I really like Warhammer Online. Sure, it has its problems, but Mythic seems truly dedicated to the game (unlike some other newer MMOs). It has some level of PvE, but I have Lord of the Rings Online for PvE. Public Quests, I hope, will shape the future of MMO PvE content, but Mythic has laid down the charge that its focus is RvR. So, I really only use the game for MMO PvP. And, that’s the problem. I am subscribing to a PvP MMO.
I am very happy with Mythic’s short term updates, and I am very excited to see the alleged 14 pages of updates notes for patch 1.10 of Warhammer Online. Just long term I am not sure what the value is to subscribing (read: vesting myself) in to the hobby of a PvP MMO.
In PvE MMO games, like Lord of the Rings Online, there is that feeling of the developer updating “further along.” When Turbine updates the game with a Book update (as opposed to just a balance, optimization, and bug patch) they push the story further down the road. We get new quests that expand the storytelling of the world, new instances and dungeons, and sometimes even new regions. There is the value in receiving the content, but I think the bigger value is knowing that over the next big rise there will be more.
In PvP MMO games, like Warhammer Online, that feeling of moving “further along” isn’t quite there. In Warhammer Online the ultimate encounter of fighting and taking down the King has been in the game since launch. They can make more ultimate encounters when they add in the other capital cities, but that isn’t “further along.” That’s just more of the same re-skinned. The expansion is lateral. Lateral expansion would also cover more scenarios, more classes, and more skills. Lateral expansion is great, but at the end of the day it is usually more of the same. The challenges pretty much remain the same whether you kill a player in one place or another.
Without moving “further along” the value in subscribing the game feels much less than a subscription game that does move “further along.” This is compounded by the fact that plenty of other non-subscription PvP games laterally expand their content with new maps and class updates for free. So, in my mind I am trying to figure out the difference. Why is a PvP MMO game worth subscribing to?
This is not an “I quit” post. Mythic has my business until at least April ’09, and I plan on playing Warhammer Online weekly. I really like the game, but I am having a little trouble finding comparative value in subscribing with Warhammer Online versus a PvE-type MMO… especially at the same price. This was a very hard post to write, and I had to completely rewrite it three times in the hopes I could get my feelings across. Is my subscription really just paying the cost of admission with the lateral expansions, or can Mythic give me the feeling that they will somehow be able to move a PvP MMO “further along?” Hopefully by April I can figure out the value in subscribing to a PvP MMO.
Who died and made you f’ing king of the zombies?