Taking a break from T4 RvR, CoW and the Bloodsworn Alliance took a trip into Bastion Stairs (BS), the rank 30+ instanced dungeon. The basic setup is very similar to Mount Gunbad; three wings, three PQs with a final 6-man boss at the end of each wing, and a final-final 6-man boss accessible to players with full influence for the area. Unlike the night goblin theme in Mt. Gunbad, BS theme is based around the chaos blood god Khorne and his minions. Basically lots of skulls (for the skull throne) and blood (for the blood god). Its cool stuff and a nice change of scenery from the caves and mushrooms of Gunbad.
As with RvR, the rank requirement for BS is fairly relaxed. Anyone rank 30+ can join up and contribute, up to and including rank 40 players. The difficulty is a step up from Gunbad, as even the early PQ bosses go a step or two above tank/spank, using some spot AoE, enrage, or calling in adds. Depending on your group/warband, and how many other groups are currently inside really determines how fast you go. We had 10-12 players in our warband, many in the lower 30s, and a few rank 40s. With just our warband fighting a boss, we had good success with the first PQ and sub-bosses, while wiping once on the second boss (nasty AoE lighting that, depending on the spot, can lead to an insta-wipe). By the time everyone arrived and we had worked our way down to the third PQ, an all 40 group showed up, and along with that group we were able to take down the PQ boss (a Lord mob that apparently hits like a truck). Time was running out, and after a bit of confusion, we unfortunately did not get to attempt the 6-man boss at the end of the wing.
Overall it was a fun two hour trip, with some nice loot dropping (I get dumb lucky with PQ rolls, sorry guys), including rank 36 set items from the gold bags. Boss drops for the left wing are rank 33 blues, while the first influence rewards are rank 30 blues (somewhat odd considering the mobs are 33). Not sure about the final 6-man boss, since we did not get a chance to try him, although if the Gunbad comparison continues, I’m guessing he drops 34+ loot.
We are planning another run for Thursday, which will hopefully result in a full clear of the left side and we can turn our focus to the right wing (rank 35 mobs). If I can stay away from RvR for a bit, I should be able to get my DoK high enough to really help out in the right wing (currently close to rank 33, with some nice gear waiting for me in my bags), rather than just feeling like a loot vacuum. Maybe I’ll just filter out Alliance chat so I don’t hear the constant ‘attack here, defend here’ from our members. Keep defense now being worth a truckload of renown and influence won’t make that easy though…
So, now that you really have had time to get a good feel for the game. Is it worth the subscription? How long do you feel WAR will hold your MMO attentention span? If you had to start over from scratch, as a new player who just bought the game, would you?
On a scale of 1-10, how fun are these dungeons, compared to similar gameplay in other games?
To me, it sounds like you’re forcing yourself to do this. Is that because the RvR is just SO much fun, or is it because it’s a grind but you feel like you need to complete it?
Not forcing at all. The RvR is just that good, especially when other guild mates are fighting and saying they need help. Not that we left them or anything, the event was planning, but I just never like missing a good fight, especially with T4 still being new for me, and with all the recent improvements to it. It just seems that every day, people are really pumped to RvR, and that kind of pulls you in.
As for WAR itself, it’s a PvP (RvR in this case) MMO. If that’s your cup of tea, I can’t see why WAR would not work for someone. The PvE is ‘good enough’ if you focus on the PvP and use PvE as a break from it. The dungeons, starting with Mt. Gunbad at the mid 20s, are fun. Just basically longer public quests really, not anything like a raid or longer instance in WoW. But the short length and easy access just add to the relaxed feel, a nice change of pace from the hectic RvR.
I recently started one of the new classes (Black Guard), and I was amazing at how busy tier 1 was, both in RvR and PvE. Seemed to be a decent amount of actual new players too, since quite a few people were asking beginner questions. I think 1.1 attracted some new people, and WAR seems to be perfect for alt-aholics as well.
It still has some technical issues, but far less than at launch, and if you have the $50 to drop, I can’t say anyone would be terribly disapointed. It’s not a PvE-fest like WoW (it’s actually more different than WoW in a lot of ways), and if someone is looking for that, I would say LoTRO is the game for them. But if you want to mix it up with others in a fantasy setting, WAR should work. Personally I don’t really see myself moving on for quite some time, and even more so considering the rate they are adding content and changing things up.