Another fun night of Warhammer open beta for Aria and I, this time without her computer overheating. I only experienced one CTD, again after a death, but this time in a scenario, so it seems to be semi-random. I’ll have to do some drive updates to see if that helps, but one crash in 2-3 hours time is really nothing IMO.
We started and finished chapter 2 of the dwarf area, including participating in all three PQs and completing all quests. Just very briefly about the quests, they were a lot of fun. No annoying ‘find the little pixel’ quests, or any super long ‘kill 200 rats’ stuff. Plus any quest that ends in you drinking beer that sends a fireball out of your mouth I consider a win.
The PQs were an interesting adventure in player stupidity, as we had what must have been the worlds worst MMO players join us at one point. One guy literally charged the Hero class PQ boss head first (he was a healer too), agroing not only him but also the 6 mobs along the way. Needless to say, he died rather quick. We ‘failed’ that particular PQ, as the Giant at the end… well hit like a giant, and was just too much to overcome. We also could not complete the PQ located in a cave, but that was simply due to Aria and I trying to two man it, and we ran out of time on phase 2 (we were also completing quests at that time, so we were not exactly 100% focused on just the PQ). We did however succeed in completing the 3rd PQ, one that has you lifting a siege near the town. The first phase has you killing a bunch of greenskins, phase two you place barrels of gun powder around their catapults to destroy them, and phase three featured another Hero class orc and his henchmen. At that point however we had a decent group (or rather, one healer actually healing, and a few of the previously mentioned allstars), so we managed to take down the Hero boss and get access to the loot chest. The influence bonus for finishing the PQ also meant we had maxed out our influence for chapter 2, so double bonus for that. After we collected our PQ and influence rewards, we ran to the chapter 3 hub and decided to call it a night.
Perhaps it was just that we were higher level (made it to 7), but combat felt a lot smoother last night. It was mentioned in the patch notes that Mythic continues to work on combat responsiveness, and it shows. As of last night, I can honestly say the combat engine is at about 95% IMO. It’s still ‘slower’ than WoW, but by design now rather than for technical reasons. The fact that everyone has more HP than in WoW, compared to the amount of damage done, is a huge factor in the pace of combat. To me though this is a huge plus, as it means you actually have to form a basic strategy when dealing with normal mobs, and really be on your game when facing champion and hero mobs. I noticed a huge combat difference when I used my skills at optimal rotation, and when I just mashed one attack, which is great.
This is also important because working as a solid team in WAR really pays off. For instance, I was placing my ‘grudge’ buff on Aria, and if I let a mob hit her a few times at the start of combat, it not only split the damage a bit between us, it also gave me a huge grudge boost, meaning I could execute my moves that much sooner. During the cave PQ, if we executed this strategy, champion mobs were very doable. However, if we just ran in and mashed, the champion had a chance to kill us, or at least leave us in a badly damaged state, resulting in a longer downtime. I’m sure at the higher levels this gets even more important, but it’s nice to see strategy factoring in at such low levels. I can’t wait to run in a guild group of 6, everyone on vent and working as a well oiled machine.
With open beta coming to a close at some point on Saturday, we likely have one more play session with our dwarves. Mythic has done a great job capturing the unique feel of the dwarves in the Warhammer world, and anyone planning to play one is not going to be disappointed. Luckily for me, CE head start is Sunday, and I just happen to take Monday off as well. /win