The More Things Change…

By Jim Rossignol on April 10th, 2008 at 8:12 am.

…the more they look like World Of Warcraft. Here’s a CLOSED BETA FOOTAGE video of a load of things going on in Warhammer Online. Orks and dwarves bashing each other, a demon having a stroll, cannons a-firing, a giant mysteriously committing suicide.

Thanks GameTrailers. We won’t lay siege to your castle any time soon.

To be fair to Warhammer Online, there’s almost no chance that RPS aren’t going to play it. However, I am beginning to wonder whether the grit and nastiness of the original Climax attempt at this game was actually a better option. I’m sure Games Workshop had good, commercial reasons to can the game, and reports from inside Climax were… not good. However: compare and contrast. Mmm.

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51 Comments »

  1. Butler` says:

    I couldn’t help but sit there and nod as I read the Eurogamer preview – they really got it spot on.

    Same old story: plenty of great concepts, but it’ll likly fall below par in the actual execution and minute to minute gameplay.

  2. Lu-Tze says:

    Well, that helped bury any last remaining interest I had in this game. The quality of what i’m seeing from this game is just going lower and lower.

  3. derFeef says:

    Its looking like WoW, just a little bit desaturated. I am missing the dark feeling of the Warhammer universe somehow. Good that Age of Conan is coming closer to release.

  4. Raskolnikov says:

    The ingame videos that Mythic have released don’t seem to be doing the game any favours at all. There was a city siege one they did a few months ago and it was absolutely awful.

    I’m still looking forward to giving it a try though.

  5. Guido says:

    Hm, looks like WoW with a few more polys and a bit less saturation indeed. I’m not hyped about this game anymore at all :(

  6. Dexton says:

    That’s a real shame, having played wow for over 2 years I was really looking forward to a Warhammer’s offering.

    I can’t see Warhammer in it’s current state competing with the next wow expansion but I really hope they pull something original out of the bag.

  7. Lightbulb says:

    Is it just me or did the old trailer look great and the new one just look shit?

    I’m sure WoW must have SOME merit else so many people wouldn’t play it but i HATE the art style. It just looks cartoony and rubbish.

  8. Tellurian says:

    Are there people who think this game will NOT flop terribly?
    Seriously… To me, Warhammer’s (Fantasy Role Playing) selling point is the grim over the top grittyness of the setting.
    A Warhammer that’s pretty much void of that… Well… There already IS the “shameless rip-off” by the name of Warcraft, which IS pretty much Warhammer with a diffrent coat of paint and less tounge-in-cheek brutality, gore and hideous mutations. Going against that with, well, pretty much THE SAME STUFF seems a bit… I dunno… Couragous at best to me…

  9. Jim Rossignol says:

    It’ll sell because there are millions of WoW players who will want more of the similar.

  10. Rob says:

    I think you could certainly argue that Wrath of the Lich King will sell because millions want more of the similar … not sure if they’ll be compelled to move to another game entirely.

  11. Tellurian says:

    But aren’t those people already bound by the massive behemoth that is WoW? By new updates, new mission packs, and so on? I mean, Wrath of the Lichking is due soon (or is it? I’m not really interested in the subject, so I don’t know the details), so that should – in theory – bind a lot of people’s time and attention toward WoW and spell doom for anyone targeting the same audience, or should it not?
    Maybe I got this wrong, but doesn’t the overtowering market dominance of WoW mean that “newcomers” should try offering different approaches?
    All in all, it’s probably just me being a bit disappointed by the reality, that Warhammer in order to sell more gets shaped to be more like the title it influenced than itself… :(

  12. Tom says:

    about as interested in this as i am in WoW.
    Looks like a CC of WoW to boot.

  13. rebilated says:

    I´m in the beta, and as far as i can tell it will be a very funny and pvp oriented game, very good pvp indeed, wich was what wow totally lacked.

    But to be fair i should say that this video stinks :D

  14. wowclone says:

    Just another pathetic WoW clone…

  15. Raskolnikov says:

    Is the modern incarnation of Warhammer that GW peddle still as grim and gritty as the excellent roleplaying game? I don’t quite remember the wargame having quite the same flavour, it seemed way more over the top in it’s aesthetic.

    Given that most FPS or RTS games are pretty much clones of each other with some bits tweaked I don’t think it’s surprising that it’s happening with MMOs.

  16. Raskolnikov says:

    In response to Tellurian:

    There are plenty of people who have quit WoW who want something similar, but somehow better or with a slightly different focus I guess. Certainly the greater emphasis on player versus player gameplay is a big part of the appeal to me.

  17. Flint says:

    I’m sure WoW must have SOME merit else so many people wouldn’t play it but i HATE the art style. It just looks cartoony and rubbish.

    The art style is one of the reasons I’m attracted to WoW.

    And as much as I like WoW, I can’t help but thinking how stupid it is to not only create a clone of it but also release it the same year WoW is bringing out an expansion. Doesn’t bode much future for the title.

  18. Optimaximal says:

    In Warhammers favour, WoW doesn’t have hoards of uni-breasted hermaphroditic claw-handed Slanesshy daemons…

    What?

  19. Bobsy says:

    How… dull. I mean, REALLY dull. One of the nicest graphical characteristics of WoW (and WC3 before it) was Blizzard’s ability to make even a primitive engine look good by making every last polygon count. This does not. Everywhere looks bland, uninspired and basic, like it was made out of balsa wood.

    And the animation really can’t compare with that of WoW. The big demon fills all the criteria we have for big demons – horns, hooves, wings – but it’s just standing there, occasionally doing that same arm swinging motion at something. It’s really rather sad.

  20. H says:

    I love the Warhammer world and I dare say I shall give it a try, but I still think it looks bland and kinda empty. I suppose it will be better with shed loads of players and the world begins to unfold, but… I don’t know, it just fills me with a sense of “meh”.

  21. Iain says:

    When are people going to realise that you’re not going to steal any of WoW’s market share by making a clone of WoW? You’ve got to make a clone that’s BETTER. And this looks, well… a bit pants, really.

    Not that I was going to play it anyway. I’ve had Wrath of The Lich King pre-ordered since last August.

  22. Alex McLarty says:

    Take away the music and what do you have?

    The same thing: dullsville. And no aural.

  23. cullnean says:

    bah give nurglings and skaven plix

    i like the climax video a lot more(ooer) and it would appear the conan team have seen it as well.

  24. Steven Hutton says:

    That video was particularly wierd. Most of it was old footage that I saw MONTHS ago and alot of it didn’t have thier SWEET and particularly atmospheric lighting engine in place. Which is a real shame because without it the game really does look… familiar. Judging by the general reaction here I can only say that, that’s a catastrophic error by the marketing department.

    So, here’s a little video of how the lighting engine changes the visuals: Lighting engine

    Alright, though I do agree that graphically it’s not dissimilar to warcraft but that was always inevitable given that the two IPs are so similar. For reasons of which I’m sure you’re all aware.

    Hopefully the mechanics are different enough to make it interesting. I know that a few of the interesting ideas are still in. Collector quests that keep track of how many bears you’ve killed before you pick up the quest. (No more farming 10 whatevers – or atleast less of it). Public quests which are keyed to a zone rather than a player. Enemy players granting XP and dropping loot. The whole RVR/PVP campaign structure thing. Plus, particularly nice, a whole bunch of stuff so that low levels can contribute instead of having to grind to max level before you’re worth bothering with. And of course the Tome of Knowledge which seems deliberatly crafted to be the most addictive thing ever inside a game.

    On the other hand they just added Mastery which at least looks like a shallow rip off of warcraft’s talent system. (Which I loathe). Whatever I’m off to play eve.

  25. Steven Hutton says:

    Oh, go on then, as long as I’m shilling for warhammer online. It’s stuff like this that makes me want to play Warhammer online over wow. Assuming it doesn’t end up being rubbish.

  26. Jahkaivah says:

    I have personally lost all interest in the game myself.

    But really guys? A WoW clone? You say that as if WoW did something new.

  27. Jon says:

    If I can’t play as one of those dragons having a fight on that bridge, I wont be playing this.

  28. Nick says:

    “It’ll sell because there are millions of WoW players who will want more of the similar”

    How many are that willing to ditch their multi-year invested characters for something that looks the same though? I suppose if there is that much dissillusionment in the WoW playerbase they might, but I don’t really know as I don’t follow it.

  29. Cyrenic says:

    How old is the footage in that video? I watched some “over the shoulder” footage of Warhammer Online from a press event several months ago and the graphics and animations were quite a bit better than what was shown in that movie. The ground textures were also better.

  30. Karangos says:

    Wow is not a perfect game but it is fun to play else so many would not be paying each month for it. I have been playing several years and tried to quit by playing other MMO’s but no luck. Its the cartoon graphics that people hate that make the movements on the character look decent. You get one of these games with great graphics and the body movements of your character look strange and robotic.

  31. Andrew Farrell says:

    @Jahkaivah: Doing something well is doing something new, if no-one’s been doing it well before.

  32. Iain says:

    @Jahkaivah:

    But really guys? A WoW clone? You say that as if WoW did something new.

    That was kind of my point – it didn’t do anything essentially new – it just did everything better. Compare WoW to something like Asheron’s Call 2, and it’s screamingly obvious how Blizzard took tried and tested MMORPG mechanics and made them slicker and more accessible, and that’s why it’s (rightly) seen as the benchmark to aim at, and why everyone wants to steal their player base.

    But it’s very hard (if not impossible) to depose an incumbent by simply offering up the same thing, except just a little reheated and in a different box. It’s like comparing a Vauxhall VX220 with a Lotus Elise. If Vauxhall want people to buy a VX220, it’s got to be a whole lot better than an Elise, because while they both do pretty much the same thing, most people would still much rather be seen driving a Lotus…

  33. Arnulf says:

    Cannot really fault Mythic here. The setting is a medieval fantasy world with dwarves, elves, and orcs in it. What did you expect? Of course there have to be similarities with World of Warcraft.

    Again I can only reiterate what probably countless people before me stated: if Games Workshop had chosen the 40k universe as basis for their first MMO, it would have been a totally different ballgame.

    Now Mythic has to beat Blizzard at their own game. Namely take something tried and true and improve it! I’m curious if they’ll succeed. I wish them success nonetheless.

    Besides, World of Warcraft shows its first cracks. The arena system is abused. PVP both in world and battleground has a huge gap between haves and have-nots. The raid endgame does not know where it is heading. And I wonder how the next skill trees will look like when the Lichking addon ups the level limit again.

    Maybe Mythic will somehow take a different direction here. They at least can look closely and consider what is working and what is not.

    In the meantime Blizzard can of course put their now hard-earned technical expertise into creating their first Starcraft MMO? Then they would turn the tables on Games Workshop once again. ;)

    About the colour scheme. Drab colours and gritty scenery only last for so long. Having spent considerable time in the Eastern Plaguelands, Shattrath, and Shadowmoon Valley I don’t want to return to that. As lush and good-looking Elwynn Forest is, you spend only 1% of your character’s lifetime there.

  34. Winterborn says:

    Well, that was really boring.

    Still I hope it turns out well, I’m looking forward to getting into a new mmo and Warhammer is my backup if Age of Conan fails to deliver the goods.

  35. Jives says:

    I’ve heard tell of some bizarre marketing ploy, involving releasing only shit videos (this seems to be true when compared to shaky cam footage) until near release then suddenly unleashing interesting and good videos. But that would be stupid. really stupid.

  36. Sev3rity says:

    To all the people complaining about the graphics… I’m in closed beta, and you do know that they purposely dumbed down the graphics for everyone to be on the same level for these stages of testing? The lighting engine isnt even in the game yet, and they went as far to say that the character models are not even the final ones.

    They are gameplay testing at the moment

    They’ll test the graphics engine later on in the cycle.

  37. Dyrwen says:

    Actually the graphics and style of the game resemble Lord of the Rings Online a great deal more than they do WoW. I’d agree though that this game isn’t nearly as dark as it should be to convey the morbidity of Warhammer.

  38. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    Mythic is really bad at making promo vids. I found a lot more enjoyment digging up high-quality vids of people actually playing WAR at conventions and the like.

    World of difference from what mythic throws together themselves.

  39. Will Tomas says:

    Looks like a cross between WoW and some LOTR design aethetics. Oh dear. Rather misses the whole point about Warhammer, but there you go. Shame.

  40. Jives says:

    “Looks like a cross between WoW and some LOTR design aethetics. Oh dear. Rather misses the whole point about Warhammer, but there you go. Shame.”

    Does it? warhammer is based of Tolkien, wow is based off warhammer

  41. KingMob says:

    Not really fair to compare a trailer and gameplay footage. But I agree Mythic doesn’t do themselves any favors by releasing footage that looks like this.

    Let’s hope their marketing effort steps up a bit from now till September, otherwise I won’t have anyone at launch to play it with.

  42. Will Tomas says:

    Yes, it does. WoW is built to be a parody. In Warhammer THERE IS ONLY WAR. Although perhaps a bit less war than 40k. The missing of the point is more about the tone than anything else. See the linked Climax trailer for a much more evocative idea.

  43. Andrew says:

    I think the movie must have been secretly released by Blizzard, because it definitely reduced by interest in WAR.

  44. malkav11 says:

    I was much more excited about the Climax version, but I’d still kill to be in this beta.

  45. RichPowers says:

    So the “regular” MMO players, the ones largely playing WoW, will see this and think “so it’s just a knock off of the game I already have?”

    The would-be MMO players, the ones turned off by WoW, see this as a “knock off of the game I don’t want to play.”

    Anyway, seems too “cute” for a fantasy universe typified by war, slaughter, brutality, and more war.

  46. yutt says:

    I’ve been a World of Warcraft player since release, and desperately looking for an escape route. Unfortunately, this looks like WoW did 3 years ago, how is that supposed to interest me?

  47. Joonas says:

    I was rather interested in this. Based on this video, I’m not anymore. What a load of rubbish, it doesn’t look anything like Warhammer should.

    However, having checked out the footage linked in the comments above, my faith is restored… whatever their marketing is doing, it’s *wrong*.

  48. Jahkaivah says:

    @Iain

    I know what you are saying, its just that when you consider that WAR is supposedly trying to continue the ideas from Mythic’s previous game, Dark age of Camelot, which WoW in many respects copied ideas from and mutilated in the first place. It seems pure cheek to say that Mythic are trying to copy WoW if they are actually trying to revive and improve the ideas they themselves made.

    That said, the whole “We are trying to continue RvR” idea is a bit cloudy looking at their promotional videos, a common excuse is they haven’t got the number of testers needed to show something like that off.

    But bottom line, even if it was the RvR trophy many hope to be, which back when I left it, seemed less and less likely. I’m personally not interested. But saying “its WoW” is largely ignoring some of the game it did promise.

    OF course if your going to compare it to some of the more recently announced MMOs then it really does look like one in a heap of MMOs better left forgotten.

  49. DragonSix says:

    No lightmaps. It’s ugliest than wow Oo

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