Someone should say something about WAR

As you might have heard, Warhammer Online is shutting down. TAGN has a post that links to many others; use that if you still need a background or more opinions.

There is a lot that can be (and has been) said about WAR today, which I think itself says something about the game and its impact. Compare WAR to Aion for example, is anyone writing anything about Aion? If it shut down tomorrow, how many “End of Aion” posts would people create, and at what depth/feeling? WAR not only created an insane amount of hype pre-release, it also generated a lot of emotion post-release, and I fully include myself in all of that.

For starters I love the Warhammer IP, so much that it very well could be my favorite IP all around. It works great for the tabletop game, and it should have translated so well into MMO form. The world is huge, every area has a rich history, and rivalries and alliances between the various sides can be logically (in a world with fire-breathing dragons logic) explained.

In much the same way Ultima Online had something extra special because it was the Ultima on top of a great game, WAR should have been special because it was in a world I’ve long wanted to just live in.

WAR is also an MMO my wife really enjoyed, playing it long enough to reach the level cap and do some group content. In particular she liked PQs, to the point of not really enjoying GW2 in part because of the differences between their PQ implementation (less transparency) compared to WAR.

I think WAR’s PvE was underrated (early dungeon content aside, Wilhelm!). Had WAR delivered fully on the PvP, I think more people would have appreciated how the PvE blended into the zones (especially the early zones) and what a nice change of pace it was. I’m not saying it was amazing, but again, had WAR been a solid PvP MMO with PvE, the PvE would not have been judged as inadequate.

Like so many MMOs after it, WAR’s biggest issue is it tried to be everything to everyone, and ended up not retaining anyone. It contained countless design flaws, from the hard-locked two-sided conflict, the inclusion of instanced PvP, and the end-game being a total mess, but its biggest flaw was that Mythic didn’t simply attempt to create a PvP MMO. They tried to create what they thought was a better WoW to compete with WoW, and utterly failed.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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6 Responses to Someone should say something about WAR

  1. tithian says:

    Tobold also has a post about WAR today, are you trying to pull a “Jester/Garth” on us?

    If I absolutely HAD to say something about WAR, it would be a resounding ‘meh’.

    The PvE was beyond bland and I’m a PvE kinda guy. I liked the low level PvP quite a lot, but it was an unbalanced mess. And to top it all, I’m from Europe so I had to deal with GOA. I’m glad some people stuck with it, but in almost all cases it was step-by-step guide on how NOT to launch an MMO.

  2. Pingback: Warhammer Online to Shut Down in December | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  3. I actually had a character that I devoted to just the PVE path through the game. The environments along the way were often outstanding. The quests though were mediocre, following in pretty much the standard pattern for the genre, with a lot of running back and forth and killing 10 of x and then returning to kill 10 more of y, who happened to be right next to x.

    PQ’s were good during the first couple of weeks, until everybody passed them by and the lack of scaling made them impractical unless you formed a traditional group. They were still okay then, but they were no longer working as intended.

    But yes, being all things to all people… we have seen how well that plays out time and again. I wonder if Mark will still be tossing around WAR’s Metacritic score after it shuts down?

  4. sleepysam says:

    As big of a mess as it was, if someone (correctly?) implemented a PVP MMO with the Warhammer IP, with 3 sided PVP and a lag-less environment – I’d be back in a heartbeat.

  5. sid6.7 says:

    The first three tiers were some of the most fun that I’ve had in any MMO. Then I played the fourth tier and it was suddenly perhaps the worst game I’ve ever played.

  6. Red says:

    I played about 5 hours of war. Way too much like wow without the polish for my tastes.

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