destro melee cuts them down with melee.. ..and Order cries “Tanks!!1”

  10. Allow me to just say this: In MANY, MANY MMO’s I have played, a specific class was ultimately very powerful in numbers. For reasons I will not explore on someone elses blog (though I love this blog, props Thade, wish you could write more again), class mechanics work well with the same mechanic. I will not progress into examples, but most long-time MMO’ers know this to be true.

    Classes can stack on its strengths to hide its weaknesses. I will dip into ONE point: Classes who stack up (6 bright wizards decide to queue together), also do so with full intentions of coordinating every action. Now imagine, if you could get an entire team with a class variety to COORDINATE, especially to the level of detail of 6 people who all understand everything about eachother. The rseult always proves devastating.

    As far as individual class balance, the two dominant topics appear to be Witch Elf and Ironbreaker… and through some ‘inside information’ (which we will see if it proves true), these are related to a bugged opening proc from WE and I dont know what for IB, but am told that 1.1 already has fixes in place.

    But really, Thade is right. In a massive battle, strategy will always trump any class balance. Though, there are things that inhibit it greatly, such as 100% healing reduction on every critical strike. However, this too is being either reduced to 50% or removed entirely in 1.1

    The only times I am upset about any individual balance, is when that single Witch Elf slips out of the shadows and kills me in two seconds. But, these are comparisons to explore in my own writings.

    Blogger and dedicated reader (Yep, I check it every day still)

  11. PS you should add me to your blogroll :)

  12. […] cutting their ties with writers who mix politics and gaming, to finally being fed up with the Doom-Saying and […]

  13. […] “News Flash: WAR is not Doomed” @ Archmagery – The war of bloggers heats up! Simmers! Comes to a boil! Cooks an egg! […]

  14. Love the blog. I’ll never understand the argument that “games can’t base their release on WoW, just because it was buggy doesn’t mean new games can be too!”. What the hell, where’s the logic in that?

    Anywho, my gaming days developed in D&D, I’m used to things being unbalanced. Like you said, fun, not fair. :)

  15. […] “News Flash: WAR is not Doomed” @ Archmagery – The war of bloggers heats up! Simmers! Comes to a boil! Cooks an egg! […]

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