Warhammer Online: Biggest Failure Ever


I’m really getting a kick out of reading all the reviews for Warhammer Online. People hate it, people love it. It’s funny. There has not been any real significant change in the MMO industry since Day 1 and yet still people expect each game to be the one to change it all. These are games. If they are fun, play them. If not, don’t. Why get your panties in a bunch because there is a new game available? Check it out if you want.

If you like PvP in space, check out EVE Online.
If you like stylistic PvE in a fantasy setting, check out World of Warcraft.
If you like Tolkien’s world, check out Lord of the Rings Online.
If you like D&D, check out Dungeons & Dragons Online.
If you like sci-fi, check out Tabula Rasa or Anarchy Online.
If you like realistic looking fantasy, check out Vanguard or Everquest 2.
If you like Star Wars, check out Star Wars: Galaxies.
If you like Conan, check out Age of Conan.
If you like fighting with and against other people, check out Dark Age of Camelot or Warhammer Online.
I could go on and on. Options are good.

I used to be a lot more jaded about MMOs, which lead to me creating this site. I posted a lot, I complained and pushed and urged the game developers to try something new. Along the way I sort of forgot what it really is about these games that I love so much. It is the ability to disappear into a different world, go on crazy adventures, and meet new people. If you can make a game where I can do that, it’s a success.

Thinking back, I can honestly say I never hated any of the MMOs I played. The ones that I played for a long time (Asheron’s Call, Asheron’s Call 2, Anarchy Online, World of Warcraft), those were the games where I was in with a great group of friends. Really, that is what makes these games fun. The ones I quit, are the ones that I just did not connect with the right group of people.

Over the past year, I have rediscovered the things I loved about these games, and I have found I am playing them more and having fun – but posting here less and less. Strange thing that. I have learned how to have fun again. I stopped looking at game mechanics, because they really weren’t important to me. It’s standing side by side with a group of friends, telling jokes or heading into a dungeon. Things that you laugh about even years later. That is why I play MMOs.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

23 thoughts on “Warhammer Online: Biggest Failure Ever”

  1. Oh my. I can DEFINATELY name MMO’s I have hated:

    Horizons Empires of Astaria was so bad

    Matrix Online

    To some extent….yes dare I say it…Vanguard

    Dungeons and Dragons Online (ok not much HATRED just didnt like it)

  2. Well said. Though,
    “If you like Star Wars, check out Star Wars: Galaxies.”
    “check out” is the strangest misspelling of “stay away from” I’ve ever seen. :P

  3. Good thing you didn’t play MxO. ;) I agree, though, having a good guild can make a mediocre game a blast. Very… confusing title to the article though. :)

  4. “The ones I quit, are the ones that I just did not connect with the right group of people.” I think that’s been one of the biggest factors in my staying with a game and continuing to enjoy it. For me it’s been EQ1, DAOC, and EQ2. Granted, they also had the sort of game play I enjoy, but these were the games where I have good memories of people.

    Every game I’ve ever picked up a subscription for I enjoyed to some extent.

  5. “those were the games where I was in with a great group of friends”

    Very well said. That’s the reason I enjoy this hobby. Good quest writing, artwork, and polished mechanics are important… but ultimately when I don’t have that social connection, I find myself just going through the motions and burnout soon follows…

  6. @Aspendawn
    Memories of people

    All the people I have played with for years went to LOTRO. Had an awesome guild of 50+ players. All older, mature…

    Yet, I left because the game sucked…
    If only they would have made some changes that people clambered for…

    But, I digress.
    People will NOT keep me in a game if it is just plain bad.

  7. What’s with all the Matrix Online hate? Not enough content to keep me occupied for long, but it was a hell of a lot better than some of the games he mentioned. At least until SOE took over and started removing content and pushing the story to the side.

  8. Good post. Your priority seems to be valuing community over game mechanics. If your friends are there, then you’re having fun and making good memories.

    Of course, different folks prioritize different factors. I’m actually torn atm because I value moment-to-moment play, room for solo exploration/success, good community interaction opportunities and room for future game growth/innovation, all roughly the same.

    I’m still having a blast with AoC’s combat system, I love climbing up and down and looking out at their cool vistas, I’ve been fortunate to get into a very sturdy and friendly casual-raid guild…and I’m beating my head in every time I read a Failcom patch note.

    WAR looks great for the latter three factors, but I’m worried that the moment-to-moment play might not be all that it’s cut out to be. I don’t enjoy slow WoW-like-clicky-clang combat very much. Guess I’ll see for myself on the upcoming preview weekend. *crosses fingers*

    Others may value things like bug-free polished experience…and a new MMO is not where it’s at for that. :P

  9. You’re mostly right. If you have friends playing the game, even if they’re friends you made in-game, then you have more of a reason to stick around. Look at the single-player games you play and how long you play them. An MMO has a lot more content, but eventually you do run out of content. If an MMO were a single-player game, you’d stop playing once you’ve done everything once or twice, until an expansion comes around. It’s the social aspect that keeps people interested in the game.

    I think it’s natural for most people to get interested in game mechanics, though. Games appeal to smarter-than-average people, usually. It’s like playing D&D, most of the people that really got D&D were the types that were smart enough to want to tinker with the rules a bit. I figure a majority of text MUDs were started when some player on an existing MUD said to themselves, “I can do better than this bozo!” And, off they went to download a MUD system and tinker with it. For better or for worse, there’s no graphical game equivalent because you need a wider variety of skill sets to do a graphical game, even a smallish one the size of Meridian 59.

    My thoughts.

  10. Of course, you are right Brian. It is a combination of both. I do feel, however, that the friends you have with you are more important to the long term enjoyability of the game. Bad mechanics will obviously have a negative impact on the group of friends staying, so you need to have interesting enough mechanics to keep everyone around. After I get the mechanics figured out in my head, I start to get bored unless I have a group of people I enjoy hanging out with.

  11. I’m going to harp on this “There has not been any real change in the MMO industry since Day 1 …” part of “There has not been any real change in the MMO industry since Day 1 and yet still people expect each game to be the one to change it all.” simply because people seem to have forgotten a lot of how things used to be.

    There has actually been A LOT of change in the MMO genre. The thing is that the change has become gradual from MMO to MMO. No one single MMO has had a large jump from the previous one. The other thing that makes it seem like the MMOs aren’t having large changes is that they’re designed to be growing software. All these changes? Well, they trickle backwards and end up getting tacked on to previous MMOs.

    Things that have changed since UO and over time (not in any way a complete list):

    – true 3d graphics
    – actual collision detection
    – all classes end up with clickable abilities for combat (Hi EQ1 Warriors which relied on autoattack mainly)
    – crafting advances (as much as I hate crafting)
    – housing
    – broker systems
    – encounters vs. single creatures sort of stuck nearby
    – shift from group play to solo play
    – casual focus
    – more user friendly
    – a lot more customization options for users
    – voice acting
    – built in voice communication
    – PVP focus (including attempts at balancing by abilities having alter egos just for PVP)
    – lack of fluff (this varies) capabilities in the classes (class abilities all seem to be about combat)
    – z-axis (not all have it, but UO didn’t, EQ1 did, to a degree)

  12. I completely missed:

    – instancing (in all it’s various uses)
    – zones vs. open games
    – death penalties
    – pace of the game
    – raids

    Man… there is probably a bunch more.

  13. @SmakenDahed: Agreed. I chose words poorly I think. I changed it to say “real significant change”. What I meant is big changes. There has been of course many changes over time, but the core game is still pretty much the same in my opinion.

  14. What a pathetic post, this guy sure thinks he knows it all. WoW is the best mmo by far, not because people say it it, but because it has had the most $ invested. Wow has the best pvp, and the best everything else. If you don’t like wow you are not going to find anything better. But hey, some people like the taste of poop, and if that is what you like then go out and enjoy it!

  15. Reading this bullshit is so biased. WAR is a complete and utter joke. Please stop defending this piece of shit.

  16. This poster is a idiot. I came here to actually read up on why WAR is going down hill, to only find a idiot MMO player defending it. How in the hell can you recommend DDO to anyone? Are you retarded or something? That’s like me offering SWG/NGE to someone. I recommend you stop playing MMO’s and continue playing console games.

  17. warhamemr online is failing. 750 thousand subs down to 300 thousand subs. huge lag and repetetive endgame = fail.

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