WAR’s Greatest Flaw

I like to analyze the games that I’m playing.  I can’t help it – it’s a habit.  I almost derive as much pleasure from dissecting them and thinking about them as I do from playing them.  I know, I’m seeking help, but until that happens I wanted to dive further into what might be WAR’s greatest flaw.  This goes hand in hand with the posts I’ve been writing lately about it being ‘the players’ fault this time‘ and my commentary on the lack of Realm vs. Realm enthusiasm, realm pride, and community.

I read something yesterday that I would like to quote:

“I’ve come to realize truly what could be warhammer’s greatest flaw, and that is I don’t miss it. The tome of knowledge is awsome, scenarios were fun, quests entertaining, and graphics very solid. In a month or so of casually playing and pvping there just wasn’t enough social interaction in the game where guilds seemed appealing or worth joining, friends were nothing more than a wave and nod when you saw them in PQs, and chat wasn’t worth looking at 90% of the time due to spam and lack of audio alerts.

Warhammer feels more like a game, and less of a world to me. The players running around could be npcs to the casual eye and there just isn’t a living breathing mmo experience that would want to draw me in, and keep me coming back. I’m subbed for 6 months because I want to see mythic succeed, especially after all the exelent effort since launch to fix bugs and such. It’s my humble request tho, that when I log in next there are more social aspects to the game. I know this is WAR, and WAR is all around us but it still feels too much like a single player game atm.” TrisianX

This quote comes from a player who recently came back from a break.  He states that WAR’s greatest flaw is that he didn’t miss the game when he wasn’t playing.  That says a lot about a game – not only to its fun factor but its immersion and sense of world as well.  One of the big eye opening statements that causes people to go “oh yeah, that’s what it is…”  is that Warhammer feels more like a game and less like a world.

The city of Khal
The city of Khal

It’s tough to pin down exactly what WAR is lacking as a game world.  I think the best thing I can do to explain this is use other games as an example.  I’m going to break one of the holiest laws among the MMORPG people… I’m going to speak highly of Vanguard. *gasp, hiss, guffaw!*  Vanguard’s world was(is?) enormous, beautiful, and swallows the player up in its immersion.  Exploring the newbie areas – the run from the Gnome starting location to the capital city of Khal – is an adventure.  You start in this underground cavern environment, work your way through to the Gnome capital city which spans farther than the eye can see, and eventually work your way to the surface.  By now you are level 5 and have done much play.  When you break through and the rays of sunlight come pouring onto your monitor you almost feel as though you are taking the first steps of an epic journey as you behold the vastness of the desert that lay ahead.  In the distance you see large oasis-like river and dunes spanning the lands that lay left and right of a path.  Nearby you see an encampment of Gnomes whose attire reflects their harsh environment.  Fast forwarding ahead to level 10 (if you spent the time experiencing the content) you come naturally to the city of Khal.  You don’t realize how vast this city is until you see that it serves as a massive port for all ships that would travel to this continent.   Discovering this city for the first time instills a sense of scope for the player as to how massive this game is going to be from here on out.

Now, there is more to tell about the journey up to this point for the player.  If they were playing from 1-10 and experiencing the content without running straight to Khal (the purpose of which would be to level here and not travel to a new land to level with friends) then there are a few things they would have experienced naturally.

  1. They would have found a few quests to do.
  2. Tons of creatures to naturally fight without a specific purpose (IE: Not quest objectives)
  3. A dungeon at level 5.
  4. A clear, yet unknown to the player, path of progression.
  5. Danger along the way – lots of it.  Straying off the path can get you killed.
  6. A dungeon around level 8-10 that required you to work well with a team. (a giant wasp hive to explore)
  7. A sense of community that comes about when players realize that they are making a particular place in the world their temporary home and base of operations.
  8. The unknown…

Many of those things do not exist in WAR.  To quickly go down the list: WAR’s PvE is completely quest driven and the mobs you fight are always for a purpose, there are no lowbie dungeons, the path of progression is clear and you’re tied to it, there is no danger along the way, there is no ‘unknown’ and there is arguably no sense of community because of how rushed the entire process feels.  Why is that?  First and foremost the argument could be made that these two games are very different in scope.  Vanguard is a sandbox style game and WAR is a RvR(PvP) based game.  This is possibly the strongest argument to be made because, in a sense, I’m comparing apples and oranges here.  I want people to see this clear distinction.

WAR represents a streamlined mmorpg with a clear purpose; that purpose being the actual encounters of player vs player.  Everything you do in the game is to further this goal of meeting up with your enemy and doing battle.  PvE is designed to segue into RvR and thus is designed to require the bare minimum of effort.  Grouping in WAR serves almost no purpose – in fact a big complaint that many have is how much players are punished for grouping – and almost everything worth doing can be done in the game solo.    This is why people say “No one does PQ’s” and “No one every talks in chat”.  That’s because no one needs to talk in chat.  No one needs to do PQ’s.  The world in WAR is truncated and broken up into tiers and as a result players are disconnected from each other and the sense of contiguous exploration is gone.  No one needs to socialize with you because, for the most part, they’re just here to do their time so that they can move on to bigger and better things (high level RvR).  There are exceptions to this but I would have to say this is how it is for the most part.

What is the result of this?  If it’s not clear already to those of you who have experienced it, it’s the diminished experience.  You get to the end and do not feel satisfied.  You feel unfulfilled and as if something is missing.  It’s that incomplete feeling you get in your gut when you look back at what you’ve done in the game and you almost can not recall any adventures you had on the way.  I see this as an enormous problem for Warhammer Online and perhaps as its greatest flaw.  In striving to provide a fantastic RvR game experience they forgot, or chose to neglect, the sense of belonging to a world and all the benefits that come from it – passive or otherwise. Maybe I’m still comparing apples to oranges still, but wouldn’t it be nice of a game could accomplish both the things Vanguard did with its world and what WAR is doing with RvR?

Something for you to think about for a second is whether or not this is the players’ fault or Mythic’s… or both.  Has this industry been so dumbed down by the demands of the players that we’re now forced to endure the “give it to me now” mindset?  I don’t think it has, but it is definitely moving in that direction.  Is the lack of chat because of the age of voicechat(ventrilo)?  Honestly, I don’t think so.  Have people been playing these games for so long that they no longer stop to appreciate things?  I believe that many have but not all.  My conclusion here is that it’s both the players (In WAR and in all MMOs) and Mythic’s fault.

We’re starting to pay the price for the genre turning to a casual-friendly, solo-friendly, mass-appeal market.  This is what happens when a lot of people make the concept of not needing to interact with others popular.  I want the next generation of MMORPGs to return to Vanguard’s sense of world.  I want the adventure, the investment, the immersion, the interaction, the community, and all the other benefits that come from an immersive ROLE PLAYING GAME.  Games are fun, but MMORPGs have proven they can be more than just games and I want to experience that again.

Note: I am still playing, and immensely enjoying, Warhammer Online.  I do not plan to cancel my subscription any time soon.  Those who are familiar with my style know that I seek out the good and the bad in my games with hopes that future games will improve upon their predecessors.

  • WAR wasn’t for me but…

    Vanguard can now be tried as a 14 day trial via download. The client is small & so downloading is easy – the gameplay in the trial is based in on the Isle of Dawn(allows play from level 1-10).

    Have downloaded & installed the trial, will be planning to run through it with my thoughts posted on my site.

  • I completely agree with you on WAR’s greatest flaw, but I think you’re completely off-base with tangling up the factor of social interaction and players chatting with each other and soloing or grouping with it. The latter is a player mindset issue. The former, well…

    Sep 22: I was musing to myself on whether I liked WAR or not. My biggest issue was no immersion in the world. It was quite impossible to pretend to be one’s character and run around participating in some kind of story or feel like one was inside a living, breathing world.

    It’s the paradox of polish. My guess was that Mythic did such a focused, elegant job of game design towards an RvR metagame, that the messy complexity of a living world got swept right out of the picture as a lower priority feature.

    The zones don’t feel like they could exist in a fantasy world – verisimilitude took a backseat to clear achievement goals. They are tiers with level demarcations. With nice railroads on the map holding your hand chapter by chapter to the next stage. There are clearly defined RvR “lakes.” Here are the PQ areas.

    Notice how all the terminology just dropkicks your mind straight into a higher-order metagame. You’re not your character, a witch hunter out to find heretics or a sorceress seeking vengeance for a long painful exile. You’re you, the player, trying to figure out which activity to progress in for the night. Keep offense or defence? PQs? Scenarios? Is there a zerg in action somewhere? Or just quest…Hrm, which chapter and racial pairing were we in, now? Should I grind out influence for something nifty? *flips Tome open to check type of rewards and how far the bar is*

    If you’re in a group, the metagaming tends to gets worst. You’ve got to figure out your role in the team, tactics to win against live humans or calculating your best ways to get high contribution and win top placing for loot, etc.

    Every activity has a reward dangling, a signpost, a tome unlock and more, just waiting around to sate a need for achievement and to-do list checkboxes.

    And there’s always the ultimate purpose of Realm dominance lurking in the background, and a scoreboard of which zone is won or contested right smack in your UI.

    That’s not to say that all this is BAD. But it sure makes WAR more a game, than a world.

  • Players socializing with others is a completely different thing altogether.

    In part, some of this can be encouraged by game design – often at the cost of convenience or immersion.

    If there are timesinks in which people have nothing better to do but chat, or if forced grouping makes people -have- to talk to each other or else, you get socialization…but you also get a lot of people not interested quitting.

    Global channels or at least far-reaching chat makes it easier to hear others in a broadcast fashion. There goes immersion if some idiot is gabbling over it though.

    If a grouped task is easy or not critically reliant on certain factors for success, people get more relaxed and inclined to accept/tolerate others milling around. This is something I think CoX does well, but other MMOs still reliant on a holy trinity class system fail at.

    Even in WAR, there’s little point sticking around in an open group if you have no tank or healer for a PQ, just a mix of DPS classes. So you tip your hat and leave for greener pastures. If you feel like maintaining a social connection (and few do, most are focused on themselves as the center of their universe), you might even say “bye” before dropping. So much for interaction.

    Typing takes time. Get yourself stuck typing in an RvR lake when the enemy can rush you any time they feel like it… “Hey guys, let’s go to the keep and takwwwWWWwwsaddassss” Well, crud. Ain’t going to do THAT again in a hurry.

    Type in a PQ? But but, that’s lost time in which you could be doing DPS or healing someone or taunting for oodles of contribution!

    No wonder interaction is short and curt and rather ungrammatical at best.

    Then there’s just the whole new MMO generation thing. You don’t need to talk to others for info. They’re more likely to be unhelpful and snippy and troll you rather than give you sound advice. So just google it and look up a wiki.

    There’s too many people out there playing a mainstream MMO now. So how often are you going to see one another and want to maintain a relationship? No point investing all that effort to some random guy whose name you’ll forget tomorrow. Especially if he’s a clueless noob or selfish need-whore.

    That’s why I suspect people fall back to guilds to socialize. The tag enforces a certain commonality of purpose and encourages trust for bonds to start forming. And most guilds use voice chat – with its own pros and cons. Faster, bonds people who use it together. But also encourages homogenity/groupthink and metagaming over immersion.

  • If you think back to games that people remember fondly it is always the ones that built a strong sense of community. How did the game accomplish this? Games that REQUIRED you to work together in groups in order to advance.(xp and/or loot wise) or Games that had harsh death penalties (xp or item loss and/or corpse recovery runs) that forced you to seek help on those and again built a community.

    When i was using death as a means to port around the world quickly in WAR I knew that it was a problem. I did not connect with my character. I could care less if i died and how many times I did so. Daoc, EQ, FFXI, AC etc they all had PVE that made you care about your char and group together for advancement. This made for communities and gave a great sense of accomplishment when goals were achieved.

    WAR has great ideas to integrate RVR everywhere but they forgot how to make PVE build that bond of a community. Unfortunately Wow is to blame here. No one will go back to the old days of camping spots , grinding it out and not being able to solo. I am not saying they should either but there has to be a better middle ground. PVE can be tough and rewarding and does not have to be a huge grind to lvl 70-200 either.

    War had a great opportunity here. 40 lvls and lessen the xp required after lvl 20 but but make mobs tougher force grouping in most areas and add some sort of sting on death.. build that connect with the environment and dependence with the other players around.

  • 1 other thing they did not do in WAR is make you want to play to end game. I could do anything in T1 or T2 that I can do in T4. There is no incentive to get to T4. It is all the same. Even the zone layouts were the same ideas, no reason for exploring either. Chapter 2 is the same as Chapter 15.

    This is why the game suffers in the end levels because people are just playing with Alts as it is more appealing and fun then slugging your way to lvl 40.

  • I also agree with the whole death poenalty thing. Not having a death penalty eliminates any fear I have of dying. I remember exploring in EQ and being scared to death of heights because if I fell I would lose exp and have to travel back to my body naked.

    I also haven’t decided if I like having a map in game. It definitely takes alot of the immersion out of the game. I remember how fun it was when I had the zones in EQ and other games pictured in my head from physically exploring them then having them basically auto filled and permanatly there to check.

    Another thing I dislike is the items in this game. Every character bascially has the exact same gear at any given level. I was one of the first Sorcerer’s to 40 and was in the first groups to do BileRot and such. It was so lame seeing the crappy set drops that weren’t that special. They took alot of effort to get and we not much of an imporvement. Not to mention alot of the items have the wrong stats on them for characters.

  • i read this that too and this really did make me think.

    “Warhammer feels more like a game, and less of a world to me.”

    made me think of WoW, say what you want about WoW but the way the world is you feel much more part of it them War. i am in the wotlk beta, and the new zones are even better then anything before.

    i like War and its what i want to play, but for me the thing that lets it down most is the world, i just dont feel part of it like i do in WoW.

  • Worst blog ever. Not sure why this PoS is still on my favorites. Don’t bother responding i’ll never misclick the link for this blog again.


    troll response to a troll comment. Go back to crying to your mother because all of the other kids piss on you at the bus stop.

  • I kinda stated what you quoted a few weeks ago when I stopped playing WAR after leveling a 33 and 35 character and not having a single reason to make a friend other than ones I already started the game with. I go a bit more in depth however as to reasons behind why this is happening in these games. I basically comes down to focal points in the game where players are gathered be it small or large groups where they have to communicate to accomplish their goal. Anyways I’ll toss a link to my post, it just happens to be on the Darkfall forums but it gives examples from old and recent games on why this is happening to the new breed of mmorpgs today. http://forums.darkfallonline.com/showthread.php?t=75990

  • I was reading about Left 4 Dead and came across the rationale for not disabling friendly fire: it makes things too easy and, therefore, less exciting. We’ll see how that works once the game’s released, but I think it’s an important development. Do harder, less-forgiving games (especially online) mean better games?

  • “Do harder, less-forgiving games (especially online) mean better games?”

    How many people still play EQ? Or Vanguard, for that matter.

  • I’ve played quite a few MMOs, including AOC, Vanguard, Tabula Rasa, Guild Wars, LOTRO. The only one of them that provided a motivation (and possibility) for socialising was LOTRO. OK, I do not even want GW to be a social game for me – especially because I am not into GW PvP much. But the lack of communication, immersion and therefore the feeling of ‘idontreallycareaboutthisgame’ was so typical in AOC. Of course, AOC also had many other flaws.

    Interesting to hear WAR has the same problem. I am not tempted to try out other games that have been cited here as social (WOW, EQ, ???), but I now and then yearn to get back to LOTRO just to chat with people. Even if gamewise I don’t like it much.

    LOTRO did a few things right communication-wise. Probably, foremost, it’s based on an adult IP: many people whom I knew there are fans of Tolkien; and their average age is around 30ish. (Including *many* girl gamers.) This meant that people inside the game had some culture, and it was fun to talk to them. They were also helpful – partially because of that reason, but also probably more importantly because you really had to group to do something interesting. Moreover, there it was common that you went to one of those stupid quests (kill 20 boars), saw somebody else killing them, invited them to a group, killed the boars, and then did 5 more quests with the same person, at the same time chatting. Some of the reasons it’s so good for talking are the same reasons why it’s not good for playing, however. It’s a huge time sink for example: while you ride 10 minutes to another location, the only thing to do is really to chat. Or the same while crafting. Or partially even during the combat – you can autoattack the stupid boar, continue chatting, and now and then cast some spells.

  • Hey Keen,

    two observations:

    1. I felt this right away, on the first two days already … note that when I pointed it out in the Happy Fun Guyz guild chat, got a little flack, but you have defended my right to a point of view, so thank you. I have not logged in since but right there I knew already there was something strange about this game … no one ever talks in the scenarious … no one cares … as you put it, everyone behaves as the rest of the people were NPCs

    2. please don’t blame WoW or any other MMOS. For what is worth WoW has had much better social feel to it, I still fondly remember the excitement of the first trip to Gnomeragan, what immensely fun times those were.

    I want to recall Paul Barnett’s words … he said something along the ways that WoW is a genius and fatally flawed game at the same time. And when someone copies it they may copy the flawed parts not the amazing ones. I guess they copied the wrong stuff. Too much emphasis on accessibility, too much emphasis on making things straightforward.

  • Some great insight here guys, thanks for commenting. 🙂

    After reading the comments, a few points:

    Death Penalty – I agree it helps immersion and the overall “experience”.
    LOTRO – Another good example of a world
    WoW – I certainly don’t blame WoW for this aspect entirely… perhaps for the focus on streamlining but certainly not the lack of a social game world.

  • Unfortunately even know all of this is correct, bringing it up to the WAR community only fails miserably, someone said it before you cant even attempt to feel like your playing your own character.

    That is something EQ,EQ2, LOTRO, Anarchy, even DAOc, and the other countless MMO’s i hve played from good to bad have done.

    That is why i play MMO’s to get a break from the politic never escape Real World we play in. This game fails at that, but it wins in Pvp.

    One thing i wish they did was to give the feeling of the ORvR scenario like DAOC did where you could stay in there for hours or whatever you chose.

  • I still enjoy the PvP and SCs in War alot but I have been feeling something about this as well. I remember zones and experiences and feelings and mobs in WoW. I hated the raiding endgame but I have way more memories of the WoW world.

    In War I can remember SCs… but none of the zones, quests, dungeons.

    The PvP and SCs give a nice adrenaline rush and are fun but I haven’t found War has a world, just a lobby for launching SCs.

  • I have been having a blast in WAR lately. The amount of progress that this game has made, in a short amount of time, has been very promising. NPC pathing is great now, and the ORVR is non-stop on Phoenix Throne.

    I guess that the feeling of immersion really hasn’t been an issue for me. I never really felt “immersed” in WoW or CoH (the only other 2 MMOs that i have played).

    The game does feel like a game to me, and nothing more. Being a husband and father of 3 has me feeling that this is a good thing. I guess I don’t have to feel like I am in an alternate reality in order to enjoy a game.

    I have signed up for a 6 month subscription. Who knows, this game may be a totally different experience in half a year. WoW was much worse than this game at this stage of WAR’s existence. Time will tell.

  • I’m still playing WAR, but my complaints about it can be distilled down to a few observations.

    1. Is there anything in WAR that was already fixed in DAoC? If so, why?

    2. Why has Mythic been so slow to respond to open RvR flaws and why haven’t they recognized the problem with reduced XP on multiple kills.

    3. Why is the game so tied to scenarios? To me that’s the immersion breaker right there. I like them, they’re fun, but to make them part of the world instead of a fun distraction really seems odd.

    4. Why does Mythic insist on hiding how things work? Lairs for example. We found one, and it appears you have to have each race stand on the appropriate pad, but it didn’t work, no idea why, not fun. Stuff like this always turns players off. See #1.

  • They need to concentrate the action, players are spread out even in a single tier. This is release, every option available to the player should be filled with players.

    In Daoc you had 2 choices till 50, PvE or 1 Battleground for your level range.

    1 Thidranki ­> each tier RvR Lakes + 3 Scenarios.

    Im starting to miss the BGs ;/ Even keep fights in T4 feel less epic than a good old 3 realm war over a BG keep.

    Maybe its the T4 grind getting to me, but in the first couple weeks we had lots of action in vent since everyone was in the same tier. Now that players are spread all over, its boring everywhere.

    Make RvR lakes THE most attracting option and fast. Or else i fear for this game 🙁

  • As a casual, I still think this game is awesome. Even the class system (ability + morale + tactics) is a masterpiece. It lacks some stuff as well badly.

    1) world is empty. Core game elements like PQs, World RvR requires lots, lots of people. At the moment there’s no PQs running and no World RvR going on especially in servers with low population like mine.

    2) I drooled for a dungeon when I came to T2 to test what my character actually do. There’s none.

    3) When I get to the rank i can join gunbad, I actually had noone except 2 IRL friends in my friend list because I didnt needed to add people in it. Now i need a group but i dont know anybody.

    4)Capitals, at least Inevitible City is badly designed. There’s no town center that you can give a break, talk to people and socialize. There’s that square center to do that work, but there’s no action in there like auction house or bank.

    I think most of the social issues will change when people start playing endgame. I remember how boring it was to level in WoW to lvl 60. The real fun started at level 60. i hope rank 40 will have the same effect. I think people will want to have people they trust by their side when they are attacking enemy capital instead of PUGs.

  • > “I want the adventure, the investment, the immersion, the interaction, the community”

    Roll a char on a WoW RP server and join a RP guild.

  • I’m not sure you can tie miss it / won’t miss it to a particular game. I love Vanguard for a long time, but when I did stop playing it, what put the final nail in the coffin was… I didn’t miss it at all. That’s in fact how I know I’m about done with a game, whether I intended to be or not.

    For me, it’s not been about missing the game, it’s been about missing the community *in* the game; on the plus side, some of those people are now in other games with me. We’re not as static as we once were, and you can keep in touch with new friends/communities outside the game if you care to do so.

  • I think you have made a mistake about what War is and what its trying to be.

    War is almost like a Shadowbane lite. The pve in Shadowbane was horrible. Its not bad in War but its not great either, but it was never going to be that kinda of game.

    I think there biggest flaw is there are WAY to many pqs. They did not need so freaking many lol. And they need to really put in the rvr pqs like they had this week.

    I will say I think they screwed up by putting keeps in every tier, should of kept them for t4 but gave us other stuff to do in the other tiers.

    War is a fantastic game but its no where near perfect but for what it is im having a blast.

  • I played Vanguard fora few months. It was not bad, and I did like the huge world. However I never go totally hooked in. Good part it is possible for Mythic to expand the world.. the way the tiers are setup it seem possible to add more areas. More PvE / exploration and more RvR areas.

  • I cant wait to see what mythic does do in the future. One other problem is when the game launch there chat really did sucks, and why after DAOC this chat sucked ill never know.

    Another problem is like it was in COH, everyone is busy fighting. Either open rvr or scs or pqs. No one sits and crafts anymore like they did back in the daoc days. Alot of talk would come from that, here its fight fight fight 🙂

  • really good post, and have much the same thoughts as yourself and many others above.

    I actually came from Vanguard to WAR, as I had left WOW for exactly some of these reasons. Vanguard still has that great immersion factor – of a actual living world, where there are penalties for messing up (huge huge improvements in this game by the way and the devs have done a great job). The commuity is also really mature and helpful, and general is almost always chatty. Another factor that gives a feeling of community.

    I like WAR, but as a guildie said the other day, it does not have the addictivness that other MMOs have (WARcrack), people don’t have any really tangible incentive to log in and level. As someone said you can do pretty much everything in any Tier. As you said your playing as you not establishing your Toons story.

  • I still consider myself a WAR player, but have not logged on in 4 weeks. I don’t miss it either.

  • I have not logged much in to WAR the past week. One part being out all weekend and one part playing Fallout 3 with what time I did have. I did feel like I missed the special Halloween event (I am sucker for these things) but that is it.

    The picture of Khal did remind me of the vastness of Vanguard. It was a very visually stunning games. But it was only exciting at the beginning.

    What I see in recent games is that there is too much space and too much to do. There was a lot of time I was the only one in a particular area. And it was an area that was not that far off the beaten path. The Chapter hubs have are usually more NPCs then PCs.

    Back in Old EQ (pre everything) there were just not that many places so for the most part there was always a good number of people in the same area as you.

  • Immersion in WAR comes from the WAR effort in my opinion. It might be motivated by the metagame, but defending your fortresses and ultimately your city requires a concerted effort. People are forced to stop waht there doing and defend their realm, and I’ve found myself really enjoying this aspect of the game. You’re competing largely against other players not scripted encounters. And your loss or defeat leads to changes in the game environment.

  • Great post which got me thinking about Vanguard, it really was great for that first month and I too remember the feeling when I saw Khal for the first time from way up high. And those low level dungeons were so awesome! I thought Vanguard was going to take off. But funny thing is that their large world got them into trouble. When people started leaving the game and there were no new characters being made, people got too spread out. Then people complained of how empty the world was, because it was so big and it was too difficult to travel to the other continents to find people to group with!
    They had to start putting in more instant travel to help alleviate that. And the low level dungeons grew dusty because there were no low level people forming groups.

    I see WAR suffering from that same problem when the core of players hits 40. Even if the world is very small, it will still feel deserted. Plus WAR was designed to herd people through the tiers, not as an exploration game, but to get people into the action quickly. People say they don’t want timesinks, so a company builds a game with no timesinks, and people say they want immersion and community. Will any developers ever find that perfect balance?

  • Lastcall has a point… until we start seeing more REAL endgame struggles, with the heads of Kings on pikes, I don’t think we can judge what the community will grow into.

    At the moment, it lacks. But part of that is the focus on letting people PLAY instead of sitting around watching bars refill or grinding craftskills.

    In DAOC, much of the community feel in the early days was provided by crafters sitting in the Capitol, watching that damned green bar slowly crawl across the screen. We chatted and answered newby questions just to keep ourselves (mostly) sane.

    I for one, will NEVER grind like that again. (/shudder)

  • Also the community in vanguard swallowed you up as well. They would have guild events, like a drink off, or naked gnome runs, or mazes built in guild halls.

    I miss that the most.

  • IMO, it’s not the game itself but the people you play with that makes it memorable. WAR is a very young game yet. You have to give it time to produce its own memories of battles won or lost with the people you play with on a regular basis.

    Only then can you look back and have something memorable enough to actually miss.

  • I have no doubt that once a city siege takes place then there will be that memorable moment and the community will strengthen. The tough part is, at least on some servers like the one we rolled Destruction on, the point at which we actually get to a city siege could be many months away.

  • I had to take a little break from WAR and said repeatedly that I’d be back.

    I still haven’t.

    I just found that the game was humor-less and so heavy that I’d get “down” after playing for a while. While I like many aspects of the game, it just isn’t fun.

    Still read the forums and keep up on the game but don’t play. Time will tell.

  • I don’t even think fortress sieging can help this games lack of community. Mythic really made this game way too casual in every aspect. When that happens you just don’t get any form of satisfaction from doing anything in my opinion. I agree with the person that stated how EQ didn’t have that many leveling options while you leveled up so there would ALWAYS be people in those few spots if you wanted to find people to group with etc. In themepark style mmorpgs you must make focal points that let players interact. Unfortunately WAR tries to do this with rvr which gives very little time to interact with others. If the games focus moments lack enough time to interact and communicate, friendships don’t happen which in turn takes away a vital reason for people to log in and play.

    Mythic really took the grind out of the mmo, in doing so it also took a big factor in how friendships are made in these games, downtime. Grinding usually requires people to stay in a particular spot for awhile, thus if this is a focal point in the game many players will be there and will eventually interact if the game is designed correctly. WAR dumbed down this aspect so much it’s not even entertaining. PQ grinding in a few hours to get max influence then leaving the spot forever. Basically taking wow’s reputation grind and letting you do it all in one sitting, not smart if you ask me.

    With all the great console games that came out recently I have easily put WAR down and to the side with zero incentive to go back to play it which shouldn’t happen after you level a character up to max level in any mmorpg.

  • Again tonight im trying to do some serpants quest and Quest to level. I have been in and out of game probably 20 times no lies. I get in do maybe 2 SP which are fun but am so alone that i just log off.

    This really has to change, server merging anything, but in all honeslty this cannot continue as i have fun through t1-t2 after that i die inside.

  • This game died for me awhile ago…the sad thing is the devs did all they said they would but it just does not grab me. I actually feel bad for leaving since they really spoke the truth, although lag in RvR really is annoying.

    Overall a fun few months but already have my eyes on my next mmo! I know, I know, it’s a horrible addiction, yet I love it 😉

    So long WAR RIP

  • To answer your question, it’s Mythic’s fault. If players are getting to the end and feeling unsatisfied, they’re not providing what the players want. In that regard, it’s not the result of the “dumbing down” of the industry but rather a misconception by Mythic on what the players want.

    The player’s are certainly to blame for certain aspects of the industry but, with this, the blame falls squarely on Mythic. I’m hoping they fix it too because, if not, the longevity of the game is going to take a hit. Players need to belong. They need to miss the game when they can’t log in. They need to be part of that world you described. The game doesn’t deliver on those.

    Like you though, I still find it fun. The true test will be this though: when Wrath drops and people go over to try it (as MBJ expects), will they miss WAR enough to give up their sense of belonging to return to a game that’s essentially hollow for them?

    Only time will tell.

  • Funny that you want a role playing game when you don’t roleplay. Sorry, I just had to. 🙂 *pokes Keen in the ribs*

    Anyway, Warhammer has been hard on roleplayers. No /sit, no /walk, no places to congregate without annoying NPC’s walking through you and spamming your screen. We stubborn people are working through that, though, by forming alliances and learning who the “regulars” are for weekly events.

    As I said in that thread you referenced, I think the lack of socializing comes from the chat channels being so fragmented.

  • Funny no mater what any company does, we all say we want things then we get what we want and we bitch. I dont understand at all.

    I dont want to grind, ok take it out, well now I dont have time to sit and talk to people!

    I swear to god drives me nuts.

    Why dont you just sit back and enjoy the time you spend with a game and for the love of god stop nit picking everything to death.

  • I have full confidence that mythic will bring us all the gimmicks that we want if we’re loud enough. The game is only a bit over a month old and look how well the game works. It does what it was suppose to unlick AOC, for example.

    I came to warhammer for pvp and the reason why the community sucks is that they are all busy pvping. It’s really hard to chat when you’re owning faces. If they eventually give us more ‘RP’ things to do, maybe the community will get better.

    I still think the best all around MMO is EQ2. I just wish the PvP servers were geared more towards PVP. I think we need an EQ2 with a little Warhammer. That would be a f’ing awesome MMO!!!

    Vote for McCain!

  • @Joe Fred: Your post was great up until your political plug. For the record, I’d bet McCain would degrade all of us non-soldiers for playing video games instead of, you know, fighting in the war or something.

    I wonder if he’s ever heard of Pong. There’s still hope!

  • In thinking about it, I have to agree. WAR is a good game, but it’s not a good world. I haven’t really played in the last few days (finally got around to seriously playing Mass Effect on my 360), and I don’t miss it. I like WAR, I enjoy playing it, but I don’t miss it when I don’t. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on exciting events, or feel any rush to experience the content.

    Part of that is that I’m burned out on MMOs, there’s no doubt about that. Part of it though, is exactly what you say. WAR is a great PvP game, in the same way 1st person shooters are great PvP games. The gameplay itself is good fun, but the world doesn’t draw you in as a persistent place — it’s just where you go for your pvp.

  • @Cedia: Actually, I’ve played on RP servers and roleplayed for the better half of the past decade in MMORPGs – far more than I haven’t in fact. 😉

  • Isn’t anyone going to mention how slow and boring the combat system is?

    I played an Black Orc and Warrior Priest into their mid teens before I gave up.

    It’s just so slow be comparison to WoW and AoC. and there is this feeling of disconnection between when you initiate your attacks and them firing off (I dont mean lag, but a sort of animation/audio sync issue). And there doesn’t seem to be any flavour to the class mechanics (ie: WoW – rage system, or energy system, paladin seals and judgements, or the ‘ability’s available after crit or dodge/parry) it’s all just this generic action points and you just click 1 2 3, 1 2 3 until the universe collapses.

  • Don’t forget no /dance

    I mean WTF. Were they so trying to be unlike WoW that they TOTALLY lost their minds?

    /dance has been around in every MMO like forever. /special?????

    It’s FUN to dance on somebody’s corpse. They sure got the “war” in Warhammer right. Just forgot to lighten up a bit and put in the fun.

  • Have recently started on a (Euro) server with a “medium” population (the highest available). But my area (High Elves)is close to empty. There is *no* RvR and having sufficient numbers for a PQ is rare so scenarios are the only option. Mythic needs to do something radical to integrate players from the different paths:

    – Perhaps have rally points at open RvR locations (and PQs) that you can queue for like you do for scenarios. These would activate when a full party becomes available and would be accessible across all the career paths on the whole tier.
    – Reduce renown gain from scenarios, perhaps on a descending scale as you do the scenarios multiple times.
    – Encourage grouping by making PvE harder and more rewarding.

  • @Raegn Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I was really psyched about the election, but I don’t want to argue about politics.. my bad, I should have left it out.

    War is a pvp MMO! As we have seen from other MMOs, if they put too much effort into PVE and all the other little things and market themselves as a PVP MMO… they will fail horribly if the pvp isn’t right. If you’re there for the PVP, like me, you will wait for the little things and be damn glad that the PVP was done right.

    I went to AoC for the pvp, and we all know what that bucket of #$#& was like.

    In a nutshell, I’m glad they focused on the gameplay that I bought the game for. I just hope they eventually consider player housing, furniture, appearance and player individuality. Oh! emotes too!

  • “Note: I am still playing, and immensely enjoying, Warhammer Online. I do not plan to cancel my subscription any time soon. Those who are familiar with my style know that I seek out the good and the bad in my games with hopes that future games will improve upon their predecessors.”

    You’re about one week from canceling.

  • @Keen,

    Is it possible that what you are describing, e.g. the lack of immersion and the lack of community, is partially based on your original choice of server?

    This game revolves around RVR. To the extent the RVR on the server you play is healthy and vibrant, the game rocks IMO. People can say the PVE in WAR is limiting/boring/etc. But for a lot of players (me included), PVE over time becomes boring and repetitive. There are only so many times you can run Karazhan in WoW (or whatever higher tier you are in) or The Rift in LOTRO before it becomes simply a matter of managing the pre-scripted fight.

    I know you rolled on another server recently, Phoenix Throne. PT happens to be the server I’ve played since CE Head Start began.

    PT has been an awesome server, with a lot of world RVR and dalogue between both sides on the WHA PT RVR forum:

    I just ranked up to R40 2 nights ago, and what makes me excited is that over time there is more world RVR in T4, and I expect that to continue as players rank up to R40. There have been some epic T4 fights, and they were a blast to be a part of.

  • Well looks like my small handful of friends have decided we’ve had enough of WAR as well. No matter what we do, we just find everything really boring (i.e. quests, PQs, etc). The topper last night was when we went out and captured five BOs. Other than the rare enemy showing up (because zone population was the lowest I’ve seen in a while), it was pretty uneventful and boring. We’ve had more enjoyment and challenges pulling trash mobs in a WoW dungeon (which is sad).

  • @Taugrim: Phoenix Throne is changing my outlook on WAR immensely. There are people online and hanging out in the Capital city of Altdorf not really doing anything but hanging out (this builds immersion). There are people who are roleplaying and getting into their character as being part of the world and the community around them (this builds immersion). There are channels for RvR and people actually WANTING to contest territoty (This builds immersion).

    So yes, a big part of what I describe as WAR’s biggest flaw was based on my original server choice. However, even on PT it still exists as an issue – It’s just not as obvious right now.

    What’s your name in-game Taugrim? (is it Taugrim?) Mine is Stocky (Our guild name is Black Fire Fellowship).

    @Nollind: Sounds like my RvR experience on Wolfenburg. If you have any desire to keep playing at all, I highly suggest Phoenix throne. It may rekindle your enjoyment. If you decide to quit after all, then you have my best wishes for finding a good game you enjoy. 🙂

  • @Keen,

    Here are my characters:
    Taugrim, R40/RR36 BW
    Taugrym, R17 IB

    Your IB and mine are close in terms of level. I’ll add you to friends and try to track you down so we can run some RVR together. My guild (Conjunction) has mains and alts in T2, so we try to run T2 scens every day.

    The RP’rs on PT are awesome. E.g. there is an all-dwarf guild named Stone and Steel. The 1st time I ran into them was back in CE Head Start. About a dozen dwarves ran by with the same guild tag so I followed ’em. They kept calling me “manling” LOL. I don’t RP, but I’ve played on RP servers in LOTRO and WAR, and the community makes the game a lot more fun.

    IB is a stellar class, vastly underrated IMO. I wreck people far worse on my IB than I ever did on my BW.

    My main has been BW since Beta. I’m a part of the BW community on WHA and my class guide is stickied there:

    I mention that because I think we’re both very interested in the dynamics of the game, whether it be community, RVR, or class mechanics.

    Anyway, hope to see you in-game.


  • @Keen: Went to Phoenix. Wasn’t really impressed. For a roleplaying server, there was zero communication in the Tier 1 RVR. I was the only one who was relaying the enemies movements. Also while I saw about six to eight people for our realm in RVR, I didn’t see very much teamwork at all. I mean I was working with at least three or four warrior priests about 20 to 30 feet from me, trying to overtake a flag objective. I got attacked and start attacking the enemy thinking I’d get assistance. Not a single warrior priest healed me. Couldn’t believe it. At least one of them wasn’t even doing anything, as there was only one or two enemy nearby (if even that). Honestly I’d get more fun and teamwork playing something like TF2.

  • I am leveling. I am exploring. I am rerolling characters. I am doing PQs by myself as much as I can, and going back to lower tier PQs when I can’t get others (about half the time I try them). I take flags. I try and take keeps.

    I get loot, trade loot, find strange heros and champs in PvE areas. Kill them, or fail to kill them. Kill them and get a tome unlock. Kill them and NOT get a tome unlock.

    I get a piece of a armor set and wonder where the rest of it is. I hunt it down. Realize I have to do some crazy stuff for it. Organize people to get the thing. Fail or succeed, level past the need for the thing, move on.

    I experiment with crafting. Epic thing is made. I try to recreate it, I level in crafting past the need of needing the epic thing. I move on.

    I roll a new character cause I want to try it out. I play with new friends. I come back as another character to help out in a PQ. I find something new. I kill lots of things that are easy to kill and get a bestiary tome unlock. I look for more beasts named to kill, or kill lots of other things. Sometimes I get bestiary unlock sometimes I don’t. I move on and do something else.

    I PvE. I PvP. I RvR. I scenario. I PQ. I make stuff. I use stuff. I look for new stuff.

    There is SO much to do in this game. Are you reading the tome unlocks? The chapter background fluff?

    Yes my character dying means I have to run back out there and kill in to what I was exploring earlier. THAT’S your penalty.

    Go PvE! Tired of PvE, go PvP! Tired of PvP? Go exploring (look for strange quests in the middle of no where for odd reasons, or heck, just look around).

    Insanely stuff to do! Do it!