To anyone who is playing Warhammer Online on a low population server, Mythic owes you an apology. You are not playing the same game everyone else is, but rather an empty husk of something really great. Any server with below a medium population should be merged/closed, as WAR is far more population dependant than any other MMO out, simple as that.
With Friday’s server transfer complete (flawless btw? Did anyone have a single problem with the transfer?), CoW and many other guilds from Thorgrim moved over to Monolith, and got to experience WAR the way it was meant to be played. The combination of a high pop server and an RvR-focused event (The Witching Night) meant the RvR areas were packed, from log in to log out. I logged in at 10am EST on Saturday, fully expecting the world to be quiet, only to find a near-full warband in tier 2 already clashing with a sizable Order group, and this level of action continued throughout the entire day. Same deal in tier 3 from what I saw. During the VERY brief time I was not in RvR, I saw players running around in the questing areas (chap 9 DE specifically), and I can only assume this means finding a PQ group would be that much easier compared to Thorgrim. The Inevitable City always had a ton of players going about their business, really giving it that capital city feeling that was missing before.
This weekend also made me realize one other very important feeling I have towards WAR; I don’t care about xp gain or ranks. At almost no point in the weekend did I think about my rank or how much xp I had gained in the last hour. The one time I did was when I hit rank 22 and got chickened out of tier 2, but since I had already done some tier 3 RvR (and very successfully at that thanks to the bolstering mechanic), it was more a matter of changing battlefield rather than being excluded from content. Gaining rank is nice because you get more skills/abilities, and those in turn flesh out your character and give you more options. That said, I don’t feel like unless I hit rank x, I’m gimped, and so I have to grind out xp until I hit that magical ‘now you are awesome’ rank. Gaining a new rank also means finding new gear to acquire, and I would honestly rather just RvR or even quest to relax, rather than look at gear and notice it’s 3-4 ranks below me. (no matter how hard I try, the min/maxer in me always comes out eventually)
The server transfer has really ignited my want to play Warhammer even beyond what it was before, and not just because of the RvR. During the weekend I saw a message that Praag had been locked down by Destruction, and this reminded me that eventually, I will be an active participant in an over-arching war for the Capital cities. I view my time now as soldier training, learning Keep attack/defense tactics, RvR tactics, and the overall feel for the world (both in an RP sense and for game mechanics). Once I make it to the front lines, it’s going to be ‘serious business’. But again, I don’t feel that need to hit the cap just to start the fun stuff, I’m having a great time at each rank.