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Archive for March, 2009

A sad day, perhaps. I join a number of friends and acquaintances having canceled my Warhammer Online subscription, today. But Skurmish, I hear you say: What about the Glorious Patch of 1.2? Surely it will herald the dawning of a new, fantastic Age of Reckoning?

I tried. It seems the patch has reintroduced the authentication errors I was getting a while back. After about 15 minutes of frustration I was able to enter the game and gauge my impressions. I’m not sure I’m willing to battle for 15 minutes to half an hour every night just to log on.

No Scenarios popped in the hour that I was online. This was Tier 1, sure, but it illustrates a broken design philosoph. Completely unpopulated newb zones breaks this game completely, more than it would another. No new player is going to be even remotely interested in soldiering on completely alone after a few hours of no Scenarios or RvR. At least not when the solo PvE blows to such a degree that it does in WAR.

It also broke a number of addons and borked my UI completely, upon logging out to delete all addons, I, again, could no longer log back in. Authentication error, followed by an unpleasant windows dialog box and dumped back to desktop.

Amateurish.  It’s what sprung to my mind when looking at that horrible, VB-esque message dialog popup. And I realised that’s how I’d come to view the entire game. Compared to the resident 800 pound gorilla, it is woefully sub-par. 6 months to match gathering skills to appropriate tradeskills? WAR’s execution of everything but PVP – these are things that also matter in MMO’s –  really is unpleasantly, horribly poor in comparison. Not only to WoW, but to most other MMO’s out there (LotrO springs to mind).

The hour or so I spent in Tier 1 whacking mobs solo was dreadfully, painfully boring. It is literally worse than WoW – something I would have never thought possible. WoW’s quests are, at least, massively varied, interesting, andoften funny. Having picked up WoW again, it just does not compare. It’s horrible. Painfully, direly dreary and unpleasant. Every single quest is a case of kill ten rats.

So this game lives and breathes on it’s Scenarios and RvR – certainly not it’s PvE – and when I spend an hour online not being able to find any of either, on the most populated server EU side…well,  I can’t help but feel that the writing is on the wall.

I’m sure they fixed a ton of bugs and introduced a respectable amount of new features and content. I don’t think that can save WAR though. First impressions count and the game has had 6 or so months to truly woo and impress me. I enjoyed the RvR and it’s Scenarios but there’s a massive lack of variety in both. Spending every night playing Tor Anroc or Bash The Keep Door gets old. It gets old really quickly. This game needed a lot more depth to it’s realm versus realm combat, and in fact to the game as a whole.  It didn’t need fluff like lairs that nobody cares about. It needed wall scaling, proper siege engines and towers, destructible terrain/assets etc from the start. It needed PVE that was vast and challenging and fun and repeatable. Yet these are things that still do not exist within the game. The fact that almost a half year later all we’ve seen, really when you get down to it, is the reintroduction of content that was originally designed for release (the missing classes) and a number of bug fixes which still haven’t addressed the core problem with the game – that RvR just doesn’t work – means that I simply cannot forsee this game becoming anything more than a tiny niche game designed to appeal to a small, select core of pvp fans. Unfortunately, pvp fans are a fickle lot – designing a game to appeal to them solely is probably a bad idea. And even hardcore pvp’ers quite often enjoy doing something else.

In a nutshell, I guess, I eventually realised that WAR wasn’t a world. It’s not an alternate reality you can lose yourself in. All it really is, is a never ending tug of war, focused mostly on the rope. One that goes nowhere. And that’s great for people who love that kind of thing, but I guess I’m not that one dimensional after all.

So ‘Skurmish-the WAR Blog” has gone the way of the dodo along with my subscription. My other blog over here – about gaming in general – will continue.

As another friend said upon quitting : So long, and thanks for all the RvR.

/wave

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