It’s true, I simply haven’t been putting in a lot of time with Warhammer these days (and I’m okay with that — but that’s a topic for another day). But that certainly doesn’t mean that I’ve lost interest, or that I haven’t been following the latest.
Patch 1.2.1 is out, which is mostly of interest to open RvR folks, but it also has a few things for everyone — guild interface overhaul, combat response improvements and the upcoming Beyond the Sands live event which begins April 20 (get your cool “Not Like WoW In Any Way” purple goggles with it).
Aside from that, there’s been a lot of discussion as to the upcoming token system for RvR, which is designed to help everyone gain the big shiny rewards they desire instead of the total crapshoot of random bag rolls (I think we’re at the point where we can safely pronounce the Vegas Loot Roll as an interesting, if failed system). Everyone’s seen tokens as inevitable, so it’s good Mythic’s getting them in, but it doesn’t mean that it comes without certain drawbacks. In this case, a buttload of grinding.
Loot acquisition in MMOs tends to fall under one of six categories:
- Cash Purchase – Buy your loot from an in-game NPC vendor for game currency, but it’s guaranteed to be the weakest gear in the game and purchased by virtually nobody. (There’s a sub-point for this one, where special vendors selling much better gear can be “unlocked” by performing a task.)
- Quest Rewards – Do a quest, get a set piece of loot. Nice to have it guaranteed, but it is always on the weaker side of things and should be replaced with better quality.
- Crafted – This is variable in terms of quality and accessibility, but depending on the game, crafted gear can be quite competitive.
- Randomly Awarded – The crapshoot of most games’ loot tables. Maybe you’ll get something great for minimal effort, maybe nothing at all. Can be very frustrating, since there’s no guarantee, but it also helps level the playing field by dishing out epics to all instead of just a few.
- Single Mob Possession – This is where a certain mob is the sole possessor of desired gear, and must be killed (and more often, farmed) to acquire. Good guarantee on loot, but often very difficult to gain.
- Tokens – I see tokens as gear insurance: if you don’t get the good gear you want from any of the other five methods, at least you’re given tokens (which are redeemable in great ammounts for gear) as to not make your efforts fruitless. Great guarantee, mind-numbing grind.
Each of these has its pros and cons, but token systems are starting to be far more commonplace in games as a way to offset the volitile feelings of players who — through the random number generator or inability to access the content — are denied loot otherwise.
Many WAR bloggers have weighed in about this new system: Skar, Keen, Werit, Hudson, Gaarawarr, Wizards & Wenches, more Skar, River and Spinks (although she just talks about tokens in a general sense).