Now that the major features of WAR have been covered, either here or on other blogs, I figured I would throw out some random bits. This is going to jump around , so let me know if anything needs more explaining in the comments.
First little bit is that all classes have a distinct look, and upgrading gear never really changes that. A robe on a warrior priest looks very different than on a bright wizard. Each class is very recognizable regardless of the current gear they are sporting, which really helps in RvR with enemies, and in PQs with group members. You won’t be confusing a dps character with a healer in WAR. The downside is slightly more limited character customization, but the dye system should help with that.
The combat pace in WAR, which remember is still in beta and very recently received quite a massive upgrade, is a bit slower than WoW, but not without reason. It ‘could’ be as fast, but then WAR would lose some of it’s more tactical layer. Remember the game is built ground-up for RvR, and a slower pace helps in large fights when things get crazy. Many times in RvR I’ve had to scramble to get everything off, but I’m sure part of that is a learning curve with the game.
As for class balance and all that, I’m not too worried. It’s beta, it’s a PvP game, and everyone is still learning and adjusting. If 6 months after release we still have generally overpowered classes, then we have a problem, but until then, balance is a non-issue for me.
“The downside is slightly more limited character customization, but the dye system should help with that.”
Ironic part is in WoW you spent time raiding / PvPing to get the same armor everyone else in your class is wearing. Also no armor dyes in WoW.
The distinctive class bit reminds me of a question I haven’t found a good answer to: How varied are gear choices is every quest/influence reward is specific to your class? In WOW, I can focus my caster’s gear around spell damage or specific-type damage or spell crit, etc. Does WAR have the same variety of stats that allow for gear customization, or does everyone pick up the Bright Wizard Robes from the Kill the Thing PQ because it has the most +Bright Wizard Stat? I’m happy that WAR is avoiding the “this quest has terrible rewards for most anyone” pitfall, but some amount of gear/stat customization is obviously worthwhile.