First Impressions – ZealotSeptember 6, 2008
Yarsrevenge the Zealot is a very, very unhappy lady. Although I chose the most benign and aesthetically pleasing options for her looks, the second she got in the game she began contorting her appearance to look like a certain psychotic ex-girlfriend of mine. You know: evil eyes, chattery teeth, permanent forehead furrow. It didn’t help any, I suppose, that she had to cart around a living skull in her left hand (ex-boyfriend?).
The Zealot is as basic a healer as you’re to find in WAR. She heals, she heals over time, she buffs, and she does some decent casting damage (DOTs, mainly). I was happy to see how many instant cast spells there were in the first few levels, allowing me to run around exploring while throwing my first two heals onto myself without stopping. One of the heals, the HOT I believe, is an animation of her tossing a flask of heal juice, which is cool.
She did have a small problem healing herself if – and I’m fairly sure this was a bug – she was the defensive target. Weird, I know. If she had no defensive target, she’d automatically heal herself, but if I clicked on her to make her the def target, it was a big no go.
The newbie Chaos zone was quite crowded that night, so I skipped all the formalities and went down to check out the area’s PQ for the first time. Kill guys… check. Desecrate tombstones… check. Kill giant dragon-lizard-thing… check. It was like a swarm of bees down there, far too many to make that PQ a challenge. We zipped through the whole thing every few minutes, and on my second try I got enough contribution points to help boost my roll to second place. Yay new footsies for Yarsrevenge!
I also got an influence reward belt that looked like someone’s face melted with a tongue sticking out. Lovely!
At level 4, Yarsrevenge got the first of her career’s trademark mechanic: marks. Marks are great little skills – you throw them on yourself or allies to buff them in a particular way, but it also gives them a free skill to use as long as you’re alive. I can see this being a pretty popular mechanic.
I spent the rest of Yarsrevenge’s life just exploring the zone, poking my nose into places and hoping I’d find a secret. I did find a crypt that gave me “The Fearless” title when I went inside, but there wasn’t anything of note down there other than random mobs.
Earlier on, I had spied some buildings up on a cliff on the east side of the zone, and made it a mission to try to get up there to see what’s what. Unfortunately, the zone was split in half by this cliff, so I had to run aaaaaaall the way down until it finally petered out and I could turn around and run back north.
Or so I thought, until the level 33 champion NPC activated his go-go-gadget rocket boots, flew over to me, and rammed my head into the ground. I checked the map again, and something finally “clicked” with how Mythic has set up the zones and tiers to interlock.
Let me explain: for each tier, there are two zones (three in tier four). Order starts out in one of the tier one zones, Destruction in the other. The zones are designed in a semi-linear fashion (although not entirely) to have a path you can follow that takes you through the different areas to PQs, warcamps and so on. If you stick with the path and quest along the way, you’ll generally level up high enough for the challenge of the area.
The thing is, this path will take you right into the OTHER tier one zone, and here’s where the world PvP comes into play. At the point where the two paths either collide or get near enough together, there’s a PvP area and objective – so players of both factions, as they travel along, are enticed to join the fight before moving on. Then you continue through the other side’s tier one on a unique path that they generally can’t access easily (unless you’re a Zealot with a case of exploreritis) that’s somewhat higher in level than all of the content you’ve just done.
These paths continue to intertwine between the two zones per tier all the way up through tier 4. If you take a look at the world map, there are blue and red lines that show you the progression you’ll be taking through that area. It’s quite ingenious, now that I realize how it works. And hey, if you get bored of that area, you can always hop a flight to another one of the race’s zones in the same tier.
- When your side takes an entire zone, you are rewarded with renown
- The game world has two moons