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Role Playing (Games)

Warhammer Online Beta Shutdown 65

Posted by Zonk
from the jeff-paul-don't-leave-us-hanging dept.
Garthilk writes "Most MMOs typically go through delays in release date; EA Mythic's Warhammer Online has already been pushed back to early next year. A recent announcement from the company on their beta boards has given fans pause, though. EA Mythic is shutting down their external beta test program, and possibly won't reopen it until December. Mythic says this pause in external testing will serve as an opportunity to refine and polish the games core mechanics. A public announcement is said to follow soon."
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Warhammer Online Beta Shutdown

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  • ob (Score:2, Funny)

    by edittard (805475)
    Did they fail a 2D6 roll against their INT?
    • Re:ob (Score:5, Funny)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:41PM (#20904189)
      Did they fail a 2D6 roll against their INT?

      No. This is Warhammer, not D&D.

      They succumbed to the corrosive taint of Chaos, and even now in the cubicles, the hideous bloated beasts that were once developers stalk and hunt each other in a vicious battle for supremacy in the loathsome hive of corruption that was once their office. In time one of these abominations of nature will establish itself as the master, and under its appalling leadership a ghastly crew of mutant horrors will stream forth from their lairs to bring woe and misery to the peaceful human lands.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Boronx (228853)
        So you're saying they've turned into Republicans.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by jollyreaper (513215)

          So you're saying they've turned into Republicans.
          A fell race of lesser men, unequal to the legacy of their forebearers, wholly given to greed, corruption, deceit, and pederasty. They wear the piety of heaven as a cloak to shield their wickedness, and they succeed in fooling dim eyes not accustomed to such skillful artifice.

          So basically, yeah.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        Now, now, no need to assume the worst. I'd say they only forgot to pacify the spirit of the machine properly. That's what you get when you forget to sing the correct hymns.
        • by corbettw (214229)
          I thought this MMO was going to be based on Warhammer Fantasy, not 40k? If so, they probably rolled a miscast and their lead developer was knocked back into the ranks of the other developers, taking a S10 hit with no saving throw (Ward saves allowed).
      • by mcvos (645701)

        Did they fail a 2D6 roll against their INT?
        No. This is Warhammer, not D&D.

        I shouldn't be this pedantic, but rolling 2D6 against INT is Warhammer. Or used to be, at least. I admit I haven't played WFB since the third edition, but there, rolling 2D6 against INT, LD, CL or WP was pretty normal. D&D uses d20, however.

      • Warcry... (Score:2, Funny)

        by Shipwack (684009)
        "Code for the code god! Code for the code god!"
  • by nschubach (922175) on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:30PM (#20904075) Journal
    Feels like Vanguard all over again, only this the devs/publisher cut the beta-testers out of the loop. I'm not in the Warhammer Beta, but was in the Vanguard Beta. I read this and thought of how many times the Sigil crew said they were reworking the "core mechanics" and ended up releasing a product with no direction (and way too early.)
    • Definitely way too early. Too bad they were forced to due to cash problems. Vanguard could have been so much better.
      • Definitely way too early. Too bad they were forced to due to cash problems. Vanguard could have been so much better.
        Ditto for SWG... *sigh* how can you launch when a guy named Swiggy was crashing one of the beta servers constantly for several days.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Steeltalon (734391)
          I thought that SWG's bigger problem was that Raph Koster decided to design whatever the hell he wanted and just slap the Star Wars name on it. Next to that albatross the troubles they had with their beta program seem minor.
          • by toolie (22684)

            I thought that SWG's bigger problem was that Raph Koster decided to design whatever the hell he wanted and just slap the Star Wars name on it.
            That was one part of the problem. The other was that under the license agreement, SOE basically had to follow LucasArts' directions. That, combined with having that fucktard Koster as a lead basically doomed what could've been an amazing game.
          • I actually enjoyed SWG when it first came out, before they completely changed the skill system. I could play casually with my mates, who played hard-core, and still contribute to the experience in meaningful ways, e.g. healing a TKA just before he died, saving him from a long walk back. I built a shuttle port thats still in use.

            I suppose the fact that I'm not hard-core, however, may be why they rejigged it. OTOH, I had three paid-for subscriptions, which they lost when that happened.

  • by netsavior (627338) on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:33PM (#20904099)
    Everyone knows they are not playable till ya paint 'em.
  • by Cleon (471197) <{cleon42} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:38PM (#20904147) Homepage
    Translation: "We realized that the whole thing was a steaming pile of crap, and needed to be seriously re-engineered."

    Sometimes you just have to realize that your "Beta" is more of an "Alpha."

    • by MrTester (860336)
      Is there a reason beyond general pessimisim that this is causing so much greif?

      Reading the announcement it looks to me more like "Weve gotten everything we want from this part of the beta, the next changes will take a while to impliment and we are not a charity who is going to suply the beta testers with a free game for the next 6 weeks for no purpose."
      • by Knara (9377)

        It's odd because usually when one phase is over, they move over to another phase by introducing new players from alternate sources. Completely turning off a beta for a few months is unusual.

        • by Aladrin (926209)
          It's not all that unusual. I've been in a couple different betas that had short periods of open beta followed by short or medium periods of closed beta, over and over. It allows them to do some serious testing on major changes during the closed periods, and do general heavy-load testing (and free advertising, since they get so few bug reports from the 'testers') during the open betas.

          I will admit that most companies don't do it that way, but it's not 'unusual.'
          • by Knara (9377)
            If "most companies don't do it that way", by definition it's unusual.
      • by Ribbo.com (885396)
        It's only the griefers causing the grief :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Moraelin (679338)
        Actually, seeing beta-test as "suply the beta testers with a free game for the next 6 weeks for no purpose" is arguably the worst attitude a company can have, and chances are the effects will be seen in the final game.

        1. That's some people who put up with some major bugs and crap balance, to help you fix the game. For the price of a "free game." If you were to hire internal testers for that, even at minimum wage in Elbonia, it would cost you more than 10$-15$ a month. In fact, you'd have to give those a cop
        • by MmmmAqua (613624)
          They're shutting down for maybe six WEEKS to do a whole lot of bugfixing and gameplay tweaks all at once, without having to worry about spending the extra development time to make sure every incremental change is (probably) going to work on (most) beta testers' machines. You don't even have to read more than the article summary to understand that!

          I don't think it's a big deal. EA/Mythic doesn't have an obligation to ensure that I can play the beta 24 hours a day, every day until launch without interrupt
      • by Medrin (1170107)
        The gist I got from the letter they sent out was that they had a few core changes they wanted to implement(More diversity in classes and skills, better PQs) before they began the next phase of beta, without having (relativly) expensive servers stagnating while they worked on the fixes.
    • Translation: "We realized that the whole thing was a steaming pile of crap, and needed to be seriously re-engineered."

      To be fair, this is what testing is for. They've done their testing, decided some stuff's not right, now they're off to fix it for a couple of months.

      At a guess, it turned out that absolutely everyone wanted to be Chaos, and they've had to go away and rebalance the races a bit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bateleur (814657)
        If they balance the races that will hardly be a faithful reproduction of GW's games!
    • After seeing so many MMOs fall flat-out on their faces after launch, if they managed to fix the game (I played a demo at Comic-Con, it was far from completed) then I say keep on delaying it.
    • Translation: "We realized that the whole thing was a steaming pile of crap, and needed to be seriously re-engineered."
      "...and we know it will be completely unplayable during re-engineering, so we shut down Beta for a while".
      I guess this is the most likely explanation.
  • Meh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by madhatter256 (443326) on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:40PM (#20904169)
    Blizzard will still continue to copy off of Warhammer, regardless if it comes out or not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rayonic (462789)
      Blizzard usually does a better job making Warhammer-ish games than whoever has the actual Warhammer license. (Though I hear the latest WH20k RTS is pretty cool.)
      • Though I hear the latest WH20k RTS is pretty cool

        Yes, but it's only half as good as the official WH40K game.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by SkyFalling (1115231)
          Yeah, but who wants to wait another 20k years? Besides, sequels always disappoint. I betcha Madden 40k will still be just the same game as it is now. ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by obeythefist (719316)
      Money talks. It looks like Blizzard did a better copy of Warhammer than Warhammer did. That's okay. The Warhammer guys copied all their stuff off Tolkien anyway, right? Elves, Orks, Dwarves.. jeez.

      Of course, if you think any of that copying is acceptable, then that kinda means you have to also accept that Disney's business practices are in any way "acceptable".

      It's a painful place to be....
      • Of course, if you think any of that copying is acceptable, then that kinda means you have to also accept that Disney's business practices are in any way "acceptable".
        And why wouldn't they be acceptable? I don't really see what's wrong with taking old stories and animating them. There's lots of good reasons to hate them (they are the poster-child of the oppressive copyright regime after all), but "copying" just isn't it.
      • by WWWWolf (2428)

        Of course, if you think any of that copying is acceptable, then that kinda means you have to also accept that Disney's business practices are in any way "acceptable".

        Well, Disney copying old stories isn't bad as such. The attitude of "We, ahem, re-invented them, and now nobody can ever make a better version of it forevermore" is what is the problem.

        Though, Disney folks have done good stuff too. The animated films and series are pretty much yawnsome compared to the comics, some of which are completely brilliant. I mean, the stuff that made me a geek [inducks.org] =)...

    • by sgant (178166)
      Didn't Blizzard go to the people at Games Workshop years and years ago about doing a video game based on Warhammer? But they were turned away by Games Workshop and so Blizzard decided to just make their own.

      If that's true, wonder how their feeling about it now.
  • Gotta love how the news got leaked out. This was supposed to be covered by the NDA but it escaped from the forums (and it was emailed to testers as well).

    It's a lot easier to deal with an internal test team than a large external one. Don't have to worry about supporting the end-users (testers) as much. Don't need to worry about server downtimes and preparing/serving up patches. If Mythic feels they need to do this, it may be good. I still have a lot of faith in the company because of DAoC.
    • I still have a lot of faith in the company because of DAoC.

      You played Hibs, didn't you?

    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      Their past with DAoC can be both good and bad.

      Good: DAoC had a great initial design
      Bad: Mythic has a nasty case of "Killer DM" syndrome. They ignored the complaints of their playerbase for two years after ToA's release without doing anything until it was too late and WoW provided another place for the playerbase to go. By the time Mythic finally fixed ToA (prompted by their plummeting subscriber numbers) it was too late.

      And of course, EA is now in the loop. They don't exactly have the best track record
  • Call me when Skaven is a playable race.
  • by Pearson (953531) on Monday October 08, 2007 @06:04PM (#20904387)
    Gordon Walton, co-studio director at BioWare Austin, summed it up in a speech he gave last month at the Austin Game Developer's Conference. (a write up on the speech can be found here [gamasutra.com]

    "I think that quality was a true innovation on Blizzard's part. Nobody had done that before at that level of play. Because they did that, their game stood out night and day above everybody else's games. What's the biggest mistake? What everybody did without exception -- shoving it out the door.

    "You have one chance to make a first impression; the brand value of an MMO is created within the first week of launch. End of story. You're done the first week... I say a week, but it might even be a day. It's a post-World Of Warcraft world. You better do that."


    So I take this as a positive sign that Mythic wants to make a bunch of money, and realize that if they don't take the time to do it right the first time, it will not make the kind of money they want.

    • IP holder. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Telepathetic Man (237975) on Monday October 08, 2007 @06:19PM (#20904565)
      Games Workshop is widely known to be very hands on and overly protective of their IP. It could be that Mythic is obligated to make sure that everything they do as far a gameplay and strategy is the most perfect blend of table-top style gaming and the MMORPG style of gaming. If they don't get it just right, I have a feeling they could see a lawsuit from the IP holder, whether Mythic is able to make a killing on the game or not.

      This is of course, all speculation.
      • by Taulin (569009)
        I think it would be great if like you said Games Workshop came over, and gave the thumbs down. It's really weird how most companies shove things out the door so fast. I do specialized app development for many different clients, and every single one of them has always delayed launch to make us perfect and add features, despite their loss. Why is it with games it is an opposite world where things get pushed out the door? This may be proof that companies do not look at games as actual products, but somethi
        • by MrBulwark (862510)
          Unlike business aps, Game software shows it's age much faster. You have to release it while you game engine/graphics looks current. A game from 5 years ago looks much worse than a business application from 5 years ago. Wolfenstein3D looked awesome back in the day, but now its dissapointing.
    • by ricree (969643)

      "I think that quality was a true innovation on Blizzard's part. Nobody had done that before at that level of play. Because they did that, their game stood out night and day above everybody else's games. What's the biggest mistake? What everybody did without exception -- shoving it out the door.

      It's been a few years, but Dark Age of Camelot had one of the smoothest launches of its time. While I'm sure that the company has changed a lot since then (they've expanded massively and been bought out by EA), I'

    • Ahhhh unlike Richard Garriot and his "WE ONLY NEED ONE MORE WEEK TO FIX THIS PUPPY!" delay of Tabula Rasa... or shall I call it "Just Another Doomed MMO In A Post WoW World"

    • by fractoid (1076465)

      "I think that quality was a true innovation on Blizzard's part. Nobody had done that before at that level of play. Because they did that, their game stood out night and day above everybody else's games. What's the biggest mistake? What everybody did without exception -- shoving it out the door.

      This quote just restored my faith in WAR. Finally someone gets it. Finally someone in charge of a game company actually understands what makes Blizzard games different. Sure, you can't polish a turd, but that doesn't mean don't polish. You have to start with a diamond, and then you'd better polish it to within an inch of its life, or that magic first impression won't be there.

  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2007 @06:44PM (#20904775)
    We're tired of babysitting all these crybabies who think they're playing a production game.

    Yeah, yeah, your fucking horse fell off the cliff, shut up already; I'm trying to track down the money dupe bug your clan-mates have been exploiting for the past two weeks.

    Yes, we know about it. No, we're not going to punish you, we want to figure out how you're doing it.

    What?? Now you other fuckers from another clan are bitching that we're 'not enforcing the rules' and how 'this game is totally gonna suck cause the admins don't do anything to prevent cheating'?

    This is a BETA people; wait, fuck it, it's now an ALPHA. Get off our servers and let us do some real work. We'll let 10% of you assholes back in when we need some real help.

    Thank you, and get a life.
    • NO, PLEASE!!!

      Don't make them all come back to World of Warcraft and annoy the hell out of us more. =(

      We thought we'd finally been rid of them.
      • by fractoid (1076465)
        You haven't been playing WoW long, have you? :P If you had you'd know that they'd be back within 3 months anyway. Most of my friends quit WoW for Guild Wars... yep, back in a couple of months. I quit WoW for Vanguard (and again for RL) - I'm still playing. "They'll come crawling back" is the catchphrase here. Make sure ya give 'em shit about it too! :P
  • The release of Mass Effect is approaching?
  • The bastards at Games Workshop has released a new series of figures and all old figures are no longer playable causing the mmo team to go back and redesign all of their character models.
  • Redo the game's core mechanics? Come on, how hard is it to implement big meat bags with taunt, healers, blasters, and retarded AI that recognizes none of this?

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