Tuesday, October 7, 2008

PVE in my RVR Game?

It's more likely than you think. I have seen quite a bit of folks that have dismissed the PVE content in WAR as an afterthought to the central PVP theme. It's got me scratching my head wondering if these guys are playing the same game I am. If WoW is the benchmark for PVE quality in current MMORPG's, I'd have to say I'm more than well qualified as any internet expert out there to comment on PVE content. Having leveled every class to 70 on both Horde and Alliance through solo questing and gone through every 5-man and raid instance in the game, I have literally seen everything that WoW has to offer PVE-wise.

I'm here to tell you today that WAR can hold its own when it comes to PVE. There are the standard quests that never get to the tedious "kill 500 mobs hoping for that one rare quest drop" stage that is far too common in WoW questing. The lore and story that accompanies the quests are of high quality which is a shame considering it won't get read at all by the majority of players including myself. Unless it's something memorable like the Duskwood pathos in WoW, I really couldn't care less. So far, there hasn't been anything memorable like that in WAR but it seems WAR doesn't do maudlin pathos well. The brutal reality that is WAR has your next contact be more likely to be found as a corpse in a field somewhere than waiting patiently for you next to the mailbox. When I'm questing, I just want to find new and interesting people in new and interesting places...and kill them. So far, WAR delivers this in spades. Unlike in WoW, I don't dread being sent into a cave or tower and dealing with wonky mob aggro or trudging through the same boring layout. Mythic has done a great job mixing up the vistas and opponents you have to fight through especially if you do the quests in all three race pairings like I've done.

Instances have been sparse but they are there with more waiting to be unlocked once we hit 40. There are the beginner instances in the capital cities which are kind of lacking in terms of XP or loot rewards. But they are there if you want a change of pace and are reasonably quick to get in and out. There's also the Gunbad public instance for the 20-30 range. This instance has a bit more depth and atmosphere compared to the beginner ones but, again, the XP rewards and loot don't compare to what you can get from PVP or questing. I think this was a conscious design effort by Mythic to prevent people from grinding instances to level or get that one uber piece of gear. I really hope this holds true for later instances as well; I like running instances but I don't want them running me. If you know what I mean.

Well solo questing and 5 mans are fine, you say, but Blizzard made its name with epic boss raid encounters. Where are those in WAR, I hear you ask. There are random lairs that can be found in the world holding various beasties for you to slay but I think the real parallel to epic boss encounters are the public quests that are sprinkled liberally in every zone. While on the surface the ease of doing public quests compared to raids in WoW won't enable you to make the connection right away, anyone with any raiding experience will recognize that public quests give you many of the positives of raiding without much of the negatives. When you get to Tier 4 many of the public quests get downright elaborate and there are many moments where you say to yourself, "Self, that's pretty cool.".

I'd like to close this wall of text with a screenshot of a quest reward from the Emperor himself. Karl Franz gave me his own warhammer after a long quest chain that is even labeled distinctively in WAR as an Epic Quest.

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