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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

A Look At the Warhammer Community 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the greenskin-buddies dept.
Gamasutra is running a story examining the development of the Warhammer Online community since its recent launch. The author explains how the gameplay and rules tend to affect social interaction. GamerDNA has a related piece looking at numbers for actual players involved with Warhammer's launch, and how it's affecting populations in other MMOs. "Getting on the computer to play WAR apparently reminded the WAR fanatics that they had a computer, because overall, their gameplay went up as a whole. They logged in more often to titles like COD4, Oblivion, and even AOC. But the MMO bug bit hard, and logins to LOTRO and EVE more than doubled after the launch of WAR."
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A Look At the Warhammer Community

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  • Ok, its not wow. So is it better or worse than wow? 'cause one is going to cannibalize the other.

    • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:39PM (#25279931) Homepage Journal

      It does not sound like it. WoW did not take a hit and WAR appears to be off to a nice start. More like two different games for two different kinds of people.

      There's speculation in one of TFAs that WAR grew the market for MMOs by drawing people back in who were bored with everything.

      • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Dutch Gun (899105) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:14PM (#25280161)

        It does not sound like it. WoW did not take a hit and WAR appears to be off to a nice start. More like two different games for two different kinds of people.

        Maybe yes, maybe no. If you think about it, it would probably take several months before you'd see any sort of decline in WoW (if that were to happen). WoW players would not be so quick to turn off their accounts - it could be they want to give WAR a few months to see if they want to permanently move over.

        The safe bet is that WAR ends up being a relatively niche (albeit successful) also-ran, while WoW continues it's reign as online juggernaut, but who knows? I remember back when Everquest was king. It's not like the title can't change hand. But I just don't see WAR having the mass appeal that WoW has. No, I think it will be a different game that eventually dethrones WoW - probably one that no one is predicting.

        • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:4, Informative)

          by bonch (38532) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:49PM (#25280465)

          One hit that WoW took was a drop in Arena players. Whether due to leaving for other games or due to increased ratings requirements on gear, the bottom dropped out in Arena's ranked system as people decided to just grind for the available battleground honor gear. Blizzard is now going to put Arena requirements on that gear, too, so you will be forced to do the Arena even if you don't like it just to fill out the ranks of the Arena, which depends on those lower-ranked players.

          It should be noted that Blizzard stated earlier this year that they did lose players to Age of Conan. Those players, however, returned when they found out Age of Conan wasn't finished. Thankfully, Warhammer's endgame content is in the game.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Tridus (79566)

            That had more to do with arenas no longer having any reward for lower ranked players then it did Warhammer. There was simply no point in playing anymore, so they stopped.

            • by Fozzyuw (950608)

              That had more to do with arenas no longer having any reward for lower ranked players then it did Warhammer. There was simply no point in playing anymore, so they stopped.

              That and they're resetting Arena points for everyone to 0 before the expansion and I think right before patch 3.0.x This makes Arena completely pointless until after the xpac, which will be arriving in about 1-month.

              Once that's released, a wave of players will return to WoW and they'll get back into doing the Arena. Bliz. will put a lot of candy out there to attract them. It's only Honor Points that Bliz. is massively increasing for *new* rewards, because they're not wiping Honor Points (and people are s

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You're forgetting that in a month WoW is releasing their next xpac. People *will* go back to WoW even if it's only to check out what's new. So I don't think anything said will be definitive till the WoW population stabilizes after the release of wrath of the lich king
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by SL Baur (19540)

            People *will* go back to WoW even if it's only to check out what's new.

            Yup.

            Another thing to consider is that most of us who make up the rank and file of paying customers are NOT looking for another game. Blizzard has gone a long ways to cater to folks like me who have somewhat limited entertainment time in a week AND they have the consideration to give top support for Mac so I can play games on a Unix-based computer.

            I got my wife involved recently (level 29 Fury spec Warrior, the last 9 levels without my help w00t!) and she loves it, including the battlegrounds.

            Warhammer look

            • by Eskarel (565631)
              The thing is that realistically it does need to be a WoW killer, or at least a serious WoW competitor.

              There's only so many entertainment dollars available, even in the best of times, and WoW is currently getting a relatively large chunk of that money.

              Every time a new MMO fails to take even a small chunk of that market share investors are going to be more reluctant to fund a new one(having an MMO which will survive launch is expensive cause you need a lot of server resources).

              Personally I'm thinking of switc

              • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Bieeanda (961632) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @12:43AM (#25281221)

                There's only so many entertainment dollars available, even in the best of times, and WoW is currently getting a relatively large chunk of that money.

                I haven't seen this argument since 2001, and it's just as wrong now as it was then. First, the market is not saturated by any means.

                Second, looking at WoW's numbers as a benchmark is lunacy. The average subscription-based MMO has between 100,000 and 300,000 subscribers, not the flat millions that WoW does. An MMO can survive with a player base in the tens of thousands, handily.

                Third, MMO subscriptions are not utilities-- there is nothing stopping anyone from subscribing to multiple games simultaneously, and many players do so. Even with the economy tanking, two $15 subscriptions is a better deal than going to the movies a few times a month, and it's discretionary expenses like movies (or going out to dinner, or what have you) that usually get cut before quietly repeating ones like cable bills or MMO subs get canceled.

                WoW is a prodigy. Treating it as competition is foolish-- it's too big to notice the smaller games, and its sheer popularity has secured the whole goddamn industry a space in the pop culture landscape. It hasn't cannibalized other games, it's singlehandedly expanded the whole damn hobby by orders of magnitude, and continues to draw in people who wouldn't have touched Asheron's Call, WAR, City of Heroes or anything else.

                • Truer than you think. I remember a while back, someone took a look at NCSoft's numbers, and figured out that they make nearly as much money off of City of Heroes (~150,000 subs) as they do off of the sub-free Guild Wars (~5 million copies sold). EQ and Ultima Online are still operating and still at a profit despite a massive drop-off in populations (EQ for UO, and EQ2/WoW for EQ).

                  Money aside, though, the real issue at hand is that with Blizzard, like many other very successful entertainment ventures, the in

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by SL Baur (19540)

                  All excellent points. I'll only comment on one.

                  Third, MMO subscriptions are not utilities-- there is nothing stopping anyone from subscribing to multiple games simultaneously, and many players do so. Even with the economy tanking, two $15 subscriptions is a better deal than going to the movies a few times a month, and it's discretionary expenses like movies (or going out to dinner, or what have you) that usually get cut before quietly repeating ones like cable bills or MMO subs get canceled.

                  With the 6 month perpetual renewable plan, it's under US$12/month per player. Probably the best entertainment deal I've ever gotten in my life, given how much we've loved the game. And even better, since we're on a server that covers the Pacific Rim, we can do in game chats for free which beats the living daylights out of international long distance telephone calls or Yahoo! messenger which crashes constantly.

                • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Eskarel (565631) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @04:43AM (#25282843)
                  Well I disagree with this assessment.

                  For one, MMO's take time as well as money, and there's only so much of that too.

                  Secondly, personally, I'm much more likely to cancel a second MMO than I am to skip going out to the movies because going out to the movies is a different form of entertainment.

                  I only have the room in my time/money budget for one MMO, and I don't think I'm alone.

                  True, this probably isn't the case for single folks with no lives, or whose entire social network plays the game with them, but those people aren't the bread and butter of what makes WoW what it is. Most of the difference between WoW and everyone else is that WoW works for the people who wouldn't play anything else.

                  Those are the people that the company that's going to finance/publish your MMO want, because they want that gigantic pot of money. Creating a new MMO that'll appeal to a couple of hundred thousand people world wide and pay for itself is fairly easy, even Sony can do it, but that's not what the publishers want.

                  If nothing competes with WoW the MMO industry will languish because why bother, there are plenty of ways to make money with less risk, and less up-front cost. Everyone will play WoW(or WoW 2) and nothing will ever change.

                  The industry needs a WoW killer, because the industry needs to feel that they have a chance at some of that money.

                  Based on what they charge folks in the western world, Blizzard has got to be pulling in over 150 million dollars a month in subscription fees, that's more than a billion dollars a year, most of which, realistically, is pure profit. Everyone wants a piece of that, and despite your "$15 isn't an awful lot of money to pay twice" almost no one is getting it. There's some folks out there who will subscribe to multiple MMO's, and there's another 9-10 million who won't.

                  • So if we assume they make a billion dollars a year gross, once we subtract the licensing fees for the Oracle databases, they're down to $150 to pay all of their DBAs.
                  • by Phrogman (80473)

                    Well to post a counterpoint:

                    My wife and I both have subscriptions to WAR (or will when the free month is up) and both have active subscriptions to City of Heroes at the moment. My wife has a lifetime subscription to Lord of the Rings Online. I admit I will be likely cancelling my COH subscription - at least until issue 14 comes out at any rate, but there have been many times in the past when I had 2 active subscriptions going at any time, sometimes 3. The cost of doing so is far less than the cost of any ot

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by brkello (642429)
                    I have subscribed to 2-3 MMOs at a time. Though recently just got that down to one (WAR). But I don't think it is too strange to play a few.

                    WAR in some ways is more casual than WoW. You can log in, queue up for a BG anywhere, and start playing. Flight paths are a short cut scene rather than a 10 minute flight. You can be a low level and still participate in BG or RvR objectives because your level gets buffed to something reasonable when you enter those areas. All improvements over WoW in terms of pla
          • by Knara (9377)

            Speaking for myself, but I get the impression I'm not alone, the reason I left WoW was the horrible PvP implementation. WotLK does really nothing to make that aspect of the game more fun.

    • by Kingrames (858416) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:37PM (#25280361)
      In an ironic twist of events, WAR became sentient, logged on to world of warcraft, created a forsaken rogue, killed a player named "wow", and then used cannibalism on its corpse.

      The resulting paradox crashed the server.
    • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:43PM (#25280409)

      I'll throw my opinion on the table--it's better than WoW. The game is full of "why didn't someone think of this before" ideas, which was the same impression WoW used to give. There's always something to do, which is really nice. However, if you are really into the EverQuest formula of raiding for gear, it is not for you. It's a large-scale PvP game.

      More importantly, there's no Arena. This makes class balancing easier because the PvP is designed for group play, and you rarely come across people alone. There's also no downtime as you wait in a queue. Scenarios have queues, but you can enter those queues anywhere, so you just quest and do other things until a queue pops up. All of these things are giving you experience and renown, so you don't feel like you're wasting your time.

      The Arena is Blizzard's attempt to turn WoW into Starcraft and get on Korean television. It's really affected the game in drastic ways. The criticisms have been listed countless times before, and there's no need for me to recite them. This thread on the official forums, which reached its post limit, sums it up well: Goblin In The Tuxedo [worldofwarcraft.com] (and here is a second thread [worldofwarcraft.com] that continued the discussion).

      Keen and Graev [keenandgraev.com] have been describing their Warhammer experience as their guild hits the tier 4 content.

      • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:4, Interesting)

        by secolactico (519805) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:35PM (#25280747) Journal

        The game is full of "why didn't someone think of this before" ideas

        Indeed. The public quests and open parties, for example (at least they are new to me) make *very* easy to jump onto a group and start playing (not that you can't play solo, mind you).

        Of course it also has a couple of "who the heck came up with this crap?" ideas. The cultivation profession, for example. Whoever thought of that one needs to be taken out back and flogged. In fact, the whole crafting system seems underdone. They could have left it out and brought in when complete in a future patch or expansion.
         

      • by RichiH (749257)

        Having no idea what that limit is, I clicked the magic blue text.

        836 messages 'sum it up well'? I think I will pass on knowing what this is all about, thanks ;)

        • No, the first two messages sum it up well. The rest discuss and generally agree.

          If you're at all curious, it's worth reading those two. As far as I can tell, they're absolutely spot on.

    • Re:ok, its not wow (Score:4, Informative)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @05:32AM (#25283095) Journal

      Well, before I start, "better" or "worse" are a matter of taste, so no telling if mine matches yours. You can't proclaim that a game is, in absolute terms and for everyone, better than another, any more than you could proclaim Pepsi to be better than Coke.

      That said, and to start with the punchline: I'm not particularly impressed with WAR. I don't find it "bad" as such either. It even had some good ideas and a nicely different setting, but it obviously wasn't even finished before shoving it out the door, and nobody even tried to give it a good polish first.

      Yes, it has some good ideas, like the public quests. But even then it doesn't take long to realize that that mechanic could have been better polished and tuned. Especially in the early stages there are zones where you just won't have the people to finish them with, especially in the ones where it being underfunded resulted in, say, not having a freaking tank in the area or having been blessed with an enemy which two-shots a tank and a lack of healers.

      What nailed the PQs collective coffin for me, though, was the realization that you don't even need to actually do them. You can farm the reputation for the rewards by just killing the thrash mobs for stage one, waiting for it to reset, then doing it again. It's not exactly a heroic feeling, it's more like a new take on farming mobs. It gets old fast.

      Even if you did go through the extra effort to actually finish it, well, let's just say a lot of times it goes like this:

      Rolling for loot...
      You have ranked 1st for contribution, got a gold medal and 500 bonus for the loot roll...
      Rolling for loot...
      You have ranked 10th and get no loot.

      Well, gee, it makes me feel so special.

      But basically it's not even about loot, it's about "why do I bother?" You could be the guy who stayed on the edge and watched the others fight, and get a prize, while the guy who tanked the boss gets no prize. And the points-based rewards could be done just the same by finding a less popular PQ and grinding the thrash mobs in stage 1. Even if I go through the extra effort, there's not much reason to feel proud about it: someone else got the same rewards with a lot less trouble.

      The same applies to other aspects too. E.g., PvP. I create my first char and within 5 seconds I get a message on the screen in big letters that I got PvP renown ("honour" in WoW lingo) rank 2. At that point I didn't even know where I am and what am I doing, so I'm like, "Huh? What did I _do_? Did I step in a dwarf or something?"

      What happened is that if someone captures an objective in the PvP sub-zone of a bigger map, everyone on the map gets the PvP points just the same.

      Again, then why would I bother with PvP? The best way to get PvP renown is to simply park your character behind an inn or something in the PvE zone and go AFK. In fact, leave it there while you see a movie or over night. Eventually someone will go capture the flag or something, and you'll get the points just as well.

      It's just hard to take a reward seriously when it can be obtained by just randomly being logged in at the right time, even when AFK.

      I'll take a wild guess and say that the root of the problem is a schizophrenic design, which can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a PvP game or PvE too. If you're serious about equally suitable for PvE-only players, then let me freaking buy _some_ stuff without PvP points. (I've found no vendors where you can even get a basic sword without the equivalent of "honour". And, oh, they even have the equivalent of talents bought with PvP renown.) If it's only for PvP-ers, then say that already and let the rest of us know we don't have to bother. But the "solution" of giving PvP points to everyone, whether they PvP or not, is neither here not there. It cheapens the whole thing for both.

      For PvP, it becomes a meaningless reward that everyone else gets just as well. Why would you bother? What are your bragging rights, if everyone else runs around in the same PvP gear and has th

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stjobe (78285)

        Yeah, A for effort on the rant ;) F for facts, though :(

        I'll just correct one of your misapprehensions for you: Yes, you get Renown points for free when your faction takes control of an RvR area. However, unless your RR (Renown Rank) is really low (say, below 2) it won't get you very far. Your plan of parking your character behind the inn won't work for several reasons, one being that it'd take forever to level your RR that way, the other that you'd be logged out after 15 minutes of idling. "The best way to

        • So basically all you're saying as correction is that I'd have to hit a key every 10 minutes or so while I watch a movie?

          • Re:So, basically... (Score:5, Informative)

            by stjobe (78285) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @09:33AM (#25285069) Homepage

            Sure, if your reading comprehension skills are really bad, that might be your conclusion. If not, you might have picked up on the words "won't get you very far", "take forever to level your RR" and "very small amount".

            No, my correction is that you won't be able to level your RR that way. I thought that was pretty clear from my post.

            Renown rank goes to 80 (twice the character's maximum rank), and the amount needed to raise one rank increases with each rank. So basically after RR2 or so, you need to do RvR scenarios and open RvR to increase your RR.

            Which means your plan won't work, which in turn means your criticism doesn't either.

            Do yourself a favour and pick one of the many real problems with the game if you still feel a need to criticize it. Scenario exploits, pet problems, ability problems, crafting; there's any number of real problems to discuss without needing to resort to made-up ones.

            • Well, maybe before throwing tantrums about people's supposed reading comprehension problems, it would help if it were clear at least to you what you're trying to say. Because

              A) "made-up", "Which means your plan won't work", and "you won't be able to level your RR that way" mean it doesn't happen. At all.

              B) "won't get you very far", "take forever to level your RR" and "very small amount" mean it does. Slow enough to not bother _you_, maybe, but they do.

              If you can argue that a problem is "made-up" while argui

              • by Chris Burke (6130)

                There is no practical, meaningful difference between the plan not working at all and the plan taking so long that you'd be an old man before you were done. He doesn't have to make up his mind, you need to understand what he's saying and it's very plain. You can try to cram a semantic crowbar into the gap between subjective words, but all you're doing is widening the amount by which you're missing the point.

                To use your hilariously spurious butt rape analogy, what's the difference between not being sodomize

              • by stjobe (78285)

                I'll just state it one more time for the record: You cannot, absolutely cannot, level RR any meaningful amount by either idling in PVE or for that instance in RvR scenarios. Let it go. You're wrong.

                Now, if RvR is of "exactly zero interest" to you, have you considered that maybe you're playing the wrong game? RvR is what WAR is about, after all. It's not shy about telling you that, either.

                Oh, and a heads-up: it's also not a gear grind type of game. WoW is that-a-way ->

                As I've stated here and in several ot

              • by brkello (642429)
                RP and levels are an integral part of your character development. It's like playing WoW and deciding that you don't want to wear equipment and it pisses you off you keep getting all this random equipment when you do quests. They give you permanent, configurable passive stat boosts and abilities and grant you access to better equipment.

                Your complaint that you were rewarded for stuff and not doing anything seems silly since you don't even care. You aren't going to get to 80 by avoiding RvR stuff any time
                • by Moraelin (679338)

                  To say it again: what they promised is that the game is also perfectly viable without PvP. I expected a game where the PvE part is indeed able to stand on its own legs, without random RP points as crutches. If it needs that kind of a crutch to be viable, then it tells me that, essentially, they lied to me.

                  Take WoW for example. You _can_ get to any level or raiding tier without a single "honour" point. The PvE game is really that self self-sufficient and needs no extra crutches.

                  If "RP and levels are an integ

                • by Moraelin (679338)

                  It is telling that you don't want to do any of the RvR stuff since that is the main thing the game is designed around. No wonder you don't like the game.

                  Well, I wouldn't have a problem, if they had said basically just that: "guys, it's a PvP game, we don't want PvE-ers around these here parts." But that's not what they kept saying in interviews and stuff all over the place. Someone at Mythic or EA obviously decided that they want everyone's money, and kept telling us that yeah, verily, PvP is purely optiona

          • by brkello (642429)
            The game rewards you the more active you are. So yeah, being in the same zone might get you some RP. At a low level, that may be enough to get you your first level (where the bar is set lower than for Palin in a debate). But later it would be so insignificant as to be pointless. Besides, it isn't like it is hard to get RP. All you do is some of the RvR stuff. Actually, I think they do a pretty good job of rewarding you for being more active. The more damage/healing you do leads to morale abilities wh
      • by brkello (642429)
        WAR has many flaws and I am interested to see how much it will be polished. But I think your criticism isn't correct. It has a lot more polish and a lot less bugs than most MMOs released. Some people even say it is more bug free than WoW. So unless you have been in a lot of MMO's early releases, you can't really compare and say that it was rushed out (EA or not).

        A large part of your complaint deals with the Swordmaster type class. I don't really understand why you would complain. If you could use all
    • Aren't you the same who said that WoW was going to canabalize Everquest? That didn't happen did it, not only does Everquest still have enough subscribers to make a profit, WoW has gained more people then every played MMO's before.

      So basically, you are predicting the same thing people claimed would happen when WoW launched. Prepare to be wrong again.

      The two games are totally different in nature and will NOT canabalize each other. It would be like saying Unreal competes with Doom/Quake. There is room for bo

      • by Gewalt (1200451)

        EQ was completely obliterated by the fracturing of its playerbase when sony released EQ2 compounded with the launch of WoW. Sure, EQ might still be running, and profitable, but it lost about 80% of its playerbase when WoW launched. That is significant.

    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      Read the third article linked.

      No, War is not WoW; they have very different approaches. War is PvP centric, while WoW is PvE/co-op centric. They are attracting very different crowds. I like how the article points out that War is KEAS while WoW is EASK.

      Looking at the charts in that third article, War is not affecting WoW and vice versa (at this early stage). I think the people tired of WoW already left, but I'll wager they come back for the expansion and we'll see WoW top 12 million in 6 months.

      There's ple

  • I wonder how much research has been done by the gaming media into synchronized product releases and how they may stimulate the gaming market.

    Big game companies may line up their releases to 'cross-pollinate' the different titles' sales. Perhaps when a player is playing one game, they wish for the features of another, and find themselves playing both in the same period, or such.
  • Community? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Puffy Director Pants (1242492) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:55PM (#25280045)

    In what, 2 or 3 weeks? Isn't that a bit premature?

    • by Kingrames (858416)
      Getting information in the first few weeks regarding the subscriber base sounds rather intelligent to me, though I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on it.

      Perhaps someone made mistakes while summarizing the article.
      • Getting information in the first few weeks regarding the subscriber base sounds rather intelligent to me, though I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on it.

        As a general principle, maybe, but in this case I'd worry anyway.

        I've seen people before try games they liked lots. It generally ends up a bit of a one game affair. You may not have time to stay in one game 24 hours a day, or even the personality for that, but if it's a great game, you'll do _that_ new game when you play at all. If you can't afford more

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      These are nerds we are talking about. I think the word PREMATURE likely is quite fitting.

      WAAAAUUUGH!
    • by Achoi77 (669484) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @02:32AM (#25282079)

      Even on various messageboards, there have been threads popping up regularly stating the fact that this may be the most antisocial MMO ever. People have been complaining left and right about the fact that nobody speaks. I think it's actaully due to a simple factor:

      The chat interface is archaic, and terrible.

      One of the major problems is that a zone is series of subzones, and each subzone has it's own channel. These subzones are TINY. You can walk 20 feet and you'll be in a new chat channel. Every single time. A lot of people have been crying for a zone-wide chat channel on the threads.

      The lack of global channels was such a problem, that on my server (Volkmar) people have designated a common custom channel ("Order Warfront") and have been touting it to facilitate better rvr by alerting everybody in the channel where the fights are taking place. While this is a popular solution, one MAJOR problem is that the game client does NOT save the channel settings when you log off. Yeap. Everytime you log on you gotta remember to "/joinchannel Order Warfront." Some people have even set this as a macro. There are even addons that have a workaround for this, but for everybody else that's not about to install mods for the game, they either forget, or just are not aware. Very not friendly.

      Another thing is that the chat input text field does not remember your last input settings for which channel - a recent patch they've updated the client to remember who you've last sent a /tell to, but it doesn't remember any of the channel messages. This is really annoying too, and is not conducive to a steady conversation.

      Considering that they have created a series of new social mechanics which work to great effect, particularly the Public Quests and the Open Party, if there was an easier mechanic to ease the player into it further, that would really give a nice boost to the community.

      One of my gripes with the UI is that the open party notification system time is extremely short - when you enter a new zone, you have a 3 second window to look at the list of open parties, how many people are in the party, and to remember the name of the party leader in order to /join the party (if people are even aware of that command). A better interface would be a simple button interface that pops up somewhere, maybe even have one of the existing chat tabs to start blinking to notify the user that open parties are availabe. This would be very handy and help promote participation - although regarding open parties there really hasn't been an issue, it could be tweaked a bit more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stjobe (78285)

        One of my gripes with the UI is that the open party notification system time is extremely short

        Or, you could just click the button and peruse the list at your leisure? Not as fun as griping, I know, but then you'd even get a big ol' "join" button for every party, and you could sort them by what they're doing, PQ, RVR or PVE.

        But what do I know.

        • by Achoi77 (669484)

          You can click on the names when they pop up, and a button appears? As a 31 year old casual player, how would I have known that? It's not like there is even a visual notification when I mouseover the list, if I manage to mouseover it on time.

          This is what I'm talking about. While the client has some great features, if it was presented differently, it could be put to better use. As of right now when I zone into a lake I glance at the top right corner when the list pops up and hope I remember to spell the part

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by stjobe (78285)

            Err, no.

            There's a button in the lower left corner of your character portrait. It has an icon that's supposed to represent two (or is it three?) people, coloured lightbrown on black. It's right above where the "Open parties in your area" frame appears. I think it even has a mouse-over helptext.

            That's the "Open parties" button. Click that to get the list. It's all in the game manual if you're afraid to click around in the UI. The game manual came with your box and is also available as a PDF in the game instal

            • by Achoi77 (669484)

              You're missing the whole point of my arguement.

              There's a button in the lower left corner of your character portrait. It has an icon that's supposed to represent two (or is it three?) people, coloured lightbrown on black. It's right above where the "Open parties in your area" frame appears. I think it even has a mouse-over helptext.

              Are you referring to that brown graphic with the 2 (or 3) heads tied to the chat text display window? Don't you think that's kind of... wierd? Why is it not near the top left cor

            • by Knara (9377)

              I think this is a result of the trend (in console games mostly, but also in some PC games) where the manual is basically redundant and players are spoon fed a (sometimes tedious) tutorial at the beginning of the game (which are sometimes even more aggravating because skipping them avoids storyline info). If it isn't in a nice, colorful pop-up onscreen, they're lost as to find it.

          • by Knara (9377)

            As a 31 year old casual player, how would I have known that?

            I'm a 32 year old casual player, I figured it out the first time I sat down.

            There's a manual for a reason, but even beyond that, how about spending a little time learning about the game interface before complaining that since you couldn't personally figure it out, it was poorly designed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MistrBlank (1183469)
        The stance they've taken is likely due to "Barrens" or "Trade" chat that has occurred to WoW. It's flooded with people that prattling on with useless chat and chuck norris jokes. And when you have a "General" option and a "Trade" channel option, with one being more wide audience than the others, it becomes abundantly clear that you're not going to restrict your chat to either and just talk in one all the time.
        • by paitre (32242)

          It's an MMO.
          Shit like that is going to happen, and it seems that WAR has gone to the extreme in the other direction.

          Throwing the bath out with the bathwater...

          • by stjobe (78285)

            Throwing the bath out with the bathwater...

            Baby. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

            On topic, I don't miss Barrens chat one bit.

          • by Satanboy (253169)

            Throwing the bath out with the bathwater...

            Don't you mean

            Throwing the baby out with the babywater...

      • There's a small button on the top left of the screen, below your character's picture IIRC, which lists all open parties that are nearby (even in other zones).

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @02:09AM (#25281939)
    LOTRO just had a free weekend (If you ever had an account you can play for free even if you're not subscribed atm, plus there was a +25% xp gain for the weekend).

    It's also possible that LOTRO numbers went up because people realised warhammer online is a buggy POS, like I did.
  • I understand Mythic's disinterest in supporting forums, I do.
    I see that the WoW forums and (especially) the AoC forums are full of whiny bitches who represent a tiny fraction of the community but whose complaints ring loud in such a forum.

    However, lacking an OFFICIAL forum for people to exchange ideas, get support, and make suggestions is an error. (WAR has no official forum.)

    Age of Conan was released as a beautiful but deeply flawed and dysfunctional game (yes, I am a subscriber until my payment runs out i

    • Re:No forums (Score:4, Informative)

      by stjobe (78285) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @10:03AM (#25285537) Homepage

      http://www.warhammeralliance.com/ [warhammeralliance.com] is the unofficial official forums. That's where the devs post, that's where the server forums are, that's where everyone goes for information.

      If you're on the US servers I say you've nothing to complain about, compare the numbers of US Heralds to the number of EU Heralds and you'll understand why some people question Mythic's choice of GOA as European partner.

      Oh, and the official European site [war-europe.com] is absolutely terrible.

  • by darkwing_bmf (178021) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @11:36AM (#25287097)

    Warhammer wins in "World" group PvP. Take keeps and such all the way up to the enemy capital city, kind of a combination of PvP and PvE. For WoW players, think Alterac Valley when it was still fun x1000.

    Pure PvE Raiding is still way better in WoW. Taking keeps and such in RvR is raid-like, but the NPCs don't have the kind of scripted goodness Blizzard's bosses do, the real challenge (other than organization) comes if the other side's players try to defend. WAR does have a couple of "real" end game boss fights but, from what I've read, it's more like Onyxia or Gruul where you get right to the boss without much in between (except the RvR required to take the enemy capital city and open those dungeons).

    Solo questing and instanced PvP (battlegrouds/scenarios) are about the same in each, slight edge to WAR because it's new and shiny.

    Group questing ... WoW has *much* better PvE dungeons (WAR has instanced dungeons, but not to the scale and quality WoW does), but Warhammer has better outside quests for groups (public quests) and taking minor objective points in RvR feels like a group quest (take out the NPC guards then claim the objective for your side).

    If the idea of PvP usually turns you off, but you like to do PvE with groups (like raiding), you may like WAR anyway as taking major objectives in RvR (like keeps) is less like "omgwtfpwnedbbq" and more like a raid in the sense that you get a large group together focused on an objective and you have to figure out and execute a plan to capture/defend that objective to be successful. To take a keep, you need to defeat the NPC keep lord (boss) who is protected by NPC guards (feels like a simple WoW raid boss fight) and sometimes by enemy players too (which turns it into a complex WoW raid boss fight).

    The one real Achilles' heal in WAR is server population. If you join an empty server it will feel lonely and you'll probably hate it. If you join a populated server there's a good chance you'll enjoy it.

    Summary: If you wish you could play a *Super Epic* Alterac Valley, play WAR. If you prefer interesting scripted boss fights, play WoW. If you have free time, at least try both and judge for yourself.

  • by brkello (642429)
    I know that I cancelled both my WoW and Eve subscriptions this weekend. I can't do more than one MMO at a time. WoW is still the most polished game out there and it is by far superior when it comes to PvE. Eve is that game that I go back to time and again because it could be really cool but I always go away feeling bitter because it is fundamentally a very boring game. WAR right now is new and is just fun. Logging in and doing the RVR instances (like wow BG) has just been too much fun. I think the gam
  • I have tried both World of Warcraft and Warhammer as a new user over the last several weeks and my take is that Warhammer has a ways to go on who they are catering to before they can become successful on more than a niche level. EA/Mythic does not understand that when you login, you should not have to sit through the company logo clips, and have to manually skip the cinematic ... then skip the EULA (again, every time) to finally be able to get to your character. Which you then have to wait as it loads. L

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