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Open Beta, how I love and hate thee

Hey all, sorry for the slow updates here this past weekend.  It’s been a rush this past few days with classes starting and open beta beginning.  I’ve found that in between my time spent doing the things I have to do and my time spent doing the things I want to do, I have little time to do the things I should be doing.  So yes, the interesting stuff now.  Open beta began early and I have several things I want to jump right in and weigh in on.

The first is my class choice.  I decided to play a Black Orc this time because I wanted to give tanks and melees a try given that most of my beta (and preview weekends) have been spent playing casters and healers.  I absolutely love the Black Orc – a little more than I’m comfortable admitting even to myself.  He does enough DPS to kill things in PvE without it feeling slow and the survivability unparalleled by anyone but the cheapest of insta-heal abusing Runepriests.  In RvR, my black orc is a nasty piece of work that should be avoided at all costs.  I’m able to take chunks of HP out of casters and scare the bajeebus out of everyone else.  Albeit, I can not come close to my full potential without healers.  I find myself actually contemplating a Black Orc main… if only Shaman weren’t so much fun!

Bugs… oh lord the bugs!

Let’s face it – they’re everywhere!  If I were grading the game right now as a finished product I would give it a C because of the bugs.  No matter how fun the game is, or how much I love Mythic or RvR or any of that good stuff I simply can’t dismiss the heinous bugs. A couple of them that ‘bug’ me:

  • Your target can’t be attacked bug
  • Your target is out of range when it’s right next to you bug
  • Heraldry not appearing on standards
  • LoS bugs
  • Shaman feel clunky this patch with brain bursta and their lvl 2 heal not working properly with the new patch which smoothed out combat.  It had the opposite effect on shaman, imo.
  • PQ’s failing to spawn mobs or objectives
  • Invisible quest objectives


The bugs are bad but these ones did not exist prior to patch 4.1 or 3.3 – they were not in closed beta when I tested.  So this is easily forgivable IF they fix them prior to launch.  I will be extremely unforgiving and Mythic would be extremely deserving of all forms of loathing if these bugs made it into launch.  I think Mark Jacobs knows this though and their team probably has them all ironed out.

Server Stability – Like a Rock!  Oooohh Like a Rock!

It’s been fantastic.  Very pleased with how the servers have remained up.  I believe much of this has to do with the queues though.  They’re there to limit how much one realm can populate over another yet at the same time they server as population control for the entire server.  Very clever idea. 😉

CTDs – Still running rampant for me ever since 3.3 patch.  I mostly CTD in scenarios more than anything and it ALWAYS seems to be when we’re winning.  I think the guys on ventrilo with me can vouch for how much I hate missing out on all that good exp goodness because the game decides to dump me to the desktop.

Class Balance

It’s better.  It’s actually getting where it should be now.  I think having a few underpowered classes really threw balance off for many racial pairings.  Now that the squig herders and magus are worth a darn we’re starting to hold our own against the bright wizards and drop runepriests.  Engineers are nasty as well.  I think that they did something to my Shaman’s AP though because it drains like crazy now.

T2 Greenskin

I decided to take the plunge and experience T2 Greenskin vs. Dwarfs for the first time.  Up until this point I have avoided it because it’s going to be my path of leveling progression for quests/PQ’s at release but I couldn’t hold back my curiosity from getting the better of me.  I wasn’t at all impressed with the DEvsHE and the EmpvsChaos area is just ‘alright’.   Greenskins and Dwarfs, by far, have the best area.  It’s layed out perfectly and it has great quests.   It’s also really pleasing on the eyes with forests and a glowie marsh.

RvR

It’s been really great so far!  Our server has quite an activity EvC community and the GvD raids have begun to pick up.  We’re seeing a lot of keep sieges and open-world rvr – even the occasional people who flag on purpose.  The changes to the renown gear making it all spread out makes me rather sad.  I miss getting all my gear instantly but I understand why they did it.  Scenarios are my biggest gripe and it’s actually quite ironic.  I really didn’t expect to like them as much as I do and now I’m actually bothered by how little they pop!  I have yet to get a single Greenskin PQ. 🙁  I’ve had a good amount of EvC but I don’t like Stonetroll Crossing at all.   I’ll hopefully have more to report on the RvR soon.

Well, that’s all I have for you right now.  I’m going to be getting my Black Orc to the cap and work on my shaman as well.  I’ll give another update tomorrow.  If you have any questions or requests for my thoughts on something specific please feel free to post a comment.

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Trigger - September 8, 2008

Well I’m glad your experiance is good, the people in the EU are having a bad time of it right now… 🙁

How do you feel the Shaman is holding? I still feel a little weak as a caster/healer hybrid… hoping some major loving comes its way soon 🙂

Yggdrassil - September 8, 2008

I want to play damn it. Can’t even create my account ffs. I’d kill to play, hell I’d even play a high elf, anything really anything but LotRO 🙁

Russell Gusto - September 8, 2008

Keen ~

Man I’m laggy as can be in the RvR areas. The PQ’s, scenarios and PvE parts are pretty good…kinda slugish though. I’m very, very concerned. It also does not seem to matter what settings I have the game on.

I also have CTD twice and it’s always in RvR. Is this my rig or the client? I refuse to buy another mmo that is poor on performance.

Here is my rig:

HP Pavilion XP
7950 GTXOC
2.5 gigs of DDR RAM
AMD Athlon 4000+

Sorry to ask about this but I just don’t want to play another AoC game here, much less buy one. I am so sad 🙁

Avernos - September 8, 2008

I have seen the bugs you have listed a lot. Thought I don’t get CTD errors I get full out System lock and restart situations. This can only push me to believe that it might be my system. It does meet all the reqs but the CPU one only being off by .1 GBs. The game plays well but for the system resets. I have a lot of hope for this game because it does have potential but they do have some work to do before the 16th.

Rosie - September 8, 2008

The servers have been very laggy when a lot of people are on. Abilities aren’t triggering when they should and it’s very noticeable if you’re playing a caster. I haven’t had this issue in RvR scenarios for whatever reason though.

sws - September 8, 2008

Open beta overall has been a pleasurable experience for me, the CTD’s have been eliminated mostly. I have only had two since Friday.

They finally added the polish to the game, it looks amazing frankly. I thought the game looked pretty good in CB, even with medium graphics, but wow… I was just blown away with how improved they got.

I have some complaints though, the major one being the way RvR gear is obtained now. I HATE the progressively getting 1 piece per couple levels crap, I think it’s dumb and I PRAY they change it back to pre OB. I would love to see the stats changed back to before OB as well, tho that doesn’t bother me as much because people are still on the same playing field. One of the major draws for me was looking cool early on, this isn’t the case. You look like crap for all of T1 with this change. I don’t understand how people can complain about twinks (using the R10 RR6 gear in CB/PW) when they can get the same exact gear if they just level. Overall, dumb change IMO.

The target is unattackble bugs are very annoying, not gamebreaking though. Hopefully they will be fixed.

mDPS still needs tweaking, specifically the WH and WE. Their skills still cost too much and they run out of AP in a matter of seconds. When you are level 8 and can’t kill a level 2 healer, something is wrong. It’s because they run out AP right when the healer is a hit from dying. So hopefully they tweak the AP cost by 5-10 points.

@Rosie
I have not noticed any lagging issues with the servers.

Kleist - September 8, 2008

I’m really surprised you’re still having CTD’s like that. I had a metric ton of them during PW but over PW+ and open beta I’ve had literally zero.

brandedx - September 8, 2008

I also had many problems in Preview weekend…but I haven’t crashed a single time in OB….the most annoying bug right now is that there are untargetable mobs in PQs….which makes completing them difficult…

Dan - September 8, 2008

Unfortunately in Europe barely anyone with an open beta key has actually got to play yet. Whilst the problems are all from GOA, this remains Mythic’s fault for picking an infamously bad partner, again. It’s already generating hugely negative press in WAR’s biggest market.

Lets hope they fix those bugs you’re finding before launch, because things are starting to get a bit rocky for WAR this side of the pond. Assuming GOA manage to provide a launch, failure to do so appears to be more than just a possility…

Rog - September 9, 2008

Pathing (for pets at least) is still horrid. I’d heard it was bad, then fixed, but I’ve only seen it now and already I’ve been so frustrated with my Squig running off in the opposite direction for no apparent reason, or just outright disappearing in the middle of a fight.

I’ll agree though, I sure hope they fix these bugs and wouldn’t hold any against them at release as long as they’re gone. Beta is for ironing out stuff exactly like these.

I haven’t had any CTDs, although I’ve had the screen go blank on Alt-Tabbing occasionally.

I can say, without a doubt speaking for myself and all of my guildmates: Greenskins are more fun, period.

One other thing that worries me: Are they still planning on using PunkBuster at release? I don’t see it during the beta and not testing it sounds scary to me, especially since I use Mumble for voice and I’ve heard PunkBuster has ‘issues’ with it.

Stan - September 9, 2008

# Your target can’t be attacked bug
# Your target is out of range when it’s right next to you bug

they piss me off more then anything, seem to be getting worse too, they need to be fixed and soon grrrrrr.

Fugazi - September 9, 2008

1) You missed level of detail bug (blurred textures on distance etc.) – this one really make me not wanna play.
2) Too bad you are not in EU OB. It would be much less boring and much more to write about Group of Amateurs.

Blackwings - September 9, 2008

This is just supporting my case – I’m not going to even glance at this game until most of these bugs are worked out. I want it to be like a shiny new toy on Christmas morning when I unwrap the package. Perfect, flawless and ready to enjoy.

Let me know when it’s safe to come in.

Ashleen - September 9, 2008

Thank you for the post. I have to say I agree with alot of it. Overall it’s been lots of fun so far. You don’t say much about server lag although Russell Gusto above has. I have been really laggy and in some cases it’s really bad. I have not had one CTD though (knocks on wood). Some of the bugs are pretty frustrating and I would recommend everyone plesae take the time and report them as you find them.

Openedge1 - September 9, 2008

No matter what I did, I just could not get into it.
Various classes, various races, joining groups..
The fun factor just was not there.
After I died from fighting a level 3 wolf that took almost 5 minutes to battle with, I was done.
I guess if I was a WoW fanatic, then this game would have caught me.
But, I am not, and will continue my search of something new. This still feels like everything I have already done.
WoW PvP’ers should rejoice, as this at least will make them happy to not be playing WoW.

Marcus - September 9, 2008

@Russell Gusto

Is this another AOC???

:S

Please i just need a simple answer.. is WAR more fun than WoW??
Im not asking if its better or revolutionary, just if its fun to play like it is play wow?

I repeat i know they are different games! im just aking if its so fun like wow (more or less).. thank you..

Bletnuk - September 9, 2008

Overall great experiencem so far and crashes have gone from a few to none. Mob bugs have been bad but I’ll admit they did seem to fix the horrible pathing issues. Mobs actually respond quickly to being attacked and come straight for you instead of the ole wait and then boomerang around before coming for you.

They also said to play with the auction house but my one trip to Inevitable City had it still not working which was disappointing. Not sure if it was a one time or the whole PW+ so far. Seems a great alternative to getting decent gear while building renown gear.

Hardly any lag and impressed with the smooth performance so far.

Russell Gusto - September 9, 2008

@Marcus ~

Right now WoW is more fun…why? Because there is NO LAG. The RvR is really laggy and on many different systems. I’m so tired of mmo’s that release and are buggy, laggy and pooh. I’m getting very annoyed with Mythic now and I will not be fooled by the “It’s OB give em a break!” or the famous “The debugger is running in the background” lines…

This may be DOOM! I also hear that RvR in DAoC was always laggy, could be a rumor but if the game is built around RvR and that element is laggy, buggy and almost pooh status then this game will be another failed mmo.

Russell Gusto - September 9, 2008

@ Bletnuk ~

I’m glad it runs smooth for you but for many of us it does not.

Leafren - September 9, 2008

Request: CHAOSCAST!!!

Blacknimbus - September 9, 2008

“Please i just need a simple answer.. is WAR more fun than WoW??”

I’ve only been trying the game out since Sunday, but IMO, no it’s not more fun.

The avatars and the combat animation aren’t that great. The characters look better than EQII or LotRO, but aren’t nearly as good (IMO) as City of Heroes or WoW. Combat isn’t that entertaining and seems a bit muddy and I’m not sure exactly why. Generally I prefer casters, but their animations seem to be the worst of the lot.

Little things annoy me, though, so perhaps I’m just being inflexible. Not being able to cast a self-heal without manually targeting myself, for example, just drives me bonkers. And I haven’t figured out how to eliminate the giant tool tips for my spells everytime I mouse over them without killing the descriptions for items in my bag as well.

I’m hoping that the more I get used to it, the more I’ll want to play, but CoH and WoW pulled me in very quickly and so far this game as failed to do that.

Thomas Andre - September 9, 2008

Hmm..

GOA has really fucked up everything for Warhammer Online here in Europe! We are still not able to activate our keys?!

They don’t even give us any information on what’s going on, WHATSOEVER! This has to be the worst OpenBETA launch and the worst player treatment I can remember!

I’m okay with BUG’s in a BETA, I’m okay with lagg in a OpenBETA, I’m okay with enormous queues and perhaps some server issues at the launch of a OpenBETA, but this?

We are talking about the War-Europe site being 100% flash-based with is plain stupid?! Who the heck came up with that idea? Not to mention it’s ribbed of any thing I would describe as good information, and now GOA managed to screw up the entire account system? They have been sitting on their asses waiting for this OpenBETA to start, and what happens? They haven’t been preparing the account system?! At least they can’t have tried it themselves, not even once! Because it’s completely impossible to do anything with it! You get all sorts of errors while trying to create your account, for a few hours the entire thing went down (perhaps because of the load, but that’s something which is okay in a OpenBETA) and when it went up again we’ve got a bunch of new errors?

What a shame for the game!
GOA has once again proven themselves to be one of the worst! And when they screw up, they don’t even consider to keep the frustrated players updated on what’s going on? Horrible treatment!

Why on earth did EA Mythic pick GOA as their partner?
They have really screwed themselves by doing that, at least 40% of the possible European players will simply skip the game no matter how good the actual game is just because of how badly GOA is doing things! It’s not the first time a game select bad European partners, Lord of the Rings Online did something the same by picking Codemasters which created a horrid Lotro-Europe site and had a really bad customer treatment which people suddenly just game up and dropped the game! But GOA is even worse than Codemasters!

And if the game is having all these critical issues this close to release that doesn’t sound very promising does it? Is it Electronic Arts forcing a release whom are destroying much of the potential of the game? EA aren’t known for giving developers good enough time for their game.. Is this another stupid decisions by Electronic Arts?

This is OpenBETA, and the game still seems to have some rather critical BUGs which should have been non-existing upon a release! Hopefully they’ve got a new build which have fixed most of these issues ready for release, or this doesn’t look good for the game! Lets hope EA Mythic are fast and efficient with their patching! That’s where Funcom failed, they were rather fast with updates, but their updates just fucked up something else, and even one month after release there were huge lack of content and “fun” and still some nasty BUGs not being addressed.

But one thing that really disappoints me about Warhammer Online is the animations! You can say what you want about the graphics, they look somewhat “better” than World of Warcraft’s stylized visual, but the animations are far worse! The spell animations look dull and simply poor and boring? The mount animations aren’t synchronized with the ground at all? It looks like you are gliding? Same with the walking animation of the dwarves, it doesn’t fit the length they are moving at all? Also the sound of the horses are worse than what I could hear in games from the previous century?

Nollind Whachell - September 9, 2008

Well with the latest patch yesterday morning, I believe my frame rate issue is finally fixed for the ATI 4850 HD video card. I mean I can actually take the mouse, wag it left and right really quickly, and the video keeps up. Amazing. Even PQs and RVR are enjoyable now to the point I don’t even think about frame rates anymore, so I’m totally satisfied that they nipped this issue in the butt, at least from my end.

As for the other newer bugs, ya totally agree. Another one that a friend is encountering is a loot bug, where you can’t pickup the loot off something you just killed. He said 50% of his kills yesterday, he couldn’t pick up the loot. Really annoying. I’ve encountered it myself but only a handful of times yesterday.

BTW the “target can’t be attacked” bug usually can be worked around by running away from the target to reset it, then it will usually run out from it’s start point and finally can be attacked. I think it’s their start point that is the issue. If it’s near an object (i.e. rock, tree, building, etc) then something gets messed up with the pathing, even if it doesn’t “appear” to move from its initial spot. Very weird. It’s almost like a compounded issue from the pathing issue before where it ran directly away from you (and maybe it still is running away via the code but not so visually).

@Keen, as for playing a Black Orc, NOOOOOO! Stay a healer! 🙂 OMG yesterday was horrible for RVR. It was like there was a bunch of healer-type classes in our group (i.e. Zealot, Shaman, etc) but almost all of them seemed like they were optimized for dmg instead because heals were almost non-existent. I mean in five minutes of play, I was lucky to get a minor heal once per minute. Went through my potions like crazy. I mean I like playing my Chosen tank but I think I’m going to start working on a Zealot healer as a backup because RVR’ing without a few optimized healers sucks big time.

“Not being able to cast a self-heal without manually targeting myself…”
@Blacknimbus, not sure what you were doing different but I was able to self heal without targeting myself when using a Zealot. I just click the ground next to me to ensure nothing is targeted then cast the appropriate spell.

Finally if you live and breathe BGs in WoW then you’ll love WAR (of course once the bugs are dealt with). If you like the teamwork and cooperation of raiding in WoW but find it too draining, then I’d say you’ll probably enjoy WAR RVR combat even more so, especially if you’re in a guild.

Vort - September 9, 2008

I’ve had a few crash to desktops (CTD) but one I found very intuitive, at least that what it would have seemed had Mythic done it on purpose.

I was hearthing (for lack of a better word) back to my binding point and thinking to my self “I guess I’ll call it a night”, then at the moment I hearthed bam! CTD. Wow I thought that was intuitive.

thedog - September 9, 2008

so much hate is these posts its crazy.

WAR is a fun game, there is some annoying ass bugs, but they will get fixed.

This is nowhere near as bad as AOC. that game was complete shit.

everyone is expecting blizzards polish, but this isnt a blizzard game. you need to have more realistic requirements ala, EQ, EQ2, Dark age of Camelot, COH etc etc… anything but WOW.

Nollind Whachell - September 9, 2008

Oh one other thing that isn’t so much a bug but a gameplay issue. Yes Talisman making is in now but what’s up with “fragments”? Heard from someone that they are basically extremely rare to find, as I’ve got tons of other components. How can someone with Talisman crafting increase their crafting level if it is almost impossible to craft something because fragments are extremely rare? I mean I’m 11th level and I haven’t found a single fragment yet.

BTW tried the auction house as well. Interface seems kind of confusing at first but I was able to sell something. Seems not too many people are using it yet though, as there was only THREE items on it. 🙂

Nollind Whachell - September 9, 2008

@thedog. I agree. Primary gameplay is still enjoyable, even with the unattackable target issue. In PQs, people just left these bugged targets until they reset and became attackable again. Didn’t really imbalance things or cause any unwanted deaths.

Graktar - September 9, 2008

If you’re having trouble with performance try going into your options and setting the graphics drop down to “fastest framerate”. I had been trying to manually configure my graphics options and none of them seemed to make a difference, but somehow using that one turned off a few things and greatly improved my system performance without greatly degrading my graphics. Yeah, I lost stuff, but it was worth the trade.

@AP usage: because of the changes to the combat interface you can now essentially queue spells such that you remain casting all the time. As you may recall, you recover no AP while casting. Previously you could easily get a tick of AP recovery between casts due to the combat lag. Now you don’t, and thus casters seem like they’re using more AP, when the reality is they’re just casting more continuously, thus blocking their regen.

Thomas Andre - September 9, 2008

@TheDog

Ehm? Age of Conan didn’t really have that many critical BUGs at release? At least I could play to level 40 in the first week without encounter any major ones?

So far it seems like in Warhammer Online you can’t really play for one hour without facing rather annoying and critical bugs which should not exist, hopefully they’ve got a better client ready for release which will kill lots of our issues, but still the game got quite a few more major BUG’s than what I can remember Age of Conan was having?

Age of Conan is the second best release of a MMO (when you think of server and bug issues) behind Lord of the Rings Online I can remember. Only issue with Age of Conan was Funcom whom seemed incapable of fixing anything without screwing other things in the process, along with the game itself lacking level 40+ content and became very boring after a while. I think it’s unfair saying that the game sucked, when it comes to bugs and severer related issues Funcom did a really great job, at least I didn’t face any issues, not even in the OpenBETA I had any major issues?

Of course, the game requires a really high-end computer, which is bad for a mmo-game, but that doesn’t really make the game shit. It was simply a boring gameplay, but claiming it to be shit is taking it way out of proportion.

At least here in Europe the Warhammer Online has become a joke, it’s rather funny (but sad) to hear the people in my class talking about the epic failure of this OpenBETA.

It’s sad how a game can get it’s reputation ruined completely by GOA.

Howdy Doody - September 9, 2008

I have been running really smooth as of late. No CTD, and no lag.

As far as performance. This is off the top of my head but if anyone has more detailed questions leme know. I know I couldn’t find anyone running this game with some sort of 939 chip.

Chip: Athlon 2.5GHz 3800+ dualcore (939 still lives when oc’d)
Bus: 500MHz (oc’d)
Ram: 2gig DDR
Video: BFG 8800GT OCX (oc’d to 700MHz core, 2000MHz ram)
Video Replaced: I was using XFX 2x6800GT SLI but upgraded to the BFG.

I use 1400×900 res.

With the 8800GT OCX:
I have found I can run everything on “Max detail”, if I turn the “View Distance” down to minimum (50-60+FPS). But the view distance on minimum is about equal to the view distance of WoW’s maximum. When the View Distance is set to Maximum, it’s just damn impressive, but the framerate drops into the 20’s and is to inconsistant for my taste.

I have been in many battles with 40+ folks playing and noticed some slight slowdown but nothing unplayable. (~20-40 FPS)

With the 6800GTs SLI:
With the selection on “Fastest Framerate”, I was able to get ~40 FPS while questing and was really consistant. I was actually very impressed. It was using SLI as I could tell from my temperatures.

Other Note: On my brothers rig (4GHz, 1000Hz bus, 8 gig o ram, 9800gtx) its butter smooth with everything cranked in the 1920×1200 resoulution.

Howdy Doody - September 9, 2008

One other quick note. I really think my cpu/bus is a bottle neck for the 8800GT OCX. my temps on the vid card don’t even approach 50C even with all hell breaking loose. But when I run 3dMark06 my card temps get close to 60C.

So I assuming that I will need to think about ugrading to get the most out of the 8800GT.

Also…running XP Home.

Howdy Doody - September 9, 2008

On the “Is it fun?” topic.

I am having a blast with this game. I realize I got smoked here before because I almost quit the OB after just getting to lvl 3, but after I got done whinning and beotching (and quit questing) I realized how good this game is.

I love the fact I can jump into MP at any time. I HATE questing (thanks to WoW) so I only lvl with PvP, and PQ. I’ll so some of fun quests thou (shooting cannons, etc).

But this game screams teamwork and when you have a buddy/brother joined up with ya, and you are wrecking folks, it just doesn’t get any better.

Russell Gusto - September 9, 2008

@Dog, yes I expect good performance from a game that I’m going to be spending my hard earned cash on.

@Howdy, I don’t think it’s your system since I have heard and read many others that have vastly greater specs then yours and RvR still runs like pooh. I swear this is reminding me so much of AoC. The crazy thing is the WAR graphics are not that great, granted I like them better then WoW but they are not that far ahead of WoW. At least with AoC I could understand the lag but with WAR I just don’t see it. You can have 40 vs 40 in WoW without a single hitch, a single bit of lag!!! And in RvR I lag if there are 20 + folks on the screen. I have tried the lower settings and they do not work in RvR, the lag seems to be the same, maybe a little better.

Again not trying to bash the game it’s just very, very frustrating for me. I think if they made this game smooth then it would be great fun but it’s not, at least not yet.

Will see how it goes tonight.

Howdy Doody - September 9, 2008

I have run into times where everything lagged down on my brother and I. After we both left the game, rebooted and came back it was gone.

Next time I’m going to look and see if there is some sort of memory leak happening. Durning normal checking I haven’t seen my available ram less then 500meg. So next time that happens I’ll check the ram usage.

Troy Tanning - September 9, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, there have been an incredible amount of changes in my life and I haven’t much found the time. (Not that this is of anyone’s concern). I’ve been in quite a few betas during my tenure of playing MMORPGs, and, in turn, I’ve been on a lot of forums. So far this open beta thread has been about on par for most other open beta threads. Honestly, go back and look at the AoC open beta thread…looks pretty damn similar doesn’t it. I’ve played AoC for a few months now (I’ll get to WAR, hold your horses) and I have to say, “I’m bored.” The content is too similar level-to-level and though I still like the combo system and the game looks damn pretty, the content itself is beginning to feel lackluster. So, I headed on over to Game Stop (yes, yes, they’re evil)and pre-ordered WAR, mostly just to get in the open beta. I’ve been on the fence about WAR for a long time, I wasn’t a big fan of DAoC, and therefore was skeptical whether they could pull it off. Well, for me they did. And, this is coming from someone who like AoC, or at least did. I truly enjoy the varied types of content I can partake in even at level 1. For me the game has run relatively smoothly, I’m not getting too much lag, no CTDs and I’ve only seen that obnoxious “can’t attack that target” twice. The game isn’t perfect, but it has more polish than I expected. Also, the crafting is oddly interesting, I never thought I would say this, but I’ve had a great time growing plants and fungi. The only real hitch for me has been the interface, and the poorly written (and sometimes confusing) help text. Call me simple, but there is just more going on than I am used to. Still, all-in-all, I have had a damn good time over the last couple of days. Oh, and Keen I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the crafting, I don’t believe I’ve heard you say much yet.
I’m out.

Pyrrhuloxia - September 9, 2008

The only bugs I’ve had are the ones of not being able to attack certain mobs as well as the out of range bugs. Mob movement is a little clunky, too. Conan and WoW continue to have similar problems (less common in WoW, course) so it doesn’t bother me too much but they ought to work on it.
I’ve only had one CTD and it was when I was in a town equipping an accessory so it didn’t really hurt me at all.
I’m playing the game on a 2.5 year old laptop and the framerate is perfectly acceptable. The scenarios run at over 1fps, which is more than Conan at launch.
Destruction CANNOT win Gates of Ekrund. It seems everytime I play it for some reason we get 10 people and order gets 20. One time our entire team did not get a single kill. Long way to go to balance these classes. And they have to balance them better than Blizzard ever had to since RvR and Scenarios are important at every single level. Now balance means a lot even to PvE because public quests are damn near impossible if you have an underpowered class.

Keen
Keen - September 9, 2008

Let there be no mistaking it, WAR is a LOT of fun. Is it more fun than WoW? That’s a question that can not be answered directly as “yes” or “no”. It’s based on what you’re looking for in a game and how much you’ve played WoW. For me, WAR offers the PvP that WoW did not and the degree of PvE that WoW went too far with… so to ME WAR is more fun than WoW. But I would be lying if I said I did not absolutely love WoW beyond words when it first came out.

Elspath - September 9, 2008

Has anyone noticed how ugly the game STILL looks? i mean there really pushing it on actly pouting a good foot forword. I mean i might as well go back to UO for better graphices 😛 Games smooth and everything but the options in the graphices seem to have no effect but to make things look worse and compaired to other games out there well Warhammer looks 3 – 4 years older then wow

Keen
Keen - September 9, 2008

@Elspath: Let’s be realistic, it’s a lot better than UO. UO was isometric 2d in 600×400 resolution. I actually think it looks fantastic – but I know what they were setting out to make. They weren’t setting out to make a game that looks realistic, like Age of Conan, or something that pushes the boundaries of technology. They wanted to make a good looking game with stylized graphics and with moderate-low entry barriers. They succeeded in that.

The graphics options, I agree, are wonky at best. They need to add more of them, more control to them, and more results from them.

The game is far from ugly though in all senses of the word.

River - September 9, 2008

First Keen, love the blog, added it to my blog roll.

There are some things WAR does well, and some things WoW does well. I like the rush of PvP so WAR is going to be my home for awhile…well until WAR Trials of Atlantis comes out. HAHA.

As for the graphics, I would have a little worse graphics, and better stability, and playability anyday. Also the graphics they are going for is mor gritty, and realistic. WoW is more cartoony.

Remember too this is beta. Not the final version, remember the graphics for AoC beta, and final version was a little more crisper.

Stan - September 9, 2008

i really liked WoW, and i think its the better game right now, but i would much rather play War now, its not that i think War is better really, just i feel i am done with WoW its boring now.

i dont like the whole WoW vs War thing, its not really fair WoW as been out 4 years, War is still in beta., give it 4 years and my answer could well change.

Troy Tanning - September 9, 2008

@Stan, I’d say that is a fair observation.

The only other thing I’m going to say about WAR, that I forgot to touch on earlier, is that I appreciate how up front the designers have been with what has been cut, and what has and will make it into launch. It appears, I can’t be for certain as I’ve not played all the content, that Mythic has done well in sticking to their guns on what will make it into launch. That is much appreciated in my mind.

Freshfrmhell - September 9, 2008

Well so far Warhammer company is not impressing me. My big complaint is having to create 3 log in accounts. that’s right! THREE!
One for the downloading of the beta
One for the “Master Account”
and one just,,,just to e-mail Support!!
That’s just pathetic! Now with the standard 24 hour reply to your e-mail going on I have lost 3 days of head start time of playing.
Warhammer 0 vs WoW 1

Thomas Andre - September 9, 2008

@ Keen..

The visuals itself are decent, like a slight WoW Upgrade, it’s good enough and doesn’t require huge amount of performance! That’s where Age of Conan failed completely and lost lots of potential costumers!

But you have to admit the animations are really poor?
Spell-effects are simply dull, there is nothing to them? They simply looks poorly done, I can’t say it is exacting to do a spell just for the effects of it, like it was in Age of Conan and in WoW to some degree, in WAR it’s almost like I don’t want to pull of the spell just so my friends don’t look how boring they actually are. Which is quite sad, for the spell-effects is something that is somewhat supposed to trigger you to use the spells, just for the effect of it. Instead of me feeling like I’m doing something awesome, like when doing a blizzard in WoW, when pulling of a spell it doesn’t feel special at all, just odd.

Not to mention the walking animation of the dwarfs, and the mount animations? They are completely miss-placed? They don’t fit the ground at all, it’s like you are gliding forward and not walking! Looks rather ridiculous and kinda annoys me when I’m walking around, it can’t be that hard to somewhat synchronize the animation with the distance your character is moving?

And the sound.. Well, this is something Funcom did an amazing job with in Age of Conan, so it’s hard to copy that, but I have to admit some of the sounds effect sounds like something from the nineties? Have anyone of you heard the sounds effects of the horse mount? That has to be the most poorly done sound effect inn any mmo released in this decade?

Troy Tanning - September 9, 2008

@Freshfrmhell, odd. I’ve only had to create one…well, not entirely true, but I’ve had a fileplanet account for a long time. But, again when I was in the WoW beta I had several accounts for all they needed us to do. So comparing something that is in beta vs. been around for 4+ years seems rather dodgy.

Keen
Keen - September 9, 2008

@Thomas Andre: Animations need work and Mark Jacobs has come out and said that more are being added to the game.

Sound is definitely bad. It’s actually the worst part of the game.

The greenskin mounts look amazing and their animations are great, imo. My Wolf runs really nicely and matches the ground. On that topic, I do notice the occasional oddity in terms of gliding. That’s actually par for the course in many games though so I’m not going to be too critical and say that Mythic has missed the mark on its own here.

Spell effects are down there with sound but I have seen them already come a long way and anticipate them to get better.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that when beta ends and launch begins -THEN- we can nitpick this sort of stuff. Until then we can be aware of them and try to be optimistic.

@Freshfrmhell: I made one master account and a login for WAR. No clue what’s up with your having to make 3 accounts. Bizarre. As Troy mentioned, this wouldn’t be something new in mmorpgs. It’s par for the course.

Troy Tanning - September 9, 2008

@Keen, I think it’s fair to nit pick a little now. This is (or at least should be) fairly close to the launch version. I believe they’ll be able to fix some of the minor bugs and graphical issues, but I doubt they will be able to immediately implement new sounds or spell animations. I’m not saying they won’t fix them, but they’ll probably be there come launch.
I say this knowing that I think the game is very entertaining and something I will play for a while.

Medrin - September 9, 2008

I agree with most of this. Have you had the wonky issues I did on my WP when trying to target allies? I seem to have to click them a few times to target them if they’re not in my group. Never had a CTD though, ever, I think it’s just you :P.

Btw, Order’s going great still, I love being able to pop a queue and join within 3 minutes of queueing up, it’s really quite nice!

Troy Tanning - September 9, 2008

@Medrin, I rolled order as well. And, also have had no issues queuing. Also, It has been a pretty fifty-fifty win/loss ratio as far as scenarios are concerned. I’ve had a good time playing my WH and IB…though I’ve probably rolled two rather cliche classes. That doesn’t really bother me though, still having fun.

Rog - September 9, 2008

@Keen & Thomas Andre: So far, the animations have been the biggest issue with anyone I’ve shown the game to. These are all players that have come from WoW, AoC and/or CoH.

I’ve been calling the combat “spongy” and I’m pretty sure that feeling comes from the disconnect between the animations and the action that should be happening (lag is a factor too, plus their messed up global cooldowns, but they appear to be working on those). Sounds aren’t firing off correctly at times either.

To clarify from what I see:

1. Animations are poor to begin with, IE: female dark elves run like males, etc.. The best animations are on the Greenskins IMO but all of the other races just look wrong somehow when they move & attack. Casting animations are even more repetitive than WoW’s, Melee animations feel so weak and the timing is off on all of them.

2. Animations don’t always show, IE: Bright Wizard casts and no fireball. That’s a big disconnect in the action and it’s worse with the melee classes. Could be lag, I dunno, but it sucks in a very big way.

3. Global cooldowns seem messed up to me, my Black Orc can sometimes attack while the cooldown is still going. Maybe it’s lag, or maybe the indicator is just not intuitive but I find myself spamming my mouse clicks between this issue and #2.

4. Sounds don’t always trigger, or the wrong sound triggers that doesn’t match the animation. IE: My Squig Herder makes a bowstring snap sound when I hit Flee, WTF? Some sounds are just awful, like the footsteps.

I have been filling out WAR’s bug and feedback reports, but maybe someone at Mythic will spot my complaints here.

Yes, I’m being very critical, this is beta. I’d love to see it improved before release. The gameplay is fun, but animations are crucial to basic combat.

Elspath - September 10, 2008

i have a hd 24inch screen running at 1920 1200. 8800 gt 512 with a duel core 2.3 and 4 gigs. at full rez wow looks allot better, Smoother and less jagged lines compaired to Warhammer. Maybe the game just dosent look good at high Rez and i have to lower it to make it look better *shrugs* but running both on my system at the highest setting wow looks allot better. Even shadowing seems to be much much better. At this time and place the “its still beta” is not a excuse

Elspath - September 10, 2008

question Keen, When was the last time you played wow? Was just thinking that when wow first came out the game was very very close, maybe worse in graphices. But sense all the updates things have gotton allot better and smoother over expantions, patchs and so forth. Even The lich King is adding a ton of new shadders that people seem to be going insane for so thats another incress…

I do love the game play of Warhammer. its Really fun to play and the areas are preaty nice. Only thing that frightens me is after launch the Zone raiding area things, where you fight npcs with others. They will be almost impossable to do a few months after release. everyone will have moved on and if your left beheind or trying a new char it will be two or three people trying to fight off those chapion chars and getting your rumps kicked ^_^ Though the last few days of beta i was able to do it with a small group of 5. I think we were just lucky and we had 3 healers 😛

Fugazi - September 10, 2008

If you compare WAR vs WoW (WOTLK beta) graphics:
– WAR have better trees
– WAR have better grass
– WAR have more detailed textures*

However:
– AF does not work correctly so all those textures are wasted and look on distance like we would be in 1998

Now you could say it is bug etc. so I did think. However it seems that WAR use Oblivion engine where exact same problem was present and was never fixed. So I think it is feature of this engine…

This is what I am talking about:
http://img253.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zaldq1.jpg
AA and AF was forced on and game was setup for High Quality if you are wondering.

I am not graphics guy but I expect some quality. I will not accept blurred textures in 2008.

Fugazi - September 10, 2008

*AF and level of detail (animations on distance are cut/not shown too)

Warhammer Briefs at Kill Ten Rats - September 10, 2008

[…] Online is not without its flaws.   Keenhas a list of bugs that have been irking him during the Open Beta, and I don’t disagree, but […]

Russell Gusto - September 10, 2008

Well for those with performance issues I went under my nvidia settings and changed Image Setting to High Performance, it was set for High Quality and this seemed to help a good deal. A bit hard to say since I have yet to get into an RVR setting with as many folks as that time I was having the awful lag….game settings are on balance.

Anyone else try this? The thing that frustrates me is that I can run WoW full blown and I agree with some here that WoW at full blown looks better the WAR. But even if you think WAR looks better it’s certainly not leaps and bounds so performance should be very, very smooth and these animations *shrugs*

Of course the general idea of WAR is really fun and exciting so let us pray to Sigmar that they can polish, polish, polish…

Bletnuk - September 10, 2008

Very disappointed with everyone comparing WoW to WAR. You cannot compare a game that hasn’t been released to a game that’s been polished and worked on for years now. It’s not objective. I can remember the first year of WoW having many problems, balance issues, lag, the list goes on. Yet they’ve been releasing patches, expansions for over 3 years now to constantly refine their game. Noone can or should expect WAR to be as smooth and refined as any game that’s been around awhile, its unrealistic.

Personally I think WAR will stand on its own and offers plenty of difference in gameplay to be seperated from WoW and not compared alongside. Even AoC, which I left after a month due to bugs and lack of content seems to be cconstantly refining, adding, and polishing their game. It all takes time and expecting or comparing based on Open Beta results just doesn’t seem right to me. Took me over a year to fully start enjoying WoW, a year to enjoy, and than a year to have it grow old.

Staying optimistic and open but not getting my hopes up too high like I have for other games.

Thomas Andre - September 10, 2008

@Bletnuk..

Ehm, actually we can!
When it comes to content, bugs etc.. Of course we can’t compare it with a game that has been around for three years, got one expansion and soon is getting another one.

But when it comes to the visuals, animations and sound it should almost benefit Warhammer and not World of Warcraft.
A game being release three years later than another, and WoW didn’t even have that great visuals compared with other games in 2005, then we should be able to expect Warhammer to at least be as good, not to mention better than World of Warcraft. Three years is a long time in the world of technology. We have got much more powerful systems, new technology allowing better and easier implementation of better visuals in games etc..

There is no reason for Warhammer Online standing weaker compared to World of Warcraft when it comes to the visual part, the animations and the sound effects! In fact, when being release three years later we should allow ourself to expect and almost demand it to be better!

The visuals are something not changing much in a mmo.

Elspath - September 10, 2008

Fugazi, that splattering of brown on brown with brown rocks was a bad example 😛 and the low end texturs, ugly trees and compleate little to no grass is the point im making. trees are ok but as for leafe details i think they kind of suck but there preaty unique… On astetick look though none of those points are “better” then wow *shrugs* if you go in to elwyn forest or whatever its named, thats awe inspiring and looks lovely all over. Havent seen anything thats “awe” inspiring in wow from graphices

stompfoot - September 10, 2008

Big Question:
It’s less than a week from release, is this good to go? Are all these issues able to be resolved before next week? (…miracle patch incoming…) or are they planning to release knowing that they have some serious issues.

Keen
Keen - September 10, 2008

Yes, it is good to go. They fixed the target not attackable (99% of it anyway). I’ll be making a post tomorrow with what I want to see fixed before they release.

Rog - September 11, 2008

Looks like some of the animations have been changed / improved with the patch. A little at a time I suppose.

A Week with Warhammer at Kill Ten Rats - September 12, 2008

[…] has been a stable, relatively low-bug MMORPG beta. I can point to assorted irritations, but they are minor, assuming nothing else breaks with fixing the last major problems. The game is […]

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