234: Casualty of Warhammer

Jeremy Monken

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Jul 7, 2008
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Casualty of Warhammer

The customer service team at EA Mythic had it all - catered lunches, Rock Band-filled break rooms and logo-stamped coffee mugs. But sliding subscription numbers and a slumping economy meant the good times wouldn't last. Jeremy Monken recounts his time as a GM for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

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UnravThreads

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Aug 10, 2009
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I remember reading this when it was first published.

Was a really, really sad tale, and one that's probably all too common.
 

Abedeus

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Sep 14, 2008
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Stop blaming WoW for WAR's failure. The devs didn't listen to the beta-players and were more busy partying and taking breaks for Rock Band than fixing the balance problems.

It took over 2 months in retail to fix problems from open or even closed beta, some of them stayed even later.

Also, economy had nothing to do with that - people didn't stop playing WoW because of it. Maybe they just didn't find the game good enough for $15 a month. I sure didn't.
 

Nincompoop

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May 24, 2009
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So is this just a repost of a popular story?

Anyways, I remember reading it. What drew me was the fact that it said something about Warhammer losing HAHA!

The article was great, and I felt sympathy Mr. Monken.
 

edthehyena

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Oct 26, 2009
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After I played for about a month, I knew the game was going to go downhill. I loved the public quests, but any given area only had one that anyone actually played. There was no player base that wanted to see the story at launch, everyone was just grinding to 40 as fast as possible. Then the low-level zones became barren wastelands. Even the battlegrounds died out -- there was the one in each zone that was "most efficient" and nobody played the others. It was sad because the game was a lot of fun.
 

headshotcatcher

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edthehyena said:
After I played for about a month, I knew the game was going to go downhill. I loved the public quests, but any given area only had one that anyone actually played. There was no player base that wanted to see the story at launch, everyone was just grinding to 40 as fast as possible. Then the low-level zones became barren wastelands. Even the battlegrounds died out -- there was the one in each zone that was "most efficient" and nobody played the others. It was sad because the game was a lot of fun.
Yeah exactly, it's too bad because the game was so awesome...

But its hard to keep interest when you are the only player in your region >.<
 

trojun

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Dec 15, 2009
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I was playing warhammer around this time. A lot of my friends and guildmates had quit the game by December. The fact that the writer worked in Customer Service and cites the reasons for lost membership as "gold farmers, cheaters and WoW's new expansion" really answers a lot of questions for me. It tells me that he either couldn't say the actual reasons for the mass exodus of players due to non-disclosure obligations or that Warhammer CS was clueless. The biggest factors for people I played with deciding to quit were the broken gameplay issues. At the time there was a bug with Dragonwake that made it unable to be controlled by either faction, Serpent's Passage was the only tier 4 battleground that would pop and fortress sieges were so laggy they were unplayable. It was widely perceived by the people I played with that they pushed out a game that wasn't ready for release simply to beat WoW's expansion to market.

I hung in until about April or May of 2009 and though Mythic finally addressed some of the problems at release and interest in Wow's expansion had waned, it was apparent that Warhammer wasn't going to recover. MMOs beware of bad releases.
 

KeyMaster45

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Jun 16, 2008
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Warhammer was fun, I think I played it for about a month and a half when it released. The pvp was fun.....that's about it. Yeah the public quests were fun on the rare occasions that there were enough people in the area to do them, but frankly people just didn't do them so all that was left was pvp and questing to level.

I was rather unaware though how fast its player base had declined, I was under the impression it was still going somewhat strong. Is it even still up and running? By the sounds of that article EA laid off a fair chunk of the staff; I don't see how an mmo's upkeep could survive that.
 

koshypops

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Sep 18, 2008
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I was one of many people who were on the forums for the Climax version of Warhammer Online. It kept the dark gritty nature of what Warhammer actually is. Then they screwed the pooch so badly it's still in the toilet now crying itself to sleep.

Mythic for me both rescued Warhammer Online and destroyed it in one fell swoop. Firstly the existing community was left to exist in several affiliated forums rather than being grabbed together and drawn into an official forum. Next they made the game look just a little too light and happy (now I understand the limits put on how dark and gritty things can be before it becomes an 18 only release and the profit factor involved in having a kid friendly game etc but it wasn't dark and gritty enough for me [thats right my opinion I may be talking out of my ass but thats my ass and I'll talk out of it if I want to:p])

To add to their list of reasons why I never even bought the game they created a back story that to me made as much sense as Memento and Fight Clubs head messing moments added together.

Their worst crime was to release it before Liche King when it just simply wasn't ready, a work colleague had talked to me at length about how much WoW ruled and I spoke back about Warhammer when he learned of a MMORPG for it he went ahead and pre-ordered it. One week after release(he took time off to play it into the ground) I asked him how it was, by clocking out he'd just about finished telling me all the things he hadn't liked about the game and how he'd gone on to spend 5 of the 7 days playing WoW again.

When a game is so buggy and broken that it forces a hardcore MMORPG fan who was excited at the prospect of a new and interesting MMORPG finds it so frustrating with technical issues that after 2 days he's back on the old one then it had no chance of succeding especially when Liche King was released only 2 months later adding new content to a stable and well polished MMORPG.

Mythic, maybe EA pushed them to release the game. Maybe they thought it needed a bit more spit and polish to work out the technical issues. Whatever the circumstances the result was the same suicide by premature release.
 

Prophetic Heresy

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Dec 26, 2009
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I really did love Warhammer Online. I stuck around for a bit over half a year playing that game. I had a great guild and my skills as the DoT-happiest Engineer did not go unrecognized.

After the guild switched to Destro on a different server the game started to feel worse to me. Magus didn't feel nearly as fun as the Engineer was, so I ended up making a tank (which I loved) but somehow the very basis of this server was wrong. I moved from Pheonix Throne (RP Server, great community) to Black Crag, home of the "Ruin Zerg". It was an Order guild that purportedly had over 1,500 members. Somehow the battle started to get more even as my guild leveled up (We liked to say we were the cause) but Ruin had the ability to summon up all of their characters and crash a server to avoid any major assault we could land of Altdorf. Yes, you heard me right, they would CRASH the server with their numbers. That would either reset whatever fortress take was going on or dishearten us while our numbers trickled back in from the login screen.

After a few more months of that, we all switched to Aion. I didn't enjoy that game much more, I just liked hanging out with my guildmates. I gave up on that, too and went back to console gaming for a while.

*Heavy Sigh* I still remember the good ole' days, though.
 

Ranooth

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Mar 26, 2008
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Sigh i miss those days of mad PvP also.

If Mythic changed a handful of things it could truely be awesome (WHY DIDNT THEY LISTEN TO MY KEEP IDEAS!!)
 

gilthanan

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May 25, 2008
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trojun said:
I was playing warhammer around this time. A lot of my friends and guildmates had quit the game by December. The fact that the writer worked in Customer Service and cites the reasons for lost membership as "gold farmers, cheaters and WoW's new expansion" really answers a lot of questions for me. It tells me that he either couldn't say the actual reasons for the mass exodus of players due to non-disclosure obligations or that Warhammer CS was clueless. The biggest factors for people I played with deciding to quit were the broken gameplay issues. At the time there was a bug with Dragonwake that made it unable to be controlled by either faction, Serpent's Passage was the only tier 4 battleground that would pop and fortress sieges were so laggy they were unplayable. It was widely perceived by the people I played with that they pushed out a game that wasn't ready for release simply to beat WoW's expansion to market.

I hung in until about April or May of 2009 and though Mythic finally addressed some of the problems at release and interest in Wow's expansion had waned, it was apparent that Warhammer wasn't going to recover. MMOs beware of bad releases.
What he said. ^

I am an avid Warhammer/Games Workshop fan, and I was looking forward to this game since I read about the Climax version. I joined and later became a guild leader for this game in spring 2006, was one of the guilds given guild beta (one of the few Order guilds actually,) had a guild of 50 or so people when the game finally launched. We started playing, by November (2 months later) my guild had shrunk to 15 or so consistent players. The core gameplay was broken, almost every server had become heavily one sided (looking back at DAoC, the 3 factions were actually a source of balancing because 2 could ally against a strong enemy), and PvP in tier 4 was laggy, bugged, there was too much ridiculous crowd control.

Basically, Warhammer fucked up because they attempted to appeal to the WoW market, and to the DAoC market, and they failed at both. PvE was lacking compared to WoW, and the PvP wasn't satisfactory for the DAoC players. Instead of creating their niche, they attempted as so many have to be the "WoW destroyer," which just isn't going to happen.
 

Wrann

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Sep 22, 2009
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I remember being in a games workshop and one of the workers there boasting that WAR was going to be the WoW killer. That nothing could stand up to it now I wish I could see him again if not just to gloat. Alas it does suck to have to have so many layoff because of launch failer.
 

Orange_Clockwork

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Oct 29, 2009
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It was terrible timing for the release of the game. I remember talking friends into it and getting a group of about 50 players to buy it so we could construct a guild. Then the release dates for WoW: WotLK was open. I lost about thirty of the fifty and the rest called it forfeit.

gilthanan said:
I am an avid Warhammer/Games Workshop fan, and I was looking forward to this game since I read about the Climax version. I joined and later became a guild leader for this game in spring 2006, was one of the guilds given guild beta (one of the few Order guilds actually,) had a guild of 50 or so people when the game finally launched. We started playing, by November (2 months later) my guild had shrunk to 15 or so consistent players. The core gameplay was broken, almost every server had become heavily one sided (looking back at DAoC, the 3 factions were actually a source of balancing because 2 could ally against a strong enemy), and PvP in tier 4 was laggy, bugged, there was too much ridiculous crowd control.
Much with you here, especially the aspect of being an avid Games Workshop fan.

Still! the game was close! It could have been better, but it was close to being a WoW Killer, if they had just perfected it, then it would be alive still.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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Never bought the game at release, didn't have a good enough internet connection. Now I do, but after reading things like this, I am not so sure anymore.
 

Nouw

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I use to play it, got boring a bit though. WOW continues leeching off Warhammer and when WAR comes out it is crushed by the Great Leech. Warhammer was a great game but...

I'm just waiting for WARHAMMER 40,000 THE MMORPG
 

Jeremy Monken

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Jul 7, 2008
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I loved your story man. Great article, well written. Too bad that things went downhill. I used to play WAR too, started in open beta and then played for 3 months or so (1 free month + gamecard). I never even got to level 40 lol, don't ask me why, I don't know.

Things got painful later though, with fortress sieges being impossible to do due to lag and hardware, imbalances in pvp...my squig herder felt ridiculously weak, especially when they changed it so I couldn't kite melee-classes like before...

Had great potential, but I lost interest.
 

Abedeus

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Sep 14, 2008
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Sci-Fi luver437 said:
I use to play it, got boring a bit though. WOW continues leeching off Warhammer and when WAR comes out it is crushed by the Great Leech. Warhammer was a great game but...

I'm just waiting for WARHAMMER 40,000 THE MMORPG
Again, stop blaming WoW. People came to WAR for the PvP, PvP sucked after T2, people left the game when they got to 20-30.
 

Jared

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Jul 14, 2009
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creatiwe said:
coldalarm said:
I remember reading this when it was first published.

Was a really, really sad tale, and one that's probably all too common.
yep
Same here...its a shame really. Something that looks so good, eventually boils down to nothing