Blizzard table scraps, L2P DarkFall, and the 3rd WAR faction

Lately I’ve found a few amusing things around the various blogs/forums I read, and now seems like a good time to go over a few things.

The first is the general hope by so many that the secret MMO Blizzard is working on will be some major step in MMO design. The day Blizzard comes out with a totally new concept will be their first. They polish and ‘borrow’ ideas better than anyone in the industry, but when it comes to original concepts, I’ll point you to SC:Ghost and Warcraft Adventures. The reality of all this is that the people asking for something different don’t actually want it, otherwise they would actually be playing the different MMO offerings that are currently available. They want WoW with a new color palette, and that’s exactly what’s going to be delivered. The game will run on a toaster, have a difficulty level just slightly above tic-tac-toe, and will cater to the same non-MMO-gamer crowd currently making up the majority of the 11 million WoW players. The question is whether they will migrate over or just do their usual month-long visit. It will be interesting to see if Blizzard is able to keep its own fad going.

Speaking of WoW, I’m somewhat amazed that the FIRST content patch since the $40 Nax recycling project just came out. Its mid-April, Wrath of the Short Bus came out in November, and you are just now able to make any meaningful updates? And it’s been what, a year since Sunwell, the last new raid content? That’s laughably slow even by Blizzard standards, and by some accounts what’s being offered is not exactly grade A stuff. You need to make it last though, it’s going to be another 6+ months before Blizzard feeds you another scrap, and you better hope they don’t make Molten Core or BWL more ‘accessible’ by revamping it. The truly sad part is this shameful content release schedule is only encouraged by the 11 million or so subs patting Bliz on the head each month with their money.

The justification of this pace by some is also priceless; that your $15 a month is going towards future Blizzard projects you are also likely to enjoy. Are you fucking kidding me? You are accepting the fact you are being milked for cash to fund a future product you are going to spend $50+ for anyway (or $150 for all of Starcraft 2)? But hey, at least mounts can now enter water (brilliant Bliz first idea btw), and that kind of radical change does not come overnight. Enjoy the pony ride in Uld, just make sure to take baby steps.

Moving on from McWoW, this post by Keen made me chuckle. Who would have guessed being a serf in a giant alliance, one which is currently locked in a staring contest and forum pissing match with the other big zerg would lead to a boring experience? I can’t fathom how anyone could find being told which hamlet/city you can hold, being told when and who to attack, and grinding your hamster wheel for the blue team boring. Pro-tip: Stop being a number and actual go out and do something with your guild. Our guild can hardly make it over to a dungeon for some PvE without being pulled in three directions to deal with some threat. Most nights we don’t even need to head out to PvP, as plenty of targets wander into our area of control, and I’m not talking naked harvesters here. When we do head out, any direction we go will take us into hostile territory, and we don’t have to double check the guild name to know if we can kill them or not. The game, thankfully, is what you make of it, and rather than blaming the rules for not living up to your demands, why not do something about it and get your guild into a more entertaining and challenging situation? If you need to rely on the game rules to keep you safe and entertained, the sandbox is clearly not the right place for you.

Finally, just a quick note about WAR: how long are we going to wait for Mythic to announce a 3rd side? Is it really going to take a paid expansion for us to get it, because by that time even the most vigilant T4 combatants are going to grow tired, or simply move to a game that actually rewards that kind of dedication in a meaningful way. The themepark PvP model really can’t retain players in a two sided contest, because in order for that to work the game rules have to keep everything balanced, rather than the players. Order’s reward for sacking The Inevitable City every week is going to be an Order nerf and a Destro buff. The better you do the harsher the backlash, which in the end only rewards those that fail. And unlike PvE, where reward for failure gets you 11 million subs, in PvP I doubt it will have the same effect. Mythic has a solid core for an entertaining themepark PvP experience. It’s easy to jump into, entertaining once you are there, and it’s all wrapped in a solid IP with plenty of room for logical growth. But unless the players gain a little control and reward for performing well, it’s all going to be pointless sooner or later. Step up Mythic, continue moving away from the failed WoW-clone model, and get DAoC 2.0 where it needs to be. That said, I’m still finding WAR entertaining on a small dose scale, which would be larger if not for DarkFall, and I think the upcoming content will be very entertaining; it just won’t be the long-term solution WAR needs.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Darkfall Online, MMO design, PvP, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Blizzard table scraps, L2P DarkFall, and the 3rd WAR faction

  1. Keen says:

    If you want to twist things Syncaine you can go right ahead. Blaming the alliance that my clan belongs to for the issues I outlined is reaching.

    Your assumptions about what my clan does or has done are dead wrong. We’ve cleared every dungeon we can find. Black Knights, Shadow Knights, dragons, Crimson stuff, Minotaurs, etc. We’re all in full bone, full plate, rank 40+ weapons based on our skill, and all of it was earned through crafting or kills.

    We run into the adhoc skirmishes all the time. Where our paths diverge is that we do not enjoy the random small adhoc skirmishes. Our clan averages ~12 on at random times. We’ve never been able to find 12 random people wandering around so it’s either us stomping newbs or a handful of people or us getting stomped by 20+ from an alliance.

    Please don’t assume to know anything about me, even if it makes for more interesting blog entries.

  2. Kash says:

    Love the Keen bashing :) Tho it would appear you dont enjoy any MMO’s from that post!

  3. Kyir says:

    I never realized blogging was so serious.

    It’s like some kind of Thunderdome match in here.

  4. Senorvandal says:

    You pretty much summed up what’s wrong with WAR in one paragraph. The absence of a third faction to keep things somewhat balanced takes away from just about every aspect of the game, leaving an unfinished shell of a game that could be something awesome…

  5. syncaine says:

    @Keen: First off, I’m not sure what listing the mobs you have killed in DF is showing, especially when you are complaining about the lack of PvP. We don’t find a whole lot of PvP deep in dungeons either, but then again we don’t go there looking for it.

    Here is why you never see small groups visit you guys: Hyperzerg. Why would a group of that size venture into hyper territory, see another group of 10+, and stick around hoping the other 50+ won’t show up? It’s natural that when people see hyper members they will either jump them quickly for the kill, or turn away because they fear getting zerged. That is a direct result of joining Hyperion, and trying to come up with game rules to change that is barking up the wrong tree. You either accept being a pleb of Mannus, or you step up and go your own way. Mannus will take back the city he handed you, but so what, maybe Haven could actual get a hamlet/city on their own?

    If it takes you 5 hours to grind in order to have an hour of PvP, you are doing something terribly wrong. Expecting warhulks to be around every corner is also a mistake. Compare them to EVE Titans to get an idea of their role and worth. Same deal for ships. And stop constantly worrying about your skill point total, just get out there and actually play, since player skill easily overcomes stats in DF.

    Part of me just believes you don’t really like a sandbox PvP game, and are trying to force DF into something it’s not. It’s not going to come out and provide you with fun, you have to go get it yourself. It’s there, in droves, just not as ‘accessible’ as in most games.

  6. Loire says:

    @Keen: Huh… we had a group of 12 mounted up roaming today. Went north from Mahirim territory, skirted south along the Dwarf lands into the forest north of the craters, around the crater and a little into Afghanistan before heading back to the Mahirim lands. Where were you and you’re twelve man band? Maybe we should set up a tea-party time in advance.

  7. Fortuente says:

    I went back and played some WoW recently. I still think it’s a fun game, but it has worn out on me. I walked through a blizzard (literally) to buy BC on release day. I still haven’t bought WotLK and I’m not sure I actually will ever.

    I think WoW is becoming what it is to serve its customer base, though, so I can’t fault them that. And they’re predominant base these days seems to be little kids and otherwise non-gamers. An in-law just went out and bought a computer out of parts that he built himself – and he’s very non-technical. Before last week he wouldn’t have had the slightest clue who Nvidia is, let alone why the FX9800 is the video card for him. Such is the power of WoW.

    I don’t feel even slightly upset over WoW growing in a direction I don’t like anymore, either. I have LOTRO which is growing the way I want it to (for the most part).

    Glad I didn’t get my hopes up about playing Darkfall – at this point I’m just going to wait for a North American server to open. By then I think they should have all the wrinkles ironed out. Of course Earthrise and Mortal Online will probably be out before that happens and I have my eye on both of those.

  8. zensun says:

    Great post as always, Syncaine!

  9. pitrelli says:


  10. Anonymous says:

    What a suprise.. Syncaine talking about WoW AGAIN.

    I dont like the game either but I disregard it and get on with playing other games instead of constantly harping on about it.

    Who are you trying to convince? WoW tourists? After reading a few months worth of this it strikes me your trying to convince yourself more than anyone else.

    If your not playing it, stop talking about it man. Its boring already.

  11. pitrelli says:

    @ Anon – its Friday so Syn has to post something which he thinks is witty or controversial.
    Check list:

    – Person attack on another blogger – check
    – Crying about how bad WoW is – check
    – Dig at Blizzard in general – check
    – Fanboi drooling over either darkfall or WAR – check

    The fact of the matter is he hasnt played WoTLK so anything he says can instantly be thrown out. To also make coment on patch 3.1 and the time its taken is a bit of a cheek as well considering he plays WAR who have yet to deliver even a half finished game.

  12. Maedhros says:

    What guild are you in Syncaine? It sounds like fun!

  13. syncaine says:

  14. Snafzg says:

    Actually, Pitrelli’s comment has a lot of weight, but I doubt Syncaine cares much. I think he gets more pleasure from ruffling feathers than anything else and once you realize that, you take him a lot less seriously when he talks about WoW/Blizz. :P

    There’s some obvious insecurity/immaturity going on when someone continally bashes a game has hasn’t played in over a year, especially when he does it with such vindictiveness (e.g., name-calling).

    That said, I always enjoy reading what he has to say about other games.

    @Syncaine – I think you might want to keep your eye on Aion. There’s a 3rd NPC faction in that game that lashes out against each other realm in the PvP zones (they will even siege and claim keeps). It will be interesting to see how that works out.

  15. Beau says:

    McWoW? Baby Steps?

    Man, at least give us something new.


  16. Leala says:

    @ Pitrelli

    haha You are so right. It is pretty formulaic at this point. Totally predictable.

  17. syncaine says:

    It’s rather simple, when you are the market leader, and the standard you are trying to set is fluff content every 6 month, plus recycled content for $40 every two years, you are going to draw critisism for it. I don’t need to be playing WoW right now to know what 3.1 delivered is BS for a 6 month content patch.

    I’m a fan of the MMO genre, and IMO Bliz is doing more harm then good. I simple express that stance when they make moves.

  18. pitrelli says:

    Syn thats the problem – you have no experience of WoW these days and reading patch notes and making snide remarks isnt what id call research.

    You are a damn good blogger and i enjoy your articles when they are based on games you are playing and enjoying.

    With your constant moaning and bitching about a game you havent played for years however is tiresome and takes away the enjoyment of your articles.

    If you are doing it to get a rise and ruffle feathers fair enough but imo its just getting to the point of a farce

  19. Solidstate says:

    McWoW… lol, that made my day :)

    On a more serious note, you’re basically saying “3.0 was only Naxx and 3.1 was only Ulduar”. Which is sooo far from the truth.

  20. syncaine says:

    Patch notes, user feedback on blogs/forums/vent, knowing the base of the game. Do you really think I need to see the fluff in-game to know it’s fluff?

    Are you saying you think 3.1 is great, that it’s worth waiting 6 months for what you got, compared to other games in the genre over the same 6 month period?

  21. pitrelli says:

    Im sorry i do think you have to experience it rather than rely on others opinions. For example if i listen to you you would have me believe warhammer is a good game…..

    And yes I think 3.1 is a very welcome addition, overdue perhaps but since you arent playing it why dont you dry your eyes and concentrate on a game you are playing?

  22. syncaine says:

    Overdue perhaps? The first new raid in a year, and it’s perhaps overdue? Fanboys would be embarassed by that.

    You accept whatever Bliz throws you, even when it’s the absolute minimum and lagging drastically behind the rest of the industry, as do the other 11 million. If you can’t see the harm that’s causing, not much more I can say to make things clearer for you.

  23. pitrelli says:

    Well hardcore raiders may have a differnet opinion however I play for fun and didnt exactly sprint to level cap to check out end game.

    And you know nothing about me so I dont know how you can assume I accept anything.

    I pay my sub to get enjoyment and WoW gives me that end of.

  24. Damage Inc says:

    pitrelli, maybe if you’d ever seen other companies and how they put out patches/expansions you’d see it differently. Both Asheron’s Call and Everquest by far topped WoW’s expansion/patches by far.

    AC had a patch update each month with tons of NEW content. Although patch day was always hell, I always looked forward to it and what new surprises it would bring.

    Everquest was on target with a new expansion usually about every six months. Many people would see this as to much but again, I think its spot on. Yes there are problems with content coming so quickly but I’d rather have tons of new exciting content than be bored for months on end.

    WoW’s release, Nov 2004, first expansion (TBC) released in Jan 2007 and second expansion (WotLK) released in Nov. 2008. IMO this is really poor. Both AC and EQ had more new content for it’s players before their first two years than WoW has in the four and a half years it’s been out. Not to mention their content was aimed at more than just the end game, their content ranged from stuff for new players/characters to the seasoned high level player.

  25. You are so completely right about StarCraft Online or whatever it becomes.

    People, including me, just want World of Warcraft 2, shinier better, different enough to be entertaining, easy enough that you can just chill and play.

    I doubt they will match their 11 million customer success of WoW if they go with a futuristic MMO, but they will still get a good chunk of the MMO crowd.

  26. Snafzg says:

    Thing is, WoW isn’t going after the hardcore demographic anymore. They’re going after the Pitrelli’s of the MMO gaming world. Considering their numbers, it seems like there are a lot of casuals to go after.

    You may not like this change of direction, but it is what it is. A patch like 3.1 is perfectly acceptable to the vast majority of WoW players. The only people you hear complaining are those who are putting in 30+ hours per week.

    If that’s your style, you might as well weigh your MMO options, because I don’t think WoW will be catering to you anymore.

    The biggest complaint I ever heard about WoW back in the pre- and post-TBC days is that Blizzard’s endgame was 90% designed for the top 5% of the gaming population. With WotLK, they have obviously taken a new direction and most people are loving it.

  27. pitrelli says:

    Im not really fussed what other games do patch wise as I dont play them….. thats my point

  28. Anjin says:

    Considering I haven’t cleared all the 5 man content, much less downed KT or Malygos (got in a Sartharion zerg one time), I’d say Patch 3.1 is just fine for me. Of course, I’ve got so many games to enjoy that I don’t have to count on WoW for my every need. Am I in the majority? Who knows, but I don’t feel the need to speak for the masses. Or stand on the outside and call the masses sheep either. Just because I can’t stand something like NASCAR doesn’t mean my opinions about the millions of people who do are somehow more valid than theirs.

  29. PTD says:

    Yeah, I personally can’t stand people turning left all day.

    Therefore, NASCAR empirically sucks. It only ever got popular due to just the right market conditions. Even though IRL is the vastly superior sport, people still come in droves to see McRacing.

    /sarcasm off

  30. Eyeball says:

    I am also hoping that eventually they add a 3rd faction to WAR. That was the best part of DAOC.

  31. mordiceius says:

    Personally, I like the direction WoW has taken. I raided all through vanilla WoW and BC. I was one of those guys raiding 30 or so hours a week and working on AQ40 and Naxx while filling all the rest of my time with grinding so that I could have the stuff needed to raid. I am GLAD those days are gone. I don’t want an MMO to be a second job. With this model, I’m able to log in whenever I want, play a little here or there and if I decide to go play another game for a month or two, I’m not going to be dramatically behind the curve.

    The main people that think this is bad are the ones that ONLY play WoW and play it in ALL of their free time. WoW isn’t the only game out there. And wanting to raid back in vanilla WoW made me unavailable to play other games because WoW took up all that time.

    This is a good change.

  32. Marchosias says:

    As a DAoC Vet, I agree about WAR’s need for a third faction, I even have a draft sitting in my blog about that same issue that I never quite finished, I’ll take a peek at it again this weekend.

    As for McWoW – spot on. I tried to like WoW when it came out – Fail. Tried again with BC – Uber Fail. And didn’t even bother with LK – Epic Fail. The WoW bunnies can keep their greens. As for me? I want some meat!

  33. Pingback: Keen says what I said a month ago, Syncaine takes offense, I simply theorize and find a way to “aid” Darkfall « The Experience Curve

  34. Anne says:


    Being a WoW player on and off because of stupid friends (and yes I HOPE they make some good games in the future, but at the same time I’d be willing to pay extra for a really good game even if it just an excuse) I can confirm that Syn is right even if he only reads the patchnotes.

    It is amazing the amount of excuses fanboys give, nostalgia, Blizzard has changed audiences. Please, this makes me laugh, oh yes, WOTLK totally doesn’t lack content, it is only nostalgia that makes so many people think Vanilla or TBC was better. And sure, they have changed audiences, but completely ignoring their original audience? No, that is just plain laziness, I knew once hearing about the whole 10/25 versions for one instance was just an excuse, but foolishly I believe they would actually be able to pump out more content with this raid content plan instead they come out with 3-4x less then TBC.


    You only tried WoW? You can’t say nothing unless you were seriously into WoW at least at one point. Saying WoW original was bad for a MMORPG is pathetic, WoW got popular for a reason. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but saying it down right failed is just complete and utter ignorance. Find it ironic that you spit at WoW while WAR, which from what I can see you play, is very much a WoW clone in many ways (WAR wouldn’t exist if WoW didn’t, nor would many MMORPGs).

  35. Pingback: WAR: Devolving « Bio Break

  36. pitrelli says:

    @ Anne

    I agree the end game content isnt as robust in WoLTK in terms of end game raids. I do however like the new format for herioc levelled 5 mans at level 80. This gives me the opportunity to visit instances I may have missed whilst levelling. As for the re using of Naxx, again it doesnt effect me as I only visited it once prior to WoTLK.

    At the end of the day the majority of WoW players i would bet are similar to myself in the fact they play for enjoyment and not as a second job. They want an emersive game which they can play casually and still achieve something. Catering to maybe 10% (rough estimate imo of hardcore raiders) of your audience isnt a great idea – however Uldar has shown they arent being ignored.

    After all is said and done I think Vanilla WoW had the difficulty levels just right, TBC was far too hard and WoTLK is a little too easy. I do however like WoTLK as it does give us casuals a real chance to have a taste of raiding and success.

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