Why Play WAR Over “That Other Game”

[Hey all, here’s a guest post from a fellow guild-member in WAR (spacecowboy2071 here, I’ll  let him decide if he wants to give himself a more catchy name sometime!). I’m hoping to gather a few people willing to contribute to the blog, so expect to hear more from space-cowboy soon. And give him a good welcome pleasearbitrary]

First, I feel I should confess… I am a Blizzard fan boy.  I’ve purchased every game of theirs since the original WarCraft: Orcs vs Humans.  When World of WarCraft was released I was wet with anticipation, and like many it was my first MMO.

Second, I would consider myself a casual gamer.  This description fits well amongst the MMO crowd, of course my family would disagree and tell you there’s no bigger game geek out there.  I’m logging about 10-20 hours a week, and often limit sessions to an hour or two.  This leaves little opportunity for raiding or the desire to waste precious time spamming looking for group channels.

“That Other Game”

Now with that all being said, it’s no secret that World of WarCraft broke the mold by making MMOs accessible to the casual gamer.  Most of us are well familiar with the formula of their success:  you can level from 1-80 without joining a group, you have access to great items from quests and crafting (up to end-game), etc., etc.  However, where I feel World of WarCraft fails is in the end-game.  What’s more is Blizzard seems to recognize this, but is slow and reluctant to rectify how inaccessible the game becomes once you reach the level cap.  Over the lifespan of game we’ve seen raiding go from requiring 40 players with the original release, to 25 with the Burning Crusade expansion, to now 10 with Wrath of the Lich King.  Blizzard has omitted they need to make end game content more accessible in an interview by MMOGamer,  BlizzCon: Interview With WoW Lead Designer Jeffrey “Tigole” Kaplan, what’s confusing is they are taking their sweet time in doing it.

To WAR!

Warhammer Online has taken MMO accessibility to the next level.  Public Quests allow you to join open groups for “raid”-like content and rewards.  Even if you don’t have the time to complete the Public Quest, you still earn influence, which over time earns you rewards that are substantial.  Further more joining a group for a Public Quest is easy!  The interface comes outfitted with tools, so that as soon as you log on you can immediately display public groups in your area and join them.  Insta-fun-joy!

Likewise, the world PvP influence system (known as open Realm vs Realm) and the Renown Rank system also allow you to build up points over time for great rewards.  In an MMO where gear plays an importance to character progression, it is important that those that can only commit to an hour or less gaming sessions at a time are rewarded and not penalized.

Warhammer Online seems committed to making the game more and more accessible to casual gamers.  Future features include extending open RvR influence bars, token systems, easy public quests, and more uber gear drops from champion mobs in keep takes.  Snippets of upcoming features and improvements are mentioned in a Warhammer Alliance post, NYCC – A Few Answers.

The Question

Now I’ve been asking myself, “Why is Warhammer Online so much more in tune with making their end-game casual friendly when World of WarCraft is not?” Well, I think it’s important to know the senior producers and developers of an MMO, and understand what kind of gamer(s) they are to answer that question.  The original World of WarCraft was produced by Rob Pardo and is currently being produced by Jeff Kaplan.  Both of them where hardcore raiders in EverQuest as mentioned in this post by Tobold, Raid numbers.  Whereas Marc Jacobs is a casual gamer.  He has mentioned that because of his “real life” commitments and interests, he only finds an hour or so to play games himself.

And that’s the case I’m putting forth.  Both World of WarCraft and Warhammer Online offer quality PvE, PvP, and more.  However, each has a unique approach to how this content is experienced and how you as a player progress.  In  the end it has a great deal to do with gamer on the other side of the screen and the game they want to play.

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6 Responses

  1. I agree both are fun games… but WoW has such an unfair advantage when comparing the two, in establishment, resources, design, planning, and vision that playing WAR over WoW just doesn’t make sense to me at this point in time. It’s like picking a cheese burger (which is delicious and fine on it’s own merits) over a 4 course fillet mignon dinner. Even though one is great, the other is obviously better.

    It’s cool to be in on the ground floor, but when you have the option, why not spend the limited gaming time in your life on the option with the depth, immersion and play style options of WoW rather than trudge along as Mythic tries to decide what kind of game they are making, how to itemize for hybrid classes, and queue for scenarios over and over?

    If Mythic had used the “second comer” position to their advantage and seen the mistakes Blizz made during their growing pains and taken steps to avoid them and improve on them it’d be a different story. However, I see them making the exact same mistakes step by step, and I don’t want to sit around hoping they fix them when they’ve already been addressed in a different game.

  2. I disagree almost entirely with ExtraMedium. WoW is in no way, shape, or form “obviously better”. Not only are opinions are subjective, but there are some very serious issues that many people commonly have problems with in game, and find that they make the game impossible to participate in.

    Gross hommoginization of classes; soul-crushing rep grinds at cap level; insane prep-time for raids; back-breaking reliance of gear itemization treadmill and gold; dull, uninteresting, overly-simplified crafting; complete and utter lack of character customization post createion; a resounding void player housing and other periphials; a lackluster, tacked-on PvP system that consistantly is buggy, poorly implemented and often conflicts with the PvE portion of the game.

    To use you’re analogy, it’s a four course sampler platter at Denny’s. Great to go to every once in a while, but man, you’ll be regretting it later.

  3. […] By Flimgoblin Categories: WAR spacecowboy2071 has thrown his hat into the blogging ring over at Book of Grudges, and he’s started with a potentially controversial one – why people […]

  4. I’ve played both games, although not touched wow for around 2 years. I have had fun in both games, but mmos will eventually run out of interesting content, it’s just like a single player game won’t run forever, no matter if it has level editors and player generated content.
    It’s not the content that’s the problem it’s usually the mechanic (although lack of content will have you running away far quicker), you get so used to them that nothing is really a challenge it’s just tapping the buttons in the same way again.
    This is why pvp is jumped upon, you have the players providing the content which gives more varied content for an arguably lesser investment.

  5. PvP has the potential to offer a varied end-game, but the balance doesn’t seem to be quite there in WAR. In my experience, scenarios became less fun at higher tiers and open RvR usually degenerated into zerging.

    I’m kind of giving up on the idea of being a long term inhabitant in a particular MMO’s end-game. I’d rather explore the levelling content in another game than spend my time repeating the same thing over and over. I do like to see and beat difficult PvE content, but not so much that I’m willing to endure excessive grinding to do so. Chasing gear is fine as long as the process of doing so is actually fun!

  6. […] Why Play WAR Over “That other game” – Book of Grudges have a guest writer Spacecowboy2071 disscussing the strenth and weaknesses of WAR and “that other game”. […]

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