Warhammer Briefs

My name is Cyndre, and I have a Warhammer Online addiction.

Now that that is out of the way, I will jump right in.  I will not be writing a review of the game or its mechanics, as this has been done ad nauseum in the MMO blogosphere, and a simple Google search would deliver numerous examples.  I just want to target some brief points that have me hooked.

Warhammer Online is not without its flaws.   Keen has a list of bugs that have been irking him during the Open Beta, and I don’t disagree, but I’ve also been around long enough to know that no game has ever launched without significant flaws, and Warhammer will be no exception.

Now before all the rabble, rabble about how polished Blizzard’s behemoth was at launch, I would invite you into my way-back machine, and show you the reality of your pre-koolaid, four years of money-hat polishing, World of Warcraft…

Server stability during Open Beta was atrocious.  Classes were horrifically unbalanced, most notably my beloved yet hopelessly broken Warlock.   In fact, the game was so unstable at launch, that Blizzard dolled out almost a full month of free-playtime to subscribers, because of all of the server downtime and maintenance during those first glorious months.

Thus far, I have experienced one…  that’s right, one server outage during the Beta phases that I have been a part of.   The game runs like a dream on my modest system (P4 3.0, gForce 8600gt 512mb, 3g ddr) and I have not crashed, bugged out or experienced any significant lag since the repairs following the first Preview Weekend.

Keen is correct that small issues still exist, but Mythic is fixing those faster than you can que Nordenwatch.

So whats my point?  My point is that despite the minor flaws, the bugs, and all of the noise surrounding the game, I can’t stop playing.   I’m loving every second.   Every feature is either a perfect replica of feature we have come to expect and love in our MMOs, or something new that opens our eyes to what could have been possible all these years.

I for one, can’t wait to see what Mythic is able to deliver, once they have the benefit of years of polishing their game wearing their stylish money-hats, and an army of koolaid-drunk fanbois whose memories of CTDs and bugged AI has long since faded in a daze of cheeto-stained RvR joy.


19 thoughts on “Warhammer Briefs”

  1. Yeah there is certainly a lot of people forgetting all the major issues WoW had in the beginning. I know I had over a month of free time built up.

  2. And some still got ‘screwed’ even with the full month, depending on what server you played on. I know one server in particular, LONG after launch, was still generally regarded as a trash heap thanks to it crashing nightly during peak hours.

    Also a fun activity, Google search the first few Wow patch notes, they were doing more than just ‘adding a bit of polish’ after launch.

  3. Welcome back Cyndre :) Yes I think most people weren’t there at the WoW launch, thus we get this impression that they have forgotten it when really they never experienced it and just assumed it was awesome. A poor quality launch does not equal poor success for a game, it can just affect it a bit if its downright atrocious like Age of Porn :P

  4. I’m glad there are some people out there who can both remember and actually own up to WoW’s . . . interesting . . . launch. The game has certainly achieved a sparkling level of polish over 4 years, but the game was so clunky and unexciting during beta that I didn’t even buy it until a few months post release. I sure heard all the horror stories that people gloss over now though. Nostalgia is a marvelous thing.

  5. Anyone who played WoW at launch and doesn’t remember the loot bug that kept you in a permanent kneel and unable to loot until you relogged (and sometimes wasn’t even fixed then) should be banned from having an opinion about anything ever again.

  6. Sadly no one feels I’m worthy of free stuff. I would turn down a gam sub, but I write good reviews for pie.

    Hear that Mythic? Mail me a pie and its all glowing reviews from here on out.

    Lemon Merange or Pecan, and I’ll write two a day.

  7. Cyndre, better hope that pie doesn’t take a week to get to you, or you will be writing about food poisoning.

    Back to WAR, I’m with you. In fact we should be holding hands, skipping down the street together whistling the theme song. The one, ONE big thing that bothers me (and will forever more) is that you cannot queue up for other pairing scenarios without travelling there. So, to queue up, its queue EvC, then pay toll, watch flying cutscene for way too long, queue HEvDE, pay toll, watch flying cutscene, queue GvD, wait for one to pop. The fact they let you do all three shows they want you to. The dumb person who decided somehow it was a good idea to make you have to travel (for no apparent reason) makes no sense at all.

    To make it worse, when you finally get into a scenario it clears all the other scenarios you are queued for – so you have to do the cross country trek all over again.

    Side note – having pairings cross-queueable would also solve the very apparent problem of Empire not having a tank. 15 rounds tonight, only saw two tanks on Order side in Nordenwatch – while Chaos, of course, have an army of chosen. You can’t win without a tank. Give us the KOTBS back, or allow cross-queue-pairing!

    And send Cyndre that damn pie already!

  8. @Eric: WAR never competes with WoW in the way that I think you are getting at. They will make plenty of money, but the do not have to get even close to WoW sub numbers, and as their game gets more polished, and WoW’s wotlk gets tiresome and raid focused again, WAR will see another major influx of players and most will stay until the ‘Next Big Thing.’

    @Chris: I couldn’t agree more. They did include the ability for groupmates to cross-que, so my guild just sticks people in each pairing to que the group, but I agree it should be possible. I would expect that we’ll see a ‘Battlemaster’ in the capital Cities at some point.

    But as a reminder back to my Blog post, when WoW launched there were NO battlegrounds, even though they were a prmised and highly touted feature. When they were patched in, you had to travel to the zone to que, and you could not que for multiple.

    Battlemasters were added after months, (years maybe?) and we can expect similar additions when they playerbase has leveled past the warcamps and all make the cap cities their home.

  9. I just did some quick searching… Battlemasters were added in patch 1.6. By way of comparison, that was the same patch that introduced Blackwing Lair.

  10. Yeah it’s odd that they allow you to queue anywhere, anytime, but only for scenarios in your area. It’s like “here’s a little taste of freedom”.
    I also was upset when they added a cooldown to your binding stone. I really liked how in the previous weekend there was no cooldown, and I could get to where I wanted to go without running for 10 minutes through the same stuff i’d seen a bunch of times. yeah mount at 20 big deal I’m still running.

    Sure it’s a half hour, better than the hour of other games, but why have a cooldown at all? To enhance “realism”? I thought we didn’t believe in The Vision(tm) anymore that annoying players with “realism” meant more fun? I am just annoyed. Not so much at the travel time but that someone thought it would be a good idea to force players to do it.

  11. What some people forget when talking about what others have forgotten about the troubles of WoW at release was many of the problems during actual play were a factor of your server choice, what time you played, and where you went in the world. In other words the player had some ways to work around the problems if they chose. These same problems were also self correcting in that characters started spreading out as faster levelers moved on and your typical player played less hours than in the first week of release.

    WAR may very well work out many of its issues before release and then all is forgiven. However they currently have problems that do not have known ways to work around and are very unlikely to self correct. You get the same problems on low population servers and playing at 4 am as you do at 7 pm.

  12. The launch does seem to have gone remarkably smoothly. I remember plenty of other betas and just released products that had a lot more problems.

    So – well, I’m looking forward to coming to it in a year or two. haha. Right now the girl and I are just starting WoW for the first time with RaF, and enjoying the hell out of it. It’s currently the most stable and fluid experience I’ve had out of anything online based. Of course, I know full well it’s because of four years.

    But I know we’ll get bored eventually, and by then the next gen will have had time to catch up in stability and quality of product. And I’m really really excited about that. I am hoping there will be more in the way of different control schemes though, and have to admit I’m eyeing Tabula Rasa a bit, even though I was in the earlier and open betas and they made me sick, haha.

  13. @Eric: WAR never competes with WoW in the way that I think you are getting at. They will make plenty of money, but the do not have to get even close to WoW sub numbers, and as their game gets more polished, and WoW’s wotlk gets tiresome and raid focused again, WAR will see another major influx of players and most will stay until the ‘Next Big Thing.’

    Oh I agree, but you were the one doing the comparisons :). An MMO released these days has to be more smooth than WoW 4 years ago, as it’s being compared to how it is these days and not 4 years ago, if you follow me :).

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