Daily Archives: October 16, 2008

The Siege of Mandred’s Hold

Saturday night, time for some WAR.

We did not have a full group though.  Ula/Stardoe was too tired at the end of a long day to stay up late for a night of RvR and Torden, who wanted to come along for the ride apparently had one BSOD too many playing WAR and his gaming rig ceased to function.  There is one less subscriber that Mythic is going to get I imagine.  But now we see him a lot more in EVE now, since that runs on his backup machine.

So the line up for the night was:

Earlthecathree – Level 10 Swordmaster
Denrohir – Level 13 Archmage
Chicken – Level 13 Shadow Warrior
Varsoon – Level 14 Warrior Priest
Meclin – Level 16 Ironbreaker

Earl was actually level 9 at the very start of the night but managed to get to 10 before we all got grouped up so he had the flight point out to the tier 2 areas.  First victory of the night, all being able to play together without a huge shuffling of alts.

We got Earl out to Troll Country and decided to warm up with a scenario or two.  We got into Phoenix Gate where Earl learned the hard lesson of being level 10 in a tier 2 scenario: You’re viewed as fresh meat and people will go out of their way to kill you, thinking you’re an easy mark.  At least he was playing a tank class, so being low level gave him a special taunt to keep people on him.  He went down while I was trying to get off one more heal than either of us probably want to think about.

We did however hit Guild Rank 2 as part of that exercise.  The Twilight Dandies are moving on up!

We get a guild calendar!

We get a guild calendar!

After that, back in the war camp, we got the message that Mandred’s Hold, a keep in RvR area of Troll Country, was under attack.  That seemed like an opportunity for fun, so off we went.

And the keep was well and truly under assault by the forces of destruction.  A battering ram had already broken in the door and the red names were pouring through.  We had to go around the back of the keep to get in, the action was so thick.  And once inside we headed to the second floor where the fight had been pushed.  The fight was at the head of the stairs.  We joined in, spreading around damage and healing where we could.

I was happy to see we were fighting side by side with some of the Casualties of WAR members.

After a bloody battle at the head of the stairs, destruction seemed to flag for a bit and we were able to push them back.  Here is Varsoon alternating heals on Mashidar and Illuminaris as they push forward down the stairs. (As usual, you can click on these pictures to see larger versions.)

Pushing them down the stairs

Pushing them down the stairs

Varsoon looks like he needs to stop a moment and heal himself.

We pushed the fight to the doorway of the keep when the tide of destruction swelled and they tried to recover their lost momentum.  We were nearly swamped by the red tide of destruction, but some more Casualties of WAR members showed up and helped hold the line.  Here is a particularly bad moment where I am trying to keep Ford and myself alive amid a sea of destruction.

Hold the line!

Hold the line!

The fight went our way with the reinforcements and soon the battle was in front of the keep rather than inside.

Destruction has left the building!

Destruction has left the building!

Then the keep door respawned (!?!) and destruction had to pull back and organize a new assault.

This lead to an extended siege weapon battle between the sides, which was a lot of fun, but did not really accomplish anything.  For sheer anti-personal joy it is tough to beat a Hellblaster aimed at a dense pack of destruction players.

Heretics are no problem with a Hellblaster at hand!

Heretics are no problem with a Hellblaster at hand!

During this stage of the battle, I was again impressed by the range that healers have in aiding people.  Targeting is still a pain, but I could stand on the siege weapon platform on the second floor of the keep and drop a heal on almost anybody in sight.  Keeping line of sight was all I had to worry about.

Destruction called in some more players and pushed hard a couple more times, but the keep was now so well staffed that they never got their foot in the door again. Eventually things quieted down at Mandred’s Hold.  The forces of destruction went off to other things and so we too melted away.

All in all the keep battle lasted about two hours.

We had a bit more left in us though, so we decided to end up the night with a PQ as there are two of them right by the war camp in Troll Country.  And we did pretty well as a small group, pretty much steamrolling our way through.

But, in the royal pisser of the evening, Varsoon and Denrohir died just as we defeated the last boss in the PQ.  As it turned out, the local respawn point, Felde Castle, was not so local at all, but a good quarter of the way across the zone.  And, of course, the only two people at hand that could ress were the two that died.

So despite the fact that we both rolled loot bags from the PQ, we could not get back before the PQ reset.  We sprinted.  We optimized our path.  But I was still a good 30 yards shy, with the chest in sight, when the PQ reset.  And when that happens, you are SOL.  No loot bag for you!

So we, or at least two of us, ended on a bit of a down note.

Still, the keep battle was a hoot and probably the highlight of our experiences so far.  We had lots of fun.

However I was a bit disappointed in the experience and renown output from the battle.  The first hour of the battle was non-stop fighting and healing and I think I ended up with less of a boost than if I had just worked hard healing on a scenario or two, and this was after they increased open world RvR experience.

So there is still some balancing to be done there, because it still feels like you need to concentrate on scenarios if you are at all serious about advancing a rank.  Yes, you do not have to go that route, but people will tend towards the path that yield’s the biggest benefit, and that path is currently scenarios.  Open world RvR is still clearly second place.

And PvE quests?  A very distant third for advancing ranks, plus you your renown stagnates.

Jedi Master Barnett is clearly waving his hand and saying, “PvE? This is not the experience you are looking for.  Go about your business of queuing for scenarios.”

Potshot (aka Denrohir) has some additional thoughts on the tilt towards scenarios vs. open RvR.

And the final disappointment of the evening: No false Kendricke sighting.  Hopefully the false Kendrickes will be out in force this coming Saturday night.