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The Headbanger

December 1, 2008

heavy-metalGUILDIE: I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a title for finishing Heavy Metal.

ME: Like “The Headbanger”!

Considering that I’ve been Away From Keyboard for a full seven days, it was a bit eye-raising to have wrapped up Heavy Metal in an hour or so of gameplay before it ends this week. Eye-raising, but welcome — I hate tedious grinds, which HM was not, and I love accessibility, which HM definitely was. I snagged the trophy (meh), the level 35 cape for when I hit that rank in 2011 (yes, Syp is a painfully slow leveler), and the tank head start access (nice). I figure that if I was able to do all of this fairly quickly, then pretty much nobody has an excuse for getting early access to the tanks unless it has something to do with space slugs and their nefarious memory juice.

So far we’ve experienced two Live Events from the Mythic crew, one for October (Witching Night) and one for November (Heavy Metal). Both weren’t perfect — they definitely felt rough around the edges, experimental, feeling their way toward middle ground and compromise. We’ve called in the color commentators (Chuck and S’kuk) to give us their expert analysis on how the Live Events fared, and what we might expect in the future.

Purpose

  • Witching Night’s main goal was to drive people into the RvR lakes, with a secondary focus on providing an in-game Halloween-themed holiday.
  • Heavy Metal was both an advertisement for the upcoming 1.1 content patch (with the two tank careers), and putting people through a guided list of tasks.

Use of Tome of Knowledge

  • WN – Functional but awkward. It was more or less an in-Tome quest counter with few instructions of where to go, what to do or how to reap your rewards.
  • HM – Can we say “heavy metal riff”? Oh, we can. A more clear checklist of To Do’s, although it was disappointing that you couldn’t toggle any of them to show up on your main screen in the quest counter area. Much improved overall.

Ease of Completion

  • WN – Tough. Parts were obscenely easy (such as grabbing a Goblin mask), but most of it either was hard to find (such as the cauldron spots or the phasing ghosts) or hard to do (progressing the RvR PQ to the point where you could down a Lord… and repeat that 9 more times). The INF bar absolutely crawled, making the grind not worth your while.
  • HM – Very easy, although it was problematic that a majority of the tasks took place in the temporary scenario (Reikland Factory) and some servers didn’t have the population or interest to get that scenario to pop. Once Mythic opened up the daily quests to be able to do them all at once, it was a breeze.

Unique Features

  • WN – The first oRvR PQs, combining a mix of PvP action (stage 1) with a PvE mini-raid (stage 2).
  • HM – A new scenario and the trial of daily quests.

Rewards

  • WN – Witching Night’s rewards were mostly cosmetic (although cool-looking): masks, cloaks and shape-shifting potions. There were also special relic and amulet loot that dropped from certain mobs with stats attached to them. Also, two titles.
  • HM – While the trophy was fluff, the cloak (available in each of the four tiers) had decent stats, and the crown jewel of the event was getting a week’s head start on playing a Black Guard or KotBS.

Adjustments on the Fly

  • WN – Witching Night’s short duration was compounded by several bugs/problems, one of the biggest being that the entire warband attacking a Lord wouldn’t get the kill — just the group. Was patched midway through.
  • HM – Mythic acted fast to quickly hotfix the infrequency of the Reikland Factory scenario pops, as well as opening up the “daily” task list to be able to be completed at a player’s leisure (gamers were afraid of missing a day and not completing the event).

Problems

  • WN – While WN certainly did drive players into the RvR lakes, the action was anything but dynamic. Across all servers, large mobs would form on either side and stand at a respectable distance from each other, sniping cautiously but usually unwilling to commit full force (and thus potentially giving the enemy “free kills” toward their PQ goal). Players would also refuse to engage at all, stalemating the PQ altogether in stage 1. Finally, the close proximity of the warcamps to where the action was being fought meant that killing an enemy had no effect on the enemy’s army size past a few seconds.
  • HM – While Reikland was well-received, having this Live Event hinge on a scenario smacked of weirdness in the aftermath of a huge backlash against the primary focus of scenarios in WAR. For servers or tiers that couldn’t get Reikland Factory to pop, there wasn’t a way to get around it. Finally, this Live Event swung from WN’s very tough difficulty to almost insultingly Fisher-Price ease — several of the tasks just involved showing up somewhere, or doing a chapter 1 PQ.

Praises

  • The speed of introducing Live Events so soon after launch was a tremendously good hit. People like fluff, and fluff they got (although because this fluff shared a stat-item spot, they rarely got worn once the event was done). It did get people together and into the RvR lakes, and several energetic stories arose from those conflicts.
  • For being more or less a PR stunt for the 1.1 patch, it did get people excited about the tank classes (with a rather unique elite reward) — and Reikland Factory’s received a huge chunk of acclaim for its design, multiple strategies, fluid battle and fun little asides (pie throwing!). Of the two Live Events, HM catered equally to all players — hardcore and casual, PvE and PvP alike.

So what does the future hold for Live Events?  If nothing else, we do know that there is a person in charge of developing them and a dedicated tab in your Tome of Knowledge, so they’ll be returning for sure.  I think they have some kinks to continue to work out, but by and large, any new content is always welcome and a great change of pace.  Live Events can goad players into doing types of content they normally would not, and in giving them clear-cut goals and a list of things to achieve those goals, they feed the Achiever in all of us.

10 comments

  1. Hi. You know maybe when we will be able to play those classes? Date is known maybe?


  2. Yea, I was hoping for a title too. You don’t need to finish every quest for HM to get the elite reward, so I figured finishing them all would give an unlock.

    I enjoyed the event, very low stress. Hope this is a sign of what is to come, could help make it a much more dynamic game than others on the market.


  3. I agree that while they both had some minor flaws, they did a great job at what they set out to do – get people active and instil a sense of common purpose.


  4. I enjoyed HM over WN. Defiantly an improvement.. and the music score on the ToK tab was great.


  5. There were two “hidden” titles you could try to get (was not easy) during the event inside the Reikland Factory scenario.


  6. No “constructive feedback” for the events?

    What about some of the crappy quests?

    Personally I thought farming a rank 1 PQ for 3 stages was absolutely pointless – what was it trying to tell me? That rank 1 PQ is fun? There should have been rank restrictions on this one.

    Visiting a capital… no sure what this was about.

    Again, killing 20x rank 1 undead… pointless too. I think I would have had more fun if it had asked me to find a group of undead near my rank and kill those.

    How about this. Have a series of goals that tells you a story, either something related to the BG/KotBS or Reikland factory.

    We can have more fun ones like circle Reikland factory clockwise or anti-clockwise twice without dying.

    Or, visit all 12(?) entrances into the Reikland factory – this one at least helps you understand the map more which is good for pvp.


  7. I finished all Heavy Metal quests on two characters, and was dissapointed as well that no title was given. Completing the influence already has the reward of giving the early access to the new classes, but completing all steps should give at least a title. “The Headbanger” would be oh, so perfect.

    About the post-mortem:

    *** Ease of Completion
    WN: never completed past the first node. The RvR part was an exercise in frustration, as everybody just waited for the other side to fall dead by themselves instead of going on and fight.

    HM: very easy. Like I said, I was able to complete on both my main rank 26 DoK, and on my rank 12 Sorceress alt. Finding the specific extras inside the scenario was probably the hardest part (had to google for the ammo detonation item).

    *** Rewards
    WN: just fluff. The rewards didn’t conviced me to go through the problems with the event in order to complete it.

    HM: surprisingly good. I didn’t particularly liked the visual of the cloak (I actually checked if it was possible to use dyes on it [it isn’t, of course]), but the stats made it a must have. The head start is not something I’m very interested on, but it’s a nice reward nonetheless.

    *** Adjustments
    HM: I believe the best course of action for this kind of event would be to have the one-a-day task list, like it was after the first adjustment, with a few days to catch up in the end with all tasks . The way it was implemented on the beggining is just silly, not everybody can login everyday, and since it takes so little time to do each single task, that making people able to do each tasks only one particular day is a very bad idea. I’m glad they noticed and fixed that.

    *** Problems
    HM: My server was still having problems waiting for Reikland to popup on the weekend. Only Sunday I managed to see it more than a couple of times.


  8. “Hi. You know maybe when we will be able to play those classes? Date is known maybe?”

    I want to say it was going to be fairly soon. I recall that they were going to be put in with the 1.06 patch, which should be either this week or the next. Or I could be completely off base.

    As for the event, I really liked it. It got more people into RvR and PQs, and the Reikland Factory scenario is extremely well designed and fun to play. I will definitely miss it if they take it out of the game.


  9. The tasks to complete PQ stages didn’t require the stages to be from the same PQ. All you had to do was contribute toward a PQ transitioning between stages. For example, helping to complete stage 1 of a PQ 3 times would complete the task.

    The tasks themselves were mostly simple, although to unlock the classes you still had to apply some effort. The factory itself looks great and should come back in the future, it would be a shame to waste it.

    Overall a good live event and hopefully future events are this good or better. Casual players weren’t excluded and the rewards were suitable for the time required to collect them. The only downside was the heavy reliance on participation in the scenario, as it didn’t seem to be popping regularly.


  10. No reason for not having done all quests? How about hours and hours of queueing to Reikland Factory and never having it pop?

    Well, to be honest, RF did pop during the first few days when the daily quests actually were dailies, and the current daily was for RF. *Then*, you might have gotten a couple of runs before it dried for that day.

    Of all my half a dozen careers on two servers (order + destruction), I managed to get the “forget about the scenario, just run around Reikland Factory not fighting or healing” quests done on just one (with a three hour queue on the day when the remaining dailies opened up; after that I haven’t seen RF again). The same holds for trying to get those 15 RvR kills as well.

    For me, Wicthing Night was a FAIL (solo grind & impossible RvR), and Heavy Metal was a FAIL (Reikland Factory scenario queue + RF quests). If they are supposed to be fun and instead leave you disappointed after denying you the fun they promised, they FAIL. And yes, I did get the elite reward. Yet, I feel disappointed and betrayed (did you hear about the rumors about each daily being soloable in an hour or so).

    Three strikes and I’m out?



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