How to get ahead in reckoning.

I reported my initial joyful experiences with Warhammer Online, specifically the giant arse-mongering debacle that was open beta, and so it was with some trepidation that I wandered back to WAR dash Europe dot com and prepared myself to do battle once more against the forces of foobarness, as I have come to lovingly refer to the GOA technical team. Once again they were waiting until the day of launch to allow registration of head-start codes, and once again they were using their Rube Goldberg powered website. Yes you read that correctly, it isn’t powered by some Rube Goldberg device, but by the re-animated corpse of the man himself; chained to a web server in a basement near Paris and fed on the brains of water voles that inhabit the Seine, he pecks away at a keyboard with his grey-green fingers until they fall off, at which point the site is taken down for maintenance as a crew of elite seamstresses sew his decayed digits back on.

Or so it seemed, the first time I visited the site.

This time around it was apparent that they had upgraded their back-end server by grafting extra limbs onto the Goldberg corpse, and in a somewhat ironic state of affairs, had created a Rube Goldberg device that pushed and pulled, yanked and cranked and generally cajoled the various appendages into being a lean mean application processing machine. They Rube Goldberged Rube Goldberg, and in doing so managed what can only be described as a startlingly unexpected successful head-start.

Which leaves very little to rant or froth about, and as the old saying goes: all joy and no rant makes Jack a plain blogger. Or is it ‘sane blogger’? I always get that one confused.

Well, what is there to say? I entered my head-start codes early on Sunday morning and I got an email back within five minutes saying that they had been accepted. So I twiddled my thumbs for a bit, looked at the now redundant pile of emergency head-start registration rations, which included several bottles of one hundred-degree proof spirits; a five kilogram bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk; a catheter and associated bag; a top hat; a bottle of paracetamol; a pair of sunglasses; a bottle of antacid; a copy of the infamous Foranomicon containing all the dark arts on how to summon the most vitriolic forum flames from the very depths of Hell; and my teddy bear, Professor Snookums. Really though, it was quite the anti-climax, but luckily for me the emergency head-start registration rations also conveniently double as the emergency ‘everything went well and I’m now bored and have nothing to do’ rations.

So with registration completed successfully and without trauma, other than a mild reflux which was probably something to do with five kilograms of chocolate and a bottle of Jim Beam, I then awaited the inevitable disappointment that would be the head-start proper, when the servers opened for play and were quickly closed again when they immediately imploded under the tidal pressure of a WAR fanatic tsunami.

The grand time of opening arrived and I hopped online to witness the carnage first-hand, only to find that the only carnage was in the starter RvR areas because everyone was already logged-in and playing, the servers having opened slightly before schedule and still running fine. Really, how is a blogger supposed to rant against such competence? I mean, I don’t doubt that there were still players out there who suffered issues, and the launch wasn’t flawless, but from my own personal experience it was about as flawless as one could possibly expect in a fundamentally flawed universe. Well done to GOA for turning things around and making amends for their previous gaffe.

In the end I spent a joyous afternoon playing my Warrior Priest, meeting various members of the guild and generally having a jolly good time, with excellent server stability and a surprising lack of lag or slowdown in any but the most insanely overpopulated areas.

Which all makes for a somewhat dull report. I did, however, experience the joys of PvPing with a melee character in an area with a serious lack of support characters, and have thus been seriously tempted to roll a Rune Priest and switch to that as my main, which is the topic for another slightly more spirited post perhaps.

Suffice it to say that playing as Empire is a little rough in the early RvR scenarios because Chaos has tanks, dedicated healers in the Zealot class, and several DPS classes, whereas Empire has no tank and no dedicated healer. I didn’t sign-up with the Warrior Priesthood to stand at the back and heal, which is what I’ve felt compelled to do so far through my own need to keep people around me alive, I wanted to experience the joy of melee healing, something which works very well in my limited PvE experience, but is so far underwhelming and in fact nigh-on impossible in these early RvR levels. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind standing at the back and healing if it’s useful to our side and I feel that I am contributing my weight to the war effort, I’m definitely a supporting character sort of fellow, but if I’m going to do that I should really be playing a class that was designed with that in mind. And yes, I could just move my Warrior Priest to one of the areas that has an abundance of healers and tanks, such as the dwarf zone, but that somehow feels as though I’m abandoning my duties as a member of the grand ‘We Don’t Tank or Heal’ Empire.

Perhaps given a few more levels, and as the guild starts to focus on one area or another for RvR and thus brings the whole shebang of Order classes to focus on the enemy, I may find my place in RvR with the Warrior Priest, but right at this moment in time the little Jedi dwarf with the runic power is calling out my name.