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Mythic Shutting Down 63 Warhammer Servers

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the consolidation-of-quality dept.

Role Playing (Games) 137

Gamasutra reports that Mythic Entertainment is consolidating a number of their Warhammer Online servers to keep population levels within an acceptable range. 43 servers are set to close in North America and Oceania, and 20 more in Europe. Mythic posted details of the character transfers at the game's website. CEO Mark Jacobs also made a "State of the Game" post, highlighting the live expansion that's currently underway, as well as the changes and updates they have planned for the near future.

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137 comments

OUCH (3, Interesting)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162863)

That has to hurt. The game was well executed, it was no Age of Conan that's for sure. I guess good question would be how many servers did they start with?

Re:OUCH (4, Insightful)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162911)

Way to many. That was their mistake.

Their goal was the smoothest launch ever, in which they actually succeeded.
To accomplish this they opened up loads and loads of servers to ensure players wouldn't end up in queue's when logging on to the game.

The problems started when after a few weeks the biggest hype was over and players started looking at their real lives again. After that the active server population declined rapidly.
I think this move to close servers was unavoidable, it's nearly impossible to keep as many active players as right after the launch period.

Re:OUCH (5, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163017)

The problems started when after a few weeks the biggest hype was over and players started going back to WOW.

Fixed it for ya. This is what I had seen in our guild.

Re:OUCH (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164593)

I didn't go back to WoW... there are other games out there you know.

I actually think it was only second to AoC for the dodgiest game releases of late. It looked terrible and played like old people fuck - jittery and awkward.

Re:OUCH (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165963)

I didn't go back to WoW

The point was a holistic generalization, for which you obviously don't fit. For the majority, most likely went back to WoW given the new expansions release shortly after WAR.

I actually think it was only second to AoC for the dodgiest game releases of late.

Hmm... dodgiest? Hardly. Fury was head and shoulders above it. And Shadowbane was even worse. And I'm just talking about PvP games. Star Wars Galaxies was a terrible release as well, worse than WAR IMHO.

WAR did have a relatively smooth release, but had a terrible product at release. I tried every race to try every starting zone and tried a wide variety of classes. I saw some of the worst balancing issues between classes as well as horrible bugs for quests that where only 5-10 quests into the game.

I could not get an NPC I "saved" to the quest NPC because they would just stop in the middle of a field and now follow me or get hung up on terrain objects.

Some starting areas were far and away better than others with a clear distinction in details vs a rushed nature. And on top of that, the animation was absolutely terrible (not even getting into the positional attack bug and rubber banding pets). For as much as WoW's "cartoonish" graphics get old, the style and animation is excellent.

So, basically, I'm saying I agree with you on the fact that I think the game was a rushed piece of garbage, but I disagree that it had a dodgy "release". I had relatively no problems logging on or playing the game. I just thought the game wasn't very good. It had a few diamonds in the rough, but nothing to keep me playing.

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27166361)

i went back to wow!

Re:OUCH (-1, Troll)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167043)

Please, get a life dude, WoW is the best game ever, its the only one I play, and I used to play everything....now I only play WoW as it seems the only one still interesting after 2 years....

Re:OUCH (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27169239)

From what I've heard, quite a few went back to Dark Age of Camelot. I have no firsthand knowledge though, as I quit gaming altogether about 6 months ago.

Re:OUCH (5, Insightful)

Decado (207907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163213)

I think they did the right thing, they started with a lot of surplus capacity and now are scaling back to what they are actually using. Unless (by some miracle) they could guess exactly what capacity would be needed then they have two options, provide too much or provide too little. From a customer service standpoint it is certainly much better to err on the side of providing too much.

I feel a bit bad for Mythic in that this will probably be spun as some sort of death knell for the game when in fact it is simply the logical outcome of the company doing the right thing at launch.

Re:OUCH (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163333)

Except that people hate server merges. Especially if a server needs to be split and partially merged with multiple servers. They would have been better off renting capacity but keeping it dark, and lighting it up as needed instead.

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163527)

The problem is two-fold. First of all, they somewhat overestimated their required capacity for launch. Second, people have been leaving Warhammer after the initial period (quitting, returning to other games, etc.) and the population has likely stabilized quite a bit by now. In other words, they were using quite a bit of the capacity they had, but their needs are smaller now. I doubt that they'll split and merge servers with such a high number of removals - just straight merges of two or more servers.

WoW didn't have that problem (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163795)

I think this move to close servers was unavoidable, it's nearly impossible to keep as many active players as right after the launch period.

Funny. WoW didn't have that problem.

Re:WoW didn't have that problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164317)

Exceptions are not the rule.

Re:WoW didn't have that problem (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165523)

Exceptions are not the rule.

Well, then neither did Everquest, City Of Heroes, or almost any other game, SWG included. Virtually any game's curve on MMOG Charts keeps going up for months or even years before it peaks and starts going back down. You have to fuck up pretty hard if your population curve peaks at the end of the free month.

So I don't think you can argue that the vast majority of games are the exception, and a couple of fuck-ups whose only merit was massive launch hype are the rule.

Re:WoW didn't have that problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27166457)

No, WoW went the other route and did not provide enough servers and the ones they did provide were buggy as hell for the first 6 months. Not sure it's that much better...

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164727)

No, their mistake was to make a game that couldn't take more than a handful of players per server.

I mean, WoW has pretty small population per server, but Warhammer is just way low. And that's with a game designed to be no fun unless you have a lot of players around. In practice you end up running around trying to find someone to kill and/or someone to group with for PQs. Alone, the game is crap.

Talk about Epic Game Design Fail. Warhammer would be infinitely more fun if a single server could take 20000 players or something...

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165801)

Lord of the Rings Online had a much smoother launch. I played both from beta through Launch. Still play (and enjoy) LOTRO, but Warhammer's game engine slowed to a crawl at launch, but LOTRO's didn't. Turbine wins.

Re:OUCH (2, Insightful)

varcher (156670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168253)

Exactly. By all measures, LOTRO is a succesful game. You do not need to be a "WoW Killer" to be a succesful game, nor even to have millions of subscribers. If you are growing (and if you didn't invest so much you do need in fact 10 times your potential subscriber bases to recoup your costs), then you are successful.
 
The failure of the most recents MMO isn't that they didn't reach WoW numbers. It's that they failed out of the door.
 
And the lesson, as painful as it is, starts to enter the producers' brains: You live and die by your launch. You botch your launch, you die.

Re:OUCH (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27169077)

Since the free trials started, it's brought loads of people in from WoW, but also a lot of people who had subscriptions but then cancelled.

The response from the latter has been very strong indeed, a lot of people much happier with the state of the game, and saying they'll resubscribe.

Certainly had a bunch of problems in the beginning, but it's picking up now. The server consolidation is harsh (though they had WAY too many to begin with), but its real purpose is to ensure everyone plays on a med-high population server, which is where the game really shines.

Well, when the servers stay up. But that's been improving too ;)

Re:OUCH (3, Interesting)

chonglibloodsport (1270740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163169)

I played Warhammer for a month and change after to released. I admired the amazing artwork and character designs, definitely top notch. However, the game itself was sorely lacking.

The entire game seemed to be designed like an amusement park combined with an assembly line. Your character is basically funneled through a series of increasingly difficult areas along a linear path that left nothing to the imagination. Exploration was pointless because you knew where you came from and where you were going.

Aside from the character stats and shiny purple magic items, this game could hardly be called an RPG at all. Interaction was kept to a bare minimum, both with NPCs and other players. The only real interactions you have are taking on 1000s of mundane fetch quests from NPCs or PvPing with players.

Speaking of PvP, the system is supposed to be the central crowning jewel of the game. Problem is, there are no consequences for it: death and failure are meaningless, you do not lose items on death and the loss a fortress or even an entire territory are barely noticed. Within a short period of time, these assets can be recaptured at no expense. The entire exercise quickly begins to feel repetitive and boring. You have no personal stake in anything in the war and therefore no real incentive to help.

In terms of gameplay, it is a major step back from the old days of UO 1997-1999. A real shame. It seems most of this industry is too caught up in trying to copy WoW rather than pushing the envelope with new paradigms for interactivity and gameplay.

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163417)

I'm really enjoying Darkfall at the moment. It seems that if you want investment you have to clone WoW. Darkfall, being produced by an independent developer, is being plagued by launch pains, and could have used a bit more polish. But even with what it is missing it's been the most engaging online experience I've had in an MMO since Shadowbane ( I wasn't in UO ).

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27166021)

Oh please what bullshit. I checked this out the other day. Someone complains on the forum about anything is instantly called a carebare.

Double that with the fact that there are so many hacks [youtube.com] for the game it's a game and community I wouldn't want to join.

Re:OUCH (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163473)

Personally, I had more fun in War PvP than any other MMO, because of the very same reasons you hate it. Death *shouldn't* have consequences. A game is about having fun. The point of a PvP game is to kill, you shouldn't be afraid to die because it will cost you hours of time.

As for reason to help- two major reasons. One its fun. If you don't enjoy PvP, why did you buy a PvP game? Two- pride. I play to win, always. So I always try my best to further the objectives of the game, in this case its trying to move the battle forward to eventually siege the enemies city. If we do that, I win. That in and of itself is fun, there is no other reason needed.

Re:OUCH (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164905)

Without consequences to death or losing your city, what's the point other than the game being a persistant version of CS? That's just silly. Consequences, aka item loss, bring excitement to the PVP, both for the winner and the loser. I haven't had the adrenaline rush from fighting 1v4 in a game since Asheron's Call in 01-05, and even then I only lost a few items on death and none were ever of value compared to losing *everything* on my character aside from my starter knife/staff when dieing in Darkfall [darkfallonline.com] . The flip side of course is that if I win, and the person isn't naked, I get a nice helping of loot myself.

Re:OUCH (2, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166347)

While in reality it makes people quit. Idea of PvP with consequences being good idea is just form of self flattery (gamer expects to be in winning side there, forgetting that each PvP encounter also produces one loser. Stress becomes issue because it makes not playing the game more enjoyable than playing).

See: http://www.brokentoys.org/2009/02/19/the-mordred-problem/ [brokentoys.org]

Re:OUCH (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166467)

Stress is only an issue if items are far more valuable than they need to be. I've died dozens of times since Darkfall's release, losing full suits of armor all the way up to banded (2 steps down from the best) and don't really care. I just slap on a suit of leather or cloth armor, and go out hunting for gold/mats to get more. This doesn't even count for all the kills I've gotten where I've looted tons of stuff. Going into a game knowing that it's full loot, you could lose everything on you whenever you go out, is exciting and fun for those who can actually handle it. Sadly, aventurine has been getting dos'ed by the hundreds of thousands of people trying to get the game since it released.

Re:OUCH (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167475)

That's only fun for the minority of people. WoW proved if you want subscription numbers, you cater to the majority (for better or worse). I like WoW better than WAR mostly because I am more interested in PvE which WAR sorely lacked. I enjoyed the PvP, but eventually it just felt like I was paying a monthly fee to play a fantasy TF2 game that was less fun than TF2.

Re:OUCH (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167601)

It's fine if you like pve etc, but we've all (pvpers) have been waiting for the PVP mmo that will bring us all together from UO, AC:DT, and SB. Darkfall currently is that game for many of us, and even with the lack of real quests and the like at the moment, noone I know has even thought about quitting. We're willing to sit through long queue times when they happen, numerous and sometimes unannounced downtimes to hotfix and perform server maintenance, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The bugs and the like that have plagued games like AOC and WAR simply aren't there.

Re:OUCH (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168677)

No, some pvper have been waiting for this game. There's definitely a subset of them who like consequences. The majority don't. consequences are annoying an drive people away. I have life, I have better things to do than waste hours of my time regearing after each death. Its just not fun.

Re:OUCH (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166915)

It does both.

Some people actually like that sort of thing. For them, it's exciting, and it keeps them playing.

For the majority of the market, it just drives them away.

If you're aiming the game at that specific market and don't want to try and compete with WoW, it's a good way to be successful.

Re:OUCH (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27169189)

Without consequences to death or losing your city, what's the point other than the game being a persistant version of CS?

You realize Counter-Strike was one of the most popular games ever created right?

Re:OUCH (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166841)

Death *shouldn't* have consequences. ...you shouldn't be afraid to die because it will cost you hours of time

I'm sorry, what?

Re:OUCH (3, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164021)

According to what I've found, there's 16 servers left in North America, where I believe 40 of the 63 being shutdown are.

Just another Age of Conan, they massively overhyped to get a ton of initial box sales, and wound up with 2/3 of those people leaving in a couple of months.

Re:OUCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165129)

Its not really stated but a LOT of those servers look like reserves as I don't ever recall that many as being fully active on launch.

Re:OUCH (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167093)

It's not surprising. PVP is horribly one sided, and waiting for an RVR instance is an exercise in itself due to everyone and their dog plays destruction on most servers. numbers don't match up, skill levels don't match up, so what you are end up with, is a constant exercise in futility. The chicken thing is amusing at first but quickly turned annoying as well. Basically you have three races per faction, but in order to do the quests in other races of the same faction, you risk of accidentally turning chicken constantly and getting one shotted by some newbie. The client itself is horrible, the game crashes a lot, for no reason. It got so bad that they introduced a patch to scale back graphics just for stability. Of course that didn't help much at all. Crash happens just the same. switch between zones lag badly. and some towns sit right at the switch line, causing all sorts of problems. Apparently their programmers are not competent enough to write threaded zone proximity loading with lower priority threads. This game is absolute junk and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.

Re:OUCH (1)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168337)

This game is absolute junk and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.

I think a lot of people would say that 'absolute junk' is an extreme overstatement. It's flawed but definitely does some things correctly.

The PvP is done right, although there were balancing issues. I don't know how this panned out at the level cap because I never made it. I wanted to play a healer and tried a Zealot but the leveling was bad - just like leveling a priest was in WoW in the beginning.

The idea and implementation of the public quest was great, and the open parties were awesome too. These are things you will probably see in every MMO from here on out. The siege mechanics were light-years better than the Wintergrasp crap that Blizzard is trying to throw into WoW.

Obviously a lot of people went back to WoW and I was one of them. I actually think Blizzard could learn from Mythic and shut down a bunch of their low-pop servers but they are making too much money forcing people to transfer for $25 a pop.

Re:OUCH (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165677)

My experience is the opposite, to the point I don't understand who, apart from the most hardcore PVP players, could like this game.

Whoever says Warhammer had a smooth is at best not aware of what really happened. Many people started out at launch and many of them including me left without paying a single subscription cycle, because the game is lacking on so many levels. Let's start with the performance/visual problems. I have high-end, but mainstream hardware and I've been getting absolutely awful framerates and graphical glitches.

The visual engine was full of bugs and design mistakes. The UI was a joke from a design perspective. The game logic suffered dozens of irritating bugs.

Content was thrown together, lacking polish. I don't even have the patience to list all the irritating things, the list just goes on. Now, this was 6 months ago and I absolutely won't pay for another month to the company that cheated me once to find out what improved, but the real problem is that while there were lots of bugs that can be fixed and hopefully they did, there were also lots of design mistakes in how the game is put together from a technical perspective that I don't think they could fix even in years.

Apart from releasing an alpha quality game, they also had server problems and horrid queueing for the first month. It is true that they introduced more servers shortly afterwards, but it wasn't at launch and that ment that while some servers were crowded because their characters were on it, others were empty. Only a few people switched to "cloned" servers.

All in all, I'm trying to forget about my experience with WAR and I'm betting this is why people are going back to WOW and LOTRO. WAR is another AOC.

Re:OUCH (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167257)

The visual engine was full of bugs and design mistakes. The UI was a joke from a design perspective. The game logic suffered dozens of irritating bugs.

Well, you have just described WoW and pretty much EVERY MMORPG at launch. I don't really think it's fair to compare a game that was just launched (WAR) with a game that has been out for five years (WoW) and bemoan how it lacks polish or has bad quality compared to the other game.

At launch, WoW had horrible balance problems for Warriors, really awful pet pathing for hunters, and glitches that would cause a monster to regain full health or become unhittable. If you want to compare WAR to WoW, you're going to have to give it a few years. WoW was absolutely abysmal for a while after launch until they polished everything up and now it's pretty much a perfect game.

All in all, I'm trying to forget about my experience with WAR and I'm betting this is why people are going back to WOW and LOTRO. WAR is another AOC.

That's the problem Mythic is going to have to deal with. People were patient with WoW and sat through all of bugs and through really bad queue times. After five years of a really polished WoW, people expect every game afterward to have the same polish and same "perfection", which really sucks for Mythic. People are not willing to be as patient with other MMOs as they were with WoW.

It's cool that you tried the game though. My biggest complaint about WAR is the fact that it requires a fairly decent computer to run, and many people don't want to upgrade their card, mobo, etc. I've limited my time playing it until I can afford to upgrade my system.

Makes me wonder... (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162881)

...just how many MMOs are going to shutdown in the coming years. All that time and money invested into digital character that goes away with a CEO signature and never seen again.

Guess the good news is this MMO isn't shutting down anytime soon.

Re:Makes me wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163067)

...just how many MMOs are going to shutdown in the coming years. All that time and money invested into digital character that goes away with a CEO signature and never seen again.

Guess the good news is this MMO isn't shutting down anytime soon.

WHICH MMO isn't shutting down anytime soon.

5/5 captcha's failed. I guess I am not human.

Re:Makes me wonder... (2, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164669)

LOTRO, Eve, probably WoW, there's quite a few out there that have been around for a while (or even not that long) and have a strong community with strong backing from the devs.

It's only when a game lacks massively (Tabula Rasa, AoC, WAR) that things start to go pear shaped.

Unfortunately Mythic made the biggest mistake MMOs seem to be making of late - emulating WoW, poorly.

If people wanted to play WoW, they'd have a subscription. I don't, anymore, but I do have a sub for Eve and I do have a lifetime membership for LOTRO. If another MMO comes along and people like it then we'll see more added to the list of survivable MMOs.

Look at the Asian market, they have MMOs that have been around for ages and aren't shutting down servers. In fact, a lot of MMOs that ARE surviving are ADDING servers.

Taking away servers is akin to saying "look, we're going to shut down soon, so you had better look elsewhere". By doing this, and by not planning the release better, they have pretty much signed their own death certificate.

This is aside from the fact WAR is a terrible game.

Re:Makes me wonder... (2, Interesting)

malf-uk (456583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164775)

Saying that it's emulating WoW poorly is a bit harsh, considering that the large scale PvP or RvR side of it is more emulating their previous MMO more than WoW. Which is what attracted me (and still does) to this game as I personally find WoW dull in this respect.

I do personally prefer DAoC's RvR though.

Re:Makes me wonder... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166027)

I miss DAoC's RvR too, which is why I was initially looking forward to WAR.

Sadly, DAoC's biggest problem with RvR (realm balance) was completely botched in WAR.

It is actually much better now (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27162939)

This problem also plagued the EU version launch: there were too many servers and the population was spreaded too thin, meaning that you would log in and find no one else but you on a certain zone.

With the new patch and the server transfers everything is much fine now: cities are quite populated and there is massive outdoors PvP going on every night :)

Then why split servers? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163821)

I also was on the EU servers at launch and they were splitting servers (i.e., adding new ones) like crazy for the first month. So if their problem was too few people per server, I have to wonder wtf were they _thinking_? Didn't they have a feedback loop there? You know, "how many people are average and max on this server? Do we really need to split it?"

Re:Then why split servers? (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167077)

They were thinking server stability. The basic problem is that their servers were not capable of dealing with large subsets of the population localized in one area. Over the few months that I played, I don't think a single Tier 4 fortress was successfully captured, because every time one was attempted the server crashed.

There are a lot of good ideas in WAR, but the technology just doesn't back them up.

Re:Then why split servers? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168489)

So basically they had to over-invest in way too many servers because their code sucked?

Cursed. (2, Insightful)

drik00 (526104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163141)

As soon as I heard it being referred to as the "wow-killer" during development, the writing was on the wall, and it was doomed. I've come and go on WoW since launch, and every time someone talks about a "wow-killer," its like giving a college quarterback the Heisman Trophy, its a curse. ...and yes, I just used a sports reference on /.

J

You can't know their position and momentum? (2, Funny)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163177)

I don't get it.

Re:Cursed. (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163225)

I have a saying, one that I've used since Guild Wars became the first game to be touted as a 'WoW killer'. That saying is "they'll come crawling back!" So far it's held true for Guild Wars, Hellgate: London (although that's not directly competing with WoW I guess), AoC, WAR... every time, if people are still playing one MMO after moving to the new game, they'll be playing WoW. :P It was funniest for the original Guild Wars launch because people were posting "so long, suckers" and "lol kiddies, im gonna go play a real game now", and 2 months later it's "lfm heroics". :P

None of those games are remotely like WoW (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163511)

Guild Wars is a fully instanced, PvP-oriented game with some MMO elements (I don't know anyone who's played it that considers it a true MMO).
Hellgate: London was a fully instanced hack-and-slash game.
Age of Conan was (originally advertised) as a PvP MMO. Now it's just a pile of fail.
WAR is a PvP MMO.

Of course they aren't WoW-killers: They're nothing like WoW!
To be a WoW-killer you have to be a mostly non-instanced, PvE oriented MMORPG... which none of the aforementioned games are.

Re:None of those games are remotely like WoW (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163933)

You're 100% right - none of them are direct competition for a PvE open-world MMO (although say 70% of PvE and 90%+ of PvP in WoW these days occurs inside instances, but that's another story). That said, all of the titles I mentioned were touted by rabid fanboys on the WoW forums as "WoW killers" for months or years before their release. And all of them have failed to grab any appreciable share of the 'fantasy based rpg-style online game' supergenre off WoW .

Re:None of those games are remotely like WoW (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166555)

Of course - when you can't beat the competition you simply redefine the category.

Kinda like in football statistics when they just HAVE to break some record every game "John, if he makes it this will be the longest field goal EVER kicked into an easterly wind in Chicago during a playoff game in the month of November in a year ending in an odd digit!"

The simple fact is that in overall categories, most people don't separate game generes to that degree. If you play online, with other people, and name a char that levels, then it's an MMORPG. And within that category, WoW has dominated everything since it originally came out. Pointing to a few minor differences and claiming a whole different genre is pointless. If they were exactly the same then nobody would switch from the already established WoW format.

And personally, I think WoW's killer will be another Blizzard game. They have their stuff together. They make for a polished experience. I certainly wouldn't mind something outside of swords and sorcery for a while though. A Starcraft MMORPG would be the perfect change of pace for me.

Re:None of those games are remotely like WoW (1)

joshtheitguy (1205998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168789)

And personally, I think WoW's killer will be another Blizzard game.

Diablo 3 is in the works and if anything is going to cause a major reduction in WoW subscriptions longer then 1-2 months this will be it.

Granted it isn't going to make WoW go away but I know if the multiplayer is as fun as Diablo 2 was it just might cause a good chunk of WoW Subscriptions to be canceled for longer then WAR or AoC ever could have made.

Re:None of those games are remotely like WoW (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168897)

Guild Wars is a fully instanced, PvP-oriented game with some MMO elements (I don't know anyone who's played it that considers it a true MMO).

Most of the dungeons in WoW are instanced, and you never really interact with anyone outside your group or guild anyway so what's the difference?

Re:None of those games are remotely like WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27169165)

That with Guild Wars, you're not suckered into paying $15 a month?

Re:Cursed. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163451)

Its like that for everyone's first MMO, and lets face it, WoW has been a lot of noobs... err, I mean peoples first MMO.

I still reactivate EQ1 every now and again and putz around for a month or 2.

Re:Cursed. (1)

polle404 (727386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163635)

well, in all fairness, all new MMO's are being called 'the WOW-killer' by the gaming-media.
Mythic was fairly quick to say that they didn't see it as that,
but being no. 2 would be fine.

Re:Cursed. (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166845)

Their fanboys didn't go along with that. There was MONTHS of this nonsense on the WoW forums about how Warhammer would destroy WoW, people playing WoW are noobs, and so on.

So a lot of WoW players take special enjoyment in watching those fanboys now backtracking, if not coming back to WoW entirely (which happened quite a lot).

Gee, what a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163197)

Lets make an MMO that looks like and plays something like Wow, and expect it to do wonders! Nevermind that we're going up against the single most profitable game ever made, and one that has had 4 years to refine it's gameplay. Surely we shall succeed despite all odds!

So did WoW back then (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165993)

Lets make an MMO that looks like and plays something like Wow, and expect it to do wonders! Nevermind that we're going up against the single most profitable game ever made, and one that has had 4 years to refine it's gameplay. Surely we shall succeed despite all odds!

Surely you realize that the same could be said -- and back then it _had_ been said -- about WoW and EQ. They too were going against the single most profitable game ever made, who had had years to refine its gameplay, bla, bla, bla.

Re:So did WoW back then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27169325)

Blizzard essentially invented the MMO.

    I know I certainly never heard of them before I started WoW. I did see that EverQuest 2 later, but that was just a bad copy of WoW. I hope they get sued for it.

No, Warhammer Online isn't dying. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163245)

At launch, they had *far* too many servers, they had wayyyy more servers than WoW had at launch.

Their launch went extremely smoothly, but the game population was spread so thin that people were having a hard time finding other people.

They should have done this 2 weeks after launch, not 6 months.

That said, this isn't indicative of Warhammer's impending demise, nor of a lack of players, they really did just have way too many servers and should have fixed the problem months ago.

Oh well, I'm still having fun with the game :D

(also, anyone thinking this was a WoW killer was delusional, it was never intended to be such, it's a very PvP centric game and attracts a similar, but different crowd)

Re:No, Warhammer Online isn't dying. (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166253)

Too many servers at launch? What warhammer are you talking about?

For the first month there were queues every time I tried to login.

Re:No, Warhammer Online isn't dying. (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166789)

That's just a side effect of a hype driven launch.

Most companies don't try to build MMO populations over time. They treat them like console games: sell a million copies the first week and hope those people stick around.

Of course, more then half of them didn't. So you have 750k people in Month 1, and 300k three months later. That gives you both queues in the first month, and deserted wastelands today.

Re:No, Warhammer Online isn't dying. (1)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168477)

At launch, they had *far* too many servers, they had wayyyy more servers than WoW had at launch.

The pre-sale numbers, which I think were reported as the best for any MMO ever, dictated that they'd need that many servers. WoW had way too few servers at launch only because they underestimated. They were forced to stop selling the game for 3 or 4 months so that their infrastructure could catch up. They weren't ready for success and it nearly crushed them.

With WoW, I purchased one of the last boxes of the game which I called around to every store in the area I was living just over 2 months after launch. This was late January. I know some of my friends couldn't get a copy of the game for at least another couple of months, and even then you were on a waiting list somewhere.

WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163539)

WAR is unlike any other MMO currently on the market in its focus on PVP. Much of the game content really requires other players - I know because I play late at night. Populations have to be high, and balanced on both factions so there's plenty of chances for PVP. There's great "solo" content in that you can do so without a scheduled group, but most content is best with a high population of players. More scenarios popping, more RVR in lakes, and so forth. WAR is absolutely doing the right thing so that players aren't sitting around wondering why there's nobody to play with or against.

If you haven't given it a try yet, definitely join WAR for a least a month or two. They're constantly improving it

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (0)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164789)

Warhammer is the bastard child of UO and AC combined with WOW: FFA PVP with no consequences. PVP should be meaningful, you need to lose or gain something for it to be exciting. This is why I loved AC, for it's fast and fluid combat as well as dropping items on death, and now LOVE Darkfall [darkfallonline.com] . Dieing and losing everything, or killing someone else and losing everything, makes the pvp that much more exciting.

And I also can't wait for siege hammers/battlespikes (craftable siege weapons) to get their damage upped so i can go raid the fucking frenchies north of my city!

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (2, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165325)

WoW is the first game to "do it right" with Wintergrasp.

It's a territory that constantly flip flops. The winner of it gives players of that faction a bonus for the next 2 to 3 hours. There are daily quests to be done there to entice people to at least show up once a day. It requires the defending team to actually attack to win.

Asheron's Call's combat system sucked for most of its thriving life. It was dominated by the ability to cast Drain Health at instant speed and quickly apply healing kits to yourself. You also needed to master "strafe casting" which was a bug in the game engine that allowed you to cast while moving. And there was no reason to pvp other than to pvp someone and harass them, that is lame. Losing everything wasn't terribly exciting either because everything usually amounted to people only using gear that they could easily afford to lose and stack money notes and other high value items that didn't matter if you lost.

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165435)

Being able to move while casting/healing/etc was what made AC's combat what it was. It was actually driven by personal skill and not just 2 mages standing in place trading volleys hoping you resist first. Drain 1 was pretty gay for quite a while, but those were some of the best times in AC and most people didn't even whore drain 1 except at the spots where you could bug it and machinegun out 20 in a single shot. Reasons to PVP were mainly land control as well, aka holding dungeons so other guilds couldn't use them.
Most of AC's bugs that lasted through it's life are ones that the players and devs themselves embraced because they saw that even though they were bugs, they made the game infinitely better. Being able to cycle your stamina/mana, moving while performing actions like casting and healing, breaking spellcasting animation, all made AC's pvp the great thing that it was.

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165985)

That's not an accurate description of WAR at all. It's not total FFA--It's two sides against each other in a war. You talk about meaningful PVP, but your other game examples are just anyone kills anyone anywhere with no real motivation other than urge to kill. What meaning is there in that? That's not war, that's murder.

People looking for murder simulators will love Darkfall, I guess. As for me, I like to have a reason to fight--And WAR did a great job of providing that, thanks to the background material.

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166129)

Darkfall has a goal, territory control and conquest. Sieging player cities and the like, as well as complete freedom to be a crafter, a pker, a mage, an explorer, you name it you can do it. AC had territory control created by the players in the form of dungeon control. I was mistaken and thought WAR was FFA, and the fact that it isn't is just laughable to anyone looking for a real PVP MMO.

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167787)

Don't be a hater. There's plenty of room for different styles of PvP. There are real team based PvP games where nobody loses anything permanent and they're fun as hell. Like Unreal or Team Fortress. WAR is the MMO version of those. If you like FFA PK or the "I love having the chance to lose 3 months worth of effort" style, don't play WAR.

Re:WAR REQUIRES high population levels (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168685)

Yeah, these 'hardcore' PVP players all seem to have the attitude that their way is the only way. This immature elitist way of treating others is the main reason I have no intention of even trying Darkfall. Reading their forums, this is pretty much the main subset of gamer that is flocking to it, guaranteeing I would have a miserable time in that world being surrounded by them.

MMOs are games. 'Hardcore' players take it waaaay too seriously, and treat pvp as an ideal to be pushed on everyone else.

Someone at Mythic must be biting his own tongue... (5, Interesting)

acid06 (917409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163555)

About 6 months ago, during this interview [mtv.com] , Mythic VP and lead Warhammer Online designer Mark Jacobs said some interesting things regarding MMO development, including their own game. In particular:

According to Jacobs, another way to measure success is to look at the number of servers a game has added in a six-month period. "The corollary to that is if you've seen a game consolidate servers, you know it's in deep, deep trouble -- that's not a healthy sign for an MMO," he said, citing Sony's January-released "Pirates of the Burning Sea" as a recent example. "It will be the same for 'Warhammer.' Look at us six months out. Look at us six weeks out. If we're not adding servers, we're not doing well."

Looks like they're not doing that well - according to their own standards.

Re:Someone at Mythic must be biting his own tongue (1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164099)

Wow. Great find. I wonder what spin he would put on it, if someone reminded him of that quote now.

Re:Someone at Mythic must be biting his own tongue (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165913)

LOL, reminds me of an old Robot Chicken episode from a couple of years back. It features a "flashback" skit where we see Ang Lee being interviewed before "The Hulk" came out. At the interview, he says something along the lines of "The movie will be like a pretty flower. Surely it won't be a complete flop that destroys my career. Surely."

Re:Someone at Mythic must be biting his own tongue (1)

Clomer (644284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167631)

It's an interesting contrast when compared to WoW. WoW has over 100 realms in North America alone, and they are still adding more. Maybe not on the same pace as when it first launched, but there have been 4 new realms opened just since the beginning of the year. Source [wowwiki.com]

I'm reminded of a comment I saw a few months ago by a Blizzard exec (I don't have the source and don't feel sufficiently motivated to look it up) that basically said that most of the people that had canceled their WoW account indicating that they were moving on to Warhammer have since reactivated their WoW account.

I think that's pretty telling.

Heres an idea (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163749)

Stop segmenting your playing population into multiple independent copies of the universe.

Instead, segment your universe.

Re:Heres an idea (2, Interesting)

Firkragg14 (992271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164239)

Check out eve online thats been doing the one universe thing for years. The universe isnt seamless since its split into a number of seperate systems but the entire population exists and plays within the same universe.

Re:Heres an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165013)

It is true that EVE does this, but it does cause some big problems. The system Jita (which is pretty much the "center of the universe") has all kinds of lag issues because of this. In fact this last expansion caused it to be inaccessible for the last few days.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165103)

Check out eve online thats been doing the one universe thing for years. The universe isnt seamless since its split into a number of seperate systems but the entire population exists and plays within the same universe.

That only works for universes where one part of the game world is identical to nearly every other location in the game. Which, except for Jita CNAP 4-4, pretty much covers much of EVE's universe. It also helps that star systems in EVE Online are vast, so you could conceivably split a single star system across multiple hardware on the server side. The downside is that it makes the EVE universe feel bland and generic.

In fantasy MMOs, where locations are unique and different, you're going to end up with huge population concentrations. Lag is already bad enough when there are 50+ people sitting around the Ironforge Auction House or Naxx entry portal in WoW. Now, imagine that it's Saturday evening, and there are 500 or 5000 people in those locations. Your poor video card would pretty much melt into a pile of slag.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165219)

There have been numerous 200+ person fights since release for Darkfall, and almost noone suffered any lag other than graphical. I'm on east coast USA, on a shitty dsl line, the game servers are in germany, and I get a 90-130 ping almost always, once in a while a spike to 200,b ut that's about it

Re:Heres an idea (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165987)

So do what Asheron's Call did. When the city of Arwic became the de facto center of their world, and a huge, laggy population settled there...the devs blew it up. Blew up the whole town. Nothing left but a crater. And IIRC they created a few new towns to give the players more options. But the message was clear -- don't cluster together, or the enemy will find you.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167617)

Advantages: everyone on one shard (no need to figure out which ones your friends play on and how they are spread out), large scale battles, bragging rights that you have one shard.

Disadvantages: you can't help that people want to be together - the server can't handle too many people in one place, creates a hard cap on the number of people that can be on your shard since just adding more space doesn't really mean people will go there, dev cheating and hacking damages the whole game.

The only thing compelling about one shard is the ability to know if your friend plays the game, you will be on the same server. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. Any single sharded game will never be a WoW. It can only handle maybe 50,000 people realistically. It will keep games like Eve a niche game.

Re:Heres an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27168285)

You're a fucking idiot.

Re:Heres an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164489)

... which is all well and good until everyone in your universe decide they need to be in the same place at the same time.

Players tend to congregate around social hubs, usually near the more rewarding/popular game PVE encounters. If you've got a single universe, then you need to find some way of dissuading them from this natural tendency and keeping them spread out.

Re:Heres an idea (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164707)

That'll work really well when a new WoW raid comes out and a million players are all milling around outside using the summoning stones and dueling.

Hell, Naxx's entrance is crowded on most nights right now, and that's with hundreds of servers. It'd be unplayable to put them all together.

This single universe thing doesn't scale beyond a certain point when the players all have a reason to be in the same place.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165207)

Just spawn those giant demon-golems from BC. I loved those things.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167789)

In AO it was a common tactic in PvP to send all your people to the zone to crash it, if you couldn't actually win the fight. Segmenting your universe only works if all your people can't mob a single area.

Re:Heres an idea (2, Interesting)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165725)

If you do segment your universe then please, please adjust it accordingly when it quietens down again.

In Everquest they did both. And they made the world so bloody HUGE (with a capital HUGE) that no matter how many server merges they do, it feels utterly empty. Half the problem of course is that they neglected the older 'segments' and left them to rot, despite actually being fairly important to the universe they've created.

Server merges are easy enough, but what do you do when your universe is too big? Close bits of it and anger players who had quests there?

Re:Heres an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27168457)

If I remember correctly, EVE Online dynamically allocates blades as locations come into use or become disused. Since each starsystem or group of starsystems uses much less data and processing power compared to, say, a WoW server with 3000 players, it can be shuffled to and fro without much fuss.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168719)

Stop segmenting your playing population into multiple independent copies of the universe.

Instead, segment your universe.

I don't think that word means what you think it means. I know of no games (whose internals I know/have heard anything about) that can handle their entire player facing universe on a single machine, even if they do hand off the background processing. Being able to do so means you either have a very small playerbase or a very small/simple game.
 
Even games that segment their universes (CoX, UO) still tend to have multiple universes. (Eve Online, like WoW, is the exception - not the rule.) Even if you segment the universe, you still run into the problems of some areas (Peregrine Island, Britain) being crowded and laggy while others (Galaxy City, Ilshenar) are virtually empty. Not all areas of a game are going to equally desirable.

Bye Bye Warhammer (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165175)

Been so nice to know you, and glad you proved me right when all those people who left WoW told me Warhammer was the next "it" game.

Sorry, but Blizzard announcing opening of servers, not closing them. You need to be moving in that direction if you expect to beat them.

This is actually a good thing (1)

Meowfaceman (637882) | more than 5 years ago | (#27166877)

A few other people here have noted that Warhammer's population is spread very thin. A game like WoW will suffer from a low population server. However, it is not its undoing. A WoW server can thrive despite its low population. You can do raids on a low population server. For Warhammer, low population ruins the game, and I'm not entirely positive that they realized this in the beginning. Everything in the game depends on there being a constant avalanche of people doing things. This way you have people constantly sieging keeps, constantly in scenarios (PvP arenas), constantly doing public quests, and you're constantly fighting. The game (as I'm sure many of you know) is very PvP centric. A large population ensures that you can log into the game, find the latest war zone, and then go start busting heads. The game was designed this way, and now they're actually encouraging this. I'm hoping this makes the game more like it was envisioned. If they can keep server populations high they'll do well.

I feel a little ripped off (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167189)

I paid the $50 for the game (a few weeks after it had come out) and while there are a lot of good things to say about it, I felt really disappointed. Compared to wow, the performance is a lot crappier for graphics that are just not as nice to look at. And the game takes 1gig instead of wow's 512M (approximate), and probably because of that on my 2Gram machine, it would take FOREVER to alt-tab in and out of the game.

Then, there were never enough people on my server to make it fun. Completing the public quests was always a hopeless fantasy.

I also couldn't understand my profession, and missed one of the flight paths early on. It's not that hard, wow set some kind of standard for usability and they mimic enough of wow EXCEPT for making the interface as useful.

The pvp combat is a lot more fun, but that's the only advantage I could see over wow. Oh, and you don't have to keep ammo in your inventory. Great.

Re:I feel a little ripped off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27169229)

Yet another WoW player who mistake themselves for an MMO player.

You "couldn't understand your profession?" Sounds like a failure on your part. God forbid something is not 100% just like WoW.

I don't even know why you tried WAR in the first place, clearly a PvP game is not for you. You'd just get killed left and right.

Got bored quickly (2, Informative)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27167899)

Although not the worst MMO I've ever played, I tired of WAR pretty quickly. Kept my subscription going for 1 month after the free one and found that I logged in only twice that month. I think I just got burned out on MMO's, went from WoW in 2004 to LoTRO, to EVE, to AOC and finally to WAR.

What killed the game for me were a few factors:
1) Everyone who came into the game came with at least a couple of friends/family, who then proceeded to grind quests and mobs at lightning pace all the while ignoring my attempts to join their group. A rude, flat answer I often got was: "This is a closed group". These people wouldn't even join a Public group if I started one and begged everyone on that PQ to join.

2) Pathetic communication, the chat system sucked pretty bad. Dunno if they have redone it but it was really bad compared to WoW's functionality and ease of use.

3) Major slowdown in experience at around level 13. Unable to find any open groups, I was forced to level solo in most areas and when I hit level 13 it slowed down to a crawl.

4) The influence grind, when I played WAR influence was the best way to get blue weapons and armor. The worst part about it was that every influence mob from level 1 to 40 gave 100 inf. on a kill but the influence requirements in each zone increased with level drastically. The infl. reward should have scaled with the requirement.

5) Near zero PvP outside scenarios. As someone stated earlier, open world RvR has objectives spread out over a large area and it does work cyclically. Order takes 1, destruction moves to 2.. rinse repeat. Anytime an encounter happened it was invariably skewed in numbers to favor one side. An exception was the Festenplatz thingie.. humans and chaos clashing. I had a lot of fun with the constant action, push backs, chases etc. there. That area had a very close spawn point for both parties and objectives were not too far, the rest of Open RvR should have been more like this one.

6) Fortress elite mobs can pretty much one shot you over weird angles that too. I managed to join two different attack groups but both ended pretty much the same way, somehow the mobs get drawn to the lip of the stairwell(they never come downstairs) and aoe the crap out of any group. Plus the lag, even with graphics turned down

7) Some classes are near invincible at certain levels. Tanks and healers, tanks especially take an insane amount of time to die and worse off they can finish you in 4-5 blows. I've held off a group of 6-7 order folks for a solid 10 mins at Ekrund as a black orc with a tiny shaman hiding and healing.

All in all, I couldn't really connect with the game at all, it got boring really fast.

It's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27168189)

Doomed.

If DAoC is so great why is 100k playing it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27168817)

If DAoC is so great why is 100k playing it? and the game never had more than 200,000 players compared to WAR which had 800k at release. That is the question i have, in my WAR guild people complained all the time about how DAoC was such a great game but i asked them when they last played it. Their reply was couple years ago :p. DAoC is good game but was niche game that mainly focused on 100,000 so players who were into PvP. As a result Mythic decided to incorporate some of features from WoW when they made WAR made the game more casual friendly granted they made many mistake doing it (Poor crafting, linear Pve experience, Scens).
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