Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to play WAR

Or, rather, how we've been playing WAR.

WAR has been promoted as a game where you can progress doing whatever you want - pure PvE, pure PvP (RvR), or a mixture. We've found it to be fairly effective, and fun, to mix it up, even if you are primarily a PvP player as we are. You CAN level purely in RvR, but you will get beaten pretty hard despite the level bumping due to lack of damage/skills/armor in the early levels.

Our basic strategy so far is:

1) Run around the starting areas in true powergamer style, solving 3-4 quests every time you enter a new area. This gets you a few levels.

2) At this point you'll stumble upon your first PQ. Do the PQ a few times and max out your influence for the chapter (be sure to figure out what exactly gives you influence at each stage, and selfishly acquire as much for yourself as you can, even if your team-mates are struggling with enemies... tee hee). Try not to die during the PQ, as it's often a 2 minute run back.... retreating from the enemy and healing up while others do some of the work will end up getting you more influence since you'll be able to re-enter the combat sooner.

Go and talk to the nearby Rally Master, and pick some nice gear. Take the quest that the Rally Master gives you (only available after you max out your influence) and follow it to get to the next Chapter. At this point you're about level 6.

Note that Chapters are not the same as Tiers - each Tier has multiple chapters. So don't be afraid that going to Chapter 2 is going to put you up against level 20 guys :)

3)Here's where my favourite part of WAR kicks in:

There's a little button at the top left of your minimap. Click on it, and you'll be able to enter a queue to go and do Scenario RvR (instanced team PvP - you can join as a group). This grants you mucho experience, decent money, and is heaps of fun, but more importantly it also gives you renown points.

Renown points are used to advance your renown rank, which is basically your PvP level. Whenever you gain a level, you can talk to NPC's in town that reward you with some really nice items and some minor additional skills. Be sure to talk to each of these guys as soon as you gain a level for maximum carnage. If you plan on levelling up a lot in RvR, you'll want the 5% extra XP tactic as soon as it's available.

The renown gear is usually roughly as good as the PQ gear of the same level, but they're often different specific items, so that you really need gear from both if you want to have a really powerful character. This is why it seems better to advance in both RvR and PQ's hand-in-hand, not one or the other. The renown gear will cost you a little cash, but not really that much - I was always able to afford whatever I needed. I really like the accessibility of gear in this game, you don't have to rely on lucky drops since you can pick all the best stuff as rewards from npc's, and the stuff you do have to pay for is fairly cheap. Hats off to Mythic for that.

One final important note on Scenarios: most towns have 1-2 quests that you can grab that can be completed in the Scenarios as part of your normal playing (one I think is to win the scenario, another is to kill X number of players). So while you're waiting for the scenario queue each time, you can go and talk to these npc's and you'll be truly raking in the XP.

4) Anyway, you don't have to do Scenarios exclusively while levelling up your renown rank. While waiting for the Scenario queue you can still run around completing quests etc. You probably won't have enough time to get a PQ in (Scenarios are getting played fairly frequently on our server, at least in the lower tiers), but you have the option of not joining the Scenario when you get the notification that the game's ready.

If you do go into a Scenario half way through a quest, don't stress, as you're teleported straight back to where you were, making it the perfect little diversion if you're a little over questing. This hand-in-hand PvE and PvP progression is heaps of fun and helps ensure you're never bored.

5) So, mix it up between Scenarios and the PQ for the next chapter. As soon as you've got your influence maxed, head on to the next chapter and go find the next PQ. Do regular quests along the way while waiting in the Scenario queue, but don't stress about doing every single one, as there are way way more quests than you could ever want to do. I frequently have to abandon quests because I reach a new area and my quest log is full (wtb extra pages for my tome of knowledge).

If you feel you're handling the PQ's pretty well, you can also run ahead a couple of chapters and try your hand at PQ's there. Much more rewarding, but also much more challenging.

Anyway, why am I still writing about levelling up in WAR? Time to go do some more of it!

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