Thursday, February 12, 2009

Warhammer Online: Spread Too Thin

I think WAR should have cut the elves.

Seriously, no elves would have meant that there were only four main areas: Dwarf, Greenskin, Empire, and Chaos. This would have increased the concentration of players in each area. That would have lead to better PQs and PvP. I think that WAR is a game which really needs a minimum number of other players to really work.

As well, Mythic could have spent more time on those four areas and eight classes, adding more polish.

The elves would have also made a really good first expansion pack.

It seems like a lot of video games make this same mistake, attempting too much, spreading themselves too thin and doing a substandard job.


  1. Wow, I haven't seen WAR mentioned in quite a while. I am still subbed to a few WAR blogs on my RSS feed reader, but I guess they've all gone dark. I think you're right that Mythic could have cut the elves out to give more time to polish other content, but even if they had I think WAR would still have failed.

    The game was simply flawed, and poorly represented by it's marketing. Way too much emphasis on scenarios, and not enough of oRvR. Since oRvR was the whole draw of the game for me, and I think most others who played I ended up canceling my subscription in disgust and boredom.

  2. That ties in to my main point. You need critical mass of players for oRvR. Rather than spreading players over three zones, they could have been spread over two zones, making it more likely that there would be some oRvR going.

    The big advantage scenarios have over oRvR is that scenarios guarantee you both enemies to fight with and allies to fight beside. You can't guarantee that with oRvR, but more players in the area makes it much more likely.

    Also, I think the other thing Mythic should have done was be a bit slower to avoid opening new servers. They were so intent on avoiding the "Blizzard Queues" that they ended up hurting themselves with not enough players on each server.

  3. The bottom line is that Mythic needed enough cash to delay the game for 5 months. They promised a game with 24 classes and a working keep warfare system. It sounds like they will actually be able to deliver it in the new 1.2 patch, which adds back the last two classes that were cut, and implements a system that sensibly lets you take control of the zone by controlling all the objectives in the zone - somehow they came up with a different idea for launch. Problem is, said patch is hitting test realms in February, and as many as 2/3 of their customers gave up on the game based on its state at launch.

    Maybe some will come back now that they've burned through Wrath, but it's not an ideal place to be.

  4. The clunkiness was enough to make me want to leave...I mean, you'd get hit by something, then a second later some mob would just magically "appear" in front of you. The character animations were just plain bad, especially the casting portions.

  5. In my office there is 6 of us, 3 play WOW and 1 plays WAR.
    I have tried it but not for long but I still keep up with it and see the live updates there taking out soon.

  6. I played for a while before wotlk, but just got annoyed by the lack of polish. WAR definitely is better than wow in some ways- its just that WOW is much better in every other department.

    I cant blame them for opening a lot of servers at once though- there was so much qqing over destro wait times at launch.

  7. I loved the game, especially the open quests and the RvR pvp, but there was just so few people...