The New Warg – Part I
Lately I have undertaken a new project that I thought might be both interesting and fun to share with you all. I’m ranking up a brand new warg! I decided to create a new warg for various reasons I won’t go into here, but rest assured I do still have my existing warg and yes I do still play him. However, I thought I would give another server a chance so along with some mates I settled on taking a trip to the land of the Yankees (EDIT: and yes Aussies too!) and choose Elendilmir.
A Fresh Start
To say that it was a shock to the system to start as a r0 warg is a bit of an understatement. I have a rank 11 warg and to suddenly go from that to a brand new warg with no skills, no traits, no corruptions and the survivability of a wet paper bag was tougher than I first imagined. It’s been a long time since I ranked up a low rank warg and to be honest I wasn’t prepared for just how much of a struggle it proved to be at the lower ranks.
For starters you do not have Enhanced Skill: Stealth. I cannot overstate just how necessary this trait is to wargs. Why on Earth this is not a passive I do not know. Seriously devs this trait should be a passive, playing a warg without borders on the unplayable. Moving in stealth without this trait is excruciatingly slow. I’ve seen arthritis riddled octogenarians carrying heavy shopping move faster than a warg without Enhanced Skill: Stealth. Sort it out Turbine!
The next system shock was the incredibly low damage. Now granted that I have a rank 11 warg who is currently hitting freep like a truck careering down a hill and this may have skewed my perception a bit, but even so the damage output on a r0 warg felt more like I was using strong language against my enemies rather than actually hitting them. Part of the reason for this was the lack of Shadow Fang. Like Enhanced Skill: Stealth this ought to be a passive trait at r0. It’s bad enough to be hitting like a little girl, but to be doing common damage into the bargain means your attacks are pretty much bouncing off freeps.
Those were the two biggest obstacles for me when I first rolled my new warg, however, more was to come …
The Road To Rank 1
Rank 1 requires 500 infamy. Not a lot is it? Well yes and no. Five hundred infamy is peanuts when you are rank 11 and can solo just about any freep who steps foot on the Moors. Five hundred infamy might as well be a million infamy when you are rank 0 and the only thing you can solo is the Bird. If solo wasn’t a viable option for me then surely a group would be a better idea?
Initially I grouped up with some mates, but they were fresh out of Grams too so we weren’t terribly effective to be honest. The day was saved though by that old bug bear in the Ettenmoors … PVE! The quests that you can hand in, whilst making bugger all difference to my rank 11 warg were a godsend for my r0 warg. I was soon up and running at rank 1 thanks to some slug meat, a few bits of troll stone, a stiff scotch, an elastic band and some paper clips.
Not that questing was without its perils though. A rank 0 warg with paper mache for armour, crap all morale, just enough damage to knock over a senior citizen and the movement speed of a disabled tortoise makes a very tempting target for freeps. Dying doesn’t particularly bother me, but let’s just say that it entered the realms of farce at times and reinforced in my mind the concept that new creeps are good for one thing and one thing only: target practice for freeps.
Gaining My First Skill
This actually proved to be the single most difficult aspect of my initial gameplay. Gaining the infamy for rank 1 was comparatively easy, but gaining enough commendations to buy my first skill was akin to the Labours of Hercules. Simply put a fresh creep cannot gain the necessary number of commendations to buy new skills and traits fast enough. Upon reaching rank 1 I was then able to purchase a variety of skills and traits, but of course I didn’t have enough commendations.
Questing only partially helped here because you don’t really gain very many commendations from quests. Gaining commendations from kills wasn’t really viable either given how weak I was and thus unable to gain solo kills, and gaining access to groups was still proving a little problematic so again hard to gain commendations via that method.
I’m not going to go into the commendations system too much in this post because I plan to look at it in more detail in a later post. What I will say though is that it sucks. It sucks donkey balls. It sucks big hairy donkey balls. It is by far the single worst aspect of starting a new creep and it needs to change.
Notes To Turbine
A few things came to light during my time spent gaining rank 1 that I think would be useful to share with Turbine in the hope that they might improve things.
Enhanced Skill: Stealth – For the love of God make this a passive. It isn’t possible to function as a warg without this.
Shadow Fang – Same as Enhanced Skill: Stealth. No creeps should start off with common damage.
Survivability – I fully support the idea that creeps should become more capable as they rank. However, new creeps really do need a bit of a leg up here because frankly they are just cannon fodder. At least make them semi-viable.
Commendations – As I said I’ll go into more detail later, but the price of skills, traits, etc needs to come WAY DOWN!