Three Hours on a Saturday Night

That is the time budget our regular instance group generally has to work with.

Three hours.  9pm to midnight Pacific time.

For the last two years, World of Warcraft has had us pretty much covered.  There was a smooth progression and a series of instances to do, one by one, every Saturday night that we could all get together.

We diverted into Lord of the Rings Online a little while to see the splendor of Middle-earth.  And there has been rash talk of just breaking out Age of Kings and making that the weekly event for a while.

But for the most part, WoW has been it.  Together we have climbed the levels in WoW.  Together we have defeated 28 of the five-person instances in Azeroth, leaving us 9 short, by my count, of finishing all of the five person, non-heroic instances.

Only now we are all level 70, a fact that has yanked the wind out of some of our sails.

We have mastered the experience bar, only to find that the experience bar is our master.

End game is no game for some of us.  At least not for me.  As much as my daughter wants be to go grind to get a netherwing drake mount, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

But just as we were hitting the level cap in WoW, a new title came rolling along.

Warhammer Online.

Perhaps not the title to which one would expect our group to migrate.

There is certainly no promise of smooth PvE progression, no new dungeon to crawl every Saturday night, no guided tour of the lands.  This is no slick amusement park experience.  This is no Azeroth.

In fact, much of the PvE content is mind numbing in its “been there, done that” sameness, only a bit slower and a bit less rewarding on the whole.  I hit a “kill 25 wolves” quest the other night and nearly cried out, “How many wolves must die to my hand?”

And Public Quests?  Well, I’ve yet to find one that I would keep running once my influence bar for that chapter has capped out.  Of course, I’m a tourist in many ways.  Our instance group pictures usually have some version of the “Holstein’s Visit the Grand Canyon” shot.  So it should be a surprise that I don’t really want to keep running the same quest over and over.

But, as EVE Online is not about running missions and hauling trash, Warhammer is not about killing 25 wolves, my own career not withstanding.

Warhammer is about finding your fellow humans and slaying them without mercy.

So, this weekend, the full instance group will step into Warhammer Online.

We’ve all bought a copy.  We’ve all rolled some characters.  We’ve all made it to the same server.

And with the default group size being six, we will be able to have Gaff along as well.  You’ve seen his blog.  He’s no Mickey Spillane.  He’s a killer, not a writer.  Let me see your WAR face!

The six of us together will sail into harm’s way, counting not bosses defeated, but enemy slain, battles won, keeps conquered, titles gains, and renown earned.

None of us are new to PvP combat.  We’ve all done our time in first person shooters.  Blood and the unpredictability of a human opponant are not new.  My own lineage in that genre started with Marathon and I spent many hours playing Tribes, Delta Force and its follow ons, and the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942, along with some other titles to lesser degrees. (Lesser degree means not a couple hours a night, every night, for months at a stretch.)

So far, the preliminary trials into the PvP combat of WAR have gone well for the group.  We have been on together in twos, threes, and once in a while, a foursome.  We’ve been getting our bearings, finding the right classes, and enjoying some satisfying battles.

But this Saturday night will be the first real test.

Will Warhammer be a move towards the PvP world of which I wrote just over a year ago?

Will our group find Warhammer fulfilling not only initially, but over the longer term?

Will battles stay fresh?

Will the progression be worthwhile?

Will we stay enthusiastic?

Will the vagaries of PvP challenges fit within our time budget?

And will PvP make for good copy when it comes to the Thursday instance kill group summary post?

We shall see as the weeks progress.

And, if not… well, we will find something else to do with our time.

Lich King comes out in November.  We’ll get our experience bars back and will be able to carry on as before.

13 thoughts on “Three Hours on a Saturday Night

  1. JoBildo

    I’m stoked to read it, Wil. The notion of a static PvP group moving along has me intrigued.

    And if it doesn’t work out? Kick Gaff and go back to Azeroth in November I guess. :)

    Like

  2. Brutal

    Wil ,
    I always enjoyed reading the WoW instance group adventures .

    If you guys are interested , I am willing to “sub” for the group.
    i.e. if someone can’t make one night for whatever reason , i could
    fill in (will keep a char within range of the group) . Joining in
    on any open world RvR is good with me too.
    I am on the west cost , and 9-12 pm pacific is usually
    the time i am on.

    I am also trying to organize a pacific time group on the destruction side of things :
    http://www.casualtiesguild.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1365
    if anyone in your group is interested in alt-ing it up destruction style
    please let me know .

    Cheers and
    /Waaagh on

    Like

  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    And that brings up the whole Casualties guild question, which we have not worked out. Three of us are in the guild (Gaff, Potshot, and myself) and three of us are not.

    Traditionally we have formed our own wee guild and have eschewed the world at large. But for access to some of the bigger RvR actions in WAR, it might be better for us to join up.

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  4. Gaff

    “Kick Gaff and go back to Azeroth.” That guy is the guild leader of COW and already talking about kicking me! Now he knows who I am. Perhaps he doesn’t know my alt on the order side is Meclin. Hrmm.

    As for WAR, you will learn by the numbers; I will teach you! I don’t believe I have seen one shred of honor with the destruction forces of Aveheim. Of course, on Throgmar the destruction forces are the honor jedi’s.

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  5. Julie Whitefeather

    This all reminds me of an anti-war poster I saw a long time ago that read “travel the world, meet new and interesting people and kill them.” I have been a long time pvp fan and while there have been some disappointments with the pvp in Warhammer, they are by far outweighed by the good parts. While the pve isn’t the slickest, nor the most original online, it does convey the original feel of the tabletop game very well (especially the greenskins). My hope is that many people will “come for the pve and stay for the pvp.”

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  6. Openedge1

    I had written about the fact that maybe PvP is the game everyone has always wanted.
    Everyone has some sort of competitive spirit. Some do it alone, others in groups.
    How does WAR affect the MMO landscape now with the total bias toward PvP?.
    Will all future MMO’s believe that there is more money in PvP, competitive gameplay, and will just blow off PvE.

    Use Halo as our prime example. Halo 3 was a lousy single player game (the worst of the 3, with my 9 yo son beating it in about 8 hours), yet, every night he and his friends play online…competing.
    I asked him if he wanted to play co-op with me once, and he said no…but he wanted to shoot at me..

    Lovely.

    And we can see how original all FPS’s are now eh?

    I see a disappointing future that story is finally put on the backburner…

    I am interested in how this goes. Thanks for the updates.

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  7. *vlad*

    Why is levelling so important? Is it that rewards are much easier to get?
    I personally have found WoW no more grindy at level 70 than at any other phase of the game.

    @Openedge1: funnily enough, I only find Halo3 interesting if I am playing co-operative mode; maybe as people grow older, the need to be in competition with your peers diminishes, and the benefits of co-operation become more apparent.
    Play Halo3 on Legendary in co-op mode, it’s so much fun.

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  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Well, speaking only for me, leveling up = progress. Apparently I did all those quests and instances to get to level 70, because upon hitting level 70 I pretty much stopped playing that character. 90% of my play time since our last instance run has been with other characters, primarily my hunter alt.

    So, yes, the quests aren’t any different when you hit level 70, but my desire to actually do them has faded. I don’t want an epic flying mount that bad I guess.

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  9. Khan

    My experience was similar in WoW. I was in a regular play group for 1-60 when 60 was the cap. Once we hit the cap, the group split apart (some to raiding, others to PvP). Then when the cap went to 70 we were back in business (most of us, anyway). After 70 though, we stopped again. This time around though, many of us went our separate ways to other games. Having already done the grindy thing for “end game,” most of us couldn’t justify going through that again.

    Best of luck in WAR!

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  10. Brutal

    Wilhelm ,

    regarding the guild issue , hate to be the bearer of bad news ,
    but the casualties completely closed the friends and family recruiting as of yesterday .

    In any case , I would keep the characters allready in CoW there (keep an eye on scheduled guild RvR)
    and start the usual small guild for 2 main reasons :
    1- mess around with the guild tools (calendar,heraldry ,vault,etc. )
    in CoW i have been trying to schedule a group , yet i can’t use the
    calendar since it is restricted to officer ranks . and bugging an
    officer to post for me on calendar ,let’s just say good luck with
    that .an Overall PITA.
    2- the CoW guild is restricting everyone to one alt in guild . while i
    understand the reason for the restriction , my alts are running
    guildfree and gets lonely without all the banter in guild chat.

    good luck and looking forward
    to the WAR group adventure posts :D

    Like

  11. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    That answers that question I guess! Something else to add to the list for Saturday night: Form a new guild.

    Oddly enough, this is sort of how the EQ2 branch of our guild was formed.

    Like

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