Monday, October 5, 2009

WAR's New Beginning

One of the new changes coming to WAR Patch 1.3.2 is a revamp of the new user experience.  As it stands now, new players will start in their racial pairing, of which there are 3.  This is not in itself a bad idea, for a PvE game.  Multiple starting areas are usually a must when PvP is not a concern.

In a PvP focused game like WAR, it is important to get a player into the action as soon as possible.  They succeeded in doing this with their Scenarios, but failed to with the world RvR.  For an uninformed player, they may go out into the Ekrund RvR area and find it pretty empty.  Meanwhile the RvR is really going on in the Empire/Chaos pairing.

The changes for the new patch are:

* All new characters that join the Realm of Destruction will now begin the game in the Chaos starting area, no matter their race.
* All new characters that join the Realm of Order will now begin the game in the Empire starting area, no matter their race.
* A new voiceover tutorial will introduce the basic concepts of gameplay in WAR.
* The content and quest flow of both Realms' starting areas has been revised and improved to provide a greater gameplay experience.
* New players will automatically be placed in a 'new player guild', one for each Realm, to facilitate communication among those new to the game, or those who are rolling up an alt character, and to make finding a group a bit easier.
* The in-game help manual has been completely revised and updated to be more useful, more accessible, and more current. 

Starting players off in the same zone should get them involved in the best part of WAR, RvR, pretty early.  When I start an alt, I head directly to the Empire RvR area as that is where the action is.  The other starting areas will still be there for that who want to use them.  Sounds like a win for everyone.

The introduction of a new player guild is another good idea.  This should really help promote playing with oters, which is essential to the RvR experience.  I would also hope they have a GM logged into the guild to help guide new players when needed.  The appearance of personal attention can only make players feel more welcome.

While changes to the new user experience may not be flashy they are necessary to the long term viability of the game.  This is just one part of the 1.3.2 changes, which are on PTS right now.  For even more information, check out this Developer Diary