Doom and Gloom for PQs and Scenarios.

In a topic that would only come up on blogs and forums, many people are worried about Public Quests and Scenarios in Warhammer Online when the ‘initial rush’ of players leaves the starting areas. Yes, in a game that has not gone live, and one that most people have played for a total of 3 days or less, we are talking doom and gloom for the starting areas. Yay blogs and forums, this one included.

The most commonly sited examples are the 1-60 instances in WoW, and how no one ever runs them anymore. Second on the list are the countless zones in EQ/EQ2 that are deserted. Oddly remote regions in EVE are not used as examples (inside EVE joke). So are all non-40 PQs and Scenarios shortly going to be unused, dead content?


They won’t be swarmed by 50 players playing ‘tag the spawn’, but they won’t be the WAR equivalent of Uldaman. The first thing WAR has going over WoW/EQ is that it supports groups far better, both in design and through the Open Group system. Five players in Westfall are not likely to get together and run the Deadmines in WoW, yet if you have just three-four players within a few minutes of a PQ, odds are they will hop over to help out. It won’t take much time, it might earn you a quick reward, and the mindset (not all solo) will likely (time will tell) be different. You won’t feel the need to ‘skip all the 1-70 crap’ to get to the good stuff.

The next key factor is class balance and the requirements to complete a PQ. You don’t need a perfect group, or even anything close to one in order to complete a PQ. Sure everything goes smoother if you have a tank/healer/dps setup, but you can also power your way through with all DPS, or just slowly grind it out with all healers, and tanks have decent enough dps that they will be successful as well, given enough time. PQs are not tuned for a perfect group, as they are intended to be quick, fun event as you travel, not the massive undertakings that most instances require.

As for Scenarios, I can’t image a server being so low pop that they will go unused as some predict. The fact that they allow a wide range of levels, can be accessed at any time, require a relatively low amount of participants, and allow players to PvP in a game designed for good PvP are enough factors to ensure they will be used. Perhaps queue times won’t be instant, and maybe you will only have 1-2 Scenarios going at a time, but it’s hard to image they will go as dead as instances and zones in WoW/EQ.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EQ2, MMO design, PvP, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Doom and Gloom for PQs and Scenarios.

  1. Arenwino says:

    I think you’re wrong. People in WAR are going to do what people do in every other mmo, they’re going to rush to lvl cap. People are going to skip pqs because they don’t need them. The high lvl pqs are going to be fine, the same goes for scenarios, but it’s normal that in 6 momths or a year, low lvl pqs will be empty. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not because WAR’s bad, it’s just normal.

  2. Time will tell indeed.

    I am curious about the design decision not to allow multiple level brackets for scenarios (e.g. a 31-40 bracket for the T1 scenarios). It sounds like there are a few that are a lot of fun, only you will never get to experience them again on any given character (with exp gain from RVR, indeed, you might miss some altogether) once you outlevel them. I guess this solves the twink problem from low level BG’s in WoW, but it seems like a waste of quality content. Sure, some people will have a stable of alts, but many people prefer to focus on one main. This could be doubly true in Warhammer if the Reknown rank curve is steep at high levels.

  3. Grimjakk says:

    Arenwino, I think you’re wrong. You’re basing that opinion on WoW, where the game really doesn’t start until the latest expansion content kicks in, so of course everyone rushes past the low-end content.

    WAR isn’t really built that way… the “main” game – RvR – kicks in at level 1, and future expansion is likely to be more horizontal (new races/classes) than vertical. With so many compelling classes on each side, alt-oholism is already going to be the rule rather than the exception… and PQ’s are hands down the best way to gear up an alt.

    Most of the PQ’s I’ve seen can be done with a single really good group, or 2 random pickup ones, and with the open grouping system… well… there’re a lot of elements in this game that seem like they’ll mitigate against the “empty newbie-zone” experience.

    We’ll see. :)

  4. Toxic says:

    The lower tiers might die, but 6 months? I don’t think so. Even two years ago, I didn’t have any problems getting a group to level with in WoW. Very easy really. Then I don’t know if blizz stopped sending new people to TLord, or the server died, or what, but eventually it got to the point where it was just assumed that anything under 70 was an alt, even as WoW added millions of subscribers. And of course the experienced player has virtually no desire to relive the joys of Sunken Temple or whatever, as pugging those instances is generally pretty awful xp/hour. They are there to bang out quests or grind. Much easier to get a friend to power your way through if you needed to go. The key to keeping the lower tiers lively is to leave plenty of space for servers to grow, and to make sure that they remain seeded with noobs to keep it rolling. And of course, the expectation that NO effort should go into assembling the people to do a PQ is making the perfect the enemy of the good. I guarantee you that getting a group to get the early PQ’s done will be a lot easier than getting a group to run your average instance in WoW.

  5. Toxic says:


    Obviously leveling from kills will make twinks as twinks obsolete. Doesn’t mean people won’t have low level alts they pvp with; just means they won’t have all the best gear and enchants for their level since they will outgrow them pretty quickly.

  6. Bonedead says:

    I didn’t read the whole thing but I got to the part where some people say no one runs the WoW instances 1-60 anymore. Well, I recently started again on a low pop server and I’ve run about 4 different instances already. I could probably do 1 a day and not have problems finding people, on a low pop server.

    I’d say the doom and gloom is just smart people trying to be too smart.

  7. sid67 says:

    FYI: The text of this post didn’t show up in my reader, I had to visit the site. I knew you had a new entry up, but couldn’t read anything else.

    I think that at release, you will be able to just wander around into a PQ and participate easily. Oddly, this will be most appealing to solo players who want to do their own thing without grouping.

    However, after the game has aged a bit, I think participating in a PQ in the starter zones will require a bit more effort to organize a group. Nothing like in WoW, but it will take a coordinate effort to look through the Open groups near you. Thankfully, WAR makes this easy and once a group is formed – I think that group would be more likely to continue to do things together.

    The one negative thing I noticed about PQs is that location makes a big difference. The ones that are not real close to the road were practically ignored over the weekend. There was one (in particular) that dealt with in Chapter III for the Empire that was always empty. Althought, I think part of that was people running over to participate in the RvR. Either way, PQs without people really suck. You can grind out the influence, but it feels just like that – grinding.

    As for Scenarios – those are just so bloody fun that I see people rolling a ton of Alts for the sole purpose of playing them at certain levels. I do think twinking with Renown Rank is a possible concern in this regard, but Mythic has said that they are aware of it as an issue.

  8. heartless_ says:

    Also these items will contribute to Zone Control, so there will always be motivation to log those alts back on and get cracking on the low level PQs and Scenarios.

  9. syncaine says:

    Keep in mind that during preview weekend, people were generally in a rush to see as much as possible, and not really taking the time to play at a normal pace.

    In the beta, before PW, groups I joined would often hop from one PQ to another, generally completing all the PQs in the current chapter. At the end, basically everyone had at least one reward, a full influence bar, and had a great time with random people. I expect that to happen on live servers as well, especially once everyone adjusts to ‘this is not WoW, you don’t solo until the level cap’, slows down, and realized WAR is a fun game at level 10 AND level 40.

  10. Micah S says:

    I am a little worried about lower tier scenarios and RvR objectives down the road a bit, but really by ‘down the road’ I mean couple years on. I don’t think we are going to have a problem any time soon, certainly not soon enough to fret about it before launch.

  11. Yeebo says:

    Given that you can still get PuGs for WC in WoW, I’m pretty sure it will be fine.

  12. saylah says:

    I agree. I dont think WAR will suffer from abandoned PQs and scenarios because they don’t require active group organization. This will be the key to their longevity. If you look at a game like WOW there is in fact, no shortage of lower level characters EVER. What there is a shortage of are people who willing to be bothered with the hassle of forming groups for low level content. And even if you take the time to form a PUG the odds of completing the objectives of the instance and getting to the boss loot is diminished. If you fail aka fall apart before you reach the boss or NPCs you need then you’ve wasted your time and get to start the whole process again, including spamming for PUG members. WAR has eliminated a majority of that pain. You don’t need to create or spam to orchestrate a form group. The content is completely quickly and if you fail for whatever reason, it is considerably easier and fast to give it another go.

    Three years from now people might have a problem in the lower tier zones but it’s not something to be worrying about yet. I think many players will be interested in rolling alts so I see the same level of constant activity in the lower tiers for quite some time. I’m never big on alts unless i get bored but already have three classes selected for play. I will for certain be rolling alts in WAR.

  13. Andrew says:

    I did a Dead Mines run just yesterday with a PUG. Didn’t take very long to get the group together, either.

  14. Graktar says:

    Also keep in mind that the requirements for success in many PQs is quite low. A couple of weeks ago a friend and I duo’ed the first high elf PQ from start to finish. Yes, we died twice against the final boss, but as long as you don’t run out of time it doesn’t matter. We just ran back and picked up the fight again. Eventually we downed him and (obviously) both got loot. My friend got a purple, I got a green.

    We were level appropriate and did it with two people. Try to do that with an instance in WoW. There’s really no comparison between the two as far as requirements and ‘zomg nobody will do those anymore’ go.

  15. Toenee says:

    I would imagine Mythic will do what they did in DAOC and somewhere down the line give us an /xp off switch.

    That will alow people to raise Alts specifically for the more enojoyable scenarios. Not having played I do not know how viable twinking is and how much it would spoil the game.

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