Saturday, October 15, 2011

Warsong, lvl14 Rogue

Playing around with the last pieces of fun content WoW offers, I found that playing low-level Warsong can actually be really good. And I am not the only one. Waiting times are better than at max-level!
Of course, the lower levels are dominated by heirloom players, so you need to pick your class and specc very carefully. Playing a warrior, paladin, shaman, warlock or mage without being heirloomed and enchanted is pointless. But if you can stealth or kite and find a nice weapon on the AH, hunters, rogues or druids are really good.

I recorded one of the more fortunate matches. It's 13 minutes long.
I think it is very interesting how low-level Warsongs are functioning. The amount of abilities the characters have is minimal, but that makes the entire game very tactical, especially for a not-heirloomed rogue. And even though the game is so dramatically unfair (I can't win a fight against a heirloomed char with 500+ hit points, nor does anybody with less than 400 life have a chance against my stealth attack), and even though I can die within the fraction of a second to even not-heirloomed characters, the game is pure fun. I played like 20 matches in a row yesterday; and not every one went as well as this ;)

I absolutely love the pace of this game without mounts. It's not the use-every-GCD-style of the endgame, but, well, much better: you can concentrate on what is going on instead of on your actions bars. Oh, and no magic explosions are plastering my screen, no absurd amount of AoE effects! And great looking character models!

Of course, this is not playing a MMORPG. It's more similar to any matchmaking PvP game and it might be hard to justify paying a monthly sub for this.

In the name of gameplay that stealth animation is now unpolished.


  1. Nice carry!

    Immediate thoughts: stealth movement keeping pace with everyone else? W.T.H.?

    The gameplay has more flow with less abilities, and as you say, you needed to pick your fights carefully. As the viewer, it was evident you were always aware of how exposed you are... and it was *FUN* to watch. I can only imagine how *FUN* it would be to play...

    ... but as you've discovered/revealed over this past month, this game is a faint shadow of what brought millions to play it. Hint: vanilla. All the dumbing down occurred AFTER the playerbase was installed, NOT due to 'making it more accessible'.

    Thanks for the vids this past month Nils, it's been fun to see your takes, and a shame to see how far the game that held so much promise has fallen. All in good fun though, cheers!

  2. The stealth speed was buffed in Cataclysm, largely because rogues were the least-played class in WoW and Blizzard wanted to make QoL changes. At level 85, you move much faster stealthed than unstealthed (my rogue is at 135% I believe), which essentially removes any incentive to NOT be stealthed 100% of the time, everywhere. It does make it more fun as a rogue.

    Hint: vanilla. All the dumbing down occurred AFTER the playerbase was installed, NOT due to 'making it more accessible'.

    I once called this a pernicious argument, and the fact it keeps springing up like a weed is why.

    Without knowing Blizzard's internal numbers, you have no basis for making any argument whatsoever. The numbers could very will indicate that the only reason why WoW didn't peak in 2005 or 2006 was because of the sort of accessibility changes. Nevermind how an extra 4 million subs justifies said accessibility in the only way that matters for game companies: the bottom line.

  3. Without knowing Blizzard's internal numbers, you have no basis for making any argument whatsoever.

    A very pointed statement. Keeping in mind, however, that no one does. So any counter-argument is equally invalid using the same logic.
    I maintain my statement- through logical conclusions following every blue post, every game change and simple concepts such as burnout and critical mass.
    The empirical nature of Nils' trek this past month, captured on video for the enjoyment of all, provide support to this claim in a rather (arguably) objective manner.

  4. @Niels: isn't WoW free up to level 20? So you don't need a monthly sub for this, but just to create another trial-mode account.

  5. You read my blog long enough to know how to write my name by now, Helistar ;)

    Otherwise, yeah, I didn't think about this. I could probably do this. Unfortunately I will gain exp, and that means that every some BGs I need to create another rogue and level through 1-10.

    That takes about 2 hours if done efficiently and it's not something I would look forward to right now. But it's not completely unthinkable either. I might do this in the future if I ever am very bored of other PC games. ;)

  6. There is NPC near battlemasters that turns off all XP gains just for that.

  7. Shalcker, that costs 10G and where am I supposed to get 10G on a new char?. Ok, I need to farm copper, too.

    The real problem with this is that I end up in twink battlegrounds if I switch off exp gain and I have no interest in creating an optimized twink by running instances over and over. They are very boring as dps.

    Moreover, the queue times for the twink battlegrounds are rumored to be very, very long.

  8. Shalcker, that costs 10G and where am I supposed to get 10G on a new char?.

    Just farm some herbs and ore while leveling up and stick them on the auction house. You'll easily get 10g.

    playing a rogue, nice!

  9. @Nils: ah ops, sorry about the name :)

    Hmmmm... you could email blizzard and tell them that they should cap the trial accounts at level 19 :P

  10. Forget mining and using the auction house for making a F2P twink. Mining gets you EXP... which itself isn't a big deal, but you *can't use the auction house* as a F2P player. You can't mine enough ore to sell to vendors to make that much gold before you ding 20. You pretty much have to farm grey mobs and sell their drops to choke off your own XP before you can pay the NPC to lock it off.

    ...yes, it's dumb.