The HeadbangerDecember 1, 2008
GUILDIE: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.