Had my first look at Altdorf stage 2 last night. It was a strange experience. Basically it's a 48 man instanced PQ with raid style PvE boss events and no Order players to fight. And you know what? In theory that's not so bad, but in reality it needs some thought.
We only got to do the Bright Wizard College because the instance I was in had too many lowbies or twats agroing everything at random and refusing to listen to the poor souls trying to organise everyone. I have to admit it was all new to me, so of course I didn't instantly do the right thing, but I sure as hell made certain I didn't do the things we were being told not to. Eventually we got the boss down, but it took ages and there was no way we could do anything else in the instance. Time was up. And therein lies the first issue.
You're in an instance with fairly high gear requirements, a boss fight that has to be done exactly right, with mobs that hit like trains and you've got a time limit. But you also have a load of random players in there that are not anywhere near geared for it, are too low level and have no intention of paying attention to those people who actually know what they're doing. Had the instance been full of alliance or guild members, then we'd have done it no problem at all, but finding 48 guild/alliance members at 1am after a Saturday night in the pub is not so easy... Not that getting to Altdorf stage 2 earlier is often an option either. It takes time to get the zone locks, forts and then Altdorf past stage 1, so there's always a good chance it will be a late one before you get near stage 2.
Which means we're often going to be stuck with twats screwing up the instance. Lets not forget that's what this is, a PvE raid instance. From past MMOs we're used to doing PvE raids with full guilds warbands, which means you get a certain level of professionalism, focus and communication. In the past this results in a (mostly) fun experience and the challenge being to beat the mobs. And that's what WAR needs to do. Make Altdorf/IC a consistently fun experience, not the random clusterfuck it so often is where your problem to resolve is the players on your side. If this is a PvE event, it needs to be more controlled.
That was the first problem. The second one I didn't experience, but I know hundreds of people did last night and I'm sure it must be annoying... Question! What do Order do when we're on Altdorf stage 2? Answer! Bugger all.
There's nothing for them to do, there is no RvR left. All us destro are busy PvEing in closed instances, closed instances that are the end of the RvR campaign. Odd eh?
I think perhaps Mythic need to either accept that the city sieges are PvE events or have a serious re-think on how cities work. If they remain as PvE raids, then it only furthers the Warcraft comparisons, which is not a good thing. When it comes to PvP, WAR humbles WoW's lame excuse for player combat, but when it comes to PvE whilst WAR has the potential to match WoW, it instead falls way short due to quality control. On a patch day WoW's PvE instances are more polished than WARs are months after being released, just look at Lost Vale for crying out loud.
If WAR's end game is going to have prominent PvE raiding, then those PvE raids should be treated with the polish, features and care that they deserve. I honestly don't mind if WAR mixes in PvE raiding to its campaign, it could be a refreshing change of pace, but and it's a BIG but, it needs to be bloody good PvE raiding, or why would I not just go do Crusaders' Coliseum instead?