Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning: The Way Back Machine - WAR's First Impression

DrewDrew Toronto, ONPosts: 434Member

This week on The Way Back Machine, MMORPG.com's own writer Bill Murphy takes a look back on Managing Editor Jon Wood's initial impressions of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning from August 20th, 2008.

It wasn't long ago that Mythic's Warhammer Online was crowned as a potential "messiah" for online gamers sick of the WoW phenomenon.  We had a lot of coverage on WAR leading up to its launch, but none are perhaps as indicative of how the game eventually turned out as our First Impressions by Jon Wood back in August of 2008.  Really, it's first impressions that wind up holding the most sway on a player, and this preview is a good example of how WAR was seeming so strong a title from the outset.

Read more here.



  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon

    so much potential... wasted.

  • Deathwing980Deathwing980 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 80Member

    let us hope Dawn of War 40k : DM won't be a disappointment like this one turned out, granted it was a fun game mind you but it just turned to crap soon after launch.

  • InsanelolInsanelol Tuscaloosa, ALPosts: 21Member

    It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half. I resubbed using the free 10day thing for old subs last year and it has improved.


  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon

    Instead of spending so much attention and resources on Ultima, EA should field a quality team to finish this game and re-release it. PvEer and RPers would eat this up if they were given more material and a finished world. I hate PvP, but I did kind of enjoy playing some of WAR's scenarios until they condensed them down to only a handful.


    Given sufficient focus on PvE and "quality of life" things (replace the stupid dwarven copters), with this IP, EA could turn it around. The trouble is that I don't think the will is there and the focus is on SWTOR right now.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Insanelol

    It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half. I resubbed using the free 10day thing for old subs last year and it has improved.



    It has improved quite a bit.  Unfortunately, it appears that EA and/or Bioware decided early on not to support this title, presumably due to the rough start.

    In my opinion, they had a real window of opportunity to revive this title, but have instead decided to allow it to languish.

    All in all, it's a pretty good game still.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    I think the OP's article raises an excellent point.  I can play a game for a relatively short time and get an idea of a games strengths and weaknesses.  It's not rocket science most of the time when games fail.  Games often fail for very predictable reason which are usually readily apparent.


    Some people insist you must play the game all the way through and experience every nook and cranny of a game before predicting success or failure. Not so.  Design flaws are readily apparent from a short play time with a game.  You don't need months.  In most cases, several days to a couple weeks can be sufficient. 






  • FailFail BrnoPosts: 34Member

    Thing that destroyed the experience of the game (there was many things, but this one was the final nail in the coffin) is absolute lack of cummunication with players. Devs just dong give a damn what players want in general and even on lower level, like I never got responce to bug reports, when even "thank you, for carin" would do and nobody actually cares about the goldsellerers, who are constantly spamming ingame chat.

  • ramblockramblock sdasdasPosts: 1Member

    Best pvp game

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    The problem with the "preview" was that Jon started off by admiting he had not spent much time in the game and yet wrote the preview for MMORGP.com, which they published.  It was like saying "Hi, I didn't do my job adequately but here it is anyway because I'm expected to write this regardless of how much time I've played the game."   Also note that there is no commentary about the crafting system, which is very important to many players.  Did Jon even test out the crafting (many complained it was too bland).

    There were several shortcomings in WAR that should have been pointed out right away to anyone spending only a short period of time in the game.  First, the fact that many people (not me, but many in my guild) reported configuration problems and constant crashing with the game. Perhaps Jon didn't crash, but so many people were crashing it should have been mentioned. Second, an PvP focused game with just 2 sides is destined to have problems because losers quit, and the winners get bored and quit.  Anyone could have seen this coming; Mythic promissed to address it in pre-launch interviews and never did anything for the first year of release after most servers were closed. Third was grossly imbalanced classes, particularly the Bright Wizard and group healing classes (the group heals were better than the single-heals, making them 1 button pressing class).  This should have been mentioned in the preview.  Other website previews I remember commenting specifically about the Bright Wizard overpowered abilities. 

    Look, I liked the game and played long enough to have to transfer 3 times because of server closings, but those glaring problems I knew were going to eventually kill the game. All Mythic/EA did was fire the producer and gloss over the problems with more PvE content.

  • WorstluckWorstluck the valley, CAPosts: 1,269Member

    Game could have been great.  It is unfortunate that currently the game is hardly supported.  There are some real rampant problems with the game, and with the 3 devs left over there (just guessing here) I highly doubt it improving.  Another round of server merges is coming as well.  SBE1, I was unfortunately one of those who had massive problems with stuttering and crash to desktops.  The game did get better in that regard so I give them that.

    Also, all the hype Mythic did pre-launch did a ton of harm to this game.  Paul Barnett kept spouting off on how great the game is going to be, and how everyone will be hybrids, how healers wont be just standing in the back and heal.  Too bad that never happened.  WAR IS EVERYWHERE!  Yeah right....the 20 people left on Iron Rock really think war is everywhere.  Mark Jacobs stating that "If we are opening up new servers six months from now, I consider the game a success.  If we are closing servers down, we have done somthing wrong".  Six months later after launch?  Server merges.....


  • mjkittredgemjkittredge Nashua, NHPosts: 126Member

    Was that the short version? He barely mentioned anything in that game. I think he spent more time talking about "riding the disc" than anything else. I think he needs to play a surfing game.

    There was ENORMOUS hype surrounding this game from the date it was announced up until launch. So many people saying it would be a "WoW Killer" (lol), so it wasn't just Mythic building the hype, it was the people sick of Warcraft pumping it up to ridiculous levels.

    I didn't join when the game launched, so apparently I missed a ton of the problems by instead trying a 7 day trial in the following month of March. I have to say, I loved the game initially, thought it was awesome. Played Black Guard (one of the delayed classes not included at launch, much to manys dismay) and Squig Herder, and had a blast exploring the colorful, very detailed world - some areas are quite beautiful and scenic. Loved the gritty, nasty combat with it's fast pace. Scenarios were awesome. Scavenging and talisman making was an interesting tradeskill with great rewards. PQs had a nice balance of bringing people together and getting people to communicate, with the open group - anybody can join, and those challenging PQ bosses were very cool. Open RVR is so great in Tier 1 and Tier 2, and then taking keeps, defining activity of the game. So many tough  battles and swarms of people rushing around. And to top it all off, we've got statues of the top RVR performing players put up in capital cities! Can't forget, when I got billed multiple times for one month, they corrected the problem quickly and my accounts all got kick ass rewards in way of apology. Everybody who didn't get the billing problem was jealous ;)

    Now, before I get called a figuratively blind fanboy, I do realize the game has many flaws. Bugs that were in place at launch, some of them still exist today. The game, in some ways, had a lack of polish in numerous ways. Class balance always has and probably always will be a point of contention. As will the rewards for RVR/Scenarios/PQs. Some say the PVE is stupid and pointless, I kind of like it and I'm glad it's there. Some say crafting is shallow and limited - I'd agree the game could use some different crafting professions. Some say the game could use a third faction, I think that would be interesting to see.

    Most people now, when they see an article about WAR, feel sadness and bitterness. It's a game most serious MMO gamers had really hoped would reinvigorate the genre and give us a new triple A title to love and cherish. Now it's hard to think about WAR without thinking of the wasted potential, how badly the ball was dropped, how our high hopes were in many cases dashed on the rocks. Could have been so much more. If only the developers had found the winning formulae. If only there were more of "this" and less of "that", if only they'd taken another year for beta developement, added all the classes and cities, balanced better, bug fixed better, stopped the lag and crashes earlier. People loved the idea of this game and wanted so badly for it to succeed.

    Now it's just a fading afterthought, tinged with anger, as more and more new games come out. The only thing that could make it relevant again, for it to have a resurgence, would be major additions and changes - they just don't have the manpower for that now. The patches and updates have little things here and there, every few months. Bit by bit, as the ship sinks.

    Maybe someday, there will be a new Warhammer MMORPG that does the IP right and is a huge hit. The source material is a wonderful opportunity.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,504Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Insanelol

    It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half.


    Naahh... What killed it, is simply that they completely ignored feedback from us who participated in the beta.

  • YiumdanoeYiumdanoe BeenleighPosts: 4Member

    I loved the game after all the glaring bugs were shuffled off into the ethers, i stopped playing EQ2, which i played since release, for it .  What killed it for me was when they removed the oceanic servers as an aussie i try to play on the current servers and get into RvR i'm attacking players that aren't there anymore they are either dead or on other side of zone, lag made RvR unplayable and thats what made WAR what it was...oh well guess i have to wait till 40K comes out

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,219Member Uncommon

    It was the PVE game that killed it.  Boring droll, pointless.  The PQs ended up being empty and hardly if ever used.  Even I liked them at first, but something changed past the first tier, I'm not quite sure what.  Maybe because it was more of the same just longer and less exciting to plod through.  The game could literally have had a cap of 10 and done fantastically.  

  • cpthowdycpthowdy frederick, MDPosts: 113Member

    scenarios killed it. they wanted an open world with RvR but people just went and played the instanced scenarios instead. no wonder the world was empty.

  • TyrrhonTyrrhon PrahaPosts: 412Member

    This is one of saddest stories in MMO industry. The game had a lot going for it but in the end did many amateur mistakes:

    - The network code is rubbish, it was desynced all the time.

    - The game does not feel safe, gritty is cool but not from the start till forever when you play all day long.

    - Failed social engineering leading to inbalanced sides and inbalanced ares of the game.

    - Too much focus on PvP. Mainstream MMO will not survive on PvP, do not listen to vocal minority, they can never be happy because what they want is impossible.


    Sieges was total and I mean total brainfart: population even more segregated, uderdeveloped, focused on PvP, straining engine. Anyone in business looked at it and knew his competiton is clowns. And so when Blizzard announced their realease date it was clear they no longer take WAR seriously; they probably cared more about AoC.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,261Member Uncommon

    While it's fun to read what John posted... but what I REALLY wanted to see were the WAR fanboi responses to his preview.  THAT's where the big entertainment lies.

  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYPosts: 1,114Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    While it's fun to read what John posted... but what I REALLY wanted to see were the WAR fanboi responses to his preview.  THAT's where the big entertainment lies.


    Entertainment? Sounds like something out of Children of the Corn.

    Check out my monthly column on MMORPG.com.


  • KassidiusKassidius New westminster, BCPosts: 9Member

    Well ive only been playing for 2 months now, never tried it at release and its prob not perfect although ive yet to see a game that is.

    All i know is it is the most fun ive had playing a mmo since planetside, and the first time where ive reached lvl cap with a mmo and the first time ive had multiple characters.

    This game is underaprciated but easily the most fun thing on the market "for me".

  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,859Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by cpthowdy

    scenarios killed it. they wanted an open world with RvR but people just went and played the instanced scenarios instead. no wonder the world was empty.

    Careful, I've been flamed to death for saying this, but I agree.

    I quit when everyone was too busy sc grinding to come take a keep.

  • tuassudtuassud Mound, MNPosts: 22Member

    To all who dislike this game, by now it is a polished and fun product. Just because you don't like it does not make it a poor game. Maybe it isn't to your tastes, but by now they've ironed out a lot of kinks... except clipping on some objects, and it is quite a good game. If you like PvP, you should try it, it's far from dead as people here continue to claim. Just play on Badlands server.

    Don't know what to put here, honestly.

  • ormstungaormstunga sthlmPosts: 736Member

    PQs sure have flaws, but not getting full contribution when you join halfway in isnt one of them. I'm not really sure John thought it through... who are these other guys running around that you think you should be "robbing" of contribution when you join-in halfway through... ah right its other players. What if you were one of those players doing the full PQ and every time someone joins in at the end and gets same contribution as everyone else and grabs the fat loot. Fun? I think not.


    The PQ setup was maybe the best thing about WAR and I've found later that its my favorite kind of pve. Come and go as you please without ruining it for others. No need to raid hours straight, not all of us can.



  • LelariolLelariol Padova, AKPosts: 32Member

    The game right now is very good and far from dead. I'm playing it again after release since one month and I frequently see new players and it's really really fun (eu servers).

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    This game is on life support at best almost every guild I know of is planning to move to rift and pvp there. 

  • mindrazormindrazor New Haven, CTPosts: 13Member

    Good luck to all the guilds moving to Rift for PvP.  I've played in the last three beta events and think Rift a decent game that runs well, but as for it being a great PvP title--not sure any of these PvP based guilds are going to find a long-term home there.

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