Creeping death: A return to WoW or WAR?

At some point later this year I’m either going to return to Warhammer Online or World of Warcraft, mainly because I’d like to casually play an MMO with my fiancé again, and also to prevent any kind of burnout I might get after playing DarkFall exclusively for so long. No plans to stop playing DF or anything like that, but it’s always nice to have something on the side. Currently that’s Bad Company 2, but my interest in any FPS is always somewhat limited and I know that will fade. (BC2 gets bonus points though for sharpening similar skills needed in DF).

My preference would be to return to WAR, as I think it has a better core setup than WoW and is a few steps above in terms of insulting you with its level of challenge. My main problem when I look at WAR now is that I don’t see significant additions made to the game since the time I left (just after LotD). I’m somewhat aware of the improvements made to stability, performance, combat balance and all that, but I have this feeling that when I do go back, I’ll still be doing the exact same stuff I was doing before, with the only difference being it runs/plays a bit better. As I never had major issues with WAR in those areas, that’s not significant to me.

I was also initially a little disappointed in what I had read from the four bloggers who got to visit Mythic. I was expecting some news about new stuff that’s coming up, be it in a patch or the rumored (confirmed?) expansion. Now I say initially because today I was reading about the upcoming city siege changes, and those DO sound like not only significant improvements, but a far better overall experience. Hopefully when that patch goes live people will come back with good news about the changes.

And then there is WoW, which has an entire expansion I’ve yet to play/pay (WotLK), and another that could spur my return (Cataclysm). I bashed WotLK for recycling raid content with Nax, and yet here today I’m reading about the ‘new’ dungeon in Mt. Hyjal. Hmm, that place sounds familiar… I’m still betting that Cataclysm will be a massive recycling project, and that the amount of actual new content will be far smaller than what some expect, which dulls my excitement for it as well. I am somewhat interested to check out the new quest styles, as many have stated they are much improved to what BC offered, and one would think Cataclysm will further improve in this area.

But even if Cataclysm is a total redo of 1-60 Azeroth, and the 80-85 path is amazing, and Blizzard does not recycle every old raid and introduces “more raids than ever before”, it’s still WoW 2010. Cataclysm won’t up the challenge, it won’t return 1-60 Azeroth to its 2005 level, and it won’t make running anything at-level take more than mashing 1-2-3 while looking at a graphics engine that was average back in 2004. Oh and the average WoW player makes ForumFall look like a Mensa meeting, so we have that going for us.

Top it all off, once you play DF and get use to it’s pace of combat, playing a tab-target hotbar mash is a tough switch. When I tried Allods it was just really difficult to adjust to standing still and hitting 1-2-3 for combat and finding it fun. Now I know Allods is not WAR/WoW, but still. Factor in full collision detection, zero instancing, the style of loot/crafting in DF, and well… ugh.

The good news is that whichever game we return to, its side-status should allow me to just enjoy them for what they are (hopefully), and get my real MMO fix from DF. And hey if nothing else, it will make for some good blogging fodder, so everyone here will benefit. Always a bright side to everything…

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Allods Online, Combat Systems, Darkfall Online, MMO design, Patch Notes, Rant, RvR, Site update, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Creeping death: A return to WoW or WAR?

  1. Slurms says:

    For casual play outside of Darkfall, WAR may be the ticket. It doesn’t have the scope that would take time to enjoy like WoW does.

    I’ve really been enjoying my return to the game and am looking forward to seeing how city seiges pan out in the next patch.

  2. bonedead says:

    more raids than every before!

    You should put up a vote like Pitrelli did and let us vote on it :D

    I want to see you play WoW, I really do, especially if you’re still playing DF. I think you could get some good posts out of a month of that.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t know about a poll, I mean I think people would vote WoW just for the lulz of me playing it. Ultimately its going to be a group decision between my fiance and my two buddies that I regularly play with. I don’t think any of us are highly in favor of one over the other though.

  3. Robert says:

    If you end up going back to WAR, make sure you have at least a couple of thousand in your bank account in order to cover the subscription fees :)

  4. Jesse says:

    My non-MMO game is Just Cause 2 right now. It is oddly similar to Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past in my mind. Only the first objective/dungeon has to be completed in order, you can fight around the world unlocking all the best weapons before working on the storyline, weapons can be upgraded through thiddenhe black market/faeries in hiding, the story has you freeing the land from a dictator that usurped the previous leader, getting 100% completion requires searching high and low for treasure chests, and grappling hooks are awesome for combat and mobility.

  5. sid67 says:

    Bite the bullet. You know she wants to play WoW. It’s the better game (still) and Wrath was a very good expansion despite your complaints about Naxx.

    I know if I were asked by my wife which MMO should she play, I wouldn’t be recommending WAR or DF or EVE or Allods. I’d recommend WoW.

    It doesn’t offer what you want and I understand you have an irrational hatred of it, but it is an enjoyable game. You just need to keep in mind that you are in a different place than her (in terms of MMO preferences).

    If nothing else, you might find it interesting to be a WoW Tourist yourself by re-visting the game briefly. Say what you will about the game, but it’s good for at least a month or two of entertainment.

    • SynCaine says:

      Keep in mind she has played both WAR and WoW, and enjoyed both. She is not a total MMO noob either, so the whole “WoW is easy” is actually a strike against it (our group had an easy go of things on our first return just before WotLK, especially compared to our gaming back in 2004-5, so the bar being even lower now is not a plus in any way)

    • Kyir says:

      Wrath’s only a good expansion if you ignore the one that came before it.

      In context, it’s pretty shitty.

  6. OneShard says:

    War’s pond is smaller, but it just means you will make a bigger splash with comments and posts.

  7. Drew says:

    I had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day again. I never expected to see this post in a serious fashion. I hope you go back to WoW; as you say, it certainly should make for some interesting blogging material.

  8. kemp says:

    “And of course, going into anything looking to spot the imperfections rather than, wait for it, just have fun, is likely to result in not much fun had. Shocking.”

    Shocking indeed.

    • SynCaine says:

      More shocking when said person has already played both titles to death, knows all about the imperfections of both, and is not really in it to ‘explore something new’.

      I always prefer apples to oranges though, just much tastier.

      • kemp says:

        Whatever helps you justify your opinion, man. It’s not as if anyone is forcing you to play one of those two games.

        I’m glad you’re considering voting with your wallet, though, by potentially forking over $100+ for a couple of expansions and renewing some subs. Do as I say, not as I do, and all that.

        • SynCaine says:

          Right well obviously price will also be a factor, and in that area WAR clearly wins.

          As for forcing, when you get into a relationship with someone, get back to me on that.

        • kemp says:

          Hah, how cute. Your fiance is ‘forcing’ you to do something you loathe. The strength of your convictions is awe-inspiring.

          And nice veiled insult about my supposed lack of a relationship. Believe it or not, there are couples out there who don’t force each other to do anything they dislike. But hey, at least your fiance likes to play games. You’ve got that going for you, am I right?

        • SynCaine says:

          Well I did force her to try DF :)

          But being serious for a moment, that’s the point of this post, to ultimately decide which option would be more fun. Obviously if I thought both games were total garbage, I would not bother with them. Now maybe you are new around here, but I don’t generally write in a “glass half full” style, so while I’ll bash on both WAR and (especially) WoW, the fact that I’m considering them means I obviously see myself having some potential fun with them.

          I’m hoping that it’s WAR over WoW, if for no other reason than to not give Activision money, but either way the choice will come down to what we as a group are going to have the most fun with.

  9. Maladorn says:

    For a casual return to previous game, I’d recommend WAR, especially if the next patch improves the city siege experience.

    On the other hand, Fallen Earth could be an interesting casual game. Combat is a bit more fluid (no tab-target, no auto-attack, etc…), and character customizations can be very important. If you run grouped all the time, even level content feels slightly fast, similar to DDO, but you can fix that by moving up to the next town. PvP is pretty limited as of yet, especially in Sector 1, but the recent State of the Game post on the forum listed new PvP options (including global clan wars). Best of all, the CoWs have a big group through every tier. I realize FE wasn’t on the list of options, but I figured I’d mention it.

  10. Bhagpuss says:

    I wouldn’t start from here, as the joke goes. (I actually said that in all innocence to a driver asking directions once when I was about 18. He swore at me and drove off and it was years before I realised why.)

    Hmm, I digress and I haven’t even started yet…

    Both WoW and WAR would be quite a ways down my list of MMOs at the moment. In fact there are probably 20 MMOs I could think of off the top of my head I’d rather play than either, but it’s your time. If you really are only picking from a list of two, then I would go for WoW in anticipation of Cataclysm, which will probably be amusing for a while. I know I’ll be revisiting it then, along with most of the rest of the MMO world, even though I also know it will be a short visit.

  11. Stabs says:

    Age of Conan. Now with sieges :-)

  12. Kyff says:

    I recommend your returning to WoW on the Argent Dawn server, joining . You would certainly qualify for that blogger’s guild.

  13. Kyff says:

    And it might be fun being in the same guild as the unnamed EVE online returnee.

    • SynCaine says:

      He plays on EU, my account is NA. And are you talking about the CoW guild, or some other blogger guild?

      • Kyff says:

        sorry I left out the important information: single abstract noun. About every respectable blogger is in that guild. They do have an american and a EU chapter.

  14. Werit says:

    I’d say play both. I plan on playing a bit of Cataclysm when it comes out.

  15. Anti-Stupidity League says:

    It all depends on the style of casual play you want to play really.

    Some casual PVP: war without a doubt, casual pvp in wow sucks things that you play some sports with. Competitive pvp is a bit better (although war beats it in that as well).

    You said that you didn’t like fps games that much, so I’m not even going to suggest something like Global Agenda or Borderlands.

    Some casual PVE: depends on what you want from the PVE. If it’s phat lewt, shiny new items and bigger numbers, then clearly wow is your answer. Casual PVE in war resembles something that only male dogs have.

    Then again, if you’re more interested in the story-side of the PVE game, some varied quests or a better tradeskill system, why not try lotro for example?

    • SynCaine says:

      We have played LotRO before as well, good game but not exactly what we are looking to get back into at the moment. Maybe after it’s next expansion…

  16. shadowwar says:

    Obviously, I say WAR.

    I forgot the last time I told you they mentioned a low level PvE dungeon (Hunter’s Vale) from one of the live events. As far as dungeon’s go, it’s fun.

    Other than that, every weekend reintroduces a removed scenario (sometimes with a new ruleset), and there is the complete revamp of the city coming down the pipe. But content-wise, nothing new has been announced. I got Carrie to to talk about it in a round-about way, kinda sorta. It will be in my post tommorrow.

    So…yeah. If you’re looking for pure developer made content: WoW. If you want PvP, and player-driven stuff: WAR.

  17. n0th says:

    My 2 cents at WAR (unsubbed in february, still playing free trial at times and having contact to allies/ppl from server)

    WAR in T4 is SC insignia grindfest. Basically i’d say you wont enjoy scenarios AT ALL atm. Its either double-premade spawn-camping or /afk fest (hi@Reikland Factory).
    No idea about oRvR, maybe some action in 1.3.5 to be had with city invasions made RvR instead of RvTimer.
    Nothing new in the PvE department obviously – at 40 its B&B/LV/tombs/TovL. Hunters Vale (t1 instance) is a really dumbed down version of the live-event instance now (tank&spank only) with inferior loot.

    T1/trial is fun occasionally (if playing 30-40 min max per session), and its free too.

  18. Sean Boocock says:

    What exactly are you looking for from a casual MMO experience?

    WoW’s 1-80 questing experience does not necessitate mastery of your class, or even a high degree of competency. Yet, if it did, if every encounter had you on tenterhooks with death an errant action away, would that be “casual?” You can seek that out by tackling elite/group quests solo or while under level and they do present a significant challenge that requires optimum play.

    Alternatively, you could try raiding or the new rated battlegrounds being introduced in Cataclysm. The latter is a step above the random battlegrounds of the current game, a more structured experience where guilds form PvP teams and queue together for PvP instances.

    The former you have some experience with but I think you would be quickly disabused of your impression of WoW’s end game raiding were you to actually try any of the latest content. But again, raiding of any variety isn’t casual.

    I’d recommend you give WoW a try again with Cataclysm, if only to see what six years of iterating on the “themepark” design gets you as far as player experience goes.

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