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[Column] Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning: Death Comes to WAR

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 3,667MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is set to shut its doors this December. Join us today as we reflect on the game's tumultuous history and unrealized potential.

Despite the disappointment surrounding these announcements, WAR ended up selling 1.2 million boxes by mid-October that year and was sitting pretty at around 800,000 subscribers. The game reached critical mass so quickly that Mythic made one of their first and most disastrous post-launch mistakes in launching far too many servers to deal with the influx of players. Sure, it helped cool things down in the short term, but in a game that heavily depends on players to drive the war on both sides, this decision was the cause of serious issues over the coming months.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Warhammer Online: Death Comes to WAR.


Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

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  • zimikezimike Dayton, TXPosts: 147Member Uncommon
    Very sad to see such a great game go down in flames. R.I.P WAR
  • beej1986beej1986 Marion, ARPosts: 76Member Uncommon
    I really liked what this game tried to do, if only the devs had put the money into it to fix the problems it would have been an awesome game. However, despite all it's flaws, I had some good times with WAR. RIP.


  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 3,010Member Uncommon
    As much as people condemned it for being a wow clone with useless PVE, I thought the game itself was really fun. I liked the RvR and the pvp was actually quite fun. The issue was EA basically kept it on life support to keep those 10k (not really) subscribers paying, and never allowed them to do a real update. It is just sad, but somewhat expected.
  • bigcrackerbigcracker Philadelphia, PAPosts: 60Member Uncommon
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 21,641Member Epic

    I remember speaking with a developer at a PAX who was not associated with Warhammer. We were talking about PvE in games and I mentioned that I was disappointed in Warhammer's pve as there was a lot of "stupid" npc's in the game. Case in point, two npc's talking by a tent. I hit  one of them with a ranged attacked and he comes toward me yet the other npc, who was talking with him seconds ago, continues to talk to the air.

    At that point the developer said to me "well, they are pvp guys so they don't have the experience with pve". I then wanted to say "well, I'm not a developer and even I know that's ridiculous."

    Can't remember my actual response but I sort of felt that little tidbit was always indicative of the lack of detail in warhammer's design.

  • icculus2112icculus2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 105Member

    Tome of Knowledge is WARs best feature and probably the most underrated thing in MMORPG history.  Just a brilliant idea and I hope someone copies it someday (Sounds perfect for EQNext)


  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,882Member Rare

    I will reflect on how great it was-and how it taught me to let go of  WoW -and venture into other mmos!

    Farewell WAR!-see yah in crusade!



  • MaissonMaisson east hartford, CTPosts: 28Member Uncommon

    I remember playing from beta through the first 6 months of release, then returning when they released the slayer and chopper as the slayer is who I wanted to play since day one. I liked having three starting areas originally and the fact that a healer can target 1 ally and 1 mob at the same time was amazing. I thought the game was going to do well from the start, however as the author states to many servers not enough population on some such as the one I was on and I left the game because we had 3 or 4 people in end of teir 1 PVP area and they had 30, crushing us day in and day out.


    Everything else about the game was well done including the classes and crafting. I also enjoyed the spell animation.


    I hope another company picks this up and just builds upon it and corrects bug issues.

  • MishakaiMishakai westminster, COPosts: 105Member
    Maybe if gamers weren't so OMG critical of games at launch, stuff like this wouldn't happen.  Wanna blame someone for WARs demise, gamers have nobody to blame except themselves.
  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAPosts: 648Member Uncommon

    One thing I've yet to see people mention in the 'pro' side of WAR's ledger was mods. Their system was similar to WoWs, including using Lua, and while it never had the breadth and depth of mods that WoW does, they were a really nice to have.


    I've never played an MMO where I didn't hate some aspect of the UI, usually most of it, and wish I could mod it to more fit my playstyle. WAR was one of those few games that allowed you to and, surprisingly, given how buggy the game was in many ways, for the most part it worked pretty well.

  • WelshyJTWelshyJT LLANELLIPosts: 28Member Uncommon

    Loved it for the year or so that i played, but as mentioned.

    RvR games rely so heavily on population that a domino effect occurs when a seemingly insignificant amount of players leave.

    The game still had a chance at revival through the F2P route, but you need only look at the companies surrounding the game to know it was never going to happen.

    A crying shame. for real.

  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAPosts: 648Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mishakai
    Maybe if gamers weren't so OMG critical of games at launch, stuff like this wouldn't happen.  Wanna blame someone for WARs demise, gamers have nobody to blame except themselves.

    Sorry, you can't really lay this one at the feet of gamers. Yeah, the endless "Three factions would have fixed everything" crap is silly and there was no possible way Mythic was going to please hardcore Warhammer fans no matter what they did (though, to be honest, even with what little I know of Warhammer lore, a lot of Mythic's story choices were... Odd at best), but the game really was a red hot mess.


    Even a year post-launch it was common to get 'stuck' on a blade of grass or a pebble and then randomly fall to your death from an apparent height of a sixteenth of an inch. LoD could be downright bizarre, anyone at any real distance from you had a three frame animation. Any time the collision code kicked in the framerate dropped to a crawl. And then there was class and mirror balance, WAR pretty much defining fail in those areas.


    It was a fun mess, but a buggy as hell one.


    With all the issues there were, many of which were never fixed or were even made worse, it simply isn't reasonable to blame people for leaving in droves.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,219Member Uncommon

    WAR was probably my favourite mmorpg I've played to date. I really liked the IP, which actually got me interested in mmorpgs in the first place, even though I'd followed UO (too expensive back then for my pocket change!) with Climax's Warhammer version to begin with and finally that story comes to an end in December.

    The most persuasive reason it bombed I've seen or heard is this:


    1) Content that is really expensive and really finite.

    2) Not as good as WOW after 1 month or so of playing.

    3) Not different enough from other themepark mmorpgs.

    I mean I liked WAR, but it was much more themepark mmorpg land than Warhammer IP world that I've read about in eg Read more of Genese Davis's Lore Novels.

    It just became more and more about the cash cow growing more expensive and needing more ways to feed it once it was let loose = themepark standard designs. Eg 2 factions instead of 3 when they could have looked at how players could pick from any of about 16! I just think the design was limiting what they could do with it from the off.

  • Swedish_ChefSwedish_Chef of heroes, MSPosts: 213Member

    Just another corpse on the pile of dead companies / games out behind the EA headquarters. Maybe if they'd spent the money from that awful Warhammer MOBA on WAR, they could have saved it.

    Guess we'll never know now, eh EA?

  • ZepliniZeplini LeedsPosts: 295Member Uncommon
    EA have a lot to answer for, war was rushed out unfinished and even had lots cut out of it to get it released, shame its a great IP and same with the old republic which i will never go back to due to the mess they made of that IP as well.

    Playing: WoW, Lotro, Wildstar
    Future: wishing for SWG 2, Project Copernicus!
    Played: Most current and extinct MMO's - 16 Years in....

  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,512Member Uncommon
    They shoulda kept their egos in check and stuck with Imperator online. 


  • reillanreillan Tulsa, OKPosts: 241Member Uncommon

    wow, WAR was still online?  I had no idea.

    it ceased to exist for me a month after it came out.

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILPosts: 2,840Member Rare

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • newbinatornewbinator LA, CAPosts: 780Member

    I played WAR at launch, and quit after about a month.

    1. It released too soon.

    2. They should have gone with 3 factions, not 2.

    3. There shouldn't have been any instanced PvP. They should have focused entirely on making world PvP the best it could be.

    4. The engine felt laggy. They needed to have WoW-like responsiveness.

  • ConleyConley Somewhere in the...Posts: 195Member
    Warhammer was really a game that could have used "A Realm Reborn"  style make over. 
  • GolelornGolelorn Hiding From Social Media Peeping Toms, ALPosts: 1,208Member Uncommon
    Horrible PvE, weird RvR lakes that were far too massive in size, way too much CC.
  • FlyinDutchman87FlyinDutchman87 London MIlls, ILPosts: 283Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Conley
    Warhammer was really a game that could have used "A Realm Reborn"  style make over. 

    AMEN to that.

    Another year of polish, A few different design desicions and some population balencing mechanisms and the game coulda been great.

  • DeanGreyDeanGrey Fresno, CAPosts: 154Member Uncommon
    It is such a waste when an MMO dies. WAR has a lot of great parts to it, and still the best PvP around. Now no one will get to play it. At least the fruits of WAR can be seen spread amongst other MMO's. One such example, public quests, comes to mind.
  • AnubisanAnubisan Boulder, COPosts: 1,798Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by newbinator
    I played WAR at launch, and quit after about a month. 1. It released too soon. 2. They should have gone with 3 factions, not 2. 3. There shouldn't have been any instanced PvP. They should have focused entirely on making world PvP the best it could be. 4. The engine felt laggy. They needed to have WoW-like responsiveness.

    That's pretty much my assessment as well.

    I didn't even last a month.

  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLPosts: 1,440Member Rare

    People who left after the first couple months missed out on what became a very good RvR MMO. The grind to RR80 and full sovereign gear was pretty nasty but at the same time obtainable. As my memory serves me correctly when they totally changed the campaign and raised the renown rank to 100 with more gear that was the death of Warhammer. Casual players, the majority of the population, left in droves in the coming months. First of all the campaign sucked compared to what it was, it went from "waithammer " to "doorhammer" and the gear disparity was too much to handle. People like me were not in full Sov yet and you had hardcore players already getting in the more powerful gear. 

    This is where Mythic screws everything up, the same way they did Daoc. The release was EA's fault, the ultimate demise of the game is 100% on Mythic. And that b***h Carrie is 90% to blame for that.

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