One Year On: Warhammer Online Rereviewed

By Alec Meer on August 7th, 2009 at 4:54 pm.

names clumsily blurred to protect the innocent

Once more unto the breach of reviewing that which is many ways unreviewable… This time around, I’m taking a sober look over on Eurogamer at the Euro-state of Mythic’s MMORPG Warhammer Online, nearly a year on from its high-profile launch. You’ll find my ruminations lurking over yonder, and including chin-scratchy nuggets such as these:

Mythic don’t want you to waste your time saving up money for a bigger rucksack. They just want to you to fight – ideally, to fight other players. The game’s greatest triumph is a largely seamless blend between punching NPCs and punching real people – no need for different skill sets or alternative armour. The enemy is the enemy. That row of number keys and a few team-mates, be they anonymous or known chums, are all you need. The sad side-effect of such single-mindedness is a glaring loss of personality.

A few bonus thoughts are below…

Two things I didn’t really get into in the review itself. Number one, I don’t personally know anyone still playing WAR, whereas I know a ton of WoW players and a few LOTRO ones. Simply a reflection of the massive disparity in player bases, perhaps, but the key is that I know a feckload of people who did play WAR when it launched. They’ve all since drifted away. Even the WAR-playing housemate I mention in the Eurogamer piece gave up on his latest sojourn into the game after less than a week.

Population is a big problem for the game – yeah, there’s often enough people in the instanced scenarios (though I’ve experienced far too many that have closed themselves down after a few minutes because there’s only a couple of people in ‘em), but the persistent world itself is almost a wasteland in most zones. There’s a chicken-and-egg dilemma here – is the game’s purely combative, rather one-dimensional nature to blame for the people-drought, or is the people-drought responsible for how lifeless the game environment feels?

Secondly, the score. Well, frankly a number’s a number, and I’m generally past caring about that personally. The words are what matter. That said, it was very nearly a 6 rather than 7, and I very seriously considered a 5 at one point. That 5 would, however, have been based a little too much on the population problem rather than on the game itself. The latter may be responisble for the former, but the fact remains that the game would be much more fun if there were people everywhere, amplifying the intended sense of global war: I know that from experience of the launch month. I figured that, even though Mythic have made a right pig’s ear of the game’s atmosphere, they do deserve respect for WAR’s corking PvP systems and some mighty generous free content updates.

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74 Comments »

  1. Matryc says:

    Meh, I don’t feel like playing again. I have played 2 months after release ,but I got bored.
    Eve is way cooler.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I only ended up playing this for about 3 or 4 weeks, my biggest problem was the complete lack of atmosphere and character. In terms of functionality, the game really is great, the PvP is very easy to engage in and be a part of right from the start. I never felt that I was overpowered at any point, unless I came across a random high level while walking through the “wasteland” of the world. Another thing for me is it’s hard to be a part of a faction that is purely evil or purely good as it takes away a lot of the interest for me. WoW did a good job of creating monsters and heroes on both sides of the line, while giving a reasonable cause and effect for the war taking place. As with any MMO though, the narrative takes a hit, because you can’t allow the war to end, and that is why I always end up quitting any MMO anyway, I have to deal with times of monotony in life, why allow my games to do the same?

    When it came right down to it for me in WAR though, all I could think is, why not just play TF2, or CS or some other FPS where I don’t have to gain 40 levels just to engage in higher levels of competition? It just felt like I was leveling for the sake of leveling without any real purpose, and without any tangible thread or story to link up to.

  3. H says:

    I pretty much agree with most of what you’ve put, to be honest. I’d say a 7 is a little high for the game though, probably a 6.

    The biggest problem still seems to come in Tier 4 with some massive disparities between, say, a level 39 non PVP heavy character and a level 40 hardcore PVP character. The upper echelon scenarios are quite often one-sided if a group from a hardcore combat guild join. That ceases to be fun after a while, you know?

    For me the game’s biggest problems though are lack of individuality. You touched upon it briefly, what with the same faces, same bodies, same armour, etc etc. That’s pretty naff. Why can’t I play a Friar Tuck-esque priest with a huge belly and over six foot tall? Why can’t my Dwarf be beardless, quite often the excuse for being a Slayer in the first place?

    But even more than that is the lack of PVE quests and individual interest. Compare it to WoW for a second, because let’s face it you kind of have to, where a Human Rogue can get a really nifty sideline in quests tailored to them about a secret intelligence organisation. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? What about the Blood Elf Paladins? Some fantastic background and questing for them too, involving some fancy titles and a whole different experience.

    Now look at the WAR Witchhunter. Want to go out and burn out that nest of cultists? Sure you can but you’ll be doing the same quest as the Elven Swordmaster, Dwarven Slayer and the Bright Wizard.

    I’d also like to see some really well-handled Live Events; you know the kind of thing I’m talking about. A group of GMs or community leaders get together as a Greenskin warband and go on the rampage, setting light to key locations and the players have to band together to stop that. Anything’s better than the current events where you get a whole variety of:

    Kill 10 players in open RVR.
    Find 20 crates in the open RVR area.
    Do a quest.
    Shoot yourself.

    Come on, is it really so hard? It just strikes me as lazy.

  4. Archonsod says:

    They should’ve stuck to the idea of taking WFRP online rather than some bastardisation of fantasy counterstrike.

  5. Dan(WR) says:

    I played WAR for the opening month, but never felt any compulsion to return to it. There are fantastic ideas in there to make the game more immediate and playable, but some gaping flaws as well.

    I struggled to get on with WAR because of the complete lack of sociability in the game. In the month I played there were about three conversations that really got going. I actually missed Barrens chat. >.<

    The WAR chat system / general message system really was appalling – I've no idea if they've improved it since then. An unsociable MMORPG has nob-all going for it.

    I suspect WAR failed to attract much of a diverse playerbase. There wasn't much to reward explorers, bog all for the crafters and the Cities were off to one side rather than in your face from the side, depriving players of an early social centre. And competitive types? There the eye-rollingly tedious sort that hang about on forums whining about "OMFG! Imba Bright Wizard 1 shot me!".

    Idle thought: I wonder how gender-diverse WAR's playerbase is. There are an awful lot of girl gamers in WOW, and I usually found that they helped lower the level of testosterone and bring more sociability to the game. At least that was the experience in my guild. I expect LOTRO also attracted a reasonable number of girl gamers due to the books.

    WAR? Less so. I'm only guessing here, but based on my own experiences in-game there really weren't any girls around.

  6. James says:

    You’re far too kind :) As far as mistakes go, Mythic made all of them – bad engine, too many servers, too much zone splitting, hyping non-existent or just boring features (crafting?), broken mail systems, complete class imbalance, hacky “fixes”, boring keep design, chat spam…you name it, it had it.

    Regarding the generous updates, it could be argued those were things players didn’t need nor want. The existing playerbase that was hanging on wasn’t clamoring for “more PvE content” (as was delivered), the undercurrent (or, public polls) demonstrated they were looking for class balances, proper PvP and RvR mechanics introduced, a working T4 that didn’t absolutely devastate the losing side, etc, etc. Most of the “original” complaints still exist, and the game continues to shed users.

    Is the game’s PvP focus the cause of the player drought? You tell me: how are other one-track games doing or have done? Counter-strike? Team Fortress 2? Call of Duty? I believe Guild Wars has moved over 5 million units. Players joined WAR largely in the hopes of having a game which was PvP focused to begin with, then became woefully disenfranchised when it was revealed there was little to no polish in that heavily touted aspect of the game.

  7. Nick says:

    Their bizarre insistance on adding new PvE content that noone really cared about instead of fixing glaring balance issues (all the combat and careers changes were dropped from the patch with LOTD mid testing) and their general incompetence.

    Poorly performing servers incapable of dealing with the load of players in large scale combat such as sieges – which is the main selling point of the game, large scale PvP.. and when it can’t deal with that you have to ask yourself exactly where their heads are located, as it looks a lot to me like its up their own rectums. Not to mention several classes being severly in need of retuning (Shadow Warriors especially, but maruders and suchlike are in pretty poor state as well).

    Basically I got fed up of the mess the game was in, the last straw was them taking ‘Some AEs are overpowered (ie sorcs and BWs and to an extent engineers and magus)’ and nerfing every single ae ability in the game. EVERY ONE. ven the ones that were already laughable. Its the first game I’ve unsubscribed from out of total disgust and the full belief that the developers don’t know what the hell they are doing.

    Which is a shame, because when it worked it was great. It just rarely worked.

  8. Aphotique says:

    I enjoyed my time with it at launch, especially the Greenskin starting area which was hilarious, but as I got higher and higher and friends started dropping their subscriptions, I found myself, Hotzapit Zapsithot (Goblin shaman, what else?), with no one to heal.

    I went back many months later, found the server I was on completely dead, the auction house almost completely empty. It was recommended that I migrate, so I did. Logged into the new server, and it was just as dead.

    Haven’t been back since.

  9. Sweedums says:

    i actually really liked the beta, playing with a mate as a goblin with my little squig running around :P i never got the game though because i was already into lotro…

    on another, more random note, i woke up today to find the postman had delivered me a huge package and a game from codemasters… turns out i won the fuel competition lol… so thanks RPS, that giant piece of artwork will probably look quite cool on the wall of my room in halls when i set off to uni :)

  10. SuperNashwan says:

    So can I have a Necromunda MMO now please, Mr Games-Workshop?

  11. DMJ says:

    I loved it, but I got sick of playing on my own. Unsubscribed.

    If it was competing with WoW at launch, it could have been polished to a gem, albeit maybe a niche one. But it chose to lock horns with WoW when WoW was already massively established, and had had major bugfixes and content updates.

  12. the affront says:

    Absolutely hated it for the month I managed to stick with it after release (and yes, I did get to the cap and PvPed with a guild group). Well, maybe not hate exactly, but utter disappointment about what atrociously crappy PVP Mythic could release after the awesomesauce that was DAoC. And yeah, the engine/performance of same was a complete joke, too, especially in one of the core aspects of the game, namely raids. PvE instance balance was pretty laughable too, at release. Don’t even start with class balance and itemization…

    Lastly, what is it with developers STILL (Aion) thinking that 2 factions are the way to go for world (un-instanced, which is the only way to go apart from shitty arena e-peen bragging with forced fair fights.. killing more with less people was the most fun you could have, ever, which, congratulations, you now made impossible with instances) PVP when population imbalances are so obviously inevitable?
    It’s been proven again and again that it MUST end up with stupid server clustering shit that anonymizes your enemies (as there are now 20k of them you randomly play instead of just a few hundred you meet regularly) and makes everything much less fun (not to mention it almost certainly needs instancing to work).

    By the way: not a _single_ one of the avid DAoC PVPers I know from back when still plays Warhammer.

  13. Psychopomp says:

    I’ve done the trial twice now. Each time I played for a couple of hours, got bored, and went to play something else.

    The damn thing has damn near zero personality. It completely failed, unlike EVE and WoW, to capture my attention in any way.

  14. Hermit says:

    Enjoyed the month after release but didn’t feel the need to subscribe, since there just wasn’t that much there to justify it. Most of the PvE feels like just something to fill the time between instanced scenarios, and WoW does instanced scenarios just as well as WAR, really. Heck, with Wintergrasp in WotLK, the keep sieges in WAR look pretty pitiful by comparison.

    It probably didn’t help that we weren’t on the most populated server at launch, but there really wasn’t the compulsion to keep playing the same three scenarios over and over after that first month. The lack of people for Public Quests was a real shame too. Had to just grind stage 1 for the rep first time through, and came back to some of them once I’d levelled way beyond them. Some of their final stages were great fun, but noone ever got to see them.

    I can’t help but feel that the combat mechanics could be tweaked into a more action-orientated third person combat game, and it would actually be better. Think TF2 meets Greenskins and Stunties.

  15. Azhrarn says:

    It didn’t help that the french company that Mythic trusted to do the European side of things (GOA) made a right mess of things, even during the Beta GOA generally was months behind on updates.

    That certainly killed it here, not sure how the state of the game is in the US, but given that EVE’s subscriber base is currently larger than WAR’s, I doubt it’s doing well there either.

  16. Alec Meer says:

    Yeah – definitely worth pointing out I’m reviewing the European version of the game. For all I know, the situation’s much better in hte US. I also couldn’t state for sure whether the tortorous Euro launch did have long-term repurcussions, but I can’t imagine it helped.

  17. Chris says:

    I actually play Warhammer right now. I stopped playing it but got back into it. The first time I played I was all about quests. Now it is all about the PVP and RVR. I am on a full PVP server and those are the servers with the most people.

    Personally I really like the game because I can go on and play for short spurts of time. I don’t waste my time comparing it to other MMOs as yes you will always find any MMO disappointing. Warhammer has solid fun and there are plenty of people who love to play. The next update coming out looks awesome and I can’t wait to play that.

    The reality is that people got bored of their first MMO that they were totally addicted to and when they got burnt out they have kept looking for that feeling. As someone who has played almost every MMO out there I can tell you that you will never regain it. I was an EQ person for the longest time. No MMO has ever compared for me. I have found that if the MMO really speaks to me then I might play for a year at most. On average I find 3 – 6 months is the limit as new MMOs keep coming out.

    I will play Aion and Champions Online, but I expect to play the same amount of time. After awhile you realize there are other things to do besides play MMOs and thus this is why the free MMOs like Runes of Magic and EVE or Darkfall are great because you can play in your spare time and you don’t have to play 24/7.

  18. derFeef says:

    Happy Age of Conan turned out to be getting better and better.

  19. Dr. Nerfball says:

    @SuperNashwan: Seconded!

    And the atmosphere in WAR they did manage to nail in the very opening dwarf area I thought. Although it helped that I was playing via my brothers machine and the first thing I heard was the defeaning explosion from a cannon being fired. Oh, and boulders were landing everywhere and there were lil’ wounded idiots running around and it looked like the place was about to fall any second. But as soon as you saw the hoards at the gates doing nothing but twiddling their thumbs and strolling in circles the entire thing collapsed.

    I guess the best thing I could say is that it had potential, and that I hope it goes out with as big a bang as The Matrix Online did. At least I think it was the Matrix…

  20. h4plo says:

    I’m one of those players that returns to the game every other month or so, for hope of finding something a little more enthralling than I had when I left – but I never really managed to.

    Although the game was FAR more fun playing with a regular group of players, the actions quickly grow repetitive and stale; I’ve played a warrior priest and knight of the blazing sun, and the actions for both characters are pretty similar whether it’s in a people-fighty spot or a non-people-fighty spot. The general samey-ness of everything is really what continuously drives me away; although keep siege battles really can be a great joy, they just get so repetitive after awhile that I always lost focus on why I was even bothering.

    The greatest offender of this problem are the public quests. Although these seem to be a great revolution in engaging many players at once – and they can be hugely successful in this at time – more often than not, they’re an even more profane grind than anything World of Warcraft has shown us. They’re extraordinarily repetitive, with some requiring the murder of 150+ NPCs. As rewards grow worse with each additional participant, it’s best to do these with only the necessary people, and this means AE’ing a lot of things. And then AE’ing fewer, slightly stronger things, and then fighting one big monster with a lot of HP but whom is otherwise not anymore difficult or interesting than the NPCs he lorded over.

    This applies both for the really awesome lord-looking guys, as well as the generic boss guys.

    It’s important to note that I was playing the US version of the game on Dark Crag – the largest PvP-server [or was] around, and one that regularly tests light modifications before other servers do. At any given time, there are usually full opposing warbands on each side of the team in each bracket – so bloody conflicts were pretty common. Aside from a change in color, though, very little changed from tier to tier or zone to zone.

  21. Brass Gerbil says:

    @Archonsod

    Precisely correct, sir.

  22. EyeMessiah says:

    “I’d also like to see some really well-handled Live Events;”

    Fucking right. I’m so ready to pay money for an MMO with at least some proper GMing!

    On paper there were so many things that I thought WAR did right. So many of the things that bugged the hell out of me in WOW were fixed in WAR, at launch. Being able to teleport straight into a battle ground at level 1 and start earning pvp XP was crazy awesome imo.
    I don’t think that WAR’s blandness though can really be blamed on it being too mono-focused. Simply put its just a bit of an artless game.
    WOWs best PVP locations & instances would still look great (especially given the ancient engine) and consequently be lots of fun to run about in, even if you dropped the open world entirely and just slapped a server browser in its place. I think its just a question of a marked difference in the quality of the art & design.
    Mechanically the game is fine imo (most of the stuff that’s broken is optional and largely ignored), its just that its presented in an artless and unimaginative way.

  23. Matthew says:

    I’ve been reasonably well acquainted with the Warhammer ‘mythos’ since I was a young boy, but for some reason WAR just did not grab me. I played through the pre-order closed beta but cancelled my actual purchase and have never revisited the game.

    I still can’t put my finger on why, but WAR just didn’t manage to make me invest myself in the world, really. (For that matter, neither did WoW, which I quit after reaching only level 9, whereas LOTRO haas grabbed me and still won’t let go.)

  24. Tei says:

    The people on http://www.MMORPG.com forums seems to think that the game has not changed “course”, nor some dramatic changes has been made to make the game more like… a working version of WAR. The current WAR seems defective and broken.

    Thats the opinion of the guys on MMORPG.com forums. Take it with a grain of salt.

  25. Natalie says:

    I played from launch date until June, and I’m in agreement with most people – the PvP was insanely good, but the people ruined it (zerging, no tactics, relying on a few to lead hundreds), and the PvE needed about a year of extra work.

    I would go back in a second if they pushed everyone together a little closer (there’s too many servers), stopped people being able to cheat in the PvP areas (ninjaing keeps, pulling keeps to stop zone control) and fleshed out the city sieges by… oh… about 300%.

    EA/Mythic screwed up big time by releasing the game so early. It needed more work. I appreciate just how good it could be, and the solid team that seemed to be working on it, but those three things? Ruined the long term play. I’m hoping they’ll take some things from WoW to upgrade it in the future, and likewise, Blizzard can learn from the innovations they created.

  26. Heavy Weapons Guy says:

    You know what ruins WARs ORvR? The horrible keep design. Choke point central which then leads to spamming AoE nukes, which then leads to people bitching about them, which further leads to balance cock-ups, and ending with people throwing their hands up in frustration and quiting.

    Other mistakes include:
    - Trying to compete with WoTLK. Droves of people quit when that came out. Awful decision with whoever made it.
    - Opening too many servers at release, and never closing dead ones down.
    - Not having a finished game at release, 4 classes missing, etc.
    - Tiny, ugly environments.
    - No atmosphere at all. No personality at all.

    World of Warcraft, the cookie cutter of all cookie cutter MMOs has so much more personality than WAR ever could have, which is astounding considering as an IP Warhammer Fantasy offers a lot in that department.

  27. drewski says:

    I think that’s because Blizzard actually create their own world, Heavy Weapons Guy, whereas Mythic are just interpreting someone elses. And Blizzard are probably a more talented company.

    WAR was the only MMO that ever remotely appealed to me, but the more I hear about it, the more I decide I probably wouldn’t actually like it.

  28. Sunjammer says:

    Being a super crazy warhammer fan, i grudgingly agree with the rereview. It’s a bloody shame that Mythic overestimated how much value people would place in battle over socialising. I was actually talking to a friend earlier today about this very issue.

    WAR fails because it has no /dance. I hate to say it but its true. It simply fails at being a social game beyond what, say, counterstrike is. The game has an abysmal take on emotes and roleplay. You don’t exactly look special in WoW, but it absolutely murders WAR in the personality stakes. The moment my shadow warrior put on a mask and looked exactly like every NPC shadow warrior around, it just got sad.

    I still think it’s a gorgeous game filled with great gameplay ideas. I stalwartly believe it kicks WoW square in the pants in terms of vanilla UI, and it really does have the best PvP of any MMORPG i’ve played.

    But yeah. No world to live in. /cry

  29. Sunjammer says:

    Also, about /dance. As much as i think WoW is a vampiric corporate abomination that i want all pain for, the moments of joy that game did give me were purely social. Much like Anarchy Online, a game i played to death but never got past level 30; There was just so much non-gamey stuff to do with people. Yes, i DO refuse to dance. But a game should never put that carrot under your nose and refuse to give it up.

  30. ascagnel says:

    What is this Giant Realm RockPaperShotgun panel thats advertising to me to “Speak your mind AND GET PAID”.

    Image: http://a.giantrealm.com/assets/cint/rockpapershotgun_728x90.jpg

  31. Kieron Gillen says:

    Giant Realm are the people who handle our Ads. So – er- it probably helps us indirectly.

    KG

  32. drewski says:

    I wonder if I can talk the US Justice Department into launching an anti-trust lawsuit against Actard for their domination of the mumorperger market.

  33. Plinglebob says:

    I played for about 2 months then abandoned the game as it didn’t hold my interest. I found that, even though I’m not really a PvP kind of guy, I really enjoyed the world RvR, keep seiges etc but it was let down by the annoying PvE quests (though I liked some of the areas) and the fact that no-one did world RvR, just senarios.

  34. Joshua says:

    I bought it at launch and was done by December. Honestly, the game was shit. It ran poorly on my machine, both servers dried up in the midst of playing, my Witch Hunter was virtually useless, realms were mostly poorly designed (litte interaction with the other side aside from pre-approved battle areas), poorly designed T2 fighting area, PVE was poor, PQs were abandoned, and past level 12 was a slow, boring, endless grind. Yes scenarios were pretty fun but I could just play TF2 which is free and pretty much the same thing. I got into some populated keep battles but they had many problems – they ran at about 3fps (literally) and it was too easy for the defenders just to spam tons of shit and rely on the hero NPCs to hold on to it. Then when I died I had to walk 5 minutes back to the keep.

    If Mythic had realized they nailed the level 6-10 experience (especially the town Chaos vs. Empire fight in to level 10) and used that as a basis for the whole game it could’ve been special.

    I give it a 3.

  35. Gorgeras says:

    Mythic didn’t listen to a single full sentence of criticism and even stopped going to Warhammer Alliance because of the few critics that were there urging them not to let the focus be on instancing or WoW-type features. EVE was the model to follow for a competitive MMO but they blew it. They didn’t need to make it a free-for-all, just make it so the players are not coddled.

  36. Nalano says:

    WAR was crippled early on by having way too many servers out. I kept with it for two months, and my guild had to migrate twice (hemorrhaging players each time) just to keep a minimum critical mass of players to combat.

    I left when the keep sieges ended up turning into “turn off all your graphics and wait for the server to crash, rinse repeat” zergfests. I’m sure they’ve fixed the crashes, but I’m pretty sure the zergfests still remain.

  37. InfoMofo says:

    Ugh, just a shitty shitty game. I played the beta and got to 20 before being bored to tears. PQs were AWESOME, but if you didn’t level to 40 within the first two weeks, there was no one around in the same zone as you to even do PQs with so you ended up grinding scenarios for XP which is super fail.

    The main problem I had was just they seemed almost like they were stubbornly trying to refuse the basic design considerations that made past MMOs playable. I was stunned the first time I realized that you can’t link items to your guild or other players, but instead have to describe things like “hey man is this dagger an upgrade? it has 4 intelligence, 3 health, etc.” When I even suggested on the forums that this was something that should be implemented, I was shot down as a “WoW Fanboy”.

    Basically the game was released incomplete, which is a shame, cause the property it’s built on is very solid, and the game could have had a lot to offer.

  38. malkav11 says:

    I’m actually one of the people who could have been kept playing by more focus on PvE content. I quit because, as much as I’d enjoyed the run up to 40, there wasn’t anything to do -at- 40. Well, that and they would have needed to fix the horrendously broken dungeon loot system. New content is only minimally meaningful if 95 times out of 100, doing that content will not reward you in the slightest.

    I was also disappointed by low population killing PQs, but to be honest, even when servers were still high pop, people would identify the easiest PQ and grind that until they’d maxed influence rather than actually spreading out and trying all of them, meaning one PQ was overflowing with people and the others dead. It’s a cool concept, but it relies on players to be interesting, sensible, fun-oriented individuals, so it fails.

  39. inanimotion says:

    I absolutely LOVED this game during beta.
    And I think that’s because a higher population of players (then a currently running server) were crammed into the first 2 tiers (about 1/5 of the overall gameplay area).
    Which created
    a. Constant PvE Public Quest groups in all areas
    b. Nonstop openworld and arena-based PvP combat at all times fo the day

    It was AMAZING!
    I’m usually not what most people call a “hardcore” gamer, and I stayed up an entire night defending 2 linked keeps with a tight knit group of about 12 people for 8 god damn hours. It was one of the best gaming experiences of my life.

    When the game was release and people moved onto T3 and T4, all of that fell apart…

  40. Carvell says:

    The complete lack of progression killed my interest. In WoW once you reach end game theres a hundred differnet things to do that make your character a bigger better faster bare foot troll. In WAR I reached end game and ran around as my BW pressing RoF, and after a months play had no worthwhile gear upgrades, no improved stats, no personal progression. The PVE instances while having awsome unique models. were terrible, and after the complete RNG bassed loot system ignors you for 3 weeks you loose your willpower.

  41. Acidburns says:

    I think in WAR it’s obvious that the only two zones with any personality or life are the Dwarven and Greenskin zones. Not surprisingly they were the first. The other zones got progressively worse as less time was spent I expect in the “rush” to release.

  42. Starky says:

    Personally I think the biggest mistake the WAR team ever made was trying to shoehorn in all the Warhammer races into 2 factions, just because WoW did it.

    It was stupid, Dark Age of Camalot wroked because it had 3 factions, so a little faction imbalance would be countered. So instead of being 2:1 (destruction:order) it was more like 1.7:1.3:1 – So that no one side ever uttely dominated just by sheer merit of population.

    What they should have done is gone with no factions (just races) at all, or stuck with what they had known with 3.

    Empire + Dwarves + High Elves
    vs Greenskin + Skaven
    vs Chaos + Darkelves
    + Ogres that can join any faction (but cannot switch once in play)

    Could have worked – Last balancing by class rather than race (so each faction gets say 8 classes each) – plus 2 for Ogres (available to all).

    It would have been a much better game had they done that, 3 way battles would be 10 times more interesting than a game that is basically wow battlegrounds and nothing else (because no one bothered doing much else when I played because they had the best xp/renown).

    That was their other biggest mistakes, having battlegrounds at all.
    They should never have had them, instead they should have allowed players to warp to and back from open world PvP sites the same way you can battlegrounds – you join a cue, as soon as each side gets 20, it warps you to the fight and back when you are done.
    The catch is that it is open world, and another 40 might join that fight once they know it is kicking off.

    They should have done EVERYTHING inside the world, PvP public quests, everything – instanced battlegrounds and faction imbalance killed WAR for me.

  43. Professor says:

    I played this game for the first month and loved it. I had a guild of friends playing it. Then it got a little boring and repetitive, the graphics were ugly, and T2 just got so dull I barely made it past level 15. My friends started leaving and so did I eventually. I came back a while ago, made a knight of the blazing sun, I saw how empty and dull it’d become, so I just got out. It’s a shame really, this game had so much bloody potential. But they ruined it because they failed to capture the fun fresh feeling of T1 when the game moved forward and it became less original and more of a grind.

  44. Serondal says:

    Probably would have been even better if they just made it 100% open world and made the battles really mean something by allowing player’s to control towns ect (not as a guild ala Lineage 2 but as a faction) I agree they should have had the factions break down into race not just two factions. Having each race be its own faction would actaully be more fitting for the game world where I doubt those races would join together to fight with each other so openly.

    Everything seems to be pushing towards instances as of late and I don’t understand that. As technology gets better the world should become more and more open and large not less and less so. I don’t see anything wrong with EQ type zones if it makes the game feel open,though I would vastly prefer totally open worlds like WOW or UO but without a single instance, I freaking hate instances.

    I guess what I’m saying is , Eve :P WAR should have been EVE with swords

  45. Professor says:

    Also, as a sidenote to PvP forcefulness. Does anyone here remember the old Hillsbrad open world PvP matches in WoW? This was before even the honor system was introduced, and the PvP was there just for pure fun and kills. I used to take part with my old orc shaman in destroying Southshore. I’d usually end up dying a lot, but man was it fun. I think those battles were the most fun I had in WoW. Looking up to a level 40 with admiration as he rides his mount, and I’m a puny level 25 not capable of doing squad.

  46. Serondal says:

    I always thought they were going to go from THAT to having on map PvP wars involving siege engines and capturing buildings, using npc peons to collect war materials (Or maybe player crafters) and having several zones that were up for grabs at all times that would provider the entire faction with a boost when they were in their hands (Say an XP boost for the entire faction when they control 2 out of 3 zones or maybe access to some interesting quests and loot that you can only get when your faction controls the zone your in totally or something of that nature) I was totally disappointed when they went with the whole stupid battlezone route where you had to wait in a room with a ton of other people hoping to join a stupid instanced battle that had no effect on the rest of the game.

  47. Daniel Klein says:

    Not too thrilled about WAR either, but I do happen to know that they’re

    a) adding a second ramp to keeps (hopefully fixing the chokepoint->aoe spam problem) and
    b) bringing back the career changes that were dropped from 1.3.0 (the Land of the Dead patch) originally (again mostly buffing single target damage in comparison to AoE)

    My biggest problem with keep sieges was quite simply that my weak little CPU choked on them big time. Once there were more than 20 people on screen, my framerate went below 2fps. No fun.

  48. We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog says:

    WAR just lacks that certain something, I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s atmosphere, I dunno, but it’s definitely lacking it.

  49. no says:

    I bought TWO copies of the collector’s edition of this. I hoped it would be a lot more in-depth and interesting than it was. In a world dominated by Warcraft, this is like a fine wine. But that’s like feeding me rotting meat and saying “hey, it’s better than a shit sandwich!”. I quit after about a month. Which is twice as long (at least) as I played Conan. It’s not so much a comment on WAR as it is on the whole MMO genre today. Or this decade, for that matter. Something has to give. I don’t want to keep playing 800 versions of the same fucking thing anymore.

  50. Kurt Lennon says:

    Warhammer Online is a horribly dismal game, and an insult to anyone who’s play a game of any genre over the last decade.

    EvE provides a far more rewarding and far less intellectually insulting PvP experience, but then again so does WoW.

    This game was destined for disaster from day one.

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