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A Look At the Warhammer Community

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the greenskin-buddies dept.

Role Playing (Games) 169

Gamasutra is running a story examining the development of the Warhammer Online community since its recent launch. The author explains how the gameplay and rules tend to affect social interaction. GamerDNA has a related piece looking at numbers for actual players involved with Warhammer's launch, and how it's affecting populations in other MMOs. "Getting on the computer to play WAR apparently reminded the WAR fanatics that they had a computer, because overall, their gameplay went up as a whole. They logged in more often to titles like COD4, Oblivion, and even AOC. But the MMO bug bit hard, and logins to LOTRO and EVE more than doubled after the launch of WAR."

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ok, its not wow (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25279769)

Ok, its not wow. So is it better or worse than wow? 'cause one is going to cannibalize the other.

Re:ok, its not wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25279917)

Well, I think it's better than WoW. Some think it's not as good as WoW.
I can almost guarantee you that no matter how good it is, WoW won't go down the drain. I can also almost guarantee that WAR won't go down, either.
WoW has a big enough player base to lose some members to WAR and not suffer. WAR has a solid player base already, and as more people get to try it, more people will come over.
People are too comfortable in WoW for this to be a WoW killer, and WAR is far too good of a game to flounder. I doubt WAR will have the player base that WoW has, but it will live on.

Re:ok, its not wow (4, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25279931)

It does not sound like it. WoW did not take a hit and WAR appears to be off to a nice start. More like two different games for two different kinds of people.

There's speculation in one of TFAs that WAR grew the market for MMOs by drawing people back in who were bored with everything.

Re:ok, its not wow (3, Interesting)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280161)

It does not sound like it. WoW did not take a hit and WAR appears to be off to a nice start. More like two different games for two different kinds of people.

Maybe yes, maybe no. If you think about it, it would probably take several months before you'd see any sort of decline in WoW (if that were to happen). WoW players would not be so quick to turn off their accounts - it could be they want to give WAR a few months to see if they want to permanently move over.

The safe bet is that WAR ends up being a relatively niche (albeit successful) also-ran, while WoW continues it's reign as online juggernaut, but who knows? I remember back when Everquest was king. It's not like the title can't change hand. But I just don't see WAR having the mass appeal that WoW has. No, I think it will be a different game that eventually dethrones WoW - probably one that no one is predicting.

Re:ok, its not wow (4, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280465)

One hit that WoW took was a drop in Arena players. Whether due to leaving for other games or due to increased ratings requirements on gear, the bottom dropped out in Arena's ranked system as people decided to just grind for the available battleground honor gear. Blizzard is now going to put Arena requirements on that gear, too, so you will be forced to do the Arena even if you don't like it just to fill out the ranks of the Arena, which depends on those lower-ranked players.

It should be noted that Blizzard stated earlier this year that they did lose players to Age of Conan. Those players, however, returned when they found out Age of Conan wasn't finished. Thankfully, Warhammer's endgame content is in the game.

Re:ok, its not wow (2, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283131)

That had more to do with arenas no longer having any reward for lower ranked players then it did Warhammer. There was simply no point in playing anymore, so they stopped.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

vilgefortz (1225810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283817)

Sou you are saying that people stop playing a MMORPG when there is no point anymore? That would be new, heh heh

Re:ok, its not wow (2, Informative)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280569)

You're forgetting that in a month WoW is releasing their next xpac. People *will* go back to WoW even if it's only to check out what's new. So I don't think anything said will be definitive till the WoW population stabilizes after the release of wrath of the lich king

Re:ok, its not wow (3, Interesting)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280935)

People *will* go back to WoW even if it's only to check out what's new.

Yup.

Another thing to consider is that most of us who make up the rank and file of paying customers are NOT looking for another game. Blizzard has gone a long ways to cater to folks like me who have somewhat limited entertainment time in a week AND they have the consideration to give top support for Mac so I can play games on a Unix-based computer.

I got my wife involved recently (level 29 Fury spec Warrior, the last 9 levels without my help w00t!) and she loves it, including the battlegrounds.

Warhammer looks like it has impressed a number of people, but does it really need to be a WoW killer to be a success? I don't think so. Years of an Intel/Microsoft monopoly in the consumer computer market I think have dulled people's memories to what it was like when there was true competition. By the way, it's fascinating reading how Roger Bannister first broke a 4-minute mile. He used two "rabbits" as competition to keep him on pace. Competition is a Good Thing.

MMOs are fascinating. I hope they keep improving.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281059)

The thing is that realistically it does need to be a WoW killer, or at least a serious WoW competitor.

There's only so many entertainment dollars available, even in the best of times, and WoW is currently getting a relatively large chunk of that money.

Every time a new MMO fails to take even a small chunk of that market share investors are going to be more reluctant to fund a new one(having an MMO which will survive launch is expensive cause you need a lot of server resources).

Personally I'm thinking of switching from WoW to WAR because I'm getting a little sick of WoW and I don't see WotLK fixing what's wrong with WoW.

Re:ok, its not wow (5, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281221)

There's only so many entertainment dollars available, even in the best of times, and WoW is currently getting a relatively large chunk of that money.

I haven't seen this argument since 2001, and it's just as wrong now as it was then. First, the market is not saturated by any means.

Second, looking at WoW's numbers as a benchmark is lunacy. The average subscription-based MMO has between 100,000 and 300,000 subscribers, not the flat millions that WoW does. An MMO can survive with a player base in the tens of thousands, handily.

Third, MMO subscriptions are not utilities-- there is nothing stopping anyone from subscribing to multiple games simultaneously, and many players do so. Even with the economy tanking, two $15 subscriptions is a better deal than going to the movies a few times a month, and it's discretionary expenses like movies (or going out to dinner, or what have you) that usually get cut before quietly repeating ones like cable bills or MMO subs get canceled.

WoW is a prodigy. Treating it as competition is foolish-- it's too big to notice the smaller games, and its sheer popularity has secured the whole goddamn industry a space in the pop culture landscape. It hasn't cannibalized other games, it's singlehandedly expanded the whole damn hobby by orders of magnitude, and continues to draw in people who wouldn't have touched Asheron's Call, WAR, City of Heroes or anything else.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281365)

Truer than you think. I remember a while back, someone took a look at NCSoft's numbers, and figured out that they make nearly as much money off of City of Heroes (~150,000 subs) as they do off of the sub-free Guild Wars (~5 million copies sold). EQ and Ultima Online are still operating and still at a profit despite a massive drop-off in populations (EQ for UO, and EQ2/WoW for EQ).

Money aside, though, the real issue at hand is that with Blizzard, like many other very successful entertainment ventures, the inmates are effectively running the asylum. It's not enough for WoW to be the biggest MMO ever, if the dev's aren't convinced that it's not the *best* MMO, they'll start rolling out the changes. Wintergrasp and the achievement system come to mind, especially considering that both were announced before WAR even went live.

Re:ok, its not wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25282483)

if the dev's aren't convinced that it's not the *best* MMO, they'll start rolling out the changes.

That's silly. No game, especially not a massively multiplayer game, can be all things to all people. WoW is about the bestest mass-market EQ clone you can make, and I doubt that anything but WoW2 will surpass it as that. But that's hardly the only route that MMORPGs can take. Just look back to UO circa 1997-2000. Love it or hate it, it was *very* different than any of the EQ/WoW-alikes on the market today. Or more recently Pirates of the Burning Sea, which is certainly flawed but also exciting and fresh in many ways.

Re:ok, its not wow (2, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281497)

All excellent points. I'll only comment on one.

Third, MMO subscriptions are not utilities-- there is nothing stopping anyone from subscribing to multiple games simultaneously, and many players do so. Even with the economy tanking, two $15 subscriptions is a better deal than going to the movies a few times a month, and it's discretionary expenses like movies (or going out to dinner, or what have you) that usually get cut before quietly repeating ones like cable bills or MMO subs get canceled.

With the 6 month perpetual renewable plan, it's under US$12/month per player. Probably the best entertainment deal I've ever gotten in my life, given how much we've loved the game. And even better, since we're on a server that covers the Pacific Rim, we can do in game chats for free which beats the living daylights out of international long distance telephone calls or Yahoo! messenger which crashes constantly.

Re:ok, its not wow (4, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282843)

Well I disagree with this assessment.

For one, MMO's take time as well as money, and there's only so much of that too.

Secondly, personally, I'm much more likely to cancel a second MMO than I am to skip going out to the movies because going out to the movies is a different form of entertainment.

I only have the room in my time/money budget for one MMO, and I don't think I'm alone.

True, this probably isn't the case for single folks with no lives, or whose entire social network plays the game with them, but those people aren't the bread and butter of what makes WoW what it is. Most of the difference between WoW and everyone else is that WoW works for the people who wouldn't play anything else.

Those are the people that the company that's going to finance/publish your MMO want, because they want that gigantic pot of money. Creating a new MMO that'll appeal to a couple of hundred thousand people world wide and pay for itself is fairly easy, even Sony can do it, but that's not what the publishers want.

If nothing competes with WoW the MMO industry will languish because why bother, there are plenty of ways to make money with less risk, and less up-front cost. Everyone will play WoW(or WoW 2) and nothing will ever change.

The industry needs a WoW killer, because the industry needs to feel that they have a chance at some of that money.

Based on what they charge folks in the western world, Blizzard has got to be pulling in over 150 million dollars a month in subscription fees, that's more than a billion dollars a year, most of which, realistically, is pure profit. Everyone wants a piece of that, and despite your "$15 isn't an awful lot of money to pay twice" almost no one is getting it. There's some folks out there who will subscribe to multiple MMO's, and there's another 9-10 million who won't.

Re:ok, its not wow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25285573)

Are you kidding me? This is /.

You know - the place that avenges pirates, takes no responsibility for their own actions, vilifies those who steal others' work.

You don't spend money going to the movies for the overpriced tickets, the overpriced snacks.

We all know you download those movies as decent quality cams the Sunday after a movie opens, and watch it for free.

Don't give us that shit about not having money for 2 MMOs. What, can't afford a dollar a day instead of the 50 cents? ;)

The WoW killer you are looking for won't be coming anytime soon. Far too many Blizzard fanbois worldwide who don't mind paying for expansions every couple of years to continue with the same, boring, shit, just with new encounters. No new mechanics. Hero classes? heh - the DK they may as well just called a regular "class" since everyone can make one.

And your argument about "another 9-10 million who won't"....It doesn't matter if those 9-10 million don't play other games. It does matter how many new customers people pull away from other gaming forms...Those who continue to play WoW because they enjoy it, will likely do so, and few will try something new, much less switch games.

it's all about the new players.

I, for one, basically stopped playing WoW a year and a half ago - because I have the ability to see Blizzard stringing folks along, with the typical 89769786 year development cycle that they have, and not really doing anything ground-breaking, or new...oooh...10 more levels. yay. oooh....Achievements. They are copying what other games are doing...not doing anything cool, and new, on their own. Know what that adds up to? Lots of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ for those of us with brains and a sense.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286353)

Didn't say I don't have the money, said I won't spend it on a second MMO, I have other bills, and better things to do than spend money on yet another monthly fee for a game I won't have time to play.

I also pay to rent movies(don't get out to the movies very often admittedly, but it's expensive here).

I didn't say I needed it to be a WoW killer, I said that if MMO's as a genre are going to survive as anything more than an expensive to build/run niche product that one of them is going to have to steal some market share from WoW.

Fanbois don't matter, because as we've already established, the fanbois aren't what's important. What's important is those millions of people who signed up for WoW that no one ever thought would play an MMO. That's the market that every single one of the people paying for these things is trying to capture, even if their developers aren't.

World of Warcraft is the biggest entertainment money pot in the world. Hardware costs virtually nothing, on that scale software licenses are fairly cheap(for the few things they actually need licenses for), the kind of staffing they'd realistically need to keep it going is fairly low, bandwidth isn't even really all that expensive.

Realistically it can't be costing them much more than 200 million a year to keep the thing running and patched, and even if I'm wrong and it's costing them three times that they're still taking those costs out of 1.8 billion dollars in revenue.

That's why we have more MMO's than ever, because folks are willing to take a gamble to get that kind of money.

Blizzard runs Oracle (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285615)

So if we assume they make a billion dollars a year gross, once we subtract the licensing fees for the Oracle databases, they're down to $150 to pay all of their DBAs.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280993)

No, I think it will be a different game that eventually dethrones WoW - probably one that no one is predicting.

Given how much the hardcore gamers on Slashdot hate WoW, I would also predict that it is a game that is loathed here.

<sarcasm>Do you see this Ornate Khorium Rifle in my hands? Well, do you punk? Back away from the keyboard, cancel your subscription to any other MMO online game besides World of Warcraft and join the online sensation that more people enjoy than any other game. DO IT NOW!</sarcasm>

This whole discussion with regards to Warhammer being a WoW killer is kind of silly. IMO. I am a loyal Blizzard customer and WoW player, but I have no wish for WoW to destroy every new game that comes to market.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286795)

> Given how much the hardcore gamers on Slashdot hate WoW, I would also predict that it is a game that is loathed here.

I don't know about that. The loathers can be vocal, but I don't think they constitute a majority among the people who care either way.

I enjoy(ed) WoW. I have 4 level 70s, and characters of every other class in the 61-65 range. I'm giving it a rest for a while and playing Warhammer. I'm enjoying Warhammer a lot, even the RvR aspect, which I didn't like very much in WoW.

Part of my enjoyment of Warhammer might be related to having chosen a 'Roleplay' server (Avelorn). I did that in an attempt to escape the d00dz and kiddiez and other annoyances of a normal WoW server. So far, so good. The spammers are annoying though, and despite EA/Mythic's banning efforts, I still get #$%^ing spams every few minutes.

I haven't canceled my WoW account. I have friends that still play it, and I plan to play it again once the new expansion comes out. But, for the moment at least, I'm really liking Warhammer.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

Mushukyou (739593) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286719)

Darkfall will bring down WoW quite a bit.

Re:ok, its not wow (5, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280361)

In an ironic twist of events, WAR became sentient, logged on to world of warcraft, created a forsaken rogue, killed a player named "wow", and then used cannibalism on its corpse.

The resulting paradox crashed the server.

Re:ok, its not wow (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280409)

I'll throw my opinion on the table--it's better than WoW. The game is full of "why didn't someone think of this before" ideas, which was the same impression WoW used to give. There's always something to do, which is really nice. However, if you are really into the EverQuest formula of raiding for gear, it is not for you. It's a large-scale PvP game.

More importantly, there's no Arena. This makes class balancing easier because the PvP is designed for group play, and you rarely come across people alone. There's also no downtime as you wait in a queue. Scenarios have queues, but you can enter those queues anywhere, so you just quest and do other things until a queue pops up. All of these things are giving you experience and renown, so you don't feel like you're wasting your time.

The Arena is Blizzard's attempt to turn WoW into Starcraft and get on Korean television. It's really affected the game in drastic ways. The criticisms have been listed countless times before, and there's no need for me to recite them. This thread on the official forums, which reached its post limit, sums it up well: Goblin In The Tuxedo [worldofwarcraft.com] (and here is a second thread [worldofwarcraft.com] that continued the discussion).

Keen and Graev [keenandgraev.com] have been describing their Warhammer experience as their guild hits the tier 4 content.

Re:ok, its not wow (3, Interesting)

secolactico (519805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280747)

The game is full of "why didn't someone think of this before" ideas

Indeed. The public quests and open parties, for example (at least they are new to me) make *very* easy to jump onto a group and start playing (not that you can't play solo, mind you).

Of course it also has a couple of "who the heck came up with this crap?" ideas. The cultivation profession, for example. Whoever thought of that one needs to be taken out back and flogged. In fact, the whole crafting system seems underdone. They could have left it out and brought in when complete in a future patch or expansion.
 

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281003)

Indeed. The public quests and open parties, for example (at least they are new to me) make *very* easy to jump onto a group and start playing (not that you can't play solo, mind you).

Of course it also has a couple of "who the heck came up with this crap?" ideas. The cultivation profession, for example. Whoever thought of that one needs to be taken out back and flogged. In fact, the whole crafting system seems underdone. They could have left it out and brought in when complete in a future patch or expansion.

Yes. Cultivation is somewhat tedious.

Other stuff that is annoying is the Chat system and Mail system. Whoever did these needs to go play WoW for oh say, I don't know, 15 minutes, and then come back and write a paper titled "Things I could do to improve the Chat and Mail systems that would have been bloody obvious in the first place if I wasn't an oblivious prat."

well, US television show writers (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286071)

In the US, tv writers are contractually forbidden to read pilot scripts for their shows.

I wonder if we're seeing a similar effect - where the WAR team didn't want to be unduly influenced (read: steal) from WoW, so they intentionally avoided looking at WoW.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282237)

Having no idea what that limit is, I clicked the magic blue text.

836 messages 'sum it up well'? I think I will pass on knowing what this is all about, thanks ;)

Re:ok, its not wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25282975)

You have to read only the two first posts on the thread. The other 834 messages are saying how much they agree with what is said there.

And I also agree with it. I won't stop playing Wow right now because there are some things that I like a lot, but in a not so far future I may be changing my mind and trying War.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281987)

I'm not really sure, it looks to me like WoW has expanded into markets outside the basement dwellers that MMOs served before. WAR seems to me like it's aimed at the geeks and such so it'll be loved by the people who frequent Slashdot but most of the WoW userbase simply won't care.

Re:ok, its not wow (3, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283095)

Well, before I start, "better" or "worse" are a matter of taste, so no telling if mine matches yours. You can't proclaim that a game is, in absolute terms and for everyone, better than another, any more than you could proclaim Pepsi to be better than Coke.

That said, and to start with the punchline: I'm not particularly impressed with WAR. I don't find it "bad" as such either. It even had some good ideas and a nicely different setting, but it obviously wasn't even finished before shoving it out the door, and nobody even tried to give it a good polish first.

Yes, it has some good ideas, like the public quests. But even then it doesn't take long to realize that that mechanic could have been better polished and tuned. Especially in the early stages there are zones where you just won't have the people to finish them with, especially in the ones where it being underfunded resulted in, say, not having a freaking tank in the area or having been blessed with an enemy which two-shots a tank and a lack of healers.

What nailed the PQs collective coffin for me, though, was the realization that you don't even need to actually do them. You can farm the reputation for the rewards by just killing the thrash mobs for stage one, waiting for it to reset, then doing it again. It's not exactly a heroic feeling, it's more like a new take on farming mobs. It gets old fast.

Even if you did go through the extra effort to actually finish it, well, let's just say a lot of times it goes like this:

Rolling for loot...
You have ranked 1st for contribution, got a gold medal and 500 bonus for the loot roll...
Rolling for loot...
You have ranked 10th and get no loot.

Well, gee, it makes me feel so special.

But basically it's not even about loot, it's about "why do I bother?" You could be the guy who stayed on the edge and watched the others fight, and get a prize, while the guy who tanked the boss gets no prize. And the points-based rewards could be done just the same by finding a less popular PQ and grinding the thrash mobs in stage 1. Even if I go through the extra effort, there's not much reason to feel proud about it: someone else got the same rewards with a lot less trouble.

The same applies to other aspects too. E.g., PvP. I create my first char and within 5 seconds I get a message on the screen in big letters that I got PvP renown ("honour" in WoW lingo) rank 2. At that point I didn't even know where I am and what am I doing, so I'm like, "Huh? What did I _do_? Did I step in a dwarf or something?"

What happened is that if someone captures an objective in the PvP sub-zone of a bigger map, everyone on the map gets the PvP points just the same.

Again, then why would I bother with PvP? The best way to get PvP renown is to simply park your character behind an inn or something in the PvE zone and go AFK. In fact, leave it there while you see a movie or over night. Eventually someone will go capture the flag or something, and you'll get the points just as well.

It's just hard to take a reward seriously when it can be obtained by just randomly being logged in at the right time, even when AFK.

I'll take a wild guess and say that the root of the problem is a schizophrenic design, which can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a PvP game or PvE too. If you're serious about equally suitable for PvE-only players, then let me freaking buy _some_ stuff without PvP points. (I've found no vendors where you can even get a basic sword without the equivalent of "honour". And, oh, they even have the equivalent of talents bought with PvP renown.) If it's only for PvP-ers, then say that already and let the rest of us know we don't have to bother. But the "solution" of giving PvP points to everyone, whether they PvP or not, is neither here not there. It cheapens the whole thing for both.

For PvP, it becomes a meaningless reward that everyone else gets just as well. Why would you bother? What are your bragging rights, if everyone else runs around in the same PvP gear and has the same PvP rank without even ever entering a PvP zone?

And for PvE, I don't want my equipment and talents to be based on randomly getting some PvP points for nothing, I want actually a game that's viable by PvE. If my best rewards as a PvE "carebear" are based on just randomly being in the right zone when some other people PvP, then the rewards of the PvE game are diminished and cheapened. I want my achievements to be based on stuff _I_ did, and quests _I_ solved. Again, why would I bother with the PvE game then? What are my bragging rights?

Class mechanics sometimes seem... not entirely thought out. E.g., both the Swordmaster's "balance" and Black Orc "plan" sound good in marketing hype, but seem to be so far just an arbitrary way to only have a third of your abilities available at any given time. If you need a hit that requires "perfect balance" or "da best plan" and you're at "normal balance" or respectively "no plan", you have to first use another special attack which moves you to "improved balance" or "da gud plan", then another one which moves you to the one you need, and only _then_ can you use the ability you wanted in the first place. But that will return you to "normal balance" or "no plan" again.

In WoW terms, imagine that you're a Warrior and want to use, say, Cleave. Because, you know, you need it _now_. Except you happen to be in State 1. So you first use Heroic Strike, which moves you to state 2. Now you can use the State 2 abilities. So you now have a choice of, say, Rend or Hamstring, which move you to State 3. Now the State 2 abilities became unavailable, but the State 3 ones just activated. And you finally do your Cleave, which returns you back to State 1. Yay. Repeat verbatim once more if you need a second Cleave.

Basically, unlike what the class description or hype told you, it's not something that improves through combat as such. It's really just three arbitrary states, and you have to constantly cycle through all 3.

Unfortunately, you still have a mana bar anyway, so the new mechanic isn't even instead of that, but an arbitrary extra aggravation. The same applies to, say, the Dwarves' Ironbreakers. They get a 0 to 100 grudges like WoW warriors get rage, and use it in the same way, but they _also_ have a mana/focus bar anyway. I guess someone didn't understand the role of that mechanic on WoW.

Crafting seems a bit... unfinished too, and I just have to wonder about whoever thought, say, Cultivating was fun.

Add to that the bugs I've encountered right away, though I'm told that some of them didn't exist on the US servers (I'm in Europe) and some _did_ get fixed in the meantime. E.g., they finally patched the bug which showed I had 0 characters on all servers. I'm told that one didn't exist in the US, for example.

So it's hard to make a judgment there. It could be that wherever _you_ happen to be, has other bugs than where _I_ am.

Also, only now they fixed the mobs so they actually so off when they give the "runs away in fear" message. They used to just hang around.

A thing that further left a bad taste in my mouth was the switch of the Clar Karond server from "Core" (PvE) to "Open RvR" (PvP), after I had already created characters there. It also illustrates a bit of schizophrenia: a couple of days after the event, they had an announcement urging people to join some servers because they're under-populated, and among them was... "Clar Karond (Core)". It's listed as "Core" right in their bloody announcement. You could argue that maybe I saw "Core" wrong the first time, but it's hard to argue with an announcement right in the game launcher which lists it that way. Yet once you actually entered the game, it was listed as "Open RvR" all right.

At any rate, that they can just change a server type like that, and obviously nobody saw a problem with doing that to the people who already had characters there... well, it doesn't exactly raise my confidence.

But to wrap this long rant up, the painful thing is that it's not even a "bad" game, as such. It's a game which had some good ideas, plus a setting that I find a refreshing change from the usual fantasy MMO norm. But it was obviously underfunded and shoved out too early, and they had to cut out entirely too much. (E.g., I suspect that they actually meant to have an equally rewarding PvE game, and the shortcut of giving PvP points to everyone instead is because they couldn't actually finish that.) To loosely quote Zeropunctuation from memory, it came within seeing distance of Port Good Game, but managed to land at the Cock-Up Peninsula instead.

I guess I'm trying to say that I'm blaming EA, personally.

Re:ok, its not wow (2, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283961)

Yeah, A for effort on the rant ;) F for facts, though :(

I'll just correct one of your misapprehensions for you: Yes, you get Renown points for free when your faction takes control of an RvR area. However, unless your RR (Renown Rank) is really low (say, below 2) it won't get you very far. Your plan of parking your character behind the inn won't work for several reasons, one being that it'd take forever to level your RR that way, the other that you'd be logged out after 15 minutes of idling. "The best way to get PvP renown" is to do RvR scenarios and open RvR, there's simply no other way to do it.

There's problems with the game ("Ability not yet ready" anyone?), but getting a very small amount of Renown points free isn't one of them.

So, basically... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25284863)

So basically all you're saying as correction is that I'd have to hit a key every 10 minutes or so while I watch a movie?

Re:So, basically... (4, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285069)

Sure, if your reading comprehension skills are really bad, that might be your conclusion. If not, you might have picked up on the words "won't get you very far", "take forever to level your RR" and "very small amount".

No, my correction is that you won't be able to level your RR that way. I thought that was pretty clear from my post.

Renown rank goes to 80 (twice the character's maximum rank), and the amount needed to raise one rank increases with each rank. So basically after RR2 or so, you need to do RvR scenarios and open RvR to increase your RR.

Which means your plan won't work, which in turn means your criticism doesn't either.

Do yourself a favour and pick one of the many real problems with the game if you still feel a need to criticize it. Scenario exploits, pet problems, ability problems, crafting; there's any number of real problems to discuss without needing to resort to made-up ones.

Re:So, basically... (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285717)

Do yourself a favour and pick one of the many real problems with the game if you still feel a need to criticize it. Scenario exploits, pet problems, ability problems, crafting; there's any number of real problems to discuss without needing to resort to made-up ones.

And it's still more fun than WoW.

And the best part is that even though it is a whole lot more fun, I play less.

Re:So, basically... (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286139)

Yeah, don't get me started on the problems with WoW, what with the gear focus and the interminable grinding and the class balance issues and... Don't get me started, I said! ;)

Actually, I cancelled my WoW subscription five minutes after my first keep battle in WAR, it's that much fun :)

Re:ok, its not wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25286275)

Your stance on the PQs is incorrect. You can influence farm if you really want to but it rewards you better if you put the effort into completing all of the stages. The benefit of the PQ's is that it usually takes very little time to complete and each stage earns you more and more xp and influence. I have never had someone make a kill or two then run off actually win or beat out people for gear unless there were less people then loot bags. It sounds more like you watched ZP, decided to emulate him and ended up at Fail Train station. You come off as if you have played very little of the game. Also, complaining about unfairness towards PvE in an extremely PvP/RvR focused MMO is a little stupid, no?

And mentioning WoW, I guess you haven't heard of rage starvation or had to deal with combo points.

Oh dear, you are back (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283335)

Aren't you the same who said that WoW was going to canabalize Everquest? That didn't happen did it, not only does Everquest still have enough subscribers to make a profit, WoW has gained more people then every played MMO's before.

So basically, you are predicting the same thing people claimed would happen when WoW launched. Prepare to be wrong again.

The two games are totally different in nature and will NOT canabalize each other. It would be like saying Unreal competes with Doom/Quake. There is room for both.

Re:Oh dear, you are back (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283505)

EQ was completely obliterated by the fracturing of its playerbase when sony released EQ2 compounded with the launch of WoW. Sure, EQ might still be running, and profitable, but it lost about 80% of its playerbase when WoW launched. That is significant.

Re:ok, its not wow (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286893)

Read the third article linked.

No, War is not WoW; they have very different approaches. War is PvP centric, while WoW is PvE/co-op centric. They are attracting very different crowds. I like how the article points out that War is KEAS while WoW is EASK.

Looking at the charts in that third article, War is not affecting WoW and vice versa (at this early stage). I think the people tired of WoW already left, but I'll wager they come back for the expansion and we'll see WoW top 12 million in 6 months.

There's plenty of room for numerous MMO's catering to millions of players. It's not the same pool of one million that UO, EQ, DAoC and SWG fought over. Actually, it may be that same one million who are never satisfied and hop from game to game, but about 9 million players are WoW players, not MMO players.

Release Coordination (1)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25279841)

I wonder how much research has been done by the gaming media into synchronized product releases and how they may stimulate the gaming market.

Big game companies may line up their releases to 'cross-pollinate' the different titles' sales. Perhaps when a player is playing one game, they wish for the features of another, and find themselves playing both in the same period, or such.

Re:Release Coordination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25279971)

uh, holiday release cycle? Companies holding off releasing games because of competition?

Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right? (0, Flamebait)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25279889)

I remember walking past the Games Workshop once and a (very geeky) friend of mine said "You know what, no matter how ashamedly geeky I am at times, at least I've never been in there". He has a point, a bit like D&D, warhammer is one of those things ubergeeks love to do. World of Warcraft and MMOs in general are another. Who's bright idea was it to combine the two? Can you imagine how greasy the hair of the game's top players is going to be? Can you imagine the amount of Acne that will consume their faces if they sign up to this? Think of the Children!

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25279937)

It will resemble Slashdot's userbase, then?

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280047)

FWIW, WoW was in exactly the same boat a few years ago. MMOs were something only ubergeeks did. D&D was something only ubergeeks did[1]. Who would ever think to combine the two? Was Blizzard trying to create the Sum of All Geeks?

Besides, with Blizzard running ads with Mr T and other pop culture icons, MMOs are definitely hitting the mainstream.

[1]I may have tucked an onion into my belt, as was the fashion of the time, but in my day lots of people played D&D... even football players and members of the Homecoming Court and the FFA and the gearheads. The only population in my HS that didn't have quite a few D&D players was the girls. Which is why eventually D&D got relegated to geekdom, IMO.

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286943)

[1]I may have tucked an onion into my belt, as was the fashion of the time, but in my day lots of people played D&D... even football players and members of the Homecoming Court and the FFA and the gearheads. The only population in my HS that didn't have quite a few D&D players was the girls. Which is why eventually D&D got relegated to geekdom, IMO.

You were fortunate. Due to moving half way across the country, I attended two different high schools in the years 1981-1984, and both fit the stereotype perfectly :-(.

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25280315)

You know what, no matter how ashamedly geeky I am at times, at least I've never registered a Slashdot user account.

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25280411)

Flamebait, yes.

But really, I went to an invite only Warhammer tournament in July with 85 or so participants. Most of the people there were 25-45 years of age, and pretty much all held down normal jobs (including many computer jobs). More highly educated than the general populace as well.

I see Warhammer online as having a detrimental affect on the Warhammer scene, actually, as it will bring out all the power gamers. Instead of the people who are into the whole hobby: gaming and modeling/painting.

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281391)

Warhammer geeks: More disposable income than D&D geeks since 1983.

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25284089)

Which given Warhammer is a massively more expensive pursuit, is hardly all that suprising :)

Re:Hey. you! You're looking for that answer, right (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283421)

World of Warcraft and MMOs in general are another.

Hardly...since these days the wives, mothers and managers of ubergeeks, or for that matter anyone, can be found in WoW. 1995 called and it wants its stereotypes back ;-)

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25279895)

I have a ritual called 'terminator'. I crouch in the shower in the "naked terminator" pose. With eyes closed I crouch for a minute and visualize either Arnie or the guy from the 2nd movie. I then start to hum the T2 theme. Slowly I rise to a standing position and open my eyes. It helps me get through my day. The only problem is if the shower curtain sticks to my terminator leg. It sorta ruins the fantasy.

Re:fp (1)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280025)

you need to burn a nice spherical hole in your shower =D

How they look... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25280021)

They live in their parents' basements and actually aren't much to look at. Did you really need a whole article to tell you that? ;) :P

Re:How they look... (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280145)

I see....Cheetos! And closed blinds.

Re:How they look... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25280807)

...and not a single one of them has ever seen a vagina. Tentacle porn, err, I mean Anime doesn't count. Here's a tip for all you Urkels out there: shower and apply deodorant DAILY, shave, and get a haircut. You might think you're displaying your individuality by growing a 12-inch long full beard and never cutting your George-Costanza-with-a-ponytail rat's nest, but really all you're doing is reducing your already ridiculously low odds of mating to near zero.

Community? (4, Insightful)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280045)

In what, 2 or 3 weeks? Isn't that a bit premature?

Re:Community? (1)

workbench (875813) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280139)

It absolutely is. The third comment below TFA is actually more insightful than the article itself, I quoth (emphasis mine):

Jack Crow
6 Oct 2008 at 6:46 pm PST

"Still, a lot of people are playing it, both out of curiosity and because it has quite a few converts. Why are so many excited? Because it's new? That can't completely account for it; there are plenty of new games, and if they're bad, the novelty wears off quickly."

Most players are on their 3rd or more MMO. Do people just ignore failures as if they were never part of gaming history? Shadowbane persists YEARS later and didn't see a player exodus until the the bonus characters were unlocked, 6 months later. You can't sit atop a tower 20 days later and declare a game has a special draw because it's no longer "new". It's following the standard MMO pattern, in that, the release sees a subscriber datapoint larger than the beta-testing pool. Way to break the mold. The draw is that it is the newest and still has not shown whether or not it will be supported in a way that retains customers. EVERY person I know (3+me) has decided NOT to renew, or not bothered to purchase it at all after witnessing the gameplay, how's that for anecdotal data? It's not worth arguing many of the ideas presented in this article, as they are essentially excerpts from that say "it's unknown so it's good", which is the newest failure of online reviewing.

Zing, end of debate. Next article please!

Re:Community? (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280381)

Getting information in the first few weeks regarding the subscriber base sounds rather intelligent to me, though I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on it.

Perhaps someone made mistakes while summarizing the article.

Actually, I'd worry (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283463)

Getting information in the first few weeks regarding the subscriber base sounds rather intelligent to me, though I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on it.

As a general principle, maybe, but in this case I'd worry anyway.

I've seen people before try games they liked lots. It generally ends up a bit of a one game affair. You may not have time to stay in one game 24 hours a day, or even the personality for that, but if it's a great game, you'll do _that_ new game when you play at all. If you can't afford more than 2 hours gaming a day, you spend them in that new game that got your interest.

Whereas here what at least the summary tells me is that... since WAR was launched, people started playing _other_ games more. I'd be worried a lot if I was the publisher of such a game.

The image it paints isn't "well, out hype had also benefited other games." It paints the more likely image that a few people were planning to quit WoW or whatever else, when WAR comes out, and they ended up not actually liking WAR. So now they're too bored to go back to the daily grind on WoW (you'll eventually get bored too, it's just human nature), they can't be arsed to play WAR, and are giving SP games like Oblivion or MMO games like LOTRO another try instead.

If you publish a game and the reaction it inspires in people is, basically, "ya know, maybe it would be more fun to play Oblivion the 6th time instead", you have to ask yourself what went wrong.

Basically there are two ways that the popularity and population can go in those first few weeks. If it goes steadily up, yeah, it's probably premature to say whether it'll stay that way. But if you're losing most players, that won't fix itself. You have to do something. Waiting longer to see the trend will rarely paint any other image than continuing to lose more players. And losing them to a 2 year old single-player game, is reason to worry IMHO.

Re:Actually, I'd worry (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285939)

The big difference with Warhammer is that it is easy to log off. As much as I enjoy playing it, I don't have to commit to it for hours on end. I can play for 15 minutes or 5 hours. I appears to have the same effect on our guild as well. We have more active members than normal, but generally fewer on at any one time. It definitely leaves room for other diversions.

One thing I definitely don't do is waste 15 minutes running to town just so I can queue for the battlegrounds. I log on and I'm questing and hitting battlegrounds immediately. Oh, and battlegrounds are playable at any level, not just the high end of the level range *if* you have spent a ton on equipment.

Re:Community? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280671)

These are nerds we are talking about. I think the word PREMATURE likely is quite fitting.

WAAAAUUUGH!

It's the poor interface (3, Interesting)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282079)

Even on various messageboards, there have been threads popping up regularly stating the fact that this may be the most antisocial MMO ever. People have been complaining left and right about the fact that nobody speaks. I think it's actaully due to a simple factor:

The chat interface is archaic, and terrible.

One of the major problems is that a zone is series of subzones, and each subzone has it's own channel. These subzones are TINY. You can walk 20 feet and you'll be in a new chat channel. Every single time. A lot of people have been crying for a zone-wide chat channel on the threads.

The lack of global channels was such a problem, that on my server (Volkmar) people have designated a common custom channel ("Order Warfront") and have been touting it to facilitate better rvr by alerting everybody in the channel where the fights are taking place. While this is a popular solution, one MAJOR problem is that the game client does NOT save the channel settings when you log off. Yeap. Everytime you log on you gotta remember to "/joinchannel Order Warfront." Some people have even set this as a macro. There are even addons that have a workaround for this, but for everybody else that's not about to install mods for the game, they either forget, or just are not aware. Very not friendly.

Another thing is that the chat input text field does not remember your last input settings for which channel - a recent patch they've updated the client to remember who you've last sent a /tell to, but it doesn't remember any of the channel messages. This is really annoying too, and is not conducive to a steady conversation.

Considering that they have created a series of new social mechanics which work to great effect, particularly the Public Quests and the Open Party, if there was an easier mechanic to ease the player into it further, that would really give a nice boost to the community.

One of my gripes with the UI is that the open party notification system time is extremely short - when you enter a new zone, you have a 3 second window to look at the list of open parties, how many people are in the party, and to remember the name of the party leader in order to /join the party (if people are even aware of that command). A better interface would be a simple button interface that pops up somewhere, maybe even have one of the existing chat tabs to start blinking to notify the user that open parties are availabe. This would be very handy and help promote participation - although regarding open parties there really hasn't been an issue, it could be tweaked a bit more.

Re:It's the poor interface (2, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282453)

One of my gripes with the UI is that the open party notification system time is extremely short

Or, you could just click the button and peruse the list at your leisure? Not as fun as griping, I know, but then you'd even get a big ol' "join" button for every party, and you could sort them by what they're doing, PQ, RVR or PVE.

But what do I know.

Re:It's the poor interface (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286813)

You can click on the names when they pop up, and a button appears? As a 31 year old casual player, how would I have known that? It's not like there is even a visual notification when I mouseover the list, if I manage to mouseover it on time.

This is what I'm talking about. While the client has some great features, if it was presented differently, it could be put to better use. As of right now when I zone into a lake I glance at the top right corner when the list pops up and hope I remember to spell the party leader's name correctly. For all the features WAR has, the default UI involving social interaction needs a better front-end interface and design. It was built by an engineer, not a designer (not to diminish the merits of either engineer or designer - both have their place).

Re:It's the poor interface (2, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25287081)

Err, no.

There's a button in the lower left corner of your character portrait. It has an icon that's supposed to represent two (or is it three?) people, coloured lightbrown on black. It's right above where the "Open parties in your area" frame appears. I think it even has a mouse-over helptext.

That's the "Open parties" button. Click that to get the list. It's all in the game manual if you're afraid to click around in the UI. The game manual came with your box and is also available as a PDF in the game installation folder.

I'm trying hard not to flame you here, but it's really hard to give any weight to your critcism when you obviously haven't even tried to find out how it's supposed to work.

Re:It's the poor interface (1)

Synjyn (1379989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282705)

Zone channels are missing indeed. But the open party notificaton can be opened by clicking on the little icon below your avatar (where the notification shows), you don't have to catch it during the 3 sec popup time ;)

Re:It's the poor interface (2, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25284607)

The stance they've taken is likely due to "Barrens" or "Trade" chat that has occurred to WoW. It's flooded with people that prattling on with useless chat and chuck norris jokes. And when you have a "General" option and a "Trade" channel option, with one being more wide audience than the others, it becomes abundantly clear that you're not going to restrict your chat to either and just talk in one all the time.

Re:It's the poor interface (1)

paitre (32242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285179)

It's an MMO.
Shit like that is going to happen, and it seems that WAR has gone to the extreme in the other direction.

Throwing the bath out with the bathwater...

Re:It's the poor interface (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285353)

Throwing the bath out with the bathwater...

Baby. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

On topic, I don't miss Barrens chat one bit.

No way! (0, Flamebait)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280055)

A Look At the Warhammer Community Ooh, do we get to meet both of them?

Prediction (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280241)

I predict the community will spike then level off to a small but stable size, as every other post-WoW MMO has done.
Most recently observed in Age of Conan [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Prediction (1)

daninspokane (1198749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280551)

To be quite honest, I am hoping for this. Small and stable usually means the under 18 and complete moron population stays at manageable levels. WoW may have 10 million subscribers, but my experience (5 years in the game, multiple 70's) has shown there are more trolls and cry babies than I care for. I've picked up WAR and it is a decent game with alot of perks WoW doesn't have. There are it's downsides, but I imagine they will be fixed with time. The RvR harkens back to the good ol'e days of DAoC and running gank squads through DF... good times. Anyone who loved DAoC will love WAR.

Re:Prediction (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280735)

A nice theory on paper, but give a few of the smaller pvp-oriented MMO's a go. Most of them have an established asshole culture that attracts only other assholes. A couple of small examples would be Tibia [tibia.com] or TDZK [tdzk.com] .

Of course as Warhammer is already an established community so this could offset it. But I'm going to go on a limb and assume that it'll be left with the usual diverse mix of players.

Re:Prediction (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281123)

Dark Age of Camelot was pretty friendly. There was bitching about realm balance, but almost everyone was gracious after a good fight.

Re:Prediction (2, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280629)

Do you have any idea how silly it is to use Age of Conan as a comparison? I mean seriously, are you informed -at all-?

Age of Conan is a bigger flop than Star Wars Galaxies. It was a buggy, incomplete pile of rubbish. And still is.

WAR however is a quality game.

Re:Prediction (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280801)

In your opinion, perhaps. According to metacritic, roughly 80% of folks who have played it, enjoyed it [metacritic.com] . People were falling over themselves to play it when it was first released and it was touted as the WoW killer. Fast forward four months and the player base knows better, my point being that they didn't back when it was three weeks old.

Warhammer's reception [metacritic.com] is a bit warmer but it's too early to say what direction it's heading in. My prediction stands and is yet to be tested.

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." -- Niels Bohr

Re:Prediction (2, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280977)

I've played all three.

AoC felt empty. I wasn't able to interact with players much at all during the early levels, and that resulted in the feeling that this was effectively Oblivion Online, the online being that there was some chat room element included. The game just felt cold. I enjoyed it, and likely would have continued to enjoy it, if it didn't feel like a 1 player mmorpg.

WoW: I still play this, and I'm loading a copy on this laptop as I type. It's a good game, but it needs a kick in the pants to keep its innovation going, and to end the feeling of treading water that it has had since BC.

War: I like it. I would like to continue to play it, and it may be the PvP half that may force WoW to refocus on PvE. I'd have no problem playing a PvP and a PvE game. WoW seems to have focused too much on Arenas and PvP as a method to showcase your gear.

I like a lot of what goes into Warhammer, and I'm willing to overlook its faults for now.

Perhaps the best praise I can give it is this:

I'm considering not purchasing WoTLK for several days so I can see the reaction from the WoW players and decide if I want to continue on with Warhammer. So far, at best (for WoW), I plan to play both.

Re:Prediction (2, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281065)

The comparison again falls flat, because AoC is two separate games: Age of Conan: Escape from Tortage and Age of Conan: The Rest of the Game (yes, I am exaggerating here, but the point stands).

The first part, Escape from Tortage, was rather fun and had a lot to do quest-wise. The rest of the game did not deliver on its promises, particularly in sieging and, well, just about everything that would have mattered.

WAR now has more to do than AoC's endgame NOW. Perhaps this is by design, but that's what matters, right?

"In my opinion"? DO you have any ideas of how many people fled that game, and why? My guild (which was probably one of the largest guild if not the largest guild in the entire game at one point, and probably the largest guild on the Deathwhisper server) quickly vanished because of the same issues. Everyone who left that game--which is the vast majority of the people who played--left ANGRY. Very angry. Servers became ghost towns because of how bad the game is. WAR, on the other hand, has so much to offer and comparing the two side-by-side, well, it's pretty obvious which one is better.

You haven't played both, I gather, so you are in no standing to make any predictions whatsoever. Perhaps WAR will level off. Perhaps it will continue to grow. But to use Age of Conan as evidence of some sort of trend is ridiculous. Age of Conan shrunk because the people couldn't take the shit anymore.

By WAR's pvp design it's rather obvious that it's going to keep people around a lot longer than AoC did, and not only that, but Mythic has shown themselves to be far, far more competent than Funcom, to boot.

(by the way, nobody really gives a shit about what metacritic says. Quit talking out of your ass.)

Re:Prediction (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282197)

The rest of the game did not deliver on its promises, particularly in sieging and, well, just about everything that would have mattered.

I think that's exactly right. AoC is not a crappy game as a concept, it just wasn't a finished game. It was plagued by rather intrusive bugs up till a few weeks ago, which delayed some of the additional content that was to follow the game's release. Which is sad... of all the MMORPGs out there, I still think AoC by design has the most potential of turning into my game of choice. Whether it can still be that game in practice, remains to be seen. As for WAR, some people are already getting a bit bored of it, or so I hear. Good PvP alone is not enough for them.

Re:Prediction (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285579)

Yeah, don't get me wrong, AoC had a great engine, great graphics (although I hear what sieging can be done is very laggy with the full amount of people) and had a lot of potential which is why people stayed around for a few months; they'd thought it'd be fixed. Instead, few things that mattered were fixed; Funcom would make irrelevant, stupid changes that nobody cared about and would introduce more bugs into the game in the process.

WAR is a PVP game. If you go in expecting otherwise you'll be disappointed; PVE is WoW's niche (although I hear they'd slacked on that in TBC; I do know that Naxxramas and AQ40 were some of the most fun I had in a video game ever, though).

Quest-wise though, WAR does have a lot, although I think they're rather bland.

Then why was the goat fired? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283401)

If the game is such a success then why was its designer fired? Oh, he left to pursue other options. Yeah right. He was canned.

AoC is Anarchy Online Continued. The first was a mess and so is the second.

However thanks the global reach of the internet, almost anything can find an audience and hang on for dear life. Dark&Light is still around even though Ati cards still can not run the game. Even Meridian 59, the granddaddy of them all is still being hosted.

AoC is so far one of the biggest failures in MMO history.

SWG was buggy as hell but launched in a different era when MMO's were still new and we were willing to be a lot more forgiving.

Dark&Light was perhaps the fastest 'paid to free' conversion in history, but AoC was the biggest title by an experienced company that should have known better to so completely fail to life up to anything.

The only people who like AoC are those who think that the "twitch" tacked onto the skill based game makes it into a bigger challenge then the EQ clones. That is it sellings point, twitch. That worked REALLY well for SWG NGE, Planetside and Tabula Rasa.

My prediction for AoC is that it will be another SWG or AC. Forever lingering on as an undead but never recovering. Its fans claiming that everyone else is missing out on a wonderful game and a lot of bitter old players left feeling ripped off and just a little bit more reluctant to give a new game a fair chance.

Re:Prediction (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280827)

Age of Conan is a bigger flop than Star Wars Galaxies. It was a buggy, incomplete pile of rubbish. And still is.

WAR however is a quality game.

Interesting that you'd use "imcomplete" as a contrast between AoC and WAR, given that WAR had to drop four (of six) capital cities and four (including two of six heavy tanks) classes from the game at the last minute.

Mind you, I've not played either. AoC looked to be interesting till the reports from the beta testers reached the public, then it looked to suck big time. WAR seems to be well adapted to the current market, but I like to solo in PvP from time to time, so my interest in it is limited, at best.

Re:Prediction (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281001)

I've played WAR, WoW (for a long time!), and AoC, so I think I'm somewhat qualified to make judgments here. Your comparison is wrong. Way, way wrong.

For one, AoC was a bait-and-switch scheme. Two, WAR with the classes and cities still pending is far, far more complete than AoC is even now. AoC was more complete in its BETA than AoC was as a 'finished' product.

AoC is a joke amongst all the people that used to play. People quit playing because Funcom never delivered on the many broken promises they made. Their GMs were retarded idiots. So on and so forth.

You need to have played both to get a sense of how wrong the comparison is. WAR is leagues beyond AoC, AND Mythic has shown themselves to be quite competent and excellent at communicating their plans. They are doing everything right.

AOC much better than before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281231)

Well, AOC's community chief got sacked and replaced. Since then it went uphill again. Of course many had quit their subscription by then, but actually it somehow adds to the atmosphere in many places.
 
  The cities are emptier than they should be, but some places outdoors just simply look gorgeous, realistic and you really get the feeling that YOU are th hero doing the quests. That, for me, definitely beats fighting your wait through the wilderness and a bandit's camp just to be suddenly standing in a crowd of other more or less hostile "heros" waiting for the boss to spawn.

That's when the immersion breaks for me, how can I play a questing epic hero when there is so many others around doing exactly the same stuff *in front of my eyes*..
 
After playing AOC, when I looks at other MMOs they simply look hideous and it takes some "acclimatizing" to fell a bit of immerion seep in from those moving polygons ;)

Re:Prediction (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281461)

As far as the capitals, it's just extraneous crap, seeing as how everyone seems to run for Empire/Chaos territories anyways as soon as they can find a flight master.

I played WAR for a little while after launch (and I'll probably play more, but it's *very* tough on my laptop, occasionally to the point of being damn near unplayable). The PVE stuff is really there to show you this isn't a PVE game, the crafting stuff has me scratching my head in confusion, and getting around some of the places can be a total nightmare compared to WoW. There's some bugs too (fell off the world a time or two in Altdorf). I think the positives outweigh the negatives though. It's actually the first MMO I've played where I *like* to PvP (oops RvR).

poorly researched Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25280495)

I find it amusing that the article associates the rise in those other games as being a byproduct of the Warhammer community. Perhaps if they had bothered to do their research they may have just discovered many of those games had significant updates or changes in the last month or so. Can't speak for all of them but I know the 2 I play did and it massively boosted the people logging on, nothing to do with warhammer.

Re:poorly researched Article (1)

daninspokane (1198749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280703)

Do you think the "significant" updates might have something to do with wanting to maintain their player base and combat people from leaving their game for WAR? They have to keep their content fresh to keep up with newly released MMO's. Just a thought.

40000 (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25280783)

Needs more bolters and powerarmor.

Re:40000 (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283563)

No, needs more Shokk Attack Gun.

Snotling teleport explosion ftw!

Lotro numbers going up because of free weekend... (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281939)

LOTRO just had a free weekend (If you ever had an account you can play for free even if you're not subscribed atm, plus there was a +25% xp gain for the weekend).

It's also possible that LOTRO numbers went up because people realised warhammer online is a buggy POS, like I did.

RE: "Intellectual" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25282729)

Just wanted to point out that any fag*** that claims the following needs to play eve online and gtfo the internet: "Some followers of WAR have said that it's a more âoeintellectualâ game compared to other MMOs; it surely feels that way." also yay fanwars

atleast launch quality was good... (1)

Synjyn (1379989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25282739)

Compared to recent launches of mmo's WAR was very impressive. Of course there were issues and still are for some people, but if anyone was party to anticipated games like Dark & Light, AoC etc Mythic did show how a game could be released in a relatively stable state. Not a beta as so many others have been recently. It isn't DAoC 2 though - shame, 3 realms would have been better ;)

Analysis in 2 weeks time would have been better. (1)

awjr (1248008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283071)

As a WoW and War player this here are a number of facts you need to know:
1) WoW is about to have patch 3.02 go live (estimated to hit on the 15th).

2) On the 13th of November you get a whole new expansion to play with. Unless you were in the end game raiding Black Temple+, most of your gear will be replaced by the time you hit level 75.

3) WoW is a game about getting better equipment so with a month to go before you can get better equipment, why bother.

4) Summer happened and huge numbers of raiding guilds fell apart as apathy set in and waiting for the new expansion.

5) Blizzard didn't help themselves by allowing sites to 'mine' their Beta data and allow people to show you what you can get in a months time.

6) Warhammer hit at the right time and has given people 'something to do' while waiting, maybe even swap the game that they were going to play 247.

7) Warhammer free month ends on or around the 18th of this month.

Now on to my opinion. I held off from playing War for a bit. WoW is boring atm and it's difficult to get a raid going when people know that the gear is being replaced soon. So I started playing War two weeks after the initial release. I even joined the server that my WoW guild in WoW used.

The problem is, that I've come late to the party and War is all about your interaction with other players. (You can level without once doing a quest). Areas are empty. Public quests are unachievable (well the later phases) and up until recently, you could only join your racial RvR event.

Then there's the queues. If you login at 8pm, you can't get to your server for at least an hour. However the irony is that because the game needs a fully populated server to 'function' you don't want to be able to get on a server immediately at 8pm. This server will have a low population at other times and the Player vs Player elements will degrade badly.

Ironically I queue for War, then go play WoW for an hour.

So my current feeling is that I'm dropping Warhammer the moment WoW patch 3.02 comes out and I think there are a lot of people who are in the same boat.

What I do hope is that Blizzard look at Warhammer and take some of the ideas on board:

1) Public Quests
2) Queue for a BG from anywhere (which a Blizzard employee has already hinted at).
3) Siege weaponry that can kill players.
4) The ability not to be able to walk through mobs. (This would enable position strategies where tanks could create shield walls etc).

There are probably a lot more ideas.

Re:Analysis in 2 weeks time would have been better (1)

Synjyn (1379989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283429)

Some good points and I have also seen the same drop off in WoW. The thing that WoW really lacks is decent open world pvp, which is something alot of people are hoping WAR will bring in the end game. Who wants instanced PVP anyway, its okay for levelling up and having some fun but not for end game (i.e. BG's, Arena).

That is one weakness with PvP (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283493)

You need other players to PvP, worse, you need other players to kill. Nobody wants to loose everytime.

If you play 'simpler' PvP games like FPS, you know that some people will only join the side with the biggest numbers/scores because they want to be on the winning side.

Guild Wars suffers from this to an extent, a LOT of people only fight in their own guilds so if you are not in a guild it is at times hard to find other people to fight with. But Guild Wars is small scale. Getting half a dozen people together is an entirely different challenge from getting two-three dozen people together.

In my current MMORPG poison, Lord of the Rings Online, that is the problem. PvP or rather PvMP is a bit of an afterthought in this game, to be fair its developer made it clear from the start PvE was its focus, and this shows. Their is little reward for fighting on either side except the fun of it and if both sides don't have the right numbers, then there is no fun to be had.

Sure, some people will happily wipe an enemy who is heavily outnumbered but that just reduces the numbers on the side that is loosing even further.

PvP is incredibly hard to get right and the more people you involve in a battle the harder it will get.

It is the main reason I didn't try war yet. I like PvP but only if it is at least reasonably fair and I fear that WAR when the initial novelty wears off might not be able to get the numbers balanced. Star Wars Galaxies PvP action was a joke because of the total imbalance between Rebels and Empire. I know that both sides in WoW complain the other side has more numbers, wonder what will happen in WAR.

As you said, WoW is gaining an expansion soon, so is Lotro. Will WAR survive this? Will people be able to resist to leave their developed characters? Remember, in WoW and Lotro you can play even if no-one else is online. Not so in WAR (yes there is PvE but that is not why you bought it is it?) so if there is a bad day and no good battles seem to be happening you just switch to your PvE game and that means anyone logging into WAR afterwards finds you not there, so they go PvE as well and voila an entire evening of nobody playing WAR.

This is what I see happening in Lotro right now. Because of the way the game works, creep side (the bad guys) can't see the PvE side of the game. So, if there is no action creep side, you switch to freep, perhaps get into a PvE raid and you are out of PvMP for the evening. This is what happened last weekend on my server, I had logged of because there wasn't anyone on for some food, others did the same and eventually we ended up with no creeps online at all for several hours. Turning what should have been a busy night into a PvE session.

PvP is fun when it works, but as a company you are betting on your players being online and the sides being balanced. Hard to pull off.

Re:That is one weakness with PvP (1)

Synjyn (1379989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285491)

Its true that pvp relies on numbers, but then again so does high end raiding in pve which is where many people are at with numerous chars after some years in WoW. Too hard to really judge WAR yet until the end game RVR is in full swing. It was the same way with DAoC although because just levelling etc was new to many people it did well even before RVR became the main goal for many.

It really isn't all that (1)

Faynor (827219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283753)

I think the current trend relates directly to every WoW player knowing that there is a major patch coming prior to release of Wrath of the Litch King that is making major changes to their talent trees. When people know that there game is making a major shift they tend to lay low and wait and see. Also with the xpac being only a month away I think many people are taking sometime to recharge batteries and get ready for the level grind.

No forums (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25283793)

I understand Mythic's disinterest in supporting forums, I do.
I see that the WoW forums and (especially) the AoC forums are full of whiny bitches who represent a tiny fraction of the community but whose complaints ring loud in such a forum.

However, lacking an OFFICIAL forum for people to exchange ideas, get support, and make suggestions is an error. (WAR has no official forum.)

Age of Conan was released as a beautiful but deeply flawed and dysfunctional game (yes, I am a subscriber until my payment runs out in Dec). Without the ample log of problems and solutions by USERS on that forum, they wouldn't have even gotten my funds for 6 months.

Fortunately with WAR I haven't had those technical problems, but there are a lot of people who have, and I can't imagine their experience is improved by lacking any single place to shuffle through others' experience and solutions. One great example was the beta access sold through Target. It was INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING because I spent HOURS trying to get my beta key to work, only to find out on some peripheral website that it was mentioned that the Target beta codes were a misprint - wherever there was an "O" printed, it should be read as "Q".
What?
Not a WORD about this on the front page of the Mythic site?
Frankly, that's idiotic.

Certainly, a community is growing, and will eventually reach the breadth of the WoW community, I'm sure. But not having an official forum is rather stupid, IMO.

Re:No forums (3, Informative)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25285537)

http://www.warhammeralliance.com/ [warhammeralliance.com] is the unofficial official forums. That's where the devs post, that's where the server forums are, that's where everyone goes for information.

If you're on the US servers I say you've nothing to complain about, compare the numbers of US Heralds to the number of EU Heralds and you'll understand why some people question Mythic's choice of GOA as European partner.

Oh, and the official European site [war-europe.com] is absolutely terrible.

WoW and WAR (1)

Hausenwulf (956554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25286999)

This is my take on limited experience with WAR so far, but a ton of experience with WoW. WoW is the pve game. Few people seem to like it's pvp, but endlessly pile into battlegrounds or arenas to get good pvp reward gear. Its attempt at larger pvp with world combat is a failure.

On the other hand, I've had a much better time with pvp in WAR. Its scenarios (battleground equivalents) are better balanced and don't seem to be as annoying as WoW battlegrounds, at least not so far. The world pvp or rvr combat is nice, but suffers from lack of participation, at least on my server. I don't think WAR's pve content will ever compare to WoW.

So, I see WoW as being the raider's game, with dungeon delves and pve content being the end game. On the other hand, WAR should end up being the pvp players' game. I think the rvr combat is much better than pvp in WoW, but needs to build up a better base of high level characters to provide the numbers it needs to really shine.

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