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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning: The Ups and Downs of the Unlimited Trial

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy writes this look at the unlimited trial currently offered by Mythic's Warhammer Online and whether or not it is enough to bring former players back to the game.

It wasn't long ago that players were chomping at the bit to get into the beta for Mythic's upcoming Warhammer Online. Keys were being sold illegally for hundreds of dollars, any and all leaks of info were being gobbled up like so many marbles by ravenous hippos, and the media and fans alike were preparing themselves for the game that could potentially dethrone (or at least threaten) the reign of World of Warcraft as the big kid in class.

September 18th came and went, the game sold over a million copies, and yet at an investor conference in March 2009 Electronic Arts confirmed the game to have in the ballpark of just 300,000 subscribers. Mega-smash hit to rival Blizzard's behemoth, it was not. From over 50 servers around the launch window, the game now operates with just four. Once the heralded as the coming of an MMO god, Warhammer Online seems little more than a bit player in the grander theological scheme of the industry.

Read The Ups and Downs of the Unlimited Trial.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • japojapo Sedona, AZPosts: 306Member

    Add some worthwhile PvE and I'll come back.  Absent that....I'll be absent.

    A game that has only PvP will never be a great success.  It limits the player base to a small percentage of the total players.

  • OyjordOyjord Riverside, CAPosts: 372Member Uncommon

    Agreed, it's a very fun PvP game, but it needs 5-man dungeons a-la WoW.  I know, I'm the anti-Christ for saying WoW did something right.  But honestly, a content-rich PvE experience could only help the few PvP'ers left in WAR.

  • shylock1079shylock1079 Tulsa, OKPosts: 158Member

    I've come and gone already.  The free trial did inject new blood into the system, and I was surprised by the surge of people even in T2.  On the other hand, the type of people I've met are about 50/50, in regards to player personalities.  That might not be important to some, and it has very little importance to me, but many of these people are expecting T1 in T2, T3.  When it isn't, they leave.  T2 is kind of interesting for the fact that it is the first true War zone where the free trial people see the way the game REALLY is. 

    Needless to say, there is a lot of griping, moaning, and general jerkery going on in those areas.  I've honestly never seen so many people start/leave a game at a single level bracket.  Now the forums are lit up with "make the free trial 1-20!" I'm only hoping they don't go free to play to appease the very people who are loudly proclaiming...yet leave a tier later. 

  • XxMaticxXXxMaticxX Scottsdale, AZPosts: 115Member

    the problem with warhammer is they made it a get in quick get your pvp jollies off and log out. there is little to no depth to the game unless there is tons of PVP action.

     

    the game to me has always felt like it tried to be an RPG fragfest (without the twitch based combat). little to no crafting, no immersion garbage PVE and nothing to do except PVP.

     

    i never felt like that in DAOC, when i logged in even at max level there seemed to be something to do even if it wasn't PVP.

    the Evil Raider that outgears you and makes you cry for welfare epics on the forums.

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member
    Originally posted by Oyjord


    Agreed, it's a very fun PvP game, but it needs 5-man dungeons a-la WoW.  I know, I'm the anti-Christ for saying WoW did something right.  But honestly, a content-rich PvE experience could only help the few PvP'ers left in WAR.

    Not nearly as much as a balanced log-in cap and better balanced scenario queues would.

    No, not more PvE. It will never be WoW-quality - ever. Mythic put too much PvE into the game. Too much lousy PvE.

    More small-scale PvP options, smaller queues for off-hours scenarios, and FIX THE END GAME. Those three things would convince me to play (and pay) again.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member
    Originally posted by shylock1079


    I've come and gone already.  The free trial did inject new blood into the system, and I was surprised by the surge of people even in T2.  On the other hand, the type of people I've met are about 50/50, in regards to player personalities.  That might not be important to some, and it has very little importance to me, but many of these people are expecting T1 in T2, T3.  When it isn't, they leave.  T2 is kind of interesting for the fact that it is the first true War zone where the free trial people see the way the game REALLY is.

    So true.

    Mythic should have been trying to make T2 and T3 more like T1.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • donjndonjn Valencia, CAPosts: 771Member Uncommon

    I came back and I am having a blast. A new 5 man dungeon called Hunter's Vale is available in T1.

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member
    Originally posted by donjn


    I came back and I am having a blast. A new 5 man dungeon called Hunter's Vale is available in T1.

    Played it. It's great that they actually added a low-level instance, but it's not big and not underground.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • SuniojSunioj Saratoga, NYPosts: 261Member

    I am sick to death of PvP, I wanted PvE type areas and instances that were 5,10,20+.  As the previous comment said, WoW did something right with it.  This whole endgame PvP within WAR just isn't what it was hyped up to be.  EA/Mythic has been aware of this since roughly 2mths after the game came out.  It's been well over a year now and still no real supplement to make up for it.  That's a sure sign that the developer is only willing to apply small band-aids inside of new limbs which the game is and has been in dyer need of.

    Momo sucks, I have proof.

  • RabenwolfRabenwolf Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,445Member

    The problem is... itemization and looks. Honestly i never felt excited about earning a new weapon or armor in the game since its going to look the same anyways. The whole pvp dynamic between factions was just boring after awhile, variety felt absent. The whole world felt like a magical ladder, 3 areas with a one way arrow pointing to the next zone. It would be great to see some sort of building mechanic where you can take over land and actually begin to build onto it. They needed another faction as well, like DAoC to keep the pvp interesting. The PvE side does need some serious help as well as the class balance and design.

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member
    Originally posted by Rabenwolf


    The problem is... itemization and looks.
    No, no, no. Absolutely not. That isn't even close to a top problem with the game. We are meant to be playing soldiers in an army, and mythic made it clear that the classes would be 'iconic' - recognizable.
    Honestly i never felt excited about earning a new weapon or armor in the game since its going to look the same anyways. The whole pvp dynamic between factions was just boring after awhile, variety felt absent. The whole world felt like a magical ladder, 3 areas with a one way arrow pointing to the next zone. It would be great to see some sort of building mechanic where you can take over land and actually begin to build onto it.
    Yes. That would have been a good feature to include.
    They needed another faction as well, like DAoC to keep the pvp interesting. The PvE side does need some serious help as well as the class balance and design.

    Even DAoC players admit that the third faction didn't always help - sometimes it was the two top dogs kicking the patsy. I think that is a misjudged panacea. Login queues and a non gear-based reward system at end game would have done a lot more good.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • FrobnerFrobner REykjavPosts: 649Member

    Few things... There are 6 man dungeons in WAR.

    Endless trials have created more problems than it actually fixed.   Just like with other trials - the trick is to get players to buy the product.  The problem is... when they have bought the product - the game is not delivering in any department to really prolonge the stay of players.   The end result in many cases is that playes start to create twinks (toppgeared characters) in T1.  Then when the sub runs out they only play the twinks.  Overall I think its now obvious that even tho two maps of the game are active - the rest of the content has actually SUFFERED because of this change.    Last few patches have been focused on REDUCING the actual content of the game - and this will continue with next patch - When Mythic will REMOVE scenario maps... instead of actually focusing on changing them (fixing them).

    What everyone can agree on now is that WAR is going into maintainance mode whith very litte new content added.  Then it also becomes a question how long the game will be able to maintain intrest from players. 

    WAR is one of the big loosers in the last year if we take a look at Xfire.  What we can say for sure is that free endless trial has not been able to make any permanent impression on the game.  Considering that the free endless ocntent is actually the best part of the entire game (rest of tier 1 has been destroyed with these changes) it becomes very obvious that the game is dying.  If not already dead.  And Mythic can not afford to really do anything more with the game.  Thats the part that everyone is realising now.

  • mjkittredgemjkittredge Nashua, NHPosts: 126Member

    Like the author suggested, I find Tier 1 to be the most fun. Tier 2 is still fun, and adds new elements, but not as much fun as tier 1. Tier 3 is pretty much the exact same as Tier 2, except with new locations and rewards. T2 and T3 pretty much amount to constant flying between zones to capture whatever keep is not defended, and lots of Battle Objective taking which is tedious and gets old very quickly. Why do warbands avoid each other and mostly go for undefended keeps? If you pit one Warband against another, the one inside the keep defending will beat the one outside the keep on offense 9 times out of 10. Oil is overpowered and can be HEALED, and 2-shots people trying to enter a keep. It's too easy to defend, and too hard to attack. So instead of engaging PVP/RVR, you PVE and avoid the other sides players. Kind of counter-intuitive for a PVP game, there should be incentives to fight rather than avoid.

    The beauty of Tier 1 is that there are no keeps and the 3 Battle Objectives are close together and close to the 2 warcamps, so battles are frequently being waged. If you try to take an undefended BO, usually the other side will notice and send over a force to recover it - which is easy because they're all close by. Multiple BOs can be in play simultaneously, forcing people to make tough strategic decisions as to which to fight for and which to abandon, or to split forces. And with the endless free trial, there's always plenty of people each day for long periods of time. There's wild PVP everywhere, and nobody is looking to avoid it.

    Compare that to T2 or T3, where often times YOU ARE ALL ALONE! Can't RVR/PVP without a bunch of other people on both sides! Have to be online at the right times to get any action. The keeps and BOs are spaced far apart, requiring lots of running around, and now there's 6 for each pairing, instead of the 3 or 4 in T1. So instead of fighting over BOs, if an enemy warband sees you taking BOs on the map, they run off to the other pairing and grab those while you're busy. If you check the maps and see where they are, by the time you all fly over and get everyone organized, they're all done and gone. A lot of times this happens with keeps too. By the time someone notices one being taken, and everyone rushes over, it's too late. So instead of confronting enemy players, fly off to another zone and take an undefended keep - more PVE, yay. It gets so monotonous and old.

    T2 and T3 need some changes - some incentive to fight against players rather than avoid them! That would make the game worth subscribing to. Others have also said the RVR lakes are too big, objectives too far apart. Running around BO humping in a PVP game is a sign of failure on the part of the Devs. War is definitely not everywhere.

  • orlacorlac tucson, AZPosts: 549Member

    Lets stop using Xfire as a barometer of player population. It only represents a small demo, mainly young ones with no attention span.....

     

    As in radio or TV.....'time spent listening/watching' is the real number to look at.....

  • IronfungusIronfungus Florence, AZPosts: 519Member
    Originally posted by orlac


    Lets stop using Xfire as a barometer of player population. It only represents a small demo, mainly young ones with no attention span.....
     
    As in radio or TV.....'time spent listening/watching' is the real number to look at.....

    Lol, agreed. Actually, there are a large population of gamers who have never even heard of Xfire. So as far as I'm concerned, the Xfire deal everyone is talking about (WAR-wise) only takes up a small amount of the populace.

  • AlienovrlordAlienovrlord San Antonio, TXPosts: 1,525Member
    Originally posted by mjkittredge


    The keeps and BOs are spaced far apart, requiring lots of running around, and now there's 6 for each pairing, instead of the 3 or 4 in T1.
     If you check the maps and see where they are, by the time you all fly over and get everyone organized, they're all done and gone.

    This is one of the fundamental problems with WAR IMO - the zone design.    

    The zones seem to be deliberately over-sized and difficult to navigate.  Why would anyone want to make it difficult for players to get from point A to point B when you *should* be trying to get them together so they can fight?  

    Most of my memories of open-world RvR the game involve running around rather than fighting.   Or getting lost trying to find the fight until I could learn the convoluted zone layout which the inaccurate maps did not help.  

    Or sitting around waiting for that 3min BO timer to run down.  Never once did I have an opposing force attack my warband during the 3 min timer, it's a useless mechanic.      

    I liked the Scenarios in WAR but the PvE, Crafting and open-world parts of the game need serious work.   The lack of RP mechanics doesn't help either, I understand you can finally /sit in the game.   Simple things like that should have been in from the start.  

    Perhaps Mythic's directed beta-testing is partly at fault.   They did not leave the servers up but instead used 'focused' beta-tests. Maybe a MMORPG needs a closed beta-test where the servers are up 24/7.     

     

  • PhryPhry HampshirePosts: 6,296Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ironfungus

    Originally posted by orlac


    Lets stop using Xfire as a barometer of player population. It only represents a small demo, mainly young ones with no attention span.....
     
    As in radio or TV.....'time spent listening/watching' is the real number to look at.....

    Lol, agreed. Actually, there are a large population of gamers who have never even heard of Xfire. So as far as I'm concerned, the Xfire deal everyone is talking about (WAR-wise) only takes up a small amount of the populace.



     

    Even if you have heard of it, XFIRE is really outdated now, im surprised people still use it...

  • cosycosy ColentinaPosts: 3,304Member

    getting ppl back to war wont happen instant will take them years to get over 500k

    remember if the game have 300k subs and u have 10% population increase per year war will need 5 years

    BestSigEver :P
    image

  • zaylinzaylin Olympia, WAPosts: 789Member
    Originally posted by japo


    Add some worthwhile PvE and I'll come back.  Absent that....I'll be absent.
    A game that has only PvP will never be a great success.  It limits the player base to a small percentage of the total players.



     

    /sign

    At least the semi removed the WARD system witch was stupid as  hell.

    but the lack of the PvE side was one of the reasons I and a few friends left too.

  • shr4pnelshr4pnel VA Beach, VAPosts: 100Member

    Game is dead.

    Founder of the company who's been with Mythic for 15+ years... gone.

    Over 60+ servers... down to 4 servers in the US.

    Over 800,000 players during the first few months... gone to, well, you do the math.

    Game is dead.

  • MMO_DoubterMMO_Doubter Bedford, NSPosts: 5,056Member
    Originally posted by Alienovrlord 
    This is one of the fundamental problems with WAR IMO - the zone design.    
    The zones seem to be deliberately over-sized and difficult to navigate.  Why would anyone want to make it difficult for players to get from point A to point B when you *should* be trying to get them together so they can fight?  
     

    It is because Mythic knew their engine could not handle large numbers of players in one spot fighting each other. The game was originally designed to be fought primarily in scenarios - which are limited to small and even numbers.

    They knew full well that 40-80 at a keep, and 200+ at a fortress would run like molasses in January.

    "" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  • zaphorzaphor St.Paul, NEPosts: 20Member

    Hopefully they stay far away from PvE for along time. What they have now is more than sufficient. The last zone they added is all PvE content.

     

    WoW is a good game for PvE . WAR is and needs to be continually built around its RvR.

  • TimacekTimacek YlinPosts: 180Member

    WAR is and will remain fail.

    It has no social utilities (housing, diplomacy, guildwars, nada)

    It has no economy (crafting, gold has no value, everything is BOP)

    this game is not worth monthly subs. You are better to go play some dota. No sandbox, strictly brainwashing game.

  • MaendauronMaendauron MelbournePosts: 118Member

    I for one have always hated PvP in all games.  But this one is different to me.  I have been playing all types of MMO's and love the PvE experience.



    This game has some good PvE (believe it or not it actually does have some) and the PvP is actually a lot of fun.  I have started the trial and subscribed yesterday as a result.  Overall the game is excellent and has replaced the other games I've been playing, it's definitely worth giving it another run.

    I played the beta and have played the game when it was first released and the game has come far since then.  Very impressed and I rate it highly.  It should become the replacement for WoW in my view.

  • Justarius1Justarius1 Phoenix, AZPosts: 381Member

    Hmm.  I happen to disagree with your statement that T1 is "as good as it gets" in Warhammer - it's my least favorite of the tiers.  I find characters really come into their own with their powers and abilities in the 30's, T3-4 were the exciting ones for me, with the game starting to become fun in T2.

    Then again, I suppose offering your subjective opinion is the point of an op-ed piece.  Still, I find it odd that this site crows about how DDO's F2P model is "revolutionary" and "saved the game" yet when Mythic tries something different-yet-similar - an endless trial of the first part of the game - it is supposedly done out of desperation.

    The twinked out characters in T1 didn't bother me at all, by the way.  A little strategy and a partner playing with you - as my wife often does with me, sitting about a foot away at her own PC, I found was more then enough to counter the very minor "twinks" you can actually use during T1.

    Reading a piece like this makes me wonder if you have had the pleasure of playing the game recently in anything other than the T1 free trial zones?  I found T4 quite hopping and alive on Badlands, during prime-time.  As for merging servers, let's check on where Aion is in a year with server numbers, shall we?  ;)

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