The Joy of Trez

Wotcha everyone,

Trez. It’s all shiny, and sparkly, and makes us face unspeakable odds, for just the chance of getting it.

Warhammer Online is no exception to the rule that online games must offer shiny trez. However, it does handle it slightly differently to the accepted norm.

And those exceptions were obvious from the start. NPCs were doling out quests, but they weren’t offering a choice of items that were seemingly picked at random from out of the ether. I didn’t get a choice of light, medium or heavy armour, with a variety of bonuses focused in the general direction of one or more classes. No. My Warrior Priest got offered some Warrior Priest armour, as worn by fashion conscious Warrior Priests. And very much in a “take it or leave it” fashion. So I took it.

It didn’t even strike me as odd that I didn’t get a choice, though. Maybe it was the shininess of getting in the beta, or the bewilderment of a brand new game, but I only started wondering at the restricted choice a long while later.

And then realised that it wasn’t restricted. Pretty much all of the time, I have a choice of Quest Rewards, Influence Rewards, and Renown Rewards. These are guaranteed, put the work in and get the item, items. I can check them out ahead of time, and decide which I would prefer. And on top of that, there are random Trez drops, from mobs and Public Quest chests.

Quite often, from Influence rewards for example, I’d get a choice of *what* item I’d like. Boots or gloves, Cassock or Warhammer, that sort of thing. But they were always from the Warrior Priest wardrobe.

I like that. I don’t have to worry about ending up wearing the epnymous World of Warcraft “Clown Suit”. I get really cool outfits, because the outfits are designed with my class in mind. Not for everyone’s class. So I’ll *always* look like a Warrior Priest. And if I’m not a fan of the outfit, I can dye many of them. It’s not just the stats that are important to me. It’s the looks.

I also love the way that random monstie drops can be any quality, at any level. From grey, through to epic, from level 1 onwards. It’s brave, but great. And the drop rate was far more generous than in other games I’ve seen; maybe this was because it was the beta, but I felt the drop rate was good enough to mean that characters got to play with nice items whilst levelling, rather than just at maximum level.


{Spinks: I agree! I never understood why NPCs in some games were so keen to offer me gear that I obviously can’t use. In fact, I don’t really like the idea of drops at all. I don’t ask my games to be hyper-realistic but why exactly would a pig be carrying(?) a mage’s staff ? And wouldn’t I be more keen to find out about its hapless former owner than grab it and run? The PQ influence system and renown gear vendors were pretty much tailor made for people like me. It’s great. I do the fun things I was going to do anyway and eventually I get to go buy some nice gear which is tailor-made for my class and all matches. And best of all? I don’t feel forced to rely on random drops.

There is one problem though. Despite all this, I have a love/hate relationship with cool random drops. I love it when I win them and I hate it when I lose them! But I can be quite happy with the occasional green/blue/purple that I can use or send to my guild or sell, as long as I don’t feel that I NEED that drop to do the stuff I want to do. So I’m pretty happy with WAR’s loot system, at least from what I’ve seen in beta.}

8 Responses

  1. Question: How does the system work with classes like the Archmage who need different stats for healing vs DPS? Do solo quests tend towards DPS rewards while RVR quests focus on healing? Or do you need to go hit the database sites to figure out which quests award the gear you need?

  2. That is good question. I never thought of it. I just grabbed what I was given. I wonder if all gear in WAR is for both RvR and PvE? Sounds simple but it would get rid of different gear sets. That always made me mad in WoW. I need Fire gear for here, resist gear, PvP, DPS, Healing, Ect…… Bhaah! If I am killing an Unruley Gor I should be able to spank that Warrior Priest with the same stuff. Mythic said gear plays a part in WAR but it is not major. I think we all need to go to Total Recall and wipe our brains of WoW.

  3. I can answer some of that. The PvP gear comes in several versions. When I was buying renown rank gear on my archmage I had the choice of several different pieces for each location at each renown rank (eg. hm shall I buy myself the healing staff or the nuking one? Oh what the heck, might as well grab both). I did end up with 2 sets of gear in my bag, but it was easy enough to get it.

    The PQ influence stuff you can check when you get to the right area. Some have healing rewards, others have dps type rewards. Similar for quests (so yes you could look those up). But if you go with a mixture of PvP and PvE type gear you can use the renown stuff to fill in any gaps.

    There are some pieces which have both healing and dps stats. So you could put together a general purpose set too. It depends how much you want to specialise. We didn’t really test how much effect gear has on performance, I think not as much as spec.

  4. But there’s one problem with this gear system, everybody looks the same.

  5. The dying system will help that.

    But really, in WoW every lowbie looked the same too. Sure, different gear, but they all looked like crap. I love it that quest gear will actually help my toon do anything besides level enchanting.

  6. There are some choices to be made lootwise too, each career has a bunch of armour sets, as well as renown gear, influence gear and high-rolling PQ gear – so I think people will look very alike, but not all the same.

  7. You could argue that in WAR, because you are part of a “regiment” at war, that there would/ should be some uniformity in appearance.

    I found myself gravitating to a full set of renown gear ASAP because it had the same style of stat boosts as Inf/ Quest/ Dropped stuff, but had massive anti-magic buffs as well.

  8. Wotcha everyone,

    I think Grimley’s point is valid. In Warhammer Online, you’re not *the* hero of the story, but part of your Regiment of Renown.

    You’re also going to be seeing what your enemy is wearing and wielding, and making split-second decisions about who or what they are. Just as importantly, you can tell who and what your friends are.

    Warhammer Online also allows about as much individuality, as much variation as other games. Remember, most online gamers want “teh bestet” gear. They’re after the items that give them most advantage, and they will wear them, regardless of the fact that everyone else is also wearing Tier armour, or Rift set, or whatever is fashionable in your game of choice…


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