WAR RvR is one frustrating bastard, and I’m not talking about city PQs, scenarios, or why the layout of T4 zones sucks/rocks. It’s frustrating because when everything aligns and you get the right (not even) number of Destruction and Order players in one area, with good leadership and coordination fighting it out, it’s amazing. I mean ‘best MMO experience out’ amazing. It’s only then that you start to notice the details put into the layout of each RvR area (no, they are not all basically the same), the balance between the classes (not as bad as some of the QQ you read), and just overall how well the engine handles everything (up to a certain number of players, but that upper cap is incredibly high all things considered).
The problem is, the stars are not aligned every single time you log on, which makes NOT having that experience more painful because of how quality it really is. Sometimes one side greatly outnumbers the other, and when that happens no amount of terrain layout or class balance is going to change the fact that the zerg is going to roll you. Other times the sides are so evenly matched it’s a stalemate, and the usual objective flipping and keep ignoring sets in, with the campaign not progressing past the current zone. And sometimes (depending on your servers population), there is just nothing really going on, and the RvR areas give off a seriously empty feeling.
Mythic has an incredible challenge ahead of them, and that’s getting all those factors listed above aligning more often, and creating that ‘perfect RvR’ feeling more frequently. It’s a tough task, considering so many of those factors are near-random due to player involvement. If you over-incentive players to look one way, they will in turn ignore everything else (the now-fixed scenario problem), but if you don’t provide SOME incentives, players tend to get lost and wander without goals. The balance is key, and will often swing on its own based on player/server maturity. What works on one server will be disastrous on another.
It’s this never-ending balancing act that makes WAR a bit tougher to stick with than a more traditional MMOs for many players. When you log into EQ2/WoW/LotRO, the content is sitting there waiting for you. Sure it’s just a script that always plays out in the same way, but at least it’s available. It’s the choice between poor/great or constantly decent, and it’s easy to focus on the poor if you tend to dwell on the negative. As someone who has been a fan of PvP since the early days of MMOs, I’ve developed somewhat of a tougher skin, accepting that the tradeoff for those high points is a string of low points. For me, I’ll take that over the day-to-day mediocrity that is the norm in more traditional games now. But I guess that makes me part of the niche crowd now.