Thursday, January 15, 2009

Exit Survey - Warhammer Online

Since there didn't seem to be an option to fill out an exit survey when I unsubscribed to WAR this morning, I thought I'd leave my thoughts about it here.

What was it you liked about WAR? Warhammer Online is an absolutely gorgeous game when you run it at the highest settings. The art and animations combine to make you feel as if you have stepped foot into a world only hinted before in lush tabletop battles. The character classes and customization are top-notch. The much maligned PVE, is for the most part, very well done with some unique innovations in the form of public quests and map rings. The PVP scenario designs and matchmaking system were a cut over those provided by previous games. Other innovative features like the Tome of Knowledge and the Bolster system deserve praise as well.

What was it you didn't like about WAR? The system bogged down whenever you get more than 2 groups on each side in close proximity to each other. Even though I could run the graphics on the highest settings while soloing in deserted zones, I was forced to run it on the lowest setting and animations disabled for most of the time if I wanted to see more than a slideshow. The keep and fortress designs need a revamp badly in my opinion. One can look at the High Elf fortress grounds and imagine a pitched battle like Helm's Deep occuring outside the main keep. But the reality is it's just so much wasted space as the real fighting in a contested keep always devolves to the stairway before the keep or fortress lord. A redesign of the zone locking system with more options and incentives for groups besides zerging is probably needed as well. While the gear grind for the sets you need to acquire to move through the endgame isn't as harsh as other games, it can still use some tweaking to remove some of the randomness. I'm fine with PVE or PVP, but I'm way too old for PVRNG shenanigans.

What games are you planning on playing after WAR? I have some unfinished business in WoTLK now that they raised the level cap to 80 and now's a good time to head back to WoW to check out the new goodies. I'm going to try and take it easy this time around which will leave me time to also enjoy the various free MMORPG gems I've discovered out there. Hopefully, Mythic will be implementing changes sooner rather than later to their game and I will be back to WAR before I know it.

1 comment:

  1. My head almost exploded trying to grapple with the idea that Warrender unsubscribed from Warhammer Online. I think I need a drink. It is unfortunate that they have many jewels in WAR that somehow fitted together as they are now don't work as well as they should.

    There is a huge potential here that I hope Mythic is able to take advantage of and make the necessary changes. PVE a cut above many is dead on! No game I've played tops WOW quests but WAR comes hella close - and I do mean hella close! If they can't get the zones to critical mass on the PVE content then they seriously need a system to scale the encounter by participants or start stripping them out to gain player concentration.

    Your comment about the graphics is again spot on. I LOVED THE GRAPHICS. The tone and style were great. The animations and nuances of the different classes when executing combat moves was genius. Every move I made was with Bright Wizard attitude. And that's on top of having a couple of the best classes I've ever played. the problem was that when I was soloing I could turn up the graphics and enjoy the show but I had to quickly downgrade the settings for Scenarios and RVR.

    I also agree with fixing the design of the keep encounters. Who in their right mind put in all those narrow passages all over the place in a game with collision detection? Now add lag and if there are several people in the same space no one can do anything. I hated jumping up and down trying to dislodge my character from another player, my staff on a banister, my elbow on a cannon, etc while lagging and being beat on.

    PVP/RVR slide shows were very common in oRVR. It was good for laughs but brutal if you were really trying to get something done. I'm going to have to predict not much improvement. I've found that if they can't fix it rather soon, it's a design choice made so deep in the underbelly it can't be resolved. EQ2 to this day has lag in cities that have less than 20 people in the same space. AC2 regardless of every performance patch put in never got rid of the lag in instances with large numbers of players. I don't think WAR will either, hence their idea of zoning people away based on level.

    Crafting needs an overhaul but I'd go back for PVE if they ever resolve the issue with not enough players for the Open Group mechanic to be useful. I hope they fix what you need in order to go back and see it thru on one of your characters. Just WOW and mind-boggle on someone with 3 level 40s deciding to walk away.