Saturday, February 5, 2011

Waging war on WAR

I have tried, perhaps unsuccessfully at times, to keep the overall  tone of my blog light and (hopefully) humorous. In real life I have, on occasion by people who know me, possibly been (once or twice) described as pessimistic and even (gasp) negative. I was told once that I didn’t see the glass as half empty, but felt that someone had stolen my half. Perhaps accurate, I have purposely tried to avoid what would be very easy for me: Rant Blogging. There are limits, however, to what any one man can take so sit back, grab some popcorn, and I’ll answer your question: UMADBRO?

Yes, indeed, I am, thank you very much for asking kind troll.

Even though I have let my subscription expire I have decided to weigh in on the subject of Warhammer in light of recent announcements. Or non-announcements as the case may be. I have surrendered approximately 50 days of my life to game-play and over $350.00 in cash to ‘the cause’, and  suffered through every debacle since release so I think I’m entitled. I have indeed, laid back and thought of England.

First- I’m bloody sick of all these ‘good things are coming’ announcements. Really? Could you possibly insult my intelligence any more? Honestly. Piss off. I’m not 10, and its not Christmas. I know what you’re doing. EA-Claus is making a list, and he’s checking it twice, gonna find out whose naughty or nice, la, la, la, la, la, la......The players are mad. The players are quitting. Your employees are leaving. RIFT is coming. I am an adult, and a paying customer. I love the idea of WAR but the execution sucked. Plain and simple. Take your carrot away. Show me what you’re up to or don’t bother talking. You’re wasting my time.

Second- Free server transfers from Iron Rock. Too little, too late. I already abandoned all my Iron Rock toons and re-rolled. Again. This is one of the reasons I experience so much burn out with WAR. When you level the same class, in the same places (often with not enough players around) it gets dull. I’ve had to transfer and re-roll countless times and I’m sick of it.

Don’t let this particularly transparent magic show distract you from the very simple, and basic fact that player subscriptions are so low that yet another server is closing for good. We have been insulted again, collectively. They are disguising the game-altering problem of a dwindling player base with what looks like a beneficial and caring act. This should have come last year. Sneaky, if, as I said, I was 10-years-old, and couldn’t see through it.

Third- the content is past its due date, or said another way: it stinks. Nothing new, really, since release. It’s only natural that players will want to move on and try something different.

Finally- I’m going to come right out and say, again: WAR pvp sucks. And it’s a pvp game. Add them together and you get a whole heap of fail. Come, let’s calmly discuss this and remember that I actually like WAR. I’m not a hater. Here are my reasons:

WAR is an open rvr-game with no open pvp-servers. This still mystifies me. When they closed the last of the open rvr-servers I really believe it was the beginning of the end. I was led to believe that players just got tired of getting ganked and they weren’t having fun getting repeatedly killed in the ‘pve’ zones while they tried to level up. I would like to submit to the ladies and gentleman of the jury, that nothing, NOTHING, has changed. It has only moved into the rvr lakes. I get facemelted in T4, plain and simple. I used to get ganked at PQ’s when I was rank 10 (which I didn’t mind to be honest because I did a lot of it too) and now I get ganked in rvr zones now that I’m rank 40. How is that better? All that happened is that the game changed to accommodate pve-players who have long since left anyway, and the pvp’ers were forced into a smaller area. The rest of the game-space is wasted (this having been pointed out in other blogs).

WAR pvp is about numbers. The zerg wins and we all know it. Yes there are small-scale battles that take place, and yes they can be fun, and yes 1.4 made a difference, but the game has always been about the zerg. It as designed as a warband vs warband game so it’s to be expected. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing, but when numbers are the deciding factor in a battle there is no real challenge. Its about bodies on the ground and that’s it. That, for me, isn’t challenging pvp It can be fun, with balanced numbers, but it’s more like pnvpn (player numbers vs. player numbers).

WAR pvp is about gear. If you are under geared, you die. I don’t like grinding for gear, I like battling other players. This isn’t a universal truth, and I understand that many people enjoy levelling and getting shiny new objects. For me, however, it takes away from the fun. I liked Guild Wars where you rolled your pvp-toon, fully geared, and could compete immediately on an even playing field where your choice of builds, tactics, and your actual team-work would win the day.

WAR’s pvp end-game is so obviously imbalanced I want to cry. If you put more game-time in and get your RR up to 100, fair enough, you deserve to beat me in combat. The problem is that for those of us who don’t have the time, or the inclination to grind out the RR, how long are we going to stick around T4 and get destroyed by extremely high RR players? Not long, I can assure you.

I continue to read the Warhammer forums and blogs and it seems to me that WAR is becoming a bit of a niche game. The posters and bloggers who appear to be left are those who are very involved in the end-game or are very dedicated to the idea of the game. It’s a bit strange for me looking at it from the outside now that I have unsubbed (again).  I feel that WAR is beginning to appeal to a very small sub-set of the player population they once had and the rest of us, no matter how much we love it, just can’t hang on any longer.

My solution? Does anyone care? Not really, no, but to avoid this becoming a simple bitch-session and trying to end on a positive note I offer this: Nothing will help. Not very positive, I know, but I think WAR is doomed to become a game which does not appeal to the masses and continues to shrink in terms of players and fun. EA will have to meet the needs of the players who are left and those needs are entirely different from those of us who are leaving. Catch 22 and all that, I’m afraid. I’m just not willing to grind out 60 RR levels so I can compete. The game is not dead, no, but it will not, ever, be a huge success. It will live on in the collective MMO conscience, however, as the game that could’a been.

Finally, to lighten the mood, because it is, after all Saturday, and there is Rugby throughout the land, and life is generally good (gaming and otherwise) a song to lift the spirits and soothe your jangled nerves:


  1. I agree with most of this. The 'good things' coming up I heard all through my last stint playing (April-Dec 2010) and no good things ever came other than a few minor tweaks (like AAO). 1.4 was definitely not a good thing.

    Also two servers are shutting down, Volkmar is gone too.

    I didn't think the gear grind was too bad pre 1.4. Yes sovereign gear was op (def sov for mdps especially so) but a few tweaks could have fixed it and frankly sov gear back then was hard to earn and you were just powerful enough wearing it that you felt like you deserved it. Doomflayer and Warpforged however are WAY over the top.

    WAR is a game that I very much want to be good, but it just isn't.

  2. Yes, wanting to like the game kept me going for a long time as well, but its just not going to change enough to suit my tastes I'm afraid.