Well, I was still away from home most of today, even though I was off from work. Sitting around with my laptop, AoC was still out of the question. So, I fired up WAR. I had been struggling with a decision over what server and faction I wanted to go with but I finally decided on the Badlands server. I further decided upon rolling a Knight of the Blazing Sun. Feel free to look me up if you play on Badlands, my character is, amusingly enough, named Brannagar.
I hooked up with a healer in the very first PQ on Empire side and we leveled and did scenarios together for much of the evening.
He was a new player, who had never played WAR at all. Apparently, he had played WoW for about a year on an account that was borrowed from his cousin. His cousin had decided to sell both of his accounts, so the poor guy was stuck with nothing. Originally he was going to buy WoW and get his own account but after seeing the cost of the original, TBC and WotLK, he decided to give WAR a shot.
During the course of the evening he said something that really amused me and really got me to thinking. What he said was:
“I think I am going to buy WoW anyway. It is way better than this.”
Okay. Full stop.
No. No it is not. If you think that WoW is way better than WAR after only 10 or so levels, then you are doing one of two things. You are either comparing WAR’s first few levels to WoW’s endgame or you are looking at WoW’s starting levels with rose-colored glasses. One or the other, or maybe both. Because there is absolutely no way that WoW’s early game is anywhere as engaging as WAR’s. None. Period.
You can make a very convincing argument that WoW has a better end-game. There is no doubt about that. But there is no way, even the most fervent WoW fanboy, can make a convincing argument that WoW’s first 10-20 levels are better than WAR’s. No way. If you are sitting there reading this and saying to yourself that WoW does, in fact, have a better early game, then you are also wrong. This is not a question of taste or preference. This is a simple statement of fact.
Let’s look at both games and their early levels, shall we?
In both games you are deposited at your races starting area, though this has changed in WAR and all races start in the Empire/Chaos pairing. Regardless, both games start you off similarly. But the journey in each game through the first levels is totally different. First of all, you can PvP in WAR from level one and level from it. Both open world PvP and Scenarios (battlegrounds) can be partaken of from level one. It is not only fun but it is a viable way to level and you don’t gimp your character from it. While in WoW I have to grind quest after quest to level, in WAR I can hop in a scenario and massacre the other side. All the while my character levels and gets better equipment. Hell, you even make money PvP’ing!
But throw out PvP for the moment. Even if you do not enjoy PvP, WAR has a much better early level quest game. In WoW you are tasked with beating back an excursion of boars. Boars. Or you are tasked with hitting Orcs over the head to wake them up, or killing a kobold camp that has, for no apparent reason, placed itself right outside the castle walls. Again, I want to impress upon you…boars.
In WAR it could not be more different. In WAR you are tasked with beating back an excursion of Chaos warriors that is intent on raping, pillaging and burning your homeland. Chaos warriors. Or if you prefer, you are tasked with being a part of that exact same excursion and pillaging to your hearts content. You are placed in a war-zone in either case. You feel like a part of something.
While you are slaughtering boars in WoW, I am fighting huge chaos warriors. While you are rapping Orcs on the head, I am splitting them with my sword. Hell, you fight a Chaos Giant. in the first five levels of WAR. A Giant that knocks down four trees before you face him. In WoW your most impressive feat in the first fifteen or so levels is Hogger. Hogger.
Yeah, I know you can make the argument that Chaos Warriors are, for all intents and purposes, just boars reskinned. I totally get that but the perception is what matters here. WAR feels so much more epic in the first levels than WoW and than most any other MMO I can think of. You feel like you are a part of something and it is fun. A whole hell of a lot of fun.
Hopefully, one day, Mythic can make the rest of the game as fun as the first twenty levels. I don’t know, they may have already reached that point. I haven’t gotten that far since I picked it back up. If they ever do, they will have one of the best MMOs ever. They already have the best MMO starting experience out there.
And, if you don’t think so, if you think WoW had a better starting experience, then you are looking through those rose-colored glasses.