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Warhammer Online Sees Massive Content Removal To Make Launch

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the bad-ideas-in-the-current-market dept.

Role Playing (Games) 397

Zonk is reporting that the Warhammer Online team has decided to keep their launch deadline firm. Unfortunately, in order to do so, they are pulling quite a few things from the game. Four of the six capital cities are being removed, as well as four of the character classes (two of which were considered the primary "tanking" classes for their race). The team emphatically claims that this has nothing to do with EA. Does this hurt their chances for success more than simply delaying the launch date?

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This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#24155479)

They know it's the game that counts, not some deadline.

It seems to me Warhammer is effectively castrating themselves.
TO which I say: "Good, I hate those bastards."

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (4, Insightful)

sgant (178166) | about 6 years ago | (#24155641)

Exactly. They don't give out a "deadline" and have always stated that it will be done when it's done.

Yes, it may be frustrating to people waiting for a Blizzard game, but at least they don't pull this crap.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (5, Insightful)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | about 6 years ago | (#24155749)

It's not just that Blizzard holds back their games until they are ready, it's that they have fans that will WAIT until Blizzard's games come out. That is a luxury that most other studios don't have. That said, Warhammer Online better have its features ASAP, first impressions are extremely important in MMOs.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (5, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 6 years ago | (#24155937)

It's not just that Blizzard holds back their games until they are ready, it's that they have fans that will WAIT until Blizzard's games come out. That is a luxury that most other studios don't have. That said, Warhammer Online better have its features ASAP, first impressions are extremely important in MMOs.

Perhaps the reason their fans are willing to wait until their games are ready is their track record, which is a direct result of said practice?

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (3, Insightful)

redJag (662818) | about 6 years ago | (#24156041)

Exactly. If you don't have fans that are 'willing' to wait then you don't have fans, so why hurry the process in the first place? I put the willing in quotes because everyone hates waiting :) Take the time necessary to create a desirable product and presto, you have fans that will be waiting for your next release and creating a hype-machine for you in the meantime.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (3, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#24156207)

Additionally, DAOC was known to be a pretty damn good game. They have a lot of anticipation which could already have been measured by looking at their preorders.

This is just shooting their loyal customer base in the feet. EA has done this at least three times to them now. First by buying Mythic, second by saying that they have no intent to support Linux, and now by screwing over their loyal customers.

I honestly had pretty high hopes myself, but pulling of features? come on now.

Guess EA couldn't wait.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1)

haystor (102186) | about 6 years ago | (#24156277)

I suspect they want to avoid releasing head to head with Warcraft's expansion.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | about 6 years ago | (#24156081)

I never said it wasn't :) I had so much fun with Warcraft II that I visited Blizzard's website every day from the time Starcraft was announced to the time it launched, checking for updates. It seems like such a short time ago. Well, now I'm off to Starcraft2.com.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (5, Funny)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#24156065)

>they have fans that will WAIT until Blizzard's games come out.

They have fans that drop out of college, quit jobs, let spouses move out, etc., for the game.

One problem is that any other company has to compete with *that*.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (4, Insightful)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | about 6 years ago | (#24156085)

Hmm, moderate or educate.

It has absolutely nothing to do with people who will wait for a Blizzard game. Those waiting on Warhammer will continue to wait indefinitely, just like how those who were waiting on World of Warcraft waited indefinitely for it too.

The same applied for the Burning Crusade expansion. They announced a release date, and then pushed it back ~2 months, if I remember. The forums lit up with complaints, whining, and many large capital letters. People had scheduled their jobs around this release date, and now suddenly they had all this free time and no game to play. And what happened? They bought the game anyway.

People will wait on games because they're looking forward to them. Blizzard's reputation of pushing quality games out the door was built on people getting pissed off that they were taking so long.

You say that "that is a luxury that most other studios don't have." And I disagree entirely. There is nothing stopping a studio from pushing their dates back. The only reason they don't is that they feel if they don't make their release date, then they will miss out of customers.

Which is entirely wrong. The entire MMO market is saturated right now, with WoW. Those who want to play other MMOs, such as Age of Conan or Warhammer Online will wait indefinitely for one simple reason: they are dissatisfied with Blizzard for one reason or another, and these are the people who are not only just dissatisfied, but will also remain dissatisfied indefinitely.

The thing that the Warhammer Online people are missing, and to some degree this applies to Age of Conan too ("hey guys! Let's launch a game where a core stat, strength, does entirely nothing!"), is that their playerbase consists almost entirely of people who are pissed off at WoW. Those people are not pleased with how Blizzard has taken WoW, and no degree of talking with them will change that.

The name of the game is "the grass is always greener on the other side." The vast majority of people who want to play Warhammer don't want to play it because it will be awesome, they want to play it because they are sick of WoW, and likewise, Warhammer suddenly becomes awesome.

The Warhammer devs saying "let's cut a huge amount of content" is ultimately what is going to kill them, at least in the short term. The people who are pissed at WoW will remain pissed, and they will always have that one shiny, better game out on the horizon. Why anyone would cut content and quality for release dates when almost their entire fanbase will be ex-WoW players who will join them the moment that games comes out - be it tomorrow or in two years - boggles my mind.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (2, Informative)

Incoherent07 (695470) | about 6 years ago | (#24156195)

I feel obliged to point out that they never actually announced a November release for Burning Crusade; everyone just assumed that (and they may have stated that they wanted to release it in 2006 but not with any specific date).

The original WoW was released without a couple of the features they wanted to add (obvious example: honor system), but this seems somewhat more drastic than the honor system (which turned out to be a bad idea in the end anyway).

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (4, Insightful)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | about 6 years ago | (#24156427)

The exact release details are beyond me, yes. If it was never set in stone then I'll take your word for it. :)

And you're right, WoW launched without some *features* such as the honor system. They did, however, launch with all six capital cities, every single one of their classes, tens of hundreds of spells, and over 60 (or so? Exact numbers are beyond me) individual zones. WoW was largely content complete from the day it launched, just not feature complete.

When you compare this to Warhammer cutting 4/6 cities and 4 classes, things look quite a bit more bleak for Warhammer than they ever did with WoW.

Cutting a very large chunk of content just to make a release date is nothing good for the future of Warhammer.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (3, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 6 years ago | (#24156239)

It's not just that Blizzard holds back their games until they are ready, it's that they have fans that will WAIT until Blizzard's games come out. That is a luxury that most other studios don't have.

Did you actually read what you just wrote? Read it again. And then think about it.

Who besides fans will wait on a game? And if you have good fans, they will wait. If you don't have an established fan base yet, it doesn't matter how soon you release - no one's waiting.

No matter how you cut it, it's always best to wait to release the game until it's ready for primetime.

Nothing to do with EA

Yeah right. Because EA has never done anything ever to screw over a good franchise they bought. Nope.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (-1, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 6 years ago | (#24156027)

Except for how they're launching WotLK without the actual Lich King. He'll be patched in before the NEXT expansion comes out.

Blizzard knows content is king, but they also know that you WoWheads will keep paying for their lame expansion packs.

WoW is the next Sims.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#24156199)

"Except for how they're launching WotLK without the actual Lich King"
Cite? I couldn't find confirmation in the 30 seconds I looked.

"WoW is the next Sims."

How do you mean?

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (0, Flamebait)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24156029)

Again, the Corporates shoot themselves in the feet with their own greed guns. The '00s are looking more and more like the 1920s, where thieves rule and the customer is an afterthought.

I think the answer to the question posed in the summary is a great big DUH!

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156083)

The real castration happened when Games Workshop stopped funding Mythic, which eventually led to them being bought by EA, who essentially told them flat out "Re-work this into a WoW clone". The game Mythic had when funded by GW was *nothing* like the current WHO. What was once essentially Mythic's vision of Warhammer Fantasy RP brought online, is now a shell of its former glory. I saw it at Comic-Con shortly after they were bought by EA, and the complete overhaul was astonishing. Every possible detail that could be copied from WoW, was.

It's quite pathetic that the MMO segment is so absolutely and abysmally stagnant right now, with publishers grabbing anything that has popular IP and throwing a crappy Everquest-inspired gameplay clone behind it.

It's a cultural point (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 years ago | (#24156169)

If they are trying to evolve into something like a gaming version of Gnome, where the schedule is fairly straightforward, than that might be a Good Thing.
The transition may be painful, and could even kill them.
Depends on the management.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1)

Sethumme (1313479) | about 6 years ago | (#24156197)

Of course, no one faults Blizzard for not having Outlands available at release, nor even most of its mid- and upper-level dungeons in Azeroth. In fact, at least a third of the character classes were completely gimpy when WoW 1.0 was first released.

I agree that gutting a video game just to meet a deadline is probably a stupid move, but if a game developer can ensure timely patching of new content (especially if that content is already mostly complete), then the earlier release means more revenue. Not to mention that there will be less of the inevitable bugs that slip through beta testing.

Still, MMOs are a waste of time anyway.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156251)

Straight from beta...

They're currently discussing the possibility of rotating them out as each city is the culmination of all the RvR... and they do feel it will water down the experience at launch date with too much war front.

Re:This is why Blizzard is so seuccesful (1)

74nova (737399) | about 6 years ago | (#24156317)

is that your opinion of DNF, screw deadlines? :-)

INCOMING FAILGATE! (2, Interesting)

bigdady92 (635263) | about 6 years ago | (#24155499)

nothing like ripping out promised content and abilities to make it to release. why not let it cook a bit longer and not pull a flaghsipp'n?

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#24155523)

Becasue they are loking at the numbers, and not the realities of the game market.
Blizzard is successfull becasue they release quality titles.
Blizzard has what, 3 titles? And they practically print money.

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1)

Thaelon (250687) | about 6 years ago | (#24156263)

I'm curious to what titles you're talking about.

Because you can still - after eight freaking years - find Diablo II in stores. And it's not in the bargain bin, either. It's $40 plus tax for the game and the expansion the expansion. I think the base game is still $20.

Starcraft is alive and well in some parts.

Are those the two you're referring to in addition to WoW or...?

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1)

EchaniDrgn (1039374) | about 6 years ago | (#24156417)

I believe he is referring to the big three themes irrespective of their sequels.

Diablo
      Diablo
      Diablo II
      Diablo III

Warcraft
      Warcraft
      Warcraft II
      Warcraft III
      Warcraft: TCG
      World of Warcraft

Starcraft
      Starcraft
      Starcraft II
      Ghost

I don't feel like researching all the expansions.

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 6 years ago | (#24155599)

nothing like ripping out promised content and abilities to make it to release. why not let it cook a bit longer and not pull a flaghsipp'n?

Yeah, great idea! Let's see, where have I heard this before ... DNF.

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155871)

Well, on the other hand, you have Windows Vista.

They left in 8500 tons of graphical jiggly-window rubbish, but took out anything worthy of actual respect.

But, at least you have jiggly-window 3d-card-requiring bubble-screen-saver.

Sign me up! That's *way* more useful and desirable than XP!

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1)

D Ninja (825055) | about 6 years ago | (#24156231)

Exactly.

Blizzard's success is not because they push back release dates so they can put more/promised content in. It's so they can put QUALITY content in.

Quality is (practically) the only thing that matters in all of this. If Warhammer is released earlier, with less content, but that content is amazing...then they will still have relative success. (Maybe not as successful as WoW, but Blizzard has a huge following.)

Re:INCOMING FAILGATE! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#24156411)

Sure, you need some internal goals, and if they are consistently not met find out why. But that's different then setting a hard deadline date. In fact setting a hard deadline data is risky.

This seems to be a big cut back on release. If they were cutting out a high level content for a few weeks, then I could see them releasing.

EA, most likely (5, Insightful)

the4thdimension (1151939) | about 6 years ago | (#24155515)

Even though they say that EA is NOT behind this deal, I have to believe it is. This sounds too much like something EA would pressure them into doing. They were fine pressing back release dates BEFORE EA came on scene.

I am skeptical, to say the least.

Re:EA, most likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155873)

Spore is being developed under EA, but has been delayed many times. This is not EA's doing, as they claim.

Re:EA, most likely (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 6 years ago | (#24155951)

Spore is being developed under EA, but has been delayed many times. This is not EA's doing, as they claim.

Yes, but even EA cannot stand up to the might of Will Wright when it comes to release dates.

Re:EA, most likely (1)

Chrono11901 (901948) | about 6 years ago | (#24156009)

Except Will Wright has already made them millions upon millions with the sims and simcity. They aren't THAT stupid to tell the guy who basically prints them money what to do.

Re:EA, most likely (1)

mweather (1089505) | about 6 years ago | (#24156063)

That's a Will Wright game, though. He has a bit of clout given the popularity of his previous games. Even if Spore sucks, it's a guaranteed blockbuster.

Re:EA, most likely (3, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | about 6 years ago | (#24156057)

Even though they say that EA is NOT behind this deal, I have to believe it is. This sounds too much like something EA would pressure them into doing. They were fine pressing back release dates BEFORE EA came on scene.

It's not just EA that is behind this, its the basic reality of the market. Wrath of the Lich King (the WoW expansion) is coming out next spring most likely, and if they try to release around the same time as that, they're pretty much guaranteed to fail at capturing any significant marketshare.

They pretty much have to release it this Fall or they're screwed.

BTW, I've been playing the closed beta, and I predict this game will be epic fail. The graphics are similar to 2004 era WoW graphics. Bugs and lack of content are everywhere. I love the Warhammer universe, since I grew up playing the tabletop games, and I had high hopes for this franchise, but the game simply fails to deliver. It might have been good if it came out 4 years ago, but people expect a game to have the same polished content upon release that WoW has taken 4 years to add. The market expects an unrealistically high level of polish and content, so pretty much any new challenger is guaranteed to fail unless it's made by Blizzard.

I've been having a lot of fun playing Age of Conan lately. Don't let the haters tell you it sucks. It really is a pretty good game, even though it has bugs. What MMO doesn't?

Re:EA, most likely (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 6 years ago | (#24156353)

"Even though they say that EA is NOT behind this deal, I have to believe it is. This sounds too much like something EA would pressure them into doing. They were fine pressing back release dates BEFORE EA came on scene."

The way MMORPG development goes, I do think it's more likely that it's Mythic that's run out of cash, and this is the point where the suits rip their hair hair out and demand income asap. Probably EA has done nothing except given them their last agreed-upon advance check.

It's really way more likely that it's Mythic running out of money than EA. Classic tragedy of computer game companies -- they know how to make stand-alone games, step up to an MMORPG and think they're all set skill-wise, and then get shocked by the time and money it takes, and freak out.

This cycle's all laid out in the book "Developing Online Games" by Mulligan & Petrovsky.
http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Online-Games-Insiders-Nrg-Programming/dp/1592730000 [amazon.com]

yep (0, Redundant)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 6 years ago | (#24155529)

Zonk is reporting that the Warhammer Online team has decided to keep their launch deadline firm, unfortunately in order to do so they are pulling quite a few things from the game.

And this is the difference between companies like this and companies like Blizzard and id software, who have the balls to push back a release date in order to not sacrifice quality.

Re:yep (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#24155941)

100% agreed.

This is bullshit.

I'm not buying a game at launch that is intentionally held back to keep EA happy. Fuck that.

Quality over quantity is why blizzard wins. Well, I guess Mythic did a great job with DAOC at first. Too bad this sounds like the last time Mythic does anything, as I suspect this is death throes now. Cancelled my preorder and informed my friends.

I'm not saying WOW is the best game in the world, but sheesh, get things ready for release. Congrats EA, you have throw another company out the shitter. Yet another reason to never buy a game from EA.

Re:yep (1)

Amisinthe (1308593) | about 6 years ago | (#24156435)

As far as Blizzard goes, I'm pretty sure they don't even give a release date until maybe 2-3 weeks before hand, specifically to avoid disappointing people.

For their MMO, they've been hyping up the next expansion for possibly a year now, still no release date, not even a date when the beta will be available.

Can you say expansion pack? (2, Insightful)

nycguy (892403) | about 6 years ago | (#24155543)

The exclusion of capital cities seems more reasonable than handicapping some of the character races. The former could be added in via expansion packs (free via download or otherwise). To start off without "tanks" for some of the races is just silly, though. Were I them I'd split the difference and make sure the game is balanced in a smaller scale world, then expand that world.

Re:Can you say expansion pack? (4, Insightful)

rhombic (140326) | about 6 years ago | (#24155607)

Exclusion of the capital cities ruins the whole race vs race war aspect of the game; it turns something that could have been really deep into a WoW clone. Sigh. Hopefully it'll add back in later.

Re:Can you say expansion pack? (2, Informative)

PlatyPaul (690601) | about 6 years ago | (#24156147)

Hmm... it seems we're losing two "berserker-brawler[s]" [The Choppa and The Hammerer], one "heavy tank" [The Knight of the Blazing Sun], and (roughly) "a World of Warcraft Warrior" [The Blackguard].

(source [massively.com] )

There are still 20 of the original 24 promised classes, and there really wasn't an equivalent set of roles across all races anyway, so it may still work out.

Me, I'm still pissed about the lack of Skaven.

4-2=2 (2, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | about 6 years ago | (#24155549)

Um so what there is a "good" city and a "bad" city? Wow, just wow. (no pun intended!lol)

Re:4-2=2 (1)

Shihar (153932) | about 6 years ago | (#24155897)

I wish I had my mod points.

Personally, I think Warhammer online is DOA. My impression of Warhammer is that it is just basically WoW with some turning and a few PvP game mechanic differences. In other words, it was a copy and paste from WoW that they tried to tune up a little. This is wonderfully ironic, because the entire World of Warcraft setting was basically stolen verbatim from Warhammer (and Starcraft a rip off of Warhammer 40K).

Warhammer had a real potential to strike out a new path and reclaim the setting that they once owned. Instead, they have fumbled along in WoWs foot steps. Whatever minor improvements they make are offset by the fact that WoW has a few years lead a few million people already bought in. No one is going to jump ship for minor improvements. Warhammer could have challenged the entire MMORPG gameplay style. Instead, they are going to plod along in the footsteps of WoW and get crushed.

The only consolation is that at least they are only making a bad Warhammer MMORPG instead of a Warhammer 40K MMORPG. The Warhammer universe, and especially the 40k universe are made for dominating the more Disneyfied Blizzard settings, they just need to get their shit together and offer game play worth playing.

Re:4-2=2 (1)

Knara (9377) | about 6 years ago | (#24156445)

There is a 40k MMO in development.

Also, I wouldn't say that WH "could strike out on a new path". The realm vs realm thing was done very well in Dark Age of Camelot already, long before WoW came out.

Pushed the pre-order a bit early (3, Insightful)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | about 6 years ago | (#24155617)

Feels like a bit of a bait and switch for the folks that pre-ordered.

Re:Pushed the pre-order a bit early (1)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | about 6 years ago | (#24155823)

I wonder if this could be grounds for a chargeback, if someone used plastic. Anyone have thoughts on how successful that sort of approach might be?

Re:Pushed the pre-order a bit early (1)

Broken Bottle (84695) | about 6 years ago | (#24156213)

In fairness to the WAR guys, THEY aren't the ones pushing preorders 2 years in advance. That would be the game stores that are taking advantage of the hype and trying to lock in your business way early.

New "expansion"? (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 years ago | (#24155645)

I hope they release the content after WAR goes online, but I have a sneaking suspician that these cities which are cut out will end up being put in the game as an "expansion".

I hope not.

Re:New "expansion"? (1)

chiger_bite (801427) | about 6 years ago | (#24156209)

If you look at Mythic's history with Dark Age of Camelot, I imagine that this will be a 'content update' and not an expansion.

Deadlines (0)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 6 years ago | (#24155653)

Pulling stuff from a software product to meat a deadline, they must have learnt from the MS-Vista team.

Re:Deadlines (1, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | about 6 years ago | (#24155737)

meat a deadline

You ever see the move PCU (Politically Correct University)? There's a scene in it where they are tossing huge chunks of meat off of the top of some school building onto a vegetarian protest. Absolutely hilarious.

-Rick

Re:Deadlines (1)

e2d2 (115622) | about 6 years ago | (#24155943)

Have I seen it?

"Can you blow me where the pampers is?"

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155663)

It's a Friday. Go outside today and enjoy life. :)

Re:Who cares? (0, Offtopic)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 6 years ago | (#24155795)

Who cares? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, @02:25PM (#24155663)

It's a Friday. Go outside today and enjoy life. :)

I am outside and enjoying life, you insensitive clod!

(Gotta love wireless)

More like Warhammer offline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155673)

Things do not look good for homestar runner

Also Removed: (1)

xC0000005 (715810) | about 6 years ago | (#24155697)

The right mouse button, any attack other than "hit", support for the capslock key, and the number "4".
Cutting support for the number 4 alone reduces the number of xp and currency tests you have to do.

At this point, they ought to use CGA graphics and an atari joystick for all input as well.

Re:Also Removed: (2, Funny)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | about 6 years ago | (#24156139)

Have you played any mmorpgs? Removing support for the capslock key would be the single greatest thing they could do.

Re:Also Removed: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156385)

Actually, that's just what Everquest does/did. Capslock is disabled in EQ, so you need to hold Shift to do ALLCAPS typing.

Rushed Releases have killed MMORPGs in the past (5, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | about 6 years ago | (#24155733)

While no MMORPG is ever complete, and thus never completed when released, releases like this in the past have caused major problems in getting people to accept the game in the past. Vanguard was released with major elements of the game incomplete, Pirates of the Burning Sea had similar problems (although it was mostly feature complete and the changes made after release were tweaking that could only be made after large enough populations were logging in).

The missing elements and poor gameplay in Vanguard resulted in a mass exodus of players after release, and a similar thing happened in POTBS (eventually resulting in a server merge that took the game from 12 servers down to 4 I believe). Its always important to make a good impression when selling a product, and its doubly so for MMORPGs I think.

Given that WAR is considered the next likely candidate to challenge the supremacy of Warcraft (a daunting prospect for the developers I am sure), I can't help but think that this is a very bad idea generally speaking. The game needs to be as complete and ready to play as possible in order to attract the required playerbase. Taking the game live in a partially developed manner is no longer a viable option I think. Prior to Warcraft this might have been possible - Dark Age of Camelot went live with many features missing, but what it had was enough to attract people away from Everquest (which was its only major competitor at the time), but with Warcraft being such a complete product and so well designed (I may dislike it but 8m+ people disagree with me), any game that comes out now needs to be able to put its full featureset into gameplay right from release or it risks losing the majority of players who are pretty jaded and expect *everything now*. The time for incomplete products has passed, thanks to Blizzard.

Not only that, but if its missing the Tankers on all sides specifically thats a very bad decision as well. This will undoubtedly slow PvE leveling and thats usually the focus of any MMORPG early in its history as players build up their characters in preparation for the end game (yes I know you can PvP at any level in WAR, but realistically people will want to race to the end levels first and likely avoid PvP as they do in so many other games, even though the game attempts to balance it at all levels).

Since Jacobs has stated this is nothing to do with EA, its most likely an internal decision based on lack of development time and a desire to make a November release date that is key to getting Christmas sales for the game. It may also be a reaction to the success of Age of Conan (which is doing well by reports, although I didn't keep my subscription going so I am out of touch), or to some other major release thats coming at the same time. MMORPGs and their expansions tend to be timed to coincide with releases from other companies and that often seems to shift dates.

Mythic had an extremely successful product with Dark Age of Camelot, although they blew it in the long run, overdeveloping the game in some areas and inconsistently designing it in many cases. I have high hopes they can produce an excellent game with WAR but we shall see.

Re:Rushed Releases have killed MMORPGs in the past (1)

Shihar (153932) | about 6 years ago | (#24156045)

The "fix it later" mentality is the death of an MMORPG. Pirates of the Burning Sea is a great example of this. PotBS is one of the more unique games in existence. Combat is actually challenging and fun. It has the potential for one of the most kick ass economies in MMORPG history. The PvP potential is so good you can almost taste it. What happened?

They blew it.

The economy was launched with features that border between too stupid to contemplate and utterly missing (no sell orders, dumb "bidding" system, etc). Game balance was initially horribly out of whack (better these days). PvP quickly and very predictably devolved to the point where there is really one one type of regular PvP (6 level 50 vs 6 level 50).

The game has so much potential, it just isn't finished. It kills me to see games with so much potential be horrible wastes.

If there is any consolation in all of this, I never really thought that Warhammer had any potential. Other than it being the awesome original setting of the Warcraft universe without the Disney glossing that Blizzard gave it, it always sounded to me like Warhammer was just rehashing traditional EQ/WoW style game play and tossing in some revamped and uninteresting Dark Age of Camelot style RvR.

Re:Rushed Releases have killed MMORPGs in the past (1)

Sethumme (1313479) | about 6 years ago | (#24156495)

You make good points, but I think you are generalizing. Perhaps I should have posted my previous message here instead... You claim lack of features is the cause of a game's failure, and then you prove it by describing how gameplay was one game's downfall, and admitting the other was actually released "mostly feature complete."

At this point, WoW has been around for a long time. When it was first released, it was a very different game. Many classes were incomplete, and many zones and dungeons were absent. What it did have was enjoyable single-player and multi-player gameplay and a captivating story line, at least for the first 30 levels or so. The rest was patched in months or years later.

Content isn't what makes a game succeed. The fun-factor does that. Content just keeps the subscribers to keep coming back.

No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about 6 years ago | (#24155761)

Dwarf,Undead,Orc,Human,Gnome,Dranei,Blood Elf,Troll in WoW. So what? Factions aren't a single race so it's not all that important which races have which classes.

Re:No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

Syrae (802799) | about 6 years ago | (#24156017)

The difference is that each race is a different independent faction in Warhammer. There's six faction (similar to WoW's two playable factions), and two of them now lack a tanking class and 4 of them lack capital cities. It's true that not all of Warhammer's factions are single race based, but most of them are.

Re:No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24156285)

You forgot Night Elf :D

Re:No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about 6 years ago | (#24156363)

Night Elves and Tauren are the only races that CAN be druids.

Re:No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24156479)

Doh, you're right- my bad. I misread your entire post.

Re:No Druids for ....Dwarf, Orc.... (1)

Zuato (1024033) | about 6 years ago | (#24156455)

Think of it this way - they are not only eliminating 4 of the 6 capitals, but 4 classes as well, two of which are tanking classes for their respective races.

That would be like eliminating all the faction cities in WoW except for Orgrimarr and Ironforge. Granted most interaction took place in those two cities prior to the BC expansion, but it significantly screws the story without the other cities. Think about it - each race has its own starting area, and a capital city. The capitals are pretty much a large defining portion of a race in an MMO. That is now gone for 4 races.

Warhammer Forever (4, Funny)

netsavior (627338) | about 6 years ago | (#24155765)

It is funny that everyone bitches when a company holds back a release *Forever* while the developers Duke it out over new technology, features, etc... Rather than Nuke a fer features in favor of a quick release. Yet when they trash a few features to make a release date, they get the same kind of flack.

Of course everyoen mentions Blizzard... I would be willing to bet that the difference is the marketing, I mean, Blizzard doesn't announce games untill they are good and ready... they don't need years of buzz. I would be willing to bet that they always have a good bit of feature chopping in every blizz game (in fact when you open and look at MPQ files, you could find lost character classes, never activated items, etc etc, it just happens BEFORE the marketing, rather than after.

Re:Warhammer Forever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155999)

It's not the same people complaining in both situations, doodoo-head.

Re:Warhammer Forever (1)

D Ninja (825055) | about 6 years ago | (#24156295)

I mean, Blizzard doesn't announce games untill they are good and ready... they don't need years of buzz.

Blizzard doesn't need to create buzz because they are so good at what they do, the buzz generates itself.

This is a position *every* company wants to be in. But, very few have it. The only way you get there is by constantly delivering good results, and (in the case of certain Blizzard games), chopping out the stuff that is going to be crap.

Unfortunately, egos and people on power trips don't typically like to let this happen. It makes them look bad. Meh.

Re:Warhammer Forever (2, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 6 years ago | (#24156395)

"it just happens BEFORE the marketing, rather than after."

Yep. Thats also why they don't announce release dates.

People flip out if you promise the moon and fail to live up to your own hype, even if the game is fun. Take away the promises, and people may find that the game is fun without thinking about some missing feature.

Of course, Blizzard's marketing department is a good deal more intelligent then that of most other game developers.

So? (5, Insightful)

Hachima (718971) | about 6 years ago | (#24155771)

The article seemed a bit misleading. It made it sound like the game was dependent on races having all class types available for RVR, when it's not. It would be like saying Alliance in WoW is in trouble because they removed the ability for Gnomes to be priests. In WAR there are two factions, Order and Destruction. Order has the Ironbreaker and the Swordmaster as tanks, the White Lion and the Witch Hunter as melee dps. Destruction has the Black Orc and Chosen as tanks, the Witch Elf and Marauder as melee dps. Just because particular races don't have tanks doesn't mean the faction doesn't have tanks for the RVR.

Right... EA had nothing to do with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155777)

Starting with Ultima Online, EA has the uncanny ability to turn anything they touch into absolute shit (they probably started ruining stuff long before this, but I've got mmo tunnel vision right now).

Gamers as a whole need to stand up, and send the message that we will no longer pay full price to participate in a beta test.

Re:Right... EA had nothing to do with it (1)

halivar (535827) | about 6 years ago | (#24155843)

I have not purchased an EA game since Ultima 9. There will be no forgiveness for that crap.

Re:Right... EA had nothing to do with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156399)

Good old Ultima 9, I remember that. I ran into 3 separate bugs within minutes of starting the game. Seems they permanently froze their forums 2 weeks after launch... due to the number of flames they were getting constantly about the game. Shortly after, you could barely find a trace that the game ever existed.

Now with more repetitiveness! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155797)

You can be sure they didnt leave out tediousness and
time wasting content.

EA? Of course not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155837)

It has to do with Mythic - IE, the company that slew the greatest MMOG that ever was, Dark Age of Camelot - in their quest to make it into EverQuest Lite.

Paid Beta (4, Interesting)

Holammer (1217422) | about 6 years ago | (#24155841)

Looks like they're in a hurry to get to the "paid beta" stage asap. Whomever handles their finances is probably riding their ass because they're not cashing in already. Delaying the release would probably not hurt the general goodwill towards the game, but releasing it this early and they'll be the next major laughing stock since Vanguard.

Nothing to do with EA. Yeah, RIGHT! *Bridgesell* (2, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 6 years ago | (#24155847)

"The team emphatically claims that this has nothing to do with EA"

Right.

EA, who essentially turf all projects that aren't their beloved sports games.
EA who has gone out of their way to buy healthy, actively developed games and kill them just shy of release.

Likely the WHOL guys got an ultimatum of "Ship or we shut you down". That's pretty much par for the course with EA.

Re:Nothing to do with EA. Yeah, RIGHT! *Bridgesell (1)

lantastik (877247) | about 6 years ago | (#24156167)

Let's look at the rest of that quote:

"This has nothing to do with EA ... they had zero input in this ... They don't even know about it. It's not a discussion we would have with them."

Now I know it's total bullshit. That's a discussion you better damn well have with your publisher. If I were your publisher and you chose not have that conversation with me and I found out about it through some interview on a website, you'd start losing funding and Mark Jacobs would be looking for a new job.

warhammer expansion pack announced!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155869)

tomarrows news

Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24155929)

That makes me sad, but I can't same I am surprised. If they have to pull that many features there's a good chance that some major bugs will still be around at release as well. Game over Warhammer.

This is.. (1)

sTERNKERN (1290626) | about 6 years ago | (#24155947)

Why I buy Blizzard games. They know when to release a game : exactly when it is ready.

Forgive me.. (0, Troll)

Exanon (1277926) | about 6 years ago | (#24156001)

What's Warhammer? I spent all my youth years dating very beautiful women and being a loveguru in Asia.

Nowadays I just sit on slashdot between my jobs as a underwear model judge.

Just like Vanguard (2, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | about 6 years ago | (#24156007)

Releasing Vanguard before it was ready killed it. I fail to see how Warhammer doing the same thing will have any other outcome. This makes me sad; I was really looking forward to Warhammer Online.

It doesn't take a genius... (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#24156043)

to figure out they have to have *something* to release for the all-important fourth quarter.

Launch it any other time of year and you won't get the same sales bounce out of a new release.

Why Warhammer Fantasy... (5, Interesting)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 6 years ago | (#24156071)

...and not 40k?
Who thought we need yet another fantasy MMORPG with swordswinging, arrowshooting, fireball casting humans, orcs, dark/notsodark elves, undead etc etc etc?
They had access to the Warhammer franchise and chose this... I couldnt care less about their deadline, or if they ever make it at all.
Its not a Warhammer MMORPG for me, unless you give me a bolter and a power-armour.

Re:Why Warhammer Fantasy... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#24156311)

I agree. Going after the fantasy crwod is going to be a tough sell.

Still should be fun (5, Informative)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | about 6 years ago | (#24156079)

The summary is a bit misleading. 4 classes are out, but there are around 20 so it's not that big o a deal. And the capital cities aren't like that in EQ and WoW. You get to them later in the game for PvP purposes. So there will still be plenty to look forward to and have fun with in Warhammer :)

Does this hurt them more then postponing the game? (2, Insightful)

christ, jesus H (1317921) | about 6 years ago | (#24156093)

Yes, absolutely it does in my opinion. A combination of the two would have been the smarter move in my opinion.

Don't worry (1)

Meekrobe (1194217) | about 6 years ago | (#24156111)

These features will be reintroduced as a pay for Expansion at a future date.

Jack Emmert said it best... (2, Interesting)

Broken Bottle (84695) | about 6 years ago | (#24156141)

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17549 [gamasutra.com] "You are what you are at launch." WAR has been postponed a bunch of times. If they're going to launch with severely stunted *basic* content they're essentially crippling the game for the rest of its lifespan. Seriously, when MMOs launch there are always a bunch of bugs that need to be concentrated on in the first few weeks/months of the game's life. If they can't launch 4 of the 6 capital cities, how quickly can we expect to see those FOUR remaining cities given the other demands of the game's launch? Not good for them at all. They've been in development for a while and I'm sure that they have financial realities pressuring them but this isn't going to help the game at all.

Misleading headline/summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156155)

Four classes sounds like a lot in terms of WoW, but in Warhammer that leaves an entire 20 classes to play.

Here's a much better article with an interview from the President of Mythic:

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?PAGE=1&GAME=239&FEATURE=2041&BHCP=1&bhcp=1

Quality over quantity? Maybe they want to launch with what's working well rather than include more that needs more work.

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24156157)

No! I do not like my games developed like Microsoft products. I don't mind small mistakes or a little ruff around the edges. However, I would like to see that get fixed as well. Did anyone learn the lesson from Tribes 2 or do we just like to repeat ourselves; broken games or unfinished products are no fun when spending $40-55 on a game.

I'm getting so angry for no reason at all! RAWR (3, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 6 years ago | (#24156187)

I really don't see the problem here. It's an MMO, they can and it's expected that they add this content later and much more.

I also don't see what the purpose of a release date, it's just marketing bullshit. The game could have been 'released' a long time ago, and if they honestly let people know that it wasn't ready for typical gameplay then anyone who felt hurt was expecting the wrong thing.

They could have just arbitrarily chosen any point in it's development to say, "Hey, this is good enough, let's stick it in a box."

I hate terms like 'alpha' and 'beta' and 'release' things like, especially when they're used so glamorously. Do you really ever want to call something a finished product? When something's 'out of beta' it's probably not going to get the same attention it had before. If something's still being called beta, someone's actively working on it, and it already kicks ass, then what wouldn't I have to look forward to?

It's just philosophical ideas made official, and it's useless. All that matters are version number. It's not like software becomes perfect when it's released or there's some magical point where it's instantly ready to be marketed.

Release dates are also stupid. It's more marketing bullshit about holidays and stuff. What's so bad about "We're working on it, it'll be done when we say it is and if you care you'll know when we say it."

If it wasn't for that kind of garbage, no one would have any reason to squeal over bugs in the 'final product'. The problems are there and they're expected to be there, and it's getting about time for the idea of software as a tangible object to come to an end.

Misleading Headline (4, Interesting)

ACupOfCoffee (459804) | about 6 years ago | (#24156287)

Everybody Panic!

You would think the slashdot crowd would be refreshed by a company doing a public disclosure of changes like this.

Seriously though, this is not a huge deal (unless you had your heart set on one of those classes at release). There are still 20 classes with a large amount of variety and a good mix of standard mmo and new-ish mechanics. That's a large number more than many MMO's. see: http://www.warhammeronline.com/armiesofWAR/index.php

As for the cities, yes it's a definite loss, but two strong cities will serve that facet of end-game content well to start. (Yes it's only one of many possible facets.)

Yes, I've been in beta since the beginning, and yes the game is much more polished than people are expecting. I really can't comment beyond that with the NDA, but feel free to browse the public info: http://www.warhammeronline.com/index.php

-ACupOfCoffee

Everything to do with EA (1)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24156347)

I'm 100% this move was calculated by EA. They want to put the product out on time so they can start collecting subscription fees. This is all done at the expense of a more complete product. Let them get their money early, and let their MMORPG tank..

The Glass is Half Full.... (1)

chiger_bite (801427) | about 6 years ago | (#24156459)

Everyone seems to show this announcement in a negative light. This isn't as bad as it seems.

Last I checked, the game was stable, fairly well balanced, and almost all the features they said were going to implemented were there. Bugs exist, but compared to other games, not that bad.

Let's compare that to WoW's release. Blizzard struggled (maybe still do?) with class balance for a very long time, they didn't implement a PvP system that folks wanted to use until months after release, and a lot of the content(e.g. instances) were buggy.

Now let's compare Warhammer to Funcom's Age of Conan which was released not long ago. AoC (Age of Conan) has balance issues, a partial PvP implementation, and a lot of bugs.

With Warhammer, you'll be missing some content and classes, both of which have viable alternatives implemented, but should have a fairly stable and balanced game.

Overall, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as long as everything else releases well.....

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