There was a lot riding on this patch, though it seems like I say something along those lines every single bloody patch. But it’s always true. After the WAR Street crash of 2009™ and the game’s dramatic decline, every patch is critical. Each patch is a chance for Mythic to keep hold of their existing subscribers, entice back old players and attract new blood. Unfortunately through WAR’s history in most cases the patches have been fairly underwhelming or downright disastrous, something that has done nothing to help the general MMO-gaming population’s now very poor perception of Mythic and WAR. Yet in recent times there’s been a bit of an improvement with the excellent revamping of tier 1, the free trial and so on. Whilst I have no numbers to back this up, it has felt like WAR’s population was picking up again, which meant it was really important for Mythic to deliver with 1.3.5. Mythic needed to consolidate their position, demonstrate clear improvements and finally give us the RvR end-game worth that the Warhammer name so deserves.
Thankfully it appears that 1.3.5 and the new city siege system is a huge first step in the right direction. Over the last few days I have had a bloody awesome time fighting in both Altdorf and the Inevitable City. I’ve done more city instances this weekend than I have in the last 6 months. Not because the cities are on constant siege (once or twice a day I believe it is), but because the sieges are now happening at prime times and it’s so much more fun now that I actually want to go take part. Everyone I’ve spoken to are loving the new city and this includes players that have returned specifically to try it out. There are of course a few people whinging in region chat, but then many will whinge no matter what happens, though there is also a fair bit of mewling after people lose an instance to one of Karak-Norn’s now infamous uber-bomb-warbands-of-doom. I do sympathise with those disappointed at the patch’s failure to nerf PBAoE bombing (a little more on that later), but not so much with the sour grapes PvE loot farmers that are crying because they’re not guaranteed to PvE their sovereign anymore, nor the “aint no pleasing you” brigade that would complain if they won the sodding lottery jackpot.
I think I’ve done something like 7 city instances now, spread over 5 different sieges and I’ve had a great time win or lose. Due to real life interfering with my game time and having to play without vent a bit, I’ve only done one alliance warband instance (I tend to solo if I can’t get on vent, don’t like letting the team down because I can’t hear :P), which we won fairly comfortably against an Order guild warband, but other than that I’ve been PuGing. Apart from one match up with a PuG against some uber bombers (which was brutal), the fights have been fairly even, with the tides of battle sweeping back and forth. Every battle has been fun, or at least funny, including the one where we got slaughtered. If this version of the city siege had been in at launch, I don’t think it would have been enough to prevent the population crash on its own, but it would certainly have mitigated some of the damage so to speak. If Mythic can quickly combine this improvement with sorting out the oRvR system that gets us to the siege in the first place, then it could well lead to WAR seeing a dramatic resurgence. I believe that zone locking is the game’s biggest flaw and if that were to go… good times ahead. Whatever happens next, Mythic should strike while the iron is hot. Build on the positive reception of this patch with more news of great improvements to come. Cut out the viral marketing and slap us round the head with some OMFG news that shows everyone WAR is on the up and up AAAAAAAAND UP!!! Otherwise with this red plagued land and us leaping to conclusions, I'm worried we're setting ourselves up for a fall.
Ok a quick few words on the bombing nerf (or not). Basically the crap players that were face-rolling a keyboard bound to one spell can no longer bomb for toffee and die horribly. However, the players that really knew how to PBAoE bomb properly have not been nerfed at all, if anything they’ve been buffed with the improved single target options. The type of guilds that demonstrated real bombing on the EU PTS are still doing their uber-bomb-instant- killing bit and still wiping the floor with people, particularly in the confined city streets. Which is a shame, because the face-rollers weren’t much of a problem in warband vs warband combat, only in zerg vs whatever. So Mythic have dropped the ball with this particular change. I’m puzzled as to why really; I mean how hard can it be? Remove the stacking, just like with ranged AoE and job done.
Anyways, that’s my only real complaint so far and I don’t want that to distract from what is so far looking like the best WAR patch in… well, possibly ever.