Two Minutes Past The Witching Hour

November 3, 2008

Lately it seems everybody’s been talking about Witching Night. And I mean everybody. Like, all over the place. High and low. Hither and yonder. To and fro. Here and there. Minnie and Mickey.

With good reason, I suppose. Witching Night is the first major content addition to WAR and the first of (presumably) several live events that will come our way. People wanted to see what Mythic was capable of doing, how they could manipulate the game world to make it even more dynamic (dynamic!) for us adventurers.

From reading other people’s thoughts and from my own experiences, I’d say the pseudo-Halloween event has been a mixed bag of good candy and eye-rolling toothbrushes.

The first night this went live, I teamed up with a group of guildies to camp a cauldron for a while. Some Destro tried to pop on by and steal our kills, but for once, my services proved useful (land mine! flame turret! blunderbuss!) and we continuously tagged all of the mobs when they spawned. Fairly quickly we filled up on our required mobs (two of the three groups needed for the Witch King title) and several of us got the Gobbo mask drop. Fun, but once we did all that and noticed our influence bars barely moving, we called it a night.

The next couple days after that, I parked my butt at the Black Fire Pass RvR lake and entered into the scary, wonderful, death-prone realm of Open RvR. Snafzg illustrated the eternal conflict between Destruction and Order in this area, which seems pretty accurate to me. Join a warband, cautiously head toward the enemy, and try to meet in a “safe” middle ground to fight, far away from warcamp heroes and siege engines. If nothing else, WAR PvP is teaching me that taking risks in combat and trying to do anything apart from the giant school of fish that you’re swimming with is cause for immediate termination. It’s like two groups of penguins huddling together for warmth and afraid that if they venture out on a brave mission to get more fish, a walrus is going to pop up and eat them.

Yet I’m not a patient fellow and I have little time to sit back and watch everyone mince around in combat — an inch forward, inch backwards, and melee DPS getting frustrated out of the wazoo that they’re not able to do much. Why aren’t we charging more? Oh, that’s right — because the enemy will flee back to their mothers’ skirts (i.e., the warcamp) instead of fighting like real men and women of old.

Anyway, it became something of a horrible running joke with me that I’d never see one of these PQs to final completion. We once finished stage one and as we ran to the Lord, I got killed, then couldn’t make it back in time for the final blow. Plus, killing 100 enemy players before they kill 100 of you can take seemingly forever.

Finally, last night, I got to see the Big Fatty at the end of the PQ, a giant Nurgling (Nurglar?) with intestines slopping all over the place. There’s got to be danger of infection with that. Why the window into the guts? This planet has weird fauna.

As I said earlier, Witching Night’s gotten mixed reviews. The bad comes from a hotfixed bug that only allowed a small part of the players to get the Lord kill credited to their account, the frustratingly long influence bar (which, for fluff rewards, was FAR too hefty for most casual players to tackle), and the very slow reset on the RvR PQ. I’m also a little surprised that the capital cities had nothing to do with this event — you’d think that this sort of holiday would fit in great with the living cities and all that.

Yet I think there’s a lot of good that’s come from this. First of all, a month and a half into launch, Mythic’s pumped out a live event far before anyone expected. People do love the masks (see Mythic? Fluff rules!), and it wasn’t hard for even a solo PvE player to get one. Best of all was the not-so-sneaky implementation of a PQ in the RvR lakes. It gave us exactly what we’ve been clamoring for (or a first step towards it, at least): real incentive to do open world RvR (ORvR) instead of scenarios. I suspect that the slow PQ reset was so that already-formed warbands in the area would try out the other RvR lake objectives, like the BOs and Keeps, as they waited for a reset — that certainly happened with a couple groups I ran with.

We’re only a couple weeks away from our next live event, Heavy Metal (gosh I do love saying that), and I’d say expectations are cautiously optimistic for it, but a bit guarded.

P.S. – Long influence bars = grind = Syp gets bored really, really quickly.



  1. This whole event has been a very good way to experiment and see what the people really liked. I think that the resetting time will be a little shorter in the future, and also the influence bar will not take too long to get filled up. Other than that overall the implementation of ORvR has been amazing and fun for everyone.

  2. 1) I managed to get my first PQ influence reward after grinding the ORvR PQ about 6 or 7 times and camping a Cauldron until I unlocked my title. That’s 1/3 of the influence bar for about 8-10 hours hours labour. Not cool.

    2) You do need to travel to the capitol city in order to get your influence reward, however, that’s the extent of it. On the plus side, since no-one needs to be equipped for battle in the city, a lot more people were running around in ghost form (1st tier inf reward) and mask.

    3) Of the all the ORvR PQs I did, I managed to nab two green bags and a gold bag. I was really driven to get a second gold bag because there were two pieces of amazing purple jewelery inside. A third gold bag would have netted be the coveted rare mask. Overall, I think the loot bag rewards were perfect (except the green bags which kept giving me the same “meh” ch14 helmet reward. I have three of these things now…

    4) Even over the short term of the Live Event, Mythic managed to patch a couple important fixes (increasing the scenario frequency to about 30 minutes and spawning the loot chest near the winners’ warcamps).

    5) The ORvR was definitely zergy, but if you got on near the beginning, you could find some smaller fights, which was nice.

    6) The zerg is mindless… you basically had to have warband leaders screaming in chat to get people to quit camping the other team’s warcamp.

    7) In the future, they should extend the PQ area to cover the entire lake, not just areas in between BOs and keeps. Due to the Witching Night PQ setup, people rarely tried attacking BOs or keeps because no-one was worth any points in these areas.

    8) Nothing more to add… *whew*

  3. The Giant Nurgling is a greater deamon of Nurgle called a Great Unclean one…. the model they have based it on can be seen here guts and all – Forge World

  4. I think it was a good event, though I was a bit disappointed in the last mask being tied to the RvR PQ. Basically because it was pretty much impossible for some people to achieve no matter how much time you spent trying. As a lev 22 WP at the start of the event…I was pretty much fodder for the oRvR portion of it…and without the higher damage/healing skills that the higher ranked players could use, my contribution wasn’t typically high enough to even place in the rewards.

    On Brettonia though the RvR combat reached some pretty large battles the first couple of days. 50-60 players on a side. I have a screen shot of just finishing the Lord PQ and 31 Destro come swarming over the hill…great stuff! 🙂

    I did get the mask for grinding the Influence, the gobo from the spirits, and picked up a skull mask in the scenarios.

    All in all, it’s nice to know they have the ability and willingness to add changing and dynamic content to the realm though for special occasions and I am quite looking forward to the Heavy Metal event. I just hope the reward to play the KoBS isn’t as seemingly impossible to achieve as the PQ rewarded mask 🙂

  5. I really like that it got people into the Open RVR lakes as well. I was stoked that I got 1rst place in the PQ loot roll my first time around and got that purple Devil looking mask thing!

    The INF issues bugged me too though. I participated in 3 full on PQ’s from start to finish, and barely received any INF. I’m not even a tenth of the way to the first reward. I didn’t feel like running around to the cauldrons because I wanted to enjoy the ORVR while it lasted, maybe I would have got more INF there, but from the sounds of it you didn’t either.

    I think my issue was that I was only getting INF for a couple of kills in ORVR. It felt random, and that was no good. I would like to see the Heavy Metal INF bar fill more regularly, if not faster as well.

  6. I was pretty disapointed with the Open RVR turnout. Just too much zerging. I wish they wouldve spread out the objectives better so there wasnt such a concentration of people.

  7. You forgot one more issue: not being able to get your bag of loot from the PQ because Destro/Order camped the chest spawn point and would not let ya get to your loot.

    Which sux for me because it was hard enough for my Sword Master to do much to begin with, then to actually win a bag..and not get it..

    Sad swordy here

  8. It was good and bad imo. The same things happend on my server with destro refusing to lets us finish by staying out of the zone if we where winning. As I have not been able to complete one of these event pq’s, I have been very frustrated and just went back to my usual scen/pve combo grind. I truly feel as a casual gamer (2-3 hours a day if lucky) I got completly left out of this event.

  9. For someone who is usually in Mythic’s corner, I was very, very disappointed by this event. I think the design of the RvR PQ was seriously flawed, as highlighted by the behavior at our Servers T4 PQ: either there were tens of people of one side standing there for hours doing nothing (why couldn’t the event advance slowly if the other side didnt’ show up?), or one guild on our server (Obliteration) griefed our own side by setting up to kill all the enemy in the small bottleneck in between the enemy war camp and the legal PQ area. A lot of people on my server are sort of permanently annoyed with Obliteration now, and at least one high level Obliteration person is sporting a new guild tag. (Coincidence? Probably.)

    I never got a single lord kill, and that’s after more than 10 hours invested. A guildie told me to just get it as a chicken in T3, but that doesn’t seem right, and I have to say, as convenient and seductive as cross-teaming seems to be for this event, I am very, very disappointed to hear that I have a cross-teaming guildie.

  10. Well I enjoyed the event. Yes there where problems but with a short time in after launch it was pretty good. I agree the INF was just a grind to get things. I think alot of people may have stopped at the cloak and that was it. During a teir ORVR PQ. I was the #1 contributor, got the +500 and rolled so bad my total was not even in the top 10 no bag for me think my total was 650…. LOL I kept tring but never got lucky. Also a couple times we never could complete it because the other side would never come out of the warcamp, or so many people kept them from coming into the pq area.
    I got 3 of of the 4 mask the other title from drinking the postion we got, and the cloak. Never did get a chance to even get the 4 mask. All in all for the 1st Live event and on such a short order I ok with it.

  11. What really sucks about this type of PQ

    We loose the pq and were starting to get our group together at the end so we decided to wait for it to respawn.. 45 min..

    eventually it does and the now full warband is ready to engage the enemy..

    they come,we fight .. same back and fourth but we’re winning.. sure the order was running to the guards but give them some room to regroup and they will come back to the middle..

    but we we’re winning and having a great time, the warband of complete strangers is actually listining and working together healers were spread out to each group.. it was going so well

    when all of a sudden.. a separate warband that had been taking the keeps in t3 came in 50 strong (ok warband + we’ll call um).. they swooped in and followed the order.. chasing them to their guards .. which gave the order 50 kills like that..

    in the matter of seconds what was a 7 to 15 fun event.. suddenly turned into a un-fun 57/15

    and after they respawned they ran straight to the guards again..

    game over, with more than an hour of my time wasted by some jackasses looking to do nothing but piss me off

    i dont have a problem with the pq being in the RvR lakes.. i have a problem with my realm being the required kill for the pq..

    put the pq in the area and let us fight over who gets it done faster but having us or them be the counter for the pq allows stupid things like this to happen.

    like kill 10 set spawn dudes and we can fight each other for the ground it spawns at.. there by allowing people top complete the event even if the other team doesn’t show..

  12. They achieved one thing, for me at least – in that, for the first time, I got a taste of what true ORVR is all about.

    Yes, it was a stalemate and I can see that getting old fast – but it was damn fun at the same time. It was cool to finally see this other army we’ve heard so much about!

  13. I’m this on my blog as well.

    Thursday night I spent about 30 minutes out in BFP fighting until the PQ started. It was nothing but a zerg with Destro pinning us in the warcamp. As a Witch Hunter there wasn’t much I could do, so after gaining 25 influence I left.

    Saturday I managed to grind out some Specters with my wife and got a few gobbo masks, which are great. Still didn’t even get close to the first influence reward and didn’t really care enough to go for more.

    Yesterday I managed to get into 2 of the PQs in BFP with my Witch Hunter. Both were won by Order and the first one I actually got a few swings at the Lord before he was taken down. Somehow I managed to place in the top ten for contribution and ended up with the second place roll netting me a purple bag.

    The second PQ was a much more unorganized zerg, and I saw Syp running around shooting everything. I was much less productive in that one, as anytime I got a little far away from the group I would get sucked in by a Magus and killed. Order still managed to win, but I barely got within site of the Lord before it died, so no kill count for me. And I ended up placing 38th in the roll.

    Over the course of the weekend I managed to get about 5k influence on two characters. So even together I wouldn’t have made it to the first reward.

    High points:
    – Interesting combat in the RvR lakes. Sure it was like herding cats, but it was fun.
    – The masks are great, and I’m glad I was able to get at least the one.

    Low points:
    – Small PQ area forcing a zerg. A wider area, or at least an area farther from the warcamps would have been nicer.
    – Limited PQ objectives. I would have liked to see some sort of static objective so that if the other side doesn’t participate you could still win.
    – Influence needs were way too high. With the tiny about of influence gained in the PQ, and the limited number of spawns for the NPCs it took a huge amount of effort to even get the first level of contribution.

    Overall, I had fun. I think it was a successful test, but there are definitely things that Mythic could have done better.

  14. Heh. Theres a few sweet spots where you could grind restless spirits and get the Elite influence reward within 2 hours. 33k, 22k in Ostland was one of them. 3 spirits spawning within 10 second of eachother, and die in 1 hit.

    There was also a secluded couldron in eastern Ostland that I never saw anyone at.

  15. I envy you all who get to do witching night events. I think on our server in T4 it only popped once or twice that I’ve seen. Destruction never shows up =P. Our server is one of the few in which Order outnumbers Destruction in T4 so that probably has part to do with it too though.

  16. There is massive mixed feelings about this. I managed to get three of the four masks, with only the PQ bag reward one missing.

    The PQ was a good idea, and yes, did lead to the zerg. But zerg isn’t all bad, it is just a massive fight. It’s chaotic, hectic and fun.

    I couldnt get the PQ mask for two reasons:
    1. I sat for 2.5 hours in one PQ, where destro raked up ONLY 15 kills. Part Order camping, part nubs killing outside PQ zone. (I went to a cauldron for another 1.5hr – got heaps of inf – came back, same PQ still running, with an addition 10 kills)
    2. I suck at PQ rolls (i.e. top contribution and finish 21st???)

    I reckon rather than having a whole lake PQ, maybe have an event objective. Anything really – a flag, an event ‘keep’, “Capture the pumpkin”. But something that contributes a score to a PQ objective. This means if one team camps in their warcamp, they lose, and the PQs can roll over.

  17. Thanks Syp for reminding me of the fourth problem, showing both sides PQ totals. It should only show your side, not theirs. This should be for all shared PQ’s in the game.

    Luckily I did get some good Open RvR in and got to complete the PQ twice, which gave me the needed ten kills on the Lord.

    Actually had one of the funniest moments in the game, ever. I guess that could be my next post.

  18. I camped a cauldron in badlands and filled my bar in about 3 hours. Kill the 3 crones, then destry the pot and 10-12 spirits spawn and stay until the pot re-pops in 5 min. Usually, I could take down all 10 spirits before cauldron repopped.
    Must have been about 500 kills, at over 1 silver each and 750 Exp not a bad haul. What surprized me was selling the 17 gobbo masks I picked up. Put on auction for 1S 10B and sold them all in one day!
    Didn’t have any rewarding experience in RVR content. The elite mask looks more like an eye patch on my BO ‘ Heartstoppa Noblud”.

  19. Just a tangent:

    The window to the guts is there so the little Nurglings can get in and out.

    Yeah, disgusting, but Grandfather Nurgle loves and protects all his children.

  20. This event has definitely been a mix of good and bad. All in all I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed it however. New stuff to do is generally always fun for me.

    Thanks for the post

  21. One major problem was that if you were close to one of the objectives or the keep, the kills wouldn’t count. This more or less limited the fight to between the two warcamps, with all the attendant issues with folks getting guard killed.

    Next time, they need to make sure that kills at the objectives, which are natural foci for combat, count towards the total.

  22. […] has been limited. I did manage to get around 3-4 hours play during the Witching Night event but as Syp mentioned pretty much everyone has already covered that in […]

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